But, but….it’s for the children

October 20, 2015

Never ending tax increases

A recent editorial in the local newspaper clearly defines the definition of going ballistic. At issue is the Maricopa County Republican Party’s opposition to the nearly thirty school districts across the Valley asking for voters to approve school bonds and overrides.

This is the October 16, 2015 press release that caused the commotion:

Republican Party of Maricopa County Calls For Sweeping Reforms To Override Election Laws

The Maricopa County GOP is calling for sweeping reforms to school district override election laws, in order to ensure that the voting public is no longer misled regarding how the money will be spent should the tax increase be approved.

The overwhelming majority of voters in Arizona are unaware that school districts are only legally obligated to spend override monies on the priorities outlined in the official voter pamphlets and promoted by pro-tax political action committees in the first year. After year one, school districts are free to waste the override dollars on whatever non-essential, non-classroom purposes they choose.

“Legislation to correct the widespread voter confusion as to how override dollars can be spent and the manner in which those expenditures are communicated to the public prior to the election is long overdue,” said Republican Party of Maricopa County Spokesman Jake Hoffman. “As a former elected school board member, I have sat in public meetings where in response to that these very district leaders intend to squander the money on non-classroom expenditures.

County GOP leadership is right. Regardless of the habitual, plaintive pleas from schools and cities for ever more funding, citizens are not golden egg laying geese. Arizona school children and the education they receive are too important to be left to these bait-and-switch tax schemes pushed by public school district administrators under the guise of teacher pay and smaller classes.

In a suspiciously timed August election — when low city voter turnout is guaranteed to be even lower — residents of Phoenix were asked to double the city transit tax over 35 years and spend $31.5 billion on an unaccountable light rail expansion — which is actually used by less than one percent of city residents. Thanks to solid union voting blocs — police, fire fighters, unionized teachers and city employees — this unconscionable monstrosity passed as special interest groups disproportionately skewed the vote to the left.

Now we are being told that a disaster of apocalyptic proportions will be visited upon our children if we don’t loosen up even more cash via higher property taxes. It’s a never-ending saga.  As cash-strapped families are forced to get by on less, school districts think they are exempt from such belt-tightening.

Schools are teaching climate change instead of American history and recycling rather than the U.S. Constitution. Cursive is gone, ensuring the end of handwriting. College students can’t find Japan on a map, and if your math challenged child lands a job at McDonald’s he can push the pictures on the computerized screen in front of him to process the order and dump the correct change in the customer’s hand. Public school grads are unable to count back change. 

We did find some humor in the newspaper’s editorial tantrum. They are still miffed that GOP County Chairman Tyler Bowyer hosted Donald Trump’s Phoenix appearance. They call Trump a “gadfly mogul” whose comments are offensive to the voters the Republican party needs to win elections  — as if the newspaper liberals care whether we win elections. The censure of John McCain in numerous counties and by elected statewide Republican delegates also doesn’t sit well with the editorial board. The editorial says it was because “McCain had the good sense to pursue immigration reform,” code jargon for amnesty. 

The Arizona Republics ranting fools fool no one.

Sheriff Arpaio makes nat’l news for speaking truth

June 8, 2015

Sunday’s edition of The Drudge Report headlined this WND report detailing an interview with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

During the interview on the “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast heard on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Sheriff Arpaio said Democrats are mostly interested in immigration reform because the newly legalized residents will eventually obtain voting rights and will vote for Democrats.

“That’s common sense,” said Arpaio. “I don’t think that’s something that nobody knows. You make them here legally so they can vote.”

WND reported last year Eliseo Medina, a former immigration adviser to Barack Obama, boasted in 2009 that granting citizenship to millions of illegal aliens would expand the “progressive” electorate and help ensure a “progressive” governing coalition for the long-term.

Medina is the current secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. During Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Medina and Jeff Flake’s radical leftwing pal, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, served on Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council.

During the radio interview, Arpaio urged Republican president candidates to discuss the issue of drug trafficking when talking about border security.

Arpaio, whose office deals with criminality and runs the county jails, addressed the illegal drugs flooding into the U.S. from Mexico, saying “Ninety-nine percent” of those arrested for bringing drugs into Maricopa County, Arizona are illegal aliens.”

 “Everyone talks about immigration. What about the drugs destroying our young people? Heroin is increasing. So if I were advising the (Republican) candidates, I’m sure they will be calling me even though I’m taking heat again, I’d say start talking about the drug problem coming from Mexico. Forget just the illegal immigration. Put it together. There is a combination of both problems. That’s what I would talk about.”

Sheriff Arpaio asked, “Where’s the president? How come he is not talking about the drugs coming across the border?”

This U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center Report, is five years old. The deplorable statistics have not improved in the intervening years, as drug cartels and gangs have become even more emboldened. Read  Sect.2:11  (17 of 20) under the heading “Phoenix” for a more complete snapshot of the Mexican drug trafficking organizations or DTO’s.

At the time of the report’s release, authorities estimated that there were more than 10,000 gang members in the Phoenix metropolitan area. It stated, “Much of the violent crime and property crime in Phoenix is drug-and/or gang-related.”

In addition to Phoenix, Maricopa County —- one of the nation’s largest counties —- encompasses numerous other cities.

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia ousted

December 18, 2014

It  has now been confirmed that Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia has been relieved of his duties for insubordination after holding a press conference despite being ordered not to do so by Phoenix City manager Ed Zuercher.  According to Vice Mayor Jim Waring, Garcia  will be replaced by Phoenix Police Assistant Chief Joe Yahner as a search for a replacement chief is conducted.

Garcia has come under fire recently, and was the subject of a vote of ‘no confidence’ by the police union for his handling of a case involving a Phoenix Officer said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who later committed suicide.

KTVK News 3TV provides coverage of the story here.

Wage inequality: Dem’s latest great divide

April 9, 2014

First it was the minimum wage that anti-capitalist Barack Obama claimed needed to be hiked. Never mind that raising the pay for entry level jobs meant fewer jobs for the mostly young people seeking them —- thereby thrusting them out of the workforce. Government contractors are now obligated to follow this mandate, and fast food restaurants responded by closing on military bases.

Then came the impoverished Congress. Democrat James Moran (VA) contends that “the American people should know that members of Congress are underpaid,” and he plans to highlight that injustice by introducing an amendment to a bill that funds member’s $174,000 salaries and enviable benefits packages. “Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington,” Moran whined. He’s further upset by the fact that since Republicans took control, the House has been working a 120+ day a year schedule.  Not bad pay for working a third of a year.

Women, it turns out, are also victimized and underpaid. But Obama has boasted he can correct any wrongs he perceives by bypassing the underpaid Congress and enacting executive orders. His latest focus, the Paycheck Fairness Act, applies executive actions to the workforce at large.

Few would be surprised to learn that hypocrisy reigns at the White House. Hot Air reports that critics immediately demanded to know what Obama planned to do about his own gender-pay gap, as women in the administration only earn 91 cents for every dollar earned by men. 

This NRCC Memo calls the Act a “desperate political ploy,” correctly assessing, “It will make it nearly impossible for employers to tie compensation to work quality, productivity and experience, reduce flexibility in the workplace and make it far easier to file frivolous lawsuits that line the pockets of trial lawyers.”

Yet here in the City Of Phoenix, Democrat mayor Greg Stanton, is fixated on the same issue of gender “income inequality,” regardless of the misrepresentations in his Obama-like pitch. Stanton and councilwoman Kate Gallego have announced their intention to create an equal-pay ordinance that includes enforcement of this policy for contractors dealing with the city.

Astute citizens are keenly aware of intentional divisions, the goal of which is fomenting classes of victimhood in America. This concept is fundamental to the far -left mindset. Democrats are only too happy to churn the victimization brew and let those so “afflicted” know the answer to their problems comes through expanded government, thereby relieving people of their need to take personal responsibility.  In tandem, every misbehavior from overindulgence in food, drink, use of illicit drugs, gambling  or even shopping (shopaholics) is now labeled a disease, requiring others to pay to support those who claim they are incapacitated —-  by their own excesses.

No wonder our border is a floodgate.

Mexico’s lax policies harm AZ border town

November 12, 2013

The Washington Times headlines Stephen Dinan’s intriguing report “Feds stiff Arizona border town for ambulance costs for immigrants.” It’s a great title, calling attention to the double edged sword of federal inaction coupled with Mexican negligence.

The report highlights the fact that the city of Nogales, Arizona has billed the federal government for hundreds of ambulance responses dispatched to calls from federal agents but the government has paid less than 20 cents on the dollar — leaving the American border town of Nogales to bear the responsibility of more than $250,000 in the past fiscal year alone.

Approximately 60 miles south of Tucson, Nogales is home to a population of about 20,000 residents. It is the major portal for illegal immigration into the United States. Dinan reports that proximity means federal customs, immigration and drug agents have a heavy presence as well. When injuries occur, it’s the city’s rescue service that responds

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which maintains the spending data, and wouldn’t speak on the record — indicated any move to replenish the fund for all the states would have to be made by Congress.

Meanwhile Nogales, Arizona, in Santa Cruz County, is buckling under the heavy load. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, the city responded to 248 calls and billed the federal government $300,058, but recouped just $47,740, according to figures obtained by the Nogales International newspaper and confirmed by city officials.

The previous year, the city billed $277,382 for 230 calls and was reimbursed just $29,919.

If there was a similar report in the pages of the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona  Republic), we missed it.  Open border enthusiast /editorialist Linda Valdez is quick to tout the wonders of her vision of a vibrant border marketplace and its economic enhancements.   A good place to start would be having Mexico shoulder responsibility for its own citizens illegally invading the USA rather than foisting the astronomical costs on border communities such as Nogales.

AZ AG Tom Horne clarifies Bisbee issue

May 3, 2013

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne provides clarification of what actually occurred in the Arizona city of Bisbee regarding the city ordinance related to same-sex unions. Take time to read his statement, “Bisbee – What Really Happened.”

Betsey Bayless: $peaking of outrageous pay raises

February 9, 2013

Mega-salaries, benefits awarded in the worst of times

Recently we’ve been exposing the grossly excessive pay hikes and benefits packages of some of our illustrious Valley notables. Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos grabbed our attention in Dec. 2012 with his massive 33% raise, which amounts to an extra $78,000 a year! He will now be pulling down a yearly base salary of $315,000 plus a $600 monthly car allowance, $35,000 a year in deferred compensation, and a $4,000 “longevity” bonus.

Yesterday we provided the lowdown on the swell deals benefiting ASU President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis. His annual salary of $475,000 plus benefits now comes in at $742,500. That includes a $50,000 housing allowance to assist in maintaining their exclusive $1,250,000 Paradise Valley digs, and $10,000 yearly car allowance. The ASU Foundation on which his wife serves as a “senior advisor” kicks in an additional $100,000 annually in compensation. His yearly perks include $85,500 pension and $22,000 in retirement. Annual step-up bonuses are part of the deal: 2013: Up to $40,000, 2014: Up to $40,000 and the major step-up in 2015: Up to $180,000 for exceeding “benchmarks.” Wifey Sybil Francis rakes in a six-figure income from the university, but the exact amount is elusive.

Taxpayer’s heads should be swimming with the news already provided.  But then comes the deal of deals that Betsey Bayless, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) has brokered. She just received a hefty $125,000 raise. Her base salary soared 33% overnight, from $375,003 to $500,000 — excluding benefits.

Bayless will also be allowed to enter into a 409A retirement scheme into which she contributes not a thin dime, but MIHS makes all contributions.  If that’s not enough, she will garner up to a additional $125,000 by meeting various “performance goals.” Not bad for an unqualified, but well-connected political hack with one foot already out the door.

The five-member Board of Directors of the state’s largest public health-care system approved the raise this past week on a 3-2 vote. Check out the front page of the Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Budget Book. Longtime politico and perennial appointee Bayless is pictured center right, smiling broadly, of course, while oddly wearing a doctor’s coat.

According to a report in the daily, Bayless was set to retire from her position last year. But on Dec. 31, the last day of her term, the board extended her contract while a search is underway for her replacement. Board Chairwoman Susan Gerard, a longtime Bayless associate, and board member Elbert Bicknell, voted against the pay raise. The three newly elected board members Mary Harden, Mark Dewane and Terence McMahon, who could afford to take the heat, approved the increase, saying they wanted to give Bayless a raise since the national search firm for Bayless’ replacement regarded her salary “well below” the median range for others in comparable positions.

Let’s put this all in perspective: The $217,400 salary of the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court pales in comparison. The President of the United States, whose base salary tops out at $400,000 a year, trails both Michael Crow and Betsey Bayless. David Cavazos is right on the POTUS’ tail and has left Justice John Roberts in the dust.

These lavish gifts are your tax dollars, folks.


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