Archives for September 29, 2011

Arizona Republican Party Sets Date for Arizona Presidential Debate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2011

Phoenix – The Arizona Republican Party is pleased to announce Thursday, December 1st as the date for the first Republican Presidential debate to take place in Arizona. The Cable News Network (CNN) has also agreed to partner with the Arizona Republican Party to carry the debate live that evening.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer played an important integral role in the discussion and decision for the debate and will continue to be a part of the process as details are finalized.

Tom Morrissey, Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party commented, “Arizonans are clearly excited about this high profile debate opportunity. The voters look forward to watching the candidates give serious attention and discussion to issues critical to our economy, our national security role and the many other challenges we face here in Arizona and the Southwest.”

No venue has been chosen at this time but discussions are taking place to choose a location that optimizes the importance of the event. The debate will most likely take place in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once a decision has been reached regarding the official venue, members of the media will be notified.

For more information regarding the Arizona Republican Party’s role in the December debate, please contact Thayer Verschoor at (602) 957-7770.



Steve Chucri Files Candidacy for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2011
CONTACT: Steve Chucri

Steve Chucri, Native East Valley Resident, Files Candidacy for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Steve Chucri

(MESA, AZ) – Stephen D. Chucri (R-­‐Mesa) filed his official candidacy papers today for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in District 2, an area that includes Fountain Hills, Carefree, Cave Creek, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale. Born and raised in Mesa, Steve comes from a long-­‐standing and well-­‐respected early East Valley family. Steve’s grandfather, Tony M. Coury, Sr., founded a pioneering automobile dealership in Arizona, Tony M. Coury Buick, on Main Street in Mesa. The family was an anchor in the East Valley business community for several decades.

Steve learned from his family the high value of honest and transparent business principles, the kind of traditional values that promote faith and trust in community leadership. Steve continues to apply these principles today in his role as President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association, where he advocates on behalf of the $9.4 billion dollar restaurant industry in Arizona. Representing a multitude of restaurant operational, regulatory, human resources, and policy issues while finding ways to grow jobs and small business success has proven to be Steve’s strong suit. True to his family’s roots, Steve continues to support the American automobile industry in Arizona through his advocacy for General Motors and their Desert Proving Ground in Yuma.

“Now is the appropriate time to replace finger-­‐pointing with problem-­‐solving in our county leadership,” said Mr. Chucri. “There is a thirst throughout our community to activate fresh perspectives, and to replace the endless distractions with genuine and conservative servant-­‐leadership. More government spending has failed to renew our community. Instead, we must act constructively together to honestly shrink and reform government by reducing job-­‐killing regulation and mandates and to allow the free enterprise system to implement the creativity and proven success of free market principles.”

Campaign Chairman and Restaurateur, Matt McMahon stated, “I’ve seen first-­‐hand Steve’s ability to get the job done. We need his free market approach and can-­‐do style to change the way government conducts itself.”

Not only do his Arizona roots run deep, so does Steve’s family values and respect for fellow members of his community. Through his involvement as a board member of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Advisory Council, Phoenix Sports Commission and other entities, he has earned the respect of his colleagues for his forward thinking and ability to resolve complex problems.

Honorary Campaign Chairman, U.S. Representative David Schweikert said, “Steve has a long history of commitment to our community. Joyce and I believe his integrity and passion will make him a terrific Supervisor, as well as someone we can all be proud of.”

Steve, 41, resides in Mesa with his wife of 12 years, Christine, and their two sons.



Speaker Pro Tempore Steve Montenegro endorses Kirk Adams

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2011

“Kirk Adams exemplifies a rising generation of Republican leadership” 

Steve Montenegro

Steve Montenegro

EAST VALLEY – Kirk Adams is proud to announce the endorsement of State Representative Steve Montenegro, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Arizona House of Representatives, in his campaign to represent the East Valley.

“Kirk Adams exemplifies a rising generation of Republican leadership,” Montenegro said. “As Speaker of the House, I had the privilege of working with him and seeing his leadership and dedication to our conservative values. He will be an asset to the new wave of conservative leaders that face the Washington establishment. I know he will work hard each day to look out for Arizona families, not for special interests.”

“Steve Montenegro is a rising star who is fighting everyday at the Capitol to protect Arizona families and the values we hold dear,” Adams said. “It was a privilege to work with him at the Capitol, and I’m honored to have his support in this campaign.”

Adams and Montenegro worked side by side in the Arizona House of Representatives – Adams as Speaker and Montenegro as Speaker Pro Tempore – to protect unborn life, Arizona families, to balance the state budget and help secure the border.

About Steve Montenegro- Steve is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Political Science. He also holds an Associate of Arts in Theology from Logos Christian University. Presently, Steve works in the Glendale office of U.S. Congressman Trent Franks.

Steve also serves as an Assistant Pastor/Youth Pastor at the Surprise Apostolic Assembly. He was recently selected as a Rising Star in Governance and was made a Rodel Fellow.

Kirk Adams is a rising star in the Republican Party, and a conservative reformer who shook-up Arizona’s state Capitol and will do the same thing in Congress.

A husband, father and small businessman, after joining the state House in 2006, Adams found himself so frustrated by the unwillingness and inability of Republicans in the Legislature to stand up for their conservative principals that he launched a long-shot campaign to oust the veteran Speaker of the House.

Adams shocked the Republican establishment and political class, winning the Speakership at only 35 years of age.

Adams led the House back in a conservative direction with an aggressive reform agenda, taking on some of the most challenging issues in Arizona history – issues others were afraid to address because of the potential political fallout.

A native Arizonan, Adams and his wife JaNae live in Mesa and have five children.


Overpayments still rampant in Arizona’s unemployment insurance program

by Stephen Slivinski
Goldwater Institute

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor released data on how much each state “overpays” in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Overpayments, as a practical matter, are common. Either through lack of enforcement of eligibility requirements or through poor verification procedures, states sometimes improperly send unemployment checks to those who may not be eligible.

If there are strong verification procedures in place, overpayments can be greatly reduced. Yet, it appears that in Arizona, those safeguards are either absent or ineffective. Arizona had the fifth highest overpayment rate in the U.S. between July 2010 and June 2011, overpaying by $132 million. That’s an overpayment rate of 21.6 percent — almost twice the national average of 11.2 percent.

Why does that matter? Arizona has borrowed more than $300 million from the federal government since March 2010 to pay benefits to the state’s unemployed. If the state had been more diligent, the amount borrowed could have been almost cut in half.

Overpayments also put a strain on employers. Unemployment insurance is funded by taxing employers and if the fund doesn’t take in enough money to pay unemployment checks, taxes on employers go up too. There is a direct cost to employers that could be reduced if the state had better unemployment eligibility verification in place.

The unfortunate thing is that this is no surprise: An audit of the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s UI division concluded that “the Division’s accuracy rate in determining whether claimants are eligible for UI benefits is significantly below [U.S. Department of Labor] standards and national averages.” That audit occurred in 2005 and there hasn’t been one since.

Much can be done to reduce overpayment of unemployment benefits and reducing the cost of this program to those who fund it, starting with another audit of the eligibility verification process.

Keeping government-imposed costs of employing workers low should be part of Arizona’s economic development strategy. But the legislature must fix our broken unemployment insurance system.

Stephen Slivinski is senior economist for the Goldwater Institute.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Policymakers should audit, not expand, the unemployment insurance program

Wall Street Journal: Billions in unemployment benefits paid in error

Office of the Auditor General: Performance Review of Arizona’s Unemployment Insurance Program (2005)