The Arizona Conservative Coalition invites you to look at the latest weekly update of its Legislator Evaluation.
It can be linked to here or type
into your browser.
Arizona Conservative Coalition Republican Legislator Rankings
Legislative Actions as of 3/15/2013
Last Updated 3/15/2013
We continue working with Republican legislators to refine the bill weights. There have been a few additions and some changes.
One change that has been suggested by a Republican legislator is to change the name of the classification Bipartisan Republican to Progressive Republican. We have not received any ideas we thought are better, so we made that change.
The number of bills being tracked is still 251 plus 3 Strike All amended bills.
Bills introduced in one body of the legislature are now being considered in the other body. This means there will be a lot of votes in committee and floor votes. Typically, the scores of Senators and Representatives start to get closer at this time because they are now voting on bills that the legislators in the other body already voted on. Scores are starting to stabilize, but there are still a lot of votes that can change the scores. We have seen some changes – especially in the Senate – this past week.
These are NOT final scores for the session until our final report after the session ends! We encourage conservative activists to use these weekly evaluations as a way to work with legislators to achieve more conservative results in the legislative session.
The legislation causing the most lowering of scores is HB2047 which switches Arizona from the AIMS standard to the Common Core standard. Our concern is that Common Core surrenders state autonomy on education to the federal government and promotes nationalization of education well beyond the proper scope of the federal government. In addition, the curriculum associated with Common Core relies on an international perspective instead of traditional study of American and World history.
Another bill causing low scores HB2045 which allows state bureaucrats to change Medicaid reimbursements without legislative oversight. This will probably evolve into a bed tax. Bureaucrats should enforce the laws passed by the legislature rather than make law. The legislature should NOT delegate its law making power to the executive branch. This bill bypasses voter passed limits on enacting taxes by pushing the process into bureaucratic regulation instead of explicit legislation.
Other bills having a significant impact remove significant limitations on school district spending or increase government regulation of businesses. Many Republican legislators have argued that good business regulations that “make people do the right thing” are good. This, unfortunately, is almost a perfect definition of fascism which Republicans traditionally oppose. There are always situations where we might wish others would deal with us on terms of our choosing when they are not willing to do so. Using government to force people to deal with us on our terms rather than mutually agreed upon terms is tyranny even if it is dressed up as consumer protection or professional responsibility or trying to improve market efficiency. Of course, in a free economy, people can decide for themselves what is good and make decisions on that basis as both consumers and businesses. Also, government regulations usually have unintended consequences that are usually bad. These consequences are then used to justify still more regulation when less regulation is the best solution.
To look at the legislator scores, click on scores.
The Arizona Conservative Coalition (formerly the Pachyderm Coalition), has released its latest update to its legislator ratings.
You can find them at this web site:
Take a look at the rest of the site while you are there!
I am running for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman because I love our Party, our Principles, and want future generations of Americans to enjoy the same freedoms that we have. My goal as your Chairman is to get back to the basics and BUILD OUR PARTY! We are desperately in need of a reboot and my team and I are the leaders with the experience and PROVEN track records to do this. Words on a resume don’t mean anything if results and accomplishments don’t back them up.
When you review my resume you will see that I have been very committed, involved and elected to many leadership positions. In each position that I have been fortunate to serve in, I had a plan and a unified team with a vision that worked to make each organization more effective. I have also been recognized through various awards for my leadership, hard work and dedication.
As I have visited with Precinct Committeemen, District leaders and elected officials across the County, a common thread that I see, is that there are amazing people in our Party, who want to work together and WIN elections. TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS!
I would be honored to serve as your Chairman, and I ask for your vote on January 12th.
• Chairman, Legislative District 21
• Grassroots Campaign Coordinator, FreedomWorks
• Save Our Vote/No on Prop 121 Committee Member
• MCRC Executive Guidance Committee Member
• Ex-officio Arizona State Republican Party Executive Committee
• State Committeeman
• Precinct Committeeman
• Chairman, Legislative District 9
• 2nd Vice Chairman, Legislative District 9
• Delegate, Legislative District 9 Arizona State GOP Convention
• President, Sun City Republican Club
• President, Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots
• Co-leader, Northwest Valley Tea Party Patriots
Learn more about my experience and background by clicking here.
Robert Graham Releases Video Thanking Arizona’s Conservative Grassroots for Defeating Proposition 204 and 121
“Despite [. . .] disadvantages, we organized quickly, worked hard, and proved that when you have a clear message and you stand up for your principles, you can’t lose.”
PHOENIX – Today, Robert Graham, candidate for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, released a video thanking Arizona’s Conservative grassroots for their efforts in defeating Proposition 204 and 121.
The video highlights the tireless efforts of canvassers, callers, and volunteers in spreading the message that Proposition 204 and 121 were wrong for Arizona. To watch the video, click on the link here, or watch the embedded video below.
Statement from Andrew Wilder, communications director for Flake for Senate, regarding GOTV efforts:
“As part of our final get-out-the vote effort, the Flake for Senate campaign put in motion a telephone call operation designed to contact 120,000 Arizona Republicans to ask them for their support and to direct them to their proper precinct. In the course of this massive operation, there were apparently a few errors ineither the person’s party preference or correct number.
“Five individuals have complained, resulting in the overheated rhetoric and a complaint, neither of which is surprising in light of the Sunday survey by the Democratic-leaning polling firm PPP showing Jeff Flake leading his opponent by five points.
“The KPNX story that prompted this was incomplete, and really made no sense since the calls were made to 120,000 registered Republicans and encouraged them to vote. The station elevated breathless insinuation over the real explanation for a handful of mistakes caused by some adult children registered under their parents’ address, voters who had moved but not updated their registration or incorrect phone numbers in the database. The station failed to note that Flake for Senate worked with and consulted county election officials in compiling the information for our supporters about their correct polling location.
“Of the dozen calls from voters with questions about the information provided, the Flake campaign was able to reconcile nearly all of them. In each case where we were informed of a mistake, we have attempted to work with that voter to give them the correct information on where they can vote. Again, this autodial was targeted to registered Republicans; it encouraged them to vote and provided them the address of their polling place. The few Democrats who may have inadvertently received the call got it because of errant information in the database owing to circumstances like those detailed above.”
Attached is a document detailing each case cited by the Arizona Democratic Party along with a response from the Flake campaign that sheds light on why the voter may have been contacted erroneously.
We have received many requests on who to vote for on the many judges seeking retention. The typical rule of thumb is to vote AGAINST all judges. For those of you who would prefer to reward good judges, one of our friends researched and scanned the following image. You should be able to click on this and print it out.
Please feel free to comment on any information you may have about these judges.
Please share this with others by posting on Facebook or Tweeting.
Proposition 204 is a bureaucratic boondoggle. It is a permanent tax for a temporary problem. It is an inflexible program that increases taxes forever and ties the hands of any future policies to properly adjust Arizona’s Sales Tax Code. It just doesn’t work and we will not be able to fix it.
Our schools in rural Arizona are very important to us – but our children and our future are even more important. Proposition 204 pretends to know and direct the needs of our schools tomorrow through a flawed policy they present to us today. We support education and the continued funding of our schools – we just need to make sure we can adjust and direct these resources to better learning priorities in the future. Proposition 204 ties our hands and will not allow us to adjust the spending of these tax dollars to the learning priorities of parents and children in the future.
Please vote NO on Proposition 204!
Norman J. Hinz, President, Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association, Phoenix
Patrick Bray, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, Phoenix
Vote No on Prop 117!
This is from JLBC’s own fiscal note. It’s clear this will hurt the State General fund and shift more property tax to homeowners.
|BILL # SCR 1025||TITLE: property tax assessed valuation; limitation|
|SPONSOR: Yarbrough||STATUS: As Introduced|
|PREPARED BY: Hans Olofsson|
SCR 1025 would amend the Arizona Constitution, upon voter approval, by limiting the annual growth of locally assessed real property to 5%, beginning in Tax Year (TY) 2014. By way of comparison, current law limits the annual valuation growth of such property to the greater of: (1) 10% or (2) 25% of the difference between the parcel’s full cash value in the current year and the parcel’s limited value in the prior year. In addition, under current law, as well as under the resolution, a parcel’s limited value can never exceed its full cash value.
Under current law, primary taxes are levied on a parcel’s limited value, whereas secondary taxes are levied on its full cash value. Primary taxes are levied to pay for the maintenance and operation of local governments and secondary taxes are levied to pay for debt service, budget overrides, and special taxing districts. SCR 1025 would provide that all property taxes be levied on the limited value.
If approved by voters in the 2012 General Election, SCR 1025 would become effective in TY 2014. Under the state’s valuation calendar, the 5% cap would first apply to 2013 property valuations, which are not subject to taxes until FY 2015. For this reason, the fiscal impact of the valuation growth cap would not occur until earliest FY 2015.
When future property values grow by more than 5%, there could be a relatively small increase in the state’s General Fund cost for the constitutional 1% Cap provision (see discussion below). The timing of this fiscal impact is uncertain, however, since it depends on when residential and commercial property values will begin growing again, which cannot be determined in advance. Additionally, it is also difficult to predict the exact rate at which future values will grow.
According to historical county levy limit worksheets, the statewide annual growth in locally assessed real property values has varied over time. For example, primary assessed real property appreciated at an average annual rate of 4.8% between TY 2000 and TY 2006. This was followed by average annual growth of 9.7% between TY 2007 and TY 2009, and average annual decline of (11.5)% between TY 2010 and TY 2012.
Preliminary notice of value data indicates that real property values will decline in TY 2013. It is still uncertain, however, whether real property values will increase or decrease in TY 2014. It is also difficult to predict exactly when statewide locally assessed valuation growth will first exceed 5%. When this occurs, however, the resolution’s growth cap would result in a higher truth-in-taxation (TNT) rate for the K-12 qualifying tax rate (QTR) and state equalization tax rate (SETR) than under current law. Under TNT, the QTR and SETR are adjusted each year to offset the change in statewide existing property values. For example, if property values grow by 7% under the current law, the QTR declines by 7% to hold the tax levy on existing property constant. Under SCR 1025, the growth will be limited to 5% and the QTR will only decline by 5%.
Unless the Legislature decided to override the automatic rate adjustments under TNT, SCR 1025 would have essentially no impact on Basic State Aid to schools since the higher K-12 tax rates would be offset by commensurately lower property values.
The 5% growth cap would also result in higher maximum allowable tax rates for local governments than under current law. The Arizona Constitution allows counties, community colleges, cities and towns to increase their primary property tax levies on existing property by 2% each year. While levy limits would not change under SCR 1025, the lower tax base under the resolution could result in higher local property tax rates than under current law. These higher local tax rates could potentially raise the cost of the “1% Cap.” Under the Arizona Constitution, the total combined primary tax levied on owner-occupied residential property is limited to 1% of the parcel’s value. When the combined tax rate exceeds 1% of residential property values, the state holds school districts harmless by paying them the amount in excess of 1% that otherwise would have been paid by homeowners. The estimated statewide cost of the 1% Cap was $6.8 million in FY 2012. The increased cost of the 1% Cap under SCR 1025, if any, cannot be determined in advance.
Local Government Impact
Since all property taxes under SCR 1025, including taxes to pay for bonds, overrides, and special districts, would be based on limited value rather than full cash value, the resolution would limit future bonding capacity for local governments in years when full cash value would grow faster than 5%.
by Anonymous Because I Could Lose My Job
Usually, rank-and-file voters make up their minds last minute. Additionally, they only really bother to vote in the races at the top of the ticket: President, U.S. Senate, Congress, and Governor. State offices tend to fall by the wayside. If voters aren’t going to bother to be informed, it’s not such a bad thing because no one in their right mind would advocate for the uninformed casting votes. But if you live in the new LD 20, if you are going to bother to vote down-ticket from the Presidential race, the U.S. Senate race, and Congressional races, much less vote at all, it’s high time you know the truth about the LD 20 Arizona Senate candidate named Doug Quelland. Elections have consequences. If you vote for him, just know the kind of person you’ll be voting for.
Voters should know Quelland has been removed from office before because he violated a number of campaign finance laws. In fact, Quelland is continuing to skirt the law even today by putting up “Q” signs without the required “paid by” disclosure (more on this later). Once you learn about Quelland’s assertions about his campaign finance as opposed to the evidence to the contrary, couple that with his claims about his political beliefs as opposed to his record, and see his actions today, you’ll understand that the man has a continuing track record of fundamental dishonesty.
The only thing worse than a politician that lies is a lying politician that stands for nothing. Doug Quelland is that politician. In the past, Quelland has campaigned as a conservative, but his voting record shows him as anything but. His scores from Goldwater Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and Pachyderm Coalition show that his votes have been all over the map: some years, he scored as high as the most conservative members; other years, he was the most liberal Republican in the House.
Is this really who you want to vote for?
QUELLAND’S DISHONESTY re PAYING A POLITICAL CONSULTANT WITH BUSINESS FUNDS IN 2008
During the 2008 campaign season, Quelland, mid-stream, decided to become a “participating” candidate. Quelland failed to disclose a consulting contract with Larry Davis of Intermedia PR that he was required to disclose when he became a Clean Elections candidate. Quelland asserts that he aborted the contract 2 days after he made it and before he became a participating candidate, never paid the consultant at all and wasn’t required to report it. However, the CCEC produced a number of checks from Quelland’s Q-Land Enterprises, Inc. business account to the consultant during the course of the campaign. Not only were payments made, but the corporate payments to the consultant were made on the exact same time schedule agreed to in the contract that Quelland claimed he terminated. Clean Elections candidates can’t accept corporate donations, but Quelland financed his “clean elections” campaign not only with public money, but with his business’ money too. One could argue that Quelland sought to circumvent campaign finance laws by trying to pay a consultant through his business so the corporate donations would be off the campaign books and undetectable. Additional information tends to prove that Quelland didn’t terminate the contract at all: the consultant did campaign work for Quelland, got a campaign debit card to make expenditures, worked with vendors for Quelland’s campaign, collected signatures for him and held two fundraisers for him. What’s worse is that Quelland testified that the consultant collected no signatures for his campaign, but signed petitions show that the consultant did collect signatures. In simple terms, Quelland lied to the CCEC about hiring the consultant, illegally paid the consultant through his business account, and lied about the consultant collecting signatures for him. Granted, Quelland asserts that he hired Intermedia to do work for his businesses and that Davis did volunteer work for his campaign, but if that’s true, why wasn’t there a separate contract for business services and only the contract for campaign services that Quelland claims he terminated and why did the corporate payments to Intermedia match the schedule in the political consulting contract?
QUELLAND VIOLATED SPENDING CAPS
If one runs as a participating candidate, they agree, up front, to spending limits. Quelland’s corporate payments to Intermedia not only were illegal because they were business donations, but the amount spent put Quelland well over the spending limits he agreed to. Do you want to vote for someone who violates agreements? Is it honest? Is it the level of honesty that you expect from a politician?
QUELLAND VIOLATED CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULES WITH HIS WEBSITE
In addition to violating the CCEC campaign funding rules by failing to disclose the political consulting contract when he chose to become a participating candidate and paying for the political consulting services with his corporate accounts, he re-used a campaign website he used from 2006 and failed to report its use to the CCEC. According to CCEC rules, Quelland was required to report the use of the website and count the fair market value of the site’s use as a campaign expense. Quelland failed to make any report of the site.
QUELLAND’S VOTING RECORD
As mentioned before, Quelland made representations to those who signed his petitions that he was a conservative. True conservatives believe in, and endeavor not to waver from, a set of principles: less taxation, less spending, smaller government, the law meaning what it says (that is the rule of law as opposed to judicial activism). A hallmark of true conservatism is a consistent voting record. In 2003 and 2006, the Goldwater Institute gave Quelland scores that put him in the middle of the Republican pack. In 2004 and 2005, according to Goldwater, Quelland earned scores that put him in the company of top conservatives.
In 2009, Goldwater scored him as one of the most liberal Republicans in the legislature. The Pachyderm Coalition gave him the lowest score of any Republican in the legislature that year for the regular session, but their special session report marks him as a middle-of-the-road Republican.
In 2010, according to Goldwater, Quelland returned to voting with the middle of the Republican pack. Americans for Prosperity’s 2010 score card that includes cumulative scoring gives Quelland a rating that equates him with liberal Republicans. Pachyderm’s ratings that year again gave Quelland the lowest marks in the legislature.
As is illustrated by these scores, Quelland oscillates politically like a garden sprinkler. He’s all over the map from year to year. The fact that the man is absolutely inconsistent in his voting record shows that no voter can trust what the man says he believes in because he may vote the opposite way the very next year.
DOUG QUELLAND’S CONTINUING, CONSISTENT PATTERN OF FUNDAMENTAL DISHONESTY
If you live in LD 20 or the immediate area, you’ve likely seen red “Q” signs that are similar to campaign signs. While, Quelland has claimed the signs are promoting his business, the “business signs” are the size of campaign signs, they’re put up in the exact same areas as other political signs, are erected during campaign season, and are shuttled to their spots in a truck covered in Quelland for Senate signs. Most importantly, Quelland asks supporters to put a Q sign in their yards on his political website. If the Q signs are not political signs, why does he ask supporters to put them up in their yards like they are campaign signs? Additionally, the signs on the truck have no “paid by” disclosure either. But this isn’t all when it comes to Quelland’s consistently dishonest behavior!
This election cycle, Quelland has paid for letters distributed to homes in the district inviting the residents to visit his campaign website and learn about his policy positions. Quelland claimed that he put “paid by” stickers on the letters and the stickers must have fallen off, but when the Secretary of State’s office tried to remove one of the stickers Quelland claims he applied, the letter was damaged. Considering the letter was damaged when the sticker was removed, do YOU believe the stickers “just fell off”?
Even after the complaint about Quelland’s letters arose, one local news outlet noticed that Quelland’s campaign website also lacked the requisite funding disclosures. Since the news outlet pointed out the lack of campaign disclosures on Quelland’s website, the disclosure has been added. So, taken in the aggregate, one can see that Quelland has serious difficulties with campaign finance requirements and an inability to tell the truth about it. One might think that if a candidate had encountered difficulties with campaign finance disclosures, they might become paranoid about them and disclose who things are paid by more often than is necessary, but Quelland seems to take the opposite lesson.
Quelland has an outstanding CCEC judgment against him for $31,000 from 2009 and he has yet to pay it. Apparently, he has an agreement to pay the judgment, but he has not adhered to the agreement. According to one source, he has a, “wink and a nod agreement with the Attorney General.” In other words, Quelland and the AG put up a written agreement to make it appear that there’s enforcement, but Quelland has no intention of paying back the $31,000 and the AG will do nothing to truly see that the fine is paid.
Between his website and linked Twitter account, Quelland states that he will personally visit every household in LD 20. Numerous individuals questioned about visits by Quelland said that they were never paid a visit by him. Insignificant? Sure, but it shows a consistent, continuing pattern of dishonesty by Quelland.
CURRENT THOUGHT ABOUT QUELLAND’S CAMPAIGN
In a recent Capitol Times article, consultants noted that Quelland hasn’t raised very much money for his campaign and has contributed personal funds to keep the campaign going. The consultants interviewed were dismissive of his campaign. That’s dangerous. Any candidate should always take their opponents seriously lest they be upset. One of the consultants stated that if Quelland wanted to win, he needed to stroke a big personal check, but if he stroked a personal check it suggests he could pay the fine he’s been willfully ignoring.
The only thing consistent about Quelland is inconsistency. There’s inconsistency in the fabricated excuses he tried to sell the CCEC, inconsistency in his voting record, and inconsistency between his current behavior and the law. Voters expect candidates to fulfil their promises: promises to pay fines, promises to abide by campaign finance laws, promises to be transparent in their campaign funding, and promises to adhere to either party platforms or stated positions. Quelland can’t be counted on to fulfill any promises.
If one speculates that Quelland may actually believe the lies he’s told, one might discern a pattern of insanity in the man. Quelland’s actions actually conform when viewed through the lens of insanity as an explanation for his actions: believing his own lies; megalomania, believing he’s above the law, expressed in his consistent flaunting of disclosure laws and refusal to pay the judgment against him; the strange moustache; outrageous assertions that he’s visited every home in the district…it all fits. Granted, this is all pure speculative musings from someone with no expertise in the mental health field.
Elections have consequences. If you’re going to vote, learn what you can about the candidates and vote as wisely as possible. The questions remains, LD 20 voters, considering everything above, is this the man you want representing you? Is he reflective of your views? Is this the man you want standing in your stead casting votes in your name?
Historical Averages Seemingly Indicate High Turnout for 2012 General Election
Watched any TV lately? Opened your mailbox? Answered your phone? Driven to work? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely have noticed it’s election season! I’ve seen so much political advertising over the past few months I’ve started to hear ‘I approve this message’ in my sleep.
We are all aware of the endless series of political commercials, mail pieces and phone calls promoting Candidate X and criticizing Candidate Y. But what impact will these various methods of communication have on voter turnout?
The Grand Canyon State has nearly 5 million eligible voters. About 3.1 million Arizonans are registered to vote and only 28% of those registered participated in the state’s primary election in August. With such dismal turnout in the primary, what should we expect for November’s election?
History seems to indicate a significant increase from the August primary. In years where Arizonans have had the opportunity to cast their ballot for president, we see the highest rate of voter participation. Since 1974, Arizona has experienced approximately a 73% turnout rate in presidential elections and 57% in off years. In 1980, with Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter at the top of the ticket, turnout surged past 80% while in 2008, the Obama v. McCain race generated a 77% turnout.
While a 77% turnout rate is a significant number, it can be better and we have taken steps to improve the voting process to make it as convenient as possible. We’ve made it possible to find your polling place, track the status of your early ballot and check your registration all from most smartphones. Electronic poll books have increased efficiency and early balloting, or voting by mail, has proven to be an enormously popular initiative.
In 2008 nearly 53% of statewide votes were cast by early ballot. Just two years later the percentage rose to 61%. Now, we have about 1.5 million voters on the state’s Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL). While those numbers are impressive, they are not nearly as remarkable as the percentage of those on PEVL who actually vote. In 2008, 91% of early ballots were returned. During the midterm election of 2010, that rate decreased to 76%. With such a large number of voters on PEVL for this Presidential election we could see near record levels of participation.
Partisan voter turnout also can provide some insight as to what to look for in the general election. Four years ago 81% of registered Republicans voted in November. Democrats turned out at a rate of 73% and 69% of so-called “Independents” voted. Green and Libertarian party members voted with 84% and 76% respectively.
Over the last 100 years, Arizona has had a handful of elections that came down to one vote. Could this be the year we have another? Could you be that one vote that makes the difference?
While numbers and percentages can help us understand historical trends and patterns, each vote could be the difference between a winning candidate and a losing campaign. It’s your voice. It’s your vote. Make it count!
Ken Bennett currently serves as the Arizona Secretary of State. You can read more about Ken Bennett at: http://www.azsos.gov/info/bio.htm
McCain, Kyl and 5 Arizona Congressmen earn perfect 100% scores
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 12, 2012 – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small-business association, today named 294 members of Congress as Guardians of Small Business for their outstanding voting record on behalf of America’s small-business owners in the 111th Congress.
In announcing the winners of the coveted Guardian of Small Business award, Danner said, “Small-business owners pay close attention to how their lawmakers vote on the issues affecting their businesses. The Guardian award is a symbol of sincere appreciation from the small-business community for votes that supported their ability to own, operate and grow their businesses.
“Small-business owners are also known to show their gratitude or disappointment at the ballot box. This November, NFIB members will know that these members of Congress are true small-business champions.”
Guardian awards are given to U.S. Senators and Representatives who vote favorably on key small business issues at least 70 percent of the time.
The following NFIB Guardian Award Winners for the 112th Congress representing Arizona all scored 100 percent:
U. S. Senate
Sen. Jon Kyl
Sen. John McCain
(with 45 senators from other states)
U. S. House of Representatives
Rep. Jeff Flake
Rep. Trent Franks
Rep. Paul Gosar
Rep. Ben Quayle
Rep. David Schweikert
(with 242 representatives from other states)
EDITOR’S NOTE: To view How Congress Voted, which has the key small-business votes and voting percentages for each lawmaker, go to http://www.NFIB.com/hcv.
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with 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 350,000 members send their 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 online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.
Please watch both of these videos to ensure that our 2012 elections are carried out honestly, fairly and accurately.
Be sure to “Like” the Verify The Vote Facebook page!
Great Job Jennifer and Brad!
[Update: Site Administrator has moved it under "Guest Opinion"]
(Author’s note: This is NOT a press release, it’s a Guest Opinion, but I don’t have that log-in. This opinion was posted anonymously for a reason: some people can’t express their opinions without endangering their jobs.)
Let me be brutally frank. You’ve been dazzled by good-sounding ballot initiative titles quite regularly and, in the end, the initiatives never do what their liberal proponents have duped you into believing they’d do. Let me give you some examples to illustrate and prove the point. According to “Clean Elections”’ liberal proponents, the measure was supposed to “level the playing field,” which has been an illegal purpose according to American jurisprudence for quite some time, but in the end, it got more conservatives elected. The recent proposal to increase sales taxes by 18% was sold to you as a measure to protect education, health care and public safety funding. Did it? No! The Independent Redistricting Commission was supposed to give us more competitive races. Has it? No! We’ve got more uncontested races and races that will be decided in a primary than ever before! Term limits were supposed to force turnover in politics so those “evil politicians” couldn’t accumulate too much power. In reality, politicians stay in power despite term limits by playing a virtual musical chairs of elected positions. Ultimately, you,. The voter, are directly responsible for killing institutional knowledge and increasing the power of unelected legislative staff members. Great job!
Certainly you have heard the cliché, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Frankly, voters, you’re WELL PAST the shame on you stage! You voted for all the above measures and NONE of them delivered on the promises the liberal proponents made to you! Similarly, this “Open Government” initiative sounds great at first blush, but its liberal proponents will not deliver on their promises. They will fail you this time like they’ve failed you every time before.
If you read between the lines of the arguments that the sponsors and proponents of the jungle primary make, it’s plain to see that they have an agenda: to drag the political football to the left. The sponsors and proponents of the initiative argue that a jungle primary will fill the legislature with fewer extremists and more moderates will be elected. No Republican has any business voting for this initiative. Democrats? Well, what Democrat doesn’t want fewer Republicans elected overall and a greater percentage of those Republican office holders to be moderate? Independents, if you want to continue to be dissatisfied with the parties, go ahead and vote for this initiative. Do you, voters, honestly believe that extremist Democrats like former State Senator Kyrsten Sinema or current State Senator Steve Gallardo will be ousted by moderate Democrats? Extremist Democrats won’t be ousted at all, but what the liberals are hoping is that conservative legislators will be picked off by liberal “Republicans” like Senators Rich Crandall, Adam Driggs, John Nelson, Nancy Barto; Speaker Andy Tobin; Representatives Heather Carter, Karen Fann, Bob Robson; and former-Rep. Bill Konopnicki, etc.
So, with extreme Democrats and liberal Republicans in power, you can see that the ultimate result will be that the state will take a hard left turn because liberal “Republicans” will betray the party’s principles and side with the Democrats when it matters most. Big government is already a problem considering our national debt and deficit spending, this initiative will only compound our problems by adding irresponsible state spending on top of outrageous federal spending.
Recently, we’ve witnessed ultra-liberal Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts embark on a “Dekookify” the state campaign. Laurie has heralded this “Open Government” proposal in her column and has argued, like the sponsors of this measure, that it will remove the “kooks” from the legislature and install moderates in power. Let’s be perfectly clear: the ONLY people Ms. Roberts considers “kooks” are conservatives and she is the Left’s willing “useful idiot.” Ms. Roberts is so benighted that she doesn’t understand that without the “kooks” she’d have nothing to write about and she’d be out of a job. People want to hear about CONFLICT, it’s what gets them engaged and interested in politics. If she got what she claims she wants, moderate legislators all holding hands and singing Kum By Ya and constantly passing “non-controversial” legislation that steadily grows the government, no one would want to read the stories about everyone compromising. It’s one of the reasons why Rodney King’s admontion , “Can’t we all just get along?” is so laughable. Like it or not, humans LIVE for conflict. It’s the common and uniting theme in our history, our music, or novels, our plays, our news, etc. Laurie Roberts would put herself out of a job because even fewer people would buy the Republic, subscriptions would decline even further and there’d be no money to pay Ms. Roberts’ salary because no one wants to read non-stories with no conflict. Idiot. I am ASTOUNDED that she is actually PAID to put her opinions in print!!
Let me ask you, voters and Ms. Roberts, if the electorate is so dissatisfied with our elected officials, why do we have so many uncontested races? Why are so many contests being settled in the primary? Why isn’t EVERY race contested? Why aren’t ALL races settled in a general election? The fact that we have so few contested races reflects that people aren’t as unhappy as you, Ms. Roberts, and the sponsors of this initative (and even the proponents of the IRC initiative) like to intentionally mislead the public into believing. The lack of any real contests proves that you are a bald-faced liar, Ms. Roberts, and that goes for the sponsors of this initiative as well. Shane may have treated you with kid gloves on Sunday Square Off, Ms. Roberts, but I won’t because you’re threatening the state that I love dearly. I take my patriotism very seriously.
If the proponents of this “Open Government” initiative aim to get more Democrats elected and, of the Republicans elected, more moderates, think about what the impact would be on voter registration. It would energize the Democrats and they’d recover their flagging registration percentages while disenfranchised and discouraged conservatives would flee the Republican Party to re-register as Independents. This initiative is insidious and it’s a liberal’s wet dream come true. I cannot urge voters enough to reject this initiative.
I know you, voters, are also familiar with the cliché, “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” As stated above, no one would pay attention to politics if we all elected a bunch of moderate, compromising legislators that had no guiding principles. Basically, you would lose any interest in politics and that, my friends, would breed corruption. Is corruption really what you want?
I know you’ve also heard the adage that, “There’s not a lick of difference between the Demopublicans and the Republicrats.” This measure would fuel that cynicism and continue to drive people away from the parties. In essence, it is a lack of adherence to a set of guiding principles that has driven voters from both parties. Former President Ronald Reagan likened strong adherence to principles to, “bold colors” and likened a lack of guiding principles to, “pale pastels.” He wanted stark contrasts between Republicans and Democrats. It is a LACK of differences between the parties that breeds cynicism, opacity. Bold colors have served BOTH parties very well. Democrats are energized by liberal politicians like President Obama and Republicans are energized by strong conservatives like Ronald Reagan. Democrats have been critical of both Clinton and Obama for not being liberal enough! Similarly, conservatives castigate moderate Republicans for not being conservative enough. To further illustrate the point, no one gets excited about moderate elected officials. No one cares about liberal RepublicanU.S. Sens. Lindsay Graham or Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins. So, if you vote for the “Open Government” initiative, you’re going to be voting to replace our current elected officials with boring officials that prove the old cliché about there being no difference between the parties and you’re going to be asleep at the wheel (or voter booth as the case may be…if you even bother to vote in the future). Is that really what you want?
As stated above, elected officials’ lack of adherence to a clearly defined set of guiding principles has driven liberals out of the Democratic Party and conservatives out of the Republican Party. Not only will this initiative promote opacity in government because it will breed apathy because of boring elected officials, but it will also breed opacity in that it will continue to drive voters from the parties and thereby make it much more difficult to identify and target voters for contact by those seeking office. It’s easy for Republicans to target Republicans in an election and easy for Democrats to target Democrats…but how does a campaign identify exactly what an “Independent” believes and get information to like-minded independent voters to turn them out to vote? If you vote for this, people are going to become increasingly dissatisfied with the parties and you will receive less information on the candidates. In other words, you’ll not only be voting for a lack of enthusiasm about politics if you vote for this initiative, but you’ll also be voting to make yourself more ignorant about candidates since you can’t be as easily targeted for contact. Apathy, ignorance, opacity. Sounds like just what we need!
One concept that you, voters, seem to fail to grasp on a regular basis is that we are guaranteed a republican form of government. The initiative process is a democratic form of government. We’ve been warned since Plato and even by our Founding Fathers that democracy is an inferior form of government to a republic. Your consistently poor votes on initiatives are proof of that fact. You’ve heard the cliché that, “elections have consequences.” That cliché is absolutely true. WAKE UP, people! Quit falling for soundbite arguments and do some critical thinking for once and REJECT this utterly stupid proposal! I know my arguments are counter-intuitive, they take some time and thought to understand, but I believe the points are valid because they’re supported by evidence. If you pass this initiative, you get what you deserve…and I’ll be observing the results and waiting in the wings to excoriate you again when I’m proven right.
We have been working with Republican legislators to refine the bill weights. They have had private access to our proposed weights prior to our publication of them. Of course, there is nothing to encourage feedback like actually publishing the ratings! We have gotten significant feedback on bills to add to our evaluation and weight change suggestions. There are several that have been included in this update and there are still a several more to be reviewed for next week’s update. After next week, most of the changes should be due to bills being amended.
The number of bills being tracked now is 187(an increase of 14) plus 37 bills that have strike all amendments.
There are a lot of legislators with high scores including many representatives who have +100% ratings!
Although we are well into the session, there are still many floor votes as well as committee votes to come. The scores currently are still heavily influenced by bill sponsorships compared to floor and committee votes, but, as more votes are taken, they will have an increasing impact on the scores as the session continues. Also, any action rated negatively, such as missing a vote or voting the opposite of our recommendation, has a disproportionately large impact earlier in the session before they are balanced out by third and final reads that are weighted more heavily and come closer to the end of the session.
We have tightened up the categorization we apply to the scores. Reagan Republican has stayed the same, the RINO score range has expanded, and the other categories have higher score values with narrower ranges.
Check the ratings here.