Archives for May 2017

Memorial Day 2017: Remembering Those Who Sacrificed…

By Boe James

For many, this weekend is a time for picnics, BBQ’s and fun family activities, for holiday shopping and sales or for those who have recently graduated, perhaps a time of reflection on the future and the past.

Flanders Field

But this weekend is not just the beginning of summer; it is also Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day is, and should be, a solemn day when we commemorate and honor our war dead, not a holiday to “celebrate”.  Originally, it was called Decoration Day and ladies (mostly) went to the military cemeteries and laid (or scattered) flowers on the graves of Civil War veterans after listening to patriotic speeches.  Today the speeches continue as does the laying of flowers at the graves of military veterans at cemeteries all across the nation.

Since the creation of Memorial Day in the wake of the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of Americans have fought and died for our country in battles across the globe so that freedom could endure and our nation prosper.  Some are fighting for our country still, in Afghanistan.  In doing so, they are carrying on the legacy of service and sacrifice forged by Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen at places like Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Guadalcanal, Midway, Khe Sanh and Khafji and most recently in such places as Baghad, Fallujah and Tora Boro.

This weekend is a good opportunity for everyone, including our recent graduates, to reflect upon the freedoms we all enjoy and upon the brave Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen who have died so that we can have those freedoms.  Even as we honor the war dead, members of our Armed Forces are putting themselves in harm’s way and some may be dying today.  We need to remember them also as they continue to support, defend and protect America and enhance the ideals of liberty, justice and freedom.

Unfortunately, history has taught us the bitter lesson that freedom is not guaranteed. There will always be individuals, groups or nations that don’t believe in the “certain inalienable rights” of all people that our Constitution promises to protect.  This weekend we honor noble service men and women who sacrificed all for those rights.

In Flanders FieldThis weekend, let us not forget the sacrifice of those who died.  Let us not forget the deeper meaning behind the day amid the parades and barbecues that have come to herald the beginning of summer.  Let us not forget the real reason that men and women in uniform march each year.  Let us honor and remember our war dead and the sacrifices they have made.  At the same time, let us hope and pray that conflict will end.

World War I brought us the famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which was written by John McCrae, a Canadian Army Major.  That poem will be read or printed in the program at almost every Memorial Day Ceremony.  That war also brought us the Buddy Poppy as a symbol of sacrifice.  During the weekend veterans’ organizations, particularly the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), will be selling these red flower symbols to raise funds for veterans causes.  The Buddy Poppies are all made by veterans who are disabled or in nursing homes.  Buying and wearing one is a visual symbol of support for war veterans.

Maybe in the future, there will be a time when Americans will not have to make great sacrifices to stand against tyranny, injustice, hatred and terrorism. But, until that day we must thank God that living among us are those men and women who willingly join the Armed Forces and take up the cause of defeating tyranny and who possibly sacrifice their lives for our freedom.  History has shown that civilization does not thrive without freedom and that freedom does not survive without those willing to sacrifice in its name.

On Memorial Day services will be held at various locations:

  • At the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 North Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, at 8 a.m., with various speakers;  
  • In Fountain Hills at the Veterans Memorial on the south side of Fountain Park at 9 a.m., with Barbara Hatch, Executive Director of the Veterans Heritage Project and Mike Ferguson, Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart and former Commander, AZ Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • In Scottsdale at the Chaplain Statue at Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., at 10:00 a.m. with LtCol John Chavez, US Army as the keynote speaker.   

The Fountain Hills and Scottsdale ceremonies are hosted by local veterans groups.

I strongly encourage everyone to do something to reflect upon or remember the reason for this particular holiday.  It is a day of commemoration and honor and not a day of celebration.

Phoenix Veterans Cemetery

photo credit: Willie Stark

Postscript:  Many people confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is officially proclaimed to honor those who have died while serving in the Armed Forces in time of war, while Veterans Day is set aside to honor those who have served or are now serving in the Armed Forces.  On both days, we should be thankful for those who serve to protect our American freedoms.

Since not everyone can participate in Memorial Day services, Congress established the “National Moment of Remembrance” and asks that all Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time, on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute.  The time 3 p.m. time was chosen because it is a time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.  This Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events, rather, it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, whether alone or with family or friends, honor those who died in service to the United States.

AZGOP: Kick Rocks, Kirkpatrick

PHOENIX (May 26) — The Arizona Republican Party today launched a petition in response to the petition being circulated by Arizona democratic operatives who want to draft Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s second congressional district.

Kick Rocks Kirkpatrick

“It completely blows my mind that Arizona democrats think this is even remotely a good idea,” said Arizona Republican Party Communications Director Torunn Sinclair. “We all know how 2016 turned out for Ann — it was ugly — and when you break down the numbers to be CD-2 specific, it’s bad. Arizona voters spoke loud and clear — they don’t want her representing them. She already walked out on her constituents in her congressional district once. She doesn’t need to do it again by carpetbagging to Southern Arizona. She should stay home and hang up her boots permanently.”
The 2016 CD-2 vote counts were as follows:
McSally: 179,806
McCain: 153,649
Kirkpatrick: 143,620

Arizona Business Owners React to Hearing in U.S. House Ways and Means Committee

Americans for Affordable Products

Hearing Showcases Border Adjustment Tax Based on Academic Theory, Not Real-World Reality

Scottsdale, AZ – Local business owners throughout Phoenix are sharing their reactions on the U.S. House’s recently-concluded Ways & Means Committee hearing focused on the border adjustment tax.  Anthony Cantelmo, owner of Fifth and Ford Cigars, said “The Border Adjustment Tax will cripple my business here in Scottsdale.  I cannot absorb a 20% increase in costs for the items that I import, which is everything. I’ll have to make some very painful decisions—scale back business, let employees go or close my doors. None of these are desirable. I hope that the committee will reconsider this proposal and think of the small business owners like myself.”

John Arterburn, owner of Ace Hardware in Scottsdale, also had a strong reaction to the hearing, saying “The committee wants tax reform that’s based on fairness and simplicity. The Border Adjustment Tax provides neither. Everyone will be touched one way or another by the price hikes it will impose.”

Jim Mapstead, owner of Accurate Signs and Engraving, released the following statement, saying “Retail accounts for 20 percent of the jobs in the U.S. That’s a big chunk of the economy to hit with a 20 percent price hike on the cost of doing business.  There must be a better way and hopefully the Ways and Means Committee is looking at alternatives.”

Americans for Affordable Products is a coalition of job creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and consumers united against higher prices on everyday necessities. To learn more, please visit:

www.KeepAmericaAffordable.com.

Additional Information:

Wanted: Maricopa Republicans to Protect Election Integrity

By Gina Swoboda

I met with a member of Recorder Fontes’ community outreach staff today to get a better understanding of the changes they are making.

The Democrats are very active and fully funded and have been volunteering in droves, recently doubling their County PCs from 759 to 1500.

We have in my opinion, a great need to get Republicans signed up to volunteer to be part of the process to ensure integrity within the system.

The County Recorder’s office requires ‘opposing’ parties to participate on Citizen Boards.

These are the people who look at the mail in ballots and cross check each other’s work. One person will usually be a Democrat, and with low GOP participation, the cross checker will be a Green or Libertarian.

We really need Republicans on these boards. Fontes’ office is limiting the duration of the shifts, they will no longer be 12-15 hours long with people sleeping in their cars.

Poll watchers are absolutely still needed, but I think that, in light of the changes we are seeing, it is imperative that we get Republicans inside the process.

****There will be a volunteer orientation on Saturday, June 10th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, at the downtown ballot processing facility on the corner of Lincoln and 3rd Ave. (not the main office building near sheriff’s dept.).  There will be an opportunity to hear what they are doing and volunteer if desired.****

Details as provided by the Recorder’s office:
Orientation Program-  the Recorder’s Office is initiating on June 10th, Saturday from 10:00-Noon.  In our efforts to professionalize and legitimize roles for those who are interested in helping the Recorder’s election efforts by; registering voters, helping at election sites, and as citizen board members, we have defined a  program for everyone to attend.

High level overview to include:

  • A Volunteer Orientation Program – which everyone will need to attend once (first one is June 10th.)
  • 4 levels of exceptional volunteer work will be available

Thank you,

Gina Swoboda
LD23 PC, Maricopa Precinct

Martha McSally Making A Difference to Fix Failed Healthcare

By Southern Arizona Sam

Martha McSallyThe so-called “Affordable Care Act,” better known as Obamacare, has been a disaster any way you look at it.

First, it promised to bring down the cost of healthcare for middle class Americans. Wrong: premiums and other out of pocket costs continue to sore.

Second, President Obama promised people that if they liked their healthcare or their doctors, they could keep them. As we all know that has proven to be false as well.

As with most complicated federal programs, Obamacare created more red tape, more bureaucracy, created higher costs, and created shrinking healthcare options. With less competition, costs seem poised to sky rocket even further.

The political facts demonstrate that the American people, and certainly Arizonans, are opposed to Obamacare. First, in 2010, Republicans took the majority of the House in one of the largest electoral shifts in American history. Then in 2014, they reclaimed the Senate. Both did so on a platform of fixing, repealing, or replacing Obamacare.

With just weeks to go before the 2016 Presidential election, in states like Arizona, many people received notice that they were going to lose their healthcare in 2017. The plan simply didn’t work for many insurance companies and doctors. Obamacare promised coverage and yet many Arizonan’s were two months away from losing coverage.

The new Republican healthcare alternative has had its detractors but here are the facts about the bill.

  1. It will create more competition in the marketplace. This will give consumers more options and lower costs.
  2. It will allow people with pre-existing conditions to have healthcare.
  3. It will provide a stable transition so that people can keep coverage as they move to the new plan.

In Arizona, we should applaud Congresswoman Martha McSally, Congressmen Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, and David Schweikert for supporting this bill. It is a promise kept to voters and shows a real recognition that the current healthcare system is unsustainable and unworthy of the greatest nation in the world.

Congresswoman McSally should garner special mention for her leadership. She is getting criticized for her vote but she is doing what she promised the voters she would do. She also fought for the interests of ALL Americans by adding an amendment to eliminate healthcare exemptions for members of Congress. 

We should be very proud of our Congresswoman McSally and those Republicans who stood up for lower health care costs for all Arizonans. We applaud her service to her constituents.

Failed Chairman Cries Wolf to Frosty’s Fake News

By Calamity June

Tom Morrissey

Tom Morrissey

Four years ago, Tom Morrissey walked out of the AZ GOP office for the last time. In his wake, he left the party in a massive financial hole, missing equipment stolen by former staff, and ethical questions swirling regarding alleged kickbacks and improper use of Republican Party funds.

When Morrissey attempted a comeback two years later in a bid to become Maricopa County GOP chairman, he finished 3rd in a 3-person race.

It is hard to imagine a worse messenger on the issues of transparency and financial disclosure. Remember when Tom Morrisey’s state party used to pay thousands of dollars in “consulting fees” to a towing company owned by a party staffer that Morrisey had claimed to fire?

And yet, on Thursday, Morrissey ran to possibly the only outlet in Arizona that has any interest in what he has to say: The Republican Briefs, better known as Frosty’s Fake News.

The substance of Mr. Morrissey’s attack is largely irrelevant, but here it goes. Morrissey is shocked…SHOCKED…that the Arizona GOP is keeping sensitive financial information private by requesting non-disclosure agreements from anyone in possession of proprietary documents.

This is standard operating procedure. It protects the party. It protects GOP donors. And it protects the signers, who can operate with confidence knowing that the documents they have access to will be kept in the strictest of confidence from those that might use the information for nefarious purposes.

While Morrissey’s attacks are baseless, and the clear rantings of a failed chairman who was unable to execute even the most basic tasks of a Party leader, the real shame, as usual, goes to Frosty Taylor, and her misguided and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to impugn the integrity of Chairman Jonathan Lines and his professional team at the AZ GOP.

While Frosty’s #FakeNews gives unfettered access to every personal attack, unfounded rumor and bald faced lie, she’s been remarkably silent when it comes to supporting Republicans and attacking Democrats.

While Lines and the GOP have relentlessly pointed out the thousands of dollars accepted by liberal Kyrsten Sinema from known sex-traffickers, and Ruben Gallego’s hypocritical attacks on GOP rock-star Martha McSally, Frosty’s Fake News has chosen instead to train fire on fellow Republicans.

As we’ve said before, perhaps she’d be more comfortable working for the Democrats…she’s probably the best ally they have.

Republicans Pass Budget That Raises Teacher Pay by $1,000 Above Inflation

Republicans Pass Budget That Raises Teacher Pay by $1,000 Above Inflation and Invests Over $300 Million in New K-12 Spending

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) and Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-17) this morning applauded passage of a budget that increases teacher pay by an average of $1,000 and adds over $300 million for K-12 education.

“Republicans in the Legislature and Governor Ducey have worked hard to craft a budget that reflects Arizonans’ top priority: education,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “This budget includes a $1,000 raise beyond inflation for public school teachers, over $300 million in new K-12 spending, a massive investment in university research facilities and infrastructure, and dozens of other provisions that boost education funding.”

“Conservative budgeting over the past few years put extra money in our state coffers,” said President Yarbrough.  “With that, this year we boosted teacher paychecks, provided funding for school repairs and the construction of six new schools, targeted tens of millions of dollars to schools getting results, guaranteed yearly funding for university building projects and provided an additional $30 million to repair our roads.  We also delivered a broad-based tax cut and left the state with a structurally-balanced budget.  I’d say the people of Arizona are better off because of this state budget.”

Highlights of the budget:

·         In addition to inflation and growth increases, directs $68 million over two years for an average $1,000 raise for public school teachers.

·         Appropriates $62.9 million for new school construction projects.

·         Provides $37.6 million for Results-Based Funding for K-12 education.

·         Offsets the impact of Prop. 206 on the developmentally disabled community by directing $45 million to the Department of Economic Security and AHCCCS.

·         Demonstrates a commitment to rural transportation by appropriating $30 million to the Highway User Revenue Fund.

·         Appropriates $27 million to provide debt service to allow universities to construct new facilities through bonding that could exceed $1 billion in value in future years.

Poll: Majority of Arizona Voters Don’t Need a Wall with Mexico

Only two-thirds of Republicans support;  conversely two-thirds of Independents oppose

Phoenix, AZ (May 4, 2017) –  Arizona is the catalyst for then candidate-now-President Donald Trump where he planted the flag opposing illegal immigration and building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. We commissioned a poll with multiple questions and the border wall question was one of them – the results were shocking.

Arizona voters surprisingly don’t find a border wall with Mexico necessary with only 37% in agreement and 62% who disagree. In a survey commissioned by KTAR News with nationally recognized polling firm, OH Predictive Insights, 401 active registered Democratic, Republican, Independent and Non-Declared voters across Arizona, based on current active voter registration numbers were sampled. Among the results:

“As Arizona’s News Station, we always want to understand how our community feels on issues key to them in the moment”, said VP/Programming Ryan Hatch.  “Polling Arizona voters on current issues like border security helps KTAR News report and talk about the news daily with an informed perspective.”

“The numbers were frankly shocking,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company. “When you have one-third of Republicans, 70% of Independents and almost all Democrats thinking a wall is not necessary that should raise a red flag.”

Methodology: This live and automated caller survey was conducted by Phoenix based-OH Predictive Insights on May 1st, 2017, from an active Arizona registered voter sample.  The sample size was 401 completed surveys, with a MoE of +/-4.89%.  35% of surveys were conducted on cell phones and 65% via land lines. The party affiliation, geographic, gender and age demographics accurately reflect active registered voters in Arizona in this sample.

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About OH Predictive Insights: Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call 602-254-5159 www.OHpartners. com