John McCain’s religious freedom memory lapse

March 15, 2014

The Weekly Standard’s articleJohn McCain Not Sure How Arizona’s Religious Freedom Bill Differed from Law He Voted Forprovides a revealing insight into the mind of Arizona’s very senior senator.

Only the fearless are willing to take such an excursion. Go ahead. You read Seeing Red AZ. You’re up to it.

SB 1062 Veto: Brewer’s finger to the wind leadership

February 26, 2014

Caving to pressure exerted by loud special interest groups and mass demonstrations, Gov. Jan Brewer has exhibited her cowardly leadership skills by vetoing SB 1062, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Brewer’s letter to Senate President Andy Biggs justifying her veto can be read here.

Though nearly a dozen prominent law professors from prestigious schools across the United States have urged Brewer to take a deeper look at a bill that has been “egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics,” she has bowed to threats from  a more vocal minority — homosexual activists and the leftwing media who have relentlessly pressed for a veto.

Read the letter signed by eleven legal scholars — Democrats and Republicanshere.

“As these legal scholars rightly point out, the misrepresentations about the bill have been egregious,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Douglas Napier. (Listen to his sound bite.) “It has nothing to do with refusing someone a sandwich. It has everything to do with making Arizona a safe place for people to freely live out their faith. The falsehoods need to be exposed for what they are.”

SB 1062 Discrimination? The left has a way with words

February 25, 2014

These past few days we in Arizona have been hearing a lot about discriminationfrom a single perspective. Just as SB 1070 spitefully transmogrified into the “show me your papers” lawSB 1062 is now gaining traction among liberals as the “OK-to-discriminate” bill. The fact that neither designation is factual means little to those spewing the falsehoods.

The issue to ponder as this bill has taken on a life of its own — fed by a frenzied media and fervent homosexual rights proponents — is who is actually oppressed? There is no question religion in under attack in America.

It’s important to understand that SB 1062 simply strengthens protections in Arizona law to defend against religious discrimination toward people of faith. Our country was founded upon the First Amendment and our right to freely exercise our religious beliefs. 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. — The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Free Exercise clause prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion. The significance of the Free Exercise of Religion Clause is its affirmation of the value of religion in American culture.

Organized pressure is mounting against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is now on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk. Clamoring demonstrators, armed with signs and loud voices, have parked themselves at the state capitol, playing for the willing media, while conservative supporters of the bill are at work.

Absurdities rule the day. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake have, of course, weighed in, imploring a veto. Bowing to pressure, state legislators who voted for the bill are peeling away and opportunistic gubernatorial candidates are preening to the cameras. Threats of relocating the 2015 Super Bowl are stirred into the bawdy brew by a previously unheard of Democrat governor from Delaware. The Drudge Report headlines with a photo of Arizona Gov. Brewer topping SHOWDOWN IN AZ.

Read The Christian Post’s in-depth analysis of the issue. Then sit back and wait for Brewer’s veto pen to scratch across SB 1062 — exactly  as she’s been advised to do by her left-leaning McAdvisors. 

Democrat AZ Rep wants felons to get automatic vote

February 7, 2014

State Rep. Martin J. Quezada, has a nifty new scheme for increasing the number of Democrat voters. The Avondale Democrat has sponsored HB 2132, which would automatically restore the right to vote to released prisoners who have been convicted of two or more felonies.

Quezada has more than a passing interest in the controversial topic. He’s an immigration and criminal defense lawyer whose practice also includes election law.  Like Barack Obama, he refers to himself as a “community activist.”

Current law (Title 13, Chapter 9) allows restoration of voting rights for first-time felons after completing probation and paying fines and restitution. Quezada’s bill intends to eliminate those pesky provisions, since he says the fines are an impediment to exercising good citizenship by voting.

Most Arizonans would likely agree that “good citizenship” is a commodity in short supply with those who have been convicted of numerous felonies — but that doesn‘t deter supporters of increasing the Democrat voter base.

Cronkite News, the left-leaning ASU Journalism School student team that fills in where the Arizona Republic’s dwindling number of actual reporters once  toiled, quotes the left-agendized Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for prison and sentencing reform. According to its estimates 200,000 felons in Arizona remain ineligible to voteThat’s enough to make any Democrat salivate.

The article featured obligatory interviews with the ACLU executive director who agrees voting rights should be automatically restored, and Donna Leone Hamm, founder of Middle Ground Prison Reform, who also sees voting as a “bridge for felons to rejoin society.”

She should know. Her husband, James Hamm, then a drug dealer, shot two men in the back of the head at point-blank range during a robbery in 1974. After his early release, he had his rights restored in 2001 and registered to vote the same day. He also took up a seat at the ASU Law School where he was admitted as a law student but not allowed to practice based on grounds of moral turpitude.

Arizona’s law-abiding citizens have every reason to regard the restoration of voting rights as a privilege — to be earned by fulfilling obligations outlined in state law.  HB 2132 should find its place in the round file.

Weekend reading: First-rate advice to House GOP

January 26, 2014

The Feb. 3, 2014 issue of the Weekly Standard runs an article by William Kristol titled, Memo to House GOP, that should be required reading for all 233 Republican members of Congress. Since they might not read it, you should.

Then, let them hear from you about which issues are vital to American citizens who pay their salaries, and which are guaranteed to land the Republican party on a cold slab — regardless how they attempt to reconfigure them.

Each of the 445 House seats will be up for election this year. As of January 2014, 29 House members — including 18 Republicans — announced they would not seek re-election in 2014. 

Ballotpedia provides the list here.

AZ going to pot? Conservative AG vs. leftie state Rep.

January 13, 2014

AZ Attorney General Tom Horn debates “recreational” marijuana with state Rep. Ruben Gallego 

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, a Republican, and Democrat State Rep. Ruben Gallego (LD 27) discuss the legalizing of “recreational” marijuana in Arizona. This revealing exchange took place Saturday on ABC15.

Tom Horn says legalization will increase use. His opposition stems from his background, which includes twenty-four years as a school board member, four years in the state legislature where he chaired the Education Accountability Committee and eight years as Superintendent of Public Instruction — providing him ample opportunity to see the negative effects of the drug on students. Since legalization is currently being experimented with in Colorado and Washington, Horne prudently thinks we should wait and see the effects in those states.

Gallego has no such inclination. Arizona’s 2014 legislative session begins today, opening with Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State Address. Rep. Gallego plans to introduce his bill this week. The guise of legalizing “medical marijuana” is finally exposed for what it is — a route to full-scale legalization of the drug for recreational use.  The left desires other mind-numbing drugs to follow that path, making control of the populace easier.

In the event Gallego’s proposal becomes law, Arizonans ages 21 and older could possess up to an ounce of marijuana and up to five plants. His bill will also include an excise tax and establish regulations. Watch the ABC 15 video here.

Guilty plea in Danny’s Car Wash rehiring of illegals

January 9, 2014

Illegal alien profiteers admit to greater earnings by skirting legal workers

Thrusting an obscene gesture at American workers, the owner and management of Danny’s Family Car Wash chain gave a wink and a nod to the rehiring of known illegals working at the various Valley facilities.

In conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids last August, manager Manuel De Jesus Aldaco entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy charges before Magistrate Judge David Duncan during a Jan. 6 hearing in U.S. District Court.

De Jesus Aldaco is one of over a dozen managers and supervisors who admitted taking part in a scheme to rehire illegal workers and provide them with fraudulent identities.

The indictment (full text — use icon at bottom left to turn pages, audio also included) accused the managers of firing about 900 workers — about half of the company’s workforce — identified in a 2011 government audit as being “unauthorized” to work. The managers with corporate approval, then knowingly rehired many of them under assumed names. De Jesus Aldaco admitted participating in the conspiracy.

De Jesus Aldaco said the company hired legal workers after the illegal alien workers were fired, but the new employees greatly increased the cost of doing business. Unlike the illegal laborers, the legal workers expected to receive breaks and be paid for the full amount of time they were at work, according to the plea agreement.

What a shocking revelation.

The car-wash chain is owned by Daniel Hendon, a former Detroit police officer, who opened the first of the more than 20 carwashes in the 1980’s. Hendon,  involved with numerous other business ventures throughout the state, has not been indicted for his role in this blatant disregard of the law.

In July  2007, Seeing Red AZ  wrote about Daniel Hendon’s involvement in the formation of a coalition, “Wake Up Arizona!” the intent of which was to oust conservative state legislators who sponsored the Legal Arizona Workers Act [widely known as Employee Sanctions] — claiming the implementation would “devastate” the economy.

At a meeting of the firm’s top-level corporate officers and managers of the individual car washes the discussion centered on how to respond to the increased labor costs. During the meeting, a person identified in court documents as the owner of Danny’s Family Car Wash by the initials “D.H.” stated “he wanted us to bring the old employees back.”

De Jesus Aldaco faces up to five years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a possibly reduced sentence. His sentencing is set for April 7, 2014 before Judge Neil Wake.

Scroll down to 9/09/2013 near the bottom of this page for the list of defendants.

Sen. Kelli Ward acts to ban unconstitutional NSA spying in AZ

December 12, 2013

Conservative values first honed listening to Rush Limbaugh

Republican State Sen. Kelli Ward (Dist.5) is making national news. The Washington Times reports that the Lake Havasu physician/legislator will introduce legislation in the upcoming session to ban the National Security Agency from unconstitutional operations in Arizona. Ward describes her nullification legislation, the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, as a pre-emptive strike against the federal agency’s overreaches.

“While media attention is focused on a possible effort to shut off water to the NSA data center in Utah, I’m introducing the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act to back our neighbors up,” Ward said, referencing actions by Utah’s privacy advocates to drive the agency from its borders.

“Just in case the NSA gets any ideas about moving south, I want them to know the NSA isn’t welcome in Arizona unless it follows the Constitution. There is no question that the NSA program, as it is now being run, violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a way to stop it.”

Arizona would be the first state to take such action against the NSA, though Ward’s legislation could well serve as a template for other states.

Critics claim the move has no teeth, that the Supremacy Clause binds all states to every federal mandate, regardless of its constitutionality. Advocates for constitutional protections against federal power abuse disagree, citing* both Supreme Court precedents and the philosophical roots of the Constitution itself. As more states move to assert their constitutional rights, the debate over state’s rights will surely continue.

Ward’s legislation would ban state and local officials from providing material support to the NSA — including water and electricity —  make data collected by the NSA without a warrant inadmissible in state court, forbid public colleges from working with the NSA and levy sanctions against companies working with the electronic spy agency.

Read the complete news article here. And while you’re at it, take some additional time to read Dr./Sen. Ward’s impressive bio, linked under her name in the first paragraph of this post. Arizonans are electing some impressive conservatives

*H/T Heritage Foundation

Phoenix and the awful politics of race

November 3, 2013

Weekend reading guaranteed to make you smarter

Once again, Dr. Thomas Sowell exposes truth — regardless of whom his wisdom might cause to squirm. Today we bring you “The race-hustlers among us.” Sowell’s commentary is especially relevant given the negative racial overtones of the two city of Phoenix Council runoff elections to be decided this coming Tuesday and the ouster from her leadership post of the lone black female in the state legislature.

Make no mistake. Race trumps the family business of political dynasties as a factor in both council districts. Plain ol’ white bread Justin Johnson, the son of former Mayor Paul Johnson, is running against Laura Pastor, the daughter of Hispanic U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, in District 4.  After losing in 2007, this is Laura Pastor’s second bite of the city council apple.

In minority majority District 8, the race baiting has become particularly malicious as civil-rights activist Rev. Warren Stewart was recruited to mount a challenge to Kate Gallego, an economic-development strategist and wife of Hispanic state Rep. Ruben Gallego. Again, all of the players are Democrats. Even back in January, the verbal volleys were deplorable. Gallego was actually called a “white sham candidate in brown face.” She was also referred to as “a power-hungry white…who not is openly campaigning as white.”

To her credit, “white interloper” Kate Gallego, with credentials galore, has been quoted as saying, “I don’t think there’s an African-American or Latino way to fill a pothole.”

In a letter to the editor of the daily newspaper, former City Councilman Calvin Goode, a Democrat,  actually advocated for racially gerrymandered districts to ensure black members on the city council. Read his shameful letter here.

This past week, in an 8 – 5 vote, the AZ Senate Democrat caucus ousted black Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor (LD-27) as Senate minority leader. She will be replaced by Hispanic Sen. Anna Tovar (LD-19). Landrum Taylor, now a candidate for Secretary of State, alluded to racial motivations, saying “It’s disgusting and degrading.” She is pondering a request for a revote, noting that members of “the community” are calling for the action. “The community is outraged,” she said. There’s that pesky “community” again. Whenever the term is used, it always refers to a narrow, ethnic slice of the city’s entire pie.

To think that in his “I Have a Dream “ speech in 1963, Martin Luther King actually said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

Also on ballots across the Valley, numerous school districts are asking for bond override authorizations from the same voters who are expected to live within their own budgets — something the districts appear either unable or unwilling to do.

Polling information and City Voting Centers for the Nov. 5, 2013 runoff election are listed here.

Huppenthal’s con job: Pushes renaming Common Core

September 19, 2013

AZ Education Superintendent tries to fool parents and voters

John Huppenthal, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, is doing a first-rate imitation of Punxsutawney Phil.  According to tradition, each February 2 groundhog Phil emerges from his burrow. A cloudy day welcomes an early spring. But if the sun is shining brightly and Phil sees his shadow, six more weeks of icy winter is in store.

Unfortunately for Arizona, Huppenthal’s recent emergence from the education abyss will not give him six weeks of winter. Instead the devious policies he is advocating will bring decades of a barren winter landscape for Arizona students.

Alarmed by the voices of angry voters, parents dedicated to protecting their children and facing Diane Douglas, a knowledgeable conservative challenger in the 2014 election, John Huppenthal has decided the most advantageous scheme is to try to dupe the public by slickly changing the name from “Common Core” to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.”  He acknowledges the term has become “politically charged.” It has also become difficult to sell the leftist standards — long in multiculturalism, self esteem and social justice and short on actual education — to the groups he is addressing. “Unwavering“ in his commitment to Common Core, Huppenthal admits outside of the rebranding, nothing will actually change in his Obama-influenced vision for Arizona classrooms. 

Instead of protecting Arizona’s Constitutional requirement for local control of our district schools, Huppenthal is pushing policies that will cede control of every facet of our education system to federal bureaucrats. Conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin has written extensively about what she calls “Rotten to the Core.”  “Obama’s War on Academic Standards,” is an excellent place to begin.

This shocking video shows a teacher’s training session on Common Core math. The trainer explains how getting the wrong answer is perfectly acceptable. FrontPage Mag exposes the shocking Common Core ‘Exemplars’ and the Daily Caller reveals graphic sex and the praising of Communist Castro. Opponents of such garbage are being categorized as part of the tin foil hat contingent. Read some of this and make your own judgments.

Huppenthal’s transformation is confounding. Here is a man who claimed conservative credentials as a candidate, now cozying up to Obama’s education point man Arne Duncan as the duo recently made the rounds of the state.

The biggest irony, however, is the fact that Huppenthal was the author and prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1038 in 2005. This bill dramatically lowered graduation standards for Arizona students. Now, eight years later, the same John Huppenthal is using the scare tactics that our state standards are too low as the reason for embracing Obama’s Common Core.

At 29 years of age 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.


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