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2018 Scrum

The Goldwater Institute has been the driving force in the Right To Try movement, which seeks to allow dying patients with no other options to access investigational medicines. The Right to Try has already become law in 24 states with bipartisan support. But some opposition remains. The primary argument against the Right To Try is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already has an effective alternative for dying patients called Expanded Access, more commonly known as compassionate use.

Now, a new investigation by the Goldwater Institute shows that terminally ill patients rarely have the opportunity to even apply for compassionate use. The complicated and time-consuming process strongly discourages doctors and researchers from working with patients to try treatments that might save their lives. Each year, only about 1,200 terminally ill patients in America will even be able to submit an application for compassionate use. This year, nearly 600,000 Americans will die of cancer alone.

Please read our investigative report “Dead on Arrival: Federal ‘compassionate use’ leaves little hope for dying patients": http://goldwaterinstitute.org/en/work/topics/healthcare/right-to-try/dead-on-arrival-federal-compassionate-use-leaves-l/

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By Christina Sandefur
Executive Vice President, Goldwater Institute

Timothy Sandefur
Vice President for Litigation, Goldwater Institute

Private property is a fundamental human right. It is the guardian of all other rights. You cannot have freedom of press or religion if you cannot own a printer or a church. That's why the U.S. Constitution refers to private property more than to any other right.

If we cannot be free to own, use, buy or sell property, then we cannot be free at all.

Today, we are excited to announce the release of a new report that highlights what the Goldwater Institute is doing to protect this pillar of freedom through the Property Ownership Fairness Act. Building on a decade of success in the state of Arizona, our report encourages other states to adopt this model legislation as the most effective means of stopping government from taking away your property rights.

We will discuss the report and our new book, Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in the 21st Century, during a live Internet presentation today from the Cato Institute, starting at noon Eastern Time (9 a.m. Pacific time). Please join us by clicking here: www.cato.org/live

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By South Carolina Senator Tim Scott

Our nation’s future is on the line this election. We must nominate a strong conservative leader who will fight at all costs for our country and put our citizen’s needs before their own.
We need the person that can defeat Hillary Clinton next fall to be our nominee.

That’s why today, less than three weeks before the all-important primary in South Carolina, I’m standing up for and endorsing Marco Rubio.

I spent a lot of time thinking and praying over this decision. This is an important election, and I did not take this decision lightly.

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Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is warning that the satanist group wants to ban all prayer; that is their ultimate goal. He added that he is concerned that if the Phoenix Mayor and City Council sneaks a last-minute proposal to ban all prayer and replace it with a moment of silence as demanded by the satanist group, they'll be handing the satanists a big win.

"The goal of the satanic group has always been to ban all prayer. If the Mayor and Council were to give into the satanists; then they would be granting them their wish," Councilman DiCiccio said.

The Councilman began expressing his concerns last week that the ultimate plan of the Mayor and Council was to secretly move the prayer ban at the last minute making it impossible for the public to have the input on the decision.

"Should a prayer ban be successful in Phoenix you will see a ripple effect extending to other cities in the state," the Councilman added. "This will be just one more step in a social engineering for political correctness for Phoenix. It will be an embarrassment if Phoenix leaders end up on the same page as the satanist group."

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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.

Go here to get all the scandalous details:

Marco’s survived $22 million in attacks from the Establishment already, but more is coming.

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“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.

 SOME REPUBLICANS”: 

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…”) 

  

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Partnership between ASU, Scottsdale's Desert Discovery Center to produce research, exhibits about local environment

There's nothing new about Arizona residents looking for sustainable ways to live in the desert, but a recent United Nations report has made the matter a worldwide concern.

Because of climate change, the UN says that by 2030 almost half of the global population will be living in "areas of high water stress," and that without intervention as many as 700 million people could find themselves displaced.

Enter ASU and its partnership with Scottsdale's future Desert Discovery Center, aimed at creating an expansive research center to teach "a global audience to value, thrive in and conserve desert environments."

"When people think of research they think of a classroom," said Sam Campana, executive director of the center and former Scottsdale mayor. "It's our goal not to have a classroom, but a living laboratory where people are out doing work that is important to those who live here and to anyone in an arid environment."

Aside from research, the center will have a public face, and ASU has been working with design firm Thinc to create a series of exhibits to address "what I can see, what I can't see and what does all of it mean?" Campana said. In total, it will create an experience that shows how we can be more in tune with our environment.

Thinc, according to its website, has become known for a "holistic approach" that "combines great design and execution with broad insight into the organizational, cultural and physical contexts surrounding a project." The firm has worked with museums, science centers, zoosand aquariums.

The center's research will come as the global population grows "mainly in regions that are already experiencing water stress and in areas with limited access to safe drinking water," according to the UN in a 2014 study.

Research collaborations could include water quality, use and supply, as well as climate-change adaptation and urbanization.

Other areas of focus will include soil-crust research, desert species, the intersection of open-space preserves and people.

"There are things going on in the desert that are in the deep in the crust, and they're teeming with life," said Duke Reiter, executive director of University City Exchange. "But without this research and a sophisticated guide, at both at a macro and micro scale, it would be impossible to see. Only the university could bring this component."

Researchers, brought in by ASU, will study desert-life sustainability, "an important step in preserving and understanding this land," said Duke Reiter, whose exchange tracks university's academic and research assets to apply them "for the greater good."

Desert Discovery Center leaders are clearing hurdles as they await approval from the city of Scottsdale.

"If you look at ASU's design's aspirations, this university takes its commitment to their community, applied research and sustainability very seriously," Reiter said, "which is what makes this is a great venue and leaves no reason for us to not be involved in this."

 

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There are gadflies at City Halls.  Every town or city has one, two or more. And then there are gadflies.  Like big gad, horse flies.  They don’t come any uglier or smellier than Mark Stuart in Scottsdale.

It’s not that he’s anti-establishment.  Nothing much wrong with that.   It’s that he’s in La La Land.  But his music isn’t pretty.  And typically lands in the dark, conspiratorial realm of the Art Bell coin.

And it’s not that he’s anti-Desert Discovery Center.  So are we.

But as he approached the podium during a Scottsdale City Council meeting on Tuesday night his intentions were clear, and in violation of the law.

One cannot use government resources to proselytize about a political campaign.  And that’s exactly what Stuart was attempting to do at a government run meeting, broadcast on public television.

He was warned not once, not twice but multiple times not to proceed by Mayor Jim Lane on the advice of the City Attorney.  Stuart ignored all polite requests by Lane.  Indeed, the mayor went to extraordinary lengths to explain that this law applies not just to those that wish to electioneer to oppose the Desert Discovery Center but to those that support it too.  To coin a Fox News phrase, Lane’s approach was fair and balanced.

But Stuart didn’t want to adhere to the law.  When given every chance to adhere he chose to disrupt.  The Scottsdale Police Department could not have been more courteous and conscientious in escorting him out of the Kiva.

For anyone to suggest that Stuart is a martyr or this was Lane again being disrespectful to the anti-DDC position is preposterous.  We either have laws, or we don’t.

The rhetorical thugs behind their DDC opposition, so thoroughly discredited by the city’s recent election results as well as insight such as this , don’t understand this.  But the responsible, reasonable majority of Scottsdalians do.  But don’t take our word for it, take Councilmembers Guy Phillips and Kathy Littlefield. Usual Stuart sympathizers on matters, they didn’t raise a finger or word to aid Stuart.  Because even they knew no martyr was in their presence, just a goofy gadfly.

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One of the great Scottsdale stories of 2016 was the undeniable vibe that southern Scottsdale and her neighborhoods were an area on the move.

Its strengths have long been known – proximity to Scottsdale’s thriving downtown and nearby freeways, a surging SkySong, new breweries – and the marketplace in the form of new families and residents started to respond.

Mayor Jim Lane put a profound emphasis during his 2016 re-election on this turnaround.  Here again the marketplace responded, voting to re-elect him in the southern city by wider margins than 2012.

But to continue the resurgence a critical part of the area must be addressed:  public schools.  It’s a fair question to ask if improvements aren’t made can southern Scottsdale continue its revitalization?  Yes, charter schools can step in to address some voids.  But ultimately it’s up to the backbone of the public education system to deliver, or not.  A case in point is central Phoenix and the Madison school district.  There, good schools equated to more families which in turn has created a mecca of cool and culinary where that didn’t exist previously.

That’s why it’s so gratifying to see south Scottsdale’s high school, Coronado, asking for help.  CORONADO SUCCESS A COMMUNITY PRODUCT.  And that ASU and the Scottsdale Charros have stepped up to the challenge should be applauded.

The Scottsdale Unified School District, of which Coronado is a part, has a relatively new leader, Denise Birdwell.  The essence of leadership isn’t just to find a way through or around walls when necessary.  It’s also being able to recognize that outside voices and resources may be necessary to scaling them and solving problems.  This isn’t a matter of not being too proud to beg.  It’s one of Birdwell being prideful and mindful of her position, seeking new ways of wisdom to students are successful not squandered.

We wish them all good luck.

If and when these capable leaders turn Coronado’s challenges into opportunities it won’t only be good news for the young minds there, it will be a catalyst to continue SoSco’s upward trajectory.

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Plans are underway to tap the further potential of the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.  Click here for more info. This is smart planning by city staff and Mayor Jim Lane and the City Council.

But these plans should not languish.  They should be funded as soon as they’re completed.

Home to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, arts festivals, Sunday concerts and souls that are enhanced every time they walk one of the city’s great municipal creations, the area can and should be more to help downtown.

With downtown Phoenix, Salt River Fields, a resurgent WestWorld, Tempe Town Lake and even Glendale seizing more festivals and special events Old Town needs an enhanced events venue.  

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Michael Collins is the Mayor of Paradise Valley.  He likes to get things done.  He’s about the destination, not the journey.  So are most of the rest of the people serving on the Paradise Valley Town Council.  It’s a town of the accomplished.  It’s also a town started by the likes of O’Connor, Rehnquist and Goldwater.

With historic names like that it might seem odd to argue the tony town’s end of history.  But it may be at hand.

Consider that Mountain Shadows is rising again.  Indeed, the hotel at its heart will re-open March 7th thanks to the enterprise of locals Scott Lyon and Bill Nassikas, and a very wise Town Council that paved the way for it all, unanimously, just several years ago.

Then there is the large swath of land at Lincoln and Scottsdale Road that’s been the home to dozens of acres of creosote for ages, but soon it will be an economic and luxury engine that is the Ritz-Carlton and associated residences.

Not too far away is a property that used to be a struggling stepchild of Paradise Valley resorts:  The Cottonwoods.  But just a few months ago it was reborn as the Andaz, an emerging hotel brand the world over.  What they did to transform the tired property rivals that taking place at Mountain Shadows.  IMG_4155

Even the town’s Bermuda Triangle, a bedeviling 4 acre parcel along Scottsdale Road north of Cheney Estates, appears ripe for resolution thanks to local residents Geoffrey Edmunds, Rod Cullum and a thoughtful approach by all including the Town of Paradise Valley and the Marriott Corporation.  Underappreciated flood control problems may be resolved as part of the proposal too.

And mobile phone service is getting better as well!

So what’s left to do in Paradise Valley?

Well, it would be nice if the Smoke Tree Resort could smoke the peace pipe with someone, anyone to finally redevelop its chunk of land near AJ’s.  Besides that however the police department has more resources to do a better job (except when it might be favoring certain councilmembers) and the town’s finances are in very good shape.  

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By Virginia Korte

Last week I was officially sworn in to begin my second term on the City Council.  I am looking forward to 2017 – especially working with our new City Manager, Jim Thompson.

In my inaugural remarks, I said, “My one promise to our citizens is not only to work hard, but continue to use my moral compass to put Scottsdale first in any decision I make moving forward.”

My number one priority this year will be to evaluate and advocate addressing some of the city’s deteriorating infrastructure.

During the coming months I will single out what I believe are some of our most necessary needs in order to continue enhancing our quality of life that attracts visitors and new businesses.virginiakorte_bio

Transportation is one of our ‘most necessary needs’ and the city is obligated to tackle transportation issues, including increasing traffic that impacts our ability to travel throughout the city safely and efficiently.   In 2015 voters rejected a bond question that would have improved the intersection of Hayden and Chaparral Roads and the intersections of Highland Avenue at Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard.  The sidewalks in the downtown area also need to be repaired and some parking issues need to be solved to make downtown shopper-friendly for both our visitors and residents.  

Those are just a few of the many transportation improvements that need to be addressed. But they are good places to start.

I hope you will join me in supporting our need to focus on the city’s infrastructure.  I invite you to give me your thoughts by writing me at Korte@KorteScottsdale.com

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A lot of cities like to talk a lot about “regional cooperation.”  The notion goes that if we all just get a long we’ll all be better for it.

Well, in the case of Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community let’s take a closer look.

A couple of decades back it’s fair to say relations between the two governments weren’t terribly good.  Pima Road would get shut down by the tribe.  Scottsdale under Herb Drinkwater refused the proposed Loop 101.  Indian gaming was an uncertain challenge to Scottsdale resorts.  Scottsdale-Sign-547x198

So there was this notion that a better relationship would be good for both parties.  Well, it certainly has been for Salt River. But has it been for Scottsdale?

This year the Chapman auto dealerships will leave McDowell Road for a new auto complex on the reservation.  This will cost Scottsdale millions annually in lost city sales tax revenue.  Another tribal development just took the Galleria Corporate Center’s largest tenant, McKesson.  And as this editorial is being written tribal lands are being touted as better alternatives to Scottsdale for giant corporate campuses.  Then there’s the case of Salt River Fields, which has become a direct competitor to WestWorld.  It recently became the new home of Russo & Steele, a pilot fish and pariah to Barrett-Jackson.  Salt River Fields even took the azcentral Food & Wine Festival from Scottsdale Fashion Square.  And what was the city’s response?  To subsidize the relocating event with over $80,000 in tourism tax dollars.

Cooperation, regionally or otherwise, must be a two-way street.  Scottsdale needs to learn this before it’s denuded further.

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How do you know you’re in Scottsdale?

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

They all play a role.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bt Rachel Sacco

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

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

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

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

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

And we have done so by sharing your stories.

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By Scottsdale City Councilmember Virginia Korte

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, have a safe and happy holiday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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by Friends of John McCain

Phoenix, AZ— Today, National Right to Life endorsed John McCain for the United States Senate. John McCain has fought for policies to protect the unborn and has a 100% voting record on pro-life issues:

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of National Right to Life, an organization that promotes respect and dignity of every individual human being, born or unborn," said John McCain. "As a lifetime pro-life supporter, I have fought to defend the rights of all human life and I will continue this fight in the U.S. Senate."

"All voters who are concerned with the right to life and with the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family should vote to return John McCain to the U.S. Senate, so that he can continue to work to advance vital pro-life public policies," said Carol Tobias, President of National Right to Life.

Other national pro-life advocates praised the endorsement of John McCain:
“Senator McCain is steady and unwavering friend to unborn children and their mothers and we are proud to have him on the side of life. He is a good listener, strategic thinker, and helpful ally in our fight to advance the right to life and protect the conscience rights of pro-life Americans.” – Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List

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by Bill Gates for Arizona

Phoenix, AZ – Today the Bill Gates for County Supervisor campaign announced the endorsements of Senator Adam Driggs (R-28), Representative Kate Brophy McGee (R-28), Representative Phil Lovas (R-22), Representative Paul Boyer (R-20), Representative Anthony Kern (R-20), and Representative Heather Carter (R-15).

"I have known Bill Gates for years. He is a hard worker, a man of integrity and someone I call a friend," said State Representative Kate Brophy McGee. "I am proud to endorse Bill for Maricopa County Board of Supervisor. He has proven to be a steward of the taxpayers’ money at the City and I know he will do the same at the County."

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SAYS BLACK VOTERS BEING WOOED, BLACK VOTES IN PLAY FOR NOVEMBER

Rev. Maupin's Statement Below:

"As an advocate for Civil Rights, I have an obligation to endorse a candidate for the U.S. Senate that will bring much needed jobs, affordable housing, and infrastructure dollars to Phoenix and other urban areas in Arizona. In this year's November election, that candidate will be John McCain,

"I am endorsing John now, before the general election, because there is urgent work to be done, in the now, to reach out and secure the votes of Black Arizonans and others before November's contest,

"This endorsement is not about Republican vs Democrat, Right vs Left, or Old vs New. This endorsement is about Right vs Wrong. McCain is right for Arizona and his opponents - in his party primary and in the general election - have proven that. How? By taking Black voters for granted and refusing to articulate in a meaningful way how they intend to address poverty, housing, education, employment, and criminal justice issues that disproportionately impact Black Americans. McCain, on the other hand, is actively engaging Black leaders to find policy solutions and creative ways to bridge the racial divide and level America's uneven economic and social playing fields, 

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By Yes on Prop 123

PHOENIX — Former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl today announced his endorsement of Proposition 123, citing the need for a fiscally responsible plan to help fund Arizona’s public schools.

“Proposition 123 is a common-sense solution that would inject $3.5 billion into Arizona’s K-12 public schools without raising taxes,” former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl said. “It’s a fiscally sound, responsible plan that is badly needed to help students and teachers achieve in the classroom. I strongly encourage you to join me, and many other conservatives in voting YES on Prop 123.”

“Our teachers and students need resources in the classroom,” Sharon Harper, chairwoman of the YES on Prop 123 campaign said. “This is a fiscally responsible plan that puts money in the classroom now. It’s a conservative solution, it’s an innovative solution and it doesn’t put Arizona’s fiscal future in jeopardy. Let’s do what’s right for Arizona — vote YES on Prop 123.”

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Prop 123 is a ballot measure that settles a years-long lawsuit and puts $3.5 billion into Arizona’s K-12 public schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes. The proposition goes to the ballot on May 17.

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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.”

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By State Treasurer of Arizona Jeff DeWit

Proposition 123 is LESS money for schools and RAISES PROPERTY TAXES

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

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

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

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

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

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Arizona Progress & Gazette: Arizona News, Editorials & Debate