The Courage of Supt. Douglas is Worthy of Emulation and Respect

We elected Republicans to go to Washington and fight Obama’s abuses and an out-of-control, unaccountable government. In 2014, we put Republicans in complete control of Congress to do that.

Senate President Mitch McConnell and former House Speaker John Boehner refused to follow the will of the people and do that. They acted like the Scottish nobleman who rode away from the battlefield when William Wallace and the patriots wanted to fight against England for their freedom.

People are tired of being betrayed by political candidates who promise the sky and then refuse to deliver.

Diane Douglas told us that, if elected state superintendent of Public Instruction, she would fight to get rid of Common Core education standards. She bears the scars of the battles she’s encountered in living up to her word. The radical Left wants to recall her.

But on Monday the state board of education voted 6-2 to formally sever ties with the copyright that accompanies Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards — formerly known as Common Core.  Now Arizona can alter its 2010 adoption of Common Core-based standards. Children and the state will be the better for it.

Many people are not paying attention and do not know what all the fuss is about. In fact, the Christian Science Monitor asks, “Why is Arizona trying to repeal Common Core?”

The group Arizonans against Common Core helps break down the problems with Common Core:

  1. The standards are of mediocre quality;
  2. They violate federal statutes;
  3. Our state will pay a heavy price to implement them;
  4. These standards intrude on student and family privacy; and
  5. These standards further federalize education and usurp power from the state, eroding state sovereignty.

As long as public education in America is based on a secular humanist worldview, our nation is selling itself and our children short and will not fully prosper. But the example of Superintendent Douglas’s courage and persistence — in the face of overwhelming leftist and union opposition — is worthy of emulation and respect. Oh that we would have this in Congress.

This is a good start in the revival of Arizona’s K-12 system. Now it is up to you, mothers and fathers and taxpayers to lend your voice and insist on better education for our children. Education that will not perpetuate lies and myths while undermining the values of good and honest parents.

SIGNS OF OUR TIMES: Politics over Principle/Beware the ‘Light’ in Light Rail

The fix is in on the Scottsdale City Council. Subtitled: Money Talks, Principles Walk. Advocates of the homosexual agenda have apparently flipped the upcoming vote of enough council members to pass the radical and unneeded “bathroom bill.” One council member is approaching what could be her third term — along with the accompanying pension, if elected. A leftist council member pushing for the bathroom bill promised her campaign cash if she goes along. Getting re-elected is more important than doing the right thing. The fix is in.

More on Scottsdale’s bathroom bill … Council members received 98 letters about the bathroom bill. They say six letters, in opposition, from the public were “over the top.” And this proves Scottsdale is NOT a welcoming city to homosexuals. Therefore the bathroom bill is needed, say they! Who knew? That Scottsdale, of all places with its vibrant arts community, is “not” a “welcoming” community? One would think homosexual activists would have descended on the city en masse long before it got to the writing of six letters, and — aided by their left-stream media lemmings — would have stampeded the city into a bathroom bill before all this supposed hate had built up. The fix is in.

Who’s to say homosexual advocates didn’t write those letters? Homosexuals have been exposed for numerous fake hate crime allegations across the country. And who’s to say what is and what isn’t “over the top”? Let’s see these letters, council members. Release them to the public. The fix is in.

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Speaking of homosexual advocates. They are shopping for victims up and down Arizona. They are calling churches and Christian schools. “We’re lesbians. Can we enroll our kid in your youth class … in your school?” The hoped-for answer is a no. That would set the grounds for legal complaints of sexual discrimination and put a big chill on the right of Christians to actually act on their convictions. This is part of an organized campaign to create a climate of fear, to push Christian organizations to compromise. Under the threat of the legal hammer. Advocacy groups will come out with a claim that 80 percent of churches and Christian schools are bigoted organizations and strict new laws must be passed on local and state levels to stop this. Tax exemptions must be revoked. Accreditations must be removed.

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Just looking at financials for Valley Metro Rail for the years 2012 and 2013. And talk about UPSIDE DOWN! Hoooly sub-sa-deeeeeeeeees, Batman!

For both years, operating revenues were: $31 million. Operating expenses were … brace yourself: $76 million, for both years. OUCH!!! CRUNCH!!! What a hit!

And out of the $31 million in revenue, just $12.7 million came from fares in 2013 and $11.9 million from fares in 2012.

The bulk of the revenue came from member city contributions and grants. Nothing like burdening the backs of taxpayers with a losing proposition.

But wait a minute. City contributions and grant money comes from somewhere. It comes from you. It is taken out of the hands of taxpayers. To call this “income” is misleading. Member city contributions and grants should actually be posted to the expense side of the ledger.

More accurately, Valley Metro Rail should report revenue of $12.7 million in 2013 and $11.9 million in 2012 … AND … $94 million in expenses for 2013 and $95 million in expenses in 2012. That’s the truth of the matter from YOUR perspective.

In an average week in 2013, light rail moved 101,000 people. At a cost of $1.46 million. With fare revenue of $236,000. That’s an unacceptable “return on investment” of 1:6. $1 taken in for every $6 spent. And that’s on you; you are footing the bill.

This is just what the skeptics warned us about a decade ago: that light rail would not be a wise financial investment. It’s subsidies on steroids. The “light” in light rail stands for precious little to show for a huge price tag strapped around the taxpayers’ necks.

Voters: next time, wise up! Don’t be taken in by promises of blue skies.

Celebrating 20 Years: One of America’s Truly Premier Family Policy Councils

You just know the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) is a great organization when you see how exercised the Left gets in demonizing this awesome organization. When someone or some organization is doing God’s bidding, they’re a threat to Satan, and he’ll engage in spiritual warfare against them.

CAP’s entire team has been waging that spiritual battle on our behalf for 20 years. The Center for Arizona Policy is a nonprofit research and education organization committed to promoting and defending the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom.

They’ve had a hand in well over a hundred state laws enacted to protect men, women and children. And it’s not just Christians or conservatives who benefit from these laws. ALL Arizonans benefitted. The Left just doesn’t want to admit that.

Over the last 20 years, CAP and its allies have assured many a good policy for Arizona families. And they have helped to prevent bad policy from taking root here. We can thank them that we are not hamstrung by damaging policies fabricated by undiscerning lawmakers beholden to the far Left in other states. We are blessed and fortunate that the Center for Arizona Policy advocates for life, marriage and family, and religious freedom — each of them under withering attack by radical agents of change.

Thankfully, God has blessed CAP’s outstanding efforts with the support of many wise and virtuous state leaders and thousands of citizens whose financial support enabled CAP to emerge as one of the finest family policy councils in America. In fact, it’s one of the very best destinations for your charitable dollars. If you’re one of those persons who wishes someone would “just do something” about the attacks on our values … CAP is your team.

Cathi Herrod has been most capably leading the CAP Team for several years. And Len Munsil led the way before her. They have been vulgarly savaged by the ill-tempered, ill-mannered Left, attacked by the left-stream media people who take their marching orders from Arizona’s leftist organizations. But Cathi, Len and the entire team have considered it an honor to be attacked for their devotion to Christ. They … will … not … back down in their work to promote the policies that benefit Arizona families.

Established in 1995 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening Arizona families through policy and education, CAP has worked with elected officials and members of communities to make Arizona the most welcoming state to raise a family.

To celebrate, Center for Arizona Policy invites you to join its 20-year anniversary celebration, where it will remember the past and look forward to our future. Please be there and show your support for CAP. Help honor this incredible team by attending. You are NOT going to want to miss this night of reflection, celebration, and fellowship.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Mesa Arts Center in the Ikeda Theater 1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201 

Semiformal Attire

Not only will you hear from speakers who span the history of CAP, you will also be treated to a concert from Shane & Shane.

Tickets are only $25 per person, and are selling fast.

Arizona Congressmen Introduce Grant’s Law to Fight the Border Invasion

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today issued the following statement on news that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had released three dangerous illegal aliens into Pinal County, Arizona.

“Despite the repeated attacks on American citizens by illegal aliens released from our jails, DHS refuses to stop freeing violent criminals who are in our country illegally.  Just yesterday, we learned of three more individuals set free on law-abiding Arizonans by the Department of Homeland Security.  Their crimes included the beating to death of a seven-week-old baby and the stabbing, beating, and immolation of a police informant.

“Our Department of Homeland Security needs to focus more on securing our homeland, not on cornering the market as a transportation option for illegal aliens in the United States.  Americans need protection from violent criminals and an explanation for why DHS has been so miserably failing at their primary task.  How many more Americans must be murdered by illegal alien criminals before this administration begins taking the safety of Americans seriously?”

A copy of the letter Rep. Salmon sent to DHS Secretary Johnson on yesterday’s news is available here.

Casino Gambling in Arizona Claims More Victims

Gambling and casinos have caused a lot of problems in Arizona and every other state where they are legal. Many have succumbed to gambling addiction, stolen from their employers and broken up their families and marriages. The sad story that follows isn’t the first in Arizona and it won’t be the last — not as long as we have legalized gambling. Some say, “oh but the money builds roads and schools.” The bottom line? It’s ill-gotten gain off the backs of shattered lives and broken families. This is a dark day for a culture in decline.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the sentencing of Larry Dahl, a former Phoenix attorney. Dahl was sentenced to 3.25 years in prison and seven years supervised probation after defrauding his former clients of $2,940,439.

“The defendant stole millions of dollars from his clients to fuel a gambling addiction,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Dahl was in a position of trust and he abused that trust. The Attorney General’s Office takes these cases very seriously.”

In addition to his prison sentence, the Honorable Jay Adleman ordered Dahl to pay $2,940,439 to the former clients he defrauded. In 2013, Dahl was indicted on 20 felony counts accused of embezzling money from client funds for nearly 5 years, from January 2001 to January 2005. Over that time period, Dahl gambled the $2,940,439 he had stolen at various casinos and lost the entire sum.

Dahl embezzled client funds directly from their interest-bearing money market accounts by writing checks payable to himself. To perpetuate this scheme, Dahl frequently transferred money between 46 client money market accounts to create the illusion of accurate individual account balances.

On June 25, 2015, Dahl pled guilty to three felony offenses: Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Money Laundering and Theft.

Mr. Dahl was disbarred in 2006.

Assistant Attorney General Brett Harames prosecuted this case.

Government Waste Watchdog Cites Franks and Salmon for Serving the People with Distinction

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) applauded Reps. Trent Franks and Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) for their relentless and unwavering support of the fiscal interests of American taxpayers while serving in Congress.  Reps. Franks and Salmon were two of the 17 lawmakers to earn a perfect score of 100 percent in CCAGW’s 2014 Congressional Ratings, making them “Taxpayer Super Heroes.”  Since Rep. Franks was elected in 2012, he has a lifetime rating of 95 percent, while Rep. Salmon maintained a 97 percent lifetime rating since his election in 2012.

The report, which CCAGW has issued since 1989, highlights the voting records of all 535 members of Congress.  It identifies members whose impeccable voting records helped protect and save the taxpayers’ money, earning them the honored title of “Taxpayer Super Hero,” while it cites members who consistently voted against the fiscal interest of taxpayers.

CCAGW rates members of both chambers on a 0-100 percent scale.  Members are placed in the following categories: 0-19% Hostile; 20-39% Unfriendly; 40-59% Lukewarm; 60-79% Friendly; 80-99% Taxpayer Hero; and 100% Taxpayer Super Hero.  The 2014 Congressional Ratings scored 85 votes in the House of Representatives and 13 votes in the Senate.

“We applaud and wholeheartedly thank Reps. Franks and Salmon for their hard work on behalf of the taxpayers while serving in Congress,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.  “Their courageous votes to cut wasteful spending and make government more accountable should serve as an example to other members, encouraging them to make good on promises to protect the fiscal interests of American taxpayers.”

“We have no doubt that Reps. Franks and Salmon will continue to help lead the effort to end wasteful spending and reduce the growing national debt,” added Schatz.  “Their constituents should be very proud of them.”

Gov. Ducey arms Arizona National Guard

Governor Doug Ducey today issued an executive order directing the Adjutant General to take actions to enhance and strengthen the safety and security of Arizona National Guard personnel.

The governor’s order, a response to the recent attacks on military recruitment and readiness centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, authorizes Major General Michael McGuire to:

A. Identify and arm of all appropriately-trained National Guard personnel who he determines reasonably necessary, based upon their duty positions, responsibilities, or locations, to protect themselves and other persons from the threat of deadly physical force;

B. Institute a policy and training requirements that permit Guardsmen to carry personally-owned handguns while on duty at a secured facility or military instillation, in lieu of a government-issued handgun, as specified by the Adjutant General. This policy should allow Guard personnel to carry these handguns on unsecured facilities while on duty if a government-issued handgun is not reasonably accessible.

C. Consult with the Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety to review the security measures and protocols in place at Arizona National Guard facilities, including without limitation recruiting offices, and make any recommendations necessary to further protect Soldiers, Airmen, and the public against attacks on military personnel.

“What happened in Chattanooga was shocking and saddening, and it took the lives of five American servicemen,” said Governor Ducey. “With the number of tragic shootings that have occurred on military installations in recent years, it’s imperative that our soldiers and airmen – people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our state and nation – have at least the same level of self-defense as the citizens they’re fighting for. We’re committed to doing whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure the safety and security of these men and women, and of all Arizonans.”

“The safety and security of our Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees is our highest priority,” said Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General, Arizona National Guard. “We are developing a plan that fulfills Governor Ducey’s executive order and best protects our service members and our fellow Arizonans.”

At least eight other governors have issued a similar order, with several others ramping up efforts to increase the safety and security of military personnel in their states.

The complete executive order can be viewed, here.

DHS Documents Show 260 Criminal Illegal Aliens Criminals Released in Arizona in Just Three Weeks

Judicial Watch announced it obtained records from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealing that nearly 260 illegal alien criminals, including 40 incarcerated for violent crimes, were released from Arizona detention facilities during the last week of February and the first two weeks of March 2013. After first denying that the mass release had taken place, the Obama administration claimed the releases were due to the anticipated sequestration budget cuts. The newly obtained records were uncovered because of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of Edward Tuffly, a Tucson, AZ, resident (Edward “Bud” Tuffly v. U. S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 2:15-cv-00067)).

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit for Mr. Tuffly in January 2015 after DHS failed to respond to his November 10, 2014, FOIA request of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seeking the following information:

  • Records sufficient to identify all ICE detainees released in late February or early March 2013 from the following detention facilities due to alleged fiscal or budget uncertainty: (a) Central Arizona Correctional Center in Florence, Arizona: (b) Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona; (c) Florence Correctional Center in Florence, Arizona; (d) Florence SPC in Florence, Arizona; and (e) Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence, Arizona.
  • For each detainee identified in response to Request No.1, the I-213 form(s) documenting the detainee’s arrest.
  • For each detainee identified in response to Request No.1, records sufficient to identify: (a) the date the detainee was released; (b) the facility from which the detainee was released; (c) the detainee’s criminal history or criminal charges at the time of release; (d) methods of supervision to which the detainee was subjected; and (e) whether the detainee appeared for subsequent removal or other proceedings and/or was removed from the United States.

The date range for the requested records was February 22 through March 15, 2013. This was the period during which DHS released more than 2000 illegal aliens nationwide, later claiming the release was “solely for budgetary reasons,” though none of the anticipated sequestration budget cuts had yet taken place.

Among the nearly 260 illegal aliens released from five Arizona correction facilities at the time were nearly 40 violent criminals who had been arrested for crimes including assault, domestic violence, weapons offenses, and battery. Nearly one in five had been arrested for drunk driving. The full list is below:

Traffic Offense:  57

Driving Under Influence Liquor: 55

Disorderly Conduct: 15

Failure to Appear: 14

Illegal Entry: 13

Assault: 9

Drug Trafficking: 9

Shoplifting: 8

Larceny: 8

Making False Report: 6

Drug Possession: 6

Weapons Offense: 6

Forgery: 5

Domestic Violence: 4

Trespassing: 4

Damage Property: 4

Prostitution: 4

Liquor: 3

Marijuana: 3

Damage Property—Private: 3

Probation Violation: 3

Liquor Possession: 2

Identity Theft: 2

Battery: 2

Contributing to Delinquency of Minor: 2

Commercial Sex: 2

Fraud—False Statement: 2

Fraud—Impersonating: 2

Public Order Crimes: 2

Violation of a Court Order: 2

Robbery—Street Gun: 2

Robbery: 2

Narcotics Equip—Possession: 2

Intimidation: 2

Morals—Decency Crimes:  1

Identity Theft: 1

Cruelty Toward Wife: 1

Smuggling: 1

Smuggling Aliens: 1

Fraud: 1

Licensing Offense: 1

Stolen Vehicle: 1

Licensing Violation: 1

Obstruct Criminal Investigation: 1

Firing Weapon: 1

Resisting Officer: 1

Burglary Tools—Possession: 1

Threat to Burn: 1

Receive Stolen Property: 1

Hit and Run: 1

Obstruct Police: 1

Possession of a Weapon: 1

The Obama administration is refusing to divulge the names of the released criminals, which prevents law enforcement from protecting the public or notifying victims. Local authorities in Arizona, such as Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, have tried unsuccessfully to obtain information about this and other criminal alien releases by the Obama administration.  In 2014, a Judicial Watch lawsuit forced the release of 76 pages of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents revealing that as of April 2014, ICE had released 165,900 convicted criminal aliens throughout the United States, including many convicted of such violent crimes as homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault.

Judicial Watch is a long-time national leader in advocating for the rule-of-law approach to illegal immigration.  This work includes exposing and challenging dangerous sanctuary policies in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Arizona, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and more.  For example, in 2011, as a result of Judicial Watch’s work, San Francisco was ordered to end its sanctuary policy that protected aliens arrested for certain drug offenses from being reported to ICE.

Judicial Watch also filed a lawsuit in Chicago challenging Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s refusal to honor ICE immigration detainers or cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in identifying deportable criminal aliens.  Cook County jails have released well over 1,000 criminal aliens sought by ICE in the 18 months prior the lawsuit’s filing in 2013.  The suit is now before the Illinois Supreme Court.

The lawsuit, Brian McCann v. Thomas J. Dart, is on behalf of lifetime Chicago resident Brian McCann, whose brother William “Denny” McCann, was run over and killed in June 2011 by an unlawfully present criminal alien who had just completed a two-year term of probation for a 2009 DUI conviction.  The alien, Saul Chavez, was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence, but was released by the Sheriff from a Cook County jail in November 2011 despite an ICE immigration detainer.

“The Obama Administration is obsessed with supporting nationwide sanctuary and unlawful amnesty for illegal aliens – even illegal aliens who have committed violent crimes,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “These new documents show the Obama administration’s soft-on-crime approach to illegal alien crime is a clear and present danger to the safety of innocent Americans.”