Public Relations • Strategic Planning • Lobbying • Coalition Development
Grassroots Coordination • Public Opinion Polling


April 11th, 2014

Time for the 2014 Best of the Capitol

It’s that time of year again – the nominations for the Arizona Capitol Times 2014 Best of the Capitol have been announced.  Team HighGround has been nominated in several categories, including a very interesting head-to-head between sensei and grasshopper!  Click here to see the entire list of nominations.

Please take the time to #VoteforHG in a couple of categories:

  • 19.  Best Political Operative:  Chuck Coughlin vs. Paul Bentz  (pick one!)
  • 20.  Best Power Broker:  Chuck Coughlin
  • 23.  Best Twitterer:  Paul Bentz

Voting this year has been limited to Capitol Times Subscribers only, but they are offering a subscription special for $99.  Subscribe, save and vote!  Click here to vote.

We also encourage you to vote for Save with SRP for Best Capitol Lawn Event.  Thank you for your continued support and good luck to everyone who has been nominated.


Restoring Arizona Earns Top Honors

April 8th, 2014

Restoring Arizona, last year’s effort to support the restoration of Medicaid in Arizona, has won the “2014 Campaign Excellence Public Affairs/Advocacy Campaign of the Year” award from the American Association of Political Consultants. The prestigious award was announced at the AAPC’s Annual Pollie Awards Gala Dinner on April 4th.

Restoring Arizona was a full public affairs effort driven by a broad coalition of business leaders, health care professionals, social groups, conservatives and many others who worked hard to make Medicaid restoration a reality. We were honored to work with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Molera Alvarez, and many others to help this effort achieve success. Most importantly, we would also like to thank Governor Brewer for her support. Without her, this victory for Arizona would not have been possible.

HighGround also took home a Gold Pollie award in the Internet, Public Affairs Division for Best Web Video, State/Local category for the “Do the Math – Arizona Medicaid Made Simple” white board video.


Click here to see a complete list of Pollie winners.

“This year’s Pollie Awards were especially competitive for an off cycle with over 1,600 entries. We were pleased to see innovative voter contact and persuasion strategies applied in all segments, especially in our Internet and social media categories, which saw a significant increase in number over last year,” said AAPC President Art Hackney.

About the Pollie Awards

The Pollie Awards (Pollies) are bipartisan honors awarded annually by the AAPC to members of the political advertising and communications industry who have demonstrated superior work on behalf of their candidates and causes. A blind jury of their peers selects AAPC award winners. Esquire magazine has dubbed the Pollies as “…the Oscars of political advertising.”

What if independents turned out for primaries?

April 1st, 2014

By: Paul Bentz

From the Arizona Republic

In 2012, more than 2.3 million Arizona voters turned out for the November general election. Months earlier, only 870,000 voted in the August primary. It’s a trend that holds up over several election cycles — significantly fewer voters participate in primary elections.

Over 825,000 voters regularly participate in general elections, but skip the primaries altogether. More than 40 percent of these voters are independent.

Why don’t they vote? If they did vote, and that’s a big “if,” what would happen?

First, candidates would have to broaden the scope of who they talk (and listen) to. Candidates really do represent the people who elect them – it just so happens that their electors are usually a small, fiercely partisan subsection of the electorate.

Candidates often ignore those who don’t vote and don’t communicate with them. If the electorate got bigger, we would expect the candidates would shift their positions and communications accordingly.

Surveys have shown that independent types tend to emphasize education and economic policies over more partisan “litmus test” social issues that dominate party primaries. If independents voted, candidates would likely shift in a more populist direction.

Finally, most primaries feature candidates running to the ideological fringes and then trying to creep back toward the middle as the general election approaches. One would expect candidates who occupy a pragmatic policy space and have the money to convey that message would have a significantly improved chance of being elected.

An Acceptance Speech Worth Watching

March 10th, 2014

It is great to see a big time actor acknowledge God, Family and humility all in acceptance speech at the Oscar’s – it is truly worth watching.  Great job.


HighGround Wins at 2014 Reed Awards

February 10th, 2014

HighGround Inc. won two prestigious Reed Awards from Campaigns and Elections magazine at their 2014 awards celebration.  Click here to see all of the results.  HighGround’s two winning categories were:

  • “Johnson Historic Home Yard Sign” in “Field – Best Collateral Item or Sign” category
  • “Johnson Historic Home Sign” in the “Special Categories – Best Yard and Outdoor Signs”

We would like to thank Justin Johnson for the opportunity and Patrick Barrett for his hard work on the design.