Archives for February 2010

Hayworth Challenges McCain to Series of Debates!

JD Hayworth for US Senate

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2010

Hayworth Asks For As Many McCain Debates As McCain Asked Of Obama, Conservative Challenger Wants At Least Ten Debates with 24-Year Incumbent

PHOENIX, Ariz. February 25, 2010. Senator John McCain asked for ten debates when he faced Barack Obama in 2008. And conservative U.S. Senate challenger JD Hayworth doesn’t think the people of Arizona deserve less.

At McCain Campaign headquarters in Phoenix on Thursday morning, Hayworth presented an official letter to McCain staff requesting the public debates for Arizona voters. The letter specifies that he wants – at minimum – the amount of debates that McCain asked for in the 2008 campaign.

“Senator McCain has always demonstrated himself to be willing to face off with his opponents in political campaigns. I look forward to a vigorous and respectful series of joint appearances where we can discuss how we view the future of the Republican Party and our country,” said Hayworth.

Hayworth feels that, given the years Senator McCain spent away from Arizona to run for President, he can certainly spend a few days away from Washington to better inform the people of Arizona he represents

“It should not be acceptable to any Republican, indeed any Arizonan, that Senator McCain would debate more in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina than he would before his constituents,” Hayworth said.

“What a welcome change it would be were presidential candidates in our time to treat each other and the people they seek to lead with respect and courtesy as they discussed the great issues of the day, without the empty sound bites and media-filtered exchanges that dominate our elections,” McCain said in a letter to Obama released by McCain’s campaign in June of 2008.

That public letter to Obama asked for the candidates to travel by plane together to the first of ten debates in the spirit of the Goldwater-Kennedy race that never came to fruition.

“The Hayworth campaign encouraged all Arizona and national media to immediately schedule debates with the McCain campaign. They should begin in March,” Hayworth officials said.

Hayworth agrees and is encouraged that McCain has shown a propensity to engage in public discourse with those who disagree with him on key issues. Hayworth and McCain disagree on tax cuts, fighting illegal immigration, pro-life and pro-family issues as well as other key conservative concerns. McCain has also urged such ideas as “Question Time” for the American President.

“My campaign is open to all ideas regarding the format of these important debates including town hall formats,” said Hayworth. “But we won’t settle for anything less for Arizona than Senator McCain asked for America in 2008.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3nFEZot1wI

Supreme Court encourages Ninth Circuit to act on matching funds by June 1

by Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute
 
The U.S. Supreme Court has sent a strong signal that it will seriously consider intervening if the fate of matching funds in Arizona’s system of publicly funded campaigns is not determined quickly by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In January, U.S. District Court judge Roslyn Silver ruled in favor of the Goldwater Institute and struck down the matching funds portion of Clean Elections, calling it “unconstitutional under the First Amendment.” However, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit voted 2-1 to put Silver’s ruling on hold until it acts on the case.

In response, the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation filed an emergency motion with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy to lift the stay from the Ninth Circuit, arguing the Ninth Circuit “defied” the principles enforced in Citizens United v. FEC by keeping alive the threat of matching funds being handed out to state-funded candidates during Arizona’s 2010 election cycle. Justice Kennedy is the author of the majority opinion in Citizens United, which struck down laws that had prohibited groups of individuals–whether corporations, unions or informal associations–from freely spending their money to express their support or opposition for political candidates.

Last week, Justice Kennedy denied “without prejudice” the Goldwater Institute’s emergency motion after referring it to the full Court for consideration. The referral to the full Court was an unusual act, signaling the possibility that Justice Kennedy considered taking more sweeping action on the case. Instead, the Court decided to give the Ninth Circuit an opportunity to rule on the pending appeals, saying if the Ninth Circuit does not decide the matching funds issue by June 1, 2010, the emergency application can be filed again.

Because the state can start handing out matching funds to taxpayer-funded candidates on June 22, 2010, this shows the Supreme Court wants candidates and their supporters to have reasonable certainty about the rules that will apply to the 2010 statewide elections.

In fact, there is a good chance that the First Amendment will be vindicated before the primary election begins; oral arguments are scheduled before the Ninth Circuit on April 12, 2010.

Nick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is Director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.

The “Cat” in the Hat

Found this interesting photo online. Anyone want to take a guess who this cat-in-the-hat-Uncle-Sam-wannabe is?

Cat in the Hat

Very Urgent: deadline for filing a ballot argument against the Brewer Tax is TOMORROW

The deadline for filing a ballot argument against the Brewer Tax is TOMORROW, Thursday, February 25, at 5:00 p.m.  For $75, you can tell three million of your fellow voters why an 18-percent increase in state sales taxes will be bad for you, your family, and your business.  Your argument will appear in the ballot pamphlet that goes out to voters before the May 18 election.

PLEASE ACT QUICKLY:  Your words could STOP a billion-dollar sales tax hike!

Here’s the order of operations:

1) Write up a Word document with an argument that is less than 300 words, including your name.  (Don’t cut it close to 300 words—leave room for a bad word count.)  Include the words “Argument Against Proposition 100” at the top. Put your address at the bottom.

I’m sure you have plenty of ideas, but here are more:

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/022310-some-arguments-against-prop-100-aka-brewer-tax

Here is a link to my personal argument against Prop 100:

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/files/jenneyargumentagainst100.pdf

If those links don’t work, go to www.aztaxpayers.org and Scroll down to What’s New.

Note that I filed it as an individual (with an individual check, and my individual address listed), rather than as the officer of an organization. Technically, they want two signatures, if your letter is supposed to represent an organization.

2) Print it out, but wait to sign and date it until you get to a notary (there is a notary at the Elections office of the AZ Secretary of State, and YOU HAVE TO GO TO THEIR OFFICE, so that is a more efficient way to do it).

3) Email the finished Word document (the exact version you printed) to elections@azsos.gov

4) Bring the printed copy and a check for $75 (made to “Arizona Secretary of State”) to the AZ SOS office before 5:00 pm today or tomorrow (Thursday, February 25).

How to get to the AZ SOS office in downtown Phoenix:

From the East or from Routes 51, 60 or 202: Get on I-10 westbound. Get off of I-10 at 19th Avenue, go south past Adams and make a left on Washington, then make a right into the big parking lot. If you get to the light at Jefferson, you’ll have to go left, and then make a left into the big parking lot. The AZ SOS office is in the nine-story tower building east of the parking lot. If you have any weapons, leave them in your car, because you’ll have to go through security. Go through security and go up in one of the elevators to the right (south). The SOS phone number is (602) 542-8683.

From the west and from I-17 north: At the I-10/I-17 interchange, take I-17 southbound. Get off of I-17 at Jefferson Avenue, and go east. After the light at 19th Avenue, make your first left into the big parking lot. The AZ SOS office is in the nine-story tower building east of the parking lot. If you have any weapons, leave them in your car, because you’ll have to go through security. Go through security and go up in one of the elevators to the right (south). The SOS phone number is (602) 542-8683.

Map: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Phoenix&state=AZ&address=1900+W+Adams+St&zipcode=85009-5241&country=US&latitude=33.449199&longitude=-112.100298&geocode=ADDRESS

5) Get off on the 7th Floor, and go to the window. The friendly and courteous SOS staff will assist you with getting your signature notarized. They will also do a word count. When your argument is approved, they will give you a photocopy of your signed and notarized argument and your check.

I’m sorry about the late notice, and like you, I am annoyed that people have to file the arguments in person, in downtown Phoenix (makes it easy for the lobbyists and state workers to file, but hard for the average Joe).

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org
(602) 478-0146

Actually the “Party of No’ Has Ideas, Lots of Them

The Obama Ministry of Truth continues to blatantly lie and denigrate all who oppose them.  But if one would take the time to turn off Idol for one night, you might find out the the “Party of No” has been working their collective butts off coming up with idea after idea.

The virtual embargo on reporting Republican legislation has allowed Democrats and their allies in the media to keep up the “Republicans have no plan” attack. Just hours after the president’s speech, for example, the Democratic National Committee released a new commercial claiming that Republicans “refuse to offer a plan” to reform the health care system.

Just for the record, in case you want to check them out, these are the bills proposed, so far, by Tom Price [Head of the House GOP Study Committee] and his allies in the House:

  • H.R. 77 The Health care Incentive Act

  • H.R. 109 Americas Affordable Health Care Act of 2009

  • H.R. 198 Health Care Tax Deduction Act of 2009

  • H.R. 270 TRICARE Continuity of Coverage for National Guard and Reserve Families Act of 2009

  • H.R. 321 SCHIP Plus Act of 2009

  • H.R. 464 More Children, More Choices Act of 2009

  • H.R. 502 Health Care Freedom of Choice Act

  • H.R. 544 Flexible Health Savings Act of 2009

  • H.R. 917 To increase the health benefits of dependents of members of the Armed Forces who die because of a combat-related injury

  • H.R. 1086 Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2009

  • H.R. 1118 Health Care Choices for Seniors Act

  • H.R. 1441 Ryan Dant Health Care Opportunity Act of 2009

  • H.R. 1458 Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2009

  • H.R. 1468 Medical Justice Act of 2009

  • H.R. 1658 Veterans Healthcare Commitment Act of 2009

  • H.R. 1891 Sunset of Life Protection Act of 2009

  • H.R. 2520 Patients’ Choice Act

  • H.R. 2607 Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2009

  • H.R. 2692 CAH Designation Waiver Authority Act of 2009

  • H.R. 2784 Partnership to Improve Seniors Access to Medicare Act

  • H.R. 2785 Health Care Paperwork Reduction and Fraud Prevention Act of 2009

  • H.R. 2786 Patient Fairness and Indigent Care Promotion Act of 2009

  • H.R. 2787 Medical Liability Procedural Reform Act of 2009

  • H.R. 3141 Strengthening the Health Care Safety Net Act of 2009

  • H.R. 3217 Health Care Choice Act of 2009

  • H.R. 3218 Improving Health Care for All Americans Act

  • H.R. 3356 Medicare Beneficiary Freedom to Choose Act of 2009

  • H.R. 3372 Health Care OverUse Reform Today Act (HealthCOURT Act)

  • H.R. 3400 Empowering Patients First Act

  • H.R. 3438 Access to Insurance for all Americans Act

  • H.R. 3454 Medicare Hospice Reform and Savings Act of 2009

  • and H.R. 3478 Patient-Controlled Healthcare Protection Act of 2009

Obama is right, other than these 32 bills, [all written in 2009] the GOP has absolutely no ideas to present.

“It’s frustrating,” Price says. But Republicans believe that in the end, the public won’t buy the administration’s line. “The American people are smarter than that,” Price says. “They know there are alternatives out there. That’s what August was all about.”

Yeah, and that is what November will be about too.

Liberal Republic columnist EJ Montini: Judge gives Thomas exactly what he wants

Thomas loses big time – but wins

by E.J. Montini

Everything about the decision rendered by Judge John Leonardo appears to be a legal smack down of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

He dismisses charges against Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. He chides Thomas for conflict of interest and for bullying. For using his office to go after political enemies.

Then, at the very end of his ruling, after slamming Thomas for roughly eight pages, he gives the county attorney EXACTLY what he wants.

The judge decides that he will not prevent Thomas from appointing a “new independent prosecutor.”

The judge writes, “The MCA may appoint a special independent prosecutor on the condition that the new prosecutor is not independently subject to disqualification, and that the MCAO and the MCA relinquish total control of the investigation and prosecution of Defendant to the special prosecutor and refrain from any further participation in these matters.”

A few days ago, perhaps sensing that such a ruling might be in the offing, Thomas’s assistant Barnett Lotstein told me that if the judge were to say that Thomas must appoint a special prosecutor that he would be giving Thomas “what we been asking for all along.”

It’s uncertain exactly how such a prosecutor can or would be appointed, given all the conflicts that everyone has. But it seems to suggest that the case hasn’t gone away.

It should. Thomas should drop it. He never should have pursued it in the first place. But doing the right thing hasn’t been much of a priority in the feud between the prosecutor and county supervisors.

Meaning, I guess, that today’s ruling was a complete loss for Thomas’s office … except for the part where they won.

E.J. Montini writes for the Arizona Republic

Gun Owners of America Endorse Conservative Senate Candidate J.D. Hayworth

JD Hayworth for US Senate

HAYWORTH V. MCCAIN
Gun Owners of America Endorse Conservative Senate Candidate J.D. Hayworth

PHOENIX, ARIZONA.  FEBRUARY 23, 2010. Second Amendment patriots, Gun Owners of America, have announced their endorsement of Conservative candidate J.D. Hayworth in his run against 24-year incumbent Senator John McCain.

The statement by Gun Owners of America can be found here.

The Second Amendment is yet another area where Hayworth has a more conservative record than the long-time incumbent.
McCain is vulnerable to the more conservative Hayworth on taxes, pro-life and pro-family issues as well as illegal immigration.  Hayworth also has a better lifetime rating from Citizens Against Government Waste.

McCain voted for the $850 billion bailout of the big banks which included $150 billion in pork, proposed a $300 billion bailout for mortgage lenders and, according to the Heritage Foundation, sponsored an amnesty bill that would have cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the long-term.

For more information about the campaign or to make a donation please go to www.JDforSenate.com.

Maricopa County Supervisors running amok: Scheming to block mandated election

A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maricopa County Supervisors running amok
Scheming to block mandated election

By Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic

Apparently, the good folks who run this county don’t have a set of Arizona Revised Statutes.

If they did, Andy Thomas and his top aides wouldn’t be wheeling around town in cars paid for with the public dime.  But that outrageous transgression pales in comparison to what it appears the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors may be contemplating.

As everybody on the planet knows by now, Thomas is making plans to abandon his office in order to seek better digs over at the state AG’s office. To do that, he’ll have to resign by May.

State law allows the Board of Supervisors to then appoint another Republican to replace him.Of course, there is no way the Sups should touch that job, given that two of its five members are under indictment and would essentially be selecting their own prosecutor. Thomas is correct to assert that neutral party (retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor maybe?) should take over that job.

But even if the supervisors do go against good sense and appearances of a conflict, it seems there may be some private talk under way about how to get around state law – and those pesky people who might want a say in who will run prosecutions in this state for the next two years. Voters, I mean.

In a story this morning, Wade Swanson, the county’s director of general-litigation services, hinted that the supervisors may not be putting Thomas’ job up to a public vote this fall. Here’s an excerpt from the story, by Republic reporters Mike Kiefer and Yvonne Wingett:

“Swanson said county officials are concerned Thomas’ successor would not have enough time to gather thousands of signatures necessary to appear on a ballot. Swanson also confirmed that attorneys are looking at the succession matter but would not release related documents to The Arizona Republic, citing attorney-client privilege. Swanson said contract attorney Tom Irvine has been asked “to find an appropriate expert in this area.”

I don’t know what “an appropriate expert is”.  I do, however, know what the law says.

ARS 16-230. Vacancy in certain state or county offices; election
If a county office becomes vacant, the board of supervisors shall appoint a person of the same political party as the person vacating the office to fill the portion of the term until the next regular general election. If the vacancy occurs within the first two years of the term, and before the date on which a nomination paper is required to be filed as prescribed by section 16-311, a primary election shall be held as otherwise provided by law to determine candidates to fill the unexpired term. At the next regular general election, the person elected shall fill the remainder of the unexpired term of the vacant office.

It doesn’t say if a vacancy occurs within the first two years of the term, a primary election can be held.  It says it shall be held.  If Thomas resigns before the date on which nomination petitions must be filed, the supervisors must let voters have their say.

If Swanson believes Thomas is gaming the system to get his own guy in there, well I’m pretty sure the county sups know how to play games, too, with their own guys.

Or, they can do the sane thing and turn this particular appointment over to someone who doesn’t have a dog in this fight.

Now, can I send the county a bill for this studied legal opinion?

Laurie Roberts is a columnist for The Arizona Republic.

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AEA president has facts wrong about Florida education reforms

by Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.
Goldwater Institute
 
Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss Florida’s education reforms on KAET-TV’s “Horizon” with Arizona Education Association President John Wright. We were discussing the Nation’s Report Card scores for Florida and I was surprised to hear Mr. Wright make the following claim: “The steepest increases that Florida saw in both reading and math scores were between 1994 and 2002–before most of these reforms took place.”
 
There are a few problems with this statement. First, the Florida legislature enacted most of the reforms in 1999, which falls between 1994 and 2002. Second, the Nation’s Report Card gives tests for fourth-grade reading and math, and for eighth-grade reading and math. Florida students, however, did not take a Nation’s Report Card test in 1994 for fourth-grade math, eighth-grade math or eighth-grade reading.
 
Florida’s fourth graders did take a test in reading in 1994. Between 1994 and 1998, Florida’s reading scores increased by two points. After the reforms, Florida’s scores increased by 18 points between 1998 and 2007. A 10-point gain equals about a grade level’s worth of learning.
 
Still, while I thought Mr. Wright had his dates mixed up, perhaps there was something to his assertion on trends.
 
But the truth turns out to be much different. Going back as far as possible into the 1990s for each subject, the average gain in scores before the reforms were adopted equaled four points. Post-reform, the average gain over nine years has been 20 points.
 
Mr. Wright also claimed that Arizona’s K-12 education budget cuts were “pulling the rug from beneath the teacher’s feet.” The 2008 Superintendent’s Financial Report, however, reveals the total revenue per pupil to be $9,707 while the 2009 Superintendent’s Financial Report reveals the latest figure at $9,424 per pupil: a whopping decline of $283 per pupil or less than 3 percent.
 
Someone is indeed trying to pull something–it’s the AEA trying to pull the wool over our eyes, not the Arizona legislature.

Dr. Matthew Ladner is vice president of research for the Goldwater Institute.

Bill would require all governments to provide spending details online

by Byron Schlomach Ph.D.
Goldwater Institute
 
Today, the Arizona Senate Committee on Appropriations will consider an important measure from Senator Jonathon Paton which would require all levels of government (including cities, towns, counties, school districts) to disclose in detail how they spend taxpayer money. It would also require the state to maintain a website where anyone could get quick access to information on every government in Arizona that has the power to levy taxes on them. Those governments would post details on a website about every expenditure and tax revenue collected, like an online checkbook register for city hall or the county courthouse.

This bill also would require government agencies and departments to establish performance benchmarks and list them for the public to review. Accurate crime statistics and details about county prosecutions would have to be reported as well.

For little cost, information about government operations can be made available 24 hours a day to people researching on their home computers or even on their cell phones. Most local governments have websites now, but the information they post often is so general that it doesn’t provide any real insight into how it conducts the people’s business.

The primary objection to these websites is that they will be costly to create and maintain. But experience proves otherwise. State Treasurer Dean Martin launched a transparency website in the midst of budget cuts, and states like Virginia, South Carolina, Kansas and Texas put spending information online using only existing resources. Nebraska created its spending transparency website, which does much of what this bill would require, for only $40,000. Some software companies, like ProcureNetworks, are even offering software to government agencies for free.

I have a question for those who use cost as a reason to oppose spending transparency: considering the recent declines in government revenue, how can we afford not to engage citizens more comprehensively in determining spending priorities and hunting down new efficiencies?

Taxpayers who foot government’s bills deserve the widest possible access to information on how their money is spent. Perhaps then Thomas Jefferson’s vision will be fully realized.

Dr. Byron Schlomach is an economist and the director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute.