Governor Ducey’s Decision to Allow Parents and Kids to Opt Out of Schools Ignoring the Law Is the Right One

Governor Ducey’s Decision to Allow Parents and Kids to Opt Out of Schools Ignoring the Law Is the Right One

It needed to be done. At the end of June, Governor Ducey signed HB2898, which included a provision prohibiting a city, town, county, school board, or charter school governing body from requiring students or teachers to wear masks.

Bear in mind that this law doesn’t mean students and teachers can’t wear masks. They certainly can if they want to. But it keeps the heavy hand of government from enforcing unnecessary restrictions—especially on students who should be focused on learning.

Predictably, the liberal left has had a meltdown. The board president at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff went on a tirade in a now-removed Facebook post, referring to parents and students who disagree with mask mandates as “the worst of humanity.”

And some schools have decided that their first lesson for the year is to teach kids it’s ok to violate the law. A growing number of Arizona school districts are openly defying Governor Ducey by requiring students and staff to wear masks if they want to set foot on campus.

Our children have become pawns in a game of COVID chess—all at the mercy of the kings and queens on school boards throughout the state.

While parents are speaking up, they need help. Thankfully, Arizona’s House and Senate Republicans heard their cries. Last week, a group led by state representative Jake Hoffman called for Governor Ducey to do something.

And earlier this week, he delivered. Governor Ducey announced an initial $10 million investment for Arizona’s COVID-19 Recovery Benefit Program. This means that families facing financial and education barriers due to unnecessary school closures and mandates that are not in compliance with state law now have a choice.

Starting on August 20, families that have a total household income up to 350 percent of the Federal Poverty Level can apply for up to $7,000 per student for needs related to childcare, transportation, online tutoring, and tuition. Parents and families that apply simply need to show that their current school is isolating, quarantining, or subjecting children to physical COVID-19 restraints—like requiring the use of masks or giving preferential treatment to those who have been vaccinated.

This is an important decision by Governor Ducey. And it’s the right one. While COVID was certainly an issue that warranted some action, it never should have included trampling on the rights of the people.

And our kids should never be forced to wear masks. No study has been completed to back them up, and there’s a very good chance that widespread masking could cause children psychological harm.

School districts need to follow the law. And if they don’t, they should be held accountable. It’s time to put the power back into the hands of parents. They should be given a choice to find alternative learning solutions for their children because students deserve access to the best education possible.

Thankfully, Governor Ducey took a step in the right direction this week by putting the needs and development of our kids first.

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Arizonans for Voter ID Ballot Initiative Launched Today

Arizonans for Voter ID Ballot Initiative Launched Today

Today Arizonans for Voter ID, a committee sponsored by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, filed with the Secretary of State the Arizonans for Voter ID Act ballot initiative. The purpose of the measure is to bring integrity and security to our election process by requiring that no matter how you vote or where you vote, you will be required to provide valid ID when casting your ballot.

Voters in Arizona overwhelmingly agree that they want an election process that they can believe in and trust. One where it is easy to vote yet hard to cheat.

The Arizonans for Voter ID Act Initiative consists of four key provisions:

  1. Improving existing in-person Voter ID requirements
  2. Requiring Voter ID on mail-in ballots
  3. Preventing Ballot Harvesting by enhancing voter ID requirements for in-person ballot drop off
  4. Providing a free voter ID option to lawfully registered Arizona voters who need it for voting

Easy to vote, and hard to cheat – that’s the benchmark for elections. US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in the recent Brnovich v. DNC decision upholding two Arizona election integrity laws stated that, “[Arizona law] makes it quite easy for residents to vote.” Arizonans have the option to vote in-person on election day, early in-person beginning 27 days before an election, and by mail with a one-time request or perpetually through the Active Early Voter List – no excuse required.

This initiative maintains Arizona voters’ accessibility to the ballot box while improving our election processes, especially with requiring objective identification on mail-in ballots. This will prevent legal votes from being rejected and illegal votes from being accepted.

Poll after poll shows that Arizonans overwhelmingly support Voter ID. A poll from April showed that 82% of likely Arizona voters agree that all voters should be required to provide identification before voting. This includes majority support from every race, ethnicity, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

And the popularity should be no surprise. Arizonans use these forms of identification commonly in their everyday lives to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, obtain a driver’s license, board a commercial flight, donate blood, open a bank account, purchase a firearm, receive unemployment benefits, obtain auto insurance, purchase or rent a home, confirm identity over the phone, and many other basic transactions.

The Initiative is already supported by a growing coalition of both state and national organizations including Heritage Action, Honest Elections Project Action, Foundation for Government Accountability, Goldwater Institute, Arizona Women of Action, AMAC Action, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona, and EZAZ.org.

“The vast majority of Arizona voters support voter ID because it is a common-sense and critical election integrity practice that is increasingly implemented around the country,” said Scot Mussi, President of the Free Enterprise Club. “This initiative will ensure that no matter when you vote, where you vote, or how you vote, identification will be required.”

The Arizonans for Voter ID Committee is chaired by Arizona voter Vicki Vaughn and Bill Luhrs serving as Chair and Treasurer. To qualify for the 2022 November ballot, the campaign will need to gather 237,645 valid signatures by July 7th.

Now Is the Time for Universal Voter ID in Arizona.

Voter ID requirements are commonsense, help ensure the integrity of our elections, and protect the ballot of every qualified Arizona voter.

Learn more about the Arizonans for Voter ID Act Initiative.

Maricopa Community Colleges Defying State Law Pushing CRT

Maricopa Community Colleges Defying State Law Pushing CRT

They went from denying Critical Race Theory exists, to denying it is taught in schools and universities, then claiming it is exclusively researched in law schools, suing parents requesting access to their child’s curriculum, to now just openly defying new laws prohibiting CRT to continue indoctrinating and propagandizing students with anti-white bigotry.

But around the country, citizens have stepped up to push against schools, school boards, universities, and government agencies pushing CRT. State legislatures have stepped up too. In Arizona, Republicans successfully passed, and the Governor signed, two bills prohibiting this ideology.

HB2906, sponsored by Representative Jake Hoffman, prohibits any government agency or political subdivision of the state from expending public monies for or requiring as training anything that presents any blame or judgement on the basis of race, sex or ethnicity. Additionally, in the K-12 budget, HB2898, are provisions to prohibit the same CRT tenets in K-12 schools and comes with teeth for enforcement: $5,000 fines for schools in violation and up to the suspension or revocation of teaching licenses.

Nevertheless, Maricopa Community Colleges has decided to openly defy these new laws and push forward with “Cultural Humility and Equity Office Hours” that reportedly run through the end of 2022. While advertised as optional, board member Kathleen Winn expressed that it is essentially a requirement.

And that should ring true to most Americans these days. A requirement doesn’t need an outright mandate. CNN host Don Lemon stated on air in reference to COVID vaccines, “Don’t get the vaccine, you can’t go to the supermarket. Don’t have the vaccine, can’t go to the ball game. Don’t have a vaccine, can’t go to work. You don’t have a vaccine, can’t come here. No shirt, no shoes, no service.” By making life impossible without it, vaccines would become a requirement even if they aren’t mandated outright. The same can apply to “optional” trainings in institutions like Maricopa Community Colleges.

But what exactly would be taught in these Office Hours? Just look at one of their listed readings, Critical Race Theory in Education: A Review of Past Literature and a Look to the Future, which calls for “re-educating Whites via raced curriculum” and equates “White supremacy” to “colorblindness, meritocracy, integrationism, postracialism, etc.” It also contends that “social justice oriented White teachers should endeavor to move away from White liberal tendencies of savior and missionary mentalities toward a Critical Race teacher activism.”

That was written in 2015. Not in the last year or past few months, but 6 years ago and relies on “academic research” from the 1990s and early 2000s. What was once hidden has now come to light. Turns out conservative conspiracy theorists were right after all.

Parents don’t want teachers that are “activists.” Students don’t pay tuition and taxpayers certainly don’t foot the bill so that woke professors can “re-educate Whites” and propagandize college students into equating meritocracy, the idea that the most qualified gets the job and one of the bedrock principles of western civilization, to “White supremacy.”

Republicans in Arizona and around the country were spot on in their concern about what was going on in our public schools, regardless of leftist democrats and the woke media calling it a conspiracy theory. Even more timely was their move to prohibit it. But now, what are these elected officials going to do when political subdivisions openly defy the laws they duly passed?

Perhaps with counties refusing legislative subpoenas and cities and schools ignoring mask mandate prohibitions, Maricopa Community Colleges feels emboldened to flex their power and defy state law. But now is the time for legislators, the Governor, and the Attorney General to step in and shut it down.

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Arizona Schools Teach Students It’s Ok to Violate the Law

Arizona Schools Teach Students It’s Ok to Violate the Law

Rules for thee, but not for me. Apparently, that’s the lesson a growing number of Arizona public schools want to teach students in the coming year. (Perhaps they’re looking to replace science, since it appears they’re not interested in following that anymore.)

At the end of June, Governor Ducey signed HB2898, which included a provision prohibiting a city, town, county, school board, or charter school governing body from requiring students or teachers to wear masks.

That should be simple enough to follow. But it sent teachers’ unions and the establishment media into a tailspin. After all, the left LOVES mask mandates for kids, even though they may cause psychological harm and no study can back them up.

So, instead of teaching students a proper civics lesson about what it means to follow the law, various K-12 school districts have chosen to violate it.

At the time this article was written, 10 public school districts in Arizona had announced that students and staff will be required to wear masks as they head back to school:

You would think they would have learned their lesson. Public school districts that turned their backs on parents and students paid the price earlier this year.

But they’d rather choose lawlessness. And in the process, our schools are setting a terrible example for kids by demonstrating to them that following the rules is optional.

Of course, these school districts will tell you that they’re listening to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and their decision to require masks is based on “science.” But what they fail to tell you is that the CDC actually allowed itself to be manipulated by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). And AFT, which happens to be one of the most powerful teachers’ unions in the country, considered itself the CDC’s “true thought partner” on reopening schools.

While COVID was certainly an issue that warranted some action, it never should have included trampling on the rights of the people—especially kids in schools. And the government never should have been allowed to overstep its bounds.

That’s why Arizona lawmakers and Governor Ducey exercised good judgment when they took important steps to protect our state from more COVID overreach.   

But if public school districts want to continue to violate the rights of its teachers and students by requiring masks, they should prepare themselves for more lawsuits like the one from Phoenix Union High School District biology teacher Douglas Hester.

And parents should certainly be given Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) to use their tax dollars to find alternative learning solutions for their children.

Students deserve access to the best education possible. And parents should be able to choose a school for their children that won’t teach them that it’s ok to violate the law.

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We’re Suing Invest in Arizona and Katie Hobbs to Protect Tax Cuts for All Arizonans

We’re Suing Invest in Arizona and Katie Hobbs to Protect Tax Cuts for All Arizonans

Who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? After a brutal year that featured COVID lockdowns, small businesses and families trying to make ends meet could certainly use some.

And Arizona Republicans delivered.

At the end of June, the state legislature passed a $1.8 billion tax cut, the single largest tax cut in Arizona history. And Governor Ducey didn’t waste any time before signing the budget, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise. As Senator Mesnard explained while voting in favor of the budget:

At the end of the day, when this passes, every single taxpayer in Arizona will get a cut. Every single one.

It was certainly a day worth celebrating. But not everyone joined the party.

Apparently, Invest in Arizona, a political committee sponsored by Arizona Education Association and Stand for Children, isn’t happy with the idea of every Arizona taxpayer receiving a cut. In an effort to block the historic tax cuts, the group filed three referendums that include components from three bills passed this legislative session:

    • SB1828, which provides tax relief for all Arizonans and establishes a single income tax rate of 2.5%, subject to the attainment of certain general fund revenue thresholds.
    • SB1827, which establishes a maximum income tax rate of 4.5%.
    • SB1783, which provides the option to small business owners to file and pay their taxes as a small business.

But what Invest in Arizona doesn’t understand is that taxpayers like you deserve a break. And with Arizona sitting pretty thanks to a $4 billion surplus, the time is now. That’s why the Arizona Free Enterprise Club filed a lawsuit last month against Invest in Arizona’s tax cut referendums.

These three bills weren’t just historic tax cuts that benefit all Arizona taxpayers. They also directly provide for the support and maintenance of the state, were key aspects of the state’s budget, and therefore are not referrable by Invest in Arizona.

The Arizona Constitution even provides that legislative actions “for the support and maintenance of the departments of state government and state institutions” may not be the subject of a referendum. And as our complaint contends, these provisions “provide for, and directly relate to, the generation of revenues that are remitted to the general fund and appropriated to various agencies, departments and instrumentalities of the state government.” That means they are not referable.

It also means that Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is named in the lawsuit, must refuse to accept for filing, verification, or certification any petition in support of these three referendums.

Now, it’s up to the Maricopa County Superior Court to do what’s right by granting our motion for preliminary injunction and ultimately deciding in favor of every Arizona taxpayer.

This tax reform package wasn’t adopted by unelected bureaucrats. It was voted on and approved by 90 lawmakers who were duly elected by the people of Arizona. And the tax package was then signed by Governor Ducey, who was also duly elected by the people of Arizona.

Invest in Arizona may not like it, but the people have already spoken. And that means these historic tax cuts should be here to stay.

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Arizonans for Voter ID Ballot Initiative Launched Today

The Arizona Woman Charged with Voter Fraud Shows Why We Need Election Integrity

They said that it didn’t happen, it couldn’t happen, and that anyone who even dared to mention fraud in reference to the past election was a “conspiracy theorist” propagating “The Big Lie.” They began asserting and endlessly repeating that this was the “safest and most secure” election in U.S. history, ironically implying that past elections were actually not safe and secure? And they produced no objective measure as to why the claim is valid and not simply rhetoric regurgitated to stifle free discussion and common-sense reforms.

What’s the saying? The difference between conspiracy theory and truth is about 6-12 months? Just as the “conspiracy theory” about the origins of COVID, which was censored by Big Tech and suppressed by the corporate media, has now become accepted as likely true, a Grand Jury just indicted an Arizona voter of voter fraud.

It happened like this—a Scottsdale woman cast not just her own ballot by mail but also forged her mother’s signature on an early ballot affidavit just days after she had passed away. Her mother had passed on October 5th, but ballots in Maricopa County weren’t even mailed to voters until October 7th.

And how was this caught? Were there any inherent safeguards in the system to prevent this or to find it once it occurred? No. It took a group of private citizens who looked through voter rolls and submitted to the Attorney General’s office a list of approximately 450 names the group alleged were likely deceased but cast a ballot.

After review, the Attorney General’s office said the list contained names of some individuals who were still alive, some who were deceased but passed away after voting, some who were deceased and did not vote (but still received a ballot by mail), and, of course, this individual. A ballot cast, and a ballot counted, from someone who died before their ballot was even sent.

An illegal vote cast and counted deprives all legal voters of their full voting rights. It gives one voter twice the voice of another. One person, one vote—that’s the foundation of a democracy. And, unfortunately, once a ballot by mail is accepted into the system it cannot be uncast or uncounted. It remains, and forever will remain, in the official tally.

With voting by mail, once an election official subjectively determines (within seconds) that a signature on a ballot affidavit matches what is on the voter file, the ballot is removed and separated from the envelope. Forever. There is nothing to connect the ballot to the envelope, and that ballot is baked into the system.

This is why upfront security measures are necessary. It’s why, despite misinformation from Democrats, the media, and woke corporations labeling them as “Jim Crow 2.0,” conservatives pushed so hard this session for a host of election integrity bills. It’s why conservatives passed HB 2054 to ensure deceased individuals are regularly removed from voter rolls. It’s why conservatives passed SB 1485 to ensure the Active Early Voter List is regularly maintained to be clean and current. It’s why they tried to pass SB 1713 to require real voter identification on mail-in ballots, among many other reforms.

While this is just one case that has been proven, it came from a list of only 450 voters, and it came from the work of private individuals—not government or any integrated safeguard. And with this indictment comes also an admission from the Attorney General’s office that some of these individuals are deceased and still received a ballot by mail. How many other undiscovered cases exist?

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We have evidence from a sitting Congressman whose mother passed away 10 years ago but her ballot was still mailed in 2020. And nearly every voter has anecdotal evidence of either themselves or someone they know who moved into a new house and received ballots from the previous owners or tenants. It happens, and everyone knows it. At best, most individuals are law-abiding citizens and simply discard the ballot. But it still presents opportunity for fraud.

That’s why these common-sense reforms are crucial. And it’s why future reforms, especially a continued push for universal voter ID requirements, are necessary.

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!

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