Arizona Senate Education Chairman on Education Funding

By Sylvia Allen

Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

As we have come out of the recession and revenues have increased we have put that money into education.  We Republican Legislators support Teachers raises and that will be reflected in our budget.

The problem is that Left’s propaganda machine supported by the mainstream media, encouraged by school administrators, has given this false impression that we are somehow hostile to education when that is totally not the truth.  Also, we do not micromanage the dollars they are given to local school boards and they create their own budget.  Teachers do not work for the Legislators they work for local school districts and charters who determine their salary.

The Legislators only have the money the economy creates.  We can’t print money.  What we are being pressured to do is raise taxes on everyone.  This is not necessary; our revenues are increasing and as they do so we put that money into education.  Look at the information below.

The walkout is not necessary but only counterproductive.

2018

  • Even before state budget has been finalized, legislators have committed $667 million in yearly education funding
  • This is the result of a bill that continues an additional .06 cent tax
  • Prop 301 ends in 2021, and this bill will keep that money flowing to education
  • In addition, the bill also shifts $64 million from a debt service program to another fund dedicated to teacher pay

2017

  • Arizona public schools received more than $350 million in additional dollars for Fiscal 2018
  • The budget included nearly $80 million for inflationary increases
  • $84 million was added for enrollment growth
  • $21 million in new money went to special needs and charter schools
  • Teachers saw a 2% pay raise over 2018 and 2019, totaling $68 million
  • That money committed for 2019 will obviously be greatly increased in our new budget for this year
  • The best performing schools were rewarded with more than $37 million in ongoing formula funding
  • Early literacy programs received $8 million in 2018 and $12 million more in 2019
  • Legislature committed an additional $17 million for school repairs
  • Nearly $63 million was devoted to new school construction projects
  • An additional $38 million was set aside for 2019 new construction

2016

  • Proposition 123 was approved by legislators and sent to the voters
  • It injected $3.5 billion over ten years into the K-12 education system
  • In addition to the massive infusion of new dollars, the Legislature added more than $200 million in additional dollars
  • The budget included $132 million in new formula funding
  • An additional $31 million went to schools adjusting to current-year funding
  • An additional $30 million was appropriated to the School Facilities Board
  • $6.5 million went to the phase-out of the multi-site charter school weight
  • $1.2 million was dedicated to the phase-out of district-sponsored charter schools
  • $46 million went to new school construction
  • $29 million went to Joint Technical Education Districts

Year to Year Comparisons

General Fund Budgets                   2008                          2018

K-12 Education                           $3.95 billion            $4.23 billion       7% increase

Total budget                                $9.94 billion            $9.86 billion       1% decrease

Agency share of budget                   40%                           43%

2013                         2018

State only funding                       $4.09 billion           $5.33 billion       30% increase

Meet Commissioner Justin Olson

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

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

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

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

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

Dick Foreman: Getting back to basics in public education

By Dick Foreman

When it comes to education basics, the seas are not just getting choppy, they’ve been choppy and seem to be getting worse. One has to wonder, after all these years of research, student data, and models of reform from all 50 states to compare to, what is really working? Have we even addressed our most basic needs?

Have we figured out this “parent choice” thing yet?

ABEC is proud to not only represent business, community and education voices, but also traditional public as well as public charter schools. We realize and support, a system of parent choice that preserves opportunities for school children of every age. Indeed, many education reforms begin with “choice.” But we must also remember that the choice by design or default of the vast majority of Arizona parents remains the traditional public school. Quite simply, Arizona families both want and expect their neighborhood schools to be both excellent choices and safe neighborhood assets. There is no rocket science engaged in this deduction. You can arrive at this conclusion not only by what school parents most often choose for their children to attend but how they buy and sell their families most precious asset, their homes.

But today, education in Arizona suffers for at least three very basic reasons.

Dick Foreman

Dick Foreman

First, the choice parents make should be based on opportunity, not failure. Some policymakers believe that the best accountability for a failing public school is to close it or abandon it. But just on the taxpayer side of things alone, stranding their assets based on the choice of a few parents is a poor calculation. In fact, it permits a catastrophic result for both children and the property values of the entire community. Making matters worse, state policies that enable increasing disparities in state education funding formulas coupled with the increased erosion of public funds through targeted tax credits is a strategy for destabilization, not student achievement or respect for choice.

Making matters worse, responsibility is dodged. When parental concerns for quality are raised, a “buyer beware” approach to selecting schools is suggested. At the accountability zenith of this policy is a traditional public or charter school whose doors are shuttered. We should never accept the failure of a public school, and we should never celebrate this heart-breaking news as an accountability. After all, the reasons for this failure were not molecularly connected to the brick and mortar!

Secondly, we know what best enables student achievement. Simply put, it is the teacher that matters. It has always been the teacher. And it will likely always be the teacher. Here’s how Kata Mihaly, economist for the Rand Corporation who specializes in using econometric modeling to assess educational achievement, puts it:

“When it comes to student performance on reading and math tests, a teacher is estimated to have two to three times the impact of any other school factor, including services, facilities, and even leadership.”

Getting bogged down in school leadership models, lawsuits over capital facilities, competition or engaged but selective parent choice as the drivers of achievement will not address Arizona student needs. It will, at best, address some student needs. And that’s not good enough for 1.1 million Arizona school children. And it is not good enough for taxpayers.

What is good enough?

Simply stated, it’s keeping a qualified teacher in position for as long a period of time as is possible. The teacher and their skills remain the single greatest barometer of student achievement that can be measured.

Third, the single greatest predictor of student success remains demographics. If a student lives in poverty, their lack of achievement is indeed predictable and unacceptable. But can this be addressed by policy? Of course, it can. In fact, 43 states have added a “poverty weight” to their school funding formulas to do just that, including Arizona. But unfortunately, Arizona has very limited application in this respect (largely, a limited weight for 3rd Grade reading).

Here is an interesting data point on this failure from Diane Ravitch’s Blog of March 1, 2018:
*Students in the South and Southwest face a “double disadvantage” because their states provide low funding with no boost in funding for high poverty districts. States with flat or regressive funding include … Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico in the Southwest.

*Only a few states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Wyoming, provide high levels of school funding and distribute more funding to their high poverty districts. Notably, New Jersey and Massachusetts are the top performing states on student outcomes.”

Perhaps there is wisdom in getting back to the basics.

How about we work with policymakers to lay down the swords of philosophical agendas and work together to positively address the real basics? First, let’s respect all public education choices and resist creating winners and losers. Parent involvement and choice should always be encouraged but not confused as a necessary antecedent to student achievement overall. Secondly, let’s encourage maintaining a highly trained, long-term teaching workforce in Arizona’s classrooms. And thirdly, let’s recognize poverty as the single greatest indicator of student achievement and do something about it in the school funding formula.

NOTE: Dick Foreman is president & CEO of ABEC.  To contact, please send him an e-mail.
 
 ABOUT ABEC

The Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC) is the coalition of Arizona business and education leaders committed to helping create public education policy essential to a vibrant, growing Arizona economy. The coalition is a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, statewide membership organization focused on K-12 public education while recognizing the importance of early childhood development, post-secondary education and workforce development.

Frosty Taylor: Republicans Who Vote By Proxy Need Not Apply

By Calamity June

Early Monday morning, readers of Frosty Taylor’s Fake News were treated to a yet another truth-deprived rant. Fresh off of her attacks on hard-working PCs and foreign-born Republicans, Frosty has created yet another fake enemy at which to direct her ire: PCs who vote by proxy at Republican statutory meetings.

That’s right…at a time when leftwing billionaire Tom Steyer is pouring tens of millions of dollars into our state, when we are less than two months from a crucial special election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, and when Washington liberals are already plotting to impeach our President, Frosty continues to insist on finding insignificant issues that are only meant to divide Republicans. In the case of proxy voting, the legislation being championed by Frosty is a solution without a problem.

It would be difficult to make a point-by-point refutation of the Fake News contained in Frosty’s rant; on the whole, the entire piece is flawed by half-truths, personal attacks, and outright lies. But there are a few areas that must be addressed:

  • Frosty claims that some PCs carry “40 or 50 proxies” to state and LD meetings. This is not just a lie, it is demonstrably false according to Frosty’s own analysis. Last year, Frosty provided a table of how many proxies were carried in each legislative district, so she of all peoples should know how many proxies could have been carried by one individual PC.  Given the rules governing proxies, it is literally impossible for any one PC to carry 40 proxies, let alone 50. Frosty surely knows this, yet perpetuates this lie, anyway. The definition of Fake News.
  • Next, Frosty may find proxies objectionable, but she certainly isn’t immune to using them herself, nor are her allies. While she was not elected to the State Committee, she did attend a special meeting to replace Steve Montenegro in LD 13.  She carried 7 proxies. Archie Dickinson, the author of the anti-proxy resolution, carried 7 at the Mandatory Meeting. Timothy Schwartz, who testified in favor of the legislation and “begged” the legislature to intervene, carried 5. Marianne Ferrari, the author of the failed “Recall Lines” movement, did not attend the Mandatory Meeting, but sent in a proxy to represent her. So much hypocrisy, but again not surprising.
  • Frosty compares voting by proxy to ballot harvesting, the practice of collecting unlimited ballots from voters. This is a completely false analogy and even a woman as woefully uninformed as Frosty should know this. Ballot harvesting was objectionable because of the potential for abuse and election fraud. Not to mention the fact that Arizona voters have 4 full weeks in which they may cast their ballots. County and State meetings, by contrast, are on Saturdays; practicing Jewish Republicans, families with children, as well as others, may find it impossible to attend a Saturday meeting. Given her past attacks of Mormon and foreign-born Republicans, perhaps it is no surprise that Frosty would object to Jews having a voice within our Party.
  • And finally, Frosty goes on to attack the current AZGOP party leadership, an ongoing pattern of hers after her multiple failed attempts to defeat popular chairman Jonathan Lines. Frosty strongly backed Lines’ opponent, Jim O’Connor, in 2017. She was a fierce proponent of the ill-fated recall effort last summer. And earlier this year, she gave voice to a quixotic and unsuccessful attempt to remove Chairman Lines at the AZGOP Mandatory Meeting. Her lies include accusations of “secrecy…financial questions…controlled elections.” All of these attacks are, of course, baseless and amount to nothing more than so many sour grapes. Frosty lost, and now she’s throwing a fit that she can’t change the outcome of the election. Get over it.

As Frosty’s readership continues to dwindle, Republicans are rallying behind our strong GOP candidates and our successful State Party. True conservatives are standing strong for lower taxes, and fighting back against the far left who are trying to buy our state. As we enter the election season, we once again must tune out the lies of the Fake News media…and that continues to include Fake News Frosty Taylor.

Paul Boyer: Tax reform will help Ariz. small businesses, add jobs

Paul BoyerBy Paul Boyer

2018 is an exciting year for Arizona small businesses, which will be able to take advantage of a new 20 percent tax deduction associated with the recently passed federal tax legislation. These savings will not only benefit state small businesses, but employees, job seekers, and communities as well.

Arizona runs on small business. Our state is home to over 500,000 small businesses (defined by the Small Business Administration as employing 500 or fewer), helping employ nearly one million people. And these numbers are not unique to Arizona. Across the country, small businesses account for over 99 percent of all businesses and a net two-thirds of all new private sector jobs.

But despite the invaluable contribution small businesses had on the economy, for far too long, the structure of the old tax system actively worked against growth, with marginal federal rates reaching 40 percent. This over-taxation put small businesses at an inherent disadvantage.

Under the new tax law, a 20 percent deduction is established for all small business income less than $315,000, and non-professional service business income above that threshold. Roughly 95 percent of small businesses earn less than $315,000, meaning the overwhelming majority will benefit from the full 20 percent deduction.

Consider, for example, how this deduction would help an average Arizona small business earning $200,000 a year. This 20 percent deduction would protect $40,000 from federal taxation, freeing up much-needed resources to create jobs and raise wages. I am already hearing from dozens of businesses around the state about their plans to raise wages, hire employees, and expand with their tax savings.

This excess capital in the private economy will fuel economic growth. Contrary to popular belief, business owners will not simply pocket their tax savings. “They will follow the lead of their big business counterparts, hundreds of which, including AT&T, Comcast, and PNC Bank have used their tax savings to give workers bonuses or raise their wages, creating wealthier and more vibrant communities that touch nearly everyone.

We are even seeing specific examples of these savings here in our home state. Arizona’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service Co, announced its intention to reduce consumer bills, citing the lower corporate tax rate as the driving force behind the decision. These collective cuts could reach nearly $120 million, impacting over 25 million customers.

Arizona Public Service is giving the entirety of their tax cut back to customers. For families on a fixed income, these savings are crucial. They are able to live with a stronger sense of financial security thanks to the recent tax bill.

During my time in the Arizona State Legislature, I’ve encountered businesses longing to share their passions with the world. I witnessed humble business ventures transform into leaders of the Arizona business community. From my experience, a tax cut, like the one recently signed into law, would have done wonders in helping get these businesses off the ground. Now new businesses will finally get the relief they’ve needed for so long.

Tax cuts will give small businesses a lot to look forward to this year, meanwhile all Arizonans will reap the benefits.

Republican Paul Boyer, a high-school literature teacher, is chairman of the Arizona House Education Committee and represents Legislative District 20, based in Phoenix and Glendale. Email him at pboyer@azleg.gov

Rep. Andy Biggs: When will we act like the Republicans our constituents expect us to be?

Andy BiggsThe budget caps deal produced by Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer is a fiscal disaster parading as a military support bill. They argue that we need to fully fund the military. I agree. That’s why we sent a bill to the Senate earlier this week that fully funded the military – without adding more than $500 billion to our deficit over the next 18 months, as their plan does.

Further, the House fully funded the military in the budget bills sent to the Senate almost six months ago. The Senate has taken no action on those bills, but keeps forcing short-term spending bills, which even Senator Lindsey Graham agrees, is extremely harmful to our military.

This bad deal is an unconditional surrender on Republican principles and our platform.

If Congress approves the spending package, federal spending will grow by more than 10 percent. As a part of the deal, our nation’s debt limit will be suspended. This means that Congress will spend as much as it can borrow – without limits. Plan on even more national debt ahead.

If we are going to spend more than the credit limits, not to mention more than we bring in on the revenue side each month, we should be enacting serious spending cuts. Spending reductions should not be treated as an afterthought on a massive spending package.

After caving in on spending, the bill actually funds our troops for only another six weeks, until we are forced to consider our sixth spending bill of the fiscal year just a few weeks from now. This is absurd – and irresponsible.

Congress’s pattern of relying on short-term spending bills – on average, more than five times a year for the last 20 years – has brought on a plethora of problems. Our military is subjected to uncertainty in planning and execution of its missions. Our agencies incur the waste of preparing for government shutdowns multiple times each year. The dissipation incurred by failure of the Senate to pass the appropriations bills has also heaped an enormous national debt on this and future generations.

This is nothing short of self-immolation through legislative malfeasance. We are putting our grandchildren in an awful bind. If we cannot pass a budget and reduce the size of government now, we must wonder what kind of America they will see when they grow up. Will it be a thriving, free nation where they can fulfill their greatest aspirations, or will it be a broken and bankrupt country?

Almost six months ago, the House passed twelve appropriations bills and sent them over to the Senate. The Senate has had an opportunity for months to consider these bills and give them an up-or-down vote through regular order. This could have solved our problems. Yet, the other chamber has refused to perform its constitutional responsibility, threatening the financial stability of our military personnel.

Our troops are suffering now due to our lack of courage to pass a financially responsible, long-term budget, and our grandchildren will suffer later due to our propensity to kick the can down the road.

When will we act like the Republicans our constituents expect us to be? When will we cut spending, balance the budget, and eliminate our national debt? The time should be now, but sadly, we are too set in our free-spending, big government ways to change.

I strongly oppose this deal. We must drain the swamp and decrease the size of government. I implore my colleagues to vote against this legislation.

Ugenti-Rita: Arizona Small Businesses Will Benefit from Tax Bill

Michelle Ugenti-RitaA little over a month ago, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, and Americans are already feeling better than ever about the state of our economy. In a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, 66 percent of Americans rated the nation’s economy as either “excellent” or “good”—a three percentage point jump since last month.

It’s difficult to not be excited about the impact the tax bill is having on Arizona and its small businesses. The relief could not have come sooner.

Arizona is home to nearly 500,000 small businesses that employ approximately one million people. For too long these entities have struggled under a burdensome tax code that has prevented growth. With the previous federal tax rate approaching 40 percent, small businesses saw much of their hard-earned revenue disappear into the pockets of Uncle Sam.

Fortunately, measures included in the new tax relief package will reduce this burden. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a 20 percent standard deduction that applies to roughly 95 percent of small businesses and eliminates high tax brackets in favor of new, lower ones.

To put the standard deduction in layman’s terms, with the help of the new tax legislation, small businesses earning $200,000 a year are able to shield their first $40,000 of income from taxation. That extra cash can now be funneled into employee bonuses, wage increases, job creation, and business expansion. These measures will further bolster Arizona’s pro-business, pro-growth reputation.

According to a report by BMO Financial Group, Arizona’s business environment is already strong. While most state economies are expected to grow by an average of 2.2 percent, Arizona anticipates 2.8 percent growth in 2018. The tax cuts package will only accelerate that advancement.

In fact, we are already seeing some positive results in the state. Arizona-based YAM Worldwide announced it will be giving out $1.3 million in bonuses to its employees. Furthermore, over 1,000 JPMorgan Chase employees in Arizona will receive wage hikes or bonuses as part of the companies nationwide $20 billion, five-year plan to invest back into the country.

In addition, a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found the bill will create almost 6,500 jobs in the state.

These must be the “crumbs” Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats scoffed at while trying to explain away the benefits resulting from tax relief. For some, these “crumbs” represent eased rent worries, the ability to afford childcare or help with the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

The examples chronicled above are only a small piece of the benefits the tax bill has induced. Imagine the impacts Arizona will feel a year from now.

Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) is the Chair of the Arizona House Ways and Means Committee and represents the 23rd House District

AZRA Faction Power Grab Fails Spectacularly

By Calamity June

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Saturday morning at the Arizona GOP, the usual divisive suspects made a last-gasp effort to remove from office a popular and successful AZ GOP Chairman. This is but one of a long line of failures that a diminishing faction has attempted.

This is the same group that spearheaded the failed recall effort of chairman Lines last summer, which was the same group that unsuccessfully supported Jim O’Connor a year ago when he ran against Lines for GOP Chairman. The same group that pushes its false narratives on the pages of Frosty’s Fake News and the fever swamp blogs that she promotes.

Haters gonna hate. Losers gonna lose.

Prior to this failed attempt, State Committee members were treated to yet another temper tantrum from GOP Secretary and two-time losing candidate Gabby Mercer (starting to see a pattern here?) Mercer repeated her oft-told lie about access to records, threw invective at the Chairman and Executive Director. As has been demonstrated time and again, the responsibility to obtain the AZGOP permanent records lies with the Secretary. Mercer has failed to do her job, and every time she opens her mouth, she affirms that fact.

Jonathan Lines

Jonathan Lines

Following Mercer’s rant, Chairman Lines once again set the record straight, and then delivered his Chairman’s Report. He spoke about the work that the party is doing to get boots on the ground, register new Republicans at a staggering 55-1 advantage over the Democrats, and build a training program that has provided tools and resources to hundreds of Republican PCs.

And yet, for some reason, following that report of a successful year at the helm, obstructionist Joe Neglia, who had previously attempted to change the rules of the meeting (we’ll let you guess how that went) called for the removal of the chair.

The action was swift and decisive. There was an objection to consideration, prompting an immediate vote by division. A small, pathetic contingent centered in LD 23 rose in defense of the motion, leaving approximately 80% of the Committee standing, quite literally, in opposition.

And once again, the obstructionists, from Gabby Mercer to Joe Neglia to Tim Horn, had exposed themselves for what they really are.

Frosty’s Fake News Amplifies More Lies

By Calamity June

This morning, Frosty Taylor, the author of the FakeNews “Republican Briefs,” defended the campaign of lies that she has been amplifying on behalf of La Paz County Chairman Russell Sias. For weeks, Sias has been denigrating the hard work being done at the Arizona GOP, attacking the year-long Bylaws process, and hurling personal insults at anyone who does not subscribe to his hateful tactics.

Russell Sias

To dispense with the latest Sias-fueled fever dream: the bylaws revision process has been transparent and fair, with every corner of the state represented. Any suggestion to the contrary is without merit; all bylaw changes will be given an up or down vote at next month’s Mandatory Meeting.

But beyond that, Frosty resurrected the absurd narrative, also being pushed by Sias and others, that there has been a “cleansing” of “conservative worker-bee” PCs over the last 5 or 6 years.

Last we checked, there were plenty of hard working conservative PCs who continue to form the backbone of the Arizona GOP.

Workers like Kim Owens and Lisa James, who run the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service program…hundreds of women from across Arizona have learned the nuts and bolts of campaigning and governing, and several have gone on to elective office, including Senator Kelli Ward, AZ GOP Secretary Gabby Mercer, and Lisa Askey, the Chairwoman of the Chandler GOP Women. And the list goes on and on.

Another victim of Frosty’s smears is Lisa Gray, a dedicated conservative and hard working PC who VOLUNTEERS her time as the Executive Director of the Maricopa County Republicans. And yet, Frosty has focused her bile at Gray, resorting to name calling and personal bile at every opportunity.

And let’s not forget Jonathan Lines, a true product of the grassroots movement and a champion of conservative causes dating back to Ronald Reagan’s election. Frosty, Sias, and their ilk have waged a near-constant effort to destroy Lines, all in the name of power and control. And yet Lines, while running multiple businesses and raising a family of 11 kids, has sacrificed countless hours to promote the Republican Party and President Trump.

The Arizona GOP is governed by strong, conservative and active precinct committeemen. And just this week, saw the fruits of their labor when Congress, finally, voted for real tax reform! This came about in no small part because Chairman Lines and the AZ GOP rallied their PCs to insist that Congress keep its promise to Arizona taxpayers. Every single Republican in the Arizona delegation supported the President’s tax reform bill. Sounds like real conservative results to us!

Frosty Taylor, Russell Sias and the rest of the “dead end caucus” do not stand for conservative results. They don’t believe in party unity. They thrive on chaos, disunity, and lies. The truth is, there is no conspiracy to “cleanse” the party of conservatives…there is no “secret” process to reform the bylaws. There are only conservative, hard-working PCs, doing their best, every day, to grow the party, elect Republicans, and Make America Great Again.

Frosty Taylor represents none of this. She’s the mouthpiece of dysfunction and lies. And more and more true Republicans are finally taking notice.

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As always, the aforementioned parties are welcome to submit a counterpoint response to Sonoran Alliance.

Navajo County Republican PC’s to Slaton: You’re Fired!

By Calamity June

On Saturday morning in Navajo County, 15 of the 17 duly elected Precinct Committeemen convened at a Special Meeting and voted, unanimously, to remove Steven Slaton as Navajo County Chairman. Longtime activist Jim Vance was elected as the new chairman, effective immediately.

Steven Slaton

Steven Slaton

It is never a good thing when a party officer faces a recall, but in the case of the Navajo County Republican Committee, it was a long time coming. Slaton’s tenure has been marked by divisiveness, petty internal fights, and personal attacks on Republican elected officials. It was time for Mr. Slaton to go, as evidenced by the fact that 15 of the 16 PCs not named “Steve Slaton” voted to remove him from office.

With Slaton and one other PC choosing the boycott the meeting in protest, there was not one vote in favor of keeping him in office. Sadly, Steven Slaton had lost the confidence of his PCs, and as we head into the crucial election year of 2018, it is clear that new leadership was required in Navajo County.

More broadly, however, this is an important moment for Republicans throughout Arizona. For decades, bullying and harassment chased hundreds of good, conservative activists out of the party. Name calling and divisiveness ruled the day, with a select few elites deciding who was worthy of participation in their club.

No more.

Now, as Chairman Jonathan Lines follows through on his promise to build an inclusive and growing party, PCs from across the state are rejecting negativity and bullying, and rallying around the GOP as we look towards victory in 2018.

One would hope that Slaton’s unanimous removal from office will serve as a wakeup call to others in the party who choose division instead of addition. And if not, they’ll surely soon be joining Mr. Slaton among the ranks of former Chairmen.

Calamity June is a Republican activist who resides in the Phoenix area and writes primarily on Arizona Republican Party politics.