Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
WASHINGTON , D.C. – Congressman John Shadegg (AZ-03) issued the following remarks on tonight’sState of the Union address:
“President Obama called on Americans to once again trust in the promises he made on the campaign trail. He promised not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000 a year, but used nearly every bit of his political capital to pass a government takeover of health care which would raise taxes on that very group. Time and time again, he has promised transparency, job creation, and tangible solutions, all of which have gone up in smoke.
"Tonight, President Obama spent much of his State of the Union address discussing the state of the American economy. Among the speech's most widely-discussed points is the President's proposal of a three-year spending freeze on non-defense discretionary spending. To those, like me, who are opponents of the wildly out-of-controlgovernment spending that has characterized the current Administration and Democrat-controlled Congress, a freeze on spending sounds like a great idea, on its face.
Unfortunately, the President's proposal is little more than a symbolic gesture intended to play well in the media, as evidenced by the fact that the freeze would only account for $15 billion this year, despite a deficit that this Administration has sent soaring to record levels in excess of $1.3 trillion.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Goldwater Institute: President Obama should transfer Head Start funds to D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program
On March 13, 2009, Senate majority whip Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) wrote of the Washington, D.C., scholarship program for students to improve their education by attending the school of their choice in the Chicago Tribune: "Many benefiting from this program want no questions asked about its efficacy. I think the taxpayers deserve better."
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Please Join Us THIS Friday!
The Federalist Society Phoenix Lawyers Chapter invites you to
An Evening with the Honorable Jon Kyl, United States Senator
The Senator will discuss the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision as well as recent congressional legislation and developments.
WHERE: The Embassy Suites Hotel,
2630 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, Arizona
Click for Map
WHEN: Friday, January 29, 5:30-7:30pm
DETAILS: We will serve appetizers and a cash bar will be available.
Attendance is free but there will be a $10 fee for CLE credit.
The courtesy of an RSVP is appreciated, and is required for CLE credit. Send your RSVP to Kasey Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday, January 25, 2010
The ruling in Turken v. Gordon is a victory for the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six small-business owners in 2007 in an effort to stop giveaways of taxpayer money. "The Court's decision vindicates a core protection of taxpayer rights in our state constitution," said Goldwater Institute litigation director Clint Bolick. "The days of rampant corporate welfare in Arizona are coming to an end."
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge upheld the $97.4 million subsidy of the CityNorth shopping center by the City of Phoenix, basing his decision on "indirect benefits" such as jobs, sales tax revenues, and the creation of an urban core. But such indirect benefits "are not consideration under contract law," the Supreme Court concluded in its opinion written by Justice Andrew Hurwitz. In reality, the only tangible benefit received by the City, the Court ruled, was 200 parking spaces, which the Court found unlikely to be worth $97.4 million.
"The ruling should stop schemes that government concocts to subsidize developers based on grandiose promises that often fail to materialize," added Mr. Bolick. "Although we're disappointed that the Court allowed the CityNorth deal to stand for now, that development has proved to be such a disaster that it's doubtful taxpayer money will ever change hands. CityNorth will stand as a monument to government folly."
The next step for the Goldwater Institute and its clients is to go back to the Court of Appeals, which invalidated the CityNorth agreement in 2008, to have two additional legal questions answered. The Institute will argue the deal constitutes an impermissible "special law" and violates the plaintiffs' right to equal protection of the laws.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Valley auto thefts down by nearly 40%
County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that the Valley’s auto theft rate fell by 38.5% for the first half of 2009. According to preliminary numbers just released from the FBI, during the first six months of 2009 there were 7492 reported vehicle thefts. Between January and June of 2008, 12,190 vehicle thefts were reported in the Valley. The decrease is also reflected in the number of cases submitted to our office last year by Valley law enforcement. In 2008, 2690 cases were submitted. That number was 1561 in 2009, a 42% drop.
The decrease, while impressive, is not surprising. For several years prosecutors at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Valley police agencies have made it a priority to reduce what was an escalating auto theft rate. In 2006, Thomas added an Auto Theft Bureau to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Since then, more than 4700 defendants have been prosecuted with a conviction rate averaging 95.5%.
Repeat Offender programs have also contributed to the decline. As part of its comprehensive strategy to reduce crime, the MCAO implemented a repeat offender policy in 2006 that requires most defendants with a prior felony conviction to go to prison instead of probation. Defendants charged with auto theft that have one historical prior felony conviction now must have in their plea agreement a term in prison.
Illegal immigration enforcement has also played a major role. The Center for Immigration Studies in July of 2009 estimated that the illegal immigrant population in Arizona declined by more than 30% since January 17, 2007. Auto theft numbers reflect the decline. In 2007 13% of those sentenced for vehicle theft were in the country illegally. In 2008 that number fell to 9%.
Thomas stated, “Going after auto thieves with a targeted prosecution effort has helped produce a historic drop in auto theft rates in the Valley. The crackdown on illegal immigration has hastened this trend. In these stressful economic times the loss of the family car is more than an annoyance; it’s a significant hardship.”