Free Enterprise Club July Crony of the Month

How many politicians at the State Capitol can lay claim to the fact that they supported subsidies for Hollywood liberals, tax credits to combat global warming, and voted against more transparency on how are tax dollars are spent?  In fact there is only one man who was able to achieve this dubious accomplishment—State Senator Bob Worsley.  And because of that, he has been chosen to be this month’s Free Enterprise Club Crony of the Month.

Since being elected in 2012, Worsley has been a reliable supporter of crony capitalist legislation in the Senate.  This was on display when he voted in favor of giving $900 Million dollars in tax credits to Hollywood Liberals to make movies, and when he spearheaded legislation to give away taxpayer money to manufacturers with the express purpose—as stated in the bill—of “reducing their carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy.” Picking winners and losers through our tax code has been a problem for decades, but Worsley has taken the cronyism to a whole new level.

In response to the large amounts of corporate welfare being doled out at the legislature, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club introduced HB 2586, legislation that would have required increased transparency on how our tax credit dollars are being spent. Since taxpayers are providing millions in ‘economic development’ tax credits to corporations, it only makes sense for everyone to know where the money is going.

Unfortunately, Sen. Worsley voted against the measure in committee, killing critical transparency reforms on the very credits that he supports. That is crony capitalism in a nutshell: support special tax breaks for your friends and oppose efforts to see where the money is really going. Sen. Worsley likes to declare that he is “pro-business”, now he can also say that he has been named the Crony of the Month.

Heap and King Endorsed by the Club

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club PAC today announced the endorsements of Ralph Heap for the Senate and John King for the Arizona State House of Representatives.  Both Heap and King are pro-growth Republican candidates running in hotly contested primaries.

Ralph Heap is a committed free market conservative who strongly opposes special deals and picking winners and losers with our tax dollars. John King is an experienced small business owner and currently sits on the Kyrene School Board.

“Both Heap and King are the type of pro-growth, free market candidates we need at the legislature,” Free Enterprise Club President Scot Mussi said. “They will both be strong advocates for taxpayers and will stand up against lobbyists and other politically connected groups looking for more spending or a special tax break at the capitol.”

Free Enterprise Club Releases New Endorsements for AZ House and Senate

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club today announced the endorsement of five candidates for the Arizona State Legislature.  The candidates endorsed are Steve Smith, Mark Finchem, Paul Boyer, Dave Farnsworth and Rusty Bowers.  All five candidates are pro-growth political outsiders currently engaged in contested primaries.

“These are the type of free market candidates we need at the State Legislature,” Club president Scot Mussi said.  “They will all be strong advocates for taxpayers and will stand up against special interest groups looking for a sweetheart deal or a special tax break at the Capitol.”

All five candidates are involved in contested races, facing incumbents or establishment backed politicians that often oppose fiscal responsibility or limited government principles.  “The Free Enterprise Club makes a point of supporting candidates that often don’t receive support from the establishment,” Mussi said.  “We are not afraid to support the candidate that we believe best represents our conservative principles.” 

Initiative Filed in Glendale to Stop Permanent Tax Hike

Today, the Protect Glendale Taxpayers Committee, with help from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, turned in more than 20,000 signatures to place the Glendale Taxpayer Protection Act on the ballot.

“The outpouring of support from Glendale residents wanting an opportunity to stop this permanent tax hike has been tremendous,” said Committee Chairman Scot Mussi. “Now the voters will have an opportunity to decide the issue for themselves and hold City Hall to their promise that this tax hike remains temporary.”

The “temporary” sales tax increase was originally passed in 2012, and was set to expire in 2017. To earn approval from voters, city leaders and politicians promised that the tax would be temporary and would be allowed to expire. Without the promise that it would be temporary, the tax increase would likely have never passed.

The Glendale Taxpayer Protection Act ensures that the sales tax increase expires in 2017 as originally intended. Additionally, to prevent City Hall from trying to circumvent the will of the voters, the initiative puts in place a requirement for a supermajority vote to implement sales tax increases in the future.

Protect Glendale Taxpayers needed 10,454 valid signatures from registered Glendale voters to qualify for the ballot. In an effort to make sure the Glendale Taxpayer Protection Act qualifies for the ballot, the committee went the extra effort to gather twice the required signatures and also verified with the city’s own voter lists the validity of the signatures filed.

Glendale currently has one of the highest sales tax rates in the state, a crippling tax burden that is harming small businesses and hardworking taxpayers.