Mormon Voters Really Don’t Like Donald Trump. Here’s Why.

An interesting read by BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins on the relationship between Utah’s LDS population and the Trump campaign. Given Arizona’s active LDS population does that same sentiment translate here?

It’s not just Mitt Romney.

By McKay Coppins

Speaking before one of his smallest crowds this campaign season, Donald Trump declared Friday night at a rally in Salt Lake City that he loves the Mormons.

The feeling does not appear to be mutual.

So far in 2016, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have proven to be one of the most stubbornly anti-Trump constituencies in the Republican Party — a dynamic that will likely manifest itself in Utah’s presidential caucuses next week.

National polling data focused on Mormons voters is hard to come by, but the election results speak for themselves. Even as Trump has steamrolled his way through the GOP primaries, he has repeatedly been trounced in places with large LDS populations.

(Continue reading at BuzzFeed)

Sean Noble: Trump, the greatest hoax played on the American people

Here is a great assessment by my political consultant peer Sean Noble regarding the current state of the Republican Party and what is driving the Trump faction in the GOP.

Sean recently appeared on Carey Peña Reports which is available on iTunes podcasts.

Although the interview was recorded on this last Tuesday with the prediction that Marco Rubio would mount a comeback in Florida, the rest of the assessment is spot on when it comes to what is driving the frenzy around Trump and how it will redefine or even destroy the Republican party.

I agree with Sean on this assessment and its one of the reasons why I cannot sit back and allow the GOP to be hijacked out of emotion and without a good dose of critical thinking.

Another point I agree with Sean on is that it is only about 20-25% of the population that is driving the Trump movement – a very loud and angry vocal minority.

Here’s the interview and be sure to subscribe to Carey Peña Reports via Inspired Media 360 available on iTunes.

 

Guest Opinion: Demand-based rate strategy makes sense

Media coverage of the electricity rate case filed by UniSource Energy Services (UES) has promoted dire predictions from California-based rooftop solar leasing companies that oppose the proposal. We encourage every utility customer to consider the facts of the UES case.

UES has proposed residential rates that reflect both total energy use and peak energy use, or “demand.” This makes sense because utility costs are driven by the need to satisfy customers’ energy demands during peak periods. Arizona business owners have been paying demand-based rates for years and have found them to be fair, simple and easy to use. They include a basic service fee, a relatively low usage-based charge and a demand charge that’s based on their highest monthly power use.

Critics claim demand rates are “too confusing.” As smart thermostats and app technology grow ever smarter, this claim falls short. Demand rates give consumers a new way to save money by managing their use of electric appliances during peak usage periods. Smart technology can help customers take advantage of demand rates to lower their bills significantly. At the same time, reducing energy usage during peak times helps ensure the stability of the power grid statewide.

Because demand charges would be offset by lower energy use charges, most residential customers would see little impact from the proposed change. In fact, the UES proposal protects customers by reducing the generous subsidies handed to rooftop leasing companies at the expense of the 98 percent of consumers who don’t have solar. That’s why we’re hearing the loud voice of protest from the solar industry’s PR machine. UES’s proposal will create a sustainable free market for clean energy and send the right price signals to encourage future energy innovation. That’s important to every Arizona business. All of us want our state to stay at the forefront of the clean energy movement and to continue to create jobs in that growing sector.

Unfortunately, jobs have become a political pawn for the rooftop leasing companies. In Nevada, these companies fired their own workers and fled the state as punishment after policy changes took the brunt of subsidy payments off the backs of non-solar customers. They’ve threatened the same punitive behavior in our state. This “take our toys and go home” approach will hurt Arizona families and our economy. As reputable case studies and testimony explain in detail, rooftop leasing companies can continue to make ample profit under a demand rate structure should they elect to compromise, rather than litigate and flee to other states where generous profits are still to be had on the backs of non-solar customers.

Using employees’ paychecks as a bargaining chip is wrong. So is intentionally disrupting the businesses of local installers – the very people the California-based national giants once claimed they wanted to help.

Arizona needs an energy policy that encourages a broad array of technologies and the highest degree of freedom and fairness for all power users. The more control consumers have – absent subsidies paid by the vast majority of power users to fund technology for the few – the better off our state will be. To hear the rooftop solar leasing companies tell it, you would think the goal of energy policy should be whatever helps them sell the most systems at the largest profit.

We take a broader view. We sincerely hope the Arizona Corporation Commission will take that broader view as well.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Lea Marquez Peterson is the president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Utility ‘Demand Charges’ Offers Best Solution to Utility Costs Problem

In a prior post I provided a primer on the economics and politics of the rooftop solar industry in Arizona. Net metering was essentially a solution to the initial introduction of rooftop solar into the residential consumer market. The rooftop solar industry took advantage of the political process by carving out a government-sanctioned incentive in the market that allowed them to operate and profit despite harsh economic realities in the renewable energy market.

Rooftop solar companies lease their solar panel system to consumers because the vast majority of consumers cannot afford a system that costs tens of thousands of dollars.  They needed an effective marketing message to “sell consumers” on leasing their product – an incentive to overcome the objection of cost. Thus net metering was offered as an incentive.

Here’s how it works. Most consumers do not use all the electricity generated by their rooftop system throughout the day. Net metering allows any excess electricity to be “sold” back to the main electrical grid. Consumers effectively build up a credit for the excess power they provide back to the grid. The amount of that credit is based on a retail rate that is higher than the wholesale market rate offered on the grid.

That difference between retail and wholesale electric rates is what has become the center of dispute between the rooftop solar industry and utility companies. It adds up to millions of dollars.

Utility companies argue that the cost to repair, maintain and upgrade the main power grid has not been taken into account as the market for rooftop solar has expanded. As utility companies continue the practice of net metering and purchasing back electricity at a rate higher than market value, it is negatively impacting the cost to maintain our electrical infrastructure. These costs ultimately get passed on to ratepayers, especially those who cannot afford to install and lease expensive rooftop solar systems. The result is that rooftop solar customers are paying less than non rooftop solar customers for the maintenance and improvement of our power grid.

This is where the idea of a “demand charges” becomes an economic and equitable solution for all users of the grid.

Rather than continuing an unfair solar net metering policy that gives wealthier ratepayers an advantage over lower income ratepayers when it comes to maintaining the grid, why not charge individuals for the demand that they actually place on the grid?

Most electricity consumers put most of their demand on the system during the early morning and early evening. It’s part of our daily routine: wake up, eat, prepare for work and head off to work. In the early evening, we come home, cook, clean and entertain ourselves before repeating the same routine the next day. Now aggregate that across millions of households and its easy to see how residential demand on the grid spikes twice a day.

Demand charges are determined by the maximum amount of electricity demanded by a consumer during a specific measure of time such as a day, week or billing period. This is the cost or strain placed on the grid when turning on appliances, air conditioning, etc. and is especially prevalent here in Arizona during summer months. Consumers who run all their appliances at the same time every day place a higher demand on the grid than those who spread their use of their appliances out over the same 24 hour period.

Here is a video put out by a South African utility company explaining the concept of energy demand charges:

Here in Arizona, the Arizona Corporation Commission is hearing a request from Tucson’s Unisource Energy Services – the utility that provides power to rural and southern Arizona. In its request it is seeking a rate increase and structure for ratepayers in Mohave and Santa Cruz County in order to alleviate the burden on the power grid and non-rooftop solar ratepayers. The request includes adjusting the net metering rates to current market values and implementing “demand charges” that allow it to compensate for the demand on the grid.

California-based rooftop solar companies are lined up in opposition to the changes and have even threatened to pull out of Arizona cutting hundreds of local jobs. These are the same companies who are profiting off the artificially-priced subsidy set in net metering. If UNS wins approval of the market rate adjustment in its net metering rate request, only new solar installations will receive the market-adjusted subsidy.

The UNS request also includes approval for a “demand charge” meant to cover the costs associated with peak demand. This charge would be optional for residents and small businesses but would be mandatory for any new rooftop solar installations which “create new cost burdens and reliability concerns for utilities and their customers.”

If approved, such changes will begin the process of correcting manipulations in the market and reducing special subsidies for residential rooftop solar industry.

As someone who opposes government sanctioned subsidies, it’s time that solar users finally help cover the cost of the grid that non-solar users have been paying for without receiving any benefit. Implementing “demand charges” and adjusting the net metering rate are necessary decisions to restore a free market solution to a corporate cronyism problem. It’s the fair and economically sound thing to do and maintain the reliability of our power grid to the benefit of all consumers.

ATRA: AG Audit Harshly Critical of GPLET

ATRA

By Jennifer Stielow

A recent audit by the Arizona Auditor General (AG) revealed many critical flaws surrounding the calculation, collection, distribution, and reporting of the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET).

According to the AG’s review of 268 leases, nearly half are currently under eight-year abatement; and therefore, no revenue is being collected. Forty-five percent of the leases examined are paying GPLET under the rate structure that existed prior to 2010 that imposes a dramatically lower tax burden than the current GPLET rates. Of all the leases audited, only 16 (6%) are subject to the new GPLET rates. As a result, the AG found that the 2010 GPLET revisions have not resulted in increased revenue as expected because so few leases pay tax under the new rate structure.

Additionally, the AG found many examples where the incorrect GPLET was calculated because either the wrong rates were used and/or not all of the property subject to GPLET was included. In fact, in certain instances lessees failed to remit GPLET payments altogether.

The audit also found that the distribution of GPLET revenues by county treasurers was done incorrectly by using the distribution percentages for property tax rather than GPLET, which are different. Furthermore, although county treasurers are required to assess penalties and interest on delinquent payments, none did so.

There are several reporting requirements under GPLET, one of which requires county assessors to annually report the value of all GPLET property, which includes properties under abatement, to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). The AG found that only three of the seven counties that have GPLET deals reported the valuation of GPLET properties to ADE. This is a major cause for concern since underreporting GPLET values to ADE requires the state general fund to pay more in state aid payments to school districts than otherwise required. Overall, auditors’ interviews with city, town, and county officials indicated a general lack of understanding of GPLET requirements and recommended the Legislature modify statutes to address GPLET deficiencies.

This special audit was a requirement of the 2010 legislation that enacted several revisions to GPLET. The purpose of the audit was to determine if the revisions resulted in a viable revenue source in lieu of an ad valorem property tax on possessory interests for counties, cities and towns, community colleges, and school districts.

Originally enacted in 1996 as a successor to the possessory interest tax, GPLET allows government to enter into lease agreements with private entities to use government-owned property for private use and be subject to an excise tax in lieu of a property tax. By 2010, cities had dramatically expanded their use of the eight-year abatement. Additionally, the tax liability under the existing GPLET rate structure was not only considerably lower compared to the property tax, but the entire tax obligation disappeared at fifty years.

In an effort to address some of the inequities with GPLET, the 2010 legislation limited the size of Central Business District (CBD) boundaries for leases who qualify for the eight-year abatement. A new rate structure was implemented that nearly doubled the existing rates, and while rates under the old structure dropped 20% every ten years until reaching zero by the fiftieth year, the new rates are adjusted annually by the producer price index for new construction indefinitely. Finally, the legislation prospectively limited GPLET deals to a maximum of 25 years, including any abatement period, at which time the government lessor is required to convey the property to the prime lessee and the property is then placed on the property tax rolls.

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The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) is the only statewide taxpayer organization representing a cross section of Arizona individuals and businesses. Organized in 1940, ATRA is the largest and most respected independent and accurate source of public finance and tax policy information. ATRA represents taxpayers before policy makers at the state and local level. ATRA’s fundamental belief is that every governmental expenditure is directly related to a tax. ATRA’s goal is efficient statewide government and the effective use of tax dollars through sound fiscal policies.

Arizona Legislature Finally About to Dismantle Corrupt Arizona Bar

crptn

Reprinted from Townhall
By Rachel Alexander

Those of you who regularly read my columns know I have a special focus on progressives misusing the left-leaning legal system to destroy conservatives. Republican officials, prosecutors — even I was targeted because I was briefly assigned to represent Sheriff Joe Arpaio for three months as a deputy county attorney. I have now been under attack for over six years, with no end in sight. The shady State Bar of Arizona will not let me practice law until I pay $101k, the cost of disciplining me and my superiors. Because of this, people tell me I am now the “poster child for reform of the Bar.”

But this isn’t about me, I’m doing fine as a journalist. I simply cannot tolerate the unethical activity, and since I understand the legal system, the extent of the wrongdoing, and can speak out without fear of having my law license yanked, I feel a moral obligation to expose it and stop it.

As I covered in my column last week, conservatives are finally starting to make inroads into dismantling these totalitarian state bars, which essentially operate as unions in the 23 states where they are mandatory. The Nebraska State Bar association has had most of its authority removed, and the State Bar of North Dakota is currently embroiled in a lawsuit by The Goldwater Institute challenging its authority.

HB 2221 passed in the Arizona House last week, and will likely come up for a vote in the Senate this week, where it has a good chance of passing. Inside sources say conservative Republican Governor Doug Ducey will sign it. The bill does two things: 1) subjects the Bar to public records laws, and 2) protects attorneys’ free speech rights by requiring that mandatory dues be used only for regulation.

There are now at least three websites opposing the Bar, Working for a Better Bar, AZ Bar Watch and Arizona Attorneys Against Corrupt Professional Regulation. The Goldwater Institute, The Institute for Justice, and other respected organizations are actively pushing the legislation.

The Bar is going all out with its lobbyists — a misuse of money, since the Supreme Court ruled in Keller v. State Bar of California  that state bars cannot spend mandatory dues on politics — to persuade state legislators to vote against the legislation. Incredibly, they even got the Phoenix New Times, a sleazy alternative newspaper that used to make money from running ads for prostitution, to run a hit piece on me last week in an attempt to discredit the bill. Reporter Ray Stern, who writes relentlessly about me because he despises a fellow prosecutor who was targeted along with me who once got him arrested, actually admitted in his hit piece that the Bar’s hatchet man -er spokesman, Rick DeBruhl, pushed the story on him.

Strangely, Stern and the left-leaning media refer to this legislation as the “Andrew Thomas Revenge Bill,” an attempt to tie it to my former boss who was wrongly disbarred. Yet Thomas has had no involvement with the legislation.

This label in fact diminishes what the bill would accomplish. It is pioneering legislation that would, at long last, address in the same stroke liberal bias and corruption in the judiciary and bar associations that no one has been willing to confront. It is a reform that should sweep the nation. As a former congressmen said to me about it, “This reporter is forced to use you and Lisa as well as Thomas to discredit what really is needed reform. They shift and evade the truth. Classic drive-by yellow journalism.”

Mark Dixon, a former close friend of the Bar’s disciplinary judge, William O’Neil, has been tirelessly exposing O’Neil’s corruption over the last few years. With the exception of a couple of articles in The Arizona Republic, however, nothing has been done. As multiple attorneys have told me, this is because O’Neil “knows where the bones are buried” and the corruption likely goes all the way up to the Arizona Supreme Court.

O’Neil arranged a short sale of his mother-in-law’s house to eliminate $130,000 owed on it, then let her continue living in the house. An attorney who played a key role in the transaction was later arrested for killing a woman while drunk driving, and was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. Yet O’Neil permitted him to practice law almost the entire time he was in prison! The disciplinary panels O’Neil sits on consist of him and a couple others; a member of the public and an attorney. One of the panelists was a “close friend, neighbor and business associate” of O’Neil’s, which he never disclosed. That should have never been allowed. Dixon filed a long complaint with the judicial commission listing nine unethical actions by O’Neil, and they were all dismissed.

Multiple sources report that O’Neil was put in that position to destroy attorneys the Bar didn’t like, while going soft on attorneys it does like. There is a consistent pattern under his reign; attorneys who are suspended for just a few months are never to be allowed back into the practice of law. One attorney who was targeted because of her family ties to Republican politicians told me she suffered a heart attack from being put through the years of abuse.

Carmen Chenal, the alleged mistress of married former Attorney General Tom Horne, a liberal Republican, amassed a whole litany of misconduct as an attorney, but because she was connected through Horne, easily got her license reinstated by O’Neil. Horne, who is currently under investigation for allegedly turning the AG’s office into his campaign headquarters, was once caught by the FBI in a hit and run after leaving Chenal’s residence over lunch.

The Bar wastes lavish amounts of money. It has the second highest dues in the country of any mandatory bar, which increase every year. There are multiple diversity committees and extravagant annual conferences. The Bar spent $500,000 on a show trial against myself and my former two superiors, bringing in expensive out-of-state prosecutors and broadcasting the trial for two months. Members of the public who file complaints against attorneys favored by the Bar cannot get justice, their complaints are dismissed.   

A mysterious hit piece appeared in the newspaper smearing the lead sponsor of the bill, Rep. Anthony Kern, when he was attempting to get the bill passed last year. The Bar has shown it will stop at nothing to protect its power, prestige and money.

Fortunately, the conservative libertarian litigator Clint Bolick, co-founder of the Institute for Justice and until recently, head of the Goldwater Institute’s legal wing, was just appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court, which oversees the Bar. Between this important legislation and Bolick’s efforts on the inside, reform is finally coming and should pick up steam in other states next.  

Thank You Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek

Reposted from HighGround Blog

By  J. Charles ‘Chuck’ Coughlin

The Crucible of Public Service

Steady, purposeful, compassionate, thoughtful, quiet, humble, kind, joyful, patient, dignified and… funny.

It is understandable that this past week, a momentous announcement took place. But it passed with very little attention. Announced the same day that several other elected officials grabbed the spotlight announcing their own plans, Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek announced his retirement from representing District Three on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for the past nineteen years.

Unfortunately, in today’s political environment, announcements like this are often followed by speculation that something else is afoot; that the elected is stepping down for some other troubling reason. That, of course, is not and has never been true, about Andy Kunasek.

During some of the stormiest of periods in Maricopa County government history, when the very foundations of the County government were being rocked by a County Attorney and a Sherriff who were clearly using their own powers to undermine the authority of the County Board of Supervisors, one man held STEADY: Supervisor Andy Kunasek. While the hint and fact of criminal prosecution from the hands of an unethical and now disbarred County Attorney were real, Andy Kunasek stayed calm and worked with his colleagues to steer the county ship into a safe harbor, avoiding outright disaster.

He acted in a PUPROSEFUL manner, being COMPASSIONATE to his colleagues, and was THOUGHTFUL in avoiding the hot political rhetoric which could have inflamed the situation further. He QUIETLY went about his business of building a governing consensus, in a HUMBLE way which did not seek attention or headline.

It is said that the crucible of public service, those hot contentious moments where everything in your soul says do A, but your character says do B, reveal your true character.

As a 30-year veteran of the elected politics in Arizona, I can say that I have personally witnessed such character in only rare circumstances: Matt Salmon supported the first Martin Luther King Holiday as a first time candidate for the State Senate in an overwhelming Republican conservative district in the East Valley. Attorney General Grant Woods chose to pursue the first hate crime statute in Arizona in 1991. Senator John McCain stood up for campaign finance reform when the Washington money machine was steadfast in its opposition. Governor Jan Brewer vetoed five straight Republican budgets before she had even been elected Governor – because she knew in her heart cutting that much from state government would jeopardize the health and welfare of our most vulnerable populations and damage Arizona’s hope for economic recovery.

While moments such as these reveal the underlying individual character, the equally important question is what do those events do to the person who has endured that crucible? Does it change them for the good or does it damage them and their ability to handle conflict over time? Do they become testy, short tempered, arrogant, and dismissive? Or do they become a better version of the person they were before the conflict?

Again, and without exception, Andy Kunasek stayed the Andy Kunasek I had always known; KIND, PATIENT, and DIGNIFIED.

Sure, the hair thinned and got grayer, the words came more slowly and the demeanor a bit more somber and mature. But, weeks and months later, the laugh was still there, the humor surfaced and the absurdity of political life mixed with those character traits and a newer, better version of the guy I knew before stood in front of me.

As he leaves his distinguished County service, all of my colleagues and I here at HighGround just want to say thank you. Thank you for your public service. Thank you for the self-sacrifice and the honor you bestowed upon everyone around you.

You bring out the best in all of us, you made us all better. Godspeed Andy Kunasek.

Arizona Historical Society Obstructing Science Education

Over 40,000 children visited the once top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix every year. Most were brought by teachers or scout leaders to participate in structured earth science education programs. School busses arrived almost daily, and came from as far away as Yuma.

Then, the Arizona Historical Society gained control of it in 2010.  In early 2011, the AHS inexplicably locked the doors even as children were still scheduled for field trips. Every year since, the AHS has accepted and spent the full mineral museum budget, but has refused to operate the museum.

Now, Senate Bill 1440 would reopen the museum and restore the K-12 education programs by transferring all mineral museum assets to a state agency willing and able to operate the mineral museum. The AHS is now using public funds to hire lobbyists to oppose the bill. The AHS has no plans for the building, but does not want to allow others to reopen the mineral museum for students and teachers.

Dick Zimmermann, Tempe

Does Your State Want to Replace Electoral College With Popular Vote for President?

Natalie JohnsonBy Natalie Johnson
(Reposted from The Daily Signal)

An 11th state looks ready to join a national movement to sideline the Electoral College and decide presidential elections by popular vote.

A bipartisan bill moving through the Arizona legislature aims to reallocate the state’s 11 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes on a national scale rather than the candidate who wins the state.

The legislation is part of a nationwide push called the National Popular Vote plan, an effort to create an agreement among states that vow to automatically elect the president of the United States using the national popular vote instead of the final vote count in each respective state.

Robert Hathorne, a Republican activist residing in Arizona, warns that the initiative would “fundamentally change America” by shifting the national political system from a representative democracy to a pure democracy.

“Majority rules was the greatest fear of our Founding Fathers; this is why ‘democracy’ is not written one time in the 4,543 words of the Constitution,” Hathorne told The Daily Signal.

The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College to give smaller states a voice against larger states when selecting the nation’s leader. Electoral votes are delegated based on a state’s population. Rhode Island, for example, has four electoral votes, while California has 55.

A presidential candidate currently needs a majority of 270 of the Electoral College’s 538 votes to win the White House.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the National Popular Vote initiative seeks to breach the Constitution and likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This entirely changes how the president is elected, and therefore, it affects the basic structure of the Electoral College and the Constitution,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Advocates are working to secure support from enough states to reach 270 guaranteed electoral votes, which effectively would throw the outcome of presidential races into the hands of the popular vote.

So far, 10 heavily Democratic states—California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have joined the District of Columbia in signing such legislation into law.

Those states make up 165 electoral votes, meaning the initiative has reached roughly 60 percent of the 270 votes needed to reach its goal of sidelining the Electoral College. Arizona would make it 176. The pact won’t go into effect until enough states sign on to hit 270 votes.

Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College, popular vote advocates are working around the challenging ratification process by going through the states.

Doing away with the Electoral College completely requires a constitutional amendment, meaning two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote for repeal, and then another three-fourths of the states would have to ratify the new amendment.

The National Popular Vote initiative instead works on the state level through an interstate compact requiring far fewer states to support the new process and reach 270 electoral votes. In fact, that number could have been as low as 11 states.

Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution reads: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power.”

Heritage’s von Spakovsky notes that the Supreme Court clarified this provision in the case Virginia v. Tennessee, ruling that only those interstate agreements that increase state power while diminishing federal power must be submitted for congressional approval.

If the National Popular Vote effort reaches its goal of 270 electoral votes, von Spakovsky predicts, the states that decided not to join the pact immediately will file a lawsuit and ultimately land the case in the Supreme Court.

Opponents of national elections by popular vote, including von Spakovsky and Hathorne, argue that the change would create incentives to commit voter fraud in single-party states and jurisdictions.

In deep-blue New York, for example, the incentive for voter fraud isn’t high, because residents know the state is going to elect a Democrat regardless. But if you move from a state-by-state voting system to a national one, von Spakovsky warns, the incentive to “stuff” voting boxes rises: Not only would a Democrat win New York, but he or she could win the national election.

“Why should as few as 12 to 15 states that make up 270 electoral votes rule over 35 other states?” Hathorne asked.

Proponents such as those working for FairVote, for example, argue that the Electoral College creates a “winner takes all” system that drives disparity between “swing” states, where candidates actively campaign, and “solid” states, which the organization says are largely ignored.

Advocates of a popular vote say the change would make every state significant during the election process.

Today, it’s possible for candidates to secure the White House without winning the popular vote across the nation.

In 2000,  George W. Bush won the presidency after the Supreme Court determined he had won Florida even though Al Gore, his Democratic opponent, won the majority of votes nationally. Bush edged Gore by five electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote movement sprung up in the mid-2000s following Gore’s contentious defeat. Through it, a candidate could win a plurality of the national vote and clinch the big seat.

The change “would make recounts an absolute nightmare,” von Spakovsky said, adding:

If electing a president is based entirely on who wins the national popular vote, if that were the 2000 situation, it would have forced a recount in the entire country because every single vote could’ve made a major difference.
In Arizona, the legislation enjoys broad support from both parties in both the House and Senate. But von Spakovsky says voters actually will lose influence if the state switches to the popular vote idea.

He said paid lobbyists, backed by enormous amounts of money, are feeding state legislators “false information” to advance the movement.

“The legislators who have signed on this are being fooled and are being foolish in voting for it,” von Spakovsky said.

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. You can follow her on Twitter at @NatalieJohnsonn

Tyler Bowyer and AJ LaFaro: The Democrats Secret Weapon

A shout out to our friends at PoliticsArizona.com for this post!

Tyler Bowyer ran for MCRC Chairman promising unity and a stop to the disease of divisiveness that plagued the party under AJ LaFaro. Bowyer promised to turn the page.

Bowyer lied. And in doing so, stabbed his former friend Robert Graham squarely between the shoulder blades. Here’s hoping Chairman Graham won’t forget.

On Saturday, Bowyer flat out went after Graham, the popular Arizona GOP Chairman, conspiring with LaFaro to bring a doomed “censure” of the Chairman to the floor.

While publicly he pretends to support unifying the party…

Bowyer Tweet

…Bowyer is clearly working as a pawn in LaFaro’s plot to divide the party. In a video exclusively obtained by Politics Arizona, Bowyer is seen huddling with LaFaro as their efforts to “censure” Chairman Graham go down in flames.

The next time Tyler Bowyer pats you on the back, be sure to get checked out for stab wounds.

Our take on what’s happening with the Arizona Republican Party in 2016?

Delegate stacking!

There is an effort to put delegates committed to Donald Trump into state delegate positions before the Republican State Convention on April 30th. Those elections of delegates will take place from March 26 – April 9th.

State law states that delegates of the parties shall “make their best effort” to support the winner of the presidential preference election. That Presidential Preference Election will take place on March 22, 2016. Arizona is called a “Winner Take All” state.

If Donald Trump wins the Presidential Preference Election on March 22nd AND, the delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention on April 30th are committed to Trump, there will not be a conflict.

But, if Ted Cruz wins the PPE, AND delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention have pledged to Donald Trump, there will be a massive party fight.

Thus, the theory is  that individuals like AJ LaFaro and Rob Haney ferociously recruited Trump-committed precinct committeemen in 2015 so that Tyler Bowyer would appoint these individuals to elect the delegates to the national convention.