It's been just about one month since AFA sent out the original message below.  It's now time to decide: are we more interested in winning the battle or are we more interested in winning the war? Because make no mistake,we ARE at war with the left, not the conservatives.

Some things have changed since the 2014 Candidate Review went out and we've gotten more information.  That review has now been seen, by our best estimate, by over 5000 people including those who downloaded the attachment and distributed it to friends, faith groups, tea parties, etc.

In the Treasurer's race, we've learned more about Hugh Hallman: and here  which underscores AFA's original wrap-up of that race for DeWit.

We've learned more about Tom Horne that may change your thinking.

We've learned more about Doug Ducey  Another thing we have learned about Ducey is he has no compunction about lying about his opponents, with some success as low information voters refuse to look behind the political curtain to find the facts.

We've learned more about Riggs

And we've learned more about winning the battle AND the war

What we've learned is from information AFA researched and from research done by other organizations and citizens that we have posted for you.

Now, it's time to decide: what do you care about?  Do you care about winning the battle... or the war?  To win the battle, please vote for any candidate you personally feel warm and fuzzy about.  In the Governor's race, that is particularly true.  Many of you have told us or posted on discussion groups that you don't like this candidate because you didn't like an answer to something important to you or you didn't like what the opposition claimed in a TV ad or you didn't like... something of value to you.  Absolutely understandable!

The fact is that we must keep our eyes on the prize: KEEPING ARIZONA RED!  There is no other goal.  We will have a war extraordinaire with the Democrats in key races.  No race is so clear as that of Governor.  The plain and simple fact is that since May, that race has been between Ducey and Jones with a possible surge from either Smith or Bennett.  With the endorsement of Smith by the heftiest liberal Republican in the state, Brewer, Smith will get a bounce into third place with the ability to split the vote among conservatives and win the Primary battle - but not the war.  Riggs and Thomas are statistically out of the running and neither has ever polled higher than the low single digits.  That's just a fact.  We know many of you like those two candidates and they are good guys.

The polls show that Smith will lose to the Democrat, DuVal.  The Independents will have a bigger role in November than in August primaries.  They are unlikely to go for Smith because Smith is so similar to DuVal that they will figure they might as well vote for DuVal.  The polls show that.

Both Ducey and Jones could also win the primary.  Only Jones can win the General.  Recent polls show that Ducey loses to DuVal by 4% while Jones wins by 11%. This race to win the war depends on whether Riggs and Thomas supporters realize winning the war is more important than voting for a battle already lost.  What military General would try to win an un-winnable battle and lose the war in the bargain?  None.  We are those Generals in this primary.  Our only option is to understand that hanging onto ideology in this battle will lose us the war.  We urge you, be a statesman in this election.  Vote to win the war.  Even if you have to hold your nose to do it.  Losing the war has such terrible consequences for conservatives and for keeping Arizona red, it's critical that we vote smart.


Here, again, is the original candidate review:

When the 2014 election season got underway, AFA team members got underway researching and vetting candidates from city council candidates all the way to Governor candidates.  Although we didn’t meet one-on-one with all the candidates, we did attend forums… a lot of forums… and appearances by most of them.  And kept notes.

One recurring theme that we found as we went through the cycle was that too many of the candidates were the same candidates we have been voting for or against for the past decade, or longer.  Where are the citizen candidates the tea party screamed out for just a couple of election cycles ago?  Why must we always have to vote for a regurgitated candidate from the old boys club, they asked?  The AFA Team surely feels the same way!

Here’s the run-down on statewide candidates running on the Republican ticket in the Primary.  No use looking at the Democrats because they only have one contested Primary in the Superintendent’s race. Neither of them looks like a conservative or even close to it.  David Garcia is running in that race and could be a problem for conservatives.  


**Ken Bennett Bennett went to work for Bennett Oil Company and currently sits on the board of Global Building Systems, Inc., a sustainable building systems company.  Bennett is proud to say he was an Eagle Scout and his economic theory is displayed in his Kleenex Box presentation!  He has had a long political career in Arizona, starting with the state Legislature where he rose to be President of the Senate.  He is currently the Arizona Secretary of State. He's running clean, odd for a Governor's position, but reportedly, there is a well-funded Independent Expenditure committee that will take up the slack.

What we like about Bennett:  He is clearly a gentle man of integrity.  He is a conservative and a true patriot.  He's running on a platform of the economy (he wants it “to thrive, not survive,” ), healthcare (he sits on the Board of Cancer Treatment Centers of America) and education.  Wants to push for additional “emergency funding” for Dept. of Public Safety to help in the fight against illegal immigration.  He doesn't like government involvement in healthcare decisions.  He's a nice guy!

What we don't like about Bennett:  In 2012, he promised Arizonans that he would force Obama to prove he was qualified to be on the ballot in Arizona and then accepted a letter of eligibility from a clerk in Hawaii. He is not strong enough to protect Arizona from an ever intrusive federal government. When asked where he stands on common core, he stammered and couldn't make a commitment.  Eventually, he took a luke-warm position against common core.  He does not go into depth on his positions and we are not sure where he stands on medicaid expansion.  These are major issues and he needs to be clear on his solutions.  He's not.

**Doug Ducey Ducey attended ASU.  He worked his way through college by working at Hensley & Co., owned by McCain's wife's family.  He was a partner and CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, which they sold in 2007.  There were 1400 stores at the time of the sale, no small feat but no one knows why the company was sold when it appeared to be so successful.

What we like about Ducey:  It seems that he has done a pretty good job as Treasurer.  The state Treasurer manages the state's investment portfolio and also some for smaller local governments.  Ducey is president of the Western State Treasurer's Association.  He has a conservative agenda of lowering taxes, growing jobs, eliminating regulation, etc.

What we don't like about Ducey:  He has to read his own bio off crib sheets!  He does not lay out his agenda so that it is one bit different from everyone else’s.  He comes out with a “Roadmap” for Arizona a couple weeks after Christine Jones posted hers and they are strangely similar.  He falsely claims he is the only candidate with a vision plan.  Ditto for an immigration position paper.  Could be coincidental but in politics, timing is everything and coincidences are rare.  Ducey has said he has no problem with taking subsidies from the federal government.  He claims he is the only candidate to build a business!  Which is not true.  He has spent a lot of money attacking Christine Jones on her claim of having been a prosecutor in California.  If a candidate is qualified to be elected to any office, he/she should run on issues.  He has a well-earned reputation of rarely being seen in the Treasurer’s office…. or anywhere!

**Christine Jones Grew up poor but understood her way to success was through education.  Worked her way through college to get a degree in accounting.  Went back to get a law degree.  Never took a government-backed student loan.  Despite what the media and other candidates' claim, she worked as an unpaid prosecutor/certified law clerk in California while finishing law school.  She prosecuted felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanor trials and even sat second chair in the Lamar Barnwell death penalty trial. Was offered a full time job in that office but declined so her friend, who really needed the job, could fill the one opening.  Was Chief Counsel for GoDaddy, taking the company from a small business to selling the company ten years later for $2.3 Billion.  There were 4000 full time employees at the time of the sale.  Jones successfully lobbied on behalf of GoDaddy in DC to get protections for kids and seniors online.  She also refused to reveal the company's client base and information to the NSA, the only large internet company to refuse the NSA!

What we like about Jones:  She has a different perspective on solutions to the state's problems that every candidate talks about.  She was the first to post an in-depth, well thought out vision plan on her website, which was eventually plagiarized by other candidates.  She was the first to post a thorough immigration plan on her website based on meetings with the state’s Sheriffs to find out what they need.  She's against common core and has a plan to rid the state of it but knows it can't be done by the stroke of a pen on day one, in the first hour.  She's realistic about problems and solutions and does not pander to interviewers.  She has an extensive knowledge of technology, the field that Democrats use to crush Republicans in every recent election year.  Many of her solutions are based on the creative use of technology to solve problems. She’s one of those “citizen candidates” the tea party clamors for.  She pledged from day one that she will NOT attack her opponents.  And she hasn’t.

What we don't like about Jones:  While we understand that there is no such thing as the perfect person much less the perfect candidate, we cannot think of anything of substance we don't like about Jones.  Her flaws are human flaws.  If we could say anything negative, it is that she started her campaign while still unpolished in the ways of politics.  She doesn't parse her words like politicians do and sometimes gets herself in trouble with a media that loves to excoriate Republicans.  Her opposition hops right on the rhetoric without checking the facts, creating a false understanding.  And we hear that she can be stubborn at times.  But, If you are concerned that if a typical establishment candidate gets elected Governor, “our state will be governed by special interest and political power brokers and less like our Founding Fathers envisioned,” she’s the candidate for you.

**Frank Riggs Former Congressman from California, elected to first term, defeated for a second term, and then was elected twice more to the same seat.  Ran for Senate from CA but dropped out when he found he was far behind the Democrat.  Served honorably for 3 years in the U.S Army, has been a policeman, worked in Real Estate and since 2012, has owned Duncan Development Co., LLC. "Duncan Devco" provides "one-stop-shop" financing and real estate development services to high-performing charter school organizations for their turnkey facility needs.  This is his second run for Arizona Governor.

What we like about Riggs:  He is against Common Core, medicaid expansion, for school choice and is pro-life.  He would support the right of private business to refuse to provide abortion related services but would have voted against SB1062, citing potential legal problems.  He, like Jones, has not ignored the rural parts of Arizona where his is well-liked.  His solutions are old-hat but he could catch up.  He’s a bright man.  And a conservative.

What we don't like about Riggs:  He has openly attacked fellow candidates, doing the work the Dems won't have to.  He attacked Al Melvin on CNN for not being able to cite a business that has been sued for discrimination, which seems petty.  He falsely attacked Christine Jones for being a lobbyist, which she was not.  His solutions seem straight out of his time in Congress in the 1990's, a lifetime ago in politics. His website,, over embellishes his accomplishments based on our research.  But the primary thing we don't like is that in every speech we have heard (many), he says “on day one, I will stop Common Core” and the crowd goes wild!  The only problem is that we are told he would have no authority to do that, even with an executive order.  It remains to be seen whether that is a promise he can keep.  

**Scott Smith A businessman and politician, he was Mayor of Mesa but left in mid-term to run for Governor.  As Mayor, he was President of the United States Conference of Mayors.  While in that position, he worked to get states to implement common core.  He is pro-Agenda 21.

What we like about Scott Smith: not much to like there if one is a conservative.  He did improve the economy in Mesa and Mesa residents like him for that.  He does have a sense of humor, perhaps a valuable attribute for being a Governor.

What we don't like:  Smith is for common core, medicaid expansion, pro-choice.  Was the driver to implement the Metro Lite-Rail.  His policies come right out of Agenda 21 having been heavily involved in ICLEI while Mayor.  He's running as a moderate, hoping to split the conservative vote and waltz into the General where he would be outmatched in playing the moderate against Fred DuVal.  He's been featured on Bloomberg (liberal perspective on the economy), MSNBC, Politico, Andrea Mitchell on CNBC, the Arizona Republic and the Washington Post.  Nary a conservative organization among them!  He's fuzzy on the issues of amnesty for DREAMERS, same-sex marriage and legal marijuana, refusing to give direct answers on those issues.  He has no name I.D. But if you want a candidate bordering on socialism, this is your guy.

**Andrew Thomas Best known as former Maricopa County Attorney where he did a good job for Arizona.  His legal problems were splashed across every front page for months while he claimed innocence of abuse of power and unethical behavior.  He was disbarred.  He was proven innocent and that the campaign against him was politically motivated.  When the courts ruled him innocent, it was printed on page 22 on a Monday in a one-column 2” article!  Thomas got a raw deal.  He's a conservative and a good and capable man.

What we like about Thomas:  He's conservative and honorable.  He has a sincere interest in serving Arizona as Governor.  His issues are immigration, jobs, immigration, pushback against liberal bullies, immigration, Obamacare and immigration.  And education and the usual issues.  Immigration is the centerpiece of his campaign, very timely given what we see at the border.

What we don't like about Thomas:  Thomas got a raw deal.  We know that.  But he can't let it go.  He even addresses it again on his website as if it were a campaign issue.  It's not an issue that applies to Arizona, but only to Thomas himself.  From his speeches, one would think he was a one-issue candidate: immigration.  Unfortunately, his entire plan is based on what he says he did to get illegals to line up at the border trying to get back to Mexico.  Illegal immigration is a whole new world now and those times are over.  We also don't like that early on, he launched attacks on Jones that were not entirely baseless but were overblown and disingenuous.  Those are not qualities we need in a Governor.  Thomas comes off as an angry young man.  Until he learns to rise above his misfortunes, he will be ineffective as Governor.  Hopefully, he has a political future somewhere at some point.  Thomas is also running clean.

Wrap-up:  We think this is a slam dunk but we also know a lot of you will disagree.  The issue is, why do we disagree?  So, here it is: Christine Jones will be the best Governor anyone could ask for.  Most people have not taken the time to really know about her and she is an unknown in the usual sense but she has traveled the state at every opportunity.  You can travel to rural areas and see her signs up.  She is what tea party members have said over the years they were looking for: a citizen candidate.  No strings attached to her.  We are biased BECAUSE we have had her vetted by people who nearly refused to vet/meet/research her because they just didn’t like her, primarily women for some odd reason.  But all but one got it after the vetting.  There are a couple of really good candidates in this race.  None has the spine, the workable solutions, the vision, the grasp of technology AND the accomplishments of Jones who owes nothing to anyone.  No concessions to special interests needed here.  Plus, she’s the only candidate who went to the state’s sheriffs to ask, “what do you need to do your job” instead of “will you endorse me!”

Secretary of State 

**Wil Cardon - A family man with five children, Cardon is a Republican business man from Mesa and has a degree in business.  You remember him from his days running for Senator against Jeff Flake.  He calls himself a conservative and we have to believe that because we have yet to see anything to dispute it.  His issues are curbing voter fraud through various methods, moving the Secretary of State’s office into the technological age, diluting the Democrat argument that fair elections = voter suppression, making it easier for businesses to file their paperwork and putting that online.

What we like about Cardon:  The use of modern technology will save taxpayer’s money because less manpower will be needed (a reduction of government workers means smaller government); is against electronic voting; believes the early voter list should be scrubbed every decade as 48 other states do and update signatures to be sure the signatures on the voter form is a match with signatures on file.  He also wants to make it easier for businesses to file their paperwork to get a quicker start up.  He’s willing to spend whatever it takes to beat Terry Goddard, Democrat.

What we don’t like about about Cardon:   It’s hard to find him at events because he doesn’t always show up at the events he commits to; he has some odd business dealings with folks in the east valley that have never been explained, he may not be able to get important voting blocs that would be needed to beat the Democrat, he’s changed campaign managers in mid-stream that probably accounts for some of his no-shows and we don’t know if we would have access to him in office.

**Justin Pierce -  Justin is the son of Arizona Corporation Commissioner, Gary Pierce.  Gary is not a conservative but Justin claims he is.  Just finished his second term in the Arizona State House from LD25.  Pierce voted to keep the federal government out of Arizona education.  Pierce is in private practice as an attorney and has litigated cases in Arizona.  Pierce is running clean.

What we like about Pierce:  Pierce has only two terms in elected office, perhaps short enough that he has not been sucked into the political vortex and he appears to be an honorable young man with a bright political future. 

What we don’t like about Pierce:  Pierce doesn’t seem to have his heart in running for this job, it appears that he is running to satisfy his father’s ambitions.  He shows a stunning lack of enthusiasm for this endeavor.  He has not distinguished himself in his terms in the Legislature but it’s hard to do that in a first term.  He’s running clean because he was having no success in fundraising.  We think he jumped the gun or was pressured by family to run in this race.  We’d like to see him in a few years but it’s unlikely he can win this race.

**Michele Reagan -  Reagan served out her full eligibility in the State House.  Being termed out, she then ran for and won two terms in the State Senate.  Prior to getting into politics, she was involved with her family in a small sign business.  In the House, Reagan chaired the Commerce Committee and in the Senate, she chaired the newly minted Elections Committee.  In that position, she ran a series of very good bills to stop voter fraud.  None of them passed into law.  She is equally described as a liberal Republican and a Moderate Republican.  We rarely hear her described as a Conservative Republican.

What we like about Reagan:  She always returns phone calls and responds to emails.  She wants to finish what she started on voter fraud focusing particularly on stopping “ballot collection” also called “ballot dumping,” update the Secretary of State website so visitors can actually find what they are looking for, shut down the San Luis post office (200 residents, 1500 P.O. boxes or something close to that!), eliminate clean elections and “dark money” expenditures and streamline business filings.

What we don’t like about Reagan:  Some of her votes, like for medicaid expansion (she gave an unbelievable explanation for that vote that defied reason and eventually, changed it to NO in the final vote) have not favored taxpayers, her mother, who is uber-liberal in the Republican party, has a lot of influence on Reagan’s votes and philosophy, has her eye on the Governor’s office.  In fairness, she denied that is her goal in running.  Most conservatives don’t buy that.  We would prefer she had said something on the line of, “Becoming the Governor of such a great state would be an honor. I think I would be good at it but it’s not on the plate today.”  Outright denial, given her past activities, defies credibility.

Wrap-up: There’s no denying that many of Arizona’s Secretaries of State have attained the Governor’s office by default.  This year, we have the current SoS running for that office.  Everyone who runs for this office knows they are a heartbeat away from the 9th floor.  So, let’s just end that charade.  All three candidates have addressed that issue through denials and we actually believe Pierce has no such aspirations at this point.  We also worry about who will have the money to beat the Democrat.  To be sure, money will be forthcoming from the large Chambers of Commerce, Independent Expenditures and/or PACs, but will it be enough?  Both Cardon and Reagan claim the polls favor them against the Democrat.  Polls can be manipulated.  Two ways to make a decision on this race:  toss a coin or do more research.  We recommend the latter.

Attorney General

**Mark Brnovich Another newbie to elected office.  AFA does not see that as a negative, but a positive.  As we know, the very people who are so corrupt today are career politicians.  Gov. Brewer appointed Brnovich to be Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming.  His job was to scout out crime in that industry located on the Tribal Reservations.  Brnovich served as an Assistant Attorney General in Arizona but he told AFA that he has not prosecuted cases in years and does not believe that is the job of the Attorney General.  He's clearly a conservative on most issues.  He graduated with a law degree from the San Diego School of Law.  His wife is a judge in Maricopa County Superior Court.

What we like about Brnovich:  He has the qualifications to be an Attorney General with a more extensive background in law than is cited in this synopsis.  He says he will defend against federal overreach (plenty of that going on), go after drug traffickers, restore integrity to the office (that remains to be seen depending on how you feel about building a campaign around the other guy's shortfalls).

What we don't like about Brnovich:  He is proud of not having practiced law in many years.  He doesn't think the AG should practice but to be an overseer of the office while others within the AG's office try cases.  He spends way too much of his time attacking his opponent, even, as we have witnessed on a few occasions, when he has been instructed not to do so.  He even put out a video where his wife, the judge, attacked Horne, possibly violating Arizona's Code of Judicial Conduct prohibiting judges from “publicly endorse[ing] or oppose[ing] another candidate for any public office.”

**Tom Horne – Incumbent.  Like Andrew Thomas before him, Horne has constantly been attacked by his political rivals.  Before he was the Attorney General, he was Superintendent of Public Instruction for two terms.  Prior to that, he served in the Arizona House of Representatives.  Horne has been a hard nut to crack:  he has been plagued with scandals and he's been a superior AG for the residents of Arizona.  AFA has thoroughly researched his most recent scandal regarding an alleged affair with Kathleen Winn (not true), a hit and run accident in a parking lot which an FBI agent swore he saw Horne commit (also not true.  The owner of the vehicle involved revealed his own son had done the damage), campaign finance violations surrounding his collusion with an Independent Expenditure Committee (also not true as the court ruled there was no evidence of such collusion).  Nonetheless, Horne's adversaries have pursued the issue with Prosecutor Sheila Polk in Yavapai County after she previously handed the matter over to the courts to decide. And then decided they were wrong!

What we like about Horne: He has been very proactive in pursuing the kind of crimes that have hurt Arizona.  He successfully went after the drug cartels, won a Supreme Court case allowing Arizona to require voter I.D. before allowing people to vote, publicized the horrific underaged sex trafficking by getting stronger penalties for perpetrators, joined other AG's in fighting Obamacare in the Supreme Court, won a case against the NLRB and the unions, thus allowing private balloting for union members, to name a few of his successes for Arizona.  In this regard, he's been steller and one of the best A.G.s in recent memory.

What we don't like about Horne:  The never ending real scandals he gets himself into.  There's no question his political detractors have him followed and are willing to lie under oath to bring him down.  That alone should be a clue to him that he needs to shape up.  He's also reputed to often cheat on his wife.  These are serious matters and go to the character of the man.  We don't have a quarrel with his abilities as the top law enforcement officer in the state.  We do have a problem with his personal conduct.

Wrap-up:  This is also a toss-up.  Neither candidate is the best we can do in Arizona.  Horne has a terrible personal resume but his service for the taxpayer has been stellar, truly.stellar.  We believe from our own research that someone is after Horne because he couldn’t have done all of the things he has done in the past four years if he was guilty of half of the things he’s being accused of.  That’s just common sense!  Brnovich is running in the most important Attorney’s job in the state and he has not tried a case in years and doesn’t think he needs to as AG.  Well, he can hire good attorneys but on that score, you have no vote for who is brought in to do the actual work.


**Jeff DeWit (so frugal, he only uses one “t”) - Jeff is the only candidate with a 21 year background in investment banking and management.  Like Jones in the Governor's race and Brnovich in the AG’s race, he has no political history, thus being the “citizen candidate” tea partiers often cry out for.... and then ignore because they have no political history!  He says he always wanted to be in the investment field, so much so that he worked for a year or so for free in a brokerage house before being given a surprise pay check.  He has a background in business, a sharp wit and is a conservative.  His issues are pro-growth and limited government interference.

What we like about DeWit:  He comes across as a very able man fully capable of doing the job with his background in the financial world.  He understands it is a public trust and he must put safety of the state funds first.  He wants to update the antiquated technology without having to ask for additional funding.  Technology in this day is as key to winning races and as it is to doing a proper job growing Arizona’s money.  Currently, the Treasurer's office is still using Microsoft Excel!  We also like the fact that DeWit is going to rural towns and counties, often considered the step-children of politics!  

What we don’t like about DeWit:  Honestly, we weren’t too sure of him in the beginning.  He has a great sense of humor and we were concerned that he was not a serious candidate.  Further research and hearing him more have proven he is serious about the job.

**Hugh Hallman Former Tempe City Councilman and two term Mayor of Tempe.  Has been a teacher/professor and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School.  A long time Republican activist and an all out non-conservative.  Perhaps a moderate with liberal overtones.  Was a deputy assistant in Reagan's campaign.  Hallman was Headmaster at Tempe Preparatory Academy, lectured at ASU and helped found the Kazakh-American Free University.  We previously reported he is involved with Tempe School District which showed up on an older bio but others say that is not the facts.  We are sorry about that mix-up.  His friends call him a chameleon.  We don't know what his enemies call him.

What we like about Hugh Hallman:  He worked in the Reagan campaign 34 years ago.  His issues are our issues: balance Arizona's budget, cut taxes, better education (not sure what this has to do with the Treasurer's job.  Oh, it doesn't, directly.) about which he is an interested party relative to the funding of schools from state money.  He does pledge to work with lawmakers at the local and federal level to eliminate the strings that tie education to the federal government.  

What we don't like about Hallman: The primary job of the Treasurer is to manage the State's investment portfolio.  Not to balance the budget – that's the job of the Legislature, although the Treasurer would no doubt have input.  We could not find one word on his website about managing the state's money nor have we heard one word about that in his speeches.  We have seen him waffle on important issues.  We think he should be clear where he stands.  He's been in politics forever, or so it seems.  Endorsed by McCain and Flake and a whole host of other notables.  We get a bit suspicious when a candidate has a long list of endorsements.  Makes us wonder what the pay-off is!

**Randy Pullen - Former Treasurer of the Republican National Committee, former chair of Arizona Republican Party.  Involved in money laundering and mismanagement of funds scandals in both positions.  Notable for being involved in the SCA scandal, involving criminal allegations of campaign finance violations.  He pleads not guilty so he must be one of those folks that came to town on a turnip truck!  The charges were mismanagement of RNC and AZGOP funds, easily proven.

What we like about Pullen:  Not one thing!  He's an arrogant man who feels entitled.  Not a conservative in any sense of the word.  And totally barren of integrity.

What we don't like about Pullen:  We kind of think the Treasurer of our state, a person who will oversee the funds of both the state and many municipalities, should have impeccable financial credentials, not a track record of money mismanagement. and How desperate are Arizona voters to think they should support this man?  And how arrogant is a person who thinks he should be Treasurer with his legal troubles?  And by the way, on his way out of the Arizona Republican Party headquarters, he trashed the place, files on party donors were missing, computers were wiped clean! Endorsed by Gov. Brewer.  Need we say more?

Wrap-up:  This is also a no-brainer.  Hallman is not conservative and despite his claims, he did not run the City of Tempe as a conservative.  He could not have even gotten elected as a conservative.  He’s been described, truthfully in our view, as a chameleon.  Randy Pullen should not even be in this race and we consider him to be darned arrogant to run for this particular office given his history.  He was Treasurer of the RNC and mismanaged those funds and had to make restitution.  He was Arizona Republican Party Chair and mismanaged those funds and was run out of office, leaving a 6-figure debt for the next Chairman to deal with.  DeWit (so frugal he only uses one ’T’) is a good conservative candidate.  He has a campaign manager that will cost him some votes because she is known as an establishment wonk.  And she is likely to have a bigger role in that office if DeWit wins.  It’s a price we are willing to pay.  (NEWS FLASH:  DeWit has informed AFA that he no longer has that campaign manager.  If you are one of those people who were doubtful about DeWit because of his manager, that is no longer an issue.)  DeWit is the only candidate with the credentials to do this job for the good of Arizona taxpayers.  The other two are looking for a paycheck and an eventual taxpayer-funded pension.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

**Diane Douglas - Diane moved her family to Arizona from New Jersey to educate her daughter many years ago.  Douglas has a BS in Business/Marketing from Rutgers.  She says she worked in NJ as an analyst at a Fortune 500 company.  We have found no evidence of that but that may not mean anything.  Although Douglas has not held a significant job in the business world for 30 years or so, she was twice elected to the Peoria School Board.  She was also an officer in her Legislative District.

What we like about Douglas: Updated information: She clearly has a real love for education.  She is 2000% against Common Core and has put herself out to thoroughly research that system.  She has worked to improve her campaign skills.  She is open to suggestions on improving her presentations to better communicate her message.  She accepts every invitation and does not back down to the incumbent. She’s NOT Huppenthal!

What we don’t like about Douglas:  She is a one issue candidate, even though she is extremely knowledgeable about that one topic and says it is THE issue.   She does not have the business acumen to run an office as large and complex as this one.  We believe she can overcome that by hiring the right people to help her run the agency like so many others have successfully don't. She does have the ability to hire very good people to fill the holes.

**John Huppenthal - Huppenthal has been in politics a long time.  He was a Chandler City Councilman for eight years, was termed out in the State Senate and, after two terms in the State House, was re-elected to the State Senate.  He was Chairman of the Education Committee.  He’s been in elected office for 29 years in Arizona!  He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration. 

What we  like about Huppenthal:  He had a lot of grass roots support to succeed Tom Horne as Superintendent.  Voters liked him and had high hopes for him.  Until he became star-struck over Bill Gates’ connection to Common Core, he did a pretty decent job.  He got LaRaza out of the schools in Tucson which was a major accomplishment.

What we don’t like about Huppenthal:  This is too easy.  He’s totally sold out for Common Core.  He refuses to even look at the complaints of parents, teachers, citizens.  Arrogant!  It’s almost an obsession.  About his escapades on the internet, we are unconcerned that he used a fake name.  LOTS of people do that.  We are concerned that he was doing it in his Superintendent’s office on the clock and the language he used.  It goes to judgement and shows that there was no good judgement in sight.  A fool’s game. [when we tried this website several times, it came up as ‘server not found.’]

Wrap-up:  Huppenthal has been given many chances to update his view of Common Core.  He’s been intractable in his view and love of a system so fatally flawed that not only will kids not have a well-rounded education, they will also be controlled and indoctrinated.  By every measure, that is wrong.  Douglas is lacking in proper credentials to be fully qualified to do this job.  She may have real difficulty with the Democrat nominee, whoever that turns out to be.  Having said that, we prefer Douglas by a mile over Huppenthal.  If she wins, and we think she will, everyone needs to pitch in and help out.

Arizona Corporation Commission

This is one of the most important agencies in the State of Arizona.  They control the utilities and the rates they charge, corporations, railroads, securities regulation, pipeline safety (a lot of gasoline is transferred via underground pipeline along with natural gas).  It's a complex agency.  the Commissioners function in an Executive capacity, they adopt rules and regulations thereby functioning in a Legislative capacity, and they also act in a Judicial capacity sitting as a tribunal and making decisions in contested matters.

ACC candidates nearly always slate up and this year is no exception.  This is a pretty simple decision in our view.  There are six candidates running for two seats.  Two of them are Democrats, four are Republicans.  Here is the rundown:

Lucy Mason - has served in the AZ House from Yavapai County.  She has also been a City Councilwoman for one term.  One would conclude that she shows the qualities needed to do the job of ACC.  However, research among Republicans in Yavapai shows they do not believe she has done an adequate job, much less a good job.  It is reported that she was recruited by the solar industry for this office.

Vernon Parker - is her slate mate.  Vernon was Mayor of Paradise Valley, AZ but a spot check among residents in that community reveals they think he did a poor job.  We can report from personal experience that he ran a useless campaign against Krysten Sinema in CD9, handing her the election on a gold plated Prada-Socialist platter.  He and Mason have been recruited by the solar industry.

AFA has no problem with solar as a part of the total picture of a balanced portfolio of energy options.  However, we do not want to have an industry agenda driving the decisions of the Commissioners. 

Tom Forese is slated up with Doug Little.  Forese is an AZ House member finishing up his current term.  He was Chairman of the Commerce Committee, a stellar position, and served on the Appropriations Committee.  He has a feel for the importance of job creation and knows that keeping energy prices in check is critical to bringing substantial business development to Arizona.

Doug Little was Chairman of LD23 in Scottsdale/Fountain Hills.  A certified NRA instructor, Doug owns Armed Personal Defense, teaching firearms shooting, safety and handling.  He previously worked for a company who built energy plants and Doug got a close up understanding of what is needed in that industry to stay viable.  Doug is focused on assuring a balanced portfolio of energy sources will make Arizona attractive to businesses and will be the best route to keeping utility rates as low as possible.

Wrap-up:  In our view, this race is no contest.  The big issue is that the two worst Republican candidates have the funding and backing of an industry poised to benefit by who wins this contest. 

Final thoughts:

There are a lot of very good candidates in this cycle.  Some are very or mostly qualified, some are marginal.  Most of them are nice, pleasant people you’d like to have coffee with, share a few laughs.  These are the people we continue to vote for and elect.  One person on AFA said a candidate did not WOW them.  We have been voting for those who WOW us the most for the very reason that we feel WOWed.

We’d all like to be WOWED by our elected officials but more importantly, we need to have the most qualified, competent and honest brokers in our government at all levels.  One thing we can promise you about this review:  we didn’t always put our personal favorites at the top of the list.  Sometimes, when we clear our heads on these candidates, the person we would most like to share time with because of their personalities or because they were our friend before they ran or because… you can fill in the rest, is not the best person for Arizona.

Looking at the big picture, it’s really about electing those candidates who have well thought out written plans, who have a realistic method for implementing the plans, have the skills to bring together those lawmakers who may not agree in order to find a solution to move forward without compromising our citizens.  Political history is important but today, we can find out about candidates through several other methods.  Even with political histories, every new office comes with a new set of issues to solve and past experience in business or other public life can be an equally good indicator of how that will play out.  We believe it’s time to make a decision: is every candidate who has not served in government unqualified?  Because a lot of people who have served in government are clearly unqualified. Or stuck in old ways.  Or corrupt.

There is very little difference between the agendas of these candidates relative to their own races.  Most of us know what needs to be done.  Because government is ALL about we the people.  Not to give in to the whims that all of us often have about what should be done but to take a long view of solutions to get the best Arizona we can get.  Anyone can say anything about what they want to do.  Doing it is another matter altogether.

We are in a serious situation in our state and our nation.  We can no longer afford to vote for superficial reasons.  Think it though as thoroughly as you can.  Then make the right decision.

Here is the attachment if you would like to forward it on to your friends, family, political buddies, etc:  2014-Candidate-Review.pdf

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Pat,

I hope and think that we are all seek the truth about all the candidates.  I’m sorry that you think that I am “picking” on Candidate Jones, but all the candidates require vetting.  I believe that AFA did a reasonably good job with all the candidates, except for Jones.  I was happy to assist.    

When I hire someone, I only want the best person for the job.


And I would like to thank Andrew for presenting information that was curiously missing from AFA's objective report.  

 One fact stands out:  I especially like that Jones refuses to give the Dems more fodder by attacking fellow Republicans.  I wish we could impress upon the other candidates how important it is to present yourself as honestly and in the best light you can and then rely on voters to make informed decisions. 

A statement from Bennett at a recent public appearance is a case in point and I wish you had included it in your assessment of him:  On the subject of driver's licenses and in-state tuition for "dreamers", his reply was that anyone who is in the state should be eligible for all of the above.  I thank him for his candor, and for making it easy for me to cross him off my list... 

Paul, there is more to the story that Andrew posted.  I don't think Andrew was much interested in looking behind the curtain but that's OK.  Everyone is busy at this time of year.  But we have looked behind the curtain.  I have  most of it in my notes but I have contacted the Jones campaign to verify what I have is correct.  I will post that shortly.

RE: Bennett and other candidates - we just couldn't get in every fact which is why we posted their web addresses after each candidate.  Now you have added that for others to consider.  What we said in Bennett's  synopsis is that he is not strong enough to protect Arizona against the feds.  The driver's license is proof of that even though Brewer did take that step.

Why is it that AFA thinks Common Core cannot be repealed on day one, since it is an agreement not a mandate?

I think I can answer that.  I have looked into that myself.  This what I believe is factual:

It is not within the purview of the Governor's office.  That comes from the Board of Education.  The Governor appoints the members of the Board of Education and several of these appointments will come up next year.  At that point, if common core is still in place, the Governor can appoint the kind of people who understand education.  In the meantime, the Governor can appeal to the Board of Education, can work with the Superintendent, to get rid of it but cannot mandate that.  That is one good reason to elect a Governor who has the skills to negotiate like she must have had to do on the predator issue.

I appreciate the effort put into this report.  It gives me a new perspective on some candidates I thought I liked and some I thought I didn't.  I will look further at some of these issues.  Also, I appreciate Andrew's comments and AFA's answers which make a lot of sense.  I am pooped over the negatives coming out against Jones and Ducey whether it's from tv ads or from rumors flying.  Guessing these two are polling # 1 & 2 or they wouldn't be targets. Just the facts, ma'am.


The issue is if the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Gov Brewer and Huppenthal and Huppenthal remains in office which no one will know until at least August 26, then the new governor will have no authority to withdraw from common core.  If Huppenthal is defeated in either the primary or the General, then the governor will be able to withdraw from cc.  That is an unknown at this point in time.  We would prefer if Riggs would qualify his statement to reflect that "on day one, I will.... if possible under the MOU."  Then it would be a true and viable statement.  We hope that Huppenthal does not get re-elected and whoever the governor is, and at least three have proclaimed ridding Arizona of common core is a key issue with high priority for them, will get that job done.  But it is likely that only a process can be implemented on day one since this has to go through the usual red tape brou ha ha!

Now it's clear to me.  Thanks so much for this clarification.

Regarding Memorandum of Agreement:  Was that not signed by Jan Brewer and Tom Horne? 

So far, no one has been able to verify that, but this came along in the final months of Horne's time in that position and it's our understanding that he didn't do much except embrace common core as a concept.  It didn't get rolling in AZ until 2010 when Horne was out of office and Huppenthal took charge.  We'd love to have a copy of that document but to date, it has not surfaced.  If you know how to get that, we'd love to see it.

Rose:  If you watched the recent debate between Huppenthal and Douglas, they got into a discussion regarding Race To The Top which led to Common Core.  Douglas had and displayed a letter that revealed it is Huppenthal's signature is on the documents that brought RTTT and Common Core to Arizona.  That should answer the question we both discussed regarding whether it was Horne or Huppenthal that signed on to that program in 2010.  You can see the dabate on PBS Ch 8 Horizon.

I did watch it.  What Diane was clearly referring to was a letter from then Senator Huppenthal to Governor Brewer regarding his support for Race to the Top.  It had nothing to do with who signed the legal document that brought us Common Core.

No Rose.  Douglas clearly said that Huppenthal signed the letter to get RTTT money.  Which implemented common core which is tied to RTTT.



My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson



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