Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vernon Parker Renews Pledge to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Tempe, AZ – Today Vernon Parker released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its decision on Obamacare:

“Today’s decision is one which is disastrous to millions of Americans.  It raises taxes by half a trillion dollars on working families and cuts Medicare by half a trillion dollars on our seniors.  It will stifle economic growth by hurting small businesses.  And it does nothing to address the rising cost of healthcare which will put an increased burden on our national debt.  It’s why we need to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense legislation that allows younger Americans the opportunity to have affordable healthcare and ensure those with pre-existing conditions will get the coverage they need.  Ideas like portability and medical savings accounts will return competition and drive down costs.  For these reasons I pledge to repeal and replace this socialistic legislation, and will work to stop this President from his stated goal of creating a single payer system,” said Vernon Parker.

Parker, 52, is a rising star in the Republican Party. He is current councilman and former mayor of Paradise Valley. Raised by his grandmother in a severely underprivileged neighborhood, Parker was able to escape his environment through love, education, and hard work.

For more information about Parker or his campaign, visit



Phoenix-based group has only lawsuit in the country challenging the law’s price-setting board

PHOENIX--Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the 2010 federal health care law’s individual mandate opens the door for legal challenges to other aspects of the law to move forward. The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute will immediately move ahead with its lawsuit challenging the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the law’s price-setting board.

The Goldwater Institute’s challenge, Coons v. Geithner, is the only case in the country specifically aimed at the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a 15-person presidentially appointed panel that will set Medicare policy and health care payment rates without the possibility of judicial review or the right for patients to appeal its decisions. Coons v. Geithner has been on hold in federal court pending the outcome of the Supreme Court decision.

The Institute is challenging the Independent Payment Advisory Board under the separation of powers doctrine. Unlike any other federal commission, IPAB won’t have to follow the basic steps for adopting and enforcing administrative rules. The Board’s annual payment schedules and policy proposals can’t be examined by the courts and automatically will become law unless amended by Congress through a difficult and complex procedure. Finally, the Board has been made unrepealable by Congress expect for a two-week window in 2017. If Congress were to approve a repeal of the Board in 2017, following the complex process allowed in the health care law, that repeal automatically would be delayed until 2020.

“Protecting any new federal agency from being repealed by Congress appears to be unprecedented in the history of the United States,” said Clint Bolick, vice president of litigation at the Goldwater Institute.No possible reading of the Constitution supports the idea of an unelected, standalone federal board that’s untouchable by both Congress and the courts and we will pursue this challenge all the way back to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

If IPAB is allowed to stand, Bolick said, then the idea of checks and balances between the branches of government means nothing.

To learn more about the Goldwater Institute’s work in this area, please visit

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gov. Brewer: President Obama Once Again Abandons Citizens of Arizona

“As though we needed any more evidence, President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people. Within the last two hours, I have been notified the Obama administration has revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law.

“Of course, it is no coincidence that this announcement comes immediately on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of the heart of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law: SB 1070. It’s worth noting that 68 law enforcement entities in 24 states have functioning 287(g) agreements with the federal government. But it appears the only agreements eliminated today were those in Arizona, the state that happens to be on the front lines of America’s fight against illegal immigration. We are on our own, apparently.

“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn – downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our State from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this. Still, the disarmament of Arizona’s 287(g) agreements is a new low, even for this administration.

“Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security credits the 287(g) program with identifying nearly 300,000 potentially-removable aliens nationwide. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has trained and certified more than 1,500 state and local officers to assist in the enforcement of immigration law, including many in Arizona. In fact, even as the President was wiping out Arizona’s 287(g) agreements, the ICE website itself continued to herald the collaborative approach of the 287(g) program, noting, ‘Terrorism and criminal activity are most effectively combated through  a multi-agency/multi-authority approach that encompasses federal, state and local resources, skills and expertise.’

“The President’s action should be of concern to all Americans. This fight is not over. President Obama may disregard Congress. He may target individual states like Arizona. He may generally act with impunity. But he is not above judgment – and the American people will have theirs very soon.”

JP Candidate Bill Ponath Saves Disabled Vet from Eviction

Bill Ponath, the only conservative running for Justice of the Peace in the Desert Ridge precinct, found himself on the other side of the bench last Friday with some pro bono work for a good cause. Richard Chadwick, a disabled veteran who served in both The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army from the the early 70's to the mid 80's, was about to be evicted from his home in a court hearing last week. Richard's landlord had died in the middle of his lease, and the lease was taken over by a bank that was not sympathetic to the terms the previous landlord had agreed to with Richard. Richard has severe Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and had been promised a peaceful place to live there. Due to months of unexpected loud construction, the prior landlord promised to waive some of his rent. Bill accompanied him to the Encanto Justice Court, talked to the judge and opposing counsel, and was able to get an extension until Richard has found somewhere else to live. 

Bill has 28 years of experience practicing law; primarily in bankruptcy and family practices. He has been a pro tem judge for eight of the ten years since 2001 for the Maricopa County Justice Courts. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Verdict for America,” which contains solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems that are crucial in the presidential election. Bill was profiled in the Sonoran News in April: and again in June:
Bill is running on a platform of reform for the judicial administration to avoid unnecessary, drawn out delays during criminal trials; simplification of eviction actions to ensure that both landlords’ and renters’ rights are protected; and uniformity of pleadings and procedures to enable the average citizen to understand what his/her rights and responsibilities are to each other and to the court. To get involved in the campaign and see what is happening, check out Bill's website at

June 25, 2012
Contact: Brian Symes
(602) 326-9116 /

Paid for by William Ponath for Desert Ridge JP


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Even former AZ Dem party chair opposes Obamacare

More evidence the writing is on the wall regarding what the Supreme Court's decision is going to be on Obamacare. Notice even Obama hardly mentions it in his reelection campaign. It is so unpopular that the former chair of the Democratic Party in Arizona, Andrei Cherny, has come out against it.
And here is Cherny telling the Tea Party he is proud of them. Hmmm maybe Cherny is finally contemplating coming over to the right side of politics!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is the Personhood Movement Really Pro-Life?

One of the most controversial wings of the pro-life movement is the “personhood” effort. Championed by Personhood USA out of Colorado, its goal is to have personhood defined in law to include the unborn. Theoretically, it sounds good. Practically, it will never work and meanwhile is severely hurting the pro-life movement.

The pro-life movement does not support the personhood effort. Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum issued this statement about it, “Nearly every reputable pro-life leader has criticized the approach of the personhood amendment, which will simply give more power to pro-abortion judges.” Another statement from Eagle Forum said that the “poorly designed initiative would not prevent a single abortion even it if became law” and it hurts pro-life candidates.

National Right to Life, the leading pro-life organization in the country, does not support personhood. NRL General Counsel James Bopp issued a memo in 2007 explaining why the pro-life movement should avoid it. Since the personhood amendment is so radical, it drives out more people to vote against it, who then vote against conservative pro-life candidates also on the ballot. Eagle Forum noted that a personhood ballot intiative lost twice by a nearly 3-to-1 margin in Colorado, taking down pro-life candidates Bob Schaffer and Marilyn Musgrave as collateral damage. Exacerbating the negativity associated with personhood amendments is the media's hyping that the amendments will ban everything from in-vitro fertilization to birth control to contraception. Some of this hype is exaggerated, since not all versions of personhood legislation would affect these. 

58% of voters in Mississippi, considered the most pro-life state in the country, rejected a personhood amendment last year. Personhood legislation in Oklahoma was struck down as unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court last month, thwarting the efforts of Personhood USA which spent significant amounts of money in Oklahoma trying to get a personhood law passed, paying for media spots and 200,000 robocalls. Personhood efforts have also failed in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Steven Ertelt, one of the most well-known and respected leaders in the national pro-life movement and the editor of, observed that the Supreme Court has already ruled repeatedly that personhood language cannot be used to end abortions. “It is time for the pro-life movement to put aside these (personhood) amendments and focus on the task at hand: ending abortion and protecting unborn children under law.” Paul Benjamin Linton, who has served as General Counsel for Americans United for Life, explained in a letter to the North Dakota Senate that passing personhood legislation will not overturn Roe v. Wade, and if Roe v. Wade does get overturned, there is already legislation ready to go into effect in North Dakota. 

Florida's Catholic bishops are so opposed to the personhood movement they have banned the collecting of signatures for the initiative at churches. A coalition of pro-life organizations in Nevada issued a statement denouncing a personhood initiative in Nevada earlier this year, saying in part, “This amendment will harm the Pro-Life movement by giving pro-abortion courts more power to decide all matters relating to abortion, such as parental notification, informed consent, and taxpayer funding of abortion...We also believe that initiatives like these provide political and financial windfalls to abortion advocates and their candidates.”

The tactics being used by those in the personhood movement are ruthless; the “end justifies the means” actions usually championed by the left. North Dakota State Senators Gerry Uglem (R) and Curtis Olafson (R) understood that personhood legislation is a strategy doomed to failure. In 2009 and 2011, both Senators opposed a personhood bill on the basis that it would harm, not help, the pro-life effort to prevent abortion. After responding to a survey sent to them by a rogue local chapter of National Right to Life, their answers were changed when the survey results were reported to the public, falsely portraying them as pro-abortion. The individual responsible for the dishonest survey joined with his father and together they contributed $6,000 to Olafson's opponent, an unheard of amount for one family to contribute to a North Dakota Senate race, particularly a primary race.  Personhood USA contributed $1,000 to his opponent.

Campaign mailers were sent to Olafson's district accusing him of being pro-abortion and stating that abortion would be illegal in North Dakota today if not for him. This foolish statement shows a complete lack of understanding that personhood legislation would be immediately challenged in court, would never become law and would indisputably be struck down as unconstitutional. Furthermore, the ND Senate voted 28-19 in favor of the motion to table the bill. Nothing can be done in a legislative body unless you have the votes to do it. Senator Olafson had the support of the majority of the ND Senate to defeat the bill.

Senators Uglem and Olafson both voted in favor of a “trigger ban” anti-abortion bill in 2007, which would ban abortion in North Dakota the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned. Nevertheless, Personhood USA successfully targeted Olafson this year when he ran for reelection, causing him to lose his primary race to a personhood proponent. The organization issued a press release gloating over the defeat, using it to threaten other sitting pro-life legislators around the country. Their message is clear, “You better do what we want, or we will come after you.” The vicious last minute attack mailer that was sent out in Olafson's district was also mailed to the entire ND Legislature in a direct and brazen attempt to threaten and intimidate the entire ND Legislature. Is this what we, the citizens want? Our legislatures making decisions based on which radical group is most effective in threatening and intimidating our legislators?

The local pro-life organization in Olafson's district, Walsh County Right to Life, is led by an individual who is one of North Dakota's leading proponents of personhood, despite the fact that National Right to Life does not support personhood legislation. If the national pro-life organizations do not support personhood, what do a handful of rogue state and local chapters know that the national associations don't?

Since these efforts will only result in defeating conservative pro-life candidates, and there is a proven history of defeating pro-life candidates with this approach, concerns have arisen that the left is secretly funneling money to these organizations. Their campaign finance reports are vague and contain very little information. The director of Personhood Oklahoma is the treasurer and custodian of records for Pro-Life Super PAC in Oklahoma. Pro-Life Super PAC didn’t bother filing its last quarterly report. One report reveals that it has spent over a million dollars going after Mitt Romney, including creating a TV ad attacking him. Instead of attacking pro-choice Obama, this personhood PAC is spending money attacking the Republican nominee for president. Most of the rest of the Republican presidential candidates were coerced into declaring they support personhood amendments, afraid of being depicted as not pro-life.

The false portrayal of anyone who opposes personhood as pro-abortion must stop. Pro-lifers may reasonably differ over how to reduce abortions in this country. Dishonestly calling someone pro-abortion because they take a practical approach instead of an emotional knee-jerk approach that has proven to be a failure is reprehensible. NRL's Bopp describes it best, “One unfortunate aspect of this internal debate is the inclination of some absolutist individuals and groups to spiritualize the debate over the best strategy for long-term protection of the unborn by calling on leaders who take an incremental approach to repent for their alleged deception of the public and abandonment of the unborn.”

The personhood movement is not attacking pro-abortion candidates, it is attacking pro-life candidates. Why are personhood proponents so eager to champion this issue that has proven to harm the pro-life movement? The only tried and true way to reduce abortions is to chip away at abortion laws in incremental steps. Attempting to overthrow all abortion laws at once only results in motivating abortion defenders to fight back harder.

Supporting personhood amendments falls right into the left's trap, and some believe it may ultimately be coming from the left. It would not be the first time the left funded a fake pro-life group in order to defeat legitimate pro-life candidates. It is time for the personhood movement to come clean and disclose whether they are being funded by the left, to quell the doubt and mounting suspicion.

Disclaimer: The author previously served on the board of Arizona Right to Life for five years.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Schweikert for Congress Campaign Welcomes Quayle's 180 Degree Turn on Immigration Position

We commend Ben Quayle for seeing the light

(Phoenix, AZ) The Schweikert for Congress campaign today welcomed Ben Quayle's decision to abandon his previous support for policies that he admitted were "backdoor amnesty" and oppose policies like President Obama's plan to allow illegal immigrants under the age of 30 to stay in the country.
Just last month in an interview with KPNX Channel 12 in Phoenix, Quayle expressed support for an immigration policy nearly identical to what was proposed by President Obama last week.
This week Quayle called those very same policies "backdoor amnesty" when he announced he was introducing legislation to block President Obama's policy.
"We commend Ben Quayle for seeing the light," said Schweikert for Congress campaign manager Dan Caldwell. "Quayle's 180 degree turn on this issue is good for Arizona. Typically politicians dig in and try to justify their positions and often take months, if not years, to change their position. Ben Quayle took less than a month to change his."

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on YouTube Connect on Flickr Paid for by Schweikert for Congress

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

News from Bill Ponath for JP: Desert Ridge JP to be decided in three-way primary

PHOENIX – The race for the Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace, which serves the North and Northeast Phoenix areas, Cave Creek, Carefree, New River and Desert Hills, will be decided in the Republican primary election among three candidates.

bill ponathCandidates in the race are incumbent Clancy Jayne, Bill Ponath and Jeff Scapira.

With 831 valid signatures required to appear on the ballot, Schapira collected 888 signatures, while Jayne and Ponath collected 1,101 and 1,286 respectively.

Yet, on June 13, it was Schapira, with only three minutes to spare before the 5 p.m.
deadline, who filed a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court challenging the nomination petitions of Jayne and Ponath, in an attempt to disqualify them from appearing on the ballot.

However, on June 14, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney M. Colleen Connor, representing Maricopa County, filed a motion to dismiss, stating Schapira failed to name the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne as indispensible parties to the action as per A.R.S. § 16-351.

Schapira named only the candidates whose petitions he was challenging.

The case was scheduled to be heard before Superior Court Judge Colleen French on Tuesday, June 19.

Schapira has other issues plaguing him in this Republican primary. For starters, he doesn’t appear to be a Republican, despite his registration.

Over the past 12 years, Schapira has made only two campaign contributions, both of which were to Democrats.

In 2004, he donated $500 to Democrat presidential candidate Joe Lieberman.

In 2006, he donated $1,000 to Arizona Rep. Jack Jackson, Jr., another Democrat.

Jayne spent years dogged by the IRS for failure to pay income tax, with tax liens spanning from 1984 through 1992.

He finally paid his tax liens off when he ran for reelection to the state legislature in 2006, but was booted off the ballot for failure to collect the requisite number of valid signatures in a complaint brought by Rep. Carl Seel, R-Dist. 6.

Looks like Schapira has tax issues of his own, only his problem is with the Maricopa County Treasurer for failure to pay $5,113.50 in property taxes for 2011, which now includes an additional $340.89 in interest.

Neither Schapira nor Jayne have legal backgrounds.

Schapira appears unable to follow statute to file a proper petition challenge while Jayne still has trouble writing grammatically correct sentences, which became apparent in his responses to a number of complaints filed against him with the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct that resulted in both private and public reprimands.

Ponath, who is a lawyer that has served as a judge pro tem, authored the book, “Verdict for America.”

Sonoran News
by Linda Bentley
June 13, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

AFP AZ: Arizona Fights Back against Obamacare Exchange, "Hands off my Healthcare"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Goldwater Institute: Learning from Arizona’s Personal Income Statistics

by Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.
First the bad news: Arizona’s per capita personal income is eleventh lowest among the states and is 14 percent lower than the national average. But there’s also good news: In the past, Arizona’s per capita income has been closer to the national average and there is no reason it cannot be again.
The chart below compares Arizona’s per capita income to the national average. Arizona’s relatively modest-sized population explains much of the big fluctuations that occur right into the 1990s since any change in large employers could be significantly reflected in the statistics. Another likely explanation is national defense spending. The big blip in 1941 coincides with the buildup to World War II. The next peak in 1952 coincides with Korea. The big rise in the 1960s coincides with Vietnam. During wars, both hot and cold, Arizona’s per capita personal income performed relatively well because we have a decent base of defense industry jobs. The last big drop in Arizona’s personal income occurred with the end of the Reagan defense buildup and the end of the Cold War. Arizona’s personal income then stabilized and we did not see another spike in personal income until the housing bubble.
There are a couple of lessons that can be learned from this chart. One is that Arizona must look to itself for increased prosperity, not uncertain federal defense spending or money from big banks taking advantage of federal housing programs, or any other government program at any level – federal, state, or local. Another lesson is that Arizonans cannot presently afford the expansive government programs and projects some other states can afford because our incomes won’t support them.
Arizona need not be doomed to always lag the nation in per capita personal income. If we get the basics right – good roads, sound property rights, little red tape, lean and efficient government – Arizonans’ creativity, willingness to take risks, and hard work will make our state the best that it can possibly be.
Dr. Byron Schlomach is the director of the Goldwater Institute’s Center for Economic Prosperity.
Learn More:
Read the online version of this daily email here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Salmon Pledges Repeal of Obamacare

Matt Salmon, former Congressman and candidate for Arizona's 5th Congressional District, pledged the repeal of Obamacare in his latest television advertisement titled, "Every Word." In the commercial, Salmon speaks about the dangers of President Obama's plan to reform our healthcare system by growing the size and cost of government, destroying jobs, and giving the federal government more power over our personal liberties.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Update on Agenda 21 and the City of Phoenix from Tea Party leader Wes Harris

In case you missed Dave Campbell's radio show with Rosa Koire last night on Agenda 21, the following is an excellent summation of what this is all about.  Like Sherry, I recommend that you get a copy of Rosa's book "Behind the Green Mask, Agenda 21" you will be amazed at how deeply this movement has penetrated our daily lives and our local governments.  

The City of Phoenix has been deeply involved in this for some time and even has a department called "Sustainability".  While they terminated their contract with ICLEI (the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives) they still retain the programs which they purchased from them.  Their embrace of Light Rail (a system that is totally and absolutely uneconomical and never will be) investing billions of our tax dollars on this sham is the keystone of Agenda 21 that has mortgaged our children's future.  It also has our city now subservient to the Federal Government which demands, in return for the 'grant' money, that we conform to "Best Practices" when doing our planning and, much like the political redistricting, we must now get the Federal Government's approval of our 10 year plan...they rejected our last one and we are re doing it to conform to Agenda 21's dictates for high density housing with ground floor retail space around all light rail 'stations'. By the way, the "College of Sustainability" was hired by the Phoenix Planning Department to put this plan together and ASU is a known partner with the U.N.'s Agenda 21 project being one of the largest recipients of Grant money funneled through the"President's Council on Sustainable Growth" set up by President Clinton, suspended by President G.W. Bush and now going full tilt by President Obama.  The so called "Sustainable Development" plan for the down town and surrounding areas touted by our City's elected and appointed representatives over the last ten years follow this exact plan...just look at the 'condos' constructed around this area if you have any doubt.  All cookie cutter Agenda 21 models.  Our new Mayor (who was the City Council Member when all of this started) is still pushing "Sustainable Development", Smart Growth, and the many other programs that Rosa outlines in her book.  Note that this is not just in is all over this country.

If you have had occasion to go out to our "National" forests lately, you will be surprised to find that the roads that we paid to build on land that we paid for are now blocked off to human traffic and we are not allowed to be there any longer.  No laws have been passed to restrict our exploration of our natural lands, the Government has just decided that we are no longer welcome...this is the government that is there at the behest of "the Governed", us.  This is Agenda 21's edict...vast areas of our lands are no longer intended for our use.

You will be pleased to know that Rosa will be back on the air in Phoenix soon and Dave Campbell will let us all know when that is.  In the mean time, please go to the face book page "Wake up call to Agenda 21" and check out what is happening all over this country...and the world...pushing the One World Order.  The Treaty of the Sea and the current U.N. small arms treaty that Hillary Clinton is pushing are both Agenda 21 items.  The true danger of these treaties and treaties of this type can be found by reviewing Article VI Paragraph 2 of our U.S. Constitution which gives 'treaties" the status of our Constitution as the supreme laws of the land.  We must be ever so careful to make sure treaties of this type are never ratified by the U.S. Senate.  Unfortunately Senators like our John McCain lean in the direction of this movement for a One World Order as he is a member of the Bilderburgs, the Tri Lateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Affairs...all "NGOs" (Non Government Organizations).  The Bilderburgs are meeting now as we secret. 

Smart meters being installed by APS are part of the "Smart Grid" Agenda 21 program.  Europe is now entirely on the Smart Grid system and at the first hearing by our Corporation Commission on Smart Meters APS actually brought a PHD from the United Nations to the meeting to testify in favor of both of these systems.  Again...Agenda 21 is all around us on every front in every house (with smart meters)...everywhere and only your knowledge and action will stop it from it's sinister goal.  I urge you to check it out and get involved.

Goldwater Institute: San Jose and San Diego Take a First Step in Fixing Financial Failure

by Nick Dranias
Californians have leaped ahead of Arizonans in reforming local government pensions. Ballot measures in San Diego and San Jose asked residents to put new government employees into the equivalent of a 401(k) system and require old employees to opt into the new plan or contribute more to their existing plan so that it would become financially sustainable. The reforms passed the same day Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker prevailed in his recall election. If these pension reforms survive promised legal challenges, they could set precedent for Arizona and the rest of the Nation.
Still, as public pensions across the country face massive, looming deficits, more than San Diego and San Jose’s reforms will be required over the long run. Unsustainable local government pensions are a symptom of an underlying disease that needs addressing, namely, collective bargaining—even if it may be called “meet and confer” or some other warm and fuzzy name.
When unions can force government officials to bargain with them in secret, it is inevitable that they will succeed in securing above-market wages and benefits. Government collective bargaining causes our elected officials to serve two masters—government unions and the general citizenry. And the general citizenry usually loses because they only have a seat at the table during elections.
Until government collective bargaining is ended or fundamentally reformed, as achieved by Governor Walker in Wisconsin, we will continue to see government employees being paid unsustainable wages and benefits. San Diego and San Jose’s pension reform model is a great first step, but we have much further to go.
Nick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.

Kirk Adams Doesn't Know the Constitution (Part 2)

Click here for more on Kirk Adams Doesn't Know the Constitution

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Goldwater Institute: One-Cent Sales Tax Increase: The Problem is Tunnel Vision

One-Cent Sales Tax Increase: The Problem is Tunnel Vision
by Jonathan Butcher
Arizona’s teachers union has a fixation on school funding. And if the union’s proposed ballot initiative to permanently raise the sales tax in Arizona is any indication, they have also developed tunnel vision. The teachers union and other education associations want the “temporary” one cent sales tax increase that passed two years ago to become permanent.
But that’s not all.
The union’s ballot initiative would tie the hands of future lawmakers and Arizonans by saying that Arizona can never spend less on education—K-12, state colleges, and universities—than we did in 2011-12 or 2012-13, whichever is greater. Plus, the limit on school district bonds and budget overrides can never be lower than it was in 2012.
While increasing education funding is always tempting, this initiative ignores some important realities. First, state revenues fluctuate. Prices change. School enrollment changes. And with the advent of full- and part-time virtual schools, hybrid schools, open enrollment transfers, and education savings accounts, the government needs more flexibility in the future to adjust for financial needs—not less.
Second, the ballot measure would replace elected officials’ authority over Arizona’s budget with the desires of a union. By setting a minimum education funding level in stone, the union gives itself authority over the state budget, half of which already goes to education.
Education funding should be tied to students for whatever schooling environment suits their individual needs. The union’s proposal would lock taxpayers and students into a fixed system of ever-increasing costs. Voters beware.
Jonathan Butcher is education director for the Goldwater Institute.
Learn More:
Goldwater Institute: It's the Same Old Song
Read the online version of this daily email here.

Arizona Only Discount to RightOnline in Vegas!

RightOnline, 2012’s premier new media conference, will be in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 15 & 16 this year, and with such a great opportunity in our backyards, you don’t want to miss out. For a short time, we are also offering a special $10 discount just for Americans for Prosperity Foundation members in Arizona!
Register before Friday, June 8, to take advantage of this discount only for Arizona members. Just use code “AZ$10” when you register.
RightOnline kicks off this year with a very special tribute to Andrew Breitbart, a long-time friend and supporter of RightOnline, renowned conservative advocate, and influential journalist and blogger.
RightOnline will premiere an exclusive never before seen segment of “Hating Breitbart,” a movie documenting Breitbart’s rise in the media world, his involvement in numerous media controversies, and the inspiration he’s been to a generation of citizen journalists.
Sign up today - space is limited and filling up fast for this exciting event!
Newly confirmed speakers joining us for RightOnline include Governor Sarah Palin, author and columnist Jonah Goldberg, author and commentator S.E. Cupp, blogger, CNN contributor, and editor of Dana Loesch, along with Scott Rasmussen, Michelle Malkin, Ann McElhinney, Hugh Hewitt, Guy Benson, Lars Larson, and Roger Hedgecock.
With RightOnline this close by, I know Arizona won’t want to miss out! Please join us in Las Vegas for an unforgettable event, and don’t forget to use your special $10 discount when you register!
We'll see you in Vegas!

Tom Jenney
Arizona State Director
Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Will Romney Choose a Moderate or Safe Running Mate for VP?

There are rumors that Mitt Romney may select his vice-presidential running mate in advance of the Republican National Convention in August. Speeding up the process would boost his fundraising for a few extra weeks. Conservatives are worried Romney will pick a moderate establishment candidate, while the establishment is worried Romney will pick someone seen as too extreme by the independents who generally decide presidential elections.
Romney will most likely avoid making the kind of choice John McCain did by picking Sarah Palin. Although Palin energized the base, she became a relentless target of the media. He will not want to choose a candidate who will eclipse him, which eliminates someone like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He needs a running mate that the base finds acceptable, if not exciting, in order to counter his lackluster reputation with conservatives. Someone from a swing state with many electoral votes will get top consideration. Another important, but not mandatory, criterion is fundraising ability of a running mate, which means they cannot be an unknown.
A source from last week's 2012 Bilderberg Conference leaked out that the ultra secretive, powerful organization comprised of the biggest names in politics and finance has selected Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to be Romney's running mate. While considered a very safe pick, Daniels is such a low-key figure he may not bring much to the ticket.
A running mate that would energize the base is Paul Ryan (R-WI). Wisconsin is a swing state, and Walker has become a recognized champion of cutting fiscal waste. The conservative grassroots likes him and his good looks don't hurt.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sal DiCiccio: $4,000 for a computer? Yep.

At the last City Council meeting, the public was asked to buy four tablet computers at an individual cost of $4,000.  That is not a typo.  You could walk into a retail store and buy the same device priced for much less. Yet you, the taxpayer, was asked to pay more.
Thanks to the good catch and hard work of Councilman Bill Gates, the Council voted down the proposal on a 5 to 4 vote.  
This may seem like a small amount to those who think it is OK to spend your money with little oversight, but small purchases turn to large ones.  The same argument -- that it is such a small amount and we shouldn’t worry about it -- comes from those who thought it was OK to spend $11,000 on table coasters. 
Well, I do worry about it.  And I do worry about spending hundreds of millions of your money, too.  
At the same Council meeting, I voted against a budget that included $3.7 million to pay for  union activity (which I believe is not legal and violates the state gift clause) and $100 million in new pay raises for government staff.   Doesn't sound so good when you have people out of work struggling to make ends meet, does it?  Hard to defend when you compare what government gets to what you get, and the tough times you are going through.
The attitude also highlights the need for procurement reform at city hall, a reform I have been pushing for the past two years.
Pointing out and making examples of these items for the public also serves another purpose: It creates a level of transparency that discourages other questionable purchases from ever moving forward.  It makes people think twice about ordering an overpriced item that may not even be necessary.
Procurement reform will help, especially with the large items, but there is one other thing coming soon that will be of help.  Two months ago, the Council voted to make small business a priority. Part of that proposal required Phoenix to reach out to Arizona businesses on purchases.  Yes, instead of business poring over bid requests, we would have to search to find out who carries different products.
What does this do?  It expands the base for product or services, which in turn creates more competition, which then leads to lower prices and a better deal for the taxpayer.   
It does one other thing. It lets new people in the system. 
Up to now, many taxpayer dollars went to insiders familiar with the procurement process, those who have been around for years and have familiarity with the bidding system.  This new proposal passed by Council breaks that barrier to entry and opens the door to many more vendors in Arizona.
I made a commitment to you and your family to protect your interests and bring change to City Hall,  and I will continue to push for those reforms that make our city an even better place.  I will continue to point out issues that have long been kept from you.  Shortly, you will see a column talking about property taxes and why the current policy Phoenix adopted in 2009 will mean your tax  bill will go sky high in the next few years.  It is called "maximizing the primary rate," which is another term for "watch your taxes go up."  Here is the official document from the City of Phoenix which ran in today's Arizona Republic.  
My best to you and your family,

Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6
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Bill Ponath turns in 1287 signatures for Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace race

June 4, 2012
Contact: Brian Symes
(602) 326-9116 /
Bill Ponath, the true conservative running for Justice of the Peace in the Desert Ridge precinct, turned in 1287 signatures to Maricopa County Elections last week, 50% more than the 832 required. Bill has 28 years of experience practicing law; primarily in bankruptcy and family practices. He has been a pro tem judge for eight of the ten years since 2001 for the Maricopa County Justice Courts. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Verdict for America,” which contains solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems that are crucial in the presidential election. Bill was profiled in the Sonoran News in April:
Bill is running on a platform of reform for the judicial administration to avoid unnecessary, drawn out delays during criminal trials; simplification of eviction actions to ensure that both landlords’ and renters’ rights are protected; and uniformity of pleadings and procedures to enable the average citizen to understand what his/her rights and responsibilities are to each other and to the court. To get involved in the campaign and see what is happening, check out Bill's website at

Paid for by William Ponath for Desert Ridge JP

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Filing bankruptcy in Arizona: More information on discharging student loans

I am a bankruptcy attorney in Arizona ($995/Chapter 7) and am finding myself increasingly helping clients deal with their student loans. I've heard that as many as 1/3 of all student loans are now in default. Student loans are becoming the next economic crisis. Young people are having the hardest time in this economy yet they're saddled with this huge debt. Congress has made it increasingly difficult over the years to discharge student loan debt. Now, you have to show "undue hardship" in order to get them discharged in a bankruptcy. This usually means demonstrating that you cannot earn a sufficient income due to a medical injury or similar egregious circumstances. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may provide some relief. In a Chapter 13, a debtor comes up with a payment plan to pay a set amount of money to his creditors over 3-5 years. This includes the student loan lenders. So for 3-5 years, there will be some reduction in the amount required to pay on student loans.

Below are my favorite articles on student loans and dischargeability, which discuss how to show "undue hardship" and provide some cases where they have been successfully discharged. They also discuss the history of how Congress has treated student loans and legislation currently under consideration.

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.