Nat’l ID card: Hypocrisy reigns at Arizona Republic

March 12, 2015

Illegal aliens accorded more leeway than American citizens

The few remaining readers of the Arizona Republic are well acquainted with the tactic. Like a nagging shrew, repetition is the name of the game. The Sunday March 8, edition took the editorial route, rife with insults and scare tactics, beginning with the headline: “Anti-ID law brings troubles for travelers.” The opening line? “Now they’ve done it.” The fear-mongering comes with the threat of not being able to board an airplane without complying with governmental data gathering. Arizona legislators are called “paranoid,“ and compared to ”knuckleheaded teenagers,” debating “their little fist-shaking bills” and identified as “dollar-store constitutionalists” passing “lunatic legislation.”

This embarrassing attempt at journalism was followed by a March 11, ‘My Turn’ column by the policy director of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License in Washington, DC. He is so enamored with pro-amnesty baloney-slinging con man and state Sen. Bob Worsley, (who claimed during his campaign to favor small government) that he mentions what he calls “Worsley’s bill”  four times in two abutting paragraphs. The bill would repeal Arizona’s 2008 legislation prohibiting implementation of this massive governmental overreach.

The idea of American citizens having to produce government authorized identification is repugnant by its very nature. One that unleashes biometric mechanisms for unwarranted surveillance is reprehensible.

The national identity scheme known as REAL ID mandates that each state create a standardized electronic database of all information from every driver’s license issued.  Further, it requires each state to link its electronic database to that of every other state in the nation, effectively creating a nationwide database containing the private information of every individual with a driver’s license in the entire country.

REAL ID would become the key component of a system of identity papers, databases, status and identity checks —- in effect, an “internal passport” with the capacity to track individuals’ movements and activities.

When the issue was illegal aliens, the Arizona Republic derogatorily referred to H.B.1070 as the “show me your papers law,” since a provision allowed law enforcement to check the legal status of persons detained during investigations or traffic stops. When a much more egregious law affecting American citizens is the issue, the hypocrites at the newspaper wholeheartedly support it.

Background on this disreputable issue is fascinating and even more evidence that REAL ID appeals to no one. Arizona banned implementation of the REAL ID Act on June 17, 2008 with passage of  H.B.2677. Although all but characterized by the newspaper as arising from right-wing spew fomenting in a cauldron in the basement of the state legislature, the bill actually had widespread —- or “bi-partisan” support in the newspaper’s favored jargon. It was sponsored by leftist former state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, now representing AZ CD 9, and former Senate President Russell Pearce, an unwavering conservative.

Further, the ban was signed at the urging of the ACLU by then-Gov. Janet Na­politano, a far left Democrat, who later, as Barack Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, headed the department charged with implementing the legislation. Former Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, opted not to partic­ipate in REAL ID. Newly elected Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican, has yet to address the issue. His actions will be closely watched.


Weakened SPI Diane Douglas cedes power

March 3, 2015

Elected Superintendent of Public Instruction relinquishes authority to unelected state board

The Arizona Daily Independent does a fine job of explaining the current bizarre state of affairs involving recently elected Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, her Chief of Staff Michael Bradley, and their willing acquiescence in allowing the Senate Education Committee to eviscerate her authority in overseeing the State Board of Education’s staff.

Among other things, HB 2184 would remove any oversight of the unelected board and staff by changing the language defining her role with the board from “executive officer of the State Board of Education” to “executive officer responsible for the execution of policies of the State Board of Education.”

Attempting to put the best face on this abdication of duties in the wake of her public battles with Gov. Doug Ducey, in which Seeing Red AZ championed her effortsDouglas now claims she supports the restraining measure in order to save legal expenses for the taxpayers.

Don’t skip over the concerns expressed by leading conservative and former Senate Majority leader Thayer Verschoor. He is quoted in the news report as referring to Douglas’ actions as an “abdication of power” and the revision of duties as  “VERY BAD POLICY.”


Common Core: Making news for all the right reasons

February 20, 2015

The Arizona House Education Committee voted 5-2 approving a proposal that would scrap the state’s imposition of Common Core “standards” and strip the Board of Education’s ability to adopt new ones. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mark Finchem, (R-LD 11), now moves to the House floor.

Read the amended version of H.B.2190, which was approved after testimony from those on both sides of this contentious issue. A video of the hearing can be viewed here.

Seeing Red AZ has frequently covered the various incarnations of the Common Core back story and deceptive name change —- once it became too toxic. In the end, it comes down to the GOP establishment, with John McCain yet again playing the manipulator behind the curtain vs. the grassroots conservatives who put the underestimated Diane Douglas in office.

When Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas acted within the purview of her office, she was hammered by a Hamer. The establishment view is summed up by this obnoxious comment by obliging tool Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. “It’s bizarre and outrageous and offensive and she should apologize to all she’s offended,” Hamer is quoted in the New York Times. “Her comments and behavior aren’t necessarily following a linear pattern at this point.”

In other words, for having the temerity to disagree with the elites, Diane Douglas can deliberately be deemed nuts by the diminutive, insult-hurling Hamer.

The superintendent’s remarks were “intense even for Diane Douglas,” blasted Lisa Graham Keegan, who had previously called Superintendent Douglas “erratic.” Name calling has become commonplace among Common Core proponents. John Huppenthal, the troubled man replaced by Douglas referred to opponents as “barbarians.”  Like newly elected Gov. Doug Ducey, Keegan is closely tied to the McCain faction.  A RINO-turned-Independent who supported Douglas’ radical leftwing educrat opponent, Keegan served as McCain’s education policy advisor during his failed presidential campaign.

The conservative base of the Republican Party supported Diane Douglas. As the establishment choice, Doug Ducey had the backing and financial network of the GOP hierarchy.  He was also the beneficiary of scattered votes in a 6-way Republican primary field. A Libertarian and Americans Elect candidate further diluted the pool. 

Ducey needs to reassess his victory and realize he is the governor. He owes John McCain and his political kneecapping cronies nothing more than a courteous greeting when they meet at public functions. They don’t belong in his office and when they call, his secretary can honestly tell them he’s busy.  After all, he’s got a cash-strapped state to run. By virtue of her election, Diane Douglas is already in charge of the Arizona Department of Education.


AZ House Republican majority release 2015 agenda

February 10, 2015

Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives, led by House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, released an ambitious seven-part policy agenda and accompanying video. “We want to make sure we are doing the business of the people,” Montenegro explained. “The House Majority Agenda helps us to stay on track. We want to conduct our work in a way that makes Arizona proud.”

“These seven guideposts give us a roadmap to prioritize the work of the House,” added House Speaker David Gowan.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for conservative victories among the budget battles.


Alert: Beware of AZVoices.gov & UPDATE

February 9, 2015

The Arizona Daily Independent reports on a scheme ostensibly devised to facilitate voters connecting with their legislators on pending legislation. It was sold to those on West Washington Street as having the additional benefit of freeing up legislative staffers from the grinding business of having to deal with answering the calls of those pesky constituents.

The ADI did the investigative work that reveals there is far more going on here than simply improving contact through an electronic system that works as a survey of public sentiment. The online newspaper names the schemers behind the system and details its deceptive practices.

The legislature’s own multi-faceted, direct system of communication remains in place. Any Arizona voters can contact their state House members or state Senator by clicking on these roster links. Their email addresses, office phone and Fax numbers —- along with each legislator’s bio, linked under their names—- are provided for ease of access. Toll-free numbers are even included for statewide constituents. For those who are unsure of their legislative district, this is the place to locate that information.

Do yourself a favor and read “AZVoices.gov is not what it appears to be.” Should you become aware of pending legislation you would like to share your views on, contact your legislator directly. Third party smoke screens and subterfuge are not how our system was intended to function.

Update-tag

 

We neglected to mention the Arizona Legislature’s own official page, which includes this Bill Status Inquiry and Request to Speak. It’s clear the Arizona Legislature is user-friendly and interested citizens don’t require intercession by or through  any third party. 


Lovas’ daylight saving time bill was bad idea for AZ

January 12, 2015

Chamber of Commerce coordination? Nah. Well, maybe just a nudge

State Rep. Phil Lovas, (R-LD 22) has withdrawn HB 2014, which would have put Arizona on daylight saving time. Having heard from constituents and other residents who strongly oppose the concept, Lovas, the prime sponsor, wisely reconsidered.

Few Arizonans relish having an extra hour of sunlight in the blazing hot summer. We sensibly opted out March 21, 1968.

Several other states —- Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Texas, Utah and Wyoming — have contemplated joining Arizona and Hawaii in opting out of daylight-saving time. In fact, this online survey that collected more than 27,000 responses shows two-thirds of Utah residents favor staying on Mountain Standard Time year-round, exactly as Arizona does. 

So who’s lurking behind the scenes attempting to move pioneering Arizona against the tide? What a surprise! The Arizona Chamber of Commerce has issued a policy brief supporting Arizona’s move to daylight saving time.

Lovas’ endorsement page from his campaign website indicates he doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Third on this list of supporters is the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Just a bit further down the list the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce also shows up.

“I support it because I think it will help business in Arizona and help us be more competitive,” echoed State Rep. Paul Boyer, (R-LD 20), one of the bill’s two co-sponsors. Boyer’s list of endorsements also includes both Chambers.

“Arizona is uniquely and adversely impacted by this change in time,” the AZ Chamber’s policy brief states. “The total economic impact of this shift is unclear, but anecdotal data indicates this shift affects Arizona’s economic competitiveness.”

According to the daily, Garrick Taylor, Senior VP of Government Relations and Communications (top lobbyist) for the AZ Chamber says they didn’t coordinate on the legislation. “But we’re always encouraged when lawmakers like Rep. Lovas are looking for ways to strengthen Arizona’s economy,” he said. “We’re hopeful the paper has restarted a conversation that hasn’t been had since the 1960s.”

“I thought it was worth having a discussion on the concept,” the accommodating Lovas, an Ohio native, said. “It’s been about 50 years since daylight saving was implemented and Arizona’s changed greatly.”

Actually, it’s still hot as blazes.


AZ driver’s license clash centers on “non-citizen” designation

January 5, 2015

Newly elected state Rep. Jay Lawrence (R-LD 23) is not reluctant to enter the illegal alien fray, exhibiting the boldness that got him elected this past November.

Lawrence is drafting legislation that includes a “non-citizen” designation on driver’s licenses issued to so-called DREAMers, given a pass —- along with their families —- by Barack Obama’s executive amnesty actions which enable them to avoid deportation.

Since driver’s licenses are one of the accepted forms of documentation when showing identification at statewide polling places, Lawrence views his legislation as a means of protecting the integrity of the voting process.

A press conference called Friday afternoon by Democrat Hispanic lawmakers and other activists warned the Republican caucus that they will be organizing against any efforts  to draft legislation to add a “non-citizen” designation on driver’s licenses. They offensively compared Rep. Lawrence’s proposal to Nazi Germany’s requirement forcing Jewish citizens to wear yellow badges and armbands emblazoned with the identifying Star of David, apparently unaware that Lawrence is Jewish.

Yet even in California where radically leftist Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown sees no distinctions between illegal aliens and American citizens, (shocking 1-min. video) their licenses will carry a special designation on the front and a notice stating that the document is not official federal identification and cannot be used to prove eligibility for employment or public benefits. Colorado and Oregon are among states, including California, that require such designations.

Arizona House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro (R- LD 13), a naturalized citizen born in El Salvador, called  the Democrats’ press conference “a publicity stunt that serves no purpose other than to divide lawmakers and the public,” adding it appeared “more like political grandstanding than true concern for the people of Arizona.” Conservative Montenegro is a staunch supporter of securing our sovereign border.

The Governors Highway Safety Association points out that all 50 states have enacted graduated, (often three-stage) laws governing driver’s licenses for all novice American citizen drivers, who have higher than average accident rates. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs allow new drivers to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges. No one has ever claimed such restrictions are offensive.

Former California lawmaker and current Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo, a Democrat who repeatedly and unsuccessfully introduced a license bill for illegal aliens over 15 years, is not disturbed by the “non-citizen” designation. Cedillo says it won’t impede those eager to drive legally from applying for it.


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