Archives for April 2011

Will Gov. Brewer Veto (More) Conservative Bills?


25 April 2011

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

AFP-Arizona’s 2011 Legislative Scorecard (the 27th annual scorecard put out by AFP-Arizona and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers) will not be published until this summer, and will end up scoring hundreds of tax, budget, and regulatory bills. But with the close of the 2011 legislative session on Wednesday, we are issuing a preliminary report on how Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature performed, based upon the bills having the largest projected fiscal impact on Arizona taxpayers, consumers, and producers.

Action Item—Possible Brewer Vetoes

At this point, it is unclear how Governor Jan Brewer will perform on this year’s Scorecard. She will do poorly if she follows the bad advice of the Arizona Republic’s editorial board and vetoes the municipal managed competition reform (SB 1322), the interstate health insurance competition bill (SB 1593), and the statutory spending limit (HB 2707). Vetoes on those three bills would land her below 50 percent, in the category of “Friend of Big Government.” If she signs all three into law, she will score in the high 70-percent range (“Friend of the Taxpayer”).

Please call and email Governor Brewer TODAY and ask her to sign those three bills.

To send Gov. Brewer an email, use her web contact page:

To contact Brewer’s policy staff, send emails to Page Gonzalez (, Eileen Klein (, Michael Hunter (, and Don Hughes (

The phone numbers for Gov. Brewer’s office are (602) 542-1361 and (602) 542-4331

For a one-page pdf flyer you can print out and take to your neighbors/precinct residents, use this link:

For more information about the three bills, use the links on this page:

Arizona’s Legislative Majority Performs Well

Overall, the typical Republican Legislator did a very good job on fiscal policy during the 2011 legislative session—thanks in large part to strong pressure from taxpayer activists and tea partiers. Except for a handful of outliers, Arizona’s GOP Senators and Representatives voted in favor of the following pro-taxpayer measures:

  • Balanced budgets for FY 2011 and 2012 that include minimal gimmicks and that put the state on course to retire debt;
  • Spending limit bills that would place obstacles in the way of out-of-control spending by future Legislators and Governors;
  • The most comprehensive municipal services privatization bill in the country;
  • Limits on property tax levy increases in local-government secondary taxing districts;
  • Creation of school choice education savings accounts for children with learning disabilities;
  • Expansion of Arizona’s existing school choice tax credit program;
  • Legislation to allow interstate health insurance competition in the individual health market;
  • Reform of state employee pensions, which are currently trending toward bankruptcy; and,
  • Transparency bills requiring local governments and school districts to post their budgets in prominent places on their websites.

For Gov. Brewer and for the typical majority Legislator, the high base scores resulting from the votes enumerated above may be pushed slightly higher on the final Scorecard, given that AFP-Arizona has yet to grade hundreds of bills with low point totals. Legislators introduced dozens of good bills this session, and some of them made it to the Governor’s desk. (Of course, there were also many bad bills with low point totals, and we will likely discover some fiscal landmines among the dozens of bills that were passed quickly in the closing hours of the session).

Although typical majority members in both chambers will score highly on the Scorecard, it appears that the typical Senator will do somewhat better than the typical Representative. Given preliminary estimates, the typical Senator will score in the high 80-precent range (“Champion of the Taxpayer”), while the typical Representative will score in the high 70-percent range (“Friend of the Taxpayer”). Senators will likely score higher in large part for the following reasons:

  • The Senate version of the budget included heavier budget cuts;
  • The Senate’s spending limit referenda were constitutional, voter-approved measures (making them very difficult for politicians to override), whereas the House spending limit bill that went to the Governor’s desk would be statutory (and thus could be set aside by simple majorities in the House and Senate); and,
  • The constitutional Paycheck Protection referendum (SCR 1028) failed to move in the House, having been supplanted by a version of the reform (SB 1365) that included unprincipled (and voter-unfriendly) carve-outs and that failed to get the necessary forty “emergency” votes in the House to prevent the government-worker unions from taking the flawed version of the bill to the ballot.

More about the Legislative Scorecard:

Use the link below to study AFP-Arizona’s scoring rubric (page 3), and to view hypothetical scores for Governor Brewer, the typical majority Senator, and the typical majority Representative (pages 4-6). For policy summaries of AFP-Arizona’s key bills, see pages 7-11.

The AFP-Arizona Legislative Scorecard weights fiscal policy and regulatory bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers, and producers ($1 million equals one point). The AFP-Arizona Scorecard does not grade bills relating to constitutional, electoral, moral/social, or criminal-law matters, except insofar as those bills are projected to have a clear and significant financial impact on taxpayers, consumers, and producers.

To view AFP-Arizona’s 2010 Legislative Scorecard and Legislators’ cumulative averages since 2005, go to this URL (be advised that this cumulative scorecard does not include this year’s votes):

Please Remain Vigilant!

Grassroots taxpayer activists and tea party members can help us greatly in promoting free markets by reminding Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona’s Legislators that we will hold them strictly accountable in 2011 and 2012. We hope that the AFP-Arizona Legislative Scorecard proves to be a very helpful tool for activists in demanding fiscal accountability from their elected officials.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity


Tonight on the Alexander & Goldman Show: Arizona after SB 1070; then Washington, Wall Street & financial theft

The liberal media is falling all over itself trying to show that Arizona is worse off after passing SB 1070 last year. Both the Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune are running dire articles about what it has done to Arizona (at least NPR has balanced coverage). Besides the fact that the toughest parts of SB 1070 haven’t even gone into effect, thanks to the federal government suing Arizona and getting an injunction against them, the evidence is to the contrary. Last year, the census found that Arizona is the second fastest growing state in the country. Last fall, we were 12th in the country for job creation. We will get to the bottom of the spin.

During the second half of the show we will discuss what is going on with the Washington regulatory bureaucracy that enables them and their cronies on Wall Street to control the economy to the detriment of the average American, benefiting a few wealthy banks and billionaires. Eric Odom has an excellent article on it here.

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, which you can access by clicking here.

Great Support our Troops video

A U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan thanked her mom, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, for sending lots of great care packages and mentioned that some Marines were not receiving any packages from home. A bunch of patriots from the Tucson area stepped forward and adopted her unit serving in Afghanistan and sent lots of packages to the troops fighting overseas. Here is video of the Tucson homecoming for Gabriela’s daughter and another fellow Marine as they arrive in the Tucson Airport.

Thank you to all of our brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines for your service to this nation and to the cause of freedom.


Video about the Christmas Packages for the Troops.

Friday Poll: Who has the best daily political/talk radio show in Arizona?

This Friday, we’re asking who you listen to and who you think has the best political/talk radio show in Arizona. We’re trying to cover the entire State of Arizona from Flagstaff to Yuma and Phoenix to Tucson. Arizona has an abundance of politically astute, satirical and entertaining radio personalities. The list (with links) includes:

This is your chance to vote for your favorite daily political radio show and tell us why they have the political news and talk in Arizona. (And if we’ve forgotten someone, please let us know!)

(The poll will remain open for one week and limits voting to one vote/IP address.)

ICYMI: Rep. Schweikert in the Washington Post

Congratulations to Congressman Schweikert on an article in the Washington Post on Tuesday written by Philip Rucker.

I’m writing this post to give you the opportunity to show your support for David or to at least give him your opinion. For those of us who worked on David’s campaigns, watching him finally serve is a huge reward knowing he now gets to make the hard decisions we entrusted him with. I for one, certainly don’t envy being in his position but like many others, I do trust him to do the right thing for this country. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of money and patience. Democrats and some Republicans have run out of basic economic common sense and alarmingly, we are all running out of time.

Here’s an excerpt from that article:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On his 104th day in office, Rep. David Schweikert stepped before about 60 of his constituents here and, like an economics professor, flipped through one scary chart after another to hammer home his point: America faces a tidal wave of debt.

Then he asked for a show of hands: If you were a freshman congressman like him, would you vote to raise the government’s debt limit?

Two hands went in the air.

He got the same reaction at another town hall meeting, and he expects it again at a tea party forum later this week.

Schweikert, a Republican, isn’t sure if he’d raise his hand, either.

This is his dilemma: He knows Congress has little choice but to raise the amount of money the government can borrow to prevent the economic havoc sure to follow if the United States defaults on its loans. He also knows doing so is deeply unpopular — not only among his conservative base, but among some moderates and liberals, too.

“I desperately want to vote ‘no,’ ” Schweikert said at the town hall. “I also desperately don’t want [the economy] to crash.” (continue reading)



Where’s the Beef?

Tucson has been the butt of many jokes and a whole lot of animosity throughout this state.

The Rio Nuevo debacle.  A $65 million dollar choo-choo train to drive through the Rio Nuevo debacle. FBI seizures, maybe criminal charges against our elected officials.  Reports of Voter Fraud.  Can anyone say Bell California?

Well it’s not over yet folks…

Enter side door left:  Ron Asta – Republican candidate for Mayor.  Tucson.  Again.  Well, not quite again.  In 1983 he was the democratic candidate who lost to Lew Murphy.  He was elected as a democrat to the Pima County Board of Supervisors from 1973 to 1977.

OK, not enough reason to say he is not fit to run for office…  I understand…  So how about this.

In August of 1994 he killed Jennifer Reeves.

He has had over a dozen traffic violations.  Google it.  It’s all there.

It hardly makes the fact that he took a steak and shoved it down his pants in a grocery store worth mentioning does it?  Well, shoplifting while drunk is one of those mistakes we can learn from I suppose.  Brings an entirely new meaning to “Where’s the Beef”.


CONTACT: Melissa Wenzel,


Mailer Calling Out Incumbent Infractions, Union Ties Hitting Mailboxes This Week

PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 21, 2011) – There is little doubt budget battles have brought labor unions to the forefront of American politics. From California to Wisconsin to New Jersey, Americans are seeing city and state governments forced to contend with the unreasonable demands unions place on taxpayers already struggling with the economic downturn. What voters may not realize is how the hand of unions strikes close to home, even as close as the general election for the Town of Gilbert.

Robert S. Graham, local businessman and author of the right-to-work book, Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse, has watched unions’ underhanded tactics infiltrate the politics of the incumbent candidates in Gilbert. As such, he is calling out the candidates’ actions in a direct mail piece that will hit Gilbert voters’ mailboxes this week.

“Voters deserve to know the truth about these incumbent candidates. I question their true support of Gilbert when they have supported tax increases in one of the worst recessions our country has ever experienced and accepted campaign contributions from outside union groups,” Graham said. “Why on earth do Phoenix, Mesa, Avondale and Goodyear unions have an interest in a Gilbert town race?”

Mailer highlights:

Linda Abbott

  • Voted for a 6% fee increase on businesses while voting for a 2% cost of living increase for public employees of Gilbert.
  • Voted to put a 17% sales tax increase on the ballot in the form of Prop. 406.
  • Accepted campaign contributions from local and national unions as far away as Washington, D.C.
  • Supported three tax increases in defiance of the Citizen Budget Committee’s recommendation of no new taxes.

Ben Cooper

  • Supported Prop 406 to increase the sales tax in Gilbert.

Les Presmyk

  • Accepted campaign contributions from public safety unions in Mesa, Apache Junction, Phoenix, Tempe and Avondale.
  • Voted to put a 17% sales tax increase on the ballot in the form of Prop. 406.
  • Supported three tax increases in defiance of the Citizen Budget Committee’s recommendation of no new taxes.

Dave Crozier

  • This year, has only attended 50% of council meetings.
  • Voted to put a 17% tax sales tax increase on the ballot in the form of Prop. 406.
  • Accepted campaign contributions from public safety unions in Mesa, Apache Junction, Phoenix, Peoria, Tempe and Goodyear.
  • Supported three tax increases in defiance of the Citizen Budget Committee’s recommendation of no new taxes.

It should also be noted all four of these candidates accepted donations from a Southwest Ambulance employees’ political-action committee. The donations to their accounts landed the same year they voted to extend the company’s contract with the city despite a request from Councilwoman Daniels to wait until after the election to expand.

“While Arizonans are fighting to keep their jobs, current Gilbert council members are working to pad the wallets of union members at the cost of tax payers,” Graham said. “It’s time Gilbert residents vote to protect their jobs and their livelihoods from the same erosive special interests bankrupting cities across our nation.”


About Robert S. Graham

Robert S. Graham is President and CEO of RG Capital, a successful financial advisory, investment banking/consulting and corporate development business in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has also profitably managed three operating companies and three venture start-ups. Graham has been regionally recognized by AZ Business Magazine as one of the Top Entrepreneurs and nationally, by Boomer Market Advisor magazine as the 2007 Advisor of the Year.

Graham’s book, Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse, tackles the labor movement, calling for its complete eradication. Graham spent years studying labor unions, calculating their influence on each state’s ability to thrive financially. His findings, detailed in the book, are surprising and have captured the attention of national and local media outlets and organizations.

For more information about Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse, visit To schedule an interview with Graham, contact Melissa Wenzel at 602-579-5204 or

Sheriff Paul Babeu: National Sheriff of the Year Dinner

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has been selected as the “2011 National Sheriff of the Year” by the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA). The NSA is the largest association of law enforcement professional in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation. This is the first time a Sheriff from Arizona has ever been selected for this very prestigious award.

On Saturday, April 23rd at 6 p.m. the “Paul Babeu for Sheriff Committee” will be hosting a dinner to honor Sheriff Babeu. The dinner will be held at “The Property” which is located at 1251 West Gila Bend Highway, Casa Grande, Arizona 85230 (map).

The dinner will be attended by Congressman Paul Gosar and Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever. Ticket price for the dinner is $50 per person or $500 per table (10). Contact the Honorable Cheryl Chase 480-313-0701 or to R.S.V.P.

Sheriff Babeu has earned both statewide and national attention for his strong stance against illegal immigration. Babeu’s stance and actions against those responsible for drug and human trafficking has earned him the distinction as one of “America’s Toughest Sheriff’s on Illegal Immigration.”

America can no longer wait for action by the federal government to secure our border. Sheriff Babeu has taken on the fight in Pinal County. He has often said, “If we don’t stop it here then it will continue throughout America.” Sheriff Babeu and the Pinal County Regional SWAT and Narcotic’s Task Force have brought the fight directly to those responsible for drug and human trafficking. Operations are conducted weekly to dismantle and disrupt drug and human trafficking operation and arrest those responsible. Every time the cartels change their tactics to try and win the war, Sheriff Babeu changes our tactics to take them out.

Please join us at this dinner to honor our own Pinal County HERO Sheriff Paul Babeu.



Club for Growth: Trump Was For The Auto Bailout


Trump in 2008 on bailing out the Big Three car manufacturers: “I think the government should stand behind them 100 percent.”

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth today criticized Donald Trump for saying that the federal government should back the auto industry and that “You cannot lose the auto companies.”:

“If there’s anyone who should know the value of filing for bankruptcy, it’s Donald Trump. He should have known that the $13.4 billion government bailout of the auto industry just put off the inevitable while putting taxpayers at risk,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Bailouts and nationalizing whole industries can cripple free markets and has hampered our economic recovery. We need our next President to understand that economic freedom leads to growth and prosperity for all, and that the government should never be in the business of picking winners and losers.”

Trump on bailing out the auto industry: “I think the government should stand behind them 100 percent: CAVUTO: Do you think that we can afford to do without one of the Big Three?TRUMP: No. I think you should have the Big Three. I think, frankly, they should do dip financing. I think the government should stand behind them 100 percent. You cannot lose the auto companies. They’re great. They make wonderful products. Maybe they’re making too much. Maybe they’re not making too much. I mean, I just brought a Dodge Ram truck from Arrigo Dodge, who’s a member of one of my clubs and great guy. (Fox News, 12/17/08)

Trump favored bailing out the auto industry instead of letting them go bankrupt, but he has filed for corporate bankruptcy at least four times: Previously, Trump filed for corporate bankruptcy in 1991, 1992, 2004, and 2009. As Trump stated in the interview, these Chapter 11 corporate bankruptcies were used to negotiate debt deals. After the deals were done, all of his companies went on to survive (and in some cases thrive). (International Business Times, 4/12/11)


Rep Schweikert Announces A Community Listening Session

CONTACT: Rachel Semmel

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Congressman David Schweikert announced today that he will host a Listening Session next week. Please circulate and share the time and location for Wednesday’s event:

Constituents are invited to stop in and speak with the Congressman at the Tempe Police Hardy Substation for a one-on-one pre-scheduled appointment as well as an open forum discussion.

Listening Session with David Schweikert
When: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. MT One-on-one sessions by appointment only
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. MT Open forum discussion
Where: Tempe Police Hardy Substation
Address: 8201 South Hardy Drive, Tempe, 85284 (map)

For a one-on-one appointment please call the District Office at 480-946-2411. If you are having difficulties with a federal agency, casework assistance will also be available.

Members of the press planning to attend, please RSVP to For more information on these events, please contact Jesse Hernandez. He can be reached at or at (480) 946-2411.