Kyrsten Sinema Praises Matt Salmon, Endorses Andy Biggs?

Matt Salmon & Kyrsten SinemaNothing short of a political lovefest took place at the annual East Valley Partnership luncheon today. Held at EVIT and sponsored by APS, the event features an annual discussion by congressional leaders who represent the east valley.

Both retiring Republican Congressman Matt Salmon and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema delivered their reports with each praising the other during the conversation. At one moment, Sinema became teary over Salmon’s retirement from the House.

But what was most revealing was Sinema’s announcement that she was looking forward to sitting in the same seat next year alongside Andy Biggs.

Perhaps a little presumptuous a statement by someone like Kyrsten Sinema who sees herself as someone who moves gracefully among the political elite?

Without actually saying the word, it was essentially an endorsement of the east valley politician who is running to succeed Matt Salmon.

One thing is clear, it takes career politicians like Kyrsten Sinema to know other career politicians like Andy Biggs. After all, they’ve been both working the system for years.

 

INEPTITUDE, NOT FRAUD: Behind The Scenes Video Surfaces Of DeWit Screaming At Staffers For TrumpTrain’s Failure

Video surfaced today of Trump’s AZ point person and Chairman Jeff DeWit going off on his TrumpTrain staffers (who appear to be Thayer Verschoor and Charles Munoz) who apparently did not vet the delegates that THEY placed on THEIR slate.

To quote The Donald, they are “lightweight chock artists”.  The TrumpTrain cannot cry foul for their delegate disaster now that we have video evidence blaming each other for their ineptitude.

Just remember this video the next time the tiny-handed Trump says he’ll “hire the best people”.

Priorities: Governing vs. Campaigning

By East Valley Evan

It’s that weird time of the political season when conflicts arise revealing where politicians’ priorities really are.

Yesterday, leaders of the Arizona House and Senate reached a deal on how to divvy up sections of Governor Ducey’s budget proposal. That deal will be revealed today.

Setting aside the details of the deal, it’s worth pointing out where leaders of both chambers are spending their time as this process unfolds.

Every legislator acknowledges that the most important part of their job is to pass a budget that establishes the financial priorities for the State of Arizona. It’s what voters elect candidates to do and it’s the epitome of responsibility for legislators once elected.

When it comes down to governing or campaigning, governing should always take priority.

Citizens would think and expect leadership in the House and Senate to treat this constitutional obligation with the utmost attention. Apparently that obligation can take a back seat  if you’re a candidate for another office while holding down your leadership position in the legislature.

House Speaker David Gowan got it right (although he is avoiding interaction with members of the media these days) when he skipped a CD-1 candidate forum in Casa Grande Monday night. He stuck around the legislature to make sure the House wrapped up the budget deal.

It wasn’t the same on the Senate side. Senate President Andy Biggs was nowhere to be found in the State of Arizona. Instead, he is making the rounds in Washington, DC trying to raise money for his next government gig. According to the Arizona Republic:

Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler — who was acting as Senate president while Andy Biggs was in Washington, D.C., Monday fundraising for a congressional campaign… 

Senate President Biggs who has become the professional career politician obviously feels the need to fly back to Washington, rub elbows with lobbyists and return home with a bundle of campaign cash.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the House and Senate will work through the details on how best to spend Arizona taxpayer dollars.

It’s all about priorities.

~ He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much (Luke 16:10)

Gov Ducey: Why Vote For Prop 123? Some Teachers Have More Kids Than Books​

Vote Prop 123

By: Governor Doug Ducey

This week, Arizonans will receive early ballots in the mail for one of the most important policy initiatives of this election cycle – the passage of Proposition 123 to increase funding for public schools in Arizona.

As many in our state know, there has been a dark cloud hanging over Arizona’s budget when it comes to funding education.

Our kids have needs today

Voting “yes” on Prop. 123 will settle a years-long lawsuit and put $3.5 billion into our K-12 public schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes. It’s time to stop paying lawyers and start paying teachers.

I’ve visited schools all across our state, and the message is clear. Our kids have needs today, and our educators need more resources to do their jobs.

Prop. 123 is a fiscally responsible, historic first step towards giving our students and teachers the resources they need. It puts money back in the classroom. And it doesn’t raise taxes. I know it sounds almost too good to be true: If this doesn’t raise taxes, how are we paying for it?

How it works

What many don’t know is that Arizona has a something called the State Land Trust – a fund with assets that have been set aside and invested for decades specifically to benefit education. This plan ensures we are managing the trust responsibly while putting the money to use for the purpose it was intended: funding our K-12 public schools.

So how does it work?

When Arizona became a state, the federal government granted our founders nearly 11 million acres of state land. Every time we sell a piece of that land, proceeds go into the Land Trust where the money is invested and earns interest. The trust has been growing rapidly in value – nearly doubling in the past five years. And now it is valued at more than $5 billion.

Currently, only 2.5 percent of the trust is distributed to schools every year. We can do better. A “yes” vote on Prop. 123 will increase the distribution rate to 6.9 percent for the next 10 years. That means we will be able to use more of this money for its intended purpose: funding our schools.

We haven’t ignored future needs

But this plan also takes into account the needs of future generations. An analysis done by the non-partisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows that even with the higher distributions if Prop 123 passes, there will be more than $6 billion in the Land Trust in a decade. That’s a billion dollars more in the trust after 10 years, even while we are increasing funding to education.

And let’s not forget: Arizona still has 9.2 million acres of land worth approximately $70 billion that are yet to be sold and fund the trust.

The bottom line is that passing Prop 123 ensures the long-term health of the trust, while injecting an infusion of resources into classrooms that have needs today.

When there are more kids than books

I’ve met with teachers and parents across the state, and they’ve made it clear — while reforms are important, right now they need resources to provide the excellent education all our children deserve.

Too often, I hear stories of teachers and parents spending part of their paychecks to ensure there are supplies in the classroom – even basic necessities like pens, pencils and paper. This is unacceptable.

Just a few weeks ago, I met a fourth-grade teacher named Maddy Sporbert who was volunteering for Prop. 123. She told me that she wants Prop. 123 to pass because right now she has 34 students in her class, but only 25 textbooks.

She was spending spring break — her vacation — getting out the vote for Prop. 123 to ensure her students have enough textbooks next year. She needs us to vote “yes.”

Good teachers are fleeing our state

Eighth-grade science teacher Paul Strauss told me that in his many years of teaching he’s seen countless dedicated teachers leave the profession because it is so hard to support a family on a teacher’s salary in Arizona.

We know teachers are fleeing our state or leaving the profession because of a continued lack of funding for education. Voting “yes” on Prop 123 will allow us to reverse that trend and start paying teachers what they deserve. In fact, school boards across Arizona have committed that boosting teacher salaries will be their number one priority if Prop. 123 passes.

Many districts even have two budgets: one if Prop. 123 passes, and one if it fails.

If it fails, that means more litigation and less certainty for our teachers and students.

Please join me, Mayor Greg Stanton, a bipartisan coalition of legislators, countless community and business leaders, teachers and parents in voting “yes” for Prop. 123 on May 17.

Sheriff Touchy Can’t Handle Mockery of his Pansy Logo

Guest Opinion by Sam Stone

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos is running for re-election after taking office a little over a year ago when his 79-year old boss – Clarence Dupnik – handed him the keys to the castle after 35 years at the helm. It was a apt promotion: Nanos had been reportedly running the office for his aging Sheriff for a number of years – proving conclusively that he could effectively maintain the bureaucratic bloat, insider favoritism, and mediocre results his predecessor had become known for.

Since taking office, Nanos has overseen at least one scandal: giving almost $20,000 to the niece of one of his detectives so she could buy the equipment to run for-profit cafes at their headquarters and the county jail.

He also defended the actions of deputies when they shot and killed decorated Marine veteran and father Jose Guerena – actions that resulted in a $3.4 million dollar settlement against Pima County.

All that, of course, while his Deputies get stiffed.

But none of that makes Sheriff Nanos mad. What really gets Chris Nanos mad? People mocking his pansy ass logo.

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After the first few, more people chimed in, including yours truly…

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That’s when Sheriff Touchy stepped in to regulate!

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I mean, good advice, I thought…

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And he did “like” it….

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But, no, Sheriff Touchy couldn’t let it go at that.

A couple of points:

  1. I think he’s referring (one sided-story) to the café. Maybe they had really, really good sandwiches. Or something.
  2. I wasn’t actually referring to his website, just his Pansy logo.
  3. If I was running his campaign, I’d probably be running for the hills right about…now…

Let’s hope Pima County voters do the same in November.

(In case you were wondering, Mark Napier, who narrowly lost to Sheriff Touchy’s boss in the last election, is vying for the office again.)

Rep Martha McSally on Fight to Restore Eligibility for WASP’s

Congresswoman Martha McSally is leading the fight to restore the eligibility of  WASPs’ to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Sponsored by McSally, H.R. 4336, has obtained the bipartisan cosponsors of 141 members in the House as well as the endorsement of several veterans, military, and women’s advocacy groups. Here is the video of her interview on CBS:

Supervisor Denny Barney Endorses Andy Biggs’ Congressional Campaign

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Marks 28th endorsement for the Senate President

PHOENIX (March 9) – Maricopa County Supervisor Denny Barney today announced his endorsement of Andy Biggs. His support joins 27 other elected officials and more than 60 East Valley Grassroots leaders.

“I have been fortunate to know Andy for many years and can attest to his solid character,” Denny Barney said. “As an elected official and Senate President he has always been responsive to any issue that has crossed his desk. He has also shown an ability to build a strong consensus on issues important to taxpayers such as tax reform, pension reform, and working to protect the life of the unborn. Andy Biggs is the type of leader the East Valley needs in Washington. He has integrity and is a proven conservative. I am proud to endorse his candidacy for U.S. House of Representatives.”

“Denny Barney has poured out his heart and soul for the East Valley, and I am so excited to received his endorsement,” Andy Biggs said. “Denny’s service at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has paid great dividends for our side of town, and I know that he will continue to accomplish great things for the East Valley. I look forward to partnering with him in the future to bring even more opportunity to the East Valley.”

Other endorsements for Biggs include: Congressman Matt Salmon; Congressman Trent Franks; Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio; Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery; Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCicci; senators Sylvia Allen, Nancy Barto, Judy Burges, Debbie Lesko, Gail Griffin, Steve Yarbrough, David Farnsworth, John Kavanagh, Steve Smith, Jeff Dial, Kimberly Yee, Don Shooter; representatives John Allen, Sonny Borrelli, Jay Lawrence, Paul Boyer, Warren Petersen, Eddie Farnsworth, Frank Pratt; Gilbert Vice Mayor Jared Taylor; Gilbert Councilman Victor Peterson; and Queen Creek Councilwoman Emilena Turley.

Bill to streamline and consolidate campaign finance laws passes state Senate

Phoenix, AZ – A bill to allow the Secretary of State’s office to crack down on illegitimate, unlawful political spending has passed the Arizona Senate.

“I’m pleased our campaign finance bill (SB1516) to root out unlawful political spending has passed the Senate,” said Secretary Reagan.  “Hopefully, If the bill passes the House and is signed into law by the Governor, our office will finally have the tools necessary to go after fly-by-night “convenience corporations” who show up in Arizona on Tuesday and start spending money on Friday in our elections.”

“The ability to differentiate between bad actors and perfectly legitimate companies exercising their basic right to speak is historic,” continued the Secretary.  “It’s concerning to many that institutional groups like the Cattlemen’s Association, Planned Parenthood, Chamber of Commerce or Sierra Club would have to hand over the personal information of their members and supporters to a government agency. These provisions strike the right balance between holding wrongdoers accountable and protecting legitimate not-for-profits from big brother tracking the issues and causes they support and deciding what political speech they wish to regulate.

“In conjunction with our revolutionary, soon-to-be-released campaign finance reporting system, citizens will better able to educate themselves about the connections between the people who write checks and the politicians that cash them.”

Sponsored by Senator Adam Driggs, SB1516 is a comprehensive rewrite of Arizona campaign finance law.  While provisions related to anonymous political spending are extremely important, the legislation also provides a clear, concise set of policies and procedures where citizens can easily find and understand the rules by which they can engage in political activity.

Scott Smith Leads In Latest CD-5 Poll

DataOrbital

(Phoenix, AZ) – There has been much speculation over who will run to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Matt Salmon in Congressional District Five. Senate President Andy Biggs is currently the only candidate in the race and announced his campaign with the endorsement of Congressman Salmon.

Even though a number of prominent east valley figures have already taken a pass at the seat, a recently conducted poll shows President Biggs does not have a lock on the seat and that this race is still wide open.

Data Orbital, a Phoenix based consulting firm, today announced the results of a survey conducted of likely Republican primary voters in CD Five. The live poll showed former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith with a 7% lead over President Biggs among likely Republican primary voters. Former Mayor Scott Smith has yet to announce whether or not he will seek the seat.

The question was worded as follows:

Q: If the Republican primary election for Congress in District Five were held today, who would you be most likely to vote for?

Scott Smith – 33%
Andy Biggs – 26%
Undecided – 41%

George Khalaf, consultant and pollster, issued the following statement: “It is clear that President Biggs came out with strong momentum following the endorsement of Congressman Salmon but results show that this race is far from over. Mayor Smith has a solid base of support among east valley Republicans and would be a formidable candidate should he choose to run.”

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This live poll of 500 likely Republican voters in CD Five has a margin of error at plus or minus 4.33 percent, with a 95 percent confidence interval. Respondents were weighted on a number of different demographic figures and responses came evenly from cell phones and landlines. For any questions please contact George Khalaf.

Governor Doug Ducey: I’m Voting Yes on Prop 123

The committee Let’s Vote Yes For Arizona Schools, In Support of Prop 123 released the following ad today featuring Governor Doug Ducey explaining why he supports Prop 123.

In the ad, Governor Ducey provides reasons how and why Arizonans should support public teachers. Passage of the proposition will provide $3.5 Billion directly into our public schools over the next 10 years without raising any taxes. This money will be used to invest into teachers to reverse the trend of teachers leaving Arizona due to low compensation.

Governor Ducey, the father of three sons, knows firsthand the impact that great teachers have on a child. That’s why he’s supporting Prop 123 on May 17th.