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2018 Scrum

By: Matt Salmon
Arizona Republic
August 7, 2016

It wasn't a hard decision to leave Congress. I missed my wife, my children and my grandchildren. No matter how hard I was able to fight for the futures of my loved ones in Washington, D.C., every time I came home I was reminded of how much I was leaving behind – and how much of their precious lives I was missing.

While I had to come home, I also knew I had to find a worthy replacement, one who would fight as hard as I had for my grandchildren's futures, and for the futures of all Arizona's children and grandchildren.

So, I made my one and only phone call – to Andy Biggs, the current president of the Arizona Senate. Andy is a man who has a strong record of standing for a smaller, transparent and more accountable government. Most importantly, I knew Andy recognized the importance of our constitutional government and the fight that would be necessary to save it.

Biggs needed a lot of convincing

As I suspected, Andy needed a lot of convincing to leave Arizona, brave the weekly round-trip flights to Washington, D.C., and fight the battles that few others in Washington, D.C. are willing or able to wage against the establishment and a liberal ideology that seeks to infiltrate and tear apart every remaining fabric that was instituted by our founding fathers. Andy has never wanted to go to Congress, and true to my deepest intuitions, he did not want to run.

But like the fights I waged in the U.S. House of Representatives, the battle to convince Andy Biggs to run for my seat in Congress was well worth the time and energy I spent to persuade him to enter the fray. After much prayer and conversation with his family, Andy Biggs decided to make a sacrifice and to run to represent the voters of Arizona's 5th Congressional District. And now that he is in, he is in it to win it.

Why do I have such supreme faith and confidence in Andy Biggs to replace me in Congress?

But he's a fighter, and that's what we need

For one, Andy Biggs is a fighter. He never backs down from any conflict that runs afoul of his values and principles. No matter how high the stakes nor how consequential the political retribution, Andy Biggs stands up for what he knows to be right and true.

Most people who run for Congress say they will fight for this, fight for that. However, when faced with the perks and glories of falling in line with the ruling establishment class, fighting is the last action that most of members of Congress actually want to do.

Mailers and television ads often sell voters a false impression of a wannabe fighter. It's important, though, to look at one's record and compare his or her votes and actions with the rhetoric on the campaign trail. No matter how you look at it, Andy Biggs' record matches his qualification to be a fighter for you and me in Washington, D.C.

Second, Andy Biggs is a strict constitutionalist, someone who believes in limited government, family values, increased border security, and a strong national defense. You'll never have to wonder how Andy Biggs will vote in the U.S. House of Representatives just as you knew where I always stood on the issues. In a country filled with fickle politicians, this knowledge brings tremendous peace and comfort to voters.

As we count down the days to the primary election, the mailboxes and airwaves will be full of political spin and attacks. It's important, though, to cut through the clutter and to determine who you can trust to represent you against the forces aligned against us in Washington, D.C. I trust Andy Biggs.

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Statement by Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who opposed tax increase, says small businesses and seniors will be hit the hardest. The vote was the closest vote in city history and shows fiscal irresponsibility of the tax increase.

"This was nothing more than a money grab by Phoenix Politicians who refuse to practice basic fiscal responsibility and accountability."

Phoenix has the highest revenue in history and a $60 million budget surplus.

"Small businesses and seniors on fixed incomes will be hurt the most by this new tax."

Arizona Tax Research Association published a report opposing this tax and estimated the cost to the small business owners may jump approximately $630 more per year.

My best to you and your family,

Sal DiCiccio, Councilman

Phoenix District 6

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By Sal DiCiccio

Why are you paying huge water bills and ever increasing taxes? Government waste.

 

This week alone Phoenix politicians voted again to give away your money:

  • $10 million contract given to a private company just to let people know about recycling
  • $1.5 million payout to Union Bosses as part of a backroom deal hidden from the public

The politicians who voted for this government waste: Mayor Stanton, council members Debra Stark (District 3), Kate Gallego (District 8), Daniel Valenzuela (District 5), Thelda Williams (District 1) and Laura Pastor (District 4). They have already started claiming to have a shortage of funds and will be voting on the 26% tax increase on July 1.

 

Those who voted to protect you and your money were: Councilmen Jim Waring (District 2), Michael Nowakowski (District 7) and I (District 6) by voting against that government waste.

 

As you can see by the way they blew through your hard earned tax dollars this week, they don’t really believe there is a shortage of money BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE. We have a record high surplus of cash. We have enough funds to pay our debt obligations and keep a reserve. This 26% tax is unnecessary and would punish you, the hard working taxpayer, by squeezing your family budget.

 

Oh, by the way, this week the Mayor and Council also voted to spend $300,000 of your money to fund a private downtown special interest group who previously pushed a huge tax increase on small business owners.

 

Remember how you were lied to about the food tax? The politicians are doing it again with the property tax increase.

 

Just like I helped repeal the food tax, I am just as committed to fighting this huge tax increase on you and your family. Your property tax payment doesn’t need to go up 26%.

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By Restore The Constitution Coalition

Breitbart News Reported:

Libertarian icon and former candidate for President of the United States Ron Paul is endorsing Dr. Kelli Ward for U.S. Senate from Arizona in the Republican primary against five-term incumbent Sen. John McCain.

Dr. Paul says in a letter to fellow family practice physician Ward:

As a physician, you have seen first­hand how ObamaCare has reduced our liberties in just a few short years. During your time as state senator, you have fought to reduce the size of government and restore the liberties of Arizonans. We need to elect more people into the U.S. Senate to stand alongside my son, Rand Paul. Because of your dedication to smaller government and restoring more of our personal liberties, I am proud to endorse your campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Paul served several terms as the U.S. Representative from Texas. He served as a doctor in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and with the U.S. Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968 as detailed on biography.com. Ward is a military wife. 

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Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

Leftists and union bosses from California are currently collecting signatures for three bad propositions they want to put on Arizona's November ballot:
-An anti-free speech measure that would put your name and personal information onto a publicly-available government database if you donate to non-profit organizations. It would also give state bureaucrats the power to audit and investigate conservative organizations for the "crime" of supporting the causes and issues we believe in.
-A measure to increase the minimum wage to a job-killing $12 per hour and keep young people and low-skilled workers from climbing onto the bottom rungs of the career ladder, with a special exception for the union bosses (if companies agree to unionize, those companies would be exempt from a job-killing mandatory paid leave scheme).
-A measure to cap the pay of hospital CEOs, which is part of an effort to try to unionize hospital employees (so the same union system that ruined Detroit's economy would now run our hospitals).
Use THIS LINK to take action against these leftist ballot measures and share the petition with your friends and family!
For Liberty & Prosperity,
Tom Jenney
Americans for Prosperity Arizona

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By Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix City Council District 6

Dear friends,

I wanted to pass along five reasons why I support Prop 123, the May 17 special election referendum to help fund Arizona’s public K-12 schools.
1) $3.5 billion – that’s BILLION – for schools without raising taxes!
2) We’re using the state land trust, which exists to support public schools!
3) The state land trust will still grow by more than $1 billion!
4) We’re working to help pay teachers what they deserve!
5) Schools will receive $230 million this fiscal year – and billions more to come!
As you can see, Prop 123, which is supported by Governor Doug Ducey and the state’s business and education communities, is a no-brainer. Please join me in voting “Yes” on Prop 123 on May 17!

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alex-3Who is Jason Alexander? No, not the actor who played the neurotic yet lovable George Constanza on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. Who exactly is the man who has burst onto the local political scene, leading the charge against the Desert Discovery Center in North Scottsdale? He just makes it so difficult to join his crusade, even though we were staunch opponents of the DDC long before he was.

By all appearances, he appears to be a regular Scottsdale dude. He’s a “Senior QA Architect with 20 years of experience in software development and quality assurance for agile development teams.”

He also seems like a good father who’s also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys biking, hiking and partaking in outdoor activities all across Arizona, but specifically in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. As someone who presents himself as a lover and defender of Scottsdale and the Preserve, it’s no wonder that he’s become the leader of NO DDC.

Further examination, however, reveals a hypocritical individual who may not really care for Scottsdale residents and the community he lives in. Since 2007, Alexander has kept a pretty active blog with vignettes of parenting and day-to-day life. In addition to these funny stories though, readers get a glimpse into why he’s full of contradictions.

In numerous posts throughout the years, Alexander refers to the city of Scottsdale as “Snottsdale," here, here and here.  A Princeton-educated computer engineer who is no doubt familiar with a keyboard, Alexander’s denigration of the city’s name can’t be anything but intentional due to the fact that the “C” key and “N” key are not very close to one another.

His dislike of the city isn’t limited to altering the name of the city in his posts. In other blog posts, Alexander also insults city employees and staff. In one, Alexander compares the lifeguards at the McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic & Fitness Center to “Hitler youth” because they enforce rules that ensure everyone, including Alexander’s two children, enjoys the pool safely. In another post, Scottsdale land managers are called asshats” and “eveeeil because while doing their jobs, they bulldozed a small hill on Gateway Loop, which Alexander liked to use for biking.

On top of this dislike for all things Scottsdale, Alexander appears to dislike Scottsdale residents, including the very same people who most likely form the basis of support for his NO DDC group. While writing on the problems of biking and distracted drivers, Alexander calls Scottsdale drivers dumbass egocentric North Snottsdale trash. In another post on his love of being active and outside, Alexander pokes fun at Scottsdale retirees who aren’t as active as he and writes that these retirees have mostly gotten here by indoor jobs . Showing disdain for those who enjoy the trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Alexander writes about a particularly intense bike ride and why he enjoyed it so much. Looks like he loved this bike ride due to the fact that there were “No nimby HOAs, no dodging herds of slack-jawed hikers around Sunrise and Lost Dog…”. In recent months, these residents, slack-jawed hikers, and retirees who are the object of his derision have become his allies. Maybe they’d resist doubling down on supporting his cause if they knew what he really thinks of them?

Alexander, who according to his blog, used to live in Legislative District 19, also demonstrates an apparent dislike for Mormons and members of Arizona’s active LDS community. In a post deriding Arizona’s stringent DUI laws, which are meant to keep the community safe from impaired drivers, Alexander describes writing to Mesa legislators State Senator Chuck Gray and Representatives Kirk Adams and Rich Crandall about why Arizona’s DUI laws are too stringent. When he fails to get a response from them, he posts that the letters won’t do any good when “all 3 legislators are Mormon, very very overtly Mormon”. He goes on to write that he believes that these legislators are “using political offices to promote a morality” and quips that due to their actions, he had to “seriously think about moving to Colorado, or at least Scottsdale.” Finally, he writes, “I will not vote for a Mormon legislator again, period.  I haven’t in years based legitimately on different politics, but this is now my single-issue.”.

Most quizzical of all is Alexander’s own political endorsements and views, which don’t jive with who he supports now. On explaining why he campaigned in support of Effie Carlson for her state legislative bid in 2014, Alexander writes that he and his wife were a part of “the last band of sane people in AZ LD23, standing against the Armies of Whiteness,” and writes that residents of Fountain Hills are “a bunch of scared white people, responding to a wingnut who sprouts teabaggery”. We can only assume that the “wingnut” he’s referring to is Jay Lawrence, but guess who else could be that individual? You guessed it: none other than Alexander’s supposed Preserve savior, Bob Littlefield, who was also running for that seat in 2014.

Not only does Alexander offend members of Arizona’s active Latter Day Saints community, but he also uses one of the English language’s most derogative terms in a joking and “comical” manner in numerous posts. That’s rarely wise for an Anglo. In one post while describing his reaction to an occasion when his wife spilled soda in his vehicle, he writes, “…I only yelled once when my wife spilled cherry soda all over the car. Cherry m*thafuggin soda IN.THE.CAR! Give a n*gga a break!!”. In another blog post where he criticizes Arizona’s inconsistent distracted driver laws, he writes, “N*ggaz was ready ta loot, bust caps off in dumbass egocentric North Snottsdale trash…”.  In a final post, Alexander criticizes in-car breathalyzers and again refers to himself with this vile term: I wanted to to yank the damn thing out of the car, but that anger lasted about 10 seconds til i forced the numbness back over me. Much better than looking at the calender and chafing. this is how n*ggaz do hard time.”

So who really is Jason Alexander? We may never know, but it seems that he may not really love Scottsdale after all. To form this contradictory viewpoint of how he loves and embraces his community, Scottsdale’s Alexander may have just adopted a mantra from Seinfeld’s Alexander, who playing the role of George Costanza once said, “Jerry. Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

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lane portraitWinner:  Jim Lane.    The incumbent ran the best candidate campaign since Robert Pettycrew’s shoe-string council victory in 1994, one of Drinkwater’s waltzes, or perhaps ever.  He raised big money, the most in Scottsdale history.   That’s what good campaigns do.   He spent it wisely.  Lane messaged smartly and took it to Bob Littlefield, a name who had never lost a municipal race in Scottsdale.  Most impressively, he beat Littlefield at his own game:  grassroots.  Indeed, he had so many events at Scottsdale small businesses, restaurants and bars a voter joked online if he was running for “Chief Waiter?”  Lane also doubled up Littlefield on social media.

Loser:  Littlefield.  Pummeled so thoroughly the husband selfishly has jeopardized his wife’s city council re-election bid in 2018.  After losing his State House of Representatives race in 2018 it’s the end of the line for the loquacious one. But it's not the end of the line on being classless. Littlefield apparently hasn't even called Lane to congratulate him, something even Clinton did last night despite a more blistering and consequential election.

Loser:  John Washington.  Having lost himself to Lane by 30 in 2012 Washington boasted that Littlefield was the right guy at the right time to take down Lane.  Um, no.  Washington’s screeds even went so far as to badly damage Littlefield’s campaign with absurd criticisms of some of Scottsdale’s top business leaders.  Washington is now where he belongs . .  . crossing no rhetorical Delawares let alone the Indian Bend Wash, relegated to irrelevancy in Scottsdale’s lonely crazy caucus.

Winner:  Bill Crawford.  Opting to get out of the mayoral race during the summer Crawford became an avid and effective endorser of Lane.  In so doing he’s broadened his appeal and fundraising base for not just a likely run for City Council in 2018, but a successful one too.

schweikertWinner:  David Schweikert.  With much due respect to Dan Schweiker, a successful local businessman, Schweiker had lived in the community for about 5 minutes before deciding to run for City Council.  And the only candidate who spent less on a campaign was Guy Phillips.  Virginia Korte and Suzanne Klapp outspent him by several times.  Yet, Schweiker came within a whisker of defeating incumbent Guy Phillips.  Why?  Because of a name association with well-respected Republican Congressman David Schweikert who represents much of the Scottsdale area.

Winner, Sort Of:  Virginia Korte.  She’s now the heir apparent to the Mayor’s Office.  But to win in 2020 she’s going to need to improve her campaign and message significantly.  This time around it was vacuous at the beginning before finding its stride late.  That performance in the later innings will be necessary to beat back a strong challenge that will surely come.  Korte also deserves credit for standing by core principles.  It wasn’t convenient to stand by the Desert Discovery Center.  But she did.  It wasn’t convenient to champion a tax hike for Scottsdale schools contemporaneous with her re-elect.  But she did.  And won both of them.

Mixed: David Smith.  Smith thought possible that a Littlefield victory would make him a swing vote on the city council.  It’s aong other reasons why he didn’t endorse Lane.  But that was unfortunate political calculation rather than municipal patriotism.  Right thinking people know (and Smith is one for the most part) how comedic it would have been to have Littlefield as the face of the city.  Yet, Smith indulged the notion through a misguided lens that will hurt him, should he run for re-election in 2018.

City_of_Scottsdale_Script_Logo.svgWinner:  Scottsdale.  The inmates have never yet been elected in sufficient numbers to run the asylum. And this year was no different.  The city affirmed its personality of a progressive majority with always sprinkling in a little schizophrenia.

Loser:  Trolls.  Littlefield’s were maniacal. And ultimately ineffectual.

Loser:  Jason Alexander.  He is a lesson in the wisdom of quitting while you’re ahead.  Having largely won the debate over the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) Alexander and his acolytes went Monkey Wrench Gang with tactics and targeting of Lane, Korte and Klapp rather than simply stick to the issue at hand.  Now, he’s a cancer in the important conversation to shut down the DDC.  More on this topic soon . . .

Winner:  New contributions limits.  When the Arizona State Legislature increased them to a maximum of $6,250 for city council and mayoral races eyebrows were raised.  But the policy rationale involved allowing candidates to have more control over their own fortunes rather than be a message in a bottle bouncing on the waves of dark money and independent expenditures.  The reform worked.  Candidates had the resources to run and fight back and the amount of dark money was noticeably down from previous cycles.

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*He endorsed Trump, but he will likely be responsible for his demise.  He is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, an impressive congressional nominee who is getting precious little help from national Republicans due to the GOP having to defend more seats than they had hoped this year.  Prediction:  If Babeu loses his congressional race look for him to move to Maricopa County and run against Paul Penzone in 2020 if the Democrat defeats Arpaio in November.

*Trump’s demise may strangely benefit U.S. Senator Jeff Flake too.  Not only has he distanced himself from Trump a big Democratic year likely portends a sizable GOP one in the off-election year of 2018.  Kyrsten Sinema is as talented as Arizona elected officials come but defeating Flake in a statewide election that year is likely going to be very difficult.

schweikert*Keep an eye on U.S. Congressman David Schweikert as a possible if not probable candidate for Arizona Governor in 2022.

*Speaking of Governor Doug Ducey . . . he’s not tall but some believe he will be on short lists in 2020.

*Who’s Congressman Trent Franks’ candidate for President in 2020?  Very likely Mike Pence.

*When downtown Phoenix is healthy the whole Valley benefits.  From stadiums to arenas to big urban projects thanks go to the politicians and pioneers that made the tough decisions yesteryear to pave the way for the exciting landscape today.  Special kudos to former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon who was the champion for bringing Arizona State University downtown.  If there was ever a tipping point that was it.

*We opposed the proposed Desert Discovery Center long before the current angst.  But it’s incredibly sad to see the effort hijacked by the likes of Jason Alexander.  He’s one nasty dude that shouldn’t be the Pied Piper for anything.

*Look for downtown Scottsdale businessman Bill Crawford to emerge as a significant contender for the Scottsdale City Council in 2018.

*Sheriff+Joe+ArpaioFan or not of Sheriff Arpaio over the years sad to see all those he has helped and endorsed over the years do precious little now to help his campaign.

*Smart move by Arizona Corporation Commission candidate Bill Mundell, a Democrat, to be advertising on the Drudge Report.

*There are many local measures with financial ramifications on the November ballot.  But there may be none worse than Peoria’s Proposition 400 which is a 4/10 of one cent increase in the city sales tax.  Opponents have dubbed it the “Forever Tax” because it has no sunset.  Worse is that it essentially serves as a slush fund for the elected officials in Peoria to dole out money for pet projects.  This is a city that has clearly decided that big subsidies will be its competitive advantage.  Already being sued by the Goldwater Institute for paying millions to an out-of-state private college imagine what would happen if they got their hands on hundreds of millions more in taxpayer funds?

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Public Opinion Strategies, the polling company to Governor Ducey, Senator McCain, NBC and the Wall Street Journal, among many others, just concluded a October 17-18 survey among Scottsdale voters.

lane portraitAs they showed in their September survey Mayor Jim Lane maintains a big lead over former Councilman and failed State House of Representatives candidate Bob Littlefield.  Lane holds a 28-point advantage with undecided voters shrinking to 20%, many of whom are leaning towards Lane but who may choose not to vote in a down ballot race, underscoring the significant challenge before the flawed challenger.  Additionally, most people feel the city is headed in the right direction and Littlefield’s favorable/unfavorable ratings are weak.littlefield

There is little bad news for Lane in the survey who maintains strong, commanding leads in all parts of the city and with all subgroups.  And the notion of one Littlefield serving as Mayor while the other serves on the City Council at the same time remains very unpopular.  Indeed, after researching the matter Arizona Republic reporter Parker Leavitt was unable to find another example in America where a husband and wife were conjoined on a council.

The mayoral race stands in stark contrast to that for city council where four candidates are vying for three seats.  As it now stands:

Virginia Korte:  27%

Dan Schweiker:  27%

Guy Phillips:  25%

Suzanne Klapp:  23%

Phillips may yet garner one of the three seats but clearly made a strategic blunder so closely associating with Littlefield.  Schweiker continues to outperform with Republican audiences,  benefitting from his close name association with the popular Congressman David Schweikert representing the area.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being was a 1984 work about two men and two women. It’s an appropriate reference to the tale of Scottsdale 2016 and the unbearable idea of two Littlefields serving on the City Council at the same time.

Mlittlefield at deskayoral candidate Bob Littlefield also likes to be on two sides of every issue. He was for the Desert Discovery Center before he was against it. He was for developer subsidies before he was against them. He was for tall apartment projects until he isn’t, unless they are big campaign contributors. The list really has no end, but the latest example is just too rich.

Earlier this year Littlefield threatened Notre Dame Preparatory High School’s non-profit status because they had the audacity to have Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane speak to some of their students about civics. Littlefield bizarrely thought he was entitled, as he does many things, to equal time even though Mayor Lane’s appearance was entirely apolitical.

Think how craven someone must be to threaten one of Scottsdale’s leading educational options this way?

Oh, the irony.

Over the weekend the head of the Scottsdale United Amateur Soccer League sent out an email encouraging people to vote for Littlefield. He might be the only one still left in Scottsdale encouraging votes for Littlefield, who, in a Friday night forum apparently now doesn’t mind the idea of “Satanists” praying at City Hall. So will Littlefield tell this organization, also a non-profit, to go to hell too? Of course not. But the good news for Scottsdale is that Bob Littlefield is going to have a lot more time to play soccer after the voters give him a red card on November 8th.

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lane portrait*A second candidate poll in Scottsdale this week finds the City Council races tight (as the poll before it did) with Mayor Lane maintaining his commanding lead over Littlefield.

*The real question now for Littlefield’s ill-conceived mayoral run is how badly it will hurt his wife re-election’s prospects in 2018?  It will likely be significant.  And with Councilman David Smith uncertain to run again, the council candidate field could be much deeper than 2016.

*Speaking of this year’s Scottsdale council races incumbent Suzanne Klapp has raised a stunning amount for her campaign, likely a new record for a seat – by a wide margin.

*Glendale shook up the West Valley and all of the Valley some 15 years ago when it started doling out public dollars for economic development projects.  That was made possible by city voters supporting an amorphous bond question which was ultimately utilized for sports facilities and other projects.  History seems to repeating itself.  Peoria is not only throwing millions in public funds to revitalize the struggling “P83” entertainment area but in November it has placed on the ballot a large city sales tax increase whose primary purposes seems to be a fund like Glendale had.

*The Summit Group is a well-regarded political consulting group in town.  But what will they be doing the night of November 8th if marijuana legalization passes but Sheriff Arpaio is defeated?  They’re both clients.

byran-jeffries*Phoenix City Hall was atwitter with talk this week that former Phoenix City Councilman and current United Phoenix Firefighters’s Association Bryan Jeffries could make a run for Mayor since Greg Stanton is in his final term.  Others who have expressed interest include Tom Simplot, Michael Nowakowski and even Phil Gordon, the last of whom would need to overcome legal obstacles.  Current Councilmembers Danny Valenzuela and Kate Gallego are said to be eyeing the seat themselves and certainly have formidable constituencies from which to wage a strong campaign.  Either will be in the discussion to be appointed as Mayor too if Stanton leaves early for a Clinton Administration or seeks another political office.

*The likely order of finish in the upcoming Arizona Corporation Commission race?  Burns.  Tobin.  Mundell.  But the race remains fluid as resources remain a challenge for all.

*Those backing the minimum wage hike that will be on the Arizona ballot November 8th are doing so in the name of worker’s fairness and rights.  Yet, the campaign behind it stiffed the petition circulators, the very people their measure is designed to help.

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The embattled Bob Littlefield has many problems as he seeks to become Scottsdale’s Mayor at the same time his wife is serving as Vice Mayor.  Bad polling numbers.  Mayor Lane’s adoption of a “Two Littlefields Are Too Much” message which is devastatingly simple for voters to understand.  Etcetera doesn’t do justice to the enumeration that could take place on what plagues Bobastic.

Yet, two examples and two people underscore Littlefield’s ills quite well.  That’s because campaigns are about addition.  But to look at the Screamer of Scottsdale is to see only subtraction.  Indeed, Susie Wheeler is a top Scottsdale equestrian and has long been a Littlefield supporter. But not this time.  She’s endorsed Mayor Lane because of his commitment to the community’s ranch culture while Littlefield wants it to gallop out of town.

zrakeyThen there’s George Zraket.  He was Bob Littlefield on the Scottsdale City Council before Bob.  Indeed, as anti-business as Littlefield is – even wanting to shut down small businesses in Scottsdale’s downtown – Zraket makes one of the two Littlefields look like Richard Branson.  Yet, according to Lane’s social media, he showed up at the Mayor’s house this weekend to support him.  That’s remarkable.  Despite a similar political philosophy Zraket has such disregard for Littlefield he opted for the pro-business Lane.  Maybe Zraket was inspired by seeing the most popular musical in the land that regales Alexander Hamilton’s decision to endorse Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr.  He did so because while disagreeing with Jefferson he realized he had principles where Burr purportedly had none.   Like Littlefield.  (By the way, a tip of the cap here to Scottsdale businessman and former Mayoral candidate Bill Crawford for introducing “Hamilton” vernacular into this year’s mayoral race dialogue).

Credit goes to Scottsdale and some unlikely citizens for realizing this.  It’s one thing for Grumpy to be one of the Seven Dwarfs, or one of seven members of the City Council.  It’s quite another to have him as one of one, the Mayor of a great city like Scottsdale.

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lane portraitAccording to a new poll conducted September 14-15 by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the country’s more notable pollsters with extensive experience in Arizona and Scottsdale, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane holds a commanding 27% lead over former Councilman Bob Littlefield.  And that’s before Lane has started spending the bulk of his substantial campaign coffers.

Lane’s large margin is an uptick from another pollster’s findings in May that had the popular Mayor up by 17%.

With his second consecutive election loss looming the question now is how badly he’s damaged his wife’s re-election prospects in 2018.  Bombastic Bob is trailing by wide margins everywhere in Scottsdale and with every sub-group.  The poll also found Scottsdale voters disagreeing – by huge margins – with the notion of Bob serving as Mayor at the same time his wife Kathy serves as Vice Mayor and/or as a councilwoman.

The city council races are much closer with Suzanne Klapp setting the pace at 31% followed by Virginia Korte and Dan Schweiker at 29% with Guy Phillips currently trailing at 26%.  Respondents, made up of 300 voters in Scottsdale’s 2012 or 2014 General Election were given the choice of voting for up to 3 candidates.  Phillips appears to be hurt by his close association with Bob Littlefield whose FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE numbers are poor.  Schweiker is enjoying the opposite dynamic.  His name proximity to popular U.S. Congressman David Schweikert is aiding his support among Republicans, especially in the northern part of the city Schweikert represents.

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With massive reserves in place and some terrific new resorts coming online the tony Town of Paradise Valley doesn’t have too many problems. But there are two items on the horizon worth recommendations.Maria Syms

The first is the likely departure of Town Councilwoman Maria Syms. She was the top vote-getter in the August 30th GOP Primary Election for one of two seats in Legislative District 28 for the Arizona House of Representatives. Securing one of those seats in November seems likely.

Since town councilmembers are not paid Syms is not required to relinquish her Paradise Valley duties. However, that would seem the likely progression as the demands of being a rising star in the lower chamber take hold.

daran-wastachakIf so, the appointment to fill her seat will be made by Mayor Michael Collins and the remaining members of council. But there really should be no deliberation and no applications. Daran Wastchak should gain the nod by acclimation.

While Wastchak has come up short in two bids for Town Council he has had the guts to step in the arena. He also serves admirably on the Paradise Valley Planning Commission. He was the next closest finisher in the recent election that saw Mark Stanton re-elected and Julie Pace and Scott Moore elected for the first time.

If and when an appointment to Council becomes necessary Wastchak should be the easy call.

Away from Town Hall and up Camelback Mountain many nearby residents remain up in arms about a plan to build a giant new home on the most elevated private property on the mountain. While Paradise Valley is a community rightfully adhering to property rights this new project is raising legitimate concerns. For example, engineers cannot guarantee that large boulders in the building envelope will not fall to homes below. All of this begs the question: With budget surpluses and a penchant for preservation why not consider buying this lot and other problematic ones in town to further preserve Camelback and Mummy Mountain much like Scottsdale is preserving the McDowell Mountains?

Recently, Scottsdale leaders wisely made the decision to purchase a home that intrudes on the majesty near Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Why shouldn’t Paradise Valley consider likewise? In a clash between one person’s ego versus the overall environment we know how the community would best be served, and we bet residents would be willing to pay for preservation, this time and in the future.

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*The Arizona Republic’s breathless liberal opinionistas can’t understand why Governor Ducey would speak at a Trump rally, as he did this week. It’s simple.  He doesn’t want to get primaried in 2018, and Trump ally and State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt looms as a potentially formidable challenger.  There may be others.  Anyone would start as an underdog versus Ducey – Kelli Ward’s failure against McCain being a perfect example why.  Yet, stranger things have happened.

*All Hail Christine Jones.  Whatever one thinks of the blind ambitionist, her successful execution of the “outsider” strategy in the Congressional Five GOP Primary was terribly impressive.  Yes, those who spend the most in congressional races usually win.  Still, waltzing into the East Valley and buying a seat well, it hasn’t been done that well since . . . John McCain in 1982.

*Donald Trump effectively labeled opponents during his presidential primary.  “Low Energy.”  “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.”  Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane ain’t like The Donald in approach but his recent labeling of long-shot opponent Bob Littlefield as a “Crazy Uncle” gets the gold medal so far for Arizona political monikers.

*Speaking of Littlefield the guy is just one big gaffe machine, and an offensive one at that.  According to online commentary he’s called Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven a “Great Satan” and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and renowned Scottsdale businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons “scumbags.” What a gem.  Is anyone still thinking of voting for this guy?

*State Representative Jay Lawrence had one of the best radio voices during his nights at KTAR.  And whoever his sign guy is deserves a “best of” award too for the best placements.

*Speaker Syms?  Special advisor to Attorney General Mark Brnovich.  Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman.  And now top vote getter in the GOP primary for Legislative District 28.   She’s threading a lot of political needles in her run so far, portending a real shot at a House leadership position in future years.

*If Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins maintains his two-term pledge look for just re-elected Town Councilman Mark Stanton to emerge as the most likely successor in 2018.

*As the public mostly rails against the idea of new taxpayer funded facilities for the Diamondbacks, Coyotes or Suns, the City of Phoenix is assembling a massive taxpayer subsidy package for Fry’s to land downtown.  It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction:  big taxpayer help for billionaire sports owners bad but big taxpayer help for billionaire grocery store owners good?

*The City of Peoria’s new sales tax hike proposal – billed as a quality of life tax – has political support built on quicksand.

*Kirk Adams is Governor Ducey’s Chief of Staff.  With the exception of a starring role in a suspect Arizona Republic story about pressuring State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt into supporting Proposition 123 he has largely avoided trouble.  That’s not easy to do for any Chief of Staff.  But people are now starting to talk:  Are some of his recommended appointments and positions more about aiding himself once he resumes his lobbying career?

*Paul Ryan was supposed to have a tough GOP primary but blew away his opponent by an extremely wide margin.  Closer to home, Sheriff Arpaio  had a primary too.  He was running against Donald, Mickey and Goofy.  Yet, more than one-third of the electorate abandoned him.  That’s a troubling and underreported sign heading into a difficult November election.

*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu won his Congressional District One GOP Primary but hardly in spectacular fashion.  He struggled in every county besides his own where he ran up the score.  And nearly all – if not all -- of his favored candidates in Pinal County for County Attorney, Sheriff and Supervisor lost.  So, unlike McCain who won by a surprisingly large margin for momentum heading into the General, Babeu limps.

*So State Representative Rick Gray sold his political soul to Arizona Public Service only to have the company renege on a Full Forese.  Finishing out of the money on Tuesday night it’s almost easy to feel sorry for the guy.  Almost.

*There are a lot of reasons for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ anemic showing Tuesday night, despite an easy campaign narrative of a Glendale comeback. Among them were an incredible disloyalty to the firefighters, business leaders and others that supported him in 2012.  It’s a lesson for all Arizona elected officials, from Governor Ducey on down.

*Seeking to make a name for themselves in political circles a number of younger consultants are trying to get into the polling business.  They are cutting corners to cut costs.  As a result the results are largely garbage.  A case in point was a recent article by the Arizona Republic positing how good Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell was looking for re-election.  It relied on polling results from one of the neophytes.  Our case in point.

*We’re losing track of how many times Wendy Rogers has lost whatever she’s been running for in recent years.  She lost again Tuesday night.  Hopefully this will be the last time Arizona has to endure her on the ballot.

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Why is Bob Littlefield’s quixotic campaign for Scottsdale Mayor stuck in the mud?  A lot of reasons.

littlefield at deskHe’s anti-business, even supported by a union that used scorched earth tactics to shut down Arizona’s home grown grocer, Basha’s.    He’s been on both sides of just about every issue in town from development to subsidies to the Desert Discovery Center.  He’s the ultimate politician that’s out of step with so much of what Scottsdale is and stands for.

But another reason he’s slogging through mighty mud mania is the bizarre world he is seeking to enter.  He wants to be Mayor at the same time his wife is Vice Mayor.  It’s strange and problematic. Just as it would be if Joanne Lane ran for city council at the same time her husband was serving as Mayor.  Or if State Senator John Kavanagh didn’t serve in the Arizona State Legislature but on the Fountain Hills Town Council with his wife Linda who is the current mayor.

Littlefield of course says not to worry.  It’s no big deal even though it’s never happened in Arizona history from what we can tell.

But judging from Littlefield’s recent actions it is a big deal.  Because he’s already embarrassing the city.

Consider what just took place in the Scottsdale Airpark.  There GoDaddy Founder and impressive Scottsdale philanthropist Bob Parsons unveiled his latest investment in the city, a large television and video production facility.  In attendance were Scottsdale Mayor Lane, Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Stanton and members of the Scottsdale City Council, invited in their official city capacity to celebrate an important private sector contribution to the economy.  Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield was there too, as she should have been.

And belittling Bob Littlefield came along for the ride.  He who only days before called Parsons (and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill) “scumbags” for supporting Lane.

Putting aside the indignity of attending someone’s event he had just show scorn for Bob Littlefield proceeded to video tape the event, especially Mayor Lane’s remarks, presumably for some bizarre political campaign purpose.

He embarrassed himself and Scottsdale in so doing.  In the highly unlikely event Littlefield’s Arizona Lottery like quest for Mayor is successful it won’t be the last time the unprecedented combination of a husband and wife on the Scottsdale City Council make the city like adulterated rather than appreciative.

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By: Sal Diciccio 

The public is being misled by True Life and the underlying property owner. On several occasions, True Life and the owner have lied to the residents surrounding the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club, so why should we trust them now?

 

It is my obligation to make sure that I protect the quality of life in our community, provide the facts and consider the impact of any decision on other areas of our community. Those other areas would include Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses. Any decision made on the Lakes property could and would set a precedent for those other areas.

 

That said, I am not surprised by True Life's development plan. This is what developers do. They promise a “farm” or a “school,” but in reality, they are paving the way for high density development. And if they succeed at the Lakes, it will open the floodgates to high density development in all of our golf courses and in particular Ahwatukee Country Club.

 

We are being told that the Lakes is going to be turned into some type of agricultural setting. This could not be farther from the truth.

 

The same developers that purposely shut down the golf course and created an environmental hazard are coming out with a plan to save our community?

 

The truth is they purposely neglected maintaining the golf course in order to create a wasteland so that the surrounding residents will be put in a desperate situation.

 

True Life is one of the parties that created this blight to exact concessions from neighbors. That is not what a good neighbor does. 

 

True Life owes $1.4 million in back taxes- which could go towards our schools and other vital services for our community. That is not what a good neighbor does.

 

True Life had multiple code enforcement violations because of the way they managed the Lakes property. That is not what a good neighbor does.

 

You and your family take care of your property and pay your taxes. Why should they be exempt from that basic requirement?

 

Do not buy into the argument that these developers don't have money. The amount of money True Life spends every month on public relations and lobbyist could have easily kept this golf course watered and clean.

 

Let's lay out the facts about the developer’s proposal and the impact of development on this property:

 

Fact One: The developers want to triple the density that would normally be allowed on this property. 

 

Fact Two: The Lakes golf course was purposely designed to curb flood waters from negatively impacting surrounding properties. We recently saw many homes surrounding the Lakes property flooded. Imagine what would happen if this property, this open space and flood plain were developed.   

 

These developers live in areas that would never allow this type of density to come into their neighborhood. Nor would their neighborhood ever allow a critical flood plain to be compromised by high density development putting existing homes at risk.

 

Fact Three: The Ahwatukee Lakes was purposely designed to provide an open space for our community. The open space was provided to the original developer in exchange for higher density at other locations.

 

Fact Four: Ahwatukee Country Club has over 2,000 high density units zoned on that property. If it is developed, we are looking at the equivalent of five high-rise apartment complexes on one single parcel of land.

 

Regardless of the promises these developers make, nothing will stop them or anyone in the future from coming in and using the Lakes as precedent. If True Life succeeds, they will have created a model for all developers: neglect a property until it becomes a blight and an environmental hazard, then use strong arm tactics on desperate residents, forcing them to accept anything to make the blight go away, even if that means high density housing.

 

That means Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses would all have higher density on their properties as well.

 

For these reasons, I caution residents not to sign anything until it has been reviewed by an attorney. This plan has nothing to do with agriculture. This is all about maximizing density and profits.

 

Please share this with your neighbors!

 

http://www.ahwatukee.com/news/article_638ac386-5f21-11e6-ab07-0bf52ca36fd9.html

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ARIZONA GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY ENDORSES JOHN McCAIN

Phoenix, AZ —Today, Governor Doug Ducey endorsed John McCain for reelection to the U.S. Senate. The Governor emphasized the importance of John McCain’s leadership for Arizona.
“History will count John McCain as one of the most fearless leaders of our generation and a genuine Arizona hero," said Governor Ducey. "A man who always puts service above self, John McCain is a revered fighter and a fierce advocate for Arizona.

"Our world is marked by uncertainty and conflict. But John McCain has the experience, character and courage to help keep us safe. As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he’s fought to strengthen our military and economy. We can count on him to know and do the right thing always.

"He’s a world statesman, who stands up to our enemies and stands for our values. But he is Arizona’s champion first, fighting for our veterans, our businesses and our families.
"John McCain provides what no one else can: the ability to inspire a generation of leaders to build a future for Arizona even greater than our storied past. His leadership is more important than ever. I wholeheartedly endorse John McCain for the U.S. Senate and I urge every Arizonan to join me.”

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Phoenix, AZ, June 30, 2016 - Andy Tobin, the former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and Governor Doug Ducey’s appointee to the Arizona Corporation Commission, has received the endorsement of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce in his bid for election to the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Tobin said the following, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. Chandler is a state leader in technology and business partnerships. They represent the power and promise of collaborative relationships between government and private enterprise. I look forward to working with Chandler, and all Arizona communities, on growing our economy by promoting lean government and swift results at the Corporation Commission.”

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To learn more about Andy Tobin, his campaign for the Arizona Corporation Commission, or to make a donation, please visit www.andytobin.com.

 

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Scottsdale (June 29)   Today, Steve Chucri released his endorsement from Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.

"Steve Chucri has served Maricopa County well for the past four years, and I am proud to endorse him for re-election to the Board of Supervisors," said Mayor Lane. "Steve's district encompasses Scottsdale and it has been a pleasure to work with him for our shared constituents. I look forward to the continued leadership and partnership."

"I thank Mayor Jim Lane for his endorsement. Mayor Lane has been a tremendous leader for Scottsdale. Working alongside him for the benefit of Scottsdale residents is an honor," said Chucri.

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About Steve Chucri:
Steve Chucri is a native Arizonan who was born and raised in Mesa, but his family’s Arizona roots started in the mining town of Morenci. His family taught him the values of faith and trust, essential elements to running an honest and transparent business. In addition to serving on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, he is also President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, the key voice for the $11.5 billion restaurant industry in Arizona. Representing restaurants on a multitude of industry issues while maintaining small business success has proven to be one of his top strengths. Chucri resides in Paradise Valley with his wife of 17 years, Christine, and their two young sons.

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By Senator Marco Rubio

Friend,

In politics, admitting you've changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes.

I have decided to seek reelection to the United States Senate.

I understand my opponents will try to use this decision to score political points against me. Have at it. Because I have never claimed to be perfect, or to have all the answers.

Still, the people of Florida deserve to know why I've changed my mind.

I have often said that the U.S. Senate can be a frustrating place. And it's true. After witnessing the gridlock that grips Washington, I think just about every American - Democrat or Republican - would agree.

But the Senate is also a place from which you can perform great services for the people you have the honor of representing. And I am proud of the work we have done to help thousands of Floridians over the last six years.

The Senate can also be a place from which great policy advances can be made. I am proud that we have done that too.

But as we begin the next chapter in the history of our nation, there's another role for the Senate that could end up being its most important in the years to come: The Constitutional power to act as a check and balance on the excesses of a president. 

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by Maria Syms

Friends,

Thanks to all of you who took the time to take the quick issues survey last week! Your feedback means a lot to me so thank you again. Over the past week, more than 650 voters in Legislative District 28 took the issues survey. Improving Education was the top vote-getter with 29.2% of the vote followed by Creating Jobs.

As a mom to children who attend both public and charter schools here in LD28, I am vested in improving the quality of education for all. It is time to give Arizona children the best opportunity to reach their full potential. You can see the complete results below.

Respectfully yours,

Maria Syms

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING THE STATE OF ARIZONA TODAY?

Balancing The Budget = 2.1%

Creating Jobs = 22.9%

Eliminating Government Waste = 6.3%

Improving Education = 29.2%

Keeping Taxes Low = 12.5%

Reducing Crime = 8.3%

Securing The Border = 16.6%

Other = 2.1%

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by Biggs For Congress

GILBERT - Today, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, representing over 9,000 members across the state, endorsed Andy Biggs for Arizona's Fifth Congressional District.

"Your endorsement by the F.O.P., one of Arizona's largest police organizations is based on your demonstrated support of significant public safety issues and reflects our beliefs that you best understand the difficult job faced by members of the law enforcement community", said John Orotolano, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Arizona State Lodge.

"I am honored to receive the support and trust of thousands of Arizona police officers," Biggs said. "I am grateful for the sacrifices that they make everyday to ensure that our families and communities stay safe and secure. There are many public safety concerns facing our country, and I look forward to working alongside the members of our law enforcement in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure that they are empowered to do their jobs to the best of their abilities."

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