Does This Sound Familiar?

While we’re on the theme of Deja Vu all over again, some of you Arizonans may remember a little budget buster from earlier this decade called “Alternative Fuels Vehicles.” One would think that the brightest minds in Washington, D.C. would have taken a lesson from the past.

Govt to suspend ‘cash for clunkers’

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional officials say the government plans to suspend the popular “cash for clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $1 billion in rebates for new car purchases.

The Transportation Department called congressional offices late Thursday to alert them to the decision to halt the program, which offered owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

The congressional officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Through late Wednesday, 22,782 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million had been spent. But dealers raised concerns of large backlogs in the system, prompting the suspension.

(Courtesy and credit to Breitbart and the Associated Press.)


Arizona Department of Commerce Files Brief in Support of CityNorth

The Arizona Department of Commerce has filed an amicus brief attacking the Arizona Court of Appeals decision invalidating the gift clause in the CityNorth case.

Incredibly, a segment of the Brewer Administration has jumped into the CityNorth case on the side of Phoenix and the other advocates of taxpayer subsidies to private industries who are trying to get the Court of Appeals decision striking down these subsidies as illegal gifts thrown out.

The Department of Commerce, a state agency under Governor Brewer, thinks the Court of Appeals ruling calls into question some of its programs. If this is the case, it’s because the Department of Commerce has been giving taxpayer money away to private groups, in violation of our state constitution’s ban on such gifts.

It was bad enough when the Department of Commerce was just a waste of money, a parking lot for old, washed up Democrat politicos. But now it is actively fighting to undermine our liberties.

With the state in a budget crisis, the Department of Commerce should be the first to go. Unfortunately, the oldest trick in the book of the apologists for Big Government is to put popular things on the chopping block like police and education.

Hopefully voters will remember that this fall when all the Chicken Littles predict massive cuts to police and education and general Armageddon if they don’t vote to raise taxes. How come the cuts put on the table by apologists for Big Government never include wasteful programs like the Department of Commerce, Structural Pest Commission, Board of Cosmetology, etc.?

If our state leaders had made more of an effort to cut out these boondoggles they would be on much more solid ground in calling for higher taxes. But they haven’t.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Deja Vu all over again?

The New Bogeymen

You’re looking at a collage of the newest bogeymen. At least that’s what the liberal-led, Democratic controlled Congress is calling these American companies.

Polling must have revealed to Democratic leadership that it’s not in their political best interest to go after the doctors or the American Medical Association. And you know the Dems won’t attack their lifeblood, the trial lawyers association. That leaves only one target for the Democrats to take aim at – the insurance companies.

So this is all about strategy for the Dems in their march to take over our personal health care and decisions. If they can narrow and divide their opposition down to a few bogeymen, they figure they can rekindle American anger in back in their direction and mount the largest government fiasco since Social Security.

Make the calls to your congressmen today!

Pentagon Preparing for a Major Outbreak

FoxNews and CNN is reporting that the Pentagon is preparing plans to assist the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) in the event of an anticipated Fall 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 virus.

According to the report:

In the event of a major outbreak, civilian authorities would lead any relief efforts, the official said. As the military would for a natural disaster or other significant emergency situation, it could provide support and fulfill any tasks that civilian authorities could not, such as air transport or testing of large numbers of viral samples from infected patients.

As a first step, Gates is being asked to sign a so-called “execution order” that would authorize the military to begin to conduct the detailed planning to execute the proposed plan.

Speculation is running rampant as to the use of military forces during such a pandemic including the use of massive quarantines.

This is really starting to sound like something out of a movie.

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AZ Education Budget: Antiquated Allocation Bankrupts All

by Gayle Plato, M. Ed.

Education funding, the liberal’s beaten poster child, never reflects reality nor sees the light of day. Ask any state legislator, “How does the state actually fund money for schools”, and you’ll get a description of per-pupil base support, phrases like large capital (the buildings and big stuff), soft capital for desks, and transportation. In addition, when you say things like, “Why don’t we dictate how many ___ or fire all of the ____,” their eyes glaze. Your cracked pot on which you stand is crumbling like art of Piestewa Area 51 notoriety. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Of course not. Because the average citizen cannot just look up the state budget for education and have ANY clear picture of how the money is allocated. At a recent town hall meeting of Americans for Prosperity, I heard two budget experts trying to explain the line item veto in regards to programs that Governor Brewer crossed out. The experts were confused, and they read this every day. I challenge anyone reading this with a child in an Arizona public school: please tell me how much your child’s district gets for your student? Nobody truly knows. Yet the teachers’ unions are screaming, the liberal lobbying groups including our beloved Arizona Republic complain daily about the state being near the bottom in spending. Since when, in the history of public funding, is spending less a BAD THING? I want to know if amount spent is showing a return! Why invest more in a system rising in cost and producing lousy products? Students in Arizona are GMs-SUV gas guzzling Jimmys.  We are the ones going bankrupt to build these lousy products.

“Following the formula through state financial documents, however, is
complicated. For example, in the Statement of Revenues and Expenditures in the Arizona Superintendent’s Annual Financial Report for 2006-07, state revenues received by school districts are reported according to enrollment-based formulas, categories of spending and Proposition 301 funds collected from a 2000 tax increase to be used specifically for teacher base pay increases, teacher performance pay and certain maintenance and operations programs.3 Within the Statutory Formula Programs section is the Basic State Aid, as well as additional enrollment determined categories. However, in the State Summary of Financial Data, Basic State Aid is not a line item. Rather, state revenues for the classroom are categorized as Maintenance & Operations, Classroom Site Fund, and Instructional Improvement Fund. There is no direct link between the two. Further, some of the statutory formula funds, such as for soft capital outlay, are broken out separately. This is all very convoluted, but the point is that the system lacks transparency and,therefore, accountability.”  (

We spend approximately half of our state budget on education: the cost problem is simple. Throw out the formula as it is not relevant. During a state time of open enrollment, where children can move freely between districts, per-pupil costs get muddy. Do we properly track transportation costs? My son cannot take a bus as he’s from ‘out of district’. Where do his travel bucks go? Doesn’t seem they go with him, and when I asked at the districts, no one seemed to have a clue. Price per desks, cost of books, transportation based on district boundaries: the terms themselves are not current. Kids don’t sit in individual desks all in row reading Dick and Jane. North Phoenix /Scottsdale schools use smart boards and lap tops, while lower income classes are still huffing dry erase pens in stuffy portables, sharing antiquated IT in backwards labs. Who are we kidding about equalization of funding?

This is not Left v. Right. This is the Past v. Present. We are using formulas that carry over from a time when tabulation was done by hand. We can track every child and know where he is sitting every hour, put it in a data file, and have to the state by the close of the school day. Technology is supposed to HELP STREAMLINE.


Regular Education: Offer a flat rate per child and let the districts sort it out.

All problems and costs beyond a flat rate based on the per student funding are up to the local citizens. Our Constitution mandates and recommends fiscal debate be with the majority of the people it impacts. Define the state amount based on pupil attendance. Determine an average cost for elementary and secondary regular education. Let them levy, bond, budget cut, or have bake sales. As a libs would say—buy and sell local.

Special Education: Get the state out of the way.

Federal funding tabulation does not need to go through the state as districts could submit data directly and get monies according to programs and students. Why do we filter all programs? Bureaucracy is the problem, with lots of made up jobs of cheese movers and crumb counters. Budget analysis is antiquated and fraught with waste.

Funds Follow Students

We are paying for kids to learn. The flat rate follows the child, and this should be accomplished in darn near real time. If the IRS moves to a majority of us electronically filing, with greater accuracy and less fraud, our education allocation can handle monitoring of students on a state level.

Emergency Funds are Temporary

Any school failing, falling down, feverishly growing, or facing crisis, needs to fill out specific requests with absolute cost analysis and face detailed scrutiny. This is the key for all state allocation problems. Our state gets in the middle of programming issues and temporary concerns, and then NEVER moves. We move the cheese and then let it mold.

No one, on a state level can mandate district decisions, but we are forced to pay for district mistakes. When any blogger writes, let’s fire all of the low-end administrators (yes I said that basically), all state level politicians literally laugh. Why? Because our ocean of debt is infiltrated by schools of jellyfish: endomorphic gelatinous blobs that float where they please, with far-reaching tentacles that sting all that swim. We allow schools to bite the hands that feed them. Make the districts grow up and balance the books, or the parents will vote the boards out and down all bonds.

Arizona creates odd mandates of building funds or programs like all-day Kindergarten. We allocate for a temporary need or local desire but then do not allow oversight, limits on pilot funds, or change as needed. If a district needs help with old buildings, let’s give official options for the emergency—not ongoing support. If a district wants all-day Kindergarten, we cannot line item it in for political points one year, but then not have ANY state control for fear of getting voted out.   That fear is the sting that’s killing us all.

Tom Horne Draws National Attention

State schools superintendent Tom Horne is getting national attention for taking on the elements of so-called “ethnic pride” in an Arizona school district. Today’s Washington Times chronicles Horne’s ongoing battles with the entrenched bureaucrats and recalcitrant school board at the Tucson Unified School District who want to make sure Arizona taxpayers continue to foot the bill for Raza studies – a curricula that belittles the United States and advocates for racial separatism. Horne’s fight is one that’s worth winning. Here’s an excerpt but of course, you can read the entire article here.

Tom Horne has two degrees from Harvard University. He participated in Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington. He’s Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction.

In other words, he’s not the kind of guy you would expect to find at the forefront of a movement to eliminate a politically sensitive program such as ethnic studies. Yet there he is, blasting classes that promote what he calls “ethnic chauvinism,” calling for voters to oust school board members who support it and generally painting a target on his back for liberals and minority advocacy groups.

“What I object to is dividing kids by race and teaching them only about their own culture,” Mr. Horne said in a telephone interview. “That’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. We should be teaching kids that they’re individuals and not exemplars of racial groups.”


Judiciary on Trial

Maricopa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Gary Donahoe


Our sources tell us that the Arizona Supreme Court is currently considering an appeal of a Superior Court decision that disqualified the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from investigating the Court Tower. Superior Court Presiding Criminal Judge Gary Donahoe refused to let the County Attorney’s Office prosecute the case, yet allowed the Court’s attorney Tom Irvine of the law firm Polsinelli Shughart, who was also representing the Board of Supervisors that authorized the purchase of the Court Tower, remain as legal counsel for both the Board and the Court.  In a shocking display of judicial arrogance, Donahoe torpedoed the investigation to protect the Court Tower (where he will have a penthouse office) and Irvine.

The Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick, a nationally renowned attorney who has argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, declared that,

    Irvine’s dual representation is “a blatant conflict of interest, one of the first kinds of conflicts you learn about in law school.”

If attorneys in this state realized what was going on, they would be shocked. Irvine is representing both sides of a business transaction – the Superior Court side that asked for the Court Tower, AND the Board of Supervisors side that authorized the expenditure. Irvine never even bothered to disclose his dual representation in the case. In fact, the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors has actually allowed Irvine, a Democrat activist who used to be the attorney for the Arizona Democrat Party, to become their attorney instead of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in violation of the law.

The one-sided decision by Judge Donahue declaring that the County Attorney’s Office has a conflict of interest but the Court and the Board of Supervisors don’t when they’re sharing the same attorney is the most shocking display of judicial arrogance since the Prop. 100 fiasco a couple of years ago, when the Superior Court refused to enforce the new law prohibiting bail for illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes. In that situation, the Arizona Supreme Court had to step in to force the Superior Court to uphold the law. It looks like the Supreme Court is going to have to step in again to clean up this mess.

The appeal submitted to the Supreme Court summarizes the conflicts this way:

The conflicts of interest in this matter are numerous and severe. Shughart [Irvine] simultaneously represented two clients, the Superior Court and the Board, on the very same matter, the Court Tower project. Through this process, Shughart obtained a ruling from one client, the Superior Court, to benefit the other client, the Board. Moreover, in his minute entry, Respondent Judge stated he was releasing the ruling to the public in part to allow Shughart to use it to benefit Mr. Irvine in his other civil litigation. As a result, the minute entry has been used by Shughart not only to shut down the grand-jury investigation of the Court Tower, but also in an unrelated civil lawsuit filed by MCAO against the Board in which Shughart represents the Board. Finally, Shughart provided these legal services with all these multiple conflicts while one of its attorneys was the subject of a criminal investigation related to the Court Tower.

This is the strongest evidence yet that the judiciary is in dire need of reform. The Superior Court apparently thinks it’s above the law. This is the last straw for merit system appointment of judges, real reform will also include a change to electing judges.

Click here for video of Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick declaring Irvine’s representation of both the County Supervisors and the Superior Court a “blatant conflict of interest”

So Mr. President, What’s the Big Rush?!?

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No Doubt He’s Running For Governor To Improve Education!

Sometimes you hate to draw attention to folks who do strange things during a campaign because it rewards them with attention that they might not otherwise deserve.  But sometimes its just so deserving, you just can’t help yourself.  Which brings us to John Paul Mitchell.  No, not the hair guy (whose actual name is John Paul DeJoria, go figure, right?) but the Independent candidate for Governor.  Mitchell is actually fun to read about and listen to when he’s talking about taxation, in fact, he wrote a book on it.  [Gratuitous plug just to be nice to him HERE]

But his most recent blog post, entitled “Gov. Brewer Conspiring Against the People“, is a strange rant against the polling company Public Opinion Strategies, whom he proclaims has a “dark history of fixing polls” (someone contact corporate legal please) to “meet Republican agendas.”  His principle objection?  I’ll let him tell you himself:

“Only 600 individuals were surveyed in a telephone poll. That is less than 3% of all eligible registered voters in the State of Arizona. By standard polling protocol, that is a very small window to assess.  What about the other 97% of Arizona voters? How would they vote?”

Hmm, 600 voters is less than 3% of all eligible registered voters?  Well that is true, but you get the feeling he means its just barely less, as he confirms when he asks what the other 97% of voters think.  Doing the math for Mitchell, what he’s asking is what about the other 19,400 registered voters in the State of Arizona, what do they think?

When he’s done getting the answer to that question, he can start to inquire about the other… other voters…  You know, the other 3,083,747 active voters in Arizona?

For those who don’t know, by standard polling protocol, 600 responses is a pretty large sample size for any poll.  And for those who wonder, Mitchell is a Doctorate student at the University of Sedona and he possesses a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling Psychology.

Gabrielle Giffords Puts Fundraising Ahead of Accountability

Bravo Zulu to the Arizona Republican Party for putting this ad out showing the callousness of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

I suppose when you’re married to an astronaut, intergalactic connections come in handy.

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Read The Bill!

This is a critical week when it comes to federal legislation - in particular, health care. The federal government, under the control of liberal members of Congress and the Obama Administration are on a mission to take over yet another area of our lives.

The organization I work with, Americans for Prosperity, is beginning a campaign this week that targets members of Congress who’s modus operandi lately has been to vote “Yay” on anything Nancy Pelosi tells them to - even if it means NOT reading the legislation. In the days leading up to the upcoming August break, Madam Pelosi may again try to thrust a vote on members of Congress before they return to their districts and begin to hear from their actual bosses, we the people.

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Patients United Now, a project of AFP, has released the following ad which asks members of Congress, “Did you read the bill?”

With 1/6th of the economy at stake, Arizona’s five congressional Democrats ought to put HR 3200 on their Required Reading List. And I would encourage you to contact each of their offices and remind them who they work for and that reading legislation is part of their job requirement.


A Little Pre-Battle Humor

Conservatives have a huge week ahead battling the onslaught of liberalism gone takeover.

Here’s a little humor with a dash of sarcasm and facetiousness as we ramp up for the battle

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Republic rebukes SCA for non-disclosure of contributors, but ignores liberal organizations doing the same thing

Note – Sonoran Alliance was asked to print this since the Republic refused to print it.

Guest Op-ed
by Timothy La Sota

Last Thursday The Arizona Republic ran an editorial heralding the release of the names of people who gave money that was ultimately used to boost Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reelection chances last November. (“PAC donors were deputies, friends of Arpaio,” 7/16/09). This was the second editorial the Republic devoted to promoting full disclosure in this matter.

The Republic is correct that our laws require the filing of campaign finance reports, which let the public know who is giving money to elected. It’s just too bad the Republic’s commitment to campaign openness is newfound—they have not applied the same standard with regard to those the Republic agrees with.

Several years ago a group called Mainstream Arizona formed, with the goal of ridding the world, or at least the Legislature, of conservative Republicans. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from community elites and spent it on their candidates, many of whom were also supported by the Republic.

But the group refused to register as a political committee and file campaign finance reports. Eventually they were forced to pursuant to a settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s office, but that was after the election.

Oddly enough, the Republic did not get into a lather over the lack of disclosure from Mainstream Arizona.

In 2008, opponents of the employer sanctions law pushed a ballot initiative that would have gutted that law. The misnamed ballot initiative, Stop Illegal Hiring, was funded largely by a group called Wake up Arizona. The backers of Stop Illegal Hiring refused to name Wake up Arizona’s donors, leaving the public in the dark over who was really funding it.

The Republic, a critic of the employer sanctions law, did not raise a stink about this.

Also in 2008, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce engaged in an effort to boost the election chances of their favored Scottsdale City Council candidates and incumbent Mayor Mary Manross (full disclosure: I work for the current Mayor, who defeated Manross). They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars but refused to name their donors. This matter is the subject of a pending civil complaint.

The Republic largely supported the Chamber’s candidates, but what’s more troubling is the role the Republic played in this political campaign. The Republic is a member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber, and sits on the Chamber’s executive board of directors, which presumably approved this political campaign.

The Republic made hardly a peep about the lack of full disclosure here, including about the Republic’s own role in this campaign.

By law, all these groups should have disclosed their contributors, and the Republic should come clean about what role they played in the political efforts of the Scottsdale Area Chamber.

But one thing is clear. When the Republic writes a breathless editorial demanding that another person or group disclose something, here’s what they really mean: full disclosure is good, except when it involves disclosure about the Republic’s own campaign activities, or campaign activities on behalf of those causes the Republic supports.
Timothy La Sota is the chief of staff to the Mayor of Scottsdale and former Special Assistant County Attorney

CAP Opposes Racetracks’ Bailout Campaign

Despite state legislators giving a resounding NO to gambling expansion during the regular session, proponents of expanded gambling have launched a new and more aggressive (and expensive!) public relations campaign to try to convince legislators, the Governor, and the public that casino-style gambling should be allowed off-reservation at racetracks. Because their revenues are down, the racetracks are asking the Legislature to bail them out with a proposal that would “help any racetrack in the country stay in business.” Gambling proponents promise a quick, easy way for the state to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars – but there’s much of the story they’re not telling.
First, allowing off-reservation gambling will trigger the “poison pill” of the gambling compacts the state has with the tribes, which means the current limits on the number of casinos and games on Indian reservations will be blown open. Arizona could look like the next Las Vegas with very few real limits on casino gambling. Already we see signs that other entertainment establishments will press for casino-style gambling if the caps are off and the tracks get casinos.
Second, gambling revenues nationally are spiraling downward, yet the racetracks allege they could produce $500 million and up in state revenue if legislators only would let them have slot machines and table games. Gambling is not recession proof! Lotteries and commercial gambling are declining, with casino owners filing for bankruptcy or selling casinos. People needing jobs don’t have discretionary income to waste on gambling.
Next, studies repeatedly show that gambling’s economic and social effects are negative, not positive. Gambling leads to increased rates of crime, divorce, domestic violence, and a host of other social ills!  Professor John Kindt of the University of Illinois estimates that for every $1 in gambling revenue, the state must spend an additional $3 in social services and law enforcement.
Lastly, don’t be fooled! Gambling expansion is not inevitable. In fact, the national trends show a decrease in gambling revenue, a decrease in popularity, and a decrease in gambling expansion.
Desperate state budget woes do not call for desperate action based on questionable promises of increased gambling revenue. In the CAP 2008 Voter’s Guide, fifteen senators and thirty-five representatives stated they would oppose allowing slots and table games off reservations. We have every expectation these members will keep their word and defeat any gambling expansion proposals. Additionally, while running for Secretary of State, Gov. Brewer answered a similar survey question in our 2006 Voter’s Guide stating that she opposed allowing slots and table games off reservations. We are continuing to work to ensure that those commitments to you, the voters, are kept and that gambling expansion is not included in any budget agreement. For more information on gambling, visit our resource page Gambling Expansion in Arizona.

Citizen Action Grows as Federal Takeover Flounders

by Gayle Plato, M. Ed.
Grayhawk Country Club sits in Northeast Phoenix, upper middle class homes, and lots of active voters. Americans For Prosperity (AFP) hosted a town hall open forum last night attended by 200-300 local citizens. AFP hosts town halls all over Arizona as do other watchdog groups. Dr. Byron Schlomach of the Goldwater Institute, a patients’ rights advocate Dr. Lee Vliet, along with AZ Representative Sam Crump and Senator Jack Harper, frankly discussed Arizona’s budget, education issues, and the evolution of Obama’s health care plan.
At about 8:30 pm last night, an elderly man, leaning on a cane, lunged from his seat, yelling like an umpire ready to toss a coach. He exploded at the liberal lady next to me.  At least thirty other attendees followed his lead with raised voices.  The audience was predominantly older people, community staples, men and women on Medicare or soon to be with a deep respect for the law.  These people played by the rules, and worked hard raising families. The man’s outburst was not an isolated incident. Dogmatic liberals tried talking points on taxpaying elders and worried baby boomers who have had it, they are mad as hell, and not going to take it any more.
I’ve been at a number of political actions: social meetings, city council sessions, school board heated debates, local community group caucusing, and the tea parties. Debate and frustration is the norm.  Last night was unusual; the tea party vibe grows as we see ineptitude and political thievery.  My specialty in counseling is group therapy for at-risk teens; I’m wired to hear agitation as my job in group sessions is to talk down raging teens and help guide the process to solution.  But most people who are scared, feeling cornered need to emotionally dump, throwing off the oppressiveness. This room was throbbing with a tone of fear.
As the Congressional debate goes back and forth regarding this vote, this Obamacare crisis of control, people cannot give in.  Dr. Lee Vliet gave the most cogent advice: keep the pressure on by calling and writing to all elected officials, and attend the rallies ( See information regarding Code Blue #2-  Make every effort to announce your vote is in tact.  You vote will go to the just leaders and will swiftly be cast against the misguided gaming of liberal power machine politicians. There are many state and national watchdog, political action organizations pooling efforts; the Congress is feeling the heat and the pressure matters.
There is proof that the liberal leaders are cracking:

“The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.”

Congressional Republicans have come together around a common message. It’s critical to honor the message, delivering it so the average person feels validated.  Top Presidential advisers David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel held a closed door meeting, as they knew the Republicans were not giving up easily.

The brilliant memo,  scaring the libs, was by pollster Dr. Frank Luntz.  He deserves a thank you note from all conservatives if this Obamacare bill flounders.  The recommendations of this message rattled the cage to the point that liberal spin doctor of the Clintonian years, Paul Begala, was called in to write a strange and desperate rebuttal.

Please see the link from Hannity on FOX TV for Dr. Luntz’ recent appearance regarding the key points all Americans and leaders need to consider when talking about the fears of single-pay health care. This is a compelling review because Dr. Luntz doesn’t just talk of his view or how he heard this or that. He brings the facts, he tabulates the views, and offers cutting edge insight about people’s worries. He is the one who has turned this around, and instrumentally tailored the cohesive message of the conservative fight against Obamacare. The subtle message is that the average citizen does matter and civil debate, standing up for beliefs can still affect change in this democracy.

Supt. Tom Horne – Conservative Leadership, More Than Just Talk

Superintendent Tom HorneThe mark of the intelligent person is that he or she never stops learning. Ronald Reagan, Phil Gramm, John Connally, Bob Stump, Jeff Sessions, Bill Bennett, and Jean Kirkpatrick were all Democrats, but were wise enough to become Republicans later in life.Why did they make this switch? Because like me, anyone who has had his eyes and ears open during the latter half of the 20th century has learned that markets work much better than governments. Additionally, a serious student of history realizes that no nation can succeed without strong families, strong law enforcement, an atmosphere of patriotism, strong national defense, a strong work ethic, and respect for high standards and high achievement. These have been the conservative principles that have guided me in public office.

Conservative leadership has been more than just talk for me. I have actually implemented conservative principles in Arizona:

  1. Established tough disciplinary standards and required character education for students;
  2. Brought back traditional American history in schools and exposed “ethnic studies” as liberal propaganda;
  3. Promoted excellence in education and held schools, teachers and students accountable for results;
  4. Voted to reduce taxes, promote law enforcement and limit abortion (I voted to ban partial birth abortion and require parental consent with a rape exception); and
  5. Permanently banned bi-lingual education

Starting from my days as a school board member and now as Superintendent of Public Education, I have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of education in Arizona. As a school board president, I established some of the toughest disciplinary standards in the state and believe that this played a major role in our district’s academic success, as discipline begets academic achievement. Excessively disruptive students who interfered with the academic progress of others were no longer tolerated in the classroom and were removed. Facing less distraction, student test scores improved. As state superintendent, I promote these principles statewide.

I also established the first character education program in the state. As important as it is to graduate students who are academically capable, it is equally important to graduate students of high character who will improve the community.

As a candidate for Superintendent, I promised to bring back the traditional teaching of American history in schools. That is a promise kept. The chief historian of The History Channel recognized Arizona’s accomplishments and stated at a press conference that Arizona’s new history standards are “head and shoulders” above the other 49 states.

In my efforts to ensure equal opportunity education for all students, I exposed ‘ethnic studies’ in Tucson, in which students were divided by race, and Latino students were taught a Marxist agenda, including that they live in occupied Mexico, and are ‘oppressed.’ These classes proved detrimental to the students’ academic development and hindered their progress in school. My bill to ban these classes passed the Senate Judiciary committee on a party line vote, and we hope it will pass the legislature next year.

I have emphasized academic rigor in our classrooms because academic excellence fosters strong intellectual development. Test scores have soared while wasteful spending in school budgets has been reduced. Bureaucracy has been cut and has allowed more money to reach our students.

I supported using the AIMS test as a barometer of students’ academic potential and preparedness to maintain the value and integrity of an Arizona high school diploma and ensure that students graduating from Arizona public schools deserve their diplomas. A high school diploma must carry some meaning. It should not be just a piece of paper.

I also have the distinction of being the only statewide elected official to stand up to the ultra liberal Center for Law in the Public Interest and win for the taxpayers of Arizona. In the case of Horne v. Flores, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with our office and held that it is we the people, through our elected representatives, who decide how much we spend, not an aristocracy of federal judges. Governor Napolitano, Attorney General Goddard and much of the liberal establishment opposed this move, but we won, saved Arizonans $21 million in fines, and established our state’s right to make education decisions.

As a member of the legislature, I took a strong stance against excessive taxation and voted to cut personal income taxes, corporate income taxes, vehicle license taxes, and property taxes. I supported law enforcement, which is essential to maintaining order in any civilized society.

I have also voted to ban partial birth abortion and to require parental consent for teenage abortions with a rape exception. As attorney general, I would be 100% committed to enforce any pro life bill that is or becomes law.

When I ran for Superintendent, I dared to tell the truth-bilingual education doesn’t work and only hurts those it is intended to help. I said I would end it, and that is exactly what we did. As a result, learning among Hispanic students has gone up, exactly as we predicted.

You need to have an Attorney General who will win the cases he should win. You need that so that taxpayers will be protected so that we are safe in our homes, so that we minimize the impact of federal malpractice on our borders. It requires the ability to bring professional development and technology to the Attorney General’s office, so that trial attorneys there will be winners. Winning cases for the taxpayers requires an Attorney General who is respected by the judiciary, which makes the decisions. To receive respect, you must give respect.

Arizona has been plagued with liberal political lawyers who had no substantial private practice or courtroom experience before becoming Attorney General. As an attorney with 30 years of trial experience and a history of winning important cases, I would bring a high level of experience winning important cases to the position. But most importantly, I would bring experience not just talking about conservative principles, but actually implementing them.

If I run, and am elected, I would be a different kind of Attorney General, one who would not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. No fake conservative rhetoric-instead it would be the real deal. If you have any doubt, look at what I have done over the last seven years as Superintendent of Schools. It’s not talk – it’s action, and hundreds of thousands of Arizona students and their families are better off for it.