Candidate McCain honors POW — 71 years late

July 7, 2015

Second Lieutenant John R. Pedevillano was a 22-year-old U.S. Army Air Corps bombardier who flew six combat missions before being shot down by Nazi fighter pilots behind enemy lines over Germany on April 24, 1944.  He and his crewmates were later held as prisoners in the notorious Nazi prison Stalag Luff 7, where they were eventually liberated by Gen. George Patton’s forces.

The young American bombardier’s recognition has been a long time coming. He‘s now 93.  But John McCain, joined by Gen. Larry Spencer, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, is honoring him in a ceremony today —- presenting him with the Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster.

As the Arizona senator gears up for his sixth six-year senate reelection campaign, retired Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. Pedevillano provides the opportunity to showcase McCain’s own service and imprisonment during the Vietnam war as the unpopular politician faces 2016 challengers. 

Honoring the valiant wartime missions and ordeals of Lieutenant Pedevillano is laudable. The timing and political aspects are suspect.


Robert Graham’s McFishy message

July 6, 2015

AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham has sent out a news update from the Arizona Republican Party, which includes a message of congratulation to Kurt Davis —-  referred to in the email as a “solid conservative.”

Ya think?

Davis, recently rotated into the chairmanship position at the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, is a longtime political consultant. Among his previous posts was a stint as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (which has a more trustworthy ring than lobbyist) for former Attorney General Grant Woods. An iffy Republican, Woods has frequently threatened to switch parties, and has been notable for endorsing Democrats. Both men are close confidants of John McCain —- a questionable trio of solid conservatives, to be sure.

In this press release, Davis is referred to as an “avid angler,” a definition that applies whether or not he‘s casting a fishing line. Oddly missing from his bio is any mention of his association with the toxic John McCain.

And speaking of McCain, when the very senior senator (he’ll be 80 by Election Day) announced his intention to seek a sixth six-year senate term, who but McCain’s operative and former campaign strategist is called on to assess his chances? You guessed it!  None other than Kurt Davis, who tells The Hill, “I always call him the terminator candidate.”

Robert Graham concludes his message with, “Congratulations Kurt, see you on the water!”

A more fitting wrap-up might have been, “Congratulations, Kurt. Look forward to swimming with the McSharks with you!”


Honeymoon over! AZ República equates Brnovich to Trump*

July 5, 2015

In a preposterous editorial, the illegal alien promoters at the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) spew their rage through clenched teeth. If it’s possible to hear the written word, the spittle belched bile is audible. The venom is aimed at Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who earned the newspaper‘s endorsement last election cycle.

Now the Arizona Attorney General is referred to as “heartless,” by the same crew who lavished him with praise just months ago. His offense? It began with what the daily calls his “hopeless quest to fight ‘dreamer’ driver’s licenses.” Now, he’s appealing a Maricopa County Superior Court decision allowing these “young immigrants” to qualify for in-state college tuition.

Last month, in a similar fit of temper, the newspaper called Brnovich “a new guy making old mistakes” for challenging the “right” of these “good kids” to get Arizona driver’s licenses. The editorialist, doing a heckuva imitation of Linda Valdez, accused Attorney General Brnovich of wasting his time fighting a law, that in the daily’s opinion, “never should have been passed.” He effort was called a “throwback,” earning Arizona’s “reputation as a Latino-hating bastion of bigotry.“

When facts don’t fit its agenda, name calling and slurs are a reliable fallback tactic for the failing newspaper.

The job of the state Attorney General includes enforcing Arizona’s voter protected statutes, whether or not the newspaper approves. Brnovich, who we did not support, is doing just that. For his efforts, he should be commended.

 The newspaper actually says such acts are “like kicking puppies “

The editorial warns Brnovich that he shouldn’t count on the Latino vote in his next election, disingenuously fretting that his actions will drive Latinos further away from the Republican Party.

The rank odor of insincerity is overwhelming.

Throughout the editorial the illegals are referred to as simply “dreamers.” That much softer term began life as an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, morphing into D.R.E.A.Mers and now all lower case and wistful. In fact, the DREAM Act was nothing short of nightmare as Kris Kobach revealed in this 2007 report. The program was a massive amnesty that extended to millions of illegal aliens who claimed they entered the United States before the age of 16, brought by their parents. 

Good luck trying to substantiate that or any of the other so-called requirements that needed to be met to qualify.

*Real estate mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump has drawn criticism from some for openly confronting the severity of the illegal immigration problem and addressing the continued criminality associated with many who enter the U.S. illegally.


Graham fabricates reasons for not closing AZ primary

July 3, 2015

Establishment fears McCain can’t win without crossover votes drive Robert Graham’s actions

An excessively lengthy dispatch carrying the subject line, “Robert Graham – Closing the Primaries,” arrived in the email boxes of select, though apparently not all, Republican precinct committeemen Thursday evening. Raw evidence of a intra-party feud is hard to miss as AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham refers, in the harshest of terms, to a previous message send out on the issue by conservative former Maricopa County Chairman A.J. LaFaro.  Graham begins with an inane off-topic apology, veers into summertime good wishes to the recipients and their families and then spins out of control, describing his sadness at having to castigate LaFaro. Graham then hypocritically closes his onslaught asking God’s blessings on the reader. Take a gander if you have nothing but time on you hands and don’t mind having your intelligence insulted. Following this diatribe, background information is linked under “Editor’s note.”

From AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham:

Mobilize_to_win_2016

 

I apologize if you have received this message. We had a challenge with our email addresses

Dear (first name),

I hope you are doing well and that the summer is off to a good start for you and your family. It saddens me to have to write this message following an email that was sent out by former Maricopa County Chairman A.J. LaFaro.

While many of our PCs are working hard to protect and grow our Republican foothold within Arizona, there are some that misrepresent and spin facts to create division and discontent within our party. Many of these same people have personal ambition way outside the best interest of the party, and their consistent misrepresentations of the facts are exhausting.

To be perfectly clear, I support the idea of a closed primary! If you read the transcription of the Executive Committee meeting that has been circulated, you will see my initial comment, “The state committeemen have passed the resolution to close the primary…in this room we have lots of smart people…let’s find a way to make it happen” (paraphrased). However, there is a process to accomplish a closed primary, and the process is more than a quick sound bite trying to stir emotion. There are real costs, real research and real time that must be invested in the effort. All of which has started.

Below I have listed many of the points discussed in Mr. LaFaro’s most recent coloring of events. Please read each of the points to assure you have an accurate and verifiable account of the truth.

Click on the link below to view the resolution:

2015 Resolution to Close the Primaries 1.pdf

Below are two points that illustrate the inconsistencies with the Constitution of Arizona:

  1. The Second “Whereas” in the resolution states“…Republicans believe in and support the U.S. Constitution, Arizona Constitution and the Republican Party Platform and should nominate Republican candidates that do the same…”

I agree with this statement; however, it should have been obvious to Mr. LaFaro that this resolution was not constitutional given this statement. How can you say in a resolution that “Republicans believe in and support the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution…”when this resolution is positioned to directly attack the Arizona Constitution where the definition of “semi-closed primaries exists”?

  1. 7th paragraph and first “Resolved” in the resolution states “That Arizona’s Republican Precinct Committeemen call upon Arizona Legislators to sponsor and pass legislation replacing Arizona’s semi-closed primaries with closed primaries…”

Once again, it is important to point out that this statement is not constitutional. In order to change the primary system, the Arizona Constitution must be amended. Can the legislature do that?? The answer is NO. An Arizona constitutional amendment must be done or changed by a vote of the people. A ballot measure for a constitutional change is required. This is not new…this is the AZ Constitution. All of us should be careful when submitting resolutions to assure they are constitutional first.

Even given the facts that Mr. LaFaro’s resolution to close the primary was unconstitutional, I recognized the overwhelming support by the State Committeemen and started the ball rolling with respect to closing the primary.

Attorney Opinion Letters

We have all witnessed countless times within politics that when the facts do not line up for your argument…emotion, name calling and old data sometimes find their way into the discussion. With that being said, more then [sic] a few weeks ago Mr. LaFaro sent an email and posted a letter on various sites. His letter centers on an expedited lawsuit and the fact that he personally spoke with three attorneys he endorsed as top election experts. Their names were Kory Langhofer, Joseph Kanefield and David Hardy.

LaFaro sited [sic] in this letter that the attorneys supported his position of little to no cost for a lawsuit to close the primaries, and his claim that it would be a fast process. At the end of the letter, he encouraged anyone who read his comments to contact each attorney directly. I did just that. I contacted each attorney with the goal to identify the best way to proceed. I spoke with each attorney Mr. Lafaro [sic] personally recommended and requested that each attorney draft an opinion letter. We added a fourth letter from Attorney Tim LaSota who is also considered an election expert as well and is General Counsel to the AZ GOP. Each of their opinion letters are attached below.

Click on the links below to view each opinion letter:

David Hardy Closed Primary Opinion.pdf

Joseph Kanefield Closing Primary Opion.PDF

Kory Langhofer Closing Primary Opinion.pdf

Tim LaSota Opinion Closed Primaries.pdf

Mr. LaFaro made assertions that the fact that the AZ GOP paid for their opinions discredits the content. To the contrary, when an attorney drafts an opinion letter, their name and credibility is associated with the content expressed in their letters. Their livelihood is at stake and opinion letters are not taken lightly.

Since the opinions were not consistent with Mr. LaFaro’s claims, he is trying to discredit the opinions by using outdated letters from 2010. Please remember that he personally endorsed the attorneys we received opinions from as expert election attorneys.

When you review the letters, you will see that there are a few hurdles or obstacles that must be overcome in order to assure the best outcome when approaching the courts to overrule the state constitution.

  1. Cost Of Litigation –Three of four letters specifically address the cost of litigation. The cost of litigation opinions range from hundreds of thousands of dollars up to millions if taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  2. Time It Will Take to Win, If We Win – Dave Hardy sued on behalf of the Libertarian party to close their primaries. This suit (which has clear evidence of risk for the Libertarian Party of Arizona) took 66 months to the ruling. That is five and one half years. If we start something, we need to make sure we can finish it.
  3. Severe Burden, Evidence Of Risk – These are phrases you will see throughout all four of the attorney opinion letters. In short, what it means is we have to clearly show a severe burden or evidence of risk that independents are materially harming an election. It is important to note that calling someone a RINO and saying they are more moderate than another candidate and illustrating they received more independent votes is not evidence of risk.

The courts do not use labels and are only interested in real proof. For example, Libertarian candidates within the state have had much lower signature requirements to become a candidate. In some districts, to run for a state representative they would only need 6 – 9 signatures. Because the threshold was low and their party has below 30,000 registrations, there was evidence to show a risk of sabotage. The other argument was to make sure independent voters would not be able to vote for precinct committeemen of the Libertarian Party. Once again, being a minority party, libertarians have an easy time illustrating and documenting severe burden and evidence of risk. Each opinion letter details the need to prove severe burden and evidence of risk and some even saying it will be very difficult given the fact that Republican is still the majority party.

Once again, in an attempt to identify the severe burden or evidence of risk, I asked the Executive Committee Members three separate times for volunteers to form a committee to pull the research together to help shape our argument. A request of this nature is not trying to skirt the issue…I was asking to get the evidence so we can move forward. Only three people volunteered. They know who they are and they have done nothing to help.

Since April 18, the volunteers have NOT reported to the State Executive Committee or to me directly regarding this progress. This is a key element to be successful. To date, we have no report.

  1. Fundraising – Once you review the attorney opinion letters, you will have a better understanding of the process to close the primaries and the potential cost associated with the effort. The cost to sue to close the primary is potentially from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions given the length of time it may take to complete the legal process.

 The Cost To Administer the Primary

The last thing to consider when addressing the closed primary is the cost of running the election. Our party is the largest party, independents are not considered a party, and there is a high likelihood that if we close the primary we will have to pay for the administration of the statewide primary election. For perspective, the closed presidential primary in Arizona is one ballot with a handful of candidates. The cost to administer one election with one type of ballot is close to $10 million.

Now, consider a full primary. If a full primary is closed, there are hundreds of different offices, over 12,000 variations or different ballots statewide. From PC to congress, from congress to fire districts, etc., etc…. Secretary Reagan said, “You will need to “extrapolate the cost up from the presidential primary.”

Secretary Reagan also said to me in a text message, “Be prepared to pay for it, because the STATE pays for primaries because they are open. If they were to be closed, the LEGISLATURE could eliminate the funding. In most states where there are closed elections, it is up to the individual parties to fund those elections and those states do not pay.”

To put this into context, over the 2013-2014 cycle, the AZ GOP had record fundraising of $4.6 million. We spent almost every dollar to assure that we would win. Martha McSally only won by 167 votes. Every dollar was deployed to win elections. It is hard to raise money, and if we have to pay for the primary, we many not have the funds to support our candidates. It is important to raise lots of money especially difficult during the presidential election.

Once again, I asked four separate times for volunteers from the Executive Committee to assist in fundraising to help close the primary. The money raised would be used specifically for closing the primary, and a separate committee would form to assure the funds were used appropriately. We had two volunteers after the fourth call for help. They know who they are, and they have done nothing to help. This fundraising committee has not reported to the State Executive Committee or to me regarding their progress.

Conclusion

These are not excuses but considerations when trying to operate a party. Someone has to do more than send emails and call people hurtful names. In all honesty, I am 100% behind closing the primary, but again we have to be prepared to administer the election and have the resources needed to make it happen. If we close the primary but do not have the resources to administer a successful election, we will fail on more than one front. One PC pushing for another resolution to close the primary is on the record saying, “Let’s just try and see what happens…let’s just get the process started and figure it out as we go.” This statement is frighteningly similar to Nancy Pelosi’s infamous quote to pass Obamacare and then we will see what’s in it. We have to have a mature and fact-based approach, if our efforts are to be successful.

Last thing I would like to address which I take personal offense. Mr. LaFaro asserts that I was calling for the arrest of the Precinct Committee members that were protesting in front of the AZ GOP. I want you to consider your experiences with me as State Chairman. I have met most of you in person or attended your district, county or Republican Club meetings. I hope you feel I have always treated each of you with respect and the dignity you deserve. I listen and I am responsive to your calls and emails.

Quite to the contrary to Mr. LaFaro’s report, the AZ GOP staff was handing out water and making sure everyone outside of the meeting was treated with respect. I personally called the protest organizer and further stressed that we would treat everyone with respect.

Further to this point, the Deputy Sheriff Posse Members volunteering that day were under instructions by Sheriff Joe Arpaio not to arrest anyone. Of the 20 or so protesters, a couple entered AZ GOP office during the meeting, and they were allowed to stay. No threats, only kind and productive discussions.

For the record, AJ LaFaro did not attend the Executive Meeting nor did he participate in the protest outside of the State Party. His secondhand account is flawed. Please ask members who were in attendance for the truth. It is sad that his comments are not consistent with the truth.

As we move forward into the 2016 election cycle, please consider what messages, what actions and what people are moving the party forward in a positive way. The negativity, name calling and bashing only Republicans does not win elections. Always consider the messages when they are sent to your inbox and ask the question “Is this the type of behavior that will help put a Republican in the White House?” If the answer is NO, find people that [sic] are action-oriented and work with them.

I want to assure you that I work for you. Collectively, we have lifted our party out of the ashes to win countless victories across the state, municipal and local elections. The ball is rolling and we are moving as quickly as resources allow. May God bless you and the Republican Party of Arizona!

Sincerely,

Robert S. Graham

Chairman

Arizona Republican Party

3501 N. 24th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85016

Editor’s note: The Executive Meeting Graham refers to following “Conclusion” was detailed in this post, “Need more proof of McCain chokehold on AZGOP?

Additional background can be read in these links:

Arizona Freedom Alliance’s on-point rebuttal to Graham’s diatribe can be read here.

Arizona Daily Independent reported: Specter of McCain haunts, closed Primary resolutions pass.

McCain’s censure by elected Maricopa County GOP precinct committeemen was followed by another censure resolution against him by elected statewide Republican delegates in 2014. At the state meeting in 2015, McCain and Jeff Flake were booed and met by turned backs and walkouts.  The Daily Caller reports the two Arizona Senators are the least popular senators in the entire country.

McCain, through his operatives, retaliated by attempting to purge conservatives from the precinct committeemen ranks.

 


Gannett in the throes of solo winging

June 30, 2015

Gannett, the parent company of the Arizona Republic newspaper, is winging it as a solo entity as of Monday.

The article in industry insider Poynter reports “19,600 employees of Gannett newspapers will be working for a new company — untethered from growing and prosperous television stations and digital ventures.”

It can’t get much worse for readers of the Arizona daily, expecting news and getting, instead, rehash under the not very clever heading “Week in Review.” Everything you’ve already read is served up again as appetizing as  cold porridge. Cronkite Journalism students write in trendy colloquialisms (“we reached out,” “she went missing,” “functionality“), and mismatched tenses. Editors are either on vacation or were laid off.

Poynter points out the New Gannett begins life with two clear challenges: Revenues, dragged down by weak print advertising, were off 9 percent in the first quarter, and the second quarter does not look much better.  Results have been similar at NewsQuest, the group of regional British papers Gannett owns, which was hit by a work stoppage in recent weeks to protest cuts.

If you’re looking for movie and restaurant reviews to sweeten the relentless liberalism, radical politics, amnesty push and  “gay” agenda  olio, the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) is for you. Want unbiased news reports written in proper English? You’ll have to move on.


AZ U.S. Senate race 2016: What’s wrong with this McPicture?

June 23, 2015

McCain_2016_military_ad

After over three decades in congress, John McCain is reportedly not in a hurry to get his 2016 reelection campaign underway. He claims not to be worried about a credible conservative challenge, yet his ad campaign is already up and running. And where else but on conservative sites where he vainly tries to refurbish his very tarnished image.

Conservative precinct committeemen of his own party were the ones who repeatedly censured him in county meetings across Arizona. In 2014 elected statewide delegates overwhelmingly voted this censure resolution against McCain. The final vote was 1,150 in support with only 351 opposed. The following year the delegates’ ire had not abated. He was met with boos and turned backs. Many walked out as he took to the podium.  In retaliation, his surrogates worked with an out-of-state Obama donor to purge the GOP of conservative activists.

This past week, visits to the Drudge Report and Breitbart News brought up an ad announcing, “John McCain continues the fight for our veterans and military members.  Join us.” A click on the link asks for help with his campaign.

Though the nearly 80-year-old McCain has long shown signs of memory loss, most of the rest of us have our cognitive faculties intact. As examples, we recall the following:

This Oct. 16, 2011 article in Military.com titled, “ McCain Okay With Cutting Military Benefits,” tells a different story. The Army Times and the Navy Times substantiate the report.

Then watch his Feb. 2, 2008 performance, as he disgracefully insults and shuts down Delores Alfond, Chair of the National Alliance of Families, seeking information about American POW/MIAs unaccounted for since their service in Vietnam.

If John McCain actually cares about veterans and military members, he has a strange way of showing it. Conservatives are hoping Dr. Kelli Ward, a two-term state senator with an impressive bio will challenge the devious dodger.

Her concern for the military takes root in her own home. Ward, a family physician, is married to Michael Ward an Emergency Medicine physician. He is a Colonel in the AZ Air National Guard and currently serves as Arizona’s State Air Surgeon. Kelli and Mike have three children.

Dr. Kelli Ward offers a conservative choice. The thought of six more years of the egocentric John McCain, who will celebrate his 80th birthday before Election Day in 2016, is more than most thinking Arizonans can tolerate.

Yet in words that sound like more of a threat than a promise, McCain chillingly tells us, “The reason why I want to seek re-election is that there’s a lot more to do, both for Arizona and the country.” 

God help us.


Breitbart takes note of Sen. Kelli Ward; McCain fares badly

June 6, 2015

Salmon onboard with McCain on deceptive trade deal

It has often been a practice at Seeing Red AZ to run a post titled, “Weekend reading guaranteed to make you smarter.” We’ve included columns by respected conservative writers such as Victor Davis Hanson, Michelle Malkin, Thomas Sowell, Mark Steyn, Walter Williams, and Charles Krauthammer.

Today we introduce you to Michelle Moons, whose Breitbart News exposé on John McCain should be included among your weekend activities. Moons interviews Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward who expresses her concerns over the secrecy surrounding the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), known colloquially as Obamatrade.

Make time to read, Exclusive —  Arizona’s Kelli Ward Slams Obamatrade Secrecy: Not ‘The Way Government Should Be Doing Business.’

We recently covered this “huge” issue and its inclusion of irreversible authority to the participating nations, including unrestricted immigration.

This site steadfastly encourages Sen. Ward and applauds her exploratory campaign for the U.S. Senate. To turn that effort into the real deal takes widespread support. Read her message here. Then help her out on this secure contribution page. We all know Arizonans are ready for a change after over three decades of the treacherous John McCain. Campaigns are costly. Please give what you can.

It matters.


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