Americans/Arizonas for Prosperity Questions Tax Poll

Here is the latest response on the debate over a recent poll suggesting Arizonans favor a tax increase. This was featured on the Americans for Prosperity, Arizona Chapter website.

Cutting my taxes, securing our border. That’s my AZ GOP.

(Well, one out of two is still half a loaf…)

In a news release today, the Arizona Republican Party used a Kenski/HighGround poll question to suggest that its stance in favor of a (temporary) tax increase is popular with voters. (read press release)

Sharp readers will notice that the Kenski/HighGround poll question did not break down the amount of the tax increase into per-family or per-household figures.

In our AFP Arizona poll, when we let respondents know that the increase would be over $300 per household, we got very different results. 62 percent of respondents in Phoenix were opposed to the tax, and 64 percent in Glendale. Opposition to tax increases crossed party lines, with 47 percent of self-identified “strong Democrats” in Phoenix opposed, and 52 percent in Glendale.

(Read Press Release regarding the poll.)

Photos from Mesa Bailout Protest being used to promote nationwide April 15th protest

Kudos to those who showed up with clever signs to protest Obama’s visit to Mesa last month. Photos of the protesters and their hilarious signs are being used to foment interest in the nationwide Tea Parties taking place this April 15.  According to Michelle Malkin’s HotAir site,

Momentum has snowballed phenomenally since we started reporting on the tax revolt movement five weeks ago. People have even started e-mailing around the Mesa AZ protest photo round-up as a viral e-mail. Too funny. There are now lots of national figures on board…

Click here and here for information on the Arizona Tea Party protests this April 15. Republican Professionals is having a Tea Party event this Thursday.

PR: AZGOP Names Communications Director



Phoenix, AZ -Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen today announced that he has named Matthew Roberts Communications Director for the AZGOP.

“Matt’s experience with media and political communications will enhance our ability to promote the positive message of reducing taxes, reforming government and controlled state spending,” said Chairman Pullen. “I am pleased that our team continues to grow and look forward to laying the groundwork for successful state and local elections in 2010.”

“Matt comes to us with an extensive background in governmental and political communications which fits perfectly into our team,” said Brett Mecum, executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. “Matt has the ability to effectively communicate the thoughts and concerns of the AZGOP and develop a message that will resonate with voters around Arizona.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the team at the Arizona Republican Party,” said Roberts. “Chairman Pullen has put together a fantastic team to lead us through next year’s elections, and we will work hard to build upon the recent successful results that the Republican Party has enjoyed.”

Matt Roberts joins the AZGOP after a serving as Director of Communications for two members of the New York State Senate. He also worked as Resource Administrator for the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, organizing voter outreach efforts and campaign communications for Republican members of the State Senate.

Mr. Roberts will be organizing the communications efforts of the Arizona Republican Party and promoting Chairman Pullen’s effort to build and expand upon the successful grassroots strategies that have delivered positive results for Republican officials around the state.


PR: House Dems Seek Tax Hikes


House Democrats’ Tax Increase Would Grow Unemployment Rolls Plan will cost tens of thousands of jobs and reduce economic output

Phoenix–Yesterday the Arizona House Democrats released a plan to raise the income tax, property taxes, and levy a new tax on utility bills to close the budget deficit.

An analysis commissioned by the Goldwater Institute and performed by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, examined the effects of an income tax increase, a utility tax, and the reinstatement of the state equalization property tax on employment, state economic output, and income. (Yesterday the Goldwater Institute released findings from Beacon Hill that showed a sales tax increase would cause the state to lose 14,400 private sector jobs.)

The plan would raise income taxes on families earning more than $250,000 per year. While Beacon Hill did not examine a tax increase only on certain families, it did show that an income tax increase would have larger negative impacts on the economy than sales taxes. The analysis shows a $1 billion increase in Arizona income taxes would eliminate more than 26,000 private jobs. The state’s economic output would shrink by $1.6 billion, and after-tax income would fall by $1.5 billion, about $500 per household.

The proposal also includes reviving the $250 million state equalization property tax. Beacon Hill’s estimates show this tax increase will reduce the state’s economic output by $498 million, eliminate 3,800 private jobs, and cut after-tax income by $385 million.

The plan would also impose a new tax on utility bills. Taxing electricity is a direct burden on economic growth because it makes it more expensive for businesses to operate and expand. This tax has the worst effect on economic output of all taxes considered, causing the state to lose $1.9 billion in output. It would also cause the loss of 13,400 jobs and $1.4 billion in after-tax income.

To close the budget deficit, the Goldwater Institute has recommended reducing spending and structurally reforming the way we fund k-12 and higher education and healthcare.

The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.

Fun With Polling

Polling is a tricky thing.

The average person may think it is as simple as finding a question and asking it.  It’s not and that’s why most reputable pollsters have a combination of education and/or experience that give them the background to do the job right.  Most people would be surprised at how easy it is a change the wording of a question in subtle ways to get an answer you want.  It’s why every now and then you see polling results that purport to represent the feelings of the electorate that may make you shake your head in wonder.

Interest groups realize this and that’s why they will often work in conjunction with a pollster to craft questions that they feel will have a reasonble likelihood of giving them the answer they want. You simply throw in options in the question that you know people like to gin up support for your issue.  I tend to call this “PR polling.”

For example – Let’s say you were behind an effort to raise gas taxes by 25 percent.  Now common sense tells you that most people would oppose that.  So you don’t ask the question “Would you support raising gas taxes by 25 percent to build more roads”  You don’t need a poll to know the answer to that one.  Instead you conjure up something like this:

“Would support raising gas taxes 25 percent if it would reduce your commute by 75 percent and allow you to spend more time with your family?”

I suspect the results on that question would be quite different.

Which brings me to the recent poll conducted by Margaret Kenski and High Ground and just released by the AZ GOP today.  The press release purports to say that Arizona voters support increasing taxes.

Here is the question asked by Kenski, who by the way is a very reputable pollster.

“I’d like to ask you how acceptable or unacceptable you find the following measures which would be considered in addition to spending cuts in order to preserve critical education and public health funding while the economy begins to recover. These taxes would be in the form of a constitutionally limited tax that would last for no more than three years and would automatically be eliminated without another public vote.

Let’s assume for the purposes of these questions that the Legislature and the Governor have already cut nearly $1 billion dollars in State spending by 2010, used all of the federal stimulus funds to balance the budget and still have a billion dollar per year budget deficit. All of the funds raised from these taxes would be dedicated towards maintaining 2010 spending levels for K-12 education, universities, community colleges, and health care for the poor. Each of the following measures would raise approximately a billion dollars per year.”

I’ve highlighted some of the “sweeteners” included in the question to ensure the answer they want.  First we have “critical”  This is in there for one reason – to scare people.  It’s a word that when used before education and public health implies an emergency situation.  Not, mind you an emergency situation in government terms, but an emergency situation in real terms – IE if we don’t do this then our schools will close and people will die.

Second, we have “while the economy begins to recover.” this at first blush may seem extraneous to the question, but it’s not.  It’s there to say “hey things will get better soon so this wont be so bad.” because people don’t like higher taxes in tough economic times.

Finally, we have the all time favorite term to use when you want to gin up support for something – “education” and the “poor”.  After all who wouldn’t want to support our kids and those less fortunate than us.  So these terms are used in the question.  Now I am not saying they shouldn’t be used for descriptive purposes, but ask yourself, why didn’t the question just say “education and healthcare” instead of “K-12 education, universities, community colleges, and healthcare for the poor.”  The answer is simple, by listing all of these things you are attempting to touch in some way the respondent.  They may not have a child in school, but maybe they care a lot about a community college or a university.  Same thing with the healthcare question.

Now if you really wanted to find out what the citizens of Arizona feel about how to deal with the budget situation, you would probably ask the following and you would probably get a much different answer.

“Some people say that we need to raise taxes to balance our state budget so that we can limit budget cuts for government services like education and healthcare, others say that we should reduce government spending to balance the state budget.

“which position is closer to your view?”

I suspect we would get much different results.

PR: Brewer Appoints Brnovich to Department of Gaming


Governor Jan Brewer Names Mark Brnovich Director of the Department of Gaming

PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today named Mark Brnovich as the new Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming.

“I am proud to add Mr. Brnovich to my cabinet,” stated Brewer. “He has a great understanding of gaming issues in Arizona, and his legal expertise and experience will be essential in his service to the Department of Gaming and the State of Arizona.”

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Brnovich was Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. During his time there he focused on federal offenses occurring in Arizona gaming enterprises and worked closely with tribal gaming investigators, the Arizona Department of Gaming and law enforcement agencies to prosecute crimes and coordinate crime prevention efforts. He also served as Assistant Attorney General in Arizona, where he was primarily responsible for representing the Arizona Department of Gaming and providing legal advice regarding legislation, contracts, licensing and regulation of Native American gaming. In prior years, Mr. Brnovich also worked as Judge Pro Tem of Maricopa County Superior Court, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney and Command Staff Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army National Guard. He began his extensive legal career as a law clerk for the San Diego County District Attorney and later for the Honorable Jonathan H. Schwartz in Phoenix.

In addition to his legal career, Mr. Brnovich has served as Senior Director of State Customer Relations for Corrections Corporation of America, developing and maintaining relations with various government agencies throughout the United States. He has also worked as Director for the Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute, formulating policy and conducting research and analysis. He started his career with a congressional internship in Senator John McCain’s office.

Mr. Brnovich received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Arizona State University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. He also completed the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course for the United States Army.

“I want to thank the outgoing Director, Mr. Paul Bellis, for his dedication, hard work, and willingness to participate in an effective transition,” said Governor Brewer.

MSM Now Looking at AIG, Banks in Potential Fraud of Taxpayer Money

by Gayle Plato

GET THIS:  Barron’s believes the blogs may be onto something (we reported here yesterday) and is picking up on this odd little story of financial swapping.  It is potentially fraudulent and I suspect this issue could be the new Watergate.  Geithner and Obama are not patsies no matter what they might say as this comes out.  Maybe the bonuses were just hush money.  I dunno, I am just sayin’:



Web Site Details AIG’s ‘Gift’ To Banks, Backhand To Taxpayers

If this is borne out, this one’s a game-changer. For the financial sector. For the government’s bailout plans. For the Administration’s leadership.

The website Seeking Alpha published an account Monday of a maneuver by American International Group (AIG) to: a) fraudulently capsize its balance sheet, in order to; b) force the government to pour more capital into the capsizing insurance giant, by; c) unwinding billions of dollars of credit transactions with banks that took the other side of those trades, in a way that; d) swelled those banks’ balance sheets with what was effectively a one-time gift, and; e) the Treasury knew about the scheme, and by; f) pumping the capital that AIG clamored for, gave its tacit approval.

(See the Seeking Alpha account here.)

Keep in mind, according to the Seeking Alpha account, this wasn’t a plan by AIG. This was an act: covert, at least from taxpayers – who, let’s be honest, aren’t going to understand the intricacies of sales of credit-linked notes – but overt, with the complicity of AIG executives, especially at its AIG-Financial Products unit, along with banks and Administration officials….

The result: AIG effectively transferred a huge chunk of its balance sheet to its banking counter-parties. The banks got a one-time shot-in-the-arm to their bottom line. An increasingly desperate AIG gets the capital it clamored for.”

 See related post:


PR: Survey Says, Support for Balanced Budget

The Arizona Republican Party has released the following press release:


Statewide Survey Shows Support for Balanced Budget Approach
Results show support for statewide sales tax as part of comprehensive plan including cuts and use of stimulus funds

PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party released results from a recent survey today showing strong public support for a temporary 1% statewide sales tax as part of a balanced budget approach.

The statewide survey conducted in partnership with Margaret C. Kenski, Ph.D. of Arizona Opinion and HighGround, Inc. was conducted over March 6 – 12, 2009, interviewing 607 high-efficacy, likely voters. When it came to taxes, here was the comprehensive question that was asked:

“I’d like to ask you how acceptable or unacceptable you find the following measures which would be considered in addition to spending cuts in order to preserve critical education and public health funding while the economy begins to recover. These

taxes would be in the form of a constitutionally limited tax that would last for no more than three years and would automatically be eliminated without another public vote.

Let’s assume for the purposes of these questions that the Legislature and the Governor have already cut nearly $1 billion dollars in State spending by 2010, used all of the federal stimulus funds to balance the budget and still have a billion dollar per year budget deficit. All of the funds raised from these taxes would be dedicated towards maintaining 2010 spending levels for K-12 education, universities, community colleges, and health care for the poor. Each of the following measures would raise approximately a billion dollars per year.”

The results showed that 66.6% of the electorate supported a temporary 1% increase in the statewide sales tax to help bridge the gap to economic recovery, with nearly 40% considering it a very acceptable option.

  • 39.7 % Very Acceptable
  • 26.9% Somewhat Acceptable
  • 9.1% Neutral
  • 5.9% Somewhat Unacceptable
  • 18.0% Very Unacceptable
  • .5% Unsure

The question gathered widespread support spanning party lines – Republicans found the sales tax 62.5% acceptable, Democrats 71.6% acceptable and Independents 64.6% acceptable.

“We were surprised by the level of support expressed by the electorate. It appears that Arizona voters would support a balanced approach in solving the budget crisis,” said Randy Pullen, Chairman of AZGOP. “Former Governor Napolitano and the Democrats in the legislature left us with a financial crisis on our hands. We all recognize Arizona government must learn to live within its means by reducing spending and reforming government. This Governor and Republican legislature have already made larger budget reductions and reforms than any previous governor and legislature. However, with continuing bad news on all fronts about declining tax revenues and the state having to borrow money next month to make payroll, the sooner the budget is balanced the better it will be for all Arizonans.

“We encourage the Governor and the Legislature to pursue any and all means necessary to right our current budget crisis and restore fiscal sanity to the state of Arizona,” concluded Pullen.


Anonymous political speech is one of our most cherished rights

Espressopundit’s Greg Patterson has weighed in on our blog post about Chuck Coughlin, suggesting that anonymous blogging should be prohibited. While we greatly respect Greg, we kindly beg to differ, “adult supervision” would curtail one of our most important rights. One of the principles this country was founded upon was free speech – it’s why it was protected in the First Amendment. The Founding Fathers published some of their greatest writings, the Federalist Papers, under anonymous pseudonyms. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay all wrote articles under the pseudonym “Publius,” named after Publius Valerius who founded the Roman Empire (One of Sonoran Alliance’s anonymous contributors posts under the pseudonym “Publius”) The Federalist Papers were written to support ratification of the Constitution, and its writers needed the anonymity to protect themselves from political retaliation. An “Anti-Federalist Papers” was written in response by “Brutus.” Later on, the U.S. Supreme Court looked to the Federalist Papers to help decide controversial cases.

The Supreme Court affirmed that anonymous speech is protected in Talley v. California, a 1960 case where a Los Angeles ordinance prohibiting anonymous pamphlets from being distributed was struck down.

It’s not often that the right and left agree on anything, but when it comes to free speech, the ACLU and the newspapers agree with us on protecting this important right. On Sunday, the Arizona Republic’s Political Insider mentioned the Sonoran Alliance post about Coughlin, and called out Coughlin for hypocritical talk about playing nice by repeating a sentence he’d written to columnist Laurie Roberts telling her she was such a poor writer she shouldn’t be writing.

We think that Shane does a great job of monitoring errors and giving the opposing side room to dispute posts by contributors – in fact he’s been pretty open about letting anyone become a contributor.  And Chuck Coughlin’s supporters have certainly had plenty of room in the comments to get their defenses (and personal attacks) across.

A Republican governor advocating for a tax increase is significant and must be debated in the public sphere. To try and shut down debate over this reeks of the government trying to control the press and our right to free speech. Furthermore, Coughlin has failed to prove that any of the accusations in the original post were false. Coughlin is arguably the most powerful lobbyist in the state, and because of it no one dares to criticize him without being afraid of losing their job or other negative ramifications.

Patterson himself runs stories from anonymous sources. The New Times, which has also attacked Sonoran Alliance for its anonymous bloggers, frequently relies on anonymous sources for entire articles. And as Patterson fairly points out, many of the commenters on his blog are anonymous.

Sonoran Alliance stands as a defender of free speech, and will not cave in to internet censorship. Nor to Coughlin’s friends and employees attacking us in the comments or on other blogs. The Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves.

Arizona Republic bias against Sheriff Arpaio

The latest Arizona Republic attack on Joe Arpaio, which the paper had the temerity to run in its news section, is a classic example of why the print media has been so successfully painted as a purveyor of leftist propaganda rather than real news.

Reporter JJ Hensley used a favorite trick of the liberal media–take a viewpoint that is held by only a handful of extreme liberals and present it as if it were mainstream thought.

Here’s the telling quote from the article describing “complaints” from “critics” of Arpaio regarding his efforts to detain illegal aliens accused of criminal activity unrelated to their alien status:

“Many of the complaints against Arpaio center on two themes: the immigration-enforcement agreement doesn’t come with enough guidance for local authorities to focus on serious criminals offenders – opening the door for racial profiling; and that the agreement has led to the removal of illegal immigrants for relatively minor offenses.”

Is this reporter serious?  Not only do these people break the law to come here, but they continue to break the law once they get here.  And law enforcement is supposed to turn a blind eye to this because their crimes are “relatively” minor?

If they are here illegaly anyway, why in the world would we tolerate any criminal activity from them?  And here’s the writer’s description of the “minor” criminal offenses:

“The majority of the charges against inmates with ICE holds were for drug-and-alcohol related violations; failure to pay fines or appear in court; and allegations related to forgery and using false identification.”

OK, so these people are mostly junkies, drunk drivers, deadbeats and fraudsters, but let’s let them stay in the country even though they are here illegally because their crimes are minor?  Yeah, right.

Obviously, this type of thinking is way out of the Arizona mainstream, embraced by only a handful on the extreme left, even though the writer presents it as common thinking.

It is only in the 14th paragraph out of a 15 paragraph story that we find out who the “critics”, er critic, is–Arizona ACLU Director Alessandra Soler Meetze.
It’s no wonder people don’t trust the press anymore.

The War on Domestic Prosperity II

I don’t mean to be an “I told you so” but I wrote this last week:

If you just watched the same Presidential news conference that I watched then you should have heard President Obama announce a “War on Domestic Prosperity.”

Citing a new “Doctrine of Preemptive Corporate Takeover,” the Obama Administration will now begin looking to head off any possibility of failure by seizing and taking control of companies which may pose any possibility of failure.

Standby for more takeovers. Stand by for government-run industry. Standby for a socialized economy. Say goodbye to freedom and an America we all love.

Of course, one of you thought I was being a little conspiratorial and lacked credibility.

Today, instead of a Board of Directors firing a CEO, the President of the United States made a corporate CEO of one of the big three automakers resign. WOW!

This is what you get when you take government money. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

TARP Over Joe Public’s Eyes While Money Flows

by Gayle Plato, M. Ed

I don’t usually post others stuff more than a quote, but this information is too valuable to miss.  There is a fake profitability question of how is it that AIG,  huge insurance company, ‘losing’ money, and financial giants Citibank and Bank of America made profits?  Those two banks may have been hyped for those pseudo-two month profit that rallied the Dow for a few weeks.  Is it real?  Is it just  Area 51 of the Groom Lake trader shell game?  What IS going in?   Power up my black helicopter, cuz Soccer Mom is coming in for a landing.

Well some traders and brokerages make really big commissions off of these games people play.

There is talk amongst trader and Wall Street pop-talk blogs of AIG selling complicated portfolios-a strategy of options, bond, and stocks all packages that only have relationships to each other.  So when they want to get out of this–when they hedge- they sell the packages cheaper than should be, letting the banks stick it to AIG.  Then the banks turned around doing similar transactions.  With that, there are LARGE commissions coming and going and it makes no sense.  Profits tick up on the formal balance sheets for the banks, AIG pays bonuses to shift attention over here, and nobody knows nothing as the laundry comes in and goes out. Throw a TARP over it all?  Hmm.

Now I might just be some lil ol’ goof out here in blogosphere, but I can read. These tea leaves are making me green with ill, and some shifty money lifters green with the looting of the big business.  Our Congressmen don’t have time to read the stuff they sign.

This PLAN by the Treasury is NOT being cobbled together late at night, and Timmy Geithner is NOT just some poor guy workn’ hard.  He knows exactly what he is doing and when I saw him on Meet the Press, I started really worrying.

So what happened today? The president of GM left and the board of directors is going to resign.  Looks like this biggie is going into bankruptcy; so let the head guys out and let it go under.  Now we are merging Chrysler with Fiat. Good God.  Did you read THIS one: the government is honoring warranties for GM?  Is this insane?  Or is this a template of government  regulation like we’ll have with universal health care?

Simply put if you pay someone else’s bills, they have no incentive to keep the costs down.  Get ready for regulated auto industry. If you cannot see this process of power grab, you are not looking. Go sing Kumbaya and look at Mrs. Obama’s guns.  The government is not on autopilot though, and neither the leaders nor any of us are victims.

Read this:
From the blog- Zero Hedge (

“For those to whom this is merely a lot of mumbo-jumbo, let me explain in layman’s terms:

AIG, knowing it would need to ask for much more capital from the Treasury imminently, decided to throw in the towel, and gifted major bank counter-parties with trades which were egregiously profitable to the banks, and even more egregiously money losing to the U.S. taxpayers, who had to dump more and more cash into AIG, without having the U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner disclose the real extent of this, for lack of a better word, fraudulent scam.

In simple terms think of it as an auto dealer, which knows that U.S. taxpayers will provide for an infinite amount of money to fund its ongoing sales of horrendous vehicles (think Pontiac Azteks): the company decides to sell all the cars currently in contract, to lessors at far below the amortized market value, thereby generating huge profits for these lessors, as these turn around and sell the cars at a major profit, funded exclusively by U.S. taxpayers (readers should feel free to provide more gripping allegories).

What this all means is that the statements by major banks, i.e. JPM, Citi, and BofA, regarding abnormal profitability in January and February were true, however these profits were a) one-time in nature due to wholesale unwinds of AIG portfolios, b) entirely at the expense of AIG, and thus taxpayers, c) executed with Tim Geithner’s (and thus the administration’s) full knowledge and intent, d) were basically a transfer of money from taxpayers to banks (in yet another form) using AIG as an intermediary.”

WTF? Fed, Fiscal, Funding, All the Fs of a Politcal Petaflop

by Gayle Plato

Grabbing your attention through implied vulgarity is albeit a cheap shot.  But then again, I ask you, are you getting angrier everyday?  Meet the Press, still airing here in AZ as I am writing and I am sick of this.

Secretary Tim Geithner just said that Americans will benefit from this critical time because we’ll care less about how much we make and care more about what we do.  Umm, WHAT?!
Timothy Geithner is not out speaking much, aside from a committee hearing in Washington, or slip shot statements in a G20 meeting, but today on NBC he just blew me away.  Geithner is an amazing politician.  He is on this and going forward double guns.
I am gravely concerned as the leading elected officials in DC are BUYING IN!  No one had more hope for our Sentator John McCain than me, and here I sit fuming.  Get McCain OFF of the national scene.  He is on air saying, once again, that he is no economics expert, and he is believing the overall process.  He may target a few issues and keep saying generational theft; now he is singing the budgetary problems.  McCain is boring to death the few republicans left listening.
We are NOT noticing the biggest problem.  Since economic transfers and wealth holdings started moving on waves of digital light, the United States financial system became vulnerable.  Global economy is a real concern as there are no borders.  The quintessential One World Order IS real and not looming in the distance.  It happened while we were all refinancing out houses and flipping properties.   Your loans are held by God knows who at this point.  No one even knows who holds the notes.
The REAL THREAT is that as more international fund management and regulation happens, the less value we have as citizens of a country.  We are losing American standards and dreams as fiscal power goes from a trickle under a bridge to nowhere, to a flash flood on out the cracked borders.
Simply put, once the money is regulated by an international agency, an agency like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a World Bank United Nations entity, the political power structure becomes  a global cookie.  Cookie Monsters grab and gobble them all up. We lose the uniquely American factor of the fiscal control.  We are transferring power right out the digital door.
It is not over yet. We still have the right to vote. We can vote in and vote out the leaders and all of the appointed Geithners.  Get this Congress out.  If we have a bunch of  weak leaders who get on television saying they are not experts, sounding like door mats, we are going to lose the unique dream and American political structure.
We are seeing a politcal petaflop with digital grab of the money, the structure, the power, and then the people’s will to stay unique, indivualized and intrinsically free:

“A petaflop is the ability of a computer to do one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS.)  Additionally, a petaflop can be measured as “one thousand teraflops”. A petaflop computer would require a massive number of computers working in parallel on the same problem. Applications might include real-time nuclear magnetic resonance imaging during surgery or even astrophysical simulation.

Today’s fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds. The world’s fastest supercomputer today, the climate-modeling Earth, has a top speed of 40 trillion operations a second. Scientists predict we will see a petaflop computer by the year 2010…”

Watch how politcal power is being hijacked in unions. Notice how businesses, small and large, are being cornered into new guidelines and regulations.  Realize that this is a trial balloon for bigger control.
Glenn Beck did a great bit playing economic Jenga last week, and I like the imagery.  We are facing a politcal Jenga jerry rigging of the power, with one right at a time being pulled away from the United States. We must rally NOW and get the power back.

Response to Chuck Coughlin

First, “Chewie” would like to clarify a couple of things.

1) This site is for anonymous contributors. There is no one “Chewie” but rather it permits various people protection to provide information they might not normally be able to provide without retaliation. The liberal-leaning newspapers won’t print this kind of information.  So attacking “Chewie” doesn’t really make any sense, since it’s really attacking multiple contributors.

2) We strongly suspect that certain people written about in the posts or their close associates are the ones writing many of the most critical comments about Chewie and Sonoran Alliance. Which is fine, you are entitled to your anonymity just as much as we are, but attacking us personally instead of substantively (“Chewie is dragging down the reputation of this site”) shows you’ve lost the argument.

It is incredibly hypocritical for Coughlin to call for party unity and try to hide under the mantra of “we’re all Republicans, let’s play nice.” No one will forget the incredible smear ad Coughlin ran in the Attorney General race several years ago. With no real backing Coughlin ran an ad showing the other Republican candidate Tom McGovern behind bars. His basis? McGovern was arrested once briefly as a juvenile for allegedly smoking marijuana but nothing ever came of it, charges were never pressed. It backfired badly as Coughlin’s poorly served client John Kaites was crushed. And let’s not forget that a weakened McGovern lost narrowly to Janet Napolitano in the general election race for AG, and after that she became Governor, and…well, you know the rest of the story.

Anyone who led Governor Napolitano’s tax hike initiative is NOT much of a Republican anymore. Sorry. It’s one thing to be a squishy or moderate Republican. But if you’re a Sen Carolyn Allen kind of Republican and your views are just as liberal as the average Democrat, you should be called out. Coughlin’s response sounds more like a Democrat plan to “save” bloated government programs than a Republican plan.

Coughlin claims he’s not working for the governor in a “government” capacity but admits he works for her in a campaign capacity.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference here with Coughlin directing the governor to push for a sales tax on the ballot. This is why we’re concerned. A political lobbyist should not be running the governor’s office. Much less a liberal-leaning political lobbyist when a Republican governor is the one who’s been elected.

Coughlin touting party unity? Give us a break!

KOYAANISQATSI: A Nation Out of Balance Needs a New Contract With America

by Gayle Plato

When working in a team effort, a training of trainers in resiliency therapy, I was asked to analyze language and determine how some public statement was either resilient or otherwise. I went to work digging through a bunch of material from fields I knew- counseling, educational, and even local news bulletins hoping something would hit me.

Then I heard the House Speaker Newt Gingrich being interviewed; he had been part of the great Republican revolution during the 1994 elections of Congress. I was impressed, and then I decided to read the Contract With America that was the political push. ( see The Contract:

” Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.” To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.”

I was amazed. My love of writing goes back to preteen days, editor of the high school paper,  and onto college.  I took a lot of college classes from professors very impressed with themselves and the boring books they created. All the Poly Sci. and Econ. classes nearly made me urp up legal babble with chunks of  lousy text book leftist propaganda all over the student union.  Walk in The Contract With America: Here was a campaign document,that in and of itself a rarity, putting promises in writing. It was also written unlike any political document of the day. The Contract reminded me of the Gettysburg Address in it’s style of direct, concise, simplicity, yet heavy in meaning. This was the perfect example of a country’s resiliency in action and the document was a great tool for me to rework the training material. I used it in my presentation, and took the students there in a direction they had not been. I also convinced a few very liberal Seattle-based educators to look at the new Congress with fresh eyes.

Jumping ahead now 15 years and we are drowning in political double speak, liberal smear campaigns against the people they represent, and layers of lies so offensive, blatant; we are being conned.

We need a New Contract with America before we lose the America we love. Maybe the Hopi had it right with the concept of KOYAANISQATSI or ‘Life out of Balance’. We are in this state now. We are a nation out of balance and we need that straightforward language, and fundamental respect for us as citizens of a free society.

(please read my accompanying piece on balance and politics:


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Chuck Coughlin Responds

Editors Note: Sometimes I wake up and find myself caught between opposing conservative views with this blog and ask myself “why?”

In response to an earlier piece, entitled, “OUTRAGE! Reason for Governor Brewer’s tax increase is to reward lobbyist/employee Chuck Coughlin I thought it was necessary, appropriate and equitable to allow Chuck Coughlin to respond to the charge that he or his consulting firm, HighGround, would benefit in any way from an effort to pass a tax hike here in the State of Arizona. Chuck was more than willing to respond and attempt to set the record straight.

Those who read the posts on Sonoran Alliance should know that there are several writers who frequently and infrequently post their opinions on the blog. With the exception of myself, these writers do not know the identity of each other. That means that we don’t always agree with what is written. Yes, we are not all in lock-step with one another on every issue. In essence, there is diversity amongst our writers and that means we should respect each other’s right to express our own opinions.

With that said, here is Mr. Coughlin’s response:

I’m very flattered that Mr. Shofir would consider me such an influential person.  The truth of the matter, as is always the case, is a bit more complicated, particularly to people who see the world in absolutes. 

For the record I do not nor have I ever worked in a government role for Governor or Secretary Brewer.  I have managed all of her campaigns since she left the Legislature. I admire her greatly, her honesty, integrity and most of all her heart.  She is as real a regular down to earth person as Governor Napolitano was aloof, unattached and career minded.  

To be abundantly clear the proposals the Governor has articulated are hers.  So let’s set the record straight:

  • Governor Napolitano and her supporters at the Legislature grew government to clearly unsustainable levels (45%) over the past three years. There is no question that the Legislature and the Governor must cut over a billion dollars in state spending between this years and next year’s State budget. If that is done, Governor Brewer will have cut more State government spending than any Governor in the history of Arizona.
  • The current rate of growth for State Government is not sustainable. We, yes I consider myself a conservative Republican, must be focused on developing tools to slow the overall rate of government growth. Constitutionally reforming the rainy day fund to require up to 20% of funds be put aside annually coupled with reforms to limit access to these funds could serve as a significant braking mechanism on future government spending. County and municipal governments have spending control mechanisms, it is time we placed a spending control mechanism on future state spending growth.

  • Some Republican’s fascination with a temporary tax reminds me of the public fascination with the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey. They still haven’t caught the killer but we still talk about the case. Rather than focus on the temporary tax increase (death to hard core Republicans), folks should be concerned with controlling the rate of growth in government spending. That is the real killer. So in short, just don’t read the headline, focus on the real story.
  • Arizona’s tax structure is obsolete and outdated. The business property taxes and corporate income taxes in Arizona are an impediment to capital formation. We should be focused on plans to bring those rates down over the long term and to begin to recruit California companies that will be fleeing a high tax state.
  • Republicans now control all the branches of State Government. We must demonstrate an ability to govern. In a recent survey done by Phd. Margret Kenski (clients incl: Kyl, McCain, Hayworth, Bee, Shadegg, Symington etc…) cuts to kindergarten through 12th grade education programs were unacceptable to 75% of the electorate, including 64% of the Republican’s. Over 41% of the State Budget supports K-12 education. The Same survey found that cuts to the colleges and University Systems were unacceptable to 50% of the overall electorate, including 35% of the Republicans, and cuts to public health care programs serving the poor were unacceptable to 54% of the electorate (40% unacceptable to Republicans). These program alone account for over 60% of the state budget available to be cut, the other 40% is voter protected by Prop 105. All of these programs will have to be cut or reformed in some manner – see point number one.

  • If Republicans intend to stay in the majority at the Arizona Legislature, we must not cut programs to the point where voters will no longer have confidence in our ability to lead. Until the economy recovers we must find temporary ways to bridge the gap so that Arizona can continue to offer the essential public services that its citizens rely upon.
  • After cutting a billion dollars, creating a braking mechanism on future state government spending and thoughtfully applying all of the Federal stimulus dollars. If there remains a budget deficit of a $500 million or more in 2010, 11 and or 12, I believe Arizona voters would support a constitutionally limited 2-3 year, dedicated 1% increase in State Sales tax to support core government services (K-12, Higher Ed, Health Care for the poor and public safety).

For the record, my firm resigned from the Time Coalition prior to the signature gathering phase because I did not have confidence in the overall program being proposed by Governor Napolitano.

I entered the public affairs business over 25 years ago, not to make money but to pursue good ideas, support good government, and to be vigilant about the abuse of government power and authority.  I have worked for then Congressman John McCain, Attorney General Grant Woods,  Governor Fife Symington, State Senator’s Bob Burns, Russell Pearce and John Nelson to name a few.   I consider all of them to be my dear friends today. And no, we don’t always agree.

God has been very good to me, my family and to the many people who work with me here at Highground.  I trust if I keep trying to follow the path and values outlined above I will continue to be fine.

Again, thanks for the flattery, but seriously if Mr. Shofir or anyone else wants to talk I’m available.  Call me anytime at the office, it’s always good to have a reasonable, thoughtful discussion.  Come visit us at the Highground any time you would like. But let’s try to knock off the personal attacks, and let’s talk about ideas.

All the best, Vote Republican!



OUTRAGE! Reason for Governor Brewer’s tax increase is to reward lobbyist/employee Chuck Coughlin

We have received inside information that lobbyist Chuck Coughlin, who founded High Ground and now works for Governor Brewer, is behind Brewer’s insistence on a tax increase. Coughlin originally led Governor Napolitano’s TIME initiative which would have increased sales taxes in order to generate more road construction and light rail construction jobs for Coughlin’s client, the Association of General Contractors. Fortunately, the initiative failed to get on the ballot. Now, Coughlin is hoping to get voters to approve a tax increase that would permit the state to use the money however it likes – sneak the TIME initiative back through that way.

Brewer keeps claiming that the need for a tax increase is about the children, and that she doesn’t want to cut programs like subsidized daycare. But this isn’t accurate. Brewer has agreed to accept ALL of the federal bailout money (except for a program lengthening unemployment pay, because that would require additional state spending and bureacracy). There is now more than enough money to pay for subsidized daycare. Brewer also has a reserve left that she can spend in any way she’d like – if she can’t agree with the legislature on something as crucial to her as subsidized daycare, she can fund it without the legislature’s approval.

Coughlin is trying to bully the legislature into having it his own way. But the state legislature is not a subsidiary of Chuck Coughlin. Coughlin’s bullying style has made Brewer many needless enemies at the legislature. The legislature sees through his threats and is not going to cave in and raise taxes to subsidize his businesses.

There are some ridiculous programs in the budget that should be cut and this economic downturn presents an opportunity to get rid of them. One of these useless programs involves sending people to the homes of developmentally disabled children to play guitar music for them. This is absurd, if the children need therapeutic music, why aren’t their parents turning on the stereo to play music for them?

Coughlin needs to go back to High Ground and it should be renamed to Low Ground, before he can  do anymore damage to Brewer.