Archives for July 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Arizona Right to Life PAC Endorses Schweikert

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.

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State Senate Endorsements

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.

District 1

Senate: Steve Pierce – ENDORSED

District 4

Senate: Jack Harper – ENDORSED

District 18

Senate: Russell Pearce – ENDORSED

District 22

Senate: Thayer Verschoor – ENDORSED

District 26

Senate: Al Melvin – ENDORSED

Press Release: Seel Blasts Bouie

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.

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The Club Scene in Tempe and Scottsdale

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.

It depends on what your definitions of tax, increase, and “is” are

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.

Schweikert Campaign Responds to SA Post

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.

Bill Connor

Campaign Manager – David Schweikert for Congress

 

Vantage Point

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.

Tax Hike Schweik can’t win

One of the most effective ways to win an election is to pick a popular issue in which your opponent has no flexibility and hammer them over it.

This year’s elections take place against a backdrop of high prices at the pump, which in turn affect the cost of goods and services throughout the economy.  The best solution, particularly in the short run, is to increase the supply of oil.  Thanks to their slavish devotion to the environmental lobby, most Democrats are unable to advocate solutions that will actually work.  Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge, which is the size of South Carolina, would merely require an area the size of Los Angeles International Airport.  It is supported with near unanimity in Alaska, by both business and labor alike.  Still, the whims of radical environmentalists half a world away dictate Democratic party policy on this issue.

I applauded District 5 Congressional candidate David Schweikert when he took Congressman Harry Mitchell to task on energy prices, particularly his support of energy taxes.  The problem here is not the message, but the messenger.

While in the state legislature, Schweikert supported an 8 cent tax increase on diesel fuel (reported in the Phoenix Gazette, “Jobs Riding on Reduction of Trucking Tax,” February 16, 1993, Associated Press).  This measure would have raised the tax to .26 cents a gallon, “one of the highest rates among Western states.” By way of explanation, Schweikert says “A tax collected at the pump catches all truckers equally and eliminates much of the opportunity for fraud,” said Rep. David Schweikert, R-Scottsdale, another sponsor.

Many of the Congressional District 5 activists are concerned over the lack of nuance between the positions of the many fine candidates in that race.  As a sponsor of a tax increase, of the price of gasoline, no less, David Schweikert has a distinction, if not one that a Republican candidate would ordinarily want.

CD 5 activists should choose someone who hasn’t tried to raise taxes to carry the fight to Harry Mitchell this  Fall.

ACC Endorsements

Here are our endorsements for ACC. We spent quite a while working to select the 3 best conservative, free-market candidates. To see the full list of our endorsements click on the 2008 Primary Candidate Endorsements link in the column on the right.

Arizona Corporation Commission

Bob Stump – ENDORSED
Joe Hobbs – ENDORSED
Rick Fowlkes – ENDORSED

If conservatives vote for other candidates in the primary they risk splitting the vote and ending up with a “renewable” activist like Wong and your electric rates will needlessly increase. Solar is just the latest sacrament of the new left. It will require such massive habitat destruction the greenies will never allow it anyway. Nuclear is the small footprint solution. Oil is renewable, that is why we keep finding more and more of it. Plus carbon is good, try living without it.

BREAKING NEWS – Andrew Pacheco’s Stealth Fundraiser for Tim Nelson or A Fundraiser by Any Other Name?

Andrew Pacheco ACLU Tim
Editors Note: Although the original post was written by one of our authors, I am compelled to provide my thoughts and opinions on this piece as it goes to publication again. When first posted, I received emails requesting that the posting be pulled because it was patently false. Because this blog has striven for accuracy, I made the decision to hold the story and conduct some research before re-issuing it. I also asked the writer of the original post to do the same. Nearly a week has passed and several email exchanges have occurred between Sonoran Alliance and the parties involved. Needless to say, a dispute remains over the details of the original post. However, in that time, more information has been discovered and is now part of the re-publication of the post. Also in one of the email exchanges, I was asked to retract and apologize for the post. After much irritation, consternation and anger, the only apology I have to make is for not having more details. As we now re-publish the original opinion, readers will need to reach their own conclusion(s). We will of course provide the facts and details we have uncovered and of course, anyone who has more information is welcome to comment.

Finally, on a personal note, administering this blog, has come at a personal financial sacrifice to me and my family due to the loss of my livelihood. (Unlike the subjects in this post, I do not have the luxury of a major income.) While my identity has always been “out of the closet,” the identities of the other writers are not. As a pledge to them, I will continue to maintain their identities anonymous so that they may avoid the same consequences I have encountered in voicing a conservative worldview. -DSW

Several days ago, Sonoran Alliance reported on an event we considered, in our opinion, to be a fundraiser. The event was a barbecue hosted by Republican Andrew Pacheco which was held at his home in Central Phoenix. At the barbecue, Democratic candidate for County Attorney, Tim Nelson, was present. After receiving an email from political consultant Nathan Sproul insisting it wasn’t true (“it” being the fundraiser, not our opinion), we decided to research the facts further.

In an email sent to Sonoran Alliance, Sproul, a political consultant who works with Pacheco’s wife Jessica at the Lincoln Strategy Group, wrote in part, “On April 16, Andrew hosted a BBQ at his home for friends. I was there. My wife and kids were there. It had no political over tones to it. I heard Tim Nelson was there as a friend….Did Andrew introduce Tim Nelson to people? Oh the horror of it (Yes, heavy sarcasm was intended there). What is he supposed to do?”

Andrew Pacheco also emailed a response to Sonoran Alliance, but due to this warning from him, we will not print it. “To the extent you seek permission to print anything else, you should seek that permission from your attorney.” However, we will paraphrase what he wrote. He denied hosting a barbecue for Tim Nelson. He said there were no speeches made at the barbecue in question. He said he did not solicit support for Tim Nelson at the barbecue, nor did he ask anyone else to solicit support. We were not able to get any further answers from Sproul or Pacheco beyond those responses; their emails indicated they were upset and not willing to discuss it further.

Their responses contradict information Sonoran Alliance obtained from a confidential source present at the barbecue. According to that source, Pacheco told the attendees that he was privately supporting Nelson for county attorney.

Sonoran Alliance asked Andrew Thomas if he had been invited to the barbecue, or if Pacheco was supporting his reelection for county attorney. Thomas said no. Thomas told Sonoran Alliance that Pacheco had emailed him denying that he had held a fundraiser for Nelson. When Thomas asked Pacheco when the barbecue was held and whether Nelson was present, Pacheco replied that it took place on April 26th and affirmed that Nelson was present. This is inconsistent with Sproul’s response, which was that the barbecue took place on April 16 – shortly before the campaign contributions were recorded.

Reviewing the official campaign finance reports of financial contributions to Tim Nelson around that period of time, there are generally one or two each day or so, except on April 21, where there are approximately 20 all recorded as contributing on that date. Virtually all of them have easily traceable ties to – Andrew Pacheco and/or his wife, many through their involvement in the Hispanic community (Jessica is from Brazil and is very active in Hispanic organizations locally). While Sonoran Alliance was not able to confirm the attendance of these individuals at the barbecue held at the home of the Pacheco’s, our readers can make up their mind whether the date of the event and the date of the donations is coincidental.

Each one of the following individuals made a financial contribution to Democrat, Tim Nelson:

Victor Flores – VP at SRP – Jessica Pacheco was a high-level Exec. at APS
Lisa Flores – wife of Victor Flores
Jeffrey Peterson – considered the pioneer of the Hispanic internet; started Quepasa.com
Jose Rivera – good friends with the Pachecos
Nina Rivera – Jose Rivera’s wife
Gary Scales – former law partner of Jose Rivera
John Tuchi – former co-worker of Pacheco who works at the US Attorneys Office
Pat Barnes – Bank of America Exec., very active in AZ Chamber of Commerce where Jessica worked (featured in a quote praising the Chamber on their website)
Luis Ramirez-Thomas – serves on the Border Trade Alliance with Jessica
Marco Lopez – serves on the Border Trade Alliance with Jessica
Ross Wilson – participant in the Phoenix New Times 10 K with Pacheco
Debra Wilson – participant in the Phoenix New Times 10 K with Pacheco
Sandra Ferniza – serves on the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with Jessica
Albert Flores – lawyer

A couple of other contributors are in the construction business, and therefore may know the Pachecos through Jessica’s work with the AZ Chamber of Commerce and Pacheco’s work on the Stop Illegal Hiring Initiative, which is backed by big business interests in industries like construction which heavily use illegal immigrant labor.

If this event was really a disguised fundraiser, it also raises some possible legal issues. Any monies spent by Pacheco toward the hosting of the barbecue may have been required by law to be reported as an in-kind contribution to Nelson on his campaign finance reports. They were not.

In addition, Andrew Pacheco is currently running for precinct committeeman in Legislative District 11. Hosting a fundraiser for a Democrat candidate may violate Republican County and State Party bylaws regarding the duties and obligations of a precinct committeeman.

While Pacheco disputes the event he hosted is a “fundraiser,” we find it more than coincidental that he hosted an event that just so happened to fall on a date that a number of political contributions were made to a Democratic candidate by individuals who incredibly happened to be colleagues, associates, friends and acquaintances of Andrew and Jessica Pacheco.

We asked Andrew Thomas what he thought about it, “Given the circumstances surrounding the event, especially the fact that Tim Nelson was an announced candidate actively raising money at the time, this certainly looks like an implicit endorsement of Nelson and a stealth fundraising opportunity for his campaign. At a minimum, it was odd for Nelson to be included in an exclusive private mixer at the Pacheco home if Andrew Pacheco wasn’t trying to help his campaign.”

Our readers can make up their own minds about what really happened.