Judging the judges on your 2018 ballot

October 21, 2018

Judges are once again on the ballot. They are not challenged by adversaries as others are, since they are not candidates.  Having been vetted by judicial selection commissions and ultimately selected by a governor, their names appear for retention.

Merit Selection is in effect in Arizona counties reaching a 250,000 population threshold. Currently those counties include Maricopa, Pima and Pinal. The other twelve counties have elections of judges. 

There are pros and cons with each system, which is moot since Arizona voters authorized Merit Selection as Proposition 108, in 1974 (last page of the quaint, typed list) by a margin of 35,432 votes. It was later expanded, again by a vote of the people, to include more public members on the commission and give the chairing justice a vote.

Judging by searches coming into this site, Arizona voters are interested in how to “judge the judges.” Unfortunately, many of the lists floating around the Internet are undependable, using politics as the sole determiner.  We all know how unreliable that can be. The U.S. Supreme Court stands as a stunning example. Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor, who then reveled in being the swing vote on the court and as often as not, swung left. When George W. Bush named John Roberts as Chief Justice, conservatives cheered. We rued the day when he was the deciding vote in upholding ObamaCare. Such examples stand as stark reminders that there is no simple barometer to gauge those in black robes.

Those putting the Arizona lists together have no knowledge of the capabilities of the judges. Most wouldn’t know a judge they denigrate if they were face to face. The lists are typically based on whether the specific judges were appointed by a Republican or Democrat governor. This is an erroneous assumption since prior to submitting their applications. judicial aspirants of both parties often change their political affiliations to correspond to that of the appointing governor. Governors also make cross-party appointments. Republican Gov. Jane Hull set heads spinning when she named her longtime friend Democrat Ruth McGregor as her first appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court.

The most reliable means of assessing judges is by taking the time to study the ratings put out by the Commission on Judicial Performance Review (JPR).

It’s hardly an “inside job,” worthy of suspicion. Survey forms are distributed to people who have contact with the judges. Survey recipients include attorneys, jurors, litigants, witnesses, people who represent themselves in court, court staff, other judges, and those who have contact with presiding judges. The Commission holds public hearings every election year and accepts written comments from the public at any time.

Judges are also required to complete self-evaluations to rate their own performance. Additionally each judge is assigned to a Conference Team composed of one public volunteer, one attorney volunteer, and one judge volunteer. The Conference Team meets with the judge to review the Data Report.

Ousting judges is rare, but happens. In 1978 Court of Appeals Judge Gary Nelson was not retained. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Fred Hyder was bounced. Other judges have not been recommended for retention by JPR, but were still retained by voters.

Your best guide is to check out the ratings for all of the judges on the retention ballot. Judges ratings and bios are all available. You’ll be far more informed than by giving any credibility to the lists appearing in your email.

Arizona Supreme Court

Court of Appeals Division I

Court of Appeals Division II

Superior Court in Maricopa County

Superior Court in Pima County

 Superior Court in Pinal County   

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Hiral Tipirneni, Kyrsten Sinema: Dems hide political party

September 23, 2018

The choice is clear: Vote for Republicans Lesko, McSally

The airwaves have been inundated with campaign ads, as senatorial and congressional candidates dominate Arizona’s political landscape.

Back for another bite at the Congressional District 8 apple is leftist Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, once again wearing medical scrubs and touting her credentials as an emergency room physician.  Conveniently omitted is the fact that she hasn’t practiced medicine since 2007, when she was successfully sued for malpractice. No longer practicing medicine, the dedicated liberal worked promoting Obamacare. The patient she maltreated is no longer above ground to vote against Tipirneni.

Now waging her second political campaign, she looks directly into the camera, with her ubiquitous, but unused stethoscope around her neck, and bizarrely declares she’s not a politician. Conspicuously missing from Tipirneni’s ads is the word, “Democrat.” On her issues page, she double talks border security, and says money for “the wall” (her sarcastic quotation marks) could be better spent. She favors expanding Medicare.

Though she’s pro-abortion, she doesn’t like the term, saying one is either “pro-choice or anti-choice,” turning objections to death sentences for the pre-born into a restriction of rights. According to Hiral Tipirneni, “gun violence” is a public health issue that should be “regulated like “seat belts, child car seats and airbags,” as she calls for “common sense gun safety reform.” Only the naive would trust her tinkering with the Second Amendment.

Residents of CD 8 (map) are fortunate to be represented by highly credentialed Republican Congresswoman Debbie Lesko. Her issues page is clear and geared toward empowering Arizona’s citizens rather than government expansion.  She is deserving of retention.

There are two candidates running for Arizona’s currently open senate seat. Former Sen. Jon Kyl was appointed to temporarily fill the vacancy following John McCain’s burial. After assessing his abysmal approval numbers, Jeff Flake opted not to run for reelection, creating this vacancy.

Former CD 2 U.S. Rep. Martha McSally won the Republican primary and is facing liberal chameleon Kyrsten Sinema, who has magically reconfigured herself.

Poised and polished, speaking softly cloaked in her newly crafted demeanor, there is no hint of the crude and coarse, self-identified bi-sexual, former Green Partyleaning Communist, candidate turned Democrat.  In her former incarnation, she used foul-mouthed slurs to describe women who choose to be stay-at-home Moms. Now blonde and slim, wearing fashionable glasses to make her appear studious, and tipping her head in a submissive pose, it’s clear the CD 9 U.S. Representative — an avowed atheist who refused to take her oath of office with her hand on the Bible — worked with a coach in her latest and most significant deceptive quest. She has the raw temerity to refer to herself as an “Independent” in her ads. The word Democrat is MIA.

Don’t be fooled by this new facade. The same radical lurks just below the surface.

Sinema’s the author of “Unite and Conquer” which details her techniques. The foreword was written by her onetime gal pal Janet Napolitano.


Video confirms AZ’s porous border invites invaders

September 8, 2018

Vote smart in Nov. 2018 General Election

SRAZ’s commenter Saguaro Sam provided a link to a site giving coverage to the alarming situation of rampant invaders on our southern border. Running with another site’s post is not our usual fare, but this is particularly relevant, since it concerns Arizona rancher, John Chilton and surveillance videos he’s made of armed illegal invaders in military garb flooding across our southern border and his 50,000 acre ranch.

Chasing the link, we discovered that it originally appeared on the Daily Caller, a site co-owned by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

It’s of such heightened significance that we are taking Sam’s suggestion and presenting,25 STRAIGHT MINUTES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS CROSSING INTO US THROUGH ARIZONA RANCH.”

This is a must see video.  We are grateful to both the Daily Caller and Gateway Pundit for exposing this vast criminality.

Arizona is facing a crucial General Election November 6, 2018. All of the state’s executive officers will be up for election including a U.S. Senate seat and all nine U.S. House of Representatives seats.

Of particular importance are the governor’s race and the U.S. Senate seat being forfeited by the aptly named Jeff Flake. A virulent Trump hater, Flake’s 18% approval rating signaled, even to him, that reelection was not in the cards, causing him to bow out.

Gov. Doug Ducey raised the ire of conservatives by buckling to the demands of the union teachers who abandoned their students for a week last spring, demanding a 20% pay increase. But the reality is, Ducey is far superior to liberal Democrat David Garcia — who opposes a border wall and campaigns on dismantling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Garcia is endorsed by myriad unions, pro-abortion groups Planned Parenthood and NARAL along with leftist ethnic identity organizations promoting diversity rather than unity.  The choice is clear.

 In the senate race, we supported Dr. Kelli Ward. Due to a vote-splitting spoiler being in the race and Martha McSally — heavily funded by establishment Republicans — carried the day. Again, the primary is behind us and the choice is moving forward with McSally or radical leftist chameleon Kyrsten Sinema, who has dramatically altered her demeanor and appearance, no longer touts her bi-sexuality or atheism and uses the word “Independent” in her commercials, concealing her communist roots.

Again, the choice is clear. Our candidate lost. McSally beats Sinema by a mile. Gov. Ducey is far superior to David Garcia. It’s time to regroup, come together and vote smart.


AZ tax cheat admits guilt: aided illegals filing fake claims

September 7, 2018

The daily newspaper reports that according to court records, Elias Bermudez has pleaded guilty to preparing false tax returns. The open borders newspaper blandly refers to him as an “Arizona immigrant-rights activist.” 

Investigative reporter Linda Bentley, writing for the Sonoran News covered Bermudez’ indictment in October 2017. Her comprehensive report covers specifics relating to the crime and penalties a conviction carries. 

Bermudez, founder of the deceptively titled, Immigrants Without Borders and owner of El Centro de Ayuda (The Help Center), was indicted on 27 counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns. He is accused of advising clients to claim unqualified dependents living in Mexico in order to gain $1,000 Child Tax Credit deductions per child.

Bermudez also operates El Centro de Progreso tax preparation in Phoenix and Tucson.

This shocking exposé  (video also follows post) by Indiana TV 13 is from 2013, but obviously our south of the border neighbors, are still honing their fraudulent schemes, using phony documents and false income to claim tax credits for children who do not live in the United States and are not even children of the filers. The reporter detailed that that the cost to American citizen taxpayers was $4.2 billion yearly, involving 2 million unqualified illegals getting massive tax credits. Those numbers have undoubtedly increased in the five years since this report was filed. The newscaster reports the IRS is aware of the enormous loophole, but the agency claims congress needs to address it.

This astronomically priced fraud should be a major concern of Arizona U.S. Congressmen Raul Grajalva (D-CD3) and Ruben Gallego (D-CD 7), who both represent Hispanic heavy districts. They have been silent on the subject, as has Democrat gubernatorial candidate David Garcia. It’s time for the Republicans to boldly take on this outrageous scam. We elected them to represent us. That includes protecting our hard-earned tax dollars.


Marxist InvestInEd Prop 207 off Nov. ballot

August 31, 2018

Arizona’s Supreme Court has acted in the interest of the state’s taxpaying citizens by rejecting the latest curare arrow in the quiver of the educrat unionists. The Invest in Education Act, was a redistribution of wealth measure, that would have made Karl Marx proud.  It was crafted specifically to “tax the rich” — who already pay the highest tax rates. In its sights were job creators, often small business owners, dual-earner families, and even some retirees who made smart investments while living slim during their working years.

This is the order, reversing a trial court’s judgment, and signed by Chief Justice Scott Bales.  He wrote, “The description did not accurately represent the increased tax burden on the affected classes of taxpayers” and “failed to reference the elimination of bracket inflation indexing.”  All of the previous actions going back to the trial court case can be seen here.

This extortionist measure was endorsed by the same RedsforEd* public school teachers who abandoned their students for a week in April, violating their contractual agreements, while striking for a 20% pay increase. They marched in lockstep following pied piper Noah Karvelis, 24, a hip-hop music teacher and self described socialist, who was Bernie Sanders 2016 Arizona presidential campaign organizer.

Gov. Ducey, initially asserting he would not meet their demands,  rashly acquiesced to the teachers, providing the launching pad for the newly titled, Prop. 207. As a constitutional amendment, its tax penalties amounting to around $700 million annually would have been unalterable. But that wasn’t enough for the teachers. They are now protesting against Ducey.

The permanent funding stream would have been in addition to other subsidies already in place. Passage of ballot propositions — 301 in 2000 increasing the state sales tax and 123 in 2016 a grab from the state land trust — guaranteed more money for education, which apparently is never enough for the teachers who work 8½ months a year. School districts routinely hold budget overrides and bond elections to “get more money into the classroom” —- eduspeak for bolstering teacher’s salaries. A major premise of passing the Arizona Lottery in 1980 was that money from ticket sales would fund schools.

Arizona’s Supreme Court Justices deserve accolades for seeing through this deceptive con and acting in the interest of taxpayers.

* SRAZ added the “s” on Red for a more accurate description.


Trump triumphs with federal judicial appointments

August 30, 2018

Pres. Trump’s 17th wave of judicial nominees

Senate Democrats, who use any excuse to put roadblocks in the way of President Trump, have shown an unusual willingness to back off their partisan agenda — when it benefits them.

In their rush to get out of town and campaign for reelection in their home states, they agreed to expedite votes on 15 of the president’s most recent nominees to federal courts.  The senate is now out of session until Sept. 4.

In a rare display of bipartisanship, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to work with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), bypassing wait times on federal judicial nominations that would delay the confirmation process.

Among the judges is Bridget Shelton Bade, who currently serves as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Arizona. Judge Bade has deep roots in Arizona, having earned her J.D., cum laude, from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Her extensive background includes time in private practice and with both the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The best news is, Judge Bade has been nominated to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has the dubious distinction of being the most reversed federal court of appeals,* due to its overabundance of liberal judges.

To date, during President Trump’s tenure, the senate has confirmed one Supreme Court justice — Neil Gorsuch, 26 circuit court judges and 26 district court judges — a record number for any president at this point in their term.

*In depth analysis by Derek T. Muller, Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law


AZSOS Shuts Down Ken Bennett

August 23, 2018

 Ken Bennett for Governor 2018 sent out this email to supporters Thurs. Aug. 22:

Supporters: I have been shut down by the State Government but I am still fighting for you. I can still take donations to $160.00.  If you can help I very much appreciate it, you can donate here.

Be ready and watch for updates!

Despite Michele Reagan’s claims to revolutionize technology at the Secretary of State’s office the $5 Clean Elections online contribution system has not been touched in seven+ years.

The incompetency of the Secretary of State’s office to offer an up-to-date software system that works so voters can participate in Clean Election Campaign is unacceptable.  The voter’s in Arizona put CEC’s in place to take big money out of politics and allow citizen candidates to participate. Prohibiting voters to participate by providing inadequate tools is outrageous and disenfranchises the will of the voter.

August 21st at midnight was the deadline for submitting $5 qualifying contributions to the Bennett for Arizona campaign. Hundreds of people across the state were mobilized to electronically give the $5.00 donation as the Clean Elections campaign entered the final hours.

Voters have contacted the campaign in increasing numbers about a wide variety of difficulties giving online. It now appears the outcry at the problems with the AZSOS system are valid. The campaign has been informed that the system to give $5.00 has not been updated since Mr. Bennett himself put it in place seven plus years ago.

The advances in online transfers of money has changed drastically over the past seven years as well as the use of cell phones and tablets versus desktop computers to complete an array of everyday tasks. A large number of voters have told the campaign they gave up trying to complete the $5 donation on their phone and then with the online system out of frustration.

Mr. Bennett attempted to contact Eric Spencer, Director of Election Services Tuesday night when the problem was brought to his attention. The only communication the campaign received concerning the problem was a tweet addressed to (gubernatorial candidate) Ken Bennett:

“The website is up, so I very much look forward to seeing you make your filing appointment tomorrow with our office.”

The Director knew the system was not to close until midnight.

Paid for by Bennett for Arizona. Authorized by Ken Bennett