August 8, 2012
City and Town Officials:
At a Special Meeting of the Executive Committee on July 6, a decision was made that the League of Arizona Cities and Towns take a position in opposition to the Quality Education and Jobs Ballot Initiative and in support of Proposition 119, land exchanges around military bases.
The decision on the Quality Education initiative was based solely on its impact on cities and towns. As written, the initiative does not continue the present distribution formula for shared revenue from the state sales tax which currently goes to cities, towns and counties. The estimated amount lost to cities and towns by not having the shared revenue formula apply to the new one-cent tax is approximately $84 million per year. Furthermore, if enacted, the total sales tax rate will make it exceedingly difficult for any municipality to increase its own sales tax rate to meet future local needs.
I want to make it clear that the League of Arizona Cities and Towns does not oppose proper funding for public education in the state, nor is it making any comment about the appropriateness of its funding levels. Our opposition to the initiative is based purely on the impact it will have on cities and towns, and our future revenue streams.
Although our position has been reported in some media outlets, we have not publicly announced it yet, because it is not yet officially on the ballot. The final decision on that issue will be made by the Arizona Supreme Court.
The timing of our meeting was due to the deadline for submission of statements for the publicity pamphlet on July 11th.
The decision to take this position was not made lightly, and not all Mayors in the state are in support of it.
In the attachments, you will find the statement that was submitted for the publicity pamphlet and our Talking Points on the initiative.
Also included is the statement filed in support of Proposition 119 regarding land exchanges to prevent development encroachment on the state’s military bases.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Ken Strobeck, League Executive Director. I look forward to seeing you all at the League Conference later this month.
Doug Von Gausig, President
Mayor of Clarkdale
Voters in doubt about how to vote on Proposition 121 should look to our neighbor to the west and decide if they want California-style primary elections in Arizona. The California top two primary system is similar to the one proposed in Proposition 121. All candidates and voters would participate in one primary; the top two finishers in the primary would face off in the general election.
Party primaries would be abolished. What is more, political parties would be prohibited from engaging in any candidate selection activity.
In June, California voters had their first test of top two primaries. The primaries promised increased competition among candidates, higher voter turnout, and the election of so-called moderate candidates free of partisan leanings. On all scores, the primaries failed to deliver.
The primaries left voters with fewer choices in the general election. Candidates from the same party will compete in 28 of the 153 state and federal seats on the ballot in November.
Voter turnout in June was less than 30 percent. This was the lowest turnout in California history for primaries in a presidential election year.
There was more erosion of voter choice. Third-party candidates were knocked out of the process, assuring that they would have no role in the November election.
In one district with a decided advantage in Democratic registration, too many Democrats ran and split the vote. This resulted in two Republicans finishing first and second in the primary with low vote percentages. The dominant party was shut out for November, an outcome that would never occur under a normal elections process.
This lopsided and exclusionary finish could happen to any party. Voters affiliated with the party eliminated in the primary would lose their choice in November, contributing to low voter turnout in the general election.
Arizona voters need to think twice about approving the top two primary system. The results in California are showing that it is a flawed idea. Proposition 121 will result in less competition among candidates and lower voter turnout. It should be defeated on November 6.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No New Taxes, No On 204
October 4, 2012
No New Taxes, No on 204 Releases First Television Ad, “Temporary”
PHOENIX – Today, the No New Taxes, No on 204 committee released its first television advertisement titled, “Temporary.” The special interest groups that promised voters that the temporary sales tax increase would expire are now looking to create a permanent $1 billion a year tax increase making Arizona the second highest sales tax state in the nation. Arizona families were promised a temporary tax and can’t afford to fund special interest projects in a still struggling economy.
Script For “Temporary”:
VIDEO TEXT: SPECIAL INTERESTS ARE BACK…PROP 204
VOICEOVER: “The special interests are back…with Prop 204”
VIDEO TEXT: MAKES “TEMPORARY” TAX INCREASES PERMANENT
VOICEOVER: “Prop 204 makes those “temporary” tax increases permanent.”
VIDEO TEXT: RAISES TAXES $1 BILLION A YEAR
Arizona Legislative Council, 8/23/12
VOICEOVER: “Prop 204 raises taxes one billion dollars a year.”
VIDEO TEXT: NOT TO SUPPORT STUDENTS
TO FUND BIGGER BUREAUCRACY
NO REAL EDUCATION REFORM
VOICEOVER: “Not to support students, but to fund bigger bureaucracy…with no education reform…”
VIDEO TEXT: NO GUARENTEE MONEY WILL EVER REACH THE CLASSROOM
VOICEOVER: “…and with no guarantee the money will ever reach the classroom.”
VIDEO TEXT: GIVES ARIZONA SECOND-HIGHEST SALES TAXES IN THE U.S.
The Tax Foundation, 7/31/12
VOICEOVER: “Prop 204 would give Arizona the second highest sales taxes in the US.”
VIDEO TEXT: VOTE NO ON PROP 204
CHECK THE FACTS AT: VOTENOON204.COM
VOICEOVER: “Check the facts for yourself, and vote no on Prop 204.”
# # #
Paid for by No New Taxes, No on 204. Major funding by Americans for Responsible Leadership, Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, and the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP
Someone continues to harass Republican candidate Vernon Parker everywhere he goes. They’ve even set up a YouTube channel where they post their videos.
This is a call to identify the individual who is conducting the harassment, who is paying this individual and reveal how much he is being paid.
We would also encourage our conservative activists to get out and “track the tracker” by putting a camera in his face.
Wow! I’m giddy. I was surprised and thrilled by Gov. Romney’s performance in last night’s debate (Oct. 3). I watched the debate with 7 other Conservatives, time-delayed by a Tivo box so that we could halt the action and toss in our own comments.
Several of us were apprehensive at the outset, but by the end of the debate we had worked ourselves into a frenzy of excitement, shouting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” as he pounded home those key points that free-market, limited-government, fiscal-responsibility Conservatives have been trumpeting for years.
Now I have to confess. I had no idea that Gov. Romney had this in him. Sure, he’d had some brief flashes on the campaign trail, and his style turned for the better after naming Paul Ryan as his VP. But like many Conservatives, I feared the Governor was just the next-in-line Establishment Republican candidate — doomed to be another gracious loser.
I’m still absorbing what I saw & heard, and I’ll have to go through the whole debate again, but I do remember Romney’s first home run of the evening (for me) when he pointed out the immorality of the debt we are piling on the backs of our children. As I’ve written in the past (here, here, and here for example), we are effectively selling them into a modern-day version of debt bondage. At last we have a candidate who leads with that point against all those “compassionate” Democrats, the people who supposedly “care”.
As for Obama’s own performance, a repeated interjection among my friends was “He’s flailing, he’s flailing!”. Time and again he reached back for his standard campaign talking points, sometimes well off-topic, and he was visibly shell-shocked when Romney put them down emphatically, with compelling refutation points, nicely bulleted and driven home like nails in a coffin (puns intended).
If you can watch the debate again, keep an eye on Obama’s upper jaw near his left ear as he stares down at his podium. One of our friends spotted it first. You’ll see a light spot come and go as he visibly clenches and unclenches his teeth. This man is used to adulation and acquiescence, not reasoned confrontation. Bound up in his Leftist ideology and surrounded 24/7 by sycophants and a fawning, collaborative media, he was totally unprepared to defend his indefensible record. He spent much of the evening staring down at that podium as if being scolded by his school master.
Obama will be better prepared at the next debate, and Romney will have to guard against over-confidence. But I’m no longer worried. Obama’s hand is incredibly weak — almost everywhere, he’s holding a pair of deuces against Romney’s full house. And Romney’s better at the game — much better.
Of course, the election ain’t over ’til it’s over, and the Obama machine, the Great American Left, and the Democrat Media Complex won’t go gently into the night. But we have ourselves a candidate in Mitt Romney, and I have a new-found confidence that he and his staff might just run this campaign right across the finish line going away, and leading by several lengths.
Then, the long hard path to recovery begins.
[This article cross-posted from WesternFreePress.com]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2012
State Leaders Join the Fight Against Prop 121
PHOENIX, Ariz. – State Senator Steve Gallardo, and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox have joined with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to co-chair the fight against Proposition 121.
Proposition 121 is an election system that would completely eliminate Arizona’s current system. Under Proposition 121, party primaries would no longer exist. Instead, Arizona would have one primary ballot in each district with the names of everyone running for an office in that district. In this “jungle primary,” the two candidates that get the most votes would then move on to the general election, regardless of party.
“I am proud to be part of a strong bipartisan group of people who are concerned about the future of Arizona,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Proposition 121 is simply an attempt by special interests to control our elections.”
“This proposition will result in a loss of choices for the voters. We must not allow our elections to become a place for political schemes and corruption,” said Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.
“Money spent on elections will double here in Arizona if this proposition passes,” said Senator Steve Gallardo. “More money in politics means less of a voice for the voter, which is what the special interests pushing this issue want.”
Honest Elections, Not Political $chemes
Vote NO on Prop 121