The Wall – An Arizona Republic / USA Today Special Screening Documentary Coming to Phoenix in July

The Wall, a documentary created and produced by the Arizona Republic and the USA Today Network, will provide a screening on July 16-18th in Scottsdale at the Harkins Theaters in Scottsdale.

This 80-minute documentary summary states:

“With rare footage from some of the most remote reaches of the U.S., “The Wall” explores the impact, reveals unknown issues and details the unintended consequences of President Trump’s $20 billion promise to build a wall from the Gulf to the Pacific.

Watch as journalists travel the length of the U.S.-Mexico border – by land and air – documenting the possible effects of a wall on security, life, commerce, the environment, smuggling and property rights.”

Here is the trailer.

You can obtain tickets here: https://tickets.usatoday.com/e/the-wall-a-usa-today-network-film

Justin Olson, Looking Ahead for Ratepayers

Justin Olson

Justin Olson

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson believes Arizona ratepayers should benefit from federal tax reform. For Olson, that means Arizona utility companies should pass their tax savings on to Arizona ratepayers.

Recent federal tax reform has resulted in big savings to corporations here in Arizona. In fact, that reform lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent leading to significantly lower expenses to utility companies. Olson, who serves on the Arizona Corporation Commission and oversees utility rates, wants to make sure those savings get passed on to you.

APS, Arizona’s largest utility provider, is already moving to lower customer bills by $119 million a year. Overall, that means an average saving to ratepayers of $4.68 per month. That’s a good start but it also means Arizona’s other utility companies must do the same. To make that happen, Commissioner Olson has asked that the full commission review and adjust rates downward for Arizona ratepayers.

Other commissioners are in agreement with Olson and taken steps to have other utility companies pass their tax savings on to you.

On Wednesday, January 31st, Commissioner Olson conducted a workshop to discuss the impact of federal tax reform on Arizona utility rates. A link to that workshop video and agenda can be found here. The video of the workshop is below.

Olson who has been an advocate for taxpayers for many years is leading by example. Arizona was the first to call for utility rate reductions and now other state commissions are following. It’s refreshing to watch conservative leadership remember who ultimately foots the bill and deserves to reap the benefits of tax reductions.

Thank you, Justin Olson, for your leadership and looking ahead for ratepayers.

 

Michael Lafferty Political Contributions Question Candidacy

 

Michael Lafferty

Michael Lafferty

Friday, a new candidate announced his entry into the Phoenix mayoral race drawing questions about his political motivations among the politically astute.

Michael Lafferty, a Phoenix businessman and developer, entered the race asserting his affiliation as an independent candidate although he is currently registered as a Republican according to Maricopa County voter records.

The Arizona Republic noted that Lafferty’s company owns a 1,500 unit apartment complex near 12th Street and the light rail station. The Republic also stated that Lafferty has been involved in Phoenix business for 34 years.

In his statement, Lafferty said, “I don’t believe that the mayor’s office is a Democratic or Republican office.”

Sonoran Alliance researched his political contributions specifically related to Phoenix candidates and what we found draws into question his motive for seeking the top seat at the City of Phoenix.

As a Republican, Lafferty gave to Democrat candidates and to 2015’s Proposition 104 – a massive tax hike of $31.5 Billion on Phoenix voters over the next 27 years. According to the City of Phoenix Clerk’s office Lafferty gave the following donations:

  • $1,000 on June 30, 2017 to Kate Gallego in her city council race
  • $2,000 on June 23, 2015 to MovePHX in Support of Prop 104
  • $700 on May 8, 2014 to Greg Stanton in his mayoral race
  • $250 on March 9, 2014 to kate Gallego in her city council race
  • $500 on November 12, 2013 to Greg Stanton in his mayoral race
  • $225 on September 3, 2013 to Kate Gallego in her city council race
  • $450 on August 7, 2013 to Warren Stewart in his city council race

Michael Lafferty Phoenix Donations

At no time over the last few years has Lafferty contributed to the campaigns of Republicans Sal DiCiccio, Jim Waring, Bill Gates (when he was on council) or Thelda Williams.

This blog has to ask the question why would a candidate who acknowledges his political registration as Republican and transitioning to Independent, jump into the mayoral race when he has a history of supporting Phoenix Democrats? Why not run as a Democrat? And, as a Republican, why didn’t Lafferty support any of the Republican candidates running for city council?

Political speculators are already arguing that Lafferty is strategically running to eliminate the only Republican, Moses Sanchez, from winning the seat or a slot in a primary runoff contest. In our opinion, Michael Lafferty should re-register as a Democrat.

We’d like to hear your take on this important race for Phoenix Mayor.

Political Ad: Moses Sanchez for Phoenix Mayor Changing The Status Quo

Moses Sanchez

If you haven’t been paying attention to Phoenix politics, you should know there’s a conservative Republican running for the office of Mayor of the 5th largest US city.

Moses Sanchez launched his campaign for Mayor of Phoenix on January 16th with the theme of changing the status quo by challenging the two incumbent Democrats seeking the seat when Greg Stanton resigns to run for Congress.

An Ahwatukee resident, Sanchez migrated to the US with his family from the Republic of Panama when he was a child. He is an active reservist with the United States Navy having served for 21 years including a tour of Afghanistan.

Sanchez possesses both a B.S. in Business Management and an MBA. He is Director of Operations for Nonnah’s Marketing an Arizona-based digital marketing company that assists local businesses in their growth strategy through targeted digital media campaigns.

Previously, he was elected and served on the Tempe Union High School Governing Board. Over the last ten years, he has also taught economics in the Maricopa County Community College District at South Mountain Community College.

Moses and his wife, Maria Manriquez M.D., have three adult children and three grandchildren. All three children graduated from Desert Vista High School and continued their education at Arizona State University.

On January 29th, the Sanchez campaign released its first political ad entitled, “Changing The Status Quo.” The ad is available here.

Follow Moses Sanchez on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for campaign news and events.

 

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:

 

Poll: Who would you prefer to succeed Trent Franks?

Bob Stump Tweets Candidacy for Congress in CD-8

Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner and State Senator Bob Stump tweeted Thursday evening that he will be a candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 8th congressional district.

“Given his impending resignation from Congress, I have decided that I will be a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 8. More to come!”

Congressman Trent Franks announced his resignation last night (see statement below) leaving the seat vacant at the end of January, 2018. Governor Doug Ducey will need to call for a special election that will certainly spur several Republican candidates in what is expected to be a competitive Primary contest. The district is heavily Republican.

You can follow Bob Stump on Twitter here.

Statement By Nicole Cardon And Her Family On Today’s Passing Of Wil Cardon

Wil Cardon

Wil Cardon

August 26, 2017

“Today a father, husband, son, brother and friend to so many left our family to be with the greatest angels, of which he will now be one.

The only thing that can stop tears at a moment like this is remembering Wil’s smile which was as wide as Arizona, especially when it came to his five children.

His gregarious approach to life, business, our family and his faith enriched all who were fortunate to shake his hand.

I don’t think I ever met someone who loved people more.  Despite his success in the business and philanthropic arenas I think the moments I witnessed with his children, helping a person on the side of the road or even applying to be a high school football coach were the ones that gave him the most joy.

It is no secret Wil suffered from depression, and struggled with it.  He tried mightily for us, for himself and for all to overcome it.  Today it finally took him, as it takes way too many.

Few would want to say more about the person we will remember forever than our family, but we hope our privacy can be respected to grieve, and to plan a tribute that has come far too early.”

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Please pray for the family of Wil Cardon.

Bannon Out, Blames Establishment, Prepares For ‘War’

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Depending on your source, Steve Bannon was fired, resigned or was forced out of his senior White House adviser position on Friday.

In his departure, Bannon made a statement stating the Trump Presidency was essentially over blaming “the Establishment” for the President’s failure.

With his departure, he met with billionaire Bob Mercer of New York to strategize how best to use Mercer’s money to go to war against “the establishment.”

Mercer recently donated $300,000 to a political action committee supporting Kelli Ward. Those political ads are already airing in Arizona attacking Senator Jeff Flake and blaming John McCain for the failure to repeal Obamacare.

Bannon has already returned to Breitbart headquarters to marshall forces for the “WAR” effort against establishment Republicans.

Expect those efforts to target Jeff Flake and John McCain here in Arizona.

Bannon is one of several high-level Trump staffers to depart the White House in less than a year.