“All Bark No Bork”

No Elephant Stampede

That about sums it up!

Another Scam on the Taxpayers


Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix, believes in cheating not only Phoenix taxpayers but also the taxpayers of the country.  The Phoenix Business Journal has a piece today about Mayor Phil Gordon heading to DC this week to meet with the Obama administration and to beg federal government agencies for bailout moneyto fund a new scam — a “Green” college. 

The supposed mission of this new campus will be for environmental and sustainable architecture, engineering, and workforce development.  What adds a new dimension to this money grab of taxpayer dollars is that ASU has already increased the number of “green” classes on its campuses.

Folks, this is simply about extorting more money from the taxpayers.  Check out this opinion piece featured in the Washington Examiner.  The final line sums it up:

When America is in recession, the last thing we can afford to do is destroy more jobs than we create in the name of “stimulus.”  The American people deserve to hear the truth about “green jobs.” Unfortunately, as long as Al Gore and his allies continue to have the loudest bullhorns, they won’t.

The deal is that this is just a move to create an even bigger government with more regulation on business, industry, and individual liberties.  Not to mention the unlawful taking of taxpayer money with even less accountability.  It looks like Phil Gordon definitely has a green finger in the air.  Unfortunately, it appears that it is not just his green thumb that he is showing to the taxpayers.

Wait a Minute, What?

What About the Constitution Cartoon

This is what we have to look forward to — a jurist who believes that the mission of the courts at all levels is to make law!

The question that we have is what are we going to do about it to stop this nomination?!

Reducing the Carbon Footprint


Let’s do our part for the environment by removing Nancy Pelosi!

Simcox v. McCain, The Battle for AZ US Senate



As you are aware, Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, has resigned his position with the group and has officially launched his bid to challenge John McCain for the US Senate seat.

A national blog, RedStateLeader picked up the story and was all abuzz about a piece that ran on Politico.com that handicapped the race between McCain and Simcox.

The blog posting commented on allegations of financial misappropriations at Minuteman HQ and inflammatory language used by Simcox and wondered what the people of Arizona thought about the chances of beating McCain in a primary.

It is interesting to see the commentary by national pundits on our local races.  The media coverage and opinions from outside spectators in Washington have a much different take than what we have about the race.  Head on over and check out the story at RedState Leader and give your thoughts on what’s really happening on the ground out here in Arizona.

Before you go, we would like to get your take on this important battle and the allegations against Simcox.  Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you’re hearing out in your neighborhood on this challenge to Senator McCain.

Is Your Name On It?



 I remember when I was in elementary school that our teachers always impressed upon us the nature of placing our names on everything.  If it was our box of crayons, our name had to be on it.  If it was our homework, our name had to be on it.  If it was our school book, our name had to be on it.  Now, with Mother’s Day quickly approaching (note to self — Mother’s Day this Sunday), I remember my mom getting in on the act by placing my name on my lunch and jacket.

Placing our names on our items did a few things:

  1. It cleared up any confusion we had when we found lost articles to whom it belonged.
  2. It gave each child a pride in ownership and a sense of responsibility to be sure that we took care of what was entrusted to us.

However, some adults seem to have lost their way to this notion of ownership.  Take for example the recent news article that appeared in the Arizona Daily Star on Monday concerning a couple of vacant houses with lots near Speedway and North Stone in Tucson.

Neighbors reported four years ago that the house was vacant to the city.  The city slated it for demolition and it was carried out just recently.  Now, with the second house that was reported vacant and slated for demolition, some of the neighbors are sounding an alarm to stop it.

However, the reasons why the neighbors are protesting the demolition are not the ones that they would have you believe.  You see, the properties were sold recently to a Phoenix-are investor group who were told by the city to either tear down the houses or repair them.  Repairing these houses were not the interests of the property owners.  Rather, they want to build a retail-condo complex in its location much to the dismay of the neighbors.

Photo by Mamta Popat/ Arizona Daily Star


Photo by Mamta Popat/ Arizona Daily Star


So, some of the neighbors tried to pull the historic designation card because it was “contributing structure” to the historical nature of the neighborhood.  This does nothing to stop the owners of the property from doing what they wish.  When the neighbors don’t get what they want, they then point to the Private Property Rights Protection Act (Proposition 207) as the problem.  This act, passed in 2006 by the voters, allows for homeowners, businesses, and churches to be protected from eminent domain and regulatory takings and is the strongest property rights protection in the nation.

How do I know that there is a political agenda to lash out against Proposition 207?  Check out these lines:

The handful of city neighborhoods that are locally designated historic districts are the only ones with that protection, said Jonathan Mabry, the city’s historic preservation officer.
“There is no regulatory or legal procedure the city could use to prevent demolition of a property that is listed on the national register,” Mabry said.
He added that the demolition points up the need for some mechanism to “encourage and incentivize property owners to repair and adaptively reuse” such historical structures.
The city is deterred from enacting laws ordering such things by passage of Proposition 207 in 2006. That statewide measure requires that municipalities compensate property owners for the monetary impact of zoning laws.
“This is the type of situation where the community calls for more regulation, but since Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, that’s not an option for local governments. This should increase public awareness that it needs to be fixed,” Mabry said.
The major problem that some of the neighbors of the historic district and the government have is that people are doing what they want with THEIR property and not allowing for their neighbors or the government have a say in it.  Let me pick out one of the key lines again:
He added that the demolition points up the need for some mechanism to “encourage and incentivize property owners to repair and adaptively reuse” such historical structures.
The big government types want to control what you do with your property.  The big government type wants you to just go along with whatever they say.  But what the big government types need to remember, is that they don’t own your property.  It is a lesson that they should have learned when they were children — if your name is on it, it belongs to you. 

Monday News Update

News Update Header

 Here are the top stories that we are following today.  If we missed one, please let us know.  Please check back later for our commentary on today’s news story.

Arizona Daily Star

Consultants rap Kino Hospital’s tab to taxpayers

Supreme Court needs new look, senators say

School districts plan for all-day kindergarten

State resolution to feds a silly waste of time


Arizona Republic

Follow the cash: Charities spent bulk of it on salaries, expenses

An Arizona Republic investigation examines how a charity network is able to legally inflate its finances.
Guide | Don Stewart: In pursuit of God’s reward | More
Day 1: Charities benefit from loopholes | The series

Senators want justice with wide experience

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s search to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter should extend beyond the current roster of federal judges, senators from both political parties said Sunday.

Full-day kindergarten program to continue

School districts across the Valley are preparing to continue offering full-day kindergarten next school year because they’ve been assured the popular program won’t be cut by the Legislature.

Hopis fighting to keep ruins open to public

As the Legislature grapples with a $3 billion budget shortfall for fiscal 2010, Homolovi Ruins, the only state park dedicated to Native American culture, is among facilities that could face closure as Arizona State Parks anticipates budget cuts.
Tour Homolovi Ruins State Park

Pima County considers parks closures, fee hikes

Pima County supervisors are expected to consider closing facilities and making other cuts to its parks department in an attempt to head off a budget deficit.

Phoenix news briefs

PHOENIX – The Arizona Supreme Court will consider the CityNorth incentive-agreement case on June 1

Scottsdale/Northeast Valley news briefs

SCOTTSDALE – Residents are invited to a pair of open-house meetings this month to learn about a proposal to improve Pima Road from McDowell Road to Via Linda.

Scottsdale tourism budget takes big hit

The city bureau expects a 25% drop in funding.

Don’t slash funding for education in Ariz.

John Wright: Don’t cut funding for education.


Mohave Daily News

Supervisors to discuss salvage yard
KINGMAN – A Mohave Valley recycling and salvage yard will get a look Monday by the county supervisors.


Phoenix Business Journal

Grand Canyon University planning major expansion

University pays $50M for site it had been leasing, plans to build new 5,000-seat event center, dormitory and library, as well as expanding its classroom facilities.


Sierra Vista Herald

Property tax reformers prepare to hit streets

Monday, May 4, 2009 2:15 AM MST
ELFRIDA — As supporters of property tax reform prepare to hit the streets with petitions in hand, organizers are visiting communities to get the word out about Prop 13 Arizona.

Fast Facts from AZ Department of Education


Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the legislature and budgets but I think it is important to note some fast facts.  Our facts today come from the AZ Department of Education and they are worth noting:

ADM went from 859,023 in 2004 to 951,117 in 2008.   This is an INCREASE OF 10.7%.

Number of Administrators went from 2,804 in 2004 to 3,305 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 17.9%.

Number of Classified Managers went from 2,374 in 2004 to 3,030 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF  27.6%.

Number of Teachers went from 47,396 in 2004 to 53,883 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 13.7%.

Average Teacher salary went from $42,324 in 2004 to $49,331 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 16.5%.

Superintendents salaries went from $12,837,427 in 2004 to $19,188,361 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 49.5%.

Total state aid went from $3,179,994,562 in 2004 to $4,453,747,156 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 40%.

Based on this information from the Arizona Department of Education, it appears that those areas that saw the biggest increases were in administration not the classroom despite the dramatic increase of state aid.  Sometimes the facts just speak for themselves.

Thursday News Stories

News Update Header

Here are the news stories that we are following today.  Please, if we have missed one, let us know!  Commentary will arrive later today.

Arizona Daily Star

§  County officials foresee tax increase

§  AZ sales tax collections declined again in March

§  Montana set to challenge gun control

§  Charter change would tie officials’ hands

§  Catalina Foothills crisis is rooted at Legislature


Arizona Daily Sun

§  City layoffs down to a dozen
In the end, it will be an even dozen. That’s how many Flagstaff city employees are likely to be laid off starting July 1, City Manager Kevin Burke said Wednesday.

§  FUSD readies budget override
Flagstaff Unified School District officials are taking the first steps toward putting a budget override on this fall’s ballot.


§  Maricopa Co. checking its take-home fleet
PHOENIX (AP) — In these tough economic times, Maricopa County is assessing the need for taking a county-owned car home.


Arizona Republic

§  State treasurer sheds light on Ariz.’s loans

Arizona’s first foray in borrowing in its modern history cost just over $38,500 in interest, state Treasurer Dean Martin reports. He warned that more borrowing is on the horizon as the state grapples with budget shortfalls.

§  Bennett unsold on Gov. Brewer’s tax plan

Secretary of State Ken Bennett, whom Brewer appointed to his current job, parted company with his patron on the tax-increase issue, saying he could not swallow a central piece of the governor’s plan to address a $3 billion budget shortfall for 2010.

§  One U.S. agency didn’t get memo about openness

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has ignored repeated requests from The Arizona Republic for information about sexual assaults. The BIA needs to release its investigative records and save time, taxpayer dollars and embarrassment.

§  Group challenges state to ‘expect more’

To combat the quite-real perception that too many Arizonans are indifferent to quality education, a business-education-philanthropic coalition has launched ”Expect More Arizona,” a campaign to entice the state’s students and parents to raise their performance expectations.


The Daily Courier

§  Cities worry about state plans for local impact fees 

§  State water agency faces 56-percent cut


East Valley Tribune

§  Ariz. Democrats assail Republicans over flu

House Democrats are trying to make political hay out of the swine flu outbreak, saying Republican budget cuts have left Arizonans more at risk.


Phoenix Business Journal

§  ADOT gets first stimulus money

The Arizona Department of Transportation is one of the first state agencies to start awarding contracts with stimulus money. The Phoenix Business Journal will have extended coverage of the stimulus efforts and the economy starting in this week’s edition.


Sierra Vista Herald

§  Fort gets more stimulus money

FORT HUACHUCA — More than $4.5 million of federal economic recovery funds have been approved for eight construction projects aimed at making the fort more energy efficient, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office said Wednesday.

Basha’s Fights Back









Bashas’ Supermarket Chain sent out a mailer this week to correct the inaccuracies being spread by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union who have sent out mailers of there own throughout the metro Phoenix area.  The UFCW mailing claimed health and safety violations in the Bashas’ supermarkets as well as citing issues on how they treat their workers.  UFCW spokesman Corey Owens said:

“The union is not interested in any way in destroying Bashas’.  We just think they have a responsibility to their workers.”

Hmm, that is a funny remark, considering the hit pieces that they put out to ruin Bashas’ reputation. [NOTE: we are working on posting copies of the mailings.  As soon as we have them, we will put them up.]  In fact, Mr. Owens lets the inside secret leak out a bit:

“The reality is they’re one of the biggest corporations in Arizona, and they act like it.”

The biggest issue that the UFCW has with Bashas’ is that it is a company that provides goods and services in exchange for payment from their customers.  In other words, Bashas’ is interested in making money and the UFCW believes that everyone should be making the same amount of money regardless of their position as warehouse worker or CEO of the corporation.  They want an equal distribution of wealth amongst all of the workers.

Spokeswoman for Bashas’ Supermarkets Kristy Nied when asked about the Bashas’ mailing said:

I think it pretty much has everything that we wanted to get out there in terms of the truth and the facts.”

We will keep an eye on this story and report back on any developments.