Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
(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
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
(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
CAP will continue to keep you posted on the latest from the Capitol! To check the latest status of all our bills, visit www.azpolicy.org/legislation.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org (602) 478-0146
by Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.
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.
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
The teachers' unions' recycled argument against the scholarships is that
Public school officials regularly place children with disabilities in private schools at state expense. For example, school districts have placed 12 students at the
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.
In this issue:
(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. thetruthproject.org/events.
(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
Sunday, April 20, 2008
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
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
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
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
The evidence Martin brings to bear is paper thin for such an extraordinary claim. Two of the three zip codes of the
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
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
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 www.JusticeForVictimsAZ.com. For information about Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, visit their website at www.voiceforvictims.org. For information about national efforts to promote 2008 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, please visit the Office for Victims of Crime Web site at http://www.ovc.gov/ncvrw/welcome.html.
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,
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.
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
In this issue:
(1) Condoms and Corsages in Bisbee
This year, the prom at
(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
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) -
http://www.salon.com/5things/2008/04/08/voice_editor_apologi/index.html (just click on "enter Salon")
Thursday, April 10, 2008
For more on this topic, see: