Rural Arizona Doesn’t Need Surprises on Mental Health Care Access

By Timothy Alan

Each year, I plunge into the wilderness for weeks at a time. The experience is a salve for my mental outlook. “Getting away from it all” is an effective wellness strategy. But it’s important to remember, serious issues like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and substance abuse disorders do not resolve themselves with a temporary escape.

Treatment is essential. Unfortunately, in rural Arizona, mental health services can be incredibly hard to come by—and sadly, help could soon become even more difficult to access.

That’s because new legislation in Congress could worsen our state’s already severe shortage of mental health professionals. Elected leaders in Washington are moving rapidly on a plan to add price controls to the health care market. The proposal was crafted to relieve families of the risk of large, surprise medical bills for out-of-network health care services, but legislators’ good intentions cannot erase the detrimental consequences they would engender by enacting this law.

Price controls on any market are a recipe for shortages. When applied to food, the result was the bread lines of the former Soviet Union. When used on medicines, price controls contributed to the violent upheavals in Venezuela. If we add price controls to America’s health care system, including many behavioral health services, similar outcomes will follow.

This is unacceptable. Already more than 2.8 million Arizonans live in areas with too few mental health professionals. Our state is meeting less than 12 percent of the existing need for behavioral health services and would require nearly 200 more practitioners to catch up.[1] We won’t attract them if we have price controls.

I deliver wilderness-based therapeutic care for troubled teens and youth, and I can tell you, most of my clients with mental health challenges struggle to get help. A lack of psychiatrists and other providers is a problem we share with small towns, frontier regions, and remote communities across the nation, and it is putting our children in jeopardy. In fact, the suicide rate for young people in rural areas is almost twice as high as in urban regions.[2]

Without sufficient mental health experts, rural hospitals and clinics cannot provide life-saving emergency and inpatient psychiatric care for patients in imminent danger. And because the prognosis for mental illness improves with early treatment, our inability to direct behavioral health services to children, teens, and young adults condemns too many residents to more severe illness than they’d likely have suffered with more timely intervention.

Although my focus is on mental health, the effects of federal price control legislation would extend much farther into the health care system. Rural patients would be less able to access air ambulances to speed them to urgently needed care. The number of specialists, from heart doctors to trauma surgeons, would plummet from already low numbers. Patients would have to travel great distances for care, and non-critical cases would be shunted aside until a patient’s situation reaches crisis levels.

These outcomes are as predictable as they are life-threatening. Price controls never turn out any differently. It’s unclear how our elected leaders stumbled so far off course in their efforts to address health care affordability, but they need to return to their senses and protect—not endanger—Arizonans’ access to care.

Timothy Alan is a behavioral health specialist with ANASAZI.

[1] https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/mental-health-care-health-professional-shortage-areas-hpsas/?currentTimeframe=0&selectedRows=%7B%22states%22:%7B%22arizona%22:%7B%7D%7D%7D&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/03/09/the-suicide-rate-for-young-people-is-much-higher-in-rural-areas/

Kelli Ward: The Lonely Leader of #NeverMartha Republicans

By Calamity June

Ever since Donald J Trump became the Republican Party’s standard bearer, a counter movement known as “#NeverTrump sprung up to stop the freight train of the Trump movement. These “Never Trumpers were not liberal Democrats, however. They were, and are, so-called Republicans, who just can’t stand the fact that President Trump defeated their favored candidate in the Republican primary.

In Arizona, we have a similar phenomenon that is every bit as destructive. “Never Martha” Republicans may well have cost the GOP a critical Senate seat. And thanks to this group of sore losers, we’re stuck with Kyrsten Sinema for six long years.

The #NeverMartha Republicans are led by Kelli Ward, who ran “one of the worst campaigns in recent memory.” For the 2nd political cycle in a row, Ward was overmatched, and soundly defeated in the Republican primary.

But that isn’t necessarily disqualifying. People run and lose all the time. Most candidates who fall short, however, have the decency and the desire to unite the party behind the GOP standard bearer, be it for President, Governor, or in this case, United States Senate.

But Kelli Ward? Not so much.

We had our first clue that Kelli would not be unifying the party when she refused to sign the AZGOP’s Unity Pledge. The vast majority of candidates, including Governor Doug Ducey and Congresswoman Martha McSally, signed the pledge immediately, signaling that they would be 100% supportive of the Republican nominee. But not Kelli Ward. Not only did she refuse to pledge her support for the GOP nominee, she engaged in a physical altercation with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his staff, as she attempted to strong arm him from the race.

It got even worse after Ward’s terrible primary showing against Martha McSally. After garnering just 28% of the vote in the primary, Ward again refused to endorse McSally. While she eventually sent out a mealy-mouthed “endorsement” of the Republican ticket, her actions made clear her disdain for party unity and her commitment to the #NeverMartha agenda. Despite the primary election being over, her campaign continued to sponsor an attack website on Congresswoman McSally, calling her “Martha McFake,” refusing to take it down until she was called out on social media last week. So for the final weeks of the campaign, as undecided voters looked for information about both candidates, there was a good chance they’d stumble upon an attack website, sponsored by none other than Kelli Ward.

Lest there be any question that Ward was working against Martha McSally, look at her actions just prior to early voting. In a September 26 facebook post, she directed her supporters to vote for the slate below. Nearly every Republican nominee is listed, except one: Martha McSally. Incredibly, Kelli Ward promoted a slate of candidates that excluded the Republican nominee for US Senate, who happened to be running against an avowed socialist with a history of disparaging Arizona.

As we all now know, the GOP lost the US Senate race by less than 2%. It begs the question: how many votes did Kelli Ward and her #NeverMartha minions cost our candidate…and why should anyone trust her to be a unifying voice when her entire history is one of division, backstabbing and negative attacks on fellow Republicans?

They shouldn’t. And they won’t.

POLL: McSally Maintains Lead Over Sinema

 

Turning Out Her Voters is a Key Factor

PHOENIX (Nov. 1, 2018) – The latest poll from OH Predictive Insights and ABC15 Arizona (ABC15/OHPI), conducted October 22 to 23, shows that Martha McSally, Arizona’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has kept her lead over Democratic nominee Kyrsten Sinema, as undecideds break between the candidates.

Since our last poll, McSally has increased to a seven-point lead over Sinema, with 52% of the vote. Sinema holds 45% of the vote, with only 2% left undecided and 1% for Green candidate Angela Green.

“With the hottest race in the country coming to an end, McSally is solidifying her lead over Sinema,” says Chief Pollster and Managing Partner Mike Noble. “The game-changer comes from Independent voters, who have swung from Sinema to McSally since our last poll. We’ll know come Election Night whether they stick with McSally or swing back to Sinema.”

When looking at favorability, McSally is more highly favored with 54% of the vote, again putting her seven points above Sinema. Sinema is found unfavorable by 50% of voters, compared to McSally’s 44%.

Among age groups, McSally is dominating the older voters. With Republicans over 55 years old, McSally is leading by a wide, 88-point margin of 92%, compared to Sinema’s 4%. However, McSally is losing almost a quarter of younger Republicans, with only a 49-point lead.


Among Independents over 55 years old, Sinema leads by seven points, with 53% compared to McSally’s 46%. Younger Independents are breaking more for McSally, giving her a 38-point lead of 68%, compared to Sinema’s 30%.

Throughout the state, voters have higher levels of support for McSally. In Maricopa County, containing the largest amount of voters in the state, McSally and Sinema are tied with 49% each. McSally leads in both Pima County and rural areas, with 53% and 59% respectively. Sinema trails with 46% in Pima County and 35% in rural areas.

“Considering the historic amount of money spent on this contest, which has been primarily in Pima and Maricopa County, it is ironic that rural Arizonans have tipped the scale in McSally’s direction,” says Data Analyst Noah Rudnick.

OHPI also broke down voting trends, being so close to Election Day. Among those who have already voted, Sinema and McSally are tied at 49% each. For those with an absentee ballot that they have not yet returned, McSally is winning at 52%, with Sinema at 44%. For those who plan to vote at the polls on Election Day, McSally has a commanding 64-29% lead. With Democrats recently looking to narrow the early voting gap of enthusiastic supporters, it is on McSally to turn out her supporters and see her lead maintained by voters who show up on the last day.

“We have been tracking this race for almost a year and are eager to see how it ends up,” says Noble. “Our polls show Arizona voters siding with McSally, and that’s exactly what we expect to see next week.”

Methodology: This 42% cell phone and 58% landline poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on October 22, 2018 and October 23, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. The partisan advantage was set at +11% GOP, based on returns when finalizing last week. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

Guest Opinion: McSally Will Continue The Fight For Your Personal Freedoms

Last month the U.S Food and Drug Administration launched a crackdown on the sale of e-cigarette vaping devices and is ratcheting up pressure on e-cigarette makers. The industry is now facing new challenges as the federal, state, and local governments take new measures to put it under control.

According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 500,000 deaths annually and leads to a plethora of preventable diseases. Since e-cigarettes provide users the ability to control their nicotine consumption, it helps traditional cigarette smokers to gradually kick their nicotine addiction. E-liquids come in varying levels of nicotine, including zero. This can be particularly helpful for long-time smokers who wish to use vapor products to reduce their dependence and transition away from nicotine entirely. These products are specifically designed for adult smokers who wish to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting cigarettes.

Vapor products do not burn tobacco and do not produce smoke, tar, or ash. They only emit vapor. As most e-liquids contain nicotine, they are considered ‘tobacco products’ and regulated as such but these products do not contain any tobacco. E-liquids are only regulated by the FDA because they contain nicotine, which is itself derived from the tobacco plant. These regulations include company registration, product registration, detailed ingredient listings, labeling restrictions, marketing restrictions, and listings of harmful and potentially harmful constituents.

Federal bureaucrats and critics of e-cigarettes are using the myth of a youth vaping “epidemic” to suggest that flavors need to be banned. The truth is, the vaping industry is already working to make sure there are penalties in place for selling vapor products to minors – just like there are for cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets.

As Americans, it is imperative we have the freedom to choose what is best for us and our family. Too often Washington, DC tells us what we can and can’t do. When Congresswoman McSally is elected to the U.S. Senate, she should continue to fight for Arizonans’ personal freedoms, especially for the thousands of adults across our state who need this innovative new technology to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking.

Poll: Jan Brewer and Grant Woods

POLL: Former Governor Jan Brewer leads former Attorney General Grant Woods in latest 2020 US Senate Poll


“These two are both ones to watch as jockeying starts for the Arizona Senate race. Whether or not these two run, one thing is for certain – we will not be lacking people lining up on either side of the aisle.” – Chief Pollster and Managing Partner, OHPI

Jan Brewer favored by 9 points.
Of likely Arizona voters, 47% favor Brewer, while 38% find her unfavorable. Arizona’s former governor also has 85% name identification.

Grant Woods not well-known by Arizonans.

Woods is still not well-known, with almost half of people saying they have no opinion of him, at 48%. Of those who have an opinion, he is above water almost two to one.

Brewer is favored most among Republican women.
Among Republican women, Brewer is favored by +62 points. This is much higher than Republican men, at +49 points, providing a possible edge in a Republican primary.

28-point​ split among Democrats on Woods’ name recognition.
Among Democrats’ likely base, voters 54 years old or younger have a 27% favorable rating of Woods. Older Democrats have a 55% positive opinion, which is a 28-point gap. Woods also performs well with older Independents, at 43%.

Methodology: This 42% cell phone and 58% landline poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on October 22, 2018 and October 23, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

Breaking: Senate Dead Heat and Dominant Ducey

 

High Ground

McSally ahead by 1-point while Ducey cruising by 19 points in HighGround’s latest statewide survey

PHOENIX (October 29, 2018) – With only a few days left until the recommended deadline to mail in ballots, the top two candidates in the race for the United States Senate are locked in a dead heat with only one point separating them.  The latest survey from HighGround Public Affairs shows Congresswoman Martha McSally with a slight lead over Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema.

Q. If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Martha McSally, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Green Candidate Angela Green?

46.5% Martha McSally
45.3% Kyrsten Sinema
3.5% Angela Green
4.8% Don’t know, Refused

The N=400 survey was conducted among likely voters 10/26 through 10/28.  It was a statewide live caller survey calling both landlines and cell phones.  The margin of error is ±4.9%.  The partisan advantage was set at +10% GOP based on the current trend in ballot returns.  As of today, GOP advantage in Early Ballot returns is 10.6% with 986k ballots returned according to Garrett Archer from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

McSally held a strong lead among Republican respondents with 88.4% of the vote.  She also held strong leads among very conservatives (94.0%), somewhat conservative (65.6%) and voters 65+ (57.0%) who are overperforming in the current ballot returns.  For the moment, immigration has surpassed education as the top issue facing the state which has likely bolstered McSally’s performance based on her strongly articulated positions on border security.

On the other hand, Sinema held strong leads among Democrats with 88.6% of the vote and very liberal (94.7%) and somewhat liberal (85.3%).  She also has a strong lead with younger voters 29 and under (55.0%) – though their turnout so far has been lower than expected.

The race now appears hinged on who can make a final successful push among Females and Independent and unaffiliated voters.  The two candidates have split support among the two audiences.  Sinema has a 6-point lead among all female voters right now.  McSally and Sinema are virtually split among Independent and unaffiliated males (43.6% to 40.0% respectively).  However, McSally trails Sinema significantly among independent and unaffiliated females (12.2% to 61.0% respectively).

“Ultimately, the Senate race is well within the margin and likely won’t be decided on Tuesday night.  This election will come down to voter turnout and every ballot cast or dropped off on Election Day,” said Paul Bentz, Sr. Vice President of Research and Strategy at HighGround, Inc., “We have said all along that this race will be decided by female voters and Independent and unaffiliated voters.  Depending on who decides to show up, it will likely make the difference in this race.”

On the other hand, bolstered by an upward trend in the direction of the state and a faltering campaign by his opponent, Governor Ducey appears to be cruising to victory with a 19-point lead over Democratic Challenger David Garcia.

Q. If the election for Arizona Governor were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Doug Ducey, Democrat David Garcia, or Green Candidate Angel Torres?

54.8% Doug Ducey
35.3% David Garcia
3.5% Angel Torres
6.5% Don’t know, Refused

Ducey holds commanding leads among Republican voters 89.5% as well as garnering an 11.5% lead among Independent and unaffiliated voters.  His backing of Proposition 123 and his 20% teacher raise appeared to help him maintain credibility and deflect his opponent’s attacks on education.  Ducey holds leads among male voters (57.3% to 31.3%) as well as female voters (52.4% to 38.9%)  Garcia holds significant leads in Democrats with 75.0%, but still nearly 14 points lower than Sinema.  He also has garnered support from the Very Liberal (89.5%) and the Somewhat Liberal (73.5%) but has failed to gain as much the crossover appeal he experienced in his previous race for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Bentz concluded, “The Garcia and Sinema races are posed to go down as the textbook ‘good idea/bad idea’ examples for how a Democrat should run a statewide election in the State of Arizona.  It was impossible for Garcia to survive his swing to the far left to try to motivate a higher progressive turnout.  Meanwhile, Sinema has masterfully crafted a shift in her persona (without having to articulate very many positions) that heretofore has put her in a position to win.  She has come under attack the past few weeks for that very lack of substance, but she still has a shot – depending on turnout.  The Garcia campaign, on the other hand, has very little hope with just a week left before Election Day.”

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.  The partisan advantage was set at +10% GOP based on the current trend in ballot returns.  The margin of error is ±4.9%.

Q. In general, would you say that the State of Arizona is heading in the right direction, or the wrong direction? [Right/Wrong]

21.0% Definitely right direction
29.8% Probably right direction
13.0% Probably wrong direction
14.3% Definitely wrong direction
22.0% Don’t Know, Refused

Q. What do you consider to be the top issue facing the State of Arizona today?  [Randomize]

38.3% Immigration and Border Issues
34.8% Education
9.0% Healthcare
6.5% Jobs and the Economy
3.0% State Budget
2.8% Other
2.5% Don’t Know, Refused
1.8% Taxes
1.5% Transportation

Q. If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Martha McSally, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Green Candidate Angela Green?

46.5% Martha McSally
45.3% Kyrsten Sinema
3.5% Angela Green
4.8% Don’t know, Refused

Q. If the election for Arizona Governor were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Doug Ducey, Democrat David Garcia, or Green Candidate Angel Torres?

54.8% Doug Ducey
35.3% David Garcia
3.5% Angel Torres
6.5% Don’t know, Refused

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. HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

View this article on HighGround.

Wendy Rogers Discusses Campaign for AZ01 on Breitbart

In a recent Breitbart News Saturday interview, Republican Wendy Rogers shows herself highly focused in reclaiming Arizona’s first congressional district.

Wendy Rogers

Wendy Rogers meets with a crowd of supporters at Sammy’s Mexican Grill in Catalina, AZ

Rogers, who is a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel, spoke with Matt Boyle from Breitbart for almost 20 minutes detailing her background, the success of the campaign, the failures of Democrat Tom O’Halleran and what’s at stake in this critical US House race.

The retired Colonel Rogers emphasized that Democrats are scrambling to hold the seat currently held by O’Halleran with over $1.5 million in campaign attacks. She also noted that she has had to take protection everywhere she goes on the campaign trail even taking out an order of protection against a belligerent Democrat stalker.

“Our entire nation is hanging by the slender thread that runs through the House of Representatives,” Rogers said. She stressed that if given the chance, a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives could push for impeachment of President Trump. She went on to state, “…the feeling in my district is that we are at a pivot point, that the future of the country rests on whether or not our president is going to remain president. I tell people, we have the Supreme Court, we have the Senate, we have the presidency, but if we don’t hold the House, we are in for a just—a complete devolution and degradation of due process because of exactly what was on display this past week.”

The interview aired Saturday, October 6 on SiriusXM Patriot 125 but you can listen to the full interview here.

For more information on Wendy Rogers’ campaign, visit her website at WendyRogers.org

(Special shout out to Alana Mastrangelo for her article on Breitbart.)

Poll Shows Republican Wendy Rogers Ahead of Democrat Tom O’Halleran in CD-1

A recently IVR telephone survey released by the Wendy Rogers campaign shows the Republican nominee pulling ahead of Democrat Tom O’Halleran in the battle for Arizona’s first congressional district.

Out of 738 landline responses, Rogers polled 39.44% compared to O’Halleran’s 36.23% with 24.33% undecided. The margin of error is +/-4% with calls being made between September 27-28.

These numbers came as a surprise to political insiders but especially the Democrat political machine which is spending millions of dollars attempting to defend congressional seats.

Republican activists are beginning to call polling results like this and across the country, the “Kavanaugh Effect” as Americans opinions shift in support of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. This shift began to occur when the Senate Judiciary Committee heard conflicting testimony from Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford that was later refuted by experts.

While this effect may be impacting Arizona’s CD-1 race, voters are also showing their support for President Trump’s supporters like Wendy Rogers who endorsed Trump early in the 2016 Presidential Primary.

President Trump is expected to visit Arizona in October in rallies supporting Republican candidates.

Rogers, who is known as one of the most persistent and hardest working candidates has a tough ad running against O’Halleran warning voters that Democrats like O’Halleran will move to impeach President Trump if they take the majority in Congress.

In a statement issued by the campaign, Rogers said, “I can tell you that despite millions of dollars spent against Wendy by the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, Super PACs, and Invisible Tom’s campaign, nothing they are doing is working.”

The General Election is November 6th with early ballots being mailed on October 10th.

Steve Smith Threw President Trump’s Wall Under The BUS

As the Republican Primary heats up in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, so does the research and articles on candidates. This piece on Steve Smith was recently published on US4Trump.com:

In the Republican primary race to defeat Democrat incumbent Tom O’Halleran in Arizona’s 1st Congressional district, there are two contenders. Steve Smith, who is against President Trump’s border wall, despite a failed “fence project.”

The other is Wendy Rogers, a pro Trump agenda, and a pro America first agenda candidate. The differences couldn’t be more stark, and the details couldn’t be more bizarre. (Videos Below)

The anti wall, seemingly anti Trump agenda Steve Smith, as state Senator, lead an effort to raise funds for a 370 mile “border fence” in 2011. They estimated a need to raise about 50 million dollars, but were only able to scrounge together a lousy $55,634 instead. When the project disbanded in 2017, the money was donated to the local Sheriff’s Department.

But in 2016, when President Trump proposed a much more comprehensive border wall, Steve Smith was quoted on record as saying “I think this might not be a bridge too far but a wall too far.” He also said that Trump’s immigration proposal “just doesn’t jive.”

On immigration alone, a large issue for Arizona residents, Steve Smith’s record shows that he has been, “all talk, no action.”

Wendy Rogers on the other hand, sees the successful policies of Donald J. Trump and wants to fight for us to secure our border fully with the President’s border wall plan, as seen on her website.

Another bizarre detail about candidate Steve Smith, is his association with the modeling agency, “The Young Agency.”

At first glance, nothing appears out of the ordinary. But if you do a little digging, there seems to be some slimy details that make Steve look more like a used car salesman than a reputable businessman.

One review on Rip Off Report describes the agency as a sort of a ponzi scheme, where they refer clients to their own photographers and charge an arm and a leg for very basic services. (Videos Below)

Many of these people trying to get their foot in the door of the modeling business are shelling out their life savings, not knowing they are not getting anywhere near the bang for their buck they could be with other more reputable agencies.

Furthermore, a second review website says the company took their money and they went months without receiving any services at all.

Another oddity is that Steve Smith’s business is part of the website, “Model Mayhem,” yet there are no listings of his clients or photos there. Why would he associate with that website? There does seem to be many pornographic associations with the website though. Another bizarre head-scratcher.

Here is a Steve Smith ad below that shows him saying vague talking points, and weak policies, things like “secure our border” without talking about the wall he is afraid of. He does NOT mention President Trump!

Ironically he calls himself a doer not a talker. Yet he wont even TALK about the great successes going on in our country right now because of the great leadership of our President. President Trump needs BACKUP, not ego maniacs.

Indeed, it appears as though Steve Smith is not a man for the people, but a man for himself.

Meanwhile, Wendy Rogers was a military officer in the Air Force. She became one of the first 100 women pilots in today’s Air Force in 1981 by earning her wings at Williams AFB in Arizona. After an extensive career in the service, she retired from the Air Force in 1996 and ran a reputable home inspection business with her husband Hal.

She fully supports President Trump’s America first agenda, is a rock solid Christian, and appears to put people and country before self.

Here is a recent video with Wendy telling some great information about herself and the campaign.

 

Steve Smith’s Campaign Attacks, Associations Demonstrate Hypocrisy

By Nelli Zard

Activists and Trump supporters reacted with dismay this week when politician and youth talent agency director Steve Smith posted an anonymous blog post on his Facebook page, casting aspersions on one of his primary opponents in Arizona’s 1st Congressional district.

That a candidate for United States Congress would post a poorly written, unsourced and anonymous blog post on his official Facebook page is irresponsible enough. But the substance of the post left many GOP activists scratching their heads.

In short, the anonymous blog post makes a tenuous connection between Senator John McCain and one of Smith’s primary opponents. What makes this laughable, beyond the usual “McCain Derangement Syndrome” that infects many AZ bloggers, who claim McCain is behind everything, and simultaneously needs to resign ASAP since he “can’t do anything”, is the fact that one candidate in AZ-01 has surrounded himself with McCain allies.

That candidate? Steve Smith!

Let’s start at the top, with Smith’s fundraiser. Corinne Lovas is, without question, the best Republican fundraiser in Arizona. She’s extremely talented and so well connected that according to publicly available information, she and her capable team raise money for many statewide officeholders, and currently lead the fundraising efforts for Martha McSally.

That’s right. Currently, McSally and Smith share a fundraiser.

And in 2016, Lovas and her team raised millions of dollars for Senator John McCain and the infamous SuperPAC, Arizona Grassroots Action.

Thanks to the work of Smith’s fundraiser, Arizona Grassroots Action was able to run advertisements, like this one, that eviscerated Senator McCain’s primary opponent, Kelli Ward.

The ties between Smith and McCain grow even stronger when you look at the men and women who are funding his campaign. Top donors and fundraisers to Steve Smith include Tucson auto dealer Jim Click, one of the top McCain donors in Arizona, along with developer Don Diamond, a longtime friend and supporter of Senator McCain. The list goes on and on, but one thing is clear. Steve Smith has raised more money from John McCain’s inner circle than anyone in the AZ-01 campaign. And it isn’t terribly close.

But if Steve Smith wants to play the “guilt by association” game, he might want to take a look at his own campaign team. Smith’s own consultant, Constantin Querard, brings a tremendous amount of baggage and questionable judgment to Smith’s campaign.

Most recently, Querard, or “CQ” as he’s know to Arizona politicos, was the chief strategist to Steve Montenegro’s laughably inept campaign in the Arizona-08 special election. Some may recall that Montenegro stumbled through a relatively mild interview with Brahm Resnick, and was later revealed to have exchanged inappropriate text messages with a female Senate staffer. And these are the types of people who Constantin Querard represents.

Querard has also been the lead lobbyist for the promotion and adoption of the National Popular Vote. The Soros funded-effort to get rid of the electoral college.

Furthermore, while Smith fervently claims to be an early Trump supporter in Arizona, facts are stubborn things. Smith was a supporter of Ted Cruz, as was his ever-present consultant, CQ. In fact, in this photo taken in September of 2015, months after Donald Trump announced his candidacy, shows Smith holding hands with Ted Cruz, praying for his success in the 2016 Presidential campaign. And who is hovering over the entire proceeding? Constantin Querard, of course.

Eight months later, Querard would organize the “never Trump” slate of delegates at the Arizona GOP nominating convention. Querard, a so-called principled conservative, worked closely with Kasich supporters and yes, McCain staff in order to block loyal Trump supporters from becoming delegates.

So along with Smith, who is Querard working for? How about Rodney Glassman, a former Democrat and progressive Tucson City Council member, who is seeking a seat on the corporation commission.

Here’s what Glassman, a client of so-called “principled conservative” Constantin Querard, said about abortion: “When I go about having sex with women, I like to know we are on the same page.” Congrats CQ…your client literally wants to make sure that any unexpected pregnancies he’s a part of will end in abortion.

We’re starting to sense a pattern.

And we haven’t touched on the thousands of dollars that Querard has been paid by National Popular Vote, the scam special interest group that wants states to force their electors to support the winner of the popular vote. I think we all know who would be President today if NPV and Constantin Querard had their way.

If someone were trying to find signs for a failing campaign, look no further than a candidate posting unsourced guilt by association connections on their campaign facebook page. If Mr. Smith goes to Washington, it will be with tickets paid for by Constantin to attend a National Popular Vote conference.