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The Conservative's Corner
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2018 Scrum

Over the past several months I’ve spent a fair amount of time with governors from both parties.  The advice from all of them has been consistent:

"No matter what, get your state’s budget balanced first. Once that’s accomplished then you can tackle everything else.”

Working with the Arizona Legislature we did that this week, passing a budget that puts us on the path to structural balance for the first time since 2007.

It wasn’t easy.  We made real reductions to government spending and accomplished permanent decisions that reform government – rather than just biting around the edges.

Not only will we have a leaner government; we’ll have a better one, more accountable to the taxpayers.

And we did all this WITHOUT raising taxes.

Naturally, the spending lobby and special interests don’t like it. They just assume government gets bigger and spends more.

I happen to believe government shouldn’t spend money that doesn’t exist.

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Governor Scott Walker will sign legislation to make Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state, prohibiting employees from being forced to join a union against their will. It's the right thing to do for job creators and employees alike.

But you know how it is: It threatens the power the Big Government Labor Bosses crave and they are going to come after him with everything they've got.
These are the same union bosses who mounted a multi-million dollar recall race against Governor Walker in 2012. As much as they did to crush him then, now, they will do even more. We are once again rallying help from conservatives across the country. Please stand with Governor Walker with a contribution of $10, $35, $50, $100, $250, or whatever amount is right for you today so that he has the resources to fight back and respond with the truth.

Governor Walker is a conservative champion. He is a bold reformer who dares to take on the Big Government Labor Unions and he wins. He has taken the reins of power away from the bosses and put the taxpayers back in charge.

The results are there for all to see: more jobs ... lower taxes ... a balanced budget ... effective government. What bothers the Big Government Labor Bosses the most is that Governor Walker says what he means, does what he says, and gets great results.

Now the attacks he will face will be unlike anything you have ever seen before and he needs your help more than ever.

Show him you support his "Right to Work" effort all the way. Help him move Wisconsin -- and America -- forward. Your financial leadership is critical, Jason. Please make your contribution right now for $10 or $100 or even $1,000.

Anything you can do would be a big help and greatly appreciated.

Team Walker

P.S. Enacting big bold reforms takes guts. Taking on the Big Government Labor Bosses takes courage. Governor Walker knows that making Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state is the right thing to do. Tell him you agree with a generous contribution today.

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Ban Gifts Now - Ethics Reform Now

by Sal DiCiccio

Dear Friends:

Just like you, Phoenix is excited to see the Super Bowl come to town. However, the game should not be an exciting opportunity for politicians to “score free game tickets.” Mayor Stanton promised a gift ban/ethics reform 1,110 days ago-but nothing has happened. Nothing. He even went on to promise implementing a ban before the Super Bowl, so that the politicians would be on notice.

Promises Made Must be Kept!!!!

I having been pushing a new ethics requirement for politicians at Phoenix City Hall for some time and like you was promised by the Mayor it would happen. See the photo above that is on the hall wall of my office - for everyone to see.

It looks like only public pressure on Mayor Stanton will get this across the goal line and make him keep his promise to you and your family.  Please call or write and demand that Mayor Stanton enact a gift ban PRIOR to the Super Bowl.

 

From my family to yours,

Sal DiCiccio

Phoenix City Council

District 6

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Former U.S. Congressman to lead organization's efforts to educate and inspire future leaders

 

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (January 6, 2015) - The Joe Foss Institute Board of Directors has named Frank Riggs the new President and CEO of the Joe Foss Institute (JFI). The mission of JFI is to restore civics education in K-12 schools and ensure that all high school graduates are ready for active, engaged citizenship.

 

Riggs will also head JFI's affiliate, the Civics Proficiency Institute (CPI), which has launched a national campaign called the Civics Education Initiative to encourage all 50 states to adopt the United States Citizenship Civics Test, the test all new U.S. citizens must pass, as a condition of high school graduation.

 

Riggs succeeds Dr. Lucian Spataro, who has joined an on-line education technology company as its president and COO. Spataro will remain on the JFI and CPI boards, and serve as co-chair of JFI's annual fundraiser, Stars in Service.

 

"I look forward to the challenge and opportunity to build on the solid foundation at JFI," Riggs said. "As CEO, my priorities will be expanding and branding JFI as the national leader for civics education, advocacy and engagement, and inspiring future generations to public service."

 

JFI Board Chairman Sandy Froman said, "While I am saddened that Lucian has chosen to depart, I am ecstatic that he is remaining on both boards and that we have someone of Frank's caliber to fill his shoes. Frank brings years of  leadership experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and is ideally suited to take the Joe Foss Institute to the next level and move the Civics Education Initiative forward."

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Dear Friend of Educational Choice,

Voters reject the status quo in education. They applaud bold change for children, and they want more.

That’s the message voters sent last week in the dramatic midterm election results. In each of the states where the American Federation for Children’s affiliated political committees engaged, we were able to help elect or protect many school choice policymakers to state legislative office.
• AFC and its political committees invested in a total of 259 races, including both the 2014 primary and general elections.
• Our spending totaled $4.5 million highly targeted dollars to defend, strengthen, or create school choice-friendly legislatures in nine states.
• 91 percent of our endorsed candidates won their races in the general election, and 80 percent won in the primary.
• Governors who have boldly stood up for vouchers, tax credit choice programs, and charter school expansion were re-elected, despite well-funded and relentless opposition from the teachers’ union. Governors Scott Walker (WI), John Kasich (OH), Rick Scott (FL) and Nathan Deal (GA) all won.

Governor Rick Scott’s victory in Florida is particularly striking, as his margin of victory matches the increased number of African-Americans who voted for him this election (compared to 2010). After the teachers union and school boards association sued to stop the new Education Savings Account and existing, bipartisan-supported tax credit scholarship program, Democratic candidate and former Governor Charlie Crist flip-flopped and became an opponent of these programs after having previously supported them as Governor, forcing the issue into the center of the campaign. Our Florida affiliate worked aggressively to inform parents of the nearly 70,000 scholarship program students of Crist’s support for the lawsuit that would take away their child’s scholarship.

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By Bill McInturff

Public Opinion Strategies' Election Night Poll shows the 2014 election was defined by major dissatisfaction about the direction of the country, the economy, and President Obama:

1. On Election Day, roughly two-thirds (65%) of voters said the country is headed off on the wrong track.

2. The weekend before the election 64% of voters said they were dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.

3. In the national exit polls, President Obama's job approval was 44% on Election Day, exactly matching his job approval on Election Day in 2010.

4. By a roughly two-to-one margin, people say they voted as a signal to oppose rather than to support President Obama (17% support/32% oppose).

5. Republicans enjoyed a six point edge on the generic vote for Congress (52% saying they voted for the Republican candidate for Congress compared to 46% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate for Congress).

6. In the national exit polls, Republicans carried White men by an even wider margin in 2014 than in 2010 (64% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/33% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate this cycle compared to 62%/34% in 2010).

7. While not quite as high as in 2010, Republicans captured White women by a comfortable double-digit margin this cycle (56% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/43% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate in 2014 compared to 58%/39% in 2010 according to national exit polls).

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After losing the Republican nomination for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2014 Bob Littlefield found himself without a political title for the first time since 2002.

He couldn’t stand it.  So he’s running for Scottsdale Mayor against a former friend and ally. He’s running despite his wife also serving on the Scottsdale City Council at the same time. And he’s running despite being on every side of every issue from density and heights to the Desert Discovery Center to taking money from special interests and lobbyists.  littlefield at desk

So complete is Littlefield’s hypocrisy on just about every issue in Scottsdale that his acolytes appear to be resulting to rumor mongering in their quixotic quest to displace the popular and reform-oriented Mayor Lane.

The latest is suggesting that Lane would only serve two years if voters elected him for his final term as Mayor later this year because he wants to run for Treasurer?  Nice try.

That scenario is no more plausible than Littlefield being elected and then running anew for the Arizona House of Representatives.  But don’t take our word for it.  Lane’s commitment to his final term is easily confirmed.  Just call his office.  See what he says. 

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Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane will be seeking a third and final term this August.  The finality has to do with the city’s term limits restriction. Three terms is all one gets to serve consecutively on the City Council or as Mayor.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will not be seeking a third term, even though he would win easily.  That’s because Phoenix restricts the Mayor to serving but two terms.

Which is better policy?  2 or 3?  Or maybe a single six year term like Mexico’s President has?  Or no term limits at all.

It doesn’t matter who you are being an effective Mayor of a large city like Phoenix or a multi-faceted one like Scottsdale takes time.  Stanton has hit his stride.  Downtown Phoenix is one of the most talked about places in the Southwest.  He’s collaborating with Republicans on key education measures.  In short, Phoenix is a city on the move, like Scottsdale. 

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The proposed Desert Discovery Center is one of those ideas that’s been around a long time.  Like wine, some think this is cause to savor the idea further.  Once envisioned as something like an environmental Disneyland it has morphed into something more akin to a duplicative Desert Botanical Garden.

Some on the Scottsdale City Council like Linda Milhaven, Virginia Korte and Suzanne Klapp join many in the local tourism industry and strongly support the project. IMG_7265

Mayor Jim Lane has supported studying the matter further with no commitment to the final project, a position similar to Councilmembers David Smith and Guy Phillips.

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield opposes the project even though her husband Bob, a failed state legislative candidate last cycle now running for Mayor, supported the project in 2008.

There’s support, opposition and caution but few would disagree the plan is controversial. 

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What a week for Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.  If there was ever a time he proved his mettle and wisdom on key issues, and why voters should keep him at the helm of Arizona’s best city, this was it.

*He voted for new, for-sale housing on McDowell Road, continuing the momentum for the corridor and next “it” area in the Valley;

*He’s leading Scottsdale’s effort to lend a boost to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in far north Scottsdale as a neighbor’s effort try to shut down the refuge for mountain lions, bears, jaguars and the creatures and critters of Arizona.  Maricopa County will vote on the matter in early June. Lane has crafted a resolution for the City Council to vote on May 17th lending the city’s full weight to the county’s consideration. Scottsdale-Sign-547x198

*He said no to a renewed effort to get light rail into Scottsdale’s transportation plans.

*Top Valley business leader and Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill along with former NFL defensive end and current Scottsdale pastor Andre Wadsworth are hosting a fundraiser for Lane tonight.

*He joined with Litchfield Park’s Mayor to warn on today’s Arizona Republic editorial page about the dangers of allowing more casinos into Valley neighborhoods, like the loophole that was used to put one in Glendale. 

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Over the weekend Arizona Republic readers might have noticed a letter to the editor from David Ortega.  He waxed ineloquent, as history most often records his commentaries, about the inadequacies of Proposition 123.  There are good arguments on both sides of that issue, though many more in support.  This is not meant to be judgment on them.   Only on Ortega.

For he noticeably signed his letter “former Scottsdale City Councilman.” Dude, that was over a decade ago and we’re really not sure why such a title would qualify him any more than anyone else to opine about contemporary education policy.

What is it with people who can’t let go of such identity? It’s like the Grandpa who threw a no-hitter in high school and can’t stop telling the family about it every holiday dinner. 

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Just a couple of months back Scottsdale almost had a lot more than proverbial egg on its face.  It almost had a whole carton making its mug unrecognizable.

That’s when some on the Scottsdale City Council were actually considering not allowing the BASIS charter school to relocate and expand its presence on Shea Boulevard.  Fortunately, Mayor Lane, Suzanne Klapp and Linda Milhaven led the charge, and with assists from Governor Ducey and Attorney General Brnovich everyone else but Councilman Guy Phillips came along for the ride.

Imagine if the right decision wouldn’t have been made by Scottsdale and then these national school rankings by U.S. News & World Report came out? http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2016/04/basis-charter-schools-take-top-spots-on-us-news.html 

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It’s always good to invoke Star Trek, especially when it comes to Bob Littlefield.  Because his campaign for Scottsdale Mayor seems to be from outer space.  And his campaign, in the unlikely event it is successful, would boldly take he and wife where no man has gone before:  a husband and wife team on the Scottsdale City Council.

We’re sure, no positive, absolutely certain that the Arizona Attorney General would NEVER, ever, never ever, come knocking at Scottsdale’s door because of open meeting laws violations.
littlefield at desk

But that’s not why we opine now.  It’s to reveal the game Bob Littlefield plays with south Scottsdale, and how he preys on their disenfranchisement only to stab them in the back to serve himself.

Take for example his ambulance chasing opposition to Entrada, the most important project proposed in south Scottsdale in years.  It would transform the ghost town of car dealerships on the northeast corner of 64th Street and McDowell into a terrific new gateway for the area with mixed-use development.  It’s the private sector finally responding, without government subsidy, to what many of us have been saying all along. South Scottsdale is a hidden jewel and the next neighborhoods in the Valley to go through a revitalizing “it” moment.  But that doesn’t serve Bob’s purpose.  He wants people to stay angry at the city because  it’s the only way he gains votes.  He certainly can’t win a contest of ideas or congeniality.  Indeed, he was the city councilperson when serving to refuse to sign a civility pledge. 

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Transforming the 32-acre Margaret Hance Park in central Phoenix to something more akin to Central Park is the best planning idea in the Valley today.  Read about it here. 

We hope the “Hance Park Conservancy” is one day regarded like the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in Scottsdale.  There, volunteers and fundraisers alike act as stewards for one of the great preserves any city in America has created.

Both are in the spirit of the great Robert Moses who over decades let New York breathe a little easier with his expanse of recreational amenities and planning imagination.

We hope someone like him will emerge in Phoenix now to see that a great idea doesn’t sit on a drawing table.  It has happened before.  Not too long ago it was believed Indian School Park would emerge as that great, good Phoenix place.  But it certainly hasn’t evolved so. 

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There used to be a popular soap opera called As The World Turns.  The same title could apply to the prologue unfolding for the 2019 Mayor’s race in the City of Phoenix.

Due to term limits popular incumbent Greg Stanton will not be able to seek re-election.  But former City Councilman Tom Simplot has made it known he wants the job, as does embattled current Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

Last year Simplot sympathizers sought to damage Nowakowski over questions involving a downtown Phoenix land deal.  They viewed him as their greatest threat.  And while Nowakowski has recovered somewhat with news of downtown Phoenix’s grocery store unicorn finally landing, there’s no doubt his future prospects have been wounded.  But Simplot’s camp may regret his struggles. 

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Former Scottsdale City Councilman Bob Littlefield and failed Republican candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives thinks Scottsdale is a terrible place to live and be.  Just listen to him.  When he’s not sounding Area 51 he makes Scottsdale sound like Blythe.  If you think our community Hades Bob is your guy.

Now he’s running for Mayor.  We’re sorry to spend so much time of late on Littlefield but we’re a little like comedians blessed by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. The content is just so rich, so long, so hypocritical.

Take for example Littlefield’s raison d’etre.  It’s that the little guy can’t get a break in Scottsdale, notwithstanding that the city was just recognized as a great place to start a business. But for Bob’s magnificence the struggling would never have a voice.  You’d think he had even started Vista del Camino, although like many things that run contrary to his narrative he had nothing to do with it.  You’d think he’d be embarrassed carrying on his message after having participated in the most outrageous evisceration of Scottsdale citizen rights in the past two decades; that being when he enacted an “emergency clause” to stop a public vote on the densest project in city history at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Scottsdale has some great historians within its midst that often take the time to write about our history, and its application to our future.

But it doesn’t take a historian to remember when Littlefield’s hypocrisy was on full display yet again.

Let us take you back to late 2005 and early 2006.  Facing his first re-election test Littlefield engaged in political skullduggery to deep six a citizen activist from challenging him.  His deceit (and that of others) became the topic of a stinging Scottsdale Republic editorial critique that can be reviewed HERE.

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*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is showing a lot of resilience as he tries to become the Republican nominee in Arizona’s First Congressional District.  That’s according to a new poll out this week albeit by his own pollster.  In boxing terms we’re going to find out what kind of chin Babeu has when the pointed attacks about his private life get leveled this year.  But what’s underappreciated is what kind of outside help Babeu may get in return from socially liberal Republicans looking to install the first openly gay Republican in Congress.

*Speaking of Congress, former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley announced a run for seat of retiring Congressman Matt Salmon.  If Stapley won he might have the distinction of having the best (or worst) toupee in DC.

*Bob Littlefield is a bad bet for Mayor of Scottsdale.  Guy Phillips is a better bet for City Council.  Guy would be wise to be his own guy and not side-saddle with Littlefield whose collapse during his 2014 race for the Arizona House of Representatives is now part of local legend.

*Tom Simplot is amassing a formidable armada for his expected run for Phoenix Mayor in 2019.

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Through three terms and twelve years on the Scottsdale City Council there stood Kathy Littlefield, next to her office holding husband Bob.  Never one to interrupt, never one to take the limelight from him.

But as Bob realized term limits were approaching in 2014 he decided he couldn’t live without a political title.  He ran for the Arizona House of Representatives.  At the same time Kathy decided to enter the Scottsdale City Council race.  The thinking went she would replace him and he would gain import anew at the State Capitol.  Power couple!

But something strange happened along the way.  Bob got trounced in the Republican primary because he’s not much of a Republican.  And Kathy won a council seat by just dozens of votes. 

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By Arnold Schwarzenegger

I'm proud to endorse my good friend John Kasich for President of the United States.

John knows that leadership is about serving people and he has a record of getting results. That's exactly what's needed in America right now.

Please join the team today and show your support for John's campaign.

He not only led the effort to balance America's budget for the first time since men walked on the moon, but he turned a $8 billion budget shortfall in Ohio into a $2 billion surplus.

Our country faces tremendous challenges right now but John knows, like I do, that it is still the greatest country in the world - no matter what anyone else says. He's offering real, common-sense solutions to our greatest challenges.

It's time to roll up our sleeves and do our part. Join me today and support John Kasich for President of the United States!

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Former Governor of California
JohnKasich.com

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By Virginia Korte

As you probably know, my family has deep roots in Southern Scottsdale – for most of 30 years we operated a Chevrolet dealership on the corner of Scottsdale and McDowell Roads.

I have taken a special interest in helping revitalize the area and am proud of the progress being made -- including the springing up of new businesses and the sprucing up of older neighborhoods. The restoration of Southern Scottsdale has been remarkable.

It is an ongoing process.  So I want to express my appreciation to those who are investing in improving the area.  Thank you for all that you are doing.

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"We need leaders like Andy in Congress who will work to secure our borders and uphold our immigration laws."
PHOENIX (March 2) – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio today announced his endorsement of Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs for Arizona's Fifth Congressional District.

"Andy Biggs has stood for conservative principles each and every day he has served in the Arizona Legislature," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "We need leaders like Andy in Congress who will work to secure our borders and uphold our immigration laws. I know that Andy Biggs won't ever compromise his beliefs, and that is what makes him a perfect replacement for Representative Matt Salmon. I trust that the voters of Congressional District 5 will back the only true conservative in this race, and I'm very proud that Andy answered the call to give voters that true conservative to support. Please join me in supporting Andy Biggs for the United States House of Representatives."

Arpaio's endorsement follows endorsements for Biggs from Congressman Matt Salmon, Congressman Trent Franks, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio, and Senators Sylvia Allen, Nancy Barto, Judy Burges, Debbie Lesko, Gail Griffin, Steve Yarbrough, David Farnsworth, John Kavanagh, and Steve Smith.

"Arizona primary voters have a great respect for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's endorsements, and I am honored to have received his support for my candidacy," Senator Andy Biggs said. "He has set an incredible example for Arizona elected officials, standing for the rule of law and against unenforced federal immigration laws. I hope to work with him in the years ahead to uphold our laws and to strengthen our border enforcement."

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By Governor Doug Ducey

I'm voting YES on Prop 123 on May 17 because it's vital to ensuring Arizona's teachers and students have the resources they need to succeed in the classroom.

Click here to learn more

This initiative puts $3.5 billion into Arizona's public K-12 schools over the next ten years WITHOUT raising taxes.

When it comes to public education, Arizona has some great stories to tell. Voting YES on Prop 123 means future Arizona students can keep writing those Arizona success stories.

WATCH the video above to learn more about why I'm supporting Prop 123 and join me in voting YES on May 17.

Best,

Doug Ducey

Governor of Arizona

PS - Learn more about Yes on Prop123 and how you can support it at www.YesProp123.com.

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By Virginia Korte

Sustaining Our Scottsdale Way of Life

I am a consensus builder – because I believe the best outcomes are created when people come together and agree on a course of action.

That means making sure everyone has a voice in the decision-making process, no matter what the issue.

One of the things that makes our city so great and sets it apart from many other places is our ability to share our ideas with one another.  Citizens are able to not only take part in shaping our short-term objectives, but also participate in planning ahead to determine the best ways to achieve our long-term goals.

As we focus on the future, one of the most important topics is the role transportation issues play in growing our economy and sustaining our Scottsdale way of life.    

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By Bill Gates

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Yesterday, I announced my intention to run for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy left by retiring County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. During his time on the Board, Andy has been a great public servant, role model, and friend. Please join me in thanking him for his selfless public service to our district and our community.

I am excited about the opportunity to continue serving the great residents of District 3 and I hope you will support me as I run for County Supervisor for District 3. In the coming days and weeks, there will be more information on my campaign. In the meantime, please see my press announcement from yesterday below. Additionally, please visit my website at www.billgatesaz.com to donate to my campaign.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Bill Gates

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