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Arizona GOP Official Resigns, Citing Tea Party Threats: 'I Don't Want to Take a Bullet'

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Several GOP officials from the same area in Arizona have resigned following last week's shooting rampage in Tucson, including a district chairman who said threats from local tea party members caused him to be worried for the safety of himself and his family.

Anthony Miller, 43, stepped down earlier this week as chair of Republican District 20 after his wife expressed concerns about "constant verbal attacks" against him since helping Sen. John McCain win reelection in November, The Arizona Republic reported.

McCain was opposed by some parts of the conservative tea party movement in Arizona. Since the election victory, Miller said he has been the subject of intimidating and threatening rhetoric in person and on Internet message boards.

Still, Miller said, he had no plans to leave his post until the attempted assassination of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a massacre that left six dead and 14 wounded.

"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller told The Huffington Post Wednesday. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

Miller, who is black, said a number of the attacks were racially based. At an event in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Miller told The Huffington Post that someone called out, "There's Anthony, get a rope."

State party spokesman Matt Roberts told the Republic he could not discuss details of the resignation but, "Anthony has been a good Republican and was really involved in LD20."

District spokesman Jeff Kolb also quit, citing the threats against Miller. The Republic said District 20's secretary, Sophia Johnson, and first vice chairman Roger Dickinson stepped down as well, but the reasons for their resignations were unclear.

Members of the Ahwatukee Tea Party did not immediately comment.

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22 Comments

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shelcreates2

'tea party people',

"When you take back your country?", who will you let live in it?

January 16 2011 at 7:59 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
stevemontani

I wonder what the real reason is.

January 16 2011 at 6:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Big E.

Are we now living in the Wild Wild West? What is all this violence, threats and intimidation about? I guess if they were real Repubs, they would be like their former prez who got us all into this mess in the first place. They would say "bring it on".

January 15 2011 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim

Miller is giving himself way too much credit. Even within the Tea Party movement, JD Hayworth (McCain's primary opponent),didn't have the gravitas to defeat McCain. Hayworth repeatedly shot himself in the foot (metaphorically speaking, of course) before and during the campaign.

BTW - if Miller is giving interviews to HuffPo, he's not really much of a Republican.

January 13 2011 at 11:53 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
mullermugs32

How is the actions of a one man shooting rampaged linked to the Tea Party? IMO, both Dems and Repubs do not like the Tea party as it threatens their established power scheme. The Tea Party has put a spotlight on them and their allegiance with lobbiest, Corporate America and themselves over the people.

January 13 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Marie Brown

This is the most ridiculous article that I ever read on AOL. The Tea Party does not go around threatening candidates or politicians. We just inform folks on how a candidate would vote once they arrive in DC. When President Obama was a candidate, there was no exercise in that participation from the media. Mr. McCain is not a conservative which I prefer, but his past military service kept him in office. I would like to suggest, Mr. Weber that you return to Journalist school, but it seems they are turning out reporters such as yourself.

January 13 2011 at 6:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marie Brown's comment
gander8809

I guess the "taking our country back" statements are just supposed to be taken as jokes???????????

January 14 2011 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
cjhdoboy

Does Anthony Miller have the names of any person that threatened or intimidated him? Did he file a police report? Is he just assuming these were representative "Tea Party" members? Or, is the press just trying to stir things up?

January 13 2011 at 6:06 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
soltippen

Strange how the "liberal media" reports only the threats on a selective basis. I served in the State Senate for 10 years. I had one car destroyed in my driveway one night while my wife was fearful for her and my children's life. Again later I had a car fire bombed out front (baby sitter's car) in the middle of the night as my wife and I were together for an evening while I was in session. The findings were that the UNION Bosses had ordered both incidents as retaliation for votes I had made. It still happens today and threats are something a legislator must accept if he's going to do what's right. Threats on your life come with it. I KNOW.

January 13 2011 at 6:02 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
bonder

Well it looks like the GOP is getting what they have sewn for the past 18 years or so. Obstructionism, negativism, bullying and just good old fasioned hate. The win at all costs attitude that has taken over America is NOT what the founders imagined. We now know that the "T" in the T-Party movement stands for TERRORIST. Until the leaders of the Republican Party start standing up to these bullys they have no honor and deserve no respect from any of the millions of decent, but until now silent moderate Americans.

January 13 2011 at 5:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rattrap22n

I have never heard a threat of violence from a Tea Party member.Ive heard quite a few death threats from Democrats and Socialists groups like the brown derby wearing chickens.Ive been hit in the head from behind by a few and the police didn't seem to mind.Sounds like grand standing to get an agenda pushed to me.POOR POOR POLITICIANS

January 13 2011 at 5:38 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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