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.


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.


CD-8’s Jesse Kelly releases new ad on American Energy


Jesse Kelly’s campaign just released the following ad on the issue of energy. In the ad, Kelly’s campaign warns Southern Arizona voters that Ron Barber’s support for President Obama’s Cap & Trade policy will cost Arizona’s an extra $1,000 in energy costs per family and cause the loss of 40,000 jobs here.

Please visit Jesse Kelly’s website to see how you can keep this seat out of the hands of extremist Democrats like Ron Barber.

Ron’s World

Ron Barber's World

Ron Barber is living in his own world. He just doesn’t get it.

Southern Arizonans are struggling with sky-high gas prices. And what does Barber want? Even higher energy costs for Arizona families.

Barber’s support for Obama’s Cap and Trade bill means that the radical environmentalists supporting his campaign win – while Southern Arizonans lose.

Question: Why won’t Ron Barber wake-up to the problems facing Southern Arizona families and instead denounce Cap and Trade?

Under the Obama-Pelosi-Barber anti-energy agenda, Arizona families would see their energy costs increase by almost $1,000 and it would cost up to 40,000 jobs.

“It’s no wonder radical environmentalists are funding Ron Barber’s campaign. His support for the Obama-Pelosi anti-energy agenda means higher taxes, soaring energy costs for Southern Arizona families and more jobs for China.” – NRCC Spokesman Daniel Scarpinato

How Many More Embarrassments Can Barber’s Party’s Failed Spending Agenda Take?

After Obama’s Deficit-Filled Budget Received No Support In Either Chamber, It Is Time For Democrats To Switch Gears

WASHINGTON — Arizona families have watched Ron Barber’s Democrat allies in Washington preside over yearly trillion dollar deficits, push a wasteful almost trillion dollar stimulus package and impose a government takeover of healthcare that cuts $500 billion from Medicare to fuel Democrats’ spending addiction. Their agenda of taxing, borrowing and spending has crippled economic recovery and left small business owners with no ability to grow and hire workers.

“President Obama’s budget suffered an embarrassing defeat this week when it received no votes in the Senate, giving it no support in either chamber,” said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay. “It is clear that Ron Barber’s party’s insistence on spending, taxing and borrowing has become so toxic with the American people that even they cannot vote for their own failed agenda that has made our economy worse.”

The President’s budget proposal received not one vote of support in Congress:

“President Obama’s budget suffered a second embarrassing defeat Wednesday, when senators voted 99-0 to reject it.

“Coupled with the House’s rejection in March, 414-0, that means Mr. Obama’s budget has failed to win a single vote in support this year.” (Stephen Dinan, “Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate,” The Washington Times, 5/16/2012)

A CBO report affirms the Democrats’ record-setting spending spree will continue to stifle economic growth:

“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday that President Obama’s 2013 budget will hurt the economy in the long term, arguing the larger deficits it would produce would reduce the amount of capital available to businesses. After five years, the CBO says, the Obama proposals would reduce economic output by between 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent.” (Erik Wasson, “CBO estimates Obama’s 2013 budget plan would hit economic growth,” The Hill, 4/20/12)

How Many More Embarrassments Can Barber’s Party’s Failed Spending Agenda Take? http://ow.ly/aYtC7


This Week’s Ron Barber: It’s Only Tuesday

Ron Barber

It’s only Tuesday morning, and already, Ron Barber’s campaign isn’t having a good week.

Barber started Monday on the defensive, trying to hide his support for ObamaCare, which cuts $500 billion from Medicare.

Fact: Ron Barber still refuses to support the repeal of this government takeover of healthcare.

Next, Barber shunned a group of high school students who had organized a local debate, forcing them to cancel. Hours after the news broke, his campaign rushed out a laughable, late-night press release to play damage control.

Fact: Ron Barber still refuses to take questions from local high school government students.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato had this to say about Ron Barber’s defensive moves: “Positions on the issues matter in this race. If Ron Barber won’t take questions from local high school students, how does he expect to represent southern Arizonans in Congress?”

Ron Barber: A Rubber Stamp for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi

This Week’s Ron Barber: Will take Medicare away from seniors!

This week Ron Barber continued to try to deceive voters about his views on Medicare. Fact is, Barber refuses to support the repeal of ObamaCare, which cuts $500 billion from Medicare and empowers a panel of government bureaucrats to make decisions about seniors’ health care. Since the government healthcare takeover is paid for in part by nearly $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage programs, seniors currently on these plans could find their benefits at risk.

In Arizona, more than 342,000 seniors are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, a program that ObamaCare guts to fund the government takeover of healthcare supported by Barber.

Don’t take our word for it.  Here’s what former Arizona Daily Star political reporter and now spokesperson for the NRCC says about Ron Barber:

“Ron Barber’s policies put seniors at risk. He refuses to support the repeal of ObamaCare, which is the only way to stop Obama and Pelosi’s cuts to Medicare. No wonder Pelosi and Raul ‘Boycott’ Grijalva are backing Barber’s campaign.”