Legal Reference

Cops use their vote to force the police state on us!

How cops who vote are forcing their police state on us!

I don't agree with all of Robb Roberts statements here but these statements are true about how police employees who vote are turning American into a police state!

When you have a city election in Phoenix with a 10 percent turn out of registered voters and all 5,000 Phoenix cops show up and vote for the pork the cops can really drive the election. Then remember in addtion to the Phoenix cops who voted you will have Maricopa County Sheriff cops who live in Phoenix vote for it. Along with the Arizona DPS cops who live in Phoenix voting for it. And the Federal FBI, Homeland Security, DEA, BATF and other federal thugs who live in Phoenix voting for it.

Robb says

"All municipal politics tend to be an insiders' affair, characterized by small-turnout elections dominated by groups with a stake in the outcome [police officers] ... When municipal unions dominate the mix, in essence choosing their bosses, fiscal discipline becomes impossible."
Here is how the numbers work out in Phoenix, Arizona
One google estimate of population of Phoenix is about 1,567,924.

If only one forth of those people are registered to vote then the number of registered voters is 391,981. (Remember half the people are children and can't vote. And I will assume half the adults don't register to vote, which means only about a fourth of the population is registered to vote)

If the city of Phoenix has an election and only 10 percent of the people show up to vote that means 39,198 show up to vote.

If 5,000 Phoenix police officers along with a few thousand other Maricopa County, Arizona and Federal cops vote in the election that is easily enought votes to throw the election.

Then throw in all the other government employees who vote in the election and the people in government dominate the vote hands down.

Source

3 ways big cities go bad

As Phoenix expands, politicians should be alert for warning signs

by Robert Robb - Oct. 28, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

New York - I happen to be in New York City during the final throes of its mayoral race.

The race itself doesn't seem to amount to much. Michael Bloomberg appears to be coasting to an easy re-election.

But it was a good excuse to sit down and talk with Fred Siegel, the nation's most astute student of big-city politics, particularly New York's. I wanted to discuss the intriguing question of how big cities go bad, with an eye toward things about which Phoenix should be alert as it continues to get bigger and more politically mature. Siegel told the story of the deterioration of New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., in his book, "The Future Once Happened Here," and gave an account and assessment of New York's partial recovery under Rudy Giuliani, in "The Prince of the City."

Siegel believes there are three fundamental ways in which big cities go bad. The first is to lose control of order and civility in their public space - the streets, sidewalks and parks. This was an essential part of New York's deterioration and subsequent crime epidemic and the primary element of its recovery.

I told Siegel of a long walk my wife and I had taken from our hotel to Central Park and through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, returning partially after nightfall. We felt not a moment of unease, were never panhandled and saw only three vagrants along the way. Siegel said such an excursion would have been unthinkable 15 years ago.

Even more remarkably, Siegel thinks this part of New York's recovery will endure. Previously, politicians dodged responsibility by saying that there was nothing that could practically be done to control the small acts of disorder and incivility - such as aggressive panhandling, public urination and a large presence of vagrants - that lead to a loss of control over public space and larger disorder that involves more serious crime.

This has been proved wrong and, according to Siegel, New Yorkers will not accept slippage among the politicians on this front.

The other two ways big cities go bad, according to Siegel, are interrelated: control of city politics by municipal unions and an economy that becomes too much government-driven and too little privately-driven. According to Siegel, Giuliani only partially tackled these two issues and Bloomberg has ignored them entirely.

All municipal politics tend to be an insiders' affair, characterized by small-turnout elections dominated by groups with a stake in the outcome - neighborhood associations, the cultural community, downtown-development interests and city workers.

When municipal unions dominate the mix, in essence choosing their bosses, fiscal discipline becomes impossible. And once government overhead passes a critical point, the only way to create space for private-sector growth is to shrink government, a virtually impossible task once city unions dominate elections.

The result is what Siegel has called an "entitlement economy," where opportunity depends on political decisions, not private initiative. And, indeed, the economic-growth portion of the New York mayoral debate consists entirely of competing proposals to add businesses to the government dole, through spending programs and expanding incentives.

Siegel says New York politics has a "conflict ethos," in which the goal is to win the biggest share of the spoils for your group. Politics in Phoenix are similarly controlled by interest groups. But there appears to be an ethos of self-discipline. No one grabs for too much, and there has been a willingness to accept the need for overall fiscal discipline.

This, however, is a fragile protection, easily lost. Some city observers see the beginnings of more militancy in the police union, with its reluctance to cooperate in paring city expenditures and apparent attempt to oust the police chief.

Siegel describes himself as part of an "extinct tribe of small-government Democrats." The fate of Phoenix may depend on the tribe revitalizing here.

Phoenix city politics are Democratic, in a nonpartisan way, if that's possible. Those who are attracted to big-city politics almost all believe in activist government. I can't remember, in the course of three decades of observation, a true conservative who ever served on the Phoenix City Council.

If Siegel's lessons are correct - and I believe they are - the future of Phoenix depends on those who believe in activist government and those who benefit from it, exercising a degree of self-restraint uncommon in politics.

Reach Robb at robert.robb@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8472.


Cops use their vote to force a police pay tax hike on the public!

Again Robb Robert points out how special intrest groups in the government use elections to force their minority intrests on the rest of this. In the case of this tax hike it will mostly be for money to keep cops from being fired.

With 5,000 or so Phoenix cops voting in the election which usually have a 10 to 15 percent turnout they probably will force the tax increase of more money for cops on the rest of us.

To avoid being tagged a tax-hiker, local elected officials often refer the tax increases they want to see to the ballot. But this is, in a way, cheating. City elections are very small-turnout affairs, dominated by interest groups with a direct stake in city programs and spending.

Broad policy decisions such as increasing general taxes shouldn't be decided in elections with turnouts of 10 percent to 15 percent. A broader consensus should be required for tax increases.

Source

Reid's opt-out tactic; Gordon's tax balloon

Oct. 31, 2009 06:48 PM

From the political notebook:

SNIP

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has floated a trial balloon for a tax hike to get the city through its revenue crunch. I suppose it was inevitable.

So far, Arizona's counties and cities, Phoenix included, have managed the revenue downturn quite efficiently and admirably - in sharp contrast to the state. And, so far, they have done so by paring expenditures, not goosing revenues. They have hunkered down and muddled through, which is what best sets up the polity for recovery.

Things are going to get tougher for local governments as state-shared revenues decline. Nevertheless, Gordon's trial balloon is a bad idea. It needs to be shot down.

Pursuing Gordon's path is one of the ways big cities (and some small ones, for that matter) go bad - spending full-bore during the good times and then raising taxes during the bad. It creates a ratcheting-up effect that ultimately becomes too much of a burden for the private-sector economy.

Cities should be in the best position to avoid tax increases during downturns. Many of Phoenix's core services - water, sewer, trash and the airport - are supported by user fees and thus protected from the sharp sales tax decline. Another core function, streets, can be neglected for a year or two without significant harm.

There are only three core city functions vulnerable to the revenue downturn: police, fire and public transit. The rest of what city government provides are amenities - arguably important to the quality of life in the city over the long haul, but nothing that's truly essential in the short term.

A radical reprioritization of any revenue not legally restricted to support police, fire and public transit might be in order. But not starting down the ratcheting-up road.

I suspect Gordon will not be the only local official to publicly muse about a tax increase, nor will Phoenix be the only city in which it occurs.

Gilbert officials moved forward on a tax increase but backed off. The Scottsdale City Council has referred a bed-tax increase to voters, but that's a different kind of thing.

To avoid being tagged a tax-hiker, local elected officials often refer the tax increases they want to see to the ballot. But this is, in a way, cheating. City elections are very small-turnout affairs, dominated by interest groups with a direct stake in city programs and spending.

Broad policy decisions such as increasing general taxes shouldn't be decided in elections with turnouts of 10 percent to 15 percent. A broader consensus should be required for tax increases.

The Legislature should require that all local tax-increase elections be held contemporaneously with the state's general election.

Make local government officials sell their tax increases to 50 percent to 70 percent of the electorate.

Reach Robb at robert.robb@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8472. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Read his blog at robbblog.azcentral.com.