Saturday, May 14, 2016

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (read: the Kochs Brothers) Scores Monster Wins in Arizona by Laurie Roberts

Since the days of Governor Fife Symington Arizona has been on the path to do away with public education. Now Ducey and the gang wants to pillage the Land Trust Funds.1. Arizona Republicans have cut over 1 billion dollars in public education funding since 2009.  Arizona has been trying to rid the state of public education and with the help of Governor Ducey, the Koch Brothers and the Goldwater Institute it just may happen.  be
Ducey (read: the Kochs) scores monster wins in Arizona by Laurie Roberts
Before we bid a final farewell to the 52nd Arizona Legislature, let us pause and consider the session’s biggest winner.
I, for one, am in amazed at the things Gov. Doug Ducey has been able to accomplish – not so much for the good of Arizona but for the good of his political future.
No doubt, Charles and David Koch and their conservative/libertarian network of mega-millionaires will be over the moon next time our fair governor dashes over to California to court them.
The Kochs, as you know, are all about pushing free-market principles. Among other things, they want to privatize prisons, dismantle public education and, of course, cut taxes. They operate from the comfy cover of dark money, spending zillions to ensure that their guys get elected.
Consider Ducey’s accomplishments during this year’s session:
$5 MILLION FOR THINKING THE 'RIGHT' WAY. The Legislature sunk $5 million in annual ongoing funding into three “economic freedom schools” at Arizona State University and University of Arizona. That’s huge, when you consider the three universities got only $8 million in ongoing funding. The economic freedom think tanks were started in recent years with seed money from the Charles Koch Foundation. The head of one of those schools – William Boyes, founding director of ASU’s Center for the Study of Economic Liberty -- has called for dismantling public education.
PROP 123 RAID ON THE KIDS' TRUST FUND.   He got the Legislature to put Proposition 123 on the ballot and in a shrewd move, has marketed it as more money for schools without raising taxes. Never mind that the state already is obligated by law to provide that funding to the schools. Or that Prop. 123 simply transfers much of that obligation to the state land trust – money that already belongs to our kids. Or that he’s doing this even as he continues to cut taxes every year. Once Prop. 123 passes – with help from a stunning $4 million campaign -- Ducey will be able to say that’s he added billions in funding to schools while cutting taxes and nobody will even notice that most of those billions will come from the kids’ trust fund. Masterful stuff.
PUBLIC LOAN GUARANTEES FOR CHARTER SCHOOL OPERATORS. He won the right to set aside a whopping $100 million in public funds to use as loan guarantees for private businesses that operate charter schools. The idea is to help the successful ones build additional charter schools more cheaply, given the lower interest rate that loan guarantees will deliver. But charter school operators also will be able to use them to refinance existing debt, putting the added profit into their pockets thanks to the public stepping up to guarantee that their debts will be paid.
MORE TAX CUTS, OF COURSE. He won $26 million more in tax cuts, including $8 million in business cuts he proposed. That’s a feat, given legislative budget analysts’ recent estimates of the mounting losses to the state’s general fund due to the massive 2011 corporate tax cuts that were supposed to – but didn’t – stimulate the economy.
MORE PRIVATE PRISONS, OF COURSE. He won $17 million in funding for another 1,000 private prison beds. This, to go with 1,000-bed prison he won last year. Naturally, the state of Arizona has guaranteed that we will fill those beds, regardless of whether they are actually needed.
A STACKED SUPREME COURT. He won the golden opportunity to expand the Arizona Supreme Court from five justices to seven – solving a problem as yet unidentified by, well, anyone.  Ducey received national accolades in January after appointing the Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick to the Supreme Court. Goldwater is supported by the Kochs and Bolick, not surprisingly, has skillfully advocated for many of their ideas. Read Full Article: HERE

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