Tucson Is Heading Down the Path of Other Failing Leftist Cities with Its Climate Action Plan

Tucson Is Heading Down the Path of Other Failing Leftist Cities with Its Climate Action Plan

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, multiple government officials seized the opportunity to grab more power. Perhaps chief among them were the Tucson city council and Mayor Regina Romero, who exploited the moment by declaring a “climate emergency.” Now, the city of Tucson has finalized its plan to solve this “climate emergency”—to the tune of an estimated $326 million. But it’s not just the cost that should concern you.

Tucson’s Climate Action Plan, titled “Tucson Resilient Together,” is ripe with Green New Deal mandates that are aimed at forcing citizens out of their cars, controlling their lives, and destroying the community. By 2050, they plan to force 40% of all people living in Tucson to commute by walking, cycling, taking public transportation, or “rolling” (whatever that means). And that’s just the start.


Every Legal Vote Should Be Counted in the Closest Race in Arizona History

Every Legal Vote Should Be Counted in the Closest Race in Arizona History

By Abraham Hamadeh |

There have been multiple times where provisional ballots were initially deemed illegal by the government but later counted as legal after election challenges.

One example of this occurred during the 2000 presidential election, when thousands of provisional ballots in Florida were initially deemed invalid because they were cast by voters who were not on the official voter rolls. However, after legal challenges and court orders, these provisional ballots were ultimately counted.

In 2019, election officials in Georgia were found to have improperly removed thousands of voters from the rolls, including some who had not actually moved and were still eligible to vote at their registered address. However, a judge ordered that these ballots be counted. Similarly, in 2018, election officials in Florida were found to have mistakenly removed thousands of voters from the rolls due to a data error.

My team has discovered that many Arizonans were wrongfully disenfranchised, due to system or process error. Prior to running for Attorney General, I served as a prosecutor at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and overseas with the U.S. Army Reserve. I swore an oath to uphold the laws and defend the Constitution. My commitment to fight is instilled in my values, and I will continue to seek justice and accountability for those who were wrongfully disenfranchised.

In the closest race in Arizona history with a margin of 280 votes out of 2.5 million there remains thousands of uncounted Election Day provisional ballots. Not only is this the closest race in Arizona history, but it is also the race with the biggest recount discrepancy in statewide history. Making sure the legitimate candidate who received the most votes won is paramount for the success of democracy.

The courts are the proper venue for these ballot disputes, not the corporate media or political consultants who act as spokesmen and propaganda for the government. I will continue to fight relentlessly to make sure the will of the people is honored and that all lawful votes are counted.

Abraham Hamadeh is the Republican nominee for Arizona Attorney General. You can follow him on Twitter here.

It’s Time to Fight the EPA’s Attempts to Impose Radical Regulations in Arizona

It’s Time to Fight the EPA’s Attempts to Impose Radical Regulations in Arizona

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

The Biden administration and radical environmentalists will do anything they can to enforce their climate change agenda on the American people. And now, they are using ozone control measures to do just that right here in the state of Arizona.

On September 16, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reclassified Maricopa County as a moderate nonattainment area of ozone limits under the Clean Air Act. This basically means that, according to the EPA, Maricopa County’s ozone levels are too high and therefore our state—including its individual citizens, motorists, and businesses—will be forced to adopt ozone control measures.

So, what exactly caused Arizona’s rise in ozone levels? Was it more cars on the road? A dramatic increase in air travel to our state? Too many cows releasing methane into the air?


What Were We Thinking Allowing Government Workers to Unionize?

What Were We Thinking Allowing Government Workers to Unionize?

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

It’s not exactly breaking news that America’s public schools are failing academically.

There have been encouraging stories of charter schools and other schools of choice successfully raising achievement levels for underprivileged students previously deemed uneducable.

But our schools are still producing a generation of students lacking basic computational or literacy skills, much less an understanding of government, culture, or science. That is, unless you count gender ideology and slanted anti-American interpretations of history.

Twenty-three public schools in Baltimore this year had zero students rated proficient in math and several more had only one or two. Baltimore spends $21,000 per student yearly, but it’s unfair to pick on Baltimore. Neither its spending levels nor the dreadful outcomes distinguish it from many other urban school districts.

Many Americans are aware and concerned. We even know a lot about what works (school level control and accountability) and what doesn’t (more money, more administrators). Yet at every turn, efforts at system reform have been stymied by…teachers’ unions.

Until the 20th century, Americans would have been astonished to see a critical policy debate dominated by a public union. Such unions didn’t even exist until President Kennedy approved collective bargaining for federal employees in 1962. Until then, union bosses and government leaders had been skeptical of the notion.

Franklin Roosevelt said, “The process of collective bargaining…cannot be translated into public service.” AFL – CIO President George Meany agreed that “it is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

They were saying that true collective bargaining is a two-way negotiation to divide the profits generated by an enterprise, in which unions must limit their demands so their companies remain viable.

But as Philip Howard explains in his new book on public unions, government by design doesn’t generate any profit. Any concessions made to government unions come at the expense of taxpayers, who are seldom represented in the negotiations.

After decades of “negotiating” with friendly politicians whom they help elect, government employees have gained immense wealth and influence. It hasn’t turned out so well for the rest of us.

For example, government unions were effectively able to dictate health policy, including shutdowns and mandates, during COVID, as CDC e-mails subsequently revealed.

Worse, teachers’ unions demands that public schools close and stay closed during COVID prevailed despite overwhelming evidence that it was unhelpful. Millions of students will endure permanent educational scars from the union intransigence.

Union participation in policy making goes far beyond healthcare. Government unions work hard and successfully to boost virtually all tax and spend proposals, especially at the state and local levels. After all, tax revenues pay their salaries.

Unions have also been successful in thwarting the growth of charter schools in the three decades of their existence. This is a particularly impressive display of raw political power since charter schools have proven themselves many times over to be academic successes serving those students who need it most.

Moreover, there is no coherent argument that charter schools harm public schools because they are public schools, albeit usually without mandatory unionization, but still with long waiting lists.

Union workers are notoriously difficult to fire, thanks to the work rules they write for themselves. California is able to terminate only about one of each 100,000 teachers annually for poor performance. Derek Chauvin, the murderer of George Floyd, was a known bad cop with multiple citizens’ complaints, but was protected by union work rules from losing his job.

All these instances and many more are the result of unions essentially dictating the terms of their employment. Citizens’ interests are secondary. Government has been rendered nearly inoperable for everyday Americans.

Although government unions seem to have a vice-like hold on their privileges, there may be a solution this time. Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution requires that every state “shall be guaranteed a republican form of government,” meaning that policy decisions can be made only by elected officials and may not be delegated.

State and local officials must reclaim their authority either by challenging union-made policies in courts or simply by refusing to comply with them on constitutional grounds.

The framers of the Constitution would be honored if we used their great gift to make government work again.

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.

SB1577 Would Give a Nice Tax Cut to the People of Arizona

SB1577 Would Give a Nice Tax Cut to the People of Arizona

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Who wouldn’t want more money in their pocket? As Bidenflation continues to crush the American people—and in particular the people of Arizona—our elected leaders should be looking for every way possible to provide relief.

Just look at the anti-tax mood among Arizona voters this past November. They rejected Prop 310, which would have increased the statewide sales tax by 0.1% to fund fire districts throughout Arizona. They voted down ill-conceived transportation taxes in Pinal County and Kingman. And they passed Prop 132 to protect against future tax increases. That should be proof enough that Arizonans want to ensure that their hard-earned dollars stay in their wallets.

Now, a new bill recently passed by the Arizona Senate would do just that…


DEI Is an Attack on Campus Free Speech

DEI Is an Attack on Campus Free Speech

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Jonathan Haidt is a professor at NYU, an acknowledged leader in the field of social psychology, and a champion of free speech. He recently faced a requirement that all scholars wishing to present research to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology were to submit a statement explaining “whether and how this submission advanced the equity, inclusion, and antiracism goals of SPSP.”

He resigned instead. This was no small sacrifice, but Haidt takes his principles seriously. Moreover, as he pointed out on his way out the door, “Most academic work has nothing to do with diversity.”

Scholars working, for example, on ultra-bright, nano-structured photo emission electron studies would be required to present their “anti-racist” bona fides. Academics in all disciplines, as well as administrators, would be forced to “betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity.”

This is not just another quibble among pointy-headed academics. Refusing jobs to dissenters is meant to quash the last remnant of open debate in American higher education.

Our universities, particularly the elite, were once celebrated as sanctuaries for unpopular ideas, where free discourse was sacrosanct and none need face fear of censure over doctrinal disputes.

But when the Left achieved numerical domination in the majority of universities over recent decades, their mindset evolved into rooting out the few dissenters in their midst, or, better yet, blocking them from getting a job in the first place.

The reason so-called anti-racists feel justified in forcing their views into unrelated disciplines, such as the hard sciences, is that they view the entire world through the lens of race. Ibram S. Kendi, the leading proponent of anti-racism, writes “there is no such thing as a non-racist or race-neutral policy.”

Their opinions on everything from raising taxes (good) to merit-based promotion in schools (bad) are race-based. It follows that if you disagree with their views, then you’re a racist.

The philosophy of anti-racism is profoundly anti-education and anti-merit. Colleges and universities are less and less committed to the search for truth or the transmission of knowledge. Instead, they are in thrall to the endless dictates of the ironically titled “social justice” bureaucracy.

DEI offices, larger than many academic departments (and better paid), are now sprouting in the halls of academia. 25% of all universities now mandate DEI statements from job applicants, and 40% more are considering jumping on the bandwagon.

DEI statements are loyalty oaths to race-based ideologies, similar to those required by authoritarian regimes throughout history. They often demand evidence of the applicant’s past support of such notions as Critical Race Theory, which holds that an individual’s tendency to racial bias can be reliably determined from their skin color.

To our state’s shame, Arizona’s universities have enthusiastically thrown themselves into the front lines of this movement. According to a Goldwater Institute report, Arizona State University last fall required DEI loyalty oaths for 81% of all job applicants. NAU was at 73% while the University of Arizona demanded 28% bend the knee to be considered for a job.

Such required ideological allegiance makes a mockery of the value of any research these aspiring scholars may do. The results are predetermined. In 2020, two major research organizations and 16 scientific societies issued a joint statement that researchers “must stand against the notion that systemic racism does not exist.” No research was cited.

Topics like urban crime, immigration, and welfare fraud are rarely studied when only the approved narrative is permitted anyway. Ignoring data inconsistent with the agenda gives us startling conclusions as when “scientists” proclaimed that family dinners and church services were COVID “superspreaders,” while massive racial protests and pro-abortion rallies were no problem.

The Left has a way with words. Diversity now means rigid conformity. Equity stands for unearned equal outcomes. Inclusion means exclusion of dissenters.

But Americans are starting to catch on. Outraged parents are protesting overt racism in school curricula. A growing number of universities and corporations are pulling back on DEI mandates. In Arizona, SCR 1024 is a proposed constitutional amendment that will hopefully be on the ballot next election. It would eliminate racist instruction in our public schools.

Take heart.

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.