Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CAP Opposed to Gambling Expansion in AZ

From Cathi Herrod, Center for Arizona Policy.

CAP Asks Governor and Arizona Legislature to Oppose Gambling Expansion

Today, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) asked Governor Jan Brewer and state legislators to oppose any expansion of gambling in Arizona. Expanding gambling would have harmful consequences for Arizona families and communities, while doing nothing to help the ailing state economy. Two major new gambling enterprises are being considered by elected officials.

First, gambling proponents at state dog and horse racetracks and some state legislators have suggested expanding gambling to solve our state budget deficit. The proposed expansion apparently would allow racetracks to build casinos or to have slot machines and table games. Because many of these discussions have been brewing behind closed doors at the Capitol, gambling expansion could slip into the budget under the radar. That is why CAP is speaking out now to oppose any such proposals.

Expanding off-reservation gambling would break the agreements that Arizona currently has with the Indian tribes. As a result, the tribes could expand their gambling operations all across the state with no limits - making Arizona far worse than Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Gambling will not help our economy, our families, or our communities. Studies repeatedly show that the costs of gambling outweigh the benefits by at least a 3:1 ratio.

Additionally, the Tohono O'odham tribe has announced plans to build a casino in the heart of Glendale's major economic development area and directly across the street from a local high school. CAP is urging state legislators and Gov. Brewer to voice opposition to this new casino. For the casino to become a reality, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior must authorize the tribe's land to be placed in trust.

GOP Poll Finds Support for Tax

From the Arizona Republican Party.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Statewide Survey Shows Support for Balanced Budget Approach

Results show support for statewide sales tax as part of comprehensive plan
including cuts and use of stimulus funds.

PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party released results from a recent survey today showing strong public support for a temporary 1% statewide sales tax as part of a balanced budget approach.

The statewide survey conducted in partnership with Margaret C. Kenski, Ph.D. of Arizona Opinion and HighGround, Inc. was conducted over March 6 - 12, 2009, interviewing 607 high-efficacy, likely voters. When it came to taxes, here was the comprehensive question that was asked:

“I’d like to ask you how acceptable or unacceptable you find the following measures which would be considered in addition to spending cuts in order to preserve critical education and public health funding while the economy begins to recover. These taxes would be in the form of a constitutionally limited tax that would last for no more than three years and would automatically be eliminated without another public vote.

Let’s assume for the purposes of these questions that the Legislature and the Governor have already cut nearly $1 billion dollars in State spending by 2010, used all of the federal stimulus funds to balance the budget and still have a billion dollar per year budget deficit. All of the funds raised from these taxes would be dedicated towards maintaining 2010 spending levels for K-12 education, universities, community colleges, and health care for the poor. Each of the following measures would raise approximately a billion dollars per year.”

The results showed that 66.6% of the electorate supported a temporary 1% increase in the statewide sales tax to help bridge the gap to economic recovery, with nearly 40% considering it a very acceptable option.

39.7 % Very Acceptable

26.9% Somewhat Acceptable

9.1% Neutral

5.9% Somewhat Unacceptable

18.0% Very Unacceptable

.5% Unsure

The question gathered widespread support spanning party lines - Republicans found the sales tax 62.5% acceptable, Democrats 71.6% acceptable and Independents 64.6% acceptable.

“We were surprised by the level of support expressed by the electorate. It appears that Arizona voters would support a balanced approach in solving the budget crisis,” said Randy Pullen, Chairman of AZGOP. “Former Governor Napolitano and the Democrats in the legislature left us with a financial crisis on our hands. We all recognize Arizona government must learn to live within its means by reducing spending and reforming government. This Governor and Republican legislature have already made larger budget reductions and reforms than any previous governor and legislature. However, with continuing bad news on all fronts about declining tax revenues and the state having to borrow money next month to make payroll, the sooner the budget is balanced the better it will be for all Arizonans.

“We encourage the Governor and the Legislature to pursue any and all means necessary to right our current budget crisis and restore fiscal sanity to the state of Arizona,” concluded Pullen.


Napolitano to enforce Employer Sanctions

The Los Angeles Times has reported that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will soon direct that the department's agents emphasize targeting employers that hire illegal workers for arrest and prosecution.

During his campaign for the presidency, Barack Obama claimed that past enforcement efforts failed because they focused on the illegal immigrant rather then the employers that hired them.

There are an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States, no one really knows how many. Even hard core immigration control and enforcement advocates admit that millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is unacceptable, however, rounding up that many people and deporting them is not practical.

Those of us that have been advocating immigration control and enforcement have long realized that the primary cause of massive illegal immigration has been an unsecured border with Mexico and the availability of jobs for undocumented workers in the United States.

Before the Minuteman Project of April 2005, security at our southern border was a bad joke. The patriotic members of the Minuteman Project and Members of Congress, like Tom Tancredo of Colorado, helped spotlight our lack of security at the border. The Minuteman themselves, who merely observe and report infiltration of illegal aliens into the United States, proved that the border can be better secured, more importantly however, by the use of gesture politics, they got the Congress and the federal government to finally get serious about securing the border.

No amount of security at the border can keep people, trying to improve their lives, from illegally entering the country if jobs are available for them in the U.S., however. As a member of the original Minuteman Project, before everyone claimed to be a Minuteman, I have to admit that if I were born on the other side of the border, I too would be trying to get into the United States if jobs are available. Build a 50 foot wall and I'll find a 51 foot ladder.

Some Washington politicians with higher ambitions, such as John McCain, were more concerned with pandering to the growing Hispanic population for votes and also accommodating the desire for cheap labor by business interests, who make large campaign contributions, then combating the crisis of massive illegal immigration.

Most politicians responded to the demand by the American people for increased border security, Others however, like John McCain, claimed that the solution to illegal immigration was to make illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, which made about as much sense as removing any speed limit to reduce speeding violations. McCain insisted that making illegal immigrants, legal immigrants was not an amnesty however.

McCain tried to justify illegal immigration by claiming that those in the country illegally were merely doing the jobs Americans wont do, sidestepping the fact that they were here illegally and working for substandard wages and taking jobs from American workers.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which granted an amnesty to 2.8 million illegal aliens who met certain criteria, put employer sanctions into place for hiring undocumented workers. The 1986 amnesty was followed by other amnesties but the sanctions against employers were not enforced, therefore, employers, with a wink and a nod, continued to illegally hire undocumented workers and the invasion of illegal aliens continued and increased in anticipation of the next amnesty.

Clearly, the lack of enforcement of employer sanctions has been the primary cause of massive illegal immigration into the United States.

The American Conservative Republican supports employer sanctions and applauds former Arizona Governor Napolitano and the Obama administration for their intent to emphasize arrest and prosecution of the greedy employers who exploit and profit from cheap illegal immigrant labor. It is still important to continue to deport those employees in the U.S. illegally, however, to reduce the supply of cheap labor for the greedy employers profiting from illegal immigration.

Bob Haran,
American Conservative Republican

Monday, March 30, 2009

Phil Gordon and Wife File for Divorce.

The Arizona Republic has reported that Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, 57, and his wife, Christa Severns, 45, will file for divorce.

This is the second divorce for Gordon, who has three adult children from his first marriage to Debbie Gordon.

Gordon and his wife will continue to share custody of their 9 - year old son, Jake, the Republic reported.

The mayors wife and son, Jake, will continue to live in the family's central Phoenix home. Mayor Gordon has been renting an apartment in downtown Phoenix but is in the process of buying a home for himself, according to his wife.

Tax Hike Could Cost AZ 14,400 Jobs

The Goldwater Institute today said that a new economic model shows a tax hike could cause 14,400 lost jobs as Arizona's economic output would fall by $1.2 Billion.

To close the state's budget deficit Governor Jan Brewer has proposed a $1 billion tax increase. New findings announced today show that if the State of Arizona were to implement a $1 billion sales tax increase, 14,400 private jobs would be lost.

These new findings are the result of economic modeling conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. The Goldwater Institute (GI) asked Beacon Hill to examine the impact of a $1 billion sales tax increase on employment, state economic output, and incomes.

Beacon Hill found that a $1 billion sales tax increase would cause the state to lose 14,400 private sector jobs; the state's real economic output would decline by $1.2 billion; and Arizonans would see their total after-tax income, already hit hard by recession, fall by $760 million, or almost $300 per household on average.

In addition to the $1 billion tax increase proposed by the governor, Arizona property owners face a tax increase in July when the state equalization tax comes back on the books. Lawmakers and the governor could decide to permanently repeal this tax. In the event that lawmakers choose not to repeal it, and even if it becomes the only tax increase to go into effect this year, almost 4,000 private jobs and $385 million in after-tax income will be lost.

"The Beacon Hill Institute has an excellent reputation for modeling the real effects of tax changes," said economist Dr. Byron Schlomach, Director of the Goldwater Institute's Center for Economic Prosperity. "These numbers show that these tax increases will hurt our economic recovery by putting more Arizonans out of work."

In a December 18, 2008 policy brief, http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/AboutUs/ArticleView.aspx?id=2460 , "A Fresh Start for Arizona: Proposals for Closing a Billion-Dollar Budget Gap," the Goldwater Institute says that tax increases are not an option and should not be on the table for discussion.

In just the last five years, Arizona General Fund spending increased 66 percent, while population and inflation grew at just 33 percent. The Goldwater Institute policy brief claims that in many cases returning agency budgets to fiscal year (FY) 2006 levels would do much to put Arizona on a more secure financial footing.

Some of the cuts suggested by the Goldwater Institute include; elimination of the Office of Tourism for a $10 million saving, elimination of the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources for $500,000 in savings, abolish the Board of Medical Students Loans to save $400,000.

Essential governmental services, such as courts and public safety, also didn't escape the Goldwater Institute's suggested cuts. The policy brief included a $5 Million cut to the Arizona Supreme Court and a 10% cut to the Department of Public Safety to save $6.3 Million and a 10% cut to the Department of Corrections to save $95 Million.

Half a Million Rally for Life in Spain

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 30, 2009

Madrid, Spain (LifeNews.com) -- Hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates rallied in Spain over the weekend against the government's plans to expand abortions. The government has taken the first step to expand the nation's already-lenient laws to essentially allow abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.

Under Spanish law abortion is technically illegal and abortion is only allowed in case the pregnancy supposedly is a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman (despite the fact abortions typically cause medical and mental health issues).

Though the law has been flouted by abortion centers and abortions have been routinely done throughout pregnancy, Prime Minister Jose' Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wants the statute removed.

Tens of thousands of people have protested in Madrid on Sunday and they marched through the city and rallied outside the Equality Ministry, which has been leading the push for more abortions.

"Get out of here and let the children live," protesters shouted.

"The government wants to approve a free abortion law that leaves the unborn completely unprotected," Gador Joya, a spokeswoman for Right To Life, told the crowd. The changes "will only lead to more deaths and more suffering by thousands of women."

They asked for Bibiana Aido, the socialist government's equality minister, to resign.

Media outlets put the numbers at 100,000 but organizers said as many as 500,000 people showed up to the rally.

The Catholic Church has launched a campaign against the legalization but Angeles Alvarez, spokeswoman for the State Network of Feminist Organisations said abortion advocates are planning a response.

"We are going to flood Spain with posters in response to the church's alarmist campaign," she told AFP.

As a result of the lax laws, abortions are on the rise as there were 53,847 abortions done in Spain in 1998 but 112,138 last year, according to the Spanish health ministry. The figures also show that abortions increased more than 10 percent from 2006 to 2007.

Backers of the new law say it would make it so women don't have to worry about being prosecuted if they run afoul of the current requirements.

Pro-life advocates say the laws are already too pro-abortion and they point to evidence showing abortion centers routinely filled out patient intake forms ahead of time without evaluating women beforehand.

As proof that abortion is already essentially legal on demand, the Institute for Family Policy released a report in 2007 showing an increase in the number of abortions of 90.5 percent. That puts Spain third, behind Belgium and Holland, with the greatest increase in the abortion rate during that time.

“If this trend continues, in 2010 one out of every five pregnancies (125,000 annually) will end in abortion,” IFP president Eduardo Hertfelder said in the report.

Hezbollah Crossing U.S. - Mexican Border

Source: Washington Times
Author: Sara A. Carter

America’s porous southern border is an entry point for more than Mexican cartels and their illegal drugs — the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah has been smuggling drugs and people into the U.S. as well.

Hezbollah has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America, and is now using the same routes into the U.S. that the Mexican cartels use for smuggling, according to an exclusive report in The Washington Times.

The group relies on “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers, and transportation experts as the drug cartels,” said Michael Braun, who recently retired as assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“They work together. They rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected,” he said.

Hezbollah, which fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006, funds its operations in part from a large Lebanese Muslim diaspora, and some of that funding comes from criminal enterprises.
Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent, was arrested in 2002 for smuggling 200 people, including Hezbollah supporters, into the U.S. He was sentenced last year to 60 years in a Mexican prison.

But the cross-border flow of drugs and people has intensified since the U.S. reduced access to the country by air and water following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And the drug wars between the cartels have claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people since January 2008, destabilizing Mexico along the border and prompting President Barack Obama to send additional agents there.

Adm. James Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command, recently told a House committee that the connection between drug traffickers and “Islamic radical terrorism” is a growing threat to the U.S.

Braun said members of the Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been operating in South America and “could be commanding and controlling Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises from there.”

And a senior U.S. defense official said that in addition to Hezbollah, al-Qaida could also use the Mexican cartels’ trafficking routes to smuggle operatives into the U.S.

“The Mexican cartels have no loyalty to anyone,” another official told the Times. “They will willingly or unknowingly aid other nefarious groups’ [entry] into the U.S. through the routes they control. It has already happened. That’s why the border is such a serious national security issue.”

To read the full Article go to : http://www.firecoalition.com/forum/yaf_postst5245.aspx

April 1 Internet Worm Warning

From Yahoo News:

Giant Internet worm set to change tactics April 1 (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO - The fast-moving Conficker computer worm, a scourge of the Internet that has infected at least 3 million PCs, is set to spring to life in a new way on Wednesday — April Fools' Day.

That's when many of the poisoned machines will get more aggressive about "phoning home" to the worm's creators over the Internet. When that happens, the bad guys behind the worm will be able to trigger the program to send spam, spread more infections, clog networks with traffic, or try and bring down Web sites.

Technically, this could cause havoc, from massive network outages to the creation of a cyberweapon of mass destruction that attacks government computers. But researchers who have been tracking Conficker say the date will probably come and go quietly.

More likely, these researchers say, the programming change that goes into effect April 1 is partly symbolic — an April Fools' Day tweaking of Conficker's pursuers, who for now have been able to prevent the worm from doing significant damage.

"I don't think there will be a cataclysmic network event," said Richard Wang, manager of the U.S. research division of security firm Sophos PLC. "It doesn't make sense for the guys behind Conficker to cause a major network problem, because if they're breaking parts of the Internet they can't make any money."

Previous Internet threats were designed to cause haphazard destruction. In 2003 a worm known as Slammer saturated the Internet's data pipelines with so much traffic it crippled corporate and government systems, including ATM networks and 911 centers.
Far more often now, Internet threats are designed to ring up profits. Control of infected PCs is valuable on the black market, since the machines can be rented out, from one group of bad guys to another, and act as a kind of illicit supercomputer, sending spam, scanning Web sites for security holes, or participating in network attacks.

The army of Conficker-infected machines, known as a "botnet," could be one of the greatest cybercrime tools ever assembled. Conficker's authors just need to figure out a way to reliably communicate with it.

Infected PCs need commands to come alive. They get those commands by connecting to Web sites controlled by the bad guys. Even legitimate sites can be co-opted for this purpose, if hackers break in and use the sites' servers to send out malicious commands.

So far, Conficker-infected machines have been trying to connect each day to 250 Internet domains — the spots on the Internet where Web sites are parked. The bad guys need to get just one of those sites under their control to send their commands to the botnet. (The name Conficker comes from rearranging letters in the name of one of the original sites the worm was connecting to.)

Conficker has been a victim of its success, however, because its rapid spread across the Internet drew the notice of computer security companies. They have been able to work with domain name registrars, which administer Web site addresses, to block the botnet from dialing in.
Now those efforts will get much harder. On April 1, many Conficker-infected machines will generate a list of 50,000 new domains a day that they could try. Of that group, the botnet will randomly select 500 for the machines to actually query.

The bad guys still need to get only one of those up and running to connect to their botnet. And the bigger list of possibilities increases the odds they'll slip something by the security community.

Researchers already know which domains the infected machines will check, but pre-emptively registering them all, or persuading the registrars to neutralize all of them, is a bigger hurdle.
"We expect something will happen, but we don't quite know what it will look like," said Jose Nazario, manager of security research for Arbor Networks, a member of the "Conficker Cabal," an alliance trying to hunt down the worm's authors.

"With every move that they make, there's the potential to identify who they are, where they're located and what we can do about them," he added. "The real challenge right now is doing all that work around the world. That's not a technical challenge, but it is a logistical challenge."

Conficker's authors also have updated the worm so infected machines have new ways to talk to each other. They can share malicious commands rather than having to contact a hacked Web site for instructions.

That variation is important because it shows that even as security researchers have neutralized much of what the botnet might do, the worm's authors "didn't lose control of their botnet," said Michael La Pilla, manager of the malicious code operations team at VeriSign Inc.'s iDefense division.

The Conficker outbreak illustrates the importance of keeping current with Internet security updates. Conficker moves from PC to PC by exploiting a vulnerability in Windows that Microsoft Corp. fixed in October. But many people haven't applied the patch or are running pirated copies of Windows that don't get the updates.

Unlike other Internet threats that trick people into downloading a malicious program, Conficker is so good at spreading because it finds vulnerable PCs on its own and doesn't need human involvement to infect a machine.

Once inside, it does nasty things. The worm tries to crack administrators' passwords, disables security software, blocks access to antivirus vendors' Web sites to prevent updating, and opens the machines to further infections by Conficker's authors.

Someone whose machine is infected might have to reinstall the operating system.


Forget about term limits and campaign finance reform,
Members of Congress should be required to wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers, that way voters could easily identify their corporate sponsors.

Sent by a brother Marine and Vietnam vet I served with in Nam, Alan Jarret.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pullen Blasts Democrats "Bill of Attainder."

From the Arizona Republican Party:

Wednesday, March 24, 2009


Phoenix, AZ – Randy Pullen, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, and treasurer of the Republican National Committee, was critical of the Democrats move to seize bonus money paid to AIG employees by legislating punitive tax code.

Pullen believes, as do many others, that passing legislation specifically targeting AIG executives would constitute a “bill of attainder” meaning that a group of people have been found guilty of a crime without having been given a fair trial by a court of law. Article I, section 9, clause 3 of the United States Constitution reads: “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.”

“Using the power of their office to go after individual Americans who have upset them is frightening. It is AIG employees this week and maybe it will be Ford employees next month or maybe Google executives who have angered them about something else next year. This is no way to run a third world country let alone the United States of America.”

Congressional Democrats are in a frenzy to fix this glaring political error on their part. As has been reported, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), introduced language into the stimulus bill protecting these employee bonuses. Now Democrats want to tax them away in order to cover up the misdeeds of one of their own. “They are willing to trample the constitution and set a dangerous precedent for this country,” said Pullen.

While the Democrats may feel pious and exonerated by their actions, it is contrary to the very fabric on which our great republic was founded. Perhaps next time, the Democrats will do a better job of reading and reviewing, and understanding the ramifications of legislation they pass before it becomes law,” concluded Pullen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sanctuary City Mayor Gordon Panders to Hispanic Voters - Compares Maricopa County to Selma in '50's and '60's

Sanctuary City Mayor Gordon Panders to Hispanic Voters - Compares Maricopa County to Selma in '50's and '60's

Phoenix, Arizona is second in the world only to Mexico City in kidnappings; illegal immigrant drop houses are discovered daily, police officers and civilians are murdered by illegal immigrants, thousands march in its streets carry foreign flags and demanding rights for those illegally in the United States, and the mayor of this sanctuary city compares those trying to enforce our immigration laws with racist sheriff's in the south of the '50's and '60's.

The Arizona Republic has reported that Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, a Democrat, who is term limited in 2012, addressed the Reform Not Raids National Summit in Phoenix hosted by Somos America/We are America and said that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's workplace raids and immigration sweeps have given people the impression the state is becoming a hotbed for racial discrimination.

The mayor of America's fifth largest city made his remarks nearly a year after he first denounced the sheriff for enforcing immigration laws at a Cesar Chavez luncheon.

Gordon, who was in Washington, D.C., this week telling lawmakers that more federal money was needed to combat immigration related violence said, "several people told me that, due to profiling and other civil-rights abuses by the Maricopa County Sheriff, Arizona is getting the same reputation as Alabama had in the 1950's." Gordon didn't give any names however of who those several people were.

According to the Republic, Gordon told reporters that Arpaio is "not using dogs or hoses, but he's targeting people of color."

Gordon complained that Arpaio's crime-suppression sweeps that are used to enforce Arizona's employer-sanctions and anti-smuggling laws, have taken place in mostly Hispanic neighborhoods or target day laborers.

Playing the race card and painting everyone who supports enforcement of our immigration laws as nativist and racist is the only card those in favor of illegal immigration have to play and they wont let the truth get in the way.

Danny Ortega, an attorney and the summit's chairman said that he believes Maricopa County is the new Selma, Alabama. "The same thing that was happening to the African-American community in Selma in the '50's and '60's is now happening in Maricopa County today at the hands of Sheriff Joe Arpaio," Ortega said.

Contrary to Danny Ortega's revised history of the United States, Americans of African ancestry did not enter the United States illegally but most were forced over as slaves to provide cheap labor. Illegal immigrants do provide greedy employers with cheap labor, much as slaves once did, slavery was abolished in the United States however, by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1865. To make any comparison of the treatment and blatant discrimination that American citizens of African ancestry suffered with the rights illegal immigrant of today enjoy, insults and minimizes the societal trauma of slavery and the struggle for civil rights in America.

Gordon has wrote to the Justice Department and asked them to look into complaints that sheriff's deputies were using racial profiling in their enforcement of federal immigration laws. In February, four lawmakers who are Democrats asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Republican.

This month the Justice Department notified the sheriff that they had launched an investigation focused on whether deputies are engaging in "patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures," the Republic reported.

It may take America a long time to get illegal immigration under control as long as we have cheap politicians like Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix.

Bob Haran,

American Conservative Republican

Contaminated Equipment at V A Medical Centers - AP Reports.

From the Associated Press:

by Bill Poovey - Mar. 28, 2009 12:00 AM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Viral infections, including hepatitis, have been found in 16 patients exposed to contaminated equipment at Veterans Affairs medical facilities, a department spokeswoman said Friday.

So far, 10 colonoscopy patients from the VA medical center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., have tested positive for hepatitis, VA spokeswoman Katie Roberts said. In a later e-mail, she reported six patients at the VA's ear, nose and throat clinic in Augusta, Ga., tested positive for unspecified viral infections.

Roberts stressed that the source of the infections isn't known, but she said the VA will make sure those who tested positive "get the best possible treatment."

"There's no way to scientifically, conclusively prove they contracted this due to treatment at our facility," Roberts said.

The number of reported infections could rise.

More than 10,000 veterans were warned to get blood tests because they could have been exposed to contamination at those two facilities plus a medical center in Miami. All three sites failed to properly sterilize equipment between treatments, and the problems dated back for more than five years at the Murfreesboro and Miami hospitals

Dodd's Wife a Former Director of Bermuda-Based IPC Holdings, an AIG Controlled Company

March 23, 2009

By Kevin Rennie (Kevin Rennie, a former Republican state senator, is a columnist for the Hartford Courant. He can be reached at kfrennie@yahoo.com)

No wonder Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) went wobbly last week when asked about his February amendment ratifying hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives at insurance giant AIG. Dodd has been one of the company's favorite recipients of campaign contributions. But it turns out that Senator Dodd's wife has also benefited from past connections to AIG as well.

From 2001-2004, Jackie Clegg Dodd served as an "outside" director of IPC Holdings, Ltd., a Bermuda-based company controlled by AIG. IPC, which provides property casualty catastrophe insurance coverage, was formed in 1993 and currently has a market cap of $1.4 billion and trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol IPCR. In 2001, in addition to a public offering of 15 million shares of stock that raised $380 million, IPC raised more than $109 million through a simultaneous private placement sale of 5.6 million shares of stock to AIG - giving AIG a 20% stake in IPC. (AIG sold its 13.397 million shares in IPC in August, 2006.)

Clegg was compensated for her duties to the company, which was managed by a subsidiary of AIG. In 2003, according to a proxy statement, Clegg received $12,000 per year and an additional $1,000 for each Directors' and committee meeting she attended. Clegg served on the Audit and Investment committees during her final year on the board.

IPC paid millions each year to other AIG-related companies for administrative and other services. Clegg was a diligent director. In 2003, the proxy statement report, she attended more than 75% of board and committee meetings. This while she served as the managing partner of Clegg International Consultants, LLC, which she created in 2001, the year she joined the board of IPC. (See Dodd's public financial disclosure reports with the Senate from 2001-2004 here.)

Dodd is likely more familiar with the complicated workings of AIG than he was letting on last week. This week may provide him with another opportunity to refresh his recollections.

(Source, Maricopa County Republican Committee)


Friday, March 27, 2009

Op-Ed Against Cap and Trade

Op-ed by Tom Jenny and Phil Kerpe of Americans for Prosperity, arguing against passing a massive tax hike in the guise of climate change legislation.

Don’t Let Cap-and-Trade Become Tax-and-Spend
Tom Jenney and Phil Kerpe

The surprise revenue source to pay for much of the gigantic Obama budget is something known deceptively as “climate revenues,” also known as “cap-and-trade.” But Obama’s cap-and-trade plan is really a tax-and-spend plan. It would mean a trillion-dollar tax increase, with sweeping consequences throughout the economy, both nationally and here in Arizona.

A cap-and-trade tax hike is the worst kind of tax increase, because the tax increase is hidden behind a complex regulatory apparatus that only adds to the cost.

The size of the tax is a mystery. Companies know they have to pay a tax, but they don’t know what the tax rate is, because they will be forced by government to bid at auction for permits to use fossil fuels. The Obama budget initially slated the cap-and-trade auction process to generate approximately $646 billion in revenue for the federal government over eight years.

More recently, however, the deputy director for the White House National Economic Council, Jason Furman, reported that the tax scheme would actually raise two-to-three times that much, bringing in upwards of $1.3 to $1.9 trillion. The truth is that nobody knows how much it will cost — and that’s a large part of the problem.

We do know that the impact on our economy here in Arizona would be staggering. An analysis conducted by the respected forecasting firm SAIC and commissioned by the American Council on Capital Formation projected the economic impact of last year’s version of cap-and-trade for Arizona. They found that by 2020, with the bill in effect just eight years, we would have 23,000 to 34,000 fewer jobs, $800 to $2,600 in lower annual disposable income per household, and an annual hit to the Arizona economy of between $2.6 billion and $3.6 billion.

Much of the damage would be caused by significantly higher energy prices: 20 to 67 percent higher prices for gasoline and 23 to 30 percent higher prices for electricity. The study also found that lower-income families — people who are least able to absorb higher energy costs — would be hardest hit.

Those numbers were the projected impact of last year’s Lieberman-Warner legislation. We don’t have numbers yet on Obama’s new proposal, but it is more extreme and would be even more expensive.

These astonishing economic costs are not an unfortunate side effect of the bill. They are its intended purpose. President Obama explained to the San Francisco Chronicle last year that passing costs on to consumers is an important part of his plan. “Under my plan of a cap and trade system,” he told the Chronicle, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket… whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

Worse, these tax increases may not buy us anything of value on the environmental side. Even if emissions targets are met, climate models show that the reductions would have no discernible effect on the global average temperature. The National Center for Atmospheric Research found that the Kyoto Protocol would reduce the global average temperature 0.07 degrees Celsius in 50 years and 0.15 degrees Celsius in 100 years. Feel-good symbolism is not worth trillions of dollars in higher energy taxes.

Lest we be accused of obstructing efforts to deal with climate change, we want to remind readers that AFP’s No Climate Tax campaign simply asks Congress to oppose any environmental schemes that result in a net increase in government revenue. In other words, climate policy should not become yet another excuse to transfer dollars from hard-working citizens to the bureaucrats in Washington and to the beneficiaries of pork-barrel politics.

Arizona Congressmen Jeff Flake and John Shadegg have already signed AFP’s No Climate Tax pledge (www.NoClimateTax.com). But the real fight will be in the U.S. Senate, and we can only hope that Sen. John McCain will decide to vote against any cap-and-trade scheme that raises overall taxes.

We cannot let cap-and-trade become tax-and-spend. The long-term health of our state and national economies may depend on it.

--Tom Jenney is Arizona director and Phil Kerpen is national director of policy for Americans for Prosperity (www.americansforprosperity.org).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hanoi Jane Visit to Montana Restaurant

This is a great story! The radio station America FM was doing one of its 'Is Anyone Listening?' bits this morning. The first question was, 'Ever have a celebrity come up with the 'Do you know who I am?' routine?'

A woman called in and said that a few years a go, while visiting her cattle rancher uncle in Billings , MT , she had occasion to go to dinner at a restaurant that does not take reservations. The wait was about 45 minutes; many ranchers and their wives were waiting.

Ted Turner and his ex-wife Jane Fonda came in the restaurant and wanted a table. The hostess informed them that they'd have to wait 45 minutes. Jane Fonda asked the hostess, 'Do you know who I am?' The hostess answered, 'Yes, but you'll have to wait 45minutes.' Then Jane asked if the manager was in. When the manager came out, he asked, 'May I help you?'' Do you know who we are?' both Ted and Jane asked.' Yes, but these folks have been waiting, and I can't put you ahead of them."

Then Ted asked to speak to the owner. The owner came out, and Jane again asked, 'Do you know who I am?' The owner answered, 'Yes, I do. Do you know who I am? I am the owner of this restaurant and I am a Vietnam Veteran. Not only will you not get a table ahead of my friends and neighbors who have been waiting here, but you also will not be eating in my restaurant tonight or any other night. Good bye."

Only in America , is this a great country or what?

To all who received this, this is a true story and the name of the steak house is:
Sir Scott's Oasis Steakhouse, 204 W. Main , Manhattan , MT 59741 , (406) 284-6929

If you ever get there, give this fellow a sharp salute, buy a steak, and tip the waitress. Keep passing this on. We should never forget our national traitor!

The above was forwarded to ACR by a friend.

Voters Oppose Tax Increase, Cuts, Support Sending Limits

AFP Arizona Releases Poll Results:
Likely Voters Oppose Tax Increases

Respondents Reject Deficit-Reducing Options,
Support Constitutional Spending Limit

PHOENIX – Likely voters in Phoenix and Glendale rejected sales and income tax increases by large majorities, in poll results released today by the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP Arizona), a taxpayer watchdog group committed to fiscal responsibility and limited government.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposed billion-dollar-a-year tax increase fared badly in the poll, with 62 percent of respondents in Phoenix opposed, and 64 percent in Glendale. Opposition to tax increases crossed party lines, with 47 percent of self-identified “strong Democrats” in Phoenix opposed, and 52 percent in Glendale.

Respondents also rejected by wide margins a ballot proposition that would allow the state Legislature to make cuts to areas of the state budget that are currently protected from cuts, including parts of K-12 education and state health care programs for the poor.

“The poll results suggest that there’s no point in the Legislature trying to fix Prop 105 at the ballot,” said AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney, referring to the constitutional provision that makes it nearly impossible for the Legislature to make reductions to voter-mandated spending programs.

The least unpopular of the short-term deficit fixes was a proposal to sell state assets, including public lands, and privatize state functions. Fifty-five percent of respondents in Phoenix opposed the proposal, as did 52 percent in Glendale. The only short-term deficit fix that won approval of majorities of respondents was a proposal to allow gaming at horse and dog racing tracks to generate new revenues for the state.

“Nearly all of the deficit-reducing options are unpopular,” Jenney said, “so our elected officials may as well vote on principle.” AFP Arizona has urged the governor and legislators to hold fast to conservative principles and balance the budget by reducing spending, privatizing state functions, and selling state assets.

For a long-run solution to the state’s recurring budget woes, the poll asked likely voters how they felt about a constitutional amendment that would keep the state government from increasing its budget faster than the rate of growth of the state economy. Seventy percent of respondents in Phoenix and 78 percent in Glendale supported the proposal.

“The spending limit reform won’t fix our current problems,” Jenney said, “but it would go a long way toward preventing a budget deficit crisis in the next recession. At some point, the state of Arizona needs to get off the fiscal rollercoaster.”

Completed Monday night, March 23rd, the polling effort surveyed 300 likely voters in both Phoenix and Glendale on local and state-level tax and budget issues. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a firm with extensive experience in polling Arizona citizens. AFP Arizona released the survey results for local issues yesterday.

For the complete list of polling questions, visit www.aztaxpayers.org.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
# # #

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Governor Appoints Chad Kirkpatrick as Agency Head.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today named Chad Kirkpatrick a the Director of the Government Information Technology Agency ( GITA).

The conservative community is familiar with Kirkpatrick, he served as Chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Arizona, a group he helped grow into one of Arizona's largest grassroots organizations.

Mr. Kirkpatrick's appointment as Director of GITA, places him at the helm of an agency created in 1996 to serve as Arizona's official entity for strategic planning and coordination of all state information technology. He will oversee day-to-day operations of: IT coordination and planning, IT project review and monitoring, and maintenance of e-government.

Kirkpatrick comes to state government service from Wells Fargo, where he has served since 2003, most recently as Vice President and Business Systems Manager of Compliance Services MIS (Management Information Services). While with Wells Fargo, he created the "MIS Roadmap" to assess the current MIS environment, identify MIS goals and develop an action plan to align technology and business needs. He was also responsible for: fully automating the business process for regulatory compliance testing, managing the Information Security process for the Phoenix location; developing an innovative data analysis program to proactively identify potential regulatory issues, tracking corrective action and delivering critical information to the compliance team; working with the finance, operations and marketing teams to develop the next generation of reporting and leading corporate efforts to create common data definitions and corporate reporting standards. He has won two Leadership Excellence Awards: Team Leadership and the annual Excellence in Action Award as well as the 19 Legendary Service awards.

Mr. Kirkpatrick received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Washington University and his Master of Arts in Applied Economics from American University.

Governor Brewer said, "Mr. Kirkpatrick is widely respected and recognized in his field and possesses a unique blend and broad range of technical and leadership skills,"

Chad Kirkpatrick is currently a GOP Precinct Committeemen in LD 6.

Breaking News From Center for Arizona Policy

Arizona Supreme Court Strikes Down Two School Choice Programs

PHOENIX - Today the Arizona Supreme Court struck down two school choice programs that were helping Arizona families. The Arizona Scholarships for Pupils with Disabilities Program and the Disabled Pupils Choice Grant Program allowed parents of foster children and parents of children with special needs to send those children to the school that best meets the children's needs.

"This is a terrible result for Arizona students and their parents," said CAP President, Cathi Herrod. "The Arizona Legislature acted to provide meaningful education options for students who have special educational needs. Today's opinion from the Supreme Court ignores the needs of students and penalizes parents for choosing religious schools that meet their children's needs."

Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), along with school choice allies, was instrumental in passing the school choice programs in the Legislature in 2006. In December of last year, CAP attorneys filed a "friend of the court" brief with the Arizona Supreme Court in support of the school choice programs.

The Arizona Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have upheld other school choice programs like these because the private choices of the parents determine which school will receive the tuition money and the ultimate beneficiaries are the students. Today's decision goes against that line of decisions and concludes that the Arizona Constitution provides "a clear prohibition against the use of public funds to aid private or sectarian education."

"The Court's decision ignores the previous rulings that the private choices of parents nullify any constitutional concerns about the use of state money to fund private education," Herrod explained. The case is Cain v. Horne, CV 08-0189. The opinion is available online. CAP's amicus brief is also available online.

CAP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and defending the family by influencing policy, communicating truth, and empowering families to promote timeless values.

Poll: Taxpayers Against Tax Dollar Giveaways

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 25, 2009Contact: Tom Jenney (602) 478-0146, infoAZ@afphq.org

Poll: Phoenix and Glendale Taxpayers Reject Special-Interest Subsidies

Large Majorities Oppose $100 Million City North Subsidy
and Possible Glendale Bailout of Phoenix Coyotes

Results on Gov. Brewer’s Tax Increase Proposal,
Legislative Budget Options to be Released Thursday

PHOENIX – Phoenix taxpayers rejected the $100 million City North subsidy, and Glendale taxpayers rejected a possible bailout of the Phoenix Coyotes, according to poll results released today by the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-Arizona), a taxpayer watchdog group committed to fiscal discipline and low taxes.

81 percent of Phoenix respondents expressed the opinion that the City North subsidy was an illegal gift of taxpayer money, compared with only 9 percent who said the subsidy was necessary to help the project land the city’s first Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s stores. 81 percent of Phoenix respondents also disagreed with the proposition that the long-term economic benefits of City North justified rebating $100 million of Phoenix taxpayer money to the project.

In Glendale, 72 percent of respondents preferred to allow the Phoenix Coyotes to move out of state, rather than have the City of Glendale give the team $3 to $15 million annually in local taxpayer subsidies. 24 percent preferred to use subsidies to keep the Coyotes in Glendale. 76 percent of respondents said the prestige of having a pro hockey team in Arizona was not worth the subsidies.

AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney expressed satisfaction at finding that large majorities of taxpayers rejected the Phoenix and Glendale subsidies. “Cities need to get out of the business of using taxpayer money to try to pick winners and losers in the economy,” Jenney said. “We are hoping that city officials around the state will pay attention to these poll results.”

Completed Monday night, March 23rd, the polling effort surveyed 300 likely voters in both Phoenix and Glendale on local and state-level tax and budget issues. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a firm with extensive experience in Arizona. AFP Arizona is releasing the survey results for local issues today, and will release survey results on state-level tax and budget issues on Thursday.

In the City of Phoenix, a $100 million tax rebate for the City North mixed-use development near the 101 and Tatum has stirred extensive debate. The legality of the Phoenix subsidy is now being considered by the Arizona Supreme Court, after the subsidy was deemed to be illegal by the Court of Appeals. Yet, it does not appear that any polling information has been done about the attitudes of the people—Phoenix taxpayers—who are being forced to fund the subsidy.

The questions the survey asked about the City North subsidy, and the poll results, are reproduced verbatim here:

Q: As you may know, The Arizona Supreme Court has been asked to review the legality of an approximately $100 million tax rebate that the City of Phoenix agreed to provide the developer of City North, a mixed use development near Tatum and the 101 Freeway in north Phoenix.

Some people say this money was necessary to help pay for a parking garage and to help the project land the city’s first Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s store.


Other people say that the taxpayer money is an illegal gift of public funds to a private developer and these companies should pay their own way rather than asking for such a huge amount from Phoenix taxpayers. Which statement comes closest to your own opinion?


Thinking more about this issue...

Q: Now, I would like to read you a statement about the City North mixed-use development. After I read the statement, please tell me if you AGREE or DISAGREE with that statement.

The statement is... the long term economic benefit to having a mixed-use development like City North with national chains and other stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s is enough that it is worth rebating $100 million of Phoenix taxpayer money to these companies and the developers.

And do you STRONGLY (agree/disagree) or just SOMEWHAT (agree/disagree) with that statement?



Meanwhile, the City of Glendale is reportedly considering paying for a bailout for the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, which is losing $30 million a year. As with the City North proposal, AFP Arizona wanted to know where Glendale taxpayers stood on the possibility of spending millions to further subsidize the team—after having already spent $180 million of local taxpayer dollars on the Coyotes’ arena.

Some of the questions the survey asked about further subsidies for the Coyotes, and the poll results, are reproduced verbatim here:

Q: As you may know, the Phoenix Coyotes are having significant financial difficulties, and the current ownership is considering selling the team. I’d like to read you two different options facing team ownership, and please tell me which one you prefer...

…keeping the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, even if it costs the city of Glendale three million to fifteen million dollars in local taxpayer subsidies each year, or allowing the team to move out of state?


Q: Now, I would like to read you a statement about the Phoenix Coyotes’ relationship with the city of Glendale. After I read the statement, please tell me if you AGREE or DISAGREE with that statement.

The statement is... the prestige of having a pro hockey team in Arizona is enough that it is worth having the city of Glendale spend millions of dollars in local taxpayer subsidies to keep the Coyotes here.

And do you STRONGLY (agree/disagree) or just SOMEWHAT (agree/disagree) with that statement?



Tomorrow, AFP Arizona will release findings on the attitudes towards various proposals that have been set forth to deal with Arizona’s massive budget deficit.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
# # #

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

Vietnam Memorial Wall Replica Coming to AZ

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., with the names of those who gave their lives during the Vietnam War, is coming to Arizona.

The Traveling Wall Veterans Tribute, welcoming ceremony, will take place on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 2 PM at the Verrado High School soccer field, located at 20050 West Indian School Road in the town of Buckeye.

The Wall will be on display from April 1 to April 6, for all patriots to visit, pay their respects and honor those who gave their all for God and Country in Vietnam.

The tribute is being presented by American Legion Post 53, the American Legion Riders and, the Town of Buckeye, Arizona.

For additional information, please contact Bob Lane at 623-694-2455 or Sarah Blank at 623-349-6312.

Obama to Protect Mexico from America.

Smuggle addictive drugs into the U.S. and destroy the lives of Americans, no problem.

Millions of Mexicans invade the U.S. and take jobs from our citizens and lower American wages, no problem.

Violate American sovereignty, no problem.

Murder American citizens, no problem.

Allow illegal immigration to cost state and local government and U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, no problem.

Trespass and violate the property rights of Americans living near the border, no problem.

Expose Americans to contagious disease, no problem.

Overburden American schools and provide bi-lingual education for the children of illegal aliens at taxpayer expense, no problem.

U.S. guns in Mexico, now that's a problem the U.S. government must take care of immediately by securing our border with Mexico from those troublesome Americans.

In response to the deteriorating situation in Mexico, mostly caused by the corruption of the Mexican government, the United States government has finally decided to get serious about securing the border.

The U.S. will be redeploying over 360 people from various government agencies to the Mexican border. And as part of a $184 million plan, we will be sending more biometric technology equipment, mobile X-Ray machines, license plate readers and other high tech inspection equipment to the border. Not to stop; terrorist, illegal drugs and, illegal aliens from entering the United States, however, but to inspect traffic entering Mexico.

President Barack Obama of the United States, who is responsible for the national security of the United States, told the American people during a televised news conference that , "The steps that we've taken are designed to make sure that the border communities in the United States are protected, and you're not seeing the spillover of violence, and that we are helping the Mexican government deal with a very challenging situation." Obama further said that, "We are going to continue to monitor the situation, and if the steps we've taken do not get the job done, then we will do more."

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa said that, "These are important actions of support for the fight that President Felipe Calderon's government is carrying out."

U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva, who does a better job of representing Mexico then American citizens said, "the long-term issue is to reconnect and redefine our relationship with the country of Mexico, our neighbor, and begin working with that country in order to deal with economic-development issues, health issues, education issues, so that Mexico can sustain its own people and its own workforce."

Gabrielle Giffords, who represents Arizona's Eighth Congressional, blames America first and says, "The money flows south and the guns are flowing south and the drugs flow north because of the big demand that we have." Giffords complained that, "Ninety percent of the weapons seized from Mexican organized crime comes from the United States."

The American Conservative Republican can only pray that some day the demands of the American people for a secure border to protect us from; terrorism, illegal drugs and illegal aliens, will have nearly as much influence with the U.S. government as protecting Mexico from American guns.

The American people shouldn't worry however, the Obama administration is still considering a request from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Texas Governor Rick Perry to boost the number of National Guard troops on the border, to protect American citizens from; terrorist, drug smuggling and illegal immigration.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dramatic Send Off to Man of Honor - but media didn't report it.

This was sent to me by a brother veteran, it is a story of military honor and respect that still lives in the hearts of our nations warriors.

For God and Country,
Bob Haran, USMC
Vietnam Veteran

Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor
PO2 (EOD2) (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow Seals.(Notice: Mike was not a Navy SEAL, he was EOD. He gave his life to save a group of Navy SEALS.) During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , SEAL's were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coff in passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero. This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.

Since the media won't make this news,
I choose to make it news by forwarding it .I am very proud of our military. If you are proud too, please pass this on. If not then rest assured that these fine men and women of our military will continue to serve and protect.

God Bless our Troops

AZ Senate GOP Leadership Wants to Balance Budget With No Tax Hike.

Arizona Senate Republican leadership has called upon the Senate to tap creative and innovative resources and work in concert with the Senate Appropriations Committee to balance the FY 2010 budget without a tax increase.

Senate President Bob Burns from Peoria said, "As members of the Appropriations Committee are going line by line through JLBC (Joint Legislative Budget Committee) spreadsheets, looking to reduce expenditures and define efficiencies, we are calling upon other members to help us identify new ways to balance this budget."
Senate President Bob Burns

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray of Mesa feels that the budget can be balanced without additional taxation, "We are working hard to solve the problem and I am optimistic we can close this gap without increasing taxes," he said. Gray pointed out that, "Even President Obama is not suggesting a tax increase during a recession."

Senator Pamela Gorman of Anthem, the Senate Majority Whip, explained that, "Right now we've got the equivalent of a yellow pad of ideas that we have to winnow down to viable budget solutions." Gorman wants input from the public, "We also need to do what we can to make it easy for the public who have suggestions, especially ones backed by expertise and experience, to get those to us," she said.

Democrats have been complaining that they are being shut out of the budget process, Burns refuted that claim however, "That is not true," he said. Burns went on to explain that his door as Senate President is open to all members who want to talk with him about new ideas to resolve the budget deficit.

Burns said "I meet with Senator Garcia every week." Senator Jorge Luis Garcia of Tucson, is the Democratic Minority Leader. Burns continued, "If Democrats feel they are being cut out of the process, they need to talk to their minority leader."

The American Conservative Republican just wants to remind lawmakers that the people of Arizona are also hurting during this recession, not just state government. Just because the state has the power to reach into the taxpayer's pocket does not mean that it should. Money is a resource that should not be wasted and large organizations, public or private, tend to waste money regardless of how much they try to spend wisely. The individual is the best steward of their own money, not government. Please remember the admonition of Jefferson that, "The government that governs least governs best."

Bob Haran,
American Conservative Republican

Monday, March 23, 2009


The following press release from Congressman John Shadegg's office speaks for itself.

Washington, Mar 19 -

WASHINGTON – Congressman John Shadegg (AZ-03) released the following statement after the House vote to retroactively tax the AIG bonuses [H.R. 1598], concerning questions about Secretary Geithner and his prior knowledge of those bonuses:“

What did Secretary Geithner know about the AIG bonuses and when did he know it? Is his claim not to have known about this until last Tuesday believable? Two recent and startling developments seriously call his claim into question.

“Yesterday, in sworn testimony before the House, AIG’s chairman, Ed Liddy, declared that the Federal Reserve and Fed Chairman Bernanke knew about the bonuses not days or weeks ago – but three months ago. And who was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve at that time? Tim Geithner.

“And, back in September, when the original AIG bailout was being structured, who was one of its principal architects? Again, Secretary Geithner.

“We have now also learned from no less than Senator Chris Dodd that the Treasury asked him in February to put a provision in the stimulus to protect these bonuses. And who was head of the Treasury at the time? Once again, Tim Geithner.

“These shocking revelations demand immediate answers.“

How could Geithner have been so intimately involved in the AIG bailout, head of the New York Federal Reserve when the Reserve was informed of the bonuses, head of the Treasury when the department asked for the provision that helped secure these bonuses, and supposedly one of the greatest experts on Wall Street today – and not have known about them?

“Sadly, it appears that Secretary Geithner is either dishonest or incompetent.

“Perhaps the Senate should have paid more attention to Geithner’s tax errors after all.”


Sunday, March 22, 2009

McCAIN, Let Mexican Trucks Roll on U.S. Roads

On Friday we reported that Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona's Sixth Congressional District introduced legislation to fund the U.S./ Mexico Border Land Transportation Program that allows Mexican trucks in the U.S., "JEFF FLAKE WANTS MEXICAN TRUCKS IN U.S.," in order to bring the U.S. into compliance with the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA).

Flake's bill, H.R. 1611, would repeal language included in the FY 09 omnibus spending bill that prohibits funding for the program to allow Mexican trucks to travel throughout the United States.

Under NAFTA, trucks from Canada, Mexico and the United States were to have free access throughout the three nations by 1999, the U.S. however, restricted Mexican trucks to a 20-mile commercial zone at the border. In 2001, a NAFTA arbitration panel ruled that the U.S. was in violation of NAFTA.

U.S. Senator John McCain, in response to Mexico's reaction to raise tariffs on American imports because of the U.S. restrictions on unsafe Mexican truckers on U.S. highways issued the following statement from his Washington office.


March 16, 2009

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement in response to the announcement made by the Mexican government to raise tariffs on American products:

"I deeply regret the action taken by the Mexican government and the harm it may cause to American businesses," said Senator John McCain. "Unfortunately, this is a predictable reaction by the Mexican government to a policy that now puts the United States in clear violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and was inappropriately inserted into the Omnibus appropriations bill. We must take steps to prevent escalation of further protectionist measures – actions that only serve to harm American business during these tough economic times when these businesses need a worldwide marketplace to prosper. This is another reason why the President should have vetoed the Omnibus spending bill."

The American Conservative Republican asks that if you see Mexican trucks on our highways, you should thank Congressman Jeff Flake and Senator John McCain for taking those jobs away from American truckers and making our highways more dangerous to travel on.

American Conservative Republican

Conservative Activists says "Steele ought to step aside."

Star Parker, and the founder and president of CURE, the Coalition for Urban Renewal & Education, www.urbancure.org was a single mother who went from welfare fraud to conservative crusader after receiving Christ. She returned to college and received a degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine. The 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business. As a social policy consultant she regularly testifies before Congress and is a commentator on CNN, CNBC, CBN, FOX News, the BBC, and is a syndicated columnist fro Scripps Howard News Service. She is also the author of three books.

In a recent Op-Ed by Parker titled, "Time for Steels to go as RNC chair," she wrote that, "This is not a time when we can muddle through with a leader who is not sure who he is, who is not clear about the principles of his party, and who is not consumed with the importance of the cultural war that we now confront."

Parker said that the "defining moment" came for her with the recent GQ magazine interview with Steels, (see ACR, March 13, 2009, "RNC Chair Straddles Abortion Issue"), which she says Steele sounded more like a Democrat than a Republican.

In her Op-Ed Parker said, "We now have the most left-wing president in our history using the excuse of a recession and the leverage of his honeymoon, together with decisive democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, to turn our country into the Soviet States of America." She complained that "instead of a clear and articulate message" from the GOP, "the press has been writing about Steele and Rush Limbaugh."

Parker wrote that, "Not only does the RNC chairman not seem to share the values of his party, or even to agree with his party's platform, but also he is a public relations disaster."

All conservatives Parker claims had doubts about Steele. She referenced another interview he had during his 1996 campaign for the Senate with the late Tim Russert, when he said he accepted Roe v. Wade as "stare decisis" meaning accepted legal precedent. Also, Steele's involvement with the Republican Leadership Council, which supports pro-abortion and gay-rights candidates concerned social conservatives.

She concludes her Op-Ed with the statement, "The Republican party needs a chairman who wants to fight this fight. It seems pretty clear that Michael Steels is not that man."

The American Conservative Republican feels that maybe a politician that tries to take both sides of an issue might not be the best choice for GOP chairman and that Michael Steele may serve his party best by steeping aside.

Bob Haran,
American Conservative Republican

Trouble in Socialist Venezuela

The Associated Press has reported that the Socialist President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, sent troops to seize air and sea ports in three Venezuelan states governed by Chavez opponents.

Chavez, who is hostile to the United States, said his government will formulate a, "strategic investment plan", to modernize the ports and to guarantee the jobs of thousands of workers in the facilities.

Last week Chavez warned that any governors who challenged the takeover could end up in prison.

Eliseo Fermin, a Chavez opponent and head of the state of Zulia's Legislative Council said, "They're not using reason, they're using force."

On Thursday, prosecutors in Venezuela requested the arrest of opposition leader and mayor of the city of Maracaibo, Manuel Rosales, who ran against Chavez in 2006, on corruption charges. Rosales has denied the charges and has not yet been arrested.

ACR says that if he talks like a dictator and acts like a dictator, Chavez should be referred to as the Dictator of Venezuela.

Those who want to give more and more power to the government over our lives should remember that wise admonition, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Bob Haran,

American Conservative Republican

Saturday, March 21, 2009

THE PEOPLE Are With ARPAIO - Support Immigration Enforcement

Under constant attack by the mainstream media and under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department because of his aggressive enforcement of illegal immigration laws and the people of Arizona still love him.

A new Ramussen telephone survey of Arizona voters reports that 68% of Arizona voters have a favorable view of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and 46% view him very favorably.

The Justice Department is investigating Sheriff Joe at the urging of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and U.S. Congressman John Conyers of Michigan. They are alleging that the Sheriff's office is racially profiling Hispanics during Arpaio's illegal immigration enforcement efforts in the county.

Arizona voters by huge numbers seem to solidly support immigration enforcement efforts by local police however, with 74% saying that police should automatically check to see if a person is in the country illegally during traffic stops, a common method used by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, (MCSO).

63% of Arizona voters say that law enforcement officers should sometimes conduct surprise raids to identify and deport illegal immigrants at places where they are known to gather to find work, 31% said they oppose such raids.

A contradicting number of Arizona voters however are concerned that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants may also violate the civil rights of some American citizens, with 56% saying they are somewhat concerned and 32% responding that they are very worried.

Other findings of the survey indicate that 60% of Arizona voters are more concerned about drug violence from Mexico spilling over into the state then they are about illegal immigration, 29% however say illegal immigration is still their biggest worry.

Three fourths of Arizona voters, or 76%, think that the U.S. military should be deployed to protect American citizens if drug violence continues to escalate along the U.S./Mexican border.

Republican voters in Arizona have an even greater favorable opinion of Arpaio then the average voter with 87% saying they have a somewhat favorable view of him and 76% of GOP voters saying they support surprise raids of illegal immigrant gathering locations.

Friday, March 20, 2009

NRA Defends Right to Carry in National Parks

From the NRA-ILA Daily Site.

NRA Files Notice of Appeal in Federal District Court to Protect Right to Carry in National Parks

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – Today, the National Rifle Association filed a notice of appeal in Federal District Court to oppose a preliminary injunction preventing law-abiding citizens from defending themselves in national parks and wildlife refuges.

Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, said, “NRA is moving aggressively to protect this common sense rule and that’s why we filed this notice of appeal today. Just as we did not give up the fight to change the old, outdated rule, we will not give up our fight in the courts to defend the rule change. We will pursue every legal avenue to defend the American people's right of self-defense.”

On Thursday, March 19, Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Interior rule that took effect on January 9, 2009. The revised rule allowed individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense in national parks and national wildlife refuges located in states which allow the carrying of concealed firearms. It also maintained uniformity within each state, making it easier for law-abiding permit holders to follow the laws.

The Brady Campaign and the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) filed suit against the Interior Department rule. Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted NRA “Intervenor” status, allowing participation in the case independently from the Department of Interior.


Congressman Jeff Flake yesterday introduced legislation, H. R. 1611, to fund the U.S./Mexico Cross-Border Land Transportation Program, to allow Mexican trucks in the U.S.

Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth Congressional District, issued a press release yesterday claiming that the legislation was introduced to bring the U.S. into compliance with the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA).

The legislation introduced by the, NAFTA supporting Jeff Flake, would repeal language included in the FY 09 omnibus spending bill that prohibits funding for the program that allows Mexican trucks to travel throughout the United States.

In addition to his legislation, Flake sent a letter to President Obama "to express my support for the continuation of the U.S./Mexico cross-border trucking program."

American truckers, besides expressing concerns about their job security and pollution from Mexican truck emissions, have complained about the safety of Mexican trucks and drivers, some of the drivers from Mexico can't read highway signs in English.

In his letter to the president, Flake said, "the safety argument is simply a red herring used by opponents of the program to cater to special interests and advance a protectionist agenda."

Maybe flake didn't get the word, the United States, the country he is supposed to represent, is suffering a recession with the loss of thousands of American jobs. Those special interests he refereed to in his letter to the president are American highway users with their families in the car, who don't want to share the road with unsafe Mexican truckers.

NAFTA is a free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and, Mexico which took effect on January 1, 1994.

One of the provisions of the NAFTA agreement concerned trucking. Trucks were to have "free" access throughout the 3 countries by 1999, but the U.S. restricted Mexican trucks to a 20-mile commercial zone at the border. In 2001, a NAFTA arbitration panel "ruled" that the U.S. restrictions were in violation of NAFTA. In 2008, the U.S. House terminated the pilot program which granted limited access to Mexican trucks on U.S. highways.

Before NAFTA, the United States had a small trade deficit with Canada and Mexico, after NAFTA took effect, the U.S. developed a large and rapidly growing trade deficit with those countries.

Americans were sold NAFTA with the promise that U.S. exports to Mexico would grow faster then imports, which would create thousands of American jobs with higher wages. Instead of creating more American jobs however, over a million manufacturing jobs were lost and wages were pressured downward for a large number of Americans without a college education.

Exports to Mexico and Canada did increase after NAFTA, however, imports from both countries to the U.S. increased faster. In 1996 the trade deficit with Canada was $21.682 billion, by 2007 it increased to $68.169 billion. The trade deficit with Mexico increased even faster, from a $17.506 billion deficit in 1996 to a $74.622 deficit by 2007, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

NAFTA is truly a riches to rags deal for the United States.

Trade deficits transfer American wealth out of the U.S. economy and into another countries economy, in exchange, we get products that will eventually become worn-out and garbage.

The American Conservative Republican prays that the Republicans in the Sixth Congressional District of Arizona do find someone to replace the, NAFTA friendly, free trade and, open border advocating, Flake by the 2010 primary.

Bob Haran,
American Conservative Republican

Pelosi: Un-American To Enforce Immigration Laws

Judicial Watch posted this on their Blog. Corruption Chronicles at http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2009/mar/pelosi-enforcing-immigra

The powerful veteran lawmaker recently exposed by Judicial Watch for using the Air Force as her personal airline says that it’s "un-American" to enforce the nation's immigration laws.
Delivering an emotional speech at a church in her San Francisco district, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the audience that enforcement of existing immigration laws is "un-American." The Democrat legislator condemned raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and proclaimed that they must stop.

"Who in this country would not want to change a policy of kicking in doors in the middle of the night and sending a parent away from their families?" Pelosi told the mostly Hispanic gathering—some in the country legally and others illegally—at a local Catholic church. Madam Speaker referred to her audience as "very, very patriotic."

The highest ranking Republican on the House Immigration Subcommittee, Iowa’s Steve King, said Pelosi’s liberal San Francisco values do not reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support enforcement of our immigration laws, border security and no amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Pelosi has long used her political clout to help illegal immigrants. She promised to kill legislation shielding employers from lawsuits for requiring English at work, has fought the federal government to keep costly health programs for illegal immigrants and advocates reduced tuition at public colleges for illegal aliens.

Pelosi’s serious ethical lapses have also earned headlines in last few years. She snuck a $25 million gift for her husband in a big water bill, sponsored legislation to financially benefit a pharmaceutical company that she owns stock in and another that has donated heavily to her campaign and threatened to strip a four-term Connecticut senator of a powerful committee chairmanship for criticizing Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.

Earlier this month Judicial Watch released Department of Defense documents detailing Pelosi’s numerous requests for military aircraft to ferry her and her family around the country.

Mexico Blames U.S. for Drug War

Are We Serious Yet?
by Bay Buchanan

Could America finally be getting serious about our southern border?

Recently, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Mexico to offer military assistance in their escalating war against the drug lords. This after several US intelligence reports found that Mexico now presented a worse threat to our national security than Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan. And President Obama says he's considering putting troops on the border.

According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Mexico now appears ready to accept the kind of help they shunned only months ago. Last week on NBC's "Meet The Press" Gates said, " I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past.....I think some of the old biases against cooperation between militaries and so on, I think, are being satisfied."

Let me translate.

President Calderon and his government are down for the count and without a U.S. rescue operation Mexico will soon be a narco-state. One defense official, according to The Washington Times, explained that Mexican President Felipe Calderon was "fighting for the life of Mexico" and the situation could take a turn for the worse in coming months.

The Times reported that the two largest and most violent cartels, the Sinaloa Cartel and "Los Zetas", the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel, are negotiating a merger of sorts. Together these vicious rivals have 100,000 heavily-equipped ground troops, a force that would be better armed and nearly as large as the Mexican military. In addition the Sinaloa Cartel has successfully infiltrated most all levels of Mexico's federal government.

Admiral Mullen acknowledged the sense of urgency. After meeting with his Mexican counterparts he told the media he would be expediting the delivery of sophisticated military equipment, including helicopters, to Mexico as part of the three year 1.4 billion dollar initiative approved last November. In addition Mullen spoke of the Pentagon's willingness to provide Mexico with new surveillance and reconnaissance support, such as unmanned drones to spy on armed drug gangs, especially along the US border.

Sophisticated aerial surveillance on the border! This is outstanding news--for Mexico and the U.S. if both countries are serious about stopping the flow of all illegal traffic.
But that's not the case.

Last week President Calderon blamed America for the drug war. The primary cause, he said, was having "the world's biggest consumer' of illegal drugs" as his neighbor. "Drug trafficking in the Untied States," he added, "is fueled by the phenomenon of corruption on the part of the American authorities." (Talk about calling the kettle black!) Here is what he wants done: "I think that weapons and cash cross from there to here, and that both countries should strive to make their borders safe and open to trade and workers, but closed to illegal drugs, weapons, and money trafficking."

There you have it-Mexico wants our border "safe and open to...workers", and, of course, their families and friends. But along side these folks come the gangbangers, the drug runners, the criminals-and the drugs. The openness of our border is precisely why the drug cartels set up shop in Mexico.

Law enforcement officials have told us that cartel thugs disguise themselves by hiding among the migrant communities. It is how they get here; it is how they hide in plain sight and safely operate in our communities. And they are here.

Just last week the Houston Chronicle ran a story titled "Mexican Cartels Infiltrate Houston" while USA Today ran one led: "Mexican Cartels Plague Atlanta". "The same folks who are rolling heads in the streets of Ciudad Juarez are operating in Atlanta", says Jack Killorin, the head of Atlanta Office of National Drug Control Policy's Task Force, "here they are just better behaved."

The only way we have a chance to stop the drug industry from thriving in this country is to stop the illegal invasion.

Calderon is correct that the cartels' sophisticated equipment and the billions in drug money fueling the war originate in the US and travels south across the border. But again the only way to stop its flow is to tighten control of the border. While not a sufficient step it is a necessary one.
So what kind of deal have our bold leaders made with Mexico? We know Calderon would never allow surveillance designed to help him be used to disrupt the flow of illegal aliens he is sending north. If aerial surveillance detects, as it surely will, hordes of illegals making their way north, do we simply hope no drug runners are hiding in their midst?

The question needs to be asked. If the U.S. military's surveillance detects crimes occurring on the border-including illegal entry into our country-will they share the information with our border agents? And will the agents be instructed to apprehend the violators? Put another way: Now that open borders have exposed us to an increasingly grave and imminent national security threat are we ready to secure them?

Don't count on it-it would offend Mexico.

OBAMA Gives $50 Million to War Against Unborn

Obama Admin Sends UN Population Fund $50 Million, Abortion Backers Want More
by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com EditorMarch 18, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The American economy is in turmoil but the Obama administration sent a $50 million check yesterday to the United Nations Population Fund. That's the pro-abortion group that has been accused of supporting and working in concert with Chinese family planning officials.

There, the Chinese population control program has relied on forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations and other human rights abuses to enforce its rule that most couples may have no more than one child.

The Bush administration had withheld the funds because of the UNFPA-China population control program ties, but Obama signed a bill reversing those limits and pro-life advocates failed to get the Senate to put them back in place.

The Obama administration move has pro-life advocates up in arms.

"Yesterday, for the first time in eight years, the State Department released $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an organization linked to China's one-child policy and coerced abortions," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said.

Unsatisfied by the $50 million mark, House members, led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, are asking for even more money in the next budget Congress will consider.

In a letter to the chairman and ranking members of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Slaughter and three other members of the House ask for an increase of $530 million for family planning efforts and a boost to $65 million for the UNFPA.

"We respectfully request that you increase international family planning assistance funding by $530 million from last year's level, including a total of $65 million for the United Nations Population Fund in the Fiscal Year 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act," the letter says.

Perkins calls on Obama to say no.

"Gallup found that an overwhelming majority of Americans object to paying for Obama's new export--overseas abortion. He may not be able to stop AIG from exploiting taxpayers, but the President can certainly keep his party from giving family planning' groups a raise," he said.

Obama won't likely budget as he demonstrated his commitment to funding the controversial pro-abortion UN agency when he overturned the Mexico City Policy during his first week in office.

"I look forward to working with Congress to restore U.S. financial support for the U.N. Population Fund," Obama said in his executive order message in January.
"By resuming funding to UNFPA, the U.S. will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries," he added.

However, President Obama ignored the connection between the UNFPA and the Chinese forced-abortion program.

Following the governmental investigation, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he had no doubt that the UNFPA was complicit in the population control program.

"I determined that UNFPA's support of, and involvement in, China's population-planning activities allowed the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion," he wrote.

The State Department investigation came after a groundbreaking probe led by the Population Research Institute.

Colin Mason, PRI’s media director, confirmed to LifeNews.com last November that it stands by its probe showing the UNFPA involved in the program.

"Our investigation remains valid," Mason said. "We put boots on the ground, and made the results available to anyone who wanted them. Those who would disregard our findings show an appalling lack of respect for human rights."

PRI's initial report, entitled "UNFPA, China, and Coercive Family Planning," is based on an investigation conducted by PRI researchers in China's Sihui County.

Relying on interviews with over two dozen victims and witnesses, the 2001 investigation found that coercive abortion and sterilization practices were taking place where the UNFPA had supposedly instituted a "client-centered and voluntary family planning program."

In fact, PRI's investigation discovered that the UNFPA shared an office with the very Chinese family planning officials who were carrying out forced abortions.

Related web sites:Population Research Institute - http://www.pop.orgPRI YouTube video about UNFPA - http://www.youtube.com/colinpri