Archives for October 2011

Arizona Republic: Supervisor Wilcox misses 7 of 8 council meetings

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox skipped most meetings of Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Council she was delegate to Even liberal Arizona Republic is appalled by her arrogance

Supervisor’s actions muted county’s voice The Arizona Republic

If anyone tried to silence Maricopa County’s voice in regional planning efforts, the outcry would be instant.
Yet Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, the county’s designated representative on the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Council, attended only one of the council’s eight monthly meetings this year, according to reporting by The Republic’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee.
The county deserves to be represented by more than an empty chair.
Wilcox told us she was frustrated with the way the county was treated by MAG and felt that the county wasn’t “listened to.”
Wilcox wanted the county to be put on MAG’s Executive Committee, she said.
She did “not set it as a priority” to attend the Regional Council meetings.
“It will become a priority,” she says, starting with this month’s meeting on Wednesday.
Wilcox points out that she has been an elected official in Maricopa County for a long time and that she regularly attends Board of Supervisors meetings. Fine. We don’t question her commitment to public service.
But she showed poor judgment by not going to the Regional Council meetings.
Her actions muted the county’s voice

Phoenix Labor Union Targets Former Trustee Who Questioned How Taxpayer Money is Spent

by Mark Flatten
Goldwater Institute

Natasha Nimer had a simple question: As a trustee in a local labor union representing City of Phoenix employees, did she have a duty to check the books of a taxpayer-funded insurance account it managed?

So she asked the executive board of AFSCME Local 2960. The response was an emphatic “no.”

She dropped the matter and thought it would end there.

She was wrong.

In the months that followed, union officials tried to strip Nimer of her duties as a trustee and steward. They tried twice to force her out of AFSCME, only to have the international headquarters order her reinstated.

Eventually union executives went after Nimer’s job as a civilian employee in the Phoenix Fire Department. They demanded her city phone records, personal and work-related emails, disciplinary files and performance evaluations; even a list of all of the Web sites she had visited. They wanted her computers seized and the hard drives searched for evidence she was doing something wrong.

The insurance fund Nimer asked about is one of many taxpayer-funded benefits worth millions of dollars that Phoenix provides to the seven labor unions that represent city workers with no accountability. The salaries of top union officials are paid by taxpayers. So are other cash benefits paid directly to the unions. Yet the city does not audit union accounts or require union officials to document how the time and money is spent.

To read the rest of this special investigation, click here.

Or watch the video version of this special investigation below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L-_BEPi9Ro

 

Rep. Quayle Statement on Gov. Brewer’s IRC Inquiry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Richard Cullen

WASHINGTON (DC) Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) released the following statement Thursday after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer formally requested responses from members of the Independent Restricting Commission (IRC) to “allegations of substantial neglect of duty and gross misconduct.”

“I commend Governor Brewer for taking the right step for the people of Arizona.The governor’s inquiry poses serious questions that deserve thorough answers from the commissioners. Governor Brewer is showing true leadership at a time when Arizona needs it most. Arizonans want a fair, open process that adheres to our state’s constitution. Governor Brewer’s action ensures that the commission’s intended purpose of neutrality and transparency is carried out.”

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Schweikert Issues Statement Regarding Governor Brewer’s Letters to the IRC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Chris Baker

(Scottsdale, AZ) The campaign of Congressman David Schweikert released the following statement today regarding Governor Brewer’s letters to the Independent Redistricting Commission.

“Governor Brewer’s decision yesterday, to send letters of inquiry to the Independent Redistricting Commission, is warranted. It has become increasingly apparent that this commission owes Arizonans answers for their actions. Arizona voters created the Independent Redistricting Commission with an eye towards a fair and transparent redistricting process that respects communities of interest and compactness, something this commission has failed to do. I hope that the commission is forthright and honest in answering the questions contained in Governor Brewer’s letter to them. Arizonans deserve nothing less from the process.”

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A campaign of lies and distortions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

The truth is passé for Greg Stanton and his allies

PHOENIX – It’s time for Greg Stanton to explain the increasingly troubling pattern of lies and distortions radiating from his campaign and supporters.

Just yesterday, Stanton was busted for the latest time for making an outrageous and unsubstantiated claim that Wes Gullet used his position on the Planning and Zoning Commission to benefit a client. The Arizona Republic Fact Checkers gave that claim Zero stars and called it “misleading.”

“If Greg Stanton can’t tell the truth to voters in this campaign, what should we expect from him if he’s elected Mayor?” Gullett said. “Attack ads and mailers based on Greg’s lies have been universally knock-down by the local media, yet he continues to mislead the public. He’s lost all credibility and it’s time for him to explain his lies.”

Just a few of the mistruths from Stanton and his supporters that have been busted in recent days:

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Grantham Advances to “On the Radar” with the NRCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Evan Kozlow

“Travis Grantham’s dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Arizona families and small businesses know has failed.”– NRCC Chairman, Pete Sessions (R-TX)

Gilbert, AZ – The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), announced today that the Grantham for Congress campaign has been elevated to the status of “On the Radar” within their Young Guns program. The move reflects the assessment of Travis Grantham as a strong and credible Republican candidate vying for the open seat in Arizona’s Sixth Congressional District.

“On the Radar” status is the first step toward achieving “Young Gun” status. Young Guns are viewed as the strongest Republican candidates in races across the country.

“We are looking forward to working with Travis Grantham, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX). “Travis Grantham’s dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Arizona families and small businesses know has failed.”

Specifically, the ‘Young Guns’ program encourages candidates who have proven their ability to meet crucial campaign benchmarks to develop their campaigns further. In achieving ‘On the Radar’ status, Travis Grantham has met organizational and fundraising benchmarks and has already begun to establish himself as a strong contender. Grantham will now work toward even higher goals that will help him advance in the ‘Young Guns’ program and build an effective campaign.

“Achieving ‘On the Radar’ status is a clear indication that our campaign is building and mobilizing the resources and support we need to be successful. I am honored to have taken this first step toward becoming a Young Gun. However, I know that the battle is just beginning. Ilook forward to taking our message of reducing government spending, repealing obamacare, securing our borders, and lowering taxes to the people of Arizona’s 6th Congressional District.” said Grantham.

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Travis Grantham is a candidate for Arizona’s Sixth Congressional District. He serves as the Chief Operations Officer at International Air Response based at the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport. He is also a Captain and Pilot in the Arizona Air National Guard’s 161st Air Refueling Wing based out of Sky Harbor International Airport. Travis lives in Gilbert with his wife Patricia and two daughters. 

For more information go to GranthamForCongress.com

Rep. Quayle Statement on the 3-Percent Withholding Repeal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Richard Cullen

WASHINGTON (DC) Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) released the following statement Thursday after the House passed HR 674, a bill that repeals the 3-percent withholding mandate. Unless repealed, beginning on January 1, 2013, federal, state and local governments will withhold 3 percent from payments for goods and services to vendors. The 3-percent mandate will be extremely burdensome for thousands of American companies that operate on slim profit margins.

“The 3-percent withholding tax is one of the many sources of uncertainty plaguing American businesses. The prospect of billions in new taxes on top of the thousands of new rules and regulations coming out of the Obama Administration disrupts cash flow and causes many of our companies to think twice before hiring new workers. This bill removes a needless impediment to American investment and innovation.

“As the Wall Street Journal editorial page points out today, the United States ranks 13th in the ‘ease of doing business’ category, according to a report conducted by the World Bank. In 2007, we ranked third. As the report makes clear, American companies are held back by a regulatory environment that allows our economic competitors to catch up. Repealing the 3-percent withholding tax is a small step, but we have a long way to go to restore confidence in the marketplace.”

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Private failure, not taxpayer-funded industrial policy, is an important part of economic growth

by Stephen Slivinski
Goldwater Institute

These days, most states have some sort of government agency responsible for bringing jobs into the state. Most of them, including Arizona’s new Commerce Authority, focus on “target” industries. Whether the focus is the solar industry or another group of companies, the punchline is always the same: a centrally-controlled body – either the agency or the state legislature – should direct taxpayer-financed resources to nurture specific companies for the good of the state’s economic future.

But is this approach – prone as it is to the chasing of fads –the right one? It’s an important question because most companies don’t survive very long. And those that do aren’t the premiere companies forever or even for very long.

In his new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure, Financial Times columnist Tim Harford highlights a study by economic historian Leslie Hannah published in the late 1990s. Hannah looked at the 100 largest companies in the world in 1912 and tracked their lifecycle. He found that by the next decade ten of those companies had vanished. Over half had disappeared in the next 83 years.

There aren’t many on the list of successful companies we would recognize today. In fact, none of the companies in 1912’s top 10 were even in the top 100 by the 1990s.

The cycle continues today. Before the current recession, 10 percent of American companies disappeared every year. But this isn’t a permanent loss to long-term economic growth – those failed ventures are replaced by new and better companies that innovate and create more prosperity.

Instead of transferring taxpayer money to today’s favored industries, policymakers should take the long view, encouraging private-capital investments without government-imposed impediments.

A tax code that doesn’t penalize investment would be a vital first step. Even better: Get rid of the state income tax, creating a boon to entrepreneurship. Short of that, reducing the tax burden on investment success – such as eliminating the capital gains tax for investors – would be essential.

Many private investments may fail, but that’s OK. At least government policy won’t be committed to propping up a handful of connected companies with taxpayer money. Private investment activities – even when they fail – plant the seeds for long-term economic growth.

Stephen Slivinski is senior economist for the Goldwater Institute.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Research shows states don’t stimulate job growth with taxpayer handouts

Arizona Commerce Authority: Public meeting agenda and minutes

Tim Harford: Failure – it’s everywhere

Rep. Schweikert talks about taxes and repatriation with Eric Bolling

Rep. Schweikert went on Fox Business’ Follow the Money with Eric Bolling to discuss repatriation and taxes.

Rep. Flake Applauds House Passage of Tax-Repeal Bill That Will Help Private Sector Create Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Genevieve Frye Rozansky

Repeal of 3-percent Withholding Tax Will Encourage Private Sector Growth and Fiscal Responsibility

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today applauded the passage of H.R. 674 which amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently repeal the 3-percent withholding requirement for federal, state, and local government entities on payments due to their vendors. Congressman Flake is a cosponsor of H.R. 674.

The 3-percent withholding provision imposes costly administrative compliance burdens for state and local governments and reduces employers’ cash flows, which hampers job creation.

“Repealing this onerous provision is a solid step toward job creation and toward more fiscally solvent state and local governments across the country,” said Flake.

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