Rep Bob Thorpe Deserves Better

The Republican Primary in Arizona’s LD-6 Senate race has taken some unconventional twists and turns. Turns, because State Senator Sylvia Allen, drawn to spend more time with her children and family in Snowflake, decided not to seek re-election earlier this year but then suddenly changed her mind, some say not by choice and under a lot of pressure by operatives. Twists, because GOP “leaders” and self-appointed kingmakers in the district are rumored to have issued primary support and endorsements to keep Allen in the race.

In the House, Representative Bob Thorpe is term-limited and planning to seek the Senate nomination and seat in 2020. The primary was already set between Thorpe and Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers until Allen did an about-face.

State Representative Bob Thorpe

According to reliable sources, Republican donors and activists met in Payson on June 15th behind closed doors where they decided to intervene in the primary against all Republican standards and practices. During the meeting led by Sedona Republicans Dwight and Andrea Kadar, Thorpe was asked to leave the room while Allen remained. Under tremendous pressure, Allen was told to get back in the race as she fought back tears.

What emerged was an endorsement of Sylvia Allen; a dictate not to support Thorpe through money and manpower; and likely, State Senate and House leadership support to help Allen win the primary (probably through a rare employed primary PAC committee). Thorpe’s political consultant even bailed on him and is probably expected to run (and benefit) from the leadership PAC against Thorpe.

Apparently, party leaders are trying to clear the field for Sylvia Allen in order to make it easier for her to keep the seat.

State Senator Sylvia Allen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

What is ironic in all this is Sylvia Allen (who this blog is actually a fan of) and her promoters should remember how party leadership treated her back in 2010 when a handful of Eastern Arizona “kingmakers” tried to run her out of the Republican Primary in LD-5. At the time, Allen who had replaced the late Jake Flake and won the seat in 2008, was challenged by Bill Konopnicki. Party leadership wanted Allen out and Konopnicki in but the voters saw things differently. After her two-year term, Allen returned to local government as a county supervisor while rancher Chester Crandell ran and won the seat in 2012.

In August, 2014, State Senator Chester Crandell died suddenly in a horseback riding incident. Allen was chosen to replace Crandell on the ballot where she was once again elected to the Arizona State Senate.

But this post is not about Sylvia. It’s about Bob Thorpe and how he has every right to run for the seat without party leadership’s heavy-handedness. And while this blog has been critical of Thorpe’s legislation, the self-appointed LD-6 political kingmakers should back off, stop pressuring Sylvia to stick around and to let the race play out. Bob Thorpe deserves better and a shot at the nomination. We hope he stays in the race.

Vote NO Against Bob Thorpe’s Amendment to HB2269

Rep Bob Thorpe
Rep Bob Thorpe

Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe has snuck in a bill that would limit who could serve in the Arizona Legislature. The Flagstaff Republican used a strike everything maneuver to scrap a bill that would have provided funding for DPS officers who live in remote areas.

Now the strike everything amendment, HB2269, will impose serious limitations on who can serve in the Arizona Legislature based on “physical domicile residency.”

Thorpe’s “striker” bill states that anyone seeking to serve in the Arizona Legislature must physically be domiciled in the jurisdiction for 75% of the year preceding the filing date to seek the office. In other words, 274 days before a candidate files for the legislature, he/she must be physically living in their address within the district.

This is bad public policy and anyone who holds a decent understanding of constitutional law knows physical domicile requirements are absurd and won’t hold up in court.

Imagine a teacher from Prescott who returns home to Legislative District 1 from an overseas mission trip where she taught English for a year and was able to vote as an overseas registered Prescott voter. Although she has been registered to vote for three plus years and meets the residency requirements to serve, Thorpe’s law would automatically disqualified her to serve in the Legislature.

This bad public policy would disqualify many good and qualified individuals. Here is a brief list of who could be affected:

  • Missionaries
  • Members of the military
  • International NGO Aid workers
  • Airline workers
  • Maritime workers
  • Long haul truckers
  • Border Patrol employees
  • Overseas contractors
  • Wildland Firefighters
  • Exchange students
  • Business travelers
  • Individuals who take extended vacations

The list goes on…

Several years ago, my friend Jonathan Paton ran for the legislature in southern Arizona’s LD-30. Jonathan had also volunteered for the Army Reserves in 1999. In 2006, Uncle Sam finally came calling activating 2nd Lt. Paton for duty to Iraq. He left in August for six months but still won re-election and returned to the Legislature in February, 2007. Leading up to his activation, Jonathan had to prepare and train and that took him outside of his district. The same is the case for many military reservists who balance serving in the military against serving in the legislature.

Last week, Thorpe’s amendment to HB2269 received a do pass recommendation from the Senate Appropriations Committee with a 6-3 vote. Unfortunately, the bill advanced and is scheduled for further action and more votes in the House and Senate.

There is still time to contact your state senator and representatives and tell them to vote against Thorpe’s amendment to HB2269. The legislation is bad policy and it disenfranchises and disqualifies highly qualified people from seeking a seat in the Arizona Legislature.

Call your legislators today and tell them vote NO on Thorpe’s striker amendment to HB2269.

NFIB/Arizona Endorses 43 Legislative Candidates for the General Election

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its General Election endorsements of 43 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the legislative candidate endorsement process for the small business advocacy group.

In July, NFIB endorsed 42 candidates in the primary phase with all but two advancing to the General Election—Rep. Carl Seel lost his primary and Sen. Chester Crandell passed away in August. The three new NFIB endorsements for the General Election are former state senator Sylvia Tenney Allen who was selected by her party to replace Sen. Crandell in the Legislative District 6 Senate contest and House candidates Noel Campbell in Legislative District 1 and Anthony Kern in Legislative District 20. NFIB is expected to announce soon small business’ choice for governor and attorney general.

NFIB/Arizona Legislative Endorsements in the 2014 General Election:

  • LD05 Senate: Kelli Ward
  • LD06 Senate: Sylvia Tenney Allen
  • LD10 Senate: Mark Morrison
  • LD11 Senate: Steve Smith
  • LD12 Senate: Andy Biggs
  • LD13 Senate: Don Shooter
  • LD14 Senate: Gail Griffin
  • LD15 Senate: Nancy Barto
  • LD16 Senate: David Farnsworth
  • LD17 Senate: Steve Yarbrough
  • LD20 Senate: Kimberly Yee
  • LD21 Senate: Debbie Lesko
  • LD22 Senate: Judy Burges
  • LD23 Senate: John Kavanagh
  • LD01 House: Noel Campbell
  • LD01 House: Karen Fann
  • LD05 House: Sonny Borrelli
  • LD06 House: Brenda Barton
  • LD06 House: Bob Thorpe
  • LD10 House: Todd Clodfelter
  • LD10 House: William Wildish
  • LD11 House: Mark Finchem
  • LD11 House: Vince Leach
  • LD12 House: Eddie Farnsworth
  • LD12 House: Warren Petersen
  • LD13 House: Darin Mitchell
  • LD13 House: Steve Montenegro
  • LD14 House: David Gowan
  • LD14 House: David Stevens
  • LD15 House: John Allen
  • LD16 House: Kelly Townsend
  • LD17 House: J.D. Mesnard
  • LD17 House: Jeff Weninger
  • LD18 House: Jill Norgaard
  • LD20 House: Paul Boyer
  • LD20 House: Anthony Kern
  • LD21 House: Rick Gray
  • LD22 House: David Livingston
  • LD22 House: Phil Lovas
  • LD23 House: Michelle Ugenti
  • LD25 House: Rusty Bowers
  • LD25 House: Justin Olson
  • LD28 House: Shawnna Bolick

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

NFIB Endorses 42 Legislative Candidates

Nine Newcomers Join 33 Incumbents as Small Business’ Choice

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its endorsements of 42 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

The principal standard used to evaluate incumbents was their voting records on 12 bills supported or opposed by the National Federation of Independent Business during the 2013-2014 legislative sessions. Endorsements for non-incumbent candidates were largely based on the quality of their answers on a questionnaire. These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the pre-primary phase of the candidate evaluation process. There may be further endorsements in select legislative and statewide races after the August 26th primary elections.

NFIB/Arizona Endorsements in 2014 Legislative Primary Contests

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

One Team, Three Voices. LD6 Legislators to embark on Town Hall Tour.

Town Hall Tour Barton