A Visual Look At The Numbers

Spurred by the article in the The Arizona Republic this morning, I wanted to put together a visual presentation of where the voter registration numbers really are. Here are two graphs.

The first graph represents the number of active voters in each party. Republicans still hold an edge in October, 2007 but growth has been stagnant.

Voter Registration 2007

The second graph represents the rate of change in voter registration. This is especially interesting as one can see the highest rate of change (increase) within individuals not wanting to register as either Democrat or Republican but rather, as an Independent. My assessment is that these are voters angry with the Republican party but not quite willing to join the ranks of the Democratic party.

Registration Rate Changes 

I have long held that political demographics are changing to a more conservative population as conservatives continue to have more children and Roosevelt Democrats continue to age and die off.

My prescription is that if the GOP can get its act together promoting what is articulated in its platform - low taxes, controlled spending and protecting traditional values – it will regain its strength with the American people.

Here is the Excel Spreadsheet (Voter Registration) I used to put this together.

Money Talks

This is going to be one of those posts where I get to vent in the beginning but more importantly, I’m going to ask you what we (GOP) needs to do to get back on track.

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the Arizona GOP is running well behind Democrats when it comes to raising money and registering voters.

According to the Matthew Benson’s article:

The state’s Republican Party has fallen far behind in fundraising, trailing Democrats by a more than 3-to-1 ratio so far this year.

Nearly the same ratio holds true for new voters signed up during the past year. Since October 2006, just one in every 10 new voters has registered with the GOP, a startling percentage in a state long dominated by the Republican Party.

Well, money and registered voters. Arizona Republicans have been lagging in that area, too. The party still has a 140,000-registered-voter edge, but that advantage has narrowed with the addition of nearly 31,000 Democrats in the past year. Growing fastest of all: independent voters. That voter bloc, now more than 750,000 strong, represents the key swing group in the upcoming election and those going forward. 

The most recent reports reveal that Democrats have raised $1.41 million dollars while Republicans have raised $441,000 year to date.

Now I know some of you are going to point all the blame at Randy Pullen because you’re still bitter about the GOP leadership election back in January, but that’s not fair. There are many factors for the status quo of the party including:

  1. The war in Iraq
  2. President Bush and go-along Republicans spending like crazy,
  3. Republican scandals (Rick Renzi, Mark Foley, Jack Abramoff, Larry Craig, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, etc.),
  4. And of course, a party divided on immigration

Yes, these are some of our biggest problems and a view of the glass half-empty. But because we’ve been so focused on the negative, its time we acknowledge we should focus on the positive.  

So I’m going to ask you to offer solutions. Before you start commenting wildly on this post, I’m going to ask that you not dogpile on state leadership. This is not about Randy Pullen and conversely, its not about sitting around singing “Kum Ba Yah.” It’s about the future: 12 months, five years and 25 years from now.

Here are a few of my suggested solutions:

  1. The GOP has to clean its own house. We can no longer afford to look the other way on situations that point out hypocrisy and question our credibility. This is critical on issues fundamental to our party platform.
  2. Put an end to out-of-control spending! It’s time to go on a beans and rice diet, pay down our debt and live within our budget. 
  3. Give a vision to the American people of where this country will be in 5, 10 and 25 years. This should include strength against Islamo-facism, assimilating immigrants into American culture (and not the other way around) and demonstrating political courage and will on fixing the Social Security fiasco (let us get out of the system)

Now it’s your turn.

Arizona Republic Questions Pastor’s Qualifications

A slightly scathing story in today’s Arizona Republic regarding Laura Pastor’s apparent advantage in hiring due to her father’s congre$$ional po$ition.

(Arizona Congress Watch has been following this linkage for some time and even our “beloved” New Times published a story on Pastor’s tie to her father’s coattails.)

Pastor is a candidate for the Phoenix City Council and has been presenting her credentials in a leadership role with Maricopa Community College’s outreach program, Achieving A College Education.

Here are a few quotes from today’s Republic:

Maricopa Community Colleges chose the daughter of a member of Congress to run an outreach program over at least two applicants who were more educated and had more experience in fields described as crucial for the job.

The college district denies Pastor got the position because her father, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Phoenix, has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into the outreach program, including $1 million in federal grants at the time his daughter was being interviewed in 2005.

But newly released resumes and applications of the top three candidates for the job show that Pastor had the least experience in working with colleges or with outreach and scholarship programs.

Records show that Pastor was hired at a salary of nearly $66,000, which was $16,000 above the advertised maximum range for the director’s job.

Unlike the other two finalists, Pastor’s resume shows no experience with at-risk high-school students or any college-related work history.

Records show that two phone calls and a letter were lodged with the college over Pastor’s selection, calling it favoritism. The college Equal Employment Opportunity officer dismissed the grievances as unfounded, saying there were no violations of laws or regulations.

Rep. Pastor, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, has denied that he pulled strings to get his daughter the job. He also said that he would have continued supporting the scholarship program whether or not she was hired.

Laura Pastor says that she has never used her father’s connections to get ahead. She said she didn’t know that the scholarship program owed its existence to her father when she applied for the job.

Pastor has run into similar allegations over campaign contributions, which show that she has pulled in thousands of dollars from employees and lobbyists for timber, airline and other industries connected to her father.

She said that she was unaware of the connections to her father and that all of the contributors are personal friends.