Thursday, April 30, 2009

Governor presses the Board of Regents

Governor Brewer went to Tucson to present to the ABOR and make a case for holding off on massive tuition increases for the three universities.

During her meeting and in press releases following, she called for reforms in the three Universities' business plans.  Basically, she made it be known that she does not feel there is room for the three major state universities to all be research level institutions. 

She called for them to have a new business model by the fall that provides students with a predictable and affordable map to getting their education.  This is smart.  We can't have students starting their freshman year and having to leave because it becomes too expensive in years 3 or 4. 

Now is the time to make one of the community colleges a 4 year college.  Mesa Community would be the best start since it's by far the largest with the most campuses.  ASU and UofA need to come up with tiered tuition plans.  Someone there for a basic 4-year degree should not pay the same as a higher-level degree. 

The goal here is to provide higher education to as many kids as possible that want to obtain that.  It's their job to provide that and to make sure those kids who start school finish, and become functioning contributors to society. 

Full Press Release from the Governor Here and remarks to the ABOR Here.

Where is the support for GOP budget?

The folks over Fix Arizona have posed a very pertinent question: Where are the conservative blogs on the GOP budget? Here is their in depth run-down:

Sonoran Alliance
No posts about the GOP budget, but good news, you can get a warning on Obama as the anti-christ and Specter as a RINO. Plus, there are 4, count them, 4 articles about the swine flu, and ZERO about the leadership budget.

Espresso Pundit
There are 4 recent posts (here, here, here, here) about how bad Napolitano is screwing up and 3 posts (here, here, here) about how newspapers are going down the tubes. Don’t call him a one trick pony, he has at least two. Writing about the Democrats failed budget is right in his wheelhouse, but talking about the GOP plan appears to be off limits.

Seeing Red Arizona
Able to muster a brief mention of the budget when it was launched, but no follow up. Meanwhile, they were able to muster quite a diatribe against Specter. They mustered 65 words about the GOP budget vs 333 words against Specter - not even to mention the 482 words against the Swine Flu (or as they call it, the Mexican flu - classy!) and how Napolitano refuses to close the border.

Gila Courier
Silence. Even gave Specter the short-sale. However, they were all over the Tea Party (here, here) and quick to denounce anyone who would consider a tax and the GOP for the way they are doing business.

Arizona House Republicans
Following their meager announcement of the biggest news they could possibly have, they back it up with if Washington can do it without taxes, so can we which speaks nothing to the details of their plan or why they chose to cut what they did, or why they have cancelled two hearings so far.

IC Arizona
Typical Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio love fest, with a few posts from Americans for Prosperity and Goldwater Institute rolled in. Speaking of, both Americans for Prosperity and Goldwater Institute are shockingly silent so far on this budget fix.

Usually, the GOP ranks do a good job of supporting their leadership through all the avenues available. That is why it does appear that the silence is deafening. The point that Fix Arizona misses that further adds to the point is the fact that those who oppose the plan have been fairly outspoken:

Tedski - Could I Have More Time Please, Thanks…

Blog for Arizona - The gang that couldn't get anything straight and Who woulda guessed?

Mesa Issues - Legislators forsake cities in latest budget attempt and Defending Mesa against legislative budget gimmicks

Daniel's News and Views - Dems urge Brewer to oppose harsh GOP budget

Democratic Diva - Budget draft released! It sucks!

Random Musings - Legislative Republicans - "Ooopsie."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Survey Says...

The Arizona Republican Party can breathe a sigh of relief today. What has become the family Feud of Arizona politics just got another bit of survey data to chew on.

A Cronkite/Eight Poll that was released Tuesday shows 60% support for Governor Jan Brewer's proposal for a temporary one percent sales tax increase. The numbers were 60% in favor, 35% opposed with 5% giving no opinion.

Brewer came away with 47% of respondents confident she is making the right decisions to get us out of this mess. That compares to 60% for President Obama who still has managed to maintain semi rock star status.

Bruce Merrill, the retired ASU professor who directed the poll made an interesting observation that might be helpful for Republicans to take notice since they are the ones that have the numbers to do it. Regarding the 35% who said they had no opinion of Brewer's performance since taking over for Napolitano, he said, "This tells me that Republicans need to step forward and provide some strong positive leadership in Arizona to move things forward."

There is an opportunity to grab the reins and take over here. The Governor continues on the speaker circuit while the legislature continues to offer budget solutions that are quickly panned as gimmicky or downright unconstitutional. It's probably time to start getting on the same page and showing some leadership.

Republic write up here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New GOP Budget further hurt their chances of keeping Senate?

Last week, we talked about how the drawn out budget talks could impact the GOP's ability to retain power in both bodies of the legislature. With the release of their latest budget plan, their march towards losing the Senate may have taken one step closer.

At the center of the Republican's budget plan is the taking of approximately $210 million in impact fees away from the local cities and towns as well as grabbing $300 million from schools. Can these Senators survive criticism from the local entities that they are sworn to represent? Looking at the "vulnerable" seats from last time around:

District 5 – (Currently held by Senator Sylvia Allen) This may not make as a big of a difference in this rural area, but the counties will be watching those fund sweeps.

District 7 – (Currently held by Jim Waring) Cave Creek and Carefree are already struggling from budget cuts and dramatic downturns in impact fees - this would only make the gap larger.

District 8 – (Currently held by Carolyn Allen) Scottsdale School district has already cut $30 million from their budget and while the GOP plan would be hailed by a conservative in the primary, they may not be as popular with General Election parents who have children in school.

District 10 – (Currently held by Linda Gray) Indendent voters tend to look at the connections between all levels of government - meaning they may not look favorably on a perceived shift of responsibility from the state to the cities. With a mere 2,800 Republican vote advantage in a district with a lot of independent voters, could this budget prove risky in holding the seat?

District 11 – (Currently held by Barbara Leff) Does Driggs support this plan only to be burdened with it during his attempt to take the Senate seat - especially with Meyer fighting the plan? Will the cuts to education plus the fact that even Paradise Valley has had to cut staff and budget impact voters?

District 12 – (Currently held by John Nelson) This large sized west valley district contains several cities who are feeling the pinch of the dramatic downturn in construction. In addition, taking away any impact fees that these cities have collected and dedicated to projects that are either under construction or already completed will make their budget short-falls even deeper. Goodyear is already facing a $13.9 million shortfall, Avondale is $3 million short, and Buckeye is dealing with foreclosures.

District 26 – (Currently held by Al Melvin) Given the leanings of Southern Arizona, the strength of the support for schools, and the fact that Melvin has been defeated in the past - a champion railing against these budget cuts could be successful.

District 30 – (Currently held by Jonathan Paton) If Paton stays, will he stand up to GOP leadership and oppose the millions in cuts to the universities? He has stood up in the past, but this may be a real test for him - his actions may determine what path he is considering for his next office.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Unless of course it gets hard- the new backdoor tax increase

I had the pleasure of listening to Senator Russell Pearce, Senate President Bob Burns, and Speaker Kirk Adams on speak on separate occasions. Many delivered similar addresses sprinkled with their own flavor and talking points. One thing was read from the same script though. When discussing the budget each one said that the "state budget would not be balanced on the back's of the cities and counties."

There must be something in the water at the capital because memories have gotten short. In the proposal that was finally released today (as opposed to last week when it was supposed to be), lawmakers dead set on nothing but cuts have found what they view as the honey pot. $300 Million in special school district accounts and $210 Million that cities have collected from developers.

Here is where I have an issue. I, like many others bought a house in the last few years. I bought it a growing area that was just catching up with the growth. Built in to the price of my house were the costs of city impact fees that would be used to build the roads and fire stations needed for this area. The idea is growth paying for itself.

So being so blinded by the no tax issue, we now have heard ideas of borrowing money (which will require more tax dollars to pay off in the future), selling assets to pay for operations, and taking the money meant to pay for city infrastructure. Um, memo to lawmakers, guess what else is used to pay for infrastructure- bonds. Guess how cities pay for bonds- TAXES and UTILITY FEES. If you take the money paid for by developers, guess who has to make up the difference…THE TAXPAYERS.

Just because you don't vote on them, doesn't mean your hands are clean.

PS- I'd put money on the fact that the Governor would veto a budget with these gimmicks included. They do nothing to fix the long term problem we're facing.

The Joint Draft Budget Proposal is Here.

Tribune Article Here.

Brewer Issues Statement on Swine Flu

I'm sorry to say, but this is just the beginning of the swine flu issue. Being a border state almost guarantees that cases will pop up here. If it has made it to New York, it will make it here. Governor Brewer released the following statement.

Governor Brewer Convenes State Swine Flu Team

Reviews Response Plans with Key Cabinet Officials

Phoenix - Governor Jan Brewer met late today with senior staff and cabinet officials to evaluate the State of Arizona's enhanced monitoring of potential cases of Swine Flu, as well as to review preparedness plans in the event that cases are confirmed in Arizona.

"I convened a meeting this afternoon of my top cabinet officials involved with monitoring and coordinating our preparedness and response plans for any potential outbreak of Swine Flu in Arizona," stated Brewer. "To date, no cases of Swine Flu have been identified in Arizona. However, the State Lab and local clinicians have enhanced their surveillance to identify any Arizona cases quickly and have reviewed plans for appropriate response if cases are identified in the future."

Governor Brewer has received frequent situational briefings beginning last Friday and over the weekend regarding ongoing communications between state and federal public health experts and homeland security officials. In specific, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Homeland Security departments have provided continuous informational updates to the State of Arizona regarding federal travel advisories, international health expert updates, as well as efforts to disseminate 25% of the federal stockpile of antiviral drugs. Arizona has applied for and will receive additional stockpiles of antiviral medications from the federal government, adding to the State's previously acquired stockpile. Per federal requirements, the stockpiles are restricted for treatment purposes of identified illnesses only.

This afternoon's meeting included top officials from:

• Arizona Department of Health Services
• Arizona Department of Homeland Security
• Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs
• Arizona Department of Public Safety
• Arizona Department of Agriculture
• Arizona Department of Education
• Arizona Department of Transportation
• Arizona-Mexico Commission

The Arizona Department of Health Services has been in communication with healthcare providers, counties, tribes, medical associations, hospitals, and emergency departments with disease summary, infection control, treatment and testing recommendations.

According to the CDC, Swine Flu symptoms are similar to those of the common human influenza (flu) virus - fever, cough, sore throat, headache, etc.

"Arizona's public health officials are prepared to respond should Swine Flu cases be discovered in Arizona, and will remain vigilant in monitoring for this illness. It is very important that citizens take basic, common sense precautions to avoid close contact with people who are ill," said Governor Brewer. "Washing your hands often with soap and water or utilizing hand sanitizers is helpful in preventing the spread of these types of illnesses. If you experience flu symptoms, please stay in bed, get rest, and drink plenty of fluids. If you are concerned about your symptoms, see your doctor."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Could Napolitano come back to Arizona?

Former Governor of Arizona and current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been in some hot water lately, with a few calling for her resignation, following recent claims against conservative groups as "domestic terrorists" and claming that the 9/11 attackers came in from Canada.

This has given rise to speculation that Napolitano may try to come back to Arizona for a bid against Senator McCain in 2010. It was less than 6 months ago that Napolitano made tracks out of town - many said at the time that she would never come back. Her budget proposal sunk like a lead balloon and the Republicans held their breath for her to leave so they could make their own plan.

Now, nearly 100 days into the legislature, the plans on the table look conspicuously like the ones that Napolitano offered. A Governor, who left under the cover of night, now looks like a prophet in her own house. If the legislature does indeed attempt to implement borrowing, and Senator McCain received a challenge from the right, could Napolitano waltz back into town and take the Senate Seat? Would her on the top of the ticket in 2010 help the Democratic nominee for Governor?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Future of GOP Legislature may depend on outcome of budget

Could these protracted budget discussions and the deep cuts to education place the Republican hold on the legislature at risk? Several indicators point to this potential conclusion.

First of all, the Republican advantage is shrinking. According to the latest voter registration stats, more than 100,000 people have registered to vote since last year’s election. The GOP posted the smallest percentage gain, up 1.7 percent, while the Democrats were up 2.3 percent. Independents, meanwhile, jumped 6.8 percent from November to April 1, making them the third-largest voting group, not so very far behind Republicans and Democrats.

Looking at the Clean Elections’ List of Party Dominate Districts, you can see that the Democrats have been able to achieve splits in two Republican dominant districts, while the Republicans have only been able to achieve the same feat in one. Review for yourself:

Republican Dominant:

1 – Advantage: 20,653
Senate: R
House: 2R

3 – Advantage: 15,859
Senate: R
House: 2R

4 – Advantage: 32,138
Senate: R
House: 2R

6 – Advantage: 16,744
Senate: R
House: 2R

7 – Advantage: 20,665
Senate: R
House: 2R

8 – Advantage: 27,099
Senate: R
House: 2R

9 – Advantage: 11,883
Senate: R
House: 2R

11 – Advantage: 14,047
Senate: R
House: Split

18 – Advantage: 9,585
Senate: R
House: 2R

19 – Advantage: 23,031
Senate: R
House: 2R

20 – Advantage: 11,253
Senate: R
House: Split

21 – Advantage: 19,925
Senate: R
House: 2R

22 – Advantage: 30,260
Senate: R
House: 2R

30 – Advantage: 17,387
Senate: R
House: 2R

Democrat Dominant:

2 – Advantage: 38,051
Senate: D
House: 2D

13 – Advantage: 11,457
Senate: D
House: 2D

14 – Advantage: 8,870
Senate: D
House: 2D

15 – Advantage: 9,050
Senate: D
House: 2D

16 – Advantage: 23,145
Senate: D
House: 2D

25 – Advantage: 9,387
Senate: D
House: Split

27 – Advantage: 23,376
Senate: D
House: 2D

28 – Advantage: 15,387
Senate: D
House: 2D

29 – Advantage: 15,431
Senate: D
House: 2D

Competitive Districts:

5 – Advantage: 1,606 (Dem)
Senate: R
House: Split

10 – Advantage: 2,835 (Rep)
Senate: R
House: 2R

12 – Advantage: 6,334 (Rep)
Senate: R
House: 2R

17 – Advantage: 771 (Rep)
Senate: D
House: 2D

23 – Advantage: 8,123 (Dem)
Senate: D
House: Split

24 – Advantage: 3,785 (Dem)
Senate: D
House: Split

26 – Advantage: 9,527 (Rep)
Senate: R
House: Split

Republican leadership, hailing from dominant districts, are pushing against the Governor’s Five point plan and opting for a plan heavy on cuts to balance the current budget deficit. Those from less secure districts appear to be considering more options – a notion that has landed many of them on Sonoran Alliance’s most wanted list.

Their choices during these current budget negotiations could have a tremendous impact on their ability to continue to serve in the legislature and the Republican’s ability to continue to hold both houses.

At first blush, it looks like Republicans may be risking up to 8 seats in the Senate and 5 seats in the House:


District 5 – (Currently held by Senator Sylvia Allen) Although held by Republican, this competitive district currently holds a slight Democrat advantage.

District 6 – (Currently held by Jim Waring) Waring is term-limited. A protracted fight between Barto and Barnes in the primary could open the door for a Democrat to take the seat.

District 8 – (Currently held by Carolyn Allen) Allen is also term-limited. As a moderate, she has attracted a lot of negative attention from the conservatives who will likely field a candidate who may have success in the primary, but a challenge in the general.

District 10 – (Currently held by Linda Gray) District 10 is a contested district with a mere 2,800 Republican vote advantage and nearly 17,000 registered independent or other. Democrats have tried for several years to target Weiers, with him out of the speakership, do they turn their sights to the Senate seat? How independents view the budget cuts could make a large impact on this race.

District 11 – (Currently held by Barbara Leff) While a Republican dominated District, the Democrats in 11 have been successful in fielding candidates that can overcome the disadvantage. With Leff term-limited, there could be a battle for the Republican nomination and Dr. Meyer waiting in the wings who became the first write-in ever to qualify for clean elections funding.

District 12 – (Currently held by John Nelson) In 2008, the Republicans were able to withstand a barrage from Democrats and hold on to the seat. Will the more moderate Nelson make an attempt to come back to the House? Will the Democrats try again with a full assault? How would the cuts to education play in the 34,000 registered independents and others?

District 26 – (Currently held by Al Melvin) Although Republicans have a 9,500 voter registration advantage, Democrats have performed splitting the house seats and winning the Senate seat in 2006. Melvin was successful in his second attempt, but won by 1966 votes. Given the leanings of Southern Arizona, some of the budget cuts may hurt Melvin’s chances.

District 30 – (Currently held by Jonathan Paton) Does Paton leave to vie for a statewide position leaving a messy primary? If he stays, he has already shown his willingness to buck the system to support university funding and other things important to southern Arizona. The deal could create vulnerability.


District 5 – (Currently held by Jack Brown and Bill Konopnicki) The current seats are split, but as in the Senate race, this competitive district currently holds a slight Democrat advantage. With Konopnicki term limited, it will be open season for the seat.

District 10 – (Currently held by Jim Weiers and Doug Quelland) As we mentioned earlier, District 10 is a contested district with a mere 2,800 Republican vote advantage and nearly 17,000 registered independent or other. Will the Dems take their annual shot at Weiers? Will Quelland be able to resolve his campaign finance woes? Again, how independents view the budget cuts could make a large impact on this race.

District 12 – (Currently held by Jerry Weiers and Steve Montenegro) Will the Democrats field two candidates once again or perhaps try fielding a single candidate to improve their chances? Would Nelson come back, splitting the Weiers/Montenegro team?

District 23 – (Currently held by Barbara McGuire and Frank Pratt) This contested district has split representation in the House, but also has an 8,000 Democrat registration advantage. As a freshman legislator in a session where little will be done, does Pratt survive an effort to bring in a second Democrat?

District 24 – (Currently held by Russell Jones and Lynne Pancrazi) Again, this contested district has split representation in the House, but also has a nearly 3,800 Democrat registration advantage. How the cuts impact Yuma and the surrounding area could impact Jones who survived a fraud investigation last year to win second place, beating out the second Democrat by 2,430 votes.

Only time will tell how the budget may impact these races, but it is important to note that there is vulnerability that could be exposed. Is Republican leadership pondering these 8 seats in the Senate and 5 seats in the House as they create their budget plans?

That was fast

Well that sure didn't take long. is up and
running. Not surprising when you start linking right wing bloggers to
terrorists. Oh Janet, our own homegrown Napoleon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Governor Brewer on the phone with VP Biden

Statement by Governor Jan Brewer 
Regarding Conference Call with Vice President Joe Biden

PHOENIX – "At the invitation of the White House, I joined a conference call this morning with several other governors and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the ongoing dissemination of federal stimulus funding from federal agencies to state governments.  The other governors and I were grateful for the opportunity to discuss some of the challenges of this program, and to briefly suggest some possible improvements.  The Vice President was gracious, and pledged that the federal government will continue its efforts to provide more clarity regarding proper uses for stimulus funds, as well as eligibility thresholds and accountability requirements.

"I specifically described for the Vice President Arizona's cash flow challenge, and the fact that for the first time since the Great Depression our State Treasurer had to borrow nearly $500 million to pay the state's monthly bills.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires states to advance funding for shovel-ready transportation projects, which can exacerbate the cash flow issue.  Arizona is currently utilizing our portion of federal stimulus funding for transportation projects, which is approximately $350 million, and those projects will absolutely move forward.  It would be helpful if the federal government could either advance those dollars for states with cash flow problems, or possibly create a pool of funds from which states can borrow to meet those temporary funding requirements.

"I appreciate the Vice President and his staff for their assistance in this process, and for the temporary relief that these federal funds will have in helping us overcome the years of fiscal mismanagement of my predecessor."


Monday, April 20, 2009

Brewer Makes a Case Against Gun Control

The Tribune had a Howie Fischer run down of Jan Brewer's testimony today in front of federal lawmakers.  This was a star studded event so I'm sure this is the first of many news articles to make the print (or the web in this case).  She summed it up pretty clear and didn't mince words when laying the blame, she even gets the quote of the day after saying gun control does nothing to stop the violence, but some federal action would.  

Referring to the border violence and massive amount of guns making their way to Mexico, she said "If we get the resources, if we get the support and the federal government does what they're supposed to be doing according to our Constitution, those problems will halt."  

As was mentioned earlier, Brewer is still surprised that the Obama Administration turned down her request for additional troops along the border saying there is already money spent and they are working on a national plan.  Lieberman agreed with Brewer but asked her to elaborate on what the troops would do.  To her credit, her response was good and something that she should elaborate on and repeat 100 times.

"They would be able to help law enforcement along the border, enable them to do the kinds of things that would relieve them from doing, such as communication, logistics kind of planning, all those things that take up their time from actually supporting the border security," Brewer said.

Maybe then someone will start listening.

Tribune Story Here.

Brewer Hosting Budget Forum w/ EV Mayors

Governor Brewer continues her road show this week. This is the first
forum together with other elected officials and is appears to be a
little different than her normal 5 Point Plan presentation. I looks
like this will be a forum on the budget issues the state is facing.

I actually am going to go to this to see what's said. The mayors of
the cities below have had to make some pretty significant cuts, with
Mesa leading the way over a year ago, and it will be interesting to
see what they have to say.

Brewer at Border Security Conference

Governor Brewer is participating in today's conference on border
security. One quote from today that is sure to make some headlines.
Brewer: "very surprised" by "negative" reaction by Obama
administration to deny her request for 250 additional National
Guardsmen to border.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Arizona Chamber Endorses Governor Brewer's 5 Point Plan

The Arizona Chamber released their budget recommendations today and announced their support for Governor Brewer's 5 Point Plan. This counts as another big win for Brewer as discussions continue on how the state is going to get out of this mess.

The ending paragraph sums it up pretty well and echo's what I've heard out there about the tax increase, which happens to be one of the five things being discussed.

If a tax increase is ultimately part of the budget solution, it must be short‐term in nature and coupled with a
comprehensive tax reform package that would aid in job retention and creation
as well as capital formation over a longer time horizon, as described in point #4. Under this scenario, the long‐range result has to be a more equitable and balanced tax system.
Dynamic econometric modeling should beused to determine the impact of the tax policy changes on
job creation and retention andaccess to capital. The overall package should result in a net decrease in taxes and a
net increase in job creation over the long‐term.

Full release can be downloaded here.

No Blood - Yet

The folks over at the Sonoran Alliance are quick to point out that there are several people who have already lined up to potentially challenge for the Governor's seat in 2010.  According to them, there is "blood in the water" over Brewer's efforts to raise a temporary tax to fill the current budget deficit.  Bear in mind that no other alternative has really been offered to the Governor's plan, but that shouldn't stop them from speculating.  The list that they referred to is headlined (and we use that term loosely) by former Mesa Senator Karen Johnson.  The rest of the folks on their list needed an introduction for people to have any idea who they are. 
Can any of them raise any money?  Johnson has already admitted to a "shoestring" budget.  Does that really sound like blood in the water to you?
Until another candidate with a lot of experience or a proven ability to raise money, its far too soon to say there is "blood in the water."

Johnson Enters to Challenge Brewer

Hold the conspiracy theory, former State Senator Karen Johnson has formed an exploratory committee for the 2010 Governor's race.  If you're not from Mesa or the East Valley, that name might not sound familiar to you.  If you're a member of the Evan Mecham Fan Club, 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Coalition, or National Bring Your Gun to School Day Volunteer, then she might just be on your email list.  

She's entered into a race even she admits is a long shot.  Although she doesn't think that her candidacy would weaken Brewer going into a general election, it certainly isn't going to help much.  Conservatives will have to ask themselves what is more important, hurting the chances of a fellow Republican for proposing a tax increase to fill a massive budget deficit, or preventing a Democrat from moving back into the 9th floor?  

I'm sure as the budget realities come to light, this will all be behind us after the summer months when the campaigns will get started.  It will be interesting to see which solution is less popular with Republicans, a temporary tax now, or borrowing and paying more later.  It's a nasty pill either way but eventually the R's will have to answer that question.

Thanks to Mesa Issues for finding the great 9/11 You Tube Video and a bunch of other good links.

Tribune Article Here.

Republic Article Here.

Gov. Brewer Appoints Superior Court Judges

Governor Jan Brewer Announces Appointment

of Superior Court Judges in Maricopa County

Phoenix – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today announced the appointments of James P. Beene and M. Scott McCoy to the Maricopa County Superior Court.

James Beene currently serves as the Appeals and Extraditions Bureau Chief for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. He has spent his career in public practice, including service as an Assistant Attorney General and Deputy County Attorney with the Maricopa and Pinal County Attorneys' Offices.

"Jim's extensive trial and appellate court experience at all levels coupled with his expertise in criminal law will be a tremendous asset to the Maricopa County Superior Court," stated Governor Brewer. Mr. Beene received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. This appointment was made to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Anna Baca.

M. Scott McCoy currently serves as a Court Commissioner for the Maricopa County Superior Court. As a commissioner he has handled civil, criminal, family and probate calendars. He spent several years in private practice with the law firms Beus, Gilbert & Morrill, Kirkland & Ellis, and Jennings, Strouss & Salmon.

"Commissioner McCoy has a breadth of legal experience and expertise that will serve the citizens of Maricopa County well as a superior court judge," stated Governor Brewer. Commissioner McCoy received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. This appointment was made to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Louis Araneta.

"I am proud to appoint these two very talented individuals to serve as our newest judges," said Governor Brewer. "Their experience and dedication will be a tremendous addition to the Maricopa County Superior Court."


Full Release Here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Making Headlines!!!

There she is, our former governor making the national headlines. My
guess is that's not the Department of Homeland Security's official
press picture of their secretary.

Do we get an AMEX Black Card for that?

Maybe it's not the end of the world that a budget hasn't landed on the Governors desk.  I mean, why do we need a budget when we can just borrow from the state credit card.  And hey, at .51% for the interest rate, that's basically free money!

There is a reason credit card companies offer introductory 0% cards like it's water.  People use it as a crutch to hang on just a little longer.  In July, the state will have to borrow the money from an outside bank likely at a much higher interest rate.

Quote of the day goes to Treasurer Dean Martin- "As Warren Buffett said, when the tide goes out you find out who was swimming naked," Martin said. "The tide of state revenues is out. And the state has been swimming naked for a long time."

Republic Story Here.

Governor Brewer Helping the Homeless

Governor Brewer Grants Emergency Assistance
To Arizona Homeless Shelters

$771,000 awarded to five shelters, assisting more than 700 Arizonans per night

PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer today announced $771,000 in awards to help shelters around that state that are facing eminent closers. The funding will allow the services to more than 700 Arizonans, including children, to continue into fiscal year 2010.

“Now is not the time to turn our backs on our fellow Arizonans, who are in need of a safe place to shelter their families,” stated Brewer. “This funding is critical to keeping the doors open to these homeless shelters as demand dramatically increases while financial assistance for the shelters decreases.”

In the last year, the number of people living on the street who cannot access a shelter has increased by 24 percent in Pima County, 20 percent in Maricopa County and by similar percentage increases in the other counties. Funding cuts and declines in private contributions have continued to decimate existing homeless programs throughout the state, undermining the ability of the providers to offset the overwhelming demand.

“The current economic conditions have created a wave of Arizonans who have never been homeless before, and these individuals and families are showing up at shelter doors only to be denied services,” Arizona Department of Housing Director Donald E. Cardon said. “This funding will allow us to help those who most desperately need the assistance, the shelter and the safety.”

The following is a breakdown of the funding that allows homeless shelters to maintain service levels that have already been impacted by cuts and increased patrons.

• CASS: Phoenix, $503,000. Funding will prevent approximately 325 persons each night from being displaced from existing shelter beds and prevent 100 to 200 additional persons currently staying in the parking lot from being turned into the neighborhood.

• UMOM: Phoenix, $114,500. Funding will keep 35 rooms open to serve an estimated 122 Arizonans, including 87 children.

• A New Leaf: Mesa, $62,500. Funding will keep services for 30 Arizona families and 84 individuals.

• Catholic Charities: Prescott, $41,000. Funding will help cover operating costs for six emergency units and 14 transitional units, serving approximately 50 people per night.

• Primavera Foundation: Tucson, $50,000. Funding will provide services to 30 Arizonans per night.

The money was provided through the Arizona Housing Trust Fund, a state resource devoted to addressing the state’s housing related needs. The money is derived from the state’s Unclaimed Property proceeds and no tax revenues are allotted to the Fund.

For more information about the Arizona Department of Housing, please visit:

Full Release Here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gov's Volunteer Service Award Winners


PHOENIX –Governor Jan Brewer and the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism have announced the winners of the 8th Annual Volunteer Service Awards. Ten recipients will be honored with the award, which is considered to be the highest volunteer award in the state.

The Volunteer Service Awards were established in 2002 to recognize and thank Arizonans who have given their time and talents to help solve social problems. The Commission received over 120 nominations from around the state. Each of the individuals and groups nominated for an award demonstrated exceptional service to communities throughout Arizona last year.

“Arizonans volunteer in big numbers and these Volunteer Service Award recipients exemplify some of the state’s best,” said Governor Brewer. “I strongly encourage everyone to consider volunteering. Whether you want to help mentor our youth, teach literacy to adults, provide support to those facing health issues, fight substance abuse or build community parks, we need you.”

A winner was selected in each of 10 categories. A panel of statewide judges selected the recipients based on need, action, innovation and impact. The winners will be honored at a luncheon hosted by the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism at the Phoenix Art Museum on April 29.

Sponsors of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards include SCF Arizona, US Airways, Comcast and a number of other businesses and organizations that are ardent supporters of service and volunteerism in Arizona.

The winners of the 8th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards are:

Youth Category
• Jacob Alexander Goldfeld (Scottsdale)
Youth Group Category
• ICAN Peer Leaders (Chandler)
Adult Category
• Barbara Blalock (Tempe)
Adult Group Category
• Tucson Autism Community Center (Tucson)
Large Business Category
•Intel (Chandler)
Small Business Category
• Law Office of D.L. Drain (Phoenix)
National Service Category
• Patrick Horrell (Cottonwood)
• Sun Sounds of Arizona (Tempe)
Lifetime Achievement
• Don Meyer (Wilcox)
Service-Learning Category
• Gus Percuoco (Winslow)

For more information about the Office of the Governor, please visit

# # #
Full Release Here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Have we seen this before? Brewer thinks so.

An article in the Republic over the weekend contained a few tidbits about the goings on regarding the budget down at the Capitol. The title of the story was "Brewer "shocked" that GOP leaders resisting tax hike."

I can't believe that it's been 5 weeks since Brewer gave her address to the Legislature. Time certainly seems to be flying by. What's astonishing though is that virtually little has been accomplished, at least publicly, regarding the budget.

The headline is a little misleading. When you read through it, it appears Brewer's shock comes more from the plan that is being looked at instead of her tax increase. Yup, that would be the borrowing. Here's her quote of the day.

"I'm shocked. I'm shocked they'd want to continue the path we've been going for the last six years," Brewer said. "It's déjà vu."
Borrowing is exactly what Burns, Adams and many other Republicans were critical of last year when Napolitano tried doing it. At a district meeting I attended last month my House Representatives both stood up there and promised this was not how they would come to a balance budget. I will remind them of that commitment if and when a final budget proposal is introduced.

Hey, at least they were against it before they were for it. Do they give points for that?

New AZ Forester

Governor Jan Brewer Announces
Arizona State Forester

PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today announced the appointment of Vicki Christiansen as Arizona State Forester and Director of the Arizona Division of Forestry. She is responsible for the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands in Arizona which includes the prevention and suppression of wildland fires as well as oversight of forest health, stewardship forestry and urban and community forestry programs in the state.

“Ms. Christiansen has a wealth of management and policy experience in the fields of natural resources and wildland fire protection and sustainable forest management,” stated Brewer. That experience coupled with her more than 28 years of hands on wildland fire fighting experience, make her uniquely qualified to lead our Forestry Division.”

As State Forester, she will represent Arizona at the national and state level in advocating the practice of sustainable forestry and the protection of forestlands for current and future generations. “All of the forests in Arizona are important to our citizens, regardless of whether they are under private, state, tribal or federal ownership,” stated Brewer. “Ms. Christiansen has the talent and expertise to work collaboratively with all partners for the protection and restoration of Arizona’s forests.”

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Christiansen served as Washington State Forester for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). She began her 28-year service with the Washington State DNR as a wildland fire fighter, and went on to serve in numerous additional capacities including as a forester responsible for the reforestation of trust lands in the Mt. Saint Helens blast zone, Forest Fire Protection Specialist, Agricultural Resources Division Manager and as Regional Operations Manager in Executive Management. She has numerous credentials in the wildland fire program with a special expertise as a fire line-blasting advisor.

Ms. Christiansen received her Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from the University of Washington, graduating cum laude. She resides in Phoenix and is married to Mike Harris, a Fire Chief in Washington State. He will join her in the next year. They have two grown sons.

Full Release Here.

Gov. schedule this week

Public Schedule For Governor Jan Brewer
Week of April 13, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

• Governor’s Arts Awards Dinner
Governor to provide remarks
7:00 p.m.
Arizona Biltmore, Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom
2400 East Missouri, Phoenix

Thursday, April 16, 2009

• Governor to attend Dean’s Session – First Year Law Students
Governor to Address Students
10:30 a.m.
ASU, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Great Hall, Room 113

• Governor to attend Arizona Highway Users Association Luncheon
12:00 Noon
Arizona Capitol, Executive Tower, 2nd Floor Conference Room
1700 West Washington, Phoenix


Full release here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Brewer on 12 News talking about education

Governor Brewer filmed something for channel 12 yesterday regarding all of the teacher layoffs that have been announced over the last week. It's a 5 minute video but a good watch.

Click here to see it.

At least they're in the same room once in a while

Well, I'm sure it took some wrangling but for two short hours, there was living proof that the Governor, Legislative Leadership, and business and leaders could be in the same room to talk about the budget problems.

Brewer has been out and about talking about her 5 Point Plan. The business community seems to be doing their own educating. The education community seems to want to plan a lot of protests.

The solutions are all different though. Legislative leadership seem to be the only ones giving in on some of their plans...a little. Holding steadfast to the no tax pledges, the reality that cuts aren't going to do it have caught up to them.

While they were against the idea before the were for it, borrowing is back on the table. I will reserve judgment and comments until I research it a little more but something doesn't sit well with this one. I guess memories of blog posts and outrage against Napolitano and Obama for doing the same thing are still fresh in my mind.

Brewer announces DES Director

Neil Young was named Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security. By all accounts, this seems like a good hire. Release is below along with a few other news items related to the announcement.

Governor Jan Brewer Announces
Director of Department of Economic Security

PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today named Neal Young as the Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

“Mr. Young has numerous years of experience at DES and a strong understanding of the importance of efficiency in government which will serve the state well,” stated Brewer. “He is an extremely capable and highly respected public servant who will provide a unique skill set to this critically important position.”

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Young served the City of Phoenix as Assistant Housing Director, where he was involved in several public housing and capital improvement projects. Prior to that, he served as Lead Deputy Director and Assistant Human Services Director for the City of Phoenix, where he was primarily responsible for the programmatic divisions of the department, including the Youth Services Division and the Senior Services Division. During his time in this position he developed new service delivery models and strategic plans for programs for Phoenix youth and seniors.

Prior to his time with the City of Phoenix, Mr. Young worked for several years in state government. He spent 10 years serving at DES in various capacities, including Assistant Director of the Division of Children, Youth and Families and Deputy Assistant Director and Assistant Director of the Division of Business and Finance. Most recently, he worked as Associate Director of the Division of Business and Technology Services, serving as the Department’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer. Prior to his time with DES, Mr. Young managed the daily operations of the Tucson Office of the Arizona Auditor General. Serving as Financial Audit Senior and Manager, Mr. Young supervised staff in reviewing audits of various educational institutions, health plans and government entities.

Mr. Young received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Arizona State University, where he also earned his Masters in Business Administration.

“I would also like to recognize Acting Director Linda Blessing for her outstanding work and accomplishments throughout her service as my Interim Director of DES, and indeed throughout her career as a public servant,” said Brewer. “I deeply appreciate Dr. Blessing’s willingness to graciously serve temporarily throughout this transition process. Her experience and steady leadership was a calming and engaging force at the Department in an extremely turbulent budget period.”


Full Release Here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Watch Brewer's Address Live

12 News is streaming the Governors Economic Address live.

Click here to watch it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brewer takes on Goddard

Is this round one of the 2010 Governor's Race? Governor Jan Brewer struck out at Attorney General Terry Goddard this week over his refusal to file a brief supporting the state's stance on a court ruling. The ruling deals with a 2006 state law on funding for programs for students learning English.

I'm glad to see Brewer being a leader and taking a stance on issues. One question was whether Brewer would get into office and hand out for the next 2 years. I'm glad to see that whether popular or not, she isn't afraid to voice her opinion.

Republic Story Here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brewer picks up big endorsement from the East Valley Partnership

The East Valley Partnership Board of Directors voted yesterday to endorse and support Governor Brewer's Building a Better Arizona Plan. Notch one up in the win column for Brewer with this one as they are a highly influential business group, especially in the Republican dominant East Valley.

It will be interesting to see which groups follow in backing her plan and if this is the beginning of the momentum she'll need if a sales tax and Prop 105 initiative go to the ballot.

Brewer Convening the Community with GPEC

Governor Brewer announced this morning that she will participate in a special summit to discuss the critical economic situation that the state faces.
I had an opportunity this week to hear a presentation regarding the budget situation. Let me say, it is not pretty. Regardless of what happens with the budget, our state government will not be the same this time next year.


Governor Jan Brewer Joins Leaders in Unprecedented
Community Discussion on Arizona’s Budget Crisis

WHAT: Arizona is facing a record budget deficit that will impact our state’s economic future. In response to this critical situation, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will hold a special summit on April 9 entitled Convening the Community.

WHY: The goal is to bring government, business and the public together to frame the budget problem, and its magnitude, in terms the community can understand.

WHO: Among the presentations:
• Gov. Brewer and her top advisors on budget recommendations
• Greater Phoenix Economic Council on improving Arizona’s economic competitiveness

WHERE: Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

WHEN: Thursday, April 9, 2009
9-11 a.m. (Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)

Release Here.

Gov. makes Game and Fish Appointment

Governor Jan Brewer Announces
Appointment to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission

PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today announced the appointment of Jack Husted to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

“Mr. Husted is very well-versed in wildlife issues,” stated Brewer. “His deep roots in this state and his commitment to public service will prove vital to Arizona’s wildlife management.”

Mr. Husted has a broad background in both the public and private sectors. He has experience and expertise in local government and law enforcement, having served as a Deputy County Sheriff in Pima County, as a Reserve Game Ranger for the Arizona Game and Fish Department and as a Town Councilman for the Town of Eagar. Beyond his public service, he is a successful small business owner.

Throughout his adult life, Mr. Husted has been very active in his community. He has served on several boards, including the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, the Arizona State Transportation Board and the Springerville-Eagar Chamber. He also offers his time as a Deacon/Elder of the Community Presbyterian Church in Springerville, Arizona.

A third-generation Arizonan and lifelong hunter and sportsman, Mr. Husted is affiliated with several wildlife organizations. His family also has long-standing ties to ranching in the State of Arizona. Mr. Husted resides in Springerville with his wife and has two grown children.


Full Release Here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brewer's first Napolitano Overturn

Unless I missed one, we just experienced Governor Jan Brewer's first Napolitano policy reversal.

Brewer issued two Executive orders (one here), (second here) today that reverse the "meet and confer" requirements put in place before Janet left (but after we knew she was leaving). This was widely seen as payback by Napolitano for union support during last years election.

This is a good move. The fact is, Arizona is a "right to work" state. The orders Napolitano signed are unconstitutional and there are better ways to approach "meet and confer". This was Janet's thank you to the unions for her support. If you don't agree, make sure you saw the last few pages from Howie Fischer's article.

Republicans had blasted Napolitano's lame-duck order. State party Chairman Randy Pullen called it nothing short of a "thank you to the unions for their campaign cash."

The Arizona Democratic Party reported receiving more than $200,000 for state races from Service Employees International Union during the 2008 campaign, with another $250,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees which already represents more than 5,000 workers.

The party also got $205,000 from the Communication Workers of America which represents Corrections Department employees. A committee set up to help Democrats collected $147,000 from the Firefighters Union and $31,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers.

Press Release Here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Road Trip Time

According to a Media Advisory, Governor Brewer is going on a road trip to Pima and Pinal Counties.


Governor Brewer to Visit Pima and Pinal Counties
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Events Open to the Media:

WHAT: National Constables Association Meeting
Governor to provide remarks

WHERE: Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Spa
2727 West Club Drive, Tucson

WHEN: 9 a.m.

WHAT: Pima County Social Host Ordinance Press Conference
Governor to provide remarks

WHERE: Pima County Board of Supervisors Office
130 West Congress Street, Tucson

WHEN: 10:30 a.m.

WHAT: Cenpatico & Linkages Kick-Off Event
Governor to provide remarks

WHERE: Mission Royale Golf Resort
11 South Mission Boulevard, Casa Grande

WHEN: 3:00 p.m.

Full Release Here.