Category Archives: Arizona

2014 Arizona Technology Council Gubernatorial Debate wrap-up.

Today I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Arizona Technology Council Gubernatorial Debate.  It also was a business mixer for the first little part.  It turned out to be a fun and informative event. 2014-07-09 16.30.45

During the event they had a large screen were people could tweet about the event and they would show all the tweets live and the candidates could read the live feedback during the event.  I was active on the tweet stream, look up hashtag #aztcgovs to see what was said.

There were a few surprises, the first and most shocking surprise was that Doug Ducey canceled at the last minute, many people there wanted to see what he had to say but he was a no show, a lot of people mentioned it on the twitter roll. The next thing that surprised everyone was how friendly the candidates were to each other, it was mentioned a few times that they all had deep respect for each other.  GOP heavys Joe Hobbs and Wes Harris were both there working the room for Frank Riggs.  There were also a group of folks trying to get the word out on Diane Douglas and how she is against common core, I agree with Diane on this issue, and was glad to see them there.

Education was one of the main topics of the night. All four of the Republicans were against common core. Scott Smith said that we needed to raise the bar, higher better teachers and challenge students, a lofty goal but no way on how to do it. Ken Bennett said that we needed to focus on the lowest 5% of schools each year and bring them to average and that if we did that for 4 years we would be one of the top states in the United States.  He also said we should allocate the funds for teachers separately from other district funds so that they get paid directly and get paid more. When asked about school connectivity most of them did not seem educated on the issue and just said that it was needed.  Only Christine Jones seemed to know that 150M was already given for this task and that this amount of money is more than enough to connect every school in the state that was not connected.  It is just that the government bureaucrats don’t have a clue how to do it so all of the money goes wasted.  Multiple GOP candidates said that we need to copy what is working in our best schools and push it out to all schools. Fred DuVal says that we need to throw much more money at the problem of lack of education, and that Common Core is the solution we have been looking for so that our kids can compete in a global marketplace.  I can’t see how dumbing down our schools will help us compete globally, and if money was the answer to educational problems then we would have no more problems. We waste way too much money, and more money just leads to more waste. Fred DuVal ended his talk about education talking about Khan Academy, but he had all of his facts wrong, he said that Salman Khan founded it for his kids, but he has no kids, he founded for his cousin, he also said he sold it to Bill Gates, also wrong, Bill Gates donated $1Million (Pocket change for him, but still a good thing.)  Google has donated at least double that amount.  Fred if you want to use something as an example then get your basic facts straight.

Next they talked about the small business climate. Ken Bennett talked about how we need to remove the personal property tax on businesses, this is a tax that most states don’t have but kills many businesses here in AZ.  It is where you need to pay taxes each year on the equipment that your business owns, such as servers or computers, or machines that make stuff.  This tax is one of the main reasons that many manufacturers choose not to locate here. Removing this law is vital, and Ken Bennett was the only one that addressed it.  Christine Jones talked about all the different rules that small businesses need to address at different levels of government and how it must be streamlined, that businesses need to focus on what they do to make money not dealing with the government, this is something I have said all along.  She also said she will be like Rick Perry of Texas and make it her job to personally call on large businesses to get them to move here.  Scott Smith focused on his history in Mesa of attracting Apple and helping turn around the williams airport and other things.  Frank Riggs says he will personally chair the Arizona Commerce Authority and that will be his prime focus.  He also said that the government is not in the job of choosing winners and losers and he would be against it making grants or loans to businesses and would be against angel investor tax breaks or any rules to make it easier for Venture Capitalists to do business here.   Christine Jones and Ken Bennett both pointed out how these tax breaks and easier rules have generated many times more money for the state than if we did not have them and that they would be in favor of renewal.  Fred DuVal said these grants and tax breaks need to be expanded.  He also said that we should embrace Common Core.

When asked about the EPA and Fed overreach all 5 of them were against it, Scott Smith was strong on how bad the EPA is and that shutting down NGS will replace a small air pollution problem with a Major water pollution problem, because NGS gets us fresh water.  He also said that they simply don’t understand how dusty Arizona is.  He has even gone the the EPA in person in Washington to talk about this.  Ken Bennett segwayed this into other forms of Fed overreach such as his case with them about ID at the Polls.  Fred DuVal waffled a bit, saying that some of EPA things are bad but some are good and that we need to embrace a Cap and Trade system.

The final question was about Arizona’s image in the rest of the nation.  Fred DuVal was quick to pounce on how awful it was, he focused on the 1062 problem.  The others had good ideas how to make it even better, and how to reduce taxes to bring more businesses.  One of them, I forget which one, said that we are in the new a lot because we are a thought leader on a lot of these issues and that others look to us to follow us.  I liked that idea.

Final Wrap Up

2014-07-09 16.42.43After attending this event this is my order of who I would vote for from these 5.

1. Christine Jones, she had obvious passion for doing this, she knew the right things to say and was able to point out the quick and easy solution to many problems.  She mentioned how she helped create many of the rules that govern the internet and how she has worked for years making it free. The negative about her is that she has not been in politics and likely will have trouble dealing with bureaucratic minded politicians, because they are just illogical in their actions.  I did love how she ended her closing remarks about going to “ChristineJones.com, proudly regestered for over 10 years with GoDaddy.com”  I liked that.  She did point out that she is the only one that does not owe favors to any political group.  I personally like the lack of government experience, we need fresh ideas, and they need to come from the top.  Before today she was maybe my 4th or 5th pick from the GOP field, she really has improved from the meetings from last year that we both were at.

2. Ken Bennett, he understands the system and how Arizona politics works, probably more than any of them, he did not seem to have as much passion but after 30+ of these events, with many days having 2 or more, I can see why.  He is a small business guy, and understands change and progress. He said all the right things, had researched positions and would be a great leader for our state.  I almost gave him first place, it was only because of Christine’s passion that I did not.

3. Scott Smith, he told a lot of jokes, was really friendly and his experience as mayor of Mesa has given him some executive experience.  He seems like a nice guy.  I don’t know how well he will work in a large organization like the state government.  He did say he will fight the feds about the EPA.

4. Frank Riggs is a very conservative guy, he also seems like he would be very rigid.  He seems like the guy who’s supporters will tear him up if he compromises on the smallest detail, the problem with that is there is no way to get things done with that attitude.  He did have a good point that he served in the Federal government and that experience would help him work with the Feds.  He also introduced the idea of a  Consumption tax, and he said that such a thing would level the playing fields from out of state businesses selling into Arizona, and eliminate the black market.  I have no idea what he means, or how this would work, and how can someone want a new massive tax and still look for Tea Party support, I don’t get it.  On the positive note he was very nice to me and was the only one I was able to talk to for a few minutes.

5. Fred DuVal supports Common Core, Cap and Trade, and spending a ton more money on education, he has spent years working in the Clinton-Gore administration. He mentioned multiple times about how he would work hard to promote marriage equality and pass laws making all sexual orientations equal.  He is likely going to be popular with those in college and those who have been brainwashed by our liberal school system.  He is the only one here that will for sure be on the General Election Ballot, but lucky for us we are such a red state that I doubt he will have much of a chance.

All in all it was a great event, people were cordial to each other, and I was among friends, knowing many of the people there from other Arizona Tech Council events and AZGOP events.

UPDATE:  They just posted the video of the event.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPwZxj8ZP4o

Do you know any good Republicans who want to make a difference?

Step up and Run for Office!

Did you know that there are 16 Seats for the house and Senate that there is not even a Republican running for here in Arizona.  Out of 90 over 60 are already Republican and we could take a few more away if people ran.

The good news is that there is still time for some good people to step up and fill these spots.  All they need to do is fill out a simple form and they will be a write in candidate.  Once they hold the August primary election they will be the Republican Candidate because no one else is running.  Then they will be on the November ballot for the General Election.  All 16 of these seats are in areas that have more Democrats than Republicans, but this year the Democrat base is discouraged and the Republican base is energized and will vote to make sure Obama does not get back into the White House.  this will give a 10-15% boost to Republican Candidates.

If the area you live in is currently full it is too late to run, but PLEASE do step 1 2 and 5 below to become active in the party.

People Currently Running.

There are two openings for the house in each area and two for the senate. Go to the Sec of State Office website for full listing.  CLICK HERE   If you run, even if you don’t win you will have a chance to get your views out and to give Republican voters a real choice in the election.  It is so discouraging as a republican to go to the polls and not be able to vote on an important position.

Map of LD’s

You will need to know where you live to see if you, or someone you know lives in an area that has an open seat. These are the updated Maps.
CLICK HERE FOR MAPS (Look at LD Maps not CD ones)

 

Now lets get started…

  • Step 1 Register as Republican if not already, go to servicearizona.com to do it.
  • Step 2 Fill out this form to be a Precinct Committeeman. DOWNLOAD FORM HERE, Print, Notarize, then send to Maricopa County. This is ONLY the form for Maricop County.  This form is due on June 13th at 5PM.  You don’t NEED to be a PC but it is HIGHLY suggested.  After June 13th you can not be an elected PC anymore but you can be an appointed one.  To be appointed you must contact your LD Chairman.  An appointed PC does not get a vote at the meetings in January and can not be a State Committeeman, but is the same otherwise.
  • Step 3 Fill out this form for write in candidate. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION  According to the Sec of State Website the deadline is July 19, 2012 to file, but I would suggest that you file ASAP.  You will also need to open a Campaign Committee to file your finance records, this is rather simple and is free, like everything else.
  • Step 4 Go to county recorder and file forms and create campaign, they will also give you a quick walk-through of what is needed to do everything correctly.
  • Step 5 Call the AZGOP office at 602-957-7770 and ask for the information about the leader of your district, they will give you their phone number if they have it.  Call this person and then ask about when and where they meet.  Also ask them for help in running.  They will let you speak during these meetings to get more help.
  • Step 6 Start Running for Office, decide on where you stand on all the issues, educate yourself, talk to people in your district, talk to other leaders, make a website (I can help you with that if you call me at 602-579-4919), make a press release to the media (The more local the more likely they will publish it)
  • Step 7 Raise Money.  You have two choices, either you can run “Traditional” which means that you can use your own money and family money in unlimited amounts and you can get donations up to $420 or so from Citizens to help you run.  You also can try for “Clean Elections” funds, if you choose this you need to get 200 different people to give you $5 each and fill out a form, once you do that you will receive about $13,000 or so State Government.  You can not use your own money or get donations over $5 per person.  In both cases you will need to track and document every penny that you spend.
  • Step 8 Win the Primary and keep running
  • Step 9 Win the General Election
  • Step 10 Take office and start making a difference, defending freedom and making our state better.

Good luck.  I already have one person who wants to run in LD19.  In case you were wondering in 2010 Don Shooter of Yuma followed this exact path to make is way to the state Senate, and now he is running for Re-Election.

If this page inspires you to run please call me at 602-579-4919 or add Jason Dragon on Facebook, I would like to know if this helps anyone.

Arizona Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

Many people have been asking me recently about Credit Card debt and the statute of limitations on it.  This the the amount of time that a bank can used the legal system and sue a customer to collect a debt.  After this time they can only ask but not use the legal system.  It is a complex issue here in Arizona because for many years it has always been Three years but recently things have changed the Arizona State Legislature created a bill, HB2412 to make it 6 years.  It passed on April 11th 2011.  But this bill was so short and so poorly written that it caused a huge amount of lawsuits and problems for the People of Arizona.

This is why…  There is a Federal law that defines all credit cards as “Open Accounts”.

Open-ended Accounts: These are revolving lines of credit with varying balances. The best example is a credit card account. Please note: a credit card is ALWAYS an open account. This is established under the Truth-in-Lending Act:
TITLE 15 > CHAPTER 41 > SUBCHAPTER I > Part A > § 1602
§ 1602. Definitions and rules of construction(i) The term “open end credit plan” means a plan under which the creditor reasonably contemplates repeated transactions, which prescribes the terms of such transactions, and which provides for a finance charge which may be computed from time to time on the outstanding unpaid balance. A credit plan which is an open end credit plan within the meaning of the preceding sentence is an open end credit plan even if credit information is verified from time to time.

And there is STILL on the books this ARS which defines all Open accounts as having a 3 years Statute of Limitations.

ARS 12-543. Oral debt; stated or open account; relief on ground of fraud or mistake; three year limitation

There shall be commenced and prosecuted within three years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, the following actions:

1. For debt where the indebtedness is not evidenced by a contract in writing.

2. Upon stated or open accounts other than such mutual and current accounts as concern the trade of merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors or agents, but no item of a stated or open account shall be barred so long as any item thereof has been incurred within three years immediately prior to the bringing of an action thereon.

3. For relief on the ground of fraud or mistake, which cause of action shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery by the aggrieved party of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake.

So if you take both of those together, it would seem that it is still 3 years.  But with the bill passed in April 2011 they only edited ARS 12-548 to read…

ARS 12-548. Contract in writing for debt; six year limitation; choice of law

A. An action for debt shall be commenced and prosecuted within six years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward, if the indebtedness is evidenced by or founded on either of the following:

1. A contract in writing that is executed in this state.

2. A credit card as defined in section 13-2101, paragraph 3, subdivision (a).

B. If there is a conflict between another jurisdiction and this state relating to the statute of limitations for a debt action as described in subsection A of this section, this section applies.

So the ARS now has conflict within it.  There is also nothing in the bill to “Grandfather” credit card debt that was already out of SOL but now is back within it.  So these questions, as most do, found their way to court and the Judges have decided to lean in the favor of the banks for the most part.  So now people who have old debt are now being made to pay, which will result in more Arizona bankruptcies, and more money leaving our state.  It would have been really nice if the above bill made things crystal clear by REMOVING the part in 12-543 about open accounts, but they did not.

IMHO I think that the limit on Credit card debt should be 3 years because if the bank can’t get their act together in 3 full years people should be free from the worry of the unknown so they can move on a rebuild this economy.

So now people can’t move on, and people are getting aggressive collectors calling them.  And our legal system is filling up with cases that were previously long dead.   This is a great example of a simple rule change that has huge unintended consequences.

As I have been getting into the ARS more and more I have noticed so many conflicts within it where two different things are said in two different ways in two different areas but they both affect the same thing and make it confusing for citizens, and a mess in a legal system.  There is nothing that can be done to these messes with out an act of the Legislature.   It is probably too late in 2012 to do anything about this but there is always 2013.

 

Don’t make the geeks mad!

The world is moving to the internet, and more and more people research things before they plan to spend money. The smart company manages their online presence with a good website, SEO, and they ask clients who are happy to leave positive feedback for them on one of the many sites that have been created to rate companies.

Most of these sites really use this as a way to find companies to sell advertising to but that is a whole different blog. I have been helping a few companies get online recently. Last month I helped a company with a fairly negative review history to create a new blog, website and then create profiles on many of these pages. I then created a page that he can send happy clients to so that they can review him. It makes the world better, he will feel more responsible to make people happy, and these happy clients will send more clients to him to make him more successful. Everyone is happy. He now gets a client or so per week from the web.

The odd thing is that many of these businesses have little or no knowledge of these online boards, that vast majority of business owners are oblivious, and sometimes it is really to their determent. I have seen time and time again companies that have a large number of negative reviews, often right on Google maps (The number one way people find you). A business may see 100 clients in a day but many of them won’t even receive 10 reviews in a year, and when 8 of them come from ANGRY and RANTING clients, that business will see very little traffic from people who research online.

Being a geek and knowing the power of this, I know that you NEVER want to make a geek mad at your business. One good geek can really hurt your online presence, a few and you are dead online. Geeks know this, and sometimes they even use to to hurt your business if you are their competition.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo9mCS9H9Lo
This computer repair guy really must have made someone mad, he has pages full of bad reviews about his company. Click HERE to see for yourself.

Also see MY PAGE.  I had one fake, negative review, so I asked my Facebook friends who were clients in the past to post an honest review for my company.  Look at the results.

 

My planned speech on HB2677

On Wednesday the 16th I plan to go to the capital and speak about HB2677, here is what I plan to say.  If you read this and can think of something major to change please leave a comment.   This is my first time trying to change a law.  At the end I suggest a change to the bill that would actually result in the intent being accomplished, with almost no negative side effects and a few positive ones.  Here is what I plan to say.

Hello. I am Jason Dragon, I am an elected PC and State Committeeman in the Republican party. I am here to talk to you today about HB2677.

The intent of this bill is to find a way to tax people who are here illegally and use the money to build the border fence, but it fails miserably in both of these goals. I think that we do need to protect our border, and I am for building a fence but I am against this bill.

The first, and main reason that it fails is that it will tax everyone who sends money using a wire transfer service to any nation for any reason. The bill says that this is refundable, but it is only to the extent of a tax obligation. On top of the sender will need to wait up to a year so that they can file their taxes, and then they will need to keep records of these sends, and if needed will likely be required to provide these to the DOR. The majority of citizens in Arizona do not have an Arizona tax obligation due to many deductions or other credits and not enough income; all of these people will not receive a refund. In addition many other people and businesses may send money from Arizona who do not reside here, and thus will not be able to receive a tax credit.

Illegals don’t use these services. Existing state laws, designed to stop money laundering and criminal activity, already have strict ID requirements to send money using these services. They can not pass these ID requirements if they are here illegally unless they have very professionally forged documents, so the vast majority of illegal immigrants don’t send using the services this bill intends to tax. They often will hand the money a friend who can send.

As someone who has lived overseas, operated a business overseas and sends money overseas often I know that there are much easier and cheaper ways to send money than using wire transfers that this bill simply does not cover. Illegal’s and legal’s often also use these methods to send money. The most common way would be to open a bank account in the US and receive a debit card, or buy a PrePaid credit card and simply mail that card to your receiver in the foreign nation. Once they have it you simply deposit money into that account here in the US and the person in the other nation goes to an ATM and withdraws it. They also could choose to use the card at any major merchant for purchases. Because these are withdraws and not wire transfers they are not taxed. This does not even touch on the ability of people to simply mail a check or cash to a loved one overseas. Before this law even goes into effect I would bet that some smart company located in another state will offer a service where someone can send money to them and they would resend it overseas, and they only need to charge a fee slightly less than the tax charged by Arizona to get a lot of business.

The government is going to severely hamper these money transferring businesses, while other methods will prosper. The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.

This bill would also make our state even more business unfriendly. We would pass the burden of collecting and tracking this tax onto local businesses. We also would harm businesses that import, have overseas offices or overseas workers, taxing the money that they pay. I for one have freelance web programmers in a handful of nations in Asia, this would cost me more to pay them. I also send money every month supporting kids in Christian schools in Asia, this would cost me more to do that. I have already been contacted by missionaries who receive support from Arizona who are shocked by this bill and hope that it will not pass. I have figured that this bill would cost me about $800 per year if it passes, and the rate of 5%, as has been published in the media, would be charged.

And that leads me to the next major problem in this bill, the fact that the actual rate of the tax is not set, we should not leave ANY tax rate up to the discretion of some unelected director to decide. Where is the oversight?

Because of the complexity of international money and other existing laws this simply is not a workable bill, and it will never generate the funds needed to build a complete fence.

I don’t like to speak unless I have a solution to the problem. I have an idea of a way to amend this law to make it actually achieve the advertised goal without creating a new tax and by only targeting illegal aliens. Basically you would strike this text and replace it with text that would create a law enforcement activity, stating that during the course of law enforcement activity if someone other than a victim was discovered to be an illegal alien they would have their real and personal property confiscated. This property would then be auctioned off to generate funds to build the fence. Some protection would need to be put in there to make sure that property of a business or citizen is not swept up. You could even expand it to include people who apply for social services but are found to be here illegally. Then once the fence is built and a maintenance fund established, extra funds would go to help pay for education. Such a bill would likely be about as popular as SB1070 was. It would also function as a great deterrent to an illegal committing a crime or asking for social services in Arizona.

Thank you for your time.