Weakened SPI Diane Douglas cedes power

March 3, 2015

Elected Superintendent of Public Instruction relinquishes authority to unelected state board

The Arizona Daily Independent does a fine job of explaining the current bizarre state of affairs involving recently elected Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, her Chief of Staff Michael Bradley, and their willing acquiescence in allowing the Senate Education Committee to eviscerate her authority in overseeing the State Board of Education’s staff.

Among other things, HB 2184 would remove any oversight of the unelected board and staff by changing the language defining her role with the board from “executive officer of the State Board of Education” to “executive officer responsible for the execution of policies of the State Board of Education.”

Attempting to put the best face on this abdication of duties in the wake of her public battles with Gov. Doug Ducey, in which Seeing Red AZ championed her effortsDouglas now claims she supports the restraining measure in order to save legal expenses for the taxpayers.

Don’t skip over the concerns expressed by leading conservative and former Senate Majority leader Thayer Verschoor. He is quoted in the news report as referring to Douglas’ actions as an “abdication of power” and the revision of duties as  “VERY BAD POLICY.”


AZ 2016 U.S. Senate race takes bright, right turn

February 27, 2015

Supporters of AZ State Sen. Kelli Ward put together ‘KelliPAC’  hoping to encourage challenge to John McCain

Kelli_Ward

The news that John McCain is revving up for yet another bite at the senate apple, is of the ho-hum variety.  After decades in Washington, he knows no other life, though he rates abysmally low on the home popularity meter as does junior senator Jeff Flake. Just last month the often censured McCain was greeted with boos and turned backs (video) by elected delegates at the annual Arizona Republican Statutory meeting.

In the wake of such nationally reported embarrassments, McCain and his allies have expended considerable resources and energy attempting to purge conservatives from precinct committeemen positions and party leadership posts. But the hostility directed toward him has even deeper roots, as articulated so well by Tom DeLay, (video) former House Majority Leader.

Arizona U.S. Reps. David Schweikert and Matt Salmon have each been rumored to be mulling a challenge to the senior senator who is looking his 79th year squarely in the eye. Ultimately, neither will take him on. His $1.54 million war chest is too large and his notorious retaliatory rage too great for decent sorts to desire to engage him in this last battle of his career.

Schweikert has already said his wife isn’t onboard, which nixes his entry into the race. Salmon is also unlikely to move forward.

But another name gaining momentum has the ring of a winner. State Sen. Kelli Ward, a Lake Havasu conservative Republican, has a stellar résumé making her an exceptionally strong contender against the unpopular and repeatedly censured McCain. In addition to representing Legislative District 5 in the Arizona senate, Kelli Ward is a medical doctor. Her perspective on health care would be invaluable as Obamacare’s negative impact grows. The Havasu News asks a single question in its recent poll: “Should State Senator Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City run against Arizona’s U.S. Senator John McCain if he seeks re-election in 2016?” Votes in the affirmative are overwhelming.

Now fans of Kelli Ward’s have independently put together KelliPAC an Independent Expenditure Committee. In its Mission Statement, describing the reason for forming the PAC, are these words: “If Sen. Ward decides not to run, KelliPAC will use the funds collected to advance a conservative candidate against John McCain.

If Sen. Ward agrees to run, we will work tirelessly to see that she has a fair and equal opportunity to return that seat to whom it rightfully belongs…The People.”  


Laurie Roberts: The “kook” pot calling the kettle….

February 25, 2015

Right on the heels of a column earlier this week “Brnovich not the guy to investigate APS-Corp Com links” in which Laurie Roberts actually sounded like the investigative sleuth she purports to be —- she reverts back to her infantile “Kook” name calling.

In the earlier column she points out that Attorney General Mark Brnovich is too beholden to Arizona Public Service Co. to investigate major corruption claims against the utility made by a whistleblower (Letter here courtesy of 12 News) regarding cozy deal making between then-Corporation Commission chairman Gary Pierce and the company’s CEO as the utility was seeking a rate increase. APS, the largest electric utility in the state is regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission. Arizona Public Service’s parent company, Pinnacle West, dumped $425,000 into Brnovich’s campaign coffers last year which raises the question why the power provider was so keen to influence the Attorney General’s race.

Just weeks ago, Roberts was loathe to mention Brnovich’s name. Now it’s headline material.

Yet it’s her fixation on conservatives she deems “Kooks” that continues to grasp her attention. Now she has gone even further than her usual derogatory snipes at individuals, by deeming the entire state of Arizona “Kooksville.”  In Roberts’ extremist view, legislative leaders are hard at work “to declare our independence from federal gun laws, from the Affordable Care Act, from the Environmental Protection Agency, from the Department of Justice, from Barack Obama and from just about anything else associated with the state’s most detested f-word. Federal, that is.”

There’s a slew of legislation rattling Roberts, including House Bills 2055, 2058, 2368, 2643, (Committee on Federalism & States’ Rights) and  Senate Bill 1330 (Public Safety, Military & Technology Committee) along with 2014’s Proposition 122.

Watch for Roberts to begin providing cover for soon-to-be 79-year-old John McCain as he gears up for another 6-year senate term. She’s already going after state Sen. Kelli Ward (R-LD5). The Lake Havasu lawmaker/physician is only rumored to be considering a challenge to McCain, but the status quo wagons are already beginning to circle.


Randy Parraz closes shop, trades one scheme for another

February 24, 2015

Latest scheme is $5 million Democrat registration campaign

Were Arizona conservative Republicans given an assignment of compiling radical provocateurs, the name Randy Parraz would top many lists.  The hard-left, amnesty-for-illegals ideologue was behind the effort to unseat state Senate President Russell Pearce and shows up in the most unlikely of places.

In March 2013, open-borders and anti-enforcement extremists Parraz and his failed candidate wife Lilia Alvarez (video) were forced to admit their deceptively misnamed effort “Respect Arizona,” an attempt to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was doomed.  In addition to coming up short on cash to pay petition circulators, he was unable to energize rational citizens to engage in his trickery. 

Parraz, a pro-illegal, self-described “community activist,” has made a career of extremism rather than the practice of law in which he holds a degree.

But it appears Parraz’ vocation of deception has come to an abrupt end. According to the leftist Modern Times magazine, which glowingly refers to Parraz as “charismatic,” the agitating rabble-rouser is calling it quits. He recently sent out an email statement telling of his bogus handled Citizens for a Better Arizona closing shop.

“After considerable thought, reflection and debate, CBA has decided to: Cease operations as a 501 C 4 organization (effective March 1, 2015); and Initiate the formation of a $5 million fund called the Arizona Blue Campaign to register over 200,000 Democrats by October 1, 2016.”

His message caused nary a blimp on the “aw shucks” meter.


Bill Montgomery sets Flakes loose on county taxpayers

February 21, 2015

Imagine you’re Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. Com’on, you can do it.  You’re full of political vim and aspiration and like a good establishment soldier dutifully await a greater opportunity. The U.S. Senate sounds good. But dang! That old goat McCain is making noises about running again. He’ll be 79 in August and a six-year term would place him at a gnarly 85. Not only will the youthful glow also be off Montgomery’s rose, but playing well with that Flake family is not bringing the hoped for returns.

Rather than repeat the gruesome facts of the case involving Sen. Jeff Flake’s son Austin and daughter-in-law Logan along with her parents Todd and MaLeisa Hughes, and its potential to derail Montgomery‘s ambition, read Bill Montgomery, dead dogs & the Flakes: We got it right the first time.

Now that Montgomery has dropped all felony charges against Austin and Logan they’re suing Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, seeking $8 million to resurrect their formerly pristine reputations, claiming they were targeted by the Sheriff’s office and their characters were ruined by this investigation. 

“The Sheriff has a long history of bringing cases for publicity.  This case to him had everything.  It had publicity, it had a politician’s son, it had pets and the one thing it didn’t have was probable cause,” claimed lawyer Jack Wilenchik. His law partner father Dennis Wilenchik, previously represented Arpaio and cozily lists the “Maricopa County Attorney” as a client.

The Wilenchik’s, publicity seekers extraordinaire, were singing a different tune —- “Vamos Jose!” (Let’s Go, Joe!) —- with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in happier times, as they interviewed him about the “latest county news” on their podcast radio show.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a champion of animals, who has had an Animal Crimes Investigations Unit as part of his office for over a decade forwarded twenty-one charges of animal neglect and cruelty to Montgomery, recommending numerous felony charges of animal neglect and cruelty in connection with horrific abuse resulting in the deaths of nearly two dozen family pets.

On Oct. 15, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted both couples. At the time, Montgomery solemnly stated, “Today’s indictment is the result of a thorough review of the extensive investigation into this incident and a decision to seek charges based on objective facts. We now look forward to the next step in seeing that justice is served in this case,” he said. But God knows he wanted the hot potato to go away.

If these marginal Flakes are successful in their outrageous lawsuit, Maricopa County taxpayers will be the ones paying out millions, and that includes the families who lost their beloved pets to the Flake’s obscene neglect.

It was clear from the June 20 onset, when the dead and dying family pets were found, Bill Montgomery was loath to touch this case.  He finally dropped it Dec. 22, 2014.

Background on this case can be read in these links:

Dec. 24, 2014:  Bill Montgomery, dead dogs & the Flakes: We got it right the first time

Dec. 13, 2014: Flake kin beg for cash to aid in dead dog defense

Nov. 14, 2014: Austin, Logan Flake plead not guilty in dog deaths

Oct. 16, 2014: Indicted! Austin & Logan Flake, Todd & MaLeisa Hughes

Oct. 13, 2014: Bill Montgomery: Focus of daily’s sarcastic jab remains inert

Sept. 29, 2014: Still awaiting Montgomery’s Flake decision

Sept. 19, 2014: Bill Montgomery: Between a Flake and a hard place

July 17, 2014: 21 dead dogs inconsequential as Flake connection gets cover-up

June 27, 2014: AZ Republic uses dead dogs to bash Arpaio, give pass to Flake & Update


McParty time: Frosh class femmes frolic

February 19, 2015

Joni Ernst, the newly elected Republican U.S. Senator from Iowa blew into office with an impressive record. A former state senator, she campaigned as a conservative and won praise for her service as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq. She soundly defeated an incumbent Democrat Congressman running for the senate seat.

Now we find her name oddly linked with John McCain’s for a swank Phoenician resort fundraiser to benefit McCain’s 2016 reelection campaign. Right up there with wife Cindy are freshman U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2), Cheryl Flake, and the previously unknown in political circles, Angela Ducey —- wife of Arizona’s newly elected governor Doug Ducey —- a McCain and Flake confidant.  The men stumped the state together in the final hours prior to Election Day ginning up votes for Ducey. “We’ve got a lead, but we can’t take that for granted,” McCain said. His possessive words indicated a strange ownership role. 

For those keeping track, just a few more dots to connect.

McCain_invite_Feb_2015


Ducey-Douglas rift stoked by Lisa Graham Keegan

February 17, 2015

Arizonans need score card to keep track of AZ Republic’s schizophrenic coverage

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts appears to applaud state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, saying she “Scored Direct hit on Gov. Doug Ducey.’ The claque of Mary Jo Pitzl and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez go off in a pro-Lisa Graham Keegan direction.  E. J. Montini, the dutiful leftist follows the editorial board’s anti-Douglas instructions as he hopes to hang on just another few years until his social security kicks in and before the newspaper kicks off. Robert Robb, the more cerebral of the pack, gives points to Diane Douglas, saying Gov. Doug Ducey lacks the authority to reinstate the two state Board of Education staff members fired by Douglas. Columnist Doug MacEachern?  He weighs in using the take-no-prisoners prerogative, “maniacal” to describe Douglas. These are merely iceberg tips, but readers get the drift.

In nearly every report the name Lisa Graham Keegan appears. This past weekend, she was Brahm Resnik’s haughty guest on “Sunday Square Off.” (linked video follows ad.)

And who is the seemingly ubiquitous Lisa Graham Keegan, suddenly grabbing headlines?

Keegan, a RINO-turned-Independent who supported Douglas’ radical leftwing educrat opponent, oddly seems to be regarded by Ducey as the state school superintendent. And why not? Like Ducey, Keegan is a McCain ally. She served as McCain’s education advisor during his doomed presidential bid.  Keegan formerly held the top school position before ditching it back in 2001 with a year-and-a-half of her term remaining. The heady aura of Washington, D.C. was too compelling to keep her in Arizona to fulfill her commitment to the voters who put her in office. She also left rudderless the controversial Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test which she had championed as a high school graduation requirement. AIMS was a hotly debated precursor of Common Core.

When Keegan boogied in 2001, then-Gov. Jane Hull appointed lobbyist Jaime Molera to replace her. When the term expired, Molera ran for the position losing to conservative Tom Horne, who was then elected to two consecutive terms.

This past November, grassroots candidate Diane Douglas ran and was elected on an unambiguous anti-Common Core platform. Keegan not only supports the federal overreach into local education, but derides Douglas as “erratic,” even as she tap dances around the issue of fewer dollars for public schools while Ducey slices $13 million from the state education budget.

Conservatives who have ample reasons to distrust the GOP establishment are banking on Diane Douglas holding firm to her campaign pledges. As Robert Robb noted, “she is intensively disliked by all the right people.”


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