Monday, September 29, 2014

FIRST WATCH: In Micro-Buy, Goddard Hits Opponent For Voting For SB1062 Right To Refuse Service Bill

Terry Goddard began a small run of a TV ad today that hammers his opponent for Secretary of State, Michele Reagan, for voting for SB1062 earlier this year.  The bill sparked a statewide and national debate, finally prompting a veto by Governor Jan Brewer.

SB1062 would have permitted Arizona businesses who did not wish to do business with people (or businesses) who offend their sincerely held religious beliefs to more easily defend their decision.  Reagan voted for it in 2014, and for the identical bill that was vetoed for other reasons in 2013.

The ad features a lesbian couple and their two children.  The parents explain the bill from their perspective, and then praise Goddard for his previous work as Arizona Attorney General.  (The transcript is below.)

Goddard's campaign purchased less than $10,000 in Phoenix airtime for the ad (possibly more in Tucson), according to documents filed with the FCC.

Three Republican Senators did renounce their votes in favor of the bill before the Governor's veto: Adam Driggs, Bob Worsley, and Steve Pierce.

However, Reagan had told the Center for Arizona Policy - the social conservative entity that wrote and pushed SB1062 - that she would support legislation that would protect LGBT persons from discrimination.  In 2010, she answered their candidate's questionnaire by saying "homosexual people should not be discriminated against, nor should they receive special treatment." She indicated that she would support legislation adding "sexual orientation" as a protected class under antidiscrimination law.*


* * *
Transcript of "Fairness" (as transcribed by Arizona's Politics):

State Senator Michele Reagan voted to legalize discrimination against my family with Senate Bill 1062.
Thankfully, Arizonans rallied, and the bill failed.
But, State Senator Reagan voted for that hateful legislation, and stood with those who would make us 2nd class citizens... even at the risk of losing the Super Bowl.
With that record, how can we trust her to be fair as Secretary of State.
As Attorney General, Terry Goddard was tough, but treated everyone equally.
And that's why we are voting for Terry Goddard.

*h/t to Brahm Resnik, Channel 12, for information regarding 2010 CAP response.

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READ: In National News, From the E-Mailbag: Instead Of People Raising Money Using His Name, Today Dr. Ben Carson Raises Money For... Who?!?

Professional conservative money raiser-spenders have been using Dr. Ben Carson as a fundraising figure for their own purposes. The National Draft Ben Carson For President Committee has raised $7.3M online and through direct mail.

So, when Arizona's Politics received an email this afternoon from the Maryland physician himself with a subject line of "I Need Your Help", it had to be examined.  However, Carson is not raising money for himself or a Carson committee, nor is he helping out the "Draft" committee that has spent $6.6M on buddies and postage.*

Instead, Carson is working within the well-established party structure, raising money for the National Republican Senatorial Committee ("NRSC"), as the GOP attempts to take back control of the Senate.  He focuses on "Replacing Obamacare".

Here is the short, simple email:
Mitch,
Replacing Obamacare starts with taking back the Senate from Harry Reid and the Democrats.
We, as a country, need to have a real conversation about how to reform our healthcare system in a way that improves quality, reduces costs, expands access, and honors America’s legacy.
Instead of having that conversation, Democrats have been raising millions of dollars to spread their false attacks on conservatives...We need your help to set the record straight.
Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance this year, but the Democrats are currently outspending Republicans in the most competitive states.
Election Day is getting closer and closer.  
We need supporters like you to win back the Senate and reform our healthcare system.
Please donate $20.14 TODAY to help take back Senate.
Thank you,
Dr. Ben Carson

*The Draft committee did just spend approximately $500,000 on radio ads for two Senate races in North Carolina and Louisiana.  However, the ads  mention Carson and the Draft committee more than the Republican candidates, and, they appear to be little more than further fundraising efforts for organizer John Phillip Sousa IV and others involved.

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MATCHING GAME, 2014 ARIZONA AG EDITION: Border Security Blurbs On Candidates' Websites

The new Republican Attorneys General Association ("RAGA") ad claims that Felecia Rotellini - the Democratic nominee for Arizona's Attorney General - does not support securing the border.  So, Arizona's Politics went to both candidates' websites to check out the issue blurbs.  We will fill in with actual quotes later (feel free to send us quotes, cites).  See if you can figure out which website each blurb comes from! (We are removing obvious identifiers, and taking some snippets to focus on border security and to make it more illustrative.)



Website #1:
Plan To Protect Arizonans from the Mexican Drug Cartels, Human Smugglers and Organized Crime

“Zero Tolerance for Those Who Illegally Transport Goods or People Across Our Borders”
http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_wires/2006Sep01/0,4675,WesternUnion,00.html
A Problem of Epidemic Proportions

Illegal activity on our southern border has reached epidemic proportions. Transportation of drugs, guns and human beings by criminal cartels and human smugglers has increased border lawlessness resulting in human tragedies. Arizona has become “ground zero” for crimes committed daily as a result of the Federal Government’s failed policies and lackluster enforcement of current laws by local and state officials. Empty rhetoric and ideological tirades of the past four years have divided our community and prevented effective enforcement.

***

Website #2:
ENFORCE Our Illegal Immigration Laws & Protect Our Borders

Whether that be protecting our voter ID laws or ensuring programs like E-Verify are adhered to, we need to make sure our immigration laws are respected and enforced. I am against amnesty and support law and order.

***

Website #1:
A Two Pronged Plan to Secure Our Border

The Attorney General’s office must focus on the criminals who invade our border and profit from their illegal activity. As these criminals and their smuggled goods and human cargo migrate from the border to their distribution centers, a trail of crime, destroyed property and human misery follow. Kidnappings and extortion are commonplace. These criminals are violent, sophisticated and organized. The protection of Arizona’s homeland and its citizens needs the involvement of every level of law enforcement.

The Federal Government has failed in its responsibility to secure our borders. This has created a void in enforcement that the Attorney General will fill. I propose a two pronged attack of simultaneously and vigorously prosecuting and demanding harsh prison sentences for cartels and human smugglers, while at the same time destroying the ability of the criminals to financially profit by utilizing Arizona’s RICO statutes to seize their assets.
Force the Federal Government to Do Its Job at the Border

Securing the Border will increase opportunities for trade with Mexico, spur economic development and lead to increased revenue for Arizona businesses. As Attorney General, I will use the Office to call out the federal government for its failure to fix the broken immigration system. I will also continue to pressure Arizona’s U. S. Senators and Congressional Delegation to pass immigration reform. With effective and smart reforms, law enforcement can more effectively fight violent criminals and focus its limited resources on keeping Arizonans safe.

***

Website #2:
I will do everything I can as Attorney General to work with border community law enforcement agencies to keep our communities safe.

Within my first 60 days in office, I’ll convene a statewide summit of county prosecutors, sheriffs, police chiefs and other lawmen and women. These law enforcement professionals are truly Arizona’s “boots on the ground” when it comes to protecting the public. And while the law enforcement priorities in Cochise County aren’t necessarily the same as those in Apache County, all of us in Arizona are dealing with common concerns such as human smuggling and the drug trade.

As Attorney General, I’m committed to working together with these law enforcement professionals – Republican or Democrat – to keep Arizona citizens safe.


***
The answer is below the jump!

FIRST WATCH: Repub. AGs Go After Rotellini, Say She "Doesn't Support Securing The Border"...From Criminals, Terrororists, etc. (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Arizona's Politics has added a Match Game as a sidebar to this article, posting side by side the major portions of each AG candidate's website blurbs about border security.)

The Republican Attorneys General Association ("RAGA") begins airing its new $1M+ ad campaign against Felecia Rotellini today.  The attack starts off by claiming that the Democratic nominee "doesn't support securing the border", after noting that "drug dealers, terrorists, violent criminals" are "crossing our border, threatening Arizonans."

The ad also claims that Rotellini "doesn't get" the danger because "she's never prosecuted a violent criminal", whereas GOP nominee Mark Brnovich gets it.

RAGA Arizona is going on the air more than two weeks before their Democratic counterparts are currently scheduled to.  Initial FCC filings showed that the start date would be October 6, but subsequent filings revealed the buy to be starting up today, and closer to the $1.6M budget ($300,000+/week for five weeks) previously discussed.

Arizona's Politics is not familiar with any credible reports of terrorists crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and/or threatening Arizona citizens.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Republican Governors Association Has Funneled $2.65M To Arizona Race; Spent $2.25M So Far (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney) (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Update, 2:50pm: Thanks to reader Steve M. for pointing out the article in today's New York Times about the different levels of the Republican Governors Association: "Secret G.O.P. Records Reveal Corporate Donors Paying for Access to Governors". It does call into question the bases for our "light gray" 11 shading on the #50ShadesOfDarkMoney scale; Arizona's Politics has contacted RGA and RGA Arizona for some clarifications regarding the seed money and the solicitation process, and will update as necessary.)

The Republican Governors Association seeded its Arizona committee last year with $500,000, but since then, it has funneled its large nationwide base of individual donors into the "RGA Arizona PAC".  When it filed its Post-Primary report with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office yesterday, it had amassed $2.65M in contributions to help elect State Treasurer Doug Ducey.

RGA has spent most of the $2.25M (including money reported since Sept. 15) on television advertising - heavily running three ads over the past four weeks.  But, monies have also been spent on radio, mailers, consultants, etc.

RGA Arizona's contributions list is exclusively made up of individuals - with only three having written $100,000+ checks.  (The RGA itself collect money from many corporate interests - Arizona's Politics has highlighted a couple of them in the past in connection with Governor Brewer's contributors.)

To put the $2.65M in contributions in perspective, the Ducey campaign - primary and general election accounts - had collected $2.4M before the primary.  Ducey and his family had loaned or contributed $2.4M to his primary election campaign (before the primary).  And, pro-Ducey dark political consultant Sean Noble has only spent $905,000 post-primary in (presumably easier-to-raise) dark money through American Encore*.

On Arizona's Politics "50 Shades Of Dark Money" scale, RGA Arizona currently gets a "gray" shade of 11.  The seed money from the parent organization is disclosed, but on the IRS' schedule and not the FEC or Secretary of State's election-attuned schedules, and the contributions can be somewhat hazy.  But, kudos for not running the entire operation through RGA central (for whatever reason).


* Noble also raised and/or controlled and/or spent money through other IE groups during the GOP primary nomination battle.  Notably, big spending Conservative Leadership for Arizona, which was nominally headed up by former legislator Amanda Reeve, is now chaired by Noble and has expended nominal amounts of money so far in the general election.


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FIRST WATCH: American Encore Adds 2nd Ad To Its Pro-Ducey/Anti-DuVal Rotation, $213K Buy; #50ShadesOfDarkMoney Score (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

American Encore now has a new anti-Fred DuVal ads up and running in heavy rotation.  Arizona's Politics previewed the first one on Monday, praising GOP nominee Doug Ducey; here is the new one, hammering DuVal for his history of working both in government and as a lobbyist.



American Encore filed a $257,000 spending report with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office yesterday, which includes the ad and other expenditures.  Producing the ad cost $5,000 and there are two spends of $213,126 for TV.  An ad buy report filed today with the FCC by KPNX (Channel 12, Phoenix) indicates $185,500 of airtime in the Phoenix market.

American Encore has now spent a total of at least $905,000 since the primary election ended on August 26.  Voters will have no idea where that money came from.  American Encore is a 501(c )(4) social welfare organization that only divulges its donors privately to the IRS.

Arizona's Politics has assigned American Encore a "nearly black" score of 48 on its "50 Shades of Dark Money" scale. American Encore - formerly known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights - is the nationally-known organization run by Arizona political consultant (and nice guy/Disney enthusiast) Sean Noble.

In fact, Arizona's Politics has called on Ducey in the past to disclose whether he and Noble - through sister entity Americans for Responsible Leadership - "anonymized" $1Million of contributions to the Ducey's effort to oppose Prop. 204 in 2012.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WATCH: Mark Brnovich McConnelling With The Best; Independent Ads On The Way

Mark Brnovich, the GOP candidate for Arizona Attorney General, just released his wordless campaign ad, tousling his daughter's hair and smiling with constituents with the best of 'em.

The specialized videos became known as "McConnelling" earlier this year, after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released one with somewhat-unnatural-looking camera interactions.  Brnovich appears more at ease in these staged scenes.

Now that the footage is in the public arena, it can be legitimately picked up by Super PACs and independent expenditure committees that wish to advertise on Brnovich's behalf.  Arizona's Politics has already detailed the planned advertising campaign by the Republican Attorneys General Association and their relatively-dark Arizona effort.

No reason why Arizonans cannot have fun with Brnovich's grip-and-grin video, either.  Or, for that matter, the ones posted earlier by Rep. Kirkpatrick (2012) or Rep. Barber (2014)




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FRED WHO? "Independent" Expenditure Committee "Get Ahead With Fred" Puts Up Signs, Signs Up For Defense Of Coordination Complaint

"Get Ahead With Fred" is a new "Independent Expenditure" committee supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal.  This afternoon, it notified the Secretary of State that it had spent more than $27,000 last week putting up signs for DuVal.

All of that would be fine.  Except the obviously-single-minded IE committee is chaired by Tim Riester, the "Principal and CEO" of Riester Corp.  Riester donated $912 to DuVal's official campaign committee in February 2013, and that would also be fine. Except that Riester Corp. then promptly began consulting for "Fred for Arizona".

Riester Corp. worked extensively - to the tune of $35,118.57 (some or much paid to third parties for advertising, etc.) through January 2014.

The Arizona GOP Party has already filed a complaint with Secretary of State Ken Bennett, alleging that illegal coordination must have occurred between the candidate's campaign and such a close adviser through the formative stages of the campaign.

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FIRST WATCH: NRCC Says Barber May Talk On Fox News, But Still Obama-Pelosi Follower; NRCC Exceeds $1.0M For #AZ02 Race

The NRCC ("National Republican Congressional Committee") has already surpassed $1.0M in total spending on the Arizona Congressional District 2 race in its effort to unseat incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).

Its new TV ad, titled "Loyal", features a clip of Barber on Fox News talking about the need to secure the Arizona-Mexico border.  However, the NRCC cites the facts that Barber has not introduced a border-related bill and that he voted last month against the GOP's appropriations bill to show that he voted against border security and is an Obama-Pelosi follower.

The NRCC spent $24,320 producing this ad, and is spending $188,431.99 to air it this coming week.  Including the $16,000 it paid to the Tarrance Group for polling (not yet released), the NRCC continued to up its week-over-week spending in the pure toss-up CD2 race.

In fact, the new spending brings the total NRCC spend to $1,013,091; the earlier-announced airtime budget was $1.0M.

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FIRST WATCH: NRCC Drops Baggage In New #AZ01 Ad, Focuses On Boots To Try To Stomp On Rep. Kirkpatrick; $284K This Week

The National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC") continues to make its ads against incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) a series, this time focusing on the Congresswoman's boots.

The NRCC first made the much-mocked spot showing the rural Kirkpatrick as a skirt-and-high-heeled figure traipsing back-and-forth.  When Kirkpatrick responded by highlighting her cowboy boots, the NRCC has adapted.

This time, the NRCC takes the footage of Kirkpatrick's stomp, and uses it to suggest that she is stomping on taxpayers with her votes.  Also, this ad is the first time that the NRCC actually shows Kirkpatrick.

The ad highlights a vote on a 2013 Republican measure that was designed to thwart feared carbon tax-like rules from the EPA or the Department of Energy. The law did not pass, and the Administration has not proposed any such rules. It also scolds her for debt limit increase votes and Obamacare votes.




The NRCC spent $20,860 producing the ad, and is spending $264,011.23 airing it during the next week.  To date, the NRCC has spent nearly $1.5M in the "pure toss-up" campaign.

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Tucson Polar Bear Arrested In NYC, Now Endangered There; Was He Tagged?

Tucson's very own polar bear became a hit on Wall Street ONCE he was arrested.  Now, he is endangered there (too).


Former Tucsonan Peter Galvin, one of the founders of the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, donned a polar bear suit for the climate change protests in New York.  The sight of a smallish polar bear being arrested became a social media sensation and was written up today in the Washington Post.

The CBD was happy to Tweet and hour ago that Peter "FrostPaw" Galvin and Exec. Dir./Cofounder Kieran Suckling were released back (into the wilds of NYC).  No word yet if they were tagged.



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SMILE: Facebook Wants Me To Reassure Sean Noble

Today's not the first time that I have gone over to my Facebook page to see the concerned folks at Facebook asking me to reassure Sean Noble of my identity by posting a new profile picture. (What happened to my prickly Arizona cactus?)  The irony of Facebook choosing Sean from my 200+ FB friends for this message is too good to go unnoticed.  Thanks for the smile, Facebook.


Don't worry, Sean. It's me.

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BREAKING: New House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Touches Down In Phoenix Tomorrow For $500/Person Fundraiser For Tobin/McSally/Rogers JFC - $40,200 Maximum (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

New House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is hoping to raise a lot of money for the GOP's three Arizona challengers in swing districts when he drops by Phoenix's Seasons 52 restaurant for lund tomorrow (Sept. 24).

State House Speaker Andy Tobin, Martha McSally and Wendy Rogers have formed the "Arizona Congressional Victory Fund" joint fundraising committee with the National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC"), which means that although the lunch ticket tomorrow is $500, the maximum contribution for an individual or political committee is $40,200.

The full invitation is below.  Tobin, McSally and Rogers are trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1), Ron Barber (D-CD2) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9), respectively.  The first two races are rated as pure toss-ups by national rating services, while CD9 is listed as leaning Democratic.

Seasons 52 is owned by Darden Restaurants, a national restaurant group that also owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.



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Sometimes A Comedy Routine Just Falls Into Place...










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Monday, September 22, 2014

FIRST WATCH: American Encore Drops New $128K Ad Touting Ducey's "Steady Leadership" On Education; 50 Shades of Dark Money Scale (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Sean Noble's American Encore has released a new $128,000 television ad touting Treasurer Doug Ducey's "Steady Leadership" on educational issues.



The 2nd advertisement from the dark money independent expenditure committee supporting the GOP nominee for Governor touts Ducey's leadership roles on education ballot measures that were on the 2012 ballot: for Prop. 118 - which established a different formula for how much Arizona schools receive from state trust lands - and opposing Prop. 204 - the continuation of the state sales tax that was tied to education and other items.

On the "50 Shades of Dark Money" scale introduced last week, the American Encore effort receives a 48 "nearly black" score.  American Encore - formerly known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights - is the nationally-known organization run by Arizona political consultant (and nice guy/Disney enthusiast) Sean Noble.

In fact, Arizona's Politics has called on Ducey in the past to disclose whether he and Noble - through sister entity Americans for Responsible Leadership - "anonymized" $1Million of contributions to the Ducey's effort to oppose Prop. 204 in 2012.

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READ: Rep. Kirkpatrick Lone AZ Holdout Against "Audit The Fed" Bill (2014); Says Opens Door To Meddling With Economic Growth

(Update, 10:20am: Adding the U.S. Code section that would be changed by the bill (if it becomes law) - at bottom of article. Also removed the words "some of" from the clause in the 4th graf "...would remove some of the exemptions..."; the bill removes all of the limitations. Added explanation of the code section changes.)

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly called for an audit of the Federal Reserve System's policy decisions regarding interest rates and monetary policy. Eight of Arizona's nine Representatives voted with the 333-92 majority; only Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) did not.

Kirkpatrick is locked in one of the 15 pure toss-up House races in the nation, and the typical scenario is that those incumbents do not provide extra negative ad fodder this close to the election.  (In fact, that is unfortunately how the majority leadership in the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate determine which issues to bring to the floor for votes.)

The Audit the Fed bill passed the House last week with its highest vote total ever*, and it still has little chance of seeing the light of day in the Senate.  But, it put Democrats on record (one Republican - Campbell in CA - voted nay, 106 Dems voted aye).

The Federal Reserve System ("the Fed") is audited, but only its central financial operations.  This bill would remove the exemptions that have been written into law to maintain separation between the Fed and the federal government.

Arizona's Politics asked Rep. Kirkpatrick to explain her lone nay vote, and this is how she replied:
"I strongly support increased transparency at the Federal Reserve. Since the financial crisis, Congress has already required increased transparency that balances proper oversight with protecting the Fed from a politicized process. I am concerned that the bill voted on by the House could subject monetary policy decisions made by the Fed to political pressure. As an independent government agency, the Federal Reserve should base decisions solely on economic considerations to maintain sound monetary policy.
As required by Congress, the GAO already regularly audits the Fed. However, this bill expands the GAO’s audit authority to the deliberations of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) related to interest rate and monetary policy, beyond a traditional audit. I am concerned that an unintended consequence of this expansion could compromise the Fed’s independence and jeopardize our fragile economic growth."
The proposed bill would amend the U.S. Code section posted below.  It would eliminate all of the "may not includes" in subsection (b) and - under the term "technical and conforming amendments" - get rid of subsection (f), which not only contains other limitations but also provides for "delayed disclosure" of specific transactions.


* When the identical bill was voted on in the House in 2012, Arizona's entire delegation voted aye; Kirkpatrick was not in the House in 2012.


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Sunday, September 21, 2014

BEER FACT CHECK: KTAR's FAILED Claim That Beer Prices At Arizona Cardinals' Games Are "Pretty Decent Deal" & "Cheaper Than League Average"

Arizona's Politics was pretty happy to see the KTAR Tweet yesterday proclaiming that beer prices at Arizona Cardinals' games are cheaper than the league average; while we won't be at today's game against the Niners, we try to make it to at least one home game/year, and the games always go better with a cold one.

The article - written by the "KTAR Newsroom" - even goes one step further and declares in the lead that you are "getting a pretty decent deal".  The Cardinals charge $7.25 for a 12 ounce beer.

Unfortunately, the sole basis for that - other than the obvious desire that beer purchasers at many events want to reassure themselves that it is a "pretty decent deal" - is a survey that BusinessInsider.com reported on of the NFL stadium concessionaires.  Teams self-reported the prices and sizes of the smallest beers - of whatever quality or lack thereof - on the menu board.

BusinessInsider.com gave the appropriate context and did not try to inappropriately compare a 12 ounce beer at one stadium to the 21 ounce "small" beer at another (hello, Pittsburgh!).

Perhaps because KTAR is the radio home of the Cardinals - or perhaps because the author (authors?) had already had a few small beers - the localized article contained no such wisdom.

The only reason UOP Stadium's small beers are below the league average is because only 7 stadia offer a 12 ounce beer, and the Phoenix 12-oz. is the 2nd highest of those 7. Those bums in Philly charge $8.50 for a 12 ounce beer; no wonder the fans are angry. The other five cities charge $4.50 or $5.

It only took Arizona's Politics a couple of minutes to calculate the league average PER OUNCE, for the smallest beer offered at each stadium.  That average is $0.45/ounce.  The Cardinals? $0.60/ounce.

In other words, the Cardinals are soaking us 33% more than the average NFL team is, for a small beer.  And, the Cardinals' small beer is THE SECOND MOST COSTLY - PER OUNCE - IN THE NFL!

I mentioned yesterday that the lesson is to buy the larger sizes.  More likely, the correct lesson is to either TAILGATE or to NOT DRINK BEER.

Regardless, KTAR was completely soused when they tried to localize the data, and that has us SEEING RED!  An "F" for KTAR, and they owe us all a beer!





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Friday, September 19, 2014

GOP Ramps Up Spending While Dems Tail Off In #AZ02 - The Week In "The Great(?) Arizona Congressional War of '14" (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

An interesting week in Arizona in the major spending battle between the national Congressional arms of the Democratic and Republican parties.  The GOP's NRCC  continued to ramp up its spending in the toss-up battle between Martha McSally and Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) while the DCCC did not make a new ad buy (while still running new ads).

In the other toss-up battle, both parties spent slightly less this week, and the DCCC has still spent more attacking challenger Andy Tobin in his bid to unseat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1).

The DCCC ("Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee") produced two new ads (below), at a total cost of $52,878.  It also purchased $390,626.87 in airtime this week, bringing its total anti-Tobin total to $1,273,009.

Attacking the incumbent, the NRCC ("National Republican Congressional Committee") bought $262,313.23 worth of spots to continue airing its 2nd baggage claim.  The NRCC's total anti-Kirkpatrick spend is now $1,202,643.


The graph (right) shows that the NRCC started spending money on this race right after the primary, while the DCCC waited until it was certain who the GOP nominee would be. Since then, the DCCC has consistently spent more each week.

In CD2, the NRCC produced a new anti-Barber ad ($21,250) (below) and purchased $186,778.45 of airtime. That brought its CD2 total to $784,339.  The DCCC spent $6,108 on production and $54,586.98 on its ad buy for the week, bringing its total to $537,550.

The graph (left) shows the strategies more clearly.  The NRCC is steadily increasing its effort; the DCCC's fall-off this week could be one or more of several factors: a timing anomaly, a dramatic surplus of confidence (unlikely), a catastrophic drop in confidence (also unlikely), the entrance into the race of other players (Americans for Responsible SolutionsHouse Majority PAC). Or, none of the above. Maybe next week will help clarify.

Remember the budgets announced earlier by the DCCC and the NRCC for these key races.
CD1: DCCC, $2.2M; NRCC, $1.95M
CD2: DCCC, $700K, NRCC, $1.0M





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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Family of Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Starts Secure Border Super PAC

An uncle of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry - along with the Brian Terry Foundation - started a new Super PAC this week to influence Congressional elections.  The new Brian Terry Secure Border Project PAC filed its federal paperwork out of Phoenix on Tuesday.

Terry was killed in a shootout on the Arizona side of the U.S.-Mexico border in 2010, and drew attention to the gun-walking program-turned-scandal known as Fast and Furious.  Terry's family formed the Brian Terry Foundation, and this new Super PAC effort involves many of the same people.

Uncle Ralph Terry is listed in the paperwork as the Treasurer of the new Super PAC, which can accept unlimited contributions and can make independent expenditures in Congressional races.

There does not appear to be a website up for the Super PAC at this time.  Arizona's Politics has inquired about further information, and will supplement if more information becomes available.



We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Arizona Delegation Splits Vote On Arming Syrian Rebels; Dems Split, Repubs Split; Text of Resolution; Reaction From AZ Reps.

The final vote was 273-156.  The Republicans split 159-71, and the Democrats split 114-85.  The Arizona delegation was even more closely split.

Y-Kirkpatrick
Y-Barber
N-Grijalva
N-Pastor
Y-Sinema

N-Gosar
Y-Franks
Y-Schweikert
N-Salmon

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Here is the text of the passed Amendment:
The text of the amendment is as follows:
    At the end of the joint resolution (before the short title), insert the following:
    Sec. X. (a) The Secretary of Defense is authorized, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian groups and individuals for the following purposes:
    (1) Defending the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and securing territory controlled by the Syrian opposition.
    (2) Protecting the United States, its friends and allies, and the Syrian people from the threats posed by terrorists in Syria.
    (3) Promoting the conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict in Syria.
    (b) Not later than 15 days prior to providing assistance authorized under subsection (a) to vetted recipients for the first time--
    (1) the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate a report, in unclassified form with a classified annex as appropriate, that contains a description of--
    (A) the plan for providing such assistance;
    (B) the requirements and process used to determine appropriately vetted recipients; and
    (C) the mechanisms and procedures that will be used to monitor and report to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate on unauthorized end-use of provided training and equipment and other violations of relevant law by recipients; and
    (2) the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate a report, in unclassified form with a classified annex as appropriate, that contains a description of how such assistance fits within a larger regional strategy.
    (c) The plan required in subsection (b)(1) shall include a description of--
    (1) the goals and objectives of assistance authorized under subsection (a);
    (2) the concept of operations, timelines, and types of training, equipment, and supplies to be provided;
    (3) the roles and contributions of partner nations;
    (4) the number of United States Armed Forces personnel involved;
    (5) any additional military support and sustainment activities; and
    (6) any other relevant details.
[Page: H7557]  GPO's PDF
    (d) Not later than 90 days after the Secretary of Defense submits the report required in subsection (b)(1), and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall provide the appropriate congressional committees and leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate with a progress report. Such progress report shall include a description of--
    (1) any updates to or changes in the plan, strategy, vetting requirements and process, and end-use monitoring mechanisms and procedures, as required in subsection (b)(1);
    (2) statistics on green-on-blue attacks and how such attacks are being mitigated;
    (3) the groups receiving assistance authorized under subsection (a);
    (4) the recruitment, throughput, and retention rates of recipients and equipment;
    (5) any misuse or loss of provided training and equipment and how such misuse or loss is being mitigated; and
    (6) an assessment of the effectiveness of the assistance authorized under subsection (a) as measured against subsections (b) and (c).
    (e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
    (1) The term ``appropriately vetted'' means, with respect to elements of the Syrian opposition and other Syrian groups and individuals, at a minimum, assessments of such elements, groups, and individuals for associations with terrorist groups, Shia militias aligned with or supporting the Government of Syria, and groups associated with the Government of Iran. Such groups include, but are not limited to, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al Nusrah, Ahrar al Sham, other al-Qaeda related groups, and Hezbollah.
    (2) The term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
    (A) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; and
    (B) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
    (f) The Department of Defense may submit a reprogramming or transfer request to the congressional defense committees for funds made available by section 101(a)(3) of this joint resolution and designated in section 114 of this joint resolution to carry out activities authorized under this section notwithstanding sections 102 and 104 of this joint resolution.
    (g) The Secretary of Defense may accept and retain contributions, including assistance in-kind, from foreign governments to carry out activities as authorized by this section which shall be credited to appropriations made available by this joint resolution for the appropriate operation and maintenance accounts, except that any funds so accepted by the Secretary shall not be available for obligation until a reprogramming action is submitted to the congressional defense committees: Provided, That amounts made available by this subsection are designated by the Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985: Provided further, That such amounts shall be available only if the President so designates such amounts and transmits such designations to the Congress.
    (h) The authority provided in this section shall continue in effect through the earlier of the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution or the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense.
    (i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to constitute a specific statutory authorization for the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein hostilities are clearly indicated by the circumstances.


    (j) Nothing in this section supersedes or alters the continuing obligations of the President to report to Congress pursuant to section 4 of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1543) regarding the use of United States Armed Forces abroad.
***
Statement from Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2), voted yes:
“We must work aggressively along with our allies to degrade and defeat the terrorist group ISIL to stop their savage slaughter of innocent civilians and to protect American interests at home and abroad,” Barber said today. “I voted to give the Pentagon authority to work with moderate Syrian opposition forces – but this is not an open-ended commitment. As part of this approval, the president will be required to report to Congress on strategies being implemented and their progress.”
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Statement from Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3), voted no:
“If we’ve learned one thing in the thirteen years since we rushed into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is that wars cannot be rushed. Conflicts cannot be won through cut corners and half-measures. We must be deliberate, and have a clear depiction of our allies and enemies alike. We must have assurances and participation from other nations in the region. We must have a clearly defined – and achievable – mission. Most importantly, it must be clear in our minds how we will bring hostilities to an end. “On every one of these thresholds, the arming of Syrian rebels to confront ISIL fails to reach the mark. While I am deeply troubled by the violence spreading in the region, I will not cast a vote that only further complicates and intensifies the fight. “Syrian rebels are not loyal to our flag, and they will not do our bidding. They will pursue their own interests, and while allied today, they may be a sworn enemy tomorrow. We have seen time after tragic time that the weapons we provide will be aimed at our own troops if that comes to pass. “A successful response to this crisis can only come with the significant involvement of other nations in the region. They have the most to lose if ISIL remains unchecked, and they have a vested interest in the social, political and economic implications of this conflict. If we proceed despite the tepid response from nations like Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we will be taking sides in a civil war and welcoming the perception that we’ve adopted the conflict as our own. “This is not a strategy for victory or a roadmap to peace. It is a prescription for more war, and I cannot in good conscience support it.”
***
Statement from Rep. Matt Salmon (R-CD5), voted no:
“In addition to the fiscal irresponsibility of perpetually passing continuing resolutions to fund our government, I have grave concerns over the implications of passing an amendment that supports the President’s plan to fund, train, and arm Syrian rebel fighters.  By coming to the Congress only with the most contentious aspect of his ISIS strategy, the President shows that he only cares for Congress’ input when he seeks to avoid potential political pitfalls by diffusing responsibility.
“Furthermore, like many Americans, I’m concerned over the President’s ability to positively differentiate between our allies and our adversaries in the Syrian conflict.  As we have seen in Iraq, arming a group of fighters is not wise if those individuals will either desert their posts or support the enemy they claim to oppose.  The President’s assurances that he knows who should be receiving our aid are not enough.  Congress has an obligation to ensure that our weapons are not used against U.S. forces or U.S. interests before we authorize their disbursement.  Two weeks ago, the President called the Free Syrian Army a ‘fantasy;’ now he wants them to be the tip of the spear in America’s ISIS strategy.
“It is undeniable that ISIS poses a serious threat to the U.S. and our national interests.  As I stated last week after the President’s address, I stand ready to assist him in confronting and eliminating this threat, but only after he presents Congress with a full comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and asks for Congress’ full authorization of force.  By doing so, he will convince our allies that America stands ready to work with them in defeating threats to our freedom.  Nonetheless, the President must recognize that each day that passes without him working with Congress to show a unified front is another day wasted in eradicating Islamic extremists and achieving our objective of protecting America’s security.”
***
Statement from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4), voted no:
"Furthermore, the McKeon Amendment which approved of the President’s plan for dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a poor strategy. I voted against arming violent death squads that have no loyalty to the United States or our values. We have no allies in Syria. We should not be spending precious taxpayer money and jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers to help one terrorist group fight another terrorist group. Further, Congress has not declared war, as is required under the Constitution. We cannot fund a war that we have not officially declared. Several generals and foreign policy experts have stated that it will take American boots on the ground to finish the job and dismantle ISIS. The President continues to make clear this is not an option, even contradicting military advisors within his own administration. I have serious concerns about the President’s plan or lack thereof. As such, I could not support this panicked reaction to "do something" that is not thought out and lacks a winnable strategy."
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