Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dems taking on water in Arizona as well

With the victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts yesterday, it looks like President Obama and the Democrats have started to lose their luster in the eyes of the public. The same can be said here in Arizona where former Governor Janet Napolitano appears to be out of favor not only nationally, but locally as well. With a string of embarassing defeats on the national stage and Napolitano falling out of favor, it looks as if the local Democrats have the potential of facing greater problems in Arizona as well. This appears to be something that Republicans are looking to take advantage of:

Hat tip to Espresso Pundit.

Are these plans realistic?

Despite failing to vote for any revenue for Arizona's budget last year, Democrats in the Arizona State legislature sounded off today, claiming that they do not approve of the Governor's budget and the massive cuts that are being proposed. They now agree that more revenue is needed, but when pushed for specifics, their answer was taxing spa treatments and country club memberships. No more details appear to be available, but it is doubtful that taxes on such items are going to fill the budget gap.

Meanwhile, John Munger took Governor Brewer's slightly challenge seriously, and has unveiled his own plan, one that he claims does not raise taxes. It does have some financial gimmicks that Munger's key endorsement could be proud of. According to Capitol Media Services, Munger fills the budget deficit with $500 million from borrowing against revenue from a mine that hasn't even been approved, and refusing to give the Federal Government $600 million in gas taxes.

While all of these options should be explored, it's important to note that the two main options that were dedicated to taking down big chunks of the deficit are in no way guaranteed. Monetizing the taxes on the coppermine would appear a lot more reasonable if the mine was closer to being approved and operational. Refusing gas tax money to the federal government as a punishment for the costs of illegal immigration is a little more problematic. Punishing the federal government for their inaction is a noble cause, but it may prove difficult to provide a direct legal reason why gasoline income should pay for immigration.

So the question remains, are either of these proposals realistic? Will they fix Arizona's current problems or merely push them down the path so that someone else has to deal with them?

Parker leaves Governor's race - jumps to CD 3 race

Mayor Vernon Parker has opted out of the Governor's race and has decided instead to jump into the crowded race for Congressional District 3. It will be interesting to see how his initial bid for Governor has positioned himself for this next race - his announcement release below was paid for by his exploratory committee, and his twitter account (at least for now) remains Parker4Gov.

Does he appeal to a different constituency than the other handful of legislators in the race or will he be tagged as someone looking for a path of least resistance to a new job? Only time will tell.

Here is Parker's announcement:


PARADISE VALLEY, AZ. JANUARY 19, 2010. Vernon Parker is in. Today, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker announced that he will file paperwork this week to succeed Republican John Shadegg.

“Our district has a long history of sending Goldwater conservatives to Congress – public servants who fiercely value liberty, smaller government and personal responsibility,” Parker said. “To follow Congressman Shadegg wouldn’t simply be an honor. It would give me the chance to continue a fight for the hard-working families I have fought for all my life,” he said.

Parker, 50, said that Shadegg’s retirement created a “perfect storm” of opportunity, one he feels duty-bound to embrace. He had spent the past three months exploring the Arizona Governor’s race, which generated enthusiastic support from people across the state.

“The biggest constant in my public life has been the need to serve to the fullest, to use whatever talent God has given me to the utmost degree possible,” said Parker. “I believe my skills, my experience and my passion are made for Congress. I believe I can make the biggest difference for my neighbors and my fellow Arizonans there. Since learning of Congressman Shadegg’s decision my supporters have overwhelmingly encouraged me in this direction.”

Parker said that he will take his message of cutting taxes and creating policies that help the private sector create jobs to the nation’s capital.

Following his filing this week Parker will be hosting a grassroots events on Sunday for 200-300 supporters, followed by a major announcement next week with significant endorsers and a few surprises.

“Like Congressman Shadegg I will do everything I can to roll back the unfunded federal mandates that cripple Arizona and our communities. And I will do everything I can to reform health care that brings real choice to the people and put an end to the insanity that defines America’s immigration policy,” he said.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dean Martin Announces for Governor, the hits start rolling

State Treasurer Dean Martin announced that he will be running for Governor in this year's Republican Primary. Echoing Governor Jan Brewer's statement on Prop 204, the expanded Medicaid eligibility law, Martin said he will ask voters to revisit the issue.

Martin immediately becomes Gov. Brewer's main opponent and will run on a platform that the state should be cutting to get out of the budget deficit, instead of seeking new revenue. Martin said he would release his budget proposal after Governor Brewer releases hers on Friday.

Martin also announced he would be running as a Clean Elections candidate and immediately found out what it was going to be like to run in a crowded race. Candidate John Munger immediately slammed Martin calling him a hypocrite for taking public funding while suing the very system. Laurie Roberts chimed in on a blog post and by far the most widely viewed piece of all, channel five did a 2:30 segment on Martin's choice in funding.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quotes from Brewer's State of State

Tip to AZCapitol Times and their Twitter page for some of the highlights of the Governor's State of the State. You can get a full copy of the speech here.

There were definitely a few shots across the bow of her opponents. At one point, Brewer said, "If you have a better plan, produce it -- and soon." Vernon Parker responded by Twitter saying, "For a better plan, visit"

I clicked around but couldn't find any plans to balance the budget this year. If someone from the Parker campaign could point me in the right direction that would be great.

Below are some of the sound bites from today:

Brewer: "Spare us the profiles in courage. It's time for a little less profile and a little more courage."

Brewer: "Government must live within its means."

Brewer: Five point plan is now 3 points.

Brewer: "Substantial" cuts needed still.

Brewer: 'Wrong' is arguing against solutions, when evidence to the contrary is everywhere

Brewer: "In my year on the job, I have grown wiser, and time has grown shorter."

Brewer: "I do not shrink from (challenges), I do not cower, and neither should you.

Brewer: Need to ask voters to roll back minimum levels for AHCCCS, because $1B of deficit is due to Prop 204 requirements.

Brewer: Gaming Director Mark Brnovitch will head up commission to examine gov't privatization and streamlining.

Brewer: "Our state government today is not suited for Arizona's second century." Reform of gov't services needed for greater efficiency.

Brewer: $10 million of federal stimulus money will be used for job training

Brewer: "Enough is enough. Secure our borders."

Brewer: If Goddard won't defend AZ's rights against Feds, "I will."

Brewer: Feds are violating 10th Amendment of Constitution by giving states mandates to spend money

Brewer: Can't "rollback odometer on state government" because of growth in AZ, at least not without help of the voters.

Brewer State of the State Speech today

Today is an enormous day for Governor Jan Brewer as she is set to deliver her first State of the State speech since taking office. If you remember, Janet Napolitano decided to give one last hurrah even though she was leaving just a few days later.

Governor Brewer has the opportunity to address the entire state and make her case for what needs to happen to start fixing this mess.

You can watch the address live by clicking here or here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Symington Irony

Several months ago, former Governor Fife Symington announced his endorsement of John Munger for Governor. At the time, Munger touted the much ballyhooed endorsement as a big deal.

Does money speak louder than words?

Today, it was announced that another privately funded candidate, Owen "Buz" Mills, had dumped $2 million of his own money into his campaign (updated link) likely to far outstrip anything Munger has raised to date. The company he has hired to manage his bid?

You guessed it, the Symington Group.

Munger now finds himself at a great financial disadvantage to a virtually unknown candidate who has hired his biggest endorser to run his campaign. Both Mills and Munger, who reside outside of Maricopa County, have a big task of increasing their Name ID against an incumbent Governor and potential candidates in an Attorney General and a State Treasurer.

Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation between Munger and Symington?

Without such a large personal fortune to bolster his chances, does Munger regret coming out so strongly against Clean Elections? Even Dean Martin, who filed a lawsuit against Clean Elections, admits that "The system practically forces you to run under it to have any chance of winning."

So where does Symington's loyalty lie? Are we to believe that he stands firmly behind Munger while his firm cashes the checks from Mills?