Fear mongering vs the facts

Some dufus over and a democrat’s lament has his/her panties in a bunch over lake levels. The picture is real cute but it does not tell the whole story. The Arizona Game and Fish posts lake levels and river flows on their web site. The Verde River drains a huge part of Arizona and provides water to the metro Phoenix area. The two major lakes in the river are full up according to the latest numbers. The Salt River system is also looking pretty good. Saguaro is even at 98%. If you’re looking for water go jump in a lake.

Shadegg Replacement Roundup

This post will attempt to analyze the prospective challengers in the race to replace John Shadegg in CD3, and will hopefully serve as an interesting forum for discussion. I am only including people who might really run, not just people who are involved in politics and live in the confines of the 3rd district.

First the top three:

Jim Waring

Jim’s greatest advantage will be the sheer number of voters that he has already met. Scuttle has it that he had personally collected over 2,000 signatures for his expected 2008 Senate re-election. His yearly total of door contacts has been estimated to be in the neighborhood of 4,000 voters. Add to that his sponsorship of popular and attention getting bills, from legislation battling DUI and domestic violence to supporting veteran’s services. Waring is also no slouch when it comes to fundraising; he has over $100,000 in the bank (though none can be used in a Congressional race).

His head start (having personally met more voters over the past 6 years than his opponents will in the entire campaign), fundraising ability, and tremendous work ethic will make him the candidate to beat.

Waring is expected to announce soon and resign his Senate seat to campaign full time.

Sean Noble

Shadegg’s Chief of Staff, he has been with the Congressman since the beginning. He’s considered one of the best campaign operatives in GOP circles, but I’m not 100% sure why. He managed the losing end of the most lopsided governor’s race in Arizona history. Nathan Sproul is rumored to be running his campaign, which would be fine if his were the only name on the ballot. On the plus side, Sean is a handsome guy with a beautiful young family. He clearly knows the district and the issues. If Shadegg were to endorse and go to the mat for him, he would raise serious money. The question is how he supports such a big family while running the kind of campaign it would take for him to win.

Noble’s knowledge of the district, including the donor and volunteer lists of his boss, make him a top three candidate.

Dean Martin

I can’t believe he’s doing it, but his rumored candidacy just will not die. Dean is a statewide elected official, the Treasurer for only one year. He would have to resign merely to compete in a crowded primary. Dean would also probably forgo any chance of running for governor in 2010, in which an other presumptive front runner, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, has done everything humanly possible to minimize his chances of winning.

One thing I have always liked about Dean, and what makes him unique, is that he is not remotely risk averse. In 2000, he took on an incumbent state senator, Sue Grace, who retired rather than face him. With a week to go before the filing deadling, Tom Horne, the longtime state representative and school board member, told him “Thanks for chasing Sue out. Now I will run for the senate and you will run for my house seat.” At age 25, Dean took on a well funded (before Clean Elections) longtime legislator rather than accept an uncontested race for the House. That is gutsy!

His name is Dean Martin, and he can probably raise some decent money (and he’s the type who wouldn’t hesitate to spend whatever personal money he has). He also smartly positioned himself as the head of the Arizona Fair Tax organization, which includes thousands of members (many of them well heeled); this could bring some national money into play, as it did for Mike Huckabee.

The rest:

Ed Winkler

The Mayor of Paradise Valley is expected to announce his candidacy tonight. Presumably he can raise some money, as the mayor of Arizona’s toniest city. Does anyone know anything else about him? Being mayor of a small town that is synonymous with excessive wealth is probably not the best platform for launching a Federal campaign. I’d be curious to learn more about where he stands on the issues, and how he intends to differentiate himself from the pack.

Money is his only discernable potential advantage, and with at least three contenders poised to raise serious bucks, I don’t give him much of a chance.

Pam Gorman

The Pam of 2004 would have been formidable; a young, attractive Christian Conservative soccer Mom. Beating Clancy Jayne and Ted Carpenter is probably not the kind of experience that prepares you for a race like this. Her alliance with Chris Baker, who I consider one of the finest and most underrated consultants in Arizona would undoubtedly help her (never forget what an upset Trent Franks’ 2002 victory was). Additionally, candidates managed by Baker seem to magically meet the criteria necessary to get money from the Club for Growth.

Does she know the issues? Would she do the work? Much better to stay in the Senate.

Peggy Neely

Yawn. Too liberal. She would have to resign, and would quickly thereafter find out how many donors would be knocking down her door (none). Rezoning dirt for developers is probably not the record you’d want to run on, and her 100,000,000 giveaway for City North makes me sick.

Jordan Rose

Rezoning dirt for big developers (from the other side of the table) is probably not the right platform for making this race. She has tremendous personal wealth, but Waring, Noble, Martin, and perhaps Winkler will be spending enough money to win.

Supervisor Andy Kunasek has taken himself out of the race, as has former state Representative Deb Gullet. Phil Gordon isn’t going to pull the trigger, as running would require him to give up his office, though I would love the primary fight between him and Bob Lord.

Who am I leaving out? What candidate strengths and weaknesses am I missing?

As a parting thought, everyone needs to stop freaking out. Yes, Bob Lord has 500k cash on hand. He has also blown 100k, an indication of how he will spend our money in Congress. People report that he’s awkward, he won’t knock like he needs to, and has spent his career as a tax attorney. The Republican advantage is the same as in CD 5, and it took no less than the perfet storm of candidate Harry Mitchell, running in 2006, AGAINST JD Hayworth to barely eke out a win. We are going to keep this seat, especially with John McCain at the top of the ticket.

Calling all conservatives!

Update: More info on the meeting over at Lighthouse.

Tom Delay and Ken Blackwell are in the Valley of the Sun to talk about Coalition for a Conservative Majority. Don’t miss it!

Where: Scottsdale Gun Club, 14860 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale.
When: Tonight, Tuesday, Feb 12, 7 pm.
Why: To make a difference in promoting conservative values.

Winkler looking at CD-3

Update: Do I hear an echo?

Rumor has it that Paradise Valley Mayor Ed Winkler is seriously looking at running for the open seat in CD-3. Some even expect Winkler will make an announcement at tonight’s LD-11 meeting. Besides his work as mayor Ed and his wife are real estate agents in the area.