FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Friday, April 26, 2013

READ: Respect Arizona's Motion To Dismiss Constitutionality Lawsuit (Arpaio Recall)

Earlier today, Arizona's Politics posted a copy of the Motion For Sanctions that it had received from the attorney for Respect Arizona.  Here is the accompanying Motion to Dismiss.

Chris Ford, the attorney for the group trying to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, told Arizona's Politics that he is seeking an expedited hearing on the motions.



Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has already filed a Motion to Dismiss the state defendants on the basis of the recall being a county matter that does not involve state elections officials.  The chair of RA, William James Fisher, was named personally, and has also apparently filed a Motion to Dismiss.

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BREAKING: Arpaio Recall War of Words Headed From Media To Courtroom; READ: Respect Arizona Motion For Sanctions Vs. Pro-Arpaio Group, Attorney Klayman

Arizona's Politics has learned that the group attempting to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is seeking a rush hearing on its motions to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the effort's constitutionality and for sanctions against the pro-Sheriff group and its attorney.  Respect Arizona ("RA") attorney Chris Ford also fired back at the opposing attorney, telling Arizona's Politics that yesterday's quote from Larry Klayman was "a simpleton's sound bite".
Ford provided Arizona's Politics with copies of the motions to dismiss and for sanctions.  The latter is posted below the jump.  In it, RA details why it believes the lawsuit filed by Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results ("CPFER") is frivolous, has no basis in law, and was designed to harass and intimidate RA, its donors, its signature gatherers and potential signers.  

RA claims that the lawsuit has, in fact, succeeded in dragging down the effort, although they are concurrently claiming to have collected more than 200,000 valid signatures of the 335,000 necessary to put the recall on the ballot, and expressing confidence that they will reach the threshold by the end of May deadline.  

Ford tells Arizona's Politics that he is filing for an expedited hearing on the motions, based on the fast-approaching deadline.  (The mystery remains as to why RA did not retain him earlier to seek the hearing, though.)

Yesterday, CPFER attorney Klayman told Arizona's Politics that he had seen the motion to dismiss and "that it is not worth the paper it is written on."  Upon seeing the quote, Ford retorted "I await something more than a simpleton's sound bite from Larry Klayman in defense of his frivolous lawsuit, which amounts to nothing more than an abuse of a court system where he is not even licensed to practice for use as a political tool to help Joe Arpaio cling to power."



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Larry Klayman: Respect Arizona's Motion To Dismiss Arpaio Recall Suit "Not Worth Paper Written On"

Larry Klayman, counsel for the pro-Arpaio group Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results ("CPFER"), tells Arizona's Politics that the motion to dismiss filed today by Respect Arizona ("RA") is "not worth the paper it is written on."

RA is the group organizing a recall petition effort against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  The CPFER lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the effort was filed more than one month ago; the motion to dismiss and for damages is being filed today, and RA is holding a news conference discussing it at 3:30pm.

Arizona's Politics confirmed that Klayman had received the motion and asked for response.  Klayman responded, leaving a voicemail: "Frankly, it is not worth the paper it is written on.  And, you can quote me on that."



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Recall Committee Moves For Damages and To Dismiss Constitutionality Lawsuit Filed By Friends Of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

After more than one month, the committee attempting to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is moving today to seek damages and to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the recall petition effort.

The lawsuit was filed by friends of the sheriff, who formed a committee called Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results ("CPFER").  They hired nationally-known conservative attorney Larry Klayman, filed the action contending that the recall effort violated the Arizona Constitution by beginning too soon after the most recent election (among other arguments), and has since allowed the suit to sit quietly in court.  (They did not pursue the injunction that they sought in the complaint, for example.)

The threat - and then, the presence - of the lawsuit likely has contributed to the difficulty that Respect Arizona - the committee organizing the recall effort - has had in raising money necessary to retain paid petition circulators.  The paid circulators gathered most of the some 200,000 valid signatures the committee claims to have, before RA was forced to cancel their services just as the suit was being filed.

RA announced this morning that they have filed motions seeking damages against those who filed the lawsuit, and to dismiss the lawsuit.  The Superior Court docket does not yet show that the motion(s) has(have) been filed.

Arizona's Politics and other media outlets posted legal analysis as soon as the complaint was filed;  RA has given Arizona's Politics no indication why it waited until this point to file its motion.

Arizona's Politics has also asked CPFER co-counsel Klayman and David Burnell Smith why they have not pursued the injunction they requested.



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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

READ: Back To The Future: Rep. Salmon Proposes Term Limits Constitutional Amendment; Proposal Just As U.S. Sets Record For Constitutional Amendment Drought

Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon (R-CD5) has filed a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to limit the number of terms a Congressman or Senator can serve, hearkening back to the 1990's, when he was one of very, VERY few to actually make AND KEEP a term-limit pledge as that was a popular issue.

Salmon is joined by five co-sponsors in the House - including fellow Arizonan David Schweikert (R-CD6).  The text is simple, limiting House members to three two-year terms and Senators to two six-year terms.  It addresses the "Jan Brewer issue" slightly differently for House and Senate members by stating that if you are elected to fill more than half of a House term, it counts as one term; for the Senate, it counts if you are appointed or elected to fill more than half of the term.


Salmon believes that term limits would improve our democracy: I have always believed that universal term limits will help make members of Congress more accountable to their constituents, not the special interests that often keep them in office."  However, he claims that Americans are "increasingly favoring" term limits; the idea was popular for awhile, waned, and has apparently picked up with bad feelings towards recent Congressional inaction and infighting.

Salmon would need to get the House and Senate to approve this resolution with at least 2/3 majorities and then have 3/4 of the 50 states' legislatures ratify it within seven years for it to become a Constitutional Amendment.

We have not amended the U.S. Constitution since 1992, when we prevented Congress from raising its own salaries .  In fact, just this month, we set the record for the longest period of time between constitutional amendments in the last 100 years!

In 1913, we ended a 43-year drought by ratifying amendments approving the income tax (16th) and popular election of Senators (17th).  Since then, we added amendments pretty regularly. But, April marks our 251st month without an amendment - the most "dry" months since just before the income tax amendment.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FACT CHECK: Does New Poll Re: John McCain Indicate 2/3 Of Arizonans "Believe It Is Time For A New Senator"?

The well-respected Behavior Research Center is out with its new Rocky Mountain Poll on the approval ratings of Arizona's long-time Senator John McCain.  The BRC's news release suggests - and the Associated Press amplifies - that 67% of Arizonans think it is time for a new Senator.  However, the poll actually asks respondents if they believe McCain should be re-elected; his current term does not expire for almost four years (election in 3 1/2 years).

In this context, "it" clearly means "now", which is far different from the poll's actual November 2016 date.  (Earlier in that year, if Republicans defeated him in a primary.)

While the news release and the ensuing news coverage do reflect the numbers and the questions, they do not add the critical data of the next election date.  The wording of the re-election-or-new-Senator question is as follows:

Do you think U.S. Senator John McCainshould be elected to another six year term or doyou think it is time to elect someone with newideas and interests to represent Arizona in theUS Senate? 
Respondents were not told that McCain was elected to his most-recent (his 5th) 6-year term in 2010 and that the next election is in 2016.  Some respondents may have known that and figured that his advanced age would be reason for a new Senator, some may have thought that the question was similar to asking "if the election were held today".

Regardless, the confusion caused by the blurry wording of the question is compounded when it is reported without clarification.  Especially at a time when recall petitions against other elected officials are being circulated or threatened, this misleading reporting can be dangerous.

BRC's news release does not clarify that the re-election question is being asked one-third of the way through the long term, and has no true obligation to do so.  But, the AP's lead paragraph practically lifts the faulty wording from the news release's headline: "67% believe it is time for a new senator."

To be sure, McCain's poll numbers ARE lower than ever, and if the question WAS asked whether respondents wanted to replace McCain today, the same 2/3 might answer "hell, yeah".   But, that is NOT what was surveyed.  And, that should NOT be reported.

FACT CHECK'S GRADES:
--BRC: "C-" for unusually poor question.-wording and result-synthesizing
--Associated Press:  "D" for going along with the news release headline and wording without analyzing the questions.

(Arizona's Politics has requested responses from both BRC and AP, and will update as needed.)

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WATCH, READ: Fmr. Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe Testifies On Immigration Reform AND Publicly Announces Wedding; Reform Should Re-Include LGBT Families

Former long-serving Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-CD8) hit a rare double yesterday, testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the comprehensive immigration reform proposal AND publicly announcing his wedding next month to his longtime partner.  However, it was not just a point of personal privilege or a grandstanding ploy, the announcement was central to his testimony.

Kolbe, who spent much of his Congressional career as a closeted gay Republican, met and fell in love with a Panamanian teacher eight years ago in the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship.  Kolbe and Hector Alfonso were separated when Alfonso's visa expired and he had to return to Panama - Kolbe could not sponsor to keep him here and they were not legally able to get married.

Kolbe told the committee that he and Alfonso will be married in Washington, D.C. on May 18.  But, he also told the committee that the Unite American Families Act - which he first proposed in 2006 and has been introduced each year by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) - should be included as part of comprehensive immigration reform.  It had initially been suggested that it could be part of the gang of eight's proposal, but Republican members of that group acknowledged that that might hurt its overall political chances.

Kolbe made his argument not only personal, but economic, as well.  Here is the video of his opening statement, with a link to the text here.



Congratulations, Congressman!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

READ: Russell Pearce Pulls Out All Rhetorical Stops For Recall Bill; "Maybe" The GOP Senators Who Voted "Nay" Should Be Recalled; Recalls - Including His - Are "Nothing Less Than Voter Fraud Disguised As An Election!"

Recalled Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce pulled out all the rhetorical stops yesterday in an e-mail to attempt to re-vivify the Arizona Legislature's proposal to revamp the recall election laws.

The State Senate defeated HB2282 by a bi-partisan vote of 18-10 vote on Thursday, but it is expected to come up this afternoon for reconsideration.

Yesterday, Pearce took to the e-mail lists to urge "fellow patriots" to immediately lobby five of the Republicans (Michele Reagan, Steve Pierce, Adam Driggs, Bob Worsley and Rich Crandall - none of them known as liberals or even "RINOs") who voted against the measure on Thursday.  (The entire e-mail can be read below the jump.)

Besides the expected rhetoric about how "the extreme left wing" benefits from the current recall election system (which has been in place for an awfully long time), and invoking the names of Randy Parraz, the ACLU, MALDEF, the SPLC and the Obama Administration, Pearce issues a warning to fellow Republicans (in a particularly-fevered piece of writing:


The bill is going to be reconsidered this coming Monday, April 22nd. Maybe those who support the hijacking of our elections by the left by using the recall process to unelect those that keep their promises of upholding the law or keeping their Oath’s of Office and returned to office by the People maybe those who refuse to fix the abuse should be recalled themselves. Maybe they should allow the opposite Party and the those that have always opposed their position be allowed to vote them out via recall as it is designed to allow a Jungle Primary if you will that the voters just tossed by a 3 to 1 margin last November in Proposition 121. We have different Parties because we have different values.
But, it was his use of multiple exclamation points that first caught my attention.  It came when he made the clear implication that the 2011 recall against him - as well as any similarly-motivated pending recall against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio - is "nothing less than voter fraud disguised as an election."  A strong accusation against the actual residents of his legislative district who signed recall petitions and voted for Jerry Lewis in the subsequent recall election; not to mention those who voted against Pearce in his 2012 primary effort in a slightly reconfigured district. Here's the quote:


If they can’t get you out in a legitimate election, then they will use voter fraud, recall or any means possible. It is nothing less that voter fraud disguised as an election. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The reconsideration is likely to take place sometime after 1:30.  Everyone's vote from Thursday is listed here, and here is their contact info.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Campaign Fundraising SAT Questions Of the Day: Schweikert '14 Edition

Some fundraising e-mails are incendiary, some are informational.  Others are goal-oriented, still others are head-scratchers.  Today's fits the latter two categories, reminding me of some of those multiple-choice exam questions that many of our school kids were taking this week or take to seek admission to college.

It comes from Rep. David Schweikert's (R-CD6) re-election campaign committee.  Here is the entire e-mail:

The following questions(1-5) are based upon the preceding fundraiser (I'm not going to make them multiple choice just to make them a little more challenging):

1) What singer does the title of the fundraising e-mail allude to?

2)  How many people supposedly are receiving this fundraising e-mail?

3)  How much money does the committee expect to raise if everyone donates either $5, $25, $50 or $100?

4)  Assuming a linear progression, how much money would be required to make the Washington establishment think four times about undermining the conservative agenda?

5)  Based upon the P.S., which Star Wars character wrote this fundraising e-mail?

Bonus note:  The e-mail notes that this new quarter brings new fundraising benchmarks.  The previous quarter either did not contain any such benchmarks, the benchmarks were zero, or they were ignored; the Schweikert campaign reports receiving no contributions in the first three months of 2013.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

SEE: Cdr. Mark Kelly Needles Sen. Jeff Flake On Background Check Vote

Former Space Shuttle Commander, husband of retired Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and current gun violence reduction activist Mark Kelly took to Twitter this morning to gently chide his "friend", Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Flake voted yesterday against the Manchin-Toomey compromise amendment that would have expanded background checks on gun transactions.  (Arizona's other Senator, John McCain, was one of four Republicans who voted in favor of it.)

Here are Kelly's two Tweets:


No response yet from @JeffFlake.

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SEE: Gabrielle Giffords "Icon" In Time Magazine's "Most Influential"; Reagan Press Secretary Jim Brady Anoints Her As "David" Against Gun Lobby "Goliath"

Retired Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is listed as an "icon" in Time Magazine's annual list of the "100 Most Influential People In the World".  Jim Brady, the Press Secretary for President Ronald Reagan, who was shot in the head in the 1981 assassination attempt, wrote up the accompanying explanation for Giffords' inclusion.

Brady, who has been a sustained and ardent supporter of measures to reduce gun violence, calls Giffords "the lovely spokeswoman and face of the gun-violence-prevention movement" while extolling the "grit...tenacity" and strength that it has taken her to emerge from her own 2011 assassination attempt.

He says the gun lobby really is a "Goliath" and that "Gabby has all the qualities it takes, along with the extraordinary commitment, to show us what a David she is."

Giffords was also included in the Time 100 in 2011, three months after the shooting.  President Barack Obama wrote her article that year.

Gabby has all the qualities it takes, along with the extraordinary commitment, to show us what a David she is.

Read more: http://time100.time.com/2013/04/18/time-100/slide/rand-paul/#ixzz2QqobqOZR

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House Expected To Re-Pass Bill Giving Pascua Yaqui Tribe Golf Course Land; Entire Arizona Delegation Co-Sponsors

(Update, 12:45pm, AZ Time: The House adjourned for the day, but the bill is still slated for "this week", and the House will be in session on Friday.)

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to (this week) pass a bill giving the Pascua Yaqui Tribe 20 acres of land to help complete the golf course adjacent to the Casino del Sol.  The bill is led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) and is co-sponsored by all nine Arizona Representatives.



A largely-similar bill passed in the House last June, but died in the Senate.  The golf course had been scheduled to open on 12/12/12.  H.R. 507 will grant two 10-acre parcels to the Tribe, to be incorporated into the overall layout.  A later part of the deal will be that the Tribe will give some land back to the Tucson Unified School District to be used for a transit center.

The golf course has been designed by well-known golfers Jack Nicklaus and Notah Begay III, and will be managed by Troon.





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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WATCH Conclusion of Durbin Speaking Of Late Rickey Byrdsong, Widow Sherialyn

Conclusion of Durbin's speech about the late Rickey Byrdsong, and his widow Sherialyn:
(sorry, please refer back to full post for first part; Google's Blogger has some glitch embedding two videos with similar codes)



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WATCH: McCain Senate Floor Speech On Doomed Background Check Amendment

Shortly before the Manchin-Toomey amendment on expanding background checks for gun transactions was put up for a vote, Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gave a 10-minute speech explaining why he would vote for the proposal.

It was voted down 54-46 - it needed 60 votes to move forward - as McCain was one of only three Republicans to vote in favor of it.  Arizona's other Senator, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) did not vote for it.

Since that vote, the Senate has also rejected amendments by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley (multi-pronged proposal), Vermont Democrat Pat Leahy (focusing on firearms trafficking), and Texas Republican Jon Cornyn (allowing reciprocity on concealed carry permits).



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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

WATCH: Another (Former) Tucsonan - The Late Rickey Byrdsong - Cited In Senate's Gun Sale Background Check Debate Today

(It has been pointed out that the two videos below are the same clip.  They are, indeed.  Google's Blogger apparently has some glitch in it that does not allow me to embed two videos that have very similar embed codes; it "auto-corrects".  I do not have the time to keep playing with it right now, so I have posted the second clip in a separate post.  Thanks.)


Retired Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly, have been very visible in the public debate over measures to reduce gun-related violence.  However, it was another former Tucson celebrity whose memory was invoked in today's Senate debate over background checks.

Rickey Byrdsong was a well-known University of Arizona basketball assistant coach in the early days of the Lute Olson era.  He went on to head coaching stints at Detroit University and Northwestern University.  He was in private life in 1999, however, when he was shot and killed as part of a multi-day shooting rampage by a white supremacist.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was speaking on the Senate floor today about the "Toomey-Manchin Gun Control Amendment" when he began speaking about Byrdsong's case.



Durbin later finished his speech by reading a letter he had received this past year from Byrdsong's widow, Sherialyn:
 


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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

WATCH: Kelly, Giffords On Shooting For Fun; Tonight, Interview Showing Status Of Her "Remarkable Recovery"

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired Space Shuttle Captain Mark Kelly, were featured briefly last night on CNN in advance of the full interview being shown tonight.

Anderson Cooper and reporter Dana Bash teased tonight's interview (airing at 5:00 and 7:00pm tonight, Arizona Time) last night by showing a snippet of Kelly shooting a 9mm Glock, the same type of gun Giffords was shot with two years ago.  (Kelly had given the gun to Giffords several years ago.)

Giffords is cheering him on from the porch of her mother's home. ("Excellent!")

Bash says that the interview tonight will show her "recovery is remarkable" and offer more details on her face-to-face meeting with Jared Loughner, the man who shot her through the head at point blank range and killed six people and injured 12 others.



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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Drudge Report Ad Accuses McCain As "Working With...Obama's Gun-Grabbers; Seen As Key Vote On Universal Background Checks; WATCH: 2010 McCain Ad On Background Checks

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is being accused - in an ad running on the conservative news/meeting spot Drudge Report - of "supporting Obama's gun control" and "working with the gun-grabbers".  McCain has advocated for expanded background checks in the past, and is seen as a "key Senator" in the current battle over expanding the checks made before some gun purchase transactions.

Here is the ad found this afternoon on the top of the Drudge Report (it rotates with other ads, and you may or may not see it).  Clicking through brings you to the National Association for Gun Rights' petition calling on Sens. McCain and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to "join... the filibuster of ANY and ALL gun control legislation."  The complete letter is reproduced below the break.

NAGR is a 501(c)(4) organization that donated money to Flake's 2012 campaign for the Senate seat, and sat out the McCain/J.D. Hayworth Republican primary battle in 2010.

NAGR's petition is surprisingly vague about whether McCain actually supports "Obama's Anti-Gun Agenda" and universal background checks.  For good reason.  McCain has been somewhat coy about his positions on firearms-related measures that have risen to the forefront of political debate since the Sandy Hook massacre last year.

Here is the brief exchange on February 17's Meet the Press program:

DAVID GREGORY:  Finally-- Senator-- we're going to talk to Mark Kelly in just a moment, Gabby Gifford's hub-- husband, of course. Are you prepared at least to support universal background checks, if that's all that comes outta this, would you be support-- prepared to support that?JOHN MCCAIN:  There's-- some Senators, bipartisan again-- Senator Coburn and Senator Manchin and some others who are working on a package that I think that most of us will be able to support. I applaud their efforts and obviously we want to do everything we can to prevent guns from falling into the hands of people who are mentally unbalanced or criminals.

By the way, the Manchin-Coburn effort blew up shortly after that interview, and it appears that universal background checks were a major factor in that.

But, Congressional reporters have been all atwitter (literally, in more ways than one) recently about McCain's possible position in the debate.  Here is an ad that McCain cut for the now-defunct group Americans for Gun Safety, talking specifically about background checks.



nagr: http://bit.ly/YTXZ8D
wapo on mccain past: http://wapo.st/14FGr3X
nyt in 2000 on mccain:  http://nyti.ms/16xH3XL
open secrets on nagr: http://bit.ly/ZaA33N
2/17 mtp transcript: http://nbcnews.to/17e3ti4
wapo on manchin/coburn: http://wapo.st/10ybwRt (3/6)