KJZZ: Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors discuss the schism in the Maricopa GOP

Steve Goldstein with the Phoenix NPR affiliate, KJZZ, interviewed Republican consultants Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors today on his show Here and Now.

ConstantinQuerardQuerard and Wikfors who are both conservative Republicans, discussed the ongoing intra-party battle taking place at the Maricopa County GOP level for several years.

Shane WikforsAt the center of the battle is Arizona senior Senator John McCain and a handful of Republican precinct committeemen.

Listen as Querard details how this fight began, how it has affected the rank-and-file Republican activists and how it continues to play out in GOP in-fighting.
Wikfors, who is resigning his position as a Republican precinct committeeman, describes how the in-fighting is affecting the GOP brand and party’s ability to grow and raise money.

Warren Petersen, Jim Waring to Push for Pension Abuse Prohibitions

Recently, Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring and State Representative Warren Petersen appeared on AZFamily’s Politics Unplugged with Dennis Welch to discuss the problems associated with Valley Metro.

In January, Rep. Petersen will introduce a bill to prevent civil servants who engage in misconduct from receiving any taxpayer-funded benefits.

Legislation like this is needed after Valley Metro CEO Steven Banta misappropriated funds during the course of his job before leaving with his pension.

Here is the video from that appearance:

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Arizona Media Members Make Their 2016 Predictions

Everyone likes political predictions and these longtime media political reporters are no exception.

Barely edging out the competition on 2015 predictions, Capitol Media Services’ Howie Fischer returns alongside Steve Goldstein of KJZZ and replacing the recently retired Doug MacEachern is Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts.

In the first eight minutes of the segment, Ted Simons reviews the panel’s 2015 predictions tallying up a win for Howie Fischer with 9 points to MacEachern and Goldstein’s eight points.

The remaining 18 minutes, Roberts, Goldstein and Fischer deliver their 2016 predictions. Here’s a summary of what they expect to happen in Arizona and national politics over the course of 2016:

  1. Republican Presidential Nominee?
    Roberts: Marco Rubio
    Fischer: Ted Cruz
    Goldstein: Jeb Bush
  2. Democrat Presidential Nominee?
    Goldstein: Hillary Clinton
    Fischer: Hillary Clinton
    Roberts: Hillary Clinton
  3. Who wins the Presidency?
    Fischer: Whoever the Republican is unless it’s Trump
    Goldstein: Jeb Bush
    Roberts: The Republican nominee unless Trump runs as an Independent
  4. What will be the final number of electoral votes?
    Roberts: 287
    Fischer: 295
    Goldstein: 276
  5. Who wins the US Senate race in Arizona?
    Goldstein: John McCain
    Roberts: John McCain
    Fischer: John McCain
  6. What will be the congressional delegation party breakdown?
    Fischer: 5-4 Republican
    Goldstein: 5-4 Republican
    Roberts: 6-3 Republican
  7. Will Donald Trump win a state primary?
    Goldstein: Yes, Trump will win South Carolina
    Fischer: Yes, several state primaries
    Roberts: No
  8. Who will win in Arizona’s Congressional District 1?
    Goldstein: Paul Babeu wins GOP nomination; Tom O’Halleran wins Democrat nomination & General Election
    Fischer: Babeu wins GOP nod; O’Halleran wins Dem not and ultimately CD-1 seat
    Roberts: O’Halleran wins Dem nomination; Gary Kiehne wins the seat for Republicans
  9. Will Democrats take over the US House?
    Fischer: No way
    Roberts: No way
    Goldstein: No way
  10. Will Republicans keep the US Senate?
    Goldstein: Yes
    Fischer: Yes
    Roberts: Yes
  11. How many initiatives on the 2016 Ballot?
    Fischer: Three
    Goldstein: Four
    Roberts: Five
  12. Will Marijuana make it on the ballot and pass?
    Roberts: Yes, but it will not pass
    Goldstein: Yes, but it will not pass
    Fischer: Yes, but it will not pass
  13. Will the May Special Election Education Funding Referral pass?
    Fischer: Yes
    Goldstein: Yes
    Roberts: Yes
  14. What will the winning percentage be for the education funding referral?
    Roberts: 72%
    Fischer: 66.666%
    Goldstein: 64%
  15. When will the Arizona Legislature adjourn sine die?
    Fischer: May 26
    Goldstein: May 4
    Roberts: April 22
  16. What will be the Republican – Democrat breakdown in Arizona Legislature?
    Goldstein: 36-24 House; 18-12 Senate
    Fischer: Returns to status quo before Begay switched parties
    Roberts: 34-26 House; 17-13 Senate
  17. Does Sheriff Joe Arpaio win re-election?
    Goldstein: Arpaio wins re-election
    Fischer: Arpaio wins again
    Roberts: If David Gonzalez runs in the General Election, he will beat Arpaio
  18. Will the Arizona Diamondbacks make the playoffs?
    Goldstein: Yes
    Roberts: Yes
    Fischer: No
  19. Will the Phoenix Suns make the playoffs?
    Fischer: Only to the first round
    Goldstein: No
    Roberts: No
  20. Long Shot / Sure Thing Predictions:
    Goldstein Sure Thing: At least one former Arizona Corporation Commissioner will run for the seat with an announcement in January.
    Goldstein Long Shots: Doug Ducey as a finalist for VP on GOP ticket (out of final 3) and, Diamondbacks will make playoffs because they will fire Chip Hale and replace him from above with Tony La Russa.
    Fischer Sure Thing: Supreme Court will reject challenge to Arizona redistricting letting it stand.
    Fischer Long Shots: Kelli Ward gets 35% of the vote in GOP US Senate Primary and, Jeff Flake is appointed as US Ambassador to Cuba.
    Roberts Sure Thing: Public schools will remain underfunded while the Legislature gives another tax cut.
    Roberts Long Shot: No member of the ACC on the 2016 will be re-elected. Doug Ducey will seek to reform “dark money.”

Watch the entire episode to get the full details and reasons for their predictions.

For DeWit, the Media Spotlight Trumps Arizona’s K-12 Education

Last night Governor Doug Ducey called a special session in order to approve a K-12 education plan that will put an end to litigation and put $3.5 billion back into K-12 education without raising taxes.

State Treasurer Jeff DeWit has been whining for months about the plan, but he wasn’t in Phoenix yesterday to answer questions or offer any sustentative alternatives. He was in Boulder, Colorado, following around Presidential candidate Donald Trump like an eager puppy. Hopefully, Treasurer DeWit wasn’t seeking financial advice from The Donald.

image1

It’s actually no surprise to see DeWit and Trump together. Both have the same thirst for attention from the media. The mainstream media, all too happy to play-up the egotists and swindlers on the right, are happy to give them the airtime.

Meanwhile, the business of helping Arizona’s children get the funding they need continues. From The Arizona Capitol Times:

 

The House and Senate Appropriations committees began considering the bills at 8:30 a.m. The bills will then head to both chambers’ Rules committees and Republican and Democratic caucuses. Both chambers are scheduled to debate and take a final vote on the package at 1:30 p.m. today.

 

Will DeWit be back in Arizona today or will his need to seek the spotlight trump his phony rhetoric?

RAW STORY: K O’Donnell’s Shuts Down ‘Breitbart Phoenix’ Meetup, Calls Cops on Conservatives

RAW STORY:

  • Event began at 6pm at K O’Donnell’s in Scottsdale (patio area reserved for Breitbart Meetup)
  • At roughly 6:45/7pm meetup began with AWR Hawkins speaking about the purpose of the group & 2nd amendment issues for about 10 minutes
  • Mic was handed over to Brandon Darby of Breitbart TX who began speaking about immigration issues and connections between Mexican & US gangs smuggling meth across border for about 5-7 minutes
  • While Darby was speaking and about to start Q & A, his mic was cut & tv volumes were simultaneously kicked on with the METS/CUBS game sound playing.
  • ALLEGEDLY less than a handful of people complained about topics discussed at our Meetup to Management, & management allegedly told a Breitbart Rep that “You want to exercise your 2nd Amendment Right? Well I’m authorizing our 1st Amendment right and shutting this down.”
  • Roughly 15 minutes later (730-7:45-ish) I noticed SDP on the scene, went outside and saw 4 SPD vehicles then a SPD helicopter was flying overhead with spotlight on our location and instructing attendees to ‘please disperse. head to your vehicles’.
  • Word is that co-owner Jennifer O’Donnell came out to let us know we are not welcome & then kicked shut it down/kicked us out. Others say it was ‘management’, could not confirm who ultimately made the call

Although we cannot confirm at this point whether it was the owner or management who shut us down, it was crystal clear that the ownership affirmed the decision and doesn’t want to serve conservatives. We’re more than happy to oblige.

Breitbart reps confirmed that there will be another meeting announced and will update people via the Meetup page.

Sign up below for more info on the Breitbart MeetUp:

We are Breitbart – Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ
231 Happy Warriors

“Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re …

Check out this Meetup Group →

PICS OF THE EVENT/INCIDENT BELOW:

 

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Tim Steller Verdict Is In: Billboards Are True

ChangeTucson1

The facts are the facts. Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunningham are tearing our city down. Due to the recent lawsuit filed by Liberal extremist Barbara Tellman, claiming the Revitalize billboards are ‘misleading’, Tim Stellar, reporter at the Arizona Daily Star decided to take a look at whether the Revitalize Tucson billboards are truthful or partisan.

TOO much Crime -TOO many families in Poverty – TOO many Potholes – TOO LONG IN OFFICE!

A recent survey of highly likely voters, mostly Democrats and Independents, has 60% saying Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunningham are doing a poor job. Now the far left media can no longer ignore the facts and joins Revitalize Tucson to complete the bi-partisan consensus: it is bad and it is time to CHANGE TUCSON.

Revitalize Tucson hopes that Mr. Stellar shares his findings with Barbara Tellman and Vince Rabago.

ChangeTucson4From Tim Stellars article from October 4, 2015. (The article has been edited with the final opinion highlighted for purposes of this article. The complete article can be found here. )

So let’s go sign-by-sign and see if Revitalize Tucson is telling the truth or just being partisan …

Billboard 1: “Who made Tucson the 5th poorest city in the US? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
There’s no doubt Tucson is a poor city, so arguing over exactly how poor might be seen as pointless quibbling.

ChangeTucson3Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 2: “Who let a few radicals hold downtown hostage? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … To that extent, you could say the council “let” them take over part of downtown… ”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 3: “Who gets $1.36 billion and won’t fix the potholes? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … A study that came out this year showed Tucson’s road conditions were the worst among 11 western cities.
(Aside: I must comment on Steller’s comments: Steller joins the Tucson City Councilmen in blabbing on and on about all the work they are doing to fix the roads. You really need to be replaced in office if you are going to run on Tucson road conditions… ” )

ChangeTucson2Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 4: “Why are we Arizona’s most dangerous city? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … Can’t argue with this one… ”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 5: “Who raises water rates four years in a row? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … the City Council has … indeed repeatedly raised rates…”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 6: “Who is paying $40 million for empty Sun Tran buses? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … So, to an extent, the “empty” buses are the council’s fault… ”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

( Note: In the original article Steller questions the $40.4 million dollar amount. This can be found as a subsidy for transit on page 76 of the most recent CAFR. https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/finance/2014_CAFR_Book_CD.pdf . )

Billboard 7: “Who still can’t find the $230 million from Rio Nuevo? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Stellar agrees (though it pains him greatly): ” … the fact is, nobody can “find the $230 million …”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

(Aside: Mr. Stellar tries to make the point that no one is looking for the money anymore. That fact does not take away from the fact that Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunninghman lost $230 million.
Steller also points out that the State Legislature removed control of Rio Nuevo in 2010 from the Tucson City Council. What he does not point out is that Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunninghman are now campaigning that they have restored the downtown. This is far more than a cheap tactic, this is an outright lie. )

Billboard 8: “Who lost jobs at McDonald’s and Grand Canyon U? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … The short answer to this would be: Nobody…”

Steller Verdict: NOT TRUE

(Aside: Steller’s comments miss the basis of the question. Unemployment is high in Tucson and the jobs that exist are low paying jobs. Like it or not the McDonalds on 22nd street/Alvernon has become a symbol of much that is wrong in Tucson. A man has a dream and works hard and spends money to realize the dream just to have it squashed by the Tucson City Council. Business owner after business owner relates and understands the frustration and aggravation of trying to do business in Tucson. The Councils treatment of this businessman is the proverbial straw that has broken the back of the Tucson business community. )

Reason TV and Prop 104: Phoenix Light Rail Fail

Meet the Thighmaster of urban public policy: Streetcars.

Municipal politicians all across the country have convinced themselves that this costly, clunky hardware can revitalize their flabby downtown economies.

That includes the fearless leaders of America’s capital city. The DC government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade trying to erect a streetcar line in the up-and-coming neighborhood of H Street. The project has been an epic disaster, perfectly demonstrating how ill-suited streetcars are to modern urban life.

Video Produced by Rob Montz, who also hosts. Camera by Todd Krainin. Graphics by Jason Keisling and Meredith Bragg.

Thanks to ReasonTV.

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Facts about Phoenix Prop 104:

  • $31.5 BILLION Proposal
  • Tax will last 35 YEARS
  • $6.66 BILLION for Light Rail
  • 41.2 Miles of new rail
  • $161 MILLION per mile of light rail
  • Entire proposal could purchase 2.2 MILLION SmartCars
  • Will shrink available funds that could be used for education, hiring or teachers
  • Mayor and Council created a $10,000 exemption to appease big business from paying full tax rate
  • Majority of Pro-Prop 104 money is from construction and developers who will benefit from contracts to build light rail corridors.
  • Current light rail is losing 53% on farebox recovery
  • Valley Metro places emphasis on increasing ridership by backing off and not enforcing payment
  • Less than 1% of Phoenix population rides light rail
  • Vast majority of riders are students, government employees, homeless, destitute or under the influence (subsidized or non-paying riders).

MEDIA BLACKOUT – 35% of AZDems, 47% of AZ Latinos Support Deportation

illegals

A recent poll conducted by ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy focused on several issues including the most important issue facing Arizona and our economy, illegal immigration.  The stunning results were intentionally muted by the local media in order to hide the fact that a large swath of Arizona Democrats agree with conservatives on the issue of deporting those in the country illegally.

Possibly more stunning than the fact that 35% of Democrats agree with conservatives on enforcing current immigration law is that Arizona Latinos agree with conservatives at a greater rate than Arizona Democrats — 47%.

What portion of the poll did the news editors choose to cover? Pot legalization.

Here are the main points from the poll:

  • 30% of AZ Dems & 51% of AZ Latinos disagree with the following statement – “Undocumented immigrants bolster Arizona’s workforce and we should do whatever’s necessary to make it easier for them to come to Arizona.”
  • 35% of AZ Dems, 47% of Latinos, & 53% of Independents agree with the following statement –  “Arizona should aggressively pursue the deportation of undocumented immigrants”

We at ArizonaInformer are waiting with baited breath for Phoenix New Slimes “Fat Bastard” Stephen Lemons, Laurie Roberts, and Brahm Resnik to label Arizona Democrats and Latinos as racist, nativists, who seek to ‘ethnically cleanse’ Arizona.

Do the January 8th Victims Justify “Takings” of Private Property?

The Arizona Citizens Defense League expresses its ongoing sympathy to the families of those taken and injured in the December 8th, 2011 attack.

in a 1/8/15 Opinion piece, Ms. Sarah Garracht Gassen of The Arizona Daily Star, presents Patricia Maisch’s idea to a call the murders, a “taking,” rather than a “loss.” We agree. The question is, “should those actions be used as a predicate for more takings of peoples’ rights?”

Ms. Maich asserts that, “It’s such a small goal…that, “every gun sale requires a background check…” No, it is not a “small goal” at all, nor does it involve any “common sense.”

First, the Right To Keep and Bear Arms is a basic fundamental right, according to the Supreme Court’s “Heller Decision.” Firearms are legal, tangible, personal property. Requiring prior government permission to transact them, turns a right into a privilege. It is already a crime to transfer a gun to a prohibited person, per Arizona Law. ( ARS 13-3102. )

Second, it is absolutely impossible to enforce a “background check.” Such rules would only obtain the compliance of those least likely to misbehave, and the non-compliance of those most likely to do so.

Third, using the actions of a disturbed man as a position of cover from which to diminish the rights of others, is disingenuous at best, and evil at worst. The American ideal of justice does not involve the punishment of the innocent for the acts of the guilty.

Fourth, it is not rational to believe that the insane or the criminal will submit to a background check, or that it would stop them from such acquisition. The Tucson and Virginia Tech killers, both PASSED background checks, and the Sandy Hook killer, bypassed the process by an act of murder.

We admire Ms. Maisch’s actions to disarm the attacker that day, and her desire to prevent future attacks. Let us be clear though: a “background check” will not affect the criminal or the crazy. All it does is register every transacted gun. This gives government a fishing license and a fish finder, for every person with an alleged “disability,” such as the retired NY Sheriff who had his 4 handguns seized recently for seeking treatment for insomnia. ( http://dailycaller.com/2015/01/02/veteran-and-former-cop-sues-after-guns-confiscated-because-he-sought-treatment-for-insomnia/ )

U.S. Violent crime rates have been in decline since the 1990’s. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/08/us/study-gun-homicide/ ) Far more guns are used in America to prevent crime than to facilitate it, according The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, by more than a 5 to 1 ratio. The news cycle though, is driven more by blood than fact.

The recent killings in France, a country with strict gun control, demonstrate just how well that works. In a crisis, no one was equipped to stop the murderers or help the police.

Ms. Maisch asserts that “the gun lobby…remains deathly effective at confusing guns with freedom.” The Arizona Citizens Defense League IS the Arizona gun lobby, and we have no confusion whatsoever – guns ARE freedom.

We suggest several solutions. First, focus the personnel who would do “background checks,” on known offenders. They are the ones most likely to re-offend. Second, get known, violent mentally ill people the treatment they need. Third, make sure plenty of armed, trained citizens are present in society to neutralize the threat when it occurs. Last: leave us alone.

Charles Heller is Co-Founder and Communications Coordinator for the Arizona Citizens Defense League. You can visit them online at www.azcdl.org.

Governor Brewer Calls President Obama A ‘Failed President’

FoxNews has posted an interview with outgoing Governor Brewer in which she assesses President Obama’s performance as a ‘failed president.’

In the interview, conducted by FoxNews correspondent William La Jeunesse, Brewer calls Obama a ‘very big disappointment’ and ‘thin-skinned.’

She recalls the January, 2012 encounter in which she and the President had words on the tarmac at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. During that confrontation, Obama voiced his objection to Brewer’s presentation of him in her book Scorpions for Breakfast. When Brewer asked Obama why the federal government continued to fail in protecting Arizona’s border, Obama rudely walked away from her. The desert dust-up video went viral and made Governor Brewer a hero with conservatives.

The interview further summarizes Brewer’s battle with the federal government and judges over SB1070 and issuing driver’s licenses to DREAMers.

When La Jeunesse brings up critics allegation of racism, Brewer responds, “Those of us born and raised in the southwest are not racists. Those people are our neighbors. We go to church with us. Their children go to school. They marry into our families. This has nothing to do with racism. The bottom line is the rule of law and what it is doing to our country.” 

Brewer is also asked about states rights and her battle against Obamacare in the courts and weighs this against conservative criticism of her expansion of Obamacare’s Medicaid $2 billion program in Arizona. When confronted by La Jeunesse about the hypocrisy of taking a federal handout, she replies, “We have to have our hand out and accept those dollars because a lot of those things we’re delivering services for are mandated on the State of Arizona.”

Finally, the media clip features an assessment by long-time Arizona political journalist Howard Fischer who refers to Brewer as a “political animal.”

Here’s the entire interview: