Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AFP: More Lies and Scare Tactics from Prop 100 Supporters

Dear Arizona Taxpayers and Tea Partiers:
The Big Spenders and their lobbyists are spending their ONE MILLION DOLLAR budget on radio ads, robo-calls and glossy mailers to try to dupe Arizona taxpayers into voting for the Prop 100 tax increase on May 18. Early ballot voting is heavy this week, so you may have already heard some of the slogans and messages from the pro-100 side.
The pro-100 side has resorted to several lies and scare tactics to make its case for raising taxes on struggling workers, families, and small businesses. For example, under a caption that says “the numbers don’t lie,” the pro-100 website (yeson100.com) claims that Arizona’s state revenues have fallen to 2004 levels, and that since 2004, Arizona has added “145,000 additional K-12 students.”
To check that “fact,” go to pdf page 12 of the state superintendent’s report for 2009: http://www.ade.state.az.us/AnnualReport/AnnualReport2009/Vol1.pdf
It’s clear that the total K-12 school population has increased by only 111,051 students. More importantly, the amount Arizona spent per student increased dramatically during that period. You can do your own math, using the figures on pdf pages 10 and 12, or refer to our chart:
The increased spending was due in part to increased tax revenues from Prop 301, which was passed in 2000, the last time a Republican secretary of state became governor and told us we needed to raise taxes to support K-12 education. And yet, we have nothing to show for all that extra money, in terms of student performance (see the second chart in the link above).
Also, the state’s auditor general tells us that we have less money in the classroom now than we did before Prop 301! That is a double scandal. Voters need to stop falling prey to the scare tactics. If your school district has flat-screen computer panels, but is threatening to fire good teachers, that’s an allocation problem, not a resource problem. Arizona does not need more tax dollars for education. Arizona needs more education for its tax dollars.
(And please don’t get me started on “public safety” and “the firefighters”…)
The GOOD NEWS is that Prop 100 has very weak public support. After two months of pro-100 propaganda, including a ton of sky-is-falling rhetoric, the latest Rasmussen poll shows that only 53 percent of respondents say they will vote Yes. That is a very low level of support for the interest groups that are trying to put a heavy new tax on the people of Arizona--people who are suffering in a tough recession and tired of bailing out government when it spends too much money.
Early ballot voting has already begun . Most voters will vote by mail by the end of this week. Your neighbors, and the commuters in your area, need to know that the grassroots is rising up against the fraudulent and economically damaging Prop 100 tax increase. They have to be reminded that real people would be hurt by the tax increase.
The best and cheapest way to fight Prop 100 is to make homemade signs and post them next to the pro-100 signs at busy intersections.
Here is how to do it: Get large pieces of corrugated plastic, cardboard, poster paper, bed sheets, or canvas. (Any large surface will do—I used an old closet door.) Go to a discount store or a hardware store and get some cheap acrylic paint and some brushes, or some spray paint. Write very simple messages (we have some ideas below, to stimulate your creativity). Be sure to make your letters VERY BIG—brush strokes should be about two inches wide. Then, take zip ties and attach your signs to chain link fences and to stakes at busy intersections near you. Put your anti-100 signs next to the glossy, mass-produced pro-100 signs. Then be ready to make more signs, in case the activists from the pro-spending side vandalize or remove your signs. Here some ideas for messages:
Please vote NO on Prop 100
Tell the Big Spenders NO – Vote NO on Prop 100
We are Taxed Enough Already – Vote NO on Prop 100
Make government live within its means. NO on Prop 100.
Make government more efficient. NO on Prop 100.
We are ALL hurting in this recession. Vote NO on Prop 100.
This is free speech at its best. Keep it cheap. Do not spend more than $500 (you can make a lot of big signs for less than $20), so that you do not have to register as a political committee. Remember: this election is in the hands of the grassroots.
If you can’t make your own yard signs, here are two options:
1) Contact the Ax the Tax committee (www.axthetaxaz.com or azthetax@cox.net) and ask them if they have yard signs. You will probably need to make a small donation (please do!).
2) Contact activist Brandon Trichell (btbaseball@aol.com or 602-295-6947). He and a merry band of activists have been making cheap (but good-looking) yard/street signs in a garage in Mesa. They are asking for a donation of one dollar per sign. This is what the signs look like:
Once you have posted a sign, take a digital picture of it, and send it to tjenney@afphq.org. Feel free to send in multiple entries. AFP Arizona will post the photos on a web page starting on May 1, and we will ask all of our activists to vote for their favorite sign. We will award you a $100 gift certificate for your favorite store, if your sign gets the most votes. And AFP Arizona will award a second $100 gift certificate to whoever in our opinion comes up with the most succinct and powerful message, displayed in the biggest letters.
Early ballot voting has already started!
The last day to request an early ballot is Friday, May 7.
Go to the AZ Secretary of State’s website and request your early/absentee ballot:
Registration Site: http://www.azsos.gov/election/county.htm

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

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