Friday, February 27, 2009
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...
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
1. ARE YOU IN THE KNOW?
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.
2. GOT THE INSIDE SCOOP?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.arizonansinaction.com
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 NoStimulus.com 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 www.aztaxpayers.org.
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 www.americansforprosperity.org
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Americans for Prosperitytjenney@afphq.org
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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.
Two weeks ago, AFP delivered to Congress over 430,000 names of Americans who signed AFP’s NoStimulus.com 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 infoAZ@afphq.org.
18th-century attire welcome. Tar and feathers optional.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
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
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 http://www.pachydermcoalition.com
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 email@example.com 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
§ 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
§ 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
§ Arizona ranks 21st nationally for ACT composite scores. ALEC
§ Arizona ranks 27th for SAT Math and
Critical Reading scores. NCES
§ Arizona ranks 13th in aggregate K-12
total student enrollment. NEA
§ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.
Religious Freedom at Risk on Tax-funded College CampusesADF 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
"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
"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
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
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.
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.
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,
Contact: Bethany Barker, Bethany.email@example.com orDescription: The Seniors Financial Security act would eliminate the unfair, redundant tax on Social Security benefits. Despite the fact that Americans pay into all of their working lives, the has estimated, using 2000 population and income levels with 2003 provisions of law, that 39% (or 15.6 million) 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.
Friday, February 13, 2009
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
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 www.crimefreeaz.com
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.