Saturday, August 30, 2008

Arizona Citizens Defense League Annual Meeting - Oct. 18

Sat., Oct. 18, 2008
12:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Phoenix Hotel
2532 W. Peoria (NE cor. I-17 and Peoria)

The premier gun-rights lobby and RKBA activists in the state are having
their annual members meeting and bash again. Mix and mingle with friends, hear about last year's successes and next year's plans, support the right to keep and bear arms by just showing up. A rare event where, "The tasteful open carrying of firearms is appreciated." The $25 luncheon includes tri-tip steak or other savory choices. Speakers include attorney Mike Anthony, who trains the trainers for DPS for the CCW program, and AZ speaker of the House Jim Weiers. The Cartridge Family is also scheduled to

(thanks to Arizona's gun rights expert Alan Korwin for providing this info)

Arizona Breakfast Club - Sat. Sept. 6

Arizona Breakfast Club
Coco's Banquet Room
N. side of Cactus Rd., 1/4 mi. W. of Tatum Blvd.
Sat., Sep. 6, 2008
Doors open 7:30 a.m., meeting ends 10 a.m.
All you can eat breakfast, $11

An intimate monthly gathering for nearly four decades, where libertarian types meet, chat, and hear from significant players in the political arena.
Every first Saturday of the month.

Friday, August 29, 2008

First round of candidates for office sign Tax & Spending Pledge

Several officers and candidates for local government offices have signed our first Local Government Tax and Spending Pledge, committing to hold down spending, property tax levies, sales taxes, and impact fees:

Signer Office Held/Sought

Barney Brenner Pima County Board of Supervisors

Ray Carroll Pima County Board of Supervisors

Ann Day Pima County Board of Supervisors

Rex Griswold Mayor, City of Mesa

Joe Higgins Pima County Board of Supervisors

Paul Srch Maricopa Community College

Matt Tolman Mesa City Council

We are now encouraging all local government officials and candidates to sign our 2009 Local Government Tax and Spending Pledge. If you are an office holder or seeking an office, or if you know someone who is seeking an office in local government, please access the Pledge by going to this URL:

Signers will be announced on October 1, 2008, so please get your pledges in soon.

Given forecasts for continued economic distress during the coming year, office holders and candidates wishing to pledge to be a Friend of the Taxpayer in 2009 must commit to:

1) not vote for any FY09-10 budget that is greater than the FY08-09 budget;

2) not vote for any increase in total property tax levies; and,

3) not vote to increase the rates of any sales taxes or impact fees, even by referenda.

To pledge to be an Ally of the Taxpayer in 2009, office holders and candidates must commit to:

1) not vote for any FY09-10 budget more than 2.4% greater than the FY08-09 budget;

2) not vote to raise total property tax levies by more than 2.4 percent; and,

3) not vote to increase the rates of any sales taxes or impact fees, even by referenda.

(If economic growth picks up by February 2009, revisions will be made to the above limits.)

For the purposes of the Pledge, budgets are approved budgets for all funds, as declared in Schedule A of the state-required documents. Property tax levies are total levies, as declared in Schedule B of the state-required documents. For impact fees, the effective rate of current taxation shall not increase, though existing rates may be applied to new developments not previously taxed.

Completed and signed forms should be mailed to AFP Arizona, One East Camelback Road, Suite 550, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is the Catholic Church wrong on immigration?

Interesting article from Inside Catholic.

It ought not to challenge anyone's faith, or cause us scandal, when our bishops' conference or leading prelates take positions on immigration that cut loose from Catholic principles of justice and prudence, and instead wallow around in the stagnant waters of sentimental leftism.

Goldwater Institute: 116 Candidates Sign Open Government Pledge

Goldwater Institute asks all candidates to support government transparency

More than 100 candidates running for office in Arizona this year are committed to making government more transparent. 116 incumbents and challengers running for almost every office, from every county, and from across the political spectrum, signed a pledge to prove their commitment to open government.

"In this contentious election year, open government is one issue where we see some welcome common ground among divergent candidates," said Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute. "The candidates who signed this pledge take seriously the idea that the government belongs to the people. We're encouraged that candidates across the political spectrum support this bedrock principle of democracy."

The Goldwater Institute asked every person running for nearly every elected office in Arizona to sign the pledge, which states that the candidate will abide by Arizona's open meeting and records laws and would support requiring detailed information on all government contracts and financial transactions be posted online.

Despite the enthusiastic response to the Goldwater Institute's first ever Open Government Pledge, roughly 80 percent of candidates did not sign the pledge. "Arizona's open meetings and open records laws don't go nearly far enough in opening the books on government," continued Ms. Olsen. "Let's hope the refusal to sign this pledge by so many candidates isn't a canary in the coal mine."

On the last day of the 2008 legislative session, a bill passed that will require state agency spending to be posted in an online database. This was a positive first step, but more work remains to be done. The database won't be implemented until 2011 and it doesn't apply to local and county government spending. The Goldwater Institute supports requiring government offices, commissions, and agencies from the local level up to the state level to post their spending online.

To read the Open Government Pledge and see who signed it go to

Sec. of State Jan Brewer's response to Napolitano's speech

Reaction from Secretary of State Jan Brewer to Gov. Napolitano's DNC speech

It’s always good to see an Arizona Governor talking about our state on the national stage, but she conveniently left out the circumstances of our state’s billion dollar budget deficit. The fact is that Barack Obama’s celebrity status is not going to help Arizonans, or any Americans, at all. We don’t need his higher taxes, more government spending, and his desire to separate us from the rest of the global economy.

We keep hearing from some Democrat leaders at the convention about their support of Obama, but a great many Democrats believe he’s just not ready to lead. Even Joe Biden agrees with that.

Not only has Obama voted against tax cuts and for tax increases nearly 100 times in his short career, he thinks we need more of the same. He’s wrong. There is no better way to kill jobs and move our American businesses oversees that to raise taxes during an economic downturn. It’s a terrible idea, and we’re better than that. John McCain will prove it.

Our Senator McCain has experience, good judgment, and strong character. He has done wonders representing our state in the United States Senate, and will do the same for the American people as President of The United States.

Gun Rights Policy conference: Sept. 26-28

GRPC 2008: Elect Freedom

2008 GRPC flyer

Come meet national gun rights leaders and your fellow grassroots activists at the 23rd Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC 2008) in Phoenix, Arizona, September 26, 27, & 28, 2008. This is your once-a-year chance to network and get an insider look and plan pro-gun rights strategies for the coming year.

The full roster of GRPC 2008 speakers has not yet been set. Past speakers include: Alan M. Gottlieb, Joseph P. Tartaro, U.S. Representatives Ron Paul, Chris Cannon, Bob Barr & Jean Schmidt, Robert Levy, Esq. & Alan Gura, Esq., counsel for the Heller case, Wayne LaPierre, John Lott, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Larry Elder, Ken Hamblin, and many others.

GRPC Supporters:

The conference will be held at the beautiful Sheraton Crescent in Phoenix, Arizona.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Democrat fails to get Alice Lara knocked off healthcare district ballot

A Democrat running for the healthcare district board in district 5 (South Phoenix) attempted to get the other four candidates knocked off the ballot by claiming some of their petition signatures were invalid. (Candidates only need to collect a couple hundred signatures for that race, making signatures little more than a symbolic gesture) Most of the signatures challenged had small technical problems, such as a letter was spelled wrong in their address or something - not as if they weren't valid registered voters living in that district. One of the candidates being challenged was represented by an election attorney, who pointed out that the challenger failed to name the Maricopa County Recorder/Elections and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in the suit, and didn't serve them either. Judge Burke asked the challengers, "Do you see the Board of Supervisors sitting here in the courtroom?" There was no one from the Board of Supervisors there. Judge Burke said he was dismissing the complaint. This is good news for solid conservative candidate Alice Lara(right), who as the only Hispanic in the nonpartisan race, has the best shot at winning the seat in heavily Hispanic South Phoenix.

Pub party this Friday to celebrate TIME getting knocked off the ballot

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

You are most cordially invited to a Dragon Slaying Party this Friday evening, August 29th, at the George and Dragon Pub on Central Avenue in Phoenix, two blocks north of Indian School. Festivities shall commence during the sixth hour after noon.

The occasion for the festivities is the demise of the TIME Ballot Initiative, which was thrown off the ballot today by the Arizona Supreme Court:

The TIME Initiative would have increased the state sales tax by 18 percent, and thrown $42 billion at unspecified transportation projects, including projects—such as light rail—that have very little to do with transportation. The government largess for rail projects would have been doled out by the members of a “Passenger Rail Projects Committee,” a majority of whose members would have been appointees serving at the pleasure of the Governor.

To learn more about the many disastrous provisions of the TIME Initiative, read this analysis by transportation expert John Semmens:

And please send a note of thanks to Steve Voeller of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club (, for the work AZFEC did to oppose the TIME Initiative on the legal front.

Steve’s email is

URL for George and Dragon:

And if anyone is interested in organizing festivities outside of the Valley, let me know, and I will help.

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who is pulling Kevin Gibbons' strings?

Latest from

Funding for Scholarship Programs Restored: Goldwater Institute Applauds House Speaker and State Superintendent

Today the Goldwater Institute applauded House Speaker Jim Weiers and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne for re-funding the school voucher programs for students with disabilities and students in foster care. The funding was cut by the legislature in June pending an ongoing legal battle over the programs.

Families can apply for a voucher for this school year through the Arizona Department of Education. The Displaced Pupil Grant and the Scholarship for Pupils with Disabilities applications are both available online.

When both programs were passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in 2006, the
voucher for students in foster care was the first of its kind in the nation, and the voucher for students with disabilities was the nation's fourth. The ACLU and People for the American Way filed suit against the programs shortly after their implementation. The Arizona Supreme Court may decide whether to hear the case as early as September 23, 2008.

Click here to read a short article about the lawsuit. The Goldwater Institute is a research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.

AZ Right to Life Speaker Spotlight: Stephanie Gray

Arizona Right to Life
3700 North 24th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Can you believe there are just two weeks remaining until the Arizona Right to Life Annual Pro-Life Conference at the beautiful Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale on September 5th and 6th. "Building a Legacy of Life - Empowering America's Leaders," will empower you to defend life at every opportunity!

Click here to register on-line now. Or visit our website for more information on speakers, topics, and workshops!

Stephanie Gray is one of our Keynote speakers on Saturday. Her work with the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform has saved many lives while she works to change hearts and minds You won't want to miss her insightful and motivational presentations at this year's conference!

Stephanie has given pro-life presentations across North America and in the United Kingdom. She has spoken at many post-secondary institutions such as the University of Toronto, York University, University of Calgary, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and the University of Sussex in England.

She has also spoken to high schools, churches of various denominations, seminaries, and pro-life organizations. Stephanie has debated abortion advocates such as Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, and Dr. Jan Narveson, Philosophy professor and recipient of the Order of Canada.

One presentation attendee described Stephanie's talk as, "interesting, convincing, moving, [and] excellent. Another said, "I came in choice, I'm leaving life."

Stephanie was the president of Lifeline, the University of British Columbia's pro-life club from 1999-2001. At UBC she led the effort to display a smaller version of the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) which generated significant media attention. Stephanie has been interviewed on multiple radio shows and has been a guest on television programs such as VTV News, Global News, 100 Huntley Street's Listen Up, and the Miracle Channel's In Sight. She has been interviewed by ABC-, NBC-, FOX-, and CBS-affiliated television news programs throughout the Midwest of the United States.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. She is a co-founder and the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Click here to Register Now!

Other topics and workshops include:
  • Pro-Life 101 and 201: Defending the Pro-Life Position
  • High School and College Campus Activism
  • Smart Pro-Life Money Management
  • Women: Abortion's Second Victim
  • Lessons from Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law
  • Pro-Life Leader Training
  • Compassionate Care for Ill or Disabled Family Members
  • Activating Your Church in the Fight for Life
  • Get Out the Vote 2008
  • 21st Century Bio-tech Threats
  • 40 Days for Lif - and more!

Arizona Right to Life's 30th Annual Pro-Life Conference:
Building a Legacy of Life - Empowering America's Leaders
Friday Night and Saturday, September 5-6, 2008
Chaparral Suites Resort Conference Center, Scottsdale, AZ
(5001 North Scottsdale Road)
Click here for complete conference schedule

Arizona Right to Life | | 602-285-0063

Monday, August 25, 2008

Schweikert: Bitter-Smith Hate Mail

Yesterday, Republican voters of the 5th Congressional District received this in the mail from one of my primary opponents, Susan Bitter-Smith. I am dismayed and disheartened that a fellow Republican would stoop to such a low as to distort my record with the images of a handgun displayed in such a menacing fashion. While we all open ourselves to public scrutiny when we choose to engage in public life, it should be about the issues and facts that confront us as a party, a nation and a people.

When we have to devote our resources to deflecting messages of negativity and record distortion, it takes time and money to do so. First, we need your help by helping us to say no to NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING. It is proper and right that we have a discussion on Susan Bitter-Smith and her votes to raise taxes. What is not appropriate is to send messages out such as she did yesterday.

Secondly, we are asking for your help in getting our message of energy security, border security, and tax and governmental reform out to the voters. In order to do so, we need those of you who have already given so much to get us this far to give just a little more. For our 72 hour push, we need you to help us make phone calls for early ballot returns, drive voters to the polls, assist our callers as office staff and so many more things. Please sign up on the web site for your 72 hour shift now!

We are so close to reaching the goal line, and we are depending on your help to score the winning touchdown.

Sincerely yours,

David Schweikert

The Arpaio of Ohio

Check out this Sheriff in Ohio who is making a name for himself cracking down on illegal immigration, Butler County Sheriff R.K. Jones. His blog lists his latest activities.

Inside info on the Stop Illegal Hiring Act initiative

Immigration Law Reform Institute
Sharma Hammond, Esq. Issue No. 16, August 2008
In This Issue
Behind the Headlines
Bills to Watch Encouraging Illegal Immigration
Local Legislation
IRIL Tip of the Month

· Behind the Headlines

Arizona SIHA Initiative

The Stop Illegal Hiring Act ("SIHA") ballot initiative has been certified by the Arizona Secretary of State (see article). Drafters allege that the SIHA initiative, as its name suggests, would enhance the current Arizona Employer Sanctions Law. However, the title is misleading. The initiative, rather than enhancing, effectively guts the pioneering enforcement mechanisms in Arizona's current law.

The current Arizona law mandates that covered business entities register with the federal E-Verify program. E-Verify allows the employer to quickly and reliably confirm the work authorization status of a new hire online, and makes clear to employers that they are not to hire unauthorized aliens. For noncitizens, it also provides a photo that the business can compare to the identification document presented by the newly hired worker. This feature provides important additional protection against rapidly spreading identity theft crimes.

By making E-Verify use optional, SIHA would strip the Employer Sanctions law of any practical incentive to comply with employer sanctions laws. Prevention of illegal employment is the most effective means of deterring illegal immigration. The SIHA initiative will, if successful, remove the requirement for enrollment in the E-verify program; permit an employer's compliance with the I-9 paperwork process to serve as a non-rebuttable presumption that they have not violated the law; and, thus, limit the statute's effectiveness to employers and employees located in Arizona.

Allowing compliance with the I-9 process to serve as a "non-rebuttable presumption of innocence" will make it much harder to sanction a covered Arizona business owner from employing unauthorized aliens. The I-9 process requires an employer to receive two forms of identification "verifying" that a person has a lawful status, and to maintain a copy of the I-9 form in his file. However, this process is not enforced by the federal government. Therefore, an employer could - if not required to enroll in the E-verify program - accept two falsified forms of documentation from an illegal alien. Granting a "nonrebuttable presumption of innocence" to employers who merely accept false documents and fill out a non-enforceable I-9 form only encourages those employers to continue employing unauthorized aliens in violation of federal law.

Understandably, Arizona voters could easily be tricked into approving this initiative on the false premise that it provides harsher penalties for companies employing illegal aliens. Once enacted through the initiative process, it will be very difficult for the state legislature to amend or improve the law in the future. Activists and elected officials in Arizona need to protect the electorate and the public of the disinformation behind the SIHA initiative.

IRLI is a public interest law firm that provides technical legislative and legal defense services to assist state and local jurisdictions draft and defend laws that are worded appropriately, protect
principles of federalism and the liberties of citizens, and respect the constitutional rights of all. Until the federal government effectively enforces our immigration laws, it is in citizens' best interest that states and cities play an active and cooperative role. IRLI is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) educational charity. Donations to support IRLI's legal advocacy work are tax-deductible and can now be made on-line.

Goldwater Institute's 20th Anniversary Celebration - Oct. 2

The Goldwater Institute's 20th Anniversary Celebration has been confirmed for Thursday, October 2, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

Our guest of honor (and the recipient of this year's Barry Goldwater Award for Liberty) will be Vaclav Klaus, the sitting President of the Czech Republic. President Klaus transformed his country from communism into one of Europe's freest economies, and will speak about how the lessons learned in that struggle might be applied to the ongoing struggle for freedom around the world today. Recent events in Georgia promise to make his remarks especially timely.

Formal invitations will be coming soon, but -- as we are expecting a particularly large audience this year -- I would encourage you to RSVP online now at

Friday, August 22, 2008

Arizona Civil Rights Initiative Works to Rehabilitate Signatures

“Voters will have a chance to vote on the Civil Rights Initiative.”

Despite the announcement from Secretary of State Jan Brewer, indicating that the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (AzCRI) does not have enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, AzCRI is determined to fight for ballot access.

Max McPhail, executive director of AzCRI, stated, “We will review each and every signature that was rejected and we believe that we will find enough signatures to challenge the Secretary of State’s ruling.” McPhail continued, “If we do not have the time due to the ballot printing deadline we are committed to beginning the process as soon as possible for the 2010 election. Clearly Arizona voters are supportive of fair and equal treatment for every individual and it is the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative's intention to give them the right to vote for that principle.”

Ward Connerly, Founder of the American Civil Rights Coalition, expressed concern over some of the policies in Arizona, “In most other states that allow citizen lead petitions drives a voter database can be purchased for a couple hundred dollars. This allows proponents to check the validity of petition signatures as they are turned in and allows for necessary action to correct circulators with validity rates that are cause for concern.” Connerly continued, “In Arizona, proponents would have to pay well over $200,000 for the voter database. This year’s unprecedented low validity rate for most initiatives underscores the problem.”

The Arizona Civil Rights Initiative is dedicated to giving the people of Arizona the opportunity to end preferential treatment based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin by state or local governments. AzCRI will make Arizona a place of equal opportunity for all, not a state that uses discrimination as a tool to create “diversity.” Achieving “diversity” should never be an excuse to discriminate.

Contact: Max McPhail

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Andrew Thomas, a very fiscally conservative county attorney

Contrary to the mis-truths and half-truths printed in the media in regards to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and spending, Thomas has ran a very fiscally conservative administration since taking office in 2005. When the full picture is taken into account, he very likely ranks among the most fiscally conservative county attorneys in the nation.

Decreasing illegal immigration means less crime and less costs to taxpayers

Andrew Thomas has made decreasing illegal immigration a priority. As a result of prosecuting illegal immigrants for conspiring to smuggle themselves, supporting and enforcing other laws such as employer sanctions and no bail for illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes, illegal immigrants are leaving Arizona. This has contributed to a decrease in crime in most cities within Maricopa County, costing taxpayers less for prosecution. And as illegal immigrants leave the state, they are using fewer government social services, emergency room services, and public schools. The Center for Immigration Studies found that illegal immigrant households imposed costs of $26 billion on the federal government and paid $16 billion in federal taxes, creating an annual net fiscal deficit of $10.4 billion at the federal level, or $2,700 per household. Arizona is currently facing a $2 billion budget crisis. At least 10% of Arizona’s illegal immigrant population has left the state within the past year. Arizona’s budget crisis may be resolved by this exodus.

Under Thomas, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office returned $2 million in unused monies to the county this year

The county saw its income decrease this past year due to low sales tax revenues from the sluggish economy. In order to compensate for this, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office decreased its spending by $2 million, returning it to the county’s general fund.

Length of time to prosecute felonies has decreased

Since Thomas took office, the average length of time it takes to prosecute a felony has decreased from 87 days to 37 days. Most counties our size average 92 days, including Pima County. Part of this reduction in prosecution time is due to the Maricopa County Superior Court consolidating the prosecution of felonies at a facility downtown known as the Regional Court Center. It is also due to Thomas changing MCAO plea policies to make it harder for defendants and their attorneys to add additional delays. If a defendant doesn’t decide to take the plea agreement offered by the County Attorney’s office 30 days before trial, the office no longer will give extensions or reductions in the plea, but instead the defendant must take his or her chances at trial.

Speeding up death penalty cases

Death penalty cases in Arizona take an average of 19 years to go through the system from the date of the crime until the date of execution. This is way too long. Many of the delays are due to stalling tactics by defense attorneys and the courts’ failure to enforce deadlines, which was detailed in a report issued by the office. (LINK to report) Thomas has taken some steps internally to prevent this, and will pursue legislation to curtail these practices.

Thomas has kept the office the same size as when he took office almost 4 years ago

Thomas kept the size of the office from increasing, even though Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing large counties in the nation and the number of inmate lawsuits against the county has doubled since he entered office.

Outsourcing work to private contract counsel saves money in the long run

Costly lawsuits by inmates have been assigned to outside counsel to handle, ensuring that they are fully litigated so the same issues cannot come up again in similar lawsuits. This was done to save the county money in the long-term, since other inmates are barred from re-litigating those claims.

Increased salaries for Deputy County Attorneys in order to retain experienced attorneys and reduce turnover

When Thomas took office in 2005, the attorney turnover rate was high because of the low pay. The East Valley Tribune ran a satirical cartoon mocking MCAO Deputy County Attorneys for having second jobs at McDonald’s. Experienced felony prosecutors were leaving the office to go work for higher-paying jobs with the city attorneys’ offices prosecuting misdemeanors. Excessive time and resources were expended constantly training brand-new attorneys. Inexperienced young prosecutors were left to handle the most serious crimes, going up against seasoned defense attorneys. In order to correct this situation, Thomas worked to bring attorney pay up to comparable levels in other agencies and similar work in the private sector, which decreased the attorney turnover rate.

Thomas issued a Crime Handbook which will deter crimes

Thomas was criticized in the media for spending close to $200k using RICO funds (money seized from criminal profiteering) for producing a Crime Handbook. However, this handbook will ultimately save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and pay for itself many times over as criminals are deterred and victims take precautions which prevent crime. It costs taxpayers thousands of dollars to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate just one felon. If even just a handful of crimes are deterred, the booklet will have paid for itself. Thomas has received hundreds of letters and emails from the public expressing their gratitude for the booklet and ordering thousands more copies.

Disclaimer: I work for Andrew Thomas

AFP: Rep. Trish Groe wins top legislative award in 2008 Friend of the Taxpayer scorecard

Arizona’s FY 2008-2009 state budget, which is more than a billion dollars over budget, produced sharp divisions in legislators’ scores on the 24th annual “Friend of the Taxpayer” Legislative Scorecard, sponsored by the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), formerly the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. Legislators voting against the budget bills scored an average of 82 percent, while legislators voting in favor scored an average of 10 percent.

The top award stayed in Lake Havasu City, with Rep. Trish Groe narrowly beating out Sen. Ron Gould, who earned the top spot the last three years in a row. Joining Groe and Gould in the category “Hero of the Taxpayer” were Gilbert Reps. Andy Biggs and Eddie Farnsworth, scoring 90 percent or higher.

To view the complete Scorecard, visit

With their combined high scores, Mohave County legislators Groe, Gould, and McLain made Legislative District 3 the highest-scoring district in the state. In second place was LD 22 (Gilbert), and in third place was LD 9 (Glendale/Peoria/Sun City). The average Republican legislator scored 70 percent (Friend of the Taxpayer), while the average Democratic legislator scored 9 percent (Hero of Big Government). Last year’s Party averages were 65 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Widening the divide in scores were the failure of the Governor and legislative majorities to prevent a possible $300 million increase in property taxes next year, advance school choice legislation, allow for private enterprise to provide for Arizona’s transportation infrastructure, or enact budget reforms that would help to rein in runaway spending.

For AFP-AZ, the brightest spot in the 2008 Legislative Session was the passage of transparency legislation that will allow Arizona taxpayers to go online and view all state expenditures made to all vendors. AFP-AZ hopes the 2009 Session will extend transparency to the county and city levels.

For the second year in a row, Rep. Steve Farley (R-Tucson) was at the bottom of the scorecard, this time with a score of 3 percent. Farley, who received last year’s Empty Wallet Award, secured his spot at the bottom by casting the lone vote against the transparency legislation.

Contact: Tom Jenney, (602) 478-0146, or Phil Kerpen (202) 349-5796

CAP: Standing for Truth conference Sept. 27

In this issue:
(1) Religious Freedom - An Endangered Species
(2) Mark Your Calendar: America Uncensored!
(3) Mark Your Calendar: Prayer Time
(4) Cast an Informed Ballot!

(1) Religious Freedom - An Endangered Species

The latest from the California Supreme Court should put religious freedom on the endangered species list. To that court, religious freedom apparently no longer means being free from the government using "non-discrimination" laws to force you to act against your religious beliefs. The court ruled this week that a patient's right to an elective medical procedure (in this case, artificial insemination) trumped a doctor's right to decline to violate his or her religious beliefs.

The court's ruling effectively forces California doctors to perform medical procedures like in vitro fertilization for lesbians, regardless of the doctor's personal religious beliefs. Wow! The stakes for our families and freedoms get higher every day. Now is not the time to sit out - now is the time to awake, arise, and stand for what is right!

(2) Mark Your Calendar: America Uncensored!

Do you want to hear the uncensored truth about America's history and your ability to influence its future? Learn more on September 27th at the "Standing for Truth" conference, which will focus on the truth of our history and the future of faith and our families in America. This fast-paced, high-impact conference will feature key national speakers:

* World-renowned historian David Barton of WallBuilders will explain why it is critical for us to be involved in the civic arena. He will share an uncensored version of American history - the things you probably didn't learn in school!
* Author of Personal Faith; Public Policy, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins will discuss how our faith impacts public policy and how public policy impacts our families on a daily basis.
* Nationally respected leaders Alan Sears and Jordan Lorence from the Alliance Defense Fund will bring updates on religious liberty and marriage.
* Plus, hear from me as I share where we are today in Arizona on these issues and equip you to make a real difference in our culture.

This year is shaping up to be one of the most critical for issues that affect our families. Help influence our state's and nation's future - attend the "Standing for Truth" conference on Saturday, Sept. 27.

CAP is partnering with Family Research Council, Alliance Defense Fund, WallBuilders, Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, and Association of Christian Schools International to bring you this important event.

For more information or to order tickets, visit or call 602-424-2525 or 800-FAMILY-1.

(3) Mark Your Calendar: Prayer Time

On August 30 - the Saturday before the Arizona Primary Election - we will meet at the state Capitol, near the flag pole between the House and Senate Buildings at 9 AM for prayer. The event will conclude at 10AM. This is a call to gather God's people together, praying for the Lord's leading in the Arizona Primary. Several pastors will attend to lead prayers for the issues of marriage, life, and religious liberty. Please join us as we ask the Lord to give us candidates who will boldly seek righteousness.

(4) Cast an Informed Ballot!

Many of you are already voting in the Primary Election by early ballot. Don't forget to visit for non-partisan candidate information. The web-based guide has been updated with survey answers from candidates in the Maricopa County and Scottsdale City Council elections. Additional responses are added as they come in. Know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you before you cast your ballot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Anti-AZ Civil Rights Initiative blog

It's out of Tucson, called Citizens for One Arizona. Here is their opening About Us post. They seem to have a vendetta against Ward Connerly. Most of the blog seems to be rah-rah posts about affirmative action.

AzCRI Opponents Believed to have Engaged in Signature Sabotage Effort

Reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved

Based on preliminary investigations, the American Civil Rights Coalition (ACRC) believes that a systematic, deceptive effort, led by the group By Any Means Necessary, was attempted to sabotage Civil Rights Initiative campaigns. Jennifer Gratz, ACRC’s Director of State and Local Initiatives, stated, “BAMN is a radical, thug organization that has proven time and time again that they are willing to live up to their name and use ‘any means necessary’ to stop voters from deciding if race and gender preferences policies should be legal.”

ACRC has announced a $10,000 reward to anyone who brings forward information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone who engaged in such efforts in the state of Arizona.

During the Arizona signature gathering effort – especially during the month of June, the last month of signature collection – rumors were confirmed that the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) engaged in election fraud. BAMN perpetuated this fraud by offering to purchase signatures from petition circulators and then BAMN members attempted to submit the signatures that they bought or coerced from circulators to organizers of the signature effort. Knowing that this type of activity occurred, it would not be surprising if rumors were validated that BAMN members were signing petitions with ficticious names and falsely signing circulator affidavits.

“It’s the same tired tune -- in every state in the last decade where Civil Rights Initiatives have been introduced BAMN has attempted to smear the campaign, its proponents, and signature circulators in an attempt to sway voters. Since BAMN has lost in every state where Civil Rights Initiatives have been introduced, now BAMN has raised the stakes and, we believe, is committing outright election fraud,” continued Ms. Gratz. “Anyone who stands by silently and lets these actions continue is simply condoning the anti-democratic tactics of BAMN.”

The American Civil Rights Coalition is confident that the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative was committed to gathering the required signatures in an honest and straightforward manner. Based on the over 300,000 signatures collected, we also believe that there is a strong interest in the issue of race preferences and that the voters of Arizona have a right to vote to end the government’s practice of discriminating against some while granting preference to others based on race and sex. The integrity of the democratic process must be upheld and individuals like Candace Young and Alejandra Cruz from the group By Any Means Necessary who have been videotaped purchasing and/or attempting to coerce signatures from circulators should be prosecuted for election fraud. We encourage anyone who has additional evidence of an effort to sabotage the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative campaign to bring such evidence forward now and if it leads to an arrest and conviction for sabotaging the AzCRI signature gathering, a $10,000 reward will be awarded.

August 19, 2008
Contact: Jennifer Gratz
Phone: 916-444-2278

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AZ Right to Life speaker spotlight: David Bereit

Arizona Right to Life's Annual Pro-Life Conference is the premier educational event of the year to help you learn the tools and techniques that you will need in the fight for Life! Join us at the beautiful Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale on September 5th and 6th for this year's powerful conference, "Building a Legacy of Life... Empowering America's Leaders."

Click here to register on-line now. Or visit our website for more information on speakers, topics, and workshops!

Our Keynote Speaker for the Friday Night Dinner and Saturday's Conference is David Bereit of the 40 Days for Life Campaign.

David Bereit became an outspoken Pro-Life advocate after Planned Parenthood announced plans to build an abortion clinic in his hometown of Bryan/College Station, Texas in January of 1998.

David helped to start and build the Coalition for Life, a local nonprofit organization that has rallied 60 churches and thousands of community members together for life. David served as Chairman of the Board of the Coalition for Life for three years, tirelessly speaking up for the unborn and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund Pro-Life efforts.

After spending 11 years in professional sales and marketing, David resigned his position in the pharmaceutical industry on July 10, 2001 to devote his full-time energy to saving lives in the Pro-Life movement.

As Executive Director of the Coalition for Life, David has inspired thousands of people through speeches and presentations, and he is a regular media spokesperson for Pro-Life issues in his town and throughout Texas.

David's work gained national attention on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade when his hometown was featured on ABC's "Nightline" as one of two American communities that is shaping the abortion debate.
David's efforts were also featured on the nationally syndicated Dr. Laura radio show when he led the charge that successfully got Planned Parenthood removed from schools in his community.

David is married to his best friend Margaret, and the Bereits have two children: Claire (born in 1998) and Patrick (born in 2002). David and Margaret are also actively involved in Christian marriage and family ministry in the areas of chastity education, relationship instruction, marriage preparation, and marriage enrichment.

Click here to Register Now!

Are you interested in advertising in this year's conference program? Promote your organization, campaign, or cause - or just share a message of encouragement with hundreds of pro-life individuals - all while helping to offset the costs of printing. Click here to download the conference flyer with information on advertising - and make sure to get your ad submitted by August 22nd!

Arizona Right to Life's 30th Annual Pro-Life Conference:
Building a Legacy of Life... Empowering America's Leaders
Friday Night and Saturday, September 5-6, 2008
Chaparral Suites Resort Conference Center, Scottsdale, AZ
(5001 North Scottsdale Road)
Click here for complete conference schedule

Arizona Right to Life | | 602-285-0063

Planned Parenthood endorsements

Who NOT to vote for. Fortunately, there were no surprises.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

(Bold denotes incumbent)

U.S. Congress

Congressional District 1

Ann Kirkpatrick (D)

Congressional District 3

Bob Lord (D)

Congressional District 4

Ed Pastor (D)

Congressional District 5

Harry Mitchell (D)

Congressional District 7

Raúl Grijalva (D)

Congressional District 8

Gabrielle Giffords (D)

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona

2008 Legislative Primary Election

District 1

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements

District 2

Senate: Albert Hale (D)

House: Tom Chabin (D)

District 3

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements

District 4

Senate: No endorsements

House: Paula Forster (D)

District 5

Senate: No endorsements

House: David Rodriguez (D)

District 6

Senate: Jim Larson (D)

House: Teri Conrad (D)

District 7

Senate: Lisa Black (D)

House: Jeanne Lunn (D)

District 8

Senate: Carolyn Allen (R)

House: Stephanie Rimmer (D)

District 9

Senate: Karen Price (D)

House: Sheri Van Horsen (D)

District 10

Senate: Martin James Monroe (D)

House: Jackie Thrasher (D)

District 11

Senate: Ann Wallack (D)

House: No endorsements

District 12

Senate: Angela Cotera (D)

House: David Scanlon (D)

District 13

Senate: No endorsements

House: Steve Gallardo (D)

Martha Garcia (D)

District 14

Senate: No endorsements

House: Chad Campbell (D)

Robert Meza (D)

District 15

Senate: Ken Cheuvront (D)

House: David Lujan (D)

Kyrsten Sinema (D)

District 16

Senate: No endorsements

House: Ben Miranda (D)

Cloves Campbell (D)

District 17

Senate: Meg Burton Cahill (D)

House: Edward Ableser (D)

David Schapira (D)

District 18

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements

District 19

Senate: No endorsements

House: Kathy Romano (D)

District 20

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements

District 21

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements

District 22

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements

District 23

Senate: No endorsements

House: Krista Pacion (D)

District 24

Senate: Amanda Aguirre (D)

House: Theresa Ulmer (D)

Lynne Pancrazi (D)

District 25

Senate: Manuel Alvarez (D)

House: Richard Boyer (D)

Patricia Fleming (D)

District 26

Senate: Pete Hershberger (R)

House: Donald Jorgensen (D)

District 27

Senate: Jorge Luis Garcia (D)

House: Olivia Cajero Bedford (D)

Phil Lopes (D)

District 28

Senate: Paula Aboud (D)

House: Steve Farley (D)

David Bradley (D)

District 29

Senate: Linda Lopez (D)

House: Tom Prezelski (D)

District 30

Senate: No endorsements

House: No endorsements