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Chris King AZ Daily Independent, august 6, 2019

On Tuesday morning, Steve Ronnebeck announced his candidacy for Congressional District 3 outside the Pima County Juvenile detention facility-turned migrant shelter. Ronnebeck was joined by fellow Angel parents and grandparents, Mary Ann Mendoza, Laura Basurto, and Carrie Turner-Utz.

Despite the intense summer heat, Ronnebeck was surrounded by numerous friends, family, and supporters from Pima, Maricopa, and Santa Cruz counties, as he laid out his plans to fight for safe communities and border security.

Ronnebeck began the event with a moment of silence for those lost in the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Ronnebeck gave an overview of his platform which includes protection of our children, border security, much needed jobs for the hard-pressed resident of Congressional District 3 (CD3), and his willingness to work with anyone who is “truly willing to get work done.”

Ronnebeck, a Republican, drew a clear distinction and CD3 incumbent Representative Raul Grijalva (D). Ronnebeck stated he “believes in term limits, not career politicians.”
Ronnebeck went on the attack against Grijalva by addressing him as the “Cartel Congressman.” Ronnebeck citied Grijalva’s record of inaction on behalf of the residents of the fifth poorest metropolitan area in the U.S.

Unlike much of the rest of the country, CD3 has not experienced a recovery from the recession. In fact, Grijalva’s district was already experiencing economic hardship when the recession hit due to Grijalva’s call for a boycott of Arizona. At the time, Grijalva was protesting an immigration enforcement law passed by the Arizona Legislature.

Grijalva’s boycott hit the tourism industry hardest. That industry, which relies low wage paid immigrant workers was devastated, and Grijalva’s boycott backfired by forcing Mexican migrant workers back to their country of origin for work.

Ronnebeck also addressed the needs for quality education to insure the “improve the District (CD3) as a whole.”

As a victim of a crime, Ronnebeck spoke passionately about the need for increased support of law enforcement.

Ronnebeck, the father of Grant Ronnebeck, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant on January 22, 2015 while working as a clerk at a Valley QuickTrip, sharply pointed out Grijalva’s record of anti-law enforcement bias.

July 30, 2019

July 29, 2019

By Jeremy W. Peters and Annie Karni  New York Times  Aug. 1, 2019​​

WASHINGTON — After two nights of debates between 20 presidential hopefuls that exposed a wide rift between the Democratic Party’s progressive and centrist wings, President Trump’s allies and Republican strategists said Thursday that they had gotten largely what they wanted: Five hours of a nationally televised clash where Democrats themselves questioned the practicality of prominent liberal wish-list items.

The second- and third-tier moderate Democrats on the stage, they argued, had done much of the work for Mr. Trump, raising tough questions about plans supported by some of the leading candidates to nationalize health care, decriminalize illegal border crossings and drastically cut the use of fossil fuels.

[Six things we learned from the July Democratic debates.]

These ideas are supported by progressive candidates like Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom Republicans hope to turn into the face of a Democratic Party they are portraying as disconnected from the concerns of most Americans.

“What the moderates were doing was pointing out that a large group of the Democrats running are simply out of sync with mainstream swing voters,” said Karl Rove, the former top political adviser to President George W. Bush’s two winning presidential campaigns. “The idea they’re going to provide illegal immigrants free health care, that’s not going to go down in union households in Michigan.”

Mr. Trump and his supporters likely would have declared victory regardless of what was said onstage. And he will face no shortage of impediments to re-election. Majorities of Americans, even those who say the like him, disapprove of his erratic behavior. Important voting blocs like college-educated women have turned against him. And the economy is slowing down.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr led Mr. Trump by 10 percentage points in a recent Fox News poll of registered voters nationwide, and Mr. Sanders led him by 6 points.

But the fissures within the Democratic Party had senior Trump campaign officials predicting that after the debate they would see a bump in their poll numbers in critical Rust Belt states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. In a statement released Thursday, Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said the debates showed the Democrats’ “vendetta against coal, oil, and natural gas.” The campaign believes that will alienate voters in those key states, which Republicans had not won in decades until Mr. Trump carried them in 2016.

Though they were realistic about their limitations — and the fact that the general election is more than a year away — Republicans said that the debates had given them fodder for what they say will be hundreds of millions of dollars of attack ads.

“Thank you very much for what you are doing, because you are giving us unlimited amounts of video footage for us to use,” said Ned Ryun, the chief executive of American Majority, a group that is training and recruiting conservatives to help turn out the vote for Republicans in battleground states.

“Republicans have a very nasty habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory,” Mr. Ryun added. “But sitting here a year out, I’m not sure you could ask for better dynamics.”

Republicans pointed to several moments during the two debates when they said Democrats had undercut themselves in surprising ways, particularly on issues that will be important to voters in competitive Midwestern states like Michigan, where the debates were held.

Mr. Biden, for instance, declared that his energy plan would end fossil fuel use — a position that seems highly risky not only in Michigan, the cradle of the American automobile industry, but in coal-producing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

Republicans said that other leading Democratic candidates like Ms. Warren, whom Trump campaign officials now view as the strongest debater in the field, missed opportunities to speak broadly to the concerns of middle-class voters and instead focused on issues with narrow appeal to progressives in the Democratic base.

Asked on Tuesday night whether her health care plan would be paid for by raising taxes on the middle class, Ms. Warren did not answer, saying only that “middle-class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their health care.”

“No one talked about the middle class or cutting taxes for the middle class,” said Alex Conant, a Republican consultant who advised Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on his 2016 presidential campaign. “If anything, they talked about how much to raise taxes on the middle class. It’s bizarre how little they talked about issues that matter to most people.”

Democratic strategists saw more strength than weakness.

“It’s normal and healthy this far out to be debating amongst ourselves and forging our identity as a party over the next couple of years,” said Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. “There’s going to be a rollicking discussion for months to come. The more attention we give to some of these issues that mobilize our people, the more excited people will be about the nominee.”

Mr. Fallon also said that moderates like former Representative John Delaney and Representative Tim Ryan, who challenged the progressives, are unlikely to be part of the next debate in September. “Some of the moments from these debates are going to fade,” he said. “Are we really going to be watching John Delaney clips a year from now?”

[Only 7 Candidates Have Qualified for the Next Democratic Debate]

But there is considerable risk for the eventual Democratic nominee if the televised debates over the next six months devolve into a progressive-versus-centrist civil war. In that scenario, regardless of whether the nominee is far left or center left, Democrats could find themselves trying to rehabilitate a candidate who has been battered by continuous attacks for more than a year, much like Mitt Romney was in 2012 after he emerged from a long and bitter primary in a weakened position to take on President Barack Obama.

Much of the immigration discussion on both nights focused not on how to comprehensively address the issue but a much more narrow concern: whether the government should subsidize health insurance for people who are in the country illegally. Just 38 percent of Americans said that government health care should be available to undocumented immigrants, according to a CNN poll from June; 59 percent said it should not, including almost one-third of Democrats.

As for the proposal to replace private insurance plans with a government-run system, the same poll found the public overwhelmingly disapproved. Fifty-seven percent of those who think the government should provide a national health plan said it should not completely replace private insurance, while 37 percent said it should.

Many Democrats have also expressed concern with the party’s leftward tack on border security as more presidential candidates have expressed support for abolishing the law that makes it a criminal offense to cross the border illegally — an idea that has only recently become a point of disagreement. Many of the more progressive candidates like Ms. Warren and Julián Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, have supported decriminalization.

A Marist poll last month of Americans nationwide found that just 27 percent said decriminalization was a good idea, while 66 percent said it was a bad idea. Among Democrats, slightly more disapproved than approved, 47 percent to 45 percent, the poll said.

Prominent Democrats who are raising alarms about the party’s move to the left include veterans of the Obama administration like Jeh Johnson, the former Homeland Security secretary, and Rahm Emanuel.

Mr. Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, wrote an open letter to the candidates this week imploring them to think beyond the party’s base. “Too often, you succumbed to chasing plaudits on Twitter, which closed the door on swing voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio,” he wrote.

Republicans said the debates showed Democrats have a lot to worry about.

“They’re basically auditioning to see who’s going to be the sacrificial lamb to Trump,” Mr. Ryun said. Then he added a caveat: “If they keep going down this path, and the economy doesn’t tank.”

Google plans to control the 2020 election by manipulating information to the public and to squelch conservative, Constitutional liberty groups and individuals.

Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam

Project Veritas google.PNG

Click on the arrow to go to the video exposing Google's Plan for 2020

RELATED:

Trump: Legislation May Be Necessary to Create Competition on Social Media

Here is a simple explanation about why social media giants can get away with what they are doing to conservatives and why the President is right that it will take legislation to stop them:

47 USC 230(c)(2) and Immunity for Online Filtering

Yvonne Wingett, Arizona Central  June 26, 2019

Daniel McCarthy, an Arizona businessman and political newcomer, may mount a primary campaign to run against Sen. Martha McSally for the Republican nomination for Senate in 2020, he confirmed Wednesday to The Arizona Republic.

The Glendale resident is a political unknown, although he has been involved in party politics in his legislative district for years. He is the founder of the Phoenix-based Makeup Eraser company and said he is still exploring a bid, even after President Donald Trump’s emphatic endorsement Tuesday of McSally, R-Ariz.

“I am doing due diligence on a run,” McCarthy wrote in a text message to The Republic Wednesday. “I will be out in DC getting a lay of the land and will be looking into this very seriously. Arizona is craving authenticity.”

He declined to elaborate.

On his Facebook page, McCarthy posted a link to a story about the 2020 race, writing, "I was wondering why a bunch of reporters were calling me today. I'm just doing alittle (sic) due diligence.

"Right now we erase makeup...what else should we erase?"

McSally, a former two-term congresswoman from Tucson, lost her 2018 run for the seat to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. About a month later, she was appointed to the other Senate seat long held by the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

McSally’s campaign team attributed her loss, in part, to a competitive primary that pitted her against two well-known conservative firebrands, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state senator Kelli Ward. 

This time, McSally is hoping for a clean shot for her party’s nomination to face Democrat and retired astronaut Mark Kelly in the general election. So far, he has not drawn a primary challengerand his first-quarter fundraising was double that of McSally's.

McSally’s campaign spokeswoman declined to comment on a potential challenge by McCarthy. 

While McCarthy could provide another option for GOP voters looking for an alternative for McSally, it would be difficult to mount a successful campaign from a dead stop and with little political name identification.

McCarthy's comment to The Republic comes a day after Trump praised McSally's career as an Air Force combat pilot and her embrace "of our agenda — she is with us all the way."

Zachery Henry, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party, which is now led by Ward, said "no one else has reached out" about getting into the Senate race.

"We were thrilled to see President Trump endorse Sen. McSally yesterday," he added. 

Asked if the state party would support McSally over a challenger in the primary election, Henry said: "There is no Republican primary. Our focus is keeping Sen. McSally in Washington."

Party leaders have embraced McSally's candidacy, bolstering her on social media, in interviews and in speeches to the party faithful.

Joanna Rodriguez, a spokeswoman with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which traditionally supports GOP incumbents, said McSally is "as formidable as they come and we look forward to her winning next fall." 

McCarthy's LinkedIn page says he has worked as CEO of Delex Real Estate brokerage firm since 2013. Records show he has contributed relatively small donations to Republicans running for office, including Trump supporter Phil Lovas' 2018 run for Congress. 

Robert Graham, the former chair of the Arizona Republican Party, said he is a friend of McCarthy and McSally. 

"He’s making the rounds," Graham said of McCarthy's senatorial campaign research.

"He's a cause-fighter, meaning he wouldn't run for office for himself," Graham said. "He would run for office because he believes it's the right thing to do to protect the state and nation, especially for his kids."

James Arkin, Politico, June 24, 2019

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) is shaking up her campaign team ahead of her

2020 race, turning the page on her disappointing loss last year as she tries to

protect a critical battleground Senate seat.

Terry Nelson, a veteran strategist and managing partner at FP1 Strategies, will

take on the role of general consultant to McSally’s campaign, according to multiple people familiar with the hire. Nelson was previously national political director on President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign and a political director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Nelson’s firm was part of McSally’s campaign team last year.

Nelson is replacing Jeff Roe as the senator's top consultant. Roe led McSally’s operation last year and also ran her numerous congressional campaigns, and will remain as an adviser to the senator. Nelson was brought on by McSally last week and is expected to take a thorough look at her campaign team in the coming weeks and months, according to people familiar with the campaign.

Nelson and a McSally spokesperson declined to comment.

McSally lost to Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema last fall, but she was appointed several weeks later to fill late Sen. John McCain’s former seat. She is running next year to complete the final two years of that term and already faces a high-profile Democratic challenger, former astronaut Mark Kelly, in what will likely be one of the most expensive and closely watched campaigns of the cycle in an emerging presidential battleground state.

There was frustration about Roe’s continued presence leading the campaign team in some Republican circles — including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, allies of Senate leadership and some party donors — according to multiple Republican officials. Some of these Republicans were eager for different leadership on McSally’s campaign this cycle after disagreements over the campaign's operation last year in a race McSally lost by 2 percentage points.

Multiple Republicans emphasized, however, that outside calls for a leadership change did not pressure McSally into the decision. She faced similar pressure immediately following the 2018 loss and prior to her appointment, but kept her team then.

“Anyone who knows Martha McSally knows that she calls the shots and is the commander of her team. Martha believes Terry puts her in the best position to win,” said a person familiar with the campaign who requested anonymity to discuss internal matters. “Martha has empowered him to evaluate all roles and responsibilities for the entire team.”

Roe said in a statement that after working closely with McSally for six years, he was “so proud of her victories and mournful of my losses.” Roe said his top objective is to keep McSally in the Senate and said he told her last month he thought she should bring on another lead strategist, and he should move to role as a senior adviser. He called Nelson the “right person at the right time” for the coming race.

“Being the [general consultant] at the highest levels of politics means you want the ball in your hand when it matters. It also means you know when to put others in charge,” Roe said.

In addition to changing her top consultant, McSally also brought on several additional hires recently: Dylan Lefler will be deputy campaign manager and Hunter Mullins will be political director, according to two people familiar with the hires. Lefler previously worked in Arizona for campaigns for McCain and former Sen. Jeff Flake, and Mullins was most recently at the Republican Governors Association.

The new hires underscore McSally’s effort to approach her reelection as an incumbent differently than her first campaign for Senate. McSally had been under pressure from Republicans at multiple levels of the party, both in Arizona and Washington, to make changes after the 2018 loss. There were some Republicans frustrated by her campaign's operation last year who were equally vexed by a memo published after the election that largely blamed the loss on external factors.

Allies of Senate leadership are supportive of the new campaign structure, according to multiple Republican strategists, and believe McSally’s new team puts her in a better position to defend the seat against Kelly, the top Democratic recruit this cycle.

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Lorna Romero, Chamber Business News, May 30, 2019

Governor Doug Ducey made a series of announcements today, including the appointment of former Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin to serve as director of the Arizona Department of Administration. Tobin has resigned from his seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

“I’m honored that Governor Ducey has entrusted me with this important role,” Tobin said. “I am excited to hit the ground running and get started working with the team at ADOA and throughout state government to best serve the taxpayers and the people of Arizona.”

Replacing Tobin on the Arizona Corporation Commission is Lea Marquez Peterson, former president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m honored to receive Governor Ducey’s appointment to serve on the Corporation Commission,” Marquez Peterson said. “With a booming economy, more businesses and people are coming to Arizona. This is creating more opportunities for our citizens throughout the state than ever before. I look forward to drawing on my experience in the business community as a voice for all Arizonans.”

Before his appointment to the Commission in 2015, Tobin served as the director of the Arizona Department of Insurance and the interim director of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. Prior to those appointments, he served as director of the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures and in the Arizona Legislature.

“I’m thrilled to be able to bring Andy back into our administration,” Gov. Ducey said. “His passion for public service is unmatched and his understanding of state regulatory and administrative policy will serve the Department of Administration well as we continue to streamline and improve government.

In 2017, Marquez Peterson was recognized with a Top Latino Leader Award by the National Latino Leadership Conference. Prior to that, she was appointed by the Obama administration to the National Woman’s Business Council (NWBC) a group that advises the President, Congress and the Small Business Administration on challenges facing women-owned businesses.

“I want to thank Lea Marquez Peterson for answering this call to public service,” Gov. Ducey said. “Lea brings a unique and important voice to Arizona’s Corporation Commission. Lea is extensively involved in the Southern Arizona community, having led the largest Latino business organization in Arizona, and brings decades of leadership experience that has earned her bipartisan accolades. As an entrepreneur, she knows firsthand the challenges businesses face navigating a complex government bureaucracy, and will bring a fresh perspective on the commission.”

Community leaders across Arizona cheered today’s news.

“Gov. Doug Ducey has made an excellent, trailblazing selection in appointing Lea Marquez Peterson to the Arizona Corporation Commission. I have known Lea for years, and I can assure Arizonans across the state that she will be an excellent commissioner, looking out for ratepayers and ensuring our energy regulatory system remains competitive and open to innovation,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said.

“The Greater Phoenix Chamber is thrilled to hear of Governor Ducey’s appointment of Lea Peterson to the Arizona Corporation Commission. A true champion of business, Lea was the longtime leader of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on the Arizona Chamber board of directors, and is an active member of the U.S. Chamber and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber. She is a great friend to Arizona businesses, and we look forward to seeing great accomplishments in her new role,” Greater Phoenix Chamber President and CEO Todd Sanders said.

“Lea Marquez Peterson is a great selection. It’s exciting to have someone with her experience and Southern Arizona perspective on the Corporation Commission. I am sure she will have great success,” Southern Arizona Leadership Council President Ted Maxwell said.

“Congratulations Commissioner @LeaPeterson on your appointment to the @CorpCommAZ” said State Representative Cesar Chavez in a tweet.

President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority Sandra Watson chimed in on Twitter, “This is exciting news! There’s no one more qualified than @Andy_Tobin to head up @ArizonaDOA! Andy brings years of knowledge and expertise from both the private and public sector to this role. Congratulations, friend!”

State Representative Jeff Weninger tweeted, “Huge congrats to @Andy_Tobin. Can you say state level blockchain implementation. Boom.”

“Congratulations Mr. @Andy_Tobin excellent choice @dougducey,” tweeted Robert Uribe, Mayor of Douglas.

Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor Doug Ducey

Steyer not going to give up on meddling in AZ utilities.

Billionaire Steyer to Spend Money to ‘Educate’ Voters on Utility

Howard Fisher, Capitol Media Services  May 14, 2019

Having burned through $28 million in a pair of losing political battles in Arizona last year, California billionaire Tom Steyer is now prepared to pump some more cash into the state.

But unlike last year, it’s not to affect the outcome of elections, at least not directly.

Instead, it’s designed to “educate” voters about what NextGen America, Steyer’s political action committee, believes is the outsize influence that Arizona Public Service has on state politics. And that, according to organization spokeswoman Aleigha Cavalier, should ultimately affect how people vote in future elections.

Cavalier would not specifically disclose how much Steyer intends to spend.

The billionaire hedge fund manager funneled $22.8 million last year into Proposition 127. That measure would have required investor-owned utilities like APS and Tucson Electric Power to generate at least half of their power from renewable sources by 2030.

It was rejected by a margin of 2-1 after Pinnacle West Capital Corp. spent more than $32 million of its own cash against the proposal.

Steyer had no better luck with his bid to oust state Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

That came after Brnovich’s office altered the description of the measure that appears on the ballot, adding wording that Steyer and Prop 127 proponents said was specifically designed to help APS. The change was so radical that Eric Spencer, who at the time was state elections director, called it “eyebrow raising.”

Steyer then spent $3.9 million in attack ads on Brnovich. But the Republican incumbent still outpolled Democrat January Contreras by about 90,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million ballots cast.

This time, however, Cavalier said the money is going to be focused not on specific ballot measures or political campaigns but on educating voters on how APS is using money from ratepayers to exercise its own influence.

“We want to make sure that we’re continuing that work to make sure that people know the level of corruption that goes on in Arizona because of APS,” she said.

APS spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino derided the effort.

“It seems very hypocritical that a person who doesn’t even live in our state … is accusing a company that has done business for more than a century in Arizona of having undue influence when we are working to craft responsible energy policy,” she said. And Trevino said that whatever money Steyer is spending now is “positioning for the 2020 election.”

A key focal point of the Steyer-financed campaign is going to be the rate hike for APS approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission last year by a 4-1 margin.

That increase was supposed to boost the average bill of consumers by about $6 a month and generate an extra $95 million for the utility. But commissioners have been taking a second look amid complaints by many customers that their rates have gone up much faster.

And then there’s the question of whether the utility is actually bringing in more than the permitted increase.

APS reported earlier this month that its profits in the first three months of this year were $17.9 million, compared with $3.2 million at the same time last year. APS officials said the difference was a combination of an unusually cold winter and lower operating costs.

That led to figures of income of $500 million.

Cavalier contends that the commission vote is a direct result of the utility putting commissioners of its choosing in place.

That specifically includes the recent disclosure that Pinnacle West gave $10.7 million to organizations that spent heavily on the 2014 Corporation Commission race to secure the election of favored utility regulators.

It did openly admit to spending $4.2 million on commission races in 2016; there were no reports of Pinnacle West spending this past election.

“I think the money was spent to elect their own regulators,” Cavalier said. So one point behind the messages will be to urge APS customers to call commissioners to rescind the rate hike.

Cavalier acknowledged that the $95 million figure was the result of a deal among various intervenors in the case, including the Residential Utility Consumer Office. But she said they signed off on that deal because they did not believe they could get a better deal out of the commission.

A spokesman for APS previously has said that any spending on races and lobbyists comes not from ratepayer dollars but from the profits of the parent company.

That, however, ignores the fact that APS – and the money it gets from customers – is pretty much the sole source of income for Pinnacle West.

What Steyer hopes to achieve in Arizona is only part of his broad political agenda.

Steyer has been behind a push on members of Congress to impeach President Trump. While his Need to Impeach campaign has gained some attention among some elements of the Democratic Party after the release of the Mueller report, party leadership has been talking the issue down.

More recently, Steyer announced that he is launching a campaign to disbar Attorney General William Barr. That follows allegations that he lied to Congress about the Mueller report.

Jamie Verwys, Herald/Review May 17, 2019

SIERRA VISTA — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly made a stop in Sierra Vista

on Friday to talk to members of the public at an event hosted by the Democratic Women of

Southeastern Arizona (DWSEA).

The stop at the Holiday subdivision clubhouse was part of his tour of the state as election season starts to heat up.

Media were barred from the event, but Kelly said in a phone interview later Friday afternoon that he is traveling around the state to meet people and hear their needs in preparation for his campaign. He said his talk on Friday was centered around his background and gaining insight into Cochise County.

“I always talk about my background — what I learned about overcoming challenges from my mother, using public policy to improve people’s lives, what I’ve learned from being an astronaut ... ,” he said in the interview. “I want to be accessible. I don’t want to be a typical candidate, I want to do things differently.”

Kelly said he wants to be an independent voice for Arizona and is not taking any corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) money for his campaign.

As far as what he learned about the needs of Cochise County during his visit, Kelly said there are several issues people are really invested in.

“In general, a lot of folks have concerns with healthcare, Medicare,” he said. “Good coverage for Americans is important to Arizonans, as well as protecting social security, and the border is an issue throughout the state.

“People want folks who will represent them in Washington, D.C., and get them to care about these problems.”

Despite his camp denying media access to Friday’s event, Kelly said being accessible to the press is important to him and he has been speaking with local media as he travels throughout the state.

He said he expects to return to the area in mid- to late June and will take time to sit down with the Herald/Review for a face-to-face interview.

Some of Kelly’s top priorities are healthcare, veterans and the economy and jobs.

Miscommunication

The Herald/Review was originally invited by the DWSEA to attend the event, but on Friday morning was informed the group wanted to change plans.

They said the event was closed to media and Kelly’s team would rather set up an interview with the Herald/Review later, rather than having a photographer and reporter at the event.

The Herald/Review reached out to Kelly’s communication team after being told the event was closed to the press and quickly received a phone call from communications director Jacob Peters.

Peters apologized, stating that it had been their understanding all along that the event would be closed to media and said he was unaware an invitation had previously been extended.

“It’s not a reflection on how we value you and not the impression we wanted to leave,” Peters told the Herald/Review. “We value the voice of local and city reporters; that’s been really important to us and it’s our intention to be transparent and accessible.”

Kelly, a retired U.S. Navy combat pilot, engineer and NASA astronaut, announced in February his intent to run for the seat formerly held by late Sen. John McCain’s, currently held by Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed months ago by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Shaun Hair,  Western Journal  May 13, 2019

The Arizona Republican Party has lodged another complaint against Democratic state Sen. Sean Bowie for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

The complaint, along with 35 pages of exhibits and references to video footage, was sent directly to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Dennis Wilenchik, general counsel for the Republican Party, described the complaint as the “third time that the GOP has submitted conclusive evidence” to Hobbs.

The GOP previously filed two complaints about Bowie with the secretary of state. In both cases, Hobbs, a Democrat, declined to take formal action and refused to refer the matter to the Arizona attorney general.

The latest complaint centers around a California-based liberal political action group, the Sister District Project. Specifically, Wilenchik’s letter says the SDP “unlawfully interfered in the 2018 Arizona legislature cycle on behalf of District 18 State Senate candidate elect Sean Bowie.”

Hobbs responded to previous complaints by asserting she “did not believe that a referral to the Attorney General’s Office was appropriate” — a statement Wilenchik says “defies credulity,” especially since the SDP admitted it violated campaign finance laws.

Wilenchik said the “conclusive evidence” against Bowie and the SDP consists of proof of joint fundraising and video footage of Bowie collaborating with SDP agents to orchestrate messaging in Bowie’s district. According to Wilenchik, the video also shows Bowie specifically asking for help from the SDP in fundraising.

These actions mean both Bowie and the SDP had a “legal obligation to report these in-kind contributions on Bowie’s behalf,” according to the letter.

“Failure to do so was a violation of Arizona law,” Wilenchik said.

According to the letter, once Hobbs received the evidence from the GOP’s earlier two complaints, Hobbs merely “took SDP at its word and trusted [SDP’s] own unsupervised ‘internal review.’”

The latest complaint lists additional evidence that “indisputably concludes that SDP made substantial in-kind contributions in coordination with, and on behalf of, Sean Bowie.” None was disclosed to the secretary of state’s office. According to Wilenchik, Bowie cannot claim he was not responsible for the lapse as he was the treasurer for his own campaign.

The 35 pages of exhibits paint a picture of prolonged and intentional coordination between SDP and Bowie, according to Wilenchik. He explained:

“As discussed above, it was already unlawful for SDP, as an unregistered political action committee, to make those alleged ‘in-kind’ contributions, supposedly consisting of only ‘staff time’ to Bowie’s campaign. Furthermore, it was unlawful for Bowie to accept those contributions, let alone fail to report them at all. A.R.S. 16-913(D) (‘A candidate committee may accept contributions only from an individual, a partnership, a candidate committee, a political action committee or a political party.’); Id. § 901(41) (‘Political action committee’ means an entity that is required to register as a political action committee pursuant to § 16-905.’).

“However, now there is ample evidence to show that Bowie not only accepted supposed ‘in-kind’ contributions but also repeatedly coordinated with SDP to engage in fundraising activities and accept funds from SDP donors, all while failing to report these activities as well. SDP apparently failed to include this information in the March 4, 2019 response letter.

“Moreover, as his own campaign treasurer, Bowie’s failure to report the SDP contributions grossly misled the District 18 electorate and cannot be attributed to anyone except for Bowie himself.”

Click here to read the full letter and entirety of exhibits.

The GOP is demanding Hobbs refer the matter to the attorney general’s office for further investigation within 10 days.

Wilenchik said Hobb’s failure to do would constitute “either a dereliction of [her] official duties or unacceptable political bias.”

Asked for a comment by The Western Journal, C. Murphy Hebert, director of communications for the secretary of state, said in an email Monday, “The Office of the Arizona Secretary of State received the AZGOP’s complaint against Sister District Project last week, and it is currently under review. We do not comment on pending matters.”

The Western Journal also has reached out to Bowie for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.

Republicans Hire Nine Regional Directors for Trump 2020 Election

Re-election team plans to more than double number of communications staff from 2016

The Latest Trump Victory Hires

West region: 

Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Montana will be overseen by Brian Seitchik, who was the Trump campaign’s Arizona director in 2016.

State directors:

Arizona, Drew Sexton; Nevada, Joe Weaver; Ohio, Steve Buckingham; Texas, Taylor Maddox; Georgia, Daniel Coats; Florida, Kevin Cabrera; Pennsylvania: Brittney Robinson; Maine, Joe Turcotte; Michigan: Chris Velasco.

"President Trump’s re-election team is building out its political infrastructure with a round of hires that underscores the importance the Midwest and Florida are expected to have in the 2020 election.

The campaign has carved the nation into nine regions as it decides how best to spend its resources on contacting voters, motivating supporters and, eventually, getting them to the polls on Election Day, according to campaign officials. Each area will be overseen by a newly hired regional political director.

The re-election team, branded Trump Victory, also has hired nine state political directors—including one each in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida—with another half dozen or so expected to be announced in the coming weeks. They also have plans to hire a team of nearly 50 regional communications staffers, more than double the size of the 2016 team. The regional communications team will be overseen by Rick Gorka, a former communications staffer on Mitt Romney’s 2012 Republican presidential campaign. The regional press team will report to Tim Murtaugh, the campaign communication director.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said they are planning a voter-turnout operation and a communications team that will be 'the largest ever undertaken by a presidential campaign.'

The Trump Victory team said it already has 30,000 trained 'fellows,' volunteers that will be responsible for organizing neighborhood teams and leading voter contact activities."

Interference in AZ politics by out of State interests will be harder in 2020

Failure to Disclose: Complaint Against Tom Steyer Clean Energy Group Referred to AG

Lorna Romero  Chamber Business News March 26, 2019

The group behind Tom Steyer’s failed effort to mandate renewable energy standards in Arizona is in hot water for not properly disclosing campaign spending during the 2018 election cycle.

According to a complaint filed against the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Committee (CEHA), the committee failed to properly disclose spending used to advocate for or against candidates, and even in support of the ballot measure, which is a no-no according to state law.

In a letter from former State Elections Director Eric Spencer, the “Secretary of State finds reasonable cause to believe that CEHA violated A.R.S. 16-926(B)(3)(l) and (m) by failing to separately itemize its independent and ballot measure expenditures.”

The complaint was referred to Attorney General Mark Brnovich by Spencer, but according to spokesperson Ryan Anderson, the office further referred the complaint to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to prevent any appearance of bias.

“Given the millions of dollars spent by the ballot committee to unsuccessfully defeat the attorney general, we determined the best way to avoid any appearance of prejudice was to refer this complaint and investigation to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office,” Anderson said.

During the final weeks of the 2018 campaign, CEHA began to shift resources away from the failing ballot measure and towards advocacy for and against legislative and statewide candidates, including Brnovich, to the tune of more than $4 million. The details behind these expenditures are murky since the committee did not clearly identify and delineate its spending in reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.

For example, some independent expenditure costs were vaguely filed in campaign finance reports, others filed in trigger reports with the Clean Elections Commission and other spending were described as “operating expenses,” even though the dollars were used to advocate for or against candidates.

Attorneys representing CEHA claim that the trigger reports filed with the Clean Elections Commission should satisfy the legal requirements, but Spencer disputed that claim. CEHA also claimed it did not have had the ability to upload the independent expenditure trigger reports directly to the Secretary of State’s campaign finance system, which Spencer says is untrue.

The group also lumped together independent expenditures and ballot measure expenditures under the category of “operating expenses,” thus preventing the disclosure of required information.

Per existing law, A.R.S. 16-926 (B)(3)(a),(l),(m), independent expenditures must include “identification of the candidate, office sought by the candidate, election date, mode of advertising and distribution of publication date.” Similarly, ballot measure reporting must include “identification of the ballot measure, ballot measure serial number, election date, mode of advertising and distribution or publication date” according to A.R.S. 16-926 (B)(3)(m).

According to Spencer, “filing trigger reports with the Clean Elections Commission,” which only requires limited information, “does not satisfy the requirements enforced by the Secretary of State.”

In the spirit of transparency in campaign spending, Spencer concluded that the violations warranted further review by the state’s top law enforcement officer.

The complaint points out that CEHA in the Pre-General report, “inaccurately denoted as ‘operating expenses’ at least $1,464,858.83 in disbursement that likely qualify—and should have been reported—as ‘independent expenditure’ and/or ‘ballot measure expenditure.’”

“These are serious allegations worthy of further examination by prosecutors,” said Matthew Benson, spokesman for the No on Prop 127 campaign. “Unfortunately, these allegations reflect a pattern of misconduct on the part of the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Committee, whether in its improper disclosure of campaign spending or use of dozens of convicted felons to gather petition signatures. We look forward to the Maricopa County Attorney’s findings.”

“If ballot measure expenditures are buried as operating expenses, or independent expenditures only get reported to the Clean Elections Commission, campaign finance reports cease to have the requisite transparency called for by Arizona law,” Spencer said.

Gallego got the message from the Democrat party that the Democrat Senate Candidate has already been chosen so he will NOT get any support from the party--ED

Gallego Declines to Run for Arizona Senate Seat

 

By: Jonathan Cooper  Arizona Capitol Times March 25, 2019

Congressman Ruben Gallego says he won’t run for the U.S. Senate, likely avoiding a contentious fight for the Democratic nomination to finish John McCain’s last term.

Gallego told The Arizona Republic Monday that it’s not in the best interests of the state or the Democratic Party for him to engage in a bitter primary fight with retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

Gallego is well-connected to the liberal base of the Democratic Party. Kelly jumped into the race last month and has signaled he’ll run a centrist campaign like the one waged in 2018 by his fellow Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

The Arizona race is expected to be one of the top Senate contests in the country. Republican Sen. Martha McSally was appointed to the seat and is looking to keep it.

Robin Bravender   Arizona Mirror March 22, 2019

WASHINGTON – When Raúl Grijalva showed up on Capitol Hill for his first congressional portrait more than 16 years ago, he didn’t yet own a tie.

”They said, ‘Mr. Grijalva, we’ll take your picture tomorrow, when you have a tie,’ ” the Democratic congressman-elect told The New York Times in late 2002. So, he hustled to the local Men’s Wearhouse. ”I knew I was going to need one of those. I just didn’t know it was going to be that soon.”

Since then, the former Arizona community organizer has gotten more familiar with the ways of Washington.

Grijalva is now a powerful committee chairman in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he’s beginning his 9th term representing Tucson. At the helm of the Natural Resources Committee, Grijalva is leading the newly empowered House Democrats as they pursue an ambitious oversight agenda targeting the Trump administration.

The newly minted chairman intends to use his gavel and his subpoena power to investigate everything from industry’s influence over public lands policies to the use of science in agency decisions.

“We have work ahead of us,” he told the Arizona Mirror Thursday in an interview.

The Trump administration’s policy toward public lands is “about extraction and how much can we get out of it,” he said. “Our public assets are viewed as expendable commodities.”

Meanwhile, “conservation has taken a very low priority,” and the administration acts as though “climate change doesn’t exist, and we want to get at that.”

Grijalva, 71, has long been on the left flank of House Democrats. A 2018 survey by the nonpartisan website GovTrack.us ranked Grijalva the 3rd most liberal member lawmaker in the House, based on his legislative record.

He’s not shy about assailing President Donald Trump or his top officials, either.

“I made my mind up 18 months ago that this guy didn’t have the capacity and was particularly dangerous for the future of this country,” Grijalva said of the president.

The Arizona Democrat’s rise to prominence this Congress is reflective of a broader shift in the caucus, said Nathan Gonzales, editor & publisher of the newsletter Inside Elections.

“For a few years, [Grijalva] was viewed as a part of a progressive caucus that was viewed as not in the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” Gonzales said. “Now, that ideology is increasingly in the mainstream.”

Former Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, who was the last Democrat to chair the Natural Resources Committee, said Grijalva “has always had a very wise insight into the best policies, for not only our party but for protecting our natural resources, protecting America’s crown jewels and being the best steward of our public lands imaginable.”

Grijalva, Rahall added, “now has a platform from which he can work in a cooperative manner with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle who share the same vision, and I’m real excited about his chairmanship.”

‘Corrupting of the agency’

Three months into the new Congress, Grijalva has already stepped up oversight of the Trump administration, which he says was lacking under Republican control of the House.

His committee has held 14 hearings, including discussions about climate change and the Trump administration’s policies on national monuments and offshore drilling.

And there’s plenty more to come, Grijalva promised.

He plans to probe “conflicts of interest,” the “downgrading of science” when it comes to setting policies and the “corrupting of the agency and the culture that’s changed” at the Interior Department.

Grijalva would also like to haul former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt, Trump’s nominee to replace Zinke, before his committee.

Zinke and Grijalva had a very public spat late last year, just before Zinke resigned. The then-Interior secretary accused Grijalva on Twitter of being a drunk after Grijalva called on Zinke to resign amid a flurry of ethics scandals. Grijalva has said he struggled with alcoholism in the past, but has dealt with the problem.

“Before we get him, he’ll probably be testifying in court somewhere,” Grijalva said this week of Zinke. “Let’s say he’s going to end up testifying somewhere. We’d love to have him, too. … He was a handmaiden for the industry and did a lot of damage.”

Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Department of Justice was examining whether Zinke lied to investigators in his agency’s office of inspector general.

Grijalva is also eager to hear from Bernhardt, who is slated to appear before senators next week for a confirmation hearing.

“There was a courtesy protocol where we didn’t call him in” ahead of his confirmation, Grijalva said. But Bernhardt can expect to soon be called to Capitol Hill.

And Grijalva thinks Bernhardt – a former energy industry lobbyist and a senior Interior official during the George W. Bush administration – will be “more formidable” than Zinke was.

Bernhardt “worked as a lobbyist for [and] has connections to the industry, but he also knows the agency well. I don’t underestimate him at all. I think Zinke was a little in over his head,” Grijalva said.

Grijalva is also planning to press the Interior Department on its actions in Arizona, he said. He’s concerned about “mumblings coming out of Interior” that the agency may try to lift a uranium mining ban in the Grand Canyon. Grijalva last month introduced legislation to make the ban permanent.  

The Natural Resources Committee chairman is also concerned about Bernhardt’s previous work lobbying for Hudbay Minerals, the owner of the proposed Rosemont copper mine near Tucson, which Grijalva opposes.

Top Democrats have complained that the Trump administration has so far been unwilling to cooperate with their oversight demands, and Grijalva said he’s prepared to meet resistance from the executive branch.

“I anticipate the same stalling tactics,” he said. He said the use of subpoenas “has to be judicious” and he doesn’t “want to go chasing things into a rabbit hole that goes nowhere.” But, he said, he’ll use that tactic if necessary.

If administration officials don’t respond to his requests, Grijalva said, “then we have to use the other legal prerogatives that we have that we didn’t have in the minority.”

Well, well, well..... didn't take long to change his mind about taking corporate money.  If elected how long will it take for him to do a 180 on his campaign promises?--ED 

After Swearing Off “Corporate

Money” During Campaign,

Anti-gun Democratic Senate

Candidate for Arizona Mark

Kelly Exposed for Taking Cash

From Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Wall Street

Ethan Huff, Corruption News, March 18, 2019

Democrats love to talk a big game about how they’re supposedly the party that’s free from corporate influence, working solely on behalf of “the people” as opposed to multinational corporations. But as a new investigative report by The Intercept reveals, it’s more often than not just a bunch of political smoke and mirrors by Leftists who are desperate for power.

Shining a spotlight on the dirty misdeeds of Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly, a Democrat and the husband of former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, writer Akela Lacy highlights how Kelly’s campaign pledge to not accept any corporate P.A.C. (political action committee) money is basically a farce, and that he’s simply getting these corporate dollars through other means.

While Kelly might not technically be accepting corporate P.A.C. checks as part of his political campaign, Lacy points out, he’s instead getting it by having corporate lobbyists pay him with personal checks, “meaning that disclosure records will not reflect any contributions from drug makers, banks, or any other clients associated with the lobbying firm, Capitol Counsel,” she writes.

Capital Counsel, it turns out, sent its lackeys to a recent fundraiser for Kelly’s campaign that took place in Washington, D.C. The K Street firm represents pretty much every major Big Industry in this country, from fossil fuel giants like Exxon Mobile and Chevron, to Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase, to defense industry behemoths like Lockheed Martin, as well as PhRMA, the infamous Big Pharma lobbying group with incredible power and sway in D.C.

Supporters of Kelly have been led to believe that he’s somehow Trump-like in that he’s supposedly funding his campaign independently of Big Everything. But the fact of the matter is that Kelly is basically just laundering his corporate P.A.C. donations through the personal bank accounts of the major corporate players that have long controlled Washington through political bribery.

For more news about rampant corruption in American politics, be sure to check out Corruption.news.

Mark Kelly gave pay-for-play speech promoting Big Tech in exchange for massive corporate cash infusions

Besides his recent K Street corporate fundraiser, Kelly also gave a speech at the recent SHARE Technology Exchange expo in Phoenix, Arizona, which describes itself as “the largest convergence of enterprise I.T. professionals.” Kelly basically gave glowing endorsements for Big Tech in exchange for cash donations from the event’s sponsors, which include major tech players like Broadcom, I.B.M., Dell E.M.C., Hitachi, Rocket Software, and many others.

“It is unusual for a candidate to continue to give paid corporate speeches after the launch of a campaign, as it allows companies to give directly to the individual, rather than support the person’s campaign by going through a Super P.A.C. or the firm’s corporate P.A.C.,” Lacy commented about this pay-for-play fundraising scheme.

When questioned about the matter, Kelly reportedly told The Intercept that his earlier speeches were simply attempts “to make ends meet” after the attempted assassination attempt on his wife. Jacob Peters, Kelly’s campaign spokesman, added that Kelly is just keeping his word on engagements “he’s already committed to,” and that he won’t be giving any further speeches with fundraising in mind.

Mark Kelly is a paid political whore for Goldman Sachs, opioid giant AmerisourceBergen, and various other Big Industry giants

But it’s hard to take anything that Peters says seriously, particularly his claim that Kelly’s SHARE expo speech was “not a paid speech,” when Kelly is known to have given all sorts of paid speeches in the past for corporate kingpins like Goldman Sachs, as well as opioid pharmaceutical manufacturer Amerisource Bergen.

All along, Kelly’s political strategy appears to have centered around the same status quo corporate pandering as most other politicians – meaning he’s not exactly doing things as “independently” as he would like his supporters to believe.

For more news about corrupt politicians who accept bash from the pharmaceutical industry, be sure to check out BigPharma.Fetch.news.

Who’s paying Mark Kelly to be an anti-Second Amendment traitor?

And what corrupt, Leftist platform would be complete with a little anti-gun rhetoric thrown into the mix? As to be expected, Kelly’s far-Left influences appear to be fueling his anti-Second Amendment endeavors, which reportedly include launching a new gun control group in Colorado with his wife, Gabby.

In yet another lame attempt at trying to appear “independent” and “grassroots,” Kelly and his wife are claiming that this anti-gun group is made up of “gun owners” like themselves who simply want “reasonable” gun control.

“Strong Second Amendment rights I believe go hand in hand with stronger gun laws,” Kelly is quoted as saying duplicitously, just as one would expect of a corrupt politician.

“Now is the time to come together, be responsible,” Gabby added, likewise pushing the narrative that one can somehow be both pro-Second Amendment and anti-gun rights.

It’s all just par for the course, as Leftist Democrats struggle to come up with some semblance of a party platform that will resonate with a sizable segment of voters. But it’s all just empty and conflicting rhetoric based on nothing but smoke and mirrors – and most Americans, thankfully, can see right through it, and know exactly from where all the money is coming from that’s pushing the narrative.

“As progressive candidates across the country demonstrate that they can win, with or without help from establishment Democrats, many have sworn off corporate P.A.C. money and adopted stances to appeal to voters disenchanted with the status quo. But signing a pledge is one thing,” writes Lacy. “Cutting off corporate influence altogether is another, particularly in Kelly’s case.”

Sources for this article include:

TheIntercept.com

NaturalNews.com

CBSLocal.com

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By David Bell Arizona Range News  Mar 18, 2019

James A. Schmidt II, of Dragoon, and Brandon Martin, of Sierra Vista, both announced their candidacies.

On his website, Schmidt said he’s focusing on making CD 2 “safe.”

“Our task is to make the Second District a better place to live, work, study and play, to be successful in paying your bills, raising your families and have something left over to have a little fun. A place that is safe to shop, to walk or jog, to ride a bicycle, ride your horse, go to school or push a baby stroller. It must be safe for our friends, our pets, our relatives, and certainly our family and specifically our children at all times. We must feel safe to have a barbecue in the park or our back yard or just set on the front porch and watch the world go by. We must have strong, safe professional schools that teach useful things for life, safe streets and safe neighborhoods for every citizen to enjoy, for you to enjoy. Our extensive rural areas must be 100-percent safe from wildfires and crime and have solid good employment available,” he wrote.

Schmidt lists ownership of two companies — Arizona Ammunition and Jim Schmidt & Associates — both in operation for more than 20 years.

He also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a wildlife specialist and as a television talk show host in Kansas.

Brandon Martin defines himself as a “constitutional conservative Republican.”

“Our government is out of control and no longer cares for the rights of the people. Meanwhile, the country has been plunged into a massive debt; courts are acting as legislators, ignoring the Constitution and making partisan rulings. It is time to send a citizen of the people to fix Washington, D.C., not another career politician,” he said in his campaign announcement.

He also said he “will work to secure our borders and defend our Second Amendment rights.”

Martin is a U.S. Army veteran and former intelligence professional. Arizona’s Second Congressional District covers all of Cochise County and portions of Pima County, including Green Valley, Sahuarita and Catalina Foothills, extending to just east and north of Tucson and just south of Oro Valley

Robin Bravender  AZ  Mirror  February 22, 2019

Congressman Ruben Gallego is still exploring a U.S. Senate run, but he isn’t ready to take the plunge.

The 7th District Democrat told the Arizona Mirror Thursday that he doesn’t have a timeline for deciding whether to enter the 2020 special election to replace the late Republican Sen. John McCain.

“We’re heading in the direction to make a decision,” was the most that he would concede.

The biggest factor, he said, will be his 2-year old son, Michael.

“I’m a single dad, I have to make sure I spend time with my son,” he said.

His ex-wife, Kate Gallego, is running to be the next mayor of Phoenix.

The 39-year-old congressman has met with top Senate Democrats about a possible campaign, and he’s got advocacy groups and friends in Arizona politics lining up to support him.

Gallego met in January with Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) at the DSCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss a possible Senate bid, The Hill reported.

They discussed how Democrats can win the seat now held by Republican Sen. Martha McSally, Gallego told the Mirror.

“We talked about the changing demographics of Arizona and how we have a strong base of voters coming out in 2020,” he said.

With multiple Democrats considering entering the race, the Senate Democratic leaders are staying out for now, but they’re hopeful about turning Arizona blue, Gallego said.

Before Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won her seat last fall, Arizona hadn’t had a Democratic senator since Dennis DeConcini left the chamber in 1995. The last time Democrats held both of Arizona’s U.S. Senate seats was 1953.

If he runs, Gallego could face a tough primary. Mark Kelly — a former astronaut and the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords — already announced his candidacy this month.

Gallego isn’t worried that a competitive Democratic primary would hurt the party’s chances of claiming the seat.

He said he’s known Kelly for many years, calling him a “really nice guy.” A primary, Gallego said, would help Democrats to “underline policy issues” and also “work out the kinks,” while exciting voters.

Nathan Gonzales, who tracks national races as the editor and publisher of the newsletter Inside Elections, agrees that primaries can be helpful to candidates.

“It can force candidates to get their campaign operations up and running more quickly. It makes them start to put infrastructure in place that’s going to be necessary for the entire campaign, it helps candidates get into the rhythm of being a candidate — particularly for someone like Kelly.  who has not been a candidate before.”

But the timing of the primary — slated for late August 2020 — might be concerning for Democrats, Gonzales added.

That “leaves very little time for the nominee to turn around and focus on the general election,” he said. “I think someone on the Democratic side is probably going to need to start making the case against McSally before the primary is over.”

Gonzales rates the race a toss-up: “I think it’s going to be one of the marquee races in the 2020 cycle, no matter who the nominee is on the Democratic side.”

Gallego is a Chicago native and the son of Mexican and Colombian immigrants. He’s a Marine Corps combat veteran of the Iraq War and a former assistant minority leader in the Arizona House of Representatives.

He sees himself as a progressive Democrat “on some issues,” noting that Kelly is “probably in the same vein, too.”

Asked whether a progressive Democrat can win a statewide race in Arizona, he said, “certainly,” calling Sinema a good example of a statewide leader and a responsive politician who’s progressive on some issues.

If he enters the race, Gallego would have “a built-in base in the primary that Mark Kelly doesn’t necessarily have,” said Chad Campbell, who was the Democratic leader in the Arizona House of Representatives when Gallego was the assistant leader.

“Kelly’s pretty new, he seems to be striking a more kind of centrist tone,” Campbell said. Gallego has experience getting elected, which Kelly doesn’t have. Ultimately, Campbell said, “I think the election will come down to really just a matter of style.”

Liberal advocacy groups, meanwhile, are waging a campaign to nudge Gallego into the race.

The groups Latino Victory Fund and Democracy for America have launched a website called “Run Ruben Run,” aimed at spurring his “potential historic bid to become Arizona’s first Latino U.S. Senator.”

Cristóbal J. Alex, President of Latino Victory Fund, and Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, said earlier this month in a statement: “Arizonans deserve a leader who reflects the state’s rich diversity — someone who understands what it’s like to grow up poor, to work hard to achieve his potential and to selflessly devote his life to his country and community.”

The groups added that the “field is primed for a millennial Latino like Ruben Gallego, who stands in stark contrast to Senator Martha McSally, who will enter the race forced to answer to Arizona voters for having fully embraced President Trump’s harmful policies and anti-immigrant and divisive rhetoric.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-Ariz.) the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, has also called for Gallego to enter the race.  

“We need change in Arizona and our nation, and Ruben represents that change,” Grijalva said in a statement released by the Latino Victory Fund and Democracy for America.

“From fighting to reduce student loan debt for veterans, to pushing for an end to gun violence and working to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Ruben Gallego is committed to the fight, and that’s why I want Ruben to run for the United States Senate.”

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Arizona Republic 2-24-2019

Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and U.S. Navy combat pilot, publicly launched his bid for Democratic nomination for the 2020 Senate seat in Phoenix on Sunday, in front of a throng of supporters who hope to see him unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally.

Kelly’s event — held in the parking lot of a downtown music venue and attended by about 750 people — followed a similar appearance in Tucson on Saturday. He was introduced to the stage by his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt at a 2011 constituent event near Tucson, where six people died and 12 others were injured.

Kelly, 55, spoke of his missions to space, his service during the Iraq War, and his caregiving to Giffords after the shooting, as well as his advocacy for gun-control measures in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“A mission for Arizona,” he said of his campaign. “A mission to lift up hard-working Arizonans, make Arizona safe and secure, give every family in this state access to affordable health care, and grow wages for our middle class."

Kelly did not detail specific policy ideas during his 16-minute speech.

He got some of the loudest applause from the audience as he spoke of the effects of climate change on the planet.

“The current administration and some in Congress, they’ve been really bad for our planet,” Kelly said. “.... If we don’t get our act together, Arizona is going to have more heat, more drought, and less economic growth. That is clear, and we have to look this problem in the face and find solutions — not ignore it.”  

Jim Oleson, an independent voter from Scottsdale, said he was happy to see a fresh voice in the political field, calling Kelly a “competent” and “honest” candidate.

“This was wonderful for a starter,” said Oleson, 80.

Tracey Sekayumpteway, a mom of five children from Chandler, showed up to hear Kelly speak to educate herself on where Kelly stands on gun control. She also wanted  to hear his policy ideas on ensuring that young undocumented children brought to the U.S. illegally as children will gain legal status.

Sekayumpteway, 38, an independent voter, said she will vote for a candidate who cares less about partisan politics and cares more about making “moral decisions” that will impact generations to come.

“Gun control is one of the major issues that we face as a nation. We as parents, as mothers, don’t want to send our children to school knowing there’s a possibility that something can happen to them,” Sekayumpteway said. “A candidate that understands that issue and has had it as a platform is very important to me.”

Kelly kicked off Senate campaign Feb. 12 with a four-minute video featuring cinematic views of the desert and scenes of him with his wife. The weekend rallies were his first formal campaign events.

Kelly did not take questions from reporters Sunday.

Republicans release video critical of Kelly

A powerful Republican group allied with Sen. Martha McSally, who is running for election in 2020, hit Kelly over the weekend with a video aimed at sowing doubt about his Democratic credentials.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the arm of the party that works to elect Republicans to the chamber across the nation, noted that Kelly has not shared his views on Democratic policy proposals ranging from the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

Public records show Kelly voted in the 2012 Republican presidential primary election while living in Galveston County in Texas. A spokesman for Kelly said he voted for Barack Obama during the 2012 general election. 

“Which Mark Kelly is running for Senate?” the ad asks, juxtaposing the man who voted in the 2012 GOP primary against the “liberal activist” benefactor of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

The Republican National Committee also criticized Kelly for his refusal so far to talk in detail about his stance on more liberal proposals, saying he "is already sitting on the sidelines."

These tactics were very effective in 2018 and they are heading for AZ. They had money and boots on the ground and flipped 8 traditionally R seats in CA. This will not be the election to sit out or not be as active as you can starting now.--ED

California-focused Super PAC Looks to Expand and ‘Flip the West’ From Red to Blue

 

Raymond Arke  Center for Responsive Politics, February 20, 2019

During the 2018 Democratic “blue wave,” a major part of the party’s successful bid to take back control of the House came in California where Democrats flipped the seven Republican-held seats. Aiding that effort was the Democratic super PAC, Flip the 14, which focused its efforts on unseating all 14 Republican members of California’s House delegation.

In a recent FEC filing, the super PAC has renamed itself Flip the West, a name which suggests a more national turn. In a post-2018 election recap, the organization has a page which lays out basic strategies for 2020 which include “presidential focus and turnout” and “looking beyond California.” Specifically, Doug Linney, founder of the organization and its 2018 campaign director, told the Center for Responsive Politics the super PAC will particularly focus on the 2020 Senate races in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Montana, along with supporting the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.

Flip the West will be staying out of the primaries, something it also did in 2018 because Linney said the super PAC believes in allowing the voters to pick a nominee and whoever that is is who the super PAC will support.

“We basically plan to follow the same game plan we used in the 2018 cycle — no endorsements in the primary, but plenty of work to be done to lay the foundation for a successful campaign on the behalf of Democratic Party nominees,” Linney said.

Linney is the founder of The Next Generation, described as a California-based “award-winning political consulting and issue advocacy firm,” with a focus on the environment. Linney was political director of the California League of Conservation Voters from 1988 to 1994 and served on boards for a number of environmental groups.    

Linney said that switching gears to a larger focus shouldn’t affect the super PAC’s fundraising strategy.

“We’re still in the business of flipping red seats to blue,” he said.

During the 2018 cycle, the organization had a robust presence raising $676,009. It spent more than $653,000 in the cycle. Independent expenditures from Flip the 14 totaled $69,549. Former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) was the main target of the group’s independent expenditures — it dropped $4,216 successfully opposing his reelection.

Flip the 14 boasted an extensive on-the-ground presence in the midterms. In its election recap, the group noted it built a field organization which knocked on 225,000 doors, organized thousands of volunteers and made 1.5 million contacts with voters. The group also said it reached 1.1 million Latinos, including 250,000 from robocalls which featured noteworthy labor activist Dolores Huerta and Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez.  

That grassroots, field-oriented approach by the super PAC will continue in 2020, Linney said. They want to take “the blue power of California and bring it to other areas,” through texting and mailing campaigns which can be done remotely by volunteers.

Bruce Alexander Gaguine, former president of The Appleton Foundation, was the largest donor to the super PAC with $72,000, according to data from The Center for Responsive Politics. The second largest donor was Ellyn Marcus Lindsay, a former assistant U.S. attorney, who led an effort criticizing the Trump administration’s original Muslim ban, who contributed $25,000.  

Another notable, and quite famous, contributor was Yvon Chouinard, climber, environmentalist, billionaire and founder of the outdoor supplier Patagonia. Chouinard gave $20,000 to the super PAC in 2018.

Two companies also contributed a significant amount. Tao Finance LLC and Stifel Financial Corporation each contributed $25,000 to the super PAC. Tao Finance is connected to Nicholas Pritzker, billionaire real estate entrepreneur and major environmentalist. Pritzker was the founder of Tao Capital and listed the same address as Tao Finance LLC.  

The super PAC partnered with a variety of advocacy organizations including the California chapter of megadonor Tom Steyer’s NextGen America group, Indivisible, digital outreach group Open Progress and more California groups.

Most of the super PACs money, $177,063, went to salaries, wages and benefits. Spafford & Lincoln, a consulting firm, received $98,970 from the super PAC. In second was Linney’s The Next Generation which got $97,994.    

Audit Claims that Country Recorder Coordinated with Sinema's Campaign

 

Summary by Mike Broomhead Show KFYI 2/1/2019

The preliminary election report from the Republican Party is out and it claims that the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office coordinated with the campaign of Kyrsten Sinema and the office provided election data to neither Democrats nor Republicans. The report was put together by Stephen Richer who is an attorney in the Phoenix, Arizona. Richer conducted this report as an independent volunteer for the Arizona Republican Party and received no compensation for the report.

The report makes the claim that the Campaign for the Rep. Sinema received election information that wasn’t proved to Republican candidate Martha McSally.

Recorder Fontes coordinated with Democrat Kyrsten Sinema’s campaign by privately disclosing the timing and location of the emergency voting centers without offering the same information to Republican Martha McSally’s campaign”

The claim in the report is that Sinema’s campaign knew the locations of 5 emergency voting centers and handed out flyers in that area. The campaign for Martha McSally was not informed or was aware of these locations.

“The Sinema campaign arranged for a flyer-drop in the areas surrounding the emergency voting centers immediately prior to the opening of the centers. Such a flyer-drop could suggest that the Sinema campaign knew about the location of the emergency voting centers prior to their public announcement. A former staff member of the Martha McSally campaign did not comment on the allegation that the Recorder’s Office coordinated with the Sinema campaign, but did note that the McSally campaign was unaware of the expansion of emergency voting prior to the Recorder’s public announcement?”

The accusation is also made that Recorder Fontes informed attorney's  for the Arizona Democratic Party on how to obtain voting records and didn’t give that same information to attorneys for Martha McSally.

Recorder Fontes sent instructive and helpful private text messages to attorney Roopali Desai and/or other members of the law firm Coppersmith Brockelman PLC, counsel for the Arizona Democratic Party, regarding the fact that they would need to sue his office to obtain certain information regarding voter records, but that Recorder Fontes did not provide the same information to the attorneys representing the Martha McSally campaign or the Arizona Republican Party”

The report includes over 200 pages of exhibits including public records and affidavits from witnesses.

Read the Full 228 page report for yourself here.

Stephen Dinan,  Washington Times January 31, 2019

The number of non-citizens identified on Pennsylvania’s voter rolls is fewer than 8,700, the state says, pushing back on an announcement by state lawmakers and voter integrity activists that the total is higher than 11,200.

State officials say the 11,198 number, which they provided in documents to Republicans in the state legislature late last year and which the lawmakers revealed in recent days, was actually an outer bound.

The Department of State said further checks reduced the number to 8,698 names, some of which were already on the path to being removed.

“That number will come down,” said Wanda Murren, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told The Washington Times on Thursday.

The Times reported this week on the Pennsylvania state legislators’ information, as well as nearly 100,000 names Texas Secretary of State David Whitley identified on his own voter rolls who may be non-citizens.In both the Pennsylvania and Texas cases the names were identified by state officials matching their voter rolls against driver’s license or state ID card records. Those records carry an immigration marker noting whether the recipient was a citizen or not.

Hey Repubs-- this is how the Dems beat you for the Senate seat. What are you going to do to stop them in 2020? Better get started tomorrow--ED

A Blue Wave Didn't Elect Democrats in Arizona. This Did...

Felecia Rotellini, Contributor AZ Republic 12/6/2018

Opinion: Why did Democratic candidates win in a traditionally red state? Because an army of volunteers knocked on doors and relentlessly urged people to vote.

 

There was no blue wave in Arizona.

That was the assessment of political pundits of all stripes in the hours, and even days, after the polls closed.

Election night ended with most statewide races called for Republican candidates. Democratic Senate hopeful Kyrsten Sinema was trailing her opponent, and everyone was wondering if Democrats would ever win big in Arizona, as promised.

But because nearly 80 percent of Arizona voters rely on mail-in ballots and hundreds of thousands are returned in-person on Election Day, it took days to find out who won and who lost.

When the dust settled, Democrats won the U.S. Senate seat, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, and a seat on the Corporation Commission. Democrats also flipped the congressional delegation in our favor and elected the most Democrats to the state House since 1966.

 

We saw the opportunity years ago

Despite all these historic wins, the pundits were right. There was no blue wave in Arizona.

Instead, the Arizona Democratic Party orchestrated the largest voter mobilization effort in the state’s history, targeting Democrats, independents and Republicans to vote for our candidates.

Here’s how.

After 2016, Republicans controlled state and federal government, but Hillary Clinton lost Arizona by the smallest margin of any Democratic presidential candidate since 1996.

The Arizona Democratic Party saw the opportunity to energize Democrats with the most aggressive field campaign in the state’s history.

As predicted, universal Republican rule meant the GOP would try to pass some very unpopular policies. Congress attempted to gut health-care coverage multiple times, and lawmakers in Arizona failed to adequately fund education, leading to the massive #RedforEd walkout. Meanwhile, we worked.

Over the course of a year and a half, we built an army of volunteers, signing up voters for mail-in ballots. We opened field offices in blue, purple and red communities across the state. And we knocked on doors, lots and lots of doors. Even during the 117-degree summers, we worked to register voters and sign them up for early ballots.

 

It worked then, and it'll work again

By the time it was all said and done, we had built a team of 70 full-time organizers and more than 6,100 volunteers who knocked on more than 1 million doors just in the last three months of the campaign, maximizing direct voter contact.

We coupled that effort with a digital campaign, second to none in the country, fueled by massive volunteer enthusiasm, that used texting to remind voters of critical deadlines and drive them to the polls.

During the last month of the campaign, we chased mail ballots as soon as they were distributed and instituted an unprecedented, final two-week haul focused on getting every last vote in before Election Day.

We knew that one-on-one voter contact was the best way to communicate about how Democratic candidates were the only ones who care about and will fight for the values important to all Arizonans.

We set out to win Arizona races up and down the ballot with a monumental ground effort, and we accomplished it. We saw what worked, and we learned from what didn’t work, knowing we can replicate the results in 2020, 2022, 2024 and beyond.

We didn't wait for any blue wave to find us. We did the work ourselves. And we’re starting to do it again.

Felecia Rotellini is chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. She previously ran as the Democratic nominee for attorney general in 2010 and 2014. Reach her at statechair@azdem.org or on Twitter: @FeleciaForAZ.

Jennifer Harrison of the Patriot Movement AZ attended the Maricopa County Supervisors Meeting about the Elections and captured the meeting on video.  County Recorder Adrian Fontes gave his presentation to the Board about the November 6th election.  This is how the election was LOST by the Repubs and highjacked by the Dems

 WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.