Monday, April 28, 2008

New website describes what it's like for inmates inside Maricopa County jails

Operated by conservatives, this new site is supposed to provide an accurate picture of life behind bars in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails. So far it consists mainly of interviews with inmates about the circumstances they experienced there. It's not affiliated with the jail, and if there's an agenda behind it, it's not apparent. Good to see a site out there dealing with the jails that isn't simply berating Arpaio.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Promoting Day of Silence at school for gays only serves to increase tensions


The Republic has an article today praising the "Day of Silence" that gay students and their supporters participated in this week, where they refused to say anything all day long during class. This type of activity shouldn't be encouraged. Children attend school to learn, not to engage in social protest. Condoning this type of behavior sends a message to children that they can do whatever they want at school as long as it's in further of their political agenda.

Most importantly, it is a bad idea because it pits gay students against those students who may not agree with them. Somewhere around 85% of the population identifies itself as Christian, and the Christian religion teaches that homosexuality is a sin. The "Day of Silence" tells Christians that their religious beliefs are wrong. And it forces gay students and their sympathizers to make themselves known. That's a lot of pressure to put on a teenager. Gay organizations should not put kids in this position of deciding whether to participate or not. Too many gay teenagers end up committing suicide - why make them come out in front of their peers where they will be subject to more criticism?

I wonder what the fallout was like, and how many gay students and Christians had bad experiences because of participating in the event. Unfortunately, the Republic is so biased they won't report on the negative events that occurred because of it. The article was titled, "Day of Silence Peaceful at Desert Ridge High." If this was true, how much did they have to silence (the irony is deafening) and try to embarrass students who disagreed? This kind of social experiment has no place in the classroom. Students should be left alone when it comes to their religious and political beliefs, and not taught to force them on others. What about the feelings of the students who disagreed - they should not be ostracized, as this event tried to do.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CAP: Update on legislative bills - marriage amendment, partial-birth abortion ban

(1) Marriage Amendment Clears Another Hurdle
(2) Arizona House Approves Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
(3) Age Misrepresentation Bill Heads to the Governor
(4) Parents Beware!
(5) Making Our Days Count

(1) Marriage Amendment Clears Another Hurdle

As you may recall, a few weeks ago, opponents attached hostile language to the marriage amendment. As a result, we had to start again with a new bill to bring the marriage amendment to the ballot. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee passed the new bill, SCR 1042, by a vote of 6-3, and on Tuesday, the House allowed the bill to advance through Committee of the Whole with no amendments. This is a major victory! The bill is now past the point in the legislative process where it can be amended. We expect the House to vote as soon as today on this bill and will keep you posted!

Thank you for continuing to stand with us as we work to let you vote on the definition of marriage for Arizona! Pray for our legislative efforts to be successful.

(2) Arizona House Approves Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

On Tuesday, the House also approved the revised partial-birth abortion ban by a vote of 31-24. SB 1048 bans the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion in Arizona and addresses the two concerns Governor Napolitano mentioned in her veto letter of the first ban passed by the legislature. This bill now awaits a final Senate vote before going back to the Governor.

(3) Age Misrepresentation Bill Heads to the Governor

The House gave final approval today for HB 2129 by a vote of 55-0. This bill makes it a felony for someone to misrepresent his or her age on the Internet for the purpose of luring a minor. It is another tool for law enforcement to use in order to better protect our children from Internet predators. The bill now goes to the Governor.

(4) Parents Beware!

If you haven't seen Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed yet, go see it right away. It's worth your time. Take your family. Ben Stein's creativity artfully exposes the bias prevalent at universities today. Parents - take this opportunity to have meaningful discussions about freedom and the importance of standing for what you believe. Don't be caught unaware of what's going on in academia's ongoing attack on freedom of thought and ideas. The movie's website offers resources for students and a theater locator to find the closest place for you to see the film.

(5) Making Our Days Count

There's still time to get tickets for our April 29 dinner featuring Tony Snow at the Arizona Grand Resort! Sign up now! Visit for full details.

CAP will continue to keep you posted on the latest from the Capitol! To check the latest status of all our bills, visit

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Latest PAChyderm Coalition legislative rankings - how are they scored?

PAChyderm Coalition's latest weekly rankings of GOP legislators is in, and not surprisingly, Senator Ron Gould is at the top of the list of Senators, with a 90.8, and Rick Murphy leads the House, with a 95.5. The RINOs, also predictably, are Senators Allen and O'Halleran, and Representatives Hershberger and Burns. Republicans with almost as poor ratings are also called on the floor, labeled as plain "Republicans." This week, they include Senator Barbara Leff and Representatives McClure, Konopnicki and Paton. The rankings currently do not take into consideration bad bills by the GOP, nor do they take into account the fact that many legislators aren't able to sponsor bills simply because they live at the other end of the state and can't be at the Capitol as much. Budget bills aren't easy to rank. Legislators are reporting that the rankings are having an effect on how they're voting. Let's hope it encourages the RINOs to leave the legislature and go back to the habitats they came from.

Monday, April 21, 2008

AFP: Napolitano veto means likely increase in property taxes

Governor Janet Napolitano’s veto today of House Bill 2220 will likely result in the return of a $250 million property tax, for an average property tax increase of $100 per year for the Arizona homeowner. Combined with likely increases by city, county, and local special taxing districts, the Governor’s tax increase may contribute to significant increases in the overall property tax bills of home and business owners.

There is still a small chance of repealing the $250 million state-imposed education equalization property tax, as a part of budget negotiations later in the legislative session. The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity has vowed to keep up its fight on behalf of Arizona home and business owners. “We thank all of the taxpayer activists in Arizona who took the time to contact the Governor and the Legislature,” said AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney. “Unfortunately, we are going to have to double our efforts and keep fighting. If we quit now, we will get stuck with a huge tax increase.”

Although the Governor is reluctant to help Arizona property taxpayers, slim majorities in the Arizona House and Senate favor repealing the tax. In the House in March, 32 Arizona Representatives (31 Republicans and 1 Democrat) voted for the HB 2220 property tax relief bill. We have listed the names and districts of the Good Guys here.

At the same time, 28 Representatives (26 Democrats and 2 Republicans) voted against HB 2220. We have listed the names and districts of the Bad Guys here.

Last week, 16 Arizona Representatives (15 Republicans and 1 Democrat) voted for HB 2220. 14 Arizona Representatives (12 Democrats and 2 Republicans) failed to vote to protect property taxpayers. Here is the list of Good Guys and Bad Guys for the Senate.

Contact: Tom Jenney, Arizona state director, Americans for Prosperity (602) 478-0146

Goldwater Institute: Borrowing to build universities will not help economy

by Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.

Arizona's public universities have proposed issuing $1.4 billion in bonds for a university building program. The universities have been asking the legislature for this money for a few years, but the construction downturn provides an opportunity to market it as a "Construction Stimulus Plan." This plan is fundamentally flawed.

First, any stimulating effect will come too late. Proponents of the program say it would "immediately create 14,438 jobs for construction workers." But the spending would be done over several years, so most of this work would occur long after the markets have corrected themselves.

Second, the commercial construction industry doesn't need stimulating. According to Arizona State University's Realty Studies Department, the value of new commercial building permits in the state is only down two percent compared to a year ago and the value of industrial permits is up.

Ironically, a quote from the plan says, "Arizona's economy is too dependent on construction." So what's the solution? More construction.

When I was a young economics student, I learned all about Keynesian economics--the idea that government can and should be responsible for stimulating a faltering economy. After decades of Keynesian policies that have proven to de-stabilize the economy, most economists have given up on such notions.

Research shows that cutting taxes and reducing regulation on business has a more stimulating effect on the economy than increased government spending. Perhaps the best thing the government can do in this down market is nothing. Cycles happen. Government over-reaction and over-commitment of future taxpayer resources lays the groundwork for future economic downturns.

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

Goldwater Institute: Court of Appeals Should Reject Latest School Choice Challenge

Fighting for Lexie

By Tim Keller

The fate of Lexie Weck's education is in the hands of a three-judge panel. The Arizona Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday, April 23, in the nation's first-ever legal challenge against publicly funded scholarships for children with disabilities and children in foster care.

Lexie is a six-year-old girl with autism and cerebral palsy, who uses a scholarship to attend the Chrysalis Academy where she is flourishing. A year ago, she was in a public school making little progress.

The teachers' unions' recycled argument against the scholarships is that Arizona's constitution prohibits the use of public funds to support parents who choose private schools, a claim rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court in its landmark Kotterman v. Killian decision (upholding Arizona's scholarship tax credit). However, this case is not about the constitution. It is about preserving the status quo.

Public school officials regularly place children with disabilities in private schools at state expense. For example, school districts have placed 12 students at the Chrysalis Academy. In other words, the unions have no problem with state officials placing students like Lexie at a private school-and using public funds to pay the tuition-but if Lexie's mom makes the decision they object.

The unions have run to court to halt a policy they do not like, but there is simply no valid legal or policy reason to take away Lexie's scholarship. The scholarships represent a modest addition to Arizona's sensible policy of providing educational services through choice-based programs for those most in need-and a critical lifeline for children like Lexie.

Tim Keller is the executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter. He will argue in defense of the programs on behalf of six Arizona families who intervened in the lawsuit to protect the scholarship programs.

CAP: admin asst. position, Tony Snow dinner, legislative victory

In this issue:

(1) Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
(2) Truth Project Training in Gilbert
(3) Legislative Victory
(4) Make a Difference
(5) Making Our Days Count

(1) Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Starting this Friday, you have the opportunity to see how one-sided our academic institutions have become in the Ben Stein documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Ben Stein's Expelled has struck a cultural nerve as it exposes a modern day witch hunt in which scientists, educators, and students are being persecuted because they dare to question Darwinism and argue that life may be the result of "intelligent design." Even though this is not a Christian film, Ben takes on the world's leading atheists and their global agenda, and the hilarious but sobering results make us realize, "It's time to get involved!" See the movie, bring your friends, and tell others. Click here to find a theater near you that is showing the film.

(2) Truth Project Training in Gilbert

Are you part of a small group? Looking for your next study? Consider leading your small group through The Truth Project. Join us on Saturday, April 26 for a local training event at Sun Valley Community Church, Gilbert, Arizona from 10:00 AM until 3:30 PM. Facilitated by The Truth Project staff from Focus on the Family, the day will focus on training and vision components necessary to support the worldview content. Please note that Dr. Del Tackett will not be teaching at this Truth Project event. To register, go to http://www.

(3) Legislative Victory

This has been a relatively slow week at the Legislature for CAP-supported bills. This week, however, the Senate passed unanimously HB 2129, which prohibits Internet age misrepresentation for the purposes of committing a sex crime against a minor. The bill will go back to the House for final approval and then on to the Governor's desk. Stay tuned - next week should see significant action on CAP-supported bills. Please keep legislators and CAP's team in your prayers!

(4) Make a Difference

Would you like to work at a job that really matters? One that impacts Arizona's families? CAP is currently seeking candidates of the highest caliber for a part- time Administrative Assistant (20 hours/week). The Administrative Assistant for the Community Action Network and Pastor's Network will provide secretarial support, make phone calls, perform regular donor database maintenance, process requests for information, and assist in event support. Two years secretarial and business education or experience are required. Applicants must be proficient in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, and Outlook and have strong organizational and communication skills. All applicants must agree with CAP's Statement of Faith and embrace CAP's mission and position on core issues. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, résumé, and professional references to Cheryl Durant, cdurant@azpolicy. org.

(5) Making Our Days Count

Seats are filling up fast for our April 29 dinner featuring Tony Snow at the Arizona Grand Resort! Sign up now! Click here for full details.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Get paid to work in Missouri for a week collecting signatures for the Civil Rights Initiative

Contrary to an erroneous article in the Republic today, the AZ Civil Rights Initiative is doing well collecting the requisite number of signatures in order to get on the ballot. In fact, we're told that virtually even every Democrat who is asked to sign the petition does. The initiative is selling itself, and sources are estimating it will pass with close to 80% of the vote.

However, the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative does need help collecting signatures; they're getting close to the deadline. Please contact them if you're interested in flying out and helping for a week. It's time to stop race and gender preferences by the government.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

PAChyderm Coalition meeting tonight: legislative rankings

PAChyderm Coalition MO


Wednesday April 16, 2008

Please note the new location:

Deer Valley Airport Restaurant

702 W. Deer Valley Road

(7th Ave & Deer Valley)

Dinner at 6:15 – Order off the Menu

The Restaurant offers an excellent Buffet and Salad Bar!

Meeting begins at 7:00 PM

Come hear more about the

PAChyderm Coalition Republican Legislator Rankings

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Goldwater Institute: The Myth of Helplessness

Those who accept no excuses get results

By Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.

On April 4th, Arizona School Board Association analyst Michael T. Martin wrote a column opposing the state takeover of the Roosevelt school district. He asserts that widespread lead poisoning is the cause of Roosevelt's problems.

Lead poisoning has been much diminished since the elimination of lead paint and lead gasoline, but not entirely eliminated. An examination of the evidence is in order before writing off these kids.

In our state of 6 million people, the Arizona Department of Health Services finds approximately 250 confirmed cases statewide annually where lead levels in the blood are above the federal standard. Confirmed childhood cases are fewer in number. Based on the fact that there were a few incidents where federal levels were exceeded, Martin theorizes the existence of widespread low level lead poisoning throughout the Roosevelt school district.

The evidence Martin brings to bear is paper thin for such an extraordinary claim. Two of the three zip codes of the Roosevelt school district are listed as at higher risk for lead poisoning. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, this mostly relates to the use of certain folk remedies and Mexican pottery.

By the way, the zip code for the area where the Goldwater Institute resides in has a risk factor more than three times greater. Strangely, two of the top charter schools in the state operate a stone's throw away from the Institute. The Millennium Worldwide Academy also failed to get the lead poisoning memo. Located in the heart of the Roosevelt district, educating Roosevelt area kids, the school's students have no problem humiliating Ph.D.s with their knowledge of history.

Ms. Kelmer, Millennium's headmaster, accepts no excuses and gets results. I wish I could say the same for ASBA. If they have evidence of widespread low level lead poisoning, they need to present it. Otherwise, the Arizona School Board Association will have taken the myth of public school helplessness, already an excuse for inaction, to a new record low.

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

Monday, April 14, 2008

Justice for Crime Victims luncheon today at Capitol

Promotion of Victims’ Rights is focus of Statewide Capitol Rally
Effort is part of National Crime Victims Rights Week

Arizona Voice for Crime Victims and The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is hosting a rally April 14, 2008 at the State Capitol to raise awareness of crime victims’ rights both at the Capitol and across Arizona. The keynote speaker will be Sharon Kuntson-Felix, the 100 Club of Arizona Executive Director.

The 100 Club supports the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters in times of need. Sharon is the widow of DPS Officer Doug Knutson, who died in the line of duty in 1998.

The week of April 13 - 19, 2008, is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which was first designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. This annual observance seeks to increase public awareness of, and knowledge among crime victims and survivors about, the wide range of rights and services available to people who have been victimized by crime.

The theme of this year’s awareness program is “Justice for Victims, Justice for All.” The community awareness project is being conducted in conjunction with the US Justice Department through the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators.

Steve Twist, President of Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, co-host for the rally said, “While we have come very far in our fight for justice for crime victims, we still have very far to go if we are to have a truly victim centered justice system. The Maricopa County Attorney is a strong leader in this cause and AVCV is honored to join with him for this important event.”

County Attorney Thomas stated, “While the legal system is adept at making sure suspects are aware of their rights, the rights of victims must also be protected. We hope our efforts will increase awareness of victims’ rights.”

For additional information about the statewide rally, or crime victims’ rights and services, visit the Web site at For information about Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, visit their website at For information about national efforts to promote 2008 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, please visit the Office for Victims of Crime Web site at

Goldwater Institute: Mortgage market will correct itself without Washington's help

Regulation Is the Wrong Answer

by Dr. Tom Patterson

Since 2001, the number of employees in government regulatory agencies has grown from 172,002 to 244,000. Their funding has increased 44 percent, inflation-adjusted.

As a result, Americans face $30 billion more annually in regulatory costs than they did seven years ago. All told, we pay about $1.1 trillion for regulation and compliance costs, about the same as we pay in federal income taxes.

In spite of its massive costs, regulation has been unable to prevent market cycles in the past or to prevent scandals like Enron. Regardless, Washington's answer to the downturn in the housing and mortgage markets has been more regulation.

Free markets are by far the most efficient generators of wealth in the history of the planet. But they are by nature chaotic and unpredictable.

Not only are free markets fundamentally unmanageable, but attempts by would-be commanders to control them can be disastrous. That's when economically foolish behavior becomes the norm.

That is precisely why market corrections should be allowed to proceed. Failed loans should go off the books, investment banks that acted unwisely should suffer the consequences, and housing prices should be allowed to fall so that prudent savers can buy homes.

Predictably, the market is already self-correcting. Derivative contracts and hedge funds today are being structured more conservatively. Balance sheets and equity valuations are being more closely aligned with their underlying assets.

If the politicians don't act soon, their services may no longer be required. That would be their worst nightmare.

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.

Goldwater Institute: Only the Governor can prevent a tax increase

The Buck Should, Quite Literally, Stop Here

by Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.

On Tuesday, the Senate barely passed a bill that would permanently repeal the County Equalization Tax (CET) on property. Unfortunately, a gubernatorial veto is very likely.

In 2006, when the state was swimming in surplus funds, the tax was suspended for three years. The CET was one of the finance streams that flowed to schools. Since then, other state money has made up the difference to schools.

Today, analysts for the legislature estimate the CET is worth about $250 million and that when it goes back into effect in 2009, the rate will be about 39 cents for $100 of assessed value. For a $250,000 house, that's about $100 per year. For a $1 million commercial property, it's more than $800 per year.

The governor and some members of the legislature have described these amounts as trivial, implying that their cost would only require the sacrifice of the occasional latte.

Rather than trivializing a tax increase, our public servants would do better to recognize that if state spending hadn't grown so fast if it had only kept up with population growth and inflation since 2002 -- we would have a surplus of $500 million today instead of a massive deficit.

That's a lot of lattes.

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

Goldwater Institute: When a Latte's a Lot

Goldwater Institute: Budget Shortfall

Arizona State Legislature: HB 2220

CAP: Condoms and Corsages in Bisbee!

In this issue:

(1) Condoms and Corsages in Bisbee
(2) Religious Freedom Squelched in NM
(3) Making Our Days Count
(4) Legislative News

(1) Condoms and Corsages in Bisbee

This year, the prom at Bisbee High School had a new theme: condoms. That's right - the Bisbee school board voted to give each student attending prom two condoms. Young people respond to expectations. If they didn't, why would we bother with high school in the first place? And now it's clear that the Bisbee school board expects students to be sexually active on prom night. This decision tells high school students that prom night is about recreational sex! Everyday young men and women struggle to make responsible decisions in a sex-saturated culture. They don't need elected officials - who should know better - telling them that condoms are as much a part of prom night as corsages. Click here to learn more about this outrageous decision by the Bisbee school board.

(2) Religious Freedom Squelched in NM

The New Mexico Civil Rights Commission ruled this week that Christian photographers do not have the right to apply their sincerely-held religious beliefs to their business. The photographers declined a request to take pictures at a same-sex "commitment ceremony" because of the ceremony's conflict with their religious beliefs. The same-sex couple complained to the commission that they were "discriminated" against on the basis of their sexual orientation in violation of the state's antidiscrimination laws. Our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund will be appealing the commission's decision in state court. This incident is a prime example of how religious beliefs can lose out to state antidiscrimination laws when those laws are broadened to include behavior-based groups like "sexual orientation."

(3) Making Our Days Count

If you are not one of the hundreds of concerned Arizonians coming to Making Our Days Count with Tony Snow on April 29 at the Arizona Grand Resort, it's not too late! Sign up now! Sponsorships are still available, and dinner tickets are only $75 each. Click here for full details.

(4) Legislative News

You can tell how busy our week was by the breaking news updates and action alerts we sent out! Also this week, the Senate Health Committee passed HB 2823, Jesse's Law, by a vo te of 4-2. The bill remedies some of the problems encountered by Jesse Ramirez and his family when Jesse's feeding tube was removed prematurely after a serious car accident. Thankfully, Jesse is recovering, and you can wa tch the video of his sister Marlene telling his story to the committee (make sure you click on "HB 2823" at the bottom of the list to go straight to the bill).

I encourage you to take a minute and wa tch the video of Senator Linda Gray's moving testimony on the partial-birth abortion bill, in which she testified that adults should never try to justify the killing of defenseless newborns. Please continue to pray for both the partial-birth abortion ban and the marriage amendment as these new bills move through the process.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pressure building to fire Village Voice-New Times editor Lacey

As Red State Arizona has noted, the blogosphere is heating up with calls for Michael Lacey to step down. Arizona Political Heat revealed that New Times has referred to white rap artists as "wiggers" and that there may be more racist writing within its pages. The Village Voice has been deafening silent on this. So has the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. They came out with a statement defending Lacey when was arrested for publishing Sheriff Arpaio's home address, but other than a ferocious letter to the editor from another weekly publisher, there's been no response.

Here is some of the better coverage out there in the blogosphere (there are now too many articles out there to list all of them) - (just click on "enter Salon")

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Campaign to fire Michael Lacey from Phoenix New Times

We received an email asking us to participate in a campaign to remove Michael Lacey from ownership of the Phoenix New Times over his use of the "n" word at a journalists' awards dinner for - among others - an African-American journalist. Civil rights activists are outraged over the remark. We won't bother covering the entire story, since some of the other blogs have already done a good job, but we do want to point out the New Times has been remarkably quiet on the subject, only putting up a rather sanctimonious post about Lacey receiving the award, no mention of the racist remark.

For more on this topic, see: