Archives for June 2015

The Left Disbars Another Conservative Prosecutor

Charles Sebesta in front of the building where he worked as DA for many years.

Charles Sebesta in front of the building where he worked as DA for many years.

Reprinted from Townhall

By Rachel Alexander

Realizing they control the judiciary and state bar associations, as well as much of the complicit media, the left is going after conservatives with a vengeance using the legal system. Any conservative is at risk of being sued, but conservative attorneys and judges are getting hit the hardest because state bars can take away their license to practice law, destroying their reputations and careers. Once they’ve been disciplined by the state bar, it is easy for aggrieved “victims” to sue and get a large judgment awarded against them from a sympathetic judiciary.

Several years ago, society was concerned about renegade prosecutors. Now, the tables have turned. Prosecutors are scared to bring charges on politically charged issues, especially if they go against the left’s agenda. Any little technical, meaningless mistake made by anyone down the chain – from an assistant to a detective to a secretary – can be magnified and used against them.

Powerful public officials with income streams to protect and left-wing agendas to push regularly bully prosecutors around now. Prosecutors are terrified to file charges against corrupt public officials, knowing the system is too stacked against them and will be turned around and used to destroy them.

Charles Sebesta was the Burleson County District Attorney in Texas for many years. He would have retired with an impressive career except for one thing – the left started making traction unpopularizing the death penalty toward the end of his tenure, and he had a case that was inconveniently getting in the way. In 1994, Anthony Graves and Robert Carter were convicted of capital murder in the deaths of six black people and sentenced to death. Carter was put to death, but Graves and his attorneys continued his appeals. Finally, in 2006, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction, on the grounds that Sebesta had “withheld evidence.”

The evidence Sebesta supposedly had withheld from the defense was that Carter had agreed to testify that he had solely committed the crimes, in order to protect his wife. Sebesta had plenty of evidence that Carter’s wife was involved in the crimes, including five witnesses working at the jail who overheard Carter and Graves talking in their cells about protecting her, and statements from Carter admitting his wife had used a hammer when he broke down during a lie detector test.

Sebesta told Graves’ attorney, Calvin Garvie, about Carter’s offer to testify that he’d solely committed the crimes, and Garvie decided not to use the testimony during trial. When Garvie was asked under oath during an evidentiary hearing before a Federal Magistrate in 2004 if knowledge of this statement by Carter would have changed anything at trial, he said no. Since three murder weapons had been used – a hammer, knife and gun – Garvie likely thought no one would believe only one person was involved, so decided to go with the approach that his client wasn’t one of the three involved.

Later, when Garvie was asked under oath if Sebesta had told him this, Garvie said he didn’t recall. Note he didn’t say he didn’t say no, he merely said he didn’t recall – probably because he didn’t want to get caught in a lie if a written document showed up later showing otherwise. When Sebesta took a lie detector test administered by the same individual who has handled a significant amount of testing for the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, he successfully passed when he answered affirmatively that he had provided Garvie that evidence.

In 2010, the DA who replaced Sebesta was able to use the overturned verdict for “withholding evidence” as an excuse not to retry Graves, throwing Sebesta under the bus.

The state bar ran with it, putting on a kangaroo court trial against Sebesta where he wasn’t allowed to offer any of this exonerating evidence. Controlled by the left, their agenda was simple: destroy this prosecutor and use him as an example of why the death penalty needs to be abolished. Since the statute of limitations had already run for holding proceedings against Sebesta, incredibly, the legislature was brought in to pass a law allowing the state bar to retroactively reach back and get him.

Curiously, note that most accounts don’t attempt to say that Graves was innocent. The language used is purposely directed at Sebesta instead, merely vague accusations of unethical behavior. Even the left knows someone could dig up the testimony of the witnesses who overheard Carter and Graves talking about the crimes in jail. Since the court hadn’t used the words “actual innocence,” Graves was ineligible to sue the state for damages. The legislature was coerced – again – to jump in and change the law to remove that requirement, and Graves was awarded $1.4 million in damages.

Emboldened with power, the media ran articles such as this one, entitled, “Why Won’t Charles Sebesta Just Go Away?” The left knew their machine was utterly obliterating him, and couldn’t understand why the little guy bothered to fight back.

No one will stick up for Sebesta, everyone is too afraid. Now they are going to pile on him, as there is speculation that lawsuits will be filed against him and maybe even criminal charges.

All Sebesta has is a four-year-old website explaining his side, none of which has been included in news accounts. On it, he refutes several more unfair things he was accused of doing, by attorneys and judges scared to retry Graves and face the wrath of the anti-death penalty movement.

Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, this is a sick way to go about abolishing it, destroying the life of a conservative prosecutor and disrespecting the lives of the six black people who were murdered. Sebesta writes on his website, “The six victims: a 46-year old grandmother, her 16-year old daughter and four grandchildren between the ages of four and nine – all black – will forever be denied the justice they deserve because it was more important for a very left-leaning, liberal media to sacrifice the lives of these victims in exchange for an opportunity to use this case as justification for abolishing the death penalty!”

Too many conservatives say they are libertarian and concerned about overzealous prosecutors. Well, this isn’t 1980 anymore. Conservatives are now scared to become prosecutors, and eventually there will be no one ethical left to serve in this increasingly thankless and bullied profession. When the left takes over the prosecutors’ offices, conservatives and libertarians who have pretended not to notice this happening are going to find themselves wishing they never run afoul of the law.

Poll: Glendale Voters Torn Over Arizona Coyotes

Some Voters Believe Losing the NHL Franchise Will Have a Negative Impact on the City – Others Lean Toward Financial Responsibility

(Phoenix, AZ) — MBQF, a public opinion survey consulting firm, announced today the results of a recent public opinion survey conducted on June 10, 2015.  Results from the automated survey show likely Glendale City voters with 81.2% awareness of this issue. Glendale voters initially view the loss of the Arizona Coyotes as having a negative impact on the city.  However, when voters were asked to make a judgment call, they chose their wallets over a handshake.

When asked if the agreement made two years ago with the Arizona Coyotes should be honored, a majority of respondents said that, if given the opportunity, they would try to find a way out of the agreement.

The Question was read as follows:

The Arizona Coyotes spokesman says that they are in complete compliance with the contract with the City of Glendale. The City of Glendale is considering terminating the contract on a technicality because hosting the hockey team is costing the City of Glendale in the last two years 12 million dollars.  In this situation would you honor your agreement or would you find a way to get out of the agreement? 

Press 1 if you would honor your agreement     42%

Press 2 if you would try to find a way out of the agreement    58%

MBQF Principal Mike Noble concluded, “Based on the results of this survey, the Council’s actions were a direct reflection of what the likely Glendale voter would do if placed in that situation. You cannot fault the Council for its financially prudent decision to terminate the contract.  However, it begs the question– What does a handshake mean in Glendale?”

For more information about this survey, or a summary of topline data and wording, please contact MBQF Consulting.

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by MBQF Consulting on June 10, 2015, from a sample of likely voters who reside in the City of Glendale. The sample size was 443 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4.63

Follow @MBQF_AZ on Twitter for breaking polling news.

Jeff Dial – Still Serving, Despite the IED’s of Politics

An Important Message from Jon C. Altmann, Military Retiree

Politics has gotten ugly.  It used to be a calling for decent folks who wanted to serve their community, run for office and try to serve.  They were not looking to get rich, gain further office – they only wish to serve.  State Senator Jeff Dial is one dedicated to serve.

Members of the Arizona Legislature serve for $24,000 annually.  The position takes a lot of hours when the Legislature in session.  One has to either be independently wealthy, be self-employed or have a very, very understanding employer who will tolerate the absences from work.

Taking cheap pot-shots at those who are serving has become more commonplace.  It drives the question – why would someone want to take on the onslaught of nasty commentary, a lot of it often urban legends or simply made-up, put their spouse and children in the spotlight, and take on the task of representing us?

Along comes Jeff Dial.  He works hard as a businessman and for a period in his life, served in the Army Reserve.  He is part of the less than 1% in our nation that has volunteered to serve.  He passed boot camp.  Members of the National Guard and Reserve have two lives – their civilian life with a civilian boss/employer and their military life.  Often times, the military life interferes with the civilian life.&nnbsp; A lot of folks say they support the military, but the experience of more than two decades of service has taught me more of those employers and bosses simply say the word “support” – they don’t give it.

Jeff Dial has a lot in common with another great Arizonan who, decades before, volunteered to serve, served for a short period, and like Jeff, never went to war – the late John Driggs, former Phoenix Mayor and someone who kept working hard at making Arizona better after serving America for the short period he was in uniform.  John Driggs enlisted in the Navy near the end of World War II and just as he was graduating boot camp, the war ended.  John came home, used his G.I. Bill to get an education and buy a home.   John Driggs I know well, I presented his burial flag to his widow this past year – he was buried as a veteran.  He honorably served.  Jeff Dial has worked hard in public policy to bring folks together – like John Driggs.  Both humbly served.

Jeff, like many members of the National Guard and Reserve, had problems with the military’s height/weight standards.  I have been one of those myself.  Guard and Reserve must train on their own – yet are expected to maintain the same physical standards – including physical agility testing – as the active duty. When an active duty member fails one part of the process, they are given work time every day to “train” to overcome the failure.  Guard and Reserve have to steal more time from their civilian life.

Let me clarify – you can pass all the runs, push-ups and other exercises and make the times or better – but if your body fat measurement is too high, you fail the test.  On the other hand, you can be in great body fat measurement zone, pass all the test except you are slow on a 1.5 mile run, you fail.  The standards have become more rigid coincidental to force reductions.  It is hard work for reservists, who are generally older than most of those serving on active duty, to keep pace.  It means taking more time away from civilian employer and family.

If a military member is out of standard, they can be barred from reserve duty for medical reasons.  And the term “satisfactory participation” varies by service branch, and can be put on a military member for failure to pass the physical standards.  I challenge any other American to meet the same standards daily.  A Reserve or Guard member must effectively work at it each day – on their own time.  Active duty members get to do it on “company time.”

In politics there are winners and losers.  I’ve been on the losing side twice.  I did not go away – in fact, I continued to work my passion to help others and have many times gone to our Legislature to advocate for veterans, military families, public safety and public education.  I work with those who defeated me and work with those who supported me.  Sour grapes has not been in my diet.

Jeff Dial has a few political enemies – and those of us in the veterans community know those few – who have sour grapes  because they have lost to Jeff in past elections.  They have been saying Jeff has lied about his military service and recently got The Arizona Republic to pick apart the issue.  They found that Jeff did what he said – that he simply served in the Army Reserve and has an honorable discharge.  I’ve known Jeff politically for several years.  I have never known him to brag anything about his military service, except to say he served.

Where’s the issue?

Important for veterans, Reserve, National Guard and military families – including those families of Reserve and Guard members – Jeff Dial has been a consistent vote for meaningful, thoughtful legislation that helps veterans and military families.   He has had enough service to understand the issues and be thoughtful on bills – and he has voted for bills that some of his Tea Party Republican caucus mates have turned down.  Some of those bills that the “Tea Party” folks declined are ones that help veterans.

I am in an unique position – years ago I was a news reporter for The Phoenix Gazette and later a manager in the circulation department of the Republic and Gazette.  During my many years of service at the newspaper, I was serving in the Navy Reserve.  I came to work one day to learn that our publisher, Darrow “Duke” Tully had falsified an entire career as an Air Force officer.  He wore uniforms to military events, he bragged about his service and put out that he had even earned the rank of a senior Air Force officer before retiring form the Air Force Reserve.  But a political opponent went digging and found no service at all.

As a loyal employee of the paper, I was hurt.  Mr. Tully resigned and left town.

Jeff Dial earned his uniform and has not lied.  Yet, The Arizona Republic senses some story that he over-played his role in the Army Reserve, yet offers nothing concrete.  They readily state by one of their columnists that Jeff Dial has been a moderate Republican – something the editorial pages of The Republic seem to extol.  Yet they ran a story that has a questionable news value.  They fail to mention who brought them this “story.”  Now a group of Republican party precinct committeemen who say they are veterans are protesting.  I’m a Republican, too.  I left the ranks of being a “PC” some years back because I find that too many of the PCs are extreme in their views and generally don’t well represent the broader based views held by voters.  It is no secret that most GOP precinct meetings are dominated by the Tea Party emotions and don’t seem to want to get along.  President Gerald Ford said that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  I simply got tired of the many of the latter.  Now they are soap-boxing.

When I was reporter, my City Editor wanted me to be forthright in my sources and justify them before the paper ran one drop of ink.  I was brought up that the paper had to be beyond politics and reproach.  The lives and reputations of people could serious damaged by less than stellar research.

I am no novice to veterans issues.  I hold an elected national office, sit on two government commissions/advisory groups, one local and one Federal and have worked hard to get legislation passed and signed by the governor.  No easy task.  The cannon fodder being pointed at Jeff Dial are barrels of junk information attempting to besmirch the good efforts of State Senator Dial.  The slimy part of this is the fact that those firing the cannons could be termed “sore losers.” The perpetrators are in the shadows – and what do they have to say for their military records and why some of them are no longer serving?

I must question two things in this quest by some against Stat Senator Dial – why is the paper chasing this non-story and making attacks an office holder that generally meets the editorial positions the paper has taken?  More so, as someone who has been a career journalist and published writer, why didn’t the paper do a more careful due-diligence on who brought them the story and why?  The newspaper should not allow itself to be use for the sour grapes soap boxing of others, especially when the man involved had done nothing but tried to serve and did so honorably.

I spent 22 years serving active and reserve in national intelligence.  I have been a senior enlisted leader three times.  I can’t name all my commanding officers and I can’t recall all the junior enlisted leaders who worked under me.  I doubt seriously asking Jeff Dial, who was a private who tried serving diligently, asking Jeff about service 16 years ago is a worthy question.  Jeff is not alone in service members, active and reserve, we sent home for failing the rigorous physical standards.  We sent each of those folks home with honorable discharges because the military has at least the decorum to say they met the bar in being honorable.

If a hard-working veterans’ community advocate like myself knows the details easily and readily, why didn’t the paper’s news team?  Jeff Dial deserves an apology.  From me, a retired senior enlisted leader, Jeff Dial gets my thanks for showing up and trying to serve our nation.  Only 17% of all us who serve, active or reserve, stay for 20 more years as a career.  Jeff Dial was among the 83% who came, gave his country some time – and now as an elected official – continues to help veterans and all Arizonans.  We cannot defend America without the 83% that Jeff Dial is part of.

Jeff has done more than 99% of everyone else (because only 1% of Americans today have served) – and he continues to serve, despite bush league shots at this character.  This grateful veterans advocate thanks Jeff not only for his service in uniform, but the continued service to veterans he has done as a legislator.

About Jon Altmann

 Jon Altmann is a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer, having served active and reserve service for 22 years.  He currently serves as an elected national officer of one veterans organization, along with serving on two public bodies, one national the other local, concerned with veterans and military retirees.  He is a former newspaper reporter who went onto working more than two decades in the public safety field, mostly as a top end manager or executive.  He is a graduate of Arizona State University and additional course work through the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of Naval Intelligence.  His last four assignments were as a senior enlisted leader in major intelligence community commands. Comments and opinions expressed by Jon C. Altmann are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, or any of the organizations he volunteers his time in helping others.

Sal DiCiccio: Phoenix Light Rail Will Take Money Away From Education

Recently, I appeared in an interview by the Legal Broadcast Network in which I discuss the Phoenix light rail fiasco. I’d like to share a portion of that interview so Phoenicians can understand what’s at stake in the August election and the enormity of this boondoggle.

The cost to build one mile of freeway is about $56 Million. Compare that to the cost to build one mile of light rail. As staff revealed, Phoenix taxpayers would spend $161 MILLION per mile for this monstrosity. That is almost three times the cost to move far fewer people than what a freeway moves.

And if you look at the number of users who actually use light rail, it’s about one half of one percent of our population. Putting that in perspective, its equivalent to the amount of people who drive down the street in front of your home.

For this $31.5 BILLION proposal, the City of Phoenix could buy 2.2 Million Smart Cars! That is every man, woman and child who could use one of these eco-friendly cars.

Remember, the same people who brought us the downtown Sheraton Hotel at a total loss of $130 Million, now want us to pay for another massive taxpayer $31.5 BILLION boondoggle.

At a time when we need more money going into our education system this takes money away from that priority. Every dollar going into this $161 Million/mile train system is a dollar not going to our children’s education.

Why is Clair Van Steenwyk running against McCain, helping him win?

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

Thursday,  June 4, 2015

McCain WANTS the Senate primary race crowded to split up the conservative vote
Clair Van Steenwyk has no chance of winning, and serves only to take votes away from Kelli Ward

One way McCain stays in office is he ensures that there is a crowded primary field to split conservatives and the Tea Party. Our sources tell us that McCain’s operatives encourage – and some think financially support – long shot candidates like Clair Van Steenwyk in order to take away votes from any real credible challenger. This year, McCain has a credible challenger, Sen. Kelli Ward. She might have a chance IF conservatives all support her.

Unfortunately, Clair van Steenwyk announced on Facebook today that he is going to run.

Let’s look at what happened in 2010 when Clair van Steenwyk and Jim Deakin muddied the waters. In November 2009, Rasmussen Reports showed McCain virtually tied with JD Hayworth, 45% to 43%. By July, JD’s support had dropped to 34%.

The McCain machine is sitting around laughing their heads off right now and high-fiving each other, speculating who else will jump in to ensure his primary victory.

Listen up activists: You’ve learned this lesson before. Putting more nonviable candidates in the race isn’t going to defeat McCain, it’s going to defeat the only credible conservative candidate. So far, Kelli Ward is the only tested conservative candidate in the race. She’s made few enemies and is solid on all the issues.

Send a message to Clair and let him know this is not the right thing to do. crossroadswithvan@gmail.com

Here is his announcement:

Response To Our Friends / Supporters on Exploring a Run
For the US Senate Race Against Senator John McCain in 2016

Jean & I have decided to invest the time and some funds in the US Senate race in the 2016 Election cycle, in part to the 100’s of positive responses we’ve received from our initial question to our fellow AZ Citizens. As we informed all of you recently that we received quite a number of inquiries to run in the 2016 race against Senator McCain. With your response to our Exploring a run to see how much support is out there it left us with only one reasonable response which we’ve now made, once again thanks to all of you for your trust in us. .

Jean & I discussed and prayed about this and know Senator McCain needs to be replaced and we would enjoy being the ones to do it. We’ll be putting our fate in those who’ve given us their trust and encouraged us; keep in mind that it will take an investment of time and money to defeat Senator McCain as he’s proven with his races and those he’s supported. Having said this we treasure the trust given by all and pray for your investment in our challenge.

We’re trusting in those who’ve encouraged us to run this race to join us in the work. The Investment needed to defeat Senator McCain will be substantial, and we’re depending on you to follow up the encouragement by donating to the Campaign either on our Campaign Face Book page or website www.vanussenate.com or direct mail to; Van US Senate , 13726 West Gable Hill Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375. We’ll also be in need of Volunteers to contact us, as we all know the importance of the Nomination Petition Signatures needed to get on the Primary Ballot. We’ll need approximately 8,000 signatures at 10 to a page, 800 petitions signed. Just suppose 800 Volunteers getting 10 signatures each including your own, so please go to www.vanussenate.com / copy one or more front and back, get them filled out, then mail back to; 13726 W. Gable Hill Drive, Sun City West, AZ 85375… ASAP.

Asking for monies from anyone in our private life has never happened and doing it even now isn’t something we do easily, however this is a battle for all of us and we hope you’ll understand the task at hand and invest in us as we’re investing in all of you.

I’ll be speaking at meetings statewide LDs, GOP, Liberty, Constitutional, AZRA, Conservative and other Groups, and of course personal residences as well, please contact us using the site or email, scheduler@vanussenate.com or call 623-322-9979.

We know this will take the efforts of all of us to be Victorious, therefore with the help of those who’ve given us their support and trust in response to the initial question we believe we’ll be able to bring this to a Successful Conclusion in August and then November of 2016.

I will be Faithful to the Oath and my Word to serve you in the US Senate. It’s Time to Stop Digging the Hole Deeper and Begin Filling It In on Those Who’ve Dug It.

We’re All In, and Hope You Are as Well the Campaign Begins Today
God Bless You All;
Clair & Jean Van Steenwyk
US Senate Candidate

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