Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Smoke, Mirrors and High Stakes in Arizona's Legislature

"Any budget is better than no budget" has been the mantra driving the state the past several years from record surpluses to record deficits. This year is no exception. To quote Phil Lopes, "What gives me comfort is that, in the 96 years of the state's existence, we have never not had a budget." Oh, boy! What comfort!

So here we go again. The House proposal taxes us out of their mess by slapping us with a $500 million bond to pay off part of the debt. That really took some guts. The whole idea of bonding is to pay for high cost long term growth and infrastructure needs, not an easy out to bail out a state government drunk with the peoples' money.

Not to be outdone, the Senate gets much more creative. They simple starve the public schools long enough to push expenditures into next year. That's certainly a creative way to build the future of Arizona. Of course, by that time, some esteemed state Senators will be on to bigger and better things, so why not push the problem off to the next round of freshmen legislators?

Only one week to go and two things appear certain: a budget will be passed and the deficit will remain.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How Stupid Do Voters Look?

Who would have thought that just being in a VIP program would allow one to receive special treatment? Obviously not Chris Dodd.

Senator Chris Dodd who happens to be Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had no idea that when he said "yes" to Countrywide Financial's offer to be part of their VIP program it meant he would get some kind of special treatment. Imagine how shocked he was to learn that his VIP status gave him special loan rates and terms! He insists that he new nothing about favorable treatment under the program.

I guess he thought it was more of an honorary title, like King or something. Funny thing, he's the only one that didn't "know."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coffee with the candidate


Joe Higgins is campaigning pretty aggressively in his NW Tucson race for supervisor. I have heard from a few of our readers that he has already started knocking on doors. The latest copy of his e-newsletter was forward to me. He is holding Cup of Joe events at local coffee shops in the district. This Friday he will be at Kelly's Coffee Shop from 7:00 to 9:00 am at 3605 W. Cortaro Farms Road (in the shopping center at the SE corner of Thornydale and Cortaro Farms.) Next week he will be back at Kelly's on Thursday the 19th.

Sounds like a pretty creative way to reach voters. I bet the campaign hopes a latte people will drop by.

(I apologize for originally mixing up the dates.)

Pinch me. Am I Dreaming?

When I hear the term Windfall Profits Tax, it conjures up memories of gas rationing, long lines at the gas pumps, double digit inflation, double digit unemployment... You know, the Carter years.

Amazingly, when everyone is squawking about high gasoline prices, Washington Democrats whip out the Windfall Profits Tax card once again. "Let's punish the greedy oil companies and make them give back our money" they say. But who do they think will pay this tax? The greedy oil companies? Let's get serious. The only ones who pay taxes are consumers. If we think gas prices are high now, wait until the greedy oil companies pass along the Windfall Profits Tax congress slaps on them.

Let's see... how much should the oil companies be charged? 10 cents a gallon? 50 cents a gallon? It all depends on how much more we want to pay. I guess some Democrats don't think we pay enough.

Don't expect brilliance when it comes to drilling domestic oil wells, either. We must be vigilant protecting every vast, remote wasteland environmentalists want shielded from man's footprints no matter what the cost. And so we'll continue to pay...and pay...and pay...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ann Day goes with Nathan Sproul

The race for Pima County Supervisor District 1 may turn out to be a tough primary battle for long time incumbent Ann Day. She is facing a credible challenge from local businessman Joe Higgins. Sources tell us that he has secured Sherry Potter to help with his campaign. Now Seeing Red AZ is reporting that Day has lined up Lincoln Strategy Group to run her campaign. If this is true look for the race to get nasty as the Day team goes negative. We are not sure that strategy will work very well since Higgins is planning a positive campaign focused on the issues important to district 1.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Derek Tidball Withdraws from CD8 Race

Our sources tell us Derek Tidball, the independent candidate challenging Gabby Giffords, has met with the Bee camp to communicate his decision to drop out of the race and throw his support behind Tim Bee.

Tidball had not filed his signatures, but apparently had enough to qualify as a candidate. The fact that he will now back the Bee campaign suggests Tidball had concerns about another two years with Giffords and saw joining forces as a way to ensure her defeat.

It is our understanding that Derek Tidball will be issuing a press release late Tuesday announcing his decision to withdraw from the race.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Take a Moment to Salute our Fallen Heroes

Take a Moment to Salute our Fallen Heroes
By Frank Antenori





As many of you know, Memorial Day is tomorrow. Memorial Day has symbolized the sacrifice of those many brave men and women who have fought and died so we could enjoy freedom.

I hope many of you will take a few moments from your day off of barbequing and watching baseball to appreciate what Memorial Day really stands for.

It’s an especially sacred day to those of us that have served in the military, particularly those that have served in combat and have lost close buddies in war.

Our prayers are with those families who have lost a loved one to war, but our thoughts are with our buddies that have given the ultimate sacrifice.

We remember you, not for how you died, but for how you lived; as Patriots, as great Americans, as our brothers and sisters in arms who took up the noble cause of defending freedom and bringing liberty to those oppressed.

Tomorrow, those of us that made it home from war will bow our heads in prayer, shed some tears and honor the fallen and those who knew them. We should continue to share the stories, their stories, so that they will never be forgotten.

Below is the seldom heard third stanza of “America the Beautiful;” a fitting tribute to the spirit of Memorial Day. I hope all of you will take a few moments to quietly thank those heroes that allow us to celebrate the blessings of liberty on this sacred day.

“O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.”
“Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”


Frank Antenori is a retired Special Forces Soldier that saw combat in Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Joe Higgins Mystery Unraveled

As it turns out, Al Melvin is exonerated as the accused spoiler in Joe Higgins challenge of Ann Day for District 1 County Supervisor. An insignificant party member known for similar tactics in other races attempted to undermine both campaigns simultaneously by casting Higgins and Melvin as conspirators and taking advantage of a left-wing blogger in the process.

Joe Higgins real support is coming from the Pima County business community looking for relief from the County Board of Supervisors that have frustrated them for years.

This race could get very interesting considering Higgins' support and the attention he is getting from the humorous allegations surrounding his decision to run.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Saddlebrooke GOP Club Hits 500

Congratulations to the Saddlebrooke Republican Club which surpassed its goal of 500 members. At today's meeting, the club awarded member 500 with an elephant statue reporting the club's total now at 518.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Round, Round, Round She Goes...

Now that Obama appears to be edging out Hillary for the nomination, speculation about Governor Janet is heating up. It's widely speculated that Janet will get some sort of appointment from Obama should he win the presidency. Some have even speculated that she would get the VP nod. I don't see that happening for a variety of reasons. But, assuming an Obama presidency with Janet in the cabinet, Jan Brewer steps in to fill the vacancy. Who, then, runs for governor in the next general election? Does Jan who ran before want the job for another term? Or will Dean Martin, JD Hayworth, Randy Pullen or someone else step into the race?

On the other hand, assuming a McCain presidency, the U.S. Senate seat would be vacated and filled according to Arizona Revised Statutes which states: "For a vacancy in the office of United States senator, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy. That appointee shall be of the same political party as the person vacating the office and shall serve until the person elected at the next general election is qualified and assumes office." No doubt, Janet would appoint a Grant Woods now-I'm-a-Republican,-now-I'm-not-politician who would step aside for his friend, Janet, in the general election. Janet has made no bones about coveting the seat, so barring a D.C. desk, she would jump for this chance. On the Republican side, John Shadegg was long expected to go after the senate seat. Now that he has resigned and un-resigned for his House seat, it's unclear where he will want to spend his future years.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Put the Money In the Classroom FIrst

A letter from Robert Rice, head of the Arizona School Boards Association, bemoans the loss of tax revenue to pay for school utilities. There's no question that the loss of revenue could have a devastating effect on schools if the legislature and school districts aren't smart about the use of funds. It's time to do some real soul-searching and decide what's most important for kids to learn.

If reading is still the biggest learning obstacle for most Arizona kids, let's direct resources there. Instead of an all-day kindergarten that is costing $250 million and already proven across the country to yield no sustained results, let's take our money and invest some of it in materials to teach reading. Let's set up a volunteer corp and train them to work with teachers and teach every child to read. It only takes a matter of weeks at 30 minutes a day to teach a child to read. With a fraction of the all-day kindergarten resources this problem could be solved and free up money for other school needs.

As Trent Humphries says, "Put the money where it most matters: with the kids and the teachers. And let the principals be the ones out selling candy bars."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Southern Arizona's Health Care Crisis

I'll leave it to the Citizen reporter to provide the full story on Trent Humphries' health care forum. KGUN-9 made it their lead story on the 5 o'clock news. For those who missed it, it was quite enlightening. Here are a few memorable quotes from doctor-panelists at the forum:

"Orthopedics is required in every emergency room, but we don't have coverage for the whole month."

"You're living in a dream if you think the public health department can take care of you in an epidemic. Just look at the measles problem."

"We couldn't staff another trauma center even if we had one."

"Arizona is short over 2200 doctors."

"The national average is 293 doctors per 1000 patients. Arizona has 211 per thousand."

"Malpractice insurance in other states costs half of what it does in Arizona."

"We have only one neurosurgeon trying to cover all of the emergency rooms in Tucson."

"There are only five ears, nose, and throat specialists in all of Southern Arizona."

"The Bishop died because of the twelve hours it took to get him to Phoenix as a result of not having a neursurgeon to treat him here."

"The Border Patrol drops them off to be treated. The time that the illegals are being treated, they are in the custody of the hospital, and the feds don't pay for any of the treatment they get."

"When the Border Patrol doesn't come back to pick them up after we treat them, we have to pay to transport them to wherever they need to go."

"We don't have the sub-specialists we need in emergency. It takes six hours to locate a specialist and complete all the paperwork. It takes 8 to 12 hours to transport the patient to another facility. Sometimes we transport them to Phoenix, Texas, or New Mexico. Some patients won't make it."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Trent Humphries Hosts Health Care Forum

On Tuesday, May 6, at 7 PM Trent Humphries, Republican candidate for Arizona House of Representatives, and a panel of medical experts are gathering in a public forum to discuss the healthcare crisis facing seniors and families in Southern Arizona. The forum will be held at 13101 N Oracle Rd inside the Northwest Rancho Vistoso Outpatient and Urgent Care Facility.

Confirmed forum panelists include David Schwartz, Medical Director of Northwest Medical Center, Shawn Strash, CEO of Northwest Oro Valley Medical Center, Dale Pelton, Executive Director of Valley Health Care and Rehabilitation and Arizona Healthcare Association board member, and Fred Fiastro, a prominent pulmonologist and Pima Medical Society board member.

When asked why he was hosting this forum Humphries said, "Southern Arizona is losing doctors. This is a fact that goes largely unreported. It’s important because all of the health insurance in the world is useless if there is not a doctor available to treat you when you need it."

Southern Arizona is rapidly becoming a place where finding good medical care is difficult if not impossible. Tucson currently has a severe shortage of neurosurgeons, OB/GYNs, and emergency room doctors. Tucson has only one remaining trauma center and dangerously long wait times at emergency care facilities. One doctor said it this way, “Don’t become seriously injured in the city of Tucson because there might not be doctor to treat you."

Seating is limited, so please plan to arrive a few minutes early. If you would like further information about the forum please call Kevin Herring at 520-465-8594.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Spotted in the Northwest

It was Nancy Young Wright herself who showed up at tonight's big homeowner's association meeting gathering signatures to run for office and get on the ballot for the LD26 state position she temporarily holds. Speculation continues as to whether or not she can get enough to qualify.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tearing Up the Secret Ballot

Jennifer Burns Calls It Quits

Representative Jennifer Burns from District 25 is calling it quits this year leaving very little time for a Republican to jump in the race. However, this largely untapped area is ripe for Republican dominance as Republican clubs continue to spread across the northwest section of CD8.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Frank Antenori On Inside Track

Frank Antenori, Candidate for the Arizona State House, District 30, and always an enjoyable voice on the radio, joins Emil Franzi's Inside Track tomorrow (Saturday) at 2:00pm. Here's his website pitch: "Tune in and hear Frank’s views on the budget, immigration, school reform and how to unshackle and let loose the full power of the Arizona economy."

It sounds like Emil will have to give him the full two hours.

Will a Dem run for 26 Senate?

Correction: Looks like it will be Cheryl Cage and not Don.


Matt from SED links to a bunch of local candidate web sites. It is pretty will laid out but our sources indicate that Democrat Don Jorgensen will jump to the senate race. Our sources could be incorrect but if a Democrat doesn't get in soon this race will be decided in the primary.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crackdowns Extend Beyond Arizona

Those who say nobody cares about the illegal immigration issue anymore are like the kid in the ice cream shop who looks at his empty bowl and says "it's all gone." Last year, 1562 bills were introduced in state legislatures across the country to address this issue. 240 became law said to be three times the number in 2006.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri aren't messing around with the few whining employers like those in Arizona. They simply issued Executive Orders the past few months to deal with the issue. Both slammed congress and the federal government for not taking care of the problem.

The Rhode Island Executive Order requires state agencies and "all companies, contractors and vendors doing business in the State of Rhode Island to use the federal E-Verify program" to ensure that their employees are legally eligible to work in the state. Carcieri made it clear that "Rhode Island is setting an example for others to follow. This will encourage the private sector to comply."

Hopefully we will see leadership like that in the next governor's term.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deciding Who Lives or Dies

While hyper-environmentalists jump for joy over the push for more ethanol, the added gas means less fuel for people who depend on grain for life more than cruising around town. Grain prices continue to top the charts while stockpiles are whittled down to nothing. Throw in a tsunami and a drought and you have recipe for starvation.

In the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Haiti, and other countries, riots and unrest over the issue consume the news. And most countries are clamping down on grain exports to keep everything at home. Most Americans don't realize that the U.S. is the rice capital of the world. But even here in the country Japanese refer to as Rice Country, flooding in the Southern states have wiped out rice crops for the year. As a shortage of corn pushes people to other grains, the shortages there become much more evident.

I'm not trying to clang the alarm bell for another Y2k panic, but it will be interesting to watch how the politicians juggle this political hot potato trying to decide which is more important: green gas or food.

New Northwest Side Republican Club

Another new Republican Club has emerged on the Northwest side. Welcome to the Dove Mountain Republican Club. It has had two meetings, one being an organizing meeting, and has had some of the candidates speak. We will provide more news as things develop.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Budget Deal Ignores the Real Problem

So the state legislators, or rather, leaders, have swung another back room deal with the Governor. Isn't this the same process that got us the deficits when Napolitano made and reneged on commitment after commitment?

As a result of weak compromises, the legislature continues to fund irresponsible programs like the governor's pet all-day kindergarten program. It wasn't too many years ago that the legislature talked about cutting half-day kindergarten and the citizens who complained were those griping about losing their babysitters for half a day. Not a single letter to the editor suggested it would hurt education. In fact, the fact that some top states with continually high test scores have no kindergarten at all, putting the responsibility for school preparation on the parents, suggests that maybe letting parents take some responsibility for their childrens' educations might be a good thing. Now, taxpayers get to pay for babysitting for the full day, and because the budget doesn't get the full debate it deserves, we will continue to pay for it in the midst of looming multi-billion dollar deficits.

The real problem here is the lack of leadership that acknowledges the binge spending that occurred the past several years and has the courage to roll back unnecessary programs that were added. And Democrats who hide behind the "we're not in charge" excuse simply acknowledge their own lack of will to solve the real problem.

Whittling off a little here and there is like the commercial where the workers put the chewing gum in the hole to stop the leak in the dam. This election cycle offers hope for new legislators who will openly debate nice-but-not-necessary programs and be tough enough to remove them to fix the real problem. As voters, we should take take advantage of it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Legislative Conventions going smoothly

Legislative District 26 selected their State Convention delegates this morning. Politico Mafioso and Sonoran Alliance were bickering about McCain but the mood at LD 26 was very congenial. The opposing slates being handed out even had several names in common, leading some to wonder what was the point.

The big issue at the district was finding enough delegates and there are only a few alternates. The State Convention may have some fireworks but it doesn’t look like they will come from the Southern Arizona delegates.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Line Shifting with LD29 Candidate

Pat Kilburn, Chairman of LD 29 Republicans, has shifted from running as a candidate for the House to contention for the Senate. Although LD29 has long been a Democrat stronghold, Kilburn looks to be a strong candidate in a district suffering from weak representation. Kilburn will have to capitalize on this weakness to make a serious run at taking this Senate seat from the Dems, but probably made the switch sensing the opportunity.


UPDATE/CORRECTION: We had it backwards. We should have reported that Pat Kilburn was running for the Senate and is now running for the House. Also, Bruce Murchison who was running for the House in District 29 is stepping out of the race.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Homeowners Spared Tax Increase...For Now

A lone Democratic state senator saved an important property tax bill today. Sen. Ken Cheuvront (District 15, Central Phoenix) joined 15 Republican senators in voting for House Bill 2220, which would prevent a $250 million property tax from being reinstated next year.

Two Republican senators-Sen. Carolyn Allen (District 8, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills) and Sen. Tom O'Halleran (District 1, Prescott and Yavapai County)-refused to vote to protect property taxpayers.

Here is the vote tally: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/includes/filemanager/files/az/hb2220senategoodbad.pdf

Regardless of your party affiliation, please send a note to Sen. Cheuvront (kcheuvront@azleg.gov) and thank him for having the courage to break with his party's majority and with the special interests who insist on increasing your property taxes, even during a recession.

Maybe Sen. Cheuvront can show some of those emails to Gov. Janet Napolitano while she is deciding whether or not to veto the bill...

(Cheuvront's comments in defense of his vote are pasted below.)

For Liberty,

--Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
www.aztaxpayers.org

Here is what Sen. Cheuvront said in the Senate on Monday to explain his vote:

"[Regarding] House Bill 2220, state equalization of property tax: I just want to tell members that I am supporting that bill and I will be voting Yes. No matter how people talk about this bill, if we do not put this forth it will be a tax increase on businesses, homeowners, and others. I have fought down here for many years on tax equity. I had a bill in the House and one in the Senate dealing with GPLETs [a special-interest property tax giveaway to certain businesses]. Unfortunately, my colleagues in the House voted it down, and [the No vote] was engineered specifically by many of the Democrats, which I'm very disappointed in.

"But in the last year, we have seen the valuations of our homes go down, but as a business owner, I have seen the valuation of my businesses go up. If this tax is reinstituted, it will be a huge shift on our small businesses, because our large businesses are pretty much exempt from paying property taxes, or pay significantly lower [taxes]. They're in enterprise zones. They're in GPLETs. They're in free trade zones. They're in many other areas.

"We need to ensure that our small businesses are taken care of and we don't see a tax shift or a tax increase that will put them out of business. Thank you."


NOTE: Thanks to Marilyn Zerull, State House of Representatives candidate from LD26 for providing this information.

Kris Mayes Stays Put

Although we tend to focus on Southern Arizona politics, we thought someone might be interested to know that Kris Mayes has backed out of the race in Congressional District 1 and intends to remain on the Corporation Commission.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bisbee School Board Says "YES" to Irresponsibility

If on Prom night, your high school officials handed your teenager a nice, clean syringe and a package of sterile needles along with a picture frame, a few candles, and a mint, what would you think? Their logic goes something like this: Many of the kids are going to do drugs that night, so we should make it as safe as possible.

Bisbee's school board seems to think the same way. In among the niceties the school will hand out in their Prom bag will be two condoms. Since sex is a lot more PC than drugs, they expect little opposition. In a 4-1 vote, the board decided that the kids are all immoral sex fiends and can't be expected to exercise self control. So, the best thing to do is make it as safe as possible. 

Sadly, board members not only lowered the bar of expectations, but condoned and even encouraged irresponsible actions most parents would advise against. In fact, I know a lot of parents who will decide the prom is not such a good thing for their kids after hearing about this. I wonder who among the board will take responsibility when a condom fails and a teenage girl finds herself pregnant. Even aside from the federal laws preventing this from occurring without parental permission, this has lawsuit written all over it.

One board member seemed to have enough common sense to vote "nay." Let's see how many parents join that board member by stepping up and taking a stand for the safety of their kids.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pima Young Republicans New Blog

Young elephants hold up the Big Top as they step up efforts to beef up communications through their new blog at http://pimayrs.blogspot.com.

Friday, March 28, 2008

GOP VEEP Candidate? Drum Roll, Please...

Those doubters who said McCain would never pick Romney and Romney would never accept are obviously too young to remember the Reagan-Bush Sr. relationship during the primaries. Pundits said it would never happen, but my mom said "Never say never". Lo, and behold, the two became running mates.

It looks like history is repeating itself. McCain and Romney are now jet-setting all over the west together with Romney now a prominent McCain campaign cheerleader. Look for the relationship to be confirmed shortly after the national convention.

The New Democrat Party

Our very own Gabby Giffords wants to double the number of H-1B visas that are supposed to allow American businesses to bring highly technical people into the country to take jobs there aren't enough Americans to fill. One problem: The visas don't go to American companies.

According to Business Week's table of biggest H-1B users, It's mostly cheap labor countries operating in the U.S. that are getting the bulk of the visas. 80% go to foreign outsourcing companies that bring workers in from India and rotate them through to give them experience before sending them back after a couple of years to handle U.S. outsourced jobs. According to the article, even the few U.S. companies on the list actually have most of their operations in India with the exception of Microsoft and Intel which represent a tiny percentage of the total.

In the meantime, highly skilled U.S. workers continue to get displaced by H1-B visa holders and complain about job postings that are worded to keep Americans out and ensure companies get approval for H-1B visas holders along with the cheaper labor the visas provide.

Since it's not a highly unionized segment of the workforce, we don't hear much of an outcry from Democrat union leaders. But then, the years of the Democrat Party as the "farmer-labor party" are long gone. The new Democrat Party is evolving as the cheap foreign labor party.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trent Humphries on Inside Track Radio Show

Emil Franzi will feature Trent Humphries, candidate for District 26 State Representative, this Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m. on Inside Track broadcast on KVOI 690 AM. The podcast of Inside Track will be available at Insidetrackaz.com.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Inmates Running the California Asylum

While homeschoolers should be taken to task for being asleep at the wheel in California, it appears that the California legislature is competing with Arizona for the fiscal irresponsibility award. Granted, homeschoolers are an easy target for bullying. Private schools with uncertified teachers get a pass because most of them are parochial schools with their own standards and they're not afraid to tell the state to take a hike if the state ever tried to mandate teacher certification. Likewise, the state is smart enough to keep their hands off the wealthy who hire their own tutors, certified or not, because they know this group has the power and money to resolve the problem in court and make elected officials look bad. The average homeschooling family, however, is on its own to fight the establishment unless it joins with other homeschoolers as a political block, which, in California, doesn't appear to be the case.

So, why would California's education elite suddenly decide to pick on homeschoolers? Is it because of the vastly inferior education these poor kids get at home? Anyone who knows anything about education in our country is aware of the consistently superior test scores and educational accomplishments of homeschooled children, so this is clearly not the issue.

So why is it that of tutors, private school teachers, and home schoolers, only kids participating in the latter approach are now considered truant from school? It's simple. the education establishment is looking for an easy power grab that will produce more per pupil dollars from the state coffers in the short term. But the number one fiscally troubled state in the country shoots itself in the head by yanking tens of thousands of kids into the public schools. Now, instead of those tens of thousands receiving superior educations at no cost to the state, the state will have to pick up the tab. And it costs the state thousands of dollars more per pupil per year to educate them. The state has been receiving a windfall from homeschooling for years and now they're letting a few greedy superintendents pull the plug.

Of course, the reality is that most homeschoolers will simply register as private schools, which have no restrictions on them, in order to slip past the law until the problem gets resolved. Already, the state superintendent of public instruction is backing down and congressmen are squeezing the state to get its act together. Eventually, the problem will be resolved, but the rest of the country will be left with one more laugh at California's expense.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Where's the Little Red Hen?

Governor Napolitano calls Treasurer Dean Martin a Chicken Little about the budget and criticizes him for grandstanding. But who got us into this mess and continues to slap her face on billboards and taxpayer-funded printed material at every turn? Last year's budget, I recall, was passed by Democrats and a minority of Republicans, and promoted by and signed by Napolitano resulting in today's $1.2 billion deficit. With the deficit growing daily, the governor vetoed the spending freeze and accused Dean Martin of overreacting because "he doesn't know the numbers". Heaven forbid he should overreact to a mere billion dollar deficit cascading to $2 billion by next year. Unfortunately, the Little Red Hen who should be busy fixing this problem appears to be on vacation leaving us with Janet who seem oblivious to being second only to California in debt.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spate of Pima County GOP Resignations Continues

Sources tell us that the latest in a series of resignations from the Pima County Republican Party executive committee is Randy Graf. Reasons for the resignation have not been made public, but it appears that the resignation is effective today.

Previous executive committee resignations have occurred primarily as a result of health and relocation issues.

Fairness in Taxation at the State Legislature: SB1254 & HB2641

There are two bills in the State Legislature dealing with fairness in taxation that need our help. SB1254 is stuck in the Senate Rules Committee and HB2641 is stuck in the House Rules Committee. These bills deal with the inequity for folks who live in unincorporated areas of Arizona of having their tax dollars subsidize cities and towns. These bills simply give a state income tax credit of 15% (equal to what is skimmed off the top of our state income tax payment and delivered to incorporated communities) to those who live in county settings.

This archaic system known as “Urban Revenue Sharing” is unfair and Senator Bob Burns should be commended for bringing this bill forward. Here is a link to the summary of SB1254, a tax credit to folks who live in unincorporated areas of the state.
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/48leg/2r/summary/s.1254fin.doc.htm

The bill is currently being held by Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jay Tibshraeny. You can send an e-mail to Chairman Tibshraeny at jtibshraeny@azleg.gov and urge him to hear SB1254. State Senate President Tim Bee also sits on the Senate Rules Committee. A call or e-mail (tbee@azleg.gov) to his office urging the same could prove useful.

HB 2641 is the House Bill equivalent which is bogged down in the House Rules Committee. Bob Robson is Chairman of the House Rules Committee and is running for the Arizona Corporation Commission. A Comment to Mr. Robson's office at brobson@azleg.gov would be more than appropriate to give this bill a hearing.

All you need to do is ask for a hearing by the appropriate Committee Chairs. Asking for fairness in taxation by our elected officials is our responsibility.



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sen McCain is looking good, Obama misunderstood. . .

Senator McCain has had a good week or two at the expense of media-crowned Barack Obama, according to the latest numbers from Zogby.

His double digit lead that he held over Hillary Clinton just last month has shrank to 3%, but more importantly, John McCain has opened a 46 to 40 percent lead on the former community organizer from Illinois.

The bleeding for Obama started from an unfair, vicious attack by the known agitators at Saturday Night Live.

Then came the obvious mis-characterization about Canada and NAFTA. Obviously you cannot just go by what Obama says in his speeches, as he has a long, extensive, full record of accomplishments to fall back on. Look there for inspiration.

And finally, there was the mess with Obama spiritual adviser Jeremiah Wright. I believe Obama at his word that the Rev. Wright was a spiritual giant who was simply misguided on political matters. That is why it made all of the sense in the world to see that the retired minister was made a part of Obama's political campaign. I can understand this as I try to add at least three people who I have deep and irreconcilable political differences to my campaign staff before breakfast each day.

The problem is that 60% of Americans have not FELT Obama yet. That is bound to happen.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Bleak State of the State

"Recession" is the label the U of A's Eller School slapped on the state of Arizona's economy a week or so ago. Last weekend, CNBC topped that by releasing the biggest three debtor states finding Arizona second only to infamous California. At 1.2 billion bucks and rising, Arizona's deficit beat out New Jersey for the number three slot.


Second and third place finishers have something in common—they both have Democrat governors. The big difference is that New Jersey's governor is talking about cuts in spending while Arizona's Janet still champions big dollar projects such as light rail as if there were no tomorrow.


Recession, big taxpayer debt, big government spending... It's all getting too familiar and close to home for Arizona voters to tolerate. More than likely, voters will drive a reversal in Democrat fortunes in state races this year with Republicans taking back more than a couple of seats lost in '06.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You read it here first


We may have been a little slow lately, but AZace nailed the latest breaking news on the head over a month ago.

Charlene Pesquiera will not be running in 2008, leaving no current Democratic challenger for the district 26 Senate seat.

To my knowledge, however, the District 26 Legislature will continue to have no shortage of candidates.

Continue to get the latest breaking news on the Democratic side of the race here at Arizona Eighth.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ron Paul Wins!

While everyone was looking at Huckabee finally accepting the inevitable, Ron Paul was sneaking up and snatching victory. In his home congressional district in Texas, Ron Paul was last seen trouncing his opponent, Chris Peden, 70% to 30%. With 70% of the precincts reporting, Paul declared victory.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Democrats Keep the Race Interesting

Here are the returns from Ohio and Texas as reported by Fox News:

OHIO
Candidate # of votes % of total # of delegates
Hillary Clinton 1,080,439 56.17% 63
Barack Obama 842,994 43.83% 48
Precincts Reporting: 92%

John McCain 591,230 62.61% 79
Mike Huckabee 307,507 32.56% 0
Ron Paul 45,559 4.82% 0
Precincts Reporting: 89%

TEXAS
Candidate # of votes % of total # of delegates
Hillary Clinton 1,302,460 51.90% 18
Barack Obama 1,207,222 48.10% 12
Precincts Reporting: 84%

Candidate # of votes % of total # of delegates
John McCain 672,267 54.63% 69
Mike Huckabee 492,028 39.98% 0
Ron Paul 66,360 5.39% 0
Precincts Reporting: 90%

Total Delegates for Obama 1455
Total Delegates for Clinton 1369

Delegate counts include Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas, Ohio.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Trent Humphries Kicks off Campaign

Trent Humphries gave up his homeowners association president position, finished painting the community pool fence, and set aside other community service so he could put in the time to run for Arizona House of Representatives. But he still helps people load and unload trucks as they move in and out of the community and performs community service whenever he can.

This Saturday, March 8, Trent is inviting the community to join him as he picks up trash along Oracle Road. The cleanup crew will meet at the Oro Valley Kohl's parking lot on the west side of Oracle Rd. just north of Ina at 7:30 a.m. and clean up trash along the road up to Magee. Trent is giving a free T-shirt to everyone who picks up trash.

At 9:00 a.m. Trent will be making his campaign kickoff announcement at James Kreigh park.

Questions about these events should be directed to Kevin Herring 520-465-8594.

Why Crime Pays for Banditos

Four illegal aliens obtain fraudulent drivers licenses. They steal six expensive SUVs from rental car companies and get caught. What happens to them?

A. The criminals are forced to pay restitution and sent to jail for several years for their crimes.
B. Arresting officers are put away for 10 years and the criminals are granted free passage to the U.S. to commit more crimes.
C. The criminals are given a light sentence of 1-2 years in prison.
D. The criminals are let go and told never to come back and do it again.

If you answered D, you would be correct according to The Rocky Mountain News. Here's the breakdown:
One will serve no time in prison. He gets probation which is kind of like a written warning. He's also supposed to pick up trash for week and we'll pay for his drug rehab program if he decides to stick around a while.
A second will be deported. He has been told that if he comes back within 3 years, we'll punish him. Otherwise, he can do whatever he wants. If he can avoid the law on future car thefts for the next 3 years, he still won't go to prison if caught after that.
A third had his charges dismissed, but he'll be sent to Georgia for crimes he committed there. Apparently, they care.
For all the difference it makes, the fourth criminal was able to get the charges dropped for lack of evidence. Since he had a fraudulent drivers license, it would seem that at least one charge should have stuck. The article didn't say anything about deportation, so he could be hanging around looking for the next car theft opportunity. Hopefully, he's still in Colorado.

Cloudy Skies Ahead for Arizona

According to the economic outlook provided by the Eller school, "most forecasts for the U.S. now show the economy teetering on the brink of recession...we believe that Arizona's economy is already in a recession that will stretch well into 2008. Labor markets are deteriorating and job growth is disappearing."

In fact, job growth is overstated and will be revised downward to near zero for 2007. Projections show a significant loss of jobs in 2008 and fewer lost in 2009. A recent issue of Business Week, provided a chart showing small business jobs to be the worst in years and declining rapidly. Arizona appears to be following the trend.

With Arizona heading for a $1.5 billion deficit, and no champion in sight to save Arizona's economy, it looks like things will get a whole lot worse before they get better. The obvious solution that nobody wants to face is slashing government spending. A systematic multi-year suck-it-up belt-tightening would do it. But Janet would have to rescind her all-day kindergarten, back down on free college tuition for everyone who can pull a B in high school, and resign herself to driving to Tucson instead of riding her flashy light rail system.

Not only that, spending drunkards in Phoenix would have to detox for the next few years not only to the point of eliminating the deficit, but even beyond in order to push taxpayer dollars back to taxpayers where it can do some good for the economy. I'm not talking about Congress' method of stimulating the economy. It certainly does no good to follow the example of our binge spending congressmen who borrow money from China to give us $600 so we can go out and buy more products made in China. So much for stimulating the U.S. economy.

No, the only way we're going to get out of this mess is to make some courageous choices in the legislature and take away Napolitano's credit card. The question is: "Who's going to make it happen?" When asked in a recent interview how she would cut the deficit all Nancy Young Wright could say is she would protect education, increase taxes and push light rail.

So when it comes to saving the economy, my question remains: "Who's going to make it happen?" Right now, I have no answers.

Monday, February 25, 2008

If Hillary Were a Car...

What kind of car would Hillary be? Here's the link to find out: hillaryclintonarmy. Apparently, there's also a Gabby Car in the works. Any guesses as to what that one will be?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Go Hillary!

Read Tedski's letter to Democrat Party Superdelegates with tales of Republican conspiracies and a cry of help for Hillary.

We only hope Tedski reveals the names of Republican conspirators he says he's withholding so we can call in and report on Medved's Conspiracy Day program.


UPDATE: AZAce is clearly suffering from a severe case of Tedski-itis. After falling asleep in the middle of Ben-Hur, he awakened from a nightmare of thousands of toga-clad Tedskis swarming the collosseum in homage to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. For a day or two, he was seeing Tedskis on every blog site. Please accept our apologies for Aces' condition, and particularly to Tedski the unfortunate casualty of Aces' ranting, who we hope will never experience this malady.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Getting Gassed

Those "nasty oil companies" are at it again. But this time, they're in court trying to defend themselves against consumers who resent paying gasoline priced at a temperature of 60 degrees. It turns out that when Arizona temperatures hit 120 degrees, you get a whole lot less gasoline dispensed for the price because the gasoline expands. Of course, our neighbors to the north get a bonus during those long Canadian winters when consumers benefit from more gas for the price. But the oil companies are wise to the Canadians. They're now putting temperature adjusting mechanisms in pumps up there so they make sure they get their due.

How did Governor Janet miss this opportunity when pounding the pulpit for gasoline rebates?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

And They Said It Couldn't Be Done

I'm surprised everybody missed the big report in the Arizona Republic about the results of serious, albeit piecemeal, efforts to control smuggling and other illegal entry into the U.S. Putting illegal border crossers in jail, passing an employer hiring law, new fencing, more eyes on the border, and the much touted demand for workers drying up has led to a 40% drop in repeat offenders and fewer illegal crossers.

She Believes!

Listen to Gabby on the Glenn Beck show. Gabby sounds like a true believer. She even questions, somewhat, the legitimacy of giving big bucks to the Mexican government to help fight smuggling on the border. Here are some good reasons why we should give the money to our own Border Patrol, instead.

According to Homeland Security, Mexican officials have a bad habit of melding with the smugglers. Here's the data obtained by Judicial Watch from Homeland Security summarized on GOPUSA.


In 2007, the Office of Border Patrol Field Intelligence Center noted 25 incursions, 4 by Mexican military personnel and 21 by Mexican police officials.

The DHS report on incursions was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Judicial Watch. The organization combed through the report and found a number of such as:

MEXICAN MILITARY INCURSION (ARMED/INTENTIONAL) TUCSON/TUCSON -- On April 23, 2007, Border Patrol Agents...reported a Mexican military incursion on the Tres Bellotas Ranch near Arivaca, Arizona. The agents were using night vision equipment and observed...seven to ten Mexican military personnel in Humvees carrying long arms...The agents continued to back away from the [soldiers] when they heard [one] soldier chamber a round into his rifle. The agents observed...that the military personnel had fanned out in a tactical formation on both sides of the US/Mexico International Boundary.

MEXICAN MILITARY INCURSION (ARMED/INTENTIONAL) TUCSON SECTOR/SONOITA SECTOR -- On July 5, 2007 a Border Patrol Agent...encountered six subjects dressed in tan colored BDU style clothing...A military style Humvee and a black Suburban were parked on the Mexican side of the border...Two of the subjects appeared to be carrying bundles of narcotics on their backs.

MEXICAN POLICE INCURSION (ARMED/INTENTIONAL) EL CENTRO SECTOR/CALEXICO STATION -- On August 26, 2007, Remote Video Surveillance System operators...observed a red Ford F150 south of the All American Canal between the United States and Mexico...Agents...encountered the vehicle and performed a vehicle stop...The agents found credentials on the driver indicating that [name redacted] is an Agent of the Mexican Agencia Federal de Investigation. The agents searched the vehicle and discovered several items to include: guns, ammunition, narcotics, night vision equipment, cell phones, a walkie talkie and a ski mask.

Monday, February 18, 2008

They Want It Rare

Republicans' awe of Gabby's recent conservative shift is not shared by all Democrats. Recent public appearances, tours with GAO accountants, and campaign...er...constituent mailers have been orchestrated to help Gabby paint herself conservative. But Democrats are asking "where's the beef?" They want answers to tough liberal questions and have not been satisfied with surprised staff who felt like deer in the headlights in previous town hall meetings. Gabby has responded by tossing a nice juicy steak to the salivating constituents: an opportunity to discuss impeaching Dick Cheney. Of course, Gabby will excuse herself from the carnage, sending her chief of staff, instead. The poor staffer will be expected to come back with answers demanded at the last town hall meeting in addition to managing the savage crowd of Cheney-haters.

Bloodthirsty types might be interested in attending the meeting Wednesday, February 20th at 7 pm at 3202 E. 1st. Please remember, however, that some scenes may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Friday, February 15, 2008

LD 26 Democrats Giving Away a Seat

Heading into the last half of February, there is still no sign of Democrat incumbent Charlene Pesquiera filing to run for re-election in the state Senate. I have reported here since she first picked up the seat that inside sources have several times quoted Charlene as saying she was not going to run again and her inaction is further evidence of her commitment to that. If she were planning to run, she would have at least filed and begun collecting signatures on Super Tuesday. Failing to do the obvious makes her intentions clear.

It appears that the Democrats are having difficulty filling the anticipated vacancy. There is no word from the party about a new candidate, and with the Republicans determined to take back the seat now well into the race with plenty of momentum in their home territory, it's almost too late for a Democrat to jump in. Some have speculated that in order to hold on to the two seats they picked up in 2006, the Democrats should run Wright for the House and Jorgensen for the Senate instead of throwing a body into the Senate race at the last minute and chance losing a seat they already have. At this point, however, it may be too late for either option.

The way it looks, the Democrats will sacrifice the Senate seat in order to run two candidates for the House and hope they don't end up losing at least one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Conservatives In Search of a Home

While Newt Gingrich calls for conservatives to declare independence from the Republican Party, GOPUSA is uniting conservatives with a Contract with Conservatives.

Key tenets in the Contract include many of the typical conservative issues: immigration reform including no amnesty, tax reform, reducing the size of government including cutting spending, appointing constructionist judges, support for life, and advocating free speech including repeal of the McCain-Feingold Act.

So where is the conservative movement headed?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hit Me with Your Best Shot. . .

OK, here is what we are going to do. bit by bit, I am going to release the rough draft of my policy positions, and I want all of you to rip me bloody on it. I want you to find the holes in my logic, the places I am just plain wrong, and don't be afraid to call me an idiot.

That being said, this will not be the entirety of my Education position. I have several more points of emphasis that I will release after getting feedback for each.

Here we go:

Increasing Education Expenditure by Understanding and Controlling Capital Spending.

Several studies have shown that we can expect exponential growth in Arizona over the next 20 years. Building the infrastructure required to sustain this growth is likely to further strain education funding during this period and going forward. Careful planning and proper policy, however, can help preserve at least a portion of the funding that would otherwise be claimed by capital and return it to operations and the actual teaching of our students. Some specific things that can be done:

1. Reaffirm and expand Arizona’s commitment to open enrollment and home schooling. So far, the charter school program has been a tremendous success and has slightly to moderately slowed the need for infrastructure growth as the facilities for charter schools are privately funded. An upswing in home schooling, while providing Arizona families more choices in the education of their children, has also relieved some of the infrastructure burden that would have occurred otherwise. If families wish to participate in a charter school or home schooling, then the barriers should be further reduced where practicable.

2. Maximizing use and maintenance of existing structures. It is important that older buildings be maintained and updated in such a manner as to keep them operable for extended periods of time. Schools that may be losing enrollment due to their location in areas where demographics are skewing toward older families without school aged children should be moved toward utility as “magnet” schools which are more likely to attract students based on specialized curriculum rather than proximity. Studies should be done to determine the feasability as well as the effectiveness of moving some schooling systems to year-round operation.

3. We should resist, at all cost, to succumb to the suddenly popular urge to finance new school infrastructure to hide budget deficits. Not only is it wrong to essentially tax our children to hide our poor spending decisions in other areas, but the convenience of resorting to credit in government spending, as in personal spending, often obscures the need to make hard choices. It is the duty of the state leadership to face and make difficult decisions as they spring up and not kick these problems down the road for future leaders, especially when it comes to education.

Monday, February 11, 2008

When the Toll Comes Due

So what happens when Gabby Gifford's largest contributor, Emily's List, comes a callin' wanting her super delegate vote for to be cast for Clinton?

It appears that they're just not that into Obamamania.

And should Gabby defy them and move toward Obama, will Emily's List look toward supporting other women candidates with like minded goals instead?

I would not suspect Giffords to be an early endorser. Why start with the courage now?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Press coverage of Sen. Bee

Some commentators have suggested that staying in the Legislature had some drawbacks for Senator Bee. Most people focused on the difficulty in navigating the pending budget crisis. Now it looks like the press is noticing that he is campaigning while in office. Giffords is also campaigning while staying in her position but don’t hold your breath waiting for the newspaper story asking, “Where’s Gabby?”

Selected, not Elected

I really like most of my Democrat blogger counterparts. So I am not sure that it with a slight bit of humor or sadness for them as I watch them get excited about the results of their primary, pulling for Obama.

You see, the thing is, that the Democratic Presidential Primary system is set up in such a way as to guarantee that in a close, or even relatively close election, the party elite will determine who the nominee is.

In the primary, there are no Winner Take All states or ways for a candidate to have a resounding victory and get a lot of separation. Indeed in true "everybody is equal, nobody is special" style, the system almost seems rigged to guarantee a close popular primary result. It makes for an exciting race right?

Well, no actually. Let me introduce you to Mr. Super Delegate. These are the Democrats who's votes count a lot more than the others. Just to make it clear, you need 2,025 delegates to clinch, but there are 796 available Super Delegates. That is quite a bit of popular-vote-overcoming slush available.

This site has the rule that stipulates who is a "super delegate:"

UNPLEDGED AND PLEDGED PARTY LEADERS AND ELECTED OFFICIAL DELEGATES

1. The procedure to be used for certifying unpledged party leader and elected official delegates is as follows:

Not later than March 1, 2008, the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee shall officially confirm to each State Democratic Chair the names of the following unpledged delegates who legally reside in their respective state and who shall be recognized as part of their state’s delegation unless any such member has publicly expressed support for the election of, or has endorsed, a presidential candidate of another political party;

1. The individuals recognized as members of the DNC (as set forth in Article Three, Sections 2 and 3 of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States); and,

2. The Democratic President and the Democratic Vice President of the United States, if applicable; and,

3. All Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives and all Democratic members of the United States Senate; and,

4. The Democratic Governor, if applicable; and,

5. All former Democratic Presidents, all former Democratic Vice Presidents, all former Democratic Leaders of the U.S. Senate, all former Democratic Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic Minority Leaders, as applicable, and all former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee.


So basically a list of "Who's who" among party INSIDERS.

Indeed according to this same site, Clinton already holds a lead among committed super delegates at a 2-1 clip. To even make things close, Obama would have to pick up the remaining insiders at a 65% to 35% clip.

I don't think that is too likely. Welcome nominee Clinton

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Romney Out, Huckabee Stays In

Romney has officially thrown in the towel according to Associated Press. Huckabee vowed to stay in it. His role as the spoiler is over, so it's hard to understand what he has to gain by staying in. Clearly, remaining delegates will shift en masse to McCain leaving Huckabee even farther behind.

Romney cited as a reason for his decision the need for McCain to be able to launch his bid for the general election as soon as possible.

McCain has a difficult, but necessary, task in reaching out to Romney and Huckabee supporters. Social conservatives who watched fellow Republicans refuse to endorse, or even openly oppose, conservative candidates and causes, struggle to respond when those same Republicans demand obeisance to a candidate who they feel denigrated them. Yet, without the unity of the party behind him, McCain will have a difficult time overcoming the combined Obama/Clinton force that will come out of the Democrat Party's nomination. It won't do to take his delegates and dismiss the other half of the party as "fringe." He needs to reach out just as Reagan reached out and made the party stronger.

Senator McCain's speech to CPAC was a good beginning. Now, he needs to follow up with a massive unification campaign to reassure the rest of the party that they are included in his vision.

Locally, it's possible that Republican congressional candidates will get a bit of a lift from the McCain nomination. State legislative candidates will still have to stand on their own, however.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Poll Station Observations

So, I spent a great deal of time at the polls this morning gathering signatures, and here are my offhand observations.

1. Pretty big Democratic turnout in general. Not sure if this is good for Obama or Clinton, but I would guess Obama.

2. Really low Republican turnout in big McCain areas and really heavy turnout in likely Romney areas. If I were a gambling man, I might not bet on Romney to win, but I would sure bet against the polling spread.

3. My volunteers seem to outnumber all of the other volunteers in the admittedly Republican leaning districts in 26. Al Melvin's volunteers were a close second, followed by Pete Hershberger not far behind that. I didn't see anything in the way of Tim Bee or Gabby Giffords surrogates.

4. Barbara Lawall employee Ken Janes was seen gathering signatures for Lawall at a polling station on Orange Grove. It is my understanding that Janes is on salary, and that gathering signatures on the public dime probably doesn't fall under his job description.

5. A big thank you to all of those out there gathering signatures for my campaign. With the initial count it appears that we may have more than enough to qualify and have a pretty decent cushion.

Democrats Out In Force

All indications are that Democrats are turning out in large numbers today. Traditional Republican strongholds in Oro Valley are reporting Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 3 to 1 in some precincts. No doubt, some of that is a result of the passion Democrats have for their candidates. Hillary is a love-her-or-hate-her candidate that brings people out either way. Many voters are reporting they changed their status from independent to Democrat so they could vote for Obama and Obama sign holders have been spotted at some polling places.It will be interesting to learn who at the end of the day was the recipient of the most passion.

On the Republican side, a cold morning, closed roads, low passion, and resulting low turnout probably bodes well for Romney and not so well for McCain. Again, time will tell.

The large numbers of voters showing up at the polls Tedski reported over at RR&R could be the result of high turnout, but may be the result of fewer polling places since many polling places are taking voters for two precincts. A high number of voters were said to have voted early, but that may apply mostly to the Dove Mountain and Sun City crowds.

Interestingly, Tedski reported that he was picked out of the crowd as a Republican. Was it his cardigan sweater, or the truck he was driving? :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction: McCain vs. GOP

McCain looks to pick up Arizona, according to the polls, but Romney has a strong following and won't let McCain walk away with it without a fight. Furthermore, much of the recent polling has taken on the accuracy of weather forecasting. Obviously, neither candidate sees Arizona as a critical state as far as the number of available delegates, but McCain can't afford to lose face in his home state. So the Senator is working hard to get party leaders to break their neutrality pledges and line up behind him hoping Republican voters will follow suit. So far, his strategy appears to be paying off to a limited degree. But all is not gold in Arizona.

Currently, Republicans and independents represent a strange mix when it comes to McCain. Many independents see McCain as the anti-partisan maverick needed to shake things up and get something done in Washington while some are disgruntled Republicans who see McCain as an opportunist untrue to many GOP principles. Republicans, likewise, are fairly conflicted. Some boo loudly at state conventions when McCain's name is read while others demand loyalty to the long-term Arizona senator who spent time in a POW camp during his military service.

While McCain will pick up many independents and loyal party Republicans, his challenge is to persuade less-convinced Republican activists and party leaders that they should ignore his organized funding boycott of the state party and not reciprocate by boycotting his run for the nomination. Loud criticism of his support for amnesty the past couple of years has led McCain to turn up his nose and walk the other way whenever he's had an opportunity to help the party encouraging his largest supporters to do likewise. Now he needs state party leaders and GOP voters to solidify a victory in the state. With no sign of an olive branch forthcoming, it looks like McCain is intent on digging in and holding his position. How much of an effect this will have on his success in the state remains to be seen. He may win the state, as expected, but even a narrow win would communicate weak support out of his home state—something that could hurt him in the long run if the contest drags on past Super Tuesday.

Confucius say he who poke stick in eye of friend, lose friend, but he who extend arm, lose enemy.

If ever there was a time for Senator McCain to lay down the stick, this would be it. It can only help him on Super Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hershberger Challenges Melvin for Senate

Representative Hershberger, finishing his last session as a term-limited Representative, has forced a Republican primary in LD26 by challenging returning candidate Al Melvin for state Senate.

In 2006, Melvin soundly upset Senator Toni Hellon in the primary only to lose by a few hundred votes to Democrat Charlene Pesquiera in the general election. After the election, Al Melvin immediately declared himself a candidate for 2008 and has been the sole Republican declared until now.

Pete Hershberger, bound by the resign-to-run law, kept silent about his desire to fight for a seat in the Senate. Now he's looking to bump Melvin out of the race so he can extend his time in the legislature, an action long anticipated by many.

This will prove to be the most clearly divided race in Southern Arizona with Pete, known to campaign with Democrats, in one corner, and Al, the staunch party conservative, in the other.

This race will be anything but boring.

Slicing and Dicing Florida

Here is some interesting data from the Florida primary.

Mitt lost Florida in two counties where McCain trounced him: Broward and Miami-Dade. Do these counties ring a bell?
In Broward, McCain had 40,658, Romney had 23,921, and Giuliani 18,662 (third place).
In Miami-Dade, McCain had a whopping 75,516, Romney had 23,936, and Giuliani 40,251 (a strong second place).

It appears that instead of Giuliani supporters taking votes from McCain, they ended up taking them from Romney. It will be interesting to see how this plays out on Feb. 5.
Have you been listening to Jon Justice at 104.1 FM / The Truth this week? Listen in from 6am to 9am, Monday through Friday. He has come up with a great idea!

WHAT IF AMERICA TOOK THE TAX REBATE STIMULUS MONEY AND USED IT TO SECURE THE U.S. MEXICO BORDER?


"This started on Jan 24th 2008 while I was printing the story of President Bush and Congress agreeing on a stimulus package. Being married with 2 boys I could certainly use the $1800.00 that I will be getting this summer. But then I thought "what if"? What if enough people decided to pledge some if not all their Tax Rebate money to secure the US Mexico Border? What if we sent a message back to our government that said "Since you failed to secure our border, we will do it for you". It would take a one time cost of roughly 3 billion dollars to put the entire fence up. Our government is going to hand the tax payers 150 Billion! A fraction of that could save us billions in Illegal Immigration costs for years to come."


For more information, cut and paste this link to your web browser:

http://www.1041thetruth.com/whatif/tabid/4702/default.aspx

I like thinking like this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sharon Bronson in the Crosshairs

Sonoran Alliance reported that Sharon Bronson might be getting a challenger in the Democrat primary. It looks like Sharon is being fired upon from all sides. On the Republican side, Barney Brenner is rumored to be exploring the possibility of taking out Bronson as well.

The Race Is On!

In Florida, as they come out of the gate it's Romney and McCain running neck and neck at 33.6%. Giuliani, barely out of the chute holds 14.8%. Huckabee is holding on to fourth place by half a length at 13.1%.

Looks like a nail biter to me!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Barack and Janet?

It's been long rumored that Governor Janet has been eyeing Senator John's senate seat, but now her gaze has shifted. Insiders in the state capitol say Napolitano's heavy push for all-day kindergarten to prepare kids for school, and now her push for expansive early childhood education programs to prepare kids for all-day kindergarten to prepare kids for school has a purpose beyond pushing the state debt to $2 billion. Janet wants to look good to Barack Obama who she hopes will pick her as a running mate provided he takes all the marbles for the Democrats. Now, the Obama endorsement makes a bit more sense.

Of course, why would Obama pick a governor from an obscure western state with few electoral votes when he could look almost anywhere else and get a better return for his pick? No question, it's a long shot.

So don't start looking for those Obama-Napolitano in '08 bumper stickers, yet. But wouldn't it be interesting to see McCain and Napolitano duking it out on opposite teams?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

AZ Star moves Portillo to Jazz Blog

Back on January 17th Greg at Espresso Pundit reported that Ernesto Portillo Jr. had lost his column in the Arizona Daily Star. In Sunday’s Star Debbie Kornmiller confirms Greg’s report and elaborates:

Rather than write three opinion columns a week, Portillo will write a news column on Sundays with a focus on Tucson's culture and people. He also will start an Internet blog on Latin jazz. The blog will allow Portillo, who hosts a weekly radio show on KXCI-FM, to share his expertise and passion on the topic with readers. In addition to that, Portillo will write news stories about Tucson's ethnic communities. And he will continue his public duties as a speaker and master of ceremonies at public events.

No mention yet if Portillo will continue to appear on the Friday edition of Arizona Illustrated.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Democrat Caste System for Delegates

Here's how the Democrats select delegates:
"Delegates and Alternates must be equally divided between men and women.
The delegate selection process is open to all Democrats who are registered voters. The SC Democratic Party encourages participation by members of groups that are underrepresented in party affairs, including African Americans, Hispanics, ethnics, youth, those over 65, gay men and lesbians, persons with physical disabilities, and persons of low and moderate income.
Our goal is to elect a delegation that is at least 50% African American, as well as at least 3 GLBT delegates and 5 who are under 30. The election of At-Large delegates may be used to reach this goal."

The party of equal opportunity selects by race, sexual practice and age. Why not simply select the best people?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pesquiera Fined for Campaign Violation

Charlene Pesquiera, State Senator from LD26, was hit with a $1000 fine for failing to report campaign donations as a non-Clean Elections candidate in 2006. As the candidate who had never bothered to register to vote, Charlene was coaxed into running with no experience but still managed to win by a few hundred votes. Being new to the process, she may not have understood that withholding the information for a month prevents the opponent from receiving Clean Elections matching funds in a timely manner thereby negating the equalizing intent of the law. In this case, however, candidate Al Melvin did not appear to be impacted as he had already received his maximum match for the campaign.

Several inside sources have repeated Charlene's statements that she had no intention of running for re-election this year, although the Democrat party has indicated otherwise. There are no indications at this point that this situation will have an effect on her decision.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nintzel to AZ Dems - Play a new tune

Tucson Weekly columnist Jim Nintzel is the last person you would describe as a member of the vast right wing conspiracy but even he has had enough of the Democrats harping on Senator Tim Bee and resign to run. In his recent weekly column Nintzel issues the following reminder:

The Dems should really work up a new angle, by the way; it's a slippery slope to keep harping on the idea that a candidate can't handle campaigning and serving in office at the same time. Is Attorney General Terry Goddard supposed to resign in 2010 if he decides to run for governor? Is Gov. Janet Napolitano supposed to resign if she runs for the U.S. Senate in the last year of her term?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Earmark Breakthough...Maybe

Wow! It seems that some elected officials are stepping up to the plate and eschewing earmarks. Yet, while some are taking the plunge, President Bush's stance has stiffened on calls by conservatives to use his Executive Order privilege to take the teeth out of any earmark that makes it past his desk. Clearly, one doesn't need the other to break the earmark curse, but if congress and the Prez could agree on anything, solving the pork problem would be a great place to start.

Who's Next?

Two more have dropped out of the GOP presidential race meaning those followers will have to go somewhere. Where do they go and what does it mean for those contenders still duking it out? Back in December, I raised this issue. But now that we're further into the fun, I'll raise it again.

As I've mentioned before, Duncan Hunter, as a candidate, was probably the conservative's conservative, but never seemed to gain traction with anyone (although he did pick up a delegate in Wyoming). His followers are certainly conservatives. Although, the numbers are few, they will most likely end up with Romney. They can't go to Guiliani or McCain. They would most likely have gone to Thompson before he dropped, but now have to choose between Huckabee, who is fast losing ground, and Romney, who is still in the lead. Most, albeit few, will end up with Romney. A few may join Ron Paul.

I've also before stated that although Fred Thompson, longtime friend of McCain, will probably endorse McCain, which will give him some needed support, many Thompson supporters saw Fred as an alternative to Huckabee who was too weak on non-social issues. Now many of those supporters are faced with the same choice as Hunter's supporters. Most of those who don't go to McCain will go to Romney. Huckabee will take the biggest hit on this shift.

Huckabee needs a strong showing in Florida to hang on, but isn't likely to get it. His organization is weak in Florida, and he doesn't seem to be building the excitement he had in Iowa which is certainly a different demographic. Giuliani, who bailed on state after state in order to put what he had left into a big win in Florida, is spent, and he will probably end well behind the pack. The big question still remains what happens to the Huckabeee and/or Giuliani supporters when one or both drop out? I believe they will both split to the remaining frontrunners with Romney ending up with

As in Nevada and Michigan, polling has been underreporting Romney supporters in Florida...until recently. It looks increasingly like Florida will go to Romney. There has been speculation about a possible endorsement from Jeb Bush to one of the candidates. If Jeb endorses anyone, it will be Romney with whom he has had a positive relationship for some time. If that happens, Romney nails it. If not, Romney is on his own with fairly strong momentum.

McCain needs to win this race, or hold his own in a tight matchup in order to stay in the game. A win would be the huge boost that he needs. A big loss would be tough to overcome on Super Tuesday. Romney, likewise, is in a similar situation, but better positioned, it appears.

Unless there are some big surprises next Tuesday, it looks like it will be Romney and McCain as the top picks going into February 5th.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lena Saradnik's Replacement Selected

Nancy Wright gets the nod.

Despite getting 62 out of 76 votes cast by his district, Don Jorgenson was slammed by his fellow Democrats at the Board meeting this morning. Supervisor Bronson wisely anointed fellow Supervisors to make the motion and the 2nd to get a vote on Nancy thereby distancing herself from the back-door deal against Don.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Bee Choice

This is a fascinating announcement and commentary posted on Sonoran Alliance regarding the Bee campaign's new pick for a third vice-chairman.

The first pick, Jim Click, was clearly symbolic in an effort to assure would-be contributors that Bee has the big money backing him. The second chairman, or co-chairman, Sandy Froman, is believed by many to be an effort to pull in northwest side activists as well as the conservatives due to Sandy's standing as the NRA Past-president and the respect she commands in her own district.

The reason for Jim Kolbe as a third co-chairman is much less apparent. If it's for the purpose of drawing in NRCC support, considering the substantial shift that has occurred in the NRCC since the Kolbe-Huffman fiasco of '06, we're left scratching our heads. Kolbe's joining the Giffords campaign during the last election has seriously weakened his influence...at least in the GOP, which further whittles down that chip.

In speculating on the motives of this move, it may be useful to assess the cost of these decisions. Although, Jim Click has stirred up plenty of controversy lately, the cost of his involvement is probably mostly offset by his ability to bring financial backing to the campaign. Sandy carries no baggage in the party and can only be a plus albeit not likely in the way the campaign anticipated. Nobody would argue that Kolbe, however, doesn't alienate a substantial percentage of party activists and members, regardless of who they supported in the CD8 Primary election.

How this will affect the Bee campaign, as a net positive or negative, remains to be seen. Perhaps it will become more apparent after Bee's announcement.

Sharon Bronson's Backroom Deal

Posted on Blog for Arizona is a letter from Lena Saradnik confronting Sharon Bronson on stacking the vote in favor of Nancy Young Wright as Lena's replacement. Apparently, there is a bit of cronyism going on and Lena's not too happy about it keeping her pick, Don Jorgenson, out of the picture.

Vote Trent v.1.0

OK, NOW the Trent Humphries 2008 website is up.

http://www.votetrent.com

We do have a few rough edges to knock off and a mountain of content to add, but I am very proud of the result so far.

And yes, grammar checks are welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thanks for the tip

There are two conservative Arizona political blogs that cover Southern Arizona. One of them even specializes in CD-8. Does the Bee campaign give either of them a tip on his announcement? No, we have to read about it on a less than conservative independent blog. I wonder if the campaign will want our help as the year progresses. We’ll still be here.

District 30 GOP update

Word is that Dr. Wayne Peate has decided to pass on running for the legislature this year. According to the information that we have that still leaves the following candidates (sorry we cannot find a web site for Sharon Collins.)

Frank Antenori
Sharon Collins
David Gowan
Doug Sposito

We have heard that Frank Antenori is very popular. The district has a history of also electing a woman to the house and that should benefit Sharon Collins. The fact that Sharon is a bit more conservative than Marian McClure should help Collins even more. Gowan has some name recognition because of multiple runs for the house. The more moderate Sposito may have trouble getting his message out above the other candidates.

Lena Saradnik's Replacement Nominees Named

Thanks to fellow blogger Rum, Romanism and Rebellion for providing District 26's nominees for Lena Saradnik's replacement to finish the current session before this fall's election. It appears that the choices are (drum roll please):
Cheryl Cage
Don Jorgenson, current candidate
Nancy Young Wright

Tedski is betting on Wright as the County Board's pick, but where does that put Jorgenson who has been endorsed by Saradnik?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who Speaks for Southern Arizona Retirees?

We're not yet sure of the economic impact on our community since according some this situation doesn't really exist, but an article on the worst places to retire has identified southern Arizona as a not-so-hot spot for retirees. Here's what the article said about Green Valley, the 12th worst place to retire in America:

"Green Valley, Arizona: Trouble in a Sheltered Community
This once idyllic retirement town is now facing a drug violence problem. Green Valley, just 40 miles north of the Mexican border, is mostly made up of age-restricted communities. In the 2000 census, only 1.5% of households had kids under 18 and only about 105 of its 26,000 residents work. Once cited as a best place to retire, Green Valley now may be one of the worst.

Gangs of bandits known as bajadores carry AK-47s and ambush trucks of smugglers sneaking up from Mexico. They hope to resell the drugs or hold the immigrants hostage. According to an investigation by CBS News, hundreds of bodies are found in the surrounding desert each year and at least a dozen people have been murdered by the bajadores this year."

Has anyone told the Governor about this?

Linoln Day Luncheon with Bay Buchanan!

The Southern Pima Arizona Republican Club (SPARC) is pleased to announce that Bay Buchanan will be the keynote speaker at their annual Lincoln Day Luncheon. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 16th, 11:00AM at the Desert Diamond Casino located at I-19 and Pima Mine Road. Cost of the luncheon is $35.00 per person.

Angela Marie "Bay" Buchanan
served as Treasurer of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. She is the sister of Patrick J. Buchanan and managed his three campaigns for President of the United States. After appearing regularly on CNN's news program "Inside Politics," she became a commentator for CNN's The Situation Room.


For more information and reservation forms, please contact Cathy Graf, SPARC President, (520) 625-1742.



Election Results Databases Released

On Friday, after a little haggling over procedures to be used, Pima County turned over the data ordered by the Board of Supervisors. As reported in a previous post, the Pima County Board of Supervisors agreed to turn over the series of databases to the 2006 RTA, 2006 Primary and 2006 General elections. As of Friday afternoon, the details as to how this was to be done had yet to been finalized.

The parties involved finally agreed to the procedure which included getting sequestered hard drives out of the courts and using a brand new laptop computer in the transfer. Supervisors Ann Day and Ray Carroll were on hand to make sure that not only the language of the Board was adhered to, but also the intent. And the intent was to get this information to the political parties in an expeditious and complete manner.

From what I understand, this is the first time anywhere in the country that the series of databases have been available to the public. The reason to get these databases is to see if there are any irregularities in the data tabulations. Such irregularities, if they exist (and it is believed that they may in the RTA election), could bring into doubt the outcome of the election. It will take some time for the analysis but you can consider it under way.

Hats off to the Pima County Democrat Party, Attorney Bill Risner, Auditor John Brakey and Computer Expert Jim March for their persistence in this matter. Stay tuned.

Randy Graf

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Too PC to Hit the Nail

Not to be confused with Guns and Roses, AZ Daily Star's Thorns & Flowers shot itself in the foot yesterday with the following statement:
"Thorns to those who toss aside their plastic water bottles as they walk and hike.
A Saturday afternoon hike along the Anza Trail near Tubac was exquisite: Blue sky with wispy clouds, a comfortable breeze, crunchy leaves on the ground and a cold running river. It was marred by clumps of plastic bottles stuck in the mud.
Apparently, a handful of selfish hikers don't know the outdoor ethic of leaving no trace of your presence.
Leave the woods and waters cleaner than you found them."

Having hiked that trail and picked up plenty of trash, I know that anyone who makes a statement like this has never been there, or is too PC to tell the truth. Just look at those plastic bottles and it's obvious where they came from. If you don't speak Spanish, you can at least recognize the labels contain zero English. Along with foreign label clothes strewn all over the ground, Mexican food cans, truck load levels of water bottles, soiled underwear and more disgusting items make it clear that it's drug smugglers, people smugglers, and other illegals who have created the mess, not your average Joe and Sally hiker who happen to enjoy the beautiful outdoors on a Saturday morning. Despite the herculean efforts of Boy Scouts and other groups who try to clean it up every year, it's still an environmental nightmare that would be declared a hazardous waste site if environmental groups had the guts to tell the truth about it.

Selfish hikers? Come on. Thorns to Thorns & Flowers for such a misleading statement that unfairly blames honest citizens for a problem our elected officials refuse to address.

Board of Supervisors Finally Gets One Right

I believe it was Ronald Reagan who once said, "Trust but verify." This is the essence of what culminated at the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 8th. We now have proof that our representative republic can be validated with actions taken by "We the People" and our elected officials.

The Pima County Democrat Party initiated a law suit some time ago against Pima County and it's Elections Division concerning irregularities that may have occurred in the electoral process. At issue in particular are concerns around the Regional Transportation Authority election that narrowly passed in May of 2006. During the trial, security issues were raised that question a whole host of procedures employed by staff and not addressed by County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry. These breaches of proper protocol bring into question everything from early ballot votes and who knew what when, to the possibility of vote total manipulation. Clouds like this over an election are unhealthy for the populace regardless of party affiliation or ideology.

Hat's off to the Democrat party for moving this forward. The judge ordered the county to turn over the final vote tally databases of the 2006 Primary and General election. The Pima County Board of Supervisors were scheduled to vote to appeal this decision. With bipartisan support against such an appeal, the Board originally voted against the appeal and to follow the judge's order. But those of us attending this meeting that were pushing for transparency in our electoral process were not satisfied. After some boisterous moments demanding that folks in attendance were still waiting to be heard, the Chair relented. These folks were heard, including some computer experts explaining that the County's concern of possible security issues in future elections being compromised by releasing past election data bases were baseless.

After a Board executive session, and against County Counsel recommendation, the Board overturned their previous vote and agreed to turn over the entire series of data bases to the 2006 RTA, 2006 Primary and 2006 General elections. With these data bases it is assumed that any irregularities, if they exist, can be recognized.

There are questions around the country about election fraud. There is no definitive evidence as to whether there was any committed here in Pima County on the RTA election or any other election. It is imperative however that the process be transparent. The County asks "We the People" to trust them, in return "We the People" ask them to let us verify. As Joseph Stalin said, Those who cast the votes DECIDE NOTHING. Those who count the votes DECIDE EVERYTHING."

Randy Graf




Tuesday, January 08, 2008

He'll Sell You the Whole Seat...

...but you'll only need the edge.

The word on Tim Bee is that he will be making an announcement next week about his campaign intentions. But according to Dan Scarpinato, "Asked if he planned to announce before the end of the month, he said: “I’m not prepared to answer that today.”

It was once speculated that if he didn't raise enough money through the end of 2007, Bee might not go the distance. But insiders are saying Bee has a pretty good start on fundraising and, supporters are saying that at this point bad things would happen to him if he bailed out. Anyway, all indications are that Bee is a solid GO despite his sadastic pleasure watching supporters sweat about his decision. Apparantly, he would rather take a Second Coming approach and surprise the masses. No matter. The word will come and Bee will have his name on the ballot...at some point.

Hillary and McCain take New Hamphshire

It looks like Hillary Clinton showed up smiling with a sweet victory over Obama who people were saying would sweep the primaries. Not so. Hillary shows she's still in the game despite recent sagging in the polls. So much for polls.

And McCain let everyone know he's playing for keeps in a narrow victory over Romney. McCain has a lot of ground to cover in most remaining states, but this victory was critical for keeping the wheels on the wagon. Again, Romney could have used the victory, but a close second works as well. He continues to run neck and neck in other states with Giuliani or McCain which means all three are already looking ahead to the next couple of states.