The Conservative's Corner
By Dr. Kelli Ward
It’s official. As you read this, I am in Lake Havasu announcing my campaign for the U.S. Senate!
I’m ready to retire John McCain and give voters a fresh, courageous choice for new conservative leadership, and I hope you’ll join my effort. Together, we can disrupt the status quo and begin a new era of lower taxes, less spending, secure borders, and respect for the Constitution.
I made this video for those of you who couldn’t be here tonight. Please take a minute to watch it. Tomorrow, we begin the fight to shake up Washington!
This campaign is just beginning, but it’s the support and encouragement of tens of thousands of Arizonans like you over the last few months that have made it possible.Read more
Standard and Poor's recently assigned Arizona the strongest rating the state has had since 2008.
Commentary by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey
June 22, 2015
When I was sworn in as Arizona's governor on January 5, the Super Bowl was set to kick off in our state just four weeks later.
Amid all the planning and upcoming festivities, there was a wrinkle: One of the state's regulatory agencies I inherited had been running sting operations against Uber and Lyft drivers, aggressively trying to shut them down. State regulators were out of control and using taxpayer resources to try to put the brakes on a wildly popular service.
We worried about what this might mean during a major event like the Super Bowl, when 100,000 visitors were on their way to Arizona.
So I took action, replacing the agency's leadership and immediately ending all pending regulatory actions against ride-share operators.
Next, we passed statutory language, making it clear these ride-share operators can do business in Arizona. And for good measure, we are in the process of abolishing the very department where all the regulatory mischief originated.
Breaking down these antiquated regulations made a lot of heads spin among entrenched interests. But the reality is that Uber and Lyft drivers are small-business owners—regular people who are just trying to make an honest living and, in the process, are changing the way we get around.
Our pro-business mind-set is paying off. Recently, Uber announced the opening of its first-ever Center of Excellence in downtown Phoenix. By the end of the year, the center will employ 300 people who will provide support to drivers and passengers.
This is just the latest in a string of good news for our state and a loud message that Arizona is open for business.
See, while everyone was watching the Super Bowl, our office was working. The day after the big game, we announced that the most successful company in history—Apple—was making one of its largest investments ever right here in our state: a $2 billion data center to serve as a command center for the company's global networks.
A lot of what we're doing in Arizona is forcing our government to enter the 21st century so that 21st-century companies can operate here.Read more
by Rick Santorum
Yesterday, I officially announced my candidacy for President of the United States.
And now, I need YOUR help to take back America!
If you're ready to join me, will you please pitch in a generous financial gift right now to help me kickstart my campaign?
I believe that it's going to take a fearless, unapologetic, conservative leader to stand up to Hillary Clinton and win back the White House in 2016.
And I believe I am that leader.
As a United States Senator, I spent many years fighting passionately for conservative solutions to our nation's problems and policies that foster and strengthen working families.
And as the leader of one of the nation's largest grassroots organizations, Patriot Voices, my passion has only grown.
Unfortunately, the Obama-Clinton agenda has undone much of what we've fought for, and hard working Americans are paying the price.
But this doesn't have to be the end of the story. Together, we can take back America and build a brighter future!
Please pitch in whatever you can right now.
Our nation is hurting right now.
Working families are more heavily burdened than ever by excessive government intrusion, regulation, and bureaucracy.
Our national debt has skyrocketed at an unprecedented and dangerous rate as a result of Barack Obama's left-wing policies.
Our stature on the world's stage is embarrassingly weak. Our allies - and our homeland - are in grave danger from ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist organizations.
And our freedom to practice our faith is under vicious attack in our communities, in our states, and even nationwide.
I'm prepared to answer the call and tackle every one of these challenges. I am determined to bring this nation back from the brink.
But I'm going to need your help to do it. Will you please pitch in a generous gift to help me launch this campaign right now?
This is going to be a long and grueling campaign.Read more
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 embattled Bob Littlefield has many problems as he seeks to become Scottsdale’s Mayor at the same time his wife is serving as Vice Mayor. Bad polling numbers. Mayor Lane’s adoption of a “Two Littlefields Are Too Much” message which is devastatingly simple for voters to understand. Etcetera doesn’t do justice to the enumeration that could take place on what plagues Bobastic.
Yet, two examples and two people underscore Littlefield’s ills quite well. That’s because campaigns are about addition. But to look at the Screamer of Scottsdale is to see only subtraction. Indeed, Susie Wheeler is a top Scottsdale equestrian and has long been a Littlefield supporter. But not this time. She’s endorsed Mayor Lane because of his commitment to the community’s ranch culture while Littlefield wants it to gallop out of town.
Then there’s George Zraket. He was Bob Littlefield on the Scottsdale City Council before Bob. Indeed, as anti-business as Littlefield is – even wanting to shut down small businesses in Scottsdale’s downtown – Zraket makes one of the two Littlefields look like Richard Branson. Yet, according to Lane’s social media, he showed up at the Mayor’s house this weekend to support him. That’s remarkable. Despite a similar political philosophy Zraket has such disregard for Littlefield he opted for the pro-business Lane. Maybe Zraket was inspired by seeing the most popular musical in the land that regales Alexander Hamilton’s decision to endorse Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr. He did so because while disagreeing with Jefferson he realized he had principles where Burr purportedly had none. Like Littlefield. (By the way, a tip of the cap here to Scottsdale businessman and former Mayoral candidate Bill Crawford for introducing “Hamilton” vernacular into this year’s mayoral race dialogue).
Credit goes to Scottsdale and some unlikely citizens for realizing this. It’s one thing for Grumpy to be one of the Seven Dwarfs, or one of seven members of the City Council. It’s quite another to have him as one of one, the Mayor of a great city like Scottsdale.Read more
According to a new poll conducted September 14-15 by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the country’s more notable pollsters with extensive experience in Arizona and Scottsdale, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane holds a commanding 27% lead over former Councilman Bob Littlefield. And that’s before Lane has started spending the bulk of his substantial campaign coffers.
Lane’s large margin is an uptick from another pollster’s findings in May that had the popular Mayor up by 17%.
With his second consecutive election loss looming the question now is how badly he’s damaged his wife’s re-election prospects in 2018. Bombastic Bob is trailing by wide margins everywhere in Scottsdale and with every sub-group. The poll also found Scottsdale voters disagreeing – by huge margins – with the notion of Bob serving as Mayor at the same time his wife Kathy serves as Vice Mayor and/or as a councilwoman.
The city council races are much closer with Suzanne Klapp setting the pace at 31% followed by Virginia Korte and Dan Schweiker at 29% with Guy Phillips currently trailing at 26%. Respondents, made up of 300 voters in Scottsdale’s 2012 or 2014 General Election were given the choice of voting for up to 3 candidates. Phillips appears to be hurt by his close association with Bob Littlefield whose FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE numbers are poor. Schweiker is enjoying the opposite dynamic. His name proximity to popular U.S. Congressman David Schweikert is aiding his support among Republicans, especially in the northern part of the city Schweikert represents.Read more
With massive reserves in place and some terrific new resorts coming online the tony Town of Paradise Valley doesn’t have too many problems. But there are two items on the horizon worth recommendations.
The first is the likely departure of Town Councilwoman Maria Syms. She was the top vote-getter in the August 30th GOP Primary Election for one of two seats in Legislative District 28 for the Arizona House of Representatives. Securing one of those seats in November seems likely.
Since town councilmembers are not paid Syms is not required to relinquish her Paradise Valley duties. However, that would seem the likely progression as the demands of being a rising star in the lower chamber take hold.
If so, the appointment to fill her seat will be made by Mayor Michael Collins and the remaining members of council. But there really should be no deliberation and no applications. Daran Wastchak should gain the nod by acclimation.
While Wastchak has come up short in two bids for Town Council he has had the guts to step in the arena. He also serves admirably on the Paradise Valley Planning Commission. He was the next closest finisher in the recent election that saw Mark Stanton re-elected and Julie Pace and Scott Moore elected for the first time.
If and when an appointment to Council becomes necessary Wastchak should be the easy call.
Away from Town Hall and up Camelback Mountain many nearby residents remain up in arms about a plan to build a giant new home on the most elevated private property on the mountain. While Paradise Valley is a community rightfully adhering to property rights this new project is raising legitimate concerns. For example, engineers cannot guarantee that large boulders in the building envelope will not fall to homes below. All of this begs the question: With budget surpluses and a penchant for preservation why not consider buying this lot and other problematic ones in town to further preserve Camelback and Mummy Mountain much like Scottsdale is preserving the McDowell Mountains?
Recently, Scottsdale leaders wisely made the decision to purchase a home that intrudes on the majesty near Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Why shouldn’t Paradise Valley consider likewise? In a clash between one person’s ego versus the overall environment we know how the community would best be served, and we bet residents would be willing to pay for preservation, this time and in the future.Read more
*The Arizona Republic’s breathless liberal opinionistas can’t understand why Governor Ducey would speak at a Trump rally, as he did this week. It’s simple. He doesn’t want to get primaried in 2018, and Trump ally and State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt looms as a potentially formidable challenger. There may be others. Anyone would start as an underdog versus Ducey – Kelli Ward’s failure against McCain being a perfect example why. Yet, stranger things have happened.
*All Hail Christine Jones. Whatever one thinks of the blind ambitionist, her successful execution of the “outsider” strategy in the Congressional Five GOP Primary was terribly impressive. Yes, those who spend the most in congressional races usually win. Still, waltzing into the East Valley and buying a seat well, it hasn’t been done that well since . . . John McCain in 1982.
*Donald Trump effectively labeled opponents during his presidential primary. “Low Energy.” “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane ain’t like The Donald in approach but his recent labeling of long-shot opponent Bob Littlefield as a “Crazy Uncle” gets the gold medal so far for Arizona political monikers.
*Speaking of Littlefield the guy is just one big gaffe machine, and an offensive one at that. According to online commentary he’s called Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven a “Great Satan” and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and renowned Scottsdale businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons “scumbags.” What a gem. Is anyone still thinking of voting for this guy?
*State Representative Jay Lawrence had one of the best radio voices during his nights at KTAR. And whoever his sign guy is deserves a “best of” award too for the best placements.
*Speaker Syms? Special advisor to Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman. And now top vote getter in the GOP primary for Legislative District 28. She’s threading a lot of political needles in her run so far, portending a real shot at a House leadership position in future years.
*If Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins maintains his two-term pledge look for just re-elected Town Councilman Mark Stanton to emerge as the most likely successor in 2018.
*As the public mostly rails against the idea of new taxpayer funded facilities for the Diamondbacks, Coyotes or Suns, the City of Phoenix is assembling a massive taxpayer subsidy package for Fry’s to land downtown. It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction: big taxpayer help for billionaire sports owners bad but big taxpayer help for billionaire grocery store owners good?
*The City of Peoria’s new sales tax hike proposal – billed as a quality of life tax – has political support built on quicksand.
*Kirk Adams is Governor Ducey’s Chief of Staff. With the exception of a starring role in a suspect Arizona Republic story about pressuring State Treasurer Jeff Dewitt into supporting Proposition 123 he has largely avoided trouble. That’s not easy to do for any Chief of Staff. But people are now starting to talk: Are some of his recommended appointments and positions more about aiding himself once he resumes his lobbying career?
*Paul Ryan was supposed to have a tough GOP primary but blew away his opponent by an extremely wide margin. Closer to home, Sheriff Arpaio had a primary too. He was running against Donald, Mickey and Goofy. Yet, more than one-third of the electorate abandoned him. That’s a troubling and underreported sign heading into a difficult November election.
*Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu won his Congressional District One GOP Primary but hardly in spectacular fashion. He struggled in every county besides his own where he ran up the score. And nearly all – if not all -- of his favored candidates in Pinal County for County Attorney, Sheriff and Supervisor lost. So, unlike McCain who won by a surprisingly large margin for momentum heading into the General, Babeu limps.
*So State Representative Rick Gray sold his political soul to Arizona Public Service only to have the company renege on a Full Forese. Finishing out of the money on Tuesday night it’s almost easy to feel sorry for the guy. Almost.
*There are a lot of reasons for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers’ anemic showing Tuesday night, despite an easy campaign narrative of a Glendale comeback. Among them were an incredible disloyalty to the firefighters, business leaders and others that supported him in 2012. It’s a lesson for all Arizona elected officials, from Governor Ducey on down.
*Seeking to make a name for themselves in political circles a number of younger consultants are trying to get into the polling business. They are cutting corners to cut costs. As a result the results are largely garbage. A case in point was a recent article by the Arizona Republic positing how good Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell was looking for re-election. It relied on polling results from one of the neophytes. Our case in point.
*We’re losing track of how many times Wendy Rogers has lost whatever she’s been running for in recent years. She lost again Tuesday night. Hopefully this will be the last time Arizona has to endure her on the ballot.Read more
Why is Bob Littlefield’s quixotic campaign for Scottsdale Mayor stuck in the mud? A lot of reasons.
He’s anti-business, even supported by a union that used scorched earth tactics to shut down Arizona’s home grown grocer, Basha’s. He’s been on both sides of just about every issue in town from development to subsidies to the Desert Discovery Center. He’s the ultimate politician that’s out of step with so much of what Scottsdale is and stands for.
But another reason he’s slogging through mighty mud mania is the bizarre world he is seeking to enter. He wants to be Mayor at the same time his wife is Vice Mayor. It’s strange and problematic. Just as it would be if Joanne Lane ran for city council at the same time her husband was serving as Mayor. Or if State Senator John Kavanagh didn’t serve in the Arizona State Legislature but on the Fountain Hills Town Council with his wife Linda who is the current mayor.
Littlefield of course says not to worry. It’s no big deal even though it’s never happened in Arizona history from what we can tell.
But judging from Littlefield’s recent actions it is a big deal. Because he’s already embarrassing the city.
Consider what just took place in the Scottsdale Airpark. There GoDaddy Founder and impressive Scottsdale philanthropist Bob Parsons unveiled his latest investment in the city, a large television and video production facility. In attendance were Scottsdale Mayor Lane, Governor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Stanton and members of the Scottsdale City Council, invited in their official city capacity to celebrate an important private sector contribution to the economy. Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield was there too, as she should have been.
And belittling Bob Littlefield came along for the ride. He who only days before called Parsons (and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill) “scumbags” for supporting Lane.
Putting aside the indignity of attending someone’s event he had just show scorn for Bob Littlefield proceeded to video tape the event, especially Mayor Lane’s remarks, presumably for some bizarre political campaign purpose.
He embarrassed himself and Scottsdale in so doing. In the highly unlikely event Littlefield’s Arizona Lottery like quest for Mayor is successful it won’t be the last time the unprecedented combination of a husband and wife on the Scottsdale City Council make the city like adulterated rather than appreciative.Read more
By: Sal Diciccio
The public is being misled by True Life and the underlying property owner. On several occasions, True Life and the owner have lied to the residents surrounding the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club, so why should we trust them now?
It is my obligation to make sure that I protect the quality of life in our community, provide the facts and consider the impact of any decision on other areas of our community. Those other areas would include Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses. Any decision made on the Lakes property could and would set a precedent for those other areas.
That said, I am not surprised by True Life's development plan. This is what developers do. They promise a “farm” or a “school,” but in reality, they are paving the way for high density development. And if they succeed at the Lakes, it will open the floodgates to high density development in all of our golf courses and in particular Ahwatukee Country Club.
We are being told that the Lakes is going to be turned into some type of agricultural setting. This could not be farther from the truth.
The same developers that purposely shut down the golf course and created an environmental hazard are coming out with a plan to save our community?
The truth is they purposely neglected maintaining the golf course in order to create a wasteland so that the surrounding residents will be put in a desperate situation.
True Life is one of the parties that created this blight to exact concessions from neighbors. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life owes $1.4 million in back taxes- which could go towards our schools and other vital services for our community. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life had multiple code enforcement violations because of the way they managed the Lakes property. That is not what a good neighbor does.
You and your family take care of your property and pay your taxes. Why should they be exempt from that basic requirement?
Do not buy into the argument that these developers don't have money. The amount of money True Life spends every month on public relations and lobbyist could have easily kept this golf course watered and clean.
Let's lay out the facts about the developer’s proposal and the impact of development on this property:
Fact One: The developers want to triple the density that would normally be allowed on this property.
Fact Two: The Lakes golf course was purposely designed to curb flood waters from negatively impacting surrounding properties. We recently saw many homes surrounding the Lakes property flooded. Imagine what would happen if this property, this open space and flood plain were developed.
These developers live in areas that would never allow this type of density to come into their neighborhood. Nor would their neighborhood ever allow a critical flood plain to be compromised by high density development putting existing homes at risk.
Fact Three: The Ahwatukee Lakes was purposely designed to provide an open space for our community. The open space was provided to the original developer in exchange for higher density at other locations.
Fact Four: Ahwatukee Country Club has over 2,000 high density units zoned on that property. If it is developed, we are looking at the equivalent of five high-rise apartment complexes on one single parcel of land.
Regardless of the promises these developers make, nothing will stop them or anyone in the future from coming in and using the Lakes as precedent. If True Life succeeds, they will have created a model for all developers: neglect a property until it becomes a blight and an environmental hazard, then use strong arm tactics on desperate residents, forcing them to accept anything to make the blight go away, even if that means high density housing.
That means Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses would all have higher density on their properties as well.
For these reasons, I caution residents not to sign anything until it has been reviewed by an attorney. This plan has nothing to do with agriculture. This is all about maximizing density and profits.
Please share this with your neighbors!
By: Jim Derouin
Scottsdale’s version of P. T. Barnum, Bob Littlefield, is back. After twelve unproductive years on the City Council, he needs a job and is now running for Mayor. He wrote a column in The Scottsdale Republic, which portrays himself as a crusader for citizen issues, entitled: “Scottsdale Needs a Leader Who Will Protect Its Unique Character.” Well, that’s Bob’s version of the truth. In fact, Scottsdale has never seen a more self-promoting, negative, destructive and divisive politician in its history.
Bob argued that someone is proposing commercial development in the Sonoran Preserve. Wrong. Bob attacks everyone who disagrees with him as being an agent of a developer; literally, he sees a developer behind every tree. Wrong. Bob is also wrong when he pits North against South in bond elections; and when he was so reckless in his opposition to city bond measures that he shot down a school bond initiative that got caught in his irresponsible rhetoric. He calls that “leadership.” If that is “leadership,” we don’t need it.
He also rants against apartments and density, but, in typical fashion, Bob was for density before he was against it. He not only voted for the two tallest buildings in Scottsdale (known as the Scottsdale Waterfront Towers), but, in doing so, he also voted to impose an emergency clause which cut off the right of citizens to challenge the vote. An emergency clause is intended to be used when immediate implementation of an action is needed for matters threatening public health or safety; it was never intended for constructing a residential building. Subsequently, state law was changed to specifically prohibit the use of the emergency clause for such a purpose. Isn’t this curious conduct for someone who claims to be the Great Crusader against density? It is also important to realize that Scottsdale would benefit if more of the 100,000 commuters who work in Scottsdale, and who drive to and from Scottsdale daily, actually lived here. Apartments and condominiums, although not for most of us, represent the new entry point for many “buyers” and are attractive for many who want to both live and work in Scottsdale. Having residents being able to both live and work in Scottsdale has many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored out of hand.
Bob also continues to take credit for fighting “wasteful subsidies.” He knows full well, however, that subsidies are outlawed by the state constitution and, also, specifically in the Scottsdale City Charter. I know because I served on the Task Force that recommended adding the prohibition to the City Charter, a provision that was, subsequently, approved by voters. In short, if something is a “subsidy,” it is both illegal and unconstitutional. If something is not a “subsidy,” then a candidate shouldn’t be misleading voters by calling it one. But this approach is consistent with Bob’s strategy to be loudly against things for the sake of letting us know, loudly, that he is against things. Never let an opportunity go by to attack someone else’s idea.
In short, Bob is a garden variety professional politician; and what Bob really stands for, besides himself, is stagnation--the reduction of Scottsdale’s tax base, the decline of tax revenues, the decline of services, the decay of infrastructure and the reduction of the quality of life for City residents. He is a “free lunch” politician, arguing that we can have all the services, infrastructure and quality of life we want provided that we just do nothing. His shtick is stale; the con job is old. Bob should get a private sector job and stop pretending that he is Robin Hood. That role has already been cast.Read more
America knows Beverly Hills 90210 as one of America’s most famous zip codes. It’s starting to know Scottsdale 85255 as one of its best.
According to the Arizona Republic’s Catherine Reagor the northern Scottsdale neighborhoods of McDowell Mountain Ranch, DC Ranch and Grayhawk have surging property values.
And for good reason. They are uniquely somewhere. At the base of the McDowell Mountain Mountains. With great recreation and parks nearby. Proximity to the 101. Great golf courses. A terrific aquatics center. Good schools. The family mecca that is the Ice Den. And even its own version of Central Park known as WestWorld.
The celebration of this area is a lesson in the Scottsdale politics of 2016.
When proposed these developments were contentious. They involved “rezonings.” And it’s hard to believe that the Ice Den itself took a tortured trip all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court just to be allowed to open.
Yet today they are part of Scottsdale’s signature. The success of the 85255 is part of what makes Scottsdale so strong. When combined with revitalizing southern neighborhoods, the constant quality of life offered in Scottsdale’s central regions and the distinctiveness of the northern reaches its not wanting to claim the city as one of the best in America as Mayor Jim Lane often does.
But to listen to politicians like Robert Littlefield who are anti-business and anti-progress (and who probably sit at home watching television with rabbit ears) is to understand these neighborhoods would have never been if he was in charge. He never would have approved their “rezonings.” Good thing he wasn’t in charge judging from how good they have turned out and how much they have enriched Scottsdale’s reputation and quality of life.
As we celebrate Scottsdale successes like the 85255 it’s important to consider the kind of people that made them possible in the first place. They certainly weren’t like Robert’s Rules of Order.Read more
By David Brooks
New York Times, The Opinion Pages
As usual, there were a ton of artists and musicians at the political conventions this year. And that raises some questions. How much should artists get involved in politics? How can artists best promote social change?
Click here to read more.Read more
Welcome to the site’s new feature, holding politician’s accountable for double talk. And there’s no better place to launch Hypocrite Alert! than with Scottsdale’s Ultimate Politician, Bob Littlefield.
On the campaign trail he talks negatively about the proliferation of apartments in Scottsdale notwithstanding he’s the godfather of not one but the two largest apartment projects in the history of Scottsdale. But that’s not all . . . he then took away the rights of citizens opposing the project, preventing them from putting the project to a city-wide vote.
When confronted with such facts Littlefield tries to go Obi Wan-Kenobi instructing voters such matters may not be the droids they’re looking for.
He then discusses how he’s opposed numerous apartment projects in Scottsdale, except for those that contributed generously to his campaign coffers. But more on that another time.
This time Hypocrite Alert! would like to point out Littlefield cashing one of the most generous contributions of his political career: from none other than the special interest political action committee of who? The Arizona Multi-Housing Assocation. That’s right, the state’s leading defender and purveyor of apartments.
It’s hard to make this stuff up.
But at least Littlefield’s hypocrisies are good for something: laughter.Read more
If running for Mayor of Scottsdale at the same time your wife is Vice Mayor isn’t odd and craven enough for Bob Littlefield, we may have another example.
And, if circumstances are true, it’s disconcerting at best and disqualifying at worst.
According to various social media including that posted by the Catholic Sun, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane was apparently invited by Notre Dame Preparatory High School last month to address a group of students about how government works.
Elected officials get a lot of those requests, along with things like ribbon cuttings.
Apparently, candidate Bob Littlefield got wind of Mayor Lane’s appearance and demanded equal time of the school to speak, even raising the prospect of the school’s non-profit status being jeopardized.
When properly and ultimately denied his request Littlefield sent out an alert to supporters to attend the gathering bogusly claiming Lane was going to be discussing the Desert Discovery Center, a controversial north Scottsdale project that Littlefield has been on both sides of.
How sad.Read more
It’s like a zit on the Mona Lisa.
Anyone who hikes what is arguably the prettiest trail in the Valley, Tom’s Thumb in Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, wonders when they ascent. What is that house, albeit a very nice one, doing smack dab in the middle of Scottsdale’s landmark preserve?
Wouldn’t it be nice, most everyone surely thinks, to rid the preserve of the blemish?
And so it now shall be.
Every member of Scottsdale’s City Council ranging from Mayor Jim Lane to Councilman Guy Phillips saw fit to split the difference between the city’s appraisal and one produced by the private property owner.
It was a smart move – council Clearasil -- and a wise use of preserve funds.
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
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
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