June 25, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. — "Let's face it: I've been a thorn in leadership's side," says Arizona Republican Rep. Matt Salmon, sitting at his desk in the Rayburn House Office Building.
Earlier that day, Salmon had just been named by Speaker John Boehner to a special "working group" on the crisis at the southern U.S. border, where tens of thousands of unaccompanied children are streaming into the country with hopes that President Obama will grant them amnesty.
Salmon is the most conservative member of the new group, and his selection by Boehner is surprising, to say the least, given that the Arizonan has been a leading critic of House leadership.
"Probably nobody was more shocked than me, but I was pleasantly surprised," Salmon says.
On the other side of the ledger, the group includes Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a passionate advocate for a comprehensive immigration bill, and Rep. John Carter (R-TX), who negotiated for years with liberal Democrats, including Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), to craft an immigration bill that never saw the light of day.
Leading the new group is Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX). Its other members include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michal McCaul (R-TX), and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM).
"They put some independent-minded people on there," Salmon says. "At least they didn't stack it up with a bunch of 'yes people [for Obama or Boehner]'" he adds. "I'm glad to see that."Read more
“Our Cause Is More Important Than Any One Person”
Citing his campaign’s pace in collecting $5 contributions, and certain that Clean Elections funding would not be received in time for the start of early balloting, State Senator Al Melvin has formally withdrawn from the race for Arizona Governor, filing the required documents with the Arizona Secretary of State. His official statement is below:
“I had planned on having more time to decide my campaign’s future, but I was alerted by the Secretary of State’s office that while Maricopa County’s deadline to withdraw was June 27th, the remaining counties had their own early deadline and a decision had to be made by today. So after prayerful consideration with my wife and closest advisers and supporters, I filed the necessary documents with the Secretary of State’s office to formally withdraw from the race.Read more
Why is the Governor, aka The Artist Formerly Known as a Stalwart Conservative, so fixated on raising taxes? It’s a complete mystery. Governor Jan Brewer’s office and her Department of Revenue both responded yesterday to questions of exactly why they want to slam the state’s solar customers with a higher property tax, and their excuses were breathtakingly unconvincing.
The arguments are so lame that we’re forced to assume that she’s not protecting people from the tax because she doesn’t feel like it. Which is cool, after all she doesn’t have solar, and if her party takes a hit this Fall because Arizona’s retirees and homeowners are fundamentally opposed to tax hikes, so what? She’s outta here…. Anyway, let’s take a look at the blather:
1) Excuse: 2014 Governor Brewer can’t stand 2009 Governor Brewer.
“This equipment is being used to generate electricity for sale,” [Dept of Revenue spokesman Sean Laux] said. And that, he said, means they legally are no different for tax purposes than a power plant, solar or otherwise, owned by a utility. – East Valley Tribune, 6/5/14
First, it’s really weird to say a Glendale home with some solar panels and a trampoline out back is anywhere near the same category as a nuclear power plant. I mean, should the radio in my kitchen be subject to the same regulations as a nightclub? They are, as this Dept of Revenue guy would point out, both used to generate music.
Regardless, in 2009 when Jan Brewer had a hunch that solar was the perfect Arizona industry—and turned out to be right-- she said very clearly that rooftop solar was not like these other things, and that regular folks and the nascent solar industry should not pay industrial-level taxes. Small government, pro-business, all that good stuff.
Now her office says they don’t want to “strong arm” her own Department of Revenue to get them to simply abide by Governor Brewer 2009.
That makes no sense.
2) Excuse: We must tax solar customers because… solar panels work when turned on.
Not to delve too deep in the weeds here, but the Department of Revenue’s argument for why solar should pay a property tax is that utilities pay the tax based on the fact that they sell power. Therefore, because solar leasing companies also sell power, they conclude, they too should be taxed.
Except for one thing: solar leasing companies don’t sell power at all—they lease the equipment, and the solar customers receive whatever benefit may come from using that equipment.
It may seem convoluted, but it’s also the law, and the Department of Revenue is pushing an interpretation that has no legal basis.
But the Department of Revenue’s Sean Laux does not care about no stinkin’ law, and insists it is not an equipment lease because….err, the solar equipment works:
“And they guarantee it and will actually pay you if it doesn't” provide those results. “So it sounds to us as if you are paying for a certain number of kilowatts.” – East Valley Tribune, 6/5/14
By this logic, if you sell a TV and guarantee that it will work for three years, you’re not selling a TV, you’re selling time itself.
Cave Creek, Arizona – Republican candidate for Governor, Arizona businessman and education consultant, and former U.S. Congressman Frank Riggs today filed more than 10,400 signatures with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to qualify for the ballot.
In less than four months, the Riggs campaign collected almost double the 5660 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. "No other candidate collected as many signatures in such a short period of time," Riggs' campaign manager Darcie Johnston said. "We thank all of our grassroots volunteers and supporters around the state who made this possible."
Riggs said. “There may be a big field in the Republican primary for governor, but I’m the proven, tested and trusted candidate for Governor. I offer a clear choice and new direction for Arizona. I will stop the 'Obamanization of Arizona' by repealing Common Core and rolling back the unsustainable expansion of Medicaid."Read more
Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) released a statement following the passage of H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014:
“I am proud to have cosponsored and supported H.R. 4031. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responsibility is to provide care and support for our nation’s heroes. Sadly, the recent reports and investigations indicate the VA has failed our veterans.” said Schweikert. “VA leadership must be held accountable and I believe this bill is a step in the right direction to restoring faith and trust with our nation’s veterans.”Read more
From The Desk Of Russell Pearce:
You know that bad feeling when November rolls around and you look at your ballot and you realize that while you could never support the Democrat on your ballot, you are going to have to hold your nose to vote for the Republican nominee? Now is the time to do something about that. It is Primary time, when we get to support the best conservative and send a message to our state and our Party that those who champion our beliefs earn our support. That is why I am sending you this email today... To introduce you to State Senator Al Melvin, the proven conservative candidate for Arizona Governor.
For six years Al has been fighting for conservative values and casting real conservative votes: For Constitutional Carry, for SB1070 to fight illegal immigration, for SB1062 to protect religious liberties, for the largest tax cuts in Arizona history, against the ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion, and more. Al was also the author of the bill to stop Common Core here in Arizona. These weren’t easy positions to take, but Al took them on because it was the right thing to do.
In short, Al is the best conservative in the race for Governor, and he is someone you will get to feel good about supporting.Read more
Since day one of this campaign, I’ve stated that when I am elected Attorney General, one of my top priorities will be to work to protect those in our society who cannot protect themselves.
Whether they are the unborn, children, seniors, or our veterans we have a moral obligation as a society to protect the vulnerable.
I am running against both a Republican incumbent who has sided with pro-choice forces and against a Democrat who is supported and well-funded by groups like Planned Parenthood.
The liberal Democrats know that if they can gain control of the Attorney General’s Office they can selectively enforce laws including deconstructing laws that strengthen or protect the rights of the unborn.Read more
By Frank Antenori
I was recently invited for coffee by a close friend and fellow Republican to discuss upcoming state legislative races. Well respected in both local grass roots circles as well as the so called "GOP Establishment," he was chosen to reach out to me in hopes of convincing me to not get involved in several key legislative primaries. However, by the time we finished our second cup of coffee, he would not only fail to convince me to stay silent, but he would instead volunteer to help me in my efforts to inform GOP voters of the threat to our state. It took a simple history lesson to change his mind.
I take you back to the 46th Legislature. In 2004, a handful of so called "pragmatic" Republicans conspired with Democrats to give then Governor Janet Napolitano a budget that would increase state spending by more than $700million, a 10% increase in spending in a year that saw little inflation (2%).
Worse yet, that budget created a $500 million budget deficit; in violation of Arizona's Constitution which requires a balanced budget. Rightfully, fiscal conservatives were outraged at what was clearly an irresponsible budget. In response, conservatives recruited fiscally responsible primary opponents to challenge these fiscally irresponsible Republicans.Read more
By Wil Cardon
Candidate for Arizona Secretary of State
Recently, a federal judge issued a ruling saying that Arizona has the right to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. This may seem like common sense to most people. After all, why wouldn’t we require proof that you are an American citizen before you exercise one of the most important civic duties - voting.
However, there are many on the left who do not want there to be any proof of citizenship before registering to vote. This week, the Obama administration announced that they were going to fight that decision. And here in Arizona, my opponent has made quite clear that he does not support requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote.Read more
Yesterday, the City Council voted to give City Manager Ed Zuercher a $56,000 pay increase. Councilman Gates, Councilman DiCiccio and myself voted against this pay raise, like I voted against former City Manager David Cavazos' pay raise.
At a time when the City is facing a $37.7 million deficit, I felt it was unacceptable to give a pay raise. This is an instance of the City over spending while claiming to be broke. Money should not have been spent last year on golf courses, the Melrose Arch or poetry about recycling. And this year we should not be spending money on pay raises.
Thanks so much,
Phoenix Vice Mayor - District 2