Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring Appoints Lisa Gray As Executive Director

Maricopa GOP

Cites Gray’s personal integrity and extensive record of service as instrumental in decision

PHOENIX, AZ – Today, Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring named Lisa Gray as the new Executive Director of the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) under his direction. The position is crucial to the activation of the chairman’s objectives and the day to day operations of the largest Republican county committee in the nation. Gray, a former District Chairman and campaign manager for Jeff DeWit’s bid to be state Treasurer, has also developed a website dedicated to PC recruitment and been instrumental in PC training.

Herring, who was elected by a 2-1 margin at the Maricopa County Statutory Meeting on January 14, 2017 was confident in his pick, “Lisa has been tirelessly working to advance the principles of our party and doing so with integrity and outstanding results. The election of Treasurer Jeff DeWit is a perfect example of her vision and tenacity.” Chairman Herring continued, “From the grassroots to the grasstops, there is not one step of activism that Lisa is not personally experienced in, making her uniquely qualified for this position. She supports my expectation of a highly functioning committee, focused on building and growth with inclusivity and transparency.”

As the Chairman of the nation’s largest Republican county, Herring has already met with several legislative districts, other shareholder groups, and is actively organizing the MCRC to move forward in preparations for the 2018 elections.  Filling additional appointed positions, Herring has tapped Kathy Petsas, District Chairman of LD28 to serve as the county Parliamentarian; Wes Harris, Member-at-Large from LD20 as Assistant Parliamentarian; and John Eaton, First-Vice Chairman of LD27 as Sergeant-At-Arms.

About the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC): The MCRC is comprised of all elected precinct committeemen (PC’s) from the 20 legislative districts within Maricopa County. By statute, PC’s are elected during the party primary and represent 1 PC for every 125 registered voters in the precinct. The Chairman is elected every two years by the elected PC’s at the Statutory Meeting as defined ARS Title 16.

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Jonathan Lines Elected AZGOP Chairman

Longtime Republican Activist Chosen to Lead Party to Victory in 2018
PHOENIX – At this Saturday’s meeting of the 1,235 State Committeemen of the Arizona Republican Party, Jonathan Lines was elected Chairman. Gabriela Mercer was elected Secretary and Robert Lettieri as Treasurer. Each serves a two-year term.
The Committeemen also elected three members at-large from each of Arizona’s nine congressional districts to serve on the state party’s executive committee, who also serve a two-year term.
 
CD1
Bill Brandau
Sylvia Allen
Nancy Hawkins
CD2
Gail Griffin
Sergio Arellano
Cindy Coleman
CD3
Sina Kerr
Kim Owens
Shuron Harvey
CD4
Rose Sperry
Michael Ward
Paul Brierley
CD5
Nancy Cottle
Mickie Niland
Jeffrey Smith
CD6
Liz Alcorn
Jose Borrajero
Ren Ramsey
CD7
Gayla Franks
Timothy Schwartz
John Wilson
CD8
Lisa Gray
Rae Chornenky
Marcus Huey
CD9
Lorraine Pellegrino
Jeff Fleetham
Raphael Ahmed

Representative-elect David Stringer endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, ARIZ (December 29) – Today, Representative-elect David Stringer (LD 1) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman. LD 1 covers parts of northern Maricopa County.

“Chris Herring fights to expand liberty and to reduce government – not just in Maricopa County, but across the state,” Stringer said. “He believes in local control, less government, and the importance of adherence to the Constitution as it was written. Bold, young conservatives are the future of our party, and Chris has my support to be the next chairman of Maricopa County.”

“Representative-elect Stringer has already proven to be a strong friend to grassroots Republicans in his district,” Herring said. “I look forward to supporting his work in the Arizona House of Representatives and to working with him to elect and empower conservative Republicans in Maricopa County.”

Representative-elect David Stringer joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, Representative Justin Olson, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

SRP: We’re Lowering Our Prices

This just in from SRP. Their customers are receiving this email Monday morning:

We’re pleased to announce that SRP is temporarily lowering prices for the second time in less than a year. The 10-month reduction will be in effect for the January through October 2017 billing cycles.

The decrease will save the typical residential customer just under a dollar per month during the winter billing months and approximately $2.50 to $3.50 per month during the summer billing months. Prices will return to the original winter season prices with the November 2017 billing cycle.

We are able to lower prices for these reasons:

  • The continued low price of natural gas, which is a primary fuel in many power plants
  • Careful management, which is enabling us to meet our environmental program goals at lower-than-expected costs
  • Greater-than-anticipated energy sales

Sincerely,
SRP

Customers can then click on a link in the SRP email that takes them to the SRP newsroom where they can read details about the rate reduction:

SRP Board OKs $40 Million Price Decrease
Temporary Measure will Reduce Prices by an Average 1.6 % for next 10 Months

For the second time in less than a year, SRP’s Board of Directors has approved a decrease in electricity prices for its more than 1 million customers. The 10–month temporary decrease, effective with the January 2017 billing cycle, averages an overall 1.6 percent.

The decrease will save the typical residential customer just under a dollar per month during the winter billing months and around $2.50 to $3.50 per month when the summer billing season begins in May. Prices will return to original winter season prices approved in 2015 with the November 2017 billing cycle.

“Utility customers are generally more used to seeing price increases than decreases, so we are very happy to be able to lower our prices,” said SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bonsall. “At SRP, our team works hard to identify market opportunities and cut costs where possible to keep our prices low, and this temporary decrease is reflective of our success in these areas.”

The temporary decrease is possible because SRP has been able to reduce expenses in two components of its electric prices.

One of the price components – the Environmental Programs Cost Adjustment Factor, or EPCAF – tracks costs and revenues related to SRP’s renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs adopted to comply with SRP’s sustainable portfolio standard. The temporary reduction reflects SRP’s ability to meet its sustainable goals at a lower cost to customers.

SRP’s Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP’s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020. Currently, SRP is ahead of schedule –providing more than 14 percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources, which include solar, wind and geothermal energy, hydro power and energy-efficiency programs. SRP currently has 746 megawatts of renewable energy owned or under contract in its system.

The second component – the Fuel and Purchased Power Adjustment Mechanism, or FPPAM – recovers fuel costs incurred to generate electricity as well as power purchases to serve customer needs. Savings in this area are primarily because of lower-than-anticipated natural gas costs.

The costs of these two components to SRP are directly passed through to customers without any markup. SRP previously instituted a temporary reduction of 3.7 percent in the EPCAF and FPPAM for the 2016 July and August billing cycles.

The latest temporary reduction will decrease EPCAF and FPPAM revenue collection by about $40 million.

SRP is a community–based, not–for–profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre–feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club: The Harmful Effects of Prop 206 Begin to Sink In

Arizona Free Enterprise Club

It has only been a month and the recently approved minimum wage initiative, Proposition 206, is already inflicting permanent damage on Arizona’s Economy, hardworking taxpayers and our most vulnerable and needy residents.

Similar to previous proposals, Prop 206 was sold on the idea that Arizona could raise its minimum wage to $12 an hour (adjusted for inflation every year thereafter) and require employers offer mandated paid sick leave to employees without any negative repercussions.  Reading the fine print of Prop 206 exposed this fraudulent claim; as the funders of the initiative (California Unions) exempted collective bargaining agreements from critical components of the initiative.  If this was so good, why exempt themselves from it?

Now the debilitating impacts of Prop 206 are being felt, and they are far more widespread and catastrophic than even the opponents of the initiative realized.  While it wasn’t a secret that Arizona businesses would face hard choices in order to comply with the wage hike, some of the worst hit organizations will be those that serve the neediest and most vulnerable populations in our state.  Currently in-home care services, many of which aid fragile and feeble seniors, range from $20-$24 an hour.   These services will go up;pricing out many of these seniors on fixed-incomes from receiving the care they desperately need or force more individuals onto state welfare rolls.

The developmentally disabled in our community will also be devastated by Proposition 206.  According to the President and CEO of the Centers for Habilitation and member of the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities, some providers will be forced to close operations as soon as January 1, 2017.

Some of these providers have contracts with the State of Arizona that set the reimbursement rates.  This means the state will be forced to allocate more taxpayer money to cover the higher costs.  If the state doesn’t cough up more tax dollars to address these needs, thousands of developmentally disabled in Arizona will be left without vital care.

It only gets worse from here.

Many subdivisions of the state such as school districts will also be deeply impacted by the voter mandate.  Positions such as cross walk guards cafeteria workers and bus drivers, many of which are part time positions, represent a significant aggregate cost to schools; costs which were neither anticipated nor planned for by districts or the state.

For Chandler Unified School District, Prop 206’s passage represents a $1.1 million hit to their budget.  Agua Fria Union High School District in the West Valley, $123,500.  Peoria Unified District – $1.1 million by 2020.  And Sahuarita District in southern Arizona $907,576.   These are tremendous costs which will necessitate the diversion of other resources from teachers and students or require more monies from taxpayers.

And although the law does not apply to state or federal agencies, many government departments will still be on the hook.  The State of Arizona has expenditure obligations for school districts as well as private contracts through AHCCCS (Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment Center System).  But the legislature has already passed a budget for 2017.  These additional costs were not included in the state’s budget.

Many voters that supported Prop 206 were not aware of the harmful effects this initiative would cause. Yet unlike bills proposed and passed at the legislature, there was no independent review, hearings, or public comment process of the initiative language to inform voters of these inevitable issues.

Now, even if voters wanted these issues fixed, Prop 206 can’t be modified because Arizona initiatives are bound by the strictest voter protection law in the country.  Once a measure is passed at the ballot, it can’t be changed unless it is sent back to the voters, and that can’t happen for two years.

As the saying goes, “elections have consequences.”  We suspect that the consequences of Prop 206, however, are not what Arizona voters signed up for.

AZ Treasurer Jeff DeWit: Endowment Investments Outperformed Most US Endowment & Pensions

AZ Treasurer
PHOENIX
– As 2016 comes to a close, the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund has beat industry benchmarks by a wider margin than in previous years.

Jeff DeWit“This is recognition of the hard work and incredible staff at the State Treasurer’s office,” Treasurer DeWit said.

The fund beat many of the large public investment funds in the United States including CalPERS, CalSTERS, Dartmouth, MIT, Stanford and Harvard.

“Our conservative, America first portfolio of 1,500 stocks and 405 bonds show that keeping our own staff and not outsourcing the management of Arizona’s money to Wall Street not only saves the state tens of millions in fees but also has produced better results,” DeWit said.

The $5.3 billion Endowment returned 3.32% in the last fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. This compares to the median one-year return of negative -0.74% for all endowments, according to results published by Wilshire Associates and reported by Bloomberg, LLC.  By these metrics, in the first full fiscal year under Treasurer DeWit Arizona’s endowment outperformed Wall Street’s average by over 4%.  This outperformance has continued through the end of November, to soon be reported at the upcoming December Arizona Board of Investment meeting.

Further, the Endowment has outperformed all of Arizona’s public pension funds during the same time period.

“This past year has been exceptional for the State’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund, the returns will benefit K-12 education for many years to come. Being a father of three school aged daughters and husband to a wife who was a public school teacher, it makes me very happy to know that the hard work being done in our office will benefit not only current school children and taxpayers, but all future generations of school children and taxpayers.” DeWit said.

Deputy Treasurer Mark Swenson added “Also, this shows the foresight of voters to have selected someone with an extensive background in investments.  Treasurer DeWit brings a wealth of financial knowledge to the office which has been instrumental in the outperformance of our returns.”

As a statewide constitutional officer, Treasurer DeWit serves as the state’s Banker and Investment Official for the State of Arizona, charged with the prudent custody and management of taxpayer monies and oversight of more than $13.8 billion in assets under management.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan: Arizona General Election Results Now Official

azsos-reagan

Secretary of State, AG and Chief Justice certify results

Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan today issued the official canvass of results for the 2016 General Election.  The Secretary was joined by Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Chief Justice Scott Bales for the formal certification.

Secretary Reagan reported 2.6 million Arizonans voted in the general election, making it the highest number of ballots cast in state history.  While there were a historic number of votes, turnout was about average at 74% ranking 6th highest in Arizona history.

1. 1980 – 80.1% Reagan – Carter
2. 2008 – 77.7% Obama – McCain
3. 1992 – 77.2% Clinton – Bush
4. 2004 – 77.1% Bush – Kerry
5. 2012 – 74.4% Obama – Romney
6. 2016 – 74.2% Trump – Clinton

Demographically, women made up 55% of Arizona’s electorate while 18-24 year olds made up 6%.  The average age of the Arizona voter is 55.

Early balloting continues to grow and the rising number of provisional ballots has finally been stopped.  The general election saw 73% of the electorate vote by early ballot, up from 54% in 2012.  While the number of early voters continues to increase, the issuance of provisional ballots declined by 80,000 since the 2012 general election.

“The reduction of provisional ballots is extremely good news, as it shows us our voter education efforts are working,” said Secretary Reagan.  “In the last three presidential elections, the issuance of provisional ballots had increased every year.  This particular election seems to indicate a new positive trend and I hope it continues.

“Running four statewide elections this year was extremely challenging for election administrators around the state.  Some things went well, and we uncovered a number of things we’d like to improve.  Finally, I’d like to thank our counties for their diligence to process and tabulate ballots as efficiently as they do.  While we will continue to explore options to get to results faster, we will always prioritize accuracy over expediency.”

Read press release online.

You can also view the official election canvass here.

Yuma GOP Chair Jonathan Lines Announces for Arizona Republican Chairman

Jonathan Lines

PHOENIX — Today, Jonathan Lines, the Republican Party Chairman of Yuma County and business leader, announced his candidacy for chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.

“After time, careful consideration, and consulting with my wife and children, I have decided to run for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party,” said Lines. “The Arizona Republican Party has experienced an unprecedented amount of growth and success the past several years. With President-Elect Donald Trump and a Republican Congress, it is imperative that we keep up the Republican Party’s momentum in our state. Not only must we sustain our progress, but we must also expand our successes. Therefore, it is critical that we elect a committed and tested conservative leader who unites the Arizona Republican Party with a vision for the future.”

YUMA GOP CHAIR NABS ENDORSEMENTS FROM CONGRESSMAN PAUL GOSAR AND CONSERVATIVE GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST MARCUS HUEY

Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, the first elected official to endorse Lines, said the following:

“Jonathan will pick up the torch where Chairman Graham left off and continue to ensure Arizona votes and registers Republicans. Elections are not won on Election Day but require years of work before that. Jonathan knows this and will work hard for victory.”

“As a member of the AZGOP Executive Committee, it has been my pleasure to work directly with Jonathan. I have personally witnessed his professionalism, work ethic and boundless energy. As Republicans we would be very fortunate to have his leadership talent working for us as Chairman. He has my full support to be the next Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party,” said Marcus Huey, a lifelong Republican Activist.

The election of a new AZGOP Chairman will take place on January 28th at the Statutory Meeting and will be voted on by newly elected State Committeemen from every district or county committee.

Jonathan Lines is a conservative businessman whose family settled in Arizona in the 1800s. As a local community leader and a family man from Yuma, Jonathan has had the privilege of serving as the Yuma County Republican Party Chairman for the past six years. Lines was also a national delegate to the 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions. In January 2015, he was elected as the Arizona Republican Party State Treasurer, where he has been part of the leadership team that has enjoyed historic fundraising and election success. Lines serves in multiple community and statewide organizations in addition to being involved in numerous business enterprises. He owns a construction company, serves on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council, is the State Representative for the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Board, is a faith group leader, and a Second Amendment enthusiast. Jonathan and his wife, Rosie Lines, are the proud parents of 11 children.

Congressman Trent Franks Endorses Andy Tobin, GOP Slate for Arizona Corporation Commission

Andy Tobin for Corporation Commission

(Phoenix) – Today, United States Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican who represents Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, announced his endorsement of Corporation Commissioner Andy Tobin and the three Republican candidates. Tobin is running for a full term on the Arizona Corporation Commission in order to represent Arizona’s hardworking taxpayers.

“Across every jurisdiction, the 2016 elections are vitally important for both our nation and state,” said Congressman Franks. “We must elect candidates who won’t give away our freedoms to the bureaucrats in Washington D.C., which is why I am supporting Republican candidates Andy Tobin, Bob Burns and Boyd Dunn for the Arizona Corporation Commission. I know that these conservative candidates will fight federal overreach, oversee Arizona’s energy grid, and protect Arizona against a future administration telling hard-working taxpayers what kind of energy they have to use in their homes and businesses. Please join me in supporting Tobin, Burns, and Dunn.”

“I am incredibly thankful to receive Congressman Franks’ endorsement,” said Tobin. “I have admired the Congressman throughout his career. He has always inspired me to be a better leader through his strong conservative values, limited government mindset, and desire to serve the public. Above all, he understands, as I do, that the taxpayers of Arizona need to be protected from bureaucrats and federal overreach. Once again, I thank him for his support.”

“Congressman Franks is a strong Republican force in the House of Representatives, which is why I am humbled to receive his support for the Corporation Commission,” said Dunn. “I look forward to working with two other great Republicans, Andy Tobin and Bob Burns, on the Arizona Corporation Commission. I ask for your vote this November.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

About Andy Tobin

Commissioner Andy Tobin is a well-known leader in Arizona state government. Prior to his appointment tothe Arizona Corporation Commission, Tobin was appointed by the Governor to serve as director of theArizona Department of Insurance in October 2015. In addition, he was appointed acting director of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. Prior to those appointments, Tobin served as director of the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures, helping consolidate the agency, reducing costs and improving consumer services and protections. Commissioner Tobin was a long-time member of the Arizona House of Representatives, representing rural Arizona from 2006 to 2014. He was Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. Prior to his Speakership, he served as the House Majority Leader and Majority Whip.

Christine Jones’ Statement on CD-5 Election Results

Christine Jones for Congress

(Gilbert, AZ)Friday afternoon, conservative business leader Christine Jones released the following statement regarding the final CD-5 Republican Primary Election results:

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to have shared my conservative outsider message with the citizens of CD-5. Although we came up short on results, I believe we were successful in making this election about the issues rather than political hand-offs. Voters want to know their representatives are not taking them for granted.

“I want to thank my supporters, volunteers and staff for devoting their time, talent and treasure to this campaign. They carried the weight of this endeavor and to them, I am indebted.

“I congratulate my opponent, Senator Andy Biggs, and wish him the best in the General Election.

“The General Election is rapidly approaching and there is much work to be done to elect Republicans in local, state and national elections. We must not take anything for granted, especially the trust of the voters. This election will be critical to restoring the economy, jobs and national security to America. We must win.

“As for me and my family, I will continue to contribute to the community making the East Valley a great place to work, play and raise a family.”