Earlier this Summer campaign finance reports revealed that Proposition 208, the Largest Tax Increase in Arizona History, was being bankrolled by the liberal Oregon-based Stand for Children. This out of state special interest group pumped more than $4 Million into the effort, accounting for 90 percent of the funding for the ‘Yes’ campaign.
It was a staggering financial sum, and it turns out that they leveraged money from U.S. taxpayers to make it happen. News broke that the Stand for Children Network was a major beneficiary of the PPP program, raking in millions under the guise as a “distressed” small business.
Stand for Children has tried to deny these claims, claiming that the Stand for Children Leadership Center that received these funds is a separate entity from Stand for Children Inc. that provided the funding to the ballot measure. This defense is dubious, however, given the extensive commingling of resources between Stand for Children Inc. and Stand for Children Leadership Center:
- These entities share the same address—2121 SW Broadway, in liberal Portland, Oregon.
- The staff members for both entities are identical. In fact, clicking on the webpage of the staff of the allegedly distinct Stand for Children Leadership Center takes you to the staff webpage of Stand for Children.
- Stand for Children Leadership Center has directly provided funding to Stand for Children Inc. in the past, giving $830,000 to their C4 affiliate in August, 2019.
In addition, the PPP loan was approved on April 28, 2020. One week later, Stand for Children made a $300,000 contribution to the tax hike campaign. Later that month, another $600,000 was given, and then another $350,000 on June 12.
The cozy relationship between the (c)(3) receiving PPP funds from taxpayers and their affiliated, pro tax hike group is troubling enough. Yet even if they are separate entities, it just means that Stand for Children Inc was sitting on millions in cash, and instead of using that money to pay for the same staff they share with their affiliated (c)(3), they instead decided have their C3 partner acquire PPP loans so that they could fund a tax hike initiative in Arizona.
The CARES Act PPP program was created by Congress at the beginning of the pandemic to assist struggling business owners maintain their payroll, avoid layoffs, and hire back employees. It was never intended to be used to underwrite political operations.
There have been several reports about companies abusing the PPP program, but this outrageous behavior has to be near the top. Even more jarring is that the same program that was set up ostensibly to help Arizona small businesses ended up being used to hammer them with a 78% tax increase.
We call upon our congressional delegation to act against this abuse and investigate their PPP application. If the PPP money has gone to fund Prop 208 they should be required to pay back EVERY DIME they received, plus interest and penalties.
And if there was any justice, Stand for Children should be forced to apologize to Arizona voters, taxpayers, and small business owners for using their tax dollars to put this radical measure on the ballot.
Adrian Fontes won his seat for county recorder in 2016 by capitalizing on an underprepared Presidential Preference election at which no one anticipated the wave of turnout. Despite Fontes’ unrelenting criticism of then long-time recorder Helen Purcell and lofty promises to “restore democracy,” Fontes’ record as recorder is ironically marred by utter incompetence, corruption and reckless disregard for the law and voters.
In short, Fontes has been a disaster and the electorate deserves better representation.
Fontes Has Done a Horrible Job Running County Elections, Wasting Millions in Taxpayer Dollars
Fontes’ debut election was the Primary in August 2018. By 6:00AM 62 polling centers were not operational. In fact, it took until 11:30 AM on voting day for all the centers to be up and running. Though Fontes was quick to pass the buck to the contractor for the voter check in system, these were not the only operational gaffes. Public records procured by the media showed Fontes’ office received over 200 complaints from voters. Poll workers were untrained and unprepared, voters received incorrect ballots and many instances were cited of unsecured ballots. And the “mundane” details required to grease a smooth election process were too tedious for Fontes to bother with – many polling stations lacked the basics including working internet, printers without toner and locations that were simply locked.
Ultimately, taxpayers were on the hook for another $200,000 for outside audits to determine why the election had been such a debacle.
Fontes has claimed he needs more resources to run day to day operations, increase outreach to the community and invest in new ballot tabulation systems. In fact, he has squandered these tax dollars hiring useless positions like a taxpayer-funded lobbyist, personnel to run voter registration drives at Democrat-rich events, and flashy new technology that come election day failed.
Fontes Has a Complete Lack of Respect for Voters
Aside from Fontes’ just being bad at his job, the current county recorder has demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the elections office and subsequently for the voters he is supposed to represent. After a voter on Facebook had the “audacity” to question why the mail-in ballot he received did not have a clear date it needed to be returned by, Fontes told him (a fellow Democrat) to “Go f— yourself.” Though Fontes claims he serves voters, his belligerent treatment of valid voter concerns demonstrates an actual deep disdain for being accountable to them.
This record of erratic and incompetent behavior led to the County Board of Supervisors hiring their own elections director and taking a more direct role in overseeing election day operations.
Fontes Does Not Believe He Should Have to Follow the Law
Adrian Fontes has seemed to be incapable of coming to terms with his loss of powers. In an effort to be more relevant, this year Fontes proceeded in his cavalier fashion to unilaterally rewrite election law. Fontes declared he would mail early ballots to all voters even those who are not on the Permanent Early Voters List (PEVL). This was not legal. And he was told so by the County Board of Supervisors, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State (a member of his own political party), and finally a Superior Court judge.
And as if there wasn’t enough confusion and uncertainty during these times, Fontes continued with his disregard of the law by instructing voters if they made a mistake on their ballots to cross it out and refill it. This unlawful advice could have led to many voters’ ballots not being counted at all. Acting upon his own authority, with blatant indifference for the law (again), a Superior Court judge (again) blocked his actions. Of course, this was after 2 million erroneous instruction sheets were already printed at the expense of taxpayers.
It is clear when Fontes does not like a law, he simply chooses to ignore it. Unfortunately, it is the taxpayers and voters who keep flipping the bill for his immature and irresponsible behavior.
It is obvious at this point that Adrian Fontes is not interested in the job of administering elections. Fontes sees the position of County Recorder as nothing more than a political operation to be used for the benefit of himself and his political cronies. Voters deserve a fair, unbiased and seamless election process, something Fontes is incapable of delivering. Come November, voters should vote accordingly.
Democrats are hoping to convince voters that a slate of candidates running in swing legislative districts in Arizona are harmless pragmatic “moderates” to gain legislative majorities in the state house and senate.
Despite parroting middle of the road messaging, these radical progressives in fact hold the same ideological beliefs as the activists sweeping Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles, who have left burned, looted and destroyed cities in their wake. If these candidates are elected, Arizonans should prepare themselves for a sharp left turn down a road to defund the police, sanctuary cities, California-style energy mandates and Bernie Sanders tax everything policies.
Legislative District 17 – Jennifer Pawlik Backs the Bernie Sanders Plan of Massive Tax Hikes, Radical Gun Control and the Green New Deal
Despite being from a legislative district in the East Valley with a 10-point Republican advantage and a more moderate flavor, Democrat Jennifer Pawlik has worked to convince voters in LD17 that she is a middle-of-the-road Democrat.
Her support for sky high tax rates and extreme gun control laws is evidence to the contrary. In just her first term, Pawlik supported over $5.7Billion in tax hikes, backing plans to increase income taxes, online sales taxes, property taxes and taxes on small businesses! She even opposed efforts to repeal the $32 vehicle registration fee. Pawlik hasn’t said no to a single tax increase since being elected to the legislature.
These aren’t the only issues Pawlik wishes to legislate from the far left. In line with the Bernie Sanders Agenda, Pawlik supported banning the sale of firearms by individuals, implementing a shutdown of our economy to reduce carbon emissions, banning natural gas and prohibiting the use of plastic bags.
Legislative District 20 – Judy Schweibert pals around with anti-border patrol and defund the police groups
Legislative District 20 located in Glendale and Peoria is considered “in-play” for 2020 and is being heavily targeted by Democrats. Though Schweibert emphasizes “listening and working together” on her campaign site, her true alliances are with radical organizations such as LUCHA and out-of-state-interest groups such as Sister District that are actively pushing their radical progressive agendas in Arizona.
At the legislature, birds of a feather truly do flock together and voters can tell a lot by the organizations candidates rely upon for policy advice. Schweibert has not been shy in claiming LUCHA as her friend. Voters should be aware this radical group supports dangerous proposals such as abolishing ICE and defunding the police. And far from the moderate grassroots support in LD20, Schweibert is a Manchurian Candidate for the Sister District Project, a San Francisco-based political group that aims to “turn states blue” by taking out-of-state volunteers “from deep blue districts” and sending them into “carefully targeted races in swing district” in other states. Arizona’s legislative district 20 is their target.
Legislative District 4 – Geraldine Peten supports sky-high utility bills
Geraldine Peten is the current representative for LD 4, located in southwestern Arizona in predominately Yuma and Pima Counties. Peten has a reputation for making false and radical claims at the legislature, including the idea that charter schools are racist attempts to segregate children, that Arizona should pass a $40Billion budget (a 300% increase in spending), and make discrimination against certain hair styles illegal.
Peten was also an outspoken proponent of Prop 127, a measure soundly defeated by nearly 70% of voters in the State that would have increased citizens’ utility bills by $1,000 a year! Not only was this radical measure being pushed by out of state special interests costly to ratepayers, Peten argued it did not go far enough (22:12)! If Peten had it her way, Arizonans would adopt California-energy mandates that have caused “rotating” blackouts and sky-high energy prices.
Legislative District 6 – Coral Evans supports sanctuary cities
Coral Evans lives in Coconino County in a district which encompasses areas as diverse as Flagstaff and Yavapai, Navajo and Gila Counties. Evans is a member of the Flagstaff city council where she has actively supported the city using taxpayer-funded lobbyists to advocate for hiking the state gas tax.
In addition to her high-tax agenda, Evans doesn’t believe walls should exist between countries and even compares citizens who do to slave owners. If Evans were elected, she would opt for Arizona to be a “sanctuary state” (1:04) free of the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Even in progressive Tucson, the idea of sanctuary cities was way too radical for most voters.
Arizonans beware of false advertising! These so-called “moderate” Democrats are anything but. If their deception is successful, voters in the Grand Canyon State are sure to have a lot of buyer’s remorse.
Phoenix, AZ (September
3, 2020) – Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club announced its slate of
candidate endorsements for the 2020 general election cycle.
The endorsed candidates represent individuals who align with
the organization’s principles and key policy goals. Club President Scot Mussi stated, “It is critical Arizona has leaders and
policy makers who are able to articulate and stand up for free market
principles and pro-growth policies. This
slate of candidates has proven they can and will.”
Proposition 207 – No
Proposition 208 – No
Shedd, CD 1
Martin, CD 2
Wood, CD 3
Gosar, CD 4
Biggs, CD 5
Schwiekert, CD 6
Lesko, CD 8
Judy Burges, LD 1 House
Quang Nguyen, LD 1 House
McEwen, LD 2 House
Angry, LD 4 Senate
John Dee, LD 4 House
Cobb, LD 5 House
Biasuicci, LD 5 House
Blackman, LD 6 House
Barton, LD 6 House
Peelman, LD 7 House
Leach, LD 11 Senate
Finchem, LD 11 House
Roberts, LD 11 House
Petersen, LD 12 Senate
Grantham, LD 12 House
Hoffman, LD 12 House
Kerr, LD 13 Senate
Dunn, LD 13 House
Gowan, LD 14 Senate
Griffin, LD 14 House
Nutt, LD 14 House
Nancy Barto, LD 15 Senate
Steve Kaiser, LD 15 House
Justin Wilmeth, LD 15 House
Townsend, LD 16 House
Parker, LD 16 House
Mesnard, LD 17 Senate
Harris, LD 17 House
Sharer, LD 18 Senate
Boyer, LD 20 Senate
Kern, LD 20 House
Bolick, LD 20 House
Gray, LD 21 Senate
Payne, LD 21 House
Pingerelli, LD 21 House
Livingston, LD 22 Senate
Toma, LD 22 House
Carroll, LD 22 House
Ugenti-Rita, LD 23 Senate
Kavanagh, LD 23 House
Chaplik, LD 23 House
Pace, LD 25 Senate
Bowers, LD 25 House
Pena, LD 27 House
Jana Jackson, LD 28 House
Proposition 449 – No
Stephen Richer, County Recorder
Allister Adel, County Attorney
Steve Chucri, Board of Supervisors
Bill Gates, Board of
Supervisors District 3
Matt Nielsen, Mayor
Lisa Borowski, Mayor
Merissa Hamilton, Mayor
David Seibert, City Council, District 1