Andy Tobin, Al Melvin & Rick Gray Form Team To Run For Corporation Commission


July 20 – (Phoenix, AZ) Republican Corporation Commission candidates Andy TobinAl Melvin and Rick Gray announced that they are running as a team for the three Arizona Corporation Commission seats that are up for election.

“Already being on the Commission I appreciate the importance of quality commissioners who are working together to provide stability to both providers and ratepayers, and that’s what I believe this team will do,” said current Commissioner Andy Tobin.
“As three conservative Republicans who are equally committed to ensuring a plentiful supply of clean and safe water and electricity to our great state, the team approach just made sense,” said former State Senator Al Melvin.

State Representative Rick Gray said, “With our team of Tobin, Melvin and Gray the people of Arizona will have strong leadership that will work to protect the ratepayers while providing affordable, reliable utilities.”

Collectively, Tobin, Melvin, and Gray have all been awarded Friend of the Taxpayer and Friend of the Family awards, and have extensive private and public sector expertise.

Christine Jones Launches ‘Department of Failure’ Report Card

Uncle Sam Report Card

(Gilbert, AZ) – Friday, conservative business leader and congressional candidate Christine Jones kicked off the first in a series of report cards highlighting how government continues to fail the American people. Today’s ‘Department of Failure’ report card focuses on the problems at the Veterans Administration.

Recently during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Bob McDonald, compared waiting lists at VA Hospitals to waiting lines at Disney. To date, hundreds of veterans have died waiting to receive care at VA Hospitals. (Christian Science Monitor – May 23, 2016)

Christine Jones issued the following statement:

“Here we go again, Washington’s career politicians and hordes of bureaucrats have proven just how inept and ineffective they are in solving real problems.

“Comparing VA hospital wait times to lines at Disneyland not only adds insult to injury, it demonstrates a disturbing culture of disregard and disrespect towards our veterans, and it needs to be purged starting at the very top.”

Ballot Harvesting Tactics Illegal: New Law Will Eliminate Opportunity for Election Tampering

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Practice of Ballot Harvesting — Where Campaign Workers Personally Collect Ballots from Voters During Elections — to Be Banned by New Legislation
 
PHOENIX – This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party thanked the members of the Arizona State House of Representatives and the Arizona Senate for passing a bill to ban ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting is a tactic used by some campaigns to send people door-to-door and neighborhood-by-neighborhood to collect ballots from unwitting voters.
 
Once in the hands of campaign staff, the ballots are vulnerable to tampering, or even being discarded if they are opened and found to be supporting an opposing candidate.
“We’ve stopped ballot harvesting and that’s great news for all voters and the public,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “I’ve worked hard as Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party to come up with a solution to a problem that has the potential to destroy our election system and ruin the faith that we have in a democracy where every vote counts. We worked diligently and respectfully with legislators on both sides of the aisle, and both sides of the issue, and I especially thank Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita for putting the bill together, and greatly appreciate her colleagues in the House and Senate for supporting the integrity of our election process.”
 
All Arizona voters are entitled by law to vote in person or by a mailed-in ballot that comes with a postage-paid envelope. Ballots are mailed to voters about a month before each election, which previously gave campaigns ample opportunity to canvass neighborhoods and attempt to collected vote or unvoted ballots from individuals. The bill, HB2023, makes this practice a criminal act, but exempts caregivers or those delivering ballots for family members or roommates.
“This legislation reforms our election laws in a way that restores the public’s respect for a process that had potentially dangerous implications and provided too much opportunity for fraud and tampering with an election. It’s fitting to ensure that those who commit a crime by tampering with any ballot, or defrauding a voter to get them to give up their ballot, will be punished,” Graham added. “Voting in an election is considered a sacred process and one that must have integrity, security and legitimacy.”

AZGOP Chairman Defends Rights of Precinct Committeemen to Vote in Election of Convention Delegates

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Robert Graham Countering Efforts of Former Local Party Official Seeking to Disenfranchise Precinct Committeemen
 
PHOENIX – This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party expressed outrage today at the ongoing efforts by a former local Republican party leader, A. J. La Faro, who is trying to prevent thousands of Republican Precinct Committeemen from voting in upcoming party elections.
 
“Our local Republican activists are the most precious resource our party has, and it’s just sad to see someone try to keep them from voting in the election of our delegates to the Republican State Convention,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Every one of our Republican Precinct Committeeman has the right to cast a vote for the delegates of their choice, and no one should disenfranchise our PC’s. As the twice-elected leader of the Arizona Republican Party, I am outraged and taking action to work with every local party chairman to ensure that every Precinct Committeeman is able to participate and cast a vote in these elections, and I absolutely will not let anyone take that right away from them.”
 
Republican Precinct Committeemen (PCs) are elected by Republican voters in each of Arizona’s nearly 1,500 voting precincts statewide. PCs gather each month to conduct party business, and state law permits them to vote by proxy if  unable to attend a particular meeting. PCs can provide a signed, witnessed (or notarized) proxy form to a trusted Republican from their precinct who is attending the meeting, and who may cast their vote for them. The practice assures each and every PC can vote on party business, even if unable to physically attend the meeting.
 
In typical party meetings about half the votes are cast by proxy. At the recent meeting of Maricopa County Republican PC’s chaired by Tyler Bowyer, for example, there were 1,006 present at the meeting and an additional 989 who voted by a proxy given to another member.
 
With significant meetings in the coming months being called throughout Arizona to elect delegates to the Republican State Convention, the right to vote by proxy is especially important.
 
“Our party is all about expanding activists participation, and we trust the chairmen of our local district and county parties to conduct these meetings as they always do and follow our standard party procedures, and I’ll help them do that,” Graham added. “There is no excuse for La Faro’s misinformation campaign and attempt to stop proxy voting, and no one should tolerate his outrageous attempts to stifle the voting rights of our PCs and interfere with our party’s elections process.”
 
The Republican Party State Convention, to be held on April 30, 2016 at the Mesa Convention Center, is where the state delegates elected by the PCs assemble to elect 55 delegates to be sent to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, where the Republican Nominee for President is selected.

Does Your State Want to Replace Electoral College With Popular Vote for President?

Natalie JohnsonBy Natalie Johnson
(Reposted from The Daily Signal)

An 11th state looks ready to join a national movement to sideline the Electoral College and decide presidential elections by popular vote.

A bipartisan bill moving through the Arizona legislature aims to reallocate the state’s 11 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes on a national scale rather than the candidate who wins the state.

The legislation is part of a nationwide push called the National Popular Vote plan, an effort to create an agreement among states that vow to automatically elect the president of the United States using the national popular vote instead of the final vote count in each respective state.

Robert Hathorne, a Republican activist residing in Arizona, warns that the initiative would “fundamentally change America” by shifting the national political system from a representative democracy to a pure democracy.

“Majority rules was the greatest fear of our Founding Fathers; this is why ‘democracy’ is not written one time in the 4,543 words of the Constitution,” Hathorne told The Daily Signal.

The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College to give smaller states a voice against larger states when selecting the nation’s leader. Electoral votes are delegated based on a state’s population. Rhode Island, for example, has four electoral votes, while California has 55.

A presidential candidate currently needs a majority of 270 of the Electoral College’s 538 votes to win the White House.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the National Popular Vote initiative seeks to breach the Constitution and likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This entirely changes how the president is elected, and therefore, it affects the basic structure of the Electoral College and the Constitution,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Advocates are working to secure support from enough states to reach 270 guaranteed electoral votes, which effectively would throw the outcome of presidential races into the hands of the popular vote.

So far, 10 heavily Democratic states—California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have joined the District of Columbia in signing such legislation into law.

Those states make up 165 electoral votes, meaning the initiative has reached roughly 60 percent of the 270 votes needed to reach its goal of sidelining the Electoral College. Arizona would make it 176. The pact won’t go into effect until enough states sign on to hit 270 votes.

Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College, popular vote advocates are working around the challenging ratification process by going through the states.

Doing away with the Electoral College completely requires a constitutional amendment, meaning two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote for repeal, and then another three-fourths of the states would have to ratify the new amendment.

The National Popular Vote initiative instead works on the state level through an interstate compact requiring far fewer states to support the new process and reach 270 electoral votes. In fact, that number could have been as low as 11 states.

Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution reads: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power.”

Heritage’s von Spakovsky notes that the Supreme Court clarified this provision in the case Virginia v. Tennessee, ruling that only those interstate agreements that increase state power while diminishing federal power must be submitted for congressional approval.

If the National Popular Vote effort reaches its goal of 270 electoral votes, von Spakovsky predicts, the states that decided not to join the pact immediately will file a lawsuit and ultimately land the case in the Supreme Court.

Opponents of national elections by popular vote, including von Spakovsky and Hathorne, argue that the change would create incentives to commit voter fraud in single-party states and jurisdictions.

In deep-blue New York, for example, the incentive for voter fraud isn’t high, because residents know the state is going to elect a Democrat regardless. But if you move from a state-by-state voting system to a national one, von Spakovsky warns, the incentive to “stuff” voting boxes rises: Not only would a Democrat win New York, but he or she could win the national election.

“Why should as few as 12 to 15 states that make up 270 electoral votes rule over 35 other states?” Hathorne asked.

Proponents such as those working for FairVote, for example, argue that the Electoral College creates a “winner takes all” system that drives disparity between “swing” states, where candidates actively campaign, and “solid” states, which the organization says are largely ignored.

Advocates of a popular vote say the change would make every state significant during the election process.

Today, it’s possible for candidates to secure the White House without winning the popular vote across the nation.

In 2000,  George W. Bush won the presidency after the Supreme Court determined he had won Florida even though Al Gore, his Democratic opponent, won the majority of votes nationally. Bush edged Gore by five electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote movement sprung up in the mid-2000s following Gore’s contentious defeat. Through it, a candidate could win a plurality of the national vote and clinch the big seat.

The change “would make recounts an absolute nightmare,” von Spakovsky said, adding:

If electing a president is based entirely on who wins the national popular vote, if that were the 2000 situation, it would have forced a recount in the entire country because every single vote could’ve made a major difference.
In Arizona, the legislation enjoys broad support from both parties in both the House and Senate. But von Spakovsky says voters actually will lose influence if the state switches to the popular vote idea.

He said paid lobbyists, backed by enormous amounts of money, are feeding state legislators “false information” to advance the movement.

“The legislators who have signed on this are being fooled and are being foolish in voting for it,” von Spakovsky said.

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. You can follow her on Twitter at @NatalieJohnsonn

Dial “D” for Disappointing

Jeff Dial D

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

You may not know Arizona state Senator Jeff Dial.  But his disappointing record on fiscal policy issues affects you and your family. CONTACT DIAL NOW to TAKE ACTION.  Or join AFP-Arizona’s field teams (info below) as we go door-to-door in Dial’s district, letting taxpayers in his district know about his record:

— Senator Dial voted against Governor Doug Ducey’s fiscally conservative balanced budget.  His failure to support the budget almost caused the state to spend millions of dollars we can’t afford.

— Senator Dial single-handedly blocked passage of the Truth in Spending budget transparency bill, by not even allowing the bill to be heard in his committee.

— Senator Dial scored 47 percent on AFP-Arizona’s 2016 Legislative Scorecard, earning him the designation of “Friend of Big Government.”

— Senator Dial’s cumulative score on the Legislative Scorecard is 51 percent, earning him the designation of “Needs Improvement.”

The 2016 legislative session that begins in January will give Senator Dial another chance to get it right and vote for fiscally conservative policies.   Tell Senator Dial to stop listening to the teacher unions and the Big Spenders and start listening to the hard-working taxpayers in his district.

Use THIS LINK to TAKE ACTION and contact Senator Dial.

To join our field teams for door canvassing action in Dial’s district (Ahwatukee/Tempe/West Chandler), contact Leslie White atlwhite@afphq.org

For Liberty & Prosperity,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
tjenney@afphq.org

Paid for by Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s largest free-market grassroots organization.  To get on our email list and help us encourage Senator Dial do the right thing, contact us at infoAZ@afphq.org or (602) 478-0146.

How to Vote on Arizona Judges

As Election Day draws near, many conservatives are seeking information on how to vote for the judges. We’ve compiled a brief list of resources that will help prepare you in this important vote.

The first place to start is the Center for Arizona Policy website “AZVoterGuide.com.” This is a compilation of lists of the various judges up for retention along with links to their surveys. You will find everything from the Arizona Supreme Court Justices to the Superior Court Judges in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal Couties. It is quite an extensive list so plan on spending a little time reviewing the judges’ surveys.

Here’s a link to the AZVoterGuide.com site: http://azvoterguide.com/candidates/2014/judges/az/

We also receive recommendations from fellow conservatives like Representative Warren Petersen. Here is his list also making the rounds: (Thanks Rep, Petersen!)

**** My exception to this list is Gerald Porter – PLEASE VOTE FOR GERALD PORTER! ****

Vote YES on these judges:

Bailey, Cynthia J.
Blomo, James T.
Brodman, Roger R.
Crawford, Janice K.
Dunn, Boyd W.
Herrod, Michael J.
Hyatt, Carey S.
Ishikawa, Brian K.
Sinclair, Joan M.
Svoboda, Pamela Hearn
Viola, Danielle J.

Vote NO on these judges:

Aceto, Mark F.
Anderson, Aimee L.
Anderson, Arthur T
Astrowsky, Bradley
Bales, Scott
Barton, Janet R.
Bassett, Edward
Bergin, Dawn M.
Brain, Mark H.
Brotherton, William L.
Brutinel, Robert
Cooper, Katherine M
Cunanan, David O.
Davis, Norman J.
Duncan, Sally S.
Fenzel, Alfred M.
Fink, Dean M.
Foster, Jr., George H.
Gama, J. Richard
Granville, Warren
Hegyl, Hugh E.
Hicks, Bethany G.
Howe, Randall M.
Johnsen, Diane M.
Kreamer, Joseph C.
Martin, David G.
Mroz, Rosa, P.
Myers, Samuel J.
Norris, Benjamin R.
O’Connor, Karen L.
Pineda, Suzanna C.
Polk, Jay
Porter, Gerald J.
Rea, John C.
Reinstein, Peter C.
Ronan, Emmet J.
Talamante, David M.
Thumma, Samuel A.
Warner, Randall H.
Welty, Joseph C.
Willet, Eileen S.

This list also matches a list being circulated by local conservative activist Sandi Bartlett. Thanks Sandi!

Americans for Prosperity-Arizona Releases Two New Ads in AZ01 & AZ02

The Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity released the following two ads in Arizona:

NFIB/Arizona Endorses 43 Legislative Candidates for the General Election

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its General Election endorsements of 43 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the legislative candidate endorsement process for the small business advocacy group.

In July, NFIB endorsed 42 candidates in the primary phase with all but two advancing to the General Election—Rep. Carl Seel lost his primary and Sen. Chester Crandell passed away in August. The three new NFIB endorsements for the General Election are former state senator Sylvia Tenney Allen who was selected by her party to replace Sen. Crandell in the Legislative District 6 Senate contest and House candidates Noel Campbell in Legislative District 1 and Anthony Kern in Legislative District 20. NFIB is expected to announce soon small business’ choice for governor and attorney general.

NFIB/Arizona Legislative Endorsements in the 2014 General Election:

  • LD05 Senate: Kelli Ward
  • LD06 Senate: Sylvia Tenney Allen
  • LD10 Senate: Mark Morrison
  • LD11 Senate: Steve Smith
  • LD12 Senate: Andy Biggs
  • LD13 Senate: Don Shooter
  • LD14 Senate: Gail Griffin
  • LD15 Senate: Nancy Barto
  • LD16 Senate: David Farnsworth
  • LD17 Senate: Steve Yarbrough
  • LD20 Senate: Kimberly Yee
  • LD21 Senate: Debbie Lesko
  • LD22 Senate: Judy Burges
  • LD23 Senate: John Kavanagh
  • LD01 House: Noel Campbell
  • LD01 House: Karen Fann
  • LD05 House: Sonny Borrelli
  • LD06 House: Brenda Barton
  • LD06 House: Bob Thorpe
  • LD10 House: Todd Clodfelter
  • LD10 House: William Wildish
  • LD11 House: Mark Finchem
  • LD11 House: Vince Leach
  • LD12 House: Eddie Farnsworth
  • LD12 House: Warren Petersen
  • LD13 House: Darin Mitchell
  • LD13 House: Steve Montenegro
  • LD14 House: David Gowan
  • LD14 House: David Stevens
  • LD15 House: John Allen
  • LD16 House: Kelly Townsend
  • LD17 House: J.D. Mesnard
  • LD17 House: Jeff Weninger
  • LD18 House: Jill Norgaard
  • LD20 House: Paul Boyer
  • LD20 House: Anthony Kern
  • LD21 House: Rick Gray
  • LD22 House: David Livingston
  • LD22 House: Phil Lovas
  • LD23 House: Michelle Ugenti
  • LD25 House: Rusty Bowers
  • LD25 House: Justin Olson
  • LD28 House: Shawnna Bolick

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

Pro-Life Voter Warning on “Republican” Primary Candidates

Prior to an election I always like to vet candidates on a number of issues including life, liberty and other rights enshrined in our Constitution. The sanctity of life – protecting innocent human life – has always been the top issue for me because if a candidate or elected officials waffles on life, it reveals where they stand on all other rights.

Part of my vetting process looks at whether or not the candidate filled out certain surveys, their answers, public statements, their involvement on the issues and even who is pushing for their election. I also look at who is donating to their campaign and what people and organizations who are opposed to my values are saying about the candidates.

Because of my involvement in the Pro-Life movement for many years, naturally I look at who Planned Parenthood or other high profile pro-abortion organizations and individuals have said about certain candidates. By looking at the donations of “true believers” in a cause, one should get a sense of the value system of the recipient. It would be akin to looking at the donations of Wayne LaPierre. You wouldn’t expect him to donate to an anti-2nd Amendment candidate.

One particular organization and its people I’ve looked at is the Arizona WISH list. WISH stands for Women In the Senate and House. Their fundamental goal has always been to elect “pro-choice” Republican women as the GOP version of EMILY’s list (the Democrats pro-abortion women’s group).

On their national board of directors sat an Arizonan named Deborah Carstens. Although it doesn’t appear that AZ WISH is active or that she currently serves on the national board of directors, Carstens continues to remain active in elections through her donations primarily to candidates who have declared themselves to be “pro-choice” or refuse to state their position on the sanctity of life. These have typically been Republican candidates who define themselves as more moderate but tend to vote liberal on social issues.

Because I have my suspicions on a handful of candidates, I decided to check out a few resources to clarify their positions and to see if Carstens had donated to their campaigns.

Here’s what I found:

Scott Smith was the only gubernatorial candidate to receive a donation from Carstens in the amount of $500. Scott Smith also took the most liberal position on abortion of all the GOP candidates (survey)

Michele Reagan has received a total of $1,250 from Carstens as the only Republican candidate for Secretary of State. Reagan also avoided answering questions on the Center for Arizona Policy voter guide.

Carsten also donated $160 to Terry Goddard, the Democrat running for Secretary of State and $250 to Felecia Rotellini the Democrat candidate for Attorney General. Neither Democrat responded to the Center for Arizona Policy questionnaire – which is very typical of Democrat candidates.

When it comes to state legislative races, Carstens has donated to Republican incumbents and challengers.

In LD-11, Jo Grant received $150 from Carstens in her house race. On CAP’s survey, Grant to answer the question on abortion.

Diane Landis running for House in conservative district 13, also received a donation of $100 from Carstens. Surprisingly, Landis did answer the question on CAP’s survey.

No surprise, Heather Carter pocketed $500 from Carstens in her re-election bid in LD-15. Carter dodged filling out the CAP survey altogether.

Effie Carlson received $100 as a challenger in the LD-23 house race. Carlson did respond to the CAP survey but with qualifiers.

Finally, Kate Brophy-McGee in LD-28 took at $270 donation from Carstens in her house re-election race. Brophy-McGee also evaded the CAP survey.

Another quick check for pro-life endorsements revealed that none of these candidates were endorsed by the Arizona Right to Life PAC.

One interesting pattern among the incumbents who are running for re-election is that they also supported the Obamacare Medicaid expansion vote in 2013. And one may recall that an amendment was attempted on that bill that would have prohibited tax dollars from going to abortion providers. That amendment failed thanks to these incumbents – Carter, Coleman & Brophy-McGee (see vote).

For those of you who remain committed to electing candidates who will protect innocent human life, hopefully this has been informative and an exercise in how to cross-reference candidates and their supporters. Please use this information wisely as you vote in the Primary Election.