The 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:
- Established tough disciplinary standards and required character education for students;
- Brought back traditional American history in schools and exposed “ethnic studies” as liberal propaganda;
- Promoted excellence in education and held schools, teachers and students accountable for results;
- 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
- 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.