Winkle for Mesa … In Tempe?

You would think that when you’re running for a local office that you would hold your events in the district, right? Apparently, Ryan Winkle who is running for Mesa City Council in District 3 would disagree!

Winkle is hosting an event that he’s calling a “Community Celebration,” in Tempe. Is that a slap in the face to the voters in Mesa’s 3rd District? We think so… That is the equivalent of someone running for the Phoenix City Council who campaigns in San Tan Valley. It just does not make sense!

Maybe he’s confused about what district and city he is actually going to represent?

Winkle, we know you’re young and naive, but if you’re running to represent people then please run in the district you’re aiming to represent. You are not running for Tempe City Council. The people of Mesa deserve better and deserve to know that you care about them and the issues facing the community. Evidently, you do not.

Jerry Lewis Won a Republican Primary

By Tyler Montague

A Response to Senator Steve Smith

In his comments about recall elections the other day, Senator Steve Smith said, “We just witnessed how the radical left has used the recall system to defeat an opponent they could not and would not have been able to defeat in a standard election.”

The publicly-funded, freshman Senator from Pinal County may have some useful ideas for reforming the recall process.  (I feel we should get rid of paid petition circulators for recall elections!)  But Smith’s reference to the Pearce/Lewis election demonstrates a lack of understanding of what happened on the ground in Mesa.  More harmful to Republicans is that perpetuation of the “leftist takeover” narrative by Smith and others prevents some of the analysis and valuable learning that should be happening as a result of Lewis’ victory. Neither a “flawed recall process” nor “the radical left” caused Senator Pearce’s defeat.

Lewis won by a 12-point margin.  The financials, the polls, and the final vote tallies stubbornly support the case that Lewis would have won if this election had been a Republican primary.

The numbers
Registered Democrats comprise only 26% of LD18; which means they can’t impose their will on anyone.  They accounted for 28% of the vote total in the recall election, and of those, it is estimated that 36% of Democrats voted for Russell Pearce.  Republicans have many more LD18 voters, who further amplify their influence with a tendency to vote at a much greater rate.    Republicans formed 49% of the vote.  Republicans and Independents did the heavy lifting to get to the 55%-43% final margin of victory.

The Arizona Capitol Times conducted a poll the week before the election and found that 36.4% of Democrats were planning to vote for Russell Pearce.  If you start with that assumption, then assume Independents voted roughly in proportion to the final totals, Republicans ended up voting 51%-49% in favor of Lewis.  The actual votes by party are not published, so we must use polling.  The 36% Democratic vote for Pearce, and the slight Republican advantage for Lewis are both consistent with the Capitol Times poll and internal polling conducted by the Lewis campaign.  It is possible that Lewis performed better than the polls said among Democrats or Independents, which would lower his percentage among Republicans.  But one has to remember that Independents are allowed to vote in a primary of their choice, so Lewis would still win in a hypothetical “primary” vote created by removing all Democratic votes from the total.

Poll-based assumptions, fitted to the official vote tally

Party

Pearce

Lewis

Cortes

 

Total

Pearce

Lewis

Cortes

DEM

36%

61%

2.42%

 

6472

2356

3959

157

GRN

10%

90%

   

36

4

32

0

LBT

50%

50%

   

147

73

73

0

OTH

41%

56%

2.36%

 

5097

2107

2870

120

REP

49%

51%

   

11459

5582

5878

0

                 

23210

10121

12812

277

Total

23210

10121

12812

277

It is impossible to know for certain how Lewis would have fared in a regular primary without the media attention, efforts by independent groups on either side, and without some of the trickery that ultimately backfired on Pearce.  The recall scenario didn’t break all in Lewis’ favor.  We know the special circumstances of the recall may have persuaded large numbers of Republicans to vote for Pearce, when they might have chosen another candidate in a normal primary.  They bought into the Pearce Campaign’s relentless arguments that the recall was a left-wing attack against the Republican Party, and that it was time for people to choose teams rather than evaluate candidates on merit.  It was a tactical error of the Lewis team to not counter by pointing out that Pearce himself had supported a recall effort against Sheriff Dupnik earlier in 2011 and said that the threshold for recalls was appropriately high.  We also could have reminded people that Pearce ally, EV Tea Party Chairman Greg Western, initiated a recall against fellow Republican Rich Crandall the year before.  Pearce’s hypocrisy, along with information like the ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court, which reaffirmed Constitutional language stating that recall elections do not require allegations of wrongdoing by elected officials, may have swayed some of those Republicans to drop their anti-recall-based support of Pearce. 

So what does it mean?
Many lessons of this election are portable.  The first point:  Pay attention to your constituents.  Pearce’s statewide and national list of endorsements was impressive, but Lewis lined up the majority of the leaders in Mesa, and voters trusted the people they know personally.  If donations were an indication of support, Lewis did a good job getting people in his district to invest in his campaign, and a review of Lewis’s donor list, debunks the “outside leftist radicals” story very nicely.  Lewis got 67% of his money from Mesa, 43% came from LD18, and only 2% from outside the state.  Even though he massively outspent Lewis, Pearce only got 4% of his money from LD18.  It doesn’t matter as much how popular you are beyond your constituency—they can’t vote for you.

The second point:  Priorities.  Voters felt that more attention needed to go to the economy and jobs and education.  Over and over again in meetings with small groups, voters said they felt like their priorities were taking a backseat to ideological hobbies.

A third point:  Voters said yet again in this election that they do not like dirty campaigning or angry politics.  The candidates at the top of the campaign can do a lot to set the tone, and can control their followers to a large degree.  The well-documented language and tactics used in this election may have made the final difference in the outcome.  You cannot take someone like Jerry Lewis, a highly respected, longstanding moral leader in the community, who as a seminary teacher had taught hundreds of students from hundreds of families throughout the district, and make scurrilous claims that “he steals from homeless children,” without being punished by voters for such offensive, unfounded, and overreaching slander.  Future candidates for office should look closely at this election and think long and hard about hiring consultants who promote such tactics.

Finally, any election involving Russell Pearce is also an election about immigration, and there are several things to learn here.  First is that people who oppose illegal immigration and support SB1070 and other tough laws, are not a mutually exclusive group separate from those who want solutions that would keep families together and let people rectify themselves with the law without necessarily deporting them.  There is significant overlap.  Dr. Bruce Merrill and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy released a survey last month of Arizonans that indicated 78% of heads of households favored, “…legislation that would allow these people to be put on a path to becoming American citizens if they have no criminal record either where they came from or here in Arizona if they pay a fine for coming into the country illegally, get a taxpayer I.D. number and demonstrate they can speak English.”  Republicans favored such measures by 69%.  Pearce and allies tout 70% support for SB1070, but then make the mistake of deriding those who oppose mass roundups or the equivalent of starve-outs as “open-border anarchists opposed to the rule of law.”  This alienates people, particularly those in the religious and business communities who feel we could tackle immigration problems in a way that solves the problem, helps the economy, and honors our Judeo-Christian values, without necessarily handing citizenship to millions who didn’t come here the right way.

Pearce’s tone on immigration alienates Hispanics.  Latinos favored Lewis by more than 3:1 according to polls.  That number alone should spark discussion about the way the Republican Party approaches the immigration issue.  Anyone looking at projected growth rates from the U.S. Census will see Hispanics’ rapidly growing role in American politics.  Many Hispanics are social conservatives with a tradition of working hard and wanting to keep the fruits of their labor—in other words, many Latinos should resonate to core messages of the Republican Party.  Yet they are put off by the angry rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate.  Arguments to secure the border and to deport felons or freeloaders make sense to most of us; but leaders who point to criminals as justification to round up farm workers and dishwashers present a non-sequitur that makes more sense to Hispanics when explained by xenophobia or racism.  While some Latinos support the approach championed by Pearce, one out of four Hispanic votes will not win the elections of the future for the Republican Party.  The approach championed by Pearce is politically short-sighted.  The Republican Party needs better leadership on the issue of immigration.

Spending too much time fretting over the recall provision in the Arizona Constitution will prevent conservatives from making the adjustments the Pearce recall should catalyze.

Tyler Montague is a lifelong Mesa resident who helped recruit and campaign for Jerry Lewis.  He currently serves as a vice-chair of the LD18 Republicans.

Senator Steve Smith on Future Recall Elections

By Senator Steve Smith

The following opinion piece appeared in the Arizona Republic on December 19th:

The Republican state senator talks about his plan to make it tougher to recall Arizona legislators.

Why do you want to make it more difficult to recall a state lawmaker? 

We just witnessed how the radical left has used the recall system to defeat an opponent they could not and would not have been able to defeat in a standard election. I believe this is a gross misuse of our recall system. I believe one should be recalled because of an egregious act committed or a proven inability to be effective in one’s job.

Do you expect the successful Pearce recall to open the floodgates of more recalls? 

Based on what has been said recently, this is clearly what the radical left wing is trying to do. They went after Russell Pearce and now they stated they are going after Governor Brewer, Sheriff Arpaio, and have threatened to do the same to other Republicans.

Do you think state government was harmed by losing Russell Pearce from the Legislature? 

Absolutely. Russell Pearce is an honest and fair man, and quite frankly, one of the best legislators this state has ever had. Under his leadership last session alone, we now have a jobs bill that will put more Arizonans back to work, a legitimately balanced budget for the first time in years, pension reform and much more.

You want to require signatures from a majority of voters in the district before a recall can be triggered. Why this approach? 

I believe the majority of the people (50 percent plus 1) should decide if an elected official should be recalled or not. Currently, 25 percent of the electorate is needed to initiate a recall, which means typically any political demographic can initiate the recall. The recall process should be a nonpartisan movement in which the majority of the people unify in response to an egregious act by the elected official.

Democrat attorney Paul Eckstein says lawmakers proposing this simply want to protect themselves from recall. Is this your motivation? 

I believe that if the right wing started using the recall system as the left wing has done and continues to do, Democrats like Paul Eckstein would soon agree with my position. Again, although a recall can be initiated for any reason, it should only be used when the majority of the people want it to occur.

Do you think the Pearce recall will soften the Legislature’s approach to immigration? 

No and nor should it. Remember, the people of Arizona have spoken time and again at the ballot box about this issue. Each time there has been a proposition relating to cracking down on illegal aliens, Arizonans by very wide margins (over 70 percent in most instances) have voted in favor of doing so.

Do you think your caucus will be able to work with recall winner Jerry Lewis? 

The Republican caucus is a strong and mighty force with many moral, constitutionally sound, and patriotic leaders. Although Russell Pearce will be greatly missed, I believe the Republican caucus will continue to effectively lead Arizona.

What do you think will be the important consequences of the Pearce recall? 

The biggest consequence of course is the loss of Russell Pearce for this upcoming session. Beyond that, other consequences would be that maybe others will decide to play dirty like the Democrats did and will initiate recalls.

Guest Opinion: Winner of Arizona Senate Recall: Immigration Law Not the Issue

Very interesting perspective on the election of Jerry Lewis in the recent recall election. The article, appearing in Human Events, was written by Political Editor, John Gizzi, who explains that liberals are all wrong about the conclusion of Lewis’ win.

There are plenty of new revelations in the article that I certainly missed during the campaign leading up to the election. In fact, Mr. Lewis’ comments in this article completely validate my earlier points that the recall was overwhelmingly about style over substance. Given Lewis’ comments in this article, I have to wonder if Randy Parraz and fellow recallers now regret their decision to help Jerry Lewis get elected?

Here is that article:

Since the nationally watched recall election last month that resulted in the ouster of the architect of Arizona’s controversial illegal immigration law, the liberal media has been claiming a major victory. Because former State Senate President Russell Pearce was a conservative Republican, goes the crowing from the Left, his defeat was a blow to the Right and to SB 1070, the Pearce-crafted measure signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer last year that permits police to ask for immigration papers if they have “reasonable suspicion” someone is in the U.S. illegally.

But that analysis and conclusion over what happened in Pearce’s Mesa district Nov. 8 is pure moonshine.

Veteran state legislator Pearce was ousted by a fellow conservative stalwart named Jerry Lewis. When we got done repeating all the quips about his being mistaken for the world-famous comedian, and how he met up with the former Arizona state treasurer named Dean Martin (“Arizona’s own Martin and Lewis team”), the 55-year-old Lewis told HUMAN EVENTS last week about his own conservative philosophy, and what led him to finally run in the race after initially saying, “No way.”

“When [Pearce] was exploring a bid for Congress for the seat of Jeff Flake [who is running for the U.S. Senate], a number of people urged me to run for his state senate district,” said Lewis, a nine-year stake president in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and superintendent of the Sequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning charter school. “I said, ‘No, thank you,’ that I wasn’t a politician and wasn’t interested in running.”

Earlier this year, Pearce opted against a congressional race. But a movement known as Citizens for a Better Arizona secured thousands of signatures from voters, surpassing 25% of those who voted in the last election, as Arizona law requires for a recall, and thus placed question of his continued tenure in the senate on the November ballot.

Regarding the recall movement, Lewis told us: “I never supported it and would not sign the petition. I felt that whatever people thought of the incumbent, he had not violated any laws, and you knew where he stood.”

Lewis decided to run, he told us, “Because I saw too much time and money spent by politicians attacking one another, and too little attacking issues voters cared about.” He added that his much-voiced distaste for career politicians finally convinced him “to step up to the plate and do something about them.” Pearce, a former deputy sheriff, has served in the state house and senate, and was once state motor vehicles commissioner.

In campaigning for Pearce’s seat, Lewis emphasized the themes of the economy and employment, calling for lower taxes—the legislature’s vote to reduce taxes on corporations was “a step in the right direction,” he said—and eliminating regulations that keep businesses from creating jobs in the state. In addition, the longtime charter school leader called for greater choice for parents in education.

Did he oppose the immigration law that is Pearce’s signature cause? Lewis replied without hesitation: “No, not at all. [SB 1070] certainly raised the specter of awareness on this issue among voters, and it was a proper response to the problem, considering that no one else—no one at the federal or state level—is doing anything about the problem.”

But, he added, “I still believe it wasn’t a balanced approach. Before taking a step like this, I would have said, ‘Secure the borders first.’ And then our congressional delegation has to force the issue and engage the federal government in stopping illegal immigration.”

Lewis said that as much as voters agreed with 1070, many also felt that Pearce was focusing too much on illegal immigration and not enough on jobs and the economy. Last month, Lewis unseated Pearce with 54% of the vote. When he was sworn in days ago, Lewis formally declined to participate in the pension program for state legislators, saying that voters should not be burdened with paying for his retirement.

The inevitable final question from us was whether, with such a recognizable and well-liked name, would Jerry Lewis consider a bid for higher office?

“No way,” he shot back. “I’m not a career politician, remember?”

Republican Winning Equals Democrats Losing

By Jake Brown

How bad are things for the Arizona Democratic party these days? Apparently, it’s bad enough that they are celebrating Republican victories.

Democrat party chairman, Andrei Cherny, wrote of the recall of state Senator Russell Pearce, “Doesn’t it feel good to start winning again?” Sorry to rain on your parade, Andrei, but conservative Republican, Jerry Lewis, won that election. In fact, Democrats didn’t even bother to field a candidate against Russell Pearce.

I was always told you can’t win unless you play the game, but apparently that’s not how things work if you are an Arizona Democrat.

It is far-fetched to say the least that Democrats can claim this as a victory in Arizona, much less interpret the November 8th election results as foreshadowing Democratic victories in the 2012 election. No Democrat won in LD 18 because no Democrat ran in LD 18. Someone needs to help Andrei connect the dots.

Let’s be clear: Pearce lost because he’s an unlikeable guy who ran a lousy campaign fraught with dirty backroom games like recruiting sham candidate Olivia Cortez. Voters of all parties see through that—and no voter should stand for such tactics. Jerry Lewis’s victory was one for Republicans, who last week welcomed a thoughtful, fresh voice into their fold.

So, Andrei, celebrate our GOP state Senate victory all you want. We just hope you’ll be as thrilled when Jeff Flake gets elected to the U.S. Senate.

KAET’s Horizon Interview with Senator-Elect Jerry Lewis

Phoenix, Tucson, Recall Elections: Predictions Anyone?

Here’s your chance to make predictions regarding the outcome of the elections. (Please keep it civil!)

Weekend Vids: Schapira vs. Kavanagh, Lewis vs. Pearce & Gullett vs. Stanton

What Jerry Lewis Really Thinks About Mesa and Arizona

Aborting for a better life?


Aborting for a better life?

Abortion advocates promote many myths and falsehoods to sell abortions. One of the most offensive results of legalized abortions remains the fact that up to 80-90% of preborn children with Down syndrome are aborted. If a baby is diagnosed in utero with having or being at risk for having Down syndrome, the parents often are advised strongly that the “humane” thing to do is abort the child. The so-called medical professionals and pro-abortion advocates also will say an abortion will spare the parents a life full of hardships.

Yet like most things that come from the deceptive pro-abortion crowd, this is completely wrong – and the research proves it. A recent study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics surveyed 2,044 parents of children with Down syndrome and found that 99% reported that they love their son or daughter; 97% were proud of them; and 79% felt their outlook on life was more positive because of them.

Somehow our opponents have lost sight of the value of all life. CAP Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby writes more about these studies on the Foundations blog.

Summing Up the Values Voters Summit

Last weekend, I attended the Values Voters Summit. I listened closely to seven of the eight candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination. I also had the chance to meet with 21 of my Family Policy Council colleagues from across the country to discuss what’s happening in our states and look ahead toward 2012.

Each speaker voiced grave concerns about the future of our country and the critical importance of the 2012 elections. The number of opportunities we face is only matched by the number of challenges we face. My prayer is that the turnaround and victories we’ve experienced in Arizona will carry over to Washington, D.C., and the rest of the nation. Each of us must stay informed this election season, register voters, and be sure to turn out to vote when the time comes. Most importantly, we must all remember to pray daily for our state and nation.

The Best Interests of the Child

The U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to hear a case from a same-sex couple in Louisiana that was trying to force the state to list both adults on a child’s birth certificate as parents. Louisiana, like Arizona, only allows for two people to be listed as the parents of a child if they are a married man and a woman (both states allow for singles to adopt, too). The Court’s decision not to hear the case means that an earlier ruling upholding Louisiana’s adoption laws stands.

While the courts haven’t always been friendly to those of us that recognize the importance of marriage and family to our culture, this was a welcomed victory.

Recall Election Voter Guide Now Available

CAP has surveyed the two candidates in the upcoming Legislative District 18 Special Recall Election and posted the Voter Guide to azvoterguide.com. Click here to access it.

Will I see you on October 29?

The Faith in Action Tour is two weeks away on October 29. Dr. Del Tackett, along with more than 30 local community service organizations will be joining CAP at Bethany Bible Church from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. So far, we’ve already had more than 800 people register for this unique event. Space is limited and you won’t want to miss it! Click here to get yours!

Catch me on Radio Shine

Just reminder to tune-in to 90.9 FM every Friday morning or afternoon to catch me on the CAP Family Minute on Radio Shine.