Why We have not Been Able to do Endorsements This Year

In the 13-year history of The Arizona Conservative, we have been known for our election endorsements. We’ve done the digging and the research to give you the best advice on who the best qualified candidates are. We’ve stayed up late on election nights and given the most up-to-date results we can give. Then we followed up with post-election analysis.

But this year we’ve experienced adversity that made it impossible for us to provide that valuable service to the thousands of people who have come to depend on us through the years. We apologize. Some have written us asking for the usual advice on judges, but we simply have not been in a position to prepare for those questions this year.

We see a light at the end of the tunnel and a brighter future ahead. We fully expect to be there for you again at election time every two years.

Thank you for your understanding. We hope you will not be discouraged by what’s happening to our country and that you will stand tall and vote to the best of your knowledge before the current election season ends a week from tomorrow. Demand honest, law-abiding candidates who will lead with solid ethics and good values. Do not be swayed by those on the Left who are committed to destroy the foundations of this nation. Do not let yourself be deceived by the hollow rhetoric, the dishonest propaganda of the Left, the Democrats.

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There’s no Blaming the ‘Establishment’ This Time; We Selected Trump

Once again, conservative Americans feel betrayed and ignored by the Republican “Establishment.” Yet again, we are stuck with a nominee for president who is not with us on the matters we most care about.

In fact, each succeeding GOP presidential candidate now drifts further and further away from the party’s official platform.

Many are pointing the finger at Donald Trump and saying they won’t vote for him. A photoshopped graphic is making a big impact for stating that the Republican Party died in 2016 and the cause of death is Donald Trump.

This is the wrong diagnosis for the problem. Trump won the nomination fair and square. He competed for it and he won it.

We can no longer blame the Republican Establishment. Trump won a majority of state presidential primaries – including Arizona. And a slim majority of Arizonans selected as delegates for the Republican National Convention support Trump. It’s the messages he uses that are cause for concern.

As Dr. Alan Snyder writes here, Republican voters have concluded that morality and integrity, the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution no longer matter. He basically says this is a dismal indication that the Republican platform no longer means beans.

We said the same thing immediately following the Republican primary in 2014. That was when Arizona voters elected a Planned Parenthood supporter as secretary of state. Along with numerous others who, it appears, probably have never read the GOP platform. If they ever did, they came away with nothing from it.

Further, Dr. Snyder wrote:

The Republican voters (and for the sake of brevity, I’ll just assume most were Republicans) have decided that a man who rejects nearly every line in past Republican platforms will be their nominee for president.

In short, the party is the problem. Not the establishment. Republican voters in Indiana, New York and numerous other states chose Trump. It wasn’t Karl Rove pulling all the strings.

The GOP voters also chose Sen. John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 to run for president. Neither is a platform-based Republican.

So the chickens have come home to roost. And we conservatives had better start articulating the reasons for conservatism’s advantages for society and why it’s the best approach for a healthy vibrant America.

Dr. Michael Brown also voices the same concerns here.

This is not so much an indictment on Trump as it is an indictment on the American people. God could well be giving us exactly what we deserve.

Tens of millions of Americans are not put off by his blatant, well-documented lying.

Tens of millions of Americans are not put off by his consistent practice of vile character assassination for the purpose of political gain.

Tens of millions of Americans are not put off by his vulgarity and profanity.

Tens of millions of Americans are not put off by his ignorance of critical issues and his complete flip-flopping of major positions.

Decent people who believe in Republican, conservative principles are not winning national elections. We must roll up our sleeves and educate the people. Rush Limbaugh asked yesterday who the conservative leader is and who is articulating conservatism. I would argue that it’s Sen. Ted Cruz. But we didn’t convince enough people that he is the logical nominee.

The blame lies with us. We are allowing the things that the Donald Trumps and the Michele Reagans, and others, believe in to emerge within our own party. We must do better. We must do, as conservative Bill Whittle says, a much better job of articulating our principles and why they serve America better than any other.

Our First Arizona Congressional Endorsement Goes to …

There’s a crowd running for the Congressional seat of the retiring U.S. Representative Matt Salmon. A large crowd.

Among those listed on the Politics1 website are:

Andy Biggs (R) – State Senate President, Ex-State Rep. & Attorney
Alex Finter (R) – Mesa City Councilman, Ex-Mesa Mayor, Businessman & Retired Firefighter

Christine Jones (R) – Attorney, Ex-Internet Executive & ’14 Gov. Candidate
Bryan Martyn (R) – Ex-State Parks Dir., Ex-Pinal County Supervisor & Iraq/Afghan War Veteran
Justin Olsen (R) – State Rep., Tax Analyst & Ex-Congressional Aide

Russell Pearce (R) – Ex-State Senate President, Ex-State Rep., Retired Police Officer & National Guard Veteran
Bob Robson (R) – State Rep., Ex-Chandler City Councilman & Insurance Agent
Scott Smith (R) – Ex-Mesa Mayor, Businessman & ’14 Gov. Candidate

Don Stapley (R) – Ex-Maricopa County Supervisor & Marketing Consultant

Jay Tibshraeny (R) – Chandler Mayor, Ex-State Sen. & Ex-Chandler City Councilman
Kelly Townsend (R) – State Rep., Businesswoman & Navy Veteran
Stephen Viramontes (R) – Businessman
Bob Worsley (R) – State Sen. & Ex-SkyMall CEO

At this early point, we must endorse State Senate President. He’s a fine man and will represent everyone in the district well. There are other deserving candidates, but we can only endorse one.

Cong. Kirkpatrick Among National Leaders for Accepting Planned Parenthood Blood Money

No. 17: Ann Kirkpatrick
$31,650 received from Planned Parenthood, which is under investigation for illegally selling dead baby body parts; which is being sued for not reporting the rapes of under-age girls and allowing their rapists to offend again; and under investigation for illegally over-billing the federal government

PARTY: Democrat
FEDERAL OFFICE: U.S. representative for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District (2009-11; 2013-present); Candidate for 2016 Democratic nomination for Senate to challenge incumbent John McCain (R)

Dark Money

By The Goldwater Institute

The proponents of mandatory reporting of private civic activities have won a major marketing victory by the widespread use of the phrase, “dark money.”  As one commentator put it, “Dark money.  The name itself carries ominous undertones, undertones that critics of this relatively new campaign-finance phenomenon claim reflect a genuine threat to democracy.”[x]  But the term is misleading.  “Dark money” would be more aptly referred to by what those who find free speech objectionable actually support – mandated government disclosure.  The use of such terms is intended to cast suspicion on those who contribute to various civic causes so the debate revolves around ad hominem attacks rather than engaging on the issues.

So, what is “dark money”?  It conjures images of shady political operatives greasing the palms of politicians in dark, smoked-filled rooms.  But does it also apply to traditional political activities, like you and your neighbor contributing your time and money to civic and social activities that you support?  And is it really a threat to democracy, or are those who seek to silence the voice of opposition and limit speech the real threats?

“Dark money” generally refers to funds spent for political activities by businesses, unions, nonprofit organizations, and individuals who are not required by law to disclose the identities of their donors.  Depending on where supporters of government disclosure draw the inherently arbitrary line, dark money could refer to donations made to the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) or to your local church or soup kitchen.

As a general matter, all spending that calls for the election or defeat of a political candidate or constitutes “electioneering communications” involves some level of disclosure to the government.  In fact, there are more disclosure obligations on the books today than at any other time in our nation’s history.[xi]  Nevertheless, some supporters of government disclosure claim that current laws do not go far enough.  They assert that certain charitable and social welfare organizations, including those organized under § 501(c) of the federal tax code, should be forced to disclose the identities of their individual donors when those organizations engage in political activity, even if that is not their primary function.[xii]

Those calling for the elimination of “dark money” are thus attempting to dramatically extend the reach of government-mandated disclosure to a wide variety of organizations, activities, and communications.

Advocates for expanded disclosure call for such dramatic and far-reaching regulations despite the fact that “dark money” is not a pervasive element in American politics. Some government disclosure advocates claim that so-called “dark money” expenditures constitute a significant portion of political spending in the United States.[xiii]  But the characterization is inaccurate.  In the 2014 election cycle, the Federal Elections Commission reported approximately $5.9 billion in total spending on federal elections.[xiv]  Of that $5.9 billion, roughly $173 million came from groups that are not required by law to disclose donors.[xv]  This represents a mere 2.9 percent of all spending on federal elections – hardly a significant portion.  In fact, this figure represents a decline from the 2012 election cycle, where such expenditures amounted to 4.4 percent of spending on federal races.[xvi]  As the Center for Competitive Politics observed from the 2012 election cycle, “Nearly all of the organizations that financed such independent expenditures . . . were well-known entities, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Rifle Association, Planned Parenthood, the National Association of Realtors, the National Federation of Independent Business, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Humane Society.”[xvii]  As a result, there is no secret as to what causes and issues such groups support.

Under existing campaign finance laws, the identities of these groups must be revealed when making direct contributions to candidates or political parties or engaging in other electioneering communications.  Additionally, donor identities must be disclosed when they specifically earmark their donations to nonprofit organizations to be used for electioneering communications.  Those types of donations can hardly be characterized as “dark money” in need of further regulation when under existing disclosure rules, anyone can see that the NRA contributed to Candidate X and Planned Parenthood contributed to Candidate Y.  The positions of those organizations are well known.  Characterizing those expenditures as “dark money” is, therefore, disingenuous.  But forcing further disclosure of donor identities is at best unnecessary, as donors may contribute to organizations to support the overall mission rather than any specific political candidate.  Their donations are intended to support certain issues, not politicians.

Claims that “dark money” is distorting American politics are even more tenuous when leveled at 501(c)(3)s, considering these nonprofit organizations are prohibited from participating in any partisan political activity.

General Election Endorsements

The Arizona Conservative is endorsing candidates for public office in the Grand Canyon State in advance of the November 4 general elections. Voters have two choices: candidates who will champion FREEDOM for the individual and those who will push policies that deny and reduce personal freedoms – the candidates of socialism and excessive government CONTROL of your life. Whom do you want in office? Those who will protect your constitutional freedom, or those who would expand government and take away more and more of your freedom, controlling more and more of your life? Your vote will impact every facet of American society and culture. Please make informed and intelligent decisions. Vote on values and principle, not on personalities and negative advertising. Compare what candidates actually say and how they have legislated previously; if you do this, you will find that many candidates from the party of CONTROL will not be as truthful.

Office Freedom Control
Governor Doug Ducey Fred DuVal
Secretary of State Terry Goddard
Attorney General Republican candidate removed for supporting same-sex “marriage” Felicia Rotellini
State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt
Supt. Of Public Instruction Diane Douglas David Garcia
Mining Inspector Joe Hart Manuel Cruz
Congress-District 1 Ann Kirkpatrick
Congress-District 2 Martha McSally Ron Barber
Congress-District 3 Gabriela Saucedo Mercer Raul Grijalva
Congress-District 4 Paul Gosar Mikel Weisser
Congress-District 5 Matt Salmon
Congress-District 6 David Schweikert
Congress-District 7 Steve Gallardo, Cesar Chavez
Congress-District 8 Trent Franks Helmuth Hack
Congress-District 9 Wendy Rogers Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona Legislature

District 1

Senate:

House: Karen Fann

District 2

Senate:

House:

District 3

Senate:

House:

District 4

Senate: Connie Uribe

House:

District 5

Senate: Kelli Ward

House:

District 6

Senate: Sylvia Allen

House: Brenda Barton

District 7

Senate:

House:

District 8

Senate: Irene Littleton

House:

District 9

Senate:

House:

District 10

Senate:

House:

District 11

Senate: Steve Smith

House: Vince Leach, Mark Finchem

District 12

Senate: Andy Biggs

House: Eddie Farnsworth, Warren Peterson

District 13

Senate: Don Shooter

House: Darin Mitchell, Steve Montenegro

District 14

Senate: Gail Griffin

House: David Gowan, David Stevens

District 15

Senate: Nancy Barto

House: John Allen

District 16

Senate: David Farnsworth

House: Kelly Townsend

District 17

SenateA Steve Yarbrough

House: J.D. Mesnard, Jeff Weninger

District 18

Senate:

House: Jill Norgaard

District 19

Senate: Joseph Hobbs

House:

District 20

Senate: Kimberly Yee

House: Paul Boyer

District 21

Senate: Debbie Lesko

House: Rick Gray

District 22

Senate: Judy Burges

House: David Livington, Phil Lovas

District 23

Senate: John Kavanaugh

House: Jay Lawrence, Michelle Ugenti

District 24

Senate:

House:

District 25

Senate:

House: Rusty Bowers, Justin Olsen

District 26

Senate:

House:

District 27

Senate:

House:

District 28

Senate:

House: Shawna Bolick

District 29

Senate:

House:

District 30

Senate: Gary Cox

House: