Torkelson: Voters asked to retain Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick

On his first day at the Arizona Supreme Court, Justice Clint Bolick posted a sign in his office. It had two simple rules he expected staff to follow.

Rule One: Call me Clint; Rule Two: There are no other rules.  Although the first rule was never followed, I can think of no better example of the humility with which Justice Bolick has approached his job as the 44th justice of the Arizona Supreme Court—always taking his work, but never himself, seriously.

I had the honor and privilege of serving as Justice Bolick’s law clerk for almost two years. From the moment he took the bench, he demonstrated a passion to execute his civic duty and fiercely protect both the federal and state constitutions. He did this every day with a smile, a venti Starbucks hot chocolate, and respect for his colleagues and attorneys who argued before him.

Of the attorneys who argued before him, those surveyed gave him a 100 percent score on legal ability, integrity, and administrative performance.  The high marks extended to those that worked behind the scenes, as well.  Court staff joked he needed a Supreme Court greeter vest because he always stopped to say hello to everyone.

In November, voters will be faced with a survey of their own.  On the back of the ballot Arizonans will determine whether to retain Justice Bolick on the high court.  This vote is based upon whether he has the judicial temperament, ability, and skill to remain on the bench.  I know Justice Bolick exhibits these characteristics because I saw it every day without waiver.

Since his time on the court, Justice Bolick has written 32 opinions. Of the 15 times he wrote for the majority, 14 of them were unanimous opinions. This amounts to hundreds, if not thousands, of pages where Justice Bolick outlines exactly how he came to his decision.  Importantly, in not one of those decisions will you find “the party’s identity” a deciding factor.

And there is no reason you would.  Justice Bolick is the only Independent to ever serve on the Arizona Supreme Court.  Indeed, independence is the cornerstone of his jurisprudence. The only common denominator throughout his writings is the plain language of the law.  What it says is what it means.  If you don’t like what it says, look to the Legislature.

Some say true bravery comes in dissent.  Justice Bolick has never shied from writing in opposition.  In fact, he began his first dissent praising our freedom-loving state, while noting the very words on the Supreme Court building, “Where law ends, tyranny begins,” informing readers of a “draconian” Arizona law affecting a homeless man.

Beyond judicial temperament, ability, and skill, Justice Bolick also has an unparalleled dedication to our great state.  I remember two times where Justice Bolick was overcome with excitement. The first was when the Pokémon Go craze was at its height and some of the clerks found a Pokémon on his desk.  The second was when he found out he would once again be teaching, this time Constitutional Law at ASU.  Teaching, in any form, has always been a source of pride for Justice Bolick.  It is why he insists on hiring an intern to work alongside his clerks every semester in chambers. There are countless mentees, just like me, who are forever grateful to learn from him.

Before November, I hope you read his opinions (azjustice44.com) and watch the oral arguments (azcourts.gov). There you will see a justice whose impartiality and independence allows him to look beyond party and political favor to address each case anew.  When you reach the back of your ballot consider what Arizona needs in the black robe.  Then, grab a hot chocolate and join me in voting to retain Justice Bolick.

Ashley Torkelson is currently an attorney serving in the United States Air Force. The views expressed are those of Ms. Torkelson only and not those of the United States Air Force or Department of Defense.

Clean Election System Abuse Continues as Candidates Funnel More Taxpayer Money to the Democrat Party

By Free Enterprise Club

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission claims they care about keeping special interests out of the political process by providing candidates with taxpayer funds to run for office.

But as was discovered in 2016 election cycle, politicians and political operatives know how to cheat the system and the unaccountable Clean Elections Commission just doesn’t seem to care.

An examination of campaign finance reports filed by publicly funded Clean Election Candidates in 2018 show over $100,000 being funneled to the state, county and local political parties, as well as to other political operations such as the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC).

As was the case in prior elections, the democratic candidates running in the least competitive legislative districts are the biggest contributors to these electioneering efforts.

One of the worst offenders is candidate Lynsey Robinson from conservative legislative district 12 in the East Valley.  She gave a staggering $22,590 to the Democratic Party Operations, which is over 50 percent of the total amount she receives from Clean Elections!  If her intention was to win her race, sending over half her money to the Party seems like a poor strategy to do so.

Other giveaways to political groups include:

$21,442 from Jo Craycraft, candidate for Senate in LD 1
$18,980 from Hazel Chandler, candidate for House in LD 20
$18,500 from Chris Gilfillan, candidate for House in LD 20
$14,170 from Mark Manoil, candidate for State Treasurer
$12,400 from Kiana Sears, candidate for the Corporation Commission
$9,520 from Kathy Hoffman, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Interestingly enough, the largest benefactor of these public funds was the ADLCC, a Political Action Committee chaired by legislative democrats to elect democrats around the state of Arizona.  Traditionally, victory PACs such as this provide money and support tocandidates—they don’t receive money from them. This is because committees such as this fundraise for the express purpose of playing in election races.  However, they do so independently of any candidate because it is against the law for organizations and PACs to coordinate with candidates on their election activities.

That makes the expenditure to the ADLCC even more suspicious.  Either a candidate is giving them money to use in other more competitive races (which is wrong and must be stopped), or they are giving them money to provide services to their campaign (which is likely illegal.)  Either way, the ADLCC’s taxpayer gravy train is an offensive abuse of the system and should be stopped immediately.

The unaccountable Clean Elections Commission has made it clear that they don’t care how our money is wasted, which is why voters must vote YES on Proposition 306.  Prop 306 would prohibit candidates from funneling taxpayer funds to political parties and political special interest groups.   If there was any question that the exploitation of the system would continue and proliferate – this year’s election season proves otherwise.

Voters should put an end to it by Voting Yes on Prop 306.

Wendy Rogers: Send Walt Blackman to the State House

Rarely do I get the opportunity to recommend a fellow retired career military veteran to the Arizona state legislature. Retired Army First Sergeant Walter Blackman served our nation on active duty for 23 years with distinction. I am honored to support this America-loving solid conservative to help him serve his nation again.

My husband and I have come to know Walt closely. His combat experience and leadership of tank troops places him in a class of his own. One thing about tankers, when they get the mission, they finish it with lightning speed.  Walt Blackman led troops of more than 150 soldiers in life and death situations.

I know Walt and his family personally and can testify they are the real deal. Walt listens to the concerns of voters and provides conservative solutions, not government solutions. I’m confident that Walt Blackman will stand up for every person in Arizona, because he knows what it looks like when governments go too far. He saw it in his seven deployments to Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Walt truly believes what makes the United States exceptional is our reverence for the Constitution and its importance as the foundational pillar of this great republic. And along with that, he profoundly respects the rights of individual freedom and personal responsibility. He’s not afraid to be held accountable, which is a rare quality these days.

Walt will ardently defend Pro-Life policies at every level and unceasingly strive to protect those who are least able to protect themselves, the unborn. And if you care about your 2nd Amendment rights, you will see Walt Blackman take point and lead to protect our gun rights.

Please vote for retired First Sergeant Walt Blackman. And instead of casting two possible votes for State House, please cast just one vote for Blackman. That way, he gets more votes to win it.

Wendy Rogers, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
Republican candidate
Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Meet Commissioner Justin Olson

Last October, Governor Doug Ducey appointed Justin Olson to the Arizona Corporation Commission in confidence that he would serve with ethics and integrity.

Since his appointment, Olson has enacted rate reductions that have lowered our electric bills. He has a long history in Arizona and really cares about serving ratepayers. He’s passionate about tax policy and is already bringing the kind of tax savings home to us.

Justin Olson is able to do this because he brings experience and expertise that the commission has never had before. He earned an MBA from ASU and understands business and finance. Olson also served in the Arizona Legislature where he worked to balance the budget without increasing debt, using gimmicks or raising our taxes.

Justin Olson is a true conservative who is looking out for Arizonans. After viewing this video you will see why he is the real deal and is acting in our best interests. Olson represents us and is sincerely looking out for Arizona ratepayers.

If you’d like to learn more about Commissioner Olson, check out his website at votejustinolson.com

POLL: Arpaio Shakes Up AZ Senate Race

McSally leapfrogs Ward for the lead, Arpaio close second

Steve Bannon’s endorsement is the kiss of death for Kelli Ward

PHOENIX (January 10, 2018) – What happens when America’s former Toughest Sheriff joins the fray for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona? The race for the GOP nomination gets thrown into disarray.

A new poll conducted of 504 registered voters was conducted Tuesday by OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) shows U.S. Rep Martha McSally of Tucson is the new leader with 31 percent support. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who announced this week his intention to seek the nomination, follows closely at 29 percent. Former State Sen. Kelli Ward now trails with 25 percent.

Arizona’s OH Predictive Insights and ABC15-Phoenix (OHPI/ABC-PHOENIX) teamed up to find out how the entrance of Arpaio changes the dynamics of the Senate election contest.

OHPI conducted an IVR survey of 504 likely 2018 GOP Primary Election voters comprised of Republicans, Independents and Party Non-Declared statewide here in Arizona. The sample is based on voter history and qualified as a likely voter for the 2018 GOP Primary Election in this survey with a +/-4.36% margin of error.

“Sheriff Joe makes a splash wherever he goes and his surprise entrance into the U.S. Senate race shines a new light on this important race to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.. “Everyone knows Joe. He has near-unanimous name recognition. But it doesn’t mean he is universally loved. It will be a challenge convincing voters he’s a new Joe.”

We first looked at where the candidates stack up in regards to their name ID, fav/unfav and net positive numbers.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, of Tucson, leads the pack, however, all three are within the margin of error. She also is the least damaged of the group given she only has a 17% total unfavorable number, although, a third of voters don’t know who she is. Arpaio clocked in at an astounding 97% name ID and by almost a 2-1 margin he holds a positive view from likely GOP primary voters. A key indicator of a winning a campaign is not just being known, but being known AND liked so we ranked the list by the people with the highest net favorable name identification to lowest positive name ID.

 

Now, let’s see how everyone stacks up in the horse race question if the election were held today.

Back in November, OH Predictive Insights polled the horse race with just McSally and Ward.  Ward was in first place with 42% and McSally trailed by 8 points at 34% with 24% undecided. With Arpaio entering the race McSally goes from second to first and Ward goes from first to last place with only 15% of voters remaining undecided.

Where did the votes go? McSally only dropped 3 points from the previous poll, which is within the margin of error. Arpaio’s entrance did not affect her. Ward on the other hand lost 17 points, which migrated over to Arpaio. Arpaio also pulled 9points of the undecideds off the board, which now leaves just 15% of voter’s undecided in this contest.

Now, we will take a look at how a Trump, Bannon or McConnell endorsement would impact GOP voters for this race.

A Trump endorsement makes a huge difference, with 73% of voters saying his endorsement is a significant influencer in their decision. And by more than 2-1, Trump moved voters in a positive direction. McConnell only moves 57% although in the wrong direction by 8 points.  Steve Bannon’s endorsement on the other hand moves 70% of voters and that direction is straight into the ground.

 

Finally, we wanted to try the horse race question again, but this time inject the primary backers of each candidate. Ward has been endorsed by Bannon.  Trump pardoned Arpaio and he was his first major endorsement in the GOP presidential primary. McSally is one of Mitch McConnell’s top recruits for Senate.

“Joe Arpaio’s decision to enter the senate race spells doom for the wobbly Ward campaign,” Noble said. “Ward’s support seemed to be a half mile wide and just a half inch deep. One day of Joe Arpaio in the race ruins more than a year of work Ward has done to capture the GOP nomination. Martha McSally and Joe Arpaio are headed for a Tombstone-style showdown in August with the winner having to take on a rested and loaded for bear Kyrsten Sinema.”

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on January 9th, 2018, from a likely 2018 GOP Primary Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, geographic location, and gender, however, age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondent’s due to the survey medium. The margin of error is of ± 4.36%.  Note: Average age of those who voted a Republican ballot in the 2014 election in Arizona was 65.

Maricopa County GOP Chair Congratulates New AZGOP Executive Team

Chris HerringI join in with Govenor Ducey and Republican’s around the state in congratulating the new AZGOP executive team of Matthew Kenney and Torunn Sinclair.  We have the important task of ensuring Arizona remains a bastion of conservatism in 2018 and that we do all we can to help get Republicans elected. I know the new team shares this singular focus.

When seeking the office of Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party I made a commitment to end factional fighting between the county and state party, as far as it was in my power to do so. I believe this new team understands the importance of working hand in hand as one Republican Party.

I look forward to working with the new team to build a stronger party, and to ensure that all of our candidates in Maricopa County are given the tools they need to run successful campaigns, that all of our precinct committeemen are fully equipped to work for candidates of their choice, and that we ensure a path to victory for all Republicans in the general election.

Chairman Herring
Maricopa County Republicans

 

House Ed Chair Paul Boyer, Rep. Drew John Endorse Tracy Livingston for Superintendent

Phoenix, AZ – Two more members of the Arizona House of Representatives, House Education Committee Chairman Paul Boyer (R-LD20) and Representative Drew John (R-LD14) today announced their support for Tracy Livingston as the  next Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“As Chairman of the House Education Committee, I am responsible for advancing policies that will strengthen every classroom in Arizona,” said Rep. Boyer. “As a teacher, I am responsible for the best interests of my classroom full of kids. Because I have to approach education from both perspectives, I am very encouraged by what I’ve seen and heard from Tracy Livingston. I’m supporting Tracy for Superintendent of Public Instruction because we need someone who understands the impact education policies have on kids, on teachers, and our classrooms. Tracy will fight to end Common Core and will champion giving parent’s choices and control over their kids’ education.”

Echoing the sentiments of his colleague, Rep. John had this to say: “Improving Arizona’s schools will require more than just good policies. We are going to need dedicated teachers who love their kids and what they do. And what better place to put just such a teacher than into the office of State Superintendent. That’s why I’m endorsing Tracy Livingston and why I hope you will support her.”

While 13 states currently elect their Superintendent, none of those elected in recent years appear to have spent the majority – or even a significant portion – of their careers in the classroom. Unlike them, Tracy Livingston has spent her entire career teaching kids and understands the needs of students, parents and teachers alike.

“The non-traditional student of 20 years ago is now the norm,” Mrs. Livingston noted, “and teachers are having to adapt, but school policy and administration isn’t keeping up. Teachers are facing a greater burden today than ever before, yet the enormous run-up in educational spending over these last few decades hasn’t reached the classroom. As a classroom teacher, I know we can do better – and I know what we need to do to make it happen. It’s time for a teacher to lead.”

###

Mrs. Livingston is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelors in Broadcasting from the Walter Cronkite School, and a Masters of Education. First elected in 2014, Tracy is a member and former President of the Maricopa Community College Governing Board. Before that, she served two years on the Peoria Unified School Board. Tracy has also served as an elected Republican Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 22 since 2011.

Tracy and her husband, David, have one son, Kyle, who is an EMT in Prescott, Arizona. David Livingston is a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. The family currently lives in Peoria with their two rescue Siberian Huskies, Katie and Spencer.

Representative-elect David Stringer endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, ARIZ (December 29) – Today, Representative-elect David Stringer (LD 1) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman. LD 1 covers parts of northern Maricopa County.

“Chris Herring fights to expand liberty and to reduce government – not just in Maricopa County, but across the state,” Stringer said. “He believes in local control, less government, and the importance of adherence to the Constitution as it was written. Bold, young conservatives are the future of our party, and Chris has my support to be the next chairman of Maricopa County.”

“Representative-elect Stringer has already proven to be a strong friend to grassroots Republicans in his district,” Herring said. “I look forward to supporting his work in the Arizona House of Representatives and to working with him to elect and empower conservative Republicans in Maricopa County.”

Representative-elect David Stringer joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, Representative Justin Olson, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

Jim O’Connor’s Leadership Raises AZGOP Questions

Interesting information regarding the role of Republican LD-23 in the 2016 Primary Election. Under the direct leadership of Chairman Jim O’Connor, LD-23 endorsed Republican Primary candidates like Alex Meluskey – not illegal but certainly out of character and spirit with Republican primary election principles.

In this message, retrieved from an August memo to precinct committeemen, Chairman Jim O’Connor acknowledges the endorsement of Alex Meluskey in the Republican US Senate Primary. (The memo attempts to address how LD-23 PC’s should respond to Meluskey’s dropping out of the race.)

LD23 Memo to PC'sThis has particularly impact for the Arizona Republican Chairman’s race as it demonstrates Chairman O’Connor’s potential influence and leadership should he be elected to the post. Would a Chairman O’Connor lead an effort to endorse another Senate run by Alex Meluskey or perhaps Dr. Kelli Ward over sitting US Senator Jeff Flake? Would Chairman O’Connor push for the election of a primary challenger against Governor Doug Ducey? His prior record of intervention and leadership raises serious questions and concerns over how he would lead the Arizona GOP over the next two years.

The 2018 mid-term election will be critical for statewide and congressional races. The party must have the most objective even-handed Chairman at its helm.

Representative Justin Olson endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, AZ – (December 20) – Today, Representative Justin Olson (LD 25) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman.

“Chris is a strong conservative, and a capable leader for Maricopa County,”Olson said. “As a champion of smaller government and reducing taxes, I know I have an ally in Chris. He understands the Republican principles of small government and states’ rights, and he will fight for the Republican Party platform.”Justin Olson
“I am thankful for Representative Olson’s endorsement,” Herring said. “My candidacy for MCRC Chairman is attracting the support of elected officials and conservative leaders from all around the county, and I look forward to serving them and our hard-working grassroots members should I be elected chairman.”

Representative Justin Olson joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.