Bill Konopnicki vs. Sylvia Allen for LD-5 Senate

I just received an invitation to a fundraiser event for Bill Konopnicki who is exploring a run for the Senate seat in Legislative District 5. The event will be held on January 4, 2010 at the University Club in Phoenix and it’s pretty clear he will be running as a traditional candidate since he’s accepting PAC money. (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

But what is also clear and wrong in the minds of many conservatives is why would he challenge a great conservative legislator like Sylvia Allen?

In his announcement, Konopnicki notes that the money raised will be in support of his Senate Exploratory Committee. Oddly, Konopnicki has not yet registered a senate exploratory committee with the Secretary of State’s office. Rather, he has a generic exploratory committee listed with no office designation. (Could this be one of those back to the future moments?) So how can he announce a fundraising event (and commitment) for a state senate seat if he hasn’t even registered with the SOS?

Konopnicki’s record in the Legislature has not exactly been stellar nor conservative especially on fiscal and budget issues. The Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity issued Konopnicki a 2-year average score of “57” which doesn’t quite define him as a fiscal conservative. Sylvia Allen however, received a score 98 (albeit, she did not start voting until after she replaced the late Senator Jake Flake in June, 2008.)

Taking a look at Konopnicki’s position on fiscal issues via his website, it states,

“Bill’s efforts led to the largest tax cut in Arizona history. At the same time, state employees received the largest pay raise in years, more was spent on K-12 Education, and Higher Education was fully funded. The state paid off most of what it owed and put $650 million in the “Rainy Day Fund”. Bill brings leadership on budgeting, the economy and fiscal discipline. Arizona needs his leadership skills on the budget issue.”

For many conservatives, something doesn’t quite reconcile when comparing Konopnicki’s rhetoric with his record.

Left to right: Bill Jeffers (D), Bill Konopnicki (R), Shirley Dawson (D) & Jack Brown

Left to right: Bill Jeffers (D), Bill Konopnicki (R), Shirley Dawson (D) & Jack Brown (D)

So why should the rural voters of LD-5 switch horses when they already have a great State Senator in Sylvia Allen? Konopnicki is term-limited so the fact that he’s out of a job may have something to do with it.

There were rumors that Konopnicki was looking at a run in CD-1 but with Rusty Bowers in that crowded primary race, he may have gotten cold feet.

Both Konopnicki and Allen are Mormons and there may be a faith-based factor at play.  There may be yet another factor at play here, gender dominance.  It is no secret that Konopnicki has historically opposed any woman who has elected to run for the legislature from his district beginning with Debra Brimhall-Pearson in 2002 and now including Senator Allen since 2006.   Make no mistake, I’m not suggesting he doesn’t work well with other elected women such as Janet Napolitano or Kyrsten Sinema, but conservative women from his home district may be another issue of his.

Whatever the reason, it’s not good political form to challenge a very popular state senator who has a very conservative voting record.


  1. Rural Ralph observes says

    The guy on the far left lost to Senator Allen in 2008…

    The guy on the far right nearly lost to a woman from Payson with no campaign money…

    And the nice looking short woman in red is the Gila County Supervisor who beat David Cook in 2008.

    Isn’t there an expression, Birds of a Feather?

  2. LOL – Bill Konopnicki may not be the next Reagan, but Senator Allen sure isn’t representing my definition of conservative.

    A true conservative weighs in facts. My business is not well represented by a person who rants about our 6,000 year-old earth during a serious discussion about mining laws or someone who thinks that Arizona’s trees are ‘stealing’ our water supply.

    A conservative knows that you have to invest time and energy the things that count for our community and our economy. My family isn’t well served by Senator Allen’s contempt for public education, or her desire to spend time trying to pass a legislation to allow guns on K-12 campuses while avoiding the difficult $3 billion+ deficit issue.

    We need rational and thoughtful adults in our legislature. Spend some time watching Sen. Allen and Konopnicki speaking with and to their colleagues in the legislature, and I’ll tell you it is no contest who demonstrates the ability to calmly assess information and rationally debate the issues. The last time I watched a committee meeting on-line, I was so distracted by Allen’s sneering and nasty comments that I almost forgot what they are talking about in the session.

  3. Rural Ralph says

    Parent X, what is your business that Senator Allen’s opinion of the Earth’s origins has any bearing on it? Your statement prima facie is a Non Sequitur.

    As for the trees? A mature pine in the White Mountains can consume upwards of 50 gal per day of water. When you have over 300 trees per acre, each competing for the limited rainfall, how much water do you think makes it into the drinking water aquifer? Good sustainable forests should support at most 75 trees per acre.

    Let us not parse our words Parent X, education despite spending millions has yielded little in return. If you’re in business you certainly understand the investment versus rate of return equation.

    If an investment proves sour, a good business doesn’t continue pouring millions more dollars into the same dry well and expect to strike oil.

    Your comments appear self-serving and one might conclude you have a vested interest in Mr. Konopnicki (who voted to spend the state’s Rainy Day fund and import cheap workers from south of the border).

    Your charges are spurious regarding guns and contempt for education. Perhaps if teachers received more and administrators received less we might see some education outcomes we could be proud of.

    Parent X, perhaps you should spend more time with your family?

  4. Xena Warrior Princess says

    If anyone opposes Deborah Brimhall, so brilliant and qualified, that is ipso facto proof that they must be a misogynist.

    After all, who doesn’t want a legislator that wears a Xena Warrior Princess outfit to events, or who cries on the House floor during debate on the lobbyist gift ban because she doesn’t think she can otherwise feed her family?

  5. Yah gotta be kidding. says

    Um, she is a nice lady who is way out of her depth.

    Accidental tourist of the legislature.

    Knop is just moving on up and taking the essentially vacant space. I am sure the stake presidents will put in a good word, and she is history.

    Patriarchy at its finest in rural Arizona.

  6. Rural Ralph:

    I can’t justify an answer back to you regarding the time I spend with my family, but…

    1. My ‘prima facie’ is not a ‘non sequitur’. It does follow that Senator Allen’s public comments help to define her and they demonstrate her ability to examine complex policy issues.

    I could care less if Senator Allen believes that the earth is 24 hours old and flat — so long as that opinion isn’t being used as the primary source of information for dictating the policies that impact the people in her district and in this state. She didn’t share the 6,000 year-old earth opinion in private; she stated it twice in a single committee meeting and used the date to justify why she didn’t think we needed such stringent mining regulations.

    That statement wasn’t wise (whether the earth is a bazillion years old or 6,000, it has little to do with the mining and environmental conversation that day) and it is just one more nutty comment that makes our state look that much more backwards to the business community.

    2. If you truly think that trees are causing part of the water shortage in our state, I hardly know where to begin.

    3. The United States and the State of Arizona has spent millions on education (billions, actually). You say that it has ‘yielded little in return’. I wonder how the irony of your comment could escape you as you sit in front of your computer, using the internet.

    Public education has been the backbone of our economy, liberty, national security and civic structure. Over the past few hundred years, I’d say the collective investment of our forefathers has yielded a pretty good rate of return.

    That said, public education has never been a perfect system and has always faced formidable challenges as our society’s cultural and economic needs have changed. Today we are facing a paradox – we are all demanding much more from our public schools and teachers, but many of us do not place a high value on our teachers or grasp the reality of what it costs to run a school. Some of us would love to just throw out the baby with the bath water and let the private market sort it out.

    Senator Allen is welcome to embrace that ideology if that’s what the voters of her district would like, but to imply (as you do above) that Arizona’s public school districts are flush with money you need to be either seriously misinformed or purposely obtuse. Even groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) report that Arizona is spending less money per student today than we did in 1986. In my business, we would have a very difficult time being competitive if we were trying to serve more customers now with fewer dollars than we had 20 years prior.

    4 As for your insinuation that I’ve got a ‘vested interest’ in Konopnicki – you are finally right about something. Though I won’t be able to vote in LD5, we Arizonans all have a very vested interest in the people who are serving as our representatives and as the financial stewards of our state.

  7. Let’s start with your statement “Oddly, Konopnicki has not yet registered a senate exploratory committee with the Secretary of State’s office”. That says an it all. He does have an exploratory committee with no office named (it took me some time to find it) but no committee for the Senate. To bad you only want to run down good people with good voting records. No surprise he had not used your company for any of his elections.

    Do not let the facts get in your way when you post an article-if you stretch the truth you can get people upset. I (we in the district) feel sorry for Allen. She means well but is proof positive why clean elections must go away. She has all the answers but voted against what was good for her district “because it is the best we can do”. Is that what the citizens of LD 5 deserve?

  8. A man who voted to spend the rainy day fund and voted for Napolitano’s bank busting budgets is good for the citizens of LD5?

    And I’m sorry he’s your idea of a “financial steward of our state”. He helped get us where we are today. His record speaks for itself.

    Bottom line whether or not he likes the brand; Konopnicki’s record in the Arizona legislature is nearly a clean copy of Ann Kirkpatrick’s.

    Here’s the leap of logic that does not follow; “… as that opinion isn’t being used as the primary source of information for dictating the policies”. A statement reflecting your leap to judgment and a conclusion which is hard to make from the facts.

    And please don’t lecture us as to the wonders of our PRESENT education system which is an abysmal failure. Proof? That’s easy; when the last generation attended college a bachelors degree took 4 years to obtain, today that average time is now extended to 5+ years because the colleges have to bring students up to speed before they can handle the load.

    Your educational comments are in fact a load and my grandmother having an 8th grade education from the New York City public schools two generations ago had a better grasp of the world and the 3r’s than 99% of today’s high school seniors.

    If as you assert public education is so fantastic (other than just pandering to a interest group of educators), why is it that less than 3% of Arizona’s high school seniors can pass the basic U.S. citizenship test given to immigrants?

    As for your comments on the forest “… [you] hardly know where to begin” because you don’t know a thing about forests in Arizona. The overcrowding of the forest trees is choking the downstream ecosystems and, it IS a system of which we are a part of.

    Last note, who’s the #1 advocate for open borders and amnesty in the Arizona legislature? yeah, that would be Konopnicki

  9. Senator Allen has voted with the Arizona Constitution which gives her an excellent grade. Bill Kopeneki has voted for BIG GOVERNMENT, hence the poor score. As for education, public schools have dumbed our children down, we need better choice of schools with competition. States need to take back the forest from the fed’s.
    We are losing our rights daily in America and folks better read and study before the next election, this is our last chance in each state to stop the government take over of all rights.
    If Arizona wants to stay sovereign we need to keep people in office like Senator Allen and boot out the Bill’s and John’s this next election cycle. Stop thinking party and think principle.

  10. Please do not get confused with the facts. You always make statements that sound good but are not based on facts. You want to miss lead your readers and do not what them to have the facts so they can make a decision. You want to think for them.

    AZ is ready to go bankrupt the rainy day fund had to be spent. In March, the Treasure says the state will issue IOU-now that is a good thing for taxpayers. If the state goes bankrupt do you know what will happen? All your ideas will be out the window. The trustee will be running the state AND taxes will be raised, the state will borrow LOTS of money at a high rate AND it will last for years. Now that is a nice conservative principle to follow!

    You idea that Konopnicki’s voting record is like Kirkpatrick’s is another in a list of not fact based statements. Look up the votes and eat your words.

    You missed the point read my earlier post. He has no Senate committee!

    IF Konopnicki takes on Allen for the Senate seat say goodbye to Allen.

  11. Oh where to begin… you are too much fun.

    “the rainy day fund had to be spent…”

    Bravo! nice slight of hand! Only problem is when ‘bill’ voted to spend it it wasn’t a rainy day. Although ‘bill’ and the legislature were warned that there were rain clouds on the horizon – they gambled and lost.

    ‘bill’s’ friend, Janet Napolitano wanted more money to spend on her pet programs and ‘bill’ was more than happy to please her.

    “You want to miss lead your readers and do not what them to have the facts … You want to think for them.”

    Gee… that sounds like the bloviating found on Konopnicki’s 2008 website.

    Quick! Someone tell him to pull that text so we can’t have it anymore to laugh about.

  12. “He has no Senate committee”

    Being specific he indeed has no Senate Committee but he does have a 2010 Exploratory Committee filed with the State Secretary of State (not a federal committee) and, it appears he did announce a Senate 2010 fund raising event. Which has not been refuted so therefore it must be what it appears.

    IF he does run, he’ll split the Republican primary and bloody up the waters. But in the final outcome he’ll lose. Unfortunately, he make take the Republican effort to retake the Congressional District with him down in flames.

    Is his ego that big that he can’t simply sit down and be a gentleman? Maybe seek an appointed position in Washington DC? Or how about a post on the Board of Regents? He can serve Arizona if he puts his ego aside and seeks a new opportunity.

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