Wage inequality: Dem’s latest great divide

April 9, 2014

First it was the minimum wage that anti-capitalist Barack Obama claimed needed to be hiked. Never mind that raising the pay for entry level jobs meant fewer jobs for the mostly young people seeking them —- thereby thrusting them out of the workforce. Government contractors are now obligated to follow this mandate, and fast food restaurants responded by closing on military bases.

Then came the impoverished Congress. Democrat James Moran (VA) contends that “the American people should know that members of Congress are underpaid,” and he plans to highlight that injustice by introducing an amendment to a bill that funds member’s $174,000 salaries and enviable benefits packages. “Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington,” Moran whined. He’s further upset by the fact that since Republicans took control, the House has been working a 120+ day a year schedule.  Not bad pay for working a third of a year.

Women, it turns out, are also victimized and underpaid. But Obama has boasted he can correct any wrongs he perceives by bypassing the underpaid Congress and enacting executive orders. His latest focus, the Paycheck Fairness Act, applies executive actions to the workforce at large.

Few would be surprised to learn that hypocrisy reigns at the White House. Hot Air reports that critics immediately demanded to know what Obama planned to do about his own gender-pay gap, as women in the administration only earn 91 cents for every dollar earned by men. 

This NRCC Memo calls the Act a “desperate political ploy,” correctly assessing, “It will make it nearly impossible for employers to tie compensation to work quality, productivity and experience, reduce flexibility in the workplace and make it far easier to file frivolous lawsuits that line the pockets of trial lawyers.”

Yet here in the City Of Phoenix, Democrat mayor Greg Stanton, is fixated on the same issue of gender “income inequality,” regardless of the misrepresentations in his Obama-like pitch. Stanton and councilwoman Kate Gallego have announced their intention to create an equal-pay ordinance that includes enforcement of this policy for contractors dealing with the city.

Astute citizens are keenly aware of intentional divisions, the goal of which is fomenting classes of victimhood in America. This concept is fundamental to the far -left mindset. Democrats are only too happy to churn the victimization brew and let those so “afflicted” know the answer to their problems comes through expanded government, thereby relieving people of their need to take personal responsibility.  In tandem, every misbehavior from overindulgence in food, drink, use of illicit drugs, gambling  or even shopping (shopaholics) is now labeled a disease, requiring others to pay to support those who claim they are incapacitated —-  by their own excesses.

No wonder our border is a floodgate.


Mexico’s lax policies harm AZ border town

November 12, 2013

The Washington Times headlines Stephen Dinan’s intriguing report “Feds stiff Arizona border town for ambulance costs for immigrants.” It’s a great title, calling attention to the double edged sword of federal inaction coupled with Mexican negligence.

The report highlights the fact that the city of Nogales, Arizona has billed the federal government for hundreds of ambulance responses dispatched to calls from federal agents but the government has paid less than 20 cents on the dollar — leaving the American border town of Nogales to bear the responsibility of more than $250,000 in the past fiscal year alone.

Approximately 60 miles south of Tucson, Nogales is home to a population of about 20,000 residents. It is the major portal for illegal immigration into the United States. Dinan reports that proximity means federal customs, immigration and drug agents have a heavy presence as well. When injuries occur, it’s the city’s rescue service that responds

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which maintains the spending data, and wouldn’t speak on the record — indicated any move to replenish the fund for all the states would have to be made by Congress.

Meanwhile Nogales, Arizona, in Santa Cruz County, is buckling under the heavy load. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, the city responded to 248 calls and billed the federal government $300,058, but recouped just $47,740, according to figures obtained by the Nogales International newspaper and confirmed by city officials.

The previous year, the city billed $277,382 for 230 calls and was reimbursed just $29,919.

If there was a similar report in the pages of the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona  Republic), we missed it.  Open border enthusiast /editorialist Linda Valdez is quick to tout the wonders of her vision of a vibrant border marketplace and its economic enhancements.   A good place to start would be having Mexico shoulder responsibility for its own citizens illegally invading the USA rather than foisting the astronomical costs on border communities such as Nogales.


AZ AG Tom Horne clarifies Bisbee issue

May 3, 2013

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne provides clarification of what actually occurred in the Arizona city of Bisbee regarding the city ordinance related to same-sex unions. Take time to read his statement, “Bisbee – What Really Happened.”


Betsey Bayless: $peaking of outrageous pay raises

February 9, 2013

Mega-salaries, benefits awarded in the worst of times

Recently we’ve been exposing the grossly excessive pay hikes and benefits packages of some of our illustrious Valley notables. Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos grabbed our attention in Dec. 2012 with his massive 33% raise, which amounts to an extra $78,000 a year! He will now be pulling down a yearly base salary of $315,000 plus a $600 monthly car allowance, $35,000 a year in deferred compensation, and a $4,000 “longevity” bonus.

Yesterday we provided the lowdown on the swell deals benefiting ASU President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis. His annual salary of $475,000 plus benefits now comes in at $742,500. That includes a $50,000 housing allowance to assist in maintaining their exclusive $1,250,000 Paradise Valley digs, and $10,000 yearly car allowance. The ASU Foundation on which his wife serves as a “senior advisor” kicks in an additional $100,000 annually in compensation. His yearly perks include $85,500 pension and $22,000 in retirement. Annual step-up bonuses are part of the deal: 2013: Up to $40,000, 2014: Up to $40,000 and the major step-up in 2015: Up to $180,000 for exceeding “benchmarks.” Wifey Sybil Francis rakes in a six-figure income from the university, but the exact amount is elusive.

Taxpayer’s heads should be swimming with the news already provided.  But then comes the deal of deals that Betsey Bayless, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) has brokered. She just received a hefty $125,000 raise. Her base salary soared 33% overnight, from $375,003 to $500,000 — excluding benefits.

Bayless will also be allowed to enter into a 409A retirement scheme into which she contributes not a thin dime, but MIHS makes all contributions.  If that’s not enough, she will garner up to a additional $125,000 by meeting various “performance goals.” Not bad for an unqualified, but well-connected political hack with one foot already out the door.

The five-member Board of Directors of the state’s largest public health-care system approved the raise this past week on a 3-2 vote. Check out the front page of the Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Budget Book. Longtime politico and perennial appointee Bayless is pictured center right, smiling broadly, of course, while oddly wearing a doctor’s coat.

According to a report in the daily, Bayless was set to retire from her position last year. But on Dec. 31, the last day of her term, the board extended her contract while a search is underway for her replacement. Board Chairwoman Susan Gerard, a longtime Bayless associate, and board member Elbert Bicknell, voted against the pay raise. The three newly elected board members Mary Harden, Mark Dewane and Terence McMahon, who could afford to take the heat, approved the increase, saying they wanted to give Bayless a raise since the national search firm for Bayless’ replacement regarded her salary “well below” the median range for others in comparable positions.

Let’s put this all in perspective: The $217,400 salary of the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court pales in comparison. The President of the United States, whose base salary tops out at $400,000 a year, trails both Michael Crow and Betsey Bayless. David Cavazos is right on the POTUS’ tail and has left Justice John Roberts in the dust.

These lavish gifts are your tax dollars, folks.


Disregard of taxpayers evidenced in Phoenix, Mesa salary increases & UPDATES

December 5, 2012

Phx City Manager David Cavazos gets $78,000 raise for a base salary of $315,000 – excluding perks

The City of Mesa will be implementing some substantial pay increases for its mayor and council members. The current salaries of approximately $38,000 for the mayor and $19,000 have been bumped to $70,300 a year for the mayor (a $32,300 yearly hike) and $35,200 (a healthy bump of $16,000), respectively. But that’s not all. Car allowances, currently $150 a month, will be raised to $450 a month for mayor and $300 for council members. They will all keep their current $80 monthly mobile phone allowance. If you’re starting to get a bit steamed, calm down.  These large increases are not nearly as high as those originally considered. The daily reports the initial amounts of $80,000 for mayor and $60,000 for council members were reduced during a “tense meeting” last month that led to the resignation of a citizen’s commission member, who objected to the lower amounts and said the commission had been subjected to heavy political pressure.

But cool your jets.  There’s even more.  And this outrage comes from Phoenix, the city that in 2010 instituted a 2 % tax on food in order to allow the city to function — or so we were told.

In the next best thing to winning the lottery jackpot, Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos is the lucky recipient of a 33% raise, which amounts to an extra $78,000 a year! He will now be pulling down a base salary of $315,000 a year plus a $600 monthly car allowance, $35,000 a year in deferred compensation, and a $4,000 “longevity” bonus.

This is nothing new for Phoenix. In December 2009, $14.3 million was paid in “retention bonuses” to nearly 14,000 employees. This, as the City Council cut $270 million, or 22 percent, from Phoenix’s general-fund budget, including $156 million from programs and services in order to balance the city budget. Other Valley cities with high numbers of union workers followed suit.

There was no pink slip for David Cavazos, the fool of a city manager, who as acting deputy city manager, was suspended for a week without pay after an internal investigation found that city workers spent more than $280,000 in taxpayer money on questionable travel expenses. Though such irresponsible actions didn’t impede Cavazos’ accession to the top job, they speak volumes about his utter and longstanding disregard for taxpayer dollars.

With a 33% raise, Cavazos doesn’t have to deal with the realities contained in this Christian Science Monitor report detailing that average pay increases, among those who receive them, will be 2.7% — matching the rise of consumer prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data on salaries was even more dismal, showing an average 1.7 % pay increase.

Update-tag

This morning, the sole and lengthy editorial in the newspaper defended this excessive raise.  Although columnists Laurie Roberts and E. J. Montini rightly blasted this massive pay increase yesterday, the daily jumps to its defense today, in a piece titled, Right move despite timing.  This support for what would be an unthinkable pay increase in the best of times, but inconceivable in today’s troubled economy, should give heart to the staffers at the dying newspaper. Since Phoenix, the city that imposed a food tax on its citizens to “keep essential services” running, can be this generous, the Republic staffers should expect a hefty pay increase in their Christmas stockings from their dying employer the AZ República.

Laurie Roberts’ post on Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos —  David Cavazos is getting HOW MUCH of a raise? can be read here.

E .J. Montini’s column on Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos —  Gordon Gekko for city manager? can be read here.

UPDATE  — December 12, 2012:

MESA NIXES RAISES

After an outcry from residents, Mesa’s city council and mayor have decided to forego the pay increases proposed by a salary commission. The raises would have required a vote of approval from those receiving the salary boosts. After contentious debate, the council voted 4-3 against taking the raises.

The East Valley Tribune has more here.

 


Gov. Brewer endorses Jerry Weiers for Glendale Mayor

September 27, 2012

Retiring Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs also backs Weiers

Jerry Weiers, the top vote getter in the primary election, has been given the nod by Glendale resident and Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer. “Leadership requires the will to make the tough decisions and the judgment to make the right ones. Jerry Weiers has demonstrated both traits as a legislator who built consensus, worked regionally to benefit his constituents and helped put Arizona’s finances back in order. I hope Glendale residents will join me in supporting Jerry Weiers for Mayor.”

Jerry Weiers issues page can be seen here. His opponent Manuel Cruz, an unsuccessful candidate for state mine inspector, is endorsed by far left unions and mostly out-of-town liberals who do not represent the values of Glendale. Cruz offers no vision for the city, but a long litany of baseless charges against the well respected former Glendale state lawmaker, Jerry Weiers.

In a pathetic campaign, Cruz puts a face on the old adage if you have nothing of substance to show, tear down those who do.

On the Glendale ballot will be a measure that clearly delineates the two. Voters will have the ability to reverse a $125 million, five-year sales tax increase. All they have to do is look to neighboring Phoenix to see that no tax ever sunsets. Glendale residents are being asked to underwrite a multi-year $300 million Phoenix Coyotes’ arena deal.

Cruz supports the tax extension. Weiers, who has a strong record of reigning in spending and addressing fiscal issues, wisely opposes it.

Conservatives have a clear choice in the race for mayor of Glendale. Vote for Jerry Weiers


Mexico honors Mary Rose Wilcox for efforts benefiting Mexicans

September 13, 2012

Bet’ya thought Wilcox was elected to serve all of the people in District 5

Where to begin? There is an undeniable temptation to just to put up the press release from Richard de Uriarte, the Communications Manager for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follow the advice most of us received from our mothers about saying nice things or keeping our mouths shut. But this site is not a repository for press releases and saying nothing at all will not suffice in this case.

When de Uriarte toiled at the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic), “minority issues and immigration” were among his duties, so this item would be right up his alley. His earlier press release announced that Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox has been awarded an international award from the Foreign Relations Secretariat of Mexico. The Premio Ohtli was awarded by the Instituto de los Mexicanos en la Exterior. The Mexican government created the award to recognize persons who have “promoted the prosperity of members of the Mexican community beyond Mexico’s political borders.”

The press release dated yesterday says Wilcox will be honored this Saturday in ceremonies sponsored by the Mexican Consul General’s Office and the City of Phoenix. A reception will be held at Phoenix City Hall, followed by the official celebration of Mexican Independence Day at the downtown Phoenix Orpheum Theatre.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive recognition from the Mexican government in our fight for human and civil rights for all people in Arizona,” gushed Wilcox.

How intriguing to hear that Mexico is concerned about ALL people in Arizona, but somehow we doubt it, Mary Rose. Ohtli has already been described by de Uriarte as being Hispanic ethno centric.

Wilcox’s concern for her actual constituents was highlighted when the Supervisors voted last month not to increase the property tax rate on Maricopa County citizens struggling in the worst economy in decades. It was Mary Rose who cast the lone dissenting vote.

Among the accolades the Mexican government heaped on Wilcox, this stands out: “She has been in the forefront in the push for comprehensive immigration reform.”

No wonder Mexico is honoring her. John McCain, Jon Kyl and wannabe Kyl successor Jeff Flake should be receiving their awards any day now.


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