Arizona Political Leaders React to Trump Picks

President-Elect Trump has begun to name his government advisers and cabinets and Arizona politicians are weighing in on the future Trump Administration.

Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit and COO to the Trump campaign took to the airwaves to touting the credentials of President-Elect Trump’s cabinet choices including Senator Jeff Sessions, General Michael Flynn and Congressman Mike Pompeo. Here is video of Treasurer DeWit’s appearance on FoxNews. DeWit may also be chosen to serve in the Trump administration.

US Senator Jeff Flake tweeted, “@SenatorSessions is well like and well regarded, even by those who don’t always agree with him. I look forward to supporting his nomination” upon news that Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will be nominated to President Trump’s Attorney General.

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-3) joined the orchestrated Democrat opposition to Stephen Bannon by retweeting Rep David Cicilline’s push for a petition rescinding Bannon’s appointment as a senior adviser. Grijalva said, “Steve #Bannon made a career of conspiracy theories and hate speech online. He has no business serving in the White House, period.”

The most aggressive opposition to Trump’s picks have come from Rep Ruben Gallego who represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional District. Since Trump’s win, he has released a barrage of tweets following the typical Democrat talking points on hate, racism and tolerance. Gallego tweeted and retweeted:

“Appointing alt-right leader Steve Bannon undermines @RealDonaldTrump’s promise to ‘bind the wounds of division.’ #NoHateInWhiteHouse.”

“Hate in the form of white nationalism doesn’t belong anywhere near the White House. Steve Bannon’s appointment is appalling & disgraceful.”

“Hate & violence has no place in this country. I stand w/ the #trans community & will work for security&equality for all #TransAwarenessWeek”

Gallego also included a link to his speech on the floor of the US House:

On his Facebook page, Rep Gallego made the following statement regarding his role in playing opposition to Trump, even on common ground issues like infrastructure:

Given everything we know about Donald Trump – and everything we don’t know – I was alarmed by the words of senior leaders from both the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic party regarding their openness to working with Donald Trump on infrastructure.

Under ordinary circumstances, a bipartisan infrastructure plan would be welcomed. But Donald Trump is not an ordinary politician.

Unfortunately, his infrastructure plan is really a privatization scheme, rife with graft and corruption, whose real purpose is to enrich the Trump family and his supporters. He is not reaching out. He is reaching his hand into America’s pockets, just as he has his whole career. And we must not let him do it.

And continuing his rant on Facebook, Gallego echoed his Twitter post with a link to the Democrat’s opposition letter:

Nobody with ties to White Nationalism should be allowed to work in the White House. Appointing alt-right leader Steve Bannon undermines Donald Trump’s promise to ‘bind the wounds of division.’ Today, I joinedCongressman David Cicilline and many of my House colleagues to demand that Trump rescind this appalling and disgraceful appointment.#NoHateInWhiteHouse

Former Governor Jan Brewer reposted an article on her Facebook page asserting that Trump’s picks for his immigration team, will be very tough:

Donald J. Trump has just appointed the head of his immigration team and it says a lot about how he plans to deal with illegal immigration…

The article, posted on Conservative Tribune, refers to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who was the architect of Arizona’s SB1070. Kobach is known as a staunch advocate for border security and stopping illegal immigration. He has been asked to serve on Trumps immigration team.

Like many Arizona political leaders, Senator John McCain, Governor Doug Ducey, and other members of the congressional delegation have shied away from making social media comments on Trump’s administration choices. Many will continue to watch as the transition team puts people in place and an agenda into motion.

President-Elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

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.

Vote for Moses Sanchez for Maricopa County Community College District Board

I like to refer to my friend Moses Sanchez as the “Happy Warrior.” Moses is running for the Maricopa County Community College District Board this November and is someone who will bring positive conservative values and leadership to the board.

Moses Sanchez is the type of conservative we need in the Republican Party – a party we need to grow and expand if we want to affect positive change and bring new people into the party.

Moses Sanchez migrated to the United States from Panama with his parents and sister. He has served on active duty in the US Navy including a deployment to Afghanistan. He is currently serves in the reserves. He has a B.S. and MBA in Business Management and has taught economics at South Mountain Community College. He also serves on Tempe Union High School District Governing Board. He owns his own small business which helps other small businesses with social media.

Moses and his wife, Maria Manriquez, MD, have three children and three grandchildren. He is a man of faith and family and demonstrates a strong ethic in everything he does. And if you’ve seen his Snapchat videos, you know the man can seriously cook! (Read Moses’ full bio here.)

Moses is running in MCCCD (district) 1 which covers all of Ahwatukee, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Queen Creek and parts of Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix. He is competing against two other candidates in the race.

Early ballots are scheduled to go out later this week. When you get your ballot, immediately go to the bottom of the ballot and mark your vote for Moses Sanchez.

Moses will bring strong, optimistic and conservative governance to the MCCCD and it’s why I ask you to vote for Moses Sanchez this election.

Visit Moses Sanchez’ website at www.MosesSanchez.com. And, follow Moses Sanchez on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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.

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)

Senator Jeff Flake Discusses Donald Trump

This week, Senator Jeff Flake made an appearance on KAET’s Horizon with Ted Simons. The interview was focused on the presidential candidacy and campaign of Donald Trump.

It’s no secret that Senator Flake has serious reservations, like many Republicans, about supporting Donald Trump.

Watch as Senator Flake shares his views on Donald Trump.