Archives for December 2008

Elections by Ward Only

Greg Patterson at Espresso Pundit has a pretty good assessment of a long-standing problem that Tucson has had with its city government elections. Both Greg and I would know since we both are derived from Tucson and have seen first-hand the problem in action.

Greg’s post addresses the issue of a legislative solution to Tucson’s partisan-style election system. But I want to add another point to his post that is often overlooked. And I would know having been intimately familiar with the problem in the early 90’s.

Presently, the City of Tucson holds a primary election for its mayor and councilmen. Both parties usually put up good candidates. City council candidates go through the primary at the ward level. Mayoral candidates go through the primary city-wide.

The problem comes into play during the general election. All primary candidate winners (mayoral and councilmen) move on to the general election but instead of the voters in each ward electing their own councilman, the rest of the city gets to vote in the ward elections. (Tucson City Charter, Chapter XVI, Section 9) This means that the voters of one ward may overwhelmingly elect a councilman who is rejected by all the other wards voting. The best example would be akin to having Arizona nominating its two US Senate candidates only to have the rest of the states gang up and vote for the candidate who would have received the lesser votes by Arizona voters.

Sec. 9. Mayor nominated and elected at large; councilmen nominated from wards, elected at large.
Beginning in the year 1930, and continuing thereafter, the mayor shall be nominated from and elected by the voters of the city at large, and the councilmen shall be nominated each from, and by the respective voters of, the ward in which he resides, and shall be elected by the voters of the city at large.

It’s completely unfair to the voters of each ward.

My understanding of the system goes back to Tucson’s City Charter. If I recall correctly, the election provision dates back to 1930 when the population of Tucson was sparse and there were barely any voters to participate in an election. I assume the then city council wrote the charter in a way to bring as many voters into the process regardless of where they lived and how many wards there were.

Fast forward to the last decade on the 20th century and Tucson has grown exponentially. There are clearly more voters and more unique areas of Tucson that deserve to elect individuals who are invested in their community.

In the early 90’s I was part of a committee to change Tucson’s city charter so that voters could vote for their primary candidate winners not just in the primary but in the general election as well. That effort failed primarily because there was limited interest to move it forward. And this was during a time where East Tucson, which is primarily Republican, would put up a great conservative candidate only to have the other wards reject that candidate in favor of some liberal wacko.

I now live in Mesa, the third largest city in Arizona (behind Tucson) where the voters do get to elect their councilmen by ward in the primary and general – although it is a non-partisan election.

So my recommendation to Senate-elect Jonathan Paton would be to not only make city elections non-partisan but to require cities above specific sizes to elect their councilmen by ward only in the general election.

Update: Sonoran Alliance contacted Senator-elect Jonathan Paton regarding his legislative efforts and discovered that the bill currently scheduled to be introduced will contain the Election by Ward provision.

Drama in LD4, as Phil Corbell meets The Bus



It appears that Phil Corbell’s protestations regarding the legality of the LD4 Organizational Meeting being held on December 17th are falling on largely deaf ears.  There was some question whether or not Corbell would be able to hold his coalition together, but his usefulness appears to have come to an end as his second-in-command (or handler, depending on whose version you believe), and former LD4 and MCRC Chairman Lyle Tuttle is now whipping votes for his own candidacy.  It is unclear how many of Corbell’s supporters will be joining Lyle in throwing Phil under the bus, but some still expect Corbell’s name to be placed onto the ballot on the 17th.  In the meantime, there has been no confirmation that Bob Burges still intends to seek the chairmanship or if another name will be advanced by his supporters.


Arizona Attorneys Respond to Bar Association

Espresso Pundit has posted the letter signed by prominent Arizona attorneys who are expressing concern over the Arizona Bar Association’s revision of the oath for new attorneys. The Bar will now requiring new attorneys to  abide by the following oath:

I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.

Attorneys who signed the seven-page letter summarized their concern and objections with this statement:

For the reasons expressed herein, we believe that the proposed provision is unnecessary, exceedingly ambiguous, and unconstitutional. We are concerned most particularly that the proposed provision’s vagueness violates due-process and free-speech guarantees and that its application infringes First Amendment rights by compelling conduct and expression in conflict with an attorney’s philosophical or religious beliefs as well as his other professional responsibilities.

Now that “sexual orientation” has been inserted, we have to wonder how long it will take before other behaviors such as “dietary orientation” or “hygenic orientation” are included.

Press Release: Rob Haney Announces for Maricopa County Chairman

Our apologies to Rob Haney for missing his press release. Here is his announcement to seek the Maricopa County Chairman’s position:

Dear PCs and Activists,

You may have missed the press release announcing my candidacy for Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee.  The press release and an auto dialer script which highlight my message are at .  At the picture from The Planet of the Apes on the home page, scroll down for the messages.

I am running with an outstanding team of candidates for the county offices:

Chairman……………………..Rob        Haney
1st Vice Chair……………….Diane      Douglas
2nd Vice Chair………………Jeff          Greenspan
Treasurer……………………..George    Teegarden
Secretary……………………..Sandy     Doty

If you support our campaign to maintain a clear conservative message coming from our County Party Leadership, please return this email to me allowing us to use your name to endorse our slate of candidates.

Please see for our campaign information web site.

Looking forward to working with you to return our Party to its Traditional Republican Brand based upon the Constitution and the Platform .

Best Regards,


Bailing Out Donkeys

This was too funny to pass up…

How the bail-out works:

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a Donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the Donkey the next day.

The next day he drove up and said, ‘Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.’

Chuck replied, ‘Well, then just give me my money back.’

The farmer said, ‘Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.’

Chuck said, ‘Ok, then, just bring me the dead donkey.’

The farmer asked, ‘What ya gonna do with him?’

Chuck said, ‘I’m going to raffle him off.’

The farmer said, ‘You can’t raffle off a dead donkey!’

Chuck said, ‘Sure I can — watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.’

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, ‘What happened with that dead donkey?’

Chuck said, ‘I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $998.’

The farmer said, ‘Didn’t anyone complain?’

Chuck said, ‘Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back’

Chuck now works for the US Treasury…

Press Release: Lisa James announces candidacy for Arizona GOP Chair

Media contact: Matthew Dutile
Gordon C. James Public Relations
602-274-1988 / 480-296-6193

Lisa James Announces Candidacy for Arizona GOP Chair

PHOENIX (December 14, 2008) – At the Yavapai County Republican meeting on December 13, Lisa James, elected state committeewoman from Legislative District 8, announced her candidacy for Arizona Republican Party Chairman. James was invited to the stage and was endorsed by Representatives Andy Tobin, Lucy Mason and Senator-Elect Steve Pierce. Yavapai County Republican Chairman Jan Smith has also endorsed Lisa.

“I have launched my campaign for Arizona Republican Party Chairman to increase Republican voter registration, expand voter turnout for Republican candidates, restore the Party’s ability to reach constituents and positively represent our Arizona GOP and its candidates,” said James. James has garnered the support of the grassroots leadership and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels throughout Arizona.

“I am honored to have the support of grassroots leadership throughout Arizona,” said James. “I know with their vision and strong work ethic the future of the Arizona Republican Party is primed for success in 2010.”

James will announce her plans for the Party, additional endorsements and campaign tools in the immediate future.

About Lisa
Lisa James began her career in politics working in the Illinois Legislature for State Representatives and Senators, as well as the Assistant Clerk of the House. She was a volunteer for Jack Kemp for President in 1988 and ran along side Phyllis Schlafly on the Kemp team of delegates and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention. She managed and worked on several campaigns in Illinois before moving to Washington, DC where she joined the Republican National Committee in the political department serving state and local governments. She has worked as an advance representative for President George H.W. Bush and worked on the 1992 Bush/Quayle campaign.

In 2000, Lisa was a member of the Arizona George W. Bush for President Advisory Board. She served as the director of Arizona Victory 2000 where she was responsible for the management of Victory 2000 efforts in Arizona.

In 2004, Lisa was chairman of the No Taxpayer Dollars for Politicians Ballot Initiative before she served as the Arizona executive director for Bush-Cheney ‘04. As executive director, she was responsible for all campaign efforts in Arizona. Lisa also served as the director of coalitions for Senator Kyl’s 2006 re-election effort before serving as the director for the Arizona Republican Party Victory 2006 campaign. In 2008, Lisa chaired the Giuliani for President campaign in Arizona. She worked as a volunteer for several candidates in the 2008 cycle.

Lisa has been involved in many community activities including serving as the chair of the Teaming Up for Kids Luncheon benefiting Florence Crittenton, the corporate board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, Crisis Pregnancy Center Gala committee member, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Maggie’s Place Baby Shower Committee and other charitable events. She co-chaired the successful Arizona Winning Women Fundraiser for the Arizona Republican Party featuring Mary Matalin and RNC co-chair Ann Wagner. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service Series. She is the immediate past first vice chair of Legislative District Eight Republicans. She was a member of the 2003 Presidential Rank Awards Program Meritorious Executive Review Board. Lisa received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University.

Lisa is married to Gordon James. Lisa and Gordon work together at Gordon C. James Public Relations. They have four children (ages 7-15) and reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Andrew Thomas to Seek Arizona Attorney General

Well-connected sources have revealed that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is expected to seek the post of Arizona Attorney General in 2010.

Thomas was the Republican nominee in the 2002 Election cycle.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, has already formed an exploratory committee to seek the post.

Democrats are also expected to run Governor Napolitano’s former chief of staff, Dennis Burke

PolitickerAZ shutting down – because it’s just another liberal media outlet

The liberal blog Rum, Romanism, Rebellion is reporting that PolitickerAZ is shutting down, its parent company is closing up shop in the various states it operates in. Even though PolitickerAZ had only two paid employees. When they first arrived on the scene, we were pleased to see a local newspaper type of publication debut only on the web. We were not pleased to see that PolitickerAZ had a decidedly left-wing bent. This came as no surprise, since it is run by the far left New York Observer. A model like this cannot survive, because there are already two liberal newspapers in the Valley that are migrating to the web, the Republic (with its 1000+ employees) and the Tribune. They have disproportionately provided the mainstream news to the Valley for years; trying to add yet another so-called mainstream news outlet with a liberal bias is just too much saturation for conservative Arizona. With the advent of online news from talk radio stations like KTAR and KFYI, which are less biased, as well as this blog, there are fewer people likely to go to a small biased online news outlet like PolitickerAZ.

Conspiracy Theories, Mushroom Clouds, and Doomsday

Here’s a “fun” Sunday read brought to us by the struggling Los Angeles Times.

The Parowan Prophet, Leland Freeborn, who is hunkered down in Southern Utah with his group of follower survivalists, is predicting that Barack Obama will not become President because nuclear holocaust will strike the United States over the Christmas Holidays.

I haven’t read a conspiracy theory this good in a long time.

Be sure you run down to Wal-Mart and stock up on ammo and canned goods before Christmas.

GLT “Beyond The Briefs” on Napolitano

Interesting commentary by Robert Dekoven in the Gay and Lesbian Times regarding Governor Janet Napolitano. Dekoven’s “Beyond The Briefs” applauds Obama and Napolitano on her nomination to Secretary of Homeland Security.

Obama’s choice of Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security is significant for us too.

Napolitano, the current governor of Arizona, is supportive of gay rights and, as secretary of homeland security, can instruct her immigration staff to grant asylum to gay and lesbian refugees who flee persecution in their native countries.

Former Attorney General Janet Reno initiated this concept, but right-wing immigration attorneys in the Bush administration argued to send GLBT people seeking asylum back to their countries of origin, as long as there were remote places where they could hide. (Imagine sending Jews back to Nazi Germany to live in the hills!)

Napolitano will also have the power to remove the homophobic immigration judges DHS hired under Bush, and this will affect other areas of immigration law too. For instance, it will affect whether we can bring our spouses to the U.S., as straights can, without fear they will be sent back.