Monday, August 31, 2009

Judicial Watchs Calls on Goddard to File Lawsuit to Stop Phoenix Police Chief Harris from Receiving Illegal Pension Benefits

Doubt Goddard will do anything, he only goes after Republicans.

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwire) -- 08/31/09 -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it sent a letter on August 27, 2009 requesting that Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard file a lawsuit against the Phoenix Police Pension Board, its five members, and City of Phoenix Chief of Police Jack F. Harris to enjoin the illegal payment of pension benefits to Chief Harris. Judicial Watch informed Attorney General Goddard that if he fails to act on this request Judicial Watch will file a lawsuit on behalf of Arizona taxpayers and former and current City of Phoenix police officers to seek justice in the matter.

As Judicial Watch notes in its letter, Chief Harris retired from the City of Phoenix Police Department "on or about January 19, 2007," but was subsequently rehired as "Public Safety Manager." However, Chief Harris continued to maintain his former title and position as Chief of Police. In fact, Chief Harris is listed as "Public Safety Manager/Police Chief Jack Harris" on an organizational chart maintained by the Phoenix Police Department.

According to Arizona law, if a retired member of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System "subsequently becomes employed in the same position by the employer from which the member retired, the system shall not make pension payments to the retired member during the period of reemployment." As Chief Harris continues to take pension payments contrary to law, Judicial Watch is asking the Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard to intervene.

Judicial Watch believes that "there is clear legal authority to seek to enjoin the payment of pension benefits to Chief Harris."

"We expect public officials to follow the rules and we expect the Arizona Attorney General to enforce the law," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The illegal payment of pension funds to Chief Harris is a waste of taxpayer funds and Attorney General Goddard should put a stop to it. Judicial Watch stands ready to act if the Attorney General fails to remedy the situation."

Visit to read Judicial Watch's letter to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Judicial Watch

New AZ poll: Only 18% would vote for Gov. Brewer, and only 23% of Republicans

We've heard that Governor Brewer is unsure about whether she is going to run for governor for another term, and so this poll will probably dissuade her.

Contact: Jason Rose

Rose & Allyn Public Relations

Work: 480.423.1414

Mobile: 602.791.4488


CARDON Poll Likely To Shake up Arizona Political Landscape For 2010 Races, Issues

Statewide Findings Show Pitfalls, Opportunities for Both Parties & Major Candidates

Brewer Re-Election Numbers Low

MESA, ARIZONA. AUGUST 31, 2009. Wow. That may be the conclusion of many after reviewing the findings of a statewide poll commissioned by Wil Cardon, CEO of The Cardon Group, one of Arizona’s most well-known and respected real estate companies.

The well-known businessman and philanthropist has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor, State Treasurer and Arizona Republican Party Chairman.

The poll of 602 high-efficacy Arizona voters was fielded August 20th-25th by the Phoenix-based Summit Group. It sampled Republicans voting in the last two primary elections, Democrats doing the same and Independents who cast votes in the past two General Elections. Forty percent of those polled were Republicans, 33 percent Democrat and the rest were Independents or unaffiliated voters. The poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

For a copy of the entire poll, please contact Julia Diament at, or 602-796-8211.

“Arizona reminds me of a listless ship at sea,” Cardon said. “I thought our state needed new ideas and a new direction. This poll confirms it. The current people and policies are not working. I hope these results can add to the political discussions, and shake it up a little bit.”

Among the poll’s key findings:

*Governor Brewer’s prospects for re-election have dimmed. Only 18% of likely voters would vote for her if the election were held today whereas 46% would vote for someone else. Thirty-six percent were undecided. Among Republicans 23% say they would vote for her re-election while 37% would not.

*However, her proposed one cent sales tax increase is still favored by a 49%-43% margin, with surprising resiliency among voters age 65 and older. Republicans slightly disapprove of the plan, Independents slightly approve whereas as Democrats support it by a 21% margin.

*Sentiment about the direction of Arizona has plummeted, an opinion surely driving down Governor Brewer’s standing. Only 18% agree that the state is headed in the right direction whereas 57% think Arizona is now on the wrong track.

*Approval for the State Legislature’s performance is similarly low with only 20% saying it is doing a good job and 61% disagreeing.

*The disregard for those currently in state government could be a drag not only on Governor Brewer and legislators but also others considering a run for higher office like incumbent State Treasurer Dean Martin and Attorney General Terry Goddard. When asked what type of candidates preferred likely voters signaled those who “run businesses” versus those who “served in state government” by a 70%-30% margin.

*By wide margins the top issues voters would like Arizona leaders to address are K-12 education funding followed by illegal immigration and the state budget deficit. University funding, the environment and transportation were the least of voter’s concerns.

*The feisty mood of voters carried over to possible ballot measures on Arizona’s 2010 ballot with none registering more than 57% support. Successful ballot campaigns typically require at least a 60% level of initial support.

*Most expect Republicans to gain congressional seats across the country in 2010 but here in Arizona the preference for Republicans has not yet gained steam with the GOP preferred by only five percentage points on a congressional ballot test. That’s the same percentage difference between the parties sampled in the poll.

The poll had a margin of error of +/-4% with a 95% confidence rate. Sixty percent of the respondents were fromMaricopa County, 15 percent from Pima County and 25 percent from outside of the Phoenix and Tucson areas. To interview Mr. Cardon or for additional questions, please contact Jason Rose.


The Cardon Group was started in the 1930’s by Wilford Pratt “Pat” Cardon as a petroleum jobber with full service gasoline stations. In the 1970’s, the company branched out to real estate investment and development and built several million square feet of office, industrial, residential and hotel product. Over the years, the company became a diversified holding company with investments in real estate, wholesale and retail petroleum, lodging, ranching, manufacturing, lending, and other sectors.

In the early 1990’s, the company turned its focus to undeveloped land in the path of growth of major metropolitan areas. Cardon’s strategy included improving the land through entitlements and selling it to residential and commercial developers.

Today, the Cardon Group is led by a third generation Cardon, Wilford R. “Wil” Cardon. The group currently manages and is involved in projects ranging from corner commercial lots to 20,000-acre master planned communities. Since 1999, Cardon together with its partners has invested in over 100 properties consisting of over 100,000 acres with a value in the billions of dollars.

The group retains a firm commitment to the local community and has expanded its investments with partners around the globe. Along with its investments throughout the United States, Cardon has investments in Brazil, Costa Rica andPanama.

With the goal of responsible growth in mind, The Cardon Group operates using its experience, integrity and relationships to bring quality to the projects under its stewardship.

The Cardon Family recently contributed $10 million to Banner Health, for which it is naming its new children’s hospital Cardon Children’s Medical Center. It opens Nov 2, 2009.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Phoenix Magazine interviews Clint Bolick about his attacks on Sheriff Arpaio

It's a bit of a stretch to try and claim that both Clint Bolick/Goldwater Institute and Sheriff Arpaio are both of the same right wing vein, as Jana Bommersbach does in this interview with Bolick for Phoenix Magazine. Bolick and the Goldwater Institute are libertarian. Sheriff Arpaio is a law and order conservative. So it's not much of a surprise that open borders Bolick is critical of Arpaio's tough on crime stance. Arpaio has done a lot of good for this community and polls highly locally (as well as nationally). If Bolick doesn't like it, he can vote him out, but we doubt that will happen because Arizonans like Arpaio's aggressive approach to enforcing the law. After all, for every crime a criminal gets caught for, there are around 10 more he never gets caught for.

Supervisors successfully control court decisions they're involved in by giving court its $340 million new tower

You have to give them credit for savviness. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has bought off the judges by giving them a state-of-the-art new $340 million court tower in the midst of a recession, while other county agencies including law enforcement are forced by the Supervisors to cut their budgets by 15%. Judges will receive penthouse offices in this Taj Mahal. This deal has made the Supervisors virtually untouchable in the courts - lawsuits against them by other county officials, including criminal prosecutions, go nowhere. When Supervisor Don Stapley was indicted by the County Attorney's office on 118 counts of financial fraud, Presiding Judge Barbara Mundell called a judge out of retirement who despises the County Attorney's Office to handle the prosecution! That judge, Kenneth Fields, a Democrat predictably dismissed 51 of the 118 counts earlier this week.

And just yesterday, another judge Mundell pulled out of retirement for favors, Donald Daughton, a Democrat of course, upheld the Supervisors' power grab to fire the County Attorney from representing them in civil cases and hire their own group of civil attorneys.

What is also working to the Supervisors' advantage is years of judicial appointments by liberal Democrat governor Janet Napolitano. The judiciary is now dominated by left-leaning judges who despise the likes of conservative county officials like Arpaio, Thomas, and Hoskins (we'd mention the county superintendent and assessor but they were already chased out of office by the Supervisors and have since been replaced). Wonder if Sheriff Arpaio regrets endorsing Janet Napolitano for governor back in 2002? His endorsement no doubt put her over the top. Now her liberal judges rule against him time and time again.

Our tax dollars are paying for this court tower and these judges to defend the Supervisors. Every day there is another story in the newspaper about the Supervisors' scandals. They are at war with almost every other elected county official. Notably, the other county officials aren't at war with each other, only the Supervisors. It is clear who is causing the problems and it needs to stop. Fortunately, we have heard that there will be some real challengers running against these crooks next election.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

AZ Bar Association awards go to LEFTISTS

Another reason why the AZ Bar Association, which all attorneys are required to be a member of in order to practice law in Arizona, needs to be reformed. Not only is the Bar run by the far left and criminal defense attorneys (which tend to be synonymous), but members' dues go for left wing political causes and as you can see here, to promote and recognize left wing activists. Virtually all of the Bar's annual awards go to left wing Democrats, and many of the awards are for politically correct causes. Arizona is a right to work state. It is absurd that attorneys are required to pay dues to this left wing union which so brazenly uses its members' dues to promote the left wing agenda.

Member of the Year Award - Daniel McAuliffe
A classic case of the Bar giving its own leadership awards. McAuliffe is a former Bar president and left wing Democrat who oversaw the ginning up of 13 complaints against County Attorney Andrew Thomas, which were all eventually dismissed as groundless. McAuliffe attacked Thomas viciously numerous times in the press, during the investigations, arguably violating numerous ethics rules.

James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award - Hon. Ruth McGregor
McGregor is a former Democrat Chief Justice of the AZ Supreme Court.

Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award - Rachel Wilson
The title of the award says it all - Legal Aid is a radical leftist group that receives funding from the AZ State Bar to provide free legal representation for criminals and politically correct causes. Ms. Wilson's website reveals that she is one of the most far left attorneys out there - a public defender championing immigration representation.

Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award - Bruce S. Griffen
The criminal defense attorneys who control the bar set up their own award for themselves. Griffen is a left wing criminal defense attorney in Flagstaff.

Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award - Barbara La Wall
In a pretense not to look biased, this award goes to a prosecutor. But not to a prosecutor who is really tough on crime or a Republican. This one goes to Pima County Attorney Barbara La Wall, a Democrat feminist with a reputation for being soft on crime.

Judicial Award of Excellence - Hon. Wendy S. Morton
Although this Scottsdale City Court judge is registered as an Independent, you can bet she is liberal, due to her history of prosecuting sex crimes and serving on the board of the AZ Bar's left wing AZ Foundation for Legal Services & Education, an arm of the Bar that exists to dole out members' dues to left wing organizations.

Award of Special Merit - John W. Rogers
This guy just won the Bar's President's Award last year, which is awarded to someone the State Bar president picks. Last year the Bar president was left wing criminal defense attorney Ed Novak. Obviously this Rogers guy is really greased in with the bar and criminal defense attorneys who control it in order to get yet another award a year later. He works for Perkins Coie in litigation, nothing that jumps out as awardworthy. He's most likely a Democrat but we're unable to confirm.

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award - Victoria Tandy
She's not that outstanding of a lawyer if she doesn't bother to vote. She's not registered to vote. It's obvious why she got the award, she was a translator for the left wing Arizona Justice Project, which opposes the death penalty. She used to work for the large left wing firm Quarles Brady and is a member of the International Law group of the Bar, which is generally a left wing group.

Distinguished Public Lawyer Award - Chris Straub
Probably a Republican, but known for following the dictates of his liberal feminist boss Barbara LaWall.

Career Achievement Award - Public Lawyer - Nancy E. Logan
Not content to just have one award for government lawyers at the public trough, the Bar has a second redundant award. It would be one thing if this award went to a prosecutor, which is a necessary function of government. But no, of course these awards are reserved for civil government attorneys, who are usually Democrats. Logan is a Democrat who is now practicing disability law.

President's Award - Jessica Funkhouser
Known for her work for Democrats and turncoat Republican politicians, it is no surprise that she is a buddy of the last Bar president.

President's Award - Patrick J. McGroder III
His bio says he works at Gallagher & Kennedy, one of the largest left wing law firms in AZ. His activities include politically correct causes like domestic violence activism.

President's Award - Pamela A. Treadwell-Rubin
Another Democrat and past bar president. And another example of the Bar giving its own staff awards.

Hon. John R. Sticht Excellence in Disabilities Accessibility Award - Mesch, Clark & Rothschild

Hon. John R. Sticht Excellence in Disabilities Accessibility Award - Quarles & Brady
One of the most left-leaning, powerful, large law firms in the state

Award of Appreciation (non-lawyer) - Bennie R. Click
Former AZ Bar board member. Yet another example of the Bar giving awards to its own staff.

Hal Israel Community Service Award - Linda Dayish Benally
This Democrat obviously got the award because of her activism promoting diversity. She is on the Bar's Diversity Task Force.

Continuing Legal Education Award - Robert B. Van Wyck
Another case of the Bar giving its own staff awards. Van Wyck, a Democrat, is the Bar's past Chief Counsel, known for his witchhunt against County Attorney Andrew Thomas last year over 13 complaints that were all eventually dismissed.

Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law Award - Shelli Soto
This left wing award given to this Democrat needs no explanation. Where is the equivalent award on the right, like the Committee on Individual Rights Award?

Rep. Crump's angry letter to RNC Chair Michael Steele about Pullen & his support for a tax increase

From: Sam Crump
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:12 AM
To: ''
Subject: Msg from Arizona State Rep. Sam Crump regarding Randy Pullen.

Good morning-

This is a message from Arizona State Rep. Sam Crump to Republican National Chairman Michael Steele.

Chairman Steele, you and I met a couple years ago here in Arizona. I am writing to you because I want you to be aware of recent unacceptable conduct by Arizona Republican Chairman and National Republican Treasurer Randy Pullen.

At last Monday's meeting of my District's Republican Committee, Mr. Pullen showed up and gave a speech which completely maligned me and my State Senator, Pamela Gorman. Apparently, Mr. Pullen did not like our opposition votes on the recent State budget. Regardless of his personal views, I find it outrageous that a State Chairman (and a National Treasurer) would appear in a legislator's own district and berate them in front of their own precinct committeemen.

I also want you to know that I was not previously an enemy of Mr. Pullen. In fact, I endorsed him and voted for him in his contentious race for State Chairman. But I will not remain silent in light of Mr. Pullen's recent attacks. I believe his conduct is outside his proper role as State Chairman and brings discredit upon the office and the party.

If you would like to see a blog account of what happened, please visit which has an accurate report of what happened.

I welcome your response.


Representative Sam Crump

District 6

AZ House of Representatives


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maricopa: Worst Run County in America

Submitted by a reader

Remember 1994? We were in a recession and Maricopa County was in desperate times. The County Treasurer was sounding the alarm on mismanagement and overspending. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) claimed they didn’t know there was a problem, the county manager said everything was fine. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, be happy. Every little thing is gonna be alright. Just as the national and local economy took an upturn, primarily because of the natural cycle, the BOS hires a super hero, a liberal from New York, David “control freak” Smith. We’ll call him Macho-Liberal, or ML for short.

Smith came in and took credit for the economic upturn his first year, even though he had nothing to do with it. Now, Macho-Liberal has come full circle and Maricopa has become the worst run county in America. Some things have changed, but the Supervisors still don’t have a clue as to what is going on. What has changed is the County is swimming in cash far beyond the spending limits that were voter mandated. Whenever parts of the county have become financial holes, instead of fixing them, the BOS under Smith's instruction has simply spun them off into unaccountable spending districts outside of public scrutiny, like the Maricopa Healthcare District, and 2-3 more districts like that which consistently lose money every year. It has also grown far beyond the ability of ML to understand. The Board is at war with most of the County Elected Officers and ML is the common denominator. This is so egregious that the Elected Officers took the unprecedented step of meeting as a group and agreed ML is the main problem. According to the Republic, all 7 elected officials are unanimously fed up with Smith.

The County chooses to construct a monument to their own corruption we commonly call the Taj Mahal. This will also make it much more difficult to cut the County into a series of smaller counties, something that desperately needs to happen. To fund the Taj within the spending caps, the BOS attacks law enforcement and puts the public at risk. The Boards lapdog lawyer, Tom Irvine and his firm, represent both the Courts and the Supervisors. They had the County attorney removed from an investigation into suspicious activity because they claimed he has a conflict of interest. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

The list of corruption and conflicts involving this BOS is long and people are sick and tired of reading about them every day in the paper. They follow the typical pattern of crooks - when under investigation by law enforcement, attack the law enforcement. We're waiting for them to attack the Dept. of Justice next. Not only is the Maricopa County Sheriff and County Attorney investigating this BOS, but DOJ is now too.

This BOS has tried to obstruct other county officials nonstop for the past couple of years, and is now fighting with almost all of them. It is all about power, they are trying to take over these other elected officials powers so they can hog most of the county money for themselves and their politically correct projects like promoting diversity. First they went after the last County Assessor, causing him to lose reelection (he was later exonerated in a court of law). Next they went after the last County Superintendent of Schools, Sandra Dowling, ruining her reputation and causing her not to bother running again for reelection (she was later exonerated of all charges except a low-level misdemeanor of hiring a relative - for a low-paying wage). Then they went after the Treasurer, both the last Treasurer David Schweikert and the current Treasurer Hos Hoskins, forcing them to turn over their entire IT department by eliminating the Treasurer's IT employees. Next they went after the County Attorney, cutting the budget for one-third of his civil attorney side, forcing some of those employees to find jobs with them instead. Now the BOS runs its own "shadow County Attorney's Office" as it continues to try and cut the County Attorney's Office further by requiring it to cut an additional 15% of its budget. Finally, the BOS went after Sheriff Arpaio, trying to withhold funding for his illegal immigration enforcement that had been allotted to him by the legislature. At the last minute, they were forced to revote and authorize the money. But they also forced him to cut his budget 15%. Meanwhile, law enforcement is suffering, while the BOS's $340 million Taj Mahal is being built for the courts. The BOS insists on building this overpriced monstrosity in the midst of a recession because they want to keep the courts on their side. As long as the judges are on their side, they will be able to escape prosecution!

It’s time to put Macho-Liberal out to pasture. The Supervisors have an opportunity to get the County back on track.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

McCain to hold two Health Care townhall meetings

West Valley Health Care Town Hall

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

11:00 AM

Grace Bible Church
19280 North 99th Avenue
Sun City, Arizona 85373
North of Union Hills, West side of 99th Avenue

Central Phoenix Health Care Town Hall

Wednesday, August 26th
5:30 PM
North Phoenix Baptist Church
5757 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
SE corner of Central and Bethany Home

Horne gets 6 speeding tickets in 18 months and wants to be the state's top law enforcement?

Something is very wrong with this picture. Tom Horne, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, wants to run for Attorney General and has formed an Exploratory Committee. But he's gotten six speeding tickets over 18 months. And two of the photo radar tickets were never paid and got dismissed - don't you wish that had happened to those photo radar tickets YOU got? Apparently Horne's wife refused to identify herself to the process server.

Now, I can understand one speeding ticket in 18 months, even two. But SIX??? Not if you're going to be the #1 law enforcement officer in the state. Disqualified. Someone who shows this much flagrant disrespect for the law does not belong in the top spot for enforcing the law.

Sheriff Arpaio & Senator Pearce to discuss new Sanctuary City Initiative at EGC meeting

From the Coalition for a Conservative Majority.

Each month the EGC meet to discuss current issues. At the next meeting on Sept 3, Senator Pearce and Sheriff Arpaio will discuss and answer questions about the new initiative they are supporting to stop protection for illegal immigrants which currently exists through Arizona Sanctuary Cities policies.

There will also be a presentation by Dr Steve Carol (expert on Mid East history and politics) on the current happenings in the Mid East.

The Executive Guidance Committee (EGC) of the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) consists of 18 Legislative District Chairmen, five officers, and five members elected at large from the county's precinct committeemen.

The monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday, at
7pm at the State Party HQ, 3501 N 24th St. These are open meetings. Anyone can attend based on seating available. It is likely to be a well attended meeting. You might plan on coming early for seating.

Robert A. Zuluaga - President
Arizona Chapter Coalition for a Conservative Majority
Cell: 602-692-8100
Voice: 520-777-9298

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker to run for governor

The governor's race just got a little more interesting. Governor Brewer has been such a disappointment to the GOP, stopping at nothing in order to ram through her tax increase referral, that we knew it was only a matter of time before other Republicans announced they were jumping into the race to challenge her in the primary. Since she was never elected to the position, she never had the support of the electorate and wouldn't be as difficult to beat as a traditional incumbent. There have also been rumors flying around that she is not going to run, realizing she has probably ruined her reputation as a fiscal conservative over the sales tax increase.

We started hearing rumblings that State Treasurer Dean Martin was going to run a few weeks ago. He would have a good chance at beating Brewer in a primary, having held firm to conservative principles. However, just yesterday the Republic announced that Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker is expected to enter the race in September. Parker, a charismatic African-American attorney whose credentials include serving as a Special Assistant in the Bush administration, would be the first African-American Republican governor ever if elected. Sources tell us he is running as the anti-Brewer tax increase candidate. He would bring the added advantage of presenting a formidable challenge in the general to Terry Goddard, who is all but certain to be the Democrat candidate for governor. Since Brewer has turned off a lot of the electorate, Vernon's cross-over appeal to Democrats would be a huge asset.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rep. Barto railroaded at LD7 meeting over sanctuary city bill nonvote

A reader sends in this report from Tuesday night's LD7 meeting:

Our LD7 meeting was absolute chaos. Rep. Nancy Barto, who dodged the vote on HB2280, the bill that would have banned sanctuary cities, therefore ensuring its defeat, showed up to explain herself. The PCs at the meeting were not happy with her explanation, which was pretty vague, she just said she didn't like the way it was written. The audience got pretty unruly attacking her. Not a single person stood up to defend her. Even her fellow LD7 Representative Ray Barnes stood up and criticized her nonvote. LD7 is a solidly Republican district. Barto was elected to represent our viewpoints. By deliberately sabotaging this important bill, Barto has shown that she will not represent the voters who elected her. We're going to find someone to run against her next year.

Editor's note - Nancy Barto explained her nonvote on Sonoran Alliance here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Did Supervisor Stapley get a free trip to Sweden to attend Al Gore's global warming award?

A reader emailed us and told us that the supervisor who received the free trip to Stockholm, Sweden to attend a global warming conference with Al Gore was Don Stapley. Turns out Cisco Systems paid NACo (National Association of Counties) for the trip. Coincidentally, Stapley used to be president of NACo. Now, the county is about to purchase four $500,000 Cisco servers it doesn't need. The county's CIO, Steve Wetzel, used to work for Cisco as the Director of the Cisco Network Academy at Gateway Community College and is arranging the purchases.

In these minutes from December 19, 2007, Stapley brags about the trip and how the county is tops in IT. Well no doubt, when you're spending that kind of money! Extraordinarily irresponsible for government to be spending like the private sector when the county is undergoing layoffs and the Sheriff's Office no longer has enough deputies to escort prisoners timely to their court appearances.
Supervisor Stapley said he had attended a very successful NACo Board of Directors meeting in Florida along with several other Arizona members. From there he went to Stockholm, Sweden for a government summit on global warming and the impact of technology on global warming. He said that several people obviously knew about Maricopa County’s planned Innovation Center and the technology that will be available to local governments. He said the County already has “a reputation as being pretty innovative.”
Stapley is already under federal investigation and is being prosecuted on 117 counts of financial fraud. His business partner is Conley Wolfswinkel, a convicted felon. Sounds like there needs to be some house cleaning done at the County Supervisors and their IT department.

Excessive spending going on at County IT

Check out the article in the New Times about Maricopa County IT CIO Steve Wetzel spending money on computer equipment like it's going out of style. What is going on? The county is in the middle of one of the biggest fiscal crises ever, and the Board of Supervisors are already in trouble for spending $347 million on a new luxury court tower. The Board of Supervisors has forced the Sheriff and County Attorney to cut their law enforcement budgets by 15%.

Who is this guy and why is he doing it?

According to New Times, an anonymous letter revealed that Wetzel is a former employee of Cisco Systems, and got Cisco to give the county a mysterious $527,000 donation. Obviously they're not doing it out of the generosity of their hearts.

Excerpts from the article:

Hundred's of thousands of dollars were spent wiring these offices and more for Cisco WiFi, only to find out that security rules governing wireless transmission of the sensitive data these offices handle, ever prohibit them from turning them on!

Additionally, Mr. Wetzel has spent millions on Cisco racks, routers and installation labor in order to build his "Gigabit to the desktop" across the County. Much of the equipment is still not turned on, yet the County is already on year two of a three year Cisco warranty!

A trip to the basement of the County's 301 building will show stacks of expensive Cisco equipment still sitting in their original boxes, uninstalled.

The letter also states that a member of the Board of Supervisors, (whom the letter, suspiciously, does not name), traveled to Sweden on Cisco's dime to attend Al Gore's Nobel Prize ceremony.

The anonymous letter says that this is the 5th CIO the county has hired within the fast few years! Inept. Wonder how much it cost taxpayers to hire and train all of them. Apparently Wetzel is buying these ultra-expensive servers in order to turn the county into a #1 data center. Which goes against the grain of government, which should be concerned about costs, not fancy new computer equipment trying to compete with the private sector. According to the anonymous writer, the county currently runs on one Cisco server just fine, but Wetzel is buying four more at a cost of $500,000 each! Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett gives this outrage a free pass, since the County Supervisors and managers have sidled up to her giving her special access to their offices. What a shame, at least the New Times is reporting this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Illegal immigrant who impregnated 14-year old girl and was illegally released on bond, returns and assaults her

This case represents the poster child for Prop. 100. A bit of background first: After Arizona's Prop. 100 was passed with overwhelmingly 78% of the vote in 2006, prohibiting bail for illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes, the Maricopa County Superior Court refused to enforce it by instructing employees not to ask illegal immigrants their immigration status. Only after prosecutors protested to the AZ Supreme Court did the Superior Court back down and start enforcing the law. But not before several judges released numerous illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes on bail.

And prior to that, judges were routinely releasing illegal immigrants on bail. Judge Daniel Martin released illegal immigrant Juan Avitia on bail in early 2005. Avitia was charged with Sexual Conduct with a Minor, a felony, for impregnating a 14-year old girl, Originally, Commissioner Donofrio had held Avitia non-bondable. But Judge Martin reversed the order and issued this statement, "The court is not prepared to find the defendant guilty of a dangerous crime against children." Avitia posted bond and was deported - he never served time for his crime.


According to the Arizona Republic, on August 16, 2009, Avitia returned to the victim's home, and hit her over the head with a gun several times, firing two shots into the mattress in the mast bedroom. He then forced the girl and his now 5-year old daughter out of the house against their will. When they were finally rescued, they were taken to a hospital where they were treated for their injuries. Avitia was booked on two felony warrants for a sexual offense and forgery. He now faces two counts each of kidnapping, aggravated assault, burglary and reckless endangerment for the incident Sunday.

This is a sad situation and would have never happened had Avila been held without bond under Prop. 100. The courts are out of control and if the prosecutors hadn't intervened, there would be a lot more victims out there than this. It's frankly time for judicial reform, time to elect judges so they are accountable to the people, not to liberals like Presiding Judge Barbara Mundell.

AZTHETAX.COM coming soon if the tax referral ever makes it to the ballot

A m e r i c a n P o s t - G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Senator Pearce says 2+2 = 4

Former Governor Napolitano thought otherwise

Dear family, friends and fellow citizens, ( )

Dear friends and relatives we are close to a "real" budget deal with the Governor. I sent this before, but thought it worth resending. Education seems to be the roadblock and the most misinformation. Thank you for those who shared your thoughts about the proposed spending reductions to education, as there were some terrible misstatements. As a state senator in Arizona, I always appreciate hearing the concerns of the public, and as a father and grandfather, I can personally relate to the apprehension regarding the future of education in Arizona. Here is the '09 challenge: We just resolved a $1.6 billion deficit to fix, with only 5 months left, with only about 2/3's of the budget to work with due to voter protected initiatives, and entitlement programs. Now, we are trying to solve a $3.2 billion deficit for fiscal 2010 that started July 1st, again with only 50% of the budget on the table to work with. Tax increases are not the answer with families and businesses struggling to survive. Record foreclosures, a 26 year high in unemployment and many folks including myself that live on a fixed income. The attachment will clear up some of the misinformation on education funding in Arizona. (we reduced k-12 funding by less than 3%, while state revenues are down 40%, and that was in soft capitol and not in teachers or teacher pay)

As you well know, the landscape of Arizona’s economic environment has changed. Families and businesses throughout the state have been forced to adapt to a faltering economy. In fact, it is the worst budgetary shortfall in our state’s history. In consideration of rising expenses that far outweigh declining revenue, Legislators are being forced to make the same difficult choices that face many American families. We are working to correct Arizona’s steep budget crisis during this economic downturn, but there are only three viable options: increasing taxes, borrowing money, or reducing spending. Times of recession call for conservation. Increasing taxes would likely prolong this recession, or, even worse, push it into a depression. Likewise, borrowing money would only delay the problem, hurt the overall financial health of our state and essentially mortgage our children’s future. In addition all of this you have trillions in debt and additional taxation being pushed in D.C. that believe you the taxpayer can and should bear more burden for socialist programs and more government control of your lives.

However in fairness a significant portion of the proposed education “cuts” are really just rollbacks of spending increases that were made over recent years when our accounts were flush with money because of a strong housing market and a relatively prosperous economy. In fact, these increases illustrate the importance and value that Legislators have placed on education. Amidst this fiscal crisis, if we do not make reductions to education, which makes up almost 60% of the budget, or health/human services and public safety, which accounts for another 35%, we have only 5% left to work with—at a time when we are as much as 40% short! As difficult as these decisions may be, and as painful as they may feel in the short-term, reducing spending is necessary to preserve the long-term vitality of our education system.

I continue to fight for families and the taxpayers of this great state. One issue we continue to ignore and is the elephant in the middle of the room when it comes to crime, taxes, education, healthcare, is the illegal immigration issue. No one talks about it as we examine our budget shortfall. The failure of our local law enforcement and social service agencies to enforce our immigration laws costs the Arizona taxpayers significantly. The illegal immigration impact on our state is $2-$3 billion annually - $1 billion in K-12 alone plus lost jobs to Americans, lower wages and, according to FBI and local records, the huge crime wave including deaths and maiming that we are experiencing.

Remember, I did not create this deficit. I have continuously fought to hold down reckless spending while fighting for education, public safety and transportation as our priorities. Our former Governor with co-conspirators have created this mess by growing government by an average of 12% for the past 6 years, while inflation PLUS population has been 6%. It has been reckless spending by those who ignore the impact to the taxpayers in this state. We must protect working families while we address critical issues facing this state. No one said it would be easy.

God bless everyone and may God continue to bless America. I wish you and your family all the best during these difficult times.

PS: Just in case the governor get's her wish for a tax to go to the ballot. WWW.AXTHETAX.COM coming soon.

Senator Russell Pearce, LD18, Mesa

Senator Pearce's Attachment

Education Funding (Sources are in parenthesis)

Per pupil funding (from all sources): $9700. (JLBC)
Education comprises nearly 60% of the state general fund. (JLBC)
Arizona ranks 21st in aggregate dollars spent on K-12. ( NCES, NEA, ATRA)
Arizona ranks 21st in aggregate dollars spent on current K-12 operating expenses. (NCES, NEA, ATRA).

Teacher Salaries

Arizona ranks 11th for teacher salaries. (NCES, NEA, ATRA)
Arizona ranks 1st in the average salary of instructional staff on a per capita income basis. (NCES, NEA, ATRA

Test Scores

Arizona ranks 21st nationally for ACT composite scores. (ALEC)
Arizona ranks 27th for SAT Math and Critical Reading scores. (NCES)

Student Enrollment

Arizona ranks 13th in aggregate K-12 total student enrollment. (NEA)

Higher Education

Higher Education general fund monies have increased by 43% since 2004. (JLBC)

by 43% since 2004.

Arizona ranks 11th in percentage of individuals 18-24 years old with a Bachelor's Degree (National Science Foundation)

Why it is INACCURATE to say Arizona ranks 49th in Education:
These rankings are based on the “per pupil” spending calculation which does not take into account the following:

- Uniformity as to what funding categories go into the calculation from state-to-state (for example, Arizona is highly ranked in terms of capital expenditures per pupil, but none of those dollars are factored into Arizona’s per pupil calculations)

- Actual dollars spent in the classroom from district-to-district or state-to-state
cost of living adjustments

- State constitutional requirements/limitations with regard to education funding
estimates and redundancies in student counts

- Calculation variances that occur because of rapid growth issues faced by states like Arizona, versus states experiencing little, no or negative growth

There are better gauges to education ranking that are outcome-based indicators, such as student achievement, test scores, etc.
This calculation looks at education spending in a vacuum. It makes absolutely no sense for public policy to be driven by one isolated apples-to-oranges statistic.

Posted by Keeper of Banners at 11:28 AM 3 comments Links to this post

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fact vs. Fiction - The Budget Cuts and Education

The Goldwater Institute has published the top ten myths about the education budget cuts. This is eyeopening information and should be considered before lambasting our legislators for doing their job.

Senator Pearce's Attachment

Education Funding (Sources are in parenthesis)

Per pupil funding (from all sources): $9700. (JLBC)
Education comprises nearly 60% of the state general fund. (JLBC)
Arizona ranks 21st in aggregate dollars spent on K-12. (NCES, NEA, ATRA)
Arizona ranks 21st in aggregate dollars spent on current K-12 operating expenses. (NCES, NEA, ATRA).

Teacher Salaries

Arizona ranks 11th for teacher salaries. (NCES, NEA, ATRA)
Arizona ranks 1st in the average salary of instructional staff on a per capita income basis. (NCES, NEA, ATRA

Test Scores

Arizona ranks 21st nationally for ACT composite scores. (ALEC)
Arizona ranks 27th for SAT Math and Critical Reading scores. (NCES)

Student Enrollment

Arizona ranks 13th in aggregate K-12 total student enrollment. (NEA)

Higher Education

Higher Education general fund monies have increased by 43% since 2004. (JLBC)

by 43% since 2004.

Arizona ranks 11th in percentage of individuals 18-24 years old with a Bachelor's Degree (National Science Foundation)

Why it is INACCURATE to say Arizona ranks 49th in Education:
These rankings are based on the “per pupil” spending calculation which does not take into account the following:

- Uniformity as to what funding categories go into the calculation from state-to-state (for example, Arizona is highly ranked in terms of capital expenditures per pupil, but none of those dollars are factored into Arizona’s per pupil calculations)

- Actual dollars spent in the classroom from district-to-district or state-to-state
cost of living adjustments

- State constitutional requirements/limitations with regard to education funding
estimates and redundancies in student counts

- Calculation variances that occur because of rapid growth issues faced by states like Arizona, versus states experiencing little, no or negative growth

There are better gauges to education ranking that are outcome-based indicators, such as student achievement, test scores, etc.
This calculation looks at education spending in a vacuum. It makes absolutely no sense for public policy to be driven by one isolated apples-to-oranges statistic.

Posted by Keeper of Banners at 11:28 AM 3 comments Links to this post

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fact vs. Fiction - The Budget Cuts and Education

The Goldwater Institute has published the top ten myths about the education budget cuts. This is eyeopening information and should be considered before lambasting our legislators for doing their job.

Top 10 Myths about Education Funding and Budget Reductions

Goldwater Institute separates budget myths from reality as lawmakers grapple with billion-dollar budget shortfall

Phoenix--Arizona faces one of the largest budget deficits in the nation and lawmakers are struggling to close the gap. Because half of all General Fund spending goes toward education, schools and universities will necessarily be affected by the state's across-the-board belt tightening. While some school administrators and special interest groups have referred to the potential budget cuts "slashing education" and "shortsighted and borderline malicious," the Goldwater Institute would like to separate the reality of education funding in Arizona from several often publicized myths.

Myth #1: Schools simply cannot afford the budget reductions being proposed by the legislature.

Fact: The budget cuts proposed by the State House leadership amounts to a 2.5 percent reduction. Over the last five years, K-12 funding has increased by 40 percent. Reducing funding by 2.5 percent will still leave schools with more money than they had in 2008 adjusted for inflation.

Myth #2: Schools have tightened their belts as much as possible. There's simply nothing left to cut.

Fact: Last year Tucson Unified School District lost track of millions of dollars in equipment. With similar highly publicized stories frequently surfacing, there's room to tighten up. In addition to implementing better controls on equipment and supplies, the Goldwater Institute recommends three more ways schools and school districts can cut their budgets without eliminating teaching positions: 1.) Ban teachers from having non-classroom assignments; 2.) Ban teacher's union employees from conducting union work on district payroll; 3.) Cut administrative bloat at the district level. Arizona has an unusually large share of non-teaching public school employees. Teachers make up slightly less than half of on-site staff in public schools, placing Arizona fourth worst among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in teachers as a share of on-site public school staff.

Myth #3: Arizona already ranks 49th in the nation in education funding and we don't want to be number 50.

Fact: When all of Arizona's funding streams are added up, Arizona school funding ranks in the middle of the states at more than $9,000 per student per year.

Myth #4: Suspending the tax credit for donations toward private school tuition will save money and mitigate the need for education budget cuts.

Fact: Getting children into private schools with $1,000 of foregone tax revenue costs less than the $9,000 spent on a child in the public school system. To save money, the legislature should expand the private school scholarship tax credit and move more children from public to private schools. Suspending it will disrupt these students' educations and increase costs to the state as children return to public schools.

Myth #5: Student success will suffer if budget cuts lead to increased class size.

Fact: Research shows that students would be much better off if schools did let their most ineffective teachers go, and redistributed the students to more effective instructors. Teacher quality has been found to be 10- to 20-times more important than class size in achieving student learning gains. Schools could thereby cut their spending and improve student learning simultaneously.

Myth #6: All-day kindergarten is essential to successful child development and should not be eliminated by budget cuts.

Fact: Studies have consistently shown that any benefit from all-day kindergarten disappears by the time a child reaches the third grade, a phenomenon termed "fade out." Also, all-day kindergarten was widespread in Arizona public schools before a specified state funding stream was created two years ago, districts can continue all-day kindergarten if it is a priority.

Myth #7: Individual districts and schools are reluctant to cut their own budgets, so the legislature should direct where cuts will be made.

Fact: Individual districts and schools will be far more effective in determining how to cut their budgets while protecting their students and employees and should be given the flexibility to set their own budget priorities. To that point, Madison Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Ham said on January 26, 2009: "The Madison School District understands the crisis the State of Arizona is in economically and knows reductions in education funding will be required. We would ask that districts be allowed to use any of their funding sources to meet their obligations. This would require a temporary suspension of current legal requirements. However, it would provide flexibility, local control, and equality among districts."

Myth #8: Cuts in university funding will drive Arizona into "Third World" status.

Fact: Statewide, higher education budgets have increased by $332 million since 2004. If the full proposed FY 2009 cut of $80.5 million to ASU's budget were enacted, it would still receive more state funding than in 2006. Northern Arizona University would lose $31 million in FY 2009, but still receive more state funds than in 2007. The University of Arizona faces a proposed $103 million cut in FY 2009, which would take it back to 2004 state funding levels.

Myth #9: Investment in higher education is critical to the future success of Arizona's economy.

Fact: Comparing states' higher-education appropriations and gross state products yields no evidence that spending drives economic growth. From 1991 to 2000, none of the top 10 states in greatest higher-education appropriations were among the top 10 in economic growth.

Myth #10: Cuts to university budgets will make it necessary to double tuition thereby violating the Arizona Constitution's clause to make higher education "nearly as free as possible."

Fact: Legal precedent has determined that "nearly as free as possible" means tuition for Arizona public universities must remain in the bottom-third of the nation. Any increase in university tuition is required to meet that standard. As it stands, tuition at Arizona public universities is very low compared to national averages.

The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.

For more information on the Goldwater Institute visit

District 6 GOP supporting tax increase referral?

From: District 6 GOP []
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 1:10 PM
Subject: URGENT: Call Senator Pamela Gorman today!

Your help is urgently needed today! Please contact State Senator Pamela Gorman and urge her to vote YES on the Republican Budget! We cant afford a $250 million property tax increase right now.

Click here to find out more:

Contact Senator Gorman today!


Phone: 602-926-4002

Monday, August 17, 2009

Board of Supervisors, attorney hide DOJ investigation

There is a good article in the Sonoran News on how the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hid the fact they are being investigated by the Department of Justice. I don't ever think I've come across a political entity full of as many scandals as this board. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is concerned that the board has created a shadow county attorney's office in order to hide things like that.

An excerpt:

According to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, the county’s new unlawfully created litigation department, formed after Stapley was indicted, was directed to file a pleading for sanctions against the prosecutor in the Stapley case because, according to Thomas, “That prosecutor was seeking a copy of a deposition of Conley Wolfswinkle, a convicted felon who is both a business associate of Mr. Stapley and a former client of Mr. Irvine.”

Read the article on Sonoran News

Brewer attacks Senate holdouts on tax hike referral

There is an article in Arizona Capitol Times quoting Governor Brewer attacking Republican Senators like Ron Gould and Pamela Gorman for not voting for her tax increase referral, despite pressure from Brewer's consultant Chuck Coughlin of High Ground, who stands to benefit from it.

Brewer said,

"I have always trusted the people of Arizona. But I am deeply disappointed that some members of the Arizona State Senate do not. They have so little trust in the voters that they have once again delayed passage of a sound state budget. There's just absolutely no other way to say this, but I believe that their actions were irresponsible. They are causing greater cost to our state taxpayers, and if this crisis is not resolved quickly, they will do irreparable harm to our families and our economic future."

Pretty disappointing that our Republican governor is criticizing the most principled Republicans in the Senate for standing up to a tax increase.

Read the article (paid-subscription)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Working More, Getting Less

A m e r i c a n P o s t - G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Working more days

Getting less

By: Grover Norquist

Today, Aug. 12, is Cost of Government Day (COGD), the day of the calendar year when the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state, and local levels.

Twenty-six days. That’s how much more government is costing you this year than it did last year. Considering that the total cost of government was $7.6 trillion, or $20.8 billion per day, that works out to $540.8 billion.
Think about what you could do with all of that. How helpful would that additional cash be as we make our way through the recession?

But Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid didn’t think about that before gleefully throwing away our money on bailouts, ineffective “stimulus” efforts, and cash for other people’s clunkers — and now they want to add government healthcare schemes into the mix.
Not only is this year’s COGD 26 days later than last year’s date, it’s 23 days later than the previous all-time high of July 20, in 1982. The 224 days spent working to pay for government are made up of 111 days covering federal spending, 65 days to comply with regulatory costs, and 49 days for state and local spending.

The report breaks this info down by state, so you can find out just how bad things are for you and your family by visiting and seeing where your state ranks.

© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

and from The American Spectator


By Doug Bandow on 8.12.09 @ 6:08AM

If you listen to President Barack Obama, you'd believe that taxpayers are having an easy time. After all, candidate Obama promised that most of us won't have to pay any more to Uncle Sam and earlier this year he actually cut some levies. In fact, so-called Tax Freedom Day -- when the average American stopped paying government -- occurred on April 13 this year, the earliest date in 40 years!

Alas, the federal government borrowed a little money over the last year. And big government financed by debt differs little from big government financed by taxes. Although people feel the pain of taxes directly, taxes do not reflect the full burden of government. Spending plus regulation is a more accurate measure. By that standard things have never been worse for the American people, except during war time. Today is Cost of Government Day, when we stop really paying for government.

Monika Ciesielska has produced the latest Cost of Government Day report for the Center for Fiscal Accountability, a special project of Americans for Tax Reform. Her paper makes for grim reading. While Tax Freedom Day dropped ten days over the previous year, COGD advanced nearly a month, from July 18 to August 12.
The recent peak was July 20 in 1982, shortly after Ronald Reagan took office. COGD dropped to July 2 in 1988, then rose under President George H.W. Bush, hitting July 18 in 1992. The Republican takeover of Congress and President Bill Clinton's move to the political center pushed COGD down to June 29 in 2000. Unfortunately, the George W. Bush administration plus GOP Congress promoted a steady if slightly irregular rise to July 16 last year. Now COGD has rocketed upward.

The reason is simple: wild government spending and expansive federal regulation. Explains Ciesielska: "The driving factor for this development is that all components of the cost of government -- federal spending, state and local spending, and regulations -- are now increasing faster than national income, which shrunk as a result of the financial crisis in 2008." From bailouts to alleged stimulus, government has been tossing money at just about anything that moves, and quite a few things that don't. As a result, government outlays now account for 28.5 percent of GDP, a peacetime record.

The largest share of the cost of government is attributable to federal spending. Although established as a small entity with strictly limited enumerated powers, the national government has evolved into an institution of general jurisdiction with unlimited authority. Which translates into virtually unlimited spending and regulation.
Writes Ciesielska, "The average American worker will have to labor 111 days just to pay for federal spending, which is now consuming 30.36 percent of national income. This is a considerable leap compared to last year, when the average American worker had to labor 90 days to pay for federal spending." Just think of all of the "benefits" we get for these outlays -- politicians constantly redistributing our earnings to get themselves elected and reelected. Isn't America great!

Next are state and local governments. Because most state governments are legally required to balance their budgets, there is a limit to the financial shenanigans that even the most irresponsible politicians, like those in California, can employ. As a result, Americans actually are working "only" a couple days more this year compared to last year for states and localities, 49 days. Still, that number is far too high. Notes Ciesielska: "That compares to 42.5 days in 1999, 44 days in 2004, and 47 in 2008. This means that in the last ten years alone, state and local spending has grown by almost 14 percent in relation to national income."

Total regulation comes to 65 days, up four days over 2008, "reflecting rapid growth in regulatory costs," writes Ciesielska. Regulation this year consumes 17.7 percent of national income. No doubt, some rules do some good. But even the "good" rules often are overbroad or inefficient. And far too much regulation is merely disguised looting, or what economists call "rent-seeking." Income redistribution can occur in many guises, and regulation is a favorite tool of political and bureaucratic insiders.

Unsurprisingly, Washington is responsible for the largest share of regulatory costs, 42 days worth. States and localities account for the remaining 23 days. Unnecessary regulation is particularly annoying, since we are paying for our officious nanny-state minders.

Unfortunately, August 12 is merely the COGD national average. Some Americans are luckier. Alaskans started working for themselves a month ago, on July 11. Residents of Louisiana and Mississippi stopped paying for government on July 18. South Dakota and North Dakota followed at July 20 and July 24, respectively.

In contrast, people living in particularly big spending, intrusive regulating states have weeks more of government-created pain to endure. The worst state, as always, is Connecticut: COGD won't arrive until September 7. Citizens of New Jersey have to wait until September 6 to finish their servile obligations. New Yorkers will be done on August 31. The burden on residents of the Golden State is mild in comparison, with a COGD of August 23. People in Maryland must work until August 21. In Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington COGD falls on August 17.
Oddly, despite its reputation as a high-tax jurisdiction -- and the home of the federal government -- Washington, D.C. is just average. COGD occurs today in the District, along with five other states.

The issue is one of federal spending. Observes Ciesielska, "Between 2000 and 2008, we saw a sharp increase in the federal spending burden, but this was just a warm up for the 2009 splurge." She details how much of the spending was wasted. Many of the "stimulus" expenditures didn't stimulate anything, but were simply used to fund more of what the government already was doing, and doing badly. A lot of the money was pure redistribution, taking from taxpayers and giving to the usual Democratic-oriented interest groups and other lucky people.

Although federal outlays are likely to dip from the post-bail-out peak, they are unlikely to contract much. Certainly the 2010 Obama budget, despite being called "A New Era of Responsibility," offers little hope. Explains Ciesielska:
"According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it would have increased total spending by $2.7 trillion over ten years over the current baseline, including interest. This would amount to an increase of $9,000 for every American. Furthermore, federal spending under the President's budget would increase from 23.6 percent of GDP in 2011 to 24.5 percent in 2019, significantly above the 40 year average of 20.7 percent. In 2009 alone it would total 28.5 percent of GDP and reach 25.5 percent in 2010."

Indeed, the presidential budget is merely a starting point. Historically outlays always end up well above projections. Moreover, a number of financial storm clouds continue to billow around us, likely to lead to new proposals for additional bailouts, stimuli, and other forms of spending.

For example, despite the Bush administration's fevered demand that Congress approve $700 billion to buy up "toxic assets," the so-called TARP program purchased no toxic assets, instead providing cash to banks and bailing out the auto industry. Yet the problem of bad investments remain, as much as $4 trillion worth, according to the International Monetary Fund. Should the economy head back down, calls for another bailout are inevitable.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae continue to lose money. Another mortgage institution, focused on agricultural land ("Farmer Mac"), has lost money on financial derivatives. Defaults are rising for the Federal Housing Administration, leading to talk of a bailout. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which insures private pension programs, has been running a deficit and likely will need more money as more companies fail. The FDIC has been shutting banks at a record rate -- 72 as of Monday, compared to 25 last year and three in 2007 -- and will require a cash infusion. And on it goes.

Congress continues to debate health care "reform," conservatively estimated to cost $1-$1.5 trillion over the next ten years. However, Stephen T. Parente of HSI Network LLC figures that the legislation currently under consideration likely would cost between $2.1 and $2.4 trillion over the coming decade. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) acknowledges that its forecasts run for only a decade; future costs are likely to increase at a faster rate, destroying whatever budget discipline Congress might attempt to impose on the program at the outset. Indeed, estimates for social programs and especially health care initiatives almost always have proved to be ludicrously low. Which is how Social Security and Medicare have come to have an unfunded liability of $107 trillion. Without reform, these two programs will eat up an ever larger share of the budget.
In June CBO declared:
Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path -- meaning that federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds long-term fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the U.S. population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law. Unless revenues increase just as rapidly, the rise in spending will produce growing budget deficits and accumulating debt. Keeping deficits and debt from reaching levels that would cause substantial harm to the economy would require increasing revenues significantly as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), decreasing projected spending sharply, or some combination of the two.
It is time to panic.

The news at the state and local level is better, but only because it is harder for these governments to deficit spend. They can play accounting tricks and float bonds, as has hyper-profligate California, but there is a limit to use of these tactics. None compare to running the federal printing press.
Nor is the federal regulatory burden likely to ease. To the contrary, the administration is pushing a new financial regulatory system. Passage of health care "reform" would add another layer of federal dictates to American medicine. New energy and environmental rules also threaten: the so-called "cap and trade" program would impose an enormous load on the economy.

Finally, the usual regulatory cost estimates underestimate the impact on the economy. Explains Ciesielska:
Not counted are the negative economic effects of regulatory requirements. These hidden costs stifle the growth of the economy because they introduce inefficiencies and distortions and reduce the economic reward left over for productive activity. Regulations may prevent new firms from entering the market or stop existing ones from expanding. They may even force some existing firms out of business altogether. The end result is a reduction in overall output, fewer jobs, lower wages and suppressed economic growth.

The total losses likely are huge, as much as another $1.5 trillion a year, according to regulatory economists at Washington University in St. Louis. The amount of lost economic output will continue to grow over time.
Unless we change course, COGD is headed skyward. Even if COGD dips next year after the bailout flood ebbs, the date will remain historically high. And it is only likely to rise again in the future. "The era of big government is over," intoned Bill Clinton more than 13 years ago. In truth, the era of big government was only beginning.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics (Crossway).