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The Conservative's Corner
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2018 Scrum

On Monday, September 21, Coolidge, Ariz. voted on a highly controversial issue: whether or not to limit the prayer before a city council meeting to only Christian prayer. The proposal was unanimously shot down.

When Councilman Rob Hudelson, a pastor for a local Baptist church, brought the topic forth on September 14, the topic was passed into a proposal by a 4 – 2 vote. What happened in one week that a topic, which was once popular, would be unanimously rejected?

Many argued that it was a direct violation of First Amendment rights. The violation in question: If regulating the prayer before a city council meeting is preventing the residents of Coolidge from exercising their freedom of religion? It is quite the opposite.

It is the city council members exercising their own freedom of religion. There is no portion of the First Amendment that speaks specifically towards citizens and that only citizens can exercise this right.

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By Lee Templar
Director of Foundation Relations
The Goldwater Institute

California is poised to become the 25th state that adopts the Right To Try—a law that will help terminally ill patients try promising new medicines pending final approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But Governor Jerry Brown might veto the Right To Try. We need your help to persuade Governor Brown to do what’s best for terminally ill patients who should have the right to fight to save their own lives.

You can call Governor Brown’s office at (916) 445-2841. You can send him an email through this form: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php. You can also send him a message on Twitter at @JerryBrownGov and through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jerrybrown.

More than 1 million Americans die from diseases each year. They deserve a chance to try the same medicines that a lucky few already are safely using in clinical trials.

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Dear Friend ,

Forbes is now highlighting Governor Ducey’s forward-thinking plan to fund K-12 education without raising taxes. Read and share this column on how Arizona is leading the way with smart policy:

Back To School: Arizona Gov. Ducey's Smart Education Plan
Travis H. Brown
Forbes
9/14/2015

With a promising business environment and a governor who understands smart fiscal policy, Arizona is in a position to win big. This growth opportunity comes out of sound economic footing, thanks to Arizona’s decades-long knack for drawing overtaxed Americans to its friendlier climate. What matters most is that Arizona not grow complacent with its successes; the Grand Canyon State needs to capitalize on past wins as well as initiate new, pro-growth strategies. That’s why Governor Doug Ducey’s ideas for investing more in education are so encouraging – and why he should take this opportunity to do even more.

Let’s start with the recent past. Individual taxpayer filings with the Internal Revenue Service tell the story: between 1992 and 2013, Arizona gained $31.4 billion in net adjusted gross income (AGI) from other states. The three states that have lost the most net AGI to Arizona are three of the nation’s most oppressively taxing: California, Illinois, and New York. (Those three states gifted Arizona with the largest number of new residents, as well.)

Using data modeling to create taxpayer count projections for 2013 to 2016, we find Arizona in the winner’s circle. It’s in the top-five projected gainers, lagging only behind Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. Arizona’s projected gain in that period is $3.96 billion. For that same time period, the losses of the top-five projected losers are staggering – New York is on track to see about $12 billion in net AGI leave the state, while Illinois will lose about $6.28 billion (knocking out California for the inauspicious “honor” of being the second-biggest AGI loser in the nation). 

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by Jeff DeWitt

It has been an honor to serve Arizona as State Treasurer. I wanted to take a few minutes and thank everyone for their continued support. It is unbelievable how much my life has changed as I went from an everyday father working in the financial world to being elected as Arizona State Treasurer. The road here was not easy, but very worth it as I have been able to put my 23 years of financial experience to use in serving our community. I wanted to make sure you all know how grateful I am for your votes and support.

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By Dr. Kelli Ward

It’s official. As you read this, I am in Lake Havasu announcing my campaign for the U.S. Senate!

I’m ready to retire John McCain and give voters a fresh, courageous choice for new conservative leadership, and I hope you’ll join my effort. Together, we can disrupt the status quo and begin a new era of lower taxes, less spending, secure borders, and respect for the Constitution.

I made this video for those of you who couldn’t be here tonight. Please take a minute to watch it. Tomorrow, we begin the fight to shake up Washington!

This campaign is just beginning, but it’s the support and encouragement of tens of thousands of Arizonans like you over the last few months that have made it possible.

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Standard and Poor's recently assigned Arizona the strongest rating the state has had since 2008.

Commentary by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey
June 22, 2015

When I was sworn in as Arizona's governor on January 5, the Super Bowl was set to kick off in our state just four weeks later.

Amid all the planning and upcoming festivities, there was a wrinkle: One of the state's regulatory agencies I inherited had been running sting operations against Uber and Lyft drivers, aggressively trying to shut them down. State regulators were out of control and using taxpayer resources to try to put the brakes on a wildly popular service.

We worried about what this might mean during a major event like the Super Bowl, when 100,000 visitors were on their way to Arizona.

So I took action, replacing the agency's leadership and immediately ending all pending regulatory actions against ride-share operators.

Next, we passed statutory language, making it clear these ride-share operators can do business in Arizona. And for good measure, we are in the process of abolishing the very department where all the regulatory mischief originated.

Breaking down these antiquated regulations made a lot of heads spin among entrenched interests. But the reality is that Uber and Lyft drivers are small-business owners—regular people who are just trying to make an honest living and, in the process, are changing the way we get around.

Our pro-business mind-set is paying off. Recently, Uber announced the opening of its first-ever Center of Excellence in downtown Phoenix. By the end of the year, the center will employ 300 people who will provide support to drivers and passengers.

This is just the latest in a string of good news for our state and a loud message that Arizona is open for business.

See, while everyone was watching the Super Bowl, our office was working. The day after the big game, we announced that the most successful company in history—Apple—was making one of its largest investments ever right here in our state: a $2 billion data center to serve as a command center for the company's global networks.

A lot of what we're doing in Arizona is forcing our government to enter the 21st century so that 21st-century companies can operate here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wants to be Arizona Secretary of State.  Or Governor.10_6-Stanton

It sure sounded that way earlier this week during his State of the City address when and where he lambasted all leaders Republican for, in his opinion, abandoning public education.

We didn’t hear such tones during less ambitious times last year as he was supporting Governor Ducey’s landmark proposal to boost public schools without a tax hike via Proposition 123.  Indeed, at Stanton’s insistence his political consultants were even hired by the campaign.

Now he’s singing a different tune, hoping no one bothers to check his record.  Granted, it’s a record we’re glad he has, no matter his hypocrisy.

Just two years ago Stanton led the charge for a massive charter school expansion in central Phoenix.  He even championed the use of some $150 million in Industrial Development Commission bonds to aid the invasion. Here is a link to the story that ran on AZCentral in 2015.

Charter schools are public schools, except to those on the left.  To them, they are foreign ideas undermining the traditional public school systems like vouchers or education savings account. To them, it doesn't matter that an enterprising charter school like BASIS Scottsdale just put the state on the education map after being ranked #1 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

So, to the constituency Stanton now panders to, the question can be fairly asked:  who has played a major role to upend Arizona’s public education system? Stanton’s alter-ego, thank goodness.

 

 

 

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BASIS Scottsdale’s recognition by U.S. News & World Reports as the #1 high school in America should be reason for all in Arizona to applaud the achievement.  Instead, we actually hear criticism, especially from the Arizona Republic and liberal special interest groups.

An acute observer on Facebook labeled this cartel the “Yeah, But” crowd.  And he’s right.  They have diarrhea of the mouth, seeking to undermine the accomplishment, Governor Ducey and how it’s a disruptive to Arizona public schools.  They constitute the Lament Lobby and its too bad Pepto Bismol can’t be used to constipate their mouths rather than troubled butts.

They have too many Asians! They have too many whites!

Notwithstanding the reverse racism proffered by these critiques any school, anywhere, that becomes number one at anything is likely doing something right we can all learn from.

And that’s exactly what the Lament Lobby needs to do.  After all think how spectacular their failure has been versus charter schools, organizations that actually get less money per student than traditional public schools.

Rather than whine and simply ask for more money the Lamenters should reform and recognize the incredible advantages they have to compete for students and results.  

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A hashtag noting the city’s excellence was a hallmark of Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane’s landslide re-election win in November.

Lane was right to recognize the community’s best in class from Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Waste Management Phoenix Open and downtown restaurant and bar scene to teachers, social services and high school athletics.

Now, Lane and all of Scottsdale have another best in class to boast about:  U.S. News & World Report just ranked BASIS Scottsdale the #1 high school in the nation.  The import to economic development and overall community prestige cannot be overstated.

And it reminds us that some things are worth fighting for.

Once upon a time, circa 1997, there was an uproar from no-growth activists and McDowell Mountain Ranch residents opposing the Ice Den.  It was a fight that went all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court.  Thank goodness it did, and won, because as the premier ice facility in Arizona it also is #ScottsdaleAtItsBest.

Fast forward to 2016 and the Ice Den-like fight that took place over BASIS’ expansion and relocation plans on Shea Boulevard.  Mayor Lane, Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp and Councilwoman Linda Milhaven were always staunch supporters.  But the opposition fueled by well-heeled neighbors caused Councilmembers Littlefield, Smith and Korte to wobble weak in the knees.  Councilman Phillips was downright opposed.  Like the Ice Den it was a fight that went all the way to the top.  But instead of the Arizona Supreme Court it was Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich weighing in.  Korte, Smith and Littlefield eventually came around in the face of input from them and massive community support.

Thank goodness they did.  A year later the decision was unquestionably sagacious as Scottsdale ensured its place as the home to the best high school in America.

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Rotten Tomatoes is a popular television and movie ratings site.  Millions of people participate and rely upon it when considering their entertainment choices.  It’s a good thing it doesn’t rate former Arizona Attorneys General, consultants and public affairs efforts in Maricopa, Arizona.  The review wouldn’t arise a rotten green tomato or tipped over popcorn bucket.  It would most likely transform the ratings service into a scratch and sniff variety in order to properly capture the stench.

But first, let’s remind readers of the issue.  It’s in Maricopa, a pleasant community south of the Phoenix metropolitan area in Pinal County, where a group of successful entrepreneurs has proposed a private motorsports park.  Think of it like a golf country club, but for cars.  Proposed for a plot of land well outside the city’s core not a single person had expressed opposition for the better part of its year-long application.  In fact, the opposite was true.  Community and business leaders expressed support and excitement about the use because it meant economic diversification and more tourism.

Then, one day, former Attorney General Grant Woods showed up spinning tales of how bad the project known as the Apex Motor Club would be for Maricopa.  He did so at the Planning Commission which summarily rejected him by a unanimous vote.  As did Mayor Christian Price and the entire City Council thereafter.   Woods would never say, despite repeated questions, who was paying him to be there. It is widely believed to be a rival project.

Contemporaneous to the Woods’ tripe anonymous advertisements started to appear online on local cable channels.  A Facebook page appeared too, all attempting to recruit what they clearly thought would be mindless Maricopans.  One of the ads even invoked the possibility of “heart attacks” if the Club were allowed to proceed.  That’s not a typo.  Some consultant actually got paid to suggest that people would die if the proposal were approved.  Other posts include citations of new companies and jobs being announced elsewhere in Arizona, asking why can’t Maricopa do such things rather automotive country clubs.  As if they are mutually exclusive?  As if that is not happening?  It seems everyone can walk and chew gum except the gadflies and goofs of the opposition.  A new level of hyperbole these items would represent if not for Woods’ hot air.  

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Scottsdale voters wisely increased its tourism tax on hotel rooms in 2010.  The increased revenues have been used to further showcase the city across the world, and also provided money to aid events big and small.  Sometimes those investments have paid off, and sometimes they haven’t.  Funding decisions are an inexact science.

But one big one made recently by the Scottsdale Tourism Development Commission seems to be a sure bet.

That’s because Canal Convergence, which dramatically animates the Arizona Canal as it winds through the Scottsdale Waterfront, holds substantial promise as the community’s next Barrett-Jackson or Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.

And that it happens in Scottsdale’s downtown emphasizing one of the community’s raison d’etre makes it even more worthy.

We applaud the group’s recent recommendation and encourage the City Council to soon vote likewise.

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Since it’s never too early to pontificate and prognosticate about politics, we thought we’d get a jump on a way too early look at possible successors to popular Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.  Due to the city’s three term limit for mayors Lane, who won in a landslide over Bob Littlefield in November, 2016, is ineligible to run again.

The odds proffered for each person are a combination of the likelihood of a run, and ultimate victory.

Virginia Korte (2:1):  She’s been running for Mayor in her own way since about the time Goldwater was nominated for President.  Korte wants the job badly and almost ran in 2012 and 2016 but wisely deferred to Lane.  There’s no question she can raise the funds necessary having raised over $200,000 for her 2016 council re-election.  And much of the Scottsdale “establishment” will be behind her.  But her re-elect numbers were sluggish.  Yes, she won but many had thought after a sterling 2012 performance the final tallies would have been better.  Perhaps that has something to do with bouts of alienation.  Korte is not one to shy away from taking a stand, whether it’s an ardent supporter of the Desert Discovery Center in the face of withering opposition or supporting a property tax increase for Scottsdale schools.  In many ways she’s like this year’s Cleveland Cavaliers:  a proven winner and Hall of Famer but whose second half (or term) underperformed, but not so much so to underestimate them come playoff time.

Suzanne Klapp (3:1):  By topping Korte in the 2016 council races in money raised and total votes Klapp showed significant political chops.  She is not saying no to a potential run but does she really want it beyond the flattery?  Klapp would be 70 plus by the time of the next race but she makes that age look like the new 50.  On the political spectrum she also occupies space right of Korte which would be helpful in a primary election coinciding with the GOP primary, though less so in a November run-off election.  Unlike the Lane-Littlefield mash-up where there were clear fault lines, Klapp and Korte occupy much of the same space on business and other matters, which means any potential race between the two would challenge loyalties and households.

Guy Phillips (6:1):  Never underestimate a guy who can get so many votes with so little in his campaign coffers.  And that would be Phillips’ challenge in a mayoral race.  Can he raise real money in a race where competitors will be able to?  Lane eclipsed $400,000 in 2016.  In Scottsdale the top two finishers, if they don’t get over 50%, advance to the General Election.  With Phillips originally emanating from the Tea Party and still loved by many in the GOP Phillips could and likely would be a strong candidate in the primary’s top two, for many of the same reasons Klapp would.  His greater challenge would be communicating with so many people in the General election, with so few dollars.

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Muhammad Ali was a great boxer.  But like many, he didn’t know when it was time to do something else.  A case in point was his 1980 bout against heavyweight champion Larry Holmes.  It was just sad, so much so that Holmes actually took it easy on Ali, not wanting to further impugn a legend.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods and Phoenix resident is no Ali.  But he has been a competent, even commendable fighter at times, on behalf of various causes and interests.  But like most high profilers the time comes when influence wanes and the fastball doesn’t have the velocity it once did.

Woods’ foray into Pinal County’s City of Maricopa is a case in point.  It’s more Ali v. Holmes than a Thrilla’ in Manila.

A couple of weeks back Woods unexpectedly rolled into Maricopa warning the Planning Commission about an upscale project called Apex, which would be a new, private automobile country club on the community’s outskirts, in an industrial area, and adjoining a highway and rail line.

Woods, who has probably never been to Maricopa previously, warned the Commission about all the rich people who would somehow harm the city, notwithstanding he’s quite rich himself.

The Planning Commission ignored Woods and promptly passed the project unanimously.  But what’s most curious about Woods’ sudden interest in things Maricopa is that he would not disclose who he really represents.  Or who was paying him.

But is there really much doubt?

Just weeks prior the kind of rich person Woods warned Maricopa about, the backer of a similar project just outside Casa Grande called Attesa, purportedly told Apex backers that if they moved forward that he would have to “kill” their project.  Shortly after the likely deployment of Woods social media and even cable commercials started to appear in Maricopa, warning that Apex would be the end of days.

It will create too much noise notwithstanding noise from the nearby rail line is and will be a lot louder.  There will be more traffic notwithstanding it is a private facility not open to public races like the Casa Grande facility would be, for example.

The approach is comical, especially if judging by the failure of the scare tactics.  After so much money spent the Facebook page (as of this writing) has but 35 likes.  A pro-Apex Facebook page spending but a fraction of what the anti-competitive forces have done, and after they did so, has some five times that amount.

That’s because when a backwoods message is deployed about and towards an impressive, aspiring community like Maricopa it will fail.  Maricopa residents understand economic development, tourism and certainly when outsiders are being the ultimate hypocrites, and are just trying to keep their community down.  

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One of those is honored at Tatum & Lincoln.  There proudly and rightfully stands a statue of former U.S. Senator and 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.  The Town of Paradise Valley’s wise decision to transform a challenging one-acre parcel at its busiest intersection into Goldwater Park will stand for all time as among its wisest decisions.

But why stop at Goldwater, especially when the town boasts alumni worthy of similar recognition?

We suggest two more, Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rehnquist. IMG_4158

O’Connor as most know was the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  Her and her husband were proud Paradise Valley residents, active around town and there when Goldwater Park was dedicated.

The former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Rehnquist’s ties to Paradise Valley run deep too.  He served as Paradise Valley’s town attorney when the community first incorporated.

With town finances in such good shape we can think of few greater ways to enhance Paradise Valley’s public art.  Locations could include the Mountain Shadows “park” on the southeast corner of 56th Street and Lincoln.  Or Town Hall.  Or the Town’s relatively new court complex.  Perhaps there are other appropriate locations too.

But the primary notion in a community that honors its views and recognizes the significance of its resorts is to honor two more people who enhanced all that is Paradise Valley.

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When first elected to the Scottsdale City Council in 2012, Guy Phillips did so as a Tea Party, pissing vinegar, rage against City Hall voice.

And throughout much of his first term he did little to dissuade the notion, twice leading opposition to the city’s bond requests for community infrastructure improvements and routinely voting against business and developers.

There were notable exceptions.  Phillips is a surprisingly strong voice for the tourism industry, often standing tall when others come up short. GuyPhillips_bio

Yet, he still supported Bob Littlefield in the 2016 mayoral race, grossly misjudging the electorate in a way that also jeopardized his own path to city council re-election, which was narrow.

Perhaps those election results have had an effect on Phillips.  Or, is he eyeing a future run for Mayor or another office?

That’s because Phillips seems to be evolving.  And that’s a good thing.  He’s no longer a sure fire rejectionist for any development proposal and has even crafted innovative proposals to advance WestWorld.

In many ways, Phillips might be following the path of Jim Lane.  When first elected to City Council Lane was an ally of Littlefield before maturing and understanding that to govern Scottsdale is to be pro-preservation, pro-arts, pro-tourism and pro-business.  

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The old saying that politics makes strange bedfellows is becoming less relevant these days as conflict replaces consensus. There is a notable exception in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane’s call for a hybrid district system has found an unlikely ally in John Greco, a frequent Lane critic.

For months Lane has been advocating for reform in the way Scottsdale elects council members. His proposed hybrid district system would see three council members elected from newly created districts in the northern, central and southern city while the mayor and three council members would continue to be elected at large. The reasoning is simple, there has not been a resident of South Scottsdale elected to the council in more than a decade.

Greco outlined his rationale for the reform in a recent letter to the editor in the April 1st section of the Scottsdale Republic. The letter states in part:

“I applaud the mayor's suggestion as a step in the right direction. It offers an opportunity for more representation and is at least worth a try.”

Anyone who reads letters to the editor in the Republic or Scottsdale Independent would be familiar with Greco. He is a frequent contributor who has delivered forceful yet thoughtful letters on LGBT ordinances, the Desert Discovery Center, the Scottsdale Entertainment District, and a long list of other issues. Often, he has been critical of Mayor Jim Lane’s handling of these issues.

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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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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.

January 7-10
YES: 50%
NO: 41%

April 14-17
YES: 53%
NO: 36%

April 25-26
YES: 49%
NO: 40%

May 2-3
YES: 47%
NO: 42%

May 11-12
YES: 49%
NO: 40%

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.’

LOW TURNOUT

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

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