The Climate Change Movement Is Massive And Dangerous

The Climate Change Movement Is Massive And Dangerous

By John Huppenthal |

Dr. Thomas Patterson’s “Climate Change Alarmism Is Not Supported by the Facts” on April 28 was very well done, accurately summarizing the Climate Change movement as an issue distracting us with predictions of catastrophe.

Citing published experts, the column rebutted critical points of the climate movement’s argument: forest fires, hurricanes, malnutrition from agricultural damage, the threat to polar bears, and the economic impact. Patterson pointed out that forest fire losses are much lower now than in the past, hurricane landfalls are fewer, not more; polar bear populations are at their highest levels in 60 years, and the economic damage predicted from global warming is tiny.

That’s all we need to know—the essence of the argument proving the entire premise of doom false. You can get lost in the weeds focusing on too much. But no matter how powerful, a single column doesn’t do this subject justice. The climate movement is massive and dangerous. Composed of four different strands:

  1. Some in the movement see climate as the tool to advance our journey to a communist state.
  2. Some, like Ted Turner, exemplify a “biocentric” strand with his desire to reduce the world population by 7.5 billion.
  3. Another group sees the movement as an opportunity to gain power and money. 
  4. A final group genuinely believes the global warming crisis will destroy humanity.

We’re in a four-front war. All intend to impoverish our families if we take their words at face value. Others want to see us and our children dead or at least gone.  

The climate movement has endless stories to fuel its “narrative.” For example, in 2012, drought hit Missouri hard, with corn production down 42 percent. Stories like this happen every year. It’s the nature of the weather. So, we must relentlessly supply the counter-narrative, one based on facts. Geological records show that, long before the industrial CO2 era, the Sahel region in Africa suffered a drought that lasted for hundreds of years. Climate change and weather have always been with us. In this instance, we can also point to United Nations data showing that current world cereal crop production (corn, wheat, soybeans, barley, oats, rye) is at a record. Fewer people are starving than ever before.

Further, it’s possible that not even a shred of the Green House Gas theory is correct. The idea: added Carbon Dioxide traps more solar radiation, further warming the oceans. Added ocean warming then releases more water vapor which also traps heat, amplifying the Green House Gas effect of CO2. NASA is testing this theory. At a cost of over $8 billion, we have put seven highly sophisticated measurement devices into orbit around the earth, devices called CERES. These devices began measuring solar radiation and the earth’s reflected radiation in 2000. We have over twenty years of measuring incoming and outgoing radiation to determine the theory’s correctness. Result? Not as the climate movement predicted and believes. Outgoing radiation is not only ever so slightly higher than incoming radiation, but the trend is also further negative at a time when CO2 emissions have been increasing rapidly and significantly. We are cooling—slightly. At least that’s what the $8 billion CERES instruments say.

Those instruments say we are losing heat, not gaining heat. Outgoing radiation is higher than incoming radiation, and the difference is trending even more negatively. The opposite of what the Green House Gas theory predicts. Based on these measurements, we need more CO2, not less.

So, where is the heat coming from? We know where it comes from in Maricopa County. With a population of over 1.7 million households and over 2 million tons of asphalt and 40 million tons of concrete, we have effectively eliminated winter by creating an urban heat island—an island that has made us the number one population growth county out of over 3,000 counties in the U.S. Urban heat islands have also rendered temperature measurements worldwide questionable. But, even with this huge effect, our record temperature remains 1990: 122 degrees—33 years ago. And March 2023 was our coldest March in 30 years.

Another big issue: is CO2 a pollutant? We know from experience and experiments that CO2 is not toxic to human beings. Crews live in submarines and the International Space Station for many months, with CO2 levels above 4,000 ppm CO2. By comparison, we won’t be up to 1,200 ppm for 300 years at current trends. They’ve even done experiments with CO2 at 40,000 ppm for weeks. They saw no ill effects in their measurements. The OSHA standard is 5,000 ppm. From a health standpoint, CO2 is not a pollutant, even though the climate movement would like us to confuse it with deadly carbon monoxide.

Just how completely wrong is the climate movement? Numerous research studies show the benefit of higher levels of CO2 for crops and forest growth. Because CO2 is essential for photosynthesis, below 150 ppm, all plant and human life would end. CO2 accelerates plant growth as it increases from 150 ppm until it hits 1,200 ppm, a level our atmosphere won’t see for 300 years at current trends. These benefits are immense. The CO2 growth dividend at 1,200 parts per million is an extra 150% over preindustrial levels of 280 ppm. That’s a lot of corn, wheat, barley, oats, and rye.

The climate movement is not going to quit without a fight. An estimated $630 billion is now being devoted worldwide to climate change spending on an annual basis—$60 billion for research alone. Not satisfied, the climate movement is looking at a bigger pot of loot, the so-called carbon tax. But it’s not a carbon tax. That always was a falsehood. It’s a tax on gasoline and electricity. They call it a carbon tax because they don’t want the middle class to know that they intend to increase taxes on them, a lot. The U.S. average price of gasoline stands at $3.71. But the average price in Europe is $7.67 per gallon. That difference of $3.96 per gallon applied to U.S. sales is a wallet-busting $500 billion per year out of the pockets of people making less than $40 per hour and into the pockets of people making more than $50 per hour.

This is going to be the proverbial fight to the death.

John Huppenthal was the Arizona Superinterndent of Public Instruction from 2011-2015. Prior to this role, John served as a member of the Arizona State Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives. You can follow him on Twitter here.

The Battle Over Highway Funding Is Coming to a Head in the Arizona Legislature

The Battle Over Highway Funding Is Coming to a Head in the Arizona Legislature

By Pat Nolan |

Arizona legislators will soon have to choose between two very different plans to spend funding from the highway sales tax originally passed in 1985. One plan, SB1246 by Senator Farnsworth, would keep faith with the promises made to voters that the sales tax would fund highways to relieve traffic congestion around Phoenix.

The alternative proposal, SB1102 by Senator Carroll, would siphon off money from road projects and instead fund “green energy” giveaways proposed by the bureaucrats at the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). SB1102 proposes to divert $2 billion from highway construction to fund bike lanes, walking trails, bus lanes, and other unspecified “special projects.” In other words, it establishes a slush fund comparable to the “Green New Deal” of the Biden Administration.

The Farnsworth bill, on the other hand, will fully fund the freeway expansions promised to the voters, and there will be no green slush fund. Also, none of the transportation money could be used to remove traffic lanes to make room for bike paths.

It also requires government-subsidized transit to operate efficiently and recover 25% of the cost from the riders, as they promised. In reality, the government-run system falls woefully short of that requirement, collecting a mere 7% currently. Senator Farnsworth’s bill will make public transit meet their revenue projections. If they fail to do so, private companies could bid to provide transit services and guarantee the revenue as promised to the voters.

The Left’s fixation with public transit has resulted in hundreds of millions pouring into the black hole of failing transit systems. Yet, despite the clear evidence that transit systems run by the government are a white elephant, they keep pumping more tax dollars into them. They cannot point to any city where the ridership has met their projections. The reason is simple. When pollsters ask the public, they say they want more public transit. However, when asked if they intend to use it, they say they have no intention of using it. They want other drivers to use transit to get those cars off the freeways.

SB1102 would help MAG pursue their far-Left agenda, which now includes imposing California-like restrictions on Arizonans, including banning the internal combustion engine and gas appliances. We must end such power grabs by the bureaucracy, and the Arizona Legislature can start by killing this bill and passing Senator Farnsworth’s SB1246.

The late, great conservative Senator Everett Dirksen famously explained the thinking of legislators when he said, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.” Taxpayers can hold legislators’ feet to the fire by telling them to vote NO on SB1102 and AYE for SB1246.

Pat Nolan is the Director Emeritus of the Nolan Center for Justice at the American Conservative Union and lives in Prescott.

Are Electric Vehicles the Solution to Climate Change? Or Is It a Government-subsidized Scam at Over $30,000 per Car?

Are Electric Vehicles the Solution to Climate Change? Or Is It a Government-subsidized Scam at Over $30,000 per Car?

By Terence E Winters, PhD |

James Dyson, Britain’s multi-billionaire version of Elon Musk, announced in 2019 that he was terminating his private company’s project to design, build, and market “a radically different” electric car (EV). The project, housed in its own isolated facility about 100 miles from London, had cost him about $1 billion over 4 years and had employed over 600 engineers and support people. This was a difficult decision for him to make since he is an engineer and has made his money on electrically powered devices, so EVs were in his sweet spot, just another electric device.

Dyson owns the company and so he had no shareholders that he had to explain his actions to. He simply said, in an exclusive interview with Fortune, “It just wasn’t commercially viable” since he would have had to price the electric car below his cost. The article in Fortune’s November 29, 2019 edition, “James Dyson’s Electric Shock” is fascinating reading and concludes that Dyson is that rare executive who combines blue-sky dreaming with steely-eyed financial discipline.

Add this to the fact that electric cars were common in the early 1900s but died out because they could not compete with gasoline cars, and we have to ask: what is going on here? While Elon Musk was getting Tesla to a market valuation of over a trillion dollars, James Dyson was backing away from the same field and saying it was not commercially viable. One of them is wrong, so let’s review the pros and cons of electric vehicles and you, dear reader, can decide.

First, some key advantages of EVs over gas/diesel cars (ICE= internal combustion engine):

    • Good performance, especially acceleration.
    • Quieter than ICEs.
    • Classed as zero emission vehicles with preferential treatment on our roads such as use of HOV lanes, which is very useful in rush hours. But this ignores the emissions from manufacturing EVs, especially the battery, and from generating the electricity to power them.
    • In most states, EVs do not pay annual license plate fees and do not contribute to the building or maintenance of roads, as ICE vehicles do, through the gas tax. This is another subsidy, worth at least $1,000 per car per year. But we will not count this subsidy.
    • Cheaper to service and to fuel. But this has significant caveats. See later.
    • Perceived as replacing ICE cars, thereby helping to minimize climate change. See later.

There has been much written on this subject so here are some facts about EVs that are not well known:

1. Subsidies. State and federal governments each give a tax credit subsidy to the original owner for buying a new EV. The total varies by state but, combined, it is usually about $10,000 per car, subject to conditions. But there are numerous other subsidies granted to either the EV owner, the EV manufacturer, the battery manufacturer, or the charging station owner. They take the form of direct tax credits, grants, and other payments that can be taken whether or not any tax is due. It is difficult to pin these down and convert to a number such as amount per car, especially with the array of additional subsidies in the recent IRA Bill, but the total is at least $30,000 per car and probably much more. The tangled web of these subsidies suggests that the government may not want the public to know the true extent of its largesse towards EVs. Let’s list some of them:

    • Carbon credits granted annually to Tesla and other EV companies because they are classed as “zero emission vehicles” (they are not – more about that later). These credits by law must be bought by other car companies as a penalty for them continuing to produce ICE cars. You have to look hard for this subsidy in Tesla’s financial statements, but it is there – look for “automotive regulatory credits” in the operating statements. They have amounted to a total of $4.8 billion of cash for the 3 years, 2020-22 (the 2022 figure is estimated based on 9-month numbers). Tesla does not have to pay this back. It is a straight cash subsidy from Tesla’s ICE competitors, mandated by the U.S. government. This is another $3,000 to $5,000 per car and has made Tesla profitable. Other EV manufacturers get similar carbon credits.
    • EV subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA):
      • The $7,500 federal tax credit subsidy to the owner of a new EV has been extended to a wider range of vehicles and consumers, with income, foreign source, and vehicle purchase price limits (that can be worked around). No doubt states will follow suit with their subsidies. Plus, this federal tax credit has been extended to the purchase of a used EV up to a maximum of $4,000. If states follow, then this used EV tax credit will be about $5,000 per car. The result is that the same car will be subsidized with this owner tax credit at least twice, when new and used, for a total of about $15,000 per vehicle, or more if it is sold again.
      • Tax credits to build over 500,000 charging stations all over the USA for the next 10 years. This is limited to $100,000 per “alternative fuel refueling property” so will cost $50 billion over the 10 years. This is an indirect subsidy to EVs since it would otherwise be paid by an increase in the price of the electric power purchased by the EV owner. If this is spread over 5 million EVs, it is at least $10,000 per car, but let’s call it $5,000 per car. But the way the IRA language reads, it could be interpreted as $100,000 per charging bay in the charging station in which case, it would be very much more. A news release by Mercedes Benz on January 4, 2023 says they will be building 400 EV charging stations in the USA containing 2,500 charging bays at a cost of $1.05 billion. That is $2.5 million per station and about $420,000 per charging bay.
      • Depending on how the language in the Act is interpreted, there are grants for a wide variety of “green” projects that include batteries and EV related projects. For now, we will not include these potential subsidies.
      • Tax credits to fleet owners who convert their commercial vehicles to EVs. These are a minimum of $7,500 per vehicle and rise to $40,000 per vehicle for vehicle weights over 14,000 pounds.
      • For states and municipalities, grants and rebates of 100% of the value of school buses, garbage trucks, and the like, converted to EVs.
      • These last two items for commercial and municipal vehicles combined are potentially the largest subsidy of them all, but it is difficult to convert it to a per vehicle number for our purposes. Let’s just count it as $7,500 per vehicle for the two combined, although it will be a great deal more.
      • Battery manufacturer subsidies. These are in the IRA, the 2021 Infrastructure Bill, and the CHIPS and Science Act and are estimated to amount to about $142 billion of direct subsidies over the next 10 years. Not all of this is for EVs, but they will get the biggest share through tax credits to cover 30% of EV battery manufacturing costs. In addition, companies making the battery components in the USA will get a tax credit of 10% of their costs. That adds up to 40% of the cost of battery production. If we assume that an EV battery costs about $10,000 to produce, then this is a further subsidy of about $4,000 per car, and double that if the car needs a new battery.

All these subsidies are cash paid, by various routes, to either the buyer, the dealer, the vehicle manufacturer, the battery maker, states and municipalities, fleet owners, or charging stations. All of it comes from you, dear taxpayer. I doubt that Mr. Dyson figured these gargantuan subsidies into his decision, but could it have changed his mind? And did Mr. Musk count on these government handouts before he founded Tesla – this makes him one of the largest recipients of government largesse?

There are probably more EV subsidies buried in the IRA and other legislation that I have missed, but let’s add up these that I have identified with certainty, all on a per EV basis:

Consumer new EV purchase state and federal tax credits:    $10,000
Consumer used EV purchase tax credit:$5,000
Carbon credits:$4,000
Charging station subsidy:$5,000
Commercial fleet conversions to EVs:$7,500
Battery maker subsidy:$4,000

    This is a low number since I have underestimated most items, but it exposes the enormous cost of the state and federal subsidies to force conversion to EVs.

    If you would like to check out these subsidies, they are in a Department of Energy summary to be found here. The battery part is summarized in Chemical and Engineering News, January 9/16, 2023 titled “Public money will make 2023 the year of the battery factory.”

    2. Battery Life. An EV is powered by a battery which is a large part of the vehicle. The years of constant charging, especially at high power, and discharging, especially in heat or cold, make the battery less efficient so that, after 5 years it only has about 60% of its range when new. To restore the range needs a new battery, a major expense of about $10,000, and also a major source of pollution to manufacture it.

    3. Battery Size. Tesla S and Y batteries weigh 1,200 pounds and 1,700 pounds, respectively. Since the battery is so large and heavy, manufacturers have to remove all the weight they can to maintain performance. So, the EV car body is lighter than an ICE car and more vulnerable in an accident. Just look at the door thickness in an EV compared to your ICE car.

    4. Battery performance. In hot and cold weather, performance is much less than at ambient temperatures, leading to lower distance ranges and faster battery deterioration. At 32oF, a common temperature in the USA, the performance is about 70% of that at 70oF. Deterioration at higher temperatures, such as in a Phoenix summer, is similar, especially if air conditioning is used. So, a 300-mile range can rapidly deteriorate to about 200 miles.

    5. Zero Emission. Maybe they are when moving, but they are not zero emission when all the operations needed to power them are included. Most important are the emissions from generating the electricity to run them. Of course, if all this comes from renewable sources, then this is not a factor, but that will never happen. It is generally accepted that one 42-gallon barrel of oil equivalent can generate about 650 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity which translates to about 15 kWh/gallon of oil. Allowing for about 10% losses in transmission and storage gives about 13.5 kWh/gallon. Or about 7.5 gallons per 100 kWh “fill-up” (assuming a 200-mile range, that corresponds to about 28.5 mpg equivalent, about 1 mpg less than my diesel BMW X-5). So, to generate the electricity to power a Tesla S produces about the same “emissions” as 7.5 gallons of gasoline/diesel. But, add to this the emissions from manufacturing the battery and the car, which are at least as much as from generating the electric power, and an EV generates about the same emissions as a comparable ICE car.

    6. Lower Fuel Cost? To fully charge a 100 kWh EV battery can cost between $5 and $60 depending on your location, time of day and power of the charge. Electricity can cost as low as 5 cents/kWh for super off-peak or as high as 60 cents/kWh on-peak. That compares with about $60-80 per 20-gallon fill-up for an ICE and so there is a significant savings if you can charge off-peak. That’s feasible when charging overnight at home but not on a road trip or, if you live in an apartment, you will pay full price at public charging stations.

    7. Charging Time. On high power, a full charge takes about an hour, but it is much longer on the lower power outlet in your garage. Compare with a 5-minute ICE fill-up. And if you live in an apartment in a city, good luck with finding a charging point and expect to pay full price per kWh!

    8. Insurance. About 30% more for EVs. They are more expensive to repair and if the battery is damaged, it’s over $10,000!

    9. Power Loss. Batteries leak power when not in use, especially in cold weather. ICEs do not.

    10. Grid Dependency. An EV is dependent on using the electric power grid for charging. This can be unreliable, especially when several million EVs are tapping into it or an enemy takes down the grid! Further, if government wants to control you, they will shut down the grid or simply raise the electricity price sky high. There is no other option to find power (by law, your solar system cannot run when the grid is down. A generator requires fuel). ICEs also shut down if access to refined oil is cut off, but with many oil companies and refineries, that is unlikely; gas and diesel can also be easily stored whereas electricity cannot be – battery technology means only small amounts of electricity can be stored, at high cost.

    Now you have more of the facts to ponder and make your decision. I think I will hang on to my diesel BMW forever with its 29 mpg, 650-mile range and minimal pollution!

    When James Dyson made his decision to end his EV project, he had most of these points known to him. The exception was the huge government subsidies. Would he have made a different decision if he had known of all these subsidies? I leave it to you to decide.

    If you are an EV enthusiast, you need to remember that all these subsidies will eventually expire, possibly sooner if we get a sane government that cancels all this pork. And EVs will revert to a price level very much higher than with all the government largesse. At that point, the cost of driving will be so high that few will be able to afford it, an awful prospect.

    The final question to ponder is why our government is subsidizing EVs to this extent and maybe trying to cover it up. Over $30,000 per EV is a massive amount to give away and the incremental improvement in emissions is close to zero. I do not know the answer to this question, but it must be addressed.

    Electricity is a wonderful source of power, but it suffers from a major drawback that it cannot be stored efficiently. Using electricity to power transportation works very well when it directly drives the locomotive such as with trains, trolley buses, subways, and electric trams all of which draw their power from continuous power-carrying wires or rails that they are in contact with, and the power does not have to be stored. Where the electricity has to be stored in a battery to provide the power, it becomes a very expensive mode of transportation and is very inefficient. Batteries have inherent drawbacks based on the laws of physics and chemistry, and it is unlikely that scientific breakthroughs will be made that change these conclusions.

    Even if EVs made a difference in emissions, is the factor that drives all this, namely the climate change theory of warming caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, correct? I can summarize for you five reasons why the data show it is not correct and therefore why there is no climate crisis:

    1. The level of CO2 in our air today is 0.04%, or 400 parts per million (PPM), a minute level. And it has only increased by 0.01% over the past 50 years. As a scientist (PhD chemistry), I have seen no plausible explanation of how the increase of 0.01% CO2, or 1 part in 10,000, or even much more, can cause dangerous warming.

    2. While CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas (GHG), it’s contribution to global warming is minute and is swamped by that of water which comprises over 3% of our air, or 30,000 PPM. Water is a much stronger GHG, present in about 100 times the concentration of CO2. Without water in the air, the average temperature of the earth would be an uninhabitable 17oF. Without CO2 in the air, we would not notice the minute temperature difference but plants would not grow and we would all perish.

    3. There has been no increase in severe weather events over the last 50 years.

    4. Ice shrinks when it melts so it is not going to cause sea level to rise unless the melting ice is on land. Sea level rise is not accelerating. It has been rising at the same minute rate per year (about 1/8th inch annually) in the last 50 years as it has been for centuries.

    5. CO2 is plant food and more in the air is better. The increase from 0.03% to 0.04% has been a major contributor to the green revolution in agriculture. If we actually achieve zero carbon, we will be putting our farming productivity, and our survival, at risk. Plus, a little warming would be a good thing since cold weather kills over 10 times as many people every year as hot weather.

    If you want to comment on this factual piece, I can be reached at

    Terry Winters is a retired venture capitalist and biotechnology CEO residing in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has a BSc. and PhD in chemistry from the University of Wales. His science training gives him the basis to understand much of the complicated science behind climate change. Over the past 5 years, he has examined the data in detail and has not seen any plausible scientific theory or any data to support the accusation that CO2 is responsible for dangerous global warming. He is an active member of the CO2Coalition which comprises over 150 scientists, mostly with PhDs in physics, chemistry or climate science, who are dedicated to publicizing the truth that there is no climate crisis and that more CO2 in our atmosphere is a good thing that enables faster plant growth and therefore more productive agriculture.

    Five Tangible Pro-Liberty Goals for the 2023 Legislative Session

    Five Tangible Pro-Liberty Goals for the 2023 Legislative Session

    By Ben Beckhart |

    In January, Arizona’s 55th legislature will convene with new challenges. Republicans managed to maintain slim majorities in both chambers, but what can we possibly accomplish with a Democratic Governor? It will certainly be more difficult to get pro-liberty legislation signed into law, but there are still tangible goals worth fighting for. We just have to be realistic and narrow down our agenda.

    The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona has published its top five priorities for the 2023 legislative session. These are pragmatic ideas to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government, and free markets, even under a Democratic Governor. Several of these goals were included in Senate President Warren Petersen’s plan to help Arizonans combat rising prices, which we fully support.

    The first priority is the same for every legislative session: kill the bad bills. Moderate legislators will be looking for ways to compromise with our new Governor by promoting legislation that will expand the size and scope of government. Our primary focus will be to fight these bills in the legislature, preventing them from reaching the Governor’s desk.

    Our second priority is one of Senate President Petersen’s priorities: to repeal the municipal rental taxes on residential properties. These are taxes imposed on residential rental properties by cities and towns. The cost of housing has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in Arizona. As many municipalities sit on massive surpluses, they should be looking for ways to cut taxes and alleviate the cost of housing. Sadly, few cities have done this. It’s time for the legislature to change Arizona statute by revoking the cities’ authority to tax residential rental properties. Rep. Shawnna Bolick ran a bill last session to repeal this tax, and it passed the House with bipartisan support. With support from multiple Democratic lawmakers, this is something Governor Hobbs might sign.

    Priority number three is also one of Senate President Petersen’s priorities: eliminate the food tax. One of the reasons why cities are seeing record high revenues is because inflation forces people to spend more. This means more sales tax revenue. Food is a necessity and a tax on food is a regressive tax that especially hurts the middle and lower class who are already struggling with inflation. Some Republicans might object to a repeal of food sales taxes because sales taxes are less invasive than income or property taxes. While we agree a reduction to income or property taxes would be preferable, we should be looking to cut any and all taxes wherever there is a consensus for it. By amending statute to prohibit municipalities from taxing food, we would compel local governments to address the rising cost of living by cutting an unnecessary, regressive tax. We can try to pass this as a normal bill, but if the Governor vetoes it, we could also pass it as a referral that goes to the ballot for the voters to decide, bypassing the Governor’s pen. High inflation has decreased the appetite for taxes, as seen by the rejection of Proposition 310 and many failed bonds and overrides. If placed on the ballot, a repeal of the food tax would likely pass.

    Our fourth priority is to prohibit the Governor, or any state agency, from shutting down private businesses under the guise of an emergency declaration. Last session, Governor Ducey signed Sen. Warren Petersen and Rep. Leo Biasiucci’s bill to ban cities and counties from shutting down private businesses. Now we must ensure that the state government cannot impose lockdowns. The Governor would surely veto this bill, but the legislature can instead pass a measure to put this on the ballot in 2024. Once again, this would allow the legislature to go around the Governor. It’s unclear if the voters would pass this measure, but with a leftist Governor, we must do all we can to reign in the powers of the executive branch. We cannot allow our private businesses to be shut down by petty tyrants.

    Finally, priority number five is a criminal justice reform that would allow simple drug possession offenses to remain undesignated, allowing the court to designate the offense a misdemeanor upon completion of probation. This is not soft on crime because it would only apply to first-time, victimless drug possession charges, and the offense would still be designated a felony if the individual fails to complete probation. By giving people a chance to avoid a permanent felony, this would be a huge incentive for first-time drug offenders to complete probation and become productive, law-abiding citizens. The end result would be reduced recidivism and less taxpayer spending. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Neal Carter last session, and it passed the House unanimously before getting stuck in the Senate. With new committee chairs and bipartisan support, this reform has a real chance at passing.

    This is not an exhaustive list, but these are the top five priorities of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona heading into 2023. This legislative session will look different, but there is always work to be done to advance liberty. We must remain vigilant as we fight to keep Arizona a free and prosperous state!

    Ben Beckhart is the Vice-Chair for the Arizona chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus and the Secretary for the national Republican Liberty Caucus board.

    The Anti-Tax Mood Among the People of Arizona Is a Great Source of Hope

    The Anti-Tax Mood Among the People of Arizona Is a Great Source of Hope

    By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

    Arizona taxpayers are tired. It’s bad enough that our state has been getting crushed by the highest inflation rate in the country, but during this past November’s election, the government tried to swoop in and take more of your hard-earned dollars out of your wallet. This time, Arizona voters said enough is enough. Not only did they reject several tax increases, but they ensured victory for one key protection against future tax increases.

    Arizonans Reject Prop 310

    Prop 310 aimed to increase the statewide sales tax by 0.1% to fund fire districts throughout Arizona, and its proponents used the oldest trick in the book. Just like we’ve seen with past education or transportation tax increases, they tried to convince voters that Prop 310 would only cost them a penny when they buy coffee or a dime when they buy dinner.

    But Arizona voters saw through it…