If you haven’t noticed yet, the statewide political ads are just getting started. And while we won’t see the first barrage of ads until mid-July when the early ballots go out, most statewide campaigns are just getting ready for production having enough time to hone their messaging and create that uniquely Arizona feel.
That is, unless you’re the Scott Smith campaign.
Today, the former Mayor of Mesa went up on air with a new ad called, “Crisis Demands Leadership.” In the press release announcing the ad, Smith touts his “record of experience and leadership in overcoming difficult challenges in the private and public sector.” We’ll have more on that record later but in the meantime, we want to straight up critique the ad on its production, political airplay and its content.
Smith’s campaign obviously had difficulty overcoming a production challenge because they had to purchase a b-roll video file off an internet site that specializes in stock images and video. In the ad the viewer sees a nice Anglo family smiling as they sit surrounded by a luscious green park. There’s only one problem; the company that made the video footage is from Slovenia. So much for that uniquely Arizona feel. The campaign could have at least borrowed a family of Smith supporters and shot some footage at a local park for a nice local touch. Oops!
Then there’s the challenge of airing the ad statewide. Anyone who’s been around the Arizona political scene for anytime knows you can’t win statewide unless you win or break even in Pima County. The hard political reality is Tucson can make or break an election so you better show up and show some love in the Old Pueblo.
The challenge the Smith campaign cannot overcome here is that they’re not on the air on Tucson television. The last time we checked, the market for the four local affiliates in Tucson was relatively cheaper than the Phoenix market. So why no ads in Tucson? Could it be the financial challenge of not having the money? Or, maybe the campaign hasn’t yet cut an entirely different message that celebrates Smith’s weakness on immigration and his support for Common-Core a position that left-leaning Tucsonans could only appreciate.
Finally, the Smith campaign seems to have a problem overcoming the challenge of original ideas. Near the end of the ad, Mayor Smith holds up a pamphlet he calls “The Business Plan” – which he gives no details. Sound familiar? That’s right, sixteen days ago, Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey went on the air with his 2nd TV ad talking about his plan for Arizona, what he calls The Roadmap to Opportunity and Freedom. Ducey at least gives the highlights of his plan in the ad but Smith says nothing about his plan. Call Smith’s little flash of a plan a case of political copy-cat, it comes off as nothing more than catch-up pandering.
Sadly, the Smith campaign does not appear to be ready for prime-time on a statewide election. Perhaps they felt rushed to get up on the air with something they thought would serve as a political placeholder. Regardless, the underlying problem of producing and putting up an appealing political ad with strong messaging may simply be symptomatic of a leadership dearth.
Apparently, last week’s posting here on Sonoran Alliance regarding an upcoming endorsement of Scott Smith by Matt Salmon drew the attention of a Yellow Sheets reporter. Because an endorsement of this size and caliber is sure to create a wave in both directions, someone at the Arizona Capitol Times contacted the office of Representative Matt Salmon to confirm the affinity between Salmon & Smith. When the Salmon staffer was asked whether the rumor was true, they would only confirm that such an endorsement would not occur this week – but did not deny that an endorsement was forthcoming.
What apparently was to make a big splash now looks like it will be nothing more than a little ripple for supporters of Scott Smith.
Alternatively, the splash among longstanding supporters of Congressman Matt Salmon may actually be bigger as Salmon finds himself reconciling his support for an Obamacare-supporting, amnesty-sympathizing, Common Core-embracing gubernatorial candidate in Scott Smith.
Congressman Salmon probably needs to hear from his constituents and asked to reconsider such an irreconcilable difference before its too late. As we all know, elections have consequences.
Will Sinema Help Uncover the Truth Behind the IRS Scandal or Will She Help the Administration Cover Up Another Scandal?
WASHINGTON – Last week, the IRS sent a letter to the House Ways and Means committee explaining that they lost Lois Lerner’s emails from January 2009 to April 2011 due to a “computer crash.” These “missing emails” demonstrate the lengths the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats will go in order to cover up the IRS’ effort to target tax-exempt conservative groups based on their political beliefs.
Sinema’s silence solidifies the fact that she has become a Washington insider and is out of touch with Arizona taxpayers. Instead of demanding answers and holding the IRS accountable, Sinema is helping the Administration cover up a scandal in hopes of political support for her re-election.
“First Lois Lerner refused to comply with Congressional investigations and now her emails are ‘missing’. That just doesn’t pass the smell test,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “Kyrsten Sinema has the opportunity to protect Arizona taxpayers from being wrongfully targeted by holding the Administration accountable and condemning the IRS officials responsible for this scandal.”
IRS claims Lois Lerner’s e-mails are lost due to a computer crash.
(Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, The IRS claims that Lois Lerner’s e-mails were wiped out by a ‘computer crash’, The Washington Post, 6/15/14)
By Daniel Scarpinato
Arizona has long had an outsized spot on the national political stage, and that will likely put our next governor right smack in the middle of a pretty big spotlight.
Since 1964, we’ve had four prominent figures from our state run for president. Our political leaders often find themselves household names: John McCain, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jan Brewer. From SB1070 to the recent debate over SB1062, Arizona has been at the tip of nearly every major national issue of the last four years.
And our footprint is likely to increase.
We are growing in population and influence. When my parents moved here in 1978, our state had only six presidential electoral votes. Today, we have 11. In the next decade, we’ll probably have even more.
Recently, we haven’t been viewed as a competitive presidential state, but we could be. Bill Clinton won Arizona in 1996. The Southwest is where it’s at for future presidential elections.
All that makes the stakes extremely high in this year’s race for governor.
Why? Because our state’s next chief executive will have the opportunity to funnel these political realities into a national platform that could be significant for themselves and for us.
Think of it this way: Only 50 men and women in our entire country of 315 million people are executives of states.
Reporters who cover the yearly gathering of the National Governors Association will tell you that they can count on one hand the number who are impressive. Hence, governors – even of itty-bitty states – are instantly seen as credible contenders for leader of the free world. Think Howard Dean (from Vermont, the second-smallest state in America) or Sarah Palin (from Alaska, which has fewer residents than metropolitan Tucson).
So why haven’t recent Arizona governors been the subject of such speculation? For many reasons, but one big one: In the last 25 years, only two governors came to office elected in their own right. One resigned early (Fife Symington) and the other left to work for Obama (Janet Napolitano). The two who inherited the office – Jane Hull and Jan Brewer – made clear they were at the tail-end of their careers.
What am I getting at here?
Of the major gubernatorial candidates – Republican and Democrat – the median age is only 54. If the eventual victor is smart, competent and stays out of trouble, he or she could easily be a player on the national scene. And don’t even be surprised if you hear his or her name tossed out for President or Vice President.
Arizona congressman-turned-presidential candidate Mo Udall once joked that “Arizona is the only state where mothers don’t tell their children they can grow up to be President.”
That was back before the Brady Bunch was even in reruns, but four decades later, a new crop of Arizona moms are still waiting for that opportunity.
(Editor’s Note: Daniel Scarpinato is a native Tucsonan, former political reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, and current National Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C.)
Primary Season opens in Arizona with the Alliance of Principled Conservatives fielding candidates against the censured incumbent Republicans committed to turning the state purple with Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, Common Core, and out-of-control spending, a.k.a. the LegisTraitors.
The war within the Republican Party is not a new war. Ronald Reagan did not start this war nor did he end this war in the 1980s. Ever hear of Rockefeller? Rockefeller is now RINO and Reagan’s name is interchanged with Goldwater and when starting this conversation you will hear mutterings of George Mason and his admonishment that the rights given to the federal government never surmount those given to the people. We are equally inspired by the war cry of ‘Freedom’ in the movie Braveheart as we are with the Bible and Moses pleas “Let my people go.”
Governor Brewer has formed team Coalition of Corruption consisting of 15 LegisTraitors and all the Democrats. Team color is purple. They are attacking our Party planks of individual liberty and state sovereignty
The Alliance of Principled Conservatives is fighting back fielding Principled Conservatives to take out the LegisTraitors and restore a true Republican majority.
We have a simple requirement: vote like a Republican.
Ten sitting incumbents are facing primary challengers. Two surrendered when faced with the reality of the grassroots assa
ult and wisely decided not to run for re-election.
LD Good Guys – Vote ‘YES’
8 – Darla Dawald
15 – David Burnell Smith joins John Allen
16 – John Fillmore joins Kelly Townsend
28 – Shawnna Bolick
18 – John King and Jill Norgaard
25 – Ralph Heap
18 – Tom Morrissey
LegisTraitor Black List
T.J. Shope and Frank Pratt
(Tom Morrissey’s campaign announcement led to the surrender of John McComish.)
Four of the LegisTraitors are not running in 2014.
- Michelle shame-to-the-name-Reagan wants a reward for her treachery with a promotion to Secretary of State.
- Rich Crandall moved and was replaced by good guy David Farnsworth (who we must re-elect).
- John McComish quickly surrendered when faced with primary candidate Tom Morrissey.
- Doris Goodale conceded her health could not withstand the grassroots assault and surrendered.
All our Principled Conservatives need and deserve your help!
Arizona is worth Fighting For.
Join the Alliance of Principled Conservatives to fight for a conservative majority in 2014.
Thursday, nine Arizona legislators sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to exit the Republican Primary and race for AG. Spearheaded by State Representative Paul Boyer, the letter expressed grave concern over Horne’s ability to lead and serve the public has been severely compromised by a number of legal, ethical and personal problems.
Eight of Boyer’s legislative peers also signed the letter affirming that “integrity matters in our elected officials and our elections.”
Boyer, who also authored the letter wrote:
Dear General Horne:
We write to express our grave concerns over the recent allegations leveled at you, your official staff, and your campaign.
We acknowledge the investigations into wrongdoing are not complete, but that in no way lessens the dark cloud of impropriety that hangs over you and your administration.
We trust that the authorities conducting these investigations will enforce the law to the best of their abilities. We also acknowledge this process will take time and that you have a right to your day in court. Your ability to lead and serve the public, however, has already been severely compromised.
We, the undersigned, have a responsibility to act in the best interest of our state and our party. We are convinced that if you continue in your campaign for re-election, both of these interests will be damaged.
For this reason, we take the difficult step of formally requesting that you withdraw from the race for Attorney General.
Integrity matters in our elected officials and our elections. We expect more from our Attorney General, the individual who is tasked with directing the Department of Law. Arizonans have a right to expect more out of the highest-ranking legal officer of the state.
Please do what is right for Arizona and for the Republican Party.
Here is a copy of the letter:
The letter follows other high profile requests by members of the congressional delegation asking Horne to withdraw from the race. Last week, Congressman Matt Salmon called Horne and personally asked him to exit. The following day Senator Jeff Flake stated publicly that Horne should exit. Senator John McCain also stopped short from saying Horne should get out but did note that the AG should recognize his political situation and.
Over a week ago, this blog asked the Attorney General to drop out of the race.
ICYMI, here is my recent appearance on TV-12′s Sunday Square Off discussing the Arizona Attorney General’s race and why Tom Horne should exit.
Special thanks to Brahm Resnik for having me on the show to discuss several political news items!
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne must dread the vision of seeing his caller ID display the phone number of a member of Arizona’s congressional delegation.
One of those calls occurred this afternoon. It was Congressman Matt Salmon.
Salmon was the first in what I would expect to be several calls from high-ranking Republicans and party officials asking the embattled Attorney General to withdrawal from the race. It’s another version of a political landslide – when you lose the vote of confidence of the political establishment.
At this point, we don’t know whether Senator John McCain, Senator Jeff Flake, former Senator Jon Kyl or Congressmen, Gosar, Schweikert or Franks have made that same call.
Like many other Republicans, I would hope those calls happen soon.
Regardless, I applaud my Congressman Matt Salmon for making the first public call.
It’s never an easy thing to talk a candidate out of a race. It’s even harder to convince an incumbent and fellow Republican to withdraw from a high stakes race. Candidates usually have an abundance of money, ego, divine inspiration or an amalgam of all of the above holding them back from making a political humiliating move. The more pressure they feel from their elected peers, the more political reality penetrates their psyche and it becomes an act of sacrifice rather than humility.
A united congressional delegation and the revoked unwritten endorsement by the state party chairman would have that very effect in the case of Tom Horne.
Republicans are supposed to hold to higher ethics because that’s just the inherent nature of a party that respects moral and ethical absolutes. It’s expected of us and its why Republicans suffer tremendous backlash when someone makes a mistake. We’re the party of higher standards and we have an obligation to self-regulate and discipline our ranks.
Then there’s the political reality that Republicans will lose the Attorney General’s seat to a rambunctious and capricious Democrat only to bring her closer to the Governor’s office. Some of us remember all to well the 1998 Primary in which John Kaites and Tom McGovern beat each other up so badly it paved the roadway for Janet Napolitano to take the office of AG and eventually Governor. Let’s be politically smart this time and save the state from another political dark age.
We all owe Congressman Matt Salmon tremendous gratitude for looking into the future and having the courage to make that tough call to Attorney General Horne. Let’s hope others will also see into the future far enough ahead and set us on a path that avoids political disaster.
Thank you Congressman Salmon!
I was recently invited for coffee by a close friend and fellow Republican to discuss upcoming state legislative races. Well respected in both local grass roots circles as well as the so called “GOP Establishment,” he was chosen to reach out to me in hopes of convincing me to not get involved in several key legislative primaries. However, by the time we finished our second cup of coffee, he would not only fail to convince me to stay silent, but he would instead volunteer to help me in my efforts to inform GOP voters of the threat to our state. It took a simple history lesson to change his mind.
I take you back to the 46th Legislature. In 2004, a handful of so called “pragmatic” Republicans conspired with Democrats to give then Governor Janet Napolitano a budget that would increase state spending by more than $700 million, a 10% increase in spending in a year that saw little inflation (2%).
Worse yet, that budget created a $500 million budget deficit; in violation of Arizona’s Constitution which requires a balanced budget. Rightfully, fiscal conservatives were outraged at what was clearly an irresponsible budget. In response, conservatives recruited fiscally responsible primary opponents to challenge these fiscally irresponsible Republicans.
Then the “GOP Establishment” stepped in. They argued that we risked losing our legislative majorities by running more conservative candidates in the general. Even going as far as saying that even though these “pragmatic” Republicans may have strayed a bit and voted with Democrats for the big spending budget, at least they voted right on things like guns, faith and family issues. They used the old rationale of “even the worst Republican is better than the best Democrat any day.” Generally I would agree with that statement, however, it only holds true if those Republicans support the Republican platform and not the Democrat platform. In 2004, there were 39 Republicans in the House and 17 in the Senate. (In Arizona, you need only control 31 seats in the House and 16 in the Senate to maintain your majority.)
Many of the party faithful bought the establishment’s argument, held their noses and voted for the fiscally irresponsible Republicans “for the good of the Party.” Deep down they hoped these “pragmatic” Republicans would realize the error of their ways and act “more Republican” and fiscally responsible if they got re-elected. As a result, the fiscally conservative challengers were defeated and the “GOP Establishment” candidates got re-elected.
What did voting for the establishment candidate get us? Over the next few years, more and more spending occurred and the budget deficit got bigger, ballooning to over $2.2 billion. Well at least it helped us keep our majorities in the legislature right? Not exactly, in the House the GOP lost six seats and our majority declined to 33 seats; dangerously close to the 31 needed to maintain majority control.
Then in 2008, “Pragmatic Republicans” did it again. Cutting a backroom deal in the dark of night with legislative Democrats and Governor Napolitano, four House and four Senate Republicans essentially voted to put Arizona on the verge of Bankruptcy. They left the State with no money in the Rainy Day Fund and a $3 Billion budget deficit. This time conservatives had enough.
A grassroots groundswell of conservative candidates filed to run for the legislature and challenge the big spenders of both parties. Once again the “GOP Establishment” clamored about “party unity, we’re going to lose our majority if we elect conservatives in the primary, think of the big picture and don’t get hung up on a single budget vote, etc.” This time, despite the GOP establishment spending heavily on their “pragmatic” candidates, the GOP primary voters weren’t going to listen.
Fiscal conservatives won primary after primary, soundly defeating establishment candidates in several key races. Instead of lining up behind the party’s nominees, the GOP establishment instead sided with Democrats by undermining conservative candidates in the general election. Establishment lackey and so called “political consultant” Nathan Sproul even penned an open letter to voters stating “In my opinion, the Republican Nominees are not reflective of the overall electorate.” His statement was quickly picked up by Democrats and used in mailers against conservatives.
Despite the “GOP Establishment’s” efforts to torpedo our candidates, we not only kept our majorities in the State House and Senate, but increased them! Keep in mind this was 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected President. Conventional political wisdom predicted a Democrat landslide nationally and the Tea Party was still more than a year from even coming into existence. Arizona was one of only two states in the whole country that saw Republicans add seats to their legislatures. The GOP Establishment was not only WRONG, they were DEAD WRONG.
Then came 2010; “the year of the Tea Party.” Both Establishment GOP candidates as well as Democrats were steam rolled by conservatives. Republicans obtained “Super majorities” in both houses of the legislature and it immediately led to a balanced budget in Arizona, the first in over five years.
Now we’re back to 2014 and here we go again. A new bunch of so-called “Pragmatic Republicans” have again voted with state Democrats to bring Obamacare to Arizona and once again bust the state’s bank by voting for fiscally irresponsible budgets. Where there was once $1Billion in the Rainy Day fund, now there’s essentially nothing. The budget is once again structurally unbalanced and we’re looking at huge deficits again in 2016 and 2017.
So guess what the “Establishment” is saying. Yep, you guessed it: “Don’t primary them, they only voted ‘wrong’ on Obamacare and the budget, but otherwise, they’re still better than Democrats. Don’t primary them for the ‘good of the party’ and so we don’t lose our majorities.“
Well I for one am not buying it. I’m not going to let history repeat itself. These turncoat Republicans, also known as “Legistraitors,” are causing irreparable damage to our states’ fiscal and economic future and they must go. We can’t let the financial disaster of 2004-2008 happen again. Reelecting these “pragmatic” traitors to the platform will spell fiscal disaster for Arizona. Ask yourself, do you want to go through what we had to go through back in 2009-2011? Huge budget cuts, a sales tax increase, selling our Capitol? Heck no!
For a list of these Legistraitors and their relationship to the Coalition of Corruption that is bankrupting Arizona and bringing failed Washington D.C., big government, policies to our state go to The Alliance of Principled Conservatives website at
By Frank Antenori