Survey Says…

Hat Tip to Mesa Issues for beating us to the punch on the poll just released by the East Valley Tribune. According to a poll conducted August 8th and 9th, Russell Pearce holds a huge lead over Kevin Gibbons in the race for the Senate in Legislative District 18. What must come as a shock to opponents of Pearce, Gibbons only polled at 13.3% compared to Pearce who holds the 51% needed to secure the Republican nomination. That left 36% of voters undecided or with no answer. (The survey asked 400 registered voters and contains a margin of error of 4.8%.)

LD 18 PollThis backs up what Sonoran Alliance predicted in an informal bloggers roundtable presented at Mesa Issues. The independent expenditures attacking Russell Pearce have backfired. Pearce has been seen as a political “rockstar” in his district for years and any attacks funded by outside opponents has been viewed as an attack on the community. Pearce’s district has also been plagued by the negative effects of illegal immigration which has also solidified his support.

To date, Nathan Sproul’s “Mesa Deserves Better” has only dropped two hit pieces attacking Pearce. The results have obviously backfired. With surveys like this, Sproul must be reconsidering any further attacks and probably thinking of taking his open-border supporters’ money to other legislative district races like LD-1, 6, 20, 26 and 30.

The other obvious blowback recipient on this poll is Kevin Gibbons whose Yuma grower’s money and support is withering fast. Even if Gibbons wrestles away the entire 36% of the undecided vote, he will never overcome Pearce’s 51%.

We predict that this race won’t even be close as Pearce continues to build momentum leading into the September 2nd Primary. Pearce’s Senate victory will also carryover to the House race where the two likely winners will be Ron Middlebrook and Cecil Ash. Often seen campaigning together door-to-door, Pearce has found a strong replacement for his House seat in Ron Middlebrook.

Political War in LD-18

(Thanks to EspressoPundit for breaking this)

This is the latest mail piece put out by an Independent Expenditure Committee seeking to defeat Representative Russell Pearce in his bid for the Senate seat in District 18 against Kevin Gibbons, an illegal alien lawyer.

The Independent Expenditure Committee is called Mesa Deserves Better. The Chairman of the Committee is none other than Nathan Sproul.

The piece is the equivalent of dropping a political atomic bomb.

There has been plenty of speculation that these tactics are being used as political payback for when Russell Pearce was considering a challenge against Congressman Jeff Flake two year ago. Kevin Gibbons is the brother-in-law of Jeff Flake.

I think that it’s fair to say that this tactic will further escalate the political war within the party and that Mesa Deserves Better a.k.a. Nathan Sproul, will go down in Arizona Political history as being the one responsible for pulling the trigger.

With tactics like this, anything goes. Time to take the gloves off.

“Protect Arizona’s Future” Sponsors More Signs

Here’s another sample of a series of signs going up around Arizona supporting certain “types” of Republicans in high profile Primaries.

As we showed earlier, the signs are put out by an Independent Expenditure Committee called “Protect Arizona’s Future” with major funding by the Firefighter’s Union.

Independent Expenditure Attack Ad on Russell Pearce

This ad was actually paid for as an independent expenditure by the “People of Arizona” with major funding provided by “Protect Arizona’s Future.” What threw us off is that someone from the Gibbons campaign sent it to Sonoran Alliance.

OK, so we scratched a little deeper on who these Independent Expenditure committees are and here is the  summary info on each of these PAC’s as listed on the Secretary of State’s website.

Protect Arizonas Future – 200602789
The People of AZ – 200810228

According to contact information in the reports, Tim Hill, a member of the Phoenix Fire Fighters, is listed as the Chairman with Bill Whitaker and Roger Wright as the Treasurers, respectively. They also use the same address listed at 61 E. Columbus Avenue in Phoenix.

According to The Arizona Capitol Times , look for two other Independent Expenditure Committees to be involved in the attempt to ouster Russell Pearce. They are listed as:

Judgement Matters – 200810212
Mesa Deserves Better – 200810219

Press Release: Gibbons Funded by Out-of-Town Supporters

The political participants in Legislative District 18 have obviously done their homework. Back on June 30th when the campaign finance reports were turned in, we posted the reports for Kevin Gibbons and Russell Pearce. As we noted, Pearce was running under the Clean Elections system, while Gibbons was running traditional. One of the best indicators of where a candidate stands on issues is where the campaign is getting its money. Supporters of a specific agenda tend to give to a candidate who will push that agenda. It’s called special interests and political action committees (PAC’s) are the best example of this.

When we first looked at Gibbons reports we were amazed that so much money was coming in from out of the district. A large part of his contributions were coming from Yuma and specifically, individuals and groups who depend on migrant labor to farm their crops.

As I mentioned, someone actually took the time to analyze Gibbons’ reports and it just so happens to be the 1st Vice Chairman of Republicans in Legislative District 18. Today, they issued the following press release:

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2008
Contact: E. Paul Whetten,

Gibbons Funded by Out-of-Town Open Borders Supporters
District 18 1st Vice Chairman, E. Paul Whetten to Kevin Gibbons: “Give Back Money from Open Borders Advocates”

MESA – District 18 Senate Republican Candidate Kevin Gibbons claims that he has the answers for our immigration policy problems. As an immigration attorney Mr. Gibbons has a credible claim to expertise in immigration law, but one look at his list of donors shows where his loyalties in immigration policy come from.

While Gibbons says that he wants represent Mesa, only 20.6% of his donations come from people who live within the city. In fact, only 15.1% of his donations are from people in District 18. In contrast, 100% of Russell Pearce’s donors are from inside the district.

More to the point, 53 of Gibbons’ donors are out-of-town farmers from Yuma and Buckeye, with over 30% of his total donations coming from Yuma alone.  A large majority of these donations come from the farming community that is actively engaged in employing cheap labor which is against Arizona’s new employer sanctions laws. Since Mr. Gibbons would obviously better represent the views of his Yuma “constituents,” perhaps he should consider running for their senate seat.

Kevin Gibbons supports initiatives that will weaken the laws requiring the use of E-Verify. He also advocates for a guest worker program that will basically open the borders for his farm and fast food supporters who desire cheap labor. Kevin Gibbons’ policy positions are not the forward thinking policies supported by the citizens of District 18.  On the contrary, they are the failed “business-as-usual” policies that do nothing to solve our immigration problems and promote the defiance of our laws.

While Gibbons talks of “real reform” for illegal immigration, his supporters and backers tell a different story.  From former Democratic Party Chairmen to Open Border Supporters, his rhetoric does not match the real intentions of his patrons.

Russell Pearce has been a champion of the taxpayer and a nationally recognized leader on immigration issues. He has the conservative credentials and a solid track record of representing the people of District 18. Even a cursory examination of Mr. Gibbons’ list of out-of-town open border advocates and Democrat power brokers reveal who he would really represent.

If Mr. Gibbons sincerely wants to represent the citizens of District 18, I suggest that he return donations he’s received from supporters whose policies we have clearly rejected.


Hat tip to Mesa Issues for breaking the story first, which by the way, is the best blog covering local issues in Mesa!

Press Release: Gibbons Takes Liquor Money

We’re not sure if this press release is that big of a deal but since Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock always votes against issuing liquor licenses in Maricopa County based on religious grounds, we’d like to hear from some our our readers if this will make or break a race among East Valley voters

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2008
Contact: Matt Tolman, (602) 616-3749

District 18 Republican Senate Challenger Takes Liquor Donations:

District 18 Chairman Matt Tolman to Kevin Gibbons: “Give Back Liquor Money like You Gave Back the Democratic Chairman’s Money.”

(MESA) District 18 Senate Republican Candidate Kevin Gibbons is in hot water again. Less than a week after it was revealed that he took donations from former Democratic Party Chairman Jim Pederson, it has been announced that his campaign has received donations from prominent members of the liquor industry.

District 18 Republican Chairman Matt Tolman questioned whether Gibbons’ quest to raise big dollars has put his values at odds with those who he intends to represent. “It looks like Gibbons is willing to take money from just about anyone who will write a check,” said District 18 Republican Chairman Matt Tolman, “We need someone who represents the citizens of the district, not special interests.”

 In all, Gibbons has already received $1,950 in donations from prominent members of Arizona’s liquor industry. Donors Include: 

  • Bob Delgado, President, HENSLEY & COMPANY
  • Douglas Yonko, Principal, HENSLEY & COMPANY
  • Steven Barclay, Executive Director, BEER & WINE DISTRIBUTORS OF ARIZONA

 “We need a champion who will continue to fight for liquor control issues,” explained Tolman, “Someone who is committed to preventing underage drinking and supporting DUI laws. We need to know that the people who represent us at the legislature are not compromised because of deals they have cut for campaign donations.”

Kevin Gibbons is searching all over Arizona for donations to run against conservative Russell Pearce for State Senator in District 18. Pearce has been a strong voice on fiscal and immigration issues and is running as a clean elections candidate.

“District 18 already has a candidate for Senate who has been a supporter of family values and a friend to the taxpayer,” said Tolman, “He has the support of conservative groups and taxpayer organizations. Certainly more of a crowd that represents District 18 compared to Gibbons and his laundry list of liquor purveyors and democratic insiders.”

Tolman concluded, “If I were Kevin Gibbons, I would get out the checkbook again and return the money to the liquor industry like he did last week to Jim Pederson. And if he is set on donating it instead, perhaps he should give it to MADD.”



LD18 Senate – By The Monies

The battle between Russell Pearce and Kevin Gibbons got us curious so we decided to pull the latest financial reports (accessible via the Secretary of State’s website) for both candidates.

Kevin Gibbons June 30th Report
Russell Pearce June 30th Report

This really is an unusual race just given the fact that the incumbent, Russell Pearce is running under the “Clean Elections” financial system and the challenger, Kevin Gibbons, is running under the traditional means of campaign finance. Usually, the challenger runs under “Clean Elections” because it is very difficult to raise money when taking on an incumbent. This is actually one of the positive unintended consequences which has benefitted newcomers to the political process because it has allowed them to bypass asking the establishment big-money donors for money when challenging the establishment’s incumbent candidates. However, in this race, it appears the roles have been switched as Gibbons, the challenger, has managed to win the support of big-money establishment donors while Pearce continues to cling to his grassroots supporters.

Based on who’s giving to Gibbons’ campaign, this race boils down to one issue – immigration. Notable donors to Gibbons’ campaign include Marion “Mac” MaGruder, Ross Farnsworth, Andrew Pacheco, Merwin Grant, Heather Sandstrom, Doug Pruitt, Steven Barclay, Scott Perkinson, Claudia Walters and seven political action committees. As this blog also pointed out, Gibbons’ campaign also received money from the former chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party (Jim Pederson) and Yuma Democrat and State Representative, Lynne Pancrazi.

One will also notice that Gibbons has received plenty of money from donors who reside in Yuma – one of Arizona’s major farming hubs which relies on migrant labor.

Because Russell Pearce is running as a “Clean Elections” candidate he can only take $5 donations so his report shows only what he has received in seed money. Those donors include Fred Ash, David Childers, Thomas Jacobs and Janie Thom.

However, what is most surprising is the huge disparity of both campaigns when it comes to money. Kevin Gibbons has raised a whopping $66,220, spent only $3,494 leaving a cash-on hand balance of $62,725!

Pearce on the other hand entered the race with $24,381 at the beginning of the reporting period. He then raised $2,308 for the period, $24, 031 leaving him a cash-on-hand of $2,658 in the bank.

If money is an indicator of where a political race is headed, there could be trouble for the Pearce campaign, especially if the Gibbons campaign does not trigger a Clean Elections disbursement to the Pearce campaign. Timing will play an important factor in this race and with early voting scheduled to begin the first week of August, both campaigns will be looking for the “whites of their eyes” before pulling the political trigger.