Andy Biggs Failed to Protect FLDS Women and Children

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

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

The bill easily passed the Arizona House.

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

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

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

Here’s the video report by CBS-5:

Andy Biggs Takes Aim at Don Stapley, Christine Jones Shows Biggs, Stapley as Career Pols

Saturday, East Valley voters in CD-5 were treated to another attack mailer by the Andy Biggs campaign. This time, the target was former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley.

In the mailer, Biggs lands three hits on Stapley.

First, Biggs shows that Stapley supported liberal Democrat Mary Rose Wilcox with a $1,000 donation. Wilcox was outspoken in her support for Obamacare, The DREAM Act and expanding restrictions on gun owners.

Second, Biggs claimed Stapley opposed conservative. He cites an article by Mike Sunnucks in which Supervisor Stapley voted and missed votes denying money to Sheriff Joe Arpaio to fight illegal immigration.

The final blow comes when Biggs’ campaign revisits the multiple corruption charges against Stapley. They cite an Arizona Republic article in which Stapley used more than $80,000 in campaign funds for personal use including a lavish vacation to Hawaii, furniture and hair plugs. One other reference includes an Arizona Republic article in which Stapley was indicted on 118 counts of fraud and theft.

Here’s a copy of the hit piece:

Andy Biggs Mailer

Andy Biggs Mailer

Surprisingly, the Biggs campaign did not use the mugshot photo of Don Stapley on its mailer.

Just as Biggs’ mailer hits households across the district, the Jones for Congress campaign puts out another political ad drawing attention to both Biggs and Stapley’s troubling records as career politicians.

In her ad, “Out of Touch,” Christine Jones calls out Andy Biggs and Don Stapley as career politicians who have lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve.

The ad show Stapley as too liberal on the issue of immigration and a supporter of amnesty for illegal aliens. Jones also reminds viewers that Stapley was arrested for using campaign money for personal vacations and luxury gifts.

The Jones campaign then turns its attention to Andy Biggs revealing that Biggs is on official government record for taking lobbyist gifts. But most disturbingly, Biggs single-handedly blocked a law to protect children from sexual predators, putting pimps and johns ahead of child protection. A March 30, 2007 Arizona Republic column is cited in the ad.

Here is the Jones for Congress political ad:

Primary Election day is just over a week away as candidates scramble for every vote. Recent polls show the race is very close.

If you’re like us, you will probably be voting for the non-career politicians this year. Washington has enough politicians who have messed up our political system. Rewarding local politicians with a vote to Washington won’t improve our lives. This election, send a conservative business leader to fix the problem. On Election Day, vote for Christine Jones for Congress.

 

Don Stapley – Documented to have been a skunk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ethics policy was approved unanimously by supervisors in 1997.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full column by Robert Robb HERE.

Don Stapley Mugshot

Don Stapley Mugshot

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

Rep Kelly Townsend Releases Open Email to District PC’s

Sonoran Alliance obtained a copy of an email that is currently circulating among Maricopa County Republican Precinct Committeemen. The email is a personal and heartfelt defense and revelation of the difficulty she has had working with the President of the State Senate, Andy Biggs.

Sonoran Alliance has redacted certain personal information from the email.

================

It is with a heavy heart that I write this email to you this morning.  There is so much I could say to you but I will choose to keep everything to just facts to keep it as short as possible. If there is anything you need clarification on, please send me a message and I can expound on the fact in question.
Last night, Andy Biggs was a guest speaker at the LD meeting. Only a handful of you were there because most were home watching the convention and acceptance speech.  However, there were enough people in attendance that what was said about me by Mr. Biggs, and the chairman’s subsequent reaction, need to be addressed.  I was accused of “threatening Mr. Bigg’s family” and Dennis Brimhall, a supporter of Andy Biggs, refused to allow me to defend myself and threatened to have me forcibly removed.
At issue:
I recently was asked to go on Sunday Square off and describe why I regretted my vote to limit TANF to one year of lifetime eligibility for needy families.  To truly explain it, I would need a two hour show and I only had minutes.  What I did say was that I regret it and last year’s decision was in part because of how I had been “conditioned” by Andy Biggs to not oppose him or I would face the consequences.  Here is why:
  •     In 2013, I went on the radio to discuss the child bride situation in Colorado City, where the police would return a 12 year old runaway to her abuser rather than hold that abuser accountable.  I was asked on radio why people turn a blind eye to the situation, which I answered that although I couldn’t turn a blind I, I pledged to do everything I could to fight pedophilia wherever I could.  I hung up and cried due to the disturbing content of the conversation, and meanwhile the radio host subsequently began to bring up Andy Bigg’s blocking of a Michelle Ugenti bill that would have allowed for sanctioning of that police department. I knew that he might think I was participating in that part of the conversation, so I immediately began to reach out to him to explain I was only talking about child brides.  He didn’t answer so I left a phone message.  After no personal communication, I began asking for a meeting at work.  I sent several emails, as did my assistant, none of which were returned.  The rest of my bills died that session.  I finally asked him if he would speak to me at the end of session, and he agreed and admitted he was angry at me and said I should have never gone on the radio to discuss the issue in the first place.  I told him that I had thick skin and if there was something I did wrong, as Senate President he should sit me down and talk about it, not stonewall me.
  • Although it was very upsetting that Andy Biggs did not allow Rep. Ugenti’s bill to go forward, I had hoped that he would offer an alternative solution to the police scandal in Colorado City.  The following year I saw no such solution.  Instead, all of my bills that went out of the House were not assigned to committee for a great length of time.  I had to call the Speaker-Pro-tem and tell him I was “off the budget” meaning I would vote no on any budget bill until after my bills had been assigned.  I had learned from the previous year that the “stall to kill” tactic could be used to delay the bill from getting through the process in time before the budget was complete and we closed session.  We were in budget negotiations and would close session any day and my bills had yet to be assigned.  I knew at that point I was being punished once again. I wasn’t sure if it was because I spoke out against pedophilia or if this time it was to punish me for my Convention of States bill that he didn’t like.  He claimed last night to only have blocked 5 of my 60 bills.  Although that may be the hard fact, the sad fact is I had to resort to counter tactics each subsequent year to avoid being punished again.  Something I never thought I would have to do within my own party, with someone who was once my #1 political hero.
  • Later that year, his [REDACTED] began sending me Facebook messages asking for money over the course of 6 months, along with asking for advice about a suspected pregnancy.  I am a doula and we were Facebook friends so I suppose [REDACTED] thought I would be helpful.  It was Christmastime and I didn’t have extra funds.  I was asked for food money, for money to keep [REDACTED] phone on, money for various other needs.  I was confused because I thought [REDACTED] had won the publisher’s clearing house, and I also thought he believed that family should help the needy, not the government.  I was dismayed when [REDACTED] told me [REDACTED] had been on food stamps for two years because he wouldn’t help [REDACTED].  Not that I judged [REDACTED] for that, but because he would often scoff at people for “drinking from the public trough” as he always put it.
  • I began to see an incredible level of hypocrisy from a man who was punishing me for wanting to stop pedophiles.  I decided it was time to send him a text and tell him that it was inappropriate for his [REDACTED] to be asking me for money and that it should be he who was taking care of his pregnant [REDACTED]. He returned the email telling me to stay out of it.  Soon thereafter, I received a new message from his [REDACTED] excited that he was buying [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] new [REDACTED] a house.  Relieved, I agreed to see the photo of it.  I was shocked to find a photo of a garden shed with a porch on it.  No running water, one room. [REDACTED] was asking me if it was legal to put it on her mother-in-law’s back yard without a permit and I advised [REDACTED] that as a pregnant mom, she should be in a house with running water.
  • At this point, I was horrified and didn’t know what to think.  I stopped corresponding with [REDACTED] because I knew it would only lead to disaster, which it did.  Shortly thereafter we had to vote on the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).  I was so appalled that there was the argument that families and church should be the ones taking care of their own, not government and all the while I was being asked by this person’s [REDACTED] to support [REDACTED] when he was the millionaire.  It was almost too much to bear at this point.  I took a long time deciding how to vote, and I chose to vote yes on his bill as a Conservative.  But it wasn’t without tears, it wasn’t without feeling horrible and full of questions about rhetoric that really isn’t meaningful when you don’t put your money where your mouth is.  And yes, I partly chose to vote yes because I didn’t want all my hard work going down the drain again next year due to the stall and kill tactic.
There is so much more I could tell you folks, but I will leave it at this to explain to you that I never once threatened his family.  I said that I would bring this to light because it was important for voters to know that things aren’t always as they seem.  As someone who has had to work with hundreds of molested mothers in childbirth and watch the anguish they go through as they deal with their past during that most vulnerable time, as someone who has had this issue strike too close to home, it has become impossible for me to remain quiet about these issues.  I have been told to keep my mouth shut and just take the high road.  Folks, this is too serious.  I was accused of many things last night, and our chairman refused to allow me to defend myself and was threatened.
I am angry.  I am angry at him for allowing the problem in Colorado City to continue, and I am angry that Rep. Ugenti and myself have suffered the consequences ever since for speaking out.  I am about the truth, and at this point, because Mr. Biggs brought it up at the LD meeting and I was not allowed to defend myself, I must send you this most unsavory email.  I have been quiet for four years.  That is long enough.  For the sake of sexually abused men and women everywhere, I tell you the truth this morning, and let the chips fall where they may.
Should you desire confirmation of any of this, I do have the screenshots of the Facebook confirmation. 
Brokenhearted and mad as heck,
Kelly Townsend

ABC15: Paul Babeu – Abusing The Truth

ABC 15’s special coverage of Sheriff Paul Babeu

Paul Babeu ABC15

Frank Schmuck: Fly Your Flag And Show Your Patriotism In The Face of Terrorism

Frank SchmuckISIS now admits responsibility for the massacre in Orlando, Florida. A Radical Islamic Terrorist did this.  He could have used a sword.  He chose to use a gun.  A terrorist used fertilizer in Oklahoma City. Radical Islamic Terrorists used box cutters and airplanes in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.  Banning implements is not the answer.

Americans need to be able to defend themselves, not have radicalized terrorists or the mentally unstable hold them hostage.  When governments make gun free zones the criminal does NOT suffer, the law-abiding citizen suffers.

ISIS does not and will not conform to a well-regulated militia. Hard working Americans can and will.

John Stuart Mill spoke this centuries ago. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse. . . . A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

War is in America – New York City, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. Who’s next? Let’s stand up and defend this great nation and ALL classes of people who live here against radicalism. Don’t let “political correctness” cause the loss of life again.  Speak up. This act of terror awoke an American sleeping giant spirit. Let us not forget freedom isn’t free. When you exercise your right to vote think about those who have experience with defending your freedoms. Without safety, rules don’t matter. This enemy doesn’t play by the same rules we do. Be vigilant. Be strong. Protect one another.

Today is Flag Day. Hang your flag proudly to show your patriotism.

Frank Schmuck, Captain
Persian Gulf War Veteran
Conservative Republican Candidate
AZ State Senate LD18

Wendy Rogers to Paul Babeu: Come Clean to Pinal County

Wendy Rogers

Wendy Rogers to Paul Babeu: Come Clean to Pinal County

(Flagstaff, AZ) – Today, Col. Wendy Rogers, Republican candidate for Congress, issued the following statement calling on Sheriff Paul Babeu to make amends to the citizens of Pinal County for using his position to play politics:

“Sheriff Babeu displayed a profound lack of judgment. He showed poor faith and a callous disregard for the people of Pinal County and the 1st Congressional District.” Col Rogers said.

“Mere hours after warning the citizens of Pinal County about a grave threat to their safety from Mexican cartels on local television, Sheriff Babeu sent out a fundraising email to capitalize on the threat. Then Sheriff Babeu later admitted to a reporter that his warning was a calculated element of his campaign for Congress.”

“For an elected official, especially a member of law enforcement, to prey upon the fears of good people to advance his own political agenda is absolutely base and reprehensible. He exploits as a political football the very citizens he swore to protect. Sheriff Babeu must atone and come clean to the people of Pinal County.”

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Lt Col (ret) Wendy Rogers was one of the Air Force’s first women pilots. She and and her husband Hal are both retired career US Air Force officers. Since 1997, they’ve owned a home inspection business covering four counties spanning northern to southern Arizona. Col Rogers is a businesswoman, teacher, social worker and grandmother. She and Hal own their retirement home in the midst of where they do business in Flagstaff, Arizona.

SheriffCandidateBabeu

Fear and Fundraising in AZ01

Elected law enforcement officials are in the precarious position of approaching their job from either a half-empty or a half-full position. As we’ve seen from many a sheriff, fear is a tremendous motivator when it comes to driving an agenda. Some sheriffs might cast their office as the object to be feared. Other sheriffs cast the outside world as the source of all danger.

The latter is what we witnessed in the public arena from Sheriff Paul Babeu on Tuesday.

Babeu Press Conference

In a press conference (which turned into a political speech), Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu claimed he has “additional intelligence” that Mexican hit men or “sicarios” were heading into Arizona to assassinate rival drug cartel members. Those attacks would likely take place over Memorial Day weekend. He cited several incidents south of Pinal County and advised campers and hikers to be fully armed and prepared to protect themselves. The press conference turned political when Babeu blamed the Obama Administration for not protecting our southern border (a point we agree on).

Sicario

Members of the media immediately picked up on the sheriff’s advisory and ran with stories of impending threats and attacks to American citizens in the Arizona desert. Several media outlets didn’t quite take the bait (KTAR, KPNX)

What was barely mentioned was that hours after the warning, congressional candidate Paul Babeu sent out a fundraising letter mentioning his press conference and advisory. The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.

Babeu even appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto talking up the threat and danger of Mexican assassins running rampant through the Arizona desert.

Babeu Cavuto

Photo courtesy of Paul Babeu’s Twitter feed.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.[/pullquote]

Some of us aren’t buying Sheriff Babeu’s ploy. Here’s why:

First, any threat of this nature would be announced from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Border Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety. When a threat is this serious and credible, it is vetted at all levels of government and is passed through multiple chains of command and communications. Governor Doug Ducey would be one of the first to know and to issue warnings through Arizona DPS. The Sheriff claims he was informed about the threat but failed to share it with other law enforcement agencies?

Second, Paul Babeu is a candidate for congress running on a single-issue – immigration and border security. Even though Pinal county does not border Mexico, illegal border crossers still make their way through his jurisdiction – just like they do in every other county in Arizona. We certainly won’t disagree that immigration and border security has become a national security issue we should take seriously, but some politicians have used the issue as a fear-for-votes political strategy. For Paul Babeu, it’s the only issue he knows and he’s using it at every opportunity for pure political gain. Multiple media appearances and fundraising letters from Babeu are evidence of this.

Finally, in law enforcement matters, every serious credible threat demands a serious credible response or action plan. According to reports, during his press conference, Sheriff Babeu made no request for assistance from the Governor’s office, Arizona DPS, Homeland Security, the National Guard, the FBI, etc. Instead, he told private citizens to arm themselves. A review of several Arizona law enforcement agency websites including the Governor’s office, shows no mention of public safety threats by sicarios in the Arizona desert.

We’re not buying it.

The truth is, we have a county sheriff running for Congress who is sensationalizing on the only issue he knows in order to grab media attention and raise money for his political campaign.

In the meantime, private citizens have been told to pack heat in the badlands of Arizona by a sheriff who apparently is finding it difficult to protect his own constituents.

This Memorial Day weekend, we recommend being vigilant of all threats – whether they’re credible or presented for pure political profit.

But most importantly, we ask that you remember and honor those, who against all fear and personal gain, paid the ultimate price through their selfless sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedoms.

Debbie Moak & Seth Leibsohn Discuss Campaign for Responsible Drug Policy

Debbie Moak and Seth Leibsohn discuss the adverse effects of legalizing Marijuana for recreational use in Arizona. Both Debbie and Seth appeared on Newsmaker Sunday with John Hook.

Here is the video:

Outraged, Lt Col Rogers calls on Sheriff Babeu to Exit Arizona CD-1 Race

Wendy Rogers

On Wednesday, Wendy Rogers called for her opponent, Sheriff Paul Babeu to drop out of the race for Arizona’s first congressional district.  Shocking new allegations of abuse at a boarding house in Massachusetts run by Sheriff Babeu were detailed in an expose Tuesday night by ABC 15.  

“Today I call on Sheriff Babeu to do the right thing. Step down from this race. You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party, the state of Arizona, and our nation. We deserve better,” said Rogers.  

On the tape, Sheriff Babeu can be heard comparing the school’s treatment of children to boot camp.  Rogers, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, had this to say, “I went through military officer training.  It built camaraderie, instilled honor, and made me the professional I am today.  My fellow veterans and I will not stand for Sheriff Babeu’s twisted attempt to justify cruelty to children.”

Rogers further explained, “Sheriff Babeu’s views are also completely at odds with what I have come to know as a foster parent and clinical social worker.  No child is hopeless. All children need and deserve compassion and understanding.”    

The Babeu campaign today released a statement saying, “These allegations prove nothing new.”  In response Rogers said, “His own campaign website touted his executive experience from having led this school as a qualification for elected office.  He held this as evidence of experience, while he knew EXACTLY what this school did.  He has lied to the voters about this, and continues to do so, even as this horrifying evidence comes to light.”

Michael Desisto

Michael Desisto

Paul Babeu and Michael Desisto

Paul Babeu and Michael Desisto