Media apologies to Devin Nunes can start now

The Left’s defense of Susan Rice (haven’t we seen that phrase written somewhere before???) in the Trump spying case will follow two lines of argument.

One is that Rice, as President Obama’s national security adviser was “simply doing her job” when she began ordering the “unmasking” of, first, Trump campaign officials, then, post-election, Trump transition-team members. It’s not an outlandish defense, considering the wide latitude given intelligence officials like Rice to conduct surveillance.

The other line of defense is the Left’s remarkable capacity to simply ignore behavior that — were it anyone but St. Obama and  Friends — would prove unavoidably compelling to anyone with even modest curiosity.

Rice reportedly was asking for reports involving Trump associates as early as last summer, even before he was nominated. Before clamming up (as of the evening of April 4, she hadn’t made a statement), she appears to have lied about what she knew, claiming she knew nothing about information being incidentally collected on Trump transition officials.

No telling where this story goes, if anywhere. ABC and NBC news ran nothing Monday evening on the Rice revelations, while CBS national news issued a cloyingly sympathetic report that seemed prepared by Obama spin-meister Ben Rhodes, noting in the first paragraph that Rice simply needed “to understand the context” in which all these Trump people kept turning up (incidentally!) in all these surveillance reports — none of which, by the way, involved Russians.

Whatever comes of it, one thing that should come of it (in my perfect world) is an abject apology to Rep. Devin Nunes from all the media whose knee-jerk instinct was to mock the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee after he announced having seen documents supporting Trump’s claims to have been spied upon by the Obama administration.

The story line was all about Nunes’ trip to the White House, while mostly indifferent to what Nunes claimed to have found.

The Arizona Republic’s editorial on the subject was a classic of media group-think.

In addition to serving up abject hysteria about “the external threat to the sovereignty of our elections” (I swear!!! Go read it! It’s the very first line! Duping John Podesta into giving up his g-mail password is an existential threat to the sovereignty of our elections!), the editorial smears Nunes with a thick coating of liberal condescension.

“Nunes sent up a smoke screen — and we need to get beyond this kind of distracting political posturing. Way beyond it.”

Well, we’re beyond the smokescreen now. The smoke has lifted and — why look here! — guess who’s behind the smoke:

Susan “It was a spontaneous reaction to a video” Rice, conducting vitally important surveillance of Trump officials from July through December, and making certain their names were known to anyone who looked at the documents.

Which, as former Obama aide Evelyn Farkas noted, included as many people as they could round up.

 

Now, Becky….

A Letter to the Editor that include the phrase, “I am outraged…” is a letter from a zealot.

Right or Left, they all arise from the same crop of pods (yes, I did watch “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” last night on Turner Classic Movies, thank you). One arrived from a Person of the Outraged Left in The Republic today.

“I am outraged that our senator, Jeff Flake, during his time to question the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch would ask: ‘Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?” wrote Republic reader Ms. Becky (full name withheld because maybe she’s taken a pill and calmed down by now).

You know, it was an odd question for Sen. Flake to ask. But with all the purple-faced fake outrage being directed by the Left against Gorsuch (the worst? the absolute worst? oh, yesssss: Right here), a little silliness doesn’t hurt.

Flake in fact has indicated just how seriously he takes Gorsuch’s nomination. And his seriousness won’t please Ms. Becky.

But here is the thing: After four days of Senate hearings with this elegant, intelligent constitutionalist, a reasonable person — Ms. Becky in her present state of pique clearly excluded — simply cannot end a Letter to the Editor with this, and not be pegged as a Perpetually Outraged Pod Person:

“Gorsuch is not fit to sit on the Supreme Court. He must be opposed.”

Trent Franks, Other Arizona Conservatives Need to Keep Healthcare Promises

By Sam Stone

The Trump Administration may be less than two months old, but for conservatives, it may already be D-Day in Washington.

In less than 48 hours, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the curiously named “American Health Care Act” – the current GOP effort being pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan as a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

This bill is the wrong idea at the wrong time and it does not deserve a “yes” vote. Right now, the count says that it’s too close to call. So every member of Congress counts.

Here’s our question: Will Trent keep his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare in a responsible way?

Let’s step back.

Trent Franks is no rookie when it comes to opposing Obamacare. Look at his record here. Lots of detail and votes against what he consistently calls: “Health care proposals that wrested control of the American health care industry from the hands of private organizations and turn it over to the federal government.”

Right when this year’s Congress began, Franks and Congressman Andy Biggs introduced the Protection from Obamacare Mandates and Congressional Equity Act.

Franks said it contained three bedrock principles:

  • First, it gives every American more coverage options.
  • Second, it would allow Americans to purchase their coverage across state lines, opening up more opportunities for competition that will, in turn, help to lower costs for consumers.
  • Third, our alternative protects the patient-doctor relationship.

Just a month ago, Rep. Franks said: “My concern is [a repeal-replace bill] will give some lackadaisical senator a reason to vote against it. My concern is the entire repeal is in mortal danger … There may be some people who will get weak-kneed.”

These are valid concerns, but they sound like reasons not to vote for the current plan, which has all sorts of problems.

The reliable conservative policy think tank Heritage Action makes the fundamental case that the AHCA falls short:

“Many Americans seeking health insurance on the individual market will notice no significant difference between the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) and the American Health Care Act.  That is bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.

“Rather than accept the flawed premises of Obamacare, congressional Republicans should fully repeal the failed law and begin a genuine effort to deliver on longstanding campaign promises that create a free market health care system that empowers patients and doctors.”

Congressman Franks is a solid conservative leader. Currently, he is listed as “leaning no.” That’s why this is the ideal time to give him the support, encouragement and, well, cautionary warning he may need to stay true to his principles and his promises by not resting until Obamacare is gone – and in its place a true, principled alternative – instead of Obamacare-lite.

Sen. Jeff Flake Stands Up for Arizona’s Consumers and Businesses

Takes to the Senate Floor to Raise Concerns with Border Adjustment Tax

Phoenix, AZ – Today, Americans for Affordable Products, a coalition of nearly 200 businesses, local organizations, and trade associations united to stop the Border Adjustment Tax or BAT, and its resulting increased prices on everyday necessities, thanked Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for speaking out on the U.S. Senate floor to raise his concerns with the BAT.

The Border Adjustment Tax is a provision of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) tax reform plan, which, if enacted, would levy a 20 percent tax on imported goods.

During the floor speech, Senator Flake expressed his worry that BAT “could make everyday consumer products more expensive at the very places that middle-class families shop the most…[and] household staples could be pushed out of reach for those who can least afford it.” He went on to say that he’s looking forward to working with his colleagues on tax reform, “but we ought to make sure that the middle class isn’t in the losing column.”

“Senator Flake’s stout defense of Arizona’s businesses and consumers earlier today cannot be lauded enough,” said John Arterburn, owner of Ace Hardware in Pinnacle Peak. “A 20 percent tax on imported products could threaten the viability of my business, forcing me to make tough choices – I’d either have to raise prices or eliminate staff.”

If enacted, the Border Adjustment Tax could result in American consumers spending an additional $1,700 per year on basic necessities like food, clothing, medicine and gasoline.

“Everyone agrees, simplifying our complicated tax code is very much needed, but shifting the burden onto the backs of the middle class while killing U.S. jobs is not the way to do it,” said Robert Medler, VP of Government Affairs for the Tucson Metro Chamber. “Senator Flake hit the nail on the head today – we need tax reform in this country, but introducing a Border Adjustment Tax which amounts to a hidden tax on consumers and punishes those that are the least fortunate dampens what would otherwise be a popular plan.”

Americans for Affordable Products is a coalition of job creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and consumers united against higher prices on everyday necessities. To learn more, please visit: www.KeepAmericaAffordable.com.

Additional Information:

  • Resources: Coalition Infographic, Myth vs. Fact, and More
  • Press Release: AAP Launches Opposition to BAT

To schedule an interview with an Americans for Affordable Products representative, please email press@KeepAmericaAffordable.com.

Congressman Andy Biggs Submits Two Amendments for the REINS Act

Washington, DC (January 4) – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05) announced that he had submitted two amendments to the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (REINS Act). The REINS Act seeks to restore oversight authority to Congress for any major federal regulation that could potentially cost the U.S. economy at least $100 million. Congressman Biggs also testified in front of the House Rules Committee on behalf of his two amendments this afternoon.

“I am pleased to have offered up two amendments to the REINS Act and to have defended the amendments in the Rules Committee,” Biggs said. “Many small businesses and individuals in my district have been negatively affected by the ripple effect caused by an out-of-control rules-making process by unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats. I promised my constituents that I would strongly support the REINS Act, and I have kept my promise. I will continue to push for the passage of the REINS Act to ensure that Congress takes back this very-important job of rule-making oversight.”

Watch Congressman Biggs’ testimony in front of the Rules Committee.

Congressman Biggs offered the following two amendments to the REINS Act:

Amendment #4: Defines all rules promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency as “major.”

Amendment #5: Lowers the annual economic effect threshold for a major rule from $100,000,000 to $50,000,000.

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Congressman Andy Biggs is a first-term Representative from Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, representing parts of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Sun Lakes, and Queen Creek. He lives with his wife Cindy in Gilbert.

I Was Wrong About The Election Of Donald Trump

Trump Victory

First, I must say I am very relieved that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. There certainly is a delicious pleasure in that victory.

Now, let me get the mea culpa out of the way.

Like many of my colleagues in the professional political consulting class, I was wrong about the election of Donald Trump.

Nearly every polls showed him losing – the pollsters were wrong.

Every time Donald Trump spoke, he polarized and divided groups of individuals. The public relations professionals were wrong.

Nearly every longtime Republican and conservative leader said he couldn’t win using his strategy. They were wrong.

I repeatedly said he needed to learn from the lessons of 2012 when it comes to millennials, women and minority groups and affirm their libertarian and conservative values. The leader of the Grand Old Party needs to pursue a mathematical strategy of addition and multiplication rather than subtraction and division if they want to grow the party. Apparently, there was some “new math” at work in this election.

During the last days of the election, I believed it came down which demographic groups would turn out for Donald Trump. Would women, Latinos and millennials overcome the intensity of angry, aging, white, blue-collar Americans? Donald Trump obviously heard the voices of the latter and hit a nerve.

Donald Trump managed to pull off one of the biggest political shocks in American electoral history and we, the political consulting class were wrong.

But while we may remain wrong on why Donald Trump got elected as our 45th President, we may very well be right about our earlier concerns.

Donald Trump has “caught the bus” and must now grasp the sobering reality of governance.

He must now surround himself with individuals who will help him with the gargantuan task of running the country. Those individuals will most likely come from the establishment. Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie – all longtime Washington insiders and dare I note, members of the very “Establishment” class Donald Trump publicly excoriated. Will Trump’s die-hard supporters give him a pass over these selections? (Queue up “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.)

There are also the thousands of executive staff Trump will need to replace. Will he pull from the thousands of individuals with Washington experience who work as lobbyists, hill staffers and interest groups to fill those positions? Or will he bring in new blood from the heartland? I believe the former. Do you see where I’m going with this?

If President Trump truly wants to be successful, he needs experienced talent and there’s really only one pool to pull talented individuals – the establishment.

Candidate Donald Trump promised an agenda to make America great again during the campaign. Can President Donald Trump deliver on those promises? I believe he’s going to find it harder than he expected.

Do we really believe President Trump will be able to build an impenetrable wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it? Will President Trump sign an executive order banning all Muslims from entering the country? Can we expect President Trump to tear up NAFTA in one swift move?

His establishment cabinet and advisers are about to tell him just how hard governing really is.

The reality is President Trump has nothing to fear from the political left. He’s survived that battle and won. The real threat to a Trump administration is from those who wanted to burn Washington down. We’re about to find out how assimilated Donald Trump will become to the swamp he wants to drain.

Ted Cruz may prove right about Donald Trump’s northeastern values and mid-westerners may not be happy.

There is much to be hopeful and excited about however.

Republicans now control Washington, DC. Let me say that again. Republicans now control the Executive and Legislative branches of government. This is huge!

President Trump and the Republican Congress have a critical time frame to accomplish as much as possible and that starts with securing as much of the Judicial branch of government as possible.

The first 100 days of a Trump Administration means cleaning up the mess from the last eight and even 16 years. The Republican congress finally has a President who will not veto a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They need to drop that bill on Day 1.

President Trump has other monumental tasks that he can single-handily accomplish: rescinding the hundreds of executive orders of Barack Obama; tearing up the Iran Deal; changing leadership and overhauling the VA; reigning in the powers of the many regulatory agencies, and restoring morale among the men and women of our military branches. It’s a lot to do and he should not meet any resistance from a Republican Congress. In this area, he not only needs to be assertive. President Trump needs to be aggressive.

Getting the “relatively easy” tasks done quickly will allow President Trump to focus on his more long-term and ongoing agenda such as restoring the courts; protecting religious freedom; repealing Dodd-Frank; reorienting energy policy; rebuilding the military; reforming immigration; improving national infrastructure and improving international trade relations.

Finally, President Trump needs to avoid picking fights with Congress over politics. There is no time to waste on grudges or personality conflicts. The American people want major action and no drama. These types of antics will only send the GOP down a box canyon where they will be massacred in the 2018 mid-term elections.

While I was wrong about the election of Donald Trump, I hope I’m not wrong about President Trump. Like many movement conservatives, I will remain steadfast on principles and policy and speak up when I believe his administration is wrong.

Donald Trump deserves our congratulations, prayers and well-wishes. He has been chosen to carry out the single-most powerful job in the world and we must support him as the leader of the free world.

Congratulations President-Elect Donald Trump.

 

Congressman Trent Franks Endorses Andy Tobin, GOP Slate for Arizona Corporation Commission

Andy Tobin for Corporation Commission

(Phoenix) – Today, United States Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican who represents Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, announced his endorsement of Corporation Commissioner Andy Tobin and the three Republican candidates. Tobin is running for a full term on the Arizona Corporation Commission in order to represent Arizona’s hardworking taxpayers.

“Across every jurisdiction, the 2016 elections are vitally important for both our nation and state,” said Congressman Franks. “We must elect candidates who won’t give away our freedoms to the bureaucrats in Washington D.C., which is why I am supporting Republican candidates Andy Tobin, Bob Burns and Boyd Dunn for the Arizona Corporation Commission. I know that these conservative candidates will fight federal overreach, oversee Arizona’s energy grid, and protect Arizona against a future administration telling hard-working taxpayers what kind of energy they have to use in their homes and businesses. Please join me in supporting Tobin, Burns, and Dunn.”

“I am incredibly thankful to receive Congressman Franks’ endorsement,” said Tobin. “I have admired the Congressman throughout his career. He has always inspired me to be a better leader through his strong conservative values, limited government mindset, and desire to serve the public. Above all, he understands, as I do, that the taxpayers of Arizona need to be protected from bureaucrats and federal overreach. Once again, I thank him for his support.”

“Congressman Franks is a strong Republican force in the House of Representatives, which is why I am humbled to receive his support for the Corporation Commission,” said Dunn. “I look forward to working with two other great Republicans, Andy Tobin and Bob Burns, on the Arizona Corporation Commission. I ask for your vote this November.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

About Andy Tobin

Commissioner Andy Tobin is a well-known leader in Arizona state government. Prior to his appointment tothe Arizona Corporation Commission, Tobin was appointed by the Governor to serve as director of theArizona Department of Insurance in October 2015. In addition, he was appointed acting director of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. Prior to those appointments, Tobin served as director of the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures, helping consolidate the agency, reducing costs and improving consumer services and protections. Commissioner Tobin was a long-time member of the Arizona House of Representatives, representing rural Arizona from 2006 to 2014. He was Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. Prior to his Speakership, he served as the House Majority Leader and Majority Whip.

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.

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.”

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.