Archives for May 29, 2012

Salmon Announces Military Veterans Coalition

EAST VALLEY – Former Congressman and candidate for Arizona’s 5th congressional district Matt Salmon today proudly announced the support from dozens of East Valley Military Veterans representing various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Serving as Co-Chairmen of the Veterans for Salmon Coalition is Gilbert Councilmember John Sentz, a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Officer and member of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame, Bryan Martyn, a retired U.S. Air Force Helicopter Pilot whose distinguished combat career includes multiple tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Africa, and Anthony “Tony” Siebers, a retired Captain in the U.S. Army who had commanding roles during significant national events like Operation Iraqi Freedom and Hurricane Katrina.

Citing Salmon’s consistent record of supporting military veterans, Co-Chairman John Sentz stated, “I am proud to stand with other veterans in supporting Matt Salmon’s return to Congress. Since first being elected to public office, Matt has been a strong ally for veterans of our armed forces and has demonstrated that he will fight to ensure they receive the support they earned for their service. There is no one I trust more than Matt to always do the right thing for members of the U.S. military and all the veterans who have served their nation proudly.”

Former Congressman Salmon stated, “I am truly honored to receive the strong support from so many military veterans from around the East Valley. The men and women who have worn a military uniform deserve the very best treatment from our nation’s leaders; I vow to fight for their needs and the needs of those currently serving when I return to Congress.”

About Matt Salmon

Matt Salmon was first elected to the United States Congress in 1994 and served until 2000, honoring his term limit pledge. A proud conservative, Salmon was rated in the top five among all 535 members of the House and Senate by Citizen’s Against Government Waste for all six years he was in office. He is a lifetime member of the NRA with an A+ rating and also earned a 100% rating by the National Right to Life. He was also the proud recipient of the American Cancer Society’s “Top National Elected Official” award.

Matt Salmon has received endorsements from Arizona Congressmen Trent Franks and David Schweikert, former Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Mayors Scott Smith (Mesa), Jay Tibshraeny (Chandler), Hugh Hallman (Tempe), John Insalaco (Apache Junction) and Gail Barney (Queen Creek), fourteen (14) Arizona state senators and fifteen (15) Arizona state representatives. Salmon has also been endorsed by South Dakota Senator John Thune, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, Utah Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49), and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Jonathan Paton – On the Ballot


Today, our campaign turned in 1,846 petition signatures – more than three times the required amount — qualifying me as a Republican candidate for Congressional District One in August and November.

Friends new and old gathered these signatures from every county in this district, which is the size of Pennsylvania.

I am proud of the support that our campaign has demonstrated since we got into the race, and thankful to the many concerned citizens who talked to their friends and neighbors to get us on the ballot. I couldn’t be more grateful to all of you.

People are concerned about the direction that our country is going. They are concerned about the national debt, unemployment, and too much government getting in the way.

This campaign is about getting our country back on the right track together.

But I need your help. I can’t do it without you.

To take our country back, the time to act is now. If you haven’t been able to get involved yet, let us know how you can help by going to the website and filling out the volunteer sheet.

Please feel free to email me at any time to discuss the campaign. Again, I can’t thank all of you enough!

Your friend,

Nelson Announces Bid for Senate in District 13

Supervisor Max Wilson and Former Yuma Mayor Larry Nelson Named Honorary Co-Chairs 

District 13 – Long-time public servant Senator John Nelson filed 1,171 signatures, the maximum allowed, today in his bid to continue his service in the State Senate representing District 13. The newly labeled LD13 includes much of the area Nelson has represented for more than a decade as a State lawmaker with lines expanded to include northern Yuma. Nelson currently resides within this district.

Sen. Nelson has already gained wide support from the Yuma area, including former Mayor of Yuma Larry Nelson who is serving as an Honorary Campaign Chairman for Nelson’s committee. Former Mayor Nelson says, “Senator Nelson truly understands our needs. He has done a lot for Yuma and for Western Arizona over the years. He has been leader on military issues as well as education, transportation, and public safety. Over the years, I have worked with him on military issues and know him to be a man dedicated to our military. He is the only candidate who can represent this entire district.”

LD13 is home to three military bases including Luke Air Force Base, Yuma Proving Grounds, and the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma. Senator Nelson currently serves as Vice-Chair of Veterans and Military Affairs.

Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson will also be serving as an Honorary Campaign Chairman. Wilson, who was appointed by Governor Brewer to sit on the Military Affairs Commission said, “Sen. Nelson has shown a steadfast commitment to military bases across the state. He understands the critical value that the military brings to Arizona and our country. John Nelson has been a champion for our armed forces, our veterans, and the safety of our country.”

Former Phoenix City Councilman Claude Mattox, the Chairman of Sen. Nelson’s campaign committee says, “Sen. Nelson has a proud history of serving the taxpayers – from his time in the U.S. Army to his time on the Phoenix City Council. He has worked tirelessly as a member of the State House and the State Senate to protect the taxpayer and do what’s right for his constituents.”

During the most recent legislative session, Sen. Nelson sponsored several bills including legislation that would protect and preserve military bases as well as a measure to build a World War II memorial at Wesley Bolin Plaza.

Sen. Nelson says, “I have been honored to serve the people of Arizona and am proud of my track record of protecting our military bases, supporting quality education, and backing policies that foster job creation. I am the only candidate with the experience necessary to warrant the best representation for District 13, I would be honored to have your vote,” said Senator Nelson.

About John Nelson

Sen. Nelson is the Chairman of the Senate Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Public Debt Committee, an NRA Life Endowment Member, Chairman of the Maryvale Hospital Board of Trustees, Member in Good Standing of the Maricopa County Farm Bureau, and was active in the creation of Valley Partnership Organization. Nelson worked as a Civil Engineer for more than two decades and also served in the U.S. Army, First Infantry Division.

Sen. Nelson served on the Phoenix City Council for 16 years. He was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2001. He was re-elected 3 times before running for the Arizona State Senate. Sen. Nelson has served in the Senate for 4 years.

Senator Nelson and his wife Monica have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

Big Labor Attempts to Commandeer American Airlines

By Timothy Lee

Big Labor is at it again. This time in the airline industry.

As you’ve probably heard, US Airways has proposed a merger with American Airlines, and the latter’s labor unions have eagerly pursued contract agreements with their potential new employer. A benevolent effort meant to expedite the process? Hardly. Rather, it is a hasty, thinly-veiled act of desperation. Instead of allowing American’s bankruptcy restructuring process to run its natural course, and a stronger airline to emerge, American’s unions have acted in a manner that can only serve to muddle and complicate the situation.

Here’s the critical fact to keep in mind: American Airlines reached its current predicament due primarily to its onerous labor costs. Its industry-high labor costs, representing fully 28% of its revenue, led to bankruptcy. Now, however, its unions seek to repeat that futile process by pursuing similar deals with US Airways. It defies history and economic reality to believe that a new merger under similar conditions would create such a magical synergy allowing the new contracts to be sustained for a lasting amount of time.

On top of that, successfully integrating two separate workforces into one can be a logistical nightmare. After all, US Airways itself has yet to fully integrate the new employees it acquired with its 2005 takeover of America West Airlines. Pilots from both carriers have engaged in an ongoing dispute over seniority and pay scales, and to this day US Airways and America West essentially operate as two separate entities, with US Airways pilots only flying US Airways planes and vice-versa. How could repeating that scenario be expected to create sudden synergies or cost savings? What evidence is there that this union-proposed takeover might play out differently?

Make no mistake – we at CFIF don’t maintain any inherent antipathy toward mergers. We do, however, recognize the pitfalls and dangers of mergers suspiciously pursued and negotiated by union bosses. The unfortunate reality is that this appears to be yet another example of Big Labor pursuing its own interests at the expense of the rank-and-file employees it claims to represent.

By way of historical background, the airline industry has changed rapidly over the years due to rising fuel costs and other market forces. Countless carriers have restructured union contracts or merged with competitors to reduce costs and remain in the market.

American Airlines stands as the lone exception.

American has never merged with another airline, and until this year it had never filed for bankruptcy. As a result, its unionized employees have enjoyed arguably the best salaries and benefits packages in the industry. And in an ironic bit of history, US Airways has itself gone through several bankruptcies over the years, and even frozen or terminated pensions and many of the types of benefits they’re apparently ceding to American’s labor unions in hopes of a quick deal.

We live in economically uncertain times, in which the cushy union contracts of old have become outdated and fiscally unsustainable. The fact that American, once the nation’s model airline, is bankrupt is itself evidence of how challenging it has become to operate in the industry. Big Labor knows this well. After all, it represents a significant percentage of the industry workforce. Sadly, however, it refuses to learn the straightforward lessons of recent history, and instead continues to demand unreasonable contracts that will put the longevity and viability of airlines at risk. In so doing, shortsighted union leaders place their own survival above that of their members. They concern themselves primarily with replenishing their coffers and pursuing political victories financed by union dues.

That imprudent approach may benefit the union leadership in the near term. But in the end, it proves to the detriment of average unionized American Airlines employees, as well as customers due to the reduced long-term viability of a bloated, union-controlled airline. The alternative is to allow American the opportunity to right the ship and carve out a new, mutually-beneficial agreement with its employees. Concessions will need to be made by both management and labor, and it will necessary for American Airlines’ bankruptcy proceedings to run its course.

The Big Labor alternative to repeat the unsustainable cycle will merely prolong the misery at the expense of employees and consumers.

A Better Idea for Education Reform: Unshackling Schools

By Jonathan Butcher

Arizona enacted a new law earlier this month that got little attention but could make a big impact on school performance.

Rep. J.D. Mesnard introduced the measure, which allows school districts that receive an “A” for three years on their district report card to request exemption from specific state regulations or statutes. Districts can be free from regulations that direct efforts and resources away from schools’ primary task of educating students. Georgia lawmakers have enacted a similar provision.

The new law will let top districts do more to help their students. Although modest in scope, with limited eligibility and areas for exemption, the law is an example of how lawmakers can encourage school innovation through less regulation.

The concept of exempting schools from regulations would serve charter schools well, too. But they were not included in the bill. Charter schools are already supposed to be exempt from most state regulations, but with every new rule passed for traditional schools, charter schools are often automatically included (examples include the Common Core Standards and new teacher evaluation rules). Charter schools are designed to be free to develop better ways to educate children, so their leaders should be able to request exemption from new requirements too.

The exemptions that will be requested will likely be different from district to district and school to school, which is one of this laws best features. Every student is different, which makes every classroom and every school different. We should create more models that provide customized learning experiences for every child, and schools must be vigilant in identifying laws that get in the way. Whether that vision includes more online courses or a hybrid approach of online and in-classroom learning, state rules shouldn’t interfere.

This new law is a modest step toward less regulation of our schools that have proven they can get the job done, but the principle behind the measure will enhance school freedom and promote new approaches to education. Now that’s innovation.

Jonathan Butcher is Education Director for the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Arizona Legislature: HB 2599

Georgia Code: O.C.G.A. § 20-2-80

Obama’s Plan: Good for them. Bad for Us.

President Obama has given billions of taxpayer dollars to companies that later failed—many of them were run by Democrat donors. This is just another example of President Obama’s pattern of picking winners and losers and wasting taxpayer money.

O’s gotta go!