Hear 5-Minute Stump Speeches from 29 Arizona GOP Candidates!

uvs140316-001Here’s a chance to see and hear from no less than 29 Arizona elected-office candidates, all in one place. It’s like speed-dating for politicians(!).

On March 15, 2014, the Sun City West Republican club sponsored a well-run Candidates Forum in which each candidate packed all he/she could in a 5-minute appeal to Arizona voters.

The full article and videos are at this link.  You can hear them all or use time sliders to pick the candidates of your choice. Included, in order of appearance, are:

Michael Jeanes, candidate, Arizona Clerk of Courts
Sandra Dowling, candidate, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Clint Hickman, candidate, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Elbert Bicknell, candidate, Maricopy Country Health Care District #4
Jean McGrath, candidate, Marcopa County Community College District #4
John Heep, candidate, Marcopa County Community College District #4
Bonnie Katz, candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Lucy Mason, candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Diane Douglas, candidate, AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jeff Dewit, candidate, Arizona State Treasurer
Randy Pullen, candidate, Arizona State Treasurer
David Livingston, candidate, AZ Representative LD22
Phil Lovas, candidate, AZ Representative LD22

Judy Burges, candidate, AZ Senate LD22
Clair Van Steenwyk,
candidate, US House of Representatives
Trent Franks,
candidate, US House of Representatives
Tom Forese,
candidate, Arizona Corporation Commission
Mark Brnovich,
candidate, AZ Attorney General
Tom Horne,
candidate, AZ Attorney General
Michele Reagan,
candidate, AZ Secretary of State
Justin Pierce,
candidate, AZ Secretary of State
Christine Jones,
candidate, AZ Governor
Al Melivn,
candidate, AZ Governor
Alice Lukasik,
candidate, AZ Governor
John Molina,
candiate, AZ Governor
Frank Riggs,
candidate, AZ Governor
Scott Smith,
candidate, AZ Governor

For the full article, click here.

Justin Pierce Will Not Run As A Team With Any Senate Candidate


When I was appointed to the Arizona House of Representatives last year, I promised that I would uphold conservative principles by limiting government and working to protect the lives and liberty of the citizens of my District. That is a promise I have kept. In the past few months I have voted to cut taxes, eliminate burdensome regulations, and have worked closely with the Governor’s office to draft and help pass needed personnel reforms in state government – a top priority of Governor Brewer. Indeed, as a result of my efforts, I was recently rated as one of the top legislators in Arizona. I am now running to retain my House seat in the newly drawn District 25.

After the recent announcements by Bob Worsley and Russell Pearce, who are both seeking the Senate seat in District 25, I have been asked if I will be running as a “team” with one of these candidates for Senate. The answer is no. I feel that the voters in our District should evaluate and judge every candidate by their personal qualifications and record, and not by anyone else’s record. I am proud of my record, and I believe the voters in our District will be proud of it as well when they have the opportunity to evaluate it. I do not believe that a fair and accurate evaluation will occur if this race becomes a battle of candidate teams. Consequently, I will not be teaming up with anyone who decides to enter the Senate race in our District.

By declining to run as a team with any Senate candidate, I do not wish to convey disapproval of either candidate. Both candidates have impressive resumes and have made significant contributions to our community. I have full confidence that District 25 would be well-served by either one, and I will be honored to serve alongside either one as my Senate seat-mate. Therefore, I look forward to a primary process in which all candidates have the opportunity to make their case to the voters as to why they are best suited to represent District 25. I encourage all candidates to focus on their own strengths and not employ a political strategy of tearing down the other candidates. Ronald Reagan encouraged the observance of what he called the “Eleventh Commandment,” which is “thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Our District will be best served by the candidates adhering to that principle and running on the issues – not on a platform of personal destruction. My campaign will be focused on my background, qualifications, record, and the issues that are important to the people of our District. I encourage all candidates to do the same.

I am excited to be running to retain my seat in the House. I believe that when the voters of District 25 examine my record, together with the real world experience I bring to the table, they will conclude that I should continue to represent their interests in the Arizona House of Representatives.


Rewarding the Worthy, Removing the Worthless

by Farrell Quinlan

Have you ever been confronted, confounded and stymied by a state bureaucrat who refuses to do his or her job?

Every small business owner has his or her story (or stories) about the government employee or agency regulator who has this attitude that screams, “I’m on my seventh governor—they come and go and like with them, I can just wait you out.”

A significant chunk of small business owners’ frustrations with the bureaucracy can properly be placed on miserable individuals rather than on foolish or short-sided rules. Often it’s the entrenched middle managers in state employ who use and abuse their discretion within a regulatory environment to give government a bad name. Sometimes arrogance is to blame. Other times it’s incompetence. Mostly, both are actively in play.

There’s a reason government isn’t run like a business. It just isn’t set up that way.

But is there really nothing to be done to improve the situation?

Happily, there is plenty that can be done to make state government more accountable, more responsive and even a better place to work that rewards high performance.

Gov. Jan Brewer and pair of lawmakers named Justin are spearheading legislation to overhaul our state government’s personnel system. House Bill 2571 seeks to:

  • Consolidate multiple personnel systems;
  • Transition the state to an at-will workforce;
  • Improve the management of the state workforce;
  • Restructure the grievance and appeal system; and,
  • Update human resources practices.

The core of this long-overdue reform is to turn away from a sclerotic system that tends to bend over backwards to protect bad employees while it cavalierly discourages good employees by keeping them from achieving the rewards and pay they deserve for serving the taxpayers well.

About 80 percent of Arizona state workers are “covered” employees with the remaining 20 percent being “uncovered” or at-will employees like those in the private sector. That means four out of five state bureaucrats are protected from the normal considerations and expectations demanded from those working outside of government.

Try firing the lazy, insubordinate and incompetent in an environment where they can appeal their demotion, discipline or dismissal to a board that can, and far too often, overturns the decision of the executive responsible for the action.

No business could succeed or survive under these rules. Is it any wonder why our state government underperforms?

Rep. Justin Olson

Leading Governor Brewer’s reform movement in the Arizona Legislature are Rep. Justin Olson and Rep. Justin Pierce, both from Mesa. After fours years of implementation, their HB 2571 will completely flip the state workforce’s ratio to 18 percent covered and 82 percent at-will employees while maintaining necessary protections for full authority public safety officers.

HB 2571 sets up a state personnel system for Arizona with the following guiding principles:

  • Recruit and select employees on the basis of their ability, knowledge and skills after open competition;
  • Provide compensation based on merit, performance, job value and competitiveness with the labor market;
  • Train employees on the basis of their performance, correct inadequate performance where possible, and separate employees whose performance in inadequate;
  • Manage applicants and employees without regard to political affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or religious creed; and,
  • Assure that employees are protected against coercion for partisan political purposes.

These principles will provide a firm foundation to build a state workforce that respects and serves the taxpayers who fund it. This reform creates the mechanisms to reward the worthy and remove the worthless. HB 2571 deserves and has the support of Arizona small business owners and of NFIB.

Contact your Senator and Representatives
Ask them to support HB 2571: State Personnel Reform

Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, the voice of small business with 7,500 small business members in Arizona.

UPDATE: HB 2571 passed the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 14th on a 39-19 vote. The Arizona Senate now takes up the legislation. Further changes are expected to the legislation meaning a final House vote will be necessary later this session. Please continue to contact your legislators in both the House and Senate until this important reform is sent to the Governor for her signature.

Rep. Justin Pierce Puts the Life Issue in Perspective

The Mother’s Health and Safety Act, HB 2838, was heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee last week.

One of the most powerful moments came when Representative Justin Pierce shared the story of his brother’s family, and how despite pressure from doctors, they chose life and now have a beautiful 3 year old son.

This is a must-see video for anyone in the life debate…

Pierce, Parker and Brown nominated to fill vacant House seat in District 19

It took four rounds of balloting tonight before the final name was nominated by the precinct committeemen in Arizona’s 19th legislative district. On Friday, Maricopa County Supervisors will conduct private interviews with the three Republican nominees before making a final appointment decision at the regularly scheduled board meeting to be held next Monday morning.

The meeting was well attended by the party faithful with over 270 PC’s in attendance or voting by proxy.

All week long, the candidates had been calling and meeting in person to collect ballots or promises for votes. By the time the meeting was called to order, 11 names were ready to be placed into nomination. In the order of nomination and placement on the ballot were: Dave Johnson, Linda Stapley-Williams, Justin Pierce, Charlie Brown, Barbara Parker, Jackie Wick, Paul Petersen, Rex Griswold, Tom Wilkinson, David Farnsworth and Ron Bailly.

Each candidate gave a three minute speech. It was apparent from the applause that Justin Pierce was the clear favorite as he wrapped up his speech.

The first round of voting began with Justin Pierce prevailing and meeting the 50%+1 requirement (137) votes. Dave Johnson ran a close second place but did not receive the minimum votes to avoid the next round.

In the second round, Barbara Parker won the next spot on the list being sent to the Supervisors. Dave Johnson again, came close to the minimum required (136 votes) but was pushed into a third round of voting.

At this point it was clear that voting was following a slate of Pierce, Parker and Brown and as each round progressed, Johnson was the target to knock off. Each round of voting also saw other candidates drop out of the balloting.

During the third round of balloting, no one candidate met the minimum threshold to make the list but the gap between Brown and Johnson was closing fast. That led to the fourth and final round.

When the fourth round arrived there was an exodus of candidates from the ballot leaving Brown, Johnson and Petersen. At the last minute, Paul Petersen withdrew leaving the race to a Brown vs. Johnson bout.

It wasn’t until after 10:30 that the final name for nomination was made known. As the name Charlie Brown was announced, the crowd erupted in cheers. The final result confirmed that voting behavior was motivated by an anyone-but-Dave-Johnson vote matching the slate that had been making the rounds among the PC’s.

My predictions were off by one as I assumed that Dave Johnson had racked up all the proxies he needed to make the final cut. Nevertheless, two out of three ain’t bad when it comes to political observations and I’m willing to put it all on the table when it comes to the final appointment. Justin Pierce will be the next Representative from Legislative District 19 so I congratulate him in advance.

I’m sure that my fellow PC’s who also attended, have something to add so here’s your chance to chime in!

Congratulations to the winners!