Trump nominates AZ Treasurer DeWit as NASA finance chief

November 30, 2017

Will this open the door for Gov. Doug Ducey to appoint Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee to fill out Jeff DeWit’s term?

Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit, who was a Donald Trump loyalist from the onset of the 2016 presidential campaign is being repaid for his staunch allegiance and diligent work as Chairman and Chief Operating Officer by being nominated to oversee the finances of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The new post requires senate confirmation and a move to Washington, D.C.  DeWit previously announced he would not run for reelection.

Tuesday’s newspaper reported that Arizona Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee (R-LD20) has announced her intention to run for state treasurer. In July 2016, Sen. Yee represented Arizona as a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention. SRAZ predicted then that “she was going places.” Read her impressive bio here.

At a September press conference, DeWitt, clearly a fan of conservative Sen. Yee,  presented her with an award, saying she “truly understands the role the State Treasurer of Arizona serves in protecting taxpayers.” Yee previously worked at the Treasure’s office during the Dean Martin administration.

At the same event, DeWit also pulled no punches, as he called Arizona Corporation Commissioner Tom Forese, “Sleazy Foresey” and said he,“Wouldn’t trust him with a dollar of my own, certainly not $15 billion of taxpayer money.”

DeWit was referring to the fact that Forese, who has opened a campaign for state treasurer has become a political hot potato over allegations that more than $3 million in anonymous money was spent to elect him and fellow commissioner Doug Little to the commission. The Phoenix Business Journal reported on speculation that Pinnacle West Capital Corp, the parent company of ACC regulated utility Arizona Public Service Co., was the source of the “dark money” contributions to a PAC run by political operative Sean Noble.

Following a successful term, Republican Jeff DeWit should be easily confirmed for the NASA post. It would then be up to Gov. Doug Ducey to appoint a replacement from the same political party. DeWit’s successor would have to run in the next primary election. 

This is Arizona Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee speaking at the Republican National Convention:

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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.


Prepping for Meghan? Would Gov. Ducey actually do it?

July 21, 2017

On the heels of the disclosure that Arizona Sen. John McCain is battling brain cancer, comes a barrage of Meghan McCain image polishing in the local newspaper.

Thursday’s front page features a massive photo of the nearly 81-year-old senator with a report on the “aggressive, tough to treat” malignancy. It also includes this tweet from daughter Meghan, in which she says of her father, “….like any daughter, I cannot and do not want to be in a world without him.”

Page 7 carries a full page report, headlined,: “Meghan McCain: He is the toughest person I know.”  But the editorial is what was the attention grabber, the hard copy version is headlined, “Meghan McCain emerges with poise and eloquence.”  It would be difficult for Arizonans to equate this description  with the coarse, tattooed, motor mouth who complained that her father’s presidential campaign ruined her sex life, calling his failed effort a “libido killer” and even throwing in a slam to her much classier mother. The editorial, referring to John McCain as “one of the most influential leaders of our time,” was a rehash of his legendary heroism, disputed (video) by those who were imprisoned with him in Vietnam and members of congress who questioned his permanently shutting down access to POW and MIA records.

The online version of the editorial is even more blatant, “Our View: John McCain’s legacy is in good hands.” Sounding more appropriate for an obituary, this creepy praise came as John McCain is still among us.

Despite being bewildering it’s clear the Arizona Republic is pushing for Gov. Doug Ducey to appoint the marginal Ms. McCain to fill the senate seat occupied by her father. Ironically, it wouldn’t be much of a push, since the governor and senator have a longstanding connection dating to the  early 1980s when Ducey moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University, and began working at Hensley& Co., the Anheuser-Busch distributor owned by Cindy McCain.

None of his 6 other children (2008) rate this syrupy coverage or even a mention.

Meghan McCain’s Republican credentials have always been suspect. A social liberal, she became a Republican as a Father’s Day surprise, in a display of “commitment” to her Dad. It’s worth noting that at the time, he was the GOP nominee for the U.S. Presidency. Like her father, Meghan refused to vote for Republican nominee, now President Donald Trump.

Even plagued with serious health problems, John McCain continued to lash out at President Trump, who, joined by First Lady Melania, sent him warm wishes after hearing of the serious diagnosis.


Repeating lies doesn’t make them truth

January 9, 2017

Education and Donald Trump top the AZ Republic’s scams

We’re only one week into the new year and President-elect Donald Trump has not quite two weeks before his inauguration, but that doesn’t stop the folks at the Arizona Republic from engaging in deceptive use of the English language.

The newspaper’s scheme brings to mind Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell’s best seller “1984.”  A clerk in the government’s Ministry of Truth Records Department, Smith’s job was to rewrite historical documents to align with the constantly changing current political deception. Newspeak, a reduced language became the tool to limit free thought and concepts posing a threat to the totalitarian regime. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct was classified as “thought crime,” “crime think,” or “doublethink.” Smith’s work included manipulating facts, revising newspaper articles and doctoring photographs to remove “unpersons,” the term used to describe people who had fallen out of favor with the party.

In these cases however, it is not a regime or party but the newspaper itself that engages in the deception. In advance of today’s State of the State address, Sunday’s edition used the front page to take Gov. Doug Ducey to task on the issue of education. The headline: “With his term half over, Ducey under pressure to go big.” Would the liberals pumping out these ludicrous stories have referred Democrat Gov. Janet Napolitano using those words two years into her first term?  How about Barack Obama?  Not a chance.  They saw two more years and a second term ahead for the Democrats.

Sunday’s edition also carried an editorial, “Ariz. Schools need real help,” in which they quote their own reporter as well as cite left-wing polling data. It’s not a mystery that subscriptions to this rag are on life support.

Education has become a hot issue for the educrats. Not only is it underfunded, it is underfunded. This is not a typo, just making a point.  It has become the norm for school districts to continually hold bond override elections, “for the children” or to “get more money into the classroom” —  specifically the teacher’s paycheck. The Arizona Lottery was sold to voters in Nov. 1980 as a means of putting millions yearly into education. The City of Phoenix has a Democrat mayor who ran on making education a priority, despite the fact that elected city officials play no role in shaping education policy — typically the realm of the state government and school districts. Greg Stanton has moved past those vague promises, now throwing his hat in the ring for the under-the-radar post of Secretary of State, a frequent backdoor route to the governor’s office.

Voters are getting tired of having to live within their means while the school districts continually cry out for more money. As a result, ballot overrides, once considered sacrosanct, have begun failing.

Proposition 123 a massive increase in education funding, pushed by Gov. Ducey, was a nail-biter for several days, since the vote margins were razor-thin. The final result was 50.8 percent in favor to 49.2 percent opposed to the measure. State Treasurer Jeff DeWit was an adamant opponent, saying there was ample money to fund education without raiding the State Land Trust Fund or raising property taxes.

Sunday’s edition of the newspaper also rolled out a commentary by propagandist Linda Valdez, who never saw an illegal she didn’t prefer to a U.S. Citizen. Her rant includes these odd words: “Millions of families in the United States are living in fear because of Donald Trump’s rise to power.” Apparently she missed the fact that he is not an apparition, but was elected to the presidency of the United States.  Then she pulls out the old canard, that these (illegal) families “face catastrophic separations.“ The oft-repeated lie is outrageous. Nothing stops parents returning to their homeland from taking their American-born children with them. She describes a grandnephew of hers — “a child” —too fearful to sleep.

Nowhere does she mention the hordes of children sent into the U.S. alone and under deplorable conditions by their own parents, who know they will be links to the outlandish practice of chain migration also known as family reunification. Valdez conveniently forgets Jose who illegally crosses into the U.S. for work, sending money home to Maria and the ninos, until his new honey becomes pregnant and Jose forgets about his old family south of the border. How about a column on that practice, Linda?

 


Gov. Doug Ducey reprises gimmicky “court packing”

November 30, 2016

Back in 1937 —  when most of us were but a gleam in our dad’s or granddad’s eye — Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt, just coming off a reelection victory, announced his audacious plan to expand the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court. He touted his scheme as making the court more efficient. Critics, including his  own Vice President and many congressional Democrats who joined with Republicans, charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court with liberal like-thinkers and  neutralize the impact of Supreme Court justices hostile to his far left “New Deal” — which he feared the court would disassemble.

Here Franklin Roosevelt in one of his radio addresses known as Fireside Chats, makes his case for increasing the number of Supreme Court justices with what he blandly referred to as the “Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.” It became more widely known as “Roosevelt’s court packing plan.”

Fortunately, Roosevelt’s efforts to persuade failed.

Arizona Gov, Doug Ducey faces no such hostility. Yet he has just enlarged the 5-member Arizona Supreme Court by two members. The move gave him the ability to appoint the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, which he can point to in future campaign ads. We take no issue with the appointees Andrew Gould, a former superior court and court of appeals judge, or Solicitor General  John Lopez, who lacks any judicial experience — but the process that placed the two Republicans on the high court is suspect.  The new justices are Ducey’s second and third appointments to the Supreme Court. In January he appointed Libertarian leaning, registered Independent Clint Bolick. According to a news account, the unnecessary expansion will “cost an additional $1 million dollars each year, and came despite objections from Chief Justice Scott Bales, who wrote Ducey to veto the legislation.”  The bill HB 2537, signed by Ducey was the brainchild of East Valley state Rep. J.D. Mesnard, an educator.

The State Courts building, dedicated in 1991, was built to eventually accommodate two additional justices, but there is currently no pressing need.

Ducey used the same argument that Roosevelt used saying the expanded bench would allow the court to take on more cases and ensure swift justice. In fact the Supreme Court, known as the court of last resort, is very selective in the cases it chooses to take and most of the research is done by law clerks. It hears all death penalty appeals.

In contrast, the Courts of Appeals — Arizona has two — review all civil and criminal cases properly appealed from Superior Courts.

Whether court packing is done by Democrats or Republicans, it remains equally suspect.


Irate JP Clancy Jayne displays appalling lack of judgment

August 28, 2016

Cathy Riggs a much more judicious choice for Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace

The Yellow Sheet recently reported that Gov Doug Ducey’s decision to endorse Cathy Riggs in the Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace race did not endear him to incumbent JP Clancy Jayne.  Ducey called Cathy Riggs, “Smart, trustworthy and principled.” Riggs is the wife of Frank Riggs, one of Ducey’s 2014 primary rivals.

Jayne, hardly the picture of either principles or refinement, is quoted as saying he’s “beyond pissed,” calling Ducey, who he says he’s known for 30 years, a “S.O.B.” 

The Yellow Sheet quoted the enraged Jayne describing Gov. Ducey as his gofer saying, “When he drove a beer truck for Hensley and Company, he was running around doing gofer work for me when I was president of Gilbert Days. He was having to go around and do gofer work for me because I got Jim Hensley to be our beer sponsor for the rodeo.”

The qualifications for being a Justice of the Peace don’t present insurmountable hurdles. English literacy, Arizona residency, having attained the age 18, being a registered voter and having a pulse are about it.  Those minimum requirements and a huge permanent campaign sign on a semi-trailer parked along I-17 heading north got Clancy Jayne elected. Cathy Riggs adds considerably to those minimals, with a law degree and experience as a police officer and detective.

Justices of the Peace in Maricopa County currently earn $101,500 — based on a percentage of a Superior Court Judge’s salary. They receive excellent benefits. The part the marginal Clancy Jayne likely revels in the most, is being able to wear black judicial robes. It’s time to put him back in the jeans and denim shirts he previously wore as a rodeo competitor.

On her campaign website, Riggs lists the FIVE times Clancy Jayne was reprimanded by the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Sonoran News investigative reporter Linda Bentley has written about Clancy Jayne on numerous occasions. Here are a few revealing reports:

Aug, 2, 2016:   Arizona Chamber sends Clancy Jayne cease and desist letter

July 26, 2016: Clancy Jayne recycles decade-old endorsements in bid for reelection

July 13, 2016: ‘Let’s choose integrity’ for Desert Ridge JP

Aug. 23, 2012: Fourth sanction for Desert Ridge Justice of Peace Clancy Jayne


MC Recorder’s race: Vote for Aaron Flannery

August 9, 2016

Law intended to provide voters with a sense of confidence in the integrity of the voting system will not be enforced by Helen Purcell who instead declares, “We’re not the police”

In the race for Maricopa County Recorder, political newcomer Aaron Flannery would appear to be a long-shot as he challenges Helen Purcell, currently running for her 8th term. Purcell has been a diligent elected official, overseeing the meticulous recording of all permanent public records and maintenance of the voter registration rolls for Maricopa County’s nearly 2,000,000 registered voters.  She is responsible for administering the Elections Department which conducts all national, state and countywide elections and has won awards for her efforts.

Then came the March 23, 2016 presidential preference election, where long lines created havoc and outraged voters accused her of intentionally authorizing too few polling places, a cost saving measure that had been approved by the Board of Supervisors.  She acknowledged her error in not properly anticipating the large turnout and refused to submit  to demands that she step down. The snafu was not deliberate or intended to suppress minority votes, a fallacious charge hurled at her by the left. As might be expected in managing an office that delivers so many services to so many citizens, there have been other lapses from time to time.

But Helen Purcell’s refusal to enforce the state law banning the nefarious practice known as ‘ballot harvesting (video) in the August Primary Election currently underway is a bridge too far. The Arizona legislature passed HB 2023 this past session in response to concerns regarding the fraudulent practice. Ballot harvesting is now a Class 6 Felony. Violators face up to a year in jail and $150,000 in fines.

In signing the bill into law March 9, Gov. Doug Ducey said:

“Voting is a key pillar of our democracy. This bill ensures a secure chain of custody between the voter and the ballot box. We join 18 other states in this common sense approach to maintaining the integrity of our elections.”

Of all people, Helen Purcell should realize the importance of providing  confidence in the trustworthiness of our voting system. No more passes for Ms. Purcell.  She has forfeited the trust placed in her since first taking office in 1988.

Aaron Flannery, a Phoenix native, family man and active Republican, introduces himself with these refreshing words:

“I am a small business consultant and independent contractor. I hold a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s of Public Administration and the only government job I have held is with the US Army.”

Pay a visit to his website. You’ll be impressed.