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2018 Scrum

Some politicians just want it too badly. They are just too obvious. Everyone who sees what they are doing knows what they are doing. Yet these same politicians seem to have no idea that they aren’t fooling anyone.

Exhibit A for today is Arizona Secretary of State wannabe Michele Reagan.

For years she has wanted to be elected to statewide office, especially Secretary of State. Facing a daunting primary challenge just to retain her State Senate seat, Reagan decided that 2014 was the perfect time to run for it. The only problem is that after more than a decade in the legislature, she really didn’t have much of a record to run on as related to the SOS office, and what record she was known for was left of center on a host of issues.

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In fact, the Republican Primary for Attorney General may be the ugliest race of any election year in Arizona history. And we are basing that solely on how ugly it already is here in 2013. Familiar faces, familiar tactics, hypocrisy by the boatload, and two candidates who are likely to get lost in all of the mud. Oh yes, and a Democrat nominee hoping all of this comes to pass.

The offending group is the ironically named Arizona Public Integrity Alliance. Don’t bother trying to find out who is paying for their work because their donors are secret. Their Vice President and spokesperson is Tyler Montague who, when we last saw him, was working with liberal bomb-thrower and racial demagogue Randy Parraz to recall conservative Republican Russell Pearce and replace him with Jerry Lewis.

Their target is Republican Attorney General Tom Horne. Their tactic is smear. They want you to know that Tom Horne has been accused of having an affair, was accused of giving jobs to “cronies”, was investigated by the FBI, and took campaign contributions from law firms who do business with the AG’s office.

They are spending a lot of money on ads and mailers designed to soften up Horne before the Republican primary and, to avoid campaign finance laws, they are disguising their attacks as issue ads in support of a newfound agenda to pass two reforms to the AG’s office. One of their early ads has already had to be pulled and redone because it was proven factually inaccurate.

What isn’t clear is if they simply hate Horne, they want to elect his Republican challenger Mark Brnovich, or they want to elect the Democrat candidate Felicia Rotellini. Because AZPIA’s donors are secret, we can’t know where their money is coming from. But Montague’s history of working with Democrats to elect more liberal candidates is well established, and the AZPIA’s attacks are basically rehashes of the Democrat Party’s talking points about Horne.

Republicans across Arizona are rightfully worried about Horne losing the general election to Rotellini in 2014. But they are ignoring that Horne has a largely solid record as AG and that Arizona remains a solidly red state. Rotellini and her allies outspent Horne and his allies in 2010 and he won anyway. It is quite probable that a united Republican Party would be able to defend Horne’s office in 2014. But smear campaigns fronted by Republicans and funded by dark money a year before the election promises to muddy both Republican candidates to the point where neither can recover. Then Arizonans will get to see what Chicago style politics really look like with Rotellini in charge.

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In the 2012 legislative session, the Arizona Legislature raised the contribution limits for statewide candidates from $912 per person once during an entire election cycle to $2,000 per person for the primary election and another $2,000 per person for the general election. The usual liberal suspects sued to stop the change, the Legislature and the Secretary of State's office argued that the changes were great, and the first judge agreed the changes were fine. So the liberals appealed and to the surprise of many, the appellate courts overturned the decision and ordered that the old limits needed to be reinstated. Now the whole battle is headed for the Arizona Supreme Court, except not everyone is on the same sides anymore.

Lo and behold the Secretary of State's office has reversed itself and is now arguing that the old status quo should remain to eliminate uncertainty. We’re not sure how uncertain a decision from the Arizona Supreme Court should be. Supreme Courts tend to have the final say on things, but the Secretary of State’s argument seems to have changed from what is right and Constitutional about the higher limits (and conversely what is wrong and un-Constitutional about the lower limits) to now arguing that it would be more convenient to keep the un-Constitutional limits in place. Ah yes, what to do about that pesky First Amendment, eh Mr. Secretary?

Fire up the conspiracy engines though. Because Secretary of State Ken Bennett is running for Governor using Clean Elections, and the establishment favorite is State Treasurer Doug Ducey, who is running by collecting money the old fashioned way. As it is, Ducey is going to raise a boatload of money, far in excess of Bennett¹s $800,000 take from Clean Elections. If Bennett wins at the Supreme Court, Ducey only gets to collect $912 per person. But if Bennett loses, Ducey can raise it $2,000 per person and that boatload becomes ocean liner huge.

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The entire story would take too long to write, but anyone can go online and find the entire history.

For now, all you need to know is that two groups in Arizona gave approximately $15 million to two campaign committees in California during the 2012 elections.  One group, Americans for Responsible Leadership, is led by former Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams.   The second group, The Center to Protect Patient Rights, is led by Arizona-based political consultant Sean Noble.

The contributions were what is being called ”dark money” because the original source is concealed.  These sorts of contributions are illegal in California, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission investigated these donations and the groups involved.  The result of the nearly year long investigation is a series of financial settlements whereby the groups involved will pay massive fines and the Commission will allow these groups to continue to conceal the original source of their funds.  Americans for Responsible Leadership and The Center to Protect Patient Rights will each pay $500,000 while the two California committees are being asked to pay nearly $15 million in penalties.

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What do Republican primary voters think of House Speaker John Boehner and why might it matter in next year’s CD1 Primary here in Arizona?  Let’s call it “a Speaker thing”.

Activists in the GOP are largely disappointed with Speaker Boehner and his leadership and they are critical of what they see as his lack of conservative resolve.  They don’t trust him to lead his caucus in a conservative direction if that means taking on established interests.  They expect him to be weak and to cave at the end of each legislative battle.

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conservative-voteWhile the divisive fight over Medicaid Expansion was widely expected to produce primary challenges to the small number of Republicans who joined with the Democrats to pass it, early indications are that conservatives who voted against the expansion are increasingly finding themselves targeted by left-leaning Republicans who believe that crossing the aisle to pass bipartisan legislation ought to be a primary goal. Whether or not these challengers are successful will make a big difference to whether or not Arizona's Legislature remains solidly conservative.

In the West Valley, Litchfield Park City Councilwoman Diane Landis is challenging State Representatives Steve Montenegro and Darin Mitchell, who are two of the most conservative legislators in the State House. Both voted against the Medicaid Expansion and Landis'

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by David Brooks

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

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

Read the full article

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

But were they directing their ire at the right people?

Let’s reset.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Governor Doug Ducey is announcing today a reform to have more money from the sale of state land go into K-12 education.  Here is a link to the Republic's coverage.  At a time of a rising Arizona real estate market this appears, on the surface, to be government innovation at its best.

It is both good policy and good politics as it is a way for the conservative Republican to get more money to schools – his soft spot early in his tenure – and do so without raising taxes and the ire of his base.

But as with most reforms there are consequences, and in this case potentially negative ones to the state’s largest industry:  tourism.  That’s because some of the most attractive state land lies along the 101 Freeway, between Scottsdale Road and WestWorld.  And a big chunk of it is used for Waste Management Phoenix Open parking, as well as Barrett-Jackson which saw record crowds last year. 

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We have not been fans to date of an overly aggressive development plan for a Ritz-Carlton resort and community in Paradise Valley. But even we can admit that the story of last week should have been the signs (finally) that the developer is at least starting to get it by dropping the second “H” in its HGH plan for the Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend Road site.

However, thanks to conduct unbecoming by the Paradise Valley Town Council the story of last week is now its derelict decorum not a plan that is improving but still needs fine tuning.

Let’s refresh. town of PV

Most would agree that having a Ritz-Carlton in Paradise Valley would be a good thing.  Voters thought as much in 2008 when they approved of what was then an aggressive entitlement by a wide-margin.

Most would also agree that some of what has been proposed by Five Star Development in 2015 to advance a Ritz on the site is inappropriate.

But that doesn’t mean that the councilors of Arizona’s most enviable town should employ a  smugness, even rudeness,  to those wanting to invest some $250 million into the community.

The Town Council’s first formal review of plans of the latest Ritz plan’s last Thursday was an exercise not in polite rebuke but over the top commentary, save for the tethered toastmastering of Councilmembers Syms and Stanton.

The night was best exemplified by the atypical performance of Councilmember David Sherf, he of usual sobriety on key policy matters.  Instead, he seemed inebriated on a newfound affinity for soundbites, even referring to the Ritz plan as “ludicrous.” 

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Preservation of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains is one of the finest accomplishments by any municipality in the nation over the past two decades.

Resident John Nichols was a part of those efforts.  He is to be commended.

His recent effort via an Arizona Republic letter to editor supporting the David Wright House in Arcadia and deriding critics as “NIMBYs” is not to be commended.

You see, Nichols and his friends rightfully insisted that preservation of the McDowells be just that.  In other words, protect the critters, the land and don’t permit commercialization.  He was right then. He is right now.

Recently, the Nichols-like constituency in north Scottsdale rallied to condemn an effort to relocate Greasewood Flat, a revered bar, on PRIVATE property just OUTSIDE the preserve boundary.

Yet, Nichols now has the audacity to suggest that the forest of signs dotting the lawns of Arcadia homeowners not wanting  a pending abuse of Wright House preservation into something more akin to Celebrity Theater is “NIMBYism?!”  Please.  

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The All American Rejects have 38 million hits on YouTube for their video of “Dirty Little Secret.”  The City of Surprise, Arizona may see a few hits of its own, especially directed by taxpayers, if they continue their quixotic request to seize property from the largest property owner in its downtown.  The Arizona Republic reported on the story awhile back.  Here is a link.

But what hasn’t yet been reported is the potential (and very quiet) diversion of funds from a critical road improvement in Surprise to fund the quixotic legal quest.  Call it Surprise’s very own version of “Dirty Little Secret.”

Once upon a time a California town called Mammoth Lakes entertained similar notions.  Its efforts went down in a blaze of glory, costing the community and its taxpayers millions.  A similar fate could await Surprise and its impressive but at times overly aggressive Mayor Sharon Wolcott.  The wise men and women of Surprise should not and need not become All Arizona Rejects if this effort goes off the rails more than it already has.

 

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Scottsdale is an overwhelmingly Republican city.  This tends to make it innovative on business issues, but an awkward actor when it comes to rapidly changing social opinions about gay marriage and other matters of import to the LGBT community.

Of late there has been a concerted effort to encourage Scottsdale to follow the lead of other Arizona cities and provide greater protections to this community.

It should. But not because of the vacuous argument that a failure to do so will harm its significant tourism brand. That’s almost laughable. Scottsdale-Sign-547x198

The City Council should do so because it is entirely in line with the Republican philosophy those on the council apparently believed in to sign up with the Grand Old Prty in the first place.

Why?

Because a greater mantra heard from Republican leaders in recent years revolves around freedom and liberty.  The reasoning goes policies should be put in place to provide individuals with greater opportunity.  Well, what’s a more important opportunity than that to be yourself? How can it be that a party of freedom doesn’t ultimately protect that decision and indeed permits overt or de facto discrimination when made? 

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Imagine this:  A City of Scottsdale employee perhaps not enjoying a request or opinion from a citizen decides to choke them, in public and resulting in a police investigation.

How long do you think City Manager Fritz Behring would keep them around?  The pink slip likely wouldn’t take as much time as the choke.

Yet, if developers asking for special favors in Scottsdale choke those who disagree with them outside of City Hall that’s apparently OK.  At least to some members of the Scottsdale City Council.

This is not a hypothetical.  This actually happened over the last month.

The craziness concluded Tuesday night when four members of the City Council, including Mayor Lane, voted down the choker’s request for the WestWorld area, as they rightfully should have on the merits.

But three did not.  It’s one thing to be pro-business but to put a choke-hold on common sense is a real head scratcher.

Scottsdale has endured some pitched battles over the years on a whole range of issues.  But never has the decorum been as decrepit as this developer’s.

Let’s hope it’s an exception for those who rule in Scottsdale.

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You spoke, and your leaders listened. With the stroke of a pen, Arizona became the latest in a growing list of states to embrace smart ridesharing regulations that support innovation, expand economic opportunity, and put consumer choice and safety first.

We’ve been proud to play a role in strengthening Arizona’s economy while making it easier, safer and more affordable for more people to move around. And we hope you’ll join us in thanking the leaders, including Governor Doug Ducey, who helped make this day possible.

SIGN THE PETITION THANKING AZ LEADERS

Of course, none of this would have been possible without you. Your calls, tweets, and emails made all the difference and prompted elected officials to adopt regulations that work for Arizonans everywhere. Because of you, uberX is here to stay.

We’ll see you on the road.

Uber On,

Team Uber Arizona

 

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We are fans of the Arizona Republic. We also came into being due to their retreat from robust, community-oriented editorial content.  Today, the Arizona Republic’s editorialists awoke from their frequent hibernation on matters local, reminding us how they can be wrong, not Wright.

Essentially, the Republic chastised the Arcadia neighborhood for its substantial opposition to a developer’s plan to commercialize the David Wright House, designed by the famed father for his son. Here is a link to the editorial.

The opposition appears to be based on the not unfounded frustration that what once seemed a noble effort to preserve and restore a house has metastasized into a commercial development ploy that would make even Donald Trump blush.

According to the Phoenix Councilman who represents the area, Sal DiCiccio, the effort to preserve this house now includes an outdoor performance venue, a “wine bar,” weddings and substantial tourist visitation levels.  Just the way Mr. Frank Lloyd designed the house, Wright?  Not exactly. He designed it as a peaceful retreat for his son with no commercial activity, unlike the current owner Zach Rawlings who is using Wright’s renown for an exceptional commercial development parlay.

We do have to give Mr. Rawlings credit for creativity, even if it now means any home of interest in the City of Phoenix can follow his lead for enrichment and disruption.

Maybe the Rawlings’ Austin Powers-like ingenuity is what led to the mancrush in today’s editorial  It was written by a long-time scribe at the Republic well known for being a reliable tributary for Rawlings’ chief lobbyist.

During the love letter we were regaled to Rawlings’ selflessness and ties to the Valley, with neighbors being scolded for describing him as being someone from Las Vegas.  Shame on they the Republic instructed, not realizing itself Rawlings’ has apparently been registered to vote in Nevada since 2007.

While the Republic is misguided at least they are consistent, trespassing on both white-collar neighborhoods like Arcadia, and blue collar ones alike. 

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About a decade ago far north Scottsdale saw Rawhide relocate to the Gila River Indian Community.  The property now houses a Sprouts, strip center and nursing home.

The venerable Scottsdale watering hole Greasewood Flat is set to be replaced this year with houses, as is Pinnacle Peak Patio.

And while its special nature can be questioned The Borgata was certainly an interesting space.  It’s now going to be condominiums.

All of these properties had compelling reasons for evolution but it’s a fair to ask if Scottsdale is the better for it?

Most would say not. So that begs another question.  Should special Scottsdale places receive special treatment to stay as they are?

Yes.  Perhaps. Maybe. We hope so.

For example, if the Coach House and Rusty Spur go away for the non-descript is Scottsdale enriched?  Perhaps financially but not socially, culturally.  That’s why the activists that sought to keep and preserve an old church now city owned on Indian School Road should be applauded.

Republicans, and Scottsdale is a city full of them, typically don’t like “subsidies” where elected officials get to offer goodies for specific companies to come to town.  Well, what about efforts to keep certain ones that help define its personality.

This could take the form of tax breaks, reimbursements, fee waivers and even city marketing assets for certain businesses and properties specifically reviewed and vetted, first by a citizen’s committee then by a council.  

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It would be far more forthright for developer Jerry Ayoub, who wants to build a dense subdivision in Paradise Valley that happens to include a Ritz-Carlton hotel, to level with the good people in town rather than his current silly rhetoric.

It would go like this:  I paid way too much for the large property at Scottsdale and Indian Bend during Arizona’s real estate heights.  I spent too much on lawyers and lawsuits to keep the property.  And now I have to pay whopping interest payments to Bob Parsons for a cash infusion I needed to hold on.  If you want a Ritz in the shortest term I may be able to deliver one.  But you have to bail me out of my quixotic adventure with development rights not tendered in the locale’s history.  Not by a little bit. But by a lot.

We don’t know if this would be successful but it is terribly relevant. Because what Ayoub needs to put on the property to recoup his investment is extraordinary.  Extraordinarly tall, dense and large. town of PV

So do town officials want to violate everything the community stands for just to get a Ritz now?

The citizenry likely won’t after the political con job behind the proposal becomes more well known.  So let’s discuss and revisit.

Ayoub says the 4-story Scottsdale-approved apartment complex at Lincoln and Scottsdale Road is now causing him to go up, in violation of town principles.  Granted, this was approved by Scottsdale not Paradise Valley but Ayoub as an adjoining property owner could have forced a supermajority vote on the matter, likely killing it.  He didn’t by design. For reasons we are hearing now.  Surely it was no coincidence that both projects share the same zoning attorney either.

The Ayoub camp is actually saying another Scottsdale approval, that for a 4-story condominium project on the old Borgata site influences its proposal too.  What?  That’s like half a mile away. 

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By Bob and Kathy Littlefield

Dear Friends:

Residents of the Wheel Inn Ranch Trailer Park in South Scottsdale are being evicted from their homes and forced to relocate to other housing.   Many have lived in this park for decades and over the years have helped to create the City of Scottsdale we all love.  Most of them are now elderly, disabled, low income and, for the first time frightened of what their future holds for them.

The park’s new owner has told the residents they must be gone by the end of January to make way for his future development.  Unfortunately, most of the park’s mobile homes are too old and fragile to be moved, so owners will be forced to abandon their homes, even though many residents have sunk their life savings into buying them and adding extensions to them.  Even the homes that can be moved will be expensive to move, plus all external improvements (such as porches and carports) must be left behind.

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield has worked with the City’s Community and Human Services staff to coordinate assistance from city, state and federal agencies. This includes the Veteran’s Administration, since some of these residents are veterans or spouses of veterans all the way back to World War II.  However, this assistance only scratches the surface of what is needed to insure our fellow residents are safely relocated into housing they can afford by the January deadline.

That is why we are organizing this fundraiser and asking for your help.  To insure all funds are properly accounted for and will be spent where they will do the most good, we have put together a committee of community leaders who will oversee the collection and disbursement of funds.  Everyone involved in this effort is a volunteer:  no one is getting paid, and all of the money collected will go to help the Wheel Inn Ranch residents.  The committee members are:  Former City Councilman Bob Littlefield, City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, co-chair of the Scottsdale Coalition, Nancy Cantor, South Scottsdale neighborhood activist and non-profit executive, Cindy Hill, and Tonolea neighborhood activist, Jim Heather.  Advisors to the committee are City Councilman Guy Phillips and Coronado neighborhood resident Martha Seaman, a Deacon with the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and President of the Valley Interfaith Project.

You can make a tax deductible contribution to help through "Arizona LEOS," an IRS-approved 501c3 charity which sponsors an Aging Safely program. If you donate online via PayPal please check "Add special instructions to the seller:" and write "Wheel Inn Ranch" in the box provided when you checkout.  To contribute by check, make it out to "Arizona LEOS" and mail it to Wheel Inn Ranch Fund, 8414 E. Vista Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85250. Please write "Wheel Inn Ranch" on the memo line and include your email address so we can save postage costs and email you a receipt.

The people at Wheel Inn Ranch are proud and independent folks who had secured a home and quiet lifestyle that met their needs and that they could afford.  Now that their park is being destroyed, they do not know what to do or even how to ask for help.

So we are asking for them.  Please help in assisting these Scottsdale citizens who, through no fault of their own, now stand in such urgent and desperate need.

Thank you so very much.

Bob & Kathy Littlefield

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From the Rubio Campaign:

Today, at a speech to the Detroit Economic Club in Michigan, Marco Rubio will share his agenda for a New American Economy. Marco will specifically detail how his tax plan would help a small business owner and a single, working mom in Detroit.

Below are Marco's remarks, embargoed until 12:45pm ET, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you. It’s great to be at the Detroit Economic Club today. I can think of no better place to discuss the challenges and opportunities before our nation than Detroit.

No city understands the vision and toil it took to build the American Century better than Detroit. No city understands the heights attainable through the American Dream better than Detroit. And no city understands the pain of losing that Dream – and the importance of restoring it – better than Detroit.

And that is why this city, the heart of the old economy, is the perfect place to discuss how we can embrace A New American Economy – one even grander and richer in opportunity than ever before.

I want to begin by looking back to 1896, when in a small rented workshop on Mack Avenue, less than 10 miles from here, a man constructed what was referred to by some as a “pile of scrap iron.” Just seven years later, that man – Henry Ford – founded the Ford Motor Company, and his pile of scrap iron became the first affordable automobile, which would put the world on wheels and alter the nature of work and life forever.

What ended up making this story remarkable was not one outstanding genius or one transformative company. It was how the entire American economy took an invention and turned it into an engine for prosperity. The affordable automobile did not create a business; it created thousands of businesses. It brought new opportunities within reach of our people.

For most of history, entire generations would pass without seeing a new innovation as transformative as the automobile. But the pace of human progress changed during the industrial revolution and has accelerated ever since. Unbelievably, the Ford Motor Company was not even the clear winner for the most transformative development of the year 1903. Two brothers from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina also had a breakthrough that year that did nothing less than alter the course of history.

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FOX News’ Chris Wallace: “In terms of winners, Marco Rubio did very well.” (FOX, 8/6/15)

Charles Krauthammer: “That [clip] you showed of Rubio, I thought, was the best expression of his campaign, and was the best way to take on Hillary.” (FOX, 8/6/15)

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “You talk to Democrats and they are concerned about [Rubio] because Rubio presents that generation contrast.” (MSNBC, 8/6/15)

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: Rubio is “a dangerous opponent for Hillary Clinton.” “Are we really going to go backwards in generations or do we go forward to GenX, which is Rubio. Which as Americans. we usually want to move forward. That's
what makes him a dangerous opponent for Hillary Clinton.” (MSNBC, 8/6/15)

American Conservative Union’s Matt Schlapp: I think Marco Rubio scared [Hillary Clinton].” Chris Matthews: “Put yourself into the body and mind of Hillary Clinton right now. Who scared her?” ACU’s Matt Schlapp: “Who scared her? … I think Marco Rubio scared her. I think that he, in so many ways, resembles the kind of opponent she fears.” (MSNBC, 8/6/15)

Fox News reports that Marco Rubio had the best individual performance. "The best individual performance was that of Marco Rubio, whose high-energy delivery, one-liners and policy riffs will undoubtedly win back some of the supporters who have drifted from his column of late." (Fox News First, 08/07/15)

The National Journal reports that Marco Rubio underscored why he would be a strong opponent to Hillary Clinton and that he was one of the winners that emerged from the debate. “Of the three candidates most likely to win the nomination—Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker—the senator from Florida had the best night. He seemed to grow in confidence as the debate wore on, culminating in a rousing speech explaining his opposition to abortion rights. More than anything else, however, he underscored again and again why he would be a strong opponent against Clinton. ‘If I'm our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck?" Rubio asked. "I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.’” (Winners: Trump, Kasich, Rubio, The National Journal, 08/05/15)
The Washington Examiner reports that Marco Rubio had some of the best lines of the night and that he won the debate. “Rubio's responses were well-reasoned and pointed, he also had some of the best lines of the night. His comment about Hillary Clinton not being able to lecture him about living paycheck-to-paycheck when that's how he was raised was poignant and allowed him to remind the audience of his compelling life story. His comments about immigration included simple facts about the nature of who is coming to this country and the reality of the current visa program.” (Marco Rubio won the main debate, but Carly Fiorina won both, The Washington Examiner, 08/06/13)
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Marco Rubio won the first debate. “Marco Rubio won the first GOP presidential debate on Thursday night. … He made the most of each question, demonstrating not only a grasp of detail but also an ability to deliver his views cogently and succinctly.” (Rubio Wins, The Washington Free Beacon, 08/06/15)
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “The Florida Senator … was terrific on Thursday night.” (Winners and losers from the first Republican presidential debate, The Washington Post, 08/06/15)

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By Dr. Matt Heinz

I’ve got some exciting news: I’ve just announced my candidacy for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Why have I decided to run for Congress? Simple. Because I believe I can make a difference.

When I look at what’s going on in Washington these days, I see a government in need of a cure. I see a whole lot of partisan gridlock, political maneuvering and pandering to special interests.

As a physician, I’d never turn my back on a sick patient. And as an American, I won’t turn away from the country I love just because it’s dealing with tough issues. In fact, I want to get to the heart of those problems and work to find solutions.

Will you join me today and show your support for my run for Congress? Click here and let me know that you’re all in!

Throughout my career as a doctor, a state lawmaker and a national health care leader, I’ve worked collaboratively to deliver results for people in need. I’ve helped increase access to health care for low-income women with cancer, improve patient safety by making medical complaints public, and implement a coordinated federal response to the Ebola crisis.

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By AZ progressives

Last weekend the Arizona media lost their minds over Donald Trump coming to Phoenix. This weekend, Bernie Sanders is hosting a rally in Phoenix -- and despite the media hyperventilation over Trump...we're hearing the Sanders crowd is going to be MUCH BIGGER.

That's because we have a strong and proud community of progressives here in Arizona fighting for our values (even if the media never notices). So to show how PUMPED we are to flex our progressive muscles this weekend, will you sign your name to welcome Bernie Sanders to Arizona?

Friend, no matter who you support in our Democratic primary, you've gotta love that the strength and size of our progressive community will be on full display this weekend.

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By. Dr. Michael Ward

Fellow Conservative,

My wife, Dr. Kelli Ward, is the most extraordinary woman I’ve ever known. Even though I see her every day, she still finds new ways to surprise me.

When we met in medical school, I knew she was something special. It wasn’t just the caring and the empathy she showed for her patients and fellow doctors, though that was remarkable. It was the laser-focus she put into whatever she was doing, and the skill and determination she used to solve problems and achieve her goals.

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