Activists and Former Campaign Staff Apologize for Propping Up Kelli Ward

This from two staffers with the Kelli Ward for Senate campaign.

As Ward “kicks off” her campaign in Scottsdale, her campaign’s former Chief Strategist Dustin Stockton and Press Secretary Jennifer Lawrence speak out.

Two prominent grassroots activists issued an apology to America First activists and the people of Arizona for helping legitimize the candidacy of Kelli Ward. The two former Breitbart reporters ran Dr. Ward’s campaign from May until September in 2017 serving as Chief Strategist and Press Secretary.

“Dustin and I began helping Kelli when she ran against John McCain in 2016. Over the years we advocated for her with grassroots groups, activists, and media from around the country. After running her campaign, we’ve realized that our successful efforts to legitimize her campaign was a mistake. We are sorry to the #MAGA activists and the people of Arizona because they deserve better candidates”

Kelli Ward is hosting a “campaign kickoff” in Scottsdale Arizona tonight featuring Laura Ingraham and J.D. Hayworth, despite the fact that she formally launched her campaign against Senator Flake before the 2016 general election had even concluded. Before Stockton and Lawrence took over her campaign, Ward was regularly described as a fringe candidate in the media and with conservative political groups and donors. Ward was generally seen as a weaker candidate than both AZ State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt and former AZ Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham.

“We hadn’t anticipated taking over Kelli’s campaign when we visited Arizona around Easter,” Stockton said. “Her campaign was such a disaster that we saw an opportunity to prove how much we can help struggling campaigns and we did just that. Unfortunately, she showed that she isn’t up to the task of standing up to the pressure that causes so many candidates to betray voters when they get to Washington.”

“Even Jeff Flake was a solid conservative as a member of the House before he betrayed his base in pursuit of his ambition in the Senate,” Lawrence finished. “We have a responsibility to our fellow America First activists to prevent another heartbreak at the hands of a politician’s blind ambition. We’re going to make sure that Arizona gets Senators that will make America First activists proud. Stay tuned.”

Congressman Andy Biggs Speaks Out on US National Debt

Thank you Congressman Andy Biggs for this statement:

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs commented on the U.S. national debt passing twenty trillion dollars:

“Late last week, the U.S. national debt topped twenty trillion dollars for the first time in history. Instead of debating how Congress could take action to reduce the risk of default and substantial payments our grandchildren will inherit, Congress continues to encourage reckless spending and unaccountable taxpayer-funded programs. Rather than making the hard choices now, we are forcing Americans into an even tougher situation in the future because of this rising debt.

“It will take courage to cut government spending in order to deal with our national debt. If we are to follow through with our commitment to reduce expenditures and create economic stability for our future, we must immediately take action. The time for words is over.”

TJ Shope, Frank Pratt Named 2017 Legislative Champions by League of Arizona Cities and Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-8) and Senator Frank Pratt (R-8) last week were named 2017 Legislative Champions by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Legislative Champions award is given to legislators to honor their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

“I am honored to be named a 2017 Legislative Champion by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Shope. “Our work together ensures that communities across the state continue to grow into better places to live, work, and play.

“I am thrilled to be honored by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Senator Pratt. “Their dedication to support city and local leadership at the legislature is an asset to our state.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a membership-based organization comprised of municipalities throughout Arizona and provides a bridge from local cities and towns to the state legislature.

Shope Pratt

TJ Shope & Frank Pratt

POLL: 61.8% of Arizona Voters Believe Confederate Capitol Mall Monument Should Be Kept

High Ground

Survey reveals the complexities of navigating this controversial issue as independent and unaffiliated voters lean towards keeping monument

PHOENIX (August 24, 2017) — A statewide survey of likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters revealed that nearly 62% of voters believe that the memorial to Confederate Soldiers on the Arizona Capitol Mall should be kept. The results are derived from the same survey that showed President Trump with a 41.8% approval rating and 56.8% opposition to a pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Q.        In the past week, there has been a national discussion over whether or not statues honoring members of the Confederate Army should be removed from public spaces. Currently, there is a memorial to Confederate soldiers at the Capitol Mall, which is on public land across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Do you think this specific memorial should be kept in its current location or removed?

51.5%  Definitely Kept
10.3%  Probably Kept
6.0%    Probably Removed
26.3%  Definitely Removed
6.0%    Don’t Know, Refused

AZ Confederate Monument“These results show that this debate is not simply a partisan issue. More than 61% of independent voters and 60% of unaffiliated voters believe that the memorial should be kept.  Bear in mind, these are the same groups that currently have lower than 33% approval of the President,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll. “It is clear that this issue is complicated and deeply personal.  As the political parties continue to appeal to smaller and smaller audiences and cater to identity politics, they will find it increasingly difficult to address complex issues.  The challenge that the survey reveals is that there are mixed results with an ‘either/or’ approach.”

The survey specifically asked about the Confederate monument that currently stands on the mall in front of the Arizona State Capitol.  It did not address any of the other Confederate monuments or freeway names throughout the state.

“Instead of simply using this issue as a partisan wedge to cudgel opponents with or advance an ideological agenda, we need our leaders to lead a constructive dialogue.  Arizona is a unique state with an independent spirit and has shown time and again that it is up to the challenge to face and have thoughtful discourse on tough issues,” Coughlin concluded.

As I have said before, we must find our way back to discussing, learning, and growing from meaningful discussions about our collective past. Taking a hard and fast approach to this issue may not have the desired results for those seeking to build a General Election coalition.  It is my hope that these results will be viewed as a call to bring people together to have a thoughtful dialogue.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Q.            In the past week, there has been a national discussion over whether or not statues honoring members of the Confederate Army should be removed from public spaces. Currently, there is a memorial to Confederate soldiers at the Capitol Mall, which is on public land across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Do you think this specific memorial should be kept in its current location or removed?

51.5%  Definitely Kept
10.3%  Probably Kept
6.0%    Probably Removed
26.3%  Definitely Removed
6.0%    Don’t Know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9

View HighGround’s post HERE.

Poll: Jeff Flake in Double Jeopardy

High Ground

US Senator Jeff Flake in Double Electoral Jeopardy Twelve Months Away from Primary Election

Republican Party Divided – Provides Opening for Democrats

PHOENIX (August 22, 2017) — A statewide Arizona survey of 400 likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters shows Republican incumbent Senator Jeff Flake twelve points behind his primary Republican opponent Kelli Ward and eight points behind prospective Democratic opponent U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ-9).

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

The Republican Primary Election sample was of 273 high efficacy Republican and PND/Independent voters and has a margin of error of ±5.93%.  The General Election sample of 400 high efficacy general election voters has a margin of error of ±4.88%.

Jeff Flake

Senator Jeff Flake

“While Election Day may still be more than a year away, Senator Jeff Flake’s campaign has a lot of work to do to persuade Republican primary voters that his form of principled Republican conservatism can trump the nativist populism that is fueling Republican voters’ antipathy towards Washington insiders.  These same Republicans still give the President a 74% approval rating in Arizona,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll.

“The good news for Senator Flake’s campaign is that the election is still a year away and his campaign has the financial support to more clearly articulate his own views and define his opponent’s positions.  Additionally, efforts to pass tax reform, infrastructure investment and other major policy initiatives could substantially change the electoral environment in Arizona,” said Coughlin.

The survey showed that Congresswoman Sinema is not known by 45% of the electorate in Arizona while Ward was beaten by nearly 100,000 votes in her primary election against Senator John McCain in 2016.

Coughlin continued, “Kelli Ward may not be well-known in light of her campaign against Senator McCain in 2016.  But even tacit support from the President, with subsequent staffing and financial resources, would be a huge boost for her chances.”

Additionally, General Election turnout in off-Presidential Cycle races in Arizona shows that Republicans historically have a twelve-point turnout advantage, which steepens the climb for any Democratic contender.

“The data clearly shows that a contentious primary fight would certainly strengthen the chances of the Democrats to pick up the seat in November of next year.  There is an opportunity for Congresswoman Sinema to take advantage of the uncertainty on the Republican side by jumping into the Senate race,” Coughlin remarked. “The question for the General Election comes down to if Congresswoman Sinema will be able to define herself first to an electorate that is largely unfamiliar with her, or if Republican third-party groups can define her in ways unacceptable to Arizona’s General Electorate.”

The survey showed that Sinema enjoys a 51% approval rating among voters in her Congressional district which is largely within the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, which are more progressive, urban areas of the State.

Although a 14-point margin is a sizeable gap for Senator Flake, Arizona is known for its volatility when it comes to statewide races. Politicos such as Governors Fife Symington and Jan Brewer have been able to successfully rally from greater margins in shorter periods of time.

Coughlin stated, “It may look dire now, but we must remember a poll is a snapshot in time.”

“Even today, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) began to remind voters that Kelli Ward is not a serious thinker when it comes to the issues confronting our country.  I would expect third-party groups like the SLF and dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth to come to the Senator’s aid and tout his conservative credentials,” concluded Coughlin. “The Senator is in for the fight of his life and things will only get more difficult if the President Trump continues to pick intraparty fights.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Next, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of the job the following persons or groups are doing:

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?
[N = 273]

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Kelli Ward or Kyrsten Sinema?

30.5%  Kelli Ward
31.8%  Kyrsten Sinema
37.8%  Don’t know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9

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.

Jonathan Gelbart Files for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jonathan Gelbart

Tempe, AZ (August 7, 2017) – Jonathan Gelbart, former Director of Charter School Development for the nationally top-ranked BASIS Charter Schools, today announced that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. He has resigned his position at BASIS to campaign full-time.

“I’m running for this office because nothing is more important for Arizona’s long-term success than our public education system,” Gelbart said. “And our incumbent has really engaged in dereliction of duty. We need a state schools chief with a fresh perspective, the will to fight for our public schools, and the long-term vision necessary to build the education system of the future. Our workforce is facing an oncoming freight train called automation, so business as usual isn’t going to cut it anymore.”

Gelbart has managed the opening or expansion of schools for more than 8,000 children across Arizona, including the number one public high school in America according to U.S. News & World Report. Gelbart’s efforts involved building relationships with communities from Prescott to Tucson and obtaining more than $250 million in bond funds for school construction, renovation, and expansion.

To ensure broad, ongoing feedback from education professionals, Gelbart has formed an Educators Advisory Group composed of educators and school leaders with more than 100 years of combined experience in Arizona schools. “I want our Arizona school system to be one of the best in the country, and Jonathan can help us move in that direction,” said Michele Savoia, a member of the group and a psychology teacher in the Deer Valley Unified School District for 28 years.

“Arizona has the opportunity to lead the nation in creating a more flexible education system that truly prioritizes creativity, self-motivation, and critical thinking,” Gelbart added. “Schools need to treat every child as an individual human being, not a test-taking robot.”

Gelbart was born and raised in northwest Phoenix, graduated as salutatorian from Barry Goldwater High School, and earned a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University. His family roots in Arizona go back nearly 70 years. If elected, Gelbart would be the youngest Superintendent of Public Instruction since statehood.

About Jonathan Gelbart
Gelbart earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations and master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University in four and a half years. Through his work with the BASIS charter schools, he managed the opening of 12 campuses in Arizona and three in Texas that will serve more than 10,000 students this fall. He serves on the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s Millennial Council and the Tempe Neighborhood Advisory Commission. He and his newlywed wife Cara live with their rescue cattle dog mix, Kermit, at their home in Tempe.

For more information or to sign up for campaign updates, please visit www.gelbartforaz.com.

Speaker Mesnard Applauds Court Decision Allowing Initiative Compliance Law to Take Effect

Arizona Seal

JD Mesnard

JD Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today applauded a decision by the Arizona Superior Court allowing legislation (HB 2244) passed by the Legislature earlier this year to take effect tomorrow.  HB 2244 creates uniformity, provides greater clarity, and ensures integrity in the signature-gathering process for initiatives and referenda by compelling strict compliance with requirements set forth in statute and the Constitution.

“Because the Legislature doesn’t have the ability to address unintended consequences created by initiatives, it’s important that initiative campaigns strictly comply with the law,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “I’m pleased with the Court’s decision and look forward to the implementation of the law.”

The new law goes into effect tomorrow, August 9.

President Trump Challenges Millennial’s for Twitter Crown

OH Predictive

Almost Two Thirds of Arizona Voters Believe Trump Tweets Too Much

Phoenix, AZ (August 4, 2017) –  As social media use continues to grow, OH Predictive Insights wanted to learn more on how Arizona voters viewed President Trump’s tweeting frequency and to gather tangible data on the overall perception behind his use of Twitter.  It is safe to say that by now in the era of Trump you are aware of his preferred social media platform Twitter.

Over 700 active registered, Arizona Democratic, Republican, Independent and non-declared voters participated in this survey, which were based on current active voter registration numbers. The results are as followed:

The question was stated, “of these 4 types of people, who would you say tweets the most in your opinion?”

“It should raise some red flags when the President is running second behind millennials when it comes to their tweeting frequency,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.

OH Predictive Insights also tested Trump’s tweeting frequency. The question was stated, “how would you rate President Trump when it comes to the frequency of his tweeting?”

“If 2 out of every 3 people you meet say you should tone it down – you may want to use Twitter more strategically,” said Noble. “Especially, when 42% of your own political party believes you that are overdoing it.”

“Arizona voters are even split down partisan lines on President Trumps tweets. Democrats and Independents clearly want the President to rest his fingers while only a plurality of Republicans say ‘enough with the tweets’,” said Wes Gullett, partner at OH Predictive Insights and GOP Strategist.

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on July 26th, 2017, from an active Arizona registered voter sample. The sample size was 700 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 3.7%

About OH Predictive Insights

Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers.

Senator Sylvia Allen Update on Immigration

Sylvia Allen

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”
– Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Another 4th of July celebration has just past, and I am reflecting upon the 241 years of American history and how we got to where we are today:  the good and the bad.  I still strongly believe that the American principles are superior to any other form of governing.  However, my thoughts today are centered upon immigration.

Thomas and Jane Tenney were the first of my father’s line to come to America.  In 1638, a small group of Puritans from the village of Rowley, England, left their homeland to come to this raw, new country looking for religious freedom, to govern themselves, and realize self-determination and freedom.

In the 1860’s my mother’s grandparents came from Sweden also looking for religious freedom.

In 1980 my mother, Wanda Peterson Tenney, my sister, Linda Turley Hansen, and myself sponsored a Hmong family from Laos who were refugees from the Vietnam War.   The family consisted of a mom, dad, three little girls, and a grandmother.  They were so frightened when we met them at the airport.  My mother brought them into her home until we could arrange for their own apartment and find work for Shoo Long Vue, the father.

The tiny grandmother (about 4 ft 9 inches tall) would sit on a little stool and listen to Hmong songs on a small tape recorder and cry.  There was a language barrier, but somehow we could communicate.  I found out that she was crying for her husband and other sons who had been killed in the war, and she was crying for her homeland that she would never see again.

Two cute stories:  Soon after their arrival, I took the Dad and the three girls to get groceries.  I will never forget the wonderment on their faces as they looked at all the food.  As we went down the aisle the father would pick up things and look at them.  The little girls were talking a mile a minute. I could tell they didn’t recognize anything that was familiar to them in their eating habaits.   We had gone down three aisles, and he still had not put anything in his cart.  Then, we went around a corner on the soda isle and all four of them excitedly yelled, “COCA-COLA!”  They put two cases in their cart.

Apparently, the Grandmother was in charge of their laundry.  My mother walked into the bathroom in her home and there the grandmother was standing naked in the bathtub stomping on their clothes and singing.  My mother realized she needed to teach them about washing machines.  I happened to come in just as my mother had taken the grandmother into the laundry room for her first lesson.  As we went through the process, the grandmother got so excited she hopped up and down just chattering away.  She kept trying to lift the lid to watch the clothes going through the cycle, but the machine would stop.  So, she got really close and slowly lifted the lid just enough so it wouldn’t stop and so she could peek at the clothes being washed.

Helping this family was a joy to me.  The family eventually moved to California where some of their extended family was located.  For quite a few years, I wrote to the oldest daughter, Pie, who did very well in school and loved her new land.   This experience helped me to realize just how blessed we are.

Illegal Immigration has, in many ways, hardened the hearts of fellow Americans against the whole immigration issue.   We are so pressured with social issues and the vast amount of tax dollars for education, healthcare, and all the other welfare programs that are suffocating our system and has caused us to lose the feeling of mercy for those who do not have the freedoms and standard of living we have.

Border, language, and culture (government/history) make a country.  We have a right to defend and protect our sovereignty.  I believe that it is time for us to fix this problem, and both sides must compromise.

I support President Trump in the ban on visas from terrorist countries, deporting any person who is here illegally who commits crimes, and securing our borders.  These issues seem like a “no brainer” to me.

However, I believe that we can reform the legal process to enter this country.  It has become corrupt, political, hugely expensive and nearly impossible.  If the immigrant has a sponsor, a place to live, and work lined up, then why make it so hard?

Please talk to someone who has gone through the legal process and immigrated the right way.  That person will tell you about the nightmare of paperwork and fees.

America’s greatest resource is her people.  On this July 4th, 2017, we must rededicate ourselves to being that “shining light on a hill” that represents freedom, peace and hope to all the world.

Sincerely,

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
Legislative District 6