PHOENIX – Mark Brnovich (pronounced burn-o-vich) today entered the race for Arizona Attorney General. Brnovich most recently served as director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, a law enforcement agency charged with regulating tribal casinos. Mark successfully led the agency for four years, during which he cracked down on illegal gambling operations and increased seizures of illegal gambling devices.
“I am running for Attorney General to restore the dignity of the ofﬁce and make sure it is dedicated to serving the people of Arizona,” said Brnovich.
Raised in Arizona, Mark Brnovich is a graduate of Arizona State University. After law school, Mark prosecuted felonies in the Gang/Repeat Offender Bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona and as Assisting US Attorney for the District of Arizona. Mark also served his country as Command Staff Judge Advocate for the 153rd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arizona Army National Guard for eight years.
“I am proud to support Mark Brnovich for Attorney General,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, “Arizona needs someone who not only has a proven track record of being tough on crime but someone whose integrity is beyond reproach.”
Mark met his wife Susan while both were working as prosecutors. They live in Phoenix with their two daughters.
Like Mark Brnovich on Facebook.
Here’s a great example of the civility of the left in Arizona. These are photos taken of the front of Congressman David Schweikert’s office in which MoveOn members, the Arizona Democrat Party and Obama supporters left graffiti messages all over the congressman’s office.
SHAME ON THE LEFT AND DEMOCRAT PARTY OF ARIZONA. YOUR LACK OF CIVILITY AND TOLERANCE OF DIFFERING POLITICAL OPINIONS IS REVEALING AND DESPICABLE.
CLASSY DEMOCRATS, REAL CLASSY DEMOCRATS.
By Paul Boyer
Arizona currently has no safeguards to protect the most sensitive information of those Arizonans for whom, open enrollment for the Federal health exchange has already begun. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a position of health “navigators” who will assist Arizonans in selecting insurance plans to enroll in health coverage in the new online portal. These navigators will have access to Arizonans’ social security numbers, tax information and medical history, yet we do not know if these navigators have a criminal background.
The federal government has offered to provide us with a list of names of those who work as navigators. While this is better than having no information, knowing navigators have successfully passed a criminal background check is crucial. With the assimilation of financial and health information, the stakes have never been higher that we pass this privacy protection act before individuals hand over their private information.
After all, do we really want our most sensitive information and that of our loved ones available for identity thieves without a simple protection such as a criminal background check? 23 states have already mandated background checks and Arizona should immediately do the same.
My proposal is simple. We should register and license any navigator who wants to work in Arizona through the Arizona Department of Insurance just like we already do with insurance agents. The Department ensures applicants successfully pass a criminal background check, and if this legislation passes, we will have more than just a name.
Since the exchange has gone live, the legislature should come back in a Special Session to pass this necessary legislation, as we do not want to give bad actors a window of opportunity to commit fraud. While it is always difficult to get the state legislature back to the Capitol outside of the regular legislative session, now is such a time.
I offered an amendment that would have accomplished the same goal during the last Special Session concerning Medicaid Expansion, however, my effort failed since expansion proponents received instructions to not support any unfriendly amendments. Since that is behind us, we should pass this privacy protection act now, meanwhile putting bad actors on notice they are not welcome here in Arizona.
Democrats and Republicans can agree the primary responsibility of government includes protecting its citizens. Since the federal government has not made criminal background checks a priority, it is my hope that I receive support for this protection from my colleagues in the House and Senate and we pass this privacy protection.
This is no disparagement on the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, the Center for Rural Health, the Greater Phoenix Urban League and Campesinos Sin Fronteras, the four organizations who received navigator grants from the federal government to assist Arizonans in enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, instead of assuming no navigator has a criminal background, let’s verify navigators have a clean record by mandating a criminal background check as these other states have already done.
As much as I would like it to be, this is not a referendum on Obamacare since that must occur at a federal level. Instead, this concerns Arizona and our willingness to prevent identity thieves from exploiting and abusing Arizonans who will do so without a minimum level of protection.
So let us join these many other states, including Mr. Obama’s home state of Illinois, and prevent identity thieves from easy access to Arizonans’ most sensitive information. Failure to act would be irresponsible on our part.
Republican state Rep. Paul Boyer, vice chairman of the House Health Committee and member of the House Appropriations Committee, represents parts of Glendale and north Phoenix in Legislative District 20.
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Leading candidate for Arizona governor discusses out-of-control activist judiciary
Text of speech given to the East Valley Action Alliance Pro-Life Conference on September 21, 2013
Deserve Victory in 2014
By Andrew Thomas
How do we win in the 2014 elections? In the past, we have defined winning as electing a large crop of candidates who describe themselves as pro-life.
But we now know this not victory, properly defined. True victory means an end to abortion. In political terms, winning entails electing candidates who will move us decisively towards that goal. Given the stakes, and to paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur, there is no substitute for such victory.
Roe v. Wade was handed down forty years ago. The time has come to ask whether we are truly any closer to victory, properly defined, now than we were four decades ago. If not, what must we do differently?
The hard truth is this: We are not winning. This is not for lack of effort, as everyone here well knows. We have tried various strategies over the decades. But the statistics and reality tell a very sobering story that we must honestly confront.
Hitting a Wall
Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the number of abortions in the United States reached its peak of 1.6 million a year in 1990. Ten years later, that number had leveled off slightly to 1.3 million. Since then, for the last 13 years, that figure basically has not budged. Last year, there were just over 1.2 million abortions.
This number is the bottom line, and is now essentially static. Regardless of how many pro-life leaders we elect, the pro-life laws they pass, or the pro-life lawsuits they file, nothing has lowered that number. The goal of ending abortion, in turn, has become ever more elusive. In short, we have hit a wall.
Why are we not winning? The answer is simple and obvious for those who have eyes to see. Liberal elites control the judiciary. They have captured it lock, stock and barrel. Every time we pass a law or file a lawsuit to advance the pro-life cause, the ACLU and their allies simply go to court and enlist activist judges to block us.
It was not supposed to be this way. The founders of our nation intended for the judiciary to be, as Alexander Hamilton stated in the Federalist Papers, the “least dangerous” branch of government. Thomas Jefferson warned that a judiciary of unchecked power would grow into tyranny, an American oligarchy. Over the years, unelected judges have sought to make good on that prediction. They have amassed absolute power over our government and society.
Unelected judges can throw out any law they do not like. They do so typically without any regard to the text or original meaning of the Constitution. They do this for the purpose of advancing a liberal worldview that is popular among lawyers and elites but contrary to the will of the people.
Three recent examples in Arizona show us what we are up against. This year, the Arizona Legislature passed two important pro-life bills. One ended Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. The other banned abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. Our leaders should be commended for these actions.
However, within weeks after passage of this legislation, federal judges struck down both measures. Today, neither is the law of the land.
Then there is the fate of Arizona’s parental-consent measure. Arizona first passed a law requiring parental consent for abortions for minors in 1989. Federal courts overturned the law. Ten years later, I lobbied for passage of a new version of this law as a lobbyist for Arizona Right to Life. Finally, after two decades of litigation, the parental-consent law was allowed to go into effect. That means we won, right?
No, we did not. Recently, Arizona news outlets have reported that in three out of four cases, judges simply allow minors to bypass the consent of their parents and obtain the abortions anyhow. In other words, this law is still being circumvented by activist judges. Even when we manage to win a case after decades of litigation before a hostile liberal judiciary, we lose in the end.
Consider also the cultural climate in which these events are unfolding. For fifty years, unelected judges have driven organized religion from public institutions while permitting every conceivable vulgarity in their place. We avert our eyes even as things worsen every year. Marriage is crumbling around us. Genuine fatherhood is mocked by Hollywood and becoming a relic of the past. Even the most dedicated parents can no longer preserve the innocence of their children amidst a constant barrage of smut and filth from the airwaves. Is it any wonder that more than one out of four teenage American girls, and almost half of African-American teenage girls, are infected with a sexually transmitted disease? Our children are crying out to us for help. Their cries are an indictment of the activist judges and cultural elites who have engendered this moral crisis.
Liberals realized decades ago that if they controlled the courts, they controlled the government. They systematically went about taking over the law schools, where conservative students are hissed and heckled if they dare speak out in class. They took over the bar associations and lawyer class, from which judges are drawn. The very few graduates of law schools who describe themselves as conservative and pro-life must keep their views to themselves, or they risk being professionally marginalized.
Judges have forbidden lawyers, at the risk of losing their law licenses, from publicly criticizing them or the judiciary. This gag order conveniently silences their most effective critics.
Kangaroos in Kansas
For decades, we’ve been told to campaign for Republican presidential candidates because they will appoint “strict constructionist” judges to the federal bench. What have we gained from this? On virtually every major case involving a significant cultural issue, the judges we fight to confirm flip to the other side. Though many of these judges surely tell themselves they would go to the gallows for their beliefs, the truth is that few of them are willing even to endure professional shunning by their self-righteous liberal colleagues. And so they defect, and we lose again and again.
We’ve been told to elect law-enforcement leaders who will enforce the legislation, pro-life and otherwise, we do manage to pass. But consider what happens to those officials who try.
As the elected Attorney General of Kansas, Phill Kline sought to investigate alleged crimes occurring in that state’s abortion clinics. In retaliation, the liberals who dominate the attorney disciplinary board of Kansas ginned up accusations of professional misconduct against him. They put him through a show trial they controlled, a process denounced by national conservative observers as a kangaroo court. Ultimately, a state judicial panel voted to suspend Kline indefinitely from the practice of law, which is disbarment by another name. Kline already has forfeited his law license by not paying his annual dues. Not content with that outcome, the disciplinary board now has urged formal disbarment by the Kansas Supreme Court; a decision is pending but obviously will not be positive for Kline. Sound familiar?
How do we begin to reform a legal profession and judiciary that are so openly hostile to conservatives and the pro-life cause in particular? Forty years after Roe, it is clear we cannot. These institutions are rotten and cannot be reformed from within. I believe I speak with some authority on the matter.
The only path to genuine reform is for the people to take direct control of these institutions and make judges accountable once again. In Arizona, voters must be given meaningful information so they can make informed decisions about whether to retain judges whose names appear on the ballot. Nationally, federal judges must be stripped of their jurisdiction over select areas of policy where they habitually abuse their powers. Nothing else will work. Be advised these will be very hard fights. The political and cultural left is without moral compass, has many powerful allies, and plays to win.
Our federal and state constitutions already authorize us to take such actions. We must find the courage to do so, so that we may start prevailing in this very difficult but most noble fight.
If we fail, we will lose not only on the pro-life front. We will be forced to concede that Jefferson’s omen has proven true. We will have replaced the British crown with black-robed American oligarchs, swapping one unelected tyranny for another. Our democratic experiment will have failed. We cannot let this happen.
For attempting such changes, we will be savaged by the liberal media and legal establishment. We will be scorned and browbeaten in a manner familiar to the first Christians and anyone else throughout history who has advocated significant social reforms. But we must try. We can no longer accept repeated defeats in the culture wars simply because of reluctance to take on the liberal judiciary and their allies. Roe v. Wade was born in the courts, and it is there where it must be slain.
It is time for us to start taking ground again.
During the Second World War, the British put up posters throughout London featuring Prime Minister Winston Churchill flashing his familiar “V for victory” gesture. The slogan on the poster was: Deserve Victory.
We should follow the same standard. That starts with recognizing, in this next election cycle, what true victory requires of us all.
Thank you and God bless you.
The Arizona Capitol Times is reporting that State Gaming Director Mark Brnovich submitted his resignation to Governor Brewer on Tuesday, September 3, possibly paving the way for a run as Attorney General in the Republican primary. Brnovich would challenge current embattled incumbent Tom Horne.
Brnovich was appointed to the position in 2009. He has extensive law enforcement experience including stints in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, US Attorney’s Office and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He also worked as an attorney at the Goldwater Institute.
Brnovich (reportedly pronounced “burn-o-vich”) may be Tom Horne’s worst nightmare. A well-respected conservative with more than a decade of prosecutorial experience, rumors are already flying that Brnovich is being supported by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Whether Brnovich runs or not, most pundits agree that Tom Horne cannot win re-election given recent controversies regarding his personal and public life.
Horne is currently being investigated for illegally coordinating with an independent expenditure committee during the 2010 campaign, and is also facing a civl suit from a former employee. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery flat out stated that Tom Horne had “broken the law.” In late 2012, the FBI revealed details of their multi-month investigation, including allegations thatHorne was engaging in an extramarital affair with a coworker.
More from the Arizona Republic:
Brnovich, a Republican, confirmed to The Arizona Republic he is considering a bid to be the state’s top attorney. If he runs, he would take the unusual step of challenging an incumbent in his own party — GOP Attorney General Tom Horne — in a primary election.
“I am seriously considering running for attorney general becuase I believe Arizonans deserve an attorney general with integrity, commitment and experience to do the right thing for the right reasons—not for personal or political reasons,” Brnovich said.
Tempe leads the East Valley in crime, taxes and city costs, except for Mesa’s water and solid waste disposal charges. In those two cases Tempe places second in costs behind Mesa. Tempe has a serious crime rate that is considerably higher than the rest of the East Valley.
Tempe officials continually blame Arizona State University for city woes, but I find it hard to believe the 35,000 or so students that attend classes at the Tempe campus are the culprits for all of Tempe’s fiscal and crime problems.
In the May, 2011 East Valley Tribune column, Tempe should spend less, cut more before raising taxes, it said “If Tempe spent per resident what Mesa spends on policing, they’d save taxpayers over $14 million a year.” Those savings would pay for the new dam in two and a half years. Even with reduced spending, Mesa continues to have a significantly lower crime rate than Tempe.
|Average Amount a Residential Household Pays in Sales Tax|
|City Property Taxes|
|Water and Wastewater|
|2013 Annual Rate for Solid Waste Pick-up Costs|
|Source: City of||Tempe|
|2011 FBI Crime Rate per 100,000 Residents|
|Violent Crime||Property Crime|
|Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports|
|Policing Costs per Resident|
|City Employees per 1,000 Residents|
|Source: East Valley Tribune, May 25, 2011|
Until the residents step up and demand accountability and transparency the Tempe leadership will continue to act like it has money to burn, your money to burn that is.
Matthew Papke is graduate of Corona del Sol and a Marine. He is running for Tempe city Council in 2014 on a platform of fiscal responsibility and civic duty. Matthew’s website is freetempe.com
Same crime: Jesse Jackson, Jr. gets prison, Don Stapley getting a generous settlement, disbars prosecutor
Elected officials have used the illegal immigration issue to their political advantage for years. In our opinion, Arizona is blessed with several of those rare elected officials whose commitment to fighting illegal immigration and promoting border security despite the political risks never wavers. I checked in with one of those leaders this week, and offer you readers this update here:
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu became a familiar face and household name in April 2010 when he appeared in the “Build the Dang Fence” commercial with Senator John McCain who was battling against J.D. Hayworth to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate. During that same time, Sheriff Babeu also helped Senators’ McCain and Kyl develop their 10-Point Border Security Plan. Senator McCain has since abandoned the border security plan and instead he has spent his time working with the “Gang of Eight” to create an amnesty plan for the 12-23 million illegals in the United States today.
The McCain-Kyl “10-Point Border Security” plan mirrored what was already accomplished in the Yuma Sector where border crossings and apprehensions have been reduced by over 96%. The Yuma Sector as a result of this plan still enjoys this same success today. Sheriff Babeu was a United States Army Major at the time, and played a key role in the success of this plan as the commanding officer for “Operation Jump Start.” Through this effort, the Yuma Sector of the border was secured because armed soldiers were placed on the border, the military constructed a double barrier fence, and illegals caught crossing into the U.S. were prosecuted for their crime(s) instead of Pres. Obama’s “catch & release” policy in place today.
Sheriff Paul Babeu has twice served as president of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association, and more recently was voted unanimously as the spokesperson for the Western States Sheriff’s Association on all issues related to immigration and border security. During July of this year, he worked with Congressmen Goodlatte and Gowdy on their “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act” to help protect American citizens from illegal aliens already in the United States.
Pinal is the third largest county in Arizona. Unfortunately, it ranks as the “top pass through county” in the nation for both drug- and human smuggling. They received this distinction because those involved with drug and human smuggling funnel north through Pinal County from the counties below it, a result of both the county’s terrain and the system of roads and highways.
Pinal County residents have seen more than their fair share of crimes as a result of America’s still-unsecured border. Mind you, despite what Homeland IN-Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promises, our border remains very insecure. Almost daily, Sheriff Babeu’s deputies are involved in vehicle pursuits with cartel members smuggling drugs or people. The county has seen executions, and Mexican cartels have now sent assassins into Pinal County to carry out the murders of other cartel members on U.S. soil.
In addition, Mexican drug and human smuggling cartels have sent Rip Crews” into Arizona, including Pinal County, which have been involved in gun battles with other cartel members. These so-called “Rip Crews” (ultra-violent gangs tied to the cartels to steal from other cartels) have conducted traffic stops and been involved in heinous crimes including, but not limited to homicides, home invasions, kidnappings, shootings, sexual assaults, burglaries and thefts.
Pinal Deputies have confronted armed individuals both in the desert and in vehicles, and been involved in shootings and physical confrontations. Just last month, they caught a smuggler who had already been deported from the United States 11 prior times. This time when deputies attempted to contact him, he fled in a vehicle, then fled on foot, and when deputies tried to arrest him he assaulted them. And at the time, he was attempting to smuggle 220 pounds of marijuana into the U.S.
As if all that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Sheriff Babeu also helped “Whistle Blower” employees from ICE and U.S. Border Patrol come forward after they were ordered by the Obama Administration to secretly release over 2,000 illegals from detention facilities throughout the United States. As we’ve now learned, many of those illegals released by Pres. Obama into our communities had criminal histories which included manslaughter, child molestation, aggravated assault, weapon offenses, forgery, drug offenses or other serious crimes.
Illegal immigration isn’t the only crime Sheriff Babeu or his dedicated team face in Pinal County, but I asked him why he puts so much effort into this cause. His answer is important for all the right reasons: “Until this administration gets serious and properly secures the border, if we don’t stop it here then it will continue throughout America.”
He continued by telling me, he instructs his deputies, “to dismantle and disrupt drug and human trafficking operations and arrest those responsible. Every time the cartels change their tactics to try to win the war, we will change ours to defeat them.”
For this blogger, it seems most days the White House and Congress are more interested in winning elections than securing our border, protecting our communities, stopping the flow of drugs into our schools, and saving the lives of any of the women and children lost each year, month, week and day to human trafficking and the global sex trade.
Thankfully there are still elected officials out there who haven’t given up. One of the very finest is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
~For God and Country
Radio talkshow host Jim Sharpe shocked that nothing has been done about AZ Bar Disciplinary Judge O’Neil
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, July 13, 2013
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Monday, July 1, 2013
Radio talk show host Jim Sharp fed up with officials ignoring Bar disciplinary judge’s unethical behavior
Among other unethical behavior, Judge O’Neil permitted a DUI offender who killed a woman to continue sleazy real estate legal work from prison
We broke this story a week and a half ago, and now it is getting legs, as respected Phoenix talk show host Jim Sharpe covered it last Friday on his show. The State Bar’s disciplinary judge William O’Neil has been engaging in clearly unethical behavior for years, and no one will touch him because they’re scared of him and his power. His former friend Mark Dixon is now speaking out about the corruption. Mark wrote the story for us here.
In a nutshell, O’Neil facilitated a short sale of his mother-in-law’s house while she was still living in it, through a straw man, who then transferred the home back to him. A judge in Michigan who did a similar short sale was sentenced to prison for one and a half years! The attorney who assisted O’Neil with this, Christoper Perry, killed a woman in a DUI hit and run. O’Neil provided cover for him and allowed him to continue to practice law all while in prison, where who knows how many more unethical short sales he performed.
Meanwhile, O’Neil stacked his disciplinary panel with cronies, to guarantee the outcomes the State Bar told him to make, regardless of the acts. Although the disciplinary panels are supposed to have panelists from different counties, O’Neil stacked many of his panels with his Pinal County neighbor and friend Robert Gallo. Gallo was described as being from Maricopa County to throw everyone off.
Complaints have been made to various agencies to no avail; this man is above the law, serving to punish the enemies of the State Bar and reward his friends through his power. Listen to the Jim Sharpe show here, the part about O’Neil starts about 16 minutes in. Maybe people are starting to wake up. If you look at O’Neil’s disciplinary calendar, it is empty the entire summer, after a lot of activity through May.
Yesterday, by a vote of 228/196, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1797. The bill bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth. “We are proud that Arizona’s own Trent Franks (AZ 8th) sponsored this bill and that Representatives Gosar (AZ 4), Salmon (AZ 5) and Schweikert (AZ 6) voted in support of it,” noted Jason Walsh, Executive Director of AZRTL.
The House Republican conference summary of H.R. 1797 stated, “Medical advances in recent decades have provided a greater understanding of the development of unborn children and their capacity to feel pain at various stages of growth. The legislative findings in H.R. 1797 demonstrate that unborn children react to touch by eight weeks after fertilization and respond to painful stimuli after twenty weeks. Surgeons routinely administer anesthesia to unborn children before performing surgery to prevent them from rigorous movement in reaction to the surgery”
“We are dismayed that Representatives Kirkpatrick (AZ 1), Barber (AZ 2), Grijalva (AZ 3), Pastor (AZ 7) and Sinema (AZ 9) did not have either the courage or conviction to defend the most defenseless and weak humans among us, the unborn,” remarked Walsh. “Apparently, these representatives do not have the moral and intellectual integrity to vote to protect humans 20 weeks and older from the brutality of elective abortion. Their constituents need to know about their callous vote on H.R. 1797, and we intend to get the word out prior to the 2014 election.”
by John Hawkins
Reposted from Right Wing News
Everyone has now heard stories about conservatives who’ve been punished by “non-political” agencies like the IRS for their beliefs, but it happens at the state level, too. Back in 2011, I wrote about Rachel Alexander, who was targeted by the liberal State Bar of Arizona for having the audacity to work with other conservative lawyers to fight corruption in the state.
Rachel Alexander was collateral damage in a liberal fight to ruin her former boss, then-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Thomas attempted in 2009 and 2010, with the help of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to stop corruption by some judges and county supervisors in Arizona by filing criminal charges and a racketeering lawsuit against them. Alexander, a Deputy County Attorney, performed some research and writing on the racketeering lawsuit after it had been filed. However, since she was one of the best known conservative bloggers in Arizona, running Intellectual Conservative and IC Arizona, she was dragged into the court even though she was a minor player in the case.
The supervisors filed bar complaints against Thomas, Alexander, and another prosecutor. The left-wing Bar ran with the charges, demanding to know everything Alexander had ever blogged, anonymously or not, within the past five years and the corrupt liberal judiciary rubber-stamped the charges. That’s not surprising considering the judiciary is under the Bar and can be disciplined by the Bar; so there is no way the judiciary would not do the Bar’s bidding.
Thomas and his other deputy prosecutor were disbarred and Alexander was suspended for six months plus one day, requiring her to retake the Bar exam again and reapply to the Bar. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice, which the Left had asked to investigate Thomas and Arpaio over abuse of power for going after the judges and supervisors, dropped the case, stating it had found no evidence. This completely refuted the Bar’s case against the three, exonerating them, but the Bar would not budge. Thomas remains disbarred and his other deputy is appealing.
The supervisors refused to pay for Alexander’s appeal, which was unprecedented for a merit-protected Maricopa County employee. Alexander wrote up her appeal herself (A lawyer would have charged $60,000, to give you an idea of how much work this was). The Arizona State Supreme Court sat on her appeal for eight months; then just one week after Thomas announced he was running for governor, it issued the opinion which essentially upheld most of the suspension.
The Arizona Supreme Court based most of its ruling upon statements of a former supervisor of Alexander’s who was her supervisor in name only. He said he’d heard complaints about Alexander’s performance in the office, but provided no evidence of these supposed complaints. The Supreme Court said this was evidence she wasn’t competent enough to work on the racketeering complaint. The court ignored the fact that Alexander had never received a poor review in her entire five years at the County Attorney’s Office and Thomas testified during the trial that he’d never received a complaint about her. At the same time, the Court stated several times in its opinion that it found no evidence of political bias by Alexander against the judges or supervisors. So essentially, Alexander is being suspended because liberals want to stick it to a conservative blogger.
At this point, Rachel Alexander is being left with little recourse other than to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The problem is the Supreme Court only accepts about 80 of the 10,000 petitions it receives every year. Alexander has no attorney and cannot afford one, having been forced out of the legal profession into journalism, where she doesn’t even make enough money to make payments on her law school loans. Alexander also has a federal claim against the Bar for selective prosecution. Several attorneys familiar with her case have told her she has a slam-dunk case, considering the Bar reached down through several layers of supervisors to single her out for discipline without even targeting her immediate supervisor, who was in charge of the racketeering case and who performed the bulk of the work on it. Worse yet, the Bar is trying to force her to pay $128,203 for the cost of its prosecuting just her.
The Left targeted her because she may have been well known on the Arizona political scene, but she didn’t have the connections or money to fight back. She is a weekly columnist for Townhall, The Christian Post, and Right Wing News, but not someone with enough star power to make this a huge story. This story of corruption at the state government level is no different than the corruption that is now coming out about the Obama Administration, but because it is on a smaller scale, it is more difficult to get people interested in it.
Meanwhile, Alexander’s reputation has been dragged through the mud and the abuse that she has had to endure is appalling. She has been smeared non-stop by liberal websites in Arizona. Her main website was hacked by an IP address associated with the county supervisors, but no law enforcement agency would investigate it even though it destroyed her traffic, got her website banned from Google –and she finally had to rebuild her website from scratch using a different platform in order to get back into Google. Her traffic has never recovered because she lost thousands of articles; she went from 5,000 unique visitors per day down to less than 1,000. Her bankruptcy business fell apart because potential clients would not hire her once they’d googled her. She lost her home to foreclosure last summer and moved in with her parents.
This is even worse than the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups because she’s one person, without the resources to fight, without the national attention, without lawyers coming out of the woodwork to help her out.
If anyone can help Alexander find legal counsel or provide more exposure for her plight, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This case needs all the sunlight it can get. The liberals have been doing this to many bloggers and if we don’t stand up to them and stop this, they’ll be coming for us next. Michelle Malkin has covered it here.
By Lynne LaMaster
One council member calls the request ‘extortion’
Mark Stevenson owns a piece of land with an undeniably ugly old office building on it. He wanted to build something lovely for the residents and vistors of Sedona, Arizona.
“Our vision is to create an aesthetically enhanced restaurant that combines Community, Sustainability, Artistry, and Beauty, where both local residents and visitors alike can meet and enjoy “bella cocina” (beautiful cuisine) with dramatic views of the red rocks during the day and the stars at night,” reads the cover letter to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
In order for that vision to come to pass, Stevenson needed a zoning change from Office Professional (OP) to General Commercial District (C-1). Stevenson and his team worked diligently with the City of Sedona’s staff and committees to ensure that Sedona’s rigid specifications were met, and finally arrived at the last hurdle: Approval from the Sedona City Council.
So, it must have come as a surprise when during the discussion of the project, Mayor Rob Adams stated, “In my experience with doing development agreements, or zoning changes, or community plan updates, this is our opportunity, particularly in the zoning change process to negotiate community benefits in exchange for the entitlements.”
How much of a community benefit? Adams’ idea was a $500,000 donation to the City of Sedona in exchange for the zoning change.
Really? Yes. A $500,000 ‘in lieu fee’ that the “…City could utilize to provide benefits to whatever we come up with.” And, evidently, this practice is commonplace in the City of Sedona, although typically the requests for fees and ‘community benefits’ are handled in smaller, less public settings.
Mayor Adams was bold in making his request, “I would like to hear you say, ‘I’m willing to put up a reasonable amount of money, considering the fact that when I do get that zoning change, we know that the value of property is going to be increased fairly significantly from an OP to a C1.’ So, I’d just like to have an offer from you and see if we could say that we all feel good about that and sing KumBayAh.”
When Stevenson heard the amount Adams had in mind, his response was quick and clear, “That, we’re out.”
From there, the conversation continued, until finally one council member used the word, “extortion.”