Category Archives: Elections
By Andrew Thomas
It was, if nothing else, a fitting metaphor for the size and nature of the work before them. On March 27, 2013, four members of the “Gang of Eight,” a group of U.S. senators who have banded together to seek immigration reform, toured the Arizona-Mexico border. It was what Politico termed their “spring break” trip: Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, back in their home state of Arizona, hosting two fellow members of the Gang of Eight, Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Michael Bennet of Colorado.
“In the last several years we have made improvements on the border,” McCain told the press later. The senators spoke of the need for more technology on the border, though they declined to say what future border security measures would be installed as part of their legislation, which was still being negotiated.
As they flew over the border near Nogales, a city that straddles both sides of the international border, they saw something that captured the magnitude of the problem. They saw a woman climb the border fence successfully. Senator McCain tweeted the event and informed the public that the Border Patrol later apprehended her.
Even as such events remind the nation of the severity of the situation, the senators remained confident a deal can be struck for new immigration legislation. One of the few known and certain components of the legislation being drafted is amnesty. The gang has agreed in advance the bill would grant probationary legal status to all illegal immigrants immediately—meaning they can remain in the country legally.
Yet as Republican establishment leaders treat this enterprise as the political salvation of the Grand Old Party, some observers are starting to question the very premise of the efforts. After all, if the political goal, accepted at its practical core, is to secure more Hispanic votes for Republicans, is this legislation truly the path to such success?
The Myth of the Romney Debacle
When we drill down below the conventional wisdom, and in particular when we examine hard polling data from Hispanic Americans, we find things are not as we have been told. The Republican Party’s challenges with Hispanics are of long standing and seemingly not connected to illegal immigration, but instead involve broader issues with the party’s platform and brand.
Consider first the much-discussed exit polls showing low Hispanic support for Mitt Romney in last year’s election. The results of a Fox News exit poll were typical. It found that 71 percent of Hispanics voted for President Obama and 27 percent for Mitt Romney. A Pew Research analysis of multiple exit polls confirmed this margin.
But grand political lessons should not be drawn from a single election. Here, we find Pew’s data much more illuminating, for they compared Romney’s showing to that of past Republican presidential nominees. This was not a one-time debacle because of GOP immigration rhetoric, but rather a long-term pattern of Republican inefficacy.
In 2008, John McCain won only 31 percent of the Hispanic vote. That too was not his fault; it is in fact a typical percentage for Republicans in the modern era. In fact, the average percentage of the Hispanic vote won by a Republican candidate for president for the past nine presidential election cycles, going back to the first Reagan victory in 1980, is just 32.9 percent.
Bob Dole fared the worst, losing to Bill Clinton among Hispanics by 51 points (72 percent to 21 percent). No serious observer would contend that Bob Dole was or appeared to be an anti-Hispanic bigot.
George W. Bush received a greater share of the Hispanic vote. In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, he lost the Hispanic vote by 27 and 18 points, respectively. But there were important differences. First, he received a higher share of the overall vote than McCain and Romney. Bush was the former governor of Texas, and performed especially well among Hispanics in that state who were his former constituents. And Bush was not running against Obama, a racial minority with whom Hispanic voters naturally found common ground.
In other words, Romney did not nosedive because of tough anti-immigrant GOP rhetoric swirling around him. He merely performed slightly lower than average against America’s first minority president.
Advocates of immigration reform as a brand-fixer for Republicans overlook broader issues that are at work. Hispanics favor a larger role for government than do white Americans or Republicans. And these differences are not going away.
Hispanic voters make political decisions as other Americans do. A Pew Research survey last year asked Hispanic registered voters to name the most important issues facing the country. Fifty-five percent listed education as “extremely important.” This was followed in descending order by a familiar litany of other top concerns: jobs and the economy (54 percent), health care (50 percent), federal budget deficit (36 percent) and taxes (33 percent). Immigration fell between deficits and taxes at 34 percent.
Accordingly, freshman Senator Ted Cruz, a virtual unknown at the start of his come-from-behind campaign in the Lone Star State of Texas registering just one percent in the polls, wrote in the Washington Post last January that the GOP should stand for “opportunity conservatism” by conceptualizing and articulating “every domestic policy with a single-minded focus on easing the ascent up the economic ladder.”
Further, he explained, “Under the Obama administration, the unemployment rate climbed above 10 percent among Hispanics last year and to 14 percent among African Americans. Yet Republicans never talked about this.”
However, Hispanics favor a larger role for government than the population as a whole. A 2012 survey by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Foundation found two out of three Hispanics favored a “larger federal government with many services” over a “smaller federal government with fewer services.” For all American adults, in contrast, 55 percent preferred a smaller federal government with fewer services and only 40 percent supported a larger federal government.
An Allstate/National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll in 2011, echoing Ronald Reagan, offered more confirmation. Forty-two percent of white Americans, a plurality in the poll, agreed that “in the current economic environment government is not the solution to our economic problems, government is the problem.” Only 17 percent of African Americans and 25 percent of Hispanics felt the same.
In a Latino Decisions poll in 2012, 61 percent of Hispanic voters supported Obamacare, with only 25 percent who want it repealed. This contrasts with solid, sustained opposition to the law by a majority of Americans overall and white voters in particular.
Finally, the overwhelming Hispanic vote for Obama reflected a common belief that he and his party would do a better job of addressing the whole range of issues facing the country. Hispanic voters concluded Obama would better handle the economy, the chief issue for all voters of all races in 2012. A Latino Decisions poll, taken on November 5, 2012, the eve of the election, found that, when asked which candidate and political party “do you trust more to make the right decisions and improve our economic conditions,” 73 percent of Hispanic voters chose Obama and the Democrats and only 23 percent selected Romney and the Republicans. Those results mirrored almost precisely the election returns among Hispanic voters according to exit polls.
There is, then, a broader dissonance between the Republican Party and Hispanic voters on issues well beyond immigration. Hispanics prefer bigger government, even as this is antithetical to the core tenets of the Republican Party platform. Even the most committed Republican immigration reformers in Congress are not proposing that the GOP jettison its limited-government stance and rhetoric.
A Path to Lasting Political Success
The assumption that immigration reform will improve Republican political prospects is, then, questionable at best. George Hawley, a political science professor at the University of Houston, recently published a study which further reinforced this conclusion. He found that Republican incumbents seeking reelection to Congress who had supported liberalizing immigration laws did not fare better in the 2006 elections than did Republican Congressmen who opposed such legislation. In fact, Hawley concluded that the reform-minded Congressmen averaged less than 30 percent support from Hispanics—nearly identical to the totals that Mitt Romney gained from Hispanic voters in the presidential race six years later.
Hawley argues that the Republican Party may lose some of its base voters by trying to win over Hispanic voters, who are more in line with the Democratic Party on other issues besides immigration reform.
What, then, are Republicans to do? They risk alienating the base they have, which allows them to remain competitive nationally and win and retain a majority in Congress, by going along with amnesty. Furthermore, they will always be “outbid” by Democratic leaders, presumably, when it comes to accommodating illegal immigration.
A better approach is to be true to core Republican principles and accentuate areas of commonality with Hispanic voters, of which there are many. For example, a vigorous national defense benefits all and offers fertile common ground. Hispanics understand the need for deficit reduction as a way to provide for the needs of future generations, something that accords with love of family.
A “common ground” approach presents a more likely path to long-term political success than turning the Republican Party into the “me too” amnesty party.
Hugh Hallman, the former mayor Tempe, today announced he’s running for governor. We always cringe when someone says “I’m a fiscal conservative,” as Hallman does below. Being a true conservative does not come with such qualifiers. But here’s what he says he seeks to do as governor:
I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and my candidacy for the office of Governor of Arizona.
I’m Hugh Hallman, a fiscally conservative Republican and the former Mayor of Tempe. I’ve also worked as the leader of one of the most successful public schools in Arizona, as a regional leader and former Chairman of the Maricopa Association of Governments, and as a successful attorney and economist. I’ve worked to identify the pressing problems we have faced on the local, regional and statewide level, and then created solutions to improve Arizona.
My priorities for Arizona include:
- Creating new jobs and economic opportunities for Arizona residents, not by having state government “pick favorites,” but through responsible economic development and removing excessive red tape.
- Improving our state’s educational system by focusing on giving our students and teachers the tools they need to achieve success.
- Working to solve some of the most difficult issues we face as a state, including dealing with illegal immigration.
- Ensuring that Arizona’s government is run in an ethical way that is accountable to the voters of Arizona.
Arizona is not about the big-wigs at the state Capitol. It’s about the very reasons we all call this wonderful state our home. Let’s end the polarizing gamesmanship that only advances political careers and instead focus on everything that makes the State of Arizona exceptional. Together, let’s focus on creating Arizona’s brightest future. Let’s use Arizona’s incredible advantages to improve our State and the quality of life for all Arizona’s residents.
I invite you to learn more about my campaign and humbly ask for your support. There are several ways you can keep in touch:
- Visit our NEW campaign web site at www.hughhallman.com. You’ll find my in-depth position papers on a variety of key issues facing our state, as well as information on how to get involved.
- You can also follow the campaign through our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.
- And finally, we would very much welcome your support of our efforts through a contribution to the campaign. You can donate easily online through this link.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to meeting people throughout the State of Arizona during the course of the campaign, and working together to identify ways to make our State an even better place to live.
Keep AZ Drug Free News Release:
Keep AZ Drug Free announces its enthusiastic support for HCR 2003, a bill introduced by State Representative John Kavanagh to refer Arizona’s “medical” marijuana law back to the 2014 ballot. Voters deserve the chance to repeal a bad law, which was deceptively promoted by out-of-state interests.
In 2010, Keep AZ Drug Free was the official ballot opposition committee registered with the Secretary of State to oppose Proposition 203, the so-called “medical” marijuana initiative. The initiative was written and financed by the Marijuana Policy Project, a national pro-drug organization out of Washington, D.C. that advocates for the legalization of marijuana. The 2010 initiative very narrowly passed, with a mere 50.1 percent of the vote.
“The marijuana lobby wanted us to believe the law was about compassion for sick people, but the data shows that the pot goes almost entirely to recreational use,” said Ed Gogek, MD, an addiction psychiatrist and board member of Keep AZ Drug Free.
Of the approximately 34,000 patients, fewer than four percent get their marijuana for cancer, while 90 percent of Arizona’s marijuana patients get their marijuana for “pain.” And, three-fourths of the marijuana patients are male, which matches exactly the demographics of adults diagnosed with marijuana abuse.
A recent Associated Press report stated that, in Arizona, 24 doctors have written three-fourths of the marijuana recommendations.
The editorial board of The Arizona Republic recently said, “Voters were misled in 2010 when they passed the medical marijuana initiative. Medicine is prescribed by doctors and picked up at pharmacies. It doesn’t come through pot docs operating out of glammed-up head shops.” http://arizonarepublic.az.newsmemory.com/?token=7c0ad5575ad4621c48d6f45497328491&cnum=134552&fod=1111111
“Any benefits to the few participants in the marijuana program who are seriously ill are overwhelmingly outweighed by the harms to our kids and communities. It is in the best interests of all Arizonans to repeal this law,” said Carolyn Short, chairman of Keep AZ Drug Free.
The Secretary Of State’s Office Need To Hear From Everyone Who Witnessed Voter Fraud And Other Egregious Acts On November 6, 2012. If you have information of any type of fraud taking place during the Nov 6 elections, please contact: Matthew Roberts, Director of Communications, Office of Arizona Secretary of State office, 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix, Arizona 85007 email@example.com (602) 542-4285 – (o) (602) 540-3521 – (c).
Secretary of State Ken Bennett has announced that as of Thursday afternoon, Arizona’s county recorders have an estimated 163,482 early and provisional ballots statewide to process and count.
A state canvass to certify official election results for federal, statewide and legislative races is scheduled for December 3.
Individual county breakouts are attached or visit: www.azsos.wordpress.com.
(Market Daily News) – Barack Obama received more than 99% of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio on election day. In fact, there were a substantial number of precincts where Mitt Romney got exactly zero votes. So how in the world did this happen? Third world dictators don’t even get 99% of the vote. Overall, Mitt Romney received 30.12%of the vote in Cuyahoga County. There were even a bunch of precincts in Cuyahoga County that Romney actually won. But everyone certainly expected that Cuyahoga County would be Obama territory. And in most of the precincts that is exactly what we saw – large numbers of votes for both candidates but a definite edge for Obama. However, there are more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County where the voting results can only be described as truly bizarre. Yes, we always knew that urban areas would lean very heavily toward Obama, but are we actually expected to believe that Obama got over 99% of the votes in those areas? In more than 50 different precincts, Romney received 2 votes or less. Considering how important the swing state of Ohio was to the national election, one would think that such improbable results would get the attention of somebody out there. Could we be looking at evidence of election fraud hidden in plain sight?
Conservative hopeful Martha McSally now trails socialist Ron Barber by 512 votes in the Southern Arizona race for the U.S. House of Representatives. McSally led by a small margin on election night last Tuesday, but as the state vote counting continues, she has lost her lead.
The difference is now 134,860 to 134, 348, Barber.
There are still 80,000 more votes to be counted in Pima County, the most populous portion of Congressional District 2.
Barber is a former aide to Gabby Giffords, the congresswoman who retired after being shot by Jared Loughner. In a special election in June to replace Cong. Giffords, Barber narrowly defeated Republican Jesse Kelly.
Stay tuned as we follow this race, hoping for a conservative victory.
Secretary Bennett has announced that as of Monday afternoon, there are an estimated 342,936 early andprovisional ballots statewide that are yet to be processed and counted.
A state canvass to certify official election results for federal, statewide and legislative races is scheduled for Dec. 3.
Voters who cast a “conditional provisional” ballot (individuals had insufficient identification when they went to vote at a polling place) have five business days, or until the end of Wednesday,Nov. 14, to return to their county elections office with proper ID.
|County||Uncounted early ballots||Provisional ballots yet to be verified||Status Updated?|
|Ballots to be counted totals||171,889||171,047|
By Michelle Reese, TribuneEast Valley Tribune
The Gilbert Unified School District governing board could have a more conservative majority come January if voting result trends stay in place.
As of Friday afternoon, conservative newcomers Julie Smith and Daryl Colvin were leading in votes, along with current board member Lily Tram, for three four-year seats on the board. Current board president EJ Anderson was less than 300 votes behind Colvin for that final spot.
Current school board member Staci Burk, another strong conservative who voted against the district’s call for an override renewal and the district’s current budget earlier this year, has two more years on her term.
Jill Humphreys, in unofficial results, won a two-year seat over Eric Johnson.
If the results stay the same with Smith and Colvin, the board’s majority philosophy will shift from what it is today. Smith is listed as a member of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots. Colvin was endorsed by the Conservative School Board Members Association in his bid for Gilbert’s board.
During governing board meetings the last few months, Smith, Colvin and Burk have expressed dismay over what they call a lack of financial transparency and district spending patterns.
With the loss of the override, one of the first major actions the new governing board will have to undertake is examination of the budget. The override provided about $17 million annually to the district. Beginning next fiscal year, the district will lose one-third of the override.
That means at least $5.8 million will have to be cut for the 2013-14 school year. That will come on top of more than $30 million in cuts the district has undergone since the state economic crisis began.
Smith pointed to the need to examine the district’s “spending habits” in light of the override loss and the failure of Proposition 204 — which would have made permanent a one-cent state sales tax for education funding.
“School districts really need to examine their spending habits and align their spending habits much more with what the rest of the community is experiencing where there’s been loss of income and loss of jobs,” Smith said in an interview Friday.
She said she wants to avoid cuts to the classroom, “the last thing on the list that I would consider as a cost-cutting measure.”
“We really need to examine the entire model of what’s going on in Gilbert schools and the structure. We need to become a leaner meaner machine that puts students first,” she said.
Colvin, who did not want to declare a victory given the closeness of the race, did talk about what the new governing board would face, no matter the make-up, and why he ran.
“Like a lot of people who end up on the board, I was recruited to run. There was a concern about moving the board in a conservative direction that more closely represents the values in the community. We’re a community that sent Andy Biggs to the Legislature … We felt we needed a school board that would more accurately reflect the community,” he said.
Colvin and Smith both noted a desire to move the district to a more “pro-American, pro-family” point of view. Smith said she is concerned about curriculum in place in the high schools. Colvin said the community needs to be given more information about spending before the board goes for another override.
Humphreys hopes to see changes in the district over the next two years on the board.
“A change in the district that I will work for is a more open, collaborative decision-making process where the community has opportunities for input while alternatives are on the table,” Humphreys said.
Superintendent Dave Allison said, “There’s always a learning curve” when new members are seated onto a board.
“It’s a complex job being a school board member, especially for the fifth largest in Arizona and one that excels in quality education and is an ‘A’ district,” he said. “I want to tell the governing board we want to strive to continue that educational quality that Gilbert is known for. I want to work with the board in regards to that.”
When asked about the philosophical differences between the new board members, Allison said: “I’m hoping the board members ran for the board with the idea of doing the very best for our students. Any ideology, I hope, is put aside in regards for that.”