Politicker AZ has a brief post this morning about Congressman John Shadegg’s willingness to succeed John McCain should he win the Presidency. Shadegg is clearly the obvious and best choice for that seat and you won’t hear any objections from me. So I’ll leave that political contest as a given. But if you look beyond the successor of John McCain the vacancy left in CD-3 will place Arizona’s political chessboard in motion creating all kinds of excitement amongst politicos. State legislators (Waring/Gorman/Allen) and city councilman (Baier/Simplot) among others (Hatch-Miller) will scramble to jump in this race. School board members will scramble to follow state legislative seats and on and on… So I’m throwing it out to all you political observers – what kind of matrix can we expect to see when John McCain becomes President and John Shadegg becomes the next Senator from Arizona?
As if things couldn’t get wackier in the Pinal County Sheriff’s office… Sheriff Vasquez once again proves us wrong…
Paul Babeu is a solid conservative running for Sheriff in Pinal County. As both a veteran of the Chandler Police Department and a US Army Combat Vet in Iraq, he has a solid record of service to his Country. I would encourage all of you to look at the race in Pinal County as Babeu has a solid shot of becoming the first Countywide Republican Official to be elected in the history of Pinal County… Please visit his website for more information. www.sheriffpaul.com
July 29, 2008
Records issues spur dismissal of Pinal DUI cases
Jason Massad, Tribune
At least four drunken-driving cases have been dismissed in the Apache Junction Justice Court since January because the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office failed to keep records that verified the validity of blood-alcohol readings.
The cases ranged from more minor offenses of driving while impaired to operating a vehicle above the legal .08 blood-alcohol limit to an extreme DUI.
The breathalyzer verification records were missing for periods from April 2007 to June 2008 in the Santan and Gold Canyon areas, a span of 14 months, according to officials.
Deputy Cardest James was in charge of the certification for some of that time, said Mike Minter, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Pinal County prosecutor Michael Larsen expressed frustration with James in a May 2008 e-mail, immediately before sheriff’s officials say they launched an internal audit into the matter.
Larsen said he had not received documents that demonstrated that the Intoxilyzer 8000, which the agency uses to verify blood-alcohol levels, had received the proper quality-assurance tests, even though he had requested the records several times.
“I need to know,” Larsen wrote. “There are a number of (Pinal County Sheriff’s Office) DUI cases that I will have to dismiss if I don’t get the documents by this week. I don’t want to dismiss the cases.”
Sheriff’s officials said two more DUI cases could be dropped because proper procedure was not followed, Minter said.
There’s no way to determine how many convictions were obtained while the breathalyzer records were not kept, or how many people could have escaped a conviction if they had argued that proper record-keeping hadn’t occurred.
Kostas Kalaitzidis, spokesman for the county attorney’s office, said that records on criminal misdemeanors are destroyed after they are finalized. Larsen said he would not comment on any cases, citing county policy.
The most high-stakes of all the DUI cases that were dropped involved Barbara Hornbeck, a Queen Creek resident who was facing three counts of DUI, including an extreme DUI. Hornbeck initially tested with a .15 blood-alcohol level or more, according to police records. That’s about twice the legal limit for driving.
The 33-year-old was stopped in June 2007 at the railroad tracks near Gantzel Road north of Empire Road, according to the police report.
Extreme DUIs can land those convicted in jail for a minimum of 30 days and include fines of $500 to $2,500, probation, a suspended driver’s license and a required ignition interlock device to verify that a person has not been drinking before getting behind the wheel. Insurance premiums for those convicted of DUI also skyrocket for several years after a conviction.
However, after a lengthy and expensive court battle for both sides, a jury trial date was set for June 11, 2008, according to a court record filed in Apache Junction Justice Court. Seven days before the trial was to begin, Larsen issued a motion to dismiss the matter, and it was granted. A notation on the motion said that the dismissal was “based on … Intox 8000 issues.”
Craig Gillespie, a DUI lawyer and former prosecutor, said that the central fact in many DUI cases is the blood-alcohol reading. A breathalyzer’s calibration is required to be checked every 30 days, and a larger series of tests is run every 90 days to make sure the machine is functional, according to the sheriff’s office.
His firm, The Gillespie Law Firm, has won DUI cases that showed a breathalyzer didn’t have the necessary documentation to demonstrate that it worked properly. He said, though, that he has never seen a case where there was a problem in documenting equipment consistently over the span of a year.
“That’s very odd,” he said. “Law enforcement is charged with the responsibility of keeping these records. It’s just standard practice. If they are not keeping them or misplaced them, then someone has dropped the ball.”
Sheriff Chris Vasquez said that the office launched an internal audit into the matter in June.
However, his office didn’t send out a news release about the audit until Tuesday, after the Tribune requested records from the Apache Junction Justice Court that verified some of the DUI dismissals.
When questioned about the timing of the announcement, Minter said that he got back to the office last week after medical leave and discussed releasing the internal audit to the media.
The sheriff also recently disclosed an internal investigation after news reports that a homicide detective was storing pornographic and racially insensitive e-mails on his computer. The sheriff said that no disciplinary action has been taken in the matter, and that a systemwide review is under way.
CD 1 candidate Dr. Sandra Livingstone sent out a press release announcing an endorsement from former State Representative Debra Brimhall. Livingstone has a short summery of Brimhall in the first paragraph of the press release.
Representative Brimhall was born and raised in Prescott, went to High School in Snowflake, and built her home in Pinedale, the home town of her great-great Grandfather, State Representative James Petersen. That home burned in the Rodeo/Chedeski fire in 2002. Debra’s father was born in Sedona and raised there as well as the Daisy cinder pit of Flagstaff. He married Miss Yavapai County Donna Petersen of the Petersen Sawmill family. They had the Baker Ranch at Roper Lake outside of Safford.
What brand of cat litter does she prefer?
I have known Sydney Hay since 1988, and I consider her a friend. Sydney understands America’s need to expand the production of energy supply for our homes and businesses. She understands the price of doing nothing is severe to consumers and to our national security
I am a Yavapai County Republican voter, and I will be voting for Sydney Hay in the Republican primary
Spitzer currently serves on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has also served as Majority leader of the Arizona State Senate and as Chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission.
We have completed our endorsements for State House. As with the previous endorsements, we are not focusing on uncontested primaries at this time. We will of course be endorsing conservative candidates who face a general election challenger at a future date. To see the full list of our endorsements click on the 2008 Primary Candidate Endorsements link in the column on the right.
House: Trish Groe – ENDORSED
House: Andy Biggs – ENDORSED
House: Laurin Hendrix – ENDORSED
Legislative District 6 House candidate, Tony Bouie, has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Read the press release here.
The Republic carried a story over the weekend on the inappropriate efforts of the partisan Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct, a commission under the control of the Arizona Supreme Court, to inject itself into a local justice of the peace election. Commission Executive Director E. Keith Stott sent a “courtesy notice” ordering Republican justice of the peace hopeful Jolene Penson to censor her own campaign signs. The offending free speech was wording on her sign touting the endorsement of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
You might be wondering whatever happened to free speech. Or how voters are supposed to know who to vote for if the judiciary censors free speech. Those are good questions. The worst part about this is that in 2002, in Minnesota Republican Party v. White, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the free speech rights of judicial candidates. In no uncertain terms, the Supreme Court made clear that the efforts of liberal bar associations and state judiciaries to gag judicial candidates and keep the public in the dark through so-called “ethical cannons” was unconstitutional.
All lawyers, including our judges, take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. But our own state judiciary does not like this Supreme Court opinion so they have simply ignored it and not changed the state’s judicial ethics rules to bring them into compliance with the U.S. Constitution. In doing this, they not only violate the U.S. Constitution, but they violate their oath to uphold the Constitution. In reality, Ms. Penson did not run afoul of any ethical rule because the ethical rule in question is unconstitutional. But nonetheless, the failure of the Arizona judiciary to amend its rule to conform to the constitution allowed the liberal partisans at the Commission on Judicial Conduct to write a letter, leak it to the media, and smear Ms. Penson, a conservative Republican.
There’s a larger issue here, and that is that liberal interests, which include our state judiciary, are desperately trying to keep the judiciary as liberal as possible. If voters knew how liberal the current crop of judges are, they would be ridden out of town on a rail. The way the judiciary prevents that from happening is by gagging judicial candidates who would otherwise tell the truth about liberal judges.
Fortunately, a lawsuit has been filed by Mohave County judicial candidate Randolph Wolfson to force the judiciary to amend its ethical rules so they no longer violate the Constitution. The Republic had a good article on it in June. Even ultraliberal ASU law professor Paul Bender predicted that the current ethical rules would be struck down:
“Bender, the ASU professor, said Wolfson likely will succeed in securing the right to publicly take a stand on political issues based on the Minnesota precedent. ‘If you’re going to let them run for election, it’s a little hard to tell them they cannot announce their views.’”
These efforts come too late for Jolene Penson. The state judiciary, through its Commission on Judicial Conduct, has already succeeded in smearing her for engaging in constitutionally protected activity–free speech, and in the process hurting her chances of becoming a justice of the peace.
Not to be outdone after letting one of the brothers die while under their control, Child Protective Services (CPS) has canceled visitation for the father to see his remaining son. CPS has the gaul to claim “The decision was made in the child’s best interest.” It is amazing how CPS makes like and death decisions regarding custody and holds other accountable for their actions. Who holds CPS accountable for their actions and the subsequent death of Fabian?
Kudos to Josh Brodesky for quality reporting on these difficult CPS stories.
Click here for the Arizona Right to Life PAC Endorsements.
Here are the LD 4 Republican endorsements - PDF file.
Unanimous endorsements for the Sept. 2, 2008 primary election went to:
Congressional District (CD) 1 Candidate Sydney Hay,
CD2 Rep. Trent Franks,
CD3 Rep. John Shadegg,
Legislative District (LD) 4 Senator Jack Harper,
LD4 Representatives Judy Burges and Tom Boone,
Maricopa County (MC) Supervisor Max Wilson,
MC Sheriff Joe Arpaio,
MC Attorney Andrew Thomas,
MC Treasurer Hos Hoskins,
MC Hospital Board Candidate Bick Bicknell and
MC Community College Board Candidate Paul Srch.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2008
CONTACT: (602) 285-0063
ARIZONA RIGHT TO LIFE PAC ENDORSES DAVID SCHWEIKERT FOR CD 5
Arizona Right to Life-Political Action Committee has endorsed Davis Schweikert for congress in the Republican district 5 race. Choosing from among a number of pro-life candidates, the Committee decided to endorse Schweikert in order to recommend to its base the candidate the Committee saw as the strongest and most likely to survive the primary contest and be able to defeat Harry Mitchell in the fall. “While Laura Knaperek and Mark Anderson have both served the pro-life community well in their roles as legislators, David Schweikert has the strongest and most compelling pro-life story of the candidates seeking office. We urge all pro-lifers to rally behind David and his campaign to support him through the primary and on to victory in November.”
The PAC was concerned that with three well known pro-life candidates in the race, the pro-life vote could be split. The Committee looked seriously at the candidates, their support throughout the community, their ability to raise money for both the Primary and General election and their overall effectiveness in getting their message to the public. The committee came to the conclusion that David Schweikert had the strongest campaign and given his long historic association with Arizona Right to Life, the committee felt strong in making this endorsement.
The Arizona Right to Life Political Action Committee is Arizona’s oldest, largest and strongest political pro-life organization.
We have completed our endorsements for State Senate. As with the congressional endorsements, we are not focusing on uncontested primaries at this time. We will of course be endorsing conservative candidates who face a general election challenger at a future date. To see the full list of our endorsements click on the 2008 Primary Candidate Endorsements link in the column on the right.
Senate: Steve Pierce – ENDORSED
Senate: Jack Harper – ENDORSED
Senate: Russell Pearce – ENDORSED
Senate: Thayer Verschoor – ENDORSED
Senate: Al Melvin – ENDORSED
PRESS RELEASE: July 28, 2008
CONTACT: (480) 818-9293
GOP candidate Seel blasts fellow candidate Bouie for liberal positions
~ Center for Arizona Policy voter guide reveals latest in series of liberal positions ~
Republican candidate for the State House in Legislative District 6, Carl Seel, blasted his opponent and recent GOP convert Tony Bouie for numerous hard-left positions taken during the campaign, especially his most recent answer to the questions posed in the Center for Arizona Policy’s voters guide.
The guide (www.VoteSmartAZ.com) features more than a dozen questions posed of candidates for various offices and in it, Bouie stated his support for adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in antidiscrimination law.
“This is a position that only hardcore liberal groups support” said Seel, adding that “Mr. Bouie’s positions on this and other issues show that it’s a lot easier to take the man out of the liberal Democrat Party than it is to take the liberal Democrat out of the man.”
Bouie was a lifelong Democrat until five days before filing to run in this heavily Republican district.
Bouie has already taken positions and earned financial support from open-border advocates, defended race-based preferences in awarding business contracts, and even defended his own company’s certification as a minority-owned business. Bouie has also indicated his opposition to the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative that is championed by Ward Connerly. The AZCRI would prohibit race-based preferences in state contracting. Seel and current State Representative Sam Crump both support the AZCRI.
“Mr. Bouie has already reversed himself on a number of issues where he came out very liberal than changed his mind and became very conservative, all in a matter of days.” said Seel. “It does not matter whether Mr. Bouie is a stealth liberal masquerading as a conservative, or a man who simply does not yet know what he believes. In either case, we cannot afford to send Mr. Bouie to the Capitol.”
Carl Seel has been endorsed by Arizona Right to Life, the National Rifle Association, the PAChyderm Coalition, and numerous other conservative leaders.
No, we are not talking nightlife. The Club for Growth has released their AZ CD 5 ad. Here it is. According to the Club web site, the ads should start running today, July 29th.
I’m amazed by the furor over my reference to an article that 1) David Schweikert sponsored a tax increase on diesel gasoline in the legislature and 2) the breathless assertions that we at SA celebrate diversity of opinion while profusely apologizing for the “errors” of the writers with whom we disagree.
Here are the facts that have not yet been disputed:
The road usage tax at the time was a job killer for the trucking industry. A group of legislators attempted to repeal the tax to create jobs. The tax cut would have decreased government revenue. The solution was to increase a different tax, the tax on diesel fuel, to cover the shortfall.
Here is a quote from the article we’re all using as a source (an Arizona Daily Star article was cited as though it somehow refutes the allegation, but in reality the Associated Press articles run in multiple newspapers and it is exactly the same article).
“To offset that loss, Steffey (a sponsor of the bill at issue) proposes to amend the bill to add 8 cents to the state tax on diesel fuel.”
So as it stood, the diesel fuel tax in Arizona was 18 cents. If the amended bill passed, it would have been 26 cents. The article also points out that this would have been one of the highest rates in the West. Let’s agree that since the government is setting the rate, collecting it, and spending it, that it is in fact a tax.
The article lists David Schweikert as a sponsor. Therefore, David Schweikert sponsored a bill that would have increased the tax rate on diesel gasoline from 18 cents to 26 cents.
You can argue that the road use tax hurt the economy, that it was unfair, high, and cumbersome to collect. You can argue that the revenue shortfall had to be covered. You can argue that the truckers welcomed the tax increase, especially in light of the road use tax repeal. You can even argue that the revenue shortfall could not have been closed by cutting spending, coupled with an increase in revenue from the expansion of the domestic trucking industry.
You cannot, however, deny that 1) this was a tax increase on diesel fuel and 2) David Schweikert was a sponsor.
The David Schweikert Campaign responded quickly to a post that ran earlier on Sonoran Alliance this evening. Here is that response:
TAX EQUITY NOT A TAX HIKE
It is often said that politicians can count on the laziness of a Journalist. Equally true is the maxim that you can count on politicians who rely on lazy journalists to get it wrong.
In reference to the post that David Schweikert had voted to raise fuel taxes while in the State House in 1993, nothing could be further from the truth. A modicum of competent legislative research would have revealed this. But when you are three days away from early balloting, truth tends to be set short shrift. The assertion that he raised taxes is at best hyperbole and at worst a besmirching of the scale that only intentional backbiting is so widely hailed for.
But then again, it is silly season.
Publius “relies” on a Gazette article from 1993 claiming that the passage of HB 2239 would have resulted in an .08 tax increase on motor carriers by amending then existing A.R.S. 28-104. What this bill did was to REPEAL the existing road-use tax that was then driving industry out of Arizona and compelling other OTR operations to avoid Arizona entirely – thus resulting in a loss of revenue. HB 2239 did what it was designed to do and provided tax equity and revenue generation through a wholesale repeal of a tax.
Schweikert NEVER voted for a fuel tax increase while in the legislature. Then again, he never got a $300 dollar haircut at Sassoon and also never filed for Bankruptcy. But then again, the wormholes of the blogosphere do have a pesky tendency to create their own reality, don’t they?
An examination of the record in actual retrievable sources like the House of Representatives Journal from 1993 shows the sponsors of the bill as Reps. Jerry Overton, Don Aldridge, Leslie Whiting-Johnson, Lela Steffey and Keith Bee – not exactly a liberal cabal. Governor Fife Symington signed the bill into law, thereby ushering in a period where trucking jobs were saved in Arizona by legislators that were on the warpath to reform. Publius doesn’t just owe David Schweikert an apology, but all the conservative members of the “1990’s reformers” who voted for this bill – Speaker Mark Killian among them.
In stark contrast to Publius’ claims that Schweikert is a tax hiker on an issue so sensitive these days as fuel costs, stands a pesky little thing called truth. The truth is that David Schweikert has the most solid record on the economy and taxes in Congressional District 5 due to his true conservative roots as reflected in his Club For Growth endorsement. In fact, the only person in this primary who has a true understanding of the tax-transportation interface is David Schweikert. He had technical competence relative to tax structures in 1993 and with his background in finance still has one today. As revealed by this faux pas, as between David Schweikert and Harry Mitchell, only Schweikert has a record of getting something done on transportation fuel costs.
We expected the DCCC to unleash their spin machine of distortions on Schweikert’s record as a legislator – and on cue, they did so last month with a push poll and press release claiming that David wanted to raise taxes (For those of you just tuning in, that actually means something when the democrat opponent picks you as the one he wants to try and tear down before he has to face you in the general). We were, however, surprised and disappointed to see such a false attack come from a contributor to SA. Ultimately, Publius and whomever he is trolling for owe the readers of this blog an apology and retraction. At worst he has insulted our intelligence. While he may think we doth protest too much, it would not be beyond sensibility to discount the remainder of what Publius will say in this venue.
Campaign Manager – David Schweikert for Congress
One of the great things about Sonoran Alliance is that we have a number of diverse opinions expressed on the blog by various writers. (I’ve actually invited a number of individuals from conservative circles to write for SA.) As the “Senior Editor” (I guess that’s what I do), I try to be equitable and allow all our writers to post even though they may not agree on the details. All I ask is that they strive for accuracy and back it up with details. In fact, I recently pulled back a post because I wanted the writer to conduct a little more research before publishing.
Unfortunately, this evening’s earlier post by Publius is a case in which he/she lacked the details and probably should have done their homework. The post focused on SA-endorsed congressional candidate, David Schweikert, and took him to task over a supposed tax hike that occurred back in 1993 while he served in the Arizona House. Rather than pulling back tonight’s post over the inaccuracy, I’m going to allow the readers to observe a little “political housecleaning” in action. The good thing is I don’t have to get my hands dirty.
Thanks to Greg Patterson’s (Espresso Pundit) quick response and the simple fact that he (Greg) along with a number of other conservative Republicans were present and casted votes FOR the bill, Publius’ post can quickly be corrected. Perhaps Espresso Pundit best sums up what is really going on by writing:
So is there anything that we can actually learn from a hit piece like this? Yep. Early voting starts in 3 days, Schweikert has raised nearly a million dollars and has been dropping $50k a week on TV and someone out there is getting really desperate.
As I diplomatically assert that SA continues to celebrate the ability of our writers to express differing conservative views, AND even more importantly, that we all remain unified in our repulsion to tax hikes, I must apologize on behalf of Publius for a post that obviously contradicts a Club for Growth/SA endorsment and insults a number of longtime conservative Republicans with consistent anti-tax voting records.
And just in case you’re wondering how the mainstream media reported on this event when blogs were just a glisten in Al Gore’s eye, here is the story from The Arizona Daily Star.