Recently Elected Republican Party Leaders Throughout Maricopa County Endorse Robert Graham for Chairman

PHOENIX – Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party today announced additional endorsements from numerous elected Republican Party officials from throughout Maricopa County. Graham is actively campaigning in an election to be held at the biennial meeting of the State Committee on January 24, 2015 at the Grace Community Church in Tempe.

I am proud to endorse Robert Graham for State Chairman. I have known Robert now for 4 years and I personally know how actively involved he is in moving our party forward. In addition to his duties as our current state chairman, Robert is an active PC in my District LD 15, where he was our highest recruiter of PC’s over the past two years. I have personally witnessed the transformation and renovation of our former dilapidated headquarters building into a state of the art social media, technology war room staffed with dedicated technology experts devoted to keeping Arizona Red! Robert took over as chairman 2 years ago with a deficit of $70,000 which he turned that red line into black within 30 days and has kept our party’s balance in the positive ever since. I have also personally witnessed his energy and direct involvement in our community, welcoming different ethnic groups into both LD15 and other LD’s statewide. Our party so needs this type of outreach and Robert’s purposeful dedication to this and projects such as paid registration drives has increased Republican registrations 10,000 more than Democrats at this time two years ago! Again I am proud to endorse Robert Graham for State Chairman!” said David Henderson, Chairman of the Legislative District 15 Republican Committee.

“Robert Graham is a positive leader who wants to advance conservative principles. We are lucky to have a leader who embraces new technology, is a great fundraiser, and can enthusiastically lead our party to elect a Republican nominee for President in 2016,” said Trevor Hansen, Chairman of the Legislative District 16 Republican Committee.

Former Legislative District 18 Chairman David Bushman has also endorsed Graham, as has Mary Baumbach, past President of the Ahwatukee Republican Women’s Club.

“Friends, as an LD Chairman of LD19 , precinct committeeman and grassroots activist, I am proud to support Chairman Robert Graham for re-election as State Chairman. With his business background, Robert was able to increase the resources at the State Party’s disposal and increase outreach to minority groups. There is no one better positioned to run the State Party as we get ready for 2016 and I’m proud to throw my full support behind him,” said Jorge Ortiz, Sr., Chairman of the Legislative District 19 Republican Committee.

“I am proud to endorse Chairman Robert Graham in his re-election for State Party Chairman. He has spent countless hours working with and supporting grassroots conservatives across this state. He brings high energy, great resources and an unwavering work ethic to the State Party. As a precinct committeeman and LD-20 chairman, my full support is with Robert,” said Ray Malnar, Chairman of the Legislative District 20 Republican Committee.

“Chairman Robert Graham has my support and endorsement for re-election as AZGOP Chairman. Chairman Graham has done an outstanding job of helping to achieve GOP wins throughout the state. Through his leadership we have made huge gains in technology such as i360 and we were able to re-open the West Valley Republican Victory Office where we staged many events including walks and phone banks. His RAT pack did so much to strengthen our ranks and could be focused like a laser where needed. He has done far more to support PCs than any other Chairman in recent history.  I look forward to two more years working with Robert and his staff. Please join me in supporting Robert Graham for Chairman of the AZGOP,” said Kevin Payne, Chairman of the Legislative District 21 Republican Committee.

Graham has been endorsed by Eric Morgan, Chairman of the Legislative District 22 Republican Committee, who thanked Graham several months ago and said, “Not only do I know Robert to be a champion for conservative, constitutionally sound Republican principles but I have also found him to a master at positioning our state party exactly where it needs to be.”

After some difficult times and having to make difficult decisions regarding candidates. elections and policies, Robert Graham has helped LD 27 reach out to the minority voters in our community and has pledged his support in our ongoing efforts in the future. Therefore, I am endorsing him to continue as Chairman in the coming term,” said Ron Harders, Chairman of the Legislative District 27 Republican Committee.

“As conservatives we know we are right on the issues and our ideas make sense for all Americans. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, a strong, cohesive message of the virtues and blessings of our Republican principles resonate with voters every time that message is properly delivered. Chairman Robert Graham is bringing forth that message with the innovation and effective leadership we needed to enhance our traditional Republican constituencies and is rapidly building solid new alliances that can bring the kind of election victories that will have a real impact on public policy in Arizona and support our national Republican agenda. I encourage all Republicans to join me in supporting Robert Graham for another term as our State Party Chairman,” said Gary Hirsch, Chairman of the Legislative District 30 Republican Committee.

Maricopa County is Arizona’s most populated county and home to nearly 700,000 Republican voters, about 60 percent of all Republicans in Arizona. Legislative District map is here.

Endorsements

Bruce Ash

National Republican Committeeman

Diane Douglas

Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect

Sharon Giese

National Republican Committeewoman

Seraphim Larsen

Pinal County Republican Committee Chairman

Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County Sheriff

Delos Bond

Apache County Republican Committee Chairman

Russell Pearce

Former Arizona Senate President

Jonathan Lines

Yuma County Republican Central Committee Chairman

Gary Morris

Gila County Republican Committee Chairman

Eric Morgan

Legislative District 22 Chairman

Rim Country Republican Club

Joan Lang

Representative Brenda Barton

R-Payson

Donna Alu

Lolly Hathhorn

Gila County Republican Committee Vice Chairman

Jeff Oravits

Flagstaff City Council Member

Representative Warren Petersen

R-Gilbert

Andy McKinney

Star Valley Town Council Member

James Dutton

Yavapai County GOP Chairman

Jean McGrath

Maricopa Community College District Board Member

 Tom Forese

Corporation Commission Commissioner

Andy Biggs

Arizona Senate President

Sergio Arellano

Chairman, Legislative District 2 Republican Committee

Robert Hancock

Chairman, Legislative District 4 Republican Committee (Pima)

Brad Johns

Chairman, Legislative District 9 Republican Committee

Parralee Schneider

First Vice Chairman, AZGOP (Pima County Resident)

Ian Murray

Legislative District 25 Republican Committee Chairman

John Rhodes

Graham County Republican Party Chairman

Joy Staveley

Coconino County Republican Committee Chairman

Senator Kelli Ward

Legislative District 5

Senator Sylvia Allen

Legislative District 6

Congressman Paul Gosar

Congressional District 4

 Irene Littleton

Pinal County Republican Committee Chairman

Vince Manfredi

Legislative District 4 Chairman (Pinal)

John Acton

Pinal County District 7 Constable

Bill Beard

Pima County Republican Committee Chairman

Michael Ebert

Pima County Republican Club Chairman

Executive Committee (unanimous vote)

Pima County Republican Party

Congressman Trent Franks

Congressional District 8

Councilman Sal DiCiccio

Phoenix City Council District 6

Rep. Jill Norgaard

Arizona House of Representatives
Legislative District 18

David Bushman

Former Chairman of Legislative District 18 Republican Committee

Leftist Agitator Goes Berserk At Scottsdale Police Memorial

Recently, a small rally and memorial for fallen police officers was held in Scottsdale in the Scottsdale police headquarters parking lot. The event featured a reading of names of police officers and public safety officer who were killed in the line of duty.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp and Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell were in attendance along with 75-100 police supporters. About a dozen anti-police agitators crashed the gathering.

To the shock and disgust of many, liberal agitators showed up wearing NAZI and communist uniforms as they shouted down police supporters trying to honor the lives of these deceased police officers.

Dennis Gilman, perhaps one of the most notorious leftist agitators and videographers in Arizona, also showed up at the event and interrupted the gathering attempting to provoke a violent confrontation. He is heard swearing profanities and even physically confronting a supporter. This is Gilman’s normal tactic of provocation in order to acquire a violent reaction on videotape. Gilman, later posted his version of the protest, labeling his video, “Pro Cop Rally Turns Violent.”

CommieNAZI

In his video footage, Gilman stages a false attack on himself in order to give the impression that pro-police supporters are assaulting him as he continues to videotape the “attack.” What you don’t see is what actually took place.

Gilman pushes his camera into the sign of a supporter and then starts swinging wildly at the sign holder while he throws profanities. Police on site have to step in to warn Gilman to back off from his assault on the sign-carrying supporter. All this is caught on video tape (first person) by Dennis Gilman and then posted on his YouTube account.

Surprisingly, Gilman’s colleague Ray Stern also filmed the “attack” which was also posted on the Ray Stern YouTube account. Those who follow leftist journos will recognize Ray Stern as a staff writer with the liberal Phoenix New TimesHere is his video (and yes, we captured it before it disappears from public views!)

It is clear watching Stern’s video that Gilman launched the provocation first by throwing a litany of profanities and then by pushing his camera into the sign. And Stern caught it all on tape!

But most disgusting was the behavior demonstrated by the anti-police protesters as the names of fallen officers were read during the memorial. As a woman uses the back of a pickup truck as a platform to announce the names of police officers, a protester is heard blowing an air horn to interrupt each name. This continues as anti-police protesters laugh, applaud and jeer the deaths of several police officers. At the end of the video as the name of Officer John Hobbs is read, what appears to be a young woman wearing a “FUCK POLICE” T-shirt yells, “Fuck John Hobbs because you have to arrest the black man!” Those familiar with the tragic death of Phoenix police detective John Hobbs will know that Officer Hobbs was killed on March 3, 2014 while attempting to arrest a white man who had a violent criminal history.

A word of caution to conservatives organizing or participating in these rallies. Be wary of leftist agitators seeking to provoke a confrontation for the purpose of capturing it on video. Leftist agitators are seeking to cause a violent reaction for the purpose of using it in a propaganda stunt. We also encourage attendees to bring cameras and film the event and those filming the event. Be mindful of personal space but hold your ground when charged.

This Saturday, another conservative rally is scheduled in downtown Phoenix with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Gilman and his provocateurs are expected to be there attempting to cause an incident. If you plan on attending, do not be provoked and do not engage. And bring your cameras!

Ted Cruz, A Favorite with Maricopa County Republican PC’s at Recent Meeting

As part of last Saturday’s Maricopa County Repubilcan Committee Convention, a Presidential Preference Straw Poll was held and this year’s winner was Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Coming in second was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and third was Ben Carson, whose supporters also went all out, setting up tables and hustling for votes among the GOP faithful.

Cruz’ victory wasn’t a surprise to conservative consultant Constantin Querard. “Ted Cruz does well with Republicans because he paints in bright colors and offers genuine contrast. He’s not afraid to speak the truth and his message of opportunity and optimism resonates with voters.” said Querard, who admitted to being a Cruz fan and whipping the vote for his preferred candidate in the straw poll.

Walker remains a conservative hero after passing several reforms in his blue state and then surviving a massive and well-funded recall effort.

Carson’s opposition to ObamaCare seemed to be his greatest selling point, although questions remain about his position on 2nd Amendment issues in particular.

Other candidates who performed well included Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul.

The candidates and their vote totals were as follows:

Ted Cruz 66
Scott Walker 59
Ben Carson 49
Mitt Romney 43
Jeb Bush 30
Rand Paul 29
Mike Huckabee 16
Rick Perry 13
Allen West 10
John Kasich 7
Newt Gingrich 5
Bobby Jindal 5
Condoleezza Rice 5
Dennis Michael Lynch 4
Rick Santorum 4
John Bolton 3
Marco Rubio 3
Chris Christie 2
Susana Martinez 2
Sarah Palin 2
Mike Pence 2
Herman Cain 1
Mitch Daniels 1
Nikki Haley 1
Paul Ryan 1
John Thune 1

Arizona small business owners applaud Governor Ducey’s balanced budget plan

NFIBforweb

Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, issued the following statement this afternoon on the release of Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed state budget.

“Arizona small-business owners appreciate the courage and care Gov. Doug Ducey has shown in crafting his bold balanced budget plan. It’s refreshing that we have a governor willing to make the tough decisions that reflect the priorities of regular Arizonans rather than special interests.

“Governor Ducey’s plan eliminates the current budget deficit and re-establishes a structurally-balanced budget by Fiscal Year 2016-2017. And he accomplishes this seemingly impossible goal with no tax increases while also sustaining classroom spending. Amazing.

“Governor Ducey has rejected bogus budgeting that looks balanced in the hazy florescence of bureaucratic custom only to be revealed in the sunlight as being written in red ink. He has made the kind of tough choices that most small-business owners had to make during the Great Recession in order to survive, including a hiring freeze, reducing administrative expenses and consolidating operations.

“Coupled with his bold regulatory reform agenda announced in his State of the State address, Governor Ducey’s balance budget plan further demonstrates to small-business owners and entrepreneurs that they can trust that the state of Arizona is clearly on the side of economic growth and job creation rather than entrenched bureaucracies and special interests.”

With 350,000 dues-paying members nationwide, including more than 6,000 in Arizona, the National Federation of Independent Business is America’s largest and leading small-business association.

That wailing and moaning you’re about to hear

 

AFP

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

The wailing and moaning you’re about to hear on your television and see in your newspaper is the sound of Arizona’s spending lobbies after they read the executive budget released today by Arizona’s new Governor, Doug Ducey.

TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT GOV. DUCEY’S BUDGET

Supporters of Big Government will HATE this budget:

●  The school district bureaucrats who steal money from the students and teachers in our classrooms will loathe the fact that Gov. Ducey’s budget reduces administrative bureaucracy by $113 million (with no cuts to actual classroom spending).

●  The corporate crony capitalists will wail about the $100 million slush fund Gov. Ducey wants to take away from the Arizona Commerce Authority.

●  The educrats who waste taxpayer money and student tuition dollars at our community colleges and universities will scream about the $84 million in reductions to their budgets.

They and their hundreds of lobbyists are going to fight hard to try to stop these cuts.  We need Arizona’s taxpayers, producers and consumers to STAND UP NOW and support Gov. Ducey’s budget reforms.

Ducey’s budget has more than $660 million in spending reductions for the fiscal year starting July 1 ($360 million is permanent and $304 million is temporary).  The permanent reductions will increase to nearly $450 million in the following fiscal year, when – for the first time since the go-go days of the real estate boom – the state budget will actually be structurally balanced.  WITH NO TAX INCREASES.

For real.

We’re not kidding.

We have always had a core of real fiscal conservatives at the Arizona Legislature who believed in balanced budgets and wanted to protect Arizona’s taxpayers, producers and consumers.  But for the first time in recent memory, an Arizona governor is actually taking the leadership role of holding the line against the growth of Big Government.

The executive budgets of Governors Napolitano and Brewer had absurdly high revenue predictions and dangerously high spending proposals that had to be cut down by the real leaders in the Legislature.  But it’s a new day in Arizona!  (For you budget wonks out there, Gov. Ducey’s $9.1 billion budget is well under the prudent budget limit of population-plus-inflation.)

Thank you for TAKING ACTION TODAY to fight Big Government in Arizona!

Also, if you want to send a personal thank-you note to Governor Ducey, you can find his contact page HERE.

For Liberty & Prosperity, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona State Director
Americans for Prosperity

Arizona First in Nation to Pass Civics Education Initiative

CEI

Large, Bipartisan Majorities Show Support for the First Step in a Rebirth of Civics Education

Phoenix, Arizona – With large, bipartisan majorities in the State Legislature, Arizona today became the first state to pass the Civics Education Initiative.  The Civics Education Initiative requires high school students, as a condition of graduation, to take and pass the USCIS Citizenship Civics Test – the test all new immigrants must pass before becoming citizens.

“Proud day for Arizonans as we become first in the nation, and lead the way to the bipartisan passage of the Civics Education Initiative in every state,” said Frank Riggs, President and CEO of the Scottsdale-based Joe Foss Institute, the organization promoting the legislation.

Beyond Arizona, eighteen other states are currently considering this critical legislation. North Dakota and Utah appear to be next in line, with legislators and supporters in those states eager to follow Arizona’s lead, with the North Dakota House of Representatives also passing the bill today by an astounding 85-1 margin.

The leadership of the Joe Foss Institute and the Civics Education Initiative would like to extend special thanks to Governor Ducey, prime sponsor Majority Leader Steve Montenegro (R-13), House Government and Education Committee Chairman Bob Thorpe (R-6) and the members of his committee, and Minority Leader Dr. Eric Meyer (D-28).

In the Senate, special thanks go out to Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough (R-17), Senate Education Committee Chairman Kelli Ward (R-5) and the members of her committee, Senator Barbara McGuire (D-8), and Senator Carlyle Begay (D-7).

“It’s a New Year, and a new day for students here in Arizona and across the country who will now have the basic tools they need to become active, engaged citizens,” concluded Riggs.

The bill passed the Arizona House by a vote of 42-17. In the Senate the results were similarly positive, with 19 for and only 10 voting against.

WATCH: A Video Message from The Joe Foss Institute to Governor Ducey 

Aaron Borders Reveals How He Nearly Pulled Off Upset in Democrat-Dominated District

AZGOPBanner

PHOENIX – Let’s meet former Arizona House candidate, Aaron Borders, who ran in Legislative District 29 in Phoenix’s West Valley. After nearly two years of campaigning in an uphill battle, Aaron came surprisingly close to winning in an area where he was not supposed to even come close. Zeyna Aouad, the AZGOP’s Voter Data Director, interviewed Aaron to learn more about how he managed to persuade so many voters in a predominately Democrat area to vote for a Republican.

Aaron’s district is located on the west side of Phoenix, one which has consistently elected Democrats to the House. On November 4th, the election results showed that Democrats would keep the two seats; however, the race this time was much closer than expected. This should be very concerning to Democrats, and it signals they’re losing their traditional stronghold there. In this district with only 20 percent of the voters registered as Republican, Aaron earned 30 percent of the vote. That means he not only had the expected Republican support but was tremendously appealing to independent voters. Unfortunately, he was bested by the next highest vote getter, the Democrat who received 34 percent of the vote even though Democrats make up 38 percent of the electorate in the district.

So not only did the Democrat underperform miserably, Aaron overperformed by a 50 percent margin. Were it not for such a lopsided district, Aaron’s efforts would have rewarded him with a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives.

Aaron said his strategy was simple: he started early. “We started this race exactly two years ago on January 17, 2013 — we went to PTA’s in the district, to non-political community events, met the leaders in the community and got deeper involved in basic community activities.” He also mentioned that“apolitical” people in the community were used to politicians talking their ears off with false promises. “What we did was different,” he said. “We showed up with volunteers and went to work with them, whether it was painting over vandalism or helping out at charitable events. It opened up dialogs about my candidacy across all parties, religions, and ethnic groups. It gave me a special platform most candidates never have.”

For Aaron, his ability to appeal to independent voters and ethnic groups won him many votes. “We spent a lot of time in the first 6-8 months polling and finding out what the issues were. Then we picked the top 3 and came up with solutions. We then stayed away from jumping into and interjecting our opinions in every hot-button day-to-day topic and stayed focused on the 3 main issues and 3 solutions.” He also credits a strong social media presence for engaging different types of voters.

During his campaign, his team was able to knock on tens of thousands of doors. When asked what he was most proud of this election cycle, he said he was most proud of his team. “They looked past the political numbers and busted their tail and in the end in a Democrat district that has twice as many Democrats as Republicans, we lost by only a small margin. None of that could have happened without the support of the grassroots team that believed in the strategy.

Voters have not heard the last from Aaron: he’s just been elected to a two year term as 2nd Vice Chair of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, and now shares leadership responsibility for Maricopa County’s nearly 700,000 Republican voters.

Guest Opinion: The New Reefer Madness: A Very Bad Idea

Marijuana

By Seth Leibsohn

Since just the beginning of this year, local media—both television news and print—have publicized and promoted at least 10 stories on the effort to legalize recreational marijuana use in Arizona. Two bills are being sponsored in the state Legislature and an initiative aimed at our  electorate for 2016 is being drafted. Little has been said or written as to why all of this is a very bad idea for our state and our country. But it is just that, a very bad idea.

Almost every argument in favor of legalization is, quite simply, wrong. At the economic level, we are told the revenues from legalization would boost our state budget and help solve our deficit. That was a promise made by the pro-legalization movement in Colorado, which predicted $40 million a year for school construction and $30 million for general state funds from marijuana taxes in the state. But, as the non-partisan Tax Foundation found, the numbers thus far have come nowhere close, making it “unlikely to even meet that $40 million need each year, leaving nothing for enforcement costs.”

Ask any governor of any state if they would rather keep all the revenue from alcohol and tobacco taxes or all the monies alcohol and tobacco abuse costs the state, and you’d get the same answer: The costs of substance abuse to each and every state are never even close to covered by the revenues generated by the taxes on those substances. As President Barack Obama’s former senior advisor on drug policy, Dr. Kevin Sabet, has put it, “[S]ocietal costs that accompany increased marijuana use will significantly outweigh any gains in tax revenue. Our experience with alcohol and tobacco shows that for every one dollar gained in taxes, 10 dollars are lost in social costs.”

Criminalizing alcohol and tobacco would be nearly impossible and equally ill-advised at this point. I am not advocating that at all. But adding one more dangerous substance to the list of already too many legal and dangerous substances is pure madness. The debate as to whether marijuana is more or less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco is irrelevant. We need, rather, to understand that marijuana is just, plain dangerous; and adding one more dangerous product (regardless of degree of danger) is more than a bad idea; it is public policy malfeasance.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported just last year that marijuana use by adolescents is associated with everything from increased risk of depression and anxiety to psychosis. And, it “exacerbates the course of illness in patients with schizophrenia.” Marijuana use is also associated with impaired school performance and increases the risk of dropping out of high school. In lay terms, marijuana damages the brain, especially the teen brain. Society has made tremendous strides in marginalizing and thus decreasing the use of cigarette smoking—which negatively affects the lungs and hearts of smokers. It is curious, then, that more and more are now turning toward legalizing a product that not only damages the lungs (like cigarettes), but also the brain.

Many adults think marijuana is relatively harmless based on their experiences in high school and college a generation or more ago. But that marijuana is not today’s marijuana. Today’s marijuana is a different drug, with THC levels reaching into the 20 and 30 percent range of potency, as opposed to the one-and-a-half to five percent potency of the 1970s and 1980s. And it is getting stronger by the day as vendors compete to provide ever stronger affects with an ever more potent product.

The quest to legalize marijuana at the state level is also an unconstitutional nullification of federal law—as a range of Supreme Court Justices from Anthony Kennedy to Stephen Breyer to Antonin Scalia agree. It also negatively impacts other states as pot sold “legally” in one state flows across borders and causes problems in neighboring states, thus nullifying those states’ decisions to remain within the law. Indeed, some 44 percent of the marijuana sold in Colorado is sold to citizens of other states.
Despite what many say—either from unfamiliarity with the science or because of a political point of view or because some people simply want to get high legally—marijuana is dangerous. Making it legal will cost society more in financial and human damage than can ever be made up for by the false promise of tax revenue. And it will further destigmatize what every study on marijuana use and stigmatization has shown: the more society explains the dangers of marijuana, the less it is used; the more society countenances it, the more it is used.  Marijuana is illegal not because of bad policy but because it causes a lot of problems—a lot more than we will ever be able to apologize for if we unload this dangerous product on, and in to, more and more of our state’s and nation’s youth, which is—like alcohol and tobacco—where it will end up and do the most damage.

Seth Leibsohn is the host of The Seth Leibsohn Show, airing nightly on KKNT/960 am, and a Senior Fellow with the Claremont Institute.

Don’t Embrace Big Federal Government, Support the Compact for a Balanced Budget

By Nick Dranias

Yes, it’s true. The handful of folks who still oppose states organizing behind the Compact for a Balanced Budget to advance and ratify a powerful federal Balanced Budget Amendment embrace big federal government. Of course, they may not mean to do so. But the truth is that by hugging and holding the political status quo, the Balanced Budget Amendment fear-mongers are in a death embrace with the things they claim they oppose.

Why is that? Simply put, we no longer enjoy the form of federal government the Founders originally created. This is because the Constitution as it currently exists has three fatal flaws, which will inexorably lead to tyranny unless they are fixed with a constitutional amendment.

The first is the federal government’s unlimited borrowing capacity. This enables politicians to promise at no immediate cost anything it takes to get elected. That’s like handing liquor and car keys to a teenager. It guarantees a system crash propelled by mindless spending.

The second is unlimited direct taxation authority courtesy of the 16th Amendment. This empowers politicians to make 49% of the nation pay for anything the 51% want; and also to impose complete economic destruction on political enemies and disfavored policy ideas. If this flaw persists, what the IRS did to conservative groups two years ago is just a small taste of what the future holds.

The third is the unlimited concentration of power over national policy making in Washington, DC courtesy of the 17th Amendment. This amendment removed the states from a position of control over the U.S. Senate. It has enabled the federal government to ratify treaties and laws, as well as populate the federal judiciary and federal agencies, without any respect for state sovereignty. And it allows a growing distant political class in Washington, DC to easily leverage overwhelming national power to crush dissent and policy diversity in the heartland.

These three flaws will cause the federal government to gradually accumulate and centralize all political power over time. Over time, these three flaws will make it impossible for limited government and freedom-oriented elected officials to outcompete elected officials who favor big federal government for votes. Consequently, hugging and holding this fatally flawed system is doomed to produce the opposite of freedom. To mix metaphors, voting people in or out of the federal government under these conditions is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Only a constitutional amendment can fix the three fatal flaws of the Constitution as it currently exists. Nothing else will.

But it is irrational to expect two-thirds of each house of Congress to propose the necessary reform. The numbers did not add up in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s, and they just do not add up today. Instead, especially after the last election, there is a much more plausible pathway; that pathway involves organizing three-fourths of the states and simple majorities of Congress behind the necessary reform amendment in a targeted fashion. It means supporting the Compact for a Balanced Budget.

Simply put, the Balanced Budget Amendment advanced by the Compact for a Balanced Budget gives us the best shot of addressing each of the Constitution’s three fatal flaws with fundamental reforms.

To fix the flaw of unlimited federal borrowing capacity, the Amendment imposes an initially-fixed constitutional limit on available borrowing capacity. This limit gives the federal government an additional 5% in borrowing capacity above the outstanding federal debt upon ratification. This 5% cushion allows for a 1 to 2 year transitional period to responsible budgeting and fiscal planning. And there is no doubt the amendment will focus the mind during that transitional period. This is because the debt limit is coupled to a mandatory spending impoundment requirement that kicks-in when 98% of the debt limit is reached. Spending will be limited to available tax and fee cash flow if the debt limit is hit. There is no exception except for the referendum process described below. This one reform guarantees that Washington politicians will immediately lose the ability to promise anything at no immediate cost to get elected.

To fix the flaw of the unlimited centralization of national policy making in Washington, the Amendment empowers a majority of state legislatures to veto any increase in the federal government’s constitutionally-fixed borrowing capacity. To get any additional borrowing capacity above the initial constitutional baseline, simple majorities of Congress will have to refer-out a measure proposing the increase. The proposal will be deemed denied unless it is approved by at least twenty-six state legislatures within 60 days of the referral. With the federal government borrowing nearly half of discretionary spending, this referendum process divides power over national policy making between the states and the federal government in a big way.

Finally, to fix the flaw of unlimited federal taxation authority, the Amendment imposes a tax limit requiring two-thirds of each house of Congress to approve any new or increased income or sales tax. The current constitutional rule allowing for tax increases with simple majorities will be restricted to measures that would completely replace the income tax with a consumption sales tax, eliminate tax loopholes, or impose new or increased tariffs and fees. The reform will divert the pressure for new revenue to the places where special interest pushback will be the strongest, further ensuring that deficits are closed by spending reductions first.

National polling shows that each one of these policy fixes are supported by supermajorities of the American people. With Alaska and Georgia already on board, and at least ten states looking to join the Compact this session, the Compact for a Balanced Budget is an eminently plausible route to the reforms we need to save and restore the Republic.

Indeed, with demographic change threatening the supermajorities needed to get the job done, the Compact for a Balanced Budget may be our last best shot at preventing the federal tyranny that will otherwise inevitably result from the Constitution’s three fatal flaws of unlimited debt, unlimited taxation, and unlimited centralization of power in Washington.

Nick Dranias is President and Executive Director of the Compact for America Educational Foundation. Please visit their website at www.CompactforAmerica.org.

Boehner Re-elected Speaker . . . And You Got Played

David SchweikertBy Rachel Alexander
Townhall

Last week, John Boehner (R-Ohio) easily won re-election as Speaker of the House. Only 25 Republicans defected, with 216 Republicans voting for him. In the days before the election, there was a flurry of emails and activity on social media about the vote, calling on members of Congress to oust Boehner. After the vote, conservative talk show hosts were outraged, denouncing Republicans who voted for him as RINOs and traitors. Even well-loved, conservative members of Congress like Utah’s Mia Love did not escape the anger. Tea Party favorite Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) missed the vote, but said he would have voted for Boehner.

To many, it did not make sense why conservative Republicans would settle for another term of the compromising Boehner, considering Republicans now control both chambers. In Arizona, the most conservative members of the delegation all voted to retain Boehner: Rep. David Schweikert, Rep. Matt Salmon and Rep. Trent Franks. Only Rep. Paul Gosar, who has the lowest American Conservative Union rating of the four, voted against Boehner. Newly elected Republican Rep. Martha McSally of Tucson also voted for Boehner. After the vote, some conservative activists in Arizona started calling Gosar the only true conservative in the delegation. Something wasn’t right. I called Rep. Schweikert to get to the bottom of it.

He told me the vote was largely ceremonial. The real decision was made six weeks ago, at the House Republican Conference. After that, it was too late to persuade most members to change their minds, deals had been made. Anyone who agreed to switch their vote after that could not be trusted based on prior experience. South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney confirmed this in a post on his Facebook page. Two years ago, the Boehner opposition collected signed pledges from enough members of Congress to defeat him. But when it came time to vote, almost half of them changed their minds.

The last minute flurry of emails came from conservative organizations trying to make money by getting conservatives outraged. While it is important these groups raise money, it was a rather sneaky way to do it. By then, it was too late, it was the wrong battle, and provoked fights with conservative members of Congress that could have been avoided.

Conservatives like Schweikert have been trying to remove Boehner for a lot longer than a handful of days last week. He told me he has been working on the ouster for two years. Where was the outcry six weeks ago when the real decision was made? Where were those feigning outrage over the past two years when it came to actually doing the work necessary to get rid of Boehner?

One unfortunate byproduct of the rise of social media, blogs and email is the ability for people to send out emotional blasts about a particular topic as their activism of choice. Instead of GOTV (Get Out The Vote), it is now GOYO (Get Out Your Opinion). Activists have replaced the hard, dull but necessary work behind the scenes with speeches. Unfortunately, there is only so much room at the top for a few national talk show hosts to bloviate.

Replacing Boehner is much more difficult and complex than a last-minute outburst. Getting better leadership is not going to be accomplished with a short and catchy soundbite. It is a deeper, two-fold systemic problem.

The first part of the problem is that no one wants to be Speaker. What most people don’t realize is the primary job of the Speaker is fundraising. The Speaker spends nearly all of their time flying around the country working pricey fundraisers. Most of the names floated around at the last minute as replacements for Boehner could not – or would not – follow through here. Last year, Boehner raised an impressive $100 million. Rep. Mulvaney noted that Gohmert was not a realistic candidate; despite all the media attention he only received three votes. Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) got 12 votes, but has a terrible voting record, evenworse than Boehner’s. Boehner is actually the most conservative Republican speaker in 50 years.

Many in the grassroots complain when the NRCC doesn’t spend money on long-shot races. What they don’t understand is there is only limited money to go around, and it is dependent upon the ability of the Speaker to raise it. Unless the grassroots is willing to start writing hefty checks, it is imperative that the Speaker is someone with charisma who doesn’t mind spending a significant period of their life on an airplane.

The second systemic problem is Congress has become so corrupt it is currently impossible to reform it. Senior members of Congress are so entrenched in leadership positions, as chairs of committees and subcommittees, that these “cardinals” retaliate against anyone who dares to challenge the status quo and power structure. A conservative reformer like Schweikert, who actually would make an excellent Speaker, has no chance at the position because he stood up to the old guard. He lost his position on the powerful Financial Services Committee because he bucked party leadership and voted against a debt ceiling increase.

Sadly, new reformers like Schweikert tend to become disillusioned over time, and eventually leave office. If they can hold out, however, eventually the old guard will age out of office.

It was futile to cast a protest vote for someone other than Boehner. It simply enlarged the target on the backs of reform members of Congress. Several who opposed him, including Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent, both of Florida, were immediately stripped of their committee positions, and there are more on the chopping block.

Contrary to talk-show hype, the vote for Speaker did not juxtapose conservatives vs. leadership. It should be more accurately described as emblematic of the reformers vs. the establishment cardinals.

Schweikert may be the smartest member of Congress. He’s also consistently labeled one of the five most conservative members by various organizations, with a 98.67 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. To label him a RINO over one vote, while letting other Republicans off the hook with much lower scores simply because they did not vote for Boehner, is illogical.

Reforming Congress is like a game of chess. You can’t take out the king instantly, you must set the stage first to take out the king or you will be out of the game. Those who run for office know you rarely win by running for president first, you must first win at a lower level office. Naturally, the same is true for taking out the Speaker, what is so difficult to understand about this? You must chip away the power structure supporting him before you can topple him.

Instead of blasting conservative members of Congress over Boehner, activists should set up meetings with these reformers and ask how they can help with the day-to-day work of cleaning up Congress. It may not be flashy and glamorous, but the flashy and glamorous GOYO approach is not working. Stop being played.