Does Your State Want to Replace Electoral College With Popular Vote for President?

Natalie JohnsonBy Natalie Johnson
(Reposted from The Daily Signal)

An 11th state looks ready to join a national movement to sideline the Electoral College and decide presidential elections by popular vote.

A bipartisan bill moving through the Arizona legislature aims to reallocate the state’s 11 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes on a national scale rather than the candidate who wins the state.

The legislation is part of a nationwide push called the National Popular Vote plan, an effort to create an agreement among states that vow to automatically elect the president of the United States using the national popular vote instead of the final vote count in each respective state.

Robert Hathorne, a Republican activist residing in Arizona, warns that the initiative would “fundamentally change America” by shifting the national political system from a representative democracy to a pure democracy.

“Majority rules was the greatest fear of our Founding Fathers; this is why ‘democracy’ is not written one time in the 4,543 words of the Constitution,” Hathorne told The Daily Signal.

The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College to give smaller states a voice against larger states when selecting the nation’s leader. Electoral votes are delegated based on a state’s population. Rhode Island, for example, has four electoral votes, while California has 55.

A presidential candidate currently needs a majority of 270 of the Electoral College’s 538 votes to win the White House.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the National Popular Vote initiative seeks to breach the Constitution and likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This entirely changes how the president is elected, and therefore, it affects the basic structure of the Electoral College and the Constitution,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Advocates are working to secure support from enough states to reach 270 guaranteed electoral votes, which effectively would throw the outcome of presidential races into the hands of the popular vote.

So far, 10 heavily Democratic states—California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have joined the District of Columbia in signing such legislation into law.

Those states make up 165 electoral votes, meaning the initiative has reached roughly 60 percent of the 270 votes needed to reach its goal of sidelining the Electoral College. Arizona would make it 176. The pact won’t go into effect until enough states sign on to hit 270 votes.

Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College, popular vote advocates are working around the challenging ratification process by going through the states.

Doing away with the Electoral College completely requires a constitutional amendment, meaning two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote for repeal, and then another three-fourths of the states would have to ratify the new amendment.

The National Popular Vote initiative instead works on the state level through an interstate compact requiring far fewer states to support the new process and reach 270 electoral votes. In fact, that number could have been as low as 11 states.

Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution reads: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power.”

Heritage’s von Spakovsky notes that the Supreme Court clarified this provision in the case Virginia v. Tennessee, ruling that only those interstate agreements that increase state power while diminishing federal power must be submitted for congressional approval.

If the National Popular Vote effort reaches its goal of 270 electoral votes, von Spakovsky predicts, the states that decided not to join the pact immediately will file a lawsuit and ultimately land the case in the Supreme Court.

Opponents of national elections by popular vote, including von Spakovsky and Hathorne, argue that the change would create incentives to commit voter fraud in single-party states and jurisdictions.

In deep-blue New York, for example, the incentive for voter fraud isn’t high, because residents know the state is going to elect a Democrat regardless. But if you move from a state-by-state voting system to a national one, von Spakovsky warns, the incentive to “stuff” voting boxes rises: Not only would a Democrat win New York, but he or she could win the national election.

“Why should as few as 12 to 15 states that make up 270 electoral votes rule over 35 other states?” Hathorne asked.

Proponents such as those working for FairVote, for example, argue that the Electoral College creates a “winner takes all” system that drives disparity between “swing” states, where candidates actively campaign, and “solid” states, which the organization says are largely ignored.

Advocates of a popular vote say the change would make every state significant during the election process.

Today, it’s possible for candidates to secure the White House without winning the popular vote across the nation.

In 2000,  George W. Bush won the presidency after the Supreme Court determined he had won Florida even though Al Gore, his Democratic opponent, won the majority of votes nationally. Bush edged Gore by five electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote movement sprung up in the mid-2000s following Gore’s contentious defeat. Through it, a candidate could win a plurality of the national vote and clinch the big seat.

The change “would make recounts an absolute nightmare,” von Spakovsky said, adding:

If electing a president is based entirely on who wins the national popular vote, if that were the 2000 situation, it would have forced a recount in the entire country because every single vote could’ve made a major difference.
In Arizona, the legislation enjoys broad support from both parties in both the House and Senate. But von Spakovsky says voters actually will lose influence if the state switches to the popular vote idea.

He said paid lobbyists, backed by enormous amounts of money, are feeding state legislators “false information” to advance the movement.

“The legislators who have signed on this are being fooled and are being foolish in voting for it,” von Spakovsky said.

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. You can follow her on Twitter at @NatalieJohnsonn

Arizona High School Students’ Racist Photo: It’s Time to Retire the N-Word

racist

By Rachel Alexander
Reprinted from Townhall

People were horrified Friday when six white girls at Desert View High School in Phoenix decided to spell out a racial slur on their T-shirts, then post a photo of it to Snapchat where it went viral. My children attend that school, and know the girls involved. One of them has a black boyfriend, and at least a couple of the others have also dated black students. Outrage over the photo has gone national, and a petition asking to expel the students has acquired over 37,000 signatures. It is also asking to fire the principal, because there is a perception the school is only going to suspend the students for five days. The school has not formally announced the discipline, obviously under pressure to throw the book at the students. Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a young man who has fashioned himself into a sort of Al Sharpton of Arizona, is organizing a Black Lives Matter rally at the school Monday afternoon.

Here is the problem: Why do people still think it is acceptable to use such an offensive word and joke about it? I blame their parents. Society has become so politically correct that anyone with a pulse should know that using a word that actually is offensive is going to result in a backlash. These girls are 17 and 18 years old, old enough to know better. Unfortunately, parents don’t always monitor what their kids are watching on TV, listening to on their iPods and doing on the Internet. Watch a few too many movies with racial slurs in them, with no parental guidance explaining how inappropriate they are, and a teenager may treat them as a joke.

These students were reportedly bullies who would take photos of other teens, post them on social media and make fun of them. No one ever did anything or stopped them — including their parents. So they began to feel they could get away with anything. The sad thing is, if someone had stepped in and stopped the bullying, they probably wouldn’t have ever gone this far.

While everyone has a right to free speech, there are certain things you don’t say out of common courtesy or because they would have adverse results. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater is not protected by the First Amendment. While racial slurs aren’t illegal, they are offensive and can result in horrible consequences as happened here. This incident will follow the students around for the rest of their lives. One has reportedly lost a full scholarship to college and was kicked off the soccer team, where she was team captain. They are receiving death threats and fake Twitter accounts have been set up in their names tweeting raunchy things.

Society needs to collectively agree to retire the n-word. This goes for black people too. There seems to be some unwritten rule that it’s acceptable for black athletes and rappers to use the n-word. Keeping the word out there makes it seem acceptable and even funny to some.

The n-word is contributing to racial tensions, and giving Black Lives Matter a reason to agitate. Anyone who is serious about improving race relations should recognize how detrimental this word is. The old adage, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me,” sounds clever but it isn’t accurate. Mental abuse is a known behavior that can result in  psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Some might say that people need to toughen up — but we can all agree that the n-word is one of the rudest words out there and can cause real pain. It is not like the growing list of “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings” the left is creating to arbitrarily and unjustifiably block off words. Whatever happened to politeness and common sense?

Some will argue that retiring the n-word is caving in to the politically correct crowd, almost as bad as banning speech and will lead to retiring more words. The fact is, if done voluntarily, it is not banning free speech. The left and the right rarely agree upon anything, much less which words are offensive. Here is one word that both sides mostly agree needs to go. It will be much more difficult for them to agree on other words. Additionally, it will stop these vicious, high-profile incidents from happening, which ruin so many lives.

Free speech purists may balk at an effort to stop using the n-word. Perhaps label the project something like “Don’t Ban It, Retire It.” The irony is, this kind of free speech is far from free, it is the most costly speech these girls will probably ever engage in.

Maricopa County Precinct Committeemen – You’re being played!

By “Justice Portend”

Plain white envelope, bulk postage, P.O. Box return address…it looked like junk mail. I caught a glimpse of the name in the return address corner and stopped just short of tossing it in the garbage.

Then I opened it.

What the heck…It took a couple of reads to get the entire picture.  The closer I looked the more I found.  It didn’t take long for the stench to grow.  This non-descript envelope contained a pile of hot, steamy bull manure!

I’ve been a PC in Maricopa County for many, many years and have attended enough of these meetings to know how things should be done. This is not it, folks. A blatant disregard for truth and decency is on every page, the bylaws are completely ignored over and over, and the motives of whoever is behind this cannot be fueled by the best interests of the party!

First, the Bylaws are very clear in describing what should be in the call:

C. Notice – The Secretary or designee shall deposit in the mail at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting notice of the meeting, addressed to each member. Copies of proposed Bylaws changes and the reasons of support, new resolutions, if any, and a proxy form must also be included.

A link to a web site does not meet the bylaws requirement, not even close! Every PC in Maricopa County has the right to see what they will vote on and the bylaws declare a copy of every proposed change, and the rationale for each, to be included in the call. This rule is in place for us, the PC’s.  There is no leeway or discretion!  The Chairman is obligated to make sure that happens – he didn’t. He ordered the official call letter to be mailed in violation of the clearly stated Bylaw put in place to insure we -the PC’s – are informed.

Corruption: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people

The whole thing smacks of corruption and disrespect toward the duly elected and appointed PC’s, the real grassroots.  We’ve walked, knocked, written checks, attended meetings and made phone calls and we did it to build our party, to get Republicans elected not to be dismissed as unimportant, simple minded morons that would never question the chairman! We must demand the bylaws be followed – this type of disrespect should make every PC beyond angry!

Then comes the “Special Meeting”.  Where to start… what possible good can come from this?  We are in the middle of an election year and this guy thinks calling a special meeting to “recall” leadership is smart? What is the real purpose of this destructive meeting?

Is he willing to sacrifice what is best for the party to get revenge?  Bowyer barely survived a no confidence motion by one vote in November – his vote. Minus Bowyer, it was a split 14-14 vote, meaning half the LD Chairman and Executive Committee members in the county voted for “no confidence” and the Bowyer faction is after payback.  Here’s what is missing in the picture – he is targeting the two members he feels led the charge but what about the rest of the EGC, the 50% who clearly voted against him? Is this a warning shot, a flexing of his political muscle? Rather than show some leadership and move on, this chairman would rather embarrass the entire party so he can attempt to get his pound of flesh.

We’ve seen some pretty outlandish things out of the MCRC, but this chairman beats them all!

Now comes some more information that is beyond the pale. All the newly appointed PC’s who are absolutely eligible to vote in this “special meeting”, didn’t get a call letter. That’s right, PC’s were deliberately not given notice of the meeting and pending election. Remember, this is not a normal election, the only way to know is if you get the letter and proxy.

Disenfranchise: to prevent (a person or group of people) from having the right to vote

Why? Go back to that plain, white bulk-rate envelope. That may hold the answer to many things.

If the bylaw changes had been printed, it would have likely been a larger mailing and higher postage.  So, it looks like Bowyer opted to skip our right to see the proposed bylaw changes in order to have room for his ridiculous special meeting call.

But why not notice the new PC’s?

The rules of bulk rate are that all the letters must contain the same information. The new PC’s aren’t eligible to vote in the Mandatory Meeting, if there were envelopes containing only the special meeting notice, they would hold significantly fewer pages and would have been noticed at the post office. Those letters would have to go first class mail which is a higher rate. Oh well, those folks don’t matter – do they?

This also explains why they can credential both meetings at the same time. Just leave the new PC’s out and then you only need one list.  When, if ever, has there been an official meeting with credentialing completed 6 or more hours BEFORE the meeting begins?

So, what we’ve got folks are a couple of things.

  1. A Mandatory Meeting with a call letter that is in blatant violation of the Bylaws, to the detriment of PC’s.  What is in those Bylaw revisions that they are trying to hide?  Why were mandatory, well-known rules not followed? What authority allowed for such a decision – this smacks of Obama Executive Order politics. It’s what the chairman wants, who needs rules. At a minimum, the Bylaw revision vote should be cancelled.
  2. A ridiculous, damaging “Special Meeting” where a portion of the electorate was deliberately denied notice and proxy provisions. Why were they intentionally denied their right to participate? How can that be tolerated?
    How far will we, the PC’s, allow this corruption, abuse of power and abandonment of principles to go?  The rule of law and individual responsibility should matter.

Then here’s something to think about… This chairman openly trains members of a different political party to be activists.  He openly uses the MCRC office to run a non-GOP 501 (c)3. His actions have shown he has a complete disdain for PC’s, no respect or intent to follow the bylaws, and is acting in opposition to the best interest of the party.  Could it be his plan is to be a “disruptor” and we’ve been played? It sure looks that way

Disrupt:

  1. to cause disorder or turmoil
  2. to destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity
  3. to break apart
  4. to radically change 
  5. broken apart; disrupted.

Judge Unbelievably Refuses to Grant a Retrial for Former Rep. Renzi Despite Finding Rampant Prosecutorial Wrongdoing

 Tucson Federal District Court Judge David Bury issued a decision on December 30 denying a retrial for imprisoned former Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona, developments which I’ve been tracking over the last six months. Bizarrely, at the same time, Bury admitted in his nine-page opinion that virtually everything factual Renzi had asserted in his motion for a retrial regarding the prosecution’s misconduct was true. The prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence from Renzi’s defense — which likely would have changed the jury’s mind — not just once, butmultiple times. Some of it was not discovered until after the trial was over, so the jury never got to see the other side of the story. That constituted a Brady violation, which the U.S. Supreme Court has held is a violation of due process. As a former prosecutor, I find this extremely disturbing.

Information is now coming out revealing striking similarities to the prosecution of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, which also involved corruption by FBI agents in order to obtain a conviction of a member of Congress. But when the judge in the Stevens’ case discovered after the trial that the prosecutors had withheld crucial evidence, the entire indictment was thrown out.

The prosecution of Renzi was based on the premise he had proposed a federal land exchange that supposedly would have benefited him financially. But it came out after the trial that the prosecution’s key witness/victim, Philip Aries, changed his story to say it was Renzi’s idea to propose the land exchange instead of others, because Aries was told by the prosecution that he would receive money for his testimony. During the hearing to reconsider a new trial last October, Aries testified that he discussed compensation with an FBI agent for this: “$10,000 would be a home run,” he said he told the agent. “$25,000 would be winning the lottery.”

Judge Bury admitted in his December opinion rejecting a retrial that the proposal to include the Sandlin land, which supposedly would have benefited Renzi, really came from Aries, not Renzi. FBI Agent Dan Odom agreed on the stand during the October hearing that leaving out this exculpatory information was a “material omission.” Nevertheless, though chief DOJ prosecutor Gary Restaino knowingly put on Aries’ false testimony, he was never punished.

Additionally, a document in the court record from The Nature Conservancy showed that the organization had proposed the idea of a land exchange to Renzi and Renzi’s staff, which would include the Sandlin land. In order to discredit this truth, Restaino, whose wife was a high-level staffer for Janet Napolitano and was concerned about Renzi challenging Napolitano for governor, found left-leaning Nature Conservancy employees who disliked Renzi to testify against him in the initial trial.

Ultimately, when the much-needed exchange finally worked itself out years later, The Nature Conservancy got the land they wanted, Fort Huachuca was able to lower its water usage as it needed — and Renzi was sent to prison.

There are at least four more major violations by the prosecution withholding evidence that have never been made public and were not presented to the jury.

First, Restaino deliberately withheld recordings of phone calls from the defense — until Renzi happened to figure out there were numerous calls in the initial document production that hadn’t been given to the defense. Restaino was not punished for this withholding.

Secondly, Restaino withheld the fact that a former staffer of Renzi’s, John Eckles, who planned to testify against him, had stolen money from congressional candidate Bradley Beauchamp, and Restaino likely did not file charges against Eckles in exchange for his cooperation against Renzi and a co-defendant. Renzi discovered this information much later on his own. Restaino was not punished.

Thirdly, Restaino withheld the truth from the judge who was monitoring the wiretapping, even lying on the monthly status report to the judge insisting he wasn’t listening to Renzi’s attorney-client privileged phone calls, when in fact Restaino”s lead FBI agent was listening and sharing them with other agents while keeping the calls unsecured in his desk. For some unknown reason, that judge recused herself after the wiretapping incident. The judge issued a scathing opinion throwing out the wiretapping evidence, but Restaino was not punished.

Fourthly, Restaino withheld the truth that the FBI had destroyed evidence that would have proven they illegally listened to Renzi’s attorney-client privileged calls, and used this evidence to bring their indictment. Restaino was not punished.

Adding to the outrageousness, Judge Bury’s decision in December to deny Renzi a retrial was based on inaccurate information. He said in his opinion that it was too late to consider the fact that the prosecution had withheld notes from the FBI agent, notes which revealed that Aries had told the agent that it was Renzi’s former assistant, Joanne Keene, who had first proposed including the Sandlin property in the land exchange during a conversation they had. Bury’s reasoning was that since this new information had been brought up in a reply brief, generally new arguments brought up in reply briefs are too late. Well, this is not just any “new argument” brought up in a reply brief, but the crux of the criminal case against Renzi. It’s not Renzi’s fault that he did not discover this Brady violation until that point — he is essentially being punished for Restaino deliberately withholding evidence.

Additionally, although Judge Bury admitted that Aries had been impeached and discredited as a witness for flip-flopping, Bury claimed that Aries’ statement that Renzi promised him a “free pass” through the Natural Resource Committee had been corroborated by other witnesses, such as Joanne Keene and Guy Inzalaco. That’s not true. Keene testified that Renzi mentioned that he had a “placeholder” into which he could assert the proposed legislation. But a placeholder merely means a position of legislation placed in a bill, nothing more. It doesn’t imply a trade or “quid pro quo.” And rather than corroborating Aries’ supposed “free pass,” Inzalaco testified that he could not remember the substance of what he discussed with Renzi! Not surprisingly, the jury acquitted Renzi of the charges that related to his conversation with Inzalaco.

How can a conviction of extortion stand, if it came out later that Renzi wasn’t the one who had proposed the land exchange? When confronted in October with FBI agent notes of who Aries said really proposed it, and evidence of the money promised him, Aries, who originally said during trial that Renzi had proposed it, changed his testimony.

The similarities to the botched prosecution of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens are disturbing. After Stevens was convicted of failing to report gifts, one of the FBI agents filed a whistleblower affidavit, alleging that prosecutors and FBI agents conspired to withhold and conceal evidence that likely would have likely resulted in a verdict of not guilty. The judge ordered a hearing to consider whether there should be a retrial.

The New York Times reported that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said, “In 25 years on the bench, he had ‘never seen mishandling and misconduct like what I have seen’ by the Justice Department prosecutors who tried the Stevens case,” repeatedly refusing to turn over documents to the defense. “Again and again, both during and after the trial in this case, the government was caught making false representations and not meeting its discovery obligations,” he said.

At the hearing to consider a retrial for Renzi in October, Judge Bury similarlyexpressed his disgust with the prosecutors for withholding exculpatory evidence from Renzi’s defense. Bury told Restaino that he had violated Renzi’s rights.

Judge Sullivan ultimately held the Stevens’ prosecutors in contempt for not disclosing the exculpatory evidence to the defense. Once he did that that, the DOJ filed a Motion of The United States To Set Aside The Verdict And Dismiss The Indictment With Prejudice. The prosecutors were removed from the case and two were suspended.

Due to the unprecedented level of corruption by DOJ prosecutors and FBI agents in Renzi’s case, this conviction cannot stand. Yet Judge Bury said he will not order a new trial because the withheld evidence wouldn’t change a single juror’s mind. Really? There is more prosecutorial misconduct in this case – that would have exonerated Renzi – than in Ted Stevens’ case! Any normal American chosen for a jury discovering these new developments would be horrified. Regardless, Bury doesn’t even need to order a new trial, he can simply drop all the convictions.

Renzi is going to ask for a congressional investigation. Knowingly putting on false witness testimony is a serious offense that strikes at the heart of our justice system. Renzi was targeted for political reasons by powerful Democrats who control much of the legal system. If they can put an innocent man in prison, no conservative person in politics is safe. Renzi was targeted because he was a popular, charismatic Congressman from a Democratic-leaning district. Apparently the standard for Judge Bury is: “Guilty, even if proven innocent, because you don’t want to cross the Obama and his DOJ.” Contact Judge Bury and tell him the convictions must be thrown out.

Dwain Returns with a Tribute to Donald Trump

Heeee’s back!

Our friend Dwain, from Mullets Over America, brings us his latest creation “Make America Great Again” ’bout the general awesomeness of Donald J Trump.

Special thanks to Public Integrity Alliance and Mr Citrus Valley for creating this ‘lil beauty.

Sen Sylvia Allen: Common Sense is Needed! (On Refugee Policy)

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

These are dangerous times in Arizona and across the world. The terror in Paris and San Bernardino are reminders that evil can appear anywhere, and anytime. One of the terrorists in Paris entered Europe embedded in a group of Syrian refugees. One of the killers in California entered the United States under something called a “fiancé visa’, after being radicalized. No matter what precautions we try to take in the U.S. to keep our citizens safe, it seems there will always be criminals and terrorists able to avoid detection.

That’s why I support Governor Ducey’s effort to be sure that Arizona has a say in who is brought here.  It will be Arizona taxpayers who will need to help fund these refugee families, and it will be Arizona families who will be harmed if terrorists fall through the vetting cracks and end up in our state.    It is Governor Ducey’s responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of Arizona’s citizens.

America is a welcoming country, and it will continue to be, but we also must use vigilance and common sense when we determine who can enter our great country. When it comes to Muslim refugees, we should not only base our decision on what is best for us, but what is also best for them.

Many Muslims live under Sharia Law.  Islam is a political system as well as a religious system and Sharia Law is at the center of that system.  Our Constitutional form of government is in direct opposition.  Would they not be happier in a country that better reflects their beliefs?   Balancing compassion with common sense would tell America that we should help relocate these refugees in other Muslim countries.

Glenn Beck, through his charity Mercury One, has just relocated 149 Christian refugees from Iraq to Slovakia.  Thousands of Americans donated to Beck’s charity to fund the relocation.   Since the US is not allowing Christian refugees (why aren’t we???), Beck found a country who would take them. Close to 500 refugees had been planned for relocation, but the United Nations and the European Union put heavy pressure on Slovakia to stop taking the Christian refugees.

In 1980, my Tenney extended family sponsored a Hmong family.  That program required fellow Americans to take responsibility in finding housing, employment and all their other needs.   The family we helped was a father, mother, three girls and a grandmother.  They lived at my mother’s house, and I helped get the girls into school and found a job for the father.   These refugees were being targeted because the father had fought on the side of America in the Vietnam War.  The Communist governments that took over South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia swept through those countries, killing millions.  Today, this family lives in California, and the girls have all graduated and are good productive citizens.  It was very rewarding for me to help this family.  I am not against helping people in need.

Common sense is needed.   Our lives, as well as the lives of the refugees, depend on it.

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
President Pro Tempore, Arizona State Senate

RIP Austin Hill, Beloved Conservative Columnist and Talk Show Host of ‘PC Friday’

Austin Hill me and our families

The last time we saw Austin and his son.

By Rachel Alexander
Reprinted from Townhall

It was with great sadness that I heard fellow conservative writer Austin Hill, age 51, had passed away on November 13. Even more well-known for his conservative talk radio shows, he was one of those unique conservatives who appealed to everyone; as more of an intellectual, he rarely alienated anyone. You didn’t have to meet him to sense his warmth and decency, although once you met him, you knew you had a trustworthy, honest friend for life. He wrote for Townhall for many years, and we had many great conversations about how wonderful being with the site had been for our careers.

Townhall’s staff wrote about him,

As faithful readers know, Hill brought a wealth of knowledge and passion to his work, which focused on small business ownership, economics, and entrepreneurship. Beyond his role as columnist, Hill was an accomplished author, consultant, small business owner, and a popular syndicated radio show host.

Austin’s family reported that he passed away from a pulmonary embolism. It may have been related to the incredible pace he kept up. As one radio fan of his wrote, “He was a Christian, a conservative, a radio host, a news anchor, an author, a columnist, a consultant and a public speaker. Whew!” Austin had recently expanded to writing for The Blaze this year, and had started appearing more often on TV. Watch him debate the left-leaning Alan Colmes on a Fox show here.

Austin had a knack  for writing about some intriguing new topic that no one else was covering, in an analytical, cerebral way. I would read his columns and think, “now why didn’t I think of that?” He was also known for interviewing obscure up-and-comers on his radio shows, which no doubt helped their careers.

But what Austin will likely forever be best remembered for is his “PC Fridays.” Let me tell you, as a writer, I spend most of my time researching and writing, and can’t listen to as much talk radio as I’d like. But once I heard that special show he hosted every Friday afternoon with the equally talented Tom Liddy (son of G. Gordon Liddy), I was hooked, and found a way to make the time to listen.

Every Friday afternoon, for one hour of their regular show based out of Phoenix, the guys would begin playing an intro of obnoxious, new age nature music, which featured extra loud, drawn-out bird chirps that were painfully funny to listen to. Next, they would tell everyone to take long, deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling. Then, they would launch into an hour of gushing, breathy voices, pretending to admire the latest crazy left-wing venture, such as why it was so wonderful to use bicycles for transportation. You could not stop laughing hysterically the entire hour; they both were so gifted. Austin and Tom were a very interesting pair; both were younger, extremely talented, good-looking men. The Liddy & Hill Show catapulted them both into legendary conservative status in Arizona.

One quirky fact many may not have known about Austin is that he had a hair transplant in the early 2000s to cover his premature balding. It gave him a perpetually blond, all-American look, and afterward he nonchalantly ran ads for the procedure during his radio shows.

In 2010, Austin co-authored a book, The Virtues of Capitalism: A Moral Case for Free Markets, where he made the case for capitalism and free markets as the best and most moral path for a society, in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2007 – 2008 and the election of Barack Obama. Directed at the masses, not educated eggheads, it was intended to influence the average American, and hence was seen as a threat by many on the left. Before that, he wrote White House Confidential: The Little Book of Weird Presidential History, a quirky little book full of fun anecdotes.

Austin’s family has set up a fund for his son’s college education. They wrote on his Facebook page,

As a follower of Jesus, Austin’s faith permeated and influenced all aspects of his life. He was committed to speaking the truth and engaging people in thoughtful conversation. In addition to writing and public speaking, Austin had a national radio presence with dedicated listeners across the country. Most importantly, he was a loving husband, and as his son describes him, an avid father.

After Austin passed away, I heard that he had been trying to get ahold of me two weeks prior. I’ll never know why. It haunts me to this day, but someday, in heaven, I will find out why. Conservatism has lost one of its best voices for uniting us and he will be greatly missed.

Wendy Rogers: F­35 Fighter Program Vital to National Defense

By Wendy Rogers, Lt Col USAF (ret)

Wendy RogersHorrific terror attacks on America and our NATO allies in recent weeks should serve as powerful reminders of the importance of maintaining our country’s edge in matters of national defense.  As a career Air Force pilot who flew worldwide airlift and humanitarian missions, I understand firsthand the importance of ensuring our military is equipped with the absolute best technology we have to offer.

That is why, as a nation, it is critical we reaffirm our support to maintain full funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. America’s air superiority remains critical, not only to protect our brave men and women overseas, but to effectively fight enemies like ISIS – a terror threat which is metastasizing.

As ISIS spreads globally, the battlefield continues to change, too. We’re fighting a new kind of war, one that will likely be redefined time and again throughout the 21st Century.

America must innovate and upgrade our defense capabilities to have a meaningful impact in the Middle East and elsewhere. The fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet is quite simply the platform of future, representing the culmination of years of cutting-edge innovation, research, and development.

F35AZBut how does it take the fight to ISIS which relies on improvised weapons, social media, and religious extremism? ISIS doesn’t have jets, after all.

Never underestimate our enemy’s reach, even if its technology, military presence, and tactics are completely different from ours. The versatility and unmatched situational awareness of the F-35 makes it integral to fighting ISIS’s asymmetric threat.  The F-35’s ground-breaking communications systems also allow for better coordinated missions with our allies who have invested in the program. The F-35’s interoperability between the US and our NATO counterparts enables us to instantly adjust strategies to respond to unexpected, real-time changes on the ground, giving us greater flexibility and control.  Moreover, the F-35’s maneuverability and advanced missile detection systems safeguard our pilots from anti-aircraft fire for a distinct advantage.

In fact, Lt. Gen. Bogdan of the United States Air Force testified before Congress that “the combination of the F-35 being able to go where no other airplanes can go and its ability to see the battlespace in clarity, creates an advantage for the United States that is critical in future air dominance.”

We owe it to our brave men and women in uniform to provide the safest and most technologically advanced weaponry available. As the world’s greatest military force, we must continue to evolve to meet new types of threats that will no doubt emerge in the coming years and decades. The F-35 program is more than capable of helping us to accomplish both of these feats.

As a career Air Force pilot, I can say the F-35 is exactly what this country needs to not just keep up with – but to effectively combat – the threats we face on a global scale. I’ve been behind the program from the beginning as the vast majority of Arizona elected officials have been.

We must continue supporting the F-35 program in order to reap the benefits it will provide for decades to come.  Anything less will be needlessly wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen our armed forces to keep America safe and secure.

Lt Col Wendy Rogers and her husband are small business owners living in Flagstaff, serving communities in northern, eastern and southern Arizona.

Obama’s Promise to America

by Jim Harbison

As a candidate for President, Barrack Obama promised to fundamentally change America.  After seven years in office we have all witnessed significant changes to our society, our nation, and our way of life.  In my opinion these changes have undermined and destroyed the America that provided so much for my generation and those before me.

The promise of a future better than the current generation is gone.  Our children and grandchildren will have little opportunity to achieve the quality of live we have been able to experience. Thanks to our poor selection of elected “leaders” they have been encumbered with massive tax burdens, a decaying infrastructure and burdensome regulations.

We have witnessed the degradation of our military capability.  Our Army is now the smallest it has been since prior to World War II.  We now have more policemen in New York City than we have military forces in NATO.  Senior military leadership has been purged and more than 500 senior military leaders have been forced out of the military.  Only those “yes men” who support Obama’s political agenda and his vision of a European socialist type America have been allowed to remain.    This loss of this tactical and strategic experience may have tragic consequences for our future.  Obama has socially re-engineered the military to fit his vision without regard to military readiness or capability.

Our society is now more divided than any point in my lifetime.  Rather than unite our nation his policies have resulted in greater divisions based on race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and education.  We are no longer united as Americans but have become hyphenated Americans (i.e. African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Native-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Islamic-Americans, etc).

His economic policies have destroyed the once admired American work ethic and now many Americans find it easier to rely on the government to support them rather than taking a job that requires hard work.  More than 90 million people are no longer in the workforce and the costs of the social programs to support them are staggering.   We are rapidly approaching the point where the half of the American population that is working is supporting the half that is not.

We now have an entitlement mentality society.  A society that believes the government, or someone else, owes them the comforts and assets that they cannot, or will not, provide for themselves.  The Obama administration has virtually eliminated the concept of individual responsibility and created the philosophy that someone else is responsible for their lack of success and economic advancement.  Rather than obtaining an education that will provide them with greater economic opportunity they demand higher wages for low skilled or menial jobs.

America was once known for its religious tolerance and freedom and was a magnet for those experiencing religious persecution around the world.  In Obama’s America we have witnessed the advancement of a secular America where religious traditions are under constant attack.  Expression of religious beliefs is not acceptable and a progressive judiciary has “legislated from the bench” to restrict religious freedoms espoused in the Constitution.

Let’s not forget Obama’s failure to enforce immigration laws and his open borders policies are intentional acts to fundamentally change America’s culture and traditions and will impact this nation for generations.

President Obama is the one politician who has steadfastly adhered to his campaign promises to fundamentally change America.  Sadly, his visions are shared by the progressive left and America is transitioning into a very different nation, a nation similar to the ones our founding fathers were escaping from.  Unfortunately, Obama’s fundamental changing of America is rapidly occurring without any meaningful opposition.

Book Review: How To Bag a RINO – The Book, the Tour and the Movement

How to Bag a Rino Cover

How To Bag a RINO: The Whiz Kids Who Brought Down House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Gray Delany and Zach Werrell

Gray Delany and Zach Werrell are quickly becoming household names in conservative activists’ circles nationwide. These two whiz kids (only 23- and 24 years old) have teamed up to write an account of the campaign that shocked a nation, humbled the Washington Elite, and inspired a national grassroots movement.

Across every county and district within this United States of America, it is their campaign that is energizing a movement of grassroots activists to pressure their representatives, as if even the most untouchable amongst them, are no longer invincible.

As we know today, not only have we seen the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the hands of Dave Brat in Virginia, but we’ve since also seen the surrender of Speaker of the House John Boehner at the hands of a nation.

This book does not begin with a brilliant idea or even a full proof plan. If you are expecting a secret formula, innovative fundraising ideas, or a genius way to start from nothing to a victory, then you don’t know the story of Dave Brat’s bid to challenge the seat of the third most powerful Republican in Washington D.C.

This is a story of a commitment to a vision, sheer determination, and indispensable wisdom, not masterminds.

This is a story about the most active activists, committed beyond anything else – average citizens, abandoning their day-to-day life for the taxing life of campaign operatives, something the book does not sugar coat. And most importantly, this is a story about a candidate who actually was what he said, and was what his district desired.

Let me add this – because this is the most important thing, if you are living in a district, and hoping for change, but you have no network of patriotic and committed grassroots activists… forget it. None of this would have happened without them. If you want to know what it takes, as citizens in a district, to create change, real change, then you need to read this book and understand how instrumental the average citizen is in bagging a RINO.

Finally, the third component, and the reason why these two young men are able to write such a book – you need simplicity itself: truth. You need to tell the truth about your current representative. You need to tell the truth that has been denied to the people living under establishment rule and rhetoric. Make them defend the truth, because the Eric Cantor’s, John McCain’s and John Boehner’s in Washington cannot defend themselves in the light of reality.

What Delany and Werrell have laid out in the book is indispensable wisdom for anyone looking for real representation in Washington. You want real change? Read this book America! Tired of John McCain? Read this book Arizona! At the same time, you need to realize how hard it is to have, how hard it is to offer, and how hard it is to actually win. This is the playbook. This is the story. This is the book that everyone frustrated by the hypocrisy and dishonesty of their Representatives in Washington DC should read, Democrat or Republican.

This is the book the Washington elite do not want you to read.

However, if you are reading this and find yourself in Arizona, and you’re wanting to Bag a RINO of your own, you need to read this book. You’ve got a qualified candidate in Dr. Kelli Ward, and the next step is to build an army of activists, a movement that understands the inner workings of the Republican Party. Having said that, Dr. Kelli Ward can run on philosophical and realistic principles and policies, and create the contrast you know already to exist.

Next week, The Book Tour with Delaney and Werrell will be crisscrossing Arizona on the How-To Bag a RINO Book Tour: Learn the importance of truth in politicking.

Tour dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, December 7, 8:00 AM

Listen in to the Gary Sheler Show, How-To Bag a RINO interview with Gray and Zach,

On KAAA am 1230 or online at http://www.talkatoz.com/index.mv?mvc=hosts.mv

Tuesday, December 8, 5:00 PM

Scottsdale Plaza Resort – 7200 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Wednesday December 9, 4:30 – 5:30

Listen in to the James T Harris Show How-To Bag a RINO interview with Gray and Zach, KQTH 104.1 FM Online at http://www.1041kqth.com/listen-live/

Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 PM

U-Like Buffet – 5101 N Oracle Rd Tucson, AZ

Thursday, December 10, 6:00 PM

Colorado River Tea Party, sponsor, at Mohave Valley Association of Realtors – 841 Hancock Rd. Bullhead City, Arizona 86442

Contact Mardi Allen Benedict for more information: 928.201.1635

Friday, December 11, 1:00 PM

Green Valley Joyner Library – 601 N La Canada Dr.. Green Valley, Arizona 85614

Monday, December 14, 6:30 PM

Arizona Project Headquarters – 3375 E. Shea Blvd. suite 2. Phoenix, Arizona 85028

Tuesday, December 15, 11:30 AM

Pima County Republican Club, sponsor, at Sabbar Temple Shrine 450 S Tucson Blvd Tucson, Arizona 85716

Wednesday, December 16, 4:00 PM

Sedona

These events are free to attend. Autographed copies of the book will be on sale for $20 per copy / $15 for five or more.

To reserve a seat, go to www.retiremccain2016.com/booktour