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2018 Scrum

Friends of District 7,

I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud to have the Phoenix selected for the 2017 Men’s Final Four, a culmination of March Madness and the finale to the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament. Much like Super Bowl 49 and the 2016 College Football Championship Game, the Final Four will have significant components of its activities centered in downtown Phoenix. The event will have a large economic benefit for Phoenix and continues to showcase our wonderful City and that it has to offer to our guests and residents. We look forward to partnering with the ASU, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, and other Valley communities to deliver a world class experience. The City thanks the NCAA for being selected and continues to be the proof why investing in our Downtown and our community pays dividends.
Best Regards,

Michael Nowakowski
Councilmember

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Once upon a time a five or six story office building was built at Scottsdale & Camelback Roads. Those who voted for it were swept out of office.

As sure as the sun rises the ebb and flow of “slow growth” and “pro business” candidates occurs in Scottsdale elections.
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But that it happened so soon in Scottsdale on November 4th, a cycle or two early, is noteworthy.

After rapid growth in the early and mid 1990s Scottsdale citizens remarkably voted to tax themselves to preserve the McDowell Mountains, sparing them from development. And later that decade those critical of growth started to be elected with more frequency.

And then they went too far. Scottsdale became “Stopsdale.” An arena was lost. Studies were done. Those opposed to all growth were soon opposed by voters desirous of reasonable growth.

But then the “pro business” majorities on council go farther than the electorate is comfortable with. So many apartments. So much height. So much which can seem so foreign to residents. And the pendulum begins to swing the other way, all over again. So much of this seemed vital and laudable during the Great Recession, but now that the economy has returned so has the luxury of complaint about that now built.

There were certainly signs of what was to come this election. The General Plan was soundly defeated at the polls previously. So was a city bond package. The natives were growing restless. Even a much improved bond campaign for the Scottsdale School District, which had been previously defeated but that faced no organized opposition in 2014, won a couple of Tuesdays ago by a modest 55%-45% margin.

Always schizophrenic to some extent the Scottsdale City Council now stands at four that can be called “pro-business” (Jim Lane, Virginia Korte, Linda Milhaven, Suzanne Klapp) two that want to slow things down (Guy Phillips and the newly-elected Kathy Littlefield) and another newbie that will probably dip his toes in both camps (David Smith).

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Whether one likes him or not the gold standard for candidate concession speeches was Al Gore following his gut-wrenching, Flordia vote counting loss in 2000. It was the epitome of class and decency.

Contrast his approach with two on Tuesday night in Arizona, Wendy Rogers and Fred Duval.

First, Rogers.

This was her statement.

“I want to thank my friends, family, and volunteers for standing by me in this race, and I want to thank the citizens of the 9th District for all of their kind words over the past several months. I ran for Congress because of my concern over the direction America is heading in, and I hope that, for the good of our country, Congress will work to turn our nation around and put a stop to the Obama agenda.”
No mention of her opponent, Kyrsten Sinema. No congratulations to her.

There is a time for the fight. And there is a time for kudos. Great boxers typically gather in the middle of the ring and hug after prolonged battle. Gladiators of the NFL shake hands after a game. The player acknowledgements after the Stanley Cup has been won are laudable.

Candidates should be likewise. But many aren’t. Thankfully, voters tend to get such deficiencies before Election Night. They clearly understood so with the anemic Rogers, who will not be mistaken for Ms. Manners any time soon.

And that brings us to Fred Duval. Long known for being a gentleman, even criticized for being too much of one in his battle with Governor-elect Ducey, his concession speech was a clunker.

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An opinion that bears repeating after Arizona's election results Tuesday.The following was originally Published February 13

There’s an old observation in politics that just about anyone who gets elected to anything starts seeing themselves being President of the United States. After Goldwater, Udall, Babbitt and McCain that may not be true for Arizonans but you get the point.

But it is true the bigger dragons you slay the bigger the doors that open.

And that’s the opportunity current Arizona State Senator and Republican Secretary of State Michele Reagan finds herself in.Screen-Shot-2013-10-30-at-10_34_40-AM2-78220_641x340

Once upon a time she was the favorite for the race of second in command. Then along came well-funded Wil Cardon and the most formidable Democrat in the state (sans Kyrsten Sinema) Terry Goddard.

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As nearly always New York Times’ Columnist David Brooks made one think Tuesday about the numbing and dumbing of American elections. Here is a link.

He assigns blame to political consultant sameness indicting the Mitt Romney presidential campaign among others for a lack of ideas and imagination. It is deserved. Brooks_New-thumbLarge

Poll driven campaigns are inherently reactive, almost like trench warfare, rarely breaking out from challenges lobbed into the bunker.

Very rare is the campaign anymore that pulls an upset based on ideas. It’s mostly whoever has the most money wins.

John McCain’s 2000 upstart presidential campaign is perhaps the best example of a campaign team being rewarded with a different approach.

They did not bottle up their candidate in a bubble with redundant talking points. They allowed people to see a human being with humor and candor. But more importantly they focused on an issue that didn’t appear as a concern in any polls: campaign finance reform.

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Wringing hands likely doesn’t do justice to the exercise of Valley old-timers these days.

Pinnacle Peak Patio and Greasewood Flat in Scottsdale are going away next year.

Today we learned Monti’s La Casa Vieja, the oldest restaurant in Arizona, is closing in just two weeks. And this follows the closure of landmark Mexican restaurant Tia Rosa’s in Mesa. montis

Well, at least we still have Rustler’s Rooste.

The natural reaction is to lament their passings and resent that which is taking their places.

This would be miniature thinking on a couple of different levels.

First, the re-developers of the Pinnacle Peak Patio site are wisely exploring options to recreate Pinnacle Peak Patio at WestWorld as a new special event venue. This follows their generosity of allowing the restaurant to continue rent free, prolonging the operation far beyond what would have otherwise occurred.

Greasewood Flat recently pulled its effort to relocate to property elsewhere in Scottsdale. If the owners could ever get in sync they would realize the brand equity the establishment has, and begin soliciting for new locations like Rawhide once did, solidifying a future elsewhere.

The 11,000 square foot integrity of the historic “Hayden House” that makes up the core of Monti’s will be preserved in the redevelopment. So while it may not welcome steak lovers any more who knows what the future may hold in the fascinating space.

The lamenters will say the Valley is losing its way and that which makes it special.

They will say Scottsdale is losing its western roots, notwithstanding God’s roots in greater abundance in the massive McDowell Sonoran Preserve close by Greasewood Flat and Pinnacle Peak Patio. Also adjoining Pinnacle Peak Patio is the hugely popular Pinnacle Peak trailhead, created long after the restaurant debuted. And then there is the Four Seasons across the street from Greasewood Flat, enriching the neighborhood since its opening years ago.

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As the conventional Arizona wisdom goes, the City of Glendale is a bunch of suckers. That’s what has caused their financial turmoil people say.

Whether one is a sexy Dodger, Cabela’s or Coyote open the kimono and let them have one’s way with scantily clad protections for Glendale taxpayers.

History will determine if these decisions were wise and progressive with temporary setbacks, or a gamble too far.

But with more Glendale residents demanding different leadership, change and amends a recent story begs the question not only if the city has the spine to right the ship, but to even stand up to a neighboring city.

Glendale-Peoria Clash Over Billboards Rises Again. October 28th, Arizona Republic

Whether one is for or opposed to the proposed casino in Glendale there is no dispute about the City of Peoria’s aggressive interference with what is clearly their land use issue.

At least that effort was known.

Contrast that with Peoria’s skullduggery as it relates to opposing innocuous billboards proposed by Becker Boards along the Loop 101 in Glendale.

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John McCain’s deployment of so much left over presidential money in his 2010 Republican primary battle against J.D. Hayworth was designed to send a message: don’t mess with me. mccain

And while he won convincingly times have changed. McCain may well be the next Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a perch from which to raise lots of money. But he won’t have the $20 million that went unused during his 2008 run. Add to that a few things.

First, the Citizens United decision could provide a McCain challenger major, stealth resources.

Second, McCain’s numbers among Arizona Republican primary voters are awful. It is why McCain endorsements during the primary election were almost non-existent. People knew of his toxicity and didn’t want to be a part of it.

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U. S. Representative Trent Franks Says NO to Prop 480,
a 1.6 Billion Dollar Tax Increase

In an Op-Ed piece published in today’s Arizona Republic, Rep. Trent Franks explained why Maricopa County Taxpayers cannot afford prop 480. You can read his entire statement below:

Trent Franks: Health care already costs enough. Why is Maricopa County Integrated Health System piling on more?

Arizonans are painfully aware of the skyrocketing costs of health care.
Both federal and state governments continue to ask for more tax dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act. Taxpayers are contributing more than ever for health care for the less fortunate.

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Those below 133 percent of the federal poverty level now qualify for Medicaid and those using an ACA exchange receive a heavy subsidy. These programs will be inordinately expensive.

Proposition 480, placed on the ballot by the Maricopa County Integrated Health System, fails to acknowledge these massive changes and the sacrifices taxpayers are already making by asking for a 27-year, $1.6 billion bond and tax increase for the old way of doing health-care business.
As a recent Arizona Republic editorial pointed out, the county hospital is a true safety net only for illegal immigrants because they do not qualify for AHCCCS or ACA, which raises the question of why only Maricopa County property taxpayers should pay for a federal responsibility.
Since Medicaid restoration and expansion began in January, more than 340,000 Arizonans have signed up, bringing the state's total to 1.64 million and counting (25 percent of Arizonans). Arizonans who receive AHCCCS are free to use their insurance at a variety of private providers just like those with private insurance.

Unfortunately, Prop. 480 proponents give taxpayers zero credit for these enormous investments. They talk about health care for the poor as if we were living in a 1950 America, where the indigent were relegated to the county hospital. The paradigm shift to providing insurance for the poor vs. paying for the facilities calls for less government-run facilities, not more. It also provides the best health care at the most competitive price with the greatest dignity for the patient.

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There’s a phrase about anyone noticing a tree if it falls in the forest. Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

But in Scottsdale, Arizona these days it’s hard to miss trees not when they fall in a forest, but as they obstruct the signage of prominent businesses.

For years a city installed tree has obstructed grandfathered signage for the venerable Coach House Tavern. Maybe the owners are too buzzed to notice, or it’s revenge for the efforts of customers to stop the city from condemning the property over a decade ago.
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A more contemporary and comical example impacts famed collector car auction Barrett-Jackson.

Apparently, the company is readying a revitalization of its southern Scottsdale property near Scottsdale and Thomas Roads. A grander showroom with more collector and exotic car sales is in the works.

If you can find it.

Enter another tree.

Many years ago Scottsdale voters approved a Scottsdale Road beautification project. A good idea.

Yet some city botanist in their infinite wisdom decide to plant a large Palo Verde tree right in front of the Barrett-Jackson sign.

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Why don’t elected officials tackle the big issues more? It’s a constant refrain one hears about elected officials whether its foreign policy or Social Security in the nation’s Capitol Hill or Scottsdale visionaries lamenting the lack of a next great thing.

That can’t be said of Glendale City Councilman Gary Sherwood.
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The city is a cauldron of upside finances and distrusting peers.

From Michael Bidwill and rich gaming tribes to transient new owners of the Phoenix Coyotes and a spring training complex with the worst mathematics in baseball there is no escape from tough votes and issues in the capital of the West Valley.

Enter first-term Councilman Gary Sherwood.

Last summer he led the charge for an annual $15 million subsidy allowing the now Arizona Coyotes to stay in town. But for his championing and vote the franchise would have skated away, as it likely will anyways several years from now.

And in the heavyweight title bout surrounding a new Glendale casino and involving the largesse of a Tucson gaming tribe and one right here in the Valley Sherwood flipped his vote to favor the new casino.

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There has been considerable chatter about the Rasmussen Poll that shows Democrat Fred Duval and Doug Ducey in a dead heat for Arizona Governor.

Keep in mind that Rasmussen has been trying very hard to make up for its gaffe in predicting a Romney win over Obama. Perhaps Rasmussen has been trying too hard.

According to this article in the Guardian, Rasmussen is trying to correct past sins by leaning a bit too far to the left. For example the article notes that “Obama's average net approval in Rasmussen's polling since re-election is +10.6pt, which is nearly 4pt higher than the other pollsters' results.”duval

Rasmussen is also using past exit polls to weigh its surveys. The article continues, “The exit polls, though, had Democrats with a 6pt party identification advantage. Sure enough, Rasmussen now weights its polling to 38% Democratic and 32% Republican – the same exact spread as the exit polls gave.”

Some more interesting facts on the Rasmussen poll.

In 2010, voters under 40 made up approximately 20 percent of the Arizona electorate; yet, in today's Rasmussen poll, they have the age bracket at 25 percent.

Arizona voters over 65 made up nearly 30 percent of the midterm electorate in 2010, and in Rasmussen's sample, they make up only 26 percent.

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by Scottsdale City Council Member Suzanne Klapp

Yesterday in front of supporters, business owners and ASU officials, I announced my decision to pursue a third term on the Scottsdale City Council.  We gathered outside of ATOMdesign, a business located in Skysong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, along McDowell Road to make the announcement.

 

Six years ago I brought a fresh business perspective to the Scottsdale City Council and prioritized economic growth, the continued development of SkySong, and the revitalization of McDowell Road.  I am particularly excited about this City Council run and intend to focus our Council on better connecting Scottsdale citizens with their government. 

 

It’s been my desire to not only run a business but to be involved in the community.  It causes me to be motivated every day.  There is more to do, more to make happen, and more we as government leaders can do to assist business owners and residents.  We can help them through the red tape, through the regulation, and perhaps live their lives a little easier.

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By Arizona State Senator Katie Hobbs

Today is a day for us to celebrate equality and love. It has prevailed. The Supreme Court ruling handed down today strengthens families and communities all over the country. It provides certainty for couples in Arizona that their marriages will remain legally recognized.
I want to congratulate everyone that has worked for this day, it wouldn’t have happened without your determination. I have been encouraged by your perseverance and strength that when we organize, work together, and stand up for what is right we can make positive change.
We must remember though that the fight for full equality for all Arizonans does not end today. LGBT people can still be fired, evicted, or denied services simply for who they are or who they love. I am committed to changing that. Join me by signing our petition here to end these discriminatory practices.

Now celebrate!

Katie Hobbs
Senate Democratic Leader

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by Carly Fiorina

Fellow Conservative,
Fox News recently announced how they will select participants for the first presidential campaign debate.

I’ll skip straight to the point: I look forward to participating in the Fox News debate. I’ll make it clear that I’m ready to take on Hillary Clinton.
But I need your help to get on that debate stage. In order to secure an invitation, I need to grow my team of supporters. Will you make a donation of $13 today to help me get on that debate stage?

I’m running for President because we need a leader we can actually trust in the White House.
In the business world, we don’t have the luxury of hiding from our problems until they go away, like Hillary does on the campaign trail. We have to actually accomplish something.
When I was hired to be CEO of Hewlett-Packard—the first woman in history to run a business so large—I found myself face-to-face with the biggest tech recession in history, and a market that was dramatically changing.
At HP, I wasn’t afraid to shake up the status quo. My decisions didn’t always make me popular—but they would ultimately prove to be the right ones.

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By Robert Leger

A tale of two mayors and two cities:

SCOTTSDALE:

After Steve Ellman abandoned his efforts to build a professional ice hockey arena in Scottsdale and turned to Glendale, Scottsdale was left was a deteriorating mall at Scottsdale and McDowell Roads. Eventually, the city partnered with ASU to build SkySong, a research and innovation center.

Click here to see the entire editorial

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By Marco Rubio

Last week, our team told you about the New York Times attacking me for receiving four traffic tickets over the last 20 years. Now, today, the Times is out with a story suggesting that I'm not rich enough to be president!

According to the Times, "Rubio entered public life in a deep financial hole of his own making." Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? But what exactly was this deep financial hole of my own making? My student loans! I didn't have the money for college, so I had to take out loans. And now the Times is attacking me for it.

As I have said many times, I am not poor, but I'm not rich either. It's true, I didn't make over $11 million last year giving speeches to special interests. And we don't have a family foundation that has raised $2 billion from Wall Street and foreign interests.

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By Lindsey Graham

Dear Friend,

Just moments ago I officially announced that I am running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

Will you stand with me today as a DAY ONE Founding Member of my campaign? Please follow this link to make an instant online contribution.

I did not make this decision lightly. After months of consideration and years of working to protect and secure our country, I knew I could still do more.

Our country very much needs a proven leader...

  • Who is ready to be Commander in Chief on Day One and has the conviction to defeat our enemies...
  • Who can inspire Americans to build on the best our country has to offer...
  • And who can cast a vision for a strong, secure and prosperous nation that Americans can rally around and give their full support.
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