Yesterday, State Representative Kelly Townsend revealed a dark side of Senate President Andy Biggs. During a guest opinion on Sunday Square Off, the two-term legislator from Arizona Legislative District 16 disclosed that Biggs’ leadership style was to punish lawmakers who refused to get in line with his political agenda and leadership.
Townsend tied the comments to her 2015 House vote in which the legislature voted to limit Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) – a vote she regrets. Townsend herself, is a widow with children representing a district adjacent to the district represented by Biggs.
In her comments, she stated, “I think it’s important to remember whose bill this was. This was our senate president’s bill. Part of that decision is the fact that [Biggs] has very well trained us. He’s punitive in his nature, and if we didn’t follow along, we would suffer the consequences.”
The interview, which is posted on the 12 News website, also posted the following comments:
When pressed further about her disagreements with Biggs, Townsend accused the 14-year state legislator and current congressional candidate of fostering a culture at the state capitol she described as “a heavy-handed, top down, ramming things through in the middle of the night approach.”
“It is a culture many of us are trying to change,” Townsend said.
The article continues:
Townsend also accused Biggs of refusing to communicate with her and preventing bills she sponsored from progressing through the legislature for two years. Townsend said she believed Biggs’ actions were payback because she gave a radio interview in support of a bill Biggs opposed in 2013.
“[In 2013] He would refuse to meet with me. He didn’t answer any of my calls or texts. He killed all my bills. Finally I cornered him and asked for a conversation, and he said I should have never called into the radio station in the first place to talk about that bill,” Townsend said. “When it comes to leadership, Biggs, I don’t know he knew how to be a leader. Anyone can be punitive and act like that. But in terms of being a leader, it takes more than just being a jerk.”
This revelation draws into question Biggs’ temperament and leadership style as the potential nominee for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.
Biggs’ spokesman, Adam Deguire, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman Matt Salmon who is now part of the political hand-off arrangement between Salmon and Biggs, acknowledged Biggs’ unpopularity with the mainstream media on issues such as TANF.
Senator Andy Biggs has not made an appearance on Sunday Square Off since February 27, 2011 and failed to show up last week for a debate on KAET’s Horizon.
Here is the video clip from Sunday Square Off:
Everyone knows that if you’re running for a major political office in Arizona you make the time to appear on local political shows like Horizon, Politics Unplugged and Sunday Square Off. It’s part of the process of getting in front of voters who pay attention to politics.
Brahm Resnik’s Sunday Square Off is one of those shows that candidates and elected officials don’t turn down. Brahm is the type of political reporter who asks tough questions and hones in on political motivations. He can be a feisty interviewer and every Republican should experience a sit-down with him if offered.
This last Sunday, Brahm interviewed two of the four Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District. Former County Supervisor Don Stapley and conservative business leader Christine Jones each had their interviews with Brahm. The prior week, three-term State Representative Justin Olson also made his pitch.
During Brahm’s intro to the Stapley interview, he said that all four Republican CD-5 candidates had been invited to come on Sunday Square Off but as Brahm noted, “Andy Biggs though, had never responded to my invitation.”
Any professional political consultant worth their weight in gold knows that earned media is the best media, even if it means a tough interview. Consultants advise their candidates to embrace these local political show opportunities whenever they arise and take advantage of the chance to toughen and improve their debate and public relations skills.
The CD-5 race will be one of the toughest Republican primary races in 2016. Andy Biggs knows this and that’s why he hired one of Arizona’s most prominent consulting firms to get him across the finish line. So why would Andy Biggs dodge the opportunity to appear on Sunday Square Off?
No one seems to remember the last time Andy Biggs appeared on Sunday Square Off let alone appeared on any other weekly political show. Our best research indicates that Biggs made an appearance on the show in late February, 2011 to discuss abolishing Medicaid.
Senator Biggs may be camera shy or perhaps uncomfortable with Brahm Resnik or maybe he would rather not discuss tough issues like the recent KidsCare legislation, but that doesn’t explain why he also skipped a recent East Valley candidate forum in CD-5.
Our guess is that the Biggs campaign is maintaining a low profile in an effort to avoid causing more controversy for itself. Dodge the media, avoid answering hard questions, avoid saying anything controversial and hope for an easy win.
When you’ve never had any tough electoral challenges in the 14 years you’ve been a politician, it doesn’t make you prepared or even qualified for a promotion to higher office and that’s where the work gets even harder. It’s time to answer the hard questions.
Lt Col (ret.) Wendy Rogers was interviewed on Flagstaff’s KAFF Monday morning discussing her campaign for Congress as well as a handful of issues.
During the interview, she explained how she covers Arizona’s First Congressional District which is one third the size of Arizona. Rogers uses her airplane and a collapsible bicycle which she packs in the fuselage of her Cherokee 180 single-engine plane. She covers about 100 homes a day when she’s out in the field.
Col Rogers also discussed the most important issues which she hears first-hand from her encounters with voters. Issues include the Second Amendment, border security, jobs, the economy and most prominently, national security.
When asked about her career, Col Rogers went into detail about her 20 years of service flying C-141’s as one of the first women pilots in the US Air Force. Both she and her husband Hal each served 20 years as career officers.
She also described how US military members are treated by host countries depending on who the Commander in Chief is.
When asked what she would like to accomplish and achieve in the US Congress, her most important priority would be to protect and defend the United States. She swore an oath to the US Constitution during her military service and would like to serve the country again in the US Congress.
Col Rogers also noted that she would like to serve on the House Intelligence Committee, an assignment she says she is aptly qualified for and that decides matters of life and death.
She also would like to serve on the Resources Committee because of Arizona’s abundance of beauty and natural resources.
When asked about her position on raising the minimum wage, she replied, “I am not a believer in the government telling business what to pay its employees.”
Sunday’s horrific terrorist attack in Orlando also came up during the interview. When asked about a “fix” for recurring attacks like this, Rogers quickly responded, “We are at war and until you identify the threat and are willing to address it as it is, which is an infiltrated threat in our country, then we have no ground to prosecute that strategy and defeat the enemy.” She said President Obama has not recognized the threat. She also said it is not an issue of gun control or discrimination against the LGBT community. She identified the real problem as the perpetrator and not the tool (guns).
The conversation concluded as Col Rogers described the beauty and blessings of her daughter’s wedding at Snowbowl over the weekend.
Both Wendy and Hal have two children and three grandchildren. They have a retirement home in Flagstaff and have been married for 38 years.
Col Rogers is the only woman running in a field of seven men.
Primary Election Day is Tuesday, August 30, 2016. You can read more about Wendy Rogers at WendyRogers.org.
If you look at the websites of liberal Democrat candidates Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell you’ll see they’re practically clones. They both use header photos from Roosevelt Lake, including a photo of Roosevelt Dam; the language is identical with the exception of their names and the layouts are inverse. Not much creativity and not much diversity.
(Incidentally, Roosevelt Dam is operated by the Salt River Project (SRP) and is not under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Read why here.)
That’s what you’d end up getting on the Arizona Corporation Commission if these two green corporatists get elected in November.
Both campaigns are running exclusively on the message that Arizona Public Service is evil and bazillion dollar deals are taking place in smoky backrooms.
What they won’t tell you is that the leftist-controlled “green” corporations will be working behind the scenes to make these two Democrats carry their agenda.
And what is the agenda of these big green corporations? To keep the flow of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars to the solar industry and other heavily-subsidized green corporations.
These are the companies that have imploded or gone bankrupt like Solyndra, Abengoa and SunEdison.
Don’t be fooled by all the hyperbole rhetoric by Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin over “dark money.” They themselves will be the beneficiaries of dark money as Big Solar dumps millions of dollars into the Arizona Corporation Commission race to get them elected.
For Big Solar and the other green corporatists, it’s about getting votes on the Commission so they can ramrod policies through that hurt taxpayers, ratepayers and cost thousands of jobs.
This election, beware the clone candidates who will open the door wide to disastrous Obama green energy policies right here in Arizona.
Elected law enforcement officials are in the precarious position of approaching their job from either a half-empty or a half-full position. As we’ve seen from many a sheriff, fear is a tremendous motivator when it comes to driving an agenda. Some sheriffs might cast their office as the object to be feared. Other sheriffs cast the outside world as the source of all danger.
The latter is what we witnessed in the public arena from Sheriff Paul Babeu on Tuesday.
In a press conference (which turned into a political speech), Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu claimed he has “additional intelligence” that Mexican hit men or “sicarios” were heading into Arizona to assassinate rival drug cartel members. Those attacks would likely take place over Memorial Day weekend. He cited several incidents south of Pinal County and advised campers and hikers to be fully armed and prepared to protect themselves. The press conference turned political when Babeu blamed the Obama Administration for not protecting our southern border (a point we agree on).
Members of the media immediately picked up on the sheriff’s advisory and ran with stories of impending threats and attacks to American citizens in the Arizona desert. Several media outlets didn’t quite take the bait (KTAR, KPNX)
What was barely mentioned was that hours after the warning, congressional candidate Paul Babeu sent out a fundraising letter mentioning his press conference and advisory. The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.
Babeu even appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto talking up the threat and danger of Mexican assassins running rampant through the Arizona desert.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.[/pullquote]
Some of us aren’t buying Sheriff Babeu’s ploy. Here’s why:
First, any threat of this nature would be announced from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Border Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety. When a threat is this serious and credible, it is vetted at all levels of government and is passed through multiple chains of command and communications. Governor Doug Ducey would be one of the first to know and to issue warnings through Arizona DPS. The Sheriff claims he was informed about the threat but failed to share it with other law enforcement agencies?
Second, Paul Babeu is a candidate for congress running on a single-issue – immigration and border security. Even though Pinal county does not border Mexico, illegal border crossers still make their way through his jurisdiction – just like they do in every other county in Arizona. We certainly won’t disagree that immigration and border security has become a national security issue we should take seriously, but some politicians have used the issue as a fear-for-votes political strategy. For Paul Babeu, it’s the only issue he knows and he’s using it at every opportunity for pure political gain. Multiple media appearances and fundraising letters from Babeu are evidence of this.
Finally, in law enforcement matters, every serious credible threat demands a serious credible response or action plan. According to reports, during his press conference, Sheriff Babeu made no request for assistance from the Governor’s office, Arizona DPS, Homeland Security, the National Guard, the FBI, etc. Instead, he told private citizens to arm themselves. A review of several Arizona law enforcement agency websites including the Governor’s office, shows no mention of public safety threats by sicarios in the Arizona desert.
We’re not buying it.
The truth is, we have a county sheriff running for Congress who is sensationalizing on the only issue he knows in order to grab media attention and raise money for his political campaign.
In the meantime, private citizens have been told to pack heat in the badlands of Arizona by a sheriff who apparently is finding it difficult to protect his own constituents.
This Memorial Day weekend, we recommend being vigilant of all threats – whether they’re credible or presented for pure political profit.
But most importantly, we ask that you remember and honor those, who against all fear and personal gain, paid the ultimate price through their selfless sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedoms.
In the race for Arizona Corporation Commission, there are several candidates who aren’t who they say they are.
One candidate in particular, has made a major part of his campaign platform about running against “dark money.” You see it on his website, social media and in the media.
Tom Chabin rails about dark money being spent by big power companies. We assume he’s referring to APS and their First Amendment participation in the election process.
What Tom Chabin doesn’t want you to know is that he was the direct beneficiary of “dark money” during his failed state senate campaign in 2012.
According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, Chapin was the direct beneficiary of $204,531 from four independent expenditure groups.
America Votes is listed as a labor union organization based out of Washington, DC. On their website, they tout “building progressive power” and partnering with every radical leftist organization in America. During the 2012 election cycle, they spent $127,077 in Arizona to elect Democrat candidates. Chabin was one of those Democrats they attempted to elect. Fortunately, they failed.
Another organization that spent $145,774 to keep Tom Chabin in his $24,000/year legislative seat was the Arizona Accountability Project. On their campaign finance reports, they reported $475,000 funneled from an outside dark money group called Revive Arizona Now. They ended up spending $561,047 on Democrat candidates in 2012.
Chabin also was aided and abetted by two other independent expenditure committees. Citizens for Public Education spent $315 but Revitalize Arizona kicked in $44,318 in an effort to save his re-election. According to the Secretary of State’s website, Revitalize Arizona took in $744,328.47 from another group called Residents for Accountability which Tucson media reported, “that group’s finances are a bit of a Russian nesting doll.” Revitalize Arizona spent $44,318 to re-elect Tom Chabin in 2012.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Revitalize Arizona – “that group’s finances are a bit of a Russian nesting doll”[/pullquote]
Tom Chabin lost his bid for the Arizona State Senate in 2012.
Now Chabin is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission as part of a Democrat team with Bill Mundell.
Chabin and Mundell are running as “Clean Elections” candidates so they won’t be asking for private donations in their race. PAC’s and individuals will still donate and participate in the election under Arizona campaign finance limits. Independent expenditure committees will still attempt to affect the outcome of the race through express advocacy. And we expect non-profit organizations to air issue-ads to “educate” citizens about the issues.
Both Democrats have made it their mission to attack their opponents by alleging Republicans are part of a vast right-wing conspiracy with APS. (They’re not.)
Both Chabin and Mundell are pushing for Big Solar’s agenda. These solar companies, backed by big environmental leftists, want to retain and expand on their taxpayer subsidies. If elected, Chabin and Mundell will work to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing to these solar corporations.
Given the dismal history of bankruptcies and bailouts of big solar corporations like Solyndra, SunEdison and Abengoa, handing authority to Democrats like Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell would be a financial disaster to ratepayers and the energy market.
Expect Big Solar to strong-arm this race and spend big money to put their corporate cronies in place. Just don’t expect leftist-friendly media to shine any light on their dark spending or on Chabin’s dark money past.
In case you missed it earlier today, Arizona Senator Andy Biggs tweeted that he would “take on DC establishment.”
Did we hear that correctly?
Anyone who has been around politics for any amount of time knows that Senator Andy Biggs has been in politics for 16 years. And, to further argue the point, Biggs has been the ultimate political insider in political backroom dealings.
2016 will be the year of outsiders, not career politicians.
If anyone can speak credibly about taking on the DC establishment, it won’t be someone from the establishment. And it won’t be Andy Biggs who has been the establishment for the last 16 years.
Congress needs more individuals who understand and know how to apply technology effectively and safely.
Within just the last 25 years, we have seen the number of computers on the internet explode from under 500,000 to now about two billion. It’s phenomenal and its only going to increase and advance at a faster pace.
In many ways the laws we live under are still trailing the science and technology – in some cases by decades. That has to change. Our lawmakers and especially our Congress needs an upgrade.
Case in point: the use of aerial drones for a variety of reasons including entertainment, commerce or public safety. Just within the last year, local, state and the federal government have been rushing to accommodate their use while balancing privacy, commerce and public safety. We need individuals who can look forward and catch our laws up with science and technology.
Christine Jones is that person and its one reason why she’s the best qualified candidate to send to Congress from Arizona.
Christine understands the vastness and capabilities of technology but she also grasps the rate of change it is having on the culture and our laws.As the General Counsel for one of the fastest tech companies, Go Daddy, she was on the cutting edge of integrating technology and the law. She has testified numerous times before Congress advising and educating those writing our laws on how best to do so. She has played a key leadership role in making the Internet safer for children and industries.
Christine Jones is also the founder of the Internet Registrar Summit which brought international Internet business leaders together on an annual basis to establish an industry best practices that advocated for laws and guidelines for conduct and usage. Through her leadership, she has played a key role in establishing the Internet as a safe, secure and stable place for all users and especially children.
Voters in Congressional District 5 should look ahead to the future. Sending someone to Congress who knows how to marry the law with an ever-changing world of technology would raise the level of expertise in updating our laws. Christine Jones is the right person to serve in that leadership role and it’s why we need to elect her to Congress in November.