Jana Jackson: The Wrong Choice for Superintendent of Maricopa County Schools

Amidst this year’s biggest political races ranging from Arizona’s heated U.S. Senate race to different Congressional races, we often overlook other, important elections. For example, the election for Maricopa County Schools’ next superintendent is absolutely critical to the county and all of our children. According to Wikipedia, Maricopa county is the “most populous county in the state, and the fourth-most populous in the United States. It is more populous than 23 states.” These statistics only add to the increasing importance of electing the right person for the job, which in our opinion is not Jana Jackson.

Why, you ask? Because as an education leader for this nation’s 4th largest county and someone who will influence our children’s’ futures, we expect nothing short of complete honesty and integrity. Let’s start off with this simple requirement: we expect the Superintendent to never have a warrant out for his or her arrest due to failing to appear in court for charges of any kind. Janifer “Jana” Jackson, previously Janifer Mayden, would not fulfil such a requirement back when she lived in Indiana (click link to see more). Besides, “check deception” is not exactly a speeding ticket or two… this is a serious charge. A charge which Jackson evidently avoided and ran from seeing as she never appeared in court.

We all make mistakes, yes. However, what sort of example would Jackson be setting for our children and for the county if she is elected? This is not a record suitable for a public official in charge of our schools.

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.

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham to Support Donald Trump for Republican Nominee

Arizona Republican Party

From First Vote to Last at Republican National Convention, AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham Voting for Trump

PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party announced that based on the results of the March 22 Presidential Preference Election and the successful completion of the April 30 Republican State Convention, he is fully supporting Donald Trump as the party’s nominee for President of the United States. As a delegate to the Convention, he will cast any and all of his votes for Donald Trump.

“As Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party I support the will of the majority of our party’s voters who voted to support Trump by a two-to-one margin. So the choice is clear: Arizona Republicans support Trump, and I enthusiastically join them. As a delegate I will support their will with every one of my votes for Donald Trump to be our party’s nominee,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham.

Saturday’s Arizona Republican State Convention was packed with Republicans supporting of multiple candidates, and more than 800 competed to become one of Arizona’s delegates to the National Convention. Each of Arizona’s 58 delegates is bound to Trump in the first round of voting but unbound after the first vote if no candidate receives a majority.

“Donald Trump’s Arizona Chairman Jeff DeWit and the Trump campaign worked hard to capture the majority of delegates. Given the slate vote counts, if the national delegate at-large elections were a one-to-one match between Trump and Cruz or Trump and Kasich, Trump would have been the clear winner retaining the majority of delegates,” added Graham.

Trump vs Cruz: Doing the math at the AZGOP State Convention

By Lisa Gray (reposted from Facebook.)

I’ve been reading/hearing things that are being said about the AZGOP State Convention on Saturday, that are just not accurate and this is extremely disappointing.

First, Trump camp is repeating the line that “more people clicked the Trump slate button than any other slate and therefore should have won more delegates.” Well, let’s look at that. Attached is a picture (and link) to the vote totals. Please note that when you add the number of “clicks” on Cruz (409) + “Select Own Delegates (180 people chose not to use a slate) + Kasich (57) + Unity Slate (29) = 675. So… 675 people apparently didn’t click on the Trump slate but 430 did. You tell me what number is larger? So it’s not true that more people clicked on the Trump link so therefore he should have gotten more delegate votes.

Cruz vs Trump Math

Second, if you clicked on the Trump button (or any of the selection buttons) ALL the candidates appeared. The only difference is depending on which slate selection you chose, names on that particular slate were already checked for you. HOWEVER, names could be unchecked and people could for example vote for 80% of the slate if they wanted to and then vote for another 20% who weren’t on that particular slate. So it was never a given, nor should it have been expected, that people would just blindly click one button and boom, they were done voting and they all voted the EXACT same way. Remember…some people weren’t on slates, so perhaps they wanted to vote for themselves, a few of their close campaign buddies who also weren’t on the slate, and then the rest from the slate…they were able to do that.

Third, comments from the Trump campaign that the voting was a mess, the system didn’t work and they should be allowed to vote again, on paper is also bothersome. For those who don’t know, about 700 people submitted their name to be National Delegates and all the names could NOT fit on one ballot. So, ALL THREE CAMPAIGNS met together, evaluated and approved the online voting method. YES… ALL THREE AGREED on this prior to Saturday.

Fourth, people were left off of slates. Now I really have no idea if this is true or not. What I can tell you is that the campaigns were responsible for their slates. And I’m disappointed to hear it said that someone was “cheated” and an election was “stolen” from them. However, what I do know is that Jan Brewer was elected as an alternate delegate in CD8. She and Phil Lovas tied for the first alternate position. A coin toss was done to break the tie and Brewer called heads, tails won and therefore Lovas won the first alternate delegate position. So she did win an alternate delegate position but then declined it and withdrew her name from that position so she could run for an at-large delegate position. Again, I have no idea what happened to her not being on the “Trump slate” however, she did win an alternate delegate position in her Congressional District and chose not to accept it. Also, she may not have been on the at-large “Trump slate” for whatever reason but she was on the “Unity” slate and her name was on the ballot listing all the candidates that were running for at-large delegates positions and she received 93 votes.

I want to thank the staff of the AZGOP for a well run meeting. If anyone attended the convention 4 years ago, you know how much better this meeting was! Lets remember that this meeting took months to plan, some didn’t sleep for days, and they worked their tails off to make it the best meeting they could…for all of us. Of course there were hiccups and there usually are when you are planning a meeting for more than 1,000 people that also needed to include multiple voting locations, multiple ballots to accommodate 700ish names, security, credentials, volunteers, feeding everyone, etc. We have a great team not only at the AZGOP, but also across our great state. And I pray that even though we may not agree on candidates, and sometimes issues, that we would take a deep breath, look for the truth and have respect for one another.

Here’s the link to the results: https://neverhillary.simplyvoting.com/index.php?mode=results&election=43455

Lisa Gray is a longtime volunteer Republican precinct committeewoman and former chairman of a west valley legislative district.

INEPTITUDE, NOT FRAUD: Behind The Scenes Video Surfaces Of DeWit Screaming At Staffers For TrumpTrain’s Failure

Video surfaced today of Trump’s AZ point person and Chairman Jeff DeWit going off on his TrumpTrain staffers (who appear to be Thayer Verschoor and Charles Munoz) who apparently did not vet the delegates that THEY placed on THEIR slate.

To quote The Donald, they are “lightweight chock artists”.  The TrumpTrain cannot cry foul for their delegate disaster now that we have video evidence blaming each other for their ineptitude.

Just remember this video the next time the tiny-handed Trump says he’ll “hire the best people”.

‘CRUZ MISSILE’ DERAILS ‘TRUMP TRAIN’ AT AZGOP CONVENTION

The Arizona GOP held their quadrennial meeting yesterday to vote on delegates for the GOP convention to be held in Cleveland in late July.  And much like the Ron Paul campaigns in the past, the social media presence for Trump failed to yield results in real life.

According to our math, the pro-Planned Parenthood Trump camp was only able to win 16 of the 58 delegate slots available with Team Cruz winning at least 32 of the remaining 42 delegates.  We’re not sure if the remaining delegates are Kasich delegates, or just undeclared activists intent on upholding and shaping the GOP platform come late July.

The Birther/Bircher dominated Trump camp won many of the Congressional District delegations slots (14 including Gov Ducey who is not on record being a Trump delegate), but the well-organized conservatives of the Cruz Camp destroyed Team Trump in the ‘Delegate At-Large’ election by winning 26 of 28 delegate slots.  As the Trump camp continues to whine about being ‘cheated’ (as usual), they did have a significant victory in electing Lori Klein as AZ’s new RNC Committeewoman.

After a long day and a long fight, it was a great day for Liberty and the #NeverTrump camp in Arizona.  If Trump doesn’t sweep in Indiana and California, the election yesterday will have a YUGE impact if pro-amnesty Donald Trump fails to win 1237 votes on the 1st vote.

Update on AZ01 GOP Candidate Earn vs Burn Rates

In an earlier post, we provided an analysis of the campaign finance reports of Arizona’s CD-1 candidates. At the time, no information was available from the Shawn Redd campaign because the reports were filed manually with the Federal Elections Commission. Those reports are now available.

We also need to correct a number on another candidate campaign in which a typo occurred on the spreadsheet. That candidate’s financial health actually improved significantly with the correction. Read our updated analysis below.

=======================

An analysis of Federal Election Commission reports by CD-1 candidates shows some interesting financial trends taking place.

Looking exclusively at the first quarter period of time, we calculated daily earn and burn rates for each of the campaigns effective March 31st. There were 91 days in 1Q.

These rates have been adjusted based on the number of days the campaign has been operating for the 1st quarter period of time. In addition, we calculated the burn rate for each candidate to the Primary Election date. There are 152 days until the Primary Election from March 31st. This is the amount of money the campaign has left to spend on a daily basis to get to August 30th leaving no money left in the bank.

For this assessment, all reports are now available and are pro-rated accordingly to the days a candidate has been in the race. For example, Wendy Rogers has been in the race for 78 days and Carlyle Begay has only been in the race 22 days. The earn and burn rates are adjusted accordingly.

Here are the updated/corrected numbers:

Candidate Campaign Raised 1Q Days in 1Q Daily Earn Rate 1Q Spent    1Q Daily Burn Rate 1Q Daily Earn vs Burn Gap Cash on Hand 1Q Days to Primary Daily Burn Rate to Primary Election
Babeu $157,734 91 $1,733 $148,157 $1,628 $105 $259,351 152 $1,706
Begay $39,905 22 $1,814 $513 $23 $1,791 $39,392 152 $259
Bennett $80,027 91 $879 $55,633 $611 $268 $195,691 152 $1,287
Gowan $169,390 91 $1,861 $70,978 $780 $1,081 $238,468 152 $1,569
Kiehne $48,980 91 $538 $113,933 $1,252 -$714 $513,615 152 $3,379
Redd $1,800 91 $20 $7,615 $84 -$64 $1,785 152 $12
Rogers $144,209 79 $1,825 $51,809 $656 $1,170 $100,765 152 $663

 

As a prior post pointed out, Paul Babeu has the highest burn rate followed by Gary Kiehne. Excluding Begay’s campaign due to the short period of time, both Wendy Rogers and Ken Bennett have the lowest burn rates. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]For the entire quarter, Wendy Rogers was the most financially disciplined candidate while Paul Babeu was the biggest spender and Gary Kienhe ran the largest deficit.[/pullquote]

We corrected the amount raised for Wendy Rogers which resulted in a significant boost to her daily earn rate. That still resulted in David Gowan barely remaining at the top of the list with a daily earn rate of $1,861 but moved Wendy Rogers into second place at a daily earn rate of $1,825. Paul Babeu trailed at a daily earn rate of $1,733 but if we include Carlyle Begay given the short amount of time he has been in the race, Babeu drops to 4th place.

One thing to note about fundraising for these candidates is the ease of access to PAC and lobbyist money. As Speaker of the House David Gowan has tremendous influence over the outcome of legislation. Many lobbyists have bills making their way through the Arizona House and that means a high level of interaction and access with the Speaker. A review of Gowan’s report reveals that many lobbyists have contributed to his campaign. It also shows that he has received $16,250 in PAC contributions – the top recipient of all the candidates. Carlyle Begay placed 2nd in PAC contributions at $12,000 while Babeu ran 3rd with $5,000. Ken Bennett bottomed the list with $1,000 in PAC contributions. Gary Kiehne, Shawn Redd and Wendy Rogers received no money from PAC’s

Looking at available money, Gary Kiehne has the highest amount available to spend on a daily basis heading into the August 30th Primary Election. It should be noted that Kiehne has loaned his campaign the most money out of all the other campaigns with $50,000 being fronted to the campaign during the 1st quarter and $678,072 being loaned during the election cycle to date.

Candidates with a larger gap between earn and burn rates this early in a campaign are more likely to be in better financial shape heading into an election. Obviously, candidates should be raising more money then they are spending to avoid draining their resources or running a deficit. Here’s an UPDATED graph of those rates showing the daily gap between each candidate’s earn and burn rates:

AZ01 Candidate Daily Earn & Burn Rates

 

In this graph, Gary Kiehne has an inverted burn to earn gap of -$714. Shawn Redd’s gap is now included in this analysis and shows he spent more money than he took in during IQ with a daily gap of -$64. Paul Babeu’s campaign is barely staying ahead of his burn rate at $105/day. Ken Bennett may have a lower burn rate but his earn rate is also very low giving him a gap of $268. That leaves Wendy Rogers and David Gowan with the healthiest gaps. Gowan’s gap amounts to $1,081 but after a correction in the data, Rogers’ gap grows to $1,170 making her the candidate with the healthiest daily earn-to-burn rate. (Carlyle Begay was excluded from this 1Q analysis because the campaign had only been in the race for 22 days which is below a 30-day billing cycle for spending money.)

  • Paul Babeu spent $0.94 for every dollar he raised
  • Ken Bennett spent $0.70 for every dollar he raised
  • David Gowan spent $0.42 for every dollar he raised
  • Gary Kiehne spent $2.33 for every dollar he raised
  • Wendy Rogers spent $0.36 for every dollar she raised

Our conclusion: David Gowan raised the most money although much of it was from lobbyists and PAC’s. Paul Babeu spent the most amount of money and his daily earning rate is barely keeping ahead of his daily spending rate. Gary Kiehne ran the largest deficit spending for the quarter having raised the least amount of money but loaning the campaign the most amount of money. Ken Bennett raised the least amount of money for 1Q and spends nearly 70% of what he raises. Carlyle Begay has not been in the race long enough to derive an accurate assessment. Shawn Redd’s financial reports eliminate him from the analysis as an outlier. While Wendy Rogers placed 3rd in fundraising, she has the healthiest daily earn vs. burn rate showing her to be the most financially disciplined candidate in the race for CD-1.

Here are links to each candidate’s campaign finance reports on the FEC:

Paul Babeu
Carlyle Begay
Ken Bennett
David Gowan

Gary Kiehne
Shawn Redd
Wendy Rogers

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

AZGOPBanner
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

AZGOPBanner
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.

Tyler Bowyer and AJ LaFaro: The Democrats Secret Weapon

A shout out to our friends at PoliticsArizona.com for this post!

Tyler Bowyer ran for MCRC Chairman promising unity and a stop to the disease of divisiveness that plagued the party under AJ LaFaro. Bowyer promised to turn the page.

Bowyer lied. And in doing so, stabbed his former friend Robert Graham squarely between the shoulder blades. Here’s hoping Chairman Graham won’t forget.

On Saturday, Bowyer flat out went after Graham, the popular Arizona GOP Chairman, conspiring with LaFaro to bring a doomed “censure” of the Chairman to the floor.

While publicly he pretends to support unifying the party…

Bowyer Tweet

…Bowyer is clearly working as a pawn in LaFaro’s plot to divide the party. In a video exclusively obtained by Politics Arizona, Bowyer is seen huddling with LaFaro as their efforts to “censure” Chairman Graham go down in flames.

The next time Tyler Bowyer pats you on the back, be sure to get checked out for stab wounds.

Our take on what’s happening with the Arizona Republican Party in 2016?

Delegate stacking!

There is an effort to put delegates committed to Donald Trump into state delegate positions before the Republican State Convention on April 30th. Those elections of delegates will take place from March 26 – April 9th.

State law states that delegates of the parties shall “make their best effort” to support the winner of the presidential preference election. That Presidential Preference Election will take place on March 22, 2016. Arizona is called a “Winner Take All” state.

If Donald Trump wins the Presidential Preference Election on March 22nd AND, the delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention on April 30th are committed to Trump, there will not be a conflict.

But, if Ted Cruz wins the PPE, AND delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention have pledged to Donald Trump, there will be a massive party fight.

Thus, the theory is  that individuals like AJ LaFaro and Rob Haney ferociously recruited Trump-committed precinct committeemen in 2015 so that Tyler Bowyer would appoint these individuals to elect the delegates to the national convention.