Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ Election Manual Is Filled with Unlawful Changes – Ducey and Brnovich Must Reject Them

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ Election Manual Is Filled with Unlawful Changes – Ducey and Brnovich Must Reject Them

By the AZ Free Enterprise Club |

Laws are meaningless if they aren’t enforced, are misapplied or misconstrued. The duly elected Arizona legislature crafts and passes election bills, and the Governor signs them into law. The Secretary of State, however, is tasked with prescribing “rules to achieve and maintain the maximum degree of correctness, impartiality, uniformity and efficiency” in implementing those laws.

This is done through the Elections Procedures Manual (EPM). But instead of crafting this with “impartiality” to attain the “maximum degree of correctness” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs seems intent on subverting state law in some instances, obfuscating in others, and as highlighted in a previous article, doing an end-run around a United States Supreme Court decision that upheld an Arizona election integrity practice.

The good news is that Hobbs doesn’t have unilateral authority to do this. She was required to submit this draft manual to Attorney General Brnovich and Governor Ducey by October 1st. Both have to sign off on the draft manual for it to go into effect. If they decline, we stick with the 2019 manual and Hobbs’s changes die…

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Arizona Audit Recommends Universal Voter ID—Just Like We’ve Been Saying for Years

Arizona Audit Recommends Universal Voter ID—Just Like We’ve Been Saying for Years

By the AZ Free Enterprise Club |

Easy to vote and hard to cheat. That should be the benchmark for every single election we have.

Voters should not have to choose between having a secure election or having an accessible election. They can have both. And in Arizona, we’ve certainly made our elections accessible.

But that hasn’t always been the case with the security of our elections. And the results of the Arizona audit issued in September show just that.

These are significant issues that need to be addressed. Thankfully, the audit report made multiple recommendations that are common-sense election integrity policies.

And the most important one is something we’ve been saying for years…

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Surprise, Surprise!  It’s Time To Go Through The Debt Limit Raising Hassle Again

Surprise, Surprise! It’s Time To Go Through The Debt Limit Raising Hassle Again

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Democrats are clamoring for immediate action to avert a financial crisis which would be blamed on Republicans, just because. Meanwhile, the Republican campaign conservatives aren’t showing much enthusiasm for this rare possibility of achieving significant fiscal reform.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen rolled out the traditional arguments for raising the debt limit in the Wall Street Journal. Raising the limit doesn’t authorize additional deficit spending, which is true, as far as it goes.  But it does ratify the overspending that has occurred, which keeps the ball rolling for spenders.

But she whiffs on the real point. The greater danger to our credit-worthiness would be to continue the present course. As our indebtedness climbs to stratospheric levels and interest rates return to normal, our fundamental ability to service the debt becomes questionable, as our geopolitical rivals well know.

America is going to pay its debts. Yet in an obvious attempt to bullrush Republicans into compliance without conditions, Secretary Yellen warns that any failure could cause economic damage so severe as to be permanent.

Indeed, the titanic struggle over the 2011 debt limit increase, which resulted in a $2.1 trillion spending cut, caused a significant downturn in financial markets. However, spurred by the spending cut and the vitality of America’s private sector, all the losses and more were made up within the year.

Yellen notes that Congress has raised or suspended the debt ceiling 80 times since 1960, so it must be no big deal, right? But what’s wrong with this picture?

All 80 times, the effect was to increase America’s borrowing capacity. It has never been reduced. The routine, expected raising of the debt limit is the enabling mechanism that has allowed us to slide into treacherous financial territory.

Republicans have never had a better opportunity to break this self-perpetuating cycle. Democrats are on a world record spending binge. Their majorities are slim and fractious.  They desperately need Republican cooperation.

So Republicans are threatened with being saddled, again, with responsibility for the dreaded government “shutdown”.  Previous shutdowns prohibited WW II veterans from visiting their DC memorial and prevented the viewing, even from the highway, of Mount Rushmore.

But government employees and beneficiaries were exempted. Nonessential employees got the best deal of all. They were furloughed but promised a complete pay reimbursement after the “shutdown.” Road trip!

Both Yellen and Biden insist that raising the debt ceiling in the past was bipartisan.  That doesn’t make it right, of course.  Still, the claim holds true only if you consider a 98.8% negative Democrat vote on the three debt ceiling bills during the George W. Bush administration to be “bipartisan.“

But the screws on Republicans get tightened anyway. “I can’t believe Republicans will let the nation default“ by not raising the debt limit, Chuck Schumer mourned at a recent press conference. As usual, the Chuckster was making it up.

Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress. They don’t need a single Republican vote to do whatever they wish. They could have simply included the debt limit provisions in a budget resolution, a reconciliation bill not subject to the filibuster and thus not requiring Republican votes to pass.

Schumer instead moved the debt limit to regular legislation requiring 60 votes so that Republicans could be blamed for its failure. Democrats understandably don’t want the political blame for pushing  our nation deeper into debt. But why should Republicans bail them out when the budget-crushing Biden era spending bills have passed with almost exclusively Democrat support?

Based on their record when in power, Republicans may not be sincerely interested in living within our means either.  If they are serious, they must learn from past mistakes. Previous budgetary reforms included in debt limit bills have failed because they were later amended or ignored.

This time, Republicans must demand limitations that are self-activated and self-enforced, not subject to congressional amendment, at least for a time certain. Congressional proposal of a debt-limiting constitutional amendment should be on the table.

For common sense fiscal conservatives, this is our time. Success requires boldness and bravery.

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.

The Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Tax Bill Would Be Devastating for Our Country

The Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Tax Bill Would Be Devastating for Our Country

By the Free Enterprise Club |

What would you do with $3.5 trillion? It’s hard to even wrap your head around how big that number is, isn’t it?

But think of it this way. 1 billion seconds is equal to 30 years, which is around the length of a career. But 1 trillion seconds? That’s equal to 30,000 years, which is longer than human civilization!

It’s a ridiculously big number, and yet, our government regularly throws around trillions of dollars like it’s nothing. But someone is paying for it, and you can probably guess who that is. That’s why the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax bill is especially concerning.

But it’s not even just about the money. It’s what the Democrats are trying to ram through in this giant bill.

Every Liberal Cause You Can Think Of

Because this package is a budget reconciliation, it could pass through the Senate with a slim majority, meaning that not a single Republican would need to sign on. And this has Democrats licking their chops. Among the lowlights of this bill are…

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It’s Time For Arizona Lawmakers To Stand Up To Biden’s Dangerous Vaccine Mandates

It’s Time For Arizona Lawmakers To Stand Up To Biden’s Dangerous Vaccine Mandates

By the Free Enterprise Club |

It felt like we were heading this direction for quite some time. Well, here we are. Last week, President Biden made an outrageous announcement. Any employer that has 100 or more employees will be required to mandate vaccines. Not only is this a blatant abuse of power, but it ignores the fact that issues like this are supposed to be left to states.

And Arizona’s lawmakers, who were elected by the people, did address this back in July, taking keep steps to protect our state from more COVID overreach. In particular, the state legislature passed SB1819, which includes a provision that amends the ability of the state to require vaccination during a public health emergency to allow for an individual to refuse vaccination based on their personal beliefs.

But apparently, our president—or is he our king now—does not care one bit about your freedom or personal choice.

Instead, King Biden would rather maneuver around the U.S. Constitution and use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish this ridiculous “emergency workplace safety rule.”

Remember when this was just about “flattening the curve”? It wasn’t that long ago.

And it also wasn’t that long ago when then-Senator Kamala Harris said she would not take the vaccine if President Trump mandated it. This administration can’t even get its own talking points straight. Or maybe that’s just something else they don’t care about.

But there is something they do want: to take away more of your freedoms. That’s why the Arizona Free Enterprise Club jumped into action immediately. For the past week, we’ve been urging Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to sue the Biden administration. This vaccine mandate will affect more than 100 million Americans. And it is one of the most extreme infringements on both businesses and individual rights in U.S. history…

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In These Times, We Need Our Constitution More Than Ever

In These Times, We Need Our Constitution More Than Ever

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

These are fraught days for Americans. History is said to be cyclical but there is widespread concern that we are in inexorable decline.

Our leadership role in the world which seemed secure three decades ago is under serious threat. Polls show that confidence and love of country are in decline, especially among the young. Traditional American values like freedom of speech, free-market economics and responsible fiscal policy are openly attacked.

Meanwhile, e pluribus unum is facing replacement by a culture obsessed with racial identity. MLK’s dream of a society where skin color doesn’t determine our judgments of each other is now itself deemed racist.

America, though, is the longest running liberal democracy in history for a reason: our Constitution. Our great freedom document connects us to our roots, the sources of our strength. It can direct us away from hyperpartisanship toward mutual respect and agreement on shared principles – if we respect its authority.

But the Constitution has been repeatedly ignored and abused in our recent history. Many argue it is an 18th-century construct unsuited to governance in the 21st-century. Others claim it should be seen as a “living” document that means whatever someone says it means without regard to its actual content.

Since the Constitution prescribes limits on governmental powers, it particularly vexes Big Government types wishing to centralize power and enlarge their span of control. For example, a century ago President Woodrow Wilson was an early leader of the Progressive movement, which held that modern government should be guided by administrative agency experts.

Wilson thus opposed the separation of powers doctrine. He cautioned against “the error of trying to do too much by vote“, given the ignorance of the common man.

His legacy of disdain for the Constitution is reflected in today’s administrative state, in which unelected bureaucrats make binding rules (laws), direct the enforcement of those rules and adjudicate violations.

FDR later also regarded the Constitution as a problematic document requiring workarounds for him to be successful in establishing the social welfare programs and regulations thought necessary to rescue America from the Great Depression. He was so frustrated by the Supreme Court striking down his unconstitutional power grabs that he infamously tried to expand the court to15 members.

Roosevelt was temporarily rebuffed but eventually was able to secure so much of his agenda that the role of government in Americans’ everyday lives changed dramatically. Safeguards to liberty like enumerated powers and federalism suffered permanent damage.

Recent presidents have taken the constitutionally curious position that they should be permitted to exceed their normal powers when Congress won’t act as they prescribe. Barack Obama, a former constitutional law professor, correctly stated many times that he wasn’t authorized to suspend DACA deportations through executive order. There were “laws on the books“ and “I am not king“, he pointed out.

But he eventually caved, unilaterally granting work permits and legal status to first millions of illegal immigrants who entered as minors, then later to adults (later struck down). The legal fate of DACA is still pending, despite its continuing unconstitutional status.

Joe Biden used the same logic when confronted with the need for extension of the eviction moratorium passed as an emergency pandemic measure by the Trump administration.  Biden acknowledged that the Supreme Court had already ruled that an extension would require congressional approval. But to appease his party’s lefties, he did it anyway, expressly ignoring the Constitution.

Donald Trump was also loathe to let the constitution interfere with what he wanted to do anyway. His most egregious transgression was pressuring Vice President Pence to reject the electoral ballots lawfully submitted by the states in the 2020 presidential election.

Pence, clearly lacking the constitutional authority to do so, refused. Fortunately, unlike previous miscreants, Trump was so thoroughly rebuked that no precedent for similar actions was created.

Part of the reason America is in trouble is because we are not protective of our Constitution, not outraged when it is abused. Judicial nominees, charged with upholding the Constitution, are vetted instead based on their political agenda.

We demean our constitution at our considerable risk. It is our bulwark against the corruption and chaos that plague impoverished nations around the world.

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.