Posts Tagged ‘napolitano’
It was only a matter of time before Napolitano’s misstep would lead to wide distribution of the above picture. When it hits Drudge Report, it’s big time.
This is a level of scrutiny that Napolitano is not used to. Watch carefully how she handles it.
If there is one thing Republicans are very consistent at, it is shooting at each other, and shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, Democrats shoot at each other as well, but I get the sense that we do it more often, more publicly and more lethally.
Case in point is the warfare that has been playing out on the conservative blog Sonoran Alliance for the last few days. Almost all bloggers who contribute to Sonoran Alliance are anonymous, and one of those bloggers is “Chewie Shofir”.
Chewie posted an over the top hit piece on local lobbyist/political operative Chuck Coughlin who runs a firm called Highground. Chuck has been in the biz for the better part of 25 years and has many friends and many enemies. My own relationship with Chuck has been hot and cold – depending on the issue that is being debated at the moment, but we remain friends and respect each other.
Chuck responded to Chewi with a rational, calm and well written explanation. He laid out, in a systematic way, the problem that Arizona faces (thanks to former Gov. Janet Napolitano and her allies in the legislature) and points out that Gov. Brewer believes that we may not have any choice but to raise taxes.
Chuck’s response is the way that Republicans should dialogue with each other on difficult issues. To go postal on each other just leaves blood on the floor and Democrats smiling.
Maybe it’s because it is really late at night as I write this, or it’s because I have been really, really busy and not able to focus, but this story is really confusing to me. I mean, talk about something right out of the twilight zone. Things are not as they appear, or just the opposite of what you would expect.
The Hill has a story headlined “Napolitano says thanks, but no thanks, DHS has funds” and then reports on a Senate hearing about border security. Here is a quick synopsis.
Chairman Lieberman (D-CT) said he requested $380 million for enhanced border protection. But Napolitano said that she had already found the money within the agency to make sure such enhancements are “budget neutral.”
Senator McCain jumped into the discussion and suggested that Napolitano take the money. She said she didn’t need it – that we are in difficult times and need to make do with current funds.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) jumped in and criticized Napolitano for not taking the money and said that he would support sending military to the border to deal with the drug cartel violence.
Lieberman concluded saying that he was going to work to get more funding whether Napolitano thought she needed it or not. “This is kind of war,” he said referring to the border violence.
So let me get this straight, the Chairman of the committee says he is requesting more money for border security, he is supported in that by two Republican Senators (whose position on immigration is no secret) and Napolitano says, no, wouldn’t be prudent.
I only have one question: Where in the h*** was this prudent, fiscal responsibility from Napolitano when she was the Governor?!?!?
The Obama administration has decided that it doesn’t like the phrase “global war on terror” and has instructed its folks to refer to it as the “long war” or “overseas contingency operation.”
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.
In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ ”
This is dangerous. Words have meaning, and by refusing to call the global war on terror what it is, we put our nation and our citizens (especially those overseas) at risk. As I had commented a couple weeks ago when Secretary Napolitano didn’t use the words “terror” or “terrorism” in her first appearance on Capitol Hill, this refusal to address the real threat we face will come at a price, and that price may be pretty high.
Now is not the time to back down on this effort. Too much is at stake.
eArizona Republic editorial writer, Doug MacEachern, is one of the bright spots at the Arizona Republic. He is a thoughtful, conservative writer who weighs in on some of the most important policy matters that face the state. He has almost single-handedly dealt a blow to the Union thuggery known as “card check” – the idea that workers can organize into a union by merely signing a card, rather than having a private ballot. He pointed out the hypocrisy that Democrats advance when they support such un-American and anti-worker legislation.
So it got my attention when, in a “Quick Hit,” MacEachern called out State Sen. Ron Gould for bad manners for walking out on Gov. Brewer’s faux State of the State address after she raised the possibility of tax increases to deal with the budget mess she inherited from Janet Napolitano.
Sen. Ron Gould’s ungracious exit
by Doug MacEachern
I was on the House floor during Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget-balancing speech in which she urged lawmakers to consider a temporary tax hike.
I didn’t see the showboating, midspeech exit by Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, who apparently needed to make the evening all about him. Sorry I missed him. I would have asked him where he left his manners.
Now, it isn’t unprecedented for legislators to walk out of speeches by chief executives for saying things they disagree with. Matt Salmon and John Shadegg did it to President Bill Clinton back in the 90’s. The difference is that it was someone from the opposing party. Some will argue that Sen. Gould showed maverick independence by walking out of Gov. Brewer. Others, like MacEachern, just think it is rude. I don’t recall ever hearing that Sen. Gould walked out of a Napolitano speech.
What do you think?
It is amazing how quickly fortunes change. Going into the 2008 elections, the Arizona Democratic Party appeared to be on top of the world. They had outraised the Arizona Republican Party by huge numbers, they were pumping big dollars into state legislative races, raising bucket-loads of money for their Congressional candidates, and seemingly kicking Republicans in the teeth at every turn.
Then came Election Day and the world changed. They not only did they not capture legislative seats that they thought they would, they lost seats in both the State House and the State Senate. The Marriage Amendment won by double-digits after running a huge early ballot and get-out-the-vote effort that clearly helped Republican candidates. John Shadegg, the number one target of both state Democrats and national Democrats won by a whopping 12 points after being outspent more than 2-1. Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe won landslide victories.
Janet Napolitano took the first plane to D.C. to get away from it all.
With Napolitano gone (and her bare knuckles fundraising machine) and losses in everything they targeted, grassroots Democrats started getting really, really angry, and they took out their anger on State Democratic Chairman Don Bivens, showing him the door and electing a no-name outsider.
Then, to make matters worse, the new Chairman resigned within a week, leaving the party with no one to lead.
All this leads us to Saturday, when Democrats will reassemble and see if they can put the pieces together again. How bad is it? Here are some excerpts from a front page story in the Arizona Republic:
Arizona Democrats gather today in downtown Phoenix a party in disarray.
The November general election was a disappointment for local Democrats, who not only failed to claim control of either the Arizona House or Senate – as they had publicly boasted for months – but also lost legislative seats.
If you’re an Arizona Democrat, “you’re probably taking a lot of Advil right now,” quipped Bob Grossfeld, a left-leaning Scottsdale pollster and strategist. “It’s like, ‘Well, look at the mess we’ve got here.’ ”
“It’s obvious that in this state it’s gone totally in a different direction than where the rest of the country has gone,” said Randy Camacho, a Goodyear teacher and member of the Democratic State Committee.
“The main impact is that the gobs of money she [Napolitano] generated will dry up,” Grossfeld said. “A sitting governor is a very valuable commodity in politics. There’s really no way to replace that.”
Whether Bivens regains the Chairmanship, or it goes to someone new will not make much difference in solving the problems Democrats will face for the 2010 election cycle. The luster of Obama will fade, and as the economy continues to falter, with no major fundraising force, the Democratic Party faces a major uphill climb for the next two years.
I’d wish them luck, but that would be downright silly.
Governors will have to make some tough choices that Congress and Obama have forced upon them through policy changes in the stimulus bill. At least one Democrat Governor is seriously considering not taking the federal money, because of the strings that are attached.
For most Governors, it’s too much of an enticement as they struggle to deal with massive budget deficits. In Arizona Governor Brewer’s case, she faces the largest shortfall as a percentage of the total budget in the nation – no state has it as bad as Arizona.
That’s the legacy of Janet Napolitano. The inheritance she left her successor was a two-year shortfall of nearly $5 billion. That is an absolutely staggering sum.
So, it’s not likely that Brewer will join Governors like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, or Haley Barbour of Mississippi.
But there is an important reason why Brewer will likely take the money – the obligations for Arizona are actually less severe than other states. Jindal, Sanford and Barbour are reticent to take the federal money because they will have to make changes to unemployment laws and state health care laws to satisfy the desire Democrats in the House and Senate have for “government-creep,” that is, the requirement that states expand the scope of government services to more and more people.
In an ironic twist, Napolitano had already broadened the scope of government so much that Arizona can take the money without fundamentally changing current law.
My point is this. Brewer taking the money is not a sign of retreating on principle as compared to other Governors who don’t take the money. It just demonstrates, yet one more time, the enduring legacy of a big-government liberal who tried to masquerade as a “moderate” and happened to be named Janet.
The wailing and gnashing of teeth is starting to get louder. And that’s because the real pain of the budget crisis is just starting to be felt. As I warned on Thursday, DES announced yesterday that 620 jobs will be cut, and that there will be more to come later. Arizona Republic columnist, Laurie Roberts had a shrill piece which completely ignores how we got into this budget mess and instead tries to hang it all on the current Governor, Jan Brewer.
The Republic also ran a story about Arizona’s Department of Revenue getting ready to lay off about 200 workers next week, on top of the 53 they have already cut.
Folks, this is what happens when government spending increases at too fast a pace. Growth of state spending grew more than 10 percent each year for the last four years or more, and when revenues are down as much as they are, real cuts have to take place. Taxpayers are right to ask why Napolitano was growing government at about 3 times the rate of personal income – the inequity leads to real consequences.
The Republic would do itself a favor by at least acknowledging that Napolitano’s unhinged spending binge is a huge part of the problem. If they keep looking the other way, their credibility, or what’s left of it, will suffer even more.
President Barack Obama will visit Phoenix next week in what will be his first trip west as POTUS. Arizona has been hit particularly hard by the housing slump, and Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, led the state into a budget deficit that, as a percentage of the budget, is the LARGEST in the nation. Do you think Obama will ask for a “thank you” for taking Madame-spend-a-lot off our hands?
Think about it. Can you imagine how much worse off we’d be if Janet was still Governor? We are downright lucky to have Jan Brewer in charge.
Some commentators are dead set on defending Napolitano. Linda Valdez has a “quick hit” in the Republic in which she writes:
If you want to blast our former governor, do it for the right reasons. Gov. Jan Brewer’s suggestion that Janet Napolitano is responsible for the state deficit is silly. Napolitano had smart spending priorities. She did not cause a national economic meltdown. She did chase her political ambitions to Washington, leaving Arizona just when we needed her most.
“When we needed her most”? Really Linda? Now that is silly. No one blames former Governor Napolitano for the national economic meltdown, but it was Napolitano who cooked the books to show that revenues into the state coffers would increase this year, at the same time every rational economist was predicting serious decreases in state revenues. It was, in fact, Napolitano’s version of “voodoo economics” which enabled her to spend at a record pace when she knew that she was digging a deeper and deeper hole.
Need hard evidence? Here is just a small example. The Governor’s office is set to cut 1,000 jobs from Department of Economic Security (DES). Now, that is a lot of state jobs, but 500 of those positions were created in the last 6 months. So as Napolitano was headed out the door, she was adding state employees, while at the same time claiming there was a hiring freeze to deal with the shortfall. Bold, but very, very deceitful.
Given that she had a compliant press corps in Arizona that looked the other way, it will be interesting to see how she deals with the budget at Homeland Security now that she will have to answer to the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congress. She’s not used to having to explain herself in these matters.
The Arizona Republic Sunday editorial calls on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to “lead the way to make sure Arizona gets its fair share” of stimulus money. They write that the “stimulus package is an enormous one-time opportunity for Arizona.”
To view the stimulus as a bailout ignores the fundamental problem with the state budget deficit. It was created by a spending binge led by former Governor Janet Napolitano, and trying to paper over the problem with federal money will not fix our problem in the long term. Most of the spending Napolitano pushed was for new or expanded programs. The only way to long term financial solvency for the state is to scale back these programs, not just gloss over them with a “one-time opportunity.” It’s like putting a bandage on a nail through the thumb, but not removing the nail.
It’s deeply disappointing that the Republic editorial board has become so short sighted, and so forgetful of how we got into this mess in the first place.