The Conservative's Corner
Improvements to Ariz. Tuition Tax Credit Scholarships await Governor’s signature
HB2483 and HB2153 offer accountability measures and expand the Corporate Tuition Tax Credit programs
PHOENIX (March 31, 2015) — The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, applauds the Arizona Legislature for passing educational choice bills which increase transparency among School Tuition Organizations (STOs) and expand the Corporate Tuition Tax Credit program to include donations from small corporations. HB2483, sponsored by Rep. David Livingston, passed the House this afternoon with a 41 to 19 bipartisan vote. The legislation requires STOs to report on their websites the amount of money awarded to low-income families through private school scholarships. HB2153, sponsored by Rep. Justin Olson, passed the Senate with a vote of 16 to 13. This bill brings parity for small businesses (S-Corps) to have the ability to donate to the state’s Corporate Tuition Tax Credit program which funds STOs.
“We applaud Reps. Livingston and Olson, as well as all of the legislators who voted in favor of improving this crucial scholarship program, which helps Arizona’s high-risk and low-income students,” said Kim Martinez, American Federation for Children communications associate. “The Corporate Tuition Tax Credit program brings opportunity to children who could never afford to attend private school otherwise. Adding more accountability and expanding the funding pool helps secure the program for current and future recipients.”
HB2483 requires School Tuition Organizations to disclose on their website and through Department of Revenue reports, how much money they are in fact using to scholarship low-income children. This transparency allows corporate donors to see which STOs are helping disadvantaged children the most and how much money they are actually giving in low-income based scholarships.
HB2153 allows S-Corps to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to school tuition organizations. This provides many Arizona small businesses with the opportunity to donate to STOs if they so choose and receive the same tax benefit as large corporations.
School Tuition Organizations are required by law to distribute 90 percent of the corporate tax credit donations they receive in the form of scholarships to low-income children.
HB2483 and HB2153 now go to Gov. Ducey for consideration.
The Arizona Federation for Children is a state affiliate of the American Federation for Children.Read more
Monday I announced my campaign for President, and ever since, I've been under constant attack.
You see, the liberal media has called me every name in the book -- attacking me for everything from announcing my campaign at a Christian university to listening to country music.
I want you to see a few of the headlines and just how truly desperate the Left is to discredit and destroy me:Read more
The United States Supreme Court's refusal to hear the challenge against Wisconsin's Voter ID law this week is a victory for common sense, democracy, and the one-person, one-vote principle that anchors our democracy.
When voters cheat and try to cast multiple ballots, it hurts everybody. It cheapens our elections, throws the results into doubt, and tarnishes our democracy.
If you agree, please stand with my conservative grassroots campaign. Your contribution of $10, $35, $50, $100, $175, or even $250 will put you in the front ranks of the growing movement that is doing its utmost to get Wisconsin -- and our nation -- back on track.
Americans feel like we are fighting for our lives. Obama-style Big Government has infiltrated every corner and cranny of our lives. From the government takeover of healthcare to micromanaging our economy, Americans are suffering from too much government. By supporting my campaign, you will say in a loud, clear, conservative voice that Big Government's days will soon be over.
The Liberals' love of Big Government knows no bounds. But every day, conservative leaders prove that small, smart, limited, and Constitution-based government works much better. As Governor of Wisconsin, I took on the Big Government Labor Bosses and we won. Our Walker Administration took on the Democrats' overspending, overtaxing, overregulating, and over-borrowing and we won. Every time the Obama-Clinton Liberals tried to pull us in the Big Government direction, we pushed back hard. And we wonRead more
The Fight for Educational Choice!
AFC is pleased to announce James Carville and Mary Matalin as keynote speakers during the 2015 National Policy Summit May 18-19 in New Orleans, Louisiana!
As residents of Louisiana, Carville and Matalin have seen firsthand the power of educational choice in New Orleans. The husband-wife duo will discuss the importance of choice and challenging the status quo to generate the best outcomes for students.
Register for the 2015 National Policy Summit today to secure your seat at the Summit and to hear from this dynamic duo.Read more
By Sal DiCiccio
Teachers vs Trains: 22,222 new teachers is how much just $1 Billion of the $33 billion transit tax could fund
Results of a newly released poll show the majority of the public is aware of a $33 Billion boondoggle tax, but also believe that funding education is a higher priority than the gargantuan cost of one mile of rail ($161 million/mile). Having a liberal Mayor and liberal majority on the Council does not bode well for the future of fiscal responsibility in the City of Phoenix.
"Those who want to increase funding for K-12 education should oppose the City of Phoenix's rush to the ballot for an increase in its sales tax for transportation...K-12 education should get first dibs on a sales tax increase, even if how and when a proposal might arise is uncertain. Phoenix should stand down." - (Robert Robb, Arizona Republic, 3/1/15)
(Question 6 on a head to head has me 2 points ahead of Mayor Stanton)
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Phoenix City Council
Over the past several months I’ve spent a fair amount of time with governors from both parties. The advice from all of them has been consistent:
"No matter what, get your state’s budget balanced first. Once that’s accomplished then you can tackle everything else.”
Working with the Arizona Legislature we did that this week, passing a budget that puts us on the path to structural balance for the first time since 2007.
It wasn’t easy. We made real reductions to government spending and accomplished permanent decisions that reform government – rather than just biting around the edges.
Not only will we have a leaner government; we’ll have a better one, more accountable to the taxpayers.
And we did all this WITHOUT raising taxes.
Naturally, the spending lobby and special interests don’t like it. They just assume government gets bigger and spends more.
I happen to believe government shouldn’t spend money that doesn’t exist.Read more
Former Scottsdale City Councilman Bob Littlefield and failed Republican candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives thinks Scottsdale is a terrible place to live and be. Just listen to him. When he’s not sounding Area 51 he makes Scottsdale sound like Blythe. If you think our community Hades Bob is your guy.
Now he’s running for Mayor. We’re sorry to spend so much time of late on Littlefield but we’re a little like comedians blessed by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. The content is just so rich, so long, so hypocritical.
Take for example Littlefield’s raison d’etre. It’s that the little guy can’t get a break in Scottsdale, notwithstanding that the city was just recognized as a great place to start a business. But for Bob’s magnificence the struggling would never have a voice. You’d think he had even started Vista del Camino, although like many things that run contrary to his narrative he had nothing to do with it. You’d think he’d be embarrassed carrying on his message after having participated in the most outrageous evisceration of Scottsdale citizen rights in the past two decades; that being when he enacted an “emergency clause” to stop a public vote on the densest project in city history at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
Scottsdale has some great historians within its midst that often take the time to write about our history, and its application to our future.
But it doesn’t take a historian to remember when Littlefield’s hypocrisy was on full display yet again.
Let us take you back to late 2005 and early 2006. Facing his first re-election test Littlefield engaged in political skullduggery to deep six a citizen activist from challenging him. His deceit (and that of others) became the topic of a stinging Scottsdale Republic editorial critique that can be reviewed HERE.Read more
*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is showing a lot of resilience as he tries to become the Republican nominee in Arizona’s First Congressional District. That’s according to a new poll out this week albeit by his own pollster. In boxing terms we’re going to find out what kind of chin Babeu has when the pointed attacks about his private life get leveled this year. But what’s underappreciated is what kind of outside help Babeu may get in return from socially liberal Republicans looking to install the first openly gay Republican in Congress.
*Speaking of Congress, former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley announced a run for seat of retiring Congressman Matt Salmon. If Stapley won he might have the distinction of having the best (or worst) toupee in DC.
*Bob Littlefield is a bad bet for Mayor of Scottsdale. Guy Phillips is a better bet for City Council. Guy would be wise to be his own guy and not side-saddle with Littlefield whose collapse during his 2014 race for the Arizona House of Representatives is now part of local legend.
*Tom Simplot is amassing a formidable armada for his expected run for Phoenix Mayor in 2019.Read more
Through three terms and twelve years on the Scottsdale City Council there stood Kathy Littlefield, next to her office holding husband Bob. Never one to interrupt, never one to take the limelight from him.
But as Bob realized term limits were approaching in 2014 he decided he couldn’t live without a political title. He ran for the Arizona House of Representatives. At the same time Kathy decided to enter the Scottsdale City Council race. The thinking went she would replace him and he would gain import anew at the State Capitol. Power couple!
But something strange happened along the way. Bob got trounced in the Republican primary because he’s not much of a Republican. And Kathy won a council seat by just dozens of votes.Read more
In making our point here we certainly don’t mean to imply the Scottsdale City Council to be the Seven Dwarfs. Indeed, many of them stand tall to make the city the envy of the country. Many of them would be standouts on any city council.
But when Bob Littlefield served on the same City Council until being defeated several years ago as a Republican candidate for the State House of Representatives there’s no doubt he was Grumpy. And that was OK. Scottsdale is best served when there is a variety of opinion on the dais.
Now he wants to be Mayor. But when it comes to being such can anyone really picture Bob Littlefield espousing at a State of the City? Negotiating with a new company to land within our midst? Watching Milli Vanilli at the Milan Opera House might be more likely.
Bob’s not just Grumpy. He can be downright mean. Like the time he bludgeoned local pastor Andre Wadsworth during council remarks.
It’s not that a Scottsdale Mayor shouldn’t have a temper. Sometime one is needed to light a fire under bureaucrats or play hardball in negotiations. But Littlefield is just so foreign to the happy warriors that have occupied the office.
Whether one agreed or disagreed with Herb Drinkwater, Mary Manross, Sam Campana or Jim Lane just to name the more recent ones they served with a smile and a sobriety, unlike Littlefield who would do so with scorn and more lubriciousness.Read more
Over two decades ago you couldn’t escape local news about Maricopa County government. When it wasn’t teetering on the edge of bankruptcy it was in the crosshairs of a fierce debate over a proposed sales tax to fund a new baseball stadium for Jerry Colangelo. Bob Mohan was making a big name for himself skewering pro-stadium politicos on KFYI and Supervisor Wilcox even got shot in the butt by a troubled taxpayer.
Is history repeating itself? The county is certainly back in the news in a big way.
First, was the Presidential Primary Election voting fiasco. Then there was the brush back pitch from the Diamondbacks about funding a new stadium, or paying sufficiently to refurbish this one.
Tomorrow however they get an easier one. As outlined today on the editorial pages of the Arizona Republic (here is a link) one of the more benevolent uses within its jurisdiction is the Southwest Wildlife Rehabilitation Center just east of Scottsdale. There a wonderful woman has cared for animals that can’t care for themselves, just as she has for 22 years. And there a neighbor who moved in just several years ago is trying to shut them down. His name is David Seth Gortler and he’s proving himself to be the clown prince of NIMBYs.
Fortunately, Gortler is a party of one. A worldwide petition will be presented to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Wednesday with over 185,000 signatures, and climbing. The petition encourages its 5 members to grant the approvals that will remove the hardships and uncertainty caused by Gortler’s litigation and hypocrisy.
At a time when Maricopa County is facing fierce criticism there is no better opportunity to earn back some kudos, and justifiably so, than standing up for one of the finest causes in the Valley today.Read more
We don’t bemoan any working boy in the public affairs world. But when an outlet proves to be as open to conversion as the Sonoran Alliance has of late on energy policy it is a bit conspicuous, if not obviously a case of promiscuous politics.
You see, it was once upon a time that Sonoran Alliance talked of “crony capitalism” not as a critique of solar companies but that Arizona utilities were abusing their monopoly status to squelch competition from these emerging tech companies. The blog wrote about utilities then, much as its contributors do about Uber, or as Ted Cruz might describe the nation’s capital: a cartel in need of some challenge. After all, solar companies don’t enjoy nearly the subsidies utilities do, most especially the biggest subsidy of all: monopoly status. We could opine further but there’s really no need as there is really only one dynamic in this debate to highlight the blog’s hypocrisy: money. Taxi drivers and utilities occupy the same intellectual property yet one has sufficient money to interrupt traditional behavior, and one does not.
So when the Sonoran Alliance starts paying attention to Arizona Corporation Commission hearings in Lake Havasu City and criticizing ratepayers there revolting against the Canadian utility monopoly’s plans to lighten everyone’s wallets (Here is a link) we thinks it’s not too hard to imagine what’s going on.
To further enforce our point it would be easy to make reference to a movie, say something like Pretty Woman. But that would be too easy, like Julia Roberts’ character was. After all, she ended up being likable and informative, like Sonoran Alliance has been until late. In fact, Vivian Ward was particularly insightful about Philip Stuckey. Readers will recall him as Richard Gere’s sidekick who was overbearing, ruthless and obnoxious. Come to think of it that sounds a lot like Arizona’s utilities today. Just as they found a way to fend off Arizona Republicans once upon a time like Brenda Burns, Bob Burns and even Gary Pierce who wanted to introduce more choice into Arizona electricity markets, they are now attempting a 1-2 punch with “demand charges” and solar tariffs to again knock out any semblance of competition.Read more
There are few nicer people in Scottsdale than Kathy Littlefield. Or as irascible as Bob Littlefield. Scottsdale should not be their guinea pig and allow Bob to serve as Mayor (he’s a longshot candidate) while Kathy serves as a Councilwoman. The plethora of open meeting law violation possibilities and other legal problems would likely be long while civic tempers grow short at the weirdness their ways would mean for the city. But that doesn’t mean their collective efforts in other areas can’t be applauded.
Take what they did for the struggling residents of the Wheel Inn Ranch Trailer park. As reported by the Scottsdale Independent the couple along with Councilman Guy Phillips and others stepped up for some people who needed it most.Read more
Old people like to drink too. That was manifested in Scottsdale for many years at a place called Chances Are. There it sat on Miller Road, just south of Camelback and across from a lot of residences. It became to septuagenarians in the area what Studio 54 once was to the Big Apple.
Back then we didn’t hear many complaints about bars in that part of town. Maybe that’s why city leaders wisely called for siting more bars and clubs in an “Entertainment District” east of Scottsdale Road, not too far from Chances Are. Such would leave downtown neighborhoods to the west of Scottsdale Road more for dining establishments. The locale of places like Jetz, Stix, Planet Earth, The Works and Anderson’s Fifth Estate would be no more. It seemed to be wise planning. And everyone signed on.
Then something impressive happened. Small business people started creating compelling places for younger people like Axis, Radius, El Hefe, Maya, W Hotel, Martini Ranch, Maloney’s, DJs and many others just where the city wanted them. Scottsdale’s Entertainment District started resembling the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. The planning worked. Too well for some as it turned out.
Soon the calls to revoke permits and deny more small businesses in the area occurred. It’s as if they were Soviets, not Smith as in Adam. We don’t want to be sleepy or sensational so let’s just be injudicious.Read more
We have opined before that one of Scottsdale’s great strengths over the years has been an enduring, mature governing majority. While Scottsdale’s political schizophrenia often yields a Littlefield or Zraket it doesn’t usually flush sanity or common sense when decisions come to the dais.
This can be difficult when neighborhood unrest is significant. But it’s in those times having a council consisting of accomplished individuals makes all the difference. Scottsdale isn’t Glendale. They know having succeeded in business and life what it takes to move an organization forward. And despite political turbulence from time to time keeping the ship steady and prosperous is more important to the community’s quality of life than being a lurch for a loud, micro-minority.
The upcoming decision on Rancho Paraiso is a case in point. West of Scottsdale Road and along Cactus a new ranch is being proposed on six acres. Keep in mind this is an area of horse properties. Keep in mind it would hardly be Scottsdale’s largest ranch. Keep in mind the neighbors closest to the site including Arizona Diamondbacks’ legend Luis Gonzales support Rancho Paraiso. At a time of Scottsdale recently losing Greasewood Flat, Pinnacle Peak Patio and other “western” elements the case on its surface has all the making of an easy, unanimous council vote. Indeed, it SHOULD be a unanimous vote.
Yet, a separate contingent of neighbors despite living amongst horses don’t want more of them. The whole thing is odd.
But in the governing tradition mentioned above Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven has been attempting to mediate a compromise. She’s tough, she’s independent and she has a particular view of what drives Scottsdale forward. Voters must like her approach. She was rewarded as the top vote getter in the 2014 city council elections despite being targeted with negative advertisements.
Backers of the ranch proposal are well known Phoenicians. And when it comes to superb equestrian facilities this isn’t their first rodeo. They can be seen at the couple’s Promontory community in Park City.
At the suggestion of a neighbor who used to be an opponent but who is now a supporter the applicant has significantly reduced the number of horse stalls for the ranch to 48 with an additional requirement that it only be allowed to gain that number if it is fulfilling all promises, and is in compliance after one year. Until then the number of stalls is 38. Sounds pretty reasonable since there are much larger ranches east of the 101 on the Cactus Corridor. New stipulations have also been agreed to at the request of other neighbors.
But in a middle finger flip to Milhaven and the spirit of compromise some neighbors have responded with requests that look something like it was proffered by the Castros in Cuba not common sense near Cactus.Read more
What the Thunderbirds are to the Waste Management Phoenix Open the Charros are to Scottsdale spring training.
They put on great events and raise ridiculous sums of money for local charities. They are civic service at their best.
That’s why we were pleased to read this story recently in the Scottsdale Independent about Dennis Robbins becoming the new executive director of the Charros.
If there were ever a person to match the organization’s benevolence it would be the former Scottsdale City Councilman. Look up “good guy” and there you will find Robbins’ picture. Scottsdale may have lost a councilman when he was surprisingly defeated in the 2014 elections but it just gained a lot more.
In fact, we can’t think of a better fit, unless it’s baseball and beer, something Robbins will help oversee now at Scottsdale Stadium every March.
As we have written about before there is much to be excited about if you’re living in or focused on south Scottsdale. From exciting new redevelopments at 64th Street and McDowell to the success of Sky Song and even a relatively new microbrewery the marketplace is abuzz about this revitalizing area. The location is superb, proximate to recreational and transportation amenities. The housing stock, both old and new, is diverse. Indeed, the new residential options coming into the area from cool apartments to new single family at the old Paddock Pools site on Thomas Road will bring the additional customers that have been needed for years for new stores and restaurants.
Yet, southern Scottsdale residents have felt a bit disenfranchised over the past two decades because rarely does one of their own sit on the council dais. Oh, there was Kevin Osterman who did win one election before losing another some 12 years ago. And some will remember Robert Pettycrew defying the odds in 1994.
That’s two people in 22 years. This year all members of the Scottsdale City Council live Shea or northwards. That doesn’t mean the southern city doesn’t get due attention. It clearly does as described above. But why not discuss and debate how city representation can get even better?
Well, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane did just that today with an announcement that he wants to reform city governance with a new, dedicated south Scottsdale council district. And have one for the distinct personalities of the central and northern part of the cities too.
He’s calling it a “hybrid” district system that would leave the Mayor and the three remaining members of council to be elected at large. Here is a Scottsdale Independent article on Lane’s plan.Read more
We believe Arizona voters should pass Governor Ducey’s landmark Proposition 123 on May 17th to settle lawsuits over the state’s K-12 public education system. It’s a $3.5 billion injection of new money without raising taxes. The new revenues come from future sales of state land.
The measure is an impressive, bi-partisan compromise.
Yet, some who have jumped on board, primarily from the left, want to hold it hostage as they ratchet up the rhetoric against an effort in the Arizona State Legislature to expand school choice.
Pass expanded student options they say and we may – or will – abandon support for Proposition 123 their threats go.Read more
By Virginia Korte
There is no bigger success story in the city than the resurgence of our downtown area. It is truly inspiring.
Not long ago people joked that we rolled up our downtown sidewalks at sunset. It was a short 15 years ago that our downtown had boarded up buildings and tumbleweeds were literally blowing down the street. I even remember when the canal banks were just dusty trails full of trash.
All that has changed.
Today, galleries, restaurants and entertainment venues have created a vibrant area full of energy morning, noon and night. Downtown has grown from what was once only a tourist attraction to where people now live, work, enjoy the finest restaurants and experience fine arts and culture (not to mention the best shopping in town!).Read more
It's been my honor serving as Paradise Valley Mayor these past fifteen months. Together with other elected and non-elected volunteers, staff and participating residents we've had significant achievement and are making progress on things that are important to Paradise Valley residents.
Today I proudly volunteer to serve as your mayor for another two years!
I hope that I have earned your support. My performance and actions as your mayor, vice mayor, council member, and planning commissioner are well documented. I've provided examples at PVMayorCollins.com. You can watch my performance first hand on archived town council meeting videos.
Please do me three favors if you support my re-election as Paradise Valley Mayor.
- REPLY to this email saying that you support my re-election.
- SIGN MY PETITION. You can only sign one candidate's petition for mayor.
- RE-ELECT MICHAEL COLLINS for Paradise Valley Mayor.
That's it. I'm not fundraising and I won't flood you with political advertising. My actions and achievements in office these past fifteen months should speak for themselves. I am a businessman not a politician. I seek no other office and feel that serving as your mayor is the ultimate honor that no other office could compare to.Read more
PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio today endorsed Proposition 123 because it's a conservative plan that invests in our teachers and students, and will ensure Arizona's kids have the funding they need to receive a great education.
“We can make Arizona safer by better educating our kids," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "We need to invest in our teachers and students. That’s why I’m proud to support Prop 123. It’s a conservative plan to put $3.5 billion into public schools, and it doesn’t raise our taxes.”
"Sheriff Arpaio's endorsement furthers the argument that Prop 123 is a common sense solution to funding our schools," Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. "This initiative will put $3.5 billion into our classrooms over the next 10 years without raising taxes. It's a creative solution that even the most conservative Arizonans are supporting. Join Sheriff Arpaio and me on May 17 as we vote YES on Proposition 123."Read more
By Ken Bennett
I’m sure you’ve seen some of the news coverage regarding the presidential preference election on Tuesday. Numerous voters experienced long lines and waited hours to cast their vote, many staying at polling locations close to 11 PM. As Arizona election officials found out, conducting elections is a complicated and challenging task. Being Secretary of State isn’t easy.
Serving as the highest election official in Arizona is one of my proudest accomplishments. As Secretary of State, we efficiently conducted two primary, two general and a successful presidential preference election while ensuring we maintained the integrity of elections. I fought hard to protect voter ID laws in Arizona to prevent fraud and abuse all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. I reduced our budget while maintaining efficiency and protected domestic violence victims with our “Address Confidentiality Program”.
But of all the things we got done during my time as Secretary of State, I’m most proud of our commitment to service. I was speaking with a former employee of mine recently and she told me what impacted her most was my decision to remove all automated menus from our telephone system. I made that decision because I was committed to ensuring every voter spoke to a live person when they called our office - because that’s the level of service voters deserve!
I am committed to providing that same spirit of service to you as your Congressman for Arizona’s First Congressional District. I will fight for you, each and every day, to make sure we get America working again.
PHOENIX — State Senator Bob Worsley has endorsed Proposition 123 citing the massive influx of new dollars for K-12 public schools without raising taxes.
“$3.5 billion in K-12 funding without raising taxes and nearly unanimous Senate and House support — It doesn't get any better than that," State Senator Bob Worsley said. "Kids win with this plan. Join me in supporting Prop 123.”
“Our schools need more funding, and a YES vote on Proposition 123 will not only give them funding now, but it will provide our K-12 public schools stability for the next decade,” Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. “This initiative will help teachers and students across the state succeed in the classroom, and we are thrilled to have Senator Worsley's support.”Read more
PHOENIX — Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours has endorsed Proposition 123 citing that the measure will help Flagstaff schools succeed in the future.
“Personally, I think Prop 123 is the right thing for Flagstaff and the state," Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours said. "In the last four years the city of Flagstaff has purchased $8.1 million of state trust land to preserve as open space. It is great to see that money invested in the land trust, and see some of that money come back to our schools in Flagstaff and other schools around the state. Prop 123 will distribute 3.5 billion dollars to teachers and students without raising taxes. I'm voting yes."Read more
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