D.R.E.A.M. Act morphs into dreamy amnesty, Part II

November 8, 2017

Illegal’s impossible to verify claims set stage for nightmare rather than dream

If you’re looking for support of amnesty or full-blown citizenship for illegal aliens who have invaded the United States, The Periódico de la República de Arizona (AZ Republic newspaper) never disappoints. The editorial board would feature this issue on a daily basis if other national and local priorities didn’t occasionally raise their pesky heads.

The most recent foray comes packaged as a demand to congress. “Enough politics. Pass the Dream Act now.” The only item missing is a declarative exclamation point. Let’s begin with the soft word “Dream” contrived to induce warm sympathetic responses to what is now estimated to be about a million illegals claiming they were brought here as young children by their invader parents.  There is no way to accurately verify their claims. The Dream Act is toothless and requires incomprehensible naiveté on the part of those being asked to condone its provisions.

There is no need for SRAZ to reinvent the wheel where this Democrat Party expansion lunacy is concerned. For the best response, we’re reprising a previous post written after the Nov. 2016 presidential election, but prior to Donald Trump‘s inauguration. Please  reacquaint yourself with these truths:

Once upon a time — in 2001 — we first heard of something known as the D.R.E.A.M. Act. The acronym stood for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. It was introduced as S.1291. The 2002 bill was drafted before the speech police ruled the words “illegal” and “alien” unacceptable, so they were used extensively throughout the bill.

The D.R.E.A.M. Act was a liberal dream come true, a warm and fuzzy piece of legislation lacking any means of verification while permanently swelling the ranks of the Democrat Party.

Those applying for the gift of U.S. citizenship need only affirm they were 16 years of age or younger when they initially entered the United States and are currently 35 years of age or younger. They have to declare that they have been persons of good moral character since initially being brought to the U.S. as children by their parents — illegally. Verifying how many came as babes in arms or ably propelled themselves over the border last year at age 34 is impossible to substantiate.

Along the way those hoping to access the overly generous provisions of the D.R.E.A.M. Act, simply became known by the sympathy provoking term, “Dreamers.” They are no longer “alien minors,” but merely those requiring compassion. There are consequences to this massive scale manipulation and the victims are not the illegals, but our own American citizen children.

The so-called “Dreamers” represent a dual assault on law-abiding, taxpaying American citizens and legal immigrants, since public universities grant illegals in-state tuition. American parents who send their children to out-of-state colleges have to pay higher tuition than illegals.

Most importantly, this scam results in illegals taking the limited number of spaces available for students at public universities, crowding out deserving American students and eventually competing with them in the job market.

Any illegal who claims they entered the U.S. before they were 16 years old and have lived here for at least five years can gain legal residence and ultimately citizenship merely by graduating high school, attending two years of college or entering the military. But even those requirements can be waived if they would cause “hardship.”

The biggest winners of this reckless lunacy will be the millions of illegals whose status is legitimized, and universities striving to enhance their numbers of Hispanic undergrads to 25 percent in order to qualify for a $1 billion fund set up by the Department of Education forHispanic Serving Institutions.” Over a dozen Arizona schools are on the notorious list.

President-elect Donald Trump has stated he will terminate DACA, (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an executive action signed into law by Obama in 2012. It provides an exemption from deportation and a renewable two-year work permit. 

Let’s be clear. ‘Dreamers’ are dreaming of one thing: Stealth Amnesty. They are being aided and abetted by the Arizona Board of Regents and the Phoenix Union High School District, funded by citizen’s tax dollars while creating impediments to our own kids.

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AZ Teachers want 20% raise — Great. Earn it

October 24, 2017

Good teachers are worth their weight in gold and their pay should reflect that, but facts are part of the equation 

After it was reported that Gov. Doug Ducey gave promotions and accompanying raises to numerous staffers, Arizona’s teachers are now demanding salary increases.

Speaking for the teachers was their Arizona Education Association union boss, Joe Thomas, who said, “Everybody deserves a healthy pay raise and  I think our teachers were counting on that.”  Thomas described  the teachers, whose emotions ran the entire gamut, as “disappointed, angry and outraged,” that their pay bump was only one percent compared to the governor’s staff who received larger increases.

 The pay issue raised some questions. Randomly picking a central Phoenix school district, we downloaded its Aug. 7, beginning and May 23, ending school days for the current 180 day calendar year. There were eleven days that were listed as “Half Day Schedules” and “Early Release Days.” Ten holidays were listed, totaling 29 days. Easter and Christmas have gone by the wayside, replaced by Spring (6 days) and Winter(12 days) Breaks. A 5 day Fall Break is in addition to a 2 day Thanksgiving Break. Teachers Planning Days are half days for students and no teaching is done on state testing days. “Teacher Collaboration Time” factors in as an Early Release Day.

State employees in Arizona have ten holidays off. They work full days and have no time set aside for collaboration with their co-workers. Unlike teachers, they don’t get the summer off. State workers are not members of a union. Employees can be fired at will since they have no guaranteed employment protection as do tenured teachers. State workers have to show they are performing to standard, turning out a quality work product. Teachers’ pay based performance standards should be high achieving students, but such sensible markers are vigorously opposed by the unions.

Without teaching to a specific test, teachers should have student achievement markers tied to salary increases, just like the rest of us.  There is a reason many parents are choosing alternatives to public schools.

And how is it that “underpaid” teachers are able to send dues specifically earmarked to fund mostly liberal politicians?  These are the people who spend more time influencing American students than their parents do. Consider why Leftist Barack Obama and Socialist Bernie Sanders cornered the youth vote.

Open Secrets/The Center for Responsive Politics shows the $ millions the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) lobbying arms give to leftist elected officials. The AFT gave not one thin dime to Republicans.

We’ve all seen the intended to be humorous video clips of students strolling their university campuses, who are unable to answer the most basic questions regarding American history, geography or politics but know the latest celebrity trivia. They are pathetic rather than funny. Yet they spent years in classrooms, graduating with enough on their educational resume to gain admittance to a university.


AZ AG Brnovich sues Board of Regents over tuition hikes

September 9, 2017

On Friday Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents (“ABOR”) for dramatically and unconstitutionally increasing the price of base tuition and mandatory fees at Arizona’s public universities by more than 300 percent since 2003. The Arizona Constitution requires that “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.”

“Every Arizonan dreams of being able to send their kids to college,” Brnovich stated. “Within the last 15 years, Arizona went from having some of the most affordable public universities to having some of the most expensive. We believe the Board of Regents needs to be held accountable and answer tough questions for Arizona’s skyrocketing tuition rates.”

The State alleges that ABOR has adopted unconstitutional tuition-setting policies, has abandoned its duty to serve as a check on the university presidents, and has ceased deriving tuition rates from the actual cost of instruction. According to the lawsuit, ABOR has misinterpreted its “nearly free” mandate to mean whatever the market rate is for peer institutions and made itself as the arbiter of “affordability” for Arizona’s students and families.

Intertwined with these price hikes, ABOR has also refused to comply with Arizona law prohibiting state subsidies for students “without lawful immigration status.” ABOR is causing the illegal expenditure of public monies and the failure to collect tuition in direct contravention of clear and established Arizona law

The 20-page lawsuit can be read here.

Seeing Red AZ has been writing about the ongoing tuition and fee hikes for years, as well as the excessive salaries, bonuses and perks ASU President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis receive. These are just a few of the posts going back to 2007 — the year of the launching of this blog.

Sept. 30, 2014: Gifting ASU’s Prez with $95K raise+benies = one helluva deal

Apr. 22, 2014:  AZ higher education: As nearly free as possible? & Update

March 7, 2013: ASU’s Crow backs lower tuition for illegals — again

Feb. 8, 2013:   Michael Crow, Sybil Francis: A$U’s pricey duo

May 7, 2011:   ASU’s Crow tackles budget reductions by raising tuition – again

Feb. 2, 2011:   ASU’s overpaid Crow warns of tuition increase as stimulus ebbs

Apr. 11, 2009: “Economic recovery surcharges” hit AZ university students

March 6, 2008: Disputed scholarships for illegals revived

Nov. 23, 2008: AZ universities feel students’ pain as tuition spirals and money dries up

Apr. 26, 2008:  ASU’s overpaid King Crow issues threats

Nov. 17, 2008: ASU’s Crow in cash glut while economy tanks and tuition rises

Sept. 8, 2007:  ASU’s Michael Crow subverts intent of law


Toppling monuments: Analyzing the radical leftist’s demands

August 20, 2017

This past week has provided most of us with too much political lunacy to digest. Wide-scale death and injury perpetrated by Islamic jihadists in Spain and Finland, North Korea, led by a madman is threatening a “merciless (nuclear) strike,” and here at home riots and bizarre demands made by the undereducated who are not only toppling historical Civil War monuments but now want to obliterate references to our nation’s founders — Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and others who owned slaves. Today we all agree the practice, then legal, was reprehensible. It is a stain on our past, but one we brought to an end.

In a testament to the pathetic state of  American education with leftist union teachers falling down on the job of educating the students in their charge, a statue of President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president and the man famed for emancipating slaves, was defaced and then burned. Rampaging liberals, intent on destruction, lack the facts to discern that it was Republicans such as Lincoln who emerged victorious in the brutal Civil War that put an end to slavery. Democrats fought to defend it.

The word “racist” is hurled with impunity. “Hate speech” — speech the left disagrees with — has become an unpardonable sin, no longer worthy of First Amendment protection. Universities, which should be the bastions encouraging and protecting free expression, shut down or disinvite speakers with whom their liberal students disagree. 

Our president is arriving in Phoenix for a rally on Tuesday, and two far left Democrat Arizona Congressmen will be acting as ring leaders ginning up an unruly mob to gain national attention, since they’ve accomplished  nothing worthy of note.

Matthew Vadum, writing for FrontPage mag provides a thought-provoking piece, Sharpton targets the Jefferson Memorial, which we highly recommend.


Hero or Goat? Typifying the liberal quandary

July 30, 2017

Though deeply entrenched in the digital world, there remains an enigmatic appeal to holding a book or magazine in our hands and turning pages. This explains why the arrival of the conservative Weekly Standard in the mailbox each week is such a pleasure.

The magazine runs the gamut from serious commentary, analysis of the news to dashes of humor. Today we bring you the humor, which we all so richly deserve after the antics that dominated the news this past week. This selection is from The Scrapbook:

Hero or Goat?

The latest threat to the American workforce has arrived, and it’s on four hooves.

A public-employee union is up in arms over a team of blue-collar billy-goats employed to clear brush on a college campus. The union claims that by using the animals, Western Michigan University is snatching jobs away from union workers. They’re not kidding around, either—the union has filed a grievance against the university. Their complaint is a sort of inversion of Orwell’s Animal Farm motto: Two legs good, four legs ba-a-a-a-ad.

What’s particularly delightful about this conflict is how it pits two key leftist enterprises—public-employee unions and college environmentalists—against one another. After all, the reason Western Michigan University chose goat grazers in the first place was concern for the environment. Eschewing chemicals, the college instead opted for the green solution, hiring a team of 20 goats to clear 10 acres of rough bramble and poison ivy. Last year a trip of 10 goats proved efficient and sustainable, and the current flock is ahead of schedule.

Alas, such environmental considerations weren’t enough to pacify the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union was quick to leap to the defense of its members in the face of the ruminant menace.

And just how great is that menace? The Washington Post did the math and found that in one month, one person with a tractor can do the work of 3,600 goats. Even if all 2.5 million goats in the United States were employed, they would only threaten 347 full-time human jobs nationwide.

Small as that number may be (and it’s nothing compared with the threat posed by automated robot goats), it’s not nonexistent, which leaves leftists with a dilemma. It seems to The Scrapbook that there is an obvious compromise that would satisfy all parties: The goats should unionize.


AZ blazes educational trail with ESA vouchers

July 3, 2017

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts open educational choice to all students

The daily newspaper, which adamantly opposes parental choice in education, provided an editorial platform for Sen. Debbie Lesko to inform the public of the passage of her bill authorizing Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.

Does anyone smell a rat?

The newspaper titles Sen. Lesko’s  AZ I See It op-ed Lawmaker: Stop spreading fear about vouchers. But the machinations don’t stop there.  A video accompanies the online version of Sen. Lesko’s commentary. Straddling the back of an orange settee, reporter Joanna Allhands, looking like she’s about to take her vehicle to a do-it-yourself car wash, engages in a cheesy display to make the point that she and the newspaper she works for, oppose the accounts.

As the AZ Senate President Pro Tempore, Lesko didn’t just fall off the political turnip truck. She’s a savvy leader who has been an active member of the community and has served in the state legislature since 2009. She’s also a parent of three children and a grandparent, which gives her more than passing familiarity with public schools and their inability to serve every child effectively.

A Republican representing Legislative District 21, Lesko was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1431, legislation expanding Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, which gives all parents the ability to make educational choices in the best interests of their own children.

Under the provisions of Sen. Lesko’s legislation, signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey, all students will be eligible for this educational opportunity. It was originally available only for students with special needs.

Republicrat Kate Brophy McGee shamefully joined with unified Democrats  — tied at the hip with the educrat unions, as disclosed by Center for Responsive Politics —  to vote against the measure. It passed, despite her efforts to undermine parental choice.

Center for Arizona Policy carries an excellent overview of the ESA program, including information regarding the unsuccessful lawsuits filed by the education establishment attempting to halt the opportunity for Arizona children to achieve academic success.


AZ Regents chair gets testy at challenge, hurls personal insults & UPDATE

June 17, 2017

Mark Finchem, a Republican representing Dist. 11 in Tucson doesn’t meet the high standard of dress established by former state legislator Greg Patterson — who has since gone to law school and is now the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) chairman. Patterson oversees the three state universities he previously sucker punched for their imperial excesses.

It no doubt galls Patterson, who is also a CPA, that the less educated Rep. Finchem is a member of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of two other significant committees.

In a private meeting that Patterson secretly recorded,* he laid into Finchem — who along with East Valley Rep. Jill Norgaard (R-Dist. 18) — had the temerity to co-sponsor a bill to rein in the authority of the board that Patterson chairs.

Apparently, she dresses well enough and is suitably degreed to suit Patterson, but her perch as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, gives her a level of prominence that rankles the ‘Top Regent’ who takes his title very seriously. Bully Patterson referred to Rep. Finchem’s western attire as a  “costume that doesn’t work.” He advised Finchem to trim his mustache and buy a suit before abruptly leaving the meeting.

Though Patterson has been a registered lobbyist since 1997, he fails miserably in the area of persuasive techniques.

This news article provides background on the unsavory meeting, and includes disapproving comments of Patterson’s actions from Vice Chair Bill Ridenour, who takes over as chairman July 1. Board of Regents President Eileen Klein, also condemned Patterson’s behavior, saying it was not reflective of how the regents do business. 

The Arizona Board of Regents voted on Jan. 20 to oppose SB 1061, a bill proposing to cap tuition and fee increases at two percent per year at the state’s public universities. The bill was co-sponsored by nine Republican state senators and one Republican state representative and would have significantly restricted the power of the regents and the universities to impose ever escalating tuition and fees on students. Readers have to plow through ten paragraphs of self-congratulatory hogwash to get to ABOR’s opposition to restrictions to rein in student costs. 

Universities do not have market forces and shareholders to enforce spending discipline, so foisting the trickery of “a $1 billion/30-year plan to fund new capital and rebuild aging infrastructure without raising taxes,” sounds reasonable to the elites who won’t be around in 2047 to answer for its ruinous impact.

One burning question remains: Were they dressed appropriately enough to meet Greg Patterson’s exacting standards as they implemented the epic con job?

ABOR Chair Greg Patterson has resigned after hurling an insult-laden spew at state legislator Mark Finchem.

As of his resignation Monday June 19, the pretentious Board of Regents chairman is now officially a goner, though he still had three years on his term. According to this report in the Arizona Republic, he laid off his obtuse insults — which he secretly recorded and then disseminated to shocked regent staffers — on being “overzealous.” He also declared he was in a “caffeine-induced rage.”  If those foolish excuses weren’t enough, he had one more up what we assume was his perfectly starched and ironed sleeve.  He didn’t want to be a “distraction.”

Patterson won’t distract anyone. But as he toils at his lobbyist day job, will he be able to attract clients who don’t want to risk having their grooming insulted?