Following the 2016 election, many of us with concerns about Martha McSally’s weak-kneed response to Donald Trump found each other on Facebook. We joined efforts to try to convince her to do a better job living up to her campaign promise to be an independent “servant leader” in Washington, willing to break with her party when necessary. Her behavior post-election was nothing like that. She was voting 100% in line with Trump, and reacting with timid deference to his most outrageous proposals, including staff and cabinet choices that did not meet with the values of her constituents. So we called, and called and we wrote. But it became apparent very quickly that she had a history of dodging the tough issues that might call into question her carefully crafted narrative of being a Moderate. So we created a Facebook Group called McSally Take a Stand and held our first demonstration outside of her office on November 21st, 2016. Some of us were friends before meeting on the pavement on Broadway Blvd., but most of us were meeting for the first time. Her District Director, CJ Karamargin, met with us on the sidewalk but spent more time trying to convince us that our concerns were unfounded than hearing us and demonstrating the Congresswoman would listen.
We became empowered by our shared desire and our growing community on Facebook. We held another demonstration and continued a campaign of phone calls to her offices to express our concerns in hopes that we would hear anything from her that would help assuage our fears about the direction of our country.
It became very apparent as we began researching that her voting record was very different from her public statements about issues as well as her public representation of how she votes. We were surprised to find that she was not the Moderate she claimed to be when running for this office in the last 2 election cycles. We lamented how we should have been more aware, took responsibility and rolled up our sleeves. We soon discovered that our intuitive model for resisting the Trump Agenda was not unique to us. The Indivisible Guide, written by Congressional Staffers who experienced the 2010 Tea Party resistance, hit the internet in late January and inspired many other groups to join the effort. We started creating alliances with other activist groups and began sharing our resources.
We even met with her personally to invite her to a Town Hall that we had organized at our own expense. In January, we collected 1300 signatures requesting a Town Hall where we could get some answers that weren’t carefully crafted by her slick Public Relations team. We scheduled a Town Hall for later in February for a date when she was available, according to her scheduler. We invited her to the Town Hall and didn’t receive an answer. So on February 8th, we delivered the petitions and held a press conference, inviting her to attend. Once word got out, se (link here to a page that tells that story)
She dismissed most of our efforts, referring to us as “activists engaged in political theater.” Nevertheless, we persisted, continuing to advocate for more transparency. We asked for a Town Hall in Tucson, where the majority of her constituents live. No. We asked that she answer constituent questions from the safety of her office, on camera. No. We asked her to clarify contradictory positions she’s taken in public. No. We asked her to at least educate the people answering her phones as to where she stands on the issues, so callers can get answers to their questions. No.
Then on May 4, 2017, she voted for the Republican health care bill, an outright violation of her oft-repeated promise to protect those of us with pre-existing conditions. Not only did she vote in line with Paul Ryan and Donald Trump against the interests of her own district, she actually rallied others to the cause, with her now-infamous burst of crass enthusiasm: “Let’s get this fucking thing done!”That same day, we filed to become a Super PAC, RepresentMeAZ. We believe the Congresswoman has a Constitutional duty to represent her district, not her donors, and a moral obligation to be honest and open with us about where she stands. If she’s not willing to be honest about her record, then we’ll step up and do it for her. If you’d like to support us in our efforts, please click here to donate.