Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Breaking down Jeff Flake's first commercial

Jeff Flake has already launched his first commercial for US Senate. Here it is below:

As we mentioned before, he is going to have a few problems with his bid, none of which he really addresses here. His commercial starts with blury pictures of Arizona before going to a crystal clear shot of Washington DC. Which seems more in focus?

Then later, he does a far away picture of Phoenix with a quote that says "Conservative's Conservative" which you would think would be from an Arizona newspaper, but no, its from the Dallas Morning News... and its from five years ago. The same Dallas Morning News that has opposed the effort in Texas to pass an Arizona style law.

His next kudos comes from Arizona, right? Wrong. It comes from the New York times calling him a true reformer. We looked and the only instance we can find of that appears to be said by David Brooks, who is a huge Obama fan and penned a column called "Run Barack Run." Isn't his commercial titled, "Run Jeff Run?"

"Run Jeff Run" is also a quote in the commercial from the Club for Growth. They're from Arizona, right? Nah, they are a PAC in Washington. But their conservative right? Yes, but they still don't fix Flake's fundamental immigration problem. In fact, Tancredo takes aim at them as pro-amnesty libertarians. What about Flake's contributions from Nathan Sproul?

Finally at the 39 second mark, we get a quote from the Arizona Republic. From 2007. Has he done anything in the past few years? The quote says, "A national symbol of that commitment to principal." That quote comes from this Robert Robb opinion talking about Flake getting the boot from the Judiciary Committee basically for being an idealogue. While that might be attractive to some, is that really what Arizona wants? Someone so committed to principle that they are brushed out of the way?

The commercial ends with the same pictures Flake has used the last few times around in front of some barn which clearly is not in Mesa. It is fitting really, since he hasn't really done much for Mesa anyway.

What happens in the CD 6 race?

Now that Flake has officially launched his campaign for Senate, including his first commercial, the new question for Mesa is what will happen in the race for CD6?

There have been some pretty interesting lists and stories floating around, so let's take a look and see what is out there.

First, there has been a lot of speculation that Speaker Kirk Adams will seek this seat. It appears that he has been eyeing it for some time with his push for the jobs package and pension reform. If the jobs package passes in this special session, would that be enough to solidify his chances? Would he try to stay in the legislature - a tactic that has provided mixed results for other candidates?

Second, another legislative leader who is rumored to be considering a run would be Senate President Russell Pearce. Would he even run against the other candidates or would he simply run against Jeff Flake's record? Pearce could hit two birds with one stone with that tactic, winning himself a seat and costing Flake his race. On the plus side, he could take his illegal immigration message to the big stage. On the minus side, he'd lose his newfound power as President of the Senate. Would he resign to run?

Another name tossed about is Mesa Mayor Scott Smith who is considering a run. Smith is very popular and is credited with Mesa's turn around. On the other hand, he has been in office for only two years and hasn't built up as much cred, but he is well known in Mesa. Is he seasoned enough for this next step or is a race for re-election for Mayor more in order with an eye on the 2014 statewide races?

Former state senator Chuck Gray is apparently going to announce his bid for the seat tomorrow. If a tree falls in Mesa and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? This is the same guy who backed out of a contest with Rich Crandall?

Speaking of, Senator Rich Crandall is another name that is thrown about. Would he challenge Adams? What about Jeff Smith who challenged Flake last time around? Will he resurface as the tea party candidate again this time?

It is clear that the race for 2012 has already begun - almost 19 months before the election.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Five Reasons Why Jeff Flake Won’t Win

Just a few days after Senator Jon Kyl announced that he wouldn’t seek another term, Mesa Congressman Jeff Flake has thrown his hat into the ring to replace Kyl in the United States Senate. It was pretty much expected. Many have said that he has eyed that seat for a long time. First out of the gate, there are some already calling Flake the front-runner for the seat. The problem is: he won’t win.

While he is lauded as a fiscal hawk, the 2010 elections showed us what was really important to the voters of Arizona and there is simply no way that Flake will be able to secure the Republican nomination. Here are five reasons why Jeff Flake won’t win:

1. Jeff Flake is soft on illegal immigration. Voters view illegal immigration as one of the top issues facing the State of Arizona. Not only did Flake vote for “comprehensive immigration reform,” but he also helped the fast food crowd bankroll his brother in law, Kevin Gibbons, in a direct assault on Russell Pearce. Flake’s brother’s is an immigration attorney and his business was called “Inmigracion Sin Barreras” (Immigration without barriers). Flake is going to be tagged with the amnesty label right off the bat. If Russell Pearce doesn’t run himself and destroy Flake, he’ll back someone who will.

2. Jeff Flake voted to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” While this appeals to his libertarian sensibilities, we don’t see this one going over too well with the morally conservative crowd. In fact, it was a "huge disappointment." While he probably loved to see his name in the headlines in Washington DC, this scored him no primary points at home.

3. Jeff Flake is a globetrotting Washington DC insider. Flake has visited more foreign countries on the taxpayers dime than he has attended district meetings and met with other elected officials here in Arizona. Israel, Cuba, Napa Valley, Palm Beach... Let’s face it Jeff Flake does not like hard work, he would rather be on a desert island doing survival school all alone than visiting with fellow Republicans in Arizona. That’s why Flake has more grassroots appeal on a desert island than he does in Arizona.

4. Jeff Flake is the reason that Arizona is a donor state. Flake’s crusade against earmarks all but guarantees that Arizona remains a donor state. Like sending money to Washington and only getting 80% back to Arizona? Then, Flake is your guy. He has been asked to support Arizona businesses and projects – and time and again he hides behind his anti-earmark stance. When was the last time you heard Jeff Flake talking about jobs, helping the State out in the Medicaid fight with the federal government of defending the State against attacks from the left on immigration? That’s right, Jeff Flake is a libertarian. That’s fine, but that’s not what we need in the US Senate. He has not done a single thing to bring a job to Arizona.

5. Jeff Flake is not battle tested. Since his first campaign, he has not had a tough race. His first race he won by default when all of the other candidates tussled with one another and “Mr. Think Tank” stayed out of the fray. Remember a few years ago when there was a lot of handwringing at the thought of Matt Salmon challenging Flake for his old seat? Or remember when Team Flake put the hit out on Russell Pearce for thinking about challenging him? This time, it is a completely different game. Flake’s record speaks for itself. You want to change Washington, do it from the outside, on your own dime. You can’t change Washington from the inside. Electing Jeff Flake to reform the Government would be like asking Hosni Mubarak to reform his own government – get real, that’s just not going to happen.

Only time will tell who else jumps in this race, but its likely that Jeff Flake will not survey the GOP primary. Perhaps he should run as a libertarian – his true party affiliation.