2014 Candidate Endorsements/Recommendations

AKA “Better Late Than Never”

Every election season, I’m approached by a lot of people with some version of the question, “who should I vote for?”

This year is no exception, and I have been promising to publish my list of endorsements and recommendations, but I’ve been swarmed under with a huge amount of work and other commitments.

So it’s slow in coming, but here it is.  I separate endorsements from recommendations insofar as the notion of distinguishing candidates that I heartily cheer from those that are simply the best choice for their office or the least undesirable (and it may even be the case that all the candidates for a particular office are so undesirable that I tacitly avoid recommending any of them by not making a recommendation).  The other, more common reason I refrain from endorsing or recommending for a particular office is that I simply do not feel qualified to do so, lacking the necessary information to make the judgment.

 

Endorsements

Governor: Doug Ducey (I’ve known Mr. Ducey for a while, and I’ve always thought he’d make a great AZ governor)

Attorney General: Mark Brnovich (Tom Horne no longer impresses me in the least, and Brnovich is endorsed by the Federalist Society, who seek to end Arizona’s current adherence to the Missouri Plan for judicial selection, which gives the left-leaning Arizona State Bar far too much influence in the process)

Corporation Commission: Vernon Parker and Lucy Mason (of all the candidates running for any office, I know Vernon Parker best – I know his heart, and I know he’ll serve competently and with respect to individuals’ rights.  I know less about his “running mate” Lucy Mason, but I know that he would not choose to run in tandem with her unless she fits the same conservative mold he does)

House of Representatives – CD 1: Adam Kwasman (a fresh new face of reliable conservatism for AZ)

House of Representatives – CD 2: Martha McSally (Ron Barber’s prospects are weak – he was very lucky to have been elected in 2012 – the RNC will play in this district as well, and McSally is the one GOP candidate who’s ready for prime time – and besides, how cool would it be to have TWO female fighter pilots representing AZ in Congress?)

House of Representatives – CD 3: Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (ANYBODY but Marxist, anti-American Raul Grijalva)

House of Representatives – CD 4: Paul Gosar (rock-ribbed conservative, good family man, my cousin by marriage)

House of Representatives – CD 5: Matt Salmon (being re-elected to Congress after a hiatus is not easy – it speaks to Salmon’s value to Arizona – very good man)

House of Representatives – CD 6: David Schweikert (file under “duh” – Schweikert is a good guy and a great congressman – will go on to bigger, better things, mark my words)

House of Representatives – CD 8: Trent Franks (rock-solid, reliable, unbeatable)

I’m only endorsing one candidate at the local level (which speaks to the conviction of my endorsement): Chandler City Council hopeful Chelle Daly … she brings the fresh, untainted mindset of a citizen legislator, something that our little town could use.  My wife and I have known Chelle and her husband for quite some time, with kids in school together and other interactions.  Chelle is whip-smart and would serve our town well.

 

Recommendations

Secretary of State: Michelle Reagan (would like to see her tack to the right as she serves in higher office, however)

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Diane Douglas (I have known John Huppenthal for a long time, and he has always impressed me … until recently.  It appears to me that he has begun to buy into the liberal notion that spending more money is the proper solution to all problems, but my biggest complaint is his inexplicable decision to refer to Common Core opponents as “barbarians”)

House of Representatives – CD 7: Jarrett Maupin (with the occasional exception, Maupin is a reasonable, decent man (and truly a man of God) … would not be my very first choice among all candidates for Congress, but in his district, he is a vastly better choice than Mary Rose Wilcox.  I’m afraid she will win the nomination, and hence the seat in Congress, but I predict she will lose that seat over corruption … the Republicans in DC won’t bungle her ouster like they have here in AZ)

House of Representatives – CD 9: Wendy Rogers (I really like Kyrsten Sinema personally, and get along with her very well … but I would REALLY love to see her lose her seat in Congress.  I don’t see either Wendy Rogers or Andrew Walter as high-octane candidates who could defeat Sinema with only their own resources.  My friend Raffi Williams of the RNC assures me that the RNC will be pouring a lot of resources into this race in the general election, and I believe that the political contours of the district, despite the personalized-for-Sinema gerrymandering by the “independent” redistricting commission, are such that Rogers or Walter have a shot.  I also believe that the same voters who carried a strong woman to victory in CD 9 in 2012 would be disposed to do so again – Wendy Rogers gets my nod)

 

Get Out and VOTE!

Be sure to get out and vote … the left is rocking back and forth, eyes closed, knees drawn up to their chins, chanting “please let ‘independents’ hurt the GOP in the primary”  Maybe someday the AZ GOP will grow a spine and end the suicidal practice of open primaries, but until they do, the electorate (which is vastly more conservative than the state party and many of its candidates) must bear the burden, pick up the slack, and get to the polls in big numbers to overcome the self-inflicted damage done by Democrats playing in the GOP voting.

Death Threat Account Further Diminishes Trust in White House

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According to the AP, the Obama administration is now asserting that Congress was not consulted in advance of the Taliban prisoner release because the Taliban had threatened to kill Bergdahl if it leaked (I deliberately choose the term “Taliban prisoner release” because the term “swap” implies that the US got something worthwhile in the deal).

 

Sorry to cast aspersions on this subterfuge, but I have three reasons for doing so.

First, classified stuff is presented to Congress all the time with no concern that it will become public.  There’s no way the Taliban could become aware of a classified briefing on this plan unless a senator or member of Congress leaked it to the press (violating at least one oath), or a Taliban spy in the halls of Congress reported it to his superiors back home at Mountain Cave HQ.  Both of these assumptions are as likely as a Beatles reunion.

Second, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was told in advance – does he hold some special security clearance not available to any other senator or member of Congress?  And even if it does not directly contradict the assertion, it throws a big bucket of cold water on the idea that absolutely no one may be told of this plan because Bergdahl’s life would be put at risk.  Clearly, not telling everyone in Congress is not the same as not telling anyone in Congress.

Third, SecDef Chuck Hagel stated clearly that “we did not negotiate with terrorists”, but in order for this ruse to be believed, it is necessary for the White House to concede that the Taliban established consequences for failure to meet a condition … which is unquestionably negotiation.  You have to believe the administration was negotiating, despite having told us, within the past week, that it never negotiates.

It’s possible that in order to legitimize this ploy, the administration has chosen to abandon its White House negotiation denial position, but there would be heavy political consequences for that option at a time when those consequences would have a truly devastating effect.  According to a new Fox poll, 84% of voters worry that US soldiers are put at risk by the “swap”.  This millstone could prove to be so heavy that it hurts Democrats across the board simply because they are members of the same party as the president who released the top five most dangerous Taliban commanders in exchange for a deserter who may have collaborated with the enemy.

Indeed, now that a timeline has been established, we know that the president and his advisors pushed for the release, after knowing the following:

Bearing all this in mind, it’s pretty difficult to imagine circumstances under which the Taliban release won’t hurt the Democrats badly in November.  But the White House goal is not necessarily 100% political spin.  I would submit that the principal goal is to try to establish some kind of plausible deniability, tenuous though it may be, as support for a legal defense to avoid prosecution for failing to notify Congress of the White House plan.  Perhaps the stomach to bring charges would not be as robust if this latest assertion were true and its premises were not false.  But alas …

UPDATE: Some other smart guys make similar, additional points