Now, Becky….

A Letter to the Editor that include the phrase, “I am outraged…” is a letter from a zealot.

Right or Left, they all arise from the same crop of pods (yes, I did watch “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” last night on Turner Classic Movies, thank you). One arrived from a Person of the Outraged Left in The Republic today.

“I am outraged that our senator, Jeff Flake, during his time to question the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch would ask: ‘Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?” wrote Republic reader Ms. Becky (full name withheld because maybe she’s taken a pill and calmed down by now).

You know, it was an odd question for Sen. Flake to ask. But with all the purple-faced fake outrage being directed by the Left against Gorsuch (the worst? the absolute worst? oh, yesssss: Right here), a little silliness doesn’t hurt.

Flake in fact has indicated just how seriously he takes Gorsuch’s nomination. And his seriousness won’t please Ms. Becky.

But here is the thing: After four days of Senate hearings with this elegant, intelligent constitutionalist, a reasonable person — Ms. Becky in her present state of pique clearly excluded — simply cannot end a Letter to the Editor with this, and not be pegged as a Perpetually Outraged Pod Person:

“Gorsuch is not fit to sit on the Supreme Court. He must be opposed.”

MCRC Briefs Defines Party Purity, Defies Party Unity

By Ella Gent

It’s an old and tired act. And for too many years, it has polluted the dark corner of Arizona Politics where conspiracy theories, hatred, and attacks rule the day.

We’re referring of course, to Frosty Taylor’s #FakeNews site, the MCRC Briefs.

Monday morning, Frosty’s readers were treated to yet another example of #FakeNews when she printed, verbatim, an outright lie about Chairman Jonathan Lines, quoting a letter he never wrote from a voter he’s never met.

There’s no such letter. Just another Frosty Fable.

First off, despite her intentions to confuse her audience, Frosty’s #FakeNews is in no way affiliated with the Maricopa County Republican Committee, which is ably run by Chris Herring. But Frosty wants to give you the impression that she is the voice of the County party.

She isn’t. But the lies don’t stop there.

No, Frosty has created a cottage industry of using her shrinking platform to attack Republicans. She goes after elected officials. She berates Precinct Committeemen. She bullies anyone who doesn’t adhere to her myopic world view, and despite her claims of impartiality, writes the kind of slanted and biased articles that would make the writers of Pravda stand up and take notice.

Worst of all is that Frosty, despite modeling herself as a champion of grassroots Republicans, doesn’t seem much interested in advancing Republican causes, candidates, or policies. Browse through any one of her blog posts in the last month, and once you get through the poor writing, misspellings, and non-sequiturs, you won’t find criticisms of Democrats or the leftists agenda, no information of registering voters or any pro-GOP information. What you will find are attacks on Republicans, outlandish paranoia, and lie after lie after lie. If Frosty Taylor so enjoys attacking Republicans, perhaps she’d be more comfortable as a Democrat!

All of this would be moderately amusing if not slightly annoying, if Frosty weren’t now actively engaged in trying to bring chaos to the Arizona GOP. In January, Frosty strongly backed the two losing candidates for Chair in Maricopa County and for the Arizona GOP, using her blog to push false narratives, ask slanted questions and lies about other candidates. Despite her best efforts, both Chris Herring and,two weeks later, Jonathan Lines were elected. Could people finally be seeing through the falsehoods?

But Frosty just couldn’t accept that she and her candidates lost. Recently, in conjunction with Jim O’Connor, she has begun to whisper about and organize a “recall” effort of Chairman Lines. While absolutely absurd on its face (Lines has been in office less than 2 months, just concluded a wildly successful Executive Committee Meeting, and is poised to break records for fundraising at this month’s Legislative Salute), there’s really no cause or justification for taking this action. But that won’t stop Frosty…she’ll keep attacking her fellow Republicans and damage the party until she gets her way.

Or until everyone stops reading.

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Frosty Taylor / MCRC Briefs are welcome to submit their own response. That door is always open.

Trent Franks, Other Arizona Conservatives Need to Keep Healthcare Promises

By Sam Stone

The Trump Administration may be less than two months old, but for conservatives, it may already be D-Day in Washington.

In less than 48 hours, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the curiously named “American Health Care Act” – the current GOP effort being pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan as a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

This bill is the wrong idea at the wrong time and it does not deserve a “yes” vote. Right now, the count says that it’s too close to call. So every member of Congress counts.

Here’s our question: Will Trent keep his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare in a responsible way?

Let’s step back.

Trent Franks is no rookie when it comes to opposing Obamacare. Look at his record here. Lots of detail and votes against what he consistently calls: “Health care proposals that wrested control of the American health care industry from the hands of private organizations and turn it over to the federal government.”

Right when this year’s Congress began, Franks and Congressman Andy Biggs introduced the Protection from Obamacare Mandates and Congressional Equity Act.

Franks said it contained three bedrock principles:

  • First, it gives every American more coverage options.
  • Second, it would allow Americans to purchase their coverage across state lines, opening up more opportunities for competition that will, in turn, help to lower costs for consumers.
  • Third, our alternative protects the patient-doctor relationship.

Just a month ago, Rep. Franks said: “My concern is [a repeal-replace bill] will give some lackadaisical senator a reason to vote against it. My concern is the entire repeal is in mortal danger … There may be some people who will get weak-kneed.”

These are valid concerns, but they sound like reasons not to vote for the current plan, which has all sorts of problems.

The reliable conservative policy think tank Heritage Action makes the fundamental case that the AHCA falls short:

“Many Americans seeking health insurance on the individual market will notice no significant difference between the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) and the American Health Care Act.  That is bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.

“Rather than accept the flawed premises of Obamacare, congressional Republicans should fully repeal the failed law and begin a genuine effort to deliver on longstanding campaign promises that create a free market health care system that empowers patients and doctors.”

Congressman Franks is a solid conservative leader. Currently, he is listed as “leaning no.” That’s why this is the ideal time to give him the support, encouragement and, well, cautionary warning he may need to stay true to his principles and his promises by not resting until Obamacare is gone – and in its place a true, principled alternative – instead of Obamacare-lite.

No, Ms. Bahr, the Navajo Generating Station is NOT closing because of wind and solar

All politics involves the art of lying. The Left obsesses over Donald Trump’s unique practice of the art (Although… really. Wasn’t James Comey just a couple months ago the lying spawn of Satan-Trump himself?), but prevarication is a well-worn screwdriver in the progressive toolkit, too.

Leftist lies are often by omission. If someone had had the good sense to ask President Obama what might happen if your insurance company were to alter that healthcare plan you like by as little as a comma, then we all may have learned that you really couldn’t keep the fricking plan, after all.

Missed opportunities.

The Arizona Republic recently published (apparently only in its paper editions) a great example of a Leftist’s Lie by Omission. It ran on Saturday on the oped pages. By the director of the local Sierra Club, Sandy Bahr.

Bahr wrote about the impending closing of the Navajo Generating Station near Page. It is the largest coal-fired power plant in the Western U.S. In addition to delivering power to a multitude of states, it provides power to the Central Arizona Project, which delivers (uphill!) Arizona’s portion of Colorado River water. That takes a lot of power.

The NGS had an Obama-era target on its back. Closing it was a top goal of Obama’s activist Environmental Protection Agency. But even with the obnoxious “Clean Power Plan” in hand, Obama’s fierce change-agents at the EPA couldn’t quite pull it off. They managed to shut down a third of the plant’s capacity, but that was it.

Then, earlier this year, the owner-operators announced the plant would close. The driving force? It wasn’t the heavy hand of Washington at work. It was economics. Coal, historically one of the cheapest and most efficient-burning sources of energy, could no longer compete with other, cheaper power-providers.

Enter the exultant Ms. Bahr, crowing on the pages of the Republic about how coal-fired power “simply cannot compete against cheaper — and cleaner — energy options.”

Which is true. And if Ms. Bahr had simply ended her sentence there, she would have been spot-on accurate. Coal really is in a death spiral as a fuel source nationally because natural gas is so cheap.

But Ms. Bahr is an environmental activist, which renders it impossible for her to acknowledge that coal is being displaced by cleaner burning gas, because gas is not perfect, and Leftists bow only to perfection.

So she had to write this: “The largest coal plant in Arizona, and the entire U.S. West, may be shutting its doors far sooner than anyone expected because it simply cannot compete against cheaper — and cleaner — energy options such as solar and wind.” (emphasis added)

For honest environmentalists, the revolution in the natural-gas industry is a hugely significant event. But it is largely because of fracking, which they despise. So very few on the Green Left can acknowledge how natural gas is dampening the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But the NGS is not closing because of competition from heavily subsidized energy options such as solar and wind. It is closing because natural gas. Because fracking.

Nowhere in Ms. Bahr’s oped (subscription required) does she mention the words “natural” and “gas” next to each other. And that is just a falsehood.

Even in the Age of Trump, it qualifies as a lie.

 

 

Conservative (once again) objects of curiosity in the New York Times

The Times is trying, bless them, to help readers grasp what motivates these curious creatures called ‘conservatives.’

This one is an earnest stab at explaining the Trumpists without explicitly declaring them unworthy. But, as always in the New York Times, the writer can’t let loose of the exotic-goldfish perspective. And she can’t resist making it clear — like a kid dancing with sparklers — that no matter how hard she works to make it appear she’s being fair to these sods, they’re still sods. And she wants you to know she knows it.

I believe the term is “othering.”

The piece is by Times contributor Marin Cogin, who writes an “On Campus” column that on Sunday examined some of Donald Trump’s odd-duck collection in the White House from the perspective of their days on college campuses.

“How Liberal Colleges Breed Conservative Firebrands” is one of those patronizing head-patters that seeks to illustrate the exotics while making it clear that there’s none of that empathy-stuff going on here.

We are in an age of pay-back time on college campuses. A generation of history-civics-economics education avoidance is returning the inevitable dividend. Today, it’s pampered Middlebury that’s in the news as a First Amendment wasteland, where braying about “flawed notions of ‘free speech'” being afforded to ‘racists’ marks you as a righteous rebel. Meanwhile, the contempt for anything conservatives hold dear is widespread. And few budding socialists on campus are shy about expressing it.

Cogin is writing to and for them.

Aren’t campus political contrarians all underdogs? Aren’t they idealistic and committed? Isn’t the very idea of being “anti-establishment” a good thing? I think you know the exception to these rules.

Conservative students on campus don’t raise consciousness. They “provoke.” Indeed, as Cogin identifies the initial subject of her story — Trump senior policy adviser Stephen “young Gargamel” Miller, a product of progressive Santa Monica, Calif., and Duke University — conservatives on campus are not just provocateurs. They are “contrarian-provocateurs.” They provoke by not agreeing with you, the devils.

All traits that are admirable in the comfortable mobs of young leftists are hostile and needling in not-liberal students (those Libertarians, notes another Times writer, are just as tedious).

Miller, as the writer observes, is “an aggressive self-promoter.” And a “bomb thrower.” (Which makes one wonder: Has any NYT piece ever identified a real bomb-thrower as a “bomb-thrower?”)

It’s not a bad feature on fly-over people and their ways. But, oh, the insufferable virtue-signaling. If you wish to honestly profile someone who you know most of your readers already hate, do you really have to quote what David Letterman (“creepy”) and Stephen Colbert (that “young Gargamel” zinger) think of the guy?

We do already know that, you know.

Message From MCR Chairman Herring – Proclamation of Purpose

House Ed Chair Paul Boyer, Rep. Drew John Endorse Tracy Livingston for Superintendent

Phoenix, AZ – Two more members of the Arizona House of Representatives, House Education Committee Chairman Paul Boyer (R-LD20) and Representative Drew John (R-LD14) today announced their support for Tracy Livingston as the  next Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“As Chairman of the House Education Committee, I am responsible for advancing policies that will strengthen every classroom in Arizona,” said Rep. Boyer. “As a teacher, I am responsible for the best interests of my classroom full of kids. Because I have to approach education from both perspectives, I am very encouraged by what I’ve seen and heard from Tracy Livingston. I’m supporting Tracy for Superintendent of Public Instruction because we need someone who understands the impact education policies have on kids, on teachers, and our classrooms. Tracy will fight to end Common Core and will champion giving parent’s choices and control over their kids’ education.”

Echoing the sentiments of his colleague, Rep. John had this to say: “Improving Arizona’s schools will require more than just good policies. We are going to need dedicated teachers who love their kids and what they do. And what better place to put just such a teacher than into the office of State Superintendent. That’s why I’m endorsing Tracy Livingston and why I hope you will support her.”

While 13 states currently elect their Superintendent, none of those elected in recent years appear to have spent the majority – or even a significant portion – of their careers in the classroom. Unlike them, Tracy Livingston has spent her entire career teaching kids and understands the needs of students, parents and teachers alike.

“The non-traditional student of 20 years ago is now the norm,” Mrs. Livingston noted, “and teachers are having to adapt, but school policy and administration isn’t keeping up. Teachers are facing a greater burden today than ever before, yet the enormous run-up in educational spending over these last few decades hasn’t reached the classroom. As a classroom teacher, I know we can do better – and I know what we need to do to make it happen. It’s time for a teacher to lead.”

###

Mrs. Livingston is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelors in Broadcasting from the Walter Cronkite School, and a Masters of Education. First elected in 2014, Tracy is a member and former President of the Maricopa Community College Governing Board. Before that, she served two years on the Peoria Unified School Board. Tracy has also served as an elected Republican Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 22 since 2011.

Tracy and her husband, David, have one son, Kyle, who is an EMT in Prescott, Arizona. David Livingston is a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. The family currently lives in Peoria with their two rescue Siberian Huskies, Katie and Spencer.

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Legislation Restoring Integrity to Initiative Process

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Vince Leach (R-11) today applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing legislation (HB 2404) that he’s introduced to restore integrity to Arizona’s initiative process.

HB 2404 would prohibit the payment of petition circulators per signature and modify the number of days from five calendar days to ten business days within which a challenge to the registration of circulators can occur.

“By removing the incentive for fraud, HB 2404 keeps the initiative process intact as a legislative tool for Arizonans yet restores some badly needed integrity to the system,” said Representative Leach.  “I thank my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee for their support and look forward to consideration of the bill by the full Senate.”

Former Governor Janet Napolitano first advocated for the reform in 2009, using her State of the State address to ask the legislature to “crack down on signature fraud” by prohibiting the payment of petition circulators per signature.

The Election Grudge That Just Won’t Die

By Sonny Daze

Sources tell Sonoran Alliance that the author of a vicious, divisive and dishonest hit piece in Monday’s Arizona Daily Independent was authored by none other than failed AZ GOP Chairman candidate Jim O’Connor.

Mr. O’Connor, who left his LD 23 committee with over $26,000 in legal debt, is clearly attempting to create controversy and division amongst Republican PCs.

fighting elephantsMr. O’Connor and his supporters have clearly still not come to grips with that fact that Mr. O’Connor lost his race for chairman. It was a close contest, but it was decisive: Chairman Jonathan Lines actually won by 3 times as many votes as Treasurer Bob Lettieri, who required a 2nd ballot to garner the required 50%-plus-one of the votes. However, unlike Mr. O’Connor, 2nd place finisher Eric Morgan graciously conceded defeat, without demanding any recounts, proxy reviews or credentialing fights. Eric Morgan knows, of course, that these internal disputes only harm the party, and do not help us unify to register voters, recruit candidates, or win elections. Lettieri also seems to have moved on with his life and is doing a professional job.

Unfortunately, we’re once again reminded that Jim O’Connor and his allies care less about defeating Democrats, and more about settling scores, launching personal attacks against fellow Republicans and lies. In short, they are interested in raw power, NOT in winning elections.

Mr. O’Connor’s latest gambit may be his most pathetic yet. According to our sources, he has authored, and posted anonymously, a blog post chock full of lies, deceptions and personal attacks. Next, he’s posting his vitriol on his Facebook page, and even urging PCs to work towards recalling our new chairman.

This is what desperation looks like. Unable to win fairly, Jim O’Connor and his supporters are reduced to cowardly, anonymous blog posts and dreams of overturning the will of the State Committee through a wild goose chase of a recall.

It is increasingly clear that the Arizona GOP dodged a major bullet when the State Committee rejected Jim O’Connor last January.

Bob Stump: Why is Airbnb funding a group attacking Arizona Republicans?

All you Airbnb fans take heed! The company has decided to inject itself into Arizona politics by funneling dark money against Republicans. In this letter, former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump hits back with an email to Arizona legislators.

Bob StumpDear Honorable Member:

It is rare for me to contact you as a private citizen and former colleague. I believe this issue is important enough to merit it.

An extremist far-left organization, Checks and Balances, is active again in Arizona. Yet again, it is attacking elected Republicans.

I fully expect Republican members of the House and Senate to be next.

Airbnb, which has enjoyed a friendly regulatory environment in Arizona thanks to you, is funding Checks and Balances. According to Penn State’s Daily Collegian, “Airbnb representative Nick Papas said Airbnb supports the work CBP does.”

What exactly is this “work”? Smearing, suing or harassing Arizona Republican officeholders such as Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, members of the Arizona Corporation Commission — including four Commission chairs — and yours truly.

Consider the “work” of the group Airbnb supports financially:

In an act of pure malice, Checks and Balances published my mother’s private mobile number on the Internet.

At a cost of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and staff time, and with the help of Democratic activist Dan Barr, Checks and Balances sued the Arizona Corporation Commission in an attempt to break the chain of custody of my phone and publish private text messages to my family and friends. Despite Checks and Balances’ conspiratorial fantasies, I was vindicated in court: Two judges determined that nothing retrieved from my phone met the definition of a public document.

Undeterred by losing in court every single time, Checks and Balances has taken to the pages of the Arizona Capitol Times to attack Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Tom Forese and Commission legal counsel Tim LaSota, who defended me in court.

Until recently, SolarCity, the nation’s largest solar rooftop leasing company, sponsored Checks and Balances. SolarCity’s aim was to attack and sue sitting regulators nationwide, in an attempt to alter regulatory outcomes and thereby enhance SolarCity’s bottom line.

SolarCity was shamed into withdrawing their support for Checks and Balances.

It is past time for Airbnb to follow SolarCity’s lead and cease funding a mercenary band of character assassins which exists to intimidate citizens at the behest of its corporate sponsors.

Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky, ignored my letter to him, written when I was a sitting member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Perhaps he will be more responsive to you.

I would suggest you contact Mr. Chesky and his lobbying team and ask why Airbnb is funding an unsavory group that sues and smears Arizona Republicans.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. And thank you for your service to our great state.

Sincerely yours,

Bob Stump

Former member and Health Committee Chair, Arizona House of Representatives (2002-2008)
Former Commissioner and Commission Chair, Arizona Corporation Commission (2008-2017)