Maricopa County’s Only ‘Remarkable Effort’ Was to Disenfranchise Voters

Maricopa County’s Only ‘Remarkable Effort’ Was to Disenfranchise Voters

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Maricopa County dropped the ball. They botched the election, and there is simply no way for politicians to gaslight their way out of it. After years of fearmongering from the media and the left that election integrity measures would suppress and disenfranchise voters, it turns out no one suppresses and disenfranchises voters quite like politicians and bureaucrats in Maricopa County.

Rather than taking accountability for their failures, they have rubbed their incompetence in the faces of frustrated voters, smugly downplaying their failure and patting themselves on the back, asserting that they made a “remarkable effort.”

All eyes were on this election. Everyone knew it would be contentious, that key races would be close, and that record levels of Republican voters would show up to vote in-person on election day. Given this, one would think election officials would go above and beyond to ensure every minute detail was ironed out so that the election process was beyond reproach.

Instead, within minutes of polls opening at 6 am, reports were coming in that tabulators were not accepting ballots… 


ESG Investing Is a Nonstarter, But We Keep Getting Pushed Into It

ESG Investing Is a Nonstarter, But We Keep Getting Pushed Into It

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The world of finance is turning bullish on ESG, an investment strategy directing funds to corporations with woke environmental, social, and governance policies. Trillions of dollars have already flowed into ESG funds, projected to hit $50 trillion in two years.

ESG boosters claim the funds enable investors to do well by doing good. You can make good money while simultaneously bettering the world.

Wish it were so. In fact, ESG funds do neither.

Investing goals that compete with shareholder profitability have predictable results. A recent NYU study compared investment results created by firms with high versus low ESG scores, which are generated by professional ratings agencies. Over the past five years, high ESG funds have returned 6.3% compared with 8.9% for others. Over time, that’s a chunk of change.

Thus, Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron warned his state’s pension fund managers to avoid funds that “put ancillary interests before investment returns,” which would “violate statutory and contractual fiduciary duties” to the pensioners depending on them. Seniors deserve better than to have their retirements hijacked by an ideology they might not share.

The basic tenants of ESG are radical environmental policy (primarily the elimination of fossil fuels), woke social policies promoted by the company, and corporate governance that replaces merit with preferences based on race or gender.

The driving forces behind the growth of ESG are three very powerful financial firms. BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are, between them, the largest shareholders in 80% of the companies in the S&P 500. Their financial heft gives them the ability to force companies to implement ESG, making them, in effect, upstream controllers of these companies.

ESG is based on the foundational principle of progressivism—the notion that the most beneficial governance comes from giving experts, the best and the brightest, control over our lives. Personal freedoms and democratic processes must yield to a governing elite that knows best.

No goal is pursued more tenaciously than the elimination of carbon-based fuels. Consumers must be pushed into using renewables, principally by regulating fossil fuels into being scarce and expensive.

Green New Dealers may be thrilled to have the backing of the ESG behemoths, but the problem is that Europe is already experiencing a full-blown energy crisis, with America not far behind. For a year now, a post-COVID demand surge, combined with nuclear plant closures worldwide, long-standing over-investment in impractical renewables, and a global drop of over 50% in oil and gas investment since 2014, have combined to put serious pressure on economies worldwide.

Aluminum smelters, glass factories, and other EU manufacturers have had to shutter plants for lack of affordable energy. In the UK, the number of people behind on their energy bills ballooned from 3 million to 11 million earlier this year. Even in relatively secure Germany, there is deep concern over looming shortages of heating oil this winter after being shut off by Russia.

The hard fact is that, in our current state of technology, fossil fuels are the mainstay economic resource, whether we like it or not. We need more oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy, not less.

The hard-core environmental left, now joined by ESG interests, has worked itself into a lather insisting we can only avoid global catastrophe by achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050. Environmental alarmists achieve about the same accuracy with their predictions as the apocalyptic preachers of yesteryear. But even in the early stages of the project, it’s becoming obvious that it simply can’t be done.

Even if eliminating all emissions of carbon would significantly reduce atmospheric temperatures, and even if humans are the main villains of global warming, and even if we could somehow convince China and India to not sabotage the effort, it doesn’t matter. It’s neither economically nor politically possible to deprive humankind of the benefits of carbon fuels.

The financial titans pushing ESG are blowing an opportunity to do some real good. We need respected leaders who can stand up to the hysteria and exaggerations to propose practical, feasible solutions that would protect humanity from the worst effects of atmospheric warming.

Instead, the self-appointed experts are using other peoples’ trillions to push us down the road to dystopian government and perpetual poverty.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Schools Need to Define Clear Boundaries for Presenting Social and Political Ideologies in Classrooms

Schools Need to Define Clear Boundaries for Presenting Social and Political Ideologies in Classrooms

By Kurt Rohrs |

Recently, Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) released an initiative entitled “Portrait of a Learner.” Not only does it seem to be focused primarily on social values that the district wants to promote to its students, but it’s similar to ones adopted by several other local school districts.

Through “Portrait of a Learner,” CUSD appears to be moving beyond the more traditional and universally accepted “Character Counts,”  which emphasized the social values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. While this new initiative contains some overlap with what has been promoted in the past, it seeks to advance more progressive values of adaptability, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, empathy, and global citizenship.

Clearly these are social values, but did you notice something? There is little reference to academic achievement or job skills training. In addition, there is no significant emphasis on practical hard skills for students to obtain, which would be far more useful for them in their careers after they leave school.

Most of all, “Portrait of a Learner” does not appear to recognize or acknowledge that the upbringing of children is reserved to parents in the home and is protected by Arizona state law (ARS 1-601 and ARS 1-602). Let’s look at one of the values from this new initiative as an example.

Globalism as a Political Ideology

The concept of “Global Citizenship” or “Globalism” has more far-reaching implications than what has been advanced in the CUSD initiative. It typically stands opposed to “American Idealism,” “American Exceptionalism,” or similar more nation-centered ideologies.

American Idealism is the belief that American ideals are inherently superior to those of other societies and states. It is sometimes referred to as “America First” policy in response to challenges from other global competitors in their efforts to dominate the world.

Globalism denies this and fosters an “open borders” policy that allows people, information, and goods to cross national borders unrestricted. It also promotes international organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be the primary ruling bodies for policy instead of our own government.

Is this really what we should be teaching in American schools?

Controversial political issues like this should not be presented in classrooms as established doctrine, especially without clearly defined boundaries. But CUSD moved forward with it anyway.

When “Education” Becomes “Dogma”

Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true and not to be denied or disputed. When schools teach ideas like “Globalism” as dogma, it very easily leads to “indoctrination” where students are taught to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. This should be of great concern to parents and the rest of the community.

That’s why several questions about “Portrait of a Learner” and similar programs need to be examined more closely.

  • If controversial ideologies are being presented in schools, is it done so in a fair and balanced way that examines multiple sides of a particular issue? Is equal weight given to differing positions?
  • How does the “critical thinking” part of the “Portrait of a Learner” initiative get applied?
  • Are any dissenting or opposing positions encouraged or even allowed?
  • What is age appropriate for younger students?
  • Do parents get to review and approve the social and political lessons presented to their children?
  • What happens when parents object to controversial social and political positions being advanced in classrooms?

District policy needs to be more cognizant of the ideological controversies being presented in curriculum and seek to avoid taking positions on particular issues. There also needs to well-defined boundaries as to what is presented and how it is presented in classrooms. Finally, all lessons should be objective and unbiased. That’s the only way to ensure that students get a proper education founded on critical analysis and a better understanding of the sources, factual history, and future implications of certain social and political ideologies.

Kurt Rohrs is currently the leading the race for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. You can find out more about his campaign here.

Why I Switched—To Democrat, Then Back to Republican

Why I Switched—To Democrat, Then Back to Republican

By Sarah B. |

Even though I was raised in a loving, conservative home, and first registered to vote as a Republican, I switched to Democrat. Why? Partly out of pressure (basically bullied by my husband), but also, like many others, I had heard liberals were the compassionate ones, concerned about protecting the rights of others.

I justified that my husband was one of those liberals, and I could help the Party by sharing my conservative ideas. But he turned out to be a Leftist—insisting that we were “entitled to state benefits,” always angry about supposed racism (but without evidence), and always in fear of COVID or global warming. This was not the compassion I expected from liberals but instead a lot of ‘righteous’ anger. Eventually I woke up tired and worn out from the anger of the Far Left. I still have dear liberal friends, but I had to escape the mindset that took away my sanity and hope. Here’s what I learned.

1 – Democrats are no longer “the compassionate ones.” They’re either old school liberals (like John F. Kennedy or even Bill Clinton) OR they’re Leftists. The true liberals still care, but they don’t realize that their party has been taken over by socialists, and it’s demolishing what they believe in—what our forefathers created in our Constitutional Republic. The Democrat platform no longer cares about the rights and freedoms of the people; only about taking control.

2 – The Democrat media is NOT fact-based. When I registered as a Democrat, I noticed the videos posted to my Facebook made AOC look like the American Joan of Arc, standing up to Big Pharma and Big Tech. Nowhere was I shown the full sound bites where she makes no sense: ‘the Green New deal is going to save us from certain death in a decade!’ They use terms like fossil fuels, but have no idea what it really means. They say renewable energy is a great innovation that will keep improving, but it’s nowhere close to beating petroleum or nuclear power—both of which help most people in poorer countries.

3 – Democrat activists are kind of shady. Whenever someone found out that I was a registered Democrat, and they were too, the conversation turned SUPER secretive. They lowered their voice and looked around making sure no one else was listening, like we were part of a spy network. No joke. Every time! Once I was part of an activist group talking about staging a protest in front of a local GOP office—again it felt shady, rather than doing good work…. Eventually, I thought to myself: if what the Republicans (my family) are standing for is so bad, why is there a need to always be looking behind your shoulder? Why is everything in the Democrat party secretive?

After four years of living like this, I was obese, SUPER in debt, angry, and impatient with people: things I never wanted to be or have my son see. It hit me one day that my parents’ “normal” life was healthy. It had schedules, hard work, gratitude, and hope. Conservative values actually made happiness possible.

Leftist thinking had derailed my life. I had to make some tough choices, but now I’m free! Today, with my family’s support, I’ve lost and kept off over 20 pounds, paid off debts, been at peace with who I am, and become strong in my faith. Now, I have the ability to be fully present for my son. (He goes to the gym with me, and we even go to Republican meetings together!) Honestly, I can say it’s when I embraced conservative thinking that we started getting healthy.

Now I’m part of Chandler/Gilbert Republican Women, I’ve worked on campaigns, and contribute research and admin support for Arizona Women of Action. I’m excited to be an activist for freedom! I hope my story encourages others to think about their beliefs, and remember WHY we’re fighting—for a healthy, happy country.

Sarah is a part of the Chandler/Gilbert Republican Women and contributes research and administrative support for Arizona Women of Action.

Medical Education Slides into Intolerant Wokeness

Medical Education Slides into Intolerant Wokeness

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

One of the things I appreciated most during my 30 years practicing medicine in community hospital ERs was that race just didn’t matter very much. ERs were open to all, and there was one standard of care for all races and classes.

That was then. Today a wave of intolerant wokeness is sweeping over our healthcare system, insisting that medicine is shot through with systemic racism and that research and education efforts must be diverted from medical science to “dismantling white supremacy” in medicine.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently introduced their new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) guidelines, which require that all medical students be taught to practice “allyship” when “witnessing injustice such as ‘microaggressions.’”

Residents are told to use their more advanced knowledge of intersectionality in making clinical decisions. (Just when you thought that race-based medical protocols were in our dark past.). Faculty are charged with teaching how “systems of power, privilege, and oppression inform policies and practices.”

Medical schools are enthusiastically falling in line. Examples abound. In 2021, the Anti-Racism Task Force at Columbia and the Diversity Task Force at Indiana University, joined by the University of Texas and other medical schools, endorsed the recommended AAMC “competencies.” “Health equity” concepts have become a prominent component of medical education.

The University of North Carolina is one of many schools that not only teach “social justice” and “anti-racism,” but use medical school applications to ensure compliance with principles of diversity in race, gender, and sexual orientation. Applicants who demonstrate reluctance toward the DEI agenda are weeded out in the application process. Oregon Health and Science University faculty are among those evaluated on their “DEI, anti-racism, and social justice core competencies” in performance appraisals.

The University of Arizona is on board too, with some additional twists. All faculty and staff are required to complete six hours of DEI training and complete one Implicit Association Test annually (in spite of its dubious relevance). Each of 17 clinical departments is required to hold three DEI credit-eligible events per year. All departments also have designated “diversity champions” to oversee compliance and round up laggards.

This is bad, very bad news for medical education, future doctors, and patients. Even before DEI was a thing, the quality of medical instruction had been in decline. Incoming students are less qualified and fail rates on board exams are climbing, partly because some students from groups that have been historically underserved are either allowed to skip the Medical College Admissions Test or are admitted with lower scores than those required from white and Asian applicants.

But instead of beefing up instruction in anatomy, physiology, and other disciplines that might come in handy when actually practicing medicine, medical schools are spending instructional time on such matters as white privilege and anti-racism, including Critical Race Theory (CRT).

CRT includes the notion that white people are inherently prejudiced against people of color and that there really is nothing they can do but acknowledge their defect, apologize, and grant compensating privileges to people of contrasting skin color, who by definition are incapable of bigotry. Dissenters from this new orthodoxy can be accused of “micro-aggressions” and “repressive practices” with ominous repercussions for their careers.

This intellectual intolerance also extends to those skeptical of “gender affirming care” for adolescents. This new practice provides permanent medical and surgical alterations to gender-confused school children for the rest of their lives so they can pretend to be the gender they choose when a teen. What could go wrong?

Several countries, including the U.K., Sweden, and France are now pulling back from relying on the judgments of impressionable adolescents for such drastic remediation, but dissenters in the U.S. are still punished.

Medical educators who teach students that racism and mutilation are okay when officially approved should humbly recall the history of their own profession. Modern medicine has been of immeasurable benefit to mankind. But when evidence-based science is ignored and authority replaces free inquiry, bad things happen.

Bleeding and purging, eugenics, thalidomide, lobotomies, and nonsterile wound probing are among the historical results. It is the duty of the medical profession to protect us from such horrors, not promote them.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.