Friday, May 29, 2009

Brewer to Release Budget Details

An AP story is saying Governor Brewer is ready to present her own budget plan sometime next week. There is only a month left before the 2010 fiscal year begins which means the days are numbers to work something out and have everyone barter for their pet projects.

It will be interesting to see who steps up to back the different plans and if the Governors budget has the votes to make it. Right now, the current Republican budgets from the House and Senate are short and the Democrats budget announced yesterday is basically being ignored.

Anytime you refer to a Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment, you get the quote of the day.

"I cannot let the state go out and commit hara-kiri, and I won't let that happen" Brewer said Friday.

Not everyone a fan of Hugh Hallman

As reported by "2010 Watch", Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman may be considering a bid for Governor in 2010. Someone named "Hewie Hallman" sent us this video yesterday:

According to the email:

"Mayor Hugh Hallman of Tempe, AZ is 100% AGAINST tax incentives...except unless they are being given by his city.

Hallman testified on March 31st of 2008 and has since reauthorized, and entered into multiple incentive agreements."

Hallman has positioned himself as very conservative watchdog for the taxpayer. Hallman's support of taxbreaks and incentives would be damaging to a campaign designed to run to the Right. It will be interesting to see the reactions to the video. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Full Court Press Planned for Governor's Plan

For awhile, a handful of legislators have been critical of the Governor for not offering her own plan. Well, they might finally get their wish - to see a full-fledged budget proposal. It sounds like there is a plan in the works, and if it is launched, there would be an effort to support it.

The conservative blogs, who were conspicuously quiet on the GOP budget, have become ablaze with reactions to the news that a legislative lobbying effort may be planned. Here is the run down for your reading enjoyment:

Sonoran Alliance - Sonoran Alliance Awaits GOP Denouncement of $225K Tax Hike Campaign, Long (and dull) Knives Distract From Real Story, Governor Brewer Shills To Launch $225K Media Blitz

Gila Courier - Is the Gov going after Republicans?, More on operation “Building a Better Arizona”, Update On Governor’s New Plan Of Attack

Seeing Red AZ - Gov. Brewer: End-running the reluctant legislature

Noble Thinking - AZ GOP Gov. Brewer and Team Launch Campaign Against Republican Legislators

The vitriol has reached fever pitch, with people pointing to California as a model (which is generally considered a bad idea) and the war over the management of the AZGOP is once again called into question. The anti-tax arguments are in full effect, but for all of the hype, there has been no support and no movement for an alternate budget approach. What is the Governor (who has to be elected statewide) and legislators in swing districts to do?

We have been saying for awhile now that drawn out budget talks could impact the GOP's ability to retain power in both bodies of the legislature. It was an issue that we visited once again when the GOP released their budget. If you notice, besides Paton, the people who represent these critical districts are not the ones speaking out against this plan.

Does that mean that they support this effort? Are they too afraid to speak their mind one way or another? What is more likely - an effort to criticize legislators into support or one to provide the cover they would need to support? If you were running for re-election next year, would you like the dramatic budget cuts to health care and education on your head?

Even more to the point, if something had been done by now, would this effort even be considered? Would the Governor welcome this type of support if her talks with the legislature had been at fruitful? Does this drive an even bigger wedge between the groups or does it finally force everyone to the table? One thing is for certain, the volume on the budget discussions has just been cranked up.

Brewer signs Tax Credit Bill for Disabled and Foster Kids

Governor Brewer today signed HB2001 today, which is the bill that came out of the special session. The bill creates a special tax credit for disabled and foster children and is basically a workaround after the State Supreme Court struck down the vouchers that previously tuition for these children.

Democrats didn't like the bill the called corporate welfare and it passed on party lines. Governor Brewer stated that the credit will not cost the state a dime to fund the new scholarships.

"I am so honored and proud to sign into law this important legislation," Governor Brewer stated. "These foster parents and parents of disabled students selected an educational environment that is best suited for their children, and this bill will allow them to continue on the educational path that they have chosen."

Press Release Here.

Full copy of the Bill here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Looks like Pederson is in

Last week, our very own "2010 Watch" speculated that Jim Pederson was going to enter the 2010 Governor's race taking on likely challenger Terry Goddard in the Democratic Primary. He has wasted no time trying to set himself up as a front-runner looking out for those who feel disenfranchised.

Pederson has launched his new committee, Stand-Up Arizona, with a spiffy website filled with polished videos criticizing the legislature and the Governor on the budget. Pederson, who spent millions of his own money in his failed race against Senator Kyl, is once again sparing no expense to get his name out there... this time narrating the videos and talking to concerned cowboys somewhere in the desert.

There will be a few challenges for Pederson to overcome in his bid:

The first challenge for Pederson will be his connections to the previous administration who helped cause this major budget problem in the first place. It is no secret that Pederson was the money man behind the Democratic party and the Napolitano machine. He was a big backer of Napolitano's initiatives, and supported her in her efforts to increase spending to record levels. Now, that Napolitano is gone, Perderson is criticizing the new Governor and the legislature for cleaning up the mess. The irony of that will not be lost on his opponents.

Second challenge for Pederson is his soft stance on immigration. Despite the economy, immigration remains a hot button issue, and not just for conservatives. Pederson has been connected in the past with efforts to oppose employer sanctions laws, which are widely believed to be working, and trying to overthrow candidates who are tough on immigration.

Next, Pederson will have some trouble running against Goddard or even Mayor Gordon without a policy success under his belt. He needs to be a player in this budget fix to get his name out there in the mix as a person looking to find solutions, not just a guy who is looking to spend his way into the seat.

The final challenge will be if Pederson can change his image to be a "man of the people." The man is a multimillionaire development mogul who has spent his money around town gaining favor and shaping the Democratic party and its strategies. Can he get people to relate that he is "one of them" and looking out for the people who don't think they can "make a difference?"

Perhaps this is why Pederson is starting now, a mere 16 months before the Democratic primary.

Don't forget your passports!

The Governor's Office put out a press release today reminding travelers that starting Monday, ALL travelers will need a passport to cross the border. If you had plans to go next week or so and don't have one, you better make sure your pool is nice and ready because you aren't going anywhere. Typical passport times are 6 weeks or so. You can get expedited ones by paying out the nose and those still take a week or so.

Good luck and happy travels!

From the Gov's Press Release
"For Arizona, this federal initiative will primarily impact residents and visitors traveling to and from Mexico. Beginning June 1, 2009, the Arizona driver's license and/or Arizona Identification Card will not be recognized as a valid credential for entry or re-entry into the United States. U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, will be required to present one of the following travel documents: A passport issued by the U.S. Government, a passport card (PassCard), a valid trusted traveler program card (FAST, NEXUS, or SENTRI) or a Military ID with official travel orders. U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificate, or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card."

Full Release Here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers for Dean Martin and his family

State Treasurer Dean Martin's wife Kerry passed away yesterday at 34 years old, while giving birth to their first child, Austin Michael Martin who is in "grave" condition. This is very tragic turn of events for a situation that is supposed to be filled with joy and celebration. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Martin, his newborn son, and his family.

Not this time around

Former Governor Janet Napolitano will not be the next Supreme Court Justice after President Obama picked Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the bench. With two more vacancies likely during Obama's administration, she still has a shot.

She was on most people's short list but when compared to Sotomayor, she didn't have a shot. Sotomayor is a federal appeals judge, a hispanic woman who was raised in a housing project in the Bronx.

The following quote by President Obama is precisely why Napolitano didn't have a chance. "Along the way, she's faced down barriers, overcome the odds and lived out the American dream that brought her parents here so long ago."

AP Article Here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Can I get that in small bills?

Governor Brewer today submitted the application for federal stimulus funds related to education.  There is a total of $1.017 Billion with $832 million going to maintain funding for education.  The remaining $185 million is for her to use at her discretion.

The money definitely comes with some controversy.  Some are of the opinion we don't take any money at all from the feds.  Some Republican Lawmakers have called on her to frontload it all and use it to balance the '09 and '10 budgets.  She did use about $250M for '09 and has said as part of her plan she wants to spread the rest out in '10 and '11. 

So what do you think?  Use it all now?  Not take any at all?  Is there really a magic answer that's better than another?

Press Release

Application Summary


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Special Session for the kids

Governor Brewer officially called a special session for today for disabled and foster children.  After the Arizona Supreme Court ended school vouchers for these children, the Governor and Legislature came up with a work around that substitutes the vouchers with tax credits.

The Republicans are cheering the fact they are taking care of the kids.  The Dems are complaining that they're taking money away from public ed and giving it to private corporations, and taking their eye off the budget discussions.

The reason a special session is required is so that any bill that gets passed can be enacted in time for the new school year.  If it were to be passed in the current session, any bill could not go into effect until after the session ends…which we all know may never actually happen!

Release Explaining Special Session Here.

Official Proclamation of the Session Here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Special Session?

For those that use Twitter, you may have already seen this. Looks like
the Governor has called a special session. This is apparently to
address the school voucher issue that was overturned by the AZ Supreme
Court. A special session is required because there is no idea when the
current session will end and lawmakers was the voucher fix completed
in time for the next school year.

"The Senate has gotten word that we will be called into special
session tomorrow at 1:00pm."
- AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP)

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.

Looks like
"aspiring" gubernatorial candidate Terry Goddard will be challenged by former Senate candidate Jim Pedersen. According to the Guardian, He is mounting "a policy advocacy organization to address statewide issues," and others are reporting that he has made his intentions clear with the Democratic establishment.

On the Republican side, several names are still being tossed around as possible primary challengers to Governor Brewer, if she decides to run. The latest is Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman who recently unveiled a shiny new website rich with copper tones and rays reminicent of the state flag. He also has offered up a pseudo-manifesto (ahem, white paper) on the state's budget problems. The question remains on if he has any name-identification outside of Tempe, or the ability to raise the funds to get the boost would need.

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Tucson and want to see the Governor tomorrow?

Governor Brewer to Deliver  
State of the State Address in Tucson 



 PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will travel to Tucson tomorrow, May 20th to deliver 
a State of the State Address at the Tucson Chamber of Commerce Luncheon being held at the 
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort at 12:00 p.m.   





WHO:  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer 



WHAT: State of the State Address at Tucson Chamber of Commerce Luncheon 



WHERE: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort 
  7000 North Resort Drive 



WHEN: 12:00 p.m. 





Monday, May 18, 2009

Brewer's Announcement on Federal Stimulus Program

Governor Brewer Announces Application for
Federal Stimulus Energy Programs

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer has submitted the state’s application for the State Energy Program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"These funds are directed by federal formula to the states. I have chosen to direct the largest portion of the funds requested in this application, approximately $20 million, to the completion of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for Arizona’s public schools," Governor Brewer stated. "Investing in a modern and efficient infrastructure in our schools and some public buildings is the most responsible use of this significant one-time funding mechanism. Many Arizona schools still have inefficient lighting and HVAC systems, and this funding would create jobs by allowing completion of cost effective energy projects.”
The State Energy Program Grants are awarded on a formula basis to state energy offices. As part of the ARRA, $3.1 billion is dedicated to these programs nationally with $55.447 million flowing to Arizona.

The State Energy Program is a 30 year-old program that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects. These programs are the front lines of the country’s efforts to use energy more efficiently and increase the use of renewable energy.

Full Release Here.

What the Gov is doing

Governor Brewer is having dinner with Governor Mike Huckabee and turning the last bolt on some Honeywell systems in the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Full Schedule Here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brewer Gets more support for her 5-Point plan

Governor Brewer received the backing of another regional group today when WESTMARC endorsed her 5-Point Plan.  This is something the Governor will need to continue to do as she has made it clear that she still thinks a tax increase is the only option.  With the Legislature doing rollovers and other gimmicks just to get 2009's budget balanced (45 days before the year ends),

I can't wrap my arms around the math it will take not to have a tax increase.  I am no fan of taxes, but I have yet to hear a proposal that actually balances out without a tax increase.

The million dollar question is, will the hard liners admit that fact and negotiate in other areas for things they want, or will they just stand hard and go down fighting?  Or better yet, is there really a plan that fixes the 2010 budget that doesn't rely on gimmicks or make the 2011-2012 budgets worse?

Full WESTMARC release here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Statement from the Governor Regarding '09 Budget

Statement by Governor Jan Brewer
PHOENIX – "I want to thank the Members of the Arizona House and Senate for putting in substantial time and effort together with me to fill the increasing FY '09 deficit hole. I have now signed both pieces of legislation. This latest update to the FY '09 budget was not a simple exercise, as state revenues have continued to decline and very few weeks remain before the beginning of the new fiscal year. I am hopeful that, with a continued emphasis on negotiation and compromise, the legislature can reach consensus with my policy goals to approve an FY '10 budget package promptly.

"The state deficit for FY '10 now stands at more than $3 billion. As I have communicated clearly for many months, there is no question that additional spending reductions will be necessary to balance the FY '10 budget and ensure that we are well positioned to deal with projected FY '11 challenges. In total, my permanent spending reduction target is an accumulated total of $1 billion. This is not a small cut to government. It is the largest reduction in the size of state government in Arizona history.

"But let me repeat – spending reductions and federal stimulus dollars alone will not come close to fixing the FY '10 budget or future budget deficits. New revenues of roughly $1 billion will be necessary, as federal stimulus funding will only cover approximately $1 billion of the FY '10 deficit. And I will not approve an FY '10 budget that does not take into account FY '11 needs and requirements, just as I was unwilling to over- utilize federal stimulus funding to balance FY '09 and leave our education system exposed to massive reductions in FY '10.

"We are only a few months away before my agencies must begin preparations for FY '11. It would be fiscally irresponsible for the legislature to ignore the depths of the FY '11 state deficit by promoting a budget plan for FY '10 that relies primarily on one-time measures.

"Now is the time for the legislature to build upon the momentum of this FY '09 fix, and work with me on a balanced budget that is comprehensive, sustainable, addresses all points in my 5 point plan, and does not ignore the next budget process that is merely months away." ###

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Movin on up already??

Justice Napolitano. Who in the world would have thought that a year ago? Well, it looks like the short list hasn't passed her up this time. Multiple sources are reporting she's on the list. Even if she's 5th or 6th on that list, it's pretty crazy to see the name on there.

Napolitano would be the second Arizonan to serve on the Supreme Court with Sandra Day O'Connor being the first (although O'Connor was a full blooded Arizonan).

Senators McCain and Kyl were very supportive of her nomination a few months ago (yes she's already being talked about for a new job after a few months). Will they be as supportive this time around? Is there a difference between supporting a short term Cabinet position versus a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land? How much does her involvement in the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings affect the likelihood of her appointment?

Republic Article Here.

AP Coverage Here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Everyone has an opinion

Has your phone been ringing lately?  Pollsters have been mighty busy lately calling voters to get the pulse on what's going on in AZ on everything from the legislature to Governor Brewer and John McCain.

The first is a Rassmusen Poll asking voters opinions on Senator John McCain.  While he doesn't appear to have much trouble winning a Republican Primary next year, 50% think he has lost touch with his party's base.

In the same poll, a few questions were asked about Governor Jan Brewer.  Over half (55%) view Brewer as favorable while 38% view her unfavorable.  51% approve of her Job performance so far while 45% disapprove.  When Brewer was just a newly minted governor, voters were closely divided on whether she would do a better job as governor than Napolitano.  Not bad considering she proposed a tax increase in that time.

The Tribune carried the story on the Behavior Research Company's poll about the legislature's performance. 

"When it comes to taking measures to encourage economic growth, only 15 percent rated lawmakers favorably on this task, compared to 43 percent who said they were doing a poor job.

Among registered voters, 54 percent held a negative view — a figure that jumped to 65 percent among Independents and 60 percent among Democrats. Of Republicans, less than half (41 percent) gave a reply of poor."

I would say now would be a good time for someone to step up and show some leadership.  It's not like there's this tidal wave of warm and fuzzy feelings that is at risk for proposing an idea that while not popular, fixing the situation we are in. 

My worry is that too much time is spent worrying on how it will look next year at election time, rather than what will actually be a long term solution to these problems.

Munger acting like a candidate

Former GOP Chairman John Munger has been making some noise, especially in southern Arizona, with his Imagine Arizona effort. In fact, he has been making sure that the effort is tied directly to him, down to the fact that the title of the web page is "Imagine Arizona - State of Arizona Public Policy - Future of Arizona - John Munger."

As if he is a candidate unveiling a platform, Munger is unveiling the group's strategic vision, one issue at a time. Here is the latest (also posted on IC Arizona). These timed media events combined with op-ed pieces and other media appears to be a warm-up for Munger's eventual whistle-stop tour.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Will we all get a Mother’s Day present?

As we've read in other areas, reports are that the Governor, President
Burns, and Speaker Adams have been meeting to hammer out a budget.
The goal it seems to is to have it completed over the weekend. Any
bets on what we'll see?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ask and you shall receive

We'll just go ahead and take credit for asking some clarifying questions in our previous post.  The Governor has released the following statement.  It's pretty clear where she stands on the budget process.  The crazy figure of the day is that the state has added almost 50,000 new enrollees to assisted healthcare in the last two months.  

Think the problem is getting better or is going to fix itself?

PHOENIX – "Since my address to a joint session of the Arizona Legislature in March, I have been very clear about the necessity of and my support for a comprehensive, balanced 5 point plan to bring our state budget back into balance.  My support for all 5 points of that comprehensive plan has not changed.  I have been very clear about the catastrophic budget challenges our state government faces – one of the largest state deficits per capita.  As a committed fiscal conservative, with a proven track record of support for a responsible and less intrusive government, nothing disappointed me more than the deplorable fiscal condition of our state budget when I assumed the Office of Governor in January.

 "My 5 point plan includes: structural budget reform to permanently rein in state spending, additional state spending reductions on top of the historic spending cuts I already enacted in my first days in office, a larger rainy day fund that can't be raided until a true fiscal crisis exists, modernization of Proposition 105 that accounts for the reality of economic downturns, and tax reform to attract more quality jobs to our state. The 5th and final point of my budget plan includes a temporary tax increase of at least $1 billion per year to avoid devastating our education, public safety, and vital public health budgets.

 "It is my hope that the Legislature will join with me in enacting all the components of my 5 point plan.  Our state budget revenues have declined, not improved, since the presentation of my plan in March.  The caseloads for federally required AHCCCS health insurance, as you would expect in an economic downturn, are growing substantially – approximately 47,000 new enrollees in the last 2 months alone.

 "Now, more than ever, dramatic steps are necessary to protect our education system, sustain our critical public safety needs, and protect our state's most vulnerable.  Now, more than ever, all 5 points of my plan are necessary to get the job done, and to return the State of Arizona back to a path of prosperity."



Governor Changing Her Mind?

A lot of questions are being asked this morning after a Howie Fischer story titled Brewer backs away from tax hike demand appeared on the Tribune yesterday.

While she never said it was an absolute, the fact that a tax increase was part of her overall 5 Point Plan certainly made it seem concrete.

One good thing is that everyone is at least at the table talking.  In the first reports I've seen, Brewer, Speaker Adams, and President Burns are now "fully engaged in negotiation."

So there's a few questions I'd ask.  Is she taking this stance because she knows a budget without a tax increase is unlikely?  Has she given up on the fight and figured it's not worth it?  Will she stand on her promise to veto any budget that relies on funny math? 

With less than 60 days left, we won't be left waiting long but it would be really nice to know that Arizona won't be shut down on July 1st.

Tribune Write-Up Here?

Arrest of GOP Executive Director reveals Republican infighting

In channeling Espresso Pundit, we'll do our own little bit of watchingdogging on the story surrounding the arrest of Arizona Republican Party Executive Director Brett Mecum for excessive speeding. A quick comparison:

Greg Patterson explores the impact that legal investigations have on the Republican Party and wonders if partisanship has anything to do with the arrest.

Shane Wikfors apparently dislikes Brett Mecum and thinks that excessive speeding is a major threat to society.

A quick walk down comment lane on the two blogs also shows the differences in opinion on the State Party, who is in charge, and how its being run. Apparently, if you hate the way things are going, speeding is an unforgivable sin. If you have any interest in uniting the party or keeping the infighting to a minimum, you are a Pullen apologist.

Here are the facts as we know them: Brett Mecum was going 109 on the Loop 101 in a brand new mustang. Poor decision? Probably. A threat to society? No.

If, as Patterson posits, the Democrats are to blame, its a brilliant move, because all they had to do was throw the bomb and sit back and watch the party implode. The long-standing dominance of the Republican Party in Arizona has bred contempt for the people within the party who are not exactly alike. Many of them are quick to defend Reagan, but fail to uphold his 11th commandment.

Infighting and messy primaries are what the Democrats thrive on to succeed in Arizona. Most would admit that it was the root for Napolitano's rise to power. Goddard may be the next to benefit from this approach, if the infighting turns their sights from Mecum back to Brewer.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Governor Names Director of AZ Homeland Security

Governor Brewer Names Gilbert Orrantia

Director, Arizona Department of Homeland Security

PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today named Gilbert Orrantia as the new Director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Orrantia will guide the Department in it's mission to protect Arizona citizens by providing strategic direction for enhancing regional capability and capacity to prevent terrorist attacks within Arizona; reduce Arizona's vulnerability to all critical hazards; and minimize the damage and recover from all critical hazards that affect the safety, well-being and economic security of the citizens of Arizona.

"I am honored to add Mr. Orrantia to my Cabinet," stated Brewer. "His extensive background and numerous years with the FBI will be invaluable, particularly during these volatile and dangerous times for our nation. His experience in the areas of counterterrorism, homeland security, drugs and organized crime will be a tremendous asset as we work diligently to keep our great state and citizens safe and secure."

Most recently, Mr. Orrantia served as Director of Atalert Investigations and Consulting, performing major case investigations involving criminal, counterterrorism and homeland security matters. He is fluent in both English and Spanish and conducted in-depth witness and subject/suspect interviews using both languages. Prior to his time with Atalert, he spent 27 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent in Phoenix, New Mexico, Tennessee and Florida. In these roles, he gained in-depth, hands-on experience conducting and supervising complex investigations involving counterterrorism, drugs and organized crime. He also served as an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Supervisory Special Agent supervising international and domestic terrorism investigations, which included overseeing special events and airport security matters. He also spent seven years investigating Colombian Drug Trafficking Organizations. Mr. Orrantia received his Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University. His father, Gilbert Orrantia, Sr., is an Arizona native and a member of the Arizona Veteran's Hall of Fame.

"I want to thank the outgoing Director, Ms. Leesa Berens Morrison, for her dedication, hard work, and efforts in helping to establish Arizona's Department of Homeland Security and for her willingness to engage in an effective transition process with the incoming Director," said Governor Brewer. "She has served the State of Arizona and its citizens very well, and I wish her all the best."


Hard Copy of Release Here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dems Twittering House Approps Meeting

Twitter is alive with Democrat Representatives twittering their opinions on the Republican Budget that is being considered in House Approps. Here is a sample:

@RepPatterson Reckless Reps Murphy, Kavanaugh, Crandall, Williams confront & argue w/ AZ Education Assoc, representing teachers.

@RepPatterson Many people from public signed in against HB2639, none in support. Chair again limiting public comment to 2 min.

@RepPatterson Rep Schapira moves to protect schools from a raid of $255M. All Rs vote no. Vic 'Dodger' Williams again leaves room to avoid vote.

@kyrstensinema things are getting crazy here! Biggs attacked the Dem budget proposal for freezing the QTR. But the Republican budget freezes the QTR too!

@kyrstensinema can't even believe what's going on here in Approps. This is crazy!

@DavidLujan If Gov Brewer doesn't like House Republican budget proposal, she should say so now so we can move on to real budget. We r running out of ...

@RepPatterson More hostility to education from Rep Vic Williams, who pushes for permanent repeal of education equalization tax now, shortchanging schools.

@RepPatterson Vic 'Dodger' Williams leaves room again to avoid voting on bad HB2634 budget bill. He's now missing presenting his amend to HB2635. So weak.

Representative Patterson (who does not sit on approps) takes a special interest in the doings of his fellow southern Arizona Representative, Vic Williams. Patterson is claiming that Williams has disappeared on some bills to avoid voting.

As we mentioned last week, District 26 could be in play next year, with Melvin as a possible target. Does Williams see the signs and is now working to try to fortify his position?

Budget movement???

The House Appropriations Committee is meeting today to discuss and introduce their budget plan.  As of this post, the meeting is still going like the Energizer Bunny.  Of course, any chance for Ron Gould to do some scolding could not be passed up.  The Lake Havasu Senator pulled out his ruler to smack the hands of his fellow Republicans across the courtyard for "forgetting their conservative principles." 

I didn't see any quotes but I'd like to know where the City Impact Fee Raids fit in the "Big Gould Book of Tax Increases." (that's what he called it not me)

I haven't seen Sen. Gould's budget plan yet but I am open to reading any budget plan at this point.  At least the House is putting something out there even if it's unpopular to members of their own party.

Ready to lead?

When you read "30-year old yoga teacher and doctoral student at University of Sedona," does your mind immediately jump to serious candidate for governor? Our's either.

Candidate John Paul Mitchell has been stumping on the web and in the social media for quite some time, however, his webbyness may have worked against him today, when a link to his flickr site revealed a naked picture of a lady-friend (he insists its not his girlfriend).

Just like job employers are scouring facebook, myspace, and other web applications to get the real truth about their employees, voters are going to do the same about their candidates. And just as finding an employee drinking the night before calling in "sick," posting naked pictures on your personal site is a big no, no, even if he didn't do it.

Decorum in personal web use is becoming the new hallmark of maturity, something that shows that people are ready to lead. Be this a lesson to any candidate for any office - someone is always watching.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Governor does the Westside

Just as she did with the East Valley, the Governor is holding a forum
to talk about the budget situation. I went to the East Valley forum
and it was very well attended so I imagine this one will match or even
exceed since her roots are in the area. I would encourage anyone that
has the chance to attend to make it out there.

Brewer Announces Additional Appointments

Names Deputy General Counsel, Director of Children’s Division of
Governor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families and
Director and Deputy Director of Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today announced several appointments, naming Vanessa Hickman as her Deputy General Counsel, Patricia Cordova as Director of the Children's Division of the Governor's Office of Children, Youth and Families, Alberto Gutier as Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and Matthew Derr as his Deputy Director.

"I am honored that these talented and experienced individuals have agreed to serve in my administration and serve the citizens of Arizona," stated Brewer. "Ms. Hickman's impressive legal background will be vital to me during these trying times. Ms. Cordova's numerous years in public service and her focused experience with juvenile issues make her the perfect fit for the Office of Children. Mr. Gutier's extensive experience in government service will be invaluable to the Office of Highway Safety, and Mr. Derr's combination of years in the public and private arenas will be the perfect compliment to Mr. Gutier."

Vanessa Hickman has an extensive and broad legal background. She has practiced law with several firms, most recently with Withey Morris, PLC. While at Withey Morris, she focused on the areas of infrastructure and real estate development, land use planning, zoning, entitlements and development agreements. She also practiced law with the firms Wilenchik & Barness, P.C. and Wilcox & Wilcox, P.C. focusing on real estate litigation, family law, employment law and general civil litigation.

Ms. Hickman received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Arizona State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor Degree from the Arizona State University College of Law. She has been a member of the State Bar of Arizona since 2004.

Patricia Cordova has more than twenty years of experience in public service with a focus on juvenile justice and human services public policy. Most recently, she served in several capacities at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections including Assistant Director of Support Services, Director of Communications and Legislative Policy and as Executive Assistant to the Director. She has also spent time as a Juvenile Justice Administrator with the Governor's Community Policy Office, Division for Children and as a Program Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, Juvenile Justice Services Division. Ms. Cordova began her public service career with the Maricopa County Superior Court as a Juvenile Probation Officer and as a Judicial Services Administrator in the Juvenile Division.

Ms. Cordova received her Associate of Arts in General Studies from Scottsdale Community College and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University. She then earned her Master of Arts in Education and Human Relations from Northern Arizona University.

As has been previously reported, Governor Brewer announced the appointment of Alberto Gutier as Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Gutier founded and served as partner in the lobbying and public affairs firm, Gutier Group, representing associations and private entities in legislative, city and county matters. He has an extensive background in public service, having served previously as the Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, as State Personnel Director and Administrative Services Officer for the Department of Administration, and as Acting Driver Licensing Program Administrator and Driver License Deputy Program Administrator for the Motor Vehicle Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Mr. Gutier has served on numerous community boards and committees including the Board of Directors of the National Association of Governor's Highway Safety Representatives, The State Emergency Medical Services Council, the Legislative Oversight Committee on School Safety and the Drugs Don't Work in Arizona Board of Directors.

Mr. Gutier attended Elementary and Preparatory High School at Christian Brothers, La Salle in Havana, Cuba. He graduated from the University of Florida, Gainesville with his degree in Business Administration and became a U.S. Citizen in 1966. He speaks fluent Spanish and English.

Matthew Derr will serve as Deputy Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Prior to his appointment, he served as Campaign Manager for the Jim Ogsbury for Congress Campaign. There he was responsible for the formulation and execution of budgets, development of the campaign message and communications plan, management of the candidate's schedule and formulation of the overall campaign strategy and fundraising. He has also served as Policy Advisory to Commissioner Kris Mayes of the Arizona Corporation Commission and as Deputy District Director and Political Director for Congressman J.D. Hayworth.

His experience in the private sector includes time as a Regulatory Affairs Analyst with Salt River Project and as a Competitive Marketing Analyst with New West Energy. In these roles, he gained extensive experience analyzing existing and proposed regulations and legislation, performing legal research and developing financial and business models for corporate profitability.

Mr. Derr received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Political Science from Arizona State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.


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