The words "Home Rule" have a nice ring to them, just like "mother" and "apple pie," so anyone opposing it would probably face the same ostracism as those opposing "traditional American values." We are asked in a coming election to again approve a proposition establishing Home Rule in Cave Creek. The trouble is, although I am a reasonably well educated individual, I really don’t understand the concept of "home rule," which is actually denominated under the statute as a permit to the Town Council for "expenditures in excess of expenditure limitation." It may be a good idea, I don’t know because I don’t understand it. I really doubt whether 99.9 percent of our Cave Creek voters understand it either.
The proponents of the resolution purport (or is the better word "pretend"?) to understand it, and warn of dire consequences if the measure is rejected.
It seems that somewhere along the line the State Legislature determined that there should be some statewide limitations on just how much money a local government should be permitted to spend, based mainly on population, and an elaborate system of determining this amount is set forth in Section 41-563 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. There is, however, a provision for circumventing the limitation by an election, which is what is now coming up again.
I am just a superannuated anarchist (as the editor of a local newspaper once called me), but I have done my best to understand what "home rule" really means. The best that I can come up with is that it would allow the Town Council in its infinite wisdom the virtually unfettered permission to spend money (other people’s money –namely, in the last analysis, yours) for anything that suits its whim, such as the expensive parking lot at the end of Spur Cross Road ($1.2 million) or the 500 foot sidewalk running in front of a then-council member’s business property at the cost of some $1000 per FOOT!
This sounds a little like giving a 17-year-old a credit card which he can use as he sees fit—perhaps to make a down payment on a Porsche, which some of his buddies have said is a "good investment." If we in Cave Creek give our Town Council such a blank check, we had better make sure we have elected responsible, level-headed individuals, not people who have their own agendas, whether it be making the town into a commercial tourist trap, or micromanaging its citizens so that they have to get permission from the town to plant grass in their yard if they choose. A lot of things would be "nice," such as parks with admission fees and rangers to enforce the rules, or the purchase of Black Mountain to prevent more building on its slopes, but in the meantime we have no municipal garbage pick-up, no police force except for what Sheriff Joe chooses to give us, no municipal fire service, except what we pay for, many roads in need of repair, dangerous intersections such as that at Grapevine and Spur Cross Road, and a number of other things the council should be looking at, rather than pretty niceties such as multiple "fiestas" to attract more tourists to jam our roads.
The people who are loudly proclaim that they want Cave Creek to stay as it was are the same ones who gave us Spur Cross Ranch for the tourists, and then closed off Spur Cross Road so that no one can drive a Jeep into the Tonto National Forest, which is just as beautiful, unless they get some bureaucrat’s permission!
For "Home Rule" to really work, we would have to elect people who are smart enough and level-headed enough to pass the rules for all the people, not just the few who subscribe to their agenda. I am not sure we have reached that point. (And in the meantime, in my anarchistic opinion, "growth" is a terribly overrated concept!)
Perhaps "home rule" is a good thing – I really don’t know. Do you?
Ralph G. Smith | Cave Creek
Here comes Tort Reform for Arizona!!
Under the auspices of Rep. Ted Vogt (R-Dist. 30), and with his strong support, ImagineArizona will be introducing real Tort Reform in the legislature this next session. Our proposal is simple: It will provide that the "loser" in a medical malpractice, products liability, or other type of tort action will be subject to paying some portion of the prevailing partys' attorneys fees. This "loser pays" or "English" rule has been in effect in England for centuries, and even has been applicable in Contract Actions in Arizona for decades. Our Bill simply applies the same reasoning to ALL tort actions in Arizona. No longer should Doctors, hospitals, manufacturers of products, and other folks be subject to Plaintiffs taking "free shots" at them in litigation with no exposure if they lose. It is not fair, it encourages bad lawsuits, and it raises the costs of medical care, manufactured products, and the general cost of living for us all. That kind of bad policy is finally going to end in Arizona in 2011! With our legislation, as is already the case in England and even in Arizona with Contract cases, Plaintiffs who sue others for torts will need to think about whether they really have a good case because they will know that they will be exposed to paying the other party's fees if they lose. Tort Reform will help lower costs of living and of business in Arizona, and we need it NOW. ImagineArizona thanks Rep. Ted Vogt for his dedicated help in getting this before the legislature. We hope you will contact YOUR legislators and ask them to support this effort and join as Co-Sponsors.
I know a RINO when I see it!Don, I'm glad you refreshed our memory banks with the reprint of "My View" of March 31, 2010, "Hayworth vs. McCain." There are times we need to be slapped across the face to remind us of the enemy within. I deeply respect Captain John Sidney McCain, III, USN (Ret) but I absolutely despise Senator John S. McCain, one of the Socialist-Democrats' Fifth Columnists in Republican ranks. Past is prologue: remember that General Benedict Arnold was a decorated War of Independence hero before he defected to the British. Before anyone asks me, "Did you serve in the Armed Forces?" I will state that while McCain was flying A-4 Skyhawks I was back in the "tube" of SP5-B Marlins and P3-A/B Orions, serving as an ASW Naval Flight Officer; in my second tour, I served in the Service Test Division of the Naval Air Test Center. No, I was not shot down, and I doubt I would have resisted imprisonment under the NVA as well as McCain did. BRAVO ZULU! to you, Captain! Someone had to fly in SE Asia; my gig was the Cuban Missile Crisis, when my seaplane squadron, VP-49, was deployed to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay..
In mid-2001, we Arizona "gunnies" circulated a petition for the recall of Sen. McCain, since we were convinced that his McCain-Feingold (see whose name came first?) bill threatened our First Amendment rights. We had over 300,000 signatures, and were looking for as many more...and then IslamoFascists hit the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, and caused another airliner to crash in Pennsylvania. Since a recall would have divided the state, we decided to suspend the recall attempt.
That recall move did not die, but is dormant. We are aware of McCain's left-wing credentials: curtailment of freedom of speech (McCain-Feingold) and amnesty for Mexican invaders (McCain-Kennedy). Kennedy is dead, and Feingold just got voted out, but there still are many left-wing RINOs in government: Snowe, Collins, Bloomberg, the lame duck "Governator," the flutey-voiced Lindsay Graham, etc., who need to be thrown out of office when they run for reelection, or forced to do an Arlen Specter and change their affiliation to Democrat.
Whenever I think of McCain every six years when he runs for reelection, I recall two aphorisms:
- "Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me!" ,
- "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining!"
Sadly, we seem to like being screwed by McCain, and we enjoy the warm yellow stream drenching our legs. My fellow-geezers in Sin City and Seizure World robotically vote for the Hanoi Hilton Naval Aviator, forgetting the Benedict Arnold reincarnation. The rest of the voters live in an artificial world of "Survivor," "American Idol," "Oprah" and such. Despite that, there are many of us freedom fighters awake enough to revive the recall motion agains McCain, Arizona's super-RINO, when he resumes his pro-amnesty stance.
I wish I could have written how I really feel, but I held back ...
J-P. A. Maldonado | Phoenix
Iranian nuclear weapons threat
Although Iran continues to claim its nuclear development program is designed for peaceful purposes, U.S. intelligence services believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
A number of countries have nuclear weapons, but these countries are considered stable and they fall within the parameters of mutual deterrence and rational conduct, except for North Korea. We are currently working with Russia, China and other Asian countries to attempt to control North Korea’s nuclear threats.
Iran poses a significant risk to use nuclear weapons because of its unstable leadership. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proclaimed that Israel, the U.S. and other Western countries are Iran’s enemies, and could come under attack by Iran depending on conditions in the region and the world. The Iranian Defense Ministry recently published information on a nuclear attack strategy to be used against the U.S. and Israel and possibly other countries.
Many Arab countries in the Middle East are wary of Iran’s intentions and are concerned with the regional dominance of a nuclear armed Iran.
Economic sanctions imposed on Iran have not deterred it from developing nuclear weapons. Time is running out and the options to neutralize the Iranian nuclear weapons program are becoming more limited.
Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, NH
Doctor’s point of view
Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.
While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.
And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture," a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me."
Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.
Roger Starner Jones, MD
Senate Republicans refuse to ban earmarks?!?
It's only days after the November 2nd election but right now we've got two big challenges. That's why AFP is hosting an important event at the U.S. Capitol this Monday. (Our new www.NovemberSpeaks.com website has the details.)
First, the Senate Republican Conference meets on Tuesday. They will vote on free-market hero Jim DeMint's motion to slap a two-year moratorium on pork-barrel earmarks.
Remember the "Bridge to Nowhere"? Remember when Republicans last held Congress and earmarks exploded with all the accompanying waste, big spending, and corruption?
Republicans said they learned their lesson. Well, let's remind them that we're watching and that they need to prove it!
A new ally in this fight, Taxpayers Against Earmarks, has set up a page http://endingspending.com/earmark-ban/ to make it easy to see where your Republican Senator stands on this critical earmark vote, and to call with a simple message: "End the pork barrel earmarks now by voting YES on the DeMint motion." Let's specifically ask each Senator to tell us if they are a YES on the DeMint motion to end pork-barrel earmarks in the Republican conference. Let us know how your call went by emailing email@example.com with the subject line "Earmarks"
Second, the Pelosi/Reid "lame duck" session of Congress is set to begin this Monday.
Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi actually held a party to "celebrate" the "accomplishments" of Congress under her leadership. This Monday, Pelosi is bringing Congress back to town for one last attempt to cram through as much of her big-government agenda as possible. Of course, Harry Reid will have the Senate back in D.C. as well. This "Zombie Congress" will have dozens of losers already rejected by the voters. But it also will have many members up for re-election in 2012 scared of what happened to their colleagues.
Our goal for the "lame duck" is simple:
*Avoid a huge tax increase by extending the current tax rates for every American. No compromise can be made on this issue. No tax hikes on investors, retirees, small businesses, or "the rich" in a weak economy. No death tax. No alternative minimum tax.
*Do not pass any new legislation that supports or funds the Left's global warming agenda, the bailout for union pensions, funding for the Obama/Pelosi health care takeover or any other part of their agenda that was just repudiated by the American people in decisive fashion.
So, this Monday, November 15, at 12 noon Americans for Prosperity is hosting an event at our nation's Capitol with guests such as Michelle Bachmann to send these two crucial messages. You can join the effort by either attending this event or joining the "virtual march" on www.NovemberSpeaks.com.
Now we have our first opportunity since the election to hold members of Congress accountable. Let's make sure we do it!
PS: Yes, we're still a little tired but it's time to get back in the fight. We have to win this crucial earmarks vote. We have to stop the lame duck threat. Join us at www.NovemberSpeaks.com and Monday at the Capitol. Yes, we've all worked hard for the last year. But, we've got to keep working if we're going to win.
Subsidizing Sanctuary Cities
Federal Government Reimburses for Jailing Illegals, Even When Locals Obstruct Immigration Enforcement
–A new Center for Immigration Studies Memorandum finds that the Department of Justice annually awards millions of dollars in grants to local governments to compensate for the cost of jailing illegal aliens, even when those governments have policies obstructing immigration law enforcement or encouraging illegal settlement. The report includes a list of the 27 sanctuary jurisdictions receiving grants in 2010.
The grant program, known as the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), doled out a total of $400 million to about 850 cities, counties, and states in 2010. Among them were 27 jurisdictions widely considered to be sanctuary jurisdictions, which together received more than $62.6 million, or 15.6 percent of the total. For example, the 2010 SCAAP grantees include some jurisdictions – such as San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Clara County, Calif., Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va. – which are trying to opt out of Secure Communities, the program that automatically flags criminal aliens for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attention at the time they are booked into jail.
The authors suggest a remedy: restrict eligibility for SCAAP grants to those jurisdictions that agree to work with ICE to identify and remove criminal aliens by participating in Secure Communities, 287(g), or similar programs.
The report, 'Subsidizing Sanctuaries: The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program',
by Jessica Vaughan and Russ Doubleday,
is online at www.cis.org/subsidizing-sanctuaries
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent non-partisan research institution that examines the impact of immigration on the United States.
Next ObamaCare battle: AZ should opt out of Medicaid
Dear Arizona Taxpayer,
Please contact Governor Brewer and your Arizona Legislators and ask them to consider turning Medicaid over to the Federal Government.
Pulling out of Medicaid would balance Arizona's state budget, make room for large pro-growth tax cuts, and strike a blow against the ObamaCare health care takeover. Below are some notes on AFP Arizona's proposal for the state of Arizona to opt out of Medicaid.
Use this link to contact Gov. Brewer and your Arizona Legislators:
For an overview of AFP-Arizona's 2011 Legislative Policy Plan, go here:
And be sure to check out AFP-Arizona's list of upcoming taxpayer events:
1) Arizona should turn Medicaid over to the federal government.
Arizona should turn Medicaid over to federal management as of July 1, 2011, if by a trigger date the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not given Arizona a waiver for the ObamaCare maintenance-of-eligibility mandate. Medicaid is a voluntary federal-state partnership, in which the state of Arizona has participated only since 1982. The partnership has long been a bad deal for Arizona's fiscal management, and the deal has gotten much worse under the terms of the ObamaCare legislation, which attempts to prod Arizona into spending money it does not have.
2) Arizona would keep its funding commitments under Prop 204.
If DHHS does not give Arizona a waiver from the ObamaCare eligibility mandate by the trigger date, Arizona would begin sending the federal government an annual subsidy in the amount of the matches required by Prop 204 ($438 million in FY11) and KidsCare ($8 million in FY11).
3) Arizona would then have an extra $2.25 billion a year to reallocate:
– In FY 2012, Arizona could use the full $2.25 billion for deficit reduction (including the K-12 rollover payback), FY 2011 deficit backfill, and repayment of FY 2011 ARRA funds (including K-12 education funds, if necessary) demanded by the federal government.
– In FY 2013, Arizona could use $1 billion for deficit reduction, and then reduce the state sales tax by one cent, returning approximately $840 million to taxpayers. (That could also help to phase out the Prop 100 sales tax increase, so that the state does not fall off a $1 billion fiscal cliff in FY 2014, after Prop 100 expires.)
– In FY 2014, we could use $500 million for deficit reduction, and allocate $1.5 billion toward permanent pro-growth income tax cuts, or a state sales tax reduction of 1.5 cents.
4) The federal government could easily replace the $2.25 billion not provided by Arizona.
$7 billion of the $10 billion total annual cost of Arizona Medicaid is already provided by the federal government, and Arizona would continue to give the feds approximately $500 million a year to support persons eligible under Prop 204 and KidsCare. (We could also let federal Medicaid personnel utilize our existing AHCCCS-related office space, at no charge.) For Arizona, Medicaid is a fiscal millstone that prevents the state from balancing its budget. For the federal government, given current levels of spending, the $2.5 billion yearly gap is a rounding error.
5) The Medicaid Opt-Out would be a strong exercise of state powers under federalism.
Thanks to Prop 106, the majority in the Arizona Legislature and the majority of Arizona voters have sent a clear message this year that we do not want federal health care mandates taking away our choices in private health insurance. With the Medicaid Opt-Out, we would send a clear message that we are tired of being pushed around by Washington. Congress and the White House have a lot of Big Ideas about how they think health care should be run in this country. Let them set up federal Medicaid offices in Arizona and run Medicaid as they see fit. Indeed, Medicaid is such a bad fiscal deal for the state of Arizona that the Legislature should consider opting out of Medicaid regardless of whether the Obama Administration backs off from its maintenance-of-eligibility mandate.
Use this link to contact Gov. Brewer and your Arizona Legislators:
To learn more about AFP-Arizona's 2011 Legislative Policy Plan, go here:
Tom Jenney | Arizona Director | Americans for Prosperity
Sputtering Arizona Republic is repulsed
As posted on Seeing Red Arizona:
In Sunday's editorial, Arizona's major - though faltering - newspaper, is unable to contain its revulsion at the thought of massive Republican victories in general, and Sen. Russell Pearce's election by his peers as Senate President, in specific.
In a rambling screed, acknowledging his dominance of Arizona's political scene, yet attempting to disparage him, the editorialist calls him "Pearce the Powerful." And with no choice left but to accept the loss of influence the newspaper once brandished, it has now taken a different tact in a vain struggle to rein him in: Republican Pearce is being pitted against Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.
It won't work.
Gov. Brewer, a savvy politician with nearly thirty years of experience, is well aware of the fact that she owes her election to Pearce's gift of SB 1070. This doesn't come as news to her. Nor does the fact that she faces a veto-proof legislature, with 21 Republicans out of a 30 person Senate and 40 out of 60 in the House.
Brewer has served in the Arizona House and Senate and knows both the system and strategies well. Government at this level can best be viewed as a type of chess game. Neither the King nor Queen is going to survive by deposing the other.
The Arizona Republic is reeling in light of harsh reality. The newspaper, long a fan of increased taxes to float ever-higher spending, is no fan of Russell Pearce and detests having him reel in expenses to keep the state out of bankruptcy. Still, it acknowledges Arizona faces an "$825 million budget crisis this year with $1.4 billion one looming for fiscal 2012."
The daily is also repulsed by Pearce's increasing national prominence on the massive problem of illegal immigration. He is regularly sought out as a spokesman on the issue and by politicos in other states desirous of emulating Arizona's popular law.
The Arizona Republic would do well to recall this terse and pointed response (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17862.html) of their liberal icon Barack Obama, as he left no doubt who was in charge.
American Post - Gazette
Distributed by COMMON SENSE, in Arizona
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” (Martin Luther King, Jr)
What’s the basic motivation of every man and woman? Whether in pain, under emotional stress, financial bondage, spiritual oppression or physical confinement – it is to escape and be free. Governments generally are born from oppression and die from the same malady.
The US Constitution was created to protect the freedoms of its citizens and to define the limitations of its governments. Today through tax laws the federal government encourages and rewards financial bondage (debt). Through public policies of redistribution and shaping patterns of behavior in society, the federal government produces more emotional, financial, and spiritual oppression and physical confinement today than ever before. Broken families, distraught individuals and millions of able body men and women waste away in prison cells from arcane drug, tax and corporate laws that are less about protecting men’s freedoms and more about producing societal outcomes at the expense of the loss of individual liberty. Man is not ‘collectively’ free. Man is not ‘collectively’ just. Man is not ‘collectively’ equal. There is no ‘collective thought’, ‘collective soul’, ‘collective heart’ or ‘collective virtue’ to be managed toward, and that’s the very reason why governments if not restrained can be brutal and tyrannical. Empires and governments fall when they attempt to grow, profit and endure at the expense of its citizens.
Christopher M. Mahon | E-mail