GOP Legislators win appeal on Medicaid expansion

April 23, 2014

The lawsuit filed against Arizona’s Medicaid Expansion —- an issue which caused mammoth legislative rifts last year —- has been given new life as Division One of the state Court of Appeals ruled that thirty-six Republican legislators,* two constituents whose representatives voted against the bill, and taxpayer Tom Jenney, have a constitutional right to challenge the law and the tax levy it imposes.

The Arizona court rejected Gov. Jan Brewer’s assertion that a simple majority of lawmakers have the constitutional authority to decide when a measure needs a two-thirds vote. In the court’s 11-page ruling, Appellate Judge John Gemmill wrote that ignores the actual language of the Arizona Constitution.

A petulant Brewer, who disingenuously called the tax levy an “assessment,” has promised to take the issue to the AZ Supreme Court. All new taxes are subject to a two-thirds legislative vote in the state of Arizona. Brewer pushed this tax through during a special session. The late night ‘debate’ did not allow those in opposition to  speak.

Read the opinion delivered by the three judge panel.

* Andy Biggs,  Andy Tobin; Nancy Barto; Judy  Burges; Chester Crandell; Gail Griffin; Al Melvin; Kelli Ward; Steve Yarbrough; Kimberly Yee; John Allen; Brenda Barton; Sonny Borrelli; Paul Boyer; Karen Fann; Eddie Farnsworth; Thomas Forese; David Gowan; Rick Gray; John Kavanagh; Adam Kwasman; Debbie Lesko; David Livingston; Phil Lovas; J.D. Mesnard; Darin Mitchell; Steve Montenegro; Justin Olson; Warren Peterson; Justin Pierce; Carl Seel; Steve Smith; David Stevens; Bob Thorpe; Kelly Townsend; Michelle Ugenti.


AZ higher education: As nearly free as possible? & Update

April 22, 2014

MCCCD tuition has skyrocketed nearly 60 percent in 10 years

These are the words contained in Article 11 Section 6 of the Constitution of the state of Arizona: Section 6. Admission of students of both sexes to state educational institutions; tuition; common school system:

The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible. The legislature shall provide for a system of common schools by which a free school shall be established and maintained in every school district for at least six months in each year, which school shall be open to all pupils between the ages of six and twenty-one years.

Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is actually putting this concept into action. His proposal to provide free community college to every high school graduate starting in fall 2015, passed the House of Representatives with an overwhelming endorsement of 87 – 8 votes this past week. The state Senate had previously passed the measure known as “The Tennessee Promise.”

The plan, funded by $300 million from the state’s lottery fund, will defray the estimated annual $34 million cost. The aim of the program is boosting college graduation rates to build a more educated and skilled workforce.

Locally, the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board will vote this evening on the second tuition increase in two years —- the seventh hike in 10 years. The latest proposal is an increase of $5 per credit, or 6 percent increase to $86 per credit next year. Last year, tuition increased in the system’s 10 colleges from $76 to $81 per credit.

But the district isn’t simply content with tuition increases. It is also proposing an increase in the county property tax for the second time in two years, to be voted on in May. If approved, the dual increases would generate an additional $25.6 million for the district. Since only about 28 percent of students who began in 2007 earned a degree or occupational certificate within six years, they might consider concentrating on doing a better job retaining and actually educating students.

For the first time in memory, the Arizona Board of Regents has recently offered undergraduate students attending U of A and NAU a guaranteed tuition rate for four years.  This rate does not include fees which could still escalate costs of attendance.

According to the daily, although ASU tuition for in-state, undergraduates won’t officially go up, the university will add a $150-per-student fee to fund athletics, bringing annual tuition and fees to $10,157 a year. ASU is not participating in the guaranteed tuition plan. Graduate and out-of-state students will face higher increases at ASU. Graduate students at the school will pay 4.3 percent more, an increase to $11,283 a year, in tuition and fees.

Last March we wrote ASU’s Crow backs lower tuition for illegals — again. If you’re interested in how the astronomically paid ASU President Michael Crow dismisses Arizona students, who are being squeezed to benefit foreign nationals here illegally, it’s worth reading. 

Update-tag

The board approved a $3 per credit increase, which will raise $7.8 million in new revenue. The vote was 4 – 1, with board member Dana Saar voting against the imposition of an increase for the second year in a row.


Leftist Linda Valdez: Longs for LBJ, skews facts

April 21, 2014

As the dedicated far-left radical she is, Linda Valdez, editorialist at the Arizona Republic, looks back longingly over five decades at Democrat President B. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. His failed “war” was integral to his blurred vision of a “Great Society.”

Through LBJ’s efforts to establish programs that compensated single mothers, fathers were rendered unnecessary as they were replaced by welfare checks. In this column, “Race and Rhetoric,” economist and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell analyzes the disintegration of the black family —- which he notes has survived centuries of slavery and generations of government-imposed discrimination in the Jim Crow era, but began coming apart in the wake of the expansion of the liberal welfare state and its accompanying social dogmas.

The very government expansion acclaimed by Linda Valdez.

The poverty rate among blacks was nearly cut in half in the 20 years prior to the 1960s, a record unmatched since then, despite the expansion of welfare state policies in the 1960s.

Unemployment among black 16 and 17-year-old males was 12 percent back in 1950. Yet unemployment rates among black 16 and 17-year-old males has not been less than 30 percent for any year since 1970 —- and has been over 40 percent in some of those years.

Not only was unemployment among blacks in general lower before the liberal welfare state policies expanded in the 1960s, rates of imprisonment of blacks were also lower then, and most black children were raised in two-parent families. At one time, a higher percentage of blacks than whites were married and working.

None of these facts fits liberal social dogmas, writes Sowell.

Valdez’ column exposes her fringe mentality, worship of the nanny state, and  includes fervent fawning over Arizona’s liberal extremist Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ CD-3), as well as a venomous diatribe against Republicans. This is her pie-eyed description: “Meanwhile, the GOP continued its relentless push to undermine unions and worker rights, keep wages low, sabotage public schools, cut college grants, roll back federal protections for consumers and the environment, stonewall immigration reform, limit women’s reproductive rights, stiff infrastructure and endlessly try to convince the American people that the country can’t afford beloved programs that reflect our shared sense of national responsibility: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

How much clearer could it be that facts take a back seat to leftist spew in the pages of the Arizona Republic? You know what to do. (Video: 22 second mark.)


Boehner “Hellbent” on passing amnesty

April 19, 2014

GOP crafting plan to alter country, guarantee its own irrelevancy

The Wall Street Journal reports John Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they intend to pass amnesty legislation this year, despite the disinclination of many Republicans to tackle the divisive issue prior to the November elections.  

Most of us have assumed the irrational idea of gifting citizenship —- even in a deceptive “piecemeal” fashion —- to our invaders would be back-burnered in an election year. But Boehner,who has hired McCain’s senior amnesty advisor, appeared at a Las Vegas fundraiser last month, stridently declaring he was “hellbent on getting this done this year.”

Don’t be fooled by what we are being told by the Republican House members. Their chief issue is the timing of the vote, not the vote itself. The last thing they want is angry constituents in advance of the upcoming midterm elections, although none in Arizona are facing tough primaries. They are also banking on the fact after they are reelected, our focus will be on the  2016 presidential election. They have already made their intentions to cave on amnesty clear.

This is the double-talk from AZ’s Republican U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert. Trent Franks not only allowed amnesty proponents and their supporters to camp out overnight in his front yard, he went outside to pray with them.

On the senate side, McCain has vowed to keep fighting for amnesty as long as he’s “alive and breathing.” His sycophantic underling Jeff Flake has never made a secret of his support of amnesty.

After the widespread disillusionment with ObamaCare and Obama’s poll numbers continuing to plummet —- as his disapproval numbers exceed approval —-Republicans are poised to win control the Senate. But to borrow a term from Boehner, they appear to be “hellbent” to deep-six their chances by becoming embroiled in forwarding the divisive amnesty issue.

This Congressional Budget Office estimate indicates that ObamaCare has the potential to decrease the number of full-time American workers by 2.5 million over the next decade. That grim prediction by the non-partisan CBO should be an area where Republicans focus their attention.

Those who believe support from grateful Hispanics would be important to the Republican nominee need to bone up on history. Immigrants —- all immigrants —- have been bonded to the Democrat Party and generations after their first arrivals, their descendants have remained so. Recent arrivals tend to be poor and dependent on government assistance. They often come from societies that are far left-wing. History shows that rather than fleeing those policies, they bring their cultures with them. For at least a century, there’s never been a period when a majority of immigrants weren’t Democrats. At the current accelerated rate of immigration — 1.1 million new immigrants every year, without amnesty — Republicans will be a fringe party in a decade.

Rush Limbaugh has long warned that Republicans are signing onto political suicide in conspiring with Democrats in their attempt to legalize illegal aliens. Limbaugh contends it is ultimately a push for citizenship intended to grant voting rights to a new Democrat demographic.

Ann Coulter has written extensively on the same theme, with Hispanicked GOP Elite and GOP Crafts Plan to Wreck the Country, Lose Voters. In this column Phyllis Schlafly correctly concluded Amnesty Is Republican Party Suicide.

If Republicans are to remain viable, there are critical issues such as massive debt, the unsustainability of Social Security, federal overreaches and a seriously declining economy for us to be “hellbent” on exposing.


Harry Reid: Bundy, supporters, “domestic terrorists”

April 18, 2014

Although there is currently a lull, with federal snipers no longer in sight and cattle returned, the standoff in Nevada is not likely to go away anytime soon, as Sen. Harry Reid continues to lie and provoke. The back stories to this issue continue to emerge. Cliven Bundy is the last rancher in Clark County, where there were previously dozens. But the Bureau of Land Management has restrained the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the land on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle allowed on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business.

Cliven Bundy says the feds are using protection of the desert tortoise as ruse to force him and others from public land to make room for a dry lake solar zone.  This is an allegation that appears to hold water. 

Harry Reid and his lawyer son, Rory, a lobbyist for Chinese energy giant ENN Energy Group, are both involved in the company’s effort to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert not far from the Bundy ranch.

Rory Reid was elected to the Clark County Board of County Commissioners where he served from 2003 to 2011.  The commission is considered by many to be one of the most powerful governmental bodies in the state of Nevada, since it has oversight over all unincorporated county areas. 

Another odd ‘coincidence’ is the fact that Harry Reid endorsed the judge, who originally ruled against Bundy, for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yet one more bit of serendipity concerns the very recent confirmation of Neil Kornze, 35, as the new  Bureau of Land Management director. Kornze is a former senior policy advisor to Harry Reid. Just confirmed April 8, he is now in charge of the federal agency that oversees 264 million acres of public lands —- primarily in western states. 

And radical leftist Harry Reid, the most powerful man in the U.S. Senate, has the temerity to call Cliven Bundy “a domestic terrorist?”


AZ Republic: In-tandem, agendized news to distrust

April 13, 2014

It’s known as “The Repugnant” for a reason

Today we present this brief, but consummate example of the agendized newspaper’s relentless hounding.  This illustration involves what was previously known as a “Quick Hit,” until last week —- when the failing daily became an official charge of its Gannett parent, and transformed itself into an embarrassing wince inducer.  Previously the newspaper was principally known for liberal distortions, half truths, innuendo and the inability to impartially present the facts. Its main thrust is promoting same-sex issues and the open borders/amnesty agenda as policy. Opinion is never relegated to the editorial pages, but is scattered throughout its shrinking pages.

Quick Hit Number One: “Women are from Venus; men just can’t hear.” This inconsequential quip recounts a conversation between editorial writer Doug MacEachern and his wife and relates to his misunderstanding a word in her response.

MacEachern comes closest to resembling a Republican on the Republic’s staff.

Quick Hit Number Two: Flanking MacEachern is resident leftwing, amnesty-pushing shrew, Linda Valdez. Her three sentence effort “Legislators failing their legal duty toward schools,” concludes with the need to raise taxes in order to fulfill what she construes to be a Constitutional mandate to get more money in the public school system. Of course Valdez argues we need to raise taxes. What other conclusion could this liberal reach?

The following day the business section blasts an in-tandem headline: “Arizonans’ combined tax load is mild compared with most states.”  Obviously, we just don’t pay enough.

Get the idea? Now the Repugnant can substantiate its own perspective by quoting itself. And the most traditional voice on staff at the newspaper has been relegated to a Rodney Dangerfield styled,  self-deprecating jokester who writes his exasperated wife refers to him as a “dummy.”


Taxing problems for AZ CD1 candidate Gary Kiehne

April 10, 2014

Gary Kiehne, an honest to goodness ropin’ cowboy from rural Arizona, is running for Congress in Arizona’s First Congressional District.  At first glance he appears to be the real deal, but according to Wednesday’s Yellow Sheet (subscription only), Kiehne has a problem or two.

It seems Kiehne, a reputed multi-millionaire, has not paid his 2013 property tax on a Casa Grande mobile home. Also, this public document available from the Pinal County Assessor’s office indicates he is claiming more than one primary residence, defined in Arizona as Legal Class 3.

Casa_Grande_Kiehne

Kiehne also lists a home in Eagar as his primary residence, according to the Apache County Assessor’s website.

Eager_Kiehne

State law precludes claiming two separate properties as primary residences, unless a close relative is residing in one of the homes. Arizona gives a tax break on primary residences. Unlawfully claiming more than a single primary residence is gaming the system for an undeserved tax credit.


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.


Pullen for state treasurer: Qualifications galore

April 8, 2014

Managing AZ’s $ multi billion investment portfolio requires a pro

No right thinking conservative would ever accuse former Tempe mayor Hugh Hallman —- a marginal Republican, at best —- of being a conservative. So it’s no surprise his list of endorsers is rife with similar Republicrats, with John McCain leading the charge of cohorts. There are a few head scratchers tucked in among the left-of-center brigade of lobbyists and political operatives, but in the main it’s a list no candidate seeking conservative support would proudly proclaim —- even given Hallman’s colossal egotistical disconnect. 

Associates of questionable stripes do not an elected official make. Actual experience related to the office being sought —- in this case the crucial office of state treasurer —- is where the rubber meets the road. Selecting the right person for the position of Arizona’s chief banker and investment officer has never been more important than in these shaky financial times.

Measure Hallman’s list of prominent McRINOs against Pullen’s list of prominent conservative endorsers —- among them Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Senate President Russell Pearce, and former Maricopa County Republican Chairmen Rob Haney and Tom Husband.

Randy Pullen is a CPA, a businessman with an MBA in finance, and former partner with the international accounting firm Deloitte & Touche. He served ably as the Treasurer of the Republican National Committee and currently is Treasurer of the Arizona Housing Finance Authority. Pullen is founder and President of WageWatch, Inc., a premier internet based compensation and benefit survey firm serving Fortune 1,000 companies. WageWatch has over 5,000 subscribing companies representing over 1.5 million employees nationwide.

Pullen’s credentials for the job are solid.

Under Pullen’s leadership during his two terms as Republican state chairman, Arizona made unprecedented strides, with election victories in 2010 resulting in super majorities in both the Senate and House and winning every statewide office.

There is no question Pullen is the most qualified candidate for state treasurer.

Last November we wrote about a would-be “Kingmaker” (be sure to read the link to Robert Robb’s excellent exposé) who was rumored to be busying himself reconfiguring Arizona’s Republican officeholders into a faint McShadow of themselves. Now as a headliner on Hallman’s list, the buzz about Bill Montgomery has grown legs.


Land of the Freebies, Home of the Enslaved

April 5, 2014

Watch this shocker:

H/T Government Gone Wild


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