Christine Jones – Right for Congress

Guest Opinion

Although she has yet to announce, Republican Christine Jones would be a conservative force among a growing crowd of men in Arizona’s 5th congressional district.

The former 2014 gubernatorial candidate and Vice President/General Counsel for GoDaddy is seriously considering a bid for the congressional seat that will be left open upon the retirement of Congressman Matt Salmon.

Christine Jones

Christine Jones

Jones, who placed 3rd in the 2014 Republican Primary for governor, is no stranger to political campaigning. Not only would she bring extensive statewide campaign experience to the race against opponents lacking in the same depth, but she would also have the financial resources to wage a serious ground and media effort.

Her conservative credentials are also proven – a criteria essential to win and represent the east valley’s 5th congressional district. On national security and immigration, Christine Jones has called for deploying National Guard troops to the border, using high tech monitoring and fortifying the wall in critical strategic places. During a 2014 RealClearPolitics interview she said on immigration, “I just know that I’m an unapologetic conservative and I think if you break the law you should have a consequence.”

On jobs and the economy, Jones is no stranger to private sector job creation. As Vice President at GoDaddy, she oversaw the creation of 4,000 jobs during her service to the internet giant. During her gubernatorial campaign she called for a focus on the “5 T’s” – technology, training, transportation, tourism and taxation. Her plan would have moved Arizona’s economy forward with an emphasis on the economic drivers taking Arizona into the next century. The plan would rely heavily on an education system that creates a world-class workforce that focuses on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To spur economic growth, Jones has proposed cutting taxes, streamlining and downsizing government and reducing or eliminating regulatory and legal reforms in order to create an environment that encourages private investment and job growth.

One issue extremely important to Christine Jones is education. In November, 2015, she was appointed as interim CEO of charter school giant, Great Hearts Academies. There, she has overseen the classical education of more than 13,000 students and 29 schools in Arizona and Texas. Some 98% of graduates of Great Hearts graduates go on to college and university. In her appointment, Great Hearts Chairman and co-founder Jay Heiler said , “Christine Jones has the gifts, the background, the dedication and the knowledge of our organization to advance this process as our interim chief executive.” The January, 2016 Niche rankings recognized Chandler Preparatory Academy as the top performing school in Arizona.

While at GoDaddy, Jones pushed for legislation to protect children from online predators and stopping the sale of drugs by illegal online pharmacies. She has testified before congressional committees on several occasions regarding internet threats and illegal activities.

On cultural issues, Christine Jones has proven herself conservative on such issues as religious freedom, traditional marriage and protecting the sanctity of life. She identifies as an evangelical Christian and is active in her church. She is an ardent and fierce defender of the US Constitution, the Second Amendment and eliminating Common Core.

Should Christine Jones enter the race for CD-5, it will certainly stir up the dynamics of the race. The east valley which is considered by political experts as a stronghold for Mormon candidates, has never elected a woman to congress. Since statehood, Arizona has only sent six women to the US House of Representatives with Martha McSally being the only Republican woman elected in Arizona. (Republican women represent only 5% of the current US House.) The election of Christine Jones in the east valley would set a precedent and hopefully reinvigorate efforts to elect more Republican women to Congress.

Jones will likely make an announcement very soon as urgency increases to collect petition signatures for the August ballot. Her opponents should not underestimate her ability to change the entire formula of winning in east valley politics given her tested campaign experience, her ability to communicate conservative values and voters’ anger to overthrow a system of politics as usual.

Christine Jones has challenged and overcome the status quo throughout her life. Winning the 5th congressional district may very well be her next victory.

Opinions On Obamacare in Ohio, Penalties Increase

This story ran on NPR’s Morning Edition on Friday.

The takeaway on the story is that Obamacare is a redistribution and degradation of the quality of healthcare. According to the survey 27% of Ohioans say Obamacare has directly hurt them while 21% say it has directly helped them.

Lilo Whittaker, who responded to the poll, lives on a wooded one-acre lot in rural Ohio. The setting is idyllic on a cold winter morning. Chickadees chirp outside and a pot of coffee brews in the kitchen.

But at nearly 60 years old, Whittaker says the picture isn’t perfect. When Whittaker first heard about the federal health overhaul several years ago, she expected it would help.

“I thought, this is great,” Whittaker says. “People will be able to afford their health insurance, get decent coverage and begin to take care of their medical issues.”

But, in the past two years, Whittaker says, her husband’s Parkinson’s medications went from just over $150 a month to more than $400. The couple’s health insurance coverage has also become less affordable.

“A lot of people like me will forgo going to a doctor even if they have a problem because you can’t even afford your deductible or your copay,” she says. “And I don’t think your health insurance issues here are addressed properly.”

Couple this story with an article in the Washington Times in which H&R Block is reporting that the average tax penalty for not purchasing health insurance is $383. For many Americans who still cannot afford insurance, this is a huge burden. Many Americans were expecting a tax refund only to find out the government penalized them when they did their taxes.

Halfway through tax season, uninsured filers are paying more than twice as much as they did last year to satisfy Obamacare’s penalty for lacking coverage, H&R Block said Tuesday in an analysis that found other customers are still struggling to match their incomes to tax credits they got from Uncle Sam.

The tax-prep giant said its customers are paying an average penalty of $383 because of the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate,” compared to $172 last year.

This is what happens when government entangles health insurance into your personal income taxes.

Obamacare has become an utter disaster. The next Republican president better lead the charge to repeal it and replace it with free market solutions.

Rep Martha McSally on Fight to Restore Eligibility for WASP’s

Congresswoman Martha McSally is leading the fight to restore the eligibility of  WASPs’ to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Sponsored by McSally, H.R. 4336, has obtained the bipartisan cosponsors of 141 members in the House as well as the endorsement of several veterans, military, and women’s advocacy groups. Here is the video of her interview on CBS:

Sen Sylvia Allen: Common Sense is Needed! (On Refugee Policy)

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

These are dangerous times in Arizona and across the world. The terror in Paris and San Bernardino are reminders that evil can appear anywhere, and anytime. One of the terrorists in Paris entered Europe embedded in a group of Syrian refugees. One of the killers in California entered the United States under something called a “fiancé visa’, after being radicalized. No matter what precautions we try to take in the U.S. to keep our citizens safe, it seems there will always be criminals and terrorists able to avoid detection.

That’s why I support Governor Ducey’s effort to be sure that Arizona has a say in who is brought here.  It will be Arizona taxpayers who will need to help fund these refugee families, and it will be Arizona families who will be harmed if terrorists fall through the vetting cracks and end up in our state.    It is Governor Ducey’s responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of Arizona’s citizens.

America is a welcoming country, and it will continue to be, but we also must use vigilance and common sense when we determine who can enter our great country. When it comes to Muslim refugees, we should not only base our decision on what is best for us, but what is also best for them.

Many Muslims live under Sharia Law.  Islam is a political system as well as a religious system and Sharia Law is at the center of that system.  Our Constitutional form of government is in direct opposition.  Would they not be happier in a country that better reflects their beliefs?   Balancing compassion with common sense would tell America that we should help relocate these refugees in other Muslim countries.

Glenn Beck, through his charity Mercury One, has just relocated 149 Christian refugees from Iraq to Slovakia.  Thousands of Americans donated to Beck’s charity to fund the relocation.   Since the US is not allowing Christian refugees (why aren’t we???), Beck found a country who would take them. Close to 500 refugees had been planned for relocation, but the United Nations and the European Union put heavy pressure on Slovakia to stop taking the Christian refugees.

In 1980, my Tenney extended family sponsored a Hmong family.  That program required fellow Americans to take responsibility in finding housing, employment and all their other needs.   The family we helped was a father, mother, three girls and a grandmother.  They lived at my mother’s house, and I helped get the girls into school and found a job for the father.   These refugees were being targeted because the father had fought on the side of America in the Vietnam War.  The Communist governments that took over South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia swept through those countries, killing millions.  Today, this family lives in California, and the girls have all graduated and are good productive citizens.  It was very rewarding for me to help this family.  I am not against helping people in need.

Common sense is needed.   Our lives, as well as the lives of the refugees, depend on it.

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
President Pro Tempore, Arizona State Senate

Congressman Paul Gosar On The Fight To Stop The EPA Water Grab

New_Gosar_Banner

Rep. Gosar: Huge Victory in the Fight to Stop the EPA’s Lawless Water Grab

“Today’s decision is another massive blow to an administration that continues to run roughshod over the rule of law and disregard our nation’s checks and balances”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after a federal appeals court issued a nationwide stay blocking the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule resulting from a lawsuit filed by 13 states, including the state of Arizona:“As federal courts around the country continue to limit the Obama Administration’s lawless, overreaching regulations, the bureaucratic minions forcing these policies down our throats should take notice. No president or D.C. bureaucrat is above our Constitution. For the good of our country, I pray that this misguided effort to illegally push an ideologically-driven agenda, will continue to be thwarted by our judicial system. Furthermore, those who are knowingly violating the law to impose job-killing regulations by executive fiat should be held accountable. Today’s decision is another massive blow to an administration that continues to run roughshod over the rule of law and disregard our nation’s system of checks and balances.

“WOTUS is a job-killing, overreaching new regulation that would be a dream killer for future generations and result in significant job losses as well as considerable harm to our economy. This terribly flawed Washington mandate contradicts prior Supreme Court decisions and seeks to expand agency control over 60% of our country’s streams as well as millions of acres of wetlands that were previously non-jurisdictional. The fight to stop this regulation will not be easy, but I am committed to protecting the American people from this blatant executive water grab and will continue to fight this overreach at every opportunity.”

EPAWater

Background:

From the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: “A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of Executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law.”

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over nearly all areas with even the slightest of connections to water resources, including man-made conveyances.

On May 1, 2014, Congressman Gosar and 230 of his colleagues sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA, and John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army, urging them to withdraw the proposed rule. The full text of that letter can be found HERE.

On January 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.R. 594, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. This legislation has the support of 185 bipartisan cosponsors. Click HERE to read more about the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act.

On May 12, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, by a vote of 261-155. This critical legislation requires the EPA and Corps of Engineers to formally withdraw the agencies’ proposed rule that would redefine WOTUS and any subsequent final rule. Congressman Gosar joined the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster in introducing this bill. Click HERE to read more.

Congressman Gosar has also inserted funding riders into appropriations bills, blocked a democrat amendment that tried to strip one of his WOTUS riders and voted at least five different times for legislation that has passed the House to block WOTUS.  In July 2015, he berated EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and submitted revelatory evidence into the Congressional Record from senior Army Corps of Engineer employees which expressed serious legal and scientific deficiencies with the final draft of the WOTUS rule.

More than 200 organizations and local municipalities have publicly declared their opposition to the proposed WOTUS rule.

On numerous occasions, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy broke the law by lying to Congress in order to try and impose WOUTS by regulatory fiat. On September 11, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.RES.417 to initiate impeachment proceedings against Administrator McCarthy for these crimes. You can learn more about his efforts to remove Administrator McCarthy from office by clicking HERE.

Reps Franks, Schweikert, Salmon, McSally Vote to Fund Obama’s Executive Amnesty

gop_surrender_monkey_1_400_pxlw The House has voted 257-167 to pass what the Leftist media is calling a ‘Clean’ DHS Funding Bill which fully funds Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Amnesty.   While the majority of the 257 Congressmen and women who passed the bill were Democrats, this falls on the feet of all those who voted to retain John Boehner as the Speaker of the House.

It was only a few months ago that hundreds of thousands of Americans jammed the US Capitol’s switchboard demanding a change in house leadership due to Boehner’s unwillingness to stop Obama’s move toward ‘fundamental transformation’. These calls and emails were ignored by establishment Republicans namely Rep Trent Franks, Rep Schweikert, Rep Matt Salmon, and Rep Martha McSally who chose Boehner’s PAC money over the American tax-payers.  For several years now these same politicians have told us at LD meetings or Tea Party rallies that ‘DC is broken’ and they need our support.  Well, to borrow a phrase from Pottery Barn, ‘you broke it, you bought it’.

By keeping the current leadership in place these Republicans are just as responsible for the passage of today’s Amnesty funding bill just as much those who actively lobbied for it. We’ll say it again for clarity; Mr Franks, Mr Schweikert, Mr Salmon, Mrs McSally, You. Own. This. Crap. Sandwich.

How do we make the claim these four voted for Obama’s Amnesty?  To know this, you must learn one of the procedural games the GOP Leadership play all too often:

    INSIDE BASEBALL: HOW DC PLAYS YOU

The House Leadership forwards whatever the Chamber of Commerce wants while simultaneously trying to pacify the base.  That’s where things like the pointless ACU ‘scores’ come in to play.  Let’s take today’s vote for example:

  • STAGE 1 – THE DISTRACTION: Boehner decides in mid Feb that this bill should be postponed until today during the fog of Netanyahu’s speech in order to mitigate the number of grassroots phone-calls to DC offices.  They are betting that we’d be too distracted fighting the Anti-Semites on the Left today.
  • STAGE 2 – THE BROKEN PROMISE: Knowing that he could not get the support of a majority of Republicans, he strikes a deal with Pelosi for a Clean Bill in violation of his Hastert Rule promise.
  • STAGE 3 – QUID PRO QUO: After a backroom deal is struck with the Dems, Boehner creates a strategy with Pelosi to use ‘regular order’ to ensure the bill gets passed in spite of the results of the 2014 elections.
  • STAGE 4 – WHIPPING UP SUPPORT: Pelosi then dispatches House Dem Whips to do a head count to ensure Boehner gets the votes to pass Obama’s Amnesty without GOP support.  Pelosi tells Boehner they have votes needed plus a little extra for padding
  • STAGE 5 – THE SHOW VOTE: GOP Leadership calls a closed-door conference to give border hawks the green light on voting ‘NO’ knowing it will pass anyway.  This way the Leadership/Chamber gets what they want and the faux-Conservatives keep their bona fides among the grassroots come election time.
  • STAGE 6 – RIGGING THE NUMBERS: The ‘Border Hawks’ vote NO knowing they can do so without jeopardizing Boehner’s plan.  It’s little more than a show vote done so representatives can be graded on a single vote as ‘SOLID’ and be able to tout their valued ACU/Club For Growth, FreedomWorks/Whatever org scores in campaign ads while screwing the American tax-payer under the radar. We now know that it is far worse to support a Speaker who does this than a faux-NO vote on a bill that has been predetermined by the donor class to pass.
  • STAGE 7 – THE BAIT & SWITCH: Come election time, they tell us that they voted AGAINST Amnesty and that we NEED them to stay in DC to ‘fight for us’, with the truth being that nothing will change while they remain in DC.  This is precisely how someone like John McCain can serve (themselves) in office for decades as things get worse.

The well-fed right will state “THIS HEADLINE IS DISHONEST! Schweikert, Franks, et al actually voted against this bill, blah.. blah.. blah…” but in reality, now that we know similar parliamentary tricks were practiced with regularity under Speaker Boehner before his reelection in January and since these representatives voted to retain GOP leadership, it’s reasonable to conclude those who backed Boehner for Speaker approve of these tactics and the results. Therefore, we at ArizonaInformer will now score EVERY unpopular bill that Speaker Boehner passes from the floor and will publicize them as a YES vote for the Representatives mentioned above.

MILITARY BETRAYED BY MCCAIN! McCain Screwing Troops With More Cuts

troopsThe Hill is reporting the Senate Armed Services Committee is considering measures that would cut military pensions, increasing out of pocket healthcare expenses and fees, lowering the ‘COLA’ (cost of living allowance), among other ways to reduce the military budget.

Similar measures have already been passed and signed into law during last December’s lame-duck session without any protest from McCain in spite of Conservative talk show hosts such as Hugh Hewitt’s effort to stop them.

Military Advocacy groups have lost the battle in the lame duck session but have regrouped and are lobbying hard to prevent further cuts to the military budget as many families state they cannot afford to bear any more of the burden.

“I think they’re good… It was a good performance by the commissioners…” Liberal Senator John McCain

As it stands, liberal Sen. McCain, the head of the Armed Services Committee, has indicated that he is more than willing to accept more cuts that would adversely affect the families of troops and will continue to hold hearing on the matter.  It will be interesting to see if McCain maintains this anti-troop position of if he recalibrates to a ‘pro-troop’ position ahead of next year’s Senate Primary.

ArizonaInformer.com will monitor the situation closely.

 

ArizonaInformer.com‘s focus is to call out bias and activism by the local media, monitor Arizona’s institutional left, and to hold Republicans accountable to the grassroots.  It’s our primary mission to inform Arizonans with the Truth and amplify the voice of Citizen Journalists — all with a heavy dose of snark. #War

Don’t Embrace Big Federal Government, Support the Compact for a Balanced Budget

By Nick Dranias

Yes, it’s true. The handful of folks who still oppose states organizing behind the Compact for a Balanced Budget to advance and ratify a powerful federal Balanced Budget Amendment embrace big federal government. Of course, they may not mean to do so. But the truth is that by hugging and holding the political status quo, the Balanced Budget Amendment fear-mongers are in a death embrace with the things they claim they oppose.

Why is that? Simply put, we no longer enjoy the form of federal government the Founders originally created. This is because the Constitution as it currently exists has three fatal flaws, which will inexorably lead to tyranny unless they are fixed with a constitutional amendment.

The first is the federal government’s unlimited borrowing capacity. This enables politicians to promise at no immediate cost anything it takes to get elected. That’s like handing liquor and car keys to a teenager. It guarantees a system crash propelled by mindless spending.

The second is unlimited direct taxation authority courtesy of the 16th Amendment. This empowers politicians to make 49% of the nation pay for anything the 51% want; and also to impose complete economic destruction on political enemies and disfavored policy ideas. If this flaw persists, what the IRS did to conservative groups two years ago is just a small taste of what the future holds.

The third is the unlimited concentration of power over national policy making in Washington, DC courtesy of the 17th Amendment. This amendment removed the states from a position of control over the U.S. Senate. It has enabled the federal government to ratify treaties and laws, as well as populate the federal judiciary and federal agencies, without any respect for state sovereignty. And it allows a growing distant political class in Washington, DC to easily leverage overwhelming national power to crush dissent and policy diversity in the heartland.

These three flaws will cause the federal government to gradually accumulate and centralize all political power over time. Over time, these three flaws will make it impossible for limited government and freedom-oriented elected officials to outcompete elected officials who favor big federal government for votes. Consequently, hugging and holding this fatally flawed system is doomed to produce the opposite of freedom. To mix metaphors, voting people in or out of the federal government under these conditions is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Only a constitutional amendment can fix the three fatal flaws of the Constitution as it currently exists. Nothing else will.

But it is irrational to expect two-thirds of each house of Congress to propose the necessary reform. The numbers did not add up in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s, and they just do not add up today. Instead, especially after the last election, there is a much more plausible pathway; that pathway involves organizing three-fourths of the states and simple majorities of Congress behind the necessary reform amendment in a targeted fashion. It means supporting the Compact for a Balanced Budget.

Simply put, the Balanced Budget Amendment advanced by the Compact for a Balanced Budget gives us the best shot of addressing each of the Constitution’s three fatal flaws with fundamental reforms.

To fix the flaw of unlimited federal borrowing capacity, the Amendment imposes an initially-fixed constitutional limit on available borrowing capacity. This limit gives the federal government an additional 5% in borrowing capacity above the outstanding federal debt upon ratification. This 5% cushion allows for a 1 to 2 year transitional period to responsible budgeting and fiscal planning. And there is no doubt the amendment will focus the mind during that transitional period. This is because the debt limit is coupled to a mandatory spending impoundment requirement that kicks-in when 98% of the debt limit is reached. Spending will be limited to available tax and fee cash flow if the debt limit is hit. There is no exception except for the referendum process described below. This one reform guarantees that Washington politicians will immediately lose the ability to promise anything at no immediate cost to get elected.

To fix the flaw of the unlimited centralization of national policy making in Washington, the Amendment empowers a majority of state legislatures to veto any increase in the federal government’s constitutionally-fixed borrowing capacity. To get any additional borrowing capacity above the initial constitutional baseline, simple majorities of Congress will have to refer-out a measure proposing the increase. The proposal will be deemed denied unless it is approved by at least twenty-six state legislatures within 60 days of the referral. With the federal government borrowing nearly half of discretionary spending, this referendum process divides power over national policy making between the states and the federal government in a big way.

Finally, to fix the flaw of unlimited federal taxation authority, the Amendment imposes a tax limit requiring two-thirds of each house of Congress to approve any new or increased income or sales tax. The current constitutional rule allowing for tax increases with simple majorities will be restricted to measures that would completely replace the income tax with a consumption sales tax, eliminate tax loopholes, or impose new or increased tariffs and fees. The reform will divert the pressure for new revenue to the places where special interest pushback will be the strongest, further ensuring that deficits are closed by spending reductions first.

National polling shows that each one of these policy fixes are supported by supermajorities of the American people. With Alaska and Georgia already on board, and at least ten states looking to join the Compact this session, the Compact for a Balanced Budget is an eminently plausible route to the reforms we need to save and restore the Republic.

Indeed, with demographic change threatening the supermajorities needed to get the job done, the Compact for a Balanced Budget may be our last best shot at preventing the federal tyranny that will otherwise inevitably result from the Constitution’s three fatal flaws of unlimited debt, unlimited taxation, and unlimited centralization of power in Washington.

Nick Dranias is President and Executive Director of the Compact for America Educational Foundation. Please visit their website at www.CompactforAmerica.org.

Boehner Re-elected Speaker . . . And You Got Played

David SchweikertBy Rachel Alexander
Townhall

Last week, John Boehner (R-Ohio) easily won re-election as Speaker of the House. Only 25 Republicans defected, with 216 Republicans voting for him. In the days before the election, there was a flurry of emails and activity on social media about the vote, calling on members of Congress to oust Boehner. After the vote, conservative talk show hosts were outraged, denouncing Republicans who voted for him as RINOs and traitors. Even well-loved, conservative members of Congress like Utah’s Mia Love did not escape the anger. Tea Party favorite Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) missed the vote, but said he would have voted for Boehner.

To many, it did not make sense why conservative Republicans would settle for another term of the compromising Boehner, considering Republicans now control both chambers. In Arizona, the most conservative members of the delegation all voted to retain Boehner: Rep. David Schweikert, Rep. Matt Salmon and Rep. Trent Franks. Only Rep. Paul Gosar, who has the lowest American Conservative Union rating of the four, voted against Boehner. Newly elected Republican Rep. Martha McSally of Tucson also voted for Boehner. After the vote, some conservative activists in Arizona started calling Gosar the only true conservative in the delegation. Something wasn’t right. I called Rep. Schweikert to get to the bottom of it.

He told me the vote was largely ceremonial. The real decision was made six weeks ago, at the House Republican Conference. After that, it was too late to persuade most members to change their minds, deals had been made. Anyone who agreed to switch their vote after that could not be trusted based on prior experience. South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney confirmed this in a post on his Facebook page. Two years ago, the Boehner opposition collected signed pledges from enough members of Congress to defeat him. But when it came time to vote, almost half of them changed their minds.

The last minute flurry of emails came from conservative organizations trying to make money by getting conservatives outraged. While it is important these groups raise money, it was a rather sneaky way to do it. By then, it was too late, it was the wrong battle, and provoked fights with conservative members of Congress that could have been avoided.

Conservatives like Schweikert have been trying to remove Boehner for a lot longer than a handful of days last week. He told me he has been working on the ouster for two years. Where was the outcry six weeks ago when the real decision was made? Where were those feigning outrage over the past two years when it came to actually doing the work necessary to get rid of Boehner?

One unfortunate byproduct of the rise of social media, blogs and email is the ability for people to send out emotional blasts about a particular topic as their activism of choice. Instead of GOTV (Get Out The Vote), it is now GOYO (Get Out Your Opinion). Activists have replaced the hard, dull but necessary work behind the scenes with speeches. Unfortunately, there is only so much room at the top for a few national talk show hosts to bloviate.

Replacing Boehner is much more difficult and complex than a last-minute outburst. Getting better leadership is not going to be accomplished with a short and catchy soundbite. It is a deeper, two-fold systemic problem.

The first part of the problem is that no one wants to be Speaker. What most people don’t realize is the primary job of the Speaker is fundraising. The Speaker spends nearly all of their time flying around the country working pricey fundraisers. Most of the names floated around at the last minute as replacements for Boehner could not – or would not – follow through here. Last year, Boehner raised an impressive $100 million. Rep. Mulvaney noted that Gohmert was not a realistic candidate; despite all the media attention he only received three votes. Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) got 12 votes, but has a terrible voting record, evenworse than Boehner’s. Boehner is actually the most conservative Republican speaker in 50 years.

Many in the grassroots complain when the NRCC doesn’t spend money on long-shot races. What they don’t understand is there is only limited money to go around, and it is dependent upon the ability of the Speaker to raise it. Unless the grassroots is willing to start writing hefty checks, it is imperative that the Speaker is someone with charisma who doesn’t mind spending a significant period of their life on an airplane.

The second systemic problem is Congress has become so corrupt it is currently impossible to reform it. Senior members of Congress are so entrenched in leadership positions, as chairs of committees and subcommittees, that these “cardinals” retaliate against anyone who dares to challenge the status quo and power structure. A conservative reformer like Schweikert, who actually would make an excellent Speaker, has no chance at the position because he stood up to the old guard. He lost his position on the powerful Financial Services Committee because he bucked party leadership and voted against a debt ceiling increase.

Sadly, new reformers like Schweikert tend to become disillusioned over time, and eventually leave office. If they can hold out, however, eventually the old guard will age out of office.

It was futile to cast a protest vote for someone other than Boehner. It simply enlarged the target on the backs of reform members of Congress. Several who opposed him, including Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent, both of Florida, were immediately stripped of their committee positions, and there are more on the chopping block.

Contrary to talk-show hype, the vote for Speaker did not juxtapose conservatives vs. leadership. It should be more accurately described as emblematic of the reformers vs. the establishment cardinals.

Schweikert may be the smartest member of Congress. He’s also consistently labeled one of the five most conservative members by various organizations, with a 98.67 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. To label him a RINO over one vote, while letting other Republicans off the hook with much lower scores simply because they did not vote for Boehner, is illogical.

Reforming Congress is like a game of chess. You can’t take out the king instantly, you must set the stage first to take out the king or you will be out of the game. Those who run for office know you rarely win by running for president first, you must first win at a lower level office. Naturally, the same is true for taking out the Speaker, what is so difficult to understand about this? You must chip away the power structure supporting him before you can topple him.

Instead of blasting conservative members of Congress over Boehner, activists should set up meetings with these reformers and ask how they can help with the day-to-day work of cleaning up Congress. It may not be flashy and glamorous, but the flashy and glamorous GOYO approach is not working. Stop being played.

Salmon Wins National Columnist’s ‘Profile In Courage Award’ for Cowardly Boehner Vote

BOOTJanuary 6, 2015 will go down as the largest betrayal of the Arizona Tea Party since its rise in 2009.   As expected, John Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the House but what was not expected was that every Arizona Republican, minus Rep Gosar, would roll over like beaten dogs in yesterday’s vote.  Another sad take-away from yesterday’s vote was that Tea Party darling David Schweikert was officially diagnosed with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ yesterday—  we at Arizona Informer wish David a speedy recovery and a long, peaceful retirement from public office.

One particularity odd moment in yesterday’s vote was Matt Salmon’s cowardly tactic of waiting to see how the wind blew prior to casting his vote (for Boehner) on a second call. The tactic, panned on social media, has now been picked up by several national Conservatives including Iowa radio host and Iowa Caucus king-maker Steve Deace at Conservative Review.  Steve Deace describes Salmon’s move as the following:

“…Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t hand Matt Salmon a profile in courage award for waiting until the second time through the roll call to finally vote for Boehner as Speaker, once it was clear he had the votes. The people of Arizona haven’t seen such bravery since Pat Tillman…”

OUCH!

Salmon’s despicable move was a finger in the eye of the Arizona PCs and Conservative activists who spent the last few days burning up the phone-lines locally and in DC explaining their opposition to another 2 years under Speaker Boehner.  Earlier this week we declared that Reps Franks, Schweikert, and Salmon were at ‘a time for choosing‘, and today we have that answer.  Boehner’s Three Stooges have chosen power and NRCC cash over the will of their own constituents.

The only request we have for Representatives Salmon, Franks, Schweikert, and McSally (a lost cause from the start) is stop begging us for money and to call Speaker Boehner to knock on doors and make calls for you come 2016.  We understand today that we dedicated conservative grassroots activists are of no value to you.  The feeling is now mutual.  We’re just glad that everything is now in the open.

And to Representative Paul Gosar, THANK YOU!  We’re at the ready whenever you need us.

Read Steve Deace’s piece at Conservative Review

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