Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An early view of 2010?

Phoenix Mayor is taking on Sheriff Joe Arpaio again. Both have been rumored to be running for Governor in 2010. Sheriff Joe goes as far as to claim that Mayor Gordon's latest criticisms are an attempt to get press for his future run.

Of course, when anyone else but the sheriff talks to the media, they have some sort of agenda. With Mayor Gordon as a Democrat and Sheriff Joe as a Republican, are we seeing an early view of a 2010 General Election showdown?

Some believe that Gordon would not be able to survive a primary against Terry Goddard. There are also questions on if the immigration platform (see Goldwater, Don) can translate to a statewide victory in a Republican primary. However, this conflict does seem to have a greater connotation beyond the Sheriff going town to town picking on local officials on their immigration policy.

Hands down, it would be the most heated General contest.

TIME is not on her side

Looks like there may be even more trouble for the TIME initiative. The initiative based on the idea of helping businesses was NOT endorsed by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. According to the Chamber, they couldn't get the 60% of the board approval that they needed to support the tax increase. If the pro-business people are only luke warm, how do they plan to convince the people on a fixed income who are having trouble putting gas in their car?

According to Espresso Pundit, the initiative also may have even more trouble qualifying for the ballot. The Secretary of State threw out over 20,000 signatures based on flawed petitions. That is probably between $60,000 and $100,000 that some business donated that was just thrown out the window. In addition, the other story we have heard is that validity tests are showing a higher rate of failure than in years past. This one could be close.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Opposition lining up for "Janet Cams"

Set your cruise control. As Capitol Ideas so keenly points out, the latest on the "Janet Cams" is that they are going to nab any speeder that travels 10 miles over the limit. The current cameras go off an 11 mph standard, but its being moved down in hopes to catch more speeders. Let's hope that the photo radar tickets will come with Hallmark cards thanking them for boosting the general fund by $210 million.

It also looks like several groups are lining up in opposition to the speed cameras. AAA and the insurance people are already coming out against and the trucking association has their concerns as well. Naturally, the people who deal with drivers and cars are going to be on the forefront of this issue. It will be interesting to see if other people take up arms against the cameras. Our bet is that it won't be until people actually start getting tickets in the mail that they will start paying attention.

Majority Rules and Irony

Governor Napolitano has come out against Prop 105, the "Majority Rules" initiative. She says that it puts the people who choose not to vote in power and effectively halts all tax increases. That was probably the idea after seeing so many different incremental tax increases over the past few years.

The Ironic part (irony in this case defined as "intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated") is that the Governor claims that she doesn't know of anyone who has proposed a big tax increase. As Espresso Pundit points out, the Governor has her own $42 billion dollar sales tax increase on the ballot this time around.

Looks like she may have gotten it in just under the wire. If the new law passes, she would have actually had to work with the legislature to get increased funding for transportation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Friends of Janet looking to oust Pearce

As we reported awhile back, Napolitano's money man, Jim Pederson, is helping fund Kevin Gibbons' campaign to oust Russell Pearce. It turns out that there is more to the story. More friends of Janet and several supporters of her transportation initiative have also kicked in money to Gibbons. However, Gibbons invoked the name of Obama to slam Pearce last week.

Here is the release from Representative Andy Biggs:

Contact: For Immediate Release:
Rep. Andy Biggs July 21, 2008

Kevin Gibbons Trapped Between Barack and a Tax Increase
House Transportation Chairman Andy Biggs to Gibbons: Give Back Money from Democrats and Governor’s Transportation Plan Backers

MESA – In the latest salvo from special interest-funded newcomer District 18 Senate Candidate Kevin Gibbons, he compared Representative Russell Pearce to Democratic Presidential Nominee Senator Barack Obama. To that notion, House Transportation Chairman Andy Biggs replied, “Barack Obama and Russell Pearce have about as much in common as Kevin Gibbons and a real Republican.”

Governor Janet Napolitano is a top supporter of Barack Obama. Her top fundraiser Jim Pederson and his family gave over $1,500 to Kevin Gibbons and over $10,000 to Barack Obama. Under intense scrutiny, Gibbons gave away Jim Pederson’s money. However, Gibbons has not given back the other $6,660 that he has raised from Democrats and backers of the Governor Napolitano’s transportation tax increase plan.

"At least 13% of Gibbons' donors are Democrats or supporters of Governor Napolitano’s TIME initiative,” said Biggs, “It’s tough to question someone else’s fiscal credentials when you have so many backers of expanded government and wasteful spending in your own camp.”

Kevin Gibbons has claimed to be a proponent of smaller government and cutting back on wasteful spending. However, he is supported by Democrats and those who are backing the Governor’s TIME Initiative, which raises sales tax rates nearly 18% for 30 years to pay for a litany of wasteful projects. Her plan includes $1.7 billion in giveaways to environmental groups and billions more to light rail and inter-city trains.

“Why hasn’t Kevin Gibbons come out against the Governor’s TIME Initiative?” questioned Biggs, “We know the Governor is willing to cut deals to get support for her pet project. Has Kevin Gibbons been convinced that investing in a statewide train service is a ‘critical’ transportation need?”

From the budget borrowing to the transportation tax increase, the Governor and Senate and House Democrats have placed a lot of future burden on Arizona’s taxpayers. Jim Pederson and others on Gibbons’ donor list have been helping push these initiatives.

Biggs concluded, “If Kevin Gibbons wants to run as a Republican, it’s time for him to start acting like it. Support from people who advocate for this kind of wasteful spending is unacceptable for a Republican legislative candidate. He should give that money back.”

# # #

Napolitano and Military funding

Governor Napolitano took $7.8 million from a special fund to preserve military bases to help balance her budget. The fund was created to reduce encroachment and buy up development rights to make sure that bases are able to maintain their mission. Her spokesperson thinks that its not that big of a deal.

However, as the Republic reports today, Arizona military bases pump over $3 billion into the local economy. That is a big deal if the state doesn't continue to do what it takes to preserve them.

Military bases are an important part of Arizona's economy, especially in the West Valley and in Napolitano stronghold, Tucson. Perhaps it would have made a but more sense to listen to a few more cuts offered up by the House to keep this military fund whole.

Not only did she take the $4.8 million that was due to the fund for this year, but she swept an additional $3 million that was in the fund from previous allocations. Meanwhile, she still has the millions in her non-lapsing budget.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fighting a recall effort or running for Governor?

Mayor Phil Gordon is Looking Ahead

To the untrained eye, it would look like Phil Gordon is still running for Mayor several months after he won his re-election. One would assume that these commercials which appear to be running countywide (with confirmed airings outside Phoenix City Limits) are intended to battle the latest recall effort. However, is there more to the story? Are these the first commercials for the 2010 Governor's race?

Luke warm support for Gov's Transportation Initiative

Small business support is luke warm for the Gov's Transportation initiative, according to the epically named Silver State Bank/ASBA/O'Neil Associates Arizona Economic Indicators monitor. If you recall, these are the same people who said that Terry Goddard topped the polls for future candidates for Governor.

If the transportation people are able to make it on the ballot, they are going to have to put together a fairly intensive campaign selling the program's benefits. Like the survey mentions, the opponents are going to have some fairly simple arguments to put forth. The local economic climate is not doing the proponents any favors either. Hopefully, they have finally put the secret deal with the Homebuilders behind them and actually start educating the voters.

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Janet Cam" providers have had a little trouble

Looks like DPS has chosen the Scottsdale-branch of Australian firm Redflex Traffic Systems to get the contract for the statewide traffic camera deployment. What most people may not know is that Redflex has had a few problems in the past with falsified documents and cutting corners. In fact, Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer was the one who busted them.

It looks like these guys have been taking a dramatic financial hit as of late which interestingly, starts around the time their falsified documents came to light. Its a wonder if they will still be around to finish off the contract. Perhaps the $20 million contract from Arizona will give them a boost.

Governor's Friends are Big Winners

PolictickerAZ has announced their influence list of the top insiders in Arizona. Many of the Friends of Janet Napolitano made it on the list, especially in high positions:

1. Dennis Burke
2. Jim Pederson
5. David Waid
6. Tom Ziemba
9. Noah Kroloff
11. Bill Roe
23. Don Bivens
26. Jose Cardenas
38. Andrew Gordon

Clearly, this list is hit and miss, but its important to note that in the mind of the folks at Politicker, 6 out of the top 10 influential people in Arizona are held by Democrats, almost all with direct connections to the Governor. In all, their influence list appears to have 28 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and 5 mystery (as in we don't know about them enough to guess). A couple of people of note who appear to be missing: Jason Rose, Barrett Marson, Emily DeRose, and Mac Magruder. There are probably a dozen others who should be on the list as well.

It will be interesting to see if the top of this list changes after the November election. If the Governor is successful in her intiatives and her handpicked candidates win, you'd expect to see even more on the list. If Obama wins and she makes tracks for DC, you have to wonder if their influence will diminish.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Napolitano making friends

Governor Napolitano has announced that she is against Proposition 300 which would raise the legislator's salaries from $24,000 to $30,000. After they were willing to pass her budget, you'd think it would be the least she could do for them.

A very Democratic argument for raising salaries at the legislature is that its a full time job with part time pay. The pay is not enough for some one who isn't wealthy or at least well off to run for the job and expect to put food on the table. One would think that the Governor would want more people from diverse backgrounds to be willing and able to serve in the legislature.

Her explanation is that other people are not getting raises right now, so the legislature shouldn't either. Same argument typically goes for spending money you don't have, but the state seemed to figure out a way to do that. Also, still no explanation why then the Governor's office should be able to keep the money that they don't spend in light of the state's economic problems.

Governor Janet Napolitano vs. Governor Mitch Daniels

Got this in the email from the same people who sent out the "Tribute to Janet" last week:

"If you haven't seen it already, make sure you check out the Tribute to Janet Napolitano. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has a different story to tell. Perhaps he could move to Arizona. Or maybe Arizona could be annexed into Indiana.

Compare the two for yourself:"

Governor Janet Napolitano

Governor Mitch Daniels

Well, its clear where they got their inspiration for the Governor Napolitano video. It looks like the Governor of Indiana has done quite a bit and is not afraid to tell people about it. It makes one wonder what the pro-version of the Napolitano video would look like.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mum's the word for Napolitano

Governor Janet Napolitano is being awfully quiet on her intentions for the future. She won't answer questions about her desire to be Vice President, and she won't answer any questions about her desire to be Attorney General. In fact, in both cases, she just outright states that she doesn't answer "those questions."

Not answering is not a confirmation or a denial. In fact, it smacks of waiting to see where the cards fall so she doesn't look like she wanted one job over another. The natural answer to a question like "Would you like to be Vice President?" is not necessary one that is intended to fuel speculation. Most people would say "Heck yeah!" or "Not really."

In her case, it appears that she is waiting to see if she somehow squeeks onto the short list for Vice President. While the liklihood is not there, she'll want to keep the window open by not saying anything. If she comes out and says she wants the job and then doesn't get it, then an offer of Attorney General appears to be a consolation instead of a promotion. In the end, there are many that think that she is probably a better fit for AG anyway.

Either way, Arizonan's may have to face the reality that she isn't going to be around for much longer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Legislative Candidate Andy Swann takes on "Janet Cams"

Awhile back, we talked about a Schmuck's view of immigration. Now, we hear from another candidate from District 20, this time taking on the Governor's traffic cameras. Former DPS officer Andy Swann takes a shot at the Governor's plan and the realities of its impact (or lack thereof) on public safety.

You can read the release below:

Contact: For Immediate Release:
Andy Swann July 14, 2008

Swann Attacks Traffic Cam Scam
Candidate for Arizona Legislature and former DPS Officer Targets “Janet Cams”

DISTRICT 20 – Andy Swann, retired DPS officer and candidate for Legislature in District 20, announced his opposition to statewide traffic cams that carry fines, but no points to the driver. He denounced the program as a misguided revenue generator in a time when the state should be looking to live within its means.

“I believe that traffic cameras are a tool that may have their place in helping control speeds and promote public safety,” said Swann, “If they are really to be used for their intended purpose, the revenue generated from the cameras should be put back into public safety instead of the General Fund where it can be used for any number of costly programs.”

As a part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget plan, Arizona is expected to generate over $120 million in revenue from $165 dollar tickets to speeders. The speeding tickets, like parking tickets, would carry no points against a driver’s record. In a way, these “Janet Cams” encourage those who can afford it to speed so they can continue to fund the Governor’s programs.

“First, it is important to know that these cameras cannot take the place of a police officer,” said Swann, “An officer is sworn to protect and uphold the law, there is a lot more to protecting the safety of the public than just catching speeders. This is not much more than a good old fashion statewide speed trap.”

Swann stated, “We are in tough economic times. The state needs to better prioritize spending and cut costly programs that fall short in priority. When money is tight for a family, they pay the mortgage first and put food on the table. Then if they have any money left over, they may go to the movies. You don’t start charging your neighbors a fee to walk on your sidewalk so you can have enough money to go out.”

“I’m a small businessman with three young children. My family is living and working in the same tough economy and we have to live within our means,” concluded Swann, “Using these traffic cams to generate general fund money, the $2 billion in borrowing, the fund sweeps and other gimmicks could have the potential to negatively impact our economy for many years to come.”


While there doesn't appear to be anything that can be done about the traffic cameras in this current budget, it will be interesting to see if they stick around in subsequent years. And once they are in place, its doubtful that they would ever go away because that would be an even bigger waste of money.

2010 Watch

We're combing through the rumor mills, news stories, and blogs to give you the latest on the Governor's race in 2010.

Here is a tip sent to us. In a recent survey, small businesses chose Terry Goddard as their top pick for Arizona's Next governor. According to the Silver State Bank/ASBA/O'Neil Associates Arizona Economic Indicators Monitor:

"When we look at first choices only, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard was named by the largest number of respondents (43%), followed by Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (21%). None of the other prospective named candidates' figures exceeded 10%. These candidates included U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters (10%), Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman (8%), Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne (8%), Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin (7%), and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas (5%)."

It would be interesting to know if people were picking from a list of candidates or if they were asked to name a candidate on their own. Secretary of State Jan Brewer and former Democratic Party chairman Jim Pederson are noticeably absent from the list.

If you have any juicy gossip or more information, please let us know at

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Six Years of Success?

Someone named "tributetojanet" just sent me this video:

Well, most people wouldn't go as far as calling that a tribute. However, when you put it all together like that, it paints a pretty chilling picture. It will be interesting to see the reactions to the video. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

East Valley Immigration

There's a new blog in town following illegal immigration issues in the East Valley. Aptly named, East Valley Immigration, seems to keep pretty close track on all the goings on out in that part of the Valley.

The Governor "cares enough to send the very best"

A friend recently had a baby and in the midst of the cards and gifts, there came a card in the mail from Governor Napolitano wishing her congratulations on the birth of her new baby. The card was on nice paper and had an immunization card attached to the bottom to encourage parents to keep track of their baby's shots. Not only that, but it was a Hallmark card in a Hallmark envelope proving that the Governor "only cares to send the very best."

This seems a little lavish to be sending out in the middle of a budget crisis. Could this be one of the things that could be cut to help save the taxpayers money? The parents already had an immunization record that was given to them at the hospital that was already started by the staff. Why would the parents need another?

How is the list acquired? Is it when people apply for the birth certificate or is it through hospital records? Are people who are using the emergency room as their primary healthcare provider getting this card? Are parents who get their babies taken away by CPS in the hospital still getting this card? Are illegal immigrants who have their babies in Arizona to get them citizenship getting this card?

Perhaps its time for the Governor to spend as much time caring about Arizona's fiscal health as she does caring about the health of our newborns.

Governor takes final action on legislation

Here is a run down of the bills that Governor Napolitano signed and the ones that she vetoed on Monday, the final day she could take action on legislation passed by lawmakers last month before they closed up shop.

Most of the bills passed are fairly run of the mill doing something very specific like spelling out punishments for juvenile offenders or licensing those who originate loans. Two bills that were vetoed, however, were efforts to clarify concealed-carry-weapons laws.

HB 2389 - would have allowed people to have gun in their vehicles without a CCW permit. This would have prevented people from having to leave their gun in plain sight in their car.

HB 2626 - would have allowed volunteer possee and ex-enforcement officials to carry concealed weapons without a CCW permit.

Again, its the little things that the Governor has problems with. This time, the notion of a partially concealed gun was not enough for to warn people. Perhaps if there was a fine for all guns that weren't over 50% exposed and the proceeds went to cover the bond debt, maybe she would have signed it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

Capitol Media Services and the East Valley Tribune have reported that while the state is suffering from massive cuts, the Governor, House and Senate still have money left over. Unlike other agencies, their appropriations don't lapse, so they get to keep their money, even if they haven't spent it. Staffers rejoice, while your friends in other departments may feel the heat, there will be plenty of money to keep you around!

Here is how much each of them is carrying over from previous years:

Governor - $1.1 million
State Senate - $1.5 million
State House - $9.1 million

The House fund goes all the way back to 2001. It doesn't say how far back the other two funds go, but one would guess that the Governor's will be spent before 2010 rolls around. If these folks wanted to give money away and sweep funds, they should have started with their own, or at least taken bigger cuts than the mandated 5% reduction.

Its like telling everyone else to use their credit cards to buy peanut-butter and jelly sandwhiches while the Governor and the legislature tie the napkin around their necks and dig into their steak.

Liberal love for Napolitano

RCubed pointed to this article lavishing praise on Governor Napolitano from the American Prospect. According to their website, "the American Prospect was founded in 1990 as an authoritative magazine of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics."

Its a very interersting read that covers the span of Napolitano's career and talks at great lengths about how much they think she has a great sense of humor. The most hilarious line from the article however, was probably unintentional:

"Though Napolitano successfully turned a $1 billion deficit into a surplus during her first term, the state is back in the red this year, putting the conservative opposition in no mood to create new programs. "

As you can see, she is personally responsible for fixing the budget deficit the first time, but she has had nothing to do with the latest financial troubles. You see, the "state" did that. Those old grumpy conservatives simply weren't in the mood to pass $2 billion in spending that the state couldn't afford. Bet they skipped dessert too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Napolitano's money man looking to oust Pearce

First, the Yellow Sheet reports that Pederson is still the biggest backer to the Arizona Democratic Party. Next, we learn he is the money man behind the Governor's state trust land initiative. Now, he is looking to take aim at conservative Republicans critical of the Governor by donating money to... other Republicans!

In this case, former Chairman Jim Pederson is giving big bucks to Republican Kevin Gibbons (who happens to be Republican Congressman Jeff Flake's brother-in-law) in his bid to challenge Russell Pearce for State Senate. Here is the release from the Maricopa County Republicans:

Contact: For Immediate Release:
Tony Reinhard July 3, 2008

District 18 Republican Challenger Takes Max Donations from Former Democratic Party Chairman
Maricopa County Republican Chairman Tom Husband to Gibbons: Give Back Jim Pederson's Money

MESA – District 18 Senate Republican Candidate Kevin Gibbons has received over $1,500 in campaign contributions from Millionaire developer and former Democrat Party Chairman Jim Pederson and his family. Arizona voters will remember Jim Pederson as the former chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party who also ran as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate against Senator Jon Kyl.

"I can't understand why a Republican would take money from people who have clearly aligned themselves against the Republican Party and its principles," said Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman Tom Husband, "I have a strong recommendation for Kevin Gibbons: Give back Jim Pederson's money."

As Democratic Party chairman, Pederson is remembered for having supported and helped to fund the Clean Elections Initiative, which limits our 1st Amendment rights in state elections. He also is considered to have been instrumental in recruiting Janet Napolitano to run for Governor. Napolitano has gone on to push through a bank breaking 2008-09 budget that includes reliance on debt, property tax increases, accounting gimmicks, fund sweeps, speeding tickets, and increased state gambling just to keep things in balance.

In 2006, Jim Pederson spent millions of his own money to bankroll his Senate campaign. In the end, he lost to Republican Senator Jon Kyl by nearly ten points. Now, Jim Pederson is using his money to fund the Governor's State Trust Land Initiative and has donated money to the redistricting initiative effort.

"Pederson is up to his old tricks in targeting trusted Republicans just like he did as chairman and when he ran for the United States Senate against Jon Kyl," said Husband, "The Arizona State Senate can't afford any more people who take their cues from the Democrat Governor and her people.

In addition to Mr. Gibbons, District 18 also has Russell Pearce, who spent 8 years in the Arizona House, seeking the Republican nomination to replace Senator Karen Johnson as the State Senator for District 18. He is running as a clean elections candidate, while his opponent, Kevin Gibbons is running as a traditionally funded candidate.

"We hope Mr. Gibbons comes to his senses and gives the money back to Jim Pederson", said Tom Husband.

# # #

Arizona Republic Love-Fest

The Arizona Republic is lavishing praise on the Governor and her ability to get her agenda passed in the last few days of the session. According to the story, she beat down the Republicans who are resigned to her superiority. Her "whatever it takes motto" is getting things done and going around the legislature through initiatives is praised.

Of course, there are two Democrats commenting in the story and only one Republican. When you read the quotes, you can only tell that Vershoor is speaking with conviction. Both Democrats put forth very tentative praise:

Democratic pollster and strategist Bob Grossfeld called it the kind of session "when the most significant thing you've done is not sink."

"The global competition isn't waiting for us to get through the recession," said Fred DuVal, a member of the state Board of Regents and Phoenix-based political consultant. This was an exceptional commitment in a down year."

Everyone jump for joy! We haven't sunk yet and we have made big commitments in a financially troubling time.

The Arizona 2009 FY budget: feel the excitement!

Governor against Gay marriage referendum

Governor Napolitano opposes the gay marriage referendum saying that its "unnecessary." She also says that she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, but she doesn't think that the amendment is needed because the courts have upheld the current marriage statute. The question is if she does support the traditional view of marriage, why is she against strengthening the current law against future judicial activism?

Clearly, she has some very specific views on necessity. An amendment on gay marriage is not necessary, but $1 billion more to the universities in a down economy is. A state ban on partial birth abortion is not necessary, but traffic cameras that generate revenue are. How come her necessities always seem to cost a lot of money?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Governor Signs Theme Park Bill

Also signed on Friday with little fanfare, the Governor puts the final nail in the Arizona's financial coffin by approving millions in bonds for the Decades theme park. Of course, they are supposed to raise the capital before they can get the bonds, so we'll see if that can happen when the investors realize that the location is 50 miles away from civilization in either direction. When you get past all of the cutesy themes and headlines, we are still talking about trying to put a gigantic tourist attraction in Eloy.

Wasn't that what the Family Fun World guy with the wacky bird cages and machinery was trying to do?

Homebuilders slow to pay up on secret deal - Part 2

So, as it turns out, the Homebuilders think that they have met their obligation for paying the $100,000 they owe for getting a deal on the transportation plan. They decided to pay their debt through collecting their own signatures and giving $27,000 to cover the balance.

However, the Governor's people don't see it the same way. Asking for the cash, instead of more signatures. According to the story:

"Tom Ziemba, the campaign consultant, criticized Wilhelm's decision to do her own petition circulating. Ziemba said the campaign needs financial support, not signatures."

It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out. Just take a look at their latest finance report. Since Ziemba is such a unique name, let's assume he is the proprieter of ZIEMBA WAID public affairs to whom the committee owes over $82,000.

No wonder why they would prefer straight cash.

Michael Johns Says Sealing America's Border with Mexico Requires Urgency

Conservative leader and writer Michael Johns, a former White House speechwriter and Heritage Foundation foreign policy analyst, said last night that the United States needs to act with great urgency to secure its southern border with Mexico if it hopes to protect the nation's security interests and begin reversing the many economic and other crises spurred by the nation's apparent unwillingness to enforce federal immigration laws by fully securing its southern border.

Replays of Johns' interview with the Grizzly Groundswell Network on Blog Talk Radio are available globally for replay from the 61.30 to 120 minute mark of the network's June 30, 2008 show, available at:

In the interview, Johns challenges the conventional wisdom that Mexico's illegal aliens in the U.S. are only filling jobs that Americans do not want, stating that nearly half of them--10.5 million of the 21.6 million illegal Mexicans in this nation--are illegally filling skilled jobs that almost certainly would be appealing to Americans at a time when unemployment is standing at 5.5 percent nationally. Johns stated further that the failure of the U.S. to seal its southern border from illegals represents one of the greatest ongoing security threats to the nation at a time when the U.S. continues to be embroiled in a global conflict against al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism.

Johns stated that the 21.6 million illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. are ill-serving the U.S. economy, costing the nation approximately $397 billion annually in education, health care and other social services. Meanwhile, Johns says, Mexican illegals are returning large sums of their earnings--approximately $33 billion annually to Mexico and $283 billion annually to all of Latin America. He also said that the U.S. has spent approximately $1.5 billion since 2001 in costs associated with the incarceration of approximately 370,000 illegal aliens in the U.S.

As President of Phoenix's Coalition for a Conservative Majority (CCM), Johns and his organization are actively supporting two Arizona ballot initiatives that would strengthen the state's illegal immigration enforcement capabilities by empowering Arizona's law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws and make the state's criminal trespass statutes applicable to illegal aliens in the state. The deadline for the submission of signatures for these two ballot initiatives is this Thursday, July 3, 2008.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Homebuilders slow to pay up on secret deal

The Homebuilders are not keeping up their end of the not-so-secret bargain that they made with Governor Napolitano. The TIME initiative coalition is turning away the Homebuilder's signatures and $27,000 donation in hopes of getting their $100,000 that they were promised.

This secret deal is the gift that keeps on giving. First, the plan gets negative press for a week because of the deal. Second, it caused everyone to look deeper into the deal and see if there were any other deals cut. Third, it has taken complete attention away from the plan itself and what is or is not contained in it. Finally, they are actually willing to go on record and talk more about the money and the fact that it hasn't been paid.

The best part is that when the Homebuilders finally do pay, its going to be ANOTHER story.

Bad Feeling - Part 2

More on the Governor's spending and how people feel about it:

The Arizona Federation of Taxpayers is calling the session “worst in memory.”

The Center for Arizona Policy calls the budget "irresponsible and damaging to Arizona's families."

The Yuma Sun is calling the Janet Cams a "dangerous step."

BAMN suing to halt initiative

The group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) is suing in an attempt to keep the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative off the ballot.

First, they bring their people to town and harass petition gatherers and the people who are signing in an attempt to halt the citizens initiative process. Now they are trying to sue to keep the initiative off the ballot, claiming that the gatherers used misleading language.

Like it or not, the citizen's initiative process is in place to allow people (and in some recent cases, the Governor) have a voice in the way things are done in Arizona.

Will Governor Napolitano weigh in on this? She should. After all, she has her own intiative on the street trying to hike taxes for transportation. I am sure that the gatherers mentioned the 18% increase in the sales tax whenever they got someone to sign. How would she react if someone tried to sue to keep her intiative off the ballot?