Archives for June 2009
Earlier today, Dr. Matt Ladner at the Goldwater Institute revealed a disturbing poll on the state of civics education amongst Arizona students. Some time ago, we ran this video but we thought it was worth posting again. This problem is obviously not limited to Arizona students. This video was shot during the November 2008 Election.
From the same people who brought you Jesse Ventura, the race for U.S. Senate in Minnesota is final and the voters of the Land of 10,000 lakes can be proud to have Senator Al Franken as their next Senator.
Just remember, you’re smart enough, you’re good enough and dogone it, people like you.
With “Airhead Amerika Al” now in the Senate, expect the 2010 elections to swing dramatically back to the right.
One of my friends sent me this excellent PowerPoint presentation entitled “What is a Trillion?” This will really put things into perspective.
by Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.
Just in time to celebrate Independence Day, the Goldwater Institute will release its new report, “Freedom from Responsibility: A Survey of Civic Knowledge Among Arizona High School Students,” which reveals only 3.5 percent of Arizona high school students have learned the basic history, government and geography necessary to pass the U.S. Citizenship test.
To conduct the survey, we hired a firm to interview 1,140 Arizona high school students and ask 10 questions drawn at random from the exam given to applicants for United States citizenship. Applicants for citizenship must get six out of 10 questions correct to pass. A recent trial found that 92.4 percent of citizenship applicants passed the test on the first try.
Below are the survey questions, the correct answers, and in parentheses the percentage of public school students providing the correct answer for each question.
1. What is the supreme law of the land?
Answer: The Constitution (29.5%)
2. What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?
Answer: The Bill of Rights (25%)
3. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?
Answer: Senate and House (23%)
4. How many Justices are on the Supreme Court?
Answer: Nine (9.4%)
5. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Answer: Jefferson (25.3%)
6. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
Answer: Atlantic (58.8%)
7. What are the two major political parties in the United States?
Answer: Democratic and Republican (49.6%)
8. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
Answer: Six (14.5%)
9. Who was the first President of the United States?
Answer: Washington (26.5%)
10. Who is in charge of the Executive Branch?
Answer: The President (26%)
Only 3.5 percent of traditional public high school students passed the test. That’s 40 students out of a sample of 1,134 district high school students.
Arizona’s 8th grade social studies standards require that students learn about everything from John Locke to the Mayflower Compact to the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution before high school. It isn’t clear what, if anything, Arizona students are learning in these classes, but it is abundantly clear what they are not learning–U.S. civics, history and geography.
In the report, I recommend that all Arizona high school students be required to pass a version of the U.S. Citizenship exam in order to graduate. Since then, one of our supporters came up with an even better idea: Make the exam a requirement for receiving a driver’s license. Interesting thought…
Dr. Matthew Ladner is vice president for research at the Goldwater Institute.
Republican Professionals: “Politics on the Rocks” is proud to announce our July happy hour networking event at The Estate House located at 7134 East Stetson Drive, Suite 200 (Directly across the canal from Olive and Ivy) in Old Town Scottsdale on Thursday, July 9th at 6:00 PM. We have the entire Upstairs Lounge reserved for this event.
There is no cost to attend.
Our honored guest speaker for this event is John Munger. Mr. Muger was former State Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, a former member of the Republican National Committee, and former Pima County Republican Chairman. In 2008 he was Co-Chairman of the McCain for President, Arizona Campaign. He has also served as President and Member of the Arizona Board of Regents.
Currently, he is Chairman of ImagineArizona www.imaginearizona.com, a Political Action Committee with a mission to promote policies based on creating dynamic economic growth through the empowerment of free people and limited government. John Munger currently sits on the Republican Professionals: “Politics on the Rocks” National Advisory Board.
Please RSVP as soon as possible because space is limited. We had hundreds of professionals at our last networking event. To see a picture slide show of our last event please click this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/charlesajensen#play/all/uploads-all/0/U0nWZsPg0XQ
The purpose of “Politics on the Rocks” is to bring Republican & Conservative Professionals together in a monthly happy hour where they can network, socialize, and hear directly from prominent politicians and successful business leaders. Politics on the Rocks was started in Phoenix, Arizona and has spread to other cities.
Republican Professionals: “Politics on the Rocks”
I’m writing this to point out that we’re not in agreement on Congressman Flake’s absence on the cap and tax bill.
Most important to note, more than anything else, is that there was no chance the bill was ever going to fail. The leadership passed it with the narrowest margin humanly possible to give every endangered incumbent a pass. If they had forced the issue, the bill would have carried by more than 20 votes.
Second, the criticism utterly fails to take note of the enormous sacrifice given up by members of congress. Should we expect member’s families to accept any kind of abuse and absence necessary? Should we have a congress full of people with no semblence of a work/life balance? Congress is the least family friendly institution in the United States.
I applaud Congressman Flake for realizing that there is more to life than his work, especially when he couldn’t have possibly made the difference.
Sonoran Alliance received the following heads up on a special Obama Administration event being sponsored here in Phoenix tomorrow evening. Apparently, Obama supporters will be trying to comfort and pep each other as the Obama Administration attempts to force the legislation on America.
If you plan on attending and representing those who are not infatuated with the administration, be sure to ask the hard questions unlike ABC News and other “mainstream” media outlets.
MegaForum on Health Care Reform (Health Care Organizing Event)
This will be the largest meeting to support President Obama’s health care reform in Arizona. It will bring together all local and national groups that support true health care reform. Attendees will come from a wide range of backgrounds including citizens from around the state, doctors, nurses, patients, business leaders, hospital administrators and others who want to express their desires and reasons for support of health care reform.
Congressman Conyers, Donna Smith and other key supporters of health care reform will address the forum. Presentations will be made about what single payer is and what a viable public health plan option is, and why other approaches will not resolve the inherent problems in the health insurance system today.
Time: Tuesday, June 30 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Host: Joe Otto
Wyndham Phoenix Hotel (Phoenix, AZ)
50 East Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
To sign up to attend, click here.
There is a raging debate over Congressman Jeff Flake’s absence last Friday when the U.S. House barely passed the largest tax increase in U.S. history by a vote of 219-212.
Congressman Flake was at a family event in Mobile, AL for his daughter’s competion in the 2009 Junior Miss pageant.
Given the immense gravity of the vote on Friday, some are saying Flake’s absence was inexcusable.
This is a hard call given the importance of family but given the massive government usurpations and takeovers, Flake’s presence was probably more needed in D.C. in the fight.
Congressman Flake has posted a response to those angry that he was found missing in action during such a critical vote:
Obviously, it was a tough decision to miss voting against the cap and trade bill. But I’ve let my daughter down enough over the years, and I felt I just couldn’t let her down again.
All this is fueling speculation that Congressman Flake may have just invited a challenger in a Republican primary.
Others are also suggesting that Flake’s conflict with performing his job and family matters may prompt him to stay local and jump in the Governor’s race.
Either way, Jeff Flake will need resolve and reconcile his job duties with family commitments.
Phoenix Business Journal is reporting that Arvizu Advertising is in court seeking relief from 207 creditors to the tune of $3 Million.
Local creditors include KTVW – Univision 33 ($1.2 Million), KUVE-TV ($139,191), McDonalds, The Arizona Republic, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite PA, Chicanos Por La Causa – Tucson, and dozens of media outfits.
The PBJ reports:
Arvizu Advertising is one of the oldest marketing and pubic relations firms in metro Phoenix, primarily serving the region’s booming Hispanic market and businesses. Its clients have included Basha’s and its sister company Food City, Quest Communications Inc. and McDonald’s. The company has created numerous public service announcements targeting Latinos, and is well known for its philanthropic endeavors in the community.
According to the 2008 Phoenix Business Journal Book of Lists, Arvizu was the largest minority-owned firm in the Phoenix area, generating $113 million of local gross revenue in 2007. Arvizu Advertising, similar to many other marketing firms here, has struggled to keep its book of clients, while others have cut marketing budgets. The industry continues to shrink, as real estate advertising vanished after the housing crash and other economic drivers, such as tourism, flounder in the deepening recession.
One factor not mentioned in Chris Casacchia’s report is whether or not a reduction in the Hispanic population has been a contributing factor in Arvizu’s decline.