Reason TV and Prop 104: Phoenix Light Rail Fail

Meet the Thighmaster of urban public policy: Streetcars.

Municipal politicians all across the country have convinced themselves that this costly, clunky hardware can revitalize their flabby downtown economies.

That includes the fearless leaders of America’s capital city. The DC government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade trying to erect a streetcar line in the up-and-coming neighborhood of H Street. The project has been an epic disaster, perfectly demonstrating how ill-suited streetcars are to modern urban life.

Video Produced by Rob Montz, who also hosts. Camera by Todd Krainin. Graphics by Jason Keisling and Meredith Bragg.

Thanks to ReasonTV.

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Facts about Phoenix Prop 104:

  • $31.5 BILLION Proposal
  • Tax will last 35 YEARS
  • $6.66 BILLION for Light Rail
  • 41.2 Miles of new rail
  • $161 MILLION per mile of light rail
  • Entire proposal could purchase 2.2 MILLION SmartCars
  • Will shrink available funds that could be used for education, hiring or teachers
  • Mayor and Council created a $10,000 exemption to appease big business from paying full tax rate
  • Majority of Pro-Prop 104 money is from construction and developers who will benefit from contracts to build light rail corridors.
  • Current light rail is losing 53% on farebox recovery
  • Valley Metro places emphasis on increasing ridership by backing off and not enforcing payment
  • Less than 1% of Phoenix population rides light rail
  • Vast majority of riders are students, government employees, homeless, destitute or under the influence (subsidized or non-paying riders).

Jeff Dial – Still Serving, Despite the IED’s of Politics

An Important Message from Jon C. Altmann, Military Retiree

Politics has gotten ugly.  It used to be a calling for decent folks who wanted to serve their community, run for office and try to serve.  They were not looking to get rich, gain further office – they only wish to serve.  State Senator Jeff Dial is one dedicated to serve.

Members of the Arizona Legislature serve for $24,000 annually.  The position takes a lot of hours when the Legislature in session.  One has to either be independently wealthy, be self-employed or have a very, very understanding employer who will tolerate the absences from work.

Taking cheap pot-shots at those who are serving has become more commonplace.  It drives the question – why would someone want to take on the onslaught of nasty commentary, a lot of it often urban legends or simply made-up, put their spouse and children in the spotlight, and take on the task of representing us?

Along comes Jeff Dial.  He works hard as a businessman and for a period in his life, served in the Army Reserve.  He is part of the less than 1% in our nation that has volunteered to serve.  He passed boot camp.  Members of the National Guard and Reserve have two lives – their civilian life with a civilian boss/employer and their military life.  Often times, the military life interferes with the civilian life.&nnbsp; A lot of folks say they support the military, but the experience of more than two decades of service has taught me more of those employers and bosses simply say the word “support” – they don’t give it.

Jeff Dial has a lot in common with another great Arizonan who, decades before, volunteered to serve, served for a short period, and like Jeff, never went to war – the late John Driggs, former Phoenix Mayor and someone who kept working hard at making Arizona better after serving America for the short period he was in uniform.  John Driggs enlisted in the Navy near the end of World War II and just as he was graduating boot camp, the war ended.  John came home, used his G.I. Bill to get an education and buy a home.   John Driggs I know well, I presented his burial flag to his widow this past year – he was buried as a veteran.  He honorably served.  Jeff Dial has worked hard in public policy to bring folks together – like John Driggs.  Both humbly served.

Jeff, like many members of the National Guard and Reserve, had problems with the military’s height/weight standards.  I have been one of those myself.  Guard and Reserve must train on their own – yet are expected to maintain the same physical standards – including physical agility testing – as the active duty. When an active duty member fails one part of the process, they are given work time every day to “train” to overcome the failure.  Guard and Reserve have to steal more time from their civilian life.

Let me clarify – you can pass all the runs, push-ups and other exercises and make the times or better – but if your body fat measurement is too high, you fail the test.  On the other hand, you can be in great body fat measurement zone, pass all the test except you are slow on a 1.5 mile run, you fail.  The standards have become more rigid coincidental to force reductions.  It is hard work for reservists, who are generally older than most of those serving on active duty, to keep pace.  It means taking more time away from civilian employer and family.

If a military member is out of standard, they can be barred from reserve duty for medical reasons.  And the term “satisfactory participation” varies by service branch, and can be put on a military member for failure to pass the physical standards.  I challenge any other American to meet the same standards daily.  A Reserve or Guard member must effectively work at it each day – on their own time.  Active duty members get to do it on “company time.”

In politics there are winners and losers.  I’ve been on the losing side twice.  I did not go away – in fact, I continued to work my passion to help others and have many times gone to our Legislature to advocate for veterans, military families, public safety and public education.  I work with those who defeated me and work with those who supported me.  Sour grapes has not been in my diet.

Jeff Dial has a few political enemies – and those of us in the veterans community know those few – who have sour grapes  because they have lost to Jeff in past elections.  They have been saying Jeff has lied about his military service and recently got The Arizona Republic to pick apart the issue.  They found that Jeff did what he said – that he simply served in the Army Reserve and has an honorable discharge.  I’ve known Jeff politically for several years.  I have never known him to brag anything about his military service, except to say he served.

Where’s the issue?

Important for veterans, Reserve, National Guard and military families – including those families of Reserve and Guard members – Jeff Dial has been a consistent vote for meaningful, thoughtful legislation that helps veterans and military families.   He has had enough service to understand the issues and be thoughtful on bills – and he has voted for bills that some of his Tea Party Republican caucus mates have turned down.  Some of those bills that the “Tea Party” folks declined are ones that help veterans.

I am in an unique position – years ago I was a news reporter for The Phoenix Gazette and later a manager in the circulation department of the Republic and Gazette.  During my many years of service at the newspaper, I was serving in the Navy Reserve.  I came to work one day to learn that our publisher, Darrow “Duke” Tully had falsified an entire career as an Air Force officer.  He wore uniforms to military events, he bragged about his service and put out that he had even earned the rank of a senior Air Force officer before retiring form the Air Force Reserve.  But a political opponent went digging and found no service at all.

As a loyal employee of the paper, I was hurt.  Mr. Tully resigned and left town.

Jeff Dial earned his uniform and has not lied.  Yet, The Arizona Republic senses some story that he over-played his role in the Army Reserve, yet offers nothing concrete.  They readily state by one of their columnists that Jeff Dial has been a moderate Republican – something the editorial pages of The Republic seem to extol.  Yet they ran a story that has a questionable news value.  They fail to mention who brought them this “story.”  Now a group of Republican party precinct committeemen who say they are veterans are protesting.  I’m a Republican, too.  I left the ranks of being a “PC” some years back because I find that too many of the PCs are extreme in their views and generally don’t well represent the broader based views held by voters.  It is no secret that most GOP precinct meetings are dominated by the Tea Party emotions and don’t seem to want to get along.  President Gerald Ford said that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  I simply got tired of the many of the latter.  Now they are soap-boxing.

When I was reporter, my City Editor wanted me to be forthright in my sources and justify them before the paper ran one drop of ink.  I was brought up that the paper had to be beyond politics and reproach.  The lives and reputations of people could serious damaged by less than stellar research.

I am no novice to veterans issues.  I hold an elected national office, sit on two government commissions/advisory groups, one local and one Federal and have worked hard to get legislation passed and signed by the governor.  No easy task.  The cannon fodder being pointed at Jeff Dial are barrels of junk information attempting to besmirch the good efforts of State Senator Dial.  The slimy part of this is the fact that those firing the cannons could be termed “sore losers.” The perpetrators are in the shadows – and what do they have to say for their military records and why some of them are no longer serving?

I must question two things in this quest by some against Stat Senator Dial – why is the paper chasing this non-story and making attacks an office holder that generally meets the editorial positions the paper has taken?  More so, as someone who has been a career journalist and published writer, why didn’t the paper do a more careful due-diligence on who brought them the story and why?  The newspaper should not allow itself to be use for the sour grapes soap boxing of others, especially when the man involved had done nothing but tried to serve and did so honorably.

I spent 22 years serving active and reserve in national intelligence.  I have been a senior enlisted leader three times.  I can’t name all my commanding officers and I can’t recall all the junior enlisted leaders who worked under me.  I doubt seriously asking Jeff Dial, who was a private who tried serving diligently, asking Jeff about service 16 years ago is a worthy question.  Jeff is not alone in service members, active and reserve, we sent home for failing the rigorous physical standards.  We sent each of those folks home with honorable discharges because the military has at least the decorum to say they met the bar in being honorable.

If a hard-working veterans’ community advocate like myself knows the details easily and readily, why didn’t the paper’s news team?  Jeff Dial deserves an apology.  From me, a retired senior enlisted leader, Jeff Dial gets my thanks for showing up and trying to serve our nation.  Only 17% of all us who serve, active or reserve, stay for 20 more years as a career.  Jeff Dial was among the 83% who came, gave his country some time – and now as an elected official – continues to help veterans and all Arizonans.  We cannot defend America without the 83% that Jeff Dial is part of.

Jeff has done more than 99% of everyone else (because only 1% of Americans today have served) – and he continues to serve, despite bush league shots at this character.  This grateful veterans advocate thanks Jeff not only for his service in uniform, but the continued service to veterans he has done as a legislator.

About Jon Altmann

 Jon Altmann is a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer, having served active and reserve service for 22 years.  He currently serves as an elected national officer of one veterans organization, along with serving on two public bodies, one national the other local, concerned with veterans and military retirees.  He is a former newspaper reporter who went onto working more than two decades in the public safety field, mostly as a top end manager or executive.  He is a graduate of Arizona State University and additional course work through the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of Naval Intelligence.  His last four assignments were as a senior enlisted leader in major intelligence community commands. Comments and opinions expressed by Jon C. Altmann are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, or any of the organizations he volunteers his time in helping others.

Sal DiCiccio: Phoenix Light Rail Will Take Money Away From Education

Recently, I appeared in an interview by the Legal Broadcast Network in which I discuss the Phoenix light rail fiasco. I’d like to share a portion of that interview so Phoenicians can understand what’s at stake in the August election and the enormity of this boondoggle.

The cost to build one mile of freeway is about $56 Million. Compare that to the cost to build one mile of light rail. As staff revealed, Phoenix taxpayers would spend $161 MILLION per mile for this monstrosity. That is almost three times the cost to move far fewer people than what a freeway moves.

And if you look at the number of users who actually use light rail, it’s about one half of one percent of our population. Putting that in perspective, its equivalent to the amount of people who drive down the street in front of your home.

For this $31.5 BILLION proposal, the City of Phoenix could buy 2.2 Million Smart Cars! That is every man, woman and child who could use one of these eco-friendly cars.

Remember, the same people who brought us the downtown Sheraton Hotel at a total loss of $130 Million, now want us to pay for another massive taxpayer $31.5 BILLION boondoggle.

At a time when we need more money going into our education system this takes money away from that priority. Every dollar going into this $161 Million/mile train system is a dollar not going to our children’s education.

Rep Paul Boyer: Common Core won’t make your dreams come true

No education standards, however well crafted, can teach a student how to use their minds well. Only a teacher can help accomplish this.

Yet Common Core supporters tell us the new education standards in English, language arts and math will give future generations hope, ensure access to a high-quality education and prepare students for wherever their dreams will take them.

Paul BoyerSupporters of Common Core also tell us Arizona can opt out of the standards whenever we want, we will not have to shoulder the cost of implementation and the standards will not impact curriculum since they are separate.

They are wrong on all three counts.

Administrators and teachers tell us how many millions of dollars we have invested in implementing Common Core and training teachers, so how could Arizona possibly consider opting out and adopting our own standards, thereby maintaining our state sovereignty in education policy?

In June of 2010, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in exchange for $25 million in Race to the Top money. Normally when Arizona hands over policy control in any given area, we receive a favorable dollar-for-dollar match — two dollars for every one we put in or a three to one match. Instead, Arizona received a one to six match where even supporters of the new standards have estimated a price tag of over $150 million for the initial implementation.

The Arizona School Board Association and Arizona Association of School Business Officials estimate $48 million for teacher training, $96 million for curriculum aligned to the new standards and $13 million for the assessment.

Yet supporters still insist schools will maintain their curricular freedom. If so, then why is Arizona being told we must spend nearly $100 million we don’t have on Common Core-aligned curriculum? Aren’t standards and curriculum separate?

Nor does this include a nearly $25 million estimate in future costs to the state for additional hardware and software necessary to implement the new one-size-fits-all test that every Arizona student must take.

It gets worse.

If Arizona decides to offer our own test or a menu of tests that is more in line with the curriculum we are actually teaching in our classrooms, the federal government will threaten us with the loss of $582 million based on a 50-year-old law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

I support reasonable standards of achievement, but they are not enough on their own. What matters most is the quality of learning that occurs in the classroom: teaching that inspires and fosters student learning.

With an increased emphasis on specialization of education in K-12 along with a heavy emphasis on informational texts, the new assessment will force teachers to teach to the test, since their teacher evaluations and school letters grades are based on it, thus further chipping away at curricular freedom. This means our curricular decisions will be directed by decisions made in Washington, D.C., not Arizona.

Supporters can look very hard for the word “education” in the U.S. Constitution but they’d come up empty. It’s not in there. This means education policy should be reserved to the states.

Instead of having to spend this money on implementing federal standards, Arizona ought to reverse course and instead focus our time, talent and treasure on placing excellent teachers in every classroom.

At a recent town hall, a supporter of the standards told me we sent man to the moon with public education. She is correct. And we managed to do it without Common Core. We did it with excellent teachers.

State Rep. Paul Boyer chairs the House Education Committee. He is also a high school teacher.

Arizona Republican Party Rejects Bid to Close Primary

By Christopher Herring

During a contentious debate, the Arizona Republican Party’s executive committee rejected a proposal to close future primaries to independents.

Although there are good faith arguments in favor of limiting participation to Republicans only, the perception, and most importantly, the financial cost, outweighed any potential benefits.

In 1998, voters approved a measure that allowed independents to vote in the primary of any recognized party. Now part of the Arizona Constitution, the law initially conceived by a Republican controlled legislature, would likely be defended by the Arizona’s Attorney General’s office, greatly increasing the financial cost and risk to an already budget strapped political cycle where every dollar counts.

A significant obstacle to the party is the notion that Republicans support the rule of law and the Arizona Constitution. Suing the state to not administer its constitution isn’t the best headline for the party. Another significant challenge would be that the state party would have to show a severe burden is caused by independents voting in Republican primaries. Specifically that independents voting changed the ideological outcomes of elections in a manner significant enough to overturn the will of the voters to keep the primary open. In the most recent elections, independents have not voted in high numbers in party primaries and the case can be made that Arizona Republicans are more conservative than they have ever been on fiscal and social issues. Proving a severe burden would be a large task for the party’s attorneys.

In fact, every scenario discussed to close the primaries were fraught with risk. Whether it was a lawsuit, assuming the financial obligation of administering the entire primary, or funding a lawsuit to close the primary, the cost would be shouldered by all Republicans with no guarantee of success and a likelihood of failure.

The singular criticism surrounding the partially open primary is the moderating effect it creates on Republican elections. Although independents are growing in America and in Arizona, Republicans continue to enjoy a significant voter registration advantage over the Democratic Party and continue to hold onto every major statewide elected office. Judging by the lack of moderate or liberal Republicans holding statewide offices, it is difficult to prove that the small number of independents are gaming the Republican primary.

If there is a real fear in closing the primary outside of costs, it is alienating Arizona’s right leaning independents. In fact, as independents continue to grow, the Republicans cannot simply ignore their growing influence but must be continually active in persuading them that their principles are aligned with traditional party beliefs. Many independents describe themselves as conservatives but simply don’t want the label of Republican.

The state executive committee made the right call to not divert resources away from the continued march of winning elections and enacting conservative policies by embarking on long and expensive lawsuits with no guarantee of success. Arizona’s Republican Party consists of a diverse group of voters, fighting for conservative principles that make our lives better every day. The Party, under the leadership of Robert Graham, should continue to focus on what it is doing well, winning short term victories and building long term relationships to enhance the Republican brand in Arizona.

Christopher Herring is the President of the Maricopa County Young Republican Professionals and member of the Arizona Republican Party Executive Committee.

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham’s Sacrifice Means Victory

By Daniel Stefanski

A hearty thanks to AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham for working through another executive board meeting! Today, it sounds like the board voted against funding a lawsuit for closing Republican primaries. As it should have been, Robert allowed the motion to be voted on, and the representatives of the precinct and state committeemen did what they felt was in the best interest of the Arizona Republican Party and election victories in 2015 and 2016.

And for all the heartache by a select few over the closed meeting today, it was not closed to those who were duly elected in previous elections. Want to sit in and participate in future state party executive meetings that may be closed to observers? Run for election for one of those positions next time around. The process isn’t being obstructed. It’s being followed to the letter of the law.

Robert Graham voluntarily signed up for a non-paid job with round-the-clock hours, but he did not sign up for a job that featured lies, distortion and people from his own party working against future Republican victories to serve their own self interests. Before this meeting, Robert did not fight against the resolution to close our primary. Rather, he expressed his opinions and waited for the process to carry itself out. While false allegations that Robert was carrying out other interested party’s wishes swirled around prior to today’s meeting, it is now a fact that the AZGOP executive committee voted within their rights and responsibilities to table the closed primary funding proposal.

Though one will never come, I think Robert Graham is owed an apology for the way he has been treated and maligned by people who claim to be in the same party as him.

And to make up for an apology that will never come, I think Robert deserves thanks and encouragement by all those who appreciate the 2014 victories he was very instrumental in helping to achieve. We who were involved in the 2014 campaigns know how hard the State Party worked throughout the entire cycle.

Robert and the Arizona Republican Party have pledged to stay neutral in primaries, and they have remained faithful to that promise. The AZGOP has also always upheld the party platform during Robert’s tenure as chair. Those who claim that Robert is attempting to pave a path for any individual primary contender are doing so without any factual basis. Robert is not going to pull any favors for any candidate in a contested primary election, and he’s not going to lead the AZGOP towards an ideological potion that does not adhere to the entirety of our platform. Activists may “want” him to do their work for them in a contested primary election, but he’s just not going to do play favorites. So to save everyone’s time, let’s support our primary candidates and await the time when the AZGOP will be waiting for the Democrats with guns a-blazin’ after the winning Republicans make it past their primaries.

Thanks as well to everyone who sacrifices their time to serve at the AZGOP and on the executive committee!

Let’s work for some more GOP victories in 2015 and 2016! Who’s with me?!

DARTH FLAKE: Flake Joins Obama and Clinton in Attacking GOP Senators

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Yesterday, Senate Republicans, led by decorated war veteran Sen. Tom Cotton, penned an open letter to the Iranian government informing them that any agreement they reach with President Obama can be undone by future Presidents and Congresses.  The letter has Jeff Flake upset and joining the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton lashing out Senate Republicans.

In an interview with AZ Republic’s Dan Nowicki Flake stated, “I just didn’t think it was appropriate… I’m not very bullish on the chance of these negotiations resulting in a good agreement, or an agreement at all, but we ought to explore it…We ought to give it every opportunity to succeed.”

Per the norm, this attack on Senate Republicans has earned the praise from Cafeteria Catholic AZ Republic columnist Ed Montini who labeled Flake ‘more mature’ than liberal Senator John McCain who was among the 47 Senators that signed Sen Cotton’s letter.  Jeff Flake has officially crossed over to the ‘dark side’ and the fact that he’s now the media’s favorite Republican Senator is just confirmation of that.

2018 cannot come soon enough.

 

Reps Franks, Schweikert, Salmon, McSally Vote to Fund Obama’s Executive Amnesty

gop_surrender_monkey_1_400_pxlw The House has voted 257-167 to pass what the Leftist media is calling a ‘Clean’ DHS Funding Bill which fully funds Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Amnesty.   While the majority of the 257 Congressmen and women who passed the bill were Democrats, this falls on the feet of all those who voted to retain John Boehner as the Speaker of the House.

It was only a few months ago that hundreds of thousands of Americans jammed the US Capitol’s switchboard demanding a change in house leadership due to Boehner’s unwillingness to stop Obama’s move toward ‘fundamental transformation’. These calls and emails were ignored by establishment Republicans namely Rep Trent Franks, Rep Schweikert, Rep Matt Salmon, and Rep Martha McSally who chose Boehner’s PAC money over the American tax-payers.  For several years now these same politicians have told us at LD meetings or Tea Party rallies that ‘DC is broken’ and they need our support.  Well, to borrow a phrase from Pottery Barn, ‘you broke it, you bought it’.

By keeping the current leadership in place these Republicans are just as responsible for the passage of today’s Amnesty funding bill just as much those who actively lobbied for it. We’ll say it again for clarity; Mr Franks, Mr Schweikert, Mr Salmon, Mrs McSally, You. Own. This. Crap. Sandwich.

How do we make the claim these four voted for Obama’s Amnesty?  To know this, you must learn one of the procedural games the GOP Leadership play all too often:

    INSIDE BASEBALL: HOW DC PLAYS YOU

The House Leadership forwards whatever the Chamber of Commerce wants while simultaneously trying to pacify the base.  That’s where things like the pointless ACU ‘scores’ come in to play.  Let’s take today’s vote for example:

  • STAGE 1 – THE DISTRACTION: Boehner decides in mid Feb that this bill should be postponed until today during the fog of Netanyahu’s speech in order to mitigate the number of grassroots phone-calls to DC offices.  They are betting that we’d be too distracted fighting the Anti-Semites on the Left today.
  • STAGE 2 – THE BROKEN PROMISE: Knowing that he could not get the support of a majority of Republicans, he strikes a deal with Pelosi for a Clean Bill in violation of his Hastert Rule promise.
  • STAGE 3 – QUID PRO QUO: After a backroom deal is struck with the Dems, Boehner creates a strategy with Pelosi to use ‘regular order’ to ensure the bill gets passed in spite of the results of the 2014 elections.
  • STAGE 4 – WHIPPING UP SUPPORT: Pelosi then dispatches House Dem Whips to do a head count to ensure Boehner gets the votes to pass Obama’s Amnesty without GOP support.  Pelosi tells Boehner they have votes needed plus a little extra for padding
  • STAGE 5 - THE SHOW VOTE: GOP Leadership calls a closed-door conference to give border hawks the green light on voting ‘NO’ knowing it will pass anyway.  This way the Leadership/Chamber gets what they want and the faux-Conservatives keep their bona fides among the grassroots come election time.
  • STAGE 6 – RIGGING THE NUMBERS: The ‘Border Hawks’ vote NO knowing they can do so without jeopardizing Boehner’s plan.  It’s little more than a show vote done so representatives can be graded on a single vote as ‘SOLID’ and be able to tout their valued ACU/Club For Growth, FreedomWorks/Whatever org scores in campaign ads while screwing the American tax-payer under the radar. We now know that it is far worse to support a Speaker who does this than a faux-NO vote on a bill that has been predetermined by the donor class to pass.
  • STAGE 7 – THE BAIT & SWITCH: Come election time, they tell us that they voted AGAINST Amnesty and that we NEED them to stay in DC to ‘fight for us’, with the truth being that nothing will change while they remain in DC.  This is precisely how someone like John McCain can serve (themselves) in office for decades as things get worse.

The well-fed right will state “THIS HEADLINE IS DISHONEST! Schweikert, Franks, et al actually voted against this bill, blah.. blah.. blah…” but in reality, now that we know similar parliamentary tricks were practiced with regularity under Speaker Boehner before his reelection in January and since these representatives voted to retain GOP leadership, it’s reasonable to conclude those who backed Boehner for Speaker approve of these tactics and the results. Therefore, we at ArizonaInformer will now score EVERY unpopular bill that Speaker Boehner passes from the floor and will publicize them as a YES vote for the Representatives mentioned above.

The Time To Rescue Sexually Abused Children Is Now!

By Paul Boyer

Thousands of children in Arizona are waiting to be rescued and it will not happen for most of them unless we act.

In Arizona, we know of 15,000 IP addresses (the Internet Protocol labels assigned to each computer device) belonging to people who are trading and downloading child pornography. A significant number of these videos and images consist of infants and young children being raped, tortured, and sexually abused. Some of them even include “how to” instructions on how a grown man can rape a three-year-old and groom him or her for years of abuse.

Statistically, 50 to 70 percent of those who download and trade child pornography are considered “hands on” offenders who are actively molesting and abusing children.  Meanwhile, 60-65 percent of the images intercepted in Arizona are of prepubescent children, while infants make up nine percent of victims.  Because of these very young ages, most victims cannot or do not report the abuse.

As the House Education Chairman, I care deeply about good education policy. But for the children who cannot sleep at night for fear of sexual abuse by child predators, no education policy, however well designed will help them. They desperately need law enforcement to rescue them from their abuser.

I have just introduced legislation that would enable the state to equip, train and hire 10 to 15 full-time investigators and forensic examiners for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. House Bill 2517 has 79 co-sponsors and uses $5 million of state lottery money – $4.5 million to equip, train and hire full time investigators and forensic examiners, and $500,000 to help victims.

Every state that has passed similar legislation was experiencing budget struggles, and Arizona is no different.

Last year, we appropriated an additional $60 Million to create the new Department of Child Safety making it an $834 million funded agency after realizing there were 6,600 uninvestigated cases of children in harm’s way. With nearly three times the amount of uninvestigated cases of children being raped, tortured and sexually abused, how can we not act now?

National studies show the average offender has between 14 – 23 victims before law enforcement catches them, which is why ICAC investigations are so critical. While Arizona has tough sentencing laws for those who prey on children, there are currently only four full time investigators in the state to proactively look into this depravity, and just a handful of part-time investigators from various agencies.

Right now, those investigators are focusing on triaging leads to locate “hands on” predators. With hundreds of new leads of child pornography coming in every month, they cannot keep up with current leads. This means less than two percent of known child exploitation cases are being investigated. We need to act and we need to act now.

Let the 52nd Legislature be known as the one that acted swiftly to rescue kids when it was in our power to do so.

Republican state Rep. Paul Boyer represents Legislative District 20 in Phoenix and Glendale.

That wailing and moaning you’re about to hear

 

AFP

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

The wailing and moaning you’re about to hear on your television and see in your newspaper is the sound of Arizona’s spending lobbies after they read the executive budget released today by Arizona’s new Governor, Doug Ducey.

TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT GOV. DUCEY’S BUDGET

Supporters of Big Government will HATE this budget:

●  The school district bureaucrats who steal money from the students and teachers in our classrooms will loathe the fact that Gov. Ducey’s budget reduces administrative bureaucracy by $113 million (with no cuts to actual classroom spending).

●  The corporate crony capitalists will wail about the $100 million slush fund Gov. Ducey wants to take away from the Arizona Commerce Authority.

●  The educrats who waste taxpayer money and student tuition dollars at our community colleges and universities will scream about the $84 million in reductions to their budgets.

They and their hundreds of lobbyists are going to fight hard to try to stop these cuts.  We need Arizona’s taxpayers, producers and consumers to STAND UP NOW and support Gov. Ducey’s budget reforms.

Ducey’s budget has more than $660 million in spending reductions for the fiscal year starting July 1 ($360 million is permanent and $304 million is temporary).  The permanent reductions will increase to nearly $450 million in the following fiscal year, when – for the first time since the go-go days of the real estate boom – the state budget will actually be structurally balanced.  WITH NO TAX INCREASES.

For real.

We’re not kidding.

We have always had a core of real fiscal conservatives at the Arizona Legislature who believed in balanced budgets and wanted to protect Arizona’s taxpayers, producers and consumers.  But for the first time in recent memory, an Arizona governor is actually taking the leadership role of holding the line against the growth of Big Government.

The executive budgets of Governors Napolitano and Brewer had absurdly high revenue predictions and dangerously high spending proposals that had to be cut down by the real leaders in the Legislature.  But it’s a new day in Arizona!  (For you budget wonks out there, Gov. Ducey’s $9.1 billion budget is well under the prudent budget limit of population-plus-inflation.)

Thank you for TAKING ACTION TODAY to fight Big Government in Arizona!

Also, if you want to send a personal thank-you note to Governor Ducey, you can find his contact page HERE.

For Liberty & Prosperity, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona State Director
Americans for Prosperity