Archives for August 2012

NEW REPORT: “Uncertainty” Dominates the Top Five Small-Business Concerns

Only the cost of health insurance is greater

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 22, 2012 — Small-business owners prominently rank “Uncertainty Over Economic Conditions” and “Uncertainty Over Government Actions” as their second and fourth most serious problems in the quadrennial National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) report, Problems and Priorities. The top problem remains “Cost of Health Insurance,” which has historically been the No. 1 problem for small employers; 52 percent labeled it as “critical”. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said that economic uncertainty is the most critical problem, followed by 35 percent who identified “Energy Costs, Except Electricity” as critical for their firms; another 35 percent of owners named  “Uncertainty Over Government Actions” as their most critical issue.

“This year’s survey was conducted on the heels of the worst U.S. recession since the 1930s; historically high levels of unemployment and housing foreclosures, and historically low levels of consumer confidence and hiring still plague the small-business community,” said Holly Wade, senior policy analyst and survey author. “The high level of uncertainty cited by small employers helps to explain the sector’s inability to recover and expand. Fears over increasing health insurance costs continue to dominate the list of concerns for small businesses, very much in spite of the president’s health insurance reform law—certainly not an endorsement of the policy, nor a good sign for the future of the sector.”

The “Cost of Health Insurance” has been the top problem for small employers for the 25 years of the survey history. The percent of small-business owners who cite this problem as critical overshadowed the runner-up by 14 percentage points. Health-insurance costs for small firms have risen 103 percent in the last decade, an increase outpacing wages and inflation, and rendering insurance unaffordable for many small-business owners. The contention around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called “Obamacare,” has proven valid, as it has failed to address the fundamental causes of rising health-care cost while opting to focus on coverage. NFIB challenged the law in the Supreme Court of the United States, after the overwhelming majority of its membership expressed a desire to have it repealed. Without a major refocus of current thinking, the cost of health insurance will almost certainly be the most critical business problem facing small-business owners again in four years.

Uncertainty has emerged as a major hurdle to small-business recovery and growth, prompting the addition of two new problems, “Uncertainty over Economic Conditions” and “Uncertainty over Government Actions” to this year’s survey. Small-business owners ranked these two problems as the second and fourth (respectively) most severe problems facing their businesses. In the last four years, the federal government has enacted significant policy changes of an immense nature; their impact will continue as the regulatory system works to implement new policy directives. Uncertainty also surrounds pending government action on the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the debt ceiling and the federal budget. All of these policy changes create a huge “question mark” for small-business owners, impeding their ability to make short and long-term business decisions.

Other notable survey findings include:

  • As a category, “Taxes” takes the top position as the most severe problem cluster in the 2012 survey, followed by the category “Regulations.” Five of the top 10 most severe problems are tax-related, including “Tax Complexity,” “Frequent Changes to Tax Rules and Regulations,” and “Federal and State Taxes on Business Income.” Comparatively, the most severe problem cluster in 2008 was “Costs.”
  • Regulations and financing lead the problems of increasing importance to small-business owners. “Environmental Regulations” topped the list, rising 20 positions from a rank of 47th in 2008 to 27th in 2012. “Finding Out about Regulatory Requirements” increased 13 positions from a ranking of 38th in 2008 to its current 25th position. “Obtaining Long-Term (five years or more) Business Loans” moved up 17 positions from 73rd to 56th. “Obtaining Short-Term (less than 12 months or revolving) Business Loans” follows moving 14 positions from 72nd to 58th.
  • The least severe problems identified by small-business owners include: “Exporting My Products/Services,” “Undocumented Workers,” “Access to High-Speed Internet.” Exporting, the least severe problem proves critical for three percent of small business owners, virtually unchanged from 2008. “Undocumented Workers” and “Access to High-Speed Internet” are both a critical problem for seven percent of respondents.
  • While the critical nature of some problems increased, for others, it declined, perhaps as a sign of the times. The largest decline in the ranking was “Interest Rates”, falling 30 positions from 32nd to 62nd. Also declining in importance and severity were “Finding and Keeping Skilled Employees” and “Employee Turnover”. Both fell 21 positions from 17th to 38th for the former and 51st to 72nd for the latter.

While small-business owners tended to evaluate most problems in the 2012 survey as they did in 2008, the major changes that did occur are largely related to the recession and increased regulations. The magnitude and duration of the recession significantly altered the small-business landscape along with the problems owners now face in operating their businesses. The four years between the last edition published in 2008 and the current edition saw a near collapse of the financial system and housing market, unprecedented government bailouts of the banking and automotive industries, and the enactment of massive economic stimulus programs. While the economy is over two years into its recovery, progress is painfully slow as economic headwinds and uncertainty remain. The effects of the recession and fragile economic recovery are reflected in owners’ assessment of business problems.

The findings of this publication are based on the responses of 3,856 NFIB small-business owner/members to a mail survey conducted from mid-January through April 2012. A sample of 23,000 members was drawn for a response rate of 17 percent. Owners evaluated 75 potential business problems individually and assessed their severity on a scale of “1” for a “Critical Problem” to “7” for “Not a Problem.” A mean (average) was calculated from the responses for each problem. Problems are ranked by mean score. A copy of the report is available at http://nfib.com/priorities. More information about the NFIB Small Business Research Foundation is available at http://nfib.com/research.

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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 send 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 www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

Convicted Felons Attempt to Change Arizona Constitution

Thousands Of Signatures Gathered Illegally

(Phoenix, AZ) – Verify the Vote, Arizona, has identified nearly 600 petitions circulated illegally by convicted felons in support of the “Open Government/Open Elections Act” and over 7,000 petitions circulated by individuals whose identities, as submitted on the circulated petitions, could not be confirmed. The felons have gathered a portion of the 9,053 petitions having some sort of irregularity circulated in support of the Act. This initiative is designed to change how primary elections are conducted as set forth by the Arizona State Constitution.

Irregularities range from circulators being felons convicted of fraud and forgery to failing to register with the Secretary of State as an out-of-state circulator as required by law. One circulator of over 600 petitions, whose identity could not be confirmed, used Petition Partner LLC’s address as her residence. Petition Partners LLC is a company paid to circulate the petitions by proponents of the initiative. Many other circulators whose identity could not be confirmed appeared to have used various motels and hotels in and around the Valley as their “residence”.

Under Arizona law, in order for a circulator to circulate initiative petitions in the State of Arizona they must:

  • Be residents of Arizona and be qualified to be registered voters, meaning they are at least 18, they are citizens of the United States, and they are not felons whose civil rights haven’t been restored; OR
  • Be U.S. Citizens residing in another State who has registered with the Secretary of State as an out-of-state circulator and, if they were residents of Arizona, be eligible to become a registered voter in this state (be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and are not convicted felons whose civil rights have yet to be restored).

According to Jennifer Wright of Verify the Vote, Arizona:

“What we have found makes all of the signatures gathered by the felons invalid. Our initial count indicates this will be in the thousands. Our investigation continues on the validity of the 358,000 signatures accepted by the Secretary of State. We are alarmed and shocked by the rate of questionable circulators – and questionable signatures.”

Verify the Vote, Arizona will not file suit but make their findings available to the media and qualified organizations interested in challenging the petition filing in court.

MORE DETAILS OF THE PETITION IRREGULARITIES

Out of the 9,053 petitions with Irregularities:

  • 7,030 petitions were circulated by persons who Verify the Vote, Arizona, was unable to verify the identity of the circulator based on the name and address used by the circulator
  • 582 were circulated by convicted felons
  • 221 were circulated by individuals who DID NOT appear to have a social security number

The remainder failed to register with the Secretary of State as out-of-state circulators

Broken down by subcategory:

Out of the 1,842 petitions circulated by 35 individuals who FAILED to register with the Secretary of State as out-of-state circulators:

  • 53 were circulated by convicted felons
  • 75 were circulated by by individuals who did not appear to have a social security number
  • 1,004 were circulated by persons who Verify the Vote, Arizona, was unable to verify the identity of the circulator based on the name and address used by the circulator

Out of the 2,830 petitions circulated by 39 individuals who DID register with the Secretary of State as out-of-state circulators:

  • 102 were circulated by convicted felons
  • Two of the circulators have active warrants and are considered fugitives from the law
  • 44 were circulated by individuals who did not appear to have a social security number
  • 2178 of the petitions were circulated by individuals who Verify the Vote, Arizona was unable to verify the identify of the circulator based on the name and address the circulator used when circulating the petitions

Of the 4,381 petitions circulated by 36 individuals who purported to be Arizona residents:

  • 427 were circulated by convicted felons
  • 102 were circulated by individuals who did not appear to have a social security number
  • One of the circulators is in the midst of forgery charges and the petitions submitted have clear instances of fraud
  • 3,848 of the petitions were circulated by individuals who Verify the Vote, Arizona could not verify the identity of the circulator based on the name and address the circulator used when circulating the petitions

While the exact number of signatures on the 9,053 petitions have not been individually counted as of yet, based on the commonly accepted average of eleven signatures per page, these petitions may equate to over 99,000 petition signatures.

Verify the Vote, Arizona is a non-partisan organization committed to ensuring free and fair elections and further ensuring ballot measures are legal and fair.

For More Information Contact:
Ed Phillips
edphillipsgroup@gmail.com
480-648-5599

True the Vote is a 501 (c) 3 organization
Verify the Vote, Arizona is filing paperwork to become a 501 (c) 3 organization

Sonoran News Editor & Publisher endorses Bill Ponath for Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace

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, August 22, 2012

Bill and his lovely wife Joan with Sheriff Babeu and County Attorney Bill Montgomery
Bill and his lovely wife Joan with Sheriff Babeu and County Attorney Bill Montgomery
Don Sorchych, Editor & Publisher of Sonoran News
Bill Ponath is a clear choice over incumbent Justice Clancy Jayne, who was reprimanded three times by the Judicial Conduct Commission. Ponath is a lawyer, Jayne isn’t, and Ponath was endorsed by Russell Pearce. Jeff Shapira was a Democrat until 2010.

Other endorsements from Sorchych include David Schweikert, Russell Pearce, Lori Klein, and David Burnell Smith. Clancy Jayne has since been reprimanded a fourth time.

Check out Don’s full list of endorsements here

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AZ Civil Rights Activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin Endorses GOP Congressma​n Ben Quayle in AZ District 6 Race

Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Civil Rights activist, the Rev. Jarrett Maupin has endorsed Congressman Ben Quayle in the Republican Primary Election for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. While the Reverend acknowledged that he and Quayle represent opposite sides of the current political divide, Maupin says you cannot deny Quayle is an effective leader.“He’s loyal to his base. I don’t agree with most of what he represents, but I can appreciate how passionately and professionally he does it,” Maupin said.

The Reverend also says that Quayle should stop attacking President Obama and focus on promoting fresh and fair policy ideas, particularly around job creation, saying: “Quayle has more in common with Obama than he thinks. They are both relatively young and fighting to have more than one term in office.”

Quayle faces a tough primary against a seasoned opponent, who is also an incumbent member of Congress, but Rev. Maupin has high hopes for a Quayle victory. “Congressman Quayle represents an emerging new bench of talented Arizona political players. People should support him in the primary, 20 and 30 year-olds especially. He’s cool, he’s one of us.”

When asked about recent controversies linked to Quayle, Maupin says don’t be too quick to judge: “All of this drama about Galilee and Quayle partaking in Playboy Antics sounds like jealousy to me. Now we know… Ben Quayle lives life, and so what???” Maupin adds, “Ben may turn out to be the 21st Century Conservative Republican American Pie version of the much envied, vilified, and controversial Congressman Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Powell drank, smoked, and womanized… He also gave us Upward-Bound, increased the minimum-wage, and was responsible for mustering Congressional support for President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs.”

Conservatives should stick with a hipster-esq young-gun like Quayle says Maupin, who thinks Arizona needs to have political balance now and in the future. If conservative voters give Quayle the boot in 2012 they’ll regret it later says the liberal preacher, “You people need someone like Ben Quayle in Congress because, God knows, one day you’ll have someone like the Reverend Jarrett Maupin in there too…”

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Lisa Borowsky Releases Political Ad: Get Out & Vote!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMBVeEFxX3Y

Richard Carmona Joins Gang of Eight Owing Big Favors to Harry Reid If Elected

Carmona Competes For Campaign Cash From Top Senate Liberal Harry Reid’s PAC Fund

PHOENIX – A PAC established by one of the nation’s topmost liberal U.S. Senators, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, chose eight liberal Democrats, including Richard Carmona of Arizona, to join him and President Obama in a quest to prevent the Senate from voting to repeal Obamacare. Reid has offered to help raise funds for the candidate who can provide him with the most email addresses.

“The prize in this odd contest is a special fundraising email from Harry Reid, which will certainly shore up any candidate’s liberal credentials, even though Carmona’s been doing that just fine all by himself,” said Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert. “The problem is that Arizona needs a senator who will work for us, not someone like Richard Carmona who simply supports the liberal agenda of a Democrat party boss like Harry Reid.”

BACKGROUND …

Top liberal in the U.S. Senate recruits more liberals

“Tied for first—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev” (Carrie Mihalcik, “Most Liberal Members of Congress,” National Journal, February 26, 2011)

“We have chosen eight Democratic candidates, in eight of the closest races in the country.” (http://www.searchlightpac.com/petition/w1207rye)

Reid blocks votes on Obama tax plan, Obamacare repeal

“Sen. Harry Reid D-Nev. this morning blocked a motion by Senate Republicans to hold a vote on President Obama’s tax cut proposal” Charlie Sperling, “Sen. Reid Blocks Republican Motion to Vote on Obama Tax Plan,” Washington Examiner, July 11, 2012)

Reid pushing for more liberals in U.S. Senate

DeConcini Said Harry Reid And “Some Other Friends Of Mine Back There” Were Going To Raise Money For Carmona. “‘I don’t know what kinds of commitments have been made. But I know I’ve talked to (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid and some other friends of mine back there. They’re going to raise him some money,’ DeConcini said.” (Jeremy Duda, “Obama, Prominent Arizona Dems Urging Carmona Senate Run,” The Arizona Capitol Times, 11/10/11)

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Ben Quayle & Congressional “frat pack” admonished for boozing and skinnydipping in Sea of Galilee

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
Monday, August 20, 2012

FBI investigated incident    

Majority leader Eric Cantor admonished 30 disrespectful Congressmen for frat type of behavior

It seems like booze, nudity and Ben Quayle go hand in hand. First it was writing lewd articles for thedirty.com referring to men as “homos” and saying “My moral compass is so broken I can barely find the parking lot.” Now he has been caught with 29 other members of Congress, mostly the “frat pack” group which is known for hanging out in bars together, boozing it up and jumping into the Sea of Galilee – at least one member of Congress was naked – on an official trip to Israel.

According to Politico,

The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff – and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.
During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.

The Sea of Galilee, a Christian holy site, is where Jesus is said in the Bible to have walked on water.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was the senior most GOP lawmaker in Israel on the trip, was so upset about the antics that he rebuked the 30 lawmakers the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip.

The American Israel Educational Foundation, a group related to AIPAC, the prominent pro-Israel advocacy group, sponsored the trip, which ran from Aug. 13 to Aug. 21, 2011. The trip cost AIEF upwards of $10,000 per person, according to records filed with the House Ethics Committee. More than 60 people took part in this AIEF trip.

These trips to the Holy Land are a rite of passage for members of Congress, as they visit the most sacred sites in the Jewish and Christian faiths – while their Israeli government hosts drive home the huge importance of U.S. support of Israel. That’s partially why, when the trip devolved into drinking and merrymaking, Cantor was livid.

Click here for the full article.

 Erick Erickson from RedState has more, in his article “Be Ashamed.”

Ben Quayle, in a primary with Dave Schweikert in Arizona, came to Congress in the midst of the news that he had a website rating the various women of Scottsdale. We should not be surprised the child of privilege still hasn’t grown up. As parents, we should be appalled that drunk, naked Congressmen are skinny dipping with the children of other Congresscritters and then hiding behind Jesus to do it.
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The Passing of Robert Orin Burges

PERSONAL ANNOUNCEMENT – ON BEHALF OF SENATOR JUDY BURGES

Sunday – August the 19th, 2012

The Passing of Robert Orin Burges

 Arizona State Senator Judy Burges and her family sadly announce the death of a wonderful husband and Dad, Robert Burges.  Robert died suddenly this morning, Sunday, August 19th of an apparent heart attack. While at home this morning, Robert requested that Judy drive him to the hospital, and while en route, Robert died.  Senator Burges and family are in the process of developing the funeral plans which will be announced later this week.  So sudden was this event, you can imagine how unprepared Judy and family were to face the shock not to mention all the details that now surround this time of sadness.

Robert Orin Burges was an Arizonan to his core, a lover of the land and the west, as well as his two girls and son and Judy his beloved wife and partner in every sense.  Robert loved meeting and greeting people and was engaged fully in the process of representative government.  Senator Burges and family fully appreciate and understand why so many folks from around Arizona would like to share their thoughts and good wishes with Judy and family, as well as their personal remembrances of Robert.  Please wait until the announcement is made giving times and details to accomplish that and to meet with the family.  Today and tomorrow are full of overwhelming emotions and decisions every family must make privately at a time like this. 

I spent a couple of hours with Senator Burges at the hospital, and was present when family members arrived.  As you can expect, distraught and numb but intact.  Judy is aware of how many people are thinking and praying for her and her family, and will personally thank you at a later date.    

       Lyle –

______________________

LYLE J. RAPACKI, Ph.D.

This message has been approved by Senator Burges

Schweikert: Ben Quayle Hearts Huckabees…and Tax Hikes

Friends,

For weeks you have heard my opponent and I talk about our record on taxes. I support keeping your taxes low. Ben Quayle voted to raise your taxes by $1,000.

Those are the facts, plain and simple.

However, my opponent wants you to believe he is a pro-growth candidate who supports low taxes.

Really?

Recently Ben Quayle accepted the endorsement of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Here’s what the Club For Growth had to say about Mike Huckabee’s record as governor: Mike Huckabee is a liberal.”

In fact, Huckabee’s record as governor was so abysmal, the Cato Institute ranked him among the worst of all governors (including democrats) for his continued insistence on raising taxes. Cato put it this way about Huckabee’s record: “[his] leadership has left taxpayers in Arkansas much worse off.”

To Ben Quayle’s credit, at least he is now consistent on where he stands when it comes to raising your taxes.

David

Protect the Sanctity of Your Vote – If Not Us, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?

Fellow Patriot,

If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?

Earlier this year, we made history together by bringing together over 17,000 volunteers nationwide to do what has never been done before – individually verify each signature placed on a petition brought forward to a government body for an election.

We need your help again!  Click here to help Arizona Verify their Petitions

Our work created a national dialogue on what kind of checks and balances should be in place before a statewide election is held, on who should and should not be signing petitions, and finally whose responsibility is it to ensure free and fair elections.

With the technology developed to verify the petitions signatures for the attempted recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, True the Vote created the first of it’s kind platform that allows grassroots activists to get intimately involved in the checks and balances needed to ensure that what we to vote on has been legally and fairly brought to the ballot.

We need your help again!  Click here to help Arizona Verify their Petitions

We made history in March.  And we can make history again today.  Continuing on our crusade to ensure free and fair elections, Arizona needs your help in verifying the signatures on a petition brought forward to significantly amend Arizona’s Constitution. Your help is critical in sending a loud and clear message that with the now available technology, We the People are no longer going to accept that petitions submitted are valid on their face.  Instead, We the People will stand together to review each and every signature to make certain that what eventually ends up on the ballot was brought their legally and fairly.

Time is of the essence!  Almost 360,000 signatures were submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State for this ballot initiative, and with our triple redundancy system over 1 million entries will need to be made.  Verify the Vote Arizona has made a target completion date of Friday, August 24th.  They have asked us to reach out to you, as someone who helped Wisconsin, to see if you could help out again today.

We need your help again!  Click here to help Arizona Verify their Petitions
While so many groups are always asking for money, today, we are only ask for a little time.  You’ve done it before, you know how easy it is, and your experience and patriotism is needed again today.  For more information please go to: http://verifythevoteaz.org/get-involved/verify-the-petitions/
Onward,Catherine Engelbrecht
President and Founder, True the VoteP.S. Arizona is running out of time.  Please CLICK HERE to help them enter in over 1 million records to ensure the petitions submitted for the “Top Two” primary initiative were brought forth legally and fairly.  Verify the Vote Arizona’s initial data entry is revealing a high rate of invalid signatures, enough to potentially bring forward a legal challenge against the measure’s inclusion on the November 6th ballot.  Your help is critical, CLICK HERE to join Arizona TODAY.