Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Munger Out!

Gubernatorial Candidate John Munger has officially withdrawn from the race. In a conference call with supporters, Munger said the Supreme Court's refusal to take up the "matching funds" provision caused an "insurmountable obstacle" to his campaign.

There was no word if Munger was going to immediately endorse any of his opponents. It's likely he'll take some time and we'll be hearing something in the next week or two.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Buz Mills campaign: Sexist or Sloppy?

In an interesting turn of events, Buz Mills has decided to challenge Governor Brewer on illegal immigration. Seems like a questionable tactic, since Brewer has become the face of a national movement. IN case Buz hasn't noticed, Brewer's slam of President Obama has nearly 1 million hits.

Maybe the spotlight on Brewer is a little too bright and Mills wants a little bit of attention for himself. Afterall, he's the one with the big bucks. Unfortunately, we don't think his latest mailer will give him the kind of attention he wanted.

In a stroke of what Exurban League calls "real campaigns of genius," it appears that Mills has decided to take the sexist route and claim that it will take a real man to secure the border. Ouch.

Now Mills' campaign is backpeddling saying that it was a printing mistake. When they are trailing in the polls after the guy has already spent $2 million, it seems like this is the kind of mix up they can't afford.

Seriously, why was "real man" ever an option? Who typed that in the first place? Was that what first came to mind in some sort of free association word game?

Was he looking at the picture below and feeling threatened?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Now that it's official- we are back!

So we've taken a short little hiatus but now that the petition gathering deadline has passed, we are back. So here is the field.

Terry Goddard is the lone Democrat while the Republican field shed a few and picked up a late surprise.

Tom Gordon- didn't pop up until he filed 7,693 signatures today. No website.
So who takes the cake in the Republican Primary?
Who will our next governor be after November? Let us know your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

John Munger calls on Buz Mills to leave race

This just in from the political insider:

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Munger is calling on businessman Owen "Buz" Mills to withdrawl from the state's Governor's race, saying that Mills' business dealings in Florida raise "serious questions" about his "fitness to govern and electability."

Florida court documents show that Mills defrauded a business partner out of millions of dollars when he sold a company that the two jointly owned. Mills was the majority owner with a 90 percent stake; his partner owned 10 percent.

In a 2001 ruling, Judge Paul Logan concluded that MIlls deliberately did not tell partner John G. Mortellite that he had an offer to sell their firm, which was in the business of acquiring sites for and building towers for the cell phone industry.

Because Mills did not disclose the sale offer to Mortellite, his partner accepted less money for his share in the company, the documents show.

The case was ultimately settled out of court.

Representatives from the Mills campaign did not immediately return calls seeking comment about Munger's letter. In news reports, Mills has said the issue is irrelevant to his political campaign.

But Munger, who is expected to be in a hotly contested primary race with Mills, Gov. Jan Brewer and state treasurer Dean Martin, disagrees.

On Wednesday, he hand-delivered a letter to Mills Phoenix's offices, formally asking him to withdrawl.

"At a time when there is already widespread distrust and anger toward government in general, your continued presence in the Governor's race will only do further damage to the reputation of our state and the Republican party," the letter read.

Munger told media that that Mills is "not an electable candidate," and that Mills continued presence in the race jeopardizes the state's reputation.

--Ginger Rough

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buz Mills - Quoth the Raven: Nevermore

Following the news of fraud from Buz Mills yesterday, in a strange revelation, it has been revealed that Buz Mills has also doctored campaign photos.

The questions surround a raven shapped pin that was originally featured in Mills' campaign materials. The raven, which looked like a sort of pilot wings on Mills' khaki "uniform," has since been removed from the photographs.

Mills claims that the raven was removed to prevent promoting his business Gunsite which features ravens on everything from knives to gun grips. According to this story, the raven is the "symbol or totem" for Gunsite, representing not only the ravens on the property, but also:

"Norse mythology Odin held forth as the god of Valhalla. Odin was accompanied by his two ravens, Hugin and Munin, and they are usually depicted perched on his shoulders or on the arms of his throne. The ravens represented knowledge and wisdom and Odin would send them to Earth to bring back news, but more importantly, they were seen as the conduits for dispensing the knowledge and wisdom of the gods to mankind. So for us, the raven is a fitting symbol for our efforts to spread 'the word.'"

The raven flag is also shown prominently in a picture that is conspicuously missing the Arizona flag. Perhaps the Arizona flag was removed for effect, or Mills was trying to market to those who live outside of Arizona.

The raven is also perched on top of the flag pole and at the entrance to the facility. In fact, in his campaign finance report, Mills' address is listed as living off of Ravenguard drive. We seem to be detecting a theme here.

Back to the flag issue, Mills' early campaign materials featured a picture of the candidate sporting a pin of a raven superimposed over the American flag. Until recently, Mills had also been seen at campaign events sporting the same pin. It is also featured prominently in Mills' first video.

Now, in his latest commercial, Mills has exchanged the raven for an Arizona flag pin. It's one thing to stop wearing the pin, and quite another to go back and try to erase its existence.

What has motivated this sudden raven eradication?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Buz Mills has past legal trouble for fraud

Candidate for Governor Buz Mills has received a lot of attention lately for already spending over $1.2 million in his bid for Governor. With that attention comes a very bright spotlight. In this case, court records reveal that Mills defrauded his partner for a couple million dollars by sending his unknowing partner on vacation while he negotiated a very lucrative deal to sell his company.

The story (links to the actual legal documents can be found in Sonoran Alliance) shows that Mills was found guilty of defrauding his partner and ordered to pay out $4.8 million. Mills then challenged the decision and they settled it out of court. Soon after, Mills skipped town and set up shop in Arizona.

Mills, who has also been in hot water for his lack of support for employer sanctions, is now calling it a "friendly disagreement," which seems to fall very short in explaining an adjudicated case of fraud. Some of the comments conjure images of former Governor Fife Symington, whose company, ironically, is connected with Mills' campaign.

It looks like Buz Mills has some real explaining to do.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brewer signs SB 1070 - Illegal Immigration Bill

Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 today, which is among the strongest illegal immigration bills in the country. The announcement comes after a week of heated debate on the issue which culminated in President Obama speaking out against it this morning. Watch the video:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here is the complete text of Governor Brewer's complete statement:

Thank you for being here today, to join me as we take another step forward in protecting the state of Arizona.

The bill I’m about to sign into law – Senate Bill 1070 – represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix …

… The crisis caused by illegal immigration and Arizona’s porous border.

This bill, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, strengthens the laws of our state.

It protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully.

And, it does so while ensuring that the constitutional rights of ALL in Arizona remain solid -- stable and steadfast.

I will now sign Senate Bill 1070.

For weeks, this legislation has been the subject of vigorous debate and intense criticism. My decision to sign it was by no means made lightly.

I have listened patiently to both sides. I have considered the significance of this new law long into the night. I have prayed for strength and prayed for our state.

I’ve decided to sign Senate Bill 1070 into law because, though many people disagree, I firmly believe it represents what’s best for Arizona. Border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state, to my Administration and to me, as your Governor and as a citizen.

There is no higher priority than protecting the citizens of Arizona. We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life.

We cannot delay while the destruction happening south of our international border creeps its way north.

We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act.

But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.

Yesterday, I announced the steps I was taking to enhance security along our border.

Today – with my unwavering signature on this legislation – Arizona strengthens its security WITHIN our borders.

Let me be clear, though: My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law — both AGAINST illegal immigration AND against racial profiling.

This legislation mirrors federal laws regarding immigration enforcement.

Despite erroneous and misleading statements suggesting otherwise, the new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document is adopted, verbatim, from the same offense found in federal statute.

I will NOT tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.

Because I feel so strongly on this subject, I worked for weeks with legislators to amend SB 1070, to strengthen its civil rights protections.

That effort led to new language in the bill, language prohibiting law enforcement officers from “solely considering race, color, or national origin in implementing the requirements of this section…”

The bill already required that it “shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.”

While the general protection was already included, I believe the issue is so important, we needed to make it CRYSTAL clear.

And I believe that we need to more than simply inscribe it in statute.

Words in a law book are of no use if our police officers are not properly trained on the provisions of SB 1070, including its civil rights provisions.

Today I am issuing an executive order directing the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board – AZPOST -- to develop training to appropriately implement SB 1070.

Importantly, this training will include what DOES – and DOES NOT – constitute “reasonable suspicion” that a person is not legally present in the United States.

Currently, AZPOST serves approximately 170 law enforcement agencies encompassing over 16,000 sworn peace officers, 9,000 correctional service officers, and 16 training academies.

The AZPOST Board of Directors includes the Arizona Attorney General, the Directors of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Corrections, several county sheriffs, and local police departments.

I am also asking the Board to make recommendations on possible improvements to SB 1070 before the end of the year.

For 28 years in public service, I have worked without fail to solve problems diligently and practically. I have done so always with an eye toward civility, and always with the greatest respect for the rule of law.

This new law is no different: As committed as I am to protecting our state from crime associated with illegal immigration I am EQUALLY committed to holding law enforcement accountable should this statute ever be misused to violate an individual’s rights.

Respect for the rule of law means respect for every law. I have led that way every day in every office I have ever held. That will not change.

I have also spent my career in service to Arizona working to bring people together, no matter the color of their skin and no matter the depth of our disagreements.

This bill – and this issue – will be no exception.

While protecting our citizens is paramount, it cannot come at the expense of the diversity that has made Arizona so great. Nor can safety mean a compromise of freedom for some, while we, the many, turn a blind eye.

We must acknowledge the truth – people across America are watching Arizona, seeing how we implement this law, ready to jump on even the slightest misstep.

Some of those people from outside our state have an interest in seeing us fail.

They will wait for a single slip-up, one mistake, and then they will work day and night to create headlines and get the face time they so desperately covet.

We cannot give them that chance.

We must use this new tool wisely, and fight for our safety with the honor Arizona deserves.

We must react calmly.

We must enforce the law evenly, and without regard to skin color, accent, or social status.

We must prove the alarmists and the cynics wrong.

I know in my heart that this great state, my home for more than 40 years, is up to the task.

I believe every one of us wants to be safe, and none of us wants to compromise on the subject of civil rights.

I believe we must love and honor those who fight beside us – just as we must love and honor those who look and believe nothing like we do.

I believe Arizona, like America, is governed by laws.

Good laws … well-intentioned laws … laws that confer respect and that demand respect in return.

In his third State of the Union address, President Theodore Roosevelt said, “No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.”

So, let us move forward -- ever mindful of our rights …

-- ever faithful to the law … and ever conscious of our bond as Arizonans, and the blessing we share together.

Thank you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mills launches campaign commercial

Millionaire and gun-enthusiast Buz Mills is the first candidate to go on the air with a TV commercial. Here is the latest from Mills.

Doesn't say much, but it doesn't really have to at this point. Mills is a virtual unknown and its going to take a sizeable amount of money just to get his name out there to be part of the conversation.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hits keep coming for Dean Martin

So far, this has not been a good week for Dean Martin. First, it was revealed that he actually voted for a massive increase in spending during his time as State Senator. Next, it was alleged that Martin claimed that he had "hid" money from Napolitano.

Now, neither story is going away.

The Attorney General is now going to look into these statements to see if Martin "cooked the books" in 2007 after Andrei Cherny called for an investigation.

Martin is also staying very silent on his votes to support Napolitano, which has lead to the launch of another humorous video, this time with Martin disco dancing with Napolitano:

Former GOP Candidate for Gov Endorses Hayworth

While Senator John McCain has been endorsed by former Governors Fife Symington and Jane Dee Hull, one former GOP Gubernatorial hopeful has taken a different path. Former Republican challenger Len Munsil has opted to endorse JD Hayworth over John McCain.

No word on if former candidate and former fellow congressman Matt Salmon will weigh in on the race.

Here is Munsil's endorsement release in all of its glory:

Conservative Challenger JD Hayworth Endorsed by Top Arizona Conservative Len Munsil

PHOENIX, Ariz. March 3, 2010. J.D. Hayworth has gained the endorsement of a man who over the years has probably done more to keep Arizona steering in the direction of family values than anyone in the state: Len Munsil. The founder of the Center for Arizona Policy – and 2006 Republican nominee for Governor – today endorsed the campaign of J.D. Hayworth to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Hayworth is facing 24-year incumbent John McCain.

“I was honored to have Sen. McCain’s endorsement for Governor of Arizona in 2006, and was proud to support him for the presidency of the United States,” said Munsil. “While I am thankful for Sen. McCain’s dedication to Arizona and the country, and his commitment to public service, the time has come for conservative change in Washington D.C. I am therefore pleased to support J.D. Hayworth for the U.S. Senate in 2010. J.D. will be a reliable, consistent conservative vote and voice in Washington D.C,” said Munsil of his endorsement.

Munsil also added, “J.D. is on the right side of issues important to conservatives – opposing illegal immigration, ending bailouts, fighting against Cap & Trade and stopping unconstitutional restraints on political speech. He is consistent in his support for the sanctity of life and the institution of marriage. And J.D. will be an articulate spokesman for conservative principles.”

Munsil not only founded the Center for Arizona Policy - an organization that emphasizes pro-life and pro-family conservative issues and has promoted 60 laws protecting children and strengthening families - he is also a lawyer, an adjunct professor at Southwestern College and a former editor of the ASU State Press where he moved the editorial direction of the university’s newspaper in a conservative direction.

“Len is a man of faith that understands that one not only needs to speak to family values they need to act on them,” said Hayworth. “I am honored to have him behind me as we try to send a conservative senator to Washington that reflects the values of Arizona.”

Vulnerable to the more conservative Hayworth on taxes, pro-life issues and illegal immigration, McCain has resorted to attacking Hayworth on spending, despite Hayworth having a better lifetime rating from Citizens Against Government Waste. Hayworth has a 98-percent rating from the American Conservative Union.

McCain also voted for the $850 billion bailout of the big banks which included $150 billion in earmarks, proposed a $300 billion bailout for mortgage lenders and, according to the Heritage Foundation, sponsored an amnesty bill that would have cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the long-term.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ain't that a kick in the head

Ouch. Governor Jan Brewer smacks Dean Martin down for his spending record in the State Senate. Ain't that a kick in the head!

Hayworth/McCain invade race for Governor

Six weeks ago, the race for the GOP nomination for Governor seemed like it would be the hot ticket for the fall. Enter JD Hayworth challenging Senator John McCain. Since then, the attention paid to the race for the 9th Floor has diminished significantly. In fact, Governor's news has become almost a footnote in the Hayworth/McCain battle.

While the sales tax appears to be the critical issue at the moment, it does raise an interesting question, however, of if any of the other GOP candidates (Munger, Mills, or Martin) weigh in on the race for Senator. If they all endorse Hayworth, do they risk splitting that vote, leaving the McCainiacs for Brewer? If one (Munger, perhaps) or more opts to support McCain, do they risk losing their "anti-tax" base?

With so much at stake, in the end, it's my guess that the only thing we'll hear from the other candidates is silence.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dems taking on water in Arizona as well

With the victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts yesterday, it looks like President Obama and the Democrats have started to lose their luster in the eyes of the public. The same can be said here in Arizona where former Governor Janet Napolitano appears to be out of favor not only nationally, but locally as well. With a string of embarassing defeats on the national stage and Napolitano falling out of favor, it looks as if the local Democrats have the potential of facing greater problems in Arizona as well. This appears to be something that Republicans are looking to take advantage of:

Hat tip to Espresso Pundit.

Are these plans realistic?

Despite failing to vote for any revenue for Arizona's budget last year, Democrats in the Arizona State legislature sounded off today, claiming that they do not approve of the Governor's budget and the massive cuts that are being proposed. They now agree that more revenue is needed, but when pushed for specifics, their answer was taxing spa treatments and country club memberships. No more details appear to be available, but it is doubtful that taxes on such items are going to fill the budget gap.

Meanwhile, John Munger took Governor Brewer's slightly challenge seriously, and has unveiled his own plan, one that he claims does not raise taxes. It does have some financial gimmicks that Munger's key endorsement could be proud of. According to Capitol Media Services, Munger fills the budget deficit with $500 million from borrowing against revenue from a mine that hasn't even been approved, and refusing to give the Federal Government $600 million in gas taxes.

While all of these options should be explored, it's important to note that the two main options that were dedicated to taking down big chunks of the deficit are in no way guaranteed. Monetizing the taxes on the coppermine would appear a lot more reasonable if the mine was closer to being approved and operational. Refusing gas tax money to the federal government as a punishment for the costs of illegal immigration is a little more problematic. Punishing the federal government for their inaction is a noble cause, but it may prove difficult to provide a direct legal reason why gasoline income should pay for immigration.

So the question remains, are either of these proposals realistic? Will they fix Arizona's current problems or merely push them down the path so that someone else has to deal with them?

Parker leaves Governor's race - jumps to CD 3 race

Mayor Vernon Parker has opted out of the Governor's race and has decided instead to jump into the crowded race for Congressional District 3. It will be interesting to see how his initial bid for Governor has positioned himself for this next race - his announcement release below was paid for by his exploratory committee, and his twitter account (at least for now) remains Parker4Gov.

Does he appeal to a different constituency than the other handful of legislators in the race or will he be tagged as someone looking for a path of least resistance to a new job? Only time will tell.

Here is Parker's announcement:


PARADISE VALLEY, AZ. JANUARY 19, 2010. Vernon Parker is in. Today, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker announced that he will file paperwork this week to succeed Republican John Shadegg.

“Our district has a long history of sending Goldwater conservatives to Congress – public servants who fiercely value liberty, smaller government and personal responsibility,” Parker said. “To follow Congressman Shadegg wouldn’t simply be an honor. It would give me the chance to continue a fight for the hard-working families I have fought for all my life,” he said.

Parker, 50, said that Shadegg’s retirement created a “perfect storm” of opportunity, one he feels duty-bound to embrace. He had spent the past three months exploring the Arizona Governor’s race, which generated enthusiastic support from people across the state.

“The biggest constant in my public life has been the need to serve to the fullest, to use whatever talent God has given me to the utmost degree possible,” said Parker. “I believe my skills, my experience and my passion are made for Congress. I believe I can make the biggest difference for my neighbors and my fellow Arizonans there. Since learning of Congressman Shadegg’s decision my supporters have overwhelmingly encouraged me in this direction.”

Parker said that he will take his message of cutting taxes and creating policies that help the private sector create jobs to the nation’s capital.

Following his filing this week Parker will be hosting a grassroots events on Sunday for 200-300 supporters, followed by a major announcement next week with significant endorsers and a few surprises.

“Like Congressman Shadegg I will do everything I can to roll back the unfunded federal mandates that cripple Arizona and our communities. And I will do everything I can to reform health care that brings real choice to the people and put an end to the insanity that defines America’s immigration policy,” he said.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dean Martin Announces for Governor, the hits start rolling

State Treasurer Dean Martin announced that he will be running for Governor in this year's Republican Primary. Echoing Governor Jan Brewer's statement on Prop 204, the expanded Medicaid eligibility law, Martin said he will ask voters to revisit the issue.

Martin immediately becomes Gov. Brewer's main opponent and will run on a platform that the state should be cutting to get out of the budget deficit, instead of seeking new revenue. Martin said he would release his budget proposal after Governor Brewer releases hers on Friday.

Martin also announced he would be running as a Clean Elections candidate and immediately found out what it was going to be like to run in a crowded race. Candidate John Munger immediately slammed Martin calling him a hypocrite for taking public funding while suing the very system. Laurie Roberts chimed in on a blog post and by far the most widely viewed piece of all, channel five did a 2:30 segment on Martin's choice in funding.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quotes from Brewer's State of State

Tip to AZCapitol Times and their Twitter page for some of the highlights of the Governor's State of the State. You can get a full copy of the speech here.

There were definitely a few shots across the bow of her opponents. At one point, Brewer said, "If you have a better plan, produce it -- and soon." Vernon Parker responded by Twitter saying, "For a better plan, visit http://www.parker2010.com"

I clicked around but couldn't find any plans to balance the budget this year. If someone from the Parker campaign could point me in the right direction that would be great.

Below are some of the sound bites from today:

Brewer: "Spare us the profiles in courage. It's time for a little less profile and a little more courage."

Brewer: "Government must live within its means."

Brewer: Five point plan is now 3 points.

Brewer: "Substantial" cuts needed still.

Brewer: 'Wrong' is arguing against solutions, when evidence to the contrary is everywhere

Brewer: "In my year on the job, I have grown wiser, and time has grown shorter."

Brewer: "I do not shrink from (challenges), I do not cower, and neither should you.

Brewer: Need to ask voters to roll back minimum levels for AHCCCS, because $1B of deficit is due to Prop 204 requirements.

Brewer: Gaming Director Mark Brnovitch will head up commission to examine gov't privatization and streamlining.

Brewer: "Our state government today is not suited for Arizona's second century." Reform of gov't services needed for greater efficiency.

Brewer: $10 million of federal stimulus money will be used for job training

Brewer: "Enough is enough. Secure our borders."

Brewer: If Goddard won't defend AZ's rights against Feds, "I will."

Brewer: Feds are violating 10th Amendment of Constitution by giving states mandates to spend money

Brewer: Can't "rollback odometer on state government" because of growth in AZ, at least not without help of the voters.

Brewer State of the State Speech today

Today is an enormous day for Governor Jan Brewer as she is set to deliver her first State of the State speech since taking office. If you remember, Janet Napolitano decided to give one last hurrah even though she was leaving just a few days later.

Governor Brewer has the opportunity to address the entire state and make her case for what needs to happen to start fixing this mess.

You can watch the address live by clicking here or here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Symington Irony

Several months ago, former Governor Fife Symington announced his endorsement of John Munger for Governor. At the time, Munger touted the much ballyhooed endorsement as a big deal.

Does money speak louder than words?

Today, it was announced that another privately funded candidate, Owen "Buz" Mills, had dumped $2 million of his own money into his campaign (updated link) likely to far outstrip anything Munger has raised to date. The company he has hired to manage his bid?

You guessed it, the Symington Group.

Munger now finds himself at a great financial disadvantage to a virtually unknown candidate who has hired his biggest endorser to run his campaign. Both Mills and Munger, who reside outside of Maricopa County, have a big task of increasing their Name ID against an incumbent Governor and potential candidates in an Attorney General and a State Treasurer.

Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation between Munger and Symington?

Without such a large personal fortune to bolster his chances, does Munger regret coming out so strongly against Clean Elections? Even Dean Martin, who filed a lawsuit against Clean Elections, admits that "The system practically forces you to run under it to have any chance of winning."

So where does Symington's loyalty lie? Are we to believe that he stands firmly behind Munger while his firm cashes the checks from Mills?