The Conservative's Corner
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
By South Carolina Senator Tim Scott
Our nation’s future is on the line this election. We must nominate a strong conservative leader who will fight at all costs for our country and put our citizen’s needs before their own.
We need the person that can defeat Hillary Clinton next fall to be our nominee.
That’s why today, less than three weeks before the all-important primary in South Carolina, I’m standing up for and endorsing Marco Rubio.
I spent a lot of time thinking and praying over this decision. This is an important election, and I did not take this decision lightly.Read more
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is warning that the satanist group wants to ban all prayer; that is their ultimate goal. He added that he is concerned that if the Phoenix Mayor and City Council sneaks a last-minute proposal to ban all prayer and replace it with a moment of silence as demanded by the satanist group, they'll be handing the satanists a big win.
"The goal of the satanic group has always been to ban all prayer. If the Mayor and Council were to give into the satanists; then they would be granting them their wish," Councilman DiCiccio said.
The Councilman began expressing his concerns last week that the ultimate plan of the Mayor and Council was to secretly move the prayer ban at the last minute making it impossible for the public to have the input on the decision.
"Should a prayer ban be successful in Phoenix you will see a ripple effect extending to other cities in the state," the Councilman added. "This will be just one more step in a social engineering for political correctness for Phoenix. It will be an embarrassment if Phoenix leaders end up on the same page as the satanist group."Read more
Public Opinion Strategies, the polling company to Governor Ducey, Senator McCain, NBC and the Wall Street Journal, among many others, just concluded a October 17-18 survey among Scottsdale voters.
As they showed in their September survey Mayor Jim Lane maintains a big lead over former Councilman and failed State House of Representatives candidate Bob Littlefield. Lane holds a 28-point advantage with undecided voters shrinking to 20%, many of whom are leaning towards Lane but who may choose not to vote in a down ballot race, underscoring the significant challenge before the flawed challenger. Additionally, most people feel the city is headed in the right direction and Littlefield’s favorable/unfavorable ratings are weak.
There is little bad news for Lane in the survey who maintains strong, commanding leads in all parts of the city and with all subgroups. And the notion of one Littlefield serving as Mayor while the other serves on the City Council at the same time remains very unpopular. Indeed, after researching the matter Arizona Republic reporter Parker Leavitt was unable to find another example in America where a husband and wife were conjoined on a council.
The mayoral race stands in stark contrast to that for city council where four candidates are vying for three seats. As it now stands:
Virginia Korte: 27%
Dan Schweiker: 27%
Guy Phillips: 25%
Suzanne Klapp: 23%
Phillips may yet garner one of the three seats but clearly made a strategic blunder so closely associating with Littlefield. Schweiker continues to outperform with Republican audiences, benefitting from his close name association with the popular Congressman David Schweikert representing the area.Read more
The Unbearable Lightness of Being was a 1984 work about two men and two women. It’s an appropriate reference to the tale of Scottsdale 2016 and the unbearable idea of two Littlefields serving on the City Council at the same time.
Mayoral candidate Bob Littlefield also likes to be on two sides of every issue. He was for the Desert Discovery Center before he was against it. He was for developer subsidies before he was against them. He was for tall apartment projects until he isn’t, unless they are big campaign contributors. The list really has no end, but the latest example is just too rich.
Earlier this year Littlefield threatened Notre Dame Preparatory High School’s non-profit status because they had the audacity to have Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane speak to some of their students about civics. Littlefield bizarrely thought he was entitled, as he does many things, to equal time even though Mayor Lane’s appearance was entirely apolitical.
Think how craven someone must be to threaten one of Scottsdale’s leading educational options this way?
Oh, the irony.
Over the weekend the head of the Scottsdale United Amateur Soccer League sent out an email encouraging people to vote for Littlefield. He might be the only one still left in Scottsdale encouraging votes for Littlefield, who, in a Friday night forum apparently now doesn’t mind the idea of “Satanists” praying at City Hall. So will Littlefield tell this organization, also a non-profit, to go to hell too? Of course not. But the good news for Scottsdale is that Bob Littlefield is going to have a lot more time to play soccer after the voters give him a red card on November 8th.Read more
*A second candidate poll in Scottsdale this week finds the City Council races tight (as the poll before it did) with Mayor Lane maintaining his commanding lead over Littlefield.
*The real question now for Littlefield’s ill-conceived mayoral run is how badly it will hurt his wife re-election’s prospects in 2018? It will likely be significant. And with Councilman David Smith uncertain to run again, the council candidate field could be much deeper than 2016.
*Speaking of this year’s Scottsdale council races incumbent Suzanne Klapp has raised a stunning amount for her campaign, likely a new record for a seat – by a wide margin.
*Glendale shook up the West Valley and all of the Valley some 15 years ago when it started doling out public dollars for economic development projects. That was made possible by city voters supporting an amorphous bond question which was ultimately utilized for sports facilities and other projects. History seems to repeating itself. Peoria is not only throwing millions in public funds to revitalize the struggling “P83” entertainment area but in November it has placed on the ballot a large city sales tax increase whose primary purposes seems to be a fund like Glendale had.
*The Summit Group is a well-regarded political consulting group in town. But what will they be doing the night of November 8th if marijuana legalization passes but Sheriff Arpaio is defeated? They’re both clients.
*Phoenix City Hall was atwitter with talk this week that former Phoenix City Councilman and current United Phoenix Firefighters’s Association Bryan Jeffries could make a run for Mayor since Greg Stanton is in his final term. Others who have expressed interest include Tom Simplot, Michael Nowakowski and even Phil Gordon, the last of whom would need to overcome legal obstacles. Current Councilmembers Danny Valenzuela and Kate Gallego are said to be eyeing the seat themselves and certainly have formidable constituencies from which to wage a strong campaign. Either will be in the discussion to be appointed as Mayor too if Stanton leaves early for a Clinton Administration or seeks another political office.
*The likely order of finish in the upcoming Arizona Corporation Commission race? Burns. Tobin. Mundell. But the race remains fluid as resources remain a challenge for all.
*Those backing the minimum wage hike that will be on the Arizona ballot November 8th are doing so in the name of worker’s fairness and rights. Yet, the campaign behind it stiffed the petition circulators, the very people their measure is designed to help.Read more
The embattled Bob Littlefield has many problems as he seeks to become Scottsdale’s Mayor at the same time his wife is serving as Vice Mayor. Bad polling numbers. Mayor Lane’s adoption of a “Two Littlefields Are Too Much” message which is devastatingly simple for voters to understand. Etcetera doesn’t do justice to the enumeration that could take place on what plagues Bobastic.
Yet, two examples and two people underscore Littlefield’s ills quite well. That’s because campaigns are about addition. But to look at the Screamer of Scottsdale is to see only subtraction. Indeed, Susie Wheeler is a top Scottsdale equestrian and has long been a Littlefield supporter. But not this time. She’s endorsed Mayor Lane because of his commitment to the community’s ranch culture while Littlefield wants it to gallop out of town.
Then there’s George Zraket. He was Bob Littlefield on the Scottsdale City Council before Bob. Indeed, as anti-business as Littlefield is – even wanting to shut down small businesses in Scottsdale’s downtown – Zraket makes one of the two Littlefields look like Richard Branson. Yet, according to Lane’s social media, he showed up at the Mayor’s house this weekend to support him. That’s remarkable. Despite a similar political philosophy Zraket has such disregard for Littlefield he opted for the pro-business Lane. Maybe Zraket was inspired by seeing the most popular musical in the land that regales Alexander Hamilton’s decision to endorse Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr. He did so because while disagreeing with Jefferson he realized he had principles where Burr purportedly had none. Like Littlefield. (By the way, a tip of the cap here to Scottsdale businessman and former Mayoral candidate Bill Crawford for introducing “Hamilton” vernacular into this year’s mayoral race dialogue).
Credit goes to Scottsdale and some unlikely citizens for realizing this. It’s one thing for Grumpy to be one of the Seven Dwarfs, or one of seven members of the City Council. It’s quite another to have him as one of one, the Mayor of a great city like Scottsdale.Read more
According to a new poll conducted September 14-15 by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the country’s more notable pollsters with extensive experience in Arizona and Scottsdale, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane holds a commanding 27% lead over former Councilman Bob Littlefield. And that’s before Lane has started spending the bulk of his substantial campaign coffers.
Lane’s large margin is an uptick from another pollster’s findings in May that had the popular Mayor up by 17%.
With his second consecutive election loss looming the question now is how badly he’s damaged his wife’s re-election prospects in 2018. Bombastic Bob is trailing by wide margins everywhere in Scottsdale and with every sub-group. The poll also found Scottsdale voters disagreeing – by huge margins – with the notion of Bob serving as Mayor at the same time his wife Kathy serves as Vice Mayor and/or as a councilwoman.
The city council races are much closer with Suzanne Klapp setting the pace at 31% followed by Virginia Korte and Dan Schweiker at 29% with Guy Phillips currently trailing at 26%. Respondents, made up of 300 voters in Scottsdale’s 2012 or 2014 General Election were given the choice of voting for up to 3 candidates. Phillips appears to be hurt by his close association with Bob Littlefield whose FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE numbers are poor. Schweiker is enjoying the opposite dynamic. His name proximity to popular U.S. Congressman David Schweikert is aiding his support among Republicans, especially in the northern part of the city Schweikert represents.Read more
With massive reserves in place and some terrific new resorts coming online the tony Town of Paradise Valley doesn’t have too many problems. But there are two items on the horizon worth recommendations.
The first is the likely departure of Town Councilwoman Maria Syms. She was the top vote-getter in the August 30th GOP Primary Election for one of two seats in Legislative District 28 for the Arizona House of Representatives. Securing one of those seats in November seems likely.
Since town councilmembers are not paid Syms is not required to relinquish her Paradise Valley duties. However, that would seem the likely progression as the demands of being a rising star in the lower chamber take hold.
If so, the appointment to fill her seat will be made by Mayor Michael Collins and the remaining members of council. But there really should be no deliberation and no applications. Daran Wastchak should gain the nod by acclimation.
While Wastchak has come up short in two bids for Town Council he has had the guts to step in the arena. He also serves admirably on the Paradise Valley Planning Commission. He was the next closest finisher in the recent election that saw Mark Stanton re-elected and Julie Pace and Scott Moore elected for the first time.
If and when an appointment to Council becomes necessary Wastchak should be the easy call.
Away from Town Hall and up Camelback Mountain many nearby residents remain up in arms about a plan to build a giant new home on the most elevated private property on the mountain. While Paradise Valley is a community rightfully adhering to property rights this new project is raising legitimate concerns. For example, engineers cannot guarantee that large boulders in the building envelope will not fall to homes below. All of this begs the question: With budget surpluses and a penchant for preservation why not consider buying this lot and other problematic ones in town to further preserve Camelback and Mummy Mountain much like Scottsdale is preserving the McDowell Mountains?
Recently, Scottsdale leaders wisely made the decision to purchase a home that intrudes on the majesty near Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Why shouldn’t Paradise Valley consider likewise? In a clash between one person’s ego versus the overall environment we know how the community would best be served, and we bet residents would be willing to pay for preservation, this time and in the future.Read more
*The Arizona Republic’s breathless liberal opinionistas can’t understand why Governor Ducey would speak at a Trump rally, as he did this week. It’s simple. He doesn’t want to get primaried in 2018, and Trump ally and State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt looms as a potentially formidable challenger. There may be others. Anyone would start as an underdog versus Ducey – Kelli Ward’s failure against McCain being a perfect example why. Yet, stranger things have happened.
*All Hail Christine Jones. Whatever one thinks of the blind ambitionist, her successful execution of the “outsider” strategy in the Congressional Five GOP Primary was terribly impressive. Yes, those who spend the most in congressional races usually win. Still, waltzing into the East Valley and buying a seat well, it hasn’t been done that well since . . . John McCain in 1982.
*Donald Trump effectively labeled opponents during his presidential primary. “Low Energy.” “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane ain’t like The Donald in approach but his recent labeling of long-shot opponent Bob Littlefield as a “Crazy Uncle” gets the gold medal so far for Arizona political monikers.
*Speaking of Littlefield the guy is just one big gaffe machine, and an offensive one at that. According to online commentary he’s called Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven a “Great Satan” and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and renowned Scottsdale businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons “scumbags.” What a gem. Is anyone still thinking of voting for this guy?
*State Representative Jay Lawrence had one of the best radio voices during his nights at KTAR. And whoever his sign guy is deserves a “best of” award too for the best placements.
*Speaker Syms? Special advisor to Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman. And now top vote getter in the GOP primary for Legislative District 28. She’s threading a lot of political needles in her run so far, portending a real shot at a House leadership position in future years.
*If Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins maintains his two-term pledge look for just re-elected Town Councilman Mark Stanton to emerge as the most likely successor in 2018.
*As the public mostly rails against the idea of new taxpayer funded facilities for the Diamondbacks, Coyotes or Suns, the City of Phoenix is assembling a massive taxpayer subsidy package for Fry’s to land downtown. It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction: big taxpayer help for billionaire sports owners bad but big taxpayer help for billionaire grocery store owners good?
*The City of Peoria’s new sales tax hike proposal – billed as a quality of life tax – has political support built on quicksand.
*Kirk Adams is Governor Ducey’s Chief of Staff. With the exception of a starring role in a suspect Arizona Republic story about pressuring State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt into supporting Proposition 123 he has largely avoided trouble. That’s not easy to do for any Chief of Staff. But people are now starting to talk: Are some of his recommended appointments and positions more about aiding himself once he resumes his lobbying career?
*Paul Ryan was supposed to have a tough GOP primary but blew away his opponent by an extremely wide margin. Closer to home, Sheriff Arpaio had a primary too. He was running against Donald, Mickey and Goofy. Yet, more than one-third of the electorate abandoned him. That’s a troubling and underreported sign heading into a difficult November election.
*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu won his Congressional District One GOP Primary but hardly in spectacular fashion. He struggled in every county besides his own where he ran up the score. And nearly all – if not all -- of his favored candidates in Pinal County for County Attorney, Sheriff and Supervisor lost. So, unlike McCain who won by a surprisingly large margin for momentum heading into the General, Babeu limps.
*So State Representative Rick Gray sold his political soul to Arizona Public Service only to have the company renege on a Full Forese. Finishing out of the money on Tuesday night it’s almost easy to feel sorry for the guy. Almost.
*There are a lot of reasons for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ anemic showing Tuesday night, despite an easy campaign narrative of a Glendale comeback. Among them were an incredible disloyalty to the firefighters, business leaders and others that supported him in 2012. It’s a lesson for all Arizona elected officials, from Governor Ducey on down.
*Seeking to make a name for themselves in political circles a number of younger consultants are trying to get into the polling business. They are cutting corners to cut costs. As a result the results are largely garbage. A case in point was a recent article by the Arizona Republic positing how good Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell was looking for re-election. It relied on polling results from one of the neophytes. Our case in point.
*We’re losing track of how many times Wendy Rogers has lost whatever she’s been running for in recent years. She lost again Tuesday night. Hopefully this will be the last time Arizona has to endure her on the ballot.Read more
Why is Bob Littlefield’s quixotic campaign for Scottsdale Mayor stuck in the mud? A lot of reasons.
He’s anti-business, even supported by a union that used scorched earth tactics to shut down Arizona’s home grown grocer, Basha’s. He’s been on both sides of just about every issue in town from development to subsidies to the Desert Discovery Center. He’s the ultimate politician that’s out of step with so much of what Scottsdale is and stands for.
But another reason he’s slogging through mighty mud mania is the bizarre world he is seeking to enter. He wants to be Mayor at the same time his wife is Vice Mayor. It’s strange and problematic. Just as it would be if Joanne Lane ran for city council at the same time her husband was serving as Mayor. Or if State Senator John Kavanagh didn’t serve in the Arizona State Legislature but on the Fountain Hills Town Council with his wife Linda who is the current mayor.
Littlefield of course says not to worry. It’s no big deal even though it’s never happened in Arizona history from what we can tell.
But judging from Littlefield’s recent actions it is a big deal. Because he’s already embarrassing the city.
Consider what just took place in the Scottsdale Airpark. There GoDaddy Founder and impressive Scottsdale philanthropist Bob Parsons unveiled his latest investment in the city, a large television and video production facility. In attendance were Scottsdale Mayor Lane, Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Stanton and members of the Scottsdale City Council, invited in their official city capacity to celebrate an important private sector contribution to the economy. Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield was there too, as she should have been.
And belittling Bob Littlefield came along for the ride. He who only days before called Parsons (and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill) “scumbags” for supporting Lane.
Putting aside the indignity of attending someone’s event he had just show scorn for Bob Littlefield proceeded to video tape the event, especially Mayor Lane’s remarks, presumably for some bizarre political campaign purpose.
He embarrassed himself and Scottsdale in so doing. In the highly unlikely event Littlefield’s Arizona Lottery like quest for Mayor is successful it won’t be the last time the unprecedented combination of a husband and wife on the Scottsdale City Council make the city like adulterated rather than appreciative.Read more
By: Sal Diciccio
The public is being misled by True Life and the underlying property owner. On several occasions, True Life and the owner have lied to the residents surrounding the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club, so why should we trust them now?
It is my obligation to make sure that I protect the quality of life in our community, provide the facts and consider the impact of any decision on other areas of our community. Those other areas would include Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses. Any decision made on the Lakes property could and would set a precedent for those other areas.
That said, I am not surprised by True Life's development plan. This is what developers do. They promise a “farm” or a “school,” but in reality, they are paving the way for high density development. And if they succeed at the Lakes, it will open the floodgates to high density development in all of our golf courses and in particular Ahwatukee Country Club.
We are being told that the Lakes is going to be turned into some type of agricultural setting. This could not be farther from the truth.
The same developers that purposely shut down the golf course and created an environmental hazard are coming out with a plan to save our community?
The truth is they purposely neglected maintaining the golf course in order to create a wasteland so that the surrounding residents will be put in a desperate situation.
True Life is one of the parties that created this blight to exact concessions from neighbors. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life owes $1.4 million in back taxes- which could go towards our schools and other vital services for our community. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life had multiple code enforcement violations because of the way they managed the Lakes property. That is not what a good neighbor does.
You and your family take care of your property and pay your taxes. Why should they be exempt from that basic requirement?
Do not buy into the argument that these developers don't have money. The amount of money True Life spends every month on public relations and lobbyist could have easily kept this golf course watered and clean.
Let's lay out the facts about the developer’s proposal and the impact of development on this property:
Fact One: The developers want to triple the density that would normally be allowed on this property.
Fact Two: The Lakes golf course was purposely designed to curb flood waters from negatively impacting surrounding properties. We recently saw many homes surrounding the Lakes property flooded. Imagine what would happen if this property, this open space and flood plain were developed.
These developers live in areas that would never allow this type of density to come into their neighborhood. Nor would their neighborhood ever allow a critical flood plain to be compromised by high density development putting existing homes at risk.
Fact Three: The Ahwatukee Lakes was purposely designed to provide an open space for our community. The open space was provided to the original developer in exchange for higher density at other locations.
Fact Four: Ahwatukee Country Club has over 2,000 high density units zoned on that property. If it is developed, we are looking at the equivalent of five high-rise apartment complexes on one single parcel of land.
Regardless of the promises these developers make, nothing will stop them or anyone in the future from coming in and using the Lakes as precedent. If True Life succeeds, they will have created a model for all developers: neglect a property until it becomes a blight and an environmental hazard, then use strong arm tactics on desperate residents, forcing them to accept anything to make the blight go away, even if that means high density housing.
That means Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses would all have higher density on their properties as well.
For these reasons, I caution residents not to sign anything until it has been reviewed by an attorney. This plan has nothing to do with agriculture. This is all about maximizing density and profits.
Please share this with your neighbors!
By: Jim Derouin
Scottsdale’s version of P. T. Barnum, Bob Littlefield, is back. After twelve unproductive years on the City Council, he needs a job and is now running for Mayor. He wrote a column in The Scottsdale Republic, which portrays himself as a crusader for citizen issues, entitled: “Scottsdale Needs a Leader Who Will Protect Its Unique Character.” Well, that’s Bob’s version of the truth. In fact, Scottsdale has never seen a more self-promoting, negative, destructive and divisive politician in its history.
Bob argued that someone is proposing commercial development in the Sonoran Preserve. Wrong. Bob attacks everyone who disagrees with him as being an agent of a developer; literally, he sees a developer behind every tree. Wrong. Bob is also wrong when he pits North against South in bond elections; and when he was so reckless in his opposition to city bond measures that he shot down a school bond initiative that got caught in his irresponsible rhetoric. He calls that “leadership.” If that is “leadership,” we don’t need it.
He also rants against apartments and density, but, in typical fashion, Bob was for density before he was against it. He not only voted for the two tallest buildings in Scottsdale (known as the Scottsdale Waterfront Towers), but, in doing so, he also voted to impose an emergency clause which cut off the right of citizens to challenge the vote. An emergency clause is intended to be used when immediate implementation of an action is needed for matters threatening public health or safety; it was never intended for constructing a residential building. Subsequently, state law was changed to specifically prohibit the use of the emergency clause for such a purpose. Isn’t this curious conduct for someone who claims to be the Great Crusader against density? It is also important to realize that Scottsdale would benefit if more of the 100,000 commuters who work in Scottsdale, and who drive to and from Scottsdale daily, actually lived here. Apartments and condominiums, although not for most of us, represent the new entry point for many “buyers” and are attractive for many who want to both live and work in Scottsdale. Having residents being able to both live and work in Scottsdale has many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored out of hand.
Bob also continues to take credit for fighting “wasteful subsidies.” He knows full well, however, that subsidies are outlawed by the state constitution and, also, specifically in the Scottsdale City Charter. I know because I served on the Task Force that recommended adding the prohibition to the City Charter, a provision that was, subsequently, approved by voters. In short, if something is a “subsidy,” it is both illegal and unconstitutional. If something is not a “subsidy,” then a candidate shouldn’t be misleading voters by calling it one. But this approach is consistent with Bob’s strategy to be loudly against things for the sake of letting us know, loudly, that he is against things. Never let an opportunity go by to attack someone else’s idea.
In short, Bob is a garden variety professional politician; and what Bob really stands for, besides himself, is stagnation--the reduction of Scottsdale’s tax base, the decline of tax revenues, the decline of services, the decay of infrastructure and the reduction of the quality of life for City residents. He is a “free lunch” politician, arguing that we can have all the services, infrastructure and quality of life we want provided that we just do nothing. His shtick is stale; the con job is old. Bob should get a private sector job and stop pretending that he is Robin Hood. That role has already been cast.Read more
America knows Beverly Hills 90210 as one of America’s most famous zip codes. It’s starting to know Scottsdale 85255 as one of its best.
According to the Arizona Republic’s Catherine Reagor the northern Scottsdale neighborhoods of McDowell Mountain Ranch, DC Ranch and Grayhawk have surging property values.
And for good reason. They are uniquely somewhere. At the base of the McDowell Mountain Mountains. With great recreation and parks nearby. Proximity to the 101. Great golf courses. A terrific aquatics center. Good schools. The family mecca that is the Ice Den. And even its own version of Central Park known as WestWorld.
The celebration of this area is a lesson in the Scottsdale politics of 2016.
When proposed these developments were contentious. They involved “rezonings.” And it’s hard to believe that the Ice Den itself took a tortured trip all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court just to be allowed to open.
Yet today they are part of Scottsdale’s signature. The success of the 85255 is part of what makes Scottsdale so strong. When combined with revitalizing southern neighborhoods, the constant quality of life offered in Scottsdale’s central regions and the distinctiveness of the northern reaches its not wanting to claim the city as one of the best in America as Mayor Jim Lane often does.
But to listen to politicians like Robert Littlefield who are anti-business and anti-progress (and who probably sit at home watching television with rabbit ears) is to understand these neighborhoods would have never been if he was in charge. He never would have approved their “rezonings.” Good thing he wasn’t in charge judging from how good they have turned out and how much they have enriched Scottsdale’s reputation and quality of life.
As we celebrate Scottsdale successes like the 85255 it’s important to consider the kind of people that made them possible in the first place. They certainly weren’t like Robert’s Rules of Order.Read more
By David Brooks
New York Times, The Opinion Pages
As usual, there were a ton of artists and musicians at the political conventions this year. And that raises some questions. How much should artists get involved in politics? How can artists best promote social change?
Click here to read more.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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