The First Air Force One

This is a beautiful find in Arizona.  It is hopeful that it will be restored and placed for many to see the First Air Force ONE.  Turn your sound on when viewing this review of the aircraft.
First Air Force One
Recently discovered, is an airplane of historical
significance that was found in 2013, languishing in an aircraft parking facility in Marana, AZ.

Nominee for Attorney General Thinks Illegals Have Right to Work

Looks like it’s time to start writing letters and make phone calls to our representatives and senators again.

Who has the “right” to work in the United States? According to Congress, those who are lawful citizens or lawful immigrants. According to Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, illegals also have the right to work. Come again?

Let’s unpack this whole right to work thing. What exactly is a right in the first place? According to the dictionary, the pertinent definition of right is “a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.” So a right is a moral or legal entitlement.

We obviously cannot consider work opportunities for illegals a “legal” entitlement. Such a pronouncement completely contradicts the basic definition of, well, every word involved here. But is the opportunity to work a “moral” entitlement? What does that even mean? Are we saying that the opportunity to work is a natural right applying to all people regardless of legal position? That is, frankly, absurd.

The real question here is, “Do lawful citizens even have a right to work?” Sure, they have the right to pursue a job. They have the right to hold a job that has been given them by an employer. But should illegals have the same access to jobs that lawful citizens and immigrants have? I think not. Morally and legally speaking.

Employers might prefer hiring illegals for numerous reasons. They can pay them less, work them longer hours, pay them under the table, and fire them at will. I think the real solution here is to force the civil government to butt out of voluntary arrangements between workers and employers, so that lawful citizens can determine for themselves what they are willing to do to have a job. It might even be that we streamline the immigration process.

But the answer is decidedly not to just make legal immigration and citizenship meaningless by proffering the same rights and privileges, that citizens and legal immigrants enjoy under the law, to basically anyone, whether or not they are under the law.

The bottom line here is that, in terms of the civil government, rights have to be defined legally. They are often also moral rights. But the civil government’s primary provenance is legality. Illegals are just that—illegal. They have no rights in the United States other than those natural inalienable rights endowed to them by God by nature of their humanity. The opportunity to pursue employment illegally is not one of those rights, however. If they want legal entitlements, they ought to bring themselves into accord with the law. That seems like a no-brainer.

Former deputy county attorney banned in Okla. License suspended for 2 years due to misconduct in AZ

A former deputy Pinal County attorney has been banned from practicing law in Oklahoma for two years, a state where he worked before moving to Arizona.

Richard Wintory, who resigned from the Pinal County Attorney’s Office last month, was sanctioned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in mid-December.

 The County Attorney’s Office has never said why Wintory abruptly quit his job. He was hired as the chief deputy attorney by Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles shortly after Voyles took office, following his election in November 2012. Some media outlets reported that Wintory said he quit his Pinal County job for a better, unannounced, opportunity. However, that language was not in the press release given to the Casa Grande Dispatch by the County Attorney’s Office.

Although Voyles gushed about Wintory’s abilities, background and expectations when hiring him, Wintory’s career with Pinal County was a rocky one.

In a press released issued in November 2012, Voyles said, “With Richard Wintory’s experience, we will take this county to the next level in prosecuting criminals.”

Wintory was suspended from practicing law for 90 days last year and drew the ire of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors after it learned county money was spent to defend him in a lawsuit stemming from his employment with another government agency.

The Oklahoma action is a case of reciprocal discipline stemming from Wintory’s suspension in Arizona.

Wintory attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law and was admitted in 1984 to practice in that state, where he worked until moving to Arizona and being admitted to the bar in 2003. He was one of the prosecutors involved in the case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

Oklahoma Bar Association rules mandate that the state’s Supreme Court be notified of a lawyer’s adjudication of misconduct in the highest court of another state or federal court, hence their knowledge of Wintory’s actions.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court said reciprocal lawyer disciplinary proceedings were instituted after Wintory was disciplined for misconduct while working on a capital murder case in Arizona.

That misconduct warranted a two year and one day suspension from the practice of law in Oklahoma, the opinion states.

The justices noted that Wintory didn’t respond to the notices sent by their offices about their actions.

A section of the opinion is printed in boldface capital letters:

“The uncontroverted evidence is that the attorney: on multiple occasions had contact with an individual recommended as an aide to the defense in a murder trial where the death penalty was sought; misled the defense, his supervisor, his co-counsel, and the trial court concerning the extent of his contact with the individual; ‘conveniently’ remembered there had been a witness to the one reported conversation only after affidavits were filed with the trial court which did not mention this development; and did not timely report the discipline imposed in the reciprocal jurisdiction to this court.”

“We stress that it is this court’s nondelegable, constitutional responsibility to regulate both the practice and the ethics, licensure, and discipline of the practitioners of the law,” the opinion states. “Discipline is administered to preserve public confidence in the bar. Our responsibility is not to punish, but to inquire into and gauge a lawyer’s continued fitness to practice law, with a view to safeguarding the interest of the public, of the court, and of the legal profession. Discipline is imposed to maintain these goals rather than as a punishment for the lawyer’s misconduct.

“Disciplinary action is also administered to deter the attorney from similar future conduct and to act as a restraining vehicle on others who might consider committing similar acts,” the justice wrote.

The opinion concludes that Wintory “is a seasoned prosecutor. … He teaches seminars on the duties of prosecutors, defense counsel, law enforcement and judges on issues related to constitutional law. There simply is no excuse for the respondent’s failure to be completely honest in regard to his conversations with the confidential intermediary in the underlying criminal proceeding. His actions in this matter compromised the ability of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to prosecute an alleged murderer.”

The actions stemmed from Wintory’s work as a prosecutor on a Pima County murder case. He was handling the case while employed by the Pima County Attorney’s Office but continued after he quit that job and went to work for the state Attorney General’s Office. He had repeated phone conversations with a confidential intermediary who had been appointed to assist the defense in uncovering mitigation evidence. That prompted the defense to file a motion to have Wintory and the Attorney General’s Office recused from the case.

Wintory did not inform the court, his co-counsel or his supervisors of the extent of his conversations with the confidential intermediary. He initially stated there had been only one conversation when there had been several, some of them lengthy. He later amended paperwork about his conversations and said one more phone conversation occurred, but he excluded information about two long phone conversations.

Because of those actions, Wintory was suspended from practicing law in Arizona for 90 days, beginning March 15, 2014, after he admitted he violated rules of professional conduct. He was reinstated to practice on June 13, 2014, and less than six months later quit his Pinal County job. He was also ordered to pay the State Bar of Arizona $1,911.

County supervisors demanded he reimburse the county for money spent defending his actions while he worked for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

The County Attorney’s Office spent $27,500 to defend Wintory in that bar investigation into his alleged misconduct. In the summer of 2013, county supervisors ordered that no more Pinal County money be spent on that defense and filed a lawsuit to force Wintory to pay the county back. The county spent about $14,000 on the lawsuit. In the spring of 2014, the county was paid $40,000 from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court opinion was written by Justice Joseph M. Watt. Justices John F. Reif, Yvonne J. Kauger, James R. Winchester and Douglas L. Combs concurred.

Justice Steven W. Taylor dissented. His response was brief. “I would disbar” Wintory, he wrote.

Justices Tom J. Colbert, James E. Edmondson and Noma Gurich did not participate in the decision.




Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, front, gives his state-of-the-state address as Arizona House speaker David Gowan, left, R-Sierra Vista, and Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs, right, R-Gilbert, listen at the Arizona Capitol Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona on Thursday became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring high school students to pass a civics exam before graduation.

The swift action by the Arizona Legislature comes as states around the country take up similar measures. The proposal requires high school students to correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on the civics portion of the U.S. citizenship test.

The test is being pushed nationally by the Scottsdale-based Joe Foss Institute, which has set a goal of having all 50 states adopt it by 2017, the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. The institute says legislatures in 15 states are expected to consider it this year.

Critics questioned the message the bill sends at a time when Arizona is facing a deficit and education funding crisis.

Both the House and Senate quickly passed the bill at the beginning of the legislative session, and the newly elected Republican governor, Doug Ducey, has said he will sign it.

The North Dakota House of Representatives overwhelming approved the same measure Thursday, but Arizona’s is expected to be the first pass a full Legislature.

Ducey called on the Legislature to make the civics test the first bill to hit his desk as governor. He said studies show that students don’t know enough about basic government to grow into effective citizens.

“These are our children, and not long from now, it will be for them to vote on who sits in your chairs and who stands at this podium,” Ducey said in his State of the state address Monday. “How can we expect them to protect the principles on which this country was founded, if we are not preparing them for that task right now?”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, sponsoring the bill in his chamber, called the test a needed measure.

“Requiring that students pass this test is not by any means a silver bullet, but I think is a step, a small step forward,” he said. “And I think we need to encourage the people of America to become more aware of the values of America.”

The lone Democratic senator who opposed the bill on the education committee, David Bradley, said passing the test would do nothing to make good citizens. He said that despite the bill sponsors’ promises, there is a cost to the state.

Bradley also said that “this is not the end-all be-all to citizenship and it doesn’t get us any further down the road.”

A high school government teacher, Joe Thomas of Mesa, said he was concerned that having students take a 100-question test would take up an entire class period and is not an effective way of getting students engaged in civics. He said the test is will require rote memorization rather than something that promotes critical thinking.

“The interest is promoting civics and we want to see students engaged,” Thomas said. “I don’t know if a test engages students.”


[EXCLUSIVE] Pinal Supervisor Chase says PhoenixMart not ‘in danger’

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 5.47.04 PMBy Phil Riske | Managing Editor

Delays and tight lips surrounding the massive PhoenixMart project in Casa Grande are part of doing business, and “naysayers” should be patient, Pinal County Supervisor Carol Chase tells Rose Law Group Reporter.

“What company tells everyone everything they are doing? It is called keeping a competitive advantage,” she said in an e-mail. “Keeping things quiet certainly is not just a Phoenix Mart phenomena [sic].”

Supervisor Carol Chase

Chase referred to an exclusive article by Rose Law Group Reporter in which several Casa Grande city officials expressed frustrations over the $1B, 585-acre, 1.7-million-square-foot global product sourcing center project. Two project CEOs have resigned since the project was announced in 2013.

“Like any huge multi-million dollar project, [PhoenixMart] morphed as time went on,” Chase said. [PhoenixMart parent, a Chinese company] Az Sourcing started out with one plan, but as time rolled on, decided that the original plans could be modified to reach max potential . . . a new concept of doing business, and changes to plans are expected. Same with keeping their plans ‘close to the vest.’ ”

Az Sourcing is headed by Elizabeth Mann, who has rejected requests for an interview.

As reported by multiple news sources, she was the subject of two criminal investigations years ago, but was never charged.

A source close to the project told Rose Law Group Reporter some of the problems involve differences in the way Chinese and Americans view business strategies and tactics.

Chase said, “Add the fact that the [PhoenixMart] project is a combination of mostly Chinese and American business strategies involving hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign capital, different attitudes on how local governments can or will be involved and simply the experience of vastly different cultures, make the entire process extremely difficult to identify and mitigate the myriad of problems inherent in a project of this scope and size.”

During a Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in October last year, AZ Sourcing then-CEO Jeremy Schoenfelder pushed back a 2105 completion date, saying building the facility might extend into 2016.

“Economic development is a marathon, not a sprint,” Chase said. “The fact that a groundbreaking ceremony was held over two years ago, and construction has just started in the past two weeks does not mean the project is in danger.”

Risking a catastrophe by rushing the project, she said, “is not a good Chinese or American business model.”

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Arizona’s Pinal Airpark serves as airport, graveyard, junkyard, museum

The first thing you notice about Pinal Airpark is the noise: There isn’t any.

More than 120 massive airplanes — most outfitted with engines that, when revved, could make your teeth ache from half a mile away — are splayed on both sides of the airport’s 6,800-foot runway. Yet the place is so quiet you could hear a rattlesnake approach.

The shah of Iran’s private jet spent its last days here, parked next to aircraft the CIA used for covert missions in Southeast Asia and Central America.

Hulking jumbo jets that once ferried the rich and famous around the world in luxury now sit alongside tiny two-engine planes that were barely airworthy on their final flights for bankrupt Third World carriers.

They are all equal in death, however. And most of these planes have come to the desert outside Tucson to die.

“A lot of these, they’ll never fly again,” said Jim Petty, a pilot as well as the airport’s economic development director.

Pinal Airpark is a boneyard for civilian aircraft, one of several scattered across the arid Southwest, where the dry climate prevents corrosion. That allows planes stored for years to be returned to service should a need arise.

Not that it arises often. More commonly the aircraft are salvaged for spare parts, perhaps stabilizer flaps and landing gear. The big money, though, will continue to come from storing, then destroying, the old airplanes Petty has grown to love.

Once the planes have been stripped, a backhoe outfitted with a claw-like device rips the fuselage apart. A plane that took months to build can be shredded in hours, its aluminum then trucked into town to be recycled.

“And the amount of planes that are going to be taken out of service and recycled is more than it’s probably ever been before in the history of aviation,” Petty said.

Many of the abandoned aircraft — Airbus A300s, Boeing 747s and 767s, McDonnell Douglas MD-80s — still carry the distinctive paint schemes of the companies that flew them — Mexicana and China Southern, TWA and DHL. Across the taxiway are detritus from smaller airlines, such as Balkan Holiday, Turkmenistan Airlines and Air Madagascar.

Some belong to the airlines whose logos they bear, while other airlines pretend their planes aren’t here at all, prohibiting photographs of them (you know who are, Delta). And still others are kept here by leasing companies, which try to resell them before giving up and cannibalizing them for parts.

“Every plane out there has a different story — who owns it, why it’s there, what they’re going to do with it,” Petty said.

“Depending on why it’s in storage, it might have a happy ending or a sad ending,” Petty said.

After years of benign neglect, the 1,500-acre air park faces the same kind of uncertain future.

Opened in 1943 as Marana Army Air Field, the airport was used as a training base during World War II. When the government began giving away its military airfields after the war, it deeded the property to Pinal County, which in turn leased the facilities and most of the airport’s operations to various tenants, including the CIA.

Here Petty’s voice dropped to a whisper as he recounted rumors of a front company used to disguise black-ops missions into Vietnam, Tibet and Bangladesh in the 1950s and ’60s and a daring mission to retrieve two agents from an abandoned Soviet base in the Arctic.

Reminders of the facility’s secret past are everywhere, beginning with the abandoned guard shack at the end of the narrow two-lane road leading into the air park. Weathered signs still shout “No admittance” and “Authorized personnel only.”

The site hasn’t completely abandoned its military past. Just past the north end of the runway the Army National Guard has a training site, principally to teach pilots how to operate the Apache attack helicopter. It is also home to the U.S. Special Operations Command’s parachute training facility, which plays host to elite units, such as the Navy’s SEAL Team 6.

But, Petty said, most of that happens on the other side of the fence now. For Pinal County, which took over day-to-day operations of the air park last January, the focus is on improving the facility and making it an economic engine that provides jobs and revenue for the area.

“It’s in pretty rough shape,” Petty said of the airport. “And it’s hasn’t been cared for too well lately. So we’re hoping to turn that around.”

The airport still handles civilian air traffic, although the runway needs repaving, a project scheduled to begin shortly. And some of the lightning equipment, which dates to the 1950s, must be replaced.

Petty hopes to fund some of that work by opening the air park to moviemakers and aviation buffs. One guy spent more than $6,000 to rip out 38 seats and buy a few drink carts to decorate his factory.

But Petty the pilot admits he too pays a price for each of those sales.

“It makes me sad to see these planes all broken down like this,” he said.


State poised to withhold highways funds to Superior and Mammoth for not repaying non-statutory loans

Charges by the Arizona Office of Auditor General (OAG) that the towns of Superior and Mammoth misdirected funds targeted for road, bridge and transportation projects to other municipal uses could soon result in the state withholding further highway funds to both communities. Without such funding, local construction and maintenance of streets and bridges could grind to a halt.

Both towns, plagued by declining populations and tax bases, reportedly loaned these highway funds to cover shortfalls in the budgets of other municipal projects. But because of the economic downturn in late 2008 the two towns were unable to immediately pay the monies back into the highway fund.

OAG uncovered the loans in a 2011 audit, declared them outside the scope set by Arizona law, and has ordered the towns to restore the redirected funds. But due to continued revenue shortfalls, Superior and Mammoth have been unable to restore these funds, prompting OAG to ask the Arizona Treasurer’s Office to suspend sending further highway funds, which are derived from state and local taxes, until the lost monies are repaid.

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