FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, February 23, 2017

McSally's Town Halls Range From Open to Closed; Giffords Tells Republicans (Other Than McSally) To Face Constituents (READ)

As she was about to begin an open town hall in Sahuarita this afternoon, Rep. Martha McSally's (R-CD2) office sent out a release to the media announcing another town hall tomorrow, in Tucson.


A town hall meeting at a manufacturing facility? Sounded a little odd. Communications Director Pat Ptak confirmed to Arizona's Politics that the session would only be for the employees at Arizona Optical Systems.

Town halls have once again become a hot-button topic, as Trump opponents have made Congressmembers' town halls a focal point in expressing opposition to Republicans.

Earlier today, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert invoked the 2011 attempted assassination of McSally's predecessor, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as a reason for Republicans to avoid town hall gatherings. Six people were killed and 13 were wounded in that mass shooting at Giffords' constituent meeting event.

Giffords immediately retorted that her office was open to voters walking in the Monday following that Saturday shooting (while she was still in the hospital), and that Representatives have to have the courage to face their constituents.

Here is her full statement:




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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BREAKING/READ: Arizona Supreme Court Sets Oral Arguments On Minimum Wage Increase Challenge

The Arizona Supreme Court decided today that it would like to hear oral arguments on the Arizona Chamber of Commerce's lawsuit challenging the voter-approved minimum wage increase.

The Justices set a 40-minute oral argument for March 9. They only want to hear arguments regarding the claim that the measure forces the state to spend money and the appropriate relief. They rejected the arguments put forth by the Chambers of Commerce that the initiative violated state law by addressing two different issues (minimum wage and paid time off).

The Chambers will have 20 minutes to argue their case, and the State of Arizona and its agencies will have 10 minutes. The committee that passed the initiative - Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families - will have 10 minutes to defend.



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Thursday, February 9, 2017

TODAY'S TRUMP TWITTER TRASHING TARGET: McCain Again In Crosshairs; Endures It In Silence, While Friends Successfully Come To His Defense

Arizona Senator John McCain remained tight-lipped on becoming Today's Trump Twitter Trashing Target(tm pending), as the President renewed his attacks on "our hero" McCain. However, Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle rushed to McCain's defense.

Trump lashed out at McCain's mild criticism of the U.S. raid on an al Qaeda facility in Yemen which resulted in the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. McCain had originally called the operation "a failure", but his statement this week indicated that any operation which results in loss of American lives should not be called "a success".

That was enough for President Donald Trump to re-lash out at McCain in his regularly-scheduled tweets of the morning. Here is the three tweet series (read from bottom tweet, up)


The seemingly-sarcastic "our hero", and the references to "embolden(ing) the enemy" and "losing" all bring back to mind Trump's previous Twitter trashings of McCain and the period (after the Republican National Convention) when Trump and McCain temporarily endorsed each other.

While McCain has remained silent today about the tweets - he is handling a hearing on Afghanistan - other Senators have expressed their feelings about the simultaneously offensive and defensive Trump tweets. As the Washington Post reported:
But other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in both parties, had plenty to say to Trump in McCain’s defense.
“That’s a dangerous error, for President Trump to continue to trash John McCain,” said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Fla.), adding that McCain “is a guy who knows what he’s talking about” when it comes to the military.
McCain’s closest friend in the Senate, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) added that the Trump administration should be more careful about how he tries to cast the Yemen raid to the public.
“One thing I would advise the Trump administration is: Don’t oversell success,” Graham said, noting that he thought the Obama administration oversold the success of various missions, to its detriment. He also advised to focus on finding common ground with Congress instead of picking fights with members like McCain.
“I don’t think President Trump will have a better ally in the United States Congress when it comes to rebuilding the military than John McCain,” Graham said.
One of Trump's earliest dust-ups in his successful Presidential campaign was when he said that McCain is not his idea of a war hero because he had been captured. His ability to weather the uproar and outrage from those statements was repeatedly pointed to as his ability to say very politically incorrect things and not only weather the storm but gather strength.

Arizona might also be the only state that has repeatedly seen both of its Senators receive twitter trashings from Trump. The now-President has taken offense to Sen. Jeff Flake's standing up to him last year and his statements that he was not sure if he would vote for Trump in November.


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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

YEAH, WE'RE LOOKING AT YOU, ARIZONA: LA Times Interviews Two AZ Trump Fans, Calls It Reporting; SAD!

The Los Angeles Times published an article this morning that appears solely designed to bolster any stereotypes Angelenos may have of Arizona.

Under the headline "Trump's first week: For many in Arizona, it doesn't get any better than this", LA Times' border reporter (based in Tucson) Nigel Duara wrote up his interviews with two Trump supporters in a Goodyear parking lot and phoned it in.

Interviewing an 84-year old white man and a 36-year old white woman, Duara delivered his sweeping thesis sentence: "Here, more than 120 miles from the border, Arizona voters outraged with President Obama’s executive orders that welcomed the foreign-born to America are delighted with Trump’s first week in office, when his actions seemed to have done the opposite."

As Arizonans' new hero might say (if the shoes had been on opposite feet) SAD!


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WATCH: Sen. Flake On "Enthusiastically Supporting" Jeff Sessions' Nomination For Attorney General

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) gave a quick, 1 1/2-minute speech in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, explaining why he is "enthusiastically supporting" the nomination of Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General.

He noted that he disagreed "often" with Sessions in the Senate, singling out immigration reform. However, even in those circumstances, Sessions was "thoughtful" and "courteous".


The Judiciary Committee's meeting casting their vote on Sessions has been marked by long speeches by opposing Democrats - which Chair Chuck Grassley is explicitly permitting because Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy permitted the same courtesy to Republicans when he was the committee's chair - and absences of Republicans (to vote on the floor for other nominations) causing long pauses for a lack of a quorum. There has even been at least one protester interruption.

http://cs.pn/2kMztGe


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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Doomsday Clock Moves Closer To Midnight; Well-Known ASU Physicist Says Public Pressure Needed To "Turn Back From The Brink"

Well-known ASU physicist Lawrence Krauss helped announce today that the Doomsday Clock now stands at 2 1/2 minutes to midnight. That is the closest it has been to doomsday since 1953, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists listed it at two minutes to midnight. For the past couple of years, the clock was at 3 minutes to midnight.

Krauss chairs the Board of the Bulletin that determines the clock's setting each year, and he told Arizona's Politics yesterday "in the 70 years since the clock was created, this year stands out for importance."  He said that "international tensions are high and international cooperation is low, thanks in part to proposed policies by the new (Trump) administration."  (his full statement is below)

After the early days of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950's, the clock was set back in the 1960's as the U.S. and Soviet Union worked to avoid direct conflict. It then reached three minutes to midnight in 1984, saying U.S./Soviet relations were iciest in decades. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the clock reached its farthest from midnight in 1991.  Subsequent decisions to move the clock closer to midnight have also factored in "the nearly inexorable climate disruptions from global warming."

Krauss says "turning back from the brink will require public pressure to create sound policies in which nuclear weapons are not considered usable." As for climate change, he notes that the public and state governments need to lead "because it does not appear as if national governments are."

Krauss is the Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and Foundation Professor at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department.

Krauss' full comments to Arizona's Politics:


"In the 70 years since the clock was created, this year stands out for importance in my mind.  Certainly the clock announcement this year is more important than at any time since I have been on the Board of the Bulletin, and more important than at any time during which I have chairing the Board.   On existential threats including climate change and nuclear weapons, international tensions are high and international cooperation is low, thanks in part to proposed policies by the new administration.  Actions speak louder than words, but words matter.  Turning back from the brink will require public pressure to create sound policies in which nuclear weapons are not considered usable, and faced with the third consecutive global warmest year on record, with more energy for devastating storms, and debilitating summer temperatures, the public, and state governments needs to lead here, because it does not appear as if national governments are."

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WATCH: Voter Fraud Not a Problem in "State of the Art" Arizona; Secy of State Reagan on Meet The Press Daily Re: Voter Fraud

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan took to national TV this evening to help dispel President Trump's allegations of massive voter fraud in the November election. She explained to Chuck Todd
(on MSNBC) how Arizona's "state of the art" system checks voter registrations against driver's licenses, and how counties prevent someone from voting by mail and voting in person on election day.

This comes the same day that the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting published an article about a letter this week from all 15 County Recorders, asking for more frequent and more respectful communication with Reagan and her office.

Here is the video:




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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

READ: Here's Non-Partisan CBO's Estimate On Obamacare Repeal Costs: Double Premiums, 32M More Uninsured



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ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE CONFIRMED: More Republican & Independent Non-Regular Voters Cast Ballots For President Than Democrats

Significantly more formerly "inactive" voters who were registered as Republican or Other showed up to vote in the Presidential election than did inactive Democrats. The new voter registration numbers released by the Arizona Secretary of State today confirm what many (including Arizona's Politics) had reported anecdotally.

Although the main news from today's report (reproduced below) is that the number of registered voters continued to increase between the October cutoff to register for the General Election (more on that later in the article), the material decrease in the number of "inactive" voters also deserves attention.

Nearly 33,000 voters who had not voted in previous elections and/or had mailings returned as undeliverable came to polling places on November 8 and cast ballots (thus taking them off of the "inactive register". Nearly half of those had not registered for either of the major political parties, but the returning Republicans outnumbered their Democratic counterparts by 8.8 percentage points (9,961 and 7,075, respectively).*

 Many reporters, poll workers and poll observers - in Arizona and throughout the nation - reported observing many people who were stating - sometimes excitedly - things like they were "voting for the first time in ages", and that Donald Trump had motivated them. This new report provides some validation for that reporting and similar exit polls.

When the "inactive" to "active" voters are factored in, it  also puts a slightly different spin on the overall registered voter increase between October and January. The Secretary of State's Office reports that there are now 57,656 more active registered voters. Most of that increase is attributable to the re-activated voters. Of the balance, approximately 10,000 registered as Republicans, 8,000 as Democrats and only 6,000 as "Other".

Many of those probably registered within the 28 days prior to the election (including those Columbus Day registrants) - too late to vote on November 8 but ready for the local elections coming up in 2017 and the statewide and Congressional elections in 2018.

*It is worth noting that more Democrats than Republicans dropped off the inactive register earlier in 2016 when County Recorders sent out mailers and received responses or forwarding addresses; however, we do not know that those people ended up voting in November.

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WATCH: McCain Tells Fox He's "Barely" Leaning Toward Supporting Tillerson

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was on Fox News last night, and indicated that he had spoken with Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, and was "barely" leaning toward supporting him.


After laughing and saying "I am, I am" leaning toward supporting him, McCain added the caveat "I still don't understand taking an award from that thug (Putin)."




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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WATCH: McCain Today On Turning Over Dossier To FBI



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