AZ Republic explains endorsement of Republican

October 15, 2014

Some of the remaining readers of the far left daily newspaper have questioned the rationale for the endorsement of a Republican for governor of Arizona

A Republican, you say?

To respond to their dismay, the newspaper hauled out the opinions editor Robert Ledger to engage in a Q & A on this gut-wrenching topic causing more than a bit of angst among the liberals who still shell out too much for a daily infusion of leftist bias.

Taking time away from the relentless promotion of same-sex marriage and amnesty for America’s illegal invaders, the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) sends out its call for reshaping the state via its endorsements

It’s been a difficult dry period for liberals. All state offices and the majority of the 90 members of the state legislature are Republicans. The Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Corporation Commissioners were entrusted to Republicans by the voters of the state of Arizona.  Maricopa County, the fourth most populous county in the United States, also boasts a lineup of Republican elected officials.

Now like the answer to a prayer of Biblical proportions, all of the statewide offices are up for grabs.  The editorial board is in a state of disbelief that such monumental good fortune is playing out before their very eyes. In response, they have endorsed Democrat retread Samuel Pearson “Terry” Goddard, III for Secretary of State —- an inconsequential post that has frequently been a direct ascension route to the governor’s office.

Felecia Rotellini, another liberal, is the newspaper’s pick for Attorney General. The Treasurer’s Office was won by default by the Republican, since Democrats —- self acknowledged bad money managers —- didn’t bother to field a candidate in that race.  In the race for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, the daily pushes Common Core proponent, David Garcia and they advise “splitting the ticket” for the two vacant seats on the Corporation Commission.

In congressional races with challengers, the newspaper endorses the marginal Ann Kirkpatrick (Dem. CD-1), and fawns over openly bisexual  self-proclaimed atheist and radical leftist Kyrsten Sinema (Dem. CD-9), calling her “a force of nature.” Hispanic Republican Gabby Saucedo Mercer, (CD-3) a splendid choice to take out extremist Raul Grijalva, goes unmentioned.

The editorial board recommends Republican Air Force Col. Martha McSally (ret.) over incumbent Democrat Rep. Ron Barber in CD-2. The newspaper compliments her “impressive grasp of foreign policy.”

So the daily’s support of Doug Ducey? 

It’s a no-brainer. Democrat Fred Duval is so problematic even the far left Arizona Republic realizes his potential to be a drag on the rest of the ticket. Besides, Ducey carries enough McEstablishment endorsers to make him palatable.


Bill Montgomery: Focus of daily’s sarcastic jab remains inert

October 13, 2014

Ten days ago, the Arizona Republic’s tabloid style insert ran an ironic cover report titled, “No VIP treatment” detailing the handling of arrested “celebrities” in Phoenix. It continues to a jump page which boldly declares, “No one is a celebrity in handcuffs.”

The list details the arrests of actors, a fitness guru, athletes and musicians. 

Missing is any mention of relatives of politicians.

Also MIA is the usually loquacious Maricopa County Attorney, Bill Montgomery.

After a lengthy and intense investigation —- even consulting with out-of-state experts, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office recommended criminal prosecution on 23 felony animal neglect charges against Todd and MaLeisa Hughes and their daughter and son-n-law Logan and Austin Flake. The Hughes’ were on vacation leaving the incompetent Flake’s as caretakers at the Green Acre kennel where nearly two dozen dogs died agonizing deaths, suffocating in the small, steamy utility room in which they were crammed together without food, water or cool air in the scorching heat of June 21.

Frustrated pet owners and the Valley community are weary of the stalling tactics, as County Attorney Bill Montgomery tries his damnedest to obfuscate, deflect and, yes,  figure out a method to ditch this political albatross altogether.

Bringing charges against Sen. Jeff Flake’s son, daughter-in-law and her parents, does not fit into Montgomery’s long-range career goals.

Meanwhile, the preventable deaths which the family initially lied about, occurred months ago and not a word has been heard on the subject from Montgomery since his insulting press conference where he noted that the dead dogs “weren’t 23 children,” after all.

On Sept. 10, Montgomery said it would take a “couple of weeks” for him to come to a decision regarding whether there was sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. Since he’s made numerous endorsements this election cycle, the fallout of his decision could have negative blowback on the hapless candidates he’s thrown his support behind. It would not be surprising if that consideration looms large as the motive for his inertia.

Montgomery has sent the investigative report back to the sheriff’s office. In the meantime, he’s hoping we’ve all developed cases of amnesia.

Few political observers will forget how the self-promoting Montgomery displayed his vile penchant for derision as he turned his back on his former benefactor Joe Arpaio, insulting the man who helped him fundraise during his campaign for Maricopa County Attorney. County Supervisor Don Stapley, hardly a paragon of virtue himself, had the presence of mind to tape record Montgomery as he was more than willing to insult the sheriff* while pimping himself for an interim appointment to the county attorney post that was never in the cards.  

It’s time for Bill Montgomery to proceed with this case. As much as he might wish otherwise, an amnesia epidemic has not overtaken the Valley.

* H/T Phoenix New Times


MC GOP Chair LaFaro exposes Wes Gullett in complaint

September 25, 2014

Maricopa County Republican Chairman A J LaFaro has filed a campaign finance complaint against ‘Arizona Grassroots Action’ with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and Maricopa County Elections Office.   

Here is the complaint:

I wish to file a campaign finance complaint against Arizona Grassroots Action (AGA), which lists its address at 300 West Clarendon, Suite 460, Phoenix, AZ, 85013.  We encourage anyone who reads this complaint to “Google” the address to see who is really located there.*

AGA conducted independent expenditures in multiple Legislative Districts (LD) in multiple counties to effect the outcome of Precinct Committeemen (PC) races.  However, AGA never registered as a political committee, nor has it disclosed its donors or its expenditures.  We went to a great deal of effort to verify that AGA was not filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and with the various counties in which it campaigned, etc. 

AGA is also not registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission.  It appears that AGA is a name selected to mimic an old campaign committee that was called Arizona Grassroots PAC and was closed in March of 2014.  It is also the precise name of a federal PAC formed to benefit GOP Congressional candidates Martha McSally and Andy Tobin.  However, the federal PAC uses a Virginia address and appears to be quite separate.  So the selection of the name seems to be purposefully for the sake of creating confusion.

At this time we do not have a firm idea on exactly how many expenditures were made, however we have proof that AGA used a series of up to three mailers per precinct that was targeted in their Graham County efforts, two to three mailers per targeted precinct along with robo calls here in Maricopa County.  PCs have reported receiving and seeing AGA’s campaign literature in LD23, LD25, LD28, and LD29. 

We have put the word out asking people to report if AGA’s campaign literature was used in their LDs and will update our list as we get more responses.

While races for Precinct Committeemen do not attract the media attention that larger offices do, they are very important to the candidates who participate in them. The outcome of those races determine the makeup of party leadership both at the county and state level, and control of that leadership includes the ability to speak for the party as well as control over the party’s purse strings.  These races can be very high-stakes.  As such, the strategic advantage that accrues to a group that knowingly violates election law in order to gain a stealth advantage is tremendous. You do not have time to gather an effort to counter something that you have no idea is coming.

The penalties for failing to file a committee and failing to file reports that detail contributions and expenditures are substantial and are laid out in ARS 16-904 for example.  The failure to file and report are both violations of ARS 16-902, 16-902.01, 16-904, 16-912, 16-913 and potentially 16-913.01 and 16-914.02 depending on the source and nature of the funds used to pay for this electioneering and expressed advocacy.

Furthermore, AGA failed to notify the candidates who were listed on their mailers of their independent expenditures in a timely manner as prescribed by ARS 16-917.  The penalties for failing to do this shall be three times the cost of the literature.

Lastly, AGA would be required to list any individuals, corporations, LLCs and labor organizations paying for these expenditures should the source of any of this money come from any of these individuals, corporations, LLCs and labor organizations.  There is no such disclosure save for “Paid for by Arizona Grassroots Action” and the penalties for failing to properly disclose are up to three times the cost of the literature.

It is too late to undo the damage done to the candidates who were disadvantaged by these unannounced and unreported mailings.  However, your office can and should send a strong message to this group and those groups who would mimic this technique in the future that their actions carry severe financial penalties.

People and organizations that feel they are above the law by not registering with the appropriate state and county agencies so they can use their dirty money to fund their egregious acts of misleading and confusing the voters is totally unacceptable.

It is quite obvious AGA has violated election laws by not registering as a political committee or filing campaign finance reports, and I am requesting a full and thorough investigation into this heinous matter.  Please consider this complaint a “class action complaint” on behalf of the thousands of individuals that have been wronged.

– A. J. LaFaro, Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) Office: 480-752-9164, E-mailaj_ml@hotmail.com

 * First Strategic Communications and Public Affairs

Under “Our Team” you’ll find the names Wes GullettKurt Davis, Marcus Dell’Artino, Barry Dill, Crystal Bradley, Bettina Nava, and Steve Roman. Five of the six highlighted names share a common thread: They have all worked for John McCain.  At least a couple of those McCain cohorts show up on this 2006 Republicans for Janet (Napolitano) list.

___________________

Seeing Red AZ has previously provided additional background on such shenanigans:

This post card is an example of those sent out by then-Sen. Jon Kyl in 2012, as he intruded in the LD 28 precinct committeemen races and attempted to facilitate the removal of conservatives.

Another example of Republicrat duplicity also took place in District 28, where conservatives were targeted for removal on a slate pushing RINOs for election as state committeemen.

Integrity is in short supply these days. Here is a list of RINOs supporting liberal Democrat Felecia Rotellini. “Republican” is a convenient label for these turncoats to keep as they show their true colors while ripping fellow Republicans.  If they reregistered as Democrats, their traitorous acts would lose their potency.

 


RIP: David Gage, former Maricopa County GOP chair

September 24, 2014

We note with sadness the passing of David Gage, former chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party. He was elected to that post in 1971 at age 32. 

David was a respected lawyer who had an exemplary career and also devoted time to serving his community.

Time and place of the memorial service to honor his life can be found here.


Did Bill Montgomery violate state statute? Will he resign?

June 13, 2014

Montgomery should hold himself to the same standard he imposes on others

The daily reports that Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is taking flak for his recent boasts about legal questions he was researching on behalf of Doug Ducey, a political ally who is running for governor. Montgomery used his bi-weekly press conference to expound on the advice he has been providing Ducey. In response, Ducey issued this June 8, press release, acknowledging Montgomery was supplying him and his gubernatorial campaign with legal advice. This letter seeking legal advice was written to Montgomery the same day, on Ducey’s campaign letterhead.

Experts on both sides of the political aisle question the ethics of such political involvement since the statutory scope of Montgomery’s duties include but one client: Maricopa County.

Montgomery recently took the low ground, arrogantly demanding Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne abandon his reelection bid and resign the office to which he was elected. This haughty overreach came despite the decision by an independent administrative law judge clearing Horne of allegations of illegal coordination with an independent expenditure committee during his 2010 campaign. 

The fact that Montgomery not only has endorsed Horne’s challenger —- a kindred McCain ally —- but helped recruit him, marginalizes Montgomery’s credibility even further.  The challenger, who pompously campaigns on “restoring integrity” to the office, has his own problems in that regard.

Will Montgomery now hold himself to his own standard and step down? Should his recruit abandon his campaign?

Attorney General Tom Horne’s distinguished public service record is clearly conservative, and decidedly anti-amnesty. The hard fact is, those are the actual issues that render Horne unpalatable to the local leftwing media and the establishment elites.

The newspaper reports that the usually glib Montgomery refused to respond to requests for comment. Instead, his public information officer responded on his behalf  —- by e-mail —-  rather than engaging with the press and having to field embarrassing questions.

Going mute is uncharacteristic for the loquacious Montgomery. He’s likely pondering how he will respond to calls for him to step down.


Maricopa County GOP Straw Poll yields surprises

June 6, 2014

An unannounced straw poll was conducted Thursday evening at the Executive Guidance Committee meeting of the Maricopa County Republican Committee. The EGC is composed of 30 members, including 20 District Chairmen, 5 members-at-large and 5 officers. Republican guests can attend and cast ballots. In total, 40 people were eligible to vote.

County Chairman A. J. LaFaro announced the results of the “no advance notice” poll on statewide candidates:

GOVERNOR:

Andrew Thomas: 16

Ken Bennett:   7

Frank Riggs:   7

Doug Ducey:  5

Christine Jones:  2

Scott Smith:  0

Al Melvin:      0

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, not in the governor’s race, garnered a single write-in vote.

SECRETARY of STATE:

Wil Cardon:  19

Justin Pierce: 15

Michele Reagan: 4

ATTORNEY GENERAL:

Mark Brnovich: 19

Tom Horne:  17

TREASURER:

Jeff DeWit:  26

Randy Pullen:   9

Hugh Hallman:  4

SUPERINTENDENT of PUBLIC INSTRUCTION:

Diane Douglas:  35

John Huppenthal:  4

CORPORATION  COMMISSION:

Doug Little:  35

Tom Forese:  32

Vernon Parker: 8

Lucy Mason: 1

MINE  INSPECTOR:

Joe Hart (Uncontested)


Maricopa College board raises your property taxes…again

May 30, 2014

Easy come, easy go….it’s only other people’s money

The Maricopa County Community College District governing board met earlier this week and approved yet another property tax increase. The daily reports this is the fourth tax increase in seven years and the second in a row for the 10-college district —- increasing taxes $128.24 yearly per $100,000 in property.

We reported just last month on the governing board increasing tuition by $3 per credit hour, to $84 per credit, noting MCCCD tuition has skyrocketed nearly 60 percent in just 10 years. 

This latest 2 percent increase in the tax levy, along with the tuition increase and taxes on new construction in the county, will generate about $21 million in additional revenue for the insatiable colleges.

The vote on the tax increase was 4-1. Only board member Debra Brimhall Pearson voted against the hike, although she voted for the previous increase. Pearson, who served in the state legislature as Debra Brimhall representing Snowflake from 1997 to 2004, said the state Legislature “has been derelict to the community colleges” for decreasing funding over the last several years. State aid went from 10 percent of the district’s revenue a few years ago to about 1 percent now, at $7.4 million for 2014-15.

“But I don’t believe the answer is in property taxes,” she said. Later in the meeting Pearson announced she would not run for re-election to the District 3 seat, saying, “I have a moral objection to property taxes.”

About 60 percent of the district’s revenue is from property taxes, and the community colleges account for about 12 percent of property owners’ annual bill.

After the tax vote, the members voted 5-0 to give a 1 percent pay increase to residential and adjunct faculty and most other employee groups. The board also approved the 2014-15 budget. The $774 million operating budget is about 8 percent higher than this year’s budget. The total budget, including the auxiliary, restricted and capital funds, is $1.7 billion.

Arizona’s Constitutional mandate for the state’s higher education to be as “nearly free as possible” is becoming increasingly quaint. These are the words contained in Article 11 Section 6 of the Constitution of the state of Arizona: Section 6. Admission of students of both sexes to state educational institutions; tuition; common school system.


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