State Rep Kelly Townsend: Sen Andy Biggs’ Leadership Style Punitive

Yesterday, State Representative Kelly Townsend revealed a dark side of Senate President Andy Biggs. During a guest opinion on Sunday Square Off, the two-term legislator from Arizona Legislative District 16 disclosed that Biggs’ leadership style was to punish lawmakers who refused to get in line with his political agenda and leadership.

Townsend tied the comments to her 2015 House vote in which the legislature voted to limit Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) – a vote she regrets. Townsend herself, is a widow with children representing a district adjacent to the district represented by Biggs.

In her comments, she stated, “I think it’s important to remember whose bill this was. This was our senate president’s bill. Part of that decision is the fact that [Biggs] has very well trained us. He’s punitive in his nature, and if we didn’t follow along, we would suffer the consequences.”

The interview, which is posted on the 12 News website, also posted the following comments:

When pressed further about her disagreements with Biggs, Townsend accused the 14-year state legislator and current congressional candidate of fostering a culture at the state capitol she described as “a heavy-handed, top down, ramming things through in the middle of the night approach.”

“It is a culture many of us are trying to change,” Townsend said.

The article continues:

Townsend also accused Biggs of refusing to communicate with her and preventing bills she sponsored from progressing through the legislature for two years. Townsend said she believed Biggs’ actions were payback because she gave a radio interview in support of a bill Biggs opposed in 2013.

“[In 2013] He would refuse to meet with me. He didn’t answer any of my calls or texts. He killed all my bills. Finally I cornered him and asked for a conversation, and he said I should have never called into the radio station in the first place to talk about that bill,” Townsend said. “When it comes to leadership, Biggs, I don’t know he knew how to be a leader. Anyone can be punitive and act like that. But in terms of being a leader, it takes more than just being a jerk.”

This revelation draws into question Biggs’ temperament and leadership style as the potential nominee for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.

Biggs’ spokesman, Adam Deguire, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman Matt Salmon who is now part of the political hand-off arrangement between Salmon and Biggs, acknowledged Biggs’ unpopularity with the mainstream media on issues such as TANF.

Senator Andy Biggs has not made an appearance on Sunday Square Off since February 27, 2011 and failed to show up last week for a debate on KAET’s Horizon.

Here is the video clip from Sunday Square Off:

Judah Nativio Announces Run for Arizona House in Legislative District 16

In case you missed it…

Judah Nativio

The East Valley, with the right leadership, can become the future economic engine of Arizona by possessing the best schools and the best opportunities for businesses; but, it will take pro-education and pro-growth policies to make it happen.”

Mesa – Arizona businessman Judah Nativio announced his run for Arizona House of Representative in Legislative District 16. In addition to Nativio’s ten years of business experience, he currently serves on the Queen Creek School District Board.

Mesa District 6 City Councilman Kevin Thompson is serving as Nativio’s Campaign Chair. In speaking on Nativio’s leadership experience, Thompson said, “I have known Judah for several years, and was extremely honored when he asked me to be part of his campaign. He is passionate about our communities, passionate about education, and passionate about being our voice at the legislature.”

On his school board service, Queen Creek High School Principal Dr. Joseph Farnsworth said, “As a member of the school board, and as a business conservative, Judah found new ways to measure our funding and success so the district can continually improve.”

Nativio, speaking on his campaign, said, “I believe the East Valley will become the future economic engine of Arizona as long as we establish pro-growth and pro-education policies, which I intend to fight for. I am committed to making Arizona a better place for not only my family but for the families and businesses that live in our great state.”

In addition to Thompson’s support, prominent local businessman Trevor Hansen also joined Nativio’s campaign. “Judah lives in my community and has done a great job serving the residents through his work on the local school board,” said Hansen. “Through his leadership, a brand new school is now serving southeast Mesa. Judah believes, as I do, in the importance of education in building a strong community where families and businesses can succeed.”

Nativo’s legislative focus is education, economic growth, and championing the elimination of burdensome regulation on Arizona’s small business community. Nativio is committed to making Arizona a better place for individuals, families, and businesses.

To learn more about Judah Nativio and his plan for Legislative District 16, please visit his website at www.judahnativio.com or his Facebook Page.

Thomas Grier Announces Campaign for Arizona House in Legislative District 16

“We need true conservative leaders who are willing to tackle complex issues. The time for ineffective leadership is over; it is time for legislators who are not only conservative but also capable of building successful conservative coalitions.”

MESA – Arizona conservative businessman and attorney, Thomas Grier, announced today his intention to run for the Arizona House in legislative district 16.

“Encouraged by family and friends, I have decided to run for the Arizona House. Arizona is an amazing state, with limitless potential to influence the national dialogue,” said Grier. “We need true conservative leaders who are willing to tackle complex issues. The time for ineffective leadership is over; it is time for legislators who are not only conservative but also capable of building successful conservative coalitions.”

Grier has broad support across the district, and looks forward to building upon an already growing grassroots campaign. Grier added: “I believe that Arizona’s best days are still to come if we stay true to the conservative principles engrained in the land of Barry Goldwater.”

“Thomas Grier is not only a good person, but an exceptional leader and business mind,” said former Arizona Speaker of the House Kirk Adams. “The state and district are in need of talented conservative leaders more than ever, I am confident that Thomas will make a huge difference for conservatism and Arizona families.”

In the next few weeks, the campaign’s official leadership team and website redesign will be announced. For more information, visit Thomas Grier’s Facebook Page or sign up for email updates at www.ThomasGrier.com.

###

A resident of Arizona since childhood, Thomas Grier grew up in Mesa, went to high school and college in Tempe, and married a 2nd grade teacher born and raised in the East Valley. Thomas Grier graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University and attended The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Thomas works as the Associate General Counsel for The Keating Group, Inc., a national insurance agency headquartered in Phoenix. He is married to the wonderful Lisa Lewis Grier and has two amazing children, Riker James Grier and Olivia Madison Grier.

Kelly Townsend Announces More Conservative Endorsements

Kelly Townsend receives Arizona Right To Life endorsement, as well as the Pachyderm Coalition’s endorsement for Arizona House District 16.

Both Arizona Right to Life contacted Kelly Townsend yesterday to advise her that she has been endorsed by the pro-life organization in recognition of her work in the pro-life community, and for her strong pro-life stance. An hour later, the Pachyderm Coalition, a group that promotes Republican candidates who support the principles enshrined in the Constitution, as framed by our Founding Fathers, and the Reagan Republican Platform also advised Ms. Townsend that they were supporting her candidacy with their endorsement.

“It is a humbling honor to receive these endorsements,” Townsend said, “and I intend to hold a true conservative voting record while at the Legislature, if elected.”

These endorsements follow several others, to include the National Rifle Association, as well as 12 conservative Legislators and former Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman.

Senator Rich Crandall Threatens Representative Brenda Barton in Voicemail

Update on last week’s story about State Senator Rich Crandall’s campaign workers removing the signs on his primary opponent, John Fillmore:

The following message was left by Senator Crandall last Thursday on the voicemail of Representative Brenda Barton after Barton happened to witness Crandall’s campaign removing the political campaign signs of candidate John Fillmore in east Mesa. Barton reported the incident which resulted in the phone call by Crandall.

Crandall then contacted Jim Small at the Arizona Capitol Times attempting to head off any political damage by explaining his accounting of the incident. Clarification: Jim Small with The Arizona Capitol Times contacted Rich Crandall after receiving a press release from John Fillmore. Crandall provided his account of the incident. (Crandall was not present at the scene of the crime but his daughter was actually involved.)

Barton was then contacted by Jim Small from the Arizona Capitol Times to clarify Barton’s accounting of the incident. When she learned that Crandall had lied about what really happened, she called Crandall asking for a retraction.

That resulted in the following message from Crandall on Barton’s voicemail:

As you can hear, Crandall threatens Barton politically by telling her she better not introduce any education-related legislation in the next session, or else.

Crandall serves as the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Before that, Crandall served on the Board of the Mesa Unified School District.

This certainly gives us an idea who the real extremists are at the legislature and how things really work when it comes to egos and political vendettas.

Crandall should have know better than to leave a recorded message on anyone’s voicemail. He should have also instructed all members of his campaign to never touch another campaign’s signs without first receiving permission.

Barton and Fillmore released the following joint statement:

Last Thursday morning (July 12), I received a call from Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) who stays in East Mesa at her in-laws home during Session. She had a doctor’s appointment that particular Thursday morning. She called and told me that while she was returning from her doctor’s office, she spotted two individuals that appeared to be taking my sign down and replacing it with a Sen. Crandall sign on the corner of Sossaman and the Apache Trail (East Main Street). 

Being involved in politics and having that sort of thing happen to her in another County in the past she knows that is not supposed to be done. She asked her husband, who was with her to pull over to the roadside and take some pictures. At this point Rep. Barton inquired as to what they were doing with my sign. They said that they were replacing the sign with one for Senator Crandall and that he had had one there and it blew down sometime ago, and that I had stolen his t-poles. (That is a blatant mistruth. If anyone has been by there they have seen my sign there for well over a month as I put it up myself as soon as I was able – on or about June 30th I believe). The two young women said that the poles were Senator Crandall’s but the rebar belonged to Representative Fillmore. They asked Representative Barton if she was “…with the Fillmore campaign” to which she replied, “No, I am a member of the Legislature and am aware of campaign sign laws”. 

At that point Representative Barton asked them if they had any form of identification on the t-posts to show they were the property of the Crandall campaign, to which they said no. Representative Barton then informed them that it was illegal to tamper with an opponents political signs and that the best course of action would be for Senator Crandall to work this out with Representative Fillmore before simply taking his signs down unilaterally. The two young women then hastily put the Fillmore sign back up and fled the scene. 

Within minutes Senator Crandall phoned Representative Barton on her cell and made polite small talk for a few minutes before referencing the incident. He stated that his daughter and a friend were replacing a sign of his that had blown down sometime ago and someone had replaced it with a Fillmore sign. He was very polite and inquired if Representative Barton was just driving around East Mesa. She informed him that she had just come from her doctor’s appointment and witnessed the incident. His demeanor was friendly and he made no mention of what he has since asserted his daughters relayed to him regarding Representative Barton’s alleged behavior towards his daughter and her friend. The Senator inquired of her re-election race and they made small talk regarding the health of a mutual acquaintance and the conversation ended. 

Mrs. Barton sent me those pictures. I am in a primary campaign against Senator Crandall and did not know the ladies in the pictures but I knew that the sign, its poles and location were mine. I called the police, reported the attempted sign tampering and put a press release out with the pictures and story. A legitimate story of campaign workers removing the sign of their candidate’s political opponent and replacing it with a sign of their candidate. 

At the time, I did not know that one of the young women in the pictures was his daughter. Often over-zealous campaign workers and supporters commit such actions. Had Senator Crandall called me and simply said that his daughter made a mistake and had the wrong location, apologized and moved on, I would understand that. I would have accepted that. I too have a daughter that loves me, as deeply I am sure, as Senator Crandall’s and I could see her doing what his daughter was doing. Then the shoe would have been on my foot. 

However Senator Crandall chose not to do that. Instead it appears that when he was contacted by the Capitol Times, he immediately attacked me with profanity, calling me a (S.O.B.) and a liar, (see Yellow Sheet attached), then he attacked Representative Barton, calling her a liar, that swore and yelled at his child. Senator Crandall concluded by claiming Representative Barton had been following his daughter around Mesa and monitoring her all day. 

The reporter called Representative Barton to ask her side of the story. Upon hearing that Senator Crandall had accused her of swearing and cursing at his daughter and stalking them, she immediately refuted that allegation and explained to the reporter that “…swearing and cursing” are not part of her means of dealing with people and she was simply returning to her in-laws following her doctor’s appointment. 

Following the phone interview with the Capitol Times, Representative Barton phoned Senator Crandall, who did not answer, and left a message that his statements were false and she wished him to publicly retract his statement, apologize and tell the reporter the truth. Had he done that, this matter would be over. 

Senator Crandall instead phoned Representative Barton and issued a threat against all education legislation she may wish to propose and to inform her that “her trashing (or thrashing) is coming, you need to grow up”. 

Senator Crandall has put his own personal vendetta above potentially excellent education legislation that may be proposed by Representative Barton and thus depriving the Arizonans of LD-6 their education voice in the State Legislature. 

This is abusing his chairmanship authority; in essence by reference saying her legislation would all be killed by him. As a Senator he spoke down to her, to humiliate and abuse her as if she was a mere wayward child and not someone who is his equal as well as a duly elected State Representative of several hundred thousand Arizona residents.

Barton and Fillmore have indicated that they will likely file ethics complaints with the Senate Ethics Committee.

John Fillmore Speaks on Liberty

John Fillmore is a Republican candidate for State Senate in Legislative District 16. Visit his website at JohnFillmore.com.

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.

###

Photos of alleged perpetrators

John Fillmore on Voter Registration