Thursday, May 14, 2009

Priorities. Gotta have priorities.

And the AZ lege and governor, fine public servants one and all (OK, not really :) ) are showing that they have them.

Unfortunately for the people who hired them by electing them, the priorities of those alleged public servants ("alleged" because they are innocent until proven guilty of the charge, and the only existing evidence is that they cash public paychecks. There's no evidence that they actually *earn* those public paychecks), don't include the protection of public services.

Private services, and the personal business income of legislators? Those are things worthy of protection, though.

From's Political Insider (emphasis mine) -
Despite talk that Gov. Jan Brewer would call a special session this afternoon, she has yet to do so and her staff says she won't. At least, she won't today.

The special session would clear the way for legislators to pass a bill correcting the state's school-voucher programs.

In 2006, state lawmakers created two voucher programs aimed at disabled students and students living with foster families. But the progams were a source of contention from the start, and the Arizona Supreme Court in March ruled the programs unconstitutional because they violate a ban against using public money for private or religious schools.


Now, Republican lawmakers - led by state Rep. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler - plan legislation that would tweak the programs to get around the court ruling.

Why the special session? Why the rush? Yarbrough told the Insider that he and bill advocates want to get the measure passed and signed into law early next week so it can be implemented before students return to school in August.

Yarbrough's response concerning his motivation for the rush on the bill may be true (he wants the money to be flowing to private and religious schools by the start of the next school year), but it's also woefully incomplete.

What Yarbrough doesn't mention is that he is the head of the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, an organization dedicated to funnelling public money away from public schools and toward private and religious schools.

He profits from vouchers and tax credits (he drew $96K in salary alone according to ACSTO's 2007 IRS filing; not sure what kind of commission plan he is on, though).

Something tells me that this move is more about Yarbrough's personal income than it is about any public interest.

Jen at Mindless Mumblings Of A Martyr Mom has been doing a lot of research into Yarbrough and his STO (here, here, and here). A visit to her site is worth your time if you are looking for more in-depth info on this topic.


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