AZ RTL voting guide

Arizona Right to Life has posted their voting guide online.

Trouble in Maricopa

A source inside the Maricopa County Executive Guidance Committee (EGC) has told us that District 11 Chairman Rob Haney is moving forward with a resolution opposing McCain at the next EGC meeting on February 7th. The information was provided to us by someone normally opposed to McCain who none-the-less wanted to move on to other issues and opposed bringing forward the motion. Despite some opposition from certain members there are still enough Haney allies opposed to McCain that the resolution has a very good chance of passing at the EGC meeting on the 7th. We are not in contact with all 28 members on the committee but we do know that Haney does have some strong allies and can be very successful at lining up votes. Haney was forced to send out an advanced copy of the resolution because of past complaints from committee members about not having enough time to read the resolutions before the meeting. We were able to obtain a draft copy of the resolution printed below.

STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO THE CANDIDACY OF SENATOR MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Whereas, Our National Republican Committee members, Bruce Ash and Sharon Giese have chosen to endorse the presidential candidacy of Senator McCain during the primaries thereby reviving the angst, revulsion and polarization amongst the majority of the Arizona Republican activists who oppose said candidacy; and

Whereas, Senator McCain’s, dual-citizenship holder and Spanish liaison advisor, Dr Juan Hernandez, (who was an advisor to former Mexican President Vicente Fox), has repeatedly stated his “think Mexico First” position and repeatedly, when American interests were at odds with the interest of Mexican illegals, Hernandez has sided against America; and

Whereas, Senator McCain repeatedly proclaims that his Amnesty bill is not Amnesty, refuses to vote to allow drilling for oil in Alaska thereby weakening our national security while causing as steep rise in inflation, buys into Gore’s unproven hysterical rhetoric stating Global warming is caused by human activity, and makes the disingenuous claim that he is pro-life while repeatedly voting for embryonic stem cell research and fetal tissue research with tax payer money; and

Whereas, In a straw poll during the Maricopa County Republican precinct committeemen meeting of January 19, 2008, Senator McCain was voted as the most unacceptable Republican presidential candidate by amassing an overwhelming negative vote of 427 of the 721 ballots cast; and

Whereas, Leading conservative voices, including Delay and Santorum, have warned us that McCain is not a conservative and poses a great danger to the Republican Party; and

Whereas, McCain has demonstrated his ease with the truth by mischaracterizing Romney’s statement on timetables for Iraq; and

Whereas, This grassroots leadership body censured Senator McCain in 2005 for his failure to faithfully perform his duty to uphold the Constitution and for his undermining the Republican mandate of the 2004 election: therefore

Be it resolve, That we, the Maricopa County Republican Committee state most emphatically that Senator McCain is not our favored Republican candidate for President of the United States.

McCain-Huckabee ’08?

Now the talk is all about Huckabee remaining in the race in order to guarantee a VP role with McCain.

If there is a deal in the works, does this now make a McCain nomination more palatable for core conservatives?

Given the Ancient Mariner’s age, do Huckabee conservatives continue to vote for him knowing they’ll have to be patient four years in order to get what they really want?

Or, do Huckabee conservatives throw all their support behind Romney and hope the GOP’s nominee remains conservative?

Then again, will conservative wake up this fall and realize they’ve nominated a Democrat in GOP clothing?

A Public Solution to Public Outrage

Representative John Kavanagh The Arizona Republic simply does not know how to accept the public’s view of the world.

For instance, about 15 people, almost all reporters, showed up at the 9-11 Memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza yesterday to listen to LD8 Republican Representative John Kavanagh announce his bill to resolve the controversy over the slogans engraved into the steel ring of the memorial.  The slogan panels will be removed and replaced with a time line of events.  Other informational pieces will be installed at the site to tell of other parts of the day.  This bill has such huge support that more than 80 of the 90 members of the Legislature signed-on as sponsors.

The Republic reports, “But the proposal aired Wednesday is drawing complaints. Some feel it usurps the public process that a citizen commission followed in creating, and then amending, the memorial just east of the state Capitol.”

Yeah, the complaints issue might be correct, if a reporter’s questions could be viewed as “complaints.”  But, when did questions asked by reporters during a press conference become “public complaints?”

Or, maybe the reporter could be referring to Billy Shields, the ex-union executive and fireman who chaired the committee that created the repulsive slogans to begin with.

Yeah, he complained to her about a “public process” being bypassed.  He ignores the fact that the change being supported by the Legislature was also arrived at in public meetings with opportunity for public comments.  It was then drafted into a bill and signed by most of the Republicans and Democrats elected by the public to make such decisions.  In fact, there will be more public hearings before the bill becomes law.

Or, maybe she is referring to the artist, turned state representative, Steve Farley.

He wouldn’t sign Kavanagh’s bill because it interfered with artistic license. “The last thing we want is for Arizona to have a reputation where artists don’t want to do work because politicians are looking over their shoulder, telling them what to do.”  Wasn’t it a  government appointed commission that decided what would be included in the art?  Why wasn’t that a problem for Farley?

Let’s see, the art is going to belong to the state and be displayed on state property.  Seems it would be of public interest that the art is acceptable to most of the people of the state.  This idea that selection is censorship ignores the basic fact that even artists are censors of their work when they decide what to create and art galleries and art museums make censorship decisions every day in what they will display.  The state should do the same. No, this is also a matter of sponsorship by the taxpayers of Arizona.

The commission that created this monstrosity knows the public didn’t get involved in the original process because the public never imagined the idea that a 9-11 memorial would be tarnished by slogans praising or memorializing the enemy.

Only the Arizona Republic would want to make a controversy out of a bi-partisan plan to fix an on-going controversial problem of mean-spirited slogans on a monument that Kavanagh described as “embarrassing to Arizona” and so far in disrepute with the public that many citizens of the state simply won’t visit it.  Kavanagh said, “9-11 belongs to all of us.”

Kavanagh’s plan is a good resolution to an ugly problem.

Electability

One of the reason’s McCainiacs site for supporting him is electability. When discussing electability it is important to look at the background of the candidate, specifically whether they are a senator or governor.

Since 1900 there have been 8 open presidential elections (non-incumbent.) Senators have won twice and a governor once. Both victories by senators were pre-1964. The gubernatorial victory was post 1964.

Since 1900 five incumbent presidents have been turned out of office by a challenger (1912, 1932, 1976, 1980, and 1992.) All five challengers were governors.

Since Senator Kennedy’s win in 1960 there have been 11 presidential elections. Five of the losers in those races were senators (1964, 1968, 1972, 1996, and 2004.) Only one of those who lost was a governor (1988.) Two other losers were Vice Presidents and former senators (1984 and 2000.)

This is an overwhelming trend that governors have the advantage when the country is in the mood for change and that senators have an overwhelming record of losing elections since the beginning of the television era.

The Democrats are going to nominate a senator. The Republicans have a choice whether to nominate someone who has been in Washington since 1982 or someone who has served as an executive of a state. If the GOP goes with the senator then we surrender an advantage over the Democrats. If we go with a governor then we can credibly run a Washington outsider against the Democrat insider.

The South is in play on Feb 5th

Twenty-one states have their primary or caucus on February 5th. Four of those are Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee. Governor Mike Huckabee was doing well in several of these states. Recent polls show that Huckabee has slipped significantly in Georgia and Tennessee. There was not a recent Alabama poll at the time of this post but if the other two states are any guide he is vulnerable there as well. Senator McCain is the beneficiary of Huckabee’s slide in Georgia and Tennessee. If Huckabee slips further the question becomes where do the rest of his voters go. It defiantly puts those states in play. Missouri is another state where Huckabee may fade from the top tier.

Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee allocate delegates by results in each congressional district. Thus a strong second may result in several delegates. Missouri is winner-take-all so there is no prize for second place, even if close.

Arkansas is Huckabee’s home state so we would not expect a big change there.

Romney still in the race

Update: Romney gains in Illinois. With Rudy out of the race McCain moves up 3%, Romney up 6%, and Huckabee up 5% in IL. The state is not winner take all there are delegates available to others beyond the top winner.

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Despite Senator McCain’s clear win in Florida Governor Romney is still in the race. Romney had a strong performance in Wednesday’s debate. Romney is still in the top tier of the Rasmussen daily tracking poll. The former governor is still competitive in California. Like Florida, California is a closed primary state but it is not winner take all. The delegates are assigned by each congressional district, making a close second still valuable.

Will Giuliani voters follow him to the McCain camp?

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Two of Rudy’s strengths were his stand on the threat of Islamic extremism and his executive experience. At first glance it seems like McCain is a good fit with Rudy on the terror threat but did Rudy want to close Guantanamo and ban waterboarding? McCain wants to do both, sending the terrorist in Guantanamo to Kansas. Does he also assign an ACLU lawyer to each one of them? McCain has been very strong on the war in Iraq but his views on Guantanamo and enhanced interrogation seem at odds with Giuliani’s strengths.

Rudy’s other strong point was his executive experience in cleaning up New York City. McCain has no similar record running such a large organization, public or private. Will voters attracted to America’s Mayor go for a 25-year member of congress? We’ll have a much better idea on February 6th but my guess is that not all of them will go for McCain.

What was done to McCain while he was held prison in Viet Nam was sadistic and probably of very little intelligence value to his captors. Waterboarding has been documented as valuable in saving lives when used against high value terrorists. Yes, terrorists fighting out of uniform in a battle where innocent civilians are targeted. Does a president McCain really want to extend Geneva Convention protection to terrorists?

While on the topic of waterboarding I have a question. If it is so brutal why do people let themselves be subjected to it all the time and post the videos on YouTube?

Waterboarding demonstration on MSNBC
Longer version of the MSNBV video
Public demonstration of waterboarding in DC
CodePink does a public waterboarding for Feinstein
Public demonstration at ACLU
Public demonstration at Berkeley
Redneck waterboarding

Update: Michell Malkin covers the endorsement.

Rush decides to stay in the race

Update: Hugh Hewitt on the race. It’s not over.

 EIB-1 on stand-by.

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Here is the YouTube video of Rush talking to his supporters. Despite the fact that McCain now has 8% of the needed delegates Rush vows to continue.

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Where to from here?

There is no doubt that McCain’s win in Florida was big. The state was hotly contested and his 5% margin was convincing. I do not mean to sound like on of our other writers, who we understand will be taking a few days off to “adjust his attitude”, but there is one interesting thing I noted in the Florida numbers. The top Republican vote getter is still in the mid-30s. With 7 candidates in the race at the time McCain won New Hampshire with 37% of the vote. Eleven days latter McCain scored another big win in South Carolina with 33% of the vote. Yesterday, with 5 candidates in the race, McCain won Florida with 36% of the vote. That is 1% less than he won on January 8 with two more candidates in the primary.

I am not predicting that someone besides McCain will win the nomination. Rather I am pointing out that while McCain is clearly the frontrunner he has a little more work to do before he locks up the nomination. Giuliani has all but withdrawn and endorsed McCain. Interestingly Huckabee looks like he is staying in. He is ahead in several Southern states and knows how to operate without much money.

The big question is where does Romney go from here. He has a few safe states on February 5th. Does he pour in the funds to compete in other states? At one time we thought Arizona might have been competitive. At this point, with winner take all, I would not spend much money on the state. That leaves some states like California with a winner take all by district and other western and mid-west states with caucus meetings. The primary is not over but it is getting there slowly.