Please join us in Tucson for Town Hall presentations on the issues that effect your lives.

BONDS – Pima County Bonds – Wasteful or Necessary Spending? 
Aug 13 * Thur 6-8 pm * Miller-Golf Links Library
Joe Boogart – Spokesman, ‘Taxpayers Against Pima Bonds”
Larry Hecker – Chair, “YES on Pima County Bonds”
Tom Jenney – AZ State Director, Americans for Prosperity
Emil Franz – Politico, Radio Talk Show Host

ELECTIONS – Election Integrity in Pima County
Sept 26 * Sat 2-4 pm * Murphy-Wilmot Library

Oct * Murphy-Wilmot Library
Mark Spear
Senator Frank Antenori


Ballot signatures OK’d for red-light camera ban

from the: Arizona Daily Star

17 hours ago  •  By Caitlin Schmidt

The proposed red-light camera ban is one step closer to making it on the November ballot, after the Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez confirmed enough valid signatures on petitions.

Two weeks ago, Tucson Traffic Justice, a local group that’s been trying to ban the cameras for more than two years, submitted petitions with more than 40,000 signatures.

After the Secretary of State drew a sample of 2,018 signatures to confirm their validity, the County Recorder determined Monday that 1,258 or 67% were valid.

Based on that number, the Recorder projects that 27,000 signatures are valid. That’s more than double the required number of 12,730.

“The numbers are phenomenal considering we have no paid staff or circulators,” said Tucson Traffic Justice’s petition coordinator, John Kromko.

Initially, the group collected 53,000 signatures at five street fairs, 15 Second Saturday events, parades, sporting events and the swamp meet, said volunteer coordinator Lee Strubbe. After removing about 13,000 out-of-towners, the group submitted the 40,000 local signatures.

“At this point we’re just worried that the city will try to get around it by signing a long-term contract with the camera company,” Kromko said.

Two years ago, the measure was set to go to the City Council to decide if it would be put on the ballot when the Department of Procurement signed a two-year contract with American Traffic Solutions, the company that operates the cameras, he said.

That contract is up next month, leading Kromko and the group to wonder if the same thing will happen again.

The privately contracted American Traffic Solutions operates eight cameras around the city that detect when a vehicle has run a red light. Tucson Police Department then reviews the citations before issuing them to drivers.

The majority of the funds collected through the fines goes to American Traffic Solutions and not the city, as many people believe, Kromko said.

After paying almost $300 in fines and $100 for traffic school after receiving a ticket, Kromko took up the cause of getting the cameras banned, saying that if the tickets were a reasonable price, he wouldn’t be bothering with it.

Thirty of 32 cities that have voted on the cameras rejected them, leading Kromko to believe that the outlook for Tucson is good should the measure be brought to a vote.

Last year, Sierra Vista voters rejected the cameras by nearly a nearly 8-to-2 margin, he added.


AZ Subsidizes Pima County

From the Arizona Daily Star:

Taxpayers should stop bailing out high tax districts

By Vince Leach Special to the Arizona Daily Star

In the late 1970s a property-tax revolt broke out in California with the famous Prop. 13. By 1980 the revolt had spread to Arizona, and voters approved a constitutional amendment capping homeowner primary property taxes at 1 percent.

Since there was nothing specifying what the penalty to counties and other local taxing districts for violating the 1 percent cap would be, the Arizona Legislature voted to put in subsidies to the tax districts where the 1 percent cap would be broken.

That was fine during Arizona’s boom years of the 1980s, 1990s and even the early 2000s. Over time, that obligation, like most government subsidies, continued to grow. By the time we were looking at fiscal year 2017 in the state budget, the subsidy would have swelled to almost $24 million when we were facing more than a $600 million deficit.

It was decided it would be reasonable to put a cap on the subsidy. Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, everyone, including households, businesses and state governments, have had to tighten their belts. It was time for high-taxing and high-spending districts to do so as well.

When funds are so tight, it was disheartening to find that some local taxing districts had started taking advantage of the system.

As the Arizona Tax Research Association explained in its May 2015 newsletter:

“Maybe the most notable examples of the perverse incentives associated with both the cap and the state subsidy were the local elections to create a primary property tax in two Pinal County towns. The town of Superior (1995) and the (city) of Maricopa (2006) both moved fire protection from existing fire districts funded through secondary property taxes (secondary taxes are not subject to the 1 percent cap) into town fire departments funded through a primary property tax.

“In both instances, town officials were quite open about their strategy to leverage the 1 percent cap on primary property taxes thereby shifting existing homeowner tax obligations to the state general fund. The (city) of Maricopa took the bold step in the publicity pamphlet of precisely calculating for the homeowner/voter that they would be insulated from the entire cost for the new primary tax. It should come as no surprise that the primary tax rates for both towns have skyrocketed.”

To its credit, the leadership in Maricopa is working with state legislators to address this situation.

Almost all of the counties in Arizona have managed to live with the new limits on subsidies for the 1 percent cap. In fact only two of our 15 Arizona counties, Pinal and Pima, will still be over the limits. Pima County was responsible for the vast majority of the projected $24 million subsidy, largely due to recently enacted tax increases.

It isn’t right to expect the taxpayers from across our state to bail out the high tax and spending habits of a few local taxing districts.

That’s why I was proud to support this change in our state budget last session: a fiscally responsible budget that finally leads us back to a structural balance without any gimmicks.

It’s time for certain local taxing districts to make the hard decisions and become fiscally responsible as well.

State Rep. Vince Leach is the vice chairman of the appropriations committee and has more than 35 years of business management experience. He represents District 11 and lives in SaddleBrooke. Contact him at


Please join us in Tucson for Town Hall presentations on the issues that effect your lives.

Tucson Budget – $1.36 Billion
« Pima Budget – $1.16 Billion
July 14 * Tues 6-8 pm * Muphy-Wilmot Library

BONDS – Bonds on the Ballot
Aug 13 * Thur 6-8 pm * Miller-Golf Links Library
« Speaker: Tom Jenney, Americans for Prosperity, AZ State Director
« “Why the Grassroots Needs to Fight Wasteful County Spending”?
« Joe Boogart – Pima County Bond Advisory

ELECTIONS – Election Integrity in Pima County
Sept 26 * Sat 2-4 pm * Murphy-Wilmot Library

Tucson Budget of $1.36B


Tucson Budget of $1.36B OK’d by Council, With Tax Increase

Story by AZPM Staff

The Tucson City Council Tuesday evening approved a budget for the fiscal year that starts July1, voting 6-1 for the $1.36 billion spending package.

The budget includes a property tax increase that city officials estimated would cost $20 a year for the owner of a home valued at $150,000.

The budget is about $100 million higher than this year’s and assumes that with the improving economy, sales taxes and other revenue streams will rise.

Councilman Steve Kozachik voted against the budget after commenting that he did not consider it fiscally sound and expressing worry about the city’s slipping bond rating.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, up for re-election this fall, voted for it, with the caveat that officials begin figuring out immediately how to solve a structural deficit that keeps the city in fiscal jeopardy.

Several speakers at an hour-long public hearing on the budget asked the council to save the Access TV channel, paid for with city funds from the cable TV licensing agreement.

Interim City Manager Martha Durkin told the council she has money to keep Access on the air this summer, assuming someone steps forward to take over its operation. The city has called for proposals for that purpose, but none has been received yet.



Please join us in Tucson Arizona.

Tucson Budget – $1.36 Billion
« Pima Budget – $1.16 Billion
July 9 * Thur 6-8 pm * Miller-Golf Links Library

BONDS – Bonds on the Ballot
Aug 13 * Thur 6-8 pm * Miller-Golf Links Library
« Speaker: Tom Jenney, Americans for Prosperity, AZ State Director
« “Why the Grassroots Needs to Fight Wasteful County Spending”?
« Joe Boogart – Pima County Bond Advisory

ELECTIONS – Election Integrity in Pima County
Sept 26 * Sat 2-4 pm * Murphy-Wilmot Library

Advocates, officials spar over handling early ballots in Arizona

Tuesday, May 7, 2013,  By AJ VICENS

PHOENIX – In the run-up to last year’s general election, several political action groups worked to get residents of low-income and high-minority neighborhoods on Maricopa County’s permanent early voting list.
As Nov. 6 approached, those groups had thousands of volunteers knocking on doors to encourage people to mail back those ballots and, if voters couldn’t for any reason, offering to deliver ballots to the county.
“We’re in this to really be able to give a community a voice,” said Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, a Latino rights group that mobilized one of the larger ballot-collection efforts. “Voting is the very first step to doing that.”
Falcon estimated that her more than 2,100 volunteers collected and submitted several thousand ballots and turned them in to the Maricopa County Elections Department. Citizens for a Better Arizona estimated that it collected and submitted at least 4,000 ballots.
Leaders of both groups say collecting and submitting early ballots is a way of addressing historically low voting rates among Latinos and other minorities. While state law allows early voters to drop off ballots at any polling place in their county if they can’t mail them back by election day, those leaders say minorities are less likely to do so because of work or because they feel that candidates don’t care about their concerns.
Randy Parraz, head of Citizens for a Better Arizona, said the goal is making sure someone who may not otherwise return an early ballot for any reason has his or her voice heard.
“It would end up in the garbage had we not sat with them, because they didn’t care that much because no one asked them for their vote” Parraz said.
To a top Republican lawmaker, however, it’s too easy for those who collect ballots to not do what they promise – destroying or failing to submit them, for example.
Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, chairwoman of the Senate Elections Committee, pushed this legislative session for Arizona to follow the lead of California and other states that have banned the practice or placed restrictions on how it can be done.
SB 1003 would bar those working or volunteering for third-party political organizations from collecting and submitting another person’s early ballot. A voter could still designate someone else to submit the ballot – a friend or spouse, for example.
As approved by the Senate, a violation would carry a felony charge.
“There is no other state that allows an individual to walk into a polling place with thousands of ballots,” Reagan said. “Not one other state. So if other states have restrictions, why is it so shocking that Arizona would chose to look at, have some restrictions too?”
It’s one of two election reform bills pushed by Reagan that have drawn the ire of civil rights groups and Democrats. The other, SB 1261, would allow counties to purge names from permanent early voting lists under certain circumstances and make it illegal for another person to alter a voter registration form without the registrant’s consent.
Both bills cleared the Senate on party-line votes but as of early May hadn’t received votes on the House floor.
The bills were a response to the November 2012 election, which drew national attention to Arizona because of the record number of provisional ballots cast and perceived delays in counting all the votes. Several Senate Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice in March asking for the Civil Rights Division to watch the legislation because they said it would disproportionately impact minorities who rely more on third-party political groups and are more likely to have recently signed up for permanent early voting lists.
Testifying before the Senate Elections Committee in February, Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said SB 1003 would help secure ballots. She noted that some voters, including two people in her office, reported people posing as county election workers coming to their homes, asking who they voted for and asking to take their early ballots.
“It is very, very difficult to understand why somebody would do that,” she said. “It can’t happen, it makes the public nervous.”
Tammy Patrick, Maricopa County Elections federal compliance officer, echoed that concern in an interview.
“Why are they asking for who somebody voted for?” Patrick said. “Does that mean that they’re not going to turn in the ballot? Does that mean they’re going to destroy it? Does that mean that they’ll wait and turn it in so it’s late if it’s somebody that they didn’t want to win?”
Many states allow some form of mail-in voting, and most of them have rules on who can submit another person’s ballot. In Alaska, for instance, a person must have power of attorney for an individual they’re submitting a ballot for. Colorado and Arkansas cap the number of ballots that may be submitted.
Reagan’s bill is based on a California statute that has barred anyone affiliated with political campaigns from returning mail-in ballots since 2001.
A bill similar to SB 1003 made it through the Legislature and was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2011. Sponsored by Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, it would have required that anybody who delivers more than 10 ballots would have to provide a copy of his or her photo ID. That law never went into effect because the state withdrew it from a required review of proposed changes to Arizona’s election procedures by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Citizens for a Better Arizona, a political action group that helped lead the recall efforts of former state Sen. Russell Pearce, was perhaps the most successful ballot-collecting group during the November 2012 election season. The group collected more than 4,000 ballots, according to Parraz, the group’s leader. He said his volunteers were open with their support for Paul Penzone, a Democrat who ran against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“For every person, we went up to and asked them, ‘Can we count on you to support Paul Penzone for sheriff?’ and if they said no, we didn’t collect their ballot,” Parraz said. “We left them alone. So we didn’t take ballots for Arpaio and throw them away, we just didn’t want their ballot.”
State Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said in an interview that SB 1003 is unnecessary and, if it becomes law, would be tied up on federal court as he and opponents challenge it.
“It may not be the wisest thing to give your ballot to someone you don’t know, but that comes from voter education,” he said.
Doug Chapin, an elections expert at the University of Minnesota who studies election procedures, said that election administrators generally don’t seem to have a problem with third-party ballot collection.
“That’s something they’re relatively neutral on as long as they know what the rules are,” Chapin said. “If you are going to allow somebody to pick up a ballot, you want to make sure there’s some sort of proof of chain of custody.”
Chapin said that the debate over who can handle a voter’s ballot is more politically contentious than other election procedure debates.
“Limiting who can handle ballots, how many they can handle, and who can take them brings far more political, racial and ethnic baggage,” he said.
Gallardo said restricting ballot collection would hit low income and minority voters harder than other groups because the third-party political groups that do so primarily work in those neighborhoods.
“Mi Familia Vota, Promise Arizona, look at all the organizations,” Gallardo said. “They’ve targeted one area: low income areas, predominantly black and Hispanic … they have turned out a lot of black and brown voters to participate and now we have people who suddenly have a problem with how this is done.”
Rosa Romero, a 15-year-old Chandler high school student, said she spent many hours volunteering for the Adios Arpaio” campaign organized by Promise Arizona and Unite Here, a union representing hospitality workers. That included encouraging people to return early ballots and offering to submit them.
She said she ran into people who didn’t support what she was doing but found many more who did.
“I went to one lady’s house and she really thanked me for going to her house because she said if it wasn’t for me, that I picked up her ballot, she would have not voted,” Romero said.
Reagan said her bill wouldn’t prevent people like Romero or groups like Promise Arizona or Citizens for a Better Arizona from trying to engage low-income and minority voters. The bill is aimed at protecting people’s ballots, she said.
“This is all about the voters and making it better for them and their election system,” Reagan said, “and to make sure that their voters are counted and that they’re counted in a timely fashion.”

Governor Brewer to the PC’s.

Dear Fellow Republican,

When I assumed the Office of Governor in early 2009, the State of Arizona faced the largest budget deficit per capita in the entire country. We were saddled with a nearly $3 billion dollar deficit left behind by our former Democrat Governor as she fled Arizona to make a further mockery out of our nation’s border security. As I said at the time, it felt like I had arrived after a great big party was over, all the guests were gone, and someone handed me the bill and told me to clean up the mess!
With the help of the our Republican-majority legislature, we cleaned up the state’s fiscal house and put money away in our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Recently, the Legislature passed a budget that is balanced in Fiscal Year 2014 and keeps the state’s $450 million Rainy Day Fund intact. Our General Fund spending ($8.8 billion) increased marginally–just 3.4% compared to Fiscal Year 2013–making it one of the most conservative budgets in the entire country. Indeed, in addition to the Rainy Day Fund, we have a carry forward balance of $697 million! Through our hard work, we also have ensured that our state budget will be structurally balanced by Fiscal Year 2016 with a $100 million surplus.

I also kept my word and made sure that the temporary one-cent tax, which was supported by 64% of the Arizona electorate in 2010 as Proposition 100, stayed TEMPORARY. Keeping my word, I opposed Proposition 204 (last year’s attempt to PERMANENTLY extend the tax) and ensured that Prop 100 expired at the end of last May. Additionally, we passed effective election reforms to prevent fraud and have stood strong on the need to secure our border and enforce our nation’s immigration laws. When it comes to conservative leadership and fiscal responsibility, Arizona proudly remains a model for the rest of the country.

I remind you of these things because, while I know that some of you do not support my efforts to restore Arizona’s Medicaid program, it’s important to remember that I am governing all of this state with Republican principles. The bottom line for me as your Governor is this: Arizonavoters have TWICE approved making childless adults who earn less than 100% of the federal poverty level eligible for the state’s Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). When I took office in 2009, these program costs were soaring and eating away at our state’s General Fund obligations. Hospitals across the Arizona were facing bankruptcy because when citizens without insurance get sick, they still show up in our emergency rooms where hospitals are required to care for them.The question I had to resolve was how to cover these populations, as required by voter mandated state laws, for the least amount of state money.Under federal law, if Arizona expands our coverage by an additional 63,000 Arizonans (moving our eligibility level from 100% of the federal poverty level to 133%), the feds will pick up 100% of the costs for the first three years of the program. So over three years, rather than spend $1.3 billion of state funds to cover Arizona’s obligation–which would have covered fewer Arizonans–I decided to accept federal funds to protect our precious state resources. I also insisted that if the federal commitment changes, Arizona’s financial obligation will change as well. If federal reimbursement rates drop below 80% of the entire program costs, Arizona’s new law will AUTOMATICALLY TERMINATE. Just as we did in 2009, when the state was broke, we reduced AHCCCS enrollment. We are prepared to do that again if the federal government does not keep its word. Let me be very clear: if we had not found a way to restore coverage to those citizens required under state law, we almost certainly would have been challenged in court and been forced to restore this Arizona voter approved coverage. Such a ruling by the courts would immediately drain Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund and burden the General Fund for many, many years to come. Arizona’s Medicaid program is the most successful program in the country. Arizona’s per patient obligation is half that of other states that do not use our cost containment model (which was created by Republicans over 30 years ago). Arizona’s Medicaid program is NOT Obamacare. It is, in fact, a large part of the solution as the most efficient, cost-effective Medicaid system in the country. I have asked our Congressional delegation to ensure that other states adopt our cost-effective model of service as a way of bringing our burdening national debt under control (a copy of this letter can be seen at closing, I appreciate those of you who have supported me as I made this tough policy decision. And I respect those who disagree. But I cannot emphasize enough that kicking 63,000 Arizona citizens currently enrolled in AHCCCS off of health care–including those in the middle of cancer treatment–would have been disastrous for Republican’s chances at the polls in 2014.
As surveys have shown time and again, the citizens of Arizona overwhelmingly support my Medicaid restoration effort. I reminded many a Republican who disagreed with me over Prop 100’s temporary one cent tax in 2010 that we won two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature just months later. It is my hope that our Party can reclaim those majorities in the fall of 2014. To continue efforts to potentially hurt and intimidate those who stood with me only puts Republican’s chances for electoral success next year back into harm’s way.

This may mean little to those in “strong” Republican districts, but with every statewide office currently in Republican hands, Democrats are looking for ways to tip the scales on a statewide level to increase Democrat turnout. Ronald Reagan often used the quote, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” As fellow Republicans, we agree even more than 80% of the time. We are allies. It is time to move on, work together for a united front in 2014 and focus on the key issues that face our state including the economy, quality education, and public safety. If we work together, I know we can once again sweep every statewide office and two-thirds majorities in both houses of our State Legislature just as we did in 2010.

Thank you for giving me the honor of your attention and for your dedicated service to our Grand Old Party and the Great State of Arizona!

Sincerely, Governor Jan Brewer

The Brewercrats who helped Governor Brewer in the hostile takeover of the Arizona State Legislators

The Brewercrats – Rogue Republicans
John McComish
Michelle Reagan
Adam Driggs
Rich Crandall
Bob Worsley
Steve Pierce
Jeff Dial
Bob Robson
Ethan Orr
Frank Pratt
Doug Coleman
Heather Carter
Kate Brophy-McGee
T.J. Shope
Doris Goodale

O-Brewer-Care : Surrendering Arizona to Obama

The Governor who once championed the plight of ranchers on her southern border has created a chasm equal to the landmark in the northern part of her state.

SurrenderBrewer’s ascent into the national limelight, with the passage of SB1070, is forever tainted by her rapid descent due to the surrendering of the state of Arizona to Obamacare. The Governor of the state that passed a legislative referral to the ballot to amend the Constitution of AZ to prohibit Obamacare and then turned around and sued the Federal government over the implementation of the program is now demanding her own party ignore its core tenets and embrace O-Brewer-Care.

The Republican Party disagrees.

The heroine of Arizona has self-inflicted a wound and it is becoming quite a natural wonder. Resolutions opposing O-Brewer-Care from County Chairs were followed by resolutions opposing O-Brewer-Care from County Executive Committees, followed by resolutions opposing O-Brewer-Care from Legislative Executive Committees, followed by resolutions opposing O-Brewer-Care from Legislative Districts.

These are her people. These are her elected Precinct Committeemen. This is the machine and the heart and soul of the Republican Party and it is being ripped out and stamped on.  Legislative Districts are at war. Resolutions, counter resolutions, and accusations of misrepresentation of intent are bubbling in the pot.

The Democrats cheer.

On the other side of the aisle the Democrats are tepidly cheering the surprising about face of the reputed solid conservative. 100% of the Democrat caucus is voting for O-Brewer-Care. Her traveling power-point presentations given by AHCCS personal are attended by Democrats and well represented are Progressives and Occupy members.

And in the middle a new group emerges – the Brewercrats. Crossover Republicans supported by and supporting Corporate Healthcare and in some cases, displaying greater fear of the Democrats than their supporters, a group of 5 Senators and 11 Representatives are standing with OBrewerCare and the Democrats. In a historic time with a Republican majority in every State seat and the Legislator, the Brewercrats have chosen to stand against their loyal supporters, watching in LD meetings while the hard-working precinct committeemen vote, often unanimously, for resolutions opposing the Governor’s plan.

The sides are formed. Corporate Healthcare joins with the Governor to lead Democrats and Brewercrats, running a full-fledged campaign with their eyes on the future and the hope to reap, according to some estimates, $2 billion. The other side is the Republican Party, Libertarians, nurses, doctors and small business owners who have passion, a demand to be heard and who view keeping the Republican tenet of limited government the ultimate goal.

The image of a strong, finger-waving-at-the-President leader gives way to a portrait of a puppet politician surrendering her state and turning her back on the wishes of her own people.