Sunday, December 30, 2007

Horizon's Journalists' Roundtable presidential predictions


Predictions for president were divided on Friday night's Journalists' Roundtable. I agree with Howie Fischer, that Hillary will win, with Giuliani getting the GOP nomination (overall, this is what national polls have consistently shown). Mark Flatten predicted that Giuliani would win, with Hillary getting the Dem nomination. The odd man out was Doug MacEachern, who predicted that Obama would win, with McCain getting the GOP nomination (I suspect this is because of personal kinship between MacEachern and McCain). They all agreed that immigration is a bigger issue to voters than the war.

Flatten predicted that Sen. Russell Pearce would give Rep. Jeff Flake a tough challenge for re-election in CD-6, possibly even unseating him, over the issue of illegal immigration. He said no one had a chance at unseating Rep. Howie Mitchell in CD-5, but he admitted that Mitchell had been his high school government teacher so obviously he's biased. Former legislator and county treasurer David Schweikert will present a formidable challenge to Mitchell, and CD-5 leans Republican. Don't underestimate the doggedness of Schweikert, who has wanted this seat since his failed run in 1994. The journalists agreed that voters are a bit dissatisfied, which will hurt incumbent Democrats. Fischer predicted the Democrats would lose a few seats in both houses in the state legislature. He also predicted that the national GOP will only drop money into the CD-1 race (Renzi's seat), since it's an open seat.

Host Ted Simons asked if we'd be riding the trolley (blight rail) at this time next year, and Fischer responded, "only if you want to go from 44th St. to 48th St."

Note: there were two somewhat conservative journalists on Friday's show, Horizon had to get in its once-a-year fair and balanced show before the year ended

Saturday, December 29, 2007

CAP: Still really needs your contribution; 2007 accomplishments & plans for 2008


In this issue:
(1) The Calm Before the Storm
(2) Support Follows Service
(3) What's Ahead in 2008?
(4) What Does CAP Provide?
(5) We Need Your Help Today!

Forward this email to a friend!


(1) The Calm Before the Storm

That's how this week always feels to me. A Christmas season once again has come and gone. We now eagerly await a New Year. At CAP, it's a week of preparation, praying, and waiting. Waiting to finalize our 2008 legislative agenda ... to set in motion our 2008 events calendar ... to pray and wait for God's provisions for CAP's financial needs ... to see what resources we will have to implement our 2008 plans. I so appreciate the thousands of you who have stood with us this year through your prayers and through your financial support. Today, we still need to hear from some of you! To reach our 2007 budget goal, we still need to raise about $480,000.


(2) Support Follows Service

For the last 12 years, CAP's foundational belief has been that if we serve the families of Arizona, support will follow. Every year, we've seen this happen. In 2007, CAP's track record includes the following accomplishments:

  • Passing six new laws to protect and defend family values.
  • Serving as Arizona The Truth Project Coordinator for Focus on the Family, resulting in biblical worldview small groups being established throughout Arizona.
  • Adding Pastor Frank Carpenter as Church Relations Director to more ably and effectively serve Arizona pastors and churches.
  • Expanding our Community Action Network to include over 225 liaisons.
  • Producing a first-ever biblical worldview conference on bioethics issues.
  • Hosting 19 events to educate and equip individuals on key CAP issues.
  • Filing an amicus brief in support of Arizona's law to regulate the hours of sex businesses resulting in a successful ruling by the state court of appeals.
  • Speaking out in the media in support of family values.

(3) What's Ahead in 2008?

The stakes are high in 2008 for the future of our nation and our state. It's not an overstatement to say that the 2008 election will determine the future of the U.S. Supreme Court as well as the future for marriage, school choice, and the sanctity of human life in Arizona. Our opponents are energized, well-funded, and ready to go. We're energized and ready to go, too, but we need you in the battle with us! Check out our January calendar on our website. Plan now to join us for one or more of these events.


(4) What Does CAP Provide?

Through your support of CAP, you provide an experienced, balanced team of believers dedicated to standing for righteousness in public policy. We have a proven record and reputation for standing for your values and beliefs. Our team at CAP takes seriously what we do and we're in this for the long haul. Recently, the Arizona Capitol Times named me as one of 12 top "influencers of state policy" in both 2005 and 2007. This recognition isn't about me - it's about the entire CAP staff and each of you who stand with us in this work.


(5) We Need Your Help Today!

Please pray that CAP will be fully funded as we head into 2008! Pray for God's provisions and His wisdom to enable and equip us for the battles ahead. For those who already have given - thank you! But if you haven't yet had a chance or if you can give again - there is still time for you to make a donation that will count as a deductible gift on your 2007 taxes.

  • Make a gift using our secure online form, by 11 p.m., Monday, December 31.
  • Call our office at (602) 424-2525 through 5:00 p.m. Monday to give a gift over the phone.
  • Drop your gift off at 7227 N. 16th Street, Suite 250, Phoenix, today or Monday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Mail your check. Envelopes with checks must be postmarked by December 31.

Please call our office with any questions! We will be checking voicemail through the weekend. Thank you for your support!


Luncheon with Bay Buchanan - Southern Pima AZ Republican Club


Southern Pima Arizona Republican Club

Lincoln Day Luncheon 2008

Keynote Speaker: Bay Buchanan

Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 11 AM

Desert Diamond Casino

I-19 & Pima Mine Road

Angela Marie "Bay" Buchanan served as Treasurer of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. She is the sister of Patrick J. Buchanan and managed his three campaigns for President of the United States. After appearing regularly on CNN's news program "Inside Politics," she became a commentator for CNN's The Situation Room.

“Hillary Clinton can be beat. She just needs a little exposure as the unprincipled liberal she is.” That’s the message Bay Buchanan delivers in her new book, The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton.

LUNCHEON

Entrees: Choice of: Grilled London Broil, Southwest Spiced Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Medley of Seasonal Vegetables, Chef’s selection of Potato or Rice; or

Char-Grilled Salmon Filet served over Rice Pilaf, Medley of Seasonal Vegetables.

Servings include garden salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette, fresh baked bread, crème brulee with fresh seasonal berries for desert, ice tea and regular and decaffeinated coffee.

  • Tickets will be sent to your mailing address unless you request that they be held at the desk.
  • We will conduct our annual business meeting and election of Board members.
  • Many of our Republican Office holders and Party officials should be in attendance.

This is our major fund raising event. Be sure to come!

Southern Pima Arizona Republican Club

Lincoln Day Luncheon 2008

RESERVATION REQUEST

Saturday, February 16, 2008 – 11:00AM Luncheon - Desert Diamond Casino

Please reserve _________ places for me for the Lincoln Day Luncheon, February 16, 2008.

I am sending a check in the amount of ________ ($35 per meal),

Make checks payable to: SPARC, P.O. Box 831, Green Valley, AZ 85622-0831.

This request should be mailed to the above address to arrive no later than February 9, 2008.

My Name _________________________________________ Phone Number _____________________

My mailing address ___________________________________________________________________

My E-mail address ____________________________________________________________________

My Guest(s) _________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

Mail my tickets ______ or Hold my tickets at the desk _______

Number of meals: London Broil_________ Salmon__________

We (I) wish to be seated with: ___________________________________________________________

Do it the easy way, tables of eight are a tidy $280. Buy the table and fill it with your friends!

Print this form and mail today, seating is limited!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Upcoming AZ Right to Life events

Arizona Right to Life
3700 North 24th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
602-285-0063
Dear Friend of Life,

As December draws to a close and Christmas and the New Year rapidly approach, we would like to remind you to mark your calendars for these important pro-life events next January:

January 7th - Deadline to Register for the February 5th Presidential Primary Election. Only members of one of the major political parties can vote in the upcoming Presidential primary election. If you are a registered Independent voter who would like to change your affiliation to one of the two major parties in order to record your pro-life vote, you must re-register at the Secretary of State's website. If you are not registered to vote you can do that at the Secretary of State's website below:
http://www.azsos.gov/election/VoterRegistration.htm

January 10th - Children and the Gift of Life: In-vitro fertilization, Adoption, and the Pro-life Response. Arizona Right to Life, Christian Family Care Agency, and Catholic Charities will be presenting an educational seminar about the questionable ethics of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and the virtue of both private adoption and foster care. If you or anyone you know is considering IVF, becoming a foster parent, adopting a child or placing a child for adoption, this is one talk you can't miss!

Presentation Information:
Thursday, January 10th, 2008 from 7:00-9:00pm
AZRTL Office at 3700 N 24th St. Suite 100, Phoenix, 85016
Email: trent@arizonarighttolife.org or call at 602-285-0063

January 19th - Tucson March for Life: The march will be held on Saturday, January 19th, starting at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone, after the 9:00 AM Mass. Immediately following the Mass, attendees will gather out in front to make the approximately 3-mile walk to Rachel's Monument in Holy Hope Cemetery. You may wish to meet them at the Cemetery, or make the walk a ride from St. Augustine.

March Information:
Saturday, January 19th, 2008 after the 9:00am Mass
St. Augustine Cathedral at 192 S. Stone, Tucson, 85701
Email: AZRTLSUNNYT@aol.com

January 20th - Phoenix March for Life: This year join thousands of pro-lifers as we celebrate this year's theme of "Living the Dream: The Right to Life for All." The march will be held at Wesley Bolin Park in downtown Phoenix at 1:00pm on Sunday, January 20th. The Rally afterwards will feature live music with the Ike Ndolo Band and a performance by Atomik-12. Various speakers such as emcee Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, keynote speaker Alan Sears from the Alliance Defense Fund, Brooke Burns from Metanoia Films, members of Congress, and others will offer powerful messages to inspire us to make a difference. Many organizations, all serving critical roles, will be present to offer resources, services and ways to get involved.

March and Rally Information:
Sunday, January 20th, 2008 at 1:00pm
Wesley Bolin Park, near the Korean War Memorial
1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, 85007
Visit: www.azliferally.com or call 602-285-0063

Click Here To Watch Our Youtube Promo Video and Pass It On!

Once again thank you for your committment to defending life and we hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,
Trent Horn
Program Specialist
Arizona Right to Life

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Reminder: local political bloggers get together this Sunday

Thanks to zonitics for reminding everyone - this Sunday, 3pm at Four Peaks.

Phoenix Seminary offering class on "A Biblical Theology of Law, Politics, and Government"

Want to learn more about what the Bible has to say about law, politics, and government? Now is your chance! Phoenix Seminary is offering an elective course, "A Biblical Theology of Law, Politics, and Government," taught by Dr. Wayne Grudem. The class will meet Wednesday nights at Scottsdale Bible Church from January 9 through April 23. The class can be taken for credit or for enrichment. The course will cover freedom of religion, definition of marriage, just war, immigration, the role of courts, and more. For more information, visit the Phoenix Seminary web site at www.phoenixseminary.edu. (thanks to the Center for Arizona Policy for this information)

Friday, December 21, 2007

2007 Arizona Taxpayer Scorecard Released

Four legislators qualify as Heroes of the Taxpayer

Democratic legislators make gains on fiscal policy issues

PHOENIX—The Arizona Federation of Taxpayers, a state chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFT-AFP), today posted the scores from its 23rd annual "Friend of the Taxpayer" Legislative Scorecard The top-scoring legislators were announced Saturday at the group's "Friend of the Taxpayer" Awards Luncheon at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, where over 400 taxpayer activists, legislators, and local government officials gathered.

Senator Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu City) won the top prize for the third year in row, with a score of 97 percent. But Gould had close competition this year from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert), Rep. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), and Sen. Pamela Gorman (R-Anthem), who also scored 90 percent or higher and thereby qualified as Heroes of the Arizona Taxpayer.

This year's Champions of the Taxpayer (80 to 89 percent) included Rep. Kirk Adams (R-Mesa), Rep. Judy Burges ( R-Sun City), Rep. Doug Clark (R-Anthem), Rep. Sam Crump (R-Anthem), Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R-Gilbert), Sen. Chuck Gray (R-Mesa), Rep. Trish Groe (R-Lake Havasu City), Sen. Karen Johnson (R-Mesa), Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Scottsdale), Rep. Rick Murphy (R-Glendale), Rep. Warde Nichols (R-Chandler). With their combined high scores, Sen. Gorman and Reps. Clark and Crump made Legislative District 6 (Anthem/North Phoenix) the highest-scoring district in the state.

Two Democratic legislators scored above 50 percent on this year's Scorecard. Sen. Ken Cheuvront of Phoenix scored in the Ally of the Taxpayer category (60-69 percent), and Rep. Mark DeSimone of Phoenix scored in the Needs Improvement category (50-59 percent). Sen. Cheuvront also shared this year's Kendrick Prize for Legislative Courage with Rep. Rick Murphy (R-Glendale), for spearheading a successful reform bill aimed at curbing municipal sales tax giveaways to politically-connected developers.

The average Republican legislator scored 65 percent (Ally of the Taxpayer), while the average Democratic legislator scored 32 percent (Friend of Big Government). Last year's averages were 62 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Legislators who did not get their awards at the luncheon can get them from Wally the Wallet on the opening day of the 2008 Session in January.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation is a section 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to AFP Foundation are tax deductible, less the fair-market value of goods or services received. AFP Foundation's focus is to educate the general public about public policy issues, not to support or oppose specific legislation.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two worthy ways to obtain tax credits this year - plus a federal tax deduction so it's a NET GAIN

1. Scottsdale Christian Academy & Xavier College Preparatory
Colette Rosati's children
(Former Rep. Colette Rosati was the only House member awarded the "Champion of the Taxpayer" her final year in the legislature in 2004, the first year the AZ Federation of Taxpayers created that award)

75,000 Arizonan’s participate in the tuition tax credit, but 2 million are eligible. Spread the word that you get every cent of your money back and you also receive a Federal Tax deduction.

You can receive a dollar for dollar tuition tax credit by giving to this organization that helps children attend private schools. Taxpayers who participate get a tax credit against their state income tax - up to $500 for single taxpayers and $1000 for married couples filing jointly. With the federal tax deduction, you actually come out ahead! Please help our children go to the school of their choice. Donate to the tuition organization enclosed. Please give now while you are thinking of it. Send a check or charge your credit card on or before Dec 31. You will get your money back when you file your tax returns.

· Tax payers do not need to have a child in school in order to claim this tax credit.

· You can claim both the $400 AZ Public schools tax credit and this $1000 AZ private scholarship tax credit in the same taxable year.

To take advantage of the tax credit for tax year 2007 remember to donate by December 31st. Use the form below or visit www.azscholarships.org. acct # 4410 when you make a donation. Please call us at 602-750-3233 with any questions.


2. Ville de Marie Academy

John Jakubczyk's children

(John Jakubczyk is immediate past President of AZ Right to Life and litigates for the pro-life cause)


As many of you know I was involved in the founding of Ville de Marie Academy. Six of my children currently attend the school. Four of them have graduated. The school has been a real blessing to our family. Ville de Marie has been open since 1991. We are a small independent Catholic school and we do not receive any financial support from a parish or the diocese of Phoenix. As a result we need to assist many families who wish their children to attend Ville de Marie.


I ask you to support the growing work of Ville de Marie Academy this year in a way that will literally cost you nothing. As you may know, any person in the state of Arizona who pays state income taxes may designate a portion of those taxes to a scholarship assistance program of a private school. Educare Scholarship Fund, an independent tuition credit organization, has financially assisted Ville de Marie Academy tremendously over the years. Once again this year we are seeking to find individuals and couples who will consider directing portion of their state tax liability by making a contribution to Educare Scholarship Fund.


This year, couples filing jointly may designate up to $1,000 and single tax payers up to $500. If it were not for this assistance many of our students would simply be unable to attend Ville de Marie Academy. I cannot think of a better way to contribute funds for a scholarship at no additional cost to the provider.


This year our goal is to raise over $150,000. Please complete the pledge form below and mail it to Educare. More forms are available upon request. Payments must be postmarked by December 31, 2007.


Your interest in Educare and Ville de Marie Academy is evidence that you recognize the value of a solid Christian formation in the lives of our youth. Please consider helping a child in need of tuition assistance. May Our Lord bless you and reward you for your generosity.



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County Attorney Outlines Approach to Enforcing Employer-Sanctions Law

Website for Businesses To Go Online Tomorrow

Today, County Attorney Andrew Thomas addressed key aspects of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, the state’s so-called employer-sanctions law. The law prohibits businesses from employing illegal immigrants and provides for possible suspension or revocation of licenses for businesses that violate the law. Barring a court order to the contrary, the law will go into effect on January 1, 2008.

Thomas clarified his office’s position regarding several important questions relating to the law. He repeated his intention to enforce the law “fully but fairly.” Thomas addressed the following matters:

Timing of Investigations and a Request for Patience. Neither the County Attorney’s Office nor the Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting in enforcing the law, will commence any investigation of a Maricopa County business until the new year. Both agencies are waiting until the law goes into effect. Thomas emphasized that even when the new year begins, there likely will not be obvious and immediate signs of enforcement action by either office for some time as these potential investigations get underway. “Complex investigations of this type usually take a good deal of time,” Thomas noted. “Such investigations commonly take months or longer to complete.”

Thomas said he and the Sheriff’s Office
will not be rushed into bringing cases until their investigations are brought to a thorough conclusion.“ It has taken decades for our illegal immigration problem to grow to the current proportions,” Thomas added. “The illegal immigration problem was not created overnight and will not be solved overnight. But just as Maricopa County has led the way in the fight against human smuggling, we will likewise rise to the challenge of enforcing the employer-sanctions law. We ask for patience as this new and unique law is implemented.” Thomas also noted that this law, like the human-smuggling law, will not solve the illegal immigration problem. However, “it is an important step in addressing our border crisis.”

Information and Complaints from the Public. Both the County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office will accept all information provided regarding employers that are allegedly not in compliance with the law. This includes anonymous complaints or information provided anonymously. Both offices currently accept anonymous information about other unlawful activity, as do all Valley police agencies. The Silent Witness hotline is an example of long-standing police reliance on anonymous information regarding potential violations of the law.

However, Thomas stressed that confidential information will not be as helpful or likely to lead to an investigation as complaints from witnesses who are willing to identify themselves and assist in an investigation. Several other county attorneys have indicated they will accept confidential information in some manner in enforcing the employer-sanctions law.

Also, Maricopa County will accept complaints via the phone or e-mail. At least one county attorney’s office is requiring complainants to visit physically the county attorney’s office in order to file a complaint. Maricopa County has concerns this requirement might impact those who have trouble physically coming in person to the county attorney’s office.

Retroactivity of the Law. The County Attorney’s Office will interpret the law as applying to businesses that hire an illegal immigrant prior to January 1, 2008, and continue that employment into 2008. That is because the law uses the word “employ,” not “hire.” The law refers to and incorporates federal employment law, which uses the same term “employ” and which applies to ongoing employment instead of the act of hiring.

Nevertheless, this language must be read in light of the fact that the legislature also encouraged
businesses to use E-Verify to obtain a presumption they have complied with the employer-sanctions law. Formerly known as the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program, E-Verify is an Internetbased system that allows business to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their new hires. Through E-Verify, employers can show they made a good-faith effort to ensure a new employee is in the United States legally. Because of the way the program is set up, E-Verify can only be used to check the status of new hires and not for existing employees. Reading the E-Verify provision of the employer-sanctions law alongside the “employ” language, the County Attorney’s Office has concluded that the intent of the legislature was for prosecutors to focus on prospective violations. As a result, while Thomas would not rule out bringing action against employers for violating the law prior to 2008, the focus of his office, consistent with the language of the statute, will be to address violations by employers who hire illegal immigrants in 2008 and afterwards.

No Racial Profiling or Violations of Constitutional Rights. In enforcing the law, Thomas stated, he will not tolerate racial profiling or any other violations of the constitutional rights of either employees or employers. He also noted that people who file false and frivolous complaints simply to harass individuals or businesses will be prosecuted. “Many working-class Americans and legal immigrants are seeing their wages driven down by competing illegal immigrant labor,” said Thomas. “As time passes, citizens and legal immigrants alike will see their wages and job prospects improve so that they can provide a better life for their families. That is the true American dream.”

Website and Seminars. On Tuesday, December 18, the County Attorney’s Office will roll out a website devoted to providing businesses with information to assist with complying with the employersanctions law. This website will be found at website www.maricopacountyattorney.org/lawa. “The goal here is compliance, not ‘gotcha’,” said Thomas. “We want to assist the business community in learning about the law and complying with it.”

In addition to the website, the County Attorney’s Office will partner with the business community in holding seminars to provide information that will assist businesses in following the act. “We seek to help the vast majority of businesses that want to follow the law,” Thomas added. Further information will be given when these seminars are scheduled in early 2008.

Joint Appearance with Sheriff Arpaio. On Wednesday, December 19, Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio will appear for a joint press conference to answer additional questions from the media about their approach to enforcing the law.

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

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Don't forget to buy something at Pruitt's before Christmas


Reminding everyone to buy something before Christmas at Pruitt's home furnishings store on Thomas near 36th St. Don't let the pro-illegal immigration demonstrators shut Pruitt's down. The protesters will be there until Christmas, and they have already made a significant dent in sales. If customers are scared away from shopping at Pruitt's up until Christmas, the protesters may be able to send Pruitt's out of business. Do your last minute gift shopping at Pruitt's - there are lots of small end pieces you could buy for a family member. It's unfair that someone could be put out of business simply for asking the Sheriff to escort illegal day laborers off his property.

Here's what's on sale Dec. 14-22:


Job openings for Senior VP of Development & Marketing Assistant at Alliance Defense Fund

Please see their list of job openings for more info. The Alliance Defense Fund is a Christian organization that defends the rights and liberties of Christians and families. Wherever you see the ACLU trying to make up rights for criminals, expect to find the ADF litigating on the opposite side.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

CAP: Year recap & please consider contributing this season

'Tis the Season

I hope and pray you are enjoying this Christmas season. At the Herrod household our Christmas tree is up and the house and yard are decorated.

As we enjoy the Christmas season, it's also the season for giving. A significant portion of CAP's annual budget is raised in December. Seldom do I mention our financial needs in Family Facts, but it's that time of year! And your help is definitely needed to maintain and expand our work in Arizona.

Why should you consider a year-end gift, if you haven't given already? Here's a partial list of CAP's 2007 accomplishments showing what your gift can do.

  • CAP is significantly expanding a critical part of our mission - to equip individuals to stand for righteousness in our culture - through The Truth Project. Focus on the Family has designated CAP as the Arizona coordinators for The Truth Project.
  • CAP is strengthening our ministry to churches by adding Pastor Frank Carpenter as Church Relations Director.
  • CAP staff led 17 Truth Project small groups, reaching 200 participants with biblical worldview training. Pastor Frank led three groups of pastors and church leaders, reaching 45 individuals.
  • CAP's Community Action Network has expanded to include 221 liaisons to churches, schools, and pro- life agencies.
  • CAP's legislative work resulted in six new bills being passed into law, including measures to stop the government from mandating the HPV vaccine as a condition for school attendance, and to require convicted sex offenders to register online identities with law enforcement. And perhaps more importantly, CAP's work helped to defeat bills to pass physician-assisted suicide, marriage counterfeits, and repeal school choice opportunities.
  • CAP hosted a first-ever Bioethics Conference, drawing over 450 individuals, promoting a biblical worldview on beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues.
  • CAP General Counsel Peter Gentala submitted a "friend of the court" brief to the Arizona Court of Appeals arguing to uphold a CAP-supported law restricting sexually-oriented businesses' operating hours. The Court ruled in favor of our opinion. CAP has expanded our legal department with the addition of attorney Deborah Sheasby.
  • CAP brought the nationally-renowned Christian historian, David Barton, to Tucson, drawing about 400 people.

I don't know how else to put this... but as I write this email to you, we are about $550,000 behind our 2007 budget goal. We've cut expenses significantly and delayed several key projects, but if things don't turn around, I will have to consider staff and program cuts.

Our heart at CAP is to serve you - to be your voice in Arizona, protecting and defending our families to preserve our future. But we can't do it without your prayers... and your financial support.

Please consider making a gift today. Your donation can be made online using our secure online form, or you can send a donation to CAP at 7227 N. 16th Street, Suite 250, Phoenix, Arizona, 85020.

Thank you for standing with us in this important work.

Goldwater Institute: Choose It or Lose It


Low tax states demonstrate path to economic success

By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.

The choice is stark, according to a new report by economists Art Laffer and Steve Moore published by the American Legislative Exchange Council. State policymakers can choose growth and prosperity or they can choose economic hari-kari.

Rich State Poor State coverDuring the 1990s, Arizona chose growth and prosperity. Where Arizona's total state and local tax burden had risen to 11.8 percent by 1991, it has since fallen to 10.3 percent. The result has been phenomenal growth and unparalleled peacetime economic opportunity for this state.

Michigan, on the other hand, has chosen a different path in recent years. While that state historically had a lower state and local tax burden than Arizona, its governments now tax away 11.2 percent of its citizens' incomes.

Michigan is currently experiencing a multi-year, single-state recession. Lawmakers recently attempted to solve their fiscal shortfall by raising taxes on business by $1.5 billion and forgoing spending cuts. In October, unemployment stood at 7.7 percent.

In recent years, Arizona's state government has been on a spending bender, increasing gross spending almost 95 percent since 2000. And now it's time to pay the piper. Raising taxes and relying on gimmicks to keep from having to cut spending is exactly the wrong move. The Laffer-Moore analysis dramatizes this fact. Where Arizona has been gaining population, Michigan has been losing it. Arizona ranks 24th in personal income growth per capita; Michigan ranks 49th.

The Arizona Legislature can feign paralysis in our current budget crisis by claiming control of only 35 percent of the state's budget or it can work with the Governor to make the hard decisions. The former would take us down the road Michigan has chosen. The latter would bring us back to the road Arizonans chose in the 1990s. It's time to choose.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Goldwater Institute: Big Brother Bailout


Government tampering with subprime loan industry not advised

By Tom Patterson

Here's a seldom-reported fact. Our recent housing bubble was caused by government. The intended consequence was to stimulate the economy. But below-market interest rates produced above-market real estate values.

Now the government seems determined to help us out of this crisis. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has proposed a bill that would fix the mortgage market with regulations. Hillary Clinton wants a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a five-year freeze on mortgage rates. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's more modest plan is to persuade lenders to forego any interest rate adjustments on subprime mortgages. But these are all just temporizing measures. If we want to keep mortgage holders in homes they can't afford, eventually a taxpayer bailout will be required.

The justification for the various subsidies and moratoriums is that they would prop up the housing market and prevent the economy from tumbling into a recession. Maybe they would. But these solutions actually perpetuate the conditions that caused the bubble and keep the market from making the necessary adjustments.

Beyond unintended consequences, there are issues of fundamental fairness. Why should homeowners who deferred other expenses and selected a house within their means subsidize those who did neither? Should people be entitled to relief if they have a subprime mortgage that they can afford? Should borrowers get help with a mortgage they received in the first place because they lied about their income?

All the cures are worse than the disease. Whether we're forcing government or rich lenders or Wall Street to pay really doesn't matter much. The bailout schemes reinforce Americans' belief that the consequences of risky behavior should be borne by government. Government should assure transparency, prevent fraud, honor contracts and butt out. For once, let the markets work.

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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

County attorney’s crime prevention efforts valid

by Mike Scerbo
Maricopa County Attorney's Office PIO

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office does more than prosecute criminals. For years we have put time and effort into projects aimed at preventing crime and the frequent loss of life that results. That’s why Bill Richardson’s Dec. 7 commentary in the East Valley Tribune (“Public safety dollars wasted on sideshows,” Opinion 2) got our attention.

Richardson surprisingly criticizes us for public service efforts intended to prevent drunken driving and to make sure store shelves are free of dangerous toys. While our primary responsibility is prosecuting criminals, we consider public safety and preventing crime an essential part of our mission.

Our dedicated team of attorneys prosecutes 40,000 cases a year. We also work hand-in-hand with police agencies in high-profile cases such as the Chandler Rapist. In fact, we have put considerable amounts of time and effort into the investigation, just as we did in the Serial Shooters and Baseline Killer investigations.

But there is another component to our mission, preventing crime, and we use public service announcements because they work. These announcements have tackled issues such as DUIs and drug abuse, especially meth. Day after day, our prosecutors deal with the tragic aftermath of crime. And while we work tirelessly to make sure the guilty are properly punished, wouldn’t we all be better off if those crimes had never happened?

We make these announcements because we’ve seen too many innocent lives crushed under the wheels of drunken drivers. We’ve seen too many young lives cut short by the poison that’s pushed on our youth in a media culture that sometimes glorifies criminal behavior instead of scorning it. We are worried that the continual flow of dangerous toys into this country could harm a child. Before entering government service, I spent 22 years as a reporter covering the lives ruined and lost from crimes that should have never happened. It’s important to point out that our public service announcements are financed through funds and assets seized from criminals and not through taxpayer dollars.

The county attorney’s office is not alone in using public service announcements to prevent tragedies and promote public health. There is a multi-million dollar anti-meth campaign sponsored by various Arizona counties, including Maricopa, and the state of Arizona. Arizona state government has spent millions on anti-smoking efforts. Attorney General Terry Goddard appears on radio public service announcements, funded in part through Arizona distillers, warning of the dangers of underage drinking. Gov. Janet Napolitano recently announced a massive media campaign aimed at juvenile drinking though the Arizona Underage Drinking Prevention Committee.

As a former news director, I can say that government uses these announcements because they work. They are written and produced to make a potential drunken driver think twice before getting behind the wheel. They are aimed at young people to make them consider the consequences of drug abuse before they wind up in jail or worse. The idea is to reach out to the viewer or the listener before they become a suspect, a victim, or worse yet, a statistic. It is widely recognized that crime prevention messages change behavior.

Examples of success include the coordinated efforts to fight meth. A 2006 survey by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission found that the percentage of Arizona 12th graders who used methamphetamines or stimulants decreased from 2002 to 2006. The survey was taken a year after the county attorney’s office launched its anti-meth campaign. While we’re not trying to claim credit for the entire decline, we do believe our efforts were a major factor and helped get the ball rolling.

Before Andrew Thomas became county attorney, this office saw the value in public service announcements. Our Drug Free AZ program took on the drug ecstasy. In 2003, use of ecstasy dropped 68 percent in the Phoenix area after our parent education programs, work with the medical community, and public service announcements.

I spent decades on the radio as a reporter and now my voice is heard on our radio public service announcements on drunken driving. Richardson says the DUI effort made him “want to puke.” Bill, my intent wasn’t to make you lose your lunch. Our intent is to prevent someone from losing their life in a DUI crash.

The office investigates, prosecutes criminals, and works alongside Valley law enforcement. One thing we can’t do is turn back the clock and keep a crime from happening. But we can devote some resources to prevent crimes and hopefully save some lives in the process.

This article appeared in the East Valley Tribune on December 11, 2007

Goldwater Institute: Two Million Minds are a Terrible Thing to Waste


Hearing on minorities and special education raises concerns about 'mislabeling'

By Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.

I recently testified on minority overrepresentation in special education before the United States Civil Rights Commission. Education Week reported that the hearing "expanded into a three-hour discussion that touched on parental choice, school officials' judgment calls on special education placements, and effective early-childhood education."

It's not often that the Goldwater Institute, the NAACP, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund are all in agreement. All panelists broadly agreed that the mild mental retardation, emotionally disturbed and specific learning disability labels can and have been badly abused.

The Commissioners asked a number of perceptive questions including, how are the failures of general and special education related? The answer is, intimately. Dr. Reid Lyon, the former chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch at the National Institute of Health, estimates that 2 million special education children are currently mislabeled due to poor early reading instruction. Dr. Daniel J. Reschly, education and psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, testified that "reading is implicated as the first or second reason for 80 percent of special education placements."

The Goldwater Institute has called for Arizona to implement two of the reforms discussed during the hearings. First, voluntary universal reading skill screening and remediation: test all children early and remediate those that are behind. This method could help accurately identify which students actually have physical or neurological conditions appropriate for special education. Second, to combat perverse incentives and improve outcomes, implement a system of parental choice for children with disabilities.

The legislature and Governor accomplished the latter in 2006. This should be followed by decisive action on screening and remediation in 2008. With both of these reforms in place, Arizonans will have done more than any other state to avoid horrible stories like Magdalena's. It's time to put an end to these costly mistakes that can ruin a child's education.

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