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Conservative endorsements split in Arizona Special Election

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Congressmen Trent Frank’s sex scandal has led to quite a feeding frenzy to replace him. This would make Arizona District 8 the ninth Congressional special election for Congress since Trump’s inauguration. The solid red district voted Republican by at least a 20 point margin in the last three presidential elections. Democrats stand little chance in this elections. So the competition is which Republican gets the privilege of an easy path to being a Congressman. The replacement will most likely be decided on Tuesday, February 27th. The field of over a dozen candidates can be narrowed down to a few serious contenders. The most serious contenders appear to be Debbie LeskoPhil Lovas, and Steve Montenegro. All three claim to be conservatives and none of them are obvious establishment players like Martha McSally in Arizona’s Senate race. In this wide-open race with no clear front-runner, endorsements and finances may likely decide the winner.

Fulfilling both of these keys to victory is Ted Cruz. His champion: Steve Montenegro. Ted Cruz endorsed the candidate and his Super PAC currently has $83000 invested in this primary. However, that is all of the credibility capital Montenegro can boast. His other endorsements make him seem like a rabble-rousing Trump sycophant. They include Rick Santorum, the disgraced Trent Frank, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Steve Montenegro’s conservative status doesn’t seem questionable until you see his past support for a popular vote. This raises some major questions.

Phil Lovas, on the other hand, doesn’t have flashy endorsements but has the nod from Arizona state officials such as Jeff DeWit. Jeff DeWitt was also the national COO/CFO for the Trump campaign. In the live-streamed debate, Phil Lovas boasted his early support for Trump as an outsider. This lends credibility to Lovas, but Trump loyalty isn’t a question among any of the major candidates. All three boast that they will support Trump, meaning these Republicans are saying they aren’t RINOs which is what most say.

In contrast, Debbie Lesko has no shortage of national and local endorsements in this race. She lists them in her article:

I am honored to have the endorsement of former Gov. Jan Brewer and many local leaders including Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, Litchfield Park Mayor Tom Schoaf and Goodyear Vice Mayor Wally Campbell. I’ve also been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, a national prolife organization, and Congressmen Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who are the founding members of the conservative U.S. House Freedom Caucus of which Trent Franks was a member. These people know that I have a proven track record of working for my constituents, fighting for the values that have made our nation great and getting things done.

On top of these endorsements, there is also Andy Biggs from the Freedom Caucus. Debbie Lesko certainly benefits from being a major player in Arizona state politics. She has a record of fiscal conservatism in the state legislature and is pro-life.

This race, like the Missouri Senate race, has a social media darling. A “life coach” by the name of Brenden Dilley is on the ballot. However, this social media candidate upped his rhetoric to win the Trump supporter pissing contest. He livestreamed the debate among the candidates that took place last Saturday. Steve Montenegro skipped the debate. Though it was a poor quality (and immaturely done) live stream, I heard Debbie Lesko appeal to her endorsements as credibility and tell a more down to earth story of her becoming a politician. “We need good politicians,” she told the crowd. She even jabbed Arizona’s Senators, John McCain, and Jeff Flake.

Perspectives

My Take

It’s hard for conservatives to unite in such a feeding frenzy of a race. In truth, some of the unnamed candidates are likely true conservatives worthy of the office. So perhaps ideology shouldn’t be the deciding factor here. Perhaps conservatives should unite around the candidate most able to accomplish what they campaign on and least likely to act a fool. I think Debbie Lesko stands the best chance to do both. Phil Lovas seems like he would be loyal to Trump, but that’s not a value proposition for a candidate. At this moment, Steve Montenegro’s endorsements hinder him, especially Joe Arpaio. I think Cruz chose a shady candidate. This race is interesting because big names have chosen sides against each other. In recruiting reliable conservatives to join the few in Congress, I trust the Freedom Caucus over Ted Cruz. And I believe they aren’t doing a bad job endorsing Debbie Lesko.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. C.Mahar

    February 13, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I agree with your assessment. We in Az congressional district 8 have a good problem; a wealth of good candidates to pick from. Nearly all are strong conservatives who will support Trump and want the wall. I’m voting for Debbie Lesko because she’s been my state rep & senator for years & in those 9 years she’s always answered my emails quickly and personally. I know her & she’s a reliable conservative.
    Good article. Good evaluation of the race.

  2. ed

    February 14, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Not from Az so my opinion means nothing other than to question how or why a conservative would support Trump. Trump stands for and advocates everything conservatives should be against: dishonesty, inconsistency, vulgarity, citizenship for illegals, universal health care, consolidation of power into the presidency, destroying America’s good-will with our allies and encouraging Russia’s quests for world domination. The list goes on and on.

    Any Republican that that runs based on “supporting Trump” should be viewed as no more than a pro-RNC-Establishment, progressive red-hatter as they are choosing blind loyalty to the whims of a man over the platform of the Republican party or rule-of-law (or even common decency and self-respect).

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Media

DDoS and Twitter attack in same day. Someone’s not happy with us.

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DDoS and Twitter attack in same day Someones not happy with us

I should have known when the the Twitter account for the site was suddenly permanently banned that something was fishy. Unfortunately, Twitter is funny that way, so I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until the site itself went down.

When you operate a site that tells the truth, there’s bound to be someone offended. That’s the nature of the game, especially for a news site that focuses on conservative media, that holds a Judeo-Christian worldview, and that isn’t afraid to say things that may not be popular with, well, most people.

Our web provider was great. They recognized the attacks and took steps to stop them, but the attackers are clever. When they couldn’t brute-force hack into the admin, they went the DDoS route. I’m not going to get into the technical details because they’re over my head, but from what I can tell from the logs and in talking to our host, it wasn’t a casual attack. They’ve been trying to hack the back end for days and when that proved too challenging,they went straight for the shutdown attempt.

As for Twitter, I’m not even going to bother. The site and one of the authors (that I’ve seen so far) were banned. I switched the site to link to my personal Twitter account. Been meaning to spend more energy there anyway.

This is reason #17 why we’re so badly in need of donations from our readers. We have big plans for the site that include paid editors, writers, graphics, and a tech person (which we obviously need). I need to move the site to a stronger hosting tier, one that can withstand attacks like today. The one we’re using isn’t cheap, but it’s not top-of-the-line.

When you’re on the right side of the political aisle, there will be people who try to stop you. We will persevere, but we certainly can use the help.

To paraphrase a famous quote, if you’re not making enough people mad, then you’re doing it wrong. We will not crumble under the weight of heavy opposition. Fighting the left and their media puppets is a task that’s too important to let go.


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Foreign Affairs

As Venezuela implodes, Trump administration recognizes Juan Guaidó as President

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As Venezuela implodes Trump administration recognizes Juan Guaid as President

The destruction of Venezuela by socialism and corruption is practically complete, but hope is on the horizon. A new President has been recognized by the United States, making Nicolas Maduro’s presidency nearly finished.

Juan Guaidó has been serving as the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela since earlier this month and assumed the role of interim President earlier today. The United States joins Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, and Puerto Rico in recognizing his claim as legitimate.

People have filled the streets of Caracas in an amazing display of solidarity against Maduro, who held an “inauguration” on January 11 despite clear indicators the May 2018 elections were rigged. Now, the streets of Caracas are full.

President Trump confirmed the move following multiple news outlets quoting White House officials.

Ironically, Guaidó’s rallying cry happens to be “Sí, se puede!”, Spanish for “Yes we can.”

My Take

This is the only viable move given the circumstances. As I posted on Facebook:

It may not be possible for Guaidó to turn around the failing nation without a lot of outside assistance, but one thing is certain: Maduro had zero chance of making anything better for his starving people.


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Four Republicans Senators ask the President to transfer ISIS prisoners in Syria

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Four Republicans Senators ask the President to transfer ISIS prisoners in Syria

As the United States military prepares for a full withdrawal from Syria, some are concerned that Islamic State fighters currently being held by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will be released or others be allowed to rejoin ISIS. Four Republican stalwarts in the Senate are calling on President Trump transfer the worst of these prisoners to Guantanamo Bay.

Senators Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio all signed the letter to the President requesting this action.

The President announced the move to pull out of Syria on Twitter last month following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This prompted the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and drew condemnation from people on the left and right who felt the President was abandoning our allies in the war against ISIS.

Turkey has long wanted the United States out of Syria so they could deal with the Kurdish forces that they consider to be terrorists.

My Take

This is a smart move to do before the withdrawal, but this letter was also a not-so-subtle reminder to the President that pulling out of Syria quickly will have repercussions. Both National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have tempered the President’s remarks by saying the United States will pull out just as soon as ISIS is fully defeated.

One thing is certain: if these terrorists and militants are not moved to Guantanamo Bay, many if not all of them will eventually return to the Islamic State to continue their mission against the the rest of the world.


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