Janet Contreras: Let’s Take Back Phoenix in 2011!

Our Tucson and Phoenix City Council candidates could use your help. Here is an opportunity to help Janet Contreras in the Phoenix Council race.

Did you know?

We are electing FIVE city council seats and a Mayor in Phoenix THIS YEAR? Yes, in August of 2011, one of the most important city elections in quite a long time will be held. This election could change the entire mindset of the Phoenix City Council in ONE election. We need a conservative majority, and we can take it in this election if we all work together.

This is from the city council meeting Wednesday:

Sal DiCiccio needs some more conservative voices on the council to get the city budget in line. With five conservative new council seats, the mayor’s chair, and Sal DiCiccio, we could have SEVEN conservative votes out of nine on the council! January starts the negotiations for new city employee contracts going forward. Who do you want at the table representing YOU, the taxpayer? Janet Contreras or Michael Nowakowski?

Our Arizona "Leadership" standing against Arizona with the unions, the federal government and Al Sharpton. (Left to right in Orange Los Suns jerserys: Mary Rose Wilcox, Al Sharpton, Michael Nowakowski)

Let’s take Phoenix back in 2011!

Phoenix is in far more financial trouble than the citizens are being told. Blame is irrelevant at this point. These issues must be addressed now, and the majority of the current council refuses to do so. The mindset is that when tax revenues fall short of their spending sprees, they will just tax us more and raise our water rates more and stop services to citizens more. It never occurs to them that they are “administration” heavy or that union demands are not reasonable. Labor costs are 90% of the city budget now. What happens when the 14,000+ city employees start retiring, we continue to pay and provide health care for them, and we still have to operate the city? The numbers do not add up!

We are facing a $59M 2013 budget deficit that they are refusing to address, but had no problem applying the $28.5M collected in food taxes to city employee pay raises. We are in deep, deep financial trouble, and it is time to take our city out of the hands of liberals and union thugs.

I need the support of all of the people who supported my congressional campaign last year against Ed Pastor to defeat Mike Nowakowski and his union-backed support in this election. I hope I can count on you for a donation, to put out a yard sign (if you live in the district) and/or to help make phone calls to other conservative voters to let them know the crucial importance of voting in this election.

Mike Nowakowski was elected with only 5,207 votes. He will have much stronger support from the unions this time around. There are 19,000 registered Republican voters in this district, and I need every one of them to vote for Janet Contreras, along with as many Independents as we can reach. Won’t you please help me reach them?

A donation of $5, $10, $25 is extremely helpful if all will contribute something. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Janet Contreras, Candidate
Phoenix City Council, Dist. 7
www.vote4janet.com
janet@theotherjanet.com

Paid for by Contreras for Arizona.

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Public School Funding – Understanding the Tangled Web

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2011
CONTACT: Karen Schutte

Chris Ackerley to be Featured Speaker at Public Seminar Sponsored by Rep. Terri Proud and Educating AZ Right

Tucson, AZ (June 15, 2011) — State Representative Terri Proud and Educating AZ Right are pleased to announce the first in a series of public seminars on “Public School Funding in Arizona – Understanding the Tangled Web” on Thursday, at 6:00 pm, June 23, 2011 at the Metro Water Building, 6265 North La Canada Rd., Tucson, AZ.

The featured speaker will be Chris Ackerley, a physics teacher at Amphi High School, Vice-President of the Amphitheater Education Association, and a Member of the Board of Directors for Arizona Education Association. Although a complex subject, this seminar will be geared for parents and the general public to increase their understanding of where and how public school funding is being used.

Educating AZ Right is a non-partisan, non-profit group founded by Representative Proud to enhance K through 12 public education with extracurricular activities through a team of leaders and concerned citizens working in partnership along with educators to bring about greatness in our schools. Educating AZ Right sponsors events and forums that encourage the creation and exchange of ideas and resources focused on improving Southern Arizona’s educational system.

“Some would say that if we ‘invested more money in education’ or had smaller class sizes, all our problems would vanish.” “Not so,” according to Rep. Terri Proud. “California tried it, with nothing to show for their enormous investments but a bigger state debt. There are school districts with less funding and greater academic gains, so it is not simply an issue of funding. We need to understand how our money is being spent before we can comment it’s all about more money.”

This seminar is intended to answer many of the questions the public has raised on funding in our public schools. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your understanding of this complex subject.

For more information on this seminar, or future events, go to http://www.EducatingAZRight.com

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Arizona’s OpenBooks Reveals More than Just Spending

Two years ago, almost $1.5 billion of Arizona’s total spending was classified under a category called “Other Miscellaneous Operating.” That is, around 5 percent of Arizona’s spending was classified into a meaningless category that should never amount to more than a pittance. “Other Miscellaneous Operating” is meaningless to a manager, it’s meaningless to a taxpayer, and it’s meaningless to a member of the legislature. Last year, another $1.5 billion of spending was classified under “Other Miscellaneous Operating.”

So far this year, only $28.4 million in spending is classified under “Other Miscellaneous Operating.” It’s now suddenly closer to the pittance it should be compared to the state’s total spending.

Why the big difference? State comptroller Clark Partridge says state spending is now classified into more meaningful categories, some of them new. What prompted the change? Agency accountants found out their books would be open to the public through a transparency website (openbooks.az.gov) launched in January, a result of legislation championed by the Goldwater Institute.

While this change is wonderful, it does highlight some disturbing questions. How do state managers manage when they don’t know how money is being spent? Why didn’t they care before the transparency website went live? When they say they need more money, how do they know?

Transparency reveals more than how and where taxpayer money is spent. It also reveals how government operates. The next step is to understand what government agencies really accomplish and get an accurate picture of their performance.

Dr. Byron Schlomach is the director of the Goldwater Institute’s Center for Economic Prosperity.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Piercing the Fog: A Call for Greater Transparency in State and Local Government

Arizona Department of Administration: Openbooks.az.gov

Texas Public Policy Foundation: Demanding Performance: Outcome and Efficiency Measures

CNBC: “Congress Is Taking Debt Ceiling Seriously: Rep. Schweikert”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2011
CONTACT: Rachel Semmel

The U.S. Congress will not wait for the country’s debt crisis to reach the levels of Southern Europe, David Schweikert, a Republican congressman and part of the bipartisan commission on budget told CNBC on Tuesday.

In Washington DC, Republicans and Democrats are debating on where and how to cut US budget and on whether or not the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling should be raised. The clock is ticking as the deadline for negotiations is set on August 2nd, 2010.

“This is kind of the dance of legislation,” Schweikert said. “What we’re asking the president and the Senate, and obviously our representatives to do, is something that almost has never been done before. And that’s actually cut spending and do what’s absolutely necessary to save us from this avalanche of debt that this country is dealing with,” he said.

Congress is finally taking the debt issue seriously, Schweikert explained, as it doesn’t want to wait until the situation is as bad as it is in Portugal, or even Greece, whose debt rating has been lowered to a CCC grade — the lowest in the world — by Standard and Poor’s.

“It is crucial that we telegraph to the world and to our own markets that this Congress is deadly serious on bending the debt curve,” Schweikert said. “When you look at the demographics in this country, the curve gets much, much worse over the following decade,” he added.

But which spending sector should be prioritized, as well as what room is there for coupons, will be questions the commission needs to tackle.

“I understand it was a negotiating technique, that ‘the hair is on fire’, ‘the world is coming to an end,’ ‘Congress must just go out and do a clean debt ceiling’,” Schweikert added, “but a clean debt ceiling as a first wanted, would, I believe, have been a bad, bad thing, because how do you tell the world we’re taking our debt seriously but now for Treasury to say ‘oh, we get this cash flow, but we can’t prioritize it to our coupons.’ It’s just borderline silly.”

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