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.”


Breitbart covers AZ’s education standoffs

February 15, 2015

All dots lead back to John McCain

Breitbart’s Big Government, a premier national news site, finds Arizona’s Douglas/Ducey battle worthy of coverage. The report, Battle Lines Drawn Between Anti-Common Core Superintendent and Arizona Governor covers newly elected Gov. Doug Ducey’s overreaches and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas’ actions and responses. 

Tucked in among the facts most state residents have been following and on which we have reported, is a fascinating connection that has previously been missed. In addition to Ducey bringing Common Core enthusiast Lisa Graham Keegan onboard his new education subcommittee, he has included Matthew Ladner, described as “a close associate of Common Core champion Jeb Bush.”

Keegan is a former-RINO-turned-Independent who endorsed Douglas’ radical leftist educrat challenger while lobbing insults at Douglas. She met the threshold of Republican establishment allegiance by serving as education advisor for John McCain’s failed presidential campaign.

And Matthew Ladner? Prior to joining the Foundation for Excellence in Education, founded by Jeb Bush and funded by liberals, Ladner worked for Clint Bolick at the Alliance for School Choice. Bolick then moved to the Libertarian Goldwater Institute, oddly favored by the leftwing Arizona Republic newspaper. Ladner followed. Clint Bolick and Jeb Bush co-authored a book, “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution,” which in retrospect sounds like a blueprint for Obama’s egregious amnesty actions.

We’ll connect the dots. Arizona’s junior Sen. Jeff Flake is John McCain’s doppelganger. Both are longtime proponents of amnesty for illegals. Flake, supported by McCain for the seat previously held by Jon Kyl, is a former Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute. Clint Bolick’s wife has twice run for a state legislative seat, losing both times.  This 2010 event was a Who’s Who of well-heeled McCain supporters. In this short video clip, Bush calls illegal immigration “an act of love” that “shouldn’t rile people up.’ Here Bush and Bolick openly push for amnesty minus the pretenses.

This is a gang that shoots in one direction —– aiming back at the law-abiding Arizona taxpayers forced to fund their schemes, while charging forward to open the border floodgates. If one doesn’t reach the destination, reinforcements are supplied by the Chambers of Commerce, and their illegal alien profiteer members.


Diane Douglas and Doug Ducey: A messy split

February 13, 2015

Just before Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow misses the heart and hits the jugular

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas and Gov. Doug Ducey, both newly elected Republicans, are engaged in a public battle over education authority.

The most recent skirmish centers on Douglas’ firing of the executive director and her assistant at the 11-member state Board of Education. Ducey promptly reinstated the two women, claiming Douglas lacks the ability to remove them. Douglas, on the other hand, says she clearly has the constitutional authority.  She shot back with this 2-page letter informing Gov. Ducey she did not see his name on the ballot for state superintendent. 

“It is no surprise that his office supports retaining two liberal staff who have publicly stated they will block all efforts to repeal or change Common Core and backs the newly elected President of the Board of Education who is a charter school operator and stands to profit from the Governor’s policy of pushing through AZ Merit to lower school scores so that more students can be removed to charter schools,” Douglas stated. “I swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State of Arizona with my hand upon the Bible. I take that oath very seriously and will continue to do so. I also promised the voters of the state to replace Common Core and will not falter in my best efforts to keep my promise, regardless of whether the Governor honors his campaign rhetoric to do the same,” Douglas reminded Ducey.

From the onset of his Jan. 5 inauguration, Ducey with massive budgetary woes and plenty of statewide issues on his plate, has been inappropriately focused on education matters. He recently held an education town hall which omitted Douglas but included Lisa Graham Keegan a former RINO turned Independent, who endorsed Douglas’ Democrat challenger. Keegan, a Common Core advocate, was the education policy advisor for John McCain’s failed presidential bid. Superintendent Douglas made public the fact that Gov. Ducey has refused to take calls or meet with her since his swearing-in.

Douglas was recognized as the lone conservative among the statewide top-tier of elected officials, waging a winning grassroots campaign due to her resolute opposition to the fed’s heavy handedness in promoting the increasingly unpopular Common Core. Her message resonated with voters, carrying her across the finish line with a stunning 58 to 41 Primary victory, trouncing the incumbent. In the General Election she defeated a heavily funded, leftist educrat opponent.

The conservative base of the Republican Party supported Diane Douglas. As the establishment choice, Doug Ducey had the backing and financial network of the elites. He was also the beneficiary of scattered votes in a 6-way Republican primary field. A Libertarian and Americans Elect candidate further diluted the pool.

Doug Ducey may win this battle, but will ultimately lose the war. Messing with the base is not politically astute.


Dr/Sen. Kelli Ward: Will she challenge John McCain?

February 12, 2015

Havasu News reports on a single question 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? The support for her entering the 2016 race is impressive.

Sen. Kelli Ward, a District 5 Republican, has a stellar résumé making her an exceptionally strong contender against the unpopular and often censured McCain. In addition to serving 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 Lake Havasu City-based newspaper illustrates the enthusiastic response to the poll with a colorful graph. Keep the momentum going.


AZ House Republican majority release 2015 agenda

February 10, 2015

Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives, led by House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, released an ambitious seven-part policy agenda and accompanying video. “We want to make sure we are doing the business of the people,” Montenegro explained. “The House Majority Agenda helps us to stay on track. We want to conduct our work in a way that makes Arizona proud.”

“These seven guideposts give us a roadmap to prioritize the work of the House,” added House Speaker David Gowan.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for conservative victories among the budget battles.


Alert: Beware of AZVoices.gov & UPDATE

February 9, 2015

The Arizona Daily Independent reports on a scheme ostensibly devised to facilitate voters connecting with their legislators on pending legislation. It was sold to those on West Washington Street as having the additional benefit of freeing up legislative staffers from the grinding business of having to deal with answering the calls of those pesky constituents.

The ADI did the investigative work that reveals there is far more going on here than simply improving contact through an electronic system that works as a survey of public sentiment. The online newspaper names the schemers behind the system and details its deceptive practices.

The legislature’s own multi-faceted, direct system of communication remains in place. Any Arizona voters can contact their state House members or state Senator by clicking on these roster links. Their email addresses, office phone and Fax numbers —- along with each legislator’s bio, linked under their names—- are provided for ease of access. Toll-free numbers are even included for statewide constituents. For those who are unsure of their legislative district, this is the place to locate that information.

Do yourself a favor and read “AZVoices.gov is not what it appears to be.” Should you become aware of pending legislation you would like to share your views on, contact your legislator directly. Third party smoke screens and subterfuge are not how our system was intended to function.

Update-tag

 

We neglected to mention the Arizona Legislature’s own official page, which includes this Bill Status Inquiry and Request to Speak. It’s clear the Arizona Legislature is user-friendly and interested citizens don’t require intercession by or through  any third party. 


Looking small: Ducey disses Douglas

February 7, 2015

Is Lisa Graham Keegan Ducey’s shadow education superintendent?

KPHO TV 5, the local CBS affiliate, reports on the most recent Republican snub lobbed in the direction of Diane Douglas, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. This time the salvo comes from newly elected Gov. Doug Ducey, a fellow Republican, who neither informed Douglas of his education town hall nor invited her to participate in the Thursday event.

Since his Jan. 5, inauguration, Ducey has focused on education issues —- clearly excluding the state schools chief. Previously it was state Republican Party chairman Robert Graham who omitted Douglas from this “Your Republican Team” mailer in advance of the General Election.

Douglas was recognized as the lone conservative among the statewide top-tier of elected officials, waging a winning grassroots campaign due to her resolute opposition to the fed’s heavy handedness in promoting the increasingly unpopular Common Core. Her message resonated with voters, carrying her across the finish line with a stunning 58 to 41 Primary victory.  In the General Election she defeated a heavily funded, leftist educrat opponent.

Yet right out of the chute, and before his actual swearing-in, Governor-elect Ducey announced the formation of an education subcommittee which included Common Core enthusiast Lisa Graham Keegan, a former RINO turned Independent, who endorsed Douglas’ Democrat challenger.

During the campaign, Keegan attacked Douglas, stating she was “promoting a sort of a paranoia” by opposing the federal education scheme. Keegan, who was John McCain’s education advisor during his doomed presidential bid, referred to Douglas’ opposition to Common Core as “destructive.”

In announcing the formation of his education team, Ducey claimed he was looking “forward to working with education professionals to identify the best policies to improve our schools, find the most talented people to assume key positions in my administration and ensure we are putting Arizona students, teachers and parents first.”

Ducey’s town hall brush-off of Douglas while Keegan participated in the forum, puts a lie to his claim of “working together” for the betterment of Arizona’s students, teachers and parents. The Arizona Constitution provides for both a governor and a superintendent of public instruction in addition to other elected state officers. Each job has specific duties and oversight. It’s time for Gov. Ducey to govern and let the actual superintendent do her job.


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