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.

 

Southern Arizona News Examiner Endorsements

A quick shout out to our friends at the Southern Arizona News Examiner on their endorsements. Here’s the editorial they sent out earlier:

Southern Arizona News Examiner

ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE 2014 GENERAL ELECTION

ALL PARTISAN OFFICES – VOTE STRAIGHT REPUBLICAN 

I don’t care if there’s an unopposed Democrat running who’s your brother-in-law, DON’T VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM.

Not because all the Republicans are wonderful, they aren’t A few are even dingbats. But life is a matter of “compared to what” and the system works better when the party that needs reform is helped along.

Democrats need reform more desperately than Republicans. Republicans have primaries and allow their peasantry a voice. Democrats now are ruled by a small elite that is loyal to the special interest groups they comprise. Union leadership is now more involved in backing up the LGBTs over same sex restrooms than they are about taking care of their members. Teacher’s unions are more interested in backstopping the big corporations pimping Common Core and the massive test revenues they will get than they are about taking care of classroom teachers or, God forbid, the kids themselves.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt said it best. Democrats need to be punished for the cowardice they have displayed in failing to challenge Obama, Pelosi and Harry Reid for their incompetence and dumb ideas.

Make them pay for it. The humiliation of a big defeat might finally get them to change some of their elitist ways.

BALLOT PROPS – STATEWIDE 

122 – YES It drives the left nuts to consider something the Founders would find elementary.

303 – YES Only someone with the soul of a petty bureaucrat and a sick control freak would deny a terminal patient a shot at an experimental drug.

BALLOT PROPS – LOCAL

415 -YES We have the same obligation to discarded and sick pets that we have to discarded and sick children. Only anarcho-capitalists can vote no on this without hypocrisy. WAIT! Anarcho-capitalists don’t believe in voting. Conservatives and limited government conservatives should join me in voting YES for something that will save thousands of dogs, cats and assorted other critters. DO THE MATH YOU WHINING MAROONS WITH PIG MASKS. $22 million over 15 years for over a million people is chump change.

Get a life.

Net Metering Levels The Energy Playing Field

By Barry Goldwater Jr.

I don’t recall Joe Galli, the former executive director of the North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, ever taking up the cause of economically disadvantaged people in south Phoenix. Nor do I understand why he doesn’t identify his new role as the Executive Director of  Market Freedom Alliance. It’s perplexing that the head of an organization by that name would be expressing disapproval of free market enterprise. Nor do I understand Mr. Galli’s motives in writing an article critical of net metering. Perhaps APS has found another front group to attack solar energy.

I am Chairman of TUSK, which stands for Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed. It’s a conservative group that supports energy choice and energy independence.

APS doesn’t like net metering because it forces the utility monopoly to pay a fair price for the excess solar energy rooftop solar users send back to the grid. That’s not a subsidy, that’s commerce. In fact Arizona subsidies for rooftop solar power are long gone. That’s a good thing. The industry is able to stand on its own two feet.

You can’t say the same about APS. It’s a regulated monopoly that depends on a government set rate of return of 10%. If APS makes some bad calls, no worries, they can ask regulators for a rate hike. And captive ratepayers have no choice. It’s not like they can switch power companies. As far as national subsidies, the fossil fuel industry is one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the country, receiving far more than solar.

The rooftop solar industry, which supports TUSK, is made up of private businesses, not regulated monopolies. Rooftop solar is giving these monopolies the first competition they ever had and they don’t like it; and apparently neither does Mr. Galli.

Whatever Joe’s motives in writing an article critical of net metering, I’d like to set the record straight. The federal government has dozens of favorable tax structures that benefit traditional energy sources such as natural gas, coal and nuclear.  Yet for solar there is only one and the benefit of the lower tax treatment is passed on to the end consumer through lower electricity costs.  As any good republican knows, lower taxes means more economic growth and more jobs.  Lower taxes on solar are no different.

Secondly, Mr. Galli makes the claim that rooftop solar is for the rich. That’s simply not the case. 57% of the rooftop systems installed in Arizona are installed in zip codes where the median household income is at or below the Arizona median income. That’s according to the Arizona Solar Energy Industry Association, a respected trade group.

Monopolies such as APS don’t like leased rooftop solar which has made solar available to people of more modest means. In fact, APS supports a property tax that targets leased rooftop solar customers. Hopefully Mr. Galli’s concern for those struggling in this economy will extend to working class families and retirees using solar; and perhaps he will write an article critical of this impending property tax.

Conservatives are smart enough to know that net metering opens energy choice and energy independence to more people through rooftop solar. And I am certain that conservatives can see though APS’ attempts to tax a competitor out of business.

Sal DiCiccio: How You Got Duped

SalDiCiccio

Vote YES 487/Stop Pension Abuse 

How (fire/police death and disability claims) became the most important issue in the 487 campaign-and how it’s not true. 

I am writing to show you how you were manipulated by the politicians (mayor & council), the opponents of pension reform and by the media covering this important issue. And, mostly because you need this information before you vote.

The issue of death/disability benefits being cut off are just not true and the media knew this was not true when they wrote their stories.

Here is the technique used to dupe you:

History and Technique

During my re-election campaign the unions filed a lawsuit in court against me, they then got the Media to write about the lawsuit. The unions then did mailers and TV to the public on the their lawsuit using the articles in the newspaper as the foundation.  Yes, the unions file their own lawsuit, get the media to write about it, then use the stories written in the paper in mailers and on TV. Even though the judge quickly threw out the case, the stories were written and used as fact in subsequent mailers and on TV.

Fast forward to The Pension reform (487) campaign:

The unions get their friends on the council to change the wording on the ballot description to add the words “Police Officer and Firefighter,” they then create the death and disability connection, then they get the media to write about it and create a story, then they do mailers and TV based on the confusion that they created using the published stories as the foundation. The unions rig the ballot description, get the media to write about it, then use the stories written in the paper in mailers and TV. The media knew this was not true.

The media can claim ignorance the first time, but a second time?

Hats off to the anti-pension reform campaign for being able to successfully use the media to make an issue that was never an issue as the highlight of the campaign.  Unfortunately, it creates confusion and suppresses voter turnout. The unions want to make sure you don’t vote.

And the media? Well, the same people that complain about low turnout are the same ones who knowingly help write the stories depressing turnout.

Fact: Death/disability claims are a LIFE INSURANCE plan and not a pension.  They’re not even close to being part of this initiative. 487 covers only the City of Phoenix pension plan. The police/fire are covered by the state pension plan not by the city plan. Phoenix cannot opt out of that plan. Police and Fire are clearly excluded.

I thought long and hard whether to write this column, but I believe strongly every vote matters.  Any delay in getting out the reality behind the politics would be doing you and disservice. The only way we will win is if the public gets the truth, please pass this on to your email list!

I am sorry that was to done to you, but you are the last ray of hope if we are going to change and reform our pension system.  Our city needs your help and we need you to vote.  Please don’t let them win by not voting.

Vote YES 487

Tom Jenney: Be sure to look at your early ballot

AFP Arizona

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

With mail-in ballots sitting on kitchen tables across the state, AFP-Arizona wants to make sure that citizens are informed on some of the ballot propositions that will be decided between now and November 4.  
 
IMPORTANT:  It is best to get your ballot in the mail by Thursday, October 30.  You can also drop it off at any polling place in your county of residence between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 4
 
Below are quick summaries of AFP-Arizona’s positions on several ballot propositions.  You can read more in-depth analysis at AFP-Arizona’s website.
  • YES on Arizona Proposition 122: Rejection of Unconstitutional Federal Actions  —  Prop 122 will provide Arizonans with a way to protect themselves from overreaching and harmful federal policies.  AFP-Arizona strongly endorses Prop 122.  
  • YES on Arizona Proposition 303: Use of Investigational Drugs, Biomedical Products and Devices — Prop 303 would allow terminally ill patients in Arizona to procure experimental drugs that have not completed the full FDA trial process (but have been deemed safe by FDA).  AFP-Arizona strongly encourages citizens to vote YES on Prop 303 to protect the health and safety of terminally ill patients and strike a blow for the freedom of individuals to make their own health care decisions.
  • NO on Maricopa County Proposition 480 - Prop 480 would spend $935 million to fund new and updated facilities for the Maricopa Integrated Health Systems.  If passed, the proposition would result in a significant property tax increase, especially on small businesses.  A typical small business with $1 million in assessed valuation will end up paying $7,800 for this bond measure.  Maricopa County taxpayers already greatly subsidize health care for the less fortunate, and there are already sufficient health care options, including vast private hospital systems, available to Maricopa County residents.  Prop 480 has little accountability for how the money is used, and it would subsidize government health facilities in unfair competition with private health care enterprises.
  • NO on Pima County Proposition 415 – Prop 415 would issue $22 million in bonds for the expansion and renovation of the Pima Animal Care Facility.  Pima County taxpayers are already being subjected to a property tax levy increase of $45 million, or approximately $50 on a typical house, and the Animal Care Center has already received a $1 million increase in its operating budget for expanded shelter operations, medical treatment, and spay/neuter programs.
  • YES on City of Phoenix Proposition 487 - Prop 487 would solve the City’s nearly $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability problem by moving new employees to a plan similar to the 401k plans that are common in the private sector.   Prop 487 would fix the City’s scandalous $190 million pension spiking problem by limiting the excess pension benefits given to current employees.
 
LEARN MORE!   Please go to www.aztaxpayers.org , print out the PDF version of our analysis, and give copies to your friends, neighbors and co-workers.  
 
Thank you for taking action
 
For Liberty & Prosperity, Tom
 
Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity 

Sal DiCiccio: Pension Reform Matters – Vote YES on 487

MillionaireFirefighter

$1.1 Million: Cash Payout to one Firefighter at Retirement and then STARTED his annual Pension of $149,420-for life. He retired at 54.

$955,000: Cash Payout for another Firefighter. He then started a $130,000 pension for life. He retired at 53.

See the list of Firefighter retirees below:

Average Cash payouts at Retirement: $679,672

Average Yearly Pension: $111,296

Average Age at Retirement: 53

24 Firefighters cashed out over $16 million in retirement and then started their pensions.

Every single city employee (Everyone) gets both a Cash Payout AND a Pension.

Vote YES 487/Stop Pension Abuse

We all love our firefighters and respect them for the hard work they give our city. You’re probably wondering why they’re coming in droves to our neighborhoods handing out misleading information on pension reform? Especially since they’re clearly excluded from the pension reform proposal. Why, because they’re concerned that they may be next for reform.

The numbers from above are from Budget and Research and from the state of Arizona Retirement plan (PSPRS).

Why does pension reform matter? Without reform you will see more:

New and higher taxes: Phoenix passed a new water tax on you to pay for  pension spiking.

Cuts in Service: Phoenix is short over 500 police, cuts were made to seniors, libraries, seniors and children.

The government unions are doing all they can to undermine your vote. They want to keep everything…the way it is. Their union and their spokesman are purposely using strong arm tactics to attack people who support pension reform.

Here are the numbers:

PensionNumbers

What does 487 do?

* It immediately stops pension spiking. This alone would save over $19 million per year
* Fixes the broken pension system saving over $400 million.
* Allows current employees to keep everything they have earned.
* Makes new employees get the same retirement benefits you get. Moving all newemployees to a 401(K).
*Police and Fire are clearly excluded from the proposal.

Vote YES 487

Yes487

My best to you and your family,

Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Councilman

Terry Goddard Misrepresents Facts – Secretary Bennett Sets Record Straight

Secretary of State addresses the absurd claims by perennial candidate Terry Goddard.

PHOENIX – Candidates often make inflammatory statements as a tactic to provoke a sense of mistreatment to curry favor with voters.  However, blatant mischaracterizations about Arizona’s system of elections must be corrected.  With less than three weeks before the General Election, current Secretary of State Ken Bennett believes it’s necessary to clear up inaccurate information being presented by Terry Goddard over the past few months.

The latest examples occurred during the Clean Elections Debate, hosted by Arizona PBS.  During the broadcast, Mr. Goddard made two statements that were either terribly ignorant or deliberate misrepresentations of the truth for political gain.

“I’m confused where Mr. Goddard came up with amount of $2 million to implement the so-called Dual Track, or bifurcated system of voting in the primary,” said Secretary Bennett.  Truth is, our counties will spend about $500,000 for both the primary and general elections.  This system—one that I’ve repeatedly said is not ideal for election officials—was developed in response to two conflicting directives.  One from Arizona’s voters, (Prop. 200) and the U.S. Supreme Court (Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Ariz., Inc.)  As I’ve publically said before, and I’ll ask Mr. Goddard, which directive should we ignore; Arizona’s voters or the Supreme Court?

“In addition, I’m troubled by Mr. Goddard’s characterization that students, ‘who have to vote a federal ballot, are treated as second class citizens,’ which is patently false and simply absurd.  College students do not have to vote a federal form.  Those voting a federal ballot are simply doing so because they haven’t provided proof-of-citizenship to our County Recorders, a requirement approved by voters in 2004.  Election officials around the state are committed to treating each voter equally and for Mr. Goddard to assume otherwise is offensive to elections officials statewide.

“Combined with his conspiratorial accusation of voter suppression when he declared ‘independent voters get only one chance to cast a ballot,’ I question Mr. Goddard’s fundamental understanding of how elections work in Arizona. While I certainly appreciate Mr. Goddard’s compliment about my singing voice during the debate, I would ask he either learn the songs or stop making up the lyrics.”

Net Metering Tax Credits Discriminate

Recent legislation providing solar tax credits for residential homeowners has allowed billionaires, corporations, and Wall Street financiers to profit at the expense of working class Americans.  Solar corporations leasing panels to home owners, rather than selling, have reaped the financial benefit of solar tax credits intended for home owners to the tune of hundreds of millions.  These tax credits to solar companies have boosted dividends for their shareholders at taxpayers’ expense, while panel-leasing home owners get no immediate financial benefit.

meterWorse.  Solar tax credits discriminate against lower income communities.  Group housing, where many lower income families reside, cannot install residential solar panels, and are therefore not eligible from the get-go for these special tax credits.

Arizona is subsidizing the solar industry with $1.2 billion on residential solar, and not a dime goes to the state’s lowest income sectors – yet, another reason not to have discriminatory solar tax credits.

Further, after residential panels are installed at huge costs to taxpayers, the system of net metering goes to work, also discriminating against the working class.  Owners of solar panels can buy power from the grid as needed, or ship surplus power back to the grid when they produce more than they use.  Under net metering, solar panel owners, however, avoid paying for the service and repairs to maintain the grid.  These costs to maintain the grid are then shifted to non-solar users, placing a higher financial burden on this group, resulting in a disproportionate share of the burden falling on the aforementioned lower income sectors.

In Arizona, taxpayer subsidized solar panel ownership has led to the adding of “environmental programs cost adjustment factor” and renewable energy fees on utility bills, raising financial burdens for all non-solar users, lower income families included.  For example, the city of Scottsdale has a median family income of over $92,000.  Just in the past 5 years, they have had over 1,200 solar installations, which are eligible for state and federal subsidies.  In contrast, an area in south Phoenix with 29,000 residents and an average income of $41,000 has only 45 residential solar installations.  This is just an example, but the statistics are undeniable:  Taxpayer subsidies go to wealthier communities by a factor of 26 times more than lower income communities.

Regressive solar tax credits should end immediately.  Why have we chosen one industry over another?  And worse, we’ve chosen a discriminatory industry that keeps lower income communities down by unfairly forcing them to pay for others solar installation and operation.  Under any sun, these policies are just plain wrong.

Joe Galli

Former Executive Director – North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce

Obamacare’s Effect on the Middle Class: Insult to Injury

A brief rant to complain about the Democrat’s Obamacare.

My middle class family cannot afford health insurance. Simply put, the premiums are too high, the deductibles have exploded and the coverage and access to doctors has gone down.

Obamacare2When President Obama said health insurance would improve, he lied. His biggest advocate here in Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, lied.

Now my family has no coverage. We make too much money to qualify for the Medicaid expansion and we make too little money to pay the high monthly premiums – even with the subsidies!

Not only that, the new healthcare system requires individuals to give access to your bank account as a monthly debit – something I refuse to do.

I imagine there are millions of Americans who also signed up for the automatic monthly debits. When that monthly payment takes place, they better have the money in the bank or they’ll probably get hit with bank fees.

Next year when I do my taxes, I’m going to be penalized for not being able to afford health insurance. The IRS will penalize me for not signing up by reducing my tax refund (if I get one) – insult to injury!

America’s health insurance market has been made worse, far worse. Like public education, health care has been dumbed down. Middle class Americans are worse off now thanks to Democrats and President Obama.

If you’re like me, you know that elections have consequences. If you’re like me, you’ll focus your anger on the ballot box this November.

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Fred DuVal Aided the Clintons in Granting Clemency to Convicted FALN Terrorists

By Joseph F. Connor

Of all the malfeasant scandals the Clintons have committed, from lying under oath, to Whitewater to the Marc Rich pardon, little compares to the politically craven 1999 clemencies to 16 unrepentant terrorists of the Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN (Armed Forces for National Liberation).   Fred DuVal was the co-chair of President Clinton’s White House Interagency Group of Puerto Rico, one of the groups that actively promoted clemency for terrorists.

From 1974 to 1983, the FALN waged a merciless, bloody war against the United States, attacking civilians mainly in Chicago and New York. On January 24, 1975, the FALN’s most deadly attack, the infamous lunchtime bombing of Fraunces Tavern, a New York City landmark, killed my father, Frank Connor, 33, and three other innocent men. It was supposed to be the day we would celebrate my brother’s 11th birthday, and my 9th.

An FALN communique of that day took credit for the attack, which it called a blow against “reactionary corporate executives.” In fact, my dad was born to immigrants and raised in working-class Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, not far from several of the FALN terrorists themselves.

The FALN continued its reign of terror until the early 1980s, when 11 of its members were arrested, tried and convicted of (among other serious felonies) weapons possession and seditious conspiracy. The entirely appropriate prison terms were to run from 55 to 70 years.  During their Chicago trials, these defendants rejected US jurisdiction, claiming to be prisoners of war. Several FALN members threatened to kill or maim the judge, Thomas McMillan.

However, on August 11, 1999, President Clinton, (almost certainly in an attempt to gain favor with New York’s Latino community for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 NY senate run) offered 16 FALN members executive clemency.  The FALN terrorists did not even request their own clemency.  Freedom was engineered on their behalf by none other than then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder with the help of DuVal’s interagency group. Disgracefully terror supporters were provided a reported nine meetings with the Justice Department while victims and families like ours were ignored.  We only found out about the clemencies after they had been offered. If the unrepentant terrorists weren’t granted a month to decide to accept their freedom, they would have been released before families even knew of the offers.

Tellingly, one of the terrorists, Oscar Lopez Rivera, whose release DuVal’s office championed, was so committed to his comrades and cause that he outright refused clemency and remains in prison today.

DuVal and terrorist supporters may recite the line that these terrorists were not accused of killing or harming anyone.  In fact, they were convicted of willfully and knowingly joining a conspiracy to commit various acts of violence, including 28 Chicago-area bombings that maimed several people.

Further, all evidence indicates that those convicted in Chicago were part of the same national conspiracy that killed five people in New York, including the Fraunces murders and the New Year’s Eve 1982 attacks on Police Headquarters that left three NYPD detectives permanently injured.

The most vital role of government is to protect its citizenry.  As I said when testifying at Eric Holder’s AG confirmation in hearing in 2009, by releasing terrorists Holder (and by extension, DuVal) was playing Russian roulette with the American people.  Arizonans saw the results of that again through Operation Fast and Furious and the death of Border Agent Brian Terry.

Does Arizona want a governor who has already put cheap politics ahead of the safety of the citizens he is sworn to protect?   I think not.

Joseph Connor works in the financial services industry.  He testified at Eric Holder’s 2009 Senate AG Confirmation Hearing and is co-author of “The New Founders,” a novel bringing the American founders alive in the 21st Century.

H/T to Western Free Press.