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July 9, 2013

Host: Ted Simons

100 Club

  |   Video
  • The 100 Club raises funds for the families of fallen first responders. Ciara Franklin of the 100 Club will talk about the organization and its efforts to raise money for the families of the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire.
  • Ciara Franklin - 100 Club
Category: Community   |   Keywords: 100 Club, firefighters, families, support, fire,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The 100 Club is an organization that helps families of firefighters, police officers and other emergency first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty. Claire Franklin is here to talk about the organization and specifically the club's efforts to assist the families of the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell hill fire. Thank you for joining us. You must be awfully busy right now.

Ciara Franklin: We're so busy, Ted, but it's been so great. The community support, the outreach, businesses from across the nation are coming to us wanting to help. It's just overwhelming in a good way.

Ted Simons: Let's talk about the organization. What is the 100 Club?

Ciara Franklin: It stands behind the men and women who stand behind the badge. Since 1968 we have been there for our Phoenix families when an officer is killed in the line of duty. Since almost 12 years ago we expanded to include firefighters appear are statewide now. We're there in cases of line of duty deaths, non-line of duty deaths, line of duty injury, scholarships, safety equipment, anything we can do to enhance the safety and welfare of those behind the badge.

Ted Simons: More specifically how does the club help the families of the first responders? What's actually done?

Ciara Franklin: First and foremost 24 to 48 hours where there was a check. In line of duty, $15,000 immediately. We have the funds ready and available because usually it takes some time for the benefits to kick in through the cities and federal and life insurance, so we're there with that immediate relief to pay the bills on the table, to help with funeral arrangements, pretty much anything we can do we're there for. Then off line the duty that's $5,000.

Ted Simons: Money, resources. Advice? Moral support?

Ciara Franklin: The emotional support, we're just there when the family wants us. We don't want to attack them with information, but when they want to talk to us we're there. We have survivors, a team of survivors who have lost their husbands and wives and children. They can provide just a little insight of what to expect, just to let them know we're there for them.

Ted Simons: How do you figure out what a family might need? The family is obviously thrown for a complete loop. They may not know what they need. How do you figure it out?

Ciara Franklin: Every family is different. Some families have children. Some don't. Some are married. Some weren't. Some were the only wage earners. Other people's spouses do have a job. Every family is a little different. I think the families don't even know what they need. We're just there to tell them yes we can do that. Don't worry about your grandma in California or somebody in Hawaii. We'll bring them here. Wherever they are we'll bring them here for the funerals. We just don't want them to have any worry. It's just enough worry and grief as it is.

Ted Simons: The help starts pretty much within 48 hours. How long does that assistance continue?

Ciara Franklin: Until forever. Forever. We're going to be there for them forever. One thing is that each family will be invited back to the national memorial, so there's a national firefighter memorial in Denver and a police memorial in D.C. We want to help them get there too. They have a year of memorials ahead of them, sometimes a year and a half, that they are going to state memorials, city memorials, national memorials, the 100 Club memorial. It's going to be a long year. We'll thereby after that too. We have a scholarship program for their children.

Ted Simons: The 100 Club has been around for quite a while of Dow did it start?

Ciara Franklin: It started in Michigan when a local businessman asked 100 friends to donate $100 to help care for a young police officer's widow. It was brought here including some of Arizona's finest businessmen. They came together and wanted to do same concept. Today we don't require you to pay $100. We have different types of memberships but the club has carried on. It's been 45 years. We are the only statewide 100 Club organization out there.

Ted Simons: Who runs the club?

Ciara Franklin: We have one executive director who lost her husband in 1989, and the club knocked on her door within the first hours. At that time it was a $4,000 check. She couldn't believe she was going to the bank to deposit money because she had lost somebody and there were organizations to help her. Years prior she had lost her son when he was six-year-old old in 1983, and she always recalled going to the bank to take out a loan to pay for his funeral. She stayed with the club, came on board after 9/11, and has done remarkable things. We have a small staff of six full-time employees.

Ted Simons: You have how many members now?

Ciara Franklin: Over 3,000 members. So many supporters and sponsors that don't become a member technically but are still supporting us.

Ted Simons: If someone wants to donate, do they have to become a member? How do they assist and in what ways can they assist?

Ciara Franklin: We have so many ways to assist. Membership is not required. Donations are always a big thing because we are contribution based. We're solely based on contribution and membership. Volunteer hours are great. Organizations who can come together and have a volunteer program. Of course sharing our mission. We have a great Facebook page where people can connect with us and figure out what's going on in their communities this. Week we have a ton of events and fund-raising things going on in memory of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Ted Simons: Let's talk about this particular tragedy because it's one thing to have one. 19 people. Talk about the challenges of figuring out what needed to be done.

Ciara Franklin: It was overwhelming and remarkable just seeing how the club was put into action. We rarely pay 10 deaths in one year. We recently lost three in May with the Phoenix officer and firefighter and DPS officer. So no one was expecting this, but when I first read the news I was like, no. This can't be. This can't be happening. I didn't believe it. I really woke up next morning thinking it was a nightmare. What was so great is we had those funds available. We had the money. We had to move some things around, but to pay $15,000 to each of those families. We delivered checks all last week. We have been in Prescott, we have helping the command center, the chaos. It's chaos. So they needed printers. They needed things to run their command center so they could plan the funerals and the memorial today. The club helped with all of that.

Ted Simons: It might be as much as we're going to go get a printer as opposed to we're going to buy one?

Ciara Franklin: We went to staples and bought three printers and paid for it. Markers, anything they might need. There was a team of hundreds of firefighters working to get all of this organized.

Ted Simons: If someone wants to help and assist the 100 Club, what can they do?

Ciara Franklin: The best place is There's ways to donate on the front page. We have several ways. You can call our office of course if you have questions, but

Ted Simons: Also the best place to get more information about the organization.

Ciara Franklin: Definitely.

Ted Simons: We have talked about so much about the families and folks in Prescott, obviously that's where the focus is, for the club, how much regrouping, how much do you sit back and start again?

Ciara Franklin: Well, at the end of this month we're paying out $177,000 in scholarships. So we want to get regrouped quickly to get those checks out. That's just the first semester for this year. Next semester will be an additional 177. We're needing that support definitely, but we were so happy to help those kids.

Ted Simons: We're glad we could get you on the program to learn more about the club. Continued success with the organization. You're doing great work.

Ciara Franklin: Thank you for having us.

Voting Laws Referendum

  |   Video
  • A referendum has been filed to try and overturn new voter laws approved by the state legislature. The Protect Your Right to Vote Committee has until September 12 to collect 86,405 valid signatures to put the laws on hold until the November 2014 general election. The new laws make it much tougher for third parties to get on the ballot, will tighten up rules on early voter lists and will make it harder for someone else to take your ballot to a polling place. Barry Hess of the Libertarian Party and former gubernatorial candidate will discuss the referendum on new voter laws, along with Tim Sifert of the Arizona Republican Party.
  • Barry Hess - Arizona Libertarian Party
  • Time Sifert - Arizona Republican Party
Category: Law   |   Keywords: voter, law, referendum, arizona, election, ballot,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: A referendum to try to overturn new voter laws approved by the state legislature. The protect your right to vote committee has until September 12 to collect over 80,000 valid signatures which would put the law on hold until the general 2014 election. It puts strict requirements on citizen initiatives and make it tougher for third parties to get on ballot and it makes it more difficult for someone else to deliver another person's ballot to the poll place. Here is Barry Hess of the Libertarian party and in support, Tim Seifert of the American Republican party. Talk on the new voter laws.

Barry Hess: It's really a travesty for the Arizona voters in the sense that 16 Republicans only decided to overhaul the most massive overhaul of our election laws in Arizona's history. Traditionally they would go to the voters where they should be. This was clearly contrived to keep third parties offer the ballot in the thought that Republicans would inherit Libertarian or Independent voters. They just invited opposition, not support.

Tim Sifert: It's not an overhaul. These are small corrections if you will that have been made to the laws to make it easier for voters to understand what it takes to get on the ballot. Every candidate on the general election ballot now has to have the same number of signatures to get that spot, so it's an issue of equality and fairness. This was a law passed by the house, passed by the Senate and signed into law by the governor. It does three main things. Changes the signature of requirements, equalizes those, and it drops dormant voters who have not been using their early ballots from the list so we won't have a lot of unvoted ballots in circulation, which is a recipe for fraud.

Barry Hess: It's really unfortunate when we talk about fairness to say people have to get an equal number of signatures to get on the ballot. What Mr. Sifert is not telling you is in many cases the smaller parties have to get more signatures than there are party registrants. The whole points of this is basically does away with the general election. They are saying you have to prove viability before you can even get on the ballot, which is absurd. The Supreme Court has ruled against it and they will again.

Ted Simons: Real quickly what is wrong with proving viability?

Barry Hess: The whole points of a primary is a very simple process. It's to determine who will represent each party and interest on the general ballot, not to determine if they will be on the ballot. It's who. That's why the Supreme Court is consistent said it should be a percentage as it was in a more fair distribution before this nonsense came up based upon a same percentage applied to the registered voters in that political --

Ted Simons: Is this just a defacto general election, adios primary?

Tim Sifert: About 36% are registered Republican, 33% independents, not involved in any political party. They are certainly free to sign the petitions of any candidate they desire.

Barry Hess: That's not entirely true. We went to court, and I won the case at the 9th circuit the right to close our primary so that we could keep our own distinction away from the Republican Democrat team so we could be completely separate. We are. We won that right. This forces us to fight just to get on the ballot, in many cases a majority is needed of nonparty members to get your signatures to get on your own ballot to represent a specific interest.

Ted Simons: To that point is it fair that you would need more signatures than there are votes registered in your party?

Tim Sifert: Well, it certainly is. The Libertarians have a history of receiving more votes than there are members in their party. That's sort of a red herring argument.

Barry Hess: No, that's speculation. That's realty. It's who eligible is what the courts go by. The only ones who are eligible in a close primary are those people from that party. The Greens get it too. We're not talking just little nudges as Mr. Sifert said to the election law. We're talking massive. For instance the Greens, they need to times what they did before just to get on the ballot. It's because the Republicans hope that all Republicans, the whole movement was to try to push everybody off the ballot so they can win by exclusion.

Ted Simons: To that point specifically the idea this is a technique of the Republican Party to get -- siphon Republicans off the ballot?

Tim Sifert: That's not true. It was passed by a Republican legislature and Republican governor but if you look at the County recorder and the secretary of the state, even the Democrats, Ann Rodriguez in the second largest County in the state, she was wholeheartedly in favor of this bill.

Barry Hess: That's not entirely true. 2305 is two bills. One is the amendment, the omnibus to rewrite the election laws. That was tacked on at the last minute. The original three page bill, the circulators that County recorders talked about, they are not in agreement with the rest of the provisions. There's like five major provisions, several groups have distinctions of each one what they hate about it and we brought together the Tea Party, sheriff Richard Mack, Republican Karen Johnson, we got the league of women voters, the Goldwater Institute, the Democrats, the Greens, the Independents. I'm here to defend the independents who have no access to the ballot under any circumstances in this nonsense.

Ted Simons: Last question on this. Does this help give voters more choice?

Tim Sifert: Well, I definitely think that it does. This is all about fairness to the voters. Candidates can take care of themselves. They do a good job of that. The voters are the folks we're concerned about. That's what the County recorders are concerned about, the folks that are going to vote early or vote at the polls. This does preserve their choice. They are getting legitimate choices.

Ted Simons: Legitimate choices?

Barry Hess: Absolutely not. They are getting Republicans and Democrats. They are the ones that got us into the pick will we're in in Arizona and across the country. We need ideas from outside. It will be a Republican or Democrat you choose from and most of us realize it will make a joke of the election and Arizona gets to be the butt of every joke in the world again.

Ted Simons: There's another aspect of this law that would make it harder for citizen initiatives and recalls. You would have to follow strict compliance with campaign laws, not substantive or the idea that you're close enough. Why not follow strict laws?

Barry Hess: I have no problem following strict laws. That doesn't bother me. It bothers the Greens and the Democrats. Doesn't bother us. We play by the rules. We don't cheat. It's like 55 different Republicans have already e-mailed me out of about 350 in response saying I'm a Republican and because of this I am not going to vote Republican, period. Of course from our perspective we're going to be encouraging them along that line. If we should not get the reverend bum dumb or the court challenges are not successful.

Ted Simons: Why isn't that good enough?

Tim Sifert: This is the legislature giving much needed direction to the courts when those judges made their decisions about whether something stays on the ballot or gets kicked off.

Ted Simons: The other aspects the election voting changes, tightening up the rules in the earth voter roll, you're removes after two elections?

Tim Sifert: Actually four.

Ted Simons: Why is it necessary?

Tim Sifert: It's expensive to mail those ballots. The way people move, we send ballots and they don't vote. That's fine. After this law after four elections have gone by and they haven't voted their ballot they will get a postcard saying, are you still there? Do you still want to receive your early ballot? All they have to say is I'm still here. I would like to continue to receive my ballot.

Barry Hess: This is a nationwide thing. This is going on like in 17 or 18 states. These Republicans are really trying to tighten this nut. They want to save money on voting or sending their literature, the campaign trash to all the people they don’t want to sends it to dead voters. That's what it's about. To save them money. It's a Republican thing again.

Ted Simons: Regardless of money saved or not saved the idea is you're on an early voting list and you're not voting early should you remain on the list?

Barry Hess: Whatever the rules are, we're willing to play by the rules. If it's every two years I don't have any terrible objection to that.

Ted Simons: You're not all excited about that.

Barry Hess: For an early ballot, but eligibility, as long as they are a registered voter they should be able to vote.

Ted Simons: Limiting who can take another person's ballot to a polling place, why is that necessary?

Tim Sifert: That's a big deal. We got calls at the state party headquarters saying there are groups of people coming through the neighborhoods knocking on doors and picking up people's ballots. These groups, they know who has received an early ballot. Though know who hasn't turned it in and they are trying to pick up these ballots. That's just a recipe for mischief. We have always discouraged people from giving their ballot to anyone they don't know and trust. Now the law has codified that.

Ted Simons: Recipe for mischief? Have we seen mischief?

Tim Sifert: We would have to go to court to find actual instances but the number of ballots turned in through this process is in the 10,000s. This is a particular issue that the County recorders were particularly upset about. A lot of ballots get turned in at the last minute, it delays the count.

Barry Hess: On this aspect it is a recipe for disaster. Not only give you the ballot but help you fill it out and hand carry it back to where they want it to go. I remember when the Republicans were sending postcards to their registered members saying who are you going to vote for, and we're going to send you a mail-in ballot. The ones who checked off the wrong name, Mccain was the right one I think, Libertarians were doing some dumpster diving arched found all the once who weren't voting for the approved candidate had their ballots thrown into the dumpster. It was a court case. We proved it. It was just interesting to hear them talk about they want to do things on the above board when they have been doing the sneaky stuff.

Ted Simons: How do you respond to that?

Tim Sifert: It's interesting to hear about the dumpster diving. What we're concerned about is that the voters can trust the process. They can trust their ballot will be counted. It will go into the hands of an election official, the choices they have are for legitimate candidates that have met the same standard that Ault other candidates have done.

Barry Hess: By qualifying for the primary I wouldn't have any quarrel with that statement but what he intends is completely different than I what do.

Ted Simons: Last question, you keep mentioning the primary, the fact you qualified. I'm the Ted Simons party, I have 16 people who joins as a party, do I get to have my own primary?

Barry Hess: Absolutely. The reason is if you think about it the short sightedness of this whole plan would have knocked Ronald Reagan out of the race in the presidential run. These guys are not thinking. The primary is not to determine viability or broad acceptance. It's to determine who is the best standard bearer for that limited group, the Ted Simons party. The realty would be that if you're required to get my signature I may say you better start giving me free stuff from government.

Ted Simons: Who is to decide what a legitimate candidate is?

Tim Sifert: The voters make that decision in the primary. When those candidates get advanced on to the general ballot, very few people vote in the primaries. The general elections turnout is much higher.

Ted Simons: Provided you have a primary.

Tim Sifert: Yes.

Barry Hess: If this bill was honestly well intended you would eliminate the primary all together and determine to have the parties just submit names to the Secretary of State who is going to be on the ballot and it would have gotten rid of the mail-in ballot.

Ted Simons: Last word.

Tim Sifert: That's an argument based on convenience. Coming from a third party that really doesn't have much of a chance for victory.

Ted Simons: We have to stop it right there. Good discussion. Good to have you here.

Tim Sifert: Thank you.

Barry Hess: Thank you very much.