Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This week's Tusk Times from the AZGOP

Interesting....a letter from Sen. Kyl on the Senate immigration bill is included. Looks like the state GOP and Kyl are continuing to get along, contrary to the naysayers who have been pretending that the state GOP has been suffering under Pullen and feuding with Kyl.






AZGOP - " the news"




Dear Friends,

There is a new Gallup Poll out showing that the Democrat controlled Congress has an approval rating of just twenty-four percent while seventy-one percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling the job. That’s big news for Republicans here in Arizona and across the nation!

What’s more is that we see the Democrat presidential candidates running around the country, pandering to the extremist left wing of the Democrat Party. Hillary, Edwards and Obama have all moved their positions significantly to the left to appease the loony left groups like and Take Back America. While American voters continue to reaffirm a comfortable, conservative ideology, the Democrat presidential hopefuls seem to embrace the extremist Left.

Today, I am very happy to be a Republican and I am very happy with the crop of candidates we have running for our nation’s highest office. I am very happy with the crop of candidates that are stepping forward and saying “yes” to the challenge of retaking the 5th and 8th Congressional Districts. I am very pleased with the people stepping forward and taking the initiative to run for the state legislature, helping us to build a bigger, stronger, veto-proof, pro-family, pro-business, pro-jobs, pro-Arizona majority. And I am very pleased with the grassroots and the base of our great party. The people who volunteer their time, day in and day out, working hard to make the Republican Party, OUR Republican Party, successful.

Today, I am issuing a challenge to everyone who has stood up and declared themselves a Republican. I challenge you to become more involved in our great party and help us stave off the Democrats’ advances and work to help elect Republicans from Flagstaff to Nogales, from Show Low to Yuma, and everywhere in between. I challenge you to become a precinct committeeman. I challenge you to become a state committeeman or a party officer. I challenge you to help the party recruit more voters and raise more money. I challenge you to volunteer at state party headquarters, or your local county headquarters or to start a Republican club in your area. It doesn’t matter what you or do or how you help our party – the key is to get involved. We have a lot of work ahead and the 2008 elections are not that far off, now is the time to take action and get involved. Ask yourself, can we really afford leaving the Democrats in control of Congress for the next two years? Can we really afford four years of failed Democrat leadership in the White House? And can we allow the extremist groups like and Take Back America to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to making policy in this country?

When we pull together as Republicans, there is no mountain we cannot move and no ocean we cannot cross. And, of course, there is no election that we cannot win. Thank for you continued time, efforts, and support of our Republican Party and our candidates who will continue leading our great state into this still-new century. As always, it is truly an honor and privilege to serve you as state chairman.

All the best,



Arizona Republicans,

As the U.S. Senate reintroduces the immigration bill that was defeated last week, Oklahoma Senator Inhofe is leading the charge to ensure that our borders are secure and no amnesty is granted to illegal immigrants. As a part of his effort to show his fellow Senators how concerned the American people are about the issue, he announced an online petition at to send a message to the Senate.

Please click here to visit Secure Borders Now and sign the petition to support Senator Inhofe and all Republicans who agree: secure the border and no amnesty.

The petition reads:

Members of the United State Senate,

I am one of the millions of Americans who believes our first priority as a nation should be to secure our borders by enforcing existing laws. Amnesty is not the solution.

I urge you to vote against the immigration reform bill currently being considered in the Senate and to oppose any future effort that undermines our national security or grants amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

Click here to sign the petition now and show your support. We need to gather signatures as quickly as possible before the debate begins early next week, so please pass the link along to your friends and family who agree on this important issue.

Below is the full release from Senator Inhofe's office:


(JUNE 15, 2007) - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) today announced “Secure Borders Now” (, a new website for Americans to urge the Senate to consider immigration reform that focuses on enforcing existing border security laws and opposition to amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.

“Unfortunately it appears many in the Senate remain deaf to the voices of the American people, as yet another backroom deal has emerged designed to revive the fatally flawed immigration bill and its immediate path to amnesty. The ‘Secure Borders Now’ petition gives Americans an opportunity to voice their opposition. I hope my constituents and citizens from all across our country will take action, sign the petition and show how many Americans are strongly opposed to this bill.”

“Despite the promise of increased funding for border security and additional votes on a handful of amendments, the proposed legislation will continue to shortcut the current naturalization process and grant amnesty to 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently in our country. That is a trade off that I simply cannot support.

“The first step in any significant immigration legislation must be securing our borders and enforcing existing laws. It is unconscionable to make border security conditional on the guarantee of amnesty. Even with the promise of additional funding for border security, the Senate bill focuses far too much on controversial and irresponsible programs such as the ‘Z-visa’ (which I voted to eliminate), and far too little on ensuring that our borders are no longer porous.

“I have stated from the outset of this immigration debate that I will vehemently oppose any legislation that guarantees amnesty for illegal immigrants, unfairly burdens taxpayers or fails to secure our borders.

“It is time that we deal with real immigration reform beginning with border security. This is the best way to restore trust with the American people and facilitate future improvement of our immigration policy.”

On Tuesday, Senator Inhofe joined eight Senators in writing a letter to President Bush urging him to fulfill the border security provisions listed in the Senate immigration bill whether the legislation passes or not. Each border security trigger in the bill can be implemented under current law without any need for new legislation from Congress.

A Rasmussen Reports national phone survey conducted June 11 and 12, found that only 20 percent of voters wanted Congress to try and pass the Senate bill that failed last week. Sixty-nine percent favored an approach that focused “exclusively on securing the border and reducing illegal immigration.”


I am writing to follow up my recent letter and provide you with an update regarding the Senate’s work on its immigration reform bill.

On June 7, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid, twice moved to end debate on the bill and proceed to a vote on it. I voted against the motion both times, recognizing that a number of our conservative Senators still had amendments they wished to offer.

Senator Reid has since agreed to bring the bill back to the Senate floor in the near future. When the Senate returns to the bill, it is expected to consider more than 20 additional amendments from both Republicans and Democrats, including an amendment I am drafting with Senator Lindsey Graham to substantially strengthen enforcement capabilities.

Few issues have generated the volume of calls, letters, and faxes to Senate offices as the immigration bill. The extended time for debate, coupled with the intense scrutiny that the legislation has received from the American people and the media, has helped to identify ways that the bill could be improved. And in response to concerns that our constituents have raised, Senators have already adopted a series of amendments – and additional amendments are on track to be approved when we return to the bill.

For example, during the course of the two-week Senate debate that has already occurred, we approved amendments to:

Declare English the national language of the United States, provide that English is the default language for government communication, and stipulate that no person has a right to have the government communicate in any language other than English unless specifically stated in applicable law (adopted 64 to 35);
Eliminate Earned Income Tax Credit benefits to Y or Z visa holders, unless and until they become legal permanent residents (adopted 56 to 41);
Enhance the border security and enforcement triggers in the bill, increasing the number of Border Patrol agents from 18,000 in the base bill to 20,000, the number of vehicle barriers along the border from 200 miles to 300 miles, and the number of detention beds from 27,500 to 31,500 (adopted by voice vote);
Prohibit Social Security benefits based on earnings from illegal employment (adopted by voice vote);
Clarify that the revocation of an alien’s visa or other documents is not subject to judicial review (adopted by unanimous consent);
Provide minimum sentences for aliens who reenter the United States after removal (adopted by unanimous consent); and
Express the sense of the Senate that undocumented immigrants receiving legal status must pay back taxes (adopted by unanimous consent).
Additional amendments are on track to be approved:

Many people have rightly criticized a provision of the bill requiring that a background check be completed within 24 hours for those seeking probationary status, a requirement that would be difficult, if not impossible, to meet. I anticipate that an amendment will be adopted when we return to the bill to eliminate the 24-hour requirement and ensure that probationary status is not granted until a background check is completed, no matter how long that takes.
To counter concerns that visitors will continue to overstay their visas, we’ll adopt an amendment to increase mandatory minimum sentences for people who do so.
And, perhaps most importantly, in response to concerns that the President and Congress will not fulfill all of the promises of improved enforcement made in the bill, the bill will include an advance appropriation of $4.4 billion – an unprecedented step – to fund the next five years’ worth of critical border enforcement efforts.
Besides fighting to ensure that the resources are made available to enforce the law, I intend to pursue vigorous oversight to hold this administration’s (and the next administration’s) feet to the fire so that promises made are promises kept.

As I said in my previous correspondence, the reform bill is not what I would have written if I could have written it on my own, but it represents the first strong, bipartisan consensus for enforcing our laws and securing the border in a long time. Much of the existing law, enacted in 1986, is unenforceable – especially the requirement that employers verify eligibility for employment. To cite just one problem, employers have to rely on documents that are easily counterfeited. So it is not enough just to say “enforce the law” – existing law needs to be strengthened.

While I agree with many who say we should focus first on enforcement, the reality is that Republicans no longer control the House or Senate, and the chances that Democrats would allow an enforcement-only bill to be considered, let alone pass, are slim to none.

Some suggest delaying action altogether so that we can take our case to the American people and let them decide at the next election. But immigration won’t be the only issue voters consider, and it is certainly possible that Democrats will not only retain control of the House and Senate, but win the White House as well. And you can bet that the conservative gains we’ve made in the current reform bill – significant new resources to secure the border and enforce the law in the interior, including at the workplace; the use of triggers to require that these enforcement resources are in place before other parts of the bill are implemented; an end to chain migration; and a temporary worker program that is truly temporary – would be lost with Democrats dominating Congress and the presidency.

Still others argue that no bill is better than this immigration bill. That’s a hard argument to make when illegal immigrants (over 10 percent criminals) continue to pour across our borders, burdening our schools, hospitals, and judicial systems, and crime and violence are rampant. Moreover, doing nothing really equates to silent amnesty for those who are here illegally.

Arizona is suffering because of illegal immigration. Every day that we delay action, an estimated 5,000 new illegal immigrants cross over our borders. Every day the situation continues to get worse, and something has to be done about it. Doing nothing is not an option. Existing law is not enforceable (employee work eligibility requirements, as I said, are a joke) – so, only by passing a new law that is enforceable can we end illegal immigration.

For further information, you may wish to review an op-ed I wrote for the Arizona Republic further explaining the status of the bill, a column from the Weekly Standard, as well as a list of 10 key reforms included in the legislation. There is no political benefit to what I’ve tried to accomplish, only political criticism. There is only one reason to do what I am trying to do here, and that is to solve a very serious problem – with serious repercussions for Arizona – in a way that helps restore confidence in our government and respect for the rule of law.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions, or if you would like further updates on the status of the reform bill. Your support is important to me, and I will continue to work hard to earn it.




It’s “spending time” in Washington again, and that means if one of two things: either you’re sweating through another humid mid-Atlantic June, or you’re already knee-deep in so much pork that an average appropriations lobbyist hasn’t seen his feet for weeks now.

It has been argued that one of the reasons Republicans lost control of Congress is that their last few years in the majority they had taken to spending like a bunch of (to quote our own Senator McCain) drunken sailors (no offense to any drunken sailors who might be reading this). As Gary Bauer points out in his recent “American Values” fax, conservatives are actually fighting for lower taxes and less spending again and managed to temporarily shut down the US House last week to prevent the liberal Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and our own Gabby Giffords (we’re not kidding!) among others, attempted to change the rules governing how pork-barrel earmark spending projects may be passed into law.

Not to be outdone by the Republicans in Congress who can sense a floundering Democrat majority from miles away, President Bush and the White House have issued no fewer than NINE VETO THREATS over pork-laden spending bills this year – to keep Democrats from busting the bank and forcing liberal tax hikes from becoming necessary. Sure, we’ve said if before, but we know Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid aren’t listening... but still, we’ll say it again: YOU CAN’T TAX AND SPEND YOUR WAY TO PROSPERITY!

So, we’ve got President Bush, we’ve got Republican Leader John Boehner, and we’ve got four strong votes in the House with Congressmen Flake, Franks, Shadegg and Renzi, not to mention Senators Kyl and McCain to stand in the way of the Democrats’ dirty budget-busting tricks.

The moment the Democrats stopped surrendering overseas to terrorists and thugs, they started pandering to the special interests and corrupt campaign fat cats who bankroll their politics of personal destruction here at home. You think they would have learned something about being in the minority for more than a decade – but clearly all they learned was how to get to the minority, because that’s where this spending spree is going to get them.

Friends, call (202) 224-3121 and tell Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to stop wasting taxpayer money on hidden, secret pork-barrel projects and to pass a balanced budget like Republicans did not that long ago. And call (202) 224-3121 and thank our Arizona Republican congressional delegation for fighting to protect our tax dollars from being misspent by the Democrats in this budget!



“Poverty is uncomfortable; but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim.”
- James Garfield


A Very Happy 49th Birthday goes out tour esteemed AZGOP State Treasurer Timothy Lee. Happy Birthday Timothy, may you have many more.

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