Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dodd-Frank: Making it Harder For You to Get a Mortgage

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, sarcastically known as Dodd-Frankery and Dodd-Frankenstein, was passed into law in response to the financial crisis and recession of 2008. It contains the most drastic changes to financial regulations since the regulatory reform after the Great Depression. Proposed by Obama in 2009 and signed into law in 2010, the Democratic bill was the handiwork of former Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) in the House and former Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in the Senate. It was supposedly going to stop banks from making loans to risky buyers who could not pay them back, reducing foreclosures. It was also supposed to change the rules so banks could no longer receive taxpayer-funded bailouts due to their poor business practices.

It hasn't worked out the way its Democrat proponents claimed. This is because the people who got us into this mess are the same ones who drafted the law. Dodd-Frank contains more of the same things that precipitated the financial crisis; government meddling in the mortgage business and financial markets. Lobbyists for special interests carved out loopholes, resulting in merely different lists of winners and losers. As one author in U.S. News & World Report observed, “These exemptions are less about protecting unsophisticated borrowers than about protecting the taxpayer-guaranteed business models of favored entities.” Hedge funds and some other firms lost big; they are now required to fill out a 192-page form that has been estimated to cost each firm $100,000-$150,000.

Speaking of winners or losers, most outrageously, Dodd-Frank didn’t bother to reform Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the biggest culprits for handing out mortgages to high-risk borrowers who should never have qualified for them. They received the largest bailouts of all financial institutions in 2008.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Radio Interview with KFNX's Talking Guns with Kate on Obamacare and gun control

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to talk to KFNX's Kate Krueger about how Obamacare affects your gun rights. It's all about mental health - targeting veterans with PTSD and others in the vague name of "mental health." Listen to the interview here (I'm in the second half, after an interview with Karen Worcester Ex Dir & co Founder of Wreaths Across America).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

No ironclad proof: Case against Horne is circumstantial, but that may be enough

The Arizona Capitol Times had another hard-hitting article on the prosecution of Tom Horne, the liberal Republican Attorney General who has no chance of winning re-election, according to powerful D.C. consultants who have taken polls. Prosecutor Sheila Polk is not the only one who has found wrongdoing by Horne, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has also found reason to civilly prosecute Horne. This is why conservatives and Tea Party activists are supporting Mark Brnovich instead. Brnovich has been endorsed by Montgomery as well as Rep. Trent Franks.

Here are some excerpts from the article by Jeremy Duda - 

The crux of Polk’s case is a series of phone calls between Horne and Winn that occurred while Winn was communicating via email with Brian Murray, BLA’s political consultant. While Polk and Montgomery have presented the calls and emails as evidence of coordination, Horne and Winn say prosecutors can’t prove they were talking about the attorney general’s race or BLA activities. They say the calls were about Winn assisting Horne with a real estate deal.

As evidence of coordination, Polk cited the timing of Winn’s phone calls with Horne and her emails with BLA’s consultant. In some cases, the calls closely followed Murray’s emails to Winn about the BLA ad, and Winn’s responses to her consultant came just after her conversations with Horne ended. Horne also forwarded Winn an email several days later in which one of his campaign staffers discussed Horne’s campaign strategy, and urged her to raise more money from a national Republican group. And Polk’s case is bolstered by the fact that Winn worked on Horne’s campaign, and didn’t leave to work on her IE until a few weeks after the GOP primary.


Several elections attorneys emphasized that Polk will have to meet a relatively low standard of proof. While prosecutors in criminal cases must convince juries that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, civil cases such as Horne and Winn’s are held to a lower standard called “preponderance of evidence,” meaning that Polk only has to show that a violation was more likely than not.


In her order, Polk said the evidence against Horne and Winn is compelling. She said the phone conversations between them while Winn and Murray discussed the content of the ad via email shows that they coordinated their efforts. Winn’s comments to Murray about how “we” wanted certain changes to the ad show she was consulting with someone else, and Polk insisted that person must be Horne.

“Winn almost always consulted with Horne prior to instructing Murray,” Polk wrote in her Oct. 17 order.
“When Horne sent strategic information to a supposedly independent campaign, he intentionally and blatantly broke the barrier that was supposed to exist between his campaign and BLA. The breach is so clear that Horne must have recognized it to be improper,” Polk wrote.
Polk ordered Horne and Winn to repay about $400,000 that the prosecutor alleges was illegally contributed to BLA, and they could face a fine of up to $1.2 million if they lose the case. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mark Brnovich for Attorney General: Protect Public Prayer!


There is an assault on our religious liberties!

Liberals are suing to stop public prayer! The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the Town of Greece v. Galloway case. Groups like the ACLU are trying to claim that the 1st amendment doesn’t protect public prayer.

Unfortunately, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne refused to submit a brief on the merits in support of public prayer.

Join us today in support of religious liberties! Consider a donation of $5, $10 or $20 to help us spread our message and protect public prayer!

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Congressman Trent Franks Endorses Mark Brnovich for Arizona Attorney General

                                                        November 4, 2013
                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Congressman Trent Franks endorses Mark Brnovich for Arizona Attorney General
“Mark will serve with honor, distinction, and integrity.”

U.S. Representative Trent Franks, the dean of Arizona’s House delegation, today endorsed Republican Attorney General Candidate Mark Brnovich.

"During this trying time in our history, when the foundations of our nation are being eroded by the highest echelon of our national government, it is vital for states to elect leaders who understand and deeply embrace the core ideals that birthed America,” said Rep Franks. “This is especially true of those entrusted with the power to enforce our laws. That is why it is my honor to endorse Mark Brnovich for Arizona Attorney General."

"As Arizona’s Attorney General, Mark Brnovich will protect the rights of all Arizonans, and Mark will serve with honor, distinction, and integrity. He will defend our shared values and stand up for the vulnerable. I am confident he has what it takes to fight the increasing federal overreach and protect Arizona's state sovereignty."

"Trent Franks is a powerful national voice for conservative principles," said Brnovich. "His commitment to defending the family and the most vulnerable members of our society has been unmatched in this state. I am thankful to call Congressman Franks a friend and proud to count him as a supporter of my Republican candidacy for Arizona Attorney General."
Raised in Arizona, Mark Brnovich is a graduate of Arizona State University. After law school, Mark prosecuted felonies in the Gang/Repeat Offender Bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona and as Assistant US Attorney for the District of Arizona.  Mark also served his country as Command Staff Judge Advocate for the 153rd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arizona Army National Guard for eight years. Mark met his wife Susan while both were working as prosecutors. They live in Phoenix with their two daughters.

For more information, please contact Mark for AZ Campaign Manager Ross Groen at 480-221-7545.
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Solar Industry Takes on Crony Capitalism in Arizona

A heated battle is taking place in Arizona between the fledgling solar industry and APS, the  state’s largest energy company, which enjoys a state-granted near-monopoly over energy. In sunny Arizona, it is peculiar that solar energy is being portrayed as the bad guy. Since Arizona is a Republican-dominated state, APS is sneakily buying up influential Republicans, both directly and indirectly, to perpetuate its crony capitalism. The Washington Post refers to these Republicans as  “some of the best pollsters and consultants money can buy.”

The spin goes like this, “stop subsidizing the solar industry.” The word “subsidy” is used to scare Republicans. The solar companies are being compared to Solyndra, the green energy company that went bankrupt despite receiving more than $500 million in loans from the Department of Energy.

The reality is, the solar industry is not being “subsidized.” Energy users who do not use APS power, but use their solar panels instead for power, are simply not being double-charged. When they are not using APS power, but are instead sending unused solar power energy back to the grid for others to use, they receive a rebate. This is known as “net meteringand has been in place since 2009. APS wants to eliminate this, which will essentially have the effect of charging solar users for APS power they do not use.  Instead of receiving 15 cents per kilowatt-hour rebates for power the solar users send back to the grid, APS wants to reduce the rebate to 4 to 10 cents. This would add $50 to $100 a month to the power bills of solar users. The utility also wants to start charging solar users a monthly maintenance fee.

Solar users are saving everyone additional costs. As energy users dependent upon APS decrease their usage and move to solar power, fewer generating stations need to be built, and fewer distribution lines put into place. While it is true that solar users are paying less towards the maintenance costs of APS, it is because they are using less of APS’ services. 

Read the rest of the article at Townhall

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Media Bias and Conservative Setbacks in the Federal Shutdown

by Andrew Thomas
Following a fortnight of partial federal government shutdown, as Washington returned to business as usual, media and political analysts took the news space and air time formerly ceded to reporting the situation to assessing winners and losers in the national confrontation. Few had little good to say about Republican leaders in Congress, and just as few judged their efforts successful. Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media opinion leaders, in particular, roundly condemned the agreement to reopen federal agencies and institutions without concessions from President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.
Many average conservative citizens around the nation echoed these beliefs and conclusions. The New York Times conducted man-in-the-street interviews of conservatives around the nation and reported a combination of anger, discouragement and bemusement over what had happened. One man in Cleveland, Tennessee, believed “the premise was good,” but found no payoff ultimately for the nation or supporters of the shutdown. A cabdriver in Colorado Springs and a homemaker in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, both bemoaned the impact of the shutdown on the military and local businesses. Fueling this sense of collective letdown were leaders who saw little benefit gained from the previous two weeks of fiscal battles. “Among commentators on the right,” the article noted, “the reaction has been less driven by despair than by anger. In heated language on talk radio and on conservative blogs, many spoke of a winning if difficult strategy sabotaged in the end by weak-willed leadership.”
Ironically, the pages of the Times provided their own compelling and direct explanation of why the shutdown failed to advance Republican aims. In assessing how and why the dispute ended with no substantive progress on debt reduction or limitations of Obamacare, one needed to look no further than the coverage and behavior of the dominant news media themselves to see why the deck was stacked so decisively against the forces of reform.