Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Smoke, Mirrors and High Stakes in Arizona's Legislature

"Any budget is better than no budget" has been the mantra driving the state the past several years from record surpluses to record deficits. This year is no exception. To quote Phil Lopes, "What gives me comfort is that, in the 96 years of the state's existence, we have never not had a budget." Oh, boy! What comfort!

So here we go again. The House proposal taxes us out of their mess by slapping us with a $500 million bond to pay off part of the debt. That really took some guts. The whole idea of bonding is to pay for high cost long term growth and infrastructure needs, not an easy out to bail out a state government drunk with the peoples' money.

Not to be outdone, the Senate gets much more creative. They simple starve the public schools long enough to push expenditures into next year. That's certainly a creative way to build the future of Arizona. Of course, by that time, some esteemed state Senators will be on to bigger and better things, so why not push the problem off to the next round of freshmen legislators?

Only one week to go and two things appear certain: a budget will be passed and the deficit will remain.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How Stupid Do Voters Look?

Who would have thought that just being in a VIP program would allow one to receive special treatment? Obviously not Chris Dodd.

Senator Chris Dodd who happens to be Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had no idea that when he said "yes" to Countrywide Financial's offer to be part of their VIP program it meant he would get some kind of special treatment. Imagine how shocked he was to learn that his VIP status gave him special loan rates and terms! He insists that he new nothing about favorable treatment under the program.

I guess he thought it was more of an honorary title, like King or something. Funny thing, he's the only one that didn't "know."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coffee with the candidate

Joe Higgins is campaigning pretty aggressively in his NW Tucson race for supervisor. I have heard from a few of our readers that he has already started knocking on doors. The latest copy of his e-newsletter was forward to me. He is holding Cup of Joe events at local coffee shops in the district. This Friday he will be at Kelly's Coffee Shop from 7:00 to 9:00 am at 3605 W. Cortaro Farms Road (in the shopping center at the SE corner of Thornydale and Cortaro Farms.) Next week he will be back at Kelly's on Thursday the 19th.

Sounds like a pretty creative way to reach voters. I bet the campaign hopes a latte people will drop by.

(I apologize for originally mixing up the dates.)

Pinch me. Am I Dreaming?

When I hear the term Windfall Profits Tax, it conjures up memories of gas rationing, long lines at the gas pumps, double digit inflation, double digit unemployment... You know, the Carter years.

Amazingly, when everyone is squawking about high gasoline prices, Washington Democrats whip out the Windfall Profits Tax card once again. "Let's punish the greedy oil companies and make them give back our money" they say. But who do they think will pay this tax? The greedy oil companies? Let's get serious. The only ones who pay taxes are consumers. If we think gas prices are high now, wait until the greedy oil companies pass along the Windfall Profits Tax congress slaps on them.

Let's see... how much should the oil companies be charged? 10 cents a gallon? 50 cents a gallon? It all depends on how much more we want to pay. I guess some Democrats don't think we pay enough.

Don't expect brilliance when it comes to drilling domestic oil wells, either. We must be vigilant protecting every vast, remote wasteland environmentalists want shielded from man's footprints no matter what the cost. And so we'll continue to pay...and pay...and pay...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ann Day goes with Nathan Sproul

The race for Pima County Supervisor District 1 may turn out to be a tough primary battle for long time incumbent Ann Day. She is facing a credible challenge from local businessman Joe Higgins. Sources tell us that he has secured Sherry Potter to help with his campaign. Now Seeing Red AZ is reporting that Day has lined up Lincoln Strategy Group to run her campaign. If this is true look for the race to get nasty as the Day team goes negative. We are not sure that strategy will work very well since Higgins is planning a positive campaign focused on the issues important to district 1.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Derek Tidball Withdraws from CD8 Race

Our sources tell us Derek Tidball, the independent candidate challenging Gabby Giffords, has met with the Bee camp to communicate his decision to drop out of the race and throw his support behind Tim Bee.

Tidball had not filed his signatures, but apparently had enough to qualify as a candidate. The fact that he will now back the Bee campaign suggests Tidball had concerns about another two years with Giffords and saw joining forces as a way to ensure her defeat.

It is our understanding that Derek Tidball will be issuing a press release late Tuesday announcing his decision to withdraw from the race.