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

Guest Opinion: The New Reefer Madness: A Very Bad Idea

Marijuana

By Seth Leibsohn

Since just the beginning of this year, local media—both television news and print—have publicized and promoted at least 10 stories on the effort to legalize recreational marijuana use in Arizona. Two bills are being sponsored in the state Legislature and an initiative aimed at our  electorate for 2016 is being drafted. Little has been said or written as to why all of this is a very bad idea for our state and our country. But it is just that, a very bad idea.

Almost every argument in favor of legalization is, quite simply, wrong. At the economic level, we are told the revenues from legalization would boost our state budget and help solve our deficit. That was a promise made by the pro-legalization movement in Colorado, which predicted $40 million a year for school construction and $30 million for general state funds from marijuana taxes in the state. But, as the non-partisan Tax Foundation found, the numbers thus far have come nowhere close, making it “unlikely to even meet that $40 million need each year, leaving nothing for enforcement costs.”

Ask any governor of any state if they would rather keep all the revenue from alcohol and tobacco taxes or all the monies alcohol and tobacco abuse costs the state, and you’d get the same answer: The costs of substance abuse to each and every state are never even close to covered by the revenues generated by the taxes on those substances. As President Barack Obama’s former senior advisor on drug policy, Dr. Kevin Sabet, has put it, “[S]ocietal costs that accompany increased marijuana use will significantly outweigh any gains in tax revenue. Our experience with alcohol and tobacco shows that for every one dollar gained in taxes, 10 dollars are lost in social costs.”

Criminalizing alcohol and tobacco would be nearly impossible and equally ill-advised at this point. I am not advocating that at all. But adding one more dangerous substance to the list of already too many legal and dangerous substances is pure madness. The debate as to whether marijuana is more or less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco is irrelevant. We need, rather, to understand that marijuana is just, plain dangerous; and adding one more dangerous product (regardless of degree of danger) is more than a bad idea; it is public policy malfeasance.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported just last year that marijuana use by adolescents is associated with everything from increased risk of depression and anxiety to psychosis. And, it “exacerbates the course of illness in patients with schizophrenia.” Marijuana use is also associated with impaired school performance and increases the risk of dropping out of high school. In lay terms, marijuana damages the brain, especially the teen brain. Society has made tremendous strides in marginalizing and thus decreasing the use of cigarette smoking—which negatively affects the lungs and hearts of smokers. It is curious, then, that more and more are now turning toward legalizing a product that not only damages the lungs (like cigarettes), but also the brain.

Many adults think marijuana is relatively harmless based on their experiences in high school and college a generation or more ago. But that marijuana is not today’s marijuana. Today’s marijuana is a different drug, with THC levels reaching into the 20 and 30 percent range of potency, as opposed to the one-and-a-half to five percent potency of the 1970s and 1980s. And it is getting stronger by the day as vendors compete to provide ever stronger affects with an ever more potent product.

The quest to legalize marijuana at the state level is also an unconstitutional nullification of federal law—as a range of Supreme Court Justices from Anthony Kennedy to Stephen Breyer to Antonin Scalia agree. It also negatively impacts other states as pot sold “legally” in one state flows across borders and causes problems in neighboring states, thus nullifying those states’ decisions to remain within the law. Indeed, some 44 percent of the marijuana sold in Colorado is sold to citizens of other states.
Despite what many say—either from unfamiliarity with the science or because of a political point of view or because some people simply want to get high legally—marijuana is dangerous. Making it legal will cost society more in financial and human damage than can ever be made up for by the false promise of tax revenue. And it will further destigmatize what every study on marijuana use and stigmatization has shown: the more society explains the dangers of marijuana, the less it is used; the more society countenances it, the more it is used.  Marijuana is illegal not because of bad policy but because it causes a lot of problems—a lot more than we will ever be able to apologize for if we unload this dangerous product on, and in to, more and more of our state’s and nation’s youth, which is—like alcohol and tobacco—where it will end up and do the most damage.

Seth Leibsohn is the host of The Seth Leibsohn Show, airing nightly on KKNT/960 am, and a Senior Fellow with the Claremont Institute.

Don’t Embrace Big Federal Government, Support the Compact for a Balanced Budget

By Nick Dranias

Yes, it’s true. The handful of folks who still oppose states organizing behind the Compact for a Balanced Budget to advance and ratify a powerful federal Balanced Budget Amendment embrace big federal government. Of course, they may not mean to do so. But the truth is that by hugging and holding the political status quo, the Balanced Budget Amendment fear-mongers are in a death embrace with the things they claim they oppose.

Why is that? Simply put, we no longer enjoy the form of federal government the Founders originally created. This is because the Constitution as it currently exists has three fatal flaws, which will inexorably lead to tyranny unless they are fixed with a constitutional amendment.

The first is the federal government’s unlimited borrowing capacity. This enables politicians to promise at no immediate cost anything it takes to get elected. That’s like handing liquor and car keys to a teenager. It guarantees a system crash propelled by mindless spending.

The second is unlimited direct taxation authority courtesy of the 16th Amendment. This empowers politicians to make 49% of the nation pay for anything the 51% want; and also to impose complete economic destruction on political enemies and disfavored policy ideas. If this flaw persists, what the IRS did to conservative groups two years ago is just a small taste of what the future holds.

The third is the unlimited concentration of power over national policy making in Washington, DC courtesy of the 17th Amendment. This amendment removed the states from a position of control over the U.S. Senate. It has enabled the federal government to ratify treaties and laws, as well as populate the federal judiciary and federal agencies, without any respect for state sovereignty. And it allows a growing distant political class in Washington, DC to easily leverage overwhelming national power to crush dissent and policy diversity in the heartland.

These three flaws will cause the federal government to gradually accumulate and centralize all political power over time. Over time, these three flaws will make it impossible for limited government and freedom-oriented elected officials to outcompete elected officials who favor big federal government for votes. Consequently, hugging and holding this fatally flawed system is doomed to produce the opposite of freedom. To mix metaphors, voting people in or out of the federal government under these conditions is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Only a constitutional amendment can fix the three fatal flaws of the Constitution as it currently exists. Nothing else will.

But it is irrational to expect two-thirds of each house of Congress to propose the necessary reform. The numbers did not add up in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s, and they just do not add up today. Instead, especially after the last election, there is a much more plausible pathway; that pathway involves organizing three-fourths of the states and simple majorities of Congress behind the necessary reform amendment in a targeted fashion. It means supporting the Compact for a Balanced Budget.

Simply put, the Balanced Budget Amendment advanced by the Compact for a Balanced Budget gives us the best shot of addressing each of the Constitution’s three fatal flaws with fundamental reforms.

To fix the flaw of unlimited federal borrowing capacity, the Amendment imposes an initially-fixed constitutional limit on available borrowing capacity. This limit gives the federal government an additional 5% in borrowing capacity above the outstanding federal debt upon ratification. This 5% cushion allows for a 1 to 2 year transitional period to responsible budgeting and fiscal planning. And there is no doubt the amendment will focus the mind during that transitional period. This is because the debt limit is coupled to a mandatory spending impoundment requirement that kicks-in when 98% of the debt limit is reached. Spending will be limited to available tax and fee cash flow if the debt limit is hit. There is no exception except for the referendum process described below. This one reform guarantees that Washington politicians will immediately lose the ability to promise anything at no immediate cost to get elected.

To fix the flaw of the unlimited centralization of national policy making in Washington, the Amendment empowers a majority of state legislatures to veto any increase in the federal government’s constitutionally-fixed borrowing capacity. To get any additional borrowing capacity above the initial constitutional baseline, simple majorities of Congress will have to refer-out a measure proposing the increase. The proposal will be deemed denied unless it is approved by at least twenty-six state legislatures within 60 days of the referral. With the federal government borrowing nearly half of discretionary spending, this referendum process divides power over national policy making between the states and the federal government in a big way.

Finally, to fix the flaw of unlimited federal taxation authority, the Amendment imposes a tax limit requiring two-thirds of each house of Congress to approve any new or increased income or sales tax. The current constitutional rule allowing for tax increases with simple majorities will be restricted to measures that would completely replace the income tax with a consumption sales tax, eliminate tax loopholes, or impose new or increased tariffs and fees. The reform will divert the pressure for new revenue to the places where special interest pushback will be the strongest, further ensuring that deficits are closed by spending reductions first.

National polling shows that each one of these policy fixes are supported by supermajorities of the American people. With Alaska and Georgia already on board, and at least ten states looking to join the Compact this session, the Compact for a Balanced Budget is an eminently plausible route to the reforms we need to save and restore the Republic.

Indeed, with demographic change threatening the supermajorities needed to get the job done, the Compact for a Balanced Budget may be our last best shot at preventing the federal tyranny that will otherwise inevitably result from the Constitution’s three fatal flaws of unlimited debt, unlimited taxation, and unlimited centralization of power in Washington.

Nick Dranias is President and Executive Director of the Compact for America Educational Foundation. Please visit their website at www.CompactforAmerica.org.

Do the January 8th Victims Justify “Takings” of Private Property?

The Arizona Citizens Defense League expresses its ongoing sympathy to the families of those taken and injured in the December 8th, 2011 attack.

in a 1/8/15 Opinion piece, Ms. Sarah Garracht Gassen of The Arizona Daily Star, presents Patricia Maisch’s idea to a call the murders, a “taking,” rather than a “loss.” We agree. The question is, “should those actions be used as a predicate for more takings of peoples’ rights?”

Ms. Maich asserts that, “It’s such a small goal…that, “every gun sale requires a background check…” No, it is not a “small goal” at all, nor does it involve any “common sense.”

First, the Right To Keep and Bear Arms is a basic fundamental right, according to the Supreme Court’s “Heller Decision.” Firearms are legal, tangible, personal property. Requiring prior government permission to transact them, turns a right into a privilege. It is already a crime to transfer a gun to a prohibited person, per Arizona Law. ( ARS 13-3102. )

Second, it is absolutely impossible to enforce a “background check.” Such rules would only obtain the compliance of those least likely to misbehave, and the non-compliance of those most likely to do so.

Third, using the actions of a disturbed man as a position of cover from which to diminish the rights of others, is disingenuous at best, and evil at worst. The American ideal of justice does not involve the punishment of the innocent for the acts of the guilty.

Fourth, it is not rational to believe that the insane or the criminal will submit to a background check, or that it would stop them from such acquisition. The Tucson and Virginia Tech killers, both PASSED background checks, and the Sandy Hook killer, bypassed the process by an act of murder.

We admire Ms. Maisch’s actions to disarm the attacker that day, and her desire to prevent future attacks. Let us be clear though: a “background check” will not affect the criminal or the crazy. All it does is register every transacted gun. This gives government a fishing license and a fish finder, for every person with an alleged “disability,” such as the retired NY Sheriff who had his 4 handguns seized recently for seeking treatment for insomnia. ( http://dailycaller.com/2015/01/02/veteran-and-former-cop-sues-after-guns-confiscated-because-he-sought-treatment-for-insomnia/ )

U.S. Violent crime rates have been in decline since the 1990’s. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/08/us/study-gun-homicide/ ) Far more guns are used in America to prevent crime than to facilitate it, according The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, by more than a 5 to 1 ratio. The news cycle though, is driven more by blood than fact.

The recent killings in France, a country with strict gun control, demonstrate just how well that works. In a crisis, no one was equipped to stop the murderers or help the police.

Ms. Maisch asserts that “the gun lobby…remains deathly effective at confusing guns with freedom.” The Arizona Citizens Defense League IS the Arizona gun lobby, and we have no confusion whatsoever – guns ARE freedom.

We suggest several solutions. First, focus the personnel who would do “background checks,” on known offenders. They are the ones most likely to re-offend. Second, get known, violent mentally ill people the treatment they need. Third, make sure plenty of armed, trained citizens are present in society to neutralize the threat when it occurs. Last: leave us alone.

Charles Heller is Co-Founder and Communications Coordinator for the Arizona Citizens Defense League. You can visit them online at www.azcdl.org.

Salmon Wins National Columnist’s ‘Profile In Courage Award’ for Cowardly Boehner Vote

BOOTJanuary 6, 2015 will go down as the largest betrayal of the Arizona Tea Party since its rise in 2009.   As expected, John Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the House but what was not expected was that every Arizona Republican, minus Rep Gosar, would roll over like beaten dogs in yesterday’s vote.  Another sad take-away from yesterday’s vote was that Tea Party darling David Schweikert was officially diagnosed with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ yesterday—  we at Arizona Informer wish David a speedy recovery and a long, peaceful retirement from public office.

One particularity odd moment in yesterday’s vote was Matt Salmon’s cowardly tactic of waiting to see how the wind blew prior to casting his vote (for Boehner) on a second call. The tactic, panned on social media, has now been picked up by several national Conservatives including Iowa radio host and Iowa Caucus king-maker Steve Deace at Conservative Review.  Steve Deace describes Salmon’s move as the following:

“…Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t hand Matt Salmon a profile in courage award for waiting until the second time through the roll call to finally vote for Boehner as Speaker, once it was clear he had the votes. The people of Arizona haven’t seen such bravery since Pat Tillman…”

OUCH!

Salmon’s despicable move was a finger in the eye of the Arizona PCs and Conservative activists who spent the last few days burning up the phone-lines locally and in DC explaining their opposition to another 2 years under Speaker Boehner.  Earlier this week we declared that Reps Franks, Schweikert, and Salmon were at ‘a time for choosing‘, and today we have that answer.  Boehner’s Three Stooges have chosen power and NRCC cash over the will of their own constituents.

The only request we have for Representatives Salmon, Franks, Schweikert, and McSally (a lost cause from the start) is stop begging us for money and to call Speaker Boehner to knock on doors and make calls for you come 2016.  We understand today that we dedicated conservative grassroots activists are of no value to you.  The feeling is now mutual.  We’re just glad that everything is now in the open.

And to Representative Paul Gosar, THANK YOU!  We’re at the ready whenever you need us.

Read Steve Deace’s piece at Conservative Review

—-

ArizonaInformer.com‘s focus is to call out bias and activism by the local media, monitor Arizona’s institutional left, and to hold Republicans accountable to the grassroots.  It’s our primary mission to inform Arizonans with the Truth and amplify the voice of Citizen Journalists — all with a heavy dose of snark.   We are factually correct and politically incorrect.  #War

Arizona Democratic Party Dirty Halloween Trick Could Backfire on Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona Democratic Party Dirty Trick Could Backfire On Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in 2014 After Libertarian Voters Wanted Her Recalled In 2013

IMG_8405 

Recently, the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) launched a dirty trick in time for Halloween that comes with no treat for Libertarian voters.  The ADP strategy could have worked a couple of cycles ago, but maybe not this time – particularly when Libertarian Mike Shipley filed recall papers against her last year.  Though the Secretary of State spokesman  said he would not order a recall election in Sinema’s case because the congresswoman is not bound by the state’s recall law, the Libertarian group still wants to invalidate her seat.  In light of the controversial mail out by the ADP, Shipley said: “Don’t underestimate Libertarians because we are here to stay.”

Political dirty tricks happen within both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, but the ADP has sunken to an all new low this time.  It appears ADP’s arrogance with regard to Congressional District 9 underscores their belief that CD9 voters are politically under educated.

According to AZ Central:

“Obviously we prefer Kyrsten Sinema,” said Quinlan. But “our calculation is there are probably a lot of conservative voters who realize (Gammill) is a far more consistent conservative than Wendy Rogers. … We’re pretty much taking (Gammill’s) positions directly from his website and sharing them.”

We implore key swing independent voters of Arizona (now largest voting bloc) to teach Rep. Kyrsten Sinema a lesson specifically in Congressional District 9.  We also implore Sinema’s Latino and Chicano Democratic voting constituents to vote anyone but Sinema and recall to their memory her flip flop on immigration Carlos Galindo exposes repeatedly on his national political talk radio program.  Galindo is a former liberal now registered independent voter of Arizona.

Galindo wrote:

It appears Andiola’s recent departure from Sinema’s employ may have been a forced departure, based on pressure that was placed on Sinema and her congressional office for hiring a staffer who is supportive of an Immigration “advocate” who spews anti-USA rhetoric. Just as important, according to sources, Andiola was a $50,000 a year congressional office staffer allegedly mooching for money to take a trip to Washington with her mom. See screenshot below. 

ADP’s DJ Quinlan is banking on his perception of naïve Republicans believing Powell Gammill is more “conservative” than Wendy Rogers when in fact, Libertarian candidate Powell Gammill is for open borders.  It is also well known how Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema flip flopped on the immigration issue; where she gets tough on immigration on one day — while reversing her view on another day.  Unfortunately and the problem we have with Sinema is voters will not know what they will get with her in light of her many reversals and stances to include criticism with regard to her  exploiting veterans and Latinos.

Make no mistake, our group to include independent registered women, Chicanos, and Latinos want legal immigration reform.  We do not want to be used as political footballs, and while the ADP gave Sinema a free pass to the SB1225 regard, our informed community will not give her one nor will we allow her to forget it.

Originally posted on Somos Independents.

Mesa Activist: Vote NO on all Mesa Bond Issues

Longtime City of Mesa activist and watchdog Gene Dufoe presented this excellent case why Mesa voters should vote NO on all the City of Mesa bond issues. It’s lengthy but well worth the read to become informed.

On Monday, Oct. 5, I spoke at the City of Mesa Council meeting for 3-minutes on why $580,000,000 Utility Revenue Bonds should not be approved at the election on November 4.  The earlier article, as well as this article, are available on the http://votesmartmesa.com/ website.  The earlier article also appeared in the Gilbert Watch on August 22, 2014.  The complete update follows:

A look at why the concentration on the City of Mesa’s Utility Bonds, we need to look at the City of Mesa Budget: FY2014-15 Auditor General Schedules A-G: Schedule A Summary of Estimated Revenues and Expenditures to find why. http://www.mesaaz.gov/budget/ Documents/FY_14_15/Schedule% 20A_Summary%20of%20Estimated% 20Revenues%20&%20Expenditures. pdf

Looking at Interfund Transfers In (Out), we discover Transfers (OUT) of $(173,606,136) for the ENTERPRISE FUND and Transfers (IN) of $85,429,615 to the GENERAL FUND AND $92,164,059 to the DEBT SERVICE FUNDS.  The ENTERPRISE FUND is the business portion of the City of Mesa operations, i.e., the various utility operations run by the city.  This withdrawal from the ENTERPRISE FUND is taking more than $173 million of the current profits of the various utility funds and using it mostly for the current operations of the GENERAL FUND and the DEBT SERVICE FUNDS.  Note that the Property Tax Revenues of $33,440,000 also boosts the DEBT SERVICE FUNDS.  The result is the City of Mesa is taking current funds from the Enterprise Fund to spend immediately.  They are not using that money to responsibly maintain the infrastructure required by Enterprise Fund operations.  Instead, they are asking the residents of Mesa to mortgage our future (and also having our children and grandchildren) to make many of these needed infrastructure improvements with revenue bonds that will last through the year 2044.

The earlier paper discusses how the Utility Revenue Bonds are paid from the revenues i.e., the monthly water, waste water, electric, natural gas, and solid waste (garbage) utility bills, so they do not effect the direct tax burden.  However, paying utility bills comes out of the same pocket as paying any other bill.  This year’s City of Mesa rate increases on July 1, 2014, over the prior year are as follows:

•  Electric rates increased by 2%,
•  Natural Gas rates increased by 3%,
•  Water rates increased by 7%,
•  Wastewater rates increased by 7%, and
•  Solid Waste rates increased by 6.9%.

The Secondary Property Tax also increased from $22,105,000 last year to $33,440,000 this fiscal year.  That is an average 51% increase per household.

The only other City of Mesa Interfund Transfers (OUT) is $(7,038,653) from the IMPACT FEE FUNDS and the only other Transfers (IN) is $3,051,115 to RESTRICTED FUNDS.  Impact fees are assessed for new construction and are intended to go toward building the infrastructure for that new construction; however, the City Council has voted to use impact fees to bolster the General Fund and satisfy Debt Service.

According to Ryan Wimmer of the Mesa’s Office of Management and Budget, on July 1, 2014, the authorized, but not yet sold, bonds total $219,668,000 of which $72,213,000 are Utility Revenue Bonds.  A total of $580,000,000 is on the November 4, 2014, ballot is divided as follows:

•  Water System Revenue Bonds-$315,700,000;
•  Wastewater System Revenue Bonds- $178,200,000;
•  Electrical System Revenue Bonds-$27,000,000; and
•  Gas System Revenue Bonds-$59,100,000.

The bonds shall be payable solely from the revenues of the City’s utility systems, bear interest not exceeding 10% per annum and pay principal over not more than 30 years from the date issued.  The last utility revenue bonds, Series 2014, were for only 24 years.  If these utility revenue bonds are funded in the same manner as those previously authorized and sold, these bonds will be repaid over the coming years with interest-only payments for the most of the years of the bonds with the principal be paid in the last year or two of the bond life.  This will mean that the total interest repaid will be significantly more than the initial bond principal.  All of this when the Enterprise Fund is currently making a profit of more than $173 million annually.

From the “Moody’s assigns Aa2 rating to City of Mesa, Arizona’s Utility Systems Revenue Bonds, Series 2011” dated 13 May 2011, the following is quoted, “In fiscal 2010, $84.4 million was transferred from the Utility (Enterprise) Fund to the General Fund revenues.  Near term transfer amounts are forecasted to remain stable at $83.6 million.”  However, that did not happen as will be discussed in the next paragraph.  Since that time:

The Secondary Property Tax has increased from $14.1 million in FY10/11 to over $33 million in FY2014/15,

The Enterprise Fund transfer to the General Fund and Debt Service has increased from $83.6 million to over $173 million in the current year,

The stated bond indebtedness has increased from $1,354,816,963 on July 1, 2011, to $1,710,800,000

That is an increase of nearly $356 million in debt in three years.  And the City of Mesa, still has $219,668,000 of taxpayer-approved bond authorization, not yet sold, and now the City of Mesa is requesting approval for an additional $580,000,000 in Utility Revenue Bonds.  If the four  Revenue Utility Bond issues pass and considering the already approved bonds, not yet sold, that will be an addition to the current debt of nearly an additional $800 million.

In summary, since July 1, 2011, the debt of the City of Mesa has ballooned from nearly $1,356 Million ($1.356 Billion) to nearly $1,932 Million ($1.932 Billion) and we are being asked to approve $580 Million in new revenue bonds for a total indebtedness of 2,512 million ($2.512 Billion) or nearly double that we owed in July 2011.

Not only will that be an a major increase of the debt, but combining the lengthening of the bond life with the current City of Mesa approach to the repaying of Utility Revenue Bonds with interest-only payments for the first twenty-nine or thirty years and then paying the BALLOON principal payment(s) in the last year or two of the now 30-year bonds, the utility rates will continue to dramatically increase.  Note that the life of the Revenue Utility Bonds have increased from 18 years in 2009 to 24 years in 2014 and now 30 years for the new bonds to be voted on in November 3, 2014.

In a economy growing better than three years ago, the City Council is not properly protecting the interests of the City of Mesa residents.  Now, the City Council and Mayor Giles, as the newly-elected mayor, needs a wakeup call.  Note that Mayor Giles, earlier served in the City of Mesa City Council from 1996 to 2000.

We strongly urge a NO VOTE on all four of the bond issues.  It is time for the City of Mesa to cut all but the absolutely essential services and for repayment schedules to be part of any future bond authorizations and get back to pay-as-we-go management.  We need to pay for the City’s needs without drastically increasing taxes or utilities.

Gene Dufoe, interested citizen of Mesa

Mr. Dufoe is a retired Boeing engineer/manager who possesses the following degrees:  BSAE, MSAE, and an MBA with an emphasis in Finance.

NRCC: Not Happy With Obamacare? Blame Kyrsten Sinema!

Although released earlier this year by the NRCC, this ad is as relevant today as it was in March. As your premiums and deductibles increase while your coverage decreases, remember who Arizona’s biggest champion of Obamacare was – Kyrsten Sinema.

This election, there is a much better choice. Vote for Wendy Rogers on Election Day!

Video: Ballot Stuffing is Legal in Arizona

By now, you’ve all seen the video of the Randy Parraz associate walking a box of completed ballots into an early voting location. Did you know there is no law on the books regarding who or how many ballots can be submitted?

The question everyone should be asking (in addition to who was the allegedly obscene ballot stuffer) is how or where did someone obtain so many ballots?

The answer is simple. Community organizers collected the ballots.

How is this done?

The most common practice is to sign up whole neighborhoods for early ballots like a farmer sowing seed in a large field. Once the ballots arrive, community organizers go into the field door to door harvesting the virgin ballots sometimes exchanging an item of value and a promise of political favorism.

Another harvesting method that has been observed is to throw a community event with food, music and political speeches. The entry “fee?” Bring your unmarked ballot. Entry and food is granted and the voter turns over their ballot.

With a fresh harvest of unmarked early ballots, community organizers and union members will gather in private where they fill out the ballots in mass identical fashion, seal them, scribble a signature on to the envelope and pack a crate ready for delivery to the nearest early voting center.

Republicans don’t vote this way because many see the privacy and individuality of their ballot as a sacred right rather than an exercise in mass political production.

Watch for more battles to be waged over how we vote. Republicans will push for strengthening voting integrity while Democrats will move to allow voters to print out their ballot on your home computer.

Just another front on the battle lines for freedom and the rule of law.