‘Reverse The Vote’ Will Help GOP in CD-8

Reverse The Vote!

Recently, we mentioned the website “Harry Mitchell Watch” and how that site is keeping a watchful eye on Congressman Harry Mitchell.

Now, thanks to the brilliance of radio talk-show host, Hugh Hewitt, a new political action committee called Reverse the Vote Victory Committee has launched utilizing new media to help conservative candidates across the country. The new website is called “Reverse the Vote.”

This site will specifically raise money to help the winners of Republican Primaries in 24 districts where a Democrat is vulnerable. Guess what congressional district in Arizona is being targeted? That’s right CD-8!

Here’s how this will work. The site will raise money nationwide under the theme of reversing the vote. Once the Primary Election takes place in 2010, whoever emerges victorious from the Primary on the Republican ticket will be the recipient of a divided pot of money.

What is your role? First, get out and help your favorite CD-8 candidate. There are already three Republicans running in CD-8. Next, give generously to this effort so that our CD-8 winner can get a larger share of the money raised.

Why is this important? Because in 2008, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pumped over a $375,000 dollars into the 2008 General Election to buoy Gabrielle Giffords up by tearing down Tim Bee.

It was a real travesty that the DCCC spent that amount of money to attack a good Republican candidate in order to shore up a substandard Democratic candidate.

Don’t expect the DCCC to bail out Gabrielle again in 2010. Other “more important” Democrats need the DCCC money and Gabby ain’t one of them. Besides, the DCCC is having difficulty raising money this time around (You wonder why).

Head on over to ReversetheVote.org and make your donation today.

And don’t forget about the other great conservative Republican candidates running for Congress here in Arizona!

First Employer Sanctions Case Filed

Scottsdale Art Factory accused of hiring illegal workers after January 2009 raid

County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced his office has filed the state’s first employer sanctions case, a civil complaint against an employer accused of violating the Legal Arizona Worker’s Act. The civil action alleges the Scottsdale Art Factory’s manager, Michelle Hardas, allegedly hired illegal labor deliberately by using a “subcontractor” which was in reality an employee who was not authorized to work in the United States.

In January 2009, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office made a number of identity theft arrests after learning illegal immigrants were employed at the business. The civil complaint alleges that an illegal worker who voluntarily returned to Mexico, Hilario Santiago-Hernandez, returned to Arizona and created a company to provide services and labor solely for the Scottsdale Art Factory. The complaint alleges that “Santiago Furniture”, which was formed in April 2009, was established to circumvent the Legal Arizona Worker’s Act. The complaint also accuses Hardas of attempting to get Santiago-Hernandez to hire an unauthorized employee under Santiago-Hernandez’s shell company to do work at the Scottsdale Art Factory. Hardas allegedly suggested Santiago-Hernandez charge the unauthorized alien a five percent kickback.

The complaint alleges:
“Hardas has used the provision of limited liability companies, designed to protect legitimate businesses, as a way of gaining an unfair economic advantage over legitimate businesses by continuing to hire employees who are not authorized to be employed in the United States.”

The complaint was filed on November 18 following an investigation by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation included the use of undercover video in which Hardas told an undercover informant she was “trying to get around the system … and change the rules so that I can make you be hired.”

In the video, Hardas characterizes the subcontractor arrangement this way, “it’s like having a real business even though … we’re just using it to put the money through….”

The video also quotes Hardas as telling Santiago-Sanchez what to say when contacted by law enforcement, “I don’t work here. … Sometimes I come in the shop and I help a little bit, but mostly I just bring in furniture – drop off furniture – drop off doors that I made. I was just here making a door. Got to go. You don’t need to see my papers. I got to go.”
The civil complaint asks the court to order the business to fire illegal workers and comply with state law. The complaint also seeks a minimum ten day suspension of the defendant’s business license. Deputy County Attorney Peter Spaw is prosecuting the case.

Since 2008, when the Legal Arizona Workers Act became law, there have been 26 investigations with a total of 327 arrests. Of those, 212 were for identity theft or forgery. An additional 98 suspects were found to be in the United States illegally. Several others had outstanding warrants. Today’s complaint marks the first civil action taken against an employer and we expect more to follow. Unfortunately, just as prosecutors are starting to make progress there are efforts at the State Legislature and the Board of Supervisors to sweep the funds that were set aside by statute to enforce the Legal Arizona Workers Act in addition to prosecuting other crimes resulting from illegal immigration. In addition to prosecuting defendants in employer-sanctions related cases, the County Attorney’s Office has used these funds to prosecute 866 human smuggling defendants, 381 kidnapping defendants, and 436 illegal immigrants accused of Misconduct Involving Weapons.

County Attorney Thomas stated, “This first employer-sanctions case is the capstone on our office’s efforts to stop illegal immigration. The idea that state and local law enforcement can successfully and legally combat illegal immigration has moved from a provocative theory a few years ago to reality today.” Thomas especially thanked Senator Russell Pearce for backing the employer-sanctions legislation and Sheriff Joe Arpaio for continuing with employer raids despite protests.Sheriff Arpaio stated, “It’s sad with the high unemployment rate in this country that employers hire illegal aliens, taking jobs away from US citizens.”

Arizona Mayors Play the Shell Game

I saw this article this AM and for just one brief moment I was almost giddy.  Or as Chris Matthews puts it, I had a tingle go up my leg”.  But then I read the whole thing and came crashing back to earth.

Four southeast Valley mayors challenged the Legislature on Tuesday to overhaul Arizona’s tax system and think more creatively about how to solve the state’s monumental budget problems.

In the process, they warned lawmakers not to pass down those problems to cities and towns, which have been largely successful in coping with their own fiscal issues.

Read the last paragraph one more time.  We will come back to it again.  The story continues.

Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe have coped with drops in sales taxes and development revenue. The mayors said local budget tweaks won’t solve the underlying problem of an unstable state tax system.

“Most of us . . . are funded by sales tax to a large degree,” said Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman. “And that is a very volatile sector. . . . It’s not going to get better, because the cities don’t have the opportunity to change that model. It’s going to have to be done at the state level.”

Hallman said Arizona should rely less on sales taxes and more on property taxes.

And right there is the money line.  These four mayors “new way od thinking”  is to shift the burden from our sales tax dollars to our property tax dollars.  Pardon me sirs, but isn’t that just a sideways move?  You are really just moving the problem out of my left pocket and putting it in my right pocket.  The big Red Flag here; while sales taxes are based upon a definitive transaction, property taxes are based upon an “arbitrary” number.  I know that there are “formulas” to follow, blah blah blah.  With a stroke of the pen, sorry with the click of a mouse, our property taxes can go up, based upon nothing but a finger in the wind appraisal of all of our properties.  Either way the tax burden still ends up in my mailbox, yours too.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said that when his city faced a $61 million budget gap last fall, officials decided it wouldn’t work just to cut jobs without overhauling operations.  “Cutting is a temporary solution, and what we’re looking for is more of a long-term solution, which means you have to change the way you do business,” he said.

Remember earlier in the post when I referenced that money line, “They warned lawmakers not to pass down those problems to cities and towns”?  Rather than come up with some actual new creative ideas, these four mayors are using the same old tired ideas, just re-wrapped for the holidays.  I have already played “three card monty” and I know how it turns out everytime.   Perhaps our elected officials could and should be looking to others for “new ideas”.  heck, you don’t even need new ideas.  Look to states that are prospering in this economy.  Again I reference Texas. No state income tax, low unemployment, a growing economy and they are in the black.  Remember when you where in school?  Didn’t you always try and sit next to the smart kid so you could copy off of him? Maybe we should send our elected officials on a field trip.  They certainly aren’t learning anything sitting here at home.  Back to the drawing board, Mr. Mayor[s].

via AZCentral.

What Makes Something Unconstitutional?

by Judge Gerald A. Williams
North Valley Justice of the Peace

On the national level, one political party clearly has enough representatives and senators to pass whatever health-care proposals it desires.  It has not done so in part due to public opposition.  Meaningful debate is always good and every American knows that they have a right to free speech and to question their government.

However, concerned citizens who appeared at town-hall meetings and tea party protests were accused of spreading lies and being uninformed.  One commentator noted that doing so keeps supporters of new health care entitlements from having to contemplate the possibility that these citizens have a rational basis for opposing so-called health care reform.

Both sides have used terms incorrectly and out of context, even though there are clearly defined meanings.  One such term is “unconstitutional.”

Generally the U.S. Supreme Court has established three categories of what kind of review will be applied to a government’s actions to determine whether something is constitutional.  If strict scrutiny is applied, then the law or action will be upheld only if it is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest.  On the other end, if a rational basis test is applied, then the law will be upheld if it is merely rationally related to a legitimate government interest.  Between these two, there is an intermediate scrutiny that, if applied, will uphold a law if it is substantially related to an important government purpose.

The level of scrutiny to be applied will likely control the outcome of the case.  For example, if something is a fundamental right, like anything in the First Amendment, or has been declared to be a fundamental right, like the right to privacy, then strict scrutiny will be applied to government action trying to restrict that right.  Any restriction based on someone’s race is also going to trigger strict scrutiny.

Free speech works as an example.  Freedoms of speech and assembly allow the free flow of ideas and debate and are a prerequisite for a free society.  However, there are numerous time, place and manner restrictions on speech.  For example, false advertising, defamation and the disclosure of top secret information are not protected speech.

The next time you hear someone declare that an action of either the previous or current President to be “unconstitutional,” feel free to ask them, “How?”  It might be fun to see whether they understand their own argument.

Judge Williams is the presiding justice of the peace for the Northwest Regional Court Center.  His column appears monthly in The Foothills Focus.