Welcome to the New Sonoran Alliance!

Welcome to the new design of Sonoran Alliance!

It’s been FIVE years since the original site went live with the design you’ve all grown accustomed to. Over that time, we’ve done virtually nothing to the design until today.

As you can see, we now have widgets enabled along the right side of the page. This will allow readers to search, view tags, categories and archives and polls. You will also be able to tweet our posts and subscribe to our email list through feedburner.

Another thing you will notice is that Sonoran Alliance is finally running ads! That’s right, we’re finally monetized! Any business or candidate running for office now has the opportunity place an ad on the site and drive some traffic to their website! (Contact me if I can get that set up.)

I hope you like the changes. Please feel free to leave feedback.

Finally, I want to give a huge thanks to my friend and the technical guru behind Sonoran Alliance, Tim R. and company at Adeptplus! Five years ago, Tim breathed 1’s and 0’s into Sonoran Alliance and the rest was history. Thanks Tim!

Ron Paul, Herman Cain win Tea Party poll to run against Obama

The national Tea Party Patriots convention or “Policy Summit” occurred this past weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Here’s a snippet from Reuters:

Rep. Ron Paul and Georgia businessman Herman Cain were conservative Tea Party activists’ top picks to run against Barack Obama for president in 2012, leaving former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in third place (click here for whole article).

“In a ‘presidential straw poll’ of nearly 1,600 conservative members of the Tea Party Patriots released on Sunday, 581 voted for U.S. Representative Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, to run against Obama next year

“Herman Cain, a Georgia businessman and talk-radio host, came in second with 256 votes.

“Palin, a favorite of the conservative movement who was Senator John McCain’s running mate against Obama in 2008, trailed in a distant third place with 149 votes.

“‘Mr. Cain and Rep. Paul’s positions resonated with Tea Party Patriots this weekend,’ said Mark Meckler, the Tea Party Patriots’ national coordinator, of the poll taken at the group’s policy summit in Phoenix over the weekend and online.”

Joint Statement by State Senator Scott Bundgaard and Aubry Ballard Regarding Friday Night

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday February 27
CONTACT: Jason Rose

PHOENIX, ARIZ. FEBRUARY 27, 2011.

“We want to jointly apologize for allowing a private matter to interrupt the public – and especially for taking up the valuable time of law enforcement. The police officers who responded deserve thanks for their sensitivity and compassion.

We have cared for each other in the past; we wish the best for each other in the future. Like most relationships, ours has had some ups and downs, but it has always been based on our Christian faith and our respect for one another. With that in mind, we intend to go our separate ways now and put what happened Friday night and Saturday in the past.

Obviously, we’re both tired and embarrassed. Each of us would like to reclaim some privacy. We hope the media and the public can respect that decision. Thank you for your understanding.”

-STATE SENATOR SCOTT BUNDGAARD and AUBRY BALLARD

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Statement by State Senator Scott Bundgaard regarding erroneous reports by Arizona Republic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2011
CONTACT: Jason Rose

PHOENIX, ARIZONA. FEBRUARY 26, 2011.

“Shame on an azcentral.com reporter for posting a story without even phoning me first. Here’s what might have been learned if that reporter had the decency and professionalism to do so. Last night, I was a participant in the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona ‘Dancing With The Stars’ charitable event to raise money for this fine organization. Other participants included Governor Brewer’s Chief of Staff Eileen Klein, Gallagher and Kennedy Partner Mike Gallagher, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and his wife, and numerous other business, political and community leaders.

I am proud to have helped raise thousands of dollars for this charity, so much so that my girlfriend, parents and other family members were in attendance. While I may not have won the competition it was a wonderful night for a wonderful cause. Perhaps my fault was failing to ask my girlfriend to meet with Kurt Warner’s wife about how to understand and support a spouse or partner for a ‘Dancing With The Stars’ competition.

Upon leaving the event I was accused of inappropriately touching my dancing partner, in front of my parents and family mind you, and she proceeded to throw my clothes and other things out of my car on a freeway as I took her home. I stopped on the freeway to retrieve these items. As I was doing so my girlfriend yelled that she was going to take my car and moved into the driver’s seat. I immediately returned to the car and asked her to get out. She refused. I had no choice but to pull her from the driver’s seat which resulted in marks on her knees. I had also had no choice but to stop her from punching me and risking highway safety, all of which resulted in a black eye for me and a busted lip (photos available upon request). The authorities arrived as I tried to retrieve my belongings from the highway. I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. Period. I was not intoxicated. There was no ‘domestic violence.’ Such conduct is offensive to me as it should be to all people. I waive any and all ‘legislative immunity.’ If I did something wrong, charge me. I did not.

While a personal matter, I understand the public interest and apologize to any and all for what has taken place. I will not hide behind statements. This was done so to set the record straight. I am available for any and all interviews and for any and all questions.”

– Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard

We Are The Courts and We Are Here To Help You—

The letter below is just one story of many, the phone number has been removed for the sender’s privacy but the message is the same:

I am sending this to you and others who live in Arizona.  As a few of you know, my 92-1/2 old mother became a ward of the probate court in February 2008.  At the time I knew nothing of the history of the probate court system.  At that time I agreed she would be better off because she was spending too much money on junk coins and other “stuff” salesmen easily sold to a lonely widow who still loves men! My mother did not have a fortune set aside but with reasonable management it would last her and she could stay in her house until she passed. Now, the reality:  The court-appointed conservator, a for-profit company, managed to spend all of her money in about 28 months.  I am her court-appointed guardian so all the conservator had to do was pay normal household bills and try and settle some outstanding bills to those salesmen I mentioned above. We (her family) requested financial information numerous times but the most I received were incomplete schedules which often raised more questions than they answered. After the conservator spent all the money the court released them from that position.  Only at that time, after complaining again, did I get copies of monthly billing statements from the conservator.  (I have never received any financial statements so still do not know all of the liabilities that are still lurking out there.) You could have knocked me over with a feather.  The conservator charged $85 – $95 an hour for entry-level clerical duties.  Accounts payable clerks also were billed at those rates but were not skilled in those positions, so things took longer to get done and often had to be redone.  And, you guessed it, my mother had paid for every single hour. I am only going to give you one example, but it irritates me so much I need to vent a little.  In May 2009 my mother turned 91, and the conservator wanted to throw her a birthday party.  Nice gesture, I thought, especially since my mother’s court-appointed attorney, the other relatives and I understood this was going to be a gift from the conservator.  The party was very nice, but the bill was over $5,000, and as I found out a year later it was billed to and paid for by my mother!!!  House cleaning was charged at $95 per hour.  Invitations were bought and returned at $95 and more per hour plus the cost of the invitations.  The conservator knew my mother’s finances and any reasonable person would know she could not afford that amount of money.

There are two legislative bills that have been introduced this year:  House Bill 2424 and Senate Bill 1499.  THEY COULD NOT BE MORE DIFFERENT.  HB 2424 was put together with input from people who have experienced such financial and other abuses at the hands of the probate courts (I was not involved because I just became aware of the dueling bills.)  It is not perfect but goes a long was in making probate court transactions open to the wards and other interested parties.  SB 1499 was written by a committee set up to fix these probate court abuses.  Too bad the committee members are the same judges, commissioners, attorneys and conservators that are currently committing the abuses.  Talk about the fox watching the hen house!  SB 1499 does not begin to address court reform.  I’m sure the bill was introduced by legislators who had been told by the committee members that only a little “tweaking” was necessary.  This bill is a sham being perpetrated by the people who need to be held accountable. I’m sorry this e-mail is so long, but the word needs to get out that HB 2424 is GOOD, SB 1499 is BAD, BAD, BAD. If you have any questions call me at 602-xxx-xxxx and I will put you in touch with people who can answer them better than I. Thanx for taking the time to read this.  It is a very sore subject with me as my mother sits, not in her house, but in a room and board home paid for by the Arizona Long Term Care System!!!

Bob

Friday Poll: Who should replace Jon Kyl?

Sonoran Alliance is now running a weekly feature we will call Friday Poll.

This Friday’s poll will revisit the US Senate Primary here in Arizona. Since our last poll, we’ve discovered that several of the potential GOP candidates have indicated they are not interested in running. We’ve gone back over the field of serious and potential candidates and have distilled them down to the latest list.

Voting will start immediately and will end tomorrow at midnight. IP addresses are tracked which prevents multiple votes coming from the same IP address.

Please spread the word about this week’s Friday poll and get your friends to vote today and tomorrow.

Here’s this week’s Friday Poll:


Next week, we will look at a congressional race.

Congressman Trent Franks – Tied for 1st Place as ‘Most Conservative’

National Review just released its rankings of Most Conservative Congressman and tied for 1st place (among 5) was Arizona’s Congressman, Trent Franks!

Here is what National Journal has posted on its website:

Tied for 1st – (from left to right) Reps. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas; Sam Johnson, R-Texas; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.; Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

Five representatives tied for most conservative in the 2010 vote rankings with a composite score of 95.0. Franks, Lamborn, and Neugebauer were ranked 1st most conservative in 2009. For Franks this is his 4th straight year tied as the most conservative House member.

Not on the top 10 list of most conservative are Congressmen Jeff Flake and John Shadegg. Shadegg was ranked at #26 and Flake was ranked #64. Here is a link to those ratings.

Saucedo Mercer running for Congress in AZ-07

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2011
CONTACT: John Ellinwood

Tucson, AZ Gabriela Saucedo Mercer will formally announce her campaign to represent the people of District 7. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 2nd, 11:00 am, at the Hotel Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Avenue in Tucson. Members of the news media are encouraged to attend and cover this exciting political development. Gabriela will be available after the event to answer questions from reporters.

Saucedo Mercer released the following statement regarding her campaign, “We can no longer afford to sit by as Raul Grijalva recklessly votes to spend this country into a bottomless pit of debt. It is time to focus on growing the economy and bringing new jobs to Arizona and to America. When I am in Congress, I will be a champion for effective free-market policies that rebuild our economy and get America working again.”

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer was born in Mexico and legally immigrated to the United States in 1986. She and her husband Ted live on Tucson’s west side. They have three adult children. Gabriela has worked in the defense electronics industry.

The campaign website is www.SaucedoMercer.com. For more information please contact John Ellinwood.

###

Arizona Legislature Must Act to Protect Employee Paychecks from Political Abuse

The Arizona Senate is ready for floor debate on a ballot referral critically important to gaining lasting control over our state and local budgets — SCR 1028 on Paycheck Protection.  The below letter was delivered Wednesday to all Republican lawmakers.

 

Coalition to Protect
Employee Paychecks from Politics

February 23, 2011

The Honorable Russell Pearce
President of the Arizona Senate
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

The Honorable Kirk Adams
Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

RE: SCR 1028 & HCR 2032 on Paycheck Protection

Dear President Pearce and Speaker Adams:

The on-going protests in Madison, Wisconsin should sound the alarm here in Arizona regarding the danger of indulging special interests to the point where they threaten to close down state government and disrupt our political processes.  As representatives of conservative, grassroots and small business organizations, we urge you to take proactive steps to ensure that Arizona never becomes as beholden to these special interests as the Badger State has.

Therefore, we request that you use your considerable influence and institutional powers to give Arizonans the opportunity to vote to enshrine in the Arizona Constitution their fundamental right to protect employee paychecks from politics.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1028, introduced by Senator Frank Antenori and 43 co-sponsors, and House Concurrent Resolution 2032, introduced by Representative Judy Burges and 44 co-sponsors, state: 

An employee in this state shall be free from any employer deducting or facilitating the deduction of a payment from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes, unless the employee annually provides express written permission to make the deduction.

The language is fair, reasonable and straight-forward—precisely the qualities of a constitutional amendment that the Arizona electorate rewards with their votes.  This referral does not discriminate between political money deducted by labor unions or corporate political action committees.  Both are treated equally.  Moreover, this construction places the focus where it belongs, on the fundamental rights of all workers to control their paychecks.

A 2010 poll of 400 likely Arizona voters found 76 percent favor such an amendment and 20 percent oppose.  The poll also found that 64 percent were “definitely yes” while only 14 percent were “definitely no” voters.

The time is now to seize the initiative and provide voters this opportunity to affirm their rights through a constitutional amendment.  We urge you to schedule a floor vote on a paycheck protection ballot question during the 2011 Regular Session so the conservative, grassroots and small business supporters of paycheck protection can use the full year-and-a-half between now and Election Day 2012 to organize, educate and raise the funds necessary to secure victory.

It is imperative that you help the conservative, grassroots and small business base by giving us enough time to wage an aggressive and well-financed effort.  The 2010 election cycle is illustrative of why we feel passing a referral in 2011 is essential to our ultimate success.  Propositions 106 (Healthcare Freedom), 107 (Civil Rights) and 113 (Save Our Secret Ballot) were all launched by referrals in 2009 and all won by comfortable margins.  Conversely, every constitutional amendment referred in 2010 failed, some by very narrow margins.

Constitutional Amendment   Constitutional Amendment
Campaigns Begun in 2009   Campaigns Begun in 2010
       
Prop. 106: Healthcare Freedom Prop. 109: Hunting & Fishing
Yes 892,693 55.28%   Yes 714,144 43.52%
No 722,300 44.72%   No 926,991 56.48%
  1,614,993       1,641,135  
             
        Prop. 110: State Trust Lands
Prop. 107: Civil Rights   Yes 792,394 49.71%
Yes 952,086 59.51%   No 801,670 50.29%
No 647,713 40.49%     1,594,064  
  1,599,799          
        Prop. 111: Lt. Governor
        Yes 655,252 40.77%
Prop. 113: Save Our Secret Ballot No 951,820 59.23%
Yes 978,109 60.46%     1,607,072  
No 639,692 39.54%        
  1,617,801     Prop. 112: Initiative Timeline
        Yes 792,697 50.00%
        No 792,825 50.00%
          1,585,522  

 

We know legislative leadership has traditionally held that ballot propositions are best referred in the year of the election.  However, as the protests in Madison, Wisconsin illustrate, the likely forces opposed to paycheck protection can and will always bring maximum resources to fight for their big government agenda regardless of notice.  Regrettably, the forces supporting a smaller government and individual responsibility are the ones that need time to organize and mobilize. 

We cannot afford to wait until less than six months before the election to decide to rise to this challenge.  Please give us the best chance to support and pass this crucial constitutional amendment that will serve as a foundation to regaining and maintaining Arizona’s fiscal health.

Please schedule floor votes on SCR 1028 and/or HCR 2032 during this session of the Arizona Legislature.

Thank you for considering our views. We would welcome the opportunity at your earliest convenience to discuss the merits of referring this measure to the ballot this year.

Sincerely:

Farrell Quinlan
Arizona State Director
National Federation of Independent Business
3550 North Central Avenue, Suite 1806
Phoenix, Arizona  85012

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
One East Camelback Road, Suite 550
Phoenix, Arizona  85012

Roy Miller
Chairman
Arizona Employee Protection Committee
8912 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite F9-235
Scottsdale, Arizona  85255

Sydney Hay
President of AMIGOS
Arizona Mining Industry Gets Our Support
Post Office Box 25187
Phoenix, Arizona  85002-5187

cc:  All Members of the Republican Majority in the Arizona House of Representatives
       All Members of the Republican Majority in the Arizona Senate

We only need a fraction of the Founders’ courage

by Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute

Federal debt listed on the books now tops $14 trillion. But the federal government has made long-term spending commitments that actually exceed $100 trillion. As a result, the states increasingly look like colonies of Washington, D.C. Like the colonists who objected to taxation without representation during the American Revolution, those who have the most to lose from federal irresponsibility—our children, grandchildren and unborn generations to come—have no voice in the current political process. Congress will never limit its own power for their sake. Change led from outside of Washington, D.C., is their best hope for a better future.

A similar situation faced the Founders of the United States in 1776. They risked everything to throw off the chains of a distant and unresponsive regime. They did not know with absolute certainty that their rebellion would result in greater freedom and a more representative government. The Founders risked losing their lives and fortunes, as well as what few English liberties their countrymen still enjoyed.

But the Founders understood the greater risk was the status quo because London had no political reason to respect the rights of mere colonies. The sacred honor and practical judgment of American patriots demanded action, not submission.

Similarly, accepting today’s status quo will lead us down a road that threatens massive federal tax hikes, hyperinflation, and national bankruptcy. Fortunately, the Founders made sure the states can lead the way for change. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, 34 state legislatures have the power to initiate proposals of constitutional amendments that could limit any increase in the federal debt, require a balanced budget every year, and take other steps to prevent a disaster created by excessive federal spending.

On Friday, the Goldwater Institute will host a policy forum from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. to discuss the use of Article V to rein in the federal government. I hope you can join us.

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.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Make your reservation for the policy forum “Using Article V to Rein-In the Federal Government”

Goldwater Institute: Amending the Constitution by Convention: A Practical Guide for Citizens and Policymakers

Goldwater Institute: 10 Facts to Rebut the Mythology of a Runaway Convention

Forbes: America Poised for a Hyperinflationary Event?

Arizona Legislature: Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016

Arizona Legislature: Committee hearing on SCR1016 (47 minute mark)