Arizona Free Enterprise Club Releases Next Round of Endorsements

Arizona Free Enterprise Club Releases Next Round of Endorsements

Phoenix, AZ – Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club announced their first slate of General Election endorsements for 2022.

The endorsed individuals align with the organization’s principles and key policy goals. Club President Scot Mussi stated, “It is a critical time in our country and in our state. We need fighters who will take on the Left’s agenda that is crippling our economy, harming our children, and infringing on our Constitutional rights. These Club endorsed individuals will do just that. We encourage voters to support these candidates who will defend free market principles, advance conservative values, protect our border, and combat federal overreach here in Arizona and in Washington, D.C. This slate of candidates has proven they can and will.”

Statewide

Governor
Kari Lake
 
Secretary of StateAttorney General
Mark FinchemAbe Hamadeh
 
Superintendent of Public InstructionCorporation Commission
Tom HorneNick Myers
Kevin Thompson

Federal

U.S. Senate
Blake Masters
 
CD 1CD 2CD 4
David SchweikertEli CraneKelly Cooper
CD 5CD 6CD 8
Andy BiggsJuan CiscomaniDebbie Lesko
  
CD 9
Paul Gosar

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Senator Sinema Should Stand with the People of Arizona and Reject the Inflation Reduction Act

Senator Sinema Should Stand with the People of Arizona and Reject the Inflation Reduction Act

This week could be the most consequential of Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s tenure in Congress.

Right now, she faces immense pressure from both sides to either accept or reject the recent deal Senator Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer cobbled together. The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” is the latest iteration of the long-sought-after “Build Back Better” plan that President Joe Biden touted more than a year ago.

While the name sounds like a good idea, it’s a complete disaster. The bill itself continues to push Green New Deal policies that will lead to even higher prices at the gas station and grocery store. That’s not exactly helping with the inflation reduction that they’re hyping.

In addition, it seeks to expand government-run health plans, allow the government to negotiate the cost of drugs, and create a slush fund for the IRS that would allow them to add 87,000 new agents. But perhaps worst of all, the bill is a significant tax increase.

The Joint Committee on Taxation scores the bill as raising taxes on nearly every American worker. This breaks President Biden’s promise that no family earning less than $400,000 would pay more in taxes. On top of that, it raises more than $16 billion from those earning less than $200,000 and another $14 billion on those earning between $200,000 and $500,000.

And they’re trying to do all of this in the midst of a recession!

Naturally, progressives are privately complaining that the bill does not go far enough in advancing their radical agenda, especially as it relates to climate change. But they are happy to have something. Now, that has put the pressure on Sinema to support the deal. And it’s increasing by the minute.

Since being elected, Sinema has remained largely independent on budget and tax issues, including on the Build Back Broke agenda pushed by Biden. And while she has frustrated both Republicans and Democrats, she’s mostly drawn the ire of leftist progressives who have been calling on her to be primaried in 2024.

But if Sinema wants to keep her seat, she should focus on siding with the people of Arizona on these issues. So, what do they say?

Recent polling shows that a majority of Arizona voters would prefer that Sinema reject the Manchin-Schumer package. 53% say she should vote no on the bill while 50% of voters say they would be less likely to vote for her if she supports the deal.

At a time when 58% of Arizonans believe that inflation is the worst in their lifetimes—and a whopping 63% of Arizona voters say they oppose raising taxes in a recession—now is not the time to raise taxes.

But it’s not just the taxes that the people of Arizona are concerned about.

They don’t want the government negotiating the cost of drugs. Only 14% of voters support this idea while 52% prefer point of sale discounts for seniors buying prescription drugs. And who can blame them? They can clearly see who stands to benefit from such a negotiation, and they know it’s not the people.

Now, this whole entire bill may rest on the shoulders of Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Will she continue to represent Arizona voters? Or will she cave to the progressive special interests in Washington, D.C.? If she wants to see her tenure extended in 2024, Sinema should remember who she signed up to stand for.

Tell Your US Senators to Vote NO on the Inflation Reducation Act

Renaming the Build Back Broke bill the “Inflation Reduction Act” won’t change the fact that it’s a massive tax and spend agenda that will make our economy worse, not better.

Now it’s time to tell your US Senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, to oppose this deal. Gas prices are high, inflation is soaring, and Arizona families and small businesses are struggling. We can’t afford more DC spending, tax hikes, corporate welfare, and an IRS that will target hardworking Arizonans. Tell your US Senators to vote NO on the “Inflation Reduction Act!”

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Full List of Endorsements to Date for the 2022 Election

Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Full List of Endorsements to Date for the 2022 Election

Over the past two months, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club has announced its candidate endorsements for the 2022 election.

These candidates represent individuals that share our values and commitment to a free and prosperous Arizona. Club President Scot Mussi stated, “It is critical that Arizona elects leaders and policymakers who are able to articulate and stand up for individual liberties, free market policies, and conservative values. We believe that these candidates are up to the challenge.”

Below is a summary of the candidates we have endorsed to date.

Arizona State Legislature

LD 1LD 2LD 3
Senate: Steve ZippermanHouse: Pierce WaychoffHouse: Joseph Chaplik
House: Judy BurgesHouse: Christian Lamar
   
LD 4LD 7LD 9
Senate: Nancy BartoHouse: John FillmoreSenate: Rob Scantlebury
House: Vera GebranHouse: David MarshallHouse: Kathy Pearce
House: Maria Syms House: Mary Ann Mendoza 

LD 10LD 12LD 13
Senate: David FarnsworthSenate: Suzanne SharerSenate: JD Mesnard
House: Barbara ParkerHouse: Julie Willoughby
House: Justin Heap  

LD14LD 15LD 16
Senate: Warren PetersenSenate: Jake HoffmanHouse: Rob Hudelson
House: Travis GranthamHouse: Jacqueline Parker 
House: Laurin HendrixHouse: Neal Carter 
  
LD 17 LD 19 LD 23
House: Cory McGarrHouse: Gail GriffinSenate: Gary Snyder
House: Rachel JonesHouse: Lupe DiazHouse: Michele Pena (Write-in)

LD 25LD 27LD 28
House: Michael CarboneSenate: Anthony KernHouse: Beverly Pingerelli
House: Tim DunnHouse: Ben TomaHouse: Susan Black

LD 29LD 30
Senate: Janae ShampHouse: Leo Biasiucci
House: Steve Montenegro
House: Austin Smith

Local City and Town Council

ChandlerPaysonFountain Hills
Darla GonzalezTom Morrissey (Mayor)Brenda Kalivianakis
Farhana Shifa Allen Skillicorn
  Hannah Toth

PeoriaGilbertQueen Creek
Jason Beck (Mayor)Jim TorgesonTravis Padilla
Mario Chicas
 Bobbi Buchli 

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Arizona’s Movie Tax Credit Bill Is a Major Loss for Taxpayers

Arizona’s Movie Tax Credit Bill Is a Major Loss for Taxpayers

If you like forking over your hard-earned dollars to woke Hollywood liberals, Arizona lawmakers have you covered.

Last month, the state legislature took on the role of “Minions” for the film industry. As you may recall, the Club previously fought against a movie tax credit bill known as SB1708. After passing the Senate, it failed in the House. But in a shady move, Senate Appropriations Chairman David Gowan resurrected the effort through a strike-everything amendment to HB2156, declaring that Hollywood subsidies were his top issue in budget negotiations and any budget agreement was contingent on its passage. A few days later, the bill passed when a handful of Republicans joined every Democrat to support it. Governor Ducey allowed the bill to become law without his signature on July 6th.

The legislation itself gives movie companies that film in Arizona refundable tax credit subsidies up to 15 percent if they spend up to $10 million in production costs, 17.5 percent if they spend between $10 million and $35 million, and 20 percent if they spend over $35 million. And it gives the opportunity for an additional 2.5 percent if the movie company meets other criteria.

But consider this. The average cost of making a movie is between $100 million and $150 million. That means the vast majority of movie companies will benefit from the highest possible percentage!

So, how much Hollywood corporate welfare will Arizona taxpayers be on the hook for?

    • $75 million in 2023
    • $100 million in 2024
    • And $125 million in 2025 and each year thereafter

Can you believe it? In the midst of historic inflation and a struggling economy, our lawmakers decided it was a good idea to send your money to a billion-dollar industry that doesn’t even need it! (Not even Maverick can save this disaster.)

Those that argued in favor of this bill claim that it will promote workforce development and expansion of the movie industry. But they must have missed the recent study of Hollywood subsidies in New York, Louisiana, Georgia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. (Or maybe they’re living in “La La Land.”) It found that despite $10 billion in taxpayer spending, there was no statistically significant impact on employment.

That’s right. These programs don’t work. They consistently lose money, and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee already projected that this bill would cost the State of Arizona hundreds of millions of dollars!

On top of all this, the legislation is likely unconstitutional, and litigation is inevitable. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the government cannot include “anticipated indirect benefits” such as projected sales and tax revenue as part of the consideration with a private party under the Gift Clause in the Arizona Constitution. In other words, Hollywood dazzling lawmakers with projected economic development leading to increased tax revenue is an “irrelevant indirect benefit” that can’t be included in the consideration.

But perhaps worst of all, we can now expect to see our tax dollars being used to create movies bashing America and our values. That’s become Hollywood’s specialty in recent years. And now because of this bill, it will all be done with the State of Arizona serving as the backdrop.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Transit Tax Increase Earned a Well-Deserved Veto

Transit Tax Increase Earned a Well-Deserved Veto

Governor Ducey made the right decision vetoing HB2685, the Maricopa County transportation sales tax increase that was forced through the House and Senate during the final days of the legislative session.

But the reality is, it never should have gotten to his desk.

HB 2685 typified everything that is broken at the Capitol these days: a swampy political culture built around cronyism and backroom deals, legislative leadership pushing major policy through despite overwhelming opposition from their own caucus, and a complete breakdown in statesmanship, evident by the fact that most Republican lawmakers that supported the bill never actually read it or the MAG transportation plan that underpinned the legislation.

It is highly unlikely that a bill like this would have even received a committee hearing five years ago. HB 2685 completely rewrote transportation policy for Maricopa County, shifting billions away from roads and into transit and a regional program slush fund. Yet the bill was rammed through the process from beginning to end, with advocates taking the arrogant position that no real changes could be made to the bill.

Thankfully, Governor Ducey didn’t go along with this charade. He rejected their absurd “take it or leave it” offer and plan, and outlined in his veto letter the multiple problems with HB 2685:

    • The bill lacked transparency and was in fact intentionally misleading. They doubled down on putting their thumb on the scale by requiring the election be held in the Spring in an off-year election cycle when voter turnout is historically low.
    • The bill decreased funding for freeways.
    • The bill did not capture needed projects, some of which had to be appropriated directly by the legislature in a $1B transportation infrastructure package.
    • The transportation tax does not expire until the end of 2025; so, there is no reason to extend the tax now, especially during a time of record inflation when taxpayers are hurting.

Our organization and others opposed to the bill brought up every single one of these points and several others. Each concern was summarily ignored, claimed to be a lie, or turned into hostile gaslighting and ad hominem attacks against opponents of the bill. Proponents took our fact sheet and disseminated a “struck through” version which did not even attempt to counter our information or provide alternative sources. Lawmakers and proponents actively shared explicitly inaccurate information about a bill they purportedly drafted. These bad facts would spread like wildfire at the Capitol, even though they could be easily resolved by simply reading the bill (which again, most lawmakers that supported the bill did not do).

HB2685 was truly Build Back Broke transportation policy, prioritizing money for little-used transit, siphoning dollars from roads for cities to expand bike lanes and trollies, and neglecting the maintenance for freeways and arterials. This was reflected in the lack of support by a majority of Republicans in both chambers, with 21 of 31 Republicans in the House voting against the transit tax.

Yet Republican leadership and the sponsors of the bills did not seem to care they were passing Democrat transportation policy. This as the backdrop of Biden’s Build Back Broke money and policies enraged Republicans across the country. This, as progressive leftists across the state praised the measure.

None of this was normal, and it should be a lesson.

Things are broken at the Capitol, and they are due for a shake-up. And even though the transit tax increase bill should never have made it in its final version to the Governor’s desk, perhaps its veto will be the beginning of better transportation policy to come. It’s hard seeing it get any worse.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.