Archives for December 2022

Flashback Follow Up on Goodyear ‘Art’

It’s been almost 14 years since we ran this story about an overpriced leftist “art” project in the City of Goodyear, Arizona so we thought it appropriate to post a link to an update on the story.

Thanks to Jen & Friends with the West Valley Families blog, the saga of sad, subsidized, stupid art is coming to a partial end. This is a must read for all West Valley residents and a valuable lesson in citizen vigilance on local government.

In her exclusive report, Jen uncovers more of the history as well as the leftist agenda of Marta Thoma Hall and her connections to other municipal art fiascos, billionaire David Hall and a bizarre Uber autonomous car wreck in Tempe. These revelations are simply great investigative journalism.

There are several takeaway lessons from Jen’s West Valley Families piece.

First, it is critical that we support the work of local journalists in bringing well-vetted investigative news to the community. (Be sure to subscribe to the West Valley Families substack.)

Second, leftists influencers will always disguise and hide their agenda even at the local level. Out of state leftist, Marta Thoma Hall, seek opportunities to push their agenda whether its in the art world of big tech.

Third, situations like this require constant vigilance by local citizen activists. An out-of-state leftist took advantage of a growing town 13+ years ago establishing a foothold with virtually no opposition. Your local governments, which are closest to the people, need to be constantly monitored.

To stay in the know of West Valley politics and culture, please subscribe to the West Valley Families substack and support you local journalist/activists!

Results of Tight Races in Arizona Midterms Correlate with OHPI Polling

In Battleground Arizona, OHPI’s AZPOP Poll of Record Comes Close to Results of Top Races

AZPOP Poll of Record toplines and crosstabs can be found here  
PHOENIX (December 15th, 2022)- As yet another election cycle of serving the State of Arizona with nonpartisan public opinion polling comes to a close, OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) compared the final results of several of Arizona’s races that kept us all on the edge of our seat to the final Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) poll of the 2022 Election season. U.S. Senate RaceThe final AZPOP 2022 poll, released one week before Election Day, showed Mark Kelly earning the support of 48% of likely voters to Blake Masters’ 46%. The poll had a margin of error of +/-4.0%, meaning that the poll expected Kelly’s support to fall between 44% and 52%, and Masters’ support to fall between 42% and 50%. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office certified results show both candidates well within the OHPI final range, with Mark Kelly at 51.4%, retaining his seat in Arizona’s U.S. Senator, and Blake Masters 46.5%. OHPI’s results more accurately reflected the race than the final polling average on RealClearPolitics. “The Senate race was incredibly close, although, with hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the contest, the 3% of undecided voters predominantly broke for Kelly, breaking Masters’ chances of unseating Kelly,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research.
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Governor RaceIn the neck and neck race for Arizona Governor, the final AZPOP election poll put Katie Hobbs (47%) and Kari Lake (49%) at a within-the-margin tie, separated by just 2 points. With a margin of error of +/-4.0%, the poll expected Katie Hobbs’ support to fall between 43% and 51%, and Kari Lake’s support to fall between 45% and 53%. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office certified results show both candidates well within the OHPI final range, with Katie Hobbs claiming a slim victory at 50.3% and Kari Lake at 49.6%. Once again, OHPI’s results more accurately reflected the race than the final polling average on RealClearPolitics.
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“With Arizona being a crucial battleground state notoriously difficult to poll, it is with great honor to continue to serve our home base with trusted, nonpartisan data,” said Noble. “As prominent national pollsters wonder what went wrong with their state polling in these top races, I’m pleased our polling and turnout models most accurately reflected Arizona’s electorate.”Secretary of State RaceThe final AZPOP 2022 poll showed Adrian Fontes earning the support of 48% of likely voters to Mark Finchem’s 42% in the race to replace Katie Hobbs as Secretary of State. With a +/-4.0% margin of error, the poll expected Fontes’ support to fall between 44% and 52%, and Finchem’s support to fall between 38% and 46%. With double-digit undecideds at the time of the poll, OHPI was still able to provide an accurate read on the race. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office certified results show Adrian Fontes winning this race with 52.4% to Mark Finchem’s 47.6% – both just outside the poll’s margin of error due to that 10% of undecided voters at the time of the poll.“What is interesting about the SOS race is that it went from Finchem with an edge just before Early Voting kicked off to Fontes taking a lead and holding his lead as voters started to pay more attention to the race and the issue platforms of the respective candidates,” said Noble.
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Attorney General RaceIn the Attorney General race, the final AZPOP election poll put Kris Mayes (45%) and Abe Hamadeh (42%) at a within-the-margin tie, separated by just 3 points. With 11% of likely voters undecided at the time of the poll, it was clear this race could go either way. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office certified results shows the two candidates at a near-exact tie with only 511 votes carrying Mayes’ lead, meaning this race, per law, is headed into recount.
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“If this election speaks to anything, it speaks to the impact of every single vote,” said Noble. “Polling gives us a snapshot in time of early support that tells the story of the momentum of a race, but the actuals all come down to turnout.” The wrap-up of Arizona’s 2022 midterm election exemplifies the value of having a pollster that understands the nuances of elections and the local electorate – not one who breezes in from out of state when election season rolls around. This midterm showed that knowledge of the political landscape combined with sound methodology is vital for producing accurate results and insights into how to continuously improve the world of polling.
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Methodology: The referenced AZPOP poll was conducted by OH Predictive Insights as 100% Phone based, Live Caller, and peer-to-peer text. The survey was completed from October 24th to October 26th, 2022, from an Arizona Likely Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect the likely voter population by gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and educational attainment according to a recent voter file derived from the Arizona Secretary of State office and recent Census data. The sample size was 600 likely voters in Arizona with a MoE of +/- 4.0%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Chuck Coughlin on Open Primaries, Ranked Choice Voting

Chuck Coughlin, President and CEO of Arizona’s Highground recently joined Barry Markson on the Mike Broomhead show to discuss the possibility of Arizona switching to an open primary system.

Here is that podcast:

There is a strong possibility that Arizona voters will have the opportunity to approve a major overhaul of our election system.

Coughlin is part of an effort by an organization called Save Democracy Arizona which seeks to improve choice and competition in our election system.

The 2022 election cycle showed that Republicans nominated the most extreme and unpalatable candidates in the party Primary Election. Those candidates refused to appeal to the remaining independent voters and lost their General Election contests.

The aftermath of the 2022 election is that most Arizona voters felt they had horrible choices in the General Election. In the case of Republican candidates, many center-right voters either refused to vote for the Republican candidate or cast a vote for the Democrat.

Ranked Choice Voting or an open primary change would dampen the effect of either party nominating extreme candidates.

Save Democracy Arizona is currently exploring an opportunity to put ranked choice voting or an open primary system on the 2024 General Election ballot.

Special Session 2022 Dénouement?

As executive power slips from the hands of Arizona Republicans, talk of conducting a special session in the last weeks of the Ducey Administration has increase among Republican leadership. Governor Ducey even made an appearance on KTAR’s Mike Broomhead show this morning taunting Republican leadership with “show me the votes.”

This comes as education advocates are in an all out panic over the Aggregate Expenditure Limit forcing public schools to make hard choices over a hardwired denial of access to money already banked for education.

Outgoing Republican State Representative Michelle Udall, who chairs the House Education Committee, assured the Governor that “the votes are there” to remove the AEL limit in a special session.

But opening both chambers to lawmaking poses a more chaotic and unproductive problem of allowing a last ditch effort for extremists to run rampant and hijack the agenda in avoidance of a Democrat Governor’s veto pen.

Election deniers may attempt to codify superfluous “election integrity” measures based on last month’s General Election outcome.

Other ideas are being floated as possible session add-ons.

An extension on Maricopa County’s Prop 400 sales tax is being pushed by outgoing State Senator Tyler Pace. The bill would have allowed Maricopa County to ask voters to extend a half-cent sales tax for transportation projects over the next 25 years but Governor Ducey vetoed the bill earlier this year stating that now was not the time to ask voters to tax themselves. Revisiting the bill with changes may be a way to assuage Ducey’s concerns. However, reviving the bill under the next legislature may be a more difficult for Republican lawmakers than an eager Hobbs Administration.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer is also pushing changes to early voting deadlines and tabulations including a hard deadline on dropping off “late earlies.”

The current cadre of election deniers would like to remove a key election administration process from the Arizona Secretary of State before incoming Adrian Fontes is seated. That function, promulgation of the Arizona Elections Procedures Manual, would be stripped from the Secretary of State and handed over to the haggling of lawmakers. Keep in mind, the EPM has been crafted and revised by CERA-certified professionals for years and adding election deniers to the process would worsen Arizona’s ability to conduct free and fair elections.

Another possible end-run effort may transferring oversight of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts from the Attorney General to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. In January, Kris Mayes will begin her term as AG and Tom Horne will begin his term as SPI. Mayes as a Democrat has shown opposition to the expansion of ESA’s while Horne, a Republican has expressed support.

If a Special Session is called before the end of 2023, it will likely happen next week. House and Senate leadership is scrambling to get commitments from their members before time runs out. And there is no doubt lawmakers are cutting deals and exchanging gifts in the rush of the holidays.

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