Congressman Andy Biggs Speaks Out on US National Debt

Thank you Congressman Andy Biggs for this statement:

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs commented on the U.S. national debt passing twenty trillion dollars:

“Late last week, the U.S. national debt topped twenty trillion dollars for the first time in history. Instead of debating how Congress could take action to reduce the risk of default and substantial payments our grandchildren will inherit, Congress continues to encourage reckless spending and unaccountable taxpayer-funded programs. Rather than making the hard choices now, we are forcing Americans into an even tougher situation in the future because of this rising debt.

“It will take courage to cut government spending in order to deal with our national debt. If we are to follow through with our commitment to reduce expenditures and create economic stability for our future, we must immediately take action. The time for words is over.”

TJ Shope, Frank Pratt Named 2017 Legislative Champions by League of Arizona Cities and Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-8) and Senator Frank Pratt (R-8) last week were named 2017 Legislative Champions by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Legislative Champions award is given to legislators to honor their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

“I am honored to be named a 2017 Legislative Champion by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Shope. “Our work together ensures that communities across the state continue to grow into better places to live, work, and play.

“I am thrilled to be honored by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Senator Pratt. “Their dedication to support city and local leadership at the legislature is an asset to our state.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a membership-based organization comprised of municipalities throughout Arizona and provides a bridge from local cities and towns to the state legislature.

Shope Pratt

TJ Shope & Frank Pratt

POLL: 61.8% of Arizona Voters Believe Confederate Capitol Mall Monument Should Be Kept

High Ground

Survey reveals the complexities of navigating this controversial issue as independent and unaffiliated voters lean towards keeping monument

PHOENIX (August 24, 2017) — A statewide survey of likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters revealed that nearly 62% of voters believe that the memorial to Confederate Soldiers on the Arizona Capitol Mall should be kept. The results are derived from the same survey that showed President Trump with a 41.8% approval rating and 56.8% opposition to a pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Q.        In the past week, there has been a national discussion over whether or not statues honoring members of the Confederate Army should be removed from public spaces. Currently, there is a memorial to Confederate soldiers at the Capitol Mall, which is on public land across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Do you think this specific memorial should be kept in its current location or removed?

51.5%  Definitely Kept
10.3%  Probably Kept
6.0%    Probably Removed
26.3%  Definitely Removed
6.0%    Don’t Know, Refused

AZ Confederate Monument“These results show that this debate is not simply a partisan issue. More than 61% of independent voters and 60% of unaffiliated voters believe that the memorial should be kept.  Bear in mind, these are the same groups that currently have lower than 33% approval of the President,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll. “It is clear that this issue is complicated and deeply personal.  As the political parties continue to appeal to smaller and smaller audiences and cater to identity politics, they will find it increasingly difficult to address complex issues.  The challenge that the survey reveals is that there are mixed results with an ‘either/or’ approach.”

The survey specifically asked about the Confederate monument that currently stands on the mall in front of the Arizona State Capitol.  It did not address any of the other Confederate monuments or freeway names throughout the state.

“Instead of simply using this issue as a partisan wedge to cudgel opponents with or advance an ideological agenda, we need our leaders to lead a constructive dialogue.  Arizona is a unique state with an independent spirit and has shown time and again that it is up to the challenge to face and have thoughtful discourse on tough issues,” Coughlin concluded.

As I have said before, we must find our way back to discussing, learning, and growing from meaningful discussions about our collective past. Taking a hard and fast approach to this issue may not have the desired results for those seeking to build a General Election coalition.  It is my hope that these results will be viewed as a call to bring people together to have a thoughtful dialogue.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Q.            In the past week, there has been a national discussion over whether or not statues honoring members of the Confederate Army should be removed from public spaces. Currently, there is a memorial to Confederate soldiers at the Capitol Mall, which is on public land across from the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Do you think this specific memorial should be kept in its current location or removed?

51.5%  Definitely Kept
10.3%  Probably Kept
6.0%    Probably Removed
26.3%  Definitely Removed
6.0%    Don’t Know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9

View HighGround’s post HERE.

Poll: Jeff Flake in Double Jeopardy

High Ground

US Senator Jeff Flake in Double Electoral Jeopardy Twelve Months Away from Primary Election

Republican Party Divided – Provides Opening for Democrats

PHOENIX (August 22, 2017) — A statewide Arizona survey of 400 likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters shows Republican incumbent Senator Jeff Flake twelve points behind his primary Republican opponent Kelli Ward and eight points behind prospective Democratic opponent U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ-9).

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

The Republican Primary Election sample was of 273 high efficacy Republican and PND/Independent voters and has a margin of error of ±5.93%.  The General Election sample of 400 high efficacy general election voters has a margin of error of ±4.88%.

Jeff Flake

Senator Jeff Flake

“While Election Day may still be more than a year away, Senator Jeff Flake’s campaign has a lot of work to do to persuade Republican primary voters that his form of principled Republican conservatism can trump the nativist populism that is fueling Republican voters’ antipathy towards Washington insiders.  These same Republicans still give the President a 74% approval rating in Arizona,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll.

“The good news for Senator Flake’s campaign is that the election is still a year away and his campaign has the financial support to more clearly articulate his own views and define his opponent’s positions.  Additionally, efforts to pass tax reform, infrastructure investment and other major policy initiatives could substantially change the electoral environment in Arizona,” said Coughlin.

The survey showed that Congresswoman Sinema is not known by 45% of the electorate in Arizona while Ward was beaten by nearly 100,000 votes in her primary election against Senator John McCain in 2016.

Coughlin continued, “Kelli Ward may not be well-known in light of her campaign against Senator McCain in 2016.  But even tacit support from the President, with subsequent staffing and financial resources, would be a huge boost for her chances.”

Additionally, General Election turnout in off-Presidential Cycle races in Arizona shows that Republicans historically have a twelve-point turnout advantage, which steepens the climb for any Democratic contender.

“The data clearly shows that a contentious primary fight would certainly strengthen the chances of the Democrats to pick up the seat in November of next year.  There is an opportunity for Congresswoman Sinema to take advantage of the uncertainty on the Republican side by jumping into the Senate race,” Coughlin remarked. “The question for the General Election comes down to if Congresswoman Sinema will be able to define herself first to an electorate that is largely unfamiliar with her, or if Republican third-party groups can define her in ways unacceptable to Arizona’s General Electorate.”

The survey showed that Sinema enjoys a 51% approval rating among voters in her Congressional district which is largely within the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, which are more progressive, urban areas of the State.

Although a 14-point margin is a sizeable gap for Senator Flake, Arizona is known for its volatility when it comes to statewide races. Politicos such as Governors Fife Symington and Jan Brewer have been able to successfully rally from greater margins in shorter periods of time.

Coughlin stated, “It may look dire now, but we must remember a poll is a snapshot in time.”

“Even today, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) began to remind voters that Kelli Ward is not a serious thinker when it comes to the issues confronting our country.  I would expect third-party groups like the SLF and dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth to come to the Senator’s aid and tout his conservative credentials,” concluded Coughlin. “The Senator is in for the fight of his life and things will only get more difficult if the President Trump continues to pick intraparty fights.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Next, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of the job the following persons or groups are doing:

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?
[N = 273]

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Kelli Ward or Kyrsten Sinema?

30.5%  Kelli Ward
31.8%  Kyrsten Sinema
37.8%  Don’t know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9

Secretary of State Completes Preliminary Review of Referendum Petitions

Michele Reagan

On August 8, 2017, Save Our Schools Arizona filed an estimated 9,078 petition sheets containing 111,540 signatures in support of R-02-2018.

The Secretary of State’s Office has completed its preliminary review of referendum petitions in accordance with Arizona law, and has determined that the committee filed 9,291 petition sheets.  Of these, 8,950 petition sheets containing 108,224 signatures remained eligible for random sampling and County Recorder review.

A 5% random sample of these signatures has been sent to the County Recorders for signature verification under Arizona law.  In order for the measure to qualify for the 2018 General Election ballot, the County Recorders must collectively validate at least 3,767 signatures (or 69.6%) from the random sample.

The deadline for County Recorder review is September 11, 2017.

Read more about Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan here.

Jonathan Gelbart Files for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jonathan Gelbart

Tempe, AZ (August 7, 2017) – Jonathan Gelbart, former Director of Charter School Development for the nationally top-ranked BASIS Charter Schools, today announced that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. He has resigned his position at BASIS to campaign full-time.

“I’m running for this office because nothing is more important for Arizona’s long-term success than our public education system,” Gelbart said. “And our incumbent has really engaged in dereliction of duty. We need a state schools chief with a fresh perspective, the will to fight for our public schools, and the long-term vision necessary to build the education system of the future. Our workforce is facing an oncoming freight train called automation, so business as usual isn’t going to cut it anymore.”

Gelbart has managed the opening or expansion of schools for more than 8,000 children across Arizona, including the number one public high school in America according to U.S. News & World Report. Gelbart’s efforts involved building relationships with communities from Prescott to Tucson and obtaining more than $250 million in bond funds for school construction, renovation, and expansion.

To ensure broad, ongoing feedback from education professionals, Gelbart has formed an Educators Advisory Group composed of educators and school leaders with more than 100 years of combined experience in Arizona schools. “I want our Arizona school system to be one of the best in the country, and Jonathan can help us move in that direction,” said Michele Savoia, a member of the group and a psychology teacher in the Deer Valley Unified School District for 28 years.

“Arizona has the opportunity to lead the nation in creating a more flexible education system that truly prioritizes creativity, self-motivation, and critical thinking,” Gelbart added. “Schools need to treat every child as an individual human being, not a test-taking robot.”

Gelbart was born and raised in northwest Phoenix, graduated as salutatorian from Barry Goldwater High School, and earned a master’s degree in engineering from Stanford University. His family roots in Arizona go back nearly 70 years. If elected, Gelbart would be the youngest Superintendent of Public Instruction since statehood.

About Jonathan Gelbart
Gelbart earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations and master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University in four and a half years. Through his work with the BASIS charter schools, he managed the opening of 12 campuses in Arizona and three in Texas that will serve more than 10,000 students this fall. He serves on the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s Millennial Council and the Tempe Neighborhood Advisory Commission. He and his newlywed wife Cara live with their rescue cattle dog mix, Kermit, at their home in Tempe.

For more information or to sign up for campaign updates, please visit www.gelbartforaz.com.

Speaker Mesnard Applauds Court Decision Allowing Initiative Compliance Law to Take Effect

Arizona Seal

JD Mesnard

JD Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today applauded a decision by the Arizona Superior Court allowing legislation (HB 2244) passed by the Legislature earlier this year to take effect tomorrow.  HB 2244 creates uniformity, provides greater clarity, and ensures integrity in the signature-gathering process for initiatives and referenda by compelling strict compliance with requirements set forth in statute and the Constitution.

“Because the Legislature doesn’t have the ability to address unintended consequences created by initiatives, it’s important that initiative campaigns strictly comply with the law,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “I’m pleased with the Court’s decision and look forward to the implementation of the law.”

The new law goes into effect tomorrow, August 9.

President Trump Challenges Millennial’s for Twitter Crown

OH Predictive

Almost Two Thirds of Arizona Voters Believe Trump Tweets Too Much

Phoenix, AZ (August 4, 2017) –  As social media use continues to grow, OH Predictive Insights wanted to learn more on how Arizona voters viewed President Trump’s tweeting frequency and to gather tangible data on the overall perception behind his use of Twitter.  It is safe to say that by now in the era of Trump you are aware of his preferred social media platform Twitter.

Over 700 active registered, Arizona Democratic, Republican, Independent and non-declared voters participated in this survey, which were based on current active voter registration numbers. The results are as followed:

The question was stated, “of these 4 types of people, who would you say tweets the most in your opinion?”

“It should raise some red flags when the President is running second behind millennials when it comes to their tweeting frequency,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.

OH Predictive Insights also tested Trump’s tweeting frequency. The question was stated, “how would you rate President Trump when it comes to the frequency of his tweeting?”

“If 2 out of every 3 people you meet say you should tone it down – you may want to use Twitter more strategically,” said Noble. “Especially, when 42% of your own political party believes you that are overdoing it.”

“Arizona voters are even split down partisan lines on President Trumps tweets. Democrats and Independents clearly want the President to rest his fingers while only a plurality of Republicans say ‘enough with the tweets’,” said Wes Gullett, partner at OH Predictive Insights and GOP Strategist.

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on July 26th, 2017, from an active Arizona registered voter sample. The sample size was 700 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 3.7%

About OH Predictive Insights

Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers.

Reverend Jarrett Maupin Responds to Arizona Republic Article

Jarrett Maupin

Rev Jarrett Maupin (photo credit Willie Stark)

The Reverend Jarrett Maupin’s response to being the subject of an incredibly error-filled and indisputably biased article that appeared in or on media platforms controlled by The Arizona Republic today:

“I have never been more disappointed or sickened by a media report in The Arizona Republic, than I was today. To be the subject of vicious lies, fabricated scandal, and then to be publicly defamed by a series of professional, personal, and social insult quotes is a form of abuse that the leaders of our paper of record should be concerned about.

“I would like to address several outright lies in the article:

First of all, I am the leader of a years old quasi-religious non-profit social welfare organization that, in-part, functions as a church. This was publicly available information that the so-called journalists that authored this story failed to research or simply ignored. I have also served with distinction as an interim minister and associate minister at several churches.

Second, I do not and never have charged hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees to anyone that came to me with a civil rights concern. I engage in civil rights activism that is totally free and self-sustaining. Completely separate and apart from this community work, I do operate a consulting firm that is exclusively focused on political, business, and community development issues and clientele. These two areas of work function independently of each other and are absolutely unrelated.

Third, I do not and have not ever attempted to solicit money from, manage money for, or demand any sort of donation or contribution from ANY person I have ever advocated for. In fact, The Arizona Republic article states that of ALL of the people they interviewed only two people made this baseless and low accusation. Both of these people have either a personal or political motivation to make these disparaging claims.

Fourth, in the case of Ms. Lorenza Valdez, I suspect my long and unapologetic relationship with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has more to do with this than any sort of alleged mistreatment she experienced. Her new puppet-masters, the Center for Neighborhood Leadership and Puente, have long had a vendetta against the former sheriff and have, apparently, carried-over that vengeful agenda to anyone who dares to continue to call him a friend. What I do know is that until I raised awareness around the Valdez matter, neither Puente nor the Center for Neighborhood Leadership had said anything or taken any action to advocate around the matter. As for Ms. Valdez paying me any money for anything I did, I completely reject and denounce that narrative as a lie. What in fact happened is this, Ms. Valdez sought the professional services of a private investigative firm. I am not a private investigator. What I am is a shot messenger. When Ms. Valdez failed to meet her obligations to the private investigators she hired, I received calls about it. I vouched for her and even offered to have my non-profit pay expenses. I told Ms. Valdez this as well, unfortunately my offer was declined by both parties. Ms. Valdez paid the fees assessed to her by the private investigative team she hired. Upon Ms. Valdez affiliating with Puente and Center for Neighborhood Leadership, I received ONE call – out of the blue – about the monies she paid out to the private investigator and related consultants. Immediately upon hearing a request for a return of the monies, I contacted anyone on my staff who had any connection to the consultants. Almost instantaneously, the funds Ms. Valdez spent were returned to me, save for the cost of the professional photographer that was hired to document fatal injuries to her son’s body and his post-mortem state – which she requested and insisted be publicly released. I insisted on returning the monies immediately to Ms. Valdez, even though her new handlers kept suggesting that I do so when I returned from a 2 week civil rights conference in Atlanta. I absolutely REFUSED to do that and demanded that we meet a day later, on Mother’s Day, and personally handed Ms. Valdez all of her funds. We continued to meet for between 2 and 3 hours, where I was exhaustively questioned by her new handlers about strategies and political insights related to the Valdez case. I freely and willingly indulged all of their questions and left the meeting feeling confident they had asked me everything they needed to ask with respect to how to move forward with protests and political pressure tactics. This all occurred in the matter of 2 weeks or less. That is the extent of my involvement and several witnesses and consultants who were hired by Ms. Valdez and collected money from Ms. Valdez offered to and did speak to the journalist who wrote this tabloid worthy garbage. Sadly, their statements were not included in this story in any meaningful way. I never chose an attorney for Ms. Valdez and I never gave any advice about the legal issues present in her case.

Fifth, in the case of Ms. Shanesha Taylor, I have absolutely nothing to say beyond this: I have never charged or demanded a donation or contribution from Shanesha Taylor. I have never authorized anyone else to do so either. Shanesha Taylor was among all of my many thousands of contacts that were turned over to campaign staff during my 2014 run for Congress. She was, according to her, contacted and asked for a contribution. As I understand her claim, she willingly and freely gave a $500.00 contribution to the campaign. I have never had a conversation with Shanesha about this campaign contribution. I have however appeared on the Dr. Phil Show with Shanesha and she never once mentioned the alleged campaign contribution. I also set-up a media sting with CBS5 KPHO because Shanesha was making unfounded extortion claims against me while at the same time continuing to interact with me in a cordial way. More than a year ago, upon learning of these allegations, I agreed to a lunch with Shanesha during which a reporter from the aforementioned station appeared and questioned her about why she would dine or meet with someone she had such negative feelings about. Shanesha denied having made any accusations at all and stopped making the allegations. I have never – NOT ONCE – made any requests or demands of Shanesha Taylor. I continue to have deep disappointment over her apparent inability to abide or live up to the very fair and justice-oriented agreement that was reached by her attorney at the time and the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. I continue to feel terrible about the murkiness and questions that remain about what she did or did not do or allow to happen to the thousands of dollars the public donated to her cause. What I do know is this, Shanesha Taylor never paid or gave me any money. Period. The only time money ever changed hands was when I first met Shanesha and gave she and her companion at the time $300.00 dollars out of my pocket to buy groceries and fuel because they claimed to have nothing. I do not regret giving to them because I gave out of the abundance of my heart as a Christian.

Sixth, as for apologizing for participating in the shoot or don’t shoot scenario with the Sheriff’s office, I will never do such a thing. Over 30 million Americans have watched and learned from that important video. Even FBI leaders have cited it as a way to encourage and bring law enforcement and the community together. The fact that I participated in a use of force scenario does no change my beliefs about police brutality and misconduct. I continue to fight for reforms more passionately and directly than any other activist I know. I did, however, gain a new appreciation for the use of compliance as a survival mechanism for people confronted with police brutality or excessive force situations. Compliance can help to keep people alive. Compliance does not, however, stop a law enforcement officer bent on violating or injuring or killing a person from doing so. I totally reject and rebuke any remarks or so-called activists who claim my open lines of communication with law enforcement damage the civil rights movement in any way. That opinion is flat on its face and reveals to me the unfortunate level of ignorance some people harbor, in spite of being in close proximity to the political and social realities that impact the movement for police and policy reform.

Seventh, how dare the author of this hit piece interview nearly a hundred people and discount the overwhelmingly positive and praise worthy things they had to say. Shame on this reporter for using the conflicted and bitter barking of two non-victims to draft such a racist and unbalanced news article. I now believe that the label racist and unbalanced probably applies to the author as well. This article was a political hit job and the unprofessional and grimy line and nature of questioning that this reporter engaged in upset and disturbed many of my closest friends and colleagues. Unfortunately for the author, they did not satisfy his sick storyline and were – without a second thought – not included in the finished story.

Eight, I want to know who at The Arizona Republic that looks like me and comes from where I come from, was in a position to try and stop or criticize this completely meritless article? What Black person is in leadership at The Arizona Republic? And was this run-by that person to prevent what happened from occurring? The answer is, there is no such person. And so, racism and petty politics around local personalities permitted our esteemed paper of record to become a rag unworthy to even wash windows with.”

“In summation, let me reiterate the fact that – with the exception of two highly conflicted persons – every single person interviewed DENIED ever having been charged money or asked for money by me or my organizers. That the newspaper INCORRECTLY stated that I have no formal church or civil rights organization, that I charge money for people facing issues of discrimination or other abuses, and that I have ever, in any way shape or form, misused my authority as an activist minister. I am unapologetically Black and adhere to the liberationist interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I represent Black, I live Black, I love Black, and I will die Black. This type of yellow, racist, “fake news” is exactly what is destroying our country. I encourage all literate people to re-read the article and use their brains. It is FULL of inconsistencies, falsehoods, truth-stretching, manipulation, racism, and spite. I had hoped never to have to give credence to President Trump’s assertion that the media is the enemy and I am still hesitant to do so, but it is clear now that certain members of the media are – in fact – the enemy and the author of this article is chief amongst them, locally.

“I pray for my followers, for my community, and supporters. I pray for my enemies and those who despitefully use and persecute me. I pray for my political opponents and their minions. I pray for the free press and their integrity. I pray for the strength to continue to keep the faith and fight the good fight.

“I condemn this news story and its author and answer all of its allusions or allegations with one word: lies.

“How many more nasty articles will the paper allow this man to write about me? How many more times does he get to try and assassinate or lynch a black leader? Why does the paper permit the printing of such irresponsible and truthless journalism?

“One thing is for certain, The Republic still treats leading niggers that they don’t or can’t control – like niggers. I, like Malcolm X, Adam Powell, Stockely Carmichael, H.Rap Brown or other colored freedom fighters before me will never apologize for my Negritude. I wear The Republic’s nigger badge with honor, as did my predecessors and other in between who dare or dared to thumb our noses at the racism of our day. I’m just glad I helped sell a few new subscriptions to the old rag and thankful for the nice portrait they ran. My undue misery just secured another paycheck for a reporter who frowned when he found out that one pair of my shoes could finance his whole wardrobe.

“Fuck being polite or politically correct. Today’s article was both the doom song of decency and the birth cries of unapologetic demagoguery. The public is tired of these kind of bullshit stories.

“This is the age of the internet and of cell phones. Nobody looks to the newspaper for unbiased and fact based news. That day is over and done with. Print what you want. Say what you want. Do what you want. I plan on doing the same without regrets or apologies. White men do and so shall I. Keep the faith, baby!”

Kevin Thompson Announces Re-Election Bid for Mesa City Council

Four years ago I announced my bid to run for Mesa City Council District 6. What a ride it has been!

My passion is serving the community, and I am grateful for the trust the citizens of Southeast Mesa continue to place in me. Without a doubt it is the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever had.

Kevin Thompson Family

Today, I proudly announce that I am seeking re-election for another four-year term to represent the voters of District 6.

We’ve accomplished a lot during the past three years, particularly in the areas of economic development. When I first ran for office, I promised to focus on working to bring quality jobs to Mesa. I can’t take credit for all of the growth we’ve experienced, but I continued the vision that was set in place before me, and I’ve challenged the departments within our City to do it better, more efficiently, and more effectively than anyone else. You can’t say you’re open for business if your actions don’t show it. We’ve instilled confidence in the business community and the development community, and our district continues to shine as a model for the entire City.

In just three short years since I’ve entered office, Chandler-Gilbert Community College expanded their campus at Mesa Gateway, Gateway Polytechnic was built at Bella Via, and Eastmark has become the fastest growing community in Arizona. Apple announced their Global Command Center with a $2 billion dollar investment, Dignity Health constructed a new hospital, DuPont Fabros announced plans for a giant data center campus, Niagra Bottling is bringing 50 jobs along with a $76 million dollar investment, and EuroContempo is bringing jobs and a $10 million dollar investment to Ray Road. We’ve also seen incredible growth in our industrial sector including an expansion of CMC Steel, a new facility from Matheson Tri Gas, an expansion from Fuji at their Pecos plant, and a new Metso repair facility. Not to mention we are now home to the largest Fry’s Marketplace in Arizona, a new Courtyard Marriott, and scores of new restaurants.

All of this growth however, does not mean I will serve as a rubber stamp. I continue to ask questions to insure our tax dollars are spent in a fiscally responsible manner and challenge proposals that do not have taxpayers best interests in mind. How much does it cost? Where is the money coming from? Who benefits? Are there alternatives? I will continue to ask these questions because I owe it to you and I owe it to my family. After all, like you, I’m still a resident and taxpayer of Mesa.

Regardless of whether you voted for me before, I’m hopeful that, over the past three years, I’ve instilled your trust and gained your confidence. There’s a lot left that I want us to accomplish as a District and a City, and I would greatly appreciate your support.

Vote “Thompson” for Mesa in 2018.