Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8
“The key message for Arizonans from the U.S. Supreme Court today is this: Your right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is preserved. It’s important to note that the Court did not find a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Neither did the Court declare same-sex marriage a civil right on the order of ethnicity or nationality.”
Though Center for Arizona Policy disagrees with aspects of the Court’s decision, we are grateful that the Court did not undermine the will of Arizona voters who strongly supported our state’s 2008 marriage amendment. In DOMA, CAP believes that the court erred in claiming that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government for purposes of federal marriage laws.
In Prop 8, the court has ensured that the state-by-state debate about marriage is allowed to continue. Truly the debate over marriage has just begun.
Marriage is more than just a personal promise, it serves a public purpose. It is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Social science data has proved this time and time again.
Center for Arizona Policy is committed to continuing to stand for marriage and to defeat any efforts to redefine this essential union.”
Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family and religious liberty. CAP led the 2008 effort to constitutionally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in Arizona.
I want to open this article with a simple, yet profound, statement from President Reagan “You can’t be for big Government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.”
When I talk to Blue Collar workers I have found many of them do not spent much time following politics. They rarely know how government works from the federal level down to local government, yet they have a common thread as they often tell me, “Republicans ONLY care about the Rich.” It always breaks my heart to hear this because I know that it is the furthest thing from the truth; yet, a lot of the Blue Collar workers I meet truly believe this from the bottom of their hearts.
I could go back and explain how we got to this point, and I used to try. However, I find that I usually lose them as I dig into American political history. Lets face it, unless you’re really plugged into politics, a 10 minute dissertation is way too painful to the average “non-political” Joe.
This is where our challenge lies. How do we educate, but not lecture? How do we be informative, but not come across as combative, arrogant and preachy? How I have started talking about Republican economics is simply to tell of my Blue Collar struggles and their paycheck.
Long ago in Ohio I worked with my cousins and friends in the construction field and I found that it was a trade that would suit me. Soon after, I started to work for a masonry company and went to masonry school to be a brick, block and stone mason. A few years later I started working for a General Contracting company, and started to make the best money of my young life. One afternoon the boss asked me to work a Saturday to help keep a project on track and enticed me by saying, “I will pay you time and a half!” I jumped on the opportunity.
A week or so later I went to grab get my check so I could take my young wife out to dinner to make up for the prior Saturday. When I opened my check, it was smaller then my normal checks. I thought there must be some mistake and went to speak with the HR department. Betty-Joe from HR sat me down and listened to my bewilderment for a few minutes before finally cutting me off. She calmly explained it to me, “Aaron, I know this is hard to understand, but you made too much money this week. It pushed you into a higher tax bracket, and so you have to pay a higher percentage in taxes then you normally do, making your check smaller.”
I had taken economics in school and thought I understood government taxes, but that day solidified my realization that I deserved the money I worked for, not the government. I have always believed that taxes were the ultimate win-fall for the government, but now I knew how unfair the system was. I had worked hard, negotiated my wages, put in extra time, yet now that I had worked one day more the government needed more of my money. I remember thinking, that was MY money, MY time and I earned it; not the Government.
From then on whenever my foreman asked me to work on Saturday, I always said that I had prior plans, and couldn’t. This in turn, made the projects we were building take longer, stalling the projects opening and thus slowing the growth of the economy in our small town.
There was no financial gain for me to work harder, so why would I; especially since the additional work actually accounted for a loss to my paycheck. If I would have gotten the paycheck with the extra money instead of extra taxes; my wife and I would have supported a local restaurant, tipped the waiter/waitress a little bit more, and probably spent a little more money at the store. All of that was taken out of the local economy, because I refused to work harder to earn less.
As I moved through my life and I became a business owner. I found this reasoning also applied to business. With a normal business plan, a business strives to reaches different levels of success in order to reinvest into its self. Whither it is more efficient tools, a larger facility, or more employees; a business is reaching for higher benchmarks. During this struggle to grow, they always have to account for the constant draining of funds being pulled away from the business via the government and taxes. This constant draining is a roadblock that every determined job creator has to jump over to be successful.
Democrats try to put blinders on low-income employee to say, “the other guys can afford to pay a little higher taxes.” However, many times the ‘other guy’ in this statement is their employer or a corporation that with the ability to keep a bit more of THEIR profit could hire more employees. Just like when I couldn’t spend MY money on MY family with MY earnings, a company getting a higher tax bills can not spend or invest their money in their company, through pay raises (to the Blue Collar Workers), new equipment, or new employees.
These financial hurdles and roadblocks hurt Blue Collared Workers yet, the Democrats consistently want to raise taxes on income and businesses that directly impact Blue Collar Workers. The Democrat Party says it’s a huge supporter of the “little guy” and the “Blue Collar Worker” but then their economic plan completely rejects this point. Anyone who wants people and businesses to pay more, because of their hard they work cannot say they want everyone to succeed. This makes the Democrat platform either completely disingenuous or completely inept to basic capitalistic principles.
When I tell this story to Blue Collar workers, I watch as they put it into perspective and see the basic logic and reasoning. Many Democrat candidates demonize corporations, big business and “the Rich.” In all actuality they are really demonizing every worker who wants to work hard to succeed for their family. Every worker should be able to work hard to support their family and every corporation needs to work hard to reinvest into itself. This is how Republicans view the economic development with tax cuts in order to spur economic growth.
President Ronald Reagan implemented this strategy when he cut taxes across the board and created a boom in the economy in the 1980’s. He so eloquently said, “A rising tide floats all boats.” When I try to start with this quote, I am always accused of defending the “rich guy.” But when I start the story from the beginning, I find that this quote is a great closer because by then nearly all my Blue Collar friends have realized that Republicans are actually the party for the hard working Blue Collar workers, not the Democrats.
About the Author: Aaron Borders is a Financial Specialist and business owner in Arizona. Aaron was a Journeyman Mason and partner in a General Contracting and Construction business prior to the 2008 market crash. He got the proper education in order to help families and businesses with their Risk Management and Financial needs. He lives in Litchfield Park with his wife Shelly and three little boys, with a baby girl due in Sept. Aaron Borders is also a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. For more information on Aaron, please visit his website at www.AaronBorders4AZ.com.
A CALL FOR A TRULY CONSERVATIVE APPROACH TO JUSTICE
By Gary Nelson
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington
I once heard a story about a couple who bought a large, aggressive dog with the intent of protecting their family from criminals. Tragically, however, the dog attacked one of their young children and nearly killed her, scarring her for life. Ironically, the very thing they hoped would protect them proved to be the source of violence far worse than they were ever likely to suffer at the hands of a criminal. The protector became the perpetrator, and their worst fears became reality.
The United States finds itself in a similar predicament today. Our vicious dog is a justice system which has become the most punitive in the free world. The “tough on crime” paradigm that has dominated our justice system for the past three decades has brought about the criminalization and incarceration of a radically disproportionate number of our citizens. We created it to ensure our safety, yet it now threatens greater societal harm than we ever imagined.
The perceived need to “crack down” on crime has resulted in severe punishments for crimes involving everything from assaults with firearms to personal use of drugs. Mandatory minimum sentences and “three-strikes” laws have drastically restricted judicial discretion, denying judges the ability to custom-fit sentences according to the circumstances of the offense or the needs of the community.
As a result, the United States of America imprisons a larger proportion of its population than any other civilized nation, including Cuba, China, & Iran. The number of Americans incarcerated has increased 400% since 1980, and it is estimated that over 30% of young adults now have criminal records.
The “Land of the Free” was rapidly becoming the “land of the imprisoned.” Recently, however, many have begun to understand that this trend has to change.
The implications for our nation’s future are profound. People with criminal records, including those only charged with misdemeanors, have an extremely difficult time finding work. The vast majority of employers will flatly refuse to hire anyone with a record. It is becoming increasingly clear that our over-dependence on punitive justice is creating a vast army of unemployable citizens destined to be dependent on government, or more crime, for their livelihoods.
As a veteran law enforcement officer and lifelong political conservative, I have come to believe that we conservatives have made a serious mistake in supporting the expansion of governmental power that is the inevitable consequence of “tough on crime” policies. We have embraced an approach to justice that has resulted in exponential increases in spending on corrections, courts, and police, as well as the criminalization and vocational incapacitation of 1 in 33 Americans. We have acquiesced to the erosion of individual liberty and the expansion of government power through over-regulation of nearly every aspect of our lives.
It is time for a return to a truly conservative, and American, model of justice. We must break our addiction to “crack-downs” and “get-tough” legislation, and move towards a restorative model of justice that provides real opportunities for the offender to return to productive citizenship.
It is for this reason I am pleased to be affiliated with Right On Crime, a campaign dedicated to “fighting crime, restoring victims, and protecting the taxpayer.” Endorsed by prominent conservatives like Grover Norquist, Marc Levin, and William Bennett, as well as eminent criminologists John DiIulio and George Kelling, Right On Crime is leading the way in returning our system of justice to a cost-effective, restorative direction. If you are concerned about the future of our nation and want to see “justice” once again be the focus of our legal system, I encourage you to visit RightOnCrime.org and get involved.
By Thomas Purcell
It’s been said that ennui and employment are simply incompatible. Obviously the person that said that has never lived in a country run by statists.
Yesterday I spoke with an old friend; we worked together for a few years back in the early 90’s during a roaring economy here in Arizona. He was still in the same business today, but was explaining that he was going to leave the business to sell something else, as his business was awful.
He explained some issues revolving around his financial situation, living condition etc. but basically all his problems revolved around a lack of money.
“People just aren’t buying stuff. It’s not 1995 you know” he explained.
As the conversation ended I realized that this was not the first time I heard it. Everywhere people were saying that exact expression, ‘it’s not the 1990’s you know’ or ‘it’s not what it was’. Funny thing though, the President swore his policies were the same as Clinton’s just a few short months ago at the Democratic convention.
Even people who are working are taking on roommates, working two jobs, or doing something more to make ends meet. They stay in unhappy or violent relationships because they have no other place to go; they stay in jobs with bosses they hate because they are uncertain about their prospects for another job, they take less money than they think they are worth to avoid layoffs.
Then they go home at night and sit in front of the TV or computer rather than going out because they are worn out from work and have no money for extras and take their medication to get through another day.
A quiet ennui has settled over the land as we continue to accept less, work more, and feed more of our money to a hungry government. We worry about government inspectors who look over our shoulder, we worry about that report that needs to be filled out for the state, and we read the emails from the boss on the new regulations and change our procedures once again.
This is the legacy of big government. It’s not the promise of a utopic society; it’s the nightmare of government telling us what to do and how to behave. It’s like living with your parents again and working for minimum wage hoping that you can save enough to move out.
We passed laws yesterday to enhance programs to protect women from violence, but fail to address the real issue causing societal unrest—the pressure of working too hard, for too little, with too much oversight—which leads to violence in the first place, not just at home, but at work and school. Like too many rats in cage with too little cheese, eventually the rats being to prey on each other. Men blame women for a feeling of emasculation and so they kill their wives in a fit of rage. School kids blame classmates for being bullied and the schoolmasters for allowing to happen and so they go ballistic and massacre them. Workers ‘go postal’ at the guy in the cubicle next to them as they pop their gum one too many times, or they fail to get that promotion that the boss decides they can’t afford.
How often do we see it happen where men prefer killing everyone rather than go through the financial chaos of divorce? Or criminals commit suicide rather than face the prospect of prison and humiliation?
Instead we decide more programs are necessary and exacerbate the problem. Each new program now costs 5 times what they say, since we have to borrow to pay for it, increase the taxes to compensate, and return the principle at compounding interest. The debt piles up and the pressure piles on. All those little programs are straws that beginning to break the camel’s back—we are bankrupt and are foolishly thinking of cutting the defense of our nation and the safety net for our elderly when we are sick and old.
A pall has fallen over the land; the shadow of big government.
Read more of Thomas Purcell at his blog: www.Thomas-Purcell.com
By Suzanne Sharer
Talk about a war against women! Currently ground zero is right here in my own back yard as Arizona is once again front and center when it comes to so called “human rights” vs. right and wrong! Women’s rights have just taken a giant step backward in the city of Phoenix this past month with the passing of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s infamous “Bathroom Bill”. This bill does nothing more than degrade women while putting us into dangerous situations and stripping us of our dignity and the respect we deserve. When was it; about two weeks ago that the left came out with some absolutely brilliant maneuvers to stop rapists? Now women are being legislated into questionable situations in the name of “civil rights” to where they have just made it easier for rapists and deviants to have easy access to women and children. Sadly it appears that Stanton has put special interests and a radical political agenda ahead of the personal safety and concerns of the ladies who grace his city. Grown men will now be allowed into girls/women’s restrooms in our parks and public places in the name of sexual equality and human rights.
The false argument; By passing a an expansion of the city’s human relations ordinance, known as the Bathroom Bill, much to the dismay of the mayor and his supporters, we are supposed to believe that under the guise of “prohibiting discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, this new law will not have any devastating consequences for our churches, religious organizations, businesses, and families.
All I can say is move over Mayor Bloomberg it appears that Mayor Stanton of Phoenix is going to give you a run for your money when it comes to making false arguments on behalf of the ridiculous legislation you are putting out there! Oh and by the way this article isn’t even covering Stanton’s absurd gun “buy back” program that he just revealed! I can’t wait to touch on that soon! I truly hope people won’t rally behind that brain trust as women will need their guns locked and loaded now more than ever just to use a public restroom in the city of Phoenix!) Stanton has made his position clear. He is taking the City of Phoenix on a serious left turn at the risk of women and children, pandering for the dollars he feels the LGBT community will bring him. Now anybody who wants to wear women’s clothing will not be prohibited from entering into the girls/women’s bathrooms of our schools, parks and restaurants as well as our place of worship and any other public places in the name of prohibiting discrimination, tolerance and of course let’s not forget the mighty dollar in that forward thinking America.
If tolerance is so important in this new age of forced acceptance I have to ask the question; where is the tolerance for those of us who find this bill offensive to our rights? I find it very objectionable as a woman and as a mother to a beautiful young girl that I am being told I must be accepting of men who want to identify themselves as women, giving them more of a right than I have! Legislating people into uncomfortable and dangerous situations by telling them they are being narrow-minded of others rights if they disagree is not a step towards a future I feel we should be embracing! If you have an innocent young daughter would you want her exposed to a man irrespective of whether he may think of himself as a woman using the public restroom? Does how he feels on the inside change what is on the outside? There are clear physical differences that need to remain separate and regardless of how a person “feels”! I believe we need to base our decision on common sense and the fact that men and women have physical differences that need to be kept separate and private when it comes to these situations for everyone’s comfort and security not just those of the minority who are screaming the loudest.
Aside from all the problems this creates for women and young girls, local business’s and church’s now have to be concerned with being cautious not to violate these new “rights” if they wish to avoid any legal action that can now be taken against them by the passing of this new bill simply for standing up for their own ethics. Essentially what Stanton is saying to Phoenicians is that with the passing of his new “bathroom bill” the good people of Phoenix no longer have the right to speak out in defense of their morals or can use their judgment on an issue of common sense and public safety, now that we are living in a kinder more forward thinking society based on these new “human rights” given to us via Phoenix City Council.
What strikes me as odd is how Mayor Stanton put such urgency to this bill under a veil of media silence. With so many other more pressing issues that actually involve public safety, Stanton panders more to special interest groups that make public safety even more of an issue! If it wasn’t for a few media outlets such as Mike Broomhead of KFYI who dedicated some very valuable and insightful time on this subject during his radio show last week, most of Phoenix would not even be aware of what has just transpired. It appears that Stanton who made a promise to be transparent is getting a failing grade at this much like our current President. You can bet this bill was fast tracked through the city council to avoid media and public scrutiny to prevent the large outpouring of opposition it deserves! You can find some good links to read what is in the bill here on Mike Broomhead’s page; http://www.kfyi.com/pages/broomhead.html?article=10955139
After all is said and done what astounds me the most is the total lack of respect and the disregard for the comfort and safety of the women of Phoenix! The left flippantly states that it makes no difference which way the feet are facing in the stall but I couldn’t disagree more…First off it this is what they believe then why are we having this discussion? Second, I am 5’4” and weigh 112 lbs. What chance would I have if cornered in a secluded restroom by a man who weighs twice as much as me and much stronger? What chance do women really have, our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters? What are you going to worry about more, the so called “civil rights” of transgendered men to have access to women’s restrooms or the safety of your loved ones now exposed to any deviant who wishes to put on a dress?
Read more: http://www.kfyi.com/pages/suzanne-sharer.html?article=11017473#.UTSr1GNzu6E.facebook#ixzz2MaGTvVl1
By John Ondrasik
I see Andrew every day. When I fire up my buddy list there is Bodiaz bringing his dose of happy-sad. Thanks, someone, for not turning his computer off.
On the one-year anniversary of his death, many folks will speak of Andrew’s loss to the cause. Go ahead and cube that vacuum a few times. It’s true, in some measure he lives on in all of us. When I was out campaigning for Romney last year, all my tough decisions were decided by a simple What Would Andrew Do?
But for me, and many, it’s not about politics or movements. I’m still mourning the small “b” Breitbart. I miss my friend terribly. I loved the guy.
A few days after Andrew’s funeral last year I wrote a song. It was never meant for public consumption. With his wife’s Susie’s permission, here’s the demo/lyric.
I Can’t Stand to Say Goodbye
All was there
All is lost
No Silver Linings
No God’s will
No Sense or Reason
Our heart is still
All that remains is moving on
Robbed us all
I can’t stand to say goodbye
In the Home of the Brave
You were the best of the lot
There’s no replacing
This hole won’t fill
Death is cold and it’s cruel
Real and unreal
All that remains is to carry on
With Tears and Riddles
We’ll never solve
I can’t stand to say goodbye
I can’t stand to say goodbye
Here at the bridge we will never cross
Here at the bridge…Lost
I can’t stand to say goodbye
I can’t stand to say goodbye
I can’t stand to say goodbye
Reprinted from http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/03/01/Original-Song–Tribute-to-Andrew-Breitbart-I-Cant-Stand-to-Say-Goodbye#sthash.ud8RVwP4
A few thoughts on today’s culture war battle at the City of Phoenix.
I attended the meeting for the purpose of testifying against the tax on food. I signed a card for that specific agenda item having no intention of testifying on the LGBT ordinance.
My position on this has been very clear. I simply do not believe that the City of Phoenix should inject government policy into the personal and private lives of any Phoenicians except when a crime is committed. Some liberals and libertarians would say “keep government out of our bedrooms.” OK, so how about a little consistency by keeping government to a minimum in our private business matters? What the City of Phoenix did tonight was invite a huge conflict between Constitutional rights and individual sexual identity.
By now social conservatives should realize they have lost the culture war on issues related to sexual identity and behavior. The most reasonable position social conservatives can now take is to hold back any level of government from the power position of picking winners and losers in the conflict between sexual identity and free speech, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
Locally, social conservatives did not lose the culture battle in Phoenix tonight. Social conservatives lost the culture battle in November of 2011 when it failed to elect conservatives to the Phoenix city council.
We knew this was coming. The signs were there in 2011 when mayoral candidate Greg Stanton made wide overtures to the LGBT community and efforts to align Phoenix with San Francisco values. Anyone who dared to point it out was labeled a bigot. So goes the spirit of tolerance on the left.
(Too often, both sides fail to see this as a debate over public policy rather making it about personal attacks on individuals and their sexual identities.)
Tonight’s meeting was a reflection of the very intolerance those pushing for tolerance decry. Anyone who dared to oppose the ordinance was booed and jeered. No respect for human dignity and certainly no respect for the public policy process.
Social conservative did turn out at the meeting – certainly not in number. And those who did engage were speaking a different language to the huge LGBT majority who did turn out (probably with plenty of advance notice). Two different languages because there are two different worldviews – one based on faith, the other clearly sexual and secular in nature. There were translators in the testimonials – individuals who know the difference and can communicate between the two worldviews – Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rev. Jarrett Maupin spoke. These individuals are bilingual on issues that tangle logic and emotions.
And there was a tremendous amount of emotion – mostly from the LGBT – about living with a sexual identity that conflicts with traditional societal norms. Who was going to argue with the dozen of transgendered individuals who gave personal stories of rejection, anger and sympathy?
Which brings me to my personal feelings on the whole matter.
My pastor, my church, my Jesus preaches love. The Word commands us to love God first and to love our neighbor as ourselves second. There are two commandments in the New Testament. That’s it – pretty simple. My pastor (who happens to oversee five campuses in Phoenix Metro) reminds us to look past a person’s self-identity and love them no matter what. We are to love them like Christ would love them – regardless of their sin(s) (I’m not going to name them here. You can look them up.) But most important, we are to bring others into a real and living relationship with Christ allowing Christ to work in their lives toward God’s glory.
This is where I separate matters of faith from the role of the state (in this case the City of Phoenix).
If I were Mayor of Phoenix I would have rejected the idea of injecting my sliver of government into the personal and private lives of individuals. To do otherwise is asking for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. This seems to be the only position a reasonable community of people can hold without forcing a cultural conflagration to take place.
Entangling sex and politics is a messy business as we learned tonight. Hopefully our politicians will take note and keep social engineering to a minimal melodramatic level in the future. Political social conservatives lost tonight but true Christianity continues to love on.
So these celebrities put out a commercial asking Americans to Demand A Plan to end gun violence.
Let’s have the right to protect ourselves and especially our children.
What I question is their sincerity and credibility.
I would bet that 90% of them have armed security at their concerts, filming locations and even public events. I would also bet that they don’t want armed security at our taxpayer-funded public schools for the protection of our children.
On their website, they are advocating for three things:
1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America
2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, including real penalties for “straw purchasers”
They ask visitors to their website to sign a petition to President Obama (list building!) Keep in mind this is the same President who’s Attorney General oversaw the Fast & Furious scandal in which a US Border Patrol agent was murdered.
And if you’re wondering why I’m so angry about their hypocrisy, I’m a father whose daughter attends a high school where a crazed student threatened to kill her classmates. Fortunately, that student is now sitting in a Maricopa County detention facility.
On behalf of the million-strong voters in the Arizona Republican Party, I heartily wish you a Merry Christmas.
As we reflect on the meaning of the holiday season, I can’t help but think about our good fortune as Americans, and especially as Arizonans.
Our party’s strength in Arizona is tremendous and growing, and in so many ways Arizona is leading the nation with our conservative principles and our proven success in winning elections.
We have you, the supporters of our Republican candidates, to thank.
I ask that you especially thank our Almighty God for the great many blessings we all share.
Chairman, Arizona Republican Party