Archives for November 2006

You don’t understand, it’s very complicated.

treasure.jpg     Earlier in my life I was as a classroom teacher. I worked in a few different schools teaching math at the secondary level.

     Being who I am I was always interested in the structure of the educational establishment. At your average large public high school there are several assistant principals. They keep pretty busy helping out with discipline and sometimes running the athletic department. Above them is a whole other bureaucracy at the district level. Never quite sure what the district people do but whenever they showed up on campus the event was sure to be exceedingly boring. Oh, they handled payroll, benefits, something called career ladder (of which the other teachers did not seem to think very highly), centralized procurement, personnel, etc. Then there was the Arizona Department of Education, which handled licensing so we can be sure that every teacher in the classroom has passed the same test. I think they also collect statistics on which schools have half of their kids fail the math portion of AIMS. After getting my certification I never had much to do with them so I do not know what else they were up to. I am sure they have a nice sized budget though. And then of course to top it all off is the U.S. Department of Education. They take money from the residents of each state, run it through the bureaucracy and then send some of it back to the states, usually after someone at one the of the districts has written a very nice grant proposal to justify returning a small portion of it. This is called “helping the states.”

     In all of this I never understood the need for the individual counties to have their own little separate departments of education. I know there was a really good reason and that I was just ignorant. To my relief I finally found an article in the paper that explains why each county has their own separate little office to work on the same things that each school, district, state, and the federal government are doing. Now I know.

Tuesday 11-21-06, 12:05 am

LD 26 Republican Update.

Sad Elephant.jpg     Things have been a little subdued for NW Tucson Republicans. Pima County posted the final count yesterday. The results are unaudited but the numbers are not encouraging. In the state senate race Pesquiera leads Melvin by 455 votes district wide.

     Elections were held last week for the Republican LD 26 Committee. Most positions were unopposed but the 2nd Vice Chair and Secretary had 2 names each. For the 2nd Vice Chair a go-along, get-along conservative ran against a troublemaker from the far-right. The get-along conservative quoted from the bible during his speech and won 2 to 1 in the vote. In the race for Secretary the incumbent, despite essentially having moved out of the district, was on the official slate and narrowly defeated a highly qualified local PC who walked her precinct several times during the latest election season. Upshot – do not look for anything new to come from LD 26 Republican Committee. More of the same, whatever that was.

     It is our understanding that the LD 30 Republican meeting was a little livelier. Still researching that one.

Monday 11-20-06, 12:00 noon

Moore in Arizona for Taxpayers

Stephen Moore

The Arizona Federation of Taxpayers held its annual award luncheon today featuring keynote Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal Editorialists and founder of the Club for Growth. (AFTA is the sponsoring organization for the Arizona Taxpayer Action Committee, a political action committee for which I serve as Treasurer.)

The event was well attended by many taxpayer-friendly elected officials and activists from across the state. Even blogger extroardinnaire, Greg Patterson of Espresso Pundit, was in attendance and has posted his observations on the event.

Several awards were handed out including the “Oops on You Award” which went to Janet Napolitano for vetoing taxpayer-friendly bills. The worst legislator of the year award went to the bottom of the food chain of taxpayer-friendly Democrats, Oliva Cajero-Bedford. Kyrsten Sinema would have won the award again this year if she had not been in an automobile accident that kept her from voting against AFTA-supported legislation. Now that she’s been re-elected by the Peoples Republic of District 15, she’ll probably be working to reclaim her title in 2007.

This year’s top three legislators also received awards. Outgoing State Representative Colette Rosati, who deserved to win her Senate primary against RINO Carolyn Allen in LD 8, received the third-place award followed by State Senator Jack Harper from LD 4. But the top friend of the taxpayer champion award for 2006 went to Senator Ron Gould of Lake Havasu (LD 3).

Keynote speaker, Stephen Moore, spoke on the recent elections and posed the plaguing and penetrating question, “Will Republicans learn their lesson?” Moore further detailed how the ascendency of the GOP was driven by principles in 1994 but since 2000, Republicans began to act less like conservatives. In the last six years, the federal budget has increased $900 Billion or 49.6 %; The Department of Education budget has doubled from $25 billion to $50 billion and; earmark projects have grown from 1,500 in 1995 to 15,000 in 2006! Moore asserted that this was one of the major reasons why the voters gave the GOP the boot on November 7th and elected conservative Democrats in traditionally “red districts.”

But Moore’s speech also gave a prescription which was well received: 1) Reform the tax system, 2) Clean up the corruption, 3) Cut government spending as much as possible, 4) Promote free trade and; 5) Pass voucher-based educational reforms. If the GOP takes this advice it will prove that it has learned its November 7th lesson and regain control of the legislative branch in elections ahead.

One interesting anecdote that Moore referred to was President Reagan’s first cabinet meeting. When Ronald Reagan had gathered all the new cabinet members in the West Wing of the White House he waited until the room fell silent, stood up and made the following statement, “Gentlemen and ladies, I hate inflation, I hate taxes, and I hate Communism. Do something about it.” He then walked out of the room and as you all know, the rest is history.

At the end of Moore’s speech, he took a few questions from the audience which included his speculation on the 2008 Presidential race. He conceeded that Hillary Clinton has locked up the Democratic nomination as she has gained the support of trial lawyers and labor unions. He then mentioned several names which brought about interesting reactions. Mitt Romney seemed the most innocuous while Rudy Giuliani brought on a “not conservative enough” reaction. Most favorable was the name of Newt Gingrich who engineered the GOP takeover in 1994. Apparently, a majority of the crowd thought we need to get back on the reform bandwagon.

But the name that brought about the most vehement political gag reflex was none other than Arizona Senator John McCain. Not one person in the crowd of nearly 200 raised their hand in support of our senior senator. Moore was quite surprised but the moment was captured by someone who yelled out. “We know him!” Oh do we ever.

I was quite surprised by Moore’s recommendation of Congressman Jeff Flake as a candidate in the style to consider. He was also disappointed that John Boehner and Roy Blunt were both reelected to GOP leadership when Mike Pence and John Shadegg were clearly the reform candidates so direly needed. This he felt, was a display that the GOP has not learned their lesson.

Overall, the luncheon was a terrific presentation of a growing movement in Arizona to strengthening our taxpayer-friendly climate and influencing the direction of Washington in the years ahead.

Hats off to my hard-working AFTA friends, Tom Jenney, Tom Husband and especially Chad Kirkpatrick on a luncheon well done!

Dems Divided, GOP Still Doesn’t Get It

Blue Dog DemocratsCongressman John ShadeggCongressman Mike Pence

The last two days have demonstrated that the new Congress will still be a mess.

Yesterday, Democrats elected Steny Hoyer, an apparently “more reasonable” Democrat, to the number two position in House leadership. The vote between Hoyer and Murtha was lopsided (149-86) as the newly elected “Blue Dog Democrats,” demonstrated their impact on the new Congress. Blue Dogs are recognized as being more conservative on social and fiscal issues. This leaves the Democrats in a state of division as “San Francisco Values” feel the challenge of conservative Democrats.

Meanwhile, today, Republicans demonstrated that they still don’t get it. While Democrats are moving to the right, Republicans are reaffirming their comittment to the reason why they were trounced on Election day. The GOP elected John Boehner to Minority Leader over Mike Pence, a far more conservative choice. In the number two position of Minority whip will now serve Roy Blunt. Arizona’s conservative darling, John Shadegg, fell short in the vote count.

The obvious impression Americans are left with is “out with the old – in with the new” for the Democrats and “same old – same old” with the Republicans. If this trend continues, the GOP will head into 2008 with a further disgusted and disheartened base.

AZ Dems Elect New Leadership

Democratic LeadershipDemocrats elected the new majority leader today in Steny Hoyer over John Murtha. The vote was 149-86 and the ballot was secret. 

I’m dying to know how our two new congressional members voted.

If anyone finds out, please drop a comment. But my guess is that Giffords went with Hoyer and Mitchell voted for Murtha. And we can also assume that Grijalva also voted for Murtha. I love the look on Murtha’s face. Does he ever smile? 

Medical procedure.

exploration.jpg      Not sure about the URL name but here it is. The official web page for McCain’s 2008 Exploratory Committee, at least it looks that way. Not sure what the Submit a Resume is for? Are they hiring or just filling out their enemies list? 

     I am quickly getting resigned to McCain as the nominee unless a credible conservative gets in the race soon. Rep. Duncan Hunter was making noises and I read that Tommy Thompson was thinking about it. They better not wait too long. I know Romney is running but I just don’t see him as a conservative. 

Thursday 11-16-06, 4:25 pm 

Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Milton Friedman

Today, the nation and the science of economics lost a giant. Dr. Milton Friedman passed away from heart failure in San Francisco at the age of 94.

This man was a giant in the world of economics and was especially adored by conservatives for his groundbreaking work in free market and monetary theory. Ronald Reagan even called upon Dr. Friedman to serve as an advisor on his Economic Policy Advisory Board.

This blog will do no justice in honoring Dr. Friedman so please take a moment to visit Wikipedia’s presentation on this great economic theorist and leader.

Notes from the Border.

bphelo1.jpg      This past weekend I was deer hunting just south of Patagonia in the Coronado National Forest (more like National High Desert.) The weather was beautiful as usual. We have been hunting in the area near Ashburn Mountain for over 20 years. 

     Over the past 10 years there has been a noticeable increase in activity in the area. Some valleys and canyons seem to be more popular than other and we have managed to find a fairly quiet location to camp. So we thought. Very early on Monday morning a helicopter was circling over an area for 25 to 30 minutes with a powerful spot light. My guess is that some ground forces had interdicted some border crossers and the helicopter was assisting. After a while the helicopter broke off and started lighting up the nearby mountains. They were scanning so quickly it did not seem as if they were searching for anything specific. They scanned downed the canyon near which we had camped, finally brightening up our camp like daylight. After that they moved on and flew off to the southeast. 

     The event was not a surprise even though it was the first time that I had seen it personally. It reminds me that the U.S. Government is spending a huge amount of money on the border. I wondered how a fence, or wall, is any worse than flying around the desert at night lighting up the place like daylight. 

     This issue will not go away or get any better just because the Democrats control Congress. They will be expected to find a solution now that they hold power. It will be interesting to check back in 2 years and see how they have done. 

Thursday 11-16-06, 10:45 am

JD Concedes

Congressman JD Hayworth

Late this afternoon, Congressman JD Hayworth conceded the congressional district 5 race to Democrate Harry Mitchell. Since the election last Tuesday, counting the remaining early ballots allowed JD to close the gap but as of Monday, that trend reversed allowing Mitchell to widen the gap between both. Today, JD decided to “make the call” meaning it appears that the next Congressman from CD 5 will indeed be Harry Mitchell.

Now I can rail on about how terrible Harry Mitchell is – a extreme liberal, pro-abort, sign-stealing, big government, heterophobe but as I predict, Mitchell will be a one-term Congressman in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 52,314 voters (latest voter registration). It appears the 87,060 “Independents” gave the election to the Dems.

Two years from now when Republicans take the pleasure of saying “we told you so” to the voters who will be fed up with Mitchell’s leftist agenda, expect a crowded field of Republicans to take the field. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Michele Reagan will be licking her chops at the opportunity to skip the LD 8 Senate seat for the CD 5 House seat. This will be a battle as the RAPAW’s (Rich Anglo Pro-Abortion Women) seek to take the seat back. Conservatives real work will be to groom a candidate over the next two years to win the Primary and take back this traditionally conservative seat.

McCain: Embarking on the Ship of State

 

November 14, 2006
By Carol Turoff
McPainHere comes John McCain. If only he could get Arizonans to like him.

Arizona Senator John McCain sees the trouncing Republicans took nationally as an encouraging sign for his 2008 presidential bid. McCain is, after all, the ultimate chameleon, wearing his Republicanism as a badge when it serves him, yet pandering to the left when convenient. GOP losses provide him the opportunity to warm to Independents and swing voters, further antagonizing the conservative base of his party. Strategizing with advisors and confidants, he is expected to open an exploratory committee by month’s end. But in his home state of Arizona, McCain is not universally beloved by his fellow Republicans. While it is true he is repeatedly reelected, his challengers have been less-than-lightweights in the political arena. The old adage of Never a Hero in Your Own Hometown seems to apply, since the elected precinct committeemen in McCain’s own district have actually voted to censure him.
He was also denounced by the Maricopa County Executive Guidance Committee comprised of GOP leadership in a lopsided 17 to 3 vote. Mohave County later voted similarly. The EGC’s resolution declares, “We condemn John McCain’s betrayal of the trust Republican voters placed in him.” Pretty strong stuff from his party cohorts.

Hoisting the mantle of “moderates” and registered Independents, his candidate endorsements sorely lack influence with GOP voters. Whether endorsing gubernatorial, congressional or outlying city council candidates, his local selectees often lose. Where McCain shines is on the national horizon, as the mostly liberal media shower him with ample attention. And, why not? A registered Republican who acts like a Democrat plays well with this crowd. Having ditched the Goldwateresque title, “maverick,” he once reveled in, he currently appears to prefer, “reformer.” Now we just have to figure out what that means.

McCain’s much ballyhooed hug of President Bush concealed the dagger he was simultaneously sliding into George’s back. Their animus reaches back to 2000, when both campaigns were driving hard and fast. The underlying rancor swelled as he vocally opposed Bush’s tax cuts. Recently, McCain has given the military grief over detainee interrogation techniques. In supporting gun control, he antagonizes Second Amendment supporters. Forging what he terms “bipartisan” alliances with Democrats Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy does little to endear him to his political brethren.

Barely escaping with his own political life after questionable associations with convicted financier, Charlie Keating, McCain’s epiphany has placed him in the forefront of campaign finance reform. Such efforts further exacerbated internal rifts, since opponents argue the measures violate First Amendment rights, infringing upon free speech. As leader of the so-called Gang of 14, he drew criticism for his deal-making regarding judicial filibusters. Support of embryonic stem cell research and his repeated votes to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,lessening dependence on foreign oil, rankle. Kudos he received for his support of the Iraq war are tempered by his waffling on implementation and enforcement of reliable border security. McCain supports a guest worker plan offering citizenship to those who flagrantly and illegally enter our country. He was denounced for advising Hispanic demonstrators to discard their Mexican flags while marching through American streets, lest they further inflame U.S. citizens. McCain has also taken refuge in the global warming camp, much to the chagrin of many in his party.

Already age 70, he would be the oldest president in U.S. history, if elected. That fact, coupled with his renowned undisciplined temper and recurrent melanoma, could ultimately be deal breakers. Currently, the McCain’s are in the process of selling their Phoenix estate and moving to a high-dollar high-rise, where they have purchased an entire upper floor; providing the much needed security a national leader requires.

But close on his heels are Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and California Congressman, Duncan Hunter. Both Republicans are seriously eyeing the 2008 presidential race. Interestingly, this is the first time in eighty years there is neither an incumbent president nor vice president seeking election to the nation’s highest post.

Conservatives are left to ponder their intolerable choices if faced with Senators John McCain or Hillary Clinton heading the 2008 party tickets.


Carol Turoff is a former two-term member of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. During her eight years on the commission, she participated in the selection of four of the five current Arizona Supreme Court Justices as well as 17 judges on both Divisions I and II of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Appointed by two governors, Turoff served with three chairing Supreme Court Justices.