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Limited Government. Low Taxes. Free Markets. Personal Responsibility.

We can restore our Republic, beginning at the local level.  First, learn all you can about the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.  Study the Founders themselves, and the Founders’ Principles that guided them in creating those documents.  Go to the experts for this information:  Shane Krauser, the National Center for Constitutional Studies, and The Jefferson Center.   Also, learn how to exert your Civic Authority.  Go to the Center for Self-Governance to find out when the 5 classes are available near you.   "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead.


August 1, 2014
Federal Land Managers' Intimidation, Bullying Threaten Citizens Rights, Create a Hostile Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2014 - Today, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations held an oversight hearing on “Threats, Intimidation and Bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies.” This hearing continued Committee oversight into bullying by federal land management agencies and federal law enforcement agencies on private, state, and federal lands. 

State and local governments, ranchers, business owners, and private citizens have been subject to threats, lack of cooperation, and numerous unfair or heavy-handed tactics which threaten public safety, the environment, endangered species, and the livelihoods of communities. Congressional oversight is necessary to provide an effective check on federal officials who abuse their regulatory powers.

“Today we took a second look at threats, intimidation and bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies. During a hearing the Committee held last year and again today, we heard first-hand accounts of mistreatment at the hands of federal officials seeking to extort the witnesses into relinquishing their property rights,” said Representative Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). “These firsthand accounts  give the victims of abusive conduct by a federal land managing official a chance to tell their story to Congress. Status quo agency oversight, policies and procedures are inadequate for addressing or deterring employee abuses and may instead embolden overreaching or malicious employee behavior with little risk of retribution for their actions.”

Witnesses highlighted examples of flagrant intimidation met by citizens who refuse to surrender their constitutional rights, land and water rights, grazing permits and other multiple-use benefits.

Sheriff James Perkins, Garfield County, UT, highlighted his perspective from 27 years of law enforcement and experience working with various federal law enforcement agencies.

“BLM’s attitude towards coordinating with local law enforcement is summed up best by a conversation I had with a BLM law enforcement officer while we were attending a drug task force meeting in Cedar City, Utah. He told me point blank that he didn’t care about any authority that I thought I had as the Garfield County Sheriff, and that he did not feel like he had to coordinate anything through my office… This refusal to coordinate, coupled with a lack of any meaningful oversight, has created a perfect environment where the abuse of federal law enforcement powers can occur.”

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Tags: BLM, ESA, Wolves, Cliven Bundy, Constitution, Bill of Rights
August 1, 2014
Jay Lawrence, a Great Candidate for Arizona House (LD23)

After publishing Gilbert Watch and Gila Watch - Republican Choices in the Primary, a friend noticed I had omitted Jay Lawrence, who is running for an Arizona House seat in LD23.  It was an accidental oversight on my part!  Lynne Breyer, the LD23 Secretary noted, "Both Michelle Ugenti (LD23) and Jay Lawrence have been endorsed by U.S. Representative David Schweikert, CD 6, who hardly ever endorses anyone, as well as Sheriff Arpaio and many other Arizona conservatives.  Yes, we know that Jay was a registered Democrat until 2012.  

"However, he is a Republican Precinct Committeeman in LD23.  He's adamantly against both common core and medicaid expansion and wants to be instrumental in ridding our state of both. He is also strongly pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. In his nearly 25 years as a talk show host with KTAR, Jay interviewed many politicians, conservatives, and non-conservatives alike. That is where he had the chance to thoroughly understand both sides and why he landed in strong conservative thinking. He also became very well acquainted with issues facing our state through that outlet. Jay is also a strong constitutionalist, believing that document is the true guideline for our state.

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Tags: Arizona Legislature
July 31, 2014
Gilbert Watch and Gila Watch - Republican Choices in the Primary

Unlike the Democrats, Republicans don't dictate to other Republicans whether or not they can run in the Primary.  It's a blessing and a curse.  It's a blessing because we are so darned independent and supportive of each others' right to run for office as we choose.  It's a curse, because primaries get very ugly as Republicans beat up on each other, and even lie.  Also, the votes can be so diluted, we end up electing someone who won with only 18% of the vote.  Or we end up with a RINO (Republican In Name Only.)    

Some of those "R's"  strut and preen during the Primary about how "conservative" they are, until the moment they are elected.  Then they refer to the conservatives whose favor they curried during the campaign as "far right wing extremist, Tea Party, racist ideologues."  

Follows is a list of preferred Republican candidates vying against other Republicans for contested seats.  They have been vetted by Gilbert Watch and Gila Watch. You will see some blanks.  That's because we haven't had the time to vet all the candidates.  If you click on the name, you will be taken to the candidate's website.  In some cases, you can find articles written about the candidate and their Republican opposition by searching the candidate's name on the Gilbert Watch or Gila Watch Home Page.  Please also refer to a list of Research Sources at the end of this list that provides additional information, including articles on candidates who do NOT deserve your vote!  They might campaign on conservative principles, but their actions and votes prove otherwise!  This includes:  Scott Smith, Michele Reagan, John Huppenthal, Bob Worsley, and many who voted with the Democrats in the dead of night to expand Medicaid eligibility.  These people were censured by virtually every Legislative District in Arizona.  Here's one such censure:  A Resolution of the Arizona LD25 Republican Precinct Committeemen To Censure the Governor and 15 Legislators.  Some of these legislators, such as Michele Reagan and Bob Worsley, went on to vote to keep Common Core in Arizona.   

CONGRESS

Dist 1: Adam Kwasman  
Dist 3: Gabby Saucedo Mercer

GOVERNOR  

Frank Riggs

SECRETARY OF STATE

Justin Pierce

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Mark Brnovich  

TREASURER

Jeff DeWit

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Diane Douglas  

ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION

Tom Forese
Doug Little

ARIZONA SENATE

LD08:  Irene Littleton
LD11:  Steve Smith
LD13:  Don Shooter
LD15:  Nancy Barto
LD16:  Dave Farnsworth
LD18:  Tom Morrissey
LD23:  John Kavanagh
LD25:  Ralph Heap

ARIZONA HOUSE

LD01:  Noel Campbell (vote for just 1)
LD08:  Darla Dawald

LD08:  Wayne Bachmann
LD11:  Mark Finchem
LD11:  Vince Leach
LD13:  Darin Mitchell
LD13:  Steve Montenegro
LD14:  David Gowan
LD14:  David Stevens
LD15:  John Allen
LD15:  David Burnell Smith
LD16:  John Fillmore
LD16:  Kelly Townsend
LD18:  John King
LD18:  Jill Norgaard
LD20: Thurane Aung King
LD20:  Carl Seel
LD23:  Jay Lawrence
LD23:  Michelle Ugenti
LD25:  Justin Olson
LD25:  Do NOT vote for Michelle Udall
LD28:  Shawnna Bolick

Gila County Superior Court Judge

Tim Wright  

Gilbert Town Council

Victor Petersen
Eddie Cook
Jordan Ray

Mesa Town Council

Mayor:  Danny Ray

Queen Creek Town Council

Emilena Turley

Tempe City Council

Matt Papke

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Tags: Republicans
July 29, 2014
Matt Papke Fights Against Tempe's Fiscal Cliff

by Michael Gibbs
GOP State Committeeman LD20
Tempe Political Observer

I can't think of the right adjective to use. Discouraged? Shocked? Appalled? Dismayed? Incredulous? That's how this week's Tempe City Council candidate forum left me feeling.

At one point candidate Matt Papke responded to a question by expressing concern about the city's finances. Several current members of the council dismissed the issue by telling the audience that, by law, the budget has to be balanced. The attitude went beyond nonchalant--they implied that the city's debt is a GOOD thing.

When Papke showed that in the last ten years alone Tempe's debt has increased three-fold to nearly three quarters of a billion dollars, his opponents made fun of him and one even asked if he had a mortgage on his house. Another stated flatly that you cannot run a city without incurring debt.

It's this kind of thinking that has driven the entire nation to a $17 trillion dollar deficit, the only difference being that Tempe doesn't have a printing press in the basement to make more dollars! No wonder Tempe is digging an ever deeper hole despite having the highest property taxes in the valley--it's run by a bunch of profligates with no regard for their fiscal responsibilities. The spendthrifts in Detroit must be very proud to have Tempe following in their footsteps.

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Tags: Tempe
July 28, 2014
Can Frank Riggs Rescind Common Core as Governor on Day 1? You bet he can!

Anyone who has heard candidate for Arizona Governor Frank Riggs speak or has studied his website knows that he has emphatically and repeatedly promised to rescind Common Core on Day 1.  (Note:  The name Common Core State Standards was cosmetically renamed by Gov Brewer "Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards.")   

A recent, widely distributed document titled "2014 Arizona State Candidate Review" posted by Arizona Freedom Alliance on July 13, 2014 stated:  "But the primary thing we don't like (about Frank Riggs) is that in every speech we have heard (many), he says “on day one, I will stop Common Core” and the crowd goes wild!  The only problem is that we are told he would have no authority to do that, even with an executive order.  It remains to be seen whether that is a promise he can keep."  (I added the bolding.)  

The AFA stands in strong support of Christine Jones for Governor.  I normally agree with and support the stands taken by the AFA.  However, this assertion is based on hearsay with nothing factual to support it.  Plus, it's incorrect. 

Frank Riggs knew before he made his assertion that he was standing on firm ground.  When the defining moment arrives, would a Governor Jones be too misinformed, timid, and fearful to rescind Common Core?    

Here are the facts:

The MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) (see pages 60-63) states, "The effort is voluntary for states" and concludes "the undersigned state leaders agree to the process and structure as described above and attest accordingly by our signatures below."  It was signed in January 2010 by two state leaders:  Governor Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne.  (This was long before the standards were even finalized.)  

While it might have taken Jan Brewer and Tom Horne to bring us Common Core, Arizonans are not bound by the decision of these former state leaders.  As Frank Riggs has stated, "The basic principles of contract law prevail.  The current Governor cannot bind her successor, and her authority expires on the day she leaves office.  If one party withdraws (rescinds the predecessor's signature), the contract (MOA) is invalidated.  A new Governor has every right to rescind the Agreement, with or without anyone else's signature."

Frank Riggs has made his position crystal clear.  Would Christine Jones assign staff to dig through the bowels of these "agreements and understandings" looking for bits of evidence to support why she can't rescind it?  Which will it be?  Find evidence to support getting out of Common Core?  Or find reasons to dither and remain chained to it?

The problems with the MOA aren't limited to questions about its repeal.  There are multiple problems with this "agreement," which have been analyzed at length in Mercedes Schneider's Edublog post Exiting the Common Core Memorandum of Understanding.

Here are a few points.  (Bold highlighting is mine):

1.  The CCSS MOU includes no provision for exiting CCSS. 

2.   It also includes no wording in which states are bound to CCSS if the original signators no longer hold the positions of governor and state education superintendent.

3.   Since the CCSS MOU fails to include language binding states to CCSS if such states receive RTTT money (no doubt excluded so that USDOE might maintain it is not “forcing” states to accept CCSS in order to receive RTTT money), then even states that received RTTT money are able to exit CCSS and challenge any USDOE pressure to return RTTT money. If CCSS is truly not federally forced, then it will not pursue states choosing to be “state led” right out of CCSS.

4.   Regarding those two signatures on each state’s CCSS MOU:

If both signators no longer hold the positions of governor and state superintendent, then the MOU cannot bind each state. 

There is no need for legislative action to dispose of CCSS. In such cases, the current governor or state superintendent can formally declare a state’s exit from CCSS. USDOE has no legal recourse, and neither does a non-signator governor nor non-signator superintendent who might push to keep CCSS.

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Tags: Common Core, Frank Riggs
July 26, 2014
KFYI Beats up John Kavanagh

by Patrick O'Malley
Precinct Committeeman LD12

On Monday July 21, 2014 Barry Young was out and the substitute host on KFYI’s Nearly Famous Barry Young show was Barry Markson. This was not a surprise. The surprise was that Monday was "beat-up-John Kavanagh-on-education day." Not just for a minute or two, this went on for 30 minutes, and there was a special surprise guest.

John Kavanagh is a strong conservative Republican Representative from LD23 and the head of the House Appropriations Committee. He has been a champion of quality education in Arizona.  This year he’s running for the State Senate for LD23. Markson didn’t directly quote John Kavanagh on education, but "paraphrased" his statements. These included “we’re still giving education too much money” and “lots of kids are too stupid to go to college.”

Then he launched on the majority of the Legislature, especially the part he calls “the whacko fringe” for failing to follow the State Constitution Article 11 Section 6 regarding the universities where he missed the part where it says “the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible.” He also referred to the court case (Kromko vs AZ Regents) where it was determined that the Legislature gets to decide what nearly free as possible means, but he disagrees with that decision. Therefore, according to Markson's wisdom, the Legislature is not following the Constitution.

I lost track of how many times he called out John Kavanagh by name and blamed him for raising the price of tuition at four year schools by underfunding education. He didn’t call out anybody else by name.

Markson seems to be out of touch with higher education. First he believes automotive technicians are ready to start work when they graduate from high school. Apparently he’s not aware of the two year programs at community colleges to prepare them for entry level jobs and the need for ASE certification to rise in the business.

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Tags: Arizona Legislature
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