Brewer to sign SB1070 this morning

Our sources indicate Governor Jan Brewer will sign SB 1070 this morning and release a statement around noon. Stay tuned.

Arizona Education Network anything but non-partisan

Recently, several new outlets were tricked into running stories about the slanted ratings of the front-group Arizona Education Network (AEN.)

ane_ann-eve-pedersen

The spokes person for the group, Ann Eve Pedersen, is a former reporter with the Arizona Daily Star and now defunct Tucson Citizen. She has donated to Democratic candidates, $825 to Grijalva in 2009, $500 to President Obama in ’08, plus donations to Reps. Giffords and Pastor. She is so involved with the Democratic Party, the Tucson Weekly statedshe is inextricably linked with Tucson’s Democratic politics.” She is married to Peter Eckerstrom, brother of Paul Eckerstrom (former chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, a position once help by Ann’s own father.) This is not your average PTO mom concerned about education funding. Ann Eve Pedersen is a highly connected Democrat activist who is the spokesperson for a group set up for the sole purpose of slamming Republican candidates right as election season gets under way. It is disappointing that more media outlets did not investigate the people behind AEN before publishing their obviously biased report.

Protesters! Quick someone call the cops

McCain was in Tucson over the weekend with fellow Senator Scott Brown. There were about a dozen or so protesters outside the event at the Manning House. The easy political move is to ignore them, or better yet go out and shake their hands and talk with them. Instead, someone called the Tucson Police and reported that there was a fight. One of our readers in Tucson who was there sent this news report to us (thanks for the first-hand account.)

Sat_McCain_protest

I’m not really sure who called the cops at the JOHN MCCAIN PROTEST: ROUND 2 organized by THE GOP PRECINCT COMMITTEEMEN AGAINST MCCAIN that was held on Saturday. I guess they thought a handful of peaceful protesters, including grandmothers and children, who were respectfully exercising their 1st Amendments rights posed such a danger that they had to call in backup. In fact, we were so respectful of Senator McCain’s rally, that even though I had been personally invited by FRIENDS OF JOHN MCCAIN via email to enter the rally, we chose to stand outside on the public sidewalk rather than entering the property. Here’s the invite:

McCain 2010

McCain 2010 Tucson Rally with
Senator Scott Brown!

There is no cost to attend this event!

The Manning House
450 West Paseo Redondo
Tucson, AZ 85701
Saturday, March 6, 2010
4:15 PM and goes until approximately 5:30 PM

Or maybe they felt the only way to level the playing field was to call in TPD since we were receiving more attention than McCain and Brown combined. Perhaps they didn’t like that we were interviewed by 3 out of the 4 local news channels. Or maybe it was because the JOHN MCCAIN PROTEST: ROUND2 was a statewide event that focused on protesting all three of Senator McCain’s campaign stops with fellow Senator Scott Brown – first at Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale, then the Arizona Inn in Tucson, and finally ending at the Manning House, also in Tucson. Perhaps it had something to do with McCain’s paid staff worker, Anthony Miller, also Chairman of LD20, who has recently been battling with a couple of the leaders of THE GOP PRECINCT COMMITTEEMEN AGAINST MCCAIN, who’s probably grouchy about these two recent stories:

http://www.gilacourier.com/?p=5716
http://sonoranweeklyreview.com/?p=2882

And let’s not forget the original TUCSON PROTEST OF JOHN MCCAIN, when this story was written: http://www.gilacourier.com/?p=5647

Maybe the McCain camp has finally reached the breaking point. The fact is that whoever called the police completely falsified their report. When the police came zipping around the corner and pulled up and asked me if we had seen a guy on a bicycle in a striped shirt fighting and yelling with people, we were shocked to say the least. Yes, one of us was on a quadcycle, but he wasn’t wearing a striped shirt or doing anything other than circling the Manning House loop with a sign that read: NO MORE MCCAIN. Hardly a reason to call the already understaffed TPD away from more important duties. In fact, 3 squad cars were called the first time. The second time, after the event had ended and McCain was outside being interviewed by the media, another squad car showed up within seconds after some of us were verbally voicing our 1st Amendment rights. Although this officer was very respectful and understanding of our rights, we were not able to continue exercising our rights because of this interference.

Was someone playing dirty politics here?

Paper reports Giffords’ conflict of interest

The Orlando Sentinel has an expose about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ conflict of interest with the Constellation program and it’s Ares I rocket. The article raises troubling questions about her influence over NASA decisions while her husband is with the same agency. Worse than the charges of a conflict is the disclosure that her husband, Mark Kelly, used his access to Air Force jets to rendezvous with Giffords while they were dating. One trip cost the taxpayers almost $10,000. Here is more from the Sentinel story,

They managed to maintain their long-distance relationship thanks in part to NASA; Kelly used its fleet of T-38 training jets to visit Giffords in Arizona and elsewhere.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2007, Kelly flew to Indiana to watch the Indy 500 with Giffords, his then-fiancée. Kelly listed the purpose of the trip as “Space Flight Readiness Training.” NASA later said the flight may have violated the agency rules requiring astronauts “to avoid any appearance of inappropriate use of NASA T-38’s” when logging their required monthly flight hours. The trip cost taxpayers almost $9,000.

On top of a possible conflict, the system Giffords is favoring is over budget. The article phrases it this way “Constellation — especially the Ares I rocket — was behind schedule and billions over budget.”

Giffords’ subcommittee held hearing about the Constellation and she went after one of the witnesses with whom she disagreed. The witness “expressed his “disappointment” that she said the recommendations of his 10-member panel were responsible for America “losing ground” in space — and pointedly rebutted her support of Ares I.” An observer remarked “This wasn’t a hearing, this was an ambush.” Don’t hold your breath for any of the newspapers to call her a “bully.”

mark_kelly
Is that a T-38 in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Here is another story with more background on the troubled Ares rocket program.

Who does Jason Rose work for?

Jason RoseLately, Jason Rose’s name has been popping up everywhere.

He’s deeply involved with gubernatorial candidate and Mayor of Paradise Valley, Vernon Parker. Simultaneously, he’s handled various aspects of Sheriff Joe’s political campaigns.

Most recently, he hosted a fundraising event at his posh Paradise Valley home to benefit conservative radio host and former congressman, J.D. Hayworth.

Elissa MullanySuddenly, he pops up as the public relations guru to handle controversial Mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon, who is now under the microscope of government watchdogs and the press over his relationship and potential conflict of interest girlfriend, Elissa Mullany.

Gordon, who began dating Mullany March, 2008, two months after separating from his wife of 15 years, appointed Mullany to three city commissions over the period of 2004-2007. Now the Mayor has hired Jason Rose to help him get out of hot water over the relationship and potential conflicts of interest.

All this brings into question why would a public relations guru like Rose go to work for a Democrat like Gordon? Given Rose’s longstanding relationship with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and JD Hayworth, how does he manage to juggle his professional relationships between two diametrically opposed camps? One thing is clear, he is a master of political maneuverings and machinations and only he knows how to maneuver through them without becoming the target.

Is someone jealous?

     Pima County Supervisor Ann Day had some pretty harsh words regarding the news that Jan Brewer may soon be the Governor of Arizona. The tone of Day’s remarks was nasty even to use on someone of the opposite political party, never mind that they are both Republicans. Day summed up:

     “She does not have a positive attitude toward Pima County”

     We are not sure that is true but with comments like those from Ann Day who could blame Brewer for having a less than stellar impression of Southern Arizona. The questions arises – what was Ann Day trying to accomplish with her strident remarks. When and if Brewer becomes governor it is not likely that she will have much reason to meet with or listen to any concerns that Day has. Day did not really serve her constituents very well by lessoning her chances of working with Brewer. My guess is that the elderly and apparently spiteful Day let some old rivalry from her legislative days get in the way of her current mission – to work with all parties in representing the people of NW Tucson.

Janet, say hello to your new legislature

Frank Antenori and David Gowan

     It may be days or weeks before Pima County has finished counting all the ballots but early indicators point to a victory by both Frank Antenori and David Gowan for the State House from District 30. The Arizona Democratic Party and their allies spend more than $175,000 in that race alone and look to have come up empty. That’s a crAZy amount of money.

Babeu ahead in Pinal County


Paul Babeu

     It looks like Paul Babeu will be the next Sheriff of Pinal County. Fellow Republican Bryan Martyn may also win his race for Pinal County Supervisor District 2.

SA will continue political coverage through the weekend – and a correction

     The Arizona Daily Star made an interesting revelation on the front page of Saturday’s paper (PDF file.) The will not cover any local political news this Sunday or Monday.

     Given much of their past coverage I am not sure the community is missing out on anything but why the blackout? The Star stated "It’s a way to ensure that coverage is fair to the end and keeps one side from making a last-minute statement the others can’t rebut." I think that is code for the senior editors want to take a few days off and the interns cannot be trusted right before election day. Believe me one side or the other will be making last-minute statements, through robo calls, mailers, or radio ads and Sonoran Alliance will happily cover the story. Candidates and campaigns are also free to correct our work in real time because we are a blog.

     Which brings us to a correction. On October 23rd we slammed Daniel Patterson over the issue of habitat destruction by solar farms. Patterson corrected us and stated that he supports rooftop solar and is opposed to massive solar fields on public lands. Good, we agree with him on that matter. The question now is do Gabrielle Giffords and the rest of the Democrats using solar as this years wedge issue agree with Patterson or are they for trashing large tracks of desert with inefficient and costly solar panels?

Have the Democrats developed a solar powered car?

     The latest hit piece mailer against Frank Antenori sent by the Arizona Democratic Party misstates that Antenori wants higher gas prices. Their supporting evidence is his lack of enthusiasm for government mandates to prop up high-cost solar power. Have they developed a special technique to refine gasoline from photovoltaic cells?


Click on this image to view the full size mailer.

     It is interesting to watch the party hacks in Phoenix and their union allies target Antenori. I would have thought they would have tried to pick off the slightly more conservative David Gowan. They do not seem to have said a peep about David. Antenori is so reasonable that both the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Citizen endorsed him. Now the liberals in Phoenix are working against the endorsements from the liberals in Tucson. Maybe the liberals in Phoenix thought Frank was the weaker candidate because he came in behind Gowan in the primary. The Phoenix crowd may have also believed that Antenori was more vulnerable because as a traditional funded candidate he will not receive any matching funds. That is true but as Antenori proved in the primary his campaign is not about money. He appears to have strong support within the district and a motivated team of volunteers.

     Question of the day: If tax credits for school choice take money away from public education then what do tax credits for solar power do? They also take away money that could be spent on education. I guess some tax credits are more equal than others.