Calling Out Crazy and Dangerous

We’re being told that January 6, 2021 will be the next opportunity for President Trump to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. That’s when both houses of Congress will convene to count and certify the results of the Electoral College.

Trump supporters are banking on Vice President Pence to hear the objections of members of the House and Senate before pushing for an alternative to the long-held historical practice of finalizing the vote and selecting the next President of the United States.

President Trump and his army of supporters are leaning heavily on Vice President Pence to thwart this process and re-elect Donald J. Trump as the next President. Social media is ablaze with speculation about what will happen and the consequences of Pence’s action.

We’re hearing that riots will break out across America as the left sets fire to anything their torches touch. This is not hard to believe since the left has a track record of hyper-emotional reaction and violence to events to which they object.

On my Twitter feed, I’ve been clear that I don’t expect anything to change with regard to our election results. (I’ve been working in elections for over 30 years.) Our system works pretty well, especially here in Arizona and frankly, Democrats were motivated to kick DJT out of the White House.

Some of my fellow Republicans – and I use that term questionably since many of them behave more like they’re in a cult – have said that if Pence doesn’t fall in line with his boss, their will be an uprising across America. In other words, they plan on unleashing a rebellion.

I don’t believe it.

When they claim they’ll start another civil war, I don’t think they have the conviction let alone fortitude to do so. Most of them would rather head down to the State Capitol and hold another rally in which they complain about the election while waving Gadsden flags and making speeches. These are the patriots on paper.

But there are others using anonymous online identities making threats of rebellion and all-out war to defend the Dear Leader. These are the dangerous and crazy ones and they need to be called out.

In this country, we have an institution called the Rule of Law and when you follow it and exhaust it, you need to respect it and its final outcome. It’s how we govern here in America.

This author in no way advocates for violence, let alone civil unrest or war. If you do not like the outcome of our elections, legal rulings or legislative process, you have other peaceful forms of protest available.

Speaker Rusty Bowers Addresses Calls for the Legislature to Overturn 2020 Certified Election Results

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers today issued the following statement:

This week, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and others representing President Donald Trump came to Arizona with a breathtaking request:  that the Arizona Legislature overturn the certified results of last month’s election and deliver the state’s electoral college votes to President Trump.  The rule of law forbids us to do that.

Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Ellis made their case here at least twice—on Monday, at an unofficial public gathering hosted by a small group of legislators; and again on Tuesday, during a closed-door meeting at the State Capitol with Republican leaders from both chambers of the Legislature.  Both times, the Trump team made claims that the election was tainted by fraud but presented only theories, not proof.  U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr said on Tuesday that he, too, has “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome of the election.”

Even if such evidence existed, the Arizona Legislature simply couldn’t do what is being asked.  Under our state’s constitution, the Legislature can act only when it is in session, and the Legislature could call itself into a special session only with the support of a bipartisan supermajority of its members.

That won’t materialize, but even if did, the Legislature couldn’t provide the recourse the President’s team seeks.  The U.S. Constitution authorizes each state to appoint presidential electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”  For decades, Arizona law has required that the voters elect the state’s electors on Election Day—this year, on November 3rd.  And under a law the Republican-led Legislature passed just three years ago, the state’s electors are required to cast their votes for the candidates who received the most votes in the official statewide election canvass.  Enacted after the 2016 presidential election, in which President Trump won the electoral college but not the popular vote, the law was aimed at ensuring that Arizona’s electors would remain faithful to the vote of the people.

So under current Arizona law, the presidential electors who were elected on November 3 must, after the canvass is completed, vote for the winners of the popular vote.  Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court even suggests that the Arizona Legislature could retroactively appoint different electors who would cast their ballots for different candidates.  The Trump legal team has cited McPherson v. Blacker (1892), to claim that the legislature can “resume the power [to appoint electors] at any time.”  And it is true that the Arizona Legislature could alter the method of appointing electors prospectively.  But it cannot undo the election of electors whom the voters already voted for.  As the Supreme Court made clear in Bush v. Gore (2000), “[w]hen the state legislature vests the right to vote for President in its people, the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental.”

No election is perfect, and if there were evidence of illegal votes or an improper count, then Arizona law provides a process to contest the election: a lawsuit under state law.  But the law does not authorize the Legislature to reverse the results of an election.

As a conservative Republican, I don’t like the results of the presidential election.  I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him.  But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election.

I and my fellow legislators swore an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and the constitution and laws of the state of Arizona.  It would violate that oath, the basic principles of republican government, and the rule of law if we attempted to nullify the people’s vote based on unsupported theories of fraud.  Under the laws that we wrote and voted upon, Arizona voters choose who wins, and our system requires that their choice be respected.

Forty years ago next month, President Ronald Reagan reminded us that while the “orderly transfer of authority” is a “commonplace occurrence” for Americans, “[i]n the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.”  Now, Americans are being reminded once again never to take for granted what President Reagan correctly described as “the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.”

Rep. Anthony Kern on Arizona Propositions

As Arizona leaves the summer heat behind, we are headed into the heat of the 2020 election.

And while the presidential and U.S. senatorial races garner the limelight, state voters have a say on two very important topics – legalizing marijuana and raising income taxes on tens of thousands of taxpayers.

Rep. Anthony Kern
(photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Proposition 207 would legalize marijuana for recreational use, just four years after voters rejected a similar proposal. While Arizona has a robust medical marijuana law allowing people with specific ailments or diseases to use the drug, removing safeguards so that all adults have access to marijuana will hurt our society and lead to far greater ills. 

Allowing greater access to marijuana will increase vehicle crashes and lead to unsafe working environments. We need only look to our neighbor to the north, where car crashes increased by 10 percent following the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for instance, has found a significant increase in car crashes in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. I don’t want to see that trend come to Arizona.

Legalizing recreational marijuana isn’t the only dangerous measure voters will see in November.

Proposition 208 aims to bring us the largest income tax increase in state history. The measure nearly doubles the income tax rate on thousands of taxpayers, including numerous small and medium-sized businesses.

Arizona doesn’t have a school funding problem, but rather the issue is how the money is spent. Just 55 cents of every education tax dollar goes to our classrooms. Too much money ends up in the pockets of administrators. I believe If our school district leaders made better decisions, our teachers and students would benefit greatly. It’s time to instruct those school board members and superintendents to target more resources into the classrooms to support our teachers and students.

An estimated 90,000 Arizonans will be hit with the tax in the first year. And according to one study, half of those paying the tax will be small businesses, the drivers of our state’s economy. I am also just as concerned with how the tax will stifle the earning potential of people who are near the cap. If striving to earn a little more money makes you eligible for the tax, government has taken away the incentive to provide for your family.

Additionally, it’s unclear whether the tax will bring in the nearly $1 billion backers claim. This unstable source of income won’t be the elixir to fix issues with our schools. Instead, approving Prop. 208 will drive businesses away from the state as employers seek states with fairer tax structures.

Representative Anthony Kern serves in the Arizona House and represents Legislative District 20 located in north Phoenix and Glendale.

California ‘Dream Team’ Wants Arizona’s LD-6

By Eddie Whipple

For years Arizona has had to fight off the influence of Californians who want to meddle in our way of life.

“Don’t California my Arizona,” is a rallying cry for many conservatives who want Arizona to remain a state of low taxes with few government regulations, where families and businesses can thrive with limited governmental intervention.

However, more and more we have seen an influx of California-influenced political ideas invading our desert and mountain regions.

Just two years ago, Tom Steyer spent tens of millions of dollars to reengineer our electric grid by mandating solar consumption and significantly increasing our electric bills. Thankfully, voters up and down the state soundly rejected that bad idea. Steyer did not begin the effort to bring bad California ideas to Arizona. And sadly, his resounding defeat wasn’t the end, either.

Now, in Legislative District 6, which covers the White Mountains area, along with Flagstaff, Sedona, Payson and parts of Yavapai County.

The “California Dream Team” of Felicia French, Coral Evans and Art Babbott is running to take out the two current members of the Arizona House and Senate candidate Wendy Rogers. And LD6 isn’t your typical district. It’s one of the biggest targets for Democrats to flip from red to blue. Republicans hold 31 seats in the House, with the 29 Democrats closer than at anytime in 60 yeas from having control of the body. In the state Senate, Republicans hold 17 of the 30 seats. Capturing these seats is the lynchpin to the Democrats taking over the state House and leading them on the path to the same outcome in the Senate.

French, who is taking on Rogers for the Senate seat, loves her some San Francisco area cash. According to campaign finance records, she has received at least $18,000 from more than 100 Bay Area donors. And her campaign rhetoric matches her liberal donors. 

She buys into the wackiest of liberal policies. She supports cutting beef production by 50 percent to cut down on global warming. Cows, she reckons, contribute to global warming. Never mind that ranching is one of the most important industries in the district.

Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans never met a tax increase she couldn’t support. She once said at a Hillary Clinton rally she would be a “hard-bent progressive.” She’s living up to her own words. She once compared celebrating Columbus Day with waving the Confederate Flag and she wants to replace that October holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day. She has supported the Invest In Ed income tax proposal that would increase taxes on small business owners and create California-like tax structure that will drive away businesses and residents. She has supported property tax increases in Flagstaff for many of her years as mayor. One of her top priorities in the Legislature she once said was to increase the gas tax.

Babbott, a Coconino County supervisor and running as an independent but aligning with Democrats, has spent decades supporting Bernie Sanders’ various runs for office. He first began donating to Bernie’s campaign as early as 1990. In 1987, Babbott said the self-described “Radical Socialist Mayor” was doing a “great job.” He’s given nearly $1,000 over the years to Bernie’s campaigns and supported his 2016 run for the presidency.We’ve seen the evidence that French, Evans and Babbott are as liberal as they come. Now it’s up to the voters to take that into consideration when they fill out their ballots. The direction of the state is may just come down to these three Democrats.

2020 AZ Primary Early Vote Wrap-Up

What happened and what it means for November

With the primary election tomorrow, we’re giving you our takeaways from the early vote data. There are still tens of thousands of ballots to be cast on Election Day, but the ballots mailed back thus far paint an interesting picture.

Here are the high-level highlights you need to know going into Tuesday:

  • 1,063,828 Ballots Cast
  • 2,316,329 Ballots Requested
  • 45.6% Return Rate
  • 26.7% Turnout
  • 0.9% Democrat Ballot Advantage (representing 9,900 ballots) 

Interesting takeaways: 

  1. Turnout is high: We have seen more overall ballots returned than ever before in a primary election – 1,063,828. As a comparison, we saw about 835,000 ballots returned in 2018 and 682,000 in 2016. While we don’t know yet if these are people who would usually drop their ballots off, we are on pace to hit at least 30% overall turnout.
  2. Democratic turnout is exceeding Republican turnout: While we don’t know how Election Day turnout will fare, we are on pace to see something that we haven’t seen in Arizona in at least the last two decades – more Democratic ballots cast than Republican ballots. There is some hope for Republicans, though, Democrats have 1.4% more of their ballots returned. That 1.4% represents about 15,000 Republican ballots.   
  3. More Independents have cast Democratic ballots than Republican: In Arizona, Independents can choose to vote in either party primary or cast a non-partisan ballot. This year, they have cast a total of 117,845 ballots and about 8,800 more in Democratic primaries than Republican. As a comparison, in the previous two cycles Independents have cast between 10,000 and 12,000 more ballots in Republican primaries than in the Democratic primaries.

While primary turnout does not specifically correlate to general election performance, Republicans need a big Election Day performance to mitigate some of these troubling numbers. Democrats have not traditionally had a lot of primary elections – which has driven down their turnout in the last two cycles – but high turnout this year is occurring in places with and without contested primaries on the Democratic side. 
We will have at least one additional update from Maricopa and Pima counties today that can be seen here. Stay tuned for a full debrief post-election to see if these trends from mailed early ballots held or if the trends simply represented Democratic voters mailing in versus dropping off on Election Day because of COVID concerns.

*Data is current as of 8/02/20 at 6:00pm*
Looking ahead to the General Election
 As mentioned before, we decided to share our entire primary ballot tracker with the public but will be providing general election early vote tracking via paid subscription only. We apologize for any confusion we may have caused in our previous email regarding the general election subscription model. We will continue to release basic, high level numbers publicly for the general election (total ballots and party breakdown, statewide only) but for those looking for greater detail and analysis, we will be offering two subscription levels.

Level One will provide full current year breakdowns similar to what is currently shown on our primary election tracker.

Level Two will have comparison data for the previous two cycles and will add in additional filtration features.

If you have any questions or would like to subscribe for the general election tracker, you can contact Data Orbital here

ABOUT DATA ORBITAL: 

Data Orbital is a full-service data solutions and survey research firm with local, state, and national experience.  We offer precise data solutions, informed by political and policy intelligence, so our clients can chart the right course through the corporate or political landscape ahead. 

Martha McSally Releases a Volley of Political Ads

US Senator Martha McSally released a volley of political ads on YouTube Friday. Here are those ads:

How America Gets Its First Black Woman President

The real question is will she be a Republican or Democrat?

Time for a crazy political scenario. This spins off insider speculation that Trump will pull out of his re-election bid before he loses. It may sound far-fetched but we do live in crazy political times.

Trump is going to lose the 2020 election. He knows this and I believe the Republican Establishment knows it too. It’s inevitable and as many of us have been warning since 2015, the man has brought it on himself.

Trump is a quitter, especially when the going gets tough. And the tough is really going tough and tougher. Some Phoenicians remember when he pulled out of the development of a high rise in the Biltmore area. He knew when to cut his losses and move on. That’s what savvy business leaders do. He’s been that way his entire life. Bankruptcy after bankruptcy, change of plan after change of plan. He’s won some and he’s walked away. Running the country has become too much of a hassle for someone who has always sought leisure and pleasure and maybe it’s just not worth it to him anymore.

That’s just Trumps modus operandi and its how some deal-cutting New Yorker’s operate.

Right now the political heat has reached temperatures I think he’s no longer willing to tolerate.

At the same time, the GOP Establishment is worried, very worried. Arizona is likely to lose its other US Senate seat – the first time in decades Arizona may have two Democrats in the US Senate. Other Republican Senators across the country are panicking.

The “Trump Effect” we warned about flipped the House in 2018 and is about to flip many seats in the Senate. Arizona is on the verge of turning blue. We warned you.

So how do we get an African-American woman as our next President? Indulge me.

Knowing the election is going down, Trump and the Republican Establishment gather and conclude there’s only one way to possibly save the presidency – elevate Mike Pence through the resignation of Donald J. Trump. It’s all done quickly before most states issue early ballots – mid- September – leading to a real “October Surprise.”

Prior to the Trump exit, Biden picks his VP. He’s already announced it will be a woman of color and one of the names floated has been former Obama advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. It works for Biden because he already knows her well, she brings foreign policy experience to the ticket, can protect her former boss from Republican investigations and frankly, delivers on a promise.

Republicans in a free fall with Mike Pence at the top of the ticket, counter with a strategic move. They call up former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. It’s one final push to hold the election and make a statement about the Republican party’s diversity.

Biden has Susan Rice, Pence has Condoleezza Rice. Coincidence?

On to Election Day and the answer of whether the first African-American woman President will be a Republican or Democrat. I don’t know.

In the first scenario, Mike Pence holds the presidency, barely. Americans were tired of all the Trump drama but were also willing to forgive Pence for his guilt by association.

Unfortunately, the US Congress doesn’t hold the same sentiment.

The Senate, now flipped, has the numbers to convict a sitting Republican President. The US House, even more democratic, impeaches Pence on the impeachable offense du jour. The vote heads to the Senate and this time, Democrats are successful in convicting the nicest man to ever become President. Vice President Condoleezza Rice becomes the first Republican African-American woman President.

The second scenario unfolds with the election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. There’s only one problem and everyone knows it. Joe Biden’s mental capacity is waning. Republican leadership in the House and Senate calls for the removal or resignation of the President. Welcome to the 2020’s where impeachment is now weaponized. The hesitation by the American people in electing Biden in the first place becomes a reality and the calls for resignation grow louder. Democrats quietly push for his exit to save the party embarrassment but mainly to elevate the first woman of color into the White House. Susan Rice becomes the first Democrat African-American woman President

The beautiful irony in all this is that the two old white guys – who many were asking, “is this the best we have?” – have now been displaced and replaced by individuals who reflect the times and turmoils of where the country appears to be headed.

Too far fetched or is political truth stranger than fiction these days?

Senator Martha McSally explains Mark Kelly’s intimate relationship with China

Republican Martha McSally appeared on the Hugh Hewitt show earlier this week to discuss her race for the US Senate.

In the interview she discusses fundraising, national security and her opponents intimate entanglements with the Chinese government.

Here’s the video of the interview:

In the Primary race for Republican, Sonoran Alliance endorses Martha McSally.

My Final Rebuttal – Guest Opinion

By L. Burke Files

To Sylvia Allen, Gary Morris, Peter Aleshire, and the AZ Republican Party;

In my opinion, the three of you and the party are a great disappointment.   No, you will listen, you immediately decry this “attack” as a Rogers person, and you would be correct. I am a 20-year friend of Wendy and Hal. I get it. I, however, am sharing my view and background in advance. It is a technique in argumentation called authenticity, something you have forgotten.

Senator Sylvia Allen, you were once the fresh face of the rural independent spirit.  Your gaffs about ethnicity and sexual orientation are hurtful, but expected.  You have not traveled, and you have not seen how the citizens of the world view American. America is Eldorado. We are the famed city of gold on the hill. They want to be here; they want to become Americans. My grandfather was an immigrant, and he well remembered his reception in Chicago when he went looking for work. Little signs in the window said NINA. It meant No Irish Need Apply. He was at first angry, but soon realized the country was so rich the NINA businesses did not need his money.  Your time has passed, you have forgotten the golden rule  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Republicans are the party of Lincoln, not Wilson. To me you now more or less resemble Norma Desmond looking for your last close-up. You could have gone out on top. Now you will just go.

Gary Morris, Gila County Republican Precinct Chair, you are the epitome of what the party has become. The AZ Republican Party has become a sclerotic assemblage of the status quo.  In this tyranny, there is enormous inertia, so much so only a crisis real or imagined will produce real change.  If you can open your eyes, you will see the crises, it will be in November, and you and others like you are the authors of the tragedy. Your role was to advocate for who the party members chose, Gary – it’s not your choice. It is the choice of the voters. Your tireless advocacy for Allen has removed you from the party Chair to become the foppish incumbent cheerleader. 

Peter Aleshire, you disgust me.  I am a huge proponent of the First Amendment and especially investigative journalism. The third estate is what keeps democracy between the lines. My advocacy for the First Amendment is not virtue signaling, I have, as a financial investigator, supported the work of the ICIJ and OCCRP in their worldwide efforts to combat fraud and corruption.  Don’t buy it? Try searching my name. I have little hope you’ll get that right, as you certainly were unable to Google or check the facts in the campaign. Your posting of manufactured articles only to take them down and allow them to be used by Sylvia Allen and Gary Morris is a fraud upon journalism.  You could have sponsored a debate between the two candidates, but no. You have betrayed the truth, you have betrayed the hope of finding the truth, and your actions are the ultimate betrayal of those whom you serve, your readers. 

As for the Arizona Republican Party, you are tone-deaf, economic, and legislative morons. When I see a debate and the talking lines are who are more loyal to the party, it echoes a bad movie scene where the prisoner clerks in a gulag are debating who is more loyal so they can get an extra ration of gruel.

After this election cycle, this Republican of 40 years will drop his registration to become an independent.

This is my opinion, so be it.

L. Burke Files
Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc.

Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris Should Be Fired

Guest Opinion by RC Montana

It was such sloppy “journalism” if you can even call it journalism. The Payson Roundup briefly posted a story on July 22, 2020 titled “Republicans Launch a Rare Attack on a Candidate [Wendy Rogers] in their Own Primary“. The thing is though, the Payson Roundup took the article down after 12 hours because they likely suffered blowback, much as they did in June 2020 when they had to take down another flimsy article about Rogers due to several of the people, who the paper had claimed supposedly endorsed Rogers, said they had not.

The Roundup didn’t print that June story, because Rogers’ campaign never claimed those endorsements in 2020. Imagine that.

But this time, their second try at baseless flimsy “journalism” was predicated on Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris’s unsubstantiated claims about Rogers, which were mass-emailed – completely un-fact-checked – to all Gila county precinct committeemen. How’s that for staying publicly neutral in a primary? 

Then the Payson Roundup reporter breathlessly gobbled up Gary Morris’s rant even though uncorroborated. Chairman Morris’s mass email was a smear job packed with unsupported statements very much like the Steele Dossier on Trump.

The Payson Roundup’s Peter Aleshire was given a chance not to publish it, but he did. How did Peter Aleshire even justify it, since he’d had to take his previous, similarly inaccurate article down a month earlier? 

PETER ALESHIRE’S ARTICLE HAS NONETHELESS BEEN ARCHIVED AND IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST!   

So now you’re caught up to date. Here is my take on the lackey, Gila County GOP Chairman Gary Morris, who violated every rule of civility and decorum as a county chairman. He caved to the establishment GOP. He is a reprobate for peddling lies he should’ve fact-checked first. He was warned, yet mass-emailed out misinformation anyway, violating sacred tenets of basic leadership. The Gila County Republican Committee should fire him. 

Mr. Morris wonders who Wendy Rogers will be “beholden to?” Is he kidding? Wendy Rogers has not taken one penny from a PAC or a lobbyist. On the other hand, Rogers’s opponent Sylvia Allen is almost entirely funded by special interests.

Gary Morris continues to perpetuate the lie about Rogers’ residency even though the AZ Secretary of State wrote unequivocally that Rogers is from Flagstaff. To whom are you beholden Chairman Morris? 

How can this chairman, in his right mind, suggest that Rogers would be “weak” going into the general election campaign? She has fundraised more than any other state candidate in Arizona.

Gary Morris and the GOP establishment are scared to death of Rogers because they can’t control her. They know she won’t permit a Red-Flag bill or that idiotic National Popular Vote to get past her.

Here’s what they really can’t stand: Wendy has outworked and out-campaigned a rusty fixture in the state legislature – Sylvia Allen – who has been there far too long, and thus has completely sold out and caved to special interests.

Gary Morris’s time could be better spent by learning how NOT to get lost in the woods. Fire him!