Gould Stripped of Committee Chairmanship

Okay, so there isn’t much to talk about at the Capitol these days, so forgive us if we’re all abuzz at the news that Senate President Bob Burns has taken away Senator Ron Gould’s committee chairmanship.  According to a “tweet” from Gould, “President Burns just took away my comittee chairmanship over my NO vote on the TAX HIKE. Sad day for rank & file republicans.”

The move was not entirely unexpected, as Gould is routinely a reliable vote against the Republican budgets and was, along with Senator Pamela Gorman, the holdouts that prevented the budget bill from passing.  The bill, which contained spending cuts and tax cuts as well, also permitted a public vote on a proposed three-year 1-cent increase in the sales tax.  That was a deal breaker for Gould and Gorman who refused to support the bill, in spite of the laundry list of conservative groups and individuals lined up in support of it.  In fairness, longtime liberal lioness Senator Carolyn Allen also refused to support the bill, but that was because it had too many spending cuts and tax cuts in it and she felt it was far too conservative to support.  Gorman ended up resigning her position as Whip before she could be replaced and now Gould finds himself without a committee.

People we have spoken to do not expect the move to accomplish very much.  “Gould just shows up, votes no, picks up his paycheck and goes home.  That isn’t going to change now” said one Capitol politico.  Another pointed out that President Burns had no reason to believe that Gould was ever going to get on the same page as the Republican majority, so while he might not have anything to gain, he also had nothing to lose by making this move.

It will be interesting to see how this move impacts Gould in his own district.  While his votes often earn him applause at GOP gatherings, he has been an ineffective Senator in terms of getting his own bills passed, and he now finds his own power further diminished with the loss of the Chairmanship.

The last time this happened was when Representatives O’Halleran and Hershberger were stripped of their chairmanships for blocking a Republican budget.  Each survived one more term before being beaten in a primary.  Gould has one term remaining in the Senate, is running for office, and has no declared opposition at this time.


  1. Gould is an obstructionist and can almost be called a RINO. He stood in the way of a very good budget bill that had a lot of good cuts in it. If the tax failed, the cuts were still there.
    We don’t elect ideologues that don’t care about anyone but themselves. We elect representatives who are supposed to represent our best interests.

  2. Gould may be courageous to the point of foolhardiness, but he is not a rank and file Republican.

    If Gould was smarter, he’d be trying to get with the D’s and make the sales tax rate a lot higher before it gets to the ballot, which would increase the chance that it fails.

  3. HA! Speculating Gould will have trouble winning reelection made me laugh. Gould is as popular as ever with the conservative Platform honoring majority of the Republican Party.

    Sen. President Bob Burns is the “At Fault” pary in this car-crash of an idea to strip Gould of his Chairmanship. That’s just great…going to find a more moderate voice for us Pres. Burns? Thanks for nothing!

  4. Veritas Vincit says

    Ultimately Burns will be burned by this boneheaded move.

    That doesn’t absolve Gould … but Snickers has a terrific idea. Jack the sales tax proposal to cover the sun, moon and stars in a must pass amendment that gives the Dems everything they want… then put it to the voters in a March 9 Special Election – or play chicken to the wire and run the option in the May special election just before the Primary.

    Not too often V is impressed, but Snickers wins the gold ring tonight!

  5. Oh my, Mr. Gould’s bills don’t get passed. I am sure that all the people who would have been regulated had higher taxes to enforce those regulations been available are really broken up (not). I am sure Gould is crying himself to sleep over the laws gone unpassed (not). There are plenty of laws on the books, one or four fewer isn’t going to be a problem.

    Mr. Gould’s power to enhance economic freedom is undiminished in my eyes.

  6. Ron Gould is a true conservative. He is willing to take a stand and make the tough choices, even if it’s not the most popular thing to do. Raising taxes is the cheap, easy, and wrong way to go!

  7. Ron Gould will get elected easily in Mohave County. We appreciate a man who will not cave with pressure. It is too bad that there aren’t more politicians who walk the walk. Most say they have core beliefs, but when push comes to shove, they take the easy way out.

  8. Politics has been described as the “art of the compromise.” Mr. Gould doesn’t understand this.

    Just in case, Mr. Gould needs to understand what “compromise” means:

    Main Entry: 1com·pro·mise
    Pronunciation: \ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, mutual promise to abide by an arbiter’s decision, from Anglo-French compromisse, from Latin compromissum, from neuter of compromissus, past participle of compromittere to promise mutually, from com- + promittere to promise — more at promise
    Date: 15th century
    1 a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things

  9. Conservative First says

    Actually, Gould takes the easy way out by just voting no on everything. It doesn’t take courage, brains, or anything but a belief that keeping a voting record pure gets one elected to Congress. We’re all paying higher taxes right now because of Gould and the other two GOP Senators who screwed the Republican majority on the budget. Gould cost us all money and he wants to be saluted for it? I’ve got a perfect salute in mind for him.

  10. What about a governor who was so intent to raise our taxes that she vetoed the budget when she couldn’t get her way? Put the blame where it belongs. The reason we are in this mess is because we have had such weak leadership in the Republican party. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. Economics 101. Finally, you want Senator Gould to go along with people who actually, with a straight face, talk about selling the prisons and the state capitol? Really? The only people getting screwed right now are the people of Arizona. We are being laughed at across America and it isn’t because a couple Republicans didn’t sign the budget.

  11. Conservative First says

    Gould loves that you’re focused on the potential sales tax hike for three years DeAnn, and that you ignore the assured tax cuts that would have lasted and lasted and lasted. He loves that you ignore that the potential sales tax hike would have gone to the ballot and died a miserable death because even the Democrats had pledged to campaign against it, leaving all Republicans and all Democrats united in opposition to it. He loves that you ignore the scores of good conservative Republicans and groups who did the math and figured out that that package was going to lead to massive cuts in government spending and tax cuts to spur economic growth.

    As for selling the prisons, etc., I think its a horrible idea, but we’re going to see a lot of horrible ideas thrown into the mix now so that they can fill the gaps left behind because the prior plan didn’t pass. I’m sure Gould loves that you ignore his responsibility in all of that too. And I’m sure he’ll just keep voting No on everything and leave the act of governing to others as usual.

    Anyone else notice how happy Gould gets to be if people stay ignorant to the effects of his votes? And yes, this applies to Gorman and Allen as well.

  12. I will keep the blame on the governor, thank you. She is the one who vetoed the budget and let the tax increase happen. She is the one who thinks it is cool to raise taxes in a recession. She is the one who stood flat footed and wouldn’t work with the leadership.

  13. There we never any real tax cuts in the budget. To suggest otherwise, is not being honest. And voting consistent with one’s expressed ideology and the will of one’s community is honorable.

    Ron Gould and Pamela Gorman are true principled, honest, selfless profiles in courage. Unfortunately, we don’t see that in politics too often these days. Rather than go along with the powers that be, the special interest lobbyists and the insiders, they stand up for what they believe. They stand up for the positions upon which they were elected. And they won’t back down in the face of extreme pressure. You can lie to the voters as Burns and Brewer have done. Or you can choose honor instead. Gould and Gorman – heroes, both. Burns is an incompetent disaster.

  14. Senate President Burns has been saying for a long time that tackling the budget is an all-hands-on-deck situation. There has to be some flexibility to get things done.

    It used to be – and still should be – known that chairmanships are extensions of leadership. And with that duty of being a chairman comes the responsibility to advance the collective goals of the caucus and what is in the best interest of the state.

    I doubt Burns’ actions are about the sales tax. It’s about being a team player.

  15. When Ron Gould walked out of the Governor’s address he proved himself to be more about creating an image than truly affecting governance.

  16. Gorman may have voted no on the budget but don’t put her in the same league as Ron Gould. You didn’t see Ron Gould endorsing RINOs in the ’08 elections. Gorman endorsed Tony Bouie over bona fide conservatives, Sam Crump and Carl Seel.

    Gould is principled, Gorman isn’t. She’s for whatever flavor makes John Shadegg smile today.

  17. Jefferson Smith says

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not their own facts. Bottom line: Property taxes are $250 million higher now because of Gould and Gorman’s principles. Personal and corporate income taxes will not be lowered because of Gould and Gorman’s principles. If the Founders wanted robots as lawmakers they would have dispensed with the legislative branch and our (small “r”) republican form of government all together.

    In exchange for (in my opinion a sure loser) sales tax increase ballot referral legislators could have locked in real tax cuts. Instead, brain-dead Gould and Gorman voted no. Some will point out that that voters could have passed the sales tax increase. So. If they did, the impact of the tax bill would still be a net tax cut by the fifth year after passage. That’s why no-new-tax champions from Americans for Prosperity to the Arizona Free Enterprise Club to the Arizona Tax Research Association to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform to the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page all declared the legislation pro-taxpayer even if the referral passed (which I contend would have been unlikely). But Gould and Gorman’s robotic principles knew better.

    Please don’t reflexively and blindly lionize self-styled “real conservatives” just because they lack the imagination and guts to do the hard work of legislating in a real-world context rather than in some mythical never-neverland where buffoonery has no consequences either fiscally or politically.

  18. Jefferson Smith:
    You still don’t get it. Governor Jan Brewer VETOED the budget. She raised taxes.

  19. Jefferson Smith says

    True, Brewer vetoed it and commands primary responsibilty for the quarter-billion-dollar tax hike and foegoing the tax cuts. But it was the direct result of Gould and Gorman’s opposition to including her sales tax referral. Brewer negotiated the deal with House and Senate leaders that she would sign the future tax cuts and the immediate 250 million property tax relief if it included her tax referral. They sent her everything she had sign-off on in negotiation except the referral. She vetoed it. Without the referral everything was killed even her precious spending programs. Unless you think Brewer is not true to her word and lied about her commitment to sign the tax cuts… you don’t get it DeAnn.

  20. Jefferson Smith,
    No you still don’t get it. President Burns shouldn’t have negotiated a budget when he knew he didn’t have the votes. He is a poor leader. Also, the leaders of the Republican party need to understand that the people attending Tea Parties are serious and are tired of backroom deals. I’m very worried that Republicans in Arizona are going to be thrown out of office and democrats elected (like they did in the last couple elections). National Republicans are finally getting a backbone and their approval ratings are rising.

  21. Heard it in the halls says

    In defense of Gorman (and Waring on another thread):

    Often times, campaign consultants think they have a candidate that would be gould for the party and never do their homework. This is the case with Tony Bouie. Every Republican officeholder that endorsed him was in the dark about him being a Democrat, here and in a previous state. Bouie wasn’t endorsed over Crump, just Seel. Seel is a great guy, but him and Gorman had a conflict before. Gorman forgot to ask if a Phoenix City Council candidate was pro-life before she endorsed. Seel tried to destroy her for the mistake, and he wasn’t he running against her.

    Campaign consultants should stop trying to team their new clients with their proven clients. Unless some one is a pure conservative, let them stand on their own.

  22. Heard it in the halls says

    Burns let an insurance mandate out of Appropriations in 2008 that put all of the conservatives in a bad light. Republican Leadership had help getting their nomination signatures by forcing private insurance policies to cover an experimental therapy for autistic children. In exchange for the mandate that increased insurance rates, parents of autistic kid got Burns, etc. on the ballot. It’s coming back on him now for selling out Gould, Gorman, C. Gray, Harper, the Taxpayers, etc.

  23. Post 21. Sorry, your defense of Gorman does not wash. Your unsubstantiated claim that Seel “tried to destroy” Gorman is hogwash.

    Gorman endorsed Tony Bouie! She then had three months or more to withdraw her endorsement of him after she learned he was a lifelong Democrat. She chose not to withdraw-same for Jim Waring. Why? Because Waring and Gorman both want to please open borders John Shadegg.

    Pamela Gorman and Jim Waring both endorsed lifelong Democrat Tony Bouie because Bouie was the McCain/Shadegg choice and for no other reason. If it was only a personal vendetta against Seel you would think she/they would have withdrawn their Bouie endorsement.

    Like I said…Gorman is no Ron Gould.

  24. I applaud Mr. Gould for standing up and Ms Gorman for doing the same.

    Mr. Burns needs to go. When you get down to playing games like this and offering to buy votes as he has done with others that is wrong.

    Those that have given in to being bought where are your morals.

    My tax dollars are not for sale to the highest bidder or to the promise makers.

    You as an elected official are there to represent me!! NOT the wishes of the Brewer, Burns or Adams.

    Cut the budget and lets move on. Get ride of the entitlement programs and anything not covered in the constitution!!!

  25. Heard it in the halls says

    Phx Phil,

    “Even a prophet is hated in his own town.”

    That means that you take for granted the “Michelle Bachmann-like legislator” in your own district. There are legislators in this state that are more pure than Ron Paul and the knuckleheads that just woke up think he is the greatest. There are people in Arizona’s Legislature that actually accomplish limiting government.

    Try to look for the good in people, rather than finding faulty.

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