Taxpayers Deserve Pension Reform and Bob Robson is Standing in the Way

When Union Bosses Want to Stop Reform, they Just Wind Up Bob Robson

Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club has begun a mail campaign to educate voters on Rep. Bob Robson’s opposition to much needed state pension reforms. “If there is one person at the legislature that Union Bosses rely on to protect their sweetheart deals, it is Rep. Bob Robson.” Executive Director Scot Mussi said. “Arizona’s pension system is in crisis, and Rep. Robson continually sides with Union Bosses over hardworking taxpayers.”

This year three pieces of legislation were introduced to help fix our broken pension system, and Robson has worked tirelessly to defeat them all:

  • Robson joined the democrats to kill House Bill 2060, legislation to add oversight and protections on managing Arizona’s pension system.
  • Robson first voted “present” on a bill to end pension spiking (HB 2058), then voted NO when it came up for a vote a second time.
  • Robson casted the deciding vote to kill HB 2090, a bill that would have created a 401(k)-style retirement plan option for state employees.

Pension reform isn’t the only issue in which Robson has been a reliable Union vote—his opposition to paycheck protection and ending taxpayer funded release time has been known for years. “Voters deserve to know when their elected officials are out of step on big issues like pension reform and special union deals.” Mussi said. “We hope our efforts help raise awareness of this problem.”

Here’s a copy of the mailer:

RobsonMailer1 RobsonMailer2

Republican Primary Voters Weigh In on Medicaid Expansion for Arizona

Round two of a recent poll is now out and there are some revealing numbers on how Republican primary voters feel about Governor Brewer’s push to expand Medicaid in Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and several legislative districts. Here are those results:

This memorandum is an executive summary of an automated voice recorded survey of 718 likely Republican primary voters in six legislative districts in Arizona. The legislative districts surveyed were 13, 17, 18, 20, 25 and 28. The interviews were conducted March 27th and 28th, 2013. This survey has a margin of error of +/-­‐ 3.65% at the 95 percent confidence interval. This survey was weighted based upon past Republican primary voter demographics. The focus of this survey was to measure Republican primary voter opinions regarding the expansion of Medicaid, the implementation of Obamacare, as well as voter reaction to their state legislator’s support or opposition to Medicaid expansion. The survey toplines are also included with this document.

GOVERNOR BREWER IMAGE RATING

Among Republican primary voters in the six legislative districts, Governor Brewer has a very strong image rating with 69% of voters having a favorable opinion of her, 23% having an unfavorable opinion of her, and 8% being undecided or not having an opinion.

SENATOR FLAKE IMAGE RATING

Senator Jeff Flake also has a very strong image rating among Republican primary voters in the six legislative districts, with 70% of voters having a favorable opinion of him, 18% having an unfavorable opinion of him, and 12% being undecided or not having an opinion.

GOP PRIMARY VOTER SUPPORT FOR THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID

Republican primary voters in the six legislative districts were asked if they support Governor Brewer’s proposal to expand Medicaid in order to fully implement the federal government’s health care system in 2014. Among all respondents, 30% support the expansion of Medicaid, 51% oppose expansion, and 19% are either unsure or do not have an opinion about the issue. The following table shows responses by legislative district.

“As you may know, Governor Brewer has proposed the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona in order to fully implement the federal government’s health care system in 2014. Knowing this, do you support or oppose the expansion of Medicaid in order to implement the federal government’s health care system?”

Medicaid GOP Primary 1

 

VOTER OPPOSITION FOR LEGISLATORS WHO VOTE TO EXPAND MEDICAID

To measure voter reactions if their state legislator voted to expand Medicaid, the following question was asked:

“Would you be more or less likely to vote to reelect your state legislator if they voted for the expansion of Medicaid?”

Medicaid GOP Primary 2

 

Not surprisingly, among Republican primary voters in the six legislative districts a majority, or 53% are less likely to reelect their legislator if they voted to expand Medicaid and only 22% would be more likely to vote for their state legislator. When looking at the results by legislative district, the percentage of voters that are less likely to reelect their state legislator ranges from a low of 37% to a high of 69%.

GOP PRIMARY VOTER SUPPORT FOR TAX INCREASE TO FUND MEDICAID EXPANSION

In addition to measuring Republican primary voter’s reactions toward their state legislators if they voted to expand Medicaid, the survey tested voter reaction to a tax increase on hospitals to fund the expansion of Medicaid. Again, it is no surprise that Republican primary voters vigorously oppose this idea and do not want their legislators supporting a new tax on hospitals to fund the expansion of Medicaid. Among all respondents in the six legislative districts, only 11% would be more likely to vote to reelect their legislator, and two thirds, or 68%, would not vote to reelect their legislator. In short, if an incumbent voted for such a proposal it would be toxic for their reelection. The following table shows the question responses by legislative district.

“Would you be more or less likely to vote to reelect your state legislator if they voted for a new tax on hospitals to fund the expansion of Medicaid?”

Medicaid GOP Primary 3

 

CONCLUSION

Among the likely Republican primary voters surveyed in these six legislative districts, it is clear they oppose the expansion of Medicaid by varying degrees from a plurality of 42% to a large majority of 62%. Support for Medicaid expansion ranges from a high of 35% to a low of 26%. The survey also finds a plurality, or a majority, of Republican primary voters would be less likely to vote for their legislator if they voted to expand Medicaid in all six legislative districts. Finally, the information in this research should be of concern to incumbent legislators as they consider how to handle this issue.

View/Download the entire report including the topline results.

Arizona Patriots – Urgent Call to Action – Contact Representative Bob Robson!

We have two important pro taxpayer bills being held in the House Rules Committee:

HB2026 (Rep. Ugenti) Paycheck Protection & HB2330 (Rep. Montenegro) Transparency in Government Union Negotiations

The Chair of the Rules Committee is Rep. Bob Robson. In last year’s legislative session Robson killed two pro taxpayer bills, by never giving them a hearing.

HB2330 & HB2026 meet Arizona Constitutional requirements and should be sent to the House floor for a vote, not held to die in Committee.

In the last session we scored a stunning victory. Versions of Consolidated Elections had been put forward and defeated in the AZ legislature for over 10 years.

Last session Rep. Ugenti sponsored HB2826, Consolidated Elections, and fought tooth and nail for this bill throughout the entire session. The activist community joined Rep. Ugenti in this battle and responded with hundreds, perhaps over 1,000, phone calls and emails to resistant legislators. In the end we prevailed.

It will take this same effort to get further union reform bills passed as we, unfortunately, still have Republican government union supporting legislative members.

We need HB2330 & HB2026 to continue the effort to level the playing field for the overburdened taxpayer.

It appears that Rep.Robson has chosen to be on the side of the government unions. 

It is up to us to stand up for the hardworking Arizona taxpayer.

PLEASE email and/ or call Rep. Robson, everyday if possible, and tell him that the taxpayers want HB2330 & HB2026 sent out of his Rules Committee immediately.

We need to get this done as quickly as possible.

Rep. Bob Robson: brobson@azleg.gov 602-926-5549 

If Robson is opposed to these bills, he can cast his vote on the House floor along with all of the other State Representatives.

This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Thank you again!

Marcus Huey
Arizona Taxpayer

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?”

Guest Opinion: Ellsworth to Pearce: ‘Move On’

By Brent Ellsworth

In an article ominously, but I’m sure inaccurately, titled, “Senator Russell Pearce: Final Remarks,” posted November 10 on a local political blog, Senator Pearce provided his explanation of why he was soundly defeated two days earlier by his Republican challenger, Jerry Lewis.

Among other things, the Senator confidently stated: “Pretty much all political observers acknowledge that I would have not lost the race in a normal election. . . In a recall election, there is no primary. . . In a normal election, he [Lewis] would have had no chance [against me] in the primary . . .”

Senator Pearce is still trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the recent special election because he is annoyed that every registered voter was eligible to vote. In a closed Republican primary, where all prior Pearce victories have been determined, only Republican voters are allowed to vote.

This is a classic example of “Denial,” the first of several predictable steps grief counselors tell us are common in the grieving process after a severe personal loss.

There are a couple of ways you can tell Russell Pearce is stuck in the Denial phase.

Pearce’s claim regarding a hypothetical primary election is contrary to the hard data. A recent independent poll and the double-digit margin of victory by Jerry Lewis raise doubts that a victory by Senator Pearce in a primary election would be a slam dunk. An ABC15 / Arizona Capitol Times poll taken just prior to the election showed that among Republican voters in LD 18, Jerry Lewis had a slight advantage over Senator Pearce. Combine that with the embarrassingly small amount of money raised by Pearce from within his own district, and it doesn’t take a Carville or a Rove to conclude that Senator Pearce may overestimate his current level of support among Republican voters in LD 18.

The conduct of Senator Pearce since the election has been disappointingly unpatriotic and boorish. Our society rightfully expects a minimum standard of decorum and respect for the political process from those who lose elections. Granted, this is unfamiliar territory for Pearce, who is not experienced in the awkward etiquette of political defeat, including the obligatory phone call to congratulate the victor and the graceful but painful concession speech.

We all watched Senator Pearce give his defiant “non-concession” concession speech on election night after the outcome was certain. The press was so confused by the speech they had to ask Pearce’s media spokesman, former TV meteorologist, Ed Phillips, if Pearce’s remarks were, in fact, a concession. Having placed his wet finger to the wind, the dutiful Phillips covered for his boss, and explained that no matter how the speech sounded, it was intended to be a concession speech, and they should take it as such. In other words, “This is as much of a concession as you’re going to get from the Senator, who is not real happy right now.”

Compare the concession speech of Senator Pearce with that of Al Gore in 2000, who arguably had much more reason to be bitter in defeat than does Senator Pearce.

Here are a few quotes from Mr. Gore, whose comments transcend political party and ideology: “Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. . . Tonight, for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. . . History gives us many examples of contests as hotly debated, as fiercely fought . . . Each time, both the victor and the vanquished have accepted the result peacefully and in the spirit of reconciliation. So let it be with us. I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country. . . While we yet hold and do not yield our opposing beliefs, there is a higher duty than the one we owe to political party. This is America and we put country before party. We will stand together behind our new president.”

Somewhere along his political path, Senator Pearce lost his vision of the “higher duty” described by Mr. Gore. Pearce wasted a golden opportunity on November 8th to recapture that vision and behave like a true statesman by gracefully congratulating Senator Lewis, accepting the clear voice of the voters of his district, and calling on his “Patriots for Pearce” to join him in moving forward in a spirit of reconciliation and healing, rather than one of continuing rancor and division.

Once Senator Pearce gets through this first step of Denial, perhaps he will allow others to help him navigate the remaining four stages of grief, which are: Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and, finally, Acceptance.

Brent Ellsworth, a Mesa attorney, resides in Legislative District 18.

KAET’s Horizon Interview with Senator-Elect Jerry Lewis

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More Election Analysis from Stan Barnes & Jay Thorne on KAET’s Horizon

Missed this from last Thursday but that’s why we have YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es1JzCJ2Zow

The bottom line on the Pearce recall was that the election was a very high profile abnormal gaming of the electoral process.

Sen. Sylvia Allen: Democrats’ Method of Governing: Boycott Meetings and Start Recalls

Senator Sylvia Allen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

(STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX) – As Republicans prepare for another legislative session focused on getting Arizona back to work and improving our economy, Democrats have embraced a curious strategy of boycotting meetings and threatening recalls against Republicans who don’t vote with them.

“Recalls have never and were never meant to be used against lawmakers whose sole fault was they disagreed with you on the issues. They’re designed to target people who may have committed crimes or were guilty of gross misconduct in office,” says Senator Sylvia Allen, President Pro Tem of the Senate.

“But Democrats are now talking about making this their go-to strategy. Contact some outside interests, pay people to collect signatures, and bingo, you have a recall election. This is no way to govern.”

Democrats also boycotted meetings for the recent Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting, even though many members of their party complained about the draft maps and the process.

Democrats are also twisting last night’s recall election results into a referendum against enforcement of illegal immigration. SB 1070 remains widely popular in Arizona, and the bulk of the law is being enforced in our state.

“SB 1070 mirrored federal immigration law. We must have legislation like this, because there is no physical barrier at the border. The border is not secure,” says Senator Allen.

# # #

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

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Greg Patterson on Sunday Square-Off

Watch as fellow conservative blogger of EspressoPundit.com, Greg Patterson, make sense of the media hypocrisy in the Legislative District 18 recall election:

Senate President Pearce talks about improving economic numbers in Arizona

Senate President Russell Pearce sits down with Arizona Capitol Television to talk about rising state revenues, a balanced budget and what they mean to Arizona’s economy:

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It’s Time to Recall Rep. Ben Arredondo in the Spirit of Consistency: Update: Who’s Next? Arredondo or Arpaio?

Watching the recall effort take place in legislative district 18 one is left wondering why other recalls are not taking place elsewhere across the state, especially in legislative district 17.

Pearce recaller and failed Democratic US Senate candidate, Randy Parraz, likes to cite public policy differences as the reason for recalling Russell Pearce but fails to mention any of the other State Senators or Representatives who also voted for these same pieces of legislation.

Mr. Parraz, why not seek recall efforts against any of the other legislators who voted for these same public policy proposals? And if your motive is to recall someone who you disagree with on public policy issues, why haven’t you made a practice of this during all the off-year elections since you cannot seem to win elections (including your own) during the regular election cycle.

Pearce recaller’s motives don’t make sense if this is only about disagreements on public policy.

That’s why Pearce recallers like to bring up the Fiesta Bowl scandal as another reason for recalling Senator Pearce. They argue that Pearce accepted in-kind donations from Fiesta Bowl representatives over several years and then voted on legislation that affected the Fiesta Bowl.

Hmmmm… I thought that’s how lobbying worked at the State Capitol, especially when it comes down to labor and teachers unions donating gobs and gobs of money to Democrats.

What Pearce recallers fail to mention and the hypocrisy is GLARING, is that Fiesta Bowl representatives also gave in-kind donations to other legislators. At the top of the list is Legislative District 17 State Representative, Ben Arredondo who actually voted a $6,450,000 MILLION subsidy to bring the Insight Bowl from Phoenix to Tempe. Maybe a little more clarification on the gifts to Arredondo from a third party is appropriate at this point. Here’s what the Arizona Republic wrote on May 13th:

Gifts to Arredondo 

Arredondo, a former teacher and coach, was running for Tempe City Council in 2001 when seven Fiesta Bowl employees made $875 in contributions to his campaign. Three years later, four employees made another $1,200 in contributions. 

At that time, the Fiesta Bowl was headquartered in Tempe and played its game in ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium. 

In 2005, the Fiesta Bowl was looking to move its sister game, the Insight Bowl, out of downtown Phoenix. Negotiations began with Tempe, which was looking to replace the Fiesta Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium since the Fiesta was moving to Glendale. One of the key negotiators was Arredondo, according to Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. 

“It’s fair to say Ben Arredondo was intimately involved with ASU, Insight and the Fiesta Bowl,” Hallman said. “Ben Arredondo was continually involved in negotiations.” 

Hallman said Arredondo also was close to Husk, who, in addition to lobbying for the Fiesta Bowl, had been a paid consultant for Tempe. 

After reaching a memorandum of understanding in July 2005, the city the following year agreed to give the Fiesta Bowl a $6.45 million subsidy to host the Insight Bowl through 2013. The subsidy for each of the next two years is $850,000, while the final year’s payment is $900,000, according to the contract. 

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the Fiesta Bowl said it provided Arredondo with expensive National Football League tickets, including 2009 Super Bowl tickets worth $4,000. In summer 2009, the bowl said, he called saying he wanted to go on a trip. The bowl paid all expenses for Arredondo and his wife, Ruthann, to travel to Minnesota to watch a college football game. 

“We paid for everything: the game, the hotel, the meals and the airfare,” Anthony Aguilar, the bowl’s director of community and corporate relations, told Fiesta Bowl investigators. 

Arredondo did not return calls to his house, where messages were left with his wife. Ruthann Arredondo declined to answer questions. 

On April 1, after the Fiesta Bowl investigative report had been released, Arredondo amended his financial disclosure forms for 2007, 2008 and 2009 to show he received a gift worth more than $500 from the Fiesta Bowl. The amended 2009 form indicates his wife also received a gift. The nature of the gifts was not disclosed.

Where am I going with all this? Here’s my point: The recall effort against Russell Pearce is NOT really about public policy. And it’s not even about the Fiesta Bowl in-kind donations.

The recall effort against Russell Pearce is about people who hate and don’t like Russell Pearce. It’s about working voters up into a rabid frenzy mob mentality to go after someone who you can later say, “We took down Russell Pearce!” If this was a regular election year, these frothing folks would not have anything to rally around because they’d be defending their own political turfs from an electorate that votes right of center. This is about Randy Parraz building a list of people to be exploited elsewhere against another Republican.

So my big question is why won’t the Parraz-led recallers be consistent and also recall Representative Ben Arredondo? The reality is they won’t because Arredondo votes the way they want him to vote.

My challenge is for them to stop being hypocrites and mount a recall effort against Ben Arredondo. And if they can’t find it in themselves to be intellectually honest and consistent, maybe its time for another group to form and recall Ben Arredondo.

UPDATE – November 9, 2011: 

The Recall election was a major success for Randy Parraz and crew. Election night, Parraz made the following statement to the Arizona Republic:

Parraz said he and his allies may go after other politicians whom he blames for poisoning Arizona’s political discourse, singling out Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was at Pearce’s side throughout the recall campaign.

“We’re looking at other people, like Sheriff Arpaio,” Parraz said. “If that’s the type of politics Sheriff Arpaio wants, we’ll see what happens in the new year.”

Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Friday Poll: Do you support or oppose the recall of Senator Russell Pearce?

It’s Friday again and that means a new poll! This time we’re asking the question whether or not you support or oppose the recall of Senator Russell Pearce.

The poll will remain open until next Friday and will limit voting based on cookie and IP address.

This will also be your chance to sound off on the committee supporting and committee opposing the recall effort.