Supervisor House Helps to Save a Vet from Losing Car and Pet

Supervisor Todd House (L), Barbara Brandt, trainer at Paws4Life holding Sis, joins the members of Randall’s Towing in Apache Junction.

FLORENCE – Everything was going normal for David Kohl, the veteran was moving from Globe when his life was changed in a flash. During the drive from Globe along Highway 60, Kohl suffered not only a stroke, but a heart attack at the wheel.

Kohl was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, but he left behind many of his belongings – including his dog “Sis” in his car. As per policy, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office called a county preferred towing vendor – Randall’s Towing of Apache Junction, to take the vehicle to a secure location. Sis was taken to the Paws and Claws Shelter until Kohl was better.

With Kohl in the hospital, Paws and Claws staffers thought a visit from Sis would lift his spirits. They contacted Paws 4 Life to help facilitate taking Sis to see Kohl before he had open heart surgery.

“I wouldn’t have known about David and his problems if it wasn’t for Paws and Claws contacting Paws 4 Life,” Supervisor House recalled. “My wife and I are very involved with Paws 4 Life and we were proud to help David see his dog.”

A volunteer from Paws 4 Life who took Sis to see her owner brought back some disturbing news to Supervisor House.

“This poor guy didn’t know where his car was,” Supervisor House said. “We placed a call to the Sheriff’s Office to see if they could help us track it down. PCSO told us the car was at Randall’s being held but we would have to hurry since they have had it for over two weeks.”

It turned out that Randall’s thought the car was abandoned and were taking steps to file for abandonment.

“We were under the gun,” House said. “So my assistant Lora Highstreet and I hit the phones to see if we could contact Randall’s to get them to stop the filing. It turned out that we caught it just in time.”

Randall’s worked with Supervisor House to keep the vehicle in Kohl’s name.

“Randall’s has bent over backwards to help David out, they waived the towing and storage fees,” House said. “They have even towed it to a mechanic to see if we can get the car running again.” Supervisor House said this is what makes him proud to represent Pinal County.

“We have people like Bo and Donna over at Randall’s and the good people at Paws4Life come together to help us put this man’s life back together. This is the type of people we are. We come together to help a man who is desperately in need. I am glad that we all worked to make David Kohl and his dog Sis a family once again.”


Apache Junction’s Lost Dutchman Days to return Feb. 20-23

Trick roper Rider Chase Kiesner is an addition to the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo line-up for 2014. The Wild West showman, above, performing a 50-foot wedding ring rope trick at Cheyenne Frontier Days, will introduce his new fire whips trick to Apache Junction rodeo audiences (submitted photo/Rider Chase Kiesner).

People attending this year’s Lost Dutchman Days can expect to see the tried-and-true staples that have grown the event over the past five decades mixed with the introduction of new entertainment, event organizers said.

“We’re celebrating 50 years of history and great accomplishments,” Denny Walter, general chairman of the Lost Dutchman Days Committee, said during a phone interview last week. “We’re also bringing in professional entertainment — trick-roper Rider Chase Kiesner — to perform at our rodeo.”

Lost Dutchman Days will take place Feb. 20-23 at sites throughout Apache Junction. Most will be staged at the Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd., just east of Idaho Road and west of State Route 88; and at Elks Lodge No. 2349, 2455 N. Apache Trail, according to the event website:

The four-day event will feature its centerpiece rodeo at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 21-23 at the rodeo grounds, with a team roping event offered free at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20.

Also returning are the annual Lost Dutchman Days Bratwurst Party noon-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Elks Lodge No. 2349. It will include live musical entertainment and a classic car show. There also will be a carnival Feb. 21-23; the Lost Dutchman Days parade at 9 a.m. Feb. 22 along Apache Trail starting at Phelps Drive, heading west to Ironwood and heading back west; the annual rodeo dance 7-11 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Elks Lodge No. 2349; and a mini rodeo for children Feb. 23 at the event center.

For a complete schedule or ticket information, visit the event website. Also, the official Lost Dutchman Days program will be inserted in the Feb. 19 issue of the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent.

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This was a big week for rural Arizona

This was a big week for rural Arizona. We had two legislative victories that will create jobs and boost economic activity for rural Arizonans.

First, President Obama signed the Farm Bill into law on Friday. Although I voted against that bill for several reasons , I was pleased that it included most of my Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act, which is now law.

When it comes to wildfires, 2013 wasn’t a good year, which is why I’m especially proud that the majority of my bill was signed into law. Arizona and the nation has suffered loss of life, loss of habitat and loss of resources as a result of recurring catastrophic wildfires. It took years but now good forest-management practices recognize that healthy forests must be thinned and managed in order to avoid tragedies.

Although we are never going to prevent all fires, this legislation will help make wildfires less frequent, and less intense when they do occur. Moreover, these provisions allow tax dollars to be spent more effectively by focusing on prevention as opposed to suppression, which is significantly more costly.

While this legislation is a great start, we still must pass other important provisions of my bill that weren’t included in the Farm Bill. These include provisions in a House-passed forest health package that will provide critical revenues for education in rural communities and allow for active forest management on a larger scale. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to help prevent another catastrophic wildfire season by acting swiftly to pass this legislation. Click HEREto read more.

More Grand Canyon Flights

Second, I was thrilled by the FAA’s decision to allow additional quiet flights over the Grand Canyon by aircraft using quiet technology. This commonsense decision will create good-paying jobs and boost economic activity in an extremely rural area.

By recognizing quiet flight technology improvements, the FAA has given us an example of a federal agency using evidence-based decision making. Now, more of Arizona’s visitors get to experience the beauty of this natural treasure through unique aerial tours. As a result of the FAA’s decision, we are accomplishing two important goals: keeping noise in the Canyon to a minimum while growing this critical sector of our economy.

One of my bills that was enacted into law during the previous Congress, theGrand Canyon Tourism Jobs Protection Act of 2012, paved the way for this FAA decision. I’m honored that my bill can contribute to Arizona’s economy. Click HERE to read more.

These aren’t Just Statistics, These are People

The Obama Administration is responsible for a workforce reduction of 2.5 million people. On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Budget and Economic Outlook for 2014-2024, which projects that ObamaCare will reduce the number of full-time workers by approximately 2.5 million people.

Apparently the President believes these people are just collateral damage to his larger agenda. But these aren’t just statistics, these are real people, with real families and real lives. These are middle-class families who are struggling to make ends meet.

This massive job contraction is absolutely tragic, especially because it was as predictable as it was preventable. From day one, many of my Republican colleagues and I spoke out against the disaster that is ObamaCare. Now it’s more urgent than ever that we repeal and, most importantly, replace ObamaCare with a patient-centered, free-market alternative, such as the American Health Care Reform Act. Click HERE to read more.

More Bad News

January’s jobs numbers were released on Friday and, unfortunately, brought us more bad news. Only 113,000 jobs were added to the economy in January after an abysmal 75,000 jobs were added in December, making the last two months the worst for job creation since 2012. Additionally, the labor-force participation rate, which represents the employment rate of adults who are able to work, continues to hover around only 63%, the lowest rate in 35 years.

One way that President Obama can help boost our economy right now is to approve the Keystone-XL Pipeline, which would create 2,000 jobs and support 40,000 more. This is a no-brainer but the President has so far only delayed this decision in order to appease the environmental lobbyists.


Increasing Your Access to Our Public Lands

On Thursday, I voted in favor of the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act, a package of 10 bills aimed at increasing and preserving public access to federal lands, facilitating responsible economic development and encouraging transparent land management.

This legislation cuts red tape that prevents tourism and economic development on public lands as well as increases public access to important recreation and conservation areas. This important bill provides greater certainty to ranchers and farmers by increasing the length of new grazing permits on public lands and streamlines the actual grazing permitting process.

The package is also good for our environment and good for small businesses, as the expedited removal of salvageable timber will greatly benefit the forest products industry and also reduce the threats of dangerous wildfires. This legislation is a great start to long overdue public lands reform. Click HERE to read more.

Keeping the Pressure On

On Thursday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which I am a member, held a hearing investigating the IRS targeting of conservative groups. I will keep putting pressure on the Obama Administration so that we can finally uncover the whole truth about this violation of our basic Constitutional rights. Click HERE or below to watch a video of my questions to the witnesses.

Government Waste of the Week

$3.5 million: the cost to install solar panels at Manchester-Boston Airport that had to be covered up because their glare was blinding pilots and air traffic controllers.

Congressional District 4: Did you Know?

La Paz, Arizona is a ghost town in present-day La Paz County. It was settled in 1862 along the Colorado River and was a gold mining town. It was the location of the westernmost incident of the Civil War, called the La Paz incident, in which a local Confederate militiaman attacked and killed 2 Union soldiers.

(An abandoned structure in La Paz, courtesy of

As always, you can follow everything I am working on in Arizona and Washington, D.C. through my website ( ) on Twitter@repgosar , or through Facebook at Representative Paul Gosar.

Election equipment damaged in Pinal County fire

The Pinal County elections office in central Florence was destroyed by a fire that began around 10:30 p.m. Monday night.

The Florence Fire Department is leading the investigation into the cause of the blaze, which also caused smoke damage to an adjacent evidence room for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, county spokesman Joe Pyritz said. Arson investigators from Globe are also on the scene.

Investigators have not ruled out a suspicious fire, but bringing in arson investigators is a routine response, Pyritz said. The roof of the property caved in during the blaze, slowing efforts to investigate the fire’s source and cause, he added.

The elections office held all the paper elections records, along with all the ballot machines and vote-counting equipment, Pyritz said. However, the records, including campaign finance forms, are backed up digitally, he said.

The sheriff’s office kept only archival evidence for old cases in the damaged building and that none of it appeared damaged by fire or the water used to put it out, officials said.

The main evidence room is at the sheriff’s office headquarters.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tim Gaffney confirmed Pyritz’s description and added that the department “has nothing to do with the investigation” at this time.

County Recorder Virginia Ross told the Associated Press that the county’s next election is the August state primary and that county supervisors have pledged to give the department what it needs to run the election smoothly.

Pyritz said the destroyed election equipment is valued at $1.2 million.

Click here for video:



PHOENIX, February 3, 2014– The campaign to stop federal violations of the Second Amendment at the state and local level got two big boosts late last week with the introduction of the Second Amendment Preservation Act in Arizona and an important endorsement for a similar bill pending in Florida.

Along with eight other sponsors, Arizona state Senator Kelli Ward introduced the Second Amendment Preservation Act in the Grand Canyon State. SB1294 prohibits the state from enforcing “any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation that relates to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition within the limits of this state.”

“We’ve sat back and allowed the federal government to trample the Constitution long enough,” Ward said. “We’re going to pass this bill and stop the state of Arizona from helping the feds violate your rights.”

The legislation rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot “commandeer” or coerce states into implementing or enforcing federal acts or regulations – constitutional or not. The anti-commandeering doctrine rests primarily on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. The 1997 case, Printz v. US, serves as the modern cornerstone.

“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”

Such a tactic is an extremely effective way to stop a federal government busting at the seams. Even the National Governors Association admitted this recently when it sent out a press release noting that “States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs.” That means states can create impediments to enforcing and implementing “most federal programs,” including those which impose upon the right to keep and bear arms.

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” advised this very tactic.  Madison supplied the blueprint for resisting federal power in Federalist 46. He outlined several steps that states can take to effective stop “an unwarrantable measure,” or “even a warrantable measure” of the federal government. Anticipating the anti-commandeering doctrine, Madison called for “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a method of resistance.

Judge Andrew Napolitano last year urged states to introduce and pass this type of legislation specifically, saying that a single state passing such a law would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”

It’s quite simple; you cannot say you support the Second Amendment and oppose this bill.

Arizona Tenth Amendment Center state chapter coordinator Adam Henriksen agreed.

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Handlers: Punxsutawney Phil predicts longer winter

Punxsutawney Phil

Disclaimer: Punxsutawney Phil did not really say that because, as we all know, Groundhogs can’t talk. But if they could

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — The handlers for groundhog Punxsutawney Phil say he’s forecasting six more weeks of what already has felt like a brutally long and cold winter.

Pennsylvania’s famed groundhog emerged from his lair in front of thousands of fans around daybreak Sunday.

Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow on Sunday morning at about 7:20, saw his shadow and predicted a longer winter.

 Lunar New Year, partial solar eclipse, Syrian airstrikes, studying snake aerodynamics and more.
Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another month-and-a-half. If he doesn’t see it, spring will come early.

In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by a group called the Inner Circle, whose members don top hats and tuxedos for the annual Groundhog Day ceremony on Gobbler’s Knob, the tiny hill in the town for which he’s named about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The prediction this year fell on Super Bowl Sunday. The closest the game previously came to coinciding with Groundhog Day was in 2009, when the just-down-the-road Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in the Super Bowl, the night before Phil’s forecast.

The game this year featuring the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will be the Super Bowl’s 48th installment, while Phil has been predicting the weather since 1886.

This year’s Groundhog Day celebration marks a winter that has brought extreme cold to stretches of the country wholly unaccustomed to it, as well as a snow and ice storm that paralyzed Atlanta and other Southern cities.

Phil is the most famous of a small group of groundhogs said to forecast the weather, including Staten Island Chuck in New York and General Beauregard Lee in Atlanta.

The National Climatic Data Center has put Phil’s forecasts to the test and found them sorely lacking, declaring the groundhog has “no predictive skill.”

“It really isn’t a ‘bright’ idea to take a measure such as a groundhog’s shadow and use it as a predictive meteorological tool for the entire United States,” the data center says on its website, helpfully if somewhat obviously.