FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This AP Photo Of Arpaio and Trump May Be More Appropriate

We used a standard (boring) AP photo in our previous article. This one - also an AP photo, taken in Iowa this past January - may be more appropriate.
(AP Photo)

We'll caption it, "Arpaio Still Doing The 'Birther Soft Shoe'; Trump, Not So Much"

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

Man Who Birthed Joe Arpaio's Birther Investigation Slams Sheriff For Continuing "Deceptive...Sham"; Zullo: "Closer Than Ever" (READ)

Last week, in the wake of Donald Trump's bombshell announcement that he suddenly believes that President Barack Obama was born in the United States*, we wrote that "eyes now turn to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio." Though our eyes may have wandered, Arpaio finally responded last night and told the nation that he is still investigating the production of the Obama birth certificate for signs of forgery.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer...flag too small

The Sheriff addressed those questions last night in a talk to the group that started his involvement - the Surprise Tea Party Patriots - and he brought his lead posse investigator, Mike Zullo. However, the now-former STTP board member who initiated the petition that convinced Arpaio to begin the investigation more than five years ago, says Arpaio "is still milking my idea for every bit of publicity he can garner."

In an email this morning to the Arizona Republic and Arizona's Politics, Brian Reilly summarized why the investigation should have been terminated in mid-2012 after Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and then-Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett reviewed the evidence and accepted Obama's documentation.
"Joe Arpaio, the master of showmanship and dog and pony shows, is showing Maricopa County Republicans and Tea Party members complete and total disrespect by continuing to assert that he and his volunteer posse are still investigating President Barack Obama's birth certificate, when the investigation should have been concluded May 22, 2012. Arpaio's actions, in my opinion, are deceptive, and shameful."
The Arizona Republic article includes several quotes from Trump's Arizona campaign and the STTP members who attended, and those comments were not critical of the Sheriff - a top-line Trump surrogate - and were consciously trying not to criticize Trump for backing down.

Reilly relinquished his positions on the MCSO's Cold Case Posse - the Zullo-led unit apparently "closer than ever" (to something) - and the STTP board after becoming convinced that the birth certificate is not forged. He began speaking out in 2012, and Arizona's Politics has found his information to be very credible.  He said it was "unfortunate" that the Republic article did not seek out dissenting views such as his.

Both Trump and Arpaio will be on the November 8 ballot - Arpaio for a 7th term in Maricopa County, and Trump nationally for the Presidency.

Here is his letter to the Republic:

Rebekah,
It's unfortunate azcentral didn't take the time to ask the individual who developed and initiated the plan and wrote and delivered the petition with 242 signatures to Sheriff Arpaio and Chief Brian Sands requesting that the MCSO investigate the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate back on August 18, 2011 and what the originator now thinks of Arpaio's latest remarks regarding Arpaio's ridiculous, "ongoing," sham investigation. 

I am the originator of the plan. It was my idea. It was my petition and Arpaio is still milking my idea for every bit of publicity he can garner. The so called Arpaio investigation should have been over on May 22, 2012 when the Arizona Secretary of State, Ken Bennett received the certified Verification of Birth for Barack Obama from the Hawaii Department of Health. A similar Verification of Birth was also used in court in Mississippi in 2012 to prove that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. 

In a personal email sent to me in 2012, by Maricopa County Attorney, William Montgomery, he stated that he had reviewed all of Arpaio's "evidence" and he said he considered it "speculation." Montgomery also stated that Arpaio would need to prove that Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen for Montgomery to take any action. The Hawaii Verification of Birth proves that Barack Obama is in fact a U.S. citizen. 

Joe Arpaio, the master of showmanship and dog and pony shows, is showing Maricopa County Republicans and Tea Party members complete and total disrespect by continuing to assert that he and his volunteer posse are still investigating President Barack Obama's birth certificate, when the investigation should have been concluded May 22, 2012. Arpaio's actions, in my opinion, are deceptive, and shameful. 

What continues to amaze me is that many Republicans in Maricopa County still put their blind faith in the credibility of a sheriff who has none.

*Trump acknowledged Obama was born in the U.S., though he significantly - to many Birthers - did not also acknowledge that he believes either that Obama is a citizen or that the birth certificate produced by Obama is fraud-free.

(Corrected year in which Reilly began speaking out, to 2012.)

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Monday, September 19, 2016

CLARIFICATIONS Re: AP's Article About Citizenship Given To 858 "Potentially Ineligible Immigrants" From Security Concern Nations

The Associated Press distributed an article today that is being prominently featured on Drudge Report and is sure to get increasing attention on the campaign trail. The headline over Alicia Caldwell's report is "More than 800 immigrants mistakenly granted citizenship." Drudge's headline included the information that the immigrants had (cue ominous music) "security concerns".

The article summarizes the press release from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General. Of course, that release - identical to the title of the eight-page report - is the most accurate summary: "Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records".

However, neither the article, the news release, nor the report itself makes clear several points. Arizona's Politics requested further information, and received some of the answers tonight.

First and foremost, the report gives no time range for when these 858 "potentially ineligible immigrants" slipped through the system and became naturalized citizens even though they had been "ordered deported or removed under another identity". They obviously lied about their previous deportation/removal order and used a different identity. They did give their fingerprints, but because their fingerprints from their deported/removed identity were not properly digitized and/or searched, they were granted citizenship.

The time range is significant because it tells us whether this is 858 people in just the past year, whether that is a per year statistic, whether it is a problem within the current Obama Administration's DHS, whether it is a persistent problem since fingerprints first started to be compiled nearly 100 years ago, etc.  Certainly, the impression that the Drudge Report wanted to convey is that this is indicative of the Obama Administration, and it is something that GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump is likely to seize.

Arizona's Politics learned from the OIG tonight that four of these "potentially ineligible immigrants" were granted citizenship before 2003, and that the other 854 received citizenship during the 11 years between 2003-2013. That obviously spans two Administrations and all six DHS Secretaries (the DHS was created in 2003, in the aftermath of 9/11), and is less than 80 per year.*

And, that brings another point into focus, which the Associated Press vaguely mentioned in the final sentence of the article: the two recommendations to fix this weakness are actively being implemented. The contract to digitize the old fingerprints is expected to be awarded by within the next two weeks, and the review of which of the 858 need to be prosecuted and removed will be completed by the end of 2016.

The audit also notes that three of the 858 were able to receive security clearances once they were granted citizenship. Those maritime and airport credentials were then revoked, although one other person has apparently been permitted to remain as a law enforcement officer. (page 6 of the report)

Arizona's Politics has asked for more information on those four individuals, as well. We will update this article as necessary.




*There are another 953 individuals who were naturalized after being removed under a different identity. However, they were not included in the main report because they were not necessarily from countries of special concern and it was not clear whether their previous fingerprints were in the database or not. It is also not clear when they were granted citizenship.

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BREAKING: Donald Trump IS Preparing For Monday's Debate; New Info On How (Semi-Exclusive)

Contrary to popular belief, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump IS preparing for next Monday's debate. He gave his "strongest supporters" the insight this morning AND asked for their debate prep help.

Trump's email (reproduced below) claims that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is being taught what to say by advisors and psychologists, and that he prefers to prepare by asking supporters 30 questions.



There ARE some great questions on there, and he probably does want to see what his friends say about them. He is not sure whether he should call Clinton "Crooked Hillary" during the debate (or, to wait until the post-debate tweets). And, he is not sure whether to refer to Clinton's (and Obama's) "Russian Reset", which could cut both ways given his respect for Vladimir Putin.

YOU can fill out the survey, too, within the next 24 hours. (Hey, you might already be one of his "strongest supporters" or you might become one.) Caution, you WILL be asked to contribute to the previously-self-funding billionaire's campaign.


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Friday, September 16, 2016

R.I.P., ROSE MOFFORD: Genuinely Good Person (Personal Reflection)

I would like to briefly add my favorite Rose Mofford memories to the flood of touching tributes and articles about Arizona's first female Governor. Gov. Mofford passed away yesterday.
(photo: Phoenix New Times)

I had the task of helping cover Arizona politics in the mid-to-late 80's, during a then-characteristically turbulent period in the Governor's office. Mofford had become Governor after the brief Evan Mecham interlude. I covered her first couple of gubernatorial trips down to Tucson. During an interlude, she started chatting up this (then) young reporter.

Mofford learned that I would only be a journalist for a few more months, and would then be heading up to Tempe to begin law school. The new Governor immediately offered her (old Secretary of State's) set of Arizona Revised Statutes to help get me started. I thanked her but declined the offer - in retrospect, the many-volumed set would not have fit in my grad student-sized apartment.

Fast forward one year. I had survived my first semester of ASU Law and was midway through the second. Sometime around dinner time, my phone rings. It was the time of day my soon-to-be fiancee and I usually spoke (for as long as our long distance budget would allow). However, it was the less familiar voice of the Governor, who wanted to see how law school was working out. She did not re-offer the statutes but did elicit a promise to call if she could help out in any way.

A short conversation, but one that demonstrated how a genuinely good person can make big impacts with small gestures.  As Karina Bland's tribute in the Republic so perfectly shows, Mofford maintained her caring for people even after she was no longer involved in politics. Further proof of genuineness; this world would benefit greatly from more Rose Moffords and it is a little bit worse off today without her.

(This story contributed by Phoenix attorney - and, Arizona's Politics' co-founder - Paul Weich.)

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

Now That Trump Has Moved On, Eyes Turn Again To Sheriff Arpaio's Birther Investigation(s) (FLASHBACK FRIDAY)

With GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump's statements this week related to his leadership in the Birther movement - the people who claim that President Barack Obama has lied about his citizenship and being born in the United States - and his eventual statement* today that the President is a U.S. citizen, eyes now turn to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Arpaio - a prominent Trump surrogate - has shared some of that leadership role in the Birther movement, and has never publicly stated that he has ceased investigating what he is convinced is a fraudulent birth certificate.

Here is a series of past articles on Arizona's Politics about Arpaio's birther games:

1) Why Is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Using ANY Taxpayer Resources On Obama Birth Certificate Investigation?; Also, Promoting Private, Political Interests (3/1/12)

2) LISTEN: Joe Arpaio Will Make Arrest On Obama Birth Certificate Once He Figures Out Who Forged Documents (3/22/12)

3) Forget The Birth Certificate, Some Will Now Want To See Obama's Marriage Certificate; "Marriagers" Are Birthed (10/4/12)

4) READ, NEW TARGET: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Needs A "New Fight"; Branching Out To Go After Hillary Clinton Presidential Run, Or Giving Up On Obama Birth Certificate? (7/11/13)

5) 
BREAKING: MCSO Confirms Sheriff Arpaio Now Has 2 FT Detectives Working On Investigation Related To President Obama Birth Certificate Investigation (2/10/14)

6) BREAKING UPDATE: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office DENIES Detectives Are Working On Criminal Ancillary Investigation Related To Obama Birth Certificate Probe (2/10/14)

7) How Arpaio's Obama Birth Certificate Investigation Is Likely Cause Of Current Posse Vehicle Grounding, Insurance Issues (4/3/14)

8) MCSO Still Using Taxpayer Money To Chase Conspiracy Theories Re: Obama Birth Certificate, Per Mounting Evidence (6/4/14)


*Trump wrapped his brief statement in falsehoods: neither Hillary Clinton nor her campaign started the Birther movement, and he did not finish it.



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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BREAKING, READ: Arizona Supreme Court Upholds "Release Time" For Phoenix Police Union Reps

In a 3-2 decision, the Arizona Supreme Court today upheld the right of cities to give police union personnel "release time" for negotiation preparations, seminars, and other union responsibilities.

Chief Justice Scott Bales authored the majority opinion in a five-year old case that arose when taxpayers represented by Goldwater Institute attorneys sued Phoenix, alleging that "release time" violated the Gift Clause of the Arizona Constitution.  Clint Bolick, the newest Justice, recused himself in the matter, as he previously was involved in the case while at the Institute.*

The Court found that there is a public purpose for the City to allow release time - including full-time release for six officers who conduct Phoenix Law Enforcement Association ("PLEA") business - because it allows the city to procure law enforcement services. 
"The dissent, like the trial court, concludes that release time does not serve a public purpose but instead benefits PLEA as a “private entity.” But this position views the release time benefits in isolation rather than as part of the MOU as a whole, which provides police services to the public. This also views too narrowly both the role of public employee unions and the public’s interest. PLEA, as the authorized representative chosen by a majority of Unit 4 officers, serves not only its own interests, but also those of its members. While the City may sometimes be in an adversarial role relative to the union (sitting across the table, so to speak, in labor negotiations or employment-related disputes), the City – as its own ordinance recognizes – may also benefit as an employer by having an identified representative of the Unit 4 officers for employment-related issues. (citations omitted)

Justic Ann Timmer's dissent flatly disagreed: "No public purpose is served by diverting officers from safeguarding the public to work almost unchecked for PLEA. The City has no control over how PLEA directs the officers on release time and is not even told what the officers do for PLEA." (citation omitted)




*Bolick was replaced by Judge Joseph Howard (Court of Appeals, Div. 2), who was in the majority.

Phoenix attorney Paul Weich contributed this article.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WATCH: DCCC Doubles Its Headmaster Ad Spend Against Babeu In #AZCD1...$340k (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The Democrats' DCCC is going big early, quickly doubling its ad buy hammering GOP nominee Paul Babeu in the open-swing-mega-district that is Congressional District 1.  $340,000 has now been spent on the ad.

That first ad continues to feature snippets of Channel 15 reports on the Pinal County Sheriff's previous life as the controversial headmaster at DeSisto School in Massachusetts. Arizona's Politics reported on the disclosure that $170,000 went into the production and first week of air time.

The new FEC filing this afternoon indicates that an additional $171,121.30 in ad spots were purchased yesterday, bringing the total to more than $340,000.

Surprisingly, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee still has not yet posted the ad online and has not provided a copy to Arizona's Politics. However, a somewhat-blurry copy has been posted on YouTube by DailyKosElections, and it seems to match what we have seen on air; therefore, we are including it here.


DCCC has now spent nearly as much in less than one week as the campaign for Democratic nominee Tom O'Halleran had spent ($373k) in the entire first year of his effort to replace Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1). Kirkpatrick is running against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Going into the last three weeks of the primary - as of Aug. 10 - O'Halleran had $471k of cash on hand, and likely did not have to spend much before the Aug. 30 primary. Babeu had raised almost as much as O'Halleran, but had to spend much more in his competitive 4-way primary; he only had $116k cash on hand on Aug. 10, and likely spent much of it before Aug. 30.

The district - which covers a huge swath of eastern Arizona has long been a hotly-contested swing district.


We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

GOOD FOR THE GOOSE, GOOD FOR THE GANDER: Biggs Preparing To Try To Add His Votes If Judge Lets Jones Add Hers Tomorrow (#AZ05Recount)

Earlier today, Christine Jones' campaign sent out a plea to people who gave her emails: Let us know TODAY if your early or provisional ballot was counted! This afternoon, Andy Biggs' camp sent out a similar blast to its supporters. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

So, if Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joshua Rogers decides at tomorrow's hearing (10:30am) that the County Elections Department should open and count ballots that it had held out for various reasons, each side will be prepared to present a list of their (likely) supporters who want their ballot envelopes re-checked and counted. They may even ask some of them to come to the hearing to explain to the judge why their vote should be counted.

If the judge orders some or all of them included, whoever has the bigger list might have a head start as the 9-vote primary election contest goes into automatic recount mode.

At 9:10 this morning, Ms. Jones - who is currently 9 votes behind for the GOP nomination for CD5 (East Valley) - sent out the following email urging people to check online to see if their early or provisional ballot was counted, and if not to contact them by midnight tonight.


Friend,

The seven days since Election Day have been a flurry of activity... here is the latest:

1) On election night, we had a 1.3% edge over Andy Biggs with 100% of the precincts reporting. Statistically, there was no clear path to victory for our opponents.

2) As of Friday night (the final night of counting ballots), Andy Biggs somehow, beyond all mathematical probability, edged us by just 9 votes. That makes this the closest congressional election in modern Arizona history. This means, by Arizona Statute, that there will be an automatic recount.

3) Seeing that the vote was so close, we looked closer at all ballots cast, and found that more than 300 ballots have not been counted for various reasons. As you know, voting is a constitutional right and we have taken this issue to court to ensure every vote is counted.

4) We believe your vote should count! Please do the following:

- To check if your early ballot was counted: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/earlyvotingballot/earlyvotingballotstatus.aspx

- To check if your provisional ballot was counted: http://recorder.maricopa.gov/provisionalballotstatus/

PLEASE do this ASAP. We need to know about ANY votes that were not counted by tonight (Wednesday) at midnight.

If you find that your vote was not counted, please reply to this email immediately.
Sincerely,
Christine Jones
Christine

PS: Please forward this email to anyone you know who is our supporter. Please do it NOW! Thank you.
Biggs' attorneys and campaign management quickly realized that what is good for the goose would also be good for the gander. Their remarkably-similar email hit inboxes at 3:10pm, and only gave people 2 hours to let them know.


Dear Friend,
9 votes - that's all that separates me and my next closest opponent Christine Jones in the race to replace Matt Salmon in the United States House of Representatives.
Because of the closeness of the vote, there will be an automatic recount and legal challenges before the election is officially over.
There are several early ballots and provisional ballots that may not have been counted - and one of them could be yours! These early and provisional ballots are being called into question in an ongoing court case, and we want to make sure that all who have voted legally have their votes counted.
It's important that you check now to see if your early or provisional ballot was counted!
Call Daniel Stefanski at 623.451.1729 or Cesar Ybarra at 619.843.3434 if you believe that your ballot did not count.
You have until 5 pm tonight to resolve this issue if your ballot did not count. Time is of the essence!
Thank you for your support! 
Andy Biggs
The differences between the two emails that jump off the screen are that the Jones campaign - in the  P.S. indicates that it is looking especially for "supporters", and that while both say they want your votes to count, the Jones email does subtly point out that THEY brought this case to court to stand up for people's right to vote.


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3 LAPS TO GO: Well, THAT Clears the Air! McCain Revs Up For Congress' September Sprint

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is a known fan of just about all things sporting (and, semi-sporting). So, it should come as no surprise that his first official act in returning to Congress this week was to sign on as a co-sponsor of the RPM Act of 2016!
(photo from Fox Sports)

The cleverly-acronymed bill is more completely known as the "Recognizing and Protecting Motorsports Act of 2016" and was introduced by North Carolina Republican Richard Burr back in March. After a couple of pit stops, the bill snagged McCain and two other Senators yesterday as co-sponsors, bringing the almost bi-partisan crew to 26 in time to step on the gas to cross the finish line before this Congress adjourns following the election.

Oh yeah, were you wondering what exactly the RPM Act does? Simple, it would exempt motor vehicles from the anti-tampering measures of the Clean Air Act IF it is SOLELY used for competition.

Questions abound: Does that mean you cannot test it out or run practice laps with it? And, could the Senator modify his campaign's car and declare the entire election season as a competition? (Attention, Congressional candidate Biggs.) Alas, we were not motivated enough to check to see if the Clean Air Act has a definition for "competition.


We were motivated enough, however, to check to see if McCain's general election opponent had also co-sponsored the identical House bill. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) has not, although occasional ally Rep. Paul Gosar has (R-CD4). (The only other AZ Rep. co-sponsoring.)





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Monday, September 5, 2016

Aaron Flannery Calls Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell To Concede In 185 Vote Battle

The Maricopa County Recorder's office announced late Friday night/early Saturday morning that their boss, Helen Purcell, had survived a close primary battle by 185 votes. Today (after returning to town), the political newcomer who nearly knocked off the 27-year veteran called her to congratulate her and to tell her he would not be contest the outcome.

Aaron Flannery told Arizona's Politics this afternoon that he will continue to be active and will lend his fresh set of eyes to issues however he can be helpful.

Purcell's office came under local and nationwide scrutiny this year when incredibly long lines for the March Presidential Preference Election lasted all day and into the wee hours of the night. A lawsuit resulted and the portion about the polling place allocations may be near settlement for November's election. She has also been criticized for other ballot mishaps over the past few years.

Purcell faces Democratic challenger Adrian Fontes in the November election.


We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

ROUND TWO: Trump Upset With Flake's Daily Double

Morning Joe was not on today, so Donald Trump had to watch Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on not one, but TWO of the Sunday news shows. It took him a few hours to Tweet about it, but the GOP Presidential nominee finally got there:





Here is video of both of the Senator's interviews, along with the transcript from CNN's State of the Union.

Trump must still be upset about how Flake stood up to him two months ago during a meeting with GOP Senators.





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WATCH: Pro-McCain SuperPAC Trains Sights On Kirkpatrick, Spends $61K Online (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Arizona Grassroots Action, a pro-McCain SuperPAC that spent $2.6M beating up Kelli Ward in the primary, begins training its sights on general election opponent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) this weekend, with a $60,000 online ad buy.


The SuperPAC filed its FEC 48-hour disclosure statement on Saturday, indicating that it spent $1,000 producing the 30-second ad focusing on the already-well-worn path of Obamacare, leaving a constituent face-to-face early, and voting with Obama (but not mentioning Pelosi). (This is the same group that pasted Ward's picture in between liberals Bernie Sanders and Raul Grijalva.) It throws in the Iran nuclear deal for some freshness.


AGA was the biggest-spending SuperPAC in Arizona's primary election contests, and the ironically-named group has received $1.5M from just 14 contributors around the nation. (APS parent company Pinnacle West rounds out the top 15 contributors. AGA has collected more than $1M in the past three weeks.*




* Calculated by subtracting the $1.5M in IE spending thru 8/10 from the $2.7M in IE spending reported since. On 8/10, there was ending cash on hand of $66k. Therefore, approximately $1.1M had to have been raised after 8/10 in order to spend $1.2M in the past two weeks. The next disclosure date is October 15.

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WATCH/READ: Flake Pulls Rare* "Daily Double", Tells TWO Sunday News Shows Still Can't Vote For Trump

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) pulled off a rare* "Daily Double" today when he was interviewed on two of the major Sunday news shows, and he repeated his key answer: "I would not vote for Hillary Clinton. And, as of now, I would still not vote for Donald Trump."

CBS' Face the Nation had him back on after host John Dickerson had grilled him just 4 weeks ago. And, Jake Tapper questioned him on CNN's State of the Union program.

He had two clever ripostes to questions about the GOP Presidential nominee's on-again-off-again-self-described "softening" regarding deportation of all immigrants in this country illegally.

TAPPER: You didn't buy Rudy Giuliani's explanation earlier this morning saying that there was a line in there that people didn't pay enough attention to that would allow for possibly a discussion of letting undocumented immigrants stay in this country after the ones who have committed other criminal acts are deported.
FLAKE: Well, if it was there it was buried pretty deep. And no, I didn't catch it.
There was just the statement that you're going back. And think of that for a bit. If you have 11 million would are undocumented here, a lot of those are children who are brought across the border when they were 2 years old, say. What he is saying is that they would all have to go back -- or this is what I heard -- and then that they would perhaps be able to come back here in the future. But if there aren't visa categories to accept those who have been deported, then they wouldn't be able to come back. Or they would have to remain out for a long period of time until some -- I guess some vague talk of a commission would create a visa category for them to come back.
And, with Dickerson, Flake said: "Some say hardening, some say softening, I say confusing."

Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that has refused to hold confirmation hearings on Merrick Garland - President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court - repeated his call to confirm Garland in a lame duck session if Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton. "I would like him to bring him up. I think the principle ought to be for Republicans to confirm the most conservative jurist that we're able to confirm," Flake said.








TAPPER: Noticeably absent from the event, Arizona's Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who has loudly disagreed with Trump.

And he joins us now.

Senator, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Thanks for having me on.

TAPPER: So, the last time we spoke, you said you did not know what you were going to do on Election Day. You must have a pretty good idea by now, though.
If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

FLAKE: I would not vote for Hillary Clinton. And, as of now, I would still not vote for Donald Trump.

TAPPER: So, if you -- if you don't want to vote for either of them, would you vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian?

FLAKE: You can always write somebody in.

So, I just know that I would like to vote for Donald Trump. It's not comfortable to not support your nominee. But, given the positions that he has taken and the tone and tenor of his campaign, I simply can't.

TAPPER: The RNC was planning to praise Donald Trump's speech on immigration in your home state a few days ago.
FLAKE: Right.

[09:30:00]
FLAKE: Right.
TAPPER: But once officials of the RNC heard the speech, they dropped plans to praise the speech. That's pretty remarkable for the RNC not to praise a speech of the Republican nominee.

FLAKE: Well, it was a pretty remarkable speech in that it just really doubled down on a lot of the rhetoric that he has used before, and it really didn't explain with any clarity where he is going to move ahead in the future. It simply went back to some of the positions he has taken.
TAPPER: You didn't buy Rudy Giuliani's explanation earlier this morning saying that there was a line in there that people didn't pay enough attention to that would allow for possibly a discussion of letting undocumented immigrants stay in this country after the ones who have committed other criminal acts are deported.
FLAKE: Well, if it was there it was buried pretty deep. And no, I didn't catch it.
There was just the statement that you're going back. And think of that for a bit. If you have 11 million would are undocumented here, a lot of those are children who are brought across the border when they were 2 years old, say. What he is saying is that they would all have to go back -- or this is what I heard -- and then that they would perhaps be able to come back here in the future. But if there aren't visa categories to accept those who have been deported, then they wouldn't be able to come back. Or they would have to remain out for a long period of time until some -- I guess some vague talk of a commission would create a visa category for them to come back.

TAPPER: So Hillary Clinton's campaign, after the speech in Arizona, as I am sure you know, announced that they would take out a 6-figure ad buy in Arizona.
It's been 20 years since the state went for a Democratic presidential nominee. But take a look at the CNN poll it shows Trump ahead of Clinton but only by five points. Do you think that Trump is comfortably ahead, or does Clinton have a chance of winning Arizona?
FLAKE: Well it shouldn't be close. You know, we went big, I think, eight points for Mitt Romney last time. Arizona should still be a red state. But Donald Trump, with the rhetoric that he has used and the characterizations of, you know, many of the state's population have put the state in play. And unfortunately, you know, that leads to Democrats spending a lot of money here. Unfortunately for Republicans.
I think John McCain will be fine. He did very well in the primary last week. A lot of the down-ballot Republicans will be fine as long as they aren't seen as, you know, believing the same things that Donald Trump believes in

TAPPER: So you think Hillary Clinton could win Arizona potentially because of Donald Trump's rhetoric?
FLAKE: Yes. I do.
TAPPER: Senator John McCain, as you know, he's up for re-election this year. Take a listen to this from his new campaign video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If Hillary Clinton is elected president, Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check, not a rubber stamp, for the White House. (END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: It's interesting McCain presenting himself as a check on a President Clinton rather than as an ally of President Trump who -- he doesn't even mention Donald Trump in the video. Is this the right argument for Republicans to be making, essentially the same argument Republicans made in 1986 when they were convinced that Bob Dole was going to lose?
FLAKE: Well, I've said that I think Republicans do need to distance themselves from Donald Trump.
I am not suggesting that John McCain has to do that. He is running a smart campaign and he has broad and deep support here. But I do think it's a position that Republicans ought to take. We cannot, for the future of the party, be associated with this kind of message and with this kind of tone and tenor. It's just -- it's not good for the party. It really isn't.

TAPPER: When you listen to Hillary Clinton's speech about Donald Trump appealing to the darker parts of this country, appealing to racism essentially, did you agree or disagree with what she had to say?
FLAKE: Well, I have been saying that long before Hillary Clinton was talking about it. I think a lot of us have been. I think that's the problem that we have. When you -- when you refer to a judge born in Indiana as a Mexican in a pejorative way, when you refer to John McCain as he has, you can't respect him because he wasn't -- or he was captured, or you refer to those who crossed the border as rapists, you know, you just can't appeal to a broad swath of the electorate.
And so, if -- even if Republicans all lined up behind Donald Trump in Arizona, it still wouldn't be enough. You have got to appeal to swing voters, to independents. And he is just going out of his way, it seems, to offend them.
TAPPER: One last question, sir. If Hillary Clinton does win the election, would you want Mitch McConnell to bring up Merrick Garland as soon as possible for a vote during the lame duck session of Congress? Do you fear she would appoint somebody even more liberal?

FLAKE: I would like him to bring him up. I think the principle ought to be for Republicans to confirm the most conservative jurist that we're able to confirm.
[09:35:08]
And if we do lose the election then we ought to move swiftly, I think, to confirm Merrick Garland.
TAPPER: Senator Flake, always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time, sir.
FLAKE: You bet. Thank you. TAPPER: Coming up taco takeover. A Latino Trump supporter warns the result of too much illegal immigration will be -- quote -- "taco trucks on every corner." Dangerous or delicious? That story next.
*"Rare" in that it might be a first for him, and is rare for anyone not (currently) running for office or at the very top of the news that week. Even Arizona senior Senator John McCain - once the king of Sunday news shows - did not usually go on two of the competing shows on the same day.

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Babeu's Headmaster Days Subject Of DCCC's 1st $170,000 Ad Campaign In AZ01 (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The DCCC jumped right into the mucky part of the AZ01 pool this week, with it's first, $170,000 ad buy against GOP nominee Paul Babeu. The ad focuses entirely on Babeu's controversial tenure as the headmaster at the DeSisto School in Massachusetts.


Although the ad started running two days after the current Pinal County Sheriff won the hotly-contested primary for the swing seat in CD1, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not yet posted it online.

Phoenix's KNXV (Ch.15), which has been in the forefront of reporting the allegations of abuse, did run snippets of the ad as part of a news package explaining that it has nothing to do with the DCCC ad.


On Friday, the DCCC filed its 48-hour disclosure report, detailing that it spent $14,000 producing the ad and $155,000 on airtime. It appears to be airing on the Phoenix stations, although the mammoth district is also partly served by the Tucson market.

Former State Sen. Tom O'Halleran (then, a Republican) is the Democratic candidate for the seat opened up by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's run for the U.S. Senate.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.