The Conservative's Corner
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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
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.
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 the 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.Read more
*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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
*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.Read more
We are fans of what Scottsdale Fashion Square is seeking to redevelop and stay relevant in a rapidly changing retail landscape. But it is a lot. While Mayor Lane and others have turned off the subsidy spigots for developers generous heights are another form of the same.
That’s why the Scottsdale City Council shouldn’t simply be acquiescent obligers. They should be part of an innovative approach to the sizable request.
Here’s an idea. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has reinforced a general well-being for the largely western art galleries along downtown’s Main Street. The same can’t be said of the more contemporary ones along Marshall Way or elsewhere in downtown. Periodic arts events like Canal Convergence are good. Permanent, successful galleries are better. Unfortunately there are fewer of them in downtown today beyond Main Street.
This is where Scottsdale Fashion Square comes in. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) is an interesting building but its size and location make it more cute than impressive.Read more
Today’s bombshell announcement that popular and principled U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon would not seek re-election is a political earthquake in Arizona Republican circles. Kudos poured in from diverse voices such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Kyrsten Sinema. All of the kind words are deserved.
Now attention will turn to Salmon’s possible replacement. Whoever wins the GOP primary in August will be the presumptive congressperson as the district is solidly trunk and tusk.
The silver medalist to Salmon the last time around, Kirk Adams, would be a formidable candidate. A former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to popular Governor Doug Ducey, Adams has the brains, resume and money raising ability to go the distance. Senate President Andy Biggs will also be a top contender by virtue of his title and immediate backing by Salmon. He also has his own money by virtue of winning a sweepstakes contest – no joke. How much he is willing to spend remains to be seen. Add Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri and House Appropriations Chairman Justin Olson as impressive potentials too.Read more
Several weeks ago it seemed the demagogues were about to drive Scottsdale down by driving away the top school in the country and Scottsdale. Economic developers in other cities were frothing: if the best city in the Valley said bye-bye to BASIS would or should any company say hello?
Then Governor Ducey weighed in . . . and the Wall Street Journal . . . and late today Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Necessary legal threats were made. Mayor Jim Lane showed leadership, bringing together neighbors and school backers. Virginia Korte, once a skeptic, showed the temperament and prudence of a future Mayor. Councilwomen Klapp and Milhaven showed their usual, steely resolve. Even those acting supremely demagogic previously, Smith and Littlefield came around in the end leaving only the confounding Guy Phillips. He the supposed Tea Partier. He the supposed constitutionalist. As the lone vote against BASIS he ignored the law and in one issue transformed himself from Scalia to Sanders. Council candidate rival Dan Schweiker will surely make him feel the burn in the upcoming election.
But for tonight there’s reason to celebrate that Scottsdale didn’t ultimately fumble and the adults stepped forward to govern, as they usually do in Arizona’s most dynamic city.Read more
This weekend Canal Convergence returns to the Scottsdale Waterfront. It’s a wonderful concept and celebration of Scottsdale ingenuity at its best. Turning a non-descript waterway into a campus for capitalism and, periodically, the arts. For this we can applaud Scottsdale Public Art. For this.
But for two other reasons bureaucrats need to be held to account, or heads need to roll.
Several years ago Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven wisely spearheaded an appropriation to fund a dramatic new entry way to the Marshall Way arts district north of Indian School Road. It’s an area that has struggled in recent years as salons have replaced galleries and Main Street has exerted its primacy.Read more
In baseball a successful team needs good starting pitching and a good closer. That’s how we view this editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal. We started opining on the matter weeks ago. But we can’t think of a better closing editorialist than the Wall Street Journal to lay bare what is now a national embarrassment for the city. Hopefully, Scottsdale’s governing adults will end the ridicule Tuesday rather than allow our fine city to become a further laughingstock and defendants in a major lawsuit.
Issues with neighbors can be worked out. Turning your back on the #1 charter school in America, the law, Governor Ducey, rumblings from the Attorney General’s Office, state lawmakers and the overwhelming constituency for a flagship BASIS campus? That’s how closers, and top cities, blow leads and their reputations.
We don’t typically tout more government. But Scottsdale is of the size and scope that more is needed. And it would be one of the best reforms the city has ever adopted. Here’s why.
Last we checked members of the Scottsdale City Council were paid $24,000 per year while the Mayor gets $36,000. They are supposed to be “part-time” jobs. Yeah, right.
Scottsdale is a big, thriving, complicated city. It does not have a district system. That means it’s pretty much up to everybody to work on everything. Big-time development projects. Contracts for major events. Pensions. Law enforcement. Budgets. Our heads hurt just writing this. Imagine if we had to govern it.
We left off an important job description: constituent service. Nowhere is this more important than at the local level, the government closest to the people. Potholes. Speed bumps. Barking dogs. Garbage service. Code enforcement. Litter. Landscaping. Do the requests of and constituent complaints to municipal officials ever end?Read more
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.Read more
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.comRead more
(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.
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
Arizona Progress & Gazette: Arizona News, Editorials & Debate