Andy Biggs Failed to Protect FLDS Women and Children

One week before the Primary Election in Arizona’s 5th Congressional District and the CBS affiliate revisits criticisms of one of the Republicans in the race, Andy Biggs.

In 2013, lawmakers Michelle Ungenti-Rita and Kelly Townsend pushed for legislation to de-certify police in Colorado City who failed to enforce Arizona laws protecting underage women from forced marriages to male members of the FLDS church. Survivors of the FLDS church claimed that local law enforcement swore more of an allegiance to convicted felon church leader Warren Jeffs than to Arizona statutes. Ugenti-Rita and Townsend introduced legislation to remove authority from Colorado City law enforcement.

The bill easily passed the Arizona House.

But when it got to the State Senate, President Andy Biggs refused to allow the bill to move forward in the committee process.

Reps Townsend and Ugenti-Rita claim, it was because they spoke out against Biggs and challenged his authority. The bill was assigned to committees but never received a hearing.

Senator Biggs never gave an explanation why the bills were blocked until right before CBS aired their report. His campaign spokesman claims it had to do with the constitutionality of the legislation.

Here’s the video report by CBS-5:

Senator Jeff Flake Discusses Donald Trump

This week, Senator Jeff Flake made an appearance on KAET’s Horizon with Ted Simons. The interview was focused on the presidential candidacy and campaign of Donald Trump.

It’s no secret that Senator Flake has serious reservations, like many Republicans, about supporting Donald Trump.

Watch as Senator Flake shares his views on Donald Trump.

Frank Schmuck Questions Jeff Dial’s Military Record in Political Ad

Conservative Republican Frank Schmuck released a new digital ad today questioning the military service of Jeff Dial. Dial is seeking reelection to the Arizona State Senate in Legislative District 18.

The ad references Dial’s admission that his military service was characterized as “unsatisfactory participation” due to his weight, but the Schmuck campaign cites military regulations for an accurate definition.

According to regulations, “unsatisfactory participation” is due to “disobeying military orders” or not showing up for duty or “Absence Without Leave” or AWOL.

Earlier this week, the Schmuck campaign asked Jeff Dial to release his DD-214, the official document issued by the Department of Defense certifying release of discharge of active military service.

Dial has refused to release his DD-214 and instead has only provided a DD 256, which only certifies completion of a term as a reservist. The DD Form 256 is not used to determine if someone is a veteran in part because it can be purchased online with no verification of military service required and because active dates of service must be listed to qualify.

Dial and Schmuck will square off in the August 30th Primary Election.

Links:

http://www.military-certificates.com/Cert_Army_Honorable_discharge.htm

http://www.cem.va.gov/hmm/discharge_documents.asp

Don Stapley – Documented to have been a skunk

Earlier this week the Jones for Congress campaign released the following video:

The two articles mentioned in the video come from the Arizona Republic and question the ethics of former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley.

The first article is fairly damning to Stapley who accepted $140,000 in dark money contributions in order to secure a national non-profit position. Some of the individuals and businesses benefited from votes Stapley made as County Supervisor.

Supervisor Don Stapley used money he took from businesses and individuals to buy expensive personal items, and some of those donors benefited from votes he cast as a Maricopa County board member, records examined by The Arizona Republic show.

Donors from 2004 to 2008 gave about $140,000 to an unregulated campaign fund Stapley had created when he sought an uncontested, volunteer position with the non-profit National Association of Counties (NACo). At least $86,000 was spent on personal items, including a Hawaii trip, luggage and a Bang & Olufsen video and sound system, banking records indicate.

Stapley says he committed no crime and there were no rules requiring disclosure or restrictions on how the money could be spent. Donors said the contributions were unrelated to Stapley’s votes in favor of contract proposals or land-use changes they had before the board.

But ethics experts and a former county supervisor said Stapley’s actions were inappropriate. Under the county’s ethics policy, his solicitation and acceptance of major gifts from those doing business with the county would be grounds for dismissal were he an employee instead of an elected official. And had he sought the money for a regulated election campaign, state law would have prohibited him from using contributions for personal use.

“It’s an ethical issue,” said Tom Freestone, an East Valley icon and longtime Stapley friend who is a former county supervisor. “If you are going to raise money just so you can spend it on yourself, you should declare it a little charity. You shouldn’t vote on something, because it can be construed as a bribe. It used to be people would run with honor.”

 Stapley used a letter written by a land-use attorney to explain to donors that their contributions were legal and they would not be identified.

Stapley, who earns $76,600 annually as a supervisor and represents the East Valley, was first elected in 1993. The Republican began asking for money for his NACo bid in December 2004, when he told donors in a letter he needed more than $150,000 for a “national campaign.”

Steven A. Betts, then a land-use attorney who advised GOP politicians on campaign finance, wrote an opinion a few months earlier saying Arizona campaign-finance laws didn’t apply to the NACo campaign. Stapley used the letter to assure donors that there were no giving limits and that they would not be publicly identified.

About 50 friends, lobbyists and big businesses gave amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to $25,000, and Stapley nearly met his fundraising goal. Records show five donors who gave a total of $35,000 later did business with the county, while two did business with the county and then gave a combined $7,000.

Donors said they wanted to help Stapley land an influential national position.

“We wanted him to win,” said Rusty Bowers, government-relations director for the Arizona Rock Products Association, which gave Stapley $5,000 in April 2005. “He needed support, and it was totally legal.”

Less than a month later, Stapley moved to award a $1 million county contract for some of the association’s members who won a competitive bid.

Similarly, Stapley took part in a unanimous Board of Supervisors vote to extend a $184,450 contract for Millett Family Properties for office space. He had received a $2,000 contribution from Millett six months earlier. Millett could not be reached.

So how did Stapley evade the ethics of taking gifts? An ethics policy that applies to all county employees did not apply to Don Stapley.

Maricopa County has an ethics policy for its 13,000 employees. They are prohibited from using their positions for personal gain and from soliciting or accepting gifts. They also aren’t allowed to vote on a contract or service in which they have an interest.

The policy, however, does not apply to Stapley or other board members because, according to Elizabeth Yaquinto, county workforce management and development director, supervisors technically are not employees.

The ethics policy was approved unanimously by supervisors in 1997.

While it does call for elected officials to maintain “unquestionable standards of high personal integrity,” supervisors must only “aspire” to follow the policy, County Manager David Smith said.

The county has cited a violation of ethics as one of the reasons to fire 51 employees and suspend 30 others since 2005, when Stapley received most of his financial gifts.

Other county supervisors declined comment on Stapley’s actions. But Freestone, the former county supervisor, was blunt in his criticism.

Freestone said elected officials never should take gifts, especially large ones, from those they govern, and he said there should not have to be “laws to tell us what is right and wrong and what is decent.”

Read the full article by JJ Hensley and Craig Harris HERE.

The second article cited in the video is an opinion piece written by conservative Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb. In his column Robb calls Stapley a skunk for his political machinations as a county supervisor and how he used his office for personal gain.

During the ruction, it became public that Stapley set up a fund ostensibly to run for office in the National Association of Counties. Contributors to it were people who do business with the county.

However, Stapley instead spent a majority of the funds on personal stuff for him and his family. In other words, he leveraged his elected office for personal enrichment.

Stapley wasn’t charged with a crime. But he was pretty much documented to have been a skunk.

A sensible person would have taken the settlement money for the Arpaio-Thomas abuse and retreated from public life. Instead, Stapley says he’s just the man to represent the East Valley in Congress.

Read the full column by Robert Robb HERE.

Don Stapley Mugshot

Don Stapley Mugshot

Three years have passed since Don Stapley left office and he probably thinks the stench of his prior problems has faded in the memory of voters. Now he’s running for a higher office that requires the utmost of personal and professional ethics to serve. We don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior especially for career politicians who can’t distinguish ethical boundaries and conflicts. We just hope the voters get a whiff of what’s happening in CD-5 before it’s too late.

Governor Mike Huckabee Endorses Christine Jones for East Valley Congressional Seat

Conservative business leader Christine Jones landed a significant endorsement Tuesday evening when the campaign released a video of Governor Mike Huckabee endorsing her campaign for Congress.

The former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate produced a personal video message from his office that he made public through the Jones campaign Facebook page on Tuesday evening.

In his message, Governor Huckabee speaks glowingly of his friend Jones and advises voters to beware of Washington elitists who are afraid of Jones because she can’t be bought. “She’s my friend. She’s someone I know, someone I trust and someone I believe that when you send her to Washington, you’ll know, you have someone who’s fighting for you, not someone fighting just to keep the special interest and the status quo alive and well,” Huckabee remarks.

Christine Jones welcomed the endorsement stating, “I am truly honored and humbled to have the support and endorsement of my friend Governor Huckabee. He understands why DC insiders and special interests try to keep out conservative problem solvers like me: I want to fix Washington’s problems, they want to maintain the status quo.”

According to recent polls, Jones is leading in the GOP primary against her three opponents. Voters are currently casting early ballots as Primary Election day approaches on August 30th.

Visit Christine Jones website for more information.

View Governor Mike Huckabee’s video message below.

Trailer: Hillary’s America by Dinesh D’Souza – Now In Theaters!

POLL: The Republican Race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

State Rep Kelly Townsend: Sen Andy Biggs’ Leadership Style Punitive

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:

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.