Brewer Team Hits Back

In case you didn’t read Laurie Roberts’ commentary, “Who is left to protect the children?” in today’s Arizona Republic, it was horribly indignant of Republican leadership and the Brewer Administration.

It certainly prompted a quick, thoughtful and blistering response from a member of Governor Jan Brewer’s Transition Team.

Because the Republic is not likely to print the response, we thought we’d help out in that endeavor. After all, who reads the mainstream press anymore?


Really, how hard was that column to write. Did you just pull it out of something you wrote about the last Republican administration.

We need to talk. Napolitano built up a Ponzi scheme of social programs without any underlying financial support. One time revenue hits; the building construction boom, raiding the rainy day fund when it was sprinkling, fund sweeps, and finally budget roll-overs. The last two Napolitano budgets were passed by majority Democratic votes and gave absolutely no acknowledgment as to where our State’s and Nation’s economy was heading. The programs like CPS which you referred to in your column, social service support programs and health care programs were all built and given to people who have come to rely on them as a safety net. All that would have been ok if our former Governor had used the last two budgets to build a sustainable revenue support system underneath them. But just like Bernie Madoff who victimized rich folks who came to rely on his firms annual rate of returns, so has the most vulnerable populations come to rely on the social security net that our former Governor built on top of a house of cards. And you have the audacity or simple ignorance to blame this Governor? You have got to be kidding me!

Finally, if you really want to be pissed off about something don’t pick on a press aide who is going to be making less than 70K per year, why don’t you write about the over $500K in annual leave which was paid to Napolitano staffers because her administration had no cap on leave time. That is gross negligence. Cunningham, Burke, Kroloff, Haener and her press secretary alone got nearly 200K in annual leave payouts. That was her senior management team. And you are picking on an assistant press secretary?

Come on Laurie, the State is faced with a myriad of tough choices (see Benson’s article on A-1). You can do a better job than this. Folks need to really know the problem. 30% of Napolitano’s budget isn’t there, over 3B that she counted on is not coming in. That is just 2010. It looks worse for 2011 and 2012. Governor Brewer is acting like a responsible adult; we need to cut, we need to streamline, we need reforms and probably we need to raise some taxes temporarily. I think the least we could ask for is a little responsible journalism.

You’ve written for how many years? Please if you can’t do better than this you really should hang it up. Times are tough. Step up and write something informative.

If you would like to talk that would be fine, call me anytime.


PS John, nice editorial page today, perhaps you could give Janet herself some space soon. Where is your indignation about the gross mismanagement of this State?

J. Charles Coughlin
HighGround, Inc.


  1. I hope some of you will ask your parole officers for permission to leave Arizona so that you can see that in states that are less backward, things are done more like Laurie Notaro wants and less like those of you want. That is why Arizona always ranks near the bottom in measures like educational quality, child welfare, etc.

    Come to think of it, a lot of you must be products of the Arizona educational system…

    Never mind.

  2. And now Noah Kroloff is Deputy Director of Policy for DHS….

    Be afraid…be very afraid…

  3. Is that what they call “working the refs”?

  4. JCC, Great job! And if someone REALLY wanted to take care of the children, they would give the task back to those who really care about them and love them, the parents…along with the the taxes to do the job right.

  5. Can't Recall My Clever Pseudonym says

    I cannot fathom how a “temporary” tax increase is going to solve anything.

  6. Chuck, great response. The whole concept of government is to make a living off of other people. Napolitano’s budgets have been nothing but gimmickry, and it would land her in jail if she were a CEO.

    Laurie Roberts has been covering AZ politics for some time. She should know that the problem didn’t just happen this January.

    This lack of objectivity is what is killing the media.

  7. Why is it that the same people who advocate for open borders, and the obligatory expenses that come along with it, never seem to get the point.

  8. Excellent letter. They won’t publish it. Newspapers in Arizona have taken to censorship of dissenting opinion.

    This all goes back to the old adage: “if you don’t read the papers, you’re uninformed and if you do read the papers, you’re misinformed”.

    Congrats to Couglin for giving the Republic a good hard punch in the nose. The papers just DON’T GET IT and that’s why they are in the sorry shape that they’re in.

  9. Unfortunately, the cuts at DES will be the line staff not the people making the rules. They need to fire the whole of District One management and start over….

  10. @Irish Lynch,

    So our choices are;

    1) Privatize schools.
    2) Fund public schools.

    The 3rd choice which seems to be popular in Arizona is to not privatize them, not fund them, then have both parties blame each other like a bunch of morons. We are hurting our children, and if your initial thought is “if the X party would just ..” then you are part of the problem. Stop hurting our state.

    If public schools exist I will vote for every single tax hike required to pay for them to aim to be #1 in the country. The current way for the “privatize” crowd to get their point across is to attack the funding of the existing program. That only hurts people, it doesn’t solve the problem. You are fighting to privatize things, not fighting for education to suck.. remember? Apparently not..

    If you can convince enough people to come up with a way to privatize them properly then I’ll be fine with removing the funding and sending my child to a private school. As long as you continue to be a tired old proponent of cutting funding of the existing programs you are showing a complete lack of concern for education, our childrens’ future, and our state’s future. Thanks!

    I would also expect that the privatized system costs me no more in tuition than it currently does in taxes (I currently sit in the 28% federal and 4.24% state brackets as well as pay Pinal county property taxes) and that they provide a BETTER education for my child.

    Let’s see you all focus on your privatizing education plans, not your hurting education plans.

  11. kralmajales says

    A friend of mine just moved to Texas…a red state. They value education there. Their property taxes are higher and they go to schools. Guess what? They are among the best in the United States. She said her kids learned more in two weeks than they did all year last year in Tucson. And her kids went to foothills schools too.

  12. MIKEY, Where did I say one word about education or schools? Amazing.

    I happen to believe that the increase in taxes over the last few decades have forced mothers to go out to work in order to: pay even more taxes, pay other people to do the job called mothering and her children and she all suffer for the mess created. Parents NEED to make ALL OF THE CHOICES FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND need TO RAISE THEIR OWN CHILDREN THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEIR IS NO NANNY IN THE WORLD (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT ET AL)who will love and care for her children as she will. Yes, that includes the CHOICES regarding education. I do not believe we would have the obesity problem, as an example of just one problem caused by a lack of mothering. And there are many more. Of course, I am only touching on a few of the obvious possibilities that would demonstrate the superiority of motherhood over governmenthood…FOR THE CHILDREN…

  13. PS Education isn’t a soccer championship. #1??? Who does the scoring? Who makes the rules?

    When I had 4 grandchildren in public schools throughout the ‘golden’ state over 20 years ago, I noticed that each of my children’s cars had their very own sticker claiming that THEIR LOCAL SCHOOL was number one in the state. Imagine, 4 were tied for first place!

  14. Kral

    In your expert opinion, how much more than the current $9000+ per student per year should we be paying? Should we double that? Triple it? What is the magic $ per student number? Over nine thousand dollars per student per year is what we’re spending now. So, again, what is the number?

  15. Can't Recall My Clever Pseudonym says

    If you took away payroll, income, property and sales taxes I’d have more than enough to send my and my neighbor’s kids to private schools. That is, if you really care about education funding.

  16. Bob, methinks the liberal’s “magic number” will always be “at least one dollar more than we’re paying now, obviously,” no matter how much it raises to.

    I’m also not sure why the liberal’s answer to the problems in education is always to throw more money at it. (Well, yes, I am, but you get the point.) Money is only part of the equation in creating better education; an important part, to be sure, but only a part.

    Methinks we can also do a lot more to increase education without spending more money.

  17. Grammar Nazi says

    Thanks Chuck. That letter was the best argument for improving Arizona schools I’ve seen from a Republican since Russell Pearce’s last unedited missive.

  18. Methinks

    My point exactly.

  19. Isn’t it amazing that the national economic crisis is blamed on the last 8 years of Bush and Obama is relieved of any responsibility, even though he was sitting Senator and approved the budget? Yet, Gov. Brewer had not one iota of complicity in the current budget mess and is being held liable for the Napolitano budget?


  20. I enjoyed your post and have bookmarked your site. ~ Nancy

  21. lol. keep it up,plz.

  22. LiberalWatcher says

    Chuck – you were doing fine until you got gutteral by using “pissed” – next time, buddy, use some better public relations lingo than what my Mom used to tell me was language from the other side of the tracks.

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