A Governor and Three Candidates to Yuma

There’s a rumor going around that Wednesday’s trip by Governor Brewer and three statewide candidates who she has endorsed was piggybacked on to official business – paid for by Arizona taxpayers.

What has given this rumor legs is modern technology.

According to two sources, Michele Reagan, one of the three candidates sent out a tweet including a photo of her on a plane with an official state seal in the background. Once the photo was tweeted it was quickly deleted.

Brewer’s trip to Yuma was covered by local Yuma media.

Holly Sweet of the Yuma CBS affiliate, KSWT reported that Brewer had official business with Yuma city hall before heading to a political rally at the Kress Ultra Lunge with Scott Smith, Randy Pullen and Michele Reagan – all candidates who she has endorsed.

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Christy Wilcox also reported on the visit:

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The Yuma Daily Sun also covered the event which included a number of photos.

The Governor’s official website also posted nothing about an official visit to Yuma on her public calendar.

All this begs the following questions:

If media reported Governor Brewer making the trip as a meeting with Yuma City Hall, why would that visit not be listed on the official calendar?

Did Governor Brewer, Scott Smith, Michele Reagan all travel together to Yuma?

Did all three candidates travel with Governor Brewer together aboard an official government or chartered plane to Yuma?

If all three candidates traveled to Yuma with the Governor on an official state plane or chartered plane, will their campaigns reimburse the taxpayers of Arizona?

Is Governor Brewer lending the weight of her office to assist those candidates she has endorsed?

Finally, were there any members of the media who traveled with the Governor or the three candidates to and/or from Yuma?

We hope each of the campaigns and the Governor will clear up these questions.

 

Scott Smith Flips and Withers over Kyoto Protocol

The race for Arizona governor took to the national airwaves on Hugh Hewitt’s show today as the conservative talk show host took the former Mayor of Mesa to task over his record on the Kyoto Protocol.

The conversation originated as Hugh Hewitt discussed his op-ed in the Washington Examiner in which he made the case for electing Doug Ducey as Arizona’s next governor – “Unlike his ice cream, Doug Ducey won’t melt in Arizona’s political heat

Hugh lambasted Ducey’s main foe Scott Smith and Governor Jan Brewer as big government Republicans (Brewer endorsed Smith last week for his support of expanding Obamacare in Arizona.) In addition to Obamacare expansion, Hugh mentioned Smith’s support for Common Core and the Kyoto Protocol. Scott Smith Twitter trolls then began attacking Hewitt online which prompted more discussion about Smith’s record.

Scott Smith then tweeted to Hewitt to let him on the show so he (Hewitt) would learn something

Smith Hewitt Tweet

Hugh cleared the phone lines and invited the mayor to call in to discuss his positions.

Scott Smith called in and Hewitt then proceeded to cross-examine him on why he supported the US Conference Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (Kyoto Protocol) as the 1,000 signatory.

SmithUSConfKP

Smith then tried to argue why he signed off as the 1,000 mayor but wouldn’t mount a defense why he opposed provisions of the document.

Here’s the full audio of the call:

As the audio reveals, Scott Smith flipped and flopped over his support for the Agreement but then withered over his objections.

Hewitt pressed Smith if he even reviewed the the press release announcing his support of the agreement and why he didn’t demand a retraction, correction or clarification of his signature on Kyoto Protocol Agreement. Smith’s answer was he didn’t review it and didn’t want to cause waves.

Any listener who heard the exchange is left to believe that if Mayor Scott Smith was willing to sign off on the Kyoto Protocol without any protest, what kind of leadership could we expect from a Governor Smith when the EPA begins pressuring Arizona?

Call it a flip, flop or a wither. We don’t thing Scott Smith is up to the job of Governor.

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A follow-up: Negotiations appear to be taking place via Twitter for Smith to call in again to the Hugh Hewitt show on Tuesday. We’ll wait and see if that actually happens.

Speaker Heather Carter???

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

I guess I’m a little behind in the rumor mill but this just crossed my input lines. I’ll toss it out to all my legislator friends to confirm.

The rumor is that State Representative Heather Carter has her sights on the House speakership.

How would she accomplish this one may ask?

The first step is to obviously get re-elected to her seat.  Next, she needs the votes of all her Obamacare Republican seatmates. Chances are, a deal was cut sometime ago to whip those votes into place. Carter would then cut a deal with House Democrats to make sure the Republicans (note: these are the majority Republicans who did not vote for Obamacare expansion) don’t hold a majority when it comes to selecting leadership. That deal with Dems would likely include handing over committee chairmanships to Democrats.

The icing on the cake would be all the Brewer-endorsed Republican challengers who defeat the traditional conservative Republican incumbents in the Primary. If all these planets fall into alignment – and it’s not too unrealistic – Heather Carter would have the votes to become Speaker of the House.

This would be a HORRIBLE turn to the left that would take Arizona deep into the purple zone.

For those of you new to the politics of legislative leadership, this is nothing new. Every election, the backroom game is all about who will help who (sharing donors, etc) during the Primary election so that the helpee owes votes to the helper who wants into leadership. The last example of this occurred in 2012 when Steve Pierce used Republican “leadership” PAC money to attack conservative John Fillmore who was in a primary with liberal Rich Crandall. Pierce’s PAC money was successful and Crandall won – only to see him bail on his senate seat for a School Superintendent position in Wyoming (which he  ended up losing later – karma).

What’s the lesson in all this?

Obviously the first major takeaway is to make sure Heather Carter loses her primary race. I’m working on defeating her and I know others are too. But her defeat will be tough because the Governor, Chamber of Commerce and all the corporate cronyists have poured over $150,000 into her race. (You bet they want her as speaker!) Cut her off in the Primary and she is no longer a threat to taking Arizona public policy left.

The other big picture voters should see is that these primaries have become very personal to the Governor and those who supported her Obamacare expansion. For over a year conservatives have said Republicans and Governor Brewer would make Obamacare the litmus test for the 2014 election (Common Core later entered the debate). Well, its happening now. If the supporters of the Governor and her new recruits (challenging her opponents) win, the State of Arizona will take another horrible turn to the left as the rest of the country apparently turns to the right. So this election is about fulfilling promises to the Governor and protecting her legacy in bringing Obamacare expansion to Arizona.

My appeal to readers is this. Defeat the incumbent Obamacare Republicans and the Obamacare challengers in the Primary Election.

Put an end to the agenda of liberal Republicans who would drive Arizona leadership to the left.

Did She Really Tweet That? Tweets Reveal Christine Jones’ Position on Issues, People

All these revelations about Christine Jones’ flip-flopping and pandering on border security and immigration got us wondering if Ms. Jones may have made public statements in the past on other issues or about individuals that may come back to haunt her?

So of course, we explored the usual places – Google search, online news outlets, social media, etc – and what we found on her Twitter feed was very eye-opening.

(Side note: Let this be a lesson for anyone seeking a political job – especially one in which your statements are written in electronic concrete and the court of public opinion tries the candidate.)

Now one would think that the lead counsel for a high-profile internet company would know better than to leave comments and her digital fingerprints all over the web – especially if the thought of running for a high profile public office ever crossed her mind.  Or, perhaps this lack of political online savviness reveals more about her not-ready-for-primetime capacity? Nevertheless, what we discovered contradicts what her campaign is trying to present to Republican voters.

Here’s what we found:

All along, we suspected that Christine Jones was not Tea Party material. That became evident in a series of tweets in which she ridiculed or jabbed at the movement or its leaders:

In this tweet, Jones is shocked that longtime establishment Republican Senator Richard Lugar is defeated by a Tea-Party-backed candidate (Richard Mourdock) in the Indiana GOP Primary:

Christine Jones on Lugar

Jones also let us know how she felt about former Alaska Governor, VP candidate and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin when she tweeted this in response to another tweet:

Jones Palin

Jones’ tweet essentially ridicules Sarah Palin’s educational background and her capacity to lead.

In this next tweet, Jones tells us what she thinks about Ron Paul and his supporters:

Jones Ron Paul

And we know now that she is no fan of conservative talk show icon Rush Limbaugh when she affirmed Anderson Cooper’s shot at him:

Jones Rush

Then there’s Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio who she rolled her eyes when she tweeted this:

Jones Arpaio

And to add on to some prior posts, here’s what Jones said about Governor Brewer deciding on the fate of SB1070:

Jones SB1070

But wait! There’s more!

Did you know that as early as December, 2009 and January, 2010, Jones was advocating for repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and passage of gay marriage? Here’s a tweet in which she engaged John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain in a conversation over same sex marriage.

Jones Gay Marriage JonesDOMA

What flows out from the use of a Twitter handle reveals what flow forth from the heart of a potential gubernatorial candidate. Christine Jones is not who she says she is and conservative Republicans should heed the words tweeted from this candidate before she fools voters and leads Arizona in the wrong direction.

 

 

 

Scott Smith Jeopardizes A Governor Brewer Endorsement

Those who attended the latest gubernatorial debate Tuesday night probably caught this damning revelation by former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith regarding the performance of the current chief executive, Jan Brewer. In this stunning revelation Mayor Scott Smith says he doesn’t believe that state government has really been reformed under Governor Brewer’s leadership.

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At a time when each of the candidates are hoping for a coveted endorsement from Governor Brewer, comments like this deserve to put an endorsement out of play and out of reach for Mayor Smith.

 

A Priority for the Next Governor

NFIB/Arizona's Farrell Quinlan

NFIB/Arizona’s Farrell Quinlan

Three of Arizona’s five Democrat members of Congress last week joined all four of their Republican colleagues from the state to accomplish what a similar bipartisan majority in the Arizona Legislature did earlier this year: It loaded a badly needed shot in the arm for the small-business owners who generate almost every new job in the state and nation.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to make permanent a tax provision that would allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases, and some improvements to real property, instead of depreciating the costs over time. H.R. 4457, titled America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.

This change to Section 179 of the federal tax code, which overwhelmingly passed the House on a 272-144 vote, would prevent the expensing level to fall all the way to $25,000 in 2014, after being at $500,000 from 2010 through 2013. It also indexes the level to inflation. In addition, the House also passed a bill that eases the tax burden on small businesses that change from taxable C-corporate status to S-corporate status.

A quick sample of the small-business owners benefitting from the H.R. 4457 expensing levels would include:

  • Your local pizza shop owner who might want to install new ovens and countertops that cost $100,000. He could deduct these capital improvements the same year he makes them, instead of waiting for the current 39 years to get his full depreciation.
  • A farmer considering equipment purchases of $300,000 could do so with much more ease, knowing it could all be deducted the year she bought it, instead of only $25,000 of it the first year.
  • A contractor looking to buy two work vehicles costing $60,000 would be more inclined to do so. Under current law, only $35,000 could be deducted—spread over five years—instead of all of it immediately.

On June 12, Arizona Democrats Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert in supporting this pro-jobs legislation. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor, both Democrats, voted against H.R. 4457. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration.

Earlier this year, a similar tax relief act, House Bill 2664, passed the Arizona Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The legislation sponsored by state Rep. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) would have created an immediate state income tax allowance, similar to federal Section 179 expensing for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000.

In a tragic misreading of the needs of Arizona’s economy, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed HB 2664 because “the money would be better utilized” on her spending priorities. Undaunted, NFIB is committed to vigorously lobbying Arizona’s next governor and the new Legislature next session to finally realize our own $500,000 allowance to spur new job creation.

Last week’s strong bipartisan House vote to pass H.R. 4457 is very encouraging to small business, especially as demonstrated by the votes of Arizona’s congressional delegation. If Congress and the president do succeed in making it federal law, Arizona’s next governor must match it. If Washington fails, then establishing the small-business expensing allowance in Arizona’s tax code will be all the more critical.

Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

Scott Smith sends mixed message on immigration crisis

Scott SmithTuesday, gubernatorial candidate and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith announced he would race to the border Wednesday in order to meet with Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino. The reason for their meeting? – to hold a joint press conference to discuss the transportation and “dumping” of immigrant children by the Border Patrol in an old refurbished produce warehouse in Nogales.

In his statement, Mayor Scott Smith called the Obama Administration’s policy of dumping immigrants in Arizona a “failure of leadership” and “the absolute height of stupidity.” The former Mesa mayor also called for Washington to fix our broken border and immigration system.

Smith’s “rush to the border” and his subsequent message following the presser, seem to conflict with his longstanding position on immigration issues and even statements made by Nogales Mayor Garino who was supposedly at the same press conference as Smith.

It was Mayor Scott Smith who opposed Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration law through the passage of SB1070 in 2010. This is the same mayor who ran into trouble with Sheriff Joe Arpaio when it was discovered that the City of Mesa was contracting with companies who hired illegal immigrants. Apparently, now that Smith is running for higher office, he’s having to finesse his position to attract hard-line anti-immigration voters. A little pandering only goes so far. Well, maybe not so far in Santa Cruz County.

Smith was also in conflict with Mayor Garino’s statements on Monday when Garino said that all the children being held in the temporary warehouse were in good care and he was comfortable with their living conditions. Keep in mind that Mayor Garino’s record on immigration is quite dismal.  During a private meeting with President Obama, Garino told the president, “I have your back” on comprehensive immigration reform. Garino also argued that the border was secure and criticized illegal crossing prosecution. Yesterday, Garino told the Nogales International that federal officials informed him more children would be processed through the Nogales facility throughout the rest of the summer. He noted after a tour of the facility that, “Border Patrol was doing a great job.”

While the Obama Administration handed the State of Arizona another election year issue, Scott Smith is only nine days late to weigh in on the crisis. Since it was revealed that DHS and the US Border Patrol began the operation over two weeks ago, Arizona officials have already called for federal action. In fact, last Monday, Congressman Paul Gosar at the urging of Governor Brewer and State Treasurer, Doug Ducey, called for a congressional investigation with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the shipping and detention of immigrants in Arizona. Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, has pledged to look into the situation as quickly as possible.

Where gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith stands on this issue is anyone’s guess. His opposition to enforcement of immigration law as a mayor tells one story. His support for stronger enforcement as a candidate tells another story. It is an election year after all and finding the right message to appeal to voters is foremost in the mind of most candidates. Let’s hope the voters choose based on proven leadership rather than on finessed messaging.

Alliance Defending Freedom: Deception, distortion on SB 1062 results in veto

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Doug Napier regarding Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision Wednesday to veto SB 1062, a bill the state legislature recently passed to clarify Arizona’s 1999 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and bring it into conformity with federal law:

“Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed. Today’s veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona. Even though the battle has become more difficult, Alliance Defending Freedom stands ready to defend any Arizonan who suffers the indignity of religious discrimination.

Read Statement.

Cathi Herrod’s statement on the veto of SB 1062

PHOENIX – “Today’s veto of SB 1062 marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.

SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.

Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.

When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.

SB 1062 made certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest–a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993.

The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth.”

Governor Jan Brewer: Arizona to Keep Grand Canyon Open Amid Continued Federal Inaction

Governor authorizes state funding for additional 9 days           

            PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today announced the State of Arizona will continue funding Grand Canyon National Park in light of the continued federal government shutdown.

“Grand Canyon’s importance to Arizona’s tourism industry and overall economy cannot be ignored,” said Governor Brewer. “While I am pleased the state is able to ensure the Canyon remains open during this critical season, it is well past time for the federal government to end this shutdown and pay its bills. We are doing our job. It’s time the President and Congress do theirs.”

On Friday, the governor negotiated an agreement to reopen Grand Canyon for up to at least seven days using state and local monies. Under the terms of the agreement, the State of Arizona is paying $93,000 per day to the National Park Service to fully fund park operations. Governor Brewer today authorized the use of state dollars from the Arizona Office of Tourism to continue funding the Canyon for up to an additional nine days, through October 27, if the federal budget stalemate in Washington persists. If the shutdown ends prior to then, Arizona will be refunded for any unspent days.

Visitors to Arizona’s national parks have spent an average of $2.5 million a day during October in recent years – $1.2 million per day at Grand Canyon National Park alone.

The State of Arizona will seek support from members of its congressional delegation to authorize federal reimbursement of any state dollars expended to fund park operations during the shutdown.