California ‘Dream Team’ Wants Arizona’s LD-6

By Eddie Whipple

For years Arizona has had to fight off the influence of Californians who want to meddle in our way of life.

“Don’t California my Arizona,” is a rallying cry for many conservatives who want Arizona to remain a state of low taxes with few government regulations, where families and businesses can thrive with limited governmental intervention.

However, more and more we have seen an influx of California-influenced political ideas invading our desert and mountain regions.

Just two years ago, Tom Steyer spent tens of millions of dollars to reengineer our electric grid by mandating solar consumption and significantly increasing our electric bills. Thankfully, voters up and down the state soundly rejected that bad idea. Steyer did not begin the effort to bring bad California ideas to Arizona. And sadly, his resounding defeat wasn’t the end, either.

Now, in Legislative District 6, which covers the White Mountains area, along with Flagstaff, Sedona, Payson and parts of Yavapai County.

The “California Dream Team” of Felicia French, Coral Evans and Art Babbott is running to take out the two current members of the Arizona House and Senate candidate Wendy Rogers. And LD6 isn’t your typical district. It’s one of the biggest targets for Democrats to flip from red to blue. Republicans hold 31 seats in the House, with the 29 Democrats closer than at anytime in 60 yeas from having control of the body. In the state Senate, Republicans hold 17 of the 30 seats. Capturing these seats is the lynchpin to the Democrats taking over the state House and leading them on the path to the same outcome in the Senate.

French, who is taking on Rogers for the Senate seat, loves her some San Francisco area cash. According to campaign finance records, she has received at least $18,000 from more than 100 Bay Area donors. And her campaign rhetoric matches her liberal donors. 

She buys into the wackiest of liberal policies. She supports cutting beef production by 50 percent to cut down on global warming. Cows, she reckons, contribute to global warming. Never mind that ranching is one of the most important industries in the district.

Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans never met a tax increase she couldn’t support. She once said at a Hillary Clinton rally she would be a “hard-bent progressive.” She’s living up to her own words. She once compared celebrating Columbus Day with waving the Confederate Flag and she wants to replace that October holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day. She has supported the Invest In Ed income tax proposal that would increase taxes on small business owners and create California-like tax structure that will drive away businesses and residents. She has supported property tax increases in Flagstaff for many of her years as mayor. One of her top priorities in the Legislature she once said was to increase the gas tax.

Babbott, a Coconino County supervisor and running as an independent but aligning with Democrats, has spent decades supporting Bernie Sanders’ various runs for office. He first began donating to Bernie’s campaign as early as 1990. In 1987, Babbott said the self-described “Radical Socialist Mayor” was doing a “great job.” He’s given nearly $1,000 over the years to Bernie’s campaigns and supported his 2016 run for the presidency.We’ve seen the evidence that French, Evans and Babbott are as liberal as they come. Now it’s up to the voters to take that into consideration when they fill out their ballots. The direction of the state is may just come down to these three Democrats.

My Final Rebuttal – Guest Opinion

By L. Burke Files

To Sylvia Allen, Gary Morris, Peter Aleshire, and the AZ Republican Party;

In my opinion, the three of you and the party are a great disappointment.   No, you will listen, you immediately decry this “attack” as a Rogers person, and you would be correct. I am a 20-year friend of Wendy and Hal. I get it. I, however, am sharing my view and background in advance. It is a technique in argumentation called authenticity, something you have forgotten.

Senator Sylvia Allen, you were once the fresh face of the rural independent spirit.  Your gaffs about ethnicity and sexual orientation are hurtful, but expected.  You have not traveled, and you have not seen how the citizens of the world view American. America is Eldorado. We are the famed city of gold on the hill. They want to be here; they want to become Americans. My grandfather was an immigrant, and he well remembered his reception in Chicago when he went looking for work. Little signs in the window said NINA. It meant No Irish Need Apply. He was at first angry, but soon realized the country was so rich the NINA businesses did not need his money.  Your time has passed, you have forgotten the golden rule  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Republicans are the party of Lincoln, not Wilson. To me you now more or less resemble Norma Desmond looking for your last close-up. You could have gone out on top. Now you will just go.

Gary Morris, Gila County Republican Precinct Chair, you are the epitome of what the party has become. The AZ Republican Party has become a sclerotic assemblage of the status quo.  In this tyranny, there is enormous inertia, so much so only a crisis real or imagined will produce real change.  If you can open your eyes, you will see the crises, it will be in November, and you and others like you are the authors of the tragedy. Your role was to advocate for who the party members chose, Gary – it’s not your choice. It is the choice of the voters. Your tireless advocacy for Allen has removed you from the party Chair to become the foppish incumbent cheerleader. 

Peter Aleshire, you disgust me.  I am a huge proponent of the First Amendment and especially investigative journalism. The third estate is what keeps democracy between the lines. My advocacy for the First Amendment is not virtue signaling, I have, as a financial investigator, supported the work of the ICIJ and OCCRP in their worldwide efforts to combat fraud and corruption.  Don’t buy it? Try searching my name. I have little hope you’ll get that right, as you certainly were unable to Google or check the facts in the campaign. Your posting of manufactured articles only to take them down and allow them to be used by Sylvia Allen and Gary Morris is a fraud upon journalism.  You could have sponsored a debate between the two candidates, but no. You have betrayed the truth, you have betrayed the hope of finding the truth, and your actions are the ultimate betrayal of those whom you serve, your readers. 

As for the Arizona Republican Party, you are tone-deaf, economic, and legislative morons. When I see a debate and the talking lines are who are more loyal to the party, it echoes a bad movie scene where the prisoner clerks in a gulag are debating who is more loyal so they can get an extra ration of gruel.

After this election cycle, this Republican of 40 years will drop his registration to become an independent.

This is my opinion, so be it.

L. Burke Files
Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc.

Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris Should Be Fired

Guest Opinion by RC Montana

It was such sloppy “journalism” if you can even call it journalism. The Payson Roundup briefly posted a story on July 22, 2020 titled “Republicans Launch a Rare Attack on a Candidate [Wendy Rogers] in their Own Primary“. The thing is though, the Payson Roundup took the article down after 12 hours because they likely suffered blowback, much as they did in June 2020 when they had to take down another flimsy article about Rogers due to several of the people, who the paper had claimed supposedly endorsed Rogers, said they had not.

The Roundup didn’t print that June story, because Rogers’ campaign never claimed those endorsements in 2020. Imagine that.

But this time, their second try at baseless flimsy “journalism” was predicated on Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris’s unsubstantiated claims about Rogers, which were mass-emailed – completely un-fact-checked – to all Gila county precinct committeemen. How’s that for staying publicly neutral in a primary? 

Then the Payson Roundup reporter breathlessly gobbled up Gary Morris’s rant even though uncorroborated. Chairman Morris’s mass email was a smear job packed with unsupported statements very much like the Steele Dossier on Trump.

The Payson Roundup’s Peter Aleshire was given a chance not to publish it, but he did. How did Peter Aleshire even justify it, since he’d had to take his previous, similarly inaccurate article down a month earlier? 

PETER ALESHIRE’S ARTICLE HAS NONETHELESS BEEN ARCHIVED AND IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST!   

So now you’re caught up to date. Here is my take on the lackey, Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris, who violated every rule of civility and decorum as a county chairman. He caved to the establishment GOP. He is a reprobate for peddling lies he should’ve fact-checked first. He was warned, yet mass-emailed out misinformation anyway, violating sacred tenets of basic leadership. The Gila County Republican Committee should fire him. 

Mr. Morris wonders who Wendy Rogers will be “beholden to?” Is he kidding? Wendy Rogers has not taken one penny from a PAC or a lobbyist. On the other hand, Rogers’s opponent Sylvia Allen is almost entirely funded by special interests.

Gary Morris continues to perpetuate the lie about Rogers’ residency even though the AZ Secretary of State wrote unequivocally that Rogers is from Flagstaff. To whom are you beholden Chairman Morris? 

How can this chairman, in his right mind, suggest that Rogers would be “weak” going into the general election campaign? She has fundraised more than any other state candidate in Arizona.

Gary Morris and the GOP establishment are scared to death of Rogers because they can’t control her. They know she won’t permit a Red-Flag bill or that idiotic National Popular Vote to get past her.

Here’s what they really can’t stand: Wendy has outworked and out-campaigned a rusty fixture in the state legislature – Sylvia Allen – who has been there far too long, and thus has completely sold out and caved to special interests.

Gary Morris’s time could be better spent by learning how NOT to get lost in the woods. Fire him!

Sylvia Allen Admits to Signing Petitions She Didn’t Circulate

By the Ghost of William K.

Recently obtained video from a Superior Court hearing shows State Senator Sylvia Allen admitting to signing the circulator side of petitions that she did not personally circulate.

According to Arizona law, the backside of every petition must be signed by the person circulating the petition. In election challenges, judges have been known to remove candidates from qualifying for the ballot for failing to properly circulate petitions, including falsifying a circulator signature.

AZ Citizens Defense League PAC Still Lives!

Sylvia Allen and Dwight Kadar in LD6 have started a rumor that my PAC is no longer up and running. Let me make this clear. The PAC is incorporated in my name, the PAC name is registered with the Corporation Commission by me, the PAC is registered with the Secretary of State by me and the bank accounts are in my name.

They have started the rumor and attempted to weaponize the AZCDL and The AZCDL PAC against Allen’s opponent Col. Wendy Rogers claiming that she used a fake Endorsement. They lied. I chose to endorse Col. Rogers for two main reasons. In 2018, Senator Allen voted for Arizona’s first STOP order/Red Flag law. In 2020, I asked Senator Allen for a “No Red Flag Law Pledge.” Both Dave Kopp of the AZCDL and I have been attacked because I asked for that pledge. 

This shows Allen’s TRUE colors and that of her cabal. Add to this the fact that Dwight Kadar filed a charge against Col. Rogers with the Sec of State’s office Accusing Col. Rogers of not living in the district. On May 29th the Sec of State rejected the baseless accusation saying their office “dismisses the Complaint with prejudice.”

If you have any questions contact Campaign Finance and Lobbying Manager, Gina Swoboda, at gswoboda@azsos.gov or (602) 364.3219 and ask for your own copy of the dismissal.

So every ad and every public statement or post after that date was known by Dwight Kadar as a lie. Yet the Allen campaign and the individuals mentioned have kept repeating the false and negative attacks. Add to that Allen’s sponsorship of the National Popular Vote bill in 2016 and racial issues makes clear it is time for a change in LD6.

Drake Mitchell
AZCDL PAC

Recall Reality

To those who want to recall Governor Doug Ducey, here’s what you’re up against:

You will need to collect a minimum of 594,111 valid signatures in 120 days.

That’s 4,951 signatures per day. 594,11 signatures. 4,951/day. (ARS 19-201.A.).

That is A LOT of signatures which will require A LOT of people to be in the field collecting signatures.

There will be A LOT of people who want to get paid for this work which means it will require A LOT of money.

To make matters even more daunting, by the time a recall would get to the ballot, it will be 2021. That’s right, any recall effort against Governor Ducey wouldn’t take place until next year.

By 2021, this pandemic will either be over and business will be back to normal OR, we will all be sick and dying and no one will see the point of conducting a recall.

My advice:

  1. Don’t waste your time and money
  2. Be patient and adapt
  3. Start using your critical thinking skills again.

Ducey Wants to Flatten the Curve, Not Shutdown the Great Outdoors

By Calamity June

On Monday, March 30th, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order suggesting Arizonans “stay home, stay healthy and stay connected.”  Governor Ducey went on to state Arizonans should “limit their time away from home and if they do go out, to ensure social distancing.”  Finally, Arizonans are “staying home because it’s the right thing to do.”  Governor Ducey remarked, “when you use words like shelter in place, that’s what happens during a nuclear attack.”

This means our state’s hiking trails and parks can remain open for people to enjoy and get some exercise as long as we all practice physical distancing.  

During his news conference, Ducey listed off “essential services,” and stressed how the grocery store’s shelves would remain stocked and drug stores would remain open.  Restaurants would still be open for takeout and delivery.  Furthermore, he encouraged people to only purchase a week’s worth of groceries. As President Donald Trump and others have noted, the supply chain is operable and there is no reason to hoard anything.  Don’t be greedy. 

This means our state’s hiking trails and parks can remain open for people to enjoy and get some exercise as long as we all practice physical distancing.  

US Senator Kyrsten Sinema had a phone call earlier in the day on Monday 30th with a lot of the liberal mayors in Arizona pushing them to defy Governor Ducey and issue their own “shelter in place” order. After the mayors’ call, the mayor of Phoenix issued her own directive to close all of Phoenix’s hiking trails.  

Fortunately, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio embodies the duty to present the calm during COVID-19.  God Bless Councilman DiCiccio for pushing back against Mayor Gallego every time she has pushed to shut down anything in Phoenix.  

Listen to Councilman DiCiccio on Seth Leibsohn’s March 31st radio show.  As you will hear, Councilman DiCiccio remarked how the city isn’t sanitizing the light rail or the buses. Why aren’t they closing public transportation? Why does the mayor want to close our parks and hiking trails?  It doesn’t add up.

On April 1st, City Hall is scheduled to vote on closing the city’s parks, including its hiking trails.  Also, according to the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation’s website, the mayor has decided unilaterally to temporarily close the city’s playgrounds, fitness equipment, basketball and volleyball courts, and sports complexes in its public parks effective Tuesday, March 31st at 5pm until further notice.

Being on a hiking trail in the Phoenix sun is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.  Practice safe social distancing. Being outdoors is good for one’s health and wellness. It even states as much on Phoenix’s Parks and Recreation Department’s website. Be sure to call City Hall and let them know you want to keep our parks and hiking trails open during COVID-19.

Goldwater Institute: The Arizona Department of Education’s Latest Epic Fail

Matt Beienburg, Director of Education, Goldwater Institute

Last week brought news that the Arizona Department of Education had inadvertently released the personal information of the nearly 7,000 families who make use of Empowerment Savings Accounts (ESA). And it’s not the first time the Department has mishandled the ESA program, a program that helps so many children—many of them with special needs—get the customized education they need to succeed.

On Monday, it was revealed that the Department released a spreadsheet that included the account balances of every ESA account in the state, along with the names, email addresses, and other personal information of the nearly 7,000 parents with ESA accounts. Not only was the spreadsheet containing the sensitive information sent to the Yellow Sheet Report, but it was also shared with Save Our Schools, a group that has been an outspoken opponent of ESAs.

Unfortunately, this latest epic fail on the part of the state Department of Education is part of a pattern of poor management of the ESA program. Earlier in January, the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Education’s long delays in supplying needed funds to which ESA families are entitled—delays long enough to force parents to pay out of pocket for tutoring and teaching tools that their ESA should cover without the possibility of reimbursement. While requiring families to follow its ESA rules to the letter, the Department of Education’s handling of the ESA program has still resulted in unpredictable and arbitrary outcomes for families—for instance, some families have been rejected for certain ESA expenses while others have been approved for the very same expenses.

“Mistakes do happen, but I don’t think that’s good enough as an excuse. That doesn’t undo the damage, the harm to these families,” Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg said of the privacy breach on KJZZ’s “The Show.” “These are families with deeply personal life circumstances, these are kids with special needs diagnoses, and this information is now essentially made available to be dragged out into the public.

“For the Department to have treated these families this way saying ‘we have zero tolerance for any misstep’ and to then make a massive blunder like this is really revealing.”

Listen to the interview here: https://theshow.kjzz.org/sites/default/files/ade-data-breach-show-sg-mb-20200129.mp3?uuid=5e3b8ffd9e654

Matt Beienburg is Director of Education at the Goldwater Institute. You can read his bio here.

Rep. Petersen Introduces Bill to Stop Rollovers of K-12 Funding

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-12) issued a statement today regarding legislation he has introduced for the 2020 session that would amend the state constitution to prohibit K-12 rollovers, ensuring that education funding is delivered to our schools on time, and in full. A rollover represents a deferral of the payment from the year in which the obligation was incurred to the next fiscal year.

Rep Warren Petersen
Rep. Warren Petersen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“In the mid-2000s, Arizona implemented budget gimmicks like K-12 rollovers to counter poor fiscal decisions and a faltering economy,” said Representative Petersen.  “Fortunately, under conservative leadership, Arizona has righted its fiscal ship and the economy is strong.  But we need to be prepared for a future downturn.  Arizona has taken some excellent decisions like paying off debt and amassing a billion-dollar rainy day fund.  Now it’s time to eliminate the K-12 rollover and prevent future utilization.  A statutory change would be too easy to go around.  That’s why I have introduced a constitutional amendment to prohibit the deferment of K-12 payments from one budget year to the next.”

Rep Bob Thorpe Deserves Better

The Republican Primary in Arizona’s LD-6 Senate race has taken some unconventional twists and turns. Turns, because State Senator Sylvia Allen, drawn to spend more time with her children and family in Snowflake, decided not to seek re-election earlier this year but then suddenly changed her mind, some say not by choice and under a lot of pressure by operatives. Twists, because GOP “leaders” and self-appointed kingmakers in the district are rumored to have issued primary support and endorsements to keep Allen in the race.

In the House, Representative Bob Thorpe is term-limited and planning to seek the Senate nomination and seat in 2020. The primary was already set between Thorpe and Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers until Allen did an about-face.

State Representative Bob Thorpe

According to reliable sources, Republican donors and activists met in Payson on June 15th behind closed doors where they decided to intervene in the primary against all Republican standards and practices. During the meeting led by Sedona Republicans Dwight and Andrea Kadar, Thorpe was asked to leave the room while Allen remained. Under tremendous pressure, Allen was told to get back in the race as she fought back tears.

What emerged was an endorsement of Sylvia Allen; a dictate not to support Thorpe through money and manpower; and likely, State Senate and House leadership support to help Allen win the primary (probably through a rare employed primary PAC committee). Thorpe’s political consultant even bailed on him and is probably expected to run (and benefit) from the leadership PAC against Thorpe.

Apparently, party leaders are trying to clear the field for Sylvia Allen in order to make it easier for her to keep the seat.

State Senator Sylvia Allen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

What is ironic in all this is Sylvia Allen (who this blog is actually a fan of) and her promoters should remember how party leadership treated her back in 2010 when a handful of Eastern Arizona “kingmakers” tried to run her out of the Republican Primary in LD-5. At the time, Allen who had replaced the late Jake Flake and won the seat in 2008, was challenged by Bill Konopnicki. Party leadership wanted Allen out and Konopnicki in but the voters saw things differently. After her two-year term, Allen returned to local government as a county supervisor while rancher Chester Crandell ran and won the seat in 2012.

In August, 2014, State Senator Chester Crandell died suddenly in a horseback riding incident. Allen was chosen to replace Crandell on the ballot where she was once again elected to the Arizona State Senate.

But this post is not about Sylvia. It’s about Bob Thorpe and how he has every right to run for the seat without party leadership’s heavy-handedness. And while this blog has been critical of Thorpe’s legislation, the self-appointed LD-6 political kingmakers should back off, stop pressuring Sylvia to stick around and to let the race play out. Bob Thorpe deserves better and a shot at the nomination. We hope he stays in the race.