Secretary of State Completes Preliminary Review of Referendum Petitions

Michele Reagan

On August 8, 2017, Save Our Schools Arizona filed an estimated 9,078 petition sheets containing 111,540 signatures in support of R-02-2018.

The Secretary of State’s Office has completed its preliminary review of referendum petitions in accordance with Arizona law, and has determined that the committee filed 9,291 petition sheets.  Of these, 8,950 petition sheets containing 108,224 signatures remained eligible for random sampling and County Recorder review.

A 5% random sample of these signatures has been sent to the County Recorders for signature verification under Arizona law.  In order for the measure to qualify for the 2018 General Election ballot, the County Recorders must collectively validate at least 3,767 signatures (or 69.6%) from the random sample.

The deadline for County Recorder review is September 11, 2017.

Read more about Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan here.

Frosty’s Snowflakes

By Calamity June

We’ve noticed that over the last few days, Frosty’s Fake News has led with a “warning” to the rejects and sore losers who are pushing a recall against AZ GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines. A typical post reads as follows:

“Any State Committeemen Being Harassed for signing a Remove AZGOP Jonathan Lines “call” petition should notified (SIC) petition spokesman Marianne Ferrari…Harassment is a Class I misdemeanor…”

Even for the typical spittle-flecked drivel of Frosty’s Fake News, this is incredibly rich. Having engaged in a near non-stop campaign of lies, smears and bullying against Chairman Lines and his team, Frosty’s Snowflakes apparently can’t handle even a modicum of scrutiny that comes with their ill-fated effort to remove AZ GOP leadership in the middle of a crucial election cycle.

SnowflakeThese snowflakes have sent the better part of the year crying about bylaws violations that don’t exist, licking their wounds over a free and fair election that they lost, and fabricating wrongdoing for the sole purpose of grabbing power. Like the liberal snowflakes who still haven’t come to grips with President Trump’s victory, Frosty’s Snowflakes similarly are unable to grasp the fact that they were rejected by the state committee in January.

So instead of working to Make America Great Again and fight for President Trump’s agenda, they throw tantrum after tantrum while attacking grassroots Republicans and attempting to shut down discussion from anyone who disagrees with them, in the best traditions of left-wing college students in need of a “safe space.”

These are snowflakes like Bruce Piepho, who compares the AZ GOP to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany; like sore loser Jim O’Connor, who claims on one side of his mouth that he is uninvolved with a recall effort, then travels up to Show Low to advocate for it; like Lori Hack, who as a Never Trump Republican was removed from the RNC convention floor after refusing to support our Republican nominee. (You can find a full list of the Recall Roster here, snowflakes all.)

While real Republicans in Arizona continue to work to register voters, turn out Republicans for municipal races and lay the groundwork for a successful 2018, Frosty and her snowflakes continue in their effort to tear down the party…and then cry crocodile tears when anyone dares to criticize their destructive behavior and calls out their lies.

They represent the height of hypocrisy and the definition of Alinksy-style tactics. And once again, they will be rejected by Republicans who want to win in 2018.

Guest opinions are not necessarily the opinion or position of Sonoran Alliance or its editors. 

Recall Ringleader Admits: “We Need No Cause”

By Rangel Solamente

In a stunning admission, Marianne Ferrari, the self-described leader of the Recall Lines movement has publicly admitted that she does not need a cause for recall; this entire effort is nothing more than an attack on the Republican Party and a massive distraction from the organizing and voter registration activities which should be the sole focus of Republican activists.

In Friday’s Yellow Sheet Report, Ferrari’s admission earned her the coveted “quote of the day.” And why not. The instigator and leader of this strange and meritless recall effort admits what we’ve known all along: they have no cause.

In a weak attempt to cite SOME reason for her time-wasting effort, Ms. Ferrari also reportedly said that she was motivated to recall Chairman Lines because of the $235,000 in debt that he inherited upon assuming the chairmanship in January of 2017.

Keep in mind, this $235,000 legal fee was the result of the AZ GOP’s successful litigation in defense of Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting. No true Republican would object to the AZ GOP working with national Republican organizations to fight back against Soros-funded ballot fraud.

Making her charge all the more ludicrous is the fact that, as was announced today, the Arizona GOP has retired all legal bills that the chairman inherited upon taking office.

Of course, Ms. Ferrari knows full well that Chairman Lines knew nothing of the debt before he took office. And she also knows that the Chairman has worked tirelessly to make sure that the AZ GOP pay its bills, and continue to stand up for ballot integrity and the rule of law.

So there we have it. A recall without merit, a leader without a cause, citing a debt that the chairman was not aware of, that has since been paid off …all wrapped up in her apparent opposition to the AZ GOP’s successful fight to ban ballot harvesting, defending a law that was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by our Republican governor.

We’re starting to think that Marianne Ferrari may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart. And we have a pretty good idea why that is, but we’ll save that for another day…

“Never Trump” Republican Activist leads efforts to Recall Jonathan Lines

By Rangel Solamente

A small band of malcontents has elected to join forces in a quixotic effort to remove Chairman Jonathan Lines. With Frosty Taylor and her “Fake News” briefs serving as a facilitator and mouthpiece, this small group is attempting to overturn the results of a  duly called and recognized election.

So…who are these divisive forces  that are attempting to throw the Arizona GOP into chaos? And while taking a look at this motley crew, consider this…what is their real objective?

The “Never Trumper”: One of the most vocal members of this rogue band is Lori Hack. Lori’s efforts to sow discontent and division are nothing new, as she made national news last year in her refusal to support Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. http://www.azcentral.com/ story/news/politics/elections/ 2016/07/18/arizona-anti-trump- delegate-lori-hack-denied- republican-national- convention-credentials/ 87243792/

In announcing her intention to oppose our nominee, she was in violation of state statute and party bylaws. Her refusal to back our nominee resulted in her removal from the delegate roster; and added to the media’s false narrative that Republicans were not united behind our nominee. Interestingly, the man who Hack is attempting to remove from office, Jonathan Lines, was an enthusiastic Trump supporter who led the nominee’s efforts in Yuma County, ultimately turning Yuma red for President Trump. Also ironic, is that Chairman Lines has received accolades from President Trump for his focus and efficiency in supporting the Trump Agenda.

The Sore Loser: Jim O’Connor was Jonathan Lines’ primary opponent at the January statutory meeting. O’Connor’s candidacy was already shrouded in controversy, as he rigged the election of State Committeemen in LD 23 to ensure a near-unanimous slate to back him. Despite these shenanigans, O’Connor lost by 36 votes, or just over 3% of the electorate. Given the historically close races for Arizona State Chairman, that is actually a fairly wide margin. Instead of graciously accepting the outcome and pledging to work with the new chairman, O’Connor and his henchmen made false accusations of fraud and suggested that votes were not counted properly. However, when offered the chance to review the election documents, they declined. Six months later, still unable to accept the fact that he lost, O’Connor is a leading proponent for a recall. No one likes a sore loser, Jim.

The Puppeteer: It’s been widely reported that the main “mastermind” behind the entire recall effort is none other than Lynne Breyer. Lynne’s troubled past was first brought to light when she ran, unsuccessfully, for AZ GOP Secretary in 2014. Research done by AZGOPCandidates.blogspot.com shows that, as an LD 23 Executive Committee member, Lynne directed thousands of dollars to various PACs, without board approval. One of those PACs, Better Leaders for Arizona, spent over a million dollars attacking Governor Ducey…and Lynne could give no answers as to why she funneled any money there at all, let alone thousands of dollars which had been donated by hard working LD 23 PCs. Lynne has absolutely no business judging the actions of Republican leadership…not when she’s so badly mismanaged her own Legislative District coffers.

The Puppet: Not many Republicans in Tucson have ever heard of John Backer. Since 2010, Backer has voted in just ONE Republican primary, has only recently become a PC, and has never served on the state committee. Oh, and the one time he did bother to vote in a primary? It’s because his name was actually on the ballot (he finished dead last in a race for Pima County Supervisor). Most people believe that Backer is really doing the bidding of others or looking for a way to inject himself into a possible paid office in the next election. Who, we wonder, could be pulling the strings??

The Dishonest Secretary: Gabby Saucedo Mercer has long had trouble telling the truth. As a twice-failed candidate for Congress, she lied to her campaign staff and refused to pay the money she owed them. As a candidate for AZ GOP Secretary, she lied from the pulpit of the church about Jonathan Lines and participated in vicious religious bigotry against the Mormon faith (after being called out for her dishonesty, particularly while giving a speech in a house of worship, Mercer shrugged: “I’m not a preacher,” she said.) And now, Mercer is lying about Chairman Lines, suggesting that he is somehow preventing her from doing her job. To review, the Secretary is responsible for obtaining the permanent party records from his or her predecessor. The bylaws are clear; this is NOT the responsibility of the Chairman. Another important point, is the definition of “permanent records”, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, this means the minutes, which is the “record” of all actions. Despite this, Chairman Lines has attempted on multiple occasions to facilitate the transfer of records from the past Secretary to Gabby. As of yet, this has not occurred.

The Fake News Maven: It’s been well documented how Frosty Taylor, and her “fake news” Briefs, have for years relied on character assassination, dishonesty, and downright lies in order to bully anyone who isn’t a part of her small and shrinking faction. Unsurprisingly, Frosty used her Briefs to promote the candidacies of Jim O’Connor and Tristan Manos…both of whom lost in their bids for chairman. Lately, Taylor’s fake Republican newsletter has attacked, demeaned, and bullied Republican leadership and activists. This recall effort is par for the course for Frosty…her constant efforts to destabilize the GOP plays right into the Democrats’ hands. How proud she must be. Her latest “mistake” was publishing a letter supporting the recall attributed to Russell Pearce, less than 24 hours later she slid a correction in to say it was an error on her part and was actually from the relatively unknown Chairman of La Paz County. A “mistake” or planned strategy to start a false narrative of support for the recall?

The Failed Chairman: Russell Sais is the chairman of the La Paz County GOP. As such, he is responsible for recruiting PCs and building the party. At last count, La Paz County has…wait for it…exactly 3 precinct committeemen, with dozens of vacancies. Perhaps Chairman Sais’s time would be better spent bringing new people into the party and growing his ranks of PCs, rather than sending out bile-filled rants from his computer and attempting to tear down the duly elected leadership of the AZ GOP. A check of the Secretary of State site shows they have never filed the statutorily required committee and are operating illegally. Maybe Mr. Sais and his board should get their own house in order?

The pitch man: Tim Horn clearly loves the sound of his own voice. In December and January, he was the “front man” in trying to explain the illegal activities surrounding LD 23’s state committeemen elections. In a series of youtube videos, Horn attempted to defend the indefensible…illegal calls, random exclusions, failure to adhere to bylaws…all, as it turned out, to elect a state committee slate that would support Jim O’Connor. Following O’Connor’s defeat, Horn showed up at the AZ GOP and inplied that some wrong doing had occurred; this was wrong and an insult to the dozens of volunteers who ensured a fair and transparent voting process. And finally, now that it’s been revealed that LD 23 remains buried in debt from their legal case with the state party, is there any indication that their executive committee approved this expenditure>? What did Tim Horn know, and when did he know it?

The Two-Time Loser: Few people had a rougher January than Wes Harris. The LD 20 PC and State Committeeman put his name forward for Maricopa County Treasurer AND AZ GOP Treasurer…and lost both times! Perhaps most humiliating, Harris was the only candidate on the ballot for Maricopa County Treasurer…and was defeated, soundly, by a write in! That’s right…Harris is so unpopular, he can’t even win when there’s no one else on the ballot! Lately, Harris has taken to Facebook to lie about Jonathan Lines’ tenure as Yuma County Chairman, going so far as to accuse Lines of doing things that occurred before he was even elected. Nice try, Mr. Harris. Harris is no stranger to controversy, having been removed from the Diane Douglas campaign when his felony record for assault with a firearm was revealed in the press.

The Author/Publisher: Then we have the self-proclaimed author of the “call” that would actually force the election, Marianne Ferrari.  No one has seen this document, but this group says it does exist. Marianne is in fact a publisher whose travel guide books can be purchased on Amazon. Originally from New York, she’s a bit of a mystery in that she shows up for meetings, runs for state committeemen but seems to always be working for the destruction of candidates and the party and is known for her regular use of profanity.  Is she really a conservative or an angry woman bent on some sort of mission?

So there you have it. This merry band of Never Trumpers, sore losers, liars and puppets are using Fake News in working to undo a fairly contested election result. We can’t help but wonder how many Republican State Committeeman will publicly stand with this motley crew by signing a recall petition. We’ll certainly be watching.

Sonoran Alliance will gladly publish a response by any of the aforementioned individuals mentioned.

An Open Letter to Timothy Schwartz

Dear Mr. Schwartz,

I was very disappointed to read your attack on Matthew Kenney this week. For a party officer, someone who should be working to unify our Republican Party, to write such a divisive and belligerent letter was a disgrace.

I was also personally offended by your attacks on my fellow Vietnamese-Americans, many of whom became PCs for the first time when Chairman Graham and Matt Kenney visited our community and urged them to become Republicans. Many of them have very little knowledge on voting rights and have never registered to vote, and those who have registered were enlisted as Democrats. Thanks to the inspiration and positive messages delivered to members in the Vietnamese community by Mr. Kenney, hundreds of Vietnamese-American have joined the Republican Party. Should we, Republicans not be celebrating that?

Briefly about me, I am a first generation American migrated from Vietnam at the age of nine.  I love this country, and I love my Republican party, as much as you, as much as other Americans. I’m currently serving my second term as President of the Vietnamese Community in AZ, was recently appointed by Chairman Lines as the Chairman of the Arizona Asian Coalition, and I proudly serve as a member of Governor Ducey’s AZ State Board of Pharmacy. This country has given me, and so many other Vietnamese-Americans tremendous opportunities for advancement, the freedom to live, to speak, to pray as we choose, and to support the leaders who we choose. We are, sir, as American as you are.

Your attack on Mr. Kenney speaks derisively and disrespectfully of those Vietnamese PCs who “did not speak the English language.” I also find it incredibly hypocritical to attack Mr. Kenney for signing up PCs when you, yourself also harassed many of those “non-English speaking” PCs. While they denied your attempts because of your rude and aggressive nature, you constantly arrived at their homes offering to notarize their forms.

Mr. Schwartz, do you know who once did not speak the English language? Me! And yet I felt a love for this country from the first moment I learned about the history of this great nation, the land of Freedom and Opportunities!  As a freedom-loving Vietnamese-American,  I embraced the principals of Ronald Reagan and the first President I ever cast a ballot for, George W. Bush.  I’ve always worked hard, realizing the American dream and being able to provide financially for my family. And yet, to you, I should not be a PC…should I not be a Republican, either?

We should embrace those who are new to this country, who so love America that they want to get involved with our party, to make a positive difference in our community. This is why I have taken a leadership role with the AZ GOP, and why I will continue to recruit as many new Republicans as I can to join our ranks.

I have seen how you conduct yourself publicly, and how you strive to tear down so many of our fellow Republicans. I am hopeful that you will take a step back and recognize how destructive your actions are to our great Party.

Thank you.

Kevin Dang

Wendy Rogers: Let’s take care of our known problems

I stand with President Trump to repeal Obamacare

America must start to repair its healthcare system. The designers of Obamacare ultimately wanted a single payer system. It doesn’t work; case in point: the broken Veterans Administration (VA) system, which my husband and I experience first-hand.

Wendy Rogers & Donald TrumpAs far as being a conservative goes, I’m as conservative as they come. I am ardently pro-life as a mother and grandmother, strong on national defense as a retired career Air Force lieutenant colonel and one of America’s first military women pilots, and I want the government out of my mess kit because I’m a tireless but successful 20-year small business owner.

Academically and professionally, I practiced as clinical social worker in the military mental health system before I trained to be a jet pilot. I cannot bear to see families continue to be plagued by rising premiums and limited choices in healthcare, especially in Arizona where premiums have climbed 116%.

I knocked on thousands of doors where AZ-1 voters told me something must be done to fix the current healthcare mess. I’m not in Washington, but I read the news. Last weekend, my mid-20s-aged kids asked me what I thought. You know what I told them?

I said, “Democracy is messy. We cannot agree a lot of the time, but that’s what the Founders envisioned. Arm-wrestling, passion, patriotism, and compromise. If we had more small business owners and military veterans working this in Congress, we’d get more done. I believe in the president’s agenda overall. Congress needs to get onboard to repeal and replace Obamacare, reform our tax code, repeal onerous regulations, and foster energy independence. Congress needs to help drain the swamp, not add to it.

And I’ll tell you something else. I met the president way back in December 2015 when I introduced him to the crowd in Mesa AZ as the representative military veteran in strong support. I’ve read his books. I’m close to some who work in the administration. As my commander-in-chief, I trust President Trump to have my back. More of us in the military trust this president than any other in a very long time. That should tell you something. A new healthcare law must wend its way through Senate rules and administrative action before we can arrive at a better system. I trust President Trump to steer that course for the good of our country.

Conservatives and citizens all must realize that standing on principle is all well and good, but it cannot be worth falling on one’s sword if we end up with nothing.

These challenges are fixable. We’re Americans. We accomplish great things. Let’s take care of our known problems, so we’re better prepared to thwart the unknowns when they crop up like North Korea’s ICBMs, ISIS infiltrating our own country, or opioids ravaging our families.

Let’s get it DONE.

Air Force (ret) Lt Col Wendy Rogers’s home is in Flagstaff. She and her husband own and operate their own home inspection business across Pinal, Maricopa, Yavapai, and Coconino counties. She is a current pilot who flies her own aircraft, Search and Rescue member of Civil Air Patrol, HAM radio operator, and avid national and statewide traveler. She and her husband have two children and three grandchildren. She was one of the Air Force’s first women pilots and ran for Congress in AZ-1 in 2016.

Frosty’s Democrat Talking Points

By Ella Gent

Last week, we wrote about Frosty Taylor’s so-called “Republican Briefs.” As we pointed out at the time, Frosty is less interested in “News and Updates,” as her website claims, and more interested in vile gossip, attacks on Republicans, and outright lies.

However, despite spending the vast majority of her time demonizing and attacking fellow Republicans, Frosty has never overtly supported Democrats or their talking points. That is, until Sunday morning’s post.

Sunday, Frosty gave voice to a left-wing Arizona Democratic Party e-mail that attacked Senator Flake. Since Frosty is not a real journalist she just believed the worst and added her voice to the attack. Frosty’s fake news never does any real research. Or she would have known that she was attacking ALL of the Republicans in the Arizona delegation!

It is understandable why Democrats would attack Senator Flake. He has supported each and every one of President Trump’s nominees. He’s pledged to do whatever it takes to confirm Judge Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. His voting record on conservative issues is always among the highest in the Senate. Of course Democrats would like to see him defeated.

Indeed, what’s confusing is why a self-described “Republican” would amplify the attacks on Senator Flake from the Arizona Democrats. Using wildly out of context “facts” and twisting a recent vote to imply wrongdoing, Frosty and her friends at the Arizona Democrat Party are doing all they can to defeat Senator Flake.

To be clear, the Senator’s vote was to roll back an 11th-hour Obama regulation that the entire Republican delegation felt was the right thing to do. Without question, Congress will take up the matter of internet privacy over the next few months, but in the meantime, stopping a regulatory end-run by the Obama Administration should be applauded, not attacked…and certainly not attacked in a “Republican” newsletter by using Democrat talking points.

Frosty, of course, fails to mention that every single member of the Arizona Republican Congressional delegation voted the same way that Senator Flake voted. Voting with Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and others isn’t party of Frosty’s #fakenews agenda. She fails to provide the other side of the argument. She just attacks…and uses Democrats to carry her message. At best she is dishonest, at worst she simply didn’t do any real research.

Frosty Taylor is welcomed to submit a response to this guest opinion.

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Legislation Restoring Integrity to Initiative Process

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Vince Leach (R-11) today applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing legislation (HB 2404) that he’s introduced to restore integrity to Arizona’s initiative process.

HB 2404 would prohibit the payment of petition circulators per signature and modify the number of days from five calendar days to ten business days within which a challenge to the registration of circulators can occur.

“By removing the incentive for fraud, HB 2404 keeps the initiative process intact as a legislative tool for Arizonans yet restores some badly needed integrity to the system,” said Representative Leach.  “I thank my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee for their support and look forward to consideration of the bill by the full Senate.”

Former Governor Janet Napolitano first advocated for the reform in 2009, using her State of the State address to ask the legislature to “crack down on signature fraud” by prohibiting the payment of petition circulators per signature.

The Election Grudge That Just Won’t Die

By Sonny Daze

Sources tell Sonoran Alliance that the author of a vicious, divisive and dishonest hit piece in Monday’s Arizona Daily Independent was authored by none other than failed AZ GOP Chairman candidate Jim O’Connor.

Mr. O’Connor, who left his LD 23 committee with over $26,000 in legal debt, is clearly attempting to create controversy and division amongst Republican PCs.

fighting elephantsMr. O’Connor and his supporters have clearly still not come to grips with that fact that Mr. O’Connor lost his race for chairman. It was a close contest, but it was decisive: Chairman Jonathan Lines actually won by 3 times as many votes as Treasurer Bob Lettieri, who required a 2nd ballot to garner the required 50%-plus-one of the votes. However, unlike Mr. O’Connor, 2nd place finisher Eric Morgan graciously conceded defeat, without demanding any recounts, proxy reviews or credentialing fights. Eric Morgan knows, of course, that these internal disputes only harm the party, and do not help us unify to register voters, recruit candidates, or win elections. Lettieri also seems to have moved on with his life and is doing a professional job.

Unfortunately, we’re once again reminded that Jim O’Connor and his allies care less about defeating Democrats, and more about settling scores, launching personal attacks against fellow Republicans and lies. In short, they are interested in raw power, NOT in winning elections.

Mr. O’Connor’s latest gambit may be his most pathetic yet. According to our sources, he has authored, and posted anonymously, a blog post chock full of lies, deceptions and personal attacks. Next, he’s posting his vitriol on his Facebook page, and even urging PCs to work towards recalling our new chairman.

This is what desperation looks like. Unable to win fairly, Jim O’Connor and his supporters are reduced to cowardly, anonymous blog posts and dreams of overturning the will of the State Committee through a wild goose chase of a recall.

It is increasingly clear that the Arizona GOP dodged a major bullet when the State Committee rejected Jim O’Connor last January.

LD23 wastefully spends $27,000 on attorneys fees in ridiculous feud

By Millenial Maven

Just when you thought the debacle in LD23 could not get any more bizarre, it has!

At the February 9th LD23 Meeting, the Chairman finally admitted to the grand total for the attorney fees that they had spent.

It came to an astonishing amount of $27,000, an amount that equals approximately two years of typical income for LD23.

There was an audible gasp as this amount was announced. The Board had never approached the PCs for their inputs on spending this huge amount of money.

The LD is now deeply in debt, and the Executive Board offered no real solution to paying off their debt.

The question now remains:

Can an LD be repossessed?