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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.


The National Common Core Standards System

This heavily referenced, 48-page document is the result of three months of research effort on the part of members of Arizona's Mommy Lobby, with the help of Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project.   It has been distributed to Arizona's House and Senate Education Committees, Governor Ducey's office, most of Arizona's leadership, as well as the Arizona State Board of Education.  If you have questions about Common Core in Arizona (aka Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards) most of the answers are contained in this document titled the National Common Core Standards System 

Chapter headings include:  1) History of Common Core: America and Arizona; 2) The Common Core are Inferior, Defective, and do Not Lead to Readiness for Authentic College Work; 3) High Stakes Testing; 4) Data Collection and Personally Identifiable Information; and 5) Teacher Accountability.

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Tags: AzMERIT, Common Core, High Stakes Testing
February 5, 2016
HB2115 Passes the Government and Higher Education Committee

"Everything at the City of Phoenix is geared toward the employees," DiCiccio said.  "The taxpayers come last, always."  See Undisciplined Bureaucracy: Civil Service Job Protections Make Disciplining a Problem Government Employee Complicated, Costly and Time Consuming    

An extremely good bill, HB2115 passed its first Committee hearing on 1/28/2015: 6 in favor, 2 against, 1 absent.  It would have passed 7-2, because Rep. Justin Olson (LD25), who was absent, was one of the bill's Primary Sponsors.  But it has a long way to go to become law.

Please recall from my original articleRep. Warren Petersen (LD12) crafted this legislation as a deterrent, making public officials think twice before illegally spending thousands of taxpayer dollars, thinking they can walk away with lucrative taxpayer-paid benefits or severance pay.  After watching the committee hearing, including Phoenix Council member Sal DiCiccio's comments, it's clear that government employees enjoy far more "job protections and tolerance for bad behavior" than private sector employees.  

In the case of Stephen Banta, CEO of Valley Metro, following an investigation by The Republic, they reported that Banta was reimbursed with taxpayer funds for flying first-class, buying alcohol, staying in $600/night hotels, and eating in some of the most expensive restaurants in Portland, charging all of it to the taxpayers, while running Valley Metro. This included 44 round-trip airfares between Phoenix and Portland from February 2010 to July 2012 for Banta and his wife.  The Republic also found that Banta was reimbursed for dinners that included guests who said they didn't attend those dinners.   

In spite of all this, Banta was awarded $265k in an annuity upon termination of employment.  

Democrat Lela Alston (LD24), who voted against the bill, commented:  "Maybe his contract should have read: 'You can't take your wife on vacations using public funds.'" Democrat Jonathan Larkin (LD30) agreed.

In another recent case

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Tags: Bureaucracy, Government, Arizona Legislature
February 4, 2016
Jake Hoffman for Queen Creek Council: Op-Ed

Queen Creek Council candidate Jake Hoffman recently published an Op-Ed that appeared in AZ Central titled My Turn: 3 ways to spend new Queen Creek money.  

I invite you to read it and comment.  Always forward thinking, Hoffman was the clearest, most conservative voice during his term as a Higley Unified School District board member.  In like manner, Jake Hoffman has laid out a plan for how  Queen Creek can best utilize the new mid-decade census money it is slated to receive over the next four years.  With a town in desperate need of roads and a gross indebtedness of nearly $200 million, it is of paramount importance that this new revenue be strategically earmarked to address Queen Creek's most pressing priorities.

Jake has asked that you vote for both him and Natasha Schaeler to the town council on August 30.  They will be consistent voices for the priorities that matter most to Queen Creek citizens.

Click HERE to read Jake Hoffman's recent Op-Ed.

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Tags: American Values, Elections, Families, Government, Taxes
January 29, 2016
Common Core Insider Reveals Info About LA Bid Rigging Scandal

The fourth video  of the Project Veritas series on Common Core shows Gilbert Garcia, a former executive who worked for Houghton Mifflin for 31 years, caught on camera claiming that the textbook industry is not based on merit and that politics often impact contractual procedures. “I’m going to share this, but it never came from me, the reality was that the evaluations that were done on all the supposed competitors, Pearson was not the real winner, yet Pearson got the contract,” said Garcia.  Click HERE to see first video; HERE to see the second; HERE to see the third.

The contract Garcia is referring to is a 1.3 billion dollar deal to put Apple iPads loaded with curriculum into the Los Angeles public school system, a deal that was made in 2013. All of the top textbook publishers wanted to bid for that contract, but according to Garcia, the bidding was rigged, and Pearson, the country’s largest textbook publisher, received the contract.

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Tags: Common Core, Educational Malpractice
January 27, 2016
Support HB2115: No Payouts/Benefits for Public Officials Who Misappropriate Taxpayer Dollars!

Rep. Warren Petersen has crafted legislation that will have a chilling effect on public officials who illegally waste money and then walk away with lucrative benefits or severence pay.  It's HB2115 Simple, straightforward, brief.  (This bill is scheduled to be heard Jan. 28 at 9:00 am in the Government and Higher Education Committee.  See ACTION at the end of this article.)

Should a public official who is caught and terminated for fraudulently, lavishly spending taxpayer dollars on meals, travel, hotels, entertaining, etc., go on to receive lucrative payouts, annuities, pensions, and other benefits?  

Rep. Warren Petersen doesn't think so, and neither do the many other sponsors and co-sponsors  of this excellent bill.  HB2115 spells out that anyone who is found guilty would forfeit any future benefits. While there already are laws on the books against fraud and misappropriation of public funds, these cases don’t always get pursued as the official is fired or even allowed to quit.

HB2115 ensures that these public officials forfeit any future benefits.  States Petersen: “All too often, those who are caught and terminated leave with lavish payouts, annuities, pensions and other benefits.  Termination from a high position in government office should not be like winning the Lotto. Rewarding someone for bad behavior can only encourage more of the same.” See Petersen Seeks to Prevent Lavish Payouts to Errant Public Officials.
Two cases come to mind: 

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Tags: Arizona Legislature, Warren Petersen, Bureaucracy, Government
January 26, 2016
Common Core Exec Reveals Anti-American, Anti-Christian Agenda

The third video of the Project Veritas series on Common Core shows Kimberly Koerber, a former executive for Pearson who now works for National Geographic, caught on camera justifying the Common Core curriculum on the grounds of anti-American and unconstitutional values.  She admits that elements of Common Core intentionally push elitist indoctrination upon students.  (Click HERE to view the first video.  Click HERE to view the second video.)

In this most recent video, National Geographic sales executive Koerber admits some of the political ideology behind Common Core with statements like these:

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Tags: Common Core, Educational Malpractice, Schools
January 26, 2016
A Failing Grade for Common Core: Professor Kenneth Calvert

According to Professor Kenneth Calvert, Common Core, well-intentioned from the beginning, will utterly fail its students. Rather than raising the educational standard in the United States, it codifies and federally enforces mediocrity.

What I especially like about Prof. Calvert’s comments are his statements about teachers.  Unfortunately, 99% of teachers won’t speak out publicly against Common Core for fear of losing their jobs.  Thus, they need people like Prof. Calvert and others to speak for them.  This is what he said: 

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Tags: AzMERIT, Common Core, Educational Malpractice, Schools
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