Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Rain in Spain. . .


I get it, the more we discuss McCain, pro or con, the more traffic we get. So I'm not above a little pandering. . .

This is seemingly old news, but I have not yet seen it discussed. As we have mentioned before, the two strongest opponents that McCain is likely to face are Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, both excellent orators. To even the playing field, McCain has hired a speech and debate coach.

Brett O"Donnell is the national champion debate coach at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

O'Donnell, 42, has been Liberty's debate coach for 17 years. He said he accepted McCain's offer because he viewed it as a good career opportunity and because he wants to see the senator elected president.

"I would never work for a candidate I couldn't support," he said. "I've always been impressed by him. He's not a man who bends his political views for the purpose of getting elected."

O'Donnell said Mark McKinnon, a consultant to the Bush re-election campaign, recommended him to McCain. The senator asked Falwell's permission to recruit O'Donnell when McCain was Liberty's commencement speaker in May. Falwell gave his blessing.

I'm not sure if the connection between McCain and Liberty University was intentional, but O'Donnell's qualifications seem top notch.

We will try to outline other Team McCain members as occasion permits.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

District 11 Voting Results—Did Fife Upset Rob?

Tonight, the battle for District 11 leadership has concluded. Some pundits anticipated an overthrow while others remained confident that power would remain in the hands of the incumbent.

Let the speculating end. Here are the results:

Rob Haney 215 votes
Fife Symington 166 votes

It looks like no leverage for McCain in District 11. Now it's on to the state convention.

UPDATE: Details of the election, including the conservative sweep of district officer positions, are available at Sonoran Alliance

Monday, November 27, 2006

Big Dogs and District 11


Again, this is not my area of expertise, but since the district 11 Chair race has become fashionable, I will add my 2 cents.

The stakes in this are obvious. Fife Symington has been placed in a position to take the District 11 chair from Rob Haney to avoid any further embarrassment to John McCain in this district in particular and in the state in general. All of his rhetoric about holding Haney responsible for the previous legislative defeat is complete misdirection. He is there only to dismiss Haney. He is McCain’s man, pure and simple. And this is not necessarily a bad thing.

At this point I am disinclined to support a McCain run in the Primary, not because he doesn’t pass a series of litmus tests for me, but because I feel that he has one term written all over him. That being said, he is the current favorite to win the Republican nomination for President, and after that, an odds-on favorite to demolish Hillary Clinton in the General Election. This is not something to be taken lightly nor would anybody else in McCain’s position leave anything to chance if presented with the same opportunity.

Rob has taken his shots at McCain and made a veritable political living off of stirring up his base against McCain. It is one thing to take a vote of censure in a sparsely attended committee meeting and another entirely to defeat a direct challenge, albeit by proxy. This is where that old saying about big dogs and porches comes into play. If Rob feels like his words and position are solid, the challenge by Symington should be welcomed as an opportunity to serve a direct blow to McCain. Should Symington be defeated, things would get very ugly for McCain very fast. As I have mentioned before, Mitt Romney for one would swoop down and capitalize on Arizona GOP dissatisfaction almost instantly. Obviously, McCain will do everything in his power to hold the state party, as would anyone else in his position.

So now it is time for Haney to demonstrate leadership and knock back this challenge. If he cannot, then Symington deserves the position. He has certainly put a lot on the line as far as his political future, and called in a number of favors with his list of endorsements. He could have effectively challenged for the state chair, but placed his eggs in this basket which is also admirable. Should Haney prevail, he will become the standard bearer that he has always wished to become, should he lose, he will probably (and hopefully) be relegated back to the porch. Sniping does not build lasting victory.

The real question that I have is what is McCain’s plan for the state chair which should have been a much bigger “must-have” than District 11. If Munsil is indeed his candidate, it seems that he used his rook to neutralize a pawn, as I believe that Symington would have a better shot at the state chair than Munsil. None of the current whispered candidates look to be a clear lock over Randy Pullen who is most decidedly NOT McCain’s man.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Who Wants To Run The GOP?

Shortly after this past election, the national GOP stated "they got the message" and that they recognized they had strayed from their conservative ideals and needed to get back to them. They decided a shake up in party leadership was needed in light of their losses.

Here in Arizona, state GOP leadership figures also determined it is time to jump ship with Executive Director Glenn Hamer leaving and Chairman Matt Salmon deciding not to run for re-election as Chairman.

What about the county? Pima County GOP, led by Judy White, shows no evidence of resignations. In fact, the slate for the upcoming county GOP convention is a minor reshuffling of existing players, the only exception being Randy Graf running unopposed for 4th Vice Chairman. With the poor results for Republicans in Southern Arizona, it is curious that there is not more accountability being taken for the major lack of success.

Granted, Judy White did not interfere with the Primary in support of Huffman in the same manner as Matt Salmon. However, when big money interests demanded party officials push Huffman off on the electorate, Ms. White looked the other way. White talked tough before the primary about not accepting mud slinging campaigning from candidates, but when it happened she did nothing to curb it and actually reprimanded the other candidates for not getting along.

The current leadership is thought to have overused county party resources with poor results for what many consider a non-partisan Tucson City Council election. But when the major campaigns began, the county couldn't come up with any help for candidates running for either congressional seat. White turned over the party headquarters to the Kyl campaign during the election, but did nothing for Drake or Graf, leaving Drake to scrounge for crumbs after Kyl sucked every other resource dry.

In spite of a few name changes, the national players still look the same. The state party is still in question, but one potential change is non-establishment Randy Pullen running for Chairman. The Pima County GOP leadership mix looks a lot like the national party GOP leadership changeover with no signs of responsibility taken or changes made.

Whither Len Munsil


Sorry, I have been out of commission for a while with work obligations. I noticed the Sonoran Alliance post about the state chairman race, and wanted to interject a little commentary.

I had figured that it was unlikely that Symington would make a go of it. I think he still has a couple of years until his political radioactivity diminishes sufficiently, but he will eventually be back at some capacity.

I don't really have a dog in the fight, I like Randy Pullen just fine, but I also wish that another credible challenger will step up because there needs to be a debate. That being said, I hope that Len Munsil is not that alternative.

Don't get me wrong, while it appears that the poster at Sonoran Alliance doesn't think that much of Munsil, I don't have any gripes against him as a person. My only contention is that the Chairmanship should not be a consolation prize for losing, at any level. That goes double when the loss is recent and overwhelming.

Matt Salmon was an interesting experiment, especially as his loss was by a razor thin margin. In retrospect, his service was a failure. Republicans have less influence in the state than when he was appointed, lack a coherent message, and seem disjointed and isolated from each other in support and ideas. That falls at his feet, regardless of outside influences.

Now look at Munsil, he is no Matt Salmon. His campaign for governor was nothing short of a disaster. Quite frankly, there was no reason that the should have had the struggle that he had in dispatching Goldwater, especially with the press coverage that Goldwater was getting (most of it extremely unfair.) He was set up nicely and did not capitalize.

Then, when his chance with Napolitano came, it seemed that he was entirely in reactive mode. Did he really not have a strategy in place outside of winning the primary and stating "But I am a Republican!" If he did, it was lost on me. I would challenge anybody out there (Nathan, I know you are out there somewhere) to succinctly lay out the strategy to me in a succinct manner. Janet was vulnerable in many ways, but in none of the methods used by the Munsil campaign. When the 911 Memorial story started to resonate, it became his entire message. Honestly, did he have something else ready in case this story didn't drop from the air? If he did, shouldn't it have been stronger and something he spent more time on? He had four years to gather material, and didn't look to be prepared at all.

I went and heard Munsil speak several times, he certainly does not lack charisma, nor is he a poor public speaker. I even believe he was a better debater than Janet. I would even go as far to say that if you met both on a street corner with no idea of background or past, Munsil would be the better politician. Politics does not work that way, however. Napolitano was better organized, more on-message, and built a better team. She outworked Munsil at every opportunity, and this is my biggest worry.

The major job of the party chair is to organize a winning team, and there is nothing about Munsil currently that leads me to believe that he can accomplish this at this point.

Len has some work to do, and I believe that he has quite a few natural tools to become the leader that he needs to be. Placing him in such a position right now would not be good for him, or the party at this point.

Let's see what happens come January.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Not a lot going on out there. . .

A lot of what we are working on is still in the development stage, and the actual political news is pretty sparse right now, so I will pass along a general tip you may not be aware of.

If you are blogging, or reading blogs, and need a little mood music, you should really become acquainted with Pandora.com

It resembles the "If you like x, we recommend. . . " technology that you see on Amazon.com applied to individual songs. You enter your favorite group, singer, or song and it will build an entire radio station based around your choice. It also has the ability to "learn." If it plays a song that you do not like, you can let it know that it doesn't fit, and it will carry that information forward.

Pandora is an extremely great way to "discover" new bands and songs that you may not otherwise have come into contact with, that likely to fit your style of music.

If this is new to you, check it out.

For all of my Republican friends that this helps, I hope you enjoy the review free of charge. To our Democratic friends that find this useful, you owe me a quarter. :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Shadegg is denied


Well, this is disappointing. . .

The results of the GOP House election are in.

John Boehner has defeated Mike Pence on a vote of 168-27.

Roy Blunt then defeated Shadegg 137 to 57.

As far as Pence goes, I am not on his bandwagon like a lot of other Conservatives. The last time we went through this after the resignation of Tom Delay, Pence dithered while Boener and Blunt gathered support. Although he eventually seemed to amble to the aid of Shadegg in that race, by the time he came around, it was much too late. In my estimation "dithering" is a quality I don't much care for in my House leadership. Pence strikes me as long on rhetoric, short on action, even if his rhetoric is attractive.

The Shadegg defeat is more troublesome. There is a clear distinction between Blunt and Shadegg, especially as it comes to past records and statements. Blunt is quite simply a friend of earmarks and pork, and I doubt his ability to be reformed. We are familiar with Shadegg's position and record on the issue. I also believe that people needed to be held accountable for the sad state of the House which led to last week's result. Replacing Blunt with Shadegg would have sent that message nicely, without entirely disrupting the continuity of the leadership. Evidently House republicans believed they needed to double-down. I certainly hope that they come up with better cards on the next draw, because they just discarded an ace.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ouch, that will sting for a while. . .



Nancy Pelosi has suffered her first political setback since the election. Democrats Have voted Hoyer over Murtha by a 149-86 margin.

In other news, the rest of the Democratic Caucus seems to have retained a bit of their sanity.

The only real surprise is the margin was so lopsided, I expected Pelosi to fare better than that, especially on an anonymous vote.

It will be interesting to see if this result changes the Jane Harman/Alcee Hastings debate. I suspect that Pelosi will want her "pound of flesh" and will take it out against Harman. I also expect a lot more speaking out against this based on the vote tally.

Should be fun. . .

McCain's Backyard

Evidently other possible candidates for the 2008 GOP Presidential bid are sensing that McCain's hold over Arizona may not be as firm as expected.

According to the The Business Journal:

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney met with Valley(Phoenix Area) business and Republican leaders Monday, part of an effort to build a "network of people" in states with primary elections early in 2008.

That is tantamount to disrespect. Look for McCain to attempt to tighten his grip on the local party apparatus. It is far easier to fight for his home turf now before anyone else has a chance to gain momentum.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What is a Blue Dog Democrat?


It’s a term you should become familiar with. The Blue Dog Caucus was formed in 1996 and represents a group of Democrats who are moderate to conservative on social and economic issues. Currently their membership is at 36 and is guaranteed to rise after the current election.

According to Wikipedia:

The Blue Dogs' moderate agenda in Congress has angered many in the Democratic party, as it often leads to them voting with the more conservative Republicans. In 2005, the members of the Blue Dog Coalition voted 32 to 3 in favor of the bill to limit access to bankruptcy protection (S 256). Congressman Collin Peterson was subjected to a heated round of questioning from colleagues in the Democratic Party over several votes where he strayed from the party line before being nominated as the Ranking Member on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, in what would otherwise have been a routine nomination.


One of its members, Jane Harman, is currently the recipient of a Nancy Pelosi hissy fit and will apparently not be allowed to chair the Intelligence Committee because of her stances that generally align with the rest of the Blue Dogs.

Another of member of the coalition, Dennis Cardoza, features prominently in a Los Angeles Times article about the battle between Jack Murtha and Steny Hoyer:

"Everywhere you go on Capitol Hill today, this is the topic of conversation," said Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Atwater), who supports Hoyer. "It would have been easier for some of us not to have to exercise our independence quite so early."
Also:
Pelosi may have another problem. As the crop of freshly elected Democrats — including many younger ones who campaigned to the right of the party line — came to Capitol Hill for orientation Monday, they encountered a leadership dominated by mostly liberal, old-school Democrats.

Cardoza, a leader of the conservative coalition in the House known as the Blue Dogs, warned that Democratic cohesion would suffer if the liberals in line to head many of the chamber's key committees don't take party moderates into account. "We have to try to build a consensus, and it's not going to be an automatic, top-down way, or we'll have conflict on the floor," Cardoza said.
This sounds like a shot across the bow over Harman, and there is guaranteed to be some amount of conflict if she is passed over for Alcee Hastings.

It will be very interesting to see which freshmen and women join this group. It will also be interesting as this group, along with the Republicans hold a large enough majority that they could defy Pelosi very easily if they thought they needed to. Especially since Pelosi seems to be alienating them.

We’ll see what happens. The majority whip will need to be very effective to keep all Democrats in step with Pelosi’s agenda.

Kyl wins conference Chair . .

Senator Jon Kyl has been elected as the Republican Conference Chair, the #3 job in the Senate.

Duties include:

1. Presiding over the weekly meeting of Republican Senators.
2. Implementing the tranquilizer dart gun option should Trent Lott wander too close to a camera or microphone
3. Calling Joe Lieberman every Thursday to ask if he has changed his mind yet.
4. Trying to convince anyone that the #3 job in the senate minority party is of any importance whatsoever. . .

More Murtha. . .

From Roll Call :

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Further Changes. . .

We will be adding a new blogger soon. I'm not positive, but I think he will go by the name of "AZace" or something like that. He comes highly recommended from TC and I happen to know him from my personal life as well.

Will get him online soon. Please no Hazing!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Good Reading in the Republic

Generally we were sour on the election coverage this year in the major newspapers. However, we must give credit to Robert Robb's post election dissection in the Republic.

Astute analysis remarkably free on the anecdoctal "Many believe. . ." that has become so popular among journalists. Should be required reading for those looking for the lessons and trends of the past election.

Of course I would credit Robb's secondary job as a blogger for being responsible for his superior journalism.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

And Speaking of interParty battling...

It appears that Nancy Pelosi has thrown her support behind John Murtha for the position of Majority leader.

Steny Hoyer respectfully disagrees with her choice.

Included in the Hoyer press release sent out after the Pelosi endorsement:

Nancy told me some time ago that she would personally support Jack. I respect her decision as the two are very close.

I am grateful for the support I have from my colleagues, and have the majority of the caucus supporting me. I look forward to working with Speaker Pelosi as Majority Leader.


This will be an interesting test for those who think the new congress has a liberal mandate. I wonder which way Gabby will vote?

News media scoops everyone

The AFP has a story that caught me completely off guard.

It appears that John McCain is considering a run for the Presidency.

Who knew?

It also appears that Russ Feingold has no intention of running, which I'm not sure anybody really thought was going to happen anyway.

To sum it up, those who have declared, or coyly non-declared, but winked, for the race so far are:

Democrats:

Hillary Clinton
Tom Visack
John Edwards

Republicans:

John McCain
Duncan Hunter
Mitt Romney

People are fully expecting Rudy Giuliani to run, although he doesn't appear to be putting any infrastructure in place quite yet. He is perhaps the only candidate that could get away with this. It should be interesting either way.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

State Republican Leadership

I have been hearing a lot of static noise about who may be considering a run for the State Party Chairman. This may not be breaking news, but it appears that Matt Salmon will not be seeking a new term at the convention in January, so ostensibly, the post will be wide open.

To my knowledge, however, the only sure candidate at this time is Randy Pullen. Nobody else is stepping forward publicly right now.

If you were the gambling sort, I would look for another candidate to come forward under John McCain's banner, as I do not believe Pullen is McCain's man. McCain will need that extra support of the State Chair, especially if Mitt Romney continues to build momentum. With his LDS background it is possible that Romney could manufacture a sizable ground game in short order to compete for Arizona's electoral votes in the Primary.

This is not to say that there is any connection between Pullen and Romney, or any of the other possible Republican presidential candidates, for I do not believe there is. However, McCain will want to lock down the state party as soon and as comfortably as he can, and this may not be possible with Pullen in charge.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The New Culture of Corruption

Imagine if you will that John Bolton had been investigated on bribery and corruption charges and had to resign from a previous job in disgrace because of it.

Ok, now imaging that he hadn't resigned, but had been forcefully removed from his position.

How would his hearings have went before the senate when he was nominated to be ambassador to the United Nations? Imagine the press smorgasboard and the parade of witnesses brought forth to show what a bad person he was.

Well, you don't have to imagine much, because absent of these or any other legitimate infractions the treatment of him by Democrats as well as the press was almost as bad as if he had committed worse crimes.

Now, let me introduce you to Alcee Hastings.

In 1989, by a razor-thin margin of 413 to 3, the House of representatives voted to recommend the impeachment of Mr. Hastings for perjury and bribery. Mr. Hastings at that time was a federal judge and was caught on tape agreeing to a scheme wherein he would work a deal so that a pair of brothers convicted for racketeering would receive back $845,000 of their seized assets in return for Mr. Hastings receiving payment of $150,000. The lawyer for the brothers was involved in the plot, but refused to testify against Mr. Hastings, so no charges could be brought against the federal judge. Bill Clinton later pardoned this lawyer, but that is another matter entirely.

A Democratically controlled Congress, however, found differently. After the vote to recommend him for impeachment, the Senate lowered the boom and convicted him of eight articles of impeachment.

Alcee Hastings later ran for congress and won in 1996. He currently is a strong member of the Congressional Black Congress and is currently slated to take over as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, over a much more respected, qualified, and corruption-free Jane Harman.

That outrage you hear from the press and corruption ferreting Democrats is deafening, or would be if it actually existed. It appears that appointing Mr. Hastings to this sensitive position is a payback for the Congressional Black Caucus not pitching a fit when William Jefferson needed to be removed from the House Ways and Means Committee. So appointing a man known for corruption to be in charge of our nation's most valuable secrets has become a trading chit, for our new Speaker. It is also rumored that this is due to the fact that Mrs. Pelosi is no fan of Jane Harman who should take the position due to seniority and aptitude. (I would have linked the original Times articles, but they are now behind the pay-us-please firewall).

So my question of the press, Democrats, and my fellow liberal bloggers is, are we likely to see a fraction of the outrage that was and will be evidenced toward the attempted appointment of John Bolton also be applied to the clearly more egregious appointment of Alcee Hastings? Is this the return of values and above-board sincerity we were led to believe would take place? Please do enlighten me on the vast difference between the two that would cause the bluster over Bolton and the silence over Hastings.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

First Change

Since we are no longer only covering the District 8 race exclusively, I am going to add a few more links to other blogs. There are a few that certainly deserved linking but didn't make it due to not spending a sufficient amount of time on this particular race, or from general laziness on my part. So, here we go . . .



Espresso Pundit
Hot AZ it Gets
The Arizona Conservative

Come on down!!!!

You are the next link contestant on Arizona Eighth.

Please try to contain your excitement.

Oh, and Arizona Conservative, you are on double secret probation until you make your site more Firefox friendly.



Arizona Eighth Blog Announcement

Blogging takes a tremendous amount of time if done right, in many ways can be as demanding as a job. Because of this, we have taken some time to evaluate whether or not we would continue this blog after the election. There have been points where my business has suffered due to blogging constraints and I have not been able to spend as much time with my family as I otherwise would have. I know that TC has also felt pressure on his career and family.

That being said, I spoke to TC and my family about these constraints and whether continuing the blog is something we should do.

So the final decision was that "yes" this is something that we should do, and is important. That being said, we will be changing the format quite a bit as well as our scope. Hopefully, it will be a better site and allow even more discussion of the issues important to our area.

The only downside is that TC will not be able to contribute as he has in the past. He has made some recommendations of others who can fill in for him, however, and I hope to get those people as well as some others on board. Some of the people on the shortlist will be surprising and exciting for the future of the blog.

Most of all, I would like to thank the people who have been reading and commenting. I have no frame of reference for such things, but I hear that we have been rather successful for our limited audience universe. Hopefully we can expand that along with the depth and quality of our content. And that is not code for opening a "subscribers only" portal :).

Please look in frequently for changes to the blog, as well as further announcements as to the new directions we will be going.

Again, thank you for all of your support.

If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at arizonaeighth@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Framer's Concession

So this is what it feels like to have been a Democrat for the last 6 years.

It appears that much of the polling was more accurate than it has been in the past. Just because something was true two years ago, does not make it true today. That is a lesson that needs to be learned.

Congratulations to Representative Giffords for running a strong, disciplined campaign. Just for the record, I believe that she would have crushed Huffman by a larger percentage had he been the nominee as she coopted much of his perceived strengths, and would have embarrassed him during the debates.

And congratulations to Randy Graf for running a good campaign despite the obstacles placed in front of him, both from without and within. It is a shame that he couldn't have hooked up with RT a little earlier.

Republicans have a lot of lessons to learn from this, and I want to focus on the local party for just a minute.

There are a lot of Republicans ready to draw their long knives and go after a few scalps at this point. That would be exactly the wrong thing to do. Granted, there are a few scalps that need to be taken, but that can be done without leaving too many scars.

If we need a scapegoat, I offer Nathan Sproul. As an unelected party member, there wouldn't be too many people invested in his success. His nastiness and ill-advised marriage amendment (it was way too restrictive) had no small contribution to what took place tonight. This is also reflected in his effort to end clean elections Quite frankly, he is just not what we need as the face and right hand of our party. He may not be the person most responsible for what happened, but somebody needs to be sacrificed, and he is more than expendable and was not elected.

After burning him in effigy, we should issue a mass pardon to everyone else, including Jim Click and Steve Huffman. This will be hard, but it is necessary. Arizona is slipping away so we must play smarter, harder, and do a better job with our home work. We need ALL of our players on the field.

The next thing we need to do is throw away the Rove playbook. As area Republicans, we need to focus on around 10 items that ALL of us agree on. In many cases, these will not be the most important items to us, but we should be able to compromise within the party in such a way as these ten items will look good to everybody. The upside is that these ten items will resonate. If they look good to ALL Republicans, they will also look good to a majority of voters. We cannot focus on the wedge issues that have been overused for the past three elections. We have either mostly won those battles, or they are unwinnable at this point.

Once we have those ten issues, sell out entirely to them. Pick candidates who can sell them, put them on ballot initiatives where applicable, give people a choice and a reason to vote FOR us rather than against our opponent. If someone can win on these issues, we should not apply a litmus test outside of these issues.

We can win on down the ticket if we do this. It may not be everything we want right away, but after each issue is solved, we can add another, and if the idea is presented convincingly within the party, it will win out. We need to be about ideas again, and not labels. The drubbing we took was an embarrassment and we are all responsible, RINOs and Ultra-Conservatives alike.

We do not have time to waste on further squabbling. Candidates need to be approached in the next eight months, so the game plan has to be put in place before then. This is not a time for bitterness and castigation. It is a time for learning, for planning, and for taking back more than we lost.

Democrats are now going to bear the burden of expectations. We can choose to carp at them and enjoy their every misfortune, or we can out work them and crush them with a positive, resounding message. If we do this there is no reason we should lose. With all graciousness to my Democratic friends, there is not a Mo Udall among them.

Will post more later as we wrap this blog up and return to my family.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Infamous Exit Polls

Remember how brutal and slanted the exit polls were toward Democrats last year?

According to the Huffington Post Kyl is up by 4 in those same polls this time around.

If this polling is as Democrat-biased as last time, Kyl and the down ticket should be rolling.

Monday, November 06, 2006

GOTV effort and Predictions

Sorry about the lack of posts. I believe that most of the people reading have already decided, so I have been out working among our future readers :)

Just to bring us up to date, tomorrow is obviously the election. At this point I am ready to concede the polls to the Democrats. Congratulations to Democrats on their fourth such victory in a row. It is perfectly evident that Republicans are just not built to compete in this arena and changes will have to be made in order to show well in future polls.

The actual election is, as always, a different matter, and the Republicans seem to play this game a little better.

Here is my take on the national scene:

1. Any race where the polling is within one or two points in the polling will go to the Republicans at a near 80% clip. This, however, will not apply to races in New Jersey or Maryland.

2. Corker beats Ford, however, this will not be called right away.

3. Allen beats Webb. This will not be as close as many are expecting.

4. Republicans do not pick up either New Jersey or Maryland. We are dreaming that we have a chance there.

5. In an upset special, Burns retains his seat. This has been marked as a Democrat win for some time now. I know Montana pretty well, and know that Tester is not an easy sell for the overall populace. Someday the influx of Californians may turn Montana completely blue, but I do not believe that time is here quite yet.

6. Chafee defeats Whitehouse. Behold the awesome power of the GOP GOTV. Republicans are excited right up to the point where Chafee actually starts voting again.

7. Santorum loses by 6%

8. Talent wins, although there will be more shenanigans in St. Louis.

9. Brown wins, Ohio suffers buyers remorse soon after.

10. Republicans retain both the Foley and the Delay seats, due mainly to their amazing ability to research and follow directions.

11. Republicans lose 16 seats, costing them the House by the slimmest of margins. 40% chance that one or more Democrats are lured across the aisle with promises of chairmanships.

12. The Graf race is closer than many expect. Even if he does not win, the result will be close enough that Matt Salmon will be in hot water for actively supporting Huffman and his negative campaigning.

13. Hayworth and Kyl win going away.

14. None of the positive Republican developments will be a result of the intervention of Karl Rove.

15. Liberal Democrats will find that not all Democrats running for the house are only pretending to be moderates. Many of them actually will be moderates and vote in ways sure to infuriate liberals.

16. Either John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, or Mitt Romney will defeat Hillary Clinton in 2008 with Coattails.

Fire away, and do not forget to vote.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Values Voters May Swing Election to Graf

A recent Zogby-UPI poll found that in the upcoming election, Republican and independent voters are most concerned with values, morals and character when assessing the qualifications of a candidate. This was fifth on the Democrat's list with opposition to the war reported to be their number one concern.

Not surprisingly, Republicans and independents sent a message to Kolbe when 43% voted for Graf 2 years ago and rejected Huffman in this year's primary election. Up to now, Giffords has enjoyed a relatively clean image as a candidate. It has yet to be seen how voters will respond to recent reports relating to the timing of her involvement with Mark Kelly and the Tucson city land deal, however. In both cases, ignoring, or simply refuting, the claims probably would have been sufficient to push the issue to the back considering her media support. But by changing her version of when she began dating Kelly, and contacting the state to alter documents in order to appear less culpable in the sweetheart land deal, only raises the level of doubt in the minds of the public and adds further suspicion to her activities.

In the land deal scandal, her explanation of "I wasn't part of it" places her on the level of a Bernie Ebbers who made similar claims as CEO of Worldcom in an effort to deny culpability. If Giffords wants to extricate herself, she will have to develop a more thoughtful response.

While the war may still overshadow all other issues for Democrats, in a district held by a majority of Republicans and independents concerned about values, morals and character, and at a time when voters are becoming less tolerant of D.C. scandals, anything short of a complete explanation can only hurt Giffords.

Press Release on Gifford's Land Deal

For Immediate Release
November 2, 2006

Contact: R.T. Gregg
(520) 887-2984
Media Ignores Key Facts in Coverage of Giffords' Land Deal


As expected, the Graf campaign’s exposure of a land-lease deal involving Gabrielle Giffords and the City of Tucson has hit a nerve. What we didn’t expect was that the Arizona Daily Star would be unable to honor its duty to the public and base its coverage on the facts instead of its editorial board’s allegiance to Gabrielle Giffords.

In its article about the Graf for Congress ad (Graf Ad Attacks Giffords Land Deal, 11/1), the Daily Star chose to ignore critical facts about the land-lease arrangement, a deal that has taxpayers holding the bag while the Giffords family ultimately reaps millions in profit.

Here are the facts conveniently overlooked by the Daily Star:

According to the Articles of Organization, Gabrielle Giffords is a manager of Giffords Management Group, which operates El Campo Rentals, along with a partner. As a manager she had executive power of the lease deal even though her signature was not required. (According to the Tucson Citizen, Giffords’ campaign office contacted the Arizona Secretary of State’s office yesterday asking it to remove Giffords name as manager from the Articles of Organization, calling it “erroneous”).
The Articles of Organization document also shows that the Gabrielle D. Giffords Exempt Trust is a member of the Giffords Management Group.
The taxpayers of Tucson footed the bill to clean up the 3.3-acre property at the same time they were paying nearly a million dollars to rent the property. Typically the property owner, in this case Giffords Management Group, would have cleaned up the property first, at its own expense.
The property absolutely had serious environmental concerns, as attested to by the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. These environmental concerns were addressed and cleaned up by the City and the EPA before the final environmental assessment which, as expected, would show no environmental contamination because it had already been cleaned up!
Public records document the presence of two leaking underground storage tanks on the property. This record is available for all to see at the ADEQ web site at this URL: http://www.azdeq.gov/databases/lustsearch.html (Type in facility ID # 0-009809 and Leak ID # 5290.01 and hit search). This record confirms the presence of the storage tanks on the property and confirms they were cleaned up. In addition, the ADEQ has a file 600 pages thick detailing all the work that had to be done on the property.
The Daily Star also chose to omit in its article findings of the Phase I Environmental Assessment which detailed additional environmental concerns including heavily oil-contaminated soil and asphalt, asbestos, and three sub-surface hydraulic lift reservoirs. Once again, the City of Tucson and the EPA saved the day by cleaning up the site.
Once the demolition of all structures on the site was completed, a final environmental study verified there was no longer any contamination at that time. For the Daily Star to report there was never contamination on the property is at best incorrect and misleading.

Since the Arizona Daily Star has been unable or unwilling to review the facts of this case in an unbiased manner, here is a summary of what public records document. There was environmental contamination on acreage owned by the Giffords Management Group (in part). Gabrielle Giffords was then and is now part of the shell corporation that is party to this deal. The taxpayers paid a million dollars to rent property that wasn’t environmentally safe yet, per federal guidelines. The property was leased as part of the city’s plans to develop Rio Nuevo and yet the lot is not even part of Rio Nuevo. The deal was signed in 2000 and yet six years later continues to sit vacant. Gabrielle Giffords’ shell corporation continues to collect the rent paid for by taxpayers who are getting no value whatsoever in return for their investment.

Gabrielle Giffords has boasted she came home to Arizona to run the family business and now she’s running from it. As the head of the company, it’s only logical to assume she knew about the land-lease deal and knew there were environmental problems on the property. She also had to be aware the taxpayers were going to foot the bill for the clean-up.

Anyone running for office should expect and even welcome public scrutiny. Taxpayers have the right to know how their tax dollars are spent. Gabrielle Giffords simply cannot have it both ways. She can’t tell the taxpayers she’s on their side and then want to keep us in the dark about how our tax-dollars are being spent when she is benefiting.

More details and documentation about Giffords' questionable property deal is available at www.giffordssweetdeal.com.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Giffords/ACLU Oppose Voter Fraud Solution

Where have all the flowers gone? To dead people still voting?

Wednesday's Investor's Business Daily reported that "over 181,000 dead people were still on the voter rolls of six swing states in the 2004 general election, including almost 65,000 in Florida, according to the bipartisan 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform. Also in 2004, thousands on voter rolls had moved out of state or, as convicted felons, had lost the right to vote."

They also cite the Loretta Sanchez upset of Republican Bob Dornan in California as an example where it was widely known that illegal aliens were voting for Sanchez and "at least 547 noncitizens were known to have voted" in the election.

Gabrielle Giffords opposition to voter ID at the polls puts her at odds with those seeking to end this type of voter fraud and further drives her into the Grijalva open borders camp, an image she is desperately trying to shed for the election.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kenski Poll Follows

According to Sonoran Alliance, the Kenski poll has Gabby at 50%, Randy at 35% with 11% still undecided.

Congratulations to Sonoran Alliance for another scoop. Apparently, those people have too much time on their hands.

Reuters Poll: New Results

Reuters new poll results give Giffords a 53 to 41 advantage. Kenski's results should be available soon.