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Well said Greg.

Thanks for bringing attention to this. This entire initiative was a sham to begin with.

The tobacco tax does affect lower income people more and our system of taxes are regressive. What I wonder is the claim that this funds things that the poor are already eligible for. From an azcentral article in June it listed the following grants to east valley communities:

• Nearly $340,000 to Arizona Partnership for Children for home visitation in which parents will receive individual coaching to improve their skills.

• More than $190,000 to Catholic Healthcare West Foundation to teach dental health to children and parents plus provide fluoride varnishes to reduce cavities.

• Nearly $160,000 to Chandler Christian Community Center to provide early-literacy programs.

• $25,000 to Chandler Christian Community Center to supply food for emergency food boxes.

• $25,000 to Tempe Community Action Agency to supply food for supplemental food boxes.

• Nearly $448,000 to the Tempe Community Council for early-literacy and parenting classes plus bilingual counseling.

• $800,000 to Tempe, Chandler and Kyrene school districts to expand preschool classes for at-risk children.

These sound to me like new programs or things that are not targeted at middle class families.

Sounds to me that these are things parents and families should be doing.
Silly me.

Sounds like a fraction of $400M.

"...After all, the Bashas are liberal icons for the lifetime of Charitable giving that they have provided to the community."

You mean a lifetime of charitably giving OTHER peoples money through initiatives like First Things First.

What a crock, Greg. After 2000, when Prop. 204 passed, the Legislature put forward a referendum that passed requiring groups that have a "pet program" to identify a revenue source that is not the general fund. First Things First played by those rules and got the voters to approve a distinct revenue source that didn't impact the general fund. Now you say what they did is unconstitutional and usurped Legislative authority. That's rich, even for you. Must be so nice to make the rules up as you go along.

"It turns out that if you collect $400 million in tax revenue and give it to a private group to spend it as they see fit...they are going to bog down and leave much of it unspent"

I would think that it would more often turn out the opposite. That almost any group given that sort of authority and funding would have little trouble spending the money.

I opposed the prop in 2006.

Todd, those are valid uses for the funds. Of course that is about $2M of the reported $400M, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

The Bashas are "liberal icons?"

Only if you've never actually met a liberal. The Bashas are not liberals. Ask a liberal before you declare anyone a liberal icon.

It must be an interesting world to live in when you've never actually met a liberal or talked to one longer than two minutes. Ditto for African Americans and Hispanics. It explains a lot of the absurd assumptions that pass for "facts" here.

In spite of not be anything close to liberal, blocking unions from their stores, and running generally lousy grocery stores, Bashas is set to emerge from bankruptcy and will probably be able to pay off its creditors within three years. Without a government bailout. The details of the reorganization and repayment plan were in the AZRepub a couple days ago. . Get your facts straight when you accuse people of defaulting on debts. False accusations stink and make it look like you haven't done your homework.


Love your blog, but you're making my campaign against arbitrary capitalization all the more difficult. Here's what I'm talking about...

"The scheme is obviously Unconstitutional..."

"...but at least it's Regressive."

"After all, the Bashas are liberal icons for the lifetime of Charitable giving..."

Upper-case letters feel self-conscious when you throw them into the middle of a sentence like that. At the beginning of a sentence? Sure, then they're happy. With proper nouns? Absolutely--this is the work they were born to do. But assigned arbitrarily, as in the examples above, upper-case letters become very uncomfortable...and ultimately it's the kids who suffer.

Awesome. R-Dub is back with more racial comments. You rule, Kevin (or whatever your name is)!

These were just grants for the Southeast Valley that I found from an article for last month. I would be happy to see a summary like that for the whole state but have been unable to find such. If they are not representative of the things the fund is paying for I would be happy to look at that as well. It also seems that they were not even required to distribute funds until 2009 which is exactly what they have done so it seems they are fulfilling exactly what was planned.

You've provided no evidence that the money is going to middle class people. What is the basis for that claim?

I don't think Greg is claiming to have evidence that the money is going to middle class people. It's based on logic: take 10 people, numbered 1-10, with 1 being the poorest and 10 being the wealthiest. Assume that under our system, people 1-3 receive certain services and aid from the government and charities, etc. If a new source of revenue is obtained so that those services can be provided to more people, that means person #4 will likely be able to receive those services. If that new revenue source happens to come primarily from people # 1-3, we have the "regressive" situation in which the poorest (1-3) are paying for someone nearer the middle (4) to receive services.

Greg's logic obviously assumes that the services provided from the cigarette tax money are, in fact, services already received and essentially maxed out by people 1-3 (using my example from above).

Honestly, I can't tell from todd's list whether this is the case. Is it possible that the money is being spent to give more services to the same people who already qualify rather than expand the services to reach more people? I don't know the answer to that, but it seems highly unlikely.

Gosh, RgP, it's racial? RgP is your real name I take it? With all due haste you will provide the Arizona Secretary of State with the original copy of your birth certificate proving that you were not only born in the USA but that your mother named you RgP? Star Wars must not have come out yet. R2D2 would have been a better name. Have you thought of changing your name? R2D2 is much more hip, Rg. Get with the times.

It isn't so much racial as it is deliciously ironic. Mr. Patterson served four years in the AZ legislature during the administration of J. Fife Symington the Third. He not only voted to support the entire J. Fife agenda, he wrote a fair amount of it.

He now labels Eddie Basha, who lost to Symington in 1994, a "liberal icon." Basha isn't a liberal. I'm not sure if there is anyone in Arizona politics who even could be labeled a liberal icon. Possibly Morris Udall and Bruce Babbitt, but they're icons from decades ago.

Now Mr. Patterson Bashes the Bashas by deriding their support for improving education in this state and by falsely accusing them of defaulting on their debts. We won't even mention the grievous damage the J. Fife administration inflicted on education in Arizona. Instead, let's discuss those who default on the debts and those who don't.

J. Fife Symington the Third, RgP. Remember him? Well known to us all for paying off his debts in a timely fashion. Except when he didn't. He took down Southwest Savings and Loan with his shenanigans, stuck the taxpayers of the United States of America for the bill, and then robbed a union pension fund by lying to them when he borrowed their money. Good old J. Fife. How I miss him. I loved it when he was on the front page of the AZ Repub after he filed for bankruptcy. "I've lost everything." Standing in front of his mansion in Paradise Valley after eating a breakfast prepared by his own personal chef, waiting for the chauffeur to take his children off to the most expensive and exclusive private school in the state. How I loved J. Fife the Third.

Deal with the facts Rg. Bashas is hardly the only business to struggle and file for bankruptcy during the Bush Depression. The fact that they're coming out of bankruptcy and paying their debts. Insulting me does not alter the facts. False accusations are false accusations.

Did J. Fife ever pay back any of the money he stole?

And one more hard question, Rg. Are you a birther? Or is that a racial question?

RgP, that's a nice logical exercise but Greg should provide some empirical evidence that middle class families are the primary beneficiaries of First Things First. He hasn't.

Robert Woodman,

Please keep in mind that some of us who post here were born in Arizona. As such the AZ Sec of State could simple ask the Office of Vital Statistics at the AZ Dept of Health Services for a copy of our birth certificate. Nowadays they could probably just access the database directly. What's your point?

Wow, R-Dub. Here's your quote, m'man:

"It must be an interesting world to live in when you've never actually met a liberal or talked to one longer than two minutes. Ditto for African Americans and Hispanics."

Nope, not racial.

As for the rest of your diatribe, are you sure you mean to be arguing with me? You're arguing against points I never made.

At Least Mr. Woodman proved he's a liberal, by using name calling as a discussion point, not to mention strawmen and guilt by association.

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