Doug Ducey – Good For Business

Doug Ducey

Lisa Rigler

Lisa Rigler – President, Small Business Alliance

As a small business owner and president of the Small Business Alliance, I get to work with some of Arizona’s most energetic entrepreneurs on a regular basis. The entrepreneurial spirit and fresh energy I see in other small businessmen and -women are qualities that I also see in Doug Ducey, and I know he will bring them to the governor’s office.

Doug built Cold Stone Creamery from a few shops in Arizona to a worldwide brand, so he’s well aware of the challenges small business owners face. He has an aggressive tax reform agenda that will attract businesses in a dynamic yet fiscally responsible way while also benefiting growing Arizona businesses.

With Doug’s leadership talents, reform-based approach to problem-solving, and positive outlook, I’m confident Arizona will have a bright future if he is our governor.

So, I encourage you to step up and cast your vote for Doug Ducey.  Whether you’re voting early at your kitchen table or you’re going to the polls on August 26th, if you’re looking for a small business champion, Doug should be your choice.

Doug can kick-start our economy, but he has to get elected first. Please sign up for a volunteer shift, put a bumper sticker on your car, and tell your employees, colleagues, friends and family: Doug Ducey for governor!

Let’s go Doug!

Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance

Phoenix Earns High Marks From NFIB

City judged one of five best in nation for welcoming small business

In an e-newsletter to its more than 330,000 members nationwide today, including 7,000 in Arizona, the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s voice of small business, ranked Phoenix as one of the top five cities in the country “Opening Their Doors to Small Business.”

“Phoenix’s rebounding economy, favorable climate and entrepreneurial culture attracts many transplanted residents,” said the NFIB article. “Two years ago, the Phoenix City Council implemented reforms that shifted a significant portion of city permitting and inspection functions to the private sector and created 24-hour turnarounds for projects such as city and building permits that used to take four to six months. With quicker turnarounds, doing business in Phoenix has become faster and more convenient.”

Noted Farrell Quinlan, NFIB’s Arizona state director, “The majority of people starting small businesses and prospering here were born somewhere else. That kind of new blood and vitality means opportunities in Phoenix aren’t encumbered by an old-boys network.”

In a news release issued by Mayor Greg Stanton, he said, “This ranking is a testament to the actions we’re taking to lift small and local businesses. We’re moving in a new economic direction – one that creates real opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs.”

sal diciccio council chambers

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio

City Councilman Sal DiCiccio added, “This puts Phoenix in a position to compete in the global economy, making us faster, smarter and better than our competitor cities. Getting 24-hour permitting and the ability to submit plans online allows businesses to open today, not months from now. The Mayor and Council recognized that it grows our economy faster when we help businesses take off quickly.”

DiCiccio, a longtime NFIB member, led the 125-member Ad Hoc Development Task Force that produced the reform recommendations for how to streamline the city’s permit process.

Phoenix has also been helped by a better state climate, Quinlan pointed out. “The state has been a leader in low tax rates and regulatory reform. For instance, Arizona simplifies the process state agencies must follow when creating rules and regulations they impose on Arizona businesses. That leadership ensures government serves as a facilitator of economic dynamism rather than a frustrator of job creation.”

Other cities making the top five list were Caspar, Wyoming; Jackson, Mississippi; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Orlando, Florida.

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

NFIB Endorses 42 Legislative Candidates

Nine Newcomers Join 33 Incumbents as Small Business’ Choice

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its endorsements of 42 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chair Mark Giebelhaus and NFIB/Arizona State Director Farrell Quinlan flank LD18 House hopeful Jill Norgaard at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council member Jeff Fleetham and LD28 House hopeful Shawnna Shawnna Bolick at the small business group’s Small Business Forum this week.

The principal standard used to evaluate incumbents was their voting records on 12 bills supported or opposed by the National Federation of Independent Business during the 2013-2014 legislative sessions. Endorsements for non-incumbent candidates were largely based on the quality of their answers on a questionnaire. These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the pre-primary phase of the candidate evaluation process. There may be further endorsements in select legislative and statewide races after the August 26th primary elections.

NFIB/Arizona Endorsements in 2014 Legislative Primary Contests

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

Did Heather Carter Vote to Raise our Taxes?

By Jose Borajero

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

Shortly, the Arizona Supreme Court will be ruling on whether the Medicaid tax imposed by the Democrats, aided and abetted by Representative Heather Carter and eight other Republicans in the House of Representatives is really a tax or something else, like a fee. The only question that will be resolved by the court is whether that move was legal or not. It will not determine whether it was good or bad. We all know that the mere fact something is legal does not automatically make it good, or desirable.

Whether we call it a tax, or something else, like a fee, an assessment, a contribution, an investment, or any of a myriad euphemistic terms that big government advocates use to disguise taxes, the fact remains that Heather Carter voted for bills that increase the amount of money that moves from the pockets of the taxpayers to the pockets of the government.

That fact is reflected in the results of the legislator evaluations done by three conservative leaning organizations.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP): This organization routinely keeps track of how legislators vote on issues having to do with economic matters, like taxation, spending, education, etc. (scorecard)

Goldwater Institute: These folks evaluate legislator performance across a wide variety of subjects, including tax & budget, education, constitutional government, and regulation.

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB): This is a watchdog group for small businesses, which account for the vast majority of jobs in this country. They evaluate legislators on whether or not their votes enhance small businesses ability to operate in free and open market. (scorecard)

Currently in Arizona, we have 17 Republicans in the Senate and 36 Republicans in the House of Representatives, for a total of 43 Republican legislators. Let us see how Heather Carter was scored by all three organizations.

ORGANIZATION SCORE RANK
Americans for Prosperity – 48%  or 39th out of 43
Goldwater Institute – 61% or 35th out of 43
National Federation of Independent Businesses – 75% or 43rd out of 43

Conclusion: Heather Carter is a friend of Big Government and an enemy of the tax payer. People should keep that in mind when deciding whether to vote for her or for her challenger(s).

 

Hobby and a Lobby of Glass Houses

By Sam Stone

The liberal angst over the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby and other Christian-owned family businesses is rapidly spinning out of control. Critics have accused Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court of everything short of genocide. Comedian and MSNBC contributor John Fugelsang tweeted that the Hobby Lobby ruling “proves once again that Scalia Law is a lot like Sharia Law”, explicitly comparing the atrocities committed in the name of radical Islam to not requiring someone else to pay for the morning-after pill. That’s ridiculous.

It’s ridiculous in light of what Hobby Lobby really is: one of the best examples of corporate humanity and compassion in this country. It’s even more ridiculous when you compare Hobby Lobby to, for example, Staples – a similar retail business run by founder and CEO Tom Stemberg, who was a significant contributor to President Obama’s campaigns.

Hobby Lobby pays a starting wage of $9.50 per hour for part time employees. Full time employees start at $14 an hour. All employees are eligible to enroll in the company-sponsored health care plan (which covers 16 types of birth control). All employees have Sundays off.

Staples employees often start at whatever minimum wage their local jurisdiction has set. Their average wage for associates is $8.55 an hour. Most associates do not qualify for company-sponsored benefits. Staples is open 7 days a week.

And yet, the left is basically claiming that because Hobby Lobby will only pay for 16 of 20 FDA-approved birth control types, they are the Taliban and the Green family are members of ISIS. What on earth does that make Tom Stemberg and Staples? A Staples employee who doesn’t have company health insurance isn’t getting their morning-after pills paid for by the company, either. Or condoms. Or the pill. Or…you get the picture.

I have a ton of liberal friends and family members who pooh-pooh the idea of a War on Christianity. Frankly, I always have as well. The reaction of liberals and their media allies to the Hobby Lobby case is changing my mind. The mainstream media doesn’t so much as bat an eyelash at the Staples of the world, so long as the plutocrats in charge are willing to keep lining the pockets of liberal candidates (and their own networks). But Christian business owners who pay their employees a living wage and provide healthcare benefits are monsters because they won’t pay for a few specific abortifacients?

Nothing in the Supreme Court ruling or Hobby Lobby’s employee handbook prevents employees from going out and purchasing the morning-after pill for themselves. But, apparently, none of this matters so long as liberals can use the ruling to perpetuate a mythological conservative “war on women” that exists mostly in the minds of the Sandra Fluke’s of the world. Perhaps, instead, they should take a look at their own glass houses.

A Priority for the Next Governor

NFIB/Arizona's Farrell Quinlan

NFIB/Arizona’s Farrell Quinlan

Three of Arizona’s five Democrat members of Congress last week joined all four of their Republican colleagues from the state to accomplish what a similar bipartisan majority in the Arizona Legislature did earlier this year: It loaded a badly needed shot in the arm for the small-business owners who generate almost every new job in the state and nation.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to make permanent a tax provision that would allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases, and some improvements to real property, instead of depreciating the costs over time. H.R. 4457, titled America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.

This change to Section 179 of the federal tax code, which overwhelmingly passed the House on a 272-144 vote, would prevent the expensing level to fall all the way to $25,000 in 2014, after being at $500,000 from 2010 through 2013. It also indexes the level to inflation. In addition, the House also passed a bill that eases the tax burden on small businesses that change from taxable C-corporate status to S-corporate status.

A quick sample of the small-business owners benefitting from the H.R. 4457 expensing levels would include:

  • Your local pizza shop owner who might want to install new ovens and countertops that cost $100,000. He could deduct these capital improvements the same year he makes them, instead of waiting for the current 39 years to get his full depreciation.
  • A farmer considering equipment purchases of $300,000 could do so with much more ease, knowing it could all be deducted the year she bought it, instead of only $25,000 of it the first year.
  • A contractor looking to buy two work vehicles costing $60,000 would be more inclined to do so. Under current law, only $35,000 could be deducted—spread over five years—instead of all of it immediately.

On June 12, Arizona Democrats Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert in supporting this pro-jobs legislation. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor, both Democrats, voted against H.R. 4457. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration.

Earlier this year, a similar tax relief act, House Bill 2664, passed the Arizona Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The legislation sponsored by state Rep. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) would have created an immediate state income tax allowance, similar to federal Section 179 expensing for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000.

In a tragic misreading of the needs of Arizona’s economy, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed HB 2664 because “the money would be better utilized” on her spending priorities. Undaunted, NFIB is committed to vigorously lobbying Arizona’s next governor and the new Legislature next session to finally realize our own $500,000 allowance to spur new job creation.

Last week’s strong bipartisan House vote to pass H.R. 4457 is very encouraging to small business, especially as demonstrated by the votes of Arizona’s congressional delegation. If Congress and the president do succeed in making it federal law, Arizona’s next governor must match it. If Washington fails, then establishing the small-business expensing allowance in Arizona’s tax code will be all the more critical.

Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

NFIB Arizona weighs in on latest economic report

Congress can help where Arizona fell down

PHOENIX, Ariz., June 10, 2014Today’s release of one of the nation’s most trusted economic surveys casts in sharp relief how pervasive our political leaders’ inattention to small-business job creation is, according to the Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s voice of small business.

As it does very month, NFIB releases its Index of Small Business Optimism, which measures the pulse of the nation’s largest employer group—Main Street entrepreneurs. Although the index rose to its highest level since 2007, the underpinnings of a strong economy are still not seismically sound.

“What stood out for me in the latest optimism index was Arizona’s missed opportunity to spur capital spending and new job creation by our own small businesses when Governor Brewer vetoed House Bill 2664 earlier this year,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for NFIB. The bill, which passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, would have created an immediate state income tax allowance for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000, similar to federal Section 179 expensing.

Indeed, in summarizing the latest optimism index, economist William Dunkelberg, its author, noted, “May’s numbers bring the Index to its highest level since September 2007. However, the four components most closely related to GDP and employment growth (job openings, job creation plans, inventory and capital spending plans) collectively fell 1 point in May.”

“Shifting capital spending into a higher gear is essential to a full and sustainable economic recovery,” said Quinlan. “Now, even though Arizona’s capital expensing vehicle stalled, Congress can turn on the ignition of job creation by passing H.R. 4457, the Small Business Tax Relief Act, when it comes up for a full House vote Thursday.

H.R. 4457 would allow small businesses to immediately deduct on their federal taxes the full value of equipment in the same year the investment is made, instead of depreciating the investment over time. This simplifies accounting and frees up cash to be reinvested and grow the business.

“The job-creation user’s manual is pretty straightforward and easy to follow,” said Quinlan. “If business owners have an incentive to invest in more equipment, they will need to hire more employees to meet the increased sales that equipment will generate. But I worry H.R. 4457 may face a similar grim fate in Congress as House Bill 2664 suffered in Arizona, despite everyone—Democrats, Republicans, business and labor—favoring it, a tragic misreading of the economy’s weakness will lead to continued inertia and another missed opportunity.”

Despite broad, bipartisan support, small-business federal expensing fell from $500,000 to $25,000 this year because previous extensions were temporary. H.R. 4457 would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.Click here to read a letter 154 business associations signed and sent to Congress.

NOTE: The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. For almost 40 years, NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism has been one of the nation’s bellwether economic barometers, used by Federal Reserve, chairmen, congressional leaders and presidential administrations.

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For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

Special Interests Bullying Innovative Competitors

It’s always bad when an entrenched, politically-connected special interest tries to use force to bully innovative competitors and drive them out of the marketplace.  It’s even worse when those same special interests blatantly lie to do so.

InnovationThe rideshare industry in Arizona is innovative, uses new and impressive technology, and provides customers with a new – and cheaper – method of transportation.  HB 2262 would provide a proper and fair regulatory structure for ridesharing companies and prevent government interference from crippling these innovative job creators with regulations that do not fit the services they provide.

However, opponents of this bill have resorted to lies and deception to ensure their politically-connected monopoly continues.  They have spent countless time spreading the falsehood that rideshare company drivers are not properly insured and are dangerous – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Drivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are more insured and more heavily vetted than the cab drivers you see on the streets of Phoenix – by far.  Grassroots activists cannot allow an innovative job creator to be forced out of existence through lies and intimidation.

Please contact the following members of the Arizona Legislature and let them know the conservative grassroots believes we should be encouraging innovators who create jobs and economic prosperity in Arizona!

The rideshare industry in Arizona is innovative, uses new and impressive technology, and provides customers with a new – and cheaper – method of transportation.  HB 2262 would provide a proper and fair regulatory structure for ridesharing companies and prevent government interference from crippling these innovative job creators with regulations that do not fit the services they provide.

However, opponents of this bill have resorted to lies and deception to ensure their politically-connected monopoly continues.  They have spent countless time spreading the falsehood that rideshare company drivers are not properly insured and are dangerous – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

UberLyftDrivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are more insured and more heavily vetted than the cab drivers you see on the streets of Phoenix – by far.  Grassroots activists cannot allow an innovative job creator to be forced out of existence through lies and intimidation.

Please contact the following members of the Arizona Legislature and let them know the conservative grassroots believes we should be encouraging innovators who create jobs and economic prosperity in Arizona!

Then, please click HERE to ask your senator and representatives to pass this legislation and send it up to the Governor’s desk!

If you would like to engage on the rest of AFP-Arizona’s priority agenda, please go to our main ACTION PAGE to learn how you can help on all the individual issues we are working on.

Help us keep up the fight!

I hope you’ll continue to stand with us as we fight for the interests of Arizona taxpayers, consumers and producers!

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

SB 1062 Analysis – Winners, Losers and Who Gets Stuck with the Bill

By Bill Beard

Politically it would seem that for the vast majority of folks in Arizona the signing of SB 1062 will lead to a lot of trouble. Every day that Governor Brewer waits to sign or veto this bill only prolongs the agony and entrenches all sides against each other. We still have an economy on shaky ground. Unfortunately the only winners in this will be attorneys for both sides that will rake in the big bucks. The other winner would appear to be the discrimination lobby consultants that will be able to squeeze out more dollars to muddy the water and further antagonize all sides.

Those ‘for’ the bill are well intentioned. The political wisdom of dragging the rest of us into this isn’t clear. The average outside observer could have seen this coming. In an attempt to secure Religious Freedom they have set things on a course where reputations will be damaged and leave the taxpayers hurting. The average guy and gal that earns a living related to tourism for business or pleasure will see smaller paychecks. I’m not exactly sure who would be against Religious Freedom but this approach seems doomed. A better alternative to alleviating the possibility of someone suing a business owner for discrimination because they don’t like gays or pick your cause du jour would have been a simple Tort Reform bill that allowed the marketplace to decide the wisdom of anyone denying anyone else the ability to do business. The court system does not need to be involved.

Politically this issue has gone beyond the intent of the supporters. At this point it will only be a loser for folks running for office this year. Forget any merits of the bill. If you have an R after your name you will have to address this in your campaign. Whether you run for Dog Catcher or Governor this issue will come up. Regardless of the real issues of your campaign you will need to take time to explain your position on the bill. Why you agree or disagree with the intent, the politics or the inevitable lawsuits. When the average citizen is more concerned with their personal economy your campaign will spend valuable time addressing this issue.

The average guy out there will not see this as a Religious Liberty issue. For them it will further separate them from their elected representatives. It will only add to the idea that the representatives just don’t get what’s going on in their lives. They struggle daily with paying bills, feeding the kids or trying to figure out where the money will come from to pay for the broken washing machine or car repair. They will get stuck with the bill for the attorneys, the bill for the loss of their representatives focus on keeping the economy moving forward and the bill for time defending what their leaders have done to their friends and family in the rest of the country. So much for of, by and for the people.

Fascist Constitutionphobes and Religiophobes Hope You Won’t Read

Reposted from The Playful Walrus

Have you heard about the legislation recently passed by the Arizona legislature? Have you heard that it is “anti-gay”? Do you know the name of the legislation? Have you even bothered to read it? It’s not very long or hard to find. I easily found it here. It is SB 1062.

The way the marriage neutering and homosexuality advocates have been engaging in their dramatic whining and over-the-top theatrics, and the way so many of their repeaters in the MSM have called it “anti-gay”, you’d think the legislation authorizes people to hunt down homosexual people where they live and burn down their homes.

Go ahead and search through the text.

You won’t find one mention of any of the following words or phrases:

gay
lesbian
homosexual
sexual orientation
same-sex
heterosexual

You won’t find euphemisms for those words or phrases, either.

What you will find is that the core language of the legislation is:

“STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion…”

However, there are some very important and sizable exceptions:

“In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.”
“The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

More core language:

“A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding…”

Again, there are some very important and sizable exceptions.

What is the big deal?

This seems to me like this is an application basic rights – rights specifically enumerated in the First Amendment.

If we consider this on the context of recent government actions, then this would appear to be a reaction to recent cases involving bakers and photographers who have opted out of participation in events that have offended their consciences and sincerely and strongly held religious convictions that have a long, public, mainstream, and widespread tradition can be informed by a basic reading of Scripture. These businesspeople have been sued or prosecuted by their own government. These situations have also been misportrayed as the someone “refusing to serve gay people”. I recall that one baker in particular had gladly served the homosexual people in question on different occasions. It was only when the baker was asked to participate in a specific event, a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, that the baker declined. Still, some people might insist that such a denial was “anti-gay”. However, I can demonstrate that it wasn’t. The same baker would have refused if two heterosexual women had asked for the baker to participate in their “wedding”.

Notice that the legislation does not mention such professions or events. The legislation could apply to many other things that have nothing to do with what homosexual people do with each other.

So why is it being called “anti-gay”?

I can think of two reasons right now.

1) Leftist homosexuality advocates are malignant narcissists. Everything in the world has to be about their orgasms. They see the entire world through their genitals and anal openings. Other people are to be judged by whether or not they think it is just groovy that one man likes to stick it in another man’s anus. They have some bizarre fixation on what other people think about their private bedroom (or public restroom) behavior. Legislation is to be evaluated by whether or not it will encourage one man to stick it in another man’s anus, or whether or not it empowers or celebrates such men nor not.

2) Homofascists want to reorganize all of society around their feelings, including the practice of religion, and anything that exempts anyone from being under the control of homofascists is labeled “anti-gay”. That would mean they are getting so upset because they fully intend to use the force of government to force everyone, even the deeply religious, to celebrate homosexual behavior.

Whatever happened to “leave us alone”? Now that’s not enough. Now they seek you out, quiz you, and if your answers aren’t right you’re facing a trip to economic Siberia.

Even if you disagree with the legislation, the hysterics from the Leftist homosexuality advocates, and the lockstep following of low information voters should concern you. Really, if signed into law and implemented, how would this law hurt a single homosexual person? Someone might ask a baker for a “wedding” cake with two grooms on top of it. The baker would say “Can’t do it.” Then the homosexual person could go to another baker. Who got hurt? Judging from the circus-like response to the legislation, there would be plenty of other people willing to participate in the “wedding” by making a cake. Comparisons to Jim Crow do not hold up. Jim Crow included government-enforced blanket segregation based on skin color. This would be a business, not government, deciding they could not participate in an event.

Is such legislation Constitutional? I don’t see how it isn’t. It is essentially a building upon the First Amendment.

Will it actually be implemented if signed into law? Don’t count on it.

As we’re seeing repeatedly, the Constitution doesn’t matter. The Executive Branch is under the control of Leftist homosexuality advocates who do not believe in letting states handle their own matters or being bound by existing legislation, and they have more and bigger guns than Arizona. Don’t kid yourself. That’s all it boils down to these days. Even if Arizona refuses to prosecute a baker for being true to their faith, Obama’s Department of Justice will.

Melvin Urges Governor To Sign SB1062

Challenges GOP Opponents to “Reverse Course”

Melvin Letterhead Art

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), also known as SB1062, protects the rights of every Arizonan to work and live according to their faith.  It prohibits punishing someone because of their faith.  It is common sense, it is good law, it was carefully crafted, it was supported by more than 90% of the Republicans in the Legislature, and I strongly urge the Governor to sign the bill.” – Al Melvin, speaking on SB1062.

Melvin spoke at a GOP candidate forum on Saturday and was the only candidate for Governor to support SB1062.

“I was disappointed how fast my fellow Republican candidates for Governor caved to the media and liberal pressure.  Each of them offered excuses, but none of them were willing to stand up and publicly fight to protect the religious liberties of Arizonan citizens and businesses.” said Melvin, adding “They need to look past the media-driven hysteria and look at the bill itself.  It is only two pages long and there is no excuse for them not to know better.”

Melvin went further, urging each of his opponents to reverse course and support the bill.  “We all make mistakes, but real leadership means being able to admit when you are wrong and correcting your course.  You don’t have to spend 30 years in the Naval Reserves as I did to know how important course correction is.”

SB1062 modifies Arizona’s existing protections and brings them into line with the federal RFRA.  Furthermore, SB1062 added language to ensure additional protection against the frivolous use of religious beliefs as a defense against behavior that might be considered discriminatory.

“The extremists on the left are using the same hysterical language they did when they opposed SB1070.  But SB1070 turned out to be right for Arizona, the hysterics were proven to be nothing more than simple fantasy designed to whip up opposition, and the Arizona Legislature and Governor Brewer were both vindicated for passing and signing it. My hope is that Arizonans will rally to fight for this bill by contacting the Governor and asking her to sign it.  If she does not, then I hope they will rally to my campaign so that we can elect someone who will sign the bill in 2015.”

Supporters of the bill are invited to join Al Melvin’s campaign for Governor at VoteAlMelvin.com.

Melvin serves as Chairman of the Commerce, Energy and Military Committee and founded the highly successful Mining Caucus and Tourism Caucus. He has had a long business career in international trade and transportation, is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY and received his MBA degree from Thunderbird-School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.  Prior to his election to the Senate, he taught college level courses as an adjunct, in economics, international business and management.

Melvin is a military veteran and graduate of the US Naval War College. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service as Squadron Commander of COMPSRONTWO, then the largest ship squadron in the US Navy (14 ships) based at the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In 1999, after 30 years in the US Naval Reserve, he retired as a Navy Captain, the equivalent of a full colonel.

He is a member of the VFW, American Legion, Military Officers of America and other military related organizations.  Sen. Melvin is a life Member of the NRA (National Rifle Association).  He is a member of the Elks, Rotary and Knights of Columbus, and he remains a proud Eagle Scout (class of ’61).

Al and his wife Kou reside in SaddleBrooke in Pinal County, just north of Tucson and attend Santa Catalina Catholic Church in Catalina.

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Americans for Prosperity – Arizona: Legislative Action for Week of February 3

Americans for Prosperity-Arizona

The week of February 3, three of AFP-Arizona’s key bills will be in committee. Please use the information and links below to take action TODAY.

HB 2260 — The Small Business Bill of Rights

HB 2260, sponsored by Rep. Tom Forese, will be heard by the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 am. It would create a list of protections for all business owners and require regulatory enforcement agencies to publicize them.  (Thanks to NFIB-Arizona for pushing for this important bill!)  We need to protect Arizona job creators from government regulatory assault, so please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Commerce Committee,
and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights, when it comes to a floor vote.

HB 2508 — Criminal Background Checks for ObamaCare Navigators

HB 2508, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Insurance and Retirement Committee on Tuesday, February 4 at 2:00 pm. It would regulate ObamaCare insurance exchange Navigators, by requiring them to undergo criminal background checks and by instituting other privacy protections. These Navigators will have access to very sensitive personal health and financial information of citizens — and many citizens are essentially being forced by ObamaCare to go into the exchanges. Please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Insurance and Retirement Committee, and ask them to support HB 2508 to protect citizens’ personal health and financial information from fraudsters acting as Navigators.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2508 when it comes to a floor vote.

HCR 2005 — The “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act”

HCR 2005, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Reform and Human Services Committee on Thursday, February 6 at 9:00 am. The bill would put a “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act” on the 2014 election ballot. If approved by the voters, the reform would allow drug manufacturers to provide investigational drugs, products, or devices to terminally ill patients. No individual should be denied the right to save their own life — and, with this legislation, Arizona would recognize that dying patients have a “Right to Try” treatments that have been deemed safe by the FDA but which have not been granted full FDA approval.  (Thanks to our friends at the Goldwater Institute for coming up with this great idea!)  Please take the following two actions today to support this important health care freedom reform:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Reform and Human Services Committee, and ask them to support HCR 2005 to protect the rights of terminally ill patients.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HCR 2005 when it comes to a floor vote.

And here are even more ways to take action:

1) Register in support of the bills. If you do not already have an account with the ALIS system, you will need to come down to the Capitol to set up an account at one of the several kiosks (after you sign up, you will be able to voice your opinion on bills from the comfort of your home). For help getting set up with an ALIS account, contact Bill Fathauer at bfathauer@afphq.org. A member of our legislative team will also be there in advance of the hearing to help anyone who needs to sign in.

2) Attend the committee hearings and testify in support of the bills. If you or someone you know has been personally affected by an issue being raised in committee, you can attend the hearing in person and tell your story. Requesting to speak also requires setting up an ALIS account in person if you do not already have one (see #1 above), but after that it is very easy to request to speak at any time from your home computer or a mobile device.

3) Forward this email to family members. After you’re done lobbying your legislators yourselves, please forward this email onto your friends and family — or anyone else you know — and show them how they can be a part of the process. Every new voice helps!

Thank you for all you do to help win free-market victories for the people of Arizona. I hope you’ll continue to stand with us going forward!

Dr. Art Laffer: E-Fairness Is A Pro-Growth Solution


Marketplace Press Release-1Study projects 1.5 million jobs in the next 10 years; Over 39,000 in Arizona

For Immediate Release

July 18, 2013

Contact: Paul Layeux

paul@colemandahm.com

Phoenix, AZ – Small business owners in Arizona welcomed a study conducted by economist Art Laffer and Donna Arduin that shows closing the online sales tax loophole has a myriad of benefits, including the potential to lower overall tax rates and jumpstart economic growth.  Laffer’s study suggests that passing e-fairness legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act would create a tax system with fewer loopholes, a larger base, and lower rates for all taxpayers, which could lead to an increase in GDP of $563.2 billion and over 1.5 million jobs over the next 10 years.

“As a small business owner, I think a level playing field is essential, but Dr. Laffer’s study makes it crystal clear that this is something that will create jobs in Arizona” said Sole Sports Running owner Lance Muzslay in Tempe.  “It’s hard to argue with the possibility of adding over 13% to Arizona’s GDP while also helping Main Street businesses.”

The Marketplace Fairness Act received a bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate on May 6, 2013, and similar legislation is already pending in the House of Representatives with over 60 bipartisan cosponsors.

Dr. Laffer’s findings support the efforts of a growing coalition of small business owners, governors and free market conservatives across the country who are urging the U.S. House of Representatives to act and to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act.

“The Laffer study shows we have a chance to not only correct the inequity of the current system, but also to boost economic growth by cutting taxes across the board” said Jim Mapstead of Accurate Signs & Engraving of Phoenix.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

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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.

APS Stock Price, Profits Should Be Secondary to Arizona Solar Energy Consumer Choice

During their last earnings call, as reported in the Arizona Republic, Arizona Public Service (APS) CEO Don Brandt was asked about the financial impact rooftop solar could have on APS if solar’s popularity continued to soar.

RooftopSolarJust like the public education monopoly, the APS utility monopoly is concerned that more energy efficiency and choice, specifically more rooftop solar, is starting to eat into its profits and revenue growth.  APS clearly disclosed this to its investors when it revealed that between now and 2015, it expects its electricity sales to grow by less than 1% even though its customer base will grow 2% annually. The reason? APS customers are investing in more energy efficiency with rooftop solar being the primary technology of choice.

Frankly, how APS addresses this with investors is no concern of mine. And neither should it concern the Arizona Corporation Commission.  A more innovative future with more energy choices for Arizona consumers should not and must not be dictated by the utility’s bottom line. By that same logic, we would have harnessed the Internet because of the challenge it posed to newspapers and many other technologies.

I would think by now that any astute energy consumer would recognize that APS’s sudden concern about the proliferation of rooftop solar in Arizona has nothing to do with empathy for Arizona ratepayers.  It has everything to do with curbing a disruptive technology growing quickly in their existing marketplace. As one pollster has opined, allowing APS to do this would be “political malpractice.”

But there appears to be a far greater threat to APS’ stock price (PNW) on the horizon and that, fortunately for consumers, is a healthy competitive change.  Because of their blatantly naked attempts to kill independent solar in Arizona, along with other reasons, the Arizona Corporation Commission is rightfully looking at opening up more utility competition in Arizona.  In fact, they took the first step down this path last week. Kudos to Chairman Bob Stump and Commissioners Gary Pierce, Brenda Burns, Susan Bitter Smith and Bob Burns for their actions. Clearly, APS’ effort to thwart more solar choice in Arizona is exactly why we need more competition in Arizona.

Choice and competition – these are concepts all conservatives can rally behind.  And it is one all Wall Street stock investors will surely be watching.  The bottom line for consumers is we simply cannot have a better energy future in Arizona if the primary focus is on APS profits rather than innovation and competition that always best serves the marketplace.

NFIB Poll: Small Business Strongly Opposes Expanding Medicaid

NFIBforwebSurvey reveals Arizona entrepreneurs’ deep skepticism of federal funding promises

PHOENIX, Ariz., May 14, 2013 — In a poll released today by their leading association, small-business owners overwhelmingly oppose the high-stakes effort at the Arizona State Capitol to expand Medicaid coverage to all Arizonans at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level as envisioned by the federal healthcare law.

The recent survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB/Arizona) found 79 percent of Arizona small-business owners opposed to the proposed eligibility expansion for the state’s Medicaid program, also known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System or AHCCCS.

Eighteen percent support the Medicaid expansion proposal with less than 3 percent saying they are undecided.

NFIB Medicaid Poll ResultsThe controversial Medicaid proposal, a centerpiece of Gov. Jan Brewer’s legislative agenda, is principally backed by hospital systems and opposed by key legislative leaders like Senate President Andy Biggs and conservative activists.

The political impasse over Medicaid expansion has stalled the Legislature’s work on the state budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2013.

“Small businesses in Arizona clearly feel they are under siege by the Obamacare law, with its harsh employer mandates, new taxes and pervasive uncertainty,” said Farrell Quinlan, the Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Our survey found that Arizona’s small-business owners continue to strongly oppose expanding AHCCCS eligibility, because they have no faith in the federal government’s promises to pay for adding hundreds-of-thousands of Arizonans to our Medicaid rolls. Our small-business owners know Washington is more than $16 trillion in debt and Congress will be under increasing pressure to cut the biggest drivers of federal spending – entitlements like Medicaid.”

NFIB/Arizona’s May survey on Medicaid expansion reaffirms small business’ sentiments against expanding Medicaid found in a prior survey conducted before Governor Brewer announced her support for the policy change during her State of the State Address in January.

NFIB Medicaid Poll Results 1/13 and 5/13

In that poll, 77 percent opposed the expansion with 13 percent favoring it and 10 undecided.

“It’s instructive that after months of intense promotion and expensive radio and television advertising campaigns, pro-expansion forces have utterly failed to move the support needle with Arizona small business owners,” said Quinlan. “The public’s attitudes have clearly hardened on Obamacare and the fundamental transformation of health care occurring in the United States.”

Respondents to NFIB/Arizona’s survey were also given the opportunity to provide an open-ended answer on the Medicaid expansion issue and implementation of Obamacare in general. The majority viewpoint is best summarized by one respondent’s declaration: “Arizona won’t be able to afford AHCCCS expansion when Washington realizes America can’t afford Obamacare.” Another opponent expressed his profound ambivalence over the decision before Arizona lawmakers: “Either choice is going to be tough and expensive, but to trust the federal government is a mistake. I do not feel that they will make good on their promise to cover the expenses.”

A Medicaid-expansion supporter wrote: “As I understand it, the expansion goes away if/when the federal money goes away. That is the only reason I am supporting it now. When Obama doesn’t want to pay for it anymore, neither should Arizonans.” Another supporter exclaimed: “Believe we are trapped. If O C [Obamacare] stays this seems like the only way to go. But we must have the 90 percent funding from the Feds.”

The latest poll was conducted May 6 to May 13, 2013, as an online and fax-returned survey with 375 Arizona small-business owners responding. The prior poll mentioned above was conducted November 9, 2012 to January 4, 2013 consisting of 449 Arizona small business owners responding. Both polls tested the same question though the set-up explanations of what proponents and opponents say about the policy proposal were updated and expanded in the latest survey. The online version of the May survey can be viewed here.

NFIB routinely surveys its members to determine the organization’s public policy position on issues at the federal and state levels. Due to the overwhelming and consistent results of the two surveys, the upcoming votes by the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives on Medicaid expansion have been identified as ‘key votes’ eligible to be used on NFIB/Arizona’s legislative score card for the 2013 session.

Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small-business association with 350,000 members nationwide and 7,500 in Arizona. NFIB has offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends its views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

Arizona Republican Icon Barry Goldwater, Jr. Gives Voice to Efforts to Save Arizona Solar Choice

Tell Utilities Solar Won't Be Killed

Effort To Stop APS From Killing Independent Solar In AZ Takes To Radio

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) Following in his father’s footsteps as a conservative trailblazer in Arizona, Barry Goldwater Jr. is standing up to utility monopolies to preserve Arizona’s rooftop solar industry.

The voice of T.U.S.K (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed), Goldwater can now be heard valley-wide in a new radio commercial that urges energy consumers to stand up to Arizona Public Service (APS). Goldwater and T.U.S.K oppose efforts by APS to extinguish rooftop solar in Arizona by trying to eliminate a cornerstone policy called net metering.

To listen to the commercial click here. To learn more about T.U.S.K. visit www.dontkillsolar.com

Net metering ensures that customers with rooftop solar get fair market credit from APS for any extra power they return to the grid. Conservatives in Arizona have stood up for school choice and healthcare choice, and now they are standing up for energy choice.

If APS pulls the plug on net metering, thousands of jobs would be lost. Businesses would suffer. Schools that utilize net metering will be sending more tax dollars to APS. Consumers would pay more.

“Energy choice is the American way. It’s the Republican way. And it’s the way to energy independence,” said Goldwater. We can’t allow monopolies to end consumer choice by changing the rules at the Arizona Corporation Commission.”

Barry Goldwater Jr. served 14 years in Washington and amassed expertise in energy, the space program, aviation and defense and government procurement. Goldwater was particularly instrumental in all facets of energy policy and research and development, including authoring the Solar Photovoltaic Act.

T.U.S.K. believes that rooftop solar is similar to a charter school—it provides a competitive alternative to the monopoly. Monopoly utilities aren’t known for reducing costs or for driving business innovation, but the Arizona solar industry is. Solar companies have a track record of aggressive cost reduction in Arizona. The more people use rooftop solar, the less power they need to buy from the utilities. Energy independence for Arizonans means smaller profits for the utilities, so APS is doing everything it can to stop solar.

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