The Conservative's Corner

  • Kudos to Congress!

    Mar 10

    By The Goldwater Institute Partisan gridlock in Congress is often the rule, but there are the occasional and notable exceptions. In the recent spending bill, lawmakers successfully repealed the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)—one of the most extreme examples of consolidated, unchecked government power in American history. As the only organization to have challenged IPAB in court, we’re celebrating the elimination of what columnist George Will called “the most anti-constitutional law ever written.” Enacted eight years ago as part of the Affordable Care Act, IPAB was created as a cost-saving mechanism for the Medicare program for the nation’s elderly, but its authority was far broader. The unelected Board wielded unprecedented power to write healthcare rules that would automatically become law without a vote of Congress, signature of the president, notice to the public, or review by the courts. Some fiscal conservatives are now lamenting the fact that, by repealing IPAB, +

  • STATE TREASURER JEFF DEWIT ANNOUNCES HIGHEST ENDOWMENT VALUE IN THE HISTORY OF ARIZONA – $6 BILLION

    Mar 1

    PHOENIX – State Treasurer Jeff DeWit announced yesterday during the State Board of Investment meeting that the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund, also referred to as the Schools’ Trust Fund, has hit a record market value of more than $6 Billion. Even with increased distributions totaling more than $793 million to Endowment beneficiaries, which is more than three times that of any previous treasurer, the endowment has grown in excess of $1 billion during Treasurer DeWit’s tenure. “Credit for this achievement goes to the dedicated work of Senior Portfolio Manager Tim White who has managed the fund for nearly 20 years, along with the rest of the investment staff, and the members of the State Board of Investment,” Treasurer DeWit said. Treasurer DeWit, who is chairman of the State Board of Investment, also noted that the Treasurer’s office reached another milestone in January with the month ending value of all +

  • Open letter to citizens, staff, family, and friends

    Dec 27

    By Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers Last week I received a call from the media asking me to comment on Congressman Trent Franks’ pending resignation and wanted to know if I would be forming a committee to run for that office. To say the least, I was stunned. But even more than that, I was forced to look at the possibility of going to Washington, D.C., and how that would affect the city, my family and friends. It made me look deep inside myself. I was shocked at the hundreds of calls, e-mails, text messages, and the sheer number of folks stopping and asking; maybe asking isn’t the right word – pleading for me to run for Congressional District 8. My phone battery has been dying the last few days from lengthy calls from people wanting me to represent them in D.C. It’s been overwhelming to say the least. But maybe +

  • How effective are AZ schools?

    Dec 7

    by Team Ducey Friend — Arizona public schools are helping students make real educational gains. A recent New York Times article analyzed school districts across the country to determine whose students were learning the most between 3rd and 8th grades. They found three of the top 20 public school districts in the nation are in Arizona. Students in the Chandler, Peoria, and Washington Elementary School Districts are showing more than 5 years’ educational growth between 3rd and 8th grades, with #2 ranked Chandler students gaining nearly six years of learning in 5 years’ time. We’re making real, measurable progress in education, closing gaps and bringing students up to grade level. Want to see how your district stacks up? Read the article. There’s still plenty of work to do improving our Arizona schools, and Governor Ducey is committed to doing it. But things are moving in the right direction for our +

  • Press Release: SENATE MAJORITY LEADER KIMBERLY YEE RECEIVES 2017 HERO OF THE TREASUER’S OFFICE AWARD

    Sep 8

    PHOENIX – State Treasurer Jeff DeWit presented Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee the 2017 Hero of the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office award for her sponsorship of SB 1448 this past session. “The changes made in this legislation will lead to many millions more in earnings from the investments in our office,’’ Treasurer DeWit said. “Majority Leader Yee’s knowledge of the Treasurer’s office from here prior employment here was critical in getting this legislation unanimously approved this year,” DeWit said. “She truly understands the role the State Treasurer of Arizona serves in protecting taxpayers.” The wording of the award is as follows: Whereas, SB 1448 was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee during the first regular session of the 53rd Arizona Legislature; Whereas, SB 1448 was unanimously approved by the Arizona State Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives; Whereas, SB 1448, was enacted as Chapter 277, Laws +

  • From the Arizona Republic : My Turn: Paul Penzone’s law-enforcement circus is just beginning

    Aug 21

    Former chief deputy: If Sheriff Paul Penzone was serious about making a safe community, he’d seize more drugs, arrest more people – and actually enforce the law. By Jerry Sheridan Paul Penzone’s My Turn (”Where we’re taking the sheriff’s department after Joe Arpaio,” Aug. 6) was entertaining. His criticism of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, however, is unwarranted. I don’t have space to explain Arpaio’s defense here. Suffice it to say he is appealing. Police unions throughout the state, representing more than 18,000 police officers, endorsed Arpaio against Penzone in the last two elections. Read entire guest editorial here +

  • Arizona is becoming a car capital for a new technology era

    Jul 25

    By Governor Doug Ducey (Originally published by CNCB) Things move quickly in Arizona. In July 2016, when I wrote an op-ed for the 10th anniversary of CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business series, I talked about how our state is slashing red tape and embracing the new economy. What a difference a year makes. Since then, Google began offering Arizonans rides in their own self-driving Waymo vehicles. Airbnb hosts in our state earned more than $50 million throughout the year. And an array of first-class companies — from Vector Space Systems to Orbital ATK and many others — have expanded their presence here. Three-hundred days of sunshine per year certainly helps, but it’s not just the beautiful weather and panoramic mountain views that convince companies to relocate. It’s a combination of Arizona’s top-shelf quality of life and the pro-growth environment we’ve fostered over the past few years to make our +

  • Want health care reform? Look to the states.

    Jul 22

    By the Goldwater Institute For seven years, leaders in Washington have promised to repeal Obamacare, but as we saw this week, Congress doesn’t seem any closer to real health care reform. The good news is that there’s an opportunity for action in our 50 states. Take the dental care crisis, for example. Did you know that 18 percent of lower-income Americans say that they or someone in their household has turned to an emergency room for dental pain treatment? And in Arizona alone, 2.4 million of the state’s 7 million residents are living in areas with a serious shortage of dentists. That leads to higher costs and poorer health. But we don’t have to rely on Washington to solve this problem. States can increase access to dental care and reduce costs by licensing dental therapists who carry out routine dental procedures. And it’s a solution that has bipartisan support, as The Huffington Post reported this +

  • Arizona Endowment Investments Managed by AZ State Treasurer’s Office Sets New All-Time Record of $5.57 Billion

    May 25

    By State Treasurer Jeff DeWit PHOENIX – The Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund, also referred to the Schools’ Endowment, reached another new milestone under State Treasurer Jeff DeWit growing to $5.57 billion at the end of April 2017. “The hard work and incredible staff at the State Treasurer’s Office continues to produce great investment results,” Treasurer Jeff DeWit said. “After beating most university endowments in 2016, the winning streak continues for our schools’ Endowment.” Last year, the fund’s return beat many of the large public investment funds in the United States including CalPERS, CalSTERS, Dartmouth, MIT, Stanford and Harvard. “Managing the investments internally, right here in the Arizona Treasurer’s Office, has been a huge win for our schools as it allows them to earn more and keep more of their money,” DeWit said. “These record earnings are on top of the fact the Endowment has paid out nearly $225 million +

  • The Height of Absurdity

    May 22

    by Andy Biggs Friend, The false claim that Trump conspired with Russia to engineer the 2016 election has reached the height of absurdity. The media and Democrats are trying to bamboozle the country by conflating several isolated incidents. I just wrote in the Washington-Examiner that  they have no evidence but have created a story that combines the allegations about the Russians and the firing of FBI Director James Comey. They have made three false claims against Trump and I have refuted them in my op-ed. You can read it here. Thank you for your continued support, Andy Biggs +

  • We need to split the 9th Circuit

    May 11

    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 +

  • Good graft’ runs up Phoenix cost of housing for the poor

    May 10

    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 +

Featured Editorials

  • Guest Editorial: The Year of Women – It’s Their Time

    May 18

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Regardless of which party ultimately triumphs in the November midterm elections, one thing is for certain – this is the time for women in politics.  For the first time since 1992, a record number of women are tossing in their names for federal and statewide offices in the 2018 midterm elections. And Arizona is no exception. Arizona has one of the best records in the U.S. for electing women to political office with over 40% of state legislators being women. Arizona is also the only state to have four women serve as governor – two Democrats and two Republicans. Now Arizona voters are looking to elect a woman to the U.S. Senate to replace retiring Republican Jeff Flake. And these women contenders are all impressive in their own right. +

  • Former New Jersey Governor & Part-Time Scottsdale Resident Urges Desert Edge Caution

    May 17

    OP ED from New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman With an introduction by Solange Whitehead From New Jersey Governor to Scottsdale Snow Bird Preserving open space isn’t just about nature and quality of life. It is big business and Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is proof. The Preserve, preserved, is a top reason that visitors return again and again fueling Scottsdale’s lucrative tourism industry. Furthermore, many visitors turn into tax paying, local business supporting snowbirds. New Jersey’s first woman Governor, Christine Todd Whitman, is case in point. When not on her family farm in New Jersey, Governor Whitman enjoys living in Scottsdale and hiking the McDowell Mountains. Yet Scottsdale’s Preserve is threatened by a 20th century notion that open space should be ‘improved’. Otherwise known as developed. As Governor, Whitman led a successful, voter approved effort to protect large swaths of forests and farmland in one of our nation’s oldest and most densely populated states. To Arizona – one of our nation’s newer states – she offers wisdom and guidance on the importance of protecting the land and honoring voter intent. Solange Whitehead is a former Scottsdale Preserve Commissioner, candidate for City Council Honoring Voter Intent Means Protecting the Preserve I live most of the year in the most densely populated state in the nation, yet I live on a 160 acre farm an hour from New York City. Eight million people living on 4 million acres probably accounts for the fact that we care so much for open space preservation.  Like Arizonans, the citizens of New Jersey understand that open space preservation provides both quality of life and economic benefits: protecting water resources, preserving biodiversity and wildlife habitats and enhancing recreational opportunities. In New Jersey, protecting open space is part of a strategy to protect our agriculture and our $40billion +

  • Good Guy. Good Choice.

    May 16

    Sometimes editorials, ours included, don’t need to be long to convey key points.  Such is the case with the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board’s recent decision to appoint Dr. John Kriekard as Interim Superintendent. It’s kind to call recent months in the district tumultuous.  That’s why we can think of few, if any better people than Kriekard to calm the waters and restore a decency and diplomacy to the Superintendent’s Office. Kriekard has had many Scottsdale stops in his career including Ingleside Middle School and Chaparral High School.  He’s one of those rare individuals it’s hard to find anyone who says something negative about. Which is exactly he’s perfect for tumultuous times with Scottsdale schools.  Like an experienced  captain during stormy seas Kriekard’s steady hand is precisely what is needed now. +

  • Residents Ask City Leaders Not To Cave To Devilish Developer Deeds

    May 15

    By Manny Siprut Scottsdale Resident & Vice President Troon North HOA In the movie Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger was the bad guy who just wouldn’t die. Now, our 3000 residents at Troon North feel like we are watching the movie all over again.  Except this time we are being forced to watch real estate speculators run amok, not fictitious villains. The consequences for what we are facing are profound for every resident and neighborhood in Scottsdale.  For if a well-heeled developer can scare our city leaders by threatening litigation after losing decisions by city staff and before citizen commissions we will enter in a new era of devilish developer behavior for which Scottsdale will have difficulties recovering. A reminder on some of the relevant background. Troon North is a great Scottsdale community of 1,800 single family homes.  At our entrance are public golf courses ranked among the nation’s best.  Nearby is the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Life is good.  People here are happy. Then along came a real estate speculator who took control of a small 2.5 acre site right at our entrance. Rather than respect the rights we long understood for the land, limited to 22 resort-style units, the new owner sought to supersize it, tripling the number for a terrible looking 64 unit timeshare like, motel- looking play.  It wasn’t a matter of property rights.  It was a matter of porking up a property at our expense. We have 445 households that share the same private street as the proposed project. We had no choice but to fight.  The speculators sought no common ground.  Instead, they went out and hired a former city official to lobby for loopholes.  They even sought to transfer the property rights of others in Troon North to themselves in order to justify their density grab. Fortunately, in 2017 Scottsdale leaders responded and saw the greed for what it +

  • Nine Out of 10 Respondents Supported G.O. Bonds

    May 14

    By Virginia Korte I want to thank all of you who took the time to respond to my May 2nd e-blast regarding the most fiscally responsible way to address the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.  The number of responses was significant. Most of those who emailed me were already aware of the pros and cons of raising the sales tax rate as opposed to using general obligation bonds, backed by property tax, to fund the more than 90 capital improvement projects the city desperately needs. Nine out of 10 people who responded supported using bonds. The overwhelming majority of respondents said they are concerned that four councilmembers chose to place a proposal on the November election ballot to raise the city’s sales tax.  Many concluded that raising taxes was an unnecessary and half-baked idea based on political expediency.  I agree. I joined two of my Council colleagues in advocating the use of property taxes to back general obligation bonds because bonds accomplish everything that raising the sales tax does, including receiving matching funds for transportation projects, without raising your taxes. Unlike increasing the sales tax, using general obligation bonds would have been totally transparent. Voters would have known what projects were being funded, when they were being funded and when the projects would be completed.  Unfortunately, none of that transparency is provided through raising the sales tax. I am sorry to say I believe voters will be asked to approve a tax increase which I will not be voting for in November. +

  • Guest Editorial: DDC Dividing Scottsdale

    May 12

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Whether it’s the current Trump administration or local city councils, those who have become disenfranchised by their government all share a common denominator: passionate advocacy. It’s that passion that has fueled new grassroots movements like Red for Ed and March for Our Lives. Unfortunately, for Scottsdale, it’s the passion behind the Desert Discovery Center that is the source of local government problems. The city council’s decision last year to deny a public vote on the project ignited a political firestorm in Scottsdale and has become the thorn in Scottsdale’s side ever since. From the north to the south, thousands of passionate voters in every ZIP code have unified in a monumental citizen effort to protect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. We’ve come to know them as the NO DDC. Their goal – to push the development of the Desert Discovery Center to a public vote in November. On the other end of the spectrum, supporters of the project have outlined the tourism benefits and educational importance the Desert EDGE will bring to the city of Scottsdale. Signatures are due July 5th. Scottsdale is more polarized on the Desert Discovery issue than any other municipal project in recent years. It’s divided the City Council on a number of issues. And now it is dividing an entire community. As six candidates begin gearing up for the November City Council election, their stances on the DDC will be crucial to their political platform, especially if the issue does makes it onto the ballot. With the recent decision to postpone a General Obligation bond, it’s time for City Councilmembers to re-align community needs and wants with municipal desires, starting with quashing the never ending problem that is Desert EDGE. If they do that, they will win back the public trust necessary for +

  • Guest Editorial: Tempe’s Timely Template For Bike Share Regulations

    May 11

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Litter or Luxury? The debate rages on. By now, many Scottsdale and Paradise Valley residents have noticed the colorful dockless bikes left along the streets, parks, sidewalks and at times in the canal. While these bike-share programs offer visitors and locals an efficient way of getting around the city, the de-regulation of these dockless bikes have left headaches for many city officials. Dockless bikes began surfacing in Arizona late last November, when LimeBike first launched its services in Scottsdale. The program later expanded to Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix. The bike-share program works by placing bikes in pedestrian-friendly locations such as sidewalks, parks and downtown areas. Bikes can be located by a smartphone app with GPS tracking. Users pay around $1 per half-hour. When a user is done, they simply leave the bike for the next user to rent, often left abandoned. With the rise in bikes popping up around the city, Tempe has decided to address the growing concerns. +

  • Chinese Civil War: Convicted Felon Raves About Attorneys Dennis and Jack Wilenchik

    May 10

    We’ve always wondered why the most visible mouthpiece for critics of the revitalization of the failed former Chinese Cultural Center site in Phoenix was an Anglo, and a convicted felon.  There is more info on that here. Tom Simon’s failures in this case and felonious behavior previously could be the reason notable sympathizers like former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, respected attorneys Paul Gilbert and Don Bivens, have fallen by the wayside as legal, political and common sense losses mount.  Is Dr. Anthony Yeung, a respected Valley doctor next?  Perhaps.  We couldn’t help but be amazed at the Simon screed below ripping Yeung just a week after appearing with him in videos touting his earnestness. It’s quite the read. Civil War was the title of the last Captain America movie and an apt description of what’s now taking place in some parts of the Chinese community in Phoenix thanks to Captain Tom. But another part of Simon Says caught our eye.  Check out his full-throttle defense of Dennis and Jack Wilenchik, attorneys racking up loss after loss after loss in this matter.  Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that the Wilenchiks want to be peas in a pod with Simon.  After all Dennis Wilenchik once said, “I look forward to the many nights and mornings when you think of my name and squeal . . . Check out the movie Deliverance, ” according to a Phoenix New Times article. The Wilenchiks are often the kind of attorneys who take things on when others won’t.  Think Goldberg & Osborne meets Michael Cohen or Michael Avenatti.   Their involvement here is an example.  It doesn’t matter if your legal arguments are dogs throw anything and everything out there just to get your name in the media. But even we feel sorry for the Wilenchiks now.  +

  • Is A Blue Wave Coming To Scottsdale Council Elections?

    May 9

    Politically, Scottsdale is a red city, with the exception of bluer-collar neighborhoods in the south that tend to hue similarly. This is reflected on the Scottsdale City Council where some if not all City Councilmembers are usually Republican, and where a majority has long espoused pro-business policies, for lack of a better term. But business as usual could be in for a rude awakening in 2018, elevating a slower growth council into the majority for the first time in recent memory.  Big waves can reshape the shore line and Scottsdale, though a long way from the beach, might be no exception. Consider the well-known opposition to President Trump and expected disproportionate turnout of Democrats nationwide.  Arizona may actual eclipse the national trend thanks to a top of the ticket boasting the talented Kyrsten Sinema for the U.S. Senate and a favorable issue set that will populate the 2018 statewide ballot. Consider that in good economic times Scottsdale voters tend to, oddly, look askance at those who supported such success and sympathize with voices that we can slow down, not develop so much and act more like Santa Barbara than Scottsdale. But the biggest matter is the fierce and impressive opposition to the Desert Discovery Center.  Backers say there is no doubt they will collect the signatures to force a public vote on the matter.  They are due July 5th.  If the matter does qualify, sharing the November ballot with candidates, the issue will go from being merely problematic for some candidates like in 2016, to a full-blown contagion for backers. +

  • Guest Editorial: Fire Season Is In Full Swing!

    May 9

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Every year White Mountain residents hold their breath when fire season rolls around. They pray for the snow and rains, but prepare their homes for the worst. And with the two major fires lurking around the edges of the White Mountains these past two weeks, it seems these preparations cannot come soon enough. This past winter was one of the driest in Arizona history and is paving the way for an equally historic fire season. The memories of the 2001 Rodeo-Chediski Fire and 2011 Wallow Fire, the two largest fires in Arizona history, remain fresh in the minds of many Arizona residents. For those who don’t remember, the Rodeo-Chediski fire burned nearly 469,000 acres, torched 1,200 homes and forced the evacuation of 35,000 people. The Wallow Fire burned 522,642 acres. Arizona can’t afford another massive wildfire. Arizona officials are doing their part to prepare for an unusually dry summer season. +

  • How Did A Respected Valley Doctor Get Mixed Up With A Felon Masquerading As A Reporter?

    May 4

    Paging Dr. Anthony Yeung. This respected spine surgeon is the unlikely focus of a weird new YouTube video hosted by a felon attempting to play the role of reporter.  The folks opposed to the rehabilitation of the former Chinese Cultural Center near Sky Harbor Airport have been employing a spokesperson with a pretty colorful past. Tom Simon (AKA Tom Avila) has a lengthy criminal history and records from the Arizona Department of Corrections show he served several years in prison for trafficking in stolen property. Simon was released in 2011 according to ADOC records.  Simon’s criminal history extends into the 1980’s according to 2004 reports from the Phoenix New Times.  Tom Avila’s Big Story April 2004 Phoenix New Times B.S. Enterprises June 2004 Phoenix New Times Simon tries to play the role of a reporter in this bizarre YouTube video.  Dressed in a suit and sporting thick rimmed glasses, Simon peers into the camera and delivers his nonsense. It’s an unconvincing performance and the video comes off looking more like a bad infomercial. Simon’s last serious stint as a reporter ended more than a dozen years ago when he was hauled off to prison. His interview with Dr. Yeung is strange. It even delves into China’s politics, with Dr. Yeung extolling the virtues of China’s controlled economy as opposed to free market competition. Here is a link.  +

  • Guest Editorial: The Power Of Dark Money In Scottsdale

    May 4

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Dark money is the dark curtain of American politics. Arizona and Scottsdale are not immune. Nor is Tempe. Recently, Tempe voters passed a ballot measure that would require any group spending over $1,000 towards a local election to be disclosed on campaign finance reports. This transparency measure was supported by 91 percent of the voters – a percentage any elected official would kill to have. A progressive step forward the vote was. But the recent actions of the Arizona State Legislature likely means this won’t happen. In response to the vote, both the Arizona House and Senate passed House Bill 2513 to block local government from enforcing such transparency rules regarding contributions from nonprofit organizations. Governor Doug Ducey, a major beneficiary of dark money in his 2014 re-election, signed the bill. What a shame. +

  • Guest Editorial: Raising Sales Taxes Is Not The Best Option

    May 2

    By Virginia Korte Last night the majority of the City Council voted to place a proposal to increase the city’s sales tax rate on this November’s ballot.  Four councilmembers approved it, thinking it will be a way to resolve the cost of the serious need to repair the city’s deteriorating infrastructure. I opposed the move for several reasons, including the fact that raising the sales tax is neither fiscally responsible nor fulfilling our fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers. I believe using general obligation bonds paid by property taxes is the most transparent and financially realistic way to begin addressing the $350 million the city desperately needs for capital improvements. The sales tax proposal, which would raise the rate by 0.10%, is estimated to only generate $10 million a year. The proposal focuses on transportation issues and is vague about how, if at all, the city will address the millions of dollars needed for all the other necessary projects.  In addition, raising the sales tax rate is especially punitive to our citizens on low and fixed incomes. +

  • Guest Editorial: Solving Scottsdale’s Parking Problems, One App At A Time

    May 1

    By Scottsdale Pinetop “There’s never anywhere to park!” How many times have we heard it? It’s a traditional complaint for any lively city and one that Old Town Scottsdale has been battling for years. As a new wave of people flood to Scottsdale to live, work and play, Scottsdale’s lack of parking spaces has caused headaches for businesses, residents and visitors alike. But a new smartphone app could change all that. The new mobile app, Parker™ by Streetline, seeks to give Scottsdale a 21st century solution in managing its parking problems. The goal of Streetline is to help motorists find parking in the downtown area as they become available. The system works by sensing when spaces are occupied or available in real time with location markers for drivers. Businesses can encourage customers to visit their store by publishing publish available parking spots near their store on their website. +

  • Guest Editorial: Giants’ Training Program Move A Big Boost For Scottsdale

    Apr 30

    By Scottsdale Pinetop   Baseball has long been a staple of the greater downtown Scottsdale identity with Scottsdale Stadium and Indian School Park Complex being an integral part of that success. Home to one of the more popular Cactus League baseball teams, the San Francisco Giants have outgrown their current practice facility at Indian School Park and looking to move. Thanks to a unique partnership between Phoenix and Scottsdale, the Giants’ training program will find a new home at the currently vacant Papago Park. It’s where the Oakland A’s used to practice until they moved to Mesa. The Giants’ spring training games with still be held at Scottsdale Stadium in March. The Indian School Minor League Complex has been home to the Giants minor league for many years. Along with hosting training programs and minor league games, the fields are also used as community field open to a series of recreational leagues and Little League teams. But with the popularity and demands of the Giants’, it can be difficult to reserve one of these fields. This move will change all that, enriching Scottsdale area youth and the families. +

  • Hitting The Mark

    Apr 27

    Some may find it curious that a Town Councilman in Paradise Valley was just tapped to head the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.  But we think the organization was wise to tap Mark Stanton as its new top dog.  As a Saguaro High School graduate, long-time member of the Scottsdale Charros and former executive with a prominent Scottsdale-based advertising agency Stanton’s familiarity with the terrain he now presides over is obvious. The affable Stanton has struggled at times on big decisions as a Councilman. Think Ritz-Carlton and single-hauler trash service.  Other times he hasn’t, such as when he took a leading role to pave the way for the Jones-Gordon School at Tatum and Doubletree, soothing over neighborhood concerns.  Today, the school stands as one of the community’s points of pride, thanks in no small part to Stanton. But being the head of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce isn’t a realm of one.  It has an impressive Board of Directors and myriad committees which help set the direction for Stanton to implement, something he was adept at doing as the Deputy Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism under Governor Brewer. In a strange way Scottsdale’s gain is also Paradise Valley’s.  Stanton has flirted with running for Mayor in 2018 against Jerry Bien-Wilner.  Presumably this puts an end to those ambitions, at least for now.  That’s good for Stanton who would have faced an uphill battle, as well as the Town since an acrimonious mayoral election along the lines of Lemarr v. Syms several cycles ago can now be avoided. Following in the footsteps of those who came before him like Virginia Korte, Phil Carlson and Rick Kidder will not be easy.  But just as those women and men made their mark as excellent ambassadors for the city so too +

  • Headaches and Head Scratching In Scottsdale

    Apr 27

    ike any community Scottsdale must maintain and upgrade infrastructure.  But unlike most communities voters have largely rejected recent efforts to do so.  It’s a bit confounding really why such a progressive city in areas like the arts and desert preservation is falling behind on the basics. Over the past year Scottsdale City Councilwoman Virginia Korte, in particular, led an important effort to identify infrastructure needs and a variety of options to pay for them.  The primary recommendation for bonds backed by property taxes is how most cities and towns do so.  In the case of Scottsdale the notion of this construct is particularly attractive now because bonds from long ago are now being paid off meaning there would likely be no net increase in taxes, just a continuation of existing obligations.  A $350 million package, short of the $800 million in needs Korte and others identified, appeared headed to a November ballot until a recent city council meeting when another $30 million was dropped into the pot for Scottsdale Stadium improvements. This was unwise for two reasons.  It allowed opponents of the Desert Discovery Center to claim this was an attempt to place the burdens for Scottsdale Stadium on the backs of property owners, rather than pay for it with tourism tax funds, thereby freeing up more money for the boil that continues to roil the community.  Second, this was a political blunder as voters have little taste these days for subsidizing sports teams such as the San Francisco Giants, the primary tenant of Scottsdale Stadium.   Tourism taxes are one thing. But taxes from residents? Quite another.  Supporters of the idea understandably say that Scottsdale Stadium in its current form was indeed made possible by a community bond vote in 1989.  But attitudes towards spending public dollars for sports teams +

2018 Scrum

  • SIGNED: Food Truck Freedom

    May 17

    By Team Ducey Hello , Food Truck Freedom for Arizona is here, and it’s going to be delicious! This week, Governor Ducey signed the Food Truck Freedom bill, which eliminates job-killing red tape and levels the playing field for food truck entrepreneurs. As a former business leader, Governor Ducey understands the challenges that entrepreneurs face when starting up or expanding. He believes burdensome government regulations shouldn’t be one of them. This new law empowers food trucks to take their business on the road across Arizona and saves them thousands of dollars in government license fees. KGUN 9 profiled two Tucson food truck owners who say the Food Truck Freedom law could transform their business. Watch the coverage below: “Now we don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to be able to go to Phoenix and do a music festival, or go to Yuma and do a food truck roundup. It’s +

  • McLaughlin and Associates Poll: Rick Scott Holds 1-Point Lead over Bill Nelson in Florida US Senate Race

    Apr 12

    Summary The survey results of 800 likely voters in Florida clearly show that Democratic Senator Bill Nelson would be vulnerable in a general election against Republican Rick Scott. On the ballot, Rick Scott has a 1-point lead (47% to 46%). Rick Scott has a stronger favorable rating than Bill Nelson who is underperforming on key benchmarks for an incumbent. This race would be one of the most highly competitive and watched races in the country. With the right amount of resources, Rick Scott would be able to defeat Bill Nelson. Key Findings  Bill Nelson is under 50% on the ballot, which is a sign of a vulnerable incumbent.  Rick Scott has a 1-point lead on Bill Nelson (47% to 46%) with 6% undecided.  The ballot is heavily polarized along party lines with Rick Scott leading among Republicans 84% to 12% while Bill Nelson is ahead 80% to +

  • Bolick Receives Endorsement from Jeff DeWit

    Apr 3

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Shawnna Bolick Receives Endorsement from Arizona’s State Treasurer Jeff DeWit (Phoenix, AZ) – April 3, 2018- Today, Shawnna Bolick, a Republican candidate for an open seat in the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 20 received the endorsement of Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit. “I am proud to endorse Shawnna Bolick for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 20 because she has the right qualities the Arizona taxpayers entrust in a future legislator: someone who is adept at opening the books, reducing government bureaucracy, reining in out of control spending and helping our small businesses flourish,” stated DeWit. “I am honored to have Treasurer DeWit’s full support.  Our state’s treasury and investments have continued to thrive under his leadership,” said Bolick.  “As DeWit embarks on the next leg of his journey, I hope he will continue to share valuable advice with Arizonans.” State Treasurer Jeff DeWit joins former Senate +

  • Debbie Lesko Needs Our Help

    Mar 31

    By Governor Doug Ducey Dear  Friend — As you know, it’s not often that I ask that you support someone else’s campaign for public office, but I’m asking you to support  Debbie Lesko for Congress. We share the conservative values of limited government, fiscal accountability and a strong national defense. It’s critical that we keep Arizona’s 8th Congressional District red and that we elect leaders like Debbie who work for the best interests of their constituents and the state they represent. Debbie has been instrumental in passing key legislation here in Arizona: Reforming our police and firefighters pension system Sponsoring historic tax reform which to eased the burden on businesses large and small Eliminating wasteful spending Championing a bill that got rid of “surprise medical billing” in our healthcare system Fighting against unfair utility fees for her constituents This is why I know she’ll make a great member of Congress.  +

  • Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Endorses Shawnna Bolick

    Mar 28

    Phoenix (March 28) – Today, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery endorsed Republican candidate Shawnna Bolick for the open House seat in Legislative District 20. “Shawnna Bolick is a strong supporter of the rule of law and is a constitutional conservative. She is smart, principled and will serve her constituents honorably. I am proud to endorse Shawnna as the next legislator in Legislative District 20,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said. “I have a good working relationship with Bill Montgomery and enjoyed working with him in the past election,” stated Bolick. “Bill continues to serve our country well and I, too, believe in defending the rule of law and advocating for crime victim’s rights. His endorsement carries a lot of weight and I look forward to working with him once I am elected to the Arizona Legislature.” +

  • STATE TREASURER JEFF DEWIT STATEMENT ON U.S. SENATE CONFIRMATION TO NASA CFO POSITION

    Mar 27

    PHOENIX – State Treasurer Jeff DeWit announced today he will resign effective Tuesday, April 3, 2018 to become the Chief Financial Officer of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. “It has been such an honor to serve the State of Arizona as Treasurer and I have worked hard to make sure our financial results reflect the trust that the voters placed in me in 2014,” Treasurer DeWit said. “The superb performance of the Treasurer’s office during my tenure has been recognized nationally and I truly love the job of Treasurer for the great state of Arizona,” DeWit said. “I am extremely grateful that President Trump and the United States Senate have entrusted me to serve the country at such an accomplished agency as NASA. It is a very exciting opportunity for myself and my family, and I will continue to work hard to make the people of Arizona proud for putting their faith in +

  • Thank you Governor Ducey & Arizona State Legislature

    Mar 23

    On behalf of John Whiteman, Reg Ballantyne III, Mike Brewer, and myself, I want to applaud Arizona State Representative Doug Coleman and State Senator Kate Brophy McGee, as well as Speaker J.D. Mesnard, President Steve Yarborough, and the entire leadership of the state legislature for protecting over $650 million in revenue for our schools and avoiding the fiscal cliff of Prop 301’s expiration. Now the business and education community must focus its efforts on expanding the education funding pie after we work to get Governor Ducey re-elected this Fall. We continue to be vocal supporters of Governor Ducey’s vision for investing in teacher pay, full day kindergarten, K-12 capital and the other priorities as articulated two years ago in his 2017 State of the State Address.  +

  • Education Reformers Rally Behind Shawnna Bolick for the Arizona Legislature

    Mar 12

    by Shawnna Bolick Phoenix, AZ- March 12, 2018- Today, a group of like-minded education reformers endorsed Shawnna Bolick for an open seat in the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 20. Here is what they had to say about candidate Bolick: “We need elected officials who will put parents first over bureaucrats. Shawnna Bolick has been a passionate voice for parental school choice for over two decades. Her dedication to ensuring parents maintain control of their school children’s curriculum is paramount. I know Ms. Bolick will represent parents well once she’s elected to the Arizona Legislature.” ~ Jared Taylor Member, State Board of Education Gilbert Town Councilman “In order for Arizona to prosper we need to return to the founding principles of our country – individual liberty, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. Shawnna Bolick is dedicated to these principles and she has common sense. If we are going to win +

  • Bike Share Program Making Progress 

    Feb 26

    By Virginia Korte The lack of a robust public transportation system in our city is one of the reasons the new bike share program is an overwhelming success – which, I believe, is a creative way to address our mass transit shortcomings. Citizens’ participation in the program is nothing short of amazing. In just the first three and a half months since it was initiated, there have been approximately 110,000 what the bike companies call “rides.” In fact, during the Parada del Sol Parade earlier this month, they tracked about 4,000 rides. It’s these kinds of statistics that have made Scottsdale one of the most successful markets in the country for bike share, according to the bike companies. Admittedly, the rapid success of bike share has created several challenges. But none of them are insurmountable. While it’s the responsibility of the bike companies to ensure that bike share works efficiently, +

  • Shawnna Bolick Earns Strong Support from Arizona Legislators

    Feb 23

    By Bolick for Arizona FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Shawnna Bolick Earns Strong Support from Arizona Legislators Phoenix, AZ- February 23, 2018- Today, Shawnna Bolick received over a dozen endorsements for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 20. “I am honored to have the early backing of so many fantastic sitting members of the Arizona Legislature,” stated Bolick. “I very much look forward to tackling the toughest issues facing Arizona, ensuring we leave Arizona in a better place for future generations to come,” exclaimed Bolick. The following members of the Arizona House of Representatives and Arizona Senate have endorsed Shawnna Bolick today: Representative David Stringer, Prescott (LD-1) Representative Mark Finchem, Tucson (LD-11) Representative Travis Grantham, Gilbert (LD-12) Representative Darin Mitchell, Goodyear (LD-13) Representative Jeff Weninger, Chandler (LD-17) Representative Jill Norgaard, Phoenix (LD-18) Representative Anthony Kern, Glendale (LD-20) Representative Kevin Payne, Peoria (LD-21) Representative Ben Toma, Peoria (LD-22) Representative Jay Lawrence, +

  • Responsible Budgets Collects Over 13,000 Signatures

    Feb 13

    Phoenix Initiative, Co-Chaired by Councilman DiCiccio and Former Congressman Chaffetz, on Track to Make August Ballot February 13, 2018   PHOENIX – Responsible Budgets, a Phoenix ballot initiative being supported by Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and former U.S. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, announced today that they have now gathered more than 13,000 validated signatures, and are on track to turn in over 32,000 signatures – far more than the 20,510 needed – in time to place Responsible Budgets on the ballot this August. With pension costs for cities soaring nationwide, and with Phoenix recently being named one of cities with the worst pension deficits, now is the time to act,” said Councilman DiCiccio. “It’s just like your credit card, the longer you let that balance keep building up, the more it costs to pay it off.” DiCiccio continued, “Pretty soon these deficits are going to start taking away our ability +

  • Who Is Carla, Plus Campaign Updates

    Feb 9

      A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Gateway Trailhead By Solange for Scottsdale Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the largest urban preserve in the nation! As a Councilwoman, I will ensure that a Desert EDGE/DDC in the Preserve requires voter approval. After all, the Preserve came into being at the ballot box and voters should have the final word on any major changes involving the Preserve. I think Scottsdale voters will decide to keep the Preserve…. preserved. If that is the decision, we should celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Preserve’s Gateway Trailhead with a small plaque that reads: THE PEOPLE OF SCOTTSDALE PROTECTED THIS LAND TWICE Which may cause some to wonder, “How did this land get protected the first time?” And, “Who is ‘Carla’ anyway?” Let me share a bit of history….. Carla, famously with no last name, was one of the first people to dream of +

Image
Latest News

  • Guest Editorial: The Year of Women – It’s Their Time

    May 18

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Regardless of which party ultimately triumphs in the November midterm elections, one thing is for certain – this is the time for women in politics.  For the first time since 1992, a record number of women are tossing in their names for federal and statewide offices in the 2018 midterm elections. And Arizona is no exception. Arizona has one of the best records in the U.S. for electing women to political office +

  • Former New Jersey Governor & Part-Time Scottsdale Resident Urges Desert Edge Caution

    May 17

    OP ED from New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman With an introduction by Solange Whitehead From New Jersey Governor to Scottsdale Snow Bird Preserving open space isn’t just about nature and quality of life. It is big business and Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is proof. The Preserve, preserved, is a top reason that visitors return again and again fueling Scottsdale’s lucrative tourism industry. Furthermore, many visitors turn into tax paying, local business supporting snowbirds. New +

  • Good Guy. Good Choice.

    May 16

    Sometimes editorials, ours included, don’t need to be long to convey key points.  Such is the case with the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board’s recent decision to appoint Dr. John Kriekard as Interim Superintendent. It’s kind to call recent months in the district tumultuous.  That’s why we can think of few, if any better people than Kriekard to calm the waters and restore a decency and diplomacy to the Superintendent’s Office. Kriekard has had +

  • Residents Ask City Leaders Not To Cave To Devilish Developer Deeds

    May 15

    By Manny Siprut Scottsdale Resident & Vice President Troon North HOA In the movie Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger was the bad guy who just wouldn’t die. Now, our 3000 residents at Troon North feel like we are watching the movie all over again.  Except this time we are being forced to watch real estate speculators run amok, not fictitious villains. The consequences for what we are facing are profound for every resident and neighborhood in Scottsdale.  For if a +

  • Nine Out of 10 Respondents Supported G.O. Bonds

    May 14

    By Virginia Korte I want to thank all of you who took the time to respond to my May 2nd e-blast regarding the most fiscally responsible way to address the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.  The number of responses was significant. Most of those who emailed me were already aware of the pros and cons of raising the sales tax rate as opposed to using general obligation bonds, backed by property tax, to fund the more than +

  • Guest Editorial: DDC Dividing Scottsdale

    May 12

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Whether it’s the current Trump administration or local city councils, those who have become disenfranchised by their government all share a common denominator: passionate advocacy. It’s that passion that has fueled new grassroots movements like Red for Ed and March for Our Lives. Unfortunately, for Scottsdale, it’s the passion behind the Desert Discovery Center that is the source of local government problems. The city council’s decision last year to deny a public +

  • Guest Editorial: Tempe’s Timely Template For Bike Share Regulations

    May 11

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Litter or Luxury? The debate rages on. By now, many Scottsdale and Paradise Valley residents have noticed the colorful dockless bikes left along the streets, parks, sidewalks and at times in the canal. While these bike-share programs offer visitors and locals an efficient way of getting around the city, the de-regulation of these dockless bikes have left headaches for many city officials. Dockless bikes began surfacing in Arizona late last November, when +

  • Chinese Civil War: Convicted Felon Raves About Attorneys Dennis and Jack Wilenchik

    May 10

    We’ve always wondered why the most visible mouthpiece for critics of the revitalization of the failed former Chinese Cultural Center site in Phoenix was an Anglo, and a convicted felon.  There is more info on that here. Tom Simon’s failures in this case and felonious behavior previously could be the reason notable sympathizers like former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, respected attorneys Paul Gilbert and Don Bivens, have fallen by the wayside as legal, political and +

  • Is A Blue Wave Coming To Scottsdale Council Elections?

    May 9

    Politically, Scottsdale is a red city, with the exception of bluer-collar neighborhoods in the south that tend to hue similarly. This is reflected on the Scottsdale City Council where some if not all City Councilmembers are usually Republican, and where a majority has long espoused pro-business policies, for lack of a better term. But business as usual could be in for a rude awakening in 2018, elevating a slower growth council into the majority for +

  • Guest Editorial: Fire Season Is In Full Swing!

    May 9

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Every year White Mountain residents hold their breath when fire season rolls around. They pray for the snow and rains, but prepare their homes for the worst. And with the two major fires lurking around the edges of the White Mountains these past two weeks, it seems these preparations cannot come soon enough. This past winter was one of the driest in Arizona history and is paving the way for an equally +

  • How Did A Respected Valley Doctor Get Mixed Up With A Felon Masquerading As A Reporter?

    May 4

    Paging Dr. Anthony Yeung. This respected spine surgeon is the unlikely focus of a weird new YouTube video hosted by a felon attempting to play the role of reporter.  The folks opposed to the rehabilitation of the former Chinese Cultural Center near Sky Harbor Airport have been employing a spokesperson with a pretty colorful past. Tom Simon (AKA Tom Avila) has a lengthy criminal history and records from the Arizona Department of Corrections show he +

  • Guest Editorial: The Power Of Dark Money In Scottsdale

    May 4

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Dark money is the dark curtain of American politics. Arizona and Scottsdale are not immune. Nor is Tempe. Recently, Tempe voters passed a ballot measure that would require any group spending over $1,000 towards a local election to be disclosed on campaign finance reports. This transparency measure was supported by 91 percent of the voters – a percentage any elected official would kill to have. A progressive step forward the vote was. But the recent actions +

  • Guest Editorial: Raising Sales Taxes Is Not The Best Option

    May 2

    By Virginia Korte Last night the majority of the City Council voted to place a proposal to increase the city’s sales tax rate on this November’s ballot.  Four councilmembers approved it, thinking it will be a way to resolve the cost of the serious need to repair the city’s deteriorating infrastructure. I opposed the move for several reasons, including the fact that raising the sales tax is neither fiscally responsible nor fulfilling our fiduciary responsibility +

  • Guest Editorial: Solving Scottsdale’s Parking Problems, One App At A Time

    May 1

    By Scottsdale Pinetop “There’s never anywhere to park!” How many times have we heard it? It’s a traditional complaint for any lively city and one that Old Town Scottsdale has been battling for years. As a new wave of people flood to Scottsdale to live, work and play, Scottsdale’s lack of parking spaces has caused headaches for businesses, residents and visitors alike. But a new smartphone app could change all that. The new mobile app, +

  • Guest Editorial: Giants’ Training Program Move A Big Boost For Scottsdale

    Apr 30

    By Scottsdale Pinetop   Baseball has long been a staple of the greater downtown Scottsdale identity with Scottsdale Stadium and Indian School Park Complex being an integral part of that success. Home to one of the more popular Cactus League baseball teams, the San Francisco Giants have outgrown their current practice facility at Indian School Park and looking to move. Thanks to a unique partnership between Phoenix and Scottsdale, the Giants’ training program will find +

  • Hitting The Mark

    Apr 27

    Some may find it curious that a Town Councilman in Paradise Valley was just tapped to head the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.  But we think the organization was wise to tap Mark Stanton as its new top dog.  As a Saguaro High School graduate, long-time member of the Scottsdale Charros and former executive with a prominent Scottsdale-based advertising agency Stanton’s familiarity with the terrain he now presides over is obvious. The affable Stanton has +