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BISBEE WIRE/Election issue/ August #23 2018


It is that time again to winnow the field for the big show in November.  I've put my two cents about who to vote for below. I really appreciate the impetus and effort to run for office; serving a community-large or small-is one of the most honorable efforts us human beings can make. Trying to make a positive difference in the lives of each other strongly binds us together. I try to set stylistic differences aside and vote for the person I think is the most capable of doing the work of building our communities.

This year is a good opportunity to change the statehouse as Dems have fielded some very good candidates and Repugnicans have truly abandoned their core beliefs and are falling over themselves to fawn over what's-his-name with his erratic policies that are not helpful to the majority of us. Repugnicans are heading into a box canyon. Democrats roam the open range.

In Bisbee, it is clear that social media has changed how candidates are talked about. The election for Mayor has resulted in an astonishing barrage of Facebook vitriol toward David Smith. There are not just disagreements but vilification.  It is important for those of you who support Smith to speak up in his favor; signs, letters to the editor, ads, and wherever else you can. 

Perhaps bringing new faces onto the council may change things. I doubt it. The problems remain and there are precious few avenues for dealing with them. Cynthia Conroy has said nothing about the large budget-busting problems such as PSPRS pensions, aging infrastructure, and stagnant economic development other than tourism.  In Ward 2  encumbent Doug Dunn is one of the best councilpersons in the past several years, (along with former councilperson Ken Budge). Replacing him with someone of limited understanding of these problems, will not be helpful. 

No matter though, who you favor, please vote. 




Primary registration closed

August 18...Last day to request an early ballot by mail

Primary.... August 28

Independents can vote in Primary however they must pick a party ballot by August 17

Last Day to Register to Vote in the General Election...Oct 9

You may register to vote online here:

Early Voting....August 1

By Mail (Sign the Ballot! Or vote not counted)

or in person at Recorder’s office. Office will  be open Mon.-Fri 8-5pm. 1415 Melody Lane Bldg B) also on these two Saturdays 8/11, 8/18...9 am-2pm)

Election Day...Only Polling Place in Bisbee on August 28, (6:00 am-7pm) is.... 1415 Melody Lane Bldg G

The place for factual nonpartisan info is at: One of the most wide-ranging vote info sites, it has candidates, spending, endorsements, latest polls, and tons of other info broken out by state and districts. 

Bisbeens N Rice and Chuck Alton/KCTR collaborated on a 2 hour introduction to several candidates. Candidates paid $40 to appear and can be seen on the bisbeens facebook page. 


My totally unbiased objective, dispassionate, open minded picks for the Primary....


Proposition 147 Alternative Expenditure Limitation (Home Rule) 


Explanation...Bisbee has voted YES to override the state imposed spending limit 7 times in the past 24 years. It does not raise taxes but simply allows Bisbee residents-not the State-to determine the spending of city government.

Or you can join a small number of loopy Facebook kibitzers advocating a no vote and then live with City services cut at least 50%. Volunteer garbage collectors anyone?

What is the Local Alternative Expenditure Limitation, or “Home Rule” Option? The State of Arizona Constitution imposes a formula-based budget spending limit on Arizona cities and towns, including the City of Bisbee. This formula-based spending limit does not take into consideration the services and programs provided to citizens by each city or town, such as public safety, water and roadway infrastructure. As an alternative to this formula-based limit, the State Constitution allows voters of a municipality to approve a Local Alternative Expenditure Limitation, otherwise known as the “Home Rule” Option. The Home Rule Option allows a city or town to adopt its own budget limits based on local needs, service levels and available resources.

It is important to note that the Home Rule Option is not an increase or decrease in tax rates. Funding estimates are based on existing income sources that the Town already receives. These income sources would continue to be received by the Town under the state-imposed budget limit, but could not be spent in the full delivery of services to the community.

A “YES” vote on Home Rule would allow the City of Bisbee to continue to set its own budget spending limits locally via the budget adoption process.

A “NO” vote would limit the City expenditures to the state-imposed formula limit, resulting in at least a 50% reduction in City services, beginning in fiscal year 2019/20. Budgeted expenditures would be limited which translates to a severe reduction in services such as police, parks and recreation, library, streets and roads maintenance, transit services, development services, and water utility services.)




Mayor  David Smith

I've spoken about the difficulties that Bisbee faces; PSPRS payments taking $1.4 million off the top of available dough, aging infrastructure and population, downsized workforce, difficulty of economic development, and others. Smith has been a reality advocate, that we have to deal with problems and actively has sought solutions. Mayor is a two year term, I say we give him another two years to help solve some vexing problems. 

The alternative is to face the relentless Cynthia-founder of the Bisbee Stair Climb-Conroy who will impose mandatory pickleball games for every resident (I'm kidding!). Cynthia does have some good ideas and she clearly loves Bisbee. But her in-your-face style and free association while talking is offputting. As is her inability to untangle her ego/self promotion from her ideas. I think she would not be a good mayor.

Ward 1  Frank Davis or Leslie Johns (I can’t vote in this ward. Frank has done a good job, taciturn though he is. Leslie is approachable and getting her ideas out there. She’s indigenous. Toss up.)

Ward 2  Doug Dunn

Doug is the most informed councilperson on the council. He is diligent, engaged, experienced, out in the community, and accessible. He was the only councilperson that put forth ideas for increasing revenue. He does say ‘certainly’ a lot. 

Joni Giacomino comes looking, but lacking, for the seat held by her mother for some years. Also indigenous.

Ward 3 Cline/uncontested. indigenous

In terms of the judiciary, often one does not know whom they are voting for. In this case I happen to know several of the people and think that these folks will do the job.

Justice of the Peace – Prec. 1

Rafael Malanga

Superior Court Judge Dist. 1

Laura Cardinal


Joel Larson


David Thorn

Republicans, with few exceptions and none in Arizona, have shown contempt for working people through legislative polices that are punitive, parsimonious, pious, and  pathetic. Their state and national legislative hostility towards public education, public safety pension reform, modest constraints on gun ownership, treatment of women, immigration, and economics illustrate that they should no longer be in policy positions.  Consequently primary choices for Democrats should be made that will result in the strongest candidates in the general election.



David Garcia

I hope Kelly Fryer stays in politics and runs for another office closer to home for her second run. She had an excellent opportunity if she would have run in LD14. But a governor’s election is too steep a learning curve. As a novice, there is too much time and energy spent on campaigning with little opportunity to think about putting together an administration let alone dealing with the myriad problems caused by Ducey.  


Katie Hobbs

Repugnican Michele Reagan is not the sharpest knife in the block, has made several major mistakes while in office. The likely Repub, she is beatable.


January Contreras




Kathy Hoffman

Four Repubs are vying to unseat the wacky, evolution-is-just-another-theory, Diane Douglas. All favor charter schools, a few of the boys have skinned knuckles, having just emerged from the cave.


Sandra Kennedy

William Mundell

Kiana Sears

The Corporation Commission has gas and it stinks; the stench of corporate money permeates the commission. A good housekeeping is necessary as APS looms big in retaining lackeys. The above three can get it done. 


Jaime Alvarez

A note about Repugnicans in this race: David-screw the taxpayers-Gowan is running. As is incumbent Drew-I voted for charter funding cause the Gov leaned on me-John. Both have done zilch for Cochise County.


Bob Karp

A note about the Repugnicans in this race: Gail Griffin is an 83 year old ultra conservative who last session tried to get water rights decisions taken out of local hands. Consistently favors charter schools and lawnorder. She has ignored Bisbee during her terms in office. Currently a state senator, she and John joked about switching positions, she would be the rep and he would be the senator. Just as a personal principle I don’t think anyone over 75 should be elected to public office. Becky Nutt is forgettable cept for her name. 



Deedra Abboud is another good candidate I wish would have started at the State level or the house. Reaching for the shiny apple right off the bat just isn’t the best strategy.

Martha McTrump is simply absent on the things that matter most; health care,  regional economic development, education, and Russian cybersecurity war. And present on those that matter least; a border wall, and ummm Trump.

I say vote for Joe Arpaio, the 84 year old former sheriff and felon. He'll be much easier to beat in the General. 


This is a district the Repugnicans will throw money into. Kirkpatrick is the only dem that has the dough and the backers to make this a close race. She is backed by Gabby Giffords and Ron Barber, former holders of this office. And I think she is flexible enough ideologically to adopt some progressive positions.  Particularly if the 'roots' maintain pressure.

Billy Kovacs is another one I like, but lack of legislative experience hampers him. There simply is too much on-the-job learning. I’m aware of the ‘throw the bums, out we need progressives’. But we need progressives with a track record and an organization, not fresh faces who will take two years to get their bearings in the DC Swamp. Of the rest Wheeler has the most legislative experience learned at the state level, but speaking realistically the other candidates just don’t have and won’t attract the dough.

The likely Repub will be Lea Marquez, director of the Hispanic Chamber, and will be heavily financed by DC. A Mexican woman Repugnican! Wow!  She has a good network, but the legislative novice is very vulnerable particularly on education where she advocated Ducey’s plans.


Here is the lineup:

Congressional District 2 (House of Representatives) Democrats Ann KirkpatrickMatt Heinz Billy Kovacs Mary Matiella Barbara Sherry Bruce Wheeler Yahya Yuksel Info on Democratic candidates here:,_2018_Democratic_primary

Republicans Lea Marquez Peterson Brandon Martin Danny Morales Casey Welch Info on Republican candidates here:,_2018_Republican_primary)

SENATE (US SENATE) Democrats Deedra Abboud Kyrsten Sinema, U.S. representative

Republicans Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County Martha McSally, congresswoman Kelli Ward, former state senator Green Party Eve Reyes-Aguirre Libertarians Doug Marks

Info about the local and county candidates is at: JUSTICE OF PEACE   Prec. 1 The current justice, Adam Ambrose, is retiring and these are the folks vying for the robe. Malanga, Rafael RafaGardner, Steven D. Poppe, Janus

CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT Hunley, Amy Wiggins, Grace

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE – Div. 1 Cardinal, Laura A.Bays, P. Randall  Orozco, Sara Xochitl

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE – Div. 2 Larson, Joel A.Kelliher Jr., John F. SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE – Div. 3 Thorn, DavidAdele Drumlevitch



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