The Conservative's Corner

  • Breaking: DiCiccio Calls for Vote on City Manager Position

    Jun 20

    Friends, This is the letter I just sent to City Manager Ed Zuercher. The continued failure of City Staff to execute their basic responsibility under this City Manager is inexcusable – just look at the complete failure to address the needs of our community in South Phoenix, where City staff is in the process of pushing a bad plan down the throats of residents. ​ +

  • 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 In the recent spending bill, lawmakers successfully repealed the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)—one of the most extreme examples of consolidated, unchecked government power in American history.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 +

Featured Editorials

  • Guest Editorial: Stop Taking The Children!

    Jun 23

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Since the announcement of President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, dozens of activists, elected officials and migrants-rights supporter have gathered in downtown Phoenix to fight to against the policy that has removed nearly 2,000 children from their families at the border. And supporters seem to be gaining by the day. President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy directs Border Patrol officials to pursue criminal prosecution against all people entering the country illegally, even against immigrants seeking asylum. And while President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that ended the policy that separated migrant children from their parents who were detained at the border, the policy sparked a national outcry that shows how far Americans are willing to go in order to secure the border. To no one’s surprise, a majority of Arizona’s leaders have avoided any form of public comments on the policy. +

  • Guest Editorial: It’s Time To Say Goodbye

    Jun 21

    By Scottsdale Pinetop In the West’s Most Western Town, we know a thing or two about horses. Scottsdale is home to a number of equestrian centers, the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and the Scottsdale Quarter Horse Show, to name a few. The city even installed a beautiful Ed Mell statue of a bucking horse with a rider as a centerpiece in Old Town Scottsdale. But like any horse lover knows, sometimes it is important to know when to let go. The same can be said for the Desert Discovery Center/ Desert Edge project. As best iterated by a prominent Scottsdale leader, “The horse is dead and it is time to bury it.” Few municipal projects have ever created as much controversy and frustrations than the Desert Discovery Center/ Desert Edge. It has divided council members on a number of important issues and it has created a political division within Scottsdale. For almost a year, thousands of passionate Scottsdale voters from the north and south have unified in a grassroots effort to protect the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. And finally, after a long hard battle, the end is in sight. +

  • Carolyn Mullany Jackson: A Great Scottsdale Corporate Citizen

    Jun 19

    Carolyn Mullany Jackson is setting the bar on what it means to be a good corporate citizen. She has her hands full as the Vice President of Brand Strategy for the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction. She oversees the company’s image here in Arizona and across the country as it conducts collector car auctions including June 20th in Connecticut and September 27th in Las Vegas. She has also been tasked with serving as the Chairwoman of the 58th annual Phoenix Heart Ball, which in itself is a full time job. Scottsdale’s donor class is a point of pride. It is always encouraging to see businesses and individuals willing to donate financially for the greater good. Jackson takes that a step further by giving her time as well as her money. The Heart Ball is a vital part of the American Heart Association fundraising events both locally and nationally. Serving as Chair is a major commitment in terms of time and effort. Her involvement with the Heart Ball goes back to 2013. Jackson has always added a dose of innovation to her charitable works. In 2014 and 2015, she co-chaired the “Sound of Speed” that combined racing, cars and music collided to benefit The Phoenix Symphony.  +

  • Guest Editorial: Three Faces of Governor Ducey

    Jun 19

    By Scottsdale Pinetop As Governor Ducey ramps up for his re-election campaign, voters will be presented with three vastly different sides of his time as Arizona’s Governor. His campaign will depict him as Arizona’s conservative hero who champions for the state. His opponents will depict him as a traitor of the Trump administration. Finally, Democrats will depict him as an uncaring, cold-hearted and out-of-touch with the people of Arizona. But if there’s one things that’s been consistent about Governor Ducey’s it’s that he’s an in the moment kind of politician. In his 2014 campaign, he ran as a conservative reformer. His goals included promoting school choice, enforcing wait-lists for high-performance charter schools and cut income taxes to nearly zero. However, after four years none of these have been executed. In fact, in most cases there wasn’t even an attempt. Instead of pursuing the traditional conservative agenda, Ducey has spent most of his term managing situations as they arise. +

  • Strengthening Scottsdale’s Economy For Taxpayers

    Jun 17

    By Virginia Korte At Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting, I told a standing-room-only audience that the request to rezone some State Trust land to accommodate the Crossroads East project was one of the most complicated cases I have ever contemplated. Based on what several of my fellow councilmembers said during our vigorous discussion, I was not alone. After four hours of presentations and public testimony, we voted 5-2 to rezone 1,000 acres north and south of the 101 between Scottsdale and Hayden Roads. The vote allows the State Land Department to take the property’s 11 parcels to a public auction. A spokesperson for Nationwide Realty Investors, an affiliate of the Nationwide insurance company, explained that the organization intends to bid on a 136-acre parcel of the property. If Nationwide wins the bid, the company will move their offices, which are currently located in the Gainey Ranch Corporate Center. The new location, which the company has designated for a mixed-use development, will allow the company to consolidate their subsidiaries and increase the number of its employees. That will be a good thing for Scottsdale’s economy. Furthermore, Nationwide will “set the bar” for additional mixed-use development on the other parcels for office space to attract employers offering well-paying jobs. +

  • Guest Editorial: Teachers May Be Pushing Their Luck

    Jun 8

    By Scottsdale Pinetop After decades of tax cuts and underfunding of public education, thousands of teachers descended on the state Capitol in an effort to secure more funding and urging lawmakers to act. And to the surprise of many Arizonans, it worked. While the #RedforEd movement may be over, the debate of where the additional education funding will be coming from rages on. Looking to piggyback on the #RedforED movement’s success, a small coalition of liberal organizations have launched a ballot initiative that seeks to raise an estimated $690 million for education. The “Invest In Education” initiative is seeking to impose an increase in the income tax rate from 4.54 percent to 9 percent for people earning more than $250,000 or couples earning more than $500,000 annually. The citizens’ initiative has been described has a “punish-the-rich” measure that would create class hostilities. Others have hailed it as the solution to long-term education funding. One things is for certain, joining the ranks as one of the highest income tax states would be detrimental to Arizona’s economy. +

  • Tour De Force?

    Jun 6

    So many political campaigns are so full of pablum.  Hire a consultant.  Take a poll.  Send out mailers and missives that are the highlights of the poll.  Repeat. That’s why it’s refreshing when someone, anyone, breaks the mold.  Cue Anna Thomasson, businesswoman and first-time candidate for the Paradise Valley Town Council. We’re sure her campaign will feature all the typical stuff down the road for a campaign in a small but impressive field, including a vulnerable incumbent.  But that’s not how her’s is starting.  Instead, Thomasson opted to first introduce herself to the community and voters by walking everyone of its streets and neighborhoods, over 100 miles in all. It’s a novel approach not only for Paradise Valley, but any political candidate.  It’s a tactic not practical everywhere, but one we hope will inspire other candidates to not be so paradigmatic. +

  • Guest Editorial: Credit Where Credit Is Due

    Jun 5

    By Scottsdale Pinetop There’s no question that it has been a tough year for the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD). With the dismissal of Superintendent Birdwell and other school administrators, school protests and rise of the “Red for Ed” movement, it’s easy to dismiss the progress made by SUSD –specifically the recent successes at Coronado High School. At a time when Arizona public education too closely resembles its desert environment, Coronado High school is blossoming. And at its core is the Coronado Success Initiative. For years, Coronado High School was considered one of the lowest, if not worst performing school in the Scottsdale Unified School District with low graduation rates and few students taking college-entrance tests. In response, Scottsdale Unified School District enacted the Coronado Success Initiative (CSI) in 2016. Partnering with the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College at ASU and support from the Scottsdale Charros, the CSI project was established to create a new future for Coronado High School by rebuilding the school, improve education and better prepare its students for college success. +

  • Far Right Seems To Have Strangely Hijacked Failed Effort To Block Renovation Of Former Chinese Cultural Center

    Jun 3

    The floundering effort to prevent the revitalization of the former Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix has taken on an odd ally, Patriot Movement AZ.  The organization recently promoted a protest at Phoenix City Hall concerning the former Chinese Cultural Center. The Facebook announcement bashed former Mayor Greg Stanton, Councilmember Kate Gallego, and Democrats in general. Here is a link https://www.facebook.com/events/264864164084341/ Patriot Movement  AZ is not your garden variety conservative organization. The group’s past behavior includes harassing demonstrators and media reports that claim two women with ties to the Movement vandalized a Tempe Mosque. But apparently the group doesn’t respect property rights as most common-sense thinking right-wing groups do. Governor Ducey had to distance himself from the organization after he posed for a picture with its members. “Before yesterday I had never heard of this group,” a statement read. “I absolutely denounce their behavior.” As support evaporates for the misguided attempt to convert a failed cultural center into a vibrant business center, it’s not surprising revitalization opponents are welcoming any ally, even one with a troubled past such as Patriot Movement AZ.  +

  • Guest Editorial: A Good Financial Forecast

    May 30

    By Virginia Korte I hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday with time to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day with your family and friends. As the end of the City of Scottsdale’s 2017-2018 fiscal year approaches, I have good news: the city’s General Fund revenues are exceeding projections. In addition, operating costs for the same period are less than was originally budgeted. Current data shows the city’s coffers to be approximately $11 million above the net operating budget. This trend is expected to continue through the close of the fiscal year, June 30th. Here’s a breakdown of General Fund revenues: Local retail tax collections are exceeding projections by 5%. Building permit fees and related charges are over 6% compared to initial estimates. Not long ago at the end of most fiscal years, the city’s ledger showed we had tens of millions of dollars in surplus. Those funds were typically invested in capital improvement projects like road repairs, park improvements and updating our libraries. Now, almost 10 years removed from the Great Recession that severely impacted the city’s revenue stream, we now refer to the time prior to 2008 as the “Good Old Days.” +

  • 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. +

2018 Scrum

  • Arizona’s Time is Now

    Jun 18

    By Governor Doug Ducey Hello, I came to Arizona over 30 years ago in my Datsun full of hope. I was told Arizona was the place for opportunity – and that’s exactly what I found, as I earned my degree from ASU, built my business, met the love of my life and started a family. I ran for governor four years ago to make sure everyone in Arizona has access to the opportunity I did – and together, we’ve made incredible progress. But our work is not done. That’s why today I’m announcing the launch of my reelection campaign – so we can keep working to secure a brighter future for all Arizonans. Watch my announcement address below: Clich here. While we have more work to do, we’ve come a long way. After inheriting a $1 billion budget deficit, our budget is balanced. We’ve climbed from the bottom half of +

  • Arizona Leading by Team Ducey

    Jun 12

    Hello, Arizona’s economy is growing and our schools are improving. Right now, Arizona students lead the nation in improvements in math and reading. Another area where Arizona is leading? Civics education. Governor Ducey campaigned on improving students’ understanding of our system of government. And when he took office, the first bill he signed into law was the American Civics Act – which requires ALL students to pass a basic civics test before graduating from high school. Since then, dozens of states have followed Arizona’s lead to pass a similar requirement for their students. Governor Ducey spoke with conservative talk radio and TV host Hugh Hewitt recently about Arizona leading to become the first state in the nation to pass the American Civics Act. Watch below: Governor Ducey also spoke about “growing Arizona’s economic pie” and expanding opportunity for all Arizonans. Just a few years ago, Arizona was only half recovered +

  • Press Release: Mayor Manross Joins Campaign to Elect Solange Whitehead

    Jun 7

    Former Scottsdale Preserve Commissioner and City Council Candidate, Solange Whitehead, is pleased to announce that former Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross will serve as her campaign Chairperson. Manross served on the city council from 1992 to 2000 and as Mayor from 2000 to 2009. Solange entered the City Council race to challenge the City Council support for allowing development inside the McDowell Sonoran Preserve despite the crushing financial burden it would place on the tax payers and because of the Council’s refusal to put this precedent setting project on the ballot.  In qualifying for the ballot, Solange submitted 2,380 nominating signatures from Scottsdale voters topping the nominations received by all other candidates, including the three incumbents. Solange serves on the board of Protect Our Preserve, and together with Mayor Manross, has been very engaged in the citizen’s initiative to override the City Council decision to not put the Desert Edge/DDC up +

  • 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, +

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Latest News

  • Guest Editorial: Stop Taking The Children!

    Jun 23

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Since the announcement of President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, dozens of activists, elected officials and migrants-rights supporter have gathered in downtown Phoenix to fight to against the policy that has removed nearly 2,000 children from their families at the border. And supporters seem to be gaining by the day. President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy directs Border Patrol officials to pursue criminal prosecution against all people entering the country illegally, even against immigrants seeking +

  • Guest Editorial: It’s Time To Say Goodbye

    Jun 21

    By Scottsdale Pinetop In the West’s Most Western Town, we know a thing or two about horses. Scottsdale is home to a number of equestrian centers, the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and the Scottsdale Quarter Horse Show, to name a few. The city even installed a beautiful Ed Mell statue of a bucking horse with a rider as a centerpiece in Old Town Scottsdale. But like any horse lover knows, +

  • Carolyn Mullany Jackson: A Great Scottsdale Corporate Citizen

    Jun 19

    Carolyn Mullany Jackson is setting the bar on what it means to be a good corporate citizen. She has her hands full as the Vice President of Brand Strategy for the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction. She oversees the company’s image here in Arizona and across the country as it conducts collector car auctions including June 20th in Connecticut and September 27th in Las Vegas. She has also been tasked with serving as the Chairwoman of the +

  • Guest Editorial: Three Faces of Governor Ducey

    Jun 19

    By Scottsdale Pinetop As Governor Ducey ramps up for his re-election campaign, voters will be presented with three vastly different sides of his time as Arizona’s Governor. His campaign will depict him as Arizona’s conservative hero who champions for the state. His opponents will depict him as a traitor of the Trump administration. Finally, Democrats will depict him as an uncaring, cold-hearted and out-of-touch with the people of Arizona. But if there’s one things that’s +

  • Strengthening Scottsdale’s Economy For Taxpayers

    Jun 17

    By Virginia Korte At Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting, I told a standing-room-only audience that the request to rezone some State Trust land to accommodate the Crossroads East project was one of the most complicated cases I have ever contemplated. Based on what several of my fellow councilmembers said during our vigorous discussion, I was not alone. After four hours of presentations and public testimony, we voted 5-2 to rezone 1,000 acres north and south +

  • Guest Editorial: Teachers May Be Pushing Their Luck

    Jun 8

    By Scottsdale Pinetop After decades of tax cuts and underfunding of public education, thousands of teachers descended on the state Capitol in an effort to secure more funding and urging lawmakers to act. And to the surprise of many Arizonans, it worked. While the #RedforEd movement may be over, the debate of where the additional education funding will be coming from rages on. Looking to piggyback on the #RedforED movement’s success, a small coalition of +

  • Tour De Force?

    Jun 6

    So many political campaigns are so full of pablum.  Hire a consultant.  Take a poll.  Send out mailers and missives that are the highlights of the poll.  Repeat. That’s why it’s refreshing when someone, anyone, breaks the mold.  Cue Anna Thomasson, businesswoman and first-time candidate for the Paradise Valley Town Council. We’re sure her campaign will feature all the typical stuff down the road for a campaign in a small but impressive field, including a vulnerable +

  • Guest Editorial: Credit Where Credit Is Due

    Jun 5

    By Scottsdale Pinetop There’s no question that it has been a tough year for the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD). With the dismissal of Superintendent Birdwell and other school administrators, school protests and rise of the “Red for Ed” movement, it’s easy to dismiss the progress made by SUSD –specifically the recent successes at Coronado High School. At a time when Arizona public education too closely resembles its desert environment, Coronado High school is blossoming. +

  • Far Right Seems To Have Strangely Hijacked Failed Effort To Block Renovation Of Former Chinese Cultural Center

    Jun 3

    The floundering effort to prevent the revitalization of the former Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix has taken on an odd ally, Patriot Movement AZ.  The organization recently promoted a protest at Phoenix City Hall concerning the former Chinese Cultural Center. The Facebook announcement bashed former Mayor Greg Stanton, Councilmember Kate Gallego, and Democrats in general. Here is a link https://www.facebook.com/events/264864164084341/ Patriot Movement  AZ is not your garden variety conservative organization. The group’s past behavior includes +

  • Guest Editorial: A Good Financial Forecast

    May 30

    By Virginia Korte I hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday with time to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day with your family and friends. As the end of the City of Scottsdale’s 2017-2018 fiscal year approaches, I have good news: the city’s General Fund revenues are exceeding projections. In addition, operating costs for the same period are less than was originally budgeted. Current data shows the city’s coffers to be approximately $11 +

  • 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 +