Why Is Andy Biggs Dodging 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?

Andy Biggs Confronted

photo courtesy TV-12 News

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.

Wendy Rogers Discusses The Race for CD-1 With Flagstaff’s KAFF 93.5

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.

http://chirb.it/NOn7qd

Wendy Rogers KAFFDuring 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.

 

Tom Chabin & Bill Mundell – The Clone Candidates

Tom Chabin & Bill Mundell - The Clone Candidates

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.

 

 

Fear and Fundraising in AZ01

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.

Babeu Press Conference

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).

Sicario

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.

Babeu Cavuto

Photo courtesy of Paul Babeu’s Twitter feed.

[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.

Tom Chabin’s Dark Money Past

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 Dark Money

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.

Tom Chabin IE Money

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.

Tom Chabin

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.

 

Andy Biggs IS the Establishment

In case you missed it earlier today, Arizona Senator Andy Biggs tweeted that he would “take on DC establishment.”

[Audible: vinyl record scratching!]

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.

 

Christine Jones – The Best Choice To Upgrade Congress

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.

Christine Jones

Christine Jones testifying before Congress.

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.

 

Prop 123 Proponents Make Their Case on Arizona PBS’ Horizon

Advocates for Proposition 123 appeared on KAET’s Horizon on Monday evening to make the case for passage of Prop 123. Here is the video of that show featuring Chris Thomas, General Counsel for the Arizona School Boards Association:

Political Insiders begin attacks on conservative Christine Jones in CD-5

It hasn’t even been a week and already the dark money is flowing in attacks on conservative Christine Jones. Career politicians and political insiders must be very nervous about Jones’ entry into the GOP primary in Arizona’s 5th congressional district.

Evidence, a mysterious dark money operation sprung up on Twitter and YouTube on Thursday. The group using the name “Real Christine Jones,” put up a video taking aim at the conservative business leader, spinning, speculating and spewing lyrics in a sing along video. (Anytime you see a group spring up on social media using the word “Real” in its title, you can bet it’s anything but real or truthful.)

DarkMoneyAttackAd

Aside from the lies and nonsense of the video, this is another example of political insiders funneling money to paid political hacks to quickly attack anyone who threatens their political power.

The most important question is who paid for the production of the video and why did they not disclose that information to the public?

Hiding behind a sneaky moniker is nothing but petty and pernicious and results in a reinforcement of why the public does not trust career politicians.

We deserve better than these personal attacks. It’s time to replace career politicians with honorable citizen representatives who will actually serve instead of subterfuge.

Update on AZ01 GOP Candidate Earn vs Burn Rates

In an earlier post, we provided an analysis of the campaign finance reports of Arizona’s CD-1 candidates. At the time, no information was available from the Shawn Redd campaign because the reports were filed manually with the Federal Elections Commission. Those reports are now available.

We also need to correct a number on another candidate campaign in which a typo occurred on the spreadsheet. That candidate’s financial health actually improved significantly with the correction. Read our updated analysis below.

=======================

An analysis of Federal Election Commission reports by CD-1 candidates shows some interesting financial trends taking place.

Looking exclusively at the first quarter period of time, we calculated daily earn and burn rates for each of the campaigns effective March 31st. There were 91 days in 1Q.

These rates have been adjusted based on the number of days the campaign has been operating for the 1st quarter period of time. In addition, we calculated the burn rate for each candidate to the Primary Election date. There are 152 days until the Primary Election from March 31st. This is the amount of money the campaign has left to spend on a daily basis to get to August 30th leaving no money left in the bank.

For this assessment, all reports are now available and are pro-rated accordingly to the days a candidate has been in the race. For example, Wendy Rogers has been in the race for 78 days and Carlyle Begay has only been in the race 22 days. The earn and burn rates are adjusted accordingly.

Here are the updated/corrected numbers:

Candidate Campaign Raised 1Q Days in 1Q Daily Earn Rate 1Q Spent    1Q Daily Burn Rate 1Q Daily Earn vs Burn Gap Cash on Hand 1Q Days to Primary Daily Burn Rate to Primary Election
Babeu $157,734 91 $1,733 $148,157 $1,628 $105 $259,351 152 $1,706
Begay $39,905 22 $1,814 $513 $23 $1,791 $39,392 152 $259
Bennett $80,027 91 $879 $55,633 $611 $268 $195,691 152 $1,287
Gowan $169,390 91 $1,861 $70,978 $780 $1,081 $238,468 152 $1,569
Kiehne $48,980 91 $538 $113,933 $1,252 -$714 $513,615 152 $3,379
Redd $1,800 91 $20 $7,615 $84 -$64 $1,785 152 $12
Rogers $144,209 79 $1,825 $51,809 $656 $1,170 $100,765 152 $663

 

As a prior post pointed out, Paul Babeu has the highest burn rate followed by Gary Kiehne. Excluding Begay’s campaign due to the short period of time, both Wendy Rogers and Ken Bennett have the lowest burn rates. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]For the entire quarter, Wendy Rogers was the most financially disciplined candidate while Paul Babeu was the biggest spender and Gary Kienhe ran the largest deficit.[/pullquote]

We corrected the amount raised for Wendy Rogers which resulted in a significant boost to her daily earn rate. That still resulted in David Gowan barely remaining at the top of the list with a daily earn rate of $1,861 but moved Wendy Rogers into second place at a daily earn rate of $1,825. Paul Babeu trailed at a daily earn rate of $1,733 but if we include Carlyle Begay given the short amount of time he has been in the race, Babeu drops to 4th place.

One thing to note about fundraising for these candidates is the ease of access to PAC and lobbyist money. As Speaker of the House David Gowan has tremendous influence over the outcome of legislation. Many lobbyists have bills making their way through the Arizona House and that means a high level of interaction and access with the Speaker. A review of Gowan’s report reveals that many lobbyists have contributed to his campaign. It also shows that he has received $16,250 in PAC contributions – the top recipient of all the candidates. Carlyle Begay placed 2nd in PAC contributions at $12,000 while Babeu ran 3rd with $5,000. Ken Bennett bottomed the list with $1,000 in PAC contributions. Gary Kiehne, Shawn Redd and Wendy Rogers received no money from PAC’s

Looking at available money, Gary Kiehne has the highest amount available to spend on a daily basis heading into the August 30th Primary Election. It should be noted that Kiehne has loaned his campaign the most money out of all the other campaigns with $50,000 being fronted to the campaign during the 1st quarter and $678,072 being loaned during the election cycle to date.

Candidates with a larger gap between earn and burn rates this early in a campaign are more likely to be in better financial shape heading into an election. Obviously, candidates should be raising more money then they are spending to avoid draining their resources or running a deficit. Here’s an UPDATED graph of those rates showing the daily gap between each candidate’s earn and burn rates:

AZ01 Candidate Daily Earn & Burn Rates

 

In this graph, Gary Kiehne has an inverted burn to earn gap of -$714. Shawn Redd’s gap is now included in this analysis and shows he spent more money than he took in during IQ with a daily gap of -$64. Paul Babeu’s campaign is barely staying ahead of his burn rate at $105/day. Ken Bennett may have a lower burn rate but his earn rate is also very low giving him a gap of $268. That leaves Wendy Rogers and David Gowan with the healthiest gaps. Gowan’s gap amounts to $1,081 but after a correction in the data, Rogers’ gap grows to $1,170 making her the candidate with the healthiest daily earn-to-burn rate. (Carlyle Begay was excluded from this 1Q analysis because the campaign had only been in the race for 22 days which is below a 30-day billing cycle for spending money.)

  • Paul Babeu spent $0.94 for every dollar he raised
  • Ken Bennett spent $0.70 for every dollar he raised
  • David Gowan spent $0.42 for every dollar he raised
  • Gary Kiehne spent $2.33 for every dollar he raised
  • Wendy Rogers spent $0.36 for every dollar she raised

Our conclusion: David Gowan raised the most money although much of it was from lobbyists and PAC’s. Paul Babeu spent the most amount of money and his daily earning rate is barely keeping ahead of his daily spending rate. Gary Kiehne ran the largest deficit spending for the quarter having raised the least amount of money but loaning the campaign the most amount of money. Ken Bennett raised the least amount of money for 1Q and spends nearly 70% of what he raises. Carlyle Begay has not been in the race long enough to derive an accurate assessment. Shawn Redd’s financial reports eliminate him from the analysis as an outlier. While Wendy Rogers placed 3rd in fundraising, she has the healthiest daily earn vs. burn rate showing her to be the most financially disciplined candidate in the race for CD-1.

Here are links to each candidate’s campaign finance reports on the FEC:

Paul Babeu
Carlyle Begay
Ken Bennett
David Gowan

Gary Kiehne
Shawn Redd
Wendy Rogers