Priorities & Positions

We always have more priorities than resources, making a tough decision is tough, but it’s supposed to be.  That is what brings the most important priorities to the top of the list.” Mark Finchem 

What matters to Arizonan’s? Personal Security, Economic Security & a Debt-free Future.  Simple concepts, that have guided the LD-11 Team of Mark Finchem, Vince Leach and Steve Smith in every vote we’ve casted in the 52nd Legislative Session.

Job Creation requires a “Business Magnet”, and sometimes that means making your product attractive to the buyer. So too it is when “selling” your space to a potential occupant. A venture must be profitable or we have nothing to offer a business, a JOB CREATOR. This is a simple concept that many want to vilify. But it is an undeniable fact that profits drive employment growth.

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For sustainability business growth must be organic, not the fascist style growth where government is a primary internal stakeholder. Employer “life” will flourish and follow the path of least resistance. As we examine our competitor states we need to learn from their success. Arizona has made some progress on becoming more business friendly, but much work is yet to be done.

Arizona now ranks 13th best state to do business in according to the CEO Opinion Poll1 but this is simply not enough. Arizona currently ranks at #35 of the worst states for unemployment.2  Perception is reality for the business leader who is looking for a place to move to or start a business at. Radio commercials are not enough; regulatory restraint is critical. Statutes and regulations must have reasonable sunset requirements.

Arizona currently ranks in the Top-10 States for Women Owned Businesses.3  And, we don’t even make the Top-10 cut for Hispanic Business friendlieness.4 We need to grow this area by empowering individuals and reducing the bureaucratic burden that holds innovation and private sector expansion back.

Arizona cities like Tucson, Sierra Vista and Flagstaff are consistently rank highly for tourism and retirement.  With 10,000 baby-boomers retiring each day business placement for arriving new residents is a crucial component to growth.  We are failing to leverage a major human capital resource.

Moving toward a greater degree of Fiscal Responsibility is crucial for protecting our fragile local economies and state sovereignty. Living within our means is the path to prosperity. As we’ve seen with the poor management of Arizona budget’s in late 1990’s and early 2000’s, betting on future income is far too risky. As a student of history and avid observer of cause and effect, I’ve become a fan of individuals like President Calvin Coolidge. Contrary to the belief of some long time government elites, we cannot spend our way to prosperity. I view a credit rating much different than many; it’s really a debt rating.

1    http://chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-for-business-2012

2   http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2013/04/04/arizona-among-top-10-states-for.html

3   http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2013/04/04/arizona-among-top-10-states-for.html

4   http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2012/10/10/nv_fl_tx_among_top_10.htm

The use of credit must be reduced and the constant, ever increasing “scope creep” of government at every level must be reversed. Tax payers, especially those on a fixed income, cannot continue to see their household budget negatively affected through taxation, inflation and expansion of unfunded liability programs, while government at all levels grows at an unnecessary and unrestrained rate. Smaller government is more effective and more efficient government.  It worked well for over 200 years.

School Voucher Program expansion is an important element to creating a diverse and well qualified employment pool, a factor that many job creators look for when deciding on which state to locate in. Front line teachers have known for many years that the “one size fits all” educational experience is wasteful and ineffective. The evidence is in the success rate for graduation, college placement and trade school placements.  The rapid growth shown by  charter schools, private schools and home schooling shows that many parents are engaged and seeking the best opportunity for each student based on their individual talent’s and skill’s.  Competent teachers and parents can develop children as well if not better then the strictly public school model favored by the US Department of Education.

Home Schooling enrollment is growing at a rate 7 times faster than public school enrollment.5  Parents are now voting against a broken public school system with their feet. I return to the idea of standing in the gap for children to make their future brighter. Smaller, local schools -even home schools- provide incentives for exceptional educational outcomes. In the public school arena I support merit awards for the best teachers. We must expect the right outcomes and empower teachers to achieve those goals. Throwing money at this problem is not a solution, all we need do is examine those states where more has been spent than in Arizona with worse graduation and college acceptance rates.

Federal Over-reach, I stand against federal education programs such as Common Core, CSCOPE and what ever other name may be placed on educational programs that present a bias that is not aligned with known, well documented American History, Social and Political Science. It is more than a cliche, it is the truth when we hear that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Sending money to the Federal Department of Education and allowing a team to top notch bureaucrats the opportunity to siphon off a slice before it is returned to the classroom is outrageous. Again, our State and our educators must have the latitude to teach factual content, free of political opinion and rhetoric. It seems to me that placing money in the school budgets to pay teachers is a far better plan than paying those who don’t teach.

Establishing Personage as a matter of law is long overdue. The Roe -v- Wade USSC decision did not address the issue of personage. Arizona should become a leader in our nation for child friendly legislation. My objective is to eliminate the genocidal scourge of abortion, the cost of which is incomprehensible. Contrary to urban legend abortion is not inexpensive, it is not infrequent and it is not without victims. In a 2011 study, Britain’s

Royal College of Psychiatrists published, “Women who have abortions are 81% more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems.” The study went on to say, “The greatest increases were seen in relation to suicidal behaviors and substance abuse.”

The abortion industry -and the Federal Department of Health & Human Services- does not provide this information to help mother’s make well informed choices about the actions they are taking. Information such as the long term emotional or psychological affect on mental health of the women who have an abortion performed.  As a nation we did not get where we are on this issue overnight. The march of the eugenics movement started before Margaret Sanger and create the environment with incremental steps. We must reverse the trend with a similar strategy. The battle will be long and exhausting, but as we answer to a higher Authority the time has come to be bold and stand for child protection at every stage of childhood.

I support The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) because they work outside of government to promote and defend the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.

The fact is, what happens at the state Capitol impacts real lives. CAP works with state legislators and other elected officials at all levels of government to ensure that public policy promotes foundational principles.

Their mission and mine is to create an Arizona where:

-The sanctity of human life is protected from its very beginning to its natural end.

-Marriages and families are strengthened and supported by public policy, not attacked or weakened.

-Religious liberty is affirmed and protected, free from government interference.

Private Property Rights are the foundation of our nation and our state. The concept of private property ownership is significant both historically and in the present day. Under everything lies the land. The concept of private property rights is under assault by Federal government agencies, NGO’s like ICLEI, and by organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and many more well funded law suite factories.  In many cases the Federal government is funding the law suites brought against it by the organizations bringing suit.

This initiative predates the 1992 United Nations Rio de Janeiro Conference on Climate Change, when then President George HW Bush advocated for US Citizens to pledge allegiance to a government body other than the United States; and signed an Executive Order 12852 to that affect. Every President since GHWB has reiterated the same position.

Our rights do not come from men or from the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. They arise from Natures Law and Nature’s God and as such truly are self-evident. Neither can our rights be taken from us, except by force or apathy.

Meeting legitimate needs by illegitimate means -where the end justifies the means- is immoral and has lead to the impending collapse of our moral foundation as a God blessed and ordained, prosperous nation.  Our constitutional republic depends on individuals who are willing to leave their personal business for a short time, to serve their neighbors with carefully crafted legislation that anticipates abuse by growing government and is designed to curb the growth of government for government’s sake.

We are at the moment of transformation for our State and our Nation, and I believe that good men and women can restore the exceptional performance, prosperity and growth that we once lead the world with.  But, this work starts at home, not in Washington DC.

The Rule of Law protects us all. I’ve never heard an Arizonan say that they are willing to give up their rights under the US Constitution, Bill of Rights or even Arizona’s Constitution. The 10th Amendment -concerning the State’s Right to sovereignty and self-management- is crucial to the survival of the republic of the United States.

Equal protection and equal accountability under the law are necessary to the furtherance of our free society. Teaching our children about their rights and how their rights apply to them is critical to our State and our Nation. Alexis de Tocqueville opined that every person in America -in his day circa 1791- knew their rights and what they meant even to the edge of the frontier.

Knowing and understanding your rights creates a crucial differentiation between citizen and subject.

Unfunded Liabilities have no place in the public sector.  The case for eliminating the opportunity for governmental units to commit to unfunded liabilities is strong.  After years of what amounts to a grand ponzi scheme, the Federal government has placed each and every American citizen at risk financially.  And cities like Detroit, and even Tucson, have failed to protect the public’s long-term economic interests.

I favor legislation that would prohibit unfunded liabilities in the State of Arizona for all levels of government.

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