Republicans are people too. Mean people with bad ideas. Part I

25 Mar 2009 09:10 pm
Posted by: Donna

I got a copy of a 12 page memo suggesting various cuts to state programs.  It looks like some kind of brainstorming session where GOP legislators blurted out whatever rude thing they’d been thinking but wasn’t suitable to say in public….oh hell what am I saying?  They’ve never been shy about expressing their rude thoughts.  But now they’re running the joint and it’s full speed ahead with their scheme to turn Arizona into a big old suck-fest in the desert.    There’s so much horror in this thing that I’m going to have to do a series of posts about it for the edification of the Diva-sphere.

On page 1, under “Agency/Program” are these gems: 

Limit the amount of administrative costs for all not profits who administer programs for the state. No one can get tax dollars unless 90% of the money they collect from all sources goes toward the clients. I think we are funding a whole lot of community organizations and non profits instead of funding programs.

Oh come on, just say ACORN. You know you want to. Conservatives appear to be remarkably ignorant of the symbiotic relationship between the government and non-profits. When times are bad contributions to charities go down. Which means that’s the worst time to cut government aid to them because they get overwhelmed with requests for assistance.  But what do they care?   Behold:

Look at boards and commissions. What does the Governor’s office on women and children really do?

Cut advertising budgets for agencies. For example any ads running the the AG [or] other elected officials. Also cut ads running for such things as drug prevention or smoking prevention Advertising is expensive. We can live without TV and radio ads for a while.

Oh oh (raises hand) I have an idea! You could, you know, like, ask the commissions what they do. You could even go to one of those open meetings that they have.  And I guess that the reasoning behind cutting out ads for drug and smoking prevention is…um…because when you get laid off from your job smoking and using drugs is a fun way to pass the time? Sheesh, it’s not like we have a meth problem or a big Mexican drug smuggling operation going on here or anything.

Wait…I get it now.

Drug testing fro [sic] TANF.

More petty cruelty:

Eliminate individual living stipend.

TANF: If illegal living in household, no benefits

I’m assuming they mean the stipend to children aging out of the foster care system. Then again, those kids can undoubtedly find excellent entrepreneurial opportunities in meth production or drug cartels.  And hey, kid who lives in a house with an undocumented immigrant, maybe your stomach wouldn’t be growling like that if you’d have just called INS on your mom.

They hate Healthy Families. So much they had to mention it twice.

Scrap Healthy Families – their mission is handled by First Things First.

Eliminate Healthy Families Arizona Program.

Same with older people. And art. And art for older people. Or maybe old art?

Early retirement for highly paid employees.

Eliminate Council on Aging

Aging commission on arts – eliminate

Other stuff they want to axe (italics mine):

Domestic Partner Benefits (I’m so sure saving money is the impetus behind that. So sure.)

Scrap licensing for massage therapist [sic] and all admin costs for that license and any other non-essential license (Nothing could possibly go wrong with letting unlicensed people be massage therapists.)

Eliminate Office of Equal Opportunity (Who couldn’t see that one coming?)

Eliminate Arizona Commission on African American Affairs (That one either.)

Eliminate State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners (Again, what could go wrong?)

Eliminate Arizona State Boxing Commission (This is getting redundant.)

Put parks issue under tourism and do away with the board (What? You thought parks were for people who live here or something?)

Tomorrow, I’ll post some of their awesome thoughts on cities/counties and the prisons. 


  1. Comment by native on March 25, 2009 9:31 pm

    Fantastic! Brilliant ideas. Beautiful display of cowardice. Let’s start by recalling every single member of the legislature that signed Grover Norquists’ “No Tax Pledge” before the session even began. Seems to me they abdicated the duties of the job (and their branch of government) on signing up. They may succeed yet in their goal of drowning us in the bathtub.
    Can’t wait to see your next installment! More good news, no doubt.

  2. Comment by Dana on March 25, 2009 10:09 pm

    I think this is their way of doing away with Government. I like the one that teachers have to pay for the sub. I guess since they get paid so well and are constantly exposed to germs that if they do get sick they should have to pay for the person to come in and teach the kids. Maybe if they are sick they should just be sent home with homework and their parents can teach them for the day.
    Excellent job, I can’t wait for them to come up with the budget since they have blocked anyone with ideas to participate in a healthy discussion.

  3. Comment by Krista on March 26, 2009 6:34 am

    What a brainstorming session! it’s scary – insight into how Republicans think AND how out-of-touch they are with helping people and families?

    Donna, your commentary is great. Keep it coming!

  4. Comment by Tiffany on March 26, 2009 8:40 am

    This all makes me a little sick to my stomach. My husband is a massage therapist. He spent a year in school to get his license. He is very knowledgeable about anatomy. I would hate to see him suddenly competing for work with someone who doesn’t have any schooling and just thinks it would be hot to get to rub naked girls for a living. Licensing is key to making sure that people are required to learn and held accountable. There are already enough “Massage therapists” on Craig’s list offering “erotic massage”. The only thing people can look at to know if someone is legit or not is the license.

  5. Comment by Katie on March 26, 2009 8:43 am

    Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!

    As a non-profit administrator, your first highlight is one that really jumps out at me. Non-profit organizations need some degree of administrative overhead to be effective. Sure you can get rid of all the admin costs, and then there will be no infrastructure to ensure that the programs the government is paying for are of any quality and produce the desired results. Oh, maybe that’s the point… silly me.

    Governor’s Office of Children Youth and Families. Um, for starters, they administer a whole crapload of federal dollars. But that’s ok, we don’t really need that money here.

    Healthy Families and FTF are totally different. The fact that they think they are the same shows a lack of willingness to even try to understand the benefit that is provided by either of these programs, or the millions of dollars they will save in the long run.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.

    This. Is. Just. So. Sad.

  6. Comment by todd on March 26, 2009 9:12 am

    The intellectual depths of the GOP on display.

    What is funny is there is no “Aging commission on arts” so they want to get rid of pretend agencies too.

    I also notice that the 10% overhead is that this is maximum that the Tuition Organizations, started to get around the prohibition of state money going to private and religious schools, can take.

  7. Comment by Dana on March 26, 2009 10:43 am

    What is amazing about this is how it came to be in the publics hands. The AZ Republic found out about it and requested it under the public documents request. This was never to get into the publics hands! This is all to telling! I started thinking it was a sick joke they were playing on us – to see what we would do and then say – Just kidding! My new favorite work is WOW! Second is Really?

  8. Comment by Donna on March 26, 2009 4:47 pm

    Katie, they don’t have to know. Being a Republican means never having to know what the f*ck you are talking about. Ever.

  9. Comment by Marie on March 26, 2009 11:54 pm

    Donna, it was pretty clear in Senate caucus earlier this week that they are mostly fed up with Domestic Violence providers. I’m sure there would be other casualties as well, but DV was the buzz word when it came to non-profit administration. I would provide a link but as we all know, they don’t broadcast or archive caucus in the Senate.

  10. Comment by Marie on March 27, 2009 12:02 am

    Sorry, a few other comments. I heard that this list was a compilation of the member’s ideas and public submissions. It would have behooved them to distinguish between the two because now they’ve just saved a whole mess of campaign hacks a ton of time searching for quotes that will look good on a glossy hit piece.
    Another note- the idea of requiring drug testing for TANF was already identified as unconstitutional by their own Rules attorney. Not that it matters- the House Rules attorney told that body in 2006 that ouchers were skating on thin ice, but they still decided to waste a bunch of our money fighting that court battle. Here’s an easy way to save the state money:
    “Listen to your Rules attorneys. They’ve actaully read the Constitution whereas all you’ve done with it lately is frame it and hang it on the wall.”

  11. Comment by Marie on March 27, 2009 12:03 am

    Dang it, that should read “vouchers,” not “ouchers.”
    Freudian slip I guess ;)

  12. Comment by Donna on March 27, 2009 8:10 pm

    Marie, it sure would have made it easier for snarky blogstresses like yours truly if they’d attributed the comments. As it is, I really think that the people who made them should be bold enough to own up to them.

  13. Comment by Taylor on April 3, 2009 9:39 am

    they already basically scrapped Healthy Families AZ. my wife worked for them but, because of the DES cuts, Healthy Families was forced to cut 75% of its budget across the state. my wife serviced central phoenix and her office was shut down. this is sad.

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