By Senator Jeff Flake
Enough is enough. The “9th Circus” madness must end. Arizonans deserve justice from the mountain west, not California. That’s why I’ve sponsored a bill to move Arizona into a new circuit.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is too large to be effective and has been for too long. 20% of our nation’s population lives in the 9th and it houses 40% of our nation’s landmass. They take 15 months to make a decision because they are so backed up in their work.
There’s no reason to protect an overworked and overburdened Court.
I’ve introduced a bill with John McCain that will split the 9th and create a new, 12th Circuit Court of Appeals because Arizonans and other Western states don’t have the bedrock principle of swift justice found in the rest of our nation.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Join me in fighting for a solution for Arizona.
We need courts that are fair and effective for everyone, not political institutions. Let’s make it happen.
Jeff FlakeRead more
By Sal DiCiccio
6th District, Phoenix City Council
Do you know what modern government corruption looks like? In order to see it, you’ll first need to let go of many of the stereotypes you hold true.
For example, many believe the government helps the poor. The truth, however, is a ruse as old as civilization: Government takes on a worthy cause, like building a school or affordable housing. After the project goes out to bid, the governmental entity selects itself as the developer.
Government staff then hires their family and friends to service the contract. And when all is said and done, the project costs twice as much, is half as good, and creates permanent city staff that now must find a new project to work on to protect their jobs.
Under this model, modern day government takes a noble cause, like helping the poor, and turns it into a corrupt type of “good graft” benefiting the insiders who profit off the good will of the public.
Let me give you a real-life example. In Phoenix, local politicians approved an affordable housing apartment project for the poor on land the city already owned. The housing, which should have cost $150,000 per unit, ended up costing around $281,000 per unit for a simple apartment unit. As a comparison, the median cost of a single-family home in the Phoenix is $195,000.
Around the same time, in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Phoenix, a luxury apartment complex built and owned by the private sector was sold at a price considered the highest ever in the City of Phoenix. It had every high-end finish and amenity. This luxurious apartment complex sold for $277,000 a unit ‒ about the same as the "affordable housing" apartment complex the taxpayers were forced to pay for in the example above.
So what went wrong? The “good graft.”
To start, the City of Phoenix gave itself the ability to self-select. This meant that even though there were multiple bids on the project from the private sector at about half the cost, Phoenix was able to select itself as the developer.Read more
By Team Ducey
Arizona's been in the national spotlight for educational excellence this month.
This week, five Arizona high schools made the U.S. News & World Report top ten public high schools in the nation -- more than any other state. We know how to educate a child in Arizona, and Governor Ducey is working hard to ensure every student has access to a high-quality public education.
Earlier this month, The Weekly Standard published an article highlighting Governor Ducey’s commitment to school choice.
Here's what they said about Governor Ducey:
“Governor Doug Ducey, already a hero to free-market conservatives for his deregulatory crusade against occupational licensing laws, will sign whatever universal education savings account (ESA) expansion makes it to his desk… In a statement to The Weekly Standard, Ducey lavished praise on the state’s achievements in school choice, saying, ‘Arizona provides a model for the nation of the value in putting parents in the driver’s seat of their kids’ education.’”
Read the full article here and share it with your friends !Read more
By Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council Member
Councilman Danny Valenzuela calls this a "good deal." I call it INSANE.
This is the same logic some of the same politicians used when they used your money to build the Sheraton losing $145 million of your hard-working taxpayers dollars.
Money that could've gone for more police on our streets.
Please read this article from Laurie Roberts:
ANOTHER TAX GIVEAWAY IN PHOENIX
Arizona Republic 4-20-17
Last month, Phoenix was sued for allowing a developer to skip paying $8 million in property taxes in return for building a 19-story apartment complex near Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix.
The city’s continuing tax giveaways – which leave you and I holding the bag for select developers’ share of funding public schools – have prompted a crackdown at the Arizona Legislature. Our leaders, in one of their rare good moves,recently voted to limit these giveaways beginning later this summer to eight years, down from the current 25.
And the city’s response to the legislation and the lawsuit by the Goldwater Institute?
On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council voted 7-2 to allow yet another developer to skip paying $9 million in property taxes in return for building three apartment towers near Roosevelt Row. (Councilmen Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring were the no votes.)
Phoenix wants what the market can't support
A city spokesman says the properties eventually will pay three times the property taxes they’d pay if only a four- or five-story apartment complex was built where these 29-, 25- and 19-story buildings will go in. ($6.9 million over 20 years as opposed to $2.4 million.)
That’s if the schools can wait 20 years, that is.
Five percent of the units will be "affordable" housing.
City leaders say the giveaway – technically called a government property lease excise tax -- allows developers to build the types of projects city leaders envision – the sort the free market doesn't support. (Sort of a like a certain downtown Phoenix hotel.)
“This is going to change the Phoenix skyline now instead of 20 years from now,” Councilman Daniel Valenzuela saidWednesday, in approving the deal.
This is, of course, the same old story we’ve been hearing for decades from Phoenix City Hall as city leaders hand out GPLETs like gumdrops.
Lots of developers got this pass
A fair chunk of downtown Phoenix has been given a pass on paying property taxes -- or anything even close to their fair share of the tab.
The Phelps Dodge building got a GPLET. So did CityScape. Renaissance Square has one (both Tower One and Tower Two). So does the Collier Center. And the Westin and Freeport McMoran and at least five apartment complexes along Roosevelt Row.Read more
|By Team Ducey
Here are a few highlights:
- "We want flexibility to adapt healthcare regulations that reflect what our states' citizens need."
- "We want to ensure that the rug isn't pulled out from under people who need help and access to healthcare." That includes people with pre-existing conditions, who need insurance coverage just like everyone else.
- "And we want to get it right the first time without inflicting all the trauma that came along with Obamacare. Congressional leadership and [Health and Human Services] Secretary [Tom] Price are listening, and that alone is a vast improvement. We have a good framework to continue the conversation and move forward."
- Ducey says that a fix "won't happen overnight," but he is unwavering on a few points, namely that, "the taxes, mandates and federal control that comprise Obamacare should be repealed as quickly as possible, and the necessary elements of a healthcare plan that puts patients first and ensures the broadest possible access to quality healthcare should replace them."
Next Wednesday, City Council will be voting on a request to make Phoenix a Sanctuary City. I have and will continue to oppose this.
You hear many politicians make big promises about Phoenix becoming a Sanctuary City, but they are afraid to go on record and vote. That is why I believe this vote should happen.
Instead, I predict City staff will find a way to kill the vote before it takes place, so that those same politicians won’t have to put their money where their mouth is. Well, I’m not afraid of a vote. I will always vote NO to Phoenix becoming a Sanctuary City.
For more updates, click here and “Like” to follow my Facebook page.
Phoenix City Council
By Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council District 6
Phoenix City Council will vote on a request for Sanctuary City status on February 15th at a formal council meeting.
I am firmly opposed to the effort to make Phoenix a Sanctuary City. I don't believe any local government should be able to pick and choose the laws they want to enforce. Additionally, I believe such a move would be illegal and would put our officers in the unethical position of having to ignore their oath to uphold state and federal laws.
Below is the press release from the City of Phoenix regarding today's Sanctuary City developments: Read the Full ReleaseRead more
Party Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary to be Elected Jan 28th
PHOENIX - Chairman Robert Graham announced the list of candidates seeking the Arizona Republican Party's top three elected officer positions. Additional nominations for these positions can be made from the floor at the party's January 28th Organizational Meeting, taking place at the Church for the Nations in Phoenix and starting at 9 am.
Candidates for Chairman: Jonathan Lines, Jim O'Connor, Frank Thorwald
Candidates for Secretary: Gabriela Mercer, Cindy Coleman, Marla Festenese
Candidates for Treasurer: Eric Morgan, William Beard, Wes Harris, Robert Lettieri
Elected Republican State Committeemen from each of Arizona's 15 counties will attend the meeting to vote on these positions and other party business. A formal call letter will be mailed to all state committeemen at least ten days before the meeting.
The state committee will also elect three members-at-large to serve on the state party executive committee, three from each of Arizona's nine congressional districts, with all candidates running from the floor.
Party Chairman Robert Graham appointed Barry Wong to serve as Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, Kathy Petsas to serve as Chairman of the Bylaws Committee, and Sergio Arellano to be Chairman of the Nominations Committee.
The current tentative list of 1,235 state committeemen, including nominees not yet formally elected, is here:Read more
PHOENIX – As 2016 comes to a close, the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund has beat industry benchmarks by a wider margin than in previous years.
“This is recognition of the hard work and incredible staff at the State Treasurer’s office,” Treasurer DeWit said.
The fund beat many of the large public investment funds in the United States including CalPERS, CalSTERS, Dartmouth, MIT, Stanford and Harvard.
“Our conservative, America first portfolio of 1,500 stocks and 405 bonds show that keeping our own staff and not outsourcing the management of Arizona’s money to Wall Street not only saves the state tens of millions in fees but also has produced better results,” DeWit said.
The $5.3 billion Endowment returned 3.32% in the last fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. This compares to the median one-year return of negative -0.74% for all endowments, according to results published by Wilshire Associates and reported by Bloomberg, LLC. By these metrics, in the first full fiscal year under Treasurer DeWit Arizona’s endowment outperformed Wall Street’s average by over 4%. This outperformance has continued through the end of November, to soon be reported at the upcoming December Arizona Board of Investment meeting.Read more
By: Former State Senator Andy Biggs
I applaud the FBI for doing the right thing and re-opening their investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail. Secretary Clinton could be less than two weeks from becoming the next Commander-in-Chief of the greatest country on the planet, and the American people deserve to know everything about her handling of confidential and classified information. We cannot afford to elect leaders who put American secrets and top-level information in jeopardy. The lies and deceit from Hillary Clinton and her allies have damaged the integrity of our Republic. The American people deserve justice in this case.Read more