California ‘Dream Team’ Wants Arizona’s LD-6

By Eddie Whipple

For years Arizona has had to fight off the influence of Californians who want to meddle in our way of life.

“Don’t California my Arizona,” is a rallying cry for many conservatives who want Arizona to remain a state of low taxes with few government regulations, where families and businesses can thrive with limited governmental intervention.

However, more and more we have seen an influx of California-influenced political ideas invading our desert and mountain regions.

Just two years ago, Tom Steyer spent tens of millions of dollars to reengineer our electric grid by mandating solar consumption and significantly increasing our electric bills. Thankfully, voters up and down the state soundly rejected that bad idea. Steyer did not begin the effort to bring bad California ideas to Arizona. And sadly, his resounding defeat wasn’t the end, either.

Now, in Legislative District 6, which covers the White Mountains area, along with Flagstaff, Sedona, Payson and parts of Yavapai County.

The “California Dream Team” of Felicia French, Coral Evans and Art Babbott is running to take out the two current members of the Arizona House and Senate candidate Wendy Rogers. And LD6 isn’t your typical district. It’s one of the biggest targets for Democrats to flip from red to blue. Republicans hold 31 seats in the House, with the 29 Democrats closer than at anytime in 60 yeas from having control of the body. In the state Senate, Republicans hold 17 of the 30 seats. Capturing these seats is the lynchpin to the Democrats taking over the state House and leading them on the path to the same outcome in the Senate.

French, who is taking on Rogers for the Senate seat, loves her some San Francisco area cash. According to campaign finance records, she has received at least $18,000 from more than 100 Bay Area donors. And her campaign rhetoric matches her liberal donors. 

She buys into the wackiest of liberal policies. She supports cutting beef production by 50 percent to cut down on global warming. Cows, she reckons, contribute to global warming. Never mind that ranching is one of the most important industries in the district.

Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans never met a tax increase she couldn’t support. She once said at a Hillary Clinton rally she would be a “hard-bent progressive.” She’s living up to her own words. She once compared celebrating Columbus Day with waving the Confederate Flag and she wants to replace that October holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day. She has supported the Invest In Ed income tax proposal that would increase taxes on small business owners and create California-like tax structure that will drive away businesses and residents. She has supported property tax increases in Flagstaff for many of her years as mayor. One of her top priorities in the Legislature she once said was to increase the gas tax.

Babbott, a Coconino County supervisor and running as an independent but aligning with Democrats, has spent decades supporting Bernie Sanders’ various runs for office. He first began donating to Bernie’s campaign as early as 1990. In 1987, Babbott said the self-described “Radical Socialist Mayor” was doing a “great job.” He’s given nearly $1,000 over the years to Bernie’s campaigns and supported his 2016 run for the presidency.We’ve seen the evidence that French, Evans and Babbott are as liberal as they come. Now it’s up to the voters to take that into consideration when they fill out their ballots. The direction of the state is may just come down to these three Democrats.

2020 AZ Primary Early Vote Wrap-Up

What happened and what it means for November

With the primary election tomorrow, we’re giving you our takeaways from the early vote data. There are still tens of thousands of ballots to be cast on Election Day, but the ballots mailed back thus far paint an interesting picture.

Here are the high-level highlights you need to know going into Tuesday:

  • 1,063,828 Ballots Cast
  • 2,316,329 Ballots Requested
  • 45.6% Return Rate
  • 26.7% Turnout
  • 0.9% Democrat Ballot Advantage (representing 9,900 ballots) 

Interesting takeaways: 

  1. Turnout is high: We have seen more overall ballots returned than ever before in a primary election – 1,063,828. As a comparison, we saw about 835,000 ballots returned in 2018 and 682,000 in 2016. While we don’t know yet if these are people who would usually drop their ballots off, we are on pace to hit at least 30% overall turnout.
  2. Democratic turnout is exceeding Republican turnout: While we don’t know how Election Day turnout will fare, we are on pace to see something that we haven’t seen in Arizona in at least the last two decades – more Democratic ballots cast than Republican ballots. There is some hope for Republicans, though, Democrats have 1.4% more of their ballots returned. That 1.4% represents about 15,000 Republican ballots.   
  3. More Independents have cast Democratic ballots than Republican: In Arizona, Independents can choose to vote in either party primary or cast a non-partisan ballot. This year, they have cast a total of 117,845 ballots and about 8,800 more in Democratic primaries than Republican. As a comparison, in the previous two cycles Independents have cast between 10,000 and 12,000 more ballots in Republican primaries than in the Democratic primaries.

While primary turnout does not specifically correlate to general election performance, Republicans need a big Election Day performance to mitigate some of these troubling numbers. Democrats have not traditionally had a lot of primary elections – which has driven down their turnout in the last two cycles – but high turnout this year is occurring in places with and without contested primaries on the Democratic side. 
We will have at least one additional update from Maricopa and Pima counties today that can be seen here. Stay tuned for a full debrief post-election to see if these trends from mailed early ballots held or if the trends simply represented Democratic voters mailing in versus dropping off on Election Day because of COVID concerns.

*Data is current as of 8/02/20 at 6:00pm*
Looking ahead to the General Election
 As mentioned before, we decided to share our entire primary ballot tracker with the public but will be providing general election early vote tracking via paid subscription only. We apologize for any confusion we may have caused in our previous email regarding the general election subscription model. We will continue to release basic, high level numbers publicly for the general election (total ballots and party breakdown, statewide only) but for those looking for greater detail and analysis, we will be offering two subscription levels.

Level One will provide full current year breakdowns similar to what is currently shown on our primary election tracker.

Level Two will have comparison data for the previous two cycles and will add in additional filtration features.

If you have any questions or would like to subscribe for the general election tracker, you can contact Data Orbital here

ABOUT DATA ORBITAL: 

Data Orbital is a full-service data solutions and survey research firm with local, state, and national experience.  We offer precise data solutions, informed by political and policy intelligence, so our clients can chart the right course through the corporate or political landscape ahead. 

Martha McSally Releases a Volley of Political Ads

US Senator Martha McSally released a volley of political ads on YouTube Friday. Here are those ads:

How America Gets Its First Black Woman President

The real question is will she be a Republican or Democrat?

Time for a crazy political scenario. This spins off insider speculation that Trump will pull out of his re-election bid before he loses. It may sound far-fetched but we do live in crazy political times.

Trump is going to lose the 2020 election. He knows this and I believe the Republican Establishment knows it too. It’s inevitable and as many of us have been warning since 2015, the man has brought it on himself.

Trump is a quitter, especially when the going gets tough. And the tough is really going tough and tougher. Some Phoenicians remember when he pulled out of the development of a high rise in the Biltmore area. He knew when to cut his losses and move on. That’s what savvy business leaders do. He’s been that way his entire life. Bankruptcy after bankruptcy, change of plan after change of plan. He’s won some and he’s walked away. Running the country has become too much of a hassle for someone who has always sought leisure and pleasure and maybe it’s just not worth it to him anymore.

That’s just Trumps modus operandi and its how some deal-cutting New Yorker’s operate.

Right now the political heat has reached temperatures I think he’s no longer willing to tolerate.

At the same time, the GOP Establishment is worried, very worried. Arizona is likely to lose its other US Senate seat – the first time in decades Arizona may have two Democrats in the US Senate. Other Republican Senators across the country are panicking.

The “Trump Effect” we warned about flipped the House in 2018 and is about to flip many seats in the Senate. Arizona is on the verge of turning blue. We warned you.

So how do we get an African-American woman as our next President? Indulge me.

Knowing the election is going down, Trump and the Republican Establishment gather and conclude there’s only one way to possibly save the presidency – elevate Mike Pence through the resignation of Donald J. Trump. It’s all done quickly before most states issue early ballots – mid- September – leading to a real “October Surprise.”

Prior to the Trump exit, Biden picks his VP. He’s already announced it will be a woman of color and one of the names floated has been former Obama advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. It works for Biden because he already knows her well, she brings foreign policy experience to the ticket, can protect her former boss from Republican investigations and frankly, delivers on a promise.

Republicans in a free fall with Mike Pence at the top of the ticket, counter with a strategic move. They call up former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. It’s one final push to hold the election and make a statement about the Republican party’s diversity.

Biden has Susan Rice, Pence has Condoleezza Rice. Coincidence?

On to Election Day and the answer of whether the first African-American woman President will be a Republican or Democrat. I don’t know.

In the first scenario, Mike Pence holds the presidency, barely. Americans were tired of all the Trump drama but were also willing to forgive Pence for his guilt by association.

Unfortunately, the US Congress doesn’t hold the same sentiment.

The Senate, now flipped, has the numbers to convict a sitting Republican President. The US House, even more democratic, impeaches Pence on the impeachable offense du jour. The vote heads to the Senate and this time, Democrats are successful in convicting the nicest man to ever become President. Vice President Condoleezza Rice becomes the first Republican African-American woman President.

The second scenario unfolds with the election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. There’s only one problem and everyone knows it. Joe Biden’s mental capacity is waning. Republican leadership in the House and Senate calls for the removal or resignation of the President. Welcome to the 2020’s where impeachment is now weaponized. The hesitation by the American people in electing Biden in the first place becomes a reality and the calls for resignation grow louder. Democrats quietly push for his exit to save the party embarrassment but mainly to elevate the first woman of color into the White House. Susan Rice becomes the first Democrat African-American woman President

The beautiful irony in all this is that the two old white guys – who many were asking, “is this the best we have?” – have now been displaced and replaced by individuals who reflect the times and turmoils of where the country appears to be headed.

Too far fetched or is political truth stranger than fiction these days?

Senator Martha McSally explains Mark Kelly’s intimate relationship with China

Republican Martha McSally appeared on the Hugh Hewitt show earlier this week to discuss her race for the US Senate.

In the interview she discusses fundraising, national security and her opponents intimate entanglements with the Chinese government.

Here’s the video of the interview:

In the Primary race for Republican, Sonoran Alliance endorses Martha McSally.

My Final Rebuttal – Guest Opinion

By L. Burke Files

To Sylvia Allen, Gary Morris, Peter Aleshire, and the AZ Republican Party;

In my opinion, the three of you and the party are a great disappointment.   No, you will listen, you immediately decry this “attack” as a Rogers person, and you would be correct. I am a 20-year friend of Wendy and Hal. I get it. I, however, am sharing my view and background in advance. It is a technique in argumentation called authenticity, something you have forgotten.

Senator Sylvia Allen, you were once the fresh face of the rural independent spirit.  Your gaffs about ethnicity and sexual orientation are hurtful, but expected.  You have not traveled, and you have not seen how the citizens of the world view American. America is Eldorado. We are the famed city of gold on the hill. They want to be here; they want to become Americans. My grandfather was an immigrant, and he well remembered his reception in Chicago when he went looking for work. Little signs in the window said NINA. It meant No Irish Need Apply. He was at first angry, but soon realized the country was so rich the NINA businesses did not need his money.  Your time has passed, you have forgotten the golden rule  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Republicans are the party of Lincoln, not Wilson. To me you now more or less resemble Norma Desmond looking for your last close-up. You could have gone out on top. Now you will just go.

Gary Morris, Gila County Republican Precinct Chair, you are the epitome of what the party has become. The AZ Republican Party has become a sclerotic assemblage of the status quo.  In this tyranny, there is enormous inertia, so much so only a crisis real or imagined will produce real change.  If you can open your eyes, you will see the crises, it will be in November, and you and others like you are the authors of the tragedy. Your role was to advocate for who the party members chose, Gary – it’s not your choice. It is the choice of the voters. Your tireless advocacy for Allen has removed you from the party Chair to become the foppish incumbent cheerleader. 

Peter Aleshire, you disgust me.  I am a huge proponent of the First Amendment and especially investigative journalism. The third estate is what keeps democracy between the lines. My advocacy for the First Amendment is not virtue signaling, I have, as a financial investigator, supported the work of the ICIJ and OCCRP in their worldwide efforts to combat fraud and corruption.  Don’t buy it? Try searching my name. I have little hope you’ll get that right, as you certainly were unable to Google or check the facts in the campaign. Your posting of manufactured articles only to take them down and allow them to be used by Sylvia Allen and Gary Morris is a fraud upon journalism.  You could have sponsored a debate between the two candidates, but no. You have betrayed the truth, you have betrayed the hope of finding the truth, and your actions are the ultimate betrayal of those whom you serve, your readers. 

As for the Arizona Republican Party, you are tone-deaf, economic, and legislative morons. When I see a debate and the talking lines are who are more loyal to the party, it echoes a bad movie scene where the prisoner clerks in a gulag are debating who is more loyal so they can get an extra ration of gruel.

After this election cycle, this Republican of 40 years will drop his registration to become an independent.

This is my opinion, so be it.

L. Burke Files
Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc.

Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris Should Be Fired

Guest Opinion by RC Montana

It was such sloppy “journalism” if you can even call it journalism. The Payson Roundup briefly posted a story on July 22, 2020 titled “Republicans Launch a Rare Attack on a Candidate [Wendy Rogers] in their Own Primary“. The thing is though, the Payson Roundup took the article down after 12 hours because they likely suffered blowback, much as they did in June 2020 when they had to take down another flimsy article about Rogers due to several of the people, who the paper had claimed supposedly endorsed Rogers, said they had not.

The Roundup didn’t print that June story, because Rogers’ campaign never claimed those endorsements in 2020. Imagine that.

But this time, their second try at baseless flimsy “journalism” was predicated on Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris’s unsubstantiated claims about Rogers, which were mass-emailed – completely un-fact-checked – to all Gila county precinct committeemen. How’s that for staying publicly neutral in a primary? 

Then the Payson Roundup reporter breathlessly gobbled up Gary Morris’s rant even though uncorroborated. Chairman Morris’s mass email was a smear job packed with unsupported statements very much like the Steele Dossier on Trump.

The Payson Roundup’s Peter Aleshire was given a chance not to publish it, but he did. How did Peter Aleshire even justify it, since he’d had to take his previous, similarly inaccurate article down a month earlier? 

PETER ALESHIRE’S ARTICLE HAS NONETHELESS BEEN ARCHIVED AND IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST!   

So now you’re caught up to date. Here is my take on the lackey, Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris, who violated every rule of civility and decorum as a county chairman. He caved to the establishment GOP. He is a reprobate for peddling lies he should’ve fact-checked first. He was warned, yet mass-emailed out misinformation anyway, violating sacred tenets of basic leadership. The Gila County Republican Committee should fire him. 

Mr. Morris wonders who Wendy Rogers will be “beholden to?” Is he kidding? Wendy Rogers has not taken one penny from a PAC or a lobbyist. On the other hand, Rogers’s opponent Sylvia Allen is almost entirely funded by special interests.

Gary Morris continues to perpetuate the lie about Rogers’ residency even though the AZ Secretary of State wrote unequivocally that Rogers is from Flagstaff. To whom are you beholden Chairman Morris? 

How can this chairman, in his right mind, suggest that Rogers would be “weak” going into the general election campaign? She has fundraised more than any other state candidate in Arizona.

Gary Morris and the GOP establishment are scared to death of Rogers because they can’t control her. They know she won’t permit a Red-Flag bill or that idiotic National Popular Vote to get past her.

Here’s what they really can’t stand: Wendy has outworked and out-campaigned a rusty fixture in the state legislature – Sylvia Allen – who has been there far too long, and thus has completely sold out and caved to special interests.

Gary Morris’s time could be better spent by learning how NOT to get lost in the woods. Fire him!

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

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.