Archives for June 2007

Shadegg’s ally.

     Sonoran Alliance and Espresso Pundit have both noted that Representative John Shadegg assisted in the defeat of the senate immigration bill by supporting a House Republican caucus resolution opposing the senate bill. Thanks to EP we can view the document that brought forth the house resolution. Look at the right side of the second to last line and you will notice the signature of another member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona, The Hon. Trent Franks.

     I wonder if Congressman Kyl will soon be blaming Representatives Shadegg and Franks for the failure of the bill like he did the Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party in a story published June 29th? It is sad to see Kyl continue the spat with Pullen. Even worse Kyl has now joined Mississippi Congressman Trent Lott in blaming and attacking talk radio.

“At the end of the day, Republicans failed to deliver as many votes as we needed to deliver,” he said, “mostly due to the hue and cry from talk radio and TV.”

     Kyl and Lott are missing the fact that Talk Radio is simply a conduit for the citizenry. Unlike senators, who receive a 6-year license to pontificate, Talk Radio hosts must earn their keep each day. They must constantly attract and retain an audience. Advertisers do not care what the audience share was 3 years ago; they care about today and tomorrow. Therefore Talk Radio must reflect the mood of the audience or the audience will quickly and easily go elsewhere. Is Rush Limbaugh on over 600 stations because he was elected to a 6-year term after misleading the electorate about his stand on amnesty for illegal immigrants with no method for recall? No. He attracts millions of listeners each day because on some level they identify with what he is saying. When Kyl and Lott are attacking Talk Radio they are really attacking the listeners. It is a sad day when a senator blames the opinion of the citizenry for the failure of a bill.

     Sorry Congressman Kyl but we live in a Constitutional Republican not Plato’s Republic.

     Hopefully someone within the Arizona congressional delegation will step forward to make peace with the chairman of the state party. The incessant bickering will only serve to weaken the party’s efforts to win in ’08. My guess is that the olive branch is more likely to come from someone who has to answer to the voters every two years instead of every six.

     Let the record show that Sonoran Alliance was not in strong opposition to the senate immigration bill until first reading analysis from The Heritage Foundation. Will Republican senators now be attacking Heritage for informing the citizens?

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, weighs in on the failure of the senate immigration bill. The clarity of his words speak for themselves.

Click here to read his analysis.

Fallout …

     The senate immigration bill is dead for now. The contentiousness of the debate will reverberate for some time, especially through the Republican Party. John McCain’s presidential aspirations continue to fade into the ether.

     Senator Kyl’s senate seat is quite secure with 5 years left in his term but his status as a leader within the Arizona Republican Party has sadly been compromised. I say sadly because we really needed him as a unifying force to help us regain congressional and legislative seats. If he were to show up at an event now it would be more of a distraction than a help.

     Kyl did at least avoid going off the deep end like Senators Graham (NC) and Lott (MS). Graham played the race card several times too many and Lott’s attack on Talk Radio was idiotic.

     Due to his adept handling of the issue the state Republican Party may be entering the post-Kyl era and heading quickly to the Shadegg era. Congressman John Shadegg carefully avoided attacking others within the party while making clear he did not support the senate immigration bill. His performance over the past 30 days may have assured that he receives his party’s nomination for McCain’s senate seat.

     President Bush does not have to visit Yuma any more for his sham photo ops. Results are the only thing we want to see out of him and he seems to have a problem producing them. The hit on President Clinton was that he left a trail of dead people behind him. For Bush it is just a trail of people in jail, from Border Patrol agents, to Army enlisted trying to extract intelligence for his War on Terror, to members of his own administration trying to defend his War on Terror. The Anti-Truman. It’s like the buck never stops until some underling is in jail. His new name is George (Lord Kitchener) Bush. He is not a lame duck, just lame. (It is not fair to insult ducks like that.)

Update: Espresso Pundit further confirms that the Republican Party in Arizona will soon be entering the Shadegg era.

George Bush has even lost the pro-amnesty conservatives.

Kyl’s new friends.

     The senate immigration bill went down by a vote of 53 nays to 46 yeas. It was a cloture vote requiring a super-majority of 60 yeas. Amazingly it did not even reach a simple majority. The floor proceedings were contentious for the senate.

     Sadly Senator Kyl joined with 12 other Republicans in voting for cloture. He allied with such stalwarts as Lindsey “Just shut up” Graham, Trent “shut down talk radio” Lott, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, and the open borders duo of Mel Martinez and former presidential candidate John McCain.

     The Democrats were really the ones that killed the bill. While 12 Republicans voted for cloture, 15 Democrats plus Independent (Socialist) Bernie Sanders voted against cloture. It is an interesting day when Byrd, Dorgan, Rockefeller, and Sanders vote the same as Coburn, DeMint, Ensign, Inhofe, and Thune.

Goddard retaliating against Arpaio for bribery investigation

Red State Arizona notes an article published in the paper recently by one of Arpaio’s attorneys explaining how former state treasurer David Petersen claimed he didn’t owe the AG $1.9 million until Goddard began investigating him – then suddenly he paid him and his felony charges were reduced to a misdemeanor by the AG. This all came out recently when current state treasurer Dean Martin came across a tape-recorded conversation revealing the exchange, and turned it over to Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas for investigation. Now, Goddard is trying to thwart the bribery investigation by deliberately transferring big-money cases involving the Sheriff’s office to Pima County instead of to Arpaio & Thomas. It looks like Goddard is trying to influence the investigation against him by withholding this money from the county attorney & sheriff – effectively taking money that should go to Maricopa County government and sending it to Pima County government instead. It’s either retaliation or an attempt to force Arpaio & Thomas to back down on the investigation in order to get the big-money cases back – both clearly unethical, particularly for an attorney like Goddard who is subject to strict ethical rules under the Arizona state bar. The State Republican Party just came out with a strongly worded piece attacking Goddard yesterday. Goddard’s political career is going down, down, down. It looks like this may also be a political maneuver by Goddard, since Arpaio & Thomas are Republicans, and Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall is a known feminist Democrat.

Beyond hypocrisy!

Update: Senate immigration bill goes down in defeat. Vote was not even close. Reid promises to bring back the subject.

elian.jpg     Today on the senate floor Ted Kennedy said that enforcing U.S. law would amount to Gestapo tactics. He is correct but off by about 7 years. The forced return to Cuba of Elian Gonzalez was a Gestapo tactic employed by Janet Reno and Bill Clinton. Wonder what Kennedy had to say about it at the time?

Shadegg vs. Kyl

            If the Senate bill fails, it will be in part because of the work on Congressman John Shadegg.  (Who has an excellent piece on National Review Online today.)

            Many pundits and hill staff have speculated that the vote by the House Republican Conference disapproving of the Senate bill will have an impact on the cloture vote in the Senate.  After seeing so much opposition among House Republicans, some Senators are realizing that a yes vote may have serious consequences.

            There is more information coming from the Hill about the inside story on the Conference Resolution passed Tuesday night.  It turns out that it was Congressman Shadegg’s idea and he had circulated resolution text two weeks ago.  According to Conference rules, for a resolution to be brought before the conference, it must have 25 signatures.  According to insiders, Shadegg collected the 25 signatures in one afternoon and when he went to leadership they decided to get out in front of the mob and call it a parade.

       As is typical, the leadership resolution isn’t as good as what Shadegg originally circulated for signature.  And, leadership officially gave the revised resolution to Rep. Peter Hoekstra to carry in the conference.  You can bet Republican Whip Roy Blunt didn’t want to give Shadegg any credit.  Here is the text of the original resolution:

Republican Conference Resolution
on the Senate’s Immigration Legislation
 June __, 2007Whereas the Founders intended Congress to be a deliberative body;

Whereas the Founders intended Congress to be a deliberative body;Whereas the U.S. House of Representatives is constitutionally the House closest to the people;

Whereas Members of the Republican Conference represent diverse constituencies and hold many different concerns and viewpoints about immigration reform;

Whereas the problem of illegal immigration has been developing for decades, and the two previous legislative initiatives promised border security and no future amnesty, but failed to deliver what was promised;

Whereas the Senate immigration bill has been drafted and negotiated without a public hearing process;

Whereas the Senate forced a “take it or leave it” immigration bill of more than 300 pages in an expedited fashion;

Whereas this legislation contains items that cannot be implemented for years, including border enforcement, secure identification, overstay plans, employer enforcement and certainly includes inadequate funding to implement the procedures, while at the same time offering immediate legal status for at least 12 million illegal aliens

Whereas the lack of realistic, funded, border and enforcement strategies combined with past immigration law failures – especially when combined with the lack of hearings, unwillingness to compromise, and forced speed with which the Senate bill was considered – has resulted in a general perception in America that Congress has ignored the public will; and

Whereas the Senate immigration bill is deeply flawed in a number of ways including:

(1) allowing illegal aliens to obtain probationary benefits of the so-called Z-visa the business day following their application for such benefits even if their background check is not complete;

(2) not allowing employers to use the Employment Eligibility Verification System to verify the work eligibility of a prospective employee until after hiring the employee and, if the employee is deemed not eligible, the employer cannot fire the employee if the employee pursues an appeal process;

(3) allowing illegal aliens who have repeatedly violated U.S. law and engaged in identity fraud to gain legal status;

(4) treating illegal aliens significantly more favorably and with much greater benefits than guest workers.

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the House Republican Conference –

(1)   opposes the Senate immigration bill in its present form;

(2)   will continue to oppose the legislation until, at a minimum, there has been a full and open process of subcommittee and full committee hearings and mark-ups in the House, and the legislation comes to the House floor for a full, open and deliberate debate to address the flaws in the current bill.


Shadegg working against the Senate immigration bill that Kyl negotiated is probably one of the most significant splits between the two in the last 15 years.  People say they have a good relationship, but I have to believe the strain is on right now. 

Maricopa County Pays Off Stadium Debt

Here’s something you rarely see. Maricopa County has paid off the debt it accrued on the baseball stadium – 19 years ahead of schedule.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal,

“The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved the final payment of $15 million, including more than $9 million in interest. The final payment was not expected for 19 years. By taking care of the payment early, the county saved taxpayers more than $9.5 million in additional interest.”

Considering all the controversy over Maricopa County’s role in the creation of this massive project, its quite a feat to walk away from the debt and tax burden this created for Maricopa taxpayers.

Read the original press release – Maricopa County Press Release – Stadium Debt.

Governor cannot weasel out of signing employer sanctions bill

Arizona Political Heat has compiled a list of 7 statements Napolitano has made in the past indicating her strong support for employer sanctions. For her to try and weasel out of signing the bill now would reveal an arrogant disdain for the citizens of Arizona who voted for her and her promises. According to the article, Napolitano has a policy of not commenting on pending bills in order to leave wiggle room for herself later in case she decides to veto the bill. She can then point to some small part of the bill later and pretend that is the reason she is vetoing the bill.

Napolitano vetoed an employer sanctions bill in the past because she said it wasn’t tough enough. I’m not kidding, she really said that, it’s #2 in the article. So here we have a governor who talks as tough as Russell Pearce on a key illegal immigration issue, yet will do everything in her power to avoid actually putting any enforcement in this area into effect, spinning reasons so twisted you have to think about them twice to make sure you comprehend them.

All hands on deck! – updated

Update II: According to Hot Air the senate immigration bill (S.1639) is in big trouble. The final cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday (6-28-07) and the clay pigeon maneuver did not go well today. Sonoran Alliance recommends adopting Senator John Ensign of Nevada. If you have a friend or relative in Nevada urge them to contact his D.C. office early Thursday morning. Phone would be best due to time constraints. Better yet call yourself. If they ask you where you are from tell them that you have adopted Ensign due to the John McCain’s dismissive attitude toward the law-abiding, hard-working residents of his state.

John Ensign:
(202) 224-6244 D.C. phone
(202) 228-2193 D.C. fax
Online contact form

If works better for you to adopt NM Senator Domenici here is his contact page.

Senators who have said they will switch their vote to no: Bond (R-MO), Burr (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), and Nelson (D-NE.) Close to voting no (in addition to our newly adopted Ensign): Bingaman (D-NM), Gregg (R-NH), Menendez (D-NJ), Murkowski (R-AK), Pryor (D-AR), Stevens (R-AK), and Webb (D-VA.)

     National Review has confirmed our understanding that the senate immigration bill (now S.1639) will undergo one more cloture vote before it can pass. The vote will probably take place this Thursday.

     Cloture is the senate term for ending debate and proceeding. The importance of cloture is that it requires a super-majority (3/5) in order to pass. That means that if less than 60 senators vote yes the bill does not proceed. Given Tuesday’s vote on the immigration bill we only need 5 senators to switch in order to stop the bill.

     If you have any questions about how bad this bill is or you are distracted by the White House double talk please visit The Heritage Foundation for some very clear and reasoned information about the real effects that this bill would bring.

     National Review has an article on 8 senators who might change their votes on cloture. They are Senators Kit Bond (R., Mo.), Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Richard Burr (R., N.C.), Norm Coleman (R. Minn), John Ensign (R. Nev.), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) and Jim Webb (D., Va.)

     Since this is an Arizona blog we encourage our readers to contact Senator Kyl one more time. There is not much point talking to McCain.

     If you would like to contact one more senator there are two great choices. Senator John Ensign (R) is right next-door in Nevada. Senator Norm Coleman (R) is up for re-election in 2008. Just call and say that you have been abandoned by one of your senators and that you are counting on them to do the right thing.

Jon Kyl:
Washington (202) 224-4521
Phoenix (602) 840-1891
Tucson (520) 575-8633

John Ensign:
Washington (202) 224-6244
Las Vegas (877) 894-7711

Norm Coleman:
Washington (202) 224-5641
St. Paul (800) 642-6041

Update: Michelle Malkin is providing minute-by-minute coverage of the senate proceedings.

A taxpayer bill of rights

From Bob Robb’s tidbits:

Arizona has a relatively high corporate income tax rate, particularly compared to its personal income tax rate. Yet the Senate Republican leadership showed utterly no interest in shaving it a bit, as House Republicans proposed.

The excuse was that Napolitano opposed it. However, Napolitano has a very consistent record on tax cuts. She opposes them until they are passed. Then she signs them and takes credit for them.

The Senate Republican leadership, particularly President Tim Bee, clearly didn’t have the stomach to fight for meaningful tax cuts in the context of tight revenues.

Robb’s point is a good one: State spending is up about 70% since Napolitano took over as governor.  We need a spending limit that curb’s the growth of government.  Let’s hope the legislative leadership has the smarts to place this on the ballot and give its Republican candidates something to run on in 2008.

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