Archives for June 29, 2009

Defending Jeff Flake

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.

Obama Healthcare Shills in Phoenix Tomorrow Night

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.

Jeff Flake: Family vs. Country?

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.


Arvizu Advertising Seeking Bankruptcy for $3 Million

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.

Deregulation can help fix education crisis

by Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute
All over the state, parents and students are rallying against budget cuts to Arizona’s public colleges and universities. Instead of focusing ire at legislators, who are literally between a rock and a hard place, there’s another avenue these newly-minted activists could pursue. For Arizonans concerned about increasing access to post-secondary education in our state, why not focus on loosening up state regulations that are choking higher education’s private sector?

Numerous laws make it a crime to open a private post-secondary or vocational school in Arizona without state approval. These laws result in fewer schools and fewer opportunities for both students and educators. Legislators could embrace academic freedom by deregulating private schooling and let the market work.

Arizona pervasively criminalizes entrepreneurs who teach or open a school without government approval. It is a Class 3 misdemeanor to open a private post-secondary school that offers a degree of any kind without approval from the State Board of Private Post-Secondary Schooling. Osteopaths and medical doctors cannot teach without a license. Private cosmetology and radiologic technology schools cannot legally open their doors without approval from state agencies. 

The regulation of nursing schools is a particularly outrageous case in point. Despite the shortage of health-care workers in this state and elsewhere, Arizona law makes it a Class 6 felony to open a nursing school without approval from the State Board of Nursing. The risk of jail time for teaching nursing even extends to out-of-state schools who want to offer Arizonans the option of distance learning.

There is no need for these draconian laws because private post-secondary or vocational schools are already self-regulating. To compete with other schools and qualify for national accreditation, just about every school voluntarily meets minimum educational standards.

Arizona’s heavy-handed regulation does nothing to promote quality or prevent fraud. It only stops the free market from giving students and educators viable alternatives to the taxpayer-funded public university and community college system. And by fostering an artificial scarcity of educational options, the regulation of private schooling magnifies any pain associated with the loss of public funding for higher education.

Arizonans can have it all: access to an excellent higher education without abandoning principles of fiscal responsibility. All the state needs to do is decriminalize private schooling and let people freely teach and learn.
Nick Dranias holds the Goldwater Institute Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan chair for constitutional government and is the director of the Institute’s Dorothy D. and Joseph A. Moller Center for Constitutional Government.