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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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Bt Rachel Sacco

This year marks Experience Scottsdale’s 30th anniversary, and we are kicking off a yearlong celebration hallmarking three decades of promoting travel and tourism in Scottsdale. We wanted to start that celebration with a sincere thank you to our members, partners, stakeholders and supporters.

Thank you for being a part of the Experience Scottsdale story – whether you have just joined our efforts or have been with us from the very beginning. We couldn’t do our jobs without you.3

The first chapter of our story began in 1987, when the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce formed its convention and visitors bureau division. As the pages have turned, we have grown from a four-person team within the Chamber to a standalone organization with a staff of 45.
There have been many chapters in the Experience Scottsdale story over the course of 30 years, with each bringing change and development.

But one thing has remained constant over all these years: Our unwavering commitment to bolster the city’s reputation as a tourism destination.

We have stayed true to our commitment. In each chapter, Experience Scottsdale has positioned Scottsdale as a world-class vacation, meetings and group travel destination. We have helped keep our destination top of mind for all customer segments, from meeting planners to leisure visitors to travel professionals.

And we have done so by sharing your stories.

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By Scottsdale City Councilmember Virginia Korte

As 2016 is winding down and with Christmas less than one week away, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and also a Happy New Year.  I hope you, your family and friends have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Soon the City Council will return to work -- so I want to let you know about my number one priority for 2017.virginiakorte_bio

It is critical that we begin aggressively investing in improving the city’s infrastructure.  Our current infrastructure needs are estimated to be in excess of $300 million.  If we do not start to seriously address those needs, it will be exceptionally difficult to catch up.

As the costs mount, we cannot afford to ignore maintaining the city’s systems and structures that contribute to our quality of life.  Keeping up with our infrastructure needs is also important in continuing to make our city a destination for visitors and something that attracts new businesses.

I hope you will join me in not only supporting the need to focus on our infrastructure, but also in advocating that we start planning to make the essential investment necessary to keep Scottsdale special and prospering.

I invite you to give me your thoughts on how we can achieve these objectives.  You can write me at Korte@KorteScottsdale.com.

Again, have a safe and happy holiday.

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The songs.  The homecomings.  The Proms.  The friendships.  The cheerleading.  The college pursuits.  The first loves.  The buddies in the locker room.  The playoffs.

There are certain things we never forget about high school.  Yet, in the case of Notre Dame Prep football players were robbed this year of memories that go with playing in the playoffs due to the misdeeds of adults.

When violations by the school’s program became obvious the Arizona Interscholastic Association came down with a harsh punishment.  No playoffs for perennial prep power Notre Dame this year. Parents were enraged and organized efforts to appeal.  It almost worked.  The coach was fired.  Other steps were taken.  But the scalp that many thought would demonstrate sufficient remorsefulness was that of school President Jim Gmelich.  Yet, he refused to resign.  The Diocese and Gmelich placed themselves about the kids.

It wasn’t just self-absorbing.  It was obviously deficient because everyone knew at the time of the appeal that Gmelich was a dead administrator walking.  So why not just do the right thing and resign then so graduating seniors and the rest of the team didn’t have to suffer?  Because the spoiled souls thought they could survive the soiling.

But of course that wasn’t to be.  Just last week Gmelich was gone as the President of Notre Dame Prep.

Some 25 years ago Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye” was one of those songs all high school Proms played.  It’s too bad Gmelich adopted that slogan at the time of his crisis rather than do right by a football team who still have a prom coming up in the new year but will never be able to get this past season back.

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Well, it certainly took the Scottsdale City Council long enough, but they appear to have found a terrific City Manager.

Former Casa Grande City Manager Jim Thompson is the chosen one, after three rounds and eighteen months of interviews.

The community will soon come to appreciate the erudite Thompson for his energy and purpose. He’s not one to belabor the bureaucratic journey.  He’s a person that wants to get things done.

And you can tell he’s appreciative of being in Scottsdale.  It’s a challenge.  It’s a great city.  It’s the big leagues.

One anecdote after Thompson got the job said it all.  City wordsmithers had crafted a press release announcing his hiring.  In presenting copy to their new boss they posited he could take as much time as needed to look it over and even get back to them the next day.  Thompson’s reply?  Go with it.  Looks good.  You know your job.

After enduring the last 18 months of the interim City Manager under whom morale lagged and the business community furrowed its brow Thompson’s conviction, command and lack of cowardice when it comes to making decisions is refreshing.  The interim City Manager never understood politics.  Thompson does.  He understands democracy involves all different voices from all different walks and that a City Manager’s impact is not just based on being the smartest guy in the room, or a command of issues, but his standing among those whose voices count as much if not more than his or hers.  Indeed, the interim City Manager was so incontinent on matters people and politics he thinks no one notices when he stacks important evaluation committees with acolytes from the one department he actually does know something about – water – or speaks inappropriately to his bosses, the City Council.

Thompson can’t start his post soon enough.  While it officially doesn’t begin until January 8th every Scottsdalian should be appreciative of the holiday gift he represents.

 

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*Bob Littlefield still hasn’t called Jim Lane to congratulate him on the Scottsdale Mayor’s race.  And they’ve been together at events.  #Classless

*Are the Democrats going to produce any sacrificial lamb to run against Doug Ducey in 2018?  Or just pass altogether?

*A big light rail fight could be coming to Chandler, Arizona

*Soon, Cave Creek Mayor Vince Francia will ride off into the political sunset.  How he has ruled over the most ungovernable town in Arizona with decency and distinction for so long is one of the most underappreciated municipal accomplishments of our time.

*Is a new user soon coming to the old Barney’s space at Scottsdale Fashion Square?

*Marijuana legalization will be coming back in 2020 not 2018

*In our opinion the worst and most ethically deficient political consultant in Arizona today is former Arizona legislator Phil Hubbard

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alex-3Their monkey wrench gang vitriol and antics are almost enough to get even us to reverse our opposition to the Desert Discovery Center.  Almost.  

But what can’t be denied is how swiftly the “NO DDC” group’s political stock has fallen since November 8th.  

They went all in for Bob Littlefield in his challenge to Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.  He got trounced.  

The group sought the defeat of Councilmembers Suzanne Klapp and Virginia Korte.  They finished first and second in the voting.  Their chosen candidate, Guy Phillips, barely survived, narrowly beating back a challenge from Scottsdale newcomer Dan Schweiker.  

Then it was revealed here how deficient NO DDC’s self-professed leader Jason Alexander truly is.

But the resonant revelations about the group’s increasing impotency can best be found in an analysis of Scottsdale’s November 8th precinct tallies.  As Lane, for example, ran up more than 70% of the vote in some areas of the city he won narrowly in the two precincts where the Desert Discovery Center was an obvious concern.  Littlefield actually bested Lane by some 20 votes in DC Ranch but lost by 200 in the WestWorld precinct.  This is where it gets interesting.  Lane clobbered Littlefield in all other northern Scottsdale precincts.  Desert Highlands, Grayhawk, Granite Mountain.  Littlefield discovered scant votes in those and other desert centers.  

What’s that tell us?  

Beyond these two, proximate areas of the city voters just don’t care about the Desert Discovery Center.  And that’s a problem for the project’s opponents moving forward.  

Indeed, we can’t understand why congressional Democrats kept Nancy Pelosi around after so much failure.  And we don’t understand why the understandable opposition to this McDowell Sonoran Preserve imposition would cede itself to a gang that can’t shoot straight.  At a minimum they should get away from personal attacks and the belief they know how to operate like Axelrod or Carville.   The merits of the argument are, and should be sufficient.  It better be, because their standing as a political force looks more like a penny stock.  

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*Dan Schweiker may take another run for the Scottsdale City Council in 2018.  All three incumbents – Linda Milhaven, David Smith and Kathy Littlefield – are suggesting they will run too.

*As the Scottsdale City Manager saga turns . . .  it appears that new candidates will be interviewed in early December with a decision possible December 8th.

jim-norton*If lobbyist Jim Norton can find a way to get a massive tax break for a new Arizona Coyotes arena through the Arizona State Legislature Trump should immediately send him to the West Bank to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

*In an interview this week with John Gambadoro, the biggest radio voice in Arizona sports, Coyotes’ Minority Owner Anthony LeBlanc said he didn’t want a public vote.  Gee, wonder why?

*Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela is not shying away from rumored mayoral aspirations and could assemble an interesting campaign coalition.

*Speaking of mayoral aspirations count Mary Hamway, Paul Dembow and Mark Stanton among the leading contenders to succeed current Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins in 2018.

brnovich*Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has put together a very impressive host committee list for his first major fundraiser toward his 2018 re-election campaign.

 

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lane portraitIn Scottsdale even winners apparently whine too.

After the Scottsdale Mayor’s “Laneslide” victory Tuesday night and subject council election results the Arizona Republic and Parker Leavitt properly interviewed candidates for a story.
Expectedly Bob Littlefield didn’t congratulate Lane on a race well run. Indeed, he still to this day hasn’t had the class to call with congratulations.  Littlefield carped about not having the resources to compete with Lane even though he had had them to win all of his other races in Scottsdale.  Maybe it had to do with calling the city’s business leaders “scumbags” and warning all in the business community “you should fear me.”  Littlefield even included a missive on one of his mailers talking about all the “dark money” Lane was receiving in the race.  That was a lie.  Lane didn’t benefit from a dime of such support.  That Littlefield couldn’t raise sufficient money speaks to his own deficiencies. After all, Hugh Hallman ran for Mayor of Tempe in 2004 without taking a single contribution with those having interests before the City Council and won in an upset over the establishment candidate.  Sound familiar? Littlefield just couldn’t get it done.

littlefield at deskSimilarly, council victor Guy Phillips also lamented “dark money” in his race – it was limited – confusing what the Realtors Association did in support of his opponents.  Their support was fully transparent, listing the source of the money used on their mail pieces.

Note to Littlefield and Phillips:  dark money is anonymous.  Get your facts and terms straight before casting aspersions.  In the case of Littlefield it’s par for the course but in the case of Phillips it undermines his impressive re-election accomplishment.  Be a guy who’s a grateful winner not a whiner.

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Part I:  City Manager Search

A key rule in life and business is when something isn’t working don’t keep doing the same thing.  Change course.  That’s certainly in order now that the Scottsdale City Council has again failed to reach consensus on a new City Manager, which is long overdue.

It’s confounding that the apparent direction from council is to go back to the same process and outside consultants that have failed before.  Will the third time really be the charm?  We think not.

So here are some people and procedures that should be considered so this embarrassing saga for Scottsdale doesn’t continue.  The city’s leaders need to remember this is Scottsdale not Buckeye and act accordingly.  If you don’t like the people you’re being fed go recruit talent across Arizona and the country that can easily be identified to you.  Baseball teams don’t outsource General Manager searches to human resources.  Their owners and presidents identify and recruit.  The same should be done now by a subcommittee of the council that has yet to coalesce around one candidate.  This search committee might be made up of Mayor Lane, Councilwoman Korte and Councilman Phillips, each members of the conflicting caucuses.  Fritz Behring was a City Manager hired by acclimation.  It shouldn’t be this difficult.

Absent this new process go back to people that have well served the city in the past, or who could in the future.  People like Lisa Collins, Dan Worth, Dick Bowers or Topeka, Kansas City Manager Jim Colson who was passed over previously.

The city is badly in need of a permanent City Manager.  And badly in need of changing the way it’s going about it.


Part II:  Special Event Funding

In 2010 Scottsdale voters wisely chose to slightly increase hotel taxes to better fund Scottsdale tourism.  Part of those funds are dedicated to assisting new events become the next Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show or Waste Management Phoenix Open.  Results have been mixed, as can be expected of any new program.

But one recent approval should be repulsive to all.

Upon a recommendation from the Tourism Development Commission the Scottsdale City Council approved $82,500 for the azcentral Food & Wine Festival.  Notwithstanding there are 9,000 such festivals around Arizona (and this one is owned by USA Today & Arizona Republic who hardly need promotional help) the event was held in 2015 at Scottsdale Fashion Square.  But for its 2016 event held last weekend it decided to move to Salt River Fields.  The audacity to ask for Scottsdale monies as it exited the community is almost impressive if it weren’t infuriating. Unbelievably, a commission and council indulged.  Furthermore, the event was taking place on the exact same weekend the same groups decided to apporppriate $60,000 for the “Grand Prix” in downtown Scottsdale.  Notwithstanding the paucity of that event why would any Scottsdale leader subsidize an event outside of Scottsdale to compete with one it was contemporaneously funding in downtown?

Scottsdale has been duly recognized for being an effective run government.  This is an exception to the rule and should not happen again.

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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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Dear District 3 Residents,

It is a pleasure to have been selected by the Phoenix City Council to serve as your Councilwoman.  I have lived in the same area in Phoenix for 30 years and look forward to furthering the progress of District 3 and the city of Phoenix.

We are a special and unique community with diverse areas that include Moon Valley, Sunnyslope, North Mountain Business Alliance, North 32nd Corridor, Paradise Valley Mall, and our Phoenix Mountain Preserves.  My role is to represent you, and as your new Councilwoman, I want to ensure that there is open communication between the council district and its residents.

As Councilwoman, my priorities include:

  1. Promoting economic development while ensuring fiscal accountability
  2. Serving the constituents of the City, in particular District 3
  3. Streamlining regulations for residents and businesses while not compromising public safety
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By Congressman Matt Salmon

I invite you to take a moment to watch my video message about why I am supporting Andy Biggs to replace me as your next Congressman.

Click here to view the video

There are plenty of candidates who run for office to fulfill their lifelong ambitions or dreams – Andy Biggs is not one of them. Andy is running because he believes it is his sense of duty to fight for us in Washington.

I’ve known Andy Biggs for several years and I know he is the right kind of principled conservative that we need in Congress. Andy will continue the fight against the Washington establishment who just want to go along, to get along. 

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By Korte Scottsdale

Everyone realizes the role arts and culture have played in building Scottsdale’s brand.  Our city not only has a history of promoting arts and cultural activities, other cities attempting to expand their involvement in the arts measure themselves against Scottsdale.

Arts and culture contribute to our economic development by attracting businesses that create jobs.  And, of course, the arts enhance our special quality of life that we all enjoy.

The topic of today’s email is the seldom-mentioned ways our art galleries, museums and ongoing cultural and entertainment events augment the education of our future generations.

Study after study consistently conclude the same thing: art programs and a community’s cultural opportunities help students improve their learning at every level of their education.  Participation in the arts improves students’ reading and language skills.  Students exposed to arts and culture even perform better in math.  In addition, it has been proven that these types of opportunities also help develop our students’ “higher-order” thinking tasks. 

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Candidate for AZ Corporation Commission Andy Tobin
Files Thousands of Signatures

Phoenix, AZ - Today, Andy Tobin, the former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and Governor Doug Ducey’s appointee to the Arizona Corporation Commission, filed 11,306 signatures to qualify for the ballot. The Tobin campaign filed nearly twice the necessary amount of signatures needed.

Tobin said the following, “During this campaign I have met with Arizonans from all across our beautiful state, and I am incredibly humbled by the support and words of encouragement that I have received. It is not a one-man job to collect 11,306 signatures, which is why I am so thankful for those who joined our team and spent countless hours helping me get my name on the ballot. Above all, I want to thank every single Arizonan who took the time to sign my petition - we could not have come so far without your support. Serving and protecting the taxpayers of Arizona has been my mission and my passion, and I look forward to continuing to serve you on the Arizona 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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Phoenix, AZ – Today, Republican Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates filed more than 2,000 nominating signatures for County Board of Supervisors, which is almost three times the 711 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

“I am honored and humbled by the amount of support I have received since announcing my intent to run for the County Board of Supervisors,” said Gates. “I am looking forward to a spirited campaign as I work to gain the support of the voters of Maricopa County District 3.”

Additionally, Gates officially resigned his council position under Arizona’s “Resign to Run” law before filing his nomination paperwork.

“It is a bittersweet moment as I close one chapter of my life and open another,” Gates stated. “I am incredibly proud of all I have accomplished at the City of Phoenix with the help of so many including: my colleagues; city staff; the great residents of Phoenix and District 3; and of course my friends and family. Thank you for your advice and support.”

Gates, who has represented Phoenix Council District 3 for the past seven years, issued the following letter of resignation to Mayor Stanton:

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GILBERT (May 27) -  Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona announced their endorsement for Senate President Andy Biggs for Arizona's Fifth Congressional District.

Andy Biggs released the following statement:

"It is humbling to receive this support from the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona. Firefighters and paramedics across Arizona sacrifice so much to serve our communities, and their valiant efforts should never go without our constant expression of gratitude. I look forward to working from the U.S. House of Representatives with our first responders to ensure that residents in Arizona's Fifth District can continue to count on the best service and care from their public safety officials."

The Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona released the following statement:

“The Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, representing 7000 Fire Fighters and Paramedics throughout Arizona, proudly endorses Andy Biggs for Congress. “

“Andy Biggs has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our public safety and has been a fierce defender of the principles that guide good governance as established in the Constitution of the United States of America.”

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