Andy Biggs Failed to Protect FLDS Women and Children

One week before the Primary Election in Arizona’s 5th Congressional District and the CBS affiliate revisits criticisms of one of the Republicans in the race, Andy Biggs.

In 2013, lawmakers Michelle Ungenti-Rita and Kelly Townsend pushed for legislation to de-certify police in Colorado City who failed to enforce Arizona laws protecting underage women from forced marriages to male members of the FLDS church. Survivors of the FLDS church claimed that local law enforcement swore more of an allegiance to convicted felon church leader Warren Jeffs than to Arizona statutes. Ugenti-Rita and Townsend introduced legislation to remove authority from Colorado City law enforcement.

The bill easily passed the Arizona House.

But when it got to the State Senate, President Andy Biggs refused to allow the bill to move forward in the committee process.

Reps Townsend and Ugenti-Rita claim, it was because they spoke out against Biggs and challenged his authority. The bill was assigned to committees but never received a hearing.

Senator Biggs never gave an explanation why the bills were blocked until right before CBS aired their report. His campaign spokesman claims it had to do with the constitutionality of the legislation.

Here’s the video report by CBS-5:

Senator Jeff Flake Discusses Donald Trump

This week, Senator Jeff Flake made an appearance on KAET’s Horizon with Ted Simons. The interview was focused on the presidential candidacy and campaign of Donald Trump.

It’s no secret that Senator Flake has serious reservations, like many Republicans, about supporting Donald Trump.

Watch as Senator Flake shares his views on Donald Trump.

Don Stapley – Documented to have been a skunk

Earlier this week the Jones for Congress campaign released the following video:

The two articles mentioned in the video come from the Arizona Republic and question the ethics of former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley.

The first article is fairly damning to Stapley who accepted $140,000 in dark money contributions in order to secure a national non-profit position. Some of the individuals and businesses benefited from votes Stapley made as County Supervisor.

Supervisor Don Stapley used money he took from businesses and individuals to buy expensive personal items, and some of those donors benefited from votes he cast as a Maricopa County board member, records examined by The Arizona Republic show.

Donors from 2004 to 2008 gave about $140,000 to an unregulated campaign fund Stapley had created when he sought an uncontested, volunteer position with the non-profit National Association of Counties (NACo). At least $86,000 was spent on personal items, including a Hawaii trip, luggage and a Bang & Olufsen video and sound system, banking records indicate.

Stapley says he committed no crime and there were no rules requiring disclosure or restrictions on how the money could be spent. Donors said the contributions were unrelated to Stapley’s votes in favor of contract proposals or land-use changes they had before the board.

But ethics experts and a former county supervisor said Stapley’s actions were inappropriate. Under the county’s ethics policy, his solicitation and acceptance of major gifts from those doing business with the county would be grounds for dismissal were he an employee instead of an elected official. And had he sought the money for a regulated election campaign, state law would have prohibited him from using contributions for personal use.

“It’s an ethical issue,” said Tom Freestone, an East Valley icon and longtime Stapley friend who is a former county supervisor. “If you are going to raise money just so you can spend it on yourself, you should declare it a little charity. You shouldn’t vote on something, because it can be construed as a bribe. It used to be people would run with honor.”

 Stapley used a letter written by a land-use attorney to explain to donors that their contributions were legal and they would not be identified.

Stapley, who earns $76,600 annually as a supervisor and represents the East Valley, was first elected in 1993. The Republican began asking for money for his NACo bid in December 2004, when he told donors in a letter he needed more than $150,000 for a “national campaign.”

Steven A. Betts, then a land-use attorney who advised GOP politicians on campaign finance, wrote an opinion a few months earlier saying Arizona campaign-finance laws didn’t apply to the NACo campaign. Stapley used the letter to assure donors that there were no giving limits and that they would not be publicly identified.

About 50 friends, lobbyists and big businesses gave amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to $25,000, and Stapley nearly met his fundraising goal. Records show five donors who gave a total of $35,000 later did business with the county, while two did business with the county and then gave a combined $7,000.

Donors said they wanted to help Stapley land an influential national position.

“We wanted him to win,” said Rusty Bowers, government-relations director for the Arizona Rock Products Association, which gave Stapley $5,000 in April 2005. “He needed support, and it was totally legal.”

Less than a month later, Stapley moved to award a $1 million county contract for some of the association’s members who won a competitive bid.

Similarly, Stapley took part in a unanimous Board of Supervisors vote to extend a $184,450 contract for Millett Family Properties for office space. He had received a $2,000 contribution from Millett six months earlier. Millett could not be reached.

So how did Stapley evade the ethics of taking gifts? An ethics policy that applies to all county employees did not apply to Don Stapley.

Maricopa County has an ethics policy for its 13,000 employees. They are prohibited from using their positions for personal gain and from soliciting or accepting gifts. They also aren’t allowed to vote on a contract or service in which they have an interest.

The policy, however, does not apply to Stapley or other board members because, according to Elizabeth Yaquinto, county workforce management and development director, supervisors technically are not employees.

The ethics policy was approved unanimously by supervisors in 1997.

While it does call for elected officials to maintain “unquestionable standards of high personal integrity,” supervisors must only “aspire” to follow the policy, County Manager David Smith said.

The county has cited a violation of ethics as one of the reasons to fire 51 employees and suspend 30 others since 2005, when Stapley received most of his financial gifts.

Other county supervisors declined comment on Stapley’s actions. But Freestone, the former county supervisor, was blunt in his criticism.

Freestone said elected officials never should take gifts, especially large ones, from those they govern, and he said there should not have to be “laws to tell us what is right and wrong and what is decent.”

Read the full article by JJ Hensley and Craig Harris HERE.

The second article cited in the video is an opinion piece written by conservative Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb. In his column Robb calls Stapley a skunk for his political machinations as a county supervisor and how he used his office for personal gain.

During the ruction, it became public that Stapley set up a fund ostensibly to run for office in the National Association of Counties. Contributors to it were people who do business with the county.

However, Stapley instead spent a majority of the funds on personal stuff for him and his family. In other words, he leveraged his elected office for personal enrichment.

Stapley wasn’t charged with a crime. But he was pretty much documented to have been a skunk.

A sensible person would have taken the settlement money for the Arpaio-Thomas abuse and retreated from public life. Instead, Stapley says he’s just the man to represent the East Valley in Congress.

Read the full column by Robert Robb HERE.

Don Stapley Mugshot

Don Stapley Mugshot

Three years have passed since Don Stapley left office and he probably thinks the stench of his prior problems has faded in the memory of voters. Now he’s running for a higher office that requires the utmost of personal and professional ethics to serve. We don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior especially for career politicians who can’t distinguish ethical boundaries and conflicts. We just hope the voters get a whiff of what’s happening in CD-5 before it’s too late.

Arizona Political Consultants Comment on GOP National Convention

Several Arizona longtime political consultants weigh in on the finale of the Republican National Convention.

Thursday night, the Arizona PBS affiliate, KAET, featured local political consultants Constantin Querard, Chuck Coughlin and Stan Barnes discussed the GOP convention with Ted Simons on Horizon.

I applaud my colleague Constantin on giving a great assessment of the convention and taking a few tough questions. Hats off to Chuck and Stan for their great assessments as well.

Here is the video of their joint appearance:

Finally, I have to beg Stan Barnes to get on Twitter. We’re waiting for you Stan!

Has Andy Biggs Become A Globalist?

By East Valley Evan

Andy Biggs supported Ron Paul for President in 2008. His wife, Cindy, even donated to Paul’s campaign in 2008. He identified himself as an anti-establishment conservative but something changed. Andy Biggs was put into leadership and political power changed him. He started to get comfortable with lobbyists and the political establishment. He became cozy with interest groups like the Payday Loan industry and he opposed reforms to the lobbying process, such as bans on gifts to legislator’s.

To see how far Biggs has come, look at the compromises he’s already making in his run for congress.

Biggs supports the Export-Import Bank.

This bank is the pet project of the political elites and those with a globalist agenda. Biggs will tout his opposition to bringing money back to citizens in Arizona from the Feds, but has no problem spending tax dollars on a federal government bank to fund defense contractors, and businesses with large lobbying interests.

I think every conservative in CD-5 should know who Andy Biggs really is.

Here is what Andy Biggs said during the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance debate when asked by Arizona Capitol Times reporter, Jim Small, if he supports renewal of the ExIM Bank:

 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – That Time McCain Defended Syrian Islamists as No Different Than American Christians

Soon to be octogenarian McCain has been running National Security ads attacking Kelli Ward and touting his track record as an ‘expert you can trust’ on issues regarding the military and America’s defense.  In the clip below, the Liberal John McCain is discussing how he bailout out Obama by supporting Obama’s and Hillary’s plan to arm the Syrian Islamists and aiding the terrorist organization The Muslim Brotherhood.

He then goes ballistic at Brain Kilmeade in defense of Muslim Brotherhood Islamists and states that shouting ‘ALLAHU AKBAR’ is the same as your Christian grandmother (whose likely younger than McCain) thanking God.

Watch the clip for yourself:

YouTube Preview Image

Is McCain really a man you can trust especially the day after yet another terrorist attack inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood’s creation, the Islamic State?

State Rep Kelly Townsend: Sen Andy Biggs’ Leadership Style Punitive

Yesterday, State Representative Kelly Townsend revealed a dark side of Senate President Andy Biggs. During a guest opinion on Sunday Square Off, the two-term legislator from Arizona Legislative District 16 disclosed that Biggs’ leadership style was to punish lawmakers who refused to get in line with his political agenda and leadership.

Townsend tied the comments to her 2015 House vote in which the legislature voted to limit Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) – a vote she regrets. Townsend herself, is a widow with children representing a district adjacent to the district represented by Biggs.

In her comments, she stated, “I think it’s important to remember whose bill this was. This was our senate president’s bill. Part of that decision is the fact that [Biggs] has very well trained us. He’s punitive in his nature, and if we didn’t follow along, we would suffer the consequences.”

The interview, which is posted on the 12 News website, also posted the following comments:

When pressed further about her disagreements with Biggs, Townsend accused the 14-year state legislator and current congressional candidate of fostering a culture at the state capitol she described as “a heavy-handed, top down, ramming things through in the middle of the night approach.”

“It is a culture many of us are trying to change,” Townsend said.

The article continues:

Townsend also accused Biggs of refusing to communicate with her and preventing bills she sponsored from progressing through the legislature for two years. Townsend said she believed Biggs’ actions were payback because she gave a radio interview in support of a bill Biggs opposed in 2013.

“[In 2013] He would refuse to meet with me. He didn’t answer any of my calls or texts. He killed all my bills. Finally I cornered him and asked for a conversation, and he said I should have never called into the radio station in the first place to talk about that bill,” Townsend said. “When it comes to leadership, Biggs, I don’t know he knew how to be a leader. Anyone can be punitive and act like that. But in terms of being a leader, it takes more than just being a jerk.”

This revelation draws into question Biggs’ temperament and leadership style as the potential nominee for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.

Biggs’ spokesman, Adam Deguire, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman Matt Salmon who is now part of the political hand-off arrangement between Salmon and Biggs, acknowledged Biggs’ unpopularity with the mainstream media on issues such as TANF.

Senator Andy Biggs has not made an appearance on Sunday Square Off since February 27, 2011 and failed to show up last week for a debate on KAET’s Horizon.

Here is the video clip from Sunday Square Off:

Christine Jones Statement on CD-5 Debate

Christine Jones for Congress

(Gilbert, AZ) – Tonight, conservative business leader Christine Jones participated in a live televised debate sponsored by Phoenix PBS affiliate, KAET TV-8. Following the debate, Jones released the following statement:

“This was an important debate for citizens of the district to see because it showed a clear contrast between a proven conservative business leader and individuals who have spent their careers working in politics. Citizens should be fully informed about all the candidates when they vote in this Primary Election and I believe my qualifications, credentials and values will best serve the citizens of CD-5.”

Jones added, “On behalf of the campaign, I would like to thank Ted Simon and the team of Horizon for hosting this essential debate. I also want to thank Representative Justin Olson and Supervisor Don Stapley for taking the time to attend and engage in a healthy and informative discussion on issues important to Congressional District Five.”

Christine Jones & Ted Simon

Christine Jones & Ted Simon

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Christine Jones is the former interim CEO of Great Hearts Academies. She was a Republican candidate for Governor of Arizona in 2014. Prior to running for office, Christine served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Go Daddy Operating Company, LLC for more than a decade. Christine and her husband, a retired Air Force officer, have been married for 29 years. He teaches at a high school in Chandler.

ABC15: Paul Babeu – Abusing The Truth

ABC 15’s special coverage of Sheriff Paul Babeu

Paul Babeu ABC15

Why Is Andy Biggs Dodging Sunday Square Off?

Everyone knows that if you’re running for a major political office in Arizona you make the time to appear on local political shows like Horizon, Politics Unplugged and Sunday Square Off. It’s part of the process of getting in front of voters who pay attention to politics.

Brahm Resnik’s Sunday Square Off is one of those shows that candidates and elected officials don’t turn down. Brahm is the type of political reporter who asks tough questions and hones in on political motivations. He can be a feisty interviewer and every Republican should experience a sit-down with him if offered.

This last Sunday, Brahm interviewed two of the four Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District. Former County Supervisor Don Stapley and conservative business leader Christine Jones each had their interviews with Brahm. The prior week, three-term State Representative Justin Olson also made his pitch.

During Brahm’s intro to the Stapley interview, he said that all four Republican CD-5 candidates had been invited to come on Sunday Square Off but as Brahm noted, “Andy Biggs though, had never responded to my invitation.”

Any professional political consultant worth their weight in gold knows that earned media is the best media, even if it means a tough interview. Consultants advise their candidates to embrace these local political show opportunities whenever they arise and take advantage of the chance to toughen and improve their debate and public relations skills.

The CD-5 race will be one of the toughest Republican primary races in 2016. Andy Biggs knows this and that’s why he hired one of Arizona’s most prominent consulting firms to get him across the finish line. So why would Andy Biggs dodge the opportunity to appear on Sunday Square Off?

Andy Biggs Confronted

photo courtesy TV-12 News

No one seems to remember the last time Andy Biggs appeared on Sunday Square Off let alone appeared on any other weekly political show. Our best research indicates that Biggs made an appearance on the show in late February, 2011 to discuss abolishing Medicaid.

Senator Biggs may be camera shy or perhaps uncomfortable with Brahm Resnik or maybe he would rather not discuss tough issues like the recent KidsCare legislation, but that doesn’t explain why he also skipped a recent East Valley candidate forum in CD-5.

Our guess is that the Biggs campaign is maintaining a low profile in an effort to avoid causing more controversy for itself. Dodge the media, avoid answering hard questions, avoid saying anything controversial and hope for an easy win.

When you’ve never had any tough electoral challenges in the 14 years you’ve been a politician, it doesn’t make you prepared or even qualified for a promotion to higher office and that’s where the work gets even harder. It’s time to answer the hard questions.