Gov. Napolitano’s intricate side-step

June 30, 2007

It will be interesting to see how Janet Napolitano handles the state legislature’s employer sanctions bill awaiting her signature. She obviously preferred the federal “solution,” which failed miserably earlier this week. This places her in the uncomfortable position of having to explain whatever she does to disparate constituencies expecting action.

On one hand, she declared last year’s bill too lenient, and vetoed it. But Arizona’s citizens have been vocal in their desire to have action taken on securing our porous southern border. Napolitano is also aware of the need to placate the business community, obviously not keen on the employee verification aspect.

This woman is a stoic player, not wanting to veer too far into an abyss that might cause her harm when she runs for the senate seat currently held by McCain. Her options pack her into a tight box, since a much tougher, and likely to pass, citizen’s initiative looms on the horizon.


More bad news for Superintendent Dowling

June 30, 2007

Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Sandra Dowling, had a momentary reprieve before the county filed a new suit against her. After an attorney representing the County Board of Supervisors requested the suit be dropped, Dowling, elected in 1988, must have felt the weight of the world lift from her shoulders.Within minutes, however, a new suit was filed—this one naming Dowling personally, rather than the positions she holds. Dowling also ran the school district that operates the nationally acclaimed Thomas J. Pappas School for Homeless Children, which she founded.

“We had to dismiss that case because suing the superintendent of education for the county would basically be suing ourselves to recover money,” said Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.

The new suit alleges Dowling misspent nearly $2 million.


Congress: Great job merits a pay increase—-to themselves

June 30, 2007

Don’t you wish you had that ability? After all, it’s just other people’s money. Yet another reason to See Red.

Despite plummeting approval ratings, Congress is about to gift itself with a robust pay raise, putting aside concerns of inconsistencies with campaign messages of fiscal responsibility. The increase of approximately $4,400 pushes their salaries to nearly $170,000. Nationwide, the average increase hovers at 3%, although not every worker can expect an annual salary increase.

This cost-of-living raise endorsement ensures lawmakers are once again positioned for automatic pay raises. Inter-party bickering last year was responsible for twice decimating the usual increase due this year, resulting in the first termination of the annual Congressional pay raise in seven years.

Last session, Democrats held to campaign tactics to deny further pay increases until Congress raised the minimum wage. The ensuing delays in implementation of that bill cost every lawmaker about $3,100 in salary boosts this past year. In 1989 an ethics bill removed congressional ability to accept honorarium or payment for speeches and guaranteed automatic annual cost-of-living pay increases unless the lawmakers voted otherwise.

By a 244-181 vote, congressional representatives of both parties voted to kill a motion by Reps. Jim Matheson (D – UT) and Lee Terry (R – NE), urging a direct vote to block the COLA, which is automatically given unless lawmakers vote to block it.The pay raise would also apply to the vice president who is President of the Senate, Congressional leaders and Supreme Court justices. Vice President Dick Cheney, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chief Justice John Roberts receive yearly compensation of $212,100. The salary of Associate Justices is $203,000. House and Senate party leaders are paid $183,500.

June 13, 2007 Rasmussen Report polling data indicated only 19% of American voters believe that congress is doing a good or an excellent job. That’s down from 26% the previous month.

This is how your Arizona delegation voted:

Yea: Shadegg, Pastor, Grijalva
Nay: Renzi, Franks, Mitchell, Flake, Giffords


Put a fork in McCain—he’s done

June 29, 2007

fork

We have yet to see a statement from the McCain camp on the failed amnesty bill. It’s clear Arizona’s senior senator has suffered irreversible damage to his Presidential aspirations. Sinking quickly, even before the collapse of his much touted legislation, John McCain was encountering serious trouble raising the much needed dollars to finance his presidential bid, with polling and first quarter filing figures verging on disastrous.

Onetime McCain loyalists are wisely casting their sights in the direction of other candidates. Even an undeclared entrant, such as former Tennessee Senator, Fred Thompson, is polling better than our erstwhile Arizona media magnet. When a former office holder who has yet to announce is outpacing a current senator and two-time presidential candidate, the writing, as they say, is on the wall.

Aside from his hot temper, arrogant manner, age (he’ll be 71 in August) and ongoing health issues, McCain has been less than forthright since his days as a carpetbagging congressman. Barely escaping with his own political skin after questionable associations with convicted financier, Charlie Keating, McCain’s reversal of position placed him in the forefront of “campaign finance reform.” Such efforts further exacerbated internal rifts in the GOP base, since opponents argue the measure violates First Amendment rights, infringing upon free speech. His renowned penchant for “bipartisan” alliances with liberals such as Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Russ Feingold (D -WI). has further inflamed conservatives.

As leader of the so-called Gang of 14, he drew criticism for his deal-making regarding judicial filibusters. Support of embryonic stem cell research and his repeated votes to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would lessen American dependence on foreign oil, antagonized party regulars. Although his steadfast support of the Iraq war has earned him praise from those who see this action as an integral part of the war on terror, he inexplicably desired to reduce reliable border security as it relates to the national defense of the United States, by promoting an unsavory plan granting citizenship to those who flagrantly and illegally enter our country. Add to this his vicious dismissal of mostly Republican evangelical Christians and calling Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, “:forces of evil,” he enflamed rather than endeared himself to the very people he needs to court. .

John McCain has a history as a flawed man of contradictions.. In these perilous times, we are in dire need of consistency and dedication of purpose–to this great nation—rather than one’s self..


HOW THEY VOTED:

June 29, 2007

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress – 1st Session as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on S.1639 )
Vote Number: 235 Vote Date: June 28, 2007, 11:04 AM
Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Cloture Motion Rejected
Measure Number: S. 1639
Measure Title: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Vote Counts: YEAs 46
NAYs 53
Not Voting 1
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Nay
Bayh (D-IN), Nay
Bennett (R-UT), Yea
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
Bond (R-MO), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Nay
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Nay
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Craig (R-ID), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Nay
Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Not Voting
Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lott (R-MS), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Martinez (R-FL), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Nay
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Nay
Obama (D-IL), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Nay
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Smith (R-OR), Nay
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Nay
Sununu (R-NH), Nay
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Nay
Warner (R-VA), Nay
Webb (D-VA), Nay
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wyden (D-OR

In the afterglow of today’s vote, let’s not forget our manners

June 29, 2007

Arizona Senators Kyl and McCain: MIA (missing in action) 

CALL OR EMAIL THESE SENATE STALWARTS AND THANK THEM

Links are provided here:

Sessions (R- AL) – (202) 224-4124
DeMint (R – SC) – (202) 224-6121
Vitter (R – LA) – (202) 224-4623
Thune (R – SD) – (202) 224-2321
Inhofe (R – OK) – (202) 224-4721
Dole (R – NC) – (202) 224-6342
Cornyn (R – TX) – (202) 224-2934
Bunning (R – KY) – (202) 224-4343
Coburn (R – OK) – (202) 224-5754
Hutchison (R – TX) – (202) 224-5922
Grassley (R – IA) – (202) 224-3744
Nelson(D – NE) – (202) 224-6551
Pryor(D – AR) – (202) 224-2353
Tester(D – MT) – (202) 224-2644
Baucus(D – MT) – (202) 224-2651
Dorgan(D – ND) – (202) 224-2551
Bayh(D – IN) – (202) 224-5623
Byrd(D – WV) – (202) 224-3954
Rockefeller(D – WV) – (202) 224-6472


“I’ll continue to listen….” Really, Senator? To whom?

June 28, 2007

 In a letter filled with words such as “concessions” and “consensus,” Jon Kyl tries to woo back the party faithful:          

 

The Senate voted this morning against invoking cloture on the immigration reform bill, taking the issue off of the Senate’s calendar for the time being. While there is still a chance that a reform bill could be resurrected, the legislative schedule for the remainder of the year is such that significant immigration reform is unlikely to be considered again in the near future.

The result of the cloture vote demonstrates just how difficult it is to achieve the consensus necessary to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. The bill before the Senate had something for everyone to love, and hate. For conservatives, the bill included unprecedented additional resources to help secure the border (including the dollars upfront to pay for them), an end to chain migration, an effective employee verification system to prevent illegal immigrants from gaining employment, and a temporary worker program that is truly temporary. For liberals, it offered a way to deal with illegal immigrants who are already here, though the automatic pathway to citizenship they wanted was eliminated.

To get something done, both sides had to make concessions. Considering that Republicans are in the minority, I believe we won far more than we gave up. I’ve linked to an editorial from the Washington Post that illustrates how the liberal media and Democrat politicians scorn the bill’s strong enforcement bent and the common-sense amendments some of us offered. Nevertheless, Senators from both the right and the left ends of each party united to block the bill’s further consideration. It was a case of letting the pursuit of the perfect become the enemy of the good.

Many people have rightfully criticized the federal government for failing in the past to enforce the law and deal effectively with the problem of illegal immigration. I agree with them. And they understandably look skeptically on our current efforts to strengthen the law, even while they demand that Congress act. But we will never be able to solve the problem by saying “no” to new legislation because of past failures. And we cannot simply say “enforce the law.” As I’ve said before, much of the current law is unenforceable. The Senate’s vote today regrettably means the status quo will continue, with thousands of illegal immigrants continuing to pour across our borders every day and millions who are already here continuing to receive silent amnesty.

Senators have been listening to their constituents around the country – the number of calls, letters, faxes, and emails has been unprecedented, even jamming phone lines into the Senate earlier today. I, for one, have tried to turn constructive suggestions into meaningful amendments to enhance the enforcement provisions of the bill. Though the current legislation has been defeated, I’ll keep fighting for additional resources in upcoming appropriations bills for more Border Patrol agents, the construction of border fencing and other barriers, and improved technology along the border. I will urge the Bush administration to enforce those parts of the law that are enforceable in order to demonstrate to a skeptical public that our government is indeed committed to enforcing the law. I also intend to introduce legislation that will focus on enforcing immigration laws at the workplace and securing the border. Clearly, the American people want more enforcement before doing anything else.

I’ll continue to listen, and I invite your comments, suggestions, and criticisms. Thank you.

Sincerely,

JON KYL


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 338 other followers