Hon. Dean Martin Endorses Mark Brnovich for Attorney General

Brnovich_logo

Hon. Dean Martin Endorses Mark Brnovich for Attorney General

Today, Republican candidate for Attorney General Mark Brnovich received the endorsement of the Honorable Dean Martin, former Arizona State Treasurer and State Senator.

“I am delighted to endorse Mark Brnovich for Attorney General,” said Martin. “Mark is the strong, dedicated, honest leader we need to be Arizona’s Top Law Enforcement Officer.” Martin continued, “Conservatives and moderates agree that we need honesty and integrity in our leaders, especially our Attorney General. For too long, Arizona has suffered with a dysfunctional Attorney General mired in scandals and criminal misconduct.  We need Mark Brnovich to clean up this scandal-ridden office and bring honesty and integrity back to this high office.  It is time for a new Attorney General, and I urge others to stand beside me for honest leadership.  I am proud to endorse Mark Brnovich.”

As Senator, Martin was a leader in tax reform, immigration enforcement, and child predator legislation.  Among his signature achievements, Martin authored the landmark “Chris’ Law”, which prevents child predators caught “red-handed” from posting bail and absconding justice. Martin also authored landmark legislation to prevent child predators on parole from moving in near schools.

Martin is familiar with the challenges facing the next Attorney General.  Martin was elected State Treasurer in 2006 to clean up another scandal-ridden office after the previous Treasurer resigned in disgrace.

As Arizona’s Chief Financial Officer, Martin was responsible for the custody and management of state and local monies.  Called “Chicken Little” by then Governor Janet Napolitano for his economic forecasts, time proved Martin right as his warnings were accurate predictions of the “Great Recession” and allowed him to earn taxpayers over $1.2 billion in profits from his investments.  In 2011, Martin returned to the private sector and is currently an active member of the business community as an entrepreneur and multiple business owner.

Mark Brnovich remarked: “It is an honor to have the endorsement of a public servant like Dean Martin. Dean has shown that when you stand by principles and integrity, you can do great things for the people you represent.”

Dean Martin joins U.S. Representative Trent Franks, former State Senator Linda Gray, County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Representatives Debbie Lesko, Paul Boyer, T.J. Shope, Arizona Christian University President Len Munsil, Coolidge Mayor Tom Shope, and national conservative leaders like David McIntosh, in endorsing Mark Brnovich for Arizona Attorney General.

ABOUT MARK BRNOVICH

Raised in Arizona, Mark Brnovich is a graduate of Arizona State University. After law school, Mark prosecuted felonies in the Gang/Repeat Offender Bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona and as Assistant US Attorney for the District of Arizona. Mark also served his country as the Command Staff Judge Advocate for the 153rd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arizona Army National Guard for eight years. Mark met his wife Susan while both were working as prosecutors. They live in Phoenix with their two daughters.

For more information about Mark Brnovich, please visit www.Mark4AZ.com.

Stay in Touch with Mark!  ”Like” his Facebook page here or follow him on Twitter: @Mark4AZ

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AZ TARS Leadership Development & Recruitment Night – October 18th

What: A FREE fun filled night for students, parents & teachers!

  • Learn how to start a club in your area.
  • A great discussion on how to grow your local TARS Club.
  • Learn about exciting new changes coming to AZ TARS this year.
  • Learn how you can make a difference!

Who is invited?

  • Current TARs Members and Advisers are all encouraged to come and learn about the exciting new changes taking place with AZ TARs Any current and interested High School students interested in joining TARs or starting a new TARs Club.
  • Any Parent of a current or prospective TARs Member
  • Any Educator interested in helping support or serve as an Adviser to a TARs Club
  • Any adult willing to support a local TARs group through volunteering for the State TARs or Local TARs group or through making a financial donation.

Date: October 18th, 2011
Time: 7-9:00 P.M.
Where: Arizona Republican Party State Headquarters
Address: 3501 North 24th StreetPhoenix, AZ 85016 (map)
Wear: Casual clothes that you can be active in.

Special Guest Speakers:

  • Hon. Dean Martin
  • Training Workshop by: Dusti Martin
  • State TARs President: Elizabeth Lind
  • State TARs Adviser: Lois Fitch

RSVP to (480) 256-8225 by 5 P.M. October 17th

Download Flyer

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona’s “Clean Elections” Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2011
CONTACT: Christina Walsh

Court Protects Free Speech and Political Participation

Arlington, Va.—In a victory for free speech and political participation, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “matching funds” provision of Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections” Act is unconstitutional. The landmark case is Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, argued by the Institute for Justice. Both IJ and the Goldwater Institute had challenged Arizona’s law in court.

“This case is a clear reminder to government officials that they may not coerce speakers to limit their own speech,” said Bill Maurer, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, who argued the case. “The Court’s decision today, like other recent decisions, makes clear that the First Amendment is not an exception to campaign finance laws; it is the rule.”

Maurer said, “As a result of today’s ruling, government can no longer use public funds to manipulate speech in campaigns to favor government-funded political candidates and turn the speech of traditionally funded candidates into the vehicle by which their entire political goals are undermined.”

Arizona’s “Clean Elections” Act manipulated election speech by favoring candidates who participated in the public funding system over those who chose to forego taxpayer dollars and instead raised funds through voluntary contributions. For every dollar a privately funded candidate spent above a government-dictated amount, the government gave additional funds to his opponent. The Act even matched funds spent by independent groups that supported privately funded candidates, thereby canceling out those independent groups’ speech.

According to the Court, “The direct result of the speech of privately financed candidates and independent expenditure groups is a state-provided monetary subsidy to a political rival. That cash subsidy, conferred in response to political speech, penalizes speech.”

The Court’s decision followed the reasoning of its 2008 decision in Davis v. FEC, in which it struck down unequal contribution limits for candidates. As the Court said in today’s decision, although the penalty imposed by Arizona’s law is different in some respects from the law in Davis “those differences make the Arizona law more constitutionally problematic, not less.”

For example, Arizona’s law matches not only candidate expenditures, but those of independent expenditure groups, such as the clients represented by the Institute for Justice. As the Court put it “the matching funds provision forces privately funded candidates to fight a political hyrdra of sorts. Each dollar they spend generates two adversarial dollars in response.”

At bottom, the matching funds provision was a bald attempt by the state to manipulate speech by forcing speakers to either trigger matching funds, change their message, or refrain from speaking. According to the Court, “forcing that choice . . . certainly contravenes ‘the fundamental rule of protection under the First Amendment, that a speaker has the autonomy to choose the content of his own message.’”

Moreover, the Court recognized that the end result of the matching funds was the total curtailment of political speech, for “If the matching funds provision achieves its professed goal and causes candidates to switch to public financing, . . . there will be less speech: no spending above the initial state-set amount by formerly privately financed candidates, and no associated matching funds for anyone. Not only that, the level of speech will depend on the State’s judgment of the desirable amount, an amount tethered to available (and often scarce) state resources.”

But as the Court strongly reiterated today, “the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speakers against unjustified restrictions on speech, even when those restrictions reflect the will of the majority. When it comes to protected speech, the speaker is sovereign.”

In finding that matching funds substantially burden speech, Chief Justice Roberts pointed to research by University of Rochester political scientist David Primo, an expert in the case. Contrary to claims of Clean Elections’ backers, Dr. Primo’s original research “found that privately financed candidates facing the prospect of triggering matching funds changed the timing of their fundraising activities, the timing of their expenditures, and, thus, their overall campaign strategy” to avoid sending additional funds to opponents. The research is available at www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/first_amendment/az_campaign_finance/expert-report-d_primo.pdf.

Today’s ruling is important not just for those states and municipalities that have similar “matching fund” systems. As Maurer explains, “The decision prohibits government from attempting to level the playing field among political speakers by creating disincentives for some and incentives for others. The clear message of the First Amendment to government is: Hands off!”

Although today’s ruling affects only the matching funds provision of the Clean Elections Act, there is a measure on the November 2012 Arizona ballot that would end the whole Clean Elections system by forbidding government support of candidate campaigns.

The Institute for Justice has litigated against this unconstitutional provision since 2004. IJ represents independent political groups the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC and the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee as well as political candidates Senator Rick Murphy and former State Treasurer Dean Martin.

“Now that matching funds are no more, we do not have to censor our own speech,” said Steve Voeller of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC. “As long as this law was in place, we knew that that speaking out in the election meant that our political opponents would be showered with government money. The more we spoke, the more politicians we opposed benefitted. Now we can actually speak freely.”

Shane Wikfors of the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee said, “We have always believed that this law was meant to corral not only candidates but also voters by limiting political speech, intimidating organizations like ours and ultimately leading to a political outcome that was tainted by the state’s involvement. We are grateful that the Court protected political expression and struck down this unconstitutional state intervention.”

Rick Murphy said, “I’m grateful a majority of the justices recognized that the government shouldn’t try to ‘level the playing field’ of free speech with public money.”

Dean Martin said, “After nearly a decade, justice has prevailed. Now I am looking forward to November 2012, when the voters have a chance to get rid of the rest of taxpayer money that support politicians.”

Many observers anticipated the Court would strike down the matching funds program. IJ-Arizona Staff Attorney Paul Avelar explained, “It was pretty clear that matching funds violate the First Amendment rights of candidates, citizens and independent groups. The Ninth Circuit’s decision, now overturned, was so inconsistent with protections for free speech in campaigns that two other federal appellate courts almost immediately refused to follow it. In those cases, the courts struck down matching funds systems in Connecticut and Florida.”

“This is yet another example of an important judicial trend the Institute for Justice has advocated since our founding—that of judicial engagement,” said Institute for Justice President and General Counsel Chip Mellor. “The Court looked beyond the state’s claims about Clean Elections to its substance. It recognized that the real purpose of the law was not to eliminate corruption, but to level the playing field by manipulating speech. In the past, the courts have all too often rubberstamped the government’s claims about corruption in elections and upheld campaign finance laws that violated First Amendment rights. The Court seems to be moving in the other direction in campaign finance, and as a result, we are all freer.”

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC is just one of several challenges the Institute for Justice is litigating against restrictions on free speech by campaign finance laws. Mellor promised that “IJ will continue to fight against laws that reduce speech, silence disfavored speakers and viewpoints, and allow government to manipulate the marketplace of ideas thereby stripping away people’s right to govern themselves.”

Social science research shows that the purported benefits of public funding programs rarely materialize, while the costs to candidates and independent groups are real. Dr. Primo summed up the findings of the best available research in a paper for the Institute for Justice (available at http://www.ij.org/about/3466), and concluded, “Public funding is a program that promises much and delivers little.”

IJ recently won a landmark victory for free speech in federal court on behalf of SpeechNow.org, an independent group that opposes or supports candidates on the basis of their stance on free speech. IJ also won on behalf of a group of neighbors who were prosecuted by their political opponents under Colorado’s byzantine campaign finance laws merely for speaking out against the annexation of their neighborhood to a nearby town. In addition, IJ won recent victories for free speech in Florida when a federal judge struck down the state’s broadest-in-the-nation “electioneering communications” law and in Washington when it stopped an attempt to use the state’s campaign finance laws to regulate talk-radio commentary about a ballot issue.

# # #

Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee
Institute for Justice – Arizona Chapter
Goldwater Institute

 

We’re off to the United States Supreme Court!

I’m heading off to Washington, D.C. this morning along with fellow Arizonans, Steve Voeller (Arizona Free Enterprise Club), State Senator Rick Murphy and former State Treasurer, Dean Martin. We are all plaintiffs or co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Election law. (I serve as the Treasurer of the Arizona-registered political action committee, Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee.) Our legal team consist of The Institute for Justice and The Goldwater Institute. Lead attorneys are Bill Maurer (IJ) and Clint Bolick (GI). Monday morning our case will be argued before the Justices while the four of us sit in the courtroom. Watch my Twitter feed (AZTaxpayerAct) and posts here on Sonoran Alliance. Here is some additional case information:

Goldwater Institute Case Background
Institute for Justice Litigation Backgrounder

Watch the YouTube video about the case.

Jon Kyl to retire. What next?

Now that it’s official that Senator Jon Kyl will not seek re-election, there’s a whole lot of political conversations taking place.

Going back to my political chessboard analogy, several elected and former elected officials are beginning to telegraph their next move on Arizona’s playing field. Here’s a quick assessment of the situation.

First the Democrats. As the new year began, I predicted that Kyrsten Sinema would be the voice and face of the Democratic party here in Arizona. She has. Her media exposure is up, she’s photogenic and she’s got her soundbites down to an art. Following closely behind is her colleague from Tempe, Senator David Schapira. He’s taken a lead on legislation and has also earned considerable media attention. Would either Sinema or Schapira have a chance for a US Senate seat in 2012? Probably not but let’s remember that a lot can happen between now and November, 2012.

Should House GOP members “drop the ball” on what they promised their constituents, voter attitude could quickly sour against Republicans. Another factor would be who Republicans nominate as their candidate for President. An old ill-tempered Washington insider-incumbent would snuff out the spark generated by the TEA Party revolution and give Obama the hope he craves to win a second-term. Regardless, Sinema or Schapira probably would not fair well in Arizona’s conservatarian political climate. Napolitano may also return to Arizona but a US Senate campaign would require a massive political makeover and a dose of voter amnesia to take place.

Let’s turn to Republicans.

Congressman Jeff Flake is clearly the front runner. Every political pundit knows he’s been chomping at the bit for years. He has the attitude for the job too – he’s always the first one from the delegation to head back to DC and the last one to come home. Most political consultants will tell you this race is his to lose. But Flake has some political liabilities and they’re big ones with Arizona conservatives. First, he has supported lackadaisical immigration reform. He prefers to call it “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” but many call it “Amnesty.” He’s buddied up with other amnesty advocates like Congressman Luis Gutierrez and made it clear that he wants a variety of immigration reforms in place.  To his recent credit, he voted against the DREAM Act. However, among social conservatives, Flake did vote to repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as recent as this last December. And as early as this week, Flake voted to renew provisions of the Patriot Act.

Then there are the political insiders who know the “Flake Political Machine.” Just as ruthless as the “McCain Mafia,” Jeff Flake’s people are hard-core, hard-ball, scorched-earth troopers. Case in point: the 2008 legislative district 18 GOP Primary challenge against Russell Pearce by Flake’s brother-in-law, Kevin Gibbons. Watch for Flake’s arch-defenders to wage political warfare on any challenger.

This leaves Congressman John Shadegg, who as early as the 2008 election cycle was showing disdain toward returning to Washington, D.C. Many remember he even indicated he would not seek re-election in 2008 but then changed his mind. Many pundits have long thought he would not seek a US Senate seat but then as recent as last fall, said he would consider it. There’s no doubt the backroom conversation is taking place or has already taken place between Shadegg and Flake. Among more conservative Republicans, Shadegg’s one political liability, TARP, is probably more forgivable than Flake’s open embrace of comprehensive immigration reform. Since the TEA Party’s rise, he’s been constantly reminded of that vote. And since then he’s publicly stated that he regretted making the vote. The question now is whether two political powerhouses would be willing to duke it out in the public arena. My guess is that Flake walks out of that backroom conversation smiling.

Who else could be taken serious entering a GOP Senate primary? Dean Martin, Trent Franks, Grant Woods? Each name carries some weight but would they consider challenging a colleague? Money would also be an issue. Woods, who ranks in the negatives with conservatives, would be tapping donors from the same pool as McCain and Flake. Martin, a darling among conservatives, would need to retool his fundraising abilities. That leaves Congressman Franks, who almost every conservative adores, to have to resort to hardball tactics against Flake’s machine. Anyone who knows Trent Franks, knows that hardball politics is not his character.

Would JD Hayworth consider another run against “The Establishment” candidate? I would venture to say yes. He’s the freshest candidate from a statewide Senate primary and he’s proven he can raise millions of dollars not only in state but across the country and in a short amount of time. And let’s not forget that JD’s no one to turn down a good political challenge against someone who is diametrically opposed to his position on immigration. If border security (whatever happened to McCain’s 10-Point Plan?) continues to experience the violence of drug cartels, armed confrontation and even murder, don’t rule a JD Hayworth candidacy out. Some conservatives might even call this political matchup a JD vs. McFlake redux.

Given that Flake enters the race for US Senate, that leaves a vacuum in the east valley which is even more complicated by the addition of a new congressional district. Former State Senator Chuck Gray has expressed serious consideration to fill either Flake’s vacant seat or the new congressional seat. TEA Party candidate, Jeff Smith, is also taking a serious look at entering either race. And don’t rule out a possible candidacy by Arizona Speaker of the House, Kirk Adams, who is proving himself worthy while serving in his current position. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has also been mentioned but given his focus on cleaning up Pinal County politics and fighting drug cartel runners, will likely remain serving as Sheriff. Other potential names include Pinal County Supervisor Bryan Martyn and Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio.

Other political seats that may likely change hands include Fulton Brock’s supervisorial district, Don Stapley’s supervisorial district and Maricopa County Sheriff. Conventional political wisdom is that Russell Pearce will seek Sheriff Joe’s seat once Arpaio retires.

All this makes great political theater right here in Arizona. Over the next few months, expect to see campaigns forming including Presidential campaigns. For those who live for high political drama, the stage is being set. Now it’s only a matter of time until the characters take that same stage.

And one last thing before I forget to mind my political manners, let me thank Senator Jon Kyl for his sacrifice and service to this great State of Arizona.

Shocking Brewer Verbal Assault Video Should End Her Political Career

I fear for my state.  The video posted below by SoundAdvice is disturbing and very important for every voter to see before the August 24th Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary.  If you know someone who has not yet voted on Prop. 100, please show them this video and have them read the transcript I provide below before the May 18th special election.  This video is guaranteed to motivate the apathetic voter to rally to the “NO on 100” side and show up to cast their ballot in person on Tuesday.  

The Buz Mills campaign, please, carefully and fairly edit this spectacle down to 60 seconds and broadcast it on every Arizona television station.  You have the resources.  As a man who believes he has what it takes to lead us through these terrible economic times, you have a duty to Republicans and to Arizona to ensure Gov. Brewer never again takes the oath of office as Arizona’s governor.  There will be plenty of time to sort out Dean Martin and John Munger.  Expose Brewer now before it’s too late.

When I first watched it, I found the sound in the explosive Brewer Verbal Assault Video a little hard to make out.  So, I decided to create a transcript to clearly reveal the true offensiveness and creepiness of Brewer’s unprofessional and thoroughly inappropriate rant.

Please make sure this video and transcript get wide distribution before Tuesday’s important vote.  I’m honestly unsettled about having that woman in a position of trust and responsibility.  It might be too late to defeat Prop. 100 with all those early ballots already submitted.  But it is not too late to save our state from an over-her-head political flunky who has risen far, far beyond her Peter Principle level.

— MBW

VIDEO:

TRANSCRIPT:

[The exchange is largely inaudible until Voter holds up a penny in her left hand while Gov. Jan Brewer clutches her on her right side in an awkward embrace]

VOTER: Penny tax, Penny tax!

BREWER: You vote “yes.”

[Voter holds up her hand where “NO on 100” is written in marker on her palm]

VOTER: I voted “no.”  Sorry.

BREWER: Are they your children?

VOTER: These are my kids, yeah!  No, I’m sorry.  You know what? It’s been such a struggle for me.  And if, if there would have been a pay cut for…

BREWER: You know what?

VOTER: If there would have been…

BREWER: Know what?

VOTER: …a pay cut for those fat-cat administrators…

BREWER: Let me tell you something … let me tell you… if you vote “no” it’s going to be more trouble for you because you are going to have uneducated children, you are not going to have any jobs in the state of Arizona and no recovery and who will you have to blame but yourself?

VOTER: You know what I heard?  We can take the money for other programs…

[Brewer repeatedly points her finger or fingers at the chest of the voter throughout the following]

BREWER: That’s not true.  Do you think that Jan Brewer… do you think… do you think that I, whose has never voted for a tax increase in my life, would have done that? Do you think that I, who has stayed up night after night after night, week after week after week, making myself sick – to say we can’t raise taxes, it just can’t make it work?  There is no other way to turn our economy around.  If you say “no” just because you don’t have the facts… and I don’t think you have the facts… if you had the facts, I think you would vote “yes.”  You can’t do that to your children. You can’t do that to yourself and you can’t do that to the state of Arizona.  It’s a one penny tax, temporary, for three years so we can correct the structural deficit.

VOTER: That would be fine with me if, if other people would take a pay cut.  The $41 million in Paradise Valley…

BREWER: Who hasn’t taken… who hasn’t taken a pay cut?

VOTER: I think there needs to be…

BREWER: Who? 

VOTER: There needs to be more…

BREWER: Who?

VOTER: More…

BREWER: Who? Who? Who hasn’t taken a pay cut?

VOTER: I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I don’t want to… I’m sorry… [inaudible]

BREWER: I’m just… You know I’m just so concerned because you’ve got your children. I have no… no… I don’t have, but I don’t have children in the schools.

[Fade to disgust]

Election 2010: GOP’s Martin, Mills Lead Goddard, AG tops Governor

Rasmussen Reports – Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Likely Democratic candidate Terry Goddard now trails two potential Republican opponents in the latest look at Arizona’s gubernatorial contest.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds State Treasurer Dean Martin leading Goddard 43% to 38%. Just six percent (6%) favor some other candidate in this match-up, while 13% are undecided. In January, Martin led Goddard by nine points.

Political newcomer Buz Mills, who has begun introducing himself to the state through a series of TV ads, now leads Goddard 43% to 37%. Seven percent (7%) prefer another candidate in this match-up, while 13% are not sure.

But incumbent Republican Governor Jan Brewer, embroiled in the state’s budget crisis, now trails Goddard 45% to 36% in her bid for reelection. Twelve percent (12%) of voters like another candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided. In January, Brewer and Goddard were in a virtual tie after the Democrat held a nine-point lead in November.

Against former state GOP Chairman John Munger, Goddard holds a 42% to 36% advantage. Thirteen percent (13%) of voters pick some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

In the state’s Republican Primary race for governor, Mills’ entrance has created a virtual three-way tie with Martin and Brewer. Longtime incumbent John McCain now leads conservative challenger J.D. Hayworth by just seven points in Arizona’s hotly contested Republican Senate Primary race. State Republicans will pick their Senate and gubernatorial nominees in an August 24 primary. Goddard, the state’s current attorney general, is expected to be the Democrats’ nominee for governor.

Male voters prefer Martin and Mills to Goddard among male voters but move into the Democrat’s column when Brewer or Munger is the Republican in the race. Female voters lean toward the Democrat unless Martin’s on the ballot.

Similarly, voters not affiliated with either party prefer Goddard over Brewer or Munger. But unaffiliateds give a slight edge to Martin and Mills over Goddard in those match-ups.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Arizona voters have a very favorable opinion of Goddard, while 13% view the Democrat very unfavorably.

Martin is viewed very favorably by 11% and very unfavorably by seven percent (7%).

Ten percent (10%) of voters have a very favorably impression of Mills, while only nine percent (9%) view him very unfavorably. Thirty-nine percent (39%) have no opinion of him.

Fewer than 10% of voters have a strong favorable or unfavorable opinion of Munger, while 40% of voters don’t know enough about him to venture any opinion at all.

Seven percent (7%) of Arizona voters view Brewer very favorably, but 24% view the governor very unfavorably.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Just 41% approve of the job Brewer is doing in office, while 55% disapprove. This includes eight percent (8%) who Strongly Approve and 22% who Strongly Disapprove.

Brewer, as Arizona’s secretary of state, became governor last January when Janet Napolitano moved to Washington to serve as secretary of Homeland Security. But battles over the state budget have taken a toll on her popularity and prompted challenges within her own party. Brewer is currently pushing a three-year temporary one percent increase in the state’s 5.6 percent sales tax to help close the state’s huge budget deficit. Voters will decide on that proposal in a May 18 referendum.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters in the state now favor the temporary sales tax increase, but 36% oppose it. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

Thirty-five percent (35%) say the economy will be stronger a year from now, but 44% think it will be weaker. Thirteen percent (13%) expect it to stay about the same.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Arizona voters are at least somewhat concerned about drug-related violence in Mexico spilling over into the United States, with 60% who are very concerned. Given Arizona’s location, it comes as no surprise that its voters are more concerned about this outcome than voters on the national level.

However, Arizona voters are split on the question of what concerns them more: 45% say illegal immigration is a greater concern, while 43% name Mexican drug violence.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Arizona voters believe the U.S. military should be used along the Mexican border if violence continues to escalate there. Just 12% disagree. These results are similar to those found nationwide.

Only 36% of voters in Arizona favor the health care reform plan passed by President Obama and Congress, while 60% disapprove. Voters in Arizona are more opposed to the plan than voters on the national level.

By a 62% to 29% margin, Arizona voters prefer passing smaller plans that address individual problems in the health care system than one large comprehensive plan.

A solid plurality of the state’s voters (48%) says their local representative does not deserve to be reelected to Congress, and 71% believe it would be better for the country if most incumbents up for reelection this November were defeated.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Arizona voters describe themselves as part of the Tea Party movement.

In the 2008 election, Obama lost to favorite son McCain 54% to 45%. Forty-two percent (42%) now approve of Obama’s performance as president, with 29% who Strongly Approve. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove, including 51% who Strongly Disapprove. This is roughly comparable to Obama’s job approval ratings nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

In 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected nationally that Obama would defeat John McCain by a 52% to 46% margin. Obama won 53% to 46%. Four years earlier, Rasmussen Reports projected the national vote totals for both George W. Bush and John Kerry within half-a-percentage-point.

In Arizona during the 2008 campaign, Rasmussen Reports polling showed McCain winning the state by a 51% to 45% margin. McCain defeated Obama 54% to 45%. In the 2006 Arizona governor’s race, Rasmussen polling showed Janet Napolitano defeating Len Munsil 58% to 37%. Napolitano won 63% to 35%. In the 2006 race for U.S. Senate, Rasmussen polling showed Jon Kyl leading Jim Pederson by nine, 51% to 42%. Kyl won by nine, 53% to 44%.

East Valley Tea Party Holds “Superbowl of Candidates”

Today, the East Valley Tea Party organization conducted its first “Superbowl of Candidates.” Like the Tea Party movement across the country, it was a roaring success. Plenty of candidates attended including more gubernatorial candidates than I knew were running (Tim Willis, Bruce Olsen, Steven Slaton, Ray Yount, Buz Mills, Governor Jan Brewer and Treasurer, Dean Martin). Other statewide candidates included John Huppenthal, Margaret Dugan, Ted Carpenter, Thayer Verschoor, Barbara Leff, Brenda Burns, Gary Pierce, Taj Oladiran and Congressional candidates, Janet Contreras, David Schweikert, Chris Salvino, Eric Wnuck, Easton Kelsey and Jeff Smith. County Attorney candidate, Bill Montgomery also attended.

State legislative candidates also attended including Russell Pearce, Kirk Adams, James Molina, Adam Armer, Kelly Townsend, Brett Petillo, JD Mesnard, Jeff Vance, John Fillmore and Scott Bergren.

US Senate candidates Chris Simcox and Jim Deakin rounded out the list but the biggest pleasant surprise to appear was former congressman and soon to announce US Senate candidate, J.D. Hayworth.

Hayworth was a big hit with the crowd and he was continually prompted by supporters to challenge John McCain in the Republican Primary. The recent conservative talk show host is planning to formally announce some time in the next three weeks but is raising money in what will be a challenge against McCain’s multi-million dollar political machine. Grassroots supporters are already coming out of the fields asking how to give to his campaign. The campaign website is up and running and taking donations online and the support is coming in from all over the country.

Here are a few photos from today’s event featuring JD Hayworth and Congressional candidate, Janet Contreras, whom we helped debut right here on Sonoran Alliance.

JD Hayworth & Janet Contreras

This photo captures the Smart Girl Politics activists alongside JD Hayworth.

Smart Girl Politics & JD Hayworth

Apologies to any candidates I missed or whose site was missed.

PR: Rasmussen Reports Dean Martin Leads Governor’s Race

NEWS RELEASE
Rasmussen Reports:
Dean Martin Leads Governor’s Race
Monday, January 25, 2010

Independent research organization Rasmussen Reports released results of a new poll showing a surge by Treasurer Dean Martin into the lead in the race for Governor just one week after his announcement.

“A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Arizona voters finds Martin with a nine-point lead over Goddard, 44% to 35%. In November, the race was a toss-up, with Goddard up by two.” The release continued, “State Treasurer Dean Martin for now looks like the Republican who’s offering the biggest challenge to likely Democratic candidate Terry Goddard in Arizona’s race for governor.”
In addition “Martin holds a 10-point lead over Goddard [with independent voters]” a double digit lead with males and even with female voters. By contrast Brewer is behind Goddard by 17 points with female voters.

“Thirty-seven percent (37%) approve of the job Brewer is doing as governor, while 60% disapprove. Those numbers include only seven percent (7%) who Strongly Approve versus 29% who Strongly Disapprove. These findings are little changed from November.” Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

The poll also shows that Treasurer Martin is leading with likely primary voters with very high favorables among likely voters both in the primary and the general election.

“I am pleased to see we have surged into the lead so quickly just one week after my announcement. This proves that our plan for Arizona’s future which focuses on fiscal responsibility, job creation, education achievement, and border security is resonating with voters.” Treasurer Dean Martin said regarding the poll, “We have a long way to go until the race is over, and a lot of work to do, but you can obviously see that voters are tired with the status quo and are ready for a new generation of leadership for Arizona.”
Treasurer Dean Martin is an elected statewide constitutional officer serving as the state’s Chief Financial Officer. Treasurer Martin warned state leaders about impending financial crisis three years ago, in time to avoid the current budget mess, but was ignored as “Chicken Little”. Facing a government that was showing itself to be more out of touch with fiscal sanity and taxpayers, Treasurer Martin announced his candidacy for Governor on January 13th.

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Arizona Guardian: Brewer struggles to raise campaign cash

Money isn’t the only daunting challenge facing Jan Brewer’s campaign… her highly-paid consultant apparently is preparing for a September primary victory.  I think John Munger, Vernon Parker, Dean Martin, Buz Mills, Robert Graham, Doug Ducey and any other GOP gubernatorial hopeful will be looking to peak a little earlier, say August 24, 2009. 

— MBW

BREWER STRUGGLES TO RAISE CAMPAIGN CASH
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
By Dennis Welch 
The Arizona Guardian 
  
Gov. Jan Brewer isn’t raising money as fast as her political handlers would like and is lagging behind her GOP opponents. 
 
Brewer plans on running as a publicly funded candidate but is allowed to raise up to $50,000 in small contributions, known as seed money, until she qualifies. 
 
The governor’s political advisers were hopeful it would take just a few days to raise the money after Brewer announced on Nov. 5 that she was running for a full term. 
 
But it didn’t turn out that way. As of last week the governor was still chasing after seed money, according to emails obtained by the Guardian
 
Invitations for a Dec. 14th fund-raising event were very clear that the governor still needed donations. Those contributions are capped at $140 per person and $280 per couple. 
 
Chuck Coughlin, the governor’s chief political adviser, would not say whether Brewer has raised the rest of the money since the event last week. 
 
“We will not be playing any horse race games for tomorrow’s headlines,” Coughlin said Tuesday. “They only thing we care about is winning in September and November, of which I am assured.” 
 
It was Coughlin who sent out an email to potential donors that he wanted to wrap up the seed money in several days. That was more than six weeks ago.  
 
“The campaign needs as many $140/$280 contributions… as possible by close of business tomorrow,” Coughlin said in the Nov. 5 email. “It will take many oars in the water on this one but the campaign needs your help today and tomorrow… It would be great if we can knock this out in the next few days.” 
 
A candidate’s ability to raise money is traditionally considered an early test of the candidate’s viability. Brewer suffers from low approval ratings among voters, according to recent polling data.
 
Brewer is trailing her potential political rivals when it comes to raising her seed money. 
 
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard finished up on Dec. 8, according to volunteers with his campaign. Goddard, who is considered the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for governor, formally announced his candidacy one day after Brewer. 
 
Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker says it took him 41 days to raise his seed money. Parker, a Republican, launched his campaign last summer. 
 
The three candidates are running under the state’s clean elections system which means they will receive public money to pay for their campaigns. But before they can get their cash they must qualify by collecting $5 donations from about 5,000 registered voters. 
 
Once they are eligible, gubernatorial candidates receive about $777,000 for the primary and another $1.1 million for the general election. 
 
Other candidates for governor are not expected to run with public money. John Munger and Owen “Buz” Mills, both Republicans, are running traditional. And state Treasurer Dean Martin, also a Republican, is not expected to run as an clean election candidate should he decide to jump in the race.