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.


Americans for Prosperity: 2016 AZ Legislative “Heroes” MIA

June 25, 2016

Legislative Scorecard awards no “Hero of the Taxpayer” designation in latest report

On its website, the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity writes that it works to improve the well-being of Arizona citizens by passing legislative policy reforms that expand economic freedom. The 2016 Legislative Scorecard is the 33rd annual scorecard put out by AFP-Arizona and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. The Scorecard assigns weights to bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers, and producers ($1 million equals one point). The Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget was scored according to how many millions of dollars the Legislature and Governor voted to spend above $9.4 billion — including supplemental spending increases to the FY 2015-2016 budget. Legislators are penalized on the Scorecard if key bills do not come to floor votes, but the Scorecard does allows for substitute bills that have similar policy impacts. The weighting of bills is adjusted for a probability factor and for a long-term policy value factor. AFP-Arizona traditionally assigns a triple weight to tax bills, using the Joint Legislative Budget Committee’s three-year Fiscal Notes when available.

All House and Senate members are listed and scored using these designations:

90-100% = Hero of the Taxpayer

70-79% = Friend of the Taxpayer

30-49% = Friend of Big Government

10-29% = Champion of Big Government

80-89% = Champion of the Taxpayer

60-69% = Not Bad

50-59% = Needs Improvement

0-9% = Hero of Big Government

There’s a lot to see here. The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity Legislative Scorecard makes for interesting reading and provides a guide for tracking your legislators prior to marking your ballot. The site includes a brief description of each House and Senate bill as well as State Legislative Objectives for the 2016 Session. The Top Bills of the Session are also included.


Gov. Ducey signals new direction for criminal illegals

April 1, 2016

Republican governor calls new law “a sensible public safety measure”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed HB 2451 into law. The legislation requires illegal aliens convicted of a felony to complete 85 percent of their prison sentences — exactly as American citizens must do — before they are turned over to immigration authorities (ICE) for deportation.

In a statement, Gov. Ducey said:

“This bill is about fairness and holding everyone to the same standard of justice by eliminating a policy that currently results in two justice systems. If you break the law and commit a crime in Arizona, we expect you to serve your sentence, no exceptions. While some have tried to play politics with this law enforcement issue, the reality is this is a sensible public safety measure that ensures we have one justice system that applies to all. Public safety is the number one role of government, and in light of reports that criminals released early without serving their full sentence are committing crimes in our communities, we must stand for the rule of law.”

Good move, Governor.

The local newspaper, the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republicis already busy characterizing this law with its favorite adjective, “controversial,” as it reports on the protests by “immigrant rights advocates.” 


AZ Gov. Ducey signs ballot harvesting / felony bill

March 10, 2016

Ballot harvesting — an issue that gained prominence after a three-year mission exposing it by former Maricopa County Republican chairman A. J. LaFaro — was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Stating HB 2023 maintains election integrity, Gov. Ducey, noted the bill will allow judges to impose a one-year prison term and up to $150,000 fine for the practice employed by political operatives who collect mail-in ballots requested by other voters.  

Here‘s an example of ballot stuffing caught on video. When questioned, the man carrying the boxful of ballots to be put into the voting machine says, “Go F**k yourself, Gringo!”

It’s no surprise the daily newspaper’s left-wing columnist EJ Montini finds a way to characterize this bill that maintains voter integrity, as “voter suppression.”

Liberals always have a sensationalized fallback position when it comes to questionable voting practices.  The guarantee of secure elections should be a fundamental expectation of each and every voter. American citizens, even Democrats, should accept nothing less.


How secure is your mail-in ballot?

March 2, 2016

The Arizona Daily Independent carries a disturbing report exposing the vulnerability of “secure and private” ballots cast in the March 22, 2016 Arizona Presidential Preference Election. The article is titled, “Arizona ballot harvesters can benefit from cheap stationary.” 

The report states, “While nothing can be done now to prevent abuses in the PPE, the discovery of the security lapse bolsters arguments for HB 2023 which will make ballot harvesting a class six felony.”

Knowledge is power.  Take time to acquaint yourself with this information.  We’ve covered this crucial issue and related ones  in previous posts:

February 9th, 2016: AZ GOP Chair Robert Graham’s ballot harvesting amnesia

August 28th, 2015: Alarming! 100%+ voter registration rates

October 28th, 2014: Democrats engage in voter fraud, ‘ballot harvesting’

March 13th, 2012: Voter fraud? “We’re not the police”


Irrelevancy personified: exposed in a box of collectibles

January 13, 2016

Arizona’s shrunken and failing daily newspaper is a topic we’ve covered from time to time. Its favored themes are steeped in unabashed liberalism and the in-tandem editorials, columnists’ blather  and vicious cartoons are calculated to propagandize those few who still rely on the left-wing medium for information.

Examples are numerous. The recent editorial taking conservative state Sen. John Kavanagh to task for SB 1044, actually exposes a sensible bill he has introduced to exclude illegal aliens from Census population counts. Fiscal appropriations are tied to the head count. Population numbers also determine apportionment of congressional districts, making his proposal even more rational. Monday’s rank editorial refers to him as “Arizona’s immigration bad boy” in a headline.

Sen. Kavanagh didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. His impressive bio would be the envy of the newspaper’s top brass were it not for his political bent. 

This attempt at degradation of a popular Republican is nothing new. The list of conservative office holders — local, statewide and national — who have been routinely disparaged in the newspaper’s pages is lengthy.  With the world in turmoil, the newspaper did, however, devote the entire front page to a mega pic of the crowd at the College Football Playoff National Championship and the death of celebrity rocker/pervert David Bowie. His former wife revealed she and bi-Bowie were late for their own nuptials due to the fact that they were engaged in a ménage a trois. 

Of corollary interest is the box a neighbor bought at a garage sale. The unopened container was sold as a grab bag item for $15. Examining the assorted contents, obviously worth far more than his purchase price was entertaining.  But what was even more eye catching were headlines in the newspapers wrapping the treasures, proof positive that nothing changes at the irrelevant daily:

Fri. Aug. 26, 2005: Arizona gets tough on teacher licensing  (Sexual predators are still teaching.)

Sun. Oct. 23, 2005: An entire Viewpoints section devoted to “immigration,” filled with the words “migration,” “undocumented” and “migrants.”  The report by Richard deUriarte, then on the editorial board, is  titled, “Border fight forgets migrants’ humanity.” Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl each expounded (blah, blah, blahing) on the need to update laws and for additional resources ($$$) and reform. The favored amnesty term  ‘comprehensive,’ too long for the headline, was tucked inside the report.

Sat. Nov. 12, 2005:  Homeless get their own court. (The article explains that charges will be cleared as an incentive for rehabilitation.)

The one certainty at the daily newspaper? Everything old is new again.


Leftist lunacy:CA boosts illegals’ healthcare, wages…

June 4, 2015

….and even tackles global warming

The Los Angeles Times reports that California state senators have approved a measure that allows at least 2 million illegal aliens to sign up for special healthcare programs offering the same benefits as Medi-Cal. Most Republicans in the leftward lurching state opposed the bill.

Readers of this blog might have difficulty navigating the report’s terminology since it uses the words “immigrants,” “undocumented,”  and “people in the country without authorization,’ to  describe our invaders —- who have no reason to believe they and the rest of their friends and relatives are not welcome to keep flooding into the United States since they are so hospitably received. For ease in reading, we have thoughtfully provided “Lingo,” our still popular primer.

In pitching Senate Bill 4 to his colleagues, sponsoring Sen. Ricardo Lara said, “We are talking about our friends. We are talking about our neighbors and our families who are denied basic healthcare in the richest state of this union.” Democrat Lara, the son of illegals, failed to note that many cities and municipalities in the state are in financial meltdown or have actually filed for bankruptcy. Such facts are of no consequence. The bill passed 28 – 11.

The California senate has been on a roll. In passing job killing Senate Bill 3,  it also voted to raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour from $9. The argument is that an employee working full-time and earning $9 per hour takes home $18,000 annually before taxes, which is 75% of the federal poverty line for a family of four. But minimum wage jobs were never intended to support a family. They have long provided part-time employment for teens and college students who realize that education is the way out of poverty. Now with business feeling the pinch, and cutbacks occurring, many students will be priced out of the workplace.  

Still the senate liberals were not content.  They also passed Senate Bill  350, intended to combat global warming. Along with the dramatic reduction of petroleum in gasoline it requires, it also mandates state utilities generate at least 50 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources by 2030 and triggers a fundamental shift in the types of vehicles Californians drive and the way they power their homes. This report in the San Jose Mercury-News tells the story.

Less than a year ago we posted ‘Have you heard? The USA is “the other Mexico.”  It’s filled with information well worth reviewing. This video clip of California Gov. Jerry Brown greeting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is instructive. In response, Pena Nieto brassily called on other states to “evolve” like California so the United States can be more like his home country….. impoverished and crime ridden.

Jerry Brown stands as a monument of the insanity that undergirds liberalism.