Odds & Ends To The Week
*The Arizona Republic’s breathless liberal opinionistas can’t understand why Governor Ducey would speak at a Trump rally, as he did this week. It’s simple. He doesn’t want to get primaried in 2018, and Trump ally and State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt looms as a potentially formidable challenger. There may be others. Anyone would start as an underdog versus Ducey – Kelli Ward’s failure against McCain being a perfect example why. Yet, stranger things have happened.
*All Hail Christine Jones. Whatever one thinks of the blind ambitionist, her successful execution of the “outsider” strategy in the Congressional Five GOP Primary was terribly impressive. Yes, those who spend the most in congressional races usually win. Still, waltzing into the East Valley and buying a seat well, it hasn’t been done that well since . . . John McCain in 1982.
*Donald Trump effectively labeled opponents during his presidential primary. “Low Energy.” “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane ain’t like The Donald in approach but his recent labeling of long-shot opponent Bob Littlefield as a “Crazy Uncle” gets the gold medal so far for Arizona political monikers.
*Speaking of Littlefield the guy is just one big gaffe machine, and an offensive one at that. According to online commentary he’s called Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven a “Great Satan” and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and renowned Scottsdale businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons “scumbags.” What a gem. Is anyone still thinking of voting for this guy?
*State Representative Jay Lawrence had one of the best radio voices during his nights at KTAR. And whoever his sign guy is deserves a “best of” award too for the best placements.
*Speaker Syms? Special advisor to Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman. And now top vote getter in the GOP primary for Legislative District 28. She’s threading a lot of political needles in her run so far, portending a real shot at a House leadership position in future years.
*If Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins maintains his two-term pledge look for just re-elected Town Councilman Mark Stanton to emerge as the most likely successor in 2018.
*As the public mostly rails against the idea of new taxpayer funded facilities for the Diamondbacks, Coyotes or Suns, the City of Phoenix is assembling a massive taxpayer subsidy package for Fry’s to land downtown. It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction: big taxpayer help for billionaire sports owners bad but big taxpayer help for billionaire grocery store owners good?
*The City of Peoria’s new sales tax hike proposal – billed as a quality of life tax – has political support built on quicksand.
*Kirk Adams is Governor Ducey’s Chief of Staff. With the exception of a starring role in a suspect Arizona Republic story about pressuring State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt into supporting Proposition 123 he has largely avoided trouble. That’s not easy to do for any Chief of Staff. But people are now starting to talk: Are some of his recommended appointments and positions more about aiding himself once he resumes his lobbying career?
*Paul Ryan was supposed to have a tough GOP primary but blew away his opponent by an extremely wide margin. Closer to home, Sheriff Arpaio had a primary too. He was running against Donald, Mickey and Goofy. Yet, more than one-third of the electorate abandoned him. That’s a troubling and underreported sign heading into a difficult November election.
*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu won his Congressional District One GOP Primary but hardly in spectacular fashion. He struggled in every county besides his own where he ran up the score. And nearly all – if not all -- of his favored candidates in Pinal County for County Attorney, Sheriff and Supervisor lost. So, unlike McCain who won by a surprisingly large margin for momentum heading into the General, Babeu limps.
*So State Representative Rick Gray sold his political soul to Arizona Public Service only to have the company renege on a Full Forese. Finishing out of the money on Tuesday night it’s almost easy to feel sorry for the guy. Almost.
*There are a lot of reasons for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ anemic showing Tuesday night, despite an easy campaign narrative of a Glendale comeback. Among them were an incredible disloyalty to the firefighters, business leaders and others that supported him in 2012. It’s a lesson for all Arizona elected officials, from Governor Ducey on down.
*Seeking to make a name for themselves in political circles a number of younger consultants are trying to get into the polling business. They are cutting corners to cut costs. As a result the results are largely garbage. A case in point was a recent article by the Arizona Republic positing how good Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell was looking for re-election. It relied on polling results from one of the neophytes. Our case in point.
*We’re losing track of how many times Wendy Rogers has lost whatever she’s been running for in recent years. She lost again Tuesday night. Hopefully this will be the last time Arizona has to endure her on the ballot.