Wendy Rogers: Let’s take care of our known problems

I stand with President Trump to repeal Obamacare

America must start to repair its healthcare system. The designers of Obamacare ultimately wanted a single payer system. It doesn’t work; case in point: the broken Veterans Administration (VA) system, which my husband and I experience first-hand.

Wendy Rogers & Donald TrumpAs far as being a conservative goes, I’m as conservative as they come. I am ardently pro-life as a mother and grandmother, strong on national defense as a retired career Air Force lieutenant colonel and one of America’s first military women pilots, and I want the government out of my mess kit because I’m a tireless but successful 20-year small business owner.

Academically and professionally, I practiced as clinical social worker in the military mental health system before I trained to be a jet pilot. I cannot bear to see families continue to be plagued by rising premiums and limited choices in healthcare, especially in Arizona where premiums have climbed 116%.

I knocked on thousands of doors where AZ-1 voters told me something must be done to fix the current healthcare mess. I’m not in Washington, but I read the news. Last weekend, my mid-20s-aged kids asked me what I thought. You know what I told them?

I said, “Democracy is messy. We cannot agree a lot of the time, but that’s what the Founders envisioned. Arm-wrestling, passion, patriotism, and compromise. If we had more small business owners and military veterans working this in Congress, we’d get more done. I believe in the president’s agenda overall. Congress needs to get onboard to repeal and replace Obamacare, reform our tax code, repeal onerous regulations, and foster energy independence. Congress needs to help drain the swamp, not add to it.

And I’ll tell you something else. I met the president way back in December 2015 when I introduced him to the crowd in Mesa AZ as the representative military veteran in strong support. I’ve read his books. I’m close to some who work in the administration. As my commander-in-chief, I trust President Trump to have my back. More of us in the military trust this president than any other in a very long time. That should tell you something. A new healthcare law must wend its way through Senate rules and administrative action before we can arrive at a better system. I trust President Trump to steer that course for the good of our country.

Conservatives and citizens all must realize that standing on principle is all well and good, but it cannot be worth falling on one’s sword if we end up with nothing.

These challenges are fixable. We’re Americans. We accomplish great things. Let’s take care of our known problems, so we’re better prepared to thwart the unknowns when they crop up like North Korea’s ICBMs, ISIS infiltrating our own country, or opioids ravaging our families.

Let’s get it DONE.

Air Force (ret) Lt Col Wendy Rogers’s home is in Flagstaff. She and her husband own and operate their own home inspection business across Pinal, Maricopa, Yavapai, and Coconino counties. She is a current pilot who flies her own aircraft, Search and Rescue member of Civil Air Patrol, HAM radio operator, and avid national and statewide traveler. She and her husband have two children and three grandchildren. She was one of the Air Force’s first women pilots and ran for Congress in AZ-1 in 2016.

Yuma Republican Leader May Announce for Arizona Republican Party Chair

Jonathan Lines

With the 2016 Election almost in the history books and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus heading to the White House as Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump, current Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham will likely be running for National Chairman of the RNC.

As Graham steps into a national role, the Arizona GOP will need to make a transition and continue with bold new leadership. Like it or not, Arizona demographics are changing and the party will need to affirm conservative values with new and non-traditional voters.

One of the faces and voices I’d like to see head up the party is my friend Jonathan Lines. Jonathan is a conservative businessman and loyal principled Republican from Yuma. His family roots grow deep in Arizona as his family settled in Yuma in the 1800’s. He is also a man of faith, family and enduring freedom.

I first met Jonathan when I served as the Communications Director for the State Party. I know him to be a man of integrity committed to Republican principles and broadening the party.

Rumblings of who will succeed Chairman Graham have already started. I’m hoping that Jonathan will join the race and my fellow Republican will witness why he would be the next best leader of the Arizona Republican Party.

Arizona Political Leaders React to Trump Picks

President-Elect Trump has begun to name his government advisers and cabinets and Arizona politicians are weighing in on the future Trump Administration.

Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit and COO to the Trump campaign took to the airwaves to touting the credentials of President-Elect Trump’s cabinet choices including Senator Jeff Sessions, General Michael Flynn and Congressman Mike Pompeo. Here is video of Treasurer DeWit’s appearance on FoxNews. DeWit may also be chosen to serve in the Trump administration.

US Senator Jeff Flake tweeted, “@SenatorSessions is well like and well regarded, even by those who don’t always agree with him. I look forward to supporting his nomination” upon news that Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will be nominated to President Trump’s Attorney General.

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-3) joined the orchestrated Democrat opposition to Stephen Bannon by retweeting Rep David Cicilline’s push for a petition rescinding Bannon’s appointment as a senior adviser. Grijalva said, “Steve #Bannon made a career of conspiracy theories and hate speech online. He has no business serving in the White House, period.”

The most aggressive opposition to Trump’s picks have come from Rep Ruben Gallego who represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional District. Since Trump’s win, he has released a barrage of tweets following the typical Democrat talking points on hate, racism and tolerance. Gallego tweeted and retweeted:

“Appointing alt-right leader Steve Bannon undermines @RealDonaldTrump’s promise to ‘bind the wounds of division.’ #NoHateInWhiteHouse.”

“Hate in the form of white nationalism doesn’t belong anywhere near the White House. Steve Bannon’s appointment is appalling & disgraceful.”

“Hate & violence has no place in this country. I stand w/ the #trans community & will work for security&equality for all #TransAwarenessWeek”

Gallego also included a link to his speech on the floor of the US House:

On his Facebook page, Rep Gallego made the following statement regarding his role in playing opposition to Trump, even on common ground issues like infrastructure:

Given everything we know about Donald Trump – and everything we don’t know – I was alarmed by the words of senior leaders from both the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic party regarding their openness to working with Donald Trump on infrastructure.

Under ordinary circumstances, a bipartisan infrastructure plan would be welcomed. But Donald Trump is not an ordinary politician.

Unfortunately, his infrastructure plan is really a privatization scheme, rife with graft and corruption, whose real purpose is to enrich the Trump family and his supporters. He is not reaching out. He is reaching his hand into America’s pockets, just as he has his whole career. And we must not let him do it.

And continuing his rant on Facebook, Gallego echoed his Twitter post with a link to the Democrat’s opposition letter:

Nobody with ties to White Nationalism should be allowed to work in the White House. Appointing alt-right leader Steve Bannon undermines Donald Trump’s promise to ‘bind the wounds of division.’ Today, I joinedCongressman David Cicilline and many of my House colleagues to demand that Trump rescind this appalling and disgraceful appointment.#NoHateInWhiteHouse

Former Governor Jan Brewer reposted an article on her Facebook page asserting that Trump’s picks for his immigration team, will be very tough:

Donald J. Trump has just appointed the head of his immigration team and it says a lot about how he plans to deal with illegal immigration…

The article, posted on Conservative Tribune, refers to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who was the architect of Arizona’s SB1070. Kobach is known as a staunch advocate for border security and stopping illegal immigration. He has been asked to serve on Trumps immigration team.

Like many Arizona political leaders, Senator John McCain, Governor Doug Ducey, and other members of the congressional delegation have shied away from making social media comments on Trump’s administration choices. Many will continue to watch as the transition team puts people in place and an agenda into motion.

President-Elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

I Was Wrong About The Election Of Donald Trump

Trump Victory

First, I must say I am very relieved that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. There certainly is a delicious pleasure in that victory.

Now, let me get the mea culpa out of the way.

Like many of my colleagues in the professional political consulting class, I was wrong about the election of Donald Trump.

Nearly every polls showed him losing – the pollsters were wrong.

Every time Donald Trump spoke, he polarized and divided groups of individuals. The public relations professionals were wrong.

Nearly every longtime Republican and conservative leader said he couldn’t win using his strategy. They were wrong.

I repeatedly said he needed to learn from the lessons of 2012 when it comes to millennials, women and minority groups and affirm their libertarian and conservative values. The leader of the Grand Old Party needs to pursue a mathematical strategy of addition and multiplication rather than subtraction and division if they want to grow the party. Apparently, there was some “new math” at work in this election.

During the last days of the election, I believed it came down which demographic groups would turn out for Donald Trump. Would women, Latinos and millennials overcome the intensity of angry, aging, white, blue-collar Americans? Donald Trump obviously heard the voices of the latter and hit a nerve.

Donald Trump managed to pull off one of the biggest political shocks in American electoral history and we, the political consulting class were wrong.

But while we may remain wrong on why Donald Trump got elected as our 45th President, we may very well be right about our earlier concerns.

Donald Trump has “caught the bus” and must now grasp the sobering reality of governance.

He must now surround himself with individuals who will help him with the gargantuan task of running the country. Those individuals will most likely come from the establishment. Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie – all longtime Washington insiders and dare I note, members of the very “Establishment” class Donald Trump publicly excoriated. Will Trump’s die-hard supporters give him a pass over these selections? (Queue up “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.)

There are also the thousands of executive staff Trump will need to replace. Will he pull from the thousands of individuals with Washington experience who work as lobbyists, hill staffers and interest groups to fill those positions? Or will he bring in new blood from the heartland? I believe the former. Do you see where I’m going with this?

If President Trump truly wants to be successful, he needs experienced talent and there’s really only one pool to pull talented individuals – the establishment.

Candidate Donald Trump promised an agenda to make America great again during the campaign. Can President Donald Trump deliver on those promises? I believe he’s going to find it harder than he expected.

Do we really believe President Trump will be able to build an impenetrable wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it? Will President Trump sign an executive order banning all Muslims from entering the country? Can we expect President Trump to tear up NAFTA in one swift move?

His establishment cabinet and advisers are about to tell him just how hard governing really is.

The reality is President Trump has nothing to fear from the political left. He’s survived that battle and won. The real threat to a Trump administration is from those who wanted to burn Washington down. We’re about to find out how assimilated Donald Trump will become to the swamp he wants to drain.

Ted Cruz may prove right about Donald Trump’s northeastern values and mid-westerners may not be happy.

There is much to be hopeful and excited about however.

Republicans now control Washington, DC. Let me say that again. Republicans now control the Executive and Legislative branches of government. This is huge!

President Trump and the Republican Congress have a critical time frame to accomplish as much as possible and that starts with securing as much of the Judicial branch of government as possible.

The first 100 days of a Trump Administration means cleaning up the mess from the last eight and even 16 years. The Republican congress finally has a President who will not veto a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They need to drop that bill on Day 1.

President Trump has other monumental tasks that he can single-handily accomplish: rescinding the hundreds of executive orders of Barack Obama; tearing up the Iran Deal; changing leadership and overhauling the VA; reigning in the powers of the many regulatory agencies, and restoring morale among the men and women of our military branches. It’s a lot to do and he should not meet any resistance from a Republican Congress. In this area, he not only needs to be assertive. President Trump needs to be aggressive.

Getting the “relatively easy” tasks done quickly will allow President Trump to focus on his more long-term and ongoing agenda such as restoring the courts; protecting religious freedom; repealing Dodd-Frank; reorienting energy policy; rebuilding the military; reforming immigration; improving national infrastructure and improving international trade relations.

Finally, President Trump needs to avoid picking fights with Congress over politics. There is no time to waste on grudges or personality conflicts. The American people want major action and no drama. These types of antics will only send the GOP down a box canyon where they will be massacred in the 2018 mid-term elections.

While I was wrong about the election of Donald Trump, I hope I’m not wrong about President Trump. Like many movement conservatives, I will remain steadfast on principles and policy and speak up when I believe his administration is wrong.

Donald Trump deserves our congratulations, prayers and well-wishes. He has been chosen to carry out the single-most powerful job in the world and we must support him as the leader of the free world.

Congratulations President-Elect Donald Trump.

 

Donald Trump Must Step Aside

Donald Trump

I can no longer hold my tongue.

As a lifelong Republican who believes in a party that is far more principled on economic, international and social issues than the Democrat party, I can no longer diplomatically maneuver through the cesspool that our nominee has created.

Donald Trump must step aside.

Yes, Bill Clinton did some horrible things as President of the United States throughout the 1990’s. Many Americans gave him a second term despite all his liberal social policy positions and personal behavior. (I’m still angry at those who only cared about their wallets and gave Bill a pass when he was leading the charge in the collapse of our moral climate.)

But Bill Clinton is not running for President in 2016.

Don’t get me wrong. I will never vote to return Bill and Hillary Clinton to the White House.

It has now come to the point of full repulsion when trying to defend Donald Trump as the nominee. From all the conversations I’ve had with other lifelong conservative Republicans, I’m not alone.

We’re now 30 days from the General Election and time is running out.

The latest horrifying and disgusting revelations about Donald Trump have doomed the Republican nominee to lose this election, badly.

Trump supporters wanted to “burn the house the down” and now their fire is out of control. Some are even throwing more gasoline on the fire.

Down ballot Republicans are doomed – unless they denounce and distance themselves from the top of the ticket. Even Governor Mike Pence must be in self-preservation mode as he considers his life on Wednesday, November 9th.

I still have a lot of pent-up anger toward Republicans who gave Trump the nomination. Many of my fellow conservatives and I did everything we could to warn voters that nominating Trump would be disastrous to the GOP. We got tired of warning, begging and shouting and shoved that anger deep down inside when he became the nominee.

It’s time for a justified outburst – before it’s too late.

Donald Trump must step aside.

Anti-McCain Republicans Still Not Anti-McCain Enough to Defeat McCain

 
A quick review of the Primary Election numbers on the Republican US Senate Race shows that Senator John McCain had no real threat of losing the nomination, again.

John McCain

John McCain

I went back and reviewed the official canvass from 2010 and compared those numbers with yesterday’s unofficial election results.

Here’s the comparison:

August 24, 2010 Republican Primary Election
John McCain – 333,744 / 56.25%
JD Hayworth – 190,299 / 32.07%
Jim Deakin – 69,328 / 11.68%

August 30, 2016 Republican Primary Election
John McCain – 251,068 / 51.65%
Kelli Ward – 190,618 / 39.21%
Alex Melusky – 26,805 / 5.51%
Clair Van Steenwyk – 17,649 / 3.63%
Assuming votes for any of the 2010 and 2016 challengers were “anti-McCain” votes, those votes were still not enough to overcome a re-nomination of McCain. However, those numbers rose in 2016.

2010 Primary
John McCain – 333,744 / 56.25%
Anti-McCain – 259,627 / 43.75%

Kelli Ward

Kelli Ward

2016 Primary
John McCain – 251,068 / 51.65%
Anti-McCain – 235,072 / 48.35%

Of course, this assumes that voter registration and turnout models are the same (which they are not). As you can see, John McCain collected 82, 676 fewer votes than he did in 2010. He also lost 4.6% of his edge among Republican voters.

What does this mean moving forward?

John McCain will likely face his most difficult General Election ever.

Ann Kirkpatrick

Ann Kirkpatrick

In her last campaign finance reporting, Ann Kirkpatrick disclosed she has $2.3 Million in the bank. John McCain’s last report showed just over $5 Million cash on hand. Assuming he’s depleted a portion of that amount fending off Primary challengers, and, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee has allocated funds to Arizona, this will be McCain’s toughest campaign.

If we also consider the “Trump Factor” and the division in the Arizona Republican Party, Arizona Republicans run a higher risk of losing this US Senate seat to Ann Kirkpatrick.

Not surprising, those voting for Donald Trump may not vote for John McCain and those voting for John McCain may not be voting for Donald Trump.

I still see a divided Republican Party in Arizona between those who learned from the 2012 Presidential race and those who didn’t.

Republicans in Arizona are not united, and it’s still to be seen if they will be on November 8th.

Senator Jeff Flake Discusses Donald Trump

This week, Senator Jeff Flake made an appearance on KAET’s Horizon with Ted Simons. The interview was focused on the presidential candidacy and campaign of Donald Trump.

It’s no secret that Senator Flake has serious reservations, like many Republicans, about supporting Donald Trump.

Watch as Senator Flake shares his views on Donald Trump.

Arizona Political Consultants Comment on GOP National Convention

Several Arizona longtime political consultants weigh in on the finale of the Republican National Convention.

Thursday night, the Arizona PBS affiliate, KAET, featured local political consultants Constantin Querard, Chuck Coughlin and Stan Barnes discussed the GOP convention with Ted Simons on Horizon.

I applaud my colleague Constantin on giving a great assessment of the convention and taking a few tough questions. Hats off to Chuck and Stan for their great assessments as well.

Here is the video of their joint appearance:

Finally, I have to beg Stan Barnes to get on Twitter. We’re waiting for you Stan!

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham to Support Donald Trump for Republican Nominee

Arizona Republican Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lisa Gray (reposted from Facebook.)

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

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

Cruz vs Trump Math

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

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

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

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

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

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