(Update) Kavanagh for the kleptocracy of the ‘Kochtopus’!


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I recently posted Kavanagh for the kleptocracy of the 'Kochtopus'!:

I am guessing that the Goldwater Institute "Kochtopus" Death Star is also behind this latest bill attacking the state employee pension system as well, sponsored by its waterboy, Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills). Lawmaker seeks to allow cuts in public pensions:

An Arizona lawmaker wants the state constitution amended to allow cuts to public employee pensions and increases in employee contributions if the systems are badly underfunded.

Republican Rep. John Kavanagh introduced a bill [HCR 2001 (.pdf)] that would refer the proposal to the voters. He said in an interview he is targeting automatic cost-of-living increases but acknowledged nothing in his proposal would prevent cuts to existing pensions.

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Kavanagh said that under his proposal, payouts from the state’s three major pension plans would have to be trimmed and contributions from employees and employers raised if reasonable accounting practices found cuts were needed.

“These decreases are only triggered when it’s necessary to maintain the health of the system,” he said. “If the system doesn’t need the cuts, you can’t do them.”

Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times recently went into greater detail of Kavanagh's ties to the "Kochtopus," Legislator John Kavanagh Could Teach Panhandlers a Few Tricks, Like How to Score a Free Trip to China:

State Representative John Kavanagh revels in his self-appointed role as the rightwinger Arizona lefties love most to hate.

Since recalled, disgraced former state Senate President Russell Pearce (Kavanagh's pal) was pounded into mainstream political irrelevance in 2011, Kavanagh's eclipsed his erstwhile mentor to become Sand Land's Lord Voldemort for liberals, dreaming up all kinds of ways to send those on the D-side into fits of apoplexy.

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Lately, he's been on a roll, twirling his mustache and doing his best Oil Can Harry.

In response to the scandal over Child Protective Services, its 6,500-plus un-investigated cases, and the consensus that more money needs to be allocated for such investigations, Kavanagh, with a gleam in his eye, informed various television reporters that the solution was simple: Raid a state fund that provides grants for early-childhood health and education, shave off 25 percent of its budget, and give it to CPS.

The idea went over like a boxcar of lead, particularly since Governor Jan Brewer brags about how the state has a nearly $1 billion surplus.

The mere fact that Kavanagh, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, wanted to rob one set of needy kids to help another set, rather than use any surplus cash or, God forbid, raise rich folks' (or anyone's) taxes, offers an indication of just how black Kavanagh's little black heart really is.

Kavanagh's latest genius idea deals with the horrific societal scourge of over-aggressive panhandling. Of course, you'll be hard-pressed to find an actual mendicant in Fountain Hills, home of the aged and the monied and where Kavanagh lives with his wife, Linda, who happens to be mayor of the burg.

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As panhandling is protected speech, Kavanagh wants to regulate it, preventing poor people from soliciting within 15 feet of an ATM or bank entrance and within 10 feet of a bus stop. Amusingly, Kavanagh felt the need to write in an exception for the bus driver asking for a prospective rider's fare.

House Bill 2024 also would prohibit begging if the beggar touches the beggee, follows the beggee, obstructs the beggee, or "[continues] to solicit the person after the person being solicited has clearly communicated a request that the solicitation stop."

First time is a petty offense; subsequent violations, a class-three misdemeanor.

Kavanagh told Capitol Media Services that the bill still allows people to "ply their First Amendment right to bum money from someone else."

He should know because Kavanagh can bum with the best of them in the Legislature, a veritable Parliament of Panhandlers.

This year, Kavanagh's looking to move over to the state Senate, and his campaign finance filing for January reads like a who's who of lobbyists, lawyers, and special interests.

Everyone from the Gila River Indian Community to Turf Paradise owner Jerry Simms to SRP lobbyist Russell Smoldon to attorney Jordan Rose to onetime Phoenix mayoral hopeful Wes Gullett to lawyer Don Isaacson.

There are political committees aplenty kickin' in dough for Kavanagh: the Arizona Dental PAC, Freeport McMoran's PAC, PFIZER's PAC, the Arizona Pharmacy Association, the Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona, Pinnacle West's PAC, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, yadda yadda yadda.

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See, when political panhandlers beg for campaign cash, they don't stand near freeway exits.

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A report issued last year titled "ALEC in Arizona" and sponsored by Common Cause and People for the American Way, found Kavanagh to be one of the many state legislators who has accepted ALEC gifts ranging from $175 to $1,448 over the years.

There's nothing illegal about this. Legislators are required to list the source of any such gifts of more than $500 in their annual financial-disclosure forms to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, though they don't have to give details.

Kavanagh has complied with this requirement. The last one he filed, in January 2013, listed gifts from ALEC, as well as from a group I was unfamiliar with, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

According to the website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the People's Republic of China, CPAFFC is one of China's major foreign-affairs organizations, founded in 1954, for the "promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between the Chinese people and other peoples throughout the world."

Kavanagh doesn't mention it on his disclosure form, but he recently confirmed to me that in 2012, the CPAFFC paid for him and his wife to visit three cities in China with other legislative leaders from other states.

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When I asked again whether CPAFFC had paid for the entire trip for himself and his wife, he answered, "Yes."

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[I]n our state parliament of bums, I wouldn't say Kavanagh is the biggest.

Though, if I were the reincarnation of dreaded Wisconsin U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy, I might observe that the People's Republic of China technically still is communist, and Kavanagh took a trip financed by an arm of a commie government.

I know, I know. In our crazy world, Chinese communists are actually state-backed capitalists. Just like the ones on Wall Street.

To be honest, I wouldn't begrudge Kavanagh the trip at all, were it not for his penchant for targeting the poor.

Kavanagh is a class warrior for the kleptocracy of the "Kochtopus." His latest ignorant statement to appeal to the anti-public education GOP crazy base was reported by Howard Fischer on Sunday. Arizona spends too much sending too many to college, lawmaker says. Several of the bloggers who post here are working on a post in response, so I do not want to step on their posts.


  1. His statement reminds me of the line in “Amadeus”, when the brain dead emperor Joseph says to Mozart that the work has too many notes. And Mozart asks precisely which notes should he take out. I would ask the Emperor John, precisely which students are the ones that are too many in college in this State? I would say who wasted their taxpayers’ money paying for Kavanagh’s education. It sure did not take. Kavanagh’s mantra should be, Arizona, we’uns are dumber than shit and proud of it.

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