John McCain Wages Outright War on AZ Tea Party; Worried About 2016 Re-Election

Driven by political greed, RINO U.S. Senator and failed 2008 presidential candidate John McCain is already maneuvering to shore up his 2016 re-election chances in his home state of Arizona.

The 78-year-old senator, who was first sent to Washington, DC during the Reagan administration, replaced the late, great Barry Goldwater in the U.S. Senate from Arizona has declared an-all out war against the pro-liberty, pro-Constitution Tea Party grassroots movement, the base of his own party, in his home state.

Desiring revenge for his stunning censure by the Arizona Republican Party in January of 2014, McCain is using the power of his office to replace conservatives in state GOP party areas of influence, with his RINO robots. Politico  confirmed the strategy after speaking with nearly a dozen sources, who they refer to as “McCain operatives, donors, and friends.”

As reported, one of McCain’s targets was none other than the man who was instrumental in seeing that McCain was appropriately censored, (emphasis added):

The biggest foe to fall: Timothy Schwartz, the man who authored the McCain censure resolution. Earlier this month, Schwartz was ousted from his post as a GOP legislative district chairman by a group of newly elected precinct committeemen who voted in favor of a McCain-aligned candidate. Another outspoken McCain detractor, A.J. LaFaro, recently announced that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection to the Maricopa County Republican chairmanship, a tacit recognition that he didn’t have enough support to win.

In an interview, Schwartz blamed his ouster squarely on McCain, whom he said had singled him out. “It’s very clear what’s going on,” he said. “Look, John McCain has prominence and money and influence and because of that he thinks he can ramrod us.

McCain has run several successful campaigns, always running as a staunch conservative, then operating like his liberal Democrat “friends” shortly after retaining power.

A perfect example was McCain running campaign ads saying “complete the danged [border] fence,” only to immediately go soft on amnesty and illegal immigration soon after his re-election in 2010.

RELATED:  John McCain on a Hillary Clinton Presidency: ‘I’d Be Proud to Work with Her’

Chris Rossiter, President of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party, issued the following statement regarding McCain’s power move, saying McCain’s skin might even be thinner than Obama’s (ouch!), and that McCain and his progressive ilk will eventually be dismantled:

John McCain is the only politician I can think of whose skin might be thinner than Obama’s.

He is still stinging from the censure dealt out by his own party in Arizona two years ago.  He can’t afford to have that happen again during an election cycle.  That is why he is resorting to desperate and petty tactics.  It’s embarrassing for a US Senator to expend effort to squeeze a precinct committeeman out of his position by flooding that man’s precinct with a slate of shills.  That’s just what his people did to the man who organized the censure effort.

The power struggle within the Arizona GOP is cyclical (it predates the Tea Party) and McCain’s money (from Democrats, establishment types, and mommy’s purse) is being used to posture him for his 2016 run.

The Tea Party in Arizona is focused on organizing and developing long-term strategies to dismantle the network of the left.  The ultimate goal of that effort is to make people like John McCain and their progressive coffers irrelevant regardless of how big their money supply happens to be.  We may cede some ground to the RINO’s from time-to-time during that process, but we are confident in the end we will prevail.

Source:  http://www.tpnn.com/2014/12/31/john-mccain-wages-outright-war-on-az-tea-party-worried-about-2016-re-election/

Have we been had again?

Back in September of this year, then candidate for AZ Governor, Doug Ducey made the following statement regarding Common Core:  “Common Core has been tied to Washington, D.C., for funding and for that reason I believe it’s co-opted something that began as a good idea and now I think is unworkable. …” AZ Central 09/20/14

Just 2 months later, Governor Elect Ducey appointed Common Core advocates to the State subcommittees on Education, apparently after being elected, he now believes Common Core IS workable.  Source: http://www.arizonadailyindependent.com/2014/11/21/ducey-appoints-common-core-advocates-to-subcommittee-on-education/

Perhaps the good Governor Elect should pay heed to this article:

Say-No-To-Common-Core-Pins

If you want to know which Republican governors harbor presidential aspirations, in 2016 or beyond, a good way to find out might be to look at their stance on Common Core.

The controversial effort to standardize education across the 50 states has fallen so far out of favor among conservatives that it’s quickly becoming a litmus test for Republicans hoping to one day move up the political ladder.

Over the past few weeks, Republican governors in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indiana and Louisiana have all taken steps to distance themselves from the Common Core, either by working with their state legislatures or by taking unilateral action.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is the latest to turn against Common Core after having initially invited the program into his state in 2010.

Unlike in Oklahoma and South Carolina, Jindal did not have a state legislature that took the lead on ousting Common Core. So he acted by executive order.

Jindal announced June 18 that he had contacted Common Core’s copyright owners – the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers – to tell them that he was terminating the contract tying his state to Common Core. He then notified the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, that the state is dropping the test meant to measure compliance with Common Core.

Jindal also suspended funding for PARCC, pending an investigation into the state Department of Education’s handling of the PARCC contract under Supt. John White, who said last week that Louisiana schools will continue implementing Common Core. Critics allege that White secretly handed a no-bid contract to PARCC in violation of state law.

Whether Jindal’s actions will actually get Louisiana out of Common Core at this late stage of the game remains to be seen. The state Board of Education has been in support of Common Core under White’s direction and many school districts have already started implementing the standards.

But Jindal seems to be giving more than just a token effort, says Mercedes Schneider, a Louisiana educator, popular blogger and author of the whistleblower book on failed national education reform, “A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education.”

“He looked like, for the first time, he was being honest, not just saying this for the cameras,” Schneider told WND. “Now, is it to his political advantage? Yes, because he wants to be the Republican nominee in 2016. But is this a real effort by him to get out of Common Core. Yeah, it’s real.”

Jindal only appointed three of the state board’s 11 members and he has no legal authority to remove White as state superintendent.

But White is now damaged goods, Schneider said, and several of the board members could change their positions as the scenario plays out over the next few weeks and months.

“The Office of Contract Review is investigating White and Jindal could use the threat of criminal charges as leverage against him,” Schneider said. “Jindal is the governor and he’s a very well-connected governor. We are very volatile in Louisiana but are we out of Common Core? It’s very much up in the air right now. Even the state board is undecided right now but funding is suspended and there will be no PARCC. There was no open bidding for that contract in 2010. So are we out of Common Core? Yeah, I think we’re out.”

Could Mississippi be next?

And Louisiana may not be the last state with a Republican governor seeking to ditch Common Core.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant hinted last week that he could be next in line to reconsider the wisdom of moving forward with the national standards in the face of mounting pushback from the grassroots.

“I think Common Core is a failed program, and the United States is beginning to realize that,” Bryant said. “Governors all across America are realizing states can do it better.”

Schneider is reading the tea leaves and doesn’t see much positive going on for Common Core these days. Presidential hopefuls heavily invested in the program, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, now have a problem on their hands: They’re on record pushing a set of top-down educational standards that have the backing of President Obama and yet have become grossly unpopular with parents and a growing number of teachers.

Just a few days ago another nationwide teachers’ organization, the Badass Teachers Association, issued a statement it had lost faith in the Obama administration’s educational policies. The statement made particular note of the Race to the Top program, which is being used to fund Common Core.

“The Badass Teachers Association (BATs), an association of over 48,000 teachers, has taken a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. This vote signifies that teachers around the nation do not support the educational agenda set forth by the Obama Administration and Secretary Duncan. Race to the Top fails to serve our neediest children and it fails to address race and class inequalities in the education system,” the statement read.

BATs co-founder Mark Naison, in a letter to Obama, wrote: “The joy and creative learning that your own children experience in one of the nation’s top private schools are being driven out of public schools throughout the nation with startling rapidity. Teachers work in fear. Students learn under extreme stress. Parents wonder why their children have started to hate school.”

Some wary of ‘rebranding’

But some veteran education activists are urging caution against any early euphoria. Common Core still has a tremendous amount of establishment power pulling strings and setting strategy that may involve temporary retreat in order to get long-term victory.

Anita Hoge, a Pennsylvania-based education consultant and expert on the global push toward assessment-based education standards, points out that Jeb Bush and Bill Gates are doubling down on their efforts to counter the backlash and get Common Core fully implemented. Bush launched a new TV ad campaign recently promoting Common Core and Gates has his people working behind the scenes in almost every state.

Indiana chose not to go with Common Core but that was clearly window dressing by Gov. Mike Pence as that state’s new standards look a lot like those of Common Core. And the jury remains out on Oklahoma, where Gov. Mary Fallin and the legislature have agreed to take two years to come up with new standards. But with Fallin being the current chair of the National Governors Association, that state could also end up going with some kind of rebranding of Common Core.

“Oklahoma’s law actually allows for data collection,” Hoge said. “We have to be wary that these different states are moving ahead with the Common Core under a new name.”

The bottom-line goals of Common Core, after all, are the measurement of pre-determined benchmark skills or “outcomes” produced by schools on an international basis, Hoge said. A school’s clients are no longer its students or their taxpaying parents but well-connected corporations looking to fill out the needs of their particular workforce.

It’s an effort to standardize education across the globe through intensive data collection and frequent high-stakes testing. So, the needs of the student no longer matter as much as the needs of the global economic system, as determined by central planners sitting in bureaucratic agencies, and this represents a fundamental transformation that has been under way at least since the 1990s.

“ACT had the contract in the 1990s to come up with the benchmark skills, called workforce readiness skills,” Hoge said. “ACT finished the benchmarks in 2003.”

When Bill Gates got involved and infused millions of dollars into the project, it took flight as Common Core, and the governors bought into it with backing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This was all done with no input from parents or teachers, or even a trial run of the standards. So even if Common Core is ultimately defeated, the ideas that serve as its underpinning must also be defeated if true local control and parental rights are to be restored to public education, Hoge said.

One backdoor channel Hoge is keeping her eye on should Common Core go down in flames, is the EASA flexibility waivers that Obama’s Department of Education put in place allowing states to bypass certain penalties for not meeting No Child Left Behind benchmarks and for qualifying for Title 1 status even if the school doesn’t meet the required 40 percent poverty threshold. This means the schools would fall under low-income guidelines and bring numerous federal rules into play, including the adoption of “college and career ready standards” with “aligned assessments” to measure adherence to the standards, according to U.S. Department of Education documents obtained by WND.

“I’m hoping that some people just wake up to the fact that they really have to do their own research,” Hoge said. “We could be looking at the fake repeal of Common Core in many states. Nobody’s talking about the waivers.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/states-pulling-the-plug-on-common-core/#Ac0Zrw1fCUO2wGZT.99

 

Pinal County internal auditor resigns – Supervisors discuss future of office after all 4 employees quit

FLORENCE — Days after Internal Auditor Kate Witek announced her resignation, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors discussed what the next steps would be for the Office of Internal Audit.

 Witek’s resignation is effective today. She has essentially been the lone employee in the office.

Fully staffed, the office is supposed to employ four people, but the three employees who quit at different points this year were never replaced.

The future of the office was discussed at the supervisors’ work session Wednesday. The conversation ranged from getting rid of the office to fully staffing it again.

Generally, supervisors favor keeping an in-house department to conduct audits and hiring outside companies to conduct some audits.

David DeStefano, a member of an internal audit committee that presented a report to the board, said that while some audits outsourced by the board have provided value to the county, he thinks having an auditor at the county is the best option.

“If you were to fully outsource this, I think you’d still need a liaison,” he said. “I would prefer an in-house staff.”

DeStefano, who has a background as an auditor, said certain audits that deal with technical expertise or other subjects that require an expert in a given field would still need to be outsourced.

Supervisor Pete Rios of Dudleyville said the Internal Audit Department provided value when it was fully staffed. He said his preference is to fully staff the department, although he admitted the county may not be in a financial position to do so.

Supervisor Cheryl Chase of San Tan Valley agreed, saying some audits will require outsourcing, but adding the county shouldn’t eliminate its in-house option.

Supervisor Steve Miller of Casa Grande has been critical of the department and has advocated for its abolishment. Miller’s main argument is outsourcing the audits to a private company would save the county money.

Supervisor Todd House of Apache Junction said Witek’s departure is a “big loss” for the county. He wants at least one person in county government to be responsible for audits.

In the future, House said the board needs to make auditors feel more comfortable and let that person know he or she can have a career with “longevity” with the county.

In the meantime, a temporary replacement for Witek is needed, supervisors said. Chase suggested bringing in a retiree with a background in auditing who could bridge the gap until someone else is hired.

Another issue supervisors discussed is what to do with the silent whistleblower hotline, which was handled by the department.

Board Chairman Anthony Smith of Maricopa suggested his executive assistant, Marlene Pearce, for filling that role, but other supervisors, including Miller and Chase, thought that was a bad idea.

After an executive session requested by Chase, Smith said he was fine with having a third party control the hotline. He said Pearce would be a temporary solution while the Internal Audit office was vacant.

Source:  http://www.trivalleycentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/pinal-county-internal-auditor-resigns/article_82a8f54c-82ed-11e4-9b90-4fc6e980470d.html

City sales tax increased by .2% in Apache Junction

The Apache Junction City Council on Dec. 2 approved a 10-year .2 percent increase to its city sales tax to help fund improvements to local streets and roads city officials say are in dire need of repair.

Voting in favor of the tax were Mayor John Insalaco, Vice Mayor Robin Barker and council members Gail Evans, Dave Waldron and Chip Wilson.

Voting against it were council members Christa Rizzi and Jeff Serdy.

The .2 percent city sales tax will increase the tax revenue the city receives by 20 cents per $100 spent in Apache Junction, according to a press release.

The current total sales tax rate is 8.9 percent, of which the city of Apache Junction receives 2.2 percent. The state receives 5.6 percent and Pinal County receives 1.1 percent, according to the city’s website.

For example, if an individual spends $100 in Apache Junction, the state receives $5.60, the county receives $1.10 and Apache Junction currently receives $2.20, according to the website.

The new sales tax will increase Apache Junction share to $2.40, or 2.4 percent, according to the website.

As part of the motion, the council directed city staff members to provide an annual report of all revenues collected from the tax for that year as well as expenditures for that year’s road improvements, Apache Junction Assistant City Manager Bryant Powell said during a phone interview Dec. 4.

Several council members voted yes after stating their reservations about the tax.

“I for one know this tax we are looking at imposing is a double-tax,” Councilman Wilson said in part during a prepared statement at the meeting. “I admit it’s unfair. First we pay our gasoline tax on our licenses fees and the state acquires the money and they distribute it the way they want to do it. … We now are asking you to pay an additional amount to make the same improvements to our roads inside the city that these funds are supposed to be used for.” He added other towns and cities are facing the same challenges.

Before voting against the tax, Councilman Serdy said there were still other funding options left to explore.

“Gail (Councilwoman Evans) has some ideas on some taxes that aren’t being collected that could solve a lot of this. There are a lot little ways we could put a couple hundred-thousand here and there and come up with this money,” Mr. Serdy said in the streaming video on the city’s website.

He said he felt the additional tax could hurt the local mom-and-pop businesses.

“They’re going to disappear. They give us personality,” he said.

Support for the tax measure was mixed among the residents who addressed the council during the public comment portion of the meeting, according to the video.

“You don’t have a choice,” Apache Junction resident Wayne Standage said. “The roads have degraded so much, especially the Trail, you’ve got to do something now and the sales tax is your only option to accomplish that.”

“I don’t like the idea of raising taxes because people will go to Mesa (and other areas) to go shopping,” Muhammad Ziaullah, a local businessman, said to the council. “I would like you guys to vote against it.”

The city expects the .2 percent increase, which will go into effect March 1 and will sunset in 10 years, to generate about $1 million annually to pay for road improvements, with repairs to Apache Trail, the city’s major thoroughfare, as its priority, according to information posted on the city’s website.

The cost to repair Apache Trail from Meridian to Idaho in its current condition is approximately $3 million; that number will jump to $12 million in 2020, according to a press release.

Historically, the funding for roads in Apache Junction came from Highway User Revenue Funds, according to the release. HURF comes from the gas tax that is collected by the state and proportionately distributed to municipalities along with the revenue allocated to the city as part of the half-cent Pinal County sales tax, according to the release.

HURF monies plummeted during the recession with no drastic recovery anticipated anytime soon, according to the release. Additionally, the state began sweeping HURF to balance their budgets, which left local municipalities struggling. Since 2007, HURF has decreased in Apache Junction from $7.3 million to $3.8 million, according to the release.

With diminished HURF monies, the city began researching ways to establish a supplemental revenue source to fix and maintain roadways, according to the release. The city does not have a property tax and as a result the majority of its budget is funded through sales tax, according to its website.

The city has developed a list of its top future road improvement projects and the cost to complete them, Mr. Powell said during his phone interview. They are:

•Apache Trail: A 2-mile-long segment from Meridian Road to Idaho Road, $3 million.

•Baseline Road: A 2.5-mile-long segment from Ironwood Drive to Winchester Road, $1 million.

•Broadway Road: A .5-mile-long segment from Old West Highway to Tomahawk Road, $500,000.

•Delaware Drive: A 1-mile-long segment from Broadway Road to Southern Avenue, starting at $500,000. The cost is to repave the road. It will increase if major improvements, such as added drainage, are included.

•Southern Avenue: A 2-mile-long segment from Meridian Road to Idaho Road, $500,000.

•Meridian Road: A 4-mile-long segment from Southern Avenue to McKellips, $1 million. This would be a joint project with Maricopa County, which would contribute an additional $1.1 million.

The order and extent of the projects will be decided by the city council, Mr. Powell said during his interview. In addition, emergency repairs, such as monsoon damage, could alter the road improvement schedule, he said.

The Apache Junction City Council holds its regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the council chambers. For schedules and agendas, visit the city website.

Source:  http://arizona.newszap.com/eastvalley/136986-114/city-sales-tax-increased-by-2-in-apache-junction

Apache Junction woman connects the dots with her art

An exhibit at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum features an Apache Junction artist’s unique stipple pen-and-ink artwork, which is the intricate art of creating an image with tiny dots.

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It only makes sense that Julie Stubbs’ artwork is featured in the Boyce Thompson Arboretum’s visitor-center gallery this month. The Apache Junction artist is inspired by birds and plants, two of the top reasons that visitors are drawn to the arboretum on U.S. 60 near Superior.

The exhibit includes Stubbs’ unique stipple pen-and-ink artwork, which is the intricate art of creating an image with tiny dots; perhaps familiar to most as theWall Street Journal’s portrait style.

Stubbs uses her talent for field-guide quality, lifelike renditions of birds such as the cardinal, cactus wren, great horned owl, turkey vulture and blackbird. She and her husband, Dan, live at the base of the Superstition Mountains with the surrounding Sonoran Desert to provide inspiration.

Visitors are invited to meet the artist from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, during her gallery-opening reception.

Stubbs credits a Mesa High School arts teacher with inspiring her career in art.

“Teacher Virginia Durham was my inspiration. She’s an acrylic painter and she set me on the path to a career creating art. She encouraged me to study art in college, where a required drawing class introduced me to stippling. I was not a big fan of pen and ink drawings, but discovered that drawing with individual dots allowed me to create both dramatic shading and fine details,” she said.

Beginning with a light pencil sketch on white Bristol board, Stubbs begins the long process of drawing an image with tiny individual ink dots with archival ink pens.

“I can’t count how many times someone has asked me if I drew that with a computer. No, it is all done by hand, one dot at a time,” she said.

The second question often is about how long it takes. Smaller images can take a few days to a few weeks, while she estimates larger ones can take a few years being worked on intermittently.

Images are printed onto artist paper then hand colored with Prismacolor artist pencils and blended with a kneaded eraser.

“When I first started coloring my birds, I added just a hint of color. I soon learned that adding layers of color made for a brighter image and the birds popped on the paper. I also keep my backgrounds to a minimum to further enhance the image of the birds,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs photographs native Superstition Wilderness birds for use as studies and creates works based on photography by friends and neighbors. Most of her subjects are familiar birds seen around desert foothills and neighborhoods. One exception is “Swoop,” a Eurasian Eagle owl, which she had the thrilling privilege to hold on a leather-gloved arm a few years ago.

All of Stubbs’ art is custom-matted and framed in her studio.

“I offer my unframed prints double matted to fit a standard frame. I want my customers to be able to get my drawings up on their wall as easily and quickly as they can so it can be enjoyed,” she said.

She is a member of the National Audubon Society, also the local Artists of the Superstitions association; by extension, she’s also a member of the Arizona Art Alliance.

In cooler desert months, Stubbs participates and sells her art at outdoor art shows and birding expos. She has illustrated several book covers with drawings using the stipple technique.

Information: ag.arizona.edu/bta.

This article was submitted by Paul Wolterbeek, public events and volunteer program coordinator at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Harvard Study: Arizona perceived as most corrupt state

If any of this is true, it’s time to specifically identify those who are corrupt, remove them from office, and if possible, incarcerate them.  Don’t let the beauty of this state be marred by the avarice of Man.

PHOENIX (KSAZ) –We’re number one according to a Harvard study on illegal corruption, which is “private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official in exchange for specific benefits.”

Being number one in this case — a dubious distinction.

The word we heard most often as we told people in downtown Phoenix about the Harvard study saying Arizona is perceived as the most corrupt state:

“I am embarrassed.  I’ve been in Arizona for 15 years.  That’s embarrassing.

“I’m embarrassed.  I’m always embarrassed by the people who are in power who make decisions in this state.. embarrass me on a daily basis.”

Before hanging your head in shame about this study, many people, including political consultant Stan Barnes, are saying the Harvard study is way off base.

“When I think of corruption, I think of the ability to illegally buy your way through a process and I can assure you, that is not done in Arizona.”

Barnes is a former Arizona state legislator, who says the study is just flat out wrong.

“I’ve worked in a lot of states.  I’ve served in the legislature in this state and I think Arizona is relatively virginal compared to other states.”

This young man says he believes the corruption label for Arizona, but says he’s hopeful.

“There’s not too much we can do about it though.  We gotta stay positive, go to school, teach our kids there’s certain things we should and shouldn’t do.”

We talked to the Governor’s office who said this study was unsubstantiated nonsense.

Want to check out the report for yourself?

Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States:
Some Results from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Corruption in America Survey
http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/measuring-illegal-and-legal-corruption-american-states-some-results-safra

Source:  http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/27578195/2014/12/08/harvard-study-arizona-perceived-as-most-corrupt-state