Keeping an eye on the political enemy – Arizona Democrats

You will rarely ever see us give the Democrats “ink” on the pages of Sonoran Alliance but I thought it might be a good lesson to show how Arizona Democrats are using talking points handed down by the DNC to raise money and dramatically adjust their messaging. Here is their latest message from their fear-spreading leader. You will see how Democrats are going to make the Tea Party the enemy in 2012:

  1. Associate Republicans in Congress to the Tea Party
  2. Make the Tea Party Movement look unreasonable
  3. Make the Tea Party Movement appear obsessed with frivolous obsessions
  4. Associate the Tea Party with Russell Pearce
  5. Make Russell Pearce the new bogeyman
  6. Present Arizona children as victims of Republican policy via education, health care
  7. Refer to congressional Republicans as hostage takers and extremists
Once they whip up their supporters into a frenzy based on lies, they go for the exploitation of their dollars. Sadly there supporters are too ignorant to discern fact from democrat fiction. This ought to make your blood boil, especially if you belong to a Tea Party.


Next year’s election is already shaping up to be an incredible opportunity for Democrats. 

New polls every week show that Americans are tired of the Tea Party Congress and its inability to lead

I’m confident we can win critical races throughout the state – but not without a fight. 

Last year was bruising — here in Arizona and all over America. 

The truth is, last year we were playing defense when we should have been on the offense. 

This election is going to be different – we have nothing to be scared of. The Russell Pearce Republicans are stuffing more kids in each classroom and kicking kids off healthcare. They’ve wasted time on Tea Party license plates and hunting for President Obama’s birth certificate, but haven’t lifted a finger to help create jobs. 

Believe it or not, the Tea Party Congress in Washington is even worse. These politicans held our economy hostage in order to advance their extreme agenda

We know most Arizonans are with us on the issues, but we can’t win without a strong grassroots organization to support our candidates. 

As chair, I’ve seen the incredible work that our dedicated volunteers, field organizers and country organizations do. 

We are now working together like never before to fund voter registration drives, candidate trainings and vote-by-mail programs. 

But you and I know these programs are expensive. I need your help to fund the early work that will allow us to win next year. 

The Arizona Democratic Party has launched a monthly giving program, DEM-AZ. This exclusive group of supporters is directly funding our grassroots organization. Every dime that we raise through this program is invested right back into voter registration, training volunteers and contacting voters on the phone and at their door. 

DEM-AZ members have committed to donate $20 per month to make sure Democrats have the organization we need to reelect President Obama, win a U.S. Senate race, take back critical House seats, and make historic gains at the state Legislature. 

Timing is critical on this – we can fight hard next year, but if we don’t build the organization we need now, we aren’t going to be able to get past the finish line. Having strong county organizations, well-trained volunteers and more voters is critical to our success. 

We’ve set an ambitious goal of signing up 50 new members to DEM-AZ this month. I hope we can count on you to be one of those new members. 

Click here to sign up and become one of the DEM-AZ members who have committed to building the organization we need to win in 2012. 

Thank you for your continued help and support. 

Andrei Cherny,
Chair, Arizona Democratic Party

Yet another bogus complaint against Arpaio dismissed

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are you counting? Another groundless complaint against Sheriff Arpaio goes nowhere
Arizona Republic eating crow over and over again
Feds found no crimes in Arpaio’s handling of inmate cash
Associated Press – Prosecutors say they found no state or federal criminal violations in the travel spending and handling of inmates’ cash by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office.

Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, told a county official in a letter Monday that the cash that inmates have in their possession when they are arrested was mostly accounted for and that there was no evidence of embezzlement.

But Burke said prosecutors believe that the sheriff’s office’s handling of inmate cash between 2006 and 2008 was questionable and suggested that Arpaio’s office may have violated its financial duties as a manager of money.

Jack MacIntyre, deputy chief for Arpaio, said Monday’s letter is another instance where prosecutors have cleared the sheriff’s office. In June, federal prosecutors said they wouldn’t be prosecuting sheriff’s officials over extradition spending.

MacIntyre said Burke couldn’t resist taking unfair swipes at Arpaio’s office in the letter when he should have merely announced his decision not to prosecute sheriff’s officials. “You may not like how someone balances their checkbook, but that’s not the duty of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” MacIntyre said.

Federal prosecutors have conducted a grand jury investigation of Arpaio on abuse of power allegations since at least early 2010.

The investigation is secret, but a top county official has said that he told the grand jurors that Arpaio used his law enforcement powers to try to intimidate county employees in a dispute between the sheriff’s office and county officials. No charges have been filed from the federal investigation.

County officials have also sent federal prosecutors their finding that Arpaio’s office misspent $99.5 million over eight years. The money came from a sales tax dedicated to running jails and a fund for running the commissary that sells household items to inmates. There has been no word from prosecutors about whether that spending was criminal.

Burke’s letter Monday focused on only travel spending and the handling of inmate cash.

Burke said in his letter to County Manager David Smith that Arpaio’s office may have mismanaged inmates’ cash between 2006 and 2008 when it appears it didn’t consistently deposit inmate cash and instead refunded prisoners with whatever cash was on hand.

The prosecutor said the sheriff’s office changed its policy after it failed to have enough money on hand during several occasions where it had to repay departing inmates. The policy now is to deposit inmates’ cash into a bank account.

County officials had also raised concerns about whether the sheriff’s office violated county travel policies and had excessive travel spending.

Burke noted that county officials had said Arpaio’s office had a history of failing to comply with county travel rules, but didn’t allege any violation of law.

“We have found no evidence to lead us to believe, at this time, that individuals at (the sheriff’s office) were using county travel funds solely for personal use without any law enforcement purpose,” Burke wrote.

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Lobbyist Reform Needed Now More Than Ever

CONTACT: Paul Bentz

“Lobbyist Gullett continues to put special interests before public interest.” 

PHOENIX – Boycotts. Casino gaming. Union interests. Lobbyist Wes Gullett has made a career as a political insider – taking taxpayer funded contracts from public institutions, donating thousands to democrats who opposed SB1070, working on behalf of organized labor, and ballot measures to increase taxes. Last night at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Debate, Gullett once again stated that he would keep interest in his lobbying firm if elected Mayor.

“Today, more than ever, special interest groups are trying to buy influence through lobbyists and insiders working behind closed doors,” said Former Mayor Skip Rimsza, “And the best way to cure this problem is with a healthy dose of sunshine and openness. We need real reform at City Hall.”

Peggy Neely announced the comprehensive charter review as part of her real reforms for the City of Phoenix. The goal is to comprehensively review the charter and modernize it to reflect the realities of today and the prospects and opportunities for tomorrow. These reforms should focus on accountability, wisdom, accessibility, representation and ethics (A.W.A.R.E.) and focusing on opening up City Hall to a greater degree of public scrutiny and fostering a more open and transparent dialogue among elected and appointed leaders. Phoenix residents should have the opportunity to be more aware of what is going on in their community.

“We need more transparency in government. We don’t even know who Mr. Gullett’s clients are. How could the taxpayers ever trust he was serving them instead of himself?” questioned Peggy Neely, “Lobbyist reform is needed now more than ever and that is why it is part of the AWARE program.”

Two of the proposed AWARE reforms include:

• Lobbyist reform: Lobbyist registrations should be posted online in a searchable database by lobbyist and by client. The database should also include increased financial reporting requirements – for example, gifts and meals for commission members should be reported just as they are for elected officials.

• Strengthen the conflict of interest policy: Develop a stronger and clearer conflict of interest policy statement that will clearly point out the minimum requirements any elected official and those appointed by the elected body are to abide by. I would also include those who serve on boards and commissions. There should be no loophole, ambiguity or general lack of clarity that all of us who serve the will of the people should be expected to follow. In addition, there should be strong monetary sanctions and the risk of removal from the position imposed on anyone found to be guilty of violating the public trust in their capacity as public servants.

“We need real reform – voters are looking for a leader who will stand up for them and do the right thing,” concluded Neely, “I have a track record of making the hard choices and standing by my word. Mr. Gullett has already proven that his self-interest trumps the public interest.”


Arizona IRC ED Denies Budget Recommendation

It was at the Independent Redistricting Commission hearing that SaddleBrooke resident Vince Leach rose to speak before the Commission. Leach spoke to the cover-ups and legal battles in which the Commission is currently engaged (as reported by numerous news media). Leach urged the Commission to be transparent and focus on the real issue: redistricting.

Leach mentioned to the Commissioners that the Commission’s budget, for the ten year cycle, is $10 million as recommended by the Department of Administration and reported by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC). Leach was concerned that the last Commission cycle budget was $6 million but had to be increased to $9.5 million due to lawsuits filed against the Commission’s redistricting. Would this year’s budget also see a 58% increase, to $15.8 million, due to lawsuits filed against Commission decisions and backroom machinations?

After concluding his remarks, Leach returned to his seat in the “overflow” room. Before he could sit down, Ray Bladine, Executive Director of the Commission, confronted Leach, accusing him of providing false numbers. Leach provided a copy of the JLBC report, verifying the Department of Administration ten year $10.2 million budget recommendation.

Bladine, in spite of having seen the JLBC report, countered that the numbers were false. He accused Leach of presenting misleading material, which Leach denied. Bladine then stated, “Now I know what I am dealing with,” or words to that effect. When Leach asked Bladine to explain his comment, Bladine refused, repeating, “Now I know what I am dealing with.”

Bladine then placed his hand against Leach’s shoulder not once but twice. Leach told Bladine to take his hand off Leach’s shoulder, his voice loud enough to draw attention and witnesses to the confrontation.

Bladine was interviewed regarding the incident. He denied any confrontation with Mr. Leach but admitted putting his hand against Leach’s shoulder. Bladine further stated that this year’s budget appropriation was $3.5 million. He neither acknowledged that Leach was discussing the 10 year cycle not just a single fiscal year nor admitted that the Department of Administration had made a budget recommendation for $10 million.

It seems unusual that an Executive Director of the IRC would not know that the Department of Administration had recommended a budget of $10.2 million budget for the ten year redistricting cycle. This is public information.

Arizona Republican Party to Co-Sponsor Fundraising Event with Congressman Trent Franks


Event: Fundraiser to re-elect Congressman Trent Franks and ensure Republican Victories in 2012.

When: Friday, August 26, 2011
5:30 PM – VIP Reception
6:15 – 8:00 PM – Dinner & Event

Where: Sun City West Foundation
14465 R.H. Johnson Boulevard
Sun City West, AZ 85375 (Map)

Cost: $40 – Dinner & Event
$100 – VIP Reception
$250 – Host Committee

RSVP: Teresa Martinez
(602) 957-7770
Also, visit our website at




Paid for by the Franks GOP Committee, a joint fundraising committee on behalf of the Committee to Re Elect Trent Franks for Congress, and the Arizona Republican Party. ® Copyright 2011 Arizona Republican Party

Are Phoenix City Hall & the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce trying to illegally influence an election?

Coming to a city near you… Unions, lobbyists, special interests controlling election outcomes.

Out of six ballot-qualified candidates in the Phoenix Mayoral election, two women candidates were excluded from a debate held at a City of Phoenix owned facility on August 15. The debate was hosted by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (@PhxChamber). One of the candidates excluded, Jennifer Wright is polling at the top of the field. So why would a frontrunner be excluded?

A reasonable person would conclude that this is the same good ol’ boys politics often used by incumbents, unions and special interests to control elections.

In response to this unacceptable and alleged illegal interference with the election process, the 2012 Project, a grassroots organization, hand delivered a notice of violation (ARS 9-500.14) to both the City of Phoenix Mayor and City Manager.

Ron Ludders and Lee Earle, leaders of the Arizona 2012 Project, also requested that either the two excluded candidates ( Anna Brennan and Jennifer Wright) be allowed to participate, or that the debate be cancelled in the name of fairness.

At a press conference outside City Hall , Ron Ludders said, “Three of the four candidates that are running have been a part of city hall….this is an obvious exclusion of anyone that’s a newcomer in the political field.”

The Phoenix City Attorney , Gary Verburg, also released the following statement in response to the 2012 Project’s letter and notice of violation just moments before the scheduled debate:

“Assistant City Manager, Ed Zuercher, has asked me to respond to your letter dated August 15, 2011. The City of Phoenix Convention Center, of which Symphony Hall is a part of, operates as an enterprise leasing space to tenants who are interested in conducting events at the facility. The City has standard rental rates which are charged for the use of the facilities. With respect to the use of Symphony Hall, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has entered into a lease agreement to utilize Symphony Hall and is paying the standard rate for such use. No City resources are being utilized to sponsor or host the event. As the tenant, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce exercises the control and use of the premises during the event. As such, your concerns regarding the participants invited to the event should be addressed by the Chamber.”

Verbur’s statement glaringly fails to address the fact that the City of Phoenix is an active voting member and participant in the arrangement allowing the Phoenix Chamber to host the debate and would neither recuse or exonerate itself from the alleged violation of ARS 9-500.14.

Is this the new form of  ‘voter suppression’ by unions and special interests that has taken control of city governance – silencing a candidate that is polling well? Just ask the four candidates who participated at the debate August 15th who all have union ties and are beholden to special interest groups.

If you you agree to unsustainable union salaries and pensions paid for by the the 2% tax on food, and the endless water bill increases, then vote for one of the four “city-chamber chosen” candidates who participated in the August 15th debate. But if you want an end to the ‘business as usual’ tax-and-spend career politicians, look to Jennifer Wright, who knows that Government does not create jobs, and promises to create a business-friendly environment which will create jobs in Phoenix.

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