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The Conservative's Corner
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2018 Scrum

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.

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By now most of you are familiar with the dust up over John Kavanagh’s use of as few ethnically based jokes to roast Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Western Conservatives Conference. KAVANAGH

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.

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By State Senator Al Melvin

Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has been law since 1999. SB1062’s sole purpose was to update two sections of it. First, to clarify the definition of “person” to include all types of businesses and legal entities. Arizona laws largely conform to that, but more clarity was best. Second, to address the infamous photographer case in New Mexico where courts ruled that RFRA protections did not apply in a case involving two private parties. We wanted to protect people’s liberties, not just from encroachment by government, but from other private parties as well. al melvin

The bill did not change the protected or unprotected classes in Arizona. Hysterical pronouncements like “mixed-race couples will be kicked out of restaurants” were deliberately inflammatory. That discrimination remains illegal under Arizona and Federal law.

Democrats and liberals argue that businesses should operate only with the consent of government and they should have no say in who they do business with or how. If their doors are open, they must serve everyone and accommodate any request if they are physically able. But that isn’t the law now, nor should it be. A sign company doesn’t have to produce a banner that depicts graphic violence just because their customer wants one. A baker doesn’t have to bake a cake in the shape of a Nazi swastika just because a customer wants one. Still, opponents of SB1062 argue that the State of Arizona should force these companies to make these products or go out of business.

True liberty is not where you get to make everyone do everything you want them to do. True liberty is where you are free to do what you want to do. You are free to make your choices and so is everyone else.

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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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We’d been hearing good things about new Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent Denise Birdwell.  Like her moxy and focus on the destination, not the journey.  This stands in marked contrast to the recently departed David Peterson who etiolated the district.  And when this became apparent even to him Peterson bailed on his fellow bureaucrats, actually blaming two women on the School Board desirous of more accountability.  Remember when George H.W. Bush was famously called a wimp?  Peterson took it to a whole new level. And to where did Peterson flee?  A large construction contractor who contracted during his tenure to build millions of dollars worth of schools.

So, in  many ways, Birdwell and the district have nowhere to go but up.  And based on her recent comments in this Scottsdale Independent article about a proposed Basis charter school that has stirred up debate at 128th & Shea, north is exactly the direction Birdwell appears headed.

Birdwell didn’t just forcefully dispel some beliefs  Scottsdale Unified was stoking opposition to a flagship campus for the top ranked charter school in the country, she destroyed them.  Indeed, she basically said “bring it on.” We have always believed Scottsdale’s K-12 public schools offer the “ultimate choice.” Now it finally appears to have a leader to take that message forward.

More importantly, she showed character.  That’s more than we can say in this instance for two of Scottsdale’s typically stout councilmembers:  David Smith and Guy Phillips.

We recall (because they apparently don’t) that when sworn into office they committed to upholding the law.  Not the ones they agree with, all the laws.  We are particularly troubled by Tea Party Constitutionalist Phillips.  He surely supports a strict constitutionalist to replace Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Yet, when it comes to honoring an unambiguous state law allowing this charter school to locate at this location Phillips goes all Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

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What morons.

In this Age of Trump let’s dispense with editorial etiquette.

We’re talking about the grumblings over Scottsdale Fashion Square’s redevelopment plans.

Excuse us? IMG_6334

The beloved mall is facing an onslaught from online shopping. Barney’s is departing in a couple of months. Drive by 68th and Camelback and the Dillard’s parking lot. It looks like a ghost town. Restaurants are coming and going.

Critics of the retail behemoth act like it’s the age of Ricky Ricardo not Amazon and Apple.

If mall owners need more height and hotels to bolster the future give it to them. Fashion Square isn’t the little engine that could. It’s the locomotive for local sales tax dollars that funds the essence of Scottsdale’s quality of life. And it’s more important than ever. The Chapman Automotive Group is the latest group of car dealerships leaving McDowell Road. That will leave a city sales tax hole of millions annually.

Where will it be made up? By whom? The rosary beads of the nattering nabobs of nimwittedness?

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The momentum in downtowns Tempe and Phoenix is undeniable.  It represents good news for every Valley resident.  But let’s be honest.  What’s taking place in those two city centers is a little like watching Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa awhile back, not Willie Mays.

In Tempe, local taxpayers have forked over huge sums to create Town Lake.  After a slow start they are starting to see a return on investment with stunning new projects on its shores.

In Phoenix, one could lose count of the citizen’s largesse between Chase Field, Talking Stick Arena, the Phoenix Convention Center, light rail and Arizona State University’s downtown campus.   It might be a bit Denmark but a relentless (and generous) commitment to the city core has resulted in a recent tipping point.  One of the best exemplars of that recently was Barron Properties, it of the Greenhaus demolition on Roosevelt Row.  When asked if they would accept millions in city subsidies to alter its behavior it said it didn’t want or need such public assistance.  A developer not accepting a hand out?  “Copper Square” has arrived.

That brings us to Scottsdale.

Sure, some public money has been used to create a “Waterfront.”  But the bones were largely in place thanks to Salt River Project.  Its commitment to arts facilities is significant, but not altogether different than Tempe or Phoenix.

What makes Scottsdale’s success distinct is the stunning, accomplishing vision from the private sector.  It’s led by nightclub impresario turned developer extraordinaire Shawn Yari. 

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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.

 

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*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. 

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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. lane portrait

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. 

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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.

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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. 3

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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

GuyPhillips_bioBut 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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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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My name is Alex Meluskey, and I'm running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona against John McCain because a seat in the U.S. Senate is more than just the comfortable job of one man. Arizona deserves better.

As a husband and father I am running out of a deep calling to stand for our Constitution and our Bill of Rights -- to stand for and revive our military, to stand with our veterans and fix the broken VA system, and to foster strong national security policies to protect the American homeland. These are some of the strong conservative principles that I stand for.

I have fought for conservative values my entire life, as a true champion of tax reform, the FAIRtax State Director in Arizona, and a syndicated talk show radio host.

I know firsthand the struggles of small businesses even during good economic times. My life has been about my family, and instilling those valued conservative principles into mine and Roberta's children.

John McCain has been in Washington for more than 32 years, which has clearly put him out of touch with the citizens of Arizona. John McCain is Hillary Clinton’s favorite republican and the Obama administration’s partner in foreign policy, and as you know, he is running for re-election in 2016.

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MESA, Ariz. (October 22) – Maricopa County Supervisor and Chairman Steve Chucri today announced his first major endorsement, Governor Doug Ducey, in his re-election effort.

"I've known Steve Chucri for many years, and he is exactly the kind of leader we need at Maricopa County – one who has applied private sector principles and a sharp business acumen to solving county problems and increasing the level of service for residents while also protecting taxpayer dollars,” Governor Ducey said. “As chairman of the Board of Supervisors, he has taken a conservative-minded approach to governing and led with integrity and transparency. Given his record of accomplishments during his first term, I'm proud to endorse Supervisor Steve Chucri for a second one and I look forward to continuing to work with him."

Chairman Chucri was elected to his first term in 2012 and has served as chairman since January of 2015.

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