Congressman Andy Biggs Speaks Out on US National Debt

Thank you Congressman Andy Biggs for this statement:

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs commented on the U.S. national debt passing twenty trillion dollars:

“Late last week, the U.S. national debt topped twenty trillion dollars for the first time in history. Instead of debating how Congress could take action to reduce the risk of default and substantial payments our grandchildren will inherit, Congress continues to encourage reckless spending and unaccountable taxpayer-funded programs. Rather than making the hard choices now, we are forcing Americans into an even tougher situation in the future because of this rising debt.

“It will take courage to cut government spending in order to deal with our national debt. If we are to follow through with our commitment to reduce expenditures and create economic stability for our future, we must immediately take action. The time for words is over.”

Speaking from One Woman to Another

Speaking from One Woman to Another – A Response to Karina Bland of the Arizona Republic

by  Sheila K Muehling

Over the last few years, I have asked myself many times why women are being used as political tools.  Why now, why not 40 years ago?  Why not 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. Before President Obama was elected I don’t remember a great deal of talk about women and what we want or don’t want.  My question is “Are women really ready to become active? Are women really ready to put in the effort?”  As a woman who has always been involved, I would like to share my thoughts.

Unlike the majority of people I know, I still receive the Arizona Republic and the Wall Street Journal newspapers every morning. Last week I opened the paper and on the front page was printed a rather unpleasant picture of President Trump and Joe Arpaio.  And to top off the specter of it all to the left an opinion piece from Karina Bland. What was the name of the piece, “Women want to get active; can they unite?” I would really like to know why this opinion piece was position on the front page but I think it doesn’t take much to understand that decision. However, as I read the article Karina started with her September 22nd evening observations of the Trump rally. She shared that everything on the streets was orderly and the protesters were handing out water, clearing sidewalks for wheelchair bound participants, giving out lollipops and making sure people were not overwhelmed with the heat. It was a picture of LALA land.  Of course early in her piece (above the fold) she positioned her comment about Heather Heyer who was the young women killed by the white-nationalist and how someone was carrying a sign that read “Heather deserved a better president.” Karina goes on to talk about the happy protesters who only wanted to exercise their rights but in speaking about the Trump supporters she throws in their use of “the middle finger.”

At this point, I would like to take a trip down memory lane before I finish my thoughts and share how I feel about Karina’s column.  As a woman, I too grieved over another loss of life – the two men who stood on a roof in Benghazi and prayed that their country would not leave them to die. Their country did not answer their prayers. Our President went to bed and then off to a fundraising event.  I grieved for a young man who knelt on the sands of a foreign country and had his head cut off. Our President went golfing.  As a woman and a mother of sons the age of these three men, my sign should have read “They deserve to have a better president.”

President Trump did not have control over a vicious man who decided to run down a crowd. President Obama had total control over a military that could and should have at least tried to save those lives.  The press has spent two weeks talking about how terrible the bigoted and racist Trump is but if you go back and look the press spent only a short time holding Obama responsible for the deaths in Benghazi or the beheadings of American men.

Karina continues her article with comments on the “Women’s March Events” where she sites five million women were involved in the month of January. I don’t know how many women were involved but I do know that the mess that was left in Washington after the “women” marched was despicable. Google and look at the pictures. If the behavior of the women in Washington was what Karina is promoting, as a woman, I will pass.

Karina goes on to talk about a group called “Nice White Ladies”. There was something about wanting to fix racism and finding it as difficult as talking to a manager of Whole Foods.  I read her description of that group and I am still trying to figure out the point.  Again, I think I will pass.

Then Karina addressed the conservative women who were at the rally. They questioned the negative press about the President, they told her that the Republican party was made up of all races and how race was not the issue. They were focused on healthcare and tax reform. Wow, that is a novel idea.  One woman shared that she felt the President loved and supported this country and was willing to help make it better. One woman told her she felt that Arpaio worked to make our state safer for her children and grandchildren.  The women who spoke to her talked about getting involved in the school board and the local town government.  Many were sickened by the removal of our history and asked how are our children are going to learn if they never see. They all chimed in that they were tired of sitting back and were ready to get involved.  Hey, I think this is a group I can relate to.

Suddenly the protesters came back into focus.  Karina told of seeing signs that said, “Old white men have been in charge too long” and “The future is female”. There was even a woman who had a T-shirt that said, “Legal Observer” just to make sure if anyone got in trouble they were there to help. Give the protesters comfort to know their legal rights were being watched.  We used to call those type of lawyers “Ambulance Chasers.”

But let’s go back and look at what her article was supposed to be about. It was getting women to become active and uniting them. My question is how did this article unite anyone?  I am around women and men for that matter every day.  I bring up current events and nine out of 10 of the people I am talking to haven’t a clue what I am talking about. No one I know reads a paper like the Wall Street Journal but they all believe everything Facebook says.

If you want to get involved then make a commitment.  Signup to be precinct committeemen and go to the meetings. Read the bills posted at the state capital and research what they mean. When Common Core was marching through the state capital I begged women with school children to listen to me and research the information. I even created an extensive PowerPoint that I was willing to send them to watch. But out of the hundreds of people I spoke to not one asked to see it. They had other things on their mind like working out, or yoga, or the vacation they were planning.

Don’t believe what is posted on the Internet and on Facebook without researching it first. Really stupid things come up on Facebook. Go to city government meetings because that is where many issues that affect you and your family start. Attend the school board meeting once in a while. When there is an election research the candidates. Just because they can afford the signs and the TV ads doesn’t mean they will represent you and your loved ones.  Go to the local debates and ask questions of the candidates.  And please, don’t become hero worshipers and groupies.

So Karina, if you are reading my article, from one woman who is involved to another, the next time you write an article about women getting involved, leave the media spin in the coffee room and talk about real life and how women can get involved. It doesn’t start at a rally to protest the President of the United States.

TJ Shope, Frank Pratt Named 2017 Legislative Champions by League of Arizona Cities and Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-8) and Senator Frank Pratt (R-8) last week were named 2017 Legislative Champions by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Legislative Champions award is given to legislators to honor their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

“I am honored to be named a 2017 Legislative Champion by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Shope. “Our work together ensures that communities across the state continue to grow into better places to live, work, and play.

“I am thrilled to be honored by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Senator Pratt. “Their dedication to support city and local leadership at the legislature is an asset to our state.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a membership-based organization comprised of municipalities throughout Arizona and provides a bridge from local cities and towns to the state legislature.

Shope Pratt

TJ Shope & Frank Pratt

Is Illegal Immigration the Fault of President Donald Trump?

by  Sheila K Muehling

Over my lifetime there have always been people entering this country illegally. As a small-town Midwestern kid, I was never affected by anyone coming in and working or living in my hometown. My father was a local contractor and a union member. His men were hired from the union hall and as far as I knew, they were just regular American workers.

Immigrant WorkersOver my lifetime there have always been people entering this country illegally. As a small-town Midwestern kid, I was never affected by anyone coming in and working or living in my hometown. My father was a local contractor and a union member. His men were hired from the union hall and as far as I knew, they were just regular American workers.

As a young adult living in Chicago I still was not affected by illegal immigrants. We had large Polish communities, Hispanic communities, Little Italy, the Chinese community and most of the Southside of Chicago was the Black community. I hired men and women who lived all over the city and unless they did a poor job, they worked and got paid along with everyone else. If they were a payroll employee, they never received cash and they always paid their taxes.

When President Reagan passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986,   my support was with the President.  As a person who ran a business in the construction industry I knew many of my sub-contractors hired workers who were illegal. Because they were not my employees I didn’t worry about it.  Once the law passed I was happy to share the information with anyone who was not legal and help them to complete the paperwork to become citizens. I made a big deal of the new law and to my surprise some of my own employees secretly took advantage of the IRCA. Only after they became citizens and obtained a social security number of their own did I realize how many were illegal and using a false or stolen social security card.

After the law was passed the problem was that many throughout the country did not take the opportunity to become citizens.  Thousands stayed in the shadow from fear of the government but more importantly, many didn’t come forward because they didn’t want to pay taxes.  The fact was most of the sub-contractors I hired used illegals as cheaper labor. Not because they paid them lower hourly pay, but because they didn’t have to match the Medicare and Social Security taxes, and they didn’t have to pay unemployment or union dues. When the law passed many of those companies made the effort to get all of their people to come forward but I remember that many who would work on my jobs suddenly disappeared.

After the IRCA the government promised to fix the border issues but we all know that did not happen. People continued to hire illegal immigrants. Women loved having them clean their houses and keep their yards manicured. Many became nannies and many worked in eldercare. The farmers wanted them to pick the crops, the builders wanted them to clean up job sites and haul materials. My experience was most Americans hired Hispanic workers because they are hardworking and respectful not because they were cheap. I knew people who considered their domestic help part of the family.  But no matter how much Americans loved the illegals they were in the long run still illegal and the problem became bigger and bigger. Sooner or later it had to break.

I am a strong supporter of President Trump and I am proud to be standing with him. However, we have to find a way to fix this problem and calm the country down. Many of the protesters in Charlottesville, Boston and Phoenix were not there because of the Hispanic population they were there because they are of the mind that Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist. I would also guess that better than 50% were there because Hillary Clinton lost. If 10% of those protesters ever spent one minute working with our state social services that try to help children and families, they would understand the problem is not this President. The problem lies with the previous administrations dating all the way back to President Reagan who never did anything to improve and promote the current immigration laws and that includes Barack Obama.

Instead of promoting the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, stand with people like me who are demanding the government address the system of legal immigration now.  Let’s hold Democrats and Republicans alike to their promises during campaigns to reform the system. Let’s be committed enough to vote out the politicians who use excuses for doing nothing.  Americans should stand together on this issue.

Jon Gabriel on the Trump Pardon of Arpaio

Fellow Conservatarian friend and blogger extraordinaire, Jon Gabriel, gets a shout out for his great work on Ricochet, Sunday Square Off and his recent op-ed in USA Today. Be sure to sign up for a subscription to his blog for ongoing great content.

Here’s his recent media appearance on Sunday Square Off.

Also, check out Jon’s recent op-ed in USA Today:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is no conservative and no hero, no matter what President Trump says

President Trump asked the crowd last week at his Phoenix rally, “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?” Had the hall been filled with an accurate cross section of Arpaio’s former constituents, the answer would have been a resounding “no.”

Jon Gabriel

Jon Gabriel

Nevertheless, Trump pardoned the ex-sheriff on Friday, though he had not been sentenced and had shown zero remorse for his crime. America’s self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” was convicted of criminal contempt of court last month after refusing to obey court orders. This most recent legal battle involved numerous federal attempts to get Arpaio to stop racially profiling residents of Maricopa County.

Not only did Arpaio refuse, he bragged about it: “Nobody is higher than me. I am the elected sheriff by the people. I don’t serve any governor or the president.”

Many conservatives outside of Arizona celebrated his headline-grabbing antics, but they don’t know the real story. I’m a conservative Maricopa County resident who has lived under Arpaio throughout his decades-long reign. Arpaio was never a conservative; he just played one on TV.

I saw his love of racial profiling firsthand, especially on my daily commutes through the tiny Hispanic community of Guadalupe, Ariz. When conducting these “sweeps,” helicopters buzzed houses, an 18-wheeler marked “Mobile Command Center” was planted in the center of town, and countless sheriff’s deputies stood on the roadsides, peering into the cars rolling by. Being Caucasian, I was always waved through. The drivers ahead and behind me weren’t so lucky.

Washington’s laxity in border enforcement led many right-of-center Americans to appreciate more robust enforcement, even when it regularly included authoritarian scenes such as the one in Guadalupe. But even if you turn a blind eye to the human cost of such race-based enforcement, Arpaio’s other misdeeds are legion.

During one three-year period, his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office didn’t properly investigate more than 400 alleged sex crimes, many of them involving child molestation.

In all, the department improperly cleared as many as 75% of cases without arrest or investigation, a fact outlined in a scathing report by the conservative Goldwater Institute.

When local journalists delved into Arpaio’s dealings, he had them arrested, a move that ultimately cost taxpayers $3.75 million. We paid $3.5 million more after the sheriff wrongfully arrested a county supervisor who had been critical of him.

About the same time, Arpaio sought charges against another supervisor, a county board member, the school superintendent, four Superior Court Judges and several county employees. All of these were cleared by the courts and also resulted in hefty taxpayer-funded settlements for his targets.

As a U.S. District Court judge presided over a civil contempt hearing, Arpaio’s attorney hired a private detective to investigate the judge’s wife.

On the pretext of going after an alleged cache of illegal weapons, a Maricopa SWAT team burned down an upscale suburban Phoenix home and killed the occupants’ 10-month-old dog. There were no illegal arms, so they arrested the resident on traffic citations.

Arpaio’s staff concocted an imaginary assassination attempt on the sheriff, presumably for news coverage. Taxpayers had to pay the framed defendant $1.1 million after he was found not guilty.

The sheriff’s department misspent $100 million on the sheriff’s pet projects, and wasted up to $200 million in taxpayer money on lawsuits. Yet he still found money to send a deputy to Hawaii to look for President Obama’s birth certificate.

All these antics, and many more, finally persuaded Maricopa County voters to oust the sheriff by a whopping 10-point margin. They selected his Democratic opponent, despite choosing Trump by 3 points in the same election.

Convicting Arpaio of contempt of court is similar to busting Al Capone on tax evasion. It was merely the tip of the iceberg considering his numerous violations of the public trust.

The sheriff bragged in a TV interview that he would “never give in to control by the federal government.” Unsurprisingly, Arpaio ran to the federal government for help when he found himself in legal trouble. And he got it, from a president who is just as committed to truth, justice, the rule of law, conservative principles and his oath of office. That is, not very committed at all.

Jon Gabriel is editor in chief of Ricochet.com and a contributor to The Arizona Republic. Follow him on Twitter at @exjon.

 

 

 

Jeff Flake: We Can All Agree We Need Secure Borders

Jeff Flake

Senator Jeff Flake

Senator Jeff Flake recently posted the following opinion piece on Medium.

We can all agree — the President, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and people all across the country — that we need secure borders. I also agree with the president that having a secure southern border requires physical barriers. The question is: what type of physical barriers are best? And how can technology and surveillance fill the void when physical barriers are not feasible?

I’ve been working on this issue with some of my colleagues for years. The bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 (which I helped author) provided for 700 miles of fencing, including “double fencing” in some areas. This was in addition to doubling the number of border patrol agents from 20,000 to 40,000 as well as providing a host of other technological and border infrastructure improvements and significant additional resources to prosecute illegal border crossers.

Throughout the campaign, President Trump spoke extensively of “building a wall” along the southern border and his first budget asked for funding for “bricks and mortar” for a wall. I understand what he’s trying to accomplish, but there are there better ways to secure the border than a “brick and mortar” wall.

The closest thing we have had to a “wall” along the southern border were the surplus Vietnam War-era “landing mats” that are turned upward and placed end-to-end through some of the border communities. Because border patrol agents couldn’t see what was happening on the other side of the wall, rocks were often thrown over them, causing injury to agents and damage to border patrol vehicles. Consequently, these walls have largely been replaced with fencing.

It’s important to understand what sort of fencing we are talking about. It’s not a short chainlinked fence or a barb-wired fence you’d see on a ranch. We’re talking about a solid steel structure that often rises 20 feet above the ground but has narrow gaps allowing border patrols agents to see through to the other side.

I was pleased that during his visit to Arizona this week, President Trump traveled to the border community of Yuma, where “landing mat” walls have been replaced with fences, to great effect. I would invite the President to visit other stretches of the border in Arizona where walls have been replaced by fences in border communities. I should note that in some remote, mountainous areas, even border fences aren’t feasible because of the landscape. In these spaces, sensors, camera towers, and drone surveillance can help fill the void.

There are other issues with border walls. For example, the San Pedro watershed near the town of Naco in southern Arizona empties northward across the border into Arizona. A brick and mortar border wall would be either be breached during the monsoon season, or it would flood border communities on the Mexican side of the border. Even the current border fences in that region need storm gates to allow debris to escape northward through the border fence after a good rainstorm.

If the “border wall” is simply a metaphor for increased border security, which includes a mix of fencing, sensors, towers and drone surveillance, I strongly support the President. Arizonans have been working on this issue for years, and the downward trend in illegal border crossings over the past few years has been encouraging (owing both to better border security and an improving economy in countries south of our border).

But an actual brick and mortar border wall is not the most effective or efficient way to secure our border and keep Arizona safe.

A Civil War Era Monument That Was Never Built

By Dick Foreman

I’ve written this blog about 14 times. Seriously.

And each time it goes to the cutting room floor. My analysis of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts has been set aside by a recall issue. School Funding is a critical discussion turning into the flavor of the day but at least ideas are emerging and competing. And then Charlottesville happened and the focus lurched into a new discussion. Shall we bulldoze Confederate monuments or not? Sweet mercy sakes, I thought we had some tough challenges with public education issues, and now Confederate monuments are bumping our schools’ needs off the radar. One of my keenest advisors and observers of the Arizona political and policy scene said this to me, “I am annoyed at everything.”

Yes. I am annoyed, too. But not at everything. In fact, as I think about it, I am far more grateful for the opportunity to support the over 1 million Arizona children who have started school again this month. And, with due gratitude to Dr. Ruth Ann Marston and Phoenix Elementary School District Superintendent Larry Weeks for tipping me off, I now have a keenly refreshed perspective on this point. Perhaps you might appreciate it, too. Read on.

It is a sacred opportunity to define the mission in public education. It’s as American as our American Founding Fathers, who unequivocally endorsed it. So, understanding our roots might help, like learning the real pioneer history of public education in Arizona. What are we doing this for? Who is our “Education Founding Father?” Do we have one?

Yes, indeed we do. And he’s an incredible role model and inspiration as well.

Don Estevan Ochoa

Don Estevan Ochoa

So, I’d like to reflect on Don Estevan Ochoa, born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1831. Senor Ochoa is Arizona’s Education Founding Father. To me, this is not a debate. It is an irrefutable truth.

In a nutshell, Ochoa was a Tucson merchant who, during the Civil War, refused to shift his loyalties from the United States Government to the Confederacy in deference to the demands of the commander of the marauding army from the south. When he told them “no,” they confiscated all his worldly goods (which was a lot as he was one of the most successful merchants in Tucson at the time) and ordered him out of the Territory. Forcibly put outside the protective Tucson Presidio, he vowed to return to drive the Confederates from Arizona. And he did! Ochoa made his way through hostile Indian lands to fetch a Union battalion at the Rio Grande that returned with him, successfully restoring Arizona to the Union. He was a bonafide war hero and American patriot. And this curious fact remains true to this day; in 1875, he was elected Tucson’s first and last Mexican American Mayor.

As accomplished a career as this was, it was still not enough for Ochoa. He was also president of the school board where he upstaged the Arizona territorial legislature and a domineering Catholic bishop to single-handedly raise the funds and donate the land to build the town’s main public school. He accomplished this as a follow up to his efforts three years earlier, as chairman of the territory’s Committee on Public Education, to establish Arizona’s first public school system in Tucson.

Author Jeff Biggers wrote about Ochoa in an online piece A Mexican Immigrant’s Act of Honor for the New York Times (See A Mexican Immigrant’s Act of Honor, by Jeff Biggers, The New York Times, February 14, 2012):

In the spring of 1876, the Arizona Citizen declared: “Ochoa is constantly doing good for the public,” and concluded, “Ochoa is the true and useful friend of the worthy poor, of the oppressed, and of good government.” With the school completed in 1877, the same newspaper raved: “The zeal and energy Mr. Ochoa has given to public education, should give him a high place on the roll of honor and endear him more closely than ever to his countrymen. He has done much to assist in preparing the youth for the battle of life.”

Wow. This reads like a very sensationalized western novel. But it’s not a novel, it’s Arizona’s pioneer heritage. Maybe it’s time to finally desegregate our opinions and integrate our collective hopes.

For many, our respective engagements in public education seem hopelessly mired in what I do not affectionately refer to as political “flotsam and jetsam.” I’ll say this as positively as I can, our vision for Arizona’s educational future remains a critical thinking opportunity.

In my more pessimistic moments, it seems we’re bent on ignoring our past to get to a future that we collectively refuse to envision through consensus building. That’s a problem. What is NOT a problem is where we started. Don Estevan Ochoa was Mexican by birth, American by choice and a hero by deed. He gave up his fortune to fight the Confederate marauders. He got into politics, bless his soul. But most importantly from my perspective, he created the Arizona public education system. He started it all.

Perhaps we should build another Civil War inspired monument – to Don Estevan Ochoa. Senor Ochoa was a real Arizona Civil War hero, an immigrant, a businessman, a true patriot, a rugged pioneer, a proud Republican, and the founder of Arizona’s public education system.

Now isn’t that a heritage all Arizonans can be proud of?

NOTE: Dick Foreman is president & CEO of ABEC.

The Pardon

By Sheila K Muehling

Today with coffee in hand, I opened the Sunday edition of the newspaper and what did I see but the two faces of President Trump and Joe Arpaio and a headline, “Pardon, Politics & Power.” We just can’t stop seeing the press constantly needling anything to get things riled up. So I decided to take a look at one of the humanitarian arguments MSM prints on a daily basis.

Many of the protesters have demanded Arpaio’s head on a platter as justice for the thousands of poor families who have been ripped apart. The children who’s parents have been returned to their country leaving them without a mother or a father to take care of them. The argument that the parents made a choice to come to this country illegally in hopes of staying here, falls on deaf ears. The pardoning of Joe Arpaio is a slap to the poor children who see this as injustice to their own futures.

To those children whose parents have been or will be deported I say yes, it is unfair to you and you deserve to have your parents. To those same children I say go with your parents and work hard to make a life and be successful. Your future is up to you regardless of where you live. The good thing is your parents are alive and can give you a loving hug and support as you grow to be adults no matter where you live.

But now let’s look at another use of the Presidential pardon system. How about President Obama? Over and over the accusations fly through the media that Joe Arpaio caused death and destruction of families as he rounded up the illegal population. Arpaio targeted cooks, bricklayers, gardeners, housekeepers and nannies. He took dads and moms from innocent little children. How dare he be pardoned!

Joe Arpaio

Joe Arpaio

Here is a list of who President Obama pardoned. As you look at the list, I want to share what I see as I compare these pardons to the pardoning of Joe Arpaio.

President Obama was a supporter of releasing men and women who trafficked in illegal drugs. I submit that more children and families were destroyed by drugs and drug trafficking than were ever destroyed by Joe Arpaio’s focus on arresting and removing illegal immigrants. If you have ever worked in the child welfare area of any state you see death and destruction. Innocent babies born drug addicted who often never get over the medical issues they face day in and day out as they shake and cry thorough early withdrawal from drugs fed to them through the mother’s bloodstream. The children who spend the first five years of their lives with doctors and hospitals, more drugs and more treatments and hours with counselors who try to help them feel normal. The children who grow into angry teenagers who never understand what a normal life is all about.

Then there are the children who face a lifetime of watching their parents spend time not on books and toys or cheering them on at their sports games but instead, spend time doing drugs and displaying out of control behavior.

Children who know when mommy and daddy are high and how to stay out of their way. Children who go to school hiding the bruises, cigarette burns and wounds inflicted on them by their parents. They face the embarrassment of soiled and torn clothing, lice infested heads, sleep deprivation, worn shoes and hungry bellies.

I support President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio. As a taxpayer, I want to stop spending my taxes on the prosecution of an 82-year old man who believed that he was elected to enforce the law. President Trump did the right thing to put this issue behind all of us. This is over.

President Obama on the other hand put drug dealers back on the street. Most of them are probably still doing the same thing they have always done, destroying families and people. We will continue to spend our tax dollars to prosecute these same people and pay to keep them fed, clothed and entertained in the prison system. We will continue to try and heal the children who are affected by the people Obama pardoned. When will that be over, never.

POLL: 61.8% of Arizona Voters Believe Confederate Capitol Mall Monument Should Be Kept

High Ground

Survey reveals the complexities of navigating this controversial issue as independent and unaffiliated voters lean towards keeping monument

PHOENIX (August 24, 2017) — A statewide survey of likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters revealed that nearly 62% of voters believe that the memorial to Confederate Soldiers on the Arizona Capitol Mall should be kept. The results are derived from the same survey that showed President Trump with a 41.8% approval rating and 56.8% opposition to a pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Q.        In the past week, there has been a national discussion over whether or not statues honoring members of the Confederate Army should be removed from public spaces. Currently, there is a memorial to Confederate soldiers at the Capitol Mall, which is on public land across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Do you think this specific memorial should be kept in its current location or removed?

51.5%  Definitely Kept
10.3%  Probably Kept
6.0%    Probably Removed
26.3%  Definitely Removed
6.0%    Don’t Know, Refused

AZ Confederate Monument“These results show that this debate is not simply a partisan issue. More than 61% of independent voters and 60% of unaffiliated voters believe that the memorial should be kept.  Bear in mind, these are the same groups that currently have lower than 33% approval of the President,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll. “It is clear that this issue is complicated and deeply personal.  As the political parties continue to appeal to smaller and smaller audiences and cater to identity politics, they will find it increasingly difficult to address complex issues.  The challenge that the survey reveals is that there are mixed results with an ‘either/or’ approach.”

The survey specifically asked about the Confederate monument that currently stands on the mall in front of the Arizona State Capitol.  It did not address any of the other Confederate monuments or freeway names throughout the state.

“Instead of simply using this issue as a partisan wedge to cudgel opponents with or advance an ideological agenda, we need our leaders to lead a constructive dialogue.  Arizona is a unique state with an independent spirit and has shown time and again that it is up to the challenge to face and have thoughtful discourse on tough issues,” Coughlin concluded.

As I have said before, we must find our way back to discussing, learning, and growing from meaningful discussions about our collective past. Taking a hard and fast approach to this issue may not have the desired results for those seeking to build a General Election coalition.  It is my hope that these results will be viewed as a call to bring people together to have a thoughtful dialogue.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Q.            In the past week, there has been a national discussion over whether or not statues honoring members of the Confederate Army should be removed from public spaces. Currently, there is a memorial to Confederate soldiers at the Capitol Mall, which is on public land across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Do you think this specific memorial should be kept in its current location or removed?

51.5%  Definitely Kept
10.3%  Probably Kept
6.0%    Probably Removed
26.3%  Definitely Removed
6.0%    Don’t Know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9

View HighGround’s post HERE.

Poll: Jeff Flake in Double Jeopardy

High Ground

US Senator Jeff Flake in Double Electoral Jeopardy Twelve Months Away from Primary Election

Republican Party Divided – Provides Opening for Democrats

PHOENIX (August 22, 2017) — A statewide Arizona survey of 400 likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters shows Republican incumbent Senator Jeff Flake twelve points behind his primary Republican opponent Kelli Ward and eight points behind prospective Democratic opponent U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ-9).

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

The Republican Primary Election sample was of 273 high efficacy Republican and PND/Independent voters and has a margin of error of ±5.93%.  The General Election sample of 400 high efficacy general election voters has a margin of error of ±4.88%.

Jeff Flake

Senator Jeff Flake

“While Election Day may still be more than a year away, Senator Jeff Flake’s campaign has a lot of work to do to persuade Republican primary voters that his form of principled Republican conservatism can trump the nativist populism that is fueling Republican voters’ antipathy towards Washington insiders.  These same Republicans still give the President a 74% approval rating in Arizona,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll.

“The good news for Senator Flake’s campaign is that the election is still a year away and his campaign has the financial support to more clearly articulate his own views and define his opponent’s positions.  Additionally, efforts to pass tax reform, infrastructure investment and other major policy initiatives could substantially change the electoral environment in Arizona,” said Coughlin.

The survey showed that Congresswoman Sinema is not known by 45% of the electorate in Arizona while Ward was beaten by nearly 100,000 votes in her primary election against Senator John McCain in 2016.

Coughlin continued, “Kelli Ward may not be well-known in light of her campaign against Senator McCain in 2016.  But even tacit support from the President, with subsequent staffing and financial resources, would be a huge boost for her chances.”

Additionally, General Election turnout in off-Presidential Cycle races in Arizona shows that Republicans historically have a twelve-point turnout advantage, which steepens the climb for any Democratic contender.

“The data clearly shows that a contentious primary fight would certainly strengthen the chances of the Democrats to pick up the seat in November of next year.  There is an opportunity for Congresswoman Sinema to take advantage of the uncertainty on the Republican side by jumping into the Senate race,” Coughlin remarked. “The question for the General Election comes down to if Congresswoman Sinema will be able to define herself first to an electorate that is largely unfamiliar with her, or if Republican third-party groups can define her in ways unacceptable to Arizona’s General Electorate.”

The survey showed that Sinema enjoys a 51% approval rating among voters in her Congressional district which is largely within the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, which are more progressive, urban areas of the State.

Although a 14-point margin is a sizeable gap for Senator Flake, Arizona is known for its volatility when it comes to statewide races. Politicos such as Governors Fife Symington and Jan Brewer have been able to successfully rally from greater margins in shorter periods of time.

Coughlin stated, “It may look dire now, but we must remember a poll is a snapshot in time.”

“Even today, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) began to remind voters that Kelli Ward is not a serious thinker when it comes to the issues confronting our country.  I would expect third-party groups like the SLF and dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth to come to the Senator’s aid and tout his conservative credentials,” concluded Coughlin. “The Senator is in for the fight of his life and things will only get more difficult if the President Trump continues to pick intraparty fights.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Next, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of the job the following persons or groups are doing:

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?
[N = 273]

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Kelli Ward or Kyrsten Sinema?

30.5%  Kelli Ward
31.8%  Kyrsten Sinema
37.8%  Don’t know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9