Featured Editorials




Among the new attractions a complimentary zipline, inaugural morning beer fest and a longer field with more tents than ever before!

The supersized Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Presented by Talking Stick Resort, wrapped up its 10th Anniversary on the polo fields at WestWorld of Scottsdale Saturday, October 23rd with a celebration of new teams, new victories and new attendees.

More than 12,000 fans turned out for the 10th Anniversary that welcomed teams from Arizona, Aspen Valley, Argentina, Bogota and Medellin Colombia, as well as Wellington, Florida and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ticket revenue for the 2021 event increased more than 180% compared to 2019.  The numbers were a pleasant site for The Polo Party’s Title Sponsor Bentley Scottsdale which returned for its 7th year.

“The festivities and the enthusiastic crowds were an incredible sight to see on Saturday,” said Beli Merdovic, GM of Bentley Scottsdale.  “It’s a strong indication that the Valley and polo fans are ready to get out again and that they did by enjoying a great day of polo and luxury.”

Among the new attractions for 2021 a complimentary zip line that greeted guests in the parking lot for an enjoyable ride to the front entrance and a morning beer festival that greeted polo goers upon entry into the all-day event.

The event featured four great matches with top players including polo legend Nic Roldan as well as Melissa Ganzi and son Grant Ganzi, along with other top players from around the world.

Sponsored by Edmiston, Aspen Valley, the nation’s fastest growing polo club won an unprecedented sixth title Saturday in front of a largest crowd of the day.

The team of Grant Ganzi, Melissa Ganzi and Nic Roldan/Juan Bollini defeated La Mariposa Argentina Polo Club (Martin Morey/Keri McKeone, Mariano Darritchon, Jared Shelton), 9-6, to win the coveted Molina Cup in the featured match.

Melissa Ganzi scored four goals, all from the field, and was named Most Valuable Player.

“It’s always fun to play with my mom,” said Grant Ganzi, Brand Ambassador for Casablanca, who also scored four goals, all on penalty shots including a 60-yarder. “It’s nice to always play with her and even against her.”

Aspen Valley Polo Club’s sister club Grand Champions Polo Club, based in Wellington, Fla., with KC Schmeits, Vinny Sangaline and Juan Bollini also came up big with a 7-3 victory over Bogota (Diego Flores, Robert Herrero, Andres Camacho). Bollini scored five goals, including three penalty shots, and Sangaline added two goals.

In other games: Arizona Polo Club (Abi Slater, Vinay Bangalore, Alejandro Pompo) defeated Medellin Polo Club (Courtney Parker/Natalie Camacho, Felipe Ochoa, Stephen Bentz, Emilio Urrea), 11-5; and Santa Fe, New Mexico (Jerome Drake, John Welsh, Jared Sheldon) defeated Jet Set Polo (Julia Kline, Leigh Medaris, Dayella Fargey), 6-5.

Aspen Valley Polo Club’s Melissa Ganzi says Scottsdale’s extravagant Polo Party has helped increase polo’s exposure and popularity.

“I think anything that gains traction for the sport and brings more eyes or more views in today’s world with digital and social media is good for the sport,” Ganzi said.  “I hadn’t played in front of a crowd like that in a while,” Ganzi said. “It was a great event. I was happy to be out there and happy to play. I had a fun time playing in front of a fun crowd. They did a really good job this year.”

The sport of polo is always the centerpiece of The Polo Party. Event founder and Scottsdale public relations executive Jason Rose continues to raise the event’s bar every year since he started it in 2011 and this year was no exception as many new sponsors joined the festivities like Draft Kings, Go Puff and Cayman Islands.

In addition to the polo, fans enjoyed the event fan favorites like The Canine Couture Dog Fashion Show presented by Lugari Pet Salon, the World’s Longest Catwalk Fashion Show on Grass produced by Phoenix Fashion Week, a preview of Barrett-Jackson’s 2022 Car Collector Scottsdale Auction and performances by the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.

For media inquiries please contact Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon at Jparks-Sturgeon@RoseMoserAllynpr.com or call (480) 495-3806.

Arizona’s leading luxury brokerage now holds the records for the first, second and third highest residential sales in Arizona per the MLS

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to announce the $21.5 million dollar sale of a French inspired Italian estate in the Upper Canyon of Silverleaf in Scottsdale, Arizona.  This is now the 2nd highest residential sale in the state of Arizona per the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty currently holds the records for first, second and third highest residential sales in Arizona according MLS.

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Associate Broker Barry Van Patten, alongside agents Ginger Van Patten and Barry Van Patten II represented the buyer.

The buyers, a retired couple from the San Francisco Bay Area, said they chose to relocate to the Grand Canyon state in search of a better way of life. With a new found love of Arizona’s culture, wildlife and beauty, the couple selected the home because of the quality and detail in the home combined with the views, location in Silverleaf and the reputation of the builder drew them to the property.

Located at 11200 East Canyon Cross Way, The Castle On The Hill as it is referred to, offers more than 12,000-square-feet and was designed by Fratantoni Design, built by Fratantoni Luxury Estates and interior design by Fratantoni Interior Design. Built in 2020 and featuring an Italian exterior style with a modern French interior design inside, the grand estate sits on more than 3-acres and also includes a separate guest house.

Outside, sophistically detailed stone carvings surround the exterior of the home with varying window shapes and designs to give the estate a grand look. The immaculate and beautiful French inspired details continue inside with soaring ceilings, custom arches and chandeliers, intricate marble, stone and brick work throughout and beautifully designed rooms for entertaining with the finest amenities. Inside the main house of the estate, the home features 5 luxurious designed bedrooms and 6 ½ bathrooms. The separate detached guest home also offers another 2 custom designed bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with its own kitchen, offering guests first-class accommodations.

 “Ginger and I along with our son Barry Van Patten II were honored to represent the buyers on this one-of-a-kind, masterpiece of a home,” said Barry Van Patten. “It is very satisfying to us that both buyers and sellers are extremely happy with the outcome.”

Within 3 days after listing the buyers’ first Silverleaf home, Van Patten shares the home went under contract.

“This sale was an incredible achievement in Scottsdale, Arizona selling at over $1,700+/sqft. From designing/building this property to representing our clients in this transaction to the new owners, we couldn’t be more pleased with all of the parties involved in this smooth transition,” said Angelo Fratantoni. 

For photos of Castle on the Hill, click here – Photo credit to Angelo Fratantoni.

For media inquiries please contact Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon at  jparks-sturgeon@rosemoserallynpr.com or 480.495.3806.


About Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Since 1947, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty has gathered realty craftsmen dedicated to the ideals of integrity and professionalism. From the ownership, management, agents, and affiliate services, every person involved in the company utilizes innovative skills, programs, and technologies to create the finest real estate services company to be found.

The mission of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is to provide its clients with the most responsive personalized service attainable – nothing less will do. The environment within Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is unique in the industry. Seasoned management innovatively supports the efforts of the Company’s members to create a dynamic and inspiring atmosphere that invigorates and hones the skills of everyone involved.

Collaboration and networking are fostered to create a synergy that puts the whole company to work for every client. The artistic blending of proven traditions and state-of-the-art innovation is unsurpassed. These assets are positioned on a base of financial stability and corporate staying power.

The Love Your Neighbor Apparel Sales Starts Wednesday, August 11th

The Russ Lyon Foundation, is bringing back its Love Your Neighbors campaign to raise money for the Arizona Housing Fund.

In 2020 $5,290 was raised. The sale is happening now and only runs through October 31st, 2021.

The Love Your Neighbors apparel is being produced by local company SideBar and is just $20.

New for 2021 – the apparel comes in a stonewashed blue-gray color option, women’s V-neck, unisex tank, and bandana. They are available online here.

Every item ordered benefits the Arizona Housing Fund (AZHF). AZHF is a dedicated and sustainable revenue source that grants funding to the nonprofit agencies that build and operate Permanent Supportive, Low-Income and Working Poor Housing. Its equity grants will enable more housing units to be constructed, meeting the growing needs of our communities in Arizona with the goal of reducing homelessness.

“There has never been a more important time for everyone to come together and support the Arizona Housing Fund,” said Betsy Dickinson, president of Russ Lyon Foundation. “This foundation gives families a fighting chance to stay in their homes and helps others find housing.”

The Russ Lyon Foundation seeks to provide valuable and meaningful service work within communities as well as charitable investments. Since the foundation began in 2014, more than $500,000 has been contributed towards various 501c3 Arizona-based organizations through direct donations, matching funds, sponsorships, and fundraisers.


For media inquiries please contact Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon at jparks-sturgeon@rosemoserallynpr.com or 480.495.3806.


About Russ Lyon Foundation

For over 70 years the agents and employees of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty have been involved in community service work and charitable organizations in Arizona. It provides a safe and fulfilling way for Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty family to give back to the community. Within each office, there is a team of Volunteer Corps. This team of agents assists to provide help to those in need. From food preparation shifts at St. Mary’s Food Bank to litter collection teams at Oak Creek Canyon. It is the goal of the Russ Lyon Foundation to provide valuable and meaningful service within our community in Arizona.

Luxury, style and elegance are on full display for drivers who choose the Genesis luxury automotive brand and that elite level of class will be on display at the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships 10th Anniversary Celebration. Earnhardt Genesis of North Scottsdale is a VIP sponsor of this annual event. The annual event will be presented by Talking Stick Resort and will be held at WestWorld in Scottsdale on Oct. 23. General Admission and VIP tickets are available for purchase now.

Earnhardt Genesis of North Scottsdale is a proud sponsor of the annual Scottsdale Polo Championships and will have a tent exhibit at this year’s event. Visitors who attend will have the chance to meet members of the Earnhardt Genesis of North Scottsdale team and get up close and personal with some of the most popular Genesis luxury models – like the brand-new 2022 Genesis GV70 luxury crossover. The dealership’s sponsorship of the event will include the Earnhardt Genesis Club: By Invitation Only VIP Lounge – complete with food and drinks.

This incredible event – the 10th Anniversary Scottsdale Polo Championships – will feature exciting games of polo played by local teams and much, much more. Additional highlights of the event include the Canine Couture Fashion Show presented by Lugari Pet Salon, live music by local musicians and DJs, an exclusive shopping experience with a wide range of vendors, automotive displays, the World’s Longest Catwalk Fashion Show and a 300-foot zip line entrance.

Phoenix-area car shoppers who would like to learn more about the Genesis brand and the Earnhardt Genesis of North Scottsdale sponsorship of the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships can contact the dealership team via the website, http://www.earnhardtgenesisofnorthscottsdale.com. Individuals who prefer a more personal interaction can call the dealership sales team directly at 480-368-6789.

Canyon Trails Towne Center Just Received Zoning Approval for Important Revitalization Elements; Speaks to Economic Development Momentum in West Valley

The year was 2013 and Canyon Trails Towne Center, a 90-acre shopping center located at Yuma Road and Cotton Lane in Goodyear was struggling to attract new tenants after the Great Recession. Two key retailers had left the center and the project was facing an uncertain future.

Then came TriGate Capital, a leading Texas based real estate investment manager with more than $2 Billion in assets focused on the recapitalization and repositioning of real estate across the country. TriGate recognized the center’s inherent long-term value in a growing market and was willing to take a chance on the Canyon Trails Towne Center, and that they did.

First, TriGate purchased the property in 2013 when few other players had interest in the West Valley. They would step in and take on the challenge of nurturing the center to grow along with the community of Goodyear and become a key property in the West Valley. The company was patient and began improving the tenancy, filling vacant spaces and attracting out-parcel users to improve the vibrancy and overall tenant mix of the center. Once momentum developed, TriGate made a strategic decision and began repositioning Canyon Trails into a multi-faceted center that would not only be great for retail but also provide mixed-use opportunities with much-needed housing to the area.

Fast forward to today and TriGate Capital is pleased to announce on September 27th, 2021, the City of Goodyear approved zoning for a 284-unit garden style apartment community that will serve as a multi-housing opportunity for Goodyear’s growing needs. This residential component will be developed by Embrey Partners, based in San Antonio, Texas. This development within Canyon Trails Towne Center is situated on 13 acres that was originally planned for a Home Depot store. After Home Depot decided not to build its store during the Great Recession, eventually, TriGate purchased the property from Home Depot, and set the wheels in motion to create a mixed-use project.

“Working with the City of Goodyear in repurposing and transforming Canyon Trails Towne Center has been a team effort. The addition of multi-family by Embrey Partners is another milestone and TriGate Capital will continue to work with the City of Goodyear to cement Canyon Trails Towne Center as a destination in the West Valley,” says Paul Sharp, Senior Vice President at TriGate Capital.

Leasing activity at the center has been robust in recent months. Among the center’s impressive list of current tenants are Target, Pottery Barn Outlet, Ross, PetSmart, Orange Theory, Club Pilates, and Planet Fitness to name a few. Some recent lease signings include Wingstop and Tropical Smoothie. And there are more than half a dozen new restaurants, all national brands in the planning stages with City of Goodyear that will open in 2022. David Malin, former Vice President of Development and Acquisitions with Vestar and now CEO of Scottsdale Development Partners, has been a development consultant on the project since 2019.

He says the 90-acre center is now repositioned for the massive influx of new residents and opportunities coming to Goodyear and the West Valley.

“Canyon Trails is one of the great retail comeback stories of the past few years. Before TriGate stepped in, there were major issues. The center needed an experienced owner with a long term business plan that would attract new tenants. What TriGate has been able to accomplish, having the staying power to weather the storm, adding so many new retailers, and now creating a mixed-use project with the addition of the multifamily component speaks volumes and we are so happy to give this community the type of project it deserves. The comeback is not only a story for this property and Goodyear but it speaks to great momentum in the entire West Valley,” said Malin.

For more information about Canyon Trails Towne Center visit http://sdpretail.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/sdp-retail-canyon-trails-brochure.pdf.

For media inquiries please contact Jennifer Sturgeon at (480) 495-3806 or email JSturgeon@RoseMoserAllynpr.com.

About TriGate Capital
TriGate Capital, LLC (TriGate) is a leading real estate investment manager focused on the recapitalization and repositioning of real estate assets and companies. TriGate is based in Dallas, TX and has completed investments throughout the United States. TriGate’s team has been responsible for acquiring over $1.8 billion of real estate assets through multiple types of transaction structures. The Company’s professionals have significant expertise in real estate operations, debt restructuring, and asset and company recapitalization.

TriGate manages four fully discretionary real estate funds, TriGate Property Partners, LP (Fully Realized), TriGate Property Partners II, LP (Fund II), TriGate Property Partners III, L.P. (Fund III), and TriGate Property Partners IV, LP (Fund IV) which are the vehicles through which TriGate conducts its investment strategy. Fund II and Fund III are fully invested, and Fund IV is presently in its investment period.

Featured Editorials

How far can religious freedom go? Can it extend all the way to absurdity? Those boundaries are being tested in Scottsdale as we speak…by Satanists.

The Satanic Temple of Salem announced on Instagram that it will be holding their first conference, named SatanCon, in Scottsdale next February. There likely won’t be any ritualistic sacrifices nor biting off of bats’ heads. A look at their website implies that this is actually a civic and politically-minded organization, with focuses on pushing for religious freedom and against abortion restrictions.

The STS made waves in Scottsdale already by attempting to give an invocation at a City Council meeting back in 2016. The courts eventually ruled against them, with an initial appeal rejected by the US 9th Circuit Appeals Court, The STS choosing to have their first conference in the city where we attempted to stretch the boundaries of religious choice and lost is likely no coincidence.

Former Mayor Jim Lane, who was one of the parties who refused the group their invocation 5 years ago, had this to say about the conference: “It’s fine that they will be here, and that’s certainly well within everybody’s rights, We consider ourselves a very inclusive community.” Bygones are bygones apparently.

Meanwhile, their choice of Scottsdale is obviously a statement. No one could realistically believe that Scottsdale is a hot-bed of satanic activity, nor is it heavy on the demographics that would likely be most receptive to their message. It has all the hallmarks of an action meant to poke the political bear, but as Mayor Lane implies, that bear doesn’t care.

So is this a religious and political freedom issue, or is this just absurdity looking for attention? There are serious conversations to be had about what constitutes religion and where and how it can be expressed. However the STS looks to be little more than an attempted political movement disguised as a pseudo-religion than anything approaching actual religion, and their choice to have their conference here only affirms that. So in our eyes, it looks a lot more absurdist than serious. We just hope that they spend lots of money while they’re here; if they’re going to put on their charade, they might as well boost the local economy while they’re at it.

Photo Credit: azcentral.com

Short-term rentals (STRs) facilitated by Airbnb and Vrbo have been a hot-button topic in Scottsdale for a while, turning into a campaign issue during last year’s election. The relative inaction at the state level has forced the hands of municipalities to do what they can to restrict them. Paradise Valley has recently started to do the same.

Town Attorney Andrew Macguire recently announced his intent to roll out a number of restrictions aimed at curbing STRs in the town. Since outlawing them would quickly be deemed unconstitutional and outside their purview, the aim seems to be to regulate them out of existence in the town.

Regulations will include doing a background check of the occupants within 24 hours of rental to ensure that no registered sex offenders will be occupying the home. Code amendments will also call for the owner to be able to response in-person within one hour of a complaint. Since homes are often managed from afar, that will raise a heavy burden on potential renters.

Arizona has some of the most STR-friendly rules in the country, and those rules (or lack thereof) have caused significant local issues. Arizona passed SB 1350 in 2016, purposely making it more difficult for municipalities to regulate STRs. Since then, STR companies have grown significantly in size and frequency of us, leading to the current issue in PV. LD23 legislator John Kavanagh sponsored legislation to roll back SB 1350 and give more power to municipalities on this topic, and further legislation is likely to come next session, but the town of Paradise Valley isn’t willing to wait.

We are no fans of over-regulation and believe in the free markets. We also strongly believe in the importance of local control however, and sometimes the free markets go too far, and citizens are ignored as a result. Arizona went too far to placate STR companies back in 2016, and we applaud efforts to fight back against that. Until these rules can be unwound at the state level, we appreciate PV’s openness to listening to its citizenry, as well as its outside-the-box efforts to protect their community.

Photo Credit: kold.com

Last week we spoke about the unfolding Greenburg scandal and called for him to resign. The potential consequences have been compounding at a rapid pace since then however.

The SUSD board has since taken action, voting nearly unanimously to strip him of his title as Board President (Greenburg was the sole dissenting vote); he was then replaced for that role by Patty Beckman. While a vote to ask him to resign was on the meeting agenda for that same day, it did not come to fruition, although both Beckman and Board member Zach Lindsay publicly called for his resignation. Julie Cieniawski, the other board member who was also actively supported by the local Democratic party, is the only member who is actively campaigning against his ouster, stating that such a decision now would be hasty and rushed.

That is just the beginning of potential consequences however; SUSD Superintendent Scott Menzel announced that an independent forensic investigator was hired to further pursue this case, which may lead to even more damning evidence being uncovered. Republican candidates have smelled blood in the water and have jumped into the fray, with Kari Lake calling a press conference and including LD23 State Representative Josh Chaplik, whether they publicly called for his resignation. And State AG Mark Brnovich, a candidate with true investigatory teeth and a desire to mount a trophy on his mantle in the midst of a tough primary battle, has called for an investigation from the DOJ and FBI.

He could also be forced out of his seat by the voters. In a wrong-minded, petulant response to masks in schools, activist parents started a recall election against four Board members back in August; Greenburg was one of those to be subjected to the recall. While the efforts were highly unlikely to submit the necessary signatures by the December 18th deadline, they now have a clarion call to rally their efforts for Greenburg around.

Greenburg’s political days are numbered, and the only question is how long he wants to drag this out and how public he wants his embarrassment to be. For the sake of himself, his family, and most importantly the parents and kids in the district, we reiterate our call for his resignation. It will be best for everyone involved if he simply walks off quietly into the night and allows the district to heal without him.

Photo Credit: Experience Scottsdale

Is your family scrambling to come into town for the holidays? Are you always the one to host your relatives from Chicago or New York for Thanksgiving? Well now we have actual data to back up why you’re always the one who has to do all the work for Thanksgiving.

According to a recent study done by WalletHub, Scottsdale is one of the most desirable places to be for Thanksgiving. Scottsdale is just behind second-place Orlando, and both trail Atlanta, the King of Thanksgiving Destinations.

In the study, WalletHub used five factors in its methodology: 1) Thanksgiving Celebrations & Traditions, 2) Affordability, 3) Safety & Accessibility, 4) Giving Thanks and 5) Thanksgiving Weather Forecast. While some of them seem rather subjective, we certainly agree with Scottsdale’s safety and accessibility, and while it is still a little hot for our preference, the weather forecast should be much more pleasant by Turkey Day. Affordability, well…perhaps that’s why we’re in third place.

For those who are curious, in dead last place in San Bernadino, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has spent any amount of time there recently.

Other interesting findings: did you know that both Gilbert and Tucson are tied for the most pumpkin patches out of any city that was studied? On the negative end, Phoenix has the second least Thanksgiving events per capita than any other city, one step above Los Angeles (hey, we beat them at something!).

So when you give your thanks around the table with your loved ones, take a moment to be thankful that you live in Scottsdale, one of the best cities in the world. Take that, Los Angeles!

Photo Credit: ASU News

I believe that we have a pretty sophisticated readership here, a subscriber base of highly educated people. As such, I assume many of you who are reading this have taken an Economics class or two.

If you haven’t, I’ll explain one very simple principle: supply versus demand. Simply put, when supply of a good or service remains steady but demand increases, the price of that good or service will increase. Also, when demand holds steady but supply decreases, the price will also increase. But let’s look at the reverse; what if you want price to decrease? Well that will happen if either demand decreases, or supply increases.

Now let’s consider a problem that is playing out through households around the Valley at the moment: housing costs, and more specifically, rent costs. More and more, people across ideological spectrums are realizing that the recent rises in rent prices are unsustainable and are having a seriously negative impact on everyday people. And the AZ Department of Housing agrees, saying that we need an additional 270,000 homes to prevent the problem from becoming a full-blown crisis.

So why is this so hard? The answer is that we need to build, build, build. If only it was that easy however; anyone who has ever worked in development, has been to city council meetings, or understands lobbying knows that the citizenry will rile themselves into a fervor over nearly any development project. NIMBYism is a well known practice, but it has spread into NIYBYEism: Not In Your Back Yard Either. The thrill of having an impact clouds the reasonable judgment of most people, and people will organize against nearly any project.

In the words of Michael Jordan in an anti-drug PSA that most people under the age of 40 know: Stop. Get some help.

We must build more housing options, and that means that some may be in your neighborhood. Obviously having some standards are still important, and numerous stakeholders should be heard. But it’s about time that lawmakers and activists meet developers halfway. In Scottsdale, numerous projects have made concessions at the requests of citizens and the City Council, only be told that it’s not enough. It’s never enough.

We must stop this insanity, and we do that by building. It may be in your neighborhood, and THAT’S ALRIGHT. Reasonably priced housing means more expendable income for everyone and a better economy. It’s long past time that we stop looking for reasons to reject housing developments, and look for places where we can agree and work together, instead of simply saying No.

By Alexander Lomax

Talonya Adams. Photo Credit: Arizona Daily Star

In what is looking to be a tough election year for Democrats nationally, Katie Hobbs’s path to the 9th floor was already a fairly narrow one. Now a problem from the past has re-emerged and has made that narrow path a more treacherous one.

Those who follow local politics closely may remember the story of Talonya Adams, a former AZ Senate Dems staffer who complained that she was making considerably less than her white male colleagues in the same role, and was fired as a result. Adams represented herself in a resulting lawsuit, and a federal judge awarded her $350,000 and her job back as part of the ruling. Hobbs was Senate Minority Leader at the time, making her Adams’s boss.

Hobbs certainly had hoped that this unfortunate incident was in her past, but she was wrong. Last week a jury awarded Adams $2.75 million for both discrimination and retaliation, amplifying the blemish on her record nearly a year before the election.

In the aftermath of massive Black Lives Matter protests and ongoing outcries for gender and racial pay equity, such an action would typically be seen as pure toxicity for a Democratic candidate, perhaps even disqualifying. So how will it impact her?

Thankfully, Hobbs has the luxury of currently being head-and-shoulders above her current primary challengers, Marco Lopez and Aaron Lieberman. Polling this fall showed her with a 30 point margin over Lopez, and considering that her opponents have thus far shown lifeless campaigns, it is hard to see this being a catalyst for her to lose the primary.

But in order to win in the general election, she’ll need every vote that she can get. And while blacks are a relatively small percentage of the Arizona populace, they are regular and faithful Democratic voters. It would be difficult to see them choosing to vote for Kari Lake, but they may choose to skip that spot on their ballot as a result of this. And who could blame them? Considering that many of them have likely experienced structural racism themselves, it is a tough ask to have them vote for someone who participated in that inequity firsthand, at least in the eyes of both a judge and jury.

As someone who was intelligent enough to represent herself and win two court cases against powerful entities, Adams must have been a very valuable asset to the Senate Dems. That extra $20,000 or so she was asking for would have likely been a bargain, and now it may prove to be very, very expensive for her former boss.

By Shea Lincoln

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods has made attainable housing in his city a priority. His recent editorial on Az Central makes a compelling case for workforce housing as well as Tempe’s efforts to make it happen such as setting aside 50% of some development fees for use by a nonprofit corporation affiliated with Tempe Public Housing Authority. It’s part of the Hometown for All initiative which was approved unanimously by the Tempe City Council in January.

Here is a link to the editorial.

It’s a very different story north of Tempe where Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega has ignored the laws of supply and demand and opposed two worthy multifamily projects that would help those who work in Scottsdale live in Scottsdale.

The Miller, a 148-unit apartment complex on Miller between Camelback and Indian School was recently approved by the Scottsdale City Council. Mayor Ortega cast the only no vote even though the developer agreed to dedicate eight units as “workforce housing,” without any tax breaks for the lost revenue.

Additionally, Ortega apparently opposes the 92 Ironwood redevelopment project near Honor Health North Scottsdale which would replace an abandoned and run-down office building with much needed housing for healthcare professionals at the hospital and the countless medical facilities in the area.

The Arizona Nurses Association and local businesses have endorsed the project. In fact, there is no local neighborhood opposition. The only opposition is coming from residents who live miles away who don’t want apartments of any kind in North Scottsdale.

The numbers speak for themselves. The Scottsdale Progress recently quoted Scottsdale Community Assistance Manager Irma Hollamby as saying 83% of Scottsdale workers live elsewhere.

Here is a link to that article.

Apartments are in short supply in North Scottsdale and the local economy is demanding them. There hasn’t been a new apartment complex approved in the area around 92nd and Shea for more than 20 years. Read More

Photo Credit: Fox News

The Scottsdale Unified School District is in full crisis mode as a recent discovery has turned into a bombshell: the Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg and his father Mark had compiled a dossier on over 50 parents in the district, including personal and financial information.

The dossier was stored on Greenburg’s computer, and was discovered when he sent a screenshot showing a Drive folder with a parent’s name on it and a link. The contents of the folder were public to anyone who had that link, thus leading to the scandal unfolding as the contents of that folder become public.

Along with personal information including bank and mortgage statements, divorce decrees, and social security numbers, there are extensive videos featuring a man with a motorcycle helmet on which is widely known to be Jann-Michael’s father Mark. In these videos, Mark shows a fixation over various parents, including stating that he had hired a public investigator to retrieve license plate numbers from cars at an event.

Mark is not a stranger to Scottsdale politics. He has long had a combative style on social media, targeting who he perceives to be political enemies, including a public spat with the Save Scottsdale Facebook page. He was alleged to be behind a website impersonating former SUSD board member Barbara Perleberg, leading to a lawsuit from Perleberg. He also filed a lawsuit about another perceived political enemy, Scottsdale parent activist Emily Austin, and she has filed a countersuit alleging that he has doctored social media posts in order to paint her as an anti-Semite.

Keeping files on political enemies is nothing new. But when your list of enemies includes over 50 parents, many with no real political involvement, clearly there is a level of paranoia and aggressiveness that Joseph McCarthy would be proud of. One must wonder how they convinced themselves that gathering license plate numbers, mortgage statements, and divorce decrees from parents even remotely approaches appropriate behavior.

For a role as community-based such as a school board president, one which demands trust from parents, this behavior is entirely unacceptable. Furthermore, it seems clear that the Greenburgs are a package deal, and that dealing with Jann-Michael means dealing with the unrelenting, unrepentant ugliness of his father. And Mark has demonstrated that he has no business being anywhere near any elected office. Therefore, we believe that Jann-Michael Greenburg should resign, because there will be a lot of healing to do within SUSD, and that healing can’t exist as long as the Greenburgs are anywhere nearby.

Flight paths. Photo Credit: azcentral.com

Prolonged legal battles with the federal government are expensive…very, very expensive. And the city of Scottsdale is learning that firsthand as their latest bill has come due in their battle against the FAA over flight patterns over Scottsdale.

Recent uncovered records show that the city approved a $175,000 contract for legal representation for this suit last year. The issue dates back to 2014, when a change in flight paths led to a suit about quality of life issues that the changes imposed onto the city. This led to a significant amount of local activism, including the formation of the Scottsdale Coalition for Airplane Noise Abatement (SCANA), with the very succinct URL of airplanenoise.org.

Aside from the legal battles, the city of Scottsdale spent at least nearly $84,000 in lobbying the FAA via firm Covington and Burling LLC. Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema performed at least nominal efforts to get the FAA to reconsider, to no avail.

The FAA is stating that the changes that Scottsdale is asking for, avoiding flying over the city entirely, is too draconian. It also states that it gathered public input in 2019, but announced at the beginning of 2020 that it did not intend to change its flight plans. According to the FAA, “Scottsdale has offered no cognizable reason to abandon statutorily required and now-longstanding flight procedures that improve safety and increase airspace efficiency,”

Clearly this typifies the difficult balance inherent when the federal government intersects with local government, and more overarchingly the concept of federalism. But it also defines the disdain that many have with the federal government: that they do not care about the needs of those that they oversee. Obviously it is a delicate balance, weighing local preferences with the desire for efficient routes for flying, something that most of us can appreciate. But it is unfortunate that the public voice must come at such a significant cost to taxpayers, one likely lost in the mire of government bureaucracy, and left to the whims of a system that couldn’t care less about the people it oversees.

Bob Parsons. Photo Credit: azcentral.com

The science is clear: the more people that are vaccinated against Covid, the more we can drive down hospitalization rates and active cases, and the quicker we can return to normalcy. Many governments and some businesses have had a very draconian and polarizing approach to it: get vaccinated or lose your job. While it may be effective in some regard, it almost certainly helps to further our societal divide regarding this subject, one which should not be political but unfortunately has become so.

The founder of Scottsdale-based GoDaddy Inc. Bob Parsons decided to take a different approach: using a carrot instead of a stick. He has decided to give a $1,000 cash incentive to any of his 1,500 employees that decide to get vaccinated. According to Parsons in a press release, “We are lucky to have amazing employees throughout our companies, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help keep them healthy and happy. While vaccinations are by no means mandatory, they certainly are encouraged. And we could think of no better encouragement than a nice bonus for getting both.”

This comes under the backdrop of President Joe Biden’s mandate that any employers with more than 100 employees will be subject to new OSHA guidelines requiring either vaccination or regular Covid testing for those employees. Corporations have also jumped on the bandwagon, with numerous large corporations implementing partial or total vaccination mandates, and many state and local governments doing the same.

Also under that backdrop is the fact that Covid has simply not gone away and remains a very serious threat in Arizona. As of writing, Arizona has had over 3,000 new daily cases each of the last three days. While most of us are psychologically prepared for a return to normal, a virus doesn’t have the capacity to understand our whims, let alone cater to them.

Corporate reactions to Covid have widely varied, from draconian to non-existent and most everything in between. Here in Arizona however, we are fortunate to have such leadership from Mr. Parsons, someone who realizes the power of positive incentive and leading by example. We would be all better served if more leaders both in the private sector and in government led in the same vein of leadership.

Photo Credit: mashadvisor.com

Scottsdale recently received the dubious distinction of being among the top 10 cities in the United States for most expensive rents.

“So what”, some may say.  Well, here’s why it matters.

A whopping 72% of City of Scottsdale employees now live outside the city because it has become too expensive to live in the community.  That doesn’t just add to pollution and traffic congestion regionally, it has created a major employee services and recruitment problem for the city.

Think of it this way.  If you can work in Queen Creek, Buckeye or elsewhere with city job for relatively the same salary as Scottsdale offers – and gas prices are now through the roof – why would you want to pay exorbitant housing prices?

This is all happening in real time.  Whether it has become a crisis is for others to say.   But there’s no doubt a problem, a big one.  A majority of the current Scottsdale City Council talks of the benefits of putting the brakes on business and growth.  Some say that the city doesn’t need more apartments, for example.  Well these are the consequences of such an approach.  And Scottsdale will not be the better for a less qualified workforce and a less diverse community.

Photo Credit: abc15.com

Last week, Zillow formally announced what could only be seen as an unmitigated corporate disaster: it’s algorithm, which had been automatically purchasing thousands of homes around the country with the intent of selling them at a higher price, had misfired in a big way. The strong majority of its algorithmic sales were for less than what they purchased the homes for, leading to a $330 million loss last quarter.

As a result, Zillow has announced that it is shuttering it’s Zillow Offers division, its “iBuying” division which performed these buys and sells. This has generated a massive wave of uncertainty in the entire industry, as a major player in the market has gone from large buyer to larger seller.

The reverberations have already hit Scottsdale, as Zillow announced that it would be laying off 24 people from its Scottsdale office as a result. But with 300 Zillow employees in the Phoenix market and the company announcing a 25% reduction in their workforce, there may be more shoes to drop in the area.

These circumstances could also have a material impact on both homeowners and prospective homeowners around the Valley. iBuyers were estimated to be around 10% of recent purchases in the Arizona market, routinely winning bidding wars and driving up comps for all other homes. The absence of this large player in the market not only takes away a pricing support, but may spook other large buyers into selling off their properties as well. This could be good news for prospective homeowners priced out of the market, but obviously is not favorable for current homeowners.

While there are no indications that this is a repeat of the last housing crash, this is no doubt a concerning sign, and may very well kick off a housing slump in one of the most overheated markets in the country.

Photo Credit: azcentral.com

As we all know, Covid has caused unprecedented challenges to all live events over the last 18 months, and that hasn’t gone away even as the delta variant has started to subside. Event promoters now have to deal with varying degrees of comfort with attendees being amongst crowds. The Scottsdale International Film Festival has adjusted appropriately with a unique approach.

This year they have elected for a hybrid version, with an in-person event to be followed by a virtual event. As Director Amy Ettinger has stated, they had significant success with their virtual event last year, but considering the desire for many to be amongst people and have a full-screen experience, wanted to combine last year’s success with a more traditional approach.

This year, the in-person component will have 22 films shown in two Harkin’s locations until tomorrow, November 9th. After the in-person aspect has past, those same films will be available online from November 10th through the 12th. The types of movies will run the gamut from dramas to thrillers, comedies to documentaries.

This pandemic has had an incredibly negative impact on the movie industry. Theatrical revenue worldwide was estimated to have decreased from $42 billion to $12 billion from 2019 to 2020. Income from digital entertainment increased by 31% over that same time period, but that is no consolation to businesses that rely on people gathering together for entertainment.

While the global pandemic has been difficult for all of us and has sometimes brought out the worst in many, it has also sparked ingenuity and creativity in many as we seek to make the best of our shared situation. Kudos are deserved from the folks at the Scottsdale International Film Festival for their adaptability and willingness to try new things in order to bring another great experience to Scottsdale.

Photo Credit: Scottsdale Independent

Heroes can come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and ages. Still, it is relatively rare to be able to call children heroes without hyperbole. Yet we can safely call some 6th graders from Scottsdale Unified just that as they helped save the life of their bus driver.

Bus driver Krystal Hughes was having a medical emergency during their trip to school on the morning of October 1st. She parked in a parking lot, and when students sensed something was wrong, they reached out to 911 and communicated medical advice in real time. They also spoke with the dispatch and even reached out to the driver’s mother at her request. 

The kids were honored for their quick-thinking and steady minds with public recognition at the SUSD Board meeting on October 26th. In the words of Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Dr. Milissa Sackos said, “The quick thinking, technological know-how and bravery exhibited by these students in this emergency was amazing and worthy of our recognition tonight”.

Additional praise could certainly go around. SUSD’s tradition of providing a great education likely helped put these kids in a position to be able to make a change. Also, one can assume that they were raised well, so their parents deserve recognition for raising children that knew to do the right thing. But of course, we must applaud the children for their bravery and quick-thinking in the middle of such an obstacle. They no doubt are on the right track to being fine, upstanding participants in our community

Photo Credit: paradisevalleyaz.gov

Happy birthday to one of America’s finest jewels of a town: Paradise Valley recently celebrated its 60th birthday! The celebration had been scheduled for April but was pushed back for Covid. It was attended by a who’s who of notable elected officials, including Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner, Congressman David Schweikert, AZ Senator Christine Marsh and AZ Representative Kelli Butler.

PV has quite an interesting history yet has managed to maintain its character over time. It originally dates back to 1889, named because the founders were entranced with its physical beauty. It didn’t officially incorporate until 1961, however, as the surrounding cities threatened to expand into their enclave and the residents desired to preserve their unique way of life. While there has been integration as time has gone on, including the recent announcement of collaboration with the Scottsdale police department, PV has managed to stay largely untouched and not encroached by the cities around it.

The town was founded with three district principles in mind: 1) for zoning to have a one acre-per-home minimum, 2) the entire area should be purely residential, and 3) to keep government regulation at a minimum. Many things in this world have dramatically changed over the last 60 years, but that has managed to stay the same after all this time.

Change can be unsettling at times. Conversely, a lack of change can sometimes be seen as staid, dull, and backwards, PV has managed to strike a perfect balance, maintaining its status as one of the greatest small towns in America. Happy birthday, Paradise Valley!

Photo Credit: cnn.com

You heard it right…the town of Paradise Valley is currently considering replacing part of its fire truck fleet with electric fire trucks. Why?

It comes in response to an allocation of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act enacted as a response to the Covid-19 crisis and the financial issues it caused in its wake. According to Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner, replacing a fire truck or several was going to be a relatively short-term concern anyway, so they are considering using the funds towards that end, as well as other needs. He also notes the proliferation of electric vehicles and how that trend is moving steadily upward; a very fair point, as Tesla vehicles went from a novelty to widespread within a 10 year period, and nearly all car manufacturers are developing their own electric fleets.

That said, electric cars are one thing but electric fire trucks are a different breed. They have not yet moved down the cost curve via large-scale production like Tesla has with sedans. Their massive size and torque necessary to power them pushes the limits of battery technology, which we collectively have not made steady, large leaps with like we have computing technology. Indeed, the representative of the electric truck company was a bit vague in his responses to this end.

The closest analogy with more widespread adoption would be electric school buses, which currently cost more than double what a diesel-powered school bus does and have largely been dependent on grants from blue states, helping push them down the cost curve. No such specific grants exist for electric fire trucks in Arizona though.

It is certainly an interesting idea, and one that must be considered for the future. However, we don’t elect officials so they can help private enterprise make their production processes more efficient, nor to inefficiently allocate capital in a desire to look forward-thinking. We elect them to be good stewards of taxpayer funds, which even though it is federal money, it is money that all of us taxpayers will be paying down. The most prudent, taxpayer-friendly decision would be to revisit this concept after manufacturers have enough production under their belts to materially drop prices to the point where they are competitive with diesel-powered trucks. Perhaps a decade or two from now we should revisit, but this isn’t the right time.

As you are likely aware, yesterday was Election Day, and aside from some big-ticket bellwether races across the country, Scottsdale cast its vote for or against the Scottsdale General Plan 2035, or Proposition 463. While votes are left to count, it appears to be on its way to victory.

After the first batch of votes counted, which typically includes nearly all early votes, the Yes vote sits at 25,209 votes, or 54% of the total, versus 21,812 No votes, or 46%. With an estimated 3,000 votes left to count, passage of Prop 463 is essentially assured.

Proposition 463 was a referendum on the Scottsdale General Plan 2035, the plan designed to guide growth and quality of life standards in the city. The city is required to update its plan every decade, but the last attempt to do so was turned down by the voters in 2011, and the city has been operating under the 2001 plan for 20 years.

This represents a big win for Mayor David Ortega, who was on the forefront of both crafting and promoting the plan, as well as Councilmembers Solange Whitehead and Betty Janik, who were also public in their support. On the losing side is Kathy Littlefield, who with her husband Bob expressed vocal opposition against it after voting to bring it to a vote.

Other than Councilmembers, support of the plan was mostly divided by traditional political lines. The local legislative Republicans were in strong opposition, with former Mayoral candidate Lisa Borowsky and Republican LD23 Representative Joseph Chaplik being especially vocal against it. Opposition groups also sent a questionable and misleading mailer, a move that may have backfired. On the other side, the local district Democrats volunteered to convince voters to vote Yes.

Councilmember Whitehead is facing what is likely to be a tough reelection battle in 2022, so having this on her resume of accomplishments can only help that bid. Additionally, while Mayor Ortega will have three years until his reelection bid, he can now state that he was able to accomplish something that popular former Mayor Jim Lane never could, something that he will undoubtedly tout.

Photo Credit: the Smithsonian Institute

You have likely heard the stories of potential water shortages in Arizona due to depleted supplies at Lake Mead, the main source of water for much of the west. Well those stories weren’t hyperbolic scare tactics; it is very much a real issue, as the federal government announced that due to prolonged drought we hit a Tier 1 water shortage recently.

We have officially entered a water crisis. So what does it mean to you?

For starters, as part of the agreement, Arizona is required to reduce water consumption by 18%. While that sounds deeply concerning, this will not hit everyday citizens anywhere near as hard as industries such as farming. Regarding Scottsdale specifically, the city’s water manager Gretchen Baumgardner says that the city itself is in a reasonably good place due to technology as well as excess stored untreated wastewater that can be called upon as needed. The city has about 15,000 acre feet of excess water, which could be called upon all the way up to a Tier 3 shortage.

That is not to say that our current way of life will be perfectly preserved, however. The city intends to work with HOAs to develop plans for cutting back, including forgoing winter lawns, removing turf, preserving asphalt, identifying overuse of water, and better maintenance of infrastructure. It would seem as though as time goes on, a more proper “desert landscape” will become more the norm, as opposed to “desert oasis” landscaping.

While this is not ideal, the effects of these low water levels have been felt in even bigger ways elsewhere. For instance, a California hydroelectric power plant had to shut down recently due to a low water level (thus not creating enough water flow to generate electricity effectively). The Hoover Dam is also in danger of having a shutdown for the same reason. Obviously this would cause a significant power issue which may lead to price spikes for many area consumers if not adequately made up for quickly.

Unfortunately, we live in an area which climate change has not been kind to, nor will it likely be going forward. Thanks to wise city planning, we will be mostly unscathed for the foreseeable future, minus minor lifestyle changes. Past that, however, is a large series of question marks. 

By Alexander Lomax

If you are a voter who lives in Scottsdale you have received your ballot, and there’s a good chance that it is still on your counter, as life has gotten in the way and the right choice might not be as obvious to you as it is for other elections. You have probably seen advertisements both for it and against it and haven’t devoted the time to figure out what the right choice is.

I think it’s an easy Yes vote, but more than anything, I believe that you should cut through the myriad interests intending to sway your vote and devote 10 minutes of time to learning about it. I’ll make it easy for you, it’s right here. This is the link to it.

“Do your research” has been an overused cliche when it comes to learning about Covid; a simple but poor piece of advice. Using Google deftly may be an appropriate method of research to learn about the all-time greatest hitters in New York Yankees history, but not so appropriate for laymen trying to understand complex scientific subjects such as mRNA transcription and spike proteins. You don’t know what you don’t know, and as such can be easily swayed by professional-sounding lies.

The General Plan that is the subject of Prop 463 is easy to read and understand. It is fairly long, so to do a deep dive more than 10 minutes is necessary, but it has a well laid-out appendix that will direct you to the subjects that mean most to you. I suggest Section 1 as a starting point as to what it means and why it matters, and then jumping to specific subjects if they strike you as being of particular importance.

It is worth mentioning that it received a unanimous vote to move forward to a public vote, and most of the Councilmembers are comfortable with publicly touting its benefits. Only Councilwoman Littlefield has come out against it, saying that she is voting no. Her and husband Bob have spent plenty of time on social media attempting to sway votes against it in what seems to be an attempt to keep relevance in a Scottsdale that otherwise seems to be leaving them behind.

To be fair, most parties both for and against have their own angles. Councilmembers voting for it want to have a positive legacy of getting stuff done, and those opposed want to stick it to those members and hopefully replace them. They might be right, or they may be wrong…you’ll never know unless you…

Do your research. It’s right here, one stop shopping. You have no excuses.

By Tim Stratton

Ballots have arrived in your mailbox asking for your vote on whether to approve or reject the 2035 General Plan. For the fiscal health and wellbeing of the City of Scottsdale I urge you to vote no on the plan. There are many opinions on this plan and the spirited community debate is healthy and good to see.  I only wish it had been more prevalent as the City Council discussed the issue over the spring and summer months.  I have been concerned and critical of this plan from the beginning for its bad fiscal implications, as well as its bad effects on property values in Scottsdale.  It is nice to see some on Council finally coming around to the same conclusion.

Councilmembers Solange Whitehead and Betty Janik have stated this plan doesn’t raise your taxes.  They are dead wrong, and these statements demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of municipal finance.  Bad land use policies and policies that reduce property values and cost the City of Scottsdale revenue in the form of reduced sales and property taxes can cripple the City’s budget. When that happens, the dollars to support our great amenities and public safety budget will have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is an increase in your taxes. Don’t be fooled by their pandering and fearmongering.  These issues are tied directly to the fiscal health and wellbeing of the City and this plan creates significant long term fiscal challenges.

Contrary to the elements in this General Plan, good land use policy protects our community and allows us to maximize property tax revenues, make smart budgeting decisions, and enhance our underlying tourism and retail base; however, this plan fails to protect our critical tourism industry and says nothing about the short-term vacation rental crisis that is ruining Scottsdale neighborhoods and stealing tax revenues from our legitimate hotels and resorts.

This plan does not reflect the high standards of our community. Vote NO on the 2035 General Plan. We need leaders with vision on City Council who see the big picture of their decisions and understand the result of bad policy.  Scottsdale has a budget of $2.75 billion dollars.  It needs to be ran as such, and not like an HOA. Every decision that is made should be made through the lens of sound fiscal policy.

Tim Stratton is a candidate for Scottsdale City Council

2022 Scrum

From Data Orbital

Data Orbital is pleased to announce the results of its latest statewide, live-caller survey of registered voters. The survey was conducted from September 30th to October 1st.

The survey focused on voters’ views of the proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill and sought to gauge their position on the overall size of the spending package.

The $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill does not reach majority support with Arizona voters. Overall, less than half (45.6%) of all voters expressed support for the spending bill. Independents, in particular, do not support the bill, with only 22% of Independents strongly supporting it and 18% having no opinion.

However, voters expressed that they may be open to some form of the bill, but only with a smaller price tag. A majority of Democrats (54%) as well as sizeable portions of Independents (46%) and Republicans (34%) said they would be more likely to support the bill if it came at a lower cost. In addition, of those who either “somewhat support” or “somewhat oppose” the bill as it stands, almost 60% would be more likely to support the bill if it was less than the current price tag of $3.5 trillion.

Pollster George Khalaf said, “These results clearly show why Senator Sinema is holding out against pressure from the progressive left. She is listening to the constituency of voters that elected her in 2018 – moderate suburban voters. It is clear Arizona voters are hesitant about the reconciliation package at its full $3.5 trillion price.”

This poll of 550 registered voters was conducted through a live survey that collected 60% of the results from landlines and 40% from cell phones. It has a margin of error at plus or minus 4.18% with a 95% confidence interval. Respondents were weighted on a number of different demographic figures based on registration data from the Arizona Secretary of State. The poll was conducted from September 30 – October 1, 2021. All non-released questions would not reasonably be expected to influence responses to all released questions. The questions released are verbatim from the survey provided to respondents. Toplines and demographic data can be found here. Crosstabs for this survey can be found here.

By Arizona Representative Shawnna Bolick

Today, after nine months of waiting for the report on the Arizona Senate’s audit of Maricopa County, Arizona voters got answers – and more questions.

One thing was clear from the report. There are gaps and loopholes in Arizona’s election laws. These gaps must be filled and Arizona’s election laws must be brought to an unimpeachable standard of integrity.

As a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, I introduced multiple pieces of legislation in the last session that would have addressed the missing accountability and oversight identified in the report. When I proposed these bold bills, I took a lot of flak from the left. The report now makes it clear – we need those changes, and more.

I sponsored a bill establishing a chain of custody and implementing robust oversight measures, including public reporting of duplicated ballots and a county’s reasoning of a voter’s intent, electronic display of ballots being counted, and live video feed of counting centers with heavy penalties for disruption of the feed. The bill must be re-introduced. I sponsored another bill limiting the use of emergency voting centers, a tool frequently abused by Recorder Fontes. This bill must be re-introduced. I attended multiple cyber security briefings before and after the 2020 election and have frequently said that machines that can be connected to the internet should not be used in the voting context. By nature, they are susceptible to manipulation, as the report makes clear.

Secretary Hobbs behaved in a way unfitting for the office. As your Secretary of State, I commit to interpreting our laws in a way that strengthens the security of our voter registration and election processes rather than exploiting weaknesses in the law to favor my political agenda. Election integrity starts at the top.

Finally, the patchwork of laws and processes across counties likely resulted in additional irregularities. I call on the Arizona Senate to finish the job it started and complete an audit of the entire state. We need a full picture.

The work to put our elections above reproach has just begun and I will continue to lead the charge.


• The generic congressional ballot is tied at 42% among a sample of N=800 registered voters in a survey conducted September 1st-September 8th with a margin of error of +3.46%.
• The last time the generic congressional ballot was tied was back in October 2015, also at 42%.
• The last time this question was asked was in April 2020 where voters favored the Democratic candidate by 6 points (41% GOP Candidate/47% Dem Candidate).

• The GOP lead has moved a net 13 points with men, while women remain unchanged.

• In 2020, the generic Democrat led among three age groups. Now they only lead among one, 18-34 year olds. Given that the youngest age cohort usually drops off the most in turnout, this is shaping up to be a real challenge for Democrats.

• The difficulty for the Democratic Party can be seen in the movement of the following subgroups:
o The Republican lead among white voters has doubled since April 2020.
o Independents have moved a net nine points, and college grads have moved a net 11 points towards the Republican Party.
o Significant gains have also been made among suburban and rural voters who have each moved in favor of the Republican party by 5 & 6 points, respectively.
o Women 45+ is an important subgroup to pay attention to, they are tied at 43%.

From Public Opinion Strategies

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images





• President Biden’s job approval slipped to 48% approve, 50% disapprove among a sample of N=800 registered voters in a survey conducted September 1st-September 8th with a margin of error of +3.46%.
• President Biden becomes only the second president with a majority disapproval rating this early in their administration along with President Trump. The Biden and Trump intensity numbers are quite parallel at this point in their presidencies.

Total Approve Total Disapprove Net Difference
Trump – Sept 2017 44% 52% -8%
Biden – Sept 2021 48% 50% -2%

Strongly Approve Strongly Disapprove Net Difference
Trump – Sept 2017 27% 42% -15%
Biden – Sept 2021 23% 42% -19%

• Biden’s current approval numbers are essentially the same as Trump’s were in October 2018, just before Republicans lost 41 congressional seats and seven Gubernatorial seats in the mid-term elections. In October 2018, Trump had a 47% approve, 49% disapprove rating. His intensity was 30% strongly approve and 43% strongly disapprove. Biden’s current overall and intensity numbers essentially match Trump’s numbers in mid-October 2018.

• President Biden has a majority net negative rating among many important swing subgroups, including:

Ranked by % Net Difference Total Approve Total Disapprove Net Difference

Congressional Ballot: Undecided 43% 52% -9%
Independents 43% 51% -8%
Midwest Region 45% 52% -7%
White Women 47% 52% -5%
Suburban Voters 46% 51% -5%

September 2021 Omni Page 2
• Voters express clear concerns about President Biden and his Administration.

Which one of the following, if any, raises the most hesitation and concern about President Biden and his administration? Would it be his…

Ranked by % Hesitation

% Hesitation
Handling of the situation in Afghanistan 42%
Handling of the border with Mexico 27%
Support for almost six trillion dollars in new federal spending 23%
Handling of COVID 19%
None of these raise hesitations or concerns 23%

• The difficulty for the president and the Democratic Party can be seen as a majority (52%) of those undecided on the generic congressional ballot express their concerns about the president’s handling of Afghanistan.
• As well, a near majority (47%) of active duty service members express concern about the president’s handling of Afghanistan.
• The concern about Afghanistan crosses traditional political boundaries as even 27% of Democrats and 26% of Biden’s 2020 voters express concern about his handling of Afghanistan.
• The one subgroup more concerned about the president’s handling of the border with Mexico are those over 65 years old (40% border with Mexico/37% Afghanistan). The border issue also scores especially high among those Republicans who self-describe themselves as identifying more with Trump than with the Republican Party (56% concerned about Biden’s handling of the border with Mexico).

By Shawnna Bolick

Good Morning,

Like many of Arizona’s voters, election integrity is on the front of many of our minds. You want voting processes that are secure, inspire confidence, ensure anonymity, and are robust and defensible against fraudulent attacks. With so much on the line in every election, criminals are motivated. Only a couple hundred of fraudulent votes can sway many local elections.

In Arizona, the Secretary of State is the chief election official, responsible for overseeing campaign finance, ballot measures like propositions and candidate petitions, and verifying the official outcomes. As a State Representative for Phoenix’s 20th Legislative District, I have been fighting to restore confidence in our elections and defending your elections. I am running for this Arizona Secretary of State because it’s high time that our elections are secure, our citizens are confident, and our Secretary of State drops the politics.

Late last week, Mayor Kevin Hartke of Chandler authorized a Mobile Voting pilot program to test cell-phone voting in future elections. I am strongly opposed to Chandler authorizing this program for future elections. Though Mayor Hartke’s proposal pushes “innovation” and making voting “more accessible”, I believe our right to vote needs to be taken more seriously. In good faith and conscience, I cannot support this latest move by one of our municipalities. Voting is a serious matter. Utilizing technology to cast a vote means we need to ensure additional security measures are enabled. But without adequate back-up systems, voting relies on the good intentions of the user. Voting by phone may be easy, but how can we ensure only voter is voting with that system. It is quite possible one-time use passwords will be thwarted. Right now, public distrust in the current system is likely at an all-time high. If those who distrust the system stop voting, that puts the results of the election in the hands of those that trust the folks running the system. I want a secure voting system that represents the citizens. At this time, voting by phone is not foolproof. We don’t want to become tomorrow’s fools who have been hacked by DefCon’s attendees.

Another example is Maricopa County Officials rebuffing Arizona Senators subpoena to audit the integrity of our 2020 presidential election. I fully support Senator Borelli’s call for Attorney General Brnovich to investigate the subpoena and bring Maricopa County Officials in line.

I support this move and strongly oppose Chandler’s cell-phone voting program for the same reason.

Both undermine the fundamental tenets of good elections.

We want elections that are:

  • Resilient to Fraud
  • Reliably and Easily Audited
  • Easily Understood by Voters and Trustworthy
  • Front- and Back-End Anonymous

E-voting, ballot harvesting, out-of-precinct voting, and resisting audits all undermine American principles of voting. Many Democrats are willing to manipulate the vote with such ideas to politically redesign a system better suited to keep them in office longer. But beyond this being deplorable, I would remind everyone that our nation’s common enemies can just as well exploit a weakness designed for Democrats—more effectively, too, as we witnessed during 2016 and the rise of the misinformation campaigns stirred up by the Chinese and Russians.

I spent some time in Yuma earlier this week to meet with small business owners and farmers to discuss the importance of water. This coming week I was invited to attend a cyber security briefing for state leaders. I take these elevated attacks and threats to our election system seriously. And our future leaders, especially our next Secretary of State in Arizona, needs to be on the cutting edge of election integrity, able to confidently navigate the present challenges. I am fighting each day to build a system which you can be confident in, and together I know we can achieve that vision for Arizona.

Finally, we have two events this week.  I hope to see you there!

September 8, 2021
RSVP to ben@theresolute.group


September 9, 2021
RSVP to ben@theresolute.group