Archives for April 2012

Will Andy Tobin Run for Congress?

By Lynne LaMaster
Reposted from

Are more candidates for CD4 lurking out there? And is one of them the current Arizona Speaker of the House, Andy Tobin?

Sounds like it’s a possibility. At the end of today’s Republican Women of Prescott (RWOP) meeting, when the club’s President Pam Jones, was telling the ladies (and gentlemen) about next month’s meeting (Tuesday, May 22) she explained that all the Republican Congressional District 4 candidates would be attending. She named Sheriff Paul Babeu, Congressman Paul Gosar and AZ State Senator Ron Gould, as being confirmed for next month’s meeting.

Then Jones said, “There might also be another candidate. One that is said to be 98% certain to get in the race. I won’t tell you his name, but you all know who he is.”

Andy TobinShe also hinted that there might be a fifth candidate, but didn’t give any further information on who that possible person is.

Rumors have been swirling for months that Speaker Tobin might get into the Congressional District 4 race. As a matter of fact, at Saturday’s Republican County Caucus meeting, AZ Senator Lori Klein was in attendance to make a quasi-announcement of her own.

“I’m the Senator for LD6, and I actually live in Anthem,” Klein said. “Anthem is now part of your district. So, now, we’ve been hearing rumblings for a long time that Andy may run for Congress, and if so, there’s a House seat that’s open. I serve at the pleasure of your Senate President, who is really an outstanding guy, and it’s been a pleasure working for him. We’re in a battle right now to keep our budget lower, where it should be so that we don’t have a structural deficit of almost a billion dollars in 2015. So, we’re in an interesting battle, but our Senator, your Senator [Steve Pierce], has really been standing by us and conservatives in our caucus and holding the line. So, I’m trying to decide, I have a long history here, I have a cabin in Breezy Pines, so I’ve been up here quite a bit. I may run for the House in your district if Andy runs for Congress. So, that’s something that I’m exploring.”

When asked, Speaker Tobin said that he’s focused right now on this session in the Arizona House, especially on the budget.

Beyond that? “Hmmmm… no comment,” was Tobin’s reply.

What do you think? Are you satisfied with the current candidates for CD4? Have you already decided who you would vote for? Would you like someone else to get into the race?

BREAKING: Mark Mitchell Distorts The Truth About Arrest Record In Arizona Republic Questionnaire

(Tempe, Arizona) Plenty of Tempeans would admit to having a few drinks during their college days and maybe getting into a little bit of trouble at a bar. It’s a different matter when someone running for Mayor distorts the truth when asked about his criminal record by the Arizona Republic.

In February of this year this question to Mark Mitchell and Mitchell’s response was published by the Arizona Republic:

Have you ever been charged with a crime or been part of a matter in civil court? If so, what was the outcome? At age 23, upon my graduation from ASU, I was detained during a nightclub altercation in Tempe. I completed an adult diversion program and no charges were filed.

That’s not exactly how it happened. Mark Mitchell was arrested and booked into jail accused of “Delaying and Obstructing a Police Investigation.” There is a big difference between being detained and being arrested.

Mark Mitchell Mugshot

The Tempe Police report claims a then 24 year-old Mitchell tried to intervene to keep a friend from getting arrested during a bar fight. At the time Mark Mitchell’s father was still the Mayor of Tempe.

Mark’s attempts at using his influence to keep a friend from getting arrested backfired and Mitchell was booked into jail.

There is nothing to indicate the officer was hurt or that this was more than a problem resulting from a bar fight. Mitchell’s actions as a young man are not the issue. Everyone makes mistakes. As a grown man, and as someone seeking elected office, you’re expected to disclose those mistakes, be truthful about them, and not distort the truth when filling out a questionnaire that will be printed in the state’s largest newspaper. If he is not willing to be honest about this, what else is he not being honest about?

Business owner and candidate for Tempe Mayor Michael Monti stated, “When I filled out my Republic questionaire, I played by the rules and disclosed everything because I think someone casting a vote should know everything about a candidate. It’s too bad Mark Mitchell decided the rules didn’t apply to him. No one is expected to be perfect. In fact if getting into a bit of trouble in your 20’s kept people from being elected, there would be a lot of empty chairs in state and local government. The issue here is truthfulness. If someone distorts the truth when filling out a newspaper questionnaire, what does that say about their honesty in dealing with voters?”

Michael Monti, owner of Tempe’s historic Monti’s La Casa Vieja, co-founded Local First, Arizona. He is also active in the Tempe Diablos Charities, and is the youngest inductee in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame.

To make a campaign donation on line click here or mail a check to

P.O. Box 24476
Tempe, AZ 85285

His campaign is based on bringing private sector ideas to government, fiscal responsibility, civic involvement, economic opportunity, and innovation. His proposals include:

  • Financial incentives for city workers who save rather than spend tax dollars
  • The creation of the Tempe Community Corps to increase volunteerism, and aid Tempe neighborhoods and services
  • Partnerships with ASU and the business community to bring more jobs to Tempe
  • The creation of a public swimming beach at Tempe Town Lake, paid for by the private sector
  • Partnerships with the ASU College of Nursing to aid Tempe seniors
  • Encouraging businesses to embrace eco-friendly projects such as the Blink Car Charging Stations at Monti’s La Casa Vieja
  • A ban on texting while driving in Tempe
  • A gift ban and stricter reporting requirements for Tempe elected officials
  • An eight year term limit for the mayor’s office

Arizona leaders and organizations that have endorsed Michael Monti include:

  • Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman
  • Former Tempe Council Member and mayoral candidate Linda Spears
  • Tempe Council Member Onnie Shekerjian
  • Tempe Democrat and Former Council Member Barbara Sherman
  • Tempe’s first elected Mayor, Rudy Campbell
  • The Tempe Chamber of Commerce
  • Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne
  • Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery
  • Congressman David Schweikert
  • Former Tempe City Council Member ‘Hut’ Hutson
  • Former State Rep. Laura Knaperek
  • Tempe Democrat Carl Hayden
  • Former Tempe Council Member Joseph Lewis
  • Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane
  • Former Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr.
  • Former State Senator and Tempe Council Member Bev Hermon
  • Former Tempe Council Candidate Angie Taylor Thornton
  • Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey
  • Former State Senator Gary Richardson

To visit the Monti4 Mayor Website click here or log on to (@monti4mayor).


How to Make the Sun Shine on Solar Energy

By Stephen Slivinski

Recent news from the solar industry includes headlines about Germany cutting solar subsidies and Arizona-based First Solar laying off 30 percent of its employees.

First Solar’s move comes despite a grant of $16.3 million from the federal government’s Export-Import Bank in 2010 to expand one of its factories in Ohio. To sweeten the pot for First Solar, the Ex-Im Bank guaranteed more than $400 million in loans to St. Clair Solar in Canada to buy solar panels from First Solar. It turns out that the Canadian company was a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Solar, so the U.S. government was subsidizing the company to manufacture and then purchase its own product from itself. Even with those heavy subsidies, First Solar is still dimming.

Like the U.S., Germany has offered generous solar subsidies in the past. But now with substantial solar-energy capacity – perhaps too much to persist without subsidies – and serious economic trouble, Germany is cutting its solar subsidy programs.

Solar companies and governments seem to be learning a basic economic lesson. Duke economist Michael Munger explains, “if an activity is profitable, it produces more in value than it uses up in costs. If an activity is not profitable, it uses up more in resources than it produces in value.” If subsidies bolster a company’s bottom line, then the market signal of a company’s profitability is “fake, and the activity still uses up more resources than it produces in value.”

In the end, doing away with subsidies may lead to a brighter future for solar energy. Subsidies have shielded solar companies from competition and sometimes protected flawed business models. It’s too soon to tell whether the solar industry can be a viable long-term energy producer in a cost-effective and economically efficient way. But we may never know if we continue to protect it – and other energy sources – from competition.

Stephen Slivinski is senior economist for the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Washington Examiner: Firm sells solar panels – to itself, taxpayers pay

Washington Post: Solar industry faces subsidy cuts in Europe

Prof. Michael Munger: Truly massive solar fail

Goldwater Institute: Government subsidized energy is just the same old song

Saucedo-Mercer: Court hearing on Arizona’s law opportunity to fuel reform not rhetoric

Congressman Raul Grijalva writes that Arizona’s immigration law, SB1070 will put our country into chaos, should the U.S. Supreme Court uphold the law. The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in the matter of Arizona’s immigration law, SB1070, today. A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans favor the law. Eight states have adopted similar laws.

Grijalva’s Republican challenger in the Congressional District 3 race, Gabby Saucedo Mercer, says “Grijalva’s failure, in his ten years in Congress, to sponsor meaningful legislation that would serve the country’s economic and national security while addressing the very difficult questions and issues pertaining to immigration, has created a chaotic atmosphere, in which communication has broken down, and real solutions are not being discussed.”

In his opinion piece, written for U.S. News and reports, Raúl M. Grijalva, the co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, wrote, “Arizona’s SB 1070 should be struck down by the Supreme Court.” Grijalva, the radical congressman from Arizona, argues that the Constitution clearly gives exclusive authority to the federal government over immigration and naturalization issues.”

Gabby Saucedo Mercer is challenging the congressman’s claim that SB1070 grants states “the authority to create immigration policy.” She says, “This sort of mischaracterization and hyperbole does not help the people of this country or Arizona. SB1070 is simply recognition of federal law, it does not in any way, grant state and local law enforcement any extraordinary authority.”

The Governor of Arizona released a statement addressing the lies and distortions offered by the law’s foes like Grijalva, “Despite all of the misrepresentations, misleading rhetoric and outright lies told about SB 1070, public support for this law is as strong as ever. I’ve seen it in the donations from citizens of all 50 states who have dug into their own pocketbooks in order to help defray Arizona’s legal costs.

Saucedo Mercer argues that the law’s popularity has increased as the public has grown more aware of the failure of the federal government to protect our county’s border. “The people of Arizona felt that the federal government had failed to protect the country’s economic health and the people’s welfare. Grijalva has been in office for ten years and has failed to take the lead, as a resident of a large border state, to initiate real changes in immigration. He instead prefers open borders.”

Saucedo Mercer, who has lived in the border area communities of Rio Rico, Sierra Vista and Tucson, knows firsthand the concerns that lead the people of Arizona to pass SB1070. Saucedo Mercer supports the ROB Plan for border security. Saucedo Mercer is a conservative advocate for meaningful immigration reform, who knows firsthand the issues facing hopeful immigrants. She does not support blanket amnesty, but does support immigration reform that offers a rigorous but compassionate path to citizenship.

Gabby Saucedo Mercer, a legal immigrant from Mexico who took an oath to defend the Constitution when she became an American citizen, joins many Arizona law makers in the belief that the Supreme Court will find for the state of Arizona.

The Arizona Latino Republican Association has endorsed the law.

Just last week, Saucedo Mercer spent two days in Nogales, Arizona, listening to business leaders’ and government officials’ concerns about our national and economic security. No one expressed opposition to SB1070, but without exception, they advised Saucedo Mercer that political hyperbole does not help their situation.


Congressman Flake Urges SCOTUS to Uphold SB 1070

Obama Administration Ought to Focus on Securing Border Instead of Suing Arizona

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today urged the Supreme Court to uphold SB 1070, Arizona’s immigration enforcement law.

Congressman Flake has consistently opposed the Obama Administration’s decision to sue Arizona over the law.

“It should be expected that states like Arizona will take action to enforce immigration laws when the federal government continues its long history of failing to do so,” said Flake.

“The Obama Administration ought to focus on securing the border instead of suing Arizona for trying to help.”

Congressman Flake has introduced H.R. 1507, the Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl have introduced the legislation in the Senate. Among the 10 key provisions of the bill is the deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops and 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents to the United States-Mexico border by 2016. It would create additional Border Patrol stations along the southwest border and create six additional permanent Border Patrol Forward Operating Bases and upgrade existing bases.


A Tale of Two Ron Barber’s

Another week – another Ron Barber.

Barber’s campaign was in an utter state of panic yesterday, attempting to recast the candidate. Unfortunately, the latest Ron Barber needs to reconcile himself with the old Ron Barber. And goodness knows what next week’s Ron Barber will bring.

Let’s take a look:

On Monday, April 23, 2012, Ron Barber said, “I was not in Congress to vote on the Affordable Care Act or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, nor did I have any role in shaping that legislation.” 

On February 9, 2012, Ron Barber said, “In terms of differences between myself and the congresswoman there probably aren’t much – there aren’t many. All of the policies and priorities that she has worked with, I’ve been right alongside with her, providing advice when asked and sometimes helping shape those policies through the work we’ve done together… So I’ve been part of that process right alongside with her, and there really isn’t any policy decision that she’s made that I disagree with.” (Tucson Sentinel, 2/9/2012)

“Ron Barber isn’t Marty McFly. He can’t go back in time and change the facts. Southern Arizonans don’t want ObamaCare’s $500 billion cut to Medicare or the $1 trillion in failed stimulus. Ron Barber supports both.” – NRCC Spokesman Daniel Scarpinato

It’s Time for Mark Mitchell and Greg Stanton to Come Clean

With the Tempe runoff election rapidly approaching, talk amongst Tempe’s political insiders is that Democrat mayoral candidate Mark Mitchell has lawyered up pretty heavily. Mitchell’s dive into a legal bunker may very well have something to do with what’s actually not happening in Tempe’s western neighbor, the City of Phoenix.

Recently elected Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton, an endorser and high dollar fundraiser for Mitchell, may be stalling on the release of a report revealing a police investigation of the mayoral aspirant that was triggered by an anonymous victim’s email to the entire Tempe Council. The report is rumored to contain damning allegations that junior engaged in behavior so vile and disgusting that it would likely end his political career if not result in legal action. That investigation was handed over to Stanton’s top law enforcer in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Early voting is already underway in Tempe. One would expect local media would be hot on the trail of any police investigation especially one that involves a mayoral candidate. Or better yet, that the candidate himself would feel obligated to disclose to the voters whether or not he is under any type of investigation.

And what does this say about the character and political motivations of Phoenix Mayor Stanton who appears to be dragging his political feet on an investigation of his political peer and ally?

Something has to give. We just hope it’s not the trust and confidence of Tempe and Phoenix residents who deserve better from their candidates and elected officials.

Both Mark Mitchell and Greg Stanton should stop this political game of avoidance and obfuscation and make an effort to show some real leadership. Mayor Stanton should step aside and allow Phoenix detectives to acknowledge and even release any findings. But even more important, if there really is no there there, Mark Mitchell owes it to his fellow Tempeans to publicly denounce any such allegations if he truly wants to exonerate his name.

Small Business Left Vulnerable to Unfair Big Labor Tactics

Senate Fails to Nullify NLRB “Ambush” Election Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2012 — The United States Senate was today tasked with voting to nullify an upcoming change in workplace unionization rules that would dramatically undermine an employer’s opportunity to learn of and respond to union organization.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a rule to reduce this amount of time from 38 days to 20 days or less.  Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced legislation, S.J. Res. 36, to nullify this rule and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) took this issue across the country in a national ‘Call to Action’ for its membership, and highlighted the importance of this vote in a Key Vote letter to the Hill.

“Protecting the rights of our members to own, operate, and grow their own businesses is the motto of NFIB, and this latest rule change by the NLRB threatens this at its core,” said Dan Danner, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “By failing to nullify this rule, Senate Democrats have once again allowed Big Labor intimidation tactics to infiltrate small business and commandeer Main Street.  We tasked our extensive grassroots network across the country with a ‘Call to Action’ to urge senators on both sides of the aisle to support Senator Enzi’s common-sense resolution, but once again, politics has dictated policy.  Instead of a fair, level playing field for unionization in the workplace, the NLRB has given labor bosses a significant advantage over small-business owners, leaving them vulnerable and unsure of what will come their way next.”

The National Federation of Independent Business has been very engaged in ensuring that workplace unionization is the result of a fair and informed decision by employees, and has worked to limit the scope of the NLRB’s pro-Big Labor policies.  In an op-ed running today on Fox, Dan Danner gave a final push to urge senators to support Senator Enzi’s resolution.

By not nullifying this NLRB rule, the Senate has allowed non-confirmed members of the NLRB to change labor law and has conceded its legislative responsibility to the NLRB.

# # #

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at

If 2011 Was the ‘Year Of School Choice,’ What Does That Make 2012?

By Jonathan Butcher

The Wall Street Journal called 2011 the “Year of School Choice,” and with good reason. Thirteen states, including Arizona, passed or expanded choice-based reforms. Some two dozen other states considered similar legislation.

There is still time for Arizona lawmakers to make 2012 an encore performance.

What is most striking about the 2011 reforms enacted around the country is the programs’ inclusive designs. That is, for the past 20 years, programs that allow students to choose a public or private school of choice have been small in scope. When school voucher programs became law, often student eligibility would be limited to children with special needs (such as Florida’s McKay Scholarships) or low-income students in individual cities or districts (like Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

Private school-choice reforms were seen as policy solutions for specific student groups, not a way to change how all students access education.

Yet in 2011, lawmakers in several states (including Indiana and Wisconsin) passed new reforms or expanded existing programs with broad eligibility provisions.

In 2012, there have not been as many bills signed into law (yet), but in Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal just signed a reform package that is designed to reach more than just isolated student groups. Lawmakers in the Bayou passed a set of bills that allow parents of students in failing schools to petition to close their school or convert it to a charter (a similar bill passed the Arizona Senate this year) and allow low and middle-income students in schools rated “C” or below access to school vouchers.

Arizona lawmakers still have time to follow suit and expand the state’s unique education savings account program to students in the state’s lowest-performing schools and military families. Offering parents and students choices of education services is no longer a reform for a minority of students.

Around the country, education reform is finally moving from “choices for some” to “choices for all.”

Jonathan Butcher is education director for the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Wall Street Journal: School Vouchers Gain Ground

Wall Street Journal: The Year of School Choice

PR Newswire: Louisiana Governor’s School Voucher Plan Clears Legislature

Glendale Busts Its Budget and Plans to Raise Taxes

By Carrie Ann Sitren

How do you close a $35 million budget gap? Perhaps the better question is why that hole was dug in the first place. One answer for the City of Glendale is hockey. In fiscal year 2012, the city added $20 million (up from only $1.2 million the year before) to its operating budget for the Arena, where the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team plays. The NHL has been demanding financial support from the city since 2009, when the team filed for bankruptcy.

Instead of looking for ways to cut arena operating costs, city officials are considering a 0.8% increase in the sales tax. This would make Glendale the city with the highest sales tax rate in the nation. It would also be enough to cover the $20 million city payment for Coyotes hockey next year.

In other cities, like Oakland, taxpayers don’t pay high dollars for someone else to manage their arena. Instead, professional management groups compete for that right. Arena management can be a profitable business, with groups maximizing concert and other entertainment events and keeping the revenues from concessions and ticket sales. Meanwhile, cities benefit because they don’t have to pay the operating costs. In some arena contracts, like the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the city also gets a cut of the profits. Last year, arena management added $1.8 million to Kansas City’s budget.

A few million dollars in the door would be a well-needed substitute for $20 million going out of Glendale for its arena. We have yet to see city officials open bidding for management. Given the heavy competition for it in other cities, Glendale should consider that option before asking taxpayers to cough up more sales taxes and for another year of hockey.

Carrie Ann Sitren is an attorney with the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Goldwater Institute: Goldwater Institute v. City of Glendale

Arizona Republic: Glendale Budget Looking Bleak

Associated Press: No Team, No Problem for Kansas City’s Sprint Center