Why Is Andy Biggs Dodging Sunday Square Off?

Everyone knows that if you’re running for a major political office in Arizona you make the time to appear on local political shows like Horizon, Politics Unplugged and Sunday Square Off. It’s part of the process of getting in front of voters who pay attention to politics.

Brahm Resnik’s Sunday Square Off is one of those shows that candidates and elected officials don’t turn down. Brahm is the type of political reporter who asks tough questions and hones in on political motivations. He can be a feisty interviewer and every Republican should experience a sit-down with him if offered.

This last Sunday, Brahm interviewed two of the four Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District. Former County Supervisor Don Stapley and conservative business leader Christine Jones each had their interviews with Brahm. The prior week, three-term State Representative Justin Olson also made his pitch.

During Brahm’s intro to the Stapley interview, he said that all four Republican CD-5 candidates had been invited to come on Sunday Square Off but as Brahm noted, “Andy Biggs though, had never responded to my invitation.”

Any professional political consultant worth their weight in gold knows that earned media is the best media, even if it means a tough interview. Consultants advise their candidates to embrace these local political show opportunities whenever they arise and take advantage of the chance to toughen and improve their debate and public relations skills.

The CD-5 race will be one of the toughest Republican primary races in 2016. Andy Biggs knows this and that’s why he hired one of Arizona’s most prominent consulting firms to get him across the finish line. So why would Andy Biggs dodge the opportunity to appear on Sunday Square Off?

Andy Biggs Confronted

photo courtesy TV-12 News

No one seems to remember the last time Andy Biggs appeared on Sunday Square Off let alone appeared on any other weekly political show. Our best research indicates that Biggs made an appearance on the show in late February, 2011 to discuss abolishing Medicaid.

Senator Biggs may be camera shy or perhaps uncomfortable with Brahm Resnik or maybe he would rather not discuss tough issues like the recent KidsCare legislation, but that doesn’t explain why he also skipped a recent East Valley candidate forum in CD-5.

Our guess is that the Biggs campaign is maintaining a low profile in an effort to avoid causing more controversy for itself. Dodge the media, avoid answering hard questions, avoid saying anything controversial and hope for an easy win.

When you’ve never had any tough electoral challenges in the 14 years you’ve been a politician, it doesn’t make you prepared or even qualified for a promotion to higher office and that’s where the work gets even harder. It’s time to answer the hard questions.

What some Arizonas are saying about legalizing Marijuana

Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy

What They Are Saying

Legalizing recreational marijuana would be detrimental to Arizonans’ lifestyle, safety and productivity. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized the drug and are seeing disastrous repercussions in their youth, work places and communities. Read below to see what experts, Arizonans and those already effected by legal marijuana have to say.

Linda ValdezArizona Republic Reporter Linda Valdez
“Arizona doesn’t have to release the cat now. We can wait and see how things play out in Colorado and other states that are trying the legalization experiment.”

The Arizona Republic | June 21

Congressman Matt SalmonMatt Salmon
“I am against this initiative legalizing marijuana in Arizona,” said Congressman Matt Salmon. “At a time when government should be shrinking and we should be having less government in our lives, the last thing I want to see is one more initiative that creates other levels of government.”

ARDP.org | June 20

Seth LeibsohnARDP Chairman Seth Leibsohn
“Leave it to the marijuana industry to take a holiday of joy and family bonding to promote the expanded sale and use of a drug better known by medical and scientific research to be the opposite of those very things. We are just now learning about increased traffic fatalities due to marijuana impaired drivers in states that have legalized marijuana for social and recreational use. We are just now learning about more and more childhood hospitalizations due to marijuana ingestion by our youth due to marijuana candies and edibles.”

ARDP.org | June 16

Roy BinghamHead of Pot-Industry Tracking Firm BDS Analytics Roy Bingham*
On an initiative to package marijuana with warnings that marijuana carries a risk of “permanent loss of brain abilities”:

“The initiative could devastate Colorado’s fastest-growing industry.”

CBS Denver | June 16

APS spokesman Jim McDonald
“Our concern emanates from the employment law language in the proposal, especially considering the public safety aspects involved in supplying reliable electric service to APS customers,” said McDonald. “The initiative simply does not support the kind of workplace required to operate the electric grid, make repairs to the system after a monsoon storm or operate the nation’s largest nuclear power plant.”

Phoenix New Times | June 14

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  • Roy Bingham is not a resident of Arizona.

Arizona House Speaker Gowan Tries to Hide From Arizona’s Open Records Law

Defend Rural Arizona
Two and a half months after a request was issued to the Arizona House, a request for records relating to Speaker Gowan’s travel remains unfulfilled
Earlier this year, embattled House Speaker David Gowan had to pay back $12,000 in expenditures after audits found he had requested mileage reimbursements for travel unrelated to state business, had claimed mileage while using a state vehicle, or had been granted a per diem for days when he was not doing state work.  Subsequent press investigations found that a substantial amount of his allegedly “official” travel was taken to areas within Congressional District 1, and questions remain as to the extent of his attempts to use state resources to subsidize campaign travel.For this reason Defend Rural Arizona issued a request for the Speaker’s travel records on March 24.  DRA still has not received any files from the speaker or his office.  The only communication we have received is confirmation from May 5 that our request had been received and would be processed.

Under the Arizona Public Records law, A.R.S. § 39-121.01(D)(1), “The custodian of such records shall promptly furnish such copies, printouts or photographs.”  Failing to furnish requested information for more than two months does not seem to fit with the definition of “prompt” disclosure.

“This is a classic example of a career politician who thinks he’s above the law.  It should come as no surprise that he is under investigation,” said James Harris of Defend Rural Arizona.  “We believe the people of Arizona have a right to know if Speaker Gowan is improperly using his office to further his political career, and we encourage Speaker Gowan to stop dragging his feet and release these records.”

A copy of the original records request can be viewed here, while a copy of the response received from the House Republican Caucus Press Secretary can be viewed here.

Christine Jones – Conservative Business Leader For Congress

When you want problems in government fixed, you send a businessperson to do the job. This has been the successful solution since the Founding Fathers set our country in motion and it’s still a successful strategy today.

Individuals from the business community know best how to balance budgets, deal with government regulations and most important, how to create jobs and prosperity.

Government does not create prosperity. Government sucks resources out of the economy, creates deadweight losses and does a horrible job of providing services that the private sector can provide much more efficiently. With the exception of certain public goods such as defense, law enforcement, justice, etc., government is a drag on the economy and a burden on the lives of free individuals.

Here in Arizona, we’ve seen an example of great leadership coming out of the private sector business community.

Governor Doug Ducey started his service in executive leadership in 2011 as Arizona State Treasurer. Prior to that, he started out as a successful entrepreneur and CEO who grew a small ice cream shop from the ground up into a nationwide franchise. Since elected as Governor, Doug Ducey has been successful reforming, consolidating and downsizing government and getting it out of the way of small businesses like Uber and Air BnB. Having a successful businessman in leadership is great for the economy, creating jobs and expanding technology.

Christine Jones for CongressNow the voters of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District have the opportunity to elect a very successful conservative businesswoman to Congress.

Christine Jones has scored success wherever she has served. As the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Go Daddy, she helped take the company from a small internet company to a giant corporation whose servers now touch one-third of all internet traffic. When she first began at GoDaddy, the company only had a few dozen employees. During her watch, she helped grow the company to over 4,000 employees – that’s over 4,000 private sector jobs contributing to the economy. And that doesn’t include the 10 million entrepreneurs and small businesses that have grown and prospered through GoDaddy’s products and services.

After leaving GoDaddy, Jones next went on to lead another Arizona success story when she accepted the position of Interim CEO of Great Hearts Academies. There, she oversaw the tremendous accomplishments of thousands of students on the road to college and successful careers.  This role also testifies to her strong understanding and commitment to education and how a quality education is inherently linked to jobs and the economy.

Christine Jones is no stranger to success. Unlike her opponents, who have spent their careers being assimilated into government and politics, Christine Jones possesses a healthy resistance to growing government and becoming another career politician.

This election year, the voters should take the opportunity to send another real Arizona success story to Congress. Christine Jones is a conservative business leader who has proven she knows how to grow small business, create thousands of jobs, control the growth of government and get government spending under control.

This August the voters have a real choice between a handful of career politicians or a successful private sector businesswoman in Christine Jones. Let’s hope they choose the latter.

Olson, Biggs, Stapley – Career Politicians Seeking Arizona’s CD-5

There’s no doubt for Republicans that 2016 will be a year that favors outsiders running for office. Career politicians are out, conservative non-politicians are in.

That certainly is the situation in several Arizona political races and especially in the East Valley.

With the exception of one candidate, Arizona’s 5th Congressional District is crowded with career politicians – though you would never know it based on the rhetoric of the candidates.  In reality, this club of career politicians has a combined total of 38 years in politics!

Let’s look at the messaging of each of these candidates.

Posted all over Justin Olson’s campaign website is the theme that Washington politicians are the problem and he is not one of them. He even claims not to be a career politician and qualifies the statement by stating he hasn’t spent 10, 12 or 14 years in office (a comparison to two of his Primary opponents). Here’s what he doesn’t tell you. Justin Olson was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010. By the end of this year, he will have been in office a total of six years. Instead of pursuing a fourth term (Arizona’s Constitution limits legislative office to four terms or eight years per chamber), Olson has decided to jump for the open congressional seat of retiring Matt Salmon. This ambitious and risky move to pursue a federal office has career politician written all over it and it’s why we label him as a career politician. One other note. Olson also takes on lobbyists on his website but fails to disclose that he received almost $27,000 in campaign contributions from PAC’s and special interest groups during his 2014 campaign.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]This ambitious and risky move to pursue a federal office has career politician written all over it[/pullquote]

Andy Biggs is also running on the anti-establishment theme. On his website, Facebook page and Twitter feed , he tries to make the case he’s a political outsider taking on ‘the establishment.’ One of his press releases even touted an endorsement by Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan who stated Biggs would “challenge the Washington establishment.” His website is littered with endorsements from Arizona politicians, Washington insiders and unions.

Andy Biggs has also been working the Arizona political system for almost 14 years. Even before he was elected to the Arizona Legislature, Biggs was part of Matt Salmon’s inner circle during Salmon’s unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2002. That same year, he also ran for political office and was elected to the Arizona House. He was term limited out of the Arizona House in 2010 but jumped over to the State Senate in 2011. He’s been there for almost six years. Total time as a career politician -14 years.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Don Stapley has embraced his inner politician and has no problem expressing public displays of that form of affection.[/pullquote]

Then there’s Don Stapley. Throughout Stapley’s messaging, he is proud of being a career politician. His campaign ad boasts about coming from a family of politicians. And of course, he dotes over his 18 years as a Maricopa County Supervisor. Stapley does rail against regulations by the federal government but unlike the other two aforementioned candidates, Don Stapley has embraced his inner politician and has no problem expressing public displays of that form of affection.

Given the current political times, it’s doubtful that Stapley’s strategy will be a path to victory for the nomination but what else will work for a man who dodged seven felony charges because the judge believed political motivations tainted the case?

Altogether, Olson, Biggs and Stapley bring a total of almost four decades of politics to the CD-5 race.

Even with all the unpredictability of the 2016 elections, there is one constant. Voters will no longer tolerate or elect career politicians – a problem that Justin Olson, Andy Biggs or Don Stapley cannot seem to hide or evade.

Chris DeRose Announces Endorsements for Phoenix City Council

Chris DeRose

Republican Leaders Endorse Chris DeRose for Phoenix City Council DiCiccio, Waring, Schweikert, Stump, Forese, Montenegro, Montgomery throw support behind DeRose’s campaign

PHOENIX (JUNE 7) – Seven Arizona elected officials today announced their support for Chris DeRose’s campaign for Phoenix City Council, District Three. DeRose is running to replace Councilman Bill Gates, who is running for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Endorsements announced today include: Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring; Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio; Congressman David Schweikert; Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump; Corporation Commissioner Tom Forese; House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro; and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

“I’ve known Chris for many years,” Councilman Jim Waring said. “As a felony prosecutor, school board member, and on the village planning committee, he’s demonstrated his commitment to making Phoenix a stronger and safer community and I look forward to serving with him on the City Council.”

“I’m honored to start my campaign with the support of so many leaders who have aggressively watched out for taxpayers and worked to ensure public safety,” Chris DeRose said. “I am committed to these principles and look forward to sharing my enthusiasm and dedication to this community on the City Council.”
City of Phoenix, District 3 includes the neighborhoods of Sunnyslope, Moon Valley, and northeast Phoenix. In 2012, it was carried by Mitt Romney by 53-44 percent and in 2014 by Governor Doug Ducey 50-43 percent.

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About Chris DeRose: Chris DeRose is a major felony prosecutor who has tried more than 40 cases on appeal and argued twice in the Arizona Supreme Court. DeRose has prosecuted homicides, crimes against children, and criminal street gangs. DeRose is also a New York Times bestselling author of three books and an American historian. A former Constitutional Law professor, DeRose was selected by his students as the 2014-2015 Professor of the Year. From 2010-2015, DeRose served as a board member of Phoenix Collegiate Academy, a 2nd-12th grade school creating “a seamless path to college” for a 90% Title I student body. Also from 2010-2015 DeRose served on the Village Planning Committee. From 2008-2009 he served on the Neighborhood Blockwatch Oversight Committee. In 2014, he was named a “Top 40 Under 40” leader in the valley by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Senator Sylvia Allen: Just Say No To Obama’s Intrusive Federal Mandates!

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

By Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.” – Ayn Rand

President Obama’s recent directive requiring schools to comply with gender neutral bathrooms and locker rooms with the threat of losing federal funding has caused schools unnecessary stress and turmoil and is another example of how out of touch progressive liberal Democrats really are.

You have got to be kidding!   Who uses which bathroom is the most important issue for the President of the United States to get involved in?  You would think that terrorism and the rising national debt would be enough to keep President Obama busy.

Obama LGBT DecreePresident Obama and his administration have once again injected the federal government into what is a state’s responsibility. With a stroke of a pen, President Obama thinks that the Justice Department can override commonsense. He does not have the authority to change hundreds of years of social civility by overriding and redefining natural biology. Again, President Obama is throwing our schools into an unnecessary conflict with the federal government and attacking our parents and families.  I’d like to remind the President of the other two branches of government and the 10th amendment, which he too often forgets.

I, along with other legislators, have been receiving emails from constituents troubled by this overreach of President Obama.  I signed on to a letter authored by Representative Robert Thorpe which was sent to Governor Doug Ducey, Superintendent of Schools Diane Douglas and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, stating our concern and asking them to make a constitutional finding concerning this and to help our state stand against this abuse of federal power.

Quoting from that letter Dated May 20, 2016:

“Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution makes it perfectly clear that Congress has the sole Federal legislative authority. Due to our nation’s long established separation of powers, legislative authority cannot be exercised by the Executive, including the President, the Attorney General or any other member of the Executive branch. There are no Federal laws stating that schools must provide these accommodations for transgender students, and there have been no court rulings upholding the Obama administration’s current “opinion” concerning this matter.”

“Please understand that this is not a moral issue, it is a legal state’s rights issue, and as a sovereign state, Arizona is protected by the 10th Amendment and thus is under no legal obligation to provide these accommodations merely based upon the suggestion, or coercion, of the Obama administration.”

“Under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, for example, for a law to be enacted requiring public schools within the states to provide these accommodations for transgender students, both Houses of Congress must first pass a constitutional law that is in pursuance of the

U.S. Constitution and does not exceed the limited enumerated powers of Congress, the President must sign it, and it must withstand legal challenges and judicial review.”

The answer is for the states to stand up and say NO!   Sorry, but you cannot tell us to make this change.  Our children have a right to their privacy, their safety and their normal modest sensibilities. I applaud recent actions of Superintendent Douglas and Attorney General Brnovich to join the lawsuit to fight back against the unconstitutional mandates from an ever growing and intrusive federal government!

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Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen represents Arizona’s 6th Legislative District and serves as President Pro Tempore in the Arizona Senate.

Commissioner Bob Stump – Super Hero Fighting For Truth, Justice & Ratepayers

Gotta love Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump!

He’s been through hell and back battling against the leftist faux watchdog group, Checks & Balances. The left-wing villains in this group have launched attack after attack against Stump only to be rejected over and over again by a Superior Court Judge.

The same group has attacked the Arizona Attorney General, a former Solicitor General and every other elected, appointed or law enforcement official who has investigated the false allegations imagined against Bob Stump.

He’s even taken hits by a so-called fellow Republican who may have been infected by the Checks & Balances virus.

But still Commissioner Stump holds his ground for truth, justice and the ratepayer way.

You may laugh at my exaggerated description of what’s been taking place over the last year with the Arizona Corporation Commission but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

The fact is, a battle has been taking place for sometime over who sits on the Arizona Corporation Commission. There are only five seats on the commission which means the left has to capture three in order to seize power and push its green energy agenda.

The Checks & Balances Project has been a key player in this battle putting its weight into frivolous legal challenges and conjuring negative media attention against the Republicans on the Commission. They may have assimilated one already.

This group is part of a vast left-wing network of subsidy-thirsty corporatists disguised as green energy advocates. They’re largely funded by left-wing philanthropists and dark money donors like billionaire Tom Steyer. Their mission is to fundamentally transform US energy policy and that means getting their puppets into key power positions like the Arizona Corporation Commission. Sound familiar?

You can bet candidates like Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell are just who they want to fill two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission. Both Chabin and Mundell have cloned Big Solar and green corporatists messaging in their campaign themes.

We’re not buying it and neither is Bob Stump. That’s why he’s a super hero to us.

Every time we flip a switch, turn on a light or adjust the thermostat, we’re reminded that common sense commissioners like Bob Stump are holding back the enemies of cheap and efficient energy policy from waging war on ratepayers.

Get that commissioner a cape!

SuperMan Bob Stump

 

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.