FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WATCH: Sen. McCain Comes To University of Phoenix' Defense, After Defense Dept. Decision To Place Them On Probation

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) came to the defense of Arizona-based University of Phoenix on the Senate floor this afternoon, blasting the Defense Department, the Center for Investigative Reporting and especially Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) in the process.

University of Phoenix was placed on probationary status by the Department of Defense because it used official Defense Department seals on "challenge coins" which were given to servicemembers who were potential UOP students.

McCain painted Durbin's efforts encouraging the DOD as part of his "shameful...vendetta" against for-profit institutions, and as part of his "well-known record of not supporting the men and women who are serving in the military."

Here are links involved in getting to know more about this issue:
1) Letter from McCain and Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lamar Alexander, dated 10/22/15
2) "University of Phoenix put on probation over its military recruiting," from Center for Investigative Reporting, dated 10/8/15
3) Statement of DOD, 10/8/15




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(READ) Arizona Rep. McSally One of 79 Republicans Helping Pass 2-Yr Budget Deal; Tired Of "Salami Slice-Style Budgeting"

Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2) was the only GOP member of Arizona's delegation to help approve the 2-year budget & debt limit agreement this afternoon.  78 other Republicans also joined all of the Democrats to send it to the Senate with a  266-167 vote.  McSally said she did it to "take(s) us away from the harmful partisan brinkmanship and salami slice-style budgeting that has weakened our military and hurt our readiness."  Her full statement is below.


The deal is expected to obtain Senate approval and the President's signature.  It is one of the last major items to be moved through by retiring House Speaker John Boehner; he had indicated he wanted to clear the decks as much as possible for his soon-to-be-elected successor.

Here is McSally's full statement (voice cue: read with nasally voice, as if holding nose):
Today’s vote is about providing certainty to Southern Arizona families, businesses, and seniors and strengthening our national defense. The Bipartisan Budget Agreement takes us away from the harmful partisan brinkmanship and salami slice-style budgeting that has weakened our military and hurt our readiness. It provides stability to our brave men and women serving in harm’s way, whom the President has shamefully been using as a political bargaining chip over the last month. This deal puts an end to his grandstanding by setting a minimum defense budget for the next two years.”

“The agreement also takes many positive actions like preventing a Medicare premium spike on millions of seniors, avoiding a catastrophic default on our debt, and restoring Congress’ ability to make appropriations that reflect our country’s priorities.”

“However, today’s deal does not replace the need for a defense authorization bill, which the President vetoed last week. We still have work to do to ensure the provisions I fought for protecting the A-10 and EC-130H next year are signed into law, and I’ll continue to work to make that happen.

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BREAKING: Controversial Private Prison Bid-Winner Contributed To Multiple Groups Campaigning For Governor Ducey, Including $200,000 To RGA

The Arizona Republic's Craig Harris has a thorough article about Governor Doug Ducey awarding the new private prison contract for the state prison in Kingman to The GEO Group. Among the sexual harassment claims against it, Harris details the company's support to Ducey's 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

However, in addition to the $2,000 given directly to Ducey's campaign and $50,000 to the non-dark money Conservative Leadership for Arizona supporting Ducey, The GEO Group also has contributed $200,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which ended up spending $5.2 Million on the Ducey election.

More than half of that $200,000 - $125,000 - was given to the RGA's 527 committee on March 11 of this year.  That is two months before the inmate riots at the prison in Kingman.  The other $75,000 was given in September ($50,000) and earlier in 2014.

While not all of the contributions to the RGA necessarily went to Arizona's election, as the money is fungible and moved around, the RGA did end up receiving many Arizona-based contributions during the campaign (including $50,000 from APS).  The RGA 527 spotted the RGA Arizona PAC with $500,000.

The GEO Group is also a member of the RGA's secretive Republican Governors Public Policy Committee, which came out accidentally during last year's campaign.

For reference purposes, The GEO Group DID contribute to the Democratic Governors Association.  During the same period it gave $200,000.00 to the RGA, it gave $350.00 to the DGA.

The Republic article also brings to light the question of how much money The GEO Group may have spent supporting the Ducey campaign through dark money channels. Some $15 Million from dark money sources was spent in Arizona during the 2014 campaign, a good chunk of it in the Governor's race.

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WATCH: Trump's 2nd Place Poll Was "Like My Birthday Present", Says Meghan McCain On Fox Business News

31-year old Meghan McCain celebrated her birthday with the news that Donald Trump had dropped to 2nd place in a GOP Presidential poll.

After dissing John Kasich and Jeb Bush for complaining about the high standings for Trump and Ben Carson, McCain spent her Fox Business News segment playing up her favorites, Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio - both of whom co-sponsored immigration reform with her father.

Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney mistook McCain's critical comments about Kasich and Bush for "a soft spot" for Trump. McCain humorously took him to task for that.



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Arizona Republicans Split 2-3 On Reauthorizing Export-Import Bank

Arizona Republicans split 2-3 in favor of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank last night.  Reps. Matt Salmon (R-CD5) and Martha McSally (R-CD2) joined with all but one Democrat (Grayson) in passing the measure 313-118.

Arizona's three other Republicans, Reps. Paul Gosar (CD4), Trent Franks (CD8) and David Schweikert (CD6) voted against it.  The House has not yet moved the reauthorization to the Senate, pending disposing of a motion for reconsideration.

Here is a Congressional summary of what extra controls the reauthorization measure contains.  Rep. Schweikert spoke Monday during the debate and suggested getting the taxpayers off the hook for any of the bank's loan losses.


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Congressional Battle Over Arizona West Valley Casino Reaches New Level With "Ethics Concern", Delays Fast-Track Vote

The Congressional battle in the multi-front war over the Tohono O'odham casino in Glendale blew up on the front pages of one of the leading D.C. news sites this morning. Politico's headline: "Ethics concern scuttles vote on tribal bill".

It seems the sudden fast-tracking of the "Keep the Promise Act" - promoted by GOP allies of the Gila River and Salt River nations to prevent the casino from opening - coincided with a fundraiser aimed at the Native American community for the National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC").

House GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy scheduled the measure, sponsored by Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R-CD8), for a vote this week under a suspension of the rules.  Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) - who has long been the chief opponent of the long-running bill, since he represents much of the Tohono O'odham Nation - sent a letter (below) requesting removing it from the fast-track consideration and setting it for a full debate and vote.  He did not raise any ethical concern.

The House has passed this bill multiple times in the past, but it has not made it through the Senate.  This year is different from the past, as the ground has shifted under Congress' feet.  The casino has won new support from Glendale and has had further victories in courts.

But, most relevantly, the Congressional Budget Office came out with a report earlier this year that said if the bill became law, it would undoubtedly end up in court as an alleged "regulatory taking", and could result in the government spending $1B to compensate the Tohono O'odham for lost gaming revenues, etc.  The CBO report is below.

Arizona's Politics has previously reported on the vast amounts of money that the various Nations have been paying Congressional lobbyists.  When the most recent lobbying reports came in, showing an increase in the already-huge expenditures by the proponents of the bill, it became apparent a new push was in the works.

The Politico article notes that the bill was pulled because "members are still working out issues within the delegation and across the table."  An unnamed spokeswoman for Franks agrees that the Arizona delegation is working on it.

Arizona's Politics has questions out to several members of the delegation, and will update as warranted.





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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(READ) Rep. Gosar Among 19 Republicans Calling For Impeachment Of IRS Commissioner For "Despicable Conduct And...Fraudulent Statements"

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4) is among 19 House Republicans on the Oversight Committee
filing impeachment papers against the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"). Gosar said the charges are appropriate because of his "despicable conduct and his fraudulent statements under oath."

Here is Gosar's full statement:

“On Koskinen’s watch, the IRS intentionally destroyed nearly 24,000 emails from Lois Lerner and failed to comply with a Congressional subpoena. To make matters worse, Commissioner Koskinen made a series of false and misleading statements, under oath, to Congress at multiple committee hearings on this matter. Koskinen said in March 2014 that the IRS had turned over all Lerner’s emails and all requested information, yet, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration uncovered more than 1,000 emails that the IRS tried to hide. As a result of this despicable conduct and his fraudulent statements under oath, Koskinen is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and must be impeached.

“Under the direction of Commissioner John Koskinen, IRS officials have led a coordinated effort to hide the truth about this rogue agency’s targeting of innocent Americans based on their political beliefs. There is an old saying in Washington that ‘It's not the crime, it's the cover up’... In this case, it’s both. Commissioner Koskinen’s crimes are a scar on our Republic and an affront to the first amendment protections of our Constitution. Make no mistake, unelected bureaucrats, such as Commissioner Koskinen, will continue to freely violate the rule of law until the House enforces its sovereign power of impeachment under Article I, Section 2, Clause 5. These bureaucratic henchmen haven’t suffered any negative consequences for their corruption. That must end now.”

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IN CONTEXT: Arizona's Health Insurance Rates Still Lower Than Almost All, Despite New Reports; HHS Analysis Seems To Overstate Phoenix Jump

The news about Arizona's health insurance premiums in the "Obamacare" Marketplace rising fast hit hard, and Senator John McCain - among other Republicans - was quick to jump on it.  However, in context, the benchmark plan in Arizona is still lower than most other places.

In addition, the HHS analysis apparently overstated the benchmark jump in Phoenix, by more than 2%.

Today's news is based on a summary snapshot provided by the federal HHS (Dept. of Health and Human Services), which did not list actual premiums in its snapshot; it only listed percentage increases, as the Arizona Republic's article properly noted.

Last year, Arizona's Politics reported on the 10% DECREASE in premiums for Arizona's benchmark plan. That report was based on actual premiums, and showed that the monthly premium dropped from $197 to $177.

But, Arizona's Politics again went on the Healthcare.gov website to check out the benchmark plan for itself. Here's what you find:
So, it DID go up from last year's benchmark (a Meritus plan), BUT it *only* went up 16.9%, somewhat less than the new report claimed for Phoenix (19%). (You can also note that the deductible DECREASED from $5,000 to $3,100 and the co-pays went down.)

HOWEVER, when you consider the 2014--->2015--->2016 long term trend - which helps flatten out the volatility in how the insurance companies are changing their plans and premiums - you find the average annual increase is 2.5%.

Of course, the benchmark plan is NOT the average plan for the average consumer; rather, it is a snapshot of the market used to calculate how much of an assistance credit that the low-income consumer receives from the federal government if they choose a higher-priced plan.  Therefore, the value of using it as a way of measuring how much consumers' premiums have increased (or, decreased) is very limited.

In comparing Phoenix to the rest of the country, Arizona's Politics is not going to perform similar calculations for cities across the nation.  However, to note that Phoenix's Marketplace premiums are still lower than most sampled cities in the other 49 states, you can peruse this 2015 chart.


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IN CONTEXT: MCSO's Focus On Bestiality Cases & Internet Bestiality Stings

Yesterday, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") announced the arrest of a Washington state man on felony charges of conspiracy to commit bestiality.  You may have seen coverage on your local news station, along with comments from Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

This is not the type of news that Arizona's Politics covers, but it did prompt several questions. MCSO Dep. Joaquin Enriquez, a Media Relations Spokesman, provided some valuable context.

More than one of the MCSO arrests have been of out-of-staters who have responded to the MCSO's internet bait. Other Google news accounts of bestiality arrests from this year appear to deal with in-state activities.

Enriquez states that the "MCSO appears to be the only law enforcement agency in the country that has a dedicated animal crimes unit. Within that unit, one detective is tasked with focusing on bestiality cases, and has been for the past two years." Some law enforcement agencies around the nation do appear to have units or task forces which handle animal-related crimes, but we found no evidence of any focusing on bestiality, let alone conducting an ongoing internet sting.

The Deputy also notes that "There is no reason to believe that bestiality has risen in frequency, nor is it a new phenomenon. What is new is the attention MCSO is paying to it."

Our 2nd question had to do with the statuses of the 8 previous requests.  Enriquez replied that they have all been convicted.

Finally, Arizona's Politics wondered how much the MCSO prioritizes this crime. In addition to the comment above that one detective focuses on bestiality cases, Enriquez says "In truth, if we had more deputies involved, we'd have more cases, and we could probably keep a surprising number of deputies busy. However, it is a case of priorities and resources, and so we are devoting as much as we can to this crime without shortchanging other needs."

Arizona's Politics has asked some follow-up questions, and will update as necessary.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

WATCH: Rep. Schweikert Rails About Not Being Able To Amend ExIm Bank Reauthorization

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) tonight railed against those trying to reauthorize the Export Import Bank (in the House) without accepting amendments.  The House is debating the procedure for considering the controversial bill, and it would prevent Representatives such as Schweikert from proposing an amendment that would "get the taxpayers off the hook".

"You know that there is a better way to do this than extending this type of crony capitalism and leaving our taxpayers on the hook."

Within the past hour, the House delayed voting on the proposed House Rule 450 (and the reauthorization itself).

(click on picture for the 2:20 video)



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(UPDATE) NBC Doubles Amount Of Equal Time That Democratic Presidential Candidates May Be Entitled To, Re-Airing Clinton's SNL Skit

NBC re-aired the Saturday Night Live with Hillary Clinton (and Miley Cyrus) this past Saturday, thus doubling the airtime that affiliates may have to provide to her opponents for the Democratic nomination for President.

Arizona's two NBC affiliates both uploaded  notices to their FCC political files today, and Clinton's opponents - Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and Larry Lessig - have 7 days to file equal time requests. KPNX in Phoenix - Channel 12 - failed to file their required notice after the initial October 3 airing, but was on-the-spot this morning for the re-run; they received at least one request for equal time on October 10.  Their notice today is posted below.

Arizona's Politics continues to provide both breaking and complete coverage of what could become an intriguing political and legal aspect of the 2016 Presidential campaign. (Links to previous articles are at the bottom of this update.)

Lessig, who has apparently been relegated to an outsider status by the Democratic National Committee, has already requested equal time from 47 affiliates around the country.  With the re-airing, it is highly likely that the Harvard law professor's campaign will file new requests for an additional 3:12 of uncensored time to present his views.

Lessig's negotiations may well set a precedent for the multiple requests that NBC affiliates will receive after GOP front-runner Donald Trump hosts SNL on November 7.

Here are the links to our 1st three articles:
1. Breaking the NBC Sunday Morning Memo re: Clinton's appearance: bit.ly/AZp11772. Breaking the Trump hosting announcement, considering equal time ramifications: bit.ly/AZp11803. "POLITICAL/LEGAL MEMO, To: All GOP Presidential Candidates. Re: 'Equal Time' Requests": bit.ly/AZp11814.  BREAKING (the ice): Hillary Clinton's SNL Appearance Triggers Equal Time Request From Larry Lessig; KPNX Among 47 Stations Nationwide Targeted (READ) http://bit.ly/AZp1185




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Friday, October 23, 2015

BREAKING (the ice): Hillary Clinton's SNL Appearance Triggers Equal Time Request From Larry Lessig; KPNX Among 47 Stations Nationwide Targeted (READ)

One of the three remaining major Democratic Presidential candidates has begun negotiations with the NBC television network for equal time following Hillary Clinton's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" ("SNL") earlier this month. NBC asked for proof that both Clinton and Larry Lessig are legally-qualified candidates for President.

Phoenix station KPNX (Ch.12) is among the 47 NBC affiliates across the country to receive formal equal time requests within seven days after the October 3 broadcast.

(Arizona's Politics was the first to report on and publish NBC's "Sunday Morning Memo" (Oct. 4), in which it advised stations to place a notice in their FCC political files and to advise the network of any requests.)

Larry Lessig made his request for 3:12 of airtime* in a letter dated October 10, and emailed/faxed to station managers at NBC affiliates in the top 35 TV markets and all NBC affiliates in the states where the first four Democratic caucuses or primaries will take place this coming February.

NBC responded two days later, asking for proof that both Clinton and Lessig are legally-qualified candidates for President. Lessig's attorney replied with documentation showing the extent of the Harvard law professor's campaign efforts.

The reply addressed the question of Clinton's qualifications with "surely, you can't be serious." He goes on to point out that she is "the most famous non-incumbent to run for President of the United States at least since Dwight David Eisenhower in 1952" and other reasons that if Clinton does not qualify, "then no one in America is running for President right now." (see, below)

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) explained to Arizona's Politics earlier this month that it leans toward taking a restrictive view on who qualifies for equal time AND where. It is possible that its determination (if one is requested) would be that only affiliates in New Hampshire (affiliates from neighboring states), Iowa and maybe South Carolina or other early-voting states would be required to provide the equal time, according to the FCC.

Lessig's attorney, Adam Bonin, tells Arizona's Politics that although the stations themselves have the equal time responsibility and that they have received responses from some of the 47, they are "relying on the network to represent them all."

The outcome of Lessig's request is no doubt being closely watched by the campaigns of the dozen-plus GOP candidates who could request equal time after Republican front-runner Donald Trump HOSTS SNL on November 7.
Here are the links to our 1st three articles:1. Breaking the NBC Sunday Morning Memo re: Clinton's appearance: bit.ly/AZp1177
2. Breaking the Trump hosting announcement, considering equal time ramifications: bit.ly/AZp1180
3.  "POLITICAL/LEGAL MEMO, To: All GOP Presidential Candidates. Re: 'Equal Time' Requests": bit.ly/AZp1181
(Please click below to review the equal time correspondence between Lessig's campaign and NBC.)

* The campaign rejects the idea of SNL plugging Lessig into an SNL comedy sketch for 3+ minutes, instead asking for an unfiltered block of time to express his views. While this might make for interesting negotiations and/or legal discussion about what constitutes "equal" - Clinton's skit was not unfiltered - Bonin points out to Arizona's Politics that "I think it would raise serious First Amendment and practical issues to demand that a scripted comedy show incorporate a candidate. That's not what the law has ever required."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

BREAKING: Kirkpatrick "Disappointed", Will Vote To Override Obama Veto Of NDAA

Arizona Rep.-and-candidate-for-Senate Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) said she was "disappointed" that President Barack Obama today vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA"), and promised to join Republicans in voting to override the veto.

Yesterday, Arizona's Politics reported on Arizona Senator-and-opponent-of-Kirkpatrick's John McCain's (R-AZ) blasting of Kirkpatrick for not speaking out ("for a change") against the promised veto, even though she had been one of 37 Democrats voting for the measure in the House.

Kirkpatrick's statement today (in full, below) emphasized the importance of the NDAA's funding of A-10 Warthog jets and the Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson that is their home base.  She said that the veto was also disappointing because she and 36 other Democrats had stood with Republicans "even in today's hyper-partisan climate."



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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

McCain Blasts Likely Re-Election Opponent Kirkpatrick - "Speak Up For a Change" - Re: Obama Veto Threat (READ Threat)

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is blasting his likely 2016 Democratic opponent, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1), urging her to "speak up for a change" against President Barack Obama's threatened veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.

In a news release through his campaign (not his Senatorial office), he said:
“This legislation is crucial to strengthening Arizona's important role in protecting our nation, and includes vital provisions to prevent the premature divestment of the A-10 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, and funds millions in Arizona defense acquisition and military construction projects across our state," said Senator John McCain. "It is deeply disturbing that Congresswoman Kirkpatrick has been totally silent as President Obama has threatened to veto this bill which is so important to Arizona and to America's security. I urge Congresswoman Kirkpatrick to speak up for a change and demand that President Obama prioritize the well-being of our military men and women and the security of our nation by signing this critically important legislation."
 Kirkpatrick was one of 37 Democrats to join with House Republicans in passing the NDAA on October 1.

The White House issued its veto threat of the measure in May, citing a number of reasons for its opposition, including the continuation of sequestration and provisions related to the prison at Guantanamo Bay. (The full threat is below.)


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Monday, October 19, 2015

Goldwater Institute's Clint Bolick At Top Of List For Arizona Supreme Court Justice Slot, Whether Alphabetically Or Gubernatorially

The Goldwater Institute's Clint Bolick is at the top of the list of nine candidates for an opening on the Arizona Supreme Court.  The Commission interviewing nine candidates listed them alphabetically, but Bolick also served Governor Doug Ducey during his transition earlier this year.

Here is the list from the Commission On Appellate Court Appointments. They failed to slot three applicants for interviews and consideration at their November 20 meeting:


Bolick was Ducey's choice to co-chair his transition committee to make sure "the federal government does not trample our state's rights". That is also one of the key goals of the conservative Goldwater Institute.

The Commission will forward at least three individuals' names to the Governor, and Ducey will appoint one to the vacancy created by Justice Rebecca White Berch's retirement.


(Arizona attorney Paul Weich contributed this article.)

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

POLITICAL/LEGAL MEMO, To: ALL GOP Presidential Candidates. Re: 'Equal Time' Requests

(Please review Arizona's Politics' previous articles breaking NBC's equal time memo following Hillary Clinton's appearance, and the possibly-related announcement of Donald Trump's hosting gig.)


POLITICAL/LEGAL MEMO (skeletal)

To:      Ben Carson
            Carly Fiorina
            Jeb Bush
            Marco Rubio
            Ted Cruz
           Chris Christie
            Lindsey Graham
           Rand Paul
            Mike Huckabee
             Bobby Jindal
             John Kasich
             Rick Santorum
             George Pataki
            ...the Professor and Mary Ann 
From: Paul Weich, co-founder of Arizona's Politics...and attorney
Date:  October 13, 2015
Re:      What you need to know about Donald Trump's SNL hosting gig and the FCC's equal time

BACKGROUND
The Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") enforces the 'equal time doctrine' for broadcast television licensees, although the categories of exempt programs have grown over the years, and other aspects have broadened.  However, the doctrine still exists and may still be useful for your campaign.

Last week, we were the 1st to report about the 'equal time' issues raised by Clinton's SNL appearance. (bit.ly/AZp1177) We raised the possibility that Trump was behind the NBC memo warning affiliates. (Even though FCC case law limits it to campaign opponents in the primary.

Today, NBC announced that Trump is HOSTING SNL on Nov. 7. We were again the 1st political site to report it (bit.ly/AZp1180).

This obviously triggers equal time issues for all major GOP presidential candidates. One or more are likely to avail themselves of this opportunity. It may (WILL) be interesting who will be the 1st to request (pre-request?) time on SNL, or some equivalent time elsewhere.
This abbreviated memorandum will raise some of the legal and political issues that you should be aware of and should consider when deciding whether to pursue equal time.

ANALYSIS

The equal time doctrine came about from the Communications Act of 1934, so it has been around for a long while.  It is simply and clearly set forth in this federal regulation:


1.  Saturday Night Live is NOT an exempt program, even as the doctrine has broadened to include late night talk shows, Entertainment Tonight-type programs, and other INTERVIEW shows.  (At the bottom of this memo is the FCC decision that determined that Howard Stern's radio show interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger did not trigger equal time doctrine.)
2.  One key thing to remember is that this is NOT a doctrine that is applied to THE NETWORK. Rather, these are applied to individual stations.  This means that you have to determine whether you are going to make your equal time requests to the certain stations, all stations, and/or the network.
3.  While it is not in the regulation, the FCC does tell Arizona's Politics that the equal time requests applies to stations in states where the requesting candidate is ACTIVELY campaigning.  They indicate that this would mean affiliates broadcasting in early primary/caucus states such as New Hampshire and Iowa would be likely targets, but that affiliates in other states - especially where the deadline to appear on the state's ballot has not yet passed - might not be required to provide equal time.
      In this campaign, where candidates may be actively campaigning in most or all states, this may become a key issue in determining whether to go to NBC or just select affiliates.  However, remember the words "legally qualified" - this has been found to mean that you are not entitled to equal time unless you have got your name on that state's ballot.  (Thanks to the advance notice, you might want to accelerate your efforts to get on key states' ballots before November 7.)  If there are a number of affiliates that you feel should provide equal time, you might want to negotiate with the network and apply pressure to the affiliates.
4.  There is little doubt that Trump's hosting of SNL is a "use" that will open affiliates up to equal time requests; however, keep in mind that you are only entitled to "equal opportunities."  SNL is not the only program that would represent an "equal opportunity".  This will also come down to your campaign's negotiation skills.
5.  As we've noted earlier, only candidates opposing Trump for the GOP nomination need apply.
6.  Although affiliates are supposed to place a notice of Trump's appearance in their FCC file, they do not always do so and you should not count on them doing so. The regulation requires you to make your equal time request within 7 days of the broadcast.  So, plan on doing so before the close of business, Friday, November 13 (to be safe).
       However, because of the political considerations mentioned in the introduction, we would suggest considering "pre-filing" your request. (A request for PREqual time?)
7.  If you are among "the Professor and Mary Ann" - one of the many who have filed with the FEC your notice of candidacy for the GOP Presidential nomination, the law states that the stations are not permitted to discriminate against a "legally qualified candidate". You also have a few weeks to get your legal qualifications in place in a state or states.  This is different than the GOP-sanctioned debates in which the networks and/or party set standards as to who could participate at the big kids table, the little kids table, etc.

(...to be continued)



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UPDATE: Trump To HOST NBC's SNL Nov. 7; Likely Biggest 'Equal Time' Trigger In History

(Update: For an article about a few of the ins and outs of the 'equal time' issues that may now be in play, please see this "memo".)

GOP Presidential front-runner Donald Trump is going to host NBC's Saturday Night Live franchise on November 7, in what is likely to trigger the most high-profile 'equal time' demands in U.S. political history.

NBC made the hosting announcement this morning.

As Arizona's Politics first reported, Hillary Clinton's 3-minute appearance on the comedy program 1 1/2 weeks ago prompted NBC to alert its affiliates to be on the lookout for requests for equal time from other candidates, although no such inquiries have yet come to life*.

The FCC has previously determined that only primary opponents - as opposed to opponents competing for another party's nomination - are entitled to equal time. Clinton has only four major Democratic opponents.

However, Trump still has approximately** 14 opponents for the GOP nomination.  It is highly likely that one or more of them will believe that requesting equal time - either on SNL or some equivalent NBC show - will be in their interest.  The early announcement of Trump's hosting also opens up the possibility of pre-requesting equal time; maybe SNL will even be able to put together a twinsies tag-teaming debate with candidates and their comedy impersonators!

Arizona's Politics has inquiries into NBC, and several of the major campaigns, and will update this article as needed.


*There is a 7-day window to make an equal time request. However, stations are supposed to upload their notifications immediately to trigger the time period, and some have still not uploaded (e.g. KPNX in Phoenix).

**Depending on how you define major opponents. The FCC regulations do limit the doctrine to prevent hundreds of non-major opponents from demanding free airtime.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

LISTEN: Fmr. Arizona Governor Fife Symington Considers Benghazi/Email Probe Of Clinton As "Blood Lust" and "Political Persecution"; SURPRISE! Drudge Helps Personalize Clinton

Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington (R-AZ) did not explicitly label Congress' ongoing Benghazi/email probe of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as "political", he did make it clear last night that he considers the "blood lust" as an example of "political persecution" that he does not wish on anyone.

Symington's comments on KTAR radio yesterday come on the heels of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's comments hinting that the Congressional Benghazi investigation  had been designed to bring down Clinton's chances at the Presidency.  He was interviewed by pollster Michael O'Neil.

Symington's full comments are available on O'Neil's website.

***

In related news, conservative internet powerhouse The Drudge Report seemingly did Clinton a huge favor today in giving the full headlining on the front page treatment to a Buzzfeed podcast interview in which Clinton jokes that she is a robot.

The interview turned to silliness when she was asked about her lack of perspiration, and ended up with Clinton noting that there is a "robot race" that she is heading up, and a reference to bourbon.

As Clinton's campaign is working hard to "humanize" the candidate, thousands of Drudge readers will click through to listen to Exhibit 1.  (Of course, thousands more may just believe that she is a cyborg without clicking through. ;-) )

Here is a link to the interview.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

READ: Federal Judge Orders Planned Parenthood-Related Video Turned Over To Congress, Warns No "Game of Hide the Ball"

The judge in the Planned Parenthood-related case (National Abortion Federation v. Center For Medical Progress ordered today that CMP should comply with the Congressional subpoena.

However, U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick also warned CMP to turn over identical information to the NAF, and to not play any games: "I will not countenance a game of hide the ball with respect to these documents, video footage and communications, that interferes directly with these proceedings."

Arizona has also subpoenaed CMP for the footage, though it does not appear that any Arizona Planned Parenthood affiliates were involved in fetal tissue donations (or, alleged sales). It is not immediately clear what the status is of Arizona's subpoena, but it does not appear that today's order effects it.
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BREAKING, READ: Hillary's SNL Appearance Might Trigger 'Equal Time' Demands; NBC Advises Affiliates To Play It Safe

In a surprising move and out of an abundance of caution, NBC advised its affiliates that Hillary Clinton's Saturday Night Live appearance might trigger 'equal time' demands, and that they should file a notice with the FCC that they gave the Democratic presidential candidate 3 minutes, 12 seconds of free airtime.

Arizona's Politics discovered the network's play-it-safe decision this afternoon after the Tucson affiliate uploaded the notice below to its FCC file.


Arizona's Politics then confirmed that the filing was not a KVOA decision, when it discovered that NBC O&O station KNBC in Los Angeles filed the entire Sunday morning memo from the network. The networ said that all stations that aired the program featuring a skit with Clinton (in which she impersonated GOP candidate Donald Trump) "should complete the following notice...and upload(ing) a copy of the notice to the online political file maintained for public inspection by the station."

The memo concluded by urging GM's to "Please let Affiliate Relations know promptly if your station receives a demand for equal time from any of the other candidates."



The law on whether NBC and its affiliates opened themselves up to equal time demands to the other 20 major party candidates, under federal law, is unclear.  Here is the FCC ("Federal Communications Commission") regulation:

As pointed out by broadcast attorney David Oxenford (in 2007), the equal time doctrine has not been repealed, just broadened significantly to include most or all of the candidate appearances on shows that are not generally considered as news.

Apparently, NBC had not previously considered candidates' appearances on SNL - a long and storied tradition - to be worthy of either equal time demands or FCC filings; Arizona's Politics checked the 2012 political files for both reporting NBC affiliates in Arizona and the two O&O stations in New York (where the appearances are "live from New York") and Los Angeles (where they are delayed three hours), and found no such filings. (Though, Barack Obama did appear shortly before the election.)

Whether this change of heart has to do with the nature of Clinton's appearance, with a possible reaction or reactions from other candidates (Donald Trump, who Clinton impersonated?), with a notification from the FCC (unlikely), or with  a more cautious legal department, is not yet clear.




(Arizona political law attorney Paul Weich contributed to this article.)

(Updated, 2:30pm to include language from the NBC memo.)

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Monday, October 5, 2015

BREAKING: McCain Raises $1M+ In 3Q15, Less Than Either Of 1st 2 Quarters; Warchest Of $4.9M (Politico Reports)

Politico is reporting this morning that Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) boosted his campaign warchest in the 3rd quarter to $4.9M - up from $4.5M.  They also note that his $1M+ raised is LESS than he raised in either of the 1st two quarters of 2015.

(Arizona's Politics reported last quarter about his slide from 1Q15 to 2Q15, and that $1.1M of the cash on hand is from his 2008 Presidential campaign.)

McCain faces both a primary challenge from his right, and a general election battle from his left.  Presently, State Sen. Kelli Ward is the primary GOP challenger and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) the likely general election opponent.


When the report is officially filed (deadline is the 15th), Arizona's Politics will report on it further.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

BREAKING: Bernie Sanders Hitting Tucson's Reid Park Bandshell Next Friday

Surging Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is holding a rally in Tucson next Friday.  The rally is scheduled for 7pm, with doors opening at 6pm, at Reid Park's bandshell.

Sanders, an Independent/Democratic Socialist U.S. Senator from Vermont, is planning on addressing a wide variety of his issues.  According to the news release, he "will discuss a wide range of issues including income and wealth inequality and the disappearing middle class, campaign finance reform, his legislation targeting high prescription drug costs, criminal justice reform, and his college affordability plan.

The release says that tickets will not be needed, but are encouraging people to RSVP.  The email address is on the news release, reproduced below.



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