Maricopa College board raises your property taxes…again

May 30, 2014

Easy come, easy go….it’s only other people’s money

The Maricopa County Community College District governing board met earlier this week and approved yet another property tax increase. The daily reports this is the fourth tax increase in seven years and the second in a row for the 10-college district —- increasing taxes $128.24 yearly per $100,000 in property.

We reported just last month on the governing board increasing tuition by $3 per credit hour, to $84 per credit, noting MCCCD tuition has skyrocketed nearly 60 percent in just 10 years. 

This latest 2 percent increase in the tax levy, along with the tuition increase and taxes on new construction in the county, will generate about $21 million in additional revenue for the insatiable colleges.

The vote on the tax increase was 4-1. Only board member Debra Brimhall Pearson voted against the hike, although she voted for the previous increase. Pearson, who served in the state legislature as Debra Brimhall representing Snowflake from 1997 to 2004, said the state Legislature “has been derelict to the community colleges” for decreasing funding over the last several years. State aid went from 10 percent of the district’s revenue a few years ago to about 1 percent now, at $7.4 million for 2014-15.

“But I don’t believe the answer is in property taxes,” she said. Later in the meeting Pearson announced she would not run for re-election to the District 3 seat, saying, “I have a moral objection to property taxes.”

About 60 percent of the district’s revenue is from property taxes, and the community colleges account for about 12 percent of property owners’ annual bill.

After the tax vote, the members voted 5-0 to give a 1 percent pay increase to residential and adjunct faculty and most other employee groups. The board also approved the 2014-15 budget. The $774 million operating budget is about 8 percent higher than this year’s budget. The total budget, including the auxiliary, restricted and capital funds, is $1.7 billion.

Arizona’s Constitutional mandate for the state’s higher education to be as “nearly free as possible” is becoming increasingly quaint. 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.


AZ Education Superintendent race goes national

May 19, 2014

Diane Douglas secures key endorsement

Within days after state Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal insulted concerned parents and other constituents by bizarrely comparing them to “barbarians” for opposing the federally imposed Common Core scheme, conservative challenger Diane Douglas submitted her nominating petitions. The initial filing is a clear indicator of the momentum her campaign has gained.

Douglas has turned what is often regarded as a sleepy race into one that promises to be extremely competitive. 

Being endorsed by conservative nationally syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin was the icing on Douglas’ very sweet cake this week. Malkin’s straightforward, bold red headline said it all: Endorsement: Diane Douglas for Arizona state superintendent.

Malkin’s report also included a link to the Seeing Red AZ post describing Republicrat Huppenthal going off the deep end with his disparaging tirade against protesting parents whom he vowed to fight in his effort to preserve Obama’s Common Core “standards.”

As objections to the unpopular federal overreach have grown, Huppenthal and Gov. Jan Brewer deceptively conspired in re-naming Common Core as “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards” —- fooling no one.

The untrustworthy John Huppenthal actually welcomed and toured the state with Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, bragging about his collusion in this media advisory.

At 29-years of age John Huppenthal began an unbroken 31-year record of feeding at the public trough. It’s time to retire him. Conservative Diane Douglas can win this race. Time is short to collect additional signatures to provide a strong buffer and the qualifying $5 contributions.

Diane Douglas needs our help to win this important election that fundamentally affects the education of Arizona’s children.  Join her campaign.

It matters.


More funny (re-branding) business from Jan Brewer

May 17, 2014

Brewer’s back to her old tricks

The latest news from the governor’s office is that Jan Brewer is expected to call the state legislature into a special session to revamp Child Protective Services, the troubled child-welfare agency that shamefully neglected to investigate well over 6,000 reports of child abuse and neglect. Here is her press release on what is rightly termed an “inexcusable situation” and “unconscionable practices.”

But in re-crafting the agency, Brewer is doing what she does so well. She’s renaming it.

In this press release she announced her Obama-like “Executive Order” craftily renaming Common Core, Obama’s approved federal takeover of America’s education system. Note that the words “Common Core” are mysteriously missing as she re-dubs the objectionable program “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.”  Brewer and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal colluded on this deception. Huppenthal calls his name-con re-branding.

As Arizona’s child-welfare agency is finally turned into a functioning office with corrective oversight, substantive changes absolutely need to be made. A new moniker is not one of them.

We agree with Thomas Jacobs, who according to the daily, represented CPS as an assistant Arizona attorney general from the mid-1970s to 1985.  Jacobs wants to keep the Child Protective Services (CPS) designation, which he says is the best, most-widely recognized acronym and name.

“Everyone in the country knows what CPS is and stands for,” says Jacobs. “Why confuse the public on a subject of vital importance? Changing the name isn’t going to erase or correct the problems with this troubled agency.”

Tell that to Gov. Brewer, who thinks the best way to effect change is through obscuring the facts and re-christening the unacceptable. The best deodorant is sunlight.


Huppenthal calls Common Core opponents “barbarians”

May 14, 2014

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal insulted concerned parents and other constituents when he bizarrely compared them to “barbarians” and vowed to fight them in his effort to preserve Obama’s federally imposed education scheme.

“I have put my career on the line to stave off the barbarians. I very likely could lose this election,” Huppenthal said. “I’m okay with that because I felt I did the right thing for this education system,” he added.

Huppenthal said Arizona cannot allow a repeat of what happened in Indiana, which pulled out of the association of states that adopted the standards.  Seeing Red AZ covered the victory of Common Core opponents in Indiana who successfully ousted two establishment endorsed House incumbents. The duo lost in a landslide.

An untrustworthy Republicrat, John Huppenthal actually welcomed and toured the state with Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, bragging about his collusion in this media advisory.

In Arizona, Common Core standards were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010.

As objections to the unpopular federal overreach become stronger, Huppenthal and Gov. Jan Brewer deceptively conspired in changing the name Common Core to “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards” —- fooling no one.

The Indiana victories clearly show that the same can happen in Arizona’s upcoming August 26, primary. John Huppenthal, feeding at the public trough for over three decades, has an able challenger in Diane Douglas.

Time is short to collect signatures and qualifying $5 contributions. She needs help to win. Join her campaign.

It matters.


Common Core opponents triumph in Indiana

May 12, 2014

GOP Gov. Mike Pence, Lt. Gov., establishment endorsements fail to persuade voters

Conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin has devoted much of the past two years to exposing the federal monstrosity known as Common Core.

She recently wrote about the results of elections in Indiana. Despite endorsements from GOP Gov. Mike Pence and Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, anti–Common Core activists won a pair of significant primary election victories. The races weren’t even close. The establishment endorsed House incumbents lost in a landslide. This stunning defeat came despite the support of the Common Core–promoting and deep-pocketed U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Like Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Education John Huppenthal, who worked together to rebrand the Obama education overreach, Pence did the same in Indiana.

Nowhere do the words, “Common Core” actually find their way into Brewer’s Executive Order, which is cunningly crafted into a “Reaffirmation of Arizona’s authority to set [its] own education policy.” Be aware that what she refers to as “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards,” is nothing short of the renaming of the rotten to the core Common Core curriculum so despised by alarmed parents and concerned teachers.

The deceptive John Huppenthal actually welcomed and toured the state with Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, bragging about his collusion in this media advisory.

Breitbart noted the grassroots victory of Indiana parents over the establishment with these words.

“Two Indiana state House incumbents, endorsed by the administration of Gov. Mike Pence (R), fell to candidates supported by grassroots campaigns that stood firmly against the Common Core standards.”

Challengers Christopher Judy and Curt Nislin made their opponents’ refusal to help end Common Core in the state a central issue. Hoosiers Against Common Core, led by moms Erin Tuttle and Heather Crossin, endorsed the dark-horse challengers. With little money and scant press attention, they beat Pence’s machine by astonishingly wide margins

These victories clearly show that the same can happen in Arizona’s upcoming August 26, primary. John Huppenthal, feeding at the public trough for over three decades, has an able challenger in Diane Douglas.

Time is short to collect signatures and qualifying $5 contributions. She needs help to win. Join her campaign. It matters.


Veto of HB 2316 proves Huppenthal wrong on student privacy

April 29, 2014

Diane Douglas, the conservative Republican challenging Common Core-pushing John Huppenthal for Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Republican Primary has come out with a bombshell saying Governor Brewer’s veto of HB 2316 proves that John Huppenthal cannot deliver on his promise to protect student privacy.

Douglas reminds voters that at a candidate forum in SaddleBrooke, Arizona held on April 9th,  Huppenthal assured the audience that the privacy of sensitive student information being gathered as part of Common Core would be protected through new legislation.

His claim is clearly false in the light of the Governor’s veto of HB 2316.

“John Huppenthal is either naive or disingenuous when he falsely claims that the Common Core dossiers being assembled on our children will be kept private. If there is one thing we have learned from the Obama Administration, it is that the government can no longer be trusted with private information,” stated Diane Douglas.

Douglas added, “I am disappointed that John Huppenthal is willing to collaborate with President Obama in building government files on our children. I am opposed to Common Core and I will not allow Arizona’s Public schools to be turned into data gathering agencies for the Obama Administration.”

Douglas’ bio can be read on her campaign website.

Seeing Red AZ has previously written about the huckstering Superintendent Huppenthal, a public education insider now on the campaign trail seeking reelection. He obviously knows what countless parents suspect. Why else would he angle to deceive them with a swift name change for this radical curriculum? In an instant, colluding with Gov. Jan Brewer to pull off the sleight-of-hand scam, “Common Core” magically morphed into “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.” Oddly, Huppenthal sent out this media advisory acclaiming the fact that he escorted Obama’s radical Education Czar Arne Duncan around Arizona.

At 29 years of age John Huppenthal began an unbroken 30-year record of feeding at the public trough. During those years he has become a recognized establishment hack. It’s time to retire him.

Fortunately, Diane Douglas offers conservatives an outstanding choice. The status quo is not acceptable.


Rich Crandall loses Wyoming Ed Supe post

April 24, 2014

Even if they lived across the Valley or in the far reaches of the state from Mesa’s Legislative District 16, many Arizonans remember former state lawmaker Rich Crandall.  During one regular session Crandall was notorious for missing 254 out of 382 floor votes. He was one of the first RINOs to join with the unified Democrats in supporting OBrewerCare, the costly and unsustainable Medicaid expansion.  Crandall also made the infamous Benedict Arnold list after joining with the unified Dems on five major bills in 2011 

On August 13, 2013, the Republicrat lawmaker, with little commitment to his constituents, was removed from office by Senate president Andy Biggs for misrepresenting facts to angry constituents. He took off for Wyoming after his friend Gov. Matt Mead appointed him to run the state Education Department.

Now the Wyoming Star Tribune reports that former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill has been reinstated to overseeing operations of the Wyoming Department of Education after Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell issued an order Friday supporting an earlier finding by the Wyoming Supreme Court. The high court had ruled that the bulk of a state law that passed last year stripping most duties from the state superintendent of public instruction was unconstitutional. 

The back story to this saga? Mead and Hill are both seeking the Republican Party nomination for governor this year.

With Tea Party supported Cindy Hill back at her post, Crandall should be out of work. But Gov. Mead is quoted as saying,  “I have asked him to work in my office for an indefinite period of time in the transition process, so if there’s questions about where a particular project is, or challenges on it, that he would be readily available.”

Crandall is salaried at $205,000 a year —- just a tad over his $24,000/year + per diem salary as an Arizona state legislator.

Wyoming state government is not our concern.  We just hope they figure out a way to keep Rich Crandall. Arizonans don’t want him back.


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