Archive for July, 2009

Yet another budget failure

July 31, 2009

Once again, a balanced budget has come up short.  After the House passed the bills late last night, the Senate was unable to muster support.  From the sound of the article, Senator Gorman seems to be one of the ones standing in the way.  Of course, Gould is with her as well, but that’s not surprising since Gould is against kittens, rainbows, and movies with happy endings.

Like peas in a pod, Twitterer @NotRonGould has now been joined by @NotPamelaGorman.  How bad do you have to be for someone to want to take the time to devote a twitter to making fun of you?

As time slips away, it looks like any sort of election may have tough chances of happening.  This waiting game is probably part of the strategy in to hold out and get their way.  Meanwhile, Terry Goddard and the Democrats are teeing off on Republicans on their ability to lead.  Not only are they right, but the Republicans are doing nothing to defend themselves. 

It’s hard to be in charge and make tough choices, but that’s what they wanted and now they have to make the hard choices.  Bad behavior, bickering, and obstinence is getting them nowhere.  Do they seriously think they can stay in charge after this?

While 2010 may be a better year for Republicans nationwide, here locally, they might finally take the beating that they missed in 2008.

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Where have you been, Terry?

July 30, 2009

In what should come as a shock to no one, the deal was not done last night.  What is interesting is that the intrepid Attorney General Terry Goddard finally realized that there was budget trouble last night, and decided to throw his two cents in.  Here is what he said via twitter @TerryGoddardAZ:

“Developing a bipartisan budget is hard…but worth it. Try harder to get it done right.”    

“Advice to the leg and gov: Don’t demand deep cuts to ed, pub safety & families, but take none in your own budgets. That’s NOT leadership.”

Welcome to the party, Terry.  You are very very late.

 

I find it funny that he has a lot of opinions on leadership since I have asked for awhile now where he’s been.  The Dems don’t get off the hook either, for as much as the national Democrats complain about the Republicans are being minority obstructionists in Congress, the local Democrats in the state legislature are playing the exact same part.  You want to be part of the deal, figure it out!  Don’t just stand on the sidelines and complain.

As for Goddard, this is the cheapest kind of leadership.  It’s real easy to be against cuts to education and call for a bipartisan approach.  Heck, why doesn’t he come out against hurting kittens or taking candy from babies?  Goddard is even yet to admit that his best pal Janet Napolitano is the cause of this problem in the first place.  Not only that, but he fires real employees and keeps his FOT (Friends of Terry) around

Come on, man!  You have to better than that.  It’s like a race to the bottom to see who can provide the LEAST amount of leadership. 

Deal or No Deal – Part 2

July 29, 2009

It sounds like once again the Governor, Speaker, and President have come to some sort of deal and the vote may take place tonight.  Not going to celebrate until something actually gets done following the last veto-palooza. 

It looks like two things would be on the ballot, the sales tax piece and then a temporary repeal of the voter protected funds.  The temporary repeal makes sense in some ways, because why should we paying for the extra items when the state can’t even pay the bills?

We’ll have to see how tonight goes, but it at least for the moment looks like there might actually be a plan to “Fix it!”  I know, I am shocked as much as you!

Could there be light at the end of the tunnel?

July 28, 2009

I’m not holding my breath, but it looks like there is a deal in the works, and it could be voted on as early as tomorrow.  I wouldn’t go as far as calling this resolution “quick” as it has taken almost 8 months to get here, but hey, if they can actually get this thing done, more power to them.

At this point, it looks like the temporary sales tax is going to be part of the deal, which is smart, since yet ANOTHER poll says that the voters would support it.  In fact, if you look back at the polls, they all are pretty strong on the sales tax:

Arizona Republican Party: 66%
Moore Information:  64%
Public Opinion Strategies: 64%
Rasmussen:  57%

I know it just kills some of our legislators to see that, but the voters think that education is a little more important than the money in our pocket to buy one more DVD.

So hopefully this means that the tax will be part of the package, along with whatever else they need to make it palatable to them.  It would be nice if they were actually able to Git-R-Dun and finally put the budget behind us so we can focus on some other things.

Back to work?

July 27, 2009

I think the large majority of legislators should be back from their summer camps today.  Hopefully, that means some work will get done around here.  The gap in the budget discussion has now been filled with talks of expanded gambling, with the racetracks trying to make another go at getting slot machines.

At this point, the desperation for a solution might be so great, that some people would probably actually go for it.  Gambling is a new layer to the already complicated problem that doesn’t appear to be closer to any solution.  However, since it’s the newest revelation, expect the next two weeks to be spent on it, and in the end, we’ll probably be right back where we started.

Quick Question?

July 24, 2009

How is it that California has already been able to allow the voters to decide, and ultimately come to an agreement on a budget before Arizona has been able to do either? 

And before you go off on how California was able to pass a budget without raising taxes, remember two things:  the voters were given a chance to reject tax increases, and the borrowing (or taking as it were) from local government will likely spur local tax increases.

How can we let California beat us like that?  Also, is everything dragging their feet because they know the tax would actually pass?  Another poll says that the temporary tax would win with 2/3rd of the vote.  What is this, like the 3rd poll in a row?

Perhaps that is why California is able to get so much more done with their own giant hole.  Maybe if the legislators played a little longer on this budget tool, and maybe a little less going on vacation, we would have a solution by now.

Even more things that need to be fixed

July 23, 2009

If you haven’t figured it out by now, there are a lot of things wrong in Arizona.  It’s not just the budget, there are many things that could use a swift kick in the butt to get moving in the right direction.  Following the very popular installment from yesterday, I thought I would point out a few more things that need fixing:

Arizona Diamondbacks
Not only are they a last place team, but they are acting like it.  To have a guy like Garland, who was playing like garbage until about a month ago, call out his teammates is fairly ridiculous since they stood silent while he struggled.  However, the worst part is watching the ownership strip off any valuable pieces and liquidate them while they can.  I liked Lopez, especially as the lead-off, he always made things exciting.  Now he is playing in Milwaukee.  If Davis can put a few decent games together, he’ll be gone too.

Gambling in Arizona
Be it slot machines in Racetracks or Indian tribes trying to expand their casinos, leaders need to figure out what they are going to do and make sure that it benefits Arizona big time.  Perhaps there is an alternative option where Arizona could grant a certain number of additional gaming licences to whoever wants to bid.  That way, the Indians, the racetracks, and all of private industry could take a shot at landing a casino, with major taxes from the gambling coming in to fix the budget hole.

Illegal Immigration
Why are we talking about healthcare while immigration is still so messed up?  Once they figure out what they are going to do healthcare wise, aren’t we going to have a bunch of illegal immigrants lining up to use it, if we don’t solve that problem first?  Sweeps only attack the symptoms, they don’t address the cause.

Speed Cameras
Are they staying or going?  They should go, but I would bet that now that the money is coming in, it’s hard to shut off the revenue source when the budget is already so much underwater.  People have finally gotten used to them, but the slowing and speeding ebb and flow of the freeway is annoying and the flashes are still startling at night.  Are people just starting to accept them?

Water
Doesn’t Arizona still have a problem with water?  The Colorado River reservoir has gone from 95% to 59% of capacity since 2000.  The liklihood of Lake Mead or Lake Powell going away are slim, but is Arizona really flush enough with water that we no longer seem to teach or even encourage conservation?

Thanks for the attention!

July 23, 2009

It sure was nice for Sonoran Alliance to take the time to respond to my little old post about other things in Arizona need to be fixed. 

First, let me thank that gang of “seasoned politically astute consultants, insiders and activists” for taking the time to respond.  They are correct in saying that it has “given some credence and search engine exposure to Fix Arizona Now.”  I very much appreciate the added attention to the fact that we have been sitting here for over seven months without a solution to Arizona’s major problems. 

I’d love to return the favor.  If @SonoranAlliance actually wants some help figuring out twitter, I would be more than happy to lend a hand (hint: step 1, follow those who follow you!).

I have liked Sonoran Alliance for a long time, and I only make suggestions because I care.  If that sparks some sort of conspiracy theory and lobbyist battle (my consultant is better than your consultant), that was not my intention.  I just long for the days where I didn’t have to check the author of the post to see how heavy of a bias filter I would have to apply.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.

As for reposting, part of the reason that SA is far superior to IC Arizona is the original content.  IC Arizona is basically the conservative press release agregator.  It’s nice, but the grit and insider stuff is what makes SA great.

As you’ll see, there are plenty of other things in Arizona that need to be fixed.  The goal here is helpful suggestions, I don’t think you needed to “set the record straight.”

Other things that need to be fixed

July 22, 2009

Since the legislature isn’t going to do anything about the budget this week anyway, it seems like a good time to point out some other broken things in Arizona that need to be fixed. 

After all, one of these days (or months) the budget will eventually be fixed, and then where would this blog be?  So, let’s talk about other things that need a good “FIX IT!”

Sonoran Alliance
Once a great blog full of really interesting information, the site is now bloated with hack writers and full of Republican bashing and attacking their own.  Since when did they start letting lobbyists pipe off about their paying clients – gambling clients no less.  Which is it Sonoran Alliance, do you hate lobbyists or love them?

Stand Up for Arizona
What a joke.  Jim Pedersen starts a website (a super slow one at that), and then basically abandons it once he isn’t running for governor.  His latest “post” is a month old.  Great job looking out for the “little people,” Jim.

Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority
Who thought it was a good idea to give the Cardinals a sweetheart deal without even asking anyone else if they would be interested in doing concessions for the stadium?  The Cardinals have one good year in over twenty and now they should be showered with even more money?  This is a taxpayer funded stadium.  The taxpayers should be given an opportunity to make sure the stadium is operated as efficiently as possible.

The Phoenix Coyotes
Are they staying or going?  Who cares, but they should figure it out.  If they do think they are staying, it might be in their best interest to figure out what is going on sooner, before there are no fans left.  Speaking of the Coyotes, the next on the fix it list…

The Goldwater Institute
Great job, guys.  Not only are you not helpful in the budget process, but you have turned suing into an artform.  The latest is that they are suing Glendale to release their negotiations with the potential new owners of the Coyotes.  Gee, I am sure that will help Glendale keep any sort of bargaining power.  Not sure who they are helping, but it’s certainly not the voters of Arizona.

Terry Goddard
The presumptive Democratic candidate for Governor lays off 49 employees while giving jobs to Democrat insiders?  Does that sound like good fiscal policy?  Could I be paid $100k to be a FOT (Friend of Terry)?  Not only that, but he has been annoyingly silent on the budget, prefering not to get his hands dirty when he already has the nomination basically sewn up.  Talk about leadership!

Rock You Like a Hurricane

July 21, 2009

Yes.  The lull in the budget talks is eerily quiet.  And hey, great news!  Nothing is going to get done the rest of this week, either.  Yet another top notch job by our legislative leaders showing us how committed they are to fixing Arizona’s budget.  This isn’t just Republicans either, when was the last time that the Democrats came up with a reasonable idea?

The Dems are content to sit on the sideline and let the parade pass by.  And their de facto leader and 2010 Candidate for Governor AG Terry Goddard is getting a free pass as well.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t want any part of this mess, because then they don’t have any of the responsibility.

Meanwhile, nothing is done, and no one wants to take charge.  If we are in the eye of this hurricane, I am not at all excited for the posturing and hypocricy that is waiting on the other side. 

It’s about time for the voters to have a chance to decide.