RINOs Amongst Us

We thought our work as conservative activists/voters/bloggers/PCs was done. We had driven out almost all of the Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) from the Arizona Legislature and positions of leadership within the party. We patted ourselves on the back and described ourselves as successful RINO hunters.

Gone are Bill Konopnicki, Toni Hellon, Mike Hellon, Slade Mead, Steff Huffman, Steve May, Sue Gerard, Betsey Bayless, Carol Springer, Carolyn Allen and others.

It took years to see all of them off. Some, like Allen, we were unable to dislodge; she left of her own accord due to age and term limits. She identified herself as a Planned Parenthood activist. May claimed to be a “conservative,” but Planned Parenthood endorsed him – never a good sign.

We took great joy to see them – most of them – replaced by Republicans true to the party principles and platform.

And coupled with Jan Brewer’s ascension to the governorship after socialist Governor Janet Napolitano left for Washington, the state moved forward to protect the sanctity of human life and marriage. Conservative leaders cut state spending, overcoming a huge budget deficit created by the socialists (Democrats working together with RINOs like Mead and Konopnicki). Brewer has disappointed with some vetoes of good legislation, but for the most part is performing admirably. And she’s standing tall against the radical president who loves to sue Arizona.

But it’s been less than a week since Tuesday’s GOP primary election, and we find ourselves surveying encroachment by those who refuse to adopt Republican Party principles. We face a legislative session without conservative stalwarts like Ron Gould.

Once again, we need to weed out a rising crop of RINOs. Fortunately, they represent a minority in the Arizona House and Senate, but they can still block good legislation. In fact, Crandall has already threatened to do just that as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He’s in league with the left-wing establishment controlling public schools. The area constituting Crandall’s district was once ably represented by standout Republicans Chuck Gray and the late Marilyn Jarrett.

We can’t vote the RINOs out of office for another two years. But that gives us 24 months to raise up conservatives to challenge them and defeat them in 2014. Not a week can be wasted.

We’ll need to defeat: Jerry Lewis, Bob Worsley, Michele Reagan (Allen’s successor and well entrenched in her Scottsdale district), Andy Tobin (a big fan of unions), part-time lawmaker Crandall, Doug Coleman and Nancy Barto (good on life and marriage, but a border appeaser).

The best way to succeed in reducing the RINO crop is through the Tea Party chapters.

Mission Accomplished: Romney’s Convention Calls on Us to Reclaim the American Greatness We Remember


August 31, 2012

RUSH: I thought it was fantastic. I thought the Romney speech was great. I don’t have any complaints about it. Maybe a couple of nitpicks, but I think “mission accomplished.” Now we see how many people saw it, how it can be built upon, how well the convention built this. I’m gonna go out on a limb. I’m gonna say something. You know, I usually don’t say controversial things, but I’m gonna take a little risk here. When this convention started Monday, even though they took the day off…

When the delegates gathered, when they first got together at the convention hall (the arena or whatever it was in Tampa), I think it’s fair to say, safe to say, that that was not Mitt Romney’s convention. And by that I mean, the people gathered there were not jazzed to be a part of Mitt Romney. I think the unifying thing at the convention early on was, “We gotta save the country. We have to beat Obama. We’re unified. We have a sense of purpose, here.”

There were some doubts, and I think by the end of last night, it had become Mitt Romney’s convention. I think it has become Mitt Romney’s party, and I think it has become Mitt Romney’s cause, and I think they did an amazing thing. Romney, his organizers and people, did a great job. I think that’s the starting point. I really do. You may disagree with me. By that I mean that when I saw camera shots of the first night of the convention, if Romney would have shown up for a surprise appearance?

“Ah, look, there’s Mitt. Okay, cool. No big deal.”

They were there. “He’s the nominee. We’re gonna do the speeches, we’re gonna nominate him, and we’re gonna move on.” But that’s not why everybody was there. There were doubts, there was some fears, but by the close of business last night it had become his convention. It had become his party. It had become his cause. Now everybody is on board. I mean, there are some stragglers, of course, but I think it was a great and unifying three days. It was real. From beginning to end, it was real.

It wasn’t staged. It wasn’t phony. Real people. Just average, ordinary people doing things, saying things, reacting. Speakers. People in the crowd. It was real. And the values! The values that were front and center, day and night, in this convention. I’ll probably get into a little trouble for saying this because people will think it’s not helpful. But the values that we got throughout this convention — the things that we heard, the stories people told; the way they look at their lives, the way they live their lives, the way they look at the country, the way they see the future and what their hopes and dreams are.

It was an America of 40 years ago, 30 years ago. Last night was what I think used to be normal for vast swaths, vast majority swaths of this country. Last night was almost a time machine where we went back in time to an America that we all grew up in, an America that we all desperately hope exists again. I’m talking about from the standpoint of values. I’m not talking about skin color or War on Women, ethnicity, religion, any of that. I’m just talking straightforward values.

Every speaker, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley — you name it, every speaker — had a rags-to-riches story that defined and explained, by virtue of the story alone, the greatness of this country. The greatness of America was on display throughout this convention. There wasn’t anybody up there who doesn’t like this country. There wasn’t anybody up there blaming this country. It was quite the opposite. It really was heartwarming. Then some of the individual stories last night.

This need to “humanize” Romney offends me. It has always offended me, by the way. This need to humanize conservatives offend me anyway. The idea that conservatives somehow don’t have compassion, just by definition of being conservatives, has always offended me. But some of the stories that were told about Romney last night… The 14-year-old kid with cancer? Romney befriending him, hospital visits frequently, writing the young man’s will. People were in tears listening to this story.

These were things people didn’t know. People didn’t know that Romney’s dad put a red rose on his mother’s bedside every morning, or every night. And that’s how his mother learned his father had died: One day the rose wasn’t there. People hadn’t heard that story before. Marco Rubio’s speech last night. In that speech, Marco Rubio spoke to the future of America by defining and reminding people of our greatness in the past.

Marco Rubio was speaking for an entire generation or two of Americans, the young, who have their lives ahead of them. I think Rubio’s speech, the way he delivered it, resonated with people all across the fruited plain that you wouldn’t even think. But from beginning to end, we had a celebration of the uniqueness and the exceptionalism of America. Every person! There wasn’t one angry person, angry at the country.

There wasn’t one person who wanted to blame the country or anybody else (other than Obama, of course). I thought Romney… I’ll be honest with you. I had a lot of people — friends, family — who told me yesterday afternoon and last night that they were scared. They were worried. Romney was gonna blow it. “He’s just too stiff. He can’t pull this stuff off. Rush, the convention shoulda ended Wednesday night. If it just ended Wednesday, it would’ve been perfect.”

I told everybody that said that to me, “I have a different feeling, just a gut instinct. I just think Romney’s gonna be good tonight. I think Romney’s gonna be fine tonight. I think you’re gonna be surprised by Romney.” Then I saw one of the excerpts, one of the lines excerpted from the speech that they put out before he gave it and said, “Oh, no. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.” That’s the line where he said he’d hoped President Obama succeeded. I said, “Why do we have to say that?” But, that line, when delivered, it kinda got in there, got it, and got out.

It didn’t linger. It turned out not to be a focal point, nor was it thematic. It was just tossed in there. There are people today who are nitpicking and saying,”You know, Romney should have had other people tell these stories about him. He can’t do it himself. At Staples, why all the executives at all these companies that Bain saved, why not get some people that worked there whose jobs were saved and so forth?” I understand that. But I think great progress was made. I think the storytelling that was part of this convention needed to happen to counter the drivel that comes from the left, such as Romney caused my wife’s cancer. Those stories are real. There are people out there who believe that stuff.

I’m happier, even, today than I was yesterday, that we didn’t go second, that the Democrats are now on defense. You look at these testimonials about Romney, last night, throughout this convention, does Obama have anybody that can tell a story like that? His brother can’t tell a story of charity. His brother can’t tell a story about personal compassion from Obama. There’s nobody. I mean, the Democrats have to be scrambling right now. (interruption) Well, that’s what I’m talking about. Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, nobody knows Obama, even in these four years, people he taught, supposedly, at Chicago with the University of Chicago law school. Where are these people that say they’ve been inspired by Obama?

I mean, Romney’s got ’em from every day that he’s been alive. With Obama, we can’t find them. We don’t know who they are. And they’ve never been eager to put these people forward. I think telling these personal stories was a great approach because, see, this is what I’m ultimately getting at. I believe regardless the cultural depravity that has occurred in this country over the years and the watering down of values, I still think that most people live their lives as conservatives. They may not know it, just like Susana Martinez didn’t know she was a Republican ’til she sat down and talked to a couple. So when you had these stories told last night, I think a lot of people, “Yeah, yeah.”

Maybe I live in Dreamland. I think I live in Realville, but maybe I’m not, maybe I live in Dreamland; you tell me. But I don’t know how anybody who heard any of this convention could not like the United States of America as described. But they do. But I think they’re fringe. The people that did watch this, I think it was real progress that was made. The line of the convention to sum up the whole convention, Mitt Romney, and, by the way, in addition to the line, the delivery — here’s the line: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans.” Pause, slow, building laughter among the attendees. Romney’s facial expression, perfect. Sense of timing, perfect. He paused. At just the right moment he continued. “And heal the planet.” Laughter continued, and crescendoed. Romney paused again with great timing. “My promise is to help you and your family.” That’s it. How long is that bite? Okay, then we haven’t edited. That’s good. Okay, here’s the bite. Here it is. The only thing you can’t see here, obviously, is Romney’s facial expressions. They were priceless.

ROMNEY: President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans (laughter) and to heal the planet. (laughter) My promise is to help you and your family. (cheers and applause) I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President. America has freed other nations from dictators. (cheers and applause)

RUSH: President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans. There was a long bit of laughter. “And then heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” That whole thing without editing takes 40 seconds, and it is priceless. And then another great line: “When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.” Yeah, hearken back, folks, to the days — and when he talked about Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon. I was alive. People that were alive then, we felt like we were part of the greatest nation on earth. There was a visceral pride that people felt in their country. It’s not felt today. There is no commensurate pride in America right now, but it was revived last night. It was brought back to life by people who still live it, who still believe it, and who want to make it again the reality.

I was struck, I really was struck. I can’t remember who wrote, might have been Michael Daly in the New York Post. I think it was. He wrote a piece a month ago. Paraphrasing: Romney’s biggest problem is when he was born. His view of America just doesn’t exist anymore. I was thinking about that last night, and I can see why some people might think that. You know, you always hear people say, “You can’t go back, you can’t turn back the hands of time. You can’t go back to a simpler, more innocent time,” we’re told. And I understand that.

But this convention and the stories that were told and the speeches that were given and the reverence for this country, the greatness of this country, the opportunity, the exceptionalism, the uniqueness, it was all on parade, and it made me feel like it can be grasped again, that it can come back to life, as it was. And there was nothing wrong with it. Whatever America was, and it’s always had its faults, it was never guilty. America has never been guilty of anything. It never deserves to be cut down to size or punished or what have you.

“When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.” Do you know that on MSNBC that’s racist? Well, because Obama’s not an American, see, he wasn’t born here, a birther. That was Romney’s secret code-speak to birthers. Because Obama’s not an American, that’s what Romney was trying to say. That is how shallow and baseless they are.

RUSH: I am not joking, and I’m not making it up. The Democrat tweets and e-mails all over the place about Romney saying when the world needs somebody do the really big stuff, you need an American. There are people out there tweeting that they loathe Romney for this. They hated him before that, but when he said this, now they loathe him. And it’s a connection to the birthers. Even Alan Colmes of Fox News, a couple hours ago, calls this Romney’s nod to the birthers. Where do we get these people? What happened to these people? What happened to make them have such a perverted view of the United States of America? I cannot relate. All I can do is try to understand.

I can’t relate to somebody who does not understand when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American. Well, okay, who would you rather have? When the world really needs somebody to do the really big stuff, who else but? That’s the way it’s always been. And Condoleezza Rice made the point. Why? Because of our values, our morality, our liberty and freedom. We’re the beacon. Who was it that said last night, it might have been Rubio, or it could have been Romney, there are people trying to turn this country into the kind of country people leave other places for to come here. But how in the world you can be offended when the world needs somebody to do the really big stuff, you need an American? Especially in the context of praising, memorializing Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon? But they’re out there, folks. They’re among us.

RUSH: Think about it. Think about it, folks. Could Obama have given Romney’s speech last night? He’d-a choked on it! He would have been embarrassed. Plus, he’d have been pelted with rotten eggs and stuff by the people at his convention, were he to give a speech like Romney gave last night.

Here is the sound bite I was referring to earlier. It’s Marco Rubio who made the comment I just paraphrased. This is from his speech last night.

RUBIO: Our problem is not that he’s a bad person. Our problem is that he’s a bad president.

RUBIO: These are tired and old big government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they’ve been tried. These are ideas that people come to America to get away from!

RUSH: That’s it.


RUSH: That’s it. (clip stops) No, no! Keep going.

RUBIO: … sadly, millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us —

RUSH: Yep.

RUBIO: — by reminding us of what makes us special —

RUSH: That’s right.

RUBIO: — he divides us against each other.

RUSH: That’s exactly right.

RUBIO: He tells Americans that they’re worse off because others are better off.

RUSH: Exactly right.

RUBIO: That rich people got rich by making other people poor. “Hope and change” has become “divide and conquer.”

RUSH: That’s exactly right. Rubio was fabulous last night. Folks, I can’t get over it. I was moved by this convention.

Updated Arizona Republican Primary Results

* Denotes Candidates Endorsed by The Arizona Conservative

  • Denotes Winners


U.S. Senate–99% Reporting Votes Percentage
Will Cardon* 88,808 21.17
  • Jeff        Flake
289,908 69.11
Clair Van Steenwyk 23,675 5.64
Bryan Hackbarth 15,845 3.78


U.S. House of Representatives Votes Percentage
District 1—99%   reporting
  • Jon        Paton*
24,708 60.82
Patrick Gatti 2379 5.86
Douglas Wade 5810 14.1
Gaither Martin 7551 18.59
District 2—99%   reporting
  • Martha        McSally*
47,171 81.57
Mark Koskiniemi 10,496 18.15
District 3—99%   reporting
  • Gabriela        Saucedo Mercer*
10,134 63.97
Jaime Vasquez 5558 35.08
District 4—100%   reporting
Ron Gould* 21,054 31.51
  • Paul        Gosar
34,037 50.95
Rick Murphy 11,630 17.41
District 5—100%   Reporting
  • Matt        Salmon*
31,687 53.58
Kirk Adams 27,350 46.24
District 6—100%   Reporting
  • David        Schweikert*
33,259 52.55
Ben Quayle 29,840 47.15
District 7—100%   reporting
Write-in 908
District 8—100%   reporting
  • Trent        Franks*
44,870 82.65
Tony Passalacqua 9,285 17.1
District 9—100% reporting
Wendy Rogers* 8060 20.93
Travis Grantham 6862 17.82
  • Vernon Parker
8863 23.01
Lisa Borowsky 2652 6.89
Martin Sepulveda 7719 20.04
Jeff Thompson 2627 6.82
Leah Schandelbauer 1600 4.15

ARIZONA SENATE (Contested Races)

District 16–100%   Reporting Votes Percentage
John Fillmore* 6598 47.8
Rich Crandall 7159 51.87
District  25—100% reporting
Russell Pearce* 10,086 44.02
  • Bob        Worsley
12,789 55.82
District 5—100%   reporting
Sam Scarmardo* 6975 33.36
Nancy McLain 5520 24.96
  • Kelli        Ward
8701 41.61


District 1–100%   Reporting Votes Percentage
Lori Klein* 11,793 24.86
  • Karen        Fann
16,188 34.12
  • Andy        Tobin
19,402 40.89
District 5—100%   reporting    
  • Doris        Goodale*
12,548 43.45
  • Sonny        Borrelli
7677 26.58
Wyatt Brooks 4808 16.65
George Schnittgrund 3795 13.14
District 12—100%   reporting    
Larry Chesley* 6194 24.07
  • Eddie        Farnsworth*
10,563 41.06
  • Warren        Peterson
8898 34.58
District 13–100% reporting    
  • Steve        Montenegro*
7737  38.38
Russ Jones 5914 29.34 
Darin Mitchell* 6468 32.08
District 15–100% reporting    
John Allen* 5995  23.54
David Smith* 5504  21.61
James Bearup 3511  13.79
Heather Carter 10,372  40.72
District 16–100% reporting    
Judy Novalsky* 4139 18.37
  • Kelly        Townsend*
7069 31.37
  • Doug        Coleman
5959 26.45
Jeff Davis 5321 23.61
District 20–100% reporting    
  • Carl        Seel*
6931  35.64
  • Paul        Boyer*
9485  48.77
George Benavides Sr. 2922  15.02
District 22–100% reporting    
  • Phil        Lovas*
13,273  42.77
Jeanette Dubreil* 7314  23.57
  • David        Livingston
10,372  33.42
District 23–100% reporting    
  • John        Kavanaugh*
15,810  41.36
  • Michelle        Ugenti*
13,533  35.50
Jennifer Petersen 8820  23.07
District 26–100% reporting    
Buckley Merrill* 1235  12.94
         Raymond Speakman* 2868  30.04
  • Mary        Lou Tayor
2929  30.68
  • Jason        Youn
2454  25.71



 99% reporting Votes Percentage
  • Bob        Stump*
280,990  34.9
  • Bob Burns*
255.528  31.74
  • Susan        Bitter-Smith
264,701  32.99

Schweikert, Salmon Survive Negative Pounding

Months of relentless pounding assuredly depressed the vote totals of conservative congressional candidates David Schweikert and Matt Salmon, among other conservative hopefuls.

So their hard-earned victories in Tuesday’s GOP primary election were all the more remarkable. Not all conservative candidates were as fortunate.

Salmon served his EastValley congressional district from 1994 to 2000, then retired from Congress. However when his successor Jeff Flake decided to abandon the House and run for Jon Kyl’s U.S. Senate seat, Salmon jumped back into politics.

For months, Salmon enjoyed huge leads in the polling. But then Sen. Kyl inserted himself into the race, claiming it was time to “turn things over” to former legislator Kirk Adams. Kyl and Adams mounted a steady barrage of negative advertising, trying to brand Salmon as a supporter of ObamaCare. The gap closed, the competition escalated.

After last night’s vote counting, Salmon had won 53.68 percent of the vote, to Adams’ 46.24 percent. Vote counting continues for a few more days, but Adams has no chance of catching Salmon.

For a retiring senator, Kyl was very busy directing traffic in this year’s primary elections. He also said “it’s time to turn things over to Ben Quayle” — son of the former vice-president Dan Quayle. That led to another bombardment of a solid conservative, Quayle’s congressional opponent David Schweikert.

Rather than run in his own district, Congressman Quayle moved into Schweikert’s home district turf to seek a new portal to Washington. So it was incumbent vs. incumbent. And Quayle’s invasion sought to destroy Schweikert in the same way General Lee marched into Gettysburg in hopes of destroying the Army of the Potomac.

Senators Kyl and John McCain joined Quayle in constant radio and TV propaganda – launching a seemingly endless barrage of false portrayals likening Schweikert to a hardcore leftist in the Obama mold. They borrowed the playbook of liberal Republican Susan Bitter-Smith, who had savagely trashed Schweikert in the 2010 primary A good argument can be made that all the negative campaigning lowered Schweikert’s vote totals in 2010 and again this year. Quayle, who has a controversial past with a sexual-oriented website, also drew the dubious support of GoDaddy.com, the purveyor of racy Super Bowl ads.

Through the political artillery shelling, Schweikert maintained his dignity and stuck to the high ground. He did not resort to the gutter tactics of his opponents. He took 52.55 percent of the vote.

We keep endorsing Schweikert because he’s the real deal. In this congressional race, Schweikert was the more mature, seasoned veteran of the two. His performance in the House has been excellent.  And we’d like to see him succeed McCain in the Senate in the very near future.

In yet another example of negative campaign interjection by McCain and Kyl, the two men who call the shots in Arizona’s Republican Party handpicked Jeff Flake for the Senate. Flake did little articulation on his own behalf, leaving the destruction of conservative foe Wil Cardon to Kyl and anonymous commercial narrators. Cardon spent $7 million to draw 20 percent of the vote. Flake spent $4.3 million trashing Cardon, and then admitted late Tuesday night “are few distinctions” among primary rivals! Anyone following his campaign advertising for the last several months could never find Flake’s comment believable – based on the character assassination of Cardon as an opponent of Pelosian proportions.

Flake will have a difficult general election battle against Democrat Richard Carmona. And though we have never endorsed Flake (he supports the ENDA agenda pushed by homosexual activists, and he’s long been on the wrong side of the border invasion fence), we’re forced to reluctantly support his election in November. Because in order for the Republicans to capture the U.S. Senate and overturn ObamaCare, every seat is absolutely essential. And we cannot afford to lose the seat long occupied by Kyl.

When it came to negative campaigning of Olympian levels, Arizona Senator Rich Crandall stood high on the medal stand. With a garage-sized closet full of political skeletons, Crandall also portrayed his opponent—Arizona Representative John Fillmore—as the second coming of Barack Hussein Obama. Surely taxing the U.S. Postal Service to the max, Crandall stuffed Mesa mailboxes with a steady stream of hit piece direct mail flyers attacking his conservative opponent. It is to Fillmore’s credit that he came within 561 votes despite the beat-down he took.

Crandall will not get a fall endorsement for us. We simply cannot support someone who showed up at the Senate one-third of the time (he took a part-time job that was more like full-time compared to his rare appearances at the Senate), whose daughter illegally removed a Fillmore sign, who threatened Arizona Rep. Brenda Barton with political recriminations for having the audacity to witness the daughter’s illegal act, and who lied to local media about Barton. The tone of Crandall’s auto-dialer message attacking Fillmore was downright chilling and incendiary. This is clearly a man who could benefit from anger management classes — on his own time and dime, not on yours as a taxpayer-funded public official. We advise the Senate president to take attendance closely next winter and report back to the citizens who’s ditching and who’s not. Senate President Steve Pierce did not do that last term. We will be watching Crandall and Senate votes very closely this time.

Additional GOP congressional primary winners were: incumbents Trent Franks and Paul Gosar, along with newcomers, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, Vernon Parker, Martha McSally and former state legislator Jonathan Paton.


Elections have a way of dividing loyalties among like-minded people. Especially in Mormon-heavy Mesa and Gilbert. Nearly a decade ago, Matt Salmon’s wife Nancy and Carol Soelberg teamed up in a major volunteer grassroots effort to rally support for marriage, life and family, on behalf of United Families International’s (UFI) Arizona chapter. They were a dynamic duo then, but on opposite sides of last night’s congressional election. Now the president of Mesa-based UFI, Soelberg is the mother-in-law of Kirk Adams, who ran for Congress against Matt Salmon. … Long-time liberal legislator Ken Cheuvront can only watch the general election returns as a spectator this fall. He lost to fellow left-winger Katie Hobbs in the Legislative District 24 primary. … The good news is that Kyrsten Sinema, the most radical politician in Arizona history, quit the state legislature to run for Congress. The bad news is she won her primary and will face Parker for a seat in Washington. If elected, Sinema will surely embarrass the citizens of Arizona with her salty language and far-out politics.