Thursday, January 29, 2009
Proposed spending cuts are spread throughout state agencies, including universities, community colleges, and K-12 schools.
"Democratic legislators have pushed to reduce spending cuts by instead deferring some payments into the next fiscal year, a proposal of former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. Republicans have balked, citing projections that the state's fiscal troubles are expected to last several years."
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
January 27, 2009
Brewer Adds to Policy Staff Team
Names Advisors for K-12 Education, Health & Human Services
PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today announced the addition of two policy advisors to her staff, naming Karla Phillips as Policy Advisor for K-12 Education and Beth Kohler Lazare as Policy Advisor for Health and Human Services.
“I am honored to have Ms. Phillips and Ms. Kohler Lazare join my extremely qualified and experienced team,” stated Brewer. “Both women bring to my staff a wealth of expert knowledge and numerous years of pertinent experience. They are highly regarded professionals that will advise me on areas of critical importance to the future of our great state.”
Prior to her appointment to the Brewer Administration, Karla Phillips served as Director of State Government Relations for Arizona State University. In that role she served as the university representative at legislative hearings and stakeholder meetings, advised university officials on issues impacting the university, developed strategies to advance major legislative initiatives, and helped to coordinate legislative activities with the Arizona Board of Regents as well as Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.
Prior to that, Ms. Phillips worked for seven years as a senior policy advisor for the Arizona House of Representatives. She advised the Speaker and other elected officials on issues relating to K-12 and university policy and finance, minority issues, welfare and child welfare issues. She was also responsible for researching, drafting, summarizing and advancing major legislative initiatives.
Ms. Phillips received her Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies from Indiana University. She also received her Masters in Public Administration from Arizona State University.
For the past year, Beth Kohler Lazare has worked as a Managing Consultant in the Phoenix office of Navigant Consulting, where she assisted numerous clients with Medicaid and other healthcare projects. Her projects included assessing the adequacy and appropriateness of Title XIX reimbursement rates for service providers, conducting program evaluations, assisting with procurement and reprocurement of contractors for a range of healthcare program types as well as analyzing Medicaid cost containment and health reform issues across the country.
Prior to her work in the private sector, Ms. Kohler Lazare served on the research staff of the Arizona Senate. She was the Legislative Research Analyst for the Health Committee for three years, the last year of which she was also the Research Staff Assistant Director. As Assistant Director, she was responsible for all operations of the research staff and for conducting comprehensive public policy research and analysis. She advised senators on health and policy issues including Medicaid, health insurance, small business health coverage, regulatory policy and health care finance and reform issues. She was also responsible for tracking and analyzing proposed legislation and for monitoring federal legislation and policy to determine the impact on state programs.
Ms. Kohler Lazare also served as Senior Fiscal Analyst for the Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the Arizona Legislature, advising legislators on fiscal and policy issues including Medicaid, long-term care, children’s health coverage, prescription drug issues, state employee health insurance, public health programs and health care regulations.
Ms. Kohler Lazare earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with High Distinction in Government from the University of Virginia. She went on to earn her Masters in Public Affairs with a concentration in health policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
- Newly sworn-in Governor Jan Brewer on the budget mess that former governor Janet Napolitano left her
Listening to her leaves little doubt that she will hit the ground running and ready to lead.
Click here to view the Inauguration Video
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
However, this is a mere formality as the resignation of Napolitano along with Brewer's formal acceptance automatically ascended Brewer to the post. By the time she takes the oath tomorrow, Brewer will have been governor for nearly 24 hours.
As we posted earlier, Brewer's inauguration has been scheduled for tomorrow at 3:00 PM.
A media advisory was sent out today announcing the inauguration of Jan Brewer who will become the 22nd Governor of the State of Arizona.
The event starts at 3:00 PM in front of the Historic State Capitol The schedule is as follows.
"Welcome" by Maser of Ceremonies Michael Grant- 3:00 PM
Administration of the Oath of Office by The Honorable Ruth V. McGregor,
Chief Justice of The Arizona Supreme Court- 3:30 PM
Inaugural Remarks by The Honorable Janice K. Brewer- 3:35 PM
Adjournment- 4:00 PM
Friday, January 16, 2009
Communications, Legislative Directors
PHOENIX- Secretary of State Jan Brewer today announced two more additions to her senior staff in preparation for her new role as Governor of the State of Arizona. Paul Senseman will join her administration as Director of Communications and Scott A. Smith as Director of Legislative Affairs.
ìMr. Senseman and Mr. Smith bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and energy to the Governorís Office. They both possess keen insight and familiarity of state government which will be invaluable during these challenging times,î stated Brewer. ìThey are consummate professionals in their fields and are welcome additions to my senior staff team.î
Paul Senseman will serve as chief spokesperson for incoming Governor Brewer and will guide all strategic communications operations for the Governorís Office.
For the past five years, Mr. Senseman has been a public affairs consultant with the Phoenix public affairs firm, Policy Development Group. He has a broad background in public policy and communications at the State Capitol. He has served on the senior leadership staff of three Arizona House Speakers, most recently to the late House Speaker Jake Flake. He has been a strategist and advisor to numerous legislators, including positions as Director of Communications and Chief of Staff to the House Republican Majority. Prior to working at the State House, Mr. Senseman served on the Arizona staff of United States Senator John McCain.
Mr. Senseman received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Arizona State University West and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the ASU Alumni Association. He currently serves as a board member for the Deanís Advisory Board of ASUís New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Paul has served as Honorary Commander of the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Gospel Rescue Mission. He is a 4th generation Arizonan and native of Peoria, Arizona, where he resides with his wife Kathy, and their two daughters.
As Director of Legislative Affairs, Scott A. Smith will manage all legislative relations for incoming Governor Brewer.
Most recently, Mr. Smith has served as the Deputy Director of Operations for the Arizona Department of Administration with responsibility for numerous ADOA divisions including: the Arizona Capitol Police Department, the General Service Division, the Information Services Division, the Management Services Division, and the Telecommunications Program Office. He is a dedicated and conscientious public servant, with nearly 20-years of state government experience in both management and legislative capacities.
Mr. Smith also served as the Director of State Relations for Arizona State University. He has served as the legislative liaison for the Arizona Department of Corrections and twice as the legislative liaison for the Arizona Department of Administration. Mr. Smith was also the Privatization Bureau Administrator for the Arizona Department of Corrections. He began his career in state service with the Arizona House of Representatives.
Mr. Smith earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Arizona State University. He and his wife, Andrea, have been married for nine years and live in Scottsdale with their two daughters. Mr. Smith coaches his daughterís softball team and serves on the board of his homeownersí association. He is also a Sun Devil Club member and lifetime member of the ASU Alumni Association.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Public Employee Union Contributions
"Governor Napolitano's 'meet and confer' executive order is nothing more than a quid pro quo to the unions for their generous campaign contributions to the Democrat party during her administration."-Nathan Nascimento, Executive Director of Arizonans In Action.
Phoenix, AZ - Arizonans In Action (AIA) Executive Director Nathan Nascimento today released a 10-year summary of public employee union contributions to the Arizona Democrat Party showing that union contributions rose from under $75,000 to more than $1 million over the past decade, with most of the increase coming after Governor Janet Napolitano took office.
"Governor Napolitano's 'meet and confer' executive order is nothing more than a quid pro quo to the unions for their generous campaign contributions to the Democrat party during her administration," said Nathan Nascimento, Executive Director of Arizonans In Action. "It is as clear a case of influence peddling as the state of Arizona has ever witnessed, at the very highest levels of government."
Arizonans In Action discovered in their research that political contributions from AFSCME and SEIU were virtually nonexistent to the Arizona Democrat Party from 1998 through 2000. Then in 2002, AFSCME began making more substantive political contributions to the Democrat party for a total of $74,500. The political contributions and in kind donations have steadily increased since that time. In the past 10 years, AFSCME and SEIU have contributed over $1 million in political contributions and in kind donations with most of those dollars coming in the past three election cycles and during the Napolitano administration.
The full data for this research can be found at http://arizonansinaction.com/Files/AIA PR Union Contributions Chart.pdf
"Governor Napolitano believes that she can, in the remaining moments of her administration, payback the union bosses' by expediting the process of union organizing in state agencies through executive order," said Nascimento.
"If the people of Arizona do not stand up, the Governor may well get away with it," Nascimento added.
Monday, January 12, 2009
• Legislation extending in-state tuition rates to every veteran in Arizona.
• Legislation that further cracks down on human smugglers.
• Lawmakers to build on last year's failed TIME transportation initiative, allowing "the people of Arizona to have their say on this critical issue by 2010."
It will be interesting to see in the next year or so if any of these items get any attention.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Brewer to appoint former Senate President
Ken Bennett as Secretary of State
Bennett to play active role in Brewer Administration
PHOENIX – Secretary of State Jan Brewer today announced she will appoint Prescott resident and former Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett as her replacement for Secretary of State.
“In selecting my replacement, I look to Mr. Bennett’s extensive and well-rounded career in both the public and private sectors. He has served the state of Arizona on numerous levels with dedication and conviction, and Ken brings a great deal of wisdom and experience to this office,” stated Brewer.
In making this selection, Secretary Brewer held to her long conviction that the state’s second highest constitutional officer should play an active role in the Governor’s administration.
“Ken Bennett is exactly the person that I would be proud and honored to serve with,” stated Sec. Brewer. “He is personable, has excellent leadership qualities and he uses those skills extremely well to reach across the aisle and bring people together around a specific cause.”
Mr. Bennett began his political career in the 1980’s serving as a member of the Prescott City Council. He was appointed to the Arizona State Board of Education in 1992, serving as president in 1996 and 1998. In 1998 he was elected to the Arizona Senate, where he served as Chairman of the Education Committee for two years and President of the Senate for four years, 2003 – 2006.
“As a native Arizonan and long-time resident of Prescott, Mr. Bennett has a thorough knowledge of rural Arizona. This is just one more tremendous asset he will bring to the Secretary of State’s Office,” stated Brewer.
Bennett served as CEO of Bennett Oil Company, a family fuel distribution business from 1985 to 2006. Since leaving the Senate in 2007 because of term limits, Bennett has been working with companies to develop alternative energy sources and energy efficient building technologies. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Global Building Systems Inc. in Prescott.
In 2007, Bennett received the Polly Rosenbaum Award from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records in recognition of his unfailing support of the State Library’s mission to preserve Arizona’s history and to provide access to information on the state. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in accounting. He and his wife, Jeanne, have three children, ages 25 to 21.###
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The new question is: Are Arpaio and Thomas looking to team up to take their show statewide? Its no secret that since Thomas lost Arizona AG to Goddard 6 years ago, he would like to be back for another shot. The latest seems to point to Thomas taking on Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne in 2010.
Arpaio is firing up the national media again, this time taking his show to late night, to promote his new reality show. Despite several controversial conflicts lately, the Sheriff continues to remain popular. This begs the question of if the sheriff will perform his quadrennial flirt with running for Governor?
By Tom Patterson
As Janet Napolitano leaves Arizona for greener pastures, we should acknowledge that she was an innovative governor who changed the culture of her office. But not in a good way.
NapolitanoHer predecessors recognized the need for responsible management of the budget. Napolitano's reaction to both lean and fat budget years was basically the same: spend, spend, and spend some more. The result is Arizona's huge budget deficit.
Napolitano also earned the dubious distinction of being the first Arizona governor to introduce debt to balance general fund budgets. Debt for operating expenses is wildly imprudent and unconstitutional to boot.
Governors typically employ staff to work with the Legislature on pending legislation. Napolitano, though, repeatedly claimed that she didn't comment on legislation until it "hit her desk." This fomented a needlessly confrontational relationship between the branches of government.
Napolitano also set veto records. Vetoes may occasionally be necessary, but they are a poor substitute for good communication and at least trying to work together.
Unfortunately, Napolitano was so popular with the media that she was largely excused for such antics as intimidating a state commission into illegally changing "Squaw Peak" to "Piestewa Peak." She was allowed to hijack money meant for other projects to fund the Western States Climate Initiative. She got by with claiming credit for the positive effects of tax cuts she had fought against.
Incoming governor Jan Brewer should move aggressively and conspicuously to restore sound practices to the office. We don't want the legacy of the past six years to become the Arizona way.
Tom Patterson is Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, former state Senate Majority Leader, and an emergency room physician. A longer version of this article originally appeared in the East Valley Tribune.
If you recall, Governor Napolitano signed the authority to bond nearly $750 million for the Decades Theme park in Eloy, Arizona. The idea, pitched as an economic driver for all of central Arizona, has proven to come up short in a much more scenic location, and with private dollars no less. It looks like all-day Kindergarden and the toughest employer sanctions law in the country will continue to the the pillars of Napolitano's legacy.
However, as Espresso Pundit points out, the bonding authority is still on the books. That may be something that the legislature wants to consider repealing, especially since there is about to be lot of cheap rock n' roll theme park equipment and memorabilia available for sale.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Brewer Names Richard Bark As Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy;
Selects Joseph Kanefield as General Counsel
PHOENIX – Secretary of State Jan Brewer today announced other additions to her senior staff, naming Richard Bark as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Mr. Bark will serve as chief policy advisor for the Brewer Administration, overseeing the development and implementation of the incoming Governor’s policy initiatives. Additionally, Brewer selected Joseph Kanefield as her General Counsel. Mr. Kanefield will provide direct legal advice to the governor, provide legal analysis of all legislation to be signed by the governor as well as draft executive orders.
“My top priority is to assemble the best possible team to tackle the dire situation that the state is facing,” stated Brewer. “I am thrilled and honored to add Mr. Bark and Mr. Kanefield to my senior staff.”
According to Brewer, Bark and Kanefield—both accomplished attorneys-- will work together in many areas. “Both of these gentlemen will play key roles in my judicial appointments and in areas of constitutional law,” Brewer said. “The State of Arizona will be well served by their legal acumen.”
Richard A. Bark has served in both the public and private sectors during his 20-year legal and public policy career. Most recently, he has practiced law as a partner in the Phoenix law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy. Prior to his time with Gallagher & Kennedy, Bark served as Director of Policy for the Majority in the Arizona House of Representatives and as Counsel to the Majority in the Arizona Senate.
“Mr. Bark is a very well known and well respected long-time policy expert who will be a valuable asset to the State of Arizona,” stated Brewer.
Bark received a B.S. degree from Arizona State University and a law degree from Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School. During his schooling, Bark interned at the Arizona State Senate and worked at the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts for two years. He has been a member of the State Bar of Arizona since 1991.
Joe Kanefield has served for five years as Secretary of State Brewer’s State Election Director. Kanefield began his service to the state in 1989 at the Department of Revenue. He then joined the Attorney General’s Office under Grant Woods in 1995. During his ten-year tenure at the AG’s Office, Mr. Kanefield served as the attorney for Secretary of State Betsey Bayless in election matters. He has argued cases before the Arizona Supreme Court, Arizona Court of Appeals and the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also appeared as counsel of record before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Arizona in the private schools tuition tax credit case, Hibbs v. Winn.
“Mr. Kanefield has an outstanding legal mind, and his years of service working directly with State officials and the Legislature will be essential as we move forward in tackling the major challenges we face,” stated Brewer.
Kanefield currently serves as the Second Vice President of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors. He teaches election law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College Of Law and has written several articles on Arizona election law for the Arizona Attorney magazine. He received a B.S. degree in economics from Arizona State University and a law degree from the University of Arizona. He has been a member of the State Bar of Arizona since 1994.
"At this point there is not a return on her schedule."
The question I have asked myself is this- if I'm going on a trip to the other side of the country for a job that I'm not currently in and I don't have a return ticket, would there be much work getting done at my current office?
Monday, January 5, 2009
Meet The Arizona Guardian, an online news service created by several former journalists who know their way around the capital and can give some real insight to what is going on. Basically, in a lot of ways, they are now doing what PolitickerAZ wanted to do, but with a few people who actually have experience and understand the Arizona landscape a bit.
Congratulations to them on filling a niche that is much needed in covering the Capitol in a meaningful way without having to pay an arm and a leg for The Capitol Times or being stuck solely with Howie Fischer. They have already covered Brewer's transition in much greater detail than any other Arizona media outlet and they have only been at it for a couple of weeks.
We look forward to their continued coverage, including interesting newsbreaking items such as Brewer setting the date to name her replacement, which doesn't appear anywhere else.
The fifth owner of the company, the silent partner in charge of "non-editorial operations" is none other than Bob Grossfeld who is known as a demcratic pollster and strategist, UFCW spokesperson, and co-owner of the controversial Petition Partners which is well known for their failure to qualify the TIME and State Trust initiatives.
Hopefully, Grossfeld will stick to the "non-editorial operations."