Friday, February 27, 2009

AIA investigates no-bid contracts locally, looking for inside stories

Has The Economy Got You Worried About Your Budget?

If you are examining and reevaluating your personal budget, don't you think state government should be doing the same thing? We think so.

Arizonans In Action today issued Freedom of Information requests to the Arizona Department of Administration and 9 other exempted government agencies seeking information on open and sole source government contracts that the state has. Specifically, we are interested in contract information where state government agencies are requesting goods and services from contractors or suppliers.

Why? Well, simply, we want to be sure our tax dollars are being used efficiently, effectively, and that government is being held accountable to taxpayers who are funding all of these projects.

We will be putting together a report detailing our findings once our project is complete. But...



If you have not done so already, please sign up to receive our Arizonans In Action E-Newsletter and Action updates. We will keep you informed and on the cutting edge of breaking issues on Limited Government, Private Property Rights, Government Accountability and Transparency, and True Education Reform.


We are sending out the FOIA requests to get the contract data but we don't have the stories to go along with these contract negotiations. If you have some personal insight on the government contract process, we would LOVE to hear from you. Please contact us today!

We understand that you don't have the time to examine where government spends each penny of your tax dollars. Yet, we also know you do care that your tax dollars are put to good use and used appropriately.

Arizonans In Action is on the front lines fighting for Government Accountability and Transparency for all Arizona taxpayers. Please be sure to sign up to keep informed on how we are holding government at all levels accountable.

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Arizonans In Action is a 501c4 organization focused on the principles of limited government, protecting private property rights, government accountability and transparency, and true education reform.

Arizonans In Action 3434 W. Greenway Road Suite 102 PMB 302 Phoenix, Arizona 85053
Office: (602) 384-6434 Fax: (602) 532-7833

AZ Taxpayer Tea Party Stirs Grassroots to Action

AFP Arizona reports an “outpouring of enthusiasm” among activists

PHOENIX – The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP Arizona) reported today that it has been inundated with emails, phone calls, and Facebook hits from new taxpayer activists statewide, in response to its call yesterday for an Arizona Taxpayer Tea Party, which will take place tomorrow (Friday, February 27), from noon to one at Tempe Beach Park.

“I have received rsvp emails from over a hundred new activists during the last 24 hours,” said AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney. “And we continue to get a new crop every hour. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an outpouring of enthusiasm among taxpayer activists.”

AFP Arizona has joined allied pro-taxpayer organizations and thousands of taxpayer activists from around the country in the Tea Party campaign begun by the National Chicago Tea Party organization. Many of the new Arizona activists were discovered through AFP’s national petition campaign, in which over 430,000 Americans signed up to protest the gigantic federal spending binge.

“The liberals in Washington went ahead and passed the Spendulus package,” Jenney said. “But American taxpayers are clearly mobilizing for the next round of fights.”

One of the speakers for tomorrow’s protest is state Senator Thayer Verschoor (R-Gilbert), who is working in the Arizona Legislature to rally a thin majority of fiscal conservatives against proposals to raise property taxes to fix the state’s gigantic budget deficit, a deficit AFP Arizona blames on “reckless over-spending” during the Napolitano years. There will also be an appearance from Wally the (Empty) Taxpayer Wallet, known for giving out an “Empty Wallet” award to the biggest spender in the state Legislature.

The meetup for the Tea Party is at 11:45 a.m. at the Tempe Beach Park, on the south side of the lake, west of the Mill Avenue Bridge. A parking lot is available next to the park, on Rio Salado Parkway. More information is available at

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders 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. For more information, visit

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Tom Jenney

Arizona Director

Americans for Prosperity

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Goldwater Institute: State on the verge of committing economic suicide

ByronBy Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.
The dreaded T-word has now entered the conversation at the capitol with lawmakers suggesting putting a "temporary" tax increase on the ballot. Any such tax increase would be in addition to the mid-year restoration of the state's property tax. That increase alone, once estimated at $250 million, would be one of the biggest tax increases in state history.

tax biteHow did we get here? Well, Janet Napolitano spent the last two years of her governorship with her head in the economic sand. None currently in leadership were involved in writing the budget that passed last June. That budget was really no budget at all because it ignored economic reality and constitutional balanced budget requirements.

Now we have people who had little or nothing to do with getting our state's finances in trouble contemplating economic suicide in order to get those finances back in order. A tax increase, however, is a little like trying to put out a fire with kerosene. Taxes discourage saving, investment, risk-taking, and innovation, and will hurt Arizona's chance at economic recovery.

Byron Schlomach, Ph.D, is director of economic policy at the Goldwater Institute.
Learn more:

Goldwater Institute: Arizona Public Schools Received $9,707 per student in 2007-08

Arizona's citizens have been subjected non-stop to the claim that Arizona's public schools are desperately underfunded. The Superintendent of Public Instruction's finance report says otherwise.

education spendingOn page six of that document, you will find a figure for all revenues collected by Arizona school districts from all sources. That number is $9,232,916,095. If you divide that figure by the enrollment number for districts on page nine of the same document, you get $9,707.45 in total revenue per pupil.

For a bit of perspective, the average Arizona private school tuition in 2006 was $4,300 and the average total cost was $5,500. The same revenue per pupil calculation for Arizona charter schools is $7,800.

Some might be inclined (I'm not) to divide the revenue number by fall enrollment rather than average attendance. Doing so effectively gives credit for students that have since dropped out or moved away. Even doing the math this way, this figure is still near $9,000 per pupil.

Facing a catastrophic downturn in revenues, state lawmakers cut 3 percent from the 2009 K-12 budget. The various education associations whipped their members into a frenzy and directed them to send hate emails to legislators. I've been getting them myself.

If, however, you go to the JLBC website and look at the budget excel spreadsheet you'll see a budget line for the Arizona Department of Education of $4,141,201,000 on line 135.

Even if you cut this number by 18 percent, to $3,395,784,820, it would keep state K-12 funding between where it was in 2005 and 2006. Yes there has been some inflation and enrollment growth since 2005, so tightening of belts would be necessary. Average revenue per pupil would remain well above what charter schools receive.
Dr. Matthew Ladner is vice president for research at the Goldwater Institute.
Learn more:

Goldwater Institute: Residents must be allowed to enforce property rights near the U.S. border

The Washington Times recently reported that Arizona rancher Roger Barnett is being sued in federal court for $32 million because he detained 16 trespassers on his ranch at gunpoint. The trespassers were illegal immigrants and they are claiming Barnett used excessive force and conspired to violate their constitutional rights. Barnett says his actions were justified because trespassing illegal immigrants previously invaded his home, destroyed his property and killed his calves.

Private propertyThis has transformed a private dispute over trespassing into a public clash over constitutional law and immigration policy. But it may also contain the seeds of a resolution to the rancorous debate over illegal immigration-one that would ground border control in individual liberty.

"Illegal immigration" amount to fighting words for brothers divided. One side argues that immigrants built America and freedom of contract should include an expansive right to do business with peaceful and productive noncitizens. The other side contends that government must have a meaningful jurisdiction to perform its legitimate public health and safety functions, which requires strict border and immigration controls.

Despite undeniable elements of truth in each position, often it seems there is no way to heal this divide. But both sides should agree wholeheartedly with James Madison that a "just government" is one "which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own."

Regardless of immigration status, there is no constitutional right to trespass. Indeed, property rights are the foundation of all constitutional rights. Consequently, there should be no federal law allowing property owners to be threatened with ruinous liability for enforcing their property rights against illegal immigrants.

To the contrary, an immigration policy grounded in principles of individual liberty should encourage robust enforcement of private property rights along the border. Congress should start by limiting the liability of ranchers, like Roger Barnett, from federal lawsuits to enforce the alleged constitutional claims of trespassing illegal immigrants.

Nick Dranias holds the Goldwater Institute Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan chair for constitutional government and is the director of the Institute's Dorothy D. and Joseph A. Moller Center for Constitutional Government.
Learn more:

Arizona Taxpayer Tea Party--Friday, February 27

Join the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), allied pro-taxpayer organizations, and hundreds of taxpayer activists for an Arizona Taxpayer Tea Party, this Friday, February 27, at noon at the Tempe Beach Park to protest (and stop!) the tax increases proposed by big-spending politicians at the federal, state, and local levels. Wally the (Empty) Taxpayer Wallet will also be in attendance.

Wally the (Empty) Taxpayer WalletWally the (Empty) Taxpayer WalletTwo weeks ago, AFP delivered to Congress over 430,000 names of Americans who signed AFP’s petition. The liberals in Washington went ahead and passed the Spendulus package, but American taxpayers are now mobilized for the next fight.

And there are plenty of fights coming. Obama, Pelosi and Reed are continuing the Bush-Paulson tradition of using your tax dollars to bail out people who got themselves into bad mortgages.

Gov. Jan Brewer and the majority in the Arizona Legislature have held firm (so far) against raising taxes to fix the gigantic state deficit caused by over-spending. But they are taking heavy political flak from the spending lobbies and from newspaper editors, and will need our help during the budget battles in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, cash-hungry local politicians are raising property tax levies.

Join us in sending a powerful message to the politicians, special interests, and the mainstream media by taking part in the Arizona Taxpayer Tea Party.

Our initial meetup will be at 11:45 a.m. at the Tempe Beach Park, west of the Mill Avenue Bridge. A parking lot is available next to the park, on Rio Salado Parkway.


Please let us know you will attend by sending an email to

18th-century attire welcome. Tar and feathers optional.

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crime Summits for the public: April 4 & April 18

Sign up for one of the County Attorney's free Crime Summits this April. You will learn the latest information, statistics and ways to protect yourself from crime in the Valley from law enforcement experts. Co-sponsors include the DEA, Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Tempe Police Department, Scottsdale Police Department, Gilbert Police Department, Mesa Police Department, Paradise Valley Police Department, and Glendale Police Department. Click here to register. Click here for the full list of workshops.

Monday, February 23, 2009

County Attorney Will Not Prosecute Photo-Radar Offenders

Law Not Intended To Be Used for Criminal Prosecutions, Thomas Concludes

Today, County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced his office will decline to prosecute motorists on criminal charges whose cases are based solely on photo-radar evidence. Recently, the Arizona Department of Public Safety has referred cases to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for prosecution of criminal charges based on photo-radar evidence only. Thomas’ office analyzed the photo-radar statute and other legal and constitutional principles that apply to such cases.

After completing this review, Thomas has concluded his office will not prosecute motorists for alleged criminal offenses based on photo-radar evidence. “The plain language of the law, as well as other legal and constitutional principles, disallows criminal prosecution of motorists based on photo-radar evidence,” Thomas said. “The language of the statute indicates photo radar was intended for civil traffic fines only, not for prosecution of alleged criminal charges. Important legal and constitutional principles also come down against criminal prosecution of motorists based on this evidence.”

Arizona Revised Statute Section 41-1722, the so-called photo-radar statute, provides for a photo-radar enforcement system to regulate vehicle traffic and speed in Arizona. Subsection D of the statute specifies that “the department of transportation shall not consider the violation for the purpose of determining whether the person’s driver license should be suspended or revoked.”

The County Attorney concluded that because the legislature prohibited the use of photo-radar evidence for suspension or revocation of driver’s licenses, the legislature ipso facto could not have intended for such evidence to be used in the even more serious context of criminal charges. Conviction of a crime under Arizona law may result in incarceration. The County Attorney concluded the statute was intended to enable fines based on civil traffic violations, not to authorize criminal prosecutions based on photo-radar evidence.

In addition, Arizona courts have recognized a “rule of lenity” which requires that criminal laws be interpreted so that any doubt is resolved in favor of the defendant (Vo v. Superior Court, 172 Ariz. 195, 836 P.2d 408 (App. 1992)). Given the statutory problems identified, this rule likely would lead courts to disallow prosecutions based merely on photo-radar evidence.

Finally, the Confrontation Clauses of the federal and state constitutions argue against photo-radar criminal prosecutions. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” In photo-radar cases, there are no witnesses, and defendants are not permitted to confront their accuser. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a broad interpretation of the rights of defendants under the Confrontation Clause. The high court has gone so far as to prevent courts from placing screens between victims of child sexual abuse and defendants when the accusers testify on the witness stand (Coy v. Iowa, 487 U.S. 1012 (1988)). In photo-radar cases, there would be no accuser except a camera.

Arizona’s Constitution is even more explicit. Article 2, Section 24 of the Arizona Constitution gives criminal defendants the right to “meet the witnesses against him face to face.” Arizona courts have interpreted this clause as giving defendants the right to question and cross-examine witnesses. There is no opportunity to question or cross-examine a camera.

Thomas stated that if the legislature wishes for his office or other prosecutors to bring criminal charges based on photo-radar evidence, they will need to amend the statute to address these concerns and to deal with constitutional issues that would arise. He added that his office has told DPS officials of this decision. The County Attorney’s Office will not render a formal opinion on the matter, but rather has referred DPS to the Attorney General’s Office, which is that agency’s legal advisor, for any formal opinion.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beyond Illegal Immigration: An Agenda for the GOP

County Attorney Andrew Thomas has an op-ed in the East Valley Tribune today listing issues other than illegal immigration the GOP should focus on. Here is a summary of that agenda:

Public safety, which includes border security and protection from the drug cartels, which have gotten immeasurably worse over the past few years especially along our southwest border.

Free but fair markets, which includes not ignoring CEOs of failed corporations who give themselves huge bonuses, and banks who cannot back up their loans.

Education - we should permit school choice and universities should be havens of free thought, not political correctness.

Environment - there needs to be a balance between preserving and protecting our environment and encroaching upon the rights of private property owners.

True Equality is not achieved with racial preferences.

No tolerance for public corruption. Theodore Roosevelt once lamented that when he was New York City Police Commissioner, not one politician nor newspaper in the state liked him, because he followed through with public corruption investigations.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sen. Thayer Verschoor to speak at PAChyderm tonight on AZ stimulus

A m e r i c a n P o s t - G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wedfnesday, February 18, 2009

Show me the money. Should we take it?
Every state in the Union will face this dilemma. This is one viewpoint from Arizona.

From Senator Thayer Verschoor:

Congress is ready to spend 790 Billion dollars of the taxpayer's money. They are calling it a stimulus package. Truth be told, the package is bigger and more wasteful than the "Great Society" pushed by President Johnson. Millions are going to liberal propaganda groups like ACORN. It will continue, expand or create new government programs. It will weaken the value of the US Dollar and slow down the economic recovery.

So, as a State should we take the money sent to Arizona?
For the full story, go to
SenatorThayer Verschoor is the guest speaker at the February PAChyderm Coalition Meeting. Senator Verschoor will be discussing the 2010 budget crisis and other topics. Seating is limited please E-mail Diane Douglas to reserve your seat.
Click Here to Contact C O M M O N S E N S E

NEA Ranks Arizona 21st in aggregate dollars spent on K-12

The facts: Sources

Education Funding:

§ Per pupil funding (from all sources): $9700. JLBC

§ Education comprises nearly 60% of the state general fun JLBC

§ Arizona ranks 21st in aggregate dollars
spent on K-12. NCES, NEA, ATRA

§ Arizona ranks 21st in aggregate dollars
spent on current K-12 operating expenses. NCES, NEA, ATRA

Teacher Salaries

§ Arizona ranks 11th for teacher salaries. NCES, NEA, ATRA

§ Arizona ranks 1st in the average salary of instructional
staff on a per capita income basis. NCES, NEA, ATRA

Test Scores

§ Arizona ranks 21st nationally for ACT composite scores. ALEC

§ Arizona ranks 27th for SAT Math and
Critical Reading scores. NCES

Student Enrollment

§ Arizona ranks 13th in aggregate K-12
total student enrollment. NEA

Higher Education

§ Higher Education general fund monies have
increased by 43% since 2004. JLBC

§ Arizona ranks 11th in percentage of
individuals 18-24 years old with a
Bachelor Degree. National Science Foundation
JLBC: Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee; NCES: National Center for Education Statistics; NEA: National Education Association; ATRA: Arizona Tax Research Association; ALEC: American Legislative Exchange Council.

For the full story, go to:
You are invited to the next meeting of the PACHyderm Coalition
February 18,2009, at the El Paso Bar B Que Grill
43rd Avenue and Peoria, Glendale, AZ
For reservations, e-mail Diane Douglas at

Goldwater Institute Files $20 million in Prop 207 Claims against Maricopa County

Wonder why they didn't sue the state for passing the law in the first place?

Institute seeks compensation for homeowners whose property rights have been violated

Phoenix--The Goldwater Institute filed legal claims today against Maricopa County totaling $20 million on behalf of more than 175 property owners. The compensation claims were filed under provisions of Proposition 207, the Private Property Rights Protection Act, which requires government to compensate property owners when it passes laws or rules that reduce existing property values.

In 2004 the Arizona Legislature passed a law requiring Maricopa County to implement a series of building and development restrictions on land surrounding Luke Air Force Base. The county believes the law is illegal for a variety of reasons and in 2008 took the state to court to have it thrown out. Pending an outcome in that lawsuit, the county issued a moratorium on building permits in the "Clear Zone" and other areas adjacent to the base.
"While the Goldwater Institute strongly agrees with efforts to protect the base, it is unfair to ask a handful of homeowners to bear the cost," said Carrie Ann Sitren, the Goldwater Institute attorney representing the property owners. "In any event, stopping homeowners from installing solar panels or a swimming pool doesn't protect Luke."

The moratorium has caused severe reductions in property values--95 percent for vacant lots that were already zoned for housing and 50 percent for lots with single-family homes already built--and has prevented homeowners from doing simple renovations.

Residents in restricted areas are being denied permits for maintenance and upkeep of their existing homes including the installation of pools, fences, and standard repairs on plumbing and electrical work. For example, Robert Landers, a six-year Air Force veteran, has been denied a permit to install a therapeutic spa his doctor prescribed as a precursor to surgery.
"The county is stuck between a rock and a hard place," said Ms. Sitren. "On one hand it's being forced by the state to limit these people's property rights, but on the other its moratorium is overly broad and unnecessary. The people of Arizona spoke loud and clear when they passed Prop 207 by a two-to-one margin in 2006. If the government takes away the value of someone's property, the owner must be compensated."
Filing a claim for compensation is the first step in a formal Prop 207 lawsuit. Today's claims were filed with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors by the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. The county has 90 days to respond to the claims, and can either repeal the moratorium, grant waivers to property owners, or pay the requested compensation.

The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.

Goldwater Institute: Sorting out fact from fiction in Arizona higher education

MattBy Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.
In response to an email we published last week, a high ranking official from one of Arizona's universities sent an email to Arizona lawmakers. A number of claims were made, including "four-year graduation rates are not compared nationally." The email further claims that "by carefully selecting a handful of institutions with higher graduation rates, Ladner misrepresents the facts to create the world as he would like others to see it." Finally, there is some discussion of possible sources of error in graduation rates.

graduationNeedless to say, this email made its way to Goldwater central command and I'm delighted to reply.

Four year graduation rates are in fact compared nationally, as shown by the link I provided last week to the Education Trust website. Here it is again. The Education Trust, by the way, is one of the nation's most highly respected left-of-center research organizations.

Cherry picking to make Arizona universities look bad? Again, not true. I made comparisons between Arizona State University and its peer institutions as identified by the Education Trust according to an objective set of criteria.

What about possible measurement error in graduation rates? I certainly wouldn't bet on ASU's four year graduation rate being precisely 28 percent. The possible sources of error, however, would also apply to the peer institutions. So perhaps ASU did have a little more than 28 percent of their students graduate on time, but the gap between ASU and its top performing peer (IU Bloomington, at over 50 percent) may be completely unchanged.

The official did, however, get one thing right, accurately describing me as "easily confused." Guilty as charged. I am indeed easily confused by outrageous, laugh-out-loud claims that are easily identifiable as inaccurate. Personally, I'd want far more than 28 percent of my students graduating on time before claiming that Arizona's tenuous hold on first world status hinges on my budget.
Dr. Matthew Ladner is vice president for research at the Goldwater Institute.
Learn more:

ADF: Christian student called a "fascist bastard"

Religious Freedom at Risk on Tax-funded College Campuses

ADF Defends Censored Christian Student

Jonathan Lopez is working toward an associate of arts degree at Los Angeles City College in California. One of his required classes: Public Speaking. The additional lesson in his free speech rights was not something he anticipated.

In that class, Lopez delivered one of his assignments – an informative speech. Lopez chose the topic of faith and marriage. Mid-way through, his speech professor John Matteson interrupted, calling Lopez a "fascist bastard" in front of the class for speaking about his faith,
Romans 10:9 "Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Matthew 22:37-38 "And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.'"

Bible verses quoted by Lopez in his speech

which included reading the dictionary definition of marriage and reciting two Bible verses. Instead of allowing Lopez to finish, Matteson told the other students they could leave if they were offended. When no one left, Matteson dismissed the class. Refusing to grade the assigned speech, Matteson wrote on Lopez's evaluation, "Ask God what your grade is." Click here to see it.

"Christian students shouldn't be penalized or discriminated against for speaking about their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel David French. "Public institutions of higher learning cannot selectively censor Christian speech. This student was speaking well within the confines of his professor's assignment when he was censored."

But the harassment did not stop in class. One week later, after seeing Lopez talking to the college's dean of academic affairs, Matteson told Lopez that he would make sure he'd be expelled from school.

Further, Matteson's treatment of Lopez during his speech follows an earlier incident in which the speech professor told his entire class after the November election, "If you voted yes on Proposition 8, you are a fascist bastard."
"Colleges are supposed to be safe for free speech and the discussion of many ideas. What has happened to me is an assault on my constitutional rights. A victory in this case will guarantee that every student who attends the school now and in the future is allowed to freely express their beliefs, religious or otherwise, without fear."

- Jonathan Lopez
ADF Client

"Professor Matteson clearly violated Mr. Lopez's free speech rights by engaging in viewpoint discrimination and retaliation because he disagreed with the student's religious beliefs," said French. "When students are given open-ended assignments in a public speaking class, the First Amendment protects their ability to express their views. Moreover, the district has a speech code that has created a culture of censorship on campus. America's public universities and colleges are supposed to be a 'marketplace of ideas,' not a hotbed of intolerance."

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom have filed a lawsuit against officials of the Los Angeles Community College District in regard to this situation. You can read the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in the lawsuit Lopez v. Candaele by clicking here.

Unfortunately, Jonathan Lopez is not alone. College students across the country are finding it difficult to stand up for their faith, to refuse assignments that contradict their conscience, to question their instructors. The Alliance Defense Fund is committed to helping Christian students express their beliefs on campus. To date, by God s grace, we have not lost one case litigated to conclusion concerning expression of religious freedom on campus. Learn about more of our cases through the links below.

We offer legal services to Jonathan Lopez and those like him, free of charge. Donate today so we can continue winning and supporting religious liberty on our nation's campuses.

Religious Freedom on Campus

CAP: Making Your Voice Count event with AZ's top leaders

We are very excited about Saturday's Making Your Voice Count event featuring some of Arizona's top leaders! Tickets will be available at the door, but we encourage you to get them now so you won't have to wait in line to buy them Saturday morning. Tickets are only $10/person with a maximum of $25/family. Invite your friends to join you for this unique opportunity!

Making Your Voice Count
Saturday, February 21
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Doors open at 9:00 a.m.
Calvary Community Church (map)
12612 N Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix
How can you be you sure that when you contact your state or federal representatives, they understand what you are trying to communicate? Your time is valuable and the issues are important. Learn insider tips from key decision makers in Washington D.C. and our state Capitol so you can truly Make Your Voice Count!

This unique opportunity is unlike any event we've ever done - bringing in the decision makers to teach specifically how to be effective in making your voice count when you speak out on important issues. These friends of the family and of Center for Arizona Policy will share what works - and what doesn't.
Sen. Jon Kyl
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl. As the Republican Whip, Sen. Kyl is the second-ranking member of the Senate Republican Leadership and responsible for building support on key issues. He serves on the Senate's Finance Committee and on the Judiciary Committee. In 2008 he was named as one of the top ten Senators by Time magazine.
Sen. Robert BurnsArizona Senator Bob Burns. Elected in November 2002 to represent Legislative District 9 in the Arizona State Senate, Sen. Burns is now the President of the Senate as well as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. Sen. Burns' political experience extends beyond his substantial time in the state's legislature. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, as well as serving as a legislative district chairman, precinct committeeman, deputy registrar and volunteer lobbyist for the child care industry.
Rep. Kirk AdamsArizona Representative Kirk Adams. An advocate of conservative politics and small business, Rep. Adams has worked on an aggressive agenda of reform which includes: healthcare reform; initiative reform; tax reform; CPS reform; and transparency in government. Rep. Adams, D19, is the Speaker of the House and serves on the House Rules Committee. In 2008 he received two awards for his work on these issues: the "Courage for Children" Award by the Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents for his work on CPS reform and the "Freedom of Information" Award from the Arizona Newspaper Association.
Cathi HerrodCAP President Cathi Herrod. Since joining CAP in 1997, Cathi has directed the organization's efforts to educate and inform policy makers at the Arizona Legislature. Highlights of Cathi's legislative work include parental consent for abortion, covenant marriage, protection of children from internet pornography, and regulations for abortion clinics. Arizona newspapers have recognized Cathi as one of the top five female lobbyists and as one of the key people at the Arizona Capitol. She was featured in a front page New York Times story on parental involvement abortion laws.

Other Upcoming Events
Saturday, February 28 - Truth Project Leader Training, more ...
Friday, March 6 - Tucson Briefing and Legislative Update, more ...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CAP: Abortion laws, Sen. Kyl talk, gay marriage & school choice rally

We Can Finally Fix Arizona's Abortion Laws.

This year, with a new Governor and a pro-life legislature, we have an opportunity to pass a top CAP legislative priority: the Abortion Consent Act.

The Abortion Consent Act addresses the real-world problems that we hear about all the time – women who did not receive full information or time to consider their decision before an abortion, parents whose rights to give consent for their minor daughter's abortion were thwarted, and healthcare workers who were forced to choose between their jobs and their moral beliefs about abortion. It is way past time to fix our abortion statutes and promote reasonable regulations to protect preborn children, women, parents, and healthcare workers.

Visit our blog to learn more about this important bill. See what the Arizona Republic, Tucson Citizen, and Focus on the Family's CitizenLink are saying about the Abortion Consent Act.

Last Chance to Sign Up to Hear from Senator Jon Kyl!

Next Saturday, February 21, you don't want to miss out on Making Your Voice Count. U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, Arizona Senate President Bob Burns, and Arizona Speaker of the House Kirk Adams, will address how YOU can make a difference in public policy. Tickets are only $10/person and $25/family. Purchase tickets online or call our office at (602) 424-2525.

Nice Try - Defying the Marriage Laws in Tucson.

The Arizona Daily Star is reporting this morning that two women were issued a marriage license in Pima County on Thursday. The story reports that the women fraudulently filled in the form as “male” and “female,” so the County issued the license. This type of activity is why we passed the marriage amendment to ensure that marriage remains as only the union of one man and one woman in our state. We fully expect Pima County officials to correct this error immediately.

Your Votes Matter.

This legislative session, it's easy to see what a difference your votes made in the last election.

First, in a very positive move for families, the Arizona House is specifically including life-affirming measures in its Majority Program. Three CAP-supported bills are among the top priorities for the next 45 days: making permanent the corporate income tax credit for school tuition scholarships, banning partial-birth abortion in our state law, and simplifying the tax credit for contributions to charitable organizations that serve the needs of the poor.

Second, Governor Brewer, House Speaker Kirk Adams, and Senate President Bob Burns joined thousands of kids in support of school choice at a rally at the Capitol on Tuesday. Check out our blog's report on the rally and this video from PBS's Horizon.

Finally, we get a clear picture of what would have happened to our state if pro-family majorities were lost in our state House and Senate by looking at some of the bad ideas that have been introduced at our legislature this year.

AZRTL Call to Action: Presidential Visit to the Valley


Contact: Jinny Perron, President | 602- 285-0063
President to Make First Presidential Visit
to the Valley

Arizona Right to Life urges community members to assemble and demonstrate in support of innocent life

Phoenix, AZ -Arizona Right to Life urges you to seize this opportunity to publicly demonstrate your outrage over the President's extreme anti-life positions, during his first Presidential visit to the Valley, this Wednesday, February 18, 2009. We strongly encourage you to assemble and display signs that decry his support of FOCA, his repeal of a ban on federal funding of abortions overseas, his selection of extreme pro-abortion cabinet members, his support of embryonic stem cell research and his categorical unwillingness to protect the most innocent of the human community, and to challenge him to a radical change of heart and mind.

Rarely do we have the opportunity to exercise our First Amendment Rights to speak freely and peacefully assemble, directly to the audience of the President, in our own community. We invite you to come together to impress upon him that Arizona stands for life, in an unignorable demonstration, unforgettably and overwhelmingly characterized by unwavering courage to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Doors open to the ticketed public at 8:30 am on February 18th. The President is expected to speak at 10:15 am. Dobson High School is located at 1501 W Guadalupe Rd, Mesa, AZ 85202.


Arizona Right to Life is a non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)4 organization committed to articulating and protecting the right to life of all innocent human beings, born and unborn. We are the oldest, largest and strongest pro-life organization in Arizona.

Arizona Right to Life is opposed to the use of violence as a means to end the abortion conflict. We do not associate with groups who condone violence against abortion practitioners, nor do we publicize their events.

Click here to register for the 5th Annual Arizona Right to Life Banquet & Silent Auction Fundraiser with special guests Congressman Trent Franks, Student Activist Lila Rose and Author Deal W. Hudson.

Rep. Trent Franks introduces Seniors Financial Security Act today in Sun City

What: Press conference introducing the Seniors Financial Security Act of 2009

When: Tuesday, February 17, 2009; 11:00 a.m. MST

Where: Banner Olive Branch Senior Center, 11250 N. Olive Ave., Sun City, AZ 85351

Contact: Bethany Barker, 202-631-1778 or

Description: The Seniors Financial Security act would eliminate the unfair, redundant tax on Social Security benefits. Despite the fact that Americans pay into Social Security all of their working lives, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated, using 2000 population and income levels with 2003 provisions of law, that 39% (or 15.6 million) Social Security beneficiaries are affected by the income taxation of Social Security benefits. Those who are affected see 50-85% of their benefits taxed. These tax penalties on earning additional retirement income discourage people of all ages from saving for retirement and discourage older citizens from working.

Obama protest rally Wednesday

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
8:00am - 1:00pm
Meet at the SE corner of Guadalupe and Dobson
1955 W Guadalupe Rd
Mesa, AZ

For more information, click here

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crime Free AZ: Arizona Drug Trafficking

february 12, 2009 - Drug Trafficking

Due to its shared border with Mexico, Arizona has become one of the main corridors for drug traffickers. In 2007, approximately 50 percent of all illicit drugs seized by the U.S. Border Patrol along the Southwest Border occured in Arizona. The number and severity of assaults targeting law enforcement personnel patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border is increasing dramatically. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are ordering their members to use violence to protect their drug shipments from law enforcement interdiction.

Mexican DTOs are the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States. They control most of the U.S. drug market and have established a large network of transportation routes, advanced communications capabilities, and strong affiliations with gangs in the United States.
(Source: National Drug Intelligence Center, National Drug Threat Assessment 2009)

The Phoenix metropolitan area is a regional and national-level transportation and distribution center for methamphetamine and marijuana, and a regional distribution center for other illicit drugs, primarily cocaine and Mexican black tar heroin. The area's transportation infrastructure facilitates the shipment of illicit drugs from Mexico to Phoenix for local distribution and transshipment to drug markets throughout the country, such as Atlanta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Nashville, Tennessee; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis)

In the past year, Arizona has become the #1 state in the nation for kidnappings. Many of these kidnappings are related to the Mexican drug cartels. Arizona is also encountering armed men dressed like local law enforcement coming into our communities to administer hits on people affiliated with the drug gangs.

The Mexican "war on drugs" has unfortunately resulted in increased drug-related deaths and abductions of judges, police, witnesses, journalists, and now innocent citizens. More than 7,000 deaths have occurred within the last three years, about 4,000 in this past year alone. There is a growing perception among Mexicans that their government is losing the war against these well-armed drug cartels.
(Source: Ralph E. Stone, The Mexican Drug Trade: Supply and Demand)


The trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs inflicts tremendous harm upon individuals, families, and communities throughout the U.S.. The violence, intimidation, theft, and financial crimes carried out by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), criminal groups, gangs, and drug users in the United States poses a significant threat to our nation. The cost to society from drug production, trafficking, and abuse is difficult to fully measure or convey; however, the most recent data available are helpful in framing the extent of the threat. For example:

  • More than 35 million individuals used illicit drugs or abused prescription drugs in 2007.
  • In 2006 individuals entered public drug treatment facilities more than 1 million times seeking assistance in ending their addiction to illicit or prescription drugs.
  • More than 1,100 children were injured at, killed at, or removed from methamphetamine laboratory sites from September 2007 through September 2008.
  • For 2009 the federal government has allocated more than $14 billion for drug treatment and prevention, counterdrug law enforcement, drug interdiction, and international counterdrug assistance.
  • In September 2008 there were nearly 100,000 inmates in federal prisons convicted and sentenced for drug offenses, representing more than 52 percent of all federal prisoners.
  • In 2007 more than 1.8 million drug-related arrests in the United States were carried out by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Mexican and Colombian DTOs generate, remove, and launder between $18 billion and $39 billion in wholesale drug proceeds annually.
  • Diversion of controlled prescription drugs cost insurance companies up to $72.5 billion annually, nearly two-thirds of which is paid by public insurers.

(Source: National Drug Intelligence Center, National Drug Threat Assessment 2009)

Drug Trafficking Organizations or Criminal Groups Operating in the United States

Region Cocaine Methamphetamine Heroin Marijuana MDMA







Mexican DTOs and criminal organizations are the most influential and pervasive threats with respect to drug transportation and wholesale distribution in nearly every region of the country and continue to increase their involvement in the production, transportation, and distribution of most major illicit drugs.
(Source: National Drug Intelligence Center, National Drug Threat Assessment 2007)

"Arizona must take the lead in enforcing our borders to protect our citizens
and reduce the drug flow and drug traffickers from opening shop in Arizona.

For more information on crime prevention, please visit

Obama protest next week?

We're trying to find out if a protest is being arranged when Obama comes into town next week to talk about his stimulus bill, which also includes pork for Arizona. Please email us at azpoliticalintel/at/ if you know of any.

Democrat-led Congress doles out FOCA by piecemeal

Arizona Right to Life asks delegates to sign letter seeking to prevent abortion-on-demand

Phoenix, AZ - February 12, 2009--After over 667,000 protesters signed a petition decrying the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA), Congressional Democrats are introducing the main tenets of FOCA in separate bills. Arizona Right to Life is calling on all congressional delegates in Arizona to sign a bipartisan letter drafted by North Carolina Democrat Rep. Heath Schuler and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan asking Speaker Pelosi to prevent the repeal of "pro-life riders"--measures added to bills that prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to "promote or perform abortion, protect the consciences of health care professionals, and prevent funding for unethical human embryo experiments," the letter states.

Already signed by 130 Republicans and 15 Democrats nationwide, the letter specifically asks to safeguard the 32 year-old Hyde Amendment, among others.

"Enacted under a Democratic Congress," the letter says, "the Hyde Amendment has been renewed by administrations and congresses regardless of party control. Members of both parties have expressed strong support for these measures, which reflect the moral concerns of many Americans who do not wish to see their tax dollars used for any organization that provides abortion services."

The letter also requests that any deleted riders be put to a vote on the House floor, a practice that favors government transparency and holds House members accountable to the public.

The letter arrives on the heels of the Jan. 6 introduction of Sen. Harry Reid's bill outlining the first goal of FOCA--to eliminate existing restrictions on abortion. Section 402 of the "Title X Family Planning Services Act of 2009" also known as the "Protection First Act" compels every hospital--regardless of First Amendment rights of refusal--to dole out free "emergency contraception" including the abortion-inducing drug Mifeprex (RU-486) to "any woman," regardless of age, "who presents at the hospital and states that she is a victim of sexual assault, or is accompanied by someone who states she is a victim of sexual assault."

The FDA has confirmed eight deaths and over 600 medical injuries due to Mifeprex.