McCain’s Grip On AZGOP Tightens, Seaton Raising Questions
Questions have arisen about the control Sen. John McCain’s operatives maintain over the Arizona GOP in response to controversy surrounding a possible replacement for the terminally ill politician. Specifically, the appearance of Jon Seaton at the Party’s headquarters has raised concerns about impartiality this primary election season.
For years, what has become known as the “McCain Machine,” has crushed efforts by the grassroots members and their chosen candidates. McCain ruled the Party with an iron fist and when he wasn’t hurling epithets at conservatives, his machine was ginning out compliant precinct committeemen.
The presence of Seaton, a political consultant with East Meridian Strategies, provides evidence to some that while McCain’s grip on health deteriorates, his grip on the Party is still strong.
“The McCain machine operates in part to ensure that populist or conservative candidates do not make it out of Republican primaries. Only the most mega-corporate-friendly candidates and their consultants are granted access to all of the Party’s resources.
“McCain’s stable of candidates this year include Tiffany Shedd, running in CD1, Rep. Martha McSally, running to replace Sen. Jeff Flake, Lea Marquez Peterson, running in CD2, and Governor Doug Ducey.
“Popular challengers State Sen. Steve Smith, former State Sen. Dr. Kelli Ward, Brandon Martin, and former Secretary of State Ken Bennett are generally denied equal access to the Party apparatus.”