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2018 Scrum

MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow is really liberal. And annoying. And she’s a partisan. But one can’t say she doesn’t bring it with passion. It’s worthy of respect even while it reminds those not like-minded why we are right.

That’s why a shout out is in order for SeeingRedAZ.com, one of the most influential and longest-running political blogs in Arizona. Its espousals are not moderate. Opinions were and always are conservative.

And even as the house has caved in on SB1062 – and Republicans run for cover – there stands SeeingRedAz, defending the policy. Proudly.

Theirs is a small gun in war that has been lost. But thank goodness they are there, adding to the debate. They make one think, just as Maddow does, but unlike her they are more often right than wrong. Just not on this one.

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A recent article discussed fear within the Christian community that Christians were losing the culture war and would soon be losing their rights as well. The writer interviewed Jim Phillips, the senior pastor of North Greenwood Baptist Church, to find out why events are moving against Christians with such speed.

“Sadly, Christians have often wimped out and grown silent instead of being bolder for the Gospel,” he said. “Christians get subdued into thinking they’re not supposed to rise up.”

It was easy to be reminded of that quote as we watched virtually the entire Republican field for Governor run for the hills in the debate over SB1062, the religious liberties bill that was advocated for by the Center for Arizona Policy and was supported by 50 out of 53 Republicans in the legislature. Conservative Republicans supported the bill, but so did moderate Republicans like Frank Pratt, TJ Shope, John McComish, Steve Pierce, Bob Robson and Adam Driggs.

Upon passage however, Democratic lawmakers and their allies in the homosexual lobby kicked their public relations machines into high gear and the media happily engaged in a feeding frenzy to declare SB1062 the next SB1070. And why not? SB1070 was great for ratings!

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Arizona State Senator Michele Reagan is one of the most likable people in all of state politics. She has her own style and compelling nature that is refreshingly authentic in an age of political clones. Reagan has been a dynamic and effective representative for her district that covers much of Scottsdale.

And for years it has been known she has wanted to be Arizona’s next Secretary of State. And she would likely do a fine job. Screen-Shot-2013-10-30-at-10_34_40-AM2-78220_641x340

But sometimes in politics things just break against you. And when they do it’s OK to re-evaluate. And it should be the responsibility of a consultant to shoot straight rather than walk a candidate into a wall.

Let’s take stock.

Yesterday, Reagan reported having about $100,000 in cash on hand for her Republican primary run. That’s a new definition of pissing in the wind with the well-funded Wil Cardon facing her for the GOP nomination and Terry Goddard ready after that as one of the more formidable Democrats to ever pursue the post. And this amount very likely defers a good amount of campaign expenses relegating her real total to less than spun.

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So the Arizona Republican Party censured John McCain this past weekend. If they were hoping this would dissuade the senior senator from re-electing it may have had the opposite effect. After all, a man who withstood the Vietcong probably chuckles at the potbellies of rightward lunacy. They remind us that just because one can do something, doesn’t mean it is wise to do so. One Ted Cruz is just enough.McCain, John-012309-18421- 0004

Still, the Censurists do speak to the long-time detachment and disregard many Republicans have for John McCain. He is at once so damn impressive yet also such a petulant ass. The kind of guy that is both a great American symbol for resilience yet also one that would yell at the construction worker he hired for not building a monument to himself fast enough.

Evidence can be found in the numbers. Despite spending some $26 million in the 2010 Republican primary against J.D. Hayworth who raised a fraction of that amount McCain only won the Republican primary by a little more than 20 points. Fast forward to 2012 when Jeff Flake and Wil Cardon spent a relatively similar amount in that U.S. Senate primary but Flake won by 50 plus points.

And this gets us to a key point. The 2012 U.S. Senate race occurred at all because Jon Kyl decided three terms was enough; that others could carry on his good work, in their own way. And Arizona would be just fine. He left at the top of the Republican Senate world, like Bobby Jones atop the golf world some 80 plus years ago. He knew when it was time to leave. He knew there was more to life than title and ego.

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Billy Crystal watching Meg Ryan faking it was one of the most memorable movie scenes in recent memory.

It’s fair to say that’s how engaged Republican primary voters are feeling as they evaluate whether upstart Christine Jones is faking her espoused conservative bona fides or whether she really has the financial resources to become a player in the 2014 Arizona Governor’s race.  jones-governor

Fife Symington clearly had the personal dough to be competitive. He actually became an Arizona Governor. He wasn’t faking it. Buz Mills appeared to have the jack too, before pulling out of the 2010 Governor’s race because of the unique circumstances of SB1070.

Wil Cardon was soundly defeated for the U.S. Senate in 2012 but he too showed a real bank account. If Christine Jones doesn’t have the same depth she is an immediate also ran.

Judging from her very aggressive fundraising efforts we question how much there is really there. The 2013 financial reports due Friday should shed some light. But so too does a refresher course on Buz Mills’ effort.

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Tough on crime and tough on illegal immigration. That’s Andrew Thomas in a nutshell. What’s not to like? As a candidate for Governor, Thomas hopes to appeal to the most conservative voters in a split field and capture the GOP nomination. From there, he would look to ride the Republican voter registration advantage to a brand new office on the 9th Floor, from where he would wage war on corruption in the government and the judiciary. Light your torches!

But each news cycle’s coverage of settlements of lawsuits against Maricopa County related to Thomas’ conduct as County Attorney erodes confidence that Thomas is capable of winning a fight against corruption, not to mention an election.thomas_20100818180053_320_240

Thomas claims to have been hard on the trail of massive corruption within Maricopa County and for the sake of this post we are going to assume that he was sincere and correct. He indicted a lot of people for a lot of things. We can’t say they were guilty of anything though because they were not convicted. Seriously. Ever. Not any of them as near as we can tell. And we’ve really searched the news clippings hard. Was it because Thomas quit as County Attorney in the middle of these prosecutions to run for Attorney General? Or was it because the indictments and investigations were a really bad idea? Or were they simply really badly executed?

Based just on the number and size of the checks Maricopa County is writing to settle lawsuits filed by the “victims” of these acts, we’re going to concede it might be any or all of the above.

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Dierks Bentley’s popular restaurant and bar, Whiskey Row, hopes to join Gilbert’s Heritage District very soon. There are already two other popular locations in the Valley, Scottsdale and Tempe. So why are the residents of Gilbert worried about this establishment?

Noise. That’s right, the residents of Gilbert are worried that Whiskey Row will be too noisy and will not be a good addition to the Heritage District. Gilbert residents are apparently not fans of a good time. They would rather have a quiet boring town than one full of life. Whiskey-Row-01-no-logo1

The Scottsdale and Tempe locations have established reputations for loud music booming from the building into the early hours of the morning as well as attracting party people. Yet this is due to the locations of both buildings.

Old Town Scottsdale as a whole is known as an entertainment district, so the Whiskey Row fits that description. This is the same for Tempe, as that location is known for the college students it attracts.

The Heritage District is known for the family friendly atmosphere and establishments to go along with it. Whiskey Row plans on changing the focus of this location to one that puts the restaurant before the bar. An expanded food menu has already been created for this location and the liquor license purchased is for restaurants specifically.

Apparently the assurances of Riot Hospitality Group, operators of the Scottsdale and Tempe locations, are not enough. Not only have they made clear that they intend to create a family friendly atmosphere, they also intend to follow all city noise ordinances.

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It’s been 33 years since John Rambo took on the world.  It’s been only a week or two since former Phoenix City Councilman Tom Simplot fired the first shots in the 2019 Phoenix Mayor’s race.

Two capable people have made it known they want to replace the term-limited Greg Stanton. Simplot and current Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski.  Both would be strong candidates and make Phoenix history.  Simplot would be the first openly gay Mayor, Nowakowski the first Latino.

Simplot also serves as the CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association.  He knows what’s going on in apartment world.

So when Deco Communities and its high-powered lobbyist lost a recent City of Phoenix bid to build a new apartment project on city owned land in downtown Phoenix, Simplot saw an opportunity to sully his potential opponent.

The resulting coverage in the Arizona Republic (click here) reads more like insinuations than a disconcerting investigative report.

Read closely – understand what’s really going on – and it appears there is neither smoke nor fire.  Arizona’s most influential political blogger agrees. (Click here)  

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There are always great stories in any school district.  A wonderful teacher.  An enterprising student.  A feel good sports team.

The Scottsdale Unified School District is no different.

But the problems infecting the one time model of public schooling are a shocking indifference to malaise.  And that’s to put it kindly.

Last year the district again lost some 1,000 students.  Once proud campuses look skeletal.

At the helm presides David Peterson, as he has for years.  He knows how to ask taxpayers for more money.  It’s unclear whether he knows how to do anything else, including reversing losses. 

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Fiesta Mall in Mesa is about dead.  Los Arcos Mall in Scottsdale died years ago.  Metrocenter is trying to reinvent itself as so many other malls are doing across the country.  The changing retail landscape driven by increased online sales demands it.  Look at Biltmore Fashion Park which now seems more a tony food court than mall. scottsdalefashionsquaremall1

That brings us to Scottsdale Fashion Square.  Despite its pre-eminence it is not immune to the altering landscape.

That’s why its pending requests of the City of Scottsdale to allow greater heights and uses at the marquee mall are forward looking and smart.  They will allow potential hotels, residences and other uses to keep the people coming and dollars flowing.

Fashion Square is a golden goose for the city.  Sales tax revenue.  Cache.  Amenity.  Scottsdale leaders previous made bold decisions to help position the property for prosperity.  They need to do so again, even those with frequent aversions to allowing taller buildings for developers.

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It would seem that the Tempe police are more concerned about people’s opinion of them than actually protecting the residents.

The ‘Safe and Sober’ campaign that launched in 2013 after incidents where Arizona State University students were found dead after attending parties where heavy drinking was involved was replaced with a babied version that focuses on education and prevention.

After the program ran for three weekends it vanished due to complaints that it put Tempe into a ‘police state.’ The semester hasn’t even officially started and we are no-where close to the heavy drinking events such as home football games and holidays and already they are backing off.

Tempe police say that they will be bringing back a new version based on education and prevention instead of a call to action. Just like the years before the whole campaign started, which didn’t work out so well for the underage drinking problem.

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Some time ago Bob and Karen Hobbs bought the former home of favorite Arizona son Barry Goldwater.  Located on a hilltop in the heart of Paradise Valley their preservation and updating of the home was and is spectacular.

From time to time they do events there, mainly political ones favoring the Grand Old Party.  But not a once have they sought to commercialize the property with such things as weddings, concerts and wine bars.  They’d get laughed and run out of town by neighbors and town officials if they thought about, let alone submitted plans to actually do it.

The Hobbs’ also never hired publicists to tout how great they were for keeping and restoring the Goldwater home, where they now live.

Contrast this approach with the extraordinary arrogance of Zach Rawlings in Arcadia, who is seeking to do everything the Hobbs’ did not.

Instead of quietly and nobly resurrecting a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Rawlings has sought to tell the world how great he is for doing it. And while we agree that kudos are in order, his subsequent endeavor to use it as a mean to gain unprecedented commercial rights in Arcadia is anything but a Hobbesian choice.  It’s just wrong.

Indeed the plans submitted to Phoenix allow Rawlings new development rights no other homeowner in Arcadia enjoys.   Consequently, any longer calling it the “Wright House” are woefully insufficient. The more proper name is the Arcadia Event & Wedding Center.  

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We all remember Christine O’Donnell, as we try to forget her?  She was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware who rode that year’s Tea Party wave to upset the presumed nominee, he of the “establishment.”  In one of the worst political television advertisements ever produced she infamously declared she was “not a witch” as she attempted to retintroduce herself to a general electorate following her surprising nomination. It didn’t work.  She got crushed.

Largely quelled in 2012 and 2014 are we seeing the rise of another Tea Party wave in 2016, with Donald Trump as its titular head?

It appears so, at least for now.  But consider that it ominously (at least for some) appears to go well beyond Trump.

In yesterday’s Meet The Press/Survey Money survey the top 3 candidates – Trump, Cruz & Carson – combined for a whopping 47% of the vote.  They are all from outside the establishment and running as such.  Add in another person running as an outsider now tied for fourth – Carly Fiorina and her 8% -- and a majority vote in the 2016 GOP primary is now occupied by Tea Party-like outsiders. 

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Normally one doesn’t start with boring phrases, words and projects to entice a reader to continue on. But the language below while not sexy is compelling for reasons that will be explained. So, please read on.
“Forty-year old infrastructure” in southern Scottsdale.

“Replace existing chemical treatment systems” with new ones to “provide a safe and consistent disinfectant solution for public pools.”

“Replace again restrooms at four city parks” that “do not meet ADA requirements.”

“Replacing outdated irrigation systems” that will “help reduce costs by lowering water usage and increasing energy efficiency.”
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“Replace outdated and inefficient ballfield lighting” at parks across the city.

Improving accident prone intersections and the safety of certain crosswalks.

Improving certain, heavily trafficked roads now in order to leverage regional funds to lessen the burden on Scottsdale taxpayers.

Fixing “missing” and “crumbling” sidewalks.

Replace “antiquated electrical systems” in city buildings that cost taxpayers more to operate.

“Purchase Disaster Recovery Technology Infrastructure.”

“Replace 140 miles of deteriorated pavement on city streets.”

Design and build fire stations in areas that don’t have them or are operating in “single-wide trailers.”

“Expand and renovate the Civic Center Jail and Police Station” to aid a jail built for a Scottsdale in 1971, not 44 years later that sees frequent “jail overcrowding.”

These are the phrases and language found in city information about the upcoming $96 million bond vote in Scottsdale. If these are not the necessary, limited and basic functions of government we don’t know what are.

Two years ago a larger package of some $212 million was proposed. Scottsdale voters soundly rejected it in November, 2013. A leader of that opposition, Kathy Littlefield, was subsequently elected to the Scottsdale City Council. It shows. Littlefield helped craft a proposal supported by a strong majority of council that focus on the basics and the needs, not the nice to haves. A well known former opponent, Bill Crawford, also supports the new package.

If passed the bonds, which would increase the average Scottsdale homeowner’s property taxes by a whopping ten cents per day, would be the first package passed since 2000!

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By David Brooks

When Dustin Yellin was 17 he dropped out of high school. The school was filled with jocks and cheerleaders and he clearly didn’t fit in. Plus he wasn’t intellectually engaged. He hitchhiked around New Zealand and returned to Colorado. He became an apprentice to an eccentric physicist who believed he could get free energy from space and who performed experiments on Yellin involving crystals, baths of saline solution and hallucinogenic drugs. When he was 18 Yellin hatched a plan. He would go to New York, become a successful artist and create a place where painters, scientists, writers, billionaires and other cool people could gather to try to change the world. Yellin turns 40 this week, and that’s more or less what he’s done.

Click here to read  article

 

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The following is a guest opinion piece by reader and commenter Gordon, who is graciously offering us a glimpse into the mind of a Donald Trump supporter. It was originally written on July 13. As with any opinion piece here on Race, the following does not necessarily represent the views of the editor or the other authors on the site; we present it in the interest of dialog and furthering the conversation.

Many of the reasons that try to explain why people are supporting Trump, throughout both the Race42016 community and elsewhere in the political world, cover my personal thoughts and emotions that have been growing steadily over the last decade. These thoughts and emotions reached the boiling point with the flare up over the confederate flag. I can’t stand how dysfunctional not only our government has become, but our society as a whole. I saw a post on Facebook that pretty much summed up how I feel: there’s a guy waking up in his bed and the blurb above him says, “Good Morning America…What am I supposed to be offended about today?”

I am the opposite of a low information voter. I have always tried to view presidential elections with serious thought and attention and have never been more than mildly attracted to vanity candidates. While Ted Cruz may exemplify my internal conservatism, I don’t think he has a prayer of selling that conservatism to the country in a general election. As I’ve stated here many times, I personally don’t think issues win elections, so I don’t have a problem supporting candidates that may not be as pure if I think they can become a truly great president. I’m pragmatic in both my expectations of candidates and my demands on their purity. I’ve never needed candidates to be perfect on the issues, and I don’t feel betrayed if someone needs to alter a view or de-emphasize any particular issue throughout the course of the campaign or their governance afterward. I understand reality will never reflect my ideology… it will never fully reflect any true ideology. Reality is a unique blend of all thoughts and beliefs and tilts both left and right… although the balance may be completely undone at this point until we hit rock bottom.

Click here to read the entire article.

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by David Brooks

Christianity is in decline in the United States. The share of Americans who describe themselves as Christians and attend church is dropping. Evangelical voters make up a smaller share of the electorate. Members of the millennial generation are detaching themselves from religious institutions in droves.

Christianity’s gravest setbacks are in the realm of values. American culture is shifting away from orthodox Christian positions on homosexuality, premarital sex, contraception, out­of­wedlock childbearing, divorce and a range of other social issues.

Read the full article

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Hockey fans rhetorically cross-checked the Glendale City Council during and after a hearing that ultimately resulted in the municipality’s termination of its $15 million per year subsidy for the Arizona Coyotes.

But were they directing their ire at the right people?

Let’s reset.

Having an NHL franchise in the Valley is a very good thing.  While the team has never made the Stanley Cup Finals or hosted an All-Star Game (it had the misfortune of so hosting that extravaganza during a strike year) professional hockey contributes to the area’s quality of life.  It helps economic development efforts.

But should it be in Arizona at any and all cost to the City of Glendale?  After spending $180 million on an arena it decided to fork over $15 million per year to keep the team there on a 4-3 vote in 2013.  Those who question Glendale’s commitment to hockey now should recall what it has generously done previously.

But has it been too generous?  There are good arguments on both sides.   8lqmtthh0w2wgumr6goswqmki

What’s not is that any city that forks over so much money each year – effectively becoming one’s largest sponsor – shouldn't be treated by the team as a best friend, not an irritant. After all Glendale is diverting money from police, fire and other needs to float wealthy owners and their players.

But that’s not the way team executives treated Glendale’s generosity.  They apparently hid financial information.  The new owner couldn’t find time to meet with city officials for months after acquisition.

Shouldn’t this have been the first order of business?  Does anyone think the Gila River Indian Community which pays the team a fraction of what Glendale does for arena naming rights is treated with such disdain?

Of course not.  Political arrogance or malpractice or both are what caused the team to lose Glendale.  And this observation doesn’t involve itself with the purported unethical behavior by Glendale’s former City Attorney now in the employ of the Coyotes.

It never should have come to this.  This was political communication 101.  If it was a class it was failed miserably by the team’s CEO whose job, presumably, involved interaction with the city.

If he is serious about remedying relations with Glendale, majority owner Anthony Barroway should start by firing Anthony LeBlanc. 

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by Ron Barber

This morning former Rep. Ron Barber endorsed Tom's campaign for Congress. Take a look below at the email he sent his supporters: 

Dear friend,

Since I left Congress, I don't miss the dysfunction in Washington, but I do miss the chance to stand up for Arizona families who are getting a raw deal. That's why I am so excited for the opportunity to elect a real leader to Congress. I'm talking about Tom O'Halleran.

Won't you join me and make a contribution to Tom's campaign?

Arizona needs leaders in Congress who understand how to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. I trust Tom to look out for families who live paycheck to paycheck. 

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By Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane

Thanks to our great hosts, Craig and Carolyn Jackson, Governor Ducey, a fantastic Host Committee and supporters just like you, our re-election campaign kick-off October 21, 2015 was extraordinary.  Your endorsement of my re-elections has likely made this event the most successful political campaign support event in Scottsdale's history.

As we work to take Scottsdale from better times to the best of times I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for all that you have done for me and to make the city I am privileged to lead the best city in America. 

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Colorado's Cory Gardner endorses Marco; says "Our country needs a new generation of leadership"

"Today I am proud to announce my endorsement of Marco Rubio to be the next President of the United States. Our country needs a new generation of leadership, and I believe that Marco Rubio presents this nation with the greatest possibilities and opportunities to meet the challenges of the next generation."
- Cory Gardner
Watch The Interview Here

FOX News' Happening Now
Sen. Cory Gardner
November 2, 2015
Cory Gardner: "Well, today I am proud to announce my endorsement of Marco Rubio to be the next President of the United States. Our country needs a new generation of leadership, and I believe that Marco Rubio presents this nation with the greatest possibilities and opportunities to meet the challenges of the next generation."
...

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By Paula Ngon
Student:Arizona State University

With the 2016 Presidential election quickly approaching, the amount of candidates still occupied with playing the political games are giving voters no definite direction. The mudslinging is splitting the country in different directions regarding who is fit to run this nation. However, one candidate is gaining momentum by doing things differently.

Bernie Sanders is blowing the door to American politics wide open this campaign season as he surges in the favor of the next generation. It comes as a shock because Sanders, 74, is nearly three times as old as some of his biggest supporters however, he has definitely rocked the millennial vote.

With the boisterous empty promises of Donald Trump and the investigation scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, Sanders offers a refreshing take on this election cycle. He is seen as trustworthy, honest, and clean and voters praise his consistency and transparency.Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Holds News Conference On Capitol Hill

He is fighting for progress, a value young voters are rallying behind. Millennials want advancement and improvement of our society, not a backwards march to the reign of yet another Clinton or Bush presidency. With the generation's current lack of faith in the government they are looking to start anew with fresh ideas, new systems, and a different type of leader.

A vote for Bernie is a vote for a man who has been fighting for the same issues that have troubled young voters for years when no one else was listening.

The Sanders' campaign has ignited engagement in younger voters who are concerned with the direction this country is headed. Bernie cares about education, he cares about equality and he cares about equal opportunity for all. His focus on national issues gives hope that this country will change for the better.

Not only does he have the endorsement of the younger generation, he has the accompaniment of their passion and skill for social media. The buzz surrounding Sanders on the internet is astonishing. Supporters are creating memes, merchandise, and hashtags to generate name recognition and endorsement and they're succeeding.

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By Alex Meluskey for Senate

A few days ago I introduced myself, and I really want you to get to know me, and to vet every candidate before you commit. I want to EARN your support, and I don't want you to give it blindly.

As you do this, I want to take a moment to let you know where I stand on some of the most important issues facing America. I also would be honored to host you at our Campaign HQ Open house.

• Veterans - Our representatives and the Veteran’s Administration have failed our brave veterans. My number one priority in the U.S. Senate will be to FIGHT day and night for those who have fought for the freedom of us all.

• LIFE - I am staunchly pro-life, and will FIGHT to see the human traffickers at Planned Parenthood prosecuted.

• Taxation – As the FAIRtax State director in Arizona I will FIGHT to abolish this unjust system of confiscatory taxation and replace it with a system that is fair, flat and which taxes consumption, not labor to capture the revenue of the underground economy.

• Border Security and Immigration - Border security IS National security, but focusing on the border alone leaves us vulnerable. We must definitively secure ALL points of entry into the United States. Amnesty of any form is unacceptable, and a slap in the face of those who followed the law.

• Israel - There is only one true ally to the United States. Israel is that ally, and we must stand ALWAYS with the Jewish state. Our leaders MUST take an active role in preparing the damage done to our relationship by the Obama administration.

• Limited Government- The federal government is a product of the Constitution, not the other way around. As such, the government’s power is LIMITED to those enumerated. We must FIGHT to make sure the constitution is respected and followed. 

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By Marco Rubio

Last night, in the latest Republican presidential debate, one of the moderators actually asked me if I should "slow down." That's exactly what the establishment has been telling me for years. That I should "wait my turn."
Wait for what? This country is running out of time:
• Millions of people are living paycheck to paycheck at the same time they're working as hard as they ever have because everything costs more. They have not had a real raise in decades.
• Small businesses are struggling: more businesses are closing than opening.
• We live in a world that's out of control, with a president who's weakening our military and doubling down on a failed foreign policy while our adversaries continue to grow stronger.
The time to act is now, the time to turn the page is now. If we don't act now, we'll be the first generation that leaves our children worse off than ourselves.

>>Click here to donate $10 if you agree that the time to act is now!<<

With your help and support, I'll be the leader that turns our country around and ensures the 21st Century is an American Century.

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