URGENT ACTION ITEM BELOW
20 April 2011
To all Arizona Taxpayers and Tea Partiers:
Thanks largely to your grassroots efforts during the past two months, the Arizona Legislature passed Senate Bill 1322, the municipal managed competition reform bill! (The final vote took place at 4:00 am this morning in the Senate–AFP Arizona lobbyists Tom Jenney, Dave Kopp and John Wentling were there to make sure it happened!)
The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Jan Brewer. The good news is that Gov. Brewer has some good policy people on her staff, and she has showed some interest in introducing private-sector competition into government services–as demonstrated by her creation of the Council on Privatization and Efficiency (COPE). The bad news is that Gov. Brewer is under intense pressure to kill the reform from government-worker unions, many city council members, and some business lobbyists.
(Below is an explanation of why those interest groups oppose SB 1322.)
Please call and email Governor Brewer TODAY and ask her to sign SB 1322 and promote competitive reform of city government services.
To send Gov. Brewer an email, use her web contact page:
To contact Brewer’s policy staff, send emails to Page Gonzales (firstname.lastname@example.org), Eileen Klein (email@example.com), Michael Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Don Hughes (email@example.com).
The phone numbers for Gov. Brewer’s office are (602) 542-1361 and (602) 542-4331
When you email and call Brewer’s office, please tell her you are a taxpayer and you want to see city governments become more efficient. Be sure to put the phrase “Gov. Brewer, please support SB 1322” in the subject line and in the body of your email.
For a one-page pdf flyer you can print and give to your neighbors/precinct residents, use this link:
Who Opposes Making City Services More Efficient?
1) Government-worker unions. Government-worker unions oppose competitive bidding because they do not want to compete on a level playing field (in terms of their salary-and-benefit packages) with private enterprise to provide city services. In Fiscal Year 2010, the City of Phoenix paid its average worker a salary, benefit, and overtime package of $97,707. That was up from $83,231 in FY 2007–a 17-percent increase in just three short years, at a time when private-sector workers were suffering pay cuts and layoffs in the worst recession since the 1930s. Private-sector workers in Phoenix are lucky to have salary-and-benefit packages in the range of $50,000. Here is a link to a table from the City of Phoenix showing recent compensation increases for city workers: http://tinyurl.com/phxpayhikes
2) Gutless city politicians. SB 1322 would actually make the jobs of pro-taxpayer city council members much easier, by encouraging cities to achieve savings through efficiencies. In an important sense, SB 1322 actually would create more local control—more control for local taxpayers over their own wallets and bank accounts. By taking some power away from the union machines that tend to dominate City Hall, and by reducing city spending, the SB 1322 reform will actually empower city taxpayers against the local governments that are continually forcing tax hikes and fee increases on them. But most city politicians (other than heroes such as Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio) are too afraid to take on the union machines, which are very powerful in low-turnout city elections taking place in odd-numbered years. The result is that many of those politicians have taken public stances against SB 1322.
3) Crony Capitalists. Some businesses have sweetheart contracts with city governments and other governments that were not awarded under a truly open, competitive bidding process. If SB 1322 passes, those “crony capitalists” in Phoenix and Tucson will not be able to rely on cozy political relationships and campaign contributions to win contracts. To quote the actual language of SB 1322, the crony capitalists will be forced to compete to provide services at the “highest quality, lowest cost and most reliable performance.”
More Information about SB 1322
Please go to this URL for an explanation of the benefits of Senate Bill 1322, which would require Arizona cities with populations of 500,000 or more (Phoenix and Tucson) to open up city services to competition from the private sector: http://tinyurl.com/nolegsleft
For a fact sheet exposing various myths about SB 1322, go here: http://tinyurl.com/sb1322myths