Archives for July 2014
By Peoria City Councilman Tony Rivero
Many people would be surprised to find out that emergency dispatchers often can’t locate them if they dial 9-1-1 from a wireless phone. Earlier this year, the FCC proposed a rule to update their standards, which they estimate could save 10,000 lives a year. This proposed rule will help 9-1-1 professionals and emergency responders locate wireless callers more quickly and accurately.
While modernizing the existing FCC standards to correct these clear flaws in our current system seems like a no-brainer to law enforcement and public safety officials, the cell phone carriers are working on a backroom deal with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), a public safety trade association, to delay this lifesaving rule.
People call 9-1-1 because they are in desperate need of help. All too often, these individuals are in medical distress, a victim of a crime in progress, unsure of their location, or otherwise unable to communicate. The time lost as first responders try to locate callers often leads to tragic outcomes of those emergencies. We cannot allow another insider deal to delay the FCC’s original proposed rule by years, costing thousands of additional lives.
While we have had so many technological advances in the way we communicate, our ability to find 9-1-1 callers has not kept pace. Luckily, the technology to correct this problem exists today, and the FCC’s proposed rule outlines a realistic two-year path to location accuracy for all wireless 9-1-1 calls.
We’re accustomed to backroom Washington deals costing us taxpayer money, but the cost of thousands of lives is unacceptable. We need to tell the FCC to stand firm and reject any carrier-backed deal that would delay or alter the provisions of this lifesaving rule as it was proposed, so our law enforcement officers and first responders can stop searching for callers and get back to saving lives.
Tony Rivero currently serves on the Peoria City Council and is a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 21. Find out more about Tony at TonyRivero.com.
(REPRINTED FROM PRESS RELEASE TO CLUB MEMBERS – July 27th, 2014)
2012 was our first cycle, and with everyone getting used to the concept of how our group worked we chose to endorse in just one race. We endorsed Darin Mitchell as a challenger to incumbent, and uber-liberal, Russ Jones. Jones was the incumbent, Jones had the money, Jones had a geographic base, and Jones had the outside establishment groups. It turns out that our guy had the message and our guy got the votes! Since then, Darin Mitchell has not disappointed in the Legislature. He has been the #1 or #2 ranked conservative on most scorecards, including AFP and Goldwater Institute. We would have done well just electing an average conservative instead of Russ Jones, but we hit a home run with Darin.
So the bar is set pretty high for 2014. We plan on getting involved in two races this cycle and want to introduce you to our first endorsed candidate.
Steve Smith (LD11 Senate)
This is an open seat race, in a safe Republican district, which means the primary will likely the occupant of the seat. Currently, it is represented by conservative Al Melvin, who ran for Governor until earlier this year. Melvin is supporting State Representative Steve Smith in this race and he is doing so for the same reasons we are. Steve Smith exploded onto the political scene in 2010 when he upset Rebecca Rios in a lean-Democrat district. Rios and her father (Pete) had represented the district for more than two decades and Smith’s victory was the upset of the year. In 2012, the Democrat majority on the redistricting commission drew Smith into the same district as Melvin. Smith deferred to Melvin’s seniority and ran as a team with Melvin and Adam Kwasman. Smith is now running for the open Senate seat and is being opposed by self-described moderate Scott Bartle, who admits he was recruited by State Senator Steve Pierce. This race is the #1 battleground for control of the State Senate by the conservative and moderate factions, and it may play a deciding role in whether the Senate President remains Andy Biggs or if Steve Pierce can get his hands on the gavel again. That alone would make the race a top race, but let’s look at Smith’s record and you’ll see why he deserves the support.
Steve Smith is the #1 ranked conservative legislator in the entire Legislature. When your goal is to protect the conservative legislature, defending the most conservative legislator in the entire body is a no-brainer. Steve Smith has a 100% pro-life, pro-school choice, pro-taxpayer, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-Constitution, pro-border security voting record. He has been named Champion of the Taxpayer, Guardian of Small Business, and he wrote the bill to allow for the collection of private funds for the construction of a border fence. He has a pile of great endorsements including Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Senate President Russell Pearce. Smith is the real deal.
His opponent supports Common Core, is the District President of a “C” graded school district, and he supports the ObamaCare Expansion, its $2.8 Billion price tag, and the higher taxes it comes with. He is soft on social issues as well and opposed Arizona’s efforts to protect religious liberties for cases like Hobby Lobby.
Ordinarily, an incumbent like Smith would be expected to largely look after himself, because he has a fundraising base, name ID, etc. In this case though, the special interest lobbyists are filling Bartle’s coffers and Bartle is already the top legislative recipient of outside spending. Smith will likely be outspent by at least a 3-1 margin, so our contributions will make a genuine difference in the outcome of this race.
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
We would invite you to visit Steve’s website HERE. If you like what you read, we encourage you to click on Steve’s DONATE button and make a contribution.
Larger contributions are better, but we can still make a large statement by making a large number of contributions, even if they are individually small. Steve is helped more by 500 contributions of $20 than by 20 contributions of $500, even though the math suggests otherwise. Towards that end, if you like what you read and see about Steve Smith, GIVE SOMETHING! The amount you give matters, but Steve deserves to know that the conservative movement is supporting him, so please give something.
If you have any questions for Steve, use the Contact tab on his website.
Spread the word! Harness the power of email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and help to spread news of this endorsement to your conservative friends. They can join our group at our website HERE or on Facebook.
Campaign finance reports occasionally reveal a donation or two that can place a political candidate in the awkward position of having to defend a donor. Oftentimes the candidate is unaware of the controversy until notified by a persistent pesky reporter or the opposing campaigns.
However, it’s also not often that a donor rises to the level of being at the center of what many believe is the biggest scandal of the scandal-plagued Obama administration.
Once such donation is to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who accepted a political contribution of $500 from Patrick Cunningham on February 13, 2014. If Cunningham’s name sounds familiar it’s because he was named as a co-conspirator in the Fast and Furious scandal.
The Chair of the House committee that investigated the Fast and Furious scandal, Congressman Darrell Issa, went as far as to say that “Mr. Cunningham may have engaged in criminal conduct with respect to Fast and Furious…” and that his refusal to testify before congress was a “…major escalation of the department’s culpability.”
Justice Department officials even claimed Cunningham misinformed them about Fast and Furious. The conservative local blog SeeingRed AZ previously covered the scandal here.
The Operation Fast & Furious “gun walking” saga placed hundreds of guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The scandal had a distinct Arizona connection. The firearms were sold and bought in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas, and ultimately one the guns was used to murder Arizona Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, the former Chief of Staff to former Governor Janet Napolitano, ran the Fast and Furious operation. Burke eventually walked away from charges and resigned from his post despite his fingerprints being all over the scandal. Many considered Burke to be the sacrificial lamb for the Obama Administration.
Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa criticized the U.S. Attorney’s office including Cunningham and Burke for their obstruction in the case:
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office advised ATF that agents needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards in order to speak with suspects, temporarily detain them, or interdict weapons,” Chairman Issa said. “ATF’s reliance on this advice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office during Fast and Furious resulted in many lost opportunities to interdict weapons.”
Advice and management from people like Dennis Burke and Patrick Cunningham.
Patrick Cunningham worked directly under Burke as the chief of the criminal division. Cunningham was called before Issa’s committee to testify, but ultimately he plead the 5th rather than incriminate himself, Burke, and members of the Obama Administration. Cunningham was allowed to resign his position and eventually he accepted a position working for HighGround Public Affairs in Phoenix. Ironically, HighGround now serves as a campaign consultant to Tom Horne’s re-election bid.
Cunningham provided the inaccurate (or false) information to Senator Grassley and the Justice Department that the ATF (which was overseeing the program with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona) never intentionally allowed the the guns to cross the border or knowingly allowed the sale of weapons to suspicious straw buyers. That was obviously later proven false and the Justice Department later took the unprecedented step of pulling the letter they sent to Congress.
While Tom Horne attacks his Republican opponent, Mark Brnovich, for a $120 donation made to a Democrat back in 2006, Tom Horne is actively soliciting donations from Democrats.
Tom Horne is running on a message of border security and fighting back against Obama this cycle, but how can you truly trust Tom Horne to secure the border and fight the overreach of the federal government when he’s receiving financial support from the very people who were engaged in the Obama Administration’s Fast and Furious cover up?
Editor’s note and correction: This post was in error regarding the political affiliation of Patrick Cunningham. A representative of High Ground clarified Cunningham has been a registered Republican since the early 70’s.
Reposted from Conservative Leadership for Arizona:
PHOENIX, AZ – This week Conservative Leadership for Arizona and Harper Polling conducted a poll of likely Republican primary voters in Arizona. Results revealed that Arizona Treasurer and entrepreneur Doug Ducey leads the pack with 26%. Christine Jones and Scott Smith are tied for second with 15%
Below is a comparison of the ballot test in all five polls Conservative Leadership for Arizona has commissioned:
April 10* May 15* June 5* July 11* July 30*
Bennett 15% 13% 12% 11% 12%
Ducey 9% 27% 28% 26% 26%
Jones 14% 12% 12% 22% 15%
Smith 6% 12% 16% 14% 15%
Thomas 6% 6% 5% 6% 11%
Riggs 1% 1% 2% 2% 5%
Undecided 45% 28% 23% 19% 16%
CLA Chairman Sean Noble said, “Our latest poll shows that while some candidates experienced bumps in their numbers, they have only been temporary. As the election gets closer and Arizonans learn more about the candidates, Ducey’s lead over Smith and Jones has grown. While there has been some rearranging of the orchestra, the first chair has been occupied by Ducey.”
For more information on Conservative Leadership for Arizona and to view the full poll results, visit www.conservativeleadershipaz.com.
*Polls conducted by Magellan Strategies.
Of all the GOP candidates seeking the highly coveted governor’s seat, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith doesn’t try very hard to hide is support for Common Core. Oh, sure, he’s fallen in line with the establishment’s politically correct makeover of Common Core’s name change. But he is on the record as being that one GOP candidate furthest on the left on Common Core and education in general. And he’s in good company and much aligned with those Republican legislators now in trouble for abandoning the Republican majority to support big government, democrat-supported policy shifts.
So why would a candidate who wants to win the GOP primary run furthest on the left from the rest of the pack? Maybe he’s received bad political advice. Or possibly Smith is so accustomed to running as an establishment candidate. Or perhaps he’s never run in an actual GOP statewide primary that requires firing up the base unlike a city election. One can only guess.
But the obvious observation is that Scott Smith is the more liberal candidate on education issues who is seeking the Republican nomination. And this stands out in his support for Common Core.
Here’s an excerpt from an answer he gave back in March at a Mohave County candidate forum when asked about his position on Common Core:
One blatant revelation is Smith’s condemnation of Arizona’s performance in education. For someone running to replace a Republican Governor with a state education system headed by another Republican, this is simply bad form to indirectly blame Republican executive leadership.
But is what Smith says about Arizona’s education system even true? Is Arizona really at the bottom of the list on all education measurements? The answer is it depends on what you’re measuring, when you’re measuring and who you’re measuring. Anyone can jump on the National Center for Education Statistics website, plug in the variables and see where Arizona ranks. It’s not impressive but then again, it’s not dismal as Smith suggests. Arizona has made tremendous strides when it comes to education reform in the charter and school choice movement – and its helping to our rankings but more important, it’s helping our children.
But Arizona does have a problem as we’ve pointed out before. We’re paying a ton of money into the system and not getting a good return on our investment. For example, Arizona roughly spends $8,900 per pupil (2013 ADE financial reports). With average classroom size set at 25, $222,500 should be designated per classroom (in the most direct sense). We know that there are other costs but even considering non-classroom related costs, we’re talking about a lot of money that should be going to the classroom that simply is not. That needs to be fixed and Republicans have been working on that for years despite voracious attacks by teacher unions every single session.
Common Core will make matters worse – a lot worse. With a federally driven, top-down approach to educating students, one can imagine what another federal program will do to waste money, time and the lives of our precious children. Scott Smith wants Common Core and he wants the same old big-government approach to educating our children. AIMS was a disaster. No Child Left Behind was a mistake and now Common Core is trying to dig deeper into Arizona’s education system. If Scott Smith gets elected, it will be business as usual and the education establishment wants it and expects it. The next governor of Arizona needs to push back against the Obama’s Department of Education and reject Common Core. Scott Smith won’t do that and its the reason we want you to reject Scott Smith for governor.
Our question is, if all the national conservative organizations (listed below) oppose Common Core, why would any Republican candidate running for Governor in Arizona support it?
Tune in to Arizona PBS Channel 8 at 5:30 tonight as Mark Brnovich squares off against Tom Horne in the Attorney General debate.
Those watching can live tweet your thoughts, comments and cheers by using the hashtag #AZAG. And if you want to follow the candidates, their Twitter handles are @Mark4AG and @TomHorneAZ.
(Tempe, AZ) – “I endorse retired Lt Col Wendy Rogers to represent Arizona’s 9th Congressional district. Wendy Rogers served a distinguished 20-year military career as one of the first 100 women pilots in the United States Air Force. She stands ready to serve again.” said Congressman David Schweikert. “Personally knowing Wendy Rogers, I can tell you she will work tirelessly to serve her district and do what is best for our country. As a veteran and a small business owner, Lt Col Rogers is the clear choice for a true leader – – the real, battle-tested type of leader we so desperately need in Congress right now.”
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Congressman Schweikert. He has been a mentor to me and a true champion of us Arizonans. He used to be my congressman – – now I will get the opportunity to serve alongside him in Congress to really get things done for Arizona.” said Wendy Rogers.
Wendy Rogers is the 5th generation in her family to serve as a career military officer. Her forebears comprise a decorated line of combat Army officers dating back to the Civil War. Lt Col Rogers served nearly half her career overseas to include a deployment to run the Bosnian Airlift in 1994. She and her retired Air Force officer husband Hal have two children and two grandchildren. Lt Col Rogers has made defending our veterans’ access to healthcare, education, and jobs one of her top campaign priorities.
I’m poking a little fun at the Arizona gubernatorial candidates by matching music (or commercial) videos with my take on their campaigns. So here goes. Try to match the music video with the gubernatorial candidate:
Which gubernatorial candidate is playing a high stakes game of political wannabe using her best poser face?
One particular gubernatorial candidate could take a lesson from this rock icon. (And I bet he can even perform as well!)
This gubernatorial candidate hails from the place where this commercial originates and says to speak the language of the fans.
This song is the theme for which former mayor’s gubernatorial candidate’s campaign? Hint: A tale of two cities.
This gubernatorial candidate is so “hot” no one wants to stand near him!
Finally, this gubernatorial candidate will be singing this on Tuesday night, August 26th.
By Michael Gibbs
I can’t think of the right adjective to use. Discouraged? Shocked? Appalled? Dismayed? Incredulous? That’s how this week’s Tempe City Council candidate forum left me feeling.
At one point candidate Matt Papke responded to a question by expressing concern about the city’s finances. Several current members of the council dismissed the issue by telling the audience that, by law, the budget has to be balanced. The attitude went beyond nonchalant–they implied that the city’s debt is a GOOD thing.
When Papke showed that in the last ten years alone Tempe’s debt has increased three-fold to nearly three quarters of a billion dollars his opponents made fun of him and one even asked if he had a mortgage on his house. Another stated flatly that you cannot run a city without incurring debt.
It’s this kind of thinking that has driven the entire nation to a $17 trillion dollar deficit, the only difference being that Tempe doesn’t have a printing press in the basement to make more dollars! No wonder Tempe is digging an ever deeper hole despite having the highest property taxes in the valley–it’s run by a bunch of profligates with no regard for their fiscal responsibilities. The spendthrifts in Detroit must be very proud to have Tempe following in their footsteps.