Wanted: Maricopa Republicans to Protect Election Integrity

By Gina Swoboda

I met with a member of Recorder Fontes’ community outreach staff today to get a better understanding of the changes they are making.

The Democrats are very active and fully funded and have been volunteering in droves, recently doubling their County PCs from 759 to 1500.

We have in my opinion, a great need to get Republicans signed up to volunteer to be part of the process to ensure integrity within the system.

The County Recorder’s office requires ‘opposing’ parties to participate on Citizen Boards.

These are the people who look at the mail in ballots and cross check each other’s work. One person will usually be a Democrat, and with low GOP participation, the cross checker will be a Green or Libertarian.

We really need Republicans on these boards. Fontes’ office is limiting the duration of the shifts, they will no longer be 12-15 hours long with people sleeping in their cars.

Poll watchers are absolutely still needed, but I think that, in light of the changes we are seeing, it is imperative that we get Republicans inside the process.

****There will be a volunteer orientation on Saturday, June 10th from 10:00 a.m. to noon, at the downtown ballot processing facility on the corner of Lincoln and 3rd Ave. (not the main office building near sheriff’s dept.).  There will be an opportunity to hear what they are doing and volunteer if desired.****

Details as provided by the Recorder’s office:
Orientation Program-  the Recorder’s Office is initiating on June 10th, Saturday from 10:00-Noon.  In our efforts to professionalize and legitimize roles for those who are interested in helping the Recorder’s election efforts by; registering voters, helping at election sites, and as citizen board members, we have defined a  program for everyone to attend.

High level overview to include:

  • A Volunteer Orientation Program – which everyone will need to attend once (first one is June 10th.)
  • 4 levels of exceptional volunteer work will be available

Thank you,

Gina Swoboda
LD23 PC, Maricopa Precinct

The Jana Jackson Saga Continues

This past week Sonoran Alliance reported that Janifer “Jana” Jackson, a candidate for the Superintendent of Maricopa County schools, has a serious ghost in her closet that voters deserve to know about. Years ago, when she was living in Indiana, she was taken to court over “check deception.” The plot twist? She failed to appear in court and subsequently had a warrant out for her arrest (see case number 53C06-9309-CM-04018).

Today, however, we are ready to divulge that this was actually neither the first nor the last time Jackson was charged with a crime, taken to court, and failed to show up. To be exact, while she was living in Indiana, she failed to appear in court on six other occasions. See the end of the article for the case numbers for further information.  

These cases range from Jackson being taken to court by her former home-county, the Monroe County Bank, the Bloomington Herald Times, all the way to being sued by the State of Indiana. Ladies and gentlemen, this may be the year of the outsider to run for office, but it is not the year of the criminal. We must hold our elected officials to a higher standard, especially those who influence our children, their education, and their subsequent futures. Jana Jackson is absolutely unqualified to be the next Superintendent of Public Instruction for Maricopa County.

 

Case numbers: 53C05-5903-SC-00591, 53C05-9408-CP-00841,  53C01-9405-CP-00556,  53C02-9311-SC-03072, 53C06-9311-CP-01378, and 53C03-9308-CP-00940.

Jana Jackson: The Wrong Choice for Superintendent of Maricopa County Schools

Amidst this year’s biggest political races ranging from Arizona’s heated U.S. Senate race to different Congressional races, we often overlook other, important elections. For example, the election for Maricopa County Schools’ next superintendent is absolutely critical to the county and all of our children. According to Wikipedia, Maricopa county is the “most populous county in the state, and the fourth-most populous in the United States. It is more populous than 23 states.” These statistics only add to the increasing importance of electing the right person for the job, which in our opinion is not Jana Jackson.

Why, you ask? Because as an education leader for this nation’s 4th largest county and someone who will influence our children’s’ futures, we expect nothing short of complete honesty and integrity. Let’s start off with this simple requirement: we expect the Superintendent to never have a warrant out for his or her arrest due to failing to appear in court for charges of any kind. Janifer “Jana” Jackson, previously Janifer Mayden, would not fulfil such a requirement back when she lived in Indiana (click link to see more). Besides, “check deception” is not exactly a speeding ticket or two… this is a serious charge. A charge which Jackson evidently avoided and ran from seeing as she never appeared in court.

We all make mistakes, yes. However, what sort of example would Jackson be setting for our children and for the county if she is elected? This is not a record suitable for a public official in charge of our schools.

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis Endorses Steve Chucri for Maricopa Supervisor

Steve ChucriScottsdale (July 18) — Today, Gilbert Mayor John Lewis endorsed Steve Chucri’s re-election for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Mayor Lewis has served as Gilbert’s Mayor since 2009, and he and his wife have both lived in the town for thirty years.

“As Mayor of Gilbert, I have worked extremely hard to foster working relationships with the elected officials who also represent our town,” Lewis said. “Steve Chucri has gone above and beyond to work with us and to ensure that our constituents receive the attention and service that they deserve. I am proud to stand with Steve Chucri and endorse him for re-election to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.”

“I’m thankful for this endorsement from Mayor Lewis,” Chucri said. “It has been a privilege to work alongside him and I look forward to continuing to provide the best possible service to Gilbert in the years ahead.”

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About Steve Chucri:
Steve Chucri is a native Arizonan who was born and raised in Mesa, but his family’s Arizona roots started in the mining town of Morenci. His family taught him the values of faith and trust, essential elements to running an honest and transparent business. In addition to serving on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, he is also President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, the key voice for the $11.5 billion restaurant industry in Arizona. Representing restaurants on a multitude of industry issues while maintaining small business success has proven to be one of his top strengths. Chucri resides in Paradise Valley with his wife of 17 years, Christine, and their two young sons.

Poll: Maricopa Voters Satisfied with Diamondbacks Stadium

MBQF

Diamondbacks face a hard sell to Maricopa County Voters for Stadium Funds

(Phoenix, AZ) — MBQF, a public opinion survey consulting firm, announced today the results of a recent public opinion survey conducted on March 24, 2016. Results from the automated survey show likely Maricopa County voters who responded “Yes” to having attended an Arizona Diamondbacks game within the last 2 years. MoE of ± 5.59 and 407 total respondents.

The Question was read as follows:

In your opinion, when you were there, what would you judge the condition of the stadium?

Very Good – 61.2%
Good – 31.9%
Poor – 2%
Very Poor – 1%
No Opinion – 3.9%

The Arizona Diamondbacks are requesting 200 million dollar upgrade for deferred maintenance and upgrades to the stadium. As a Maricopa County taxpayer, would you support spending tax dollars for this?

Yes – 18.9%
No – 62.7%
Not Sure/Undecided – 18.4%

MBQF Principal Mike Noble concluded, “The Arizona Diamondbacks desire for taxpayers to step up to the plate with nearly $200 million is a big swing and a miss,” Noble said. “Fans believe Chase Field is still a first-class facility and prefer to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at the corner of Jefferson and 4th Street.”

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POLL: Maricopa County Voters Say Raise Age to 21 to Buy Tobacco, Keep Coyotes in Glendale

MBQF
MarsonMedia

Poll also shows voters want Arizona Coyotes to stay in Glendale

(Phoenix, AZ) — Only adults 21 and over should be able to buy tobacco products, according to a new poll of Maricopa County voters.

Of the 584 respondents to a poll conducted Dec. 29 by MBQF Consulting and Marson Media, 72 percent said they support increasing the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. Just 28 percent oppose the move.

The poll also found Maricopa County voters prefer the Arizona Coyotes remain in Glendale, 55-45. And finally, Maricopa County approve of Indian tribes opening Las Vegas-style casinos off traditional reservation land by a margin of 45-39.

“It is clear among all political stripes that voters want to increase the legal age to buy tobacco to 21,” said Barrett Marson, CEO of Marson Media. “As cities in Maricopa County consider these proposals, they can move forward knowing voters support the move.”

Mike Noble Added, “What was interesting was that support to increase the legal age was basically the same between Republicans, Democrats and Independent voters.”

Despite spotty attendance performance throughout its years in Glendale, voters don’t support moving the Arizona Coyotes to a downtown Phoenix or East Valley location, the poll found. The team has said it will explore a move to a new arena downtown or could build an arena on the Salt River Pima Indian Community near Scottsdale.

“The Coyotes are locked in a battle with Glendale but voters actually prefer the team stays in the Gila River Arena,” said Mike Noble, CEO of MBQF Consulting.

As for Indian gaming, county voters appear OK with tribes opening casinos off of traditional reservation land. The Tohono O’odham recently opened a casino near Glendale though it lacks table games like blackjack that are at other casinos.

“Voters don’t mind Indian casinos in the metropolitan area even if they are operated by tribes far away,” Marson said.

In the automated telephonic non-partisan survey of 584 high efficacy voters, conducted on December 29, the survey calculates a 4.06% theoretical margin of error, plus or minus in percentage points.

For more information about this survey, or a summary of topline data and wording, please contact Mike Noble or Barrett Marson.

Who is responsible for raising your property taxes?

AFP

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

Maricopa County Treasurer Hos Hoskins made headlines with the policy letter he included with recent property tax bills for Maricopa County residents.  (Note for those living outside of the “Great State of Maricopa”: this does apply to you, as well.)   Hoskins has re-opened an interesting policy debate about the extent to which property tax burdens have been shifted from business property taxpayers to residential property taxpayers (or vice-versa, depending on your point of view).  We have included some links below about that debate.

Setting aside the debate about the burden shift, Hoskins made a claim that is very counterproductive to the efforts of property taxpayers to fight for tax relief.   Multiple times in his letter, Hoskins made the following claim: “Voicing your opinion to anyone other than your legislators will change nothing.”

That claim is highly misleading.

Consider just a few examples from your property tax bill.  If you look closely, you will see several line-item levy amounts from several different local government taxing authorities: your K-12 school districts, your community college district, your city government, your county government, and multiple special taxing districts.  Each of those taxing districts have authority, completely independent of the state Legislature, to raise (or more rarely, lower) your property tax levy.

(Note: Always focus on the levy, which is the actual number of dollars you must pay, rather than the rate.  If local officials brag to you that they have lowered property tax rates, hold onto your wallet and ask them what is going to happen to your actual levy.)

Many Arizona school districts and municipalities have put budget override and bond measures on your November 3 ballot.  If passed by voters, those measures will increase your property tax bill.  Those measures were not placed on your ballot by the Arizona Legislature.  They are on your ballot, and driving up your tax bill, at the sole discretion of local elected officials.  Your school district board members are under no legal (or in our opinion, moral) obligation to try to push for an override.

For example, Phoenix Union school board members could have decided that spending $9,627 per student  (in current expenditures, not counting capital and other costs) is enough.  Even without the override, Phoenix Union will spend more than $9,000 per student – enough money to put two teachers in every classroom of 25 students and pay each of those teachers $75,000 per year.   Instead of trying to raise taxes via an override, the Phoenix Union board members could cut excess administration and other waste.  See our Phoenix Union flyer HERE, and contact us at bwitbeck@afphq.org if you want us to send you a flyer for your own school district.

We as citizens and taxpayers must hold the local officials in our cities, counties and school districts accountable for the dollars they choose to spend.  See AFP’s Local Government Scorecard to learn more about holding your local officials accountable.

Back to the interesting debate on the business-residential property tax levy shift…  For a defense of the shift and Proposition 117 (which passed in 2012), go here for the response of the Arizona Tax Research Association to the Hoskins letter.  Or go here for Senator Debbie Lesko’s response.

Boaz Witbeck
Arizona Policy Analyst
Americans for Prosperity

Sheriff Joe Arpaio will not run for Governor

Will Campaign for another Election for Sheriff

PHOENIX, AZ – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio released the following statement today about his decision regarding the Governor’s race in Arizona:

“I cannot in good conscience leave the Sheriff’s office now, since that would be necessary if I declare a candidacy for Governor. Currently, I have several sensitive investigations in progress and am facing many challenges in my office. Because of this, I will not desert the people of Maricopa County who have elected me six times. Further, I cannot desert my dedicated employees.”

Arpaio continued, “As I mentioned the night of my re-election in 2012, I stated that I would run again for Sheriff in 2016. So many have already supported my campaign for another term, having already raised over $4.2 million in the last 16 months.”

“I am a warrior who will continue to fight for the people of Maricopa County and my office. I know during the past years if I ran for Governor, I would have won. Recent polls still show my approval rating among Republicans between 85-90% and consistently over 60% among all voters. But personally, it was not in my cards. My wife of 57 years, Ava, has always supported me and will continue to support me no matter what office I run for.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term in November 2012. In January of 2015, Sheriff Arpaio will be the longest serving elected Sheriff in Maricopa County history.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Raises $3.5 Million

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Breaks Yet another Fundraising Record

PHOENIX, AZ – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s re-election campaign today announced their fundraising haul for 2013. The Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio committee raised more than $3.5 million in the last twelve months, setting another record for a county race.

The committee collected over 78,000 contributions, totaling $3,550,100.87. Based on these figures, the average contribution was approximately $45.00.

The overwhelming majority (99.5%) of the contributions received were under the old limits of $450 per person before the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the new limits of $5,000 per person.

Chad Willems, Arpaio’s campaign manager, stated, “We continue to be blown away by the depth and breadth of support for Sheriff Joe. These numbers tell the story that the Sheriff and his policies are more popular than ever.”

Arpaio said, “I am so grateful for the outpouring of support from so many generous people. It emboldens me to know that my supporters are there for me especially when faced with a recall election and being maliciously targeted by the federal government just for doing my job.”

He continued, “Every four years, my supporters encourage me to run for Governor. Based on these fundraising numbers and knowing I could be competitive, I will have to give it serious consideration.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term in November 2012.

Who will be the next Maricopa County Supervisor?

Here are the names of the candidates who have submitted their letters of interest to the Maricopa County Supervisors hoping to become the next Supervisor from district four.

Recently, Supervisor Max Wilson announced his resignation due to health issues.

If I were to call this “race” right now, it would probably be former Peoria Mayor John Keegan who receives the appointment.

Here are the names in the running:

Peoria Council member Ronald Aames
Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett
Former state legislator Robert Blendu
Former Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Sandra Dowling
Lobbyist Jim Buster
Former state legislator Jack Harper
Dick Hensley
Egg hatchery Executive/Owner Clint Hickman
IT consultant Joseph Hobbs
Former Peoria Mayor John Keegan
Former state legislator Jean McGrath
Goodyear Vice Mayor Joanne Osborne
Litchfield Park Mayor Tom Schoaf
Gregory Smith

The compensation for Maricopa County Supervisor is currently set at $76,600/year.