Wendy Rogers: Kyrsten Sinema Seeks To Impose Inflexible Big Government Healthcare On All

Yesterday, Congressman Kyrsten Sinema wrote, “The Attorney General’s office should conduct a full review of  . . . unsatisfactory work [on ObamaCare]. The federal government has a duty to take swift action to fix this continuing problem.”   Sinema masks her intentions by calling for government to ‘fix this continuing problem’.

Government IS the problem.

Government doesn’t create new goods or services, nor does it improve national productivity.  In fact, for the bureaucrat to advance her career, she needs to control more taxpayer dollars and/or supervise more people.

Rather than favor a healthcare system that maintains the maximum flexibility and delivers the most benefits to the majority of hardworking taxpayers, Sinema seeks to impose a single and inflexible healthcare system on us all.

It’s killing our economy.

Can Mr. Taxpayer buy a home when his family healthcare might skyrocket or be cancelled altogether?

Despite small business owners creating 7 of 10 jobs, we are held hostage by ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate which requires 59-y/o patients to be covered for child bearing, yet not be eligible for Medicare.

Dot-gov does not equal competition; Dot-com does.  Get Dot-gov out of the Dot-com business.

Wendy Rogers is a Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 9th congressional district. Visit her website at WendyRogers.org.

Rep Matt Salmon: Mr. President, this shutdown isn’t a game!

Congressman: Why won’t Obama compromise?

By Matt Salmon – October 7, 2013
My Turn – The Arizona Republic

Our democracy has not always operated smoothly. Our Founding Fathers had fierce debates in Independence Hall before negotiating what would become the Constitution.

Through negotiation, our Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances with three independent arms of government. The House of Representatives, with its frequent elections and large body of delegates, was designed to be the most responsive to the will of the people.

As a congressman, I take my duty to represent the will of my constituents seriously, and I join many of them in being deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “no negotiation” policy.

House Republicans, most of whom were elected on a promise to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” continue to believe that Obamacare is harmful to our economy and needs to repealed, or at least delayed. We also strongly believe it is patently unfair for the administration to grant corporations and Congress exemptions from Obamacare while individuals remain forced to comply.

House Republicans passed three different bills before Oct. 1 to keep the government open and to mitigate the harmful effects of Obamacare.

Each of these compromised a little more to appease Reid.

His compromise: non-existent.

Since the partial shutdown, the House has passed eight bipartisan bills to reopen agencies and fund critical programs such as veterans’ benefits and children’s cancer treatments. Fifty-seven House Democrats (including two from Arizona) compromised with Republicans and voted for some or all of these funding measures. Meanwhile, Reid rejects them and Obama issues veto threats.

Now, the president is saying he won’t compromise on increasing our debt limit. Our nation is $17 trillion in debt, and he won’t discuss with Republicans how to fix our government’s spending addiction?

As a senator, Obama stated in 2006: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure…I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Fast-forward seven years and it’s clear that Sen. Obama of 2006 would strongly oppose the “leadership failure” of President Obama in 2013. After all, it’s under his administration that our national debt has increased $6.1 trillion.

Perhaps the most disturbing glimpse into Obama’s strategy to end the shutdown came from a senior official who remarked in the Wall Street Journal: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us how long the shutdown lasts.”

Message to President Obama: This isn’t a game. There are no “winners” from a government shutdown and refusing to compromise. Likewise, there are no “losers” when our leaders negotiate. Our Founding Fathers proved this when they negotiated the Constitution.

Leadership is hard. It requires a willingness to work with those with whom you may disagree. Mr. President, it’s time to lead. Duly elected House Republicans are waiting for you at the table, and the American people are counting on you to rise above political isolationism.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us never fear to negotiate.” He’s right. As we have seen before, it could lead to great things for America.

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon represents Arizona’s 5th District, which includes much of the southeast Valley.

Rep. Paul Gosar: The Truth About the Shutdown

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Dear Friend,

I know there are a lot of questions surrounding the federal government shutdown, but I wanted to write you today and give you a little background to tell you what is going on here in Washington, D.C.

How We Got Here

It is the duty of Congress to pass an annual budget which would include 12 funding areas.  Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are supposed to pass the individual bills, and then both bodies come together, reconcile the differences, and send them to the President for his signature.  In the event that a full budget cannot be agreed upon by both bodies, Congress has historically relied on short-term fixes which keep the federal government operating under a temporary basis.

The latest of these budgets ran out on Monday and at midnight the federal government suspended operations for positions deemed non-essential.

My office is still running on a limited basis.  I am in D.C. attending meetings and briefings and taking votes to try to open up necessary services while maintaining the position that we can’t continue business as usual and move forward with Obamacare.

I was sent to D.C. to do the will of the people and you, the people, have asked me to stand my ground on your behalf.

Summary of Three Bills Passed and Sent to U.S. Senate

The House has sent the Senate three different versions of the legislation that would fund the federal government.  Here is a summary of each of those continuing resolutions:

September 19, 2013: this bill would have funded the government while permanently defunding Obamacare http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/rep-gosar-defends-americans-votes-keep-government-open-and-defund-obamacare

September 29, 2013: this bill would have funded the government while delaying the implementation of Obamacare for one year, and would have permanently repealed the medical device tax.  http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/rep-gosar-senate-don%E2%80%99t-run-out-clock-american-people

September 30, 2013: this bill would have funded the government while delaying  Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance for one year and required all Members of Congress, all congressional staff, the President, Vice-President, and all political appointees within the administration to purchase their health insurance on the Obamacare exchange. http://gosar.house.gov/press-release/rep-gosar-votes-avoid-government-shutdown

Military Pay Protected by “Pay Our Military” Act

I was proud to vote for the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210) prior to the government shutdown.

This bill protected the men and women of our armed forces from the shutdown by providing the money to pay the salaries and allowances to members of the Armed Forces (including active duty reserves and the Coast Guard) during any period in FY 2014 in which interim or full year appropriations bills are not in effect. Also, it provides the same authority to the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to pay civilian employees and contractors engaged in support of the Armed Forces during the same period. This legislation was signed into law.

Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions

You may be wondering what happens to federal services during a federal shutdown.

You have probably noticed that the U.S. Postal Service has continued to deliver your mail.  They are not funded by the Congressional appropriations process.

Social security benefits, SNAP, and unemployment benefits will also continue.

Here are the answers for some of the most common questions via the Heritage Foundation (http://blog.heritage.org/2013/09/30/qa-what-happens-during-a-government-shutdown/)

Q: Would retirees and veterans get their benefit checks?

A: Yes, mandatory government payments such as Social Security and veterans’ benefits would continue to be paid. During a prior government shutdown in 1995, 80 percent of Social Security Administration employees kept working because they were considered “essential” to making benefit payments.

Q: Would national security be hurt by a shutdown?

A: No, national security, including the conduct of foreign relations by the President, is considered an essential function that would continue.

Q: Would food and drug safety be imperiled by a shutdown?

A: No, the federal government would continue to conduct testing and inspection of food, drugs, and hazardous materials, because these are considered essential for the safety of Americans.

Q: Would we still be able to travel?

A: Yes, the government has said during prior shutdowns that the air traffic control system and other transportation safety operations are essential to the safety of the country and would continue to operate. So air traffic controllers would keep directing air traffic at airports around the country, and you would continue to be searched by agents of the TSA when you board a flight.

Q: What happens to federal law enforcement activities?

A: During a shutdown, all federal law enforcement and border control functions continue to operate. So the FBI would continue to make arrests and conduct criminal investigations. The U.S. Border Patrol would continue to patrol the American borders. The federal Bureau of Prisons stays open, and convicted criminals are not released.

Q: Would there be any problems with the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department’s supervision of our financial system during a shutdown?

A: No, all activities essential to preserving the money and banking system of the U.S., including borrowing and tax collection, would continue. So the IRS would keep on collecting the tax revenues that help pay for the operation of the federal government.

Q: What if there is a natural disaster like a hurricane during a government shutdown?

A: Emergency and disaster assistance are considered essential to protecting life and property, so federal disaster assistance continues during a government shutdown.

Politics of the Shutdown

This evening, the House voted to approve the following bills:

H.J. Res. 70 -  Open Our National Parks and Museum Act – this bill provides immediate funding for National Parks and Museums including Grand Canyon National Park, the National Gallery of Art, the World War II Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

H.J. Res. 71 - Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act – this bill would let the District of Columbia spend its local money.

H.J. Res. 72 - Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act – this bill ensures the VA can continue to operate and provide services, and guarantees veterans disability payments, the GI Bill, education training, and VA home loans will not be disrupted by the shutdown.

H.J. Res. 73 - Research for Lifesaving Cures Act – this bill ensures the National Institutes of Health can continue their work.

H.R. 3230 - Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act – this bill provides pay and allowances for military personnel in the reserve component who are in inactive status.

Even though these are common-sense solutions that will alleviate burdens of the shutdown, Majority Leader Reid and President Obama say they will not support them.

I am doing everything possible to resolve this situation fairly and efficiently. I will keep you updated by Facebook and email with our progress.

As always, you can follow everything I am working on in Arizona and Washington, D.C. through my website (http://gosar.house.gov) on Twitter@repgosar, or through Facebook at Representative Paul Gosar.

Arizona State Rep. Paul Boyer Questions Background of Obamacare Navigators

By Paul Boyer

Arizona currently has no safeguards to protect the most sensitive information of those Arizonans for whom, open enrollment for the Federal health exchange has already begun. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a position of health “navigators” who will assist Arizonans in selecting insurance plans to enroll in health coverage in the new online portal. These navigators will have access to Arizonans’ social security numbers, tax information and medical history, yet we do not know if these navigators have a criminal background.

The federal government has offered to provide us with a list of names of those who work as navigators. While this is better than having no information, knowing navigators have successfully passed a criminal background check is crucial. With the assimilation of financial and health information, the stakes have never been higher that we pass this privacy protection act before individuals hand over their private information.

After all, do we really want our most sensitive information and that of our loved ones available for identity thieves without a simple protection such as a criminal background check? 23 states have already mandated background checks and Arizona should immediately do the same.

My proposal is simple. We should register and license any navigator who wants to work in Arizona through the Arizona Department of Insurance just like we already do with insurance agents. The Department ensures applicants successfully pass a criminal background check, and if this legislation passes, we will have more than just a name.

Since the exchange has gone live, the legislature should come back in a Special Session to pass this necessary legislation, as we do not want to give bad actors a window of opportunity to commit fraud. While it is always difficult to get the state legislature back to the Capitol outside of the regular legislative session, now is such a time.

I offered an amendment that would have accomplished the same goal during the last Special Session concerning Medicaid Expansion, however, my effort failed since expansion proponents received instructions to not support any unfriendly amendments. Since that is behind us, we should pass this privacy protection act now, meanwhile putting bad actors on notice they are not welcome here in Arizona.

Democrats and Republicans can agree the primary responsibility of government includes protecting its citizens. Since the federal government has not made criminal background checks a priority, it is my hope that I receive support for this protection from my colleagues in the House and Senate and we pass this privacy protection.

This is no disparagement on the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, the Center for Rural Health, the Greater Phoenix Urban League and Campesinos Sin Fronteras, the four organizations who received navigator grants from the federal government to assist Arizonans in enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, instead of assuming no navigator has a criminal background, let’s verify navigators have a clean record by mandating a criminal background check as these other states have already done.

As much as I would like it to be, this is not a referendum on Obamacare since that must occur at a federal level. Instead, this concerns Arizona and our willingness to prevent identity thieves from exploiting and abusing Arizonans who will do so without a minimum level of protection.

So let us join these many other states, including Mr. Obama’s home state of Illinois, and prevent identity thieves from easy access to Arizonans’ most sensitive information. Failure to act would be irresponsible on our part.

Republican state Rep. Paul Boyer, vice chairman of the House Health Committee and member of the House Appropriations Committee, represents parts of Glendale and north Phoenix in Legislative District 20. 

UPDATE: Hospitals Paying Traitors for Their Yes Votes on OBrewercare

Monday’s, September 23′s, Yellow Sheet Report reported that the Friday, September 20 fundraiser thrown by the health care-industrial complex for their bought-and-paid-for legislators (Sens. McComish [LD 18], Pierce [LD1], Driggs [LD 28], and Worsley [LD 25], and Reps. Shope [LD 8], McGee [LD28], Carter [LD 15], Coleman [LD 16], Dial [LD 18], Goodale [LD 5], Orr [LD 9], Pratt [LD 8], and Robson [LD 18]) who voted to expand Medicaid rolls under Obamacare is expected to raise $350,000 meaning that the 13 Republican traitors for whom the event was thrown will receive almost $27,000 for their campaign warchests in exchange for their votes assuming the cash is split evenly.  The article states that the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association is holding another fundraiser for these traitors in roughly a month on October 23.  Assuming that this upcoming fundraiser collects as much as the one on September 20, the hospital-industrial complex will be halfway to fulfilling their promise to give turncoat legislators $100,000 for their campaign warchests.

To additionally show that this is a quid pro quo, note that the recipients of this campaign cash DIRECTLY matches the traitorous Republicans that voted to expand Arizona’s medicaid program under Obamacare’s provisions (HB 2010 in the First Special Session of the 51st Legislature).  Also, the Yellow Sheet reports that a lobbyist at the event stated that the fundraiser was to support those Republicans that voted for OBrewercare who would likely face primary opposition .  The unnamed lobbyist indicated that the hospital-industrial complex crony corporatists wanted to do “everything we can to assist them.”  In other words, the traitors lined the hospitals’ pockets, now, it’s time for the health care industry pay these corrupt politicans back by giving them the resources necessary to be nigh undefeatable in an election.

Keep an eye out, voters.  We could be seeing two additional fundraisers for these criminals and it will give them almost insurmountable cash to ensure that they are re-elected.  Not only did these people take money out of your pocket to line their own, but they are also trying to subvert your choice in who represents you.  You should be very angry.  Again, follow the money.  When their campaign finance reports come out, read them.  Learn exactly who is pulling their strings.  FINANCIALLY support their primary opponents!  Tell everyone you can about what you know about these criminals that are fleecing you.  Remember what you’ve learned when you go to the polls and urge your friends to do the same.

Dave Morse: An Open Letter on Public Lands and the Enabling Act of 1912

Arizona celebrated 100 years of statehood last year. Admittance into the Republic of the united States of America is executed by Congress passing and the (Arizona) Territory agreeing to an “Enabling Act”—describing how the Territory will be reborn as a full-fledged State. With few exception, all states since the original thirteen have achieved statehood through enabling acts.

One significant matter remains to be completed in the century following Arizona being admitted as the forty-eight state. The Federal Government still holds title to forty-three (43) percent of the State’s land area.

This matter is not unique to Arizona. If an imaginary line were drawn straight southward along the western borders of North and South Dakota south to Texas (with an eastward jog for Colorado) an interesting and perplexing contrast is seen between Eastern and Western States. In all states east of this line, each state has no more than five (5) percent of its land area controlled by the Federal Government. Ninety-five (95) percent of the lands are under state control. In all states west of this line an average fifty (50) percent of the State’s lands are under Federal control, and in Nevada eighty-six (86) percent in under federal control. Many have asked “Why this stark contrast?” No one has truly been able to provide an answer to this question.

“So what?” the reader might ask.

Two answers.

Answer 1) From a legal and historical perspective, all States are supposed to be admitted to the Union “on equal footing”. As part of the enabling process the Federal government takes title to all lands in the territory, and then is supposed to “dispose” of title to the newly formed state. Thus giving birth to a new state having same the rights, powers and privileges of existing states. The Federal government is not supposed to hold back large portions of the land within the State’s borders which are the State’s birthright.

Answer 2) The timber, minerals, oil, coal, waters and simply the land itself rightfully belong to the individual State to be managed to best advantage to the State. North Dakota, who has less than four (4) percent Federal intrusion, is experiencing an economic boom unimaginable to most other states. Why? North Dakota has large natural resources available to be used because they are on State land. Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have more proven oil reserves than the entire rest of the world. Yet this wealth cannot be touched because it lies beneath “Federal” lands. It is estimated that on and below Federally controlled lands in the Western States there is over $150 trillion (yes TRILLION) dollars in recoverable natural resources.

Tired of being unemployed or finding only low-paying employment? In North Dakota so much money is coming in from oil, gas and coal royalties, the State Legislature is considering doing away with income taxes. And workers up there are raking in the dough. Tired of high gasoline costs? How much would a gallon cost if we bought oil from our own friendly Rocky Mountain States instead of a hostile Middle East? Who needs involvement in foreign Civil Wars when we have a steady flow of oil from our own wells?

The Federal government, in this writers opinion, has held those lands for three reasons:

1) They want to keep title and control over the lands;

2) They do not want to let the various States take control of the lands and resources thereto; and;

3) No one has forced the Federal Government to dispose of lands to the States since Statehood. There is precedent. In 1832 seven States (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana and Florida) after years of unrelenting battle, forced the Federal Government to “dispose” of title back to lands of the States—fulfilling promises made at Statehood. One State, Florida, had approximately ninety (90) percent of the State’s land area under Federal Control. After the 1832 “disposal”, Florida has less than four (4) percent land area under Federal Control.

What is to be done? Ask questions. Start a ‘buzz’ about the issue of State’s Lands, State Sovereignty and making the Federal Government keep its promise and give the proud and Sovereign State of Arizona ALL her lands. Ask elected officials and candidates for elected office to make State Land an issue after elected. Keep the talk going.

We have waited a hundred years. Obviously patience alone will not get the job done.

David Morse is resident of Pima, Arizona.

OBrewercare Traitors Get Paid for Their Votes

Tonight, those traitorous Republicans in the Arizona state legislature who voted for Medicaid expansion are getting paid for their yes votes on OBrewercare by the hospital-industrial complex. The Governor is hosting a fundraiser for Sens. Steve Pierce, John McComishAdam Driggs, and  Bob Worsley, and Reps. Heather Carter, Kate McGee, Doug Coleman, Jeff Dial, Doris Goodale, Ethan Orr, Frank Pratt, Bob Robson, and T.J. Shope at the home of hospital CEO Reg Ballantyne. This is, quite clearly, a quid pro quo: they’re getting paid off for their yes votes to swell the rolls of Medicaid recipients at the cost of not only sick people (via a bed tax), but the American taxpayer as well (via increased Medicaid payments from the feds to Arizona, then to the hospitals). There is no other way to characterize this as anything but legal corruption.  The Governor, the legislators, consultants Chuck Coughlin and Peter Burns, and the hospital-industiral complex donors should all be going to prison for a very long time for corruption.

To fully illustrate that this is a quid pro quo, harken back to Loren Heal’s article on the subject on FreedomWorks.org‘s website on June 13 of this year. In that article, Heal stated that in August of 2012, a “consortium of the state’s hospitals, insurers, and left-wing groups” hired consultant Chuck Coughlin of High Ground and socialized medicine proponent and leftist Peter Burns to ensure that Medicaid expansion, a part of Obamacare, was passed in Arizona. Coughlin, who is the Governor’s puppeteer, told Brewer to push for expansion. As if Brewer were a ventriloquist’s dummy sitting on Coughlin’s lap, she parroted what Coughlin told her to say in her State of the State address in January 2013: expand Medicaid as Obamacare directs. According to beforeitsnews.com, Rep. Warren Petersen stated that Coughlin held a fundraiser to show legislators that if they voted for expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, the hospital-industrial complex could help raise money to give them immense campaign warchests for their re-election efforts. Well, enough traitorous Republicans took the bait, voted for OBrewercare, and tonight, they’re getting their payoff. While the invite, sent out by Rep. Heather Carter, suggests a $500 donation for each legislator, rumor has it that the hospital-industrial complex donors have to have $6,500 to get in the door ($500 for EACH)! That’s how they plan on rewarding each one of these traitors with at least $100K for their 2014 campaigns.

Follow the money, people. This is corporate cronyism at its worst. Hospitals have used the power of government to take money right out of your pocket to line their own pockets. The perpetrators should be punished severely, but they likely will not be. If the failure to put Obamacare on the ballot is any indication, you are not mad enough at these criminals and they will have the warchests necessary to keep their seats and the low-information masses will re-elect them. Until you get angry enough to change things, expect more of this in the future. Call these legislators. Shame them (granted, they are shameless since their actions are so brazen)…but you’ve GOT to do more than shame them: you’ve GOT to collect signatures for their opponents, DONATE to their opponents, talk to your neighbors about how corrupt these corporate cronies are, and VOTE against them AND get your NEIGHBORS to vote against them too. If you’re NOT THAT angry, you’re not paying attention.

Wendy Rogers: Congress should vote ‘no’ on Syria

By Lt Col Wendy Rogers (ret)
Republican for Congress

As a fifth generation officer in America’s military, and one of the Air Force’s first 100 women pilots ever, I spent nearly half of my 20-year active duty career overseas. Being devoted to the defense of our great nation and to free people everywhere, I offer the following advice to President Obama and Congress without equivocation:

First, never let the enemy know what we are thinking. And second, never put American troops into harm’s way with an objective short of total victory.

Concerning Syria, both of these rules have been egregiously broken. And for our Congress, now tasked with voting on whether or not to authorize military action, the only responsible vote is no.

The president has put America into a box by declaring a red line that cannot be crossed. Now that the red line has been crossed, he is turning to Congress. He has put us into the untenable position of having committed to a response, so now asks the Congress to decide whether we really should punish Syria for crossing that red line.

To date, more than 1 million Syrians have fled their homes or been made homeless by the bombing. They are part of one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world today. President Obama’s proposed “shot across the bow”, now before Congress to consider, will not alleviate the massive hunger or medical crisis in Syria. In fact, as a career military officer with thousands of pilot hours over foreign countries, I can assure you what Congress is considering will be as ineffective as last year’s $85 billion cut was to reduce our $16 trillion national debt.

While Congress dithers in Washington, and the president continues to vacillate, there are important issues that we, the American people must consider:

First, the situation on the ground is terribly risky. The so-called rebels who comprise the resistance against President Assad are strongly backed by fundamentalist Islamic groups, including Al Qaeda. A previous proposal to send large shipments of military aid to these groups effectively would have been arming the very terrorist groups which target America and our allies.

Second, if these groups were to succeed in overthrowing the Assad regime, there is no guarantee his successor would be any less cruel, any more humane, or any more reasonable with Western powers. As Libya and Egypt have demonstrated, sometimes the devil you don’t know is worse than the devil you do.

And third, what would be the result of military action? As being debated by Congress, would it be a limited military engagement on the order of air strikes against Syria’s air force? What would a strike accomplish? And under any of these scenarios, do we have a coherent and cohesive exit strategy to bring our brave servicemen and women home?

So far, we have heard very little about the real risks involved for our troops, little discussion of a worst-case scenario, and almost no direct answers linking Syria’s crisis to America’s national security. As the pundit and columnist Charles Krauthammer wisely opined, “The problem is not that [President Obama is] not selling his strategy, it is that he doesn’t have a strategy, and that’s the reason everybody, left, right and center has no idea what he’s doing.”

Without clear answers to these questions, and without a compelling reason, why should precious American lives be risked just to fire an ineffectual “shot across the bow”? Until these questions are satisfactorily answered, the only responsible vote in Congress on this action should be no.

# # #

Lt Col Wendy Rogers, USAF (ret) is the Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 9th District, including communities in Phoenix-Sunnyslope to Arcadia and Ahwatukee, as well as south Scottsdale, Tempe, west Mesa, and west Chandler. Find out more about Wendy Rogers at www.WendyRogers.org

Will Mark Brnovich Challenge Tom Horne in Republican Primary for Attorney General?

The Arizona Capitol Times is reporting that State Gaming Director Mark Brnovich  submitted his resignation to Governor Brewer on Tuesday, September 3, possibly paving the way for a run as Attorney General in the Republican primary. Brnovich would challenge current embattled incumbent Tom Horne.

Brnovich was appointed to the position in 2009. He has extensive law enforcement experience including stints in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, US Attorney’s Office and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He also worked as an attorney at the Goldwater Institute.

Brnovich (reportedly pronounced “burn-o-vich”) may  be Tom Horne’s worst nightmare. A well-respected conservative with more than a decade of prosecutorial experience, rumors are already flying that Brnovich is being supported by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Whether Brnovich runs or not, most pundits agree that Tom Horne cannot win re-election given recent controversies regarding his personal and public life.

Horne is currently being investigated for illegally coordinating with an independent expenditure committee during the 2010 campaign, and is also facing a civl suit from a former employee. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery flat out stated that Tom Horne had “broken the law.” In late 2012, the FBI revealed details of their multi-month investigation, including allegations thatHorne was engaging in an extramarital affair with a coworker.

The AZ Capitol Times is also reporting that Brnovich reserved the website address www.mark4ag.com on August 23. Which is probably a much better choice than “www.brnovich4ag.com.”

More from the Arizona Republic: 
Brnovich, a Republican, confirmed to The Arizona Republic he is considering a bid to be the state’s top attorney. If he runs, he would take the unusual step of challenging an incumbent in his own party — GOP Attorney General Tom Horne — in a primary election.

“I am seriously considering running for attorney general becuase I believe Arizonans deserve an attorney general with integrity, commitment and experience to do the right thing for the right reasons—not for personal or political reasons,” Brnovich said.

(Reposted from Western Free Press)

Tempe: Your Money to Burn

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Tempe leads the East Valley in crime, taxes and city costs, except for Mesa’s water and solid waste disposal charges.  In those two cases Tempe places second in costs behind Mesa.  Tempe  has a serious crime rate that is considerably higher than the rest of the East Valley.

Tempe officials continually blame Arizona State University for city woes, but I find it hard to believe the 35,000 or so students that attend classes at the Tempe campus are the culprits for all of Tempe’s fiscal and crime problems.

In the May, 2011 East Valley Tribune column, Tempe should spend less, cut more before raising taxes, it said “If Tempe spent per resident what Mesa spends on policing, they’d save taxpayers over $14 million a year.”  Those savings would pay for the new dam in two and a half years.  Even with reduced spending, Mesa continues to have a significantly lower crime rate than Tempe.

Average Amount a Residential Household Pays in Sales Tax
Chandler $481
Gilbert $423
Mesa $417
Tempe $555
City Property Taxes
Chandler $174
Gilbert $165
Mesa $51
Tempe $267
Water and Wastewater
Chandler $555
Gilbert $574
Mesa $820
Tempe $622
2013 Annual Rate for Solid Waste Pick-up Costs
Chandler $181
Gilbert $208
Mesa $287
Tempe $240
Source: City of Tempe
 2011 FBI Crime Rate per 100,000 Residents
             Violent Crime Property Crime
Chandler 284.4 3,096.90
Gilbert 84.2 1,823
Mesa 412.8 3,395.10
Tempe 479.9 5,446.70
Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports
http://www.bjs.gov/ucrdata/Search/Crime/Local/OneYearofData.cfm
Policing Costs per Resident
Chandler $350
Gilbert $176
Mesa $321
Tempe $410
City Employees per 1,000 Residents
Chandler 6.6
Gilbert 5.7
Mesa 8.2
Tempe 9.9
Source: East Valley Tribune, May 25, 2011
http://eastvalleytribune.com/opinion/columnists/article_

Until the residents step up and demand accountability and transparency the Tempe leadership will continue to act like it has money to burn, your money to burn that is.

Matthew Papke is graduate of Corona del Sol and a Marine. He is running for Tempe city Council in 2014 on a platform of fiscal responsibility and civic duty. Matthew’s website is freetempe.com

EPA overreach at Navajo Generating Station yields bad energy policy for Arizona

By Douglas Little, Phoenix Conservative Examiner

In one of the most egregious abuses of it regulatory power, the EPA is forcing the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) located near Page, AZ to make unnecessary and costly modifications to the generation facilities that would have no measurable effect on emissions in the region.

Using the Clean Air Act as its regulatory authority, the EPA claims that emissions from NGS are contributing to haze in the Grand Canyon area and in February of this year, proposed a regional haze restriction that would require NGS expenditures of $1.1 billion on additional emission reduction controls. This claim also ignores the fact that prevailing winds in the region result in plant emissions being blown away from the Grand Canyon, not towards it.

At the same time the EPA issued their ruling, a U.S. Department of Energy study concluded there would be no visibility improvement at the Grand Canyon after the controls were added. Why would the EPA pursue such a expensive and punitive rule when it would have no perceptible effect on haze at the Grand Canyon?

Opponents of the EPA action are reporting that the EPA doesn’t care about haze at all. They say what the EPA really wants is to provide a precedent for shutting down coal-fired electric generating plants. The Obama administration has a stated objective to reduce carbon emissions and last year attempted to implement a “cap and trade” approach to regulating fossil fuels. Republicans in the US Congress voted down the enabling legislation, with some calling it a “war on coal”.

Why is the EPA going after NGS and why is NGS so critical to Arizona?

The Navajo Generating Station was constructed at a cost of $650 million beginning in 1970 and ending in 1976 when the last of the three generating units was completed. The project was sited in its current location based on readily available coal fuel, a reliable source of water for cooling and the proximity of the city of Page which could provide for many of the project’s infrastructure needs, including an available skilled labor pool. The plant is located approximately 100 miles northeast of the Grand Canyon.

The primary purpose of the NGS was to provide power to support the Central Arizona Project (CAP) which is responsible for supplying Arizona’s share of Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona. To get water from the far northwest corner of Arizona to the rest of the state, CAP built a network of pumps, pipelines and and surface canals over 336 miles in length to transport Arizona’s annual allocation of 1.5 million acre-feet of water to Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties. The pumps must raise the water over 3000 feet to allow it to flow into central Arizona. The majority of the power generated by NGS powers the CAP pumps.

NGS has a long history of taking a proactive approach to emissions reduction. In 1999, NGS completed a $420 million retrofit that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant by 90%. In additional overhauls conducted between 2003 and 2005, electrostatic precipitators were overhauled for reliability and performance gains. In 2007, the Salt River Project, the plant operator, conducted studies on how to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions to reduce haze in the region and voluntarily installed emission reduction equipment on each of their three plants between 2009 and 2011.

Apparently, the best efforts of NGS were not good enough. The EPA rule proposed in February is one of the most stringent regional haze rules in the entire nation. It imposes a standard that is more rigorous that the standards for a brand new coal plant. At the 1600 megawatt Prairie State Energy Campus which first came online in 2012, the permitted level of NO emissions are 0.07 parts per million (ppm) while the standard for NGS, a 37 year old plant, is 0.055 ppm.

In an attempt to find a reasonable middle ground, a working group consisting of the EPA, U.S. Department of the Interior, the Salt River Project, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Gila River Indian Community, the Navajo Nation and the Western Resource Advocates began negotiations to find a “Reasonable Progress Alternative” to the BART rule issued by the EPA in February.

These negotiations were closed-door sessions and while the working group included non-stakeholder environmental activists like the Environmental Defense Fund, they did not solicit or accept input from important stakeholders like the Arizona Corporation Commission, which is the primary regulatory body for energy and water resources in the state. Arizona’s Attorney General was also excluded from legal review and comment on the proposed agreement.

Under the proposed settlement, visibility standards and haze causing nitrogen oxide standards are not even addressed. However, in one section of the proposed agreement, the Department of the Interior makes commitments to reduce or offset carbon dioxide emissions by 3% per year “in furtherance of the President’s 2013 Climate Action Plan”. It further states that “This commitment is intended to accomplish two aims: reduce carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrate the workability of a credit-based system to achieve carbon dioxide emission reductions” (emphasis added).

This action by the Department of the Interior and the EPA essentially unilaterally implements “cap and trade” at NGS even though they do not have Congressional authority to do so.

The working group proposal also calls for the early shutdown of one generation unit in 2020 or the equivalent reduction of output equal to the closure of one unit from 2020 to 2030. There is no consideration in the plan for any increased cost in replacement power or an increase in water rates due to those increased power costs.

While clearly not a great deal for SRP, the Navajo and CAP, why are they supporting it? The original rule issued by the EPA would have imposed the most stringent nitrogen oxide standards in the country and would require retrofits to the generating plants at a cost of over a billion dollars. Had that rule been implemented, the economic viability of the entire plant was in jeopardy. The Arizona stakeholders felt that the EPA was holding the plant hostage under its rule-making authority. They felt that the working group agreement was probably the best deal they could get under the circumstances, enabling them to keep the plant going at least until 2035.

Unfortunately, the working group agreement has some fairly large holes in it. Many of the commitments made by the Department of the Interior may require Congressional action to implement. In the current belt-tightening by the federal government, Congress may not be willing to fund the $100 million in commitments made by the Department of the Interior. Furthermore, the agreement anticipates a dramatic increase in water rates, but make no provision for it. In addition, it does not address the loss of jobs, economic benefit and tribal revenues that will result from the terms of the agreement.

A critical reading of the proposed working group agreement seems to indicate that these regulations are not about reducing regional haze. There is no meaningful reduction of nitrogen oxide in the proposed agreement. Instead, there is a focus on carbon dioxide emission reduction. Carbon dioxide is an odorless, colorless gas and has no impact on visible haze.

In addition, the agreement is an apparent attempt to unilaterally implement a “cap and trade” system for regulating carbon emissions for which the Department of the Interior and the EPA have no statutory or regulatory authority.

Finally, it appears to be a blatant EPA attack on coal-fired generating plants with the full support and encouragement of environmental activists.

Is the EPA doing all of this for a reduction in haze that the federal government’s own study said would be imperceptible to the human eye? More likely, the haze standard simply gives the EPA the opening they need to accomplish their real objectives of shutting another coal plant and promoting Obama’s energy agenda.

EPA overreach? Good energy policy? The right choice for Arizona? You decide.

The public comment period on the proposed agreement will close on October 4th, 2013.

You can go here to comment: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0009-0111

“The bus stops here!” Tempe Council’s culture of compliance

By Matthew Papke (Reposted from freeTempe.com)

Monday a transportation crisis was averted in Tempe Arizona.  Throughout the previous week and leading up to the first day back to school many parents were faced with the unease of not knowing how their children would get to class. Could this have been avoided? What led to this near disaster?

7_28_08_school_bus

A Bad Deal
In November of 2012 the Tempe City Council voted unanimously and without pubic debate to move Tempe’s bus services management contract from Veolia to Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA). In January the new transit agreement was signed without a minimum bus service requirement. This under sight is the reason for the near devastating Monday so many parents would have been affected by.

Culture of Compliance
Unlike our kitchen tables or work places, the Tempe City Council does not offer much in the way of discussion or debate. Speedily or perhaps hurriedly decisions are often voted on with super majorities in favor of almost every single measure that comes before the council. The RTPA contract was likely not read or fully understood by the Council for if it was it certainly would have had a clause to ensure minimum service requirements for our residents. It would seem they spent millions of your Tempe Tax dollars in minutes without READING THE FINE PRINT.

Council member Joel Navarro has been quoted as saying he was “Livid” at the lack of a minimum service requirement in the Tempe transit contract. “This is killing people,” Tempe City Councilman Joel Navarro said Friday. “We have tons of kids who take the buses to school. It can’t go to Monday.” The article went further on to state. “Navarro is livid that Tempe and Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority officials put out a bid for a transit contract that did not require the company to provide minimum bus service.”

While NAVARRO’s fervor is welcomed, we should remind him that on November 15th, 2012 Council members Navarro along with Robin Arredondo-Savage, Onnie Shekerjian, Shana Ellis and Corey Woods, all voted in favor of moving the management of Tempe’s transit needs from Tempe to a regional resource the Planning (RTPA), this vote occurred without any debate on November 15th, 2012 AND COSTS TEMPE RESIDENTS OVER $10 MILLION A YEAR.

In January Shana Ellis was quoted saying “Tempe’s priority is to provide connectivity to our residents, students and regional visitors while we also protect and enhance our transit network.” I wonder if she knew at the time the transit contract did not contain a minimum service requirement.

The Bus stops here!
Had the council been brave or knowledgeable enough to ask then what they were asking yesterday, in the middle of a crisis, Then perhaps the entire “HOW AM I GOING TO GET MY KIDS TO SCHOOL” fiasco could have been averted.

Matthew Papke is a graduate of Corona del Sol, a Marine and current resident of Tempe Arizona. Matthew is also a filed candidate for Tempe City Council 2014. Please send any questions or comments to Matt@freetempe.com

A Natural (Gas) Recovery

Reposted from Western Free Press

By Greg Conterio

The economy is bad.  Let’s be honest—despite the spin, with the media trying to convince us all that less than 2% annual GDP growth is a good-thing, and 7% unemployment represents “light at the end of the tunnel,” the economy is still bad.  I hear from my clients across a variety of industries, and they agree—it’s bleak.  Everyone is hurting.  The talk is whether this really is the “new normal.”  For the first time in my adult life, I hear people talking of an actual recovery in terms of “if” not “when.”

natural_gasWell, I’m not ready to give up so easily.  This may be the longest, worst, most depressed economic period since the 1930’s (…which was the last time we had a Progressive in office, but I digress…) but I don’t think this is the new normal. Not by a long-shot.

Suppose I were to tell you we might be sitting on the cusp of an economic surge of unprecedented proportion.  A surge modestly projected to increase annual GDP by half a trillion dollars or more in the next seven years.  Do you think that might create a few jobs?  Bump-up our standard of living a little bit?  Perhaps even pay-down some of our astronomical national debt, provided we can get those clowns in Washington to work within a rational spending allowance?  Of course, much is dependent upon those same clowns, and our ability to convince them who they really work for, but I’ll get back to that.

McKinsey & Company released a report this month titled Game Changers: Five opportunities for U.S. Growth and renewal.  You can download the complete report; it is well worth reading if you are interested in the potential future of our economy.

While other writers have ably dealt with the complete McKinsey report, such as the Wall Street JournalBusiness Insider, and Counsel on Foreign Relations, I would like to focus on the one sector from the report with the most potential impact, the one that I also see as something of a linchpin to unlocking the other sectors—that of course being the energy sector, with special focus on the emerging shale oil and natural gas opportunities.

Beginning in about 2005-2007, U.S. shale gas production began to climb dramatically as a result of technical advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.  Since 2007, annual gas production has grown by 50% per year, and with large new fields discovered recently in the Bakken, Marcellus, Utica and Morrison formations, the U.S. has more than 317 trillion (with a “T”) cubic feet of proved natural gas reserves.

While there have been equally encouraging discoveries in oil reserves, shale gas is particularly exciting and has huge economic potential to affect a number of different sectors.

Energy independence

The boom in natural gas production has forced prices down domestically, from $13/MMBtu (one million Btu, or British Thermal Units) to about $4/MMBtu, or about a 60% decrease.  This is already creating a drive to convert from oil to natural gas for industrial and residential andcommercial transportation energy needs.  Moving from oil to natural gas cannot happen overnight, and with the current administration’s hostility to both oil and coal, prices and domestic development of those resources can be expected to remain deliberately inflated for the foreseeable future.  But as natural gas development gains momentum, the prospect of exporting LNG or liquid natural gas creates the possibility of neutralizing the cost of continued oil imports.

Cross-sector economic growth

Becoming an exporter of LNG means renovating part of our transport industry, specifically converting under-utilized oil import terminals into export terminals for LNG.  According to the McKinsey report, the U.S. Department of Energy has already approved two such conversions, and is reviewing applications for 20 more.  This of course represents a “stimulus” and job creation for several years’ worth of construction, engineering, and infrastructure projects, and represents just one of the ancillary effects of the boom in natural gas.  Dramatically increased energy costs over the past several years have been a significant contributor to rising costs of goods and services across the board, whether it be transportation, electricity, heating, or nearly anything you care to name.  The cost and relative abundance of energy is one of the keys to unlocking economic growth in all sectors, which is why McKinsey’s report shows the potential impact of energy, and particularly shale gas, as far outstripping the other game-changing sectors.  It is the one sector that impacts ALL others.  Put another way, it is the one game-changing sector that can significantly hamstring all the others if it were taken out of the picture.

A cynic may point out that the only reason natural gas is booming right now it that the current administration didn’t anticipate the industry’s sudden rise, and thus did not react quickly enough to dampen it with regulation the way it has done with coal and oil.  I would argue however that trying to do so now would cause such economic harm, as well as cost so many jobs, that even this administration could not withstand the resulting outcry.  The genie is already out of the bottle, so to speak.  But as the McKinsey report points out, it remains keenly in the best interest of the gas industry to continue to develop safe, clean, and responsible methods of recovery.  Certain political cohorts—and we all know who they are!—have already demonstrated their willingness to go to completely dishonest lengths to vilify techniques like hydraulic fracturing, so it’s easy to imagine what they would do if they didn’t have to make things up.  Still, without interference from the government, or hysterical propaganda from the environmental movement, natural gas is a good reason to believe in a brighter economic future.

Give yourself an Obamacare / Medicaid Expansion Waiver

Who wants Obamacare?

Capitol Hill employees say “NO”.  Members of Congress and Hill Aides say “NO”.

IRS employees say ”NO”.  IRS Employees Just Say ‘No!’ to Obamacare.

Teamsters Union says ”NO.”  Union Bosses:’ObamaCare Will Destroy Health of Americans.

Brewer & the 15 Rogue Republicans say “YES”.

Join URAPC and say “NO.”  Sign the petition and give yourself a waiver.

Waivers are flying out of the Obama office for everyone BUT the Alliance – precinct committeemen, hard-working taxpayers and small business owners. Calling or writing your Representatives will not help you. This is you against your government – so help yourself and fill up a petition. Give a friend a petition.

Right now – this is your only power.  It is true – YOU and “We The People” can stop Obamacare and the Medicaid Expansion in Arizona.  When the signatures are validated – it stops.

The establishment has a different plan. They believe you should let the Medicaid Expansion go into effect in January and then they want you to work really, really hard to get Republicans elected in 2014 and then they want you to believe those Republicans will vote this all away.

I do not believe that.

And what about the next session?  What will happen then?

What will the Governor agree to just to get her education agenda passed?
Will Brewer call a “special session” put in new leadership and pass the Obamacare Exchanges?
Will Brewer run for Governor again?
Will Brewer offer amnesty to the illegals in AZ?

Who do you believe?

Give yourself a waiver – sign the petition.

www.urapc.org

 

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen -
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               ”When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

The Alliance of Principled Conservatives Stands for Founding Principles


In 1776 the British monarchy hired the Hessian mercenaries to terrorize the colonists in the New World. Ideas like “freedom” and “representation” were considered extreme and radical.

Today in Arizona we face a Governor willing to bypass the checks and balances put in place by our Founding Fathers. A Governor who purposely uses special privileges as a weapon against elected legislators. A Governor who is willing to subvert the spirit of the constitution, call a special session and suspend the rules just to force the largest socialistic takeover in U.S. history – the Obamacare/Medicaid Expansion – upon the people she was elected to serve.

She trampled on our rights. She took away our right to fair representation.  The end result of her actions will eventually lead to the full implementation of Obamacare which will force Arizonans to buy taxed tea ..oops.. I mean Federal health insurance.

Our Government is trampling on our freedoms at the National and State level.

The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives is also labeled “extreme” and “fringe.” URAPC has risen up with pens and clipboards in hand to stop Obamacare using volunteer grassroots Arizonans. So the Governor’s Team forms an opposing committee that throws around outrageous accusations that if URAPC is   “successful, there are a lot of people who are going to get harmed” and then threatening “we’re going to be as aggressive as possible to get out to the public.” 

  • They cannot win on the issues.
  • They cannot get a bill passed without suspending the rules, and threatening to remove the President and Speaker.
  • Now they are “aggressively” misleading a.k.a. lying to people to stop us from gathering signatures.

In spite of a well funded $150,000 campaign to stop the gathering of signatures the Alliance of volunteer Republican Principled Conservatives grows. 

Swelling the ranks are activists who have been discouraged by the lack of conviction, the lack of pride in the basic Republican tenets of limited government and individual responsibility, and the courage to stand and say “that is wrong get out of the tent.”

URAPC is committed to maintaining the deep individualist spirit of Arizona and restoring freedom from an obtrusive government by leading the way to Veto Governor Brewer’s Medicaid Expansion.

Join us today and fill out a petition today!

www.urapc.org

Arizona: a Champion in Education Choice, should also be a Champion in Energy Choice

Ask any conservative if they support school choice and the answer is most likely a resounding, “Yes!” School choice empowers parents, families, communities and it reasserts parental control and autonomy back into the issue of education.

While some parents choose to send their child to public school, others may choose private schools, charter schools or even home school their children themselves. Choice in education makes sense and it should make the same sense when it comes to energy choice.

Here in Arizona, conservative lawmakers have pushed and enacted legislation promoting and protecting choice in education while reducing or offsetting the cost to parents who opt out of the public education system. These creative ways to reduce the burden of public education have been in the form of donations that reduce a family’s or business tax liability. It has led to Arizona becoming one of the most prolific school choice states in the country.

Now imagine if the powerful teachers unions were able to capture control of the Arizona Legislature and Executive and began to repeal every law protecting your choice in education. Gone would be scholarship tax credits for families and business. Imagine if the public education monopoly were to control Arizona’s education system to the point where it was almost impossible for charter, private and even homeschooling families to exercise their choice in education. That’s what is about to happen right here in Arizona’s energy market.

It’s about to become very difficult for anyone using residential rooftop solar to continue using this technology to generate their own power – if APS has their way.

In recent years, improvements in technology have allowed energy consumers to afford residential-based power generation technology such as wind and solar units. Consumers have had the choice to generate their own electricity for their own personal needs and even supply excess power back to the main grid. It’s energy choice in action.

Unfortunately, big utility companies like APS see your choice as a threat to their bottom line and have started pressuring rule makers at the Arizona Corporation Commission to change the rules. Specifically, APS would like to see the ACC eliminate the policy net metering which allows energy consumers to provide any excess electricity back to the main power grid and thus reduce their overall energy consumption and cost. APS would essentially regain its monopoly power by erecting a barrier to entry to your ability to supply the grid. Overall, our main grid would lose out by not having thousands of consumers contributing clean power back to the grid.

I started out this editorial by describing how choice in education benefits everyone in Arizona by improving options and reducing the cost and burden on families and corporations. In several ways, energy choice is very much like school choice because everyone benefits, especially here in sun-rich Arizona.

When big utility companies like APS make an effort to take our choice and incentives away in order to protect their bottom line, let’s remind our elected officials whose best interest they’re supposed to serve. Siding with APS on the issue of energy choice would be akin to siding with teachers unions on education choice. Energy choice is as important as choice in education is and Arizona can demonstrate leadership in this arena. After all, that’s what Republican values are all about.

Shane Wikfors is the creator and editor of Sonoran Alliance and a longtime Arizona conservative Republican activist. He is also owner of Red Mountain Consulting & Development and has been an advocate of non-subsidized, consumer-based, taxpayer-friendly energy diversity and sustainability.