Scott Smith – Only Gubernatorial Candidate Who Supports Common Core

Of all the GOP candidates seeking the highly coveted governor’s seat, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith doesn’t try very hard to hide is support for Common Core. Oh, sure, he’s fallen in line with the establishment’s politically correct makeover of Common Core’s name change. But he is on the record as being that one GOP candidate furthest on the left on Common Core and education in general. And he’s in good company and much aligned with those Republican legislators now in trouble for abandoning the Republican majority to support big government, democrat-supported policy shifts.

So why would a candidate who wants to win the GOP primary run furthest on the left from the rest of the pack? Maybe he’s received bad political advice. Or possibly Smith is so accustomed to running as an establishment candidate. Or perhaps he’s never run in an actual GOP statewide primary that requires firing up the base unlike a city election. One can only guess.

But the obvious observation is that Scott Smith is the more liberal candidate on education issues who is seeking the Republican nomination. And this stands out in his support for Common Core.

Here’s an excerpt from an answer he gave back in March at a Mohave County candidate forum when asked about his position on Common Core:

One blatant revelation is Smith’s condemnation of Arizona’s performance in education. For someone running to replace a Republican Governor with a state education system headed by another Republican, this is simply bad form to indirectly blame Republican executive leadership.

But is what Smith says about Arizona’s education system even true? Is Arizona really at the bottom of the list on all education measurements? The answer is it depends on what you’re measuring, when you’re measuring and who you’re measuring. Anyone can jump on the National Center for Education Statistics website, plug in the variables and see where Arizona ranks. It’s not impressive but then again, it’s not dismal as Smith suggests. Arizona has made tremendous strides when it comes to education reform in the charter and school choice movement – and its helping to our rankings but more important, it’s helping our children.

But Arizona does have a problem as we’ve pointed out before. We’re paying a ton of money into the system and not getting a good return on our investment. For example, Arizona roughly spends $8,900 per pupil (2013 ADE financial reports). With average classroom size set at 25, $222,500 should be designated per classroom (in the most direct sense). We know that there are other costs but even considering non-classroom related costs, we’re talking about a lot of money that should be going to the classroom that simply is not. That needs to be fixed and Republicans have been working on that for years despite voracious attacks by teacher unions every single session.

Common Core will make matters worse – a lot worse. With a federally driven, top-down approach to educating students, one can imagine what another federal program will do to waste money, time and the lives of our precious children. Scott Smith wants Common Core and he wants the same old big-government approach to educating our children. AIMS was a disaster. No Child Left Behind was a mistake and now Common Core is trying to dig deeper into Arizona’s education system. If Scott Smith gets elected, it will be business as usual and the education establishment wants it and expects it. The next governor of Arizona needs to push back against the Obama’s Department of Education and reject Common Core. Scott Smith won’t do that and its the reason we want you to reject Scott Smith for governor.

Our question is, if all the national conservative organizations (listed below) oppose Common Core, why would any Republican candidate running for Governor in Arizona support it?

Heritage Foundation

CATO Institute

Heartland Institute

Goldwater Institute

Family Research Council

American Enterprise Institute

Americans for Prosperity

Concerned Women for America

RNC-GOP Resolution regarding Common Core

Quiz: Match the Music Video with the Gubernatorial Candidate Campaign

I’m poking a little fun at the Arizona gubernatorial candidates by matching music (or commercial) videos with my take on their campaigns. So here goes. Try to match the music video with the gubernatorial candidate:

Which gubernatorial candidate is playing a high stakes game of political wannabe using her best poser face?

One particular gubernatorial candidate could take a lesson from this rock icon. (And I bet he can even perform as well!)

This gubernatorial candidate hails from the place where this commercial originates and says to speak the language of the fans. 

This song is the theme for which former mayor’s gubernatorial candidate’s campaign? Hint: A tale of two cities.

This gubernatorial candidate is so “hot” no one wants to stand near him!

Finally, this gubernatorial candidate will be singing this on Tuesday night, August 26th.

 

Most Recent Arizona Gubernatorial Ads

Here are the most recent gubernatorial ads for your review and comment. Note, production and airing for these ads is being paid for by money raised from donors, money from the candidate’s own pocket or from Arizona taxpayers through the Clean Elections system. Can you tell which?

Andrew Thomas – July 17, 2014

Ken Bennett – July 16, 2014
http://youtu.be/-0x6b3jL1eI

Christine Jones – July 15, 2014

Scott Smith – July 15, 2014

Frank Riggs – July 15, 2014

Doug Ducey – July 8, 2014

Fred DuVal – April 17, 2014

Let us know what you think!

State Senator Al Melvin’s Statement On Withdrawing From Governor’s Race

Al Melvin

“Our Cause Is More Important Than Any One Person”

Citing his campaign’s pace in collecting $5 contributions, and certain that Clean Elections funding would not be received in time for the start of early balloting, State Senator Al Melvin has formally withdrawn from the race for Arizona Governor, filing the required documents with the Arizona Secretary of State. His official statement is below:

“I had planned on having more time to decide my campaign’s future, but I was alerted by the Secretary of State’s office that while Maricopa County’s deadline to withdraw was June 27th, the remaining counties had their own early deadline and a decision had to be made by today. So after prayerful consideration with my wife and closest advisors and supporters, I filed the necessary documents with the Secretary of State’s office to formally withdraw from the race.

This was a difficult decision but one that I am at peace with. It was difficult because I believe so passionately about the principles we were campaigning for and because, as other candidates can attest to, you feel a tremendous responsibility to not let down your supporters and all those who have contributed time and treasure to the effort. At the same time, I am at peace with the decision because in spite of our efforts we were not going to be able to win the race, and no one who believes in our shared conservative values wants to see conservatives split the vote and allow a liberal to claim our party’s nomination.

Our cause is more important than any one person. For that reason it is time to end this particular campaign. But this is not the end of our fight for secure borders, high Arizona education standards instead of Common Core, tax relief, Texas-style Tort Reform, Universal School Vouchers, an energy policy that addresses Arizona’s long-term needs and economic health, and more. I look forward to seeing everyone on the campaign trail soon, and for years to come.”

Arizona race for governor: Next stop, White House?

By Daniel Scarpinato

Arizona has long had an outsized spot on the national political stage, and that will likely put our next governor right smack in the middle of a pretty big spotlight.

Since 1964, we’ve had four prominent figures from our state run for president. Our political leaders often find themselves household names: John McCain, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jan Brewer. From SB1070 to the recent debate over SB1062, Arizona has been at the tip of nearly every major national issue of the last four years.

And our footprint is likely to increase.

We are growing in population and influence. When my parents moved here in 1978, our state had only six presidential electoral votes. Today, we have 11. In the next decade, we’ll probably have even more.

Recently, we haven’t been viewed as a competitive presidential state, but we could be. Bill Clinton won Arizona in 1996. The Southwest is where it’s at for future presidential elections.

All that makes the stakes extremely high in this year’s race for governor.

Why? Because our state’s next chief executive will have the opportunity to funnel these political realities into a national platform that could be significant for themselves and for us.

Think of it this way: Only 50 men and women in our entire country of 315 million people are executives of states.

Reporters who cover the yearly gathering of the National Governors Association will tell you that they can count on one hand the number who are impressive. Hence, governors – even of itty-bitty states – are instantly seen as credible contenders for leader of the free world. Think Howard Dean (from Vermont, the second-smallest state in America) or Sarah Palin (from Alaska, which has fewer residents than metropolitan Tucson).

So why haven’t recent Arizona governors been the subject of such speculation? For many reasons, but one big one: In the last 25 years, only two governors came to office elected in their own right. One resigned early (Fife Symington) and the other left to work for Obama (Janet Napolitano). The two who inherited the office – Jane Hull and Jan Brewer – made clear they were at the tail-end of their careers.

What am I getting at here?

Of the major gubernatorial candidates – Republican and Democrat – the median age is only 54. If the eventual victor is smart, competent and stays out of trouble, he or she could easily be a player on the national scene. And don’t even be surprised if you hear his or her name tossed out for President or Vice President.

Arizona congressman-turned-presidential candidate Mo Udall once joked that “Arizona is the only state where mothers don’t tell their children they can grow up to be President.”

That was back before the Brady Bunch was even in reruns, but four decades later, a new crop of Arizona moms are still waiting for that opportunity.

(Editor’s Note: Daniel Scarpinato is a native Tucsonan, former political reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, and current National Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C.)

Frank Riggs Supports Veterans Choice Act

Frank Riggs
Cave Creek, AZ – 
Gubernatorial candidate, former U.S. Congressman and Army veteran Frank Riggs today applauded Arizona’s U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, and their colleagues Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC), for introducing the Veterans Choice Act in the wake of the continuing VA scandal.  The bill will provide veterans with choice and flexibility in medical providers, and increase transparency and tighten accountability of the VA.  “The VA health care system is clearly overwhelmed and broken,” Riggs said.  “Routine VA health care should be contracted to private providers so that existing VA facilities can be used for acute and in-patient care, and the swollen VA bureaucracy should be held to account for the delays in care and manipulation of records systemic throughout the VA, as highlighted by the inexcusable and unconscionable practices at the Phoenix VA Hospital.”

Riggs served in Congress with Coburn and Burr.  He was instrumental in obtaining funding for a VA outpatient clinic at Travis Air Force Base and helped spare that Military Airlift Command installation from the first round of base closure cuts.  Riggs will use that firsthand experience to protect Arizona’s vitally important military installations, including Luke AFB, Fort Huachuca and Davis-Monthan AFB.

Riggs is the only candidate for Governor who has served in both the armed forces and Congress.  “It’s clear more than ever, we need an experienced, tested and trusted leader in the Governor’s office with a proven conservative record,” Riggs said.  “We can’t trust the highest office in our state to someone who’s a blank slate with no legislative record whatsoever to back their rhetoric and promises.”  For more on the Riggs Record go towww.riggsforazgov.com.

Full text of the Veterans Choice Act

Sheriff Joe Arpaio will not run for Governor

Will Campaign for another Election for Sheriff

PHOENIX, AZ – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio released the following statement today about his decision regarding the Governor’s race in Arizona:

“I cannot in good conscience leave the Sheriff’s office now, since that would be necessary if I declare a candidacy for Governor. Currently, I have several sensitive investigations in progress and am facing many challenges in my office. Because of this, I will not desert the people of Maricopa County who have elected me six times. Further, I cannot desert my dedicated employees.”

Arpaio continued, “As I mentioned the night of my re-election in 2012, I stated that I would run again for Sheriff in 2016. So many have already supported my campaign for another term, having already raised over $4.2 million in the last 16 months.”

“I am a warrior who will continue to fight for the people of Maricopa County and my office. I know during the past years if I ran for Governor, I would have won. Recent polls still show my approval rating among Republicans between 85-90% and consistently over 60% among all voters. But personally, it was not in my cards. My wife of 57 years, Ava, has always supported me and will continue to support me no matter what office I run for.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term in November 2012. In January of 2015, Sheriff Arpaio will be the longest serving elected Sheriff in Maricopa County history.

Senator Al Melvin’s Remarks at AZGOP Dinner

For those who were unable to attend, the Melvin campaign put together a 2 1/2 minute video featuring the highlights of State Senator Al Melvin’s speech to the gathered GOP faithful.  If you have wanted to see and hear more from Al, this video makes for a very solid introduction.

 

Doug Ducey Gubernatorial Exploratory Committee Ends Year with Unprecedented Fundraising Results

Doug Ducey Shows Fundraising Firepower
Raises more than $1 million for exploratory gubernatorial campaign in 2014

PHOENIX (January 6) – Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey today announced his exploratory campaign for governor has raised more than $1,050,000 in 2013 – an unprecedented amount for a statewide exploratory committee in a nonelection year. He begins the year with $923,000 cash on hand.

“I’m incredibly humbled and grateful for the support shown for my exploratory campaign for governor,” Ducey said. “I’ve traveled to many corners of the state over the last several months and it’s clear that the vision for a stronger Arizona is resonating.

“Arizonans are ready to embrace a stronger economy, brighter education system and a leaner government, and I’m excited and ready to help lead us there.”

Key Points:

  • The majority of funds were raised under the old, lower limits of $912/person and $1,824/couple during the court-imposed stay. 
  • There’s substantial room for further fundraising now that maximum limits have been reinstated to $4,000/person and $8,000/couple. 
  • Funds were raised by nearly 1,000 individual donors, 80 percent of which were less than $1,000 and 40 percent were $500 or less.

For more information on Doug Ducey’s exploratory committee, please visit www.dougducey.com.

New Poll Shows Competitive Republican Primary Race, Approvals

Susquehanna Polling & Research Poll Finds Bennett in the Lead

Phoenix, AZ, DEC. 10, 2013—Current Secretary of State and former Senate president Ken Bennett is the early favorite in the upcoming Republican primary for governor, according to the latest poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research. He leads with 20% of the vote in a potential 6-way primary against State Treasurer Doug Ducey (8%) and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith (6%), who is still an undeclared candidate. Both Christine Jones, former GoDaddy attorney and Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County attorney, have 4% of the vote each. Al Melvin, a current state senator from Tucson is last at 2%, while 53% remain undecided.

The following points include key findings from the poll, which was conducted from November 27th to December 4, 2013:

  • “Given the high undecided, it’s still way too early to predict a victory for anyone,” Jim Lee, President of Susquehanna Polling & Research said. However, because Bennett is the favorite with the Latter Day Saint (LDS) community and the tea party, his support will be harder to crack than other business and establishment type candidates. On the other hand, both Ducey and Jones are expected to raise millions of dollars to increase their statewide name ID (not including IE’s), while Bennett is relying on public funds. To their advantage, both Ducey and Bennett have experience running a statewide race. However, there is also a chance they will split the conservative vote, opening the door for Jones. “In a six-way race with at least four of the six considered formidable, whichever candidate gets 25% to 35% of the vote could be the winner in a low turnout type election typical of primaries,” Lee said.
  • Regardless of who wins the primary, two potential matchups of GOP candidates against presumptive Democratic nominee Fred DuVal shows both Bennett and Ducey with small leads over their Democrat opponent. Bennett leads DuVal 38-33, while Ducey leads DuVal 36-33. Both Bennett and Ducey do equally well against DuVal with Republicans, at 64-10 and 60-9, respectively. One of DuVal’s advantages could be the absence of a contested primary and the ability to harness resources, while a competitive and hotly contested GOP field could produce a damaged GOP nominee. “Nonetheless, the closeness of both races show that the governor’s race next November could be very competitive regardless of whom the nominees are,” Leslie Kelly, Regional Director of Business Development said.
  • Another question that may give insights into the race is the poll’s right direction/wrong track question. Currently, 49% say Arizona is headed in the wrong direction, while 39% say the state is on the right track. This negative result could suggest a sentiment for change, or some discontent with the status quo which potentially benefits DuVal and/or the Democrats if they campaign as agents of change with a new direction for the state. Republicans say the state is going in the right direction by a 51-36 margin, while Democrats lean “wrong” track by a 66:20 or better than a 3:1 margin. Independents are nearly divided (42-49 in favor of wrong track).

Methodology

This poll was conducted by Voter Survey Service, a division of Susquehanna Polling and Research in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Completed interviews were conducted November 27-December 4, 2013 with 600 registered voters, all of whom have vote history in past general elections (i.e., G2012, G2010 and/or G2008). Calls are made from a voter registration list purchased from our telephone list vendor, Labels & Lists, specializing in updated voter registration records for the state of Arizona. The sample frame was a landline telephone sample, with mixed modality including interviews conducted via live telephone agents using our professionally-trained survey research staff from our telephone call center in Harrisburg, as well as interviews conducted with automated polling software. Interviews are conducted randomly using probability-based sampling designs and closely monitored to ensure a representative sample of Arizona’s electorate is achieved based on geography, gender, age, party affiliation and other demographics; results are sometimes statistically weighted to account for either non-response or coverage bias. This poll was not paid for by any political party, candidate for public office or other group and was conducted mainly for public
dissemination and internal analysis.

The margin of error for a sample size of 600 interviews is +/-4.00% at the 95% confidence level.

© Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc. is a nationally known survey research and polling firm for both candidates for public office (GOP only) as well as various corporations, association clients and media outlets. Voter Survey Service (VSS) is a division of SP&R and conducts surveys in more than a dozen states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, West Virginia and others. SP&R recently served as the pollster for Mayor-elect Don Guardian in his historic upset victory in the 11/5 mayoral election in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
More information about our firm can be found at www.susquehannapolling.com.

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