Rep. Steve Urie takes a hike for greener pastures

March 28, 2012

Single-term state Rep. Steve Urie (R-Dist.22), has announced he‘s not interested in running to retain his seat in the Arizona legislature.

His reason? “I just really like working on the local level,” said Urie, a Republican who first entered politics in 1999 when he was elected to the Gilbert Town Council.

Not one to tax himself, Urie says the demands of the office were too high for a job that is supposed to be part-time. Apparently he had no idea of the legislative job description when he ran for the office — although he willingly resigned his Town Council position to campaign for the state House seat.

In a statement announcing his decision to run for Justice of the Peace, he said, “I’m excited for the opportunity to work more directly with the citizens of Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler and to bring my personal experience to this job.”

Urie conveniently omits the fact that there is a much more attractive benefits package and salary of over $95,000, as JP’s earn 65% of the $150,000 per year Superior Court judge’s base salary. And instead of gearing up for reelection every two years, JPs only face the voters every four years. Plus, there’s also an impressive black robe and the aura of being a judge — even if you’re actually a real estate agent and property manager.

State legislators earn a paltry $24,000 a year + per diem.  They need a raise. Shuck and Jivester Steve Urie needs a dose of truth serum and a focus booster. 

PAChyderm Coalition, a Reagan Republican group that rates GOP legislators has Urie dragging bottom at an uncomfortable 36 out of a list of 40, with a grade of 54.6% and unflatteringly rated as a “Big Government Republican” on its most recent scorecard.

AZ Supreme Court: “gratuitous violence” standard

March 28, 2012

“Insufficient evidence to prove aggravating circumstance”

Apparently James Granvil Wallace’s confessions to the grisly premeditated bludgeoning deaths of his girlfriend Susan Insalaco, her 12-year-old son Gabriel and 16-year-old daughter Anna aren’t “aggravating” enough to warrant the previous death sentences imposed by Pima County Trial Courts.

Yesterday. Arizona’s Supreme Court overturned his death sentences, declaring the acts committed in 1984 were not heinous or depraved enough even though they were “atrocious” and “senseless.”   The justices found that Wallace didn’t knowingly inflict more wounds on the family than he thought were necessary to kill them.

Wallace’s sentence is reduced to two consecutive terms of life in prison.

These are the facts: After lying in wait for the children to return from school, he first beat Anna in the head with a baseball bat and rammed the then-broken bat into her neck, down her chest cavity and out her back.

When Gabriel entered the residence, Wallace hit him repeatedly with an 18-inch pipe wrench, until he had “crushed his skull.” A couple of hours later Susan was murdered with the same pipe wrench when she returned from work.

In 2008 the state’s high court threw out the previously imposed death penalty against Wallace for murdering Susan Insalaco.

Here Justice John Pelander writing for the court states: “….evidence does not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Wallace actually or constructively knew that he had delivered one or more fatal blows to Anna or Gabriel before he stopped striking them. We therefore vacate the death sentences imposed on the two convictions relating to Anna and Gabriel’s murders and impose life sentences for each of those convictions.” (Page 20 of the opinion.)

In his confession, Wallace described killing Anna. “I thought she would die with one blow…that’d be it, like in the movies,” he told police. “It ain’t that way. She looked me in the eye, she knew who was killing her. … I wanted to put her out of her misery, man.”

Read the Arizona Supreme Court opinion issued March 27, 2012.

Longtime bureaucrat Tom Manos named MC manager

March 27, 2012

Maricopa County gets new manager within one day of Phoenix getting new police chief

Today a slimmer than usual voting bloc of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously selected Tom Manos, 59, as the new county manager to succeed recently retired David Smith. He currently serves as executive director of the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority and manager of the county’s Human Services Campus.

Manos began working in county government in 1984, although he has also pulled stints within the governor’s office assisting Gov. Brewer with her 2009 transition team when she first took office after the abrupt departure of Janet Napolitano. He also served as Brewer’s deputy chief of staff in charge of finance.

As assistant county manager and chief financial officer, he managed several departments, including finance, risk management and materials management

Since the county manager has the discretion to make settlements on lawsuits affecting the supervisors, both Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox — who have outstanding lawsuits against the taxpayers of Maricopa County — recused themselves from the vote on the advice of legal counsel.

Thus the five-member board approved Manos’ appointment on a 3 – 0 vote.

Obama: Literally stuck on stupid

March 27, 2012

Danish Broadcasting Corp. host Thomas Buch-Andersen does the job America’s left-leaning media refuse to do. This embarrassing video indictment clearly exposes Obama’s flamboyant superficiality and hypocritical insincerity. Words are only words to him. He’s obviously a fool but the US voters who elected him are the biggest fools of all.

Watch as he habitually uses the boxing metaphor “punches above their weight” to consecutively describe the leaders of Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland and the Philippines.

Then he repeatedly uses the exact terminology, as he declares that America has “no stronger ally” than The Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Great Britain, Germany, Korea, Israel, France, Italy and Japan.  Denmark?  Not so much.

You’ve got to see this to believe it.

Inconvenient truths about Obama’s “son”

March 27, 2012

The death of any teenager is a tragedy. A life cut short causes us all anguish. The shooting death of unarmed, black Florida teen Trayvon Martin fits that description to a tee. The fact that this incident has become riddled with racial and political overtones, even causing the President of the United States to jump into the fray and declare, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” raises the profile to even higher proportions. 

Protest marches from coast to coast — including here in Phoenix — feature professional athletes, celebrities and the now-standard self-appointed black “leaders” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Activists from the ACLU and Urban League are capitalizing on the momentum.

An interjection of sanity comes as former NAACP leader Rev. C.L. Bryant accuses Jackson and Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.” Bryant, quoted in the Daily Caller, says, “His family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions.”  The pastor called Jackson and Sharpton “race hustlers” and said they are “acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”

But it turns out even the family is cashing in on the bounty, with Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton filing documents to trademark her son’s name. In case you find that difficult to believe, The Smoking Gun website has six pages of applications.

George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch captain, shot Martin, a 17-year-old youth last month. Zimmerman, also a minority with a mother who is Hispanic, was bruised and bleeding from head and face wounds following an altercation with Martin. He says he shot Martin in self-defense. Though he has not been charged with a crime, Zimmerman has gone into hiding, as the New Black Panther Party vigilantes have offered a $10,000 reward for his “capture.”

The Obama Justice Department and the FBI have opened an investigation into the death and a state grand jury is set to convene April 10.  And in the most glaring example of the racial overtones undergirding the situation, the Sanford Police Department has replaced the white chief, who they say has “temporarily stepped down” with a black appointee.

The Martin case captures the essence of Tom Wolfe’s 1987 classic The Bonfire of the Vanities.  In the novel, a hot-bed of racial tensions erupt as a young black victim sets a city seething. The youth is given sainthood status and the unintentional perpetrator becomes the hunted prey. It’s probably still in the library and chances are you haven’t ventured into one lately. Take this opportunity and pick up the book.  It’s all there — 25 years ago mirrors today.

In that accounting,  the youth became an honor student in death. In the Martin case, the inadvertent victim has had his third, and still current, school suspension for drug possession mysteriously erased and a president with two daughters wax eloquent about his “son.”

Meet Phoenix’s new police chief: Daniel Garcia

March 26, 2012

Former Dallas Police Assistant Chief takes reins of nation’s 6th largest city

Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos has named Daniel V. Garcia to head the Phoenix Police Deparment.

Other finalists included acting Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner, Phoenix Assistant Police Chief Kevin Robinson and to former San Jose Police Chief Robert Davis.

The Phoenix Police Department has approximately 3,055 sworn officers and a budget of over $500 million. Garcia is expected to begin his new assignment in May.

Here is Garcia’s 13-page redacted résumé, courtesy of the daily newspaper.

Public schools, unionist teachers, victimize students

March 26, 2012

The Louisiana News Star reports that a teacher was present in the classroom while two third graders engaged in oral sex. Try wrapping your thoughts around that. The teacher has been dismissed because the principal felt that she was “not monitoring the classroom adequately.”

Another teacher in the district is under investigation for drug usage while on the job.

The Superintendent is on record desiring to “change the culture” of the district. “We are working on creating a culture where children can feel safe, loved and protected, and that’s quite a challenge,” she said.

Monitored and loved? How about instructed? Isn’t it the responsibility of educators to impart knowledge to students in preparation to be productive citizens who are able to compete in the workforce? Babysitters monitor and parents provide love.

Although they have an average student-to-teacher ratio of 16.6, and are spending $10,000 a year per child, academic scores are pathetic, ranked with a grade of “D” by the local school directory. By any standard this school is failing the children who attend.

The directory states that “the overall school rating shows that Tallulah Elementary School performed on average worse than many other schools across the state on iLEAP and LEAP state exams in the following subjects: English Language Arts, Math, Science and  Social Studies.”

An interesting accompanying statistic would be the percentage of teachers who are members of the NEA — National Education Association or the left-wing union known as the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.