Report on ImagineArizona’s 2011 Legislative Initiatives
Our “Loser Pays” Tort Reform bill, being enthusiastically sponsored by State Rep. Ted Vogt (R-Dist. 30) is receiving statewide press, having been reported in the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capital Times. Folks are getting on board, and we hope you will, too! Arizona will be one of only two states that will give prevailing defendants the ability to seek attorneys fees from losing plaintiffs in medical malpractice, products liability and all standard tort cases, leveling the litigation playing field and making Arizona a great place to do business and create jobs! Our new bill requiring Arizona regulators to write clear and understandable regulations, so businesses can comply efficiently and without delays and duplicate costs, is also being discussed around the state. The Cities and Towns will fight us, because they seem to like ambiguous regulations which give them broad powers to interpret regulations however they desire, despite the huge disincentives and costs the process inflicts on investors and job creators. And our bill requiring all school districts to finally have to report all income and expense uniformly and transparently so that they are accountable for ALL their money also has great likelihood of passing this year, despite the opposition we expect from those professional educational interests that want to eliminate all challenges to their spending and control of schools that has led to our current, poor education system. Stay tuned! We are doing our part to move Arizona forward with substantive and meaningful changes! Tell your friends and get them to register at ImagineArizona.com so they can follow and help make Arizona everything it CAN be!
Editor’s note: This idea is great if courts, judges and lawyers were perfect and they aren’t. This is an open door for judicial misbehavior.
Don, Don, Don
Don, normally I take your editorials with a grain of salt. I know you have papers to sell and part of that sales job is your acerbic look at the world you live in. In this case, however, I feel it necessary to set the re cord straight. If you choose to use local firefighters to make a point, please tell the whole story.
In your December issue, you state that I said “If going into a burning building risks the firemens’ lives, they will do all they can to save the surrounding buildings but will likely let the building burn down.” In reality, if there is the hint of human life endangered in a structure fire, we will risk everything to save them. If that means placing ourselves in grave danger, so be it. That’s what we sign up for when we join our profession. I would hope you aren’t suggesting that I needlessly endanger my firefighters’ lives in a vacated structure that is going to burn down regardless of how many hoses or firefighters we throw at it.
I might point out that our most recent structure fire in Cave Creek occurred this November.
The garage of a home was on fire. We knew that all of the occupants were out of the house. Yet, despite a raging gasoline-fed fire on the floor of the garage, exploding bullets that were stored in the garage, and a report of large amounts of black powder involved, Rural Metro firefighters, joined by your much maligned union firefighters from Phoenix and Scottsdale Fire Departments, entered both the garage and the house. They extinguished the fire in the garage and kept the fire out of the interior of the house, saving a family’s belongings. You might want to ask the owners of that residence what they think about their local firefighters. They watched the firefighting efforts from the moment the first fire truck arrived on the scene. You see, they have real world experience with them.
You also went on a tirade about union firefighters being on the public dole. To set the record straight, my firefighters are in fact unionized, but are not on any state retirement plan. They are also not on any municipal payroll. They are employed by the private sector and their retirement is a 401K plan. Just like every other private sector employee, there is no guarantee of retiring at age 65, nor is there a defined benefit pension waiting for them at the end of their careers. That’s certainly true in my employees’ case, yet they still provide the same service with dedication to both of our communities. They do their jobs because they love what they do.
John Kraetz, Fire Chief
Carefree/Cave Creek Rural Metro
Cancer centers demand access to Avastin
The impact of the president's health care reform plan is becoming evident but not in the way its supporters envisioned.
Supporters promoted the plan as a way of lowering health care insurance premiums, but insurance premiums are skyrocketing across the nation. Health insurance premiums are expected to rise by an average of 8.8 percent next year and employees' out-of-pocket expenses are expected to increase by 12.5 percent.
Supporters promised increased access to health care. Instead, major companies are dropping their insurance plans for their employees because of the costs associated with Obamacare, while others, like McDonald's, are delaying the inevitable until next year.
But worst yet, supporters promised that care would never be rationed, but the Food and Drug Administration has proposed denying breast cancer patients access to the late-stage breast cancer drug Avastin by creating a subjective approval standard that would allow the cost of the drug to be part of the evaluation process. The FDA will make a final decision on the matter sometime before Dec. 17.
While the agency officially claims that cost has nothing to do with this decision, Jean Grem of the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee was cited in the The Wall Street Journal explaining why she voted to deprive breast cancer patients of Avastin: "We aren't supposed to talk about cost, but that's another issue."
It is not "another issue" – it is "the issue" and those who work with cancer patients on the front lines know it.
Joining the Susan Komen Foundation in raising objections to the pending decision is the National Comprehensive Cancer Network – a not-for-profit alliance of 21 top cancer centers, including the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of California, San Francisco's Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. NCCN has affirmed its guidelines for using Avastin in combination with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. chemotherapy agent Taxol to treat metastatic breast cancer. NCCN's guidelines are widely accepted by doctors, so its affirmation is largely a vote for Avastin.
Should the FDA move forward and "de-label" the drug, patients will still have access to the drug and its benefits but only if they can afford to pay for it themselves. De-labeling Avastin will create a two-tier health care system like the ones that exist in countries that have government-run health care systems, like Great Britain.
The time to speak up is now. Price should never be a determining factor in whether patients should get the most modern and effective health care treatments. But as with ObamaCare's other broken promises, things don't look good when it comes to the rationing of health care for seniors and breast cancer patients.
Holly Pitt Young | Washington, D.C.
Economic value of hunting for our communities
In this season of giving thanks, I would like to thank all the hunters of Arizona for helping out our economy. I would like to draw attention to the economic value the hunting industry has on Arizona’s local economy. The Arizona Elk Society recently partnered with 50 businesses and organizations, with Hunting Works for Arizona. Hunting Works for Arizona understands the economic impact the hunting industry has on businesses in Arizona and the economy. Our mission is “To promote the strong economic partnership between the hunting and shooting communities and the local economy of Arizona.”
One wish this season is that more people would take the tine to consider how hunting benefits then, even if they don’t hunt. As a long time hunter myself I cannot begin to say how much money I have spent on the sport. Most of the costs I am talking about are for things like equipment, which I buy at my local sporting goods store, travel expenses, like gas, good, or motels when I am out of town, and licenses. All of this spending from one individual contributes to the jobs and businesses that exist because of hunters.
In addition to the businesses the industry supports, the license and tag fees go toward conservation efforts which benefit everyone who loves the outdoors. I am a long time member of the Arizona Elk Society and we have actively and aggressively worked to raise money for conservation efforts such as wildlife habitat restoration projects. Together we say thank you hunters for the dollars you spend in our state and the jobs you directly or indirectly support as a result of your spending.
Steve Clark, President | Arizona Elk Society
Senate Bill S510
Please contact your United States Senators to STOP Senate Bill S510. This bill will control our food, what can be grown, how it is grown, and cost the farmers and consumers lots of money and give the Federal Government Control over our Food Supply, which by the way is the best in the world.
202-224-3121 – Phone number to the Senate, ask for your Senator’s office.
202-224-2235 – Senator John McCain
202-224-4521 – Senator Jon Kyl
Senator Kyl and McCain’s phones where full so I googled them and e-mailed them from their website. Be sure to put S510 in the e-mail.
I also called their offices about the “pat downs” and the “see the nude body” scanner and told them to start “Racial Profiling” and to check the “No Fly List.”
And leave the American Citizens alone. This only adds to the loss of our Right and Freedom as Citizens of the United States.
Susan Wheeler | E-mail
Obama – the Poster Boy for this disorder!
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is due out in 2013. Psychiatrists use the manual to diagnose mental illness. Among the changes in this edition will be the exclusion of five of the 10 personality disorders listed in the current edition. One of those five is narcissistic personality disorder. According to The New York Times, "The central requirement for N.P.D. is a special kind of self-absorption: a grandiose sense of self, a serious miscalculation of one's abilities and potential that is often accompanied by fantasies of greatness."
Many psychiatrists aren't happy about the change. Dr. John Gunderson of Harvard calls the removal "unenlightened" and says, "They have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing." But for some N.P.D. sufferers, the change brings hope. In two short years, for example, one particular occupant of a majestic white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will likely be seeking new employment and new living quarters. Better, then, that he's free to do so without the stigma of this dreadful disorder.
From the Federalist Patriot's
weekly digest (Dec. 3, 2010)
I have a different perspective on Wikileaks. This is clearly the fault of (and a reflection of) the current administration. What caused this issue in the first place? If the state department was in competent hands, the leaks would not have happened.
Obama picked Hillary Clinton and the ambassadors. The diplomats are under the direction of Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State.
This a character issue that ascends to the judgment present at the very top. Obama said George Bush damaged our reputation abroad. This is more damaging than anything previous. Liberal amateurs sent the text cable messages. It should never have happened.
Since Obama won’t resign, he should at least dismiss Hillary Clinton. To add insult to injury, the CIA has been neutered and rendered helpless.
This is like the police going after the newspaper who reported the fact there was a murder. How about going after the murderer? This is a case of irresponsible diplomats not having the situational awareness to take their charge seriously.
Bill Crawford | Scottsdale
Our government is financing the moral decay of our nation!
In some states more than 50 percent of births each year are to unwed mothers. This dilemma has multiple causes – the promiscuity promoted by the entertainment media, the removal of God and morals from our educational system, etc. But, high on the list of causes is this – government is financing it.
With the creation of "The Great Society" during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, the government told women, "If you have a baby outside of marriage, we’ll send you a monthly check. The only way you can lose that check is to get married or get a job."
Recently, a social worker shared about hearing a middle-aged mother explaining to her daughter that she (the daughter) needed to keep having babies because by doing so she was the breadwinner of the family.
Some years ago, I read a news article about the man who went to several women every month to collect his portion of the welfare check as his "siring fee" for fathering their children.
The number one "poverty indicator" in the U.S. is unwed motherhood. The government support provides the individual a near-poverty level income. If the mother strives to better herself and earn more, she loses the government support. Therefore, the system perpetuates poverty.
To add to the financing of the national moral decay, our tax laws impose a "marriage penalty." The tax codes are set up so that married couples pay higher taxes than couples who are cohabiting.
The result of this government "compassion" is most clearly seen in our prisons where the percentage of inmates from single-parent homes ranges from 92 percent to 99 percent. So much for the Great Society where "it takes a village to raise a child."
Steve Casey | Stonewall, Louisiana
One "lone wolf" Republican senator is holding the planet and its 6 billion people hostage.
One senator, "point man" for the Republicans, is putting the country and its national security at risk.
One Republican from Arizona, Jon Kyl, is blocking the NEW START pact, nuclear reduction treaty, from being ratified in the Senate.
One Republican senator is keeping the world on edge, from being a safer place, because Russian nukes are no longer being verified.
One Republican senator, by blocking the NEW START treaty, is allowing "loose nukes" in Russia to remain untethered.
This is a crazy upside-down world where one rogue politician can put billions at risk because, "Lord only knows why."
Ron Lowe | Nevada City, California
The Obama Administration plans to withdraw National Guard troops from our borders by the end February under a new Southwest security plan, even as turmoil in Mexican border cities grows, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.
A letter sent to various members of the Texas Congressional delegation from Texas' Gov. Rick Perry's office says, "In February, 2011, the Texas, New Mexico, and California National Guard forces that were deployed to the border in September, 2010, under President's Obama's Southwest Border Augmentation Plan, will have 30 days to complete a total draw down of forces."
The roughly 550 troops will have the month of February to redeploy back to their units, Texas Congressman Ted Poe told The Examiner. Troops would not be pulled off the Arizona border under the plan, and about 100 of the troops would re-deploy there from other states, officials said.
"It's apparently a plan the Obama administration believes will save money. We don't need fewer National Guard we need more. We need to pass the Border National Guard Border enforcement act that would put 10,000 National Guard on the border," Poe said.
Poe said there is "no question about it, the federal government should cut back on spending but not national defense."
The DHS Border and Custom's Protection agency would "restart the ATEP (Alien Transfer and Exit Program) program that brings detained illegal aliens from other states to Del Rio where they will be released to Mexican officials across the border," according to the letter.
"Border violence is on the rise," Poe said. "And Washington is incorrect when they say the border is secure."
Sara A. Carter | National Security Correspondent for The Washington Examiner