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CreativeDestruction catches, shall we say, a “typo” in the Arizona Republic.  The writer incorrectly estimates the percent increase in the sales tax in Prop. 1.

The Arizona Republic needs to send Connie Cone Sexton back to grade school. She claims that a sales tax rate increase of 0.2 percentage points, increasing the city sales tax by over ten percent (from 1.8 to 2.0), is only an increase in the sales tax of 0.02 percent. What is kind of weird about this stupidity isn’t just that she confuses the rate increase with the tax increase, but that she also divides the number by ten for no explicable reason as well.

Of course, it could just be good old agenda journalism downplaying the amount of the sales tax.

An interesting tidbit in the article is that City Council candidate Maria Baier is the sister of Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Kahn.  Doesn’t that seem like a bit of a conflict of interest?  If elected, Baier will vote on items that will directly benefit her brother and impact his ability to do his job.

I am certain her defenders would say “she could excuse herself from the vote if it is such a conflict.”  That’s fine, but fire, police and other emergency services make up about 40% of the city’s budget.  Would the people of Phoenix be well served by someone who could not vote on 40% of the spending items?


  1. Guess that’s for the voters to decide. Like in Steve Yarbrough’s case that everyone’s bringing up all the time. The conflict is disclosed, which solves the problem 99% of the time.

  2. Interesting fact – Baier is Kahn’s sister

    I wonder if this will affect the outcome…

  3. George of the Desert says

    I remember when Calvin Goode was on the council. He always recused himself from votes involving the Santitation Dept. because his brother was a garbage collector. These kinds of conflicts are sometimes hard to avoid.

  4. Hometown Guy says

    Maria Baier is on the list of “Republicans for Janet.”

    Enough said!

  5. Is it such a bad thing that siblings both seek to serve the public? I don’t think that you should count someone out, because a sibling is also in a city position.

    Maria Baier has been active in politics for a long time. I commend any candidate who desires to serve the City of Phoenix. I don’t think that its a fair criticism that Maria’s brother is the fire chief so obbiously her views would be skewed. That’s an argument that you can make with lobbyists, but this isnt some scheme.

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