Sylvia Allen Admits to Signing Petitions She Didn’t Circulate

By the Ghost of William K.

Recently obtained video from a Superior Court hearing shows State Senator Sylvia Allen admitting to signing the circulator side of petitions that she did not personally circulate.

According to Arizona law, the backside of every petition must be signed by the person circulating the petition. In election challenges, judges have been known to remove candidates from qualifying for the ballot for failing to properly circulate petitions, including falsifying a circulator signature.

AZ Citizens Defense League PAC Still Lives!

Sylvia Allen and Dwight Kadar in LD6 have started a rumor that my PAC is no longer up and running. Let me make this clear. The PAC is incorporated in my name, the PAC name is registered with the Corporation Commission by me, the PAC is registered with the Secretary of State by me and the bank accounts are in my name.

They have started the rumor and attempted to weaponize the AZCDL and The AZCDL PAC against Allen’s opponent Col. Wendy Rogers claiming that she used a fake Endorsement. They lied. I chose to endorse Col. Rogers for two main reasons. In 2018, Senator Allen voted for Arizona’s first STOP order/Red Flag law. In 2020, I asked Senator Allen for a “No Red Flag Law Pledge.” Both Dave Kopp of the AZCDL and I have been attacked because I asked for that pledge. 

This shows Allen’s TRUE colors and that of her cabal. Add to this the fact that Dwight Kadar filed a charge against Col. Rogers with the Sec of State’s office Accusing Col. Rogers of not living in the district. On May 29th the Sec of State rejected the baseless accusation saying their office “dismisses the Complaint with prejudice.”

If you have any questions contact Campaign Finance and Lobbying Manager, Gina Swoboda, at gswoboda@azsos.gov or (602) 364.3219 and ask for your own copy of the dismissal.

So every ad and every public statement or post after that date was known by Dwight Kadar as a lie. Yet the Allen campaign and the individuals mentioned have kept repeating the false and negative attacks. Add to that Allen’s sponsorship of the National Popular Vote bill in 2016 and racial issues makes clear it is time for a change in LD6.

Drake Mitchell
AZCDL PAC

Recall Reality

To those who want to recall Governor Doug Ducey, here’s what you’re up against:

You will need to collect a minimum of 594,111 valid signatures in 120 days.

That’s 4,951 signatures per day. 594,11 signatures. 4,951/day. (ARS 19-201.A.).

That is A LOT of signatures which will require A LOT of people to be in the field collecting signatures.

There will be A LOT of people who want to get paid for this work which means it will require A LOT of money.

To make matters even more daunting, by the time a recall would get to the ballot, it will be 2021. That’s right, any recall effort against Governor Ducey wouldn’t take place until next year.

By 2021, this pandemic will either be over and business will be back to normal OR, we will all be sick and dying and no one will see the point of conducting a recall.

My advice:

  1. Don’t waste your time and money
  2. Be patient and adapt
  3. Start using your critical thinking skills again.

Ducey Wants to Flatten the Curve, Not Shutdown the Great Outdoors

By Calamity June

On Monday, March 30th, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order suggesting Arizonans “stay home, stay healthy and stay connected.”  Governor Ducey went on to state Arizonans should “limit their time away from home and if they do go out, to ensure social distancing.”  Finally, Arizonans are “staying home because it’s the right thing to do.”  Governor Ducey remarked, “when you use words like shelter in place, that’s what happens during a nuclear attack.”

This means our state’s hiking trails and parks can remain open for people to enjoy and get some exercise as long as we all practice physical distancing.  

During his news conference, Ducey listed off “essential services,” and stressed how the grocery store’s shelves would remain stocked and drug stores would remain open.  Restaurants would still be open for takeout and delivery.  Furthermore, he encouraged people to only purchase a week’s worth of groceries. As President Donald Trump and others have noted, the supply chain is operable and there is no reason to hoard anything.  Don’t be greedy. 

This means our state’s hiking trails and parks can remain open for people to enjoy and get some exercise as long as we all practice physical distancing.  

US Senator Kyrsten Sinema had a phone call earlier in the day on Monday 30th with a lot of the liberal mayors in Arizona pushing them to defy Governor Ducey and issue their own “shelter in place” order. After the mayors’ call, the mayor of Phoenix issued her own directive to close all of Phoenix’s hiking trails.  

Fortunately, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio embodies the duty to present the calm during COVID-19.  God Bless Councilman DiCiccio for pushing back against Mayor Gallego every time she has pushed to shut down anything in Phoenix.  

Listen to Councilman DiCiccio on Seth Leibsohn’s March 31st radio show.  As you will hear, Councilman DiCiccio remarked how the city isn’t sanitizing the light rail or the buses. Why aren’t they closing public transportation? Why does the mayor want to close our parks and hiking trails?  It doesn’t add up.

On April 1st, City Hall is scheduled to vote on closing the city’s parks, including its hiking trails.  Also, according to the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation’s website, the mayor has decided unilaterally to temporarily close the city’s playgrounds, fitness equipment, basketball and volleyball courts, and sports complexes in its public parks effective Tuesday, March 31st at 5pm until further notice.

Being on a hiking trail in the Phoenix sun is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.  Practice safe social distancing. Being outdoors is good for one’s health and wellness. It even states as much on Phoenix’s Parks and Recreation Department’s website. Be sure to call City Hall and let them know you want to keep our parks and hiking trails open during COVID-19.

Goldwater Institute: The Arizona Department of Education’s Latest Epic Fail

Matt Beienburg, Director of Education, Goldwater Institute

Last week brought news that the Arizona Department of Education had inadvertently released the personal information of the nearly 7,000 families who make use of Empowerment Savings Accounts (ESA). And it’s not the first time the Department has mishandled the ESA program, a program that helps so many children—many of them with special needs—get the customized education they need to succeed.

On Monday, it was revealed that the Department released a spreadsheet that included the account balances of every ESA account in the state, along with the names, email addresses, and other personal information of the nearly 7,000 parents with ESA accounts. Not only was the spreadsheet containing the sensitive information sent to the Yellow Sheet Report, but it was also shared with Save Our Schools, a group that has been an outspoken opponent of ESAs.

Unfortunately, this latest epic fail on the part of the state Department of Education is part of a pattern of poor management of the ESA program. Earlier in January, the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Education’s long delays in supplying needed funds to which ESA families are entitled—delays long enough to force parents to pay out of pocket for tutoring and teaching tools that their ESA should cover without the possibility of reimbursement. While requiring families to follow its ESA rules to the letter, the Department of Education’s handling of the ESA program has still resulted in unpredictable and arbitrary outcomes for families—for instance, some families have been rejected for certain ESA expenses while others have been approved for the very same expenses.

“Mistakes do happen, but I don’t think that’s good enough as an excuse. That doesn’t undo the damage, the harm to these families,” Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg said of the privacy breach on KJZZ’s “The Show.” “These are families with deeply personal life circumstances, these are kids with special needs diagnoses, and this information is now essentially made available to be dragged out into the public.

“For the Department to have treated these families this way saying ‘we have zero tolerance for any misstep’ and to then make a massive blunder like this is really revealing.”

Listen to the interview here: https://theshow.kjzz.org/sites/default/files/ade-data-breach-show-sg-mb-20200129.mp3?uuid=5e3b8ffd9e654

Matt Beienburg is Director of Education at the Goldwater Institute. You can read his bio here.

Rep. Petersen Introduces Bill to Stop Rollovers of K-12 Funding

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-12) issued a statement today regarding legislation he has introduced for the 2020 session that would amend the state constitution to prohibit K-12 rollovers, ensuring that education funding is delivered to our schools on time, and in full. A rollover represents a deferral of the payment from the year in which the obligation was incurred to the next fiscal year.

Rep Warren Petersen
Rep. Warren Petersen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“In the mid-2000s, Arizona implemented budget gimmicks like K-12 rollovers to counter poor fiscal decisions and a faltering economy,” said Representative Petersen.  “Fortunately, under conservative leadership, Arizona has righted its fiscal ship and the economy is strong.  But we need to be prepared for a future downturn.  Arizona has taken some excellent decisions like paying off debt and amassing a billion-dollar rainy day fund.  Now it’s time to eliminate the K-12 rollover and prevent future utilization.  A statutory change would be too easy to go around.  That’s why I have introduced a constitutional amendment to prohibit the deferment of K-12 payments from one budget year to the next.”

OHPI: Trump Impeachment – A Closer Look

Impeachment is a hot-button issue with high engagement among Arizonans

PHOENIX (Nov. 14, 2019) – Arizona’s registered Hispanic voters want to see Trump Impeached but the president’s main base, white male voters, are sticking with him a new poll shows.

A majority of Arizona’s Hispanic voters would like to see the president impeached and removed with 57% in favor, 37% against. Among non-Hispanic voters, only 39% favor impeachment and removal and 49% are against impeachment.

“Hispanics make up nearly one-third of Arizona’s total population and they are becoming more engaged at the ballot box,” said Mike Noble, Chief of Research and Managing Partner of Phoenix-based research company OH Predictive Insights. 

When it comes to gender, the divides are less clear. A slim majority of male registered voters in Arizona believe that Trump should not be impeached — 51%. While women are evenly split with 44% of female voters thinking that Trump should be impeached and removed and 44% thinking he shouldn’t be.

There are also differences among Arizona’s electorate on the impeachment question by age. By a 5-point margin, voters aged 54 and under believe that Trump should be impeached and removed. On the other hand, by a 17-point margin, more voters 55 and older think that the president should not be impeached and removed from office than think he should be.

Another constituency key with which Donald Trump will need to do well to win reelection in 2020 are voters who live in Maricopa County. Nearly 6 out of every 10 votes that are cast on election day comes from this county and in 2016 it voted for President Trump over Hillary Clinton by roughly 7 points. According to this poll, 46% of registered voters in Maricopa County would like to see Trump impeached and removed from office while only 42% would like him to stay in office.

Among regions in Arizona, Maricopa County has the highest level of support for impeachment. In Pima County, 51% of voters do not want President Trump to be impeached and removed compared to 41% who do. The president is viewed more favorably in the rest of Arizona, voters are against his impeachment by a 2-to-1 margin.

On another note, many Arizonans are engaged in the impeachment issue. For example, 43% of respondents have discussed the issue with someone else, 39% have watched more news on TV, and 30% have researched the issue online.

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MethodologyThis survey was conducted via an online opt-in panel. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights between October 31, 2019, and November 8, 2019 with respondents self-qualifying as registered to vote in Arizona. The sample is weighted to accurately reflect Arizona voter registration by region, party affiliation, gender, and age. The sample size was 900 completed surveys, with an MoE of ± 3.27%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding.

Stephanie Grisham, the silent spokeswoman

Having been with the administration from the beginning and a significant portion of the campaign, one would expect that Arizonan Stephanie Grisham would have understood what she was getting her self into with Donald Trump and Company. But since relieving Sarah Huckabee Sanders of the post, the new White House Spokeswoman has been unusually quiet.

In a recent Politico article, Grisham is said to be mulling over changes to the White House communications team and, catching up on the huge array of policy positions and affixing her nameplate to her office door.

Why Grisham has chosen a strategic silence is political journalistic speculation. Since her arrival, the President has escalated his unconventional hands-on messaging to a new and offensive level. Grisham is wise enough to know its not in her best interest to try and control the messaging of someone who thrives on having their ego front and center.

Rep Bob Thorpe Deserves Better

The Republican Primary in Arizona’s LD-6 Senate race has taken some unconventional twists and turns. Turns, because State Senator Sylvia Allen, drawn to spend more time with her children and family in Snowflake, decided not to seek re-election earlier this year but then suddenly changed her mind, some say not by choice and under a lot of pressure by operatives. Twists, because GOP “leaders” and self-appointed kingmakers in the district are rumored to have issued primary support and endorsements to keep Allen in the race.

In the House, Representative Bob Thorpe is term-limited and planning to seek the Senate nomination and seat in 2020. The primary was already set between Thorpe and Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers until Allen did an about-face.

State Representative Bob Thorpe

According to reliable sources, Republican donors and activists met in Payson on June 15th behind closed doors where they decided to intervene in the primary against all Republican standards and practices. During the meeting led by Sedona Republicans Dwight and Andrea Kadar, Thorpe was asked to leave the room while Allen remained. Under tremendous pressure, Allen was told to get back in the race as she fought back tears.

What emerged was an endorsement of Sylvia Allen; a dictate not to support Thorpe through money and manpower; and likely, State Senate and House leadership support to help Allen win the primary (probably through a rare employed primary PAC committee). Thorpe’s political consultant even bailed on him and is probably expected to run (and benefit) from the leadership PAC against Thorpe.

Apparently, party leaders are trying to clear the field for Sylvia Allen in order to make it easier for her to keep the seat.

State Senator Sylvia Allen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

What is ironic in all this is Sylvia Allen (who this blog is actually a fan of) and her promoters should remember how party leadership treated her back in 2010 when a handful of Eastern Arizona “kingmakers” tried to run her out of the Republican Primary in LD-5. At the time, Allen who had replaced the late Jake Flake and won the seat in 2008, was challenged by Bill Konopnicki. Party leadership wanted Allen out and Konopnicki in but the voters saw things differently. After her two-year term, Allen returned to local government as a county supervisor while rancher Chester Crandell ran and won the seat in 2012.

In August, 2014, State Senator Chester Crandell died suddenly in a horseback riding incident. Allen was chosen to replace Crandell on the ballot where she was once again elected to the Arizona State Senate.

But this post is not about Sylvia. It’s about Bob Thorpe and how he has every right to run for the seat without party leadership’s heavy-handedness. And while this blog has been critical of Thorpe’s legislation, the self-appointed LD-6 political kingmakers should back off, stop pressuring Sylvia to stick around and to let the race play out. Bob Thorpe deserves better and a shot at the nomination. We hope he stays in the race.

Vote NO Against Bob Thorpe’s Amendment to HB2269

Rep Bob Thorpe
Rep Bob Thorpe

Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe has snuck in a bill that would limit who could serve in the Arizona Legislature. The Flagstaff Republican used a strike everything maneuver to scrap a bill that would have provided funding for DPS officers who live in remote areas.

Now the strike everything amendment, HB2269, will impose serious limitations on who can serve in the Arizona Legislature based on “physical domicile residency.”

Thorpe’s “striker” bill states that anyone seeking to serve in the Arizona Legislature must physically be domiciled in the jurisdiction for 75% of the year preceding the filing date to seek the office. In other words, 274 days before a candidate files for the legislature, he/she must be physically living in their address within the district.

This is bad public policy and anyone who holds a decent understanding of constitutional law knows physical domicile requirements are absurd and won’t hold up in court.

Imagine a teacher from Prescott who returns home to Legislative District 1 from an overseas mission trip where she taught English for a year and was able to vote as an overseas registered Prescott voter. Although she has been registered to vote for three plus years and meets the residency requirements to serve, Thorpe’s law would automatically disqualified her to serve in the Legislature.

This bad public policy would disqualify many good and qualified individuals. Here is a brief list of who could be affected:

  • Missionaries
  • Members of the military
  • International NGO Aid workers
  • Airline workers
  • Maritime workers
  • Long haul truckers
  • Border Patrol employees
  • Overseas contractors
  • Wildland Firefighters
  • Exchange students
  • Business travelers
  • Individuals who take extended vacations

The list goes on…

Several years ago, my friend Jonathan Paton ran for the legislature in southern Arizona’s LD-30. Jonathan had also volunteered for the Army Reserves in 1999. In 2006, Uncle Sam finally came calling activating 2nd Lt. Paton for duty to Iraq. He left in August for six months but still won re-election and returned to the Legislature in February, 2007. Leading up to his activation, Jonathan had to prepare and train and that took him outside of his district. The same is the case for many military reservists who balance serving in the military against serving in the legislature.

Last week, Thorpe’s amendment to HB2269 received a do pass recommendation from the Senate Appropriations Committee with a 6-3 vote. Unfortunately, the bill advanced and is scheduled for further action and more votes in the House and Senate.

There is still time to contact your state senator and representatives and tell them to vote against Thorpe’s amendment to HB2269. The legislation is bad policy and it disenfranchises and disqualifies highly qualified people from seeking a seat in the Arizona Legislature.

Call your legislators today and tell them vote NO on Thorpe’s striker amendment to HB2269.