The Conservative's Corner
He was one of the brightest Republican stars in Arizona history before the Phoenix New Times unveiled his whole new meaning of “Jose, Can You See?”
Then came the troubles. And while many concluded he was a dead politician walking Babeu had other plans. He focused on his base in Pinal County. He won re-election handily in 2012, his coattails even bringing along a Republican County Attorney. Like Michael Sam being gay wasn’t his identity. Sam is a football player who happens to be gay. Babeu is a tireless public servant, who also happens to be gay, as was learned in rather dramatic fashion.Read more
Amazing. Just amazing.
Following the Paradise Valley Planning Commission’s rejection of a plan to supersize the unremarkable Cottonwoods Hotel in town, backers are now saying they can magically reduce the rejected plan’s proposed density by thirty five percent.
It’s amazing what can happen when you just say no. We opined about the flawed Cottonwoods proposal back in October. Here is a link.
And it makes you wonder, a lot, about the need and premise of the proposal in the first place. There’s little doubt the property needs a little lipstick. But that’s not what this proposal was about. It was nothing more than a denizens of density enrichment plan that would have been good for one pocket book but not good for the character of a town that needs protection more than enhancement.Read more
The 1988 Democratic nominee for President Michael Dukakis talked a lot about the “Massachusetts Miracle,” touting his perceived Bay State successes.
It’s a lesson that could play out this year in the 2014 Arizona gubernatorial campaign, either by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith’s GOP opponents, or presumptive Democratic nominee Fred DuVal.
Smith likes to espouse his achievements, and there are no doubt some, but there are also very big problems.Read more
Proximity to Sky Harbor, freeways, a great downtown, the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Zoo, the Indian Bend Wash.
“South Scottsdale” should be a prideful label, not a derogatory one.
Or maybe the big talk but little action from both public and private sectors that has yielded an ASU office facility, but one without urban coattails.
Politically, there is no reason to keep doing the same thing. It hasn’t worked since the demise of Los Arcos Mall and the failure to realize the voter-approved arena district. Countless task forces and master plans aren’t getting it done.
Light rail has been put on the table as an area addition by a contingent on the council. Another idea is to connect the Indian Bend Wash and Papago Park via an elevated trail down the middle of McDowell Road.Read more
With the exception of Bill de Blasio’s New York City where the mayor there is declaring war on charter schools, educational choice is gaining more acceptance across the country to the constant displeasure of teacher’s unions. They can block for a time but not forever the tide of history. This is the lesson of all civil rights, of which school choice can rightly be called one.
Here in Phoenix a new group, despite protestations of cooperation to the contrary, are taking dead aim at many of the dead end schools in the core of Phoenix with an insurgence of new charter schools there.
But it’s in Glendale, Arizona where we gain another reminder of how far school choice has come, and why it ultimately will be the norm, as we see in higher education.Read more
As the narrative goes Mesa Mayor Scott Smith single-handedly willed a backward East Valley behemoth into America’s most progressive city.
That’s a slight exaggeration and there’s no doubt Mayor Smith has done a commendable job getting results. Additionally, he is an engaging fellow that’s got a little Chris Christie without bridges while being a tad more cherubic.
But if the justification for the GOP nomination for Governor in 2014 is the best performing East Valley Mayor doesn’t Smith get the silver medal to Gilbert Mayor John Lewis?
Smith’s results in Mesa resemble Sammy Sosa. The former slugger used steroids. Smith used subsidies. A lot of them.Read more
Recently an article in the Scottsdale Independent queried whether Scottsdale was losing its luster. It cited the election losses of the General Plan, a Scottsdale School District bond and the recent city bond package.
So let’s take stock.
The city just debuted an amazing new facility at WestWorld that just hosted the world’s largest car auction called Barrett-Jackson and is hosting the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, the largest in the world.
Just blocks away is the home of the world’s largest golf tournament.Read more
You don’t see this every day. And that’s the hometown newspaper of a Super Bowl host city harshly criticizing the costs of the event, as well as the local NFL team that makes landing the third largest sporting event in the world (behind the Olympics and World Cup) possible.
But that’s what the Glendale Star, the long-timer paper of record for Glendale, Arizona did in its most weekly editorial. It pulls no punches and makes for fascinating reading, even as we disagree with the premise and support Glendale’s call to be reimbursed for public safety costs associated with the big day in 2015. Here is a link to the editorial.
Courtesy of a front page article in today’s Arizona Republic (“New Charter School Push In Phoenix Core”) let there be no doubt about what’s taking place. Having pillaged upper income school districts like Scottsdale’s school choicers believe their moment has come to strut proudly and loudly in lower income areas, proving once and for all the superiority of their approach for students, parents . . . and teachers.
Oh, both the Phoenix Union District Superintendent and backers of the multi-charter school initiative said all the right things and played nice.Read more
Such a case can really be found in 2004. In the form of John Kerry. Not loved but viewed as quite competent Kerry was a weak frontrunner for the 2004 Democratic nomination for President, kind of like Ken Bennett who sits atop most polls for Arizona Governor in 2014 but who most observers think we will toppled due to limited fundraising and a boredom factor.
And Kerry was toppled . . . for a while. By Howard Dean before The Scream went too shrill. And John Edwards almost caught Kerry in Iowa, but didn’t have the juice to challenge in New Hampshire. He was apparently saving that for someone else.
But then the Democrats returned to Kerry having yawned about him in the first place. He waged a tough campaign against George W. Bush, like Bennett undoubtedly would against Fred Duval.Read more
And why shouldn’t the Grand Canyon State? After all, the competition is stiff with no income tax states like Texas and Nevada.
Furthermore, the private sector constantly engages in a never ending quest to land the whales. At casinos. In hotels. Country clubs. Restaurants. New homes. Season tix. Sponsors. So if Adam Smith’s disciples understand the benefit of attracting the biggest wallets why shouldn’t government?
If politics is a concern be as radically appealing to aiding the poor as one might be to recruiting the rich. Just like anti-illegal immigration activists should be the biggest proponents for legal immigration and the ingenuity and entrepreneurs it yields, unless their true colors can be found on a Confederate flag.Read more
At a time when Paul Ryan and others are smart to be channeling Jack Kemp and re-engineering GOP messages for the lower and middle classes, it is an appeal to the highest crust that could be a good move here in Arizona.
This week Phil Mickelson is defending his Waste Management Phoenix Open. A Sun Devil, he is the most beloved golfer in Arizona and recently made waves talking about the onerous tax rates in California.
This prompted a national discussion. The Arizona State Legislature should act.Read more
Over the past four years, the Scottsdale City Council has worked to keep taxes low, costs down and our quality of life the best in Arizona. None of these decisions happened in a vacuum. It required a team effort from a dedicated and responsible Council. I’m pleased to announce an integral member of that team has endorsed my campaign for Scottsdale City Council – Mayor Jim Lane.
I am excited to continue our great work together on the Council and proud to have his endorsement.
“I equally support Linda Milhaven for Scottsdale City Council. Linda possesses the leadership ability and strong work-ethic Scottsdale must have to continue to be the best city to live, play and work. Her proficiency at understanding complex issues and providing clear solutions makes her a valuable member of the City Council. She is dedicated, passionate and effective at improving Scottsdale’s quality of life.”
- Scottsdale Mayor Jim LaneRead more
Maricopa Integrated Health System is spending $600,000 of YOUR tax dollars so you will give them a taxpayer funded $1.6 billion blank check.
"Even ignoring the potential legal issues, using $600,000 of taxpayer money to fund an ‘image campaign’ while simultaneously running a campaign asking those same taxpayers for a billion dollar bond is unseemly,” said Victor Riches, VP of External Affairs at Goldwater Institute.
Please see the Arizona Capitol Times story below. ____________________________________________________________________
Hospital district pursues taxpayer-funded ad campaign
Published in the Arizona Capitol Times on October 3, 2014
A hospital district has spent $570,000 on an ad campaign launched two weeks after its board called for a nearly $1 billion bond election.
The taxpayer-funded advertising campaign is running at the same time a separate, political group pushing for passage of the bond proposal launches a nearly $800,000 television ad campaign.
Included in the tax-funded ad campaign are a series of television commercials that promote areas of the Maricopa County Medical Center the bond proposal promises to improve. The advertisements don’t mention Proposition 480, the Nov. 4 election or advocate for a vote, any of which would be illegal.
The advertisements feature testimonials of people with real-life experience in the county’s mental health system and burn unit, and feature doctors who work in the trauma center and in the residency program.
Mike Robertson, senior vice president of marketing and public affairs for Maricopa Integrated Health System, said the ad campaign was not designed to win votes.
“What you’re seeing is me fulfilling my responsibility of getting a communication campaign out there to start educating Maricopa County residents with regards to what we do, and this is but chapter one,” said Robertson, who joined MIHS in March.
The political ad features Bryan Jeffries, president of the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, a firefighters union, stumping for a yes vote to improve the trauma center, burn center and mental-health system. A voice-over says the Maricopa Medical Center is where first responders are taken when they are injured. Other than that, however, there is no mention of the hospital or the proposed $541 million to $548 million reconstruction of it.
The MIHS board unanimously approved putting the public financing on the ballot May 28. The $935 million in financing, which will cost the owner of a $150,000 home about $18 per year, would pay for a new, scaled-down Maricopa County Medical Center, an improved mental-health system, improved neighborhood clinics and upgrades to the hospital’s nationally renowned Arizona Burn Center and the hospital’s trauma center.Read more
In my opening comments at the recent City Council candidate forum hosted by Scottsdale Leadership I made it clear what the upcoming city election is really all about. In my closing comments I made it clear why I am running for Scottsdale City Council.
Voters need to know what is really happening in this election and how much is at stake for our beloved city. Please pass these videos on to as many of your friends, neighbors and relatives in Scottsdale as you can to help us get the word out.
There are three ways you can help me overcome all of this dark money being spent to defeat me. One of the best things you can do to help my campaign is to organize a meet-and-greet and invite your friends and neighbors to meet me and to learn about my platform. If you can hold one please contact me and we will help you organize it.Read more
Maricopa County Integrated Health System (MIHS) has proposed the third largest bond request in Arizona history.
Who pays? All property taxpayers in Maricopa County. The price tag?
As the committee organized to oppose Proposition 480 on the November ballot in Maricopa County, we want to provide you updates on our efforts to defeat this massive tax increase. Additionally, we want to ask for your support to defeat this request for a “blank check,” which comes during the most chaotic time for health care in our nation’s history. This proposal to raise our taxes to fund more government health care by tearing down the current Maricopa County Hospital and rebuild it with fewer beds, using your money, is certainly an issue each of us needs to pay special attention to as our ballots arrive in a week.
The No on Prop 480 campaign wants to highlight a discrepancy in the total cost. We previously used the $1.4 billion dollar figure as the total impact on Maricopa County taxpayers, based on initial interest projections. When the official ballot proposal arrived, we discovered that the cost to taxpayers is actually $1.6 billion dollars. That may not be much to the proponents who are trivializing the cost of Prop 480, but to put it in their terms, that rounding error is about 75,000 cups of coffee at Dunkin Donuts to the voters in Maricopa County.Read more
From the Mark Brnovich Campaign:
The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (ADFI) exists to protect consumers and ensure “the safety and soundness of the financial services industry in Arizona.”
But, under Democrat Felecia Rotellini’s watch as agency Supervisor (2006-2009), the State of Arizona became Ground Zero for the kinds of mortgage fraud and lending scams that ultimately brought the entire housing market crashing down.
According to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute Fraud Index, a comprehensive measure of lending fraud, Arizona ranked 21st in the country for this kind of illegal activity in 2005. By the time Rotellini resigned from her post as financial watchdog for ADFI in summer 2009, Arizona’s rate of mortgage fraud had skyrocketed to 4th in the nation, trailing only Florida (1), New York (2) and California (3).Read more
Helping businesses create jobs has been a priority of mine since I originally took office. That’s why I have fought for reducing burdensome regulations, lowering taxes so businesses can reinvest and getting government out of the way of private enterprise.
I believe every Arizonan has a purpose and every Arizonan should have the opportunity to find rewarding employment. This philosophy has galvanized the support of the business community behind my campaign. I am being supported by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Federation of Independent Business, AZ Association of REALTORS and countless business leaders. Here are what a few of them are saying about my candidacy:
“In recent decades, Arizona’s Governor has not finished his or her term for different reasons. Our Secretary of State is next in line of succession since Arizona does not have a Lieutenant Governor. It is important for the business community to pay close attention to this important race this year and support a strong candidate.
Michele Reagan served in the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives with great distinction. She has been a tireless leader and supporter of the business community, education, economic development and, as importantly, stood strong in the face of extreme agendas. No one else in the race has her proven track record.”
– Michael Bidwill, President Arizona CardinalsRead more
Arizona Progress & Gazette: Arizona News, Editorials & Debate