Tony Rivero: Cell Phone Carriers’ Back Room Deal Could Cost 10,000 Lives a Year

By Peoria City Councilman Tony Rivero

Tony Rivero

Peoria Councilman Tony Rivero

Many people would be surprised to find out that emergency dispatchers often can’t locate them if they dial 9-1-1 from a wireless phone. Earlier this year, the FCC proposed a rule to update their standards, which they estimate could save 10,000 lives a year. This proposed rule will help 9-1-1 professionals and emergency responders locate wireless callers more quickly and accurately.

While modernizing the existing FCC standards to correct these clear flaws in our current system seems like a no-brainer to law enforcement and public safety officials, the cell phone carriers are working on a backroom deal with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), a public safety trade association, to delay this lifesaving rule.

People call 9-1-1 because they are in desperate need of help. All too often, these individuals are in medical distress, a victim of a crime in progress, unsure of their location, or otherwise unable to communicate. The time lost as first responders try to locate callers often leads to tragic outcomes of those emergencies.  We cannot allow another insider deal to delay the FCC’s original proposed rule by years, costing thousands of additional lives.

While we have had so many technological advances in the way we communicate, our ability to find 9-1-1 callers has not kept pace.  Luckily, the technology to correct this problem exists today, and the FCC’s proposed rule outlines a realistic two-year path to location accuracy for all wireless 9-1-1 calls.

We’re accustomed to backroom Washington deals costing us taxpayer money, but the cost of thousands of lives is unacceptable.  We need to tell the FCC to stand firm and reject any carrier-backed deal that would delay or alter the provisions of this lifesaving rule as it was proposed, so our law enforcement officers and first responders can stop searching for callers and get back to saving lives.

Tony Rivero currently serves on the Peoria City Council and is a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 21. Find out more about Tony at TonyRivero.com.

Tempe’s Private Little Fiscal Cliff

By Michael Gibbs

Lemmings

What Tempe Council believes

I can’t think of the right adjective to use. Discouraged? Shocked? Appalled? Dismayed? Incredulous? That’s how this week’s Tempe City Council candidate forum left me feeling.

At one point candidate Matt Papke responded to a question by expressing concern about the city’s finances. Several current members of the council dismissed the issue by telling the audience that, by law, the budget has to be balanced. The attitude went beyond nonchalant–they implied that the city’s debt is a GOOD thing.

When Papke showed that in the last ten years alone Tempe’s debt has increased three-fold to nearly three quarters of a billion dollars his opponents made fun of him and one even asked if he had a mortgage on his house. Another stated flatly that you cannot run a city without incurring debt.

It’s this kind of thinking that has driven the entire nation to a $17 trillion dollar deficit, the only difference being that Tempe doesn’t have a printing press in the basement to make more dollars! No wonder Tempe is digging an ever deeper hole despite having the highest property taxes in the valley–it’s run by a bunch of profligates with no regard for their fiscal responsibilities. The spendthrifts in Detroit must be very proud to have Tempe following in their footsteps.

Chad Roche Responds to Baseless Accusations of Opponent

Repeated unsubstantiated allegations have been printed about me over the last few months. While I’ve ignored blatant lies, I’d like to clear the air a bit. My staff, many of whom support me, have volunteered their time off-the-clock but Arizona Supreme Court Rule 123(e)(1) states that employee payroll records are closed; after consulting with my attorneys, it was made clear that my office is prohibited from releasing them.

I’ve also been accused of violating campaign finance laws by buying signs and collecting signatures prior to organizing my campaign this year. Arizona state law (ARS 16-901) states that if a candidate spends our intends to spend less than $250 they do not need to organize a campaign or file anything. Prior to the end of March, I didn’t spend or intend to spend more than $250 because I didn’t have an opponent; I printed my petitions at home. As for the signs, prior to ordering my new signs on June 25, 2014 I used my campaign signs from 2010 (you can see them in the attached picture). Just for full transparency I’ve also attached a screenshot showing my purchase from Sav-on-Signs in Tucson for the re-election signs.

During a campaign, a challenger with no record, no experience, and no voting history can say anything they want to mislead the public.

I’m the ONLY life-long pro-life REPUBLICAN running for Clerk of the Superior Court and I ask for your vote! If you’ve got any questions about the completely false and unsubstantiated allegations being spread around about me.

Chad Roche SignSign Receipt

Toby Farmer: Vote No on Legislator Pay Raises

Toby Farmer

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. ”

Words of Martin Luther King, Jr., articulating his belief that the notion of true and great public service comes from a heart willing to make the sacrifice to do whatever it takes to make the world a better place for the underserved and future generations.

In Arizona, we have a citizen legislature – normal people leaving the private sector to serve our state for a limited amount of time. A true servant leader is one willing to make the commitments to advocate and to serve the people whom they represent. Being a legislator should not be the best job you’ve ever had, and the notion that pay raises will translate to better legislators is just as fatuous.

Earlier this year State Senator Don Shooter infamously told a reporter that freebies like Fiesta Bowl tickets helped supplement his income and that he wanted a pay raise from taxpayers if he was going to give up lobbyist gifts and perks.

He even remarked: “It costs a lot of money to do this job, there’s an opportunity cost.” So much for sacrifice and a citizen-based legislature.

This November, Prop 304 will ask voters to approve a 45% pay raise for our citizen legislature. Meanwhile our state is facing a $300-plus structural deficit. Add a court judgment requiring the state to pay back an additional $316M to our schools, and this should be a no brainer about where we should be allocating our limited state resources.

As a Republican candidate for LD13 State Senate, I don’t believe in special interest perks and gifts from lobbyists. I’m not running for office because I’m focused on my next stepping stone in life. Being a state legislator should not be the best job you’ve ever had. If you don’t have a mentality of service as a state legislator you don’t deserve to be elected.

Let’s put our priorities in order. Vote No on Prop 304. Vote No on legislator pay raises.

Toby Farmer is a Republican candidate for the Arizona State Senate in legislative district 13. For more information about Toby Farmer, visit his website at FarmerAZ.com

Did Heather Carter Vote to Raise our Taxes?

By Jose Borajero

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

Shortly, the Arizona Supreme Court will be ruling on whether the Medicaid tax imposed by the Democrats, aided and abetted by Representative Heather Carter and eight other Republicans in the House of Representatives is really a tax or something else, like a fee. The only question that will be resolved by the court is whether that move was legal or not. It will not determine whether it was good or bad. We all know that the mere fact something is legal does not automatically make it good, or desirable.

Whether we call it a tax, or something else, like a fee, an assessment, a contribution, an investment, or any of a myriad euphemistic terms that big government advocates use to disguise taxes, the fact remains that Heather Carter voted for bills that increase the amount of money that moves from the pockets of the taxpayers to the pockets of the government.

That fact is reflected in the results of the legislator evaluations done by three conservative leaning organizations.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP): This organization routinely keeps track of how legislators vote on issues having to do with economic matters, like taxation, spending, education, etc. (scorecard)

Goldwater Institute: These folks evaluate legislator performance across a wide variety of subjects, including tax & budget, education, constitutional government, and regulation.

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): This is a watchdog group for small businesses, which account for the vast majority of jobs in this country. They evaluate legislators on whether or not their votes enhance small businesses ability to operate in free and open market. (scorecard)

Currently in Arizona, we have 17 Republicans in the Senate and 36 Republicans in the House of Representatives, for a total of 43 Republican legislators. Let us see how Heather Carter was scored by all three organizations.

ORGANIZATION SCORE RANK
Americans for Prosperity – 48%  or 39th out of 43
Goldwater Institute – 61% or 35th out of 43
National Federation of Independent Businesses – 75% or 43rd out of 43

Conclusion: Heather Carter is a friend of Big Government and an enemy of the tax payer. People should keep that in mind when deciding whether to vote for her or for her challenger(s).

 

Hobby and a Lobby of Glass Houses

By Sam Stone

The liberal angst over the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby and other Christian-owned family businesses is rapidly spinning out of control. Critics have accused Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court of everything short of genocide. Comedian and MSNBC contributor John Fugelsang tweeted that the Hobby Lobby ruling “proves once again that Scalia Law is a lot like Sharia Law”, explicitly comparing the atrocities committed in the name of radical Islam to not requiring someone else to pay for the morning-after pill. That’s ridiculous.

It’s ridiculous in light of what Hobby Lobby really is: one of the best examples of corporate humanity and compassion in this country. It’s even more ridiculous when you compare Hobby Lobby to, for example, Staples – a similar retail business run by founder and CEO Tom Stemberg, who was a significant contributor to President Obama’s campaigns.

Hobby Lobby pays a starting wage of $9.50 per hour for part time employees. Full time employees start at $14 an hour. All employees are eligible to enroll in the company-sponsored health care plan (which covers 16 types of birth control). All employees have Sundays off.

Staples employees often start at whatever minimum wage their local jurisdiction has set. Their average wage for associates is $8.55 an hour. Most associates do not qualify for company-sponsored benefits. Staples is open 7 days a week.

And yet, the left is basically claiming that because Hobby Lobby will only pay for 16 of 20 FDA-approved birth control types, they are the Taliban and the Green family are members of ISIS. What on earth does that make Tom Stemberg and Staples? A Staples employee who doesn’t have company health insurance isn’t getting their morning-after pills paid for by the company, either. Or condoms. Or the pill. Or…you get the picture.

I have a ton of liberal friends and family members who pooh-pooh the idea of a War on Christianity. Frankly, I always have as well. The reaction of liberals and their media allies to the Hobby Lobby case is changing my mind. The mainstream media doesn’t so much as bat an eyelash at the Staples of the world, so long as the plutocrats in charge are willing to keep lining the pockets of liberal candidates (and their own networks). But Christian business owners who pay their employees a living wage and provide healthcare benefits are monsters because they won’t pay for a few specific abortifacients?

Nothing in the Supreme Court ruling or Hobby Lobby’s employee handbook prevents employees from going out and purchasing the morning-after pill for themselves. But, apparently, none of this matters so long as liberals can use the ruling to perpetuate a mythological conservative “war on women” that exists mostly in the minds of the Sandra Fluke’s of the world. Perhaps, instead, they should take a look at their own glass houses.

A Lesson in Political Ads for Scott Smith

If you haven’t noticed yet, the statewide political ads are just getting started. And while we won’t see the first barrage of ads until mid-July when the early ballots go out, most statewide campaigns are just getting ready for production having enough time to hone their messaging and create that uniquely Arizona feel.

That is, unless you’re the Scott Smith campaign.

Today, the former Mayor of Mesa went up on air with a new ad called, “Crisis Demands Leadership.” In the press release announcing the ad, Smith touts his “record of experience and leadership in overcoming difficult challenges in the private and public sector.” We’ll have more on that record later but in the meantime, we want to straight up critique the ad on its production, political airplay and its content.

iStockVidSmith’s campaign obviously had difficulty overcoming a production challenge because they had to purchase a b-roll video file off an internet site that specializes in stock images and video. In the ad the viewer sees a nice Anglo family smiling as they sit surrounded by a luscious green park. There’s only one problem; the company that made the video footage is from Slovenia. So much for that uniquely Arizona feel. The campaign could have at least borrowed a family of Smith supporters and shot some footage at a local park for a nice local touch. Oops!

Then there’s the challenge of airing the ad statewide. Anyone who’s been around the Arizona political scene for anytime knows you can’t win statewide unless you win or break even in Pima County. The hard political reality is Tucson can make or break an election so you better show up and show some love in the Old Pueblo.

The challenge the Smith campaign cannot overcome here is that they’re not on the air on Tucson television. The last time we checked, the market for the four local affiliates in Tucson was relatively cheaper than the Phoenix market. So why no ads in Tucson? Could it be the financial challenge of not having the money? Or, maybe the campaign hasn’t yet cut an entirely different message that celebrates Smith’s weakness on immigration and his support for Common-Core a position that left-leaning Tucsonans could only appreciate.

Finally, the Smith campaign seems to have a problem overcoming the challenge of original ideas. Near the end of the ad, Mayor Smith holds up a pamphlet he calls “The Business Plan” – which he gives no details. Sound familiar? That’s right, sixteen days ago, Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey went on the air with his 2nd TV ad talking about his plan for Arizona, what he calls The Roadmap to Opportunity and Freedom. Ducey at least gives the highlights of his plan in the ad but Smith says nothing about his plan. Call Smith’s little flash of a plan a case of political copy-cat, it comes off as nothing more than catch-up pandering.

SSDDplan

 

Sadly, the Smith campaign does not appear to be ready for prime-time on a statewide election. Perhaps they felt rushed to get up on the air with something they thought would serve as a political placeholder. Regardless, the underlying problem of producing and putting up an appealing political ad with strong messaging may simply be symptomatic of a leadership dearth.

Scott Smith sends mixed message on immigration crisis

Scott SmithTuesday, gubernatorial candidate and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith announced he would race to the border Wednesday in order to meet with Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino. The reason for their meeting? – to hold a joint press conference to discuss the transportation and “dumping” of immigrant children by the Border Patrol in an old refurbished produce warehouse in Nogales.

In his statement, Mayor Scott Smith called the Obama Administration’s policy of dumping immigrants in Arizona a “failure of leadership” and “the absolute height of stupidity.” The former Mesa mayor also called for Washington to fix our broken border and immigration system.

Smith’s “rush to the border” and his subsequent message following the presser, seem to conflict with his longstanding position on immigration issues and even statements made by Nogales Mayor Garino who was supposedly at the same press conference as Smith.

It was Mayor Scott Smith who opposed Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration law through the passage of SB1070 in 2010. This is the same mayor who ran into trouble with Sheriff Joe Arpaio when it was discovered that the City of Mesa was contracting with companies who hired illegal immigrants. Apparently, now that Smith is running for higher office, he’s having to finesse his position to attract hard-line anti-immigration voters. A little pandering only goes so far. Well, maybe not so far in Santa Cruz County.

Smith was also in conflict with Mayor Garino’s statements on Monday when Garino said that all the children being held in the temporary warehouse were in good care and he was comfortable with their living conditions. Keep in mind that Mayor Garino’s record on immigration is quite dismal.  During a private meeting with President Obama, Garino told the president, “I have your back” on comprehensive immigration reform. Garino also argued that the border was secure and criticized illegal crossing prosecution. Yesterday, Garino told the Nogales International that federal officials informed him more children would be processed through the Nogales facility throughout the rest of the summer. He noted after a tour of the facility that, “Border Patrol was doing a great job.”

While the Obama Administration handed the State of Arizona another election year issue, Scott Smith is only nine days late to weigh in on the crisis. Since it was revealed that DHS and the US Border Patrol began the operation over two weeks ago, Arizona officials have already called for federal action. In fact, last Monday, Congressman Paul Gosar at the urging of Governor Brewer and State Treasurer, Doug Ducey, called for a congressional investigation with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the shipping and detention of immigrants in Arizona. Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, has pledged to look into the situation as quickly as possible.

Where gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith stands on this issue is anyone’s guess. His opposition to enforcement of immigration law as a mayor tells one story. His support for stronger enforcement as a candidate tells another story. It is an election year after all and finding the right message to appeal to voters is foremost in the mind of most candidates. Let’s hope the voters choose based on proven leadership rather than on finessed messaging.

Arizona race for governor: Next stop, White House?

By Daniel Scarpinato

Arizona has long had an outsized spot on the national political stage, and that will likely put our next governor right smack in the middle of a pretty big spotlight.

Since 1964, we’ve had four prominent figures from our state run for president. Our political leaders often find themselves household names: John McCain, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jan Brewer. From SB1070 to the recent debate over SB1062, Arizona has been at the tip of nearly every major national issue of the last four years.

And our footprint is likely to increase.

We are growing in population and influence. When my parents moved here in 1978, our state had only six presidential electoral votes. Today, we have 11. In the next decade, we’ll probably have even more.

Recently, we haven’t been viewed as a competitive presidential state, but we could be. Bill Clinton won Arizona in 1996. The Southwest is where it’s at for future presidential elections.

All that makes the stakes extremely high in this year’s race for governor.

Why? Because our state’s next chief executive will have the opportunity to funnel these political realities into a national platform that could be significant for themselves and for us.

Think of it this way: Only 50 men and women in our entire country of 315 million people are executives of states.

Reporters who cover the yearly gathering of the National Governors Association will tell you that they can count on one hand the number who are impressive. Hence, governors – even of itty-bitty states – are instantly seen as credible contenders for leader of the free world. Think Howard Dean (from Vermont, the second-smallest state in America) or Sarah Palin (from Alaska, which has fewer residents than metropolitan Tucson).

So why haven’t recent Arizona governors been the subject of such speculation? For many reasons, but one big one: In the last 25 years, only two governors came to office elected in their own right. One resigned early (Fife Symington) and the other left to work for Obama (Janet Napolitano). The two who inherited the office – Jane Hull and Jan Brewer – made clear they were at the tail-end of their careers.

What am I getting at here?

Of the major gubernatorial candidates – Republican and Democrat – the median age is only 54. If the eventual victor is smart, competent and stays out of trouble, he or she could easily be a player on the national scene. And don’t even be surprised if you hear his or her name tossed out for President or Vice President.

Arizona congressman-turned-presidential candidate Mo Udall once joked that “Arizona is the only state where mothers don’t tell their children they can grow up to be President.”

That was back before the Brady Bunch was even in reruns, but four decades later, a new crop of Arizona moms are still waiting for that opportunity.

(Editor’s Note: Daniel Scarpinato is a native Tucsonan, former political reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, and current National Press Secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C.)

Dr. Ralph Heap on the Future of Healthcare

Dr Ralph Heap

Dr Ralph Heap

Having worked at the VA 30 years ago in my residency I was troubled by what I experienced back then, just as I am today.

This morning, President Obama announced the resignation of General Shinseki along with the firing of the administrators at the Phoenix VA. The change in management however will have little or no effect on resolving the serious issues involved. The recent revelations of malfeasance at the Veterans hospitals exposes for all to see the problems inherent in a government run healthcare system.

With the Obama-care expansion of Medicaid, the precursor to single payer socialized medicine, the similarities are unmistakable. The access to care is restricted by too many patients and too few providers to see them. The bureaucratic regulations limit the providers’ ability to care for the patients. The lack of accountability drives costs on an ever upward spiral. Many studies have demonstrated the poor quality of care in Medicaid systems all over the country. The results of treatment are commonly worse than is seen in those with no insurance at all.

We need to change course.

Let’s work to improve Medicaid through the introduction of cost effective free market principles such as health savings accounts, copay’s, and catastrophic insurance coverage. In this way we can greatly improve the care we provide to the poor and do it in a cost effective manner fair to those whose taxes pay for these benefits.

For our veterans, whom we owe a great debt, the problems of overworked doctors, wrestling with unintelligible bureaucratic regulations, in poorly staffed facilities, are unlikely to change. Let’s immediately provide vouchers for our veterans languishing on waiting lists, so they can receive the treatment they deserve without any further delay. Let’s work towards eliminating the current system of veterans care and moving the patients into the private medical system. This will insure that our veterans receive the best care available and not continue in the death grip of a disinterested bureaucracy.

Dr. Ralph Heap is a candidate for Arizona State Senate in Legislative District 25. Please join his campaign for a Healthier Arizona on Facebook or at his website at Ralphheap.com

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Editor’s note: Dr. Heap’s primary opponent voted for Obamacare for Arizona when he voted for the Medicaid Expansion (a provision of the Affordable Care Act).

When I asked Senator Worsley whether he would support the Arizona Constitution’s Proposition 108 – which requires a 2/3 vote in both houses – before voting for Medicaid Expansion, he said that he would support the requirement. When it came time to vote for Medicaid Expansion in a kangaroo-legislative session, Senator Worsley voted against the Constitutional requirement. He lied to me and the entire legislative district.

This is the reason I am supporting Dr. Ralph Heap for State Senate. 

- Shane Wikfors

9th Circuit Court Puts Hold on Arizona Law: Disregards District Court

By Joanne Moudy

There was a time when states had rights and could count on the sovereignty of their own state constitutions and laws.  But with the ever-growing overreach of our tyrannical federal government and liberal judges, that time is long past.  In fact today, as fast as states pass laws to distance themselves from the insanity of unlawful federal mandates and regulations, higher court decisions reverse those efforts.

So it doesn’t come as a huge shock that the 9th Circuit justices issued an injunction against Arizona’s law pertaining to abortion drugs, but it does seem odd that the justices don’t feel obligated to follow federal FDA guidelines on pharmaceutical issues.  I guess all those inconvenient rules are meant to be bent, twisted, and broken as often as necessary to further the socialist agenda.

In 2012, HB 2036 was passed by the Arizona State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer.  The law, which took effect in April, 2014, was an important step in tightening regulations on abortion providers to ensure that the medical care they provide to pregnant women is in compliance with federal guidelines and not based upon what’s best for the clinic’s profit margin.

But no sooner had the law taken effect than Planned Parenthood and the Tucson Women’s Center filed suit seeking an injunction against it on the grounds that it puts an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion.  However, U.S. District Court Judge David Bury refused to grant an injunction and rejected their argument, stating the law was put in place to protect women from “dangerous and potentially deadly ‘off-label’ uses” of abortion drugs.

But even before Judge Bury could rule on the legal issues, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals slammed down their collective heavy-handed gavel on Tuesday and granted a temporary stay.  Apparently they have no respect for the lower court’s legal process or deliberation, because they stepped right in and took the case away from the District Court.

ru4864

image credit: LifeNews

The absurdity is that the portion of the law in question simply mandates that the abortifacient drug, RU-486, Mifeprex, be used only per the guidelines of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Seems pretty straight forward to most physicians, but Planned Parenthood wants permission to do something no other doctor or hospital in the country can do.  They want to operate outside government rules and collect your tax dollars while doing it.

According to the Center for Arizona Policy, when the FDA approved RU-486, it did so under Subpart H, a much more restrictive section of the FDA’s rules specifically set aside for potentially dangerous drugs.  Out of almost 1800 new drug applications approved by the FDA between 1992 and 2011, only 70 were approved under Subpart H.

The drug itself comes with precise prescribing information, labeled uses, and a lengthy warning list, and the licensing under Subpart H simply reinforced the manufacturer’s intentions.  Clearly, the FDA believed the side effects of using the drug “off-label” – hemorrhage, ruptured uterus, sepsis and/or cardiac arrest – constituted serious threats to the patient.

RU-486 blocks the hormone progesterone, thereby causing the fetus to be starved of all nutrients, die, and detach from the uterine wall.  The manufacturer intended for the drug to be used up until 49 days of gestational age, and not beyond.

“On-label” dosing is for the woman to take 600 milligrams of RU-486 orally at the clinic and then return two days later and take 400 micrograms of Misoprostal in the presence of a licensed healthcare provider.  Misoprostal causes the uterus to contract and expel the dead fetus and any remaining contents.  The idea is that the woman be observed while she expels her uterine contents, on the off chance something goes wrong (other than the obvious).

The FDA also recommends that the woman return to the clinic a third time for a follow-up exam to ensure there are no complications (fragments of the baby still inside, etc.) from the chemical abortion.

As a side note, Arizona State Law requires that all women seeking an abortion must be given a counseling session, followed by a 24-hour waiting period before proceeding with an abortion.  That includes ingesting abortifacient drugs.

But Planned Parenthood wants to skip the initial counseling session and the 24-hour waiting period.  They also want to be able to give the RU-486 up to 63 days gestational age, when the fetus is significantly larger and more difficult to expel.

Planned Parenthood’s normal modus operandi is to do a cursory ‘exam’, convince the woman to swallow the RU-486 and then send her home with instructions to take the second drug at home.  As a matter of fact, they frequently advise their clients to not return to the clinic for a recheck after the abortion and bleeding are finished.

And here’s the rub.  Planned Parenthood dispenses RU-486 in one-third the normal dose (200 milligrams), claiming it’s cheaper and safer for the woman.  Naturally it’s cheaper – it’s one-third the dose.  What Planned Parenthood forgets to mention is that the lower dose also means the baby dies more slowly.

What they also fail to mention is that the dose of the second drug, Misoprostal, – the one the woman will take at home, is double.  So when the uterus starts to violently contract and/or the woman is bleeding heavily, she will be alone, unsupervised and without benefit of medical care.

Since medication abortions now account for 41 percent of all first-trimester abortions performed at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide, they have a vested interest in making certain they can do as they please, regardless of the risk to the mother.

At least fifteen deaths have been attributed to RU-486 since it was licensed and many more women have had complications serious enough to warrant total hysterectomies.  Regardless of Planned Parenthood’s propaganda, RU-486 is not a benign drug without risk.

Aside from the Court’s reaction, it’s also interesting to see how some of the Arizona candidates from two key races responded.

Chuck Wooten, GOP candidate, U.S. Congress, AZ D-2 said, “Abortion is tragic enough without coupling it with reckless, unsafe “medical” practices.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling categorically invalidates and marginalizes scientific, FDA precautions that are designed to protect the health of the women involved in ingesting abortifacient drugs.  As Americans have watched for far too long, liberal judges, particularly in the 9th Circuit are legislating from the bench at the peril of women, many of whom are already in a crisis situation.”

According to the Arizona Republic, as of May 27th, his opponent in the primary, Martha McSally, had no comment this issue, and the democratic incumbent, Ron Barber, ardently supports Planned Parenthood and abortion on demand.

Wendy Rogers, GOP Candidate, U.S. Congress, AZ D-9 told the Republic, “I’m 100 percent pro-life, because life is a precious gift from God.  We need to help young women understand they have options beyond abortion.”

Although her GOP primary opponent, Andrew Walter, did not respond to the Arizona Republic, Walter is on record as being Pro-life.  The democratic incumbent Kyrsten Sinema supports abortion on demand, up to full-term.

Considering that the 5th and 6th Circuit Courts of Appeals have already upheld similar laws in states within their jurisdictions, it seems likely that this battle isn’t over.  The tragedy is that one case at a time, the higher federal courts are rendering states impotent to enforce their own laws and stomping on their unique sovereignty.

Christine Jones Adds Plagiarism to Campaign Checklist Woes

As the late great President Reagan would often say, “There you go again.” One can hear those words ring yesterday as gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones proves her not ready-for-political-prime-time status yet again.

It all started last year with an epic failure on immigration.  She must have failed basic geography because she simply didn’t know where the Rio Grande River is located. (Hint: it’s that river that borders Texas and Mexico.)  She also goofed on the percentage of Hispanics hired by Sheriff Joe.  And she even –wrongly — praised him for placing pots of water in the desert as part of his humanitarian efforts in helping illegal border crossers find their way north into Arizona. Oh, and those gaffes didn’t evade national scrutiny as they probably should have for someone running for Governor of a border state. If she wants the job, she should at least get the facts straight or at least hire someone who can feed her the facts for political regurgitation.

Christine JonesThen earlier this year it was revealed  that, in addition to her ignorance on some basic issues, she was also a serial exaggerator.  During congressional testimony eight years ago, Jones claimed to have been a prosecutor in Los Angeles when she had never even passed the California bar exam.  When pressed why she made the claim when it clearly wasn’t true, Jones explained that she’d been
pushed around by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Hmmm… That’s an odd admission for
someone who really wants to be governor – that she was bullied into false statements. In a state where women governors have no problem pointing a finger at the President of the United States, Arizonans are kinda looking for someone with a little more caliber.

But wait! It gets better! Jones also misrepresented her involvement in the military when she was caught on tape stating that when her husband got in, she got out [of the US Air Force].  The fact is, she was never actually in. Another fact check strikes again.

Fast forward to Wednesday in Tucson when Jones announced her new plan for developing Arizona’s economy. Instead of the historical Five C’s she unveiled borrowed the Five “T’s” — transportation, technology, tourism, training, and taxation.  Borrowed? You see the five T’s aren’t anything new.  Back in December, 2013, liberal Tucson city Mayor Jonathan Rothschild sorta kinda already threw the five T’s into political play.  The first three Tucson “T’s” are identical — transportation, technology, and tourism. Tucson used trade and teaching instead of training and taxation, but seriously, could there be a more flagrant, obvious rip-off of someone else’s ideas than this? At least she could have been more original by picking another letter in the alphabet to alliterate her ideas.

Who knows what political mine field Christine Jones will stumble into next? If we’re keeping track we can check off the boxes of ignorance, resume embellishment, and plagiarism. The way things are going she may even earn a spot on Saturday Night Live?

Bill Richardson: Much is at stake in the Tempe City Council race

By Bill Richardson

The signs are up and the campaign to get elected to the Tempe City Council is on.

For those of us who live in Tempe and had hoped for a giant breath of fresh air to arrive after the ex-mayor Hugh Hallman left city hall two-years ago, we’re still waiting. Real change has yet to arrive: High crime, high taxes and reduced city services are still the Tempe way.

Mayor Mark Mitchell squeaked out a win over the Hallman candidate by only a couple hundred votes; not what you would call an overwhelming victory. A win is a win but not having a wealth of popular support in a city dominated by career politician Hallman and his henchmen for nearly a decade has made reform still a distant dream.

Hallman and company, including his loyal followers on the city council, gave Tempe higher taxes, fewer services and a crime problem that has escaped remedies by the current police leadership team brought on during the Hallman years. Tempe is still struggling with the extra crime rate that according to the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Reports is double Scottsdale’s and 50-percent higher than Mesa’s.

Tempe continues to blame Arizona State University for its serious crime woes even though ASU has its own police force and university crime problems are recorded separately from ASU’s by the feds.

Beyond high taxes and high crime, there’s still a cloud of question hovering over city hall from a long list of shenanigans and the FBI undercover investigation that netted longtime council member turned convicted felon Ben Arredondo.

City council members Robin Arredondo-Savage, Joel Navarro and Corey Woods were mentioned as being present during one of the meetings with Arredondo and the FBI undercover agents posing as crooks. Arredondo, who moved from the city council to the state legislature, reportedly told the FBI agents wanting to do business in Tempe, “You guys will ask, you guys will have. I don’t know how else to say it. We’ll be just fine because not only [are we] covered at the city, we’re covered now at the state.” (link)

Arredondo-Savage, Navarro and Woods were never charged with a crime.

With three city council seats open in the next election maybe change will finally come? Then again, maybe it won’t if there isn’t a change in the face of the city council.

The two incumbents who were part of the Hallman council hope to keep their seats of power and influence.

Shana Ellis a two-term member wants to stay, as does one termer Arredondo-Savage. Onnie Shekerjian is not running for re-election. Wanting to replace Arredondo-Savage and Ellis and fill the one open seat are Lauren Kuby, Matt Papke, Ernesto Fonseca, David Schapira and Dick Foreman.

For the first time in a long time Tempe voters have a real choice about the future of the city. Without term limits and a flood of fresh blood, the Tempe City Council has become more like private clique catering to special interests than an elected body of innovative and inspiring leadership residents and business owners can believe and trust.

So will voters stick with the incumbents that have helped take Tempe to where it is? Or will they elect new members to the council who can help take Tempe in a new direction to wipe out the failures of the past and restore trust in local elected officials that has been stolen from voters thanks to scandal and an array of and cozy deals generated out of Tempe’s “tax and spend” city hall?

Retired Mesa master police officer Bill Richardson lives in the East Valley and can be reached at bill[dot]richardson[at]cox[dot]net.

Pregnant Mother & U.S. Toddler Tortured while Administration Ignores

By Joanne Moudy

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag

Any federal prison in America is like a five star hotel compared to the dungeons of Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in Khartoum, Sudan.  Even the tent city Sheriff Joe developed for the pink underwear club is luxurious compared to daily beatings, rape, starvation, and bug infested cages of Omdurman’s dungeons.  But that’s precisely where 27 year-old, Dr. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her 20 month-old son, Martin Wani are being held captive.  Yet, as bad as it is right now – it’s about to get a lot worse.

We all know the liberal selfies of the world can’t be bothered with confusing topics or inconsequential issues like religious freedom.  And we can rest easy knowing some nameless U.S. government official said that America was “deeply disturbed” by the Sudan court’s flogging and death sentence.  That translates into, ‘we gave the family 30 seconds of our precious time, but otherwise, we don’t really care.’

But I care.  And I want to know where Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, the liberal Dreamers and all the other Muslim apologists are in this country.  Martin and the baby are – after all – U.S. citizens, locked in a cage in a dungeon full of infection and terror.

Make no mistake, Obama and his minions spring into action to defend Islam whenever necessary.  But American lives, Christianity, or traditional values – well that’s another story all together.

The President’s own actions demonstrate where his loyalties lie, and they clearly aren’t with America or its Constitution.  In 2012, imprisoned Muslim terrorists at the American Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cleverly passed secrets back and forth using the interior pages of the Qurans from the prison library.  When it was discovered, American troops appropriately burned the books.  After the burning, Muslim leaders seized the opportunity to strike out at America, rioting and massacring 41 people.  Of course, they ignored the obvious – that their own Muslims had already defaced the Qurans by writing in them.  American soldiers were gunned down by “friendly” Muslims on the base, and four lost their lives.

Instead of standing firm and backing our troops, our Commander-In-Chief inappropriately cowered, apologizing to Muslim leaders while disgracing himself before the world and our U.S. Military.  Obama didn’t even seem to notice the brave soldiers who were slaughtered.

Obama’s next display of Muslim love was his 2012 declarations that the Arab Spring was over and we could all look forward to coexisting peacefully in a warm Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Shari’a, dog-patch mixing bowl of sublime contentment.  Since his ridiculous declaration was followed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s killing spree where they burned down churches and dragged nuns through the streets of Egypt, he was either clueless or in cahoots.  Or both.

His adoring fans were momentarily confused, but fortunately, Obama took time to clarify things while he was in between holes at a golf course on Martha’s Vineyard.

“We don’t take sides,” the President stated. “I know it’s tempting to blame the U.S. or the West (for what?) or some other outside actor for what’s gone wrong . . . ”   But basically folks, we can’t be involved, because . . . well because the rest of his foursome was waiting to tee off.

Of course, right on the heels of Obama’s decisive golf game came the ill-timed visit of Ambassador Chris Stevens to Benghazi, which of course was right after Obama’s decision to transfer guns to the al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist insurgency in Syria.

If Stevens hadn’t been in the wrong place at the wrong time, he and three other heroic Americans might still be alive today.  Because as we all know, the entire shootout and blow-up of the embassy was coincidental to a ‘dangerous’ YouTube video release, and not the transfer of arms to terrorists.

Come on folks, is the entire leadership of this country on crack?  I only ask because two-and-a-half years later, America still doesn’t have the truth and we are so far down the road to ruin that a strong wind could end this once great nation.

Sadly, based upon Obama’s history of embracing Muslims, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that he won’t even glance in the direction of a beautiful, intelligent 27 year-old pregnant mother being tortured, personally violated (while eight months pregnant), starved and isolated in a horrific prison full of bugs and disease.

But it is absolutely unforgivable that her son; a black, 20 month-old, U.S. citizen named Martin, who’s locked in a filthy, bug ridden cage in the same prison – can’t get so much as a nod from Obama and/or fast-tracked out of there by the State Department.

Surely the plight of this legal citizen toddler deserves the same outrage that Obama spewed forth for Trayvon.  Since Obama stated Trayvon could easily have been his own son, perhaps he could see his way clear to take the frail Martin under his liberal wing and get him freed from that hell hole.

But then again, Martin is not Trayvon, and the toddler’s crime of being a 20 month-old Christian American in the all Muslim city of Khartoum is apparently far more grievous to our nation’s black leaders, than a teen with a rap sheet.

Of course the First Lady is too busy to be involved.  After all, she just made that all important trip to Topeka, Kansas, where she so ‘eloquently’ stated, “When you encounter folks who still hold the old prejudices because they’ve only been around folks like themselves . . . it is up to you to help them see things differently.”

See things differently?  I guess it’s easier to tell that to a group of American high school students and not to her Muslim buddies in the Sudanese government.  Or maybe it’s just easier for the First Lady to bash Christianity, traditional marriage and pro-life values, since that’s exactly what she did.  That’s got to be a pretty proud moment for her.

Meanwhile, Hillary’s busy on the campaign trail trying to live down her early resume when she worked for the communist run law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein.  True, she’s tried to bury that memory, but some people don’t forget.

But surely she hasn’t forgotten how ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child (unless the child is an American citizen in a prison in Khartoum) and that this might be the right time to raise her voice against the holocaust happening in Shari’a run countries.  I suspect she’s too busy covering up that little Benghazi thing and those unfortunate sequences of events that don’t really make a difference – to notice Meriam, the baby or Martin.

They are, after all, just fighting to stay alive and get through the massacre that’s in front of them with dignity.   But I don’t think dignity is a word in Hillary’s vocabulary.

And Mr. Kerry . . . where is your outrage?  Could it be that you used up all your emotions gallivanting around with your old pal, Jane Fonda back in the 1960’s?  Because the two of you sure shared a lot of hatred, treachery, and outrage against American fighting troops back then.  Now that you’re Secretary of State, perhaps you could pull a few strings and have coffee with someone in Sudan and demand Martin’s release . . . then again, you’re probably too busy bashing America.

And where are John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John McCain, Jeff Flake, and all the other ‘Dreamers’ in this country who rag on and on, spewing their diatribe about open borders and embracing illegal aliens who aren’t within ten years of legally earning U.S. Citizenship?

Considering Meriam’s young son, Martin, is already a legal American citizen who’s been subjected to unimaginable trauma and torture for the last four months, one would think the lad could at least get some attention from these collective buffoons.  Instead their silence is as deafening as the rest.

Could it be that their feigned fretting over the illegal alien population is as fabricated as their fake concern for future of this country?  Could it be that their one true agenda is about the new world order of secularist tyranny?

And finally, where is Ms. Sandra Fluke?  (Not that I really care.)

When Ms. Fluke graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, who could deny she was in a desperate plight.  The poor girl had no hope of ever being able to afford a condom or a $29 dollar pack of birth control pills.  Bless the left for rising up and supporting her – because now she can move on and live her left-wing legal life to it’s fullest, having all the unrestricted sex she desires without ever having to worry about paying for protection.

Whew!  I’m certain her trauma was every woman’s worst nightmare!

On the flip side is Meriam, eight months pregnant, being repeatedly assaulted and beaten in a prison because of her faith.  Even worse, and what many have already forgotten is that as soon as she delivers her baby, exhausted and dehydrated, she will be subjected to a horrific flogging.  Imagine her frail skin being ripped off as each of the 100 lashes tear across her back and chest.  And that is just the first of her two sentences.

She and Martin are in a living Hell.  Make no mistake, the president and his gang have the keys to free all of them.  A simple phone call would suffice, especially with a few missiles aimed appropriately at their military.  But as with Ambassador Stevens, they’d rather embrace the radical Shari’a Muslims than save two legal American children and rescue their mother who’s married to a U.S. Citizen.

Tom Horne tries to explain ethical conflict on Russell Pearce’s show

Thanks to Arizona Public Integrity Alliance for providing this video on a recent interview of Tom Horne on the Russell Pearce Show. During the show, a caller asked Attorney General Horne if he used tax dollars to employ his mistress at the office of Attorney General. Horne’s response attempted to justify the employment.

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Tom Horne’s Brett Mecum, a.k.a. “Captain America,” His DUI and Other Embarrassments

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and his surrogates have been doing their darnedest to drag former AG staffer Sarah Beattie through the mud, in an obvious attempt to deflect attention from the mountain of evidence provided by Beattie, showing that Horne has been running his re-election campaign from the AG’s Office.

But there’s a risk in such ad hominem attacks. First, they do not address the underlying accusation, or the evidence accompanying it. Second, they leave those in your camp open to the same personal scrutiny.

Which is the only reason I’m bothering with a DUI that Horne’s legislative liaison Brett Mecum pulled in September 2013, for which he ultimately did 24 hours in Maricopa County Jail.

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Phoenix New Times has the full scoop

Obamacare Versus Physician’s Hippocratic Oath

By Joanne Moudy

John Ammon

Dr. John Ammon

When John R. Ammon, M.D. finished his rigorous training at Harvard and Stanford 36 years ago, he swore to uphold the all important Hippocratic Oath – which proclaims – “Do No Harm.” Looking forward to working as an anesthesiologist, he believed he would never have to compromise that solemn promise. Yet, for Dr. Ammon, as for so many hundreds of thousands of physicians, that oath is progressively more difficult to keep.

Dr. Ammon has spent a lifetime of serving and healing his patients. More than just participating in a practice, his personal belief systems made him keenly aware of – and sensitive to – his patient’s individual needs. As a former Director and President of the American Board of Anesthesiology, as well as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, and the founder and former President of the Arizona Chapter of Docs4PatientCare, he has a keen insight into the entire healthcare system in the United States. And he is deeply concerned.

During a recent event in Phoenix Dr. Ammon kindly sat down with me and shared his thoughts on Obamacare and why he believes it will ravage our country like a plague of the worst magnitude.

“The way I see it,” Dr. Ammon said, “is that today Obamacare is the greatest threat to our freedom America has ever faced. People are already upset about the insurance issues with the new law, but the truth is we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. The full force and effect of the horrifying legislation will impact and diminish the quality of American healthcare both now and into the distant future and severely restrict a doctor’s ability to help patients.

“Obamacare was advertised to the American people as a fix for two healthcare problems. The first was reining in the runaway cost of healthcare and the second was extending health insurance to the uninsured.

“But what the left failed to explain to the American public,” Dr. Ammon continued, “is that long before the law was written, physicians had already agreed that major reforms were necessary, especially in the realms of healthcare financing, taxation and insurance. Had those underlying areas been addressed, the law would have been unnecessary.

“Physicians already knew that the cost of healthcare had ballooned from coast to coast. The steady increase in costs made it harder for many to afford healthcare or insurance for their families. And that drove up the number of uninsured.

Obamacare“And what’s really amazing to most physicians is that Obamacare did not address any of these issues. It did not address the runaway costs nor did it extend insurance to the uninsured,” Dr. Ammon said. “Quite the contrary, the law has had the opposite effect.

“Take a look at the estimates from the experts at Harvard University and Dartmouth College,” he said. “They anticipate that healthcare costs will continue to grow faster than the economy for at least 20 years. And even more troubling is that the federal government estimates that 31 million Americans will still be uninsured by 2024. So in effect, Obamacare made things much worse.

“And instead of improving the situation, the president’s law has placed unprecedented regulatory and financial burdens on physicians and hospitals. Now, instead of focusing on patient healing and their well-being, practitioners in all specialties are increasingly focused on paperwork and checking statute-driven boxes. It’s exactly the opposite of what was needed.

“But aside from all this, a major problem with Obamacare is the Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs,” Dr. Ammon continues. “Most people aren’t even aware of the term ACO. Yet, it will be the downfall of our healthcare system as we know it today.

“Here’s how it works. ACOs collectivize hospitals and many physicians together into single units. These units are then paid by the federal government for the specific services and treatments they provide under federal guidelines, in a one-size-fits-all regimen.

“Although this currently applies only to Medicare patients, the model is already being adopted for all patients. One of Obamacare’s main architects was Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who brags that the law’s main goal all along was to shift the focus of healthcare from individual patients – to society as a whole, i.e., a European socialized medicine model.

“ACOs are not about the doctor-patient relationship at all,” Dr. Ammon said, “because ultimately the federal government will dictate all treatments, procedures, and payment schedules. And the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), made up of 15 people appointed by the president, will determine which medical services will or will not be reimbursed – and for how much.

“No matter how obfuscated the truth is, this is truly ‘rationing’ and it should terrify all Americans. According to Obamacare, providers must stay within the mandated guidelines or – at a minimum – Washington will refuse to reimburse them, and at a maximum, providers can face criminal liability.

“Thus, instead of physicians caring for each individual patient and working to achieve the best healthcare outcomes, doctors become professional assembly-line workers. The federal bureaucracy increasingly sits in the middle of the examination room, like Big Brother overseeing our every move and dictating our behavior.

“This is a dagger aimed at the heart of physician’s commitment to the Hippocratic Oath,” Dr. Ammon said. “In too many cases, doctors will have to choose between what is medically appropriate for their patients versus what they are ordered to do (or not do) as mandated by the feds. There is no question that this represent a moral crisis for physicians – follow the Hippocratic ethic or the Obamacare regulations.”

As we ended our conversation, Dr. Ammon had these rather haunting, parting words.

“When I ask pre-med and medical students why they want to become doctors, they invariably say they want to help people. Although I praise and encourage that sentiment, today I have to couch my comments with warnings that they won’t be able to achieve their altruistic goals without the freedom of an unwavering commitment to each individual patient, which will be more and more difficult to attain under the Obamacare.

“Nothing threatens our American way of life or the ability of a physician to care for individuals more than Obamacare. It is an abomination which must be entirely repealed and replaced with real reform, less physicians be forced into an untenable moral crisis.”