Statement by McCain, Kyl, Flake & Gosar on Arizona Wildfires

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2011

Joint Statement by Senators John McCain, Jon Kyl and Congressmen Jeff Flake and Paul Gosar

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and Congressmen Jeff Flake (AZ-06) and Paul Gosar (AZ-01) today released the following statement regarding the Arizona wildfires:

“Arizona is currently facing the worst wildfire season in its history. After touring the devastation in eastern Arizona, we would like to express our gratitude to the brave firefighters, first responders, and public lands personnel who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to preserve communities, homes, and our natural habitats.

“During our tour of the damaged areas caused by the Wallow Fire on Saturday, we were briefed by senior Forest Service officials, one of whom informed us that some wildfires in Arizona (across our southern border) are regrettably caused by drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. This statement is consistent with what we’ve been hearing for years, as well as testimony by the Forest Service and media reports dating back as far as 2006.

“While Arizonans continue to face the enormous challenges related to these wildfires, it’s unfortunate that some are inserting their political agenda into this tragedy.”

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Kirk Adams announces campaign for Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2011
CONTACT: Chad Heywood

Senator Jon Kyl endorses Adams, will serve as Honorary Chairman

Mesa, Arizona – Kirk Adams is excited to announce today his campaign to represent the East Valley in Congress, pledging to bring the same conservative principles and tough decision-making he exhibited as Arizona Speaker of the House back to Washington.

“I’ve taken on the unions, the lobbyists, the career politicians and the voices of stagnation here in Arizona, and I intend to take them on in Congress,” Adams said. “We can’t afford to kick the can down the road anymore. We need someone who will fight to cut spending, reform entitlements, secure our border and return to the founding principles of our Constitution before it’s too late.”

Adams is also proud to have the support of Senator Jon Kyl, who is endorsing Adams and will serve as the campaign’s Honorary Chairman.

“Senator Kyl is a mentor and a hero of mine, and I’m humbled and thrilled to have him as part of this campaign,” Adams said.

Senator Kyl, a national conservative leader, said Adams is the candidate he trusts to fight for the East Valley and conservative principles.

“Kirk is exactly the kind of fresh, conservative leader we need to send to Congress to stand up for our principles. He’ll make an outstanding congressman. My only regret is that I won’t be there to serve with him when he’s elected,” said Kyl.

Adams, a husband, father and a small businessman, is a lifelong resident of the East Valley. After building a successful property and casualty insurance business, Adams was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2006 hoping to craft conservative policies to make Arizona a better place for his family.

But he soon found himself frustrated by the failed attempts of the Republican majority to stop the liberal policies of Janet Napolitano and the Democrats. So, Adams decided to run against the veteran Speaker of the House after only one full term in office on a pledge of more aggressively pushing a conservative agenda and bringing more transparency to the Legislature.

Adams shocked political observers, when at only 35 years of age, his long-shot bid was successful – making him the youngest Speaker in Arizona’s history.

In his three years in the top leadership post in the House, Adams turned the tide. In the aftermath of Janet Napolitano’s spending spree, Adams negotiated and authored the first structurally balanced budget in at least five years – and without any accounting gimmicks or debt financing. In total, Adams pushed more than $3 billion in spending cuts through the House.

Adams’s Jobs Bill resulted in the largest permanent tax cut in Arizona history. Adams even took on the public-employee unions, authoring and passing a top-to-bottom reform of the state pension system to free taxpayers from ever increasing liabilities. And as Speaker, Adams helped ensure the passage of SB1070 and make sure it was defended both in the court of law and against the liberal media and national boycott groups.

“Our country is at a turning point,” Adams said. “If we don’t return to the founding principles of our Constitution and make tough decisions now to drastically cut spending and reform government, we will soon be living in an America we don’t recognize. I’ve got the record to prove I’m not afraid of taking on the old guard, the liberals and the media in order make the tough decisions necessary to save our country.”

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Jon Kyl to retire. What next?

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn to Republicans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does Kyl, McCain coming out against sales tax hike doom Prop. 100, Brewer’s primary hopes?

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 8, 2010

JOINT STATEMENT BY SENATORS JOHN McCAIN AND JON KYL REGARDING PROP. 100

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) released the following joint statement regarding Proposition 100:

“We appreciate the hard work that the Governor and the Legislature have done to try to solve the state’s fiscal problems, and though we hadn’t planned to comment on what is rightly a state issue – the proposed increase in the state’s sales tax – we’ve been asked by various news media for our views.

“We support the right of Arizonans to decide the issue of a short-term sales tax increase on the local level.  However, as Arizonans and Americans across our nation continue to face perilous economic times, we fundamentally oppose increasing taxes on small businesses and working families.

“We recognize the difficult fiscal situation Arizona finds itself in and we appreciate the tireless dedication by our state’s elected officials to solve the budget problems.”

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Please post the McCain vs. Hayworth comments on the prior post… here, let’s discuss what the Sonoran Alliance‘s readership thinks of the prospects for passage of Proposition 100… and, for that matter, the prospects for Jan Brewer’s campaign to capture the GOP nomination for governor if the sales tax increase fails on May 18th?   — MBW