Monday, December 21, 2009

After Emergency Cabinet Meeting, Brewer to turn over illegal alien prisoners to ICE

Governor Brewer called an emergency cabinet meeting over the weekend to address the ongoing budget crisis and provide updated revenue and expenditure numbers.

She also laid out 10 actions items she intends to have her Directors implement. Sure to catch the headline is the fourth item on the list.

FOURTH, I am ordering the Arizona Department of Corrections to return to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) -- as soon as possible -- all non-violent criminal aliens as is allowed under existing law. The cost of incarcerating these criminal aliens is NOT Arizona’s responsibility. By federal law, the cost of their incarceration is the responsibility of the FEDERAL government.

There was no mention of additional revenue, and it didn't need mentioning. The picture that was laid out, and that you can see in the slides, is that because of voter mandated items you can cut everything out of the budget that's not mandated and still not fix the hole. In other words, you could shut down almost all government services and still have problems to fix. This goes right to the heart of those that say the state should go back to 2006 revenue levels.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Governor Brewer calls another special session

Our year round legislature will be back at it again on Thursday as Governor Brewer has called a special session covering three topics.
  • Proposal to ask voters to loosen restrictions on voter-approved funds
  • More cuts on top of those passed a few weeks ago. $200 Million seems to be the number
  • Refer to the ballot a temporary sales-tax and allow the voters to decide the state budget number the state will move forward with.
Some say the votes are there. Some say they aren't. Either way, the only guarantee you have is that it will be an interesting session as usual.

Will the Democrats be there? Will Ron Gould stay the line on his rhetoric? What do you think?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Governor Brewer Seeks Relief from Massive Washington Mandates

Meets With Congressional Delegation on Arizona’s Economy,

Cost of Health Care Entitlement Expansion, Job Recruitment Efforts

PHOENIX – With three years now beyond the initial signs of recession, and state revenues down 31% just since the summer of 2008, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today met with members of Arizona’s federal delegation to encourage defeat of an expensive expansion of federal health care mandates on the states. Federal health care proposals, particularly as proposed by the US Senate, would have a devastating fiscal impact to the State of Arizona’s already challenging budget shortfall. Other proposals, such as the plan approved by the US House of Representatives, suggest a possible state government savings scenario but lock in Arizona to permanent service and spending mandates that are not affordable or sustainable even under the best economic conditions.

Since taking office in late January of 2009, Governor Brewer and the Arizona Legislature have enacted a total of $1.05 billion in permanent budget reductions, eliminating state programs and services, and substantially reducing the state’s work force.

“A mandated and permanent expansion of health care will cost Arizona taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “Whether the monies are collected by the states or the federal government, either scenario is expensive, ill-conceived, and will be paid for by hard-working Arizona citizens. This is nothing more than Congress imposing a future, hidden tax increase on Arizona taxpayers. Expanding federal entitlements now is absolutely irresponsible.”

Other topics on the Governor’s DC agenda included the state’s economy, job recruitment efforts, and transportation.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vernon Parker's Anti-Tax Committee Raises Questions

Yesterday, Paradise Valley Mayor and exploratory candidate for Governor Vernon Parker announced that he had formed a committee to oppose any potential tax increase that may be placed on the ballot. Parker wasted no time using the opportunity to give a stump speech about the virtue or cutting spending and fewer taxes - which sounded vaguely similar to his stump speech for Governor.

We received his press release on the topic, which we will include below, which raised more questions than answers. First, note that the press release is paid for by Parker's exploratory committee. How can an exploratory committee pay for the activities of another political committee?

The second question we had was who was paying for the PR for the new committee. We were going to ask if both committees were, in fact, paying guru Jason Rose to do the work. However, if you look, the contact is actually someone from Lincoln Strategy Group. That group is lead by Nathan Sproul, the guy behind mudslinging so heinous that Janet Napolitano defended Russell Pearce against it.

Sproul was recently featured again on Seeing Red Arizona, with the following recap:

"Sproul was also behind the disingenuously named ballot initiative Stop Illegal Hiring (Prop. 202) which sought to accomplish just the opposite. The voters saw through the abysmal charade — and its proponents of low wage, illegal and exploitable labor led by McDonald’s owner Marion “Mac” Magruder, Carl’s Jr. owner Jason LeVecke and chaired by County Attorney wannabe Andrew Pacheco — sending it to a swift defeat. The conservative publication Human Events also covered the deceptive effort."

Parker appears to be trapped between the Sheriff Joe anti-illegal rock and the Nathan Sproul pro-immigration hard place. Not only that, but he is using his Clean Elections money to do it.

Contact: Brian Murray
Save Our Jobs: Stop the Tax Hike
Phone: 480.303.7175

Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker Forms "Save Our Jobs: Stop the Tax Hike" Coalition to Oppose Anticipated Tax Hike Referral

PHOENIX, AZ – Today, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker took the first steps to actively oppose any tax increase upon the citizens of Arizona, by filing a new political committee: "Save Our Jobs: Stop the Tax Hike."

Parker will file the paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office Wednesday morning.

"Raising taxes during times of economic crisis doesn’t make sense. We have lost over 210,000 jobs in Arizona, and if a tax increase goes through our economy will get even worse. It must seem like raising our taxes is the easy way out, but that’s wrong. It won’t solve our fundamental problems, and will be devastating to our economy," said Parker.

"I stand ready today to help our leaders understand the futility of a tax increase and that is why I am writing to every single lawmaker explaining to them the economic peril a tax increase will have. I know this fight will not be an easy one, but one I intend to win," said Parker.

"We have a governor that wants to take more money from all Arizonans yet refuses to cut her own Governor’s Office budget. This type of approach must be defeated," he concluded.

The committee filed today will allow Parker to raise funds to actively oppose any tax increase. A copy of the letter sent to state lawmakers can be found below.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Governor Brewer Brings Back Christmas

Governor Brewer officially returned to the State Capitol a few words that had been missing for last few years. Christmas, menorah, and Hanukkah have missing since 2001 when Janet Napolitano changed the words to "holiday" and "candle holder."

Saying she wasn't going to play "word games,"Brewer said, "I believe in calling something what it is, and it is a Christmas tree, just as a menorah is a menorah.

You can see footage of the tree lighting ceremony here.