For nearly 25 years I have actively promoted conservative principles in public policy, as a journalist, lawyer, public policy expert and political candidate.
I have done so because I believe conservative principles of economics, national defense and social policy are in the best interests of our community, state and nation.
On the front page of today’s Arizona Republic Viewpoints section is an article I wrote arguing that conservative interests will best be served by the election of Arizona Sen. John McCain to the presidency this fall.
The article appears alongside two others — written by a press spokesman and a high school student — extolling the virtues of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I was not aware the Republic planned to present my column as part of a “point-counterpoint” series on the candidates. My intent was to make the case for why conservatives should support Sen. McCain.
A few lines were edited out of the printed version, including this important point:

For conservatives, supporting John McCain is not a compromise or a sell-out of our principles. He is a presidential candidate who will strengthen national security, appoint conservative judges, support the sanctity of life, keep taxes low and veto pork barrel spending. He will advance the conservative cause in significant ways.

I will be discussing the article on KFYI’s Mike Broomhead show tonight at 8 p.m. (550 AM). Here is what I wrote in its entirety:

Although Sen. John McCain has locked up the Republican nomination for President, some conservative leaders continue to snipe at him. While I agree with elements of most conservative critiques of Sen. McCain, I could not possibly disagree more with their conclusions – especially if those conclusions cause conservatives to sit this election out.
Sen. McCain is not the lesser of two evils. In fact, he is worthy of the enthusiastic support of every thinking conservative.
I join many citizens in gratitude that a genuine American hero with core conservative beliefs – who has already given so much for our nation — is willing to spend his eighth decade on earth serving a cause greater than himself.
If you are an across-the-board conservative like I am – a fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative – it is in your interest and the national interest to elect Sen. McCain.
It’s not just because either of the Democratic alternatives would jeopardize our security, our economy and our values – though they would. It is because the election of John McCain will substantially advance the conservative principles and values we’ve been fighting for.
In the interest of full disclosure, Sen. McCain endorsed me in the Republican primary for Governor in 2006, even making strong television ads on my behalf. I was honored to have his support in a contested primary that I eventually won. But he never asked me for anything in return, then or now.
I write today on my own, without the knowledge or approval of the McCain campaign. And I do so because I am concerned that some conservatives are heading down a path that will result in the destruction of every principle they claim to promote.
Foreign policy conservatives should have the least concern about McCain. He has the experience and determination to carry the battle to the enemy in what he describes as the “transcendent issue” of our time – the fight against radical Islamic extremists. He is committed to victory in Iraq, and was an early proponent of the surge that has turned the tide.
Both Democratic candidates have made promises of withdrawal that will embolden our enemies and put at risk not only our troops but also the free citizens of Iraq who have trusted us with their lives.
Social conservatives have worked for a generation to promote the unique humanity and value of every human life, and are finally winning the battle of public opinion. Sen. McCain not only has voted pro-life for more than two decades – receiving the endorsement of Arizona Right to Life in every election since 1982 – but has pledged to appoint judges who are committed to constitutional fidelity. He has fought for every conservative appointment to the high court, including Robert Bork.
When we are so close to restoring the promise of the Declaration of Independence – the “unalienable” right to life of every human child – why would any sincere pro-lifer sit this election out? Unfortunately, we know what either Democrat would do – the “litmus test” of commitment to the flawed Roe v. Wade decision is alive and well. Aging liberals on the Court will line up to let Clinton or Obama replace them with liberal justices 30 years younger – preserving Roe and other activist decisions for at least another generation.
Sen. McCain supports marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Like Fred Thompson, he opposes amending the U.S. Constitution to protect marriage unless it is absolutely necessary — which it would be if federal courts overturn state definitions of marriage. For now, he supports state efforts to confirm marriage as the unique bond of male and female.
Economic conservatives should appreciate Sen. McCain’s lifelong quest to reduce the size and scope of government and to end pork barrel spending. He has never voted for a tax increase and is committed to making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He believes in free market solutions to health care, not the government take-over promoted by Democrats.
With a lifetime conservative voting record of 82.3 percent, Sen. McCain’s commitment to our principles stands in stark contrast to his Democratic opponents, both of whom vote conservative less than 10 percent of the time.
The suggestion by one pundit that Hillary Clinton is “more conservative” than McCain is hyperbole on steroids — so factually wrong that it’s just plain silly.
Talk show pundits have bludgeoned us with the list of McCain’s sins against conservative orthodoxy, beginning with his immigration bill.
But consider this – even in dealing with illegal immigration, Sen. McCain’s concern for national security and his recognition of political reality will cause him to do much more to secure the borders than any Democrat. If that’s the only issue you care about, Sen. McCain is still your best hope for progress – the Democrats can’t even given a straight answer about whether they would give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens.
I first met McCain in 1984, when he came to my office for an interview while I was the editor of ASU’s daily student newspaper. Later, in a debate at ASU, he criticized federal efforts to stop illegal immigration. Consistent with his position today, he expressed concern about rounding up and deporting people who have been here for years. But then he said, “We need to tighten up our border control.”
That’s right – all the way back in 1984, when many of us who are concerned now about illegal immigration were not even aware of the issue – John McCain was on record calling for more border security.
For conservatives, supporting John McCain is not a compromise or a sell-out of our principles. He is a presidential candidate who will strengthen national security, appoint conservative judges, support the sanctity of life, keep taxes low and veto pork barrel spending. He will advance the conservative cause in significant ways.
Every day that conservative leaders grumble and express reservations about McCain increases the likelihood that a liberal Democrat will take office next January.
Then there will be no checks on the liberal tendencies of Nancy Pelosi and a Democratic Congress. The Supreme Court will be gone for a generation. Our right to make medical decisions will be lost. Our economy will be stifled by taxes and regulation. Our border will remain wide open. And we can only pray that our pullback from the war effort does not lead to more attacks in the United States.
For conservatives, that’s an awfully high price to pay because you’re mad about campaign finance reform or a dead and buried immigration bill.


  1. Len,
    Thank you for waiting until the nomination was locked up before writing this. After the convention, we will all be supporting McCain as our nominee.

  2. Len,
    I think it was appropriate for you to make your case to conservatives.
    I am meeting many conservatives who are not supporting Senator McCain.
    One of the reasons was inadverently demonstrated by Senator Lindsay Graham on Fox News Sunday when he began a sentence referring to Senator McCain with ‘Gen…” and quickly caught himself. Apparently Senator McCain is known as ‘General’ among his friends. Of course, Senator McCain would like to be commander-in-chief never having attained to the ranks his father and grandfather did. Many conservatives fear that Senator McCain is more interested in ordering generals around, fighting wars, etc, than really being president of all Americans.

  3. Len:
    Thank you very much for this information on Sen. McCain. I have to tell you that I do feel alot better about voting for him now. Not only that but, I think it is time to stop listening to political pundits who get paid to find things wrong with candidates and start DOING the right thing. Which is voting republican all the way. God bless you for your service to our state. And thank you again for easing my mind as an AZ. voter!

  4. The Republican party is dying, just as the democratic party is dying. They no longer serve the interest of their continuant’s and ignore the Constitution. The country has been sold out by most of the Congress. Everyone with a brain that doesn’t watch the idiotic MSM who have just become the 4th arm of the state know better. McCain is not a true conservative no more than it turns out Bush has been. If all the “true republicans” do nothing but worry about abortion rights and think their marriage is being threatened by gays, they are really self centered in the extreme when our country is falling apart before our very eyes. The Republicans in congress have not been economically conservative since day one they took over congress. GET REAL!! We have an illegal war of aggression going into year 6 now. We are moving into a depression the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression, we have been lied to over and over again by this administration, the republican and democratic parties! We have been denied our civil rights (patriot act) which have been stripped away right under our noses under republican and democratic rule. When will it end?? The day both of these corrupt parties that do nothing but take lobbyist money at the expense of the law abiding citizen and patriot of this country!! Bush has shredded our Constitution right in plane sight and McCain wishes to continue in the legacy of George Bush???? I have lost all faith in any politician by their own actions over these past years. I’m really glad you think he did you a favor, he will not do any favors for the people of this country that are loosing more of the American way of life every day. When will the people WAKE UP and say enough!!!

  5. To Annette Hardman:
    Yes. Republican Party is about to die when McCain loses the November election.
    No. Democratic Party is long dead. It is now the communists and socialists that control the Party. Communism has evolved sinced the end of Cold War. Communism has different flavors now: the most toxic is “Anti-War” rhetoric. Go the http://www.cpusa.org and http://www.dsausa.org and see what socialism really is.
    Their flavors are really enticing, for they are advocating political correctness: anti-war (hidden agenda of destroying American will of independence against the world), equality of gender, race and sexual orientation, justice to the poor (with hidden agenda of labor militarism, black liberation and militarism, etc.), justice against corporation, and fight against market failure (hidden agenda: destruction of free market enterprise), and of course greater welfare reform (agenda: welfare state). And the most formidable: Human and Civil rights (agenda: Americans were the imperialists of the world)
    Sadly, they forget about Patriotism and Love of Country. Why? Because part of the agenda is the establishment of World Federralism, World Government, and whatever they call their interests. This is why they are so against War unilaterally declared by America.
    The twist of Anti-War movement is strongly attached to the hidden influence of the UN. UN supports World Federalism.
    You get information, you will see the following:
    1. Obama getting support/endorsement and huge expectations from Communists Internationale and Party of European Socialists (PES). PES Chairman Rasmussen was invited by DNC Howard Dean in a progressive movement conference in Washington.
    2. Hillary as gave special salute to the meeting of World Federalists Association leaders, with Michael Douglas as member, in 2007?
    What are they up to? Communists Internationale wants universal collective government, touted to be the solution of terrorism and hunger over the world… sadly to the expense of American’s sovereignty.
    Obama is the protege of the Communists. Since Day 1 of his career in Illinois, the New Party and the Chicago Democratic Socialists were behind his victory.
    See why Obama chose Chicago as the main base of his Campaign? Because Chicago will be historic. Chicago Illinois is the birth place of Communism in America… being celebrated every May Day starting 1919.
    The New Party Fusion Strategy of Michael Harrington, one of the great founders of American communism, has succeeded so much with the Democratic Party as its host. That Harvard Professor who mentored Obama was the same lawyer to attempted to get the case of third party to the Supreme Court but failed. Surely, fusion strategy has been the only way for the communists.
    The main strategy is community service and visibility: ensuring to lock the votes of the community. Youth movements have been established in many universities and colleges for recruitment… under the guise of Democratic Liberalism and Progressive Change.
    Today, the main forces behind the Democratic Party are:
    Communists Party of USA and state chapters
    Democratic Socialists of America and state/city chapters
    MOVEON (of course movie industry is under the payroll of Soros, the great Socialist)
    Progressive Alliance and its variants all over the country
    Working Families
    Black liberal churches (teaching justice against the white)
    All christian and jewish liberals (all deceived by appeasement and anti-war rhetorics)
    And all UN NGOs in New York including ACLU.
    Don’t you know that it was the UN NGOS who established the Anti-War Movement in 2001 together with many of the above groups prior to the President’s decision to go to war against Al Quaida and S. Hussein? That’s treasonous because before the start of the campaign, these groups have already spread their half-truths around the world.
    So GOPUSA is right all along. This November election is not about Republican vs. Democrats.
    It is about:
    American Patriots vs. United Socialist States of America.
    Why it is SO CRUCIAL AND DANGEROUS THIS TIME? Unlike Clinton who was at least controlled by Republican Congress… this time, Socialists (headed by Sanders)has the full control of both houses in Congress. Obama’s election will make a Socialist-controlled SCOTUS during his own term. MSM is fully liberal in disguise but are alluding to socialism as solution to terrorism. They are under the payroll of Obama’s socialist backers; if not MSM is the socialist backer itself.
    In conclusion, it is not the time for whining and failings of republican party as MSM has been “promoting” since 2005.
    MSM has been successful in trying to separate conservatives and republicans. They have their own special message of hope for the conservatives.
    Don’t you know that even average conservatives are being made to believe that Democrats are really “anti-tax” and the real conservatives?
    If the inevitable happens…
    in the end Reagan failed! He thought that we won the Cold War against communism… in the end… it was his own America who became communists themselves … simply for fear of war on terrorism and plain cowardice.


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