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2018 Scrum

From The Desk Of Russell Pearce:

You know that bad feeling when November rolls around and you look at your ballot and you realize that while you could never support the Democrat on your ballot, you are going to have to hold your nose to vote for the Republican nominee? Now is the time to do something about that. It is Primary time, when we get to support the best conservative and send a message to our state and our Party that those who champion our beliefs earn our support. That is why I am sending you this email today... To introduce you to State Senator Al Melvin, the proven conservative candidate for Arizona Governor.al melvin

For six years Al has been fighting for conservative values and casting real conservative votes: For Constitutional Carry, for SB1070 to fight illegal immigration, for SB1062 to protect religious liberties, for the largest tax cuts in Arizona history, against the ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion, and more. Al was also the author of the bill to stop Common Core here in Arizona. These weren’t easy positions to take, but Al took them on because it was the right thing to do.

In short, Al is the best conservative in the race for Governor, and he is someone you will get to feel good about supporting.

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Friends,

Since day one of this campaign, I’ve stated that when I am elected Attorney General, one of my top priorities will be to work to protect those in our society who cannot protect themselves.

Whether they are the unborn, children, seniors, or our veterans we have a moral obligation as a society to protect the vulnerable.

I am running against both a Republican incumbent who has sided with pro-choice forces and against a Democrat who is supported and well-funded by groups like Planned Parenthood.

The liberal Democrats know that if they can gain control of the Attorney General’s Office they can selectively enforce laws including deconstructing laws that strengthen or protect the rights of the unborn.

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By Frank Antenori

I was recently invited for coffee by a close friend and fellow Republican to discuss upcoming state legislative races. Well respected in both local grass roots circles as well as the so called "GOP Establishment," he was chosen to reach out to me in hopes of convincing me to not get involved in several key legislative primaries. However, by the time we finished our second cup of coffee, he would not only fail to convince me to stay silent, but he would instead volunteer to help me in my efforts to inform GOP voters of the threat to our state. It took a simple history lesson to change his mind.frank-antenori-002

I take you back to the 46th Legislature. In 2004, a handful of so called "pragmatic" Republicans conspired with Democrats to give then Governor Janet Napolitano a budget that would increase state spending by more than $700million, a 10% increase in spending in a year that saw little inflation (2%).

Worse yet, that budget created a $500 million budget deficit; in violation of Arizona's Constitution which requires a balanced budget. Rightfully, fiscal conservatives were outraged at what was clearly an irresponsible budget. In response, conservatives recruited fiscally responsible primary opponents to challenge these fiscally irresponsible Republicans.

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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. cardon jpeg

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.

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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,

Jim Waring
Phoenix Vice Mayor - District 2

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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.

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*The property currently housing The Saguaro Hotel in downtown Scottsdale may be on the market

*His new Mission?  Chef extraordinaire Matt Carter is said to be joining forces with Scottsdale restaurant and bar Hall of Famer Mark Drinkwater for a new venture at Scottsdale & Lincoln

*Want to live at the new Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley?  The project’s first advertisements debuted locally last week

*With State Representative Justin Olson’s decision  to challenge Senate President Andy Bigg’s run to replace retiring U.S.Congressman Matt Salmon it means Governor Doug Ducey will have all-new legislative leadership to deal with next year as Olson was the presumptive Speaker to be. 

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By nearly all accounts Arizona State Senator Debbie Lesko is an impressive public servant.  She takes on tough issues like pension reform.  And she gets results.  That’s why her peers are rightfully considering her along with Steve Yarbrough and John Kavanagh to succeed Andy Biggs as the next State Senate President.

She’s conservative without being crazy.  All this being said her philosophical inconsistency on one matter is loco, though impressively supple.

Amidst the current legislative session we are glad to see her sponsoring legislation preventing cities from curtailing Airbnb rentals.  After all, she argues, people should have the right to choose where they stay and homeowner’s likewise should be able to enjoy sharing economy property rights.  Her mooring on the subject is surely related to her affinity for school and health care choice.

Yet, Lesko’s impressive fidelity to conservatively rooted choice breaks down when it comes to energy matters.  There she untethers herself from consistency.  On this subject she strangely travels to the likes of TEP and Arizona Public Service who have somehow convinced her to pay no attention to the ideological droids she would mostly look for when it comes to solar choice.

How does one argue for all the matters above yet sponsor a strangulation of Arizona solar via new legislation SB1417 as one of her measures does, at the same time she touts Airbnb or a statewide voucher plan? 

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Every day we go to work to make money or make a difference.  Those who work in our national parks, monuments and forests likely fall into the latter category.  They are there to be the custodians of God’s creativity and grace.  Getting to work at Grand Canyon National Park or the adjoining Kaibab National Forrest is the pinnacle, for many, of such dedication. provencio

There, everyone from rangers to superintendents is reminded of what President Theodore Roosevelt once said about the area:

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” 

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He was so influential and impactful while head of the Scottsdale Cultural Council he was referred to as the “8th councilman.”

And judging by this recent article in the Phoenix New Times, Scottsdale needs someone like Frank Jacobson now.  Big time.

We’re not as dour as the New Times.  After all, Scottsdale’s public art program remains second to no Valley city.  And emerging events like Canal Convergence – or this weekend’s Scottsdale Arts Festival -- remind us of Scottsdale’s artistic soul, and how it can be enriched further.

There’s no doubt Scottsdale remains a great arts city.  But there’s also no doubt that online sales, recent economic challenges and even accusations that special events hurt galleries are challenging the city’s private and public cultural scene too.  

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As Mitt Romney laid early plans for a 2008 presidential run he was spending a lot of time in Arizona.  To raise money.  And to pin rival John McCain down in his home state more than he would have liked.

Romney sought a key endorsement:  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  He got it.  Arizona.  Iowa.  Whatever the Romney campaign needed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” was there.  While Arpaio and McCain have hardly been close over the years going against your state’s U.S. Senator isn’t a political move without consequence.

Romney lost the primary to McCain in 2008, then became buddies with him. Nothing wrong with that.  But there was a few years later when Romney treated Arpaio during his 2012 efforts like a leper, so as not to upset McCain. 

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Scottsdale is the “West’s Most Western Town” but some neighbors (hardly all) want to stop that notion west of Scottsdale Road, along Cactus.

As we have written about before there is the place a renowned businessman and his wife hope to build an equestrian paradise on six acres called Rancho Paraiso.

It seems a natural fit for a community that has lost a few Stetsons in recent years.  But some neighbors are actually opposing the first-class facility because 50 horses there sand spurwould create too much “poop.”  That’s not a joke. In an area dominated by horse properties that collectively stable hundreds of horses they are actually complaining about steaming nuggets.

That’s a little like someone living in the desert complaining about coyotes.  Whoops, we already have one of those neighbors poignantly picked apart by this recent opinion piece in the Arizona Republic. Here is a link.  Perhaps Seth Gortler and Todd Eden will oppose the McDowell Sonoran Preserve next.

More equestrian properties in Scottsdale are a good thing. Indeed, a massive horse property on Cactus east of the 101 called Sandspur Ranch is the anchor of that area.  It has a whopping 205  horse stalls as opposed to the 52 proposed at “Najafi Ranch.”  It’s been there for decades.  And guess what?  When it sought to expand in 1987 how many complaints were there?  Zero.  How many complaints are there about the property now?  Zero.

How many complaints will there be about a premier equestrian facility like Rancho Paraiso after it opens?  Zero.  But that’s not what will happen to property values.  They will rise. And Scottsdale’s western heritage will be enriched.  Just as it has been with Sandspur Ranch.

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Many times we side with neighbors fighting the good and necessary fight against developer overreach.

But as we have opined already the bizarre activism by some neighbors against an enrichment of the Cactus Corridor defies common sense.  But we do appreciate their reminding us of pop culture.

For across the street of one of the nicest equestrian ranches ever proposed in Scottsdale along Cactus just west of Scottsdale Road is this interesting abode.  It best resembles the set of Sanford & Son.   fockers

See it for yourself.  That any neighborhood wouldn’t want the promise and pending platitudes of  Rancho Paraiso (we won’t refer to it as neighbors do as “Najafi Ranch” which is a not so subtle slur of the proponent’s Iranian heritage) to if nothing else distract from this community
zit is stunning.

And by all appearances the westerly way of Scottsdale’s Cactus Corridor needs reinvestment as Rancho Paraiso promises.  The area has become a rude stepchild to the adults of the eastern Cactus Corridor.  There horse country is beautiful and obvious.  There one property four times the size of Rancho Paraiso anchors the area.  Sandspur Ranch is their Wrigley Manson.

But a few irascible neighbors want to run it away.  Bizarre, because within their midst – only one block from tfockers2he site – is the Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

It’s there that indigenous birds, raptors and wildlife are repaired and sent back to their worlds.  The operation’s noble work is why they are supporting the rehabilitation and recreation proposed at Rancho Paraiso.  For horses.  It’s odd that a neighborhood of horse properties would discriminate against equine, yet apparently have no problem with Liberty Wildlife.

Then again, perhaps they are more comfortable with shrieks and sounds emanating from wildlife refuge.  Because that’s what they will get in the form of hundreds of kids at a new charter school on the six acres in question, if the refined ranch called is turned away April 5th.

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*Restaurant and bar impresario Mark Drinkwater is re-entering the business at Scottsdale & Lincoln in a building that used to house a breakfast joint and, after that, a failed Italian concept.

*Arizona Governor Doug Ducey raised money last week through the mail for southern Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally.  This week he is doing it for Congressman Trent Franks at a reception in Phoenix.  And rural Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar will be in the Northeast Valley this week too, raising dough at an event at Salt River Fields.

*We’re surprised recent polling shows Senate President Andy Biggs as close to former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith in a potential East Valley congressional race match-up.  If the two do run against each other it will be one of the better GOP primary match-ups in recent memory.

*Judging from his latest attempt to skewer Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski over a Phoenix land deal Arizona Republic reporter Dustin Gardiner seems more inclined to be an agent for a rival bidder than an objective, journalistic overlord.  The real issues about the city real estate are real simple.  Who is paying the most for the land?  And do they have the track record and resource to pull it off?  Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher made a controversial decision to quash the last bid process for a very important project toward downtown Phoenix’s continuing momentum. It’s hard to believe that Zuercher won’t preside over an impeccable process.  Controversy over the plans to date will be child’s play if the top bidder is again upended by others looking to not be so kind to taxpayers. 

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As Mayor Jim Lane said in his 2012 re-election campaign Scottsdale is the best city in America.  Hyperbole took him one step further in last week’s State of the City when he called his community “the best city in the world.”

But even great cities have changes and challenges.  For “The West’s Most Western Town” it has been to keep some cowboy in the community.  Market forces and even things like estate taxes have displaced or removed such places as Rawhide, Greasewood Flat and Pinnacle Peak Patio.  Yet, Scottsdale’s ultimate symbol of the West – its spectacular Sonoran Desert – has become the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  Man-made outposts have retreated but its God given one has expanded.    And after years of talk this Scottsdale City Council acted to create the nationally recognized Museum of the West.

To help preserve its cowboy culture Scottsdale wisely designated years ago the “Cactus Corridor” for horse privileges and ranches.  It was smart then.  It’s prescient now.

That’s why we’re confounded by the neighborhood opposition to an impressive new ranch just west of Scottsdale Road along Cactus.  Proposed by renowned developer Francis Najafi and his wife Dionne it is an impressive affirmation of all things equestrian in the corridor.  Rather than see cowboy country emigrate from the city this is a full-throttle immigration of it.

Speaking of immigration, neighbors conspicuously voice opposition to “Najafi Ranch.”  We hope that’s not a Trump-like derogation of a person from Iran who came to this country speaking no English and who is now an American success story. 

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After serving on the Scottsdale City Council nearly 3 decades ago when he basically saved the Cactus League from extinction Jim Bruner was elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Well regarded and well liked Bruner was the prohibitive favorite for an attractive new congressional district.  Then Jerry Colangelo got to thinking about bringing Major League Baseball to town.  Then Colangelo tapped into a latent state law allowing the Board of Supervisors to authorize a county-wide sales tax to fund a new baseball stadium.

The public erupted in opposition, despite Colangelo’s monumental success with the Phoenix Suns at the time.

Bruner became the deciding vote.  The choice was awful:  fund a stadium and bring a new franchise to town or so alienate Republican primary voters that your congressional hopes would die.  Bruner made the tougher choice.  And the Valley has forever been enriched thanks to his selflessness.

But that wasn’t the end of Bruner’s civic service.  Yes, he finished a distant third in that 1994 GOP primary but people like Bruner and their insatiable appetite for service and advancement are what propel communities forward. 

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Among the many reasons for attending a college or university is problem solving.  They teach it.  And you’re supposed to learn it, directly and indirectly through maturation and matriculation.

Here in the Valley Arizona State University doesn’t just teach it, they lead by example.

When revitalization of the old Los Arcos Mall site at Scottsdale and McDowell Roads became intractable, in stepped ASU for what has become SkySong.

Downtown Phoenix can’t get beyond sports facilities and government buildings?  No problem.  ASU there expanded to create a new urban core vibrancy.

When Arizona’s most celebrated graduate school, Thunderbird, engaged in a high-stakes intramural scrimmage that threatened the existence of the celebrated problems ASU took over to keep the school flying high. 

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*With the retirement of long-time Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek, Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates becomes the prohibitive favorite in the race to replace.  It will be interesting to see if anyone of significance steps forward for what may be a fool’s mission.

*Celebrity pollster Frank Luntz will be making a Paradise Valley appearance this week at a fundraiser benefiting U.S. Senator John McCain.

*Weird and conspicuous that Scottsdale City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield was the only member of the body not participating in Mayor Lane’s State of the City last week.  It would be very bad form if she intentionally skipped it because her husband Bob has embarked on a long-shot challenge to Lane.

*Construction has started for the highly anticipated Postino’s in downtown Scottsdale. It will be located in one of the area’s most distinctive buildings, across from Scottsdale Fashion Square, in a building recently purchased by Valley billionaire Bill Levine.

*Backers of a possible third, first-class arena in the Valley may not appreciate what abandoning one in Glendale could mean to the market.  The Phoenix area is already saturated with two top notch sports cathedrals not to mention an indoor football facility, numerous spring training stadiums, Wells Fargo Arena at ASU and even the old Madhouse on McDowell.  Pricing between Talking Stick and Gila River Arena is already fierce for special events, concerts and the like.  Without an anchor tenant and screaming businesses next door,  Gila River Arena will be giving away the place creating business havoc for all of the area’s venues.

*Few local elected officials exude such class as Gilbert Mayor John Lewis.  He’s a great catch for the East Valley Partnership, the organization he’ll soon be joining.

*The most powerful opinion piece of the week was this one by Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts. Here is a link.  If you’ve never been to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center way out Northeast Valley way, go.  There cares one of the most benevolent people in the Valley. She, and the property, are a last refuge for some of God’s greatest creations.  Roberts’ article describes a NIMBY who will live in activist infamy.  Fortunately, people like Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri are stepping up to ensure Dr. Evil aka as Dr. Gortler doesn’t get his way. 

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In Arizona having noteworthy names has often led to electoral success.  Democrat Paul Newman was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission, even though he came from a small town in southern Arizona.

Then there was Sandra Kennedy, an African-American and former state legislator who put shamrocks on her campaign signs to suggest she was part of the famous family back east.  She won too.

And don’t forget Bob Stump who purportedly altered his name to that of a revered Arizona congressman.  It worked.  Stump was elected to the legislature and then the Arizona Corporation Commission.

So that brings us to Dan Schweiker, an executive with China Mist Tea Company.  He’s running for the Scottsdale City Council.  And who is the popular U.S. Congressman for the Scottsdale area?  David Schweikert.

 

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Casa Grande, AZ – Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu announced Thursday he raised $306,000 in his congressional campaign’s first three months.

More than 1,500 people across the country donated to Babeu’s campaign for the 1st Congressional District.Sheriff_Paul_Babeu

"I'm humbled by this strong show of support. Voters want leaders in DC to secure the border, enforce immigration laws, stop overspending, strengthen our military and defeat ISIS,” Babeu said. “My executive leadership experience as an elected Sheriff and retired Army Officer offers voters a proven record of making tough decisions, accountability and competency that is often lacking in government. I will work hard to earn the trust of voters in rural Arizona to be their voice in Congress."

CD1 is one of the most competitive congressional districts in the nation. It is also an open seat that has drawn several candidates on both sides of the aisle.

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Arizona Citizens for the Arts is issuing a press release today to announce that our Board of Directors voted recently to join numerous business, community and education groups in endorsing Proposition 123, a ballot initiative that would inject $3.5 billion into Arizona schools.

These dollars will settle a longstanding lawsuit over cuts the Arizona Legislature made during the recession and provide other sustainable funding for education. Most importantly, it will put money back into Arizona classrooms and support Arizona teachers.

We know all too well, that when schools are under financial stress, teachers and resources for arts education are among the first to be cut. For that reason, AzCA has chosen to support Proposition 123 and to encourage arts supporters to go the polls on May 17 to vote for Proposition 123.  We wanted you – our valued advocates and supporters – to be among the first to know this.

Read the full article here.

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As Carly's Iowa state chairman, I can tell you: the momentum on the ground here is growing fast.

Iowa isn't like a lot of other states. Because we're the first state to caucus, what happens in Iowa affects the direction of the Republican primary race in all 50 states. We know it's a big responsibility.
Because of that, we don't listen to the mainstream media or national polls: we listen to the candidates (in person) and then vote for the one with the best message, and the best leadership abilities.
Right now, in Iowa? All the talk on the ground is about Carly Fiorina.
We're building the best ground game in Iowa this election cycle, hands down. But we can't continue to grow our momentum without your help. Will you chip in $13 for Carly in 2016, before the FEC's quarterly fundraising deadline on December 31st?

I've lived in Iowa a very long time. I've seen a lot of presidential campaigns come through here.

Carly's tireless. She just wrapped a trip before Christmas to the southeast corner of Iowa and will start her trip in January in the northwest corner. She's going to small towns like Rock Rapids, and bigger cities like Davenport: winning over Iowans wherever she can.

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By Senator Jeff Flake

2015 has been a busy and challenging year, and the country still faces many more challenges. But as we approach the critical 2016 Election Year, I'm pleased to say I've made progress in Congress on a few issues.

I have worked hard to deliver solutions that are wins for taxpayers, lasting achievements like:

  • The Border Jobs Protection Act -- finding employment for skilled armed forces veterans where we need it in securing America's borders;
  • Ending so-called "Paid Patriotism," where the Defense Department used taxpayers money to pay for ceremonies honoring our armed forces at many professional sports games - especially egregious because many teams, like the Arizona Cardinals, gladly honor the troops for the right reasons, not for payment;

Leading the fight to end frivolous and unnecessary federal government spending -- and exposing the worst offenses with our just-released Wastebook campaign, which you can view on my official website www.jeffflake.com

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(PHOENIX) – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Chairman of Marco Rubio’s campaign in Arizona, is proud to announce nine Arizona elected leaders have joined him in endorsing Marco Rubio’s campaign for president.

“This group represents a cross section of Republican state and local leaders who understand Marco Rubio is best qualified to bring bold, innovative, and conservative ideas to Washington.” said Brnovich. “He’s won our confidence and we think he can and will win the nomination, as well as defeat Hillary Clinton.”

In addition to Arizona Attorney General Brnovich, the list of Arizona endorsers includes:

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Tom Forese
Arizona State Senator Steve Yarbrough
Arizona State Senator Debbie Lesko
Arizona State Representative Jeff Weninger
Arizona State Representative J.D. Mesnard
Arizona State Representative Paul Boyer
Arizona State Representative Jill Norgaard
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri
Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins

Brnovich added, “This group represents elected leaders at all levels of government from legislative and statewide officeholders to county and municipal leaders. They understand the next century can be America’s best yet but only if we support innovative leaders with a command of what America needs like Marco Rubio.”

Arizona’s presidential primary election is March 22nd.

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