Arizona Free Enterprise Club FINAL 2020 General Election Endorsements

We are exactly one week from election day, and with that a reminder of the Club’s 2020 general election endorsements.

Our list is similar to our previous release, except the Club does want to highlight that several Judges are being targeted by the left for their convictions to uphold the Arizona Constitution. These are often forgotten races, but we do encourage voters to vote to retain our recommended judges, including Andrew Gould, John Lopez, Christopher Coury, Jennifer Perkins and David Weinzeig who have been targeted by the left to be removed from the bench.

We also encourage everyone that has received an early ballot to PLEASE return your ballot prior to election day. If you have concerns of voter fraud in regards to mailing in your ballot, you can drop off your ballot in person or vote early at polling locations in your county. For Maricopa County, you can find a polling location near you by visiting the following link: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/pollingplace/

Ballot Propositions

Proposition 207 – No

Proposition 208 – No

US President

Donald J. Trump

U.S Senate

Martha McSally

U.S Congress

Tiffany Shedd, CD 1

Brandon Martin, CD 2

Daniel Wood, CD 3

Paul Gosar, CD 4

Andy Biggs, CD 5

David Schwiekert, CD 6

Debbie Lesko, CD 8

Corporation Commission

Eric Sloan

Jim O’Connor

State Legislative Races

Judy Burges, LD 1 House                                                         

Quang Nguyen, LD 1 House                                                     

Deborah McEwen, LD 2 House

Travis Angry, LD 4 Senate

Joel John, LD 4 House

Regina Cobb, LD 5 House

Leo Biasuicci, LD 5 House

Walt Blackman, LD 6 House                            

Brenda Barton, LD 6 House

David Peelman, LD 7 House

Vince Leach, LD 11 Senate

Mark Finchem, LD 11 House

Bret Roberts, LD 11 House

Warren Petersen, LD 12 Senate

Travis Grantham, LD 12 House

Jake Hoffman, LD 12 House

Sine Kerr, LD 13 Senate

Tim Dunn, LD 13 House

David Gowan, LD 14 Senate

Gail Griffin, LD 14 House

Becky Nutt, LD 14 House

Nancy Barto, LD 15 Senate

Steve Kaiser, LD 15 House

Justin Wilmeth, LD 15 House

Kelly Townsend, LD 16 House

Jacqueline Parker, LD 16 House

JD Mesnard, LD 17 Senate

Liz Harris, LD 17 House

Suzanne Sharer, LD 18 Senate

Paul Boyer, LD 20 Senate

Anthony Kern, LD 20 House

Shawnna Bolick, LD 20 House

Rick Gray, LD 21 Senate

Kevin Payne, LD 21 House

Beverly Pingerelli, LD 21 House

David Livingston, LD 22 Senate

Ben Toma, LD 22 House

Frank Carroll, LD 22 House

Michelle Ugenti-Rita, LD 23 Senate

John Kavanagh, LD 23 House

Joseph Chaplik, LD 23 House

Tyler Pace, LD 25 Senate

Rusty Bowers, LD 25 House

Tatiana Pena, LD 27 House

Jana Jackson, LD 28 House

County, City, Town

Maricopa County

Proposition 449 – No

Stephen Richer, County Recorder

Allister Adel, County Attorney

Steve Chucri, Board of Supervisors District 2

Bill Gates, Board of Supervisors District 3

Shelly Boggs, Maricopa County Community College District Board – At Large

Laurin Hendrix, Maricopa County Community College District Board – District 1

Susan Bitter Smith, Maricopa County Community College District Board – District 3

Gilbert

Matt Nielsen, Mayor

Scottsdale

Lisa Borowsky, Mayor

Phoenix

Merissa Hamilton, Mayor

Judges

Supreme Court

Robert Brutinel, YES

Andrew Gould, YES

John Lopez, YES

Maricopa County

Jay Adleman

Sara Agne

Scott Blaney

Lori Horn Bustamante

Rodrick Coffey

Connie Contes

Christopher Coury

Adam Driggs

Pamela Gates

Michael Kemp

Daniel Kiley

Suzanne Marwil

Scott McCoy

Paul McMurdie

Kathleen Mead

Scott Minder

James B. Morse

Jennifer M. Perkins

Adele Ponce

Timothy J. Ryan

Timothy Thomason

Peter A. Thompson

David K. Udall

David D. Weinzeig

Christopher T. Whitten

Welcome to the Twilight Zone: Covid Stimulus Checks to Criminals

Welcome to the Twilight Zone: Covid Stimulus Checks to Criminals

When Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act last spring, the goal was to help families and businesses struggling with layoffs, closures and hardships caused by the pandemic.

Yet to no one’s surprise, the multi-trillion-dollar spending package has become the latest example of reckless spending and abuse emanating from our nation’s Capitol.

Tens of thousands of PPP small business loans have been found to be at a high risk for fraud, with no plans on how to fix the problem. At least 1 million stimulus checks were sent to dead people throughout the country. Millions in cash were sent to non-profit organizations to help create leverage for them to engage in radical political campaigns.

And if you thought it could not get any worse, it has now been decided that we will be sending stimulus checks to convicted felons in prison.

It seems like only a short time ago when such a bizarre and farfetched idea would never have been considered or interpreted. 

But welcome to the Twilight Zone – Year 2020 Edition– when anything goes.

No More Trillion Dollar Stimulus Giveaways

It may be easy to blame the trial attorneys who have exploited the CARES Act loophole and sued the IRS, or even the US District Court judge who ruled that taxpayers must fork over $1,200 checks to thousands of prisoners.  But they weren’t the ones that drafted the bill or have remained indifferent to fixing these legislative defects.

It’s the politicians in Washington that don’t seem to care that massive amounts of deficit spending are being given away to criminals and dead people. They have already moved on to their next trillion-dollar idea to bail out their political friends while driving our Country closer to bankruptcy.

Enough is enough. In November, voters will have a stark choice on the ballot, one that will determine the future of this country. It is a choice between one side who wants accountability and law and order, and another who wants to simultaneously defund the police while funding criminals with stimulus checks. As Ronald Reagan stated in 1964, this will be a time for choosing, and hopefully voters will choose wisely.

Arizona Free Enterprise Announces 2020 General Election Endorsements

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club has released its final slate of 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

U.S Senate

Martha McSally

U.S Congress

Tiffany Shedd, CD 1

Brandon Martin, CD 2

Daniel Wood, CD 3

Paul Gosar, CD 4

Andy Biggs, CD 5

David Schwiekert, CD 6

Debbie Lesko, CD 8

Corporation Commission

Eric Sloan

Jim O’Connor

State Legislative Races

Judy Burges, LD 1 House                                                          Bret Roberts, LD 11 House

Quang Nguyen, LD 1 House                                                      Warren Petersen, LD 12 Senate

Deborah McEwen, LD 2 House

Travis Angry, LD 4 Senate

Joel John, LD 4 House

Regina Cobb, LD 5 House

Leo Biasuicci, LD 5 House

Walt Blackman, LD 6 House                            

Brenda Barton, LD 6 House

David Peelman, LD 7 House

Vince Leach, LD 11 Senate

Mark Finchem, LD 11 House

Travis Grantham, LD 12 House

Jake Hoffman, LD 12 House

Sine Kerr, LD 13 Senate

Tim Dunn, LD 13 House

David Gowan, LD 14 Senate

Gail Griffin, LD 14 House

Becky Nutt, LD 14 House

Nancy Barto, LD 15 Senate

Steve Kaiser, LD 15 House

Justin Wilmeth, LD 15 House

Kelly Townsend, LD 16 House

Jacqueline Parker, LD 16 House

JD Mesnard, LD 17 Senate

Liz Harris, LD 17 House

Suzanne Sharer, LD 18 Senate

Paul Boyer, LD 20 Senate

Anthony Kern, LD 20 House

Shawnna Bolick, LD 20 House

Rick Gray, LD 21 Senate

Kevin Payne, LD 21 House

Beverly Pingerelli, LD 21 House

David Livingston, LD 22 Senate

Ben Toma, LD 22 House

Frank Carroll, LD 22 House

Michelle Ugenti-Rita, LD 23 Senate

John Kavanagh, LD 23 House

Joseph Chaplik, LD 23 House

Tyler Pace, LD 25 Senate

Rusty Bowers, LD 25 House

Tatiana Pena, LD 27 House

Jana Jackson, LD 28 House

County, City, Town

Maricopa County

Proposition 449 – No

Stephen Richer, County Recorder

Allister Adel, County Attorney

Steve Chucri, Board of Supervisors District 2

Bill Gates, Board of Supervisors District 3

Shelly Boggs, Maricopa County Community College District Board – At Large

Laurin Hendrix, Maricopa County Community College District Board – District 1

Susan Bitter Smith, Maricopa County Community College District Board – District 3

Gilbert

Matt Nielsen, Mayor

Scottsdale

Lisa Borowsky, Mayor

Phoenix

Merissa Hamilton, Mayor

Judges

Supreme Court

Robert Brutinel, YES

Andrew Gould, YES

John Lopez, YES

Maricopa County

Jay Adleman

Sara Agne

Scott Blaney

Lori Horn Bustamante

Rodrick Coffey

Connie Contes

Christopher Coury

Adam Driggs

Pamela Gates

Michael Kemp

Daniel Kiley

Suzanne Marwil

Scott McCoy

Paul McMurdie

Kathleen Mead

Scott Minder

James B. Morse

Jennifer M. Perkins

Adele Ponce

Timothy J. Ryan

Timothy Thomason

Peter A. Thompson

David K. Udall

Christopher T. Whitten

Latest Poll Finds Support for Prop 208 Tax Hike Dropping Below 50 Percent

Latest Poll Finds Support for Prop 208 Tax Hike Dropping Below 50 Percent

Phoenix—Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club released our latest survey results for Proposition 208, a statewide ballot measure that would nearly double the state income tax to increase funding for public education. The Data Orbital poll shows that support for the measure continues to drop, with only 47% saying that they would vote yes for the tax hike.

“The dwindling support for Prop 208 shows that people are not interested in hammering small businesses in the middle of a pandemic with the largest tax hike in Arizona history,” said Scot Mussi, President of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. “Arizona voters may want more money for schools, but they are not interested in destroying our economy in the process.”

The findings in the Data Orbital poll are similar to other results released in the last week showing Prop 208 struggling to be above 50%. This is a precipitous fall for a measure that supporters touted had 66% support just one month ago.

“Backers of the measure thought that they could sell a ‘soak the rich’ measure to voters, and it’s proving to be a bad miscalculation on their part,” said Scot Mussi. “Now they are stuck trying to persuade skeptical voters to be a yes on a tax hike, which is a very difficult position to be in.”

The Data Orbital poll included 550 likely Arizona voters and was conducted from October 3 – 5, 2020. The margin of error is 4.18%. 

Liberal Out of State Group is Using PPP Loans to Fund Prop 208 Tax Hike Campaign

Liberal Out of State Group is Using PPP Loans to Fund Prop 208 Tax Hike Campaign

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.

County Recorder Adrian Fontes Disrespects the Law and Voters

County Recorder Adrian Fontes Disrespects the Law and Voters

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.