Anti-McCain Republicans Still Not Anti-McCain Enough to Defeat McCain

 
A quick review of the Primary Election numbers on the Republican US Senate Race shows that Senator John McCain had no real threat of losing the nomination, again.

John McCain

John McCain

I went back and reviewed the official canvass from 2010 and compared those numbers with yesterday’s unofficial election results.

Here’s the comparison:

August 24, 2010 Republican Primary Election
John McCain – 333,744 / 56.25%
JD Hayworth – 190,299 / 32.07%
Jim Deakin – 69,328 / 11.68%

August 30, 2016 Republican Primary Election
John McCain – 251,068 / 51.65%
Kelli Ward – 190,618 / 39.21%
Alex Melusky – 26,805 / 5.51%
Clair Van Steenwyk – 17,649 / 3.63%
Assuming votes for any of the 2010 and 2016 challengers were “anti-McCain” votes, those votes were still not enough to overcome a re-nomination of McCain. However, those numbers rose in 2016.

2010 Primary
John McCain – 333,744 / 56.25%
Anti-McCain – 259,627 / 43.75%

Kelli Ward

Kelli Ward

2016 Primary
John McCain – 251,068 / 51.65%
Anti-McCain – 235,072 / 48.35%

Of course, this assumes that voter registration and turnout models are the same (which they are not). As you can see, John McCain collected 82, 676 fewer votes than he did in 2010. He also lost 4.6% of his edge among Republican voters.

What does this mean moving forward?

John McCain will likely face his most difficult General Election ever.

Ann Kirkpatrick

Ann Kirkpatrick

In her last campaign finance reporting, Ann Kirkpatrick disclosed she has $2.3 Million in the bank. John McCain’s last report showed just over $5 Million cash on hand. Assuming he’s depleted a portion of that amount fending off Primary challengers, and, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee has allocated funds to Arizona, this will be McCain’s toughest campaign.

If we also consider the “Trump Factor” and the division in the Arizona Republican Party, Arizona Republicans run a higher risk of losing this US Senate seat to Ann Kirkpatrick.

Not surprising, those voting for Donald Trump may not vote for John McCain and those voting for John McCain may not be voting for Donald Trump.

I still see a divided Republican Party in Arizona between those who learned from the 2012 Presidential race and those who didn’t.

Republicans in Arizona are not united, and it’s still to be seen if they will be on November 8th.

Republican Candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission Debate on Horizon

Washington Insiders Engage in False Advertising Against Christine Jones

You may have seen or heard political ads attacking Christine Jones over comments she made regarding Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. A Washington insider group cherry-picked comments from her social media, intentionally took them out of context and twisted them into a hit and run political commercial.

This group is now spending hundreds of thousands of dark dollars in false advertising to attack Jones under the mantra of guilt by association. This political insider group wants the average viewer to believe that Christine Jones is a Democrat-sympathizer whose loyalty to the Republican Party is in doubt.

Nothing could be further from the truth. These political ads are false.

Voters in Congressional District 5 should know that Christine Jones is a lifelong Republican who oftentimes tells voters that she went out of her way to visit the DMV on her 18th birthday to register as a Republican. She’s been loyal and dedicated to the GOP for nearly three decades.

For those who do their homework on Christine Jones, they’ll note that she committed to support the nominee of the Republican Party months ago. They’ll also note that as recent as two weeks ago, she blasted Hillary Clinton on multiple charges including, the email scandal, the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Speeches and Hillary’s failure and cover-up of the Benghazi murders.

If you really want to check Christine Jones’ commitment to defeating Barack Obama, all you need to do is check the Federal Election Commission records. You’ll see that she donated $55,000 of her personal money to the 2012 Mitt Romney Victory Fund. That’s what’s referred to as “putting your money where your mouth is.”

How much did Christine Jones’ opponents donate to the Mitt Romney Victory Fund in 2012? According to FEC reports, zero dollars. That’s Z-E-R-O.

The truth is that Washington insiders are seeking to hand-pick a career politician to succeed outgoing Congressman Matt Salmon. They’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to smear a lifelong, loyal conservative Republican who has a proven record of fiscal accountability and effectiveness.

This election, don’t fall for the dark money false advertising by the Washington elite. If all they’ve got is a few tweets taken out of context, they’ve got nothing.

A 30-year commitment to conservative principles means something and shouldn’t have to compete against a 30-second distortion. Christine Jones is a true conservative Republican who won’t be bullied by political insiders and will fight for you in Congress.

Christine Jones, Pro-Life Candidate For Congress

Recently, it came to my attention that two Gilbert pro-life activists supporting Andy Biggs are circulating an email attacking the sanctity of life position of my friend, Christine Jones. I understand that. It’s election time and being a little over zealous comes with the territory.

For those who vote for a candidate based on a single-issue, each of the Republican congressional candidates running in CD-5 have identified as pro-life.

As the former Executive Director of Arizona Right to Life and someone who has been a part of the Arizona landscape of the pro-life movement for over two decades, I am supporting Christine Jones and have joined her team for Congress. I only support and work for pro-life candidates and that’s a deal-breaker for me.

I also believe strongly that if the pro-life movement is going to win – especially in the public relations matrix – we need to elect more pro-life women to office. I’m not alone. Organizations such as Susan B. Anthony List focus on electing pro-life women to office around the country.

Other pro-life activists, culture warriors and faith leaders also support Christine Jones. In fact, Monday, she announced the endorsement of three well-known pastors who shepherd huge churches in the East Valley. These leaders in the faith know Christine well and know she can be trusted with issues as fundamental as the sanctity of life.

As you cast your vote for Congress, remember no other right is as sacred as the first and foremost right to life. Christine Jones will defend and protect that right for the unborn and their mothers because she is pro-life.

Arizona Political Consultants Comment on GOP National Convention

Several Arizona longtime political consultants weigh in on the finale of the Republican National Convention.

Thursday night, the Arizona PBS affiliate, KAET, featured local political consultants Constantin Querard, Chuck Coughlin and Stan Barnes discussed the GOP convention with Ted Simons on Horizon.

I applaud my colleague Constantin on giving a great assessment of the convention and taking a few tough questions. Hats off to Chuck and Stan for their great assessments as well.

Here is the video of their joint appearance:

Finally, I have to beg Stan Barnes to get on Twitter. We’re waiting for you Stan!

Christine Jones – Conservative Business Leader For Congress

When you want problems in government fixed, you send a businessperson to do the job. This has been the successful solution since the Founding Fathers set our country in motion and it’s still a successful strategy today.

Individuals from the business community know best how to balance budgets, deal with government regulations and most important, how to create jobs and prosperity.

Government does not create prosperity. Government sucks resources out of the economy, creates deadweight losses and does a horrible job of providing services that the private sector can provide much more efficiently. With the exception of certain public goods such as defense, law enforcement, justice, etc., government is a drag on the economy and a burden on the lives of free individuals.

Here in Arizona, we’ve seen an example of great leadership coming out of the private sector business community.

Governor Doug Ducey started his service in executive leadership in 2011 as Arizona State Treasurer. Prior to that, he started out as a successful entrepreneur and CEO who grew a small ice cream shop from the ground up into a nationwide franchise. Since elected as Governor, Doug Ducey has been successful reforming, consolidating and downsizing government and getting it out of the way of small businesses like Uber and Air BnB. Having a successful businessman in leadership is great for the economy, creating jobs and expanding technology.

Christine Jones for CongressNow the voters of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District have the opportunity to elect a very successful conservative businesswoman to Congress.

Christine Jones has scored success wherever she has served. As the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Go Daddy, she helped take the company from a small internet company to a giant corporation whose servers now touch one-third of all internet traffic. When she first began at GoDaddy, the company only had a few dozen employees. During her watch, she helped grow the company to over 4,000 employees – that’s over 4,000 private sector jobs contributing to the economy. And that doesn’t include the 10 million entrepreneurs and small businesses that have grown and prospered through GoDaddy’s products and services.

After leaving GoDaddy, Jones next went on to lead another Arizona success story when she accepted the position of Interim CEO of Great Hearts Academies. There, she oversaw the tremendous accomplishments of thousands of students on the road to college and successful careers.  This role also testifies to her strong understanding and commitment to education and how a quality education is inherently linked to jobs and the economy.

Christine Jones is no stranger to success. Unlike her opponents, who have spent their careers being assimilated into government and politics, Christine Jones possesses a healthy resistance to growing government and becoming another career politician.

This election year, the voters should take the opportunity to send another real Arizona success story to Congress. Christine Jones is a conservative business leader who has proven she knows how to grow small business, create thousands of jobs, control the growth of government and get government spending under control.

This August the voters have a real choice between a handful of career politicians or a successful private sector businesswoman in Christine Jones. Let’s hope they choose the latter.

Commissioner Bob Stump – Super Hero Fighting For Truth, Justice & Ratepayers

Gotta love Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump!

He’s been through hell and back battling against the leftist faux watchdog group, Checks & Balances. The left-wing villains in this group have launched attack after attack against Stump only to be rejected over and over again by a Superior Court Judge.

The same group has attacked the Arizona Attorney General, a former Solicitor General and every other elected, appointed or law enforcement official who has investigated the false allegations imagined against Bob Stump.

He’s even taken hits by a so-called fellow Republican who may have been infected by the Checks & Balances virus.

But still Commissioner Stump holds his ground for truth, justice and the ratepayer way.

You may laugh at my exaggerated description of what’s been taking place over the last year with the Arizona Corporation Commission but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

The fact is, a battle has been taking place for sometime over who sits on the Arizona Corporation Commission. There are only five seats on the commission which means the left has to capture three in order to seize power and push its green energy agenda.

The Checks & Balances Project has been a key player in this battle putting its weight into frivolous legal challenges and conjuring negative media attention against the Republicans on the Commission. They may have assimilated one already.

This group is part of a vast left-wing network of subsidy-thirsty corporatists disguised as green energy advocates. They’re largely funded by left-wing philanthropists and dark money donors like billionaire Tom Steyer. Their mission is to fundamentally transform US energy policy and that means getting their puppets into key power positions like the Arizona Corporation Commission. Sound familiar?

You can bet candidates like Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell are just who they want to fill two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission. Both Chabin and Mundell have cloned Big Solar and green corporatists messaging in their campaign themes.

We’re not buying it and neither is Bob Stump. That’s why he’s a super hero to us.

Every time we flip a switch, turn on a light or adjust the thermostat, we’re reminded that common sense commissioners like Bob Stump are holding back the enemies of cheap and efficient energy policy from waging war on ratepayers.

Get that commissioner a cape!

SuperMan Bob Stump

 

Democrats File Dark Signatures for Arizona Corporation Commission

Tom Chabin Bill Mundell

Yellow Sheets posted the press release of Democrat candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission, Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin.

The subheader for their press release proudly proclaimed, “Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell each file approximately 9,000 signatures.” The 9,000 claim was also posted on Mundell’s FaceBook page. There’s only one problem. That number isn’t correct.

According to the Arizona Secretary of State website, both candidates filed hundreds below the 9,000 number they claimed on their joint press release. (By the way, are Mundell and Chabin running as a team with shared expenditures?) Bill Mundell filed a total of 8,345 while Tom Chabin filed 8,483 signatures – not quite the 9,000 boldly professed.

Hmmmm… For two Democrat candidates running solely on a theme against “dark money,” we have to wonder if their nominating petitions contained hundreds of dark signatures?

Big Solar launches ballot initiative to keep corporate crony deal in place

Interesting political developments taking place over the last 10 days in Arizona regarding energy policy.

Big solar has decided to go on offense by exercising the “nuclear option” and launching an initiative in an attempt to lock in ratepayer-funded subsidies in the Arizona Constitution.

Last Tuesday, a group called “Energy Choice for America” registered as an independent expenditure committee with the Arizona Secretary of State. In its filing it stated that it would be supporting a ballot measure but did not list the name of ballot measure. The group’s chairman is listed as Kris Mayes – a former Arizona Corporation Commissioner.

Three days later on April 15, a group called “Yes on AZ Solar, In Support of C-09-2016” filed registration papers with the Secretary of State’s office. This committee registered in support of a ballot measure but listed the ballot measure as “None exists yet.” Kristin Mayes was listed as the group’s chairman.

On Monday (18th), another group called “Energy Choice for America in Support of C-09-2016” registered as a committee in support of a ballot measure – obviously, C-09-2016. Again, the chairman was listed as Kristin Mayes.

Finally, on Tuesday (19th), another independent expenditure committee called “Save Our AZ Solar” filed papers in support of an unnamed ballot measure. The chairman? You guessed it – Kris Mayes.

So why these committees and why is Kris Mayes at the center of all these committees?

First, a brief background on the current dismal state of rooftop solar companies. Anyone following the industry knows that these corporations have been on a major energy bubble waiting to burst. Fueled by political agendas and taxpayer subsidies, public policy has attracted companies attempting to take advantage of a solar-friendly political climate and of course, those big green profits. Companies like SunEdison have over promised and under delivered while they’ve taken on tremendous debt to lease their products to customers.

Thursday, SunEdison announced it was going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

We saw a similar situation with Spain-based Abengoa Solar which was working on a project near Gila Bend.

The industry in many ways has become so big, it is failing and it’s failing miserably on its own accord.

Bringing this back to Arizona politics, news of these collapses couldn’t happen at a worse time for politicos seeking to make it a ballot issue for voters.

The formation of these political committees is all part of a last ditch effort by the imploding rooftop solar corporations to cement into Arizona’s Constitution their right to your ratepayer subsidies. Big solar corporations are asking voters to demand that government pick big solar companies as the winner and recipient of utility profits. And don’t be surprised if they use all kinds of fear and loathing messaging to persuade voters to vote for their “free” government money.

It is a horribly inflexible way to make public policy by allowing special interests to seek a corporate crony deal in an ever-changing energy market that requires flexibility.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]This is what happens when government creates an incentive for so-called green corporations – they pursue green paper instead of pursuing green energy.[/pullquote]

So why did Big Solar choose Kris Mayes to chair their political committees? She lends credibility to their agenda and effort. Mayes served on the Arizona Corporation Commission from 2003-2010 and helped write the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) which forces Arizona utilities to produce and deliver a 15% of energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc. by 2025. Until the initiative announced, Mayes served as a senior sustainability scholar with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

While I have a tremendous respect for Kris Mayes and ASU’s Schools of Sustainability, as a conservative/libertarian, I do have to disagree with those policy objectives that  increase the size and role of government – especially when the consequences are a disruption to free market economies and a reduction of freedom and the well-being of individuals. There is nothing sustainable about government subsidies and dependency. (Conservatives should actually “own” the word “sustainability!”)

With Big Solar behind this initiative and Kris Mayes as their spokesperson, we can expect millions of dollars to pour into the campaign. In a recent Arizona Republic article, Mayes revealed that “‘significant’ resources will be put in the campaign.”

Thursday it was reported that SolarCity Inc. has already donated $3 million to the campaign. And in a tweet by reporter Rachel Leingang on Wednesday, the committee was already hiring petition circulators off Craigs List at $5 a signature.

A minimum of 225,963 signatures is needed to qualify for the ballot. Doing the math on those numbers shows that it will cost the committee $1,129,815 just to pay for the minimum number of signatures. Most committees try to build a buffer of 15-20% over minimum. Most committees running a “popular” initiative, don’t have to pay for signatures.

That means Big Solar is willing to pay big bucks to keep the subsidies flowing to their business. For them, its the cost of doing business even if it means carving out a special place in the Arizona Constitution.

One of my primary motives for writing columns like this is I’m angered by the injustice of what the rooftop solar is attempting to do to unaware people. These companies will tell a prospective customer that they can generate all their own electricity and that any extra electricity can be sold back to the grid. These companies will sign up customers for a long term lease and install the equipment on their rooftops (free rent to park their units.) The customer will be told they’re helping the environment and saving money on their utility bill (relatively true statements).

But what Big Solar doesn’t really focus on with the customer is who owns the the equipment and that there is a margin between the retail rate and the wholesale rate at which the customer “sells back” their electricity. That margin adds up to big profits for rooftop solar companies.

At the same time, solar rooftop customers do not pay for the cost to maintain and upgrade the main grid. That cost is shifted to non-solar customers to pay. If you’re someone concerned about equity, it’s anything but fair as those folks who are more likely to qualify for a long-term solar lease shift the cost of maintaining the grid to those who cannot afford or qualify for solar leases.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]It’s a big racket for Big Solar and they’re willing to spend big money to keep their big profits in place – by enshrining it into our state constitution.[/pullquote]

When Arizona utility companies revealed these disparities to the Arizona Corporation Commission and suggested more equitable policy changes like elimination of net metering or demand charges, Big Solar went on the warpath. It’s why they’ve launched their initiative “The Arizona Solar Energy Freedom Act.”

If you are a rooftop solar customer, don’t be surprised to see a signature gatherer show up at your doorstep carrying a petition. Big Solar has your name and address and they’re not worried about sharing your private information with the super PAC’s hiring people off Craig’s List to knock on your door and warn you that the sky is falling.

Watch for Big Solar’s “Arizona Solar Energy Freedom Act” and remember, it’s anything but free.

‘Stormy Days’ Ahead for Rooftop Solar in Arizona?

Stormy Solar Panels

Arizona consumers of rooftop solar best prepare for cloudy financial times ahead if recent stormy news in the solar panel industry is any indication.

Missouri-based SunEdison is on the verge of financial collapse as it heads toward bankruptcy with $11 Billion of debt, a lawsuit by a subsidiary and an investigation by the fed.

SunRun and SolarCity are also sitting on the same bubble as they find their values halved since late last year and nervous investors losing confidence in the industry’s 20-year leasing approach for consumers.

Also adding to the volatility of the industry is a realization by local and state governments that subsidizing the industry is simply unsustainable bad public policy.

The rooftop solar industry should blame itself for its financial woes. It took on far too much rapid expansion and despite tremendous revenues, it is still facing losses. SunCity lost $769 million while Sunrun reported $28.2 million in losses. And 2016 is certain to continue that trend.

Now the industry is making efforts to cut costs in overhead, labor, advertising, etc. even as the cost of panels had dropped considerably. To come close to making a profit, these companies must continue to lock in new customers. And they must also continue to find favor with state and local governments by continuing subsidies, favorable rate policies and special construction/installation projects.

As traditional utility companies follow a more steady and stable growth model into renewable energy platforms, government regulators are becoming more wise and reluctant to choose winners and losers through policies like net metering. Instead, regulators are attempting to allow the market to adjust to normal conditions with the least negative impact to consumer pocketbooks.

With these policy changes and market adjustments, rooftop solar companies are finding that a good deal [for them] won’t last forever. Even as energy regulators make adjustments to allow the market to benefit all consumers, the rooftop solar industry has turned it into a political battle to keep their special arrangements in place.

This is the vicious cycle for rooftop solar: Cut costs while expanding the number of consumers in order to come close in making a profit – a strategy that is highly dependent on government favors and taxpayers and essentially a form of corporate welfare. As the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money [to spend].”

This brings us back to Arizona consumers of solar energy who will be the negatively affected if the rooftop solar bubble bursts. Who will maintain and warranty rooftop units if the company reneges on its contracts or worse, goes under?

That’s where the market appears to be headed and consumers better prepare for a rainy day.