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2018 Scrum

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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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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By Elect Bolick for Arizona

As you may know, we won the Legislative District 28 (LD 28) House primary. Thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers, endorsers, and donors. Without you our win would not have been possible.

The general election battle is tough, but winnable. LD 28 is the only Arizona legislative district carried by Mitt Romney that is represented by a Democrat. The Democratic incumbent barely edged out the Republican nominee two years ago. shana

Where the Democrat has the edge is cash on hand. While I had a tough primary, he faced no opponent. I saved a significant amount for the general election, but our opponent starts with a 3-1 money edge. We need to replenish our campaign funds to win -- and quickly, given the short time remaining between now and Election Day on Tuesday, November 4th.

Can I count on you to boost me over the top in November?

The policy differences between myself and our Democratic opponent are stark. He opposes all forms of school choice, while I support it passionately. He is a reliable vote for higher taxes and bigger government; I oppose both. He even voted against Right to Try, which would give terminally ill patients the right to access drugs through their physicians that could save or extend their lives.

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Shawnna Bolick received Congressman David Schweikert’s endorsement for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28.
shana
“Shawnna Bolick is exactly what Legislative District 28 needs,” stated Congressman Schweikert. “Shawnna is principled, articulate and an advocate for education and a balanced budget. She cares about people, as reflected recently when she helped neighbors navigate the Veterans Administration. I am proud to endorse Shawnna as a fighter for taxpayers.”

“I am honored to have the endorsement of my sitting congressman,” exclaimed Bolick. “Like Congressman Schweikert I want to reduce the size and role government play in our everyday lives. I look forward to finding common sense solutions while helping Congressman Schweikert put a halt on government mandates as we unleash a pro-growth agenda at both levels of government.”

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Today, I am proud to announce one of the biggest endorsements of our campaign: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas.

Please join us both for a tele-townhall tomorrow night at 7:15 by making a toll-free call to 877-229-8493, Pin: 112568.

Senator Cruz has been one of the most outspoken reformers of government at the national level. As the representative of another border state, the Senator knows just how critical that issue is. And he brings the same toughness standing up to Barack Obama that I will as Arizona's next governor. ducey

Senator Cruz said of our campaign:
"The crisis at America’s border is a defining issue in the coming election, especially in Arizona. I'm supporting Doug Ducey for Arizona governor because he is the best candidate to help secure the border, protect the people, and enforce the law. He has the most serious and credible plan to address the border crisis.

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PHOENIX (July 28, 2014) – Lawyer-lobbyist Christine Jones famously calls herself an “unapologetic conservative,” but her background says otherwise.

During the 2008-2012 election cycles, Jones donated nearly $6,000 to Democrat candidates running for Congress. She also gave $30,000 to the GoDaddy PAC, which in turn donated more than $81,000 to 23 Democratic Senate and House candidates over the same time frame.

“Apparently, it’s not enough for lawyer-lobbyist Christine Jones to mislead voters on her resume and border security plan, she’s also deceiving them about her so-called ‘conservative’ credentials,” said Melissa DeLaney, spokesperson for the Ducey campaign. “Christine Jones has donated thousands of dollars to liberal Democrats and she still calls herself ‘unapologetic?’ It would be laughable if it weren’t so alarming. If she doesn't apologize to true conservatives for her lies and deliberate attempts to mislead Arizona voters, then I guess she really is a phony.”

PHONY JONES IN HER OWN WORDS & ACTIONS
Calls herself an “unapologetic conservative”
“I’m an unapologetic conservative, and that’s the way I’ll lead”

But Jones directly donated $5,700 to three Democrats running for congress:
• Byron Dorgan, U.S. Senate (North Dakota) -- $2,300 net
• Voted YES on Obamacare
• Voted NO on prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion
• Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security
• Voted NO on reducing federal overall spending by $40B
• Voted NO on permanently repealing the `death tax`
• Voted NO on restricting class-action lawsuits
• Voted NO on education savings accounts
• Voted NO on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence
• Rick Boucher, U.S. House (Virginia) – $2,400
• Voted NO on banning partial-birth abortion
• Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record
• Voted YES on cap & trade (American Clean Energy & Security Act)
• Voted NO on banning physician-assisted suicide
• Mary Kim Titla, U.S. House (Arizona) -- $1,000

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With State Senator Adam Driggs retiring two seats are up for grabs in the upcoming race for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28. That’s because a current holder of one of those seats, Kate Brophy McGee, is running to replace Driggs as is the other State Representative, Eric Meyer, a doctor.

The House calls for their replacements are easy ones to make, both Republicans.

First up is well-regarded Paradise Valley Councilwoman Mary Hamway.  Her brand of character and communication is exactly what you want to have in the political arena.  She has consistently been a pro-tourism, pro-resort vote on her Town Council including the landmark decision to bring Mountain Shadows back to life as well as bringing the Ritz-Carlton to the community, a move that secures the town’s financial future.  We don’t always agree with Hamway.  Indeed, she’s rigid on preventing a medical marijuana dispensary in Paradise Valley even though it’s the law of the land and public support for the policy continues to increase since the measure’s narrow passage in 2010.  But her position shows spine.  And that’s something she and Arizona will need as the special interests come calling at the State Capitol.  Hamway narrowly lost her 2014 race for the same seat she is pursuing now.  We don’t expect the same outcome.  Indeed, Arizona would be the biggest loser were that to be the case. 

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Friends was one of the best and most successful television comedies of all time.  No one can say it didn’t have a great run.  From Phoebe Buffay to Chandler Bing the characters became a staple of American life.

Chandler, Arizona has also had a great run.  It is among Arizona’s most successful cities.  From Jay Tibshraeny to Jack Sellers it has been led by Mayors and members of the City Council who have largely made effective policy decisions.

385848 04: Actor Matthew Perry stars as Chandler Bing in NBC's comedy series "Friends." (Photo by Warner Bros. Television)

But just as Matthew Perry seemed askew in roles post-Friends so too was it odd to see stories like this one last year in which a well-connected developer and lobbyist conspired to sink a business’ aspirations in the Price Road Corridor. In any entitlement case there are typically good reasons to approve or reject an application but in this case the political games engineered by a nearby developer merely sinking to quash competition seemed more reminiscent of the dark hallways at the Arizona State Legislature than the home of Intel.

Fortunately, Chandler has a chance Thursday night to indicate it still is a city that’s headed in the right direction and that it rises above the politics of self-interest for the community interest.

On Thursday, a $500 million expansion of a successful, existing business park is on the docket.  Behind the scenes the same actors of a nearby, subsidized office building are again trying to undermine a competitor.  But this time they’re not just picking on an aspiring Korean businesswoman.  They are playing with fire.  For the project is quietly being considered by Fortune 500 companies surveying the Valley for new digs.  And speaking of surveys word is that one over the weekend of likely Chandler voters showed a whopping 85%-7% support for the project that could bring as many as 15,000 jobs and millions in new tax revenue for Chandler and local school district.  Proposition 123 may have squeaked by Tuesday night but public schools still need lots of help.  These are some of the reasons why the “Park Place” expansion is one of the most anticipated commercial developments in Arizona. 

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The Arizona Republic recently featured an impressive “land bridge” near Oro Valley, Arizona to facilitate highway crossings for wildlife and reduce car accidents with them.  Here is a link.

It prompted an idea.  Why not pursue something similar in Scottsdale for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve which is bisected by Dynamite Boulevard?

It would be far less costly than the proposed Desert Discovery Center (DDC), and enrich the refuge.

The DDC is a specious proposal that seems more supported by inertia than merit.  The burden is on proponents to generate the necessary public support for the project, as preserve advocates once did in early 1990s.  Currently, that doesn’t exist.  Nor does a compelling policy rationale for magnifying the development footprint at the proposed Gateway location.

The city’s construction of trailheads and exhibits at hiking points in the McDowells was so superbly done with so few footprints in God’s desert sands that they have effectively become a desert discovery center unto themselves.

Precious tax dollars should be used for completing the preserve and enhancing that which is already within via things like a land bridge.

Put another way, does anyone go to the Grand Canyon because of the visitor center?  No, they do so because of the majesty.  And so it will always be, and should be, with the McDowell Sonoran Preserve where tourism officials should understand that better marketing of God’s great gift will be far more impactful than marketing towards a redundant facility that seeks to interpret that which people can see for themselves, unadulterated.

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After losing the Republican nomination for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2014 Bob Littlefield found himself without a political title for the first time since 2002.

He couldn’t stand it.  So he’s running for Scottsdale Mayor against a former friend and ally. He’s running despite his wife also serving on the Scottsdale City Council at the same time. And he’s running despite being on every side of every issue from density and heights to the Desert Discovery Center to taking money from special interests and lobbyists.  littlefield at desk

So complete is Littlefield’s hypocrisy on just about every issue in Scottsdale that his acolytes appear to be resulting to rumor mongering in their quixotic quest to displace the popular and reform-oriented Mayor Lane.

The latest is suggesting that Lane would only serve two years if voters elected him for his final term as Mayor later this year because he wants to run for Treasurer?  Nice try.

That scenario is no more plausible than Littlefield being elected and then running anew for the Arizona House of Representatives.  But don’t take our word for it.  Lane’s commitment to his final term is easily confirmed.  Just call his office.  See what he says. 

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Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane will be seeking a third and final term this August.  The finality has to do with the city’s term limits restriction. Three terms is all one gets to serve consecutively on the City Council or as Mayor.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will not be seeking a third term, even though he would win easily.  That’s because Phoenix restricts the Mayor to serving but two terms.

Which is better policy?  2 or 3?  Or maybe a single six year term like Mexico’s President has?  Or no term limits at all.

It doesn’t matter who you are being an effective Mayor of a large city like Phoenix or a multi-faceted one like Scottsdale takes time.  Stanton has hit his stride.  Downtown Phoenix is one of the most talked about places in the Southwest.  He’s collaborating with Republicans on key education measures.  In short, Phoenix is a city on the move, like Scottsdale. 

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The proposed Desert Discovery Center is one of those ideas that’s been around a long time.  Like wine, some think this is cause to savor the idea further.  Once envisioned as something like an environmental Disneyland it has morphed into something more akin to a duplicative Desert Botanical Garden.

Some on the Scottsdale City Council like Linda Milhaven, Virginia Korte and Suzanne Klapp join many in the local tourism industry and strongly support the project. IMG_7265

Mayor Jim Lane has supported studying the matter further with no commitment to the final project, a position similar to Councilmembers David Smith and Guy Phillips.

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield opposes the project even though her husband Bob, a failed state legislative candidate last cycle now running for Mayor, supported the project in 2008.

There’s support, opposition and caution but few would disagree the plan is controversial. 

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What a week for Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.  If there was ever a time he proved his mettle and wisdom on key issues, and why voters should keep him at the helm of Arizona’s best city, this was it.

*He voted for new, for-sale housing on McDowell Road, continuing the momentum for the corridor and next “it” area in the Valley;

*He’s leading Scottsdale’s effort to lend a boost to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in far north Scottsdale as a neighbor’s effort try to shut down the refuge for mountain lions, bears, jaguars and the creatures and critters of Arizona.  Maricopa County will vote on the matter in early June. Lane has crafted a resolution for the City Council to vote on May 17th lending the city’s full weight to the county’s consideration. Scottsdale-Sign-547x198

*He said no to a renewed effort to get light rail into Scottsdale’s transportation plans.

*Top Valley business leader and Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill along with former NFL defensive end and current Scottsdale pastor Andre Wadsworth are hosting a fundraiser for Lane tonight.

*He joined with Litchfield Park’s Mayor to warn on today’s Arizona Republic editorial page about the dangers of allowing more casinos into Valley neighborhoods, like the loophole that was used to put one in Glendale. 

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Over the weekend Arizona Republic readers might have noticed a letter to the editor from David Ortega.  He waxed ineloquent, as history most often records his commentaries, about the inadequacies of Proposition 123.  There are good arguments on both sides of that issue, though many more in support.  This is not meant to be judgment on them.   Only on Ortega.

For he noticeably signed his letter “former Scottsdale City Councilman.” Dude, that was over a decade ago and we’re really not sure why such a title would qualify him any more than anyone else to opine about contemporary education policy.

What is it with people who can’t let go of such identity? It’s like the Grandpa who threw a no-hitter in high school and can’t stop telling the family about it every holiday dinner. 

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Just a couple of months back Scottsdale almost had a lot more than proverbial egg on its face.  It almost had a whole carton making its mug unrecognizable.

That’s when some on the Scottsdale City Council were actually considering not allowing the BASIS charter school to relocate and expand its presence on Shea Boulevard.  Fortunately, Mayor Lane, Suzanne Klapp and Linda Milhaven led the charge, and with assists from Governor Ducey and Attorney General Brnovich everyone else but Councilman Guy Phillips came along for the ride.

Imagine if the right decision wouldn’t have been made by Scottsdale and then these national school rankings by U.S. News & World Report came out? http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2016/04/basis-charter-schools-take-top-spots-on-us-news.html 

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It’s always good to invoke Star Trek, especially when it comes to Bob Littlefield.  Because his campaign for Scottsdale Mayor seems to be from outer space.  And his campaign, in the unlikely event it is successful, would boldly take he and wife where no man has gone before:  a husband and wife team on the Scottsdale City Council.

We’re sure, no positive, absolutely certain that the Arizona Attorney General would NEVER, ever, never ever, come knocking at Scottsdale’s door because of open meeting laws violations.
littlefield at desk

But that’s not why we opine now.  It’s to reveal the game Bob Littlefield plays with south Scottsdale, and how he preys on their disenfranchisement only to stab them in the back to serve himself.

Take for example his ambulance chasing opposition to Entrada, the most important project proposed in south Scottsdale in years.  It would transform the ghost town of car dealerships on the northeast corner of 64th Street and McDowell into a terrific new gateway for the area with mixed-use development.  It’s the private sector finally responding, without government subsidy, to what many of us have been saying all along. South Scottsdale is a hidden jewel and the next neighborhoods in the Valley to go through a revitalizing “it” moment.  But that doesn’t serve Bob’s purpose.  He wants people to stay angry at the city because  it’s the only way he gains votes.  He certainly can’t win a contest of ideas or congeniality.  Indeed, he was the city councilperson when serving to refuse to sign a civility pledge. 

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Transforming the 32-acre Margaret Hance Park in central Phoenix to something more akin to Central Park is the best planning idea in the Valley today.  Read about it here. 

We hope the “Hance Park Conservancy” is one day regarded like the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in Scottsdale.  There, volunteers and fundraisers alike act as stewards for one of the great preserves any city in America has created.

Both are in the spirit of the great Robert Moses who over decades let New York breathe a little easier with his expanse of recreational amenities and planning imagination.

We hope someone like him will emerge in Phoenix now to see that a great idea doesn’t sit on a drawing table.  It has happened before.  Not too long ago it was believed Indian School Park would emerge as that great, good Phoenix place.  But it certainly hasn’t evolved so. 

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There used to be a popular soap opera called As The World Turns.  The same title could apply to the prologue unfolding for the 2019 Mayor’s race in the City of Phoenix.

Due to term limits popular incumbent Greg Stanton will not be able to seek re-election.  But former City Councilman Tom Simplot has made it known he wants the job, as does embattled current Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

Last year Simplot sympathizers sought to damage Nowakowski over questions involving a downtown Phoenix land deal.  They viewed him as their greatest threat.  And while Nowakowski has recovered somewhat with news of downtown Phoenix’s grocery store unicorn finally landing, there’s no doubt his future prospects have been wounded.  But Simplot’s camp may regret his struggles. 

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By Governor Doug Ducey

I'm voting YES on Prop 123 on May 17 because it's vital to ensuring Arizona's teachers and students have the resources they need to succeed in the classroom.

Click here to learn more

This initiative puts $3.5 billion into Arizona's public K-12 schools over the next ten years WITHOUT raising taxes.

When it comes to public education, Arizona has some great stories to tell. Voting YES on Prop 123 means future Arizona students can keep writing those Arizona success stories.

WATCH the video above to learn more about why I'm supporting Prop 123 and join me in voting YES on May 17.

Best,

Doug Ducey

Governor of Arizona

PS - Learn more about Yes on Prop123 and how you can support it at www.YesProp123.com.

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By Virginia Korte

Sustaining Our Scottsdale Way of Life

I am a consensus builder – because I believe the best outcomes are created when people come together and agree on a course of action.

That means making sure everyone has a voice in the decision-making process, no matter what the issue.

One of the things that makes our city so great and sets it apart from many other places is our ability to share our ideas with one another.  Citizens are able to not only take part in shaping our short-term objectives, but also participate in planning ahead to determine the best ways to achieve our long-term goals.

As we focus on the future, one of the most important topics is the role transportation issues play in growing our economy and sustaining our Scottsdale way of life.    

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By Bill Gates

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Yesterday, I announced my intention to run for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy left by retiring County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. During his time on the Board, Andy has been a great public servant, role model, and friend. Please join me in thanking him for his selfless public service to our district and our community.

I am excited about the opportunity to continue serving the great residents of District 3 and I hope you will support me as I run for County Supervisor for District 3. In the coming days and weeks, there will be more information on my campaign. In the meantime, please see my press announcement from yesterday below. Additionally, please visit my website at www.billgatesaz.com to donate to my campaign.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Bill Gates

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Tom Chabin, Bill Mundell to Hold Kick-Off Press Conference
Thursday, Feb. 25 at 11am
Phoenix (Feb. 23, 2016) – Two widely respected, longstanding Arizona public servants, Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell, will kick off their race for seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission and begin their battles to restore integrity and conflict-free governance to the public body.

Media is encouraged to attend the press and public event Thursday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. at Grant Park, 701 S. Third Avenue in Phoenix.

“Arizona deserves better. As a former chair of the Commission, I know how important it is to have commissioners who are not beholden to the very utilities they’re elected to regulate,” said Mundell. “We will not take money from lobbyists, PACs or other special interests  - that’s why we are running as Clean Elections candidates.”

“The words integrity and service are often overused in today’s political arena,” said Chabin. “But when it comes to the commission that ensures fairly priced electricity, clean water and safe access to natural gas, those words haven’t been considered often enough.”

The public servants are frustrated with the influence of dark money and special interests on the commission.

“We thought we had retired from politics,” added Chabin. “But we just can’t sit and watch what is happening at the Commission and not do something. It’s an outrage that through the use of 'dark money’ one utility can literally buy its regulators. We are not for sale. Someone has to speak up for consumers.”

Chabin and Mundell have served the residents of Arizona for decades in a variety of roles, positions and appointments. Below are their brief biographies, and additional information is available at www.TomChabinforCorporationCommission.com and www.BillMundellforCorporationCommission.com.

Media contact: Stacy Pearson at 602-577-6888 or stacyp@strategies360.com

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WASHINGTON, DC – Following Marco Rubio’s strong comeback in South Carolina, Conservative Solutions PAC, the Super PAC supporting Rubio’s presidential campaign, today released a new ad highlighting what is at stake in the 2016 presidential campaign, and why Marco Rubio is the conservative choice voters can count on.  The ad will air in Super Tuesday states.

Serious”:

V/O:               We live in dangerous times.  Terrorism growing.  The economy teetering.  The Supreme Court in the balance.

Trump.  Erratic, unreliable.

Cruz.  Calculated, underhanded.

The choice we can count on?

Marco Rubio.

“A disciple of Reagan.”

“Smart” and “Forceful.”

“The Democrats’ Nightmare.”

Marco Rubio, the Republican who can beat Hillary and inspire a new generation.

 

For more information on Conservative Solutions PAC, please visit: www.conservativesolutionspac.comClick here to follow the Conservative Solutions PAC on Twitter.

 

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by Virginia Korte

I am running for re-election to the City Council because I respect our city’s past and all those who helped make Scottsdale so great – and, most importantly, I want to make sure we stay focused on our future.VK in blazer1

Truthfully, some people think they can turn back the clock to what our city once was while ignoring what it can be.

Those people want to stop us from continuing to attract visitors who contribute to the city’s revenue and help keep our taxes down. They have also stopped us from investing in maintaining some of our most critical infrastructure, which ends up putting citizen services in jeopardy.

I am grateful that voters approved two bond questions last November to build new fire stations and replace 140 miles of deteriorating pavement on our streets. However, when the other four bond questions were rejected, it left our city with about $67 million in unfunded priority projects.

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