Time for Dems to throw in the towel on crAZy

The Arizona Democratic Party has a web site with really bad photos of Arizona Republican elected officials. The site distorts many of the issues and takes swipes at Republicans on a personal level. Now that Representative Mark DeSimone has been arrested for wife-beating we see that the Democrats are no better or sometimes worse than the people they are attacking. It would elevate the level of political discourse in Arizona if the Democratic Party would remove their crAZy web site from the internet. Of course they can choose to leave it up but in the wake of DeSimone’s arrest for slapping around his wife in front of at least one of the children what is the point?

A short call to Representative DeSimone’s office resulted in a “I have no information on that” reply to the question of any plans to resign.

Rio Dinero update

We are working on a developing story that materials were dropped off this morning for the Tucson City Mayor and Council with recordings that show either corrupt practices on the part of the city managers office or at least behavior of a very questionable nature.

We will have more as details become available.

Update: Sources tell us that one of the audio tapes has a conversation of Assistant to City Manager Jaret Barr bragging about using a “straw man” to order the appraisal on the Hotel Arizona. Very interesting.

Montini Surprises

Reading EJ Montini’s column today was a rare pleasant surprise. In today’s Republic, he wrote about a class of individuals who have almost all left us. Frank Vegh won a Silver Star in WWII but kept quiet about – even to his wife. Three years ago he passed away. It wasn’t until someone from the VA informed his wife, Elaine about Frank’s heroism and decoration.

Today, we simply cannot forget men like Frank Vegh, our WWII veterans and heroes who sacrificed more than we can imagine in the name of courage, freedom, liberty, humility and bringing peace.  Thanks EJ for writing and reminding us about heroes like Frank Vegh who gave so much and asked for nothing in return.

 

Kevin Gibbons Fails to Show

Providing excellent coverage of Mesa political events, Mesa Issues is reporting that Senator wannabe Kevin Gibbons did not show up at the Republican Legislative District 18 debate on Thursday night. Anyone who knows Mesa politics know this is a must do if you expect to be considered a serious candidate. Now that he has dissed the party faithful, Russell Pearce may have little to worry about when it comes to mustering troops but that’s not the end of the story.

Also, As Mesa Issues informed us, Kevin Gibbons is the brother-in-law of Congressman Jeff Flake which gives the impression that this race may be an inter-family struggle between the Flakes and the Pearce’s in a district heavily controlled by political families.

While Pearce may have the party faithful, he may not have the biggest bank account. Watch this race to get a lot more interesting as Pearce runs as a publically-financed Clean Elections candidate against Gibbons who probably has been turned on to all of Jeff Flake’s donors. Money may impact this race more than we expect.

crAZy update

Busy Friday for the Democrats. At least he has not been charged with beating her.

Representative Mark DeSimone to Resign

Sources are telling us that Representative Mark DeSimone will resign. Details are still sketchy and we do not know if he will resign immediately or just not run again.

The sad reality of Emily DeRose’s attack-dog, scorched-earth attacks on Republicans is that she and Democrats have set a standard so high that no one can live up to it. DeSimone is a casualty of the acrid tone set by his own party.

crAZy

Why are Democrats so angry? First it was Jeff Chimene explaining away a domestic violence charge

“It wasn’t a two-by-four, it was a stick, a two-by-two. A piece of tree or something.”

Then Representative Tom Prezelski lunged at fellow Representative Jonathan Paton and reportedly had to be held back by staffers. Now comes news that Representative Mark DeSimone has been arrested on domestic violence charges. For the party of peace and understanding they sure are hostile. Talk about crAZy!

Harry Mitchell NO Credibility on SCOTUS 2nd Amendment Ruling

Politicker AZ posted a brief mention of Congressman Harry Mitchell’s response to today’s US Supreme Court ruling on the Washington, DC gun ban. Mitchell was quoted as saying, “This is an important ruling for those who believe in personal freedoms and understand that the D.C. ban when beyond constitutional limits.”

Excuse me!?!?! Harry Mitchell wouldn’t know a gun right if he shot himself in the foot.

In 2003, while serving in the State Senate, Harry Mitchell voted against House Bill 2319. This bill ultimately passed (no thanks to Harry) and became law. (And without Governor Napolitano’s signature)

According to the Senate Fact Sheet, the legislation, “Prohibits political subdivisions of the state from regulating the transfer of firearms or ammunition as well as the sale or transfer of firearms on property it owns, leases or operates in a manner inconsistent with state law.” (Look familiar?)

Here was the vote detail during the Senate’s 3rd Read. Harry Mitchell voted AGAINST it.

So Congressman Harry, although you had something to say about today’s 2nd Amendment ruling, you really have no credibility on the issue of protecting the 2nd Amendment given your opposition to it.

More on the Mexican Military Home Invasion in Phoenix

As Sonoran Alliance was the first blog to report, JD Hayworth broke the story of at least one Mexican military member involved in a home invasion early Monday morning (Read Sonoran Alliance’s initial posting).

JD Hayworth has now made police reports available via the KFYI-550 website. Here are those links:

Phoenix Police Department Report on Mexican Military Home Invasion [Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3]

 

Senate approves 2 billion in new debt

The Arizona State Senate approved a bloated, debt laden budget early Thursday morning. The budget includes massive amounts of new debt financed by increased sales of lottery tickets, the crack cocaine of budgeting. We would like to salute Senators Gould and Harper for a valiant effort to save the citizens of the state from years of debt payments plus interest. They do not make it easy to understand but it looks like the senate version was a collection of 7 bills, HB 2209, 2210, 2211, 2275, 2278, 2391, and 2462. A quick look reveals that all Democrats voted for the bill along with Republican Senators Carolyn Allen, Tom O’Halleran, Jay Tibshraeny, and Tim Bee. Allen may be safe in LD 8 this vote could have an impact in LD 1, where conservative Steve Pierce is challenging O’Halleran, and in CD 8, where Tim Bee is challenging incumbent Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords just voted FOR the FISA bill and may now pin a huge budget mess on Bee. She will need to spend her 1 million dollar war chest on something.

The bills now head to the house. Sources on that side of the capital almost sounded resigned to passage. The Democrats have 27 votes plus Pete Hershberger and Jennifer Burns. Burns is not running again and could easily vote for the senate version. Hershberger is in the race of his political career and will give more ammunition to Melvin if he votes for the senate monstrosity. One more Republican cross over and the package goes to the governor. Now might be a good time to contact your representative. That or buy a lottery ticket, a lot of them!

The Schmuck Amnesty Plan

Tired of the usual methods for giving amnesty to illegal aliens?

Well Republican candidate for State House in LD20, Frank Schmuck, has some ideas we guarantee you’ve never heard before.  Schmuck is not just pro-amnesty, he’s downright giddy about it, designing a plan that would send illegal aliens to a civics version of traffic school.

Schmuck’s website has this extraordinary plan in great detail.  For those of you without the time or lung capacity to read it all (we’ll deal with Schmuck’s abuse of the comma later), here is a quick summary.  First, Schumck opposes a border fence as ineffective and he feels that the problem can be solved by giving our Minutemen, the military and our border agents the authority to use “necessary force” to keep our borders secure.  Essentially, a “bullets, not barbed wire” approach that some voters might actually support.  Then his plan completely unravels because it turns out that Schmuck only wants to lock up those illegal aliens who have committed “multiple crimes”, presumably unrelated to their actual illegal presence in the country, their working illegally, any abuses of our welfare system, etc.  For whatever reason, committing one crime is not sufficient reason to go to jail.  Why?  Because, as Schmuck explains, their crime is otherwise the equivalent of a “speeding ticket”.

This brings us to Frank Schmuck’s Driving School for Good Citizenry, or whatever it is he’ll be calling it.  In a nutshell, Arizona would create “education training” for illegals, give them “an ultimatum to remain in this country” and hold a job for five years, pay taxes, get driver’s insurance, get their wages garnished by the State of Arizona, learn English, history and civics, and then Arizona would send a certificate to the Federal Government stating that the illegal has successfully completed immigration training in Arizona and is prepared to take the US Citizenship test.

There is more to this program as it provides jobs for young people where they teach the classes and earn money towards college tuition, etc.  The plan veers off into a plug for a community service program that provides apprenticeship as emergency responders to young legal Arizona residents.  But since that has nothing to do with the Border, illegal immigration, or securing our State, which is the section this entire post resides in, we’ll set it aside and focus on this incredibly um, unique plan?

This insanity must be fantastic news to Rep. John McComish, Jeff Dial and Andy Swann, who are now the only three viable Republican candidates remaining in this contest.

Finally, for candidates who want to impress voters with quality websites, spell and grammar checks are a must.  The following is a single sentence, divided up by an impressive thirteen commas.  Do not attempt to read this out loud if you suffer from asthma or are on oxygen for any medical condition:

“If Arizona were to create an education training for immigrants, by identifying and documenting the immigrant, then giving them an ultimatum to remain in this country they need to hold a job for five years while paying taxes to the State and US, they also be required to have driver’s insurance, while we, the State, garnish a portion of their wages to pay for a required weekly schooling in our schools taught by American citizens, possibly our youth, where they can learn English, learn our history and learn our civics, then maybe we can turn this State and nation around and continue to build it, once again, on the backs of immigrants who want to be here for a better life but, want to be an American and will have earned that right.”

Face off in Catalina.

   

     Tuesday evening a few Republican candidates spoke before the Catalina Village Council meeting. Pete Hershberger and Al Melvin squared off over the legislative district 26 senate seat. Ann Day and Joe Higgins talked about the Pima County Supervisor District 1 primary.

     Catalina is an unincorporated community north of Tucson. The area is an eclectic mix of manufactured and custom built homes. Despite recent growth the community has a rural feel. There were only about 35 people at the meeting, many of them with campaigns. There were probably not even a majority of Republicans among the crowd but it was a great opportunity to see the style and approach of each campaign. Speeches were about 10 minutes each followed by questions from the audience with both candidates at the podium.

     Al Melvin was up first and served a full platter of sizzling red meat to the granola chewing crowd. He brought up the platform and traditional Republican values and Hershberger’s record in relation to said platform. His comparison piece was handed out during his speech. He focused on his 5 points to make Arizona great: Secure Borders, Improve Education, Pro-growth Tax Structure, Nuclear Power, and Desalinization.

     Next up was Pete Hershberger. He firmly countered several of Melvin’s attacks and spoke about his experience, his record of winning house races, and his work for children. He also dragged up the favorite line from the previous Republican senator of the area, “I am a good fit for the district.” Some of Pete comments did not make much sense though. He attacked school vouchers on the grounds that they would lead to overcrowding. Sure schools may receive less money but only if the kid leaves for somewhere else. If you think alternatives to the public schools cause overcrowding you need to check what has happened to TUSD. They are having to close schools because of lack of enrollment and small class size.

     Hershberger draped himself in the Goldwater name. He failed to mention his D- grade from the Goldwater Institute. He did say that Melvin was relying on ratings from extremist groups that want guns in the schools. I was not able to find a single item in the 2007 Goldwater ratings about guns, or any other social issue for that matter. Their ratings are mostly based on private property and government regulation matters. Are we to believe that the Goldwater Institute is an extremist group just because Hershberger’s scored a D- on their report?

     There were a few questions but the candidates mostly stayed on the same issues. They were direct in their assertions but basically civil to each other.

     Next up were the supervisor candidates. Joe Higgins spoke first. He introduced himself and spelled out his call to action based on lack of leadership and bloated property taxes and budgets. He did not directly go after Day but was clearly stating the case for a change.

     Ann Day was the final speaker. Despite her crackly voice and reading from her notes style she was quite spunky. She attacked some of Higgins’ assertions and talked about all the great work she did when she first came to office 7 years ago. Few if any stories were recent. Her message of environmentalism was a perfect fit with the crowd and she event stated that (paraphrased) the “Sustainability is not just a buzz work but a state of being.” Sure is easy to drive a Prius when the taxpayers of Pima County give one to you free of charge.

     During the question and answer Higgins was careful not to attack the even more feisty Day but he continued with his theme of a need for new leadership for the district.

     The election was not moved one direction or another with so small a crowd but it was interesting to see the candidates speak in public. Hershberger will be running a more active campaign than Hellon did 2 years ago. Will it be enough to close the 2,500 vote gap the Melvin had over Hellon? We should know in the first week of September. Day also came out swinging but many of her points were from the past or simply not correct. Higgins is not basing his strategy on directly attacking Day.

     We do not know if Day will face Higgins again. The legislative 26 meetings are pretty booked up with legislative appearances from now to the primary. Melvin and Hershberger may appear again at the Clean Elections debate on July 2nd at Nanini Library. Based on Hershberger’s performance on Tuesday we expect that he will show up on the 2nd. If you want to see right vs. left don’t miss it.

     Speaking of Higgins, I spotted his newest vehicle wrap right on Oracle Road just above Magee. Talk about multiple impressions.

Direct from the Candidate

Here is a guest editorial from Frank Antenori, legislative candidate for House of Representatives from LD 30*.

Gimmicks, Gambling and Down Right Thievery

Frank Antenori

Republican Candidate LD 30 State House

With the slowdown of the economy and the rising costs of gasoline and food, Arizonans are looking for ways to cut back on personal spending. They’re dining out less, running only essential errands and some will even forego the traditional summer vacation and opt for the less expensive “stay-cation” just to stick to their household budget.

But while most of us are tightening our fiscal belts to make ends meet, your State Legislators and Governor are scheming for ways to continue their exorbitant, out of control spending at your expense.

As of right now, a tentative budget agreement has them proposing to spend over $11 Billion, with only $9.1 Billion in state revenue. That means they’re spending more money than we have, almost $2 Billion more. How can they spend more money than what is in the general fund you ask?

I’ll tell you. With unconstitutional bonding gimmicks, expanding state sponsored gambling, and by expropriating the money from separately funded state agencies.

To make up for the 21% in overspending, the Legislature will use $1 Billion in unconstitutional borrowing and “other financial maneuvers” that will result in $83 million a year in debt payments. If that’s not enough, they “hope” more Arizonans will gamble away their money on the state lottery or get caught speeding to make up the shortfall.

To top it all off, they plan on “sweeping” funds from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the State Parks Department and other independently funded state agencies. The funding for these departments is not generated by tax revenue, does not come from the general fund and is not appropriated by the legislature. These departments get their funding from Arizona sportsmen and outdoor recreationists via the purchase of hunting, fishing, boating and off highway vehicle licenses and camping fees.

The money is supposed to be used for game species habitat protection, State Park facilities maintenance, boat launch construction, and State Lake improvements. Instead of balancing the budget with the money available in the general fund, they’re stealing it from Arizona’s outdoorsmen.

It is time to put an end to this by electing leaders that will stand up for the one constituency that gets little notice, the taxpayer. Leaders that will adhere to fiscal conservative principles by eliminating non-essential government programs, holding state agencies accountable for wasteful spending and sticking to our State’s Constitution to Balance the Budget.

Taxpayers deserve State Representatives that will work hard to prevent State Government from raiding other accounts and raising your taxes. Let’s put Arizona back on a sound fiscal foundation by electing principled, fiscal conservatives this November.

Frank Antenori is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces veteran that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, a published author and a candidate for the Arizona State Legislature in District 30.

*Publication of this editorial is not meant as an endorsement of the author but rather an opportunity for candidates to directly reach our audience.

Winners and Losers OR Chapter 11 and Rule 11

Many words in the English language carry connotations that define their meaning based on context.  “What a loser!”  The word “loser” has nothing to do with prevailing in a contest at all but is offered as an editorial comment in a pejorative sense.  Conversely, to call someone a “winner” is considered a boost, a definite promotional statement.  These are subjective uses of the terms based on feelings of the person offering the statement versus objective, where they would be based on the actual results of the person being referenced.   Kind of perception versus reality.  Not to say the person being called a winner might not be one, but it is a perception as opposed to a defined winner in a contest has actually proved the term to be appropriate.

Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy.  The person who has committed to certain obligations is now in a situation where they believe they cannot perform according to the promise they made.  An entity has bestowed trust in this person by providing them with a benefit, however they are no longer capable of performing their part of the agreement; the expectation of certain behaviors agreed upon at the time the deal was made are now being called null and void.

Rule 11 is a GOP rule enabling a state party to declare a presumptive winner in a contested primary in order to allow funding to go to this candidate and exclude other GOP candidates from party benefits, such as access to Voter Vault.  

CD-1 has a handful of R’s running for the House seat of Rick Renzi.  Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen has issued a Rule 11 letter, naming the “winner” prior to the primary.  The RNC and NRCC are not involved in this decision and did not ask for the Rule 11 letter. Without getting into the good, the bad, and ugly of the candidates, this has caused some consternation among Yavapai County Republicans who feel the voters should decide the outcome of an election.  Sides have been drawn, not over candidates but over principles.

This is where the “politics ain’t bean bags” analogies usually start flying.  And it would be correct.  Pick the winner now, extend the general, give a jump start to the R candidate in funds and manpower in what is a Dem leaning district and election cycle to increase the odds of victory.  Good idea or is it?

In this situation the difference between Rule 11 and Chapter 11 gets really blurry and the terms “winner” and “loser” have taken on a whole new meaning.

Homosexual Marriage Ban Fails in State Senate

Today, by a vote of 14-11, the State Senate failed to pass a resolution referring an amendment to the ballot (SCR 1042) which would clarify and solidify the definition of marriage in Arizona as between one man and one woman.

Cathi Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy, issued a very good summary of what happened which we will re-print here. We also encourage you to sign up for The Center for Arizona Policy’s email alerts.

Breaking News – Marriage Amendment Fails on Senate Vote

This morning, the Arizona Senate failed by one vote to pass the Arizona marriage amendment (SCR 1042). No Democrat supported the marriage amendment while one Republican opposed the marriage amendment.  Several senators missed the vote, including Sen. Karen Johnson who has been a strong supporter of traditional values.

The meaning of today’s vote:  while it’s not over until the legislature adjourns, today’s vote puts the marriage amendment on life support.  For the amendment to be on the November ballot, 16 senators have to vote yes.  

Our CAP policy team along with our pro-marriage allies will continue to seek ways to have 16 senators present to vote yes so that Arizona’s courts and politicians don’t redefine marriage for us.  We continue to consider it a top priority for the people to decide the definition of marriage, not the courts and not the politicians.
 
Note:  Under Senate Rules, a senator can move to have a vote reconsidered only if the senator was on the prevailing side.  One of our strongest marriage amendment supporters, Sen. Linda Gray, therefore, voted no today so that she then could move to have the vote reconsidered.  Sen. Gray then successfully made the motion to have the vote reconsidered.  This keeps the door open for another vote on the marriage amendment before the legislature adjourns.

CALL TO ACTION:
Check the recorded vote by clicking here.  If your senator supported the marriage amendment, email them to thank them for their support.  If your senator missed the vote or voted no, email and call them TODAY to ask for their support for the marriage amendment.

Pray that the marriage amendment still makes it to the November ballot.

Today’s vote was as follows: (Can you guess the lone Republican who voted against it for non-procedural purposes?)

BILL STATUS VOTES FOR SCR1042 – Final Reading

Y = Yes
N = No
NV = Not Voting
EXC = Excused
V = Vacant

VOTED FOR TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE:
Sylvia Allen
Timothy S. Bee
Robert Blendu
Robert “Bob” Burns 
Pamela Gorman
Ron Gould
Chuck Gray
Jack W. Harper
John Huppenthal
Barbara Leff
Tom O’Halleran
Jay Tibshraeny
Thayer Verschoor
Jim Waring

VOTED AGAINST TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE:
Paula Aboud
Amanda Aguirre
Carolyn S. Allen <= Lone Republican
Marsha Arzberger
Meg Burton Cahill
Ken Cheuvront
Jorge Luis Garcia
Albert Hale
Debbie McCune Davis
Charlene Pesquiera

NOT PRESENT TO VOTE:
Karen Johnson
Leah Landrum Taylor
Richard Miranda
Rebecca Rios
Victor Soltero

VOTED AGAINST SCR FOR PROCEDURAL REASONS:
Linda Gray

Barack, you can’t have my wallet

You gotta love YouTube. MoveOn.org spent millions of dollars to air their Alex ad only to have some guy put up his own version at no cost and get thousands of views!

Lottery tickets sales become the new photo radar

Governor Napolitano and the State Senate are touting their new “bipartisan” budget compromise but the Devil appears to be in the details. While the state is experiencing a 2 billion dollar deficit the Senate plan ADDS $1 billion in spending for new construction and renovation at the state universities. They may be in need of some updating but is this the year to spend a billion dollars? Fiscal conservatives are mad at the smoke and mirrors with the lottery income and the huge spending increase. There will likely be a shortfall in the predicted lottery revenue and the difference will have to come out of the general fund, further exacerbating the deficit. Social conservatives are disturbed by the push to generate more revenue from a scheme that has a negative impact on those least able to afford the cost of gambling. Take about crAZy. Nice work guys.