Two-Time Loser Seeks to Make it 3 for 3

By Calamity June

On Monday, as Arizonans returned to work from the Thanksgiving holiday, many must have thought that they were experiencing a tryptophan-induced flashback, as for the 3rd time in 3 election cycles, Kelli Ward announced that she was once again running for office.

Yes, the same Kelli Ward who was badly embarrassed by octogenarian John McCain in 2016. And the same Kelli Ward who failed to attract 30% of the vote in her bumbling and incompetent 2018 campaign against Sheriff Joe and Martha McSally. And yes, the same Kelli Ward who has shown herself to be nothing more than a pathetic, self-promoting politician who couldn’t campaign herself out of a wet paper bag.

And now Kelli Ward wants to lead the Arizona Republican Party?

Let’s review the role of the AZGOP chairman. First and foremost, the chairman must be a leader who brings together all factions of the Arizona GOP. Kelli Ward has never even garnered 40% of the Republican vote in Arizona, let alone anywhere near a majority. And her failed campaigns have been studies in division, personal insults and attacks on any Republican who doesn’t support her. In 2018, she refused to sign an AZGOP unity pledge, and famously would not even endorse our Republican nominee until over a month after the primary. In a race decided by less than 2%, how many votes did her immature pouting and dithering cost Martha McSally?

Next, the party chairman must be able to raise money, and lots of it. In the most recent campaign cycle, the party raised and spent over $10 million in support of Republican candidates. This is accomplished by reaching out to local, state and national leaders, garnering confidence from the donor community, and putting together a plan of action that donors can invest in. In contrast, Ward barely raised enough money in both of her failed campaigns to cover her overhead, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on out of state consultants and seeing her entire campaign team quit in protest. Her disastrous stewardship left her campaign in tatters, with over $100,000 in debt. It’s hard to see many donors investing in that sort of chaos.

Finally, the party chairman should be a winner. That certainly doesn’t describe Kelli Ward. She was such a a weak statewide candidate that a George Soros-funded SuperPAC actually tried to help her become the GOP nominee last summer. She squandered her opportunity to unify the GOP after Senator Flake announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election, and despite being the only announcned candidate for montnh, failed to bring the party together. There’s a reason that the Arizona House Democrats reacted with glee to today’s announcement. After two failed statewide races, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking of Kelli Ward as a winner.

Sadly, the one talent Kelli Ward seems to possess is not really in the AZGOP job description.

To those who have a hard time turning away from a train wreck, the next two months should be riveting.

Kelli Ward or someone from her campaign is welcome to provide a guest opinion of their own for posting on Sonoran Alliance.

The Ugly Truth About Proposition 126

Proposition 126 is not a tax cut. It is not pro-business. It is not good for Arizona.

Arizonans will have the choice Nov. 6 on whether to pass Prop 126, a ballot measure to amend the state constitution to permanently exempt the service industry from sales taxes. What may sound like a generous proposal to cut taxes is, in reality, an unfair handout to privilege some businesses over others.

  • Prop 126 benefits the service industry while narrowing the tax base, making it more likely that, when push comes to shove, marginal income-tax rates will be raised on everyday Arizonans. Indeed, if the state ever needed to raise revenue, it would be cut off from a significant sector of the economy, forcing it to turn to raising much higher taxes on everyone else.

After all, Prop 126 is not a tax cut. It is a roadblock to keeping tax rates low across the board. It would hamstring our state’s lawmakers, making it much more difficult for them to craft flexible, uniform and fair tax policy.

  • What’s more, Prop 126 is not “pro-business” — it is pro-some businesses, and not others. There are several other ways Arizona could make it easier for businesses to thrive. Doling out special benefits to some while sticking others with the bill is unfair. It’s also bad policy.

While Prop 126 would affect all 7 million-plus Arizonans, it would help only some. During a time when our state’s economy is dynamic and rapidly growing, we need a tax policy flexible enough to keep our taxes low and treat Arizonans fairly.

We won’t get that with Prop 126. On Nov. 6, Arizonans should send this amendment packing.

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.

Frank Schmuck Will Protect Your Right To Protect Yourself

Not even Pepper Spray? That’s right! Sean Bowie voted to deny campus women their right to carry pepper spray or even a taser to defend themselves against sexual predators. What kind of person does that?

As a deputized law enforcement officer and a parent of a daughter in college this is both professional and personal for me.

Students, teachers and all employees of our universities in Arizona should feel safe, and not made to feel like they are breaking the law by protecting themselves with something as simple as pepper spray.

With thousands of sexual assaults and even worse dozens of rapes reported to Police over the last few years, Sean Bowie and his extreme ideology left women defenseless when he voted against House Bill 2172 three times.

See and hear what these women have to say…

To see all our videos visit www.FrankSchmuck.com/videos

Guest Opinion: McSally Will Continue The Fight For Your Personal Freedoms

Last month the U.S Food and Drug Administration launched a crackdown on the sale of e-cigarette vaping devices and is ratcheting up pressure on e-cigarette makers. The industry is now facing new challenges as the federal, state, and local governments take new measures to put it under control.

According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 500,000 deaths annually and leads to a plethora of preventable diseases. Since e-cigarettes provide users the ability to control their nicotine consumption, it helps traditional cigarette smokers to gradually kick their nicotine addiction. E-liquids come in varying levels of nicotine, including zero. This can be particularly helpful for long-time smokers who wish to use vapor products to reduce their dependence and transition away from nicotine entirely. These products are specifically designed for adult smokers who wish to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting cigarettes.

Vapor products do not burn tobacco and do not produce smoke, tar, or ash. They only emit vapor. As most e-liquids contain nicotine, they are considered ‘tobacco products’ and regulated as such but these products do not contain any tobacco. E-liquids are only regulated by the FDA because they contain nicotine, which is itself derived from the tobacco plant. These regulations include company registration, product registration, detailed ingredient listings, labeling restrictions, marketing restrictions, and listings of harmful and potentially harmful constituents.

Federal bureaucrats and critics of e-cigarettes are using the myth of a youth vaping “epidemic” to suggest that flavors need to be banned. The truth is, the vaping industry is already working to make sure there are penalties in place for selling vapor products to minors – just like there are for cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets.

As Americans, it is imperative we have the freedom to choose what is best for us and our family. Too often Washington, DC tells us what we can and can’t do. When Congresswoman McSally is elected to the U.S. Senate, she should continue to fight for Arizonans’ personal freedoms, especially for the thousands of adults across our state who need this innovative new technology to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking.

Steve Smith Threw President Trump’s Wall Under The BUS

As the Republican Primary heats up in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, so does the research and articles on candidates. This piece on Steve Smith was recently published on US4Trump.com:

In the Republican primary race to defeat Democrat incumbent Tom O’Halleran in Arizona’s 1st Congressional district, there are two contenders. Steve Smith, who is against President Trump’s border wall, despite a failed “fence project.”

The other is Wendy Rogers, a pro Trump agenda, and a pro America first agenda candidate. The differences couldn’t be more stark, and the details couldn’t be more bizarre. (Videos Below)

The anti wall, seemingly anti Trump agenda Steve Smith, as state Senator, lead an effort to raise funds for a 370 mile “border fence” in 2011. They estimated a need to raise about 50 million dollars, but were only able to scrounge together a lousy $55,634 instead. When the project disbanded in 2017, the money was donated to the local Sheriff’s Department.

But in 2016, when President Trump proposed a much more comprehensive border wall, Steve Smith was quoted on record as saying “I think this might not be a bridge too far but a wall too far.” He also said that Trump’s immigration proposal “just doesn’t jive.”

On immigration alone, a large issue for Arizona residents, Steve Smith’s record shows that he has been, “all talk, no action.”

Wendy Rogers on the other hand, sees the successful policies of Donald J. Trump and wants to fight for us to secure our border fully with the President’s border wall plan, as seen on her website.

Another bizarre detail about candidate Steve Smith, is his association with the modeling agency, “The Young Agency.”

At first glance, nothing appears out of the ordinary. But if you do a little digging, there seems to be some slimy details that make Steve look more like a used car salesman than a reputable businessman.

One review on Rip Off Report describes the agency as a sort of a ponzi scheme, where they refer clients to their own photographers and charge an arm and a leg for very basic services. (Videos Below)

Many of these people trying to get their foot in the door of the modeling business are shelling out their life savings, not knowing they are not getting anywhere near the bang for their buck they could be with other more reputable agencies.

Furthermore, a second review website says the company took their money and they went months without receiving any services at all.

Another oddity is that Steve Smith’s business is part of the website, “Model Mayhem,” yet there are no listings of his clients or photos there. Why would he associate with that website? There does seem to be many pornographic associations with the website though. Another bizarre head-scratcher.

Here is a Steve Smith ad below that shows him saying vague talking points, and weak policies, things like “secure our border” without talking about the wall he is afraid of. He does NOT mention President Trump!

Ironically he calls himself a doer not a talker. Yet he wont even TALK about the great successes going on in our country right now because of the great leadership of our President. President Trump needs BACKUP, not ego maniacs.

Indeed, it appears as though Steve Smith is not a man for the people, but a man for himself.

Meanwhile, Wendy Rogers was a military officer in the Air Force. She became one of the first 100 women pilots in today’s Air Force in 1981 by earning her wings at Williams AFB in Arizona. After an extensive career in the service, she retired from the Air Force in 1996 and ran a reputable home inspection business with her husband Hal.

She fully supports President Trump’s America first agenda, is a rock solid Christian, and appears to put people and country before self.

Here is a recent video with Wendy telling some great information about herself and the campaign.

 

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

Steve Smith’s Campaign Attacks, Associations Demonstrate Hypocrisy

By Nelli Zard

Activists and Trump supporters reacted with dismay this week when politician and youth talent agency director Steve Smith posted an anonymous blog post on his Facebook page, casting aspersions on one of his primary opponents in Arizona’s 1st Congressional district.

That a candidate for United States Congress would post a poorly written, unsourced and anonymous blog post on his official Facebook page is irresponsible enough. But the substance of the post left many GOP activists scratching their heads.

In short, the anonymous blog post makes a tenuous connection between Senator John McCain and one of Smith’s primary opponents. What makes this laughable, beyond the usual “McCain Derangement Syndrome” that infects many AZ bloggers, who claim McCain is behind everything, and simultaneously needs to resign ASAP since he “can’t do anything”, is the fact that one candidate in AZ-01 has surrounded himself with McCain allies.

That candidate? Steve Smith!

Let’s start at the top, with Smith’s fundraiser. Corinne Lovas is, without question, the best Republican fundraiser in Arizona. She’s extremely talented and so well connected that according to publicly available information, she and her capable team raise money for many statewide officeholders, and currently lead the fundraising efforts for Martha McSally.

That’s right. Currently, McSally and Smith share a fundraiser.

And in 2016, Lovas and her team raised millions of dollars for Senator John McCain and the infamous SuperPAC, Arizona Grassroots Action.

Thanks to the work of Smith’s fundraiser, Arizona Grassroots Action was able to run advertisements, like this one, that eviscerated Senator McCain’s primary opponent, Kelli Ward.

The ties between Smith and McCain grow even stronger when you look at the men and women who are funding his campaign. Top donors and fundraisers to Steve Smith include Tucson auto dealer Jim Click, one of the top McCain donors in Arizona, along with developer Don Diamond, a longtime friend and supporter of Senator McCain. The list goes on and on, but one thing is clear. Steve Smith has raised more money from John McCain’s inner circle than anyone in the AZ-01 campaign. And it isn’t terribly close.

But if Steve Smith wants to play the “guilt by association” game, he might want to take a look at his own campaign team. Smith’s own consultant, Constantin Querard, brings a tremendous amount of baggage and questionable judgment to Smith’s campaign.

Most recently, Querard, or “CQ” as he’s know to Arizona politicos, was the chief strategist to Steve Montenegro’s laughably inept campaign in the Arizona-08 special election. Some may recall that Montenegro stumbled through a relatively mild interview with Brahm Resnick, and was later revealed to have exchanged inappropriate text messages with a female Senate staffer. And these are the types of people who Constantin Querard represents.

Querard has also been the lead lobbyist for the promotion and adoption of the National Popular Vote. The Soros funded-effort to get rid of the electoral college.

Furthermore, while Smith fervently claims to be an early Trump supporter in Arizona, facts are stubborn things. Smith was a supporter of Ted Cruz, as was his ever-present consultant, CQ. In fact, in this photo taken in September of 2015, months after Donald Trump announced his candidacy, shows Smith holding hands with Ted Cruz, praying for his success in the 2016 Presidential campaign. And who is hovering over the entire proceeding? Constantin Querard, of course.

Eight months later, Querard would organize the “never Trump” slate of delegates at the Arizona GOP nominating convention. Querard, a so-called principled conservative, worked closely with Kasich supporters and yes, McCain staff in order to block loyal Trump supporters from becoming delegates.

So along with Smith, who is Querard working for? How about Rodney Glassman, a former Democrat and progressive Tucson City Council member, who is seeking a seat on the corporation commission.

Here’s what Glassman, a client of so-called “principled conservative” Constantin Querard, said about abortion: “When I go about having sex with women, I like to know we are on the same page.” Congrats CQ…your client literally wants to make sure that any unexpected pregnancies he’s a part of will end in abortion.

We’re starting to sense a pattern.

And we haven’t touched on the thousands of dollars that Querard has been paid by National Popular Vote, the scam special interest group that wants states to force their electors to support the winner of the popular vote. I think we all know who would be President today if NPV and Constantin Querard had their way.

If someone were trying to find signs for a failing campaign, look no further than a candidate posting unsourced guilt by association connections on their campaign facebook page. If Mr. Smith goes to Washington, it will be with tickets paid for by Constantin to attend a National Popular Vote conference.

Senator Bob Worsley: Why I’m Leaving Political Office

Monday, June 18, Arizona State Senator Bob Worsley, Republican from LD-25, announced he will not seek re-election exiting political office at the end of his term. Senator Worsley released the following guest opinion:

Bob Worsley

Sen. Bob Worsley

After six years in the Arizona Senate, I will not seek re-election.

Public office was never a position I sought. But when I was recruited by concerned constituents in 2012, I set aside personal endeavors to answer the call.

Since that time, an increasingly caustic political climate has devolved both in Arizona and in Washington. Regrettably, I now feel I can better impact society through resuming my private endeavors than by continuing in elected office while the GOP takes a nap.

We’ve lost the art of compromise

As legislators, we are elected under the banner of a party flag. Yet the districts we represent are comprised of diverse people with an array of needs and opinions.

Irrespective of those differences, voters and legislators alike are asked to cut, squeeze, twist and trim their worldviews into one of two buckets: Republican or Democrat.

Alarmingly, blind ideological allegiance to only one of the two buckets has created a political atmosphere where the most poisonous word an elected official can mutter is “compromise.”

The byproduct of a climate where compromise is viewed with such disdain is the loss of truly lasting solutions to difficult problems.

Oversimplification only hurts us

Issues are almost never black and white. There is nuance and complexity in nearly every challenge facing society. We do ourselves a disservice when we oversimplify complex issues to fit a strict adherence to political ideology.

I am generally conservative but prefer to be thought of as a governing Republican rather than as a conservative ideologue. While in office I used my life’s experiences and best judgment to vote with Republicans when I believed the party represented my constituents and Arizona’s best interests.

When there were common sense solutions that did not fit into party platforms but did fit into the best interest of the voters, I sided with the voters.

We’ve also forgotten civility

Sometimes, difficult political decisions require immunity to fevered backlash from those prone to oversimplification and demagoguery.

Whether promoting a kinder, more empathetic approach to immigration than Senate Bill 1070, or providing a responsible safety net to those in need through Medicaid expansion, I am no stranger to such backlash. But in these instances, and others, I weighed all options with deliberate consideration and voted for human dignity over ideology.

Differences and disagreements are a given anytime there is more than one person involved. What should not be a given, however, is debasing and vitriolic rhetoric toward those with whom there is disagreement.

Civility has become a rare commodity in political debate, a fact that worries me greatly.

Aim higher than where we are now

Lack of civility in politics is not a confined phenomenon. It has bled into our neighborhoods. Increasingly, we associate only with those who share our opinions while viewing those who do not as bad actors.

This is not only detrimental to the political process, it is harmful to our communities. On this issue, I agree with Sen. John McCain who recently said, “we are more alike than different.”

I ran my campaigns on one word: Elevate. It is the singular value that has guided my life. If a problem cannot be solved on the plane on which you stand, step higher.

I still have great hope in a bright future for our state and our country. It has been my honor to serve for a season and now allow for others to have their season.

I hope I have left a legacy of genuine concern for all people and the notion that good solutions should never be bad politics.

Arizona Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, represents Legislative District 25. Follow him on Twitter: @bob_worsley.