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2018 Scrum

He was one of the brightest Republican stars in Arizona history before the Phoenix New Times unveiled his whole new meaning of “Jose, Can You See?”

He is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Once the darling of Fox News and Arizona Republican Party voters alike. Just several years ago most anything was politically possible for Babeu.Sheriff_Paul_Babeu

Then came the troubles. And while many concluded he was a dead politician walking Babeu had other plans. He focused on his base in Pinal County. He won re-election handily in 2012, his coattails even bringing along a Republican County Attorney. Like Michael Sam being gay wasn’t his identity. Sam is a football player who happens to be gay. Babeu is a tireless public servant, who also happens to be gay, as was learned in rather dramatic fashion.

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Amazing. Just amazing.

Following the Paradise Valley Planning Commission’s rejection of a plan to supersize the unremarkable Cottonwoods Hotel in town, backers are now saying they can magically reduce the rejected plan’s proposed density by thirty five percent.Paradise-VAlley-RED-Senior-Living

It’s amazing what can happen when you just say no. We opined about the flawed Cottonwoods proposal back in October. Here is a link.

And it makes you wonder, a lot, about the need and premise of the proposal in the first place. There’s little doubt the property needs a little lipstick. But that’s not what this proposal was about. It was nothing more than a denizens of density enrichment plan that would have been good for one pocket book but not good for the character of a town that needs protection more than enhancement.

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The 1988 Democratic nominee for President Michael Dukakis talked a lot about the “Massachusetts Miracle,” touting his perceived Bay State successes.

But by the time the campaign ended voters weren’t looking so kindly on such claims.ScottSmith

It’s a lesson that could play out this year in the 2014 Arizona gubernatorial campaign, either by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith’s GOP opponents, or presumptive Democratic nominee Fred DuVal.

Smith likes to espouse his achievements, and there are no doubt some, but there are also very big problems.

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Proximity to Sky Harbor, freeways, a great downtown, the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo, the Indian Bend Wash.

“South Scottsdale” should be a prideful label, not a derogatory one.

Maybe the two strip clubs in the area advance the negative connotation. Or the automobile dealer departures along McDowell Road.Scottsdale-Sign-547x198

Or maybe the big talk but little action from both public and private sectors that has yielded an ASU office facility, but one without urban coattails.

Politically, there is no reason to keep doing the same thing. It hasn’t worked since the demise of Los Arcos Mall and the failure to realize the voter-approved arena district. Countless task forces and master plans aren’t getting it done.

What might?

Light rail has been put on the table as an area addition by a contingent on the council. Another idea is to connect the Indian Bend Wash and Papago Park via an elevated trail down the middle of McDowell Road.

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With the exception of Bill de Blasio’s New York City where the mayor there is declaring war on charter schools, educational choice is gaining more acceptance across the country to the constant displeasure of teacher’s unions. They can block for a time but not forever the tide of history. This is the lesson of all civil rights, of which school choice can rightly be called one. CMAlvarez_Bevel

Here in Phoenix a new group, despite protestations of cooperation to the contrary, are taking dead aim at many of the dead end schools in the core of Phoenix with an insurgence of new charter schools there.

But it’s in Glendale, Arizona where we gain another reminder of how far school choice has come, and why it ultimately will be the norm, as we see in higher education.

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As the narrative goes Mesa Mayor Scott Smith single-handedly willed a backward East Valley behemoth into America’s most progressive city.

That’s a slight exaggeration and there’s no doubt Mayor Smith has done a commendable job getting results. Additionally, he is an engaging fellow that’s got a little Chris Christie without bridges while being a tad more cherubic.Mayor-John-Lewis

But if the justification for the GOP nomination for Governor in 2014 is the best performing East Valley Mayor doesn’t Smith get the silver medal to Gilbert Mayor John Lewis?

Smith’s results in Mesa resemble Sammy Sosa. The former slugger used steroids. Smith used subsidies. A lot of them.

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Recently an article in the Scottsdale Independent queried whether Scottsdale was losing its luster. It cited the election losses of the General Plan, a Scottsdale School District bond and the recent city bond package.

But that’s a little like saying Kate Upton doesn’t like as good in a red bikini as blue. She still looks good. No matter what. kate-upton-poster

So let’s take stock.

The city just debuted an amazing new facility at WestWorld that just hosted the world’s largest car auction called Barrett-Jackson and is hosting the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, the largest in the world.

Just blocks away is the home of the world’s largest golf tournament.

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You don’t see this every day. And that’s the hometown newspaper of a Super Bowl host city harshly criticizing the costs of the event, as well as the local NFL team that makes landing the third largest sporting event in the world (behind the Olympics and World Cup) possible.

But that’s what the Glendale Star, the long-timer paper of record for Glendale, Arizona did in its most weekly editorial. It pulls no punches and makes for fascinating reading, even as we disagree with the premise and support Glendale’s call to be reimbursed for public safety costs associated with the big day in 2015.  Here is a link to the editorial.

 

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School choice advocates are taking dead aim at what’s left of the public school monopoly. In the City of Phoenix.120103022050-school-bus-gi-afp-story-top

Courtesy of a front page article in today’s Arizona Republic (“New Charter School Push In Phoenix Core”) let there be no doubt about what’s taking place. Having pillaged upper income school districts like Scottsdale’s school choicers believe their moment has come to strut proudly and loudly in lower income areas, proving once and for all the superiority of their approach for students, parents . . . and teachers.

Oh, both the Phoenix Union District Superintendent and backers of the multi-charter school initiative said all the right things and played nice.

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Such a case can really be found in 2004. In the form of John Kerry. Not loved but viewed as quite competent Kerry was a weak frontrunner for the 2004 Democratic nomination for President, kind of like Ken Bennett who sits atop most polls for Arizona Governor in 2014 but who most observers think we will toppled due to limited fundraising and a boredom factor.40448a

And Kerry was toppled . . . for a while. By Howard Dean before The Scream went too shrill. And John Edwards almost caught Kerry in Iowa, but didn’t have the juice to challenge in New Hampshire. He was apparently saving that for someone else.

But then the Democrats returned to Kerry having yawned about him in the first place. He waged a tough campaign against George W. Bush, like Bennett undoubtedly would against Fred Duval.

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Our previous editorial focused on the wisdom of reforming tax policy to recruit the ultra-rich to Arizona like Phil Mickelson.2013 U.S. Open

And why shouldn’t the Grand Canyon State? After all, the competition is stiff with no income tax states like Texas and Nevada.

Furthermore, the private sector constantly engages in a never ending quest to land the whales. At casinos. In hotels. Country clubs. Restaurants. New homes. Season tix. Sponsors. So if Adam Smith’s disciples understand the benefit of attracting the biggest wallets why shouldn’t government?

If politics is a concern be as radically appealing to aiding the poor as one might be to recruiting the rich. Just like anti-illegal immigration activists should be the biggest proponents for legal immigration and the ingenuity and entrepreneurs it yields, unless their true colors can be found on a Confederate flag.

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At a time when Paul Ryan and others are smart to be channeling Jack Kemp and re-engineering GOP messages for the lower and middle classes, it is an appeal to the highest crust that could be a good move here in Arizona.Phil-Mickelson-1

This week Phil Mickelson is defending his Waste Management Phoenix Open. A Sun Devil, he is the most beloved golfer in Arizona and recently made waves talking about the onerous tax rates in California.

This prompted a national discussion. The Arizona State Legislature should act.

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From the Mark Brnovich Campaign:

The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (ADFI) exists to protect consumers and ensure “the safety and soundness of the financial services industry in Arizona.”

But, under Democrat Felecia Rotellini’s watch as agency Supervisor (2006-2009), the State of Arizona became Ground Zero for the kinds of mortgage fraud and lending scams that ultimately brought the entire housing market crashing down.

According to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute Fraud Index, a comprehensive measure of lending fraud, Arizona ranked 21st in the country for this kind of illegal activity in 2005. By the time Rotellini resigned from her post as financial watchdog for ADFI in summer 2009, Arizona’s rate of mortgage fraud had skyrocketed to 4th in the nation, trailing only Florida (1), New York (2) and California (3).

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Friends,

Helping businesses create jobs has been a priority of mine since I originally took office. That’s why I have fought for reducing burdensome regulations, lowering taxes so businesses can reinvest and getting government out of the way of private enterprise.

I believe every Arizonan has a purpose and every Arizonan should have the opportunity to find rewarding employment. This philosophy has galvanized the support of the business community behind my campaign. I am being supported by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Federation of Independent Business, AZ Association of REALTORS and countless business leaders. Here are what a few of them are saying about my candidacy:

“In recent decades, Arizona’s Governor has not finished his or her term for different reasons. Our Secretary of State is next in line of succession since Arizona does not have a Lieutenant Governor. It is important for the business community to pay close attention to this important race this year and support a strong candidate.

Michele Reagan served in the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives with great distinction. She has been a tireless leader and supporter of the business community, education, economic development and, as importantly, stood strong in the face of extreme agendas. No one else in the race has her proven track record.”

– Michael Bidwill, President Arizona Cardinals

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phoenix, AZ- September 29, 2014- Today, Shawnna Bolick, Republican candidate for Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28, received the endorsement of Arizona’s state treasurer and Republican nominee for governor, Doug Ducey.shana

“I strongly support Shawnna Bolick for the House in LD 28,” stated Doug Ducey. “She will bring common sense principles and the right skill set to the job. Shawnna has distinguished herself both in the community and as an education advocate. I know she will represent our district well because she is a strong, effective, and compassionate voice.”

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Rogers Calls on Sinema to Keep Her Promise Asks Her To Return Salary For Not Doing Her Job

In a desperate attempt to whitewash her Washington record, Krysten Sinema began airing an ad today that tried to gloss over her failings in Washington. In her ad, Sinema said Congress should not get paid if it doesn't do its job . . . something that found immediate support from candidate Wendy Rogers.

“I agree, I look forward to Kyrsten Sinema returning her salary to taxpayers for the past two years,” said Wendy Rogers. “Given that she has not voted for a single budget or offered a solution of her own - it's pretty clear she’s not doing her job. She should live up to her promise to return her pay.”

Sinema voted against the House Budget H. Con. Res. 96 on April 10th, 2014. She also voted against the Democratic Budget Alternative on the same day. A check of House sponsored bills also shows that she has never offered a budget of her own. Sinema also voted against a balanced budget that would have prevented Members of Congress from using taxpayer dollars to fly first class (Roll Call #88; 3/20/2013).

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I’ve got big news: tomorrow, Andy Tobin will be the first House candidate to deliver the Republican Weekly Address in this critical election year.

I asked Andy to step up because he’s got a strong message.

As a small businessman, Andy has seen firsthand how ObamaCare is hurting families and job creators.

As Speaker of the Arizona House, he cut spending and balanced the budget to save taxpayers and encourage growth.

And as a resident of rural Arizona, Andy knows all too well that top-down, Washington-knows-best “solutions” aren’t the answer to getting America back on track.

Andy is going to do great with this week’s address, and with our help, he can win on November 4th.

But he can’t get there alone. I’m reaching out to ask you to pitch in $100, $50 or even just $25 right now for Andy.

There's 53 days left and Democrats are attacking him from all sides. Andy needs your help.
Let’s get this done.

Thank you,
John Boehner
Speaker of the House

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Our first campaign television ad just launched . I encourage you to share it with family, neighbors and friends.

Here is a link

I'm proud of this ad because its story represents why I am running to be Arizona’s next Attorney General. There are people all over Arizona like Connie Groff who need an advocate and a voice.

Special interest groups and companies have their lawyers and their lobbyists but normal, hard working Arizonans have the Attorney General as their lawyer.

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