Monday, October 31, 2011

Changes coming to Mesa

This extended economic slowdown means that more changes are coming to Mesa.  This doesn't necessarily mean bad news.  As we have said in the past, Mesa has found a lot of creative ways to reuse and reinvent shopping centers and other underused buildings.  Let's hope this trend continues. 

First, the Broadway Palm theater will soon make some changes.  Struggling to compete with other venues including the Mesa Arts Center, the theater is looking for ways to attract customers and survive.  Part of the challenge is that it is anchoring a shopping center that is also struggling.  So which comes first, the theater goers who become shoppers or the shoppers who become theater goers?

Also, here is an update on the Fiesta District.  The ofter talked about district still have several plans in the works, though as we have said before, the "branding effort" has been less than impressive.  Sadly, the high end condos that were explored have completely evaporated and will be replaced with a police station.  The financial savings is good for the taxpayers, but won't add to the "vibe" like the condos would have.  There is still work to be done on the Fiesta District, but it looks like everyone is keeping their eye on the ball. 

Man and Woman of the Year Nominations

Don't forget, it is that time of year again to nominate a Mesa Man and Woman of the year.

From the Arizona Republic: 

"Although the award committee's website,, has not been updated for 2011, the nomination form and instructions still apply to this year's nominating process. Nominations, with supporting documentation, should be sent to: Dr. Sally Downey, EVIT, Man and Woman of the Year Selection Committee, 1601 W. Main St.,Mesa, AZ 85201 Information: Sally Downey at 480-461-4150."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Get a FREE Child ID Kit Tomorrow!

Media Advisory

Mesa, AZ – Many children are reported missing every day.  The Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children is sponsoring their annual “EZ Child ID Kit” event tomorrow – a quick, easy way to ensure parents are equipped to supply the vital information required from the Amber Alert System.

WHAT: “EZ Child ID Kit”
WHEN: Tomorrow, Saturday October 29th, 2011
TIME: 1pm – 6pm
WHO: Children of all ages are welcome.  Parents or guardians needs to be present to sign a consent form prior to obtaining the free services.
WHERE: Target, 1135 S. Gilbert Road, Mesa, AZ 85204

DETAILS: Contact Information, fingerprints, photos, video interview and DNA swabs are collected from each child in minutes.  EZ Child ID Kit scans all 10 fingerprints in a matter of seconds.  The parents receive two ID cards and a CD ROM.  All files are permanently deleted after each child has completed the kit.

VISUALS & INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Children conducting video interviews and taking photos, parents and their reactions to news of children that have recently gone missing, and much more… 

According to the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children, every day 2000 children are reported missing.  Every year, 200,000 children are taken by family members and 58,000 children are victims of non-family abductions.  “The key to recovering missing children is quick action by parents and law enforcement,” states Mike Lay from the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children.  “This easy child identification kit aids in the reporting time if a child goes missing.”

To schedule interviews or for more questions, contact Jermey Larkins from Target at 480 926 3443 or email

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kirk Adams Launches "Push" Poll

Yesterday, we mentioned that we heard from someone that there was a poll going around promoting Kirk Adams.  We asked about it yesterday on twitter and have since received confirmation from two other sources who were also called with the pre-recorded survey.

All three reports are virtually the same.   They reported receiving an auto-poll paid for by the Kirk Adams campaign asking a series of questions. Here is the general order:

 - Are you likely to vote in the race for Congress?
 - Who are you going to vote for:  Kirk Adams or Matt Salmon?
 - Knowing that Matt Salmon has not lived in AZ the past several years but in DC as a lobbyist, does this change your opinion of him?
 - Now, knowing this information, who are you going to vote for:  Kirk Adams or Matt Salmon?
 - What is your age?
 - What is your gender?
 - What is your religious affiliation?

A "push poll" is described as "a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll."  Do you see the push poll question tucked right there in the middle?  The Adams campaign has been trying to promote the lobbyist issue for awhile, but now they are taking it to a new level by broadcasting it in the form of a "poll."  Are they seriously trying to label Matt Salmon as some sort of carpet-bagger?  Didn't he grow up in Mesa?

So the question is: why are they doing this?  Is it because fundraising isn't as going as well as they had hoped?  Are they trying to put out survey "results" that show the race is closer than the 30 point lead that Salmon announced?  Do they think something like this would actually work?

Another question: what value will they find in the religious affiliation question.  How is that going to impact this race?

We are still 10 months from this election, if Adams is already doing this, where does he go next?  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Official - Randy Parraz supports Jerry Lewis

The group that paid for the Russell Pearce recall are now spending money to help get Jerry Lewis elected.  The recall group, spearheaded by Randy Parraz, spent $6,500 to help Lewis, after spending an undisclosed sum to place Pearce on the ballot. 

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

Jerry Lewis just can't escape Randy Parraz.  We have said from the beginning that he would be taking on the recall baggage.  Lewis has tried to keep the group at arm's length and disassociate himself with the recall effort.  Time and again, he has decried the recall and said that he is running for the "right reasons."

Everyone looked the other way while the recall committee cleared the way for a one on one for Lewis against Pearce.  It's going to be harder for them to look away when the committee starts spending money to directly support Lewis.    

Someone in Congress is Interested in Mesa Part 2

Just like that, we here at Mesa Issues received a visit from an old friend.  Three visits in fact.  All it took was a story about Jeff Flake failing to represent his district, and suddenly, the U.S. House of Representatives is visiting the website.  See for yourself.

Now, there is no guarantee that these visits are in fact from Flake's congessional office, but the last time we had regular visits from that domain was when we were writing about Flake's brother, Kevin Gibbons (see Someone in Congress is Interested in Mesa).

Since Flake has spent very little time in Mesa and even less time talking to constituents, perhaps reading blogs should be considered the next best thing. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jeff Flake Fails Aerospace in Arizona

Experts say that the state needs a coordinated effort to expand and be competitive in the aerospace industry.  We agree that more can be done to bring people together for a coordinated strategy to help use all of the tools available to help Mesa and the State be a national leader in aerospace and defense.  With Mesa taking over the Air Force Research lab and the Arizona Aerospace Institute at Gateway, the pieces are there to make a strong effort.

However, there is one part of the article that seemed far off base.  In the article, one of the experts claimed, "We have not done a good job coordinating with our federal delegation."  They claim that the failure is in not keeping the congressional delegation "in the loop."  The reality is, Mesa doesn't really have congressional representation in Washington. 

Jeff Flake's "hands-off"  approach to serving his constituents natually leaves him out of the loop.  He is not concerned with helping anyone in his district and wouldn't engage in any coordinated effort to participate in bringing aerospace to Arizona for fear it might besmirch his "no pork" reputation.  Therefore, the result is that state and local leaders are forced to go it alone or seek help from other members of Congress.  The result from the outside is that local leaders are keeping congress at arms length when, in fact, the absolute reverse is true.

As we have said before, 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.

Democrat Groups Take Aim at Pearce - Support Lewis

The Sonoran Alliance has the latest post card to hit LD18 mailboxes reminding voters that Cortes is off the ballot.  It looks suspiciously like an "official" piece of communication from the clerk, but if you look closely, you find that it is actually from "Citizens United for Progress."

That same group is already under fire for failing to file the appropriate disclosures.  Their previous work has already been called "deceptive" and now they are sending out mail that looks official.  See for yourself:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mesa Loses Tourism Leader

From the Arizona Republic - "Cactus League stalwart Robert Brinton, who helped cement the Chicago Cubs' future in Mesa and played a pivotal role in the league's survival and growth into a top tourism draw, died unexpectedly Friday."

Make sure to read the entire article.  It is really amazing what this man meant to the Cactus League and to Mesa.  It is tragic that he was so instrumental in helping the Cubs stay in Mesa and now he won't be around to see them move into the new facility.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Mesa?

Very interesting.  Earlier today, we had someone send us a couple of very revealing pictures.  Take a look below. 

This first one is from a protest back in March.  Notice that his sign is very anti-Republican.

Now, check out this second picture, here is the same guy at the Occupy Phoenix march last week.  You can't miss that trademark cowboy hat.  And do you see who is next to him?  A Jerry Lewis supporter.  A Jerry Lewis supporter standing side by side with the anti-Republican protestor.

Now, here is the same Jerry Lewis supporter with the rest of the Occupy Phoenix crowd.

What's next an Occupy Mesa rally?  It is clear that the anti-Republican, anti-Pearce crowd is behind the recall.  Now they have turned their support to Jerry Lewis. 

Meanwhile, Jerry Lewis is trying to paint himself as a conservative Republican, but he can't separate himself from those backing the recall.  We would doubt very many LD 18 voters marched in the Occupy Phoenix parade.

Lewis releases campaign finance report

Just found this update from Sonoran Alliance.

Jerry Lewis has released his campaign finance reports.  You can read them for yourself by clicking here.

Meanwhile, what is not in any report is the money being spent to fight against Russell Pearce including the money spent by Randy Parraz and his supporters to fund the recall election.  That is also not to mention the 4 mailers against Pearce which have been deemed "deceptive."

Voters may never know how much actual money is being raised and spent in this recall race.

More East Valley Leaders Stand with Salmon

Mesa and Chandler City Councilmembers Tout Salmon’s Record and Experience

EAST VALLEY – Former Congressman and candidate for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District Matt Salmon announced today that his campaign received the endorsements from three more East Valley leaders. Salmon’s campaign announced the following endorsements:

Christopher Glover – Mesa Councilmember
Rick Heumann – Chandler Councilmember
Jack Sellers – Chandler Councilmember
Mesa Councilmember Christopher Glover stated, “Congressman Salmon is exactly the type of conservative patriot we need in Washington during these challenging times. He has experience dealing with the most pressing issues at the state and federal levels and you can always count on him to do what he says he is going to do. I am proud to be a part of his team.”

“Matt Salmon showed his courage and principles during his previous time in Congress and I know he will take these same qualities to Washington when he returns,” said Chandler Councilmember Rick Heumann, “Matt will help get the budget back in order – not just shift the burden, and I have full confidence in his ability to lead and accomplish great things for the East Valley and Arizona communities.”

Chandler Councilmember Jack Sellers added, “As a long-time businessman in the East Valley, I trust in Matt Salmon’s proven record of fighting for balanced budgets and working to create a business-friendly climate. As our congressman, Matt will be a great partner to businesses in Arizona and advocate for polices that will get our local companies hiring again. I look forward to returning Matt to Washington.”

Former Congressman Salmon stated, “I am grateful for the growing support I continue to receive from our municipal leaders in the East Valley. They understand firsthand the local issues that affect their communities on an everyday basis, and I am eager to help them face these challenges and assist them in whatever way I can in Congress.”

Councilmembers Glover, Heumann and Sellers join East Valley mayors Gail Barney (Queen Creek), Hugh Hallman (Tempe) and John Insalaco (Apache Junction), Mesa Vice-Mayor Scott Somers, and Mesa Councilmembers Dave Richins and Dennis Kavanaugh in supporting Matt Salmon for Congress. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Five Questions

The Arizona Republic is doing profiles of people in the community with their new 5 Questions series.  So far the profiles have been very interesting.  We're not sure if the program is going to focus exclusively on women, but the three profiles so far have all been female. 

Here's hoping that they do a few more.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kirk Adams Conspicuously Missing

The videos from the Russell Pearce rally are now online.  There are a whole series of speakers who showed up in support of Pearce, including CD6 Candidates Chuck Gray and Matt Salmon:

Chuck Gray

Matt Salmon

Did you notice who is missing?  Kirk Adams.  Former Speaker Kirk Adams who worked with Pearce while he served as the Senate President.  Now, he is staying away.  No wonder why some people have noticed and called him out on it.

Who is behind the Russell Pearce recall?

The mystery continues.  First, the voters of LD18 have no real idea who paid for the recall of Russell Pearce in the first place.  While Jerry Lewis tries to separate himself from Randy Parraz, there is no real way that he can as long as the recall backers remain in the shadows. 

Now, another (or the same, who knows) recall group is using a front to attack Russell Pearce with campaign mailers.  The group "Citizens United for Progress" is supporting Lewis and attacking Pearce - but it turns out they may not have filed the appropriate disclosures.  If this was against Pearce backers, this would be a multi-day story.  Since it favors Lewis, watch it fade away quickly.

Taxpayers protected in Cubs Deal

The Arizona Republic is complimenting the City of Mesa for their handling of the Cubs deal and their efforts to protect the taxpayers.  It is indeed a good deal that will keep the Cubs in Mesa for at least the next 30 years and perhaps even 20 more.  Fifty years from now, who knows what Spring Training will look like, but for now, one of the city's largest economic engines is staying put.

The editorial couldn't help itself but put in a parting shot about the Riverview shopping complex across the street.  For some reason, the media likes to put down Riverview while praising Tempe Marketplace which basically put most of Mill Avenue out of business.  The question is, would the Cubs stadium be at Riverview if not for the shopping center?  The largest complaint  about Hohokam (besides that its next to a cemetary) is the fact that there is no retail nearby.  Without Riverview, the closest retail would be in Tempe.  Keeping the Cubs money in Mesa should be our biggest priority and with that, the Cubs deal makes the Riverview deal even better.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jerry Lewis launches commercials

Jerry Lewis has also launched a series of ads which are starting to appear on television.  His campaign still lacks very many specifics - so the strategy appears to do very little to differentiate himself from Pearce and instead just go with the "I'm a nice guy" strategy and hope that it is enough to win the day.

MCC Coach Indicted

It looks like former MCC Coach Carl Hargrave turned his coaching gig into a lucrative cottage industry.  From marking up football camps to taking kickbacks to hand out scholarships, the Coach was finding ways to pocket a few bucks here and there in addition to his coaching salary.  Yet another mess for the community colleges to clean up.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Release: Jerry Lewis is Failing Our Kids

Mesa, AZ – Today, Senator Russell Pearce’s campaign responded to his political opponent’s assertion that he is a “school reformer.”
The Arizona Department of Education recently released their evaluations for Arizona’s schools. Under their new “A-F School Accountability Letter Grade System,” two schools that Jerry Lewis manages are receiving only a “C” and “D” grade.

It is important to note that according to Wednesday’s Arizona Republic, the new grading "formula puts more weight on how much students improve and less on their level of performance".

The two schools that received such poor improvement grades under Jerry’s “reform” include the Children’s First Academy of Tempe (C grade) and Children’s First Academy of Phoenix (D grade).
Under this system a “failing” school is given a “D” grade when it is actually failing during the grading period. Only after three “D” grades in consecutive grading periods is the school actually assigned an “F”.

“Jerry Lewis runs around the district talking about his record of improving
schools. However, this report tells a different story,” stated Chad Willems, Pearce’s campaign manager.

Willems continued, “Interestingly, the Tempe school is the same one in which Jerry Lewis admitted he stole donated items for homeless children and gave to a friend to sell at a garage sale. Perhaps Jerry took more than just donated clothes and an entertainment center for the homeless kids. Looks like he stole their schoolbooks too.”

Paid for by Patriots for Pearce

Resort coming to Riverview

It's first come first served to the spot near the new Cubs spring training facility.  Waveyard is still given a chance to use the property, but now they have some competition.  Motivated competition at that - if the Cubs can attract a resort, they will get more time to develop their Wrigleyville concept.  While we hope that Wrigleyville happens sooner as opposed to later, its good to see that Mesa is doing what it can to drive amenties near the ballpark.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Early Voting Starts today

Early voting starts today in the LD 18 recall race.  The Arizona Republic seems content to squeeze every last bit of juice out of this story by keeping it on the front pages.  This time, its an indepth look at the changing demographics of LD18.

What is interesting is that the face of the District will change again with the upcoming redisticting process.  In fact, next fall, Senators Pearce and Crandall may end up in the same district with Lewis on the outside looking in.  You think that Pearce vs. Lewis has been contentious - imagine what Pearce vs. Crandall would look like. 

Senator Crandall is almong the handful of legislators who have not stood up in support of Pearce because Pearce supported Crandall's opponent in the Primary.  Crandall's former LD19 seatmate Former Speaker Kirk Adams has also failed to appear on the list of those supporting Pearce - raising questions from fellow lawmakers.

Cubs update

A lot of news coming from the Chicago Cubs organization.  First, it looks like they have a new General Manager.

Second, the City of Mesa has released the agreements for the spring training facilities and the deal surrounding the Wrigleyville development.  The Wrigleyville portion agreements are very interesting in that they give the Cubs ownership the first crack at developing the areas around the stadium.  However, they are set as such that they won't be able hold it indefinitely without developing it.

So, unlike some of the other new stadiums which are smack in the middle of undeveloped areas, hopefully this means there will be stuff to do surrounding the stadium in a relatively short amount of time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recall Election Update

Just as we predicted, the Russell Pearce recall has taken center stage this month with both sides going back and forth over several issues.  In fact, the Arizona Republic has taken the time to profile both candidates on the front page of the Valley and State section with Jerry Lewis yesterday and Russell Pearce today.

That, of course, didn't stop them from issuing an endorsement before the profiles had been completed.  In what should be a surprise to no one, the Republic has endorsed Jerry Lewis.  Has the Arizona Republic ever endorsed Russell Pearce?

Lewis, however, has a few troubles of his own.  In addition to trying to separate himself from the likes of Randy Parraz, Lewis must also content with allegations that he was taking items intended for homeless kids and giving them away for personal gain.  He also compared Arizona to "Alabama 1964" which you can draw your own conclusions about.

Meanwhile, both camps have taken to the airwaves with an independent group bashing Pearce:

And Pearce defending his track record:

Why not Mesa for GOP Debate?

Less than two weeks ago, Governor Brewer announced that Arizona will be home to a GOP debate on December 1st. The location has yet to be determined, but one could guess that they are probably leaning towards somewhere like Gammage in Tempe or some place downtown. Our question is, why not Mesa? Mesa is the bedrock of Republican conservatism in the valley and much more likely to vote for any of the GOP nominees than Tempe or Phoenix.
Obama and the Democrats get that, that is why they come to Mesa time and again. Will the GOP leaders be smart enough to follow suit or will they take Mesa for granted?

Governor Brewer: Arizona GOP and CNN to Partner for Republican Presidential Debate

Forum to Highlight Southwestern Issues, Give Arizona Voters Up-Close Look at Candidates
PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached with CNN for the network to produce a major debate in Arizona featuring candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

The nationally-televised debate will be conducted and aired at 6 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET) on December 1.

“I’ve been in politics a long time, but I can’t remember a more critical election than this,” said Governor Brewer. “When it comes to some of the hallmark issues facing our country – whether illegal immigration, the housing crisis or the ongoing power struggle between the states and federal government – Arizona is at the forefront. These are national issues, certainly. But Arizonans live and breathe them.

“So, I’m thrilled that the Arizona Republican Party and CNN have reached agreement on a debate, and optimistic that when the candidates come to Arizona, they’ll meet our voters and offer meaningful solutions to the problems facing our state and nation.”

CNN’s participation ensures that the Arizona presidential debate will be viewed worldwide, thanks to the global, 24/7 reach of CNN and The debate will be aired live from Arizona on CNN, and globally on CNN International, CNN en Espanol and CNN Radio.

“Arizona is a key state that will play a pivotal role in helping Republicans choose their presidential nominee,” said Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. “CNN is honored to provide voters in Arizona and around the country an opportunity to hear the GOP candidates present their vision for the future.”

CNN is highly-respected for its political coverage, and in 2008 won a Peabody Award – the highest honor in television journalism – for its presidential primary coverage, including production of debates. CNN has already hosted two Republican presidential debates this year, partnering with WMUR television and the New Hampshire Union Leader in June and the Tea Party Express earlier this month.

Preparations are ongoing for Arizona’s Republican presidential debate, including the selection of an appropriate venue to host the festivities. The State of Arizona will incur no costs as part of the production of this event.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kirk Adams launches website

Kirk Adams has finally launched a website.  You can view it at  He launched it with the accompanying video:

The video looks very pretty, but we aren't really sure what it says.  A guy running for Congress likes the Constitution and the American flag?  You don't say!

It also looks like they have a few kinks to work out because the astute folks over at Seeing Red noticed that his video also builds Name ID for his opponent Chuck Gray.  Oops!