Friday, October 31, 2008
County Attorney Thomas' Opponent Soft on DUI Offenders; Thinks the Web Isn't for Shaming Drunk Drivers
Thursday, October 30, 2008
In Idiocracy, Luke Wilson plays an average Joe shot 500 years into the future where he awakens to find himself a relative super-genius. Over time,
I've written about Arizona's lowering of AIMS cut scores in order to game school accountability. The AIMS test has four levels of achievement: Below Standard, Approaches Standard, Meets Standard, and Exceeds Standard. The "Meets" category is where cut scores have been lowered.
Let's take a look at the more stable category of "Exceeds Standard." Figure 1 below tracks the progress of
For those without an abacus on hand, that's an 88 percent decline in the percentage of children scoring at the advanced level between third and sixth grade. Sadly, the numbers aren't better on a statewide basis, declining from 21 to 4 percent.
Attendance in a typical
As the legislature convenes in January, improving education must be a priority. The Goldwater Institute will be releasing 100 Ideas which will include many solutions to our educational challenges. To pre-order a copy, call (602) 462-5000.
The educational futures of hundreds of special needs and foster children are now before the Arizona Supreme Court, as the court today agreed to decide the constitutionality of state scholarship programs that help those children attend the public or private school of their parents’ choice. The court granted petitions for review seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that had struck down the scholarships.
“This provides a ray of hope for the hundreds of children relying on these scholarships for a quality education,” said Tim Keller, executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, which represents families using the scholarships and is defending the programs in court. “The lower court got it wrong on both the law and the facts when it struck down Arizona’s innovative school choice programs, and now the Arizona Supreme Court has a chance to set the record straight. The court and the Arizona Constitution have always looked favorably upon school choice programs.”
Signed into law in 2006 by Gov. Janet Napolitano, the Scholarships for Pupils with Disabilities Program and the Displaced Pupils Grant Program served nearly 300 children during the 2007-08 academic year. The Arizona Education Association, the ACLU of Arizona and the People for the American Way, among others, challenged the programs in January 2007.
“Thanks to the choice that these scholarships gave me, Lexie is a different little girl,” said IJ client and mom Andrea Weck. Thanks to a scholarship, Andrea’s daughter Lexie, diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy and mild mental retardation, has thrived at the Chrysalis Academy. “Lexie has learned to communicate with me and her sisters through sign language, and thanks to the daily speech therapy she receives at Chrysalis, this year we expect her to speak for the very first time.”
Andrea enrolled Lexie in the Chrysalis Academy after officials at her public school admitted they did not know how to meet her educational needs. Without the scholarship, Andrea, a single mother with two other girls, would not be able to afford the tuition. About half of the students enrolled at Chyrsalis rely on the scholarships, while most of the other students also have their private school tuition paid with state funds through a separate program. In that program, public school officials—not parents—decide whether a school like Chrysalis is best for a child. Teachers’ unions and other school choice opponents have only challenged the scholarship program that enables parents to choose a school.
Indeed, school choice is nothing new to Arizona. Even before Arizona adopted the scholarships for special needs and foster children, the state already operated at least six separate educational aid programs for students in public, private and religious schools—just like the challenged programs. And two of them support children in foster care and students with disabilities.
“Public school officials place students in private schools every day and use public funds to pay the tuition at those private schools,” explained Keller. “Parents like Andrea just want to be able to exercise the same educational choices for their children that are already available to government bureaucrats.”
In June 2007, the Maricopa County Superior Court upheld the scholarship programs, but earlier this year the Arizona Court of Appeals overturned that ruling. The appellate court found the scholarships in violation of the Arizona Constitution’s prohibition on funding “in aid of” private schools.
However, the Arizona Supreme Court has long held that programs are not “in aid of” churches or private schools so long as those institutions are not the “primary beneficiary.” And, in the landmark case Kotterman v. Killian, the court upheld a school choice program and said in no uncertain terms that families and students primarily benefit from educational aid programs, not schools.
“As the Arizona Supreme Court has long held, educational aid programs are ‘in aid of’ parents and children, not schools,” Keller explained. “Food stamps don’t ‘aid’ grocery stores, they help people buy food—just as these scholarships help parents buy an education suited to their children’s needs.”
“In Arizona and across the nation, school choice is delivering on the promise of a quality education,” said Chip Mellor, IJ’s president and general counsel. “The Arizona Supreme Court has a prime opportunity to vindicate that promise and put to rest the shameful legal campaign of school choice opponents.”
The Supreme Court ordered parties in the case to file supplemental briefing and also ordered the Clerk of the Court to set a date for oral argument.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This website, Lord of the Lies, exposes him, and the fact that he has zero experience or qualifications to be running for Congress. Bob, why don't you start out in the legislature or something and get some real experience first.
It goes too far. It would raise the bar for filing a complaint, ruling out anonymous tips. It would set much higher standards for proving that an employer knowingly hired illegal immigrants. Opponents argue persuasively it would be virtually impossible for any employer to be prosecuted under the law. Meanwhile, employers wouldn't have to use E-Verify to check the status of new hires, but could choose a toothless alternative.
By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.
Byron Schlomach, Ph.D, is director of economic policy at the Goldwater Institute.
Goldwater Institute: Punishing economic growth through taxes
Goldwater Institute: Corporate Tax Reform: How to Woo Business Without Spending a Dime
State Science & Technology Institute: Value-Added Manufacturing by State, 2001-2005
As a business owner who employs 30 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barack Obama, will be our next President, and that my taxes and fees will go up in a BIG way.
To compensate for these increases, I figure that the customer will have to see an increase in my fees to them of about, 8%. I will also have to lay off 6 of my employees. This really bothered me as I believe we are family, here and did'nt know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did. I strolled thru the parking lot and found, 8 Obama bumper stickers on my employees cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.
I can't think of another fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know.
I am sending this letter to all Business owners that I know.
Representative Andy Biggs is an Arizona native and has lived in Gilbert with his family for the past 20 years. He is married to Cindy and they have six children.
Andy is a retired attorney. He is licensed to practice in Arizona, Washington, and New Mexico. He has a bachelor's degree in Asian Studies from BYU, and a JD degree from the U of A. He received a MA from ASU in Political Science and is currently working on a PhD in International Relations at ASU.
Representative Biggs is serving in the State House of Representatives representing Legislative District 22. He is Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Natural Resources and Public Safety Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, he serves on numerous subcommittees and working groups.
Andy was once again named the #1 friend of the taxpayer by the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers and has been honored numerous times by the Goldwater Institute as a friend of Liberty.
Is the ballot initiative process fundamentally at war with the foundation of American government? Unfortunately, the short answer is yes-unless the initiative process is reformed to limit government power.
Our country is premised on the idea that government is meant to secure liberty. And the framers of the U.S. Constitution saw direct democracy as a tremendous threat to liberty because it concentrates power in momentary majorities. This viewpoint reflected a deep understanding of direct democracy's sordid past, from the death of Socrates at the hands of the Athenians, to the teachings of Polybius, who observed more than two thousand years ago that direct democracy naturally leads to tyranny once the majority realizes its power to spread the wealth.
Nick Dranias is the constitutional policy director at the Goldwater Institute.
Goldwater Institute: Ballot initiative analysis
Monday, October 27, 2008
We have made it easy for you to make this request of your state's attorney general. Hopefully, if 50 attorneys general receive enormous amounts of e-mail, they will understand that citizens want to make sure that Planned Parenthood is not committing fraud in their state. And then hopefully, investigations will begin.
Go to www.stopp.org/fraud to e-mail your attorney general now!
We've to stop this fraud epidemic! Planned Parenthood is stealing our tax dollars and raking in money hand over fist while we stand by.
Make no mistake, Planned Parenthood is cheating us out of millions and using it to kill more preborn babies, sexualize our kids and spread their message of death.
Please use our quick and easy web form to e-mail your attorney general now. Don't let Planned Parenthood steal anymore of your money for their already bloated sex and abortion trade.
American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.
STOPP: Write a Letter to your Attorney General
Every year in January we remember that dark day when Roe v Wade was decided and millions of unborn children were stripped of their basic human rights. However, since that decision pro-lifers have made important gains in the legislative arena to protect unborn children:
- 35 states have passed laws requiring minors to obtain the consent of either their parents or a judge before having an abortion. (Source)
- 33 States have passed laws requiring women obtaining an abortion to receive medically accurate, unbiased information about both abortion and their unborn child before they have an abortion. (Source)
- In April of 2007 the United States Supreme Court upheld the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban which outlawed this gruesome procedure in all 50 states.
- Through the Hyde Amendment and Mexico City Policy millions of dollars have been withheld from being used to pay for abortions.
In fact, Michael J. New, a professor at the University of Alabama published a 2007 study showing that these laws were directly responsible for the nearly 20% decline in abortions since the early 1990's. But what if with the stroke of a pen it could all be undone?
Watch the chilling video below and see the promise Barack Obama has made to the pro-abortion lobby to pass the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act." The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is the abortion lobby's secret weapon in the event that pro-lifers overturn Roe v Wade because it would codify an unlimited right to abortion in federal law. Specifically:
- FOCA would invalidate laws requiring parents to consent to minors having abortions, laws that require doctors to provide patients with informed consent and a 24 hour waiting period, laws banning partial birth abortion, and anything else that supposedly "interferes" with a woman's right to obtain an abortion.
- FOCA would require both the government to publicly fund abortions with your tax dollars because FOCA states that government cannot "discriminate" against abortion in their publicly funded programs. This could increase the abortion rate by 10, 20, or 30% each year.
|Thursday, October 23, 2008|| |
Most Americans probably assume they can gather with friends and neighbors to say whatever they want about politics to whoever is willing to listen. They presume that the First Amendment protects their right to get together and buy yard signs, publish newsletters, or pay for radio or tv ads urging people to vote for or against a candidate -- and to do so free of government interference..
Unfortunately, most Americans would be wrong. Today, when Americans band together and spend even small amounts of money to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate, they must submit to government regulation and limits on the funds they can raise. Because of these campaign finance laws, the presumption in favor of free speech rooted in the First Amendment has largely given way to a presumption of regulation.
Brad Smith is a former Federal Election Commissioner, current Center for Competitive Politics Chairman, and a Goldwater Institute Senior Fellow. Smith is also an attorney for SpeechNow.org and will discuss the case in
Speechnow.org: Promoting the First Amendment
Institute for Justice: SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission
In a year in which numerous state ballot initiatives have been criticized as deceptive, at least one measure--Proposition 101, the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act--is exactly what it purports to be: a constitutional insurance policy against socialized medicine.
The initiative forbids the state from limiting health insurance choices or forcing people to join an insurance plan, and guarantees the right of people to pay directly for lawful medical services. It changes nothing about current health care policies or practices, but would prevent future coercive schemes.
But opponents have resorted to brazen mis-truths. Bearing a photo of Gov. Janet Napolitano and "with major funding from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and University Physicians Healthcare," an opposition mailer and website raise objections that have no factual grounding, contending that the initiative:
· "Makes health insurance so expensive, employers will be unable to provide coverage for their employees." This is absolutely false. In fact, the initiative does not affect the cost of insurance coverage at all, and by preserving competition it should reduce future cost increases.
The businesses that are using false arguments to oppose Prop. 101 surely deserve whatever mandates may come their way if socialized medicine becomes a reality. The rest of us, however, face a struggle to preserve freedom over our health care decisions--freedom that Prop. 101 would protect.
Clint Bolick is the director of the
Ballotpedia: Prop 101
YouTube: Arguments for Proposition 101
Below are two key items you should be aware of when you are talking to others about life issues and the upcoming election. You should also visit the Arizona Right to Life PAC endorsements on our website to see which Arizona politicians believe in the sanctity of innocent human life and tell your friends and family to take the time to vote on November 4th.
|In This Issue|
|Help Get Out The Pro-life Vote!|
|Harry Mitchell Sells Out to Pro-Abortion Lobby|
|Bella Star Promotes Pro-life Election Message|
Harry Mitchell Sells Out to Pro-Abortion Lobby
|The common media image of Harry Mitchell is one of a kindly Tempe high school teacher and mayor who climbed the ranks of the Democratic Party to become Arizona's CD 5 representative in 2006. Now he is peddling that image again to reclaim his seat this November, but recent campaign documents show who Harry Mitchell is really indebted to.|
According to Mitchell's October 21st, 2008 campaign filing reports the representative received $5,000 from NARAL, the largest pro-abortion political action committee in the country. NARAL is an advocate for abortion on demand without any restrictions that is funded by the government. They glowingly write of Rep. Mitchell:
"Representative Mitchell is fully pro-choice and received a 100% rating from NARAL in 2007. . . Congressman Mitchell also believes that every person has a fundamental right to decide when and whether to have children, and supports a woman's right to choose."
"Representative Mitchell is being challenged by anti-choice Maricopa County Treasurer Dave Schweikert who was endorsed by the Arizona Right to Life. "
If Harry Mitchell doesn't support the rights of the weakest and most vulnerable in society, then can we trust him to protect our rights when special interests come knocking on his D.C. office door?
Bella Star Promotes Pro-life Election Message
According to Lifesitenews.com, Eduardo Verastegui, producer and lead actor of the 2007 American film Bella, met with Senator John McCain on October 17 in Miami, where they discussed the human rights at stake in this presidential election. Now Verastegui is using his star power - and more - to help McCain and Governor Sarah Palin win the votes of Latinos. Verastegui said, "I am endorsing Sen. McCain for president because of his commitments to end abortion, protect traditional marriage and fix immigration law." On Gov. Palin's leadership, he said, "I love her. She's a great role model for women."
Arizona Right to Life commends Eduardo's service to the pro-life community that stands in stark contrast to the pro-abortion elite who dominate Hollywood. We also encourage everyone to view Eduardo's online message about the Presidential election campaign:
(warning contains graphic images)
Newsletter Editor: Trent Horn
November 1st - Arizona Right to Life Moves into Our New Office:
As of November 1st, 2008, AZRTL will be located at 3333 N. 44th St., Phoenix, Arizona, 85018. If you would like to volunteer on that Saturday to help us organize our new office please email us at email@example.com or call our office at 602-285-0063 (this will still be the office number at the our new location).
Save the Date: 36th Annual March and Rally for Life
January 22nd, 2009
Save the Date: Arizona Right to Life Gala Benefit DinnerMark your calendars for Saturday, March 7, 2009 for the Arizona Right to Life Gala Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction at the Chaparral Suites in Scottsdale.
If you would like your pro-life events posted in our monthly newsletter, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org