FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Monday, December 31, 2012

DIPLOMACY NEVER STOPS: From Hospital, Clinton Congratulates Haitians, Sudanese On Anniversaries Of Independence

As her blood clot continues to receive attention from doctors (latest medical statement here), media and Republicans, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to work!  In my e-mail box this afternoon were two missives setting forth the Secretary's comments today congratulating the people of Haiti and Sudan on the anniversaries of their independence. (One nation is celebrating 57 years of independence and the other 209 years; can you guess which is which?)

Sure, they are short statements, and she might even have lifted most of the language from last years' congrats, but COME ON, Secy. Clinton, take a break!  Oh, and, Happy New Year's and dissolve that clot quickly!






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WATCH: Kyl's Final Senatorial Appearance On Weekend News Shows

Retiring Arizona Senator Jon Kyl has been on his share of the Sunday news shows over the years - not as many as his Arizona colleague, John McCain, but who could top him?  Yesterday was Kyl's final appearance as a Senator, and he again sat next to New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and they went back and forth on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

Nothing much newsworthy came out of this discussion.  Here is the video and the transcript:



The entire transcript can be found here, but I have included a couple of the excerpts below the jump.


McCain Reams President, Wants To See "Leadership" Instead Of "Denigrating Republicans"

McCain spoke for exactly 10 minutes before turning over the (Senate) floor (supposedly for a colloquy) to his amigo Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  He spent most of his time complaining about President Obama's statement this afternoon at the White House, saying that it was "cheerleading" and "denigrating Republicans."  McCain said he wanted to see the President lead, and meet with Republicans seriously.  He also believes that the President does not seem to understand that many House Republicans took a pledge to not raise taxes and could not vote against it.

McCain also compared this crisis to the last time the government shut down:  Last time, "we pulled back from the brink... after we went over it."



Here is the Obama statement.

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WATCH LIVE: Sen. McCain Speaking His Piece On Senate Floor

U.S. Senators are taking whacks at the emerging "fiscal cliff" pinata.  Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is in line after Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski.




(Click here, or on picture, for live streaming video)

McCain spoke for exactly 10 minutes before turning over the floor (supposedly for a colloquy) to his amigo Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  He spent most of his time complaining about President Obama's statement this afternoon at the White House, saying that it was "cheerleading" and "denigrating Republicans."  McCain said he wanted to see the President lead, and meet with Republicans seriously.  He also believes that the President does not seem to understand that many House Republicans took a pledge to not raise taxes and could not vote against it.

McCain also compared this crisis to the last time the government shut down:  Last time, "we pulled back from the brink... after we went over it."

Here is the Obama statement:

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

UPDATE: Pres. Obama Signs Bill Authorizing Pascua Yaquis To Determine Own Membership


Two weeks ago, Arizona's Politics reported on the Senate's passage of a simple (one sentence0 bill that would allow the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to determine its own membership.  After a brief stay on the President's desk, that bill has now been signed into law.


The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has a small amount of land in Pima County and has a number of members living in the Phoenix-area community of Guadalupe.

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HERE WE GO AGAIN!?!: New Senator Follows Obama's Footsteps

How long 'til we see non-ironic mentions of this, with demands for birth certificates and college transcripts, and whispers of Manchurian candidates?  Hawaii's new U.S. Senator, Brian Schatz (D), has these similarities with the current President.

1) Midwestern roots. Schatz born in Michigan, Obama's mother from Kansas.
2) Grew up in Hawaii.  BOTH attended same independent school there, Punahou School.
3) Went to college in California.  Only part of the time for Obama.)
4) Visited Kenya!!!
5) Schatz worked in non-profit sector, Obama was community organizer.
6) State legislative experience.
7) Got to U.S. Senate in non-traditional way. Obama in election where Democratic and Republican front-runners (former Senator and incumbent, respectively) withdrew. Schatz named by Governor.
8)  Abrahamic faiths. Obama is Christian who is sometimes accused of being a Muslim.  Schatz is Jewish.

One can only imagine what Schatz and Obama are plotting TOGETHER on Air Force One tonight!!!  (Hmm, if Schatz runs in 2016, he would have spent the same amount of time in the Senate as Obama did.)

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

WATCH: McCain Says Adios To Amigo "Joe, Meant Him" Lieberman

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) continued his Saying Farewell Tour today, bidding an adios to his long-time amigo Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

The short speech (7 1/2 minutes) was unsurprisingly personal, recounting much of what we have already heard McCain say about his buddy, who retired this year rather than face a(nother) tough re-election bid for a fifth Senate term.

"He came here to do justice, Mr. President, to love mercy and to walk humbly with his God.  It’s hard to find anyone here who doesn’t like and admire Joe. He’s impossible to dislike even if you only know him a little. Most of his detractors seem to be people who don’t know him and who tend to view people very strictly through the perspectives of their ideology and partisan identity. The only thing to resent about Joe Lieberman is that he’s so damn considerate of everyone that you can find yourself feeling a little ashamed when he catches you raising your voice to someone or behaving in other ways that fall short of his unfailing graciousness."
(click picture to view video)

McCain added that he "nearly" nominated Lieberman to be his Vice Presidential nominee in 2008.  (It was widely reported that McCain preferred Lieberman - who had been on the Democratic ticket eight years earlier - to eventual pick Sarah Palin.)





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WATCH: McCain On Benghazi Report, Hillary Not There Because She's Physically Unable

Arizona Senator John McCain sat down yesterday with his most-frequent interviewer, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, and discussed the Benghazi Accountability report.  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee met yesterday and this morning on the report.

McCain told Van Susteren that he has never known Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to back down from a fight and that he believes that she is not testifying this week because she is legitimately physically unable to do so.



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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WATCH: Sen. Jon Kyl's Retirement Speech On Senate Floor Today; "It IS Difficult To Say Goodbye"

Retiring Arizona Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) gave his valedictory speech on the Senate floor this afternoon.   He finished by saying that "It's been an honor, really the privilege of a lifetime, to serve, and it IS difficult to say goodbye.  But I will depart Capitol Hill with enormous faith in the American people, a profound appreciation for the miracle of the American republic and a resilient optimism in America's future."

Kyl served three terms (18 years) representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate, and has been the Republicans' Minority Whip since 2008.




By the way, the Senator spoke for almost exactly 30 minutes.

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WATCH: AZ Secy/State Bennett Testifies On Voting; Alleges Groups Registering Voters Signed People Up For Early Ballots Without Their Knowledge

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R) testified about the state's elections process before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington this morning.  He provided a defense of Arizona's process and of the voter identification requirements.  And, under questioning, he noted that two of the groups that mounted voter registration efforts in Arizona this year acknowledged that they had signed people - mostly, Hispanics - on to the Permanent Early Voting List ("PEVL") without their knowledge (by checking the box for the PEVL after the form had been filled out by the voter.  Bennett was trying to explain why some Hispanics may have had to vote provisional ballots on election day. (Although it would appear that that might contradict his claim that there was not a higher proportion of Hispanics who had to vote provisionally.)

"One of them admitted that of the 34,000 Latino voters that they registered within the last few weeks, or the month or two, before the election, on many of those voter registration forms, the voter themselves had not checked the box to be on what's called the Permanent Early Voter List and receive their ballot by mail.  For the purposes of the organization that was pushing the drive, I was frankly a bit surprised that they admitted to me that the organization officials had checked a box on the voter registration form that the voter may not have known had been checked by the group that they gave it, which caused a ballot to be mailed to those voters, and they were thinking that I'm going to go to the polls to vote and a ballot actually shows up that they thought was a sample ballot or whatever." (this quote is from the final six minutes of the hearing, and is transcribed by Arizona's Politics)



(click on picture to go to video)

Arizona's Politics is seeking a response from the groups that Bennett references, and will update as necessary.

Here is a link to Bennett's written statement to the committee.


(http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?comm=judiciary&type=live&filename=judiciary121912 link to Senate video)



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WATCH: Sen. John McCain Says Goodbye To Sen. Jon Kyl On Senate Floor

Arizona's senior Senator, John McCain, gave his goodbye tribute speech to retiring junior Senator Jon Kyl yesterday.  Kyl gives his valedictory at noon today.



Kyl thanked McCain:


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WATCH: Sen. McCain Eulogizing "Unique, Brave, Wonderful" Sen. Inouye On Senate Floor

Sen. John McCain spoke on the Senate floor yesterday about his longtime colleague, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who passed away earlier in the day.

McCain led off noting that the "unique, brave, wonderful" Inouye was "A MAN WHO BROUGHT TO THIS INSTITUTION THE MOST UNIQUE CREDENTIALS THAT I WOULD ARGUE PROBABLY OF ANYONE WHO'S EVER SERVED IN THIS PRETTY DIVERSE BODY."

McCain yielded the floor when he saw Hawaii's other Senator, Daniel Akaka, arrive to deliver his own eulogy.





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WARM UP VOCAL CORDS, SEN. KYL! Farewell Speeches Running Long

Long acts to follow!  Many of the U.S. Senate's departing members gave their farewell addresses last week; Arizona Senator Jon Kyl (R) is set to give his tomorrow (at noon, AZ Time), and has to decide how much time he wants to take to give his valedictory.

Retiring Democratic Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) and defeated Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) spoke last week, as did Maine Senator Olympia Snowe (R).  (Others may have, as well.)  Their speeches ran in the range of 15 minutes to an hour.  Sen. Kyl's office notes to Arizona's Politics that he has not decided how long he is going to address his colleagues (and the nation, via C-Span).

There are one dozen members of the 10-person Senate who are spending their final weeks there.  In addition to Kyl and those named above, there are: Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Daniel Akaka (D-HA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Herb Kohl (D-WI).

Kyl was one of the more high profile retiring members, due to his role as the Republican's Minority Whip.  He will be replaced by Rep. Jeff Flake (R), who won a close election over Richard Carmona.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bloomberg News: Arizona Gov. Brewer "May Challenge State Constitution To Run"

Bloomberg News' Phoenix correspondent Amanda Crawford, who broke the story of Governor Jan Brewer's trip to Afghanistan last week, is reporting that the Governor said again yesterday that she has not ruled out running for another gubernatorial term in 2016.

The Governor spoke with reporters yesterday afternoon after a ceremonial bill signing.  She was also asked about the $250,000 contribution from casino magnates the Adelsons to her Jan PAC.



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On The President's Desk: Allowing Pascua Yaqui Tribe To Determine Its Membership

A measure sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD7) (and co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD1-->CD4) has made it to the President's desk, and will permit the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to determine its own membership.

H.R. 4413 is a one sentence resolution amending federal law "To allow the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to determine the requirements for membership in that tribe."  It removes the previous language that set forth four different clauses, and states that "membership of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe shall consist of any United States citizen of Pascua Yaqui blood enrolled by the tribe."

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has a small amount of land in Pima County and has a number of members living in the Phoenix-area community of Guadalupe.  They recently celebrated the 34th anniversary of the U.S. government's recognition of their tribe.

It is expected that President Obama will sign the measure shortly.

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WATCH: Rep. Gosar On House Floor On Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Fast and Furious

Two days before the 2nd anniversary of the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on the Arizona-Mexico border, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD1) spoke about Terry and about the Fast and Furious gun-walking investigation.

After using the first half of his 2 1/2 minute speech remembering Terry and recounting the events of December 14-15, 2010, Gosar recapped the subsequent Fast and Furious investigation, vowed to continue to demand answers from the Justice Department, and said he would "look to the Hispanic Caucus to break their silence and to take up this issue affecting everyone in Mexico."



The speech also comes one day after one of the "straw buyers" - who purchased guns pretending they were for personal use but sold them to others who smuggled them into Mexico - was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 57 months in prison.  Jaime Avila, Jr. had purchased/re-sold one of the AK-47-style weapons found at the scene of the battle that killed Terry.

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GETTING CATTY(ier): Did Rep. Schweikert Get Booted From Committee Because He Leaked Story About Skinny-Dipping In Sea Of Galilee?; Sen. Rand Paul Jumps In

(UPDATED, 12:31pm: Lede updated to reflect that Roll Call had initially covered yesterday's "boisterous" meeting.)

The saga of Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD5-->CD6) and three other Republicans getting removed from their coveted House Committee slots continues to unravel. Roll Call covered the Republican Study Conference meeting yesterday, and  Politico now is leading with unnamed Congresspeople and other sources saying that Schweikert and two of the others are "the most egregious assholes" in the Republican caucus.

The incident that led to Schweikert being removed from the Financial Services Committee is reportedly the August reports (that started on Politico) that the FBI had investigated Representatives' (and staff's) behavior on a privately-funded trip to Israel in 2011; one Representative skinny-dipped in the Sea of Galilee and others apparently partially disrobed to frolic in the religiously-significant lake.

Schweikert was locked in a contentious primary fight with fellow Republican lawmaker Ben Quayle (R-CD3), they had both been on the trip, and Quayle was one of the Congresspeople who went into the lake (Schweikert was not).  Quayle was forced to respond shortly before the August 28 primary.




Meanwhile, many conservatives are escalating the intra-GOP battle with House GOP leadership.  Yesterday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul - a Tea Party favorite and the heir apparent to the Ron Paul following - used his leadership PAC to send out an e-mail urging his and his father's followers to petition House leadership to reverse their committee assignment decisions.  (Arizona's Politics is on various Ron Paul e-mail lists but not on Rand Paul's; the list was definitely rented.)  The e-mail is reproduced below the jump. ("RAND-PAC" did not support either Schweikert or Quayle in the election.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WATCH: Rep. Gosar Lines Up With Dick Butkus, Disagrees With Charles Barkley In Hearing

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD1) was able to friendly-question NFL icon Dick Butkus in a Congressional hearing this morning, and the two agreed that the National Football League should begin testing (current) players for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

Gosar urged the NFL to, as the famous Nike slogan suggests "just do it," and took the opportunity to disagree with former Phoenix Suns (basketball) great Charles Barkley's famous Nike commercial, in which he stated "I am not a role model."  Butkus - an NFL Hall of Fame linebacker - agreed with the first-term Congressman.  (Barkley is in basketball's Hall of Fame.)





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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sheldon and Miriam Adelson - Mega GOP Money Couple - Give $250,000 To Governor Brewer's SuperPAC; Brewer Banks It

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's (R) eponymous SuperPAC has a quarter-of-a-million dollars in the bank, ready for 2014 or 2016.  That cushion was provided by Republican mega-money couple Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

On October 19*, the same day that the casino magnate and his wife gave $10 Million to GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's SuperPAC, they wrote a check to Jan PAC to help Brewer work Arizona Congressional races, the Montana Senatorial campaign, and pro-Romney robocalls.

The Adelson contribution is easily the largest to the Governor's committee (no dollar limits for Super PACs), making up more than one-quarter of the $909,267.71 raised through November 26, per her new FEC filing.  Brewer's private meeting with Adelson one month later at the Republican Governors Association made national news, and it morphed into the primary piece of evidence that Brewer might consider herself a presidential aspirant in 2016.

The Adelsons spent approximately $150 Million during the 2012 campaign in their efforts to defeat President Barack Obama and other Democrats.  (Given that almost the entire amount spent on independent expenditures had been raised before the Adelson contribution, it is unclear whether the JanPAC contributions should be thought of as part of the 2012 effort, or an opening salvo for the future.)

***

Other interesting notes from JanPAC's post-election filing indicate that - besides the mailers previously reported on - the committee spent $30,000 on Get Out the Vote calls on behalf of Romney.  JanPAC also acknowledge for the first time that it did spend money on robocalls on behalf of unsuccessful Montana Senatorial candidate Denny Rehberg.  Those robocalls received unwelcome attention because Montana law makes robocalls - even for political purposes - illegal.

In addition, JanPAC did not file the required FEC disclosures regarding the Montana calls.  Those same disclosures were required for the Romney robocalls.


*October 19 was a big day for last minute campaign contributions, because any monies given after October 18 did not need to be reported until one month after the election was over.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

WATCH: Sen. McCain's News Conference Today On Syria, Russia, Human Rights

Arizona Senator John McCain was among a handful of Senators holding a news conference this afternoon after the Senate voted 92-4 to pass a "bill to authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to products of the Russian Federation and Moldova and to require reports on the compliance of the Russian Federation with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization, and for other purposes."  Here is the text of the bill.


Here is the link (not yet embeddable) to the news conference regarding reports that Syria may have weaponized some of its chemical weapons.  (C-Span had some confusion and initially sent us erroneous links.)  



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PHOTOS: Gov. Brewer Ready To Launch Drone, Posing With Arizona Soldiers, More

Now that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has left Afghanistan, the embargo on her trip there has been lifted.  Her office was very secretive, which resulted in a lot of "Where In the World Is Jan Brewer?", or "Where's Jan-O?" publicity around the country.  Amazingly, her gubernatorial travel buddy - Missouri Governor Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon (D) - had no such problems.

The two governors were brought to Afghanistan by the U.S. Military, and were able to interact with some of the soldiers from their states.

Here are some pictures of Brewer, released by the private contractor that handles public affairs for the U.S. Military in Afghanistan.

(Caption: Warrant Officer Joseph Tyson, an Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Operator assigned to 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and attached to Task Force Steel at FOB Frontenac, explains how the launch controls for the RQ-7 Shadow function.)
(Caption: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Packard, assigned to 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment , 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and attached to Task Force Steel at FOB Frontenac, explains some of the capabilities of the Stryker vehicle.)
Ariz. Gov. Janice K. Brewer poses Dec. 5 for a photo with soldiers from her home state who are currently deployed to Afghanistan with 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. 

There was military action in Afghanistan while the Governors were there, including a couple of operations that resulted in deaths or arrests of either "insurgent" or "Taliban" leaders.  The U.S. currently has approximately 68,000 combat troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO efforts, and the deployment of combat troops is currently scheduled to end in 2014.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WATCH: Rep. Schweikert Rides To Tombstone's Rescue

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD5, East Valley) took to the House floor yesterday to try to keep "The Town To Tough To Die" alive.  His one-minute speech came the day after the Goldwater Institute argued on behalf of Tombstone in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Tombstone is seeking the right to use mehanized equipment in the federal Huachuca Mountain Wilderness Area in order to repair a vital water pipeline damaged in last year's Monument Fire.

Schweikert's talk was entertaining, complete with a picture of four men working on a boulder on a mountainside.  "They're not allowed to take a little Bobcat up the mountainside to get to the springs to fix their water, so you have to go up by hand up a mountainside to remove the boulders.  Is there an adult in the Forest Service who has a little sense?"



Of course, it would be impossible for Rep. Schweikert to go into detail in his allotted sixty seconds.  We will provide a brief synopsis here, and will paste (below the jump) some of the factual background set forth in Hon. Frank Zapata's May 14, 2012 Order denying Tombstone's (2nd) motion for a preliminary injunction.

Rock and debris slides following the Monument Fire damaged the water system that supplies Tombstone with most of its water.  Tombstone claims that the Forest Service ("USFS") has been hindering its efforts to reach and fix the water system by requiring Tombstone to tell it what repairs it intends and what materials and equipment they will be using to make the repairs.    The USFS says that it has approved Tombstone's requests when it has provided the information necessary to determine that the Wilderness Area would not be inappropriately disturbed for other users.  There also is a dispute about the extent of Tombstone's water rights in the mountains - Tombstone's claims are based on maps and springs systems that the Forest Service claims are difficult to determine today.

The appeal on the denial of the injunction was argued by the Goldwater Institute (for Tombstone) and the USFS on Tuesday, after the U.S. Supreme Court twice refused to hear the appeal (on different grounds).

(There are other issues standing in Tombstone's way, as this article in its local paper sets forth.)

(Below: The "Background", as set forth in the May 14, 2012 Order)

Rep. Schweikert To Speaker Boehner: Where's The Line Of Acceptable Behavior?

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD5-->CD6) apparently voiced his concerns about being removed from the Financial Services Committee to House Speaker John Boehner today in the closed door House Republican Conference.  According to Politico, Schweikert "want(s) to know where the line of acceptable behavior is."

The freshman Republican from the East Valley is enjoying a wave of positive attention from this intra-party fight.

The Politico article notes that "sources" are saying that Schweikert and the other three lawmakers removed from good committee assignments were removed not for ideological reasons, but because they "worked against their colleagues or leadership."

Arizona's Politics asked Schweikert's spokesperson yesterday how the current committee shuffling compared to any shuffling that occurred when he was in the Arizona state legislature.  He has not yet responded, but apparently did note at the House Republican Conference today that he had had to kick people off of committees when he was the Majority Whip in the Arizona House.

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ARIZONA SUPREME COURT: Prop. 204 Petitions Met "Substantial Compliance" Test, And "Fatal" Test Would Be Too Tough

The Arizona Supreme Court today released its extended opinion on the summer lawsuit drama involving the petitions for the initiative that would have raised the state sales tax by 1% to help fund (primarily) education.  The Justices reaffirmed that it must "liberally construe initiative requirements," and refused to accept Secretary of State Ken Bennett's proposed test that any substantive difference between the versions were "fatal".

However, the Justices defended Bennett's controversial position (he was criticized by the initial judge) to not accept the petitions, and they declined to grant the Quality Education and Jobs Committee attorney's fees.  The Committee had submitted (to the Secretary of State's Office) an electronic copy of the initiative that differed from the paper copies that they had submitted and circulated.

"Although we recognize the pressures to speed
election cases through the courts, we disagree that the defense
interposed was inconsequential or wasted judicial resources.
This case presented an unusual circumstance not of the
Secretary’s making. He was placed in a difficult position by
the Committee’s filing of conflicting versions of its
initiative. The Secretary proceeded properly in bringing this
issue to the court." (¶ 20)
Courts typically lean towards allowing voters to having a say, whether it is regarding candidate's petitions or, especially, initiative petitions.  This opinion strongly reaffirms that:

 Here, by contrast, the parties circulated the intended
version so that all signers had the opportunity to review it
before signing a petition.  ¶13 Most importantly, we conclude that our current test
strikes the appropriate balance between protecting our citizens’
right to initiate laws and the integrity of the election
process. For these reasons, we are not persuaded that we should
change our standard for reviewing initiatives.
¶14 Under the substantial compliance standard, we conclude
(and the parties agree) that the Committee’s filing of differing
versions of the initiative was a clerical error, done without
any intent to defraud or deceive. And in the circumstances of
this case, there was no significant danger that voters would be
confused or deceived by the discrepancy between the paper and CD
versions; the voters who signed the petitions had the
opportunity, if they wished to take it, to study the correct
provision. Moreover, the Secretary of State’s Office received
and had on file the complete copy of the initiative circulated. (¶¶ 12-14, citations omitted)

Proposition 204 was defeated on November 6 by approximately 30 percentage points, and the one percent temporary sales tax increase approved in 2010 is set to expire in 2013.





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BREWER IN AFGHANISTAN? On State Business? Is She "Presidential Aspirant" NOW?

On Monday, Arizona's Politics reported on the news that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had been one of five Republican governors to have one-on-one meetings with GOP mega-millions man Sheldon Adelson, and how it had morphed into media outlets calling Brewer a potential Presidential candidate in 2016.  It was right after that that the "Where In the World Is Jan Brewer?" game started.

And, with today's new news (kudos to Bloomberg News) - not a sighting, but word from someone "familiar with the Governor's schedule" - that Jan Brewer is in Afghanistan visiting Arizona-based soldiers there, we can at least begin to surmise that she might consider herself to be a "Presidential aspirant".
(photo NOT from current trip)

There are a couple of interesting aspects of this story that deserve fleshing out: First, yesterday afternoon, both U.S. Senators from Arizona (of the same party as Brewer) proclaimed emphatically that they did not know where she was.  Why would our Governor take a foreign trip to a war zone without notifying either John McCain - who has been there several times - or Jon Kyl?

Second, the "Where in the world?" articles have all noted that the Governor's spokesman, Matt Benson, says that the trip is "official business".  That would lead to the reasonable assumption that Arizona taxpayers are picking up the entire tab for this trip.  After all, this is not a trade mission that is expected to bring financial benefits back to the state and can be expected to get the tab picked up by private interests. She is not going to hold a fundraiser in Kabul for Jan PAC.  Arizona's Politics has asked the Governor's Office for an answer.



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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BACK TO WORK: Rep. Ron Barber Voting In House 8 Days After Tumor Removed

Only eight days after having a cancerous tumor removed from his tongue, Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD8) was back in the Capitol casting votes today (Tuesday).

The votes were not consequential - he was part of a 398-2 majority to pass the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act, for example - but, it answered the concerns that were apparently lingering in some southern Arizona Republicans' minds, after the attempted assassination of previous Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011 (in which Barber was also shot, and 13 people were killed) left the district without a vote in the House for almost all of 17 months.



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LISTEN: Rep. Schweikert In Spotlight For Getting Booted From Financial Services Committee - Lovin' It!

News broke last night that soon-to-be-2nd-term Congressman David Schweikert (R-CD5-to-CD6) was getting booted from the House Financial Services Committee, apparently because the House leadership (Boehner, etc.) were not happy with his lack of support.

This is becoming a badge of honor that Schweikert is wearing proudly, and that may benefit him politically down the road.  It certainly did not hurt him in the primary against fellow frosh Ben Quayle, when the same leadership had to be publicly called out by the Club For Growth in order to not play intra-party favorites.

Rep. Schweikert had a lively interview on KTAR (92.3FM) this afternoon (with Karie Dozer and Chuck Powell): hear it here.




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WATCH: McCain, Kyl On Opposite Sides Of Treaty For Rights of Persons With Disabilities; Failed To Get 2/3 This Afternoon

Arizona's two Republican Senators both spoke passionately this afternoon on the Senate floor regarding the treaty setting out rights of persons with disabilities around the world.  McCain was among the 61 Senators who voted for it, but it needed 67 for ratification.

McCain and Kyl spoke back to back; here is the clip:


Here is more about the treaty from PolitiFact.  Below the jump is the text of the treaty and the reservations that the Senate was going to put on its ratification (if it had been successful).

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gov. Brewer Not Yet "Considered Presidential Aspirant" But Meets With GOP Big Money Guy

Politico is reporting that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was one of five Republican Governors to have private meetings with GOP money super-heavyweight Sheldon Adelson last month after the election.  However, the article points out that she was one of two that are "not considered presidential aspirants."

Adelson and his family contributed "a record $84 million or more" to GOP groups and plans to continue to spend big, according to the Politico article on potential presidential candidates starting to court the big money.

Brewer had her own eponymous Super PAC "Jan PAC") this past election cycle, and raised (and spent) a fraction of Adelson's efforts.  As Arizona's Politics has reported, Jan PAC has apparently violated federal election and Montana laws in its support of unsuccessful Montana Senate candidate Denny Rehberg, and accepted support from a major payday lender shortly before defending Arizona Congressional candidate Jonathan Paton (in CD1), who was being attacked for his ties to the payday lending industry.

(h/t David Fitsimmons at Arizona Daily Star)



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