Does Your State Want to Replace Electoral College With Popular Vote for President?

Natalie JohnsonBy Natalie Johnson
(Reposted from The Daily Signal)

An 11th state looks ready to join a national movement to sideline the Electoral College and decide presidential elections by popular vote.

A bipartisan bill moving through the Arizona legislature aims to reallocate the state’s 11 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes on a national scale rather than the candidate who wins the state.

The legislation is part of a nationwide push called the National Popular Vote plan, an effort to create an agreement among states that vow to automatically elect the president of the United States using the national popular vote instead of the final vote count in each respective state.

Robert Hathorne, a Republican activist residing in Arizona, warns that the initiative would “fundamentally change America” by shifting the national political system from a representative democracy to a pure democracy.

“Majority rules was the greatest fear of our Founding Fathers; this is why ‘democracy’ is not written one time in the 4,543 words of the Constitution,” Hathorne told The Daily Signal.

The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College to give smaller states a voice against larger states when selecting the nation’s leader. Electoral votes are delegated based on a state’s population. Rhode Island, for example, has four electoral votes, while California has 55.

A presidential candidate currently needs a majority of 270 of the Electoral College’s 538 votes to win the White House.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the National Popular Vote initiative seeks to breach the Constitution and likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This entirely changes how the president is elected, and therefore, it affects the basic structure of the Electoral College and the Constitution,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

Advocates are working to secure support from enough states to reach 270 guaranteed electoral votes, which effectively would throw the outcome of presidential races into the hands of the popular vote.

So far, 10 heavily Democratic states—California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have joined the District of Columbia in signing such legislation into law.

Those states make up 165 electoral votes, meaning the initiative has reached roughly 60 percent of the 270 votes needed to reach its goal of sidelining the Electoral College. Arizona would make it 176. The pact won’t go into effect until enough states sign on to hit 270 votes.

Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College, popular vote advocates are working around the challenging ratification process by going through the states.

Doing away with the Electoral College completely requires a constitutional amendment, meaning two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote for repeal, and then another three-fourths of the states would have to ratify the new amendment.

The National Popular Vote initiative instead works on the state level through an interstate compact requiring far fewer states to support the new process and reach 270 electoral votes. In fact, that number could have been as low as 11 states.

Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution reads: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power.”

Heritage’s von Spakovsky notes that the Supreme Court clarified this provision in the case Virginia v. Tennessee, ruling that only those interstate agreements that increase state power while diminishing federal power must be submitted for congressional approval.

If the National Popular Vote effort reaches its goal of 270 electoral votes, von Spakovsky predicts, the states that decided not to join the pact immediately will file a lawsuit and ultimately land the case in the Supreme Court.

Opponents of national elections by popular vote, including von Spakovsky and Hathorne, argue that the change would create incentives to commit voter fraud in single-party states and jurisdictions.

In deep-blue New York, for example, the incentive for voter fraud isn’t high, because residents know the state is going to elect a Democrat regardless. But if you move from a state-by-state voting system to a national one, von Spakovsky warns, the incentive to “stuff” voting boxes rises: Not only would a Democrat win New York, but he or she could win the national election.

“Why should as few as 12 to 15 states that make up 270 electoral votes rule over 35 other states?” Hathorne asked.

Proponents such as those working for FairVote, for example, argue that the Electoral College creates a “winner takes all” system that drives disparity between “swing” states, where candidates actively campaign, and “solid” states, which the organization says are largely ignored.

Advocates of a popular vote say the change would make every state significant during the election process.

Today, it’s possible for candidates to secure the White House without winning the popular vote across the nation.

In 2000,  George W. Bush won the presidency after the Supreme Court determined he had won Florida even though Al Gore, his Democratic opponent, won the majority of votes nationally. Bush edged Gore by five electoral votes.

The National Popular Vote movement sprung up in the mid-2000s following Gore’s contentious defeat. Through it, a candidate could win a plurality of the national vote and clinch the big seat.

The change “would make recounts an absolute nightmare,” von Spakovsky said, adding:

If electing a president is based entirely on who wins the national popular vote, if that were the 2000 situation, it would have forced a recount in the entire country because every single vote could’ve made a major difference.
In Arizona, the legislation enjoys broad support from both parties in both the House and Senate. But von Spakovsky says voters actually will lose influence if the state switches to the popular vote idea.

He said paid lobbyists, backed by enormous amounts of money, are feeding state legislators “false information” to advance the movement.

“The legislators who have signed on this are being fooled and are being foolish in voting for it,” von Spakovsky said.

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. You can follow her on Twitter at @NatalieJohnsonn

Tyler Bowyer and AJ LaFaro: The Democrats Secret Weapon

A shout out to our friends at PoliticsArizona.com for this post!

Tyler Bowyer ran for MCRC Chairman promising unity and a stop to the disease of divisiveness that plagued the party under AJ LaFaro. Bowyer promised to turn the page.

Bowyer lied. And in doing so, stabbed his former friend Robert Graham squarely between the shoulder blades. Here’s hoping Chairman Graham won’t forget.

On Saturday, Bowyer flat out went after Graham, the popular Arizona GOP Chairman, conspiring with LaFaro to bring a doomed “censure” of the Chairman to the floor.

While publicly he pretends to support unifying the party…

Bowyer Tweet

…Bowyer is clearly working as a pawn in LaFaro’s plot to divide the party. In a video exclusively obtained by Politics Arizona, Bowyer is seen huddling with LaFaro as their efforts to “censure” Chairman Graham go down in flames.

The next time Tyler Bowyer pats you on the back, be sure to get checked out for stab wounds.

Our take on what’s happening with the Arizona Republican Party in 2016?

Delegate stacking!

There is an effort to put delegates committed to Donald Trump into state delegate positions before the Republican State Convention on April 30th. Those elections of delegates will take place from March 26 – April 9th.

State law states that delegates of the parties shall “make their best effort” to support the winner of the presidential preference election. That Presidential Preference Election will take place on March 22, 2016. Arizona is called a “Winner Take All” state.

If Donald Trump wins the Presidential Preference Election on March 22nd AND, the delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention on April 30th are committed to Trump, there will not be a conflict.

But, if Ted Cruz wins the PPE, AND delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention have pledged to Donald Trump, there will be a massive party fight.

Thus, the theory is  that individuals like AJ LaFaro and Rob Haney ferociously recruited Trump-committed precinct committeemen in 2015 so that Tyler Bowyer would appoint these individuals to elect the delegates to the national convention.

Maricopa County Precinct Committeemen – You’re being played!

By “Justice Portend”

Plain white envelope, bulk postage, P.O. Box return address…it looked like junk mail. I caught a glimpse of the name in the return address corner and stopped just short of tossing it in the garbage.

Then I opened it.

What the heck…It took a couple of reads to get the entire picture.  The closer I looked the more I found.  It didn’t take long for the stench to grow.  This non-descript envelope contained a pile of hot, steamy bull manure!

I’ve been a PC in Maricopa County for many, many years and have attended enough of these meetings to know how things should be done. This is not it, folks. A blatant disregard for truth and decency is on every page, the bylaws are completely ignored over and over, and the motives of whoever is behind this cannot be fueled by the best interests of the party!

First, the Bylaws are very clear in describing what should be in the call:

C. Notice – The Secretary or designee shall deposit in the mail at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting notice of the meeting, addressed to each member. Copies of proposed Bylaws changes and the reasons of support, new resolutions, if any, and a proxy form must also be included.

A link to a web site does not meet the bylaws requirement, not even close! Every PC in Maricopa County has the right to see what they will vote on and the bylaws declare a copy of every proposed change, and the rationale for each, to be included in the call. This rule is in place for us, the PC’s.  There is no leeway or discretion!  The Chairman is obligated to make sure that happens – he didn’t. He ordered the official call letter to be mailed in violation of the clearly stated Bylaw put in place to insure we -the PC’s – are informed.

Corruption: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people

The whole thing smacks of corruption and disrespect toward the duly elected and appointed PC’s, the real grassroots.  We’ve walked, knocked, written checks, attended meetings and made phone calls and we did it to build our party, to get Republicans elected not to be dismissed as unimportant, simple minded morons that would never question the chairman! We must demand the bylaws be followed – this type of disrespect should make every PC beyond angry!

Then comes the “Special Meeting”.  Where to start… what possible good can come from this?  We are in the middle of an election year and this guy thinks calling a special meeting to “recall” leadership is smart? What is the real purpose of this destructive meeting?

Is he willing to sacrifice what is best for the party to get revenge?  Bowyer barely survived a no confidence motion by one vote in November – his vote. Minus Bowyer, it was a split 14-14 vote, meaning half the LD Chairman and Executive Committee members in the county voted for “no confidence” and the Bowyer faction is after payback.  Here’s what is missing in the picture – he is targeting the two members he feels led the charge but what about the rest of the EGC, the 50% who clearly voted against him? Is this a warning shot, a flexing of his political muscle? Rather than show some leadership and move on, this chairman would rather embarrass the entire party so he can attempt to get his pound of flesh.

We’ve seen some pretty outlandish things out of the MCRC, but this chairman beats them all!

Now comes some more information that is beyond the pale. All the newly appointed PC’s who are absolutely eligible to vote in this “special meeting”, didn’t get a call letter. That’s right, PC’s were deliberately not given notice of the meeting and pending election. Remember, this is not a normal election, the only way to know is if you get the letter and proxy.

Disenfranchise: to prevent (a person or group of people) from having the right to vote

Why? Go back to that plain, white bulk-rate envelope. That may hold the answer to many things.

If the bylaw changes had been printed, it would have likely been a larger mailing and higher postage.  So, it looks like Bowyer opted to skip our right to see the proposed bylaw changes in order to have room for his ridiculous special meeting call.

But why not notice the new PC’s?

The rules of bulk rate are that all the letters must contain the same information. The new PC’s aren’t eligible to vote in the Mandatory Meeting, if there were envelopes containing only the special meeting notice, they would hold significantly fewer pages and would have been noticed at the post office. Those letters would have to go first class mail which is a higher rate. Oh well, those folks don’t matter – do they?

This also explains why they can credential both meetings at the same time. Just leave the new PC’s out and then you only need one list.  When, if ever, has there been an official meeting with credentialing completed 6 or more hours BEFORE the meeting begins?

So, what we’ve got folks are a couple of things.

  1. A Mandatory Meeting with a call letter that is in blatant violation of the Bylaws, to the detriment of PC’s.  What is in those Bylaw revisions that they are trying to hide?  Why were mandatory, well-known rules not followed? What authority allowed for such a decision – this smacks of Obama Executive Order politics. It’s what the chairman wants, who needs rules. At a minimum, the Bylaw revision vote should be cancelled.
  2. A ridiculous, damaging “Special Meeting” where a portion of the electorate was deliberately denied notice and proxy provisions. Why were they intentionally denied their right to participate? How can that be tolerated?
    How far will we, the PC’s, allow this corruption, abuse of power and abandonment of principles to go?  The rule of law and individual responsibility should matter.

Then here’s something to think about… This chairman openly trains members of a different political party to be activists.  He openly uses the MCRC office to run a non-GOP 501 (c)3. His actions have shown he has a complete disdain for PC’s, no respect or intent to follow the bylaws, and is acting in opposition to the best interest of the party.  Could it be his plan is to be a “disruptor” and we’ve been played? It sure looks that way

Disrupt:

  1. to cause disorder or turmoil
  2. to destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity
  3. to break apart
  4. to radically change 
  5. broken apart; disrupted.

Dwain Returns with a Tribute to Donald Trump

Heeee’s back!

Our friend Dwain, from Mullets Over America, brings us his latest creation “Make America Great Again” ’bout the general awesomeness of Donald J Trump.

Special thanks to Public Integrity Alliance and Mr Citrus Valley for creating this ‘lil beauty.

Sen Sylvia Allen: Common Sense is Needed! (On Refugee Policy)

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

These are dangerous times in Arizona and across the world. The terror in Paris and San Bernardino are reminders that evil can appear anywhere, and anytime. One of the terrorists in Paris entered Europe embedded in a group of Syrian refugees. One of the killers in California entered the United States under something called a “fiancé visa’, after being radicalized. No matter what precautions we try to take in the U.S. to keep our citizens safe, it seems there will always be criminals and terrorists able to avoid detection.

That’s why I support Governor Ducey’s effort to be sure that Arizona has a say in who is brought here.  It will be Arizona taxpayers who will need to help fund these refugee families, and it will be Arizona families who will be harmed if terrorists fall through the vetting cracks and end up in our state.    It is Governor Ducey’s responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of Arizona’s citizens.

America is a welcoming country, and it will continue to be, but we also must use vigilance and common sense when we determine who can enter our great country. When it comes to Muslim refugees, we should not only base our decision on what is best for us, but what is also best for them.

Many Muslims live under Sharia Law.  Islam is a political system as well as a religious system and Sharia Law is at the center of that system.  Our Constitutional form of government is in direct opposition.  Would they not be happier in a country that better reflects their beliefs?   Balancing compassion with common sense would tell America that we should help relocate these refugees in other Muslim countries.

Glenn Beck, through his charity Mercury One, has just relocated 149 Christian refugees from Iraq to Slovakia.  Thousands of Americans donated to Beck’s charity to fund the relocation.   Since the US is not allowing Christian refugees (why aren’t we???), Beck found a country who would take them. Close to 500 refugees had been planned for relocation, but the United Nations and the European Union put heavy pressure on Slovakia to stop taking the Christian refugees.

In 1980, my Tenney extended family sponsored a Hmong family.  That program required fellow Americans to take responsibility in finding housing, employment and all their other needs.   The family we helped was a father, mother, three girls and a grandmother.  They lived at my mother’s house, and I helped get the girls into school and found a job for the father.   These refugees were being targeted because the father had fought on the side of America in the Vietnam War.  The Communist governments that took over South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia swept through those countries, killing millions.  Today, this family lives in California, and the girls have all graduated and are good productive citizens.  It was very rewarding for me to help this family.  I am not against helping people in need.

Common sense is needed.   Our lives, as well as the lives of the refugees, depend on it.

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
President Pro Tempore, Arizona State Senate

Wendy Rogers: F­35 Fighter Program Vital to National Defense

By Wendy Rogers, Lt Col USAF (ret)

Wendy RogersHorrific terror attacks on America and our NATO allies in recent weeks should serve as powerful reminders of the importance of maintaining our country’s edge in matters of national defense.  As a career Air Force pilot who flew worldwide airlift and humanitarian missions, I understand firsthand the importance of ensuring our military is equipped with the absolute best technology we have to offer.

That is why, as a nation, it is critical we reaffirm our support to maintain full funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. America’s air superiority remains critical, not only to protect our brave men and women overseas, but to effectively fight enemies like ISIS – a terror threat which is metastasizing.

As ISIS spreads globally, the battlefield continues to change, too. We’re fighting a new kind of war, one that will likely be redefined time and again throughout the 21st Century.

America must innovate and upgrade our defense capabilities to have a meaningful impact in the Middle East and elsewhere. The fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet is quite simply the platform of future, representing the culmination of years of cutting-edge innovation, research, and development.

F35AZBut how does it take the fight to ISIS which relies on improvised weapons, social media, and religious extremism? ISIS doesn’t have jets, after all.

Never underestimate our enemy’s reach, even if its technology, military presence, and tactics are completely different from ours. The versatility and unmatched situational awareness of the F-35 makes it integral to fighting ISIS’s asymmetric threat.  The F-35’s ground-breaking communications systems also allow for better coordinated missions with our allies who have invested in the program. The F-35’s interoperability between the US and our NATO counterparts enables us to instantly adjust strategies to respond to unexpected, real-time changes on the ground, giving us greater flexibility and control.  Moreover, the F-35’s maneuverability and advanced missile detection systems safeguard our pilots from anti-aircraft fire for a distinct advantage.

In fact, Lt. Gen. Bogdan of the United States Air Force testified before Congress that “the combination of the F-35 being able to go where no other airplanes can go and its ability to see the battlespace in clarity, creates an advantage for the United States that is critical in future air dominance.”

We owe it to our brave men and women in uniform to provide the safest and most technologically advanced weaponry available. As the world’s greatest military force, we must continue to evolve to meet new types of threats that will no doubt emerge in the coming years and decades. The F-35 program is more than capable of helping us to accomplish both of these feats.

As a career Air Force pilot, I can say the F-35 is exactly what this country needs to not just keep up with – but to effectively combat – the threats we face on a global scale. I’ve been behind the program from the beginning as the vast majority of Arizona elected officials have been.

We must continue supporting the F-35 program in order to reap the benefits it will provide for decades to come.  Anything less will be needlessly wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen our armed forces to keep America safe and secure.

Lt Col Wendy Rogers and her husband are small business owners living in Flagstaff, serving communities in northern, eastern and southern Arizona.

Obama’s Promise to America

by Jim Harbison

As a candidate for President, Barrack Obama promised to fundamentally change America.  After seven years in office we have all witnessed significant changes to our society, our nation, and our way of life.  In my opinion these changes have undermined and destroyed the America that provided so much for my generation and those before me.

The promise of a future better than the current generation is gone.  Our children and grandchildren will have little opportunity to achieve the quality of live we have been able to experience. Thanks to our poor selection of elected “leaders” they have been encumbered with massive tax burdens, a decaying infrastructure and burdensome regulations.

We have witnessed the degradation of our military capability.  Our Army is now the smallest it has been since prior to World War II.  We now have more policemen in New York City than we have military forces in NATO.  Senior military leadership has been purged and more than 500 senior military leaders have been forced out of the military.  Only those “yes men” who support Obama’s political agenda and his vision of a European socialist type America have been allowed to remain.    This loss of this tactical and strategic experience may have tragic consequences for our future.  Obama has socially re-engineered the military to fit his vision without regard to military readiness or capability.

Our society is now more divided than any point in my lifetime.  Rather than unite our nation his policies have resulted in greater divisions based on race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and education.  We are no longer united as Americans but have become hyphenated Americans (i.e. African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Native-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Islamic-Americans, etc).

His economic policies have destroyed the once admired American work ethic and now many Americans find it easier to rely on the government to support them rather than taking a job that requires hard work.  More than 90 million people are no longer in the workforce and the costs of the social programs to support them are staggering.   We are rapidly approaching the point where the half of the American population that is working is supporting the half that is not.

We now have an entitlement mentality society.  A society that believes the government, or someone else, owes them the comforts and assets that they cannot, or will not, provide for themselves.  The Obama administration has virtually eliminated the concept of individual responsibility and created the philosophy that someone else is responsible for their lack of success and economic advancement.  Rather than obtaining an education that will provide them with greater economic opportunity they demand higher wages for low skilled or menial jobs.

America was once known for its religious tolerance and freedom and was a magnet for those experiencing religious persecution around the world.  In Obama’s America we have witnessed the advancement of a secular America where religious traditions are under constant attack.  Expression of religious beliefs is not acceptable and a progressive judiciary has “legislated from the bench” to restrict religious freedoms espoused in the Constitution.

Let’s not forget Obama’s failure to enforce immigration laws and his open borders policies are intentional acts to fundamentally change America’s culture and traditions and will impact this nation for generations.

President Obama is the one politician who has steadfastly adhered to his campaign promises to fundamentally change America.  Sadly, his visions are shared by the progressive left and America is transitioning into a very different nation, a nation similar to the ones our founding fathers were escaping from.  Unfortunately, Obama’s fundamental changing of America is rapidly occurring without any meaningful opposition.

Book Review: How To Bag a RINO – The Book, the Tour and the Movement

How to Bag a Rino Cover

How To Bag a RINO: The Whiz Kids Who Brought Down House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Gray Delany and Zach Werrell

Gray Delany and Zach Werrell are quickly becoming household names in conservative activists’ circles nationwide. These two whiz kids (only 23- and 24 years old) have teamed up to write an account of the campaign that shocked a nation, humbled the Washington Elite, and inspired a national grassroots movement.

Across every county and district within this United States of America, it is their campaign that is energizing a movement of grassroots activists to pressure their representatives, as if even the most untouchable amongst them, are no longer invincible.

As we know today, not only have we seen the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the hands of Dave Brat in Virginia, but we’ve since also seen the surrender of Speaker of the House John Boehner at the hands of a nation.

This book does not begin with a brilliant idea or even a full proof plan. If you are expecting a secret formula, innovative fundraising ideas, or a genius way to start from nothing to a victory, then you don’t know the story of Dave Brat’s bid to challenge the seat of the third most powerful Republican in Washington D.C.

This is a story of a commitment to a vision, sheer determination, and indispensable wisdom, not masterminds.

This is a story about the most active activists, committed beyond anything else – average citizens, abandoning their day-to-day life for the taxing life of campaign operatives, something the book does not sugar coat. And most importantly, this is a story about a candidate who actually was what he said, and was what his district desired.

Let me add this – because this is the most important thing, if you are living in a district, and hoping for change, but you have no network of patriotic and committed grassroots activists… forget it. None of this would have happened without them. If you want to know what it takes, as citizens in a district, to create change, real change, then you need to read this book and understand how instrumental the average citizen is in bagging a RINO.

Finally, the third component, and the reason why these two young men are able to write such a book – you need simplicity itself: truth. You need to tell the truth about your current representative. You need to tell the truth that has been denied to the people living under establishment rule and rhetoric. Make them defend the truth, because the Eric Cantor’s, John McCain’s and John Boehner’s in Washington cannot defend themselves in the light of reality.

What Delany and Werrell have laid out in the book is indispensable wisdom for anyone looking for real representation in Washington. You want real change? Read this book America! Tired of John McCain? Read this book Arizona! At the same time, you need to realize how hard it is to have, how hard it is to offer, and how hard it is to actually win. This is the playbook. This is the story. This is the book that everyone frustrated by the hypocrisy and dishonesty of their Representatives in Washington DC should read, Democrat or Republican.

This is the book the Washington elite do not want you to read.

However, if you are reading this and find yourself in Arizona, and you’re wanting to Bag a RINO of your own, you need to read this book. You’ve got a qualified candidate in Dr. Kelli Ward, and the next step is to build an army of activists, a movement that understands the inner workings of the Republican Party. Having said that, Dr. Kelli Ward can run on philosophical and realistic principles and policies, and create the contrast you know already to exist.

Next week, The Book Tour with Delaney and Werrell will be crisscrossing Arizona on the How-To Bag a RINO Book Tour: Learn the importance of truth in politicking.

Tour dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, December 7, 8:00 AM

Listen in to the Gary Sheler Show, How-To Bag a RINO interview with Gray and Zach,

On KAAA am 1230 or online at http://www.talkatoz.com/index.mv?mvc=hosts.mv

Tuesday, December 8, 5:00 PM

Scottsdale Plaza Resort – 7200 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Wednesday December 9, 4:30 – 5:30

Listen in to the James T Harris Show How-To Bag a RINO interview with Gray and Zach, KQTH 104.1 FM Online at http://www.1041kqth.com/listen-live/

Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 PM

U-Like Buffet – 5101 N Oracle Rd Tucson, AZ

Thursday, December 10, 6:00 PM

Colorado River Tea Party, sponsor, at Mohave Valley Association of Realtors – 841 Hancock Rd. Bullhead City, Arizona 86442

Contact Mardi Allen Benedict for more information: 928.201.1635

Friday, December 11, 1:00 PM

Green Valley Joyner Library – 601 N La Canada Dr.. Green Valley, Arizona 85614

Monday, December 14, 6:30 PM

Arizona Project Headquarters – 3375 E. Shea Blvd. suite 2. Phoenix, Arizona 85028

Tuesday, December 15, 11:30 AM

Pima County Republican Club, sponsor, at Sabbar Temple Shrine 450 S Tucson Blvd Tucson, Arizona 85716

Wednesday, December 16, 4:00 PM

Sedona

These events are free to attend. Autographed copies of the book will be on sale for $20 per copy / $15 for five or more.

To reserve a seat, go to www.retiremccain2016.com/booktour

Legalizing Marijuana in Arizona Will Nullify Education Results

By Paul Boyer

Paul BoyerThe marijuana legalization movement in Arizona is relying on a specious study to make the case for recreational marijuana at the ballot next year. Their study says marijuana is 114 times safer than alcohol. Interestingly, it also says meth is ten times safer than alcohol, while heroin and cocaine are twice as safe.  On that logic, why not make meth, heroin, and cocaine like alcohol, as well?

Meanwhile, serious peer reviewed research regarding the effects of marijuana has been shown to increase high school drop outs, lower IQ, induce memory loss, and in some cases cause paranoia and psychosis – especially among adolescents.

For those of us concerned with the state of education in Arizona, this is extremely alarming. With considerable discussion about Arizona’s education funding, along with high school and college graduation rates, we should be working to improve our state of education, not exacerbate an already bad situation by legalizing a substance detrimental to every outcome we want for our children.  And make no mistake, legalizing this dangerous drug for adults will lead to more use by children, just as we see with alcohol.

States that have marijuana-friendly legislation have seen a dramatic spike in marijuana exposure to children.  The Journal Clinical Pediatrics found an over 600 percent increase in the amount of marijuana exposure to children six and under in such states. That study suggests, “the rate of marijuana exposure among children is associated with the number of marijuana users.” We don’t need that here in Arizona.

Nor can the toxic health, educational, and behavioral impacts to children be overstated. A 2014 New England Journal of Medicine study lists the damaging health effects of just short term marijuana use, including: impaired short term memory and motor coordination, altered judgment with an increased risk of catching and transmitting sexually transmitted diseases, and paranoia and psychosis in high doses. And let’s not forget that today’s marijuana is much more potent than that of previous decades.  We are not talking about Woodstock and commonly grown marijuana anymore, we are talking about a high potency drug.

Similarly, long term or heavy use effects of marijuana include: addiction, altered brain development, poor educational outcomes with an increased risk of dropping out of school, cognitive impairment with lower IQs among frequent users during adolescence, and diminished life satisfaction and achievement.

And who will have to address the consequences of legalization? All of us, including parents, teachers, and an already over-burdened healthcare system will have to pick up the pieces left in the wake of legalization’s destruction.

Given all our debates about funding education in Arizona, one is left asking what the point of all this would be if we introduce a substance into our society that will nullify, if not reverse, everything we have worked so hard to improve when it comes to our children’s education.  Whatever plan we settle on with education, adding marijuana into the mix will render this debate, and its result, essentially pointless.

State Representative Paul Boyer represents Legislative District 20, which includes Glendale and North Phoenix. He is the Chair of the House Education Committee, a member of the House Health Committee, and teaches 10th grade Humane Letters.

OpEd: Colorado’s problems reveal danger of legal pot

By Seth Leibsohn and Sheila Polk

As Arizonans prepare for a public debate on legalizing marijuana, we encourage a close look at Colorado — the first state to fully legalize recreational use and sale of marijuana – and Ohio, the most recent state to defeat it.

Ohio—a key bellwether state—defeated legalized marijuana this week by a margin of 28 points. What Ohio made clear is that when the facts about today’s more potent and dangerous marijuana are aptly communicated and exposed, there are no good reasons left to make it both legal and more widely available – and it loses.

Perhaps recent news in Colorado is what informed Ohioans. For example: legalization advocates claimed it would help put an end to the black market and illegal sales. In just the last month in Colorado, however, we witnessed the contrary. To wit:

October 28: Officers find 6,400 illegal marijuana plants in southern Colorado forest.

October 9: 32 busted in big Colorado illegal marijuana cultivation crackdown.

October 6: DHS suspends 7 cross country runners.

October 8: Manitou Springs police: Mustangs boys’ soccer marijuana issue handled by school.

As Chief John Jackson of the Colorado Association of Police Chiefs said on 60 Minutes earlier this year, “I can resoundly say that the black market is alive and doing well.”

The largest of these raids, also last month, found 20,000 marijuana plants, 700 pounds of dried weed, and more than 30 guns. Among those arrested were Honduran, Mexican, and Cuban nationals. Clearly, instead of putting an end to the black market, legalization in Colorado has created a magnet for it as legality and availability drive sales and consumption.

As just this one month in Colorado also reveals, the notion that we can solve an international drug cartel program by legalizing a dangerous product that harms our youth is, quite simply, a fraud.

As noted above, high-school marijuana use—including by those on athletic teams—is also a major problem and growing concern. Why? As explained in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors just last month: “[A]s marijuana has become more accessible and adults have become more tolerant regarding marijuana use, adolescents perceive marijuana as more beneficial and are more likely to use if they are living in an environment that is more tolerant of marijuana use.”

Legalizing an intoxicating substance for adults will not keep it out of the hands of our youth—which is why 77% more of Arizona’s youth use alcohol than marijuana today. Making marijuana like alcohol means more adolescents will use more marijuana…just like they do alcohol. And it’s critical to note that today’s marijuana is not the same as it was in decades past—it’s at least five times more potent, practically an entirely different drug.

One month in Colorado is, of course, not the whole story; we recommend reading September’s Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This report documents that, since legalization in Colorado, marijuana has been associated with such social fallout as increased homelessness, school suspensions and expulsions, and traffic deaths.

It couldn’t be clearer: Arizonans should not want this for its families and communities, and we certainly do not need it.

Seth Leibsohn is the host of The Seth Leibsohn Show on 960am/KKNT. Sheila Polk is the Yavapai County Attorney. Respectively, they are the Chair and Vice-Chair of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy.