Archives for 2011

A MUST READ: How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission

Excellent article posted by the non-profit, independent, investigative journalists, ProPublica. This is a MUST read if you’ve been following the machinations of the Arizona ‘Independent’ Redistricting Commission. If you don’t think it can happen here in Arizona, it already has just like it happened in California. Here is a segment of the article:

This spring, a group of California Democrats gathered at a modern, airy office building just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The meeting was House members only — no aides allowed — and the mission was seemingly impossible.

In previous years, the party had used its perennial control of California’s state Legislature to draw district maps that protected Democratic incumbents. But in 2010, California voters put redistricting in the hands of a citizens’ commission where decisions would be guided by public testimony and open debate.

The question facing House Democrats as they met to contemplate the state’s new realities was delicate: How could they influence an avowedly nonpartisan process? Alexis Marks, a House aide who invited members to the meeting, warned the representatives that secrecy was paramount. “Never say anything AT ALL about redistricting — no speculation, no predictions, NOTHING,” Marks wrote in an email. “Anything can come back to haunt you.”

In the weeks that followed, party leaders came up with a plan. Working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — a national arm of the party that provides money and support to Democratic candidates — members were told to begin “strategizing about potential future district lines,” according to another email.

The citizens’ commission had pledged to create districts based on testimony from the communities themselves, not from parties or statewide political players. To get around that, Democrats surreptitiously enlisted local voters, elected officials, labor unions and community groups to testify in support of configurations that coincided with the party’s interests.

When they appeared before the commission, those groups identified themselves as ordinary Californians and did not disclose their ties to the party. One woman who purported to represent the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley was actually a lobbyist who grew up in rural Idaho, and lives in Sacramento.

In one instance, party operatives invented a local group to advocate for the Democrats’ map.

California’s Democratic representatives got much of what they wanted from the 2010 redistricting cycle, especially in the northern part of the state. “Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to DC,” said one enthusiastic memo written as the process was winding down. “This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”

(Read the entire article)

Rep Jeff Flake: Why should politicians use taxpayer funds to get their name to pop up in Google searches?

Reposted from the Wall Street Journal.

By Congressman Jeff Flake

Some would say it’s Grinch-like that members of Congress cannot send any mail pieces from their offices wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas.” But read a little deeper into this issue, and chances are you’ll be siding with the bah-humbug crowd.

Members of Congress can, of course, extend any holiday wishes they desire on a personal basis: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Kwanzaa or even, with a nod to George Costanza, Happy Festivus. Members of Congress just can’t use taxpayer dollars to send these season’s greetings if extending such greetings “is the primary purpose of the communication.”

This is a good thing. Do you really need to pay for Congressman X’s awkward family photo featuring a dozen grandchildren and the family dog in matching sweaters with the U.S. Capitol photoshopped into the background?

While we’re on the subject of taxpayer-funded salutations, you may be interested to know that Congress is moving beyond the standard campaign-esque glossy mailers. Elected officials have begun touting their feats of strength on the right-hand column of your Facebook page and Google searches—and you’re paying for it!

Since members seeking to pay for these Internet advertisements with taxpayer-funded office budgets are required to file such advertisements with the House Franking Office, my staff and I examined a few of them. What we found may surprise you—or, given Congress’s 9% approval rating, perhaps not.

“Congressman X is Fighting the Madness,” screams one Facebook ad, “Fighting Plans to End Medicare, Government Shutdown, Giveaways to Big Oil.” “Rep. X is working to lower gas prices by increasing American energy production. Find out more and like my page today!” says another. “Congressman X is Committed to Creating Jobs, Driving Down Spending and Shrinking the Size of the Federal Government.” Well, apparently not all spending.

Each click on these ads costs taxpayers additional money, as each click-through drives up a member’s ad bill.

Members of Congress can also use taxpayer funds to make sure their name pops up when someone does a Google search. As a general example, clicking on the member’s name that was primed to pop up with a Google search for the phrase “raising debt ceiling” would cost taxpayers approximately $4.70 per click. Ouch.

Then there are the political hijinks that members of Congress can play using taxpayer dollars. A member trying to lure conservation voters can use taxpayer funds to buy ads on conservation-themed websites. A member with an eye on a governor’s mansion can use taxpayer money to purchase ads that will pop up when a person in the member’s state searches for “governor” on Google.

So what do all of these ads cost taxpayers every year? The truth is, we don’t yet know. The current practice of the House is to shield the actual cost of these ads from public view. And this practice probably won’t change any time soon: Both parties engage in this ad buying, so both parties tend to look the other way when it comes to policing the practice.

Sitting members of Congress have abundant opportunities for earned media and press secretaries to ensure that our accomplishments, such as they are, are trumpeted far and wide. Social media have become a useful tool to promote ideas and policies, and many such media are free—or at least don’t cost the public anything. Why, then, should members be able to use taxpayer funds to purchase additional name ID for themselves?

Mr. Flake, a Republican, is a congressman from Arizona.

Governor Brewer reacts to S&P credit upgrade, calls it one more sign of recovery for State of Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Matthew Benson

Standard and Poor’s Upgrades Credit Outlook for State of Arizona
Latest Indication that the Arizona Comeback is in Progress

PHOENIX – One of the nation’s largest credit ratings services, Standard and Poor’s, announced today that it has upgraded to “stable” its outlook on the State of Arizona’s fiscal condition. S&P also upgraded to “stable” its outlook on the State’s certificates of participation and lease revenue debt.

State of Arizona finances previously carried a negative outlook from the credit ratings service.

“This is fantastic news, and serves as one more indication that Arizona is on the comeback trail,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “The last three years haven’t been easy. But I’m happy to say that the difficult decisions I’ve made, together with the Arizona Legislature, have helped put this state back on solid financial ground. For the first time in years, Arizona has a growing economy and a state government it can afford.”

In announcing the credit outlook revision, S&P pointed to the State of Arizona’s diverse economy, continued population growth, moderate debt burden and expectations of a sizable budget surplus in fiscal 2012.

“We base the outlook revision on what we view as Arizona’s improving fiscal outlook,” S&P credit analyst David Hitchcock explained in today’s report.

The S&P announcement is just the latest sign of the state’s improving economy and financial position. In other recent news:

– Arizona added 12,800 jobs in November, driving down the state’s unemployment rate to 8.7 percent. The rate is the state’s lowest since February 2009.

– Arizona has added an estimated 45,800 jobs so far this year. The state’s job growth from October 2010 to October 2011 ranked 7th best nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

– State revenues continue to outpace projections, and the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting now estimates a combined surplus of $1.3 billion between the remainder of this fiscal year and next.

“Our mission isn’t accomplished, but today’s announcement from S&P is validation that we’re on the right path,” said Governor Brewer. “We’re going to keep state government small, efficient and effective, and continue working to put in place the conditions for private enterprise to flourish and grow. I believe that 2012, Arizona’s Centennial year, is going to bring more great news for the people of our state.”

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Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Concludes Fiesta Bowl Probe, Issues Recommendations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Jerry Cobb

PHOENIX, AZ (December 21, 2011) – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced the conclusion of an 8-month criminal investigation into whether public officials illegally accepted or failed to report gifts from members of the Fiesta Bowl organization and its representatives. While the investigation did not find evidence leading to criminal liability for those investigated, it did identify areas where Arizona law does not meet legitimate public expectations for transparency in disclosure of the receipt of gifts.

“Despite the public’s legitimate expectations that current laws ensure a reasonable degree of open and honest government, Arizona’s statutes governing receipt of gifts and reporting requirements fall short of meeting those expectations,” Montgomery said. “A combination of inconsistent laws, vague reporting requirements, and a ‘knowing’ standard of conduct created significant hurdles for our investigation in establishing the required mental state to prove criminal liability,” he added.

As a consequence of the difficulties encountered in conducting the investigation, the County Attorney will make the following recommendations to both houses in the State Legislature:

  • Create a single reference point in law for lobbyists and legislators that clarifies what, if any, types of gifts are permissible, and establishes consistent definitions of gifts and items that require disclosure.
  • Establish an outright ban on gifts, or a minimum value threshold above which reporting and disclosure is mandatory for anything received above the set value (e.g. $25).
  • Establish an increased frequency of reporting, no less than quarterly, to eliminate record-keeping, memory and accuracy issues that can arise with annual reporting requirements. A web-based reporting system is also recommended to facilitate the public’s ability to review officials’ disclosures.
  • Adjust penalties for violations of reporting requirements, making “knowing and intentional” violations a felony offense instead of a misdemeanor.
  • Establish a “reckless” standard that carries misdemeanor or civil penalties that are significant enough to encourage accurate and timely reporting.
  • Remove legislative staff attorneys from the role of providing campaign finance disclosure recommendations, training and advice in order to preclude any claim of attorney-client privilege on these matters.
  • Amend lobbying disclosure forms to include a certification of having read the instructions, as required on campaign finance disclosure statements. Add an expenditure reporting category for Principals/Public Bodies to the Principal/Public Body Annual Report of Lobbying Expenditures.

“I trust that members of the legislature sharing my concern for upholding the integrity of our respective offices will address these recommendations in an appropriate manner,” Montgomery said.

The County Attorney’s Office began its investigation in April 2011, after receiving the case from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office which had declared a conflict of interest in the matter. Over the course of the investigation, a team of experienced prosecutors and investigators from the County Attorney’s Office reviewed thousands of pages of documents and conducted interviews with multiple legislators, lobbyists and Fiesta Bowl employees. The investigation looked at 28 legislators and 3 non-legislator elected office holders. The Attorney General also declared a conflict on two Fiesta Bowl-related cases involving three lobbyists, which also became part of the County Attorney’s investigation.

Legislators investigated:

  • Paula Aboud
  • Chad Campbell
  • Linda Lopez
  • Russell Pearce
  • Kirk Adams
  • Rich Crandall
  • David Lujan
  • Gary Pierce
  • Linda Aguirre
  • Sam Crump
  • Lucy Mason
  • Michelle Reagan
  • Ken Bennett
  • Adam Driggs
  • John McComish
  • Pete Rios
  • Robert Blendu
  • Steve Gallardo
  • Robert Meza
  • Andrew Tobin
  • David Bradley
  • Laurin Hendrix
  • John Nelson
  • Steve Tully
  • Bob Burns
  • John Kavanagh
  • Ward Nichols
  • Thayer Verschoor

Non-legislator elected officials investigated:

  • Joe Arpaio
  • Ben Arrendondo
  • Elaine Scruggs

Lobbyists investigated:

  • Charles Coughlin and Doug Cole as part of the lobbying firm, “HighGround”
  • Kevin Demenna

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … A Change for the Worse: ESI vs. Walgreens

Submitted by US Navy Veteran

If you like the quality of pharmacy service and choices that TRICARE provides to veterans, don’t get too comfortable with it. It’s beginning to look like that will all change at the start of the year – and not for the better.

Through the end of 2011, Walgreens will provide pharmacy services as part of DOD’s TRICARE pharmacy program. But come January 1st, that will disappear because Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI), the company that manages the service, has a contract dispute with Walgreens and will not negotiate a settlement.

Actually, they will negotiate: my-way-or-the-highway is basically their position.

Walgreens is the largest pharmacy chain in the country. They serve 40 million consumers every week through nearly 8,000 stores nationwide. They have more stores that are open 24 – 7 than any other pharmacy network. And 70% of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Walgreens.

However, after the first of the year, we won’t have access to that network or services.

Because ESI manages the Defense Department’s TRICARE pharmacy benefit, Walgreens offered a separate contract guaranteeing its prices would match or beat the average costs per prescription with all other retail pharmacies. The company has also committed to keeping the cost per Medicare prescription flat for the next four years. Such cost containment measures could be a real boon to the Federal government, as well as control the prices consumers pay.

Unfortunately, not only has ESI ignored or rejected these proposals, but it has also demanded unacceptable rates and terms from Walgreens. For example, they have demanded rates that are below the average industry cost to fill prescriptions. They also want to dictate which drugs are generic and which are not.

ESI has claimed Walgreens wants to increase prescription reimbursement costs by 20 percent. That is pure malarkey. Walgreens has offered ESI a number of cost-savings that would, in effect, hold the average prescription reimbursement cost increases to less than two percent annually over the course of the three year contract.

In an open letter to vets and active duty military, Walgreens’ CEO said, “We do not wish for military beneficiaries to be ‘in the middle’ of this issue.” Well, we are. Meanwhile, Express Scripts has rejected all efforts to reach an agreement that would keep Walgreens in the TRICARE network of pharmacies.

What can we do about this? Make noise. Register an opinion. Let DOD and Express Scripts know how you feel. Here’s a link to a page where you can sign a petition to do just that:

http://www.ichoosewalgreens.com/tricare-plans/

You can also send a letter to your Senator and Member of Congress, letting them know you value the convenience of having a Walgreens nearby. Another point to make is that Walgreens is working to keep prices as low as possible. With Walgreens gone, Express Scripts will be much freer to set prices that benefit them, not us.

Walgreens is doing all it can to keep serving us as customers. It only seems right that we return the favor.

Senate Leadership calls for end to 53/47 contribution rate for state employees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

Majority Leader to author bill that will put money back into teachers’ paychecks

(Phoenix, State Capitol) —Senate President-elect Steve Pierce and Majority Leader Andy Biggs announced today a bill will be offered in the upcoming legislative session ending the recent 53% employee/47% employer contribution rate split. That split went into effect in July, as part of the FY 12 budget. The change plugged a $40 million hole in the budget and reduced employee paychecks.

The bill will return the contribution rate split to 50/50, and increase the paychecks of teachers and other state employees by $20-40.

“Last session we made a commitment to Arizonans to deliver a balanced budget. The 53/47 split helped that happen, but many members agreed it was one of the toughest decisions they had to make. Conditions have changed, and I am comfortable now running a bill to repeal 53/47,” says Majority Leader Biggs.

“The truth is, the economic landscape is very different from March, when these budget negotiations were taking place. Because of our fiscal discipline and an improving economy, revenues are coming in at a much higher clip, and we can reverse this contribution rate change,” says President-elect Pierce.

“Republican leadership continues to put a high priority on strengthening education during these difficult times. We held K-12 reductions to about one percent last year. Today’s announcement is another way to honor the hard work of our district and charter school teachers,” says Pierce.

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Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Releases Final ‘Tentative’ Maps

CONGRESSIONAL MAP (GOOGLE)

LEGISLATIVE MAP (GOOGLE)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2011

TEMPE, Ariz. (Dec. 20, 2011) – The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission this evening adopted a tentative congressional- and legislative-district maps, pending analyses by the panel’s legal counsel and voting-rights consultants.

Both maps passed on 3-2 votes, but with different breakdowns. On the congressional map, Chairman Colleen Coyle Mathis voted “yes,” along with Vice Chairman José Herrera and Commissioner Linda McNulty. Vice Chairman Scott Freeman and Commissioner Richard Stertz voted “no.” The legislative map drew “yeas” from Mathis, McNulty and Stertz and “nays” from Freeman and Herrera.

“This is a significant step toward fulfilling our mission,” Mathis said. “We’ve spent four weeks improving the draft maps, incorporating many of the suggestions we received during our second round of public hearings, as well as comments submitted to us in writing. We worked very hard to reach consensus on the map where possible, and it was also our consensus that it was time to move the process along.”

According to counsel Mary O’Grady, the panel will have to vote on the maps again after receiving the legal and technical analyses. The commission’s lawyers and staff then must prepare the state’s submission to the Department of Justice for its approval as mandated under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Major tweaks to the congressional map included:

  • Reuniting Fountain Hills with Scottsdale in the proposed 6th District;
  • Making Cochise County whole in the proposed 2nd District, along with the eastern portion of metropolitan Tucson; and
  • Moving western Maricopa County to the rural 4th District, leaving the proposed 8th District more compact and suburban.

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RECALL 2011: Basic Arithmetic Multiplied by the Ghost of Ephialtes

When RECALL apologists’ pie charts begin to resemble mille feuille pastry,  requiring Sherlock Holmes to link them through unrelated numbers in tables that actually don’t easily correspond to each other, it’s time to check the original ingredients used for the recipes, in this case: The raw numbers of the 2010 GENERAL ELECTION as compared to the 2011 RECALL.

2011 November RECALL                                  2010 November GENERAL ELECTION

Lewis:            10,816 = 53.4%                              Democrat            10,663 = 34%
Pearce:            9,188 = 45.4 %                             Pearce:                 17,552 = 57%
Cortez:                252 =    1.2%                              L:                          2,808 =    9%
TOTAL:         20,256 votes cast                           TOTAL:               31,023 votes cast

Difference between 2010 and 2011:
Total RECALL votes cast show an overall decline in voter participation of 10,767, which took more than a 1/3 chunk out of the general election turnout numbers of 2010. That’s a 35% no-show out of the same total voters in that district. Thus, the 2011 RECALL had only 65% of the 2010 general election voter participation.

Of that, 77.7% of that 35% decrease in total votes was suffered by Pearce; he received 17,552 votes in 2010 and only 9,188 in 2011, which is an 8,364 vote difference. (8,364 of 10,767 is 77.68%)

Pearce’s voters didn’t show up a second time: 17,552 – 9,188 = 8,364 who didn’t  come back to vote again,  which is a 48% loss of pro-Pearce voting, which critically impacted Pearce. Pearce’s 2010 general election base turnout was essentially cut in half in the RECALL. They didn’t shift their votes to Lewis, they just didn’t show up.

Interestingly, the total votes cast for the 2010 Democrat who opposed Pearce, is nearly the same as total votes cast for 2011 Lewis that is:  10,816 vs. 10,663, only a net positive 153 votes increase. It is essentially the same number, with only a miniscule positive difference; almost as if there was a neat 100% shift in votes opposing Pearce which moved from the 2010 Democrat to Lewis.

Referring back to the official tallies in the table above, only in 2010 did (L) differentiate: 2,808 votes for a third candidate. In 2011, those numbers did not translate to increasing the Pearce column, or anything significant above what the Democrat got in 2010. So, the (L)s stayed home and those who did vote were consistent in only their opposition to Pearce, they threw their votes to Lewis make up for any missing Democrats, not to Pearce.

Polling charts provided by recall supporters indicate that a number of those (L) voters who voted against Pearce in 2010 came back and voted against Pearce by voting for Lewis, yet the combined Democrat and (L) votes of the 2011 RECALL as votes opposing Pearce were still less than the Democrat votes alone in 2010 opposing Pearce.  In the RECALL, Democrat plus (L) turnout combined opposing Pearce were thousands of  votes less than  in 2010, but not as devastatingly poor for the RECALLers as the no-shows on Pearce’s side in 2011.

So, looking back at the charts above, the combined opposition against Pearce in November 2011 was 10,663 (D) + 2,808 (L) = 13,471 to Pearce’s 17,552.

In the RECALL 2011, the total opposition votes of three groups united against Pearce was less than the numbers of two opposition groups in the 2010 results. The recall supporters are claiming a wide surge of voter discontent with Pearce, but the raw numbers don’t support that claim.  The RECALL absolutely required a composite of fewer votes from three separate political groups to cobble together that number of 10,816, essentially the same as the 100% Democrat vote against Pearce in 2011.

So in the 2011 RECALL,  an even smaller number of district voters who opposed Pearce in 2010, three minorities of the minority vote, took away the results from a resounding majority vote in the general election.  The minority upset the majority not because the majority was out-numbered in any measure, but complacent.   The RECALL absolutely could not afford a third party candidate,  they needed as many of those  (L) votes which had been cast against Pearce in 2010  to contribute to the aggregate total against Pearce in 2011.

It seems that the  Pearce defeat was a result of a typical recall dynamic: voter no-show depressing overall turnout, combined with a shift in the opposition Democrat and (L) votes to Lewis  in order to oppose Pearce in the absence of a Democrat or (L) on the ballot. The RECALL was not a primary of any sort, so Democrats and Independents were free to vote for either candidate.

The votes do not support any contention that there was widespread Republican disenchantment with Pearce, but the RECALLers with great glee highlight the existence of a small minority of self-identified disgruntled Republicans, perhaps henceforth, the Ephialtes contingent from Mesa, who were willing to act on allying with two other politically hostile minorities,  to deliver defeat at the great expense and detriment of the large Republican majority in that particular district.   So, it wasn’t mille feuille, but old baclava on a new plate being served up.

The voters who showed up for RECALL voted as they had  voted in 2010: those who opposed Pearce in 2010, opposed him in 2011, those who voted for Pearce in 2010, voted for him again in 2011.

The Democrat vote against Pearce in 2010 represented 34% of the total turnout, but that same total number of votes in an aggregate against Pearce in 2011 had a far greater effect, resulting in 53.4% of the total turnout votes, even though that new aggregate had far fewer Democrat voters in it than who also supported the Democrat candidate in 2010.  It was part of a proportional increase in opposition to Pearce, not an actual increase, in fact with the lower turnout in every voter category,  actual decreases were across the board.

The RECALL task was to convert an extreme losing position into a winning position.  If the voters couldn’t be changed, then the playing field needed adjustment, and two shallow bench teams had to be re-combined against one deep bench team, which needed to be cut down to a more defeatable size, through massive attrition and some key defections.

If one expects the same essential political base at work, it is not unusual that the opposing votes in a recall just after a general election should be very similar as in the general election and yet that same number in 2010 making 34% suddenly reaches 53%, proportionally in 2011, due entirely to lower total voter participation.

How effective?  The Recall Organizers inserted Jerry Lewis (RM: Recall Man), a complete political neophyte, who without even breaking a sweat, showed up half way through the recall petition drive, and won with just over half of less than two-thirds of the turnout Russell Pearce faced for re-election in 2010. Lewis’s short campaign was arguably a much easier task as compared to Pearce’s go at it. What took Pearce long over a year to accomplish, at great time and effort and expense, Lewis, a political unknown, accomplished practically overnight.

Pearce had to slog through both the primary and the general election campaigns to win in 2010. What sort of charismatic political magic does newbie Lewis possess and how come it wasn’t evident before, because he should bottle it and sell it and make a bundle.

Lewis won RECALL with the same vote total as the losing Democrat only a few months before, in 2010.  If Lewis had won those identical numbers in 2010 against Pearce, had Lewis actually showed up as an actual candidate  in the general election, with those numbers, he would have lost, resoundingly.

Depending on a coalition of a minority of Democrats, a minority of (L) and a minority of Republicans as his voter base, Lewis would not have prevailed in any actual primary against Pearce, who represented a much larger and politically uniform block of voters.  The only way this small disparate coalition  could work was through a RECALL –  employed in this case as not a relief from tyranny or criminality, but as a basic end-run around the usual rules, usual dynamics and sifting of primaries and general elections, and critically, the higher turnout  …  something sobering to remember as the Liberal Left promotes their self-interested campaign for open primaries.

So, what to make of this?  Peeling away the cover of layers of pie charts, the RECALL re-organized the ground for unknown Lewis, while fully one half of Pearce voters naively assumed that the general election meant something and that their job was done until next general election.  The RECALL didn’t bring in anything new, its tactic just reshuffled fewer chairs on the same deck, for the first class passengers, while the majority of the passengers sat below decks, not included.

The votes don’t support any broad mandate of “anger” against Pearce, as claimed.  The RECALL numbers actually reconfirm the results of the 2010 general election, but the tactic of recall removed the usual rules and election schedule to fully exploit the off-cycle dynamics.  The 2010 general election was a more fair result of the consensus of a majority of voters in that district with much wider participation,  while the 2011 RECALL was representative of a minority of three minorities, a fundamentally unrepresentative election.  The voters of that district are now represented by someone the overwhelming majority didn’t vote for, and twice, at that.  The disenfranchisement of the majority of the 2010 general election voters has been accomplished, in twelve months flat.

Pearce didn’t get the message to his base that they absolutely needed to hustle themselves back to the polls or Lewis would have been trounced.

The mathematics of a political coup.

Governor Brewer’s very comfortable margin over her Democrat opponent in November 2010 is of the same magnitude as the very comfortable margin Pearce celebrated in November 2010. It’s only twelve months later and Pearce isn’t celebrating any more. The Recall organizers, giddily huddled around the microphones have already declared the next heads they think should roll: Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Arpaio. The Democrats seem to have calculated another way to win at the ballot box. It’s not a good bet that they will give it up. It’s too easy and much cheaper than those pesky primaries and general elections.

The Republican Party needs to be pro-active, forward-thinking and innovative to address this new political battle tactic – plugging leaking holes is not the solution to the problem of a ship under a broadside attack.

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2011 November recall: http://www.azcentral.com/elections/index.php?pgDate=20111108

2010 November RECALL : http://www.azcentral.com/elections/index.php

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Wil Cardon: Obama Administration Wrong for Reducing Troops on Border

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2011
CONTACT: Katie Martin

Phoenix, Arizona – Wil Cardon, candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced they will reduce the number of National Guard Troops on the border from 1200 to 300 this coming January:

“The decision to reduce troops on our border by the Obama Administration is unconscionable. The federal government’s abandonment of its responsibility to secure the border is alarming and frustrating. This new announcement shows how out of touch with reality the Obama Administration truly is. Our communities cannot afford less support from the federal government to protect our border. A porous border threatens our safety, curtails our quality of life, and diminishes the economic opportunity of hardworking Americans. I am running for the U.S. Senate because we need a leader in Washington who has the wisdom and the courage to act decisively and secure our borders once and for all.” 

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Ally Miller: Pima County Board of Supervisors Anti-Business Decisions Continue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2011
CONTACT: Dean Miller

On Dec. 13, 2011, Pima County Board of Supervisors handed down a decision to appeal Raytheon property tax valuation as determined by the AZ State Board of Equalization. “This is yet another example of the short sighted and irresponsible behavior by the members of this board” stated Ally Miller, a candidate for District 1 Board of Supervisors in attendance at the meeting.

Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to appeal the decision approved by the AZ State board of equalization to lower the assessed value of properties owned by Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson. Supervisor Richard Elias was absent.

The appeal submitted by Raytheon, based on the valuation of similar properties was approved by the State board of equalization and resulted in valuations lowered from approximately $46.4 mil to $25.6 Mil for 2011 on 19 parcels identified on the board agenda. The 2011 change in valuation would result in a loss of approximately $571 thousand in tax revenue.

Raytheon reportedly pays $130 million in state and local taxes annually.

“Workers in this community are desperate for jobs yet the Board of Supervisors continues with their anti-business practices spending taxpayer money on litigation which could potentially alienate the largest private employer in our community.” Miller added.

“Did the members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors forget about the recent move by Raytheon to build a facility and locate approximately 300 high paying jobs to Huntsville, Alabama?” asked Miller.

After a trip to Huntsville earlier this year it was reported Supervisor Bronson determined tax incentives and fast tracking the development process were among the reasons Raytheon decided to build this facility in Huntsville versus Tucson.

For more information, contact Ally Miller campaign office or visit the campaign website at www.allyforsupervisor.com

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