The Conservative's Corner
By Wil Cardon
Candidate for Arizona Secretary of State
Recently, a federal judge issued a ruling saying that Arizona has the right to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. This may seem like common sense to most people. After all, why wouldn’t we require proof that you are an American citizen before you exercise one of the most important civic duties - voting.
However, there are many on the left who do not want there to be any proof of citizenship before registering to vote. This week, the Obama administration announced that they were going to fight that decision. And here in Arizona, my opponent has made quite clear that he does not support requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote.Read more
Yesterday, the City Council voted to give City Manager Ed Zuercher a $56,000 pay increase. Councilman Gates, Councilman DiCiccio and myself voted against this pay raise, like I voted against former City Manager David Cavazos' pay raise.
At a time when the City is facing a $37.7 million deficit, I felt it was unacceptable to give a pay raise. This is an instance of the City over spending while claiming to be broke. Money should not have been spent last year on golf courses, the Melrose Arch or poetry about recycling. And this year we should not be spending money on pay raises.
Thanks so much,
Phoenix Vice Mayor - District 2
It has been said that you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. That’s why so many people say it is unfair to judge someone by what a family member does. On the other hand, it is also why so many people look long and hard at the advisers and staff members that elected officials hire.
When Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema hired an illegal alien who was fortunate enough to be granted deferred action through President Obama’s DACA program, she was making a point. When House Speaker John Boehner hired an advisor who led John McCain’s push for amnesty, it too sent a message.
Perhaps that is why Arizona politicos pay so much attention to the various hires made by the candidates running for Governor, and who is supporting whom at this early stage?
Recently, conservatives got some bad news from Doug Ducey’s campaign in the form of an email touting endorsements from Sal DiCiccio and Trent Franks. Don’t get us wrong, DiCiccio and Franks are great endorsements. Conservatives probably loved hearing about those two. But the email was signed by Ducey’s new Political Director Anson Clarkson. Yes, the same Anson Clarkson who ran the State Senate campaign of Rich Crandall, the State Senate’s leading liberal Republican until he abandoned his office to take a better paying job in Wyoming. The same Anson Clarkson whose career defining moment was working with Arizona’s leading liberal and race-baiter Randy Parraz to take down Republican Senate President Russell Pearce and replace him with the liberal Republican Jerry Lewis.Read more
By Thomas Sowell
Recently former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added her voice to those who have long been urging the Republican Party to reach out to black voters. Not only is that long overdue, what is also long overdue is putting some time -- and, above all, some serious thought -- into how to go about doing it.
Too many Republicans seem to think that the way to "reach out" is to offer blacks and other minorities what the Democrats are offering them. Some have even suggested that the channels to use are organizations like the NAACP and black "leaders" like Jesse Jackson -- that is, people tied irrevocably to the Democrats.
Yet there are issues where Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats -- if they will use that advantage. But an advantage that you don't use might as well not exist.
The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers' unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students.
There are some charter schools and private schools that have low-income minority youngsters equaling or exceeding national norms, despite the many ghetto public schools where most students are nowhere close to meeting those norms. Because teachers' unions oppose charter schools, most Democrats oppose them, including black Democrats up to and including President Barack Obama.Read more
Forget those foolish people who parrot the line that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. There is. There is an even greater difference between conservatives and liberals. The challenge for conservatives is that they want to give people liberty, which is often the freedom to go get your own stuff without interference, and liberals want to simply give you stuff. When a majority in a country realizes they can vote themselves “free” (meaning someone else paid for it) stuff, liberals win. When enough people get hooked on free stuff and lose the ability to go get their own stuff, then liberals are really happy.Read more
For some reason the Southern Poverty Law Center felt it necessary to send a ‘monitor’ there and secretly record the event, even though the event was live-streamed. Afterwards the SPLC sent out a breathless account of how offensive Kavanagh’s remarks were. The Republic then dutifully parroted the SPLC’s claim and rounded up a left leaning attorney to wag his finger. You can read the report here.
Nowhere in the story was the question posed why was the SPLC spending time and resources on ‘monitoring’ a harmless conservative gathering or why the group was flailing its arms in moral outrage over fairly tame, but pretty funny material.Read more
It’s not often the former stomping grounds of drug lord Pablo Escobar are invoked for municipal inspiration. Then again, Bogota, Colombia is not infamous like it was two decades ago.
Today, a renaissance is occurring. There can be found remarkable ideas Scottsdale and other Valley cities should adopt.
It’s a Sunday tradition in Bogota to close many city streets from 7a-2p to enable people to bike them. All at once a sense of community and adventure is created.
Whether it’s many, several or one think how interesting it would be to bike the middle of 68th Street, Via de Ventura, Sweetwater or even the beautiful, meandering Thompson Peak as it flows through some of the city’s best neighborhoods and touches the majesty of the McDowell Mountains. It’s an idea that need not be Scottsdale’s alone.
Would it be inconvenient for some? Of course. But it would also be a romantic ride available to all. Streets are shut or redirected frequently for parades, road races, major sporting events and arts fairs. So why not for the people as well as the special interests?
Scottsdale could use a bold idea to maintain its status as the Valley’s planning ingénue, even one imported from a place whose exports used to be more destructive than delightful.
*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu starts his congressional race in a commanding position on the GOP side but his campaign has been a comedy of errors since announcing.
*No truth to the rumor that Jeb Bush is looking at Brock Landers, otherwise known as former Congressman Ben Quayle for Vice President. Keep those Bush-Quayle signs in the closet.
*Few elected officials have learned to serve with a smile better than Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri
*Mrs. Arpaio needs and deserves prayers
*The campaign to inject new funds without a tax increase into Arizona’s K-12 education has hired people from both sides of the aisle. Smart. The statewide vote on Proposition 123 is May 17th.
*Will Arizona feel the Bern? Quite a bit of GOP polling on the field for Arizona’s presidential primary March 22nd. Someone could make some news polling the donkeys.Read more
The Scottsdale Center for the Arts is a fine facility. But for years it served as a dungeon for the Mayors of Scottsdale State of the City. Few attended the dimly lit serenade.
Leave it to a reformer like current Mayor Jim Lane to change the approach. His upcoming address on February 25th is timely to remind all, how he is a mayor for all.
Scottsdale is a city synonymous with luxury. Yet it like every city has those who struggle to make ends meet, need food or just need a hand to get through the day. That’s where critical city programs and facilities like those at Vista del Camino come in. But it can’t do everything.
This is why Operation Fix It was spawned by the city years ago. It extends an embrace to those having a hard time helping themselves. A senior no longer able to keep up with home repair or landscaping. A tired neighbor(hood) that needs a little sprucing up. When things fall through the cracks, when people can no longer go around or through walls, a small safety net is there.Read more
Once upon a time Jay Lawrence was the 1-900 voice of Arizona freedom, rocking KTAR late nights for liberty lovers. Now, he’s a member of the State House of Representatives.
Once upon a time Jill Norgaard was doing something else. Now, she’s a rising Republican star in the same House of Representatives.
One of the first things lawmakers learn is how challenging it can be to stay true to one’s philosophical moorings. Some 1,000 bills per year come at the honorables. And most aren’t black and white issues on abortion, guns, civil rights, energy, taxes or other issues that are typically found on campaign web sites and direct mail pieces.
There are issues like last year’s reinvention of payday lenders into something more innocuously called “flex loans.” The pushers are cockroaches of commerce. Yet, in that case, Lawrence and Norgaard rightfully didn’t focus on the who, they focused on the what. That is, if people want or need such monied instruments then such financial choice is the citizen’s to make. The two lawmaker’s support was principled. To mangle Sir Thomas Moore a bit they may not agree with the business at issue but they defended their right to do it. It’s easy to prop a sexy, popular company like Uber when the freedom fire needs to burn a bit brighter . It’s much more difficult when it’s people predators making the argument.
That’s why we’re scratching our heads a bit at the two’s agnosticism to HB2523. The Goldwater Institute-backed measure extends from one to two or three years the time a contact lens user must endure a costly and state mandated annual visit to an optometrist. We have written about its merits previously.
We get that the state’s 400 optometrists don’t want to see their special interest subsidy watered down a wee bit, but the state’s 700,000 contact lens wearer’s would probably appreciate the disassociation with such an antiquated law. After all, if Republicans aren’t eminent endorsers of consumer choice and convenience, what do they stand for?
Norgaard and Lawrence are two of the most interesting legislative voices in Arizona today. They help all see Republicanism and freedom more clearly. We can’t think of a more topical bill for them to lead the march again.Read more
It would be easy to recognize Mayor Jim Lane for such a distinction. Ethics. Reforms. Results. Well-regarded by his peers. An overwhelming favorite to be re-elected for a final term later this year. And there are others that could be duly considered.
But the distinction goes to someone whose name identification isn’t as high but respect from all is never low: Scottsdale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau CEO Rachel Sacco.
If personality were a potion Sacco would be an elixir for the city’s hoteliers. They think she walks on water as do all on the Scottsdale City Council. Even those who have despised each other on that dais over the years have an affinity for Sacco in common.
It’s not easy to survive as long as Sacco has in such a prominent position. Recessions come and go. So do big voices on commissions and councils. Yet, through it all Sacco has become the Terry Branstad of local tourism. And rightfully so. P.S. That was a tenure joke for those who may no longer be paying attention to Iowa since its Caucuses are over. Branstad is the longest-serving Governor in American history.Read more
Driving through north Scottsdale these days can bring a twinge of sadness. The beloved site that once housed the city’s most enduring watering hole, Greasewood Flat, is now being bladed for new homes. The same fate is set for the acres once hosting Pinnacle Peak Patio.
Sure, businesses come and they go. But the inability of these particular owners to soldier on was a blow to the soul of Scottsdale itself. But the Scottsdale City Council is not to blame. If long-time businesses can’t evolve with changing times and tastes, government should not – and cannot by state law – step into help.
But what the city can do is invest in public facilities that make Scottsdale shine.
Some criticized large new facilities at WestWorld and to be fair there were cost overruns. But since they have come online the number of events at Scottsdale’s Central Park have increased substantially. And its signature events – Barrett-Jackson and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show – have seen even more growth. That’s not just important because of dollars and cents. These essential events showcase the community around the world for a profoundly positive impact, known and unknown.Read more
Guy Phillips first ran for the Scottsdale City Council in 2010. That was the year of the Tea Party. With little money Phillips, a rock-ribbed Republican, rode the wave to a surprisingly strong finish, albeit unsuccessful.
But he didn’t give up. Two years later he won. Now, Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips is up for re-election.
During his first term has played an undeniable role restricting spending via opposition to city bond proposals, a position that surely resonates with activist Republican Partiers. But two positions he’s adopted of late must leave even ardent supporters scratching their heads.
The long-discussed “Desert Discovery Center” has been a political hot potato with influential tourism leaders arguing its necessity while most voters in Scottsdale disagree with either putting such an enterprise within the preserve, or spending more taxpayer dollars on it when so much has been spent up north already.
That’s what made Phillips’ flip-flop on the project last month terribly curious. While not the final decision Phillips voted with the majority to authorize millions for more design and study. Some in his political constituency likely view that as apostasy. But it likely pales in comparison to an issue that is near sacrosanct to Republican primary voters: charter schools.Read more
When Doug Ducey was elected Governor of Arizona he pledged to bring more business acumen to the job. What voters may not have anticipated was his adeptness for politics. Surely some of that has to do with the skills of his Chief of Staff Kirk Adams and others nearby like Danny Seiden and Daniel Scarpinato, but even with those ear whisperers it still takes someone at the top to get it.
Governor Ducey’s exemplary and respectful relationship with lawmakers isn’t just limited to Republican leadership. Recall his outreach calls to Democrats prior to taking office. That wasn’t just window dressing. Respect from and rapport with Democrats – and nearly all legislators -- helped lead to a crucial vote to move Arizona K-12 public education forward on May 17th. A “yes” vote on Proposition 123 will end lawsuits and begin better funding for students statewide.Read more
There are few more interesting municipal elected officials in Arizona today than Scottsdale City Councilman David Smith. Having served as the City Treasurer he was the ultimate insider. Then as a candidate he ran as a quasi-outsider. Smith is whip smart and no matter one’s view of him he cannot be questioned about his affinity for the community.
Recently, however, the new outsider showed great fidelity to an old insider. A project called The Outpost, essentially a glorified gas station at Pima and Dynamite was vehemently opposed by north Scottsdale residents. But due to a purported close relationship between Smith and well-known project architect Vern Swaback, Smith abandoned his constituency for a party of one rather than a commitment to all. Indeed, Smith cast the deciding vote leaving North Scottsdale fuming.
Fast forward to a new case at 128th Street & Shea involving a new BASIS charter school, the #1 ranked public school in the state. Despite clear state law requiring the entitlement, Smith has presided over Design Review Board hearings that seem more a kangaroo court. Two thousands parents of BASIS students are wondering what is happening to Scottsdale.Read more
One of the worst city managers in Scottsdale history was Jan Dolan. She intimidated staff and fought so much with Barrett-Jackson she almost forced them away. Space, even online, does not permit her laundry list of errors. But we would like to focus on one, for Scottsdale history may be repeating itself at great consequence to taxpayers.
Following the landmark McDowell Mountain preservation vote a “Gateway” was long contemplated. There would be the front door to Sonoran majesty. There today just off Thompson Peak and north of Bell exists a parking lot, terrific trailheads and low-impact structures, as envisioned.
But that wasn’t always the case. The land was once owned by Toll Brothers, a national homebuilder. It wanted to build what became known as Windgate Ranch but was also agreeable to selling land the city wanted for its gateway at a reasonable price. But Dolan The Dictator didn’t want compromise and rejected the company’s offer to sell the land for $124,000 per acre. Toll Brothers was left with little choice but to sue and argue for the highest price possible for its land. The result? The Municipal Mussolini lost in court, badly. The city was forced to pay nearly three times what nearly all had considered a reasonable purchase price. The consequence to city taxpayers was enormous. And to the preserve. For the city had tens of millions fewer dollars to purchase preserve lands elsewhere thanks to Dolan’s folly.
Fast forward to today.
We have already written about the merits of a proposed BASIS school at 128th and Shea. BASIS is the highest ranked public school in Arizona and one of the top performing schools in the United States. Scottsdale likes to be best in class. This is another opportunity. We have already likened the case to that of the Ice Den in north Scottsdale. Once opposed due to inane concerns it is now an area point of pride. See our previous post here.
We understand the questions of neighbors. But a school so renowned is also smart enough to know that mitigating them is smart business, and probably a lesson conveyed in their classrooms.Read more
Recently we noticed this letter in the Scottsdale Republic. It reminded us of that irresistible curmudgeonly charm of some southern Scottsdale residents who sometimes seem like male virgins betrothed to Gisele Bundchen. You just can’t make some people happy.
From the Scottsdale Republic
South Scottsdale Can’t Grow Like This
By Maj. George Stafford, Scottsdale
I have lived in South Scottsdale for 48 years. It has been a nice community until now. The City Council seems determined to destroy south Scottsdale by approving any and all requests for construction of apartments and condos.
Between Miller Road and 64th Street on McDowell Road, there are three new areas of housing. The one at 7501 E. McDowell has 572 units! The one at around 6700 E. McDowell and the one at 64th and McDowell will add at least 300-400 more. The one on 6565 E. Thomas Toad has 147 units. The one at 71st Street and Osborn and the one just approved to build at the location of the old Red Lobster will add hundreds more, competing with the one now at Scottsdale Road and Osborn.
These are all within less than two mile from where I live and will add at least 2,500 new residents to a small area. Imagine what it will be if each resident has a vehicle?
Adding all that new traffic to such a small area will ruin the lifestyle for those who have lived here for many years. Why can’t we get some shopping places? We now go to a Tempe mall that is collecting taxes that could be Scottsdale’s. What is this obsession to cover every open piece of land to make living quarters?
If this isn’t enough lunacy, the Council has approved a 400-foot swimming pool for the new Ritz-Carlton Resort that will be the longest pool in North America. Just what we need when we are facing a water shortage.
All this new construction will also require lots of water. I’m glad I’m 92 and won’t have to face the congestion on our southern city streets that will most certainly follow all because of those who can’t see the future any further then end of their noses.
Isn’t it strange none of this construction is gong in north Scottsdale where, incidentally, most of the Council members live? The Council must learn to say no to all developers.
Notwithstanding the mistakes in the letter such as water use at the new Ritz-Carlton which will is to go in Paradise Valley not Scottsdale our favorite part was this:
“Adding all that new traffic to such a small area will ruin the lifestyle for those who have lived here for so many years. Why can’t we get some shopping places?”
Mr. Stafford was speaking about new apartment projects along McDowell Road, near Thomas Road and elsewhere.
Does he not realize that the reason retail started fleeing the area two decades ago beginning at Los Arcos Mall was because the area no longer had the population or wealth to sustain such stores? And retailers in Phoenix, Tempe, at Scottsdale Fashion Square and even the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community began poaching away brands big and small?
To reverse the trend two things are needed: more density as has happened in Phoenix and Tempe, or a migration of new families due to quality schools and good housing stock, as has occurred in north central Phoenix. Minus such dynamics more cool stuff in south Scottsdale will be a hope and a prayer not reality on the ground.Read more
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is rightfully positioning Arizona for a better state of innovation, for the best possible business climate.
As members of all parties consider whether our state is to be one of the past or one of the future more and more legislative issues are being viewed through the innovation prism. Are you a dinosaur like the decision makers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or are you on the side of the consumer with more choices?
One of this year’s biggest legislative brawls, that being doctors and nurses and whether the latter should be able to creep into territory previously the domain of Doctor Welby, is no exception. But in that debate both sides can make a claim for the cloak.
In the case of another, similar but lesser known bill the freedom and innovation clarity is far more obvious. You see, HB 2523 led by State Representative Heather Carter emancipates some 700,000 Arizona wearers of contact lenses from a state mandated and expensive optometrist visit every year just to get a refill to once every three years. Mind you, a patient is free to see an optometrist any time for any reason.
Let’s bring this common sense into focus a bit more because the absurdity of the existing state law may blind some with anger.Read more
By Burdick for Glendale Mayor
Mark Burdick has spent over 32 years in public service. An Arizona native, Burdick began working for the City of Glendale as a firefighter in 1983. He served as a paramedic, captain and ultimately spent more than 12 years as the fire chief.
During his career, he has had numerous notable accomplishments, with programs that received recognition beyond the city limits. Burdick may be best known for his ability to create sustainable public/private partnerships, from working with a medical university where a two-person station was built on campus, to providing personnel for an air-ambulance operation that significantly reduced response times.
As fire chief, Burdick oversaw the building of a public safety training facility with four Valley partners, creating a true regional training center. Luke Air Force Base personnel worked with Burdick to pilot a first-of-its-kind dual staffed fire engine, operated at the base's fire department that utilized two Glendale firefighters and two Luke Air Force firefighters.
His outreach and involvement with the community is significant as a member of numerous local boards and committees. Burdick served on two Governor appointed committees: the Central Region Advisory Council and the Arizona State Fire Safety Committee. Additionally, he was the President of the Arizona Fire Chief's Association and remains on the executive board today.Read more
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:
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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."
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
Arizona Progress & Gazette: Arizona News, Editorials & Debate