Martha McSally Releases Two New Ads in CD-2

As the General Election approaches, Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally has released two new ads in the race for Arizona’s Second Congressional District.

In her ad, “John Ladd,” longtime southern Arizona rancher, John Ladd, gives his personal testimony why voters should support Col Martha McSally. “[she’s] trying to get the border secured. She brought the first and biggest delegation from Homeland Security down here last year. Nobody ever did that before… She is leading the charge in Washington right now.”

Here’s the video for the ad:

In her second ad, “Helen,” World War II veteran Helen Anderson tells her story of service in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVEs), where she serviced combat planes. Ms. Anderson says she joined the Navy for patriotism. Anderson notes that she is “extremely proud that Martha McSally can represent women veterans and veterans as a whole. It’s not just lip service, it’s actual service. She puts her whole heart and soul into it and that’s the reason I support Martha McSally.”

You can view “Helen” here:

Martha McSally will face off against liberal Democrat Dr. Matt Heinz in the General Election.

When A Lie Travels: Comparing Alcohol To Marijuana

By Seth Leibsohn

Seth LeibsohnThis November, several states will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and the proponents of legalization have seized on a seemingly clever argument: marijuana is safer than alcohol.  The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, an effort of the Marijuana Policy Project (or MPP), has taken this argument across the country.  Their latest strategy is labeled Marijuana vs. Alcohol.  It is a very misleading, even dangerous, message, based on bad social science and sophistic public deception.

Citing out-of-date studies that go back ten years and more, even using that well-known scientific journal, Wikipedia, the MPP never references current research on the harms of today’s high potency and edible marijuana, studies that come out monthly if not more frequently.  Indeed, their Marijuana vs. Alcohol page concludes with a 1988 statement about the negligible harms of marijuana—but that is a marijuana that simply does not exist anymore, neither in mode nor potency.  Today’s marijuana is at least five times more potent, and sold in much different form.  And the science of marijuana and its effects on the brain have come some distance since 1988 as well.

So out-of-date is the science and knowledge of marijuana from thirty years ago, it would be malpractice in any other field to suggest that kind of information about a drug having any contemporary relevance at all.  One almost wonders if the MPP thinks public health professors still instruct their students on how to use microfiche to perform their research as they prepare to write their papers on 5K memory typewriters.

It is simply misleading in a public health campaign to cite dated research while at the same time ignore a larger body of current evidence that points in the opposite direction of a desired outcome.  At great potential peril to our public health, political science (in the hands of the marijuana industry) is far outrunning medical science.  But the danger is clear: with the further promotion, marketing, and use of an increasingly known dangerous substance, public health and safety will pay the price.

Consider three basic problems with the industry’s latest campaign:

I.  Comparisons of relative dangers of various drugs are simply impossible and can often lead to paradoxical conclusions.  It is impossible to compare a glass of chardonnay and its effects on various adults of various weights and tolerance levels with the inhalation or consumption of a high-potency marijuana joint or edible.  Is the joint from the 5 percent THC level or the 25 percent level?  How about a 30 mg—or stronger—gummy bear?  A glass of wine with dinner processes through the body in about an hour and has little remaining effect.  A marijuana brownie or candy can take up to 90 minutes to even begin to take effect.

Consider a consumer of a glass of wine who ate a full meal and waited an hour or more before driving and a consumer of a marijuana edible taking the wheel of a plane, train, automobile, or anything else.  The wine drinker would likely be sober, the marijuana consumer would just be getting high, and, given the dose, possibly very high at that.

True, marijuana consumption rarely causes death, but its use is not benign.  Last year, an ASU professor took a standard dose of edible marijuana, just two marijuana coffee beans. The effect?  “[E]pisodes of convulsive twitching and jerking and passing out” before the paramedics were called.  Such episodes are rare for alcohol, but they are increasingly happening with marijuana.

Beyond acute effects, the chronic impact of marijuana is also damaging.  Approximately twice the percentage of regular marijuana users will experience Marijuana Use Disorder than will alcohol users experience Alcohol Use Disorder—both disorders categorized by the Diagnostic Statistics Manual (DSM).[1]   Marijuana is also the number one substance of abuse for teens admitted to treatment, far higher than the percentage who present with alcohol problems.  In fact, the most recent data out of Colorado shows 20 percent of teens admitted for treatment have marijuana listed as their primary substance of abuse compared to less than one percent for alcohol.

Still, the Campaign persists in its deceptions—as if they have not even read their own literature.  One online marketing tool it recently deployed was the “Consume Responsibly” campaign.  Delve into that site and you will find this warning: “[Smoked marijuana] varies from person to person, you should wait at least three to four hours before driving a vehicle.”  And: “Edible marijuana products and some other infused products remain in your system several hours longer, so you should not operate a vehicle for the rest of the day after consuming them.”  Who has ever been told that they should not operate a vehicle for four hours, much less for the rest of the day, if they had a glass of wine or beer?  Safer than alcohol?  This is not even true according to the MPP’s own advice.

Beyond unscientific dose and effect comparisons, there is a growing list of problems where marijuana use does, indeed, appear to be more harmful than alcohol.  According to Carnegie Mellon’s Jonathan Caulkins: “Marijuana is significantly more likely to interfere with life functioning” than alcohol and “it is moderately more likely to create challenges of self-control and to be associated with social and mental health problems.”

Additionally, a recent study out of UC Davis revealed that marijuana dependence was more strongly linked to financial difficulties than alcohol dependence and had the same impacts on downward mobility, antisocial behavior in the workplace, and relationship conflict as alcohol.

II.  The marijuana industry pushes and promotes the use of a smoked or vaped substance, but never compares marijuana to tobacco.  Indeed, the two substances have much more in common than marijuana and alcohol, especially with regard to the products themselves and the method of consumption (though we are also seeing increasing sales of child-attractive marijuana candies).  But why is the comparison never made?  The answer lies in the clear impossibility.

Consider: Almost every claim about marijuana’s harms in relation to alcohol has to do with the deaths associated with alcohol.  But, hundreds of thousands more people die from tobacco than alcohol.  Based on their measures of mortality, which is safer: alcohol or tobacco?  Can one safely drink and drive?  No.  Can one smoke as many cigarettes as one wants while driving?  Of course. So, what’s the more dangerous substance?  Mortality does not answer that question.

Alcohol consumption can create acute problems, while tobacco consumption can create chronic problems.  And those chronic problems particularly affect organs like the lungs, throat, and heart.  But what of the chronic impact on the brain?  That’s the marijuana risk, and, seemingly, society is being told that brains are less important than lungs.  Nobody can seriously believe that, which is why these comparisons simply fail scrutiny.

This illustrates but one of the problems in comparing dangerous substances. As Professor Caulkins recently wrote:

“The real trouble is not that marijuana is more or less dangerous than alcohol; the problem is that they are altogether different…. The country is not considering whether to switch the legal statuses of alcohol and marijuana. Unfortunately, our society does not get to choose either to have alcohol’s dangers or to have marijuana’s dangers. Rather, it gets to have alcohol’s dangers…and also marijuana’s dangers.

Further, marijuana problems are associated with alcohol problems.  New research out of Columbia University reveals that marijuana users are five times more likely to have an alcohol abuse disorder. Society doesn’t just switch alcohol for marijuana—too often, one ends up with use of both, compounding both problems.

The larger point for voters to understand:  The marijuana legalization movement is not trying to ban or end alcohol sales or consumption; rather, it wants to add marijuana to the dangerous substances already available, including alcohol.  This is not about marijuana or alcohol, after all.  It’s about marijuana and alcohol.

We can see this effect in states like Colorado, with headlines such as “Alcohol sales get higher after weed legalization.”  And, according to the most recent federal data[2], alcohol use by teens, as well as adults, has increased in Colorado since 2012 (the year of legalization). If alcohol is the problem for the MPP, in their model state–Colorado–alcohol consumption has increased with marijuana legalization.  Legalizing marijuana will, in the end, only make alcohol problems worse.

III.  The legalization movement regularly cites to one study in the Journal of Scientific Reports to “prove” that marijuana is safer than alcohol.  But this study leads to odd conclusions in what the authors, themselves, call a “novel risk assessment methodology.”  For instance, the researchers find that every drug, from cocaine to meth to MDMA to LSD, is found to be safer than alcohol. (See this graph).  By the MPP standard, we should thereby make these substances legal as well.  But, seeing such data in its full light, we all know this would be nonsensical.

Further, the authors specifically write that they only looked at acute effects and did not analyze “chronic toxicity,” and cannot judge marijuana and “long term effects.”  Indeed, they specifically write in their study the toxicity of marijuana “may therefore be underestimated” given the limitations of their examination.  Yet, legalizers ignore these statements.  Always.  It simply does not fit their narrative.

What long-term effects are we talking about?  To cite the New England Journal of Medicine: “addiction, altered brain development, poor educational outcomes, cognitive impairment,” and “increased risk of chronic psychosis disorders.”  Now think about what it will mean to make a drug with those adverse effects more available, and for recreational use.

Finally, the very authors of the much-cited Journal of Scientific Reports study specifically warn their research should be “treated carefully particularly in regard to dissemination to lay people….especially considering the differences of risks between individuals and the whole population.”  But this is precisely what commercialization is about—not individual adult use but making a dangerous drug more available to “the whole population.”

Given what we know in states like Colorado, we clearly see that legalization creates more availability which translates into more use, affecting whole populations—Colorado college-age use, for example, is now 62 percent higher than the national average. [See FN2, below].

And the science is coming in, regularly.  Indeed, the same journal the MPP points to in its two-year old “novel” study, just this year published another study and found:

“[N]eurocognitive function of daily or near daily cannabis users can be substantially impaired from repeated cannabis use, during and beyond the initial phase of intoxication. As a consequence, frequent cannabis use and intoxication can be expected to interfere with neurocognitive performance in many daily environments such as school, work or traffic.

That is why these comparisons of safety and harm are—in the end—absurd and dangerous.  In asking what is safer, the true answer is “neither.”  And for a variety of reasons.  But where one option is impossible to eliminate (as in alcohol), society should not add to the threat that exists:  One doesn’t say because a playground is near train tracks you should also put a highway there.  You fence off the playground.

That, however, is not the choice the MPP has given us.  They are not sponsoring legislation to reduce the harms of alcohol, they are, instead, saying that with all the harms of alcohol, we should now add marijuana.  But looking at all the problems society now has with substance abuse, the task of the serious is to reduce the problems with what already exists, not advance additional dangers.

If the MPP and its Campaigns to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol are serious about working on substance abuse problems, we invite them to join those of us who have labored in these fields for years.  One thing we do know: adding to the problems with faulty arguments, sloppy reasoning, and questionable science, will not reduce the problems they point to.  It will increase them.  And that, beyond faulty argument and sloppy reasoning, is public policy malfeasance.

[1] See http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2464591 compared to http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2300494

[2] 2011/2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health compared to 2013/2014.

Christine Jones’ Statement on CD-5 Election Results

Christine Jones for Congress

(Gilbert, AZ)Friday afternoon, conservative business leader Christine Jones released the following statement regarding the final CD-5 Republican Primary Election results:

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to have shared my conservative outsider message with the citizens of CD-5. Although we came up short on results, I believe we were successful in making this election about the issues rather than political hand-offs. Voters want to know their representatives are not taking them for granted.

“I want to thank my supporters, volunteers and staff for devoting their time, talent and treasure to this campaign. They carried the weight of this endeavor and to them, I am indebted.

“I congratulate my opponent, Senator Andy Biggs, and wish him the best in the General Election.

“The General Election is rapidly approaching and there is much work to be done to elect Republicans in local, state and national elections. We must not take anything for granted, especially the trust of the voters. This election will be critical to restoring the economy, jobs and national security to America. We must win.

“As for me and my family, I will continue to contribute to the community making the East Valley a great place to work, play and raise a family.”

VIDEO: Rachel Alexander on the Depths of Legal Corruption and State Bar Abuses in Arizona

rach-videoWatch Ernie White Media interview IC Arizona editor Rachel Alexander, former prosecutor Lisa Aubuchon, and federal attorney Jeffrey Moffatt on how they were targeted as conservative attorneys by the State Bar of Arizona and others connected to the Bar, including the Bar’s crooked disciplinary judge William O’Neil. This kind of corruption isn’t just happening at the Department of Justice,  but on the local level. Alexander and Aubuchon were both briefly attorneys for Sheriff Arpaio, which is why they were targeted. They join a growing number of attorneys who have had their reputations, career, health and lives destroyed by these crooked, vicious partisans, and so they and Moffatt will not stop speaking out until the corruption is rooted out. Alexander and Aubuchon are now in their seventh year of the never-ending targeting, which Alexander has written about here.

 

Pinal County Massacre, Part II

In a stunning election night surprise, incumbent Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles was soundly defeated by political newcomer Kent Volkmer (results here).

There is no exit polling but the chatter is that Lando lost because he noticeably increased spending soon after taking office. His actions seemed to cost the county money from day one, including summarily firing a merit protected employee in what was called The Pinal County Massacre and choosing a chief deputy mired in controversy.

Voyles rarely showed up to candidate forums and Volkmer took full advantage of that fact to list the mistakes and shortcomings of Voyles.  Volkmer did not hold back and his charges against Voyles went unanswered by the absent Voyles.

Mark LambAn even greater election night beat-down took place in the race to replace outgoing Sheriff Paul Babeu. His hand-picked successor, Chief Deputy Sheriff Steve Henry, was resoundingly defeated by another political newcomer Mark Lamb.

Voyles and Henry continued using the Law and Order moniker that Babeu and Voyles rolled out in 2012 but the tag line was of little help this year. Henry was not an incumbent in the race but as the current chief deputy, he came pretty close.

Not only was the defeat of an incumbent and an anointed successor a surprise but the margin of victory for the two challengers was a surprise. Few people know how the two new elected officials will run their offices but clearly the voters chose a change in direction for law enforcement in Pinal County.

Andy Tobin Advances In The Race For Arizona Corporation Commission

Andy Tobin

Phoenix, AZ – Corporation Commissioner Andy Tobin has advanced to the General Election in the race for the Arizona Corporation Commission. Tobin, the former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to fill a vacancy on the Commission. In early results, Tobin received strong support in Arizona’s rural counties and finished near the top in Maricopa and Pima Counties.

“I am beyond grateful to the people of Arizona who voted to nominate me as one of the Republican Party’s nominees for the Arizona Corporation Commission.Serving the voters and taxpayers of Arizona has been one of my life’s biggest and most important professional accomplishments. My purpose for serving on the Commission has always been straightforward: Protect Arizonans and grow an economy. Period. I want to ensure that all Arizonans have access to a reliable and affordable electrical grid, clean water and safe infrastructure. I want to continue the implementation of conservative reforms such as Governor Doug Ducey’s ‘Lean Government Initiative.’ I want to fight for our seniors who often are taken advantage of by unscrupulous financial planners.”

Andy Tobin

Andy Tobin

Commissioner Tobin continued: “After serving on the Commission for over 200 days, it is clear to me that there is still so much more work to be done here on behalf of Arizonans. This election is far from over. Special interest groups connected to Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration are threatening to turn the Commission a deep shade of liberal blue. It seems like every week, a new burdensome, job-killing environmental regulation scuttles out of Washington.Let’s send a clear message at the polls this November: Arizona, especially our rural communities, cannot afford the federal government’s ‘wisdom,’and we must not stand for it either.  I ask for your vote for the Arizona Corporation Commission because I understand that the job of elected leaders is not to protect themselves or the government — it is to protect the taxpayers.”

Anti-McCain Republicans Still Not Anti-McCain Enough to Defeat McCain

 
A quick review of the Primary Election numbers on the Republican US Senate Race shows that Senator John McCain had no real threat of losing the nomination, again.

John McCain

John McCain

I went back and reviewed the official canvass from 2010 and compared those numbers with yesterday’s unofficial election results.

Here’s the comparison:

August 24, 2010 Republican Primary Election
John McCain – 333,744 / 56.25%
JD Hayworth – 190,299 / 32.07%
Jim Deakin – 69,328 / 11.68%

August 30, 2016 Republican Primary Election
John McCain – 251,068 / 51.65%
Kelli Ward – 190,618 / 39.21%
Alex Melusky – 26,805 / 5.51%
Clair Van Steenwyk – 17,649 / 3.63%
Assuming votes for any of the 2010 and 2016 challengers were “anti-McCain” votes, those votes were still not enough to overcome a re-nomination of McCain. However, those numbers rose in 2016.

2010 Primary
John McCain – 333,744 / 56.25%
Anti-McCain – 259,627 / 43.75%

Kelli Ward

Kelli Ward

2016 Primary
John McCain – 251,068 / 51.65%
Anti-McCain – 235,072 / 48.35%

Of course, this assumes that voter registration and turnout models are the same (which they are not). As you can see, John McCain collected 82, 676 fewer votes than he did in 2010. He also lost 4.6% of his edge among Republican voters.

What does this mean moving forward?

John McCain will likely face his most difficult General Election ever.

Ann Kirkpatrick

Ann Kirkpatrick

In her last campaign finance reporting, Ann Kirkpatrick disclosed she has $2.3 Million in the bank. John McCain’s last report showed just over $5 Million cash on hand. Assuming he’s depleted a portion of that amount fending off Primary challengers, and, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee has allocated funds to Arizona, this will be McCain’s toughest campaign.

If we also consider the “Trump Factor” and the division in the Arizona Republican Party, Arizona Republicans run a higher risk of losing this US Senate seat to Ann Kirkpatrick.

Not surprising, those voting for Donald Trump may not vote for John McCain and those voting for John McCain may not be voting for Donald Trump.

I still see a divided Republican Party in Arizona between those who learned from the 2012 Presidential race and those who didn’t.

Republicans in Arizona are not united, and it’s still to be seen if they will be on November 8th.

Arizona Right to Life PAC Did NOT Endorse Kate Brophy McGee

Last week, a mailer went out from an independent expenditure in support of Kate Brophy McGee. On the mailer, was a list of organizations that endorsed Brophy McGee in her race for Arizona State Senate. One of those endorsements was Arizona Right to Life.

This endorsement was incorrect. Arizona Right to Life did NOT endorse Kate Brophy McGee.

This was brought to my attention because I was once the Executive Director and Director for the Arizona Right to Life.

Given Brophy McGee’s voting record, she has never been endorsed by Arizona Right to Life.

In her Primary race, she is running unopposed as a Republican. She receive the Republican nomination on Tuesday, August 30th. She will run against a rabidly liberal, pro-abortion Democrat, Eric Meyer, in the General Election.

The mailer that was sent out was produced in error. Again, Kate Brophy-McGee was not endorsed by Arizona Right to Life.

The vendor who prepared the mailer, made an error. The vendor also released a letter and apology to Arizona Right to Life stating that mailer was done in error.

Here is that letter:

August 24, 2016

Arizona Right To Life
Attention Greg Hansen Jr.
4633 N 54th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Re: LD 28 Mail piece

Dear Greg:

We would like to offer our sincerest apologies for having listed Az. Right To Life on the LD 28 endorsement piece we did for a client recently.

By way of background, I am pro-life and had the privilege of working for your organization several years ago. I hold your organization in high esteem.

It is always an honor for a candidate to receive the endorsement from Az. Right To Life. However, due to an unfortunate error on my part, your organization was listed for someone who was not on your endorsed list. For that, we sincerely apologize to Arizona Right To Life and to you Greg, for this error.

We wish you the very best this election season. If you have any other concerns, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Sincerely,

Judy Connell

(Read full letter)

Special Interest spends nearly $700K to re-elect Bob Burns

SIspends
NEARLY THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION DOLLARS SPENT
AND THEY AREN’T DONE YET!

In campaign finance reports submitted today, it’s reported that Save Our AZ Solar spent $667,082.04 with the hopes of getting Bob Burns re-elected to the Corporation Commission. When you dive a little deeper into the numbers you’ll see that Save Our AZ Solar received $700,000 from SolarCity. And ALL of this spending took place over a 16 day period – August 2 – August 18.  You can review the finance report here.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Mailing services (mail pieces) – $436,097.16
Digital ads – $225,000
Robocalls – $5,984.88

In Burn’s campaign rhetoric he speaks often about “special interests” trying to stack the deck at the Corporation Commission.

This infusion of cash from SolarCity in support of Burns is starting to make us believers.

.

Uh Yeah, Dr. Kelli Ward Is Definitely Pro-Life

Sinister rumors started by the McCain campaign claim that Dr. Kelli Ward is not pro-life. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here’s what pro-life leaders are saying about Dr. Kelli Ward:

Kelli Ward has received the powerful endorsement of the doctor who has been called the “Father of the Pro-Life Movement” as well as Arizona pro-life activist Christine Accurso.

Accurso said,

“John McCain has voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research. Dr. Kelli Ward is an outstanding pro-life leader, and I have been honored to watch her fight for the lives of the unborn on the Arizona Senate floor. Her passion, dedication, medical expertise, and commitment to solid pro-life principles are unwavering and the reason she has my vote! I endorse Kelli, and I urge all Arizonans to vote Kelli Ward for U.S. Senate!”

In May, Cathi Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy set the record straight saying,

“For the record, Kelli Ward had a 100% pro-life voting record as a State Senator. Never wavered.”

Ward was endorsed in May by Phyllis Schlafly who successfully inserted the pro-life plank into the Republican platform at the 1976 Republican National Convention.

Dr. John Grady, a distinguished physician and surgeon and nationally recognized author and lecturer, said

“In the Arizona Senate, Kelli Ward had a 100% pro-constitution and pro-life record. In the U.S. Senate, Dr. Kelli Ward will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. She will respect and defend the rights and dignity of all Americans — both born and unborn.”

Dr. Grady practiced in general medicine, surgery, and trauma and has delivered more than 3,000 babies. Dr. Grady was also the founder of the first state and national pro-life organizations. In 1966, seven years before Roe v. Wade, he authored the small book, Abortion – Yes or No, which became the most widely read treatise in the world on the subject and the primer for the pro-life movement.

Dr. Grady stated,

“There are many vital issues now before us, but the issue for which this nation will be judged by God is the wholesale slaughter of the unborn, with more than 50 million innocent unborn babies killed by abortion since 1973. If this nation is to survive, we must ensure that constitutional judges are appointed, especially to the Supreme Court. To do this we must have a strong majority of truly conservative Republican Senators who will uphold the Constitution. Senator Kelli Ward will be one of the loyal Americans who will lead that restoration. Sadly, John McCain’s record shows that he is not the solid conservative and uncompromising constitutional Republican we need in these critical times.”

Kelli said at a recent town hall meeting:

“Attack ads may twist my words out of context to paint a false picture of who John McCain wants you to think I am, but my 100% Pro-Life Voting Record tells who I really am and, most importantly, how I’ll vote in the United States Senate.

“I believe human life is a precious gift from God that begins at conception and deserves the full and equal protection of our laws.

“No matter how they slice and dice a quotation from a liberal newspaper, a 100% Pro-Life voting record tells everything you need to know.

“Senator McCain has voted dozens of times for Planned Parenthood funding and fetal tissue research. Now he wants to hide his record of supporting extreme leftist judges like the ACLU’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Breyer.

“McCain’s campaign rhetoric? Or my voting record? You decide.”