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According to insightful reporting at the Paradise Valley Independent , the denizens of density behind the proposed Ritz-Carlton hotel and townhouse development in Paradise Valley are back.

This time the “We’re Baaack” is likely to be a noisier poltergeist for residents than the last time around.
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So why are they returning to the political theater now?

A couple of reasons.

First, after viciously, and unsuccessfully attacking Mayor Scott Lemarr, his term is coming to an end. As a son of Paradise Valley Lemarr has long been a skeptic of the Ritz plans, that are actually being curated by Five Star Development – a company unrelated to the Ritz. Lemarr’s departure alone aids those seeking to pioneer more liberal development allowances in town.

Second, those who laughed at recent Ritz-Carlton/Five Star Development attempts to turn that which voters approved in 2008 into something reminiscent of Tempe have left or are leaving office come January.

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Northeast Valley residents saw change after the recent elections.

The Town of Paradise Valley will see the most after movings, goings and retirements.

And Scottsdale will incur some too as those more cautious about the city’s growth trajectory were narrowly favored.

While others could certainly be noted, one victor in each municipality exemplifies the marketplace filling that which they constantly request in more candidates: talent and regard.

Take Councilman-elect Mark Stanton in the 85253. Frequent smile. Good humor. Looks you in the eyes. And has served in the private and public sector with distinction. First as an accomplished public relations executive, then as the as the Deputy Director for the Arizona Office of Tourism.

With more gray hair across the border is Scottsdale’s David Smith. He can be prickly, but whether one is in agreement with him there is little doubting his brain cells and financial acumen. People like him are needed to check government largesse and inefficiency.

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Friends of District 7,

I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud to have the Phoenix selected for the 2017 Men’s Final Four, a culmination of March Madness and the finale to the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament. Much like Super Bowl 49 and the 2016 College Football Championship Game, the Final Four will have significant components of its activities centered in downtown Phoenix. The event will have a large economic benefit for Phoenix and continues to showcase our wonderful City and that it has to offer to our guests and residents. We look forward to partnering with the ASU, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, and other Valley communities to deliver a world class experience. The City thanks the NCAA for being selected and continues to be the proof why investing in our Downtown and our community pays dividends.
Best Regards,

Michael Nowakowski
Councilmember

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Dear Friend of Educational Choice,

Voters reject the status quo in education. They applaud bold change for children, and they want more.

That’s the message voters sent last week in the dramatic midterm election results. In each of the states where the American Federation for Children’s affiliated political committees engaged, we were able to help elect or protect many school choice policymakers to state legislative office.
• AFC and its political committees invested in a total of 259 races, including both the 2014 primary and general elections.
• Our spending totaled $4.5 million highly targeted dollars to defend, strengthen, or create school choice-friendly legislatures in nine states.
• 91 percent of our endorsed candidates won their races in the general election, and 80 percent won in the primary.
• Governors who have boldly stood up for vouchers, tax credit choice programs, and charter school expansion were re-elected, despite well-funded and relentless opposition from the teachers’ union. Governors Scott Walker (WI), John Kasich (OH), Rick Scott (FL) and Nathan Deal (GA) all won.

Governor Rick Scott’s victory in Florida is particularly striking, as his margin of victory matches the increased number of African-Americans who voted for him this election (compared to 2010). After the teachers union and school boards association sued to stop the new Education Savings Account and existing, bipartisan-supported tax credit scholarship program, Democratic candidate and former Governor Charlie Crist flip-flopped and became an opponent of these programs after having previously supported them as Governor, forcing the issue into the center of the campaign. Our Florida affiliate worked aggressively to inform parents of the nearly 70,000 scholarship program students of Crist’s support for the lawsuit that would take away their child’s scholarship.

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Phoenix, AZ – Earlier this week, Secretary of State-elect Michele Reagan announced former Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless as the Chairwoman of her transition team. Michele and Betsey have finalized the transition team that will provide counsel and direction as Michele prepares for the next two months before officially assuming the role of Secretary of State in January.

Transition Team:
Chairwoman Betsey Bayless – Former Arizona Secretary of State
Helen Purcell – Maricopa County Recorder
Leah Landrum Taylor – State Senator
Lydia Hernandez – State Representative
Ted Downing – former State Representative
Glenn Hamer – President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Todd Sanders – President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Doug Yonko – Vice President of Communications, Hensley Beverage Company
Joe Kanefield – Elections Attorney Ballard Spahr; former Arizona Elections Director
Bill Beard – Pima County Elections Integrity Commission
“We have a serious amount of work to accomplish over the next two months,” said Reagan. “I am incredibly grateful for the collection of leaders and specialists we have put together and look forward to the input and guidance they will provide. I am excited about the challenge and the opportunity that lay ahead.”

As the transition team prepares to convene in the coming weeks, members weighed in on specific issues they felt were important for Reagan to consider as she moves forward.
“Developing a strong working relationship with the County Recorders is key to having an effective tenure as Secretary of State. Fortunately, Michele has proven during her time in the Legislature that she is willing and able to work constructively with all fifteen County Recorders. I was honored to be invited to join the transition team and help further cultivate those vital relationships,” said Helen Purcell.

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Once upon a time a five or six story office building was built at Scottsdale & Camelback Roads. Those who voted for it were swept out of office.

As sure as the sun rises the ebb and flow of “slow growth” and “pro business” candidates occurs in Scottsdale elections.
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But that it happened so soon in Scottsdale on November 4th, a cycle or two early, is noteworthy.

After rapid growth in the early and mid 1990s Scottsdale citizens remarkably voted to tax themselves to preserve the McDowell Mountains, sparing them from development. And later that decade those critical of growth started to be elected with more frequency.

And then they went too far. Scottsdale became “Stopsdale.” An arena was lost. Studies were done. Those opposed to all growth were soon opposed by voters desirous of reasonable growth.

But then the “pro business” majorities on council go farther than the electorate is comfortable with. So many apartments. So much height. So much which can seem so foreign to residents. And the pendulum begins to swing the other way, all over again. So much of this seemed vital and laudable during the Great Recession, but now that the economy has returned so has the luxury of complaint about that now built.

There were certainly signs of what was to come this election. The General Plan was soundly defeated at the polls previously. So was a city bond package. The natives were growing restless. Even a much improved bond campaign for the Scottsdale School District, which had been previously defeated but that faced no organized opposition in 2014, won a couple of Tuesdays ago by a modest 55%-45% margin.

Always schizophrenic to some extent the Scottsdale City Council now stands at four that can be called “pro-business” (Jim Lane, Virginia Korte, Linda Milhaven, Suzanne Klapp) two that want to slow things down (Guy Phillips and the newly-elected Kathy Littlefield) and another newbie that will probably dip his toes in both camps (David Smith).

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Phoenix, AZ – Today, Arizona Secretary of State-elect Michele Reagan announced Betsey Bayless will chair her transition team. Bayless, who has a public service career spanning forty years in Arizona, served as Arizona’s Secretary of State from 1997 to 2003.

“For many years, I have been a staunch supporter of Michele Reagan and I am proud to support her in this new role as Secretary of State. It is a giant leap from the Legislature to the Executive Branch and, if my past experience can help smooth that transition, I want to help. We will be conducting a statewide search for the best people to surround Michele to allow her to hit the ground running,” said Bayless.

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Whether one likes him or not the gold standard for candidate concession speeches was Al Gore following his gut-wrenching, Flordia vote counting loss in 2000. It was the epitome of class and decency.

Contrast his approach with two on Tuesday night in Arizona, Wendy Rogers and Fred Duval.

First, Rogers.

This was her statement.

“I want to thank my friends, family, and volunteers for standing by me in this race, and I want to thank the citizens of the 9th District for all of their kind words over the past several months. I ran for Congress because of my concern over the direction America is heading in, and I hope that, for the good of our country, Congress will work to turn our nation around and put a stop to the Obama agenda.”
No mention of her opponent, Kyrsten Sinema. No congratulations to her.

There is a time for the fight. And there is a time for kudos. Great boxers typically gather in the middle of the ring and hug after prolonged battle. Gladiators of the NFL shake hands after a game. The player acknowledgements after the Stanley Cup has been won are laudable.

Candidates should be likewise. But many aren’t. Thankfully, voters tend to get such deficiencies before Election Night. They clearly understood so with the anemic Rogers, who will not be mistaken for Ms. Manners any time soon.

And that brings us to Fred Duval. Long known for being a gentleman, even criticized for being too much of one in his battle with Governor-elect Ducey, his concession speech was a clunker.

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An opinion that bears repeating after Arizona's election results Tuesday.The following was originally Published February 13

There’s an old observation in politics that just about anyone who gets elected to anything starts seeing themselves being President of the United States. After Goldwater, Udall, Babbitt and McCain that may not be true for Arizonans but you get the point.

But it is true the bigger dragons you slay the bigger the doors that open.

And that’s the opportunity current Arizona State Senator and Republican Secretary of State Michele Reagan finds herself in.Screen-Shot-2013-10-30-at-10_34_40-AM2-78220_641x340

Once upon a time she was the favorite for the race of second in command. Then along came well-funded Wil Cardon and the most formidable Democrat in the state (sans Kyrsten Sinema) Terry Goddard.

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By Bill McInturff

Public Opinion Strategies' Election Night Poll shows the 2014 election was defined by major dissatisfaction about the direction of the country, the economy, and President Obama:

1. On Election Day, roughly two-thirds (65%) of voters said the country is headed off on the wrong track.

2. The weekend before the election 64% of voters said they were dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.

3. In the national exit polls, President Obama's job approval was 44% on Election Day, exactly matching his job approval on Election Day in 2010.

4. By a roughly two-to-one margin, people say they voted as a signal to oppose rather than to support President Obama (17% support/32% oppose).

5. Republicans enjoyed a six point edge on the generic vote for Congress (52% saying they voted for the Republican candidate for Congress compared to 46% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate for Congress).

6. In the national exit polls, Republicans carried White men by an even wider margin in 2014 than in 2010 (64% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/33% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate this cycle compared to 62%/34% in 2010).

7. While not quite as high as in 2010, Republicans captured White women by a comfortable double-digit margin this cycle (56% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/43% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate in 2014 compared to 58%/39% in 2010 according to national exit polls).

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