Monday, February 27, 2012

Sheriff Paul Babeu: We Must Look Past Insinuations to the Facts

by Lynne LaMaster

Unfortunately, in our world today, when one decides to run for political office, they are opening themselves up for attack and scrutiny of the most intimate sort. And, if there's not much to attack, no worries, an artificial attack will be manufactured - especially against Republicans.

I remember when Dan Quayle was chosen as the VP candidate on George Bush's ticket. The big charge against him? His spelling left much to be desired and he was in the National Guard. At the time, I thought, 'Gee, if that's all they can say about him, he can't be too bad."

Recently, allegations about Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu were published in the Phoenix New Times. It's been a little more than a week, but since that article came out, the feeding frenzy has been non-stop. In an AZCentral search on the word 'Babeu', I count no less than 36 articles, columns, editorials and videos about Babeu since February 18. To be honest, I stopped counting at 36, I'm sure there are even more.

Last night, ABC News came out with new, stunning allegations against Sheriff Paul Babeu, consisting of abuse and "controversial disciplinary techniques." You can read the articles, "Documents: Babeu ran private boarding school with history of physical abuse" and "The DeSisto School used a variety of controversial disciplinary techniques," and watch the video of the newscast.

That being said, it is up to us as consumers of news reports to be very careful as we absorb the information.

1. Setting aside the allegations about Babeu and the 17-year-old student for the moment (we'll get to those later), there is no indication that Babeu himself did any of these things, cornering, farming, sheeting directly himself. The insinuation is that since he was headmaster, he must have known about it.

2. There is no timeline given. In other words, when was each accusation, investigation made, was it during Babeu's tenure as headmaster, or when? The school closed three years after Babeu left. That's a big gap. Was Babeu named in any of the investigations?

3. Some of the accusations, while they might sound horrible in print, could also have been considered standard procedure at the time. For example, thirty-some years ago, when I was a PE student in my public high school, 'group showers' were the norm. There was one large shower area, with multiple shower heads, and we all used the facility after class. Sometimes, we were ordered to shower, whether we wanted to or not. Our band students all changed into their uniforms on the same bus - guys and gals mixed. Perhaps things are being done differently today, but at the time, nobody thought much of it.

4. Regarding the accusations by Lucy Babeu against her brother, those are certainly serious allegations, and yes, they're specific to Paul Babeu. At this point, however, they are still hearsay. And, although the account is distasteful, perhaps seen as inappropriate by some, and does raise profound questions of judgment, at no time is there an allegation of a criminal nature.

In other words, as you are reading, watching and listening to these stories on Babeu, examine the accounts very carefully. Use every critical thinking skill you've ever been taught. Question the accounts. Seek the details.

In other words, look past the insinuations for the facts.

The purpose of this piece is not to defend Babeu and attack the press. It is intended to be a reminder that we must be diligent truth-seekers, not simply scandal mongers.

So, ask the hardest questions you can. Dig for the truth. Don't rely on hearsay. Request documents. Demand facts. Listen to both sides.

Then, and only then, make up your own mind. And, if appropriate, vote accordingly.

Lynne LaMaster is the mother of 8 children, married to Lewis for nearly 27 years, and the publisher of the eNewsAZ network of websites, which include,, and PrescotteNews was honored to receive a First Place award from the Arizona Press Club in the Multi-Media category. LaMaster has also been a guest reporter on CNN and the Geraldo Rivera program.

And now for a different perspective on the Sheriff Paul Babeu scandal

In response to the article Bill Ponath wrote yesterday about Sheriff Babeu, a conservative friend of mine who needs to remain anonymous due to his job wrote up this piece.

Sorry, Cruella and Mr. Ponath, But It Does Matter That Sheriff Paul Babeu Is Gay
In reporting on and discussing the news that Sheriff Paul Babeu may have used his office to force a former gay lover to remain silent about their relationship or be deported, most seem to go to great lengths to avoid even the appearance of anti-homosexual bias.  Reporters and radio figures utter the refrain, “it doesn’t matter if he’s gay,” incessantly.  The Sheriff has said repeatedly that his sexual proclivities are private.  Quite the contrary, the man is running for Congress, a body that sets policy, and the voters are entitled to know about the Sheriff’s preferences and if it will affect the way he votes.  The cry that Babeu’s preferences are private and don’t matter amount to stating that the public shouldn’t vette their candidates, shouldn’t discern how a man will vote before they send him to Congress, that voters should just blindly send a candidate to Congress.  In other words, ignorance is bliss.  Only the ignorant, or those seeking to normalize homosexual behavior, can make that claim with a straight face.
Some might make the argument, valid or not, that a Sheriff makes few policy decisions and therefore Mr. Babeu’s bedroom proclivities aren’t relevant to the position of Sheriff, so, it wasn’t necessary for him to disclose who he likes to sleep with.  No tenable argument can be advanced that a Congressman doesn’t vote on public policy.  Voters have a right to know every detail about a public official that may influence their decision-making on policy matters that may affect our freedoms, our pocketbooks, or our social norms.  To argue otherwise is utterly benighted and laughable.
Since one’s homosexuality has the possibility of affecting one’s decision-making on policy issues, Paul Babeu owed it to the public to come out the instant he asked the public to vote for him.  Babeu has actually been running for public office since 1987 when he ran for North Adams City Council in Massachusetts.  He should have been out for more than two decades!  The public expects their elected officials to be forthright and exercise good judgment.  That he hid his homosexuality suggests a serious omission and lack of judgment.  That he continues to give press interviews like Anthony Weiner or any other public official that believes they’re untouchable also suggests a lack of judgment or a penchant for listening to bad advice.  The public can only logically prefer officeholders that have the wisdom to discern between good and bad advice.
In a live interview on February 21 with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the Sheriff stated that he wasn’t ashamed with who he his.  If that’s the case, why fail to disclose his homosexuality at the outset when he ran for office in 1987?  The Sheriff indicated that people have been trying to out him for years and in fact, he should have come out because now, those individuals who never knew he was gay may feel lied to.
The omission by Paul Babeu keeping his homosexuality a secret suggests that he may not be forthright on other issues as well.  If the rumors of Babeu’s homosexuality turned out to be true, perhaps the allegations of abuse at the DiSisto school in Massachusetts are true.
Returning to policy issues, there are a vast host of homosexual-related issues that Paul Babeu could vote on in Congress.  The “LGBT community” has policy goals for normalizing and mainstreaming their behavior.  It is very valid for voters to question whether the Sheriff will oppose the efforts to normalize homosexuality or if he’s going to be a champion for their issues because he’s gay.  The default guess would be that, as a gay man, he would be sympathetic to the homosexual agenda.  While we’re all individuals and the Sheriff could surprise us all by staking out strong social conservative positions all down the line…
…if it weren’t for his own statements.  On Tuesday, February 21, the Sheriff gave a live interview to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.  In that interview, the Sheriff indicated that he believes we’re, “evolving as a nation.”  So, we’re knuckle-draggers now, Mr. Sheriff?  And we might walk upright, wear better than untreated animal furs and be civilized once we completely normalize and embrace the homosexual lifestyle?  So, if we agree with you, we’re OK, and if we don’t, we’re Neanderthals or worse?  What’s the end result of this “evolution,” Paul?  The worldwide population is all gay or bisexual?
Sheriff Babeu also stated that homosexual partners should be allowed hospital visitation and stated that, “the right of inheritance should be honored all across America.”  Sounds like he believes there’s room for the federal government to legislate on homosexual issues.   Wolf Blitzer asked if the Sheriff would be heavily involved in the Log Cabin Republicans and he said that he would.  That organization advocates for gay rights.  He’d be involved with the organization primarily because he’s gay and it highly suggests that he’d be in lockstep with the gay agenda.  So, again, there is the possibility that any homosexual’s preferences would drive their political decisions, so, sexuality is an issue for any candidate.  It’s even an issue for straight candidates.  It’s the subtext in any picture of a candidate with his wife and/or children.
The voters have the right to know if his homosexuality informs his position on legislating against “hate speech.”  This is more than just an issue for social conservatives.  Federal law can make a company liable for tolerance of a broad pattern of speech that creates a hostile working environment.  Does the Sheriff support the law?  Should consumers be forced to pay higher prices for goods and services because a business chooses to exercise its private property rights by not policing the speech of its employees?  That is a private property concern, an economic efficiency concern and therefore a concern for fiscal conservatives as well.  Curtailing speech, no matter how objectionable, is also First Amendment Concern for constitutionalists and First Amendment activists.
In a related vein is the issue of “hate crimes.”  Does the Sheriff believe that the federal government should be involved as it is in criminal law, or should criminal law be something best left to the states as often as possible?  There has always been the concern of fairness with “hate crimes.”  The objection has been raised that murder is murder, no matter what it’s motivating factors.  The voters have a right to know if the Sheriff believes that all murders should be prosecuted and punished equally or if homosexuals and other individuals should receive special protections.
Like “hate crimes,” there are a host of other issues at the federal level that the Sheriff could vote on.  The analysis is the same:  will the Sheriff’s homosexuality impact his votes on the issues.  It would be repetitive to go through each issue, but a list of the many issues would be illustrative.  At the federal level, we’ve experienced the defense of DOMA or the lack thereof; gays in the military; the institution and repeal of DADT; the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA); workplace non-discrimination laws; the debate over allowing gay marriage nationwide; allowing HIV-positive visitors into the U.S.; and the federal funding of AIDS prevention, treatment, research, and community programs.  Since the Sheriff has said he’d be heavily involved in Log Cabin Republicans and has rattled off a couple of issues that he believes the federal government should promote, it is logical to assume the trend will hold and the Sheriff will back the Left’s position on all these issues.
Many Congressmen run for Governor.  Idaho Governor Butch Otter was a Congressman, and Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana is running for Governor.   Many Governors run or become President.  Reagan was Governor of California.  Bush was Governor of Texas.  So, since Congress is a stepping-stone to higher office, voters need to keep in mind that whoever they send to Congress may wind up as their U.S. Senator, Governor, or President.  Voters must ask themselves if they want to allow a candidate the access to run for even higher office.  In the interview with Wolf Blitzer, Sheriff Babeu indicated that many gay agenda issues should be settled at the state level due to federalism.  If that’s the case, do voters want another gay Arizona Governor?  One that promotes the gay agenda?  What about a gay President that promotes the gay agenda.  If the answer is no, then those voters need to stop Babeu now by voting for one of his opponents.
The strident Left may scream “heterosexism,” but we enjoy the freedom in this country to vote for those who most closely align with our principles.  The Bible condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms.  Those who agree with the Bible have every right to vote as their conscience dictates, even if that means they vote in a “bigoted” fashion.  Similarly, Leftists who believe in the gay agenda have a right for someone who will promote their agenda.
Sheriff Babeu is done in politics forever as a Republican.  He’s made national news with his homosexuality now.  Unlike when he moved from Massachusetts to Arizona to get away from his problems, he can’t hide this time.  His fundraising will dry up, his poll numbers will plummet, he will lose and garner perhaps ten percent or less at the polls.  He’ll never win another election unless he runs as a Democrat.
Running as a Democrat may be apropros.  Not only has the Sheriff begun to stake out pro-homosexual agenda stances, but he is also on track to overspend his budget by $2.3 million.  So, he believes in big government issuing social dictates as well as overspending. 
The Sheriff should make all haste to craft a comprehensive set of policy statements on all issues that may pertain to his homosexuality.  Clearly, the Sheriff’s policy positions, which may well be driven or colored by his sexual preferences may have a direct impact on his votes.  Granted, we’re all individuals and the Sheriff could stake out the most socially and fiscally conservative positions on the host of issues relating to homosexuality, but to claim that his sexual preference is his business, is private, or doesn’t matter is flatly perfidious.  By running for public office, especially an elected position that has a say in policy matters, the Sheriff has made himself a public figure under increased public scrutiny and the public has the right to either know every niggling detail that may have a bearing on his votes or withhold their votes from him and support another, more open, forthright candidate.  The Sheriff simply must stake out his positions and do so with the utmost haste or the questions about his policy stances will pile up so quickly that voters will wander away to other candidates for a lack of answers.
In the end, it is very relevant if the Sheriff happens to actually be a social and fiscal conservative or if he’s just another Massachusetts liberal and his homosexuality may have a bearing on that analysis.  So, to all the reporters and talking heads, quit claiming that the Sheriff’s homosexuality doesn’t matter, we’re not buying it.

Submitted by an anonymous contributor

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My, How Time Flies: Regarding Sheriff Paul Babeu

by Bill Ponath

The average reasonable person almost automatically assumes that he or she has an open mind and does not entertain prejudices against any particular class or group of people. Nevertheless, if you ask members of the general public if they would be willing to vote for an openly gay candidate the general consensus response would be “Not in a million years.” I now have an opportunity to reflect on that issue.

Paul Babeu is a man of impeccable character who has offered his life on a daily basis both in military service and later as a law enforcement officer who eventually was elected Sheriff. Mind you; many elected sheriffs sit in their cozy little offices and allow their underlings to do the work. That is not the case for Mr. Babeu. He is on the front line every day protecting U.S. citizens from every facet of crime. We are all truly privileged and blessed to have this man in office.

Let me pose a hypothetical: what if you are in desperate need of heart surgery? What if you are a hopeless bigot who believes that homosexuals serve no purpose in America? What if you woke up from surgery and discovered that the only doctor in the world who could have performed that surgery successfully and actually did so is in fact gay? Would that change your mind?

Prejudices are pre-conceived conclusions based on incomplete and biased data and information. Clearly the historical record of homosexuals in America and the world is hopelessly skewed to cause these prejudices. It is a tragic circumstance that those who do not share certain traits are grouped into the general category and assigned these blemishes. Sadly; the revelation of Mr. Babeu’s sexual orientation has caused a great throng of the public to effectively throw him under the bus based on a series of stereotypical conclusions that we tend to associate with gay individuals.

As a heterosexual male, I am not able to view this factor from Sheriff Babeu’s perspective. I nevertheless know that this is a meaningless issue when compared to this man’s character and service to this nation and our community. Nobody is perfect; but Mr. Babeu is pretty damn close.

Whether Mr. Babeu is a better candidate than the incumbent Paul Gosar is not a question that I address. That is an issue that each eligible voter within the prospective precinct must determine to his/her satisfaction. The only thing that I ask is that this “issue” of sexual orientation is in fact a non-issue that will not have any effect upon a voter’s evaluation of the candidates. A truly objective voter will examine each candidate’s history of service to this nation and their public positions concerning each relevant issue: Education, Health-care, Immigration, Oil and Energy, and the nation’s economy. Only then can a voter make an intelligent decision.

Wow! A million years passed by in the blink of an eye.

Bill Ponath is a bankruptcy attorney and pro tem judge in Phoenix. He is the author of Verdict for America, solutions for the country's most pressing problems.

Woe Be Wade

by Bill Ponath

What goes around comes around . . . . or so they say. The subject of abortion as a means of “contraception” has come to light with Rick Santorum as an emerging candidate for the U.S. Presidency and the demand by the Obama regime under Obama-Care that all health-care organizations fund both contraception and abortions. The emergence of this conflict is similar to suggesting that a sound economic policy would be to simply assassinate President Obama and all of his cronies who are pushing to increase taxation as a method to heal our nation’s economic crisis. Yes; it would eliminate the problem, but it is hardly the method by which a civilized nation goes about its business. Oddly enough though; the policy of using abortion as a form of contraception is eerily similar to the goal of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime: to eliminate those persons who are perceived to be burdensome to a chosen and privileged class.

Abortion is not the only problem that we face; yet the approach to deal with the issue through “executive order” is an all-too-familiar methodology under the current administration. When we examine economic history, facts are facts: only twice in the history of the United States of America and all other industrialized nations since 1900 has an increase in taxation caused an increase in government income. Those two times were when progressive taxation was initially implemented to fund World War I; and when after the war the United States was in its worst depression in history because all of the soldiers came home and there was no work to be found. Presidents Harding and Coolidge LOWERED TAXES TO JUMP-START THE ECONOMY (Please copy this to all government officials with a “D” after their names) and the depression ended less than 16 months after it began. After that our government used progressive taxation as a never-ending fountain of youth. When the Great Depression began in 1929 President Roosevelt used government taxation as a vehicle for recovery and it never worked. The fact is that THE GREAT DEPRESSION HAS NEVER ENDED and our “prosperous” periods were when we lowered taxes, increased government income, lowered unemployment, and raised the standard of living . . . . . at least until the next tax hike. Effectively; these prosperities were periods of less suffering but they invited greater action in the same direction. Unfortunately; every time that lower taxation was implemented and successful, it was then followed by boosting taxation and spending; thus recreating the crisis that had just been diverted.

But I digress.

Let’s be frank. Under no circumstances can a rational person; even a Reaganesque Republican, condone the killing of innocent persons who carry an alternative political position. It is our goal to fairly contemplate the alternatives and make a decision based on fact and not conjecture. For this reason I have come to the conclusion that my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America is short-lived and I am willing to accept nomination to the Supreme Court when Ruth Bader Ginsburg steps down next year. As a portion of my resume I submit the following as my abbreviated ruling in the case of “BO v. Babe.”

Bill Ponath is a bankruptcy attorney and pro tem judge in Phoenix. He is the author of Verdict for America, solutions for the country's most pressing problems.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How low does your income need to be in order to file for bankruptcy?

I am a bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix, Arizona ($995/Chapter 7) and one thing clients worry about is whether their income is so high they will not be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The 2005 changes to bankruptcy laws put in income caps. The truth is, the 2005 changes have made hardly a dent in the number of people filing for bankruptcy. The reason is because there are many exceptions allowed to the income caps. Generally, the law states that if you make more money than the average income for your state, you cannot file Chapter 7. In Arizona, that cap is currently at $41,385. For a couple, it is $53,781. You can include all kinds of things as expenses however in order to get around this. If you and your spouse have four kids, that number bumps up to $76,267. If you have significant medical expenses, they are included. Deductions from your paycheck like payroll taxes will also lower your perceived income. Payments made for alimony, child support, or other kinds of required payments count.

Even if you don't qualify for Chapter 7, you can still file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where there are no income caps. The reality is in today's dismal economy, even families making close to six figure incomes are having difficulties. Large amounts of money must go to pay for things like huge credit card bills, court-ordered child support, and unexpected medical bills. At the Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm, we understand that and for that reason offer very low prices at this time.

The Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm provides low low cost Chapter 7 and 13 personal bankruptcies. $995 Chapter 7 or $2500 Chapter 13 bankruptcies plus court filing fee. Free consultation with a compassionate attorney who will handle your case personally. Call 24/7, available to meet with you around your schedule. 602-910-6812. Conveniently located in Central Phoenix along the Camelback corridor.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Just Say No to Health Insurance

Everyone talks about reforming health insurance while ignoring a better alternative: healthcare risk pools. Powerful lobbyists for the healthcare insurance industry have convinced politicians to perpetuate the current system of health insurance, hoping that minor tweaks will solve the escalating crisis. Conservative think tanks have even bought into the system due to heavy funding by insurance companies.
Risk pools allow people to buy into health plans of their choosing instead of obtaining health insurance coverage through employers. Health insurance is not a free market creation. It came into existence as the result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s socialist policies. Roosevelt mandated income caps during World War II, which caused employers to offer health insurance in order to keep jobs attractive. Now the government requires businesses to provide health coverage to employees, giving insurance companies a monopoly on healthcare coverage and ensuring their existence.
Risk pools offer healthcare coverage much like insurance, but have much more flexibility and less bureaucracy. Funding comes from premiums. A variety of risk pools are set up based upon various health needs or non-medical criteria such as location and age, although the larger the risk pool, the lower the premiums would be. The administrators of the risk pool could be anyone; a doctor’s office, a church, a nonprofit entity. The administrators would determine what levels of coverage would be offered and what types of individuals fit into each pool.
Opponents of risk pools claim that risk pools are too costly, pointing to existing risk pools at the state and federal level that are managed primarily by the government. This is comparing apples and oranges. Most of those risk pools are only high-risk pools. The people in those plans have expensive illnesses like cancer, circulatory diseases (such as coronary artery disease), post-surgical care (such as chemotherapy) and degenerative joint diseases, and have been denied coverage or have limitations like a pre-existing condition. These are people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for traditional health insurance; typically the self-employed. Around 207,000 Americans nationwide are enrolled in one of these pools.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Politics on the Rocks event with Newt Gingrich, this Wednesday (2/22)

Politics on the Rocks
RSVP Today on Facebook!
Politics on the Rocks and Scottsdale Nights are proud to announce that Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich will speak at our event this Wednesday, February 22nd at The Mint located at 7373 East Camelback Road in Scottsdale, Arizona. At 6:00 PM, The Mint will turn on 6 large flat screen televisions to watch the debate live. Immediately following the debate, Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich will come directly to The Mint and address the crowd. Come meet Newt, take a picture, get an autograph, and have an exciting evening with friends. This free event and is open to the public and the media. Newt is scheduled to arrive at The Mint at 9:15 PM directly following the debate. Once The Mint hits capacity we can no longer anyone else in. We recommend you come early.
Charles A. Jensen, the President/Founder of Politics on the Rocks has recently released his new personal website.  On this website, you can send a Charles a direct message with speaker suggestions and read his daily blog posts.
Newt Gingrich is the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House for the first time in forty years.
Under Newt’s leadership, Congress passed the first balanced budget in a generation, leading to the repayment of over $400 billion in debt. Congress also cut taxes for the first time in sixteen years and reformed welfare, leading to over sixty percent of welfare recipients either getting a job or going to school. In addition, the Congress restored funding to strengthen our defense and intelligence capabilities, an action later lauded by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.
The Washington Times has called Newt Gingrich “the indispensable leader” and Time magazine, in naming him Man of the Year for 1995, said, “Leaders make things possible. Exceptional leaders make them inevitable. Newt Gingrich belongs in the category of the exceptional.”
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Newt's experiences as the son of a career soldier convinced him at an early age to dedicate his life to his country and to the protection of freedom. Realizing the importance of understanding the past in order to protect the future, he immersed himself in the study of history, receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and Master’s and Doctorate in Modern European History from Tulane University. Before his election to Congress in 1978, Newt taught History and Environmental Studies at West Georgia College for eight years. He represented Georgia in Congress for twenty years, including four years as Speaker of the House.
Newt served on the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush, which provided strategic counsel to the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense on how to better address threats facing the United States. He is also the longest-serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals at Air University and taught officers from all five services as an honorary Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. In 1999, Gingrich was appointed to the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, the Hart/Rudman Commission to examine our national security challenges as far out as 2025. The Commission's report is the most profound rethinking of defense strategy since 1947.
Newt is widely recognized for his commitment to a better system of health for all Americans. His leadership helped save Medicare from bankruptcy, prompted FDA reform to help the seriously ill and initiated a new focus on research, prevention, and wellness. His contributions have been so great that the American Diabetes Association awarded him their highest non-medical award and the March of Dimes named him their 1995 Citizen of the Year.
In 2003, Newt founded the Center for Health Transformation to develop free market healthcare reforms to foster a 21st Century System of health and healthcare that is centered on the individual, prevention focused, knowledge intense and innovation rich. Newt also served as the Co-Chairman of the National Commission for Quality Long-term Care and the independent congressional Alzheimer’s Disease Study Group.
Newt and his wife, Callista, host and produce award-winning documentary films, including A City Upon a Hill, Nine Days that Changed the World, Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny, and Rediscovering God in America. Together, Newt and Callista also author photo books and record audio books.

Newt is the author of twenty-three books, including thirteen New York Times bestsellers.
For more information on Newt Gingrich take a look at his website.

Charles A. Jensen
Politics on the Rocks National Committee

RSVP Today on Facebook!

: Wednesday, February 22nd
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

The Mint
7373 East Camelback Road
Scottsdale, Arizona [ map it! ]

Video of Mitt Romney rally in Arizona - February 13

Thanks to Angry Right Wing Housewife for this video

Monday, February 20, 2012

HB 2403 Is Dead

by Representative David Stevens

The BIG PRESS monopoly on Public Notices lives for another day.

HB2403 is dead. The bill that was being drafted to address the BIG PRESS monopoly of public notices died in committee on a 2-5 vote. While I will admit the bill was not in useable form, we were working toward language that would have started addressing the one-sided and outdated requirement that only paper publishers can handle public notices. With the movement to the internet and electronic media it is only logical to revisit statutes that have been in effect since the start of this country and state. There are nearly 300 pages of regulations that deal with the format and frequency of the notices. This will be revisited in the future.

There was plenty of testimony on how the founding fathers praised the newspaper and “selected” them as the bearer of the news. Let’s try to forget that the internet, radio, and television had not been invented yet. The lobbyists were quick to discount this fact.

There was a lot of talk of distrust of the government (most of that I share) and only a 3rd party publication can be trusted to provide the vital information.

There was a lot of talk how the printed copy is the best way to reach all of the people. I questioned an individual on the data that attempted to show 75% of the people of this state look at a paper at least twice a week and I asked him what the percent he would accept was. His answer was 50% + 1. The information provided to me on the subscription rate throughout the state is around 18%. (the numbers just don’t add up).

Read the rest of the article at Prescott eNews

Friday, February 17, 2012

3 Republican legislators vote to continue corporate subsidies to newspapers

I couldn't believe what I watched yesterday. Three Republican legislators - who all hold themselves out as conservatives - voted in a committee hearing to continue granting print newspapers an exclusive monopoly on public notices. Reps Carl Seel, Jeff Dial, and Terri Proud all voted against HB 2403, which would have brought us into the modern era and permitted public notices to be posted on the internet instead of print newspapers, including on government websites, saving taxpayers lots of money and increasing transparency. Websites like Sonoran Alliance and my IC Arizona would be able to post public notices at a  more competitive cost.

I wrote an article fully explaining the depths of this problem here. I received this email today about it: "I work for a newspaper and you're 100 percent right ... but I can't say anything. Not only does the public pay to put notices in the paper, the law requires purchasing the paper to get the notices. They get you coming and going."

It may not be too late to revive this bill. Please contact the three Republican legislators who voted against it and express your disappointment. Kudos to the Republican legislators who supported it, Sen. Andy Biggs, Rep. David Stevens and Rep. Justin Pierce.

Carl Seel - 926-3018
Jeff Dial - 926-5550
Terri Proud - 926-3398

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ARIZONA- On-line Public Notice Bill HB 2403 Which Would Save State & Towns $, Voted down in Committee

Reprinted from Legal Notice Online

In Arizona, Medicaid Cut. Newspapers Continue to Be Subsidized
In Arizona, where state money is so tight that the state's Medicaid program needed to be cut, a shortsighted committee voted down an opportunity to save tax dollars used to subsidize newspapers.
Arizona's House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure voted 5-2 today to continue to require the arcane practice of publishing legal notices in newspapers. As we reported two weeks ago, the bill (HB2403) would allow the local governments to  publish public notices in a newspaper or post notices anywhere on a "worldwide public network of interconnected computers." An estimated 20 newspaper representatives appeared at the hearing. 
Representatives DialGonzalesProudWheelerSeel voted no. Only Representatives Stevens and Pierce voted for it. 
Separately, the Arizona budget was so tight this year that it included a provision that would cut off an estimated 100,000 poor childless adults  from Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System coverage this year.  

To read how other states are addressing this issue
Click HERE

Newspapers: "It's Not About the Money"

The Arizona legislature is considering a bill, HB 2403, that would remove the print newspapers' monopoly on publishing public notices. Lynne LaMaster, who runs several eNews websites in Arizona, gave this speech today to the House Committee voting on the bill.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Filing bankruptcy: What are the new required classes?

I am a bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix ($995/Chapter 7), and changes to federal bankruptcy law in 2005 added a requirement that people filing for bankruptcy must take two required classes. Fortunately, these classes are inexpensive, easy, and may be taken quickly online. The first is the credit counseling class, which I've found for as cheap as $5 online. This class must be taken prior to filing, and takes at least a few minutes depending on which provider you use. The second class is a financial management class, which I've found for as low as $10 or $12.50 for a married couple. It is a timed test that lasts for one hour. You input information about your finances and the courses will provide you with feedback. They are not difficult at all. The bankruptcy court does not see the results of your classes, they will simply receive an affidavit later indicating that you took them. Relief to know they're not that onerous eh?

The Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm provides low low cost Chapter 7 and 13 personal bankruptcies. $995 Chapter 7 or $2500 Chapter 13 bankruptcies plus court filing fee. Free consultation with a compassionate attorney who will handle your case personally. Call 24/7, available to meet with you around your schedule. 602-910-6812. Conveniently located in Central Phoenix along the Camelback corridor.

Goldwater Institute: Save Money, Double Turnout with Consolidated Local Elections

by Lucy Morrow Caldwell

Ask any grassroots activist and he’ll tell you that getting out the vote is tough, because the majority of Arizonans have busy lives beyond the ballot-box. Worse still, with elections happening at a variety of times throughout a two-year cycle, many voters don’t know when an election is taking place. This gives special-interest groups the upper hand because they can turn out their supporters on obscure election days while regular Arizonans are left in the dark.
This could all change with a single piece of legislation.
HB 2826, a bill currently moving its way through the Arizona Legislature, conforms all election dates across the state—from bond to municipal to statewide—to occur in the August-November cycle of even-numbered years.
In Scottsdale, where municipal elections have been consolidated to Novembers in even-numbered years since 2008, voter participation has ranged from 60 percent to over 85 percent. Previously, when Scottsdale municipal elections occurred in the springtime, voter turnout rarely rose above 30 percent.
Voter turnout suffers in cities without consolidated election dates.
Less than 30 percent of registered voters turned out in Phoenix’s 2011 mayoral election, and only 25 percent voted in the council races in 2009. Tucson’s 2011 mayoral election turned out just over 30 percent of registered voters.
This is not an indicator of voter apathy in those cities. When Tucson placed a municipal ballot question on the 2010 general election ballot, over 60 percent of registered voters participated.
The Arizona Legislature has a long history of pursuing legislation to increase citizen participation in the voting process—the motor-voter initiative, the permanent early voting list, and other voter-awareness campaigns. HB 2826 is the natural next step to increase voter participation across the state and make Arizonans’ voices heard.
Special interest groups that enjoy advancing their agendas under the radar in off-cycle elections are likely to oppose HB 2826. But the measure is a slam-dunk for Arizonans who want to give all voters a voice in elections at every level of government.
Lucy Morrow Caldwell is the external affairs manager for the Goldwater Institute.
Learn More:
Arizona Legislature: House Bill 2826

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why HB 2403 - Public Notices needs to pass: More transparency, less cost to taxpayers, end the newspapers' monopoly

--This is about getting rid of corporate welfare. It will increase transparency and allow competition which lowers the price for consumers, and reduce costs overall for taxpayers and government. Lynne LaMaster from Prescott eNews calculated that a notice for a trustee sale currently costs $588. Government could save a lot of money by posting these kinds of notices instead on its own websites. A state like Maine would save $500,000 (

--There is not much difference anymore between newspapers online and online news sources like us. Print newspapers are going away. When we point this out, the newspaper industry responds that their notices are also available online. Well, then that makes them no different than us.

--Our main site,, has been around for 10 years and has over 6000 pages which have not changed. When the newspapers claim that you can't trust online websites to archive and preserve data, what makes them any better than other websites at archiving and preserving data? Newspaper websites change all the time too. Google also caches websites and takes regular snapshots of all sites on the web. The newspapers say they have hard copies to back everything up, but print newspapers are going away. When a customer buys a public notice from us, we can also send them a copy, a receipt, affidavit, notarization if necessary, and keep a record ourselves on our computers in addition to on the website. That's a lot of backup. I bet every single one of us also use standard backup software that is included with Blogger, Wordpress, etc.

--Any additional steps that need to be taken for more complex public notices will require us to work with other businesses such as title companies that take those additional steps. We are willing to do that just like the print newspapers do now.

--Right now key notices like foreclosure notices are completely unfindable on the internet. I run a bankruptcy law firm, and a home belonging to one of our clients was to go up for foreclosure sale a couple of weeks ago. If you google his address, you can't find any notice anywhere. The newspaper's aggregate database isn't indexable and searchable by Google. If we had posted that notice on our website, it would have been searchable and findable within a day. And I can tell you that NONE of our bankruptcy clients subscribe to any newspapers since we ask about that on our intake form. But every one of them, no matter how poor, has cable internet at home and at least one wireless phone with internet.

--The newspaper website that the Arizona print newspapers all use together for public notices,, gets as many visitors as does, about 200 per day, when you look it up on the website ranking service alexa. Our main site gets thousands of unique visitors per day.

--The print newspaper industry claims that their central online site is best suited for public notices. Not true. If you do a Google search on --  Arizona public notices online – their site doesn’t even come up within the first page of Google results. Lynn LaMaster’s Prescott eNews site comes up though.

--Although people in rural areas are less likely to have internet access than people in urban areas, they can get free access to the internet at libraries. The White House established the Rural White House Council last summer with a goal of providing internet access to everyone in rural areas, so their access is gradually increasing. Even people in rural areas who don't have internet access at home have wireless phones with internet access. They are more likely to find a public notice on their phone than in a print newspaper.

-- The CEO and Publisher of the Navajo Times from Apache County, Tom Arviso, Jr., spoke at last week’s hearing. He said that of the 300,000 people who live in that rural area, only 13,000-15,000 subscribe to his newspaper. Using his estimate of 3.3 readers per newspaper, that works out to 48,000 readers, or about 16%. Whereas 30% of people in rural areas have access to the internet. Therefore, more people in that rural area have access to the internet than they do the print newspaper. In Prescott, only 10% of people subscribe to the local print newspaper. Whereas 70% or higher of households have internet access.       

--The Goldwater Institute proposes an amendment requiring that government manage a list of approved websites for running public notices. Why must government expand and do this? Why not let a private organization, such as the one us bloggers and enews sites have already formed, Arizona Coalition of Online Media, manage this list, and let government websites just include one link to it? There are plenty of industries run by their own private boards, such as lawyers, realtors, Better Business Bureau, etc. Why can’t we self-regulate, and if something does go wrong with one of our public notices, that is what the courts are for.

--The Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office has objected to this bill but will support it if it includes the Goldwater Institute’s amendment. We are ok with an amendment like this if it’s absolutely necessary. 

--We do not like the additional requirement of requiring recording with the County Recorder’s office, that sounds like a red herring from the print newspaper industry to kill the bill. It will add another layer of bureaucracy, expense, and since it was not necessary in the past, it seems absurd to add it now.

--The print newspaper industry likes to point out all kinds of technical problems but they are all resolvable. Most of us who run online news sites are techies and some are attorneys, including myself and’s Greg Patterson. We are completely capable of working through any technical issues, such as how long a notice should be posted, what form an affidavit should take, and what types of websites are acceptable. We recommend that they be local Arizona news/opinion websites that are updated at least once a week. All of these issues can be addressed with a simple amendment.

--The print newspaper industry claims that this bill was passed in Utah then repealed because it was so bad. This is not accurate. The version that was introduced in Utah was combined with additional legislation that reduced the amount of documents open to the public, and raised the cost of public records requests, giving it the nickname “the anti-transparency law.” In addition, the law only applied to urban areas and required all public notices to still run online in a centralized site controlled by the newspapers! “ It had nothing to do with allowing non-newspaper sites to publish public notices. “Under S.B. 208, any person required to publish a legal notice in a newspaper must also publish the legal notice on a website established by the collective effort of all of Utah’s newspapers.

--Virginia and Hawaii are currently considering similar bills.

--Conclusion: This is about picking winners and losers. The print newspaper business is dying and they have been using exaggerations and misleading information for 10 years to stop this legislation from passing. Right now putting a public notice in the paper is like hiding in plain sight. Passing this legislation will allow for the greatest transparency, competition for better pricing, and a lower cost overall to the taxpayers.            

Monday, February 13, 2012

David Schweikert: Entire Base of Grassroots Support Schweikert

To All Interested Parties:
Congressman Ben Quayle has decided to move Congressional districts and primary fellow-Republican David Schweikert in his distirct, AZ-06.
  • Quayle’s home isn’t in AZ-06, it’s in AZ-09
  • Quayle’s campaign office isn’t in AZ-06, it’s in AZ-09
  • Quayle’s Congressional office isn’t in AZ-06, it’s in AZ-09
As this primary challenge gains attention, the choice for Arizona conservatives is clear. They support the Republican who lives in AZ-06 and who has served that very same community for 30+ years.
Since Ben Quayle’s announcement to “carpetbag” into Schweikert’s district, Arizonans have responded in backlash. This week the Schweikert campaign rolled out several prominant endorsements.
  • Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery
  • Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio
  • Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring
  • Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane
  • State Senator Michele Reagan
  • State Representative Michele Ugenti
  • State Representative John Kavanagh
David’s campaign office opened this morning with a record-breaking volume of volunteer participation. In 2010, Schweikert’s ground operation was widely noted as being a model for campaigns across the country.
It is clear that David has the entire base of grassroots support in AZ-06 behind him.
Included is a polling memo for your interest. Please feel welcome to circulate. Of particular note are the favorable ballot numbers at the very bottom of the memo. Arizona primary voters who “like” both David and Ben choose David 56% – 31%. Even more impressive is the informed ballot of Arizona primary voters who have an “opinion” of David and Ben, either “favorable or unfavorable” choose David 57% – 31%.

PS: When you hear reports about the Schweikert/Quayle primary, please help us keep the facts straight, and if you need information or have a question, please don’t ever hesitate to ask!