Join us on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!

The Conservative's Corner
Featured Editorials
2018 Scrum

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."

Read more

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."

Read more

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.

Read more

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."

 

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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.  

Read more

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. 

Read more

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.

Read more

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.  

Read more

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.  

Read more

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.

Read more

In 2012 Arizona Speaker of the House Kirk Adams was the unquestioned frontrunner to replace Jeff Flake in the United States Congress.  Flake decided to run for the U.S. Senate that year.  Adams had done a very good job as Speaker and had the backing of John McCain, retiring U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, his fundraising apparatus and even Sarah Palin.

But it was not to be.  In most any other election the outcome would have been different.  We doubt Adams much regrets the loss as he has gone on to become the highly-respected Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

So why wasn’t it meant to be?  Because Matt Salmon decided he wanted to return to Congress.  Popular, honorable, recalled fondly, Salmon’s previous tenure in the district proved too much for Adams to overcome. IMG_4155

Fast forward to Paradise Valley, Arizona in 2018.  The well-regarded Mayor, Michael Collins, has decided two terms and his rapid-fire record of achievement is enough.  He announced so earlier this year.

Potential candidates started lining up, something we wrote about previously.  Here is a link. 

And something has happened since.  Former Paradise Valley Mayor Scott Lemarr appears to want to return to public service, as Mayor.  If that’s the case others may want to concoct a campaign against the notion but it might be a little like a salmon swimming upstream.

Paradise Valley enjoyed very good times under Lemarr before.  Why wouldn’t it again?  That will be the challenge for anyone to overcome against someone who grew up in the community and grew to be very well-liked as Mayor.  Lemarr is not a fat man.  But he may very well be accompanied by a Fat Lady as the campaign trail nears.

 

Read more

If Phoenix Rising is capturing the Valley’s attention as its dynamic new minor league soccer team, it’s the notion of Glendale Rising that should be getting major league notoriety.

That’s because it wasn’t too long ago Glendale, Arizona was considered too financially ruinous to succeed.  It was even a municipality that considered bankruptcy.

That was then.  This is now.  Look what an insightful article in the Arizona Republic this week had to say about Glendale’s improved financial condition.  Here is a link.  Quite an accomplishment indeed.  It’s a real testament to the tenacity of Mayor Jerry Weiers, the Glendale City Council and top city staff from City Manager Kevin Phelps on down.

So it makes sense with more public stability comes greater private investment.  Like BMW deciding to set up shop in the city, a business that will contribute mightily to Glendale’s sales tax revenues.  Or Conair’s one million square foot expansion.  Or Pulte, Arizona’s top homebuilder, wanting to invest nearly $400 million for a new master-planned community near Westgate.  According to a city economic impact report that project, known as StoneHaven, will pump $49 million into Glendale’s coffers.  The city certainly appears to be on a roll, except for a voice from the past, that’s gone back to the future.

We have great respect for Glendale Councilwoman Joyce Clark.  She’s different and serves with a sass not often found.  That can be refreshing.  So it’s not disrespectful for us to scratch our heads about Clark’s opposition to StoneHaven.

The community, on farmland long owned by the John F. Long Company, one of Arizona’s great community benefactors, would be a bastion of young families.  The plan includes no apartments.  But it does include a grocery store, something the area has coveted but needs more rooftops to support.  Right now the shopping dollars of area residents often travel across the street or down the road into Phoenix benefitting that city but not Glendale. 

Read more

An interesting story just got more so.

We’ve previously written about the public affairs debacle in Maricopa and the professional pugilists that have come to town to upend a popular plan for a private motorsports club called Apex.  Here is the link. The project gained unanimous Planning Commission and City Council support despite their black arts, underscoring the Keystone Cops approach led by former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods.  The smackdown of the “opposition” at the City Council hearing was epic, led by Maricopa Mayor Christian Price’s dismantling of Woods.

Woods, who is likely to have never been to Maricopa in his life, showed up opposing the case but wouldn’t say who was paying him, though it is widely believed to be Attesa, a project in nearby Casa Grande that oddly believes it must “kill” Apex in Maricopa for success.  They must not think very highly of their own business plan.  The owner is an eccentric individual, but that is a topic for another time.

The plot thickens and the stench? More pungent.

Let us say here if any of this isn’t true we welcome Attesa and its lawyers and lobbyists to send us clarification and submit an alternate point of view.

Woods was purportedly hired by Snell & Wilmer, the law firm for Attesa.  Arizona’s largest law firm and previously one with a sterling reputation apparently didn’t like the optics of the too obvious connection so they dished out their dirty work to Woods.  The Snell & Wilmer effort is led by Nick Wood, no relation to Grant Woods.  Wood has also apparently brought in Joe Villasenor, a former City of Phoenix staffer well known in Arizona real estate circles, to assist with the anonymous attacks. 

Read more

It’s where moms and dads teach their kids to play golf and seniors can find an affordable, accommodating place to enjoy the links.  It is the beloved Coronado Golf Course, a jewel in southern Scottsdale.

With its nine holes and driving range traversing the Indian Bend Wash, city property and some 7 acres of private land Coronado is a testament to city governments past who knew how to get the public and private sector working together for the common good.  Scottsdale has managed to lay off major recreational, flood control, landscaping and other costs on the private sector.  Compare this to other municipal courses around the Valley including Tempe’s Rolling Hills just a few miles away.  There, the city has had to pump millions into the property just to keep it going.

But Scottsdale doesn’t have to do that at Coronado.  This doesn’t mean the operation doesn’t have challenges.  There is only so much money in the driving range and affordable golf course business.  It even faced elimination over a decade ago when one of the most controversial city managers in Scottsdale history, Jan Dolan, sought to replace the course with practice fields for the San FranciscIMG_4332o Giants.  Scottsdale elected officials can still hear their ears ringing from the outcry of golfers who successfully rallied against the plan.

Fast forward to the present.  Two neighbors living on the ninth hole with too much time on their hands have asked the city, via a citizen’s petition, to not allow new driving range poles to be erected.  And, they have asked the city to eliminate the golf course and expand El Dorado Park into it.

This is asinine.

Anyone at the City of Scottsdale from Mayor Jim Lane to Virginia Korte to Kathy Littlefield to anyone on staff should have their head examined if they entertain such a notion. IMG_4333

First, the poles.

Here are some pictures of the current fencing between the driving range and 9th hole.  The fencing is old and needs to be replaced in order to protect golfers playing the final hole.  So what does the owner responsibly do?  Buy wooden polls from SRP and begin the process of replacing the fence with new netting and such posts about 40 or 50 feet high.  But TWO neighbors don’t like that idea.  So city staff makes the golf course operator’s life miserable. What gems.

Mind you, wooden utility poles  run up and down Miller behind the neighbor’s homes.  Wooden poles are used for driving range protection at the Continental Golf Course just north of Coronado.  And they are used at the Cracker Jax driving range in north Scottsdale.

So why not here?  Double bogey is a bad score in golf and it describes these two stooges and their illogical argument.  IMG_4335

Next, what about the idea of eliminating the golf course and expanding El Dorado Park into it?  Does anyone know where those millions will come from?  This would be Villa Monterrey on steroids at a time when Scottsdale has less money for capital projects, especially needless ones.  Don’t forget 7 acres of the course is private land.  So that would require condemnation of the land, payment and then ongoing maintenance.  All of this would need to take place over the outcry from the course’s constituency which numbers in the tens of thousands.  It can be reignited at any time, just like the San Francisco Giants’ caper.  We hope the owner strongly considers doing this to remind all at the City of Scottsdale that city leaders past created a real gem on those acres.  And it should remain that way rather than so frustrate the owner that he finally throws up his hands, throws away the course and puts apartments on his 7 acres.  Now that would be a travesty, but also some sweet justice for those who luxuriously complain about a golf course as a neighbor only to get some big, ugly apartments as new ones.

 

Read more

Capitalism can break down caste systems.  It can also build them up.  When one is successful in technology, financial services or real estate, the latter which happens quite often in Arizona, a certain strata is achieved.

But not everyone gives back.  Not everyone chooses to deploy their expertise, riches or both.

But in the case of SunBelt Holdings CEO John Graham the opposite is true.

Graham has owned and developed properties Arizona over.  And if you happen to find yourself admiring the south side of Tempe’s Town Lake these days, Graham has a lot to do with it.  You see, he’s the developer of Marina Heights, the mammoth project anchored by State Farm, sitting along the water in front of Sun Devil Stadium.  The architecture is impressive and of its setting.  It’s a job well done.

And speaking of impressive look at this article in last week’s Arizona Republic talking of Graham’s civic ethic, working to turnaround Valley YMCA operations.  It’s a noble effort that is touching thousands of families.  Here is a link.

So while the concept of noblesse oblige is distinctly French our state is lucky to have a business leader who doesn’t treat helping his community, in a big way, as a foreign concept.

Read more

The Phoenix New Times champions itself as an advocate for the oppressed.  It turns out the paper also has a history of oppression, or at least making money from it. At least according to prosecutors in California and a congressional investigation. The story is finally being told.  It just took a while.

Until recently, it was an underreported fact that New Times founders Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin launched the now infamous Backpage as a section of the New Times. Indeed, when the New Times was in its heyday gunning after mostly conservative targets, it was making some serious coin from the Backpage.

It has never been a secret that the Backpage made a substantial amount of money advertising “Adult Services.”  It has been consistently alleged that some of the ads tragically involved pimps and underage girls. That, one could say, would be the ultimate oppression.

In 2011, the parent company for the New Times and the Backpage started taking heat for this practice, which led to this article in the Village Voice called “Real Men Get Their Facts Straight.”  The article criticized a campaign to deal with sex trafficking by disputing figures and making sport of its spokesman Ashton Kutcher.

Lacy and Larkin would later sell their journalistic enterprises and retain Backpage. Its current ownership is the subject of debate but Lacey and Larkin’s ties to it must be strong enough that criminal charges and congressional investigations have been brought against the duo. The criminal charges were later dropped but  Backpage suspended its adult section in January. And when Lacey and Larkin recently found themselves in the legal crosshairs, their former employee, New Times Columnist Steve Lemons dutifully wrote in their defense.

But something unexpected has happened. Traditional media outlets and Arizona reporters started covering this story. Richard Ruelas’ recent article didn’t pull any punches. Here is a link.

And then some student journalists from Cronkite News covered political contributions Lacey and Larkin have been making. Here is a link.

Lemons has left the New Times to work for the Southern Poverty Law Center. His victory lap following Joe Arpaio’s loss in the polls was anything but humble. But Mr. Lemons should be humbled by his consistent support for his former bosses who made millions operating Backpage. Sure it’s a free speech issue; but how could Lemons not have been troubled by the allegation that Backpage was used to pimp women and underage girls.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

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

 

Read more

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.

###

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.

Read more

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. 

Read more

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%

Read more

Arizona Progress & Gazette: Arizona News, Editorials & Debate