Archives for July 2017

Recall Ringleader Admits: “We Need No Cause”

By Rangel Solamente

In a stunning admission, Marianne Ferrari, the self-described leader of the Recall Lines movement has publicly admitted that she does not need a cause for recall; this entire effort is nothing more than an attack on the Republican Party and a massive distraction from the organizing and voter registration activities which should be the sole focus of Republican activists.

In Friday’s Yellow Sheet Report, Ferrari’s admission earned her the coveted “quote of the day.” And why not. The instigator and leader of this strange and meritless recall effort admits what we’ve known all along: they have no cause.

In a weak attempt to cite SOME reason for her time-wasting effort, Ms. Ferrari also reportedly said that she was motivated to recall Chairman Lines because of the $235,000 in debt that he inherited upon assuming the chairmanship in January of 2017.

Keep in mind, this $235,000 legal fee was the result of the AZ GOP’s successful litigation in defense of Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting. No true Republican would object to the AZ GOP working with national Republican organizations to fight back against Soros-funded ballot fraud.

Making her charge all the more ludicrous is the fact that, as was announced today, the Arizona GOP has retired all legal bills that the chairman inherited upon taking office.

Of course, Ms. Ferrari knows full well that Chairman Lines knew nothing of the debt before he took office. And she also knows that the Chairman has worked tirelessly to make sure that the AZ GOP pay its bills, and continue to stand up for ballot integrity and the rule of law.

So there we have it. A recall without merit, a leader without a cause, citing a debt that the chairman was not aware of, that has since been paid off …all wrapped up in her apparent opposition to the AZ GOP’s successful fight to ban ballot harvesting, defending a law that was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by our Republican governor.

We’re starting to think that Marianne Ferrari may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart. And we have a pretty good idea why that is, but we’ll save that for another day…

“Never Trump” Republican Activist leads efforts to Recall Jonathan Lines

By Rangel Solamente

A small band of malcontents has elected to join forces in a quixotic effort to remove Chairman Jonathan Lines. With Frosty Taylor and her “Fake News” briefs serving as a facilitator and mouthpiece, this small group is attempting to overturn the results of a  duly called and recognized election.

So…who are these divisive forces  that are attempting to throw the Arizona GOP into chaos? And while taking a look at this motley crew, consider this…what is their real objective?

The “Never Trumper”: One of the most vocal members of this rogue band is Lori Hack. Lori’s efforts to sow discontent and division are nothing new, as she made national news last year in her refusal to support Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. http://www.azcentral.com/ story/news/politics/elections/ 2016/07/18/arizona-anti-trump- delegate-lori-hack-denied- republican-national- convention-credentials/ 87243792/

In announcing her intention to oppose our nominee, she was in violation of state statute and party bylaws. Her refusal to back our nominee resulted in her removal from the delegate roster; and added to the media’s false narrative that Republicans were not united behind our nominee. Interestingly, the man who Hack is attempting to remove from office, Jonathan Lines, was an enthusiastic Trump supporter who led the nominee’s efforts in Yuma County, ultimately turning Yuma red for President Trump. Also ironic, is that Chairman Lines has received accolades from President Trump for his focus and efficiency in supporting the Trump Agenda.

The Sore Loser: Jim O’Connor was Jonathan Lines’ primary opponent at the January statutory meeting. O’Connor’s candidacy was already shrouded in controversy, as he rigged the election of State Committeemen in LD 23 to ensure a near-unanimous slate to back him. Despite these shenanigans, O’Connor lost by 36 votes, or just over 3% of the electorate. Given the historically close races for Arizona State Chairman, that is actually a fairly wide margin. Instead of graciously accepting the outcome and pledging to work with the new chairman, O’Connor and his henchmen made false accusations of fraud and suggested that votes were not counted properly. However, when offered the chance to review the election documents, they declined. Six months later, still unable to accept the fact that he lost, O’Connor is a leading proponent for a recall. No one likes a sore loser, Jim.

The Puppeteer: It’s been widely reported that the main “mastermind” behind the entire recall effort is none other than Lynne Breyer. Lynne’s troubled past was first brought to light when she ran, unsuccessfully, for AZ GOP Secretary in 2014. Research done by AZGOPCandidates.blogspot.com shows that, as an LD 23 Executive Committee member, Lynne directed thousands of dollars to various PACs, without board approval. One of those PACs, Better Leaders for Arizona, spent over a million dollars attacking Governor Ducey…and Lynne could give no answers as to why she funneled any money there at all, let alone thousands of dollars which had been donated by hard working LD 23 PCs. Lynne has absolutely no business judging the actions of Republican leadership…not when she’s so badly mismanaged her own Legislative District coffers.

The Puppet: Not many Republicans in Tucson have ever heard of John Backer. Since 2010, Backer has voted in just ONE Republican primary, has only recently become a PC, and has never served on the state committee. Oh, and the one time he did bother to vote in a primary? It’s because his name was actually on the ballot (he finished dead last in a race for Pima County Supervisor). Most people believe that Backer is really doing the bidding of others or looking for a way to inject himself into a possible paid office in the next election. Who, we wonder, could be pulling the strings??

The Dishonest Secretary: Gabby Saucedo Mercer has long had trouble telling the truth. As a twice-failed candidate for Congress, she lied to her campaign staff and refused to pay the money she owed them. As a candidate for AZ GOP Secretary, she lied from the pulpit of the church about Jonathan Lines and participated in vicious religious bigotry against the Mormon faith (after being called out for her dishonesty, particularly while giving a speech in a house of worship, Mercer shrugged: “I’m not a preacher,” she said.) And now, Mercer is lying about Chairman Lines, suggesting that he is somehow preventing her from doing her job. To review, the Secretary is responsible for obtaining the permanent party records from his or her predecessor. The bylaws are clear; this is NOT the responsibility of the Chairman. Another important point, is the definition of “permanent records”, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, this means the minutes, which is the “record” of all actions. Despite this, Chairman Lines has attempted on multiple occasions to facilitate the transfer of records from the past Secretary to Gabby. As of yet, this has not occurred.

The Fake News Maven: It’s been well documented how Frosty Taylor, and her “fake news” Briefs, have for years relied on character assassination, dishonesty, and downright lies in order to bully anyone who isn’t a part of her small and shrinking faction. Unsurprisingly, Frosty used her Briefs to promote the candidacies of Jim O’Connor and Tristan Manos…both of whom lost in their bids for chairman. Lately, Taylor’s fake Republican newsletter has attacked, demeaned, and bullied Republican leadership and activists. This recall effort is par for the course for Frosty…her constant efforts to destabilize the GOP plays right into the Democrats’ hands. How proud she must be. Her latest “mistake” was publishing a letter supporting the recall attributed to Russell Pearce, less than 24 hours later she slid a correction in to say it was an error on her part and was actually from the relatively unknown Chairman of La Paz County. A “mistake” or planned strategy to start a false narrative of support for the recall?

The Failed Chairman: Russell Sais is the chairman of the La Paz County GOP. As such, he is responsible for recruiting PCs and building the party. At last count, La Paz County has…wait for it…exactly 3 precinct committeemen, with dozens of vacancies. Perhaps Chairman Sais’s time would be better spent bringing new people into the party and growing his ranks of PCs, rather than sending out bile-filled rants from his computer and attempting to tear down the duly elected leadership of the AZ GOP. A check of the Secretary of State site shows they have never filed the statutorily required committee and are operating illegally. Maybe Mr. Sais and his board should get their own house in order?

The pitch man: Tim Horn clearly loves the sound of his own voice. In December and January, he was the “front man” in trying to explain the illegal activities surrounding LD 23’s state committeemen elections. In a series of youtube videos, Horn attempted to defend the indefensible…illegal calls, random exclusions, failure to adhere to bylaws…all, as it turned out, to elect a state committee slate that would support Jim O’Connor. Following O’Connor’s defeat, Horn showed up at the AZ GOP and inplied that some wrong doing had occurred; this was wrong and an insult to the dozens of volunteers who ensured a fair and transparent voting process. And finally, now that it’s been revealed that LD 23 remains buried in debt from their legal case with the state party, is there any indication that their executive committee approved this expenditure>? What did Tim Horn know, and when did he know it?

The Two-Time Loser: Few people had a rougher January than Wes Harris. The LD 20 PC and State Committeeman put his name forward for Maricopa County Treasurer AND AZ GOP Treasurer…and lost both times! Perhaps most humiliating, Harris was the only candidate on the ballot for Maricopa County Treasurer…and was defeated, soundly, by a write in! That’s right…Harris is so unpopular, he can’t even win when there’s no one else on the ballot! Lately, Harris has taken to Facebook to lie about Jonathan Lines’ tenure as Yuma County Chairman, going so far as to accuse Lines of doing things that occurred before he was even elected. Nice try, Mr. Harris. Harris is no stranger to controversy, having been removed from the Diane Douglas campaign when his felony record for assault with a firearm was revealed in the press.

The Author/Publisher: Then we have the self-proclaimed author of the “call” that would actually force the election, Marianne Ferrari.  No one has seen this document, but this group says it does exist. Marianne is in fact a publisher whose travel guide books can be purchased on Amazon. Originally from New York, she’s a bit of a mystery in that she shows up for meetings, runs for state committeemen but seems to always be working for the destruction of candidates and the party and is known for her regular use of profanity.  Is she really a conservative or an angry woman bent on some sort of mission?

So there you have it. This merry band of Never Trumpers, sore losers, liars and puppets are using Fake News in working to undo a fairly contested election result. We can’t help but wonder how many Republican State Committeeman will publicly stand with this motley crew by signing a recall petition. We’ll certainly be watching.

Sonoran Alliance will gladly publish a response by any of the aforementioned individuals mentioned.

Robert Graham Seriously Entertaining US Senate Run

Former State Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party continues to fuel speculation that he will run for the US Senate in 2018.

In an interview with Scott Simon of NPR’s Weekend Edition, Graham told listeners, “it’s definitely not in the immediate plans…”

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

Graham then went on to criticize Senator Jeff Flake over his “stiff opposition” during the presidential campaign and now Flake being “openly against a lot of his [Donald Trump] agenda items.”

Robert Graham did stop short of acknowledging he will challenge Jeff Flake in the 2018 Republican Primary.

What gives this interview and potential Graham candidacy credibility is that it took place on a national radio show.

Timing is everything of course.

The recent announcement by Senator John McCain that he has a serious and aggressive form of brain cancer has already begun to create tremors across Arizona’s political landscape in anticipation of major seismic activity. An early retirement by Senator John McCain could lead to the appointment of his Republican replacement by Governor Doug Ducey. And that appointment could go off with a major shift in Arizona’s political tectonic plates.

Jeff Flake

Or not.

Governor Ducey could resign and cut a deal with his replacement Michele Reagan to have her appoint him to the position – an unlikely move.

Ducey could also appoint a sitting Republican congressman like David Schweikert (in a safe Republican district) or Martha McSally who may be defeated in 2018 (given the liberal demographics and volatility of CD-2). Either type of an appointment would result in a torrent of state senators, representatives or city officials released to fill that vacancy.

Perhaps the least tumultuous move could be the appointment of someone like Robert Graham.

Graham, who would have to run for the seat in 2018 alongside the other senate primary, would have the advantage of incumbency, an arsenal of Republican donors at his disposal and perhaps most importantly, the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

John McCain

John McCain (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

A Graham appointment also avoids a nasty Republican primary between Graham and Flake who have been political allies. Graham understands the formidability of the Flake machine and avoids that altogether in a parallel campaign.

That takes us back to the interview on NPR. Graham was very careful not to time stamp his answers. No one knows what Senator John McCain will do. Medical treatment takes time and the outcomes may give the senior senator more time to serve.

One thing is certain; Arizona political insiders are in uncharted waters in this political scenario because it has never happened with a US Senate seat here in Arizona.

Finally and most importantly, I want to offer my prayers to Senator John McCain and his family as he takes on another very tough battle. I wish him strength, courage and peace in the months and years ahead.

Non sibi sed patriae, Senator McCain.

Thank You To The Asian and Vietnamese-American GOP Members

By Sheila Muehling

Dear Mr. Timothy Schwartz,

In late February of this year after being elected an officer of Maricopa County GOP, I offered to act as Chairman of the Lincoln Day Luncheon. This event has been an annual celebration of the precinct committee men and women who work tirelessly for the Maricopa Republican Party.

By the time, I volunteered to Chair the luncheon, it was already well past the celebration marking President Lincoln’s birthday which was typically when the event was hosted.  To my dismay there were no plans in place by the previous administration nor were there any records or guidelines as to how the event should be organized.

Arizona Asian American Republicans

In the beginning, I was a little apprehensive wondering if the luncheon would be supported by Maricopa County PC’s.  That issue was quickly erased when I received an overwhelming number of emails asking where tickets could be purchased. However, the one email I would like to share with you and the people who share your negative views of the Asian and Vietnamese GOP PC’s was from Farhana Ahmed. Mrs. Ahmed informed me that she would be filling two to three tables of ten at the luncheon and she guaranteed payment of the seats.

Unlike the Asian PC’s, many including PC’s in my own District 23 would not support the luncheon. In one case an officer came to the event claiming he paid for a ticket yet he couldn’t produce anything to show that he did. Another officer of another District wanted a refund because two of his guaranteed seats couldn’t attend and the seats were resold to other people at the door.  His reason was we didn’t have the right to sell the seats twice! The same group of Asian PC’s had four people who couldn’t attend yet never once questioned reselling their seats. They had paid their money and considered it a contribution to the Maricopa GOP who they supported.

I was stunned when I read your posting attacking the recruitment of the Vietnamese Conservative PC’s. Your statement, “They can’t even speak English.” was stunning.  So, I will ask you the same question Mr. Dang asked you in his open letter dated July 12.  Should the people who come to the United States and work to become American Citizens be disqualified as GOP Precinct Committeemen and women because they speak broken English or they need help in navigating the system? Should your hatred for all things Jonathan Lines and the GOP apply to new American citizens who believe in the Conservative principals of the Republican Party? Should those people be purged from the rolls of the GOP?

I for one welcome the Asian community as well as any person who comes to the United States and wants to be a Conservative Republican member.  And I, along with thousands of other GOP activist, welcome you and thank you for your commitment and support of the GOP Party.

Guest Opinion: News Flash to Arizona Democrats and AZRA

By Sheila Muehling

(Washington, DC)

“Trump Tech Invitee Tied to Kushners”
“Lawyer Met with Russia’s Top Prosecutor”
“Startup That Got a Seat at White House Roundtable is Part-Owned by Kushner Family”
“Email to Trump Jr. Says Clinton Infor was Part of Moscow’s Trump Support”
“Democrats Hatch Plan A, B & C to Impeach Trump”
“Trump Disclosures Shows Big Income Boost from Mar-a-Lago”
“Trump Partner Said in Running to Build FBI Headquarters”
“Trump Hotel Received $270,000 From Lobbying Campaign Tied to Saudis”
What to believe? What is true? What isn’t? Do we wonder why everyone’s head is spinning as newspapers and television and Internet news outlets pound out headline after headline about President Donald Trump and his family and business dealings.

Now let’s turn to the Arizona GOP

“AZGOP Deeply in Debt, Former Treasurer, Now Chairman, Clueless”
“Exposing the ‘Real’ Matthew Kenney”
“Who Paid for the Trip to Hawaii?”
An Open letter to Matthew Kenney, Executive Director, AZGOP”
‘No Longer Hypothetical – A Special Meeting to Remove Chairman Jonathan Lines”
AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham Tries to Invalidate Legitimate State Committeemen”
“AZGOP: A Sad Situation”
“Little Jonnie Lines Needs a Nose Wiper”

AZGOP bondageWhat to believe” What is true? What isn’t?  Do we in the Arizona GOP wonder why everyone’s head is spinning as Frosty Taylor’s “Maricopa County Republican Briefs” and the “Arizona Freedom Alliance” pound out headline after headline about GOP Chairman Johnathan Lines, Past GOP Chairman Robert Graham and the AZ GOP.

Every time I open the paper or look at the Internet all I see are Democrats attacking the election of Donald Trump. How did it happen when they so carefully cultivated the Country with eight years of Barack Obama?  We all know, according to all the national news media, Trump cheated, he used the Russians to force half of the voters in the United States to vote for someone who is so clearly corrupt and incapable of running our great country.

How to right this terrible wrong? The answer is pound the country with negative headlines, accusations, calls for impeachment and holding costly hearings to keep every American wondering what are they going to come up with next.

Now let’s turn to the Arizona GOP.

Every day I receive emails and calls from people asking me if I read the latest accusations from the Arizona Freedom Alliance, Maricopa County Republican Briefs, Gabby Mercer, Jim O’Connor and all the so called, “Real Conservatives”, who are determined to attack the election of Jonathan Lines.  How did it happen when AZRA so carefully cultivated the State with four years of attacks on that no-good John McCain and Robert Graham and all the RiNOs who hold power in the Arizona GOP?  How did it happen when District after District was loaded with Ghost PC’s who were supposed to insure the election of Jim O’Connor? Yes, the man who was to bring the much-needed Christian message to the GOP.  The true Conservative that will teach all the rest of us how to follow the words of the Constitution. What is wrong with over half of the GOP State Committeeman who voted to make Jonathan Lines the new Chairman? Are they just clueless, gullible people who blindly follow what John McCain and his RINO followers tell them to do? What is wrong with these people? Don’t they read what the Briefs and AFA are telling them every day? What part of the message didn’t they get?

Let’s take the sarcasm out of this discussion and make this simple.

Message to the Democrats and the resistance movements: Donald J. Trump won the Presidency of the United States. He will be President for four years and all the costly accusations and investigations will not change that fact. While you are running around breaking windows, chanting hateful messages, the voters who voted for Donald Trump will be supporting the efforts to help all Americans to a better future.

Message to Jim O’Connor, Lynne Breyer, Frosty Taylor, Gabby Mercer and all the AZRA members: Jonathan Lines won the Chairmanship of the AZGOP. He will be Chairman for the next two years and all the costly accusations, audits and investigations will not change that fact.  While you are running around collecting signatures for recall movements, the rest of us will be collecting signatures for Republican candidates and talking to voters who will help keep Arizona Red.

To AZRA, if you want to continue acting like a Democrat please do the rest of us a favor and go join the Democratic Party.  If you want to act like one, be one. They would love to have you.

Senator Sylvia Allen Update on Immigration

Sylvia Allen

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”
– Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Another 4th of July celebration has just past, and I am reflecting upon the 241 years of American history and how we got to where we are today:  the good and the bad.  I still strongly believe that the American principles are superior to any other form of governing.  However, my thoughts today are centered upon immigration.

Thomas and Jane Tenney were the first of my father’s line to come to America.  In 1638, a small group of Puritans from the village of Rowley, England, left their homeland to come to this raw, new country looking for religious freedom, to govern themselves, and realize self-determination and freedom.

In the 1860’s my mother’s grandparents came from Sweden also looking for religious freedom.

In 1980 my mother, Wanda Peterson Tenney, my sister, Linda Turley Hansen, and myself sponsored a Hmong family from Laos who were refugees from the Vietnam War.   The family consisted of a mom, dad, three little girls, and a grandmother.  They were so frightened when we met them at the airport.  My mother brought them into her home until we could arrange for their own apartment and find work for Shoo Long Vue, the father.

The tiny grandmother (about 4 ft 9 inches tall) would sit on a little stool and listen to Hmong songs on a small tape recorder and cry.  There was a language barrier, but somehow we could communicate.  I found out that she was crying for her husband and other sons who had been killed in the war, and she was crying for her homeland that she would never see again.

Two cute stories:  Soon after their arrival, I took the Dad and the three girls to get groceries.  I will never forget the wonderment on their faces as they looked at all the food.  As we went down the aisle the father would pick up things and look at them.  The little girls were talking a mile a minute. I could tell they didn’t recognize anything that was familiar to them in their eating habaits.   We had gone down three aisles, and he still had not put anything in his cart.  Then, we went around a corner on the soda isle and all four of them excitedly yelled, “COCA-COLA!”  They put two cases in their cart.

Apparently, the Grandmother was in charge of their laundry.  My mother walked into the bathroom in her home and there the grandmother was standing naked in the bathtub stomping on their clothes and singing.  My mother realized she needed to teach them about washing machines.  I happened to come in just as my mother had taken the grandmother into the laundry room for her first lesson.  As we went through the process, the grandmother got so excited she hopped up and down just chattering away.  She kept trying to lift the lid to watch the clothes going through the cycle, but the machine would stop.  So, she got really close and slowly lifted the lid just enough so it wouldn’t stop and so she could peek at the clothes being washed.

Helping this family was a joy to me.  The family eventually moved to California where some of their extended family was located.  For quite a few years, I wrote to the oldest daughter, Pie, who did very well in school and loved her new land.   This experience helped me to realize just how blessed we are.

Illegal Immigration has, in many ways, hardened the hearts of fellow Americans against the whole immigration issue.   We are so pressured with social issues and the vast amount of tax dollars for education, healthcare, and all the other welfare programs that are suffocating our system and has caused us to lose the feeling of mercy for those who do not have the freedoms and standard of living we have.

Border, language, and culture (government/history) make a country.  We have a right to defend and protect our sovereignty.  I believe that it is time for us to fix this problem, and both sides must compromise.

I support President Trump in the ban on visas from terrorist countries, deporting any person who is here illegally who commits crimes, and securing our borders.  These issues seem like a “no brainer” to me.

However, I believe that we can reform the legal process to enter this country.  It has become corrupt, political, hugely expensive and nearly impossible.  If the immigrant has a sponsor, a place to live, and work lined up, then why make it so hard?

Please talk to someone who has gone through the legal process and immigrated the right way.  That person will tell you about the nightmare of paperwork and fees.

America’s greatest resource is her people.  On this July 4th, 2017, we must rededicate ourselves to being that “shining light on a hill” that represents freedom, peace and hope to all the world.

Sincerely,

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
Legislative District 6

Gov. Doug Ducey: Ex inmates in Arizona’s fire-crew program given a real second chance

‘I felt like a zero. Now I feel like a hero.”

That’s what an Arizona inmate said to me when I traveled to Navajo County in the summer of 2016. My team and I were up north observing the damage caused by the Cedar Fire and meeting the brave firefighters who risked their lives to protect our state’s landscapes.

The man I met was part of a group of inmates enlisted in a fire-crew program operated by the Arizona Department of Corrections. The agency’s program selects current inmates to fight fires throughout Arizona while serving their time in prison.

To me, the program is a way of letting these individuals pay back their communities and, by giving them a chance to be productive members of society, increasing the likelihood that they won’t return to prison after being released. Often, it means a job is waiting when they walk out the doors.

One squad boss who spoke to KOLD News 13 in April said that the program has “been a life-changing experience for me. I know a lot of the guys out here feel the same way.”

I told that story during my State of the State address in January, and I’ve thought about it many times since. Exchanges like this — and the positive outcomes we’ve seen from Arizona’s forward-thinking corrections efforts — are one of the reasons we’re investing more in anti-recidivism programs this year.

The next time a Sawmill Fire rages through Southern Arizona, threatening our neighbors’ homes, property, and livelihood, I want it to be easier for individuals released from prison to stand up and protect their communities.

That’s why the new state budget I signed a few weeks ago is investing $1.5 million to create a post-release fire crew. (The existing program enlists current inmates; the new program enlists released inmates.) We’re giving Arizonans a real second chance to turn their lives around in a meaningful and productive way.

Our anti-recidivism strategy is a win-win for everyone involved, including hardworking Arizona taxpayers. After all, it’s expensive to house inmates — and, according to the data, 39 percent of inmates released from prison will eventually return to prison. That’s a big bill to pay in the long term.

Taxpayers already give enough of their hard-earned money to government. They shouldn’t be expected burden the ever-growing costs of recidivism because of outdated policies.
This new fire crew accomplishes both: It protects taxpayers from long-term prison costs, and it improves public safety. And it’s not the only investment we’re making to make that happen.
Our fiscal year 2018 budget also finances the expansion of “Employment Centers” within Arizona prisons. These centers help inmates do things like build résumés and find jobs before they’re released, giving them tools to lift themselves up and build better lives rather than revert to their old ways.

This is a common-sense investment to reduce the state’s prison population and save taxpayers money.

So far, we have opened three of these successful Employment Centers, including in the Manzanita Unit in Tucson. All three centers are now open and operational, and we’ve already seen 35 individuals receive job offers after participating. (There are nearly 200 inmates currently going through the program.)

Our goal is to give people the tools they need to improve their lives, help them see value in themselves (maybe for the first time in their lives), and offer them a concrete way of paying back their communities.

Whether that means analyzing the effects of outdated occupational licensing processes on individuals with criminal records or enabling released inmates to work as peer coaches to help those struggling with addiction, our state is taking the lead when it comes to getting people back on their feet.

That’s how to give Arizonans a real second chance — and how to save Arizona taxpayers money while doing it.

This guest opinion originally appeared on Tucson.com.

 

TODAY: Help the Trump Administration Repeal Title II

Earlier this year, new FCC Chairman Avit Pai began the process of rolling back Obama era regulations which put a choke hold on innovation and liberty. In 2015, the Obama Administration, in a textbook example of regulatory overreach, began applying Title II regulations to the internet. These regulations placed exceptionally restrictive burdens on internet and threatened to dramatically decrease high speed access and open competition.

Chairman Pai’s unequivocal support for a free and open internet is worthy of our applause and our support. Moreover, we should be sure to thank our entire Republican delegation in Arizona, for standing up to the Soros-funded left and backing this important regulatory rollback.

Far left groups, many funded by George Soros, have declared today a “Day of Action,” in a final desperate attempt to keep this onerous regulatory regime in place. Several large corporations are joining them, worrying more about their bottom lines than about the freedoms that the internet provides all of us.

We know that our Republican elected officials are going to be getting a tremendous amount of pressure to oppose Chairman Pai’s efforts. Let’s make sure they hear from us today, thanking them for holding the line for fairness and a free internet. You can contact them through UnlockTheNet.com where you will see links from free market groups so that you can contact your representatives.

Congressional action ensures that never again will a free an open internet be threatened by the whims of an overzealous executive. A legislative solution is the best way to keep the forces of over regulation and burdensome rule making from interfering with the commerce and innovation of the internet.

Chairman Pai and the Trump Administration are taking a crucial step in maintaining a free and open internet. Now it’s our turn to seize control and demand that Congress pass legislation that will maintain these freedoms for generations to come.

https://m.facebook.com/FreedomWorks/photos/a.10150681417619548.418729.5633824547/10155363399994548/?type=3&source=44&ref=page_internal

An Open Letter to Timothy Schwartz

Dear Mr. Schwartz,

I was very disappointed to read your attack on Matthew Kenney this week. For a party officer, someone who should be working to unify our Republican Party, to write such a divisive and belligerent letter was a disgrace.

I was also personally offended by your attacks on my fellow Vietnamese-Americans, many of whom became PCs for the first time when Chairman Graham and Matt Kenney visited our community and urged them to become Republicans. Many of them have very little knowledge on voting rights and have never registered to vote, and those who have registered were enlisted as Democrats. Thanks to the inspiration and positive messages delivered to members in the Vietnamese community by Mr. Kenney, hundreds of Vietnamese-American have joined the Republican Party. Should we, Republicans not be celebrating that?

Briefly about me, I am a first generation American migrated from Vietnam at the age of nine.  I love this country, and I love my Republican party, as much as you, as much as other Americans. I’m currently serving my second term as President of the Vietnamese Community in AZ, was recently appointed by Chairman Lines as the Chairman of the Arizona Asian Coalition, and I proudly serve as a member of Governor Ducey’s AZ State Board of Pharmacy. This country has given me, and so many other Vietnamese-Americans tremendous opportunities for advancement, the freedom to live, to speak, to pray as we choose, and to support the leaders who we choose. We are, sir, as American as you are.

Your attack on Mr. Kenney speaks derisively and disrespectfully of those Vietnamese PCs who “did not speak the English language.” I also find it incredibly hypocritical to attack Mr. Kenney for signing up PCs when you, yourself also harassed many of those “non-English speaking” PCs. While they denied your attempts because of your rude and aggressive nature, you constantly arrived at their homes offering to notarize their forms.

Mr. Schwartz, do you know who once did not speak the English language? Me! And yet I felt a love for this country from the first moment I learned about the history of this great nation, the land of Freedom and Opportunities!  As a freedom-loving Vietnamese-American,  I embraced the principals of Ronald Reagan and the first President I ever cast a ballot for, George W. Bush.  I’ve always worked hard, realizing the American dream and being able to provide financially for my family. And yet, to you, I should not be a PC…should I not be a Republican, either?

We should embrace those who are new to this country, who so love America that they want to get involved with our party, to make a positive difference in our community. This is why I have taken a leadership role with the AZ GOP, and why I will continue to recruit as many new Republicans as I can to join our ranks.

I have seen how you conduct yourself publicly, and how you strive to tear down so many of our fellow Republicans. I am hopeful that you will take a step back and recognize how destructive your actions are to our great Party.

Thank you.

Kevin Dang

Reverend Jarrett Maupin Responds to Arizona Republic Article

Jarrett Maupin

Rev Jarrett Maupin (photo credit Willie Stark)

The Reverend Jarrett Maupin’s response to being the subject of an incredibly error-filled and indisputably biased article that appeared in or on media platforms controlled by The Arizona Republic today:

“I have never been more disappointed or sickened by a media report in The Arizona Republic, than I was today. To be the subject of vicious lies, fabricated scandal, and then to be publicly defamed by a series of professional, personal, and social insult quotes is a form of abuse that the leaders of our paper of record should be concerned about.

“I would like to address several outright lies in the article:

First of all, I am the leader of a years old quasi-religious non-profit social welfare organization that, in-part, functions as a church. This was publicly available information that the so-called journalists that authored this story failed to research or simply ignored. I have also served with distinction as an interim minister and associate minister at several churches.

Second, I do not and never have charged hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees to anyone that came to me with a civil rights concern. I engage in civil rights activism that is totally free and self-sustaining. Completely separate and apart from this community work, I do operate a consulting firm that is exclusively focused on political, business, and community development issues and clientele. These two areas of work function independently of each other and are absolutely unrelated.

Third, I do not and have not ever attempted to solicit money from, manage money for, or demand any sort of donation or contribution from ANY person I have ever advocated for. In fact, The Arizona Republic article states that of ALL of the people they interviewed only two people made this baseless and low accusation. Both of these people have either a personal or political motivation to make these disparaging claims.

Fourth, in the case of Ms. Lorenza Valdez, I suspect my long and unapologetic relationship with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has more to do with this than any sort of alleged mistreatment she experienced. Her new puppet-masters, the Center for Neighborhood Leadership and Puente, have long had a vendetta against the former sheriff and have, apparently, carried-over that vengeful agenda to anyone who dares to continue to call him a friend. What I do know is that until I raised awareness around the Valdez matter, neither Puente nor the Center for Neighborhood Leadership had said anything or taken any action to advocate around the matter. As for Ms. Valdez paying me any money for anything I did, I completely reject and denounce that narrative as a lie. What in fact happened is this, Ms. Valdez sought the professional services of a private investigative firm. I am not a private investigator. What I am is a shot messenger. When Ms. Valdez failed to meet her obligations to the private investigators she hired, I received calls about it. I vouched for her and even offered to have my non-profit pay expenses. I told Ms. Valdez this as well, unfortunately my offer was declined by both parties. Ms. Valdez paid the fees assessed to her by the private investigative team she hired. Upon Ms. Valdez affiliating with Puente and Center for Neighborhood Leadership, I received ONE call – out of the blue – about the monies she paid out to the private investigator and related consultants. Immediately upon hearing a request for a return of the monies, I contacted anyone on my staff who had any connection to the consultants. Almost instantaneously, the funds Ms. Valdez spent were returned to me, save for the cost of the professional photographer that was hired to document fatal injuries to her son’s body and his post-mortem state – which she requested and insisted be publicly released. I insisted on returning the monies immediately to Ms. Valdez, even though her new handlers kept suggesting that I do so when I returned from a 2 week civil rights conference in Atlanta. I absolutely REFUSED to do that and demanded that we meet a day later, on Mother’s Day, and personally handed Ms. Valdez all of her funds. We continued to meet for between 2 and 3 hours, where I was exhaustively questioned by her new handlers about strategies and political insights related to the Valdez case. I freely and willingly indulged all of their questions and left the meeting feeling confident they had asked me everything they needed to ask with respect to how to move forward with protests and political pressure tactics. This all occurred in the matter of 2 weeks or less. That is the extent of my involvement and several witnesses and consultants who were hired by Ms. Valdez and collected money from Ms. Valdez offered to and did speak to the journalist who wrote this tabloid worthy garbage. Sadly, their statements were not included in this story in any meaningful way. I never chose an attorney for Ms. Valdez and I never gave any advice about the legal issues present in her case.

Fifth, in the case of Ms. Shanesha Taylor, I have absolutely nothing to say beyond this: I have never charged or demanded a donation or contribution from Shanesha Taylor. I have never authorized anyone else to do so either. Shanesha Taylor was among all of my many thousands of contacts that were turned over to campaign staff during my 2014 run for Congress. She was, according to her, contacted and asked for a contribution. As I understand her claim, she willingly and freely gave a $500.00 contribution to the campaign. I have never had a conversation with Shanesha about this campaign contribution. I have however appeared on the Dr. Phil Show with Shanesha and she never once mentioned the alleged campaign contribution. I also set-up a media sting with CBS5 KPHO because Shanesha was making unfounded extortion claims against me while at the same time continuing to interact with me in a cordial way. More than a year ago, upon learning of these allegations, I agreed to a lunch with Shanesha during which a reporter from the aforementioned station appeared and questioned her about why she would dine or meet with someone she had such negative feelings about. Shanesha denied having made any accusations at all and stopped making the allegations. I have never – NOT ONCE – made any requests or demands of Shanesha Taylor. I continue to have deep disappointment over her apparent inability to abide or live up to the very fair and justice-oriented agreement that was reached by her attorney at the time and the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. I continue to feel terrible about the murkiness and questions that remain about what she did or did not do or allow to happen to the thousands of dollars the public donated to her cause. What I do know is this, Shanesha Taylor never paid or gave me any money. Period. The only time money ever changed hands was when I first met Shanesha and gave she and her companion at the time $300.00 dollars out of my pocket to buy groceries and fuel because they claimed to have nothing. I do not regret giving to them because I gave out of the abundance of my heart as a Christian.

Sixth, as for apologizing for participating in the shoot or don’t shoot scenario with the Sheriff’s office, I will never do such a thing. Over 30 million Americans have watched and learned from that important video. Even FBI leaders have cited it as a way to encourage and bring law enforcement and the community together. The fact that I participated in a use of force scenario does no change my beliefs about police brutality and misconduct. I continue to fight for reforms more passionately and directly than any other activist I know. I did, however, gain a new appreciation for the use of compliance as a survival mechanism for people confronted with police brutality or excessive force situations. Compliance can help to keep people alive. Compliance does not, however, stop a law enforcement officer bent on violating or injuring or killing a person from doing so. I totally reject and rebuke any remarks or so-called activists who claim my open lines of communication with law enforcement damage the civil rights movement in any way. That opinion is flat on its face and reveals to me the unfortunate level of ignorance some people harbor, in spite of being in close proximity to the political and social realities that impact the movement for police and policy reform.

Seventh, how dare the author of this hit piece interview nearly a hundred people and discount the overwhelmingly positive and praise worthy things they had to say. Shame on this reporter for using the conflicted and bitter barking of two non-victims to draft such a racist and unbalanced news article. I now believe that the label racist and unbalanced probably applies to the author as well. This article was a political hit job and the unprofessional and grimy line and nature of questioning that this reporter engaged in upset and disturbed many of my closest friends and colleagues. Unfortunately for the author, they did not satisfy his sick storyline and were – without a second thought – not included in the finished story.

Eight, I want to know who at The Arizona Republic that looks like me and comes from where I come from, was in a position to try and stop or criticize this completely meritless article? What Black person is in leadership at The Arizona Republic? And was this run-by that person to prevent what happened from occurring? The answer is, there is no such person. And so, racism and petty politics around local personalities permitted our esteemed paper of record to become a rag unworthy to even wash windows with.”

“In summation, let me reiterate the fact that – with the exception of two highly conflicted persons – every single person interviewed DENIED ever having been charged money or asked for money by me or my organizers. That the newspaper INCORRECTLY stated that I have no formal church or civil rights organization, that I charge money for people facing issues of discrimination or other abuses, and that I have ever, in any way shape or form, misused my authority as an activist minister. I am unapologetically Black and adhere to the liberationist interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I represent Black, I live Black, I love Black, and I will die Black. This type of yellow, racist, “fake news” is exactly what is destroying our country. I encourage all literate people to re-read the article and use their brains. It is FULL of inconsistencies, falsehoods, truth-stretching, manipulation, racism, and spite. I had hoped never to have to give credence to President Trump’s assertion that the media is the enemy and I am still hesitant to do so, but it is clear now that certain members of the media are – in fact – the enemy and the author of this article is chief amongst them, locally.

“I pray for my followers, for my community, and supporters. I pray for my enemies and those who despitefully use and persecute me. I pray for my political opponents and their minions. I pray for the free press and their integrity. I pray for the strength to continue to keep the faith and fight the good fight.

“I condemn this news story and its author and answer all of its allusions or allegations with one word: lies.

“How many more nasty articles will the paper allow this man to write about me? How many more times does he get to try and assassinate or lynch a black leader? Why does the paper permit the printing of such irresponsible and truthless journalism?

“One thing is for certain, The Republic still treats leading niggers that they don’t or can’t control – like niggers. I, like Malcolm X, Adam Powell, Stockely Carmichael, H.Rap Brown or other colored freedom fighters before me will never apologize for my Negritude. I wear The Republic’s nigger badge with honor, as did my predecessors and other in between who dare or dared to thumb our noses at the racism of our day. I’m just glad I helped sell a few new subscriptions to the old rag and thankful for the nice portrait they ran. My undue misery just secured another paycheck for a reporter who frowned when he found out that one pair of my shoes could finance his whole wardrobe.

“Fuck being polite or politically correct. Today’s article was both the doom song of decency and the birth cries of unapologetic demagoguery. The public is tired of these kind of bullshit stories.

“This is the age of the internet and of cell phones. Nobody looks to the newspaper for unbiased and fact based news. That day is over and done with. Print what you want. Say what you want. Do what you want. I plan on doing the same without regrets or apologies. White men do and so shall I. Keep the faith, baby!”