Speaker Tobin & Trustee Tobin
Tobin Addresses Falsehoods
(Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives – Andy Tobin)
Written by Andy Tobin
Monday, 20 August 2012 18:06
Tobin Addresses Falsehoods
Speaker Andy Tobin responds to many of the attacks hurled against him.
As a member of the Tea Party and a frequent speaker at most Yavapai Tea Party events, I felt the need to at least provide the internet “Distribution Community” with facts so that they may judge me with all the detail available.
Unfortunately, many of the circulations have no signature or may even have a person who is paid to coordinate such attacks. Accusers who don’t sign their name have little credibility if any, as sad as that is, it’s the world we live in.
1) Attack number one is I am pro-union.
In my 4 years in House Legislature leadership, we have passed at least 8 bills opposed by unions in Arizona. The one bill I am being attacked for is the same bill the House passed in 2011 that the Senate made sure exempted public safety unions. I suppose they had their reasons for exempting. I heard many Senators commented that many of the police and fire members are conservative, pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-business Republicans. I remember members speaking of the Arizona Fire fighters Association support for Sen Kyl over Mr. Petersen in 2006.
The Paycheck bill being discussed is and was opposed by former Senate President Russell Pearce. He drafted this when he was endorsed by the United Mesa Fire Fighters Association Union this year; clearly former member Russell Pearce still has influence with some members of the legislature.
“As everyone knows I am a staunch supporter of our Public Safety folks as I call them our Home Town Heroes. Let me remind my friends that I was the one that made sure that the needed tweaks to your retirement system was cautious and carefully crafted to save the system as we had reached a dangerous unfunded liability and put you and the other Arizona taxpayers at risk. I refused to give the House bills a hearing as they gutted our system and left 100’s of millions of liability for the taxpayer. Regarding the bills to thwart public safety association rights, after reviewing the bills targeting Police Officers and Fire Fighters, I concluded that the government has no business telling Public Safety Personnel where they can directly deposit their money. I am also very concerned when comes to the balance of governments fiduciary responsibility to maintain oversight and manage this system I am also concerned that such laws would constrain Public Safety personnel’s’ freedom of speech. As a staunch believer in our Constitution, I would not have supported these types of anti public safety and anti-free speech legislation.” Russell Pearce
I share this with you so you can have some sense of the fact that Senators, despite their vote and public perception, helped back off their “seat mates” votes when it made it to the House. I find it fascinating that scorecard groups can promote Russell Pearce, knowing about this position. They call him one of their chief conservatives and in fact award him Pro-Taxpayer designations, as they attack the entire House membership who didn’t even get to vote on this bill as amended. Of course, the House membership actually authored, debated and managed, this year alone, the Arizona Personnel Reform bill, the Arizona Consolidated Elections Bill and the Workers Compensation Reforms Bill. All four are House bills. All got signatures from the Governor and signed into law. All originating from the Arizona House of Representatives. Russell Pearce gets praised as a conservative even though he adamantly opposed the paycheck bill and accepted, if not sought out, a union endorsement. While the bill comes to the House short the 31 Republicans to pass it. All the while, Russell Pearce gets to oppose it, not work votes off the bill in the House.
It is true that my brother Brian had been President of the Arizona Fire Fighters Association. He also is on the pension board for Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). I grew up in a family of 6 children raised by a New York City Policeman and my mom, the daughter of Bronx County Assistant District Attorney. Irish Catholic and Republican, uncommon in NYC for sure. I love all my family and none of us are always in agreement. My wife and I don’t always agree either. I do, however, apologize to my brother that his service has been drawn into this political race. As an unwritten rule I don’t think campaigns, candidates or PAC’s should be using family. My brother supported and helped with the public pension reforms of 2011 despite some great pressures from many in the fire community that didn’t want to change much in retirement contributions. Brian saw the problem and agreed that employees needed to pay more of their fair share. I’m fairly certain he would have disagreed with me on the other 8 bills I passed that were not union supported. So much for nepotism. You can’t pick your family, but if I could, I would pick Brian Tobin as my brother for his integrity and love of our nation, God and his family. The truth is that my brother Brian Tobin and Russell Pearce agree that paycheck protection is bad law. Sadly the score card groups only hurt me and House member scores.
I don’t believe that the business community (including the Arizona, Phoenix, Prescott Chambers of Commerce, NFIB and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, to name a few) would have endorsed me if I were pro-union. None believe that I have been light on unions.
The person who I feel was most opposed by unions recently was Wes Gullet in his 2012 race for Phoenix Mayor. Thanks to Wes’ courage and the legislature, we passed Personnel Reform this year and the Consolidated Elections bill which were both opposed by unions. Both originated in the House. We passed business improvements to the worker’s compensation laws as well as protected our secret ballot with an initiative I helped walk through the legislature as Majority Whip (Save our Secret Ballot) and Pension Reform in 2011, etc. here.
Here’s a letter I received months ago from Wes Gullett:
“As Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and a long-time leader in the Republican Caucus, it’s hard to find anyone who’s been more involved in the Arizona Republican Agenda than Speaker Tobin. During his years of leadership, Andy spearheaded three years of balanced budgets, cut taxes, paid down the state’s debt and worked to grow jobs when Arizona needed most needed them.
“No one knows better the effects of unions on a conservative campaign than I. Andy Tobin fought for me in my race to become Mayor of Phoenix. Now I am hearing false accusations that Andy’s not tough enough on unions. Let’s set the record straight: Andy’s record on promoting our workforce and eliminating burdens put forth by the unions is second to none.
During his time in Leadership, the Legislature passed bills to guarantee secret ballot elections for Arizona workers, reform the state’s personnel system, protect the paychecks of union members (which, unfortunately, was thrown out by the Courts), protect non-union grocery stores and consolidate our elections so that unions don’t have an unfair advantage in city elections. Additionally, he was one of the prime architects of reforming Arizona’s pension system, much like Governor Walker did in Wisconsin. Only a negative, untruthful campaign would suggest Speaker Tobin is anything less than a stellar supporter of private enterprise and private sector job growth.
“Even the US Chamber of Commerce awarded their annual Institute for Legal Reform State Leadership Award to Speaker Tobin this year. The last winner of that award was none other than Governor Scott Walker himself. Does that sound like someone who’s not tough on unions?
“Andy’s leadership and love for our state has helped Arizona recover from its recent recession. He came to office when Arizona needed him most. We still do.
Personally, I and many Republicans see our public safety folks as heroes. I spoke about 911 in the Utube below.
I disagree with many of the union policies and my record clearly shows how much I have led to curtail unions in Arizona. However, my members were clear that this bill didn’t have their support to tell our public safety people to annually renew their dues. I immediately pressed ahead on personnel reform which passed, and consolidated elections, which also passed. I support Gov. Walker; I made a modest contribution to him. I wrote to all my congressional delegation to support a national effort to have all states become “right to work” just like Arizona.
The claims that I bullied Rep Ugenti with Rep Stevens as a witness are flat out lies. I spoke to Rep Ugenti and Rep. Stevens about this “tall tale” and both say it never happened. These kinds of intentional lies should be tracked down and apologies made. It’s so absurd, I was contemplating not even addressing it but felt you should know to call them.
2) Attack number 2. I held the Sen Judy Burgess UN Bill.
This is also absurd and both Judy Burgess and the Arizona Tea Party liaison to the capital have written denouncing such stupidity in transmitting this kind of lie.
“Good morning friends and neighbors:
“This is Senator Judy Burges and I just received a text message from Speaker Andy Tobin that several stories about SB1507 United Nations Rio declaration; prohibition are being circulated. SB 1507 was heard in Judiciary by Chairman Eddie Farnsworth on March 15, 2012 (6 yes, 2 no, 1 absent) SB 1507 passed Rules Chaired by Representative Jerry Weiers on March 26, 2012 (5Y to 4N) Representative Bob Robson being the no Republican vote; Speaker Tobin a Yes. SB 1507 was heard in Republican Caucus March 27, 2012. SB 1507 was due to be heard in Committee of the Whole on April 17, 2012; I do believe that I asked to have it held on that day. SB 1507 was heard in Committee of the Whole and discussed April 25, 2012, where Judiciary Chairman, Eddie Farnsworth, did a masterful job of debating the bill.
“After polling the Republican caucus, I found that we did not have sufficient votes to get the bill passed. We had 40 Republican legislators in the house. I could lose 9 votes but not 10 as it takes 31 votes to get a bill passed out of the house. I then asked that the bill be held. In retrospect, I should have sent the bill to the floor for a vote as it would have put those who would not support SB1507 on record.
“I do hope that this clears up everyone’s concerns with regard to SB1507.
“Sen Judy Burgess”
Hello fellow patriots,
As Legislative Liaison VP for the AZ Tea Party Patriots Association (ATPPA), it is my responsibility to represent many of the views of independent tea party groups at the legislature with the Members and in return, carrying their Bills back to the Tea Party’s to gather input and possible support for their legislation.
In the last legislative session of 2012, SB 1507, the United Nations Rio declaration; prohibition, or better known as Agenda 21, was a Bill that most tea parties wanted to see passed. Even today, 4 months after the Bill never did see the light of day for a Third and final vote on the House floor, the Bill seems to still be receiving some unwarranted notoriety. It has come to my attention, that Speaker Andy Tobin has received emails regarding the “holding” of SB 1507 from consideration & vote on the House floor. This is incorrect information that is being circulated and needs to be corrected.
As a brief history, Senate Bill 1507 was introduced into the Senate by Senator Judy Burges on January 31, 2012. I continually monitored the progression of the Bill through the Senate and its passing on the Senate floor on March 1, 2012 by a vote of 21-9-0.
It was then sent to the House on the same date, March 1, 2012 to be Introduced and read for the first time in the House. The Bill was quickly assigned to the House JUD and Rules Committees, and subsequently passed by a vote of 6-2-0-1-0 on March 15, 2012 and by a vote of 5-4-0-0-0 on March 26, 2012, respectively. Chairman Eddie Farnsworth heard the Bill in JUD, while Chairman Jerry Weiers heard the Bill in Rules and neither time did Speaker Andy Tobin hold the Bill from being heard. As a matter of fact, Speaker Tobin voted in favor of passing SB 1507 in the Rules Committee.
On March 27, 2012, SB 1507 passed both the Majority caucus and the Minority caucus in the House, again with no hold on the Bill.
As the Bill was ready to be sent to the COW (Committee of the Whole) for a reading on April 17, 2012, it is my understanding that Senator Burges asked the Bill to be held. Finally, on April 25, 2012, JUD Chairman Eddie Farnsworth debated SB 1507 on the House Floor before the COW with a remarkable presentation of the facts.
When Senator Burges realized that the Bill was lacking about 10 votes for passage of SB 1507, she made the decision to hold the Bill and pull it before it came to a vote. This decision was solely based on Senator Burges and not that of Speaker Andy Tobin. The Bill was subsequently never brought to a vote and the session ended.
This history of SB 1507 is reminiscent of many different Bills that find its way through the halls of the AZ legislature. In this particular case, with the failure to secure the needed votes for passage, it was the call of the Sponsor of the Bill not to bring the Bill to a vote; and did not mean that it was influenced or held by others in the legislature. Whatever emails, letters, or communications being circulated about Speaker Tobin holding SB 1507 from being heard in Committee or on the floor, are false.
Legislative Liaison VP for ATPPA
3) Attack number 3. I’m avoiding debates.
I’ve never missed a debate or forum in 4 campaigns including this year. I believe the debates plays to my strength as a public speaker and welcomed all opportunities.
And in speaking of a debate scheduled for August 13, Klein said, “Andy has chickened out. He has not wanted to come anywhere where I am to debate because – they even cancelled the PC meetings for the LD1 and the party because he doesn’t want my story out to you all and to the Republican base… I’m almost getting ready to put out a wanted poster…”
Regarding the cancellation of the LD 1 Precinct meetings, the Chairman of the Yavapai Republican Party, Malcolm Barrett, Jr. sounded astonished at the accusation, and replied, “What??? That’s pathetic. We delayed, postponed, changed the date of the Precinct Committee meeting from August to September because all the new precinct committeemen are going to be seated at the primary election and canvassed by the Board the first week of September. We thought it important to canvass the new committeemen and swear them in immediately after the election to prepare for the general election.”
So did Tobin request the postponement of the meeting? “That’s silly,” Barrett replied. “Absolutely not.”
Finally, as for that debate that she said Speaker Tobin was going to chicken out of? He was there in person, and partiipated fully – with no apparent fear.
Read more: Lori Klein Disdains ‘Chamber of Communists’
4) Attack number 4. My participation in fundraising in Republican Senate primaries.
I have never fundraised for a Senate or House Republican PAC that invested in primary race. Period. Rep Fillmore knows. He wrote,
“Andy I’m not upset at you this is just politics. Steve Pierce put you in those sites I’m just sorry you were there.. I wish you a lot of luck. I’m sorry we had this divide to be come between us I will not hold anger when I’m serving in the senate. I have not accumulated what I have in life by letting people push me around it will never happen JMF”
Then Steve Twist the Chairman of the House victory Fund wrote a letter to Rep John Fillmore. It verifies Tobin’s role.
“Good afternoon! I’m writing to you as the Chairman of the Republican House Victory Committee. There has been some confusion created by recent references to the House Committee on campaign materials being used in Senate primary races. I want you to have the facts.
“The House Committee exists exclusively to promote the election of Republicans to the House in the general election. It does not spend money in Senate races. Moreover, it does not spend money in primary campaigns.
“Recently, a different Committee–which focuses on the State Senate–mailed campaign fliers in a Senate primary. The disclosure on the mailers listed the Republican House Victory Committee. This disclosure was triggered only by the fact that some time ago the House Committee transferred back to the Senate Committee leftover funds from a prior election cycle that were being held in the House fund. This transfer back to the Senate fund was done because the funds were originally raised for the Senate. Indeed, the only reason for the transfer was to return Senate-focused funds to their original purpose.
“The return of the funds to the Senate Committee triggered the technical reporting requirement. The unfortunate result is a disclosure statement that is confusing. The Republican House Victory Committee has never consulted concerning any specific communications. The House Committee policy of not participating in primary elections remains unchanged.
I’m sure more misstatements are likely. ‘Tis the season. I show obvious clear evidence of misinformation being transmitted. I am not perfect, no one is. I will answer to the voters for my record, not the fabrications and idiocy that has been getting circulated.
It easy for people to send out their form of hate. It’s easier today than it’s ever been. It’s expensive of course and most hurtful. This is a tough business. I’m good with folks attacking me on facts; they should include confirmation of their facts. Sen Murphy recently sent out a letter opposing me. I disagree with his assessment, but at least he’s on record for his opinion.
So, in conclusion, I think we have vocal anonymous people who don’t support me. That’s part of life, I’m ok with it. But I am disappointed that they are attempting to co-opt the Tea Party movement whose support I have always enjoyed. I am nervous that these same people have reduced the enthusiasm of the Tea Party process that we actually had in 2010. I will work tirelessly in September to register Republicans and campaign for our Republican majority. The hate of some and their unending reach for an ever changing “purity” in their political agenda leaves a small but loud group costing the Republican movement an awful lot of money to fight each other.
I believe we can have a large tent of fiscal conservatives, many peaceful religions, many social convictions and less attacking.