Archives for March 2011

Will Supreme Court let the government favor taxpayer-funded candidates?

By Nick Dranias

Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute has fought Arizona’s “Clean Elections” system all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask one basic question: Can the state manipulate the political game to silence privately-financed candidates and drive them out of elections in favor of government-funded candidates?

The Court answered “no” last June,  at least temporarily, when it suspended the matching funds portion of Arizona’s system. But the Court’s extraordinary intervention was not the last word, as that action came nearly six months before the Court accepted the Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit for review, as well as a second case from the Institute for Justice. Only after the Court hears oral arguments today in Washington, D.C., will the question finally be answered for good.

The matching funds component of Arizona’s system is clearly designed to hobble candidates who project their campaign messages to the public in the traditional manner, supported by private donations and personal funds. For every dollar raised or spent by a traditional candidate, the state awards nearly a dollar in subsidies to each opposing government-funded candidate. That means when a traditional candidate faces three government-funded candidates, every dollar he spends will trigger nearly three dollars in government subsidies to oppose him.

Likewise, if independent political groups do anything other than oppose traditional candidates, the state will award nearly a dollar in subsidies to each competing government-funded candidate for every dollar they spend. The government thus systematically encourages independent groups to oppose traditional candidates.

It is very dangerous business for the government to manipulate elections in this way. The electoral process is supposed to check government power. A system that silences traditional candidates in order to expand opportunities for government-funded candidates cannot check government power. For the sake of free speech and the integrity of the electoral system, the Supreme Court must finally stop Arizona from picking winners and losers.

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: McComish v. Bennett

Arizona Republic: Supreme Court weighs Clean Elections funds match

Wall Street Journal: Government Shouldn’t Play Election Favorites

Washington Post: Supreme Court to decide Arizona’s unique campaign financing law

Christian Science Monitor: Supreme Court to decide Arizona’s unique campaign financing law

Yankee Institute: Let Voters Decide, Not Gov’t

Institute for Justice: Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett

We’re off to the United States Supreme Court!

I’m heading off to Washington, D.C. this morning along with fellow Arizonans, Steve Voeller (Arizona Free Enterprise Club), State Senator Rick Murphy and former State Treasurer, Dean Martin. We are all plaintiffs or co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Election law. (I serve as the Treasurer of the Arizona-registered political action committee, Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee.) Our legal team consist of The Institute for Justice and The Goldwater Institute. Lead attorneys are Bill Maurer (IJ) and Clint Bolick (GI). Monday morning our case will be argued before the Justices while the four of us sit in the courtroom. Watch my Twitter feed (AZTaxpayerAct) and posts here on Sonoran Alliance. Here is some additional case information:

Goldwater Institute Case Background
Institute for Justice Litigation Backgrounder

Watch the YouTube video about the case.

Tonight on the Alexander & Goldman Show: Bankruptcy attorneys talk about foreclosures and more

Tune in tonight to the Alexander & Goldman Show from 6-7pm AZ/PST as we talk to Judge Pro Tem and bankruptcy attorney Bill Ponath and bankruptcy attorney Dennis Riccio about foreclosures, the economy, and other hot topics they encounter in this area of law.

We will also hear briefly from Rey Torres of the Arizona Latino Republican Association on a couple of things. The fact that one in six Americans are Hispanic but why no one breaks down illegal vs. illegal, the substitute teacher in Glendale who talked about unpatriotic Hispanics in class, and we’ll hear how ALRA’s event with Sheriff Paul Babeu went last weekend.


Please call in at 602.508.0960 and let us know your thoughts. Tune in locally to KKNT 960 AM or listen live online at KKNT960.com, which you can access by clicking here.

Last week’s show with Senator Russell Pearce discussing the defeat of five common sense bills on illegal immigration and Bill Ponath discussing his new book, Verdict for America, is archived here.

Friday Poll: Which Republican should run for CD-2?

This week’s Friday Poll is now up and we’re asking which Republican should run for CD-2 should Congressman Trent Franks enter the race for US Senate?

We’ve ruled out a number of potential candidates who we know have not shown any interest but we’re allowing “Other” to be an option in the poll.

Again, the poll will be open one week and repeat voting is blocked in an attempt to make the poll more accurate.

Cast your vote!

Ogletree Deakins files claim against County Supervisors

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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Top, nonpolitical nationwide law firm now suing County Supervisors for going after them
Supervisors did everything they could to thwart and ruin well-respected law firm, now trying to block their claim

The saga of the corrupt Maricopa County Supervisors never ends, and continues to get worse. Remember when they went after Ogletree Deakins, one of the top law firms in the country, ranked as a Tier 1 law firm by U.S. News & World Report, with over 500 attorneys and 40 offices around the country?  Ogletree has performed work for Maricopa County government for years, it is considered one of the most stable law firms in the Valley. When the Supervisors went on their jihad against other County officials, Ogletree happened to be doing work for Sheriff Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas. The Supervisors tried to cut off ALL attorneys from representing Arpaio and Thomas, including Ogletree Deakins, which had no partisan bias either way, they were just doing their job. Then the Supervisors started investigating the firm! They finally fired the firm and refused to pay them for work performed! This was all so Arpaio and Thomas would have no legal representation to fight back against the Supervisors’ jihad against them in the press, courts, and through their legions of attorneys (remember the Supervisors and judges had ELEVEN outside law firms – mostly the top law firms in the Valley – representing them in the RICO case against Arpaio and Thomas, whereas they would not allow Arpaio and Thomas to have ANY outside attorneys in the RICO case, they spent thousands of dollars fighting to keep them from getting any attorneys!).

Ogletree Deakins has now filed a Notice of Claim (which is like a preliminary lawsuit when you are suing government) against the Supervisors for $10 million. According to the Arizona Republic,

The eight-page claim asserts county officials repeatedly defamed Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC, wrongfully fired the firm, and refused to pay $1.1 million in attorney’s fees. The firm is willing to “resolve its disputes” with the county for full payment of the invoices and attorney’s fees, plus a public apology from county officials and a “formal retraction of the countless defamatory, and provable false statements certain county officials and agents have uttered.” If the Board of Supervisors do not agree to those terms, Ogletree demands $11.2 million.

 

The claim says Ogletree “is loath to burden the county taxpayers with yet another massive obligation brought about by the wrong-headed acts of the county’s officials and agents,” adding that “it is truly unfortunate, and even downright despicable that certain county officials and agents have repeatedly defamed Ogletree and its attorneys without the slightest basis in fact.”

 

Astonishingly, the Supervisors are trying to prevent the claim from going through. The claim was filed in court in time on the last day possible before the statute of limitations ran out, March 21, but the Supervisors are claiming it is not valid since it was not “served” on them until March 22. We smell a rat. The Supervisors have consistently denied any accountability for their actions. They act with impunity and have unlimited access and control over our tax dollars. This comes as no surprise that they will do anything they can to escape accountability, even if it means smearing innocent people. We are looking forward to the slate of Tea Party candidates who will be running against them in 2012. Stay tuned, there are some really impressive candidates who will uphold fiscally conservative principles and behave ethically while in office instead of going on vindictive vendettas against conservative county electeds.

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Michele Bachmann coming to Arizona!

Chairman Tom Morrissey
Arizona Republican Party

&

Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County Sherriff

Invite You to a Special Reception with

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District

Saturday, April 2, 2011
10:00 a.m. – VIP Reception & Program
$250 per person

11:00 a.m. – General Reception & Program
$35 per person

Scottsdale Plaza Resort
7200 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Please send checks payable to:
Arizona Republican Party- Federal Account
3501 North 24th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016

R.S.V.P. to Chad Willems at (602) 708-1123 or chad@summitgroupnet.com

Paid for and Authorized by
Bachmann for Congress. www.BachmannforCongress.com
And Arizona Republican Party Federal Account.
www.AZGOP.org.

Proceeds will be shared equally by both committees. Donors may designate contributions to either committee. The allocation formula may change if a donor has exceeded the contribution limits. All contributions are subject to federal contribution limits and are not deductible for Federal income Tax Purposes. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to obtain and report the name, address, occupation and employer of all contributors.

Paycheck Protection continues toward 2012 Ballot despite Arizona Chamber’s destructive meddling

 

The Arizona House Government Committee on Tuesday passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1028 which, if passed, would ask Arizona voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to recognize employees’ fundamental right to protect their paychecks from political machinations.

SCR 1028, introduced by Senator Frank Antenori and 43 co-sponsors, states:

“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. SCR 1028 places its focus where it belongs, on the right of Arizona workers to decide whether they wish to participate in political activities.

As a ballot referendum, the grassroots conservative proponents of this fundamental employee right embrace the clarity required in a single-subject constitutional proposition. SCR 1028 does not discriminate between management and labor by treating the political fundraising of each differently. Moreover, SCR 1028 does not invite the legitimate charge of political favoritism by denying this amendment’s constitutional protections to one or more groups of employees. SCR 1028 is so evenhanded and nondiscriminatory; it passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

However, special interests are trying to hijack the legislation and risk its chances of victory on the November 2012 ballot. Worse, if their actions are successful would likely invalidate the proposition and void its fitness to appear on the ballot.

The assault on SCR 1028 took the form a failed amendment crafted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry that would make an exception for “payments to a separate segregated fund maintained by an employer.”

The Arizona Chamber’s destructive and shortsighted amendment is designed to deny corporate political action committee contributors the same rights every other employee enjoys under SCR 1028. However, in addition to carving out Big Business PACs, such “separate segregated funds” present an enormous loophole that union bosses will use to continue to spend their members’ pay for political causes the employees do not support.

On policy grounds alone, it is a bad amendment and must not be allowed to be made to SCR 1028. But the amendment’s destructiveness goes deeper.

According to constitutional law expert Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute, “That exception would destroy the universality of the principle at issue. It also could expose the measure to an equal protection challenge under the United States Constitution.”

Also, by accommodating this one special interest’s shortsightedness, the entire paycheck protection effort will likely founder on the rocks of a single subject challenge in the courts. Such a single subject challenge should be fresh in our minds because it derailed what would have been Prop. 108 in 2010. That troubled effort required a desperately assembled Special Session at the last possible moment in August 2010 to re-refer a valid version of the Save Our Secret Ballot Anti-Card Check Referendum (Prop. 113).

Why would legislative leadership ever entertain risking the validity of another referral on the flimsy and self-serving meddling of a special interest? If a special interest like the Arizona Chamber cannot abide SCR 1028 without their carve-out then they should oppose the measure in the light of day and allow lawmakers to discern the value of the unaltered legislation.

Grassroots conservative supporters of a viable paycheck protection constitutional amendment should contact the bill’s sponsor Sen. Frank Antenori and all members of the Republican House Caucus and support the SCR 1028 WITHOUT AMENDMENT.

Please contact the following legislators and ask them to support SCR 1028 WITHOUT AMENDMENTS.

House GOP Caucus District Email Phone
Kirk Adams (Speaker of the House) 19 kadams@azleg.gov 602-926-5495
Cecil Ash 18 cash@azleg.gov 602-926-3160
Brenda Barton 5 bbarton@azleg.gov 602-926-4129
Kate Brophy McGee 11 kbrophymcgee@azleg.gov 602-926-4486
Judy Burges 4 jburges@azleg.gov 602-926-5861
Heather Carter 7 hcarter@azleg.gov 602-926-5503
Steve Court 18 scourt@azleg.gov 602-926-4467
Chester Crandell 5 ccrandell@azleg.gov 602-926-5409
Jeff Dial 20 jdial@azleg.gov 602-926-5550
Karen Fann 1 kfann@azleg.gov 602-926-5874
Eddie Farnsworth 22 efarnsworth@azleg.gov 602-926-5735
John Fillmore 23 jfillmore@azleg.gov 602-926-3012
Tom Forese 21 tforese@azleg.gov 602-926-5168
Doris Goodale 3 dgoodale@azleg.gov 602-926-5408
David Gowan 30 dgowan@azleg.gov 602-926-3312
Rick Gray 9 rgray@azleg.gov 602-926-5993
Jack Harper 4 jharper@azleg.gov 602-926-4178
Russ Jones 24 rjones@azleg.gov 602-926-3002
Peggy Judd 25 pjudd@azleg.gov 602-926-5836
John Kavanagh 8 jkavanagh@azleg.gov 602-926-5170
Debbie Lesko (Majority Whip) 9 dlesko@azleg.gov 602-926-5413
Nancy McLain 3 nmclain@azleg.gov 602-926-5051
J.D. Mesnard 21 jmesnard@azleg.gov 602-926-4481
Steve Montenegro (Speaker Pro Tempore) 12 smontenegro@azleg.gov 602-926-5955
Justin Olson 19 jolson@azleg.gov 602-926-5288
Frank Pratt 23 fpratt@azleg.gov 602-926-5761
Amanda Reeve 6 areeve@azleg.gov 602-926-3014
Bob Robson 20 brobson@azleg.gov 602-926-5549
Carl Seel 6 cseel@azleg.gov 602-926-3018
David Burnell Smith 7 dsmith@azleg.gov 602-926-4916
David W. Stevens 25 dstevens@azleg.gov 602-926-4321
Andy Tobin (Majority Leader) 1 atobin@azleg.gov 602-926-5172
Michelle Ugenti 8 mugenti@azleg.gov 602-926-4480
Steve Urie 22 surie@azleg.gov 602-926-4136
Ted Vogt 30 tvogt@azleg.gov 602-926-3235
Jim Weiers 10 jweiers@azleg.gov 602-926-4173
Jerry Weiers 12 jpweiers@azleg.gov 602-926-5894
Vic Williams 26 vwilliams@azleg.gov 602-926-5839
Kimberly Yee 10 kyee@azleg.gov 602-926-3024
SCR 1028’s Prime Sponsor
Frank Antenori 30 fantenori@azleg.gov 602-926-5683

See who else supports SCR 1028:

AMIGOS Supports SCR 1028
Alliance for Worker Freedom supports SCR 1028
National Taxpayers Union supports SCR 1028
NFIB supports SCR 1028

Chuck Norris on Ben Quayle and Border Violence

This guest column appears today on Townhall.com. Don’t forget that Congressman Ben Quayle’s town hall meeting is tonight. (Details)

Exaggerated U.S. Border Violence? Hardly

By Chuck Norris

I agree with Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., who said that for cattle ranchers, the daily reality of drug and human smugglers traversing their property is “far more impacting” than Napolitano conveys. Quayle went on to say, “Statistics and averages might mean something to government bureaucrats and analysts in Washington, but try telling the people who deal with these realities every day that the violence along the border has subsided.”

Because of the feds’ ineptness and passivity, it’s no wonder that half the states in our union are taking matters into their own hands regarding border enforcement and immigration. Arizona-style laws have been proposed in approximately 24 other states. A total of 346 laws and resolutions related to immigration were approved by state lawmakers in 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 100 immigration-related bills are pending in Texas.

Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples just launched ProtectYourTexasBorder.com, where users can upload pictures and videos about their experiences with suspected drug traffickers at the Mexican border. The goal of the website is to warn the public about not only the dangers to farmers and ranchers but also the potential impacts on the nation’s food supply.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, at the Texan border alone there are:

  • Close to 8,200 farms and ranches, covering more than 15 million acres.
  • Producers of beef, fruits and vegetables that are essential to the nation’s food supply.
  • Counties that account for about half the state’s fruit and vegetable production and about 4 percent of the state’s total agricultural income.
  • Farms and ranches that make more than $700 million in agricultural sales every year.

Exaggerating border violence?

The only ones exaggerating are the feds — under-exaggerating the threat and severity of border violence and over-exaggerating their success of securing the United States’ southwestern border.

In fact, this past Thursday, Napolitano continued her same Obama-victorious-song-and-dance act at the U.S.-Mexico Congressional Border Issues Conference, boasting of (as summarized by her office) the Obama administration’s “unprecedented efforts to strengthen security along the Southwest border, which include increasing the number of Border Patrol agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 20,700 today.”

But while the Obama administration continues to embellish its record, PolitiFact pointed out that it’s actually stealing its predecessor’s glory: “President George W. Bush was responsible for adding many of the agents on the ground now.”

Paul Babeu, sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., put it well when he said that Napolitano’s talking points about security on the border have “more to do with political pivoting for the 2012 elections than (they do) with what is happening on the border.”

Ms. Napolitano, the truth is it’s you who is misleading the public. Playing down border violence and trumping up Washington’s successes may be effective for campaign rhetoric, but it’s killing our citizens — literally. At least I can agree 100 percent with you on this point: As you said back on Jan. 31, let’s “be honest with the people we serve. … Let’s stick with the facts. We need to be upfront and clear about what’s really happening along our borders.”

 

Senator Frank Antenori clarifies votes on immigration bills

Many have been asking about my recent votes on five immigration related bills in the State Senate, due to circulated misinformation. Since misinformation does a disservice to you, my constituents and supporters, I am sending this email to insure that your news is accurate. I also believe that you are entitled to know of the careful reasoning I applied to these and to all my Senate votes.

Emails and articles are circulating that I voted NO on all five bills. This is incorrect. The correct information is that I voted YES on three of the bills and no on only two.

The two no votes were based on the best information available from a number of sources. In short, I sincerely believe that SB 1308 (interstate compacts; birth certificates) and SB 1309 (Arizona citizenship) are unconstitutional.

If we as citizens believe in the U.S. Constitution and Federalism, we must then accept that the federal government operates under the enumerated powers found in Article I, Section 8 and under empowerment found in the Fourteenth Amendment. I hope you will read my complete rationale for the yes votes and the no votes by clicking here and opening my website.

My website can be found at http://www.vote4frank.com – at the website simply scroll down to Frank’s Blog.

There you will find a very thorough rationale on my votes. I believe that if you take the time to visit my website and read my account of the principle used to make these votes, you will see that my votes were thought out, followed the Constitution, and supported my constituents to the fullest.

If you prefer to go to the rationale on the no votes directly then click this link for SB 1308 (interstate compact; birth certificates)

http://www.vote4frank.com/2011/03/sb-1308-interstate-compact-birth-certificates/

or this link for SB 1309 (Arizona Citizenship)

http://www.vote4frank.com/2011/03/sb-1308-interstate-compact-birth-certificates/

Sincerely,

 

68% of Republic readers oppose birthright citizenship

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Arizona Republic’s own poll finds that 68% of readers oppose birthright citizenship
Hides poll, continues to slam illegal immigration bills 

We can no longer find this poll on the Republic’s website, no doubt because it goes against the slew of articles they’ve ran over the past couple of days trying to sway public opinion against the five illegal immigration bills in the legislature. More dishonest reporting. Support is building across the country to repeal automatic birthright citizenship. We suspect after the bills were voted down in the legislature last week, the Republic had an editorial meeting and told everyone to write articles praising the Turncoat Republicans who voted against the bills. Even columnist Laurie Roberts wrote an article criticizing the last article American Post-Gazette sent out about the bills. This is proof they’re listening. Please keep up your efforts contacting the Turncoat Republicans and telling them they’d better vote for these bills when they come up again, otherwise the Tea Parties are going to start recall efforts against them.

Do you think birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants should be restricted?

 

Yes.

68.15%
No.
28.92%
I’m not sure.
2.93%
Total Votes: 1262

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