The Conservative's Corner
This week, the liberal media finally got what it was looking for: the scandalous story that’s going to stop Marco’s momentum.
It’s a 1,644 word bombshell from the Washington Post: When he was 18, Marco got caught in a public park after it closed.
I’m not going to go into the other embarrassing details (because there aren’t any).
The problem: Marco is getting an amazing reception on the trail, but many in the media would rather dig up fake “scandals” like this.
So we’re coming clean about Marco’s other offenses.
Marco’s survived $22 million in attacks from the Establishment already, but more is coming.Read more
“For All The Republican Talk…One Republican Presidential Hopeful Has Actually Done Something…”
WASHINGTON, DC – Conservative Solutions PAC, the Super PAC supporting Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, today released a new television advertisement highlighting steps taken by Marco Rubio to end ObamaCare. Rubio has saved taxpayers $2.5 billion and threatened the law's long-term survival by ending a bailout of the insurance industry. The ad, entitled “Some Republicans,” will air in both Iowa and New Hampshire. To watch the video click here.
V/O: On ObamaCare, some Republicans gave up.
Some talked tough, but got nowhere.
“For all the Republican talk about dismantling the Affordable Care Act, one Republican presidential hopeful has actually done something…”
(Onscreen: The New York Times, Dec. 9, 2015: “For all the Republican talk about dismantling the Affordable Care Act, one Republican presidential hopeful has actually done something…”)
By Governor Doug Ducey
Who says you can't make government work?
We just did it here with the most far-reaching, high-impact education funding bill in our state's history. News like this is too good not to share, so spread the word by forwarding this message along!
We've just passed, signed, and are ready to go with a bill that:
• Puts $3.5 billion into education to dramatically improve our schools.
• Increases per-student funding to $3,600 each year and gives educators the resources they've been asking for.
• Doesn't raise taxes while maintaining our balanced budget.
• Provides relief from lawsuit abuse so funds go into classrooms, not attorneys' pockets.
• Maximizes the State Land Trust by drawing a modest amount as a shrewd investment in our kids.
I'll never forget the good friends and strong, loyal supporters who gave me this job and the accompanying charge to solve problems and get results. Your support was, is, and will always be a source of tremendous inspiration.
Thanks so much,
Governor Doug Ducey
P.S. Help me share our fast-breaking news. Tell your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues that we got something great done for Arizona's future. And we're not done by a long shot. In fact, we're just getting started!Read more
By Darcy Olsen
President, Goldwater Institute
If sharing the right ideas and principles with our fellow Americans were sufficient, the battle for liberty would have long ago been won. In today’s media age, however, we know that engaging storytelling and strong visual elements are essential to winning hearts and minds. To that end, we redesigned our magazine, Liberty in Action, to appeal to a national audience through storytelling, strong visual elements and narrative voice that inform and inspire readers. With these changes, we are proud to announce that today the Goldwater Institute has won a Gold "Ozzie" Award for Overall Design. The FOLIO: Awards honor the best in editorial (Eddie) and design work (Ozzie) in the magazine publishing industry. The sponsored event is considered the largest awards program of its kind.
This accomplishment is meaningful to us because it means we have successfully reached beyond the “choir” to capture the hearts and minds of Americans of all kinds. With your support, we will continue to send out engaging stories that advance the Freedom movement.Read more
On Monday, September 21, Coolidge, Ariz. voted on a highly controversial issue: whether or not to limit the prayer before a city council meeting to only Christian prayer. The proposal was unanimously shot down.
When Councilman Rob Hudelson, a pastor for a local Baptist church, brought the topic forth on September 14, the topic was passed into a proposal by a 4 – 2 vote. What happened in one week that a topic, which was once popular, would be unanimously rejected?
Many argued that it was a direct violation of First Amendment rights. The violation in question: If regulating the prayer before a city council meeting is preventing the residents of Coolidge from exercising their freedom of religion? It is quite the opposite.
It is the city council members exercising their own freedom of religion. There is no portion of the First Amendment that speaks specifically towards citizens and that only citizens can exercise this right.Read more
By Lee Templar
Director of Foundation Relations
The Goldwater Institute
California is poised to become the 25th state that adopts the Right To Try—a law that will help terminally ill patients try promising new medicines pending final approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But Governor Jerry Brown might veto the Right To Try. We need your help to persuade Governor Brown to do what’s best for terminally ill patients who should have the right to fight to save their own lives.
You can call Governor Brown’s office at (916) 445-2841. You can send him an email through this form: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php. You can also send him a message on Twitter at @JerryBrownGov and through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jerrybrown.
More than 1 million Americans die from diseases each year. They deserve a chance to try the same medicines that a lucky few already are safely using in clinical trials.Read more
With massive reserves in place and some terrific new resorts coming online the tony Town of Paradise Valley doesn’t have too many problems. But there are two items on the horizon worth recommendations.
The first is the likely departure of Town Councilwoman Maria Syms. She was the top vote-getter in the August 30th GOP Primary Election for one of two seats in Legislative District 28 for the Arizona House of Representatives. Securing one of those seats in November seems likely.
Since town councilmembers are not paid Syms is not required to relinquish her Paradise Valley duties. However, that would seem the likely progression as the demands of being a rising star in the lower chamber take hold.
If so, the appointment to fill her seat will be made by Mayor Michael Collins and the remaining members of council. But there really should be no deliberation and no applications. Daran Wastchak should gain the nod by acclimation.
While Wastchak has come up short in two bids for Town Council he has had the guts to step in the arena. He also serves admirably on the Paradise Valley Planning Commission. He was the next closest finisher in the recent election that saw Mark Stanton re-elected and Julie Pace and Scott Moore elected for the first time.
If and when an appointment to Council becomes necessary Wastchak should be the easy call.
Away from Town Hall and up Camelback Mountain many nearby residents remain up in arms about a plan to build a giant new home on the most elevated private property on the mountain. While Paradise Valley is a community rightfully adhering to property rights this new project is raising legitimate concerns. For example, engineers cannot guarantee that large boulders in the building envelope will not fall to homes below. All of this begs the question: With budget surpluses and a penchant for preservation why not consider buying this lot and other problematic ones in town to further preserve Camelback and Mummy Mountain much like Scottsdale is preserving the McDowell Mountains?
Recently, Scottsdale leaders wisely made the decision to purchase a home that intrudes on the majesty near Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Why shouldn’t Paradise Valley consider likewise? In a clash between one person’s ego versus the overall environment we know how the community would best be served, and we bet residents would be willing to pay for preservation, this time and in the future.Read more
*The Arizona Republic’s breathless liberal opinionistas can’t understand why Governor Ducey would speak at a Trump rally, as he did this week. It’s simple. He doesn’t want to get primaried in 2018, and Trump ally and State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt looms as a potentially formidable challenger. There may be others. Anyone would start as an underdog versus Ducey – Kelli Ward’s failure against McCain being a perfect example why. Yet, stranger things have happened.
*All Hail Christine Jones. Whatever one thinks of the blind ambitionist, her successful execution of the “outsider” strategy in the Congressional Five GOP Primary was terribly impressive. Yes, those who spend the most in congressional races usually win. Still, waltzing into the East Valley and buying a seat well, it hasn’t been done that well since . . . John McCain in 1982.
*Donald Trump effectively labeled opponents during his presidential primary. “Low Energy.” “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane ain’t like The Donald in approach but his recent labeling of long-shot opponent Bob Littlefield as a “Crazy Uncle” gets the gold medal so far for Arizona political monikers.
*Speaking of Littlefield the guy is just one big gaffe machine, and an offensive one at that. According to online commentary he’s called Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven a “Great Satan” and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and renowned Scottsdale businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons “scumbags.” What a gem. Is anyone still thinking of voting for this guy?
*State Representative Jay Lawrence had one of the best radio voices during his nights at KTAR. And whoever his sign guy is deserves a “best of” award too for the best placements.
*Speaker Syms? Special advisor to Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman. And now top vote getter in the GOP primary for Legislative District 28. She’s threading a lot of political needles in her run so far, portending a real shot at a House leadership position in future years.
*If Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins maintains his two-term pledge look for just re-elected Town Councilman Mark Stanton to emerge as the most likely successor in 2018.
*As the public mostly rails against the idea of new taxpayer funded facilities for the Diamondbacks, Coyotes or Suns, the City of Phoenix is assembling a massive taxpayer subsidy package for Fry’s to land downtown. It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction: big taxpayer help for billionaire sports owners bad but big taxpayer help for billionaire grocery store owners good?
*The City of Peoria’s new sales tax hike proposal – billed as a quality of life tax – has political support built on quicksand.
*Kirk Adams is Governor Ducey’s Chief of Staff. With the exception of a starring role in a suspect Arizona Republic story about pressuring State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt into supporting Proposition 123 he has largely avoided trouble. That’s not easy to do for any Chief of Staff. But people are now starting to talk: Are some of his recommended appointments and positions more about aiding himself once he resumes his lobbying career?
*Paul Ryan was supposed to have a tough GOP primary but blew away his opponent by an extremely wide margin. Closer to home, Sheriff Arpaio had a primary too. He was running against Donald, Mickey and Goofy. Yet, more than one-third of the electorate abandoned him. That’s a troubling and underreported sign heading into a difficult November election.
*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu won his Congressional District One GOP Primary but hardly in spectacular fashion. He struggled in every county besides his own where he ran up the score. And nearly all – if not all -- of his favored candidates in Pinal County for County Attorney, Sheriff and Supervisor lost. So, unlike McCain who won by a surprisingly large margin for momentum heading into the General, Babeu limps.
*So State Representative Rick Gray sold his political soul to Arizona Public Service only to have the company renege on a Full Forese. Finishing out of the money on Tuesday night it’s almost easy to feel sorry for the guy. Almost.
*There are a lot of reasons for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ anemic showing Tuesday night, despite an easy campaign narrative of a Glendale comeback. Among them were an incredible disloyalty to the firefighters, business leaders and others that supported him in 2012. It’s a lesson for all Arizona elected officials, from Governor Ducey on down.
*Seeking to make a name for themselves in political circles a number of younger consultants are trying to get into the polling business. They are cutting corners to cut costs. As a result the results are largely garbage. A case in point was a recent article by the Arizona Republic positing how good Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell was looking for re-election. It relied on polling results from one of the neophytes. Our case in point.
*We’re losing track of how many times Wendy Rogers has lost whatever she’s been running for in recent years. She lost again Tuesday night. Hopefully this will be the last time Arizona has to endure her on the ballot.Read more
Why is Bob Littlefield’s quixotic campaign for Scottsdale Mayor stuck in the mud? A lot of reasons.
He’s anti-business, even supported by a union that used scorched earth tactics to shut down Arizona’s home grown grocer, Basha’s. He’s been on both sides of just about every issue in town from development to subsidies to the Desert Discovery Center. He’s the ultimate politician that’s out of step with so much of what Scottsdale is and stands for.
But another reason he’s slogging through mighty mud mania is the bizarre world he is seeking to enter. He wants to be Mayor at the same time his wife is Vice Mayor. It’s strange and problematic. Just as it would be if Joanne Lane ran for city council at the same time her husband was serving as Mayor. Or if State Senator John Kavanagh didn’t serve in the Arizona State Legislature but on the Fountain Hills Town Council with his wife Linda who is the current mayor.
Littlefield of course says not to worry. It’s no big deal even though it’s never happened in Arizona history from what we can tell.
But judging from Littlefield’s recent actions it is a big deal. Because he’s already embarrassing the city.
Consider what just took place in the Scottsdale Airpark. There GoDaddy Founder and impressive Scottsdale philanthropist Bob Parsons unveiled his latest investment in the city, a large television and video production facility. In attendance were Scottsdale Mayor Lane, Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Stanton and members of the Scottsdale City Council, invited in their official city capacity to celebrate an important private sector contribution to the economy. Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield was there too, as she should have been.
And belittling Bob Littlefield came along for the ride. He who only days before called Parsons (and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill) “scumbags” for supporting Lane.
Putting aside the indignity of attending someone’s event he had just show scorn for Bob Littlefield proceeded to video tape the event, especially Mayor Lane’s remarks, presumably for some bizarre political campaign purpose.
He embarrassed himself and Scottsdale in so doing. In the highly unlikely event Littlefield’s Arizona Lottery like quest for Mayor is successful it won’t be the last time the unprecedented combination of a husband and wife on the Scottsdale City Council make the city like adulterated rather than appreciative.Read more
By: Sal Diciccio
The public is being misled by True Life and the underlying property owner. On several occasions, True Life and the owner have lied to the residents surrounding the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club, so why should we trust them now?
It is my obligation to make sure that I protect the quality of life in our community, provide the facts and consider the impact of any decision on other areas of our community. Those other areas would include Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses. Any decision made on the Lakes property could and would set a precedent for those other areas.
That said, I am not surprised by True Life's development plan. This is what developers do. They promise a “farm” or a “school,” but in reality, they are paving the way for high density development. And if they succeed at the Lakes, it will open the floodgates to high density development in all of our golf courses and in particular Ahwatukee Country Club.
We are being told that the Lakes is going to be turned into some type of agricultural setting. This could not be farther from the truth.
The same developers that purposely shut down the golf course and created an environmental hazard are coming out with a plan to save our community?
The truth is they purposely neglected maintaining the golf course in order to create a wasteland so that the surrounding residents will be put in a desperate situation.
True Life is one of the parties that created this blight to exact concessions from neighbors. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life owes $1.4 million in back taxes- which could go towards our schools and other vital services for our community. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life had multiple code enforcement violations because of the way they managed the Lakes property. That is not what a good neighbor does.
You and your family take care of your property and pay your taxes. Why should they be exempt from that basic requirement?
Do not buy into the argument that these developers don't have money. The amount of money True Life spends every month on public relations and lobbyist could have easily kept this golf course watered and clean.
Let's lay out the facts about the developer’s proposal and the impact of development on this property:
Fact One: The developers want to triple the density that would normally be allowed on this property.
Fact Two: The Lakes golf course was purposely designed to curb flood waters from negatively impacting surrounding properties. We recently saw many homes surrounding the Lakes property flooded. Imagine what would happen if this property, this open space and flood plain were developed.
These developers live in areas that would never allow this type of density to come into their neighborhood. Nor would their neighborhood ever allow a critical flood plain to be compromised by high density development putting existing homes at risk.
Fact Three: The Ahwatukee Lakes was purposely designed to provide an open space for our community. The open space was provided to the original developer in exchange for higher density at other locations.
Fact Four: Ahwatukee Country Club has over 2,000 high density units zoned on that property. If it is developed, we are looking at the equivalent of five high-rise apartment complexes on one single parcel of land.
Regardless of the promises these developers make, nothing will stop them or anyone in the future from coming in and using the Lakes as precedent. If True Life succeeds, they will have created a model for all developers: neglect a property until it becomes a blight and an environmental hazard, then use strong arm tactics on desperate residents, forcing them to accept anything to make the blight go away, even if that means high density housing.
That means Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses would all have higher density on their properties as well.
For these reasons, I caution residents not to sign anything until it has been reviewed by an attorney. This plan has nothing to do with agriculture. This is all about maximizing density and profits.
Please share this with your neighbors!
By: Jim Derouin
Scottsdale’s version of P. T. Barnum, Bob Littlefield, is back. After twelve unproductive years on the City Council, he needs a job and is now running for Mayor. He wrote a column in The Scottsdale Republic, which portrays himself as a crusader for citizen issues, entitled: “Scottsdale Needs a Leader Who Will Protect Its Unique Character.” Well, that’s Bob’s version of the truth. In fact, Scottsdale has never seen a more self-promoting, negative, destructive and divisive politician in its history.
Bob argued that someone is proposing commercial development in the Sonoran Preserve. Wrong. Bob attacks everyone who disagrees with him as being an agent of a developer; literally, he sees a developer behind every tree. Wrong. Bob is also wrong when he pits North against South in bond elections; and when he was so reckless in his opposition to city bond measures that he shot down a school bond initiative that got caught in his irresponsible rhetoric. He calls that “leadership.” If that is “leadership,” we don’t need it.
He also rants against apartments and density, but, in typical fashion, Bob was for density before he was against it. He not only voted for the two tallest buildings in Scottsdale (known as the Scottsdale Waterfront Towers), but, in doing so, he also voted to impose an emergency clause which cut off the right of citizens to challenge the vote. An emergency clause is intended to be used when immediate implementation of an action is needed for matters threatening public health or safety; it was never intended for constructing a residential building. Subsequently, state law was changed to specifically prohibit the use of the emergency clause for such a purpose. Isn’t this curious conduct for someone who claims to be the Great Crusader against density? It is also important to realize that Scottsdale would benefit if more of the 100,000 commuters who work in Scottsdale, and who drive to and from Scottsdale daily, actually lived here. Apartments and condominiums, although not for most of us, represent the new entry point for many “buyers” and are attractive for many who want to both live and work in Scottsdale. Having residents being able to both live and work in Scottsdale has many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored out of hand.
Bob also continues to take credit for fighting “wasteful subsidies.” He knows full well, however, that subsidies are outlawed by the state constitution and, also, specifically in the Scottsdale City Charter. I know because I served on the Task Force that recommended adding the prohibition to the City Charter, a provision that was, subsequently, approved by voters. In short, if something is a “subsidy,” it is both illegal and unconstitutional. If something is not a “subsidy,” then a candidate shouldn’t be misleading voters by calling it one. But this approach is consistent with Bob’s strategy to be loudly against things for the sake of letting us know, loudly, that he is against things. Never let an opportunity go by to attack someone else’s idea.
In short, Bob is a garden variety professional politician; and what Bob really stands for, besides himself, is stagnation--the reduction of Scottsdale’s tax base, the decline of tax revenues, the decline of services, the decay of infrastructure and the reduction of the quality of life for City residents. He is a “free lunch” politician, arguing that we can have all the services, infrastructure and quality of life we want provided that we just do nothing. His shtick is stale; the con job is old. Bob should get a private sector job and stop pretending that he is Robin Hood. That role has already been cast.Read more
America knows Beverly Hills 90210 as one of America’s most famous zip codes. It’s starting to know Scottsdale 85255 as one of its best.
According to the Arizona Republic’s Catherine Reagor the northern Scottsdale neighborhoods of McDowell Mountain Ranch, DC Ranch and Grayhawk have surging property values.
And for good reason. They are uniquely somewhere. At the base of the McDowell Mountain Mountains. With great recreation and parks nearby. Proximity to the 101. Great golf courses. A terrific aquatics center. Good schools. The family mecca that is the Ice Den. And even its own version of Central Park known as WestWorld.
The celebration of this area is a lesson in the Scottsdale politics of 2016.
When proposed these developments were contentious. They involved “rezonings.” And it’s hard to believe that the Ice Den itself took a tortured trip all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court just to be allowed to open.
Yet today they are part of Scottsdale’s signature. The success of the 85255 is part of what makes Scottsdale so strong. When combined with revitalizing southern neighborhoods, the constant quality of life offered in Scottsdale’s central regions and the distinctiveness of the northern reaches its not wanting to claim the city as one of the best in America as Mayor Jim Lane often does.
But to listen to politicians like Robert Littlefield who are anti-business and anti-progress (and who probably sit at home watching television with rabbit ears) is to understand these neighborhoods would have never been if he was in charge. He never would have approved their “rezonings.” Good thing he wasn’t in charge judging from how good they have turned out and how much they have enriched Scottsdale’s reputation and quality of life.
As we celebrate Scottsdale successes like the 85255 it’s important to consider the kind of people that made them possible in the first place. They certainly weren’t like Robert’s Rules of Order.Read more
By David Brooks
New York Times, The Opinion Pages
As usual, there were a ton of artists and musicians at the political conventions this year. And that raises some questions. How much should artists get involved in politics? How can artists best promote social change?
Click here to read more.Read more
Welcome to the site’s new feature, holding politician’s accountable for double talk. And there’s no better place to launch Hypocrite Alert! than with Scottsdale’s Ultimate Politician, Bob Littlefield.
On the campaign trail he talks negatively about the proliferation of apartments in Scottsdale notwithstanding he’s the godfather of not one but the two largest apartment projects in the history of Scottsdale. But that’s not all . . . he then took away the rights of citizens opposing the project, preventing them from putting the project to a city-wide vote.
When confronted with such facts Littlefield tries to go Obi Wan-Kenobi instructing voters such matters may not be the droids they’re looking for.
He then discusses how he’s opposed numerous apartment projects in Scottsdale, except for those that contributed generously to his campaign coffers. But more on that another time.
This time Hypocrite Alert! would like to point out Littlefield cashing one of the most generous contributions of his political career: from none other than the special interest political action committee of who? The Arizona Multi-Housing Assocation. That’s right, the state’s leading defender and purveyor of apartments.
It’s hard to make this stuff up.
But at least Littlefield’s hypocrisies are good for something: laughter.Read more
If running for Mayor of Scottsdale at the same time your wife is Vice Mayor isn’t odd and craven enough for Bob Littlefield, we may have another example.
And, if circumstances are true, it’s disconcerting at best and disqualifying at worst.
According to various social media including that posted by the Catholic Sun, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane was apparently invited by Notre Dame Preparatory High School last month to address a group of students about how government works.
Elected officials get a lot of those requests, along with things like ribbon cuttings.
Apparently, candidate Bob Littlefield got wind of Mayor Lane’s appearance and demanded equal time of the school to speak, even raising the prospect of the school’s non-profit status being jeopardized.
When properly and ultimately denied his request Littlefield sent out an alert to supporters to attend the gathering bogusly claiming Lane was going to be discussing the Desert Discovery Center, a controversial north Scottsdale project that Littlefield has been on both sides of.
How sad.Read more
It’s like a zit on the Mona Lisa.
Anyone who hikes what is arguably the prettiest trail in the Valley, Tom’s Thumb in Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, wonders when they ascent. What is that house, albeit a very nice one, doing smack dab in the middle of Scottsdale’s landmark preserve?
Wouldn’t it be nice, most everyone surely thinks, to rid the preserve of the blemish?
And so it now shall be.
Every member of Scottsdale’s City Council ranging from Mayor Jim Lane to Councilman Guy Phillips saw fit to split the difference between the city’s appraisal and one produced by the private property owner.
It was a smart move – council Clearasil -- and a wise use of preserve funds.
There’s no greater defender of Scottsdale’s ultimate politician, mayoral candidate Bob Littlefield, than John Washington, the political gadfly who lost to current Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane by 30 points in 2012.
Like Littlefield, Washington thinks Scottsdale never does anything right despite public sentiment and evidence to the contrary.
And he, like Littlefield, love to dish it out but they sure have a hard time taking it when justifiable criticism arrives to refute his rhetorical incontinence.
Take a recent Washington missive where he pushes back after a Mayor Lane email broadside against Littlefield for being on all sides of just about every issue.
Washington takes his usual jabs at a Lane campaign consultant for owning a polo event and participating in a voter-approved marketing fund for the event for 3 years, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Littlefield himself voted for the funds all three 3 years he sat on the city council, even advantaging the event for complimentary VIP tickets.
Lane’s eblast also raised questions about Littlefield’s contributions and special interests he favors. The incumbent said something along the lines of Littlefield’s largest contributors over the years being “anti-business unions.”
So what does Washington do rather than review Littlefield’s campaign reports? He launches into la-la land suggesting Lane is referencing police unions because they crack down on bars and restaurants in downtown Scottsdale?!
Wow. Someone actually wrote that. Then again Washington was probably the first one in line at Harkins Theatres when Independence Day returned last month because he wanted to see on the big screen what his little head actually believes: aliens are coming to Earth.
It would have taken Washington all of two seconds, as it did us, to see Lane was likely referencing a PAC contribution from the United Food & Commercial Worker’s Union. Lane probably needs to spell that out more clearly next time but there’s little doubt that union is no friend to business, even at one time trying to sabotage Basha’s grocery stores with an insidiously bogus claim about baby formula.Read more
Art, at its best, makes us contemplate deeper. That's what good politics can do too. About issues, people and the direction of a community and country. So take a look at this interesting read in today's New York Times about how enterprising artists are attempting to do and fuse both during these most challenging political times.
By Let's Vote Yes for Arizona Schools
More than 20 school districts are waiting on approval of Prop 123
PHOENIX – For Arizona teachers, many of whom have not received a pay raise since before the Great Recession, passage of Proposition 123 means a needed and necessary pay raise this year.
So far, more than 20 Arizona school districts have released or passed provisional budgets that include pay raises for teachers. But those raises will evaporate in most communities without the guaranteed dollars that Proposition 123 provides.
“School boards across the state are struggling to attract and retain good, quality teachers,” said Tim Ogle, executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association. “School board members around Arizona have indicated that if Proposition 123 passes, teacher raises will be the first line item in their budgets and the first item on their agendas to pass. But, without the dollars that Proposition 123 brings, teachers will continue to receive unacceptably low pay for the work they’re doing to educate our kids and we will continue to see teachers flee Arizona for other states. At the end of the day, the only way to improve education in Arizona is with a high-quality teacher in the classroom.”
“Teacher pay in Arizona is embarrassingly low,” said Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association. “Many, if not most, teachers in Arizona have gone six or seven years without even a nominal increase in their pay, hence our teacher shortage crisis. If Proposition 123 doesn’t pass, it’ll send a message to our teachers that we don’t appreciate or respect the work they’re doing to educate our kids, and they’ll continue leaving Arizona for higher paying teaching positions in other states or leaving the profession altogether. Prop 123 is the first step to get teachers in nearly all districts a raise this year, and keeping them in Arizona.”
“Arizona teachers have gone too long without getting the compensation they deserve,” said Sharon Harper, chairwoman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools, in support of Prop 123 campaign. “Let’s pass Proposition 123 so we can stem the tide of teachers leaving our schools and our state. The infusion of these dollars will get money in the classroom this year. If we do nothing, this will be the equivalent of a pay cut to teachers in Arizona.”Read more
By State Treasurer of Arizona Jeff DeWit
Proposition 123 is LESS money for schools and RAISES PROPERTY TAXES
I wish I could support Proposition 123. I wish it was in the best interest of our schools, teachers, and taxpayers. I wish it lived up to the claim of being “more money for schools without raising taxes.” Unfortunately it is none of these things.
Anytime politicians tell you they have found a way to spend money without raising taxes, they are either raising debt or raiding a trust fund. It is why our federal government owes $19 Trillion and our Social Security Trust Fund is depleted. Our federal government has made false promises, and Arizona is now following suit.
Proposition 123 is a raid on the Schools’ Permanent Endowment Trust Fund which was established by Congress at Arizona’s statehood. It is a pool of money intended to grow for the benefit of educating Arizona schoolchildren forever. We can spend interest, but we are never to spend principle, as this plan does in a BIG way. Proposition 123 violates this Congressional requirement, and if passed, a new multi-year lawsuit will likely begin, further delaying funding for our schools.
The politicians are saying that this Trust is “underperforming our schools.” This is incorrect. The amount we spend on schools from the Trust is now the highest in Arizona history, roughly $100 million a year, and should double about every seven years. Voting NO on Proposition 123 keeps this money for its intended purpose, benefiting our schools forever. Saying yes cuts the trust fund by over a third, costs our schools (and ultimately our taxpayers) Billions of dollars, keeps teacher pay at 50th in the country, raises property taxes, and creates a huge fiscal cliff in ten years that will hit hardworking taxpayers.
Let me say part of that again. Right now Arizona is 50th in the country in teacher pay. If Prop 123 passes, and the trust fund is raided, and when property taxes increase, we will still be 50th in the country in teacher pay! As the Arizona Republic has pointed out, this is merely a "scam" on the voters to make them think that this is free money, when in reality it comes at a very high price to our children, teachers, and taxpayers. Read here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2016/04/18/montini-gov-doug-ducey-league-of-women-voters-proposition-123-arizona-legislature-state-land-trust/83157214/Read more
Fred DuVal, the 2014 Democratic nominee for Governor, just endorsed Proposition 123.
Read his statement, here.
He is standing shoulder to shoulder with Governor Ducey and thousands of parents and educators to put our kids and teachers first. And we've got an new TV ad to prove it. Watch the video here.
Mr. DuVal and Governor Ducey don't always agree but they agree Prop 123 is a necessary first step towards improving Arizona's public schools.
Prop 123 is a perfect example of what Arizonans can accomplish when we work together.
They recognize just how important it is for us to inject $3.5 billion into public K-12 schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes.
We are proud that Democrats and Republicans are putting partisan politics aside and working together to get our schools the resources they need.
Join us, Fred DuVal, Governor Doug Ducey and countless others in supporting Proposition 123, and lend a hand to ensure this passes on May 17.
Team Prop 123Read more
By Dan Schweiker
Transportation has always been near and dear to my heart. I first experienced the valley's roads in 1978 when I arrived in Arizona in my un-air conditioned 1976 Honda Civic. A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains the same – we need an interconnected transportation system that moves people, goods, and services.
There is no doubt that our valley has grown. The number of freeways, streets, and transit options have increased and improved over time as well. I remember when the I-10 tunnel was completed with much fanfare and when the Loop 101 finally came to Scottsdale.
It was my honor to serve on the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Transportation Committee in 2003 and 2004 as we worked on the Regional Transportation Plan and the extension of the 1985 half cent sales tax that built our transportation system. One of the things we realized early on is that we must take a multi-modal approach to transportation planning.
We realized that we must take into account the cost, available land, traffic patterns, growth, and interconnectivity into our planning. We learned that different areas had different needs and an interconnected plan could not be a "one size fits all" approach. We also adopted fundraising firewalls and audit measures to ensure fiscal responsibility. The result was the passage of Proposition 400 in 2004 which is still improving transportation across the region.
In Scottsdale, the Transportation Commission has released a draft of their Transportation Master Plan. It is a comprehensive proposal that will help strengthen our city's transportation policies and improve connectivity for our future. The Scottsdale City Council is meeting on April 12 in a study session to review the plan.Read more
PHOENIX — Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny today endorsed Proposition 123 citing the resources it will provide teachers and students throughout the next 10 years.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) estimates that Chandler Unified School District will receive more than $9 million this year alone if Prop 123 passes.
"I'm supporting Prop 123 because it's going to provide our schools, teachers and students with stability and support for the next decade," Mayor Tibshraeny said. "It will put billions of dollars into Arizona’s K-12 public education system over the next decade without raising taxes. It's prudent, fiscally responsible, and will help our teachers and students succeed in the classroom. Join me and vote YES on May 17."Read more
by Paul Babeu
It has us up big in Arizona's 1st Congressional District.35% of voters have rallied behind me, and our campaign, which has given us a 27-point lead.
This is all great news, and wouldn't be possible without you and all of your help.
The liberals in Arizona want no part of facing me in November, and they'll be throwing money at this race to stop us.
We're not going to let that happen.Read more
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