Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MCAO Responds to County Manager Smith's Bizarre Request

From the MCAO:

Good afternoon

County Manager David Smith is demanding disclosure of any communication between several employees at the County Attorney’s Office and a number of media outlets including , The Arizona Republic, the East Valley Tribune, The New Times, several conservative web sites “or any other internet site or address.” A letter sent to a number of County Attorney employees also demands details of communications that happened during non work hours using personal computers. A copy of the letter is attached (above).

The move comes days after the Board of Supervisors stalled a criminal probe of county government by refusing to hire outside prosecutors while at the same time demanding that the County Attorney ’s Office not prosecute potential cases.

Among those receiving the letter is the Public Information Officer for the County Attorney ’s Office, whose job it is to communicate with the media.
Mike Scerbo and Barnett Lotstein are available for comment

Also available for comment are two conservative bloggers targeted by county management.

Shane Wikfors, SonoranAlliance.com

David Roney, CactusAlliance.com
480.443.8500 x101
Michael Anthony Scerbo
Office 602-506-3170
Cell 602-489-6913

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time to fire Supervisors' attorney Wade Swanson - County Attorney explains Swanson's erroneous legal opinion

click to enlarge

Tom Horne's new video for Attorney General

Well, it says it was posted by "ADE" so it looks like it was probably created with taxpayer dollars for the AZ Dept. of Education. But ADE is never mentioned in the video, and since Horne is leaving ADE to run for Attorney General, you decide if this is really a taxpayer-funded campaign commercial.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

County Supervisors' new Shadow County Attorney issues reversed legal advice - can anyone say bar complaint?

We have been astounded watching what the County Supervisors will pull - using your tax dollars - to stop Sheriff Arpaio and the County Attorney from criminally prosecuting two of their own, Stapley and Wilcox. One of the ways they have been sabotaging the prosecutions is by setting up their own Shadow County Attorney's Office, headed by a young green attorney with only a few years of legal experience in mostly nonrelevant areas, Wade Swanson, at a salary of $175,000/yr (a higher salary than every single one of the 300 attorneys who work for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, some who have 25+ years of experience under their belt and prosecute the most serious homicides). The Supervisors then use this shadow office to attack the Sheriff and the County Attorney legally and accuse them of all kinds of things.

This week, the County Supervisors refused to sign off on the Special Prosecutors the County Attorney appointed to prosecute Stapley. The reason the County Attorney appointed Special Prosecutors in the first place was because the Supervisors had complained it was a conflict for the County Attorney's Office to prosecute Stapley. There is nothing legally wrong with the County Attorney's Office prosecuting Stapley, but as a courtesy, the County Attorney decided to outsource the prosecution, sending the first Stapley charges to Yavapai County to prosecute, and the second Stapley charges to Special Prosecutors.

In a memo issued on October 20 by the overpaid, big spending liberal County Manager David Smith, the Supervisors said they refused to approve the Special Prosecutors because they didn't reside in Maricopa County. Shadow County Attorney Wade Swanson provided an Attorney General opinion which said that Deputy County Attorneys must reside in the county. But he was embarrassingly wrong. He failed to mention a later 1988 Attorney General opinion (I88-052) by AG Bob Corbin which reversed that opinion:

This is to inform you that Ariz.Atty.Gen.Op. I88-052 dated April 26, 1988 has been withdrawn. That opinion erroneously relied upon two earlier Attorney General opinions, Ariz.Atty.Gen.Ops. I79–186 and I78–55, which had incorrectly interpreted art. VII, § 15 of the Arizona Constitution.

You had initially asked whether, pursuant to A.R.S. § 15–253(B) [FN1] the Attorney General would review a school opinion written by a private attorney who was not a resident of the county (non-qualified elector), but who was nevertheless representing the district with the consent of the county attorney.

The Arizona Constitution, was amended in 1972 to remove the requirement that a “person elected or appointed to any office of trust or profit” must be a qualified elector of the political division he serves. Art. VII, § 15 now limits this requirement to only those holding elective office, providing as follows:
Every person elected or appointed to any elective office of trust or profit under the authority of the State, or any political division or any municipality thereof, shall be a qualified elector of the political division or municipality in which such person shall be elected.
(Emphasis added.) See Laws 1971 (1st Reg.Sess.) Senate Concurrent Resolution 9. [FN2]

Because an attorney hired by a school district with the consent of the County Attorney does not hold an elective office, legal representation by a non-resident attorney of a local school district governing board is permitted. Therefore, the opinions of that attorney may be reviewed by the Attorney General, pursuant to A.R.S. § 15–253(B).
Incidentally, the Supervisors never protested when the Yavapai County Attorney hired Mel Bowers to handle the first Stapley prosecution. Bowers is a resident of Maricopa County, not Yavapai County, so he is practicing law for the Yavapai County Attorney's Office as a nonresident. And there are many Deputy County Attorneys who work for various County Attorney's Offices around the state who do not reside in the county of the office they work in. This is a discredited and reversed argument that the Supervisors have put forth and by ignoring the AG opinion reversing the erroneous legal grounds they rely upon, Wade Swanson should be expecting a bar complaint for malpractice. It is outrageous that someone with that little experience is paid $175,000/yr by the taxpayers to issue incorrect legal advice. Any first year law student knows to look up a law to see if it had been reversed.

What this comes down to is the Supervisors want immunity for Stapley, they want to be able to choose who prosecutes him. They are manipulating the legal system to thwart criminal prosecution of one of their own, which gets into a whole host of ethical and criminal issues.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN'S TOWN HALL MEETINGS - FRI 10/30 - 2:00PM & SAT 10/31 10:00AM

Come join Senator JOHN McCAIN in two Town Hall Meetings:

Friday, October 30th, 2009
2:00 p.m. East Valley Town Hall with Senator John McCain
Central Christian Church
933 N. Lindsay Road – Mesa, Arizona

Saturday, October 31st, 2009
10:00 a.m. West Valley Town Hall with Senator John McCain
Skyway Church of the West Valley
14900 W. Van Buren – Goodyear, Arizona

Senator McCain will discuss the topics of the day, Health Care, the Economy, and many other critical issues of interest!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Maricopa County throws fancy environmentalist conference featuring radical environmentalists and swag bags - even though county is broke!

400-450 swag bags handed out at conference, estimated value $25 each?

submitted by a reader

Although the Maricopa County supervisors have forced all of the other county agencies to cut 15% from their budgets, including law enforcement agencies, they continue to brazenly spend taxpayers' money on their Taj Mahal tower, their new civil attorneys division, growing their IT department, and various pricey junkets. I am in the private sector and am aghast at the tax dollars I have seen spent by this county. Their latest splurge was a fancy environmentalist conference put on yesterday at the luxurious Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center by their Air Quality Department. Attendees were provided with large bags of goodies, which included a windmill toy with batteries, a tire gauge, a nice pen, a day planner/calendar/notebook, another notebook, a CD and handout from SRP, and a fancy program.

The premise of the conference was that everyone needs to become environmentalists and reduce the amount of CO2 they release into the air because it is causing global warming. There was no discussion of how manmade CO2 causes global warming, apparently the liberal Republican supervisors don't consider it open to debate, even though their own party disagrees. The EPA has dinged Maricopa County in the past for air pollution, but with the lone exception of Rep. Ray Barnes expressing skepticism about the EPA, the Supervisors stifled all criticism of the EPA instead of standing up to their draconian regulations. Wouldn't it be nice to have a county that stands up to the most liberal, overreaching, overregulating federal agency in Washington? Don't expect the liberal Republicans on the Board of Supervisors to, they are right there with the EPA denouncing cow farting (see below).

Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock opened the conference, saying "
we are making progress, the good news is we are almost to the level of regulation that California has where it is a crime to take your leaf-blower out into your own yard." Considering later in the conference it was revealed that leaf blowers only account for 1% of the emissions in the county, that seemed rather draconian, like something Al Gore or Michael Moore would say. Supervisor Don Stapley bragged that the county is moving to environmentally-friendly cars quickly and is a leader in this area. This is disturbing considering the county is broke.

The keynote speaker was Denis Hayes, an environmentalist radical who founded Earth Day. Hayes is a proponent of ZERO population growth, a view he shares with China, which limits its people to two children per family, aborting many babies that go over this limit. Hayes is also a global warming true believer, and told the crowd that it doesn't matter if countries like China aren't reducing their emissions, we must reduce ours anyways because it all contributes to global warming no matter where it's emitted (he didn't address the problem that arises then of jobs going overseas to China where it's cheaper without all of the environmental regulations). He made some far out wild claims that would never hold up to reputable scientific scrutiny: He claimed that
100 species a day are going extinct, due to being squeezed out by humans (I am not making this up). He claimed that the great apes are on their way to extinction. The orangutangs will be extinct by 2025 and as early as 2020 due to oil palm plantations in Indonesia. There are more tigers in zoos now than in the wild. The growing population of humans is invading the sanctuary of nonhumans.

Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the conference was the lengthy serious discussion devoted to the alleged worst pollution in the state - Pinal County due to its 400,000 farting cows. I am not making this up. One of the panelists produced a chart which showed that Pinal County is now considered by Obama's EPA to be one of the worst counties in the nation for CO2 emissions due to its cows farting.

The vast majority of panelists repeated bland environmentalist cliches, saying things like "we need to expand public transit in the Valley."

Allen Wachter of the Maricopa Asthma Coalition said people need to stop using their fireplaces in the winter when it's 70 degrees. There seemed to be a lot of comments like this, which went way overboard into speculation of dubious value.

Seven people or organizations were given awards at the end of the conference for their environmental efforts. Considering it is doubtful that global warming is manmade, most of these efforts will do nothing except increase costs for consumers and businesses in Arizona to operate.

At the end of the conference, door prizes were handed out that included an electric mower, push mowers, rakes and brooms. Wonder how much they all cost, the electric mower alone must have been a few hundred. Were they really necessary? No. No one even knew about the door prizes; the same number of people were going to show up anyways. It was unfortunate to see taxpayers' money being spent by so-called mostly "Republican" supervisors on a politically correct cause that will end up hurting Arizonans costwise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Goldwater Institute releases investigative report on Supervisor Wilcox's corrupt airport deal

High Fliers: How Political Insiders Gained an Edge in Sky Harbor Concessions
Mark Flatten
Goldwater Institute Policy Report
October 13, 2009

Mary Rose Wilcox eked out a small profit from a Mexican restaurant she owned in south Phoenix before she used her race and status as the owner of a “disadvantaged” business to land a lucrative concession deal at Sky Harbor International Airport.

The long-entrenched Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors reported $10,000 in profits from her El Portal restaurant in an August 2003 financial statement. In December 2004, Wilcox was brought into a joint venture to co-own a Chili’s franchise, the only full-service bar and restaurant in the main lobby of Terminal 4.

Seven months later, Wilcox reported profits of $113,000 from the Chili’s deal alone.
Wilcox did not have to bring any money into the deal. Host International Inc., which holds the master concession contract with the City of Phoenix for all food and beverage sales in Terminal 4, fronted her company a loan for her initial capital contribution of $450,000. The loan was to be repaid through profits from the restaurant, and was made in violation of city policy.
In violation of federal rules, Wilcox did not have a role in the day-to-day operations of the franchise. That was the exclusive job of Host, according to the joint venture agreement she signed with the international mega-concession company.

Wilcox was not even required to spend any more time on the restaurant business than she deemed appropriate.

One inviolable rule for Wilcox, who is Hispanic, was that she had to maintain her status as the owner of an Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE or DBE), a creation of federal law and regulations that give preferences in airport concession contracting to firms owned by minorities and women.

The DBE program is supposed to remedy current and past discrimination, and create a “level playing field” in the awarding of airport concession contracts. The DBE owner is required to take an active role in running the company, according to federal rules.

Read High Fliers here
Sidebar: Courts Curb Airport Preferences
Sidebar: Who Owns What at Sky Harbor? Who Knows?
Analysis: Recommendations for Giving Regular Small Businesses Access to Airport Contracts
Contact Mark Flatten at (602) 462-5000 x223 or mflatten@goldwaterinstitute.org

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mayor Vernon Parker - Obama Failures Not Enough for AZ GOP

A New Way Forward for Arizona & the State GOP
President Obama’s Struggles are Not Enough for Arizona Republicans
By Vernon B. Parker
Mayor of Paradise Valley, Arizona2010 Candidate for Governor, Exploratory Committee. http://www.parker2010.com/

NOTE: Mayor Parker is a former White House Counselor for President George H.W. Bush, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and a former pastor.

A year ago many were writing obituaries for the Republican Party.
Today, Republicans look poised to make major gains in the 2010 congressional elections.
But is the potential success the result of resilient introspection, or the misguided policies of the current administration and congressional majority in Washington? Unfortunately, I believe it’s the latter. And that’s just not going to cut it in Arizona.
Republicans have taken a few body blows dealing with the spending hangover left by Janet Napolitano. In 2010, our party will also face theperennial candidate for governor, current Attorney General Terry Goddard.
That’s why it is imperative that our party turn to a fresh face and new voice with an innovative agenda to overcome the obstacles we currently face.
We are not going to beat a career politician like Terry Goddard with a career politician of our own. Nor will we beat him with an incumbent.
No, it is going to take a bold, new message and a different kind of messenger. That’s why I ask my fellow Arizonans to consider the following:

*Arizona faces some tough odds right now. To overcome them, it helps to have someone who has done it before. I have overcome many obstacles in my own life. I am numb to the words…”you can’t”. I have seen things a child that no child should see, or for that matter, no adult. My neighborhood was littered with drugs, violence and a culture of governmental dependence. But through the love of a wise grandmother, a loving mother, many caring aunts, and a public education system that didn’t allow me to fall through the cracks, I now serve the people of Paradise Valley as their mayor. No odds seem too great, even those facing Arizona, after that journey.
*The State of Arizona has become the state of confusion. But if we work together, we can make it the State of Opportunity, for all of our people. How do we resurrect our state?
*First, we must reject the Brewer tax increase. Republicans used to be the party of less government, with an eye on shrinking government. Oddly, some now seem afraid to do so. I am not.
*Second, we can’t just play around the margins anymore when it comes to job creation. I want to phase out the corporate tax in Arizona. Why? Because I want to roll out the red carpet to businesses in California who are looking for a new home because they are suffocating under heavy taxes and regulation. I want to tell them, “come on over…Arizona is a place to do business.” I want to send a true reform message to national and international markets that there is no better place to do business than right here in Arizona. If we do this, jobs will flock to Arizona, and we will get back on our feet. Let’s grow the pie of prosperity, rather than drown our businesses with higher taxes.
*Third, the transformation from a State of Confusion to a State of Opportunity means major reform to our higher education system. We need to explore the option of allowing community colleges to grant four-year degrees throughout Arizona. Let our community colleges, especially in the rural areas, educate their best and brightest at home rather than send them off to the big city. More access for lower and middle income families to higher education is a winning formula for Arizona. If we are going to attract new industries to Arizona, we must have an educated pool of potential workers from which to draw.
*And fourth, if Arizona K-12 schools aren't living up to our expectations, let's look to innovative programs such as Teach for America. Empower principals with tools to place qualified professionals, retired educators, and community leaders in classrooms so our students have every opportunity to succeed. We can no longer embrace a system that does not reward performance, but rewards seniority.
These are just a few of the ideas I’ll be introducing to help craft a next generation Republican agenda. With such a platform, I believe that the best days for Arizona are ahead.

Paid for By Parker Exploratory Committee

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman to Chair Vernon Parker Exploratory Committee for Governor

Hugh Hallman, the well-known and well-regarded Republican Mayor of Tempe, has taken on another leadership position: Chairman of Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker’s Exploratory Campaign for Governor.

The two recently joined Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane in a guest column opposing a $100 million sales tax subsidy for a north Phoenix shopping center.

“Vernon Parker is the fresh new voice our party and state needs right now,” said Hallman. “He has an innovative agenda and the right temperament to lead Arizona. Every now and then you get particularly excited about someone running for office. That’s the way I feel about Mayor Parker, should he choose to run,” Hallman said.

Now in his second term as Mayor of Tempe, Hallman is viewed by many to be a formidable future candidate for federal or statewide office. Known for being whip smart and a tenacious advocate, Hallman’s organization would be a real boost for Parker. Hallman recently took over as Headmaster at Tempe Prep, one of the best charter schools in the state.

“Hugh is one of the most thoughtful and brightest individuals I have ever met, and I am humbled that he believes in me enough to chair my campaign. I know his support will give me every chance to win. Mayor Hallman has fought for effective change in Tempe. And I look forward to his counsel for doing the same on a statewide level,” said Parker.

Parker, 49, is the current mayor of Paradise Valley, Arizona. He has previously served the administrations of George H.W. Bush, George Bush, as an Assistant Secretary for the $90 billion United States Department of Agriculture, small businessman, and as a pastor for two years at a small non-denominational church in Paradise Valley.

Parker has the most compelling life story of any candidate emerging for Governor. Raised by his grandmother in a severely underprivileged neighborhood in Long Beach, California, Parker was able to escape the drugs and violence through love, education and the commitment of family. Noted rap star Snoop Dogg was one of Parker’s neighbors.

“I truly believe it’s going to take someone who has defied the odds to help Arizona overcome the odds now facing it,” Parker said.

For more information contact Jason Rose or go to www.Parker2010.com.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

AZ Republic interview with gubernatorial candidate Vernon Parker

Parker: Our next governor must defy the odds
by Vernon Parker

Vernon Parker is exploring a run for governor.

1. Why stop just short of saying you are declaring your candidacy for governor?
I want to know what the voters think about my potential candidacy. If they prove to be interested in a fresh voice and a new face for Arizona and the GOP, I will run. If not, I will thoroughly enjoy continuing my service as mayor of Paradise Valley.

2. What do you think voters are looking for in selecting our next governor?
New, bold and innovative ideas. Someone who has defied odds all their life who wants to help Arizona defy the odds it now faces. Someone who can bring people together as opposed to tearing them apart. And definitely someone who is not a career politician.

3. How would you address the $3 billion gap between state revenues and expenditures?
I would start by leading by example. If cuts are necessary in state agencies, then Gov. Parker's office would make similar-sized cuts. One of my top priorities as governor will be to phase out the corporate income tax and recruit new industries to Arizona. After irresponsible spending increases in the past, some are afraid to shrink government now. I am not.

4. You say a weak border is a threat to Arizona. What can the governor do about gaining control of the border?
A governor can coordinate state agencies to make sure all our resources are brought to bear effectively. A governor can lead the effort to end the policies of sanctuary cities.

5. What do you think of the job Gov. Jan Brewer has done in her first nine months?
She inherited a mess. We spent billions more than we had during the boom times. Now, those bills are coming due, and we don't have the money to pay them. I am opposed to the idea of raising taxes like the current governor has proposed. We need economic growth and history has proven that raising taxes stifles economic growth.

6. What would be the first thing you'd do as governor?
Pray that I would not fall into the trap of wanting to please the Establishment. Pray that I would always be true to the people of the state of Arizona.

from http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2009/10/05/20091005aztalk-newsmaker05.html