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2018 Scrum

Over the past several months I’ve spent a fair amount of time with governors from both parties.  The advice from all of them has been consistent:

"No matter what, get your state’s budget balanced first. Once that’s accomplished then you can tackle everything else.”

Working with the Arizona Legislature we did that this week, passing a budget that puts us on the path to structural balance for the first time since 2007.

It wasn’t easy.  We made real reductions to government spending and accomplished permanent decisions that reform government – rather than just biting around the edges.

Not only will we have a leaner government; we’ll have a better one, more accountable to the taxpayers.

And we did all this WITHOUT raising taxes.

Naturally, the spending lobby and special interests don’t like it. They just assume government gets bigger and spends more.

I happen to believe government shouldn’t spend money that doesn’t exist.

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Governor Scott Walker will sign legislation to make Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state, prohibiting employees from being forced to join a union against their will. It's the right thing to do for job creators and employees alike.

But you know how it is: It threatens the power the Big Government Labor Bosses crave and they are going to come after him with everything they've got.
These are the same union bosses who mounted a multi-million dollar recall race against Governor Walker in 2012. As much as they did to crush him then, now, they will do even more. We are once again rallying help from conservatives across the country. Please stand with Governor Walker with a contribution of $10, $35, $50, $100, $250, or whatever amount is right for you today so that he has the resources to fight back and respond with the truth.

Governor Walker is a conservative champion. He is a bold reformer who dares to take on the Big Government Labor Unions and he wins. He has taken the reins of power away from the bosses and put the taxpayers back in charge.

The results are there for all to see: more jobs ... lower taxes ... a balanced budget ... effective government. What bothers the Big Government Labor Bosses the most is that Governor Walker says what he means, does what he says, and gets great results.

Now the attacks he will face will be unlike anything you have ever seen before and he needs your help more than ever.

Show him you support his "Right to Work" effort all the way. Help him move Wisconsin -- and America -- forward. Your financial leadership is critical, Jason. Please make your contribution right now for $10 or $100 or even $1,000.

Anything you can do would be a big help and greatly appreciated.

Team Walker

P.S. Enacting big bold reforms takes guts. Taking on the Big Government Labor Bosses takes courage. Governor Walker knows that making Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state is the right thing to do. Tell him you agree with a generous contribution today.

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Ban Gifts Now - Ethics Reform Now

by Sal DiCiccio

Dear Friends:

Just like you, Phoenix is excited to see the Super Bowl come to town. However, the game should not be an exciting opportunity for politicians to “score free game tickets.” Mayor Stanton promised a gift ban/ethics reform 1,110 days ago-but nothing has happened. Nothing. He even went on to promise implementing a ban before the Super Bowl, so that the politicians would be on notice.

Promises Made Must be Kept!!!!

I having been pushing a new ethics requirement for politicians at Phoenix City Hall for some time and like you was promised by the Mayor it would happen. See the photo above that is on the hall wall of my office - for everyone to see.

It looks like only public pressure on Mayor Stanton will get this across the goal line and make him keep his promise to you and your family.  Please call or write and demand that Mayor Stanton enact a gift ban PRIOR to the Super Bowl.

 

From my family to yours,

Sal DiCiccio

Phoenix City Council

District 6

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Former U.S. Congressman to lead organization's efforts to educate and inspire future leaders

 

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (January 6, 2015) - The Joe Foss Institute Board of Directors has named Frank Riggs the new President and CEO of the Joe Foss Institute (JFI). The mission of JFI is to restore civics education in K-12 schools and ensure that all high school graduates are ready for active, engaged citizenship.

 

Riggs will also head JFI's affiliate, the Civics Proficiency Institute (CPI), which has launched a national campaign called the Civics Education Initiative to encourage all 50 states to adopt the United States Citizenship Civics Test, the test all new U.S. citizens must pass, as a condition of high school graduation.

 

Riggs succeeds Dr. Lucian Spataro, who has joined an on-line education technology company as its president and COO. Spataro will remain on the JFI and CPI boards, and serve as co-chair of JFI's annual fundraiser, Stars in Service.

 

"I look forward to the challenge and opportunity to build on the solid foundation at JFI," Riggs said. "As CEO, my priorities will be expanding and branding JFI as the national leader for civics education, advocacy and engagement, and inspiring future generations to public service."

 

JFI Board Chairman Sandy Froman said, "While I am saddened that Lucian has chosen to depart, I am ecstatic that he is remaining on both boards and that we have someone of Frank's caliber to fill his shoes. Frank brings years of  leadership experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and is ideally suited to take the Joe Foss Institute to the next level and move the Civics Education Initiative forward."

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Dear Friend of Educational Choice,

Voters reject the status quo in education. They applaud bold change for children, and they want more.

That’s the message voters sent last week in the dramatic midterm election results. In each of the states where the American Federation for Children’s affiliated political committees engaged, we were able to help elect or protect many school choice policymakers to state legislative office.
• AFC and its political committees invested in a total of 259 races, including both the 2014 primary and general elections.
• Our spending totaled $4.5 million highly targeted dollars to defend, strengthen, or create school choice-friendly legislatures in nine states.
• 91 percent of our endorsed candidates won their races in the general election, and 80 percent won in the primary.
• Governors who have boldly stood up for vouchers, tax credit choice programs, and charter school expansion were re-elected, despite well-funded and relentless opposition from the teachers’ union. Governors Scott Walker (WI), John Kasich (OH), Rick Scott (FL) and Nathan Deal (GA) all won.

Governor Rick Scott’s victory in Florida is particularly striking, as his margin of victory matches the increased number of African-Americans who voted for him this election (compared to 2010). After the teachers union and school boards association sued to stop the new Education Savings Account and existing, bipartisan-supported tax credit scholarship program, Democratic candidate and former Governor Charlie Crist flip-flopped and became an opponent of these programs after having previously supported them as Governor, forcing the issue into the center of the campaign. Our Florida affiliate worked aggressively to inform parents of the nearly 70,000 scholarship program students of Crist’s support for the lawsuit that would take away their child’s scholarship.

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By Bill McInturff

Public Opinion Strategies' Election Night Poll shows the 2014 election was defined by major dissatisfaction about the direction of the country, the economy, and President Obama:

1. On Election Day, roughly two-thirds (65%) of voters said the country is headed off on the wrong track.

2. The weekend before the election 64% of voters said they were dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.

3. In the national exit polls, President Obama's job approval was 44% on Election Day, exactly matching his job approval on Election Day in 2010.

4. By a roughly two-to-one margin, people say they voted as a signal to oppose rather than to support President Obama (17% support/32% oppose).

5. Republicans enjoyed a six point edge on the generic vote for Congress (52% saying they voted for the Republican candidate for Congress compared to 46% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate for Congress).

6. In the national exit polls, Republicans carried White men by an even wider margin in 2014 than in 2010 (64% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/33% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate this cycle compared to 62%/34% in 2010).

7. While not quite as high as in 2010, Republicans captured White women by a comfortable double-digit margin this cycle (56% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/43% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate in 2014 compared to 58%/39% in 2010 according to national exit polls).

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How do you know you’re in Scottsdale?

The beautiful view of the McDowell Mountains?  Indian Bend Wash?  A vibrant downtown?  Terrific public art?

They all play a role.

But then there is a little thing.  Like bus stops.  Nowhere else in the Valley is such thought given to their aesthetic.  In Scottsdale they are interesting, even noteworthy.  But in other cities they are simply rudimentary.

That’s why we applaud an interesting “little thing” idea from Paradise Valley Councilwoman Julie Pace, tonight sworn into her first term after an impressive campaign for the office.

In a recent Paradise Valley Independent interview about her upcoming goals and priorities Pace spoke of an idea to shield utility boxes and the like with more ornamental coverings, as was done during the Town’s impressive redevelopment of 56th Street, between McDonald and Lincoln.

Maybe you notice it.  Maybe you don’t.  But what Pace speaks to is the limited urban acne Paradise Valley offers.

Sometimes politicians get caught up planning for the next great thing.  They search for unicorns and elixirs.  But sometimes little things can add up to a very big difference. We hope Pace succeeds in convincing the rest of the Town Council that this is a worthy effort and expenditure.  It is.

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*On January 8th new Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson takes over from interim one Brian Biesemeyer.  It’s the best municipal trade since the Phoenix Suns absconded Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers.  Biesemeyer found bureaucracy to be bucolic.  That Scottsdale continued to succeed despite his management speaks to just how special a place it is.  Thompson has an energy, expertise and appreciation for the position that will surely inject needed oxygen into Scottsdale’s lungs after Biesemeyer depleted it via employee exasperation and his own languishing leadership.

*With talk increasing of Congressman David Schweikert running for Arizona Governor in 2022 successors are already circling.  That will be a year of redistricting so who knows what the safe, Scottsdale-based district looks like then but early, strong contenders include Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring.  And never count out the Dirty Bird, Ben Quayle.  He once represented portions of the district before losing to Schweikert when their districts merged.

*With Maria Syms resigning her Paradise Valley Town Council seat now that she has been elected to the Arizona House of Representatives look for recently departed Councilman David Sherf to gain the appointment.  Planning Commissioner Daran Wastchak also deserves consideration as a candidate for the post in 2016.  

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Bt Rachel Sacco

This year marks Experience Scottsdale’s 30th anniversary, and we are kicking off a yearlong celebration hallmarking three decades of promoting travel and tourism in Scottsdale. We wanted to start that celebration with a sincere thank you to our members, partners, stakeholders and supporters.

Thank you for being a part of the Experience Scottsdale story – whether you have just joined our efforts or have been with us from the very beginning. We couldn’t do our jobs without you.3

The first chapter of our story began in 1987, when the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce formed its convention and visitors bureau division. As the pages have turned, we have grown from a four-person team within the Chamber to a standalone organization with a staff of 45.
There have been many chapters in the Experience Scottsdale story over the course of 30 years, with each bringing change and development.

But one thing has remained constant over all these years: Our unwavering commitment to bolster the city’s reputation as a tourism destination.

We have stayed true to our commitment. In each chapter, Experience Scottsdale has positioned Scottsdale as a world-class vacation, meetings and group travel destination. We have helped keep our destination top of mind for all customer segments, from meeting planners to leisure visitors to travel professionals.

And we have done so by sharing your stories.

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By Scottsdale City Councilmember Virginia Korte

As 2016 is winding down and with Christmas less than one week away, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and also a Happy New Year.  I hope you, your family and friends have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

Soon the City Council will return to work -- so I want to let you know about my number one priority for 2017.virginiakorte_bio

It is critical that we begin aggressively investing in improving the city’s infrastructure.  Our current infrastructure needs are estimated to be in excess of $300 million.  If we do not start to seriously address those needs, it will be exceptionally difficult to catch up.

As the costs mount, we cannot afford to ignore maintaining the city’s systems and structures that contribute to our quality of life.  Keeping up with our infrastructure needs is also important in continuing to make our city a destination for visitors and something that attracts new businesses.

I hope you will join me in not only supporting the need to focus on our infrastructure, but also in advocating that we start planning to make the essential investment necessary to keep Scottsdale special and prospering.

I invite you to give me your thoughts on how we can achieve these objectives.  You can write me at Korte@KorteScottsdale.com.

Again, have a safe and happy holiday.

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The songs.  The homecomings.  The Proms.  The friendships.  The cheerleading.  The college pursuits.  The first loves.  The buddies in the locker room.  The playoffs.

There are certain things we never forget about high school.  Yet, in the case of Notre Dame Prep football players were robbed this year of memories that go with playing in the playoffs due to the misdeeds of adults.

When violations by the school’s program became obvious the Arizona Interscholastic Association came down with a harsh punishment.  No playoffs for perennial prep power Notre Dame this year. Parents were enraged and organized efforts to appeal.  It almost worked.  The coach was fired.  Other steps were taken.  But the scalp that many thought would demonstrate sufficient remorsefulness was that of school President Jim Gmelich.  Yet, he refused to resign.  The Diocese and Gmelich placed themselves about the kids.

It wasn’t just self-absorbing.  It was obviously deficient because everyone knew at the time of the appeal that Gmelich was a dead administrator walking.  So why not just do the right thing and resign then so graduating seniors and the rest of the team didn’t have to suffer?  Because the spoiled souls thought they could survive the soiling.

But of course that wasn’t to be.  Just last week Gmelich was gone as the President of Notre Dame Prep.

Some 25 years ago Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye” was one of those songs all high school Proms played.  It’s too bad Gmelich adopted that slogan at the time of his crisis rather than do right by a football team who still have a prom coming up in the new year but will never be able to get this past season back.

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Well, it certainly took the Scottsdale City Council long enough, but they appear to have found a terrific City Manager.

Former Casa Grande City Manager Jim Thompson is the chosen one, after three rounds and eighteen months of interviews.

The community will soon come to appreciate the erudite Thompson for his energy and purpose. He’s not one to belabor the bureaucratic journey.  He’s a person that wants to get things done.

And you can tell he’s appreciative of being in Scottsdale.  It’s a challenge.  It’s a great city.  It’s the big leagues.

One anecdote after Thompson got the job said it all.  City wordsmithers had crafted a press release announcing his hiring.  In presenting copy to their new boss they posited he could take as much time as needed to look it over and even get back to them the next day.  Thompson’s reply?  Go with it.  Looks good.  You know your job.

After enduring the last 18 months of the interim City Manager under whom morale lagged and the business community furrowed its brow Thompson’s conviction, command and lack of cowardice when it comes to making decisions is refreshing.  The interim City Manager never understood politics.  Thompson does.  He understands democracy involves all different voices from all different walks and that a City Manager’s impact is not just based on being the smartest guy in the room, or a command of issues, but his standing among those whose voices count as much if not more than his or hers.  Indeed, the interim City Manager was so incontinent on matters people and politics he thinks no one notices when he stacks important evaluation committees with acolytes from the one department he actually does know something about – water – or speaks inappropriately to his bosses, the City Council.

Thompson can’t start his post soon enough.  While it officially doesn’t begin until January 8th every Scottsdalian should be appreciative of the holiday gift he represents.

 

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*Bob Littlefield still hasn’t called Jim Lane to congratulate him on the Scottsdale Mayor’s race.  And they’ve been together at events.  #Classless

*Are the Democrats going to produce any sacrificial lamb to run against Doug Ducey in 2018?  Or just pass altogether?

*A big light rail fight could be coming to Chandler, Arizona

*Soon, Cave Creek Mayor Vince Francia will ride off into the political sunset.  How he has ruled over the most ungovernable town in Arizona with decency and distinction for so long is one of the most underappreciated municipal accomplishments of our time.

*Is a new user soon coming to the old Barney’s space at Scottsdale Fashion Square?

*Marijuana legalization will be coming back in 2020 not 2018

*In our opinion the worst and most ethically deficient political consultant in Arizona today is former Arizona legislator Phil Hubbard

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alex-3Their monkey wrench gang vitriol and antics are almost enough to get even us to reverse our opposition to the Desert Discovery Center.  Almost.  

But what can’t be denied is how swiftly the “NO DDC” group’s political stock has fallen since November 8th.  

They went all in for Bob Littlefield in his challenge to Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.  He got trounced.  

The group sought the defeat of Councilmembers Suzanne Klapp and Virginia Korte.  They finished first and second in the voting.  Their chosen candidate, Guy Phillips, barely survived, narrowly beating back a challenge from Scottsdale newcomer Dan Schweiker.  

Then it was revealed here how deficient NO DDC’s self-professed leader Jason Alexander truly is.

But the resonant revelations about the group’s increasing impotency can best be found in an analysis of Scottsdale’s November 8th precinct tallies.  As Lane, for example, ran up more than 70% of the vote in some areas of the city he won narrowly in the two precincts where the Desert Discovery Center was an obvious concern.  Littlefield actually bested Lane by some 20 votes in DC Ranch but lost by 200 in the WestWorld precinct.  This is where it gets interesting.  Lane clobbered Littlefield in all other northern Scottsdale precincts.  Desert Highlands, Grayhawk, Granite Mountain.  Littlefield discovered scant votes in those and other desert centers.  

What’s that tell us?  

Beyond these two, proximate areas of the city voters just don’t care about the Desert Discovery Center.  And that’s a problem for the project’s opponents moving forward.  

Indeed, we can’t understand why congressional Democrats kept Nancy Pelosi around after so much failure.  And we don’t understand why the understandable opposition to this McDowell Sonoran Preserve imposition would cede itself to a gang that can’t shoot straight.  At a minimum they should get away from personal attacks and the belief they know how to operate like Axelrod or Carville.   The merits of the argument are, and should be sufficient.  It better be, because their standing as a political force looks more like a penny stock.  

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*Dan Schweiker may take another run for the Scottsdale City Council in 2018.  All three incumbents – Linda Milhaven, David Smith and Kathy Littlefield – are suggesting they will run too.

*As the Scottsdale City Manager saga turns . . .  it appears that new candidates will be interviewed in early December with a decision possible December 8th.

jim-norton*If lobbyist Jim Norton can find a way to get a massive tax break for a new Arizona Coyotes arena through the Arizona State Legislature Trump should immediately send him to the West Bank to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

*In an interview this week with John Gambadoro, the biggest radio voice in Arizona sports, Coyotes’ Minority Owner Anthony LeBlanc said he didn’t want a public vote.  Gee, wonder why?

*Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela is not shying away from rumored mayoral aspirations and could assemble an interesting campaign coalition.

*Speaking of mayoral aspirations count Mary Hamway, Paul Dembow and Mark Stanton among the leading contenders to succeed current Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins in 2018.

brnovich*Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has put together a very impressive host committee list for his first major fundraiser toward his 2018 re-election campaign.

 

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lane portraitIn Scottsdale even winners apparently whine too.

After the Scottsdale Mayor’s “Laneslide” victory Tuesday night and subject council election results the Arizona Republic and Parker Leavitt properly interviewed candidates for a story.
Expectedly Bob Littlefield didn’t congratulate Lane on a race well run. Indeed, he still to this day hasn’t had the class to call with congratulations.  Littlefield carped about not having the resources to compete with Lane even though he had had them to win all of his other races in Scottsdale.  Maybe it had to do with calling the city’s business leaders “scumbags” and warning all in the business community “you should fear me.”  Littlefield even included a missive on one of his mailers talking about all the “dark money” Lane was receiving in the race.  That was a lie.  Lane didn’t benefit from a dime of such support.  That Littlefield couldn’t raise sufficient money speaks to his own deficiencies. After all, Hugh Hallman ran for Mayor of Tempe in 2004 without taking a single contribution with those having interests before the City Council and won in an upset over the establishment candidate.  Sound familiar? Littlefield just couldn’t get it done.

littlefield at deskSimilarly, council victor Guy Phillips also lamented “dark money” in his race – it was limited – confusing what the Realtors Association did in support of his opponents.  Their support was fully transparent, listing the source of the money used on their mail pieces.

Note to Littlefield and Phillips:  dark money is anonymous.  Get your facts and terms straight before casting aspersions.  In the case of Littlefield it’s par for the course but in the case of Phillips it undermines his impressive re-election accomplishment.  Be a guy who’s a grateful winner not a whiner.

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Part I:  City Manager Search

A key rule in life and business is when something isn’t working don’t keep doing the same thing.  Change course.  That’s certainly in order now that the Scottsdale City Council has again failed to reach consensus on a new City Manager, which is long overdue.

It’s confounding that the apparent direction from council is to go back to the same process and outside consultants that have failed before.  Will the third time really be the charm?  We think not.

So here are some people and procedures that should be considered so this embarrassing saga for Scottsdale doesn’t continue.  The city’s leaders need to remember this is Scottsdale not Buckeye and act accordingly.  If you don’t like the people you’re being fed go recruit talent across Arizona and the country that can easily be identified to you.  Baseball teams don’t outsource General Manager searches to human resources.  Their owners and presidents identify and recruit.  The same should be done now by a subcommittee of the council that has yet to coalesce around one candidate.  This search committee might be made up of Mayor Lane, Councilwoman Korte and Councilman Phillips, each members of the conflicting caucuses.  Fritz Behring was a City Manager hired by acclimation.  It shouldn’t be this difficult.

Absent this new process go back to people that have well served the city in the past, or who could in the future.  People like Lisa Collins, Dan Worth, Dick Bowers or Topeka, Kansas City Manager Jim Colson who was passed over previously.

The city is badly in need of a permanent City Manager.  And badly in need of changing the way it’s going about it.


Part II:  Special Event Funding

In 2010 Scottsdale voters wisely chose to slightly increase hotel taxes to better fund Scottsdale tourism.  Part of those funds are dedicated to assisting new events become the next Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show or Waste Management Phoenix Open.  Results have been mixed, as can be expected of any new program.

But one recent approval should be repulsive to all.

Upon a recommendation from the Tourism Development Commission the Scottsdale City Council approved $82,500 for the azcentral Food & Wine Festival.  Notwithstanding there are 9,000 such festivals around Arizona (and this one is owned by USA Today & Arizona Republic who hardly need promotional help) the event was held in 2015 at Scottsdale Fashion Square.  But for its 2016 event held last weekend it decided to move to Salt River Fields.  The audacity to ask for Scottsdale monies as it exited the community is almost impressive if it weren’t infuriating. Unbelievably, a commission and council indulged.  Furthermore, the event was taking place on the exact same weekend the same groups decided to apporppriate $60,000 for the “Grand Prix” in downtown Scottsdale.  Notwithstanding the paucity of that event why would any Scottsdale leader subsidize an event outside of Scottsdale to compete with one it was contemporaneously funding in downtown?

Scottsdale has been duly recognized for being an effective run government.  This is an exception to the rule and should not happen again.

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alex-3Who is Jason Alexander? No, not the actor who played the neurotic yet lovable George Constanza on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. Who exactly is the man who has burst onto the local political scene, leading the charge against the Desert Discovery Center in North Scottsdale? He just makes it so difficult to join his crusade, even though we were staunch opponents of the DDC long before he was.

By all appearances, he appears to be a regular Scottsdale dude. He’s a “Senior QA Architect with 20 years of experience in software development and quality assurance for agile development teams.”

He also seems like a good father who’s also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys biking, hiking and partaking in outdoor activities all across Arizona, but specifically in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. As someone who presents himself as a lover and defender of Scottsdale and the Preserve, it’s no wonder that he’s become the leader of NO DDC.

Further examination, however, reveals a hypocritical individual who may not really care for Scottsdale residents and the community he lives in. Since 2007, Alexander has kept a pretty active blog with vignettes of parenting and day-to-day life. In addition to these funny stories though, readers get a glimpse into why he’s full of contradictions.

In numerous posts throughout the years, Alexander refers to the city of Scottsdale as “Snottsdale," here, here and here.  A Princeton-educated computer engineer who is no doubt familiar with a keyboard, Alexander’s denigration of the city’s name can’t be anything but intentional due to the fact that the “C” key and “N” key are not very close to one another.

His dislike of the city isn’t limited to altering the name of the city in his posts. In other blog posts, Alexander also insults city employees and staff. In one, Alexander compares the lifeguards at the McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic & Fitness Center to “Hitler youth” because they enforce rules that ensure everyone, including Alexander’s two children, enjoys the pool safely. In another post, Scottsdale land managers are called asshats” and “eveeeil because while doing their jobs, they bulldozed a small hill on Gateway Loop, which Alexander liked to use for biking.

On top of this dislike for all things Scottsdale, Alexander appears to dislike Scottsdale residents, including the very same people who most likely form the basis of support for his NO DDC group. While writing on the problems of biking and distracted drivers, Alexander calls Scottsdale drivers dumbass egocentric North Snottsdale trash. In another post on his love of being active and outside, Alexander pokes fun at Scottsdale retirees who aren’t as active as he and writes that these retirees have mostly gotten here by indoor jobs . Showing disdain for those who enjoy the trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Alexander writes about a particularly intense bike ride and why he enjoyed it so much. Looks like he loved this bike ride due to the fact that there were “No nimby HOAs, no dodging herds of slack-jawed hikers around Sunrise and Lost Dog…”. In recent months, these residents, slack-jawed hikers, and retirees who are the object of his derision have become his allies. Maybe they’d resist doubling down on supporting his cause if they knew what he really thinks of them?

Alexander, who according to his blog, used to live in Legislative District 19, also demonstrates an apparent dislike for Mormons and members of Arizona’s active LDS community. In a post deriding Arizona’s stringent DUI laws, which are meant to keep the community safe from impaired drivers, Alexander describes writing to Mesa legislators State Senator Chuck Gray and Representatives Kirk Adams and Rich Crandall about why Arizona’s DUI laws are too stringent. When he fails to get a response from them, he posts that the letters won’t do any good when “all 3 legislators are Mormon, very very overtly Mormon”. He goes on to write that he believes that these legislators are “using political offices to promote a morality” and quips that due to their actions, he had to “seriously think about moving to Colorado, or at least Scottsdale.” Finally, he writes, “I will not vote for a Mormon legislator again, period.  I haven’t in years based legitimately on different politics, but this is now my single-issue.”.

Most quizzical of all is Alexander’s own political endorsements and views, which don’t jive with who he supports now. On explaining why he campaigned in support of Effie Carlson for her state legislative bid in 2014, Alexander writes that he and his wife were a part of “the last band of sane people in AZ LD23, standing against the Armies of Whiteness,” and writes that residents of Fountain Hills are “a bunch of scared white people, responding to a wingnut who sprouts teabaggery”. We can only assume that the “wingnut” he’s referring to is Jay Lawrence, but guess who else could be that individual? You guessed it: none other than Alexander’s supposed Preserve savior, Bob Littlefield, who was also running for that seat in 2014.

Not only does Alexander offend members of Arizona’s active Latter Day Saints community, but he also uses one of the English language’s most derogative terms in a joking and “comical” manner in numerous posts. That’s rarely wise for an Anglo. In one post while describing his reaction to an occasion when his wife spilled soda in his vehicle, he writes, “…I only yelled once when my wife spilled cherry soda all over the car. Cherry m*thafuggin soda IN.THE.CAR! Give a n*gga a break!!”. In another blog post where he criticizes Arizona’s inconsistent distracted driver laws, he writes, “N*ggaz was ready ta loot, bust caps off in dumbass egocentric North Snottsdale trash…”.  In a final post, Alexander criticizes in-car breathalyzers and again refers to himself with this vile term: I wanted to to yank the damn thing out of the car, but that anger lasted about 10 seconds til i forced the numbness back over me. Much better than looking at the calender and chafing. this is how n*ggaz do hard time.”

So who really is Jason Alexander? We may never know, but it seems that he may not really love Scottsdale after all. To form this contradictory viewpoint of how he loves and embraces his community, Scottsdale’s Alexander may have just adopted a mantra from Seinfeld’s Alexander, who playing the role of George Costanza once said, “Jerry. Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

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By State Treasurer of Arizona Jeff DeWit

Proposition 123 is LESS money for schools and RAISES PROPERTY TAXES

I wish I could support Proposition 123.  I wish it was in the best interest of our schools, teachers, and taxpayers.  I wish it lived up to the claim of being “more money for schools without raising taxes.”  Unfortunately it is none of these things.

Anytime politicians tell you they have found a way to spend money without raising taxes, they are either raising debt or raiding a trust fund.  It is why our federal government owes $19 Trillion and our Social Security Trust Fund is depleted.  Our federal government has made false promises, and Arizona is now following suit.

Proposition 123 is a raid on the Schools’ Permanent Endowment Trust Fund which was established by Congress at Arizona’s statehood.  It is a pool of money intended to grow for the benefit of educating Arizona schoolchildren forever.  We can spend interest, but we are never to spend principle, as this plan does in a BIG way.  Proposition 123 violates this Congressional requirement, and if passed, a new multi-year lawsuit will likely begin, further delaying funding for our schools.

The politicians are saying that this Trust is “underperforming our schools.”  This is incorrect.  The amount we spend on schools from the Trust is now the highest in Arizona history, roughly $100 million a year, and should double about every seven years.  Voting NO on Proposition 123 keeps this money for its intended purpose, benefiting our schools forever.  Saying yes cuts the trust fund by over a third, costs our schools (and ultimately our taxpayers) Billions of dollars, keeps teacher pay at 50th in the country, raises property taxes, and creates a huge fiscal cliff in ten years that will hit hardworking taxpayers.

Let me say part of that again.  Right now Arizona is 50th in the country in teacher pay.  If Prop 123 passes, and the trust fund is raided, and when property taxes increase, we will still be 50th in the country in teacher pay!  As the Arizona Republic has pointed out, this is merely a "scam" on the voters to make them think that this is free money, when in reality it comes at a very high price to our children, teachers, and taxpayers.  Read here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2016/04/18/montini-gov-doug-ducey-league-of-women-voters-proposition-123-arizona-legislature-state-land-trust/83157214/ 

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Fred DuVal, the 2014 Democratic nominee for Governor, just endorsed Proposition 123.

Read his statement, here.

He is standing shoulder to shoulder with Governor Ducey and thousands of parents and educators to put our kids and teachers first. And we've got an new TV ad to prove it. Watch the video here.

Mr. DuVal and Governor Ducey don't always agree but they agree Prop 123 is a necessary first step towards improving Arizona's public schools.

Prop 123 is a perfect example of what Arizonans can accomplish when we work together.

They recognize just how important it is for us to inject $3.5 billion into public K-12 schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes.

We are proud that Democrats and Republicans are putting partisan politics aside and working together to get our schools the resources they need.

Join us, Fred DuVal, Governor Doug Ducey and countless others in supporting Proposition 123, and lend a hand to ensure this passes on May 17.

Thanks,

Team Prop 123

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By Dan Schweiker

Transportation has always been near and dear to my heart. I first experienced the valley's roads in 1978 when I arrived in Arizona in my un-air conditioned 1976 Honda Civic. A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains the same – we need an interconnected transportation system that moves people, goods, and services.

There is no doubt that our valley has grown. The number of freeways, streets, and transit options have increased and improved over time as well. I remember when the I-10 tunnel was completed with much fanfare and when the Loop 101 finally came to Scottsdale.

It was my honor to serve on the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Transportation Committee in 2003 and 2004 as we worked on the Regional Transportation Plan and the extension of the 1985 half cent sales tax that built our transportation system. One of the things we realized early on is that we must take a multi-modal approach to transportation planning.

We realized that we must take into account the cost, available land, traffic patterns, growth, and interconnectivity into our planning. We learned that different areas had different needs and an interconnected plan could not be a "one size fits all" approach. We also adopted fundraising firewalls and audit measures to ensure fiscal responsibility. The result was the passage of Proposition 400 in 2004 which is still improving transportation across the region.

In Scottsdale, the Transportation Commission has released a draft of their Transportation Master Plan. It is a comprehensive proposal that will help strengthen our city's transportation policies and improve connectivity for our future. The Scottsdale City Council is meeting on April 12 in a study session to review the plan. 

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PHOENIX — Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny today endorsed Proposition 123 citing the resources it will provide teachers and students throughout the next 10 years.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) estimates that Chandler Unified School District will receive more than $9 million this year alone if Prop 123 passes. 

"I'm supporting Prop 123 because it's going to provide our schools, teachers and students with stability and support for the next decade," Mayor Tibshraeny said. "It will put billions of dollars into Arizona’s K-12 public education system over the next decade without raising taxes. It's prudent, fiscally responsible, and will help our teachers and students succeed in the classroom. Join me and vote YES on May 17."

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by Paul Babeu

Have you seen the latest poll?

It has us up big in Arizona's 1st Congressional District.35% of voters have rallied behind me, and our campaign, which has given us a 27-point lead.

This is all great news, and wouldn't be possible without you and all of your help.

The liberals in Arizona want no part of facing me in November, and they'll be throwing money at this race to stop us.

We're not going to let that happen.

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By Virginia Korte

There is no bigger success story in the city than the resurgence of our downtown area.  It is truly inspiring.

Not long ago people joked that we rolled up our downtown sidewalks at sunset.    It was a short 15 years ago that our downtown had boarded up buildings and tumbleweeds were literally blowing down the street.  I even remember when the canal banks were just dusty trails full of trash.

All that has changed.

Today, galleries, restaurants and entertainment venues have created a vibrant area full of energy morning, noon and night. Downtown has grown from what was once only a tourist attraction to where people now live, work, enjoy the finest restaurants and experience fine arts and culture (not to mention the best shopping in town!).

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