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.