The Arizona Free Enterprise Club today released our latest poll for the general election, focusing on the Governor’s and Attorney General Race. The Club’s in depth poll, conducted by the Tarrance Group, shows Doug Ducey maintaining his lead over Democrat Fred DuVal. Among likely voters, Ducey is currently leading DuVal 43% to 36%, with Libertarian Barry Hess garnering 5% of the vote. Our last poll, conducted in mid September, showed Ducey up six, 44% to 38%. 

Ducey’s support from his own party continues to help build on his lead, with 79% of Republicans supporting Ducey while 74% of Democrats supporting DuVal. Additionally, both candidates continue to split Independent voters, with both candidates receiving 32% support. There are 14% of voters that are still undecided.

In the Attorney General Race, Republican Mark Brnovich has opened up an impressive nine point lead over Felecia Rotellini, 48% to 39%. While each candidate is doing well within their own party, it is the independent vote that is proving decisive for Brnovich. He currently has a +12 point lead among Indendents, and is leading by +20 with male voters. Conversely, Rotellini is only leading by +3 with women voters.

The live telephone poll of 500 respondents was conducted October 13th through the 16th and has a 4.5% margin of error, and included a sample of 35.8% Rep, 30.5% Dem and 33.7% Ind.

For additional questions regarding the poll methodology and summary, contact Dave Sackett with the Tarrance Group at 703-684-6688.

 

 In what has become as predictable as summer monsoons in Arizona, another company has filed for bankruptcy after being wooed with millions in taxpayer incentives – the second in Arizona in as many years.

GT Advanced Technologies, which relocated to the vacant First Solar building (another rent seeking corporation) after securing a $10 million Grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and millions more in property tax breaks and tax credits, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.  The “Apple Deal” was suppose to be economic boon for Mesa, investing in a factory that was going to create 700, high-paying jobs.  Now it looks like it may be over before it even gets started.

If you recall, the announcement of Apple’s purchase of the First Solar building was met with all the fanfare of a victory parade.  Gov. Brewer, Mayor Scott Smith, Sen. Bob Worsley and scores of other politicians and executives from the ACA nearly broke their arms patting themselves on the back for what they described as a “coup.”  Not even a year later, the entire project has collapsed, and the out-of-state company is now in a fight for its survival in bankruptcy court.

If this sounds familiar, it should.  Just last year, Suntech Power Holdings shut down their Goodyear plant – their only plant nationwide – just over two years after their grand opening, eliminating about 100 jobs.  This was after receiving as much as $3.6 million in state and federal tax breaks, and a half million from the City of Goodyear for “job training.”

This is hardly the first time these types of crony capitalist efforts have failed. We should all be familiar by now of the stories of Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and others – companies that took in hundreds of millions of taxpayer money, only to lose it all and file for bankruptcy a short time later.   As I wrote in an earlier post, Arizona was very fortunate to miss out on the Tesla plant in Nevada – costing taxpayers $3 billion and then some – and the SolarCity plant in Buffalo, NY – costing taxpayers $750 million.  Both companies (under the same ownership) have already taken in hundreds of millions in taxpayer incentives, have massive debts, and are burning through cash.  Neither company has ever posted a profit.

Additionally, this debacle should also put to rest the idea of letting the ACA engage in speculative investing with taxpayer money. The Goldwater Institute has put together a great resource about our very own Department of Crony Capitalism – the Arizona Commerce Authority.  Unsurprisingly, the ACA is rife with conflicts of interest, and lack of accountability controls.  It should hardly be a revelation that the former Department of Commerce, long a safe landing spot for well-connected political consultants and donors after an election, should not be a conduit for corporate welfare.

It’s time to put crony capitalism to rest in Arizona for good.  There is only one thing that should be deciding winners and losers in our economy, and that’s the free market.

Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the Arizona Supreme Court in Biggs v. Brewer to defend voters and taxpayers from the legislature and the executive attempting to undermine the 2/3rd vote requirement to pass a tax hike at the legislature.

For some additional background, in 2013 the Arizona State Legislature passed a massive expansion of the Medicaid program under Obamacare, one of the largest entitlement expansion in Arizona history.  In doing so, the Legislature also created a number of new hospital fees and tax increases, despite not attaining the necessary 2/3rds majority as Constitutionally required under Proposition 108 – passed in 1992 with 72% of the vote.

In an effort to stop the challenge, the defendants of the illegal tax increase are claiming that there is no standing to sue, because ultimately the legislature has the authority to decide what constitutes a tax hike. 

“19 Senators and 33 Representatives simply do not have the power to decide what is and what isn’t Constitutional,” said Scot Mussi, President of the Club. “Arizona voters sent an unmistakable message about the need for lower taxes and spending when they overwhelmingly approved Prop 108, it cannot be ignored when it proves inconvenient for politicians.”

We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will side with taxpayers and eventually uphold the 2/3 requirement for tax increases that is enshrined in our Constitution. To view the Club’s brief, click here.



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The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is a free market policy and lobbying group dedicated to promoting a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.