Archives for January 2018

Attorney: Scottsdale Unified School District Official Broke The Law

Scottsdale Unified School District Chief Financial Officer Laura Smith broke state law and district policy according to an attorney hired by the governing board. An attorney hired by the district to investigate conflicts of interest found that Smith signed off on nine change orders to a company that she had an interest in at the time she approved the orders.

Smith eventually left the company but her sister has remained president of the same consulting firm. Smith resigned her position with SUSD.

The Arizona Republic’s Yihyun Jeong produced this article and AZFamily put out this video report.

How this affects the superintendent and governing board is still to be determined.

Speaker Mesnard, Rep Shooter Release Statements on Sexual Harassment

Javan D. Mesnard

Speaker Javan Mesnard

First, this by Speaker of the Arizona House JD Mesnard:

Speaker Mesnard Releases Sexual Harassment Report and Announces Remedial Action

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today released the investigative report on sexual harassment allegations against Representatives Don Shooter (R-13) and Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23). Speaker Mesnard also announced several actions in response to the report and scheduled a press conference for 4:00 p.m. to discuss those actions.

The report, which is attached, concluded that there is credible evidence that Representative Shooter violated the House of Representative’s policy against sexual harassment. The report did not find credible evidence that Representative Ugenti-Rita violated House policy.

Speaker Mesnard reacted to the report by outlining several remedial actions:

  • Speaker Mesnard is permanently removing Representative Shooter from all committee assignments effective immediately.
  • Speaker Mesnard will furthermore introduce a resolution on the House Floor censuring Representative Shooter for his behavior.
  • Speaker Mesnard will propose augmenting the House rules, which carry the force of law, to require a formal anti-harassment policy by which all Members must abide.
  • Speaker Mesnard will also propose adding a House rule requiring a formal behavioral code of conduct for all Members.
  • Speaker Mesnard will establish a bipartisan panel of Members to fully and transparently develop the behavioral code of conduct for House members.
  • Speaker Mesnard, in his capacity as Speaker, will develop a code of conduct that will apply to all House staff.
  • Speaker Mesnard will formalize a Human Resources Department for the House.
  • Speaker Mesnard will prohibit the consumption of alcohol on House premises.

Speaker Mesnard will hold a press conference this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in House Hearing Room 1 to discuss the remedial actions he has taken.

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Don Shooter

Don Shooter

Then this announcement by Representative Don Shooter:

Representative Don Shooter Releases Statement on Investigative Report

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Don Shooter (R-13) today released the following statement:

“I am reviewing the report released by Speaker Mesnard today in connection with the investigation I requested.  Although I have not finished reading it, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience and professionalism during this process.”

 “I also want to thank the investigators, Craig Morgan and Lindsay Hesketh from the law firm Sherman & Howard.  With so much at stake for so many, their task was no doubt challenging.  I appreciate the seriousness with which they approached their assignment.”

 “This has been a humbling and eye-opening experience for me.  I look forward to working to repair relationships and serving my constituents and our great State.”

 “I will have no further comment.  Thank you.”

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Democrats weigh in on Representative Shooter:

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And the video:

 

AZRA Faction Power Grab Fails Spectacularly

By Calamity June

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Saturday morning at the Arizona GOP, the usual divisive suspects made a last-gasp effort to remove from office a popular and successful AZ GOP Chairman. This is but one of a long line of failures that a diminishing faction has attempted.

This is the same group that spearheaded the failed recall effort of chairman Lines last summer, which was the same group that unsuccessfully supported Jim O’Connor a year ago when he ran against Lines for GOP Chairman. The same group that pushes its false narratives on the pages of Frosty’s Fake News and the fever swamp blogs that she promotes.

Haters gonna hate. Losers gonna lose.

Prior to this failed attempt, State Committee members were treated to yet another temper tantrum from GOP Secretary and two-time losing candidate Gabby Mercer (starting to see a pattern here?) Mercer repeated her oft-told lie about access to records, threw invective at the Chairman and Executive Director. As has been demonstrated time and again, the responsibility to obtain the AZGOP permanent records lies with the Secretary. Mercer has failed to do her job, and every time she opens her mouth, she affirms that fact.

Jonathan Lines

Jonathan Lines

Following Mercer’s rant, Chairman Lines once again set the record straight, and then delivered his Chairman’s Report. He spoke about the work that the party is doing to get boots on the ground, register new Republicans at a staggering 55-1 advantage over the Democrats, and build a training program that has provided tools and resources to hundreds of Republican PCs.

And yet, for some reason, following that report of a successful year at the helm, obstructionist Joe Neglia, who had previously attempted to change the rules of the meeting (we’ll let you guess how that went) called for the removal of the chair.

The action was swift and decisive. There was an objection to consideration, prompting an immediate vote by division. A small, pathetic contingent centered in LD 23 rose in defense of the motion, leaving approximately 80% of the Committee standing, quite literally, in opposition.

And once again, the obstructionists, from Gabby Mercer to Joe Neglia to Tim Horn, had exposed themselves for what they really are.

POLL: Arpaio Shakes Up AZ Senate Race

McSally leapfrogs Ward for the lead, Arpaio close second

Steve Bannon’s endorsement is the kiss of death for Kelli Ward

PHOENIX (January 10, 2018) – What happens when America’s former Toughest Sheriff joins the fray for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona? The race for the GOP nomination gets thrown into disarray.

A new poll conducted of 504 registered voters was conducted Tuesday by OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) shows U.S. Rep Martha McSally of Tucson is the new leader with 31 percent support. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who announced this week his intention to seek the nomination, follows closely at 29 percent. Former State Sen. Kelli Ward now trails with 25 percent.

Arizona’s OH Predictive Insights and ABC15-Phoenix (OHPI/ABC-PHOENIX) teamed up to find out how the entrance of Arpaio changes the dynamics of the Senate election contest.

OHPI conducted an IVR survey of 504 likely 2018 GOP Primary Election voters comprised of Republicans, Independents and Party Non-Declared statewide here in Arizona. The sample is based on voter history and qualified as a likely voter for the 2018 GOP Primary Election in this survey with a +/-4.36% margin of error.

“Sheriff Joe makes a splash wherever he goes and his surprise entrance into the U.S. Senate race shines a new light on this important race to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.. “Everyone knows Joe. He has near-unanimous name recognition. But it doesn’t mean he is universally loved. It will be a challenge convincing voters he’s a new Joe.”

We first looked at where the candidates stack up in regards to their name ID, fav/unfav and net positive numbers.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, of Tucson, leads the pack, however, all three are within the margin of error. She also is the least damaged of the group given she only has a 17% total unfavorable number, although, a third of voters don’t know who she is. Arpaio clocked in at an astounding 97% name ID and by almost a 2-1 margin he holds a positive view from likely GOP primary voters. A key indicator of a winning a campaign is not just being known, but being known AND liked so we ranked the list by the people with the highest net favorable name identification to lowest positive name ID.

 

Now, let’s see how everyone stacks up in the horse race question if the election were held today.

Back in November, OH Predictive Insights polled the horse race with just McSally and Ward.  Ward was in first place with 42% and McSally trailed by 8 points at 34% with 24% undecided. With Arpaio entering the race McSally goes from second to first and Ward goes from first to last place with only 15% of voters remaining undecided.

Where did the votes go? McSally only dropped 3 points from the previous poll, which is within the margin of error. Arpaio’s entrance did not affect her. Ward on the other hand lost 17 points, which migrated over to Arpaio. Arpaio also pulled 9points of the undecideds off the board, which now leaves just 15% of voter’s undecided in this contest.

Now, we will take a look at how a Trump, Bannon or McConnell endorsement would impact GOP voters for this race.

A Trump endorsement makes a huge difference, with 73% of voters saying his endorsement is a significant influencer in their decision. And by more than 2-1, Trump moved voters in a positive direction. McConnell only moves 57% although in the wrong direction by 8 points.  Steve Bannon’s endorsement on the other hand moves 70% of voters and that direction is straight into the ground.

 

Finally, we wanted to try the horse race question again, but this time inject the primary backers of each candidate. Ward has been endorsed by Bannon.  Trump pardoned Arpaio and he was his first major endorsement in the GOP presidential primary. McSally is one of Mitch McConnell’s top recruits for Senate.

“Joe Arpaio’s decision to enter the senate race spells doom for the wobbly Ward campaign,” Noble said. “Ward’s support seemed to be a half mile wide and just a half inch deep. One day of Joe Arpaio in the race ruins more than a year of work Ward has done to capture the GOP nomination. Martha McSally and Joe Arpaio are headed for a Tombstone-style showdown in August with the winner having to take on a rested and loaded for bear Kyrsten Sinema.”

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on January 9th, 2018, from a likely 2018 GOP Primary Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, geographic location, and gender, however, age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondent’s due to the survey medium. The margin of error is of ± 4.36%.  Note: Average age of those who voted a Republican ballot in the 2014 election in Arizona was 65.

Conservative Attorney Marcus Kelley Announces for LD-20 State House

(PHOENIX) – Tuesday, conservative Republican Marcus Kelley announced his candidacy for the State House in legislative district 20. Kelley, an attorney and long-time conservative activist, filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office to represent the district that spans the north of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including parts of Glendale, in one of the district’s two house seats. Both seats will likely become open as Representatives Anthony Kern and Paul Boyer vie for the Senate seat in the Republican Primary.

Kelley who currently works as an attorney with the law firm of Goldman and Zwillinger, has also worked in state and federal government including for former State Senate President Andy Biggs and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Marcus has worked for the American Conservative Union and later for the Republican Study Committee when then-Congressman Mike Pence was the Chairman. He graduated from the University of Arizona and the Cardozo School of Law. Kelley also serves on the governing board of a local charter school.

“I am seeking a seat in the Arizona House to continue bringing a conservative voice to public policy matters,” Kelley stated. “My years of experience coupled with my track record of consistent conservatism on the issues will represent the constituents of LD-20 well,” he asserted.

On the issues, Kelley is a strong social and fiscal conservative. He is pledged to reducing taxes and spending in a balanced and prioritized budget. He is solidly pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and is an outspoken supporter of the Second Amendment.

Kelley and his wife, Nickie, have been married for more than 13 years and have two children who attend a local charter school.