Sonoran Alliance’s Shane Wikfors on Sunday Square Off Asking Tom Horne to Exit AG Race

ICYMI, here is my recent appearance on TV-12’s Sunday Square Off discussing the Arizona Attorney General’s race and why Tom Horne should exit.

Special thanks to Brahm Resnik for having me on the show to discuss several political news items!

Conservative Grassroots Leaders Jennifer Wright and Shane Wikfors Endorse Arizona AG Candidate Mark Brnovich

Brnovich_logo

Recently, 2011 Phoenix Mayoral Candidate Jennifer Wright endorsed Republican Mark Brnovich for Arizona Attorney General.

“Now, more than ever, we need an Attorney General who knows and understands not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Arizona Constitution. We need an AG who will fight against federal programs, like ObamaCare. We need someone whose background includes not only prosecuting criminals, but has served as the director of the Goldwater Institute’s Center for Constitutional Government. And, we need someone who talks the talk AND walks the walk. Friends, we need Mark Brnovich.”

East Valley conservative activist and grassroots leader Shane Wikfors also endorsed Brnovich for Arizona Attorney General.

“As someone who places tremendous value on character and experience, I am excited to endorse Mark Brnovich to be Arizona’s next Attorney General. Mark possesses the conservative principles and personal integrity necessary to represent and advocate for Arizonans against an overbearing assault from Washington, DC. As a prosecutor, Mark has always demonstrated a commitment to justice, fairness, and judicial integrity. I also admire and respect his dedication to protecting our cultural and faith-based values. I wholeheartedly endorse and support Mark Brnovich as our next Attorney General of Arizona.”

Of the endorsements, Mark had this to say, “Jennifer Wright and Shane Wikfors have been steadfast advocates for conservative principles in the valley for a long time. Their support is invaluable and I look forward to working with them to help restore integrity and character to the office of Attorney General.”

ABOUT MARK BRNOVICH:
Raised in Arizona, Mark Brnovich is a graduate of Arizona State University. After law school, Mark prosecuted felonies in the Gang/Repeat Offender Bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona and as Assistant US Attorney for the District of Arizona. Mark also served his country as Command Staff Judge Advocate for the 153rd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arizona Army National Guard for eight years. Mark met his wife Susan while both were working as prosecutors. They live in Phoenix with their two daughters.

Republicans on Immigration Issues and the Latino Vote

Here’s a quick wrap-up of what Republicans have been saying on President Obama’s non-enforcement measure, immigration and the Latino vote:

First my comments:

Next, Congressman Schweikert’s comments:

Click Here To view Reactions to Obama’s immigration executive order!

Then Senator Jon Kyl commented on Fox News:

Senator John McCain on Meet the Press:

Finally, Governor Mitt Romney at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkHHd_7llEo

And if you’re curious, here is what the Republican Party Platform says on “Immigration, National Security, and the Rule of Law”

Immigration policy is a national security issue, for which we have one test: Does it serve the national interest? By that standard, Republicans know America can have a strong immigration system without sacrificing the rule of law.

Enforcing the Rule of Law at the Border and Throughout the Nation

Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people. We simply must be able to track who is entering and leaving our country.

Our determination to uphold the rule of law begins with more effective enforcement, giving our agents the tools and resources they need to protect our sovereignty, completing the border fence quickly and securing the borders, and employing complementary strategies to secure our ports of entry. Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration.

Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike, along with those who practice identity theft and traffic in fraudulent documents. As long as jobs are available in the United States, economic incentives to enter illegally will persist. But we must empower employers so they can know with confidence that those they hire are permitted to work. That means that the E-Verify system—which is an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be reauthorized. A phased-in requirement that employers use the E-Verify system must be enacted.

The rule of law means guaranteeing to law enforcement the tools and coordination to deport criminal aliens without delay – and correcting court decisions that have made deportation so difficult. It means enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas, rather than letting millions flout the generosity that gave them temporary entry. It means imposing maximum penalties on those who smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S., both for their lawbreaking and for their cruel exploitation. It means requiring cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement and real consequences, including the denial of federal funds, for self-described sanctuary cities, which stand in open defiance of the federal and state statutes that expressly prohibit such sanctuary policies, and which endanger the lives of U.S. citizens. It does not mean driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, nor does it mean that illegal aliens should receive social security benefits, or other public benefits, except as provided by federal law.

We oppose amnesty. The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity. The American people’s rejection of en masse legalizations is especially appropriate given the federal government’s past failures to enforce the law.

Embracing Immigrant Communities

Today’s immigrants are walking in the steps of most other Americans’ ancestors, seeking the American dream and contributing culturally and economically to our nation. We celebrate the industry and love of liberty of these fellow Americans.

Both government and the private sector must do more to foster legally present immigrants’ integration into American life to advance respect for the rule of law and a common American identity. It is a national disgrace that the first experience most new Americans have is with a dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy defined by delay and confusion; we will no longer tolerate those failures.

In our multiethnic nation, everyone – immigrants and native-born alike – must embrace our core values of liberty, equality, meritocracy, and respect for human dignity and the rights of women.

One sign of our unity is our English language. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route to prosperity in America. English empowers. We support English as the official language in our nation, while welcoming the ethnic diversity in the United States and the territories, including language. Immigrants should be encouraged to learn English. English is the accepted language of business, commerce, and legal proceedings, and it is essential as a unifying cultural force. It is also important, as part of cultural integration, that our schools provide better education in U.S. history and civics for all children, thereby fostering a commitment to our national motto, E Pluribus Unum.

We are grateful to the thousands of new immigrants, many of them not yet citizens, who are serving in the Armed Forces. Their patriotism is inspiring; it should remind the institutions of civil society of the need to embrace newcomers, assist their journey to full citizenship, and help their communities avoid patterns of isolation.

Welcoming Refugees

Our country continues to accept refugees from troubled lands all over the world. In some cases, these are people who stood with America in dangerous times, and they have first call on our hospitality. We oppose, however, the granting of refugee status on the basis of lifestyle or other non-political factors.

Movers & Shakers – September 10th

Please join Lisa Keegan, Sharon Giese, Farrell Quinlan and me, Saturday, September 10th for some great conversation about Arizona policy and politics. Special thanks to Legislative District Chairman, Lisa Gray, for putting this great program series together!

LD-9's Movers & Shakers

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Sonoran Alliance on TV-12 Lunch Cast

In case you missed it, here is the video from my appearance on 12 News Lunch Cast with Brahm Resnik and liberal blogger, Donna “Democratic Diva” Gratehouse.

On camera appearances like this “move” very quickly and you’re lucky if you get all your points made before the end of the segment.

Thanks to Brahm Resnik and the crew at 12 News for having me on to represent the conservative Tea Party movement!

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona’s “Clean Elections” Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2011
CONTACT: Christina Walsh

Court Protects Free Speech and Political Participation

Arlington, Va.—In a victory for free speech and political participation, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “matching funds” provision of Arizona’s so-called “Clean Elections” Act is unconstitutional. The landmark case is Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, argued by the Institute for Justice. Both IJ and the Goldwater Institute had challenged Arizona’s law in court.

“This case is a clear reminder to government officials that they may not coerce speakers to limit their own speech,” said Bill Maurer, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, who argued the case. “The Court’s decision today, like other recent decisions, makes clear that the First Amendment is not an exception to campaign finance laws; it is the rule.”

Maurer said, “As a result of today’s ruling, government can no longer use public funds to manipulate speech in campaigns to favor government-funded political candidates and turn the speech of traditionally funded candidates into the vehicle by which their entire political goals are undermined.”

Arizona’s “Clean Elections” Act manipulated election speech by favoring candidates who participated in the public funding system over those who chose to forego taxpayer dollars and instead raised funds through voluntary contributions. For every dollar a privately funded candidate spent above a government-dictated amount, the government gave additional funds to his opponent. The Act even matched funds spent by independent groups that supported privately funded candidates, thereby canceling out those independent groups’ speech.

According to the Court, “The direct result of the speech of privately financed candidates and independent expenditure groups is a state-provided monetary subsidy to a political rival. That cash subsidy, conferred in response to political speech, penalizes speech.”

The Court’s decision followed the reasoning of its 2008 decision in Davis v. FEC, in which it struck down unequal contribution limits for candidates. As the Court said in today’s decision, although the penalty imposed by Arizona’s law is different in some respects from the law in Davis “those differences make the Arizona law more constitutionally problematic, not less.”

For example, Arizona’s law matches not only candidate expenditures, but those of independent expenditure groups, such as the clients represented by the Institute for Justice. As the Court put it “the matching funds provision forces privately funded candidates to fight a political hyrdra of sorts. Each dollar they spend generates two adversarial dollars in response.”

At bottom, the matching funds provision was a bald attempt by the state to manipulate speech by forcing speakers to either trigger matching funds, change their message, or refrain from speaking. According to the Court, “forcing that choice . . . certainly contravenes ‘the fundamental rule of protection under the First Amendment, that a speaker has the autonomy to choose the content of his own message.’”

Moreover, the Court recognized that the end result of the matching funds was the total curtailment of political speech, for “If the matching funds provision achieves its professed goal and causes candidates to switch to public financing, . . . there will be less speech: no spending above the initial state-set amount by formerly privately financed candidates, and no associated matching funds for anyone. Not only that, the level of speech will depend on the State’s judgment of the desirable amount, an amount tethered to available (and often scarce) state resources.”

But as the Court strongly reiterated today, “the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speakers against unjustified restrictions on speech, even when those restrictions reflect the will of the majority. When it comes to protected speech, the speaker is sovereign.”

In finding that matching funds substantially burden speech, Chief Justice Roberts pointed to research by University of Rochester political scientist David Primo, an expert in the case. Contrary to claims of Clean Elections’ backers, Dr. Primo’s original research “found that privately financed candidates facing the prospect of triggering matching funds changed the timing of their fundraising activities, the timing of their expenditures, and, thus, their overall campaign strategy” to avoid sending additional funds to opponents. The research is available at www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/first_amendment/az_campaign_finance/expert-report-d_primo.pdf.

Today’s ruling is important not just for those states and municipalities that have similar “matching fund” systems. As Maurer explains, “The decision prohibits government from attempting to level the playing field among political speakers by creating disincentives for some and incentives for others. The clear message of the First Amendment to government is: Hands off!”

Although today’s ruling affects only the matching funds provision of the Clean Elections Act, there is a measure on the November 2012 Arizona ballot that would end the whole Clean Elections system by forbidding government support of candidate campaigns.

The Institute for Justice has litigated against this unconstitutional provision since 2004. IJ represents independent political groups the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC and the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee as well as political candidates Senator Rick Murphy and former State Treasurer Dean Martin.

“Now that matching funds are no more, we do not have to censor our own speech,” said Steve Voeller of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC. “As long as this law was in place, we knew that that speaking out in the election meant that our political opponents would be showered with government money. The more we spoke, the more politicians we opposed benefitted. Now we can actually speak freely.”

Shane Wikfors of the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee said, “We have always believed that this law was meant to corral not only candidates but also voters by limiting political speech, intimidating organizations like ours and ultimately leading to a political outcome that was tainted by the state’s involvement. We are grateful that the Court protected political expression and struck down this unconstitutional state intervention.”

Rick Murphy said, “I’m grateful a majority of the justices recognized that the government shouldn’t try to ‘level the playing field’ of free speech with public money.”

Dean Martin said, “After nearly a decade, justice has prevailed. Now I am looking forward to November 2012, when the voters have a chance to get rid of the rest of taxpayer money that support politicians.”

Many observers anticipated the Court would strike down the matching funds program. IJ-Arizona Staff Attorney Paul Avelar explained, “It was pretty clear that matching funds violate the First Amendment rights of candidates, citizens and independent groups. The Ninth Circuit’s decision, now overturned, was so inconsistent with protections for free speech in campaigns that two other federal appellate courts almost immediately refused to follow it. In those cases, the courts struck down matching funds systems in Connecticut and Florida.”

“This is yet another example of an important judicial trend the Institute for Justice has advocated since our founding—that of judicial engagement,” said Institute for Justice President and General Counsel Chip Mellor. “The Court looked beyond the state’s claims about Clean Elections to its substance. It recognized that the real purpose of the law was not to eliminate corruption, but to level the playing field by manipulating speech. In the past, the courts have all too often rubberstamped the government’s claims about corruption in elections and upheld campaign finance laws that violated First Amendment rights. The Court seems to be moving in the other direction in campaign finance, and as a result, we are all freer.”

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC is just one of several challenges the Institute for Justice is litigating against restrictions on free speech by campaign finance laws. Mellor promised that “IJ will continue to fight against laws that reduce speech, silence disfavored speakers and viewpoints, and allow government to manipulate the marketplace of ideas thereby stripping away people’s right to govern themselves.”

Social science research shows that the purported benefits of public funding programs rarely materialize, while the costs to candidates and independent groups are real. Dr. Primo summed up the findings of the best available research in a paper for the Institute for Justice (available at http://www.ij.org/about/3466), and concluded, “Public funding is a program that promises much and delivers little.”

IJ recently won a landmark victory for free speech in federal court on behalf of SpeechNow.org, an independent group that opposes or supports candidates on the basis of their stance on free speech. IJ also won on behalf of a group of neighbors who were prosecuted by their political opponents under Colorado’s byzantine campaign finance laws merely for speaking out against the annexation of their neighborhood to a nearby town. In addition, IJ won recent victories for free speech in Florida when a federal judge struck down the state’s broadest-in-the-nation “electioneering communications” law and in Washington when it stopped an attempt to use the state’s campaign finance laws to regulate talk-radio commentary about a ballot issue.

# # #

Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee
Institute for Justice – Arizona Chapter
Goldwater Institute

 

40 Abortions Per Week

40 Abortions Per Week

Phoenix Magazine’s current edition portrays a glowing image of Valley abortionist Gabrielle Goodrick, who claims to perform, on average, 40 abortions per week. The article reads like a Planned Parenthood ad: dehumanizing the preborn and completely ignoring the considerable physical and emotional risks women face when they have an abortion.

Shane Wikfors at Sonoran Alliance blog this week wrote about what is also noticeably missing from the article. In February, Goodrick was placed on five years probation by the Arizona Medical Board. The Board said she reported she “may have a substance abuse problem,” and the Board’s Physician Health Program Contractor determined that Ms. Goodrick was “not safe to practice” and recommended “that she attend a chemical dependency evaluation.”

While not surprising, the lack of journalistic integrity is astounding. Once again, when all the facts are included, one cannot paint a sunny picture of Arizona’s abortion industry. I encourage you to pray for Goodrick and those entering her clinic. The facts are that abortion has tragic, life-altering consequences for all involved.

Leading a Family

Dad’s make a difference in our lives. They play a critical role in providing a loving, secure environment for families. A Heritage Foundation brief shows the importance for families of having a dad around:

  • Fathers’ engagement in their children’s activities is linked to higher academic performance.
  • Among adolescent boys, those who receive more parenting from their fathers are less likely to exhibit anti-social and delinquent behavior.
  • Among adolescent girls, those who have a strong relationship with their fathers are less likely to report experiencing depression.

Today, a new group of children, though, may never know their fathers. Jennifer Lahl, the executive producer of Eggsploitation, is producing a new film, Anonymous Father’s Day. The film tells the story of children conceived through sperm donation who will most likely never know their fathers and how this has impacted their lives. Click here to watch the trailer, and visit AnonymousUs.com to hear some of these stories. Also be sure to thank and love on your dad this Father’s Day! Most likely, I’ll be watching the U.S. Open with my dad and my husband.

Eye-Opening

We screened Eggsploitation twice this week – at Arizona Christian University and for a joint House and Senate Health Committee. Eggsploitation tells how the retrieval of human eggs to create embryos through in vitro fertilization carries significant health risks for women, to say nothing of the potential harm to embryos. Most who see the movie – from legislators to college-age women – say the movie is eye-opening. Click here for a copy of CAP’s overview of the issue.

If you missed the screening, and would like to see Eggsploitation, you can purchase the DVD from CAP for $17 plus $3 shipping and handling. Also, if you’re interested in hosting a screening for your church, class, or small group, we can help. Email info@azpolicy.org or call the CAP office, 602.424.2525.