Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CAP: AZ Court of Appeals upholds laws regulating S.O.B.'s

Breaking News: Legal Victory for Safe Communities!

Today, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that a CAP-supported law limiting the hours of operation of sexually-oriented businesses is constitutional! This crucial legal victory is due to God's faithfulness. There were many, many miracles along the way.

In 1998, Len Munsil and I worked very hard urging the Arizona Legislature to restrict the hours that sex businesses remain open. The Legislature weighed the evidence and concluded that sex businesses carry with them harmful effects that threaten every community where they locate. The Legislature passed and Gov. Hull signed into law SB 1162, which required that sex businesses close between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday.

But the fight for this law was just beginning! Lawyers for the sex industry in Arizona filed lawsuits in both state and federal courts. In 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the law is consistent with the federal Constitution. The Ninth Circuit got it right, but the result from our own state courts was very disappointing. In 2002, Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals - which sits in Tucson - ruled that part of the law was unconstitutional under the Arizona Constitution. Even though Division Two decisions are not controlling throughout Arizona, this one court ruling effectively allowed all sex businesses statewide to ignore the law.

The 2002 decision is an example of judges imposing their own version of the Constitution-one that "lives" and changes over time. That court ruled that the Arizona Constitution gives more leeway to the sex industry than the U.S. Constitution. The framers of the Arizona Constitution in 1910 did not establish "super protection" for sexually-explicit materials and businesses. In fact, at the time the Arizona Constitution was drafted and ratified such materials were illegal!

Thankfully, the matter did not end there. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas brought charges against two sex-business owners for remaining open between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. This led to today's ruling by Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals, which sits in Phoenix.

In August-thanks to your faithful support and the support of our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund-CAP General Counsel Peter Gentala submitted a "friend of the court" brief, arguing that the Court of Appeals should return to the original meaning of the Arizona Constitution. Today, the Court reached the right result:

[T]he Arizona Constitution provides no more protection for sexually-explicit speech than does the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We further hold that A.R.S. § 13-1422, as applied to sexually-oriented businesses that do not feature live entertainment, does not violate the free speech provision in the Arizona Constitution.

You can read the court's opinion here and CAP's amicus brief by clicking here.

This victory was made possible by your faithful support of CAP. You enabled us to successfully lobby for the law nearly 10 years ago. And you have enabled us to stay in the fight to make sure that the law receives the strongest legal defense possible. The battle for this law is not over! This decision will doubtlessly be appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. Make no mistake, the sex industry is committed! They will pour considerable resources into winning at the Arizona Supreme Court.

CAP's voice-your voice-is more important now than ever before. Without CAP, the sex industry would have a free hand to pollute our neighborhoods.

As you consider year-end giving, we need your help to be able to continue our work passing these types of pro-family laws then being able to defend them against legal challenges. Within the next week or so, you will get a letter from me outlining our needs. Please keep a watch for the letter then prayerfully consider how you might be able to help us meet our significant budget challenges.

how you might be able to help us meet our significant budget challenges.

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Goldwater Institute: Voter Protection Act is contributing to budget shortfall

Self-Inflicted Wounds

by Tom Patterson

Words like "crisis" and "pain" describe the state budget situation. The revenue shortfall for this fiscal year, once thought to be as high as $600 million, now looks to be somewhere north of $800 million. Next year looks even worse.

But trouble can be the mother of opportunity. Lawmakers may, for the first time, have a realistic chance to reform one of the structural anomalies that caused the problem in the first place, the Voter Protection Act (VPA).

The VPA provides that any measure passed at the ballot box can never be amended by the Legislature unless the amendment "furthers the purpose" of the original initiative, and even then only with a three-fourths vote. So we have an ever-growing body of appropriations, taxes and laws which, practically speaking, can never be changed.

The practical problems that arise from having unchangeable laws become obvious as the Legislature struggles with the hole in the current budget. The Legislature, the appropriating body under our Constitution, really controls only one-third of the state budget. The rest is either mandated by the feds, is the result of a judicial fiat or is protected under the VPA. Practically speaking, we can't do much about the first two, but the VPA is a self-inflicted wound.

The Legislature would be more able to avoid new taxes, new debt and accounting gimmicks to balance the budget if they were able to reprioritize spending, at least on a temporary basis. The VPA stands in the way of this fiscal commonsense.

Changing the Voter Protection Act can only be accomplished by a vote of the people and it won't help resolve the current budget crisis. If the VPA can't be eliminated, surely reasonable minds could agree that a five or 10-year moratorium on amendments would be sufficient to protect citizens' interests. We can act now to avoid painful crises in the future.

Dr. Tom Patterson is chairman of the Goldwater Institute, a former state legislator and emergency room physician. A longer version of this article originally appeared in the East Valley Tribune.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sheriff Arpaio, Others To File Paperwork Tuesday Morning To Put Romney On AZ Presidential Primary Ballot

AZ Romney release header

Currently leading polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Gov. Mitt Romney's Arizona Honorary Campaign Chairman, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, will file paperwork on Tuesday morning making him eligible for Arizona's February 5th presidential primary election. Tuesday is the first day candidates can file for the ballot. Gov. Romney has received substantial political and financial support while campaigning in Arizona numerous times over the past year. The media is encouraged to join Sheriff Arpaio, State Senator Chuck Gray, State Rep. Rich Crandall and others at 10:50am at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office (1700 West Washington, Phoenix, 7th Floor).


Boston, MA - On Tuesday, November 27, Governor Mitt Romney will announce his intent to participate in the Arizona Presidential Primary Election on February 5, 2008. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, State Senator Chuck Gray and State Representative Rich Crandall will submit the necessary paperwork to the Arizona Secretary of State's office requesting that Governor Romney's name appear on the Arizona Republican primary ballot. The following event will be open for a photo opportunity:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007:

10:50 a.m. Romney for President Files for Arizona Primary Ballot Access

Secretary of State's Office - 1700 W Washington St., 7th Floor Executive Tower Phoenix, AZ, 85007

NOTE: Be prepared for natural light.

*All Times Are Mountain Standard Time


phone: 480-423-1414

Federalist Society luncheon Dec. 4 - book event - "Nanny State"

The Federalist Society Phoenix Lawyers Chapter Presents:

Nanny State:
How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and Other Boneheaded Bureaucrats Are Turning America Into a Nation of Children

A Book Event*

Denver Post Columnist and author David Harsanyi ( will join us to discuss his book, in which he delves into the smoking bans, the recent trans-fat bans, zero-tolerance policies, and the end of “happy hour” as we know it. Harsanyi argues that when the government intervenes in this overzealous manner, no matter how good the intentions may appear to be, it not only diminishes our ability to make our own choices, but it promotes a culture of dependence that goes against the freedoms we celebrate so earnestly.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007, 11am-12:30pm

The Tavern on Mill
404 South Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281

There is no cost to attend this event, and lunch--in the form of unhealthy, greasy, bar food--will be provided. Space is limited, however, so please RSVP if you plan to attend

* Mr. Harsanyi's book will be available for purchase

RSVP to Kasey Higgins (, 480-557-8300) no later than noon on Friday, November 30, 2007.

Some thoughts on "Nanny State":

“The average American has little idea just how many liberties have been lost through the growth of the Leviathan. Increasingly, there’s a regulation, the need to get permission, and the outright banning of ordinary activities that have always been seen as personal and private. David Harsanyi gives us a detailed script of this ugly process. He is more than generous by titling this egregious attack on our liberties as the ‘Nanny State.’”

--Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University and author of More Liberty Means Less Government

“The scariest thing about the creeping authoritarianism of What’s Good For You is how few people notice it anymore. David Harsanyi notices it, thank God, and has written a terrific reminder of why, if they can force you to wear your seatbelt, they can force you to do just about anything. Buy this book: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you may wind up voting Libertarian.”

--Tucker Carlson, host of MSNBC’s Tucker and author of Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News

"This is a dangerous book--mostly because if it falls into the hands of legislators or city councils, they'll find new ideas for things to ban or mandate. But for sensible people, it's a wake-up call about the efforts of busybodies on both left and right to nitpick every aspect of our lives, from what we eat and drink to what we watch on television to what games our children can play."

--David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute and author of Libertarianism: A Primer

"David Harsanyi makes a frightening case for the dangers of big government, and a strong argument that less government is better government."

--Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit

Meet Fred Thompson this Thursday!

For a Trunk and Tusk Speaker Series Event!

This is Senator Thompson's first trip to Arizona, and we want to make sure he feels welcome! Show your support by signing up for this rare oportunity today!

November 29th, 2007

Phoenix Airport Marriott

1101 North 44th Street

Phoenix, Arizona 85008

12:00 p.m. Lunch with Senator Fred Thompson

Registration will open at 11:00 a.m.

$150 Individual lunch

Please RSVP to Amilyn Gordon at or 602-957-7770. Please specify if you are a Trunk and Tusk member; you admission is included in your membership dues!

Paid for by the Arizona Republican Party. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 602.957.7770

Goldwater Institute: Democrats for Education Reform

New group signals "the end of the beginning" of the anti-school choice movement

By Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.

Democrats for Education Reform is a new group that is making a big splash. On November 19, the group held an event in which U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC) stressed the importance of parental choice and innovation in education. Clyburn, the House Majority Whip and the highest-ranking African-American in Congress, supports both charter schools and tax credits for middle-class families.

At an earlier event held by the group, Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) discussed "alarming dropout rates" and the dangers of a "monopoly" filled with failing schools. "We must explore options," he said. "Every option for every American child so that every child might have the high-quality education they deserve in their lifetime...We need more competition in the system."

Jackson Jr. mentioned that his parents sent him to the elite St. Albans Episcopal School in D.C. when he was a child. He said he plans on "pushing the envelope to make the majority party in this country" approach education with a more open mind.

The big tent of education reform keeps getting bigger. The relationship between progressives and education reactionaries is under obvious strain. As Churchill once said "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Matthew Ladner is vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Alan Korwin on the Supreme Court taking its 96th gun case

64th gun case since Miller in 1939

Recognition of individual right to arms could be reversed

by Alan Korwin, Co-Author
Supreme Court Gun Cases

Nov. 20, 2007, Washington, D.C. -- The Supreme Court today decided to hear the District of Columbia v. Heller civil-rights case, characterized by many as its first gun case since the Miller case in 1939, a common error.

The High Court has been ruling on guns and gun rights since 1820, with 31 cases addressing the subject before Miller and 63 cases afterwards until this one. The widely quoted Miller case concerned two bootleggers and a sawed-off shotgun. Miller was murdered before his case could be retried as directed by the Supreme Court, leaving that short, controversial decision to be interpreted in many ways.

In the Court's 92nd gun case, U.S. v. Bean (2002), it decided that a man deprived of his right to keep and bear arms, due to a questionable felony arrest in Mexico, could not sue in federal court to regain those rights, since the federal bureau in charge of reviewing such gun-rights cases had failed to act.

The 93rd gun case, Brosseau v. Haugen (2004), asked whether a police officer shooting an escaping felon in the back was an excessive use of force. The Court avoided this question, resolving only a side issue of the officer's immunity from a lawsuit after the shooting. The case involved a rather wild fracas and an awkward shot at a driver through the rear driver's side window.

In its 94th such case, Small v. U.S. (2005), the Justices decided that a felony conviction in a Japanese court, which used procedures far below American standards, was not sufficient to deprive the defendant of his right to buy and possess a firearm.

The 95th case, Castle Rock v. Gonzalez (2005), confirmed a long-standing rule that, even though an armed violent spousal abuser under a restraining order had repeatedly threatened his estranged wife, the woman had no grounds to expect police protection. Some claim this is not a gun case per se, even though the husband shot her three children to death, before he was shot to death by police. Others have suggested that, since police have no duty to protect you, the right to self preservation, and the tools to make it effective, must be inherent under due process.

Ms. Gonzalez had assistance from civil rights groups and a firm with 1,000 lawyers but still lost the case. Although counterintuitive, police only have an obligation to society in general, not to specific people. Justice Scalia, in the 7-2 decision said there is no federal constitutional right to police protection, which leads some observers to infer a right to self protection. The Court said states were free to craft laws to fill the gap, but states have not. It is not the most clear-cut of the Court's many related cases, but it does firmly establish police "no duty to protect."

The new case now granted review, District of Columbia v. Heller, is somewhat different, since the parties are arguing specifically over the Second Amendment itself, and not the firearms they choose to bear or how they put them to use. The District of Columbia has, since 1976, denied its citizens any right to keep and bear an operable firearm even in their homes. Some credit this law, and the related city bans on obtaining or carrying a firearm, with forcing its law-abiding, defenseless citizens to live in one of the murder capitals of the nation, where only the criminal element (and authorities) are armed.

Discussions of the first 92 cases are compiled in Supreme Court Gun Cases, published by Bloomfield Press, which for the first time dispelled the notion that the High Court had been quiet about the subject of guns. The Court's decisions use some form of the word "gun" (rifle, shotgun, handgun, firearm, etc.) more than 2,900 times. Fourteen of the cases deal specifically with using guns in personal self defense.

News outlets, universally calling the Heller case the first gun case in decades, are merely repeating each other, rather than doing research that would easily show it's not true. (Going against the tide at this point might be hard for most news organizations.)

The case could be pivotal however, since the Justices could use it to effectively overturn gun laws at the state and federal level that civil-rights advocates have for years claimed infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The D.C. law is an extreme example, they say, though New York City, Chicago and even some entire states have highly restrictive laws against private possession of arms, which tend to increase crime rates.

There is also a chance this decision, expected next year with a hearing as early as March, could set a precedent by finding against an individual right to keep and bear arms, which is what the mayor of D.C. and his supporters seek.

That would reverse two centuries of consistent rulings that have recognized an individual right to keep and bear arms for self defense and all other lawful purposes.

In private, pro-gun-rights groups and anti-gun-rights groups express dread at the chance the decision will go against them. A strong, broad decision in either direction could tear at the fabric of the nation, leading some observers to expect a carefully crafted and narrow decision that avoids the most delicate or volatile issues.

Not even the Justices know what they will ultimately decide, but the case is sure to be closely watched by pro-rights and anti-rights advocates, and wild speculation is running rampant. People are "counting votes" based on past decisions and known or supposed preferences. The ruling is unlikely to close the debate on gun rights, with parties remaining heavily committed to their own points of view, and the freedom of the country literally hanging in the balance.

Supreme Court Gun Cases, published in 2003 after six years of research, is available for news-media review by calling 1-800-707-4020. The authors are available for interview.

To see the book or purchase one:

News media fact sheet:

Summaries of the first 92 cases are online:

Specifically, the Court agreed to resolve this issue:

"Whether the following provisions -- D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 -- violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes."

The cited provisions are: 1 - The ban on handguns not registered before 1976; 2 - the ban on carrying an unlicensed handgun; and 3 - the ban on keeping an operable firearm at home. The Court didn't address the Parker case, involving five of the original litigants who seek to join this case. The Court could add that later, decide it seperately later, or ignore it. News on that should come out after Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday. We're having brisket.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Move America Forward “Honoring Heroes at the Holidays Tour” - Nov. 30 rally

Thursday, November 29, 2007

8:00 PM Arrive Courtyard Marriott Hotel - Phoenix, AZ
9631 North Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85021
Members of the press may cover the tour’s arrival and interview participants. Also, members of the public are invited to bring Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday greeting cards for our troops.

Friday November 30, 2007

9:00 AM Phoenix, AZ Pro-Troop Rally
State Capitol - House Lawn
1700 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ - CLICK HERE for MAP
Bring your family, flags and signs that thank our troops, express support for our troops. And of course be sure to bring Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday greeting cards for our troops - we’ll gladly accept them at the event and deliver them to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10:00 Drop Off of Greeting Cards for Troops at Phoenix, AZ Post Office
3905 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA - CLICK HERE for MAP
News media and supporters invited to come join us as we turn in and ship a batch of Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday greeting cards for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan!

2:30 PM Tucson, AZ Pro-Troop Rally
Freedom Park 5000 E 29th St, Tucson, AZ 85711 - CLICK HERE for MAP
Bring your family, flags and signs that thank our troops, express support for our troops. And of course be sure to bring Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday greeting cards for our troops - we’ll gladly accept them at the event and deliver them to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more information click here

Alan Keyes will participate in Dec. 12 Iowa Republican Presidential Debate

Am still disgusted that Keyes was kept out of prior GOP presidential debates this year. Keyes is the best verbal debater of all the candidates, whether you like him or not, or agree that he has a chance, you have to give him that. It's unfortunate that Obama gets all the media attention for being a black presidential candidate, while Keyes is shunned because he's conservative.

Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes has accepted an invitation to participate in the last scheduled — and in some ways most important — Republican debate before the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus.
The Des Moines Register's Republican Presidential Debate is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Dec. 12 at Iowa Public Television's Maytag Auditorium in Johnston, Iowa.
At last report, all major Republican candidates except former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani have also accepted the invitation to participate.
The Des Moines Register has a reputation for putting on fair and informative events. Their debates have become an Iowa tradition that reporters and editors from across the nation take seriously.
The debate will be broadcast live on statewide Iowa Public Television from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (CT) Dec. 12, and will be re-broadcast at a later time on IPTV. The program will also be offered to public television stations across the country.
Ambassador Keyes expressed his thanks to the sponsors of the event, saying, "I'm grateful to those who will not abandon their resolve to raise the standard of political integrity. I pray God that my participation in the debate will vindicate their good will."

Alliance Defense Fund looking for new litigation attorney

This is an excellent opportunity for a new law school graduate who is interested in defending Christian constitutional cases and taking on the ACLU.

Litigation Counsel

Responsibilities include taking part in the ADF Legal Mentoring Program which may include
conducting civil lawsuits, drawing up legal documents, advising clients on legal rights, and
practicing other phases of law under the direct supervision of a senior attorney. Additional duties may include assisting the Development and Media Relations teams with speaking engagements and media interviews, reviewing in-house contracts and legal issues, participating in ADF sponsored seminars and training sessions, assisting with legal intake, and other duties as assigned. Incumbents will initially be brought in under the title of Law Clerk until passing the bar exam and being licensed to practice law.

Requirements include:
 J.D. degree from an accredited law school
 Ability to pass the Arizona (or other, as needed) bar exam
 Excellent PC skills including proficiency with MS Office products, legal research
software, and strong Internet research skills
 Excellent presentation skills
 Strong legal and brief-writing skills
 Demonstrated flexibility—ability to work as a member of a team in any role necessary
for success and/or to work independently when necessary
 Ability to interact effectively with media
 Willingness and ability to travel as necessary for litigation and related efforts

The Alliance Defense Fund is a national organization located in Scottsdale, Arizona. We offer a
competitive salary and benefits program. To apply for this position, please email your resume
with a cover letter indicating your qualifications for the position, a writing sample, and your
salary requirements to or fax to 480-444-0027. Preferred writing samples would
include a legal pleading for which you were the primary author, a law review note or
commentary, or other professional legal writing.
For more information on ADF, visit our website at

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Goldwater Institute: Crazy Talk

Some lawmakers ready to raise taxes, not cut spending

by Steve Voeller

What if you got a letter from the state asking for a donation to help balance the state's budget? Would you give? As crazy as that sounds, some lawmakers think you should, and worse, they don't even want to give you the option.

According to the East Valley Tribune, one prominent lawmaker wants to raise property taxes:

Assistant has his sights set particularly on an early end to the three-year suspension of a state property tax, a move that would bring in nearly $200 million. "The reality is, I would love to do it," he said.

There are numerous problems with Senator Garcia's line of thinking. First, raising property taxes at the same time that property taxes are already going up at the local level will only exacerbate Arizona's housing and economic problems. Second, shouldn't Senator Garcia propose at least some modest budget cuts before he asks his constituents to pay higher taxes? It takes a brave man to tell his Tucson constituents that after voting to build the Yuma Welcome Center with public money, he'd like to raise their taxes to get out of a financial mess.

Until Senator Garcia and other lawmakers cut all the fat out of the budget, all they're really saying is that Arizona families must tighten their belts so the state doesn't have to.

Steve Voeller is president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

Free church Christmas music concerts

Glories of the Holidays - Arizona Winds and Arizona Arts Chorale

Dec. 2, 2:30 p.m., Ocotillo Hall, Midwestern University (south of Loop
101 on 59th Ave.)


Dec. 8 and 9 - North Phoenix Baptist - Christmas Pops concert, 5757 N.
Central Ave., 6:00 p.m.


Carolyn Eynon Singers

Dec. 8 - St. Anthony in the Desert, 130th & Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, Az,
8:00 p.m.

and Dec. 16 - Desert Palm United Church of Christ, 1230 Guadalupe Rd.,
Tempe, Az, 7:30 p.m.

Goldwater Institute: Chinese Finger Trap

Cutting this year's budget won't fix the long run shortfall

By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.

A prominent public official recently said that due to dedicated revenue spending and spending that is dictated by past voter initiatives, the Arizona legislature directly controls only 35 percent of state spending.

If that's true, and assuming that half the money budgeted for this fiscal year has been spent by January, the $600 million shortfall represents one-third of the remaining discretionary funds for the 2008 fiscal year. No wonder legislators are hesitant to rely only on budget cuts to balance the state budget.

In only five years, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System budget is slated to more than double. Department of Economic Security spending will nearly double, and so will that of the Department of Health Services. Combined, these increases add up to almost $1.4 billion, dwarfing the current estimated shortfall.

For that matter, one-third of the current shortfall can be attributed to the new all-day kindergarten program. It is costing $209 million in this fiscal year. In fact, other new state programs instituted in just the last five years are costing over $160 million this year.

Beyond this year's budget crunch, Arizona's larger fiscal challenge is to get all spending, formula and otherwise, under control.

Although its origins are disputable, a famous quote describes how democracies tend to founder on excessive spending as majorities essentially vote to themselves more of the public treasury. Let us hope Arizona finds a way out of this trap.

Dr. Schlomach is the director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute.

Taxpayer Awards Luncheon--register online now!

You can now register online for the 2007 Friend of the Taxpayer awards luncheon, Saturday, December 15, 2007, from 11 am to 2 pm at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road (just north of Indian Bend).

Register online at

Join the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers, a state chapter of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, to celebrate the Arizona legislators and local politicians who have done the most to help the Arizona taxpayer—and to poke fun at the Big Spenders who have done the most to empty our wallets.

The luncheon’s keynote speaker will be former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who cut taxes on income, gasoline, and capital gains—and halted the growth of New Mexico government during his term in office. Johnson will help to remind Arizonans what a fiscally conservative governor looks like. Other speakers include Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin, Free Enterprise Action Fund principal Dr. Thomas Borelli, and presenters from the Institute for Justice, Medical Choice for Arizona, the Goldwater Institute, and the Free Enterprise Club. Congressman John Shadegg and Nobel laureate economist Ed Prescott have been invited.

Seats for the luncheon are $49, and $39 for AFT-AFPF members. Tables are $350.

To register now for the grassroots event of the year, click here:

For a printable mail-in registration form, visit

Goldwater Institute: Data Debate

Making student testing data available to public will answer lingering questions

By Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.

In May, the Arizona Department of Education reported in the Arizona Daily Star that Arizona's student test scores were eight percent above the national average. That figure has since been revised to put Arizona's aggregate TerraNova scores at the 51.9 percentile, which is 3.8 percent above the national average.

In trying to reconcile the different numbers being used by the media, the ADE, and other policymakers, I have come to the conclusion that there are too many versions of Arizona's TerraNova scores floating around.

The Arizona Department of Education's source for testing data divides students into two categories, but then notes that the categories are not mutually exclusive. If it is possible to figure out an accurate aggregate score from this site, I cannot figure out how. Meanwhile, media sources use an even different set of numbers, and seem to only list the scores of "Category One" students (but the numbers do not match the state's numbers precisely).

With so many different numbers out there, it is hard to know if the problem is with the test or with the reporting of the results. Consequently, the Goldwater Institute will file a freedom of information request for all Arizona public school testing data beginning with the 2004-2005 school year.

The ADE should be able to make performance data available while protecting student privacy. All data should be available for analysis by anyone and everyone. Transparency is the best policy.

Matthew Ladner is vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute.

Roasters to Keep Sheriff Joe in the Hot Seat

Roasting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio promises to be a high spirited, fun and frolic event where Arpaio will take the brunt of all kinds of humorous, colorful, and perhaps derogatory commentary from roasters who will taunt him regarding his highly publicized role as the "Toughest Sheriff in America ."

Arpaio will have to grin and bear pointed remarks, jest, and humiliation while roasters pepper him about his performance and policies such as pink shorts for prisoners, green bologna sandwiches, tent city and his lust for publicity, according to Event Host Bob Burges, chairman of the Legislative District 4 Republicans.

However, Arpaio will get the last word when he retaliates to the barbs before the curtain drops. "Bring them on," he said as he anxiously awaits the Dec. 1 Roast.

Roasters include Speaker of the House Jim Weiers, Phoenix Chapter of Minutemen Defense Corp Chairman Don Goldwater, Radio Talk Show Host Terry Anderson, Congressional Candidate Sydney Hay , Republican Party Executive Director Sean McCaffrey and more to be announced later.

The Cartridge Family Band known for their frisky, politically uncorrected tunes will also be roasting Arpaio.

The roast is scheduled at 2 p.m., Dec.1 in the Maricopa County Events Center (MCEC), 19403 RH Johnson Blvd , Sun City West.

Tickets can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MECE. The fee is $15 for adults.

Tickets can also be obtained by sending a check made out to Joe Arpaio Roast and mailed to Joe Arpaio Roast, 17210 N. 53rd Drive , Glendale , AZ 85308 . Tickets will be mailed upon receipt of a check.

For information call Jan Martinson 623-546-3753 or Phil Corbell at 623-363-8238 or E-mail us at:

Media contacts: LD4 Chairman Bob Burges at (623) 214-3725 or rburges_843@msn.comor Frosty Taylor at 928-684-1221 or

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Goldwater Institute: Hotel Hysteria

Phoenix Mayor wants to build more downtown hotels

by Clint Bolick

Guess who owns the tallest hotel in Arizona: Westin? Hyatt? Ritz-Carlton?

By 2009, the answer will be the City of Phoenix, which will open a 31-story, 1,000-room hotel offering "Sweet Sleeper" beds and other amenities. And if Mayor Phil Gordon has his way, Phoenix's hotel gambit may double in size soon thereafter.

The initial hotel is designed to serve visitors to the city's expanding downtown convention center. Apparently, the private hotel industry, which is hardly averse to building in the Valley of the Sun, didn't detect quite the enthusiasm for downtown conventions that the politicians did. So the city formed an entity called the Downtown Phoenix Hotel Corporation, issued $350 million in revenue bonds, and made an agreement with Sheraton to operate a new hotel.

But it may not be enough. At his recent State of Downtown speech, Mayor Gordon proclaimed, "We need more hotel rooms now." He directed local business leaders to convene representatives of the hotel industry to explain why they should build more rooms downtown. "And be sure to tell them that if the private sector doesn't meet the demand," he warned, "we will."

Cities sometimes provide decent public services; but they're typically awful at out-forecasting the private market in terms of business opportunities. That's why the framers of Arizona's Constitution took multiple steps to prevent government from getting involved in the business arena themselves.

In addition to prohibiting corporate subsidies, the Constitution's gift clause forbids cities from "becom[ing] a subscriber to, or a shareholder in, any company or corporation, or becom[ing] a joint owner with any person, company, or corporations."

Sounds exactly like what the city did in creating the Downtown Phoenix Hotel Corporation and getting into the hotel business. Except there wasn't anyone around to challenge the deal the first time around. But now there is.

Clint Bolick is director of the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

Excellent article profiling the Goldwater Institute's new constitutional litigation center

A must-read. Other than the overuse of the word "conservative" in the article (the Goldwater Institute takes no position on social issues, is composed of probably more libertarians than conservatives, and the head of its constitutional litigation center, Clint Bolick, has been a vocal critic of President Bush), this provides a good overview of the Institute's litigation center.
The Phoenix-based group is expanding its influence to limit government power and spending by creating a new litigation center that sues to block what it sees as abuse...Goldwater wants to be a counter-balance to public-interest firms like the American Civil Liberties Union, which favors liberal causes....One signature case involves nearly $100 million of incentives Phoenix is offering the developer of CityNorth for a ritzy shopping center. Phoenix argues the subsidy is needed to finance a parking garage that will help generate sales-tax revenue and provide transit parking. Bolick sees the latest city subsidy for a developer as a way to make a healthy profit margin ever higher. The Goldwater suit was filed on behalf of several smaller businesses, saying it violates a clause in the state constitution that bans gifts to individual businesses.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

County Attorney Thomas launches new anti-DUI campaign

This should deter a lot of potential drunk drivers - pictures of convicted DUI offenders will be posted on Check out the penalties - blowing a .08 BAC level (or it could be less if you're "impaired to the slightest degree") results in at least a day of jail, probation, $500 fine, and driver's license suspension. Never mind the fact it will follow you around everywhere, to every job you apply for in the future. A .15 BAC level will get you one of those ignition interlock devices installed on your steering wheel that you have to blow into in order to start your car.

New Campaign Aims to Prevent Drunk Driving
TV, Radio, Billboard and Internet Send a Powerful Message

The County Attorney’s Office is launching an anti-drunk driving campaign warning drivers of the legal consequences they face if they decide to drink and drive, County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today. The campaign includes messages on TV, radio, billboards and on a county attorney sponsored website Convicted criminals are paying for most of this campaign because most of the funding is from assets seized through RICO (Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organization) statutes. The remainder comes from $188,530 allocated by the DUI Abatement Fund, operated by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. The goal of the Abatement Fund is to help finance Arizona programs and services in order to reduce occurrences of driving under the influence. Much of the money from that fund comes from fines and penalties leveled against convicted impaired drivers.

Part of the campaign includes posting the pictures of convicted DUI offenders on The website also includes statistics on DUI’s, tips on prevention, and reporting drunk drivers. The goal of this campaign is to give potential drunk drivers one last warning in the hope they’ll make a life-saving decision and not get behind the wheel.

“Day after day, our prosecutors deal with cases involving intoxicated drivers who destroy lives,” said County Attorney Andrew Thomas. “This campaign represents an appeal to all drivers to think of the consequences of drinking and driving.”

This campaign continues a similar effort launched by the office last year. This time, the campaign has added billboards along freeways and streets in the Valley to communicate directly with motorists. “These campaigns represent a larger mission at the County Attorney’s Office,” said Thomas. “In addition to putting criminal offenders behind bars, we are committed to crime prevention. When I ran for county attorney, I pledged to make crime prevention programs a high priority of my administration. The best way to deal with crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It’s an added benefit that we are able to use money seized from criminals to prevent crime in this manner.”

For more information contact:
Mike Anthony Scerbo, Public Information Officer
(602) 506-3170 (office) or (602) 489-6913 (cell)

Friday, November 16, 2007

National Right to Life issues clarification of its endorsement of Fred Thompson

It should be noted that Arizona Right to Life has not yet come out and endorsed a candidate for president in the primary. Obviously, Fred Thompson has better pro-life credentials than most of the Republican candidates still left in the race. Arguably Huckabee has a better record (but may not be as viable in the election since he's less fiscally conservative) and McCain isn't far behind. Romney claims to be pro-life now but has no track record yet showing that he has changed from his prior pro-abortion position. Giuliani is clearly not an option. The remaining candidates are not viable, Duncan Hunter is unfortunately doing poorly in the polls and Alan Keyes, who jumped into the race late, is being systematically and unfairly excluded from the debates.

Today's News & Views
November 15, 2007

Further Reflections on NRLC’s Endorsement of Sen. Fred Thompson
for President

Editor’s note. Please send me your thoughts at

Everyone knows what is at stake. Pro-life President George W. Bush’s second term ends in 2008 and in less than a year we will elect his successor.

He or she will either work hand in glove with a Movement whose goal is to save unborn babies from death and destruction and their mothers from remorse and guilt, or they will throw their lot in with a philosophy whose core tenet is that there are never enough abortions, never sufficient misery, and never a reason to help women choose life. The choice is that stark.

That alone would increase the room temperature. But on top of that there are time pressures. The first caucus takes place January 3rd, the first primary tentatively scheduled for January 8th.

Furthermore, it is possible—perhaps probable—that by the end of the day February 5, both party’s presidential nominees will be known. That first Tuesday in February will amount to a kind of mini-national primary.

But on top of all that there are pro-lifers who favor one or the other of several pro-life Republican candidates. Yesterday National Right to Life endorsed former Sen. Fred Thompson with the predictable result that many people are happy, some are not—and passionately so.

For those who missed Tuesday’s edition, let me offer a three-paragraph recapitulation. Then, if I may, let me make just two brief additional comments.

Not only was the NRLC board’s decision in favor of Thompson overwhelming, because those board members come directly from grassroots state and local organizations, it means the endorsement reflected the cumulative judgment of a wide swathe of our Movement, not Washington “insiders.”

In the judgment of our board Thompson best met the three criteria it established for endorsement: (1) the position of candidates on the life issues, (2) their records on the life issues, and (3) and their ability to win. The board of NRLC believes Thompson has the best chance of thwarting pro-abortion Rudy Giuliani in the GOP presidential primary and would be the strongest opponent for whichever militant pro-abortion emerges from the Democratic Party.

In the past 24 hours some have unfortunately suggested there are other considerations, but, in fact, there were none. The decision was straightforward and in harmony with NRLC’s guiding light-- we don't just want to make a statement; we want to make a difference in advancing the cause of life.

With that summary, let me move on.

Criticism (and caricatures) of any candidate will always receive far more attention than clarifications of what he or she meant. For example, Mr. Thompson has repeatedly stated his total opposition to Roe v. Wade, a breathtakingly arrogant decision that gutted the abortion statutes of all 50 states.

The Republican Party’s platform calls for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. An HLA is one tool to win protection for unborn babies. But it would require a 2/3rds vote in the Senate and the House and ratification by 3/4ths of the states, a formidable task.

Between 25 and 30 senators would need to be replaced to reach that 2/3rds figure, not something that is likely to take place for some time. And if an HLA were to be passed out of Congress and ratified by 3/4rds of the states, unborn babies would not automatically be protected. Protective legislation would have to be passed in each state. Ratification of an HLA is a long-term NRLC goal.

But babies are dying in the here and now. NRLC’s emphasis, like Thompson’s, is on what the next President can accomplish. Thompson has made clear that the only way Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned in the foreseeable future is by the confirmation of justices who do not believe there are parts of the Constitution written in invisible ink—where Blackmun discovered the “right” to abortion. Thompson says he would nominate justices who interpret the Constitution according to its actual text.

Thompson has also stated that he believes decisions about a patient's life-saving care should be made by the patient or his or her family. But he has also made clear that when the patient wants treatment, or in cases where the patient's wishes are unknown, if their families want life-sustaining treatment, it should be provided.

In cases where the family is divided, Thompson believes the benefit of the doubt should be given to life. Terri Schindler Schiavo would be alive today if, in this situation of a divided family, the presumption had been in favor of life.

Let me end by repeating the conclusion of Tuesday’s TN&V. I believe it captures what NRLC is attempting to accomplish by endorsing a strong pro-life candidate like Thompson.

Ron Elving, the senior Washington editor for NPR News, observed this morning, “So you take a savvy outfit like the National Right to Life Committee, pretty much the General Motors of the right to life movement, and what they are worried about is preserving the … coalition…which has pretty much won five of the last seven presidential elections, including the last two.”


In the months to come NRLC’s endorsement of Thompson may well come to be seen as the decisive action which shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination. It is a simple statement of historical fact that millions and millions of pro-life Americans look to NRLC for guidance on these crucial questions which is the reason why presidential candidates who are pro-life have always enjoyed an advantage among the voters for whom abortion is the single most important issue.

And NRLC’s advice to its supporters—and to all pro-lifers of good will—is to unite behind Fred Thompson.

Please send your comments to Dave Andrusko at

New job openings with the Alliance Defense Fund

The Alliance Defense Fund, the Christian lawyers' organization that defends religious constitutional and family issues, has job openings currently for Director of Development, National Litigation Academy Coordinator, Foundations Grant Writer & Researcher, Production Manager, Gift Planning Administrator, Marketing and Development Writer, and Senior Staff Accountant. Read more here.