Trent Franks, Other Arizona Conservatives Need to Keep Healthcare Promises

By Sam Stone

The Trump Administration may be less than two months old, but for conservatives, it may already be D-Day in Washington.

In less than 48 hours, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the curiously named “American Health Care Act” – the current GOP effort being pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan as a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

This bill is the wrong idea at the wrong time and it does not deserve a “yes” vote. Right now, the count says that it’s too close to call. So every member of Congress counts.

Here’s our question: Will Trent keep his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare in a responsible way?

Let’s step back.

Trent Franks is no rookie when it comes to opposing Obamacare. Look at his record here. Lots of detail and votes against what he consistently calls: “Health care proposals that wrested control of the American health care industry from the hands of private organizations and turn it over to the federal government.”

Right when this year’s Congress began, Franks and Congressman Andy Biggs introduced the Protection from Obamacare Mandates and Congressional Equity Act.

Franks said it contained three bedrock principles:

  • First, it gives every American more coverage options.
  • Second, it would allow Americans to purchase their coverage across state lines, opening up more opportunities for competition that will, in turn, help to lower costs for consumers.
  • Third, our alternative protects the patient-doctor relationship.

Just a month ago, Rep. Franks said: “My concern is [a repeal-replace bill] will give some lackadaisical senator a reason to vote against it. My concern is the entire repeal is in mortal danger … There may be some people who will get weak-kneed.”

These are valid concerns, but they sound like reasons not to vote for the current plan, which has all sorts of problems.

The reliable conservative policy think tank Heritage Action makes the fundamental case that the AHCA falls short:

“Many Americans seeking health insurance on the individual market will notice no significant difference between the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) and the American Health Care Act.  That is bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.

“Rather than accept the flawed premises of Obamacare, congressional Republicans should fully repeal the failed law and begin a genuine effort to deliver on longstanding campaign promises that create a free market health care system that empowers patients and doctors.”

Congressman Franks is a solid conservative leader. Currently, he is listed as “leaning no.” That’s why this is the ideal time to give him the support, encouragement and, well, cautionary warning he may need to stay true to his principles and his promises by not resting until Obamacare is gone – and in its place a true, principled alternative – instead of Obamacare-lite.

Congressman Trent Franks On NAU Shooting, US House Leadership

Here is the latest video from Congressman Trent Franks on the NAU shooting. Congressman Franks also addresses why leadership in the US House is changing and what is pushing those changes in leadership. Congressman Trent Franks opposed Kevin McCarthy’s intention to seek House Speaker as a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Franks points out that the Senate filibuster has been the elephant in the room when it comes to what is driving a change in the next Speaker of the House.

Congressman Trent Franks Endorses Robert Graham for Arizona Republican Party Chairman

Robert Graham
“As Chairman of Arizona’s Republican Party, Robert will unite our party and raise the necessary funds for future Republican victories in this state.”

PHOENIX — Today, six-term Arizona Congressman Trent Franks endorsed Robert Graham for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. Franks, who represents Arizona’s 2nd (soon to be 8th) Congressional District, is consistently ranked as one of the “most conservative” members of the U.S. House of Representatives, receiving high marks from Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America, and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. Congressman Franks was recently appointed to chair the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice for a second term.

Speaking on his endorsement of Graham, Franks said, “Robert Graham is a staunch defender of the Constitutional foundations of this nation. He is pro-life, he is committed to protecting the traditional family, he believes in a strong national defense, and he is an outspoken opponent of big government. Robert is also an exceptional business leader. As Chairman of Arizona’s Republican Party, Robert will unite our party and raise the necessary funds for future Republican victories in this state. I hope all my fellow Republicans can join me and my family in supporting Robert Graham for Chairman.”

“I am thrilled to have Congressman Trent Franks’ endorsement,” said Graham. “For decades, Congressman Franks has tirelessly worked to defend Arizonans’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am thankful for his example of leadership, for his counsel, for his friendship, and for his support.”

About Robert Graham

Robert Graham is a conservative activist and AZ business leader. He was a leader in the fight against taxes and the destruction of our party system, successfully working with the grassroots to defeat propositions 121 and 204. Majority Leader David Gowan, Speaker Pro-Tempore JD Mesnard, Rep. Justin Olson, Rep. Steve Montenegro, Maricopa County Chairman Rob Haney, and numerous Arizona conservative leaders have endorsed Graham to lead the Arizona GOP. 

To learn more about Robert Graham and his plan for Arizona’s Republican Party, please visit his website at www.GrahamForArizona.com or his Facebook page. 

###

Jesse Kelly Withdraws from CD-2 Republican Primary Contest

Republican candidate Jesse Kelly released the following statement today regarding the Republican Primary in the new Congressional District 2:

“I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, and our supporters for their unwavering commitment to the values that make America great. Looking at the results from Tuesday, we have decided to withdraw from the race for Congress in AZ-02 and to seek other opportunities. I will forever be thankful to our generous supporters and volunteers.”

Sonoran Alliance would like to thank Jesse for stepping up to serve once again and for his hard-fought effort to win the CD-8 Special Election. We wish him the best in his pursuits and would hope that he continue to work in the conservative political movement.

Thank you Jesse and may God bless You and Yours.

It’s time to put a stop to the Ron Barber Barack Obama Team!

Ron Barber supports the Obama Cap & Trade Bill which would cost Arizona families almost $1000 in added energy costs and destroy 40,000 jobs!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOkDqZVBvB4

Ron Barber called upon to disown latest attack ad on Jesse Kelly

(Reposted from The Arizona Daily Independent)

The latest negative ad offering by the Rob Barber campaign has drawn criticism from all corners. The new TV ad from the House Majority Pac uses a snippet from a speech Jesse Kelly made long before Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a deranged Jared Loughner. TucsonCitizen.com editor, Mark Evans wrote, “Barber is going to have to disown what a BS misleading POS ad this is.”

Giffords whose recovery and spirit are considered nothing short of courageous by everyone, including Kelly himself, is being used as a source of support for Barber in the ad.

The creators use a small portion of a speech Kelly delivered to supporters at a 2010 picnic in Continental Ranch. Candidate for County Board of Supervisors James K elly said of the ad, “The ad itself identifies it a s a 2010 statement. But people are going to hear the statement not see 2010.” The ad does show 2010 in the upper left hand corner, but one ad viewer said, “there is no clue why that number is on the screen.”

In the ad, Kelly is criticizing Giffords shortly after he lost to her by a narrow margin. “She stands there with that smile and pretends to be some kind of hometown hero.” At the time of the speech, many Arizonans were disappointed with her lack of support for a secure border, and failure to connect with her constituents.

“Before she was shot, Jesse was correct to challenge her leadership, specifically concerning ObamaCare which all TeaParty members opposed. She and her leadership misled us when they had her say, “I have to sign this bill because it will cut the deficit by $100 billion”. Even a novice who had not read the whole bill would know that adding 150 new agencies could NEVER reduce the deficit by one penny,” said Carolyn Cox Chairwoman of the Pima GOP.

“We all know no one read that bill before it was signed. In comparison, Medicare was debated for seven (7) years before it was signed. Shame on President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi, and every congressman and senator in the March 2010 Congress,” Cox concluded.

As a result of her narrow win, Giffords did increase her visibility in the area. She was shot while conducting voter reach out at a Safeway. The congresswoman called the event, Congress On Your Corner.”

According to the Washington Post, “a look at a longer video of the August 2010 event, provided by House Majority PAC, makes clear that Kelly was arguing that Giffords had presented herself as a “hero” for backing Obama agenda items such as the national health care overhaul.

The full version of Kelly’s 2010 remarks:

“Gabrielle Giffords is a big-spending, San Francisco liberal. That’s what Gabrielle Giffords is. And she has the gall to talk about us as extreme. Extreme! Did any of you vote for the government takeover of health care? I didn’t think so! Did any of you decide that the government should run the energy sector? Double the debts, double the deficits, double the unemployment? No! Giffords did that. And now she stands there with that smile and pretends to be some kind of hometown hero. She’s a hero of nothing. She’s brought bankruptcy to this nation. And we are going to bring unemployment to her.”

Polls show Barber and Kelly in a dead heat in the CD8 Special Election.

Why Have A Primary At All?

By Sam Stone

Does the Arizona Democratic Party even believe in Democracy? By all appearances, the answer is definitively “no”. On Friday, the Arizona Daily Star reported that the Arizona Democratic Party had denied voter lists to two challengers, Amanda Aguirre and Manny Arreguin, facing off against incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva. Why?

The decision to deny the two challengers access to voter databases, which are normally available to candidates as a matter of routine, was apparently made by current Democrat State party Executive Director Luis Heredia who said that the two challengers weren’t “Democrat enough”.

Unfortunately, Heredia was merely continuing a recent trend here in Arizona. First, Pima Democrat officials helped pave the way for Ron Barber to run unopposed in the CD8 special election. Then Arizona Democratic Party officials – with the assistance of the White House – managed to push respected former Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Don Bivens out of the race to replace Sen. Jon Kyl, clearing the field in favor of former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

Carmona, for those who aren’t aware, became a Democrat for the first time in November after he was personally asked to run for the Senate by President Obama. So, to be clear, Amanda Aguirre who spent eight years representing her party in the State Legislature and is a lifelong Democrat isn’t “Democrat enough”. But a lifelong registered Independent who served in George W. Bush’s administration is?

It’s like the Arizona Democratic Party is trying to pull the old Jedi Mind-Trick on their own primary voters: “These are not the candidates you are looking for. You will vote for who we tell you. Go along. Go Along.”

Barber, Carmona and Grijalva would have been good bets to win their primaries without Party interference anyway. After all, Barber has the support of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an emotional story to tell. The national resources and backing Carmona has received would likely have been far too much for Bivens to overcome. And the odds of someone besting Raul Grijalva in a primary? Don’t make me laugh.

But that’s not the point. For years, primaries were often decided in the “smoky back rooms” where politico bosses selected winners and losers to meet their personal or organizational agendas. But by the 1970s, the back rooms largely gave way to the public, media-driven primary showcase we have today. Is it perfect? No. Is it perfectly transparent? Not really. But as we saw recently with longtime Sen. Richard Lugar’s defeat in the Indiana primary, it is indeed voter-driven.

Republican Party leadership, if given the choice, would have chosen to retain Lugar. But that wasn’t up to them. Voters in Indiana had a choice, and they chose to throw away an almost guaranteed victory in November in favor of a challenger who more closely represented their views. But here in Arizona, the Arizona Democratic Party seems to have lit up a few new cigars, denying voters the chance to choose their own representation in favor of candidates the local politico bosses have selected for them.

Not Democrat enough? That’s why we have primaries.

~~~

Sam Stone is a Republican political strategist from Tucson. And he wishes that one of his friends from the other side of the aisle had stepped up to write this piece.

 

Secretary of State Ken Bennett Announces CD-8 Special General Voter Registration Figures

PHOENIX, AZ – Arizona’s Secretary of State has released the number of active registered voters in advance of the Special General Election on June 12, 2012.

CD 8
Democratic – 130,645
Green – 808
Libertarian – 2,530
Republican – 156,361
Amercans Elect – 23
Other – 124,127 

For further information, see attached.

The latest statewide voter registration figures are available on the Secretary of State’s website, www.azsos.gov or by calling 1-877-THE-VOTE.

 

###

[Editor’s Note: any comments unrelated to this topic are subject to be bounced!]

Ron Barber finds Obama NOT a winning hand

(Reposted with permission from the Arizona Daily Independent)

At last night’s debate, between congressional candidates Republican Jesse Kelly and Democrat Ron Barber, controversy arose over Barber’s failure to say that he supported President Obama’s reelection. Barber dodged the question during the debate, and later refused to answer the question again, when asked by reporters.

Now, Barber is scrambling to assure his fellow Democrats that he does in fact support his party’s nominee for the presidency. Barber’s campaign released a statement early this morning stating his support for Obama. The question now becomes, why did Barber feel the need to dodge the question?

The answer to that is in Barber’s answer, “My vote is my vote Mr. Kelly and I’m focused on beating you in June.” Open and gushing support for Obama and his policies will not get Ron Barber elected, so Barber’s response was an honest one. If he is focused on beating Kelly he can’t embrace Obama, unless of course he wants PAC monies, hence the embrace this morning.

At one point during the campaign, Barber accused Kelly of “pulling the wool over people’s eyes.” The time worn expression may describe Barber’s spin this morning, as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YtJAodBl3s&hd=1

Ron Barber Offers Rare Glimpse of Truth in CD8 Debate

By Sam Stone

Democrat Ron Barber’s campaign to replace his former boss, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has to be disappointing to Democrats because, if you believe what Barber says, he’s pretty much just a Republican with the wrong letter after his name on the ballot. Unfortunately, what Ron Barber really believes remains a mystery to voters (You can read more about why here). But an interesting exchange midway through the recent CD8 debate on KUAT TV should provide a few clues.

Like most political contests, this one is a two-way battle between Barber and his Republican opponent, Jesse Kelly. But also, as per usual, the fringe-party people just can’t resist the opportunity to nab a little face time and distract voters from the real issues by inserting themselves into the debates.

In this case, that fringe is one Charlie “Occupy” Manolakis, purportedly representing the Green Party although he didn’t once mention the environment during the hour-long debate, choosing instead to focus on Socialist theories of federal government authority and eliminating State’s Rights in favor of the collective. If it was worth the time, I would rebut his ridiculous ideas. But it’s not.

One of the first things candidates learn on the campaign trail is to ignore and never, never under any circumstances engage the fringe. Yet midway through his debate with Jesse Kelly, Barber did just that. Why? What did he have to gain? Manolakis, a self-proclaimed Occupier, isn’t a factor in this race and never will be. Frankly, why KUAT and other local organizations even let these people in front of a camera is baffling.

Yet there was Ron Barber, the self-proclaimed “Mr. Civility”, aggressively taking on Manolakis when the Occupier challenged him for not taking a stand in favor of universal healthcare and Medicaid for all. Barber had absolutely nothing, politically, to gain by firing away at the fringe. But he just couldn’t help himself. Why?

The answer is telling. While Ron Barber might be pretending to be a conservative in the hopes of winning this election, nothing in his history suggests that he actually believes anything he’s saying right now. Ron Barber is a life-long social worker who proudly stood at Gabrielle Giffords side when she cast votes in favor of Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and the rest of the Obama / Pelosi radical agenda. His first fundraiser was co-hosted by Pelosi and local Socialist icon Raul Grijalva. Simply put, Ron Barber is as liberal as they come, and he couldn’t stomach being attacked from the left.

Barber’s campaign team must have been terrified. All that careful work and planning – clearing the field so he didn’t have to expose himself in a primary, studiously copying the talking points of Kelly’s primary challengers Martha McSally and Dave Sitton, hours spent listening to Republican talk radio – all of it almost went up in the smoke curling from Barber’s ears when the Occupier called him out.

Ron Barber would like you to believe that he’s just a “moderate”, friendly old guy: the Grandpa next door who watches your kids for you when you have to run to the store. But all it took to expose him as yet another loony liberal was one loony Occupier. Apparently, the Occupy movement was good for something after all.

Sam Stone is a Republican political consultant from Southern Arizona.