Arizona House Speaker Gowan Tries to Hide From Arizona’s Open Records Law

Defend Rural Arizona
Two and a half months after a request was issued to the Arizona House, a request for records relating to Speaker Gowan’s travel remains unfulfilled
Earlier this year, embattled House Speaker David Gowan had to pay back $12,000 in expenditures after audits found he had requested mileage reimbursements for travel unrelated to state business, had claimed mileage while using a state vehicle, or had been granted a per diem for days when he was not doing state work.  Subsequent press investigations found that a substantial amount of his allegedly “official” travel was taken to areas within Congressional District 1, and questions remain as to the extent of his attempts to use state resources to subsidize campaign travel.For this reason Defend Rural Arizona issued a request for the Speaker’s travel records on March 24.  DRA still has not received any files from the speaker or his office.  The only communication we have received is confirmation from May 5 that our request had been received and would be processed.

Under the Arizona Public Records law, A.R.S. § 39-121.01(D)(1), “The custodian of such records shall promptly furnish such copies, printouts or photographs.”  Failing to furnish requested information for more than two months does not seem to fit with the definition of “prompt” disclosure.

“This is a classic example of a career politician who thinks he’s above the law.  It should come as no surprise that he is under investigation,” said James Harris of Defend Rural Arizona.  “We believe the people of Arizona have a right to know if Speaker Gowan is improperly using his office to further his political career, and we encourage Speaker Gowan to stop dragging his feet and release these records.”

A copy of the original records request can be viewed here, while a copy of the response received from the House Republican Caucus Press Secretary can be viewed here.

Wendy Rogers Discusses The Race for CD-1 With Flagstaff’s KAFF 93.5

Lt Col (ret.) Wendy Rogers was interviewed on Flagstaff’s KAFF Monday morning discussing her campaign for Congress as well as a handful of issues.

http://chirb.it/NOn7qd

Wendy Rogers KAFFDuring the interview, she explained how she covers Arizona’s First Congressional District which is one third the size of Arizona. Rogers uses her airplane and a collapsible bicycle which she packs in the fuselage of her Cherokee 180 single-engine plane. She covers about 100 homes a day when she’s out in the field.

Col Rogers also discussed the most important issues which she hears first-hand from her encounters with voters. Issues include the Second Amendment, border security, jobs, the economy and most prominently, national security.

When asked about her career, Col Rogers went into detail about her 20 years of service flying C-141’s as one of the first women pilots in the US Air Force. Both she and her husband Hal each served 20 years as career officers.

She also described how US military members are treated by host countries depending on who the Commander in Chief is.

When asked what she would like to accomplish and achieve in the US Congress, her most important priority would be to protect and defend the United States. She swore an oath to the US Constitution during her military service and would like to serve the country again in the US Congress.

Col Rogers also noted that she would like to serve on the House Intelligence Committee, an assignment she says she is aptly qualified for and that decides matters of life and death.

She also would like to serve on the Resources Committee because of Arizona’s abundance of beauty and natural resources.

When asked about her position on raising the minimum wage, she replied, “I am not a believer in the government telling business what to pay its employees.”

Sunday’s horrific terrorist attack in Orlando also came up during the interview. When asked about a “fix” for recurring attacks like this, Rogers quickly responded, “We are at war and until you identify the threat and are willing to address it as it is, which is an infiltrated threat in our country, then we have no ground to prosecute that strategy and defeat the enemy.” She said President Obama has not recognized the threat. She also said it is not an issue of gun control or discrimination against the LGBT community. She identified the real problem as the perpetrator and not the tool (guns).

The conversation concluded as Col Rogers described the beauty and blessings of her daughter’s wedding at Snowbowl over the weekend.

Both Wendy and Hal have two children and three grandchildren. They have a retirement home in Flagstaff and have been married for 38 years.

Col Rogers is the only woman running in a field of seven men.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, August 30, 2016. You can read more about Wendy Rogers at WendyRogers.org.

 

Wendy Rogers to Paul Babeu: Come Clean to Pinal County

Wendy Rogers

Wendy Rogers to Paul Babeu: Come Clean to Pinal County

(Flagstaff, AZ) – Today, Col. Wendy Rogers, Republican candidate for Congress, issued the following statement calling on Sheriff Paul Babeu to make amends to the citizens of Pinal County for using his position to play politics:

“Sheriff Babeu displayed a profound lack of judgment. He showed poor faith and a callous disregard for the people of Pinal County and the 1st Congressional District.” Col Rogers said.

“Mere hours after warning the citizens of Pinal County about a grave threat to their safety from Mexican cartels on local television, Sheriff Babeu sent out a fundraising email to capitalize on the threat. Then Sheriff Babeu later admitted to a reporter that his warning was a calculated element of his campaign for Congress.”

“For an elected official, especially a member of law enforcement, to prey upon the fears of good people to advance his own political agenda is absolutely base and reprehensible. He exploits as a political football the very citizens he swore to protect. Sheriff Babeu must atone and come clean to the people of Pinal County.”

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Lt Col (ret) Wendy Rogers was one of the Air Force’s first women pilots. She and and her husband Hal are both retired career US Air Force officers. Since 1997, they’ve owned a home inspection business covering four counties spanning northern to southern Arizona. Col Rogers is a businesswoman, teacher, social worker and grandmother. She and Hal own their retirement home in the midst of where they do business in Flagstaff, Arizona.

SheriffCandidateBabeu

Fear and Fundraising in AZ01

Elected law enforcement officials are in the precarious position of approaching their job from either a half-empty or a half-full position. As we’ve seen from many a sheriff, fear is a tremendous motivator when it comes to driving an agenda. Some sheriffs might cast their office as the object to be feared. Other sheriffs cast the outside world as the source of all danger.

The latter is what we witnessed in the public arena from Sheriff Paul Babeu on Tuesday.

Babeu Press Conference

In a press conference (which turned into a political speech), Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu claimed he has “additional intelligence” that Mexican hit men or “sicarios” were heading into Arizona to assassinate rival drug cartel members. Those attacks would likely take place over Memorial Day weekend. He cited several incidents south of Pinal County and advised campers and hikers to be fully armed and prepared to protect themselves. The press conference turned political when Babeu blamed the Obama Administration for not protecting our southern border (a point we agree on).

Sicario

Members of the media immediately picked up on the sheriff’s advisory and ran with stories of impending threats and attacks to American citizens in the Arizona desert. Several media outlets didn’t quite take the bait (KTAR, KPNX)

What was barely mentioned was that hours after the warning, congressional candidate Paul Babeu sent out a fundraising letter mentioning his press conference and advisory. The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.

Babeu even appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto talking up the threat and danger of Mexican assassins running rampant through the Arizona desert.

Babeu Cavuto

Photo courtesy of Paul Babeu’s Twitter feed.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.[/pullquote]

Some of us aren’t buying Sheriff Babeu’s ploy. Here’s why:

First, any threat of this nature would be announced from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Border Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety. When a threat is this serious and credible, it is vetted at all levels of government and is passed through multiple chains of command and communications. Governor Doug Ducey would be one of the first to know and to issue warnings through Arizona DPS. The Sheriff claims he was informed about the threat but failed to share it with other law enforcement agencies?

Second, Paul Babeu is a candidate for congress running on a single-issue – immigration and border security. Even though Pinal county does not border Mexico, illegal border crossers still make their way through his jurisdiction – just like they do in every other county in Arizona. We certainly won’t disagree that immigration and border security has become a national security issue we should take seriously, but some politicians have used the issue as a fear-for-votes political strategy. For Paul Babeu, it’s the only issue he knows and he’s using it at every opportunity for pure political gain. Multiple media appearances and fundraising letters from Babeu are evidence of this.

Finally, in law enforcement matters, every serious credible threat demands a serious credible response or action plan. According to reports, during his press conference, Sheriff Babeu made no request for assistance from the Governor’s office, Arizona DPS, Homeland Security, the National Guard, the FBI, etc. Instead, he told private citizens to arm themselves. A review of several Arizona law enforcement agency websites including the Governor’s office, shows no mention of public safety threats by sicarios in the Arizona desert.

We’re not buying it.

The truth is, we have a county sheriff running for Congress who is sensationalizing on the only issue he knows in order to grab media attention and raise money for his political campaign.

In the meantime, private citizens have been told to pack heat in the badlands of Arizona by a sheriff who apparently is finding it difficult to protect his own constituents.

This Memorial Day weekend, we recommend being vigilant of all threats – whether they’re credible or presented for pure political profit.

But most importantly, we ask that you remember and honor those, who against all fear and personal gain, paid the ultimate price through their selfless sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedoms.

Wendy Rogers Files Nomination Signatures For Arizona’s CD-1

 

Wendy Rogers

(Flagstaff, AZ) – Air Force Lt Col (ret) Wendy Rogers filed nomination petitions with the office of Arizona Secretary of State today surpassing the number required to qualify for the August ballot. She filed a total of 1,862 signatures, over 1.5 times the minimum amount required of 1,196.

Colonel Rogers personally collected nearly 90% of her signatures by riding her bicycle to thousands of Republican primary voter households throughout several counties of the district. In southern Arizona, Colonel Rogers lived among the voters for three continuous weeks just to knock on doors. For Colonel Rogers it has always been more about listening to voters. In fact, two different news reporters rode a bicycle with her to capture the experience. She summarized, “I’ve met many great people on their doorsteps who are tired of sending career politicians to Washington. They really prefer someone of their own . . . who will secure our border, get government out of the free market, and equip and honor fellow military service members.” She added, “Washington lacks a culture of service; I intend to restore a culture of service when I serve my district.”

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.

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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

Analysis: Earn and Burn Rates for AZ01 Candidates

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, it should be noted that the FEC shows no 1Q report for Shawn Redd. Also, Wendy Rogers has been in the race for 78 days and Carlyle Begay has only been in the race 22 days.

Here are the numbers:

Campaign Raised 1Q Days in 1Q Earn Rate 1Q Spent    1Q Burn Rate 1Q Earn vs Burn Gap Cash on Hand 1Q Days to Primary 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
Rogers $114,209 79 $1,446 $51,809 $656 $790 $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 frugal candidate while Paul Babeu was the biggest spender.[/pullquote]
David Gowan topped the list when it comes to daily earn rate followed by Paul Babeu and Wendy Rogers. Again, we excluded Carlyle Begay given the short amount of time he has been in the race.

Finally, Gary Kiehne has the highest rate available of money to spend heading into the August 30th Primary Election. It should be noted that Kiehne has loaned his campaign the most money out of all the campaigns with $50,000 during the 1st quarter and $678,072 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 a graph of those rates compared against each other for each of the candidates:

EarnvsBurnRates

In this graph, Gary Kiehne has an inverted burn to earn gap of -$714. Paul Babeu is barely staying ahead of his burn rate at $105. Ken Bennett may have a lower burn rate but his earn rate is also very low giving him a gap of $268. That leaves David Gowan and Wendy Rogers (we are excluding Begay and Redd) with much healthier gaps. Gowan’s gap amounts to $1,081 and Rogers’ gap amounts to $790.

Note: When/if we receive FEC data for Shawn Redd, we will add this to the analysis.

Gowan leads Q1 Fundraising in CD 1; Carlyle Begay falters

For all of the narrative that members of the media and his opponents seek to destroy his candidacy with, Arizona House Speaker David Gowan led all Republican challengers in fundraising for the first quarter of 2016. Gowan’s fundraising number for Q1 was extremely impressive because of the fact that he has not been able to fundraise from Capitol lobbyists during the (still-ongoing) Arizona legislative session.

Here were the amounts raised in the first quarter from the major Republican candidates in CD 1:

  1. David Gowan                 $169,390.27
  2. Paul Babeu                     $157,734.35
  3. Wendy Rogers               $144,209.00
  4. Ken Bennett                   $ 80,027.00
  5. Gary Kiehne                   $48,980.47
  6. Carlyle Begay                 $39,906.00

Here are some notes about the first quarter of fundraising in CD 1:

  • A significant amount of Wendy Rogers’ Q1 funds came from out-of-state donors.
  • Paul Babeu’s burn rate is mind blowing, and his out-of-state funds are disproportionate to a candidate who claims to want to represent Arizona and CD 1. Though his scandals have not greatly hurt his fundraising so far, many donors are still waiting to see how long he can survive in the race before another significant story from his checkered past breaks against him.
  • For all the talk about how Carlyle Begay was going to raise upwards of $100,000 for the quarter, his haul was severely underwhelming and raised serious questions about his viability in a Republican primary. Most people have already noted that without the Arizona Republican Party’s exaggerated and drawn-out celebration of his party switch (masterminded by the then-Executive Director of the AZGOP, Chad Heywood-now Begay’s consultant), Begay would have no foothold in this primary. Simply put, Carlyle Begay is merely a product of a conflict of interest by the immediate-past ED of the AZGOP (as previously reported by the Yellow Sheet), and his fundraising numbers are reflecting this dark reality.
  • Ken Bennett raised a respectable amount of money, but not enough to break through into the presumed top-tier of contenders.
  • Gary Kiehne has the potential of challenging for the frontrunner’s position because of the shier amount of dollars that he has already lent himself. If he can run a disciplined campaign to the end of the primary, he has a shot a the Republican nomination.

POLL: The Republican Nominee for AZ01

Outraged, Lt Col Rogers calls on Sheriff Babeu to exit AZ-1 Congressional Race

Wendy Rogers

On Wednesday, Wendy Rogers called for her opponent, Sheriff Paul Babeu to drop out of the race for Arizona’s first congressional district.  Shocking new allegations of abuse at a boarding house in Massachusetts run by Sheriff Babeu were detailed in an expose Tuesday night by ABC 15.  

“Today I call on Sheriff Babeu to do the right thing. Step down from this race. You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party, the state of Arizona, and our nation. We deserve better,” said Rogers.  

On the tape, Sheriff Babeu can be heard comparing the school’s treatment of children to boot camp.  Rogers, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, had this to say, “I went through military officer training.  It built camaraderie, instilled honor, and made me the professional I am today.  My fellow veterans and I will not stand for Sheriff Babeu’s twisted attempt to justify cruelty to children.”

Rogers further explained, “Sheriff Babeu’s views are also completely at odds with what I have come to know as a foster parent and clinical social worker.  No child is hopeless. All children need and deserve compassion and understanding.”    

The Babeu campaign today released a statement saying, “These allegations prove nothing new.”  In response Rogers said, “His own campaign website touted his executive experience from having led this school as a qualification for elected office.  He held this as evidence of experience, while he knew EXACTLY what this school did.  He has lied to the voters about this, and continues to do so, even as this horrifying evidence comes to light.”