Is Bob Robb’s Audience Listening?

Arizona Republic columnist Robert Robb’s latest column lays out a number of reason why the Legislature should be feeling good about the progress it has made in its negotiations with Governor Brewer over the State’s budget.  It also makes it clear why the Democrats will not be supporting it.  Given that three Republican Senators remain holdouts – Carolyn Allen, Pamela Gorman, and Ron Gould – and only two of them are even remotely interested in shrinking government, cutting taxes, and cutting spending, we have to believe that Robb’s real audience likely consists of two people, and two alone.

His position concludes thusly: “Frankly, these tax cuts would be worth a permanent increase in the sales tax. For fiscal conservatives, a referendum on a temporary increase should be a no-brainer.”

You can add Robb’s voice to the numerous other conservative voices calling for a Yes vote on the long overdue budget bill, including the Arizona Free Enterprise Fund, the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, and the PAChyderm Coalition.  We can also add the dozens of conservative lawmakers who have already voiced their support for the package.


  1. Cut My Taxes says

    I’m sorry, did he say no-brainer? I think I’ve figured out our problem then.

  2. Maricopa PC says

    You’re wrong Taxes. Gould and Gorman are very smart. Very very smart. In fact, they’re smarter than Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, Steve Voeller, Tom Jenney, ATRA, and all the rest of those “so-called experts” with their advanced degrees and lifetimes of expertise. They’re ALL wrong, as are all of the other conservative members of the Republican caucus, and Gould and Gorman are right, because they’re so so so much smarter than everyone else put together.

    What, you don’t believe me? Just ask them. They’ll back me up on it, fo’ sho’!

  3. They are hoping to be the current and modified vesion of Linda Binder and Slade Mead.

  4. The problem people have with Gould is that he doesn’t want anything except to not vote yes on the budget that includes a provision for voting on a tax increase. That makes Gould ineligible for the kind of horse-trading and log-rolling that usually occurs to get votes. I’m sure every yes vote got something in return: a pet project, a promise of a leadership position, who knows. Carolyn Allen already got her medical malpractice bill, so maybe that’s why she’ a holdout as well. And maybe Gorman asked for something no one can give her.

  5. Maricopa PC says

    The conservatives like Jack Harper got concessions that shrunk government. Wolfy, your comment makes it sound like the concession is usually something that costs the taxpayers or benefits the lawmaker. Often it can be something that benefits the taxpayers. I haven’t heard of any concessions asked for by Gorman, nor has she stated any wishes. She mouths the same reasons as Gould and has stubbornly locked herself into her current position with such force that she thinks changing her mind will make her look bad.

    The new plan appears to be to break the sales tax referral into one piece and the tax cuts into a second piece. Allen can vote for one while Gorman votes for the rest. Its a crock, because they both know that they are doing what needs to be done to get it all passed, and they’re both willing to be a part of it. They just want to be seen as being “pure” to their cause. Do they really think we can’t see through that?

  6. I was trying to question whether “concessions” themselves, even if they’re nominally good for taxpayers, are part of a corrupt system of legislative decisionmaking. For example, Harper traded his vote on the budget for something he wanted. Nevermind that it may have been a good thing he wanted; he used his vote on item A to get item B. Is everyone here comfortable with that? Or is this just part of the ugliness of political interaction and they all have dirty hands to some degree?

  7. Harper may have traded his vote for a huge reduction in government employees, but that doesn’t make the process corrupt. Isn’t that we want our legislators to do?

    There is a rumor that the one time someone tried to offer Harper something of personal gain, he turned it down and reported to the FBI.

    I’ll bet Wolfy doesn’t have that type of ethics.

  8. Maricopa PC says

    Taxpayer, no need to be so ugly to Wolfy, he isn’t accusing anyone of anything. He is just talking about the whole concession or trading part of the process.

    Wolfy, if it makes you feel better about the process and its participants, it isn’t remotely dirty or unethical or anything like that to be a part of these negotiations. The legislative process is a very large and complicated process filled with more competing interests than we can imagine. In many respects its the free market system itself. And these interests align with and compete against each other depending on the issue or the bill. Conservative lawmakers will be looking out for those that fit their values while liberal lawmakers are looking out for those that fit theirs.

    If a bill is going through and you’ve got the chance to improve it (at least in your own eyes) then you should. Harper did. His voters should be grateful to him for that.

    Now, if you’re doing it for personal gain or campaign cash, then you’re corrupt, no question. But that clearly isn’t the case here.

  9. Maricopa PC says

    And in response to Chewie’s post on the Sonoran Alliance site (I refuse to even comment on Chewie’s post threads themselves because they’re usually so ugly or inaccurate), I am willing to accept that Gould and Gorman are making their decision for largely political reasons and that they “might want a future in politics” as Chewie surmises. But Chewie is wrong if she thinks that either will be able to “run on a record of consistently opposing taxes WITHOUT EXCEPTION.” Gould and Gorman are both on record as opposing a package that contains hundreds of millions of dollars of tax cuts, and they are responsible for our property taxes going back up.

    Its worth repeating, Gould, Gorman (and C Allen) are the reason we now pay higher property taxes, and they have blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts. Chewie can cram that into her next “I Love Gould and Gorman” post.

  10. I don’t for a second question Harper’s ethics. Nor do I think stubbornness to the point of absurdity (Gould) is always bad. But I do question whether an otherwise ethical person is smart enough to figure out he’s being used and manipulated into thinking he’s doing the right thing, but actually isn’t. I’m not talking about easy policy choices, I mean some people want to do the right thing and just can’t figure out how. Others know what the right thing is, but don’t have the courage or will strong enough to deliver it.

    Now if we had a smart, ethical and courageous person in power, we wouldn’t need all these legislators, now would we?

  11. Maricopa PC says

    Agreed Wolfy. Although we need 16 good folks in the Senate, 31 in the House, and one in the Governor’s office. We just don’t have that right now, so we need to take the best deal we can get. Sadly, thanks to Allen, Gould and Gorman, we can’t get it, and if something doesn’t happen soon, the Dems are going to be running the show and helping to write the legislation. That is going to get expensive.

  12. Wow, all those groups want “a budget”. But there could be a “good budget” as well as a “bad budget”. All budgets are not good budgets.

    I am happy to read that the status quo, MSM endorsed process is frustrated as that is almost a guarantee that Joe Taxpayer (me) isn’t getting robbed (quite so much) by the state government.

  13. Maricopa PC says

    You made several good points Thane, but none really apply to this debate. Its been said before here and elsewhere, but it bears repeating. Depending on who makes up the 16 yes votes in the Senate, the 31 yes votes in the House, and the Governor who gets to sign off on it (or not), what is the best budget that can be passed? It might be a great budget or not. It might turn out to be average or even below average. But what is the best budget that can be achieved? I think the one that those there Republicans just blocked might well be the best we are ever going to get from Brewer. Now, that’s a knock against Brewer, no question. But she’s not going away anytime soon, so we have to put up with her and deal with her. They added so many permanent tax cuts to the deal now that they actually spend more than the tax hike generates. So conservatives are loving it, except that they can’t get two conservatives to vote with the other 40+ who are supporting it in the House and Senate.

    The Democrats hate it, Carolyn Allen hates it, the liberal special interest groups hate it, and better still, they’ve all sworn to oppose the sales tax referral as well. We are one vote away from a nightmare package for the liberals here in Arizona, but we can’t get Gould or Gorman to put us over the top.

    As you can tell, we’re not too happy about it.

  14. I heard that the senate split up the budget deal into two bills who they said they will get Gorman’s and Gould’s vote. The problem is that if this happens the whole deal has to go back to the House where Adams says he doesn’t have the votes to support the ‘new deal’. back to square one…

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