Speaker Mesnard Applauds Court Decision Allowing Initiative Compliance Law to Take Effect

Arizona Seal

JD Mesnard

JD Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today applauded a decision by the Arizona Superior Court allowing legislation (HB 2244) passed by the Legislature earlier this year to take effect tomorrow.  HB 2244 creates uniformity, provides greater clarity, and ensures integrity in the signature-gathering process for initiatives and referenda by compelling strict compliance with requirements set forth in statute and the Constitution.

“Because the Legislature doesn’t have the ability to address unintended consequences created by initiatives, it’s important that initiative campaigns strictly comply with the law,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “I’m pleased with the Court’s decision and look forward to the implementation of the law.”

The new law goes into effect tomorrow, August 9.

Fightin’ Words!

Gary Kiehne

Gary Kiehne

Even without a calendar, you’d know it’s election time by the sudden reappearance of Senator Jeff Flake within the state’s borders and on television.

His handlers have clearly decided the way to sell Flake to Arizona as a conservative is to rebrand him as Senator Barry Goldwater, even brazenly stealing the title of Goldwater’s iconic book, The Conscience of a Conservative.

But Flake is no Goldwater.

When Flake refers to Arizonans as “nativists” and “protectionists” because we believe in sane immigration and trade policies, he is using “fightin’ words”!

What is wrong with calling illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants?  What is wrong with basing our immigration policies on what is best for America, rather than what is best for the Third World’s impoverished masses that want to come here?  (Some seeking paradise and a brighter future, others a government handout, and sadly some who would do us harm.)

What is wrong with advocating America-first trade policies, rather than tolerating one-sided trade deals that suck money out of our economy and yank jobs from our shores?  Is it really “protectionist” to show spine when advocating for the people whose interests you are elected to represent?

The late Senator Barry Goldwater was not a “globalist.”  He was an America-first patriot.

In his new book, Flake says, “if we’re going to be a governing party in the future, and a majority party” we need to change our approach (to his own brand of Republicanism.)  I might point out to the Senator that we already are the majority party now!  As an unofficial member of the Senate’s “Surrender Caucus,” he has become so accustomed to surrendering before a battle is fought that he should probably be forgiven for not recognizing we hold the majority, and acting accordingly.  And when he does pick a battle it is within his own party, namely with President Trump.  As a member of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” he honestly believed that if we gave the Democrats everything they wanted up-front in the reviled immigration bill, the Democrats would honor their word to give Republicans everything we wanted later.  Much later.  Really, Jeff?  If you really believed that, I have some Ocean Front Property I’m dying to sell you.   Senator, show me when that has happened in the last 70 years?

Barry Goldwater was a courageous fighter, statesman, and patriot who was not afraid to stand alone and sound a warning bell about the dangers of encroaching socialism.

Unlike Jeff Flake, Barry Goldwater didn’t promote compromising our foundational American principles.  Jeff Flake seems to think “we are at our best” when we compromise “across the aisle” to surrender our principles gradually, giving America away in bite-sized pieces.  When Flake suggests it is possible to find healthy “common ground” with Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi, he may as well suggest healthy cells grow through “compromise” with cancer cells.  Government-dictated socialism cannot co-exist with free-society capitalism any more than cancer cells can co-exist with healthy cells.

Today’s national Democratic Party is no longer the party of John Kennedy.  It’s the party of extremists like Bernie Sanders, and others even more radical than he.  Today’s Democrats promote a virulent strain of socialist cancer…and what is at stake today is nothing less than America’s survival as a prosperous, free Republic based on individual liberties enshrined in our constitution…or, it’s continued descent into becoming a failed, bankrupt, socialist regime like Venezuela or Cuba.

Fortunately, we still have a way of self-correcting our course in America.  It’s called an election.

A recent survey found that Senator Flake was ranked the third most unpopular man in the U.S. Senate behind only Senator Mitch “Surrender” McConnell, and our other Arizona Senator, John McCain.  It’s undoubtedly for good reason.

Hopefully, Arizonans will remember the actions of Senator Flake in the five years he has been absent from Arizona, rather than buy the re-branded, newly-packaged “Goldwater Conservative” his handlers are selling us now.

Goldwater’s undoubtedly rolling over in his grave.

By Gary Kiehne, a former Arizona candidate for U.S. Congress, business owner, rancher, Trump supporter and unabashed Barry Goldwater supporter.

Jeff Flake Releases New Ad

Senator Jeff Flake released a political ad on Thursday touting his longstanding consistent conservative credentials.

In the ad, he references Vice President Mike Pence who arrived in Congress at the same time as Flake.

Both freshmen congressmen were ready to take on the establishment but also willing to speak out against their own party’s addition to bigger government and more spending.

The ad is a clip from an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer in which Flake calls out those in the Republican Party who have lost their way and continue the trajectory of more government.

President Trump Challenges Millennial’s for Twitter Crown

OH Predictive

Almost Two Thirds of Arizona Voters Believe Trump Tweets Too Much

Phoenix, AZ (August 4, 2017) –  As social media use continues to grow, OH Predictive Insights wanted to learn more on how Arizona voters viewed President Trump’s tweeting frequency and to gather tangible data on the overall perception behind his use of Twitter.  It is safe to say that by now in the era of Trump you are aware of his preferred social media platform Twitter.

Over 700 active registered, Arizona Democratic, Republican, Independent and non-declared voters participated in this survey, which were based on current active voter registration numbers. The results are as followed:

The question was stated, “of these 4 types of people, who would you say tweets the most in your opinion?”

“It should raise some red flags when the President is running second behind millennials when it comes to their tweeting frequency,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.

OH Predictive Insights also tested Trump’s tweeting frequency. The question was stated, “how would you rate President Trump when it comes to the frequency of his tweeting?”

“If 2 out of every 3 people you meet say you should tone it down – you may want to use Twitter more strategically,” said Noble. “Especially, when 42% of your own political party believes you that are overdoing it.”

“Arizona voters are even split down partisan lines on President Trumps tweets. Democrats and Independents clearly want the President to rest his fingers while only a plurality of Republicans say ‘enough with the tweets’,” said Wes Gullett, partner at OH Predictive Insights and GOP Strategist.

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on July 26th, 2017, from an active Arizona registered voter sample. The sample size was 700 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 3.7%

About OH Predictive Insights

Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers.

“Never Trump” Republican Activist leads efforts to Recall Jonathan Lines

By Rangel Solamente

A small band of malcontents has elected to join forces in a quixotic effort to remove Chairman Jonathan Lines. With Frosty Taylor and her “Fake News” briefs serving as a facilitator and mouthpiece, this small group is attempting to overturn the results of a  duly called and recognized election.

So…who are these divisive forces  that are attempting to throw the Arizona GOP into chaos? And while taking a look at this motley crew, consider this…what is their real objective?

The “Never Trumper”: One of the most vocal members of this rogue band is Lori Hack. Lori’s efforts to sow discontent and division are nothing new, as she made national news last year in her refusal to support Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. http://www.azcentral.com/ story/news/politics/elections/ 2016/07/18/arizona-anti-trump- delegate-lori-hack-denied- republican-national- convention-credentials/ 87243792/

In announcing her intention to oppose our nominee, she was in violation of state statute and party bylaws. Her refusal to back our nominee resulted in her removal from the delegate roster; and added to the media’s false narrative that Republicans were not united behind our nominee. Interestingly, the man who Hack is attempting to remove from office, Jonathan Lines, was an enthusiastic Trump supporter who led the nominee’s efforts in Yuma County, ultimately turning Yuma red for President Trump. Also ironic, is that Chairman Lines has received accolades from President Trump for his focus and efficiency in supporting the Trump Agenda.

The Sore Loser: Jim O’Connor was Jonathan Lines’ primary opponent at the January statutory meeting. O’Connor’s candidacy was already shrouded in controversy, as he rigged the election of State Committeemen in LD 23 to ensure a near-unanimous slate to back him. Despite these shenanigans, O’Connor lost by 36 votes, or just over 3% of the electorate. Given the historically close races for Arizona State Chairman, that is actually a fairly wide margin. Instead of graciously accepting the outcome and pledging to work with the new chairman, O’Connor and his henchmen made false accusations of fraud and suggested that votes were not counted properly. However, when offered the chance to review the election documents, they declined. Six months later, still unable to accept the fact that he lost, O’Connor is a leading proponent for a recall. No one likes a sore loser, Jim.

The Puppeteer: It’s been widely reported that the main “mastermind” behind the entire recall effort is none other than Lynne Breyer. Lynne’s troubled past was first brought to light when she ran, unsuccessfully, for AZ GOP Secretary in 2014. Research done by AZGOPCandidates.blogspot.com shows that, as an LD 23 Executive Committee member, Lynne directed thousands of dollars to various PACs, without board approval. One of those PACs, Better Leaders for Arizona, spent over a million dollars attacking Governor Ducey…and Lynne could give no answers as to why she funneled any money there at all, let alone thousands of dollars which had been donated by hard working LD 23 PCs. Lynne has absolutely no business judging the actions of Republican leadership…not when she’s so badly mismanaged her own Legislative District coffers.

The Puppet: Not many Republicans in Tucson have ever heard of John Backer. Since 2010, Backer has voted in just ONE Republican primary, has only recently become a PC, and has never served on the state committee. Oh, and the one time he did bother to vote in a primary? It’s because his name was actually on the ballot (he finished dead last in a race for Pima County Supervisor). Most people believe that Backer is really doing the bidding of others or looking for a way to inject himself into a possible paid office in the next election. Who, we wonder, could be pulling the strings??

The Dishonest Secretary: Gabby Saucedo Mercer has long had trouble telling the truth. As a twice-failed candidate for Congress, she lied to her campaign staff and refused to pay the money she owed them. As a candidate for AZ GOP Secretary, she lied from the pulpit of the church about Jonathan Lines and participated in vicious religious bigotry against the Mormon faith (after being called out for her dishonesty, particularly while giving a speech in a house of worship, Mercer shrugged: “I’m not a preacher,” she said.) And now, Mercer is lying about Chairman Lines, suggesting that he is somehow preventing her from doing her job. To review, the Secretary is responsible for obtaining the permanent party records from his or her predecessor. The bylaws are clear; this is NOT the responsibility of the Chairman. Another important point, is the definition of “permanent records”, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, this means the minutes, which is the “record” of all actions. Despite this, Chairman Lines has attempted on multiple occasions to facilitate the transfer of records from the past Secretary to Gabby. As of yet, this has not occurred.

The Fake News Maven: It’s been well documented how Frosty Taylor, and her “fake news” Briefs, have for years relied on character assassination, dishonesty, and downright lies in order to bully anyone who isn’t a part of her small and shrinking faction. Unsurprisingly, Frosty used her Briefs to promote the candidacies of Jim O’Connor and Tristan Manos…both of whom lost in their bids for chairman. Lately, Taylor’s fake Republican newsletter has attacked, demeaned, and bullied Republican leadership and activists. This recall effort is par for the course for Frosty…her constant efforts to destabilize the GOP plays right into the Democrats’ hands. How proud she must be. Her latest “mistake” was publishing a letter supporting the recall attributed to Russell Pearce, less than 24 hours later she slid a correction in to say it was an error on her part and was actually from the relatively unknown Chairman of La Paz County. A “mistake” or planned strategy to start a false narrative of support for the recall?

The Failed Chairman: Russell Sais is the chairman of the La Paz County GOP. As such, he is responsible for recruiting PCs and building the party. At last count, La Paz County has…wait for it…exactly 3 precinct committeemen, with dozens of vacancies. Perhaps Chairman Sais’s time would be better spent bringing new people into the party and growing his ranks of PCs, rather than sending out bile-filled rants from his computer and attempting to tear down the duly elected leadership of the AZ GOP. A check of the Secretary of State site shows they have never filed the statutorily required committee and are operating illegally. Maybe Mr. Sais and his board should get their own house in order?

The pitch man: Tim Horn clearly loves the sound of his own voice. In December and January, he was the “front man” in trying to explain the illegal activities surrounding LD 23’s state committeemen elections. In a series of youtube videos, Horn attempted to defend the indefensible…illegal calls, random exclusions, failure to adhere to bylaws…all, as it turned out, to elect a state committee slate that would support Jim O’Connor. Following O’Connor’s defeat, Horn showed up at the AZ GOP and inplied that some wrong doing had occurred; this was wrong and an insult to the dozens of volunteers who ensured a fair and transparent voting process. And finally, now that it’s been revealed that LD 23 remains buried in debt from their legal case with the state party, is there any indication that their executive committee approved this expenditure>? What did Tim Horn know, and when did he know it?

The Two-Time Loser: Few people had a rougher January than Wes Harris. The LD 20 PC and State Committeeman put his name forward for Maricopa County Treasurer AND AZ GOP Treasurer…and lost both times! Perhaps most humiliating, Harris was the only candidate on the ballot for Maricopa County Treasurer…and was defeated, soundly, by a write in! That’s right…Harris is so unpopular, he can’t even win when there’s no one else on the ballot! Lately, Harris has taken to Facebook to lie about Jonathan Lines’ tenure as Yuma County Chairman, going so far as to accuse Lines of doing things that occurred before he was even elected. Nice try, Mr. Harris. Harris is no stranger to controversy, having been removed from the Diane Douglas campaign when his felony record for assault with a firearm was revealed in the press.

The Author/Publisher: Then we have the self-proclaimed author of the “call” that would actually force the election, Marianne Ferrari.  No one has seen this document, but this group says it does exist. Marianne is in fact a publisher whose travel guide books can be purchased on Amazon. Originally from New York, she’s a bit of a mystery in that she shows up for meetings, runs for state committeemen but seems to always be working for the destruction of candidates and the party and is known for her regular use of profanity.  Is she really a conservative or an angry woman bent on some sort of mission?

So there you have it. This merry band of Never Trumpers, sore losers, liars and puppets are using Fake News in working to undo a fairly contested election result. We can’t help but wonder how many Republican State Committeeman will publicly stand with this motley crew by signing a recall petition. We’ll certainly be watching.

Sonoran Alliance will gladly publish a response by any of the aforementioned individuals mentioned.

Robert Graham Seriously Entertaining US Senate Run

Former State Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party continues to fuel speculation that he will run for the US Senate in 2018.

In an interview with Scott Simon of NPR’s Weekend Edition, Graham told listeners, “it’s definitely not in the immediate plans…”

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

Graham then went on to criticize Senator Jeff Flake over his “stiff opposition” during the presidential campaign and now Flake being “openly against a lot of his [Donald Trump] agenda items.”

Robert Graham did stop short of acknowledging he will challenge Jeff Flake in the 2018 Republican Primary.

What gives this interview and potential Graham candidacy credibility is that it took place on a national radio show.

Timing is everything of course.

The recent announcement by Senator John McCain that he has a serious and aggressive form of brain cancer has already begun to create tremors across Arizona’s political landscape in anticipation of major seismic activity. An early retirement by Senator John McCain could lead to the appointment of his Republican replacement by Governor Doug Ducey. And that appointment could go off with a major shift in Arizona’s political tectonic plates.

Jeff Flake

Or not.

Governor Ducey could resign and cut a deal with his replacement Michele Reagan to have her appoint him to the position – an unlikely move.

Ducey could also appoint a sitting Republican congressman like David Schweikert (in a safe Republican district) or Martha McSally who may be defeated in 2018 (given the liberal demographics and volatility of CD-2). Either type of an appointment would result in a torrent of state senators, representatives or city officials released to fill that vacancy.

Perhaps the least tumultuous move could be the appointment of someone like Robert Graham.

Graham, who would have to run for the seat in 2018 alongside the other senate primary, would have the advantage of incumbency, an arsenal of Republican donors at his disposal and perhaps most importantly, the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

John McCain

John McCain (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

A Graham appointment also avoids a nasty Republican primary between Graham and Flake who have been political allies. Graham understands the formidability of the Flake machine and avoids that altogether in a parallel campaign.

That takes us back to the interview on NPR. Graham was very careful not to time stamp his answers. No one knows what Senator John McCain will do. Medical treatment takes time and the outcomes may give the senior senator more time to serve.

One thing is certain; Arizona political insiders are in uncharted waters in this political scenario because it has never happened with a US Senate seat here in Arizona.

Finally and most importantly, I want to offer my prayers to Senator John McCain and his family as he takes on another very tough battle. I wish him strength, courage and peace in the months and years ahead.

Non sibi sed patriae, Senator McCain.

Senator Sylvia Allen Update on Immigration

Sylvia Allen

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”
– Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Another 4th of July celebration has just past, and I am reflecting upon the 241 years of American history and how we got to where we are today:  the good and the bad.  I still strongly believe that the American principles are superior to any other form of governing.  However, my thoughts today are centered upon immigration.

Thomas and Jane Tenney were the first of my father’s line to come to America.  In 1638, a small group of Puritans from the village of Rowley, England, left their homeland to come to this raw, new country looking for religious freedom, to govern themselves, and realize self-determination and freedom.

In the 1860’s my mother’s grandparents came from Sweden also looking for religious freedom.

In 1980 my mother, Wanda Peterson Tenney, my sister, Linda Turley Hansen, and myself sponsored a Hmong family from Laos who were refugees from the Vietnam War.   The family consisted of a mom, dad, three little girls, and a grandmother.  They were so frightened when we met them at the airport.  My mother brought them into her home until we could arrange for their own apartment and find work for Shoo Long Vue, the father.

The tiny grandmother (about 4 ft 9 inches tall) would sit on a little stool and listen to Hmong songs on a small tape recorder and cry.  There was a language barrier, but somehow we could communicate.  I found out that she was crying for her husband and other sons who had been killed in the war, and she was crying for her homeland that she would never see again.

Two cute stories:  Soon after their arrival, I took the Dad and the three girls to get groceries.  I will never forget the wonderment on their faces as they looked at all the food.  As we went down the aisle the father would pick up things and look at them.  The little girls were talking a mile a minute. I could tell they didn’t recognize anything that was familiar to them in their eating habaits.   We had gone down three aisles, and he still had not put anything in his cart.  Then, we went around a corner on the soda isle and all four of them excitedly yelled, “COCA-COLA!”  They put two cases in their cart.

Apparently, the Grandmother was in charge of their laundry.  My mother walked into the bathroom in her home and there the grandmother was standing naked in the bathtub stomping on their clothes and singing.  My mother realized she needed to teach them about washing machines.  I happened to come in just as my mother had taken the grandmother into the laundry room for her first lesson.  As we went through the process, the grandmother got so excited she hopped up and down just chattering away.  She kept trying to lift the lid to watch the clothes going through the cycle, but the machine would stop.  So, she got really close and slowly lifted the lid just enough so it wouldn’t stop and so she could peek at the clothes being washed.

Helping this family was a joy to me.  The family eventually moved to California where some of their extended family was located.  For quite a few years, I wrote to the oldest daughter, Pie, who did very well in school and loved her new land.   This experience helped me to realize just how blessed we are.

Illegal Immigration has, in many ways, hardened the hearts of fellow Americans against the whole immigration issue.   We are so pressured with social issues and the vast amount of tax dollars for education, healthcare, and all the other welfare programs that are suffocating our system and has caused us to lose the feeling of mercy for those who do not have the freedoms and standard of living we have.

Border, language, and culture (government/history) make a country.  We have a right to defend and protect our sovereignty.  I believe that it is time for us to fix this problem, and both sides must compromise.

I support President Trump in the ban on visas from terrorist countries, deporting any person who is here illegally who commits crimes, and securing our borders.  These issues seem like a “no brainer” to me.

However, I believe that we can reform the legal process to enter this country.  It has become corrupt, political, hugely expensive and nearly impossible.  If the immigrant has a sponsor, a place to live, and work lined up, then why make it so hard?

Please talk to someone who has gone through the legal process and immigrated the right way.  That person will tell you about the nightmare of paperwork and fees.

America’s greatest resource is her people.  On this July 4th, 2017, we must rededicate ourselves to being that “shining light on a hill” that represents freedom, peace and hope to all the world.

Sincerely,

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
Legislative District 6

Gov. Doug Ducey: Ex inmates in Arizona’s fire-crew program given a real second chance

‘I felt like a zero. Now I feel like a hero.”

That’s what an Arizona inmate said to me when I traveled to Navajo County in the summer of 2016. My team and I were up north observing the damage caused by the Cedar Fire and meeting the brave firefighters who risked their lives to protect our state’s landscapes.

The man I met was part of a group of inmates enlisted in a fire-crew program operated by the Arizona Department of Corrections. The agency’s program selects current inmates to fight fires throughout Arizona while serving their time in prison.

To me, the program is a way of letting these individuals pay back their communities and, by giving them a chance to be productive members of society, increasing the likelihood that they won’t return to prison after being released. Often, it means a job is waiting when they walk out the doors.

One squad boss who spoke to KOLD News 13 in April said that the program has “been a life-changing experience for me. I know a lot of the guys out here feel the same way.”

I told that story during my State of the State address in January, and I’ve thought about it many times since. Exchanges like this — and the positive outcomes we’ve seen from Arizona’s forward-thinking corrections efforts — are one of the reasons we’re investing more in anti-recidivism programs this year.

The next time a Sawmill Fire rages through Southern Arizona, threatening our neighbors’ homes, property, and livelihood, I want it to be easier for individuals released from prison to stand up and protect their communities.

That’s why the new state budget I signed a few weeks ago is investing $1.5 million to create a post-release fire crew. (The existing program enlists current inmates; the new program enlists released inmates.) We’re giving Arizonans a real second chance to turn their lives around in a meaningful and productive way.

Our anti-recidivism strategy is a win-win for everyone involved, including hardworking Arizona taxpayers. After all, it’s expensive to house inmates — and, according to the data, 39 percent of inmates released from prison will eventually return to prison. That’s a big bill to pay in the long term.

Taxpayers already give enough of their hard-earned money to government. They shouldn’t be expected burden the ever-growing costs of recidivism because of outdated policies.
This new fire crew accomplishes both: It protects taxpayers from long-term prison costs, and it improves public safety. And it’s not the only investment we’re making to make that happen.
Our fiscal year 2018 budget also finances the expansion of “Employment Centers” within Arizona prisons. These centers help inmates do things like build résumés and find jobs before they’re released, giving them tools to lift themselves up and build better lives rather than revert to their old ways.

This is a common-sense investment to reduce the state’s prison population and save taxpayers money.

So far, we have opened three of these successful Employment Centers, including in the Manzanita Unit in Tucson. All three centers are now open and operational, and we’ve already seen 35 individuals receive job offers after participating. (There are nearly 200 inmates currently going through the program.)

Our goal is to give people the tools they need to improve their lives, help them see value in themselves (maybe for the first time in their lives), and offer them a concrete way of paying back their communities.

Whether that means analyzing the effects of outdated occupational licensing processes on individuals with criminal records or enabling released inmates to work as peer coaches to help those struggling with addiction, our state is taking the lead when it comes to getting people back on their feet.

That’s how to give Arizonans a real second chance — and how to save Arizona taxpayers money while doing it.

This guest opinion originally appeared on Tucson.com.

 

Americans For Prosperity Releases 2017 Legislative Scorecard

Are your state legislators Champions of the Taxpayer… or Champions of BIG Government?
 
 
The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity has released its 2017 Legislative Scorecard. Go to www.azscorecard.com to see the results!  
 
AFP-Arizona’s scorecard assigns weights to over 300 bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers and producers, with $1 million equaling one point on the scorecard.
 
This year’s legislative session was very positive. Here are some highlights:
 
SB 1522:  Balanced and Responsible Budget — The FY 2017-18 budget protects families and businesses from tax increases by growing state government spending more slowly than the rate of growth of the Arizona economy. The final FY 2018 budget figure was $9.817 billion. Even with $25 million in supplemental increases to the FY 2017 budget, the total was $55 million under a population-plus-inflation increase over last year’s budget.
 
SB 1431:  School Choice Expansion — By expanding eligibility for Arizona’s system of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs), this reform will help more Arizona schoolchildren obtain the educational resources they need to succeed. Please use THIS LINK to thank Governor Ducey and your legislators for supporting school choice!
 
SB 1437:  Right to Earn a Living — This reform allows would-be entrepreneurs and job-creators to challenge professional licensing regulations designed to stifle competition and do nothing to protect public health and safety.
 
SB 1152:  Stopping Hidden Tax Hikes — This reform protects families and businesses by requiring local governments to put sales tax increases on the ballot in November of even-numbered years, rather than hiding those measures in low-turnout elections.
 
As it has done in past years, AFP-Arizona also grades legislators and the governor on missed opportunities, important reform bills that are prevented from reaching floor votes in the House or Senate. 
 
Among this year’s missed opportunities was the Senate’s failure to bring the Truth in Spending budget transparency reform to a floor vote, and the House’s failure to bring the Education Spending Transparency Act to a floor vote.
 
The highest-scoring legislator on AFP-Arizona’s 2017 Scorecard was Rep. Travis Grantham of Gilbert, with 94 percent, which earned him the designation of “Hero of the Taxpayer.”  The lowest-scoring legislator on the 2017 Scorecard was Sen. Martin Quezada, with 17 percent, which earned him the designation of “Champion of Big Government.”
 
For Liberty & Prosperity, 
 
Tom
 
Tom Jenney
Senior Legislative Advisor
Americans for Prosperity-Arizona
 
PS: To view scorecards from previous years, click HERE.

An Open Letter to Matthew Kenney, Executive Director, AZGOP

An Open Letter

From: Gabby Saucedo Mercer, Secretary of AZGOP

TO:  Matthew Kenney, Executive Director of AZGOP:

I am disappointed to find that you seriously misquoted me when speaking at the Executive Committee meeting about our conversation, which was on Friday, June 9th, not the Tuesday before the meeting. You stated at the exec meeting that I never mentioned wanting the records. I remember quite well what I said to you, and you got it completely wrong. I told you how frustrated I am, not having access to the records all the secretaries before me have always had. I informed you that a few groups of State Committeemen have come to me to ask if they can count on me to send out a Call Letter to the body, if they bring one to me. They are actually concerned that I will be unable to do my job! That Friday, I told you how I answered that question, which was “Absolutely! That’s my job!” I then asked you this question, “But how can I do my job, when I don’t even have the lists of the State Committeemen and pcs mailing addresses and emails?”

All you would say was “You’d have to speak to the counsel about that.” Speak to the counsel!!? What has he got to do with my tasks, according to the bylaws? But your only answer was “Speak to the counsel.” I must ask you if that reply was meant as a message to me that the AZGOP has no intention of allowing me to mail out an official call to a special meeting. That would go totally against what the bylaws require! And it would go against my own professional standards as well!

My reply to you was that I would not speak to any attorney. There is no reason for me to do so, on this subject, because the bylaws are clear in describing my duties, when the state committeemen bring a Call Letter to me. It is my duty to mail it to the membership. I am now seriously concerned about what will happen if a Call letter really is brought to me. Does the chairman intend to interfere with me doing my job of mailing an official call letter? I would like an answer to this question: is the AZGOP leadership going to refuse to give me the mailing addresses and postage, so I can fulfill my duty to mail the Call Letter, if I am asked to mail one? According to the bylaws, If the state committeemen deliver a Call Letter to the secretary, that letter becomes the official business of the party. If the AZGOP refuses to mail that letter, I believe that will be an intentional breach of the bylaws!

Matthew, I must insist that you retract the misquoted statement you made at the Flagstaff executive meeting, regarding what I said to you on Friday June 9th.  I am personally tired of the way you and Lines and other establishment Republicans are calling for unity but keep attacking Republicans that dare to speak up or challenge the lack of transparency and the smoke and mirrors.  If you do not know what I am referring to, check The Sonoran Alliance. I am sick and tired of the cowards who write for such blog/publication using pseudo names. I can tell that those fake named writers have ties to the AZ GOP establishment because NOBODY knew about my meeting at AZ GOP on February 21st or what transpired at such meeting, so how did Sonoran Alliance know all the details they then wrote about it? Kory Longhofer asked me in front of three witnesses who came with me, to wait two days so he could talk to Lines and then be able to give me an answer regarding the handing over of the records to me. I guess that must have been just to delay it, because I have never heard back from Kory.

Another comment that you made to me in that same June 9th conversation is really bothering me. It was in answer to a comment of mine. It was right after I reminded you that Lines promised many conservatives that he would not hire you, but not long after, he turned around and did it, anyway! I wanted you to understand how much it concerned me that our chairman would say one thing and do another.

But, Matthew, you corrected me! You said that Lines had nothing to do with the decision to hire you as executive director. You said “It was not his decision. It was the donors” who insisted that Lines hire you. I have to tell you, Matthew, that I was amazed by that remark! I thought to myself, “Did I just get a glimpse of who really is running our AZGOP? Did Matthew just tell me that it’s the big-money donors who control what the AZGOP does, and who tell the chairman what to do?”

Then I wondered, “Who are these donors who have so much power over the AZGOP?” Whoever they are, and I would like to find out, I do not believe they are on the side of the Republican Party, or the Republican voters of Arizona! Another question needs asking, “Is it possible these donors have an agenda all their own that we know nothing about and are using our party to execute it?” I am seriously concerned. Is this part of the reason why the AZGOP will not give me the permanent records, and why they did the same to our treasurer, for so long? How many more questions does this ask and answer? A lot, I bet.

Respectfully,

Gabriela S. Mercer
Secretary, AZ GOP