Monday, June 30, 2008

Jolene Penson best candidate for JP in East Mesa area

A new JP district has been carved out in east Mesa, the Highland precinct, and there are several Republicans running. The best one is Jolene Penson. She has a solid background in the legal profession, having worked for the Superior Court, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and as a paralegal. She has been endorsed by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Having been the Human Resources director for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, she has established a solid ethical record. She is a conservative pro-life Christian with strong principles.

(click to enlarge)

CAP: Napolitano's veto of the partial-birth abortion bill

Yesterday, in the midst of the marriage amendment debate, Governor Napolitano vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban for the second time this session. Partial-birth abortion is the gruesome procedure in which the baby's entire body is delivered, except for the head, and then the baby is killed by being stabbed in the neck with scissors and having its brain vacuumed out.

In her first veto letter, the Governor stated two concerns with the bill and that she "stand[s] ready to work on these issues in a bipartisan manner." Senator Linda Gray took the Governor at her word and introduced a bill that addressed the Governor's two concerns - giving doctors a chance to have the state medical board determine whether the partial-birth abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother and limiting the penalty to not more than two years in prison. Yet despite these changes and continuing bipartisan support in both Legislative chambers, the Governor vetoed the bill, thereby preventing Arizona from having a clear law preventing this horrific practice that literally takes the life of a preborn child.

In this second veto letter, the Governor falsely claimed the new ban would introduce "more criminal penalties...into the relationship between a woman and her physician." The state ban tracked identically the federal criminal penalties. A state ban on partial-birth is needed because the federal law only applies in limited scenarios with limited enforcement options.

Banning partial-birth abortion is widely supported beyond traditional pro-life groups, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that bans on this horrific procedure are constitutional. Governor Napolitano remains unwilling to consider the view held by the overwhelming majority of Arizonans that the partial-birth abortion procedure is appalling.

Governor Napolitano shows no respect for the sanctity of the unborn lives in Arizona or the health and safety of their mothers, as she has continually vetoed even reasonable measures to protect these children and their mothers. This second veto of the partial-birth abortion ban marks the tenth pro-life, pro-child, pro-woman bill she has rejected in her tenure as Governor:

  • Informed consent for women considering abortions (Vetoed in 2004)
  • Informing a woman considering an abortion that the child may feel pain (Vetoed in 2006)
  • Notarized written consent by a parent or guardian before a minor may get an abortion (Vetoed in 2006)
  • Guidelines for a judge to consider when allowing a minor to get an abortion without parental consent (Vetoed in 2006)
  • Amended guidelines for a judge to consider that addressed the Governor's concerns (Vetoed in 2008)
  • No insurance taxpayer subsidies for abortions for government employees (Vetoed in 2006)
  • Ban on the sale of human eggs (Vetoed in 2006)
  • Informed consent for women donating their eggs (Vetoed in 2006)
  • Ban on partial-birth abortion (Vetoed twice in 2008)

PAChyderm Coalition posts legislative rankings for entire session

Brand-new Senator Sylvia Allen (who replaced the late Jake Flake) has only been in office two weeks but already has a 100% score, making her the highest ranked legislator (a few other legislators have occasionally scored a 100% weekly rating). The next highest ranked legislators in the Senate are Bob Burns, Ron Gould, Thayer Verschoor, and Jack Harper. Carolyn Allen is the only Senator who received "RINO" status.

Russell Pearce is #1 in the House, followed by Nancy Barto, Rick Murphy, Andy Biggs and Tom Boone. Pete Hershberger was the only RINO. Click here for the full report.

If people tell you, “Political parties don’t mean anything,” show them this table!

Average Grades











Saturday, June 28, 2008

Napolitano cuts DPS assistance to Sheriff Arpaio, forcing him to go low-tech on border

Friday, June 27, 2008

AZ Capitol Times: BAMN unable to back up claim that KKK supports AZCRI

The Arizona Capitol Times has an insightful piece on the vicious attacks by BAMN against the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative petition collectors. Here are some excerpts -

Another video taken outside Chase Field showed protestors circling around a signature-gatherer and telling passers-by not to sign the petition because it is backed by the KKK.
The Goldwater Institute charges that the Michigan group’s members have provided misleading information to voters stating that the initiative is supported by the Ku Klux Klan.
Donna Stern, treasurer of BAMN, was unable to produce evidence the Ku Klux Klan supports the initiative or that the white-supremacist group even exists in Arizona, but she believes strongly that it does on both counts, she said.
On one such video taken on Mill Avenue in Tempe, a man signing a petition was told repeatedly that he is supporting a racist initiative designed to “re-segregate” state universities. The interaction lasted for almost two minutes before the man blurted out “Stop harassing me.” “Enjoy your white privilege!” was the response, as the person who signed the petition crossed the street.

Tucson Citizen: Activists take affirmative action fight too far

Excellent article in the Tucson Citizen regarding the actions of BAMN.

Some excerpts -

BAMN members are harassing petition circulators on Phoenix streets until circulators are driven away or give up the petitions. The group is filming people who sign the petition while BAMN members loudly and repeatedly inform them they are signing a racist measure that will resegregate Arizona and keep black and Latino students out of state universities.
On Monday, BAMN volunteers blocked the entrance of a downtown Phoenix office where circulators deliver their petitions to the initiative's organizers. There was so much yelling and intimidation that police had to be called, said Max McPhail, executive director of the initiative drive.

BAMN is so proud of its tactics - which it calls "blocking" - that it announced in a news release that it would send out "blocking teams" and posted videos of its activities on YouTube.
In the last seconds of the tape, the circulator appears prepared to give up his petition to the BAMN blocking team.

In another clip, Young said she's collected hundreds of petitions from circulators, which Smith confirmed.
BAMN is showing a disgusting lack of respect for the democratic process and the right of all Arizonans to participate in it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Second Amendment, County Attorney

Court Endorses Analysis in Legal Brief Filed by Thomas

County Attorney Andrew Thomas applauded today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a sweeping Washington, D.C. gun ban and uphold the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms that no level of government can improperly abridge. For more than 30 years, Washington, D.C. had an almost blanket ban on handguns, which a federal appeals court had ruled violated the Second Amendment. The plaintiff is Dick Anthony Heller, a D.C. security guard who was denied permission to keep a handgun at home for his own protection.

On February 11, 2008, County Attorney Thomas filed an amicus curiae, or friend-of-the-court, brief with the Supreme Court in support of Heller. While there are no such gun bans in Arizona, Thomas filed the brief in the hopes of ensuring such a gun ban will not find its way to this state, and to protect the right of citizens and prosecutors in his office to defend themselves from violent criminals.

The brief states in part, “Over the last few years the number of threats to prosecutors and prosecutor staff [in Maricopa County] has increased. Prosecutors in the Homicide and Gang/Repeat Offender bureaus have been targeted. ”

Threats against prosecutors and staff in the County Attorney’s Office are common. In 1995, a paralegal was shot and killed by gang members while she was on her way home from work. After taking office in 2005, Thomas set up a training program that provides classes for prosecutors and staff seeking concealed weapons permits.

Among large prosecution offices nationwide, 84 percent reported violent threats. The Thomas amicus curiae brief was also signed by the Yavapai County Attorney and 11 other chief prosecutors from Maryland, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming. Recently, other district attorneys have inquired about the office’s concealed carry training program, and one prosecutor’s office in Washington state already has replicated it.

Thomas stated, “Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to defend themselves from violent criminals. This right extends to the prosecutors and staff in my office, public servants who prosecute some of the worst gangsters and violent offenders in America.”

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

Contribute to Andrew Thomas for County Attorney campaign

Several people have asked where to send contributions to the Andrew Thomas for County Attorney reelection campaign. Please send them, along with your address and profession (required by law) to:

Andrew Thomas for County Attorney
4757 E. Greenway Rd. #103-233
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Remember, the maximum campaign donation allowed by law in this race is $390 per 4-year election cycle.

There is no campaign website up yet, but we find this site kinda funny.

Addendum - 9/25/08 - the campaign website is now live here.

Goldwater Institute: Arizona Legislature Should Reject "Jobs Creation" Package

by Steve Voeller

The most recent "economic stimulus" package the legislature is considering consists of tax subsidies for a chosen few. The good news is that the package as a whole lacks support. The bad news, however, is that parts of it may find their way into the final budget deal. They shouldn't.

Not only is this plan not an economic stimulus, it's not even decent public policy. According to the Tax Foundation, the proposals, "will impose significant costs on Arizona's general fund in the form of tax revenues foregone." Furthermore, paying certain businesses to operate is not the way to jump-start the economy. If policymakers want to encourage job growth, they should start by not raising taxes.

The stimulus plan does not address the looming statewide property tax increase set to occur next year. Property owners face a $250 million tax hike because the governor vetoed a bill to prevent it from occurring. It's a bit misguided to think you can turn around the economy by handing out a few tax subsidies for a few companies, while ignoring a massive tax hike on the rest of Arizona taxpayers.

Steve Voeller is president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

AFTA: This is the worst budget we have ever seen... But good news on HCR 2072

The emerging FY2009 budget is the worst budget we have ever seen. (And we have seen some really bad budgets in recent years.)

The runner-up for worst budget was the FY2005 budget—the one that passed in 2004 when renegade Republican legislators teamed up with Gov. Janet Napolitano and Democratic legislators. That budget resulted in a record 17 percent increase in spending. It was a reckless budget, with spending growth at well more than double the rate of growth of the private economy (which was a very healthy 7 percent). But at least that budget was mostly balanced.

The FY2009 Senate budget (also the result of renegade Republican legislators teaming up with the Governor and Democratic legislators) proposes to spend at least $11 billion, when the available cash is at $9.1 billion. Deficit spending would be at least 21 percent higher than available revenue.

At a time when the private economy is hurting, the Senate’s FY2009 budget would continue to push government spending to unsustainably high levels, paving the way for future tax increases.

The House budget is better. House leadership has worked hard to craft a budget that has $150 million more in spending reductions, does not have a $330 rollover gimmick, and does not borrow for non-capital expenditures such as all-day kindergarten. And the House, so far, has not gone in for the Senate’s scheme to borrow $1 billion for accelerated university construction, to be paid back by unleashing the state lottery on Arizona’s amateur gamblers.

Unfortunately, the House budget still allows for deficit spending that is 18 percent higher than available revenue. We are concerned that well-meaning House members will expend great efforts to produce marginal improvements that will then be watered down in negotiations with the Senate and the Governor, resulting in a final budget bill to which self-respecting fiscal conservatives should not lend their good names. Regardless of how the negotiations end, the Legislature in January will find itself looking at an unconstitutional cash deficit carry-forward of over $1 billion.

The bright spot in this year’s legislative Session may end up being the referral of HCR 2072 to the November ballot. If approved by the voters, HCR 2072 would keep a $250 million property tax from coming back next year, saving an average of $100 per year for the Arizona homeowner. HCR 2072 passed 6-4 in the House Ways and Means Committee today.

If it passes the House and Senate, the referendum would bypass the Governor, who vetoed an earlier version that was not a referendum (HB 2220). In March, the non-referendum version of HCR 2072 (HB 2220) passed the House with the votes of 32 Arizona Representatives (31 Republicans and 1 Democrat). 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:

In April, 16 Arizona Senators (15 Republicans and 1 Democrat) voted for HB 2220. 14 Arizona Senators (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:

If those narrow majorities hold in favor of HCR 2072, Arizona voters will have an opportunity to stop a major tax increase.

CAP: Marriage Amendment Fails on Senate Vote

This morning, the Arizona Senate failed by one vote to pass the Arizona marriage amendment (SCR 1042). No Democrat supported the marriage amendment while one Republican opposed the marriage amendment. Several senators missed the vote, including Sen. Karen Johnson who has been a strong supporter of traditional values.

The meaning of today's vote: while it's not over until the legislature adjourns, today's vote puts the marriage amendment on life support. For the amendment to be on the November ballot, 16 senators have to vote yes.

Our CAP policy team along with our pro-marriage allies will continue to seek ways to have 16 senators present to vote yes so that Arizona's courts and politicians don't redefine marriage for us. We continue to consider it a top priority for the people to decide the definition of marriage, not the courts and not the politicians.

Note: Under Senate Rules, a senator can move to have a vote reconsidered only if the senator was on the prevailing side. One of our strongest marriage amendment supporters, Sen. Linda Gray, therefore, voted no today so that she then could move to have the vote reconsidered. Sen. Gray then successfully made the motion to have the vote reconsidered. This keeps the door open for another vote on the marriage amendment before the legislature adjourns.


  1. Check the recorded vote by clicking here. If your senator supported the marriage amendment, email them to thank them for their support. If your senator missed the vote or voted no, email and call them TODAY to ask for their support for the marriage amendment.
  2. Pray that the marriage amendment still makes it to the November ballot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Conservative leader Michael Johns says state ballot initiatives may make Arizona national model of conservative reform

With a critical July 3 deadline approaching for the presentation of hundreds of thousands of signatures from Arizona residents that could potentially place several groundbreaking immigration, health care and civil rights-related initiatives on Arizona ballots this November, conservative leader Michael Johns on Sunday stated that Arizona was on the cusp of potentially emerging as a national model for conservative state-based policy reform on some of the most important issues currently confronting the state and nation.

Johns said that he felt that two important immigration ballot initiatives--one that will empower Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration statutes and another that will make criminal trespass laws applicable to illegal immigrants in Arizona--would represent groundbreaking state initiatives to tighten and enforce illegal immigration statutes, making Arizona a national model of state-based immigration law and law enforcement.

Speaking publicly for the first time as newly elected President of the Phoenix-area Coalition for a Conservative Majority (CCM), Johns told the Sonoran Alliance blog, the most widely-read political blog in the state, that he was actively supporting two additional ballot initiatives, one that would permit Arizona residents to choose their own health insurance (including from out-of-state insurers), and the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (ACRI), which would prohibit the consideration of race or gender in state hiring and state university admission considerations.

Johns, a health care industry executive, is a former Heritage Foundation policy analyst and White House speechwriter to President George H. W. Bush.

Local media too scared to write full story about Mexican gang cartels?

from Don Goldwater -

Dateline June 24, 2008 Phoenix Arizona

As reported on , KFYI Radio and AZCentral Phoenix, Arizona.

Former Congressman JD Hayworth is reporting on KFYI-550 of an incident that local liberal media is apparently too frightened to report as the incident it really was. (Read more in AzCentral "Man killed in home invasion; drugs suspected" by Ali Pfauser - Jun. 23, 2008 04:34 PM)

Home Invasion

This last weekend, former Mexican military operatives hired by drug cartels conducted a "hit" on a man in Central Phoenix. This is probably in retaliation for violence and crack downs which occurred in the last week by Mexican troops on the drug cartels.

Bloomberg reports:

June 24 (Bloomberg) - Thirty-eight people were killed in violence tied to Mexican drug cartels yesterday, the highest single-day tally this year, El Universal reported.

Eighteen of the deaths happened in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, the Mexico City-based newspaper said, citing its own tally. More than 2,800 troops have been stationed in the state where Ciudad Juarez is located to crack down on the cartels, the newspaper reported.
More than 1,833 people have been killed this year in violence tied to the drug trade in Mexico, the newspaper reported.

This latest incident is a frightening indication that the drug war has become even more brazen as it continues to spread across the border into Arizona.

JD Hayworth reports that three suspects were captured in an attempted ambush on Phoenix Police which may have turned deadly. The three suspects, one who was identified as former Mexican military, were captured with two AR-15 assault weapons, full body armor AND dressed in black assault gear impersonating a Phoenix Police Tactical Team.

AFTA: Stop the special interests from stealing your tax relief! (SB1433--House Commerce Cmte)

If you visit our blog page, you can meet Jim Iannuzo:

Jim owns a Sign-A-Rama sign and print shop in Phoenix. He is working hard, providing jobs, and trying to improve his business with the application of new technologies. The state government is not planning to give him a tax break next year.

And the government is not planning to give you a tax break, either.

But the House Commerce Committee is meeting today to discuss a bill that would award a lot of tax breaks to various special interests (the kind that employ high-powered lobbyists). Senate Bill 1433, the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008, includes special tax breaks for entertainment districts, ballparks, solar companies, and other politically-favored businesses, all in the name of “job creation” and “economic stimulus.”

Every dollar given to a favored industry in a tax credit is a dollar that cannot be cut from the taxes of ordinary individuals, families, and businesses. Thanks to a tax code that looks like Swiss cheese, Arizona businesses, including Jim’s, already labor under some of the highest sales taxes, corporate income taxes, and business property taxes in the country.

We may be able to stop the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008 in the Commerce Committee today. Several of the committee members are very skeptical about the bill. The emails for the members of the Committee are listed here:

Rep. Michele Reagan,

Rep. Rich Crandall,

Rep. Kirk Adams,

Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford,

Rep. Mark DeSimone,

Rep. Adam Driggs,

Rep. Bill Konopnicki,

Rep. Robert Meza,

Rep. Ben Miranda ,

Rep. Jonathan Paton,

(We know, it’s a rotten bill, but please use more honey than vinegar when you write…)

Worse, you and Jim may actually see your property taxes go up next year, especially if the Legislature fails to pass HCR 2072, a bill to refer the repeal of the state’s equalization property tax to the voters:

And, you may see your state sales taxes go up by 18 percent, if a majority of voters is duped into approving the TIME Coalition’s proposed tax increase to support projects such as light rail.

To read the Big Boondoggle Bill, click here:

To read a recent news update on what is included in the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008, see this story by Mary Jo Pitzl from Saturday’s Republic:

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
(602) 478-0146

AFTA: Boondoggle update. And here comes the worst budget we've ever seen

First, the good news: We are close to beating the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008. We have it on good authority that SB1433 will not go to the House Commerce Committee this week. A BIG THANKS to all of you who wrote to your Legislators!

However, the proponents of the special-interest tax breaks have broken the Big Boondoggle Bill into pieces, and are running the pieces through different committees. On Thursday (June 26), Rep. Michele Reagan’s House Commerce Committee may hear SB1084, which would create a special tax break for ballparks. Also on Thursday, Rep. Lucy Mason’s House Water and Agriculture Committee may hear HB2872, which would create special tax breaks for the solar industry. We’ll keep you posted…

Now, for some bad news: The Eloy theme park bill, SB1450, passed in the Senate today with 17 Yes votes. Thanks to Senators Carolyn Allen, Ken Cheuvront, Jorge Luis Garcia, Pamela Gorman, Jack Harper, Barbara Leff, Deb McCune Davis, Jay Tibshraeny, and Jim Waring, for voting against granting special tax-free bonding privileges to the theme park.

And extra thanks to Senator Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City, for his efforts to engage in a “silent filibuster” against the Eloy theme park bill during the Senate vote today. During the roll call, Sen. Gould tied up the proceedings by refusing to cast his vote. Eventually, the Senate President asked the Senate to “excuse” Gould in order to finish the roll-call vote, which is why his vote appears as an “E” instead of an “N” in the vote tally:

The Eloy theme park bill now goes to Gov. Janet Napolitano

Finally, there is the TRULY AWFUL NEWS: FY2009 budget bills have begun to emerge, with less than a week left in the Session. The Senate proposal—which is basically the Governor’s budget—contains a paltry $361 million in spending reductions. The House proposal contains $505 million in spending reductions. Both budgets are far short of the $2.2 billion in reductions needed to balance the budget without resorting to borrowing, fund transfers, tax increases, and accounting gimmicks. Either budget would result in a cash deficit carry-forward (something that is supposed to be unconstitutional) of over $1 billion next year.

Dollar for dollar, this is shaping up to be the worst budget we have ever seen. And we’ve seen some bad budgets.

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
(602) 478-0146

CAP: Governor signs Jesse Ramirez law - to protect comatose patients

In this issue:

1) Sixty-First CAP-Supported Bill Signed!
2) Please Pray!
3) Save the Date for the Values Voter Summit

Forward this email to a friend!

1) Sixty-First CAP-Supported Bill Signed!

Today, Governor Napolitano signed HB 2823, Jesse's Law. This is the 61st bill supported by CAP that has become law.

The new law makes a clarification on how decisions are handled for patients who cannot communicate their wishes. The law was inspired by the real-life story of Jesse Ramirez who suffered serious injuries in a car accident in May 2007. Jesse went without food and water for five days after his feeding tube was removed without proper authorization, just ten days after the accident. Emergency legal intervention by our friends at Alliance Defense Fund saved Jesse's life, and he walked out of the hospital in October 2007 and continues to make tremendous rehabilitation progress. However, this area of the law was obviously not clear enough to protect Jesse. The new law fixes one problem that was brought to light through Jesse's situation, and we hope to address the remaining legal shortfalls next year.

CAP thanks Rep. Bob Stump, Jesse Ramirez, and his family for all of their work on this bill.

2) Please Pray!

Other news from the Capitol can best be described as frustrating and challenging as we continue to play a waiting game on critical legislation. Our elected officials need our fervent prayer, especially today and throughout this week, for wisdom and guidance. Here's a brief update:

  • The Senate still has not considered the proposed state constitutional marriage amendment (SCR 1042) at a time when all 16 committed votes were present. It's critical to the future of marriage in our state for the voters to be able to decide on a definition of marriage for our state constitution, not leave this decision up to politicians or judges.
  • The Governor any day will act on the revised ban on partial-birth abortion. Please continue to contact Governor Napolitano and ask her to sign the partial-birth abortion ban, SB 1048.
  • HB 2269 to prohibit nurses from performing surgical abortions awaits a final vote on the Senate floor.
  • The Students' Religious Liberties Act (HB 2713) awaits a final vote. Last week, senators rejected a hostile amendment that would have allowed schools to censor religious speech by classifying it as "harassment or "bullying."

3) Save the Date for the Values Voter Summit

Make your plans now to attend the Values Voter Summit put on by FRC Action in Washington, D.C., September 12-14. The conference will feature noted speakers, as well as breakout sessions on a variety of topics from life and marriage to immigration and fundamentalist Islam to voter organization and turnout. Registration is $95 and just $50 for students. Register online at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

News from the new Schweikert campaign office! - Democrat named Volunteer of the week!!

Come volunteer in our new CAMPAIGN OFFICE!!!!

We need your help with lots of stuff! Help us stuff envelopes, make phone calls, distribute literature and put up signs.
Please stop by the office or call 480-659-9383 - today! We're looking forward to seeing you there!
4110 N. Goldwater Blvd, Ste 200
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Volunteer of the Week
Democrat David is named Schweikert Volunteer of the week!!
Late Friday afternoon this young man walks into the new campaign office. After touring the office he sat down to help other volunteers stuff envelopes. This whole time he was holding a small video camera making sure he got pictures of volunteers and our internal operation.
His name is David Judd and he is an employee of the Harry Mitchell’s State Democratic Party. As the candidate you have to accept the spying and intrusion into your life. What is so outrageous about these actions is the attack on the privacy of everyday people who want to be involved in the political process.
Taking pictures of the volunteers and their cars is an obvious attempt at intimidation. This should let everyone know how far Congressman Mitchell and his party will go to retain power.

Paid for by David Schweickert for Congress "

I still need your help; we need $1.5 million to compete with the unions and special interest groups. Please go on line now and contribute: it’s how we pay for the signs, radio, mail and TV to tell our story!


Get Involved

1,340 Individual Contributors

google map

Out of state domestic terrorist organization BAMN harassing more AZ Civil Rights Initiative petition signature gatherers

Yesterday the neo-communist group BAMN physically blocked people from entering public buildings.

Federalist Society: upcoming events

July 11, 2008, 5:30-7pm

Summer Happy Hour
Join us for appetizers (on us) and drinks (on you) at Portland’s, near downtown Phoenix. A great opportunity to catch up on summer legal news, the elections, and general questions of interest.
Summer law clerks welcome; location TBD
Email Kasey Higgins ( to RSVP or with any questions.

September 12, 2008, 5:30-7pm

Annual Lawyer Student Mixer
Every year we bring local lawyers, students, and public policy makers and analysts together for a social networking opportunity as well as the chance to hear from a respected member of the judiciary. We are honored this year to welcome Judge Neil Wake, District of Arizona, and Executive Board member Mark Brnovich has once again graciously offered to host this event.
Email Kasey Higgins ( to RSVP or with any questions.

Additional Fall Speaker Events To Watch For:

This fall we are honored to welcome the following speakers, more details will be posted on this site as they are arranged:

* Richard Epstein, University of Chicago Law School
* Brad Smith, formerly of the Federal Elections Commission
* Roger Clegg (tentative)
* Senator Jon Kyl
* Jeff Rowes, Institute for Justice

RSVP Now for The Future of American Conservatism Forum

(click to enlarge)

Goldwater Institute: Disadvantaged Florida Students Beat Arizona Average

Matthew Ladner, Ph.D. 

In 2007, a family of four needed to earn less than $20,650 to qualify for a free lunch. In Arizona, the median family income for a family of four is over $65,000

Here's the surprising news: Low-income students in Florida-namely, those who qualify for free lunches-outperform all students in Arizona. That's the insight to be gleaned by sifting through the treasure trove of data generated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation's Report Card.

You don't need to take my word on these scores. You can go to the National Center for Education Statistics website and see them for yourself.

The point here is not to bash the underperformance of Arizona schools. Rather, these data point to the enormity of the opportunity for improvement which we can and must achieve. Florida has found a way to significantly boost the performance of low-income students; Arizona should examine how and borrow everything we can.

Dr. Matthew Ladner is Director of the Center for Educational Opportunity at the Goldwater Institute.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goldwater Institute Condemns Tactics Interfering with Signature Gathering for Racial Preferences Initiative

Video of BAMN harassing Arizona Civil Rights Initiative petition signature collectors. Warning: foul and offensive language

Out-of-state activists from a group calling itself "By Any Means Necessary" (BAMN) are interfering with the right of Arizona voters to place an initiative on the November ballot prohibiting racial preferences in government education, employment, and contracting.

The group has posted numerous videos documenting its harassment of petition gatherers and voters signing petitions on At least two videos indicate that the group has obtained signed petitions

"These activists have a right to try to persuade people not to sign petitions, and even to lie about the initiative, which they do," declared Clint Bolick, director of the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. "But the moment they hijack a petition from its intended destination, they've crossed the line by denying citizens their constitutional right to petition the government."

Like most initiatives, the backers of ACRI employ paid circulators who collect signatures for multiple ballot measures. The YouTube videos show BAMN activists telling prospective signers that the initiative is backed and funded by the Ku Klux Klan, disrupting signature gathering, trying to convince a signature gatherer to turn over petitions, and waving copies of petitions they have obtained.

Today, BAMN reportedly blocked access to a public building where petition gathers were attempting to deliver signatures to initiative sponsors. "These people are not interested in reasoned debate," Bolick added. "Their name says it all."

Similar initiatives previously have appeared on the ballot in three states--California, Washington, and Michigan--and have passed by large and increasing margins in all three. BAMN actively opposed the initiative in Michigan. The leading opposition group in Arizona is called "Protect Arizona's Freedom," headed by state Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a coalition that includes such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union. "We call upon those who oppose the initiative to join us in condemning these outrageous tactics that violate the civil rights of Arizonans," Bolick declared.

The Goldwater Institute has documented dozens of racial preference policies in Arizona and will host a debate on the initiative in early September.
are interfering with the right of Arizona voters to place an initiative on the November ballot prohibiting racial preferences in government education, employment, and contracting. that were intended to be filed with the Secretary of State to qualify the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (ACRI) for the ballot.


Starlee Rhoades

Vice President of Communications

(602) 462-5000 x 226


Clint Bolick

Director, Center for Constitutional Litigation

(602) 462-5000

Sunday, June 22, 2008

BAMN taking "hundreds of petitions" from AZ Civil Rights Initiative collectors

Friday, June 20, 2008

AFP: Arizona revenue to hit TABOR levels in 2009

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP Arizona) announced today that the state government’s revenue next year will be roughly equal to the revenue allowed by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), a fiscally conservative spending limit, if that limit had been adopted in 2004, after the state’s last major budget crisis. TABOR would have limited state spending to the rate of growth of Arizona’s population, plus inflation. Instead of facing a $2.2 billion deficit this year, the state under TABOR would today enjoy a small surplus.

AFP Arizona based its calculations (click here for graph) on new revenue projections announced by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) in its testimony before joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee members Tuesday. The JLBC forecasts state general fund revenues to come in as low as $9.0 billion in Fiscal Year 2008 (the year ending at the end of this month). With 1.2 percent revenue growth forecast for FY 2009, and 3.8 percent for FY 2010, revenue in FY 2010 would be $9.5 billion, with a small surplus over the trendline TABOR budget for FY 2010 of $9.3 billion.

“It may sound like gloating to tell the politicians, ‘We told you so,’” said AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney. “But the fact is, we told you so.” Groups such as the Goldwater Institute and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers (now AFP Arizona) have issued multiple alerts during the last five years, warning that spending was on a dangerous “rollercoaster ride” and growing at unsustainable rates that would set the state up for massive deficits during a recession. Those warnings were echoed in multiple proposals by House Appropriations chairman Russell Pearce (R-Mesa) and other fiscal conservatives to refer a TABOR-style referendum to Arizona voters.

If Arizona voters had approved a TABOR-style referendum in 2004, the government would have refunded over $4.5 billion to taxpayers through FY 2008, and would not be facing a deficit.

Under a less stringent spending limit based upon personal income growth, in which government spending is not allowed to outpace the growth of the state economy, the government would have refunded close to $4 billion to taxpayers from 2004 to 2007, ending with a negligible deficit of $140 million in FY 2008 and a manageable deficit of $730 million in FY 2009 (one-third the size of the actual deficit).


Join Americans for Prosperity and support your grassroots taxpayer watchdog.

The Arizona Federation of Taxpayers has served the hard-working people of our state since 1980. Now that we have teamed up with Americans for Prosperity, we are fighting the Big Spenders at all levels of government—local, state, and national.

For $10 a year, you can take a stand for freedom and limited government—and save yourself hundreds of dollars a year in taxes. JOIN NOW!

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the nation’s premier grassroots organization committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits.

Gov. Napolitano pushes for another $1.4 billion in school bonding

In addition to K-12 bonding for new school construction, Gov. Napolitano wants even more bonding.

Dear Friends:

Arizona has a great future, and, as you know, I believe education is key to our state's long-term success and economic prosperity.

Now, there's a way for you to demonstrate your support by signing an online petition at, urging the Legislature to put into effect a proposal that will build up our state university system and prepare it for the future.

That proposal is called SPEED, or the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development. SPEED is a $1.4 billion long-term capital finance plan to improve and expand facilities at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona.

It combines short-term relief, while at the same time, carrying us toward our long-term goals. For the short term, by allowing the Universities to begin construction on desperately-needed facilities, this plan will create more than 30,000 new jobs, including 14,000 jobs in the construction industry. It will also give our state's economy a "shot in the arm."

For the long-term, SPEED will complete critical university campus renovations that were planned years ago. It will build new facilities to accommodate the many young people growing up in Arizona today who will need a higher education in the competitive future economy. SPEED will also make critical research investments that will foster high-tech industries in Arizona.

In my State of the State address this year, I challenged our higher education institutions to double the number of bachelor's degrees they produce by the year 2020. With the help of the SPEED plan, we can reach that goal.

Please show your support for a better higher education system that will lead to more college graduates and a stronger economy by signing the petition here and by asking your friends to do the same.

Thank you for your support for education in Arizona. If you have any questions, you can contact my office at (602) 542-1318, or visit my Web site at for information and news in Arizona government.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano


AZ Taxpayers: Eloy deal still stinks--and here comes the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008...

The Arizona Senate is considering SB1450, a bill that would award a private company the privilege of issuing $750 million in tax-free bonds, so that it can build a rock music theme park in Eloy.

Proponents of SB1450 have contacted me, arguing that the bill’s language removes any legal obligation for taxpayers to bail out the theme park district in the event that it cannot attract enough visitors to pay back the bond creditors.

That appears to be true about the legal obligation, but the legislation does not remove the political obligation to bail out the theme park district. If the Eloy theme park turns out to be a flop, future legislatures will be under intense pressure to bail out the theme park. If they do not, the failure of the district to pay back creditors will hurt Arizona’s bond ratings, effectively raising the interest rates for revenue bonds for traditional public-private partnerships, such as road construction projects.

Again, the economic downsides of the Decades Theme Park deal are not nearly as important as the question of principle at stake: Should the government give special taxing privileges to chosen companies? Again, the answer to that question is, “NO.” The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the economy.

Further, if we let the Eloy deal pass, it will only encourage the rest of the sharks, who are already pestering the Legislature to pass the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008, which includes special tax breaks for entertainment districts, ballparks, and other politically-favored industries, all in the name of “economic stimulus.” Remember that every dollar given to a favored industry in a tax credit is a dollar that cannot be cut from the taxes of ordinary individuals, families, and businesses. Somehow, that does not seem very stimulating…

For emerging details on the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008, see Mary Jo Pitzl’s story in the Republic:

The tax credit handouts in the Big Boondoggle Bill of 2008 make the Eloy deal look almost innocent. It seems that our politicians just can’t break the habit of picking winners and losers in the Arizona economy—no matter how many losers they pick. We will keep you posted on developments related to the Big Boondoggle Bill.



If you’re not sure who your state senator is, contact us, and we will give you the contact info.

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
(602) 478-0146

AZ Taxpayers: Maricopa County property taxes--rates vs. levies

In response to some constituent emails, the District 3 Supervisor’s office has been telling our activists, “We have no intention of raising property taxes. In fact, we intend to decrease.”

The officer is mistaken. Maricopa County does plan to decrease its property tax rate this year, from 1.1046 to 1.0327. But the County plans to increase its levy—the actual number of dollars taken from taxpayers. As we have all seen for the past several years, our rates have gone down, but we are still paying more and more in property taxes.

The details are available here, on page 110 and page 123:

Also, to correct an error in my first email: The County is planning to adopt a primary property tax levy of $463.5 million. That is an increase of $33.5 million, or 7.8 percent, over last year’s approved levy of $430 million. (In my first email, I wrote that last year’s approved levy was $454 million—that is the limit imposed by TNT.).

Of that $33.5 million, $9 million exceeds the limit imposed by Truth-in-Taxation (TNT) legislation. Hence today’s TNT hearing. We hope to post details soon at, explaining how the Board’s roll-call vote went.

The meeting is already underway, but if you haven’t already, please take a moment to send an email to your Supervisor. The emails for the Maricopa County Supervisors can be found here:

You can find your district here:

Thank you so much for helping to control the growth of taxes and spending in Maricopa County!

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director,
Americans for Prosperity
(602) 478-0146

Goldwater Institute: Governor Should Support Spending Cuts, Not Gimmicks

Tom Jenney

There's a lot of talk about Governor Janet Napolitano leaving Arizona for Washington, D.C. But before she leaves, she should clean up the mess she has made of our state budget.

Since taking office in 2003, Napolitano has prodded the legislature to grow state budgets at an average rate of 12 percent annually, much faster than the growth rate of the state's private economy, which grows at 7 or 8 percent annually during economic boom times.

With spending growing so fast, it was inevitable that a deficit would emerge. That gap is now up to $2.2 billion-proportionally, the biggest state deficit in the country.

To address the deficit, Napolitano has proposed fund shifts and accounting gimmicks, but very little in the way of net spending reductions. The combined impact of her measures would be to temporarily reduce the deficit by roughly $1.2 billion-one billion dollars short of actually balancing the budget.

Napolitano also wants to increase state debt. Of course, taking on debt will not be the end of the story. If Napolitano moves to D.C. in 2009, she will be gone when the state begins paying $200 million annually in interest on that debt.

The Legislature's appropriations chairmen, Sen. Bob Burns and Rep. Russell Pearce, have found $1.5 billion in spending reductions that would allow the state to balance next year's budget without taking on debt or raising taxes. Napolitano should be able to support those reductions, which would shave the overall state budget down to the size it was just two years ago.

Instead of leaving a gigantic fiscal mess for someone else to clean up, Napolitano should work with legislative leaders to make spending reductions now.

Tom Jenney is the Arizona director of Americans for Prosperity, A longer version of this article appeared in the Arizona Capitol Times.

AZ Right to Life: Urge Governor to ban partial birth abortion

3700 N. 24th Street,

Suite 100 Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: (602) 285-0063

Contact Governor Napolitano and ask her to sign the bill banning partial-birth abortion

19 June 2008
A bill set to outlaw the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion is headed for the Governor's desk and awaits her signature. In April, Governor Napolitano vetoed a previous version of SB 1048 which mirrors the federal ban on partial birth abortion and would have made it easier for state agencies to prosecute this crime. Fortunately, our dedicated pro-life legislators, along with the assistance of groups like the Center for Arizona Policy and the Arizona Catholic Conference, have now sent a revised partial-birth abortion ban to the Governor. This new bill directly addresses the two concerns that the Governor had with the previous legislation, which she claims motivated her to veto it in April. The Governor now has a second chance to outlaw a medical procedure that the United States Supreme Court described as being close to "infanticide."

Please call Governor Napolitano at (602) 542-4331 or (800) 253-0883, or email her and ask that she protect women and children from this barbaric procedure by signing SB 1048 into law.
For more information contact:
Arizona Right to Life - (602) 285-0063
John Jakubczyk - (602) 468-0030