Thursday, July 9, 2020

BREAKING, READ Governor's New Executive Order Limiting Indoor Dining


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The March 24 Executive Order postponing evictions. It is set to expire later this month.


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Monday, June 29, 2020

WATCH: Gov. Ducey Closes Press Conference With Clever Line That Is Supposed To Appeal To Mask Deniers

He saved the line until the end of his 90-minute press conference, but it was designed to go, ahem, viral and combine pandemic-era protection with old West protection. In so doing, it was designed to reach the many Arizonans in the Venn diagram who own firearms but no face masks. 

The only thing that could have made it more clever was if Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tied a Western-themed bandana around his head instead of a black fabric face mask.

 
To READ the Executive Orders issued today by Governor Ducey, please visit our original article.
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BREAKING: READ Executive Order RE-CLOSING bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing




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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

BREAKING: Sen. Sinema Votes With Dems To Block Republicans' Police Reform Bill; House Goes Next (ARIZONA'S POLITICAL SHORTS)

10:50am: Sen. Sinema Votes With Dems To Block Republicans' Police Reform Bill; House Goes Next

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema voted with most other Democrats in blocking the Republicans' police reform bill today. The measure failed to get the 3/5 majority necessary, on the 55-45 vote.

Three Democrats did vote to open debate (Jones, King, Manchin), but Sinema explained  (below) that she believed that "a process without bipartisan negotiations from the start will not pass the Senate, and risks further dividing Americans instead of bringing us together."



As she notes, this is not the end of the process. The House is slated to vote on its version tomorrow. Assuming it passes, the Senate could then debate and amend that measure. (Here is the text of the now-blocked Senate bill; Arizona Sen. Martha McSally was a co-sponsor of the bill that was led by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.)


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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

What To Do If You Suspect A Church Or Tax-Exempt Organization Is Involved In Inappropriate Political Activity

Every election season features allegations that churches or other tax-exempt organizations are engaged in inappropriate political activity. This year will be no different. There are steps you can take if you see such activity.

First, the basics. As federal law has set up, churches can qualify as tax exempt organizations, under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, in the statute itself - as a condition of receiving the special exemption - the organizations are prohibited from participating/intervening in "any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

Here is a handy chart about the different types of exempt organizations and their limitations:
The advantages of obtaining the 501(c)(3) status from the IRS are twofold: (1) the organization does not have to pay taxes on income it receives; and (2) an individual who donates to the organization gets a tax deduction for the amount of her contribution.

The IRS tries to explain to churches and exempt organizations what political involvements are permissible and which jeopardize that prized tax exemption. Other than webinars, this publication lays out a number of different possible factual situations to analyze. Example #17 is representative:
Some of the factors that the IRS would analyze if evaluating a complaint are whether the facility was equally available to opposing candidates, whether fair value was paid for the facility, and whether the event was part of an ongoing activity or just one conducted for this particular candidate. If the organization claims it was duped into permitting a candidate event, the IRS would analyze the evidence supporting or refuting such a claim.

It could be important to inform the IRS of statements, videos and actions of the organization before, during or after the event.

The IRS accepts information from the public if it is believed that an exempt organization "is involved in a political campaign". This one-page fillable form can then be emailed/faxed/mailed to the IRS. The complainant may tell the IRS that they are concerned about retaliation or retribution if their identity is disclosed, and the IRS also accepts anonymous complaints.

While the current Administration has previously expressed interest in eliminating the restriction on political involvement by exempt organizations, the law has not been changed and complaints may be considered by present or future administrations.








This legal primer is an updated version of an article published in 2014. It was published earlier today on "AZ Law".

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Monday, June 22, 2020

PRAISE THE LORD and LOVE THE A/C! Phoenix Church Touts Its Ability To Kill 99% of Virus While Trump Holds Rally! (Except.....)

The senior pastor of Phoenix's Dream City Church took to Facebook yesterday to tout its air purification system in advance of President Donald Trump's rally there tomorrow night. 99% of the virus is zapped within 10 minutes, is the wonderful claim.

TMZ initially reported on Pastor Luke Barnett's video claims, and Talking Points Memo has done some further reporting on that miraculous air purification system.

The only problem is that the ionization system only works once the air is circulated through the system. It does nothing if one of the asymptomatic rally goers near you yells or coughs in your direction. The air purification system will not be sucking up the air until sometime later.


The "Students for Trump" rally is also expected to host Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, two of Arizona's Republican Congressmen (Biggs, Gosar) and others.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has indicated that she does not believe the rally can be held safely, but has indicated that the city will not prevent it from moving forward nor cite individuals for violating the facemask mandate.


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Friday, June 19, 2020

Governor Ducey's Executive Order Permitting Cities/Counties To Make Face Masks Mandatory




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SETTLED: Arizona's Election Day Deadline For RECEIVING Mailed In Ballots Remains... For 2020, At Least (ARIZONA VOTING NEWS)

UPDATED, 3:00pm: U.S. District Court Judge Dominic Lanza accepted the Settlement Agreement this afternoon and dismissed the case.

Arizona and Democratic groups finalized the  settlement of a lawsuit challenging the law that mail-in ballots must be *received* by 7pm on Election Day. The Democratic Party said that the ballots should be accepted and counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day (and received within five days after). The E-Day receipt deadline will remain in place for this year's elections, but the state agrees to study switching to a *postmark* deadline for future elections.


Arizona also promises to use some federal funding from pandemic relief measures to increase early voting opportunities in Native American, Latino and rural communities this year.


The Settlement Agreement was filed with the District Court last night after telling the court late last month that a settlement in principle had been reached.


Attorneys for the Democratic-affiliated groups Voto Latino and Priorities USA filed the suit looking to change Arizona to a postmark deadline. Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs did not side with the Plaintiffs, and the Attorney General's Office has represented her in defending the *received by Election Day* law.


For reactions, to review the (short) Settlement Agreement, and for more information on how to vote early, please visit "AZ Law", our sister site



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