Category Archives: Arizona Congressional Races

GOP resorts to lying about its tax bill (part one)

Rep. Martha McSally had a GOP talking points cookie-cutter op-ed in The Arizona Republic over the weekend to which she simply signed her name. McSally: Why I voted for the House’s tax reform bill.

Note: The House tax bill is merely a placeholder. The Senate is writing its own bill, and it will be a conference committee bill yet to be determined that is the actual bill that will matter.

Rep. McSally’s rumored replacement to run for her CD 2 congressional seat when she announces for the senate, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Lea Márquez Peterson, similarly had a GOP talking points cookie-cutter op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star to which she simply signed her name. Lea Márquez Peterson: Tax reform will help small businesses in Arizona.

Both opinions make assertions that are simply false and/or misleading.

Is lying to us the best that we can expect from Tea-Publicans?

Matthew Yglesias asks, If the GOP tax plan is so good, why do they lie so much about it?

In politics pretty much everyone shades the truth and engages in some convenient spin now and again. But if you saw a candidate standing on a dais pointing at his pet dog and telling you it was a cat, you’d think something pretty odd was going on.

By the same token, both citizens watching the tax reform debate in Washington and reporters covering it ought to ask themselves: Why, if this plan is so good, do its authors keep lying about what the bill does?

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Rep. Martha McSally, Donald Trump’s ‘twin sister’

Remember this from this past July? Rep. Martha McSally reveals her uncomfortable position in the Trump era:

A secretly recorded tape of U.S. Rep. Martha McSally talking to potential donors offers a rare glimpse into what the two-term Tucson Republican is thinking in the current political climate.

During the 63-minute recording made in late May at a closed-door meeting in Tucson, McSally tells the Arizona Bankers Association that since January, her critics have painted her with the same brush as President Trump.

“There’s just an element out there that’s just, like, so against the president. Like they just can’t see straight. And all of a sudden on January 20, I’m like his twin sister,” she said, in audio that was recently posted online by a grassroots political group called Indivisible Southern Arizona.

That was then, this is now.  Apparently McSally has been to a Breitbart reeducation camp, because she is now making an explicit effort to appear to be Trump’s twin sister in a sadly pathetic attempt to gain Trump’s fickle endorsement for Senate.

Tim Steller of the Arizona Daily Star reports, Steller’s Friday Notebook: McSally pivots to pro-Trump position:

For some time, I’ve suspected that Rep. Martha McSally is angling for an endorsement from President Trump as she considers jumping into the U.S. Senate race — maybe even as a condition for running.

That would give her a big advantage over the top GOP candidate in the race now, Kelli Ward, who is a devoted fan of the president and was endorsed by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon.

I can’t say I’ve confirmed this is what McSally is doing, but on Thursday, she offered one more piece of evidence for the theory. McSally’s Twitter account put out a picture of her with Trump, each with an arm around the other, each giving a thumbs up.

McSally’s text said: “Great meeting with President @realDonaldTrump this a.m. to discuss our tax cuts that will bring relief to hard-working American families!”

This was the fourth tweet naming the president that McSally has posted since Nov. 8; her entire Twitter history shows only one Tweet naming Trump before that.

On Nov. 8, a day I think we may look back on as the day McSally actually began running for Senate, she posted a picture of herself with the president’s older daughter. The text of the tweet said, “Discussing our plan to cut taxes, create jobs & deliver relief to American families w/@IvankaTrump. Let’s get it to @realDonaldTrump’s desk.”

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A path to winning back the House, and maybe the Senate

Democrats need to win 24 congressional seats in 2018 to take back the House. Despite extreme GOP gerrymandering of congressional districts in many states (the U.S. Supreme Court may have something to say about this next year), there are a number of opportunities that make this math possible.

There are 23 congressional districts represented by Republicans won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the demographic makeup of these districts are important after Tuesday’s off-year election results. As Daily Kos Elections analyzed earlier this year, These 23 Republicans hold congressional districts that voted for Hillary Clinton:

Daily Kos Elections recently completed calculating the 2016 presidential election results by congressional district. With ticket-splitting rates at historic lows, and presidential results highly correlated with congressional results, these numbers serve as a strong predictor of future House election outcomes. Consequently, as Democrats look to gain the 24 seats necessary to obtain a House majority, the 23 Republican-held congressional districts that voted for Hillary Clinton are a logical place to start.

2016_House_Split-Ticket_Districts_-_Clinton-Republicans_Chart

[M]ost of these districts are located in upscale suburbs, particularly in Sun Belt states like California and Texas. Several of these seats have substantial Latino populations, while most also have many highly educated white voters who long leaned Republican before they revolted against Donald Trump. White voters have strongly polarized by education level in recent elections, with those holding a college degree increasingly voting Democratic at much higher rates than those who lack a four-year degree. If that trend persists, Trump could remain very unpopular in these suburban districts, giving Democrats an opening downballot.

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Rep. Martha McSally is still being coy about senate run

Rep. Martha McSally continues to toy with the idea of running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake, but she has yet to make a public announcement. The Arizona Daily Star reports, US Rep. Martha McSally tells House colleagues she’s running for Senate:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has told Republican colleagues that she’s running for Sen. Jeff Flake’s open seat next year, meaning there will be someone new representing Southern Arizona’s hotly contested Congressional District 2.

The news didn’t come from McSally but instead from U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican colleague in Congressional District 6, who confirmed to reporters for several news outlets that the retired Air Force colonel said she was planning to enter the Senate race.

McSally could not be reached for comment and has not made a formal announcement about her plans. Calls to her campaign office, as well as to her congressional office in Tucson, went unreturned Tuesday.

Geezus, she’s still hiding in the chicken bunker. Come out, come out, and face your constituents, Martha.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward and several other Republican candidates have already announced they were running for Flake’s seat in the GOP primary.

McSally is already facing resistance from President Trump supporters. Last week, the Great America Alliance PAC put out a digital ad (Amnesty Martha) and dedicated website amnestymartha.com that criticized McSally for “supporting amnesty for illegals.”

Ward challenged Sen. John McCain last year and lost, but Trump has offered support for her candidacy even though he did not endorse her. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, however, endorsed Ward last month.

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Rep. Martha McSally considering run for Flake’s Senate seat

Rep. Martha McSally is frequently mentioned as the heir apparent to Senator John McCain. But her ambitions are too great to wait for McCain to step down or to die from his brain cancer, either of which are real possibilities before next November’s election (Arizona very well could have two senate races in 2018, one of them a special election for the remainder of McCain’s term).

U.S. News & World Report reports Razing Arizona: McSally Eyeing GOP Senate Battle:

Congresswoman Martha McSally

Rep. Martha McSally is taking steps toward launching a challenge to Kelli Ward for Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat next year, a move that would set up another scorched-earth primary battle between establishment Republicans and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon [the white nationalist attack dog for far-right extremists Robert and Rebekah Mercer].

The second-term congresswoman indicated her interest in the seat during a closed-door meeting Thursday with Arizona’s five-member GOP House delegation, and also met Thursday with Sen. John McCain to consult about a statewide contest, an Arizona Republican with knowledge of the situation says. Even before that, she began polling her prospects.

“She wants to lay down a marker immediately,” the Arizona source says. “She hates the House.”

Not long after Flake’s retirement announcement Tuesday, White House officials began reaching out to Arizona’s GOP lawmakers to field interest in the seat, two separate sources tell U.S. News – a clear indication of their aversion to Ward.

Reps. Trent Franks and Paul Gosar, two conservative House members, have publicly ruled out bids. And Rep. David Schweikert, a four-term congressman and member of the House Freedom Caucus, quickly declined the overture.

The office he’s most interested in running for is governor in 2022,” Schweikert spokesman Kevin Knight says.

The two GOP sources say the winnowing field makes McSally, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel first elected in 2014, the front-runner to become the consensus candidate of lawmakers and donors. While McSally has not yet made a decision, one congressional aide says based on the congresswoman’s initial conversations with colleagues this week, she’s expected to run.

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Sen. Jeff Flake surrenders rather than fight against ‘Trumpism’ (Updated)

Color me not surprised. Senator Jeff Flake has decided not to run for reelection in a GOP primary poisoned by Trumpism, the new American fascism. So much for being the defender of traditional conservative values. Flake has surrendered rather than stand and fight against the tyranny of Trumpism.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – Edmund Burke (conservative icon)

Arizona now has an open senate seat and this is likely to result in a clusterfuck GOP primary with several more candidates to announce in coming weeks that could shake up other election races. Stay tuned.

The Arizona Republic reports, Arizona’s Jeff Flake announces he will not seek re-election to U.S. Senate:

Condemning the nastiness of Republican politics in the era of President Donald Trump, Sen. Jeff Flake on Tuesday announced he will serve out the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election in 2018.

The bombshell, which Flake, R-Ariz., detailed Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor, will further roil Republican hopes of keeping the party’s 52-seat Senate majority in the midterm elections of Trump’s first term, when the president’s party historically loses seats in Congress.

It also likely will upend the race for Flake’s seat.

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