How’d The Onion find Trent Franks?

August 31, 2011

An iconoclastically satirical website called The Onion runs this spoof on Arizona’s Second Congressional District Rep. Trent Franks.

Franks‘ own site is topped with this quote from essayist and transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau: “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

The Onion, not to be outdone, has a droll disclaimer at the bottom of its homepage, declaring it is “not intended for readers under 18 years of age.”


Sheriff Joe Arpaio vindicated — again

August 31, 2011

Federal judge finds no evidence of racial profiling, negligence or abuse

The local left-leaning dispensaries of news have made an art form of brutalizing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  He is relentlessly hammered, often in daily front page journalistic jujitsu masquerading as legitimate news reports. Preposterous editorials collude with columnists and cartoon endeavors against him.  Gannett, the same parent company, owns the state’s largest newspaper, and a local television network operation, whose sole purpose on many days is to act in concert as foul twins, feeding off of one another in their pursuit of the sheriff — a man of integrity and commitment to enforcing the law. Regardless of the efforts to marginalize him by the open borders, amnesty proponents, Arpaio continues to do the job he has repeatedly been elected to do, sometimes even using a good dose of humor to get his point across.

Yesterday’s newspaper carried another report — relegated to the second section, below the fold. But his one vindicated Joe Arpaio of yet another baseless claim against him — that of discrimination. U.S. District Judge Stephen McNamee dismissed a lawsuit against Arpaio in conjunction with one of his law enforcement workplace sweeps.

In dismissing the lawsuit Alvarez v. Arpaio, the federal judge concluded neither Arpaio, the Sheriff’s Office nor county administrators knew of, participated in or authorized any unconstitutional conduct during the 2009 worksite enforcement sweep upon which the lawsuit was based. The illegal alien employees arrested were suspected of identity theft and fraud.

The basis of the claim and Judge McNamee’s ruling centered on facts specific to a woman’s detention and arrest on charges of document forgery, identity theft and being in the country illegally, when apprehended during a workplace raid at Handyman Maintenance Inc., a landscaping company.

Judge McNamee found that “Plaintiff has presented no evidence that any relevant MCSO policy, pattern, or practice had a discriminatory effect and was motivated by a discriminatory purpose.”

In a statement, Sheriff Arpaio said, “Document forgery and identity theft are not victimless crimes. The fact that such crimes may be committed by illegal aliens in Maricopa Countywill not stop me from properly enforcing the law. I am very pleased that the federal court recognized that my deputies follow the Constitution to its letter and spirit when they enforce Arizona law.”

To which Maricopa County citizens can cheerfully add, “Bravo!”

City of Phoenix election results

August 30, 2011

The unofficial results in the Phoenix mayor and council elections can be seen here  — courtesy of the City of Phoenix elections department.

Former City Councilman Greg Stanton, a union backed Democrat who voiced strong opposition to  SB 1070 and McCain strategist and lobbyist  Wes Gullett, emerged as the top two vote-getters in the six-way mayoral race.  The two will face one another in a runoff for mayor since neither candidate tallied more than the 50% needed to win the election.

In the Phoenix City Council elections, the incumbents all appear to be retaining their seats, although Bryan Jeffries, appointed in May as an interim councilman after Peggy Neely resigned to run for mayor, was falling behind challenger Jim Waring, a former Republican state senator. Of the four political newcomers vying to replace Claude Mattox, Glendale firefighter Daniel Valenzuela clung to an early lead, according to a report in the daily.

Proposition 1 passed. On the ballot every four years, its renewal allows Phoenix to continue unrestrained spending.

Voters rejected Proposition 2, denying QuikTrip the opportunity to build a service station and mini mart in a Phoenix neighborhood. Paradise Valley residents Gurvinder and Rajinder Takhar, owners of Chevron gas stations, spent more than $142,000 on their negative campaign to clamp down on competition.

The Phoenix City Clerk’s office announced it will have all the ballots, including early and provisional ballots submitted to the city, counted by 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Election Night results posted include early ballots received by mail through Saturday, Aug. 27, and ballots cast at voting centers on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.

Dennis Burke, AZ US Attorney forced to resign amid scandal, cover-up

August 30, 2011

Within days of testifying before a Congressional committee about his office’s role in the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms gun-smuggling operation known as “Fast and Furious,” U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke has submitted his letter of resignation — effective immediately. His resignation comes amid fallout of his knowledge of the ill-conceived and reckless operation that left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead in a gun battle near Rio Rico, Arizona. Terry’s murder effectively ended the scheme.

Burke an attentive student of and longtime aide to Janet Napolitano, previously served as her Chief of Staff and was appointed to the Arizona U.S. Attorney post by Napolitano’s boss, Barack Obama.  His career is now in shambles, though his name was previously mentioned as a possible Democrat contender for several higher offices.

Burke’s terse email informing his staff of his abrupt leave-taking can be read here.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Burke’s resignation in this press release.

Springing to the defense of the career-Napolitano-clone are other liberals — former Arizona Sen. Dennis DeConcini and Grant Woods, the ubiquitous political clown who rears his head whenever a camera or microphone are within spitting distance.

Last month, in an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, William McMahon, the head of ATF’s Western region, testified that the agency had “good intentions” when it launched “Operation Fast and Furious” in 2009. “But looking back, there are things ATF would have done differently,” he said. McMahon said he was committed to dismantling criminal networks on both sides of the border and that “in our zeal to do so, and in the heat of battle, mistakes were made. And for that I apologize.”

McMahon should win an award as a master of undertatement.

Listen to whistleblower federal agents Jay Dobyns & Vince Cefalu expose the truth behind the irresponsible operation.

Vouchers give parents educational choices

August 30, 2011

Republican congressional gains, exposure of unions, enhance parental choices

Tucked in among poor test scores, falling literacy rates and slipping standards of far too many American public schools is the good news heralding the expansion of school choice across the nation. As of this month according to Dr. Edwin Feulner of the Heritage Foundation, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have policies that support private-school choice. But public-school choice options are also continuing to grow. On top of that, there are millions of children participating in K–12 courses online. Meanwhile, home-schooling and charter schools are becoming more widespread.

Arizona is among the groundbreaking reformers. In April, Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation creating an Education Savings Account program for special-needs students. Under it, Arizona deposits 90 percent of the state per-pupil education funding into a savings account that parents control. They can use it for private-school tuition, online education, home-schooling, or to save for college. The funds follow the child instead of automatically going to the neighborhood public school, and what is unused in one year can be rolled over to the next. Up to 17,000 special-needs students are expected to be eligible for the program this year.

In fact, The Wall Street Journal has already dubbed 2011 “The Year of School Choice,” noting: Choice by itself won’t lift U.S. K-12 education to where it needs to be. Eliminating teacher tenure and measuring teachers against student performance are also critical. Standards must be higher than they are.

But choice is essential to driving reform because it erodes the union-dominated monopoly that assigns children to schools based on where they live. Unions defend the monopoly to protect jobs for their members, but education should above all serve students and the larger goal of a society in which everyone has an opportunity to prosper.

This year’s choice gains are a major step forward, and they are due in large part to Republican gains in last fall’s elections combined with growing recognition by many Democrats that the unions are a reactionary force that is denying opportunity to millions. The ultimate goal should be to let the money follow the children to whatever school their parents want them to attend.

The Boston Globe now reports that within weeks after Indiana began the nation’s broadest school voucher program, thousands of students have transferred from public to private schools, causing a spike in enrollment at some Catholic institutions that were recently on the brink of closing.

In July we covered the massive fraud in test scores in Georgia and Pennsylvania — reaching into the highest levels of school administrations.

Given a choice, parents opt for what’s best for their children. The good news is that option is now increasingly available.

Sheriff Babeu plays fast and loose with county ca$h

August 29, 2011

“Flirting with whimsy” comes at high price

Self-promoting Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu apparently doesn’t mind spending money he says he doesn’t have in order to give himself a boost in exposure. Using RICO (racketeering money that comes from seized assets) and jail enhancement funds at a time when he claims his office is too cash strapped to combat drug cartels and he is actually soliciting public donations to provide deputies with rifles, Babeu spent over $53,000 to send 25 people to a week-long conference. He was the recipient of a national award based upon his own hyperbole.

The daily newspaper reports that records show about half of the June 18-22 St. Louis, Missouri  junket was paid by court fees given to the sheriff’s office to improve county jails. The other half came from seized cash and property intended to fund investigations and prosecutions. Scroll through the news report to get a handle on some of the excursions, charges and reimbursement submittals. Be sure to read the title of topics covered during the seminar. Warning: You might have difficulty reading while your head is shaking back and forth in disbelief.

Among the department personnel represented at the National Sheriffs’ Association annual conference was a school resource officer, at least three detention officers, several deputies and three department volunteers.

Babeu and his entourage stayed at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand hotel at a cost of $28,885. The website describes the luxury hotel as a refuge where “Classic elegance flirts with touches of whimsy to evoke the perfect balance of class and comfort.”

Flirting with whimsy comes a quite a price. But we think that money could better be spent buying a few rifles for Babeu’s under-armed deputies.

AZ AG Tom Horne subject of leftist lies, distortions

August 29, 2011

 Olbermann, Gallardo serve as stooges for one another

Last Thursday Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne took the bold step of suing the federal government in reference to the constitutionality of a portion of the Voting Rights Act requiring Arizona to pre-clear all voting changes with the Justice Department. 

The 16-page Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief brought on behalf if the sovereign state of Arizona can be read here.

Horne stated: “The portions of the Voting Rights Act requiring preclearance of all voting changes are either archaic, not based in fact, or subject to completely subjective enforcement based on the whim of federal authorities. Arizona has been subjected to enforcement actions for problems that were either corrected nearly 40 years ago and have not been repeated, or penalized for alleged violations that have no basis in the Constitution. That needs to stop.” Read his entire statement here.

But facts never stand in the way of the radical agenda of the left. Listen as Keith Olbermann and Hispanic extremist state Sen. Steve Gallardo (D-Dist.13) distort facts and blatantly lie as when Gallardo — who cannot form a sentence without using the words “discriminatory and unfair”– outrageously claims Horne opposes “the ability for minorities to elect candidates of their choice.”

When Attorney General Horne appears in the video, Olbermann gives his take on what Horne is saying but disallows the audio save for his own skewed interpretations that have no relevance to actual facts or Horne‘s statements. Olbermann then sets up another opportunity for spew from Gallardo with this closing zinger:  “What on earth happened with the timing of this? They filed this suit the week the Martin Luther King monument was to be dedicated. Was that accidental tone-deafness or was that an intentional insult?”

In November 2010, liberal Olbermann was sacked by MSNBC for violating its policy against making campaign donations. He gave $2,400 each to Arizona Democrats U.S. Reps. Raul Grijalva — who called for a boycott of the state he claims to represent, and Gabrielle Giffords.  (FEC filings can be seen by clicking on the Reps. names.) In fact, his “indefinite suspension” lasted from Friday until Tuesday, when he was brought back to his $10 million yearly gig. He has now found an even more liberal base from which to broadcast: Al Gore’s Current TV.

Here Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs SB 1070 the popular and nationally copied legislation into law. The law is actually titled Support Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, though Olbermann persists in spitefully calling it the “controversial Papers, Please law.”

Mark Kelly makes political debut at AZ Dem event

August 28, 2011

As Democrats go apoplectic over the thought of a challenge to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in CD 8, it appears there could be a name on the horizon that might soothe their ruffled feathers.

Mark Kelly, Giffords’ astronaut husband is due to retire from his NASA post at the first of October. But within short order after his leave taking, the man who demurred at the thought of replacing his wife in congress will keynote a fundraising event for the AZ Democrat Party.

Earlier speculation about the Houston resident’s political future cooled when he announced that his overriding concern — above all else — was to concentrate on his wife’s recovery from the massive head wound she suffered in a horrific shooting in January. Additionally, we were told he and Giffords intended to co-author a book.

Then there’s that pesky issue of residency that kept rearing its head. But the U.S. Constitution requires only that a candidate for U.S. Representative shall “when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.” The same is true of a candidate for U.S. Senate. That’s it. The noun “inhabitant” is different than the verb “reside.” Kelly’s wife maintains a home in Tucson.

Since his wife’s serious injury and despite her rehab, a key member her staff has moved on, and there is cautious movement within both Democrat and Republican circles regarding the congressional seat Giffords holds. When he left recently, her communications director C.J. Karamargin said “No plans have been made about 2012. She is concentrating, first, on her recovery and there will be plenty of time for politics.”

Mark Kelly has been warmly welcomed into the Obama fold. So the fact that he is the guest speaker for the State Democrats 2011 Volunteer Awards Night a week after his retirement from the space program does fuel the rumor mill. An appearance within the southern Arizona Congressional District confines would be easier to understand.  But taking center stage at a state event gives rise to questions regarding his own political future.

In the event you need a hint regarding his political stance, try this on for size. When Pope Benedict XVI made the first ever papal phone call to space — calling shuttle Endeavour’s Commander Kelly, the Pope was told “borders cannot be seen from space.”

House or Senate, which will it be?

College success comes packaged in rainbow

August 27, 2011

Liberal arts college takes its name seriously

Elmhurst College, centered in metropolitan Chicago, has become the first college in the nation to directly ask students about their sexual orientation. How they answer specific questions increases their scholarship eligibility, and can pay up to one-third of tuition costs. The private, 4-year liberal arts school has 3,300 undergraduate students and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. But Muslim and even Secular Students Associations flourish along with mainstream faiths at the church school.

“Intercultural Life, celebrating ethnic diversity” also gets a big boost.

“Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement,” said Gary Rold, Elmhurst’s dean of admissions. “This [asking about sexual orientation] is simply closing the loop, in many ways, of another group who has a very strong identity. It may not be race and religion but it’s an important part of who they are,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

More importantly, he said, knowing students’ sexual orientation will help officials direct incoming students toward services or groups that might help them make an easier transition to college life.

“We took this step in an effort to better serve each of our students as a unique person,” says Elmhurst President S. Alan Ray. “It also allows us to live out our commitments to cultural diversity, social justice, mutual respect among all persons, and the dignity of every individual. These are among the core values of this institution. They provide the foundation for all of our academic, student and community programs.”

“It is kind of a pleasant surprise that Elmhurst College in Illinois is the first campus to ask an identity question,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of the national nonprofit Campus Pride. “

“It’s important that these youth have a way to express their sexual identity, like their racial identity,” Windmeyer said. “Colleges ask those questions so they can give them the resources to get them to be successful.”

With the focus on sexual identity, celebrating cultural diversity, faith or lack of it, cross-cultural skills and relationships among different groups, fostering greater awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer (LGBTQ) issues, and joining groups such as Straights and Gays for Equality, we wonder when they find time to actually delve into academics.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the Phil Gordon tree

August 27, 2011

PPD Officer son gets privileged treatment instead of boot out the door

In January lusty Phoenix Police Officer Jeffrey Gordon was placed on paid administrative leave while the department’s Professional Standards Bureau conducted an investigation into allegations of “unprofessional conduct” performed on-duty, in uniform.

A report released yesterday said the younger Gordon, a married, six-year officer, violated an operations order that states, “Employees will not engage in sexual activity or contact at any time while on duty or when off duty at any departmental facility and/or grounds.” A tamer version of his inappropriate conduct both last December and in 2007, can be read in the newspaper account here. The Phoenix New Times has the real low down which you can find on your own. This is a family blog, after all.

But despite Officer Gordon’s repeated and salacious sexual misconduct, he was recently allowed to return to work, and then given the exceedingly light penalty apparently becoming the son of the Mayor of Phoenix — a ridiculous 32-hour suspension. This after spending the better part of the year on paid leave courtesy of Phoenix taxpayers.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson released the following statement on behalf of the department:
“Consistent with department policy, Officer Jeffrey Gordon was investigated for allegations of misconduct by the Professional Standards Bureau of the Phoenix Police Department. A seven member Disciplinary Review Board, consisting of members of the public, peer officers, police commanders and an assistant police chief reviewed the investigation and findings and recommended a 32-hour suspension to Acting Police Chief Joe Yahner. Officer Gordon, who has returned to duty in the Estrella Mountain Precinct, will serve that suspension.”

Dad Philly Gordon has had his own odd romantic madcap adventures. It must run in the family.