An Arizona Rancher Speaks Out On The BLM Bundy Battle

An open letter to Greta Van Susteran by Gail Tobin

Dear Greta,

Thank you for your coverage of the situation in Clark County, Nevada. As a public lands rancher myself, I know that there is more to the story than appears. First off, the major issue is that of States’ Rights. Originally, the lands of the western Territories, then termed “waste lands” were to revert to the jurisdiction of the various states as they were formed. This was supposed to happen but did not and as a result, today we have enormous, top heavy bureauracies that really have little to do with what is good for the land.True, there are some in the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management that do care for the land. Unfortunately there are many more that are concerned only about continuing and extending the power of their fiefdoms. In the more than thirty years that I have been involved in public lands ranching, I have seen the relationship with the administrators of public lands (in our case the Forest Service) go from a partnership doing what is best for the resource, to a more adversarial situation. I expect that this is what the Bundy family encountered as well. Basically what Cliven Bundy is standing for is his family’s right to continue ranching. Believe me, someone whose family has been on that land for 140 years or so, cares more and knows more of the land than some bureaucrat in Washington or some starry eyed young graduate with a brand new degree in Range Management. What tipped the situation back in the nineties was the straw horse of the endangered desert tortoise To my knowledge, the tortise fare well indeed, they do not compete with cattle for food or resources. This is simply a canard to draw attention away for the real issue, control. The lands controled by the Federal Government in the West are extremely rich in natural resources, including water. Those that control this wealth and power at the federal level will not return this wealth to those to whom it belongs, the people of the various western states.

Another issue is that most people do not realize that in the desert southwest it takes far more acreage to support one cow/calf unit (the basic unit of range management) than it does east of the Rockies. Also, here we are managing for wildlife, range conservation and our cattle. This means that we run cattle in what to most seem to be huge amounts of acreage. Since we do this on public land, most of which would not produce anything but scenery we are paying to help support the resource. Though our basic grazing fee is small we have the added costs of maintaining the infrastructure and providing water (in droughty years like this) to both our cattle and wildlife. Where we might be watering 46 head of mother cows, we might also be watering elk, deer and antelope in the hundreds. With fuel at almost $4.00 per gallon this is no small expense.

It should also be noted that the situation came to a head just recently. Please note that since Harry Reid’s trip to China in 2011 the move is on to build an even larger solar power facility outside Laughlin Nv. .Also, ENN Energy (China) is going to build a solar panel facility in southern Nevada. Total investment is said to be about 5 billion dollars. Coincidentally, the law firm in which Rory Reid is a partner, just happens to be handling the legal work for this company in the United States. As I understand it, the BLM has to take a certain amount of land out of production to mitigate the effects of a large solar panel array as they are not particularly environmentally friendly to the immediate surrounding area (Look up “Solar Regional Mitigating Plan”). It is my guess that Cliven Bundy became a convenient target due to his stand on states rights. (You might also note, Kornze, now director of the BLM is a former senior aide to Senator Reid.)

The Bundy family should be left alone to do what they have done for generations, care for their cattle and the land. I have learned from observation, if you do not take care of the land, it will not take care of you. And for those that think that desert ranching is a rich man’s game, it is not. You often get up tired and go to bed exhausted, you work most days from dawn to dusk and hope that you have enough daylight to get everything done that you need to (horses don’t come with headlights).

Greta, please don’t let this fall off your radar, this is just another twist on the Biodiversity Treaty, “The Wildlands Project” and Agenda 21. This is a situation that I have following since the effort to initiate “Rangeland Reform” back in the early 90′s. If you wish to learn more about the issues (which eventually will affect all Americans) please read “The War on the West” by William T. Pendley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation. If you think that this is over you are wrong. The moment that the federal government thinks that no one is watching, they will be back to finish what they started.

Thank you for your kind attention,

Sincerely,
Gail M. Tobin, Elk Springs Ranch
Parks, Arizona

Americans for Prosperity: Congress and the President are shortening the fuse

By Christine Harbin Hanson and Tom Jenney

Imagine paying an extra $15,000 a year in taxes. For 50 working years.

That is the burden Washington is placing on our children and grandchildren.

America’s unfunded government liabilities over the next 75 years are between $100 trillion and $200 trillion, depending on how you crunch the numbers. Those are the spending promises our politicians have made through Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and other federal programs, including “Obamacare.”

According to realistic estimates by the Congressional Budget ­Office, the unfunded liabilities in Medicare alone are $89 trillion.

Let’s take a midway total liability estimate of $150 trillion. If we divide by the 90 million children in this country who are under the age of 18 (and who did not vote for the politicians who made the spending promises), it comes to more than $1.5 million per child over their lifetimes — above and beyond what they are currently scheduled to pay in taxes.

Over a 50-year working lifetime, that’s $30,000 a year. Lucky for them, financial markets will put some of that burden on those of us who are currently working adults. But if they absorb half of the burden, that would be an average of $15,000 a year in extra taxes per child or grandchild.

Of course, any attempt to actually collect that much extra revenue from American workers or their employers would create massive, long-term structural unemployment and destroy economic growth by causing even more capital and jobs to move overseas.

Unfortunately, Congress and the president are doing nothing to defuse America’s gigantic bankruptcy bomb; instead, they are shortening the fuse.

These past few months were a critical time for conservative members of Congress to stand firm behind their promises to get runaway government spending under control. Congress considered two of the biggest spending bills of the year, the Ryan-Murray budget deal and the farm bill ­conference report.

The first disappointing vote was on the budget resolution in October. Crafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, the deal boosted discretionary spending to a whopping $1 trillion a year for each of the next two years. Worse, the plan shattered previously agreed-upon spending caps for fiscal year 2014 by $45 billion — an alarming increase and a broken promise.

The deal also further nickel-and-dimed American families by hiking airline ticket taxes and making changes to military pensions.

Most alarming is the fact that the Ryan-Murray deal traded higher spending now in exchange for the promise of $28 billion in cuts in 2022 and 2023. American taxpayers deserve spending cuts now, not promises to cut spending in the future.

The second vote was the farm bill conference report in February. This legislation authorized $1 trillion in spending over the next decade. Passed under the false guise of helping small farmers, the bill expanded a number of corporate welfare programs such as crop insurance, massive taxpayer subsidies and revenue guarantees for politically connected farmers.

It also neglected to make any meaningful reforms to ballooning food-stamp spending, which has more than doubled since President Obama took office and is rife with abuse.

Americans for Prosperity urged legislators to vote against both bills, and we will include these votes in our next congressional scorecard.

We are grateful to report that a number of Arizona’s legislators stood up for American taxpayers and voted against both of these bloated bills. House members who voted the right way included Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert.

On the Senate side, Jeff Flake also voted correctly. AFP applauds these members for standing up against more government handouts and higher spending.

A number of Democratic legislators voted against the bills, but for much different reasons. Some Democrats overwhelmingly felt that the budget resolution and the farm bill conference report didn’t spend enough.

Worse, a disappointing number of Republican legislators cast a “yes” vote for both the Ryan-Murray budget deal and the farm bill conference report, signaling their support of higher federal spending. Remember: This is the party that claims to support controlling spending and limiting the size of government.

Meanwhile, the fuse continues to burn on America’s bankruptcy bomb.

Americans for Prosperity is committed to defusing that bomb and securing a bright fiscal future for our children and grandchildren.

Tom Jenney is director of Americans for Prosperity’s Arizona chapter. Christine Harbin Hanson is federal issues campaign manager for Americans for Prosperity. More information: www.americansforprosperity.org.

So You Want To Be A Legislator And Support Religious Liberty?

Guest Opinion by Anonymous (for obvious reasons)

Kudos to you.  But you had better be prepared for a whole lot of hatred coming your way from the hypocritical left.  They have a real habit of telling you to be tolerant while telling you to die.  As the public face of support for SB1062, Arizona’s Religious Freedom bill, State Senator Al Melvin’s Facebook page was deluged with vile comments.  We don’t have space for all of them, but here are some excellent examples of what passes for political discourse and tolerance on the left these days:

Some folks just want to blame the Mormons…  Like Kay here.  She is a former member of the church who thinks it is a cult.  Of course, Kay also thinks the majority of GOP legislators are LDS, and she intends to make sure that everyone knows that.

Kay Doesn't Like Mormons

Shane wouldn’t blame the Mormons, because he likely considers it narrow-minded to blame just one group of Christians when you can blame ALL of the Christians.

Shane Hates the Bible

Jett seems less upset at organized religion and more upset at the Bible itself.  A lot more upset.

Jett Smith thinks you're scum

Bart here is apparently still smarting from losing his job as a nutrition counselor.  In fairness Bart, we’re pretty sure that’s not the 5-A-Day plan most people think about.

Bart has a 5 lb bag!

Ciaran was in a bit of a hurry, so we just get the short and sweet from Ciaran.  It gets weird when Ciaran seems to have some inside knowledge though.  First you want him to die, then you celebrate that he’s almost dead?  Does Ciaran know something we don’t know?

And Ciaran can't wait for Al to die

Ciaran thinks Al's a cunt
Comparatively speaking, David here is one of the good guys.  He doesn’t want Melvin dead, but he’s liking the idea of tracking down a State Senator and beating him, you know, “for good measure”?

David Allen wants to beat Al

James wants lots of people to die, so it isn’t personal, okay Senator Melvin?  We mean, he does want you to die, but he also wants lots of other people to die.

James Jefferies Wants You To Die

Richard seemed like a pretty good example of the basic profanity laced “I wish you were dead” comment.  Not exactly Lincoln-Douglas, but we’re sure he’s doing the best he can with what he has.

Richard wants Al dead too

And what would a leftist outburst be without invoking a Nazi reference or two?  Gary, what’s with that profile picture though?  Seriously?

Gary Dailey Nazi

Chris Thomas has anger issues.  He isn’t alone in that.  Melvin’s campaign says they’ve deleted “probably two hundred” posts that were not what we’d call family friendly.  But Chris seemed to be one of the more inspired authors of hate-filled rants.  And oddly, Chris is very pro-Common Core, which ought to have been a completely different debate.  Looks like Chris doesn’t like Melvin’s position against Common Core either.  Show of hands here, do you agree with Chris’ assertion that he is “apart of the human race?”

Chris Thomas 2

Remarkably, it looks like part of Melvin’s team actually took the time to respond to this guy.  They probably didn’t make that effort twice.  Chris is not pleased.  Now Chris wants Melvin’s people dead.  Also, Chris would like to add his voice to those who do not like the bible.  We know, you’re shocked.

Chris Thomas wants CQ dead too

Chris and Kay ought to talk.  Chris doesn’t like Mormons either.  He wants them to die.  Graphically.  In fact, he’s already decided how he wants them to die.  We think we speak for civilized society at large when we say we’re glad Chris doesn’t have it his way?

Chris Thomas Hates Mormons

Looks like Melvin’s campaign started deleting Chris’ comments.  Well OF COURSE they did!  We’d recommend not just deleting them, but using the BAN feature offered by Facebook.  Apparently they didn’t go that route, because Chris is back and he wants Al Melvin DEAD, weirdly enough, with the bullet that hit Gabby Giffords.  Although he’ll apparently settle for a .357 round.

Chris Thomas 1

The statement we received from Melvin’s campaign was relatively patient, considering.  They said “Al’s been at this a long time.  He has voted for Constitutional Carry, protecting marriage, SB1070, and the list goes on.  So this isn’t the first time he has taken a stand on an important issue.  Receiving hate from people who disagree with you is saddening but not surprising.  Comments usually fall into four groups:  People who agree with you or thank you.  People who disagree with you and want to debate the idea.  People who just want to call names without adding anything to the debate.  And the really ugly folks who flat out hate you and tend to lost control of their thoughts and emotions in their haste to express their hate.  The third and fourth groups are just best deleted, otherwise they obscure any rational debate that might actually occur, and they tend to drive away the decent people who may agree or disagree with you.”

Point taken.  And if it makes our blog readers feel better, Chris Thomas, like most of the folks captured in this post, isn’t even from Arizona.  That makes us feel a bit better, even if now we have to feel sorry for Chesapeake, Virginia!

 

 

SB 1062 Analysis – Winners, Losers and Who Gets Stuck with the Bill

By Bill Beard

Politically it would seem that for the vast majority of folks in Arizona the signing of SB 1062 will lead to a lot of trouble. Every day that Governor Brewer waits to sign or veto this bill only prolongs the agony and entrenches all sides against each other. We still have an economy on shaky ground. Unfortunately the only winners in this will be attorneys for both sides that will rake in the big bucks. The other winner would appear to be the discrimination lobby consultants that will be able to squeeze out more dollars to muddy the water and further antagonize all sides.

Those ‘for’ the bill are well intentioned. The political wisdom of dragging the rest of us into this isn’t clear. The average outside observer could have seen this coming. In an attempt to secure Religious Freedom they have set things on a course where reputations will be damaged and leave the taxpayers hurting. The average guy and gal that earns a living related to tourism for business or pleasure will see smaller paychecks. I’m not exactly sure who would be against Religious Freedom but this approach seems doomed. A better alternative to alleviating the possibility of someone suing a business owner for discrimination because they don’t like gays or pick your cause du jour would have been a simple Tort Reform bill that allowed the marketplace to decide the wisdom of anyone denying anyone else the ability to do business. The court system does not need to be involved.

Politically this issue has gone beyond the intent of the supporters. At this point it will only be a loser for folks running for office this year. Forget any merits of the bill. If you have an R after your name you will have to address this in your campaign. Whether you run for Dog Catcher or Governor this issue will come up. Regardless of the real issues of your campaign you will need to take time to explain your position on the bill. Why you agree or disagree with the intent, the politics or the inevitable lawsuits. When the average citizen is more concerned with their personal economy your campaign will spend valuable time addressing this issue.

The average guy out there will not see this as a Religious Liberty issue. For them it will further separate them from their elected representatives. It will only add to the idea that the representatives just don’t get what’s going on in their lives. They struggle daily with paying bills, feeding the kids or trying to figure out where the money will come from to pay for the broken washing machine or car repair. They will get stuck with the bill for the attorneys, the bill for the loss of their representatives focus on keeping the economy moving forward and the bill for time defending what their leaders have done to their friends and family in the rest of the country. So much for of, by and for the people.

Fascist Constitutionphobes and Religiophobes Hope You Won’t Read

Reposted from The Playful Walrus

Have you heard about the legislation recently passed by the Arizona legislature? Have you heard that it is “anti-gay”? Do you know the name of the legislation? Have you even bothered to read it? It’s not very long or hard to find. I easily found it here. It is SB 1062.

The way the marriage neutering and homosexuality advocates have been engaging in their dramatic whining and over-the-top theatrics, and the way so many of their repeaters in the MSM have called it “anti-gay”, you’d think the legislation authorizes people to hunt down homosexual people where they live and burn down their homes.

Go ahead and search through the text.

You won’t find one mention of any of the following words or phrases:

gay
lesbian
homosexual
sexual orientation
same-sex
heterosexual

You won’t find euphemisms for those words or phrases, either.

What you will find is that the core language of the legislation is:

“STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion…”

However, there are some very important and sizable exceptions:

“In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.”
“The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

More core language:

“A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding…”

Again, there are some very important and sizable exceptions.

What is the big deal?

This seems to me like this is an application basic rights – rights specifically enumerated in the First Amendment.

If we consider this on the context of recent government actions, then this would appear to be a reaction to recent cases involving bakers and photographers who have opted out of participation in events that have offended their consciences and sincerely and strongly held religious convictions that have a long, public, mainstream, and widespread tradition can be informed by a basic reading of Scripture. These businesspeople have been sued or prosecuted by their own government. These situations have also been misportrayed as the someone “refusing to serve gay people”. I recall that one baker in particular had gladly served the homosexual people in question on different occasions. It was only when the baker was asked to participate in a specific event, a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, that the baker declined. Still, some people might insist that such a denial was “anti-gay”. However, I can demonstrate that it wasn’t. The same baker would have refused if two heterosexual women had asked for the baker to participate in their “wedding”.

Notice that the legislation does not mention such professions or events. The legislation could apply to many other things that have nothing to do with what homosexual people do with each other.

So why is it being called “anti-gay”?

I can think of two reasons right now.

1) Leftist homosexuality advocates are malignant narcissists. Everything in the world has to be about their orgasms. They see the entire world through their genitals and anal openings. Other people are to be judged by whether or not they think it is just groovy that one man likes to stick it in another man’s anus. They have some bizarre fixation on what other people think about their private bedroom (or public restroom) behavior. Legislation is to be evaluated by whether or not it will encourage one man to stick it in another man’s anus, or whether or not it empowers or celebrates such men nor not.

2) Homofascists want to reorganize all of society around their feelings, including the practice of religion, and anything that exempts anyone from being under the control of homofascists is labeled “anti-gay”. That would mean they are getting so upset because they fully intend to use the force of government to force everyone, even the deeply religious, to celebrate homosexual behavior.

Whatever happened to “leave us alone”? Now that’s not enough. Now they seek you out, quiz you, and if your answers aren’t right you’re facing a trip to economic Siberia.

Even if you disagree with the legislation, the hysterics from the Leftist homosexuality advocates, and the lockstep following of low information voters should concern you. Really, if signed into law and implemented, how would this law hurt a single homosexual person? Someone might ask a baker for a “wedding” cake with two grooms on top of it. The baker would say “Can’t do it.” Then the homosexual person could go to another baker. Who got hurt? Judging from the circus-like response to the legislation, there would be plenty of other people willing to participate in the “wedding” by making a cake. Comparisons to Jim Crow do not hold up. Jim Crow included government-enforced blanket segregation based on skin color. This would be a business, not government, deciding they could not participate in an event.

Is such legislation Constitutional? I don’t see how it isn’t. It is essentially a building upon the First Amendment.

Will it actually be implemented if signed into law? Don’t count on it.

As we’re seeing repeatedly, the Constitution doesn’t matter. The Executive Branch is under the control of Leftist homosexuality advocates who do not believe in letting states handle their own matters or being bound by existing legislation, and they have more and bigger guns than Arizona. Don’t kid yourself. That’s all it boils down to these days. Even if Arizona refuses to prosecute a baker for being true to their faith, Obama’s Department of Justice will.

Michelle Udall: Public Prayer, An Honored Tradition

Michelle UdallA few weeks ago, the Mesa School Board looked at their policy for prayer in public board meetings and recognized a need for a change.  Since then, they have sought legal counsel, listened to input from the community, and worked to formulate a more appropriate policy.  Beginning school board meetings with prayer is an honored tradition in Mesa, long upheld and appreciated by the community.  Likewise, the Supreme Court has noted that beginning public meetings of deliberative bodies with prayer is a part of the fabric of our society.  This valued tradition should be reincorporated into board meetings.  Doing so shows respect for the founders of our nation.

In Arizona, prayer has been a part of public meetings for more than 100 years.  In 1910, the Arizona Constitutional Convention was opened with an invocation and our State Legislature has opened with prayer since statehood.  Mesa City Council Meetings and Mesa School Board Meetings have also begun with prayer since their earliest beginnings.

An appropriate policy for beginning board meetings with prayer ought to show respect for the diverse perspectives of the community.  The opportunity to offer an invocation ought to be opened up to any and all faiths represented in the district.  The newly proposed policy will do so.  Such a policy provides the opportunity to invite members of the community who may not otherwise attend school board meetings.  They will have the chance to learn more about what is happening in Mesa schools and how they can get involved.  Greater community involvement in schools will benefit all students.

Beginning a meeting with prayer helps set the tone of the deliberations to follow.  It solemnizes the proceedings, encourages a sense of cooperation, and is a means of expressing confidence in the future and recognition for that which is worthy of appreciation in society.  Those who wish not to participate are always allowed to refrain.  Certainly there is a need for mutual respect for those of all faiths and beliefs.  School board meetings ought to be a place where tolerant, respectful behavior is modeled and promoted.

The founding fathers, authors of the Constitution, began their public meetings with prayer both before and after ratification of the Constitution.  The Supreme Court and our founding fathers recognize the value of elected officials seeking divine guidance and wisdom when making decisions that affect the entire community.  School board members ought to be as free as the founders to take advantage of such guidance and wisdom.  With the daunting task of educating the children of the community resting on their shoulders, they can use all the help they can get.  Heaven knows they need it!

Written by Michelle Udall, current Mesa School Board member.

The GOP’s Anti-Bailout ObamaCare Legislation Could Backfire

By Grace-Marie Turner

Conservatives who are angry with health insurance companies over ObamaCare are getting behind legislation to stop the “bailout” of the industry, but they may regret the consequences.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is the latest to introduce legislation, called the “No Bailouts for Insurance Industry Act of 2014,” that would repeal two sections of the ACA, Section 1341 – the “reinsurance” fund – and Section 1342 – the “risk corridor” provision. The reinsurance and risk corridor provisions were designed to help cover losses if companies found that those who had selected their plans in the health insurance exchanges were significantly more expensive to cover than predicted.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is sponsoring similar anti-bailout legislation and wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last year explaining that his bill “would eliminate the risk corridor provision, ensuring that no taxpayer-funded bailout of the health insurance industry will ever occur under ObamaCare. If this disaster of a law cannot survive without a bailout rescue valve, it is yet another reason why it should be repealed.”

A series of worst-case scenarios is unfolding that could trigger the bailout, starting with the incredible difficulty of enrolling in exchange coverage through the botched website and significantly more older – and presumably sicker – people signing up.  The administration has been pleading with young, healthy people to enroll so they can pay more than their share for insurance to offset the more expensive older people signing up.  But they’re not buying it.

Further, the president keeps changing the law.  The companies priced their policies under one set of rules, and people now are buying policies – or not – under a very different set of rules. The president has allowed non-grandfathered plans to be extended, for example, and he has given a waiver from the individual mandate to people whose health insurance policies were cancelled last year because they didn’t comply with ObamaCare’s mandates. These and other moves draw more healthy people out of the exchange pools.

The American Academy of Actuaries has warned that such changes could destabilize the new markets and result in higher premiums in 2015.  This would trigger the risk-corridor and reinsurance provisions of the ACA, which many conservative leaders say are “bailouts” for the industry. They are supporting the Rubio and Coffman bills to protect taxpayers by repealing one or both provisions.

But every action or change can have a series of unintended reactions in this Rube Goldberg contraption of a law.  And it is important to be aware of these risks of making changes.

It is likely that insurance companies would have to increase premiums higher than otherwise if the reinsurance and risk corridor provisions were altered, as the Actuaries warned.  Republicans could be blamed for causing premiums to be even higher than they will be next year.

Also, taxpayers are on the hook either way. If premiums go up, taxpayer subsidies for policies purchased through the exchange will automatically increase as well.

Some conservatives say that a vote by the House would be safe because the legislation never would be taken up by the Senate or signed by the president.  But I’m not so sure.  The Democrats and especially the president would like nothing more than to have someone else to blame for at least some of the failures of Obamacare.  If Republicans initiate this legislation, then the White House could blame them for the higher health insurance premiums that would result.

Attacking the private health insurance companies was exactly the tactic that the Democrats used to get ObamaCare passed in the first place.  And liberals are urging the White House to revive the strategy.

An article late last year in Politico underscored this: “Democratic allies…are publicly and privately urging the White House to ramp up its attacks on insurers, arguing that the tactic shored up support as they struggled to push the bill through Congress. A group of Democratic strategists pressed senior administration officials during a conference call last week.  They’d like a repeat of 2009-10, when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called insurers ‘the villains,’ Obama blasted their willingness to ‘bend the truth or break it,’ and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius accused them of banking excessive profits.”

And Democratic pollsters are saying the same thing: “When Obamacare got into trouble, we juxtaposed our message against the insurance companies, which are very unpopular,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has advised her 2014 clients, including Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, to go after insurers. “We should be messaging against the insurance companies this time as well. This is not good faith. If there is a snowstorm, the insurance companies are blaming it on Obamacare.”

If we attack the insurance companies, we are playing from the liberal playbook.  We should focus on the bigger battles, like delay and ultimately repeal of the individual mandate.

While the anger over ObamaCare and its massive failures is real and legitimate, I think conservatives need to be careful with this “anti-bailout” bandwagon.  It really does play into the hands of critics of private health insurance companies who are still distraught they didn’t get a government “public option” when the law was passed.

Where else would conservatives propose that people go for health insurance?  Liberals see the government as the answer, of course. Conservatives don’t, but our free-market policy alternatives do depend upon people having choices from a range of private health insurance and health coverage options.

Further, the “anti-bailout” initiative takes time, energy, and focus away from the much more dangerous provisions of ObamaCare, especially the individual mandate, the employer mandate, new and higher taxes, and the next wave of people losing their insurance because it doesn’t comply with the law’s long list of mandates and rules.

Do we really want to invest effort in this anti-bailout bill instead of focusing on the structural damage core provisions of ObamaCare are doing to our health sector and economy?

Posted on Forbes January 15, 2014

Rep Paul Boyer: Support the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act

By Rep Paul Boyer

Paul BoyerThe Iranian regime remains the United States’ greatest national security threat despite the recent efforts at diplomatic outreach. Iran continues to be the world leader in state-sponsored terrorism and provides significant support to terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hizbollah, and President Assad’s regime in Syria. It is a regime that has the blood of American soldiers on its hands.

A nuclear-armed Iran would further elevate the status of the regime that already finances terrorism around the world. It would allow Iran to continue its illicit activities with less constraints and its global influence would increase dramatically. A nuclear-armed Iran poses an existential threat to Israel since Tehran has continually threatened to eliminate our democratic ally.

The Obama administration inked an interim agreement with Iran over the status of the regime’s nuclear program last November, but concerns remain over the terms of the agreement. Under the interim agreement, Tehran is continuing to enrich uranium – the key step in the development of a nuclear weapon – and retains its current nuclear material and infrastructure. The agreement is also worth between $6 and $7 billion in sanctions relief to the regime in Tehran, which could be used for illicit purposes or to perpetrate terrorism.

That’s why a bi-partisan majority of the U.S. senate is supporting the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, sponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The bill, which currently has 59 cosponsors in the Senate, legislates new sanctions on Iran should it violate the current interim agreement or fail to reach a final agreement on the status of its nuclear program. The bill provides U.S. negotiators with the needed leverage to achieve a diplomatic solution.

In order to achieve a final agreement with Iran, U.S. negotiators must be given as much leverage as possible. Should Iran violate the terms of the current agreement, or fail to reach a final agreement with Western negotiators, new and increased sanctions should be levied on the Iranians. This provides negotiators with an important diplomatic tool to convince the Iranians to negotiate in good faith. And should the regime not follow through on its commitments, increased sanctions provide the U.S. with an insurance policy to prevent Iran from rapidly developing a nuclear weapon.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) immediately cosponsored this important piece of legislation and should be commended for his commitment to stopping Iran’s nuclear program. I strongly encourage Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to also join the majority of his colleagues in the Senate and cosponsor this bill.

The U.S. must use all tools available to prevent Iran’s nuclear program from accelerating and to ultimately prevent a military response. All Americans agree that a diplomatic solution is far preferable to a military one. But in order to achieve a strong diplomatic agreement and prevent military action, we must provide our negotiators with the necessary leverage.

Arizona State Rep. Paul Boyer, a Republican, represents District 20, which covers parts of Phoenix and Glendale.

Scott Bartle avoids questions on Medicaid expansion, Common Core

Reposted from Arizona Daily Independent

By Diego Moya

Scott BartleArizona Senate candidate Scott Bartle attended Saturday’s meeting of the Republican precinct committeemen in Legislative District 11 (LD11). Bartle, who is challenging Senator Steve Smith, had few answers for the large crowd at an Oro Valley library.

Bartle, owner of InMaricopa.com, initially ran for the House but changed his mind and is now shooting for the Senate. He is currently a member and was the former president of the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board.

The engaged precinct committee members asked Bartle the same questions that are being asked of all hopeful candidates these days: 1) Would you have supported Medicaid expansion? 2) Will you support Common Core?

With sly cunningness and the moves of a square dancer, Bartle danced around the topics. Bartle said he opposed any federal expansion of programs, but declared his stand on Medicare expansion.

While it is widely understood that Bartle is a strong proponent of Common Core, he refused to say whether he supported it in Arizona.

Bartle refused to answer a pointed question about who supported his campaign, specifically his donors and handlers.

Perhaps it is his desire for privacy that led Bartle to keep his opinions to himself. He said, “I am not so naïve and selfish, or maybe it is because I am selfish, but I got other demands on my time that I would not be pursuing this if I didn’t feel comfortable that there was an opportunity to win. I am more of a sit in the back row type of guy. I am not comfortable with having my face plastered on billboards and that sort of thing but I know that comes with the territory.”

According to the Arizona Auditor General’s report, under Bartle’s leadership the Maricopa Unified School District earned a “C” grade overall from the Arizona Department of Education, with 3 of its 10 schools earning a “D” grade. The District’s administrative costs/spending is considered high compared to other districts in the State with only 47% of its dollars making their way into the classrooms (To read the Arizona School District Spending (Classroom Dollars) Fiscal Year 2012, click here).

While Bartle may know what comes with the territory, voters can only guess what comes with Bartle’s territory based on his performance at the helm at MUSD.

The candidates for the two LD 11 House seats include Vince Leach and Mark Finchem.

Did Kyrsten Sinema Kill A DREAMers Dream?

Was a Dreamer who may have been used as a Latino outreach puppet by a Blue Dog Democrat, fired from her job?

By Carlos Galindo

It appears Erika Andiola who prominently entered the Immigration spotlight when she milked an incident involving her Mother, an alleged prior arrest and an alleged outstanding deportation order will be leaving her employment as an Immigration Outreach staffer for Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema AZ CD-9. See her Facebook post below:

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Here’s another screenshot of Andiola mooching (she calls it chipping in). You will also see an appropriate response from Dee Dee Blase Garcia. Blase Garcia is a nationally recognized blogger and Politico who is beyond politically involved. She’s a mover and a shaker. Blase Garcia is former Republican turned Independent after having been disenfranchised from the GOP because of their oppressive policies towards women, children and Immigrants. Follow Dee Dee Blase Garcia here.

By the way, Andiola’s former and most recent employer, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema has her own anti-Immigrant legislation baggage that has dogged her all the way to Washington from from Arizona after she threw the Immigrant community under the bus.

However, this blog is about Andiola and her tactics to gain attention. Andiola’s mother was picked up by ICE a few months ago. Allegedly, according to Andiola and others close to the family, Andiola’s mother was being transported to the border to be deported when the van or bus in which she was transported received a call ordering a return of Andiola’s mother to a holding facility that eventually released her on an alleged form of parole or supervision until her next court date.

However, many of the allegations made by Andiola or others were refuted by ICE. The following is a formal on the record statement from the ICE Spokesperson.

“On the record: “One of two individuals detained by ICE in Phoenix, AZ has been released. The other individual will be released imminently. Although one individual had been previously removed from the country, an initial review of these cases revealed that certain factors outlined in ICE’s prosecutorial discretion policy appear to be present and merit an exercise of discretion. A fuller review of the cases is currently on-going. ICE exercises prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, considering the totality of the circumstances in an individual case.”

On background (please attribute ICE):

ICE agents did not target these individuals because of their family member’s role with the Dream Act Coalition.

Additionally, this arrest had absolutely nothing to do with DACA; instead, it was based on information from a prior arrest.

Amber Cargile
Spokesperson
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Phoenix, AZ”

Additional information I received was that in fact, Andiola’s mother was never en route to the border to be deported, and that the alleged call to return Andiola’s mother to the detention facility allegedly never occurred.

Well, we’ve got conflicting stories folks. Although many of us do not appreciate ICE’s tactics or past behavior, we also cannot allow those who through whatever means have gained the ear of the Immigrant, Latino and Anglo community to misrepresent situations involving the Immigrant community’s arch enemy or the Obama administration.

It’s unfortunate that Andiola is one of those Dreamers that appears to be more interested in following the Ayn Rand ideology than the Ghandi or MLK ideology, the latter being one that one would think a young dreamer would want to emulate. Sadly I’ve seen too many Dreamers more interested in making sure their mug gets on the evening news or making sure they are on the right path to climb socially. I’m not generalizing Dreamers. I have helped many Dreamers. I admire these kids. They are part of America’s future. I might compare this to the Republicans and the Tea Party. The Dems and the Pro-Immigrant community have allowed a handful of these unruly ungrateful brats to control the messaging, which has primarily consisted of Anti-USA rhetoric and anti-Obama attacks.

It appears Andiola’s recent departure from Sinema’s employ may have been a forced departure, based on pressure that was placed on Sinema and her congressional office for hiring a staffer who is supportive of an Immigration “advocate” who spews anti-USA rhetoric. Just as important, according to sources, Andiola was a $50,000 a year congressional office staffer allegedly mooching for money to take a trip to Washington with her mom. See screenshot below.

Keep your eye on Andiola, she isn’t done yet! Once a social climber, always a social climber.

Reflecting on the District 4 Council Race

By: Paul Bentz, reposted from HighGround blog

I’ve often said that the best part about campaigns is that they actually end and you know if you won or if you lost.  Needless to say, it’s also the worst thing about campaigns – particularly when you come up on the losing end.  Such is the case of Justin Johnson for Phoenix City Council.

First, let me say, Justin Johnson was the hardest working candidate that I have ever worked with.  He was the first one up in the morning and the last one out at night.  He was willing to talk to anyone and meet with whoever wanted to meet with him.  His willingness and dedication to knocking on doors, making phone calls, raising money is amazing.  He (and his entire family for that matter) has an uncanny special talent for hard work.  When he started the race, he had 6% support and he ended up earning first place in the August election.

Our internal polling had the Johnson campaign up by high single digits going into August.  The final tally, however, was much closer, and foretold of things to come.  What we found were several hundred West Phoenix voters who fell outside of the traditional participation model had made the run off much closer than anticipated.  

We adjusted our model accordingly and expanded the universe.  Once again, polling showed a lead for Johnson – confirmed not only by our internal polling, but also in the Lake Research Polling for the Independent Expenditure formed to bolster Pastor and attack Johnson.

We knew the run-off was going to be difficult – Congressman Pastor has deep roots in the community, extensive fundraising capabilities, and is probably the most liked official in all of Democrat politics.  The Democratic establishment lined up in uniform support for the Pastor campaign and went to work attacking his Johnson’s Democrat credentials (and you thought it only happened amongst Republicans).  As the Lake Research Polling suggested, the “IE needed to define her opponent quickly and aggressively.”  That they did.  The IE spent hundreds of thousands on mailers attacking Justin’s character and falsely aligning him with tea party interests.  

Despite all of that, Johnson still held a narrow lead.  

In the end, it came down to ballot collection.  As returns came in, a similar trend emerged that was reminiscent of the run off. Another massive increase in early ballots (over and above August turnout) was seen from West Phoenix precincts – 311% participation from Holmes, 167% participation from Culver/Marivue, 146% participation from Acuna/Lynwood/Riverside, 142% from Granda/Madrid and 162% participation in Hayden High/Isaac/Lewis.    
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To their credit, Johnson’s campaign took on the herculean task of trying to counteract that flood of ballots all the way to the end aggressively generating returns of their own.  They spent every moment turning out their voters and reminding their supporters to vote.  Their efforts are why turnout is up across the board from August.

IEs on both sides made things messy and certainly made it a much closer election.  However, in the end, with 30 days of early voting, the results may not come down to mailers, endorsements, or even party ideology.

As we have seen more and more in close election contests, the daily grind of strategic ballot collection (particularly in low efficacy partisan targeted areas) can spell the difference between a win and a loss. Independent voters still tend not to participate at anywhere near the levels of partisan voters, and most seem turned off by the entire process.

Paul Bentz is Vice President of Accounts & Strategy with HighGround Public Affairs Consultants.

Kevin Thompson: Mesa Should Always Be Open For Business

Kevin ThompsonThe rumors we’ve been hearing for several weeks are true. According to breaking news, the 1.3 million square foot facility formerly owned by First Solar, has been bought and the new owner is Apple, Inc. The factory, which is approximately the size of 43 football fields, is located at Signal Butte and Elliott roads. The facility will manufacture microchips and will bring more than 700 new jobs to Mesa. Another 1,300 jobs will come as a result of construction and other associated efforts.

What does this mean for Mesa and the region? It means high-paying jobs. Not only does it mean direct jobs at the plant, but also the supplemental jobs that follow a manufacturer to support their technology and development. One only needs to look at the Price Road corridor in Chandler and the companies along that corridor supporting Intel to see the potential for the future of our District and our City. It also means additional revenue and a financial boon for Mesa and its citizens.

I applaud Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and our City Council on their proactive approach in bringing development to our City. The HEAT philosophy and approach (Health, Education, Aviation, and Technology & Tourism) is being applied in our City, and it’s working.

If elected to the Mesa City Council next year, I promise that I will continue make sure the City of Mesa is Open for Business.

Welcome to Mesa, Apple!

Kevin Thompson is a Republican candidate running for the open seat for Mesa City Council District 6. Thompson’s district includes the Apple factory. Thompson is an Air Force veteran and a 15-year employee of Southwest Gas. To learn more, visit www.ThompsonForMesa.com or visit on Facebook.

Wendy Rogers: Kyrsten Sinema Seeks To Impose Inflexible Big Government Healthcare On All

Yesterday, Congressman Kyrsten Sinema wrote, “The Attorney General’s office should conduct a full review of  . . . unsatisfactory work [on ObamaCare]. The federal government has a duty to take swift action to fix this continuing problem.”   Sinema masks her intentions by calling for government to ‘fix this continuing problem’.

Government IS the problem.

Government doesn’t create new goods or services, nor does it improve national productivity.  In fact, for the bureaucrat to advance her career, she needs to control more taxpayer dollars and/or supervise more people.

Rather than favor a healthcare system that maintains the maximum flexibility and delivers the most benefits to the majority of hardworking taxpayers, Sinema seeks to impose a single and inflexible healthcare system on us all.

It’s killing our economy.

Can Mr. Taxpayer buy a home when his family healthcare might skyrocket or be cancelled altogether?

Despite small business owners creating 7 of 10 jobs, we are held hostage by ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate which requires 59-y/o patients to be covered for child bearing, yet not be eligible for Medicare.

Dot-gov does not equal competition; Dot-com does.  Get Dot-gov out of the Dot-com business.

Wendy Rogers is a Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 9th congressional district. Visit her website at WendyRogers.org.

Rep Matt Salmon: Mr. President, this shutdown isn’t a game!

Congressman: Why won’t Obama compromise?

By Matt Salmon – October 7, 2013
My Turn – The Arizona Republic

Our democracy has not always operated smoothly. Our Founding Fathers had fierce debates in Independence Hall before negotiating what would become the Constitution.

Through negotiation, our Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances with three independent arms of government. The House of Representatives, with its frequent elections and large body of delegates, was designed to be the most responsive to the will of the people.

As a congressman, I take my duty to represent the will of my constituents seriously, and I join many of them in being deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “no negotiation” policy.

House Republicans, most of whom were elected on a promise to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” continue to believe that Obamacare is harmful to our economy and needs to repealed, or at least delayed. We also strongly believe it is patently unfair for the administration to grant corporations and Congress exemptions from Obamacare while individuals remain forced to comply.

House Republicans passed three different bills before Oct. 1 to keep the government open and to mitigate the harmful effects of Obamacare.

Each of these compromised a little more to appease Reid.

His compromise: non-existent.

Since the partial shutdown, the House has passed eight bipartisan bills to reopen agencies and fund critical programs such as veterans’ benefits and children’s cancer treatments. Fifty-seven House Democrats (including two from Arizona) compromised with Republicans and voted for some or all of these funding measures. Meanwhile, Reid rejects them and Obama issues veto threats.

Now, the president is saying he won’t compromise on increasing our debt limit. Our nation is $17 trillion in debt, and he won’t discuss with Republicans how to fix our government’s spending addiction?

As a senator, Obama stated in 2006: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure…I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Fast-forward seven years and it’s clear that Sen. Obama of 2006 would strongly oppose the “leadership failure” of President Obama in 2013. After all, it’s under his administration that our national debt has increased $6.1 trillion.

Perhaps the most disturbing glimpse into Obama’s strategy to end the shutdown came from a senior official who remarked in the Wall Street Journal: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us how long the shutdown lasts.”

Message to President Obama: This isn’t a game. There are no “winners” from a government shutdown and refusing to compromise. Likewise, there are no “losers” when our leaders negotiate. Our Founding Fathers proved this when they negotiated the Constitution.

Leadership is hard. It requires a willingness to work with those with whom you may disagree. Mr. President, it’s time to lead. Duly elected House Republicans are waiting for you at the table, and the American people are counting on you to rise above political isolationism.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us never fear to negotiate.” He’s right. As we have seen before, it could lead to great things for America.

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon represents Arizona’s 5th District, which includes much of the southeast Valley.

Rep. Paul Gosar: The Truth About the Shutdown

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Dear Friend,

I know there are a lot of questions surrounding the federal government shutdown, but I wanted to write you today and give you a little background to tell you what is going on here in Washington, D.C.

How We Got Here

It is the duty of Congress to pass an annual budget which would include 12 funding areas.  Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are supposed to pass the individual bills, and then both bodies come together, reconcile the differences, and send them to the President for his signature.  In the event that a full budget cannot be agreed upon by both bodies, Congress has historically relied on short-term fixes which keep the federal government operating under a temporary basis.

The latest of these budgets ran out on Monday and at midnight the federal government suspended operations for positions deemed non-essential.

My office is still running on a limited basis.  I am in D.C. attending meetings and briefings and taking votes to try to open up necessary services while maintaining the position that we can’t continue business as usual and move forward with Obamacare.

I was sent to D.C. to do the will of the people and you, the people, have asked me to stand my ground on your behalf.

Summary of Three Bills Passed and Sent to U.S. Senate

The House has sent the Senate three different versions of the legislation that would fund the federal government.  Here is a summary of each of those continuing resolutions:

September 19, 2013: this bill would have funded the government while permanently defunding Obamacare http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/rep-gosar-defends-americans-votes-keep-government-open-and-defund-obamacare

September 29, 2013: this bill would have funded the government while delaying the implementation of Obamacare for one year, and would have permanently repealed the medical device tax.  http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/rep-gosar-senate-don%E2%80%99t-run-out-clock-american-people

September 30, 2013: this bill would have funded the government while delaying  Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance for one year and required all Members of Congress, all congressional staff, the President, Vice-President, and all political appointees within the administration to purchase their health insurance on the Obamacare exchange. http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/rep-gosar-votes-avoid-government-shutdown

Military Pay Protected by “Pay Our Military” Act

I was proud to vote for the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210) prior to the government shutdown.

This bill protected the men and women of our armed forces from the shutdown by providing the money to pay the salaries and allowances to members of the Armed Forces (including active duty reserves and the Coast Guard) during any period in FY 2014 in which interim or full year appropriations bills are not in effect. Also, it provides the same authority to the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to pay civilian employees and contractors engaged in support of the Armed Forces during the same period. This legislation was signed into law.

Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions

You may be wondering what happens to federal services during a federal shutdown.

You have probably noticed that the U.S. Postal Service has continued to deliver your mail.  They are not funded by the Congressional appropriations process.

Social security benefits, SNAP, and unemployment benefits will also continue.

Here are the answers for some of the most common questions via the Heritage Foundation (http://blog.heritage.org/2013/09/30/qa-what-happens-during-a-government-shutdown/)

Q: Would retirees and veterans get their benefit checks?

A: Yes, mandatory government payments such as Social Security and veterans’ benefits would continue to be paid. During a prior government shutdown in 1995, 80 percent of Social Security Administration employees kept working because they were considered “essential” to making benefit payments.

Q: Would national security be hurt by a shutdown?

A: No, national security, including the conduct of foreign relations by the President, is considered an essential function that would continue.

Q: Would food and drug safety be imperiled by a shutdown?

A: No, the federal government would continue to conduct testing and inspection of food, drugs, and hazardous materials, because these are considered essential for the safety of Americans.

Q: Would we still be able to travel?

A: Yes, the government has said during prior shutdowns that the air traffic control system and other transportation safety operations are essential to the safety of the country and would continue to operate. So air traffic controllers would keep directing air traffic at airports around the country, and you would continue to be searched by agents of the TSA when you board a flight.

Q: What happens to federal law enforcement activities?

A: During a shutdown, all federal law enforcement and border control functions continue to operate. So the FBI would continue to make arrests and conduct criminal investigations. The U.S. Border Patrol would continue to patrol the American borders. The federal Bureau of Prisons stays open, and convicted criminals are not released.

Q: Would there be any problems with the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department’s supervision of our financial system during a shutdown?

A: No, all activities essential to preserving the money and banking system of the U.S., including borrowing and tax collection, would continue. So the IRS would keep on collecting the tax revenues that help pay for the operation of the federal government.

Q: What if there is a natural disaster like a hurricane during a government shutdown?

A: Emergency and disaster assistance are considered essential to protecting life and property, so federal disaster assistance continues during a government shutdown.

Politics of the Shutdown

This evening, the House voted to approve the following bills:

H.J. Res. 70 -  Open Our National Parks and Museum Act – this bill provides immediate funding for National Parks and Museums including Grand Canyon National Park, the National Gallery of Art, the World War II Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

H.J. Res. 71 - Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act – this bill would let the District of Columbia spend its local money.

H.J. Res. 72 - Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act – this bill ensures the VA can continue to operate and provide services, and guarantees veterans disability payments, the GI Bill, education training, and VA home loans will not be disrupted by the shutdown.

H.J. Res. 73 - Research for Lifesaving Cures Act – this bill ensures the National Institutes of Health can continue their work.

H.R. 3230 - Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act – this bill provides pay and allowances for military personnel in the reserve component who are in inactive status.

Even though these are common-sense solutions that will alleviate burdens of the shutdown, Majority Leader Reid and President Obama say they will not support them.

I am doing everything possible to resolve this situation fairly and efficiently. I will keep you updated by Facebook and email with our progress.

As always, you can follow everything I am working on in Arizona and Washington, D.C. through my website (http://gosar.house.gov) on Twitter@repgosar, or through Facebook at Representative Paul Gosar.

Arizona State Rep. Paul Boyer Questions Background of Obamacare Navigators

By Paul Boyer

Arizona currently has no safeguards to protect the most sensitive information of those Arizonans for whom, open enrollment for the Federal health exchange has already begun. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a position of health “navigators” who will assist Arizonans in selecting insurance plans to enroll in health coverage in the new online portal. These navigators will have access to Arizonans’ social security numbers, tax information and medical history, yet we do not know if these navigators have a criminal background.

The federal government has offered to provide us with a list of names of those who work as navigators. While this is better than having no information, knowing navigators have successfully passed a criminal background check is crucial. With the assimilation of financial and health information, the stakes have never been higher that we pass this privacy protection act before individuals hand over their private information.

After all, do we really want our most sensitive information and that of our loved ones available for identity thieves without a simple protection such as a criminal background check? 23 states have already mandated background checks and Arizona should immediately do the same.

My proposal is simple. We should register and license any navigator who wants to work in Arizona through the Arizona Department of Insurance just like we already do with insurance agents. The Department ensures applicants successfully pass a criminal background check, and if this legislation passes, we will have more than just a name.

Since the exchange has gone live, the legislature should come back in a Special Session to pass this necessary legislation, as we do not want to give bad actors a window of opportunity to commit fraud. While it is always difficult to get the state legislature back to the Capitol outside of the regular legislative session, now is such a time.

I offered an amendment that would have accomplished the same goal during the last Special Session concerning Medicaid Expansion, however, my effort failed since expansion proponents received instructions to not support any unfriendly amendments. Since that is behind us, we should pass this privacy protection act now, meanwhile putting bad actors on notice they are not welcome here in Arizona.

Democrats and Republicans can agree the primary responsibility of government includes protecting its citizens. Since the federal government has not made criminal background checks a priority, it is my hope that I receive support for this protection from my colleagues in the House and Senate and we pass this privacy protection.

This is no disparagement on the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, the Center for Rural Health, the Greater Phoenix Urban League and Campesinos Sin Fronteras, the four organizations who received navigator grants from the federal government to assist Arizonans in enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, instead of assuming no navigator has a criminal background, let’s verify navigators have a clean record by mandating a criminal background check as these other states have already done.

As much as I would like it to be, this is not a referendum on Obamacare since that must occur at a federal level. Instead, this concerns Arizona and our willingness to prevent identity thieves from exploiting and abusing Arizonans who will do so without a minimum level of protection.

So let us join these many other states, including Mr. Obama’s home state of Illinois, and prevent identity thieves from easy access to Arizonans’ most sensitive information. Failure to act would be irresponsible on our part.

Republican state Rep. Paul Boyer, vice chairman of the House Health Committee and member of the House Appropriations Committee, represents parts of Glendale and north Phoenix in Legislative District 20.