FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

WATCH: Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly At Democratic National Convention (TRANSCRIPT)

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords took the podium - along with her husband and Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly - to bring her efforts to reduce gun violence to the Democratic National Convention.


Giffords and Kelly have been vocal proponents for universal background checks since a would-be assassin shot her in the head at a Congressional town hall event in Tucson in January 2011.

"Strong women get things done," Giffords said tonight about Hillary, though she could have also been talking about herself.

Here are their back-to-back speeches:

(Kelly) THANK YOU. AND YOU, EVERYONE. [CHEERS] IT IS SO GREAT TO BE HERE IN THE GREAT CITY OF PHILADELPHIA. I SPEAK YOU TONIGHT AS A PROUD SON OF TWO NEW JERSEY POLICE OFFICERS. [CHEERS] AS A VETERAN OF 39, MISSIONS DURING OPERATION DESERT STORM, AND OF 25 YEARS IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY -- [CHEERS] AS A FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT WHO FLEW FOR MISSIONS INTO SPACE, MY DECADES AS A PILOT A MILITARY OFFICER AND ASTRONAUT GAVE ME A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON OUR WORLD. I SAW OUR COUNTRY AT ITS BEST. I ALSO SAW IT, HUMANITY, AT ITS WORST. FROM THE COCKPIT OF MY BASICS INTRUDER -- A-6 INTRUDER, I SAW AMERICA LEAD THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION THAT DEFEATED SADDAM HUSSEIN. I ALSO SAW THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF WAR ITSELF. FROM ORBIT, I SAW OUR PLANET AS A PERFECT BLUE MARBLE JUST LOADING IN THE BLACKNESS OF SPACE. -- FLOATING IN THE BLACKNESS OF SPACE. I ALSO SAW A RECEDING GLACIERS AND SHRINKING RAINFORESTS. AT WAR AND SPACE, I SAW THE AWESOME EXTENT OF AMERICAN POWER AND CAPABILITY. BUT IT WAS SO FRUSTRATING TO RETURN HOME AND SEE HOW WE STRUGGLE TO ADDRESS SOME OF OUR GREATEST CHALLENGES. JUST AS HILLARY IS PREPARED TO DO THE ISIS, ADVANCE OUR VALUES, AND PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS, HILLARY IS READY TO TAKE ON ONE OF OUR COUNTRIES GREATEST MORAL FAILURES HERE AT HOME, AND THAT IS THE GUN VIOLENCE THAT IS TEARING SO MANY OF OUR COMMUNITIES APART. [CHEERS] WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. AND HILLARY KNOWS WE CAN. HILLARY KNOWS THAT WE CAN SAVE LIVES BY DOING MORE TO KEEP GUNS OUT OF THE WRONG HANDS. AND WE KNOW THAT AS PRESIDENT, SHE WILL DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR OUR NATION, NOT WHAT IS POLITICALLY CORRECT -- POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT. [CHEERS] SHE WAS DEAD UP TO THE WASHINGTON GUN LOBBY THAT WORKS TO PROTECT THE SHAMEFUL STATUS QUO. IF WE WANT TO LEAVE OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS A COUNTRY WITH LESS GUN VIOLENCE, NOT MORE, THEN WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT HILLARY CLINTON IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. [CHEERS] NOW, I WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOMEBODY WHO IS WORKING TO DO JUST THAT. SOMEBODY WHO HAS TAUGHT ME EACH AND EVERY DAY TO DENY THEY SENTENCE OF FAILURE, SOMEBODY WHO DOES NOT GIVE UP AND SOMEBODY WHO BELIEVES, LIKE HILLARY DOES THAT WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER. MY WIFE, MY WIFE THE AWESOME CONGRESSWOMAN DEBBIE GIFFORDS. -- GABBY GIFFORDS. [CHEERS] (music) [CHEERS]

(Giffords) HELLO FELLOW DEMOCRATS! [CHEERS] WHAT A CROWD. [CHEERS] I'M HONORED TO BE HERE TODAY. WE HAVE IMPORTANT WORK AHEAD OF US. WORK THAT WILL DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY. ARE YOU READY? [CHEERS] ARE YOU READY? [CHEERS] ARE YOU READY? [CHEERS] I'M READY. IN CONGRESS I LEARNED A POWERFUL LESSON. STRONG WOMEN GET THINGS DONE. [CHEERS] HILLARY IS TOUGH. HILLARY IS COURAGEOUS. SHE WILL FIGHT TO MAKE OUR FAMILIES SAFER. IN THE WHITE HOUSE, SHE WILL STAND UP TO THE GUN LOBBY, THAT IS WHY I AM VOTING FOR HILLARY. [CHEERS] COME JANUARY, I WANT TO SAY THESE TWO WORDS, MADAM PRESIDENT. [CHEERS] THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [CHEERS] (music)



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WATCH: Arizona Rep. Gallego Defends McCain, Tells Nation "Trump Is Trying To Pull Off the Ultimate Scam, Pretending He Cares About Veterans" (TRANSCRIPT)

Freshman Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-CD7) took the stage at the Democratic National Convention this evening, and attacked Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump hard about his attempts to "scam" people into believing he cares about veterans.

Gallego contrasted the values learned during his experience as a Marine in Iraq; "Donald Trump is a man who questions the loyalty of those who serve our country without ever himself serving. That is not patriotic. Service and sacrifice? Donald Trump says about Senator McCain 'lots of people were not captured.' As a Marine, as an American, I am offended."

He then hit Trump's use of veterans: "One of my fellow Marines called Trump University a complete con. I say that about Donald Trump himself. Donald Trump is a scam artist. He is trying to pull off the ultimate scam, pretending he cares about veterans. Hillary Clinton is the real deal."

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will be addressing the convention later this evening.

(C-Span's closed captioning transcript. Generally, pretty rough.)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THESE DAYS SOME PEOPLE, CONGRESSMAN. THE PROUDEST TITLE I'VE EVER HAD IS THAT IT UNITED STATES MARINE. I SERVED IN IRAQ, AND THE LEGENDARY LIMA COMPANY OUT OF OHIO. DEPLOY BEHIND -- BESIDES ME WERE THE SONS OF NATIVE AMERICANS, AFRICAN AMERICANS, MIDWESTERN WHITE BOYS, AND MUSLIM AMERICANS AS WELL. [APPLAUSE] WHILE WE WERE LOOKING FOR INSURGENTS IN IRAQ WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER'S RACE OR RELIGION. WE FOUGHT TOGETHER. WE LAUGHED TOGETHER AND WE MOURNED TOGETHER. PATRIOTISM, SERVICE, AND SACRIFICE. KEEPING YOUR WORD. THOSE ARE THE VALUES OF UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. THOSE OVER AMERICAN VALUES. THOSE ARE NOT DONALD TRUMP'S VALUES. DONALD TRUMP IS A MAN WHO QUESTIONS THE LOYALTY OF THOSE WHO SERVE OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT EVER HIMSELF SERVING. THAT IS NOT PATRIOTIC. SERVICE AND SACRIFICE? DONALD TRUMP SAYS ABOUT SENATOR MCCAIN, "LOTS OF PEOPLE WERE NOT CAPTURED." AS A MARINE, AS AN AMERICAN, I AM OFFENDED. WHEN IT COMES TO HONORING THE SERVICE OF OUR TROOPS, TRUMP HAS INSPIRED THE MISS WORK BECAUSE OF THEIR DUTY. THAT IS NOT JUST ILLEGAL, IT IS IMMORAL. AND SET OF KEEPING HIS WORD TO VETERANS, HE HAS USED US AS AN EXCUSE TO BACK OUT OF DEBATES THEN FAILED FOR MONTHS TO DELIVER ON THE DONATION HE PROMISED TO VETERANS. ONE OF MY FELLOW MARINES CALLED TRUMP UNIVERSITY A COMPLETE CON. I SAY THAT ABOUT DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF. [CHEERS] DONALD TRUMP IS A SCAM ARTIST. HE IS TRYING TO PULL OFF THE ULTIMATE SCAM, PRETENDING HE CARES ABOUT VETERANS. HILLARY CLINTON IS THE REAL DEAL. SHE FOUGHT FOR THE POST-9/11 G.I. BILL AND THE SENATE TO SEND OUR VETERANS A COLLEGE. SHE EXTENDED HEALTH INSURANCE TO AMERICA'S RESERVISTS, AND SHE HAS A REAL PLAN TO COMBAT VETERANS HOMELESSNESS. MEANWHILE, WHEN TRUMP SAW DISABLED VETERANS LEGALLY SELLING MERCHANDISE IN FRONT OF HIS PROPERTIES HE SAID THERE WORK WAS DOWNGRADING THE AREA. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, DONALD, OUR VETERANS DON'T DOWNGRADE YOUR REAL ESTATE. THEY UPGRADE OUR COUNTRY. [CHEERS] DONALD PRAISES DICTATORS OF INSULT OUR ALLIES. HIS FOREIGN POLICY BE BASED ON FALSE BRAVADO AND BLUSTER. I KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF A COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF WHO MAKES THOUGHTFUL DECISIONS WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT WILL -- POWER THEY HAVE. TO SEND OUR MEN AND WOMEN INTO BATTLE. WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO HONORS THE SERVICE OF OUR TROOPS ABROAD AND HE RESPECTS THEIR SACRIFICE WHEN THEY COME HOME. A LEADER WHO PROVIDES STEADY LEADERSHIP AND PROTECTS AMERICAN VALUES. WE NEED HILLARY CLINTON AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. THANK YOU. [CHEERS] (music)





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BREAKING: Arpaio To Judge: Referring Me For Criminal Contempt Would Make It Harder To Comply With Your Great Orders To Improve MCSO (READ)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's attorneys filed an 11 page memorandum with the Court today, telling Judge G. Murray Snow that his orders in the racial-profiling case have "changed" the MCSO and made it "better", but if Arpaio and/or others are facing criminal contempt charges, it "may hinder (further) compliance".  Arpaio's attorneys also offered to have the Sheriff put at least $100,000 of his personal "skin in the game".

Judge Snow permitted the "Sheriff Arpaio's Supplemental Brief Re: Criminal Contempt Referral" to be filed by today. The bulk is listing the actions that the MCSO has undertaken over the past several years, mostly to comply with the Court's orders and the Monitor's recommendations.


Sheriff Arpaio acknowledges that the majority of these developments have occurred pursuant to this Court’s remedial Orders. He highlights them because they clearly reflect his compliance with the existing Court Orders and demonstrate the all-encompassing and monumental changes undertaken by MCSO in its efforts to comply with this Court’s Orders. The changes are both in law enforcement policy and procedures,training,and internal accountability for all MCSO employees. These sweeping changes are to the institution of MCSO and have occurred under the leadership and with the approval of Sheriff Arpaio. It is the institution that carries over to the future for MCSO and the community it serves. The institution has changed. The institution is better.Based on the Court’s Orders, the institution will continue to evolve and improve. A reasonable and appropriate civil remedy has been achieved. A criminal referral is unnecessary. (emphasis added)
Arpaio attorney Mel McDonald goes on to point out that it would be smarter for Judge Snow to keep the possibility of a criminal contempt referral "in the Court's future arsenal of possible options. Imposing that remedy at this time may hinder compliance with the Court's July 20th and July 22nd orders by pulling resources, and the Sheriff's energy and time, from the civil directives to the criminal referral   and criminal defense."

Lastly, Arpaio is "reiterat(ing) that, as an alternative to a referral for criminal contempt, he will personally put 'skin in the game' consistent with the suggestions discussed in 2015." (emphasis in original)  At that time, a minimum of $100,000 - to go to a local Hispanic civil rights organization - was discussed.

Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees - which County taxpayers are responsible for - in the long-running racial profiling case are now north of $10 Million.

Judge Snow could make a decision about referring Arpaio and several others in the organization for a criminal contempt investigation at any point after tonight.


(Thanks to "Jack Ryan" for publishing the brief on Scribd, so that I didn't have to. A great source for all the pleadings in this case.)

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Monday, July 25, 2016

WATCH/READ: Arizona Rep. Grijalva Makes Pitch To Fellow Progressives, No Boos Heard

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this afternoon, as part of today's liberal theme. As co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and one of the first members of Congress to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Presidential nomination, his full-throated support of presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton was deemed important enough to put him on the Monday roster (along with Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama and others).


His 3:10 speech started with his simple declaration "I stand here in support of Hillary Clinton." Though there are many other Sanders supporters there, the reaction was a cheer, with no boos to be heard.  The reaction was even more pronounced at the end, when he pointedly said that he is "proud to be part of a MOVEMENT that is going to beat Donald Trump." (emphasis added)

(The C-Span transcript below is less-than-perfect. We made one significant change near the conclusion.)
MR. GRIJALVA: GOOD EVENING. I STAND HERE IN SUPPORT OF HILLARY CLINTON. ON BEHALF OF OUR FUTURE AND IN RECOGNITION OF OUR PROUD PAST, I AM REMINDED TODAY OF ALL THE IMPORTANT FIGHTS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS, FOUGHT AND WON BY PROGRESSIVE LEADERS OF OUR PARTY. I CAME OF AGE -- FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS, FOR CLEAN AIR, CLEAN WATER, AND FOR PEACE, AND THE MANY OTHER GREAT -- IN THIS COUNTRY THAT MADE IT A BETTER PLACE. I CAME OF AGE WITH A PARTY THAT BELIEVED THE PUBLIC GOOD, NOT THE SIZE OF A DONOR'S CHECK, WAS THE TRUE MEASURE OF AN IDEA. AND, MY FRIENDS, A NEW GENERATION IS COMING OF AGE TODAY. MILLIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE, ALL ETHNICITIES, ALL BACKGROUNDS, ALL INCOME LEVELS, ARE LOOKING FOR US TO STAY TRUE TO THE PARTY'S GREAT IDEALS. THEY LOOK TO OUR HOPE THAT WE WILL PUT THEIR NEEDS ABOVE THOSE OF THE ALREADY RICH AND POWERFUL. THEIR IDEALISM, THEIR OPTIMISM, THEIR BELIEF IN AMERICA, THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN THE IDEALISM THAT BUILT THIS NATION OR THE IDEALISM THAT WON PROGRESSIVE FIGHTS OF A GENERATION AGO. THEIR IDEALISM IS JUST AS POWERFUL AND, YES, JUST AS FRAGILE. IN THIS ELECTION AND IN EVERYTHING WE DO, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT AND BE WORTHY OF IT. I WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY SUPPORTING OUR NOMINEE IF THE DEMOCRATS OF 50 YEARS HAD NOT HAD THEIR CURRENT. I WOULD NOT BE HERE IF OUR PARTY WAS BUILT IN THE LIKES OF DONALD TRUMP WHO IS TRYING TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY meaner, hateful MEET HER, APRIL, MORE DIVIDED, AND MORE FEARFUL. I AM PROUD TO BE PART OF A MOVEMENT THAT IS GOING TO BEAT RONALD TRUMP. -- DONALD TRUMP, THAT IS GOING TO HELP ELECT HILLARY CLINTON. THAT IDEALISM IS A GOVERNING PHILOSOPHY WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF. NOW IT IS TIME. LET'S GO WIN THIS. LET'S WIN IT FOR OUR PEOPLE. AND LET'S WIN IT FOR OUR NATION. THANK YOU.

By the way, he came on to a great riff from "Fly Like An Eagle". The house band is hot!

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Plaintiffs' Attorneys' Fees Cross $10M Threshold As Judge Considers Criminal Contempt Charges Vs. Sheriff Arpaio; Taxpayers Likely On Hook For It (READ)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will be in court today facing a possible criminal contempt referral for his actions in the racial-profiling case; Plaintiffs filed their 2nd application for attorneys' fees on Wednesday, and it is likely the taxpayers will be on the hook for more than $10.4 Million.

The new $6M application (below) covers the three years since U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow found that Arpaio and his Sheriff's Office had systemically violated people's civil rights. In 2014, the County was found responsible for $4.4M in attorneys' fees.

The Application notes several reasons why the judge should grant the fees award.  However, before that is considered, the Court will be conducting a hearing today (1:00pm) and will likely make a determination as to whether he will refer the Sheriff and Jerry Sheridan for criminal contempt charges.

It was just last night that Arpaio commanded a nationwide, primetime audience for his pro-Donald Trump speech at the Republican National Convention.



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Thursday, July 21, 2016

WATCH/READ: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Speech At Republican National Convention - "My Most Important Mission Has Just Begun"

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio delivered a semi-primetime speech tonight at the last night of the Republican National Convention. He called helping get Presidential nominee Donald Trump elected "my most important mission," and praised Trump for spending five minutes on the phone chatting with wife Ava for five minutes after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Arpaio's 5 1/2 minute speech focused on border enforcement, starting just before the primetime programming (back East) began, and ending just afterwards.

Closed captioning transcript (very rough)> THANK YOU. THANK YOU, ARIZONA. CHAIRMAN ROBERT GRAHAM, THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. [CHEERING] I HAVE SPENT 55 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, 55 YEARS AND HAVE ALWAYS REGARDED MY WORK, THE MISSION IS CRITICAL, BUT MY MOST IMPORTANT MISSION HAS JUST BEGUN, TO HELP ELECT DONALD TRUMP. [CHEERING] PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. [CHEERING] THE STAKES ARE HIGH. WE NEED A STRONG LEADER WHO WILL STAND UP FOR AMERICA AND PUT THE INTEREST OF HER CITIZENS FIRST. UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE LOSING THE BATTLE. WE'RE THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHOSE IMMIGRATION SYSTEM PUTS THE NEEDS OF OTHER NATIONS AHEAD OF OURS. WE ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH THE RIGHTS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS AND CRIMINALS FAMILY ARE WITH REJECTING OUR OWN COUNTRY. [CHEERING] -- PROTECTING OUR OWN COUNTRY. THAT MUST CHANGE. WE NEED A LEADER WHO WILL PROTECT OUR BORDERS AND ENFORCE OUR LAWS BECAUSE A NATION WITHOUT BORDERS AND A NATION WITHOUT LAWS IS NO NATION AT ALL. [CHEERING] AND NOW, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST RESPECT THE POLICE. [CHEERING] WE MUST GIVE THEM THE TOOLS AND THE SUPPORT THEY NEED TO DO THEIR JOBS. THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT MUST HAVE OUR BACKS AS THEY RISK THEIR LIVES EVERYTHING OK TO PERFORM THEIR JOBS AND PROTECT OUR CITIZENS. AS SOMEONE WHO FOR 35 YEARS HAS BEEN A TOP ONE FOURTH THE OFFICIAL LIVING AND WORKING ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER, I CAN TELL YOU FIRSTHAND ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND DRUGS. WE HAVE TERRORISTS COMING OVER OUR BORDERS. INFILTRATING OUR COMMUNITIES AND CAUSING MASSIVE DESTRUCTION AND MAYHEM. WE HAVE CRIMINALS AND DETERGENT OR WEAK BORDER -- PENETRATING OUR WEAK BORDER SYSTEM AND COMMITTING CRIMES. I'M SUPPORTING DONALD TRUMP BECAUSE HE IS A LEADER. [CHEERING] HE PRODUCES RESULTS. HE IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT READY TO GET TOUGH IN ORDER TO PROTECT AMERICANS. [CHEERING] I HAVE THOUGHTS ON THE FRONT LINES TO PREVENT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND I KNOW DONALD TRUMP WILL STAND WITH ME AND OTHER PROUD AMERICANS TO SECURE OUR BORDERS. [CHEERING] DONALD TRUMP WILL BUILD A WALL. [CHEERING] AND RESTORE LAW AND ORDER AND KEEP DRUGS AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM ENTERING INTO OUR COUNTRY. [CHEERING] I WILL NEVER FORGET DONALD TRUMP AND WHAT HE DID FOR MY WIFE. I'VE BEEN MARRIED TO EVA FOR 59 YEARS. [CHEERING] AND DURING THE CAMPAIGN, SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER. JUST BEFORE GOING ON NATIONAL TV, DONALD TRUMP CALLED MY WIFE AND TALK TO HER FOR FIVE MINUTES. SUBSEQUENT TRIPS, HE NEVER FORGOT TO THINK OF MY WIFE. AND CALL HER. HE DID NOT HAVE TO GET MY SUPPORT THROUGH HIS KINDNESS TO MY WIFE BECAUSE I WAS ALREADY HOOKED. [CHEERING] LET'S ELECT A LEADER WHO WILL STAND UP FOR AMERICA. [CHEERING] AND PROTECT OUR BORDERS. SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT. [CHEERING] AND THE MILITARY! [CHEERING] AND IN DOING SO, UNITE OUR COUNTRY. [CHEERING] LET'S ELECT DONALD TRUMP! [CHEERING] THANK YOU. [CHEERING]
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READ: Sheriff Arpaio Wants To See Your Name Just Before He Speaks At Convention Tonight (DEAR MOM AND DAD, PLEASE SEND MONEY)

Maricopa County Sheriff and Trump surrogate Joe Arpaio will be speaking for a few minutes at the Republican National Convention tonight. But first, he hopes to see your name on his donor list.

The fundraising email du jour is pegged to tonight's speech. Just before walking on the convention dais tonight, campaign manager Chad Willems is going to give him a full donor list, and the Sheriff will be looking for your name.*

UPDATE: I'm speaking at the
Republican National Convention TONIGHT!
MItch 
I am honored to tell you that TONIGHT at 8 PM EST I have the privilege of speaking before the Republican National Convention! 
Before I step on the stage tonight, my campaign manager will be giving me a list of everyone who fully supports my re-election campaign. I asked that he made sure to reach out to you – one of my most loyal supporters. Will I see your name? 
Trust me MItch, you will want to hear what I have to say tonight. As you know, I don't tip toe around the truth, and I don't sugar coat things with politically correct rhetoric. I am all but certain the media will try to twist my words. 
That's why it would mean so much to me if you could take a moment now to join my list of people supporting me right now, before I step on stage before millions of people – and media who will undoubtedly try to tear apart my message. 
I've always counted on principled conservatives like you to stand with me, MItch. And I hope you will do so now – before I go on stage at the Republican National Convention tonight at 8 PM EST. 
It would mean so much to me to see your name on the list of supporters before I take the stage tonight. 
Sincerely,

Sheriff Joe ArpaioMaricopa County, Arizona


The text of the email is the most we can provide at this time - it has a couple of vague hints about what he might have to say.  Willems tells Arizona's Politics that the text of the speech is not yet available to either him or the media.

*Unfortunately, it will be hard for the Sheriff to find your name. His donor list for the first half of 2016 runs 502 pages and contains $2M of donations. And, that's without listing all of the $50 or less donations!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fmr Arizona State Senator Handing Over Reserved Twitter Handles To VP Nominee Pence

Former Arizona State Senator Jack Harper today offered to hand over Twitter handles he had reserved in March in case Trump picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Harper - who is attending the convention as an "alternate" in Arizona's delegation - tells Arizona's Politics he made his offer through AZ GOP Chair Robert Graham.

Harper started becoming a Twitter-handle-squatter last November, when he decided to protect @VPCarlyFiorina. In February, he placed bets* on three female governors: Arizona's Jan Brewer (below), New Mexico's Susana Martinez and Oklahoma's Mary Fallin.

In March, he added Texas Senator Ted Cruz while acknowledging that it would be unlikely. And, in April, Harper reserved accounts for John Bolton and Scott Walker. In May, he was looking out for Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.

It was not until July 10 that Harper opened @VPMikePence and @VPMike_Pence. Word leaked out a few days later that Trump had picked Pence.

Harper states that "I just did it as a precaution so the DEM's didn't get it and mock him."  He tells Arizona's Politics that he offered the Twitter handles to Pence through Graham today, and that he has not yet had any discussions. (With any luck, Pence could accept the Twitter accounts the same night that he accepts the VP nomination.)

Harper acknowledges that he is also using the reserved accounts as a conversation-starter, and that he has taken a photo with Fallin and has sought out Bolton.

*Unlike domain squatting, Twitter-handle-squatting involves no monetary risk. Only time. Harper indicates he set up a Gmail account for each, in order to open the Twitter account.

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UPDATE - NO TIP: Restaurant Association Wanted Slower Service From Secy of State Re Minimum Wage Petitions; Judge Denied

The Secretary of State's office does not have to take their foot off of the gas when validating petitions to place an initiative raising the minimum wage to $12/hour on the November ballot. Last night, Arizona's Politics reported that the Arizona Restaurant Association had asked for an emergency hearing asking for the slowdown.

The Secretary of State's Office informs us that the Court denied the request for a temporary restraining order.  "We are permitted to process petitions as quickly as we see fit and aren't required to slow down," says Communications Director Matt Roberts.

The initial hearing on the challenge to the minimum wage petitions is set for next Thursday.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In March, Trump's New Arizona Campaign Manager Said GOP Nominee Could Be "Disastrous"

GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign announced that Arizona political consultant Brian Seitchik would become the State Director for the general election campaign to keep Arizona in the red. It was only 4 months ago that Seitchik pronounced a possible Trump campaign as potentially "disastrous" for the Republican Party.

Seitchik made his ominous comments in March to Politico. Here they are:


Seitchik has also been working as a consultant for Christine Jones' campaign for Congress in CD5.

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EMERGENCY HEARING/READ: Secretary of State Reagan's Office Doing TOO Good a Job On Minimum Wage Petitions; Restaurants Want Her To Slow Down

(UPDATE, 5:15pm: The Secretary of State's Office informs us that the Court denied the request for a TRO to slow down the process. "We are permitted to process petitions as quickly as we see fit and aren't required to slow down," says Communications Director Matt Roberts.)

The recently-maligned Arizona Secretary of State's Office is working TOO quickly on the petition signatures for the minimum wage initiative. That's the claim by the Arizona Restaurant Association today, and the court has set an emergency hearing for 4pm this afternoon.

The Secretary of State's office informed Arizona's Politics today that it hopes to send out samples of the marijuana legalization initiative today, the minimum wage on Friday, and the hospital executive salary cap initiative the following Friday. By law, the Secretary of State does some initial checks on the petitions before sending samples to the county recorders to test the validity of the signatures on the petitions. Their office wants to get the petition samples to the counties as quickly as possible, and staggering them also makes the job simpler for the counties.

The initial court hearing on the Restaurant Association's challenge is scheduled for next Thursday, and one of the allegations in their challenge is that the Secretary of State's database of paid and out of state circulators is incomplete and that some of the petitions will need to be pulled.  That would impact the sample sent to the Recorders.

The minimum wage hearing was set further down the road (than the other two) because the assigned judge is on vacation this week, according to the motion. Therefore, today's hearing will be in front of Judge Gerlach (who is also handling the hospital initiative case).


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BREAKING: AZ GOP Chair Graham Removed Anti-Trump Delegate "In Violation Of State Party Rules", Says Legal Opinion

Lori Hack, former Arizona delegate to the Republican National Convention currently underway in Cleveland, obtained a legal opinion last night concluding that AZ GOP Chair Robert Graham violated state party rules when he removed her based on her anti-Trump views.

Hack forwarded the letter to Arizona's Politics this morning. (below) In response to questions, she said "I am in the convention as a guest", but twice declined to say whether any action to restore her to the Arizona delegation is being taken.

The letter, which Hack released as what she calls a "Public Service Announcement", attorney Trevor Stanley from major law firm BakerHostetler, concludes that Graham "acted unilaterally" and in "contravention" of state party delegate selection rules. Stanley also notes that Ms. Hack's counsel (possibly him) had checked with the RNC on Friday and that neither Graham nor anyone else had filed a formal action to remove her as a delegate.

Graham, who is considering mounting a campaign to become the next Chair of the Republican National Committee, was quoted in yesterday's Arizona Republic as saying Hack "is misleading the entire nation by saying she went through some  process to restore her credentials."



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Friday, July 15, 2016

BREAKING, UPDATE, READ: Court Challenges To Hospital Executive Salary Cap, Minimum Wage Initiatives

Earlier today, Arizona's Politics reported on the court challenges filed yesterday against two proposed ballot initiatives which were turned in last week. Now, thanks to the Secretary of State's Office, we have copies of the Complaints.

Both suits were filed by the same law firm (Coppersmith Brockelman), representing the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the hospital executive salary cap measure, and the Arizona Restaurant Association challenging the minimum wage measure.

As discussed in the earlier article, the two new challenges contain MOSTLY general allegations about petition circulators and the signatures. This is partly because Arizona law now requires a challenge - to the legitimacy of the circulators - within 5 court days.

However, the complaints appear to also claim that the Secretary of State's Office has incomplete databases about paid and/or out of state circulators.* (Arizona's Politics has asked the Secretary's Office for a response and will update as warranted.)

The suit against the hospital salary initiative has a couple of specific allegations not made in the other suit (against minimum wage). The Chamber alleges that the initiative's committee was never properly registered and that all signatures therefore must be thrown out. It also claims that the petition forms did not substantially comply with the statutes because they had 12 (instead of 15) signature lines and because they did not have a required warning (unlawful to sign before initiative is registered with the state).




* It is unclear from the complaints how that might impact the complaint, as it would appear that if the circulator did register (as alleged), not being included in the database would not disqualify the registration (to remove the signatures he or she collected).

(Disclosure: Arizona's Politics co-founder Paul Weich represents a petition gathering firm involved in the minimum wage initiative.)

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BREAKING: All 3 Proposed Arizona Ballot Initiatives Now Facing Legal Challenges; Chamber of Commerce Adds Hospital Exec Salary Challenge

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce has a full court calendar next week, with news that it has filed a challenge to the hospital executive salary cap ballot initiative; the opaque Chamber challenged the marijuana legalization effort earlier.

Also just before yesterday's quick deadline*, the Arizona Restaurant Association challenged the initiative petitions for the minimum wage increase/paid sick time measure. That means that all three of the filed initiatives will be considered by the courts before they can be considered by voters in November.

The initial court hearings are scheduled for the mornings of next Tuesday (marijuana), next Thursday (hospital execs) and the following Thursday (minimum wage). (See below for schedule details.)

As previously reported in the media, the marijuana initiative is being challenged for the sufficiency of its summary description as well as for the validity of the 2598,000+ signatures turned in. (The required number of valid signatures needed for all three initiatives is 150,642.)

The hospital salary and minimum wage initiative challenges both seem more likely to be focused on the qualifications of petition circulators. Arizona law now requires a legal challenge of the paid circulators to be filed within one week of the petitions being submitted to the Secretary of State. (A longer deadline applies for challenging the validity of signatures.)  Yesterday's challenges came at the end of the week.

CALENDAR FOR COURT CHALLENGES (initial court hearings):
1) Tue. July 19, 8:45am, Judge Gentry: marijuana legalization
2) Thur. July 21, 9:30am, Judge Gerlach: hospital executive compensation
3) Thur. July 28, 8:45am, Judge Rogers, minimum wage


(Disclosure: Arizona's Politics co-founder Paul Weich represents a petition gathering firm involved in the minimum wage initiative.)

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, July 13, 2016

UPDATE: Sean Noble and His Group Escape FEC Penalties While Allies Get Hit (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Although Sean Noble's interview led to a major FEC complaint against him and the Koch Brothers network for 2010 activities, he and his group escaped any penalties.

Arizona's Politics reported earlier this afternoon on the large ($243,000) fines that Sean Noble's dark money allies agreed to pay the Federal Election Commission for hiding the true source of $50M worth of ads run in Congressional campaigns in 2010.

The FEC reached conciliation agreements with American Futures Fund ($140K), 60 Plus Association ($50K) and Americans for Job Security ($40K). (One of those agreements is reproduced below.)

The closing letter has been posted by CREW, and it indicates that the fined entities had violated federal law "by failing to identify donors who provided funds for the purpose of furthering certain independent expenditures and electioneering communications."

However, the Commissioners could not agree on the one conspiracy count which included Sean Noble and Center to Protect Patient Rights (nka American Encore). It is not yet clear (to CREW or anyone) what the vote was on the conspiracy claim, nor whether there will be any written opinion about it.

Noble and CPPR were not as fortunate in 2013, when California did include CPPR in a $1M settlement for "inadvertent violations" of campaign finance law. That settlement also involved Kirk Adams, now-Chief of Staff for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, and called into question then-Treasurer Ducey's knowledge and involvement in similar operations for Arizona ballot measures. ("NEWS ANALYSIS: Arizonan for Responsible Leadership: Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey Remains Mum On Anonymized Donors of Anti-Sales Tax Campaign Monies")



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Sean Noble Interview Leads To $233,000 Fine Against His 2010 Koch Network Allies; Arizona Races Included (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(4:15pm: An updated article detailing that Noble and CPPR escaped penalties can be found here.)

Arizona-based Sean Noble gave an interview to National Review in 2014, about how he and Randy Kendrick* raised and disbursed more than $50M through the Koch Brothers network. That article led to an FEC complaint alleging criminal conspiracy against Noble, his group and three of the groups to which he funneled money. Noble and his fellow defendants recently agreed to resolve the matter for a $233,000 fine.

The monies collected by Noble's Center To Protect Patient Rights (nka American Encore) were granted to other dark money groups. The 60 Plus Association, American Future Fund and Americans for Job Security received grants from CPPR, ran ads in Congressional races and told the FEC (Federal Election Commission) that noone had contributed specifically for those ads.

Noble's interview detailed how CPPR's ads were put together and given to the other groups - along with the grants earmarked to run the ads. The article led CREW (the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) to file the complaint in November 2015. (Complaint reproduced below.)


The conciliation agreement(s) were apparently reached within the past few weeks. CREW divulged that information, although, pursuant to FEC precedent, the agreement is confidential until after the matter is resolved. It is possible that either CREW violated the confidentiality, or that the case is resolved and has not yet been closed (and released to the public). (4pm: The matter was fully closed on July 8, but the FEC has not yet released the file; they have 30 days to do so.)

A good chunk of the $50M from Noble's 2010 campaign efforts were spent here in Arizona.  As Arizona's Politics reported at the time, 60 Plus was running ads heavily against three vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Arizona. The ads helped defeat Harry Mitchell, and give Ann Kirkpatrick the boot in CD1.  Gabrielle Giffords hung on in CD8.  (That article called into question the source of the 60 Plus funds.)

Noble also spoke in the National Review article about how he was able to expand the map near the end of that campaign, and that was also apparent in Arizona, as CPPR had 60 Plus sponsoring an ad attacking entrenched incumbent Raul Grijalva (CD7).

Arizona's Politics has reached out to Noble for comment, and will updated with his response.

(UPDATE, 3:15pm: CREW has released the conciliation agreements signed by the 3 of the 4 organizational respondents, as well as the breakdown of the fine. AFF agreed to pay $140K, 60 Plus will pay $50K, and AJS fined $43K.)

(UPDATE, 3pm: FEC tells Arizona's Politics that it has up to 30 days after closure to publicly release information, strongly implying that it has not yet been closed for 30 days. There was an Executive Session of the Commissioners yesterday.)
* Randy Kendrick is an attorney married to Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken.


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