Planned Parenthood’s Lawsuit Endangers the Health & Safety of Arizona Women

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit yesterday against two Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) supported bills – House Bill 2416 and Senate Bill 1030 in superior court. This suit is an outrageous affront to the women of Arizona. The nation’s largest abortion provider is proving once again that they are more concerned with selling abortions than protecting vulnerable women with crisis pregnancies.

Medication abortions are not a safer alternative to surgical abortions, and clinics dispensing abortion medication should be properly licensed and equipped to handle complications. Planned Parenthood is challenging these basic provisions of HB 2416.

The Arizona Legislature considered the many medical risks of medication abortion in passing HB 2416 and SB 1030.Dr. Allen Sawyer, an experienced and respected Arizona ob-gyn, submitted written testimony that women are at a ten times greater risk of death from infection from medication abortions than surgical abortions.

The pill’s own FDA label states that nearly all women who take the medication will experience an adverse reaction, and at least eight women have died from complications of medication abortion. Based on all of the medical evidence, the Legislature acted within its constitutional authority to protect the health and safety of Arizonans.

In their lawsuit, Planned Parenthood also says it is “medically inappropriate” to provide women with a physical examination before an abortion, keep intravenous drugs available in case of an emergency, and give women a follow up phone call twenty-four hours after taking the abortion pill. Planned Parenthood claims that they will have to shut down rather than offer women the same standard of care that they receive for every other medical procedure. These are unconscionable examples of their “quantity over quality” business model.

Arizona women deserve better, and Center for Arizona Policy is committed to seeing these important health and safety standards enforced.

For more information, visit www.azpolicy.org.

Pima County We The People Call for Action This Thursday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30th, 2011
CONTACT: We the People of Pima County Committee

Urgent Call to Action in Pima County

Tucson, AZ - The Chairman of the Pima County Republican Party has taken a stand for liberty, and is being attacked for it by the Establishment wing of the Republican Party.

Chairman Brian Miller has openly questioned the policies that have lead to the militarization of the Police, and the establishment is not happy. They are planning a recall of Brian to silence not only the voice of our Chairman, but the voice of all of liberty loving Americans reading this.

On Thursday, June 30th, the Pima County GOP Executive Committee will call another Special meeting and attempt again to remove Chairman Miller. They do this without an indictment of charges, an investigation and a determination as to the merit of the charges. In other words, some members of the board, and some southern Arizona Republican politicians, think they are in Salem, MA and they are the town elders conducting a witch hunt.

We ask all liberty-loving conservatives to stand and join us in fighting for our freedoms and for our country Thursday evening 5pm, 5447 East 5th Street for a peaceful display of our displeasure.

We are tireless in our passion to uphold our Constitutional rights, and we are even more powerful with the voices of other patriots, like yours, that can spread the word and show support. Feel power in your convictions and make a difference, right here in Tucson. United we stand!

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Arizona ‘Independent’ Redistricting Commission Picks Leftist Progressive Firm to Map Arizona Lines

The Arizona ‘Independent’ Redistricting Commission voted today to hand off the task of mapping the new electoral district map to leftist progressive Washington, D.C. based firm called Strategic Telemetry.

The vote was 3-2 with Colleen Mathis, the so-called ‘Independent’ Chairman, voting with the leftist Democrats. (View Colleen Mathis initial application.)

Given Arizona’s latest voter registration data, one would think that the Chairman would have sided with the Republicans on the commission. Republicans currently lead in voter registration with Independents following in second place. Democrats have been left to wallow in third place, third party status.

Nevertheless, the vote went with the leftists on the commission leading some to believe lawyers are already lining up to challenge whatever is crafted by the leftist firm which only works with progressives.

Here’s what we know about Strategic Telemetry based on several web-based sources:

Campaigns & Elections profiled the President of Strategic Telemetry in March with this brief backgrounder:

Predictive Analytics and Microtargeting
Ken Strasma, President, Strategic Telemetry, Inc.

As microtargeting has become an indispensable tool for political campaigns, operatives are learning to harness the power of predictive analytic techniques to analyze and model voters’ attitudes and behavior. Campaigns increasingly deploy these data to identify receptive voters and to devise effective communications and mobilization techniques.

Ken Strasma, president of Strategic Telemetry and the national target director for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, is a pioneer in the application of high-tech statistical modeling for political campaigns. His Washington, D.C.–based firm, launched in 2003, has led numerous campaigns to victory, including many Democratic campaigns as well as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign.

In February, 2010, Strasma wrote a guest opinion for Campaigns & Elections entitled, “Targeting the Most Unusual Electorate in America.” In that piece he wrote:

“Bloomberg’s decision to switch his party affi liation to independent, and his progressive positions on most issues was what led many Democratic consultants, including my firm, Strategic Telemetry, to support him.”

In another expose about Ken  Strasma that appeared in Fast Company, his bio description reads:

“Ken Strasma, 42, focused on microtargeting as research director of the National Committee for an Effective Congress, a progressive lobbying group. He now heads targeting efforts for Barack Obama’s campaign.”

Strategic Telemetry’s Facebook page gives the company overview as follows:

“Strategic Telemetry provides data analysis, strategic advice and statistical modeling of individual-level voting behavior to progressive organizations and campaigns.”

In a March 1st post on The Daily Kos titled, “Some Wisconsin Democratic senators looking to return, recalls loom” Strategic Telemetry is cited as asserting:

“Further, a micro-targeting firm called Strategic Telemetry, run by President Obama’s 2008 campaign micro-targeter, suggests that there are twice as many Wisconsin residents willing to sign a recall petition against Walker as would be necessary to make such a petition valid.”

The Atlantic also wrote an article about Strasma and his company in February in which it discussed a potential recall effort of Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker:

“34 percent of Wisconsin voters would sign a petition to recall Walker, according to a survey of 806 voters by Strategic Telemetry, the Democratic polling and microtargeting firm run by Wisconsin native Ken Strasma.”

“One big caveat: Strasma is a Democratic strategist who has done microtargeting for the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John Kerry. While he told me he conducted this poll on his on initiative (not at the behest of a Democratic client), it’s worth keeping in mind that the poll appears designed for news value.”

and,

“Strasma e-mails to say the GOP senators in his poll are eligible for recall: ‘… the eight GOP senators listed are the ones subject immediate recall. WI has staggered four year State Senate terms, so half of the Senators are up each year. The eight who were first elected or reelected in 2008 are subject to recall at any time. The ones elected in 11/10 would not be subject to recall until 1/12.’”

There is plenty more information available on Strategic Telemetry’s website to document the firm’s involvement in controlling progressive politics in the United States.

I have to imagine that the reason why the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission spent hours in Executive Session today was to battle over the hard reality that a 3rd party ranked Democratic party was about to decide on selecting one of the most leftist leaning redistricting firms in the country and the Republicans on the commission were doing everything in their power to keep that from happening. This information on Strategic Telemetry had to have been available to them and they must have made every effort to smack some sense into Colleen Mathis before she sided with the minorities on the commission.

I would expect the attorneys are already preparing for the legal battle that is certain to ensue and certainly with good cause.

If you haven’t already called your elected officials to complain about this trajectory toward electoral injustice, I urge you to do so quickly.

UPDATE: (July 6, 2011)

On April 20, 2011, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission interviewed and selected Raymond F. Bladine to the position of Executive Director of the commission. Bladine had previously applied for the position of Chairman of the commission. Here are the minutes to that meeting. What is interesting about the process is that Colleen Mathis, the Chairman, actually made the motion for unanimous approval of Bladine to the position. (This is unusual since Robert’s Rules of Order calls for a member other than the chairman to make nominations.) Here is Bladine’s original IRC application.

Arizona State Bar protects checks and balances

by Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute

In a recently issued ethics opinion, the Arizona State Bar declared, “a lawyer may ethically counsel or assist a client in legal matters expressly permissible under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act…despite the fact that such conduct potentially may violate applicable federal law.” Whatever one may think of the wisdom of Arizona’s new medical marijuana law, the Bar apparently takes principles of state sovereignty seriously enough to shield lawyers from blanket claims that helping clients violate federal law is unethical.

Of course, the ethics ruling is subject to many caveats, including the proviso that it “is limited to the specific facts discussed herein.” But it would be outrageous if the Bar’s opinion were merely a special favor for the medical marijuana industry. Hopefully, the ruling signals that the Bar will stand by attorneys who, in good faith, advance state law when it clashes with federal law.

In an era when the federal government increasingly exceeds its constitutional authority, it is imperative that bar associations support good faith efforts by attorneys to enforce state laws. Without this protection, bar associations would be giving the federal government carte blanche to dictate laws without any checks or balances arising from the states.

With the federal government claiming the power to force everyone to buy health insurance, and administrative agencies like the National Labor Relations Board going after states that seek to protect the right to vote by secret ballot in union elections, the freedom for attorneys to advance state laws is essential.

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: Health Care Freedom Act Q&A

Goldwater Institute: National Labor Relations Board v. State of Arizona (Save Our Secret Ballot case)

State Bar of Arizona: Ethics Opinion

Gray opposes new Obama surveillance program

For immediate release
June 28th, 2011

Chuck Gray opposes new Obama surveillance program to spy on family doctors

Queen Creek, AZ: Chuck Gray opposes a new Obama Administration program to monitor doctors by sending out federal spies posing as patients. This misguided program is exactly what is wrong with our federal government today.

We should institute real reforms that will lower heath care costs, increase competition, and provide greater choice to patients. Chuck Gray supports tort reform, individual health savings accounts, access to insurance across state lines, allowing small businesses to purchase coverage in groups, and individual tax deductions for insurance premiums. Chuck also supports the full repeal of Obamacare.

“The Obama administration is again headed in the wrong direction with their surveillance program on family doctors. We need real market reforms that increase competition and lower the cost of health care. I oppose Obamacare and this new scheme to spy on doctors. I support market reforms that expand freedom and choice in the health care sector,” stated Gray.

Click on this link to read the New York Times article that references the new Obama Administration plan.

Chuck Gray is running for Arizona’s Congressional District 6, which includes the communities of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Queen Creek. He formerly served in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature and was Senate Majority Leader in 2009 and 2010. He was an officer in the Mesa Police Department before being elected to the legislature.

For more information please visit www.chuckgray.com.

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Paid for by Chuck Gray for Congress

An Oklahoman’s Descent into National ID Hell

 

 

Arizona is not far behind Oklahoma.  the Arizona MVD is working on compliance with the 15th-18th REAL ID benchmarks, a far far cry from being out of the national ID program (sometimes called “REAL ID”, but it goes by many other names as well).   From a Christian patriot’s travails in Oklahoma.

I was shocked when the DMV clerk told me that I must submit to a finger scan.  Who doesn’t associate being fingerprinted with criminality?  I balked but was told no scan-no drivers license.  At the time I had a small child, my own business and countless tasks to accomplish every day that would be very difficult if not impossible to meet without a valid license so I grudgingly complied.  I had no idea that it wasn’t just my fingers that they were scanning.  The old cameras had been replaced with high resolution digital cameras that capture, map and digitize our facial features for use with facial recognition technology.

Arizona:

Drivers license photos compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization biometric data interchange formats?  CHECK

Drivers license require finger scans from applicants?  According to the American Association of Moter Vehicle Administrators, it is under consideration.

 I always knew that if it came down to it, I was not going to just roll over and comply.  I have a child and to just give up and leave her with the legacy of government control by cataloging and monitoring people through an international biometric ID is not an option for me.

Once the fight is finally over and the biometric identification plans are fully implemented those who refuse to be enrolled and will not carry a “government issued photo ID”, will essentially be viewed as invalid, non-persons, unregistered. 

Furthermore their invalidated status will be a red flag rendering such persons especially suspect by a government that demands its right to know all about everyone at all times.  Where did our government get such a right?  They got it from us.   Our complacence is compliance and as far as they are concerned that gives them permission and therefore the right to scan our body parts and use those measurements as a personal tracking number.

The ones that do comply won’t be much better off really.   Their government issued biometric ID will allow our government to keep tabs on their every transaction, their travel, their habits and more. This biometric identification system puts our ability to access our daily necessities at their pleasure.  Will such an all powerful government choose to be a benevolent father?  History does not give one much hope that it will.

From Revelations 13:

 7And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

 8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 9If any man have an ear, let him hear…….

 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark,

Seems pretty clear from Revelation, that if you bear the mark, regardless of your self-perception of whether you are a saint or not, you serve the Beast of revelation.  The sure sign is (see P 16 above) that if you do NOT have the mark, you cannot engage in commerce.  If you do, you can.

It’s all right there in black and white.  I am so grateful to my Christian sister in Oklahoma who is showing good patriots and Christians the way to resist the beast.

Democrats answer to our nation’s problems: Give a man a fish

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2011
CONTACT: Eric Van Epps

Phoenix, AZ – To paraphrase President Reagan’s rebuke to “Fritz” Mondale, “Andrei, Andrei, Andrei, there you go again.” Last Monday, Andrei Cherny attacked Arizona Republican legislators for upholding Arizona unemployment laws. The Chairman of the Arizona Democrat Party may feel obligated to advocate that economic and employment concerns can best be solved by ever larger government subsidization but history clearly shows he is wrong.

Arizona Republican legislators look to abide by statutes which have been in place for the past three decades. Democrats should be ashamed for trying to exploit loopholes which would only increase our nation’s debt and not address the real problem, which is President Obama’s lack of focus on a declining job market.

Cherny dares to advocate that the responsible decisions made by our republican leadership only aim to punish struggling families and rob our state’s economy. Much like a child with a new credit card, Cherny fails to grasp the concept of borrowed money and doesn’t seem to understand that an increase in unemployment benefits from a year and a half to two years will only increase the fourteen trillion dollar debt already owed by America’s taxpayers.

Unemployment benefits were designed to provide stopgap financial assistance while an individual was between jobs; unemployment was never intended to serve as income for a prolonged period of time. Intrusive big government solutions instituted by President Obama have served only to extend and deepen America’s financial crisis.

“Band-Aids serve their purpose,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Tom Morrissey, “But Band-Aids will never mend a severed limb. Instead of lengthening unemployment benefits, democrats need to support policies that will create jobs.”

While democrats in Arizona and Washington scheme to come up with new ways that exacerbate our rising unemployment problems, Republicans look to loosen regulations, lower costs and bring back many of the jobs that have been lost overseas.

Chairman Morrissey continued, “You can only ignore a problem for so long.

Eventually you have to address that problem and do something about it. I believe that by passing a jobs bill the Republican legislature has acknowledged the problem and taken the right path that will solve our state and our nation’s economic problems.”

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Supreme Court Declares Arizona’s Matching Funds System Unconstitutional

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2011

PHOENIX — Today, in a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision striking down the matching funds provisions of Arizona’s taxpayer-funded campaign finance system known as Clean Elections.

Mirroring arguments from the Goldwater Institute that prompted the Supreme Court to block Arizona’s matching funds system on June 8, 2010, the Court declared, “Any increase in speech resulting from the Arizona law is of one kind and one kind only: that of publicly financed candidates. The burden imposed on privately financed candidates and independent expenditure groups reduces their speech.”

The Supreme Court added: “The First amendment embodies our choice as a Nation that, when it comes to [campaign] speech, the guiding principle is freedom—the ‘unfettered exchange of ideas’—not whatever the State may view as fair.”

The Supreme Court confirmed that Arizona’s system of providing government campaign funding to candidates cannot be squared with its earlier decision in Davis v. F.E.C. In Davis, the Court struck down a regulatory scheme whereby “the vigorous exercise of the right to use personal funds to finance campaign speech produces fundraising advantages for opponents in the competitive context of electoral politics.” Arizona’s matching funds provisions similarly disadvantage citizen-funded candidates for exercising their First Amendment rights by causing their campaign contributions and expenditures to trigger taxpayer subsidies to opposing government-funded candidates.

“This decision protects democratic elections and gets government’s heavy thumb off the scale,” said Nick Dranias, the Goldwater Institute’s director of constitutional studies and the lead attorney in the case.

Although labeled differently, similar matching funds provisions exist in Florida, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Connecticut and Massachusetts previously had public-financing provisions, but repealed them.

The Court’s decision puts an end to these unconstitutional experiments.

The Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation represented John McComish, Nancy McLain, and Tony Bouie, candidates for the Arizona Legislature whose campaigns were funded by donations from citizens, not the government. Previously, the Institute secured three rulings from U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver that Arizona’s matching funds provision violated the First Amendment. Those rulings were overturned by the Ninth Circuit on May 21, 2010.

But on June 8, 2010, responding to an emergency request from the Goldwater Institute, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Ninth Circuit’s decision from taking effect and suspended Arizona’s use of matching funds for its 2010 election cycle. Subsequent decisions arising from the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal followed suit, striking down equivalent matching funds provisions in Connecticut and Florida. The Supreme Court formally agreed to consider the Goldwater Institute’s challenge on Nov. 29, 2010, along with a separate case that had been filed by the Institute for Justice.

Read more about this and other Goldwater cases to protect individual rights and uphold the constitution at http://goldwaterinstitute.org/litigation.

The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona’s “Clean Elections” Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2011
CONTACT: Christina Walsh

Court Protects Free Speech and Political Participation

Arlington, Va.—In a victory for free speech and political participation, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “matching funds” provision of Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections” Act is unconstitutional. The landmark case is Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, argued by the Institute for Justice. Both IJ and the Goldwater Institute had challenged Arizona’s law in court.

“This case is a clear reminder to government officials that they may not coerce speakers to limit their own speech,” said Bill Maurer, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, who argued the case. “The Court’s decision today, like other recent decisions, makes clear that the First Amendment is not an exception to campaign finance laws; it is the rule.”

Maurer said, “As a result of today’s ruling, government can no longer use public funds to manipulate speech in campaigns to favor government-funded political candidates and turn the speech of traditionally funded candidates into the vehicle by which their entire political goals are undermined.”

Arizona’s “Clean Elections” Act manipulated election speech by favoring candidates who participated in the public funding system over those who chose to forego taxpayer dollars and instead raised funds through voluntary contributions. For every dollar a privately funded candidate spent above a government-dictated amount, the government gave additional funds to his opponent. The Act even matched funds spent by independent groups that supported privately funded candidates, thereby canceling out those independent groups’ speech.

According to the Court, “The direct result of the speech of privately financed candidates and independent expenditure groups is a state-provided monetary subsidy to a political rival. That cash subsidy, conferred in response to political speech, penalizes speech.”

The Court’s decision followed the reasoning of its 2008 decision in Davis v. FEC, in which it struck down unequal contribution limits for candidates. As the Court said in today’s decision, although the penalty imposed by Arizona’s law is different in some respects from the law in Davis “those differences make the Arizona law more constitutionally problematic, not less.”

For example, Arizona’s law matches not only candidate expenditures, but those of independent expenditure groups, such as the clients represented by the Institute for Justice. As the Court put it “the matching funds provision forces privately funded candidates to fight a political hyrdra of sorts. Each dollar they spend generates two adversarial dollars in response.”

At bottom, the matching funds provision was a bald attempt by the state to manipulate speech by forcing speakers to either trigger matching funds, change their message, or refrain from speaking. According to the Court, “forcing that choice . . . certainly contravenes ‘the fundamental rule of protection under the First Amendment, that a speaker has the autonomy to choose the content of his own message.’”

Moreover, the Court recognized that the end result of the matching funds was the total curtailment of political speech, for “If the matching funds provision achieves its professed goal and causes candidates to switch to public financing, . . . there will be less speech: no spending above the initial state-set amount by formerly privately financed candidates, and no associated matching funds for anyone. Not only that, the level of speech will depend on the State’s judgment of the desirable amount, an amount tethered to available (and often scarce) state resources.”

But as the Court strongly reiterated today, “the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speakers against unjustified restrictions on speech, even when those restrictions reflect the will of the majority. When it comes to protected speech, the speaker is sovereign.”

In finding that matching funds substantially burden speech, Chief Justice Roberts pointed to research by University of Rochester political scientist David Primo, an expert in the case. Contrary to claims of Clean Elections’ backers, Dr. Primo’s original research “found that privately financed candidates facing the prospect of triggering matching funds changed the timing of their fundraising activities, the timing of their expenditures, and, thus, their overall campaign strategy” to avoid sending additional funds to opponents. The research is available at www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/first_amendment/az_campaign_finance/expert-report-d_primo.pdf.

Today’s ruling is important not just for those states and municipalities that have similar “matching fund” systems. As Maurer explains, “The decision prohibits government from attempting to level the playing field among political speakers by creating disincentives for some and incentives for others. The clear message of the First Amendment to government is: Hands off!”

Although today’s ruling affects only the matching funds provision of the Clean Elections Act, there is a measure on the November 2012 Arizona ballot that would end the whole Clean Elections system by forbidding government support of candidate campaigns.

The Institute for Justice has litigated against this unconstitutional provision since 2004. IJ represents independent political groups the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC and the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee as well as political candidates Senator Rick Murphy and former State Treasurer Dean Martin.

“Now that matching funds are no more, we do not have to censor our own speech,” said Steve Voeller of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC. “As long as this law was in place, we knew that that speaking out in the election meant that our political opponents would be showered with government money. The more we spoke, the more politicians we opposed benefitted. Now we can actually speak freely.”

Shane Wikfors of the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee said, “We have always believed that this law was meant to corral not only candidates but also voters by limiting political speech, intimidating organizations like ours and ultimately leading to a political outcome that was tainted by the state’s involvement. We are grateful that the Court protected political expression and struck down this unconstitutional state intervention.”

Rick Murphy said, “I’m grateful a majority of the justices recognized that the government shouldn’t try to ‘level the playing field’ of free speech with public money.”

Dean Martin said, “After nearly a decade, justice has prevailed. Now I am looking forward to November 2012, when the voters have a chance to get rid of the rest of taxpayer money that support politicians.”

Many observers anticipated the Court would strike down the matching funds program. IJ-Arizona Staff Attorney Paul Avelar explained, “It was pretty clear that matching funds violate the First Amendment rights of candidates, citizens and independent groups. The Ninth Circuit’s decision, now overturned, was so inconsistent with protections for free speech in campaigns that two other federal appellate courts almost immediately refused to follow it. In those cases, the courts struck down matching funds systems in Connecticut and Florida.”

“This is yet another example of an important judicial trend the Institute for Justice has advocated since our founding—that of judicial engagement,” said Institute for Justice President and General Counsel Chip Mellor. “The Court looked beyond the state’s claims about Clean Elections to its substance. It recognized that the real purpose of the law was not to eliminate corruption, but to level the playing field by manipulating speech. In the past, the courts have all too often rubberstamped the government’s claims about corruption in elections and upheld campaign finance laws that violated First Amendment rights. The Court seems to be moving in the other direction in campaign finance, and as a result, we are all freer.”

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC is just one of several challenges the Institute for Justice is litigating against restrictions on free speech by campaign finance laws. Mellor promised that “IJ will continue to fight against laws that reduce speech, silence disfavored speakers and viewpoints, and allow government to manipulate the marketplace of ideas thereby stripping away people’s right to govern themselves.”

Social science research shows that the purported benefits of public funding programs rarely materialize, while the costs to candidates and independent groups are real. Dr. Primo summed up the findings of the best available research in a paper for the Institute for Justice (available at http://www.ij.org/about/3466), and concluded, “Public funding is a program that promises much and delivers little.”

IJ recently won a landmark victory for free speech in federal court on behalf of SpeechNow.org, an independent group that opposes or supports candidates on the basis of their stance on free speech. IJ also won on behalf of a group of neighbors who were prosecuted by their political opponents under Colorado’s byzantine campaign finance laws merely for speaking out against the annexation of their neighborhood to a nearby town. In addition, IJ won recent victories for free speech in Florida when a federal judge struck down the state’s broadest-in-the-nation “electioneering communications” law and in Washington when it stopped an attempt to use the state’s campaign finance laws to regulate talk-radio commentary about a ballot issue.

# # #

Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee
Institute for Justice – Arizona Chapter
Goldwater Institute

 

Phoenix Mayoral candidate Jennifer Wright – An upset in the making!

Watch the following video from this Sunday’s Square Off as political pundit and insider, Chris Herstam makes the prediction that conservative Tea Party candidate, Jennifer Wright could possibly take second place in the upcoming August Phoenix Mayoral race. (Herstam believes that Greg Stanton will win the vote with 30-35% of the vote (not enough to clinch the win) but Wright could finish second place against Peggy Neely if Wright is able to raise enough money to get mailers out.

For those who follow politics a little closer, Chris Herstam also predicted a near win by 2010 Congressional Candidate, Ruth McClung in the General Election against Raul Grijalva.  Herstam would not make such a statement unless he could back it up with hard polling data.

Here is the video clip:

YouTube Preview Image

Read what Arizona Republic political reporter Robert Leger also wrote about Jennifer Wright:

“Wright could be a key factor. Most pundits, noting she entered the race late and has little money, expect her to finish in the single digits. But an important point: She collected 3,500 signatures in three weeks using only volunteers. Passion is as important as money in a campaign, maybe more so.”

The race for Mayor and Council in Phoenix will come down to a race between the government unions vs the taxpayers. Unions are out working to elect their next “bosses” in order to get the long-term benefits paid for courtesy of Phoenix taxpayers.

Help Jennifer Wright take back America one city at a time by donating to her effort. This is a potential upset in the making and you have the opportunity to make it happen and send a message loud and clear.

Donate Now.

 

We the People Can Do Better

A United States Representative sends lewd pictures of himself to six females, and then brazenly lies to the press and his peers about his actions. An Arizona State senator has a public brawl with his girl friend in the middle of a public road and tells police he cannot be arrested because he is a sitting senator. A Pinal County supervisor disrespects his constituents by describing his constituents’ questions and statements as “moronic.” 

What is the common thread in the behavior of these politicians? Hubris: an unbridled arrogance, an excess of ambition and pride. Another common thread is a total detachment from the reality of the electorate who elected these people into office, only to discover these politicians are not representative of the electorate but are self-representative.

 Are politicians arrogant before they are elected to office or do they become arrogant as a result of being elected into office?  How does political arrogance begin? Is political arrogance a façade covering up a lack of self confidence? Why are politicians more prone to lack of humility and lack of civility? These are the people who should be looking out for us. Instead, they seem to be looking out for themselves.

 We see the same arrogance at the federal and state levels, only to a much worse degree. It is not ordinary political arrogance, it is more, as described in the opening paragraph. It is a general break-down of our ethics, where immoral acts are condoned as long as the act does not violate some statute, where politicians use their positions of power to indulge and cheat. It is a corrupt philosophy of “the ends justifies the means.”

 Surely, we “the People” can do a better job of selecting our representatives.

“Republicans” gone wild

By Priscilla Racke

We have a serious problem in the Pima County Republican Party, and it consists largely of registered Republicans behaving like democrats. I use the word “democrats” with a small “d” intentionally, because I am not referring to card-carrying members of the Democratic Party (though that comparison would work well too) but instead to the ancient form and theory of government that is democracy. Democracy’s premise, as we all know, is that every citizen participate full-time in the administration of government, which itself depends upon the input of every citizen for the settlement of every issue.

Contrary to popular opinion, America is not a democracy. Hopefully, it never will be, because democracies don’t work. They never have, which is why Aristotle called democracy a corrupt form of government. America is, and was intentionally established to be, a republic, one made different from any republic that had previously existed by its unique combination of extension, mixed government, checks and balances, and separation of powers.

The two political parties that comprise our two party system today are named for the political philosophies they are supposed to most closely resemble. Republicans, in their policies, carriage, and character, are supposed to reflect the principles, values, and characteristics of republicanism. Democrats are likewise expected to reflect those of democracy. Ann Coulter, in her new book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America, compares the two by their revolutionary roots. Republicans, she says, cherish and follow after the legacy of the American Revolution, while Democrats cherish and follow after the legacy of the French Revolution. The hallmarks of one: thoughtful, reasoned, intelligent, and responsible written argument; the hallmarks of the other: impassioned, emotional, lawless, and irresponsible mob action. This is a truth that history readily supports. It is a truth that is cause for alarm today in the Pima GOP. Too many Pima Republicans have donned their “I am the Mob” t-shirts and begun to take the statement seriously.

Abraham Lincoln, the illustrious father of the Republican Party and timeless champion of freedom, gave a speech in 1838 to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield that each of us needs read today and reread tomorrow and the next day. He called it “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.” In that address Lincoln lamented the rising wave of mob behavior that was sweeping the country at the time, and he decried the effects of lawlessness and unbridled passion on the political institutions of our nation. He described mobs that gave too much weight to their own opinions and prejudices, who were rising up to lynch, burn, and attack whomever they felt had done wrong. He described mobs that, by abandoning reason and caution to the hateful, violent winds undermined the very law, government, and society they professed to protect.

He warned that three terrible things would occur if such behavior persisted: that innocents would be consumed by the fires built for the guilty, that all popular attachment to or regard for the government would wash away with the tide, and that good people would be alienated from the political institutions that needed their blood, sweat, and tears.

This is what we are coming to in the Pima Republican Party. A mob has sprung up among us, one that glorifies, exalts, and rallies around the principles of democracy and the legacy of the French Revolution: motivated by resentment and bitterness, throwing off reason and respect, figuratively hunting the head of their own elected leader out of some cannablisitic desire to dismantle their Republican Party and run it like an absurd democracy.

Abraham Lincoln cried out against mob rule. He vehemently denounced the lynching and burning and killing, and he would be as much against what is happening in this county today as he was against that. The secret meetings, furtive petitions, back-stabbing, and discreet betrayals, all are persistent, divisive actions based on a rejection of the fundamental characteristic of republicanism: representation. Put away the checks and balances, separation of powers, mixed government, extension, etc. and republicanism is no different from democracy. Its difference depends, fundamentally, on the principle of REPRESENTATION. This value is the very heart and soul of our history, our legacy, and our enduring form of government. As Republicans, it is essential to what we should hold dear. As lovers of the Constitution and heirs to its political ideology, it should be the solid cornerstone of our platforms and our goals.

This mob has rejected that very principle. They rage against being represented at all. In doing so they have rejected republicanism. Perhaps they should hand in their resignations today. In the meantime, they are tearing this Party apart. “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselved be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide,” Lincoln said. The head-hunters amongst us are currently authoring our Party’s suicide. They are consuming innocents in their fire, disgracing the name of Republicanism, and driving away the individuals we need most.

They should think long and hard on the words of him who knew best the danger of the house divided:

“When men take it in their heads to day, to hang gamblers, or burn murderers, they should recollect, that, in the confusion usually attending such transactions, they will be as likely to hang or burn some one who is neither a gambler nor a murderer as one who is; and that, acting upon the example they set, the mob of to-morrow, may, and probably will, hang or burn some of them by the very same mistake.”

I don’t mind that some of these defectors call me and the others who share my convictions “wanna-be revolutionaries.” I can be quite proud of that title, as long as they understand that I am taking my cues from the American Revolution, and not the French one.

Priscilla Racke

“wanna-be revolutionary” and proud Brian Miller supporter

“Unrestrained freedom is anarchy. Restrained only by force and arms, is despotism; self-restrained is Republicanism. Wherever there is wanting the intelligence and virtue requisite for the latter, Republicanism expires.” – Edmund Fairfield, July 4th, 1853

 

Alexander & Symes show live tonight on video at ustream.tv; discussing HOAs

We are now live every Saturday on ustream.tv video! We have also officially renamed our show to the Alexander and Symes Show, since Brian Symes was already acting as co-host. This Saturday night from 6-7pm on the Alexander & Symes Show we will talk about abusive Homeowners’ Associations. 90% of new homes in Maricopa County are located within an HOA. HOAs are unfairly cracking down on homeowners in order to make up for losing monthly HOA fees due to the high number of foreclosures and short sales. Read my expose on HOAs here.

Last week’s show reporting live from the RightOnline convention in Minneapolis with Shane Wikfors from Sonoran Alliance is archived here.

Watch the ustream live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/alexander-and-symes-show. Login and chat us live during the show. Click here to get weekly email updates on our upcoming shows.

Paul Sracic: Rep. Giffords should resign her seat

The following editorial appears on the CNN Opinion website. Many Arizonans are starting to ask whether or not Congresswoman Giffords’ absence from the US House of Representatives is becoming problematic to her constituents. Some are quietly suggesting that she resign her post and allow someone else to step into the position. Next January, Congresswoman Giffords will reach the five year point in which her congressional pension kicks in. At that time she may decide to resign from her seat thus allowing a special election to take place according to the Arizona State Constitution.

By Dr. Paul Sracic

(CNN) — In the months since the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, reports about her condition have been sparse. We have learned of a follow-up surgery to repair her skull and that she was recently released from a rehabilitation hospital.

Also released were a set of photos. We still, however, do not know the extent of her injuries. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, the media has not delved too deeply into the more common and troubling aftereffects of a serious trauma to the brain.

Should the media and the public be so reluctant to demand more information? The Arizona Democrat is not just a private citizen; she is a sitting member of Congress. Do Giffords’ responsibilities demand a more searching inquiry into her health? No one is asking this question because it seems moot.

In reality, the congresswoman is not carrying out any of these responsibilities.

Even from the limited information that has been made available, we know that for the near term Giffords cannot carry out her committee assignments, debate on the floor of the House, and, most importantly cast a vote. The result is that for all intents and purposes, the gunman’s bullet that so severely injured Giffords also silenced the people of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.

Isn’t the obvious solution for her to resign and allow Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to call a special election to fill her seat? I know that this sounds cruel and heartless. After all, not only is Gabrielle Giffords not responsible for what happened to her, but in a sense she sacrificed herself, having been attacked while performing the quintessential democratic act of meeting with her constituents.

The problem is that we so often think of resignation as a sort of punishment for bad behavior. And it seems a perversion to use the names Gabrielle Gifford and Anthony Weiner, who resigned last week in a sex scandal, in the same sentence, much less to dole out to them a common punishment.

But to view resignation as only appropriate in the aftermath of misdeeds shows a misunderstanding of the what it means to be a member of Congress.

Yes, to be an elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives is an honor. To be forced or coerced to give up an honor is a form of punishment.

Being a member of Congress, however, is also a job. More than that, it is a job that lies at the heart of our democracy. Although we all wish Giffords a swift and full recovery, we also wish the nearly 650,000 residents of her district to be represented in Congress. While her staff may still be in place, being assisted no doubt by other members of Congress, the staff cannot vote.

I write from experience. In the summer of 2002, the congressman who represented my Ohio district, Jim Traficant, was expelled from Congress.

Then-Gov. Robert Taft, in an act that would later be declared unconstitutional by a federal court, decided not to call for a special election. Many reasons were cited, the most important being cost and the fact that the congressional session was nearly over.

The result was that those of us in Ohio’s 17th Congressional District were, from July 24 of 2002 until the new Congress convened over five months later, in much the same condition as citizens in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. On the floor of the House of Representatives, we did not count.

Did anything of importance happen during that time?

Well, none of the appropriation bills for fiscal 2003 had yet passed. More significantly, on October 16, 2002, the House voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.

Would my congressman’s vote have made a difference in any of these votes? Probably not, but that’s not the point. Democracy is about participation, not results.

This indeed is what Gabrielle Giffords would be signifying should she decide to resign. She would, after all, be replaced by someone chosen by the very voters that she risked her life to hear from on that terrible day in January.

I am also fairly confident that there are at least a few qualified candidates who the congresswoman herself might approve to serve in her place. I hear, for example, that there is an astronaut who might be looking for work this fall.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul Sracic.

 

Stand for Marriage? You’re Not Alone

Stand for Marriage? You’re Not Alone

Most of the popular culture would have you think that if you believe in the true definition of marriage, you are part of a small minority. A new comprehensive study by the Alliance Defense Fund suggests otherwise. In what is likely the most extensive national research survey of its kind, ADF and Public Opinion Strategists found that 62 percent of Americans believe that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.”

This actually shouldn’t come as a shock. When this issue has been before the voters, 31 states have voted to protect marriage in their state constitution – like Arizona did in 2008. Reality is that we have much to be hopeful about in our battle to preserve the definition of marriage.

Who is the Father?

Father’s Day sparked a slew of stories about dads and their role in the family. Jennifer Lahl wrote this piece about a recent decision by British Columbia’s high court in favor of donor-conceived children having access to their biological information. Rulings like this are critical to advancing the public conversation about In Vitro Fertilization and understanding the rights of all involved – especially the children.

The New York Times told the story of a young boy, conceived through sperm donation, being raised by two women and the sperm donor (who the boy only knows as uncle right now) and the sperm donor’s same-sex partner. The problems with this arrangement are evident, and the long term effects on the child in this story will probably never be told. When the needs of children are second to the wants of adults, there are always consequences, and sadly, it’s typically the children who pay the price.

On the Radio

On Monday, I was on for the full hour of the Andrew Tallman Show on 1360 KPXQ AM to discuss the Abortion Consent Act litigation. I had a great time with Andrew talking about the pro-life movement in Arizona. Click here to listen to the podcast.

City Elections Impact Everyone

On the Foundations blog this week, CAP’s Blackstone legal intern Angelina wrote about the impact one city’s election can have on the entire state. Read more here.

Time is Running Out to Register to Vote

Many city elections are just two months away. If you’re not registered to vote, you’ll want to soon! If you are, please forward this email to your friends and family, and remind them to register and be sure to turn out to vote on August 30. We are in the process of compiling the results for our city election Voter Guide and will be publishing them in the next few weeks to AZVoterGuide.com.

 

Congressman Flake: U.S. Mission in Libya is Unclear

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2011
CONTACT: Genevieve Frye Rozansky

National Security Objectives Must be Defined

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today voted against two legislative measures regarding U.S. military involvement in Libya. The first (H.J. Res. 68) would authorize the limited use of the United States Armed Forces in support of the NATO mission in Libya. The second (H.R. 2278) would limit the use of funds appropriated to the Department of Defense for United States Armed Forces in support of NATO Operation Unified Protector with respect to Libya.

“The President still has not made clear what national security objectives are being met by U.S. participation in the NATO mission or how we can justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars to fund our efforts there,” said Flake. “The time for debate over whether to authorize U.S. armed forces to engage in Libya was months ago, before the U.S. entered into the NATO operation.”

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Speaker Tobin Calls for Cyber Terrorists to be Held Accountable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (June 24, 2011) – Speaker Andy Tobin released the following statement in response to the hacking group LulzSec breaking into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computers on Thursday and downloading hundreds of files:

“I am outraged to learn that a group of international hackers have illegally stolen and released hundreds of law enforcement files from the Department of Public Safety. Even more outrageous is that they have done this in response to the Legislature and Governor’s efforts to secure our border and protect Arizona citizens by passing SB1070. Instead, this extremist group has now put hundreds of Arizona’s finest in danger. These cyber terrorists should be prosecuted to the full extent possible. Their actions have compromised the safety of our brave law enforcement officers and their families. Therefore, we will be looking at whether additional policy is needed to fully hold them accountable in the event the release of this information results in harm to any of our public safety officers or their families.”

Follow the Speaker on Twitter: @Andy_Tobin