NFIB Endorses Jesse Kelly in Arizona CD8 Special Election

Influential Small-Business Association Supports Candidate with Trusted Small-Business Experience

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 31, 2012 —The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small-business association, today endorsed Jesse Kelly (R) to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.  Kelly is seeking to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“Jesse Kelly is the clear voice for small business in this race,” said Lisa Goeas, NFIB Vice President, Political and Grassroots.  “In stating that his run for Congress is motivated by three principles: lowering taxes, strengthening the economy, and fostering a climate that allows businesses to grow, Jesse is walking in line with the very motto that NFIB is founded upon.  Jesse Kelly will fight for affordable health-care solutions for small-business owners, and will work to get our country back on the path toward fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity.”

“Our members in Congressional District 8 spoke loud and clear when asked which candidate NFIB should support in this race,” said Farrell Quinlan, NFIB State Director for Arizona.  “Jesse Kelly received an overwhelming vote of support from NFIB members in his district, making him the clear small-business choice for Congress.”

NFIB has nearly 2,000 members in the 8th Congressional District, alone. Kelly’s endorsement comes from NFIB’s Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust (SAFE), the association’s political action committee, and is based on positions regarding key small-business issues including health care, taxes, and labor and regulatory issues.

Small-business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for actively recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to go to the polls. NFIB will encourage its members in Arizona to help turn out the small-business vote for Kelly this coming Special Election Day, June 12.

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NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at

Why Have A Primary At All?

By Sam Stone

Does the Arizona Democratic Party even believe in Democracy? By all appearances, the answer is definitively “no”. On Friday, the Arizona Daily Star reported that the Arizona Democratic Party had denied voter lists to two challengers, Amanda Aguirre and Manny Arreguin, facing off against incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva. Why?

The decision to deny the two challengers access to voter databases, which are normally available to candidates as a matter of routine, was apparently made by current Democrat State party Executive Director Luis Heredia who said that the two challengers weren’t “Democrat enough”.

Unfortunately, Heredia was merely continuing a recent trend here in Arizona. First, Pima Democrat officials helped pave the way for Ron Barber to run unopposed in the CD8 special election. Then Arizona Democratic Party officials – with the assistance of the White House – managed to push respected former Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Don Bivens out of the race to replace Sen. Jon Kyl, clearing the field in favor of former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

Carmona, for those who aren’t aware, became a Democrat for the first time in November after he was personally asked to run for the Senate by President Obama. So, to be clear, Amanda Aguirre who spent eight years representing her party in the State Legislature and is a lifelong Democrat isn’t “Democrat enough”. But a lifelong registered Independent who served in George W. Bush’s administration is?

It’s like the Arizona Democratic Party is trying to pull the old Jedi Mind-Trick on their own primary voters: “These are not the candidates you are looking for. You will vote for who we tell you. Go along. Go Along.”

Barber, Carmona and Grijalva would have been good bets to win their primaries without Party interference anyway. After all, Barber has the support of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an emotional story to tell. The national resources and backing Carmona has received would likely have been far too much for Bivens to overcome. And the odds of someone besting Raul Grijalva in a primary? Don’t make me laugh.

But that’s not the point. For years, primaries were often decided in the “smoky back rooms” where politico bosses selected winners and losers to meet their personal or organizational agendas. But by the 1970s, the back rooms largely gave way to the public, media-driven primary showcase we have today. Is it perfect? No. Is it perfectly transparent? Not really. But as we saw recently with longtime Sen. Richard Lugar’s defeat in the Indiana primary, it is indeed voter-driven.

Republican Party leadership, if given the choice, would have chosen to retain Lugar. But that wasn’t up to them. Voters in Indiana had a choice, and they chose to throw away an almost guaranteed victory in November in favor of a challenger who more closely represented their views. But here in Arizona, the Arizona Democratic Party seems to have lit up a few new cigars, denying voters the chance to choose their own representation in favor of candidates the local politico bosses have selected for them.

Not Democrat enough? That’s why we have primaries.


Sam Stone is a Republican political strategist from Tucson. And he wishes that one of his friends from the other side of the aisle had stepped up to write this piece.


Statement by Governor Brewer Regarding Congresswoman Giffords’s Letter of Resignation

CONTACT: Matthew Benson

“This morning, I received the official letter of resignation from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. As a fellow elected official, I know her district will miss her leadership. As a friend, I am so sorry Gabby’s resignation has come under these circumstances.

“From the Arizona House of Representatives to the U.S. Congress, Gabby has always served her constituents with dignity and distinction. Her service will be deeply missed, and I join the people of Arizona in praying for her continued recovery.

“For the purposes of Arizona Law, the Congresswoman’s office will be officially declared vacant at 5 p.m. (Arizona Time) today, at which time I will have 72 hours to set a date for a Special Primary election. The winner of the special primary and general elections will complete the remainder of Congresswoman Giffords’ term, in accordance with state law.”


Rep. Flake Praises House Passage of Giffords Bill Targeting Ultralight Aircraft Used for Smuggling

CONTACT: Genevieve Fry Rozansky

Legislation Allows Harsher Punishments for Ultralight Smugglers and Those who Conspire with Them

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today praised the House passage of H.R. 3801, the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012, which was introduced by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The legislation targets the use of ultralight aircraft in smuggling operations specifically along the southern U.S. border by assigning harsher criminal penalties to those who are smuggling and those who conspire to engage in smuggling operations using ultralight aircraft.

Ultralights have become a vehicle for smuggling drugs across our southern border, but local authorities haven’t had the tools to discourage and punish their operators and those working with their operators,” said Flake.

In speaking with ranch owners near the border in Arizona and state officials, this has become a serious problem. I’m grateful to Congresswoman Giffords for introducing this legislation, which will allow law enforcement to hopefully significantly curtail smuggling via ultralights and strengthen the integrity of our southern border.

H.R. 3801 adds “ultralights” to the definition of aircraft under aviation smuggling provisions of Tariff Act of 1930 and would add “conspiracy to commit” smuggling to the charges one can be charged with (in addition to actually committing smuggling crimes) when using ultralight aircraft. Finally, it would encourage interagency cooperation between DoD and DHS on technology to detect ultralights.

H.R. 3801 includes provisions approved by the House in H.R. 5307, introduced by Congresswoman Giffords in the 11th Congress (H.R. 5307) and details included in H.R. 1507, the Border Security Enhancement Plan which Congressman Flake introduced this Congress and Senators McCain and Kyl introduced in the Senate). H.R. 3801 is identical to S. 1974, which was introduced by Senators Udall and Heller and approved last December.

This bill is a fitting tribute on Congresswoman Giffords’ last day in the House. She’s worked to pass it for years. While today may be her last day in the House, her public service will certainly continue. She’s passionate about improving Arizona and the country, and she’s going to continue to be an effective advocate for the issues that are important to her.


Rep. Flake Honored to Sit Next to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords During State of the Union Speech

CONTACT: Genevieve Frye Rozansky

Gabby Brings Out the Best of Congress

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today issued the following statement regarding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and tonight’s State of the Union address:

After sitting next to an empty seat last year, I couldn’t be happier to have Gabby back in the House chamber for this year’s State of the Union speech,” said Flake. “Gabby’s courage, strength, and optimism is able to cut through the partisanship and bring out the best in Congress.

Gabby will continue to be an effective advocate for the issues and causes important to her. I wish her continued success in her recovery and look forward to celebrating her future accomplishments.



Arizona State Senator Frank Antenori Statement on Resignation of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords


Tucson, AZ –  January 22, 2012 – Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has announced her intention to resign from the US House of Representatives during this week so that she can focus her full attention on her rehabilitation.

Her recovery to date has been nothing short of miraculous and I know that her courage, determination, and sheer will mandate that she will get better. Along with all Arizonans, I wish her Godspeed in her recovery and I will continue to keep her in my prayers.

In light of this recent announcement, I have been asked about the status of my Congressional Exploratory Committee. I will not make any announcement until Gabby has had the opportunity to complete the remaining things that she wishes to accomplish as a United States Representative this week.

At this time, the focus of attention in Southern Arizona needs to be honoring the Congresswoman’s service and the sacrifice she has made in service of her fellow Arizonans.


Thank You Gabby.

A powerfully emotional video released from Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Thank you for your service Gabby. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Mark.


Congressman Flake Issues Statement on Congresswoman Giffords’ Resignation from Congress

CONTACT: Genevieve Frye Rozansky

Mesa, Arizona – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today issued the following statement regarding Congresswoman Giffords’ announcement of her resignation from Congress:

“Gabby is a class act whose accomplishments and dedication to bettering our state and nation will continue in the years to come. She has been and will continue to be an effective advocate for the issues and causes that she cares deeply about,” said Flake.

“I want to be sure to pass along thanks to Gabby’s amazing staff. They have done a remarkable job in continuing to faithfully and respectfully serve the people of Arizona’s 8th District over the last year.” 



Arizona Republican Party Statement on Upcoming Resignation of Gabby Giffords


PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party released the following statement regarding Representative Gabby Giffords’ decision to resign:

“Today, our prayers and thoughts of support and appreciation are extended to Representative Gabrielle Giffords for her service and most importantly, her continued recovery. Congresswoman Giffords has displayed an extraordinary spirit of hope, courage and grace that Americans across this country have fully embraced. All Arizonans are supportive of her decision to do what is best for her and her family and will continue to lift prayers for her healing and full recovery.”


Statement by Governor Jan Brewer regarding the resignation of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

CONTACT: Matthew Benson

“Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all.

“As with all Americans, I will continue to hold Gabby in my thoughts and prayers as she continues on this path toward recovery.

“Upon the Congresswoman’s office being officially declared vacant, I will call a special Primary and General Election in order to fill the 8th Congressional District vacancy, in accordance with Arizona law. The winner will complete the remainder of Congresswoman Giffords’ term, which expires at the end of 2012.”