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The Conservative's Corner
Featured Editorials
2018 Scrum

By: John Shadegg, Former U.S. Representative

Election Day is less than two weeks away and I would be honored if today you can join me in making a donation to Bob's campaign to help him cross the finish line.

bob-burnsIt has certainly been a long campaign.

Bob reached out to me early on for help. Even as an incumbent running for re-election, the Republican establishment was keeping its distance. Many in the party were hesitant to join Bob in rocking the boat and bringing attention to the state of transparency at the Corporation Commission.

But I didn’t hesitate.

I’ve known Bob for a very long time and I’ve seen firsthand how committed he’s always been to doing the right thing. No matter what Bob was up against, he would always do what’s right for Arizona.

So when Bob needed my help, I knew that I would have his back.

Bob has an important fundraising deadline tonight, and I would be honored if you’ll join me in making a donation to his campaign.

A contribution of $25, $50, $100, or whatever you can give, would go a long way toward helping Bob win a second term on the Commission and to continue his work improving the functionality - and the image - of the Corporation Commission.

It has been a long campaign, and with a final push I know we’ll be celebrating a victory with Bob and his family on November 8th. Please consider making a contribution to help Bob finish strong over this final stretch.

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By: Friends of John McCain

Phoenix, AZ-- Arizona Right to Life endorsed John McCain's reelection to the U.S. Senate, mccainciting his lifelong support for pro-life policies and Arizona families. National Right to Life also endorsed John McCain's reelection earlier this year.

“All Arizonans who are concerned with protecting the sanctity of life and advocating for our most vulnerable should vote to reelect John McCain to the U.S. Senate,” said Greg Hansen, Chairman Arizona Right to Life.  “John McCain has been a tremendous partner in advancing vital pro-life policies and we are grateful for his work on behalf of Arizona families.” 

"John McCain has been reliably pro-life since his first term in the House," said John Jakubczyk, National Right to Life Committee Board Member. "He has worked side by side with Arizona Right to Life, the National Right to Life Committee and the pro-life movement every step of the way.  He was endorsed by both National Right to Life and Arizona Right to Life when he ran for president and has had the support of pro-life leaders and activists throughout Arizona.  We need John McCain in the Senate so he can continue to work for the pro-life cause."   

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Arizona Right to Life, an organization that upholds respect and dignity of every individual human being, living and unborn,” said John McCain. “As a lifelong pro-life American, I have fought to defend the rights of all human life and I will continue this fight in the U.S. Senate.”

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By: Biggs for Congress

Gilbert -The Arizona Right to Life, one of Arizona's leading pro-life organizations, endorsed Andy Biggs for Arizona's Fifth Congressional District. Andy Biggs released the following statement:

"There is nothing more important than defending life. I have made it a foundation of my time in public service to ensure that all life - from the moment of conception, to the final stages - is protected and considered sacred. To that end, I have an extensive history of praying outside of abortion clinics, donating to countless pro-life organizations and advising pro-life organizations at the United Nations. I also have a strong record of sponsoring and supporting pro-life bills that have been signed into law. I've been honored to work with the Arizona Right to Life for decades, and I could not be more honored to have their endorsement for my campaign."

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By: Biggs for Congress

Gilbert - Former Presidential candidate and Former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum endorsed Andy Biggs for Arizona's Fifth Congressional District. Senator Santorum, a prominent national leader in the movement to defend pro-life and pro-family issues, had this to say about Senator Andy Biggs: 

"In the race to replace Congressman Salmon, there is one candidate that stands above the rest when it comes to defending faith and family values – that candidate is Andy Biggs," Rick Santorum said. "People of faith in the Fifth Congressional District can trust Andy to defend these values because he has a proven and consistent record of protecting life, promoting the sanctity of family, and defending religious freedom. As the liberals in Washington continue to wage an intense war on these important values in an attempt to completely turn the tide of society, we cannot allow ourselves to elect people to Congress whose positions on these issues are questionable at best. We must elect leaders who have proven they will stand for us and with us no matter the cost. In Arizona, Andy Biggs has demonstrated his unwavering courage in defense of life, family, and religious freedom, and I have complete faith that he will do the same in Congress. Join me and many other faith-based leaders in supporting Andy Biggs for Congress."

"For a number of decades, Senator Rick Santorum has been a national leader when it comes to pro-life and pro-family issues," Andy Biggs said. "Throughout his time as a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Senator Santorum stood against the Washington Establishment and held firm for our shared conservative principles. Senator Santorum's efforts to protect and defend the unborn and our religious freedoms has been inspiring to millions of conservatives across the country. I am honored to have the support and endorsement of Senator Rick Santorum."

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By: Timothy Sandefur, The Goldwater Insitute

The Goldwater Institute scored a critical victory for a little girl in danger of being taken from the only family she has ever known. This victory before the Arizona Court of Appeals also boosts the Goldwater Institute’s ongoing federal challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The little girl known as "A.D.” was born to a mother who used illegal drugs during her pregnancy. The state immediately placed “A.D.” with a loving foster family and eventually terminated the rights of the parents, a necessary step toward adoption. Two years later, her foster family is ready to adopt “A.D.” and give her a permanent home.

But “A.D.” has ties to an Arizona Indian tribe that presumed it knew better than the foster family, state case workers, and the courts. The tribe invoked the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and demanded that “A.D.” be removed from her family so she could be sent somewhere else.

The Act gives sweeping powers to Indian tribes to block adoption of Indian children by families who are not tribal members. Fortunately, in its decision, the Arizona Court of Appeals agreed with the Goldwater Institute that the tribe waited too long to intervene. So this 2-year-old girl will stay with her family.

This case highlights why the Goldwater Institute is litigating a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act. This law creates a separate and unequal legal system for children of Native American ancestry—a system that makes it harder to rescue at-risk kids from abusive homes and to find them the loving, permanent homes they need.

To learn more about our challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, please click here.

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By: Andy Biggs

“Andy has a plan to reform Washington and rein in the out-of-control federal government”

Gilbert - Today, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced his endorsement for Andy Biggs to replace retiring Congressman Matt Salmon in Arizona's Fifth Congressional District. Governor Walker, widely-acclaimed by conservatives across America for taking on special interests and winning, becomes the latest major conservative leader to endorse Biggs for Congress.

"Andy Biggs is a full-spectrum conservative with an accomplished record of putting taxpayers first and defending liberties from big government liberals at the state and federal levels," Governor Scott Walker said. "Andy has a plan to reform Washington and rein in the out-of-control federal government, and voters can trust his strong leadership to help get the job done."

"It is truly an honor to have the endorsement of Governor Scott Walker," Biggs said. "Throughout his life in public service, Governor Walker has proven himself to be the quintessential conservative leader. His tireless fights for Wisconsin's right to work, pro-life issues, and states' rights have set the highest possible standard for other states and conservative leaders to emulate. He has stood tall and strong for his values and principles - even when the costs for his positions have been detrimental to his political and personal image. Conservatives around the nation owe Governor Walker much gratitude for his unwavering commitments to standing for conservative principles. Governor Walker's conviction and perseverance is an example to me, and I look forward to standing with him for these conservative principles when I am elected to the U.S. House of Representatives."

 

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Check out this article in the Scottsdale Republic showcasing the status quo sycophants of the Scottsdale Unified School District. Here is a link.

What planet do these chastisers of reform live on?

Superintendent Denise Birdwell is rightfully seeking key changes.  What else is she to do?  Accept mediocrity or in some cases tragic outcomes?

Like all school districts Scottsdale is no exception to the funding challenges imposed by conditions in the State of Arizona, both political and economic, over the past decade.  Scottsdale public schools also face potent competition from some of the best charter schools in the country such as BASIS Scottsdale and Great Hearts, as well as a bevy of private schools.

So the choice for Birdwell and the district’s Governing Board is simple:  innovate and improve.  Or wither and die a slow death.

Those who have been slow to adapt to the changing landscape, the educrats of inertia, don’t like the change agent that is Birdwell.  Nowhere is their recalcitrance more repugnant than when it comes to Coronado.  Once a point of pride in southern Scottsdale it’s now an impediment to a continuing renaissance of those neighborhoods.  Graduation rates and academic performance has been poor, to put it mildly.  So Birdwell decided to clean most of the deteriorating house.  Good for her.  And good for the parents and students who will benefit from this brand of leadership.  

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Scottsdale knows what Arcadia is going through. For years things Phoenix have absconded the tonier brand on the other side of its signature street to obfuscate geography.

As the Arcadia area has exploded in popularity so too have developers attempted to elongate what it means to be in Arcadia, in order to boost sales.

Before going further it’s common knowledge that “Arcadia” is the area between 68th Street and 44th Street and Indian School to Camelback Mountain.

But that doesn’t stop some like Scottsdale-based The Empire Group from misappropriating the moniker for marketing purposes. Take a recent advertisement in the Independent Newspapers touting its new “The Villas at Baker Park.” Pay big money for their product on an old nursery site and you too can live “at the epicenter of Arcadia’s vibrant restaurant, retail shops and cultural venues.”

Huh? It would be more accurate to say you could live south of an old Taco Bell at Osborn and 40th Street. Not exactly Arcadia Main and Main. Or an “epicenter.”

Jeopardy is one of the greatest television shows of all time. Geography is a frequent topic. But if it’s ever the one for Final Jeopardy, and you find yourself next to the Empire Group’s Richard Felker, Geoffrey Jacobs or another one of its employees, don’t worry.

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The Town of Paradise Valley rightfully considers itself best in class in so many categories: views, low-density, resorts, proximity to hiking trails, location, public works and no property tax, to name more than a few.

It even has sons and daughters named Goldwater, O’Connor and Rehnquist.

Not often mentioned, though equally important to its impressiveness, are its schools. They range from notable publics like Kiva and Cherokee, to a Montessori school, numerous ones associated with the town’s many churches and even the highly-lauded, private Phoenix Country Day School.

Failure doesn’t come often to Paradise Valley, scholastically or otherwise. Yet, that’s what became of Tesseract at Tatum and Doubletree. There it operated for over a decade with the right to educate up to 340 students, before flunking the test of time.

And there it now sits, a carcass of a campus.

Fortunately, through a rare combination of generosity and ingenuity a solution is at hand.

The property has been purchased by the owners of Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale. Local residents, the owners Chuck and Anita Theisen, know a thing or two about reviving a tired property. Does anyone recall what the bland office building across from Scottsdale Fashion Square looked like before the Theisens revitalized it into an award-winning showplace for some of the finest automobiles on the road?

This time their sights are not set on horsepower, but the power of the possible, with the Jones-Gordon School as its tenant. It has become the best school in the state for educating students with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and other learning challenges. As the Town of Paradise Valley’s staff report puts it: “The school focuses on high-potential students with learning differences and those who are considered twice-exceptional.” The results have been remarkable. Parents have become apostles. They must be to pay the approximately $25,000 per year in tuition.

About a dozen Paradise Valley families, including the Theisens, currently use the school now located in Scottsdale.

The new school is seeking no material changes to the existing building. Indeed, it is asking for an enrollment of 200, not the 340 enjoyed by Tesseract. The school’s only real request is to change the grades from Pre-K to 8th Grade to Kindergarten to high school. Only 60 of the 200 total students could be high schoolers.

But all of this isn’t good enough for a few neighbors. They are upset that high school students might be permitted, notwithstanding the significant drop in overall students.

But doesn’t Paradise Valley already know how this ends? And how the world doesn’t end? We can take a quick trip across town to Phoenix Country Day School. They have a similar number of high school students. We are unaware of any marauding gangs, hooligans or knuckleheads the neighbors are using as their boogeymen. The opposite is true. Perhaps it’s because tuition at Phoenix Country Day is a similar five-figure number.

In situations like these we are always reminded of one of the most infamous Valley neighborhood sirens in the past two decades. Then, the newbie residents of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountain Ranch worried about the Ice Den. They thought the place was going to become ground zero for goofy teenagers and associated problems. How wrong they were. Instead, the Ice Den has become one of Scottsdale’s points of pride, just as Jones-Gordon would if it is added to the educational infrastructure of Paradise Valley.

No brainer is a common phrase deployed to suggest an easy decision. And approval of the Jones-Gordon School this week by the Daran Wastchak-led Paradise Valley Planning Commission, and subsequently by Mayor Michael Collins and the Paradise Valley Town Council would be just that. But it’s also a lot more. It would represent a smart decision to unleash the potential of everyone’s brain and to send a message that Paradise Valley isn’t just best in class because of its riches, but because it never stops enriching what can happen in its classrooms.

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Earlier this year HBO brought to television screens Big Little Lies. It chronicled the fictitious underbelly of money, mothers and mayhem in Monterrey, California. In some ways, Paradise Valley would be a worthy patchwork for a prequel, or sequel. Unfortunately, someone familiar in the tony town’s midst is already bringing an episode to life. And it ain’t fiction.

Right out of central casting it’s taking place on a street called Sunnyvale. Right out of Big Little Lies it involves characters of a country club. Though there isn’t a beach in Paradise Valley as there was in the show, colorful sands play a major role. And there’s a name from Paradise Valley proposals past, Banovac, the realtor trying to enable it all.

All stories must start somewhere and this one does with Tom Hopkins, the globe-trotting, seminar-loving, self-described sales guru. People must be buying some of what he’s pushing because he’s apparently a member of Paradise Valley Country Club. But that’s where his consideration of things Paradise Valley seems to end.

The owner of the aforementioned abode on Sunnyvale, Hopkins is seeking to rent it out to a California drug rehab outfit named Blue Sands. They in turn want to charge as many as ten people at a time up to $45,000 a pop for 30-day stays.

Whoa. And we thought the recent state legislation to allow Airbnb to disrupt Paradise Valley neighborhoods was unwelcome news.

Good stories always need good characters and this one is no different. A broker named Banovac helped to breathe life into the deal in the first place. If that name sounds familiar, it is. The family was once a breathless sycophant to the High Priest of Horseshit, Danny Hendon.

Neighbors are rallying against, lawyering up and protesting much against this ensemble.

After all, wouldn’t you?

It’s not as if those opposed are hard-hearted. There are purportedly 22 other options for rehab treatment within 15 minutes. It really comes down to the hard-heart of Hopkins who appears to have fled to Scottsdale, rather than live on Sunnyvale next to which he seeks to wrought.

Once upon a time a certain Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman observed about the possibility of a medical-marijuana facility coming to town that she was opposed, and state law be damned. Because some things were worth the fight.

Yes, they are. And this is one of them.

We have a better idea for Hopkins and his harem of hard-up fortune hunters feeding off those with hard times. Paradise Valley Country Club. It has plenty of space, and plenty of stories, for Hopkins’ big but not so little neighborhood belie.

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Yesterday one of Arizona’s great self-congratulators, Zach Rawlings, announced a purported solution to the rancor he has caused in the Arcadia area.  There he remarkably transformed a noble effort to save and preserve the David Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, into an exercise in noblesse oblige.

So worthy was he that he should be entitled to run over the concerns of neighbors and utilize the property for concerts and commercial activity.  Arcadia neighbors and Phoenix Councilman Sal Diciccio had none of it.

So yesterday Rawlings announced his grand solution:  some type of partnership with what was formerly known as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and a tax-write off for himself to the Arizona Community Foundation.

Curiously, he didn’t invite any neighbors to celebrate his victory vision, probably because his acolytes contend the place will still be a place of intense activity, attracting upwards of “30,000 people annually.”

At the heart of the announcement while balloons adorned the building was and is the notion that supporters of the Taliesin architecture school will be able to raise upwards of $7 million to let Rawlings out of his controversial Arcadia corner.

This will be a tall order since the organization has never proven to be a prolific fundraiser.  Nevertheless, it sparked an idea.  If things Frank Lloyd Wright are looking to lance community boils there’s another place it could turn its attention:  Scottsdale.  And the proposed Desert Discovery Center (DDC).

Opposition to that intrusion in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve has caused an uproar that makes Rawlings’ misreading of Arcadia look docile.  Indeed, the Valley has rarely seen a more foreceful and intense grassroots opposition to anything.  Even in this hot summer month the “NODDC” group has announced several events, some to crash those organized by Desert Discovery Center supporters.  That’s chutzpah.  And smart.  

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The Scottsdale City Council can be a feisty group.  Sometimes they disagree just to be disagreeable.  Other times genuine philosophical divides arise.  That’s why it’s so refreshing when the council unanimously confers and consents to wise policy.  The recent decision to alleviate local art galleries from taxing out of state sales is a case in point.  After all, it is oxymoronic to encourage people to visit Scottsdale’s arts scene only to tax them more onerously than peer markets.

Later this year Scottsdale leaders will again have another opportunity to send a strong message in support of local arts.  The Scottsdale Gallery Association is expected to make a pitch for local tourism tax funds to revitalize Thursday Night Art Walks.  Once upon these were grand city traditions.  An excuse for first dates, or an anniversary stroll.  For serious art eyes, or the more casual.  A boost for local restaurants.  A cause for downtown.  More recently, however, said environs on Thursdays have become a more hollow shell of former selves.

Better promoting art walks is a request with merit, and deserving of support.  Combined with the City Council’s previous patronage of the Museum of the West and more recently an expanded Canal Convergence, Scottsdale decision-makers are smartly doing what they can to get the local arts scene back to a more picture perfect place.

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By their nature master-planned communities tend to be large.  In Arizona it doesn’t matter if they are in Scottsdale, Mesa, Buckeye or Glendale they tend to stir up scrutiny and debate.

That’s a good thing.  Dialogue, debate and discussion tend to yield the best possible result.

A look around the Valley shows just that when it comes to master-planned communities that have been built.  What’s one, anywhere, that is cause for consternation?  Which brings us back to Glendale.  There the top-ranked homebuilder in Arizona, Pulte, is proposing to build a $450 million, 395-acre master-planned community called StoneHaven.  It would be located in and around 91st Avenue and Camelback.

Some neighbors like it and some don’t.  Others like the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and Glendale Firefighter’s Association like it a lot.  So does the hometown newspaper, The Glendale Star, which has enthusiastically endorsed the plan.  Businesses in Westgate purportedly like it a lot too, fearing the departure of certain Coyotes they understandably want and need more nearby customers.

The backdrop to all of this is the story of Glendale’s comeback.  Once derided alongside Detroit it’s now more like a certain President two decades ago:  The Comeback Kid.  Businesses are flocking to the community, city finances are recovering and where ridicule existed revenues now do.  

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The Tempe streetcar project that has been in the works for years is finally underway after receiving a $50 million federal grant, which is supposed to be a good thing. It was slated to get $75 million. The Trump Administration gave it a haircut.

The project will result in a three-mile streetcar loop that weaves through downtown Tempe, ASU, and Mill Avenue to connect riders to nearby neighborhoods, shops, and businesses in the area.  There will be 14 stops, and two of these will connect to light-rail stops so that people can switch from one circuit to the other with ease.  The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2020.

Considering that the project is now estimated to cost a whopping $186 million, the extra $25 million that Trump cut will be missed.  Valley Metro officials are still holding out hope of getting the extra $25 million.

On top of potential budget issues, lingering doubts persist as to whether or not the project will really be all that beneficial in the long run, and yet construction is about to begin anyway.  Assuming that the project finishes on schedule, businesses will still be severely affected by three years of construction in downtown that will lead to decreased accessibility and blockage.  If the project drags on past its expected completion, there could be serious long-term implications for these stores and companies situated in the areas under construction. 

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As former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods rightfully serves as a co-chairman of a nascent campaign committee to overturn Republican excess at the State Capitol to restrict citizen’s rights, his hypocrisy in another part of the state is notable.

We have written before of Woods and his disdain for disclosure as it relates to why he is opposing a new automobile country club in Maricopa, Arizona known as Apex.   Here are some links:

http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/smell-wilmer-moles/

http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/worst-public-affairs-campaign-ever/

http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/lost-maricopa-woods/

He leads the Clandestine Cartel, joined by ethical invertebrate Joe Villasenor and Smell & Wilmer’s Nick Wood.

Widely suspected to be doing the bidding of the Attesa project near Casa Grande which believes its racetrack plans so poor it cannot stand purported competition in Maricopa, the Clandestine Cartel have reverted to every anonymous, dark money trick in the book to oppose and slow their perceived rival.  Following Maricopa’s unanimous and enthusiastic approval of Apex, they even imported both a Phoenix and Scottsdale resident in Villasenor’s orbit to form a committee to oppose Apex, even though the City of Maricopa has deemed their efforts unlawful.  It’s totally normal of course for a Phoenix and Scottsdale resident to get involved in a local, Pinal County issue. Not!  Save for the financial motivation and interest of another business with an inferiority complex.

Which leads us to even more hypocrisy.  Attesa’s purported direct or indirect opposition of Apex has focused on how bad the project will be for “noise,” “traffic” and other falsehoods promulgated about the private facility in Maricopa. They have runs ads on local cable television and online broadcasting as such.  None of this is true as Apex is a private facility and must get a special event permit from the city to hold large events.

Ironically, what does a quick look of Attesa’s entitlement applications in Pinal County reveal?  A desire to attract a lot of racing events with “20,000-25,0000” people to its track.  Sounds like a lot of noise. And traffic. And as for the probability of attracting such events to justify its extraordinary entitlement requests we’re sure Phoenix International Raceway and Track President Bryan Sperber will be surprised, as they are in the midst of a $150 million upgrade.  Sperber’s concerns may be tempered by the serious questions surrounding Attesa’s ability to get an assured water supply in the near term, if ever.

Integrity the boys at Attesa appear to not have but chutzpah they certainly do.

And that leads us to a discussion about Pinal County and its elected leaders:  Supervisor Steve Miller, Supervisor Tony Smith, Supervisor Pete Rios, Supervisor Todd House and Supervisor Mike Goodman.

To reward this type of conduct by Attesa, if true, would be political malfeasance.  Actors, and henchman, such as these are not what have positioned Pinal County on the threshold of an economic boom.  They should send a strong message, just as Maricopa Mayor Christian Price and the entire Maricopa City Council did when Woods came calling.  Go home.   We know what’s best for our part of the world.  And you aren’t it.

In previous editorials we have welcomed, even encouraged Attesa, to write us and tell us where we are wrong.  So far, crickets.  It appears they find their own charade so clever they have lost sight of professional moorings with others.   So unless and until Attesa’s owner Dan Erickson and all of his employees and consultants can assure Pinal County officials, perhaps with affidavits, they are not behind or funding the skullduggery in Maricopa, directly or indirectly, they should delay if not reject all of Attesa’s requests.

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The second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is coming up but the jockeying to be the next Mayor of Phoenix has long been underway.  Mayor Stanton is term-limited and will depart in 2019, if not before.

So let’s take a look at those in or eyeing the starting gate, and the odds associated with each for the not too far away contest.

Phil Gordon (3/2):  How can this be say you?  Because, technically, acute observers may recall he didn’t fill out his entire two-year term.  He resigned a week before.  A court will surely decide whether Gordon can run.  He certainly wants to.  If so, he would start out as a strong favorite.

Tom Simplot (2:1):  The former Councilman and current head of the apartment lobby has all the ingredients a Phoenix Mayor needs.  Pro-business, social conscience and he’s not afraid to make a decision, a ding on the current occupant of the office.  He’s well spoken and serves with a smile.  Simplot has a story to tell and will be able to raise money though he does have some blemishes on his record (i.e. Valley Metro) that could come back to bite him.  

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If Scottsdale is Beverly Hills its next door neighbor in Paradise Valley is Bel Air.  Two great communities in California, just as they are in Arizona.  Bel Air has a superiority complex towards its better known proximate, not unlike Paradise Valley exhibits to Scottsdale.

Yet, in one area there’s no doubt where Scottsdale shines far more:  preserving its mountains.  IMG_4155

A view of the McDowell Mountains in north Scottsdale is to see a beautiful face without blemishes.  Mummy Mountain and Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley?  Full of acne.  Well-heeled, mind you.

The Town of Paradise Valley has long had a noble commitment to private property rights.  As did Scottsdale until a band of visionaries like by people such as Drinkwater, Carla, Rau, Decabooter and Korte decided the McDowell Mountains were a treasure worth preserving.  And voters agreed.  What private property was needed for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve was acquired by fair market value.  Today, two decades later, Scottsdale’s tourism, recreation and quality of life are the better for it.  

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It’s hokey.  A little run down.  The elements don’t always work.  And it certainly looks a little odd amidst the nice shopping and large offices on Scottsdale Road.

It is the Cracker Jax Family Fun Park.  Birthday parties.  Batting cages.  A driving range.  Race cars.  Volleyball courts.  Video games.  Miniature golf.  Bumper boats.  The place is a throwback to a different time.

Yet, there it sits as a nice respite for young and old, rich and poor, to escape for a time with some affordable fun.

Unfortunately, the day will soon come when the land is too valuable to support a business funded with quarters and tokens.  This is a story Scottsdale knows all too well.

Rawhide. Greasewood Flat.  Pinnacle Peak Patio.  The Kachina Theater.  All have succumbed while the city is fortunate that others like the Rusty Spur and Coach House have not, and continue to fight the good fight.

We hope Cracker Jax stays in the ring for as long as possible because Scottsdale is a much better place (and certainly more fun) with it continuing on rather than yielding to redevelopment with yet more apartments.  A toy surprise at the end of Cracker Jax that will not be.

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By Friends of John McCain

"I know how hard John works for veterans, for the military, for our national security-- and I know that John McCain is a national treasure."

Phoenix, AZ —Today, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed John McCain's reelection to the United States Senate, citing his leadership on National Security.

"I strongly endorse Senator John McCain," said Speaker Gingrich. "A genuine American hero, a man who has endured a great deal for his country, and a man who I work with and watch him provide leadership as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.  I know how hard John works for veterans, for the military, for our national security-- and I know that John McCain is a national treasure. Somebody who’s making a real difference, a man of great courage, who is a patriot, who serves his country without fear. I hope you do everything you can to make sure Senator John McCain continues to work in Washington on your behalf, and on behalf of all Americans."

"I am honored to receive the endorsement of Speaker Gingrich, a long-time friend and leader in the Republican Party," said John McCain. "Throughout his career, Newt has been a strong voice for conservative principles. I appreciate his support and I look forward to campaign ahead.”

Recently, John McCain received the endorsement of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, former Arizona Governors Brewer, Symington and Hull, ArizonaAttorney General Mark Brnovich, as well as 57 current and former Arizona mayors.

He has also received the endorsement of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Right to Life, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Border Patrol Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

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John McCain has spent his lifetime in unwavering service to America, both in the U.S. Navy and representing the people of Arizona in the U.S. Congress. He has led the fight to strengthen America's national security and our armed forces, eliminate wasteful government spending, and reform government to make it more responsive to the American people.

 

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By Sheriff Paul Babeu for Congress

To many it may seem like our nation is in dark times, but with the right leaders, we can make America strong and safe again.

Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is one of those people. A firebrand who stood up to President Obama and was the architect of Arizona’s economic comeback.

She’s notThank you Governor Brewer. to be messed with.

Now, she has endorsed me for Congress. To say I am honored is an understatement.

"We need leaders like Paul who get things done. Paul is a truth teller, just like me, who will take the fight against corrupt liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.”

“His proven record of fighting crime, achieving Arizona's largest drug bust and standing up against Obama proves he's the fighter Arizona needs."

We have the momentum, we have the support, and now we need to close strong to win the primary on August 30th, and begin the fight for victory in November.

 

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By Virginia Korte

As you probably remember, my family sold Chevys at the corner of Scottsdale and McDowell Roads for 28 years. So I had firsthand experience of the ups and downs of the McDowell Road Corridor.

Because of my deep roots in this great area of our city, I am proud of our efforts to revitalize Southern Scottsdale, including the new businesses that have located here and the pride existing businesses have taken in improving their properties.

SkySong and the more than 1,500 employees who work for the scores of companies at the facility have also played an important role in restoring the prominence of the McDowell Road area.

Recently we learned that four restaurants are soon to be built on the property which will not only cater to SkySong employees – but also those who work and live in nearby neighborhoods. Last week we received even more good news: A Starwood hotel is going to be built at SkySong.

The 120-room hotel, which will be located in the southwest area of the property, is expected to attract people traveling on business either to SkySong or elsewhere in Scottsdale as well as families wanting lodging near the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens.  Anticipated to be approximately 100,000 square-feet, the city will receive $42,000 a year rent for the hotel in addition to collecting bed tax dollars to support our tourism industry.

SkySong and Starwood are only part of the story of success for Southern Scottsdale.  I still believe the best is yet to come.

PS:  I have posted a new video on my YouTube site that I think you will enjoy.  Please visit: youtube.com/c/VirginiaLKorte

 

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By Friends of John McCain
Phoenix, AZ-- Today, Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is skipping town to hob-nob with liberal allies in California. But this is not the first time Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has desperately turned to her liberal cronies to buoy her lackluster campaign. She traveled to Hollywood a few months ago to participate in a four-day, closed-door conference of big money liberal fundraising network Democracy Alliance.
Congresswoman Kirkpatrick's private fundraising event today in San Francisco is yet another example of how she would rather give her time and attention to liberal special interests than talk to her own constituents. But this comes as no surprise. Her "campaign" to date has consisted of private meetings and pay-to-play events. From speaking at closed Planned Parenthood dinners, to fundraisers hosted by Emily's List and Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick is spending more time with the liberal establishment than Arizona voters.

Let us not forget one of her allies, Emily's List, made derogatory comments about Hispanic leaders supporting John McCain, referring to them as a “fake business coalition” conducting to customary politico “taco stop” and that John McCain was quick to put on his “Hispanic sombrero.” Even the Arizona Republic blasted these comments noting “what's really insulting is the presumption Latinos all think alike.”

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By Weiers For Mayor
Great News From The Latest Polling Data!
Ordinarily we keep our internal polling to ourselves, but several of you have forwarded me an email from my opponent where he claims they just polled and he’s winning by 3 points (34%-31%). Since his polling is as made up as his public safety data, we thought we’d make an exception and share real polling with you.

Not only are we ahead overall by a nearly 2-1 margin (35% - 18%), we’re also ahead within each group of voters, so we’re winning Republicans, we’re winning Democrats, and we’re winning Independents.

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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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