Archives for April 13, 2011

Rep David Schweikert on Obama Speech: ‘Bordering on Schizophrenic’

Congressman David Schweikert appeared on MSNBC’s News Nation today squaring off against Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews (NJ). Here is video of that appearance.

This was a great assessment and presentation of the speech and the problems the President attempted to address but failed. Kudos to Congressman Schweikert on his civil and honest discourse!

Rep. Quayle Statement on President Obama’s Debt Speech

CONTACT: Richard Cullen

WASHINGTON (D.C.) Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) released the following statement Wednesday following President Obama speech on America’s debt:

“While I’m pleased to see President Obama following the lead of Chairman Ryan and House Republicans in recognizing the necessity of tackling America’s enormous debt burden, I was befuddled by the fact that his speech largely avoided any mention of the biggest drivers of our debt. Any deficit reduction plan that does not feature ways to save Medicare and Medicaid cannot be considered a credible plan. If we don’t save these critical programs now, America will face a paralyzing debt crisis in short order.

“The president’s speech today was an attempt at a mulligan for the unacceptable budget he released two months ago. This time around, the president whiffed yet again by failing to address the issues central to getting America back on sound financial footing. Job crushing taxes is not going to get the job done. We must face our fiscal challenges head on, and House Republicans are doing that.”


The Fiesta Bowl exposes the sham of Clean Elections

by Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute

The Fiesta Bowl investigation is exposing the fact that taxpayer funding for political candidates under Arizona’s Clean Elections system does not, in fact, keep politicians clean. Nearly half of the state legislators receiving allegedly illegal contributions and previously undisclosed junkets from the Fiesta Bowl ran for office with Clean Elections funds. Arizona’s campaign finance system has nothing to do with preventing the appearance of impropriety and everything to do with funneling taxpayer dollars to politicians.

Indeed, Arizona’s system is easily gamed to allow politicians to evade campaign finance regulations on a scale unmatched by any alleged Fiesta Bowl player. During the 2008 race for three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, Sam George, a privately-financed candidate, ran on a “Solar Team” slate with two taxpayer-funded candidates, Paul Newman and Sandra Kennedy. As part of a coordinated campaign, Sam George spent nearly $500,000 on his campaign to trigger nearly $1 million in matching taxpayer subsidies to teammates Newman and Kennedy. Mr. George essentially leveraged Clean Elections to give hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to his preferred candidates.

Sam George-style gaming is not an anomaly. Ever since the enactment of the Citizens Clean Elections Act, taxpayer-funded candidates have been routinely accused of teaming with privately financed candidates, accepting illegal in-kind contributions, violating contribution limits, and even committing perjury. The reported shenanigans of the Fiesta Bowl are small potatoes compared to the systematic campaign finance abuse enabled by the Clean Elections system. Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court will finally end Arizona’s failed experiment in taxpayer-funded campaigns when it issues its decision in McComish v. Bennett and Arizona Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett by the end of June.

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

Institute for Justice: Arizona Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett

Fiesta Bowl: Final Report of the Counsel to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of the Fiesta Bowl

Phoenix New Times: The Dirty Truth about “Clean” Elections