Archives for June 2008

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.

Arpaio vs. Gascon, again

Watch for Gilbert Road to have less day laborers over the next few days. That’s because Sheriff Joe Arpaio will be conducting crime suppression sweeps in Mesa as announced by local media on Tuesday.

And that’s the issue now between Arpaio and Gascon. According to reports, Sheriff Arpaio sent a hand-delivered letter on Tuesday to Chief Gason informing him that Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies will be conducting sweeps on Thursday. Somehow, the media obtained the letter and it became public that the sweeps would occur. Arpaio was not too happy and pointed the finger at Gascon for alerting the media but Gascon responded by saying that he found out about the sweeps from the media reports.

Either one of these high level law enforcement officials is not telling the truth OR, someone in their offices leaked the letter.

Regardless, look for Mesa streets to have less foot traffic over the next few days while Gilbert, Phoenix, Tempe and Chandler experience an increase in day laborers.

 

Neo-communist group BAMN continues to terrorize Arizona’s Civil Rights ballot initiative

The domestic terrorist organization BAMN, which has been engaged in a high-profile effort to stop Arizona’s ballot initiative on civil rights, has removed their following video from the popular online video service YouTube. It appears to clearly show BAMN activists harassing an Arizona citizen signing the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (ACRI) ballot petition. Apparently BAMN realized that public videos showing their thuggish activists confronting willing signators of the ACRI ballot petition were not helping their cause of defeating the ACRI.

The controversial and now removed BAMN video can be viewed here:

In the video, a BAMN protester can be seen telling the Arizona citizen that the KKK supports the initiative (even though there is no documentation indicating this is true and the Arizona cause is being supported predominantly by Ward Connerly’s American Civil Rights Initiative and Phoenix’s Coalition for a Conservative Majority). The BAMN activist then goes on to declare wrongly that the initiative is racist, and outrageously says that African-American enrollment at his California college decreased 70 percent after a comparable initiative, Proposition 209, was passed in California in 1996, suggesting that BAMN appears fulling willing to exaggerate and even contrive statistics to advance its cause of defeating the ACRI. The since removed BAMN video also shows another BAMN activist sneering at the signer that: “He’s happy with his white privilege.”

Further reflecting BAMN’s apparent willingness to manipulate fact, it is now being reported by BAMN that two Arizona residents (among hundreds of thousands of ACRI signators) have asked the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to remove their names from the petition, purporting that they were “misinformed” by petition collectors about the initiative. We’re surprised that they even found two. But on closer examination, it appears quite probable that even these two are contrived by BAMN. After a local Arizona news story about one of the two appeared, it turns out she is a Code Pink activist who works in Liberal Arts at Grand Canyon University.

And then there are BAMN’s tactics as it seeks to stop the initiative. First, there are reports of BAMN blocking people from entering buildings, causing police responses. Second, BAMN’s co-president said in a press conference last weekend that BAMN has taken hundreds of signatures away from ACRI signature collectors. Is anyone investigating this? It sure sounds like a violation of one of our most guarded Constitutional rights – the right to petition the government.

And then there are the elected officials who BAMN has recruited to support their efforts. Several could be seen standing with BAMN at that press conference in which BAMN’s co-president bragged about BAMN activists apparently stealing signed petitions. Are these elected officials aware they are standing with an organization that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated for terrorist activities as one of its organizational heads apparently brags of stripping Arizonans of their Constitutional rights to sign a ballot petition?

As these politicians themselves prepare to present themselves to these same voters for reelection, we suggest it is the sort of alliance that would not likely be viewed positively by the vast majority of Arizonans.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpdu5YB-2bU&hl=en

The outrageous BAMN and BAMN-aligned efforts have continued on Phoenix-area radio. On Sunday, for instance, following predictable and totally inaccurate charges of racism by ACRI supporters, two female ACRI opponents could be heard (paraphrasing) bragging of the intimidation they have inflicted on ACRI petition circulators. They bragged that they chased ACRI circulators back to their cars, videotaped the petition circulators and signers, attempted to talk willing signators out of signing the petition, and retrieved and then threw away signed petitions obtained by ACRI circulators because they contend (again wrongly) that ACRI had illegally used out-of-state petition gatherers. They then labeled American Civil Rights Initiative Chairman Ward Connerly a “Clarence Thomas,” stating that Connerly claims he is biracial but that he is as “brown as she is.”

With only two weeks left until the ballot initiative’s deadline for Arizonan signatures, all of these initiatives–some seemingly illegal and others just brutish–suggest a great sense of desperation among BAMN’s leaders and activists. Unable to win on the merits of their arguments (even when they apparently distort them), BAMN appears willing to rely on tactics more resembling the actions one would more commonly see in a totalitarian nation.

It is unlikely that BAMN will be willing to administer any self-control in their efforts to stop the ACRI initiative. But we ask this: Is it not reasonable for Arizona’s elected officials to distance themselves from and denounce this thuggish organization? And is it too much to ask of Arizona’s law enforcement that they intervene to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens to sign a ballot petition without being harassed, verbally demeaned, and (it appears) having their legitimate petition signatures confiscated and disgarded by BAMN thugs?

As the July 3 ballot initiative signature deadline approaches, we certainly hope Arizona’s governmental and law enforcement officials will help properly defend the rights of their citizens to sign a legitimate ballot petition without being subjected to the barbaric and quite probably illegal acts of BAMN.

Undecided beats Obama by 6%

According to the latest Cronkite-Eight Poll, 1/3 of Arizonans are undecided about the presidential vote. This despite the fact that a major political figure from this state is in the race.

Former Mexican Military Launched Hit Squad in Phoenix

Suspects

Former Congressman JD Hayworth is reporting on KFYI-550 of an incident that local liberal media is apparently too frightened to report as the incident it really was. (See “Man killed in home invasion; drugs suspected”)

Hear the audio:
JD Interviews Mark Spencer
JD talks about the police ambush

This last weekend, former Mexican military operatives hired by drug cartels conducted a “hit” on a man in Central Phoenix. This is probably in retaliation for violence and crack downs which occurred in the last week by Mexican troops on the drug cartels.

Bloomberg reports:

June 24 (Bloomberg) — Thirty-eight people were killed in violence tied to Mexican drug cartels yesterday, the highest single-day tally this year, El Universal reported.

Eighteen of the deaths happened in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, the Mexico City-based newspaper said, citing its own tally. More than 2,800 troops have been stationed in the state where Ciudad Juarez is located to crack down on the cartels, the newspaper reported.

More than 1,833 people have been killed this year in violence tied to the drug trade in Mexico, the newspaper reported.

This latest incident is a frightening indication that the drug war has become even more brazen as it continues to spread across the border into Arizona.

JD Hayworth reports that three suspects were captured in an attempted ambush on Phoenix Police which may have turned deadly. The three suspects, one who was identified as former Mexican military, were captured with two AR-15 assault weapons, full body armor AND dressed in black assault gear impersonating a Phoenix Police Tactical Team.