Wednesday, November 6, 2019

BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court Backtracks, Will Not Restrict Livestreaming Outside the Courthouse (ARIZONA'S POLITICAL SHORTS)

5:00pm: The Arizona Supreme Court backtracked and will permit reporters and citizens alike to broadcast, photograph, etc from the courthouse steps. This afternoon's order replaces last month's, which caused a minor uproar. Court security will still be able to take action if someone is threatening, disrupting or causing a security issue.

Read more - and learn more about the new "AZ Law" program on Sun Sounds of Arizona - at our sister site.

12:00pm: As reported this morning on our sister site/program, "AZ Law", President Trump has made his second judicial nomination for the U.S. District Court in Tucson in under two months. Superior Court Judge John Hinderaker is being tapped to fill the vacancy created earlier this year when Hon. Raner Collins moved to "senior status".

Read more - and learn more about the new "AZ Law" program on Sun Sounds of Arizona - at our sister site.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NEW: House Passes Grand Canyon "Protection" Measure; AZ Delegation Splits Along Party Lines (ARIZONA'S POLITICAL SHORTS)

3:35pm: The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act this afternoon, 236-185. Although a few Representatives crossed the aisle, Arizona's delegation voted strictly along party lines on the AZ-centric measure.

If passed, the bill would remove one million federal acres from mining for uranium and minerals, and prevent those lands from being removed from the national park.


Here is the vote: http://bit.ly/3331mPI Here is the text: http://bit.ly/2BWfE9d

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva sponsored the measure, and said the following:
“We wouldn’t be here today without a truly historic level of dedication by people across the country, and I want to thank all the tribes, outdoor advocates, businesspeople, sportsmen and sportswomen, and everyday Americans who have poured their heart and soul into this fight. Protecting the Grand Canyon is more important than offering the mining industry more corporate welfare, and the alliance behind this bill will stand together until we preserve this international icon for our grandchildren once and for all. Some issues are powerful and popular enough to blast right through the usual Senate deadlock, and protecting the Grand Canyon is one of them.”

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Senate Judiciary Holds Hearing About "Sanctuary Cities"; Mesa "Angel Mom" Testifying TOMORROW

As Tucsonans are voting on Proposition 205 - the so-called "Sanctuary City" initiative - the (U.S.) Senate will hold a hearing about "the impact on public safety and victims." Mesa "Angel Mom" Mary Ann Mendoza is one of the four people who will be blasting those jurisdictions.

The Senate Judiciary Committee added tomorrow's hearing to its calendar last week, and just listed the witnesses this afternoon. Mendoza is the founder of "AngelFamilies.com" and has spoken out forcefully since her son was killed in 2014 by a drunk driver who was in the country illegally. Mesa Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza was off-duty when the collision happened and both drivers were killed. The illegal immigrant was convicted, shown leniency and released in Colorado in the early 2000's. He was not deported at that time.

Election day for the Tucson initiative is November 4, but early ballots are already in voters' hands.

Arizona Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) participated in a White House round-table about sanctuary cities with Mendoza, and has spoken with her since then. Here are the two of them speaking about the subject in 2018 (while McSally was a member of the House).


Sen. McSally's office has not yet responded to Arizona's Politics regarding the circumstances about the sudden scheduling of this hearing by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham. The hearing is at 7:00a.m. (Arizona Time).


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FACT CHECK: Censure-able? AZ Rep. Biggs Says Schiff's Trump/Zelensky Call Was "Egregiously False" - WATCH COMMENTS

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs has spent the last three weeks calling for fellow Rep. Adam Schiff to be censured for his characterization of the infamous phone call between Presidents Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky.

Biggs (R-CD5) accuses Schiff (D-CA) of having "manufactured a false retelling" and wants him censured for "this egregiously false and fabricated retelling (that) had no relationship to the call itself. Biggs' sold his initial resolution hard during media appearances and on social media, and gathered 148 Republican cosponsors.

Last week, he revised the resolution to add an allegation (ironically) raised by a New York Times article noting that Schiff's Intelligence Committee staff had been contacted by the whistleblower about the call between the U.S. President and the President of Ukraine before filing his/her complaint and that Schiff "lied to the American people".

The updated resolution (read, below) is to be brought to the floor tonight.

The characterization of the Trump/Zelensky call

The allegedly "egregiously false and fabricated retelling" took place at the House Intelligence Committee hearing on September 26, at which Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified. It was part of Schiff's opening remarks.

As shown in the video, Schiff summarizes Zelensky's role in the conversation. Then he says "And, what is the President's (Trump's) response. Well, it reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates." (Key phrases have been underlined.)

At the end of the exaggerated retelling, Schiff again notes that he was not quoting Trump. "This is, in sum and character, what the President was trying to communicate with the President of Ukraine."

Although the delivery was serious, the content was obviously exaggerated and it is clear from the explicit disclaimers both before and after the characterization that Rep. Schiff was not reading "an egregiously false" transcript of the President's remarks.

If anyone is engaged in a "false retelling", it would be those who are using the Schiff comments to change the subject from the actual comments (and conduct) made by the President in his dealings with Ukraine.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs' characterization of Schiff's September 26 comments is FALSE.





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Thursday, October 17, 2019

BREAKING: Consistency! Sen. Sinema Casts Another Vote Against Clean Power Plan

When Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was one of the three Democrats voting with Republicans today to permit the Trump Administration to repeal the Clean Power Plan, it was not the first time she crossed the aisle on the regulatory plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The 41-53 vote in the Senate today was a failed attempt to stop the EPA from repealing the Obama era measure. The three amigos - Sinema, Alabama Senator Doug Jones, and West Virginia's Joe Manchin - were the only three Democrats to allow the repeal. (Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only GOP Senator to vote in the minority.)

Sinema demonstrated consistency in her vote. The record shows that she also voted against the Clean Power Plan in 2015, while she was in the House. That resulted in much opposition from environmental groups.

Today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) cast the vote in stark terms: "Our Republican colleagues have a choice: They can either stop the rollback of life-saving environmental protections, or they can side with energy companies."

Sinema spokesperson Hannah Hurley provided Arizona's Politics with the following statement tonight: "Kyrsten voted against repealing the Affordable Clean Energy plan today for the same reason she voted against repealing the Clean Power Plan in 2015. We need bipartisan solutions that protect our air, land, and water and provide flexibility and certainty for Arizona families."
Senator Sinema has not commented publicly on the vote. Arizona's Politics has requested comment and will update as warranted.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

BREAKING: 3 AZ Reps. Among 60 Voting Against Resolution Condemning Abrupt Syria Withdrawal (READ)

Three of Arizona's Members of Congress were among the 60 who voted this afternoon against a resolution condemning the U.S. withdrawal from Syria. The resolution (below) opposes the hasty withdrawal, calls for Turkey to immediately cease its new military action in Syria, for the U.S. to support the Kurds, and for the White House to present a new plan for the "enduring defeat of ISIS."

Reps. Debbie Lesko (R-CD8), Andy Biggs (R-CD5) and Paul Gosar (R-CD4) were the only members of the Arizona delegation to oppose the resolution. The vote was 354-60.


Rep. Gosar issued a multi-part tweet explaining his vote, saying that "we have no business protecting Turkish borders or Syrian borders." He went on to link the Kurds in Syria to the PKK - a Turkish group that is viewed by Turkey President Erdogan as a terrorist organization.

Here is the resolution:





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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BREAKING: Rep. Schweikert's Campaign Sinks Into Red Ink As Ethics Probe Legal Bills Spike

(NOTEThis is a developing story and more details are being added. Arizona's Politics' reporting on all 3rd quarter finance reports can be found here.)

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert's (R-CD6) campaign committee sank back underwater in the 3rd quarter, as legal bills related to the lengthy ethics probe spiked. Perhaps even worse, his campaign fundraising plummeted in the just-completed third quarter.

Although he raised $136,000, the campaign spent $162,000 and incurred other bills that it had not paid as of September 30. While the below snapshot shows cash on hand on $144,000, it does NOT show that the debts owing were more than $186,000.


Schweikert's committee was underwater after the 1st quarter, but got its head above water at the end of the 2nd quarter. With more than $192,000 in legal bills incurred between July 1 and September 30, it is easy to see how things are worse now for the longtime Congressman than they have ever been.

Legal bills to the Congressman's Committee exceeded $192,000 in the 3 months ended Sept. 30. It brings his total legal bills related to the probe to more than $869,000.

It also indicates that the probe is inhibiting the fundraising abilities for a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. His receipts plummeted this quarter after suffering only a slight dip in the previous quarter. For the first three quarters of 2019, they have gone from $248k to $237k to this $136k.

Schweikert has no announced Republican opponents in next year's election, but several Democrats are vying for that party's nomination. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni raised $333k this past quarter and  has more than $600k in cash on hand.






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READ (if you dare): Sen. McSally's 3,895 Page Campaign Finance Filing

We are separately presenting the full third quarter campaign finance filings by Arizona Sen. Martha McSally (R) and her principle opponent Mark Kelly (D). McSally's filing is 3,895 pages and make take a long time to load.





For the rest of our coverage of the 3rd quarter reports filed today, please click this accompanying article.

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