The Conservative's Corner
Governor Scott Walker will sign legislation to make Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state, prohibiting employees from being forced to join a union against their will. It's the right thing to do for job creators and employees alike.
But you know how it is: It threatens the power the Big Government Labor Bosses crave and they are going to come after him with everything they've got.
These are the same union bosses who mounted a multi-million dollar recall race against Governor Walker in 2012. As much as they did to crush him then, now, they will do even more. We are once again rallying help from conservatives across the country. Please stand with Governor Walker with a contribution of $10, $35, $50, $100, $250, or whatever amount is right for you today so that he has the resources to fight back and respond with the truth.
Governor Walker is a conservative champion. He is a bold reformer who dares to take on the Big Government Labor Unions and he wins. He has taken the reins of power away from the bosses and put the taxpayers back in charge.
The results are there for all to see: more jobs ... lower taxes ... a balanced budget ... effective government. What bothers the Big Government Labor Bosses the most is that Governor Walker says what he means, does what he says, and gets great results.
Now the attacks he will face will be unlike anything you have ever seen before and he needs your help more than ever.
Show him you support his "Right to Work" effort all the way. Help him move Wisconsin -- and America -- forward. Your financial leadership is critical, Jason. Please make your contribution right now for $10 or $100 or even $1,000.
Anything you can do would be a big help and greatly appreciated.
P.S. Enacting big bold reforms takes guts. Taking on the Big Government Labor Bosses takes courage. Governor Walker knows that making Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state is the right thing to do. Tell him you agree with a generous contribution today.Read more
Ban Gifts Now - Ethics Reform Now
by Sal DiCiccio
Just like you, Phoenix is excited to see the Super Bowl come to town. However, the game should not be an exciting opportunity for politicians to “score free game tickets.” Mayor Stanton promised a gift ban/ethics reform 1,110 days ago-but nothing has happened. Nothing. He even went on to promise implementing a ban before the Super Bowl, so that the politicians would be on notice.
Promises Made Must be Kept!!!!
I having been pushing a new ethics requirement for politicians at Phoenix City Hall for some time and like you was promised by the Mayor it would happen. See the photo above that is on the hall wall of my office - for everyone to see.
It looks like only public pressure on Mayor Stanton will get this across the goal line and make him keep his promise to you and your family. Please call or write and demand that Mayor Stanton enact a gift ban PRIOR to the Super Bowl.
From my family to yours,
Phoenix City Council
District 6Read more
Former U.S. Congressman to lead organization's efforts to educate and inspire future leaders
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (January 6, 2015) - The Joe Foss Institute Board of Directors has named Frank Riggs the new President and CEO of the Joe Foss Institute (JFI). The mission of JFI is to restore civics education in K-12 schools and ensure that all high school graduates are ready for active, engaged citizenship.
Riggs will also head JFI's affiliate, the Civics Proficiency Institute (CPI), which has launched a national campaign called the Civics Education Initiative to encourage all 50 states to adopt the United States Citizenship Civics Test, the test all new U.S. citizens must pass, as a condition of high school graduation.
Riggs succeeds Dr. Lucian Spataro, who has joined an on-line education technology company as its president and COO. Spataro will remain on the JFI and CPI boards, and serve as co-chair of JFI's annual fundraiser, Stars in Service.
"I look forward to the challenge and opportunity to build on the solid foundation at JFI," Riggs said. "As CEO, my priorities will be expanding and branding JFI as the national leader for civics education, advocacy and engagement, and inspiring future generations to public service."
JFI Board Chairman Sandy Froman said, "While I am saddened that Lucian has chosen to depart, I am ecstatic that he is remaining on both boards and that we have someone of Frank's caliber to fill his shoes. Frank brings years of leadership experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and is ideally suited to take the Joe Foss Institute to the next level and move the Civics Education Initiative forward."Read more
Dear Friend of Educational Choice,
Voters reject the status quo in education. They applaud bold change for children, and they want more.
That’s the message voters sent last week in the dramatic midterm election results. In each of the states where the American Federation for Children’s affiliated political committees engaged, we were able to help elect or protect many school choice policymakers to state legislative office.
• AFC and its political committees invested in a total of 259 races, including both the 2014 primary and general elections.
• Our spending totaled $4.5 million highly targeted dollars to defend, strengthen, or create school choice-friendly legislatures in nine states.
• 91 percent of our endorsed candidates won their races in the general election, and 80 percent won in the primary.
• Governors who have boldly stood up for vouchers, tax credit choice programs, and charter school expansion were re-elected, despite well-funded and relentless opposition from the teachers’ union. Governors Scott Walker (WI), John Kasich (OH), Rick Scott (FL) and Nathan Deal (GA) all won.
Governor Rick Scott’s victory in Florida is particularly striking, as his margin of victory matches the increased number of African-Americans who voted for him this election (compared to 2010). After the teachers union and school boards association sued to stop the new Education Savings Account and existing, bipartisan-supported tax credit scholarship program, Democratic candidate and former Governor Charlie Crist flip-flopped and became an opponent of these programs after having previously supported them as Governor, forcing the issue into the center of the campaign. Our Florida affiliate worked aggressively to inform parents of the nearly 70,000 scholarship program students of Crist’s support for the lawsuit that would take away their child’s scholarship.Read more
By Bill McInturff
Public Opinion Strategies' Election Night Poll shows the 2014 election was defined by major dissatisfaction about the direction of the country, the economy, and President Obama:
1. On Election Day, roughly two-thirds (65%) of voters said the country is headed off on the wrong track.
2. The weekend before the election 64% of voters said they were dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy.
3. In the national exit polls, President Obama's job approval was 44% on Election Day, exactly matching his job approval on Election Day in 2010.
4. By a roughly two-to-one margin, people say they voted as a signal to oppose rather than to support President Obama (17% support/32% oppose).
5. Republicans enjoyed a six point edge on the generic vote for Congress (52% saying they voted for the Republican candidate for Congress compared to 46% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate for Congress).
6. In the national exit polls, Republicans carried White men by an even wider margin in 2014 than in 2010 (64% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/33% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate this cycle compared to 62%/34% in 2010).
7. While not quite as high as in 2010, Republicans captured White women by a comfortable double-digit margin this cycle (56% saying they voted for the Republican candidate/43% saying they voted for the Democratic candidate in 2014 compared to 58%/39% in 2010 according to national exit polls).Read more
By Elect Bolick for Arizona
As you may know, we won the Legislative District 28 (LD 28) House primary. Thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers, endorsers, and donors. Without you our win would not have been possible.
The general election battle is tough, but winnable. LD 28 is the only Arizona legislative district carried by Mitt Romney that is represented by a Democrat. The Democratic incumbent barely edged out the Republican nominee two years ago.
Where the Democrat has the edge is cash on hand. While I had a tough primary, he faced no opponent. I saved a significant amount for the general election, but our opponent starts with a 3-1 money edge. We need to replenish our campaign funds to win -- and quickly, given the short time remaining between now and Election Day on Tuesday, November 4th.
The policy differences between myself and our Democratic opponent are stark. He opposes all forms of school choice, while I support it passionately. He is a reliable vote for higher taxes and bigger government; I oppose both. He even voted against Right to Try, which would give terminally ill patients the right to access drugs through their physicians that could save or extend their lives.Read more
Arizona State University is coming to downtown Mesa, after it already helped revitalize downtown Phoenix.
A big new regional park is coming to Gilbert, following the resurgence of its downtown.
The expansion and enhancement of Margaret Hance Park in Phoenix is impressive.
It begs the question does Scottsdale still need big ideas of its own to move the community forward? There’s a good argument it does not for it already boasts the likes of a massive preserve, recreational wash, renowned special events, the state’s best shopping mecca and a dynamic downtown.
But there are other smart opinions that no community can rest on its laurels because as Ricky Bobby might observe, if you’re not first you’re last.
A coterie of tourism leaders often point to the Desert Discovery Center as one such idea for Scottsdale. We view it more as innate inertia. Just because an idea has been around awhile doesn’t make it good, or novel. We have a Desert Botanical Garden. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve and its trailheads are already amazing. Do we really need people and buildings to preach what nature and wildlife already make obvious? After all, people don’t go to the Grand Canyon for the Hopi House.
To spark a discussion on what could or should be the next big thing in Scottsdale next we proffer several ideas:
*Taliesin West, the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, is already one of the great tourist attractions in Scottsdale and indeed, the state. It is currently pursuing designation as a World Heritage Site from the United Nations. Look up the list. To be included with such giants as the Taj Mahal and Pyramids would mean instant additional prestige for the city, as well as significant economic impact. The city should be doing everything it can to assist the process.Read more
He Chuckled Like Jabba The Hut Before He Killed Citizen Rights
Avid Star Wars fans will remember Jabba The Hutt’s laughter at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.
That’s the way many probably feel after reading former Scottsdale City Councilman, defeated State Legislative candidate and current Scottsdale Mayoral candidate Bob Littlefield’s recent tome.
After resembling Grumpy during the early days of his quixotic quest to join his wife on the Scottsdale City Council, Littlefield proffers a sunnier disposition outlining some of the things that are good about Scottsdale before assigning responsibility alone to residents – not businesses – who helped make them happen.
President Obama is in Cuba this week. Littlefield’s reasoning reminds us a bit of Che Guevara. Or Bernie Sanders, who was in Phoenix this week. People good. Business bad. It sounds more like Sweden than Scottsdale.Read more
As soon as Willard “Mitt” Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts he began running for President. After losing the GOP nomination in 2008 he immediately started running again. After being the nominee in 2012 he lost a winnable general election. Then he started calling upon his inner Adlai Stevenson (a 3-time loser for the Democratic nomination for President) and quietly embarked on plans for a third Oval Office run.
But then the early Jeb Bush juggernaut – to be confused with the later “low energy” WASP -- scared him out.
But that hasn’t stopped the wily Willard, always on the look out for himself. After enthusiastically embracing Donald Trump in 2012 Wily Willy now sees opposition to him as a bank shot to the banks of the Potomac. These efforts continue on the eve of Arizona's presidential primary as well as one in Utah.Read more
By Scottsdale City Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp
There is little about City Council meetings that I cannot tolerate. I support freedom of speech and welcome people to come to the City Kiva and express their opinions about many subjects. My patience is very well established.
Fault me if you want, but enough is enough when a Satanist group, not even based in Scottsdale, wants to disrupt our meetings by giving an invocation to the entire Council meeting audience. And it is certain this will be a disruption.
The group applied to come to the meeting in April, then backed off when the city administration approved the request. It was obvious the group was just testing our response. We had a slight reprieve, until they came back with another request recently and were given July 6 as the date to be at the Council meeting.Read more
By Former Scottsdale City Councilwoman Betty Drake
Scottsdale, the “West’s Most Western Town,” is a place with a long tradition of welcoming and supporting the horse community. From its earliest days, there were horse ranches, horse shows, polo, rodeo, horse communities and horse trainers, many right in the middle of residential areas. Horses are part of Scottsdale’s image and culture.
Today, people lament erosion of the horse community in Scottsdale, as horse ranches leave and equestrian properties are subdivided. Areas of the city where traditionally horse ownership was high and local trails maintained are being eroded, with people moving in who block off the trails, do not own horses and often object to those who do.
The neighborhood where the Najafi Ranch is proposed has been a treasure for horse-lovers. Many people keep horses on their properties. There’s a community horse arena at Mescal Park and remnants of the internal trail system. Throughout the neighborhood, though, horse properties are being replaced with homes you could find anywhere in town. The area is in danger of losing its unique history and identity.
There have been many horse ranch and training facilities located within residential areas of Scottsdale. I have kept horses at some of these and have taken lessons at others over my 45+ years in the Valley, 30 of those years spent in Scottsdale. Look at Flying Fox Farm, Heitel Ranch, Jeffrey Wilms Training, and Camelot Farms. Looking along the Cactus Corridor.
Sandspur, at Cactus and 93rd Street, is a large facility that has been there many years, with arenas right next to single-family non-horsey homes. I boarded there and it was wonderful to be able to drive less than 10 minutes to ride. At one point it was rezoned as a subdivision but a horse-loving individual bought the property so the equine uses could remain. Other properties along Cactus have not been so lucky.
Pretty Penny Ranch was a large boarding and training ranch located in a residential area. When Pretty Penny announced that it was closing so the land could be turned into a subdivision, the horse community was up in arms.
Piece by piece. Property by property. The horses are being squeezed out of Scottsdale.
I’m a life-long horse person who just plain hates to see this happen. I can’t understand why the horse people aren’t storming the public hearings demanding that the Najafi Ranch be approved. Sure, 52 horses sounds like a lot on paper, but go look at a training barn with that many horses. It’s a reasonable number. It’s two barns.
I’ve known Francis Najafi for over 20 years. He’s a guy who does things right. There will be state-of-the-art dust control, fly control, construction and maintenance. As is typical of training ranches, a capable, professional manager will live on-property to assure that the highest standards are maintained. Najafi Ranch will be a magnificent, showcase facility, a considerable investment in our horse community and a statement that the City is committed to preserving Scottsdale’s signature horse culture.
Are all developer requests for rezonings good? Of course not. But nor are they all bad as Scottsdale’s current and former councilmembers Kathy Littlefield, Bob Littlefield and Guy Phillips often wax ineloquent.
Take this article in today’s Scottsdale Republic. The revitalization of McDowell Road has perplexed city planners and authorities for years. But progress is finally at hand. From SkySong to Fate Brewing Company to this new effort at 64th Street and McDowell to transform shuttered car dealerships into a mixed-use project. What an exciting time for the corridor.
The developer behind the Entrada plan and property is one of Arizona’s wealthiest individuals. He’s realizing as others have understood that this parcel, this area, is both blessed and underappreciated.
A quick shot west on McDowell takes you to the Loop 202. A bit further east is the 101. Across the street is Papago Park. And the Desert Botanical Garden. And the Phoenix Zoo. And the Papago Golf Course. Just further south is the old Phoenix Municipal Stadium and the new home of ASU baseball. Mill Avenue is a short drive away as is the energy of downtown Scottsdale. Be in the middle of it all isn’t a marketing slogan, it’s reality.Read more
*The property currently housing The Saguaro Hotel in downtown Scottsdale may be on the market
*His new Mission? Chef extraordinaire Matt Carter is said to be joining forces with Scottsdale restaurant and bar Hall of Famer Mark Drinkwater for a new venture at Scottsdale & Lincoln
*Want to live at the new Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley? The project’s first advertisements debuted locally last week
*With State Representative Justin Olson’s decision to challenge Senate President Andy Bigg’s run to replace retiring U.S.Congressman Matt Salmon it means Governor Doug Ducey will have all-new legislative leadership to deal with next year as Olson was the presumptive Speaker to be.Read more
By nearly all accounts Arizona State Senator Debbie Lesko is an impressive public servant. She takes on tough issues like pension reform. And she gets results. That’s why her peers are rightfully considering her along with Steve Yarbrough and John Kavanagh to succeed Andy Biggs as the next State Senate President.
She’s conservative without being crazy. All this being said her philosophical inconsistency on one matter is loco, though impressively supple.
Amidst the current legislative session we are glad to see her sponsoring legislation preventing cities from curtailing Airbnb rentals. After all, she argues, people should have the right to choose where they stay and homeowner’s likewise should be able to enjoy sharing economy property rights. Her mooring on the subject is surely related to her affinity for school and health care choice.
Yet, Lesko’s impressive fidelity to conservatively rooted choice breaks down when it comes to energy matters. There she untethers herself from consistency. On this subject she strangely travels to the likes of TEP and Arizona Public Service who have somehow convinced her to pay no attention to the ideological droids she would mostly look for when it comes to solar choice.
How does one argue for all the matters above yet sponsor a strangulation of Arizona solar via new legislation SB1417 as one of her measures does, at the same time she touts Airbnb or a statewide voucher plan?Read more
Every day we go to work to make money or make a difference. Those who work in our national parks, monuments and forests likely fall into the latter category. They are there to be the custodians of God’s creativity and grace. Getting to work at Grand Canyon National Park or the adjoining Kaibab National Forrest is the pinnacle, for many, of such dedication.
There, everyone from rangers to superintendents is reminded of what President Theodore Roosevelt once said about the area:
“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”Read more
He was so influential and impactful while head of the Scottsdale Cultural Council he was referred to as the “8th councilman.”
And judging by this recent article in the Phoenix New Times, Scottsdale needs someone like Frank Jacobson now. Big time.
We’re not as dour as the New Times. After all, Scottsdale’s public art program remains second to no Valley city. And emerging events like Canal Convergence – or this weekend’s Scottsdale Arts Festival -- remind us of Scottsdale’s artistic soul, and how it can be enriched further.
There’s no doubt Scottsdale remains a great arts city. But there’s also no doubt that online sales, recent economic challenges and even accusations that special events hurt galleries are challenging the city’s private and public cultural scene too.Read more
As Mitt Romney laid early plans for a 2008 presidential run he was spending a lot of time in Arizona. To raise money. And to pin rival John McCain down in his home state more than he would have liked.
Romney sought a key endorsement: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He got it. Arizona. Iowa. Whatever the Romney campaign needed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” was there. While Arpaio and McCain have hardly been close over the years going against your state’s U.S. Senator isn’t a political move without consequence.
Romney lost the primary to McCain in 2008, then became buddies with him. Nothing wrong with that. But there was a few years later when Romney treated Arpaio during his 2012 efforts like a leper, so as not to upset McCain.Read more
Scottsdale is the “West’s Most Western Town” but some neighbors (hardly all) want to stop that notion west of Scottsdale Road, along Cactus.
As we have written about before there is the place a renowned businessman and his wife hope to build an equestrian paradise on six acres called Rancho Paraiso.
It seems a natural fit for a community that has lost a few Stetsons in recent years. But some neighbors are actually opposing the first-class facility because 50 horses there would create too much “poop.” That’s not a joke. In an area dominated by horse properties that collectively stable hundreds of horses they are actually complaining about steaming nuggets.
That’s a little like someone living in the desert complaining about coyotes. Whoops, we already have one of those neighbors poignantly picked apart by this recent opinion piece in the Arizona Republic. Here is a link. Perhaps Seth Gortler and Todd Eden will oppose the McDowell Sonoran Preserve next.
More equestrian properties in Scottsdale are a good thing. Indeed, a massive horse property on Cactus east of the 101 called Sandspur Ranch is the anchor of that area. It has a whopping 205 horse stalls as opposed to the 52 proposed at “Najafi Ranch.” It’s been there for decades. And guess what? When it sought to expand in 1987 how many complaints were there? Zero. How many complaints are there about the property now? Zero.
How many complaints will there be about a premier equestrian facility like Rancho Paraiso after it opens? Zero. But that’s not what will happen to property values. They will rise. And Scottsdale’s western heritage will be enriched. Just as it has been with Sandspur Ranch.Read more
There is nothing more important to our economy than building an education system that prepares every child for success. That’s why I support Proposition 123 – an important next step to strengthening our schools.
Watch this video to learn more about what Proposition 123 will do to strengthen our schools and invest in our children’s education:
You can follow the campaign @YesProp123 or www.yesprop123.com.
When it comes to education, let’s put partisan politics aside and do what’s right by our kids. Let’s lift our economy and strengthen our schools by voting yes on Proposition 123.
Greg StantonRead more
PHOENIX — Congressman Matt Salmon today endorsed Proposition 123 citing the stability it will give teachers and students over the next 10 years.
“Supporting Proposition 123 is a no-brainer. By getting more money to our public schools without raising taxes, Prop 123 fulfills the mission of the land trust and builds on the successes we’ve already experienced,” Congressman Matt Salmon said. “This initiative will provide $3.5 billion for our schools and our students over the next 10 years — that’s money and stability they need. Join me in voting yes on May 17.”
"This initiative is thrilled to have Congressman Salmon's endorsement," Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. "Getting this money to our teachers and students is absolutely crucial to the public education system in the state of Arizona. Our students and teachers need stability, and putting $3.5 billion into public schools over the next 10 years gives them that. This is a win-win for Arizona, we're putting money into schools without raising taxes."Read more
By Let's Vote Yes For Arizona's Schools
PHOENIX — District One legislators Steve Pierce and Karen Fann today endorsed Proposition 123 citing the initiative's solution to getting public school districts money they need now without raising taxes.
“Through using our Arizona State Land Trust for its intended use, we will start rebuilding and providing our education system with an immediate fix,” State Senator Steve Pierce said. “Without depleting the Trust, and without raising your taxes, we will successfully give our schools the money they need to continue educating Arizona’s children. Join me in voting YES on Prop.123.”
“I encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 123,” Representative Karen Fann said. “Without raising taxes, we will be able to invest $3.5 billion over the next 10 years into our schools to help Arizona students achieve a better education.”
"Proposition 123 is the best solution for getting much needed funding to our schools now," Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. "This initiative will help not only schools in Maricopa County, but provide resources to districts across the state so they can hire more teachers and give outstanding teachers long-deserved raises. I'm thrilled to have Senator Pierce and Representative Fann on board and voting YES on May 17."
By Tucson for Romney
If you have already voted in the Arizona 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, you can ignore this email.
I am surprised that I am dusting off this email address, but after listening to Mitt Romney and watching what has happened, I felt it time to make a suggestion to my many friends.
Like you, I have been wondering how to make my vote count.
Arizona is a Winner-Take-All state, meaning whoever wins the popular vote will receive all 58 of the delegates. There is no splitting of the delegate votes in Arizona. It appears that means the vote will come down to one of two candidates.
I am waiting for March 16th, the day after the Ohio Primary to make my final decision.
If you still have your ballot, and if Mr. Trump is the front-runner, I encourage you to vote for the Number Two candidate on March 16th as an early ballot voter, or on March 22nd at the Arizona polls.
As Governor Romney has said, we are voting for the leader of the free world, and either Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, or Governor Kasich will be an excellent choice.
Thank you.Read more
By Let's Vote Yes For Arizona School In Support of Prop 123
PHOENIX — The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) today endorsed Proposition 123 citing that the initiative would resolve a longstanding education lawsuit in the state and get money to school districts now while protecting taxpayers.
“The Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in the Cave Creek lawsuit exposed taxpayers to extraordinary financial liabilities just as the state budget was recovering from the Great Recession,” Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association said. “Prop 123 settles this lawsuit in a manner that is fair to taxpayers as well as Arizona K-12 schools. The use of the State Land Trust to assist in funding the settlement provides state policymakers ample time to develop a multi-year plan to absorb these costs into the state budget in 2026.”
“The Arizona Tax Research Association’s endorsement reinforces our pitch to voters that we are protecting taxpayers while ensuring K-12 public schools have stability over the next decade,” Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. “Proposition 123 is the solution we need to fund our schools now to ensure teachers and students get the resources they need to succeed.Read more
By Arnold Schwarzenegger
I'm proud to endorse my good friend John Kasich for President of the United States.
John knows that leadership is about serving people and he has a record of getting results. That's exactly what's needed in America right now.
He not only led the effort to balance America's budget for the first time since men walked on the moon, but he turned a $8 billion budget shortfall in Ohio into a $2 billion surplus.
Our country faces tremendous challenges right now but John knows, like I do, that it is still the greatest country in the world - no matter what anyone else says. He's offering real, common-sense solutions to our greatest challenges.
It's time to roll up our sleeves and do our part. Join me today and support John Kasich for President of the United States!
Former Governor of California
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