Archives for December 2010

Gosar Picks Alaskan Attorney as Deputy Chief

Looks like high profile Alaska attorney, Tom Van Flein, will be heading to Washington, D.C. to help head the office of newly-elected CD-1 Congressman, Paul Gosar.

An Alaskan, you may ask?

Van Flein, who has been counselor to Governor Sarah Palin and GOP TEA Party candidate, Joe Miller, will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff to Arizona’s newest member of the congressional delegation.

Here is the excerpt from the Anchorage Daily NewsAlaska Ear:

ON THE MOVE … Word in the northwest corner of Anchorage is that Tom Van Flein, attorney for Palins, Millers and others, is taking a leave of absence from his firm for at least a year so he can move to Washington, D.C., to be deputy chief of staff for Arizona’s newly elected congressman, dentist Paul Gosar.

It makes sense, darlings. Gosar was endorsed by Our Sarah. He supports Arizona’s anti-illegal-immigrant law and he’s been inducted into the Arizona Dental Association’s Hall of Fame. Sounds like Tom’s cup of tea.

Defeated liberal Republican Paula Pennypacker bashes Russell Pearce, other conservatives

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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Failed legislative candidate and Arizona Republic Plugged In blogger helps disrupt “LD8 meeting,” insults conservatives 
Tries to kick social conservatives out of Tea Party

Liberal Republican Paula Pennypacker

Paula Pennypacker, who was soundly trounced in the LD8 race for the House of Representatives this year by the more conservative Tea Party candidate Michelle Ugenti, has decided to take out her rage on conservatives. In an astonishingly rude blog post for the Arizona Republic, she bashes Senator Russell Pearce and Maricopa County Republican Chairman Rob Haney, complaining about an LD8 meeting where her hateful views against social conservatives weren’t warmly accepted.

She showed up to the meeting at a private residence, which was NOT an LD8 meeting, with her friend Honey Marques, a liberal Republican and one of the biggest supporters of liberal Republican Susan Bitter Smith. Both women attempted to take over the meeting and tell social conservatives they were not welcome in the Tea Parties.

Maricopa County Chairman, Rob Haney spoke at the meeting, and said that Senator Russell Pearce is a hero to the Tea Party. Honey objected, and told the crowd that illegal immigration is not a Tea Party issue because the Tea Parties only care about fiscal issues, saying Pearce is not a hero to the Tea Party. According to Pennypacker, the crowd heckled her.
I would say she got off lucky.
The crowd’s response is no surprise, since illegal immigration is one of those issues that does stretch across both fiscal and social issues, contrary to Honey’s assertion. The cost of illegal immigration is staggering. According to Fox News, illegal immigration costs the U.S. $113 billion each year.

Most Tea Party members are also social conservatives. A Google search on “tea party” and “illegal immigration” pulls up thousands of results where Tea Parties have rallied against illegal immigration.

Pennypacker is angry that she lost an election to a real conservative Tea Party candidate. She is angry that the views she and her friend Honey espoused were the extreme minority at this meeting. Even the liberal Arizona Republic rag has had to admit an overwhelming majority of voters support strong immigration enforcement.  Her little mind cannot seem to grasp that there is a huge difference between legal and illegal immigration.  No one has a problem with people who immigrate here legally.

Her divisive attitude is doing no good but instead hurting the Republican Party, Tea Parties, and conservative principles. Instead of attacking conservatives and dictating to them what the Republican Party and Tea Parties should be like, she should back off and maybe actually try to get along with the grassroots base.

Pennypacker’s pretense at being a principled Republican isn’t fooling anyone. She tries to make people think she is a conservative but there isn’t enough dye in the world to cover those liberal roots. She is exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. She fits in well at the Arizona Republic.

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Democrats want to end all wars – through a Totalitarian DRAFT

Last week, the Democratic Party-controlled Congress produced a Democrat-dominated Congressional Committee panel announcement that it was “time for women to be cleared for combat positions.”  This is a curious announcement, since the military is easily meeting all recruitment goals and has not asked for this, and the timing of it in the middle of a lame-duck period should raise eyebrows.

Right on cue, blogs began to be salted with comments from “women” claiming to be out-performing their male counterparts on PT tests, and grumbling about being barred from combat duty.  This has been added to the current media narrative already found in papers across the country – “some regions disproportionately serve in the military” and that “disparity” should be “fixed.”  Unemployed and undisciplined youth it is “suggested,” could “benefit” from national service, plus repetitions of the disproved lie that our current high-tech, high skill, multilingual military is full of the “poor and uneducated.”   Hmm.  To employ the favorite media rhetoric: “Experts suggest” and “Data suggest” that … “something wicked this way comes.”

Quite a number of people who have neither military experience nor background nor interest for soldiering may shrug.  If some women want to be in combat, then isn’t it the dreaded “intolerant” to say no?  After all, we have an all-volunteer military, so male or female, if one wants to join the military as a career; they can, and concurrently, not join as the case may be.  It’s quite obvious that a volunteer army is self-selecting, appealing to only those who have an affinity and talent for soldiering and the military life.  This self-selecting saves the military numerous enormous headaches – they start with a population that wants to be there, instead having to sort out and manage a hodge-podge of disgruntled civilians – the onerous separating the sheep from the goats – that is the result of a Draft.    Not every male is cut out for combat; the military spends quite a bit of its time already testing and sorting out who’s better at it than who is not within the all-volunteer military.  Only a fraction of all military positions are actual combat, even true during the height of World War II, so there is no practical need to open it to women.  What happens though when the all-volunteer military abruptly isn’t volunteer anymore – to serve not the  nation, but the goals of one political party?

The wild card is being held up the Democratic Party’s sleeve: the game-changing, odious and despicable H.R.5741 — Universal National Service Act, quietly reintroduced by now-disgraced Democrat Charles Rangel in this session of Congress this past summer, waiting for an opportune moment, that is when no one looking, to be voted into law.

Disgraced Democrat Charles Rangel’s bill has morphed over the past several years, from its initial very bad idea, heavily praised and promoted early on expressly as a means to sour Americans on any military undertakings by Democrat Hillary Clinton, of a Universal Draft of all males and females 18-26; to today’s extremist version of a totalitarian national servitude by Draft, under the direct authority and highly centralized control of the POTUS as Commander-in-Chief,  of all males and females, 18-42 for three types of service:

1)      Military

2)      National Service

3)      Other Purpose

No provision in this bill exists to address the problem of a husband and wife with children, and both parents being called up for service.  There are no limits specified to the chillingly vague “Other Purpose.”  Politically-appointed committees determine who is selected for “Military” who gets “National Service” and who under the full force of government authority, must abandon a job, business or family to be tasked for “Other Purpose.”  The potential for massive fraud, bribery and abuse in such a system is enormous, the uncertainly and disruption this would cause amongst our most productive sector of our economy and amongst families would be devastating. 

The Democratic Party evidently still secretly harbors its reprehensible love of slavery.  It’s despicable that such an inhumane scheme would come out of the minds of men and women who have lived in comfort, peace and security all their lives; this disgusting desire to deny to the next generations of Americans by oppressive legislation what  Rangel and his fellow Democrats like Hillary Clinton take for granted for themselves.  That they introduced it, it’s waiting, they have a multi-faceted campaign to promote it,  they fully intended to push it through with a Democratic Party majority and a sitting president, Obama, who wants it for his disturbing vision of a “National Service Corps as well-funded as the military” is clear or they wouldn’t have slipped the bill into the House this year. 

 Its passage is now uncertain with a GOP resurgence to rein in what is becoming rampant Democratic Party legislative excesses, but it never should have even occurred to any Democrat to even consider anything remotely like this in the first place.  As with previous efforts, Democrats will  just put H.R .5741 it back in the file cabinet, waiting for another chance, put a new number on it to confuse identifying it,  sell it as a noble-sounding “National Service” when it should be burned.  One would say, “Shame,” but it’s evidently a word and moral concept wasted on a political party that has none.

GOP Nominee Poll at Red State

I figure I’ll have a little fun and drive some traffic over to Red State to a poll that Erick Erickson just posted on the GOP nominee choices.

Sorry all you wild-eyed Ron Paulians but his name doesn’t appear on the list. But that’s OK, you can leave comments there like you did when we posted our poll here on Sonoran Alliance.

As for my latest predictions (not picks), I’m sticking to Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee, Palin will NOT run and one of the young upstart govs will be VP. Sorry Chris Christie supporters. I like the guy’s approach but I think he’s a shooting star at the moment!

(Here comes our crowd, Erick!)

The Arizona 2012 Project delegation to attend fallen officer’s memorial service

Here’s the link to the full page:

Few details are available yet, however we are in touch with the U.S.B.P. station in Naco, the Border Patrol union, and others in southern Arizona, so they should be available soon.

Please help us honor this agent’s service on behalf of a greatful nation.

Thank you

There can be no sacred cows in Arizona’s budget debate

by Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.
Goldwater Institute

Editorialists throughout the state have waxed eloquent calling for restoration of funding to various parts of the state budget. University presidents complain of too little funding to universities and community colleges. School administrators complain that schools are short-changed. We’ve all seen the horror stories about reduced health benefits affecting organ transplant recipients and behavioral health services.

Calls for increased funding ignore one important point: the state doesn’t have the money. As I have pointed out before, the state budget will be in deficit through 2014 and beyond, even in years when the temporary sales tax passed last May is in effect. In the current fiscal year, almost half over, the state faces a deficit of at least $800 million. The minimum projected deficit in 2013 is $1.3 billion.

Spending on public education makes up 42 percent of the state’s general budget. Add health, welfare, and other social services and it’s 70 percent. Universities put it at 81 percent. Prisons at 91 percent. Every one of these categories should be immune to reductions according to someone. If the last nine percent of state government, which includes the judiciary, the legislature, various regulatory agencies, and the governor’s office, were eliminated, it would not fill the budget hole.

I believe organ transplants are more important than spending $665,000 on the Commission on the Arts and $194,000 on the Governor’s Office of Equal Opportunity. However, those little bits of money here and there only go so far. The other 91 percent of the budget cannot be off limits. When it comes to fixing Arizona’s budget shortfall, everything must be on the table.

Dr. Byron Schlomach is director of the Goldwater Institute’s Center for Economic Prosperity.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Victory on Nov. 2 requires lawmakers to outsmart budget trap

Joint Legislative Budget Committee: Highlights of the FY 2011 Budget

Joint Legislative Budget Committee: Revenue and Budget Update, November 19, 2010

Senator John McCain on the Tax Package Deal

Religious Discrimination by Appellate Court Commission Brings Judicial Selection and Redistricting Process into Question

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2010
Contact: Aaron Baer: (602) 424-2525, ext. 233

Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod calls for commissioner Louis Araneta to step down after disparaging remarkas about applicant’s faith

PHOENIX – A member of the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is being called to resign after citing an applicant’s Christian faith as a disqualification for the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). The IRC is charged with nominating 25 people to sit on the five-person body that will be drawing the new legislative and congressional district lines.

According to news reports and observers who attended the Commission’s public hearing on December 8 in which the Commission reviewed applications, Commissioner Louis Araneta voiced concerns with applicant Christopher Gleason. Araneta spoke out against Gleason’s application because it included “strong religious overtones” saying “there should be a separation of church and state.”

“Not only did Mr. Araneta completely mischaracterize Mr. Gleason’s application, but it is unconscionable that a person’s religious beliefs are seen as a disqualifying bias. Not one commissioner challenged Mr. Araneta’s comments against Mr. Gleason,” said Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy.

The only mention of Gleason’s Christian faith on his application is his membership on the board of 4-Tucson, a Christian community service organization.

“The IRC is designed to be a non-partisan, independent body,” said Herrod. “Mr. Araneta’s remarks and the Commission’s silence reveal a bias against people of certain religious beliefs. If these reports are accurate, Mr. Araneta should step down immediately, and the Commission should issue an apology to Mr. Gleason for their silence.”

“What is perhaps most troubling about the Commission’s religious bias is that the Commission is the same group that nominates judges for Arizona’s appellate courts. It’s deeply disturbing that those individuals charged with selecting judges would say that faith in Jesus Christ is a disqualification for public service.”

The Appellate Court Commission provides the governor with a list of judicial candidates in much the same way as they provide a list of candidates for the IRC.

For more information, contact Aaron Baer 602.456.1792.

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.


Statement by Speaker Kirk Adams regarding discriminatory screening of applicant for IRC on the basis of faith

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2010

CONTACT: Paul Boyer,

Statement by Speaker Kirk Adams regarding discriminatory screening of applicant for IRC on the basis of faith

PHOENIX – “Last week, an applicant for the Independent Redistricting Commission was blocked by the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, apparently because of his religious faith. In an open meeting, a Commissioner opposed the application of Christopher Gleason for the sole reason that his application indicates he is a man of faith. Nothing was done to address this outrageous and offensive attack on Mr. Gleason’s faith. The Commission then proceeded to vote to prevent Mr. Gleason from reaching the other legislative leaders and I for consideration for an appointment to the Independent Redistricting Commission.

I am shocked and alarmed that a Commissioner of a constitutional commission, acting in an important constitutional proceeding, would openly oppose an applicant because his application appeared too religious. It is totally unacceptable to suggest that candidates for public service in Arizona must check their faith at the door.

I call upon the Commissioner in question to apologize and for the Commission to reconsider the application of Christopher Gleason. This incident smacks of an unconstitutional ‘religious test’ for public service. The members of the Commission must address this issue immediately. It must be made crystal clear that the applications of all Arizonans will be given fair, merit-based consideration; and that no other applicants who appear before the Commission will ever again be targeted for their faith.”

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Robert Robb says State Bar investigation of Thomas “gross overcharging”

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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arizona Republic writer who usually disagrees with Andrew Thomas denounces State Bar trying to take away Thomas’s bar license

“Egregious overreach….gives credence to Thomas’s claim that he is the victim of a witch hunt”

Overreaching bar investigator John Gleason
Overreaching State Bar investigator John Gleason

Arizona Republic columnist Robert Robb, who trends down the middle of most issues, has written a scathing column slamming the out of control State Bar for attempting to take away Andrew Thomas’s bar license. Here are some excerpts:

The investigative complaint by Independent Bar Counsel John Gleason suffers from a common Thomas ailment: gross overcharging.

Moreover, part of the complaint rests upon a view of the ethical obligations of elected prosecutors that is hardly settled law in Arizona. In fact, it is safe to say that elected prosecutors uniformly reject the view.

According to Gleason, there is no difference between the ethical obligations an elected prosecutor owes his governmental clients and the ethical obligations a private attorney owes his private clients. Moreover, the same constraints that exist on private lawyers regarding public comments about court proceedings apply equally to elected prosecutors.

A private lawyer generally cannot represent a client on one matter and be opposed to him in another. And in public, they cannot say anything except that all judges are great and whatever happens in court is just hunky-dory.
Elected prosecutors uniformly reject the view that they are similarly constrained. They believe that they have been elected independently to exercise independent judgment and action not characteristic of private attorneys. They have a dual responsibility to provide other government officials with the best legal advice they can but also to ensure that other officials follow the law. And as independent elected officials, they have a right to speak out when private attorneys have to keep it zipped.

According to Gleason, because Thomas had an attorney-client relationship with members of the Board of Supervisors on some matters, he could not pursue civil or criminal actions against them on any other matters. Hence, he could not pursue criminal grand jury indictments against members of the board, sue them over taking away control of civil litigation from him, opine publicly that they were acting illegally, or publicly criticize court decisions and actions with which he disagreed.

This emasculation of elected public attorneys is contrary to historical and current practice in Arizona. It is not settled law in Arizona, and a bar disciplinary proceeding is not the proper venue to adjudicate it.

There are instances where Thomas ignored clear conflicts of interest, even given a more elastic view of the ethical obligations of elected prosecutors. He pursued a criminal investigation of the court tower after his office had advised the board about the matter. He pursued criminal charges against people he was personally suing in the racketeering lawsuit. Wading into the murky waters about the latitude of elected prosecutors was unnecessary.

Many of the alleged ethical violations are grounded in the claim that Thomas acted in bad faith for political retaliation. I doubt the evidence will clearly establish that. And there is an alternative explanation for events: Thomas and Arpaio…..actually believed in the existence of their grand conspiracy and thought of themselves as involved in some great Manichaean struggle between good and evil that required extreme actions. Given my knowledge of the two men, I find that actually more plausible.

The most egregious overreach is claiming that Thomas violated the federal “conspiracy against rights” statute for trying to stifle the ability of Donahoe to judge. This is a reconstruction era statute intended to allow the federal government to take action against the Ku Klux Klan beating up and killing freed slaves. Dragooning it into a disciplinary proceeding is the kind of gross overcharging that was so deplorable when done by Thomas and Arpaio.

This overcharging is a serious disservice. It is too bad the probable cause panelist, former Supreme Court Justice Bud Jones, didn’t pare back the charges before submitting them.

Unfortunately, the gross overcharging in the bar allegations gives credence to Thomas’ claim that he is the victim of a witch hunt.

The two State Bar investigators responsible for driving this are the Deputy Director/General Counsel John Furlong and the investigator from Colorado he appointed, John Gleason.Contact the State Bar at (602) 340-7239 or email the bar at to express your disapproval. John Furlong’s phone number is (602) 340-7301.

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