John Fillmore on Sign Thefts: Dirty Shameful Campaign Tactics

EAST VALLEY – Current State Rep and candidate for the State Senate in LD 16, John Fillmore, announced the filing of criminal charges against two unknown ladies caught red-handed and red-faced taking down his sign and replacing it with one of his opponents.

“I received a call around 11:00 AM, Wednesday from some supporters who stated they had came across the two people taking down the sign on the Apache Trail in East Mesa. They watched and filmed with their cell phones for about 5 minutes before confronting the ladies who at first claimed they owned the poles, then stammered that they were fixing it, and then finally tried to put the Fillmore sign back up and fled.”

They were supposedly putting up signs belonging to State Senator Rich Crandall. “Rich Crandall had tried to garnish pity and claimed his reason for fleeing his old district and carpet-bagging into LD16 was that he wanted to get himself and his family away from dirty politics, after he had undermined Senator Russell Pearce then found himself having to fairly compete against him because of the new district lines being drawn he has stated in previous newspaper stories. I guess the dirt was always his to begin with, and the fact that the ladies resemble and may actually be his family makes a mockery of truth and hypocrisy as there seems to be a very close resemblance to my opponents grown daughters as posted in pictures on his web site and the culprits in the picture,” Fillmore stated.

“It is unfortunate that if it is them, this is what my opponent must be teaching his children as he always speaks of himself as a moral and education focused kind of guy. I do not want to even begin to think of all of the hours I as a frail 62 year old have spent in this burning heat pounding those signs into the ground just to have someone with no scruples steal the signs, destroy them and use my poles. The culprits driving a red pick-up filled with his opponents signs are shown in many pictures taking Fillmore’s signs down, trampling it on the ground and putting up his opponents.

“While I do not know the identities of these people as of yet I am sure it will be easy for the police to locate them because of the many clear pictures of not only the thieves but the vehicle and license plates as well. Stealing or defacing of political signs is a class2 misdemeanor under Arizona law. The taking or defacing of signs is seen by many as a dirty shameful way of trying to undermine an opponent’s message. Rep Fillmore stated that he will just have to get more signs as many have been stolen along with the stakes.

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Photos of alleged perpetrators

Statement from Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 9, 2012
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

“Governor Brewer’s State of the State address today lays the foundation for what should be an outstanding legislative session. The hard work done the last three years by the Governor and Legislature to straighten out our state’s finances has put Arizona back on the right track.

The Governor is right to promise no extension of the temporary one-cent sales tax increase. We also stand with Governor Brewer in her commitment to lower taxes and reduce regulation.

The Governor will have strong support in the legislature as we continue to fight the Federal Government’s overreach. We must stand for what is right in Arizona and not emulate Washington, D.C.

We are prepared for a productive, efficient Centennial Legislative session, and look forward to working with Governor Brewer to put the interests of our citizens first.”

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Arizona Republican Party Statement on Removal of AIRC Commissioner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2011
CONTACT: communications@azgop.org

PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party issued the following statement regarding the removal of Arizona Independent Redistricting Commissioner, Colleen Mathis:

“Governor Jan Brewer and Republican members of the Arizona Legislature have our full faith and support in their recent action to immediately correct the gross misconduct that has occurred on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.  Governor Brewer exhibited extreme patience in allowing Commissioner Colleen Mathis more than enough time to perform her duties and abide by the Arizona Constitution. That time ran out yesterday when Ms. Mathis was removed from her position in accordance with the consitutionally-mandated direct oversight authorized to Governor Brewer. The Governor and Legislature had no other choice but to act swiftly to restore and preserve the integrity of the redistricting process.”

“Until yesterday’s action by the Governor and Legislature, communities across the state were in danger of losing democratic representation or even worse, being disenfranchised as a unique community. That political disaster appears to have been averted.”

“The Arizona Republican Party will stand firmly with Governor Brewer in her effort to correct this gross misconduct and to restore the confidence of all Arizonans in our constitutionally-required electoral process. We are especially grateful for her courage in placing the law above politics and partisanship.”

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Senate Majority Leader Biggs on removal of IRC Chair Colleen Mathis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

Op-Ed by Senate Majority Leader, Andy Biggs

When the drafters of Proposition 106 took their idea to the ballot in 2000, they knew they had to address the possibility of the State needing to remove a Commission member. They wrote that a Commission member could be removed by the Governor, with the support of two-thirds of the State Senate, for acts considered “gross misconduct” or “substantial neglect of duty”

Thank goodness they included that in the proposition approved by Arizona voters. Because of that wording, and the overwhelming evidence that Chair Colleen Mathis committed “gross misconduct” and “substantial neglect of duty”, the Governor was able to remove Ms. Mathis before she could do any more damage to our state.

We have to get past the arguments of which party benefits by which map. That’s not what this is about. To make the decision to remove a member of the IRC, we must look at their actions in office. Take the partisan blinders off and look at how Ms. Mathis committed “substantial neglect of duty”.

  • She admitted meeting in violation of open-meeting laws in a pursuit “of consensus” on awarding the mapping consultant contract.
  • There is evidence that Ms. Mathis fudged the scoring on the mapping consultant in order that her preferred company was chosen. One political commentator indicated that her actions resembled bid rigging.
  • She failed to disclose on her application that her husband was the Treasurer of Democratic candidate for the Legislature Nancy Young-Wright.
  • Contrary to the Constitution she appointed two vice-chairmen instead of one.
  • Her presentation of a donut-hole map, and the instructions to the Commission was a violation of the Constitutional requirement that the maps work from a grid and make adjustments to that grid.
  • She privately created her own Congressional district map and forced a vote on that map on the same day it was introduced.

This list of her misconduct does not even include the pages of unconstitutional activities discovered during the course of the Joint Legislative hearings on the Independent Redistricting Commission.

We don’t even need to speculate on the partisan motivations behind all these actions. The actions themselves are more than enough to remove her.

Proposition 106 included very specific guidelines on the role of the Legislature in the redistricting process. This Legislature has followed those guidelines to the letter. Legislative leaders selected four of the five members. The Legislature reviewed the conduct and product of the Commission and made comments to the IRC. Members did this by convening a joint bipartisan commission, although Democrats shirked their duty by “boycotting” meetings. The State Senate has followed the requirement to review and confirm/refuse in the case of the Governor’s removal of a commissioner. Once the Senate received the Governor’s call of a special session and findings outlined in her removal letter to the former IRC Chair, the Senate had a duty to act.

As the weeks go on, many will discuss whether the IRC system is even the best way to draw Congressional and Legislative maps. But that is the system we are under right now, the Governor and Legislature worked in a Constitutional manner and removed a Commission member for a series of unconstitutional acts.

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Wil Cardon Makes Arizona Senate Run Official

It looks like the contemplation phase is over. Wil R. Cardon, President and CEO of the Cardon Group, a real estate investment firm, has decided to make his bid for Jon Kyl’s Senate seat official.

Cardon’s primary opponent will be U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, who has already had a strong fundraising quarter and appears to be in a strong political position for the race.

“No one will outspend me or outwork me in this campaign,” says Cardon of his campaign for U.S. Senate. This might be true but Cardon will have a difficult road to victory….

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