American Conservative Union gave Riggs lifetime rating of 76%, even lower than McCain's 81%

Bartles and Jaymes called. They want their congressman back!

Frank RiggsThere’s one candidate in the race for Governor who claims to be an Arizona conservative but his political dossier reveals otherwise.

Frank Riggs may have relocated to Arizona in 2001 but the astute voter can clearly detect the odor of California politics emanating from the former congressman. Perhaps it’s just sour grapes.

Riggs, who tried to run for Arizona Governor in 2006, quit his exploratory bid when he realized he failed to meet Arizona’s residency requirement for the race.

Sound familiar?

Riggs pulled the same quitting maneuver in California – twice! When a Democrat state senator challenged him in his congressional re-election, Riggs quit and decided to run for the U.S. Senate instead. But then he dropped out of that race too, blaming his lack of fund-raising prowess and the long commute between northern California and D.C. (Tony Perry, “Riggs’ Money Woes Kill Longshot Bid for U.S. Senate,” Los Angeles Times, 4/10/1998)

But quitting his political races at the slightest nudge of a challenge is not the only indicator of Riggs’ lack of preparedness and commitment.

The former congressman also had a problem keeping his promises. According to the same article, “Riggs spent considerable time in his first term deflecting criticism that he reneged on a promise to turn over his congressional pay increase to charity (he ended up sending half to charity) and another pledge not to take contributions from the oil and timber industries” (read article). Why Riggs held on to the other half of his pay raise, and broke his promise to reject big industry cash, is open to speculation but it may be another indicator that the congressman simply had a problem handling money.

The same Los Angeles Times article stated that Riggs violated federal campaign finance laws and only dodged being penalized because the statute of limitations had run out: “A Federal Elections Commission audit of his 1990 campaign found that he had violated election law by improperly bankrolling his campaign with corporate money and loans from his mother, father and sister that exceeded contribution limits.” When honest people are desperate for cash, they usually buckle down their expenses and find ways to earn extra money – not bend the rules as a means of financial survival.

Keep in mind, this is the same Frank Riggs who paraded himself alongside six other freshmen Republicans in 1992 as the “Gang of Seven.” You remember these crusaders. They took on the infamous House banking scandal that embroiled fellow members of Congress who had overdrawn their House checking accounts. There’s only one problem: if you’re going to place yourself on an elite pedestal, you’d better be above reproach yourself. It was later discovered thatRiggs also bounced several checks as part of the scandal. Ouch!

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Dear Friends,


Inserted immediately below are the ratings I received for my congressional voting record from the American Conservative Union (ACU) over my three terms in Congress.  My record shows the evolution of my views, and my growth and maturity in elective office, from a more moderate philosophy to a solidly conservative, "constitutionalist" philosophy, reflecting my firsthand experience serving in Congress and my increasing concern about the constant expansion of the size, scope, reach and power of the federal government under Clinton (which looks like child's play when compared to the current president and his "lawless" administration and their unconstitutional executive orders and regulatory mandates!).    


1991 --65







The votes below are those used by ACU to rate the members of the 105th Congress (1998).  I missed votes # 2 and 17, and voted against the ACU-endorsed position on votes 20 and 22.  I voted the "correct" way according to the ACU on all of the other measures, hence my score of 91. 


As I've explained, I explored running for the U.S. Senate in 1998 and my voting attendance record suffered, but I made almost all key votes.  While I'm extremely wary of the abdication of the sovereignty and constitutional authority of the U.S. government to the U.N. (hence my vote for vote # 9), I simply couldn't vote to de-fund the U.N. altogether (vote # 20).  In hindsight, I think my vote for campaign finance reform (vote # 22) was a mistake, and I now favor immediate and full disclosure of campaign contributions without limitation.  You'll note that one of the votes ACU rated (# 7) was my bill to eliminate affirmative action in higher education which was defeated.


Those of us who have served in high elective office don't get a chance for a "do-over."  We had to make a decision based on the facts at our disposal, consistent with our conscience and convictions.  Each of you receiving this e-mail might ask yourself how you would have voted on these matters.

1998 House Vote Descriptions

1. NATIONAL TESTING CURBS. HR2486 (roll call vote 9). Passage of the bill to prohibit the use of federal funds for any federally-sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject that is not specifically authorized by Congress. Passed 242-174, Feb. 5, 1998. ACU supported the legislation.

2. PUERTO RICO STATUS. HR856 (roll call vote 37). Passage of the bill to establish a process for determining and implementing a permanent political status for Puerto Rico, possibly leading to statehood. Passed 209-208, March 4, 1998. ACU opposed the legislation.

3. PROPERTY RIGHTS. HR992 (roll call vote 52). Passage of the bill to give landowners greater leeway in suing the federal government for disputes over government seizure of private property, by allowing such cases to be heard in federal courts. Passed 230-180, March 12, 1998. ACU supported the legislation.

4. LABOR UNION SALTING. HR3246 (roll call vote 78). Passage of the bill to permit employers to refuse to hire, or fire, those who seek employment for the purpose of "salting," a practice in which union organizers seek employment primarily for the purpose of organizing other workers to join a union. Passed 202-200, March 26, 1998. ACU supported the legislation.

5. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. HR2400 (roll call vote 93). Roukema (R-NJ) amendment to end the Transportation Department's program that sets a goal of providing at least 10 percent of transportation contracts to small businesses owned by women and minorities. Rejected 194-225, April 1, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

6. TAX LIMITATION AMENDMENT. HJRes111 (roll call vote 102). Passage of the joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate in order to raise taxes. Rejected 238-186, April 22, 1998. (A two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required to pass a constitutional amendment.) ACU supported the resolution.

7. PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT. HR6 (roll call vote 133). Riggs (R-CA) amendment to prohibit any public institution of higher learning that participates in any Higher Education Act program from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any person or group in admissions based in whole or in part on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Rejected 171-249, May 6, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

8. SATELLITES TO CHINA. HR3616 (roll call vote 170). Hunter (R-CA) amendment to prohibit the export of re-export of any U.S. satellites, including commercial satellites and their components, to the People's Republic of China. Adopted 364-54, May 20, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

9. UNITED NATIONS TROOP ASSIGNMENTS. HR3616 (roll call vote 173). Hefley (R-CO) amendment to prohibit the assignment of any member of the U.S. armed services to duty with the United Nations Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters, or any other standing army under command of the United Nations. Adopted 250-172, May 20, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

10. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AMENDMENT. HJRes78 (roll call vote 201). Passage of the joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment to guarantee an individual's right to pray and recognize his religious beliefs on public property, including schools. The amendment also would bar governments at any level from requiring anyone to participate in religious activity or to deny benefits on the basis of religion. Rejected 224-203, June 4, 1998. (A two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required to pass a constitutional amendment.) ACU supported the amendment.

11. TIENANMEN SQUARE. HConRes285 (roll call vote 202). Adoption of the concurrent resolution to express the sense of the Congress that the president should reconsider his decision to be formally received in Tienanmen Square during his upcoming visit to the People's Republic of China. Adopted 305-116, June 4, 1998. ACU supported the resolution.

12. CONSERVATIVE BUDGET. HConRes284 (roll call vote 208). Neumann (R-WI) substitute amendment, offered on behalf of the Conservative Action Team, to adopt a five-year budget plan that would seek to limit the growth of government spending to the rate of inflation, while calling for $150 billion in tax reduction over five years, and increasing defense spending above current levels by $56 billion over five years. Rejected 158-262, June 17, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

13. TAX CODE TERMINATION. HR3097 (roll call vote 239). Passage of the bill to abolish the tax code, except for the provisions that fund Social Security and Medicare, by December 31, 2002. Passed 219-209, June 17, 1998. ACU supported the legislation.

14. TRANSPORTING MINORS FOR ABORTION. HR3682 (roll call vote 280). Passage of the bill to make it a federal crime for anyone other than the parent to transport a minor across state lines with the intent that she obtain an abortion. Passed 276-150, July 15, 1998. ACU supported the legislation.

15. NEA FUNDING. HR4193 (roll call vote 312). Johnson (R-CN) amendment to reinstate $98 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts in fiscal 1999, which was struck from the bill by a point of order. Adopted 253-173, July 21, 1998. ACU opposed the amendment.

16. PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION. HR1122 (roll call vote 325). Passage, over the President's October 10, 1997 veto, of the bill to prohibit certain late-term abortion procedures, in which the person performing the abortion partially delivers the fetus before performing the abortion. An exception would be granted where the procedure was deemed necessary to save the life of the mother. Passed 296-132, July 23, 1998. (A two-thirds majority of those present and voting of both houses is required to override a presidential veto.) ACU supported the legislation.

17. EXPRESS ADVOCACY. HR2183 (roll call vote 375). Whitfield (R-KY) amendment to the Shays-Meehan substitute amendment to the bill to overhaul campaign finance laws. The amendment would remove the bill's expanded version of the definition of express advocacy and maintain current law. Rejected 173-238, July 31, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

18. CAMPAIGN FINANCE REGULATION. HR2183 (roll call vote 379). Shays (R-CN) substitute amendment to the bill to overhaul campaign finance laws. The amendment bans soft money contributions, raises the aggregate contribution limits, prohibits House candidates from spending more than $50,000 in personal funds, places onerous new restrictions on issue advertising, and generally restricts the rights of citizen organizations to communicate with the public. Adopted 237-186, August 3, 1998. ACU opposed the amendment.

19. LSC FUNDING. HR4276 (roll call vote 381). Mollohan (D-WV) amendment to increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation from $141 million to $250 million. Adopted 255-170, August 4, 1998. ACU opposed the amendment.

20. UNITED NATIONS DEBT PAYMENT. HR4276 (roll call vote 392). Bartlett (R-MD) amendment to eliminate the $475 million allocated in the bill for debt payments to the United Nations. Rejected 151-279, August 5, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

21. DEREGULATING CAMPAIGNS. HR2183 (roll call vote 403). Doolittle (R-CA) substitute amendment to the bill to overhaul campaign finance laws. The amendment would eliminate all federal contribution limits and end the public financing of presidential campaigns. Rejected 131-299, August 6, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

22. CAMPAIGN FINANCE REGULATION. HR2183 (roll call vote 405). Passage of the bill to overhaul campaign finance laws. The text of the bill is the Shays-Meehan substitute amendment adopted by the House on August 3, 1998, which bans soft money contributions, raises the aggregate contribution limits, prohibits House candidates from spending more than $50,000 in personal funds, places onerous new restrictions on issue advertising, and generally restricts the rights of citizen organizations to communicate with the public. Passed 252-179, August 6, 1998. ACU opposed the legislation.

23. SCHOOL VOUCHERS. HR4380 (roll call vote 411). Armey (R-TX) amendment to establish a new program to provide education scholarships ("vouchers") to an estimated 2,000 poor D.C. public school students. Adopted 214-208, August 6, 1998. ACU supported the amendment.

24. TAX CUTS. HR4579 (roll call vote 469). Passage of the bill to cut taxes by $80 billion over five years, by extending expired provisions such as the research tax credit, reducing taxes for farmers and married couples, and making health insurance premiums 100 percent deductible for the self-employed. Passed 229-195, September 26, 1998. ACU supported the legislation.

25. OPEN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY. HRes581 (roll call vote 498). Adoption of the resolution to authorize the Judiciary Committee to conduct an inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist to impeach President Clinton. Adopted 258-176, October 08, 1998. ACU supported the resolution.

The people circulating the half-truths about my record are doing the bidding of my opponents who've never held any elective office or never held legislative office, i.e., never had to cast a single vote at any level of government on any matter!  They have no record whatsoever to match their rhetoric.  For example, this week the NRA's Political Victory Fund (NRA) released its grades of the candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.  The NRA gave me an "A" grade as a "solidly pro-gun candidate...who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office."  As a three-term U.S. Congressman, I earned an "A+" rating from the NRA as a "proven incumbent legislator with an excellent voting record on critical NRA issues who has made an active effort to promote Second Amendment rights," including my vote to overturn the federal ban on so-called "assault weapons."

The vanity candidate, Ms. Jones, and the establishment-picked candidate (and self-described "ice cream guy"), Mr. Ducey, received "AQ" grades from the NRA, as did Mr. Thomas.  The NRA says this rating "is based solely on the candidate's responses to the NRA Candidate Questionnaire," and is for a candidate "who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues."

I'm also the only candidate for governor with a proven pro-life, pro-family voting record on federal issues.  As a Congressman, I voted for:

• The Hyde Amendment to ban federal funding for abortion on demand;
• To prohibit abortions at medical facilities on federal military installations;
• To ban the abhorrent practice of Partial Birth Abortion;
• To defend traditional marriage (The Defense of Marriage Act);
• And for the Adoption Tax Credit and the Dependent Child Tax Credit

One blogger, Mr. Wikfors, has circulated an anonymous post attacking my record.  It's now also being circulated by the people behind the "American Post Gazette."  You can read my response to the anonymous blog post below (which Mr. Wikfors refused to post on his blog).  The anonymous blog post attacks me for voting against the first Persian Gulf War resolutions, seven days after I was sworn into Congress.  I voted against the resolutions because I was wary about our military intervention in the Middle East and the consequences of a long-term presence there, and because the resolutions authorized the use of force by the U.N. Coalition and bypassed the constitutional requirement that Congress must declare war.

I cast over 3,000 votes as a member of Congress.  It's easy to parse and criticize my record when you have no legislative record and have never had to take a stance yourself.  I'm proud of my public and community service and my leadership experience, including voluntarily enlisting in the Army and putting on the uniform of my country, putting on the badge to serve as a police officer and deputy sheriff, and representing and serving my constituents and our country in Congress.  My strength of character and leadership capabilities were forged by my military, law enforcement and congressional service that taught me physical and moral courage and the absolute importance of honesty and integrity, especially in elective office.


In fact, I'm the only candidate for Governor who's a proud military veteran.  The only candidate who wore the badge as a police officer and deputy sheriff and protected public safety (it's easy to beat your chest with a lot of heated rhetoric when you don't have to put yourself in harm's way).  And I'm the only candidate to win election and reelection to Congress where I compiled a conservative voting record over three terms (six years) while representing a district where Democrats had almost a 20-point registration advantage.  I suppose when you have a negligible or questionable record of public service, and lots of personal baggage, all you can do is attempt to distort the record of your opponents.  It's a shame to see these desperation tactics at play in the governor's race. 


I don't need celebrity endorsements and I'm certainly not going to engage in the mudslinging that has typified the exchanges between Mr. Ducey and Ms. Jones, and Mr. Thomas' attacks on my record.  I've inserted below my earlier response to Mr. Thomas' baseless accusations about my record on illegal immigration.  I know this e-mail is lengthy but I want you to have a complete picture of my record to share with other interested parties.


I also don't agree with Mr. Thomas's attacks on the judiciary, and all judges, as "corrupt."  I have known many highly ethical and upstanding judges from appearing in their courtrooms as a witness (the arresting/investigating officer in a criminal prosecution, an experience which Cathy shared when she, too, was a police officer).  Such blanket attacks do a disservice to the memory of Judge John Roll, who gave his life shielding another victim from the madman who shot Congresswoman Giffords and the other bystanders in Tucson.  I'm personal acquaintances with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginny - a prominent, national conservative activist and commentator - and they attest to the many fine men and women who serve on the bench today (the constitutional conservative judges, not the liberal activists).  


Again, I apologize for the length of this e-mail but hope you'll feel free to share all or part of it with anyone who is confused by the attempts of my opponents to mislead voters and create doubt about my extensive leadership record.  I'm also happy to take any questions or comments at 480-437-1033.


In a crowded field, I'm the clear conservative choice for governor...the tested, trusted and best qualified candidate with the deepest experience and most proven record!  I've walked my talk time and again, and have shown the courage to make the right decisions for our state and country.  I'll be the strong governor we need and restore freedom and opportunity for all Arizonans through conservative solutions and constitutionally limited government of, by and for the people.


Frank Riggs

On August 5, Frank Riggs spoke about himself and his candidacy at a FreedomFires-sponsored event -- the video is at the link below --



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



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