Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Adams’

4th February
2009
written by Arizona Kid

Follow the bouncing ball. This gets a little complicated and the story is still developing but here is what we know so far. Thanks to Gila Courier – HEREfor filling in some of the pieces. And a post HERE from American Conservative Blog digs into the mission of 21st Century a bit more.

Here we go…

1. AZ is facing a major budget shortfall as we all know. Conservative Republicans have the power and through a combination of hatchet and scalpel they are carving back the expenses and refusing to touch the income. Education is the big hit along with across the board cuts in almost every program.

2. A group of House legislators go after an apparent sacred cow, the 21st Century Fund;

The Arizona Guardian reported on Friday that Rep. Jerry Weiers (LD 12) was part of a group of legislators who fought against the continued funding of the corporate welfare, slush fund known as the 21st Century Fund. Saturday the Arizona Republic reported that Rep. Sam Crump (LD 6) and 4 freshman legislators also stood against the system and made sure that the $22.5 million went toward education instead of special interests and large corporations. The Republic did not state who they were but this blog has learned that at least 5 freshmen possibly one more stood their ground.

The comment section of Seeing Red AZ had some details but this blog has uncovered more of the story. The five new Representatives who stayed strong in opposing corporate welfare were Carl Seel (LD 6,) Steve Montenegro (LD 12,) David Stevens (LD 25,) Frank Antenori (LD 30,) and David Gowan(LD 30.) Seel, Montenegro, Stevens, and Antenori were summoned to the governor’s office for some one on one time. They all stood firm.

3.  Rep. Sam Crump was stipped of his chairmanship by speaker Kirk Adams in retaliation for spear heading the cuts. 

In a stunning development, House Speaker Kirk Adams has stripped State Representative Sam Crump of his committee chairmanship and is also apparently taking steps to strip him of his office space and administrative assistant.  Adams is taking these steps to punish Crump for his lead role in cutting the funding for Janet Napolitano’s 21st Century Fund.

4.  And now for the Tucson connection. Apparently Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) got very up in arms over the cut of 21st Century Fund and went into motion. The Greater Phoenix Leadership Council, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Flagstaff 40 were instrumental in setting it up in the first place.

5. The final connecting of the dots. 21st Centruy Fund awarded $2.2 million in 07′ and $9 million in 08′ to a group created here in southern Arizona called C-PATH. Their mission is to bring pharmaceuticals to market quicker than the traditional FDA process. The two areas of focus for C-PATH are cancer and alzhiemer drugs. Who was just appointed to run C-PATH? Non other than Rick Myer the former head of SALC and one of 3 finalist for the TUSD Superintendent job.

The cost and time to bring a drug to market in the U.S. is staggering. Only a fraction of the promising drugs ever emerge beyond the phase IV studies to become a viable product. The days of the blockbuster may be behind us. The industry is trending towards more niche drugs that fit ever smaller patient populations. Couple mergers of major pharma companies like Wyeth and Pfizer, tightening of the FDA approval process and you can see that C-PATH is a tough investment, especially if it’s public dollars. It’s getting to be that the only companies that can weather the R&D storm and  bring a drug to market are the big boys, pretty risky investment with public money.

Economic development is critical to our state and our region. Without knowing to many of the ins and outs and successes of the new C-PATH program it’s hard to say if the states investment is going to pay dividends. C-PATH is clearly a well thought out long term investment that was lobbied for by big business interest in our state. The question is will the cut in funding be the cut in end of the program? Will private industry step in and carry the torch. Will SALC and Meyer continue to flex their muscles to protect their funding?

From American Conservative Repubican;

Making Arizona competitive in a global economy may be a worthy goal for the private and public sector, but it shouldn’t be funded with your tax dollars. Every citizen is free and encouraged to donate to any charity or non profit they wish to, but government funds are the people’s money, it is taken out of the pockets of the people by the force of law and should be used, as Lincoln said, to do those things the people can’t do for themselves.

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