Governor Doug Ducey: I’m Voting Yes on Prop 123

The committee Let’s Vote Yes For Arizona Schools, In Support of Prop 123 released the following ad today featuring Governor Doug Ducey explaining why he supports Prop 123.

In the ad, Governor Ducey provides reasons how and why Arizonans should support public teachers. Passage of the proposition will provide $3.5 Billion directly into our public schools over the next 10 years without raising any taxes. This money will be used to invest into teachers to reverse the trend of teachers leaving Arizona due to low compensation.

Governor Ducey, the father of three sons, knows firsthand the impact that great teachers have on a child. That’s why he’s supporting Prop 123 on May 17th.

Arizona Republic: Ducey looks to intensify fight against drug cartels with strike force

“When you’re talking about border issues, you’re typically talking about drug trafficking and human trafficking,” [Gov. Doug Ducey] said, after a morning spent meeting with ranchers, authorities and educators. “It’s the cartels and the traffickers that we want to focus on, and that’s what a strike force is going to aim at.”

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
November 12, 2015
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2015/11/12/duceys-strikeforce-seeks-expand-battle-against-cartels/75060282/ 

Five cartel lookouts huddled beneath thick desert brush one night last month. Suddenly, they realized they’d been spotted.

The scouts, who are paid to study the movements of authorities and guide drug traffickers through the Arizona desert, dropped their heavy backpacks and bolted across rocky terrain near the quiet neighborhoods and golf courses south of Casa Grande.

Using covert tactics, a border-crimes team stationed at a makeshift headquarters watched as the lookouts made their getaway.

“They have night-vision capabilities and they’re lightning fast,” said Department of Public Safety Capt. Dave Nilson, who fielded constant radio traffic as he led the operation targeting traffickers in Vekol Valley.

“On any given day, we get 911 reports of people stopping, seeing people loading bundles and bundles of large amounts of narcotics, and illegal aliens – right on the side of the highway, and getting into cars and leaving. It literally is the wild West.”

Last month’s operation was the first by a new border-crimes bureau that Gov. Doug Ducey quietly created in September and hopes to expand into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s third-largest bureau with the goal of removing Arizona from the list of prime trafficking routes into the world’s largest drug market.

The scouts were on the outskirts of metro Phoenix, but authorities from the Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau seized their dusty bags. Packed with solar panels, toilet paper, hot sauce, salt and ramen noodles, they had supplies to hide in the desert for a week.

The Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau of the Department of Public Safety is seeking to partner with local and federal agencies to disrupt the criminal organizations that smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. Their prime target is the Sinaloa Cartel, the source of a vast majority of marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin that flow into the state for sale or distribution to other states.

Ducey, who on the campaign trail promised to close the “wide-open and unprotected border,” said the bureau seeks to make it too risky and too expensive for the criminal organizations to operate here. That would required a sustained effort by the department, Ducey’s administration said, rather than its current sporadic operations.

Ducey is calling for an infusion of tens of millions of dollars in state money and federal grants and equipment to permanently fund the fight against border-related criminal activity. The plan would boost intelligence gathering, and add planes, helicopters, radios and other resources to the department’s arsenal.

Under Ducey’s plan, which would require new funding from the state Legislature, the Department of Public Safety’s bureau would eventually grow to about 180 troopers, analysts, pilots and county personnel, who would mostly operate in southern and central Arizona. A small number of National Guard troops would be used to initially bolster the numbers.

State troopers and canine units would conduct more-frequent patrols of highways, and authorities would target drug scouts, traffickers and distributors in key trafficking corridors. Border counties would receive state funds to hire more prosecutors and reimburse the costs of jailing traffickers.

Focusing on cartels and traffickers

Ducey is just beginning to brief state Republican leaders, who have generally supported border enforcement but have been reluctant to spend significant money on new projects since the recession.

The plan could face opposition from some county sheriffs. Some have said DPS should focus on patrolling the highways and running its crime lab.

It’s an issue of protecting Arizonans, Ducey told The Arizona Republic while flying back from Sierra Vista on Nov. 6, where he had presented $1 million of his office’s funds to Cochise County to help finish a regional communications center.

“When you’re talking about border issues, you’re typically talking about drug trafficking and human trafficking,” he said, after a morning spent meeting with ranchers, authorities and educators. “It’s the cartels and the traffickers that we want to focus on, and that’s what a strike force is going to aim at.”

A recent Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Threat Assessment report found the state “continues to be a major smuggling corridor and distribution hub” for the cartels. Mexican organizations use commercial shuttle vans to transport drugs from the border to stash houses in Phoenix and Tucson, and “backpacker groups continue to be the predominant method of transporting marijuana” into the state.

In fiscal 2014, drug seizures on state highways accounted for about 5 percent of marijuana seized in the state, 26 percent of cocaine, 26 percent of methamphetamine and 13 percent of heroin, the report found.

DPS Director Frank Milstead said the new bureau’s success would be measured by arrests and drug seizures. “The cartels that are making the drugs in these super labs south of the border, they’re rolling around in $100 bills and they’re celebrating the addictions they can have in America, because it funds” them, he said.

But there’s a limit to what Arizona can do to stem the flow of drugs, experts said, given the United States’ insatiable demand for drugs and the cartels’ determination to continue profiting from the trade.

“You’ve got suppliers and you’ve got demand,” said Michael Lytle, a border expert at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “Maybe they put a small dent in it. There’s no way they’re going to stop it.

“Any determined cartel guy can find a work-around. They’re like ants: If you put something down in front of a trail of ants, they’ll move someplace else.”

That doesn’t mean Arizona shouldn’t try, said James Carafano, a foreign policy and national security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. A state can’t secure the border, he said, but it can make it “somebody else’s problem” by disrupting popular smuggling corridors and pushing activity to other states.

“We’ve been spending more money on border security since the 1980s and actually the illegal activity’s gone up,” Carafano said. “Looking at how much money you’re spending is not necessarily the right metric. The simple question is: Does your community feel safe? And if your answer is no, then I think it’s a problem worth dealing with.”

So does Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has made border security a priority in his new administration.

Abbott and state leaders are embarking on an $800 million effort that speeds up the hiring of state police who patrol the border, along with increases in technology and intelligence operations. The plan has been criticized for its hefty price tag, s past lack of accountability for previous spending, and questions over how effective additional spending will be.

Finding federal and local support

In Arizona, Ducey and his top aides began drafting their border-security plan in the earliest days of the administration, said J.P. Twist, a senior adviser to the governor who is spearheading the initiative.

After working with U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials during the Super Bowl last January, Ducey initiated conversations with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and authorities from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and others, to see how Arizona could partner to combat border crime.

Federal officials were guarded at first, Twist said, fresh off a contentious relationship with former Gov. Jan Brewer, who railed against federal officials during her tenure over illegal immigration and border security.

Ducey said he began conversations with, “New administration, new governor, fresh start.”

Federal officials began to listen.

Past governors ordered National Guard troops to the border, wrote letters to federal officials seeking reimbursement and, in Brewer’s case, tried to publicly shame them into doing more.

Twist said the new approach is to instead take stock of how they can leverage state, local and federal resources.

Milstead and Twist began meeting with county sheriffs, mayors, leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation, and federal officials from ICE and Border Patrol.

“We are fostering these relationships — that’s a critical part of making sure a plan like this works,” said Twist.

Paul Beeson, commander for the Joint Task Force West, Arizona, confirmed the Ducey administration’s characterization of the meetings. He said the proposal dovetails with a CBP effort to “disrupt, degrade and dismantle” transnational criminal organizations operating in Arizona and beyond.

Beeson said CBP has talked frequently with DPS about the proposal. “What I have seen is a sincere effort on the part of the state to work with federal officials and address these issues that are of concern to all of us,” Beeson said.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said he didn’t have enough details about Ducey’s proposal to say whether he supports it, but said he’d like to see more state troopers patrolling highways.

“This is a major corridor … you’ve got drugs, stolen vehicles, you’ve got money,” Estrada said. “You’ve got so many things happening on the highway and there’s nobody here after 2 o’clock (in the morning).”

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos questioned DPS’ ability to take on more responsibility and said it should focus on patrolling highways and running the state crime lab.

He also said Ducey’s administration has done a poor job communicating their plans. “Don’t dictate what help you want to provide without knowing that your help isn’t much help,” Nanos said.

Twist said Nanos has not been open to learning about the proposal.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told Ducey he needed money for a radio system. Communication is challenging in the area, with poor reception and dead zones. That prompted Ducey to help fund completion of the communications center, which was years in the making.

To Dannels and other county officials and ranchers, the money signaled that Ducey took their needs seriously.

Dannels told The Republic he would support Ducey’s plan if it complements county law-enforcement operations. “Big government” won’t resolve border-crime issues but “true partnerships” could, he said.

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot did not return calls to discuss Ducey’s plan.

The Ducey administration’s conversations with Tohono O’odham Nation leaders, whose land is a prime trafficking corridor, have stalled.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manuel said in a statement: “We have engaged with the Governor and his staff on this important issue, and have long worked closely with the U.S. Border Patrol. However, just like other border communities, the Tohono O’odham Nation needs to better understand the potential impacts of the Governor’s plan.”

Activity along the border

Ducey’s proposal comes as apprehensions of illegal immigrants have generally declined between fiscal 2005 and 2014, and as Border Patrol staffing has risen.

At the same time, marijuana seizures by the Border Patrol in Arizona have just about doubled to more than 1 million pounds in fiscal year 2014.

Not reflected in the reports are the tons of drugs that make it past authorities, points out Maj. Jack Johnson, who heads the DPS bureau.

“It’s pretty crazy to think drug traffickers just walking through, coming on up through communities, it’s pretty unbelievable,” said Johnson, as he sped past the lit-up football field at a Casa Grande school on the night of the October operation.

The strike force in September and October snared 3,260 pounds of marijuana, 73 pounds of meth, nearly 2 pounds of cocaine, 19 pounds of heroin and five firearms, according to DPS records. It made 180 arrests, including 14 documented gang members and 65 illegal immigrants who were turned over to Border Patrol.

Johnson contends the bureau could prevent drug-related deaths, addictions, home invasions and other crimes that can be traced to contraband smuggled through the border.

“If the border strike force saves a life, that’s huge,” he said. “That matters.”

Gov. Ducey’s Republican Education Plan Earns Support of AZ Democratic Party Leader

AZGOPBanner
Ducey Plan Solves One of Arizona’s Oldest and Most Politically Controversial Issues: Education Funding
PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party congratulated his counterpart, Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Tameron, on her announcement yesterday of her support of Gov. Doug Ducey’s Education Funding Plan. The measure, Proposition 123, will be on the ballot in May of 2016. If approved by voters it will increase K-12 funding by $3.5 billion over the next ten years.
 
“Governor Ducey is a true leader, and he’s put together a plan to address one of Arizona’s most difficult and controversial issues without putting more pressure on hardworking taxpayers,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Even the Democrat leadership knows a great leader with a great idea when they see one, and we’re happy to see more and more Democrat Party leaders acknowledge the hard work of our Republican legislature and Governor Ducey, and saying publicly they’re voting for it.”
 
“I want to thank the Chairwoman for publicly announcing her support,” Graham added.
 
Governor Ducey’s plan highlights are here:
 
 
Governor Ducey’s remarks upon signing the legislation to refer the plan to the ballot are here:
 
 
Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Cameron’s remarks, broadcast on 12 News’ “Sunday Square Off” on November 8th, will be available here:
 

Governor Doug Ducey: Our Money. Our Kids. Our Success

This special message was sent out from the Office of Governor Doug Ducey today:

Doug Ducey

Who says you can’t make government work?

We just did it here with the most far-reaching, high-impact education funding bill in our state’s history. News like this is too good not to share, so spread the word by forwarding this message along!

We’ve just passed, signed, and are ready to go with a bill that:

  • Puts $3.5 billion into education to dramatically improve our schools.
  • Increases per-student funding to $3,600 each year and gives educators the resources they’ve been asking for.
  • Doesn’t raise taxes while maintaining our balanced budget.
  • Provides relief from lawsuit abuse so funds go into classrooms, not attorneys’ pockets.
  • Maximizes the State Land Trust by drawing a modest amount as a shrewd investment in our kids.

I’ll never forget the good friends and strong, loyal supporters who gave me this job and the accompanying charge to solve problems and get results. Your support was, is, and will always be a source of tremendous inspiration.

Thanks so much,

Governor Doug Ducey

P.S. Help me share our fast-breaking news. Tell your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues that we got something great done for Arizona’s future. And we’re not done by a long shot. In fact, we’re just getting started!

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 

Arizona Small Businesses “Thrilled, Inspired” by Governor Ducey’s Regulatory Proposals

NFIBforwebPHOENIX, Ariz., January 12, 2015 — The following is a statement from Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), reacting to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s first State of the State Address:

“Arizona small business owners are thrilled and inspired by Governor Doug Ducey’s bold initiative to make Arizona the best place in America to work and do business.

“Governor Ducey’s new regulatory moratorium and top-to-bottom review of regulations throughout state government are exactly what an all-too-often beleaguered small business community has been counting on him to pursue and deliver.

“In his State of the State Address today, Governor Ducey again demonstrated that he grasps how burdensome and job-killing over-regulation can be for small business’ ability to survive, let alone grow and prosper. Adding a small business owner to his Regulatory Review Council will help ensure his commitment to reducing timeframes for permits and licenses are accomplished.

“Small business owners work very hard to comply with the mountain of regulations federal, state and local jurisdictions impose on them. It’s spectacular to hear Governor Ducey commit to eliminating bureaucratic entanglements that are outdated, irrational, unfair or destructive to free and honest enterprise in Arizona.

“NFIB is making regulatory reform and government efficiency our top 2015 legislative priority including Governor Ducey’s initiatives outlined in his State of the State, a law ensuring small business owners are made aware of their due process rights during the regulatory process as well as reforming the ‘corporate culture’ within the state bureaucracy from one that metes out harsh penalties to one that assists our small business job creators with regulatory compliance.”

# # #

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

Arizona Association of Realtors Endorse Doug Ducey

The Arizona Association of Realtors is really putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to their endorsement of Doug Ducey for Governor.

Doug Ducey is Small Business’ Choice for Governor

Nine in 10 entrepreneurs surveyed prefer state treasurer over former regents’ chairman

PHOENIX, Ariz., Sept. 9, 2014 — Reflecting small-business owners’ nine-to-one preference of Doug Ducey over Fred DuVal to be our next governor, Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its endorsement of Doug Ducey for governor.

“In a clear and booming voice, Arizona’s job creators say Doug Ducey is small-business’ choice for governor in 2014,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Poll of 379 Arizona small business owners conducted by NFIB August 28 to September 4, 2014.

Poll of 379 Arizona small business owners conducted by NFIB August 28 to September 4, 2014.

State Treasurer Doug Ducey received 90.4 percent support to former Board of Regents Chairman Fred DuVal’s 9.6 percent in a poll of 379 Arizona small-business owners conducted by NFIB August 28 to September 4, 2014.

The formal endorsement of Doug Ducey was made by the Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the political action committee of the National Federation of Independent Business.

“Arizona small business owners overwhelmingly recognize and appreciate Doug Ducey’s successful business experience and bold political leadership and view them as the essential qualities needed in our next governor,” said Quinlan.

“Whether it’s because of his wise stewardship of more than $12 billion in state assets as state treasurer or rising to the challenge of leading the underdog ‘NO on 204’ campaign to stop a permanent one-cent sales tax increase, Doug Ducey has earned the trust and confidence of the backbone of Arizona’s economy—our small-business owners. NFIB is proud to endorse Doug Ducey for governor of Arizona and look forward to working with him and his administration to kick start job creation in Arizona.”

UPDATE: Doug Ducey’s statement today regarding NFIB/Arizona’s endorsement of this campaign for governor:

“Small businesses are a cornerstone of a growing economy and my opportunity agenda, and I’m honored to add NFIB’s support to my growing coalition,” Doug Ducey said. “As your governor, my business priorities will include fewer regulations, lower taxes and a reformed tax code to ensure small businesses have every opportunity to thrive.”

Doug Ducey discuss how to kick start our economy at the NFIB/Arizona Small Business Forum in June.

Doug Ducey discuss how to kick start the state’s economy at the NFIB/Arizona Small Business Forum in June.

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