Wednesday, December 21, 2011

House Democrats support ethics reforms in wake of Fiesta Bowl scandal

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell released the following statement today regarding the Fiesta Bowl investigation:

“House Democrats believe in accountability and transparency for all state legislators, regardless of party, so the representatives Arizonans elected work for them and produce results.

“Ethics reforms are necessary at the capitol to keep politicians in line, working for Arizona and not for special interests. We gladly support Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s call for reforms, such as a gift ban, or disclosing gifts above $25, as well as other changes to ensure transparency and accountability, and we call on our colleagues to join us.

"It's time the state legislature stop working for special interests and focus on what matters – bringing jobs here, getting our economy booming again and funding our public schools."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Poll shows most Arizonans favor broadening of tax base, funding public schools


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A story in The Arizona Guardian today highlights a survey, conducted by one of the nation’s top pollsters, that shows Arizonans overwhelmingly support innovative ideas to create a fair tax code so that their children can grow up with good schools and strong futures ahead of them.

The survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican-leaning firm, found that nearly two-thirds of those questioned favored broadening the tax base to include certain goods and services currently exempt from taxation. This approach is a practical, balanced approach to ensuring fairness in our tax code and restoring funding in a state that's made deep budget cuts to education, infrastructure and public safety.

“Families in Arizona value education, and they know that the Tea Party’s slash-and-burn education cuts were wrong,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said. “This tactic didn’t work and now it’s time to employ smart ideas, stop the partisan bickering and get the results Arizona deserves. After three full years of bad economic decisions, it’s time to put aside politics and make something happen.”

Over the past several years, Campbell and House Democrats have introduced the idea of lowering the sales tax and broadening the base to include currently untaxed goods and services, while getting rid of the unfair tax-free goods and services that benefit the super rich like country club memberships and facelifts.

“It’s time to reform our unfair tax code,” Campbell said. “We need to make it fair for everyone – hard working individuals, families, and small businesses deserve a tax code that gives them the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Unlike the Tea Party extremists, who voted to raise income taxes on middle-class Arizona families while cutting taxes for those earning more than $100,000 a year, this plan would lower the taxes for many people, families and small businesses. It’s beyond time to invest in hard-working, middle-class Arizonans.”

To see The Arizona Guardian’s story go to www.arizonaguardian.com.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Former Marine Gallego thanks President Obama for ending Iraq War


Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 16), released the following statement on the end of the Iraq war:

“As a former Marine who fought in the Iraq War, I personally thanked the President at the White House last Tuesday for ending nine years of sacrifice and struggle by our American troops. Many fellow young service men and women risked their lives every day to protect our country and to bring civility to another. Nearly 4,500 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and thousands more have been wounded. More than a million have served, and their families have endured hardships. Under tough circumstances, our troops and civilians have fulfilled every mission. I thank my fellow American troops who fought alongside me in the war and the families of those we lost in battle. Now it’s time to fight another battle here at home – win back our American economy. The war in Iraq cost a trillion dollars. It’s time to invest in the American people, many of whom are veterans, – creating jobs, building a strong middle class, and sustaining the growth that supports our prosperity and leadership in the world.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

House Democrats: ‘After Arpaio findings, building trust in community is key’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell and House Minority Whip Anna Tovar, both who represent Maricopa County released the following statements today on the U.S. Department of Justice findings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s misconduct:

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 14)
“House Democrats appreciate the U.S. Department of Justice’s hard work and diligence in authoritatively bringing some of these issues to light and showing that grave injustice has been done by our state’s largest county public safety agency. The damage that people in Arizona have endured is truly reprehensible, embarrassing and wrong. This is not the principle on which our nation or our state was founded, and according to the findings, Sheriff Arpaio has not done his job of serving and protecting families, but did just the opposite of instilling fear and harming families, much like corrupt police of a third world country.”

House Minority Whip Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 13)
“The DOJ report scratches the surface, and there is still much more work to be done. But by far the most work involves building the trust of the members of our own community who have been frightened and abused. We need to make amends and finally move in the right direction of protecting our communities and families, no matter what their race so they can feel safe in Arizona.”

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Campbell praises Coburn’s ‘Rich and Famous’ report, reality check for politicians

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX House Minority Leader Chad Campbell released the following statement today on his support for Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s common-sense report and proposal dealing with government payouts to millionaires:

“It’s refreshing to see this kind of sincere, non-partisan effort coming out of Washington, D.C. There needs to be more of this type of collaboration in politics at all levels.

“As we move into next year’s legislative session, I hope to see this same type of effort in addressing the serious problems facing our state. It’s time to move past sound bites and ideological stands and toward real solutions. Too much has been and still is at stake for Arizonans.

“Republicans, Democrats and Independents from all walks of life have joined my call for comprehensive, fair tax reform that would help Arizona families and small businesses, and create a competitive and economically strong Arizona for our kids’ future.

“Sen. Coburn’s efforts show this should not be a partisan issue, but an issue of the reality our nation faces. We need to take a modern approach to government, one that’s more accountable to the people and those who make our economy move.

In that spirit, I pledge to find middle-ground, common-sense solutions to fix Arizona’s broken economy and get people back to work, and I hope Gov. Brewer and my colleagues will join me.”

Coburn’s “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous” report: http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=bb1c90bc-660c-477e-91e6-91c970fbee1f

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Two House Democrats call for Arpaio’s resignation amid botched sex-crimes cases

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Two Phoenix House Democrats called for Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s resignation today after he didn’t do his job and mishandled 432 sex-crimes cases.

Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix (District 15), a social worker who has advocated for victims of domestic violence and against child abuse, and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 16), a public safety advocate for all Arizonans, said it was time for Arpaio to step down because he was elected by taxpayers to oversee a law enforcement office but failed, allowing children’s and countless victims to be put in harm’s way.

Victims who get the courage to report sexual abuse to authorities have every right to expect law enforcement to take their report seriously and to investigate it,” Hobbs said. “These cases have been referred to as ‘botched investigations’, but really, this situation is a gross miscarriage of justice. Irreparable damage has been done to these victims and their families. Ultimately Sheriff Arpaio didn’t get the job done, and it’s time for him to recognize it.”

Gallego, ranking member of the Military Affairs & Public Safety committee, pointed out that Arpaio may have been too busy with other distractions to do his job:

  • Investigating his own political enemies
  • Avoiding internal investigations on the officers who botched the cases
  • Misspending $100 million
  • Blaming and dismissing three of his top aides
  • Abusing power, which is being investigated by the feds
  • Ignoring 40,000 outstanding felony arrest warrants for violent criminals

“Sheriff Arpaio can make as many excuses as he wants, but when someone in the United States reports abuse to law enforcement, we investigate it,” Gallego said. “We don’t live in a third world country and Sheriff Arpaio shouldn’t be acting like we do. Our county sheriff’s office should be working to keep all of our children safe.”

Hobbs and Gallego both represent districts in Maricopa County.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Gallego: ‘Extend the payroll tax cut for Arizona’s middle-class families’


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix (District 16), released the following statement on the payroll tax cut extension today:

“The benefits to Arizonans on extending the payroll-tax cut is clear: it saves the typical American middle-class family about $1,000 a year. Without Congressional action by the end of the year, the tax cut President Obama signed into law will expire, taxes will increase substantially for nearly every middle-class working American family, and economic growth and job creation will be significantly slower in 2012 as a result.

“Here in Arizona, our families can use that tax break to buy food and clothes for their kids and maybe even enough to buy a Christmas or holiday gift. They use it to pay their month’s mortgage or rent. It’s a no-brainer, but our own GOP Congressmen would rather make hard-working Arizonans pay more taxes while they give away tax-break bonuses to their rich CEO friends for their next yacht purchases. That’s not what we work for and not what we pay our elected officials to do. It’s time to extend the payroll tax cut so we can finally get out of this recession and reclaim our American economy.”