Frank Schmuck Questions Jeff Dial’s Military Record in Political Ad

Conservative Republican Frank Schmuck released a new digital ad today questioning the military service of Jeff Dial. Dial is seeking reelection to the Arizona State Senate in Legislative District 18.

The ad references Dial’s admission that his military service was characterized as “unsatisfactory participation” due to his weight, but the Schmuck campaign cites military regulations for an accurate definition.

According to regulations, “unsatisfactory participation” is due to “disobeying military orders” or not showing up for duty or “Absence Without Leave” or AWOL.

Earlier this week, the Schmuck campaign asked Jeff Dial to release his DD-214, the official document issued by the Department of Defense certifying release of discharge of active military service.

Dial has refused to release his DD-214 and instead has only provided a DD 256, which only certifies completion of a term as a reservist. The DD Form 256 is not used to determine if someone is a veteran in part because it can be purchased online with no verification of military service required and because active dates of service must be listed to qualify.

Dial and Schmuck will square off in the August 30th Primary Election.

Links:

http://www.military-certificates.com/Cert_Army_Honorable_discharge.htm

http://www.cem.va.gov/hmm/discharge_documents.asp

Why is Don Shooter Giving Government Special Treatment?

Toby Farmer

Toby Farmer Asks Don Shooter to Explain Intentions of Immunity Bill

Republican candidate Toby Farmer is asking State Senator Don Shooter to explain his sponsorship and support of a bill that gives the state and state employees complete immunity when they commit negligent acts on state trust lands. Sen. Shooter sponsored a bizarre amendment in the Appropriations Committee last week to a state trust lands bill. The provision, which Shooter authored, condones negligent acts of the state and its employees.

Right now as written, Shooter’s proposal would give the state complete immunity in the future, for example, in tragic wildland forest fires such as the Yarnell tragedy where 19 hotshot firefighters were killed last summer in northern Arizona. Families of the victims and property owners currently have claims against the state alleging negligence.

Toby Farmer asked, “Is Don Shooter okay with families, business owners, property owners and victims not receiving fair compensation when the state is in fact negligent? Why is Don Shooter okay with property owners who have been harmed by the state’s actions having no recourse for recovery or just compensation?” Farmer continued, “The potential harmful ramifications for the rural portions of my district and the landowners in Arizona cannot be understated.”

In committee, other Republican members and individuals who testified expressed their concerns and opposition to the language. In regards to the immunity language, Republican Senator Rick Murphy stated, “I’m not sure the Constitution would permit it.” A lawyer for one of the deceased hotshots and several landowners harmed by the fire called the provision “regrettable” and an “insult to firefighters.”

Farmer continued, “Why should government have special protections when there is clear negligence that businesses and regular people do not? It’s a scary world where a government can’t be held liable for its actions.”

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 To learn more about Toby’s campaign, visit www.FarmerAZ.com.

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen Releases No on Proposition 204 Op-Ed

Proposition 204 (“Permanent Sales Tax Increase, Education & Transportation”) is NOT the same temporary tax that is in place now and that will expire in 2013. This is a whole new tax with many changes written into the initiative.

Prop 204 is very dangerous, because it changes our constitutional form of government that requires the legislature to appropriate the tax dollars. The tax in place now did not make constitutional changes. Prop 204 decreases the power of the people by taking away their vote to check the legislature in the budgeting process. If Prop 204 passes, it will be nearly impossible for the legislature to change the sales tax rate, one of the highest in the nation, in the future.

Our national economic future is uncertain. Congress is wrestling with their $1.4 trillion budget deficit and the $16 trillion debt, and has passed a budget reduction bill that will cut aid to the state by 9% in 2013. The Arizona Legislature, which is elected by the people and accountable to the people, will need the ability more than ever to appropriate our tax dollars in the best interest of the public’s welfare and safety to keep all state responsibilities functioning.

In addition to the significant structural change in our management of tax money, Prop 204 also has language written into the bill stipulating that the legislature cannot reduce education funding from the 2012 levels going forward. This is reckless, considering that school enrollment can go up or down, and education funding should reflect that reality.

The proposition also has language that gives the Arizona Department of Transportation millions of dollars that can’t be touched and yet there is no reduction in the state gasoline tax that citizens are paying at the pump.

Those who wrote Prop 204 were also generous with other areas concerning welfare and healthcare, throwing millions of dollars into programs, and again tying the hands of the legislature in the budgeting process.

As the teachers union and others talk about the reductions to education these last three years, remember the $3 billion deficit that was brought about by increases in spending that could not be sustained. Between 2008 and 2010, the state lost 33% of its revenue, yet education received a reduction of 3.4%, in comparison to other state agencies which received reductions from 15.8% to 53%.

In 2008, state aid was $5,431 per student. Today it is $5,244. (Schools also receive federal and local dollars we have no control over.) This last session we increased funding to education by $56 million and as revenues improve, the legislature will add more.

The Arizona Legislature worked hard to bring our state budget back into balance. Along with other good legislation we have been able to improve our state economy whereas national job growth is stagnant. Arizona is now Number 4 in the nation for job creation opportunities.

Please vote NO on Prop 204 and protect your ability to have a say in the budgeting process through your elected legislator.

Senator Sylvia Allen
District 5
President pro tempore

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Bob Worsley on KAET’s Horizonte discussing the race in LD-25, Hispanic vote

A discussion with Bob Worsley, the Mesa businessman who founded SkyMall the in-flight catalog, about his run for the District 25 Arizona state Senate seat. Worsley also discusses the Hispanic vote and SB-1070 and the LDS Church.

Senate Leadership calls for end to 53/47 contribution rate for state employees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

Majority Leader to author bill that will put money back into teachers’ paychecks

(Phoenix, State Capitol) —Senate President-elect Steve Pierce and Majority Leader Andy Biggs announced today a bill will be offered in the upcoming legislative session ending the recent 53% employee/47% employer contribution rate split. That split went into effect in July, as part of the FY 12 budget. The change plugged a $40 million hole in the budget and reduced employee paychecks.

The bill will return the contribution rate split to 50/50, and increase the paychecks of teachers and other state employees by $20-40.

“Last session we made a commitment to Arizonans to deliver a balanced budget. The 53/47 split helped that happen, but many members agreed it was one of the toughest decisions they had to make. Conditions have changed, and I am comfortable now running a bill to repeal 53/47,” says Majority Leader Biggs.

“The truth is, the economic landscape is very different from March, when these budget negotiations were taking place. Because of our fiscal discipline and an improving economy, revenues are coming in at a much higher clip, and we can reverse this contribution rate change,” says President-elect Pierce.

“Republican leadership continues to put a high priority on strengthening education during these difficult times. We held K-12 reductions to about one percent last year. Today’s announcement is another way to honor the hard work of our district and charter school teachers,” says Pierce.

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Senate Leadership: Statement on Governor’s decision not to call special session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

Statement from Senate Leadership on the Governor’s decision not to call a special session on redistricting

“We are disappointed in Governor Brewer’s decision this afternoon to not call a Special Session on redistricting. After all the unconstitutional decisions and alleged violations of law by IRC Chair Mathis, Arizona voters deserve the opportunity to revisit the concept of an independent commission drawing the legislative and congressional maps. The flaws of having one unaccountable and unelected person making such vital decisions for the state have been exposed.

Senate and House leadership have met numerous times with the Governor and her staff, and we have assured her as recently as this morning that we had the votes necessary to put a Prop. 106 repeal or reform on the ballot in February.

We urge the Governor to reconsider her decision to not call a Special Session.”

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Congratulations Senate President Steve Pierce

Today, State Senate Republicans, by secret ballot, elected Senator Steve Pierce as Senate President.

Prior to the election, three names had emerged as possible replacements should Senator Pearce be recalled: Steve Yarbrough, Steve Pierce and Andy Biggs. Biggs was presumed the favorite.

Biggs had also unwaveringly stood by Senator Pearce throughout the recall election.

Earlier during the session, Steve Pierce had voted against five immigration bill Russell Pearce had advocated.

When the vote went down today, the numbers were 11-10 in favor of Senator Steve Pierce. Yarbrough had bowed out of the race leaving it a Pierce vs. Biggs contest.

It’s not hard to see that the State’s newest senator, did not vote for Senator Andy Biggs and speculation abounds that Senator Gould traded his vote for an endorsement for his congressional bid against House Speaker, Andy Tobin, also from Prescott which Pierce represents.

Senator Frank Antenori from southern Arizona, replaced Pierce as Majority Whip – the likely result of another vote for endorsment arrangement. Antenori has already formed an exploratory committee for congress in southern Arizona.

Based on pure speculation, the vote tally probably went along the lines of the following:

Voting for Steve Pierce:
Jerry Lewis
Rich Crandall
Adam Driggs
Frank Antenori
Michele Reagan
John Nelson
John McComish
Nancy Barto
Linda Gray
Ron Gould

Voting for Andy Biggs:
Scott Bundgaard
Sylvia Allen
Lori Klein
Rick Murphy
Steve Yarbrough
Steve Smith
Gail Griffin
Al Melvin
Don Shooter

Congratulations Senator Pierce. You certainly have your work cut out for you.

Statement by President Pearce on Ethics Committee Appointments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

“Today I received a letter from the Senate Rules Attorney (attached), informing me that three members of the Ethics Committee were recusing themselves from the Committee while the panel considers an ethics complaint filed against the three on September 20, 2011. The letter also explains that under Senate Ethics Committee Rule 17, as President of the Senate, I have no choice: I am required to temporarily replace the three members.

Therefore, I am announcing the appointments of Senator Linda Gray, Senator Robert Meza and Senator Jack Jackson, Jr. to the Senate Ethics Committee. Committee member Senator Andy Biggs will serve as Ethics Committee Chair while the three members are temporarily replaced. Senator Biggs is leaving early Friday morning for a commitment at Harvard University. When he returns on Monday he will meet with staff attorneys on this matter.”

Senate President Pearce talks about improving economic numbers in Arizona

Senate President Russell Pearce sits down with Arizona Capitol Television to talk about rising state revenues, a balanced budget and what they mean to Arizona’s economy:

Senate President Names New Appropriations Chair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 22, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen

Senator Shooter of Yuma will lead key committee 

(Phoenix, State Capitol)—-Senate President Russell Pearce announced today he is naming Senator Don Shooter chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“Senator Shooter is a strong fiscal conservative. He works well with his colleagues and the Governor. He will put the taxpayers of Arizona first,” says President Pearce.

Sen. Shooter currently serves as Chair of the Appropriations Sub-committee on Rural Issues, Education & Natural Resources.

“It will be a year of reform, with a smaller, more efficient government. With this pro-jobs, pro-education, pro-public safety Senate we have a great opportunity to continue to move Arizona in the right direction,” says Sen. Shooter. “We will return in January with no deficit, thanks to the Senate’s hard work in delivering a balanced budget.”

“Senator Shooter will be an outstanding Appropriations chair, continuing our effort to stimulate the economy with lower taxes and reduced regulation,” says Pres. Pearce. “He understands the process and has a good working relationship with the House and the Governor. Senator Shooter has the time and willingness to work with Leadership on budget issues important to Arizona.”

Shooter replaces Senator Andy Biggs, who is now Majority Leader in the Senate.

“Senator Biggs will stay very engaged in the Appropriations process, and Appropriations Vice-Chair Ron Gould is a seasoned Senator and a longtime Appropriations member. With Senator Shooter moving into this leadership role, our Appropriations team becomes even stronger,” says Pres. Pearce.

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