The Ugly Truth About Proposition 126

Proposition 126 is not a tax cut. It is not pro-business. It is not good for Arizona.

Arizonans will have the choice Nov. 6 on whether to pass Prop 126, a ballot measure to amend the state constitution to permanently exempt the service industry from sales taxes. What may sound like a generous proposal to cut taxes is, in reality, an unfair handout to privilege some businesses over others.

  • Prop 126 benefits the service industry while narrowing the tax base, making it more likely that, when push comes to shove, marginal income-tax rates will be raised on everyday Arizonans. Indeed, if the state ever needed to raise revenue, it would be cut off from a significant sector of the economy, forcing it to turn to raising much higher taxes on everyone else.

After all, Prop 126 is not a tax cut. It is a roadblock to keeping tax rates low across the board. It would hamstring our state’s lawmakers, making it much more difficult for them to craft flexible, uniform and fair tax policy.

  • What’s more, Prop 126 is not “pro-business” — it is pro-some businesses, and not others. There are several other ways Arizona could make it easier for businesses to thrive. Doling out special benefits to some while sticking others with the bill is unfair. It’s also bad policy.

While Prop 126 would affect all 7 million-plus Arizonans, it would help only some. During a time when our state’s economy is dynamic and rapidly growing, we need a tax policy flexible enough to keep our taxes low and treat Arizonans fairly.

We won’t get that with Prop 126. On Nov. 6, Arizonans should send this amendment packing.

OHPI / ABC 15 Releases Latest Poll on Arizona Statewide Races

OHPI/ABC 15 has released its latest polling data on Arizona statewide races and it appears that Republicans are leading. The one race that is closest is the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction race where Frank Riggs is slightly ahead of Kathy Hoffman.

According to Chief Pollster and Managing Partner, Mike Noble, “The superintendent race is the one to watch. Kathy Hoffman and Frank Riggs are neck and neck, with 12 percent of voters still undecided. It’s anyone’s ball game.”

Here are the numbers:

Steve Gaynor leads Secretary of State race.

Gaynor has only nailed down 63% of Lean Conservative voters, with another 12% leaning
his way. 16% of them remain undecided, the largest of any ideological group.

Kimberly Yee leads Arizona Treasurer race.

With undecided voters beginning to make up their minds, it seems they are leaning towards Yee. She has gained 5 points to Mark Manoil’s 1 point, since our last poll.

Mark Brnovich leads Attorney General race.

January Contreras has gained a large amount of male support, with an 8-point increase since our last poll. Even with this loss, Brnovich still holds a 14-point lead.

Frank Riggs narrowly leads Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

This is the closest race, with Riggs holding a 4-point lead and 12% of voters still undecided. Among those who believe education is a top priority, Hoffman leads by 60 points.

Doug Ducey leads Arizona Governor race.

Since our last poll, Ducey has maintained his nearly 2 to 1 lead, gaining 3 points. David Garcia has gained 2 points.

Methodology: This 42% cell phone and 58% landline poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on October 22, 2018 and October 23, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

About OH Predictive Insights

Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers.

Clean Election System Abuse Continues as Candidates Funnel More Taxpayer Money to the Democrat Party

By Free Enterprise Club

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission claims they care about keeping special interests out of the political process by providing candidates with taxpayer funds to run for office.

But as was discovered in 2016 election cycle, politicians and political operatives know how to cheat the system and the unaccountable Clean Elections Commission just doesn’t seem to care.

An examination of campaign finance reports filed by publicly funded Clean Election Candidates in 2018 show over $100,000 being funneled to the state, county and local political parties, as well as to other political operations such as the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC).

As was the case in prior elections, the democratic candidates running in the least competitive legislative districts are the biggest contributors to these electioneering efforts.

One of the worst offenders is candidate Lynsey Robinson from conservative legislative district 12 in the East Valley.  She gave a staggering $22,590 to the Democratic Party Operations, which is over 50 percent of the total amount she receives from Clean Elections!  If her intention was to win her race, sending over half her money to the Party seems like a poor strategy to do so.

Other giveaways to political groups include:

$21,442 from Jo Craycraft, candidate for Senate in LD 1
$18,980 from Hazel Chandler, candidate for House in LD 20
$18,500 from Chris Gilfillan, candidate for House in LD 20
$14,170 from Mark Manoil, candidate for State Treasurer
$12,400 from Kiana Sears, candidate for the Corporation Commission
$9,520 from Kathy Hoffman, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Interestingly enough, the largest benefactor of these public funds was the ADLCC, a Political Action Committee chaired by legislative democrats to elect democrats around the state of Arizona.  Traditionally, victory PACs such as this provide money and support tocandidates—they don’t receive money from them. This is because committees such as this fundraise for the express purpose of playing in election races.  However, they do so independently of any candidate because it is against the law for organizations and PACs to coordinate with candidates on their election activities.

That makes the expenditure to the ADLCC even more suspicious.  Either a candidate is giving them money to use in other more competitive races (which is wrong and must be stopped), or they are giving them money to provide services to their campaign (which is likely illegal.)  Either way, the ADLCC’s taxpayer gravy train is an offensive abuse of the system and should be stopped immediately.

The unaccountable Clean Elections Commission has made it clear that they don’t care how our money is wasted, which is why voters must vote YES on Proposition 306.  Prop 306 would prohibit candidates from funneling taxpayer funds to political parties and political special interest groups.   If there was any question that the exploitation of the system would continue and proliferate – this year’s election season proves otherwise.

Voters should put an end to it by Voting Yes on Prop 306.

Frank Schmuck Will Protect Your Right To Protect Yourself

Not even Pepper Spray? That’s right! Sean Bowie voted to deny campus women their right to carry pepper spray or even a taser to defend themselves against sexual predators. What kind of person does that?

As a deputized law enforcement officer and a parent of a daughter in college this is both professional and personal for me.

Students, teachers and all employees of our universities in Arizona should feel safe, and not made to feel like they are breaking the law by protecting themselves with something as simple as pepper spray.

With thousands of sexual assaults and even worse dozens of rapes reported to Police over the last few years, Sean Bowie and his extreme ideology left women defenseless when he voted against House Bill 2172 three times.

See and hear what these women have to say…

To see all our videos visit www.FrankSchmuck.com/videos

Latest Arizona Political Videos

Wendy Rogers recently released this political ad:

ABC 15 reviews Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates, Kathy Hoffman (D) and Frank Riggs (R).

Martha McSally welcomes Iowa Senator Joni Ernst to Arizona GOP campaign event to talk global security.

Martha McSally welcomes South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at Arizona GOP event.

Wendy Rogers: Send Walt Blackman to the State House

Rarely do I get the opportunity to recommend a fellow retired career military veteran to the Arizona state legislature. Retired Army First Sergeant Walter Blackman served our nation on active duty for 23 years with distinction. I am honored to support this America-loving solid conservative to help him serve his nation again.

My husband and I have come to know Walt closely. His combat experience and leadership of tank troops places him in a class of his own. One thing about tankers, when they get the mission, they finish it with lightning speed.  Walt Blackman led troops of more than 150 soldiers in life and death situations.

I know Walt and his family personally and can testify they are the real deal. Walt listens to the concerns of voters and provides conservative solutions, not government solutions. I’m confident that Walt Blackman will stand up for every person in Arizona, because he knows what it looks like when governments go too far. He saw it in his seven deployments to Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Walt truly believes what makes the United States exceptional is our reverence for the Constitution and its importance as the foundational pillar of this great republic. And along with that, he profoundly respects the rights of individual freedom and personal responsibility. He’s not afraid to be held accountable, which is a rare quality these days.

Walt will ardently defend Pro-Life policies at every level and unceasingly strive to protect those who are least able to protect themselves, the unborn. And if you care about your 2nd Amendment rights, you will see Walt Blackman take point and lead to protect our gun rights.

Please vote for retired First Sergeant Walt Blackman. And instead of casting two possible votes for State House, please cast just one vote for Blackman. That way, he gets more votes to win it.

Wendy Rogers, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
Republican candidate
Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Senator Bob Worsley: Why I’m Leaving Political Office

Monday, June 18, Arizona State Senator Bob Worsley, Republican from LD-25, announced he will not seek re-election exiting political office at the end of his term. Senator Worsley released the following guest opinion:

Bob Worsley

Sen. Bob Worsley

After six years in the Arizona Senate, I will not seek re-election.

Public office was never a position I sought. But when I was recruited by concerned constituents in 2012, I set aside personal endeavors to answer the call.

Since that time, an increasingly caustic political climate has devolved both in Arizona and in Washington. Regrettably, I now feel I can better impact society through resuming my private endeavors than by continuing in elected office while the GOP takes a nap.

We’ve lost the art of compromise

As legislators, we are elected under the banner of a party flag. Yet the districts we represent are comprised of diverse people with an array of needs and opinions.

Irrespective of those differences, voters and legislators alike are asked to cut, squeeze, twist and trim their worldviews into one of two buckets: Republican or Democrat.

Alarmingly, blind ideological allegiance to only one of the two buckets has created a political atmosphere where the most poisonous word an elected official can mutter is “compromise.”

The byproduct of a climate where compromise is viewed with such disdain is the loss of truly lasting solutions to difficult problems.

Oversimplification only hurts us

Issues are almost never black and white. There is nuance and complexity in nearly every challenge facing society. We do ourselves a disservice when we oversimplify complex issues to fit a strict adherence to political ideology.

I am generally conservative but prefer to be thought of as a governing Republican rather than as a conservative ideologue. While in office I used my life’s experiences and best judgment to vote with Republicans when I believed the party represented my constituents and Arizona’s best interests.

When there were common sense solutions that did not fit into party platforms but did fit into the best interest of the voters, I sided with the voters.

We’ve also forgotten civility

Sometimes, difficult political decisions require immunity to fevered backlash from those prone to oversimplification and demagoguery.

Whether promoting a kinder, more empathetic approach to immigration than Senate Bill 1070, or providing a responsible safety net to those in need through Medicaid expansion, I am no stranger to such backlash. But in these instances, and others, I weighed all options with deliberate consideration and voted for human dignity over ideology.

Differences and disagreements are a given anytime there is more than one person involved. What should not be a given, however, is debasing and vitriolic rhetoric toward those with whom there is disagreement.

Civility has become a rare commodity in political debate, a fact that worries me greatly.

Aim higher than where we are now

Lack of civility in politics is not a confined phenomenon. It has bled into our neighborhoods. Increasingly, we associate only with those who share our opinions while viewing those who do not as bad actors.

This is not only detrimental to the political process, it is harmful to our communities. On this issue, I agree with Sen. John McCain who recently said, “we are more alike than different.”

I ran my campaigns on one word: Elevate. It is the singular value that has guided my life. If a problem cannot be solved on the plane on which you stand, step higher.

I still have great hope in a bright future for our state and our country. It has been my honor to serve for a season and now allow for others to have their season.

I hope I have left a legacy of genuine concern for all people and the notion that good solutions should never be bad politics.

Arizona Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, represents Legislative District 25. Follow him on Twitter: @bob_worsley.

Poll: Support For Ducey’s Teacher Raise Plan Holding Steady

Data Orbital

By Data Orbital

(Phoenix, AZ) As a follow up to our poll released this past Tuesday, April 17th, and with a possible teacher strike beginning tomorrow, it is clear that Arizona voters are still supportive of the plan put forward by Governor Ducey. These same voters have also largely heard of and are positive towards the Red for Ed campaign.

Data Orbital commissioned this poll beginning Wednesday, April 18th and ending on Saturday, April 21st, as voters have been learning more details around the Governor’s plan to increase teacher pay by 20%.  Our live caller poll found that a vast majority of Arizona voters continue to approve of the Governor’s plan.  In addition, almost 50% of voters surveyed also have a positive opinion of the Red for Ed campaign.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to give a 20% pay raise to teachers?

The support for the plan continues to be consistent along party lines.  Democrats are still most likely to favor the Governor’s plan, coming in at nearly 75%.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to give a 20% pay raise to teachers? Breakdown by Party Registration

The poll found virtually no difference between males and females in their approval of Governor Ducey’s plan.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to give a 20% pay raise to teachers? Breakdown by Gender

Support is also fairly consistent across age demographics with the highest support coming from those between 18 and 34 years of age.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to give a 20% pay raise to teachers? Breakdown by Age

Support is highest among those who have voted in at least 3 out of the last 4 general elections and lowest among those who have no previous history of voting in general elections (they made up only 3% of the sample).

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to give a 20% pay raise to teachers? Breakdown by Voting History

As mentioned above, the Red for Ed movement is fairly well known with nearly 60% of voters familiar with it and only 29% certain they hadn’t heard of it.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Have you heard about the Red for Ed movement started by Arizona Educators United?

It is not surprising that Democrats are more likely to have had positive exposure to the Red for Ed movement while Republicans have the highest negative sentiment towards it. As was mentioned above, most samples were collected prior to Red for Ed announcing their strike.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Have you heard about the Red for Ed movement started by Arizona Educators United? Breakdown by Party Registration

Women are also more likely to have a positive opinion while men are more likely to be negative in their opinion.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Have you heard about the Red for Ed movement started by Arizona Educators United? Breakdown by Gender

There also is a clear age correlation towards the overall exposure to Red for Ed. Older voters who don’t have children in K-12 are much more likely to be unfamiliar with it while younger voters with school age children have a higher positive exposure.

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Have you heard about the Red for Ed movement started by Arizona Educators United? Breakdown by Age

Demographics

Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Demographics - Gender and Age
Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Demographics - Party Affiliation and Roll-Up
Data Orbital AZ Statewide Poll Demographics - Ethnicity and General Vote History

George Khalaf, President of Data Orbital, issued the following statement: “It has been nearly a week and a half since the Governor announced his teacher pay raise plan and support has largely held steady with likely voters. These same voters tend to have positive views of Red for Ed, with support predominantly along partisan lines.”

###

This poll of 700 likely general election voters was conducted through a live survey that collected 50% of the results from land lines and 50% from cell phones. It has a margin of error at plus or minus 3.64%, with a 95% confidence interval. Respondents were weighted on a number of different demographic figures based off historical general election turnout in Arizona. The poll was conducted over four days from April 18th-21st. Toplines and demographic data can be found here and cross tabs here.  To receive regular blog updates, subscribe here.

Goldwater Institute: Who Is Really Responsible for Teacher Pay?

by Matthew Simon

West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona have all been mired in a teacher pay debate, but one question is rarely asked or answered: Who is really responsible for teacher pay?

In states across the country, the clamoring for increased pay has been well-coordinated, and the demands are costly. Teachers in West Virginia left their classroom posts for nine days, and teachers in Oklahoma rounded out their first week out of the classroom. Teachers in West Virginia returned to their classrooms after receiving a 5 percent pay increase and teachers in Oklahoma still walked out of their classrooms after receiving an average increase in pay of $6,100, demanding that it be $10,000. In Arizona, this has been dubbed the #RedforED movement. Teachers in one school district shut down nine schools in a coordinated “sickout,” and more are purportedly planned to come. Arizona Educators United and the Arizona Education Association have outlined demands in order not to abandon their classrooms, which was agreed to under their contract. Among these demands include a 20 percent teacher pay raise, which could cost Arizona taxpayers approximately $680 million in the first year alone, not including the annual inflation adjustment. Their total funding demands, according to some estimates, reach into the $5 billion figure.

The debate over teacher pay reached new heights in Arizona when the Legislature passed a 2.12 percent teacher pay increase over two years on top of all of the other funding put into schools in 2017. This pay raise was outside the norm and is not how schools are funded in Arizona. It created cumbersome language to ensure that the dollars went to the intended recipient. Not only was this just bad policy because the state doesn’t fund teachers (it funds students), but also because it reinforced this idea that state lawmakers dictate what teachers’ salaries are.

What is far too often left out of the conversation are locally elected school district governing boards. These independently elected governing boards wield considerable power in their positions by creating policies, crafting school district budgets and setting teacher pay. Collectively, these school district governing boards allocated over $8.7 billion during the 2017 school year. Because of this local management of dollars, the Classroom Spending Report produced by the Auditor General becomes increasingly informative. The Auditor General puts school districts into operational efficiency peer groups by the size, type, and geographic location of school districts.

According to the 2017 report, Tempe Elementary School District (TESD) and Alhambra Elementary School District (AESD) were in the same operational peer group. Both served a similar number of students, and they are elementary districts in urban areas. However, when you look at teacher pay and revenues generated per student, it becomes clear how local decisions can have a huge impact on teacher pay. TESD received, on average, 25 percent more per pupil than AESD but paid its teachers almost 30 percent less, on average.

TESD AESD
Students 11,049 12,524
Schools 21 14
Per Pupil $11,512 $8,562
Teacher Ratio 15.1 20.6
Avg. Years 9.3 10.4
Teacher Pay $40,899 $58,362

This isn’t the only example. Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) has been the subject of much media attention. In fact, one of the teachers within the school district posted her pay stub on social media. Her annual salary: $35,490. How could a teacher with nearly 10 years of experience and a school district that receives $10,501 per pupil be paid so little? It becomes even harder to comprehend when compared to Gilbert Unified School District (GUSD). Again, the Auditor General put these two school districts in the same operational peer group. GUSD received 16.9 percent less per pupil than PVUSD, but it was able to pay its teachers 5.5 percent more.

PVUSD GUSD
Students 30,741 33,808
Schools 44 40
Per Pupil $10,501 $8,720
Teacher Ratio 17.4 17.8
Avg. Years 12.7 11.9
Teacher Pay $48,299 $51,125

And just to make the point abundantly clear, Balsz Elementary School District (Balsz) and Tolleson Elementary School District (Tolleson) show a similar trend. Tolleson receives 24.5 percent less than Balsz per pupil, but it is able to pay its teachers, on average, 13 percent more.

Balsz Tolleson
Students 2,315 2,980
Schools 5 4
Per Pupil $11,998 $9,049
Teacher Ratio 17.7 19.6
Avg. Years 8.9 9.6
Teacher Pay $44,954 $51,705

If Arizona teachers and the public have a gripe with elected officials, the elected officials they should be targeting with this anger need to be their locally elected school district governing boards. The comparisons make it clear: It’s about how those dollars are spent. When a school district governing board prioritizes teacher pay, teacher pay is higher. If the Legislature were to meet the multi-billion dollar demands of #RedforED, there is no guarantee that those dollars would get where they were intended to go. Instead, these teachers and the public should be attending their local school district governing board meetings, examining their budgets, and holding them accountable.

This article can be read here.

Matthew Simon is the director of education policy at the Goldwater Institute. 

Meet Commissioner Justin Olson

Last October, Governor Doug Ducey appointed Justin Olson to the Arizona Corporation Commission in confidence that he would serve with ethics and integrity.

Since his appointment, Olson has enacted rate reductions that have lowered our electric bills. He has a long history in Arizona and really cares about serving ratepayers. He’s passionate about tax policy and is already bringing the kind of tax savings home to us.

Justin Olson is able to do this because he brings experience and expertise that the commission has never had before. He earned an MBA from ASU and understands business and finance. Olson also served in the Arizona Legislature where he worked to balance the budget without increasing debt, using gimmicks or raising our taxes.

Justin Olson is a true conservative who is looking out for Arizonans. After viewing this video you will see why he is the real deal and is acting in our best interests. Olson represents us and is sincerely looking out for Arizona ratepayers.

If you’d like to learn more about Commissioner Olson, check out his website at votejustinolson.com