The Conservative's Corner
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,
Americans for Prosperity Arizona
By Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix City Council District 6
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!
By Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council
Here is the real story behind the latest move to raise your property tax:
Phoenix politicians secretly knew they were going to raise your property tax. For the past several years they have been purposely draining the fund that pays for capital projects and used those monies for merit and longevity raises. Merit increases are pay raises and longevity increases are bonuses.
Politicians use fancy words to confuse the public that they are supposed to serve.
There were two big lies you've repeatedly been told. One, that employees took pay cuts. This is not true. Every year since the Great Recession they were given pay raises and bonuses. What they did was cut the increase in pay. Most government staff continued to receive higher compensation.Read more
By Matt Salmon
For the past three years, I've enjoyed meeting so many of you, both in Washington and around the beautiful East Valley. Unfortunately, this great honor brings with it a heavy price tag. Spending so much time in Washington, D.C. means I get to spend very little of it back home with my beautiful wife Nancy and my beloved children and grandchildren.
Over these past three years, I've learned that's just too great a sacrifice to make, and so it's with a heavy heart that I must announce I will not be seeking reelection this November.
I wrote an opinion piece about this in the Arizona Republic this morning – I invite you to read it so you understand a little more about why I came to this difficult decision.
I look forward to spending my remaining months in office making sure your interests are represented and any problems you have are quickly dealt with.
It's been an absolute privilege to serve you. Nancy and I will forever be grateful for all your support.
READ MY OP-ED
"Why I'm leaving Congress"
The Goldwater Institute has been the driving force in the Right To Try movement, which seeks to allow dying patients with no other options to access investigational medicines. The Right to Try has already become law in 24 states with bipartisan support. But some opposition remains. The primary argument against the Right To Try is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already has an effective alternative for dying patients called Expanded Access, more commonly known as compassionate use.
Now, a new investigation by the Goldwater Institute shows that terminally ill patients rarely have the opportunity to even apply for compassionate use. The complicated and time-consuming process strongly discourages doctors and researchers from working with patients to try treatments that might save their lives. Each year, only about 1,200 terminally ill patients in America will even be able to submit an application for compassionate use. This year, nearly 600,000 Americans will die of cancer alone.
Please read our investigative report “Dead on Arrival: Federal ‘compassionate use’ leaves little hope for dying patients": http://goldwaterinstitute.org/en/work/topics/healthcare/right-to-try/dead-on-arrival-federal-compassionate-use-leaves-l/.Read more
By Christina Sandefur
Executive Vice President, Goldwater Institute
Vice President for Litigation, Goldwater Institute
Private property is a fundamental human right. It is the guardian of all other rights. You cannot have freedom of press or religion if you cannot own a printer or a church. That's why the U.S. Constitution refers to private property more than to any other right.
If we cannot be free to own, use, buy or sell property, then we cannot be free at all.
Today, we are excited to announce the release of a new report that highlights what the Goldwater Institute is doing to protect this pillar of freedom through the Property Ownership Fairness Act. Building on a decade of success in the state of Arizona, our report encourages other states to adopt this model legislation as the most effective means of stopping government from taking away your property rights.
We will discuss the report and our new book, Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in the 21st Century, during a live Internet presentation today from the Cato Institute, starting at noon Eastern Time (9 a.m. Pacific time). Please join us by clicking here: www.cato.org/live.Read more
How do you know you’re in Scottsdale?
The beautiful view of the McDowell Mountains? Indian Bend Wash? A vibrant downtown? Terrific public art?
They all play a role.
But then there is a little thing. Like bus stops. Nowhere else in the Valley is such thought given to their aesthetic. In Scottsdale they are interesting, even noteworthy. But in other cities they are simply rudimentary.
That’s why we applaud an interesting “little thing” idea from Paradise Valley Councilwoman Julie Pace, tonight sworn into her first term after an impressive campaign for the office.
In a recent Paradise Valley Independent interview about her upcoming goals and priorities Pace spoke of an idea to shield utility boxes and the like with more ornamental coverings, as was done during the Town’s impressive redevelopment of 56th Street, between McDonald and Lincoln.
Maybe you notice it. Maybe you don’t. But what Pace speaks to is the limited urban acne Paradise Valley offers.
Sometimes politicians get caught up planning for the next great thing. They search for unicorns and elixirs. But sometimes little things can add up to a very big difference. We hope Pace succeeds in convincing the rest of the Town Council that this is a worthy effort and expenditure. It is.Read more
*On January 8th new Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson takes over from interim one Brian Biesemeyer. It’s the best municipal trade since the Phoenix Suns absconded Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers. Biesemeyer found bureaucracy to be bucolic. That Scottsdale continued to succeed despite his management speaks to just how special a place it is. Thompson has an energy, expertise and appreciation for the position that will surely inject needed oxygen into Scottsdale’s lungs after Biesemeyer depleted it via employee exasperation and his own languishing leadership.
*With talk increasing of Congressman David Schweikert running for Arizona Governor in 2022 successors are already circling. That will be a year of redistricting so who knows what the safe, Scottsdale-based district looks like then but early, strong contenders include Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring. And never count out the Dirty Bird, Ben Quayle. He once represented portions of the district before losing to Schweikert when their districts merged.
*With Maria Syms resigning her Paradise Valley Town Council seat now that she has been elected to the Arizona House of Representatives look for recently departed Councilman David Sherf to gain the appointment. Planning Commissioner Daran Wastchak also deserves consideration as a candidate for the post in 2016.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
*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 HubbardRead more
Their 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.Read more
*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.
*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.
*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.
In 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.
Similarly, 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.Read more
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.Read more
Who 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.”Read more
FROM: J.P. Twist, Campaign Manager
TO: Interested Parties
SUBJECT: How We Won
It was January, and I had just watched a discussion on Channel 8’s Journalists Roundtable, where the panel predicted as high as a 70-some percent victory for Prop 123 on May 17. I almost fell out of my chair. If only they were seeing what I was seeing.
Our first poll around the same time told a totally different story. Just 50 percent ‘yes.’ This would be close to the very end, I remember thinking. The electorate was divided – not just on Prop 123, but on the broader discussion about education funding. Voters of both parties – especially in a low turnout special election and in a toxic political climate – were skeptical of pouring more money into anything to do with the government.
Getting voters the facts and explaining the details of a complicated and important policy proposal would be tough, but as we saw this week, not impossible. From our first poll all the way to Election Day, we knew this was going to have to be an aggressive, expensive campaign. A lot was on the line -- $3.5 billion in education funding over the next decade, the settlement of a years-long lawsuit, and immediate pay raises for teachers all over the state.
Through an intense campaign strategy that relied on constant data crunching, targeted voter turnout investments, an unconventional political coalition and messaging tailored to key constituencies that followed polling trends, Prop 123 has achieved victory.
Here’s how we did it.
WHERE WE STARTED
Despite conventional wisdom, Prop 123 was never a slam dunk. In fact, it never hit higher than in the low 50s in our tracking. It peaked at 53 percent in our April poll. But generally, it always hovered right around 50 percent.
The bottom line is that the race was always close. We knew we wouldn’t just win by chance. And we knew the dynamics of an initiative campaign: It’s a lot harder to get people to ‘yes’ than ‘no.’ If voters are confused, they just say ‘no.’ We always operated under the assumption that the ‘yes’ numbers in our surveys would be what we got, and the “no’s” and “undeciceds” would all ultimately all be ‘no.’
Polling research and focus groups told us a lot. Some said the proposal was too good to be true. “I want to know more,” one female Independent voter said in a March focus group, when the proposition had yet to garner much media attention. “It seems too good to be true.” Our opening ad addressed that – explaining the proposal in a way that was digestible and understandable.
But there were other dynamics at play that stared us in the face and we knew we needed to address.
“Likely voters” in this race differ dramatically from the larger electorate. More than half were over the age of 65. They are more Republican, with an 11-point advantage over Democrats. And they are more Anglo – 82 percent white.
Our universe were hyper partisan, primary-going voters – the very voters animating the unpredictability we are seeing in the presidential campaign. These voters, including Democrats, are extremely skeptical of government, politicians, traditional institutions and whether schools will use these dollars appropriately. The Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders factors were very much on our mind as this campaign unfolded.
For many, it was a tough sell to spend this amount of money without strings attached. Counter-intuitively, among both Democratic and Republican voters, the idea that the proposal was “bipartisan” and backed by leaders in both parties was reason enough to say “no.”
“It makes me suspicious,” one female Democratic voters said in our March focus group. “If both sides like it, there’s got to be something wrong with it.” This is the level of distrust that exists right now in the electorate – the negativism is almost unbelievable, and it got worse every month during the campaign.Read more
by Team O'Halleran
According to the National Park Service, the Grand Canyon National Park supports 7,400 jobs and creates more than $467 million for the local economy.
Protecting the Grand Canyon National Park is not only critical to preserving its majestic landscape, but to securing the economic benefits it provides for our community.
The Grand Canyon National Park provides visitors from across the globe an opportunity to enjoy beautiful scenery and fun recreational activities.
But let us not forget the financial stability the park generates for so many in our community.
Join us to advocate for the protection of the Grand Canyon National Park:
by Friends of John McCain
Phoenix, AZ— Today, National Right to Life endorsed John McCain for the United States Senate. John McCain has fought for policies to protect the unborn and has a 100% voting record on pro-life issues:
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of National Right to Life, an organization that promotes respect and dignity of every individual human being, born or unborn," said John McCain. "As a lifetime pro-life supporter, I have fought to defend the rights of all human life and I will continue this fight in the U.S. Senate."
"All voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to return John McCain to the U.S. Senate, so that he can continue to work to advance vital pro-life public policies," said Carol Tobias, President of National Right to Life.
Other national pro-life advocates praised the endorsement of John McCain:
“Senator McCain is steady and unwavering friend to unborn children and their mothers and we are proud to have him on the side of life. He is a good listener, strategic thinker, and helpful ally in our fight to advance the right to life and protect the conscience rights of pro-life Americans.” – Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List
by Bill Gates for Arizona
Phoenix, AZ – Today the Bill Gates for County Supervisor campaign announced the endorsements of Senator Adam Driggs (R-28), Representative Kate Brophy McGee (R-28), Representative Phil Lovas (R-22), Representative Paul Boyer (R-20), Representative Anthony Kern (R-20), and Representative Heather Carter (R-15).
"I have known Bill Gates for years. He is a hard worker, a man of integrity and someone I call a friend," said State Representative Kate Brophy McGee. "I am proud to endorse Bill for Maricopa County Board of Supervisor. He has proven to be a steward of the taxpayers’ money at the City and I know he will do the same at the County."Read more
SAYS BLACK VOTERS BEING WOOED, BLACK VOTES IN PLAY FOR NOVEMBER
Rev. Maupin's Statement Below:
"As an advocate for Civil Rights, I have an obligation to endorse a candidate for the U.S. Senate that will bring much needed jobs, affordable housing, and infrastructure dollars to Phoenix and other urban areas in Arizona. In this year's November election, that candidate will be John McCain,
"I am endorsing John now, before the general election, because there is urgent work to be done, in the now, to reach out and secure the votes of Black Arizonans and others before November's contest,
"This endorsement is not about Republican vs Democrat, Right vs Left, or Old vs New. This endorsement is about Right vs Wrong. McCain is right for Arizona and his opponents - in his party primary and in the general election - have proven that. How? By taking Black voters for granted and refusing to articulate in a meaningful way how they intend to address poverty, housing, education, employment, and criminal justice issues that disproportionately impact Black Americans. McCain, on the other hand, is actively engaging Black leaders to find policy solutions and creative ways to bridge the racial divide and level America's uneven economic and social playing fields,Read more
By Yes on Prop 123
PHOENIX — Former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl today announced his endorsement of Proposition 123, citing the need for a fiscally responsible plan to help fund Arizona’s public schools.
“Proposition 123 is a common-sense solution that would inject $3.5 billion into Arizona’s K-12 public schools without raising taxes,” former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl said. “It’s a fiscally sound, responsible plan that is badly needed to help students and teachers achieve in the classroom. I strongly encourage you to join me, and many other conservatives in voting YES on Prop 123.”
“Our teachers and students need resources in the classroom,” Sharon Harper, chairwoman of the YES on Prop 123 campaign said. “This is a fiscally responsible plan that puts money in the classroom now. It’s a conservative solution, it’s an innovative solution and it doesn’t put Arizona’s fiscal future in jeopardy. Let’s do what’s right for Arizona — vote YES on Prop 123.”
Prop 123 is a ballot measure that settles a years-long lawsuit and puts $3.5 billion into Arizona’s K-12 public schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes. The proposition goes to the ballot on May 17.Read more
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