Campaign 2010

Aug 27, 2014

MEMO: Arizona Democrats Poised for November Success

TO:     Interested Parties                                                                                                           

FR:     DCCC Communications

RE:     Arizona Democrats Poised for November Success

DT:     August 27, 2014

Heading into the general election, Democratic Congressional candidates are well-positioned for victory in November. Arizona voters will have a clear choice between Republican candidates who side with special interests and the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the middle class, versus Arizona Democrats who are working to help create jobs, reform the VA, secure the border and protect the benefits that our seniors have earned.

Following last night’s primary elections, here is the state of the races in Arizona:

AZ-01: Representative Ann Kirkpatrick vs. Andy Tobin/Gary Kiehne

In a race still too close to call, it’s clear that whether the Republican victor is Gary Kiehne or Andy Tobin, either will enter the general election hamstrung by serious political baggage and positions that are far outside the mainstream.

Without a doubt, Andy Tobin is lobbyists’ favorite legislator, but he was “forced to play defense” since the start of his campaign, and needed an 11th hour special interest backed bailout to stay in contention for the nomination. Whether it was coming under fire for creating a bad climate for business by pushing the controversial SB1062 or the culture of corruption in taking thousands in lobbyist gifts or cutting a billion dollars in education funding, Tobin has a record of consistently put himself and his special interest backers ahead of middle-class Arizonans. In the last reporting period, Tobin spent 4.5 times the amount he brought in – not exactly the brand of fiscal conservatism Arizonans need in Washington.

Gary Kiehne, Republicans’ other possible nominee, is quite possibly the most gaffe-prone candidate in recent Arizona political history. Since entering the race, Kiehne has cemented his position far outside the mainstream of commonsense Arizona values. Kiehne funneled hundreds of thousands of his own money into his campaign to keep his campaign afloat, while taking over a million dollars in federal subsidies for his Texas business. Not only has Kiehne’s campaign made news with his controversial off-color remarks about Nazis and mass murders, his agenda would hurt the middle class. Kiehne vocally supported the government shutdown that hurt thousands of families in the district, wants to give tax breaks to companies that ship Arizona jobs overseas and didn’t even pay his taxes on time. Kiehne even said he would put Texas first.

In contrast, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick’s bipartisan track record of fighting for Arizona’s middle class, supporting small businesses, standing up for veterans, investing in education, and protecting Medicare and Social Security makes her the clear choice in this race. As of the last reporting period, Kirkpatrick’s outpouring of grassroots support has swelled her campaign war chest to $1.4 million cash-on-hand, nearly 20x more than Tobin and 10x more than Kiehne – she will have resources she needs to win this race.

AZ-02: Representative Ron Barber vs. Martha McSally

Two-time loser Martha McSally, the handpicked candidate of national Republicans and the billionaire Koch brothers, enters the general election on weak footing after her missteps and tactical failures. McSally has repeatedly been called out by multiple local and national media outlets for refusing to let Southern Arizonans know where she stands on critical issues facing their community – and instead hiding her agenda that would help her wealthy backers at the expense of the middle class. 

There’s a reason shadowy, out-of-state oil billionaires are boosting her campaign: they know she supports a radical agenda to end the student loan program, privatize Social Security, jeopardize a women’s right to choose, and make sure the wealthy get tax breaks while the middle class pays more. It’s clear that no matter how many times McSally runs for Congress or shape shifts her positions, she will never be able to be trusted to look out for the middle class

As one of the most independent members of Congress, Representative Ron Barber has put Southern Arizona’s families first and led bipartisan efforts to save the A-10 aircraft, help create good jobs, cut taxes for the middle class, protect social Security and Medicare and secure the border.  Because of the Barber campaign’s fiscally sound decisions, they enter the general election with nearly a $500,000 cash-on-hand advantage over McSally.

AZ-09: Representative Kyrsten Sinema vs. Wendy Rogers

The Arizona Republic’s non-endorsement in the Republican primary should tell you all you need to know about Wendy Rogers. The truth is, if you looked up “not ready for prime time” in Webster’s dictionary, you would find a picture of Rogers – a third-time candidate who is plagued by gaffes and views that are far outside Arizona’s mainstream. Rogers believes Social Security is “unconstitutional” and must be “phased out,” supports providing tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations at the expense of middle class Arizonans, and opposes a woman’s right to choose.

Rogers has never missed an opportunity to demonstrate why she was not national Republicans’ first choice in this district – whether it’s her bizarre media strategy of avoiding interviews, making patently false statements, or consistent struggles to understand basic policy – Rogers’ campaign has failed to take off.

While Rogers was immersed in a race-to-the-right primary battle, Representative Kyrsten Sinema has been moving forward with commonsense solutions that help Arizona’s middle class and small businesses succeed – all while rejecting the political gamesmanship that folks hate about Washington. Sinema’s running on her record of bipartisan results that have helped reduce the Veterans Affairs backlog, prevented a Congressional pay hike, and made Congress more accountable to the people if they do not do their jobs.