Archive for the ‘Arizona Law’ Category

Captain Rick: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will resign and be named as the president of the University of California system. Did she give up on President Obama or was she fired?

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I was pleased to see Janet, perhaps the most liberal governor or Arizona, give up her governorship and head for Washington to become Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security. While in that position, she seemed to seize every moment to slam Arizona on issues of illegal immigration and border security. I suspect some of those actions were a result of her desire to show Arizona that she ascended to higher ground and was now ‘boss of the homeland’. I suspect the balance came from Obama pressuring her to do his ‘dirty work’ against Arizona. It has been obvious that he has a loss of respect for Arizona, a state that has presented one of the biggest ‘thorns in his side’ on the subject of illegal immigration. The case of Arizona’s SB1070 illegal immigration law is a prime example. Obama’s Department of Justice vigorously fought it. Arizona appeals took it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with a partial win for Arizona, which I am confident he did not enjoy.

Perhaps Obama had enough failures relating to illegal immigration or other homeland issues and pressured Janet to find other employment. Perhaps Janet had enough of being the ‘whipping gal’ for President Obama. Perhaps we will never know what prompted this move. It does not surprise me that Janet chose a state other than Arizona to relocate to. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that her anti-Arizona actions under the Obama presidency caused her to loose the ‘Arizona Welcome Mat’. Her choice of California, a ‘blue’ liberal state will provide her safe haven.

Agree? / Disagree?

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Arizona Law

Illegal Immigration

Arizona SB1070

U.S. Supreme Court

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Captain Rick: Sandi Bartlett, an Arizona political activist for liberty, speaks of her disgust for Arizona’s passing of Medicaid expansion. She presents her ‘GOOD GUYS – BAD GUYS’ list of Arizona Senators and Representatives who voted against/for the legislation.

Sandi is an energetic and dedicated person who works tirelessly in Legislative District 17 of Arizona to ensure that citizens are paying attention to important political events and our Senators and Representatives cast the proper vote. Such was the case in recent weeks as Sandi worked with intensity to stop the $300,000 annual expansion of Medicaid in Arizona.  The ‘Obama carrot’ of nearly 100% of expansion costs being covered by the federal government, paid for by more debt dollars on top of America’s already massive $17 trillion debt, is a fiscal hoax that will not last. That ‘carrot’ will soon be replaced with fiscal realism and Arizona will be stuck paying the expansion costs. Sandi’s insight of this fortifies her dedication and motivation.

I invited Sandi to present guest commentary.  She graciously accepted. I am confident you will enjoy this…

Guest Commentary

by

Sandi Bartlett

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I am an average citizen who was never involved in politics until later in life. I became involved when I felt that the Government was growing too large and out of control. Our liberty and freedoms were rapidly being taken. I felt I was alone until I met many people who felt the same way. I now see that the Government is only as good as the people we elect and how knowledgeable we are. So I set out to elect the best person for our district and spent close to 2 years working to elect Matt Salmon (U.S. Congressman – Arizona District 5) . Now I am an active Precinct Committeeman, on the board of the East Valley Tea Party and Arizona Legislative District 17 board member.

The Republican Party is soul searching at this time. Our party is diverse and I try to respect the opinions of everyone because the issues are not easy. However, we must find a way to be on offense rather than defense. Take action to grow the party and find solutions to our problems. We should try to stay focused and positive. Show others that we are an inclusive party and welcome those who believe in smaller government, fiscally responsibility, freedom and liberty even though how we achieve those goals may differ.

I plan to continue my efforts in electing honest conservative politicians and then holding their feet to the fire. Our Republic depends on the citizens to be actively involved and not let the government take away our unalienable rights. Thomas Jefferson said “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” We must not let that happen any more than it already has.

I will keep fighting the good fight.

Medicaid Expansion in Arizona has passed despite all of the hard work in opposition

The house session was appalling and disrespectful. For 12 hours or more the Democrats and 9 Liberal Republicans would not answer a single question from our good Republicans about the budget or Medicaid Expansion. If they thought the budget and bill was so great, they should have defended it by answering questions. It was if Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had placed taped over their mouths so they could not speak for themselves. Jan Brewer was willing to remove Arizona Senator Andy Biggs and Arizona Representative Andy Tobin from their leadership position to get this done. Outrageous !!

I was so proud of our “good” Republicans. Their floor speeches were passionate but you could feel the anger in that room. They stood tall and tried their best to flip some of the Liberal Republicans but in the end could not. They deserve our praise for fighting the good fight.

I really held back my true feelings after watching 8 hours of that session. It was really enlightening but very discouraging.  It is no wonder our government whether it is state or federal is in such disarray. I am more motivated than ever to elect the best candidates for office. I hope that plans are being made in each of these districts that voted for Medicaid expansion to run someone in the primary. We must not forget the rallies and numerous contacts that we made with them with no success. The tactics they used to pass this Medicaid expansion was disgraceful.

Final Voting Results on Medicaid Expansion in the Arizona State House and Senate

Sandi Bartlett’s GOOD GUYS – BAD GUYS List

GOOD GUYS voted against Medicaid Expansion – BAD GUYS voted for Medicaid Expansion
Data listing order: Last Name, First Name, District Number (all are Republican)

BAD GUYS – ARIZONA HOUSE – 2013
Brophy McGee, Kate, 28
Carter, Heather, 15
Coleman, Douglas, 16
Dial, Jeff, 18
Goodale, Doris, 5
Orr, Ethan, 9
Pratt, Frank, 8
Robson, Bob
Shope, Thomas, “T.J.”, 8

BAD GUYS – ARIZONA SENATE – 2013
Crandall, Richard, 16
Driggs, Adam, 28
McComish, John, 18
Pierce, Steve, 1
Worsley, Bob, 25

GOOD GUYS – ARIZONA HOUSE – 2013
Allen, John, 15
Barton, Brenda, 6
Borrelli, Sonny, 5
Boyer, Paul, 20
Fann, Karen, 1
Farnsworth, Eddie, 12
Forese, Tom, 17
Gowan, David, 14
Gray, Rick, 21
Kavanagh, Joh, 23
Kwasman, Adam, 11
Lesko, Debbie, 21
Livingston, David, 22
Lovas, Phil, 22
Mesnard, Javan “JD”, 17
Mitchell, Darin, 13
Montenegro, Steve, 13
Olson, Justin, 25
Petersen, Warren, 12
Pierce, Justin, 25
Seel, Carl, 20
Smith, Steve, 11
Stevens, David W., 14
Thorpe, Bob, 6
Tobin, Andy, 1
Townsend, Kelly, 16
Ugenti, Michelle, 23

GOOD GUYS – ARIZONA SENATE – 2013
Barto, Nancy, 15
Biggs, Andy, 12
Burges, Judy, 22
Crandell, Chester, 6
Griffin, Gail, 14
Melvin, Al, 11
Murphy, Rick, 21
Shooter, Don, 13
Ward, Kelli, 5
Yarbrough, Steve, 17
Yee, Kimberly, 20

UNDECIDED – ARIZONA SENATE – 2013
Reagan, Michele, 8 (She voted Yes in the first vote out of the Senate and No in the final vote.)
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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Medicaid: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/medicaid/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

Federal Grants: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/federal-grants/

Obamacare: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/obamacare/

State Government: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/state-government/

Captain Rick: The ICC (International Code Council) is becoming ‘Big Brother’ to control the makeup of your home…the methods and products used in its construction and the products that you can use or install after purchase. These codes are infiltrating local building codes across America, Canada, Australia, Europe and beyond.

The ICC’s intentions are to write a code to regulate every building method and product used such that every house and building on earth is 100% safe and 100% efficient…by their standards. I ask…’who are they…big brother’? I see this as a major intrusion of liberty and increased cost for citizens of America and beyond. These codes contain many good elements concerning safety and and some for efficiency, but for the most part, they are an endless wish list of regulation that invades the liberty of people and forces them to absorb significant added cost for little or no proven gain.

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Big Brother’s face looms from giant telescreens in Victory Square in Michael Radford’s 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the term “Big Brother” has entered the lexicon as a synonym for abuse of government power, particularly in respect to civil liberties.

The Cost of ICC’s madness

The ICC is getting rich milking local and state governments and builders $1347.95 for a single user license of the complete collection of the 2012 building codes on CD ROM. If every state, major city and builder in the U.S. purchased one license, the ICC’s income would exceed $1 Billion. This material is also being marketed in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe and beyond. It is easy to assume actual ICC income is well beyond that and the entire sum plus a myriad of added expenses at the state and local levels are all passed on to the end user…the citizens of America and beyond. I view the ICC’s efforts as a major financial rip-off of citizen’s tax dollars and more importantly…their liberty. I wonder if the ICC is becoming part of ‘Big Brother’ as presented in George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’…a lexicon for abuse of government power, particularly with respect to civil liberties.

More Information:

I welcome you to view my previous blog post on this matter of extreme importance: https://atridim.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/u-s-building-codes-facing-major-upgrade-is-this-a-good-plan-or-a-recipe-for-disaster-some-excited-some-fear-is-liberty-at-stake/

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/building-codes/

Gilbert Council Proper Vote Scorecard: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-council-proper-vote-scorecard/

Gilbert Town Council: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-town-council/

Captain Rick: Dr. Thomas C. Patterson, an Arizona critic of Obamacare Medicaid expansion, explains why this expansion is bad and encourages all to “look behind the curtain.” These are important words as the Arizona Legislature votes on this monument expansion of welfare spending. Arizona is one of about 30 states that have not yet hitched their ‘train car’ to the ‘Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Train’ that is headed down a track that ends a few miles ahead at the edge of the real ‘Fiscal Cliff.’

Dr. Thomas C. Patterson is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Nebraska. He was elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1989, serving as minority leader from 1991 to 1992 and majority leader from 1993 to 1996. Patterson was the author of legislation creating Arizona’s charter school system and welfare reform program. Until 1998, he was a practicing physician and president of Emergency Physicians, Inc.. Patterson also served as president of the Arizona chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. In 2000 he became chairman of the Goldwater Institute. Tom is a retired physician and resident of Paradise Valley, Arizona.

I asked Tom why he was contributing his words to Atridim News Journal. Tom replied “I write it because I don’t want to be part of the generation that let liberty die out on our watch or at least I want to know that I did what I could to prevent it. I would like some of the good things about America to be there for my grand-children.”

image Tom Patterson

The pressure from the Obama administration for Arizona to expand our Medicaid program is enormous. Gov. Brewer is on board and even some legislative conservatives seem to be wavering. But legislators should take one more look before they make what could be a fateful leap.

Here’s how it works. If we raise the eligibility requirements for Medicaid to 133 percent of Federal Poverty Level, the feds will drop additional subsidies of $1.3 billion annually into our state over the next three years.

Moreover, this raise can be accomplished with no general fund dollars. The state’s hospitals have agreed to pay additional taxes of $369 million to fund our share of the match. Gov. Brewer points out this is a phenomenal 10:1 “return on investment.”

When politicians use words like “investment” and “return”, your humbug detectors should start going off. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

First, the Obama administration pretty much struck out in their attempts to persuade states to establish insurance exchanges, so they’re frantic now to avoid a complete breakdown in the implementation of Obamacare. They’re pouring on the big bucks. But they’re spending borrowed dollars and that can’t last long.

For Arizona, taking on a financially unstable partner in a massive long-term venture wouldn’t be very smart. In fact, the feds are already considering extensive Medicaid cutbacks in their budget negotiations. The bigger point is that sharp reductions in the federal subsidy are a matter of when, not if. By 2020, even the promised subsidy ends. When that happens, Arizona will be left holding the bag.

That bag will be enormous. Of course, the rolls will be swollen by then with the eligibility expansion. But we will also be on the hook for the “woodwork effect”, the high number of patients who have been eligible for Medicaid but never signed up.

A 2010 Harvard study found that barely half of eligible Arizonans were signed up in AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System), our Medicaid program. These are mostly younger, healthy people who don’t consume much medical care and don’t really need the insurance. If something happens, they can sign up any time.

But with the mandate under Obamacare to provide proof of coverage, the popularity of free insurance will skyrocket. In addition, employers with large numbers of low income workers may drop coverage or shift more workers to part time, making them Medicaid eligible under the new standards. Finally, people on SSI disability, a booming program, are automatically Medicaid eligible.

Medicaid costs have been ballooning 8 percent annually, compared to 1 to 2 percent economic growth. But apparently that’s not enough for the spenders. Total Medicaid spending under Obamacare is projected to grow from $400 billion to $900 billion by 2020. State budgets already stressed by high Medicaid spending will be in big trouble when they’re forced to pick up the tab.

The hospital tax is also deeply problematic. Hospitals are more than willing to go along, because it’s obviously in their best interests. But at heart, it is just a way to force paying patients to fund a welfare expansion that we can’t afford.

But there’s a bigger problem. The tax is unconstitutional unless approved by a two-thirds majority of the legislature. Proposition 108, a voter-passed amendment from 1992, states clearly that any net revenue increase to the state, including fees and special taxes, falls under its provisions.

The Brewer administration, recognizing it is unlikely that two-thirds of each house will sign off on their scheme, has tried to argue that the hospital tax is just a bureaucratically set fee and thus exempt. Whoops, there go the humbug sensors again. They’re not only almost certainly wrong, they’re playing with fire.

If they impose the bed text without legislative super-majority approval and it is later struck down, they would be in a world of hurt. They would lose their revenue and possibly their match and face gigantic Medicaid costs. Plus, there’s little meaning in prop 108’s super majority requirement if it doesn’t apply to this “fee”.

The more you look at this plan, the more serious problems keep bubbling up. Short-term, it has to be tempting to take the money. Ten years from now, the decision is going look a lot different.

Arizona legislators are under intense pressure to pass the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. They’re getting it from all sides.

“Do the math” the governor condescendingly demands, as if it takes special genius to figure out there is short-term gain in accepting these federal funds. “It’s your Christian duty” helpful ministers explain, apparently forgetting that Jesus preached personal compassion for the poor, not government lobbying.

Even the business community is on their case, claiming more Medicaid business will create jobs and stimulate the economy. Of course, if government spending really created net jobs, we would be awash in jobs because we have definitely tried massive spending in recent years.

The opponents of Medicaid expansion are commonly depicted as crazed ideologues blinkered by their opposition to Obamacare. After all, the creators of Obamacare were so frantic to get the states on board with the Medicaid piece that they agreed to provide near total funding initially for this nominally state-operated program. Even by 2012, they promise to provide 90 percent of the funds. Such a deal.

But Arizonans might be wise to look behind the curtain. As time rolls on, Obamacare is already defaulting on most of its key provisions.

For example, we were told that the average family would save $2500 annually on insurance premiums. It turns out the cost of health insurance will increase from $2100-$5000 yearly when Obamacare is fully implemented.

Obama himself promised that under his plan, “if you like your doctor, nothing will change”. Yet a recent poll from the consulting firm McKinsey estimated that over 40 million people will lose their employer-provided insurance. So much for that whopper.

The president also told us that no American families with incomes under $250,000 would see a tax hike. But there are over 20 new taxes in Obamacare. Many of them, like the tax on medical devices, a new tax on drugs, another tax on certain high-end health plans and reduced deductibility for medical expenses all fall squarely on the middle class.

There’s much more. We were told that Obamacare would cost “only” a trillion dollars over 10 years, that the costs would be partially offset by massive reductions in Medicare spending on the elderly, and that we would achieve virtually complete universal coverage. It’s all false, false, false. With a track record like that who could believe their next promise?

Gov. Brewer’s response is to create a “circuit-breaker”, a provision that calls for Arizona to revoke the benefits expansion if the federal funding falls below 80 percent. That sounds good and she is undoubtedly sincere. But she likely won’t be the governor when that day comes and whoever is will be under intense pressure to somehow maintain the program.

That’s the way the welfare state works, the “ratchet effect”. Whatever government provides, it’s never enough and the demands for more stuff never ceases. When benefits are granted, it’s nearly impossible to retract them.

So right here, in Arizona’s intense Medicaid debate, we see how Big Government rolls over and co-opts good people. It pulls the bait-and-switch, puts them in an untenable political position and forces them to support even this unpopular program that is certain to fail.

There is a growing recognition that Obamacare is an ugly hybrid, combining the worst aspects of government medicine and highly regulated private sector medical care. It was never intended by its advocates to be a permanent solution to America’s problems with affordability and access to care. Pres. Obama and others have candidly stated the real goal is a completely government controlled medical system.

That’s why it’s critical to stop Obamacare now and replace it rather than let it fail amid calls for a government takeover. We are going to end up either with medical care dictated by federal bureaucrats or one in which the power of free markets and patient choice prevail.

Real tort reform, price transparency, ability to buy insurance across state lines and many other possible reforms are out there, but we will never get them if the Obamacare train isn’t stopped.

Obamacare must have buy-in from the states to proceed. The stakes for the Legislature are enormous.

Captain Rick: After Tom’s commentary was posted, I asked Tom if my report served his words well. He replied “Everything is fine. Thanks for all your effort to alert Americans about erosions of our freedom. I am happy to be part of it”. Those words gave me great honor.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Medicaid: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/medicaid/

Entitlement Reform: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/entitlement-reform/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Fiscal Cliff Course 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

Arizona Law: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/arizona-law/

Arizona: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/arizona/

Captain Rick: In my previous election scenarios (below), I stated that Obama’s 2012 support was at a 9% loss from his 2008 support. His actual loss appears to be about 4%, 5% less than my estimate. I believe much of the difference was due to my under estimation of the magnitude of Latino support that Obama gained during his first term as president, which offset other losses of support.

The Latino vote was a large factor in turning several states ‘blue’

Obama courted the Latino vote heavily during the past four years. Obama’s Department of Justice has sued Arizona over several immigration related issues, including Arizona’s SB1070, America’s toughest illegal immigration law. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld some key parts of the Arizona law. Obama also granted an avoidance of deportation for up to a million young illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria. Latinos view Obama favorably for his support of these events, which resulted in a strengthening of the traditional Latino ‘blue’ vote. This played a significant role in turning the ‘toss up’ states of Colorado, Nevada and Florida ‘blue’. (Florida results were not finalized when the map was created, however it was declared ‘blue’ on Nov. 10). Latino support in Arizona was strong enough to turn it from a ‘red’ state in prior elections to a ‘leaning red’ state in 2012.

The Latino vote is expanding rapidly in America

The Latino population in America is growing at about twice the rate of other groups. This growth explosion could cause the 2012 ‘leaning red’ states of Arizona and North Carolina to turn ‘leaning blue’ or ‘blue’ in 2016. Texas and Georgia could turn ‘leaning blue’ or ‘blue’ by 2020 or possibly even 2016. Several other states are following closely behind.

Analysis of what happened on Election night

Lets review the states I painted ‘red’ in my previous election scenarios, that were my last to call, positioned just below my ‘gut’ pick of 9% loss of 2008 Obama support.

Colorado: 8.95% ‘blue’ in 2008. I painted it ‘red’ in ‘scenario 5’. It went ‘blue’.

Virginia: 6.31% ‘blue’ in 2008. I painted it ‘red’ in ‘scenario 5’. It went ‘blue’.

Ohio: 4.54% ‘blue’ in 2008. I painted it ‘red’ in ‘scenario 4’. It went ‘blue’.

Captain Rick’s confessions and thoughts

Colorado: Early in my ‘election scenarios’ I said Colorado was going to be a pivotal state. Based on previous research, I believed it was going to go ‘blue’. I picked the final  ‘9%’ figure because Colorado was just below it, presenting the only chance for ‘red’ to win and give the ‘red’ supporters something to hope for. If I had lowered the 9% figure to say 8.9%, blue would have won. So, please forgive me for helping keep my ‘red’ followers with hope during the final days leading up to the election.

Virginia: Being so close to Washington DC and the ‘blue’ northeast, I figured it would go ‘blue’, but I went with the ‘red’ call to keep the excitement rolling during the final days leading up to the election.

Ohio: This was the state that pushed ‘blue’ over the 270 electoral vote threshold. Ohio has voted for every elected president since 1960. No Republican has ever been elected without Ohio’s electoral votes. I felt Ohio would go ‘red’. This was a ‘wake up call’ to me and sets an interesting scenario for the 2016 election and beyond. In view of the above discussion, perhaps Ohio will join its ‘blue’ neighbors to the north and east and go permanently ‘blue’ in 2016. That would hypothetically mean the end of the ‘red’ Republican Party in America as ‘blue’ engulfs America from the west, north central, northeast and in future years…the south. That leaves much for all to think about.

Captain Rick’s Election Scenario #6: Reality

Had I lowered my ‘gut’ pick to 4% Obama 2008 support loss, it would have turned three states blue (Colorado, Virginia and Ohio) and resulted in the following map, which is also the map of actual current results.

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Captain Rick’s thoughts looking forward

It looks like the popular vote is is also ‘blue’, so it s in sync with the electoral vote. The archaic electoral vote system in America is a subject for future discussion. I hope my followers enjoyed my election scenarios and gained some useful information to consider as we move forward. I hope you will stay with me as I continue to strive to present unique, quality and accurate information.

Captain Rick: During the September 20, 2012 Gilbert Town Council meeting I witnessed a council proclamation read in Spanish for a duration of 4 minutes, declaring Gilbert Hispanic Heritage Month. This occurred between between the council meeting quorum call and adjournment, identifying it as an official action. The proclamation was sealed with Gilbert Mayor John Lewis’s signature.  The proclamation session was lead by Councilmember Eddie Cook who stated “folks here can follow along in English and the folks at home could as well”.  There was no means provided for anyone at home to follow along in English. For the entire English-speaking audience via TV and the internet, it appeared to be a 4 minute speech in Spanish, with no understanding of what was being said. I was one of many citizens in Gilbert, Arizona that was astounded. This appeared to be a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution, the ‘English Only’ law, receiving 74% voter support as Proposition 103 in the November 2006 election. I set out on a journey to find the answer to the question … Was this a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution?
Council Inquiries, responses and thoughts
I asked Gilbert Mayor John Lewis about this council action.
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (10/2/12): “Your attention to detail is appreciated. When this was discussed, we were told that Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution (English-only provision) applies to “official business of the Town” and speaking another language in the “Presentation” portion of the agenda was not in violation of Constitution. If you have different information, please let us know”.
My thought … I was honored with the Mayor’s reply, but it left me wondering. Yes, it does apply to ‘official business’ … but the ‘presentation portion’ was clearly in the ‘official business’ portion of the meeting. It made little sense to me. I continued my investigation.
I asked Gilbert Councilmember Eddie Cook about this action.
Gilbert Councilmember Eddie Cook (10/2/12): “I was planning on proclaiming the proclamation in English that night, but staff approached me and said they had a member from staff that would make the proclamation in Spanish. They indicated that the English version would be shown on the screen in the chamber. I’ve now asked staff to research this matter as to possible violation to the State Constitution that all business be conducted in English including the reading of proclamations. Once I receive the report, I will contact you again.”
My thought …  That sounds like a very honest answer. It impressed me as did his promise to contact me with an update:
Gilbert Councilmember Eddie Cook (10/9/12): “I did ask staff to research this issue. The Town Attorney researched the question of whether reading the Mayor’s proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Month in Spanish violated Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. The Town Attorney indicated that Article 28 was not violated because a Mayor’s proclamation is not an “official action” as that term is defined in Article 28. The Town Attorney indicates that the Mayor’s proclamation is a unilateral proclamation of the Mayor and was not an official action of the Council. I’d be open in hearing your feedback.”
My thought … Councilmember Eddie Cook gained my respect in his replies. Concerning the Town Attorney’s research mentioned: “a mayor’s proclamation is not an ‘official action’ as defined in Article 28” and “the Mayor’s proclamation is a ‘unilateral proclamation’ and was not an official action of the Council” … I found myself in a state of dismay. This made no sense to me, based on research that I had already conducted.  It left me wondering how far off track Gilbert’s legal advise has strayed. I continued my research that was well underway.
Journey to find the truth … with extensive research and experience 
I set out on a journey to research Prop 103 and Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. It consumed countless hours of time.  I was equipped with my 40-year engineering career experience and accomplishments of having achieved 8 United States Patents for mechanical design and the skills developed working along side of numerous patent attorneys to decipher the ever-so-slight difference between infringing on a patent or not. My research shows that Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution is clearly written and an easily understandable document in comparison to the complexity of patent documents I have critiqued.
Research of Proposition 103 … overwhelmingly approved by Arizona voters (74%) in 2006 as Arizona’s ‘English Only’ law which molded Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution
The early part of my research looked into the foundation of Prop 103. Why was it presented to Arizona voters? The best answer is well presented in the actual wording of Prop 103:
Whereas, the United States is comprised of individuals from diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and continues to benefit from this rich diversity; and
Whereas, throughout the history of the United States, the common thread binding individuals of differing backgrounds has been the English language, which has permitted diverse individuals to discuss, debate and come to agreement on contentious issues; and
Whereas, in recent years, the role of the English language as a common language has been threatened by governmental actions that either ignore or harm the role of English or that promote the use of languages other than English in official governmental actions, and these governmental actions promote division, confusion, error and inappropriate use of resources; and
Whereas, among the powers reserved to the States respectively is the power to establish the English language as the official language of the respective States, and otherwise to promote the English language within the respective States, subject to the prohibitions enumerated in the Constitution of the United States and federal statutes.
Prop 103 became law and amended Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution.
Research of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution
Article 28 of Arizona Constitution can be summed up as follows:
1. English as the official language; applicability Section 1.
(1) The English language is the official language of the state of Arizona.
(2) As the official language of this state, the English language is the language of the ballot, the public schools and all government functions and actions.
(3)(a) This article applies to:
(i) The legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
(ii) All political subdivisions, departments, agencies, organizations, and instrumentalities of this state, including local governments and municipalities.
(iii) All statutes, ordinances, rules, orders, programs and policies.
(iv) All government officials and employees during the performance of government business.
(b) As used in this article, the phrase “this state and all political subdivisions of this state” shall include every entity, person, action or item described in this section, as appropriate to the circumstances.
The bold highlights above represent the responsibility of local government and municipalities, like Gilbert, to follow this law in all areas including orders, programs and policies by all government officials and employees during the performance of government business.
Research of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution … the Definitions
I investigated the definition of “official action” as defined in item 2 of Definitions in Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. It reads as follows:
1. Definitions
Section 1. In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Government” includes all laws, public proceedings, rules, publications, orders, actions, programs, policies, departments, boards, agencies, organizations and instrumentalities of this state or political subdivisions of this state, as appropriate under the circumstances to a particular official action.
2. “Official action” includes the performance of any function or action on behalf of this state or a political subdivision of this state or required by state law that appears to present the views, position or imprimatur (definition: sanction, approval, support) of the state or political subdivision or that binds or commits the state or political subdivision, but does not include:
(a) The teaching of or the encouragement of learning languages other than English.
(b) Actions required under the federal individuals with disabilities education act or other federal laws.
(c) Actions, documents or policies necessary for tourism, commerce or international trade.
(d) Actions or documents that protect the public health and safety, including law enforcement and emergency services.
(e) Actions that protect the rights of victims of crimes or criminal defendants.
(f) Using terms of art or phrases from languages other than English.
(g) Using or preserving Native American languages.
(h) Providing assistance to hearing impaired or illiterate persons.
(i) Informal and nonbinding translations or communications among or between representatives of government and other persons if this activity does not affect or impair supervision, management, conduct or execution of official actions and if the representatives of government make clear that these translations or communications are unofficial and are not binding on this state or a political subdivision of this state.
(j) Actions necessary to preserve the right to petition for the redress of grievances.
3. “Preserve, protect and enhance the role of English” includes:
(a) Avoiding any official actions that ignore, harm or diminish the role of English as the language of government.
(b) Protecting the rights of persons in this state who use English.
(c) Encouraging greater opportunities for individuals to learn the English language.
(d) To the greatest extent possible under federal statute, providing services, programs, publications, documents and materials in English.
4. “Representatives of government” includes all individuals or entities during the performance of the individual’s or entity’s official actions.
The above words in bold black represent the definitions that are relative. Item 2 clearly includes Gilbert’s action as an “Official Action”. The exception of sub point (i) does not apply to Gilbert’s action because Gilbert’s action was formal and binding. Even if it had not been formal and binding, representatives of Gilbert would have had to make it clear that the transactions or communications were unofficial and not binding. No Gilbert representative made such a declaration during the meeting.
Research Conclusions
In my expert opinion, the Gilbert action was a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution.
Closing thoughts … How do we correct this mistake and prevent a similar violation from happening again?
I think an apology from our Mayor would go a long ways … something along the lines of … “we made a mistake, we are sorry, we will take measures to prevent this from happening again.”
I welcome such a reply and would be very pleased to revise this blog post to contain our Mayor’s response below …
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis and Captain Rick converse to find a solution
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (10/21/12): Rick, The additional information related to the Spanish is helpful and will now require another step to ask for Legal assistance as “interpretation” is reviewed. Obviously, we want to follow the law with exactness. Before reading the Gilbert information, I was most intrigued with the “electoral” vote update that you provided. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your next update. Mayor Lewis

Captain Rick (10/21/12): John, thank you for your honorable reply. I look forward to you sharing the results of your new legal look into this important matter. I will be pleased to display them below. Thanks also for your kind words about my “electoral vote update”. Captain Rick

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (10/23/12): Rick, I conferred with our Town Attorney regarding this matter. She points out that on a matter such as this there may be different opinions. However, after reviewing the law and the materials you provided, it is her opinion that there was not a violation of Article 28 by the reading of the proclamation in Spanish. She believes this to be the case because (i) the proclamation is not an official act of the council and (ii) the actual proclamation of the Mayor was written in English. Additionally, the reading of the proclamation was not even by a member of the staff or council. The strongest argument that the reading was an “official act” is that the reading was done at a council meeting and broadcast on Channel 11 and through streaming video. People may differ in their opinions, and the issue may not be black and white in its clarity, but it is the opinion of the Town Attorney that Article 28 was not violated. John Lewis

Captain Rick (10/25/12): John, thanks for your reply. It appears that this important issue remains in disagreement and requires higher powers to decide if this action was a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. My readers are free to draw their own conclusions. I trust that Gilbert understands that this action was botched badly and will take measures to prevent a reoccurrence. Captain Rick

Captain Rick Gilbert’s ‘Eagle Eye’ on our Council since 1997

Captain Rick: The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Arizona over a its blocked law requiring proof of American citizenship before registering to vote. This law originated from Proposition 200, approved by Arizona voters in 2004, but was later blocked by a 12-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which said that federal law trumps the Arizona requirement. It is anticipated that the Supreme court will consider this case in February 2013.

Federal law allows voters to fill out a mail-in voter registration card and swear that they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it does not require them to show proof of citizenship as Arizona’s 2004 law does. Arizona has its own form and an online system to register when renewing a driver’s license. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling did not affect citizenship requirements using the Arizona forms. The Arizona law also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the voter identification provision and the denial of benefits was not challenged.