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.

Guest Opinion: News Flash to Arizona Democrats and AZRA

By Sheila Muehling

(Washington, DC)

“Trump Tech Invitee Tied to Kushners”
“Lawyer Met with Russia’s Top Prosecutor”
“Startup That Got a Seat at White House Roundtable is Part-Owned by Kushner Family”
“Email to Trump Jr. Says Clinton Infor was Part of Moscow’s Trump Support”
“Democrats Hatch Plan A, B & C to Impeach Trump”
“Trump Disclosures Shows Big Income Boost from Mar-a-Lago”
“Trump Partner Said in Running to Build FBI Headquarters”
“Trump Hotel Received $270,000 From Lobbying Campaign Tied to Saudis”
What to believe? What is true? What isn’t? Do we wonder why everyone’s head is spinning as newspapers and television and Internet news outlets pound out headline after headline about President Donald Trump and his family and business dealings.

Now let’s turn to the Arizona GOP

“AZGOP Deeply in Debt, Former Treasurer, Now Chairman, Clueless”
“Exposing the ‘Real’ Matthew Kenney”
“Who Paid for the Trip to Hawaii?”
An Open letter to Matthew Kenney, Executive Director, AZGOP”
‘No Longer Hypothetical – A Special Meeting to Remove Chairman Jonathan Lines”
AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham Tries to Invalidate Legitimate State Committeemen”
“AZGOP: A Sad Situation”
“Little Jonnie Lines Needs a Nose Wiper”

AZGOP bondageWhat to believe” What is true? What isn’t?  Do we in the Arizona GOP wonder why everyone’s head is spinning as Frosty Taylor’s “Maricopa County Republican Briefs” and the “Arizona Freedom Alliance” pound out headline after headline about GOP Chairman Johnathan Lines, Past GOP Chairman Robert Graham and the AZ GOP.

Every time I open the paper or look at the Internet all I see are Democrats attacking the election of Donald Trump. How did it happen when they so carefully cultivated the Country with eight years of Barack Obama?  We all know, according to all the national news media, Trump cheated, he used the Russians to force half of the voters in the United States to vote for someone who is so clearly corrupt and incapable of running our great country.

How to right this terrible wrong? The answer is pound the country with negative headlines, accusations, calls for impeachment and holding costly hearings to keep every American wondering what are they going to come up with next.

Now let’s turn to the Arizona GOP.

Every day I receive emails and calls from people asking me if I read the latest accusations from the Arizona Freedom Alliance, Maricopa County Republican Briefs, Gabby Mercer, Jim O’Connor and all the so called, “Real Conservatives”, who are determined to attack the election of Jonathan Lines.  How did it happen when AZRA so carefully cultivated the State with four years of attacks on that no-good John McCain and Robert Graham and all the RiNOs who hold power in the Arizona GOP?  How did it happen when District after District was loaded with Ghost PC’s who were supposed to insure the election of Jim O’Connor? Yes, the man who was to bring the much-needed Christian message to the GOP.  The true Conservative that will teach all the rest of us how to follow the words of the Constitution. What is wrong with over half of the GOP State Committeeman who voted to make Jonathan Lines the new Chairman? Are they just clueless, gullible people who blindly follow what John McCain and his RINO followers tell them to do? What is wrong with these people? Don’t they read what the Briefs and AFA are telling them every day? What part of the message didn’t they get?

Let’s take the sarcasm out of this discussion and make this simple.

Message to the Democrats and the resistance movements: Donald J. Trump won the Presidency of the United States. He will be President for four years and all the costly accusations and investigations will not change that fact. While you are running around breaking windows, chanting hateful messages, the voters who voted for Donald Trump will be supporting the efforts to help all Americans to a better future.

Message to Jim O’Connor, Lynne Breyer, Frosty Taylor, Gabby Mercer and all the AZRA members: Jonathan Lines won the Chairmanship of the AZGOP. He will be Chairman for the next two years and all the costly accusations, audits and investigations will not change that fact.  While you are running around collecting signatures for recall movements, the rest of us will be collecting signatures for Republican candidates and talking to voters who will help keep Arizona Red.

To AZRA, if you want to continue acting like a Democrat please do the rest of us a favor and go join the Democratic Party.  If you want to act like one, be one. They would love to have you.

Kevin Thompson Announces Re-Election Bid for Mesa City Council

Four years ago I announced my bid to run for Mesa City Council District 6. What a ride it has been!

My passion is serving the community, and I am grateful for the trust the citizens of Southeast Mesa continue to place in me. Without a doubt it is the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever had.

Kevin Thompson Family

Today, I proudly announce that I am seeking re-election for another four-year term to represent the voters of District 6.

We’ve accomplished a lot during the past three years, particularly in the areas of economic development. When I first ran for office, I promised to focus on working to bring quality jobs to Mesa. I can’t take credit for all of the growth we’ve experienced, but I continued the vision that was set in place before me, and I’ve challenged the departments within our City to do it better, more efficiently, and more effectively than anyone else. You can’t say you’re open for business if your actions don’t show it. We’ve instilled confidence in the business community and the development community, and our district continues to shine as a model for the entire City.

In just three short years since I’ve entered office, Chandler-Gilbert Community College expanded their campus at Mesa Gateway, Gateway Polytechnic was built at Bella Via, and Eastmark has become the fastest growing community in Arizona. Apple announced their Global Command Center with a $2 billion dollar investment, Dignity Health constructed a new hospital, DuPont Fabros announced plans for a giant data center campus, Niagra Bottling is bringing 50 jobs along with a $76 million dollar investment, and EuroContempo is bringing jobs and a $10 million dollar investment to Ray Road. We’ve also seen incredible growth in our industrial sector including an expansion of CMC Steel, a new facility from Matheson Tri Gas, an expansion from Fuji at their Pecos plant, and a new Metso repair facility. Not to mention we are now home to the largest Fry’s Marketplace in Arizona, a new Courtyard Marriott, and scores of new restaurants.

All of this growth however, does not mean I will serve as a rubber stamp. I continue to ask questions to insure our tax dollars are spent in a fiscally responsible manner and challenge proposals that do not have taxpayers best interests in mind. How much does it cost? Where is the money coming from? Who benefits? Are there alternatives? I will continue to ask these questions because I owe it to you and I owe it to my family. After all, like you, I’m still a resident and taxpayer of Mesa.

Regardless of whether you voted for me before, I’m hopeful that, over the past three years, I’ve instilled your trust and gained your confidence. There’s a lot left that I want us to accomplish as a District and a City, and I would greatly appreciate your support.

Vote “Thompson” for Mesa in 2018.

More Fake News: Frosty Taylor promotes whacky conspiracy theory about party finances, gets smacked down by party treasurer

By Calamity June

Earlier this week, Frosty Taylor published yet another conspiracy-laden post about Arizona Republican Party Finances. Using the same lies and innuendo, she suggested that the party was attempting to sideline duly elected treasurer Bob Lettieri and prevent him from doing his job.

Foil HatIn fact, she made this assertion without even ATTEMPTING to reach out to Treasurer Lettieri…to find out if her story was true.

And what prompted this baseless and vile accusation? The fact that Chairman Jonathan Lines, in consultation with the treasurer himself, has brought on a new team to ensure 100% compliance at the state party.

Oh, the horror!

To his credit, Mr. Lettieri, who actually ran against the Lines slate at the January State meeting, immediately responded to Frosty’s post, setting the record straight:

Red Curve is not replacing me as Treasurer for I am irreplaceable. Joking aside, the focus of the time I spend at the AZGOP office is to review information not to perform accounting functions. The more accurate and reliable the information I work with makes the reporting I am responsible for more timely and reliable. It is critical that the required FEC and State reporting be timely and accurate to prevent penalties for late and inaccurate filing.  While in the process of reviewing the accounting information I have made recommendations that improvements were needed for me to have more reliance in the information I needed from accounting. Thus, changes, have been made that will result in improvements to both the quality of accounting information and meeting required filing deadlines. Red Curve was hired with my concurrence as Treasurer base on careful consideration with Chairman Lines and Matthew Kenny. 

Lettieri concludes:

Please contact me with your concerns or if you need additional information about RedCurve. I believe that the AZGOP is making great strides to demonstrate transparency and these posts are counterproductive to our efforts to bring unanimity to the Party.

But of course, Frosty won’t do this. Why? Because she is dishonest. She’s not a journalist or a reporter. She’s a rabble-rousing hater. Her aim is to lie, to tear down, to berate, and to destroy the institutions of the party. Instead of clearing up any confusion with a simple phone call, she attempted to create controversy and confusion.

Nice try, Frosty. Despite your best efforts, you’ve once again been called out for your lies. Despite running on opposite slates, Chairman Lines and Treasurer Lettieri are working together to further the goals of the party and win elections.

And not even your fake news site can take that fact away.

Bridger Kimball Announces for Arizona’s LD-11 House Seat

Bridger Kimball

Former Maricopa City Councilman Bridger Kimball Announces Bid for the Arizona House of Representatives in LD11

Maricopa, AZ –  Recently, Bridger Kimball filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to officially kick-off his campaign to fill the open house seat of Arizona’s legislative district 11. 

Kimball is a military veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps until his service was cut abruptly by a significant non-combat injury which led to an honorable medical discharge.  

Kimball is also a small business owner where he serves as president of the popular Rangemasters Shooting Range (d.b.a. Caswells Shooting Range).

In 2012, Kimball was elected to the City Council of Maricopa where he learned the value of being a public servant and working with others to make Maricopa a great place to live and raise a family.

“All my life I have wanted to serve whether it was in our nation’s military, community or government,” said Kimball. “Arizona has always been my home where, if elected, I will fight to improve our education system, protect 2nd amendment rights, support small businesses and honor our military veterans.”

Kimball is an Arizona native and was born in Mesa and has been residing in the city of Maricopa since 2003 with his wife Mary and their two amazing children, Keegan, 13, and Liam, 11.

AZGOP: Kick Rocks, Kirkpatrick

PHOENIX (May 26) — The Arizona Republican Party today launched a petition in response to the petition being circulated by Arizona democratic operatives who want to draft Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s second congressional district.

Kick Rocks Kirkpatrick

“It completely blows my mind that Arizona democrats think this is even remotely a good idea,” said Arizona Republican Party Communications Director Torunn Sinclair. “We all know how 2016 turned out for Ann — it was ugly — and when you break down the numbers to be CD-2 specific, it’s bad. Arizona voters spoke loud and clear — they don’t want her representing them. She already walked out on her constituents in her congressional district once. She doesn’t need to do it again by carpetbagging to Southern Arizona. She should stay home and hang up her boots permanently.”
The 2016 CD-2 vote counts were as follows:
McSally: 179,806
McCain: 153,649
Kirkpatrick: 143,620

Wanted: Maricopa Republicans to Protect Election Integrity

By Gina Swoboda

I met with a member of Recorder Fontes’ community outreach staff today to get a better understanding of the changes they are making.

The Democrats are very active and fully funded and have been volunteering in droves, recently doubling their County PCs from 759 to 1500.

We have in my opinion, a great need to get Republicans signed up to volunteer to be part of the process to ensure integrity within the system.

The County Recorder’s office requires ‘opposing’ parties to participate on Citizen Boards.

These are the people who look at the mail in ballots and cross check each other’s work. One person will usually be a Democrat, and with low GOP participation, the cross checker will be a Green or Libertarian.

We really need Republicans on these boards. Fontes’ office is limiting the duration of the shifts, they will no longer be 12-15 hours long with people sleeping in their cars.

Poll watchers are absolutely still needed, but I think that, in light of the changes we are seeing, it is imperative that we get Republicans inside the process.

****There will be a volunteer orientation on Saturday, June 10th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, at the downtown ballot processing facility on the corner of Lincoln and 3rd Ave. (not the main office building near sheriff’s dept.).  There will be an opportunity to hear what they are doing and volunteer if desired.****

Details as provided by the Recorder’s office:
Orientation Program-  the Recorder’s Office is initiating on June 10th, Saturday from 10:00-Noon.  In our efforts to professionalize and legitimize roles for those who are interested in helping the Recorder’s election efforts by; registering voters, helping at election sites, and as citizen board members, we have defined a  program for everyone to attend.

High level overview to include:

  • A Volunteer Orientation Program – which everyone will need to attend once (first one is June 10th.)
  • 4 levels of exceptional volunteer work will be available

Thank you,

Gina Swoboda
LD23 PC, Maricopa Precinct

NRCC Slams Kyrsten Sinema and Tom O’Halleran In Latest Political Ad

NRCC Releases New Web Video Targeting Arizona Democrats For Accepting Money From Alleged Child Sex Trafficking Scheme

The National Republican Congressional Committee released a web video titled “Caught Red Handed” which targets Arizona Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Tom O’Halleran for accepting thousands in campaign donations from executives accused of facilitating child sex trafficking.

“Kyrsten Sinema and Tom O’Halleran should be ashamed of themselves,” said NRCC Spokesman Jack Pandol.

“They’ve let their desperation to win re-election cloud their moral judgment. Kyrsten and Tom’s decision to knowingly take this tainted money speaks volumes about their twisted priorities as Arizona’s least principled elected officials.”

‘School Choice Matters’ Ad Indicates Education To Be Top Issue In 2018

If you’re a Sunday Square Off viewer, you probably saw this political “thank you” ad air several times during the show. There was no “paid for” disclaimer but the ad was produced by the American Federation for Children.

The ad is airing to support and thank Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for passing and signing Senator Debbie Lesko’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) legislation. The law now expands school choice (although capped) throughout Arizona.

During final debate, opponents (primarily the Arizona Education Association) whipped up cataclysmic hysteria over the bill. Casual observers would have thought Arizona public education was about to be nuked into oblivion.

School choice advocates were probably caught off guard by the rapid rabid response.

Thus, the American Federation for Children realizing the need to recover the narrative and refocus the debate on children and parental choice, injected itself into the debate.

Anyone watching the warmup for Arizona’s 2018 election cycle can see that next year’s top political issue will be education.

And at the center of that debate, stand Arizona teachers.

Get ready. Every political candidate will position himself/herself as an advocate and “friend of teachers.”

The data proves that Arizona teachers deserve to paid more and if that means unclogging the pipes and removing the administrative clogs to get more money into the classroom, then so be it.

As the Arizona Legislature wraps up the budget and 2017 session, Governor Ducey and lawmakers are poised at an advantage in controlling the message heading into 2018. How they address direct delivery of tax dollars into the classroom, handing out teacher raises and elevating respect for the teaching profession will establish the battlefield for next year’s election.

Republicans have the opportunity to own and make 2018 the “Year of the Teacher.” If they seize the day, Arizona taxpayers, parents, teachers and children will win.

 

Wendy Rogers: Let’s take care of our known problems

I stand with President Trump to repeal Obamacare

America must start to repair its healthcare system. The designers of Obamacare ultimately wanted a single payer system. It doesn’t work; case in point: the broken Veterans Administration (VA) system, which my husband and I experience first-hand.

Wendy Rogers & Donald TrumpAs far as being a conservative goes, I’m as conservative as they come. I am ardently pro-life as a mother and grandmother, strong on national defense as a retired career Air Force lieutenant colonel and one of America’s first military women pilots, and I want the government out of my mess kit because I’m a tireless but successful 20-year small business owner.

Academically and professionally, I practiced as clinical social worker in the military mental health system before I trained to be a jet pilot. I cannot bear to see families continue to be plagued by rising premiums and limited choices in healthcare, especially in Arizona where premiums have climbed 116%.

I knocked on thousands of doors where AZ-1 voters told me something must be done to fix the current healthcare mess. I’m not in Washington, but I read the news. Last weekend, my mid-20s-aged kids asked me what I thought. You know what I told them?

I said, “Democracy is messy. We cannot agree a lot of the time, but that’s what the Founders envisioned. Arm-wrestling, passion, patriotism, and compromise. If we had more small business owners and military veterans working this in Congress, we’d get more done. I believe in the president’s agenda overall. Congress needs to get onboard to repeal and replace Obamacare, reform our tax code, repeal onerous regulations, and foster energy independence. Congress needs to help drain the swamp, not add to it.

And I’ll tell you something else. I met the president way back in December 2015 when I introduced him to the crowd in Mesa AZ as the representative military veteran in strong support. I’ve read his books. I’m close to some who work in the administration. As my commander-in-chief, I trust President Trump to have my back. More of us in the military trust this president than any other in a very long time. That should tell you something. A new healthcare law must wend its way through Senate rules and administrative action before we can arrive at a better system. I trust President Trump to steer that course for the good of our country.

Conservatives and citizens all must realize that standing on principle is all well and good, but it cannot be worth falling on one’s sword if we end up with nothing.

These challenges are fixable. We’re Americans. We accomplish great things. Let’s take care of our known problems, so we’re better prepared to thwart the unknowns when they crop up like North Korea’s ICBMs, ISIS infiltrating our own country, or opioids ravaging our families.

Let’s get it DONE.

Air Force (ret) Lt Col Wendy Rogers’s home is in Flagstaff. She and her husband own and operate their own home inspection business across Pinal, Maricopa, Yavapai, and Coconino counties. She is a current pilot who flies her own aircraft, Search and Rescue member of Civil Air Patrol, HAM radio operator, and avid national and statewide traveler. She and her husband have two children and three grandchildren. She was one of the Air Force’s first women pilots and ran for Congress in AZ-1 in 2016.