Monday, March 31, 2008

Mesa Police Chief George Gascon too liberal for Mesa

Mesa Chief of Police George Gascon has proven to be a disappointment. He doesn't represent the majority of the people who live in Mesa. First he insisted on a sanctuary city policy for Mesa police officers, even though Mesa is possibly the most conservative city in the state and its residents are deeply concerned about enforcing illegal immigration laws. Gascon criticizes Sheriff Arpaio for arresting illegal immigrants, saying, "Arpaio can’t keep jails open and operating, but he arrests cooks and gardeners."

Now Gascon wants to raise Mesa property taxes. "I would propose there be a primary property tax," he said, which he would direct to pay for more law enforcement (for what reason? it's not like he needs additional officers to arrest illegal immigrants). This position also conflicts with the will of Mesa voters, who elect some of the most conservative officials in the state like Rep. Russell Pearce and Sen. Karen Johnson. Law enforcement funding should come from existing sources of revenue from the legislature, federal grants, or other avenues, not from new additional taxes. Gascon doesn't represent the City of Mesa well and would be better off as police chief of a more liberal city like Boston or San Francisco.

PAChyderm Coalition Shooting / Fundraising Event - April 11

Please join us for a Shooting Good Time

at the

1st Annual Sportsmen's Sporting Clays Shoot

Hosted By:

Arizona Sportsmen


State Representative Jerry Weiers

Proceeds will benefit the Pachyderm Coalition

Event will be held at Ben Avery Clay Target Center

Friday, April 11 from 8:00am – 1pm

West Carefree Highway, Phoenix Arizona

(West of I-17 on North side of Carefree Highway)

A minimum donation of $500 is required for each team of five people. Donuts, & Coffee, Lunch and Ammunition will be provided. Guns available at the Shooting Range for no extra charge

Sponsors Encouraged to Invite Legislators to Participate as a Team Member

Team Members:






Please make check payable to the Pachyderm Coalition. The Pachyderm Coalition is registered with the Secretary of State's Office and is a recognized political action committee. Corporate checks cannot be accepted. Please provide name, address, employer and occupation for each team member for reporting purposes.

Send Checks to The Pachyderm Coalition Treasurer

Howard Levine

33108 N. 68th Street

Cave Creek, Arizona 85331

AZRTL: Today we remember Terri

March 31, 2008 - Terri's Day

Terri Schiavo
The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation and Priests for Life have established March 31st as Terri's Day, a day to commemorate the loss of Terri Schiavo and to raise awareness for protecting the rights of the disabled and the vulnerable in our society. Local groups in Arizona like Abundant Life Outreach and Education, or A.L.O.E, are holding prayer services today in memory of Terri. We encourage everyone to visit the following websites to learn more about Terri's struggle, as well to find out how you can make an active difference in the fight for life.

Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation - The mission of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation is to develop a national network of resources and support for the medically-dependent, persons with disabilities, and the incapacitated who are in or potentially facing life-threatening situations.

Priests for Life - The mission of Priests for Life is to assist clergy and laity to work together productively for the cause of life and to provide ongoing training and motivation to the entire pro-life movement.

In addition to these resources, Arizona Right to Life offers a free advanced healthcare directive for download on our website to help you clarify what medical care you want to receive should you become incapacitated like Terri. We hope that through our efforts and collaboration with other pro-life groups, human beings in the future will not face discrimination because they can't function in a certain way, but will instead receive the medical treatment and dignity they deserve simply because they are human beings.

For more information contact:

Arizona Right to Life - 602-285-0063

Friday, March 28, 2008

Goldwater Institute: Politicians should use taxpayer funds to inform, not self-promote

Facts Please, Just the Facts

by Clint Bolick

In a state with subsidized elections and draconian limits on campaign contributions, every advantage counts. One in particular is a whopper: self-promotion by elected officials at taxpayer expense.

The abuse is ubiquitous and transcends party lines. Publications and public-service announcements that happen to prominently bear the name and likeness of an elected official are all too frequent.

The officials defend the need for the publications, which misses the point. However legitimate a particular publication, the photo and name are wholly gratuitous, providing nothing of value except to the politician who wants to increase name identification and associate with popular issues for future campaigns.

Sen. Jim Waring has sponsored legislation to curb the practice altogether. Public officials still can publish whatever they want, and identify the office or agency that sponsors it, but they cannot include their own names or photographs. The approach nicely separates wheat from chaff.

Elected officials should be ecstatic, because the bill would reduce costs and give them extra space in their publications to fill with useful information, which surely is their true motivation. Mysteriously, opposition to the Waring bill has been tenacious. But it still has a chance for passage, after which it would arrive on the desk of Gov. Janet Napolitano, one of the frequent abusers of taxpayer dollars for self-promotion.

This issue, like the notorious check-cashing scheme in the U.S. House of Representatives awhile back, has a populist throw-out-the-rascals quality to it. Let's hope our legislators decide to police themselves, lest the voters police them at the ballot box.

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

CAP: Bills at the legislature - partial-birth abortion ban, same-sex marriage, parental consent & nurses performing abortions

1) Crunch Time at the Legislature!

Just about every key bill on CAP's legislative agenda has had a vote this week at the State Capitol. And, as you can tell from your inbox, we need your help! It is time to "blow out the phones" on two critical measures ---a state ban on partial-birth abortion and the 2008 marriage amendment. Those who promote abortion are flooding the Governor's office with emails asking her to veto the partial-birth abortion ban. Those who favor same-sex "marriage" are pressuring legislators to prevent you from voting on the marriage amendment in November. There's still time to respond to both action alerts here. Help spread the word by emailing the action alerts to your friends and taking print copies to church with you on Sunday.

Now is not the time for us to grow weary in well doing. Now is a time to redouble our efforts to protect and defend life and marriage. These battles are worth fighting for our children and their future!

(2) Parental Consent Guidelines

HB 2263 to codify an appellate court decision providing guidance for judges ruling on whether or not a minor should get an abortion without parental consent passed the Senate. That bill also awaits the Governor's signature or veto.

(3) Nurses Performing Abortions

By a 32-28 vote, the Arizona House passed HB 2269 to prohibit nurses from performing surgical abortions. Planned Parenthood uses nurse practitioners to perform first and second trimester abortions. To stay open, the abortion industry must expand the pool of abortion practitioners, as many doctors now refuse to perform abortions. One state representative alleged that a ban on nurses performing abortions will force women to the back alleys or self-induced abortion. How often have you heard that "abortion should be between a woman and her doctor"? It turns out for Planned Parenthood, a nurse is fine, no matter the risks. Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Bob Stump said, "A woman suffering from complications from an abortion will need the care of a doctor. And it is not right for her to receive a different standard of care." Rep. Stump is right. If something goes wrong, women need the care of a doctor, not a nurse. To watch the video of the floor vote on HB 2269, click here.

(4) School Issues

In the education arena, the House passed HB 2100 to allow employers to deduct the school tax credits from an employee's paycheck throughout the year. Another school choice bill, HB 2098, however, failed to pass the House by one vote and will be reconsidered Tuesday. HB 2098 prevents the corporate scholarship tax credit from expiring in 2011. The Students' Religious Liberties Act (HB 2713) passed the House 36-23 and awaits Senate action.

(5) Thank You!

The flurry of legislative activity this week reminds us how critical your support is to our ministry. We recognize that our work is in the Lord's hands, and we appreciate your prayers. We are also so grateful for the time that you take out of your day to write an e-mail or call your legislators because those calls and letters make a huge impact.

Please continue to stand with us to protect life, marriage, and religious freedom. To see how your representatives voted on each of these bills, click here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Major upheaval at Republic - changes name and registers as a political committee

In a shocking move, the Arizona Republic has been renamed to the "Goddard Gazette" and has registered as a political committee. In an off the record interview, Republic editor Randy Lovely said the changes were necessary in order to fend off the escalating barrage of blogger complaints that the paper was nothing more than a propaganda wing for the Democrats:
With the increasing number of blog posts targeting us, and the complaints starting to roll in to elections authorities, we had to do something. Since we've been incrementally increasing our coverage of Goddard (we ran two more articles on him just yesterday), it made sense to file as a campaign committee for him. It was either that or file as a campaign committee for Napolitano, or as a generic Democrat organization. We felt that since the Republic now mainly focuses on local issues, and we're a forward thinking newspaper, it made the most sense to go with Goddard. We've had a great six years covering Valley politics with Napolitano as governor, and we'd like to see that continue with Goddard. Napolitano will be in D.C. most of the time as U.S. Senator, so she won't be as advantageous to us anymore. In the end, we settled on "Goddard Gazette" because it was an easy way to get his name in the paper EVERY day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Results of poll at Nixon's on who will be in McCain's cabinet

From some of the politicos at Nixon's Tuesday night -

#1 slate
VP - Condi
Sec. of State - John Bolton
Sec. of Treasury - Thomas Sowell
Sec. of Defense - Petraeus
AG - Clint Bolick

#2 slate
VP - Dick Cheney
Sec. of State - Fred Thompson
Sec. of Treasury - Romney
Sec. of Defense - Petraeus
AG - Giuliani

#3 slate
VP - George Allen
Sec. of State - John Bolton
Sec. of Treasury - Thomas Sowell
Sec. of Defense - Petraeus
AG - Clint Bolick

#4 slate
VP - Sen. Coburn
Sec. of State - John Bolton
Sec. of Treasury - Romney
Sec. of Defense - Petraeus
AG - Ted Olson

#5 slate
VP - Romney
Sec. of State - Cheney
Sec. of Treasury - Forbes
Sec. of Defense - Condi
AG - Scalia

#6 slate
VP - Romney
Sec. of State - John Bolton
Sec. of Treasury - Thomas Sowell
Sec. of Defense - Petraeus
AG - Ted Olson

Goldwater Institute: Governor's refusal to freeze state spending has ominous consequences

Waiting Game

By Tom Patterson

Governor Janet Napolitano recently vetoed bills to freeze state hiring and spending, in spite of a state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.

It has been clear since last July that the revenues for fiscal year 2008, which ends June 30, would not be nearly sufficient to support the gigantic spending increases in the last four state budgets. During the Governor's first term, real general fund expenditures increased 54 percent, 29 percentage points more than population and inflation, combined.

The governor could have called for a special session of the Legislature to adjust budgets midyear, as has been required in the past. But she refused to do that or to reduce agency spending through executive action. Instead, she has delayed correcting this year's budget until most of the money has been spent and meaningful reductions are literally impossible.

So what's the end game? Once the one-time fixes are used up, only two options remain to support spending that exceeds revenue: taxes and debt, which is taxation of future taxpayers. The governor prefers debt for the very reasons that make it such a poor option. Debt substitutes for fiscal restraint. It temporarily, but only temporarily, obviates the need for politically unpopular taxes. It burdens future generations, who have no vote in the matter.

The real threat is that high-spending, high-taxing states face disastrous economic consequences. In case after case, states that lack budgetary discipline fall into a vicious cycle -- higher taxes, slowed economic growth, and reduced government revenue, culminating in still higher taxes.

The ill-advised delay game over the budget will conclude sometime. But how it gets resolved will have enormous consequences for the future of our state.

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.

Federalist Society luncheon: Robert Levy from D.C. gun ban case

(thanks to noted gun rights author Alan Korwin for passing this along)


The Supreme Court Sets Its Sights on the Second Amendment:
District of Columbia v. Heller

When: Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 11:30am-1pm
Registration and Buffet will open at 11am, the program will begin
promptly at 11:30am
Up to 1.5 hours Arizona CLE credit may be available
Where: Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Midtown, 4000 North Central
(at Indian School) Who: Robert Levy, Senior Fellow Constitutional Studies
Cato Institute
Alan Korwin, Bloomfield Press

Details: $5 registration fee, includes hot buffet lunch
$5 additional fee for CLE credit and materials

RSVP to Kasey Higgins ( or
The registration deadline is Friday, April 11; your courtesy in
contacting Ms. Higgins before April 11 is greatly appreciated.

Jennifer M. Perkins, President
Federalist Society Phoenix Lawyers Chapter


Robert A. Levy is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and serves as
co-counsel to Mr. Heller. Mr. Levy will be at the Goldwater
Institute on April 17 to discuss his new book, "The Dirty Dozen: How
Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded

Thursday April 17, 2008
5:30-7:00 p.m.

Goldwater Institute
500 E. Coronado Rd.
Phoenix, AZ.

RSVP below or contact Lori Logan at or
(602) 462-5000 ext. 223 with any questions. Media inquiries call (602)
462-5000 ext. 223.


I'll be speaking at The Arizona Breakfast Club about the Heller case
and my trip to D.C.; if you haven't been to this monthly gig, it's
pretty cool, relaxed and informal, all the bacon and eggs you can eat
(with good fixings and beverages), for about $12 as I recall. No RSVP
needed, just show up.

WHEN: Always the 1st Saturday of the month, 4/5/08 for this one.
WHERE: Coco's, just S. of Paradise Valley Mall (N. side of Cactus, 1/4
mile W. of Tatum Blvd.)
WHEN: Doors open 7:30 a.m., wrapup by 10 a.m.

NOTE: First D.C. v. Heller Photo Gallery now up, along with directory
of eyewitness reports:

Action Needed Now to Ban Partial Birth Abortion in Arizona

Arizona Legislature passes Ban on Partial Birth Abortion
Call the Governor now to sign HB 2769

25 March 2008

The Arizona Legislature has passed House Bill 2769 (HB 2769) banning the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. As you may know, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban last year and many states, including Arizona, are now passing laws to prohibit this horrible procedure. This action is needed to prevent the abortion industry from circumventing laws designed to protect women and children as well as to provide greater authority for states to enforce this law.

It is imperative that Governor Janet Napolitano hear that the people of Arizona want her to sign this legislation.


1. Call Governor Napolitano TODAY at (602) 542-4331 or at (800) 253-0883, or contact the governor by email. Politely ask her to sign the partial-birth abortion ban.

2. Forward this email to others and ask them to contact the Governor TODAY.

For more information on the practice of partial birth abortion and why a state ban is necessary to complement the federal law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, click here.

Arizona Right to Life applauds the Arizona Legislature in passing this ban as well as the tremendous efforts of the Arizona Catholic Conference and The Center for Arizona Policy in securing its passage.

For more information contact:

Arizona Right to Life - 602-285-0063

John Jakubczyk - 602- 468-0030

Monday, March 24, 2008

AC/DC releases "DNC," a new version of its song TNT about the Democrats

Goldwater Institute: Debt Doesn't Deliver, Charter Schools are a Better Option

"Crazy for loving you," Patsy Cline crooned. She must have been singing about district schools.
Patsy ClineBill Clinton famously defined "insanity" as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result every time. Apply that notion to Governor Napolitano's repeated calls for the state to incur huge levels of debt in order to build school district facilities.

We have better options.

Charter schools operate with fewer taxpayer dollars, and with no state funding for facilities. Charter schools make up nine out of the top 10 high schools in the greater Phoenix area when ranked by reading scores, so bang for the buck is substantially higher.

The state should pass a moratorium on financing school construction projects. During the moratorium, districts should authorize new charter schools. Looking beyond charter schools, thousands of seats sit empty in Arizona private schools. Choice programs could make them accessible to parents.

Since inception, Arizona's existing charter and choice programs have educated one out of three students entering the K-12 system. Debt and overcrowding would be far worse without these successful programs. We should expand them.

Alternatively, we can incur billions of new debt to build nothing but district schools, just as we have for years. Arizona district schools, incidentally, have the unfortunate track record of failing to teach about half of Arizona kids basic reading skills by the 4th grade.

Call me crazy, but building a mountain of debt for tragically suspect results doesn't make much of an education legacy for either legislators or the Governor.

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

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Horizon: Senator Kyl takes sensible approach on illegal immigration

Senator Kyl was interviewed about illegal immigration on Thursday night's Horizon, and took an impressively reasonable approach. While he acknowledged that it would be a good idea to have a guest worker program, he cautioned that if Arizona passed a state law implementing it, it would probably be unconstitutional. With Arizona's current budget problems, we can't afford the cost of defending another lawsuit we know we're going to lose. Kyl said that any federal guest worker program must be temporary and not include a path to citizenship. He observed that the newly implemented employer sanctions bill looks like it will be effective and was the right step to take. Kyl should be commended for standing up on this issue, as politically unpopular as it makes him with the liberal media and left wing activists.

April 1 - First Annual Federal Reserve Protest - looking for leader in Phoenix

For those of you who would prefer to see the Federal Reserve and its meddling in interest rates abolished, consider chairing the protest in Phoenix this April 1st. From


Announcing the First Annual Federal Reserve protest!

This April 1st, concerned citizens will converge upon the 12 Federal Reserve Banks to show their displeasure with the Fed’s policies as well as their present monopoly on currency.

This will be an outstanding display of grass roots activism that is both disparate and synchronized and show the power of Ron Paul’s message in motivating a revolution in American politics.

It is one thing for a local group to hold a singular protest and quite another for there to be a nationwide, simultaneous event. This cannot fail in attracting local and national coverage on an issue that has received significant publicity during this election season.

This will be a day to be remembered.

If you have any questions, we will do our best to assist. Organization is underway but we are looking for leaders in all of the 12 major cities and any subsidiary branches as well as foreign nations who would also like to protest their central banks.

Thank you for your consideration,

Merry Band of Anarchists

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Profiles in Legislative Courage - voting against insurance mandate to fund autism

(For links to documentation, go to and click on “AZ Blog” at top.)

25 legislators took a courageous stand this week by voting against a bill that would force insurance companies to cover the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The passage of the ASD mandate is a textbook example of the phenomenon known in public choice economics as Concentrated Benefits and Diffused Costs (CBDC).

Persons who stand to get a lot of money from a piece of legislation have a strong incentive to expend resources (mainly time and money) to lobby in favor of that legislation. Opposition to a piece of legislation tends to be very weak if the costs of the legislation are spread out thinly among taxpayers or consumers.

The ASD mandate will force insurance companies to pay up to $50,000 annually for behavioral therapy for children nine and younger, and $25,000 annually for older children. For families with children suffering from ASDs, that is a huge benefit. It is obvious why they would lobby vigorously for passage of the bill, and even participate in a candlelight vigil outside the Legislature.

At the same time, the costs of the ASD mandate (which may be around $50 annually per insured*) will be widely diffused. Insurance companies will pass on much of the costs to employers who buy insurance policies, and employers will pass on much of those costs to workers. Some workers will pay by losing out on wage increases, while others will pay by being unemployed.

But even if workers had known that the ASD mandate was moving through the Legislature, and that it would cost them real money, they would not have gone down to the Legislature to lobby in an effort to save themselves $50 a year. Such is the insidious nature of CBDC.

Of course, everything counts in large amounts. The cumulative burden of existing mandates already cause insurance premiums in Arizona to cost hundreds of dollars a year more than they would otherwise, resulting in greater numbers of uninsured workers. The victory of the ASD activists will encourage the victims of other diseases to lobby for new insurance mandates, and so the rising costs of mandates will continue to add to the ranks of the uninsured.

Insurance mandates are welfare: the forced transfer of resources from one set of persons to another. As such, the Legislature should have had an honest debate about whether ASD victims should get welfare or rely on private charities. If the Legislature had voted for welfare, those benefits should have been distributed through the Department of Economic Security, or through AHCCCS.

Instead, by hiding a welfare transfer in the insurance code, the Legislature has chosen to disrupt the efficient operation of the insurance market, which performs the vitally important social function of risk allocation.

Autism is a terrible disease, and the teary testimonies in favor of the mandate were sincere and heartfelt. Indeed, they were so moving that some otherwise reliable fiscal conservatives ended up voting in favor of the bill, even though they normally oppose welfare and heavy-handed interference in private markets. In the Senate, only six stalwarts managed to resist the emotional blackmail by the ASD activists.

Explaining his vote against the bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Jack Harper (R-Surprise) stated, “I have never voted for an insurance mandate since I have been in this body. My first year in this body it was part of our majority agenda that we would not support insurance mandates because insurance costs were so sky high now because we have 20-plus insurance mandates. This particular one coming up makes me feel like a monster, but I still have to vote ‘no’.”

Harper is not a monster. Neither are the other 25 members of the Legislature who had the courage to vote No on this bill. If anything is monstrous, it is a government spoils system in which Legislators rob Peter to pay Paul, vote to drive up the cost of insurance for working Arizonans, and allow themselves to believe that they’re not really handing out welfare.

--Tom Jenney is Arizona director of Americans for Prosperity (

*The JLBC estimates that the mandate may cost the Arizona Department of Administration $3.5 million annually for a pool of 65,250 enrolled members—or just over $50 per insured.

CAP: New Truth Project Group Starting Next Week


Downtown Phoenix Truth Project Group!

Our own Charlie Markle will be leading a Truth Project small group in downtown Phoenix beginning Friday, March 28. This group will meet each Friday for 12 weeks from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at One North 1st Street, Ste 700, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Lunch WILL be provided!

The Truth Project is a DVD-based small group curriculum produced by Focus on the Family. It is taught by Dr. Del Tackett and includes valuable insights from a host of Bible scholars and theologians, including Os Guinness, R.C. Sproul, and Ravi Zacharias. Read more about this study at
Please sign up for this group - or any of the MANY new groups listed on CAP's web site - by visiting If you have questions about this downtown group, call Charlie here in the office at 602-424-2525, ext. 238. Don't miss out - join a Truth Project group today!

To sign up visit or if you have questions about The Truth Project, call our office at 602-424-2525.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Black pastor lambastes church for supporting Barack Obama (emissary of the devil)

Goldwater Institute: Goldwater Institute: Gun Control and the Second Amendment

Finally, Supreme Court to Weigh in on the Right to Bear Arms 
By Robert A. Levy

A year ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a blockbuster opinion that overturned a gun control regulation on Second Amendment grounds for the first time.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will review that historic decision with oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. Meanwhile, an avalanche of 67 amicus briefs, posted at scholarship. A Goldwater Institute brief is among them.

The High Court has not considered a Second Amendment case since 1939. This time around, gun rights advocates are hoping for an unequivocal pronouncement of what the Second Amendment means.

Does the right to keep and bear arms belong to us as individuals, or does the Constitution merely establish the power of the states to arm the members of their militias? If the right is "individual," what exactly are the contours of that right? Can the District of Columbia's total ban on all handguns at all times in all homes possibly be constitutional? If not, what kinds of gun regulations will pass muster, and how rigorously will the courts scrutinize legislatively enacted restrictions?

The Second Amendment is an integral part of the Bill of Rights. It secures a meaningful individual right, a sphere of individual autonomy into which the state may not intrude without good reason and great care. Acknowledging this right does not spell anarchy, but it does mean that law-abiding adult citizens are entitled to keep ordinary functional firearms in their own homes, for self-defense.

Robert A. Levy is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and serves as co-counsel to Mr. Heller. Mr. Levy will be at the Goldwater Institute on April 17 to discuss his new book , "The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom."

Mr. Levy will discuss the case at the April 16 meeting of the Federalist Society. For more information, go to and click on the Arizona chapter.

Learn More

Goldwater Institute: Amicus Brief In Support of Respondent

U.S. Supreme Court: Listen to Audio of Oral Arguments

US News and World Report: A Key Case on Gun Control


Roberty Levy
Cato Institute

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's public records week

The AZ Republic is featuring public records this week since it's Sunshine Week. On Sunday they interviewed the Attorney General's Office about public records. Now would be a good time to submit a public records request to the Attorney General's Office and find out how much Goddard has spent on publications promoting himself. It's been in the news a lot lately and he continues to produce more and more booklets.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Horizon's Journalists' Roundtable - did Napolitano get caught in a big lie?


On Friday night's Journalists' Roundtable, it was pointed out that Governor Napolitano's claim that she liked microwaving marshmallow Easter "peeps" holding sticks in order to fight when she was a kid was probably a fib, since microwaves didn't even appear in the U.S. until the early 1970's, and didn't become common in most households until the late 1970's - my household didn't get one until the 1980's and we're middle class. Napolitano is 50 years old, born in 1957. In 1975, she would have been 18. Reminds me of one of the many lies Hillary Clinton has told, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest. Problem with that is Sir Edmund didn't climb Mt. Everest and become famous until 1953, more than five years after Hillary was born. Also reminds me of Hillary telling Jewish audiences that she has Jewish relatives, which isn't true either.

The regular pack of older liberal white guys (really gives meaning to the concept of government-controlled TV) began the show by discussing the state budget problems which are now up to a $1.4 billion deficit, noting that Napolitano just vetoed bills that would have put a hiring freeze on state government and frozen $600 million in government spending. Clearly Napolitano is no fiscal conservative. Napolitano's excuse was that she wants to see something "comprehensive." Sunnucks said that "comprehensive" is a line politicians use when they want to get out of something, such as when they say they can't vote for measures to combat illegal immigration because they prefer "comprehensive" immigration reform.

Fischer noted that the state is going to run out of money in late April or early May, and the liberal federal judge's opinion that just came down requiring $40 million to fund English as a Second Language education (for the children of illegal immigrants primarily) requires the state to come up with that amount by April 15. Sunnucks noted that the state's deficit has grown faster than even liberal California's deficit. Fischer added that the budget is even growing faster than Arizona's population or inflation, because of Napolitano's insistence on adding things like all-day kindergarten and more social programs (side note - how many of you went to full-day kindergarten as a kid and turned out ok? I did - read any study done by the Goldwater Institute and you'll see that it's a throwaway feel-good liberal thing). It's not surprising that Arizona's deficit problem is worse than even left coast California, considering liberal Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is at least a nominal Republican, whereas Napolitano is a bona fide tax-and-spend liberal.

Sunnucks challenged Fischer on whether the way out of this is to raise taxes. He noted that since Arizona now has some of the highest business taxes in the nation, we can't get solar companies to locate here and help us out with lower energy costs; they're going to New Mexico and other states instead. He said the Republicans need to point out the programs we throw money at that aren't working, like economic redevelopment programs.

Next the journalists discussed who McCain might pick as his VP. Sunnucks thinks it might be Condi Rice, since she'd be a good counter to Obama (I'm not a fan of botox, but Condi has some seriously scary forehead wrinkles - she really should do something about them). has a good list of possible VPs. Howie Fischer suggested McCain might pick John Kerry - frightening thought. McCain would lose even more Republicans if he did that, so Fischer must have thrown that out there to be funny.

Next the guys discussed the bill in the legislature that would penalize landlords for renting to illegal immigrants. Fischer said it would have landlords require one of 12 kinds of valid ID, and fines for violating the law could range up to $1,250. Sunnucks said low-end apartment complexes where illegal immigrants generally live are already emptying out. Sunnucks said that landlords aren't going to be too worried about this law, because the ones that tend to rent to illegals would do it under the table anyways.

Host Ted Simons said there have been 600+ arrests of illegal immigrants around the state just within the past week. Sunnucks explained that Arizonans are in the mood for cracking down on illegal immigration - they passed the employer sanctions law, then the Phoenix Police changed their sanctuary city policy, and now other agencies around the state are following suit. Many law enforcement agencies around the state are now signing agreements with ICE to permit local police to arrest illegal immigrants.

But the problem hasn't stopped yet. Fischer noted that illegal immigrants are still pouring over the border, since Arizona still has the easiest border to cross. He pooh-poohed Governor Napolitano's claim that she's going to keep 1,200 National Guard troops on the border. He said Chertoff has said that's not going to happen, and they'll be removed in mid-July. Probably just another throwaway line by Napolitano to sound tough on illegal immigration while not actually doing anything.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Goldwater Institute: When a Latte's a Lot

Venti or Grande, a Tax is a Tax

By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.

When engineers need to know the precise strength of a structure, they test it by adding tiny amounts of weight to an actual example or a model. Eventually, the structure fails. That last gram of weight--the one that makes the difference between an intact structure and a pile of rubble--is pretty significant, at least to the structure.

Thus, it's always with some amusement when I read of how "little" government programs and taxes cost us. One of the selling points on Phoenix's recent sales tax increase was that it represented just two more cents on a ten dollar purchase.

Similarly, Governor Napolitano has said that the County Equalization Tax, which some would like to permanently repeal, is worth only "two lattes a month" to the owner of a $250,000 house. The County Equalization Tax is the 43-cent state property tax imposed on all property owners to equalize funding across school districts. It was suspended temporarily in 2006, with the state using general tax funds to make up the difference. Its reinstatement in 2010 will cost Arizona property owners $225 million a year.

To the latte-sipping crowd, this tax might not sound like much. But it's more than a case of Dr. Pepper at Sam's Club. For commercial properties that are taxed at twice the rate of residential property, it's a latte a day tax, or $800 a year on a million dollar property.

As with that last gram of weight that causes a structure to fail, this "little" tax could make the difference between ultimate success and failure for a small business. A latte here and a latte there -- pretty soon you're talking about real money. Jobs, too.

Byron Schlomach is the director of the center for economic prosperity at the Goldwater Institute.

Goldwater Institute: Tackling Gridlock

Arizona Should Embrace Private Infrastructure Investment

By Leonard Gilroy

Like most other states, Arizona is facing a perfect storm in transportation. Our growing demand for roads is outstripping the supply, creating ever more gridlock. And there's barely enough funding to maintain existing roads, much less build the new ones needed to handle our rapid growth. Lastly, the fuel tax-our primary funding mechanism-has run out of gas, with increasing vehicle fuel efficiency steadily eroding its revenue-generating power.

Without new funding sources, we'll face L.A.-style gridlock, and our economic competitiveness will suffer.

To keep Arizona moving, we should follow the lead of Virginia, Florida, and other states that are literally attracting billions of dollars in private-sector transportation investment through "public-private partnerships." Private companies are financing and building major road projects, bringing new money to the table to relieve the pressure for tax hikes and improve mobility for drivers. As one example, a private team is financing the bulk of a $1.7 billion expansion of the severely congested Capital Beltway in Virginia, advancing a long-planned project that government couldn't afford.

Luckily, Arizona may be the next to join the pack of state innovators. Legislators are currently considering several bills to facilitate public-private partnerships and create the proper legal framework for private investment.

It's time to get serious about congestion. Tapping private-sector capital to build the infrastructure government can't afford would be a good place to start.

Leonard Gilroy is the Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation and resides in Scottsdale.


From Tom Jenney of Americans for Prosperity/Arizona Federation of Taxpayers:

The Good:
On Tuesday, 32 Arizona representatives (out of 60) voted to prevent a $250 million state property tax from coming back next year. We have listed the names and districts of the Good Guys here.

The Bad:
On Tuesday, 28 Arizona representatives voted to put off the permanent repeal of the tax until next year, when budget rules will make the bill even more difficult to pass. We have listed the names and districts of the Bad Guys here.

The Ugly:
It was a close vote in the House, but it may be even closer in the Senate. Several Senators are on the fence. The ugly fact is that many of them are listening to the lobbyists from the spending interests. The spending interests cannot seem to get enough of your money—even during an economic recession, even with foreclosures climbing, and even after last year’s record increases in property tax collections. Your state senator needs to hear from you today.


Alliance Defense Fund job opening: Senior Communications Specialist

ADF named “Best Christian Workplace”!

How would you like to be involved in a growing organization that impacts contemporary cultural and societal issues on a daily basis?

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), located in Scottsdale, AZ., is a dynamic national legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation. ADF exists for one reason: TO WIN! Please visit and click on the Employment link on the bottom left-hand side of the home page to view our Statement of Faith and Guiding Principles. ADF is currently seeking candidates of the highest caliber for the following position:

Senior Communications Specialist
As the Sr. Communications Specialist, you will be responsible for leading special initiatives for the Marketing Team including strategic planning and implementation of projects that drive web results, communication processes for special projects, and the writing, creating, editing and designing of web based communications. You will work closely with Team Members across marketing channels to keep all web based communications (content and design elements) on schedule. Other responsibilities include managing key projects that will ensure ADF has consistent brand messaging to our target markets.

Successful candidates will possess the following:

· Excellent written and verbal communications skills
· Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications, or similar academic discipline
· Minimum of two years of experience creating web based communications
· Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office software including Outlook, Word, and Excel
· Strong ability to think strategically, creatively and innovatively, to meet communication
· Strong initiative and self-motivated, and ability to deal flexibly in a fluid environment
· Strong organizational skills
· Strong attention to detail and proofreading ability
· Ability to follow all projects through to completion on time and to multi-task effectively in a
fast-paced environment
· The ideal candidate must be a pro-active team player with an interest in growing the job
to its full potential

We have it! ADF offers team members a competitive compensation and benefits package that includes major medical insurance, dental care, flexible spending account, paid disability and life insurance. ADF also offers a 401(k) plan with a generous company match. Work and life balance is important to the well-being of our team members. You will receive paid time off (PTO) that starts accruing from your hire date and 10 paid holidays per year.

Has your interest been piqued? We hope so, and we want to hear from you today if you’ve got the desire and passion to serve as Sr. Communications Specialist! Apply for this position by emailing your cover letter, at least two writing samples of your email campaigns or web page content and resume to or fax it to 480-388-8002. For more information about the Alliance Defense Fund, visit our website at

Thursday, March 13, 2008

County Attorney Voices Support for Several Bills at the Capitol

CPS and illegal immigration being addressed

County Attorney Andrew Thomas is thanking some members of the state legislature for their efforts to get several important bills passed. HB2454 would require Child Protective Services to provide information in fatalities or near fatalities involving a child who was under CPS supervision or monitoring. The MCAO is concerned, however, because there has been a recent attempt to water down this bill with an amendment. The fight to preserve the bill is on going.

Thomas stated, “CPS needs to be held accountable when a child under its supervision is murdered or severely abused. Our case files are filled with tragic stories of murdered children who should have been better protected. We sincerely hope that there will be no more attempts to gut this bill.”

The MCAO is also supporting a second bill relating to CPS. HB2455 would also provide for disclosure and requires CPS to use safety and screening processes approved by prosecutors in CPS cases involving criminal conduct.

The MCAO is supporting legislation to end so-called ‘sanctuary city’ policies that restrict peace officers from inquiring as to the immigration status of suspects and reporting that information to federal authorities. The bill would also encourage law enforcement agencies to team up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train officers to investigate violations of federal immigration law. HB2807 would put those proposals into law. HCR2064 would put the question before the voters.

“While both bills are not identical, they would essentially have law enforcement statewide follow the lead of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in dealing with the illegal immigration crisis. The Sheriff’s Office has demonstrated leadership through its enforcement of the state’s human smuggling law and its partnership with ICE. If the governor vetoes HB2807, it is our hope that the voters will speak loudly and clearly and support HCR2064.” This week, HB2807 passed the house rules committee.

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