Thomas/Arpaio Sue Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas, filed two legal challenges today against the Board of Supervisors in regard to the Boards’ recent decision to remove Thomas as legal counsel to the Board on civil suits against the county.

Thomas also named Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, as co-plaintiff in the suit.

Sonoran Alliance received the following press release from MCAO spokesman, Michael Scerbo:

The County Attorney’s Office has filed two lawsuits today, one in which the Sheriff’s Office is a co-plaintiff, as to complaints related to recent activities by the Board of Supervisors. Copies are attached.

The County Attorney’s Office has also responded to the letter by attorney Thomas Irvine, dated 12/26/08, which was provided to some of the news media last week. The County Attorney’s Office is treating this document as privileged because it was sent to the Board of Supervisors and the acting county manager. For a copy you would need to contact the Board of Supervisors or acting county manager and request that they release it to you.

Here are the attached documents:

MCAO Declaratory Complaint
MCAO Petition

The Politics of Race and Entitlement

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I was stunned by the statements made by Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush at the press conference conducted by embittered and disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich. During the press conference, in which Blagojevich named Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama, Rush arose from the audience and injected a statement. Congressman Rush made the following comments:

There are no African-Americans in the U.S. Senate. And I don’t think any U.S. senator who’s sitting in the Senate right now wants to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate

I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer and separate the appointee from the appointer.

Don’t misunderstand me. Roland Burris is probably highly qualified to fill this vacancy but am I missing something? I was under the impression that the election of Barack Obama put the politics of race behind us. Language like this only seems to reignite issues of race.

Noble Thinking

Sonoran Alliance is excited to welcome to the Arizona blog scene, Noble Thinking.

If you know anyone or anything about politics in Arizona, you’ll know the name of this blog is derived from none other than Sean Noble, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman John Shadegg.

Sean knows more about Arizona politics and the machinations of campaigns better than anyone I know and is well respected amongst political colleagues.

We look forward to reading Sean’s blog and hope you will also make it part of your daily required reading list.

The Decline of Detroit

Looks like Detroit’s auto teams are not the only teams in decline.

The Detroit Lions finished their season 0-16 today losing to the Green Bay Packers, 31-21, and making it the only NFL team to lose the greatest number of games in a season. They have also been outscored 551-281.

What this says about Detroit is only symbolic but it may inspire the owner of the Lions to ask Congress for a bailout.

Merry Christmas!

On behalf of the writers of Sonoran Alliance, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas! May God richly bless you and yours during this holy of times.

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Sonoran Alliance on Facebook

Yes, Sonoran Alliance is now officially on Facebook as a “Group” if you care to join.

Brewer Names Deputy Chiefs of Finance & Operations


Brewer Names Deputy Chiefs of Staff for Finance and Operations
Secretary of State announces more senior staff appointments as she prepares for transition to Governor’s Office

PHOENIX – Secretary of State Jan Brewer today announced two more Gubernatorial senior staff appointments, naming Tom Manos as Deputy Chief of Staff for Finance and Brian C. McNeil as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

“I am honored to have such qualified individuals join my team.  Mr. Manos and Mr. McNeil have extensive backgrounds in the field of finance and operations that will serve Arizona well during these difficult economic times.  I have every confidence that they will guide us in our efforts to restore efficiency and fiscal responsibility,” stated Brewer.

Manos has served as Maricopa County’s Chief Financial Officer for the last ten years, and has been with the County since 1984.  During this time, he had responsibility for the County’s Real Estate, Procurement, Risk Management and Parks departments as well as the Maricopa County Stadium District.  Mr. Manos also served as Executive Director of the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority which has provided financing for over 400 projects, including financings for affordable housing, hospitals and other non-profit borrowers.

Mr. Manos is former President of the Local Government Auditors Association and has been a board member of the YMCA.  He is a native of Arizona and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance.

Brian McNeil has served as Executive Director of the Arizona Corporation Commission since 1999.  Prior to joining the Commission, he was the Deputy Director for Budget and Policy Development at the Arizona Department of Health Services.

McNeil has previously served as a gubernatorial policy advisor, as Director of Operations and Economic Advisor at the Arizona State Senate, as a Principal Forecast Planner for Saudi Arabian Parsons, Limited and as a Fiscal Analyst at the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

He is an Arizona native and holds a Master of Public Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science in Economics, both from Arizona State University.  McNeil serves as the Executive Officer of the 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve.  He has deployed twice to serve in Iraq.

Tuttle elected new Chairman of LD4 GOP

The long soap opera in LD4 appears to be over, as former LD4 Chairman Lyle Tuttle won election to a two-year term, once again as chairman of LD4.  Outgoing Chairman Bob Burges was also a candidate, but the race was won by a comfortable margin by Tuttle.

The Organizational Meeting went off without a hitch and the crowd of nearly 70 people seemed pleased at the pace and organization of the meeting itself.  Credit goes to MCRC Chairman Tom Husband and his crew for the job they did.

Self-declared Chairman Phil Corbell did not make an appearance, but several of Corbell’s “officers” did, and they participated in the process without objection.  There has been no public objection or rejection by Corbell of the evening’s results, so all appears to finally be quiet in LD4, at least until February, when they will meet to elect the rest of their officers.

Taxing Abortion

The Governor of New York is about to unleash the power of taxation on the citizens of New York. To make up for a $15.4 Billion budget deficit, Governor David Patterson is proposing 88 new taxes on everything from iPod downloads to movie theatres, cigars to non-diet soft drinks, defibrillators to fuel cells, massages to security guard training and vehicle registration to asbestos removal. The list is endless but moreover, it illustrates how liberals seek to solve fiscal problems – by taxing anything taxable.

Here’s one I’d like to suggest to the Governor. How about a tax on abortion? That’s right, the ultimate sin tax.

The State of New York has already codified the provisions of the notorious Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade which allows for abortion for any reason or no reason at all. It’s not as if abortion is going away any time soon in the State of New York and even if the High Court overturned Roe the states would have to decide this issue on their own turf. New York already has.

Liberals, who overwhelmingly tend to embrace taxes and abortion, should also embrace this policy proposal. The tax revenue could even be used to fund programs for women who choose to have their babies, women who need assistance to raise the next generation of hopefully, taxpayers.

New York’s Department of Vital Statistics latest data on abortion indicates that there were 121,278 abortions performed in 2006. If a $100 fee was assessed on every abortion performed, the State of New York would have over $12 million for programs that help women deciding to give birth.

Of course, this will never happen because those writing the laws in New York (liberals), want the taxpayers to pay for abortions for poor women while making it as easy as possible to get an abortion.

Ultimately, this situation is the perfect “Catch 22.” The Governor wants more tax money and is willing to tax everything that falls under his definition of “sinful behavior” but when it comes to taxing the “sacred rite of abortion,” this will be one area where death and taxes will never cross paths.

(I actually oppose the idea of taxing abortion because it ensures that government remains committed to the practice for the revenue but for the sake of the argument that you tax things you want less of and don’t tax things you want more of, I’ll make the proposal.)

The Pink Triangle List

The Phoenix LGBT community must be applauding the Phoenix City Council’s decision to establish a domestic partners’ registry but those concerned about their right to privacy may want to rethink their jubilation.

LGBT members will now be placing their trust in the City of Phoenix to maintain their name on a list that would subject them to the authority of Arizona’s largest municipality.

Although the City of Phoenix is expected to protect the list, it will certainly know who’s on it and should the council ever change hands or the list be “exposed,” LGBT members may find their privacy compromised. We wonder if the Arizona ACLU reared its head in opposition prior to the council taking its vote.

The compilation of a list by a government entity also revisits the issue of whether or not any type of personal relationship status should be entangled in church-state jurisdictionary matters. Paying the City of Phoenix $50 for a domestic partner certificate allows anyone on the council to call the shots. It’s also a symbolic gesture to recognize the City of Phoenix as the authority of any such matters.

A “certificate” recognizing a personal relationship choice may seem like a good way to circumvent the will of the voters (Proposition 102), but LGBT domestic partners may want to reconsider placing their names on a “pink list” that may eventually become black.

Elections by Ward Only

Greg Patterson at Espresso Pundit has a pretty good assessment of a long-standing problem that Tucson has had with its city government elections. Both Greg and I would know since we both are derived from Tucson and have seen first-hand the problem in action.

Greg’s post addresses the issue of a legislative solution to Tucson’s partisan-style election system. But I want to add another point to his post that is often overlooked. And I would know having been intimately familiar with the problem in the early 90′s.

Presently, the City of Tucson holds a primary election for its mayor and councilmen. Both parties usually put up good candidates. City council candidates go through the primary at the ward level. Mayoral candidates go through the primary city-wide.

The problem comes into play during the general election. All primary candidate winners (mayoral and councilmen) move on to the general election but instead of the voters in each ward electing their own councilman, the rest of the city gets to vote in the ward elections. (Tucson City Charter, Chapter XVI, Section 9) This means that the voters of one ward may overwhelmingly elect a councilman who is rejected by all the other wards voting. The best example would be akin to having Arizona nominating its two US Senate candidates only to have the rest of the states gang up and vote for the candidate who would have received the lesser votes by Arizona voters.

Sec. 9. Mayor nominated and elected at large; councilmen nominated from wards, elected at large.
Beginning in the year 1930, and continuing thereafter, the mayor shall be nominated from and elected by the voters of the city at large, and the councilmen shall be nominated each from, and by the respective voters of, the ward in which he resides, and shall be elected by the voters of the city at large.

It’s completely unfair to the voters of each ward.

My understanding of the system goes back to Tucson’s City Charter. If I recall correctly, the election provision dates back to 1930 when the population of Tucson was sparse and there were barely any voters to participate in an election. I assume the then city council wrote the charter in a way to bring as many voters into the process regardless of where they lived and how many wards there were.

Fast forward to the last decade on the 20th century and Tucson has grown exponentially. There are clearly more voters and more unique areas of Tucson that deserve to elect individuals who are invested in their community.

In the early 90′s I was part of a committee to change Tucson’s city charter so that voters could vote for their primary candidate winners not just in the primary but in the general election as well. That effort failed primarily because there was limited interest to move it forward. And this was during a time where East Tucson, which is primarily Republican, would put up a great conservative candidate only to have the other wards reject that candidate in favor of some liberal wacko.

I now live in Mesa, the third largest city in Arizona (behind Tucson) where the voters do get to elect their councilmen by ward in the primary and general – although it is a non-partisan election.

So my recommendation to Senate-elect Jonathan Paton would be to not only make city elections non-partisan but to require cities above specific sizes to elect their councilmen by ward only in the general election.

Update: Sonoran Alliance contacted Senator-elect Jonathan Paton regarding his legislative efforts and discovered that the bill currently scheduled to be introduced will contain the Election by Ward provision.

Drama in LD4, as Phil Corbell meets The Bus



It appears that Phil Corbell’s protestations regarding the legality of the LD4 Organizational Meeting being held on December 17th are falling on largely deaf ears.  There was some question whether or not Corbell would be able to hold his coalition together, but his usefulness appears to have come to an end as his second-in-command (or handler, depending on whose version you believe), and former LD4 and MCRC Chairman Lyle Tuttle is now whipping votes for his own candidacy.  It is unclear how many of Corbell’s supporters will be joining Lyle in throwing Phil under the bus, but some still expect Corbell’s name to be placed onto the ballot on the 17th.  In the meantime, there has been no confirmation that Bob Burges still intends to seek the chairmanship or if another name will be advanced by his supporters.


Arizona Attorneys Respond to Bar Association

Espresso Pundit has posted the letter signed by prominent Arizona attorneys who are expressing concern over the Arizona Bar Association’s revision of the oath for new attorneys. The Bar will now requiring new attorneys to  abide by the following oath:

I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.

Attorneys who signed the seven-page letter summarized their concern and objections with this statement:

For the reasons expressed herein, we believe that the proposed provision is unnecessary, exceedingly ambiguous, and unconstitutional. We are concerned most particularly that the proposed provision’s vagueness violates due-process and free-speech guarantees and that its application infringes First Amendment rights by compelling conduct and expression in conflict with an attorney’s philosophical or religious beliefs as well as his other professional responsibilities.

Now that “sexual orientation” has been inserted, we have to wonder how long it will take before other behaviors such as “dietary orientation” or “hygenic orientation” are included.

Press Release: Rob Haney Announces for Maricopa County Chairman

Our apologies to Rob Haney for missing his press release. Here is his announcement to seek the Maricopa County Chairman’s position:

Dear PCs and Activists,

You may have missed the press release announcing my candidacy for Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee.  The press release and an auto dialer script which highlight my message are at .  At the picture from The Planet of the Apes on the home page, scroll down for the messages.

I am running with an outstanding team of candidates for the county offices:

Chairman……………………..Rob        Haney
1st Vice Chair……………….Diane      Douglas
2nd Vice Chair………………Jeff          Greenspan
Treasurer……………………..George    Teegarden
Secretary……………………..Sandy     Doty

If you support our campaign to maintain a clear conservative message coming from our County Party Leadership, please return this email to me allowing us to use your name to endorse our slate of candidates.

Please see for our campaign information web site.

Looking forward to working with you to return our Party to its Traditional Republican Brand based upon the Constitution and the Platform .

Best Regards,


Bailing Out Donkeys

This was too funny to pass up…

How the bail-out works:

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a Donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the Donkey the next day.

The next day he drove up and said, ‘Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.’

Chuck replied, ‘Well, then just give me my money back.’

The farmer said, ‘Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.’

Chuck said, ‘Ok, then, just bring me the dead donkey.’

The farmer asked, ‘What ya gonna do with him?’

Chuck said, ‘I’m going to raffle him off.’

The farmer said, ‘You can’t raffle off a dead donkey!’

Chuck said, ‘Sure I can — watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.’

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, ‘What happened with that dead donkey?’

Chuck said, ‘I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $998.’

The farmer said, ‘Didn’t anyone complain?’

Chuck said, ‘Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back’

Chuck now works for the US Treasury…

Press Release: Lisa James announces candidacy for Arizona GOP Chair

Media contact: Matthew Dutile
Gordon C. James Public Relations
602-274-1988 / 480-296-6193

Lisa James Announces Candidacy for Arizona GOP Chair

PHOENIX (December 14, 2008) – At the Yavapai County Republican meeting on December 13, Lisa James, elected state committeewoman from Legislative District 8, announced her candidacy for Arizona Republican Party Chairman. James was invited to the stage and was endorsed by Representatives Andy Tobin, Lucy Mason and Senator-Elect Steve Pierce. Yavapai County Republican Chairman Jan Smith has also endorsed Lisa.

“I have launched my campaign for Arizona Republican Party Chairman to increase Republican voter registration, expand voter turnout for Republican candidates, restore the Party’s ability to reach constituents and positively represent our Arizona GOP and its candidates,” said James. James has garnered the support of the grassroots leadership and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels throughout Arizona.

“I am honored to have the support of grassroots leadership throughout Arizona,” said James. “I know with their vision and strong work ethic the future of the Arizona Republican Party is primed for success in 2010.”

James will announce her plans for the Party, additional endorsements and campaign tools in the immediate future.

About Lisa
Lisa James began her career in politics working in the Illinois Legislature for State Representatives and Senators, as well as the Assistant Clerk of the House. She was a volunteer for Jack Kemp for President in 1988 and ran along side Phyllis Schlafly on the Kemp team of delegates and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention. She managed and worked on several campaigns in Illinois before moving to Washington, DC where she joined the Republican National Committee in the political department serving state and local governments. She has worked as an advance representative for President George H.W. Bush and worked on the 1992 Bush/Quayle campaign.

In 2000, Lisa was a member of the Arizona George W. Bush for President Advisory Board. She served as the director of Arizona Victory 2000 where she was responsible for the management of Victory 2000 efforts in Arizona.

In 2004, Lisa was chairman of the No Taxpayer Dollars for Politicians Ballot Initiative before she served as the Arizona executive director for Bush-Cheney ‘04. As executive director, she was responsible for all campaign efforts in Arizona. Lisa also served as the director of coalitions for Senator Kyl’s 2006 re-election effort before serving as the director for the Arizona Republican Party Victory 2006 campaign. In 2008, Lisa chaired the Giuliani for President campaign in Arizona. She worked as a volunteer for several candidates in the 2008 cycle.

Lisa has been involved in many community activities including serving as the chair of the Teaming Up for Kids Luncheon benefiting Florence Crittenton, the corporate board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, Crisis Pregnancy Center Gala committee member, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Maggie’s Place Baby Shower Committee and other charitable events. She co-chaired the successful Arizona Winning Women Fundraiser for the Arizona Republican Party featuring Mary Matalin and RNC co-chair Ann Wagner. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service Series. She is the immediate past first vice chair of Legislative District Eight Republicans. She was a member of the 2003 Presidential Rank Awards Program Meritorious Executive Review Board. Lisa received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University.

Lisa is married to Gordon James. Lisa and Gordon work together at Gordon C. James Public Relations. They have four children (ages 7-15) and reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Andrew Thomas to Seek Arizona Attorney General

Well-connected sources have revealed that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is expected to seek the post of Arizona Attorney General in 2010.

Thomas was the Republican nominee in the 2002 Election cycle.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, has already formed an exploratory committee to seek the post.

Democrats are also expected to run Governor Napolitano’s former chief of staff, Dennis Burke