Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kirkpatrick running for Senate: Dominoes will start falling

Crossposted from Blog for Arizona

...And I don't mean the pizza place, either...

With the announcement that Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) will challenge John McCain (R-Warmonger) for the US Senate seat that he currently holds, expect current state legislators to look at the CD1 seat...and other, lower-level, electeds to look at running for the legislative seats being vacated by those looking to run for Congress, and so on.

And that's not even considering the possibility of one or more additional members of Congress going after McCain's seat (i.e. - Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) and/or Matt Salmon (R-CD5) ).

Nor does it consider the possibility of a political newby/unknown entering (and upending) a race.

And finally, it doesn't factor in what the Supreme Court will rule in the case before it, where the Republicans in the Arizona Legislature sued to wrest control of the decennial Congressional redistricting process from the voter-created Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.  The USSC will issue its ruling on the issue in the coming weeks, and a ruling in favor of the legislature could result in a wholesale redrawing of Arizona's Congressional districts.

A ruling for the lege will result in many Rs jumping into races for what they consider to be "safe" districts; a ruling for the status quo will result in more Ds running for "competitive" districts.
Among the names being bandied about (and as the US Constitution requires only that candidates for Congress live in the state, not the district, most of these people could be considered to be carpetbaggers of a mild sort):

Update on 5/26/2015:

- Catherine Miranda, Democratic state senator, has already announced that she is "exploring" a run for the CD1 seat.  Her main claim to fame: she endorsed Republican Doug Ducey for governor in 2014, which probably won't help her much in a Democratic primary.

End Update...

- Andy Tobin, Republican former speaker of the AZ House, a former candidate for Congress, and current head of the soon-to-cease-to-exist Arizona Department of Weights and Measures

- Carlisle Begay, faux-Democratic state senator; had already been rumored to be considering a challenge to Kirkpatrick.  OK, the only real question about his candidacy was if he was going to run as a D or an R...

- Ben Quayle, R former Congressman; last seen working as a lobbyist

- Adam Kwasman, R former state representative and candidate for Congress

- Frank Antenori, R former state senator and candidate for Congress

- Russell Pearce, recalled R former president of the state senate (who has been making noises about a political comeback of some sort)

- Kelli Ward, R state senator who's exploring a challenge to McCain; she may decide that a run at a vacant Congressional seat is more viable

- Christine Jones, R former candidate for governor, who's always in the rumor mix when there is an open seat

- Chad Campbell, D former minority leader in the AZ House of Representatives, who is widely expected to run for a higher office.  The only real questions about that regard which office and when

- Paul Babeu, R sheriff in Pinal County.  Once considered a rising star among the Rs, he briefly ran for Congress in 2012.  During that campaign, news broke that he is gay.  End of campaign for Congress.  Still working the nativist circles in the Republican Party, so he may be looking for another run at higher office

- Jamescita Peshlakai, D state representative; unlike most of the people named about, she actually lives in northern AZ

- Chris Deschene, D former state legislator and former candidate for president of the Navajo Nation; widely respected and always on the short list of potential candidates in northern Arizona

- Ken Bennett, R former secretary of state and state legislator, he's been raising his visibility recently; while he now lives in Maricopa County, he has ties to northern AZ

More dominoes will fall once the USSC renders its decision, so stay tuned...

Kirkpatrick mounting a 2016 run for US Senate in 2016

The first "Wow!" moment of the 2016 election cycle, courtesy a tweet (via Facebook status) from Brahm Resnik of Phoenix channel 12 -

The full story is here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

With polls, both formal and informal, it's all in how the questions are worded

In scientific polls, say, by a professional and unaffiliated pollster, the questions tend to be neutrally worded, to ensure that the responses are as informative as possible.

In less scientific polls, say, by a campaign or a pollster working for a campaign, the questions tend to be less neutral, either to garner a specific response or to test "messaging".

In unscientific polls, say, an online question, the questions tend to serve as clickbait or something designed to a specific response to support a specific argument.

Not surprisingly, anti-voter Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan seems to favor the latter, especially when looking to protect the corrupting influence of dark money from the disinfecting sunlight of disclosure.

Reagan is in a tizzy* over the moves of the voter-created Citizens Clean Elections Commission to update its rules regarding campaign finance disclosure, changes that would clarify that entities that are "created within the six months immediately preceding the beginning of a legislative election cycle or that is formed or created during the election cycle and knowingly makes expenditures or takes contributions of $500 or more for any election in this state in a calendar year..." as political committees subject to disclosure requirements.

* - Probably more "cold and calculating fury" than "tizzy", but I believe that the word tizzy isn't used enough these days, so "tizzy" it is. :)

To that end, she has published a "statement" criticizing the CCEC's "power grab".

At the end of that statement, she has appended a poll.

That question, coming at the end of her statement excoriating the CCEC, looks to be crafted to rouse the ire of "small government" partisans, the kind that voted for her for SOS last year.

Apparently, I am not one of her "kind of people" (the kind of partisans who voted for her).

So I voted "Yes" (of course :) ).

Apparently2, the majority of other people voting in this poll aren't exactly her kind of people, either.

After my vote, the following screen appeared -


Probably not the sort of result that Reagan was looking for when she posted the poll.

On the other hand, she shouldn't be surprised - in scientific poll after scientific poll, the majority of Americans supports more oversight of campaign finance.

If, as I believe she has, she has aspirations to higher office (like the governor's office, which is both higher on the ballot and higher in the Executive Tower than her office), it might behoove her to take the poll results (both scientific and unscientific) into consideration before doubling down on her support of dark money and the anonymous purchase of elections and elected officials.

By the time the Doug Ducey era comes to a close, even the voters of Arizona may be tired of corruption in politics.

And its enablers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2016 races already heating up...local races, anyway

OK, mostly in Tempe, because Tempe is small enough that they still conduct their elections on a March/May calendar (for elections in larger municipalities, counties, the state, and federal offices, an August/November calendar is used).

For Tempe City Council:

Randy Keating, a long-time community activist and leader, has filed for a run.  Tempe icon Harry Mitchell (former: high school teacher, city council member, mayor, state senator, and Congressman) will be serving as his campaign chairman.

Keating, courtesy Keating for Council

Phil Amorosi, another long-time community activist and leader, has filed for a run.

Amorosi at a community event, June 2014

Joel Navarro, incumbent member of the council, has filed for a re-election run.

Courtesy Navarro's Twitter page

Robert Kizere, yet another long-time community activist and leader, has filed for a run.

For Tempe Mayor:

No filings as yet, but incumbent Mark Mitchell is running for re-election.

Mitchell at a community event, March 2015

Others will file for both races; stay tuned.

For Scottsdale City Council:

So far, only incumbent Suzanne Clapp has filed.

Courtesy Klapp for Council

Others will get into the race...

I couldn't find any new/significant filings for city of Mesa, Maricopa County, state, or federal offices as of 8:00 p.m. on 5/13/2015 (caveat: the county elections database was down tonight).

Yet.  That will change. :)

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Intelligent discourse or guns, what's your flavor?

 Note to readers: The following is not a commentary on the country's problem/obsession with guns.

...It could be "intelligent discourse on guns" but that just doesn't happen in the US, and the reasons for that are best left for another post...

Two upcoming events that would be a great topic for a "compare and contrast" assignment in English 101 (the basic composition course in Arizona's public higher education system) -

First up, The chair of the Federal Election Commission:

Invitation to Attend a Public Forum on Women in Politics

You are cordially invited by Ann M. Ravel, Federal Election Commission Chair, to a public forum on the challenges women face in the political arena. The purpose of the forum is to begin an open discussion with scholars, social scientists, political practitioners and the public to consider why, despite record-breaking numbers of women in the 114th Congress, women remain significantly under-represented in politics at all levels of government. To ensure a productive and wide-ranging discussion, we ask that all forum participants be ready to share their thoughts on this topic at the forum.

Public Forum Schedule

Session 1, Defining the Problem

9:00 am – 10:30 a.m.  

Why are women under-represented in elected political office?  What barriers do women face in political fundraising?  How has the federal campaign finance system helped or hurt women seeking political office?

Session 2, Crafting Solutions

10:45 am – 12:15 p.m.

How can we encourage women to seek elected political office?  Are women-focused fundraising PACs the solution?  How have other countries successfully fostered women’s participation in the political process?  What lessons can the United State learn from such programs?

  • Justice Maria del Carmen Alanis Figueroa, Federal Electoral Court of Mexico
  • Marni Allen, Political Parity
  • Victoria Budson, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard University
  • Betilde Munoz-Pogossian, Organization of American States
  • Pippa Norris, Harvard University, Sydney University and the Electoral Integrity Project
  • Darren Rosenblum, Pace Law School


The forum will be open to the public and press. The forum will be held in the FEC’s ninth-floor hearing room, located at 999 E Street, NW, Washington D.C., on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 9:00 A.M. until 12:15 P.M. Those wishing to participate may do so either in person or online.


If you would like to attend the forum in person, or if you are unable to attend but would like to submit written comments, please email us at CommissionerRavel@fec.gov. If you would like to participate online, live audio and video will be available. Links to both feeds will be available at FEC.gov. All are encouraged to submit comments and questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #FECWIP, or in the video webinar via chat box.  

Please note that this meeting will focus solely on understanding the challenges facing women in politics. If the discussion raises issues that suggest the need to consider revisions to or adoption of Commission regulations or procedures, the Commission will address such issues through its standard, formal procedures.

Contrast with The Tempe Republican Women:

Join us June 13th, 11-2PM at the Tempe Sheraton, 1600 S 52nd St, for a special summer luncheon with guest speaker Gov. Doug Ducey!

Admission is $25 for members (to cover our cost for the lunch and venue) and $50 for guests. For this event only, all guests paying for admission will get a free yearly membership to Tempe Republican Women as well (a $30 value.) Must be a registered Republican woman in Arizona. Republican men and members of other Republican women clubs will be given a free associate membership ($15 value) with purchase of guest admission.

A plated lunch is included with admission. Meal choice is Achiote Chicken. A vegetarian option is also available. Select at checkout.

We will be raffling off a new gun, donated from AZGuns of Chandler, as well as several giftcards to local restaurants. Stay tuned for more information.

Don’t miss out! Q&A will follow the Governor’s speech. Limit to 1 question per guest, unless time permits more.

BUY YOUR TICKET HERE: http://temperw.weebly.com/june-13th-2015-luncheon-wdoug-ducey.html

Questions: TempeAZRW@gmail.com  or  480-306-2545

Want a pic of the gun? 

From their Twitter feed:

I would like to point out two things here:

1. Republicans in Tempe seem to have a thing for putting more guns into circulation.

2. It isn't just Tempe Republicans.

3. As creepy as this is, IMO it isn't as creepy as the Tempe Republican Women's give away of an autographed pair of Joe Arpaio's underwear -

The first event (FEC forum on women in politics) sound interesting.  However, it takes place this coming Tuesday, a work day for me, and starts at 6 a.m. Arizona time.

There might be some readers who might be enthusiastic and engaged at 6 a.m. (in any time zone), but not me. :)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Short Attention Span Musing

...Being offensive isn't a capital crime.

From CNN, via Phoenix Channel 3 (KTVK), written by Saeed Ahmed, Ed Lavandera and Joe Sutton -
A cartoon contest featuring controversial images of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed turned deadly Sunday night when two men pulled up in a car and opened fire. Police returned fire, killing both men after one wounded a security guard.

None of the approximately 200 people attending the event were hurt.

The two shooters have Phoenix ties, sharing an apartment in north Phoenix.

Let's keep it short and simple: 

"Freedom of speech", as an American value, is almost universally treasured, even revered, here. It covers many activities, from "speaking truth to power" to "being obnoxiously offensive".

The organizers of the "cartoon contest" are rabid Islamophobes and were deliberately trying to offend and upset as many people, mostly Islamic, as possible.

They exhibit no redeeming qualities as human beings and offer no benefit to civil society.

They were completely wrong in their behavior.

And as wrong as they were (and still are), they were less wrong than the people they so offended and outraged that those people expressed their outrage by grabbing guns and attempting to kill those that offended them.

And2, this is not even a close call.

...The GOP 2016 presidential field may have to trade in their clown car for a tour bus if this keeps up.

From the Huffington Post, written by Chris Weigant -
Last week, the field of officially-announced Democratic presidential candidates doubled in size, from one person to two. This week, the Republican presidential field is likewise going to double, from three candidates to six. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio have all previously officially announced their candidacies, and this week they will be joined by Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson (who announced today), and Mike Huckabee (scheduled to announce tomorrow).

There are at least a half-dozen more Republicans who are looking to jump into the race, ranging from serious (i.e. - Jeb Bush) to "serious" (wink, wink) (i.e. - the Rick twins, Perry and Santorum).

There are others who are also making noises about getting in the race like Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-bat shit crazy) and Governor John Kasich (R-OH).

Assuming that all of the people who are "rumored" to be running (in quotes because some, like Jeb Bush, are widely known to be running, but haven't officially announced their candidacies) and that at least a few of the dark horses get into the race, the R field will need a larger vehicle to go from state to state.

I'm sure the Koch Brothers can afford it though.

...Doug Ducey may not be courageous, but no one can say that he is stupid.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Laurie Roberts -
The Arizona Board of Regents are voting today on a plan to raise tuition and fees at the state's three universities.

MIA from today's meeting: the person responsible for the Board of Regents having to raise tuition and fees at the state's three universities.

Gov. Doug Ducey, that would be.

...The Grand Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club released its report card on the 2015 legislative session, and to no one's surprise, every Republican at the Capitol except for two, Rep. Noel Campbell and Gov. Doug Ducey, earned "Fs".

Those two earned "Ds".

Next year being an election year, expect all of them to earn "Fs"...unless the Sierra Club adds "G" to their list of possible grades.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Know who had a bad week this week? Joe Arpaio

It is far too early to gloat - Arpaio has a seemingly uncanny ability to weasel out of trouble, often by throwing others under the bus.

He did that a lot this week, only to see many of his "throwees" drag him under the same bus.

First up: a primer (see the video above).

Note: it isn't perfectly accurate (for example, the infamous nativist bill SB1070 became law in 2010, not in "the 2008 - 2009 time frame") and most lawyers will cringe at it (much of the terminology used is for laymen, not those with JDs).  However, it effectively explains the factors that lead up to the current situation.

Second up: what happened this week in federal court in Phoenix.

A. A civil contempt hearing looking into possible violations of a court order by Arpaio took place.

B. At the hearing:
     1. Arpaio threw his lawyer under the bus.
     2. One of Arpaio's senior officers threw Arpaio under the bus.
     3. Arpaio's lawyer withdrew from the case.
     4. Arpaio admitted, under oath, to news broken last year by Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times - that he had the wife of the judge in this case, Murray Snow, investigated.

Personal observation: I don't know if Arpaio is a praying man, but if he is one, he should give a heartfelt prayer of thanks that Snow is the judge hearing this case.  Upon hearing that admission, most other people, including many judges, would have simply turned to the nearest court officer and ordered that Arpaio be taken to the darkest, dankest hole in the federal prison system and dropped in it.

Because Snow is the judge, Arpaio is still sleeping in his own bed.

So far, most of Arizona's Republicans haven't publicly weighed in on Arpaio's travails, though a couple of "fringe-y" folks have (in this case, "fringe-y" speaks to their likelihood of holding office in the near future, not to their political positions.  At this point, most members of the AZGOP espouse positions that are pretty "fringe-y.)

One that is (very) mildly critical of Arpaio: Christine Jones, a 2014 candidate for governor.  From her Twitter feed:

Another, stridently supportive of Arpaio: Jack Harper, a former state legislator and legendary whackjob.  From Donna Gratehouse, friend and fellow blogger:

Personal observation2: If one thinks about the ramifications of it, Harper's "logic" would ultimately preclude court actions against public officials who are corrupt or otherwise abuse the powers of their offices.

Anyway, it really is too soon to start gloating over Arpaio's political demise (this is a long way from over), but that hasn't stopped some people from quietly speculating over who among Maricopa County's Rs will angle for the sheriff's job should Arpaio not run for reelection next year.

My (not-so-quiet) speculations:

1. Someone from MCSO who is unfamiliar to the general public but who is an Arpaio lifer.
2. Russell Pearce, former legislator and longtime Arpaio ally.
3. John Kavanagh, current legislator and also a long-time Arpaio ally.

One thing all have in common:  If they gain the office, they almost certainly won't investigate the previous administration.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Netroots Nation 2015 coming to Phoenix

Netroots Nation is an annual gathering of progressive activists with an online bent.  They gather to share ideas, knowledge, and inspiration with each other. 

There are special guests, discussion panels, film screenings, trainings, and more.

Just in time to help get ready for the 2016 election cycle, the 10th annual meeting will be held in Phoenix from July 16th to 19th.

The exact schedule of the panels and trainings has yet to be determined, but the subjects will cover all sort of subject areas related to organizing, fund raising, and enhancing online campaign efforts.  The emphasis (but not the sole focus) this year will be on immigration-related issues (hey, it *is* being held in Arizona.  Didja think the main focus would be on building an aerodynamically perfect snowball? :) ).

People can register here.

The registration fee for a regular ("activist") admission is currently $325 plus a $9.12 service fee, but if that is too pricey for some (and let's face it, we're grassroots brothers and sisters, not Koch or Walton brothers and sisters; find a way to attend.  If you can afford to, donate to NN to help defray the cost for others), scholarships are available.  Apply for one here.

Some scholarships have already been awarded.  The list of recipients is here.

Note: Steve Muratore, friend, friend of the blog, and fellow blogger (Arizona Eagletarian) is in the running for a scholarship to this year's Netroots Nation, courtesy Democracy for America.  Vote for him here, please.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's 2015, but candidates are already filing for 2016

The calendar still says that it is 2015, but some candidates have already started filing paperwork for 2016 runs for office*.

* = Filing of campaign paperwork is no guarantee that a particular candidate will be on a ballot next year, or, if they've indicated a particular office on their current paperwork, that they will be running for that particular office in 2016.

In other words, this is a snapshot of right now.  Things will change in the weeks and months ahead.

Note: In the interest of brevity, most office holders who have filed for reelection to the same office will not be covered here

Note2: "R" = Republican, "D" = Democrat, "I" = Independent or other party

Committees for state level office (courtesy the website of the Arizona Secretary of State):

R Susan Bittersmith, current member of the AZ Corporation Commission, filed for reelection

R Bob Burns, current member of the AZ Corporation Commission, filed for reelection

R Daniel Cassidy, challenger, filed for LD24 House

D Barry McCain, challenger, filed for LD11 House

D Eric Meyer, current state representative, filed for LD28 Senate

I Alex O'Neil (full name: Michael Alexander O'Neil), challenger, filed for LD9 Senate

R Frank Pratt, current state representative, filed for LD8 Senate

R Brice Willoughby, challenger, filed for LD28 House

D Paula Aboud, former legislator, filed exploratory paperwork for an unspecified office

D Sean Bowie, challenger, filed exploratory paperwork for LD18 Senate

R Steve Montenegro, current state representative, filed exploratory paperwork for an unspecified office

Committees for Maricopa County offices:

R Bill Montgomery, current County Attorney, filed for reelection

R Helen Purcell, current County Recorder, filed for reelection

D John Rowan, challenger, filed for Sheriff

I Kenneth Wayne Baker, challenger, filed for Sheriff

R Roger Baldwin, challenger, filed for Sheriff

R Joe Arpaio, current County Sheriff, filed for reelection in 2013

D Tim Coomer, challenger, filed for Sheriff as a $500 Threshold Exception candidate (meaning that his committee cannot raise or spend more than $500 in pursuit of the office)

Committees for Pima County offices:

D Joel Feinman, challenger, filed exploratory paperwork for County Attorney

Committee for federal office:

D Cesar Chavez, aka former R Scott Fistler, challenger, filed for CD7

R Dave Giles, challenger, filed for CD9

R Gary Kiehne, challenger, filed for CD1

I John Mealer, challenger, filed for US Senate

R Kelli Ward, currently a state senator, filed exploratory paperwork for a run at R John "Never Met A War He Didn't Monger" McCain for US Senate, from the right (filed with the IRS, not the FEC)

Rumors (no paperwork yet, but fairly credible nonetheless):

R Ken Bennett, former AZSOS, is rumored to be looking at a CD9 run in the US Supreme Court allows the AZ legislature to redraw the district in a way that is less "competitive" and more "R-leaning"

R Matt Salmon, currently a member of Congress, is being urged to challenge McCain from the right for the US Senate seat

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ducey pays off a critic, begging the question: Is there a "hush money" line item in the state budget?

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez -

Arizona Board of Regents Chairman Mark Killian, an outspoken critic of the state budget backed by Gov. Doug Ducey and the Legislature, is now a Ducey Cabinet member.

Ducey announced Friday that Killian is being installed as his Department of Agriculture director, and noting that he "brings decades of unique public service and private sector experience, and his extensive and successful background in farming and ranching will be hugely valuable in this role. He's a welcome addition to this department and our administration."

 Per Ballotpedia, the director position pays better than $102K per year.

Guess that I never have to worry about the Ducey administration offering me a job - I may be soft-spoken, but biting my tongue is not in my job skill repertoire.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Whether we are talking about abused children in AZ or students paying more for an education here, it's "deja vu all over again"

...Remember just a couple of years ago when a huge scandal broke here in Arizona over the failure of Arizona's then-child welfare agency, Child Protective Services, to investigate thousands of reports of child abuse?

One of the "fixes" implemented was to take the agency out from under the auspices of the Department of Economic Security (DES), change its name to "Department of Child Safety", and make it a stand-alone cabinet-level department.

Turns out that they were just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl -
The state's child-welfare agency, at the direction of its new chief, has stopped assigning lower-priority cases of child abuse and neglect for investigation.
The policy shift echoes a practice that threw the system into turmoil nearly 1 1/2 years ago.

Guess that it's not a scandal when it is an official policy...

...Remember back to all of less than a year ago when candidate Doug Ducey blamed his Democratic opponent for students (or parents) having to pay more to attend a state university?

When it comes time to blame someone for the latest developments in that area, Governor Doug Ducey should be looking in a mirror.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Anne Ryman and Kaila White -
Arizona's three state universities responded Friday to a 13 percent cut in their state funding by proposing to raise the price of higher education for many of their students.
Arizona State University students could take the biggest hit. President Michael Crow proposed a one-time, $320 surcharge for all in-state students to offset some of the $53 million in state funding cuts to ASU.

So, in business education, is the practice of promising anything to get the job but delivering almost the opposite when in the job covered in undergraduate coursework or is it part of MBA work?

Could be wrong here, but there's no mention of an MBA in Ducey's official bio, so it is probably covered in undergraduate coursework.

Of course, he could just be a natural-born ethical skell "prodigy".

My question for readers:  How long will it be before we look back on the days of the Brewer administration, as ugly as they were, and think of them as "the good old days"?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arizona legislature: the coming week

There is going to be almost no committee activity this week as the lege looks to adjourn for the year.

Sources say that the goal of leadership is to wrap up by Thursday, but that they aren't optimistic about meeting that particular goal.

As of right now, expectations are that if the lege doesn't finish things up by the start of holiday period next weekend (it's a significant period in many faiths), the lege will adjourn for the weekend and come back to town next week for a day or two.

That would put sine die on Tuesday or Wednesday, still making this one of the shortest legislative sessions in memory (just a guess here, because I haven't been able to find a definitive record of such things, but if this session isn't the shortest ever, it is almost certainly the shortest non-election year session).

Having said all of that, Governor Doug Ducey may be the key here.  If he shows any indication that he is willing to sign off on some of the nuggets of ugly (aka - the crazy bills) that remain under legislative consideration, the session may continue until the bay at the moon caucus gets votes on everything that they want.

One thing to watch for this week: committee meetings scheduled on short notice.  As of right now, no bills are scheduled to be considered by any committee, but that can change in the time that it takes a lobbyist to write a check for a "campaign contribution".


All committees meetings and agendas are subject to change without notice, and frequently do.  If you plan to travel to the Capitol to observe or weigh in on the consideration of a particular measure, check with the lege ahead of time to confirm that the meeting that you are interesting in is still on schedule and your item(s) of interest is still on the agenda for that meeting.

Meeting rooms designated "HHR" are in the House of Representatives building.

Meeting rooms designated "SHR" are in the Senate building.

Some agendas are summarized as "looks harmless", but if they cover an area of interest to you, examine the agenda and the bills on it.  If I missed something significant, please leave a comment letting me know.

All House committee agendas can be found here. All Senate committee agendas can be found here.

On the Senate side of the Capitol -

Other than the Rules committee, the Senate committees that are scheduled to meet have only executive nominations on their agendas. 

Water and Energy, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  Executive nomination.

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Caucus Room 1.  Short agenda of bills to be rubberstamped on their way to floor consideration.

Commerce and Workforce Development, Monday, 1:45 p.m., SHR1.  Executive nominations.

Education, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., SHR1.  Executive nominations.

Judiciary, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., SHR109.  Executive nominations.

Public Safety, Military, and Technology, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  Executive nomination.

Rural Affairs and Environment, Wednesday, 10 a.m., SHR109,  Executive nominations.

Government, Wednesday, 10 a.m., SHR1.  Executive nominations.  Includes the nomination of Andy Tobin, former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, to be the director of the Department of Weights and Measures (DWM).  There is a live bill pending to close that department and speculation is that Tobin will use this as the foundation for another run at a seat in Congress (appealing to the "any government is bad government" crowd).

Best guess:  Assuming that the shutdown of DWM takes place and that Tobin runs for Congress, his plan is to get the hell out of Dodge Arizona before the inevitable scandal hits (you know, somebody, probably a well-connected somebody, increasing their profit margin by shorting something [i.e. - charging customers for a gallon of gasoline, but dispensing only 3/4 of a gallon])

Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  Executive nominations.

On the House side of the Capitol -

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4.  Short agenda of bills to be rubberstamped on their way to floor consideration.

The House has posted a COW (Committee of the Whole) calendar here and here, a Final Read (
to approve changes to bills made by the Senate; if they fail, they aren't dead.  They will go to aconference committee) calendar, and a Third Read calendar for Monday.

The Senate has posted a COW calendar here and here, and a Third Read calendar, for Monday.
The Capitol Events calendar is here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hypocrite of the month: State Sen. Sylvia Allen on morality

It can be tough to single out a solitary Arizona legislator whose hypocrisy is greater than that of his/her colleagues, but the infamous Sen. Sylvia Allen served this one up like a BP fastball.

She's infamous for things like pronouncing that mining uranium on the Navajo reservation and elsewhere in Arizona is OK because the Earth is 6000 years old and is doing just fine and for opining that American society doesn't do enough to benefit the wealthy.

Recently, she added to her dubious legend by running a bill to help her son-in-law out of trouble of his own making (he was working as a detention officer at the Navajo County jail and was accused engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior by multiple female inmates).

Which is all bad enough, but with the likes of Allen, "enough" never is.

As can be seen in the above video, at Tuesday's meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she offered her idea that the lege consider (and presumably pass) a bill to mandate church attendance for everybody, in the interest of combating what she perceives as America's moral decline.

As someone who tries to use her elected position to benefit a family member yet uses that the platform afforded to her by that elected position to bemoan everybody else's moral decline, she easily earns distinction as the lege's biggest hypocrite.

Very easily.

While Sen. Allen, later in her remarks, concedes that such a bill is unlikely to come before the lege, this lege has never let the letter or spirit of the US Constitution get in the way of something that it wants to do, so don't be surprised to see this crop up in some form next year.

With that in mind, some preparatory ordination might be in order.

Introducing the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. :)

Note: the full meeting video is available on the lege's website here.  Look for the video of Senate Appropriation, dated 3/24/2015.  Her spouting off starts at approximately at the 1:26:18 mark.

Monday, March 23, 2015

AZLege and priorities: A Tale of Two Bills

You'd think that people elected by the public to serve in office would act as public servants.

You'd think that...but you'd think wrong.

First up:

SB1273, giving Arizonans the option of requesting a drivers license that is REAL ID-compliant.

Beginning next year, Arizona's drivers licenses will not be adequate proof of identity for things like flying or entering federal buildings.  In fact, that has already started causing problems.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl -
Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego said she was turned away from the Federal Emergency Management Agency last year, and again earlier this year, when she traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet about relief from the floods her south Phoenix district suffered last year.

The federal government began phasing in the requirement for a secure identification early last year, with airport restrictions scheduled to start no sooner than Jan. 19, 2016.

Gallego said she had to move her FEMA meeting to an off-site location.

Then there is HB2415.  Last week is was amended from being a bill about sanitary districts and contracts to one regarding campaign finance that:

- Raises campaign contribution limits 25%

- Reverts to the requirement that candidates form a committee for each election cycle and ending the current requirement that candidates have separate committees for each of the primary election and the general election.

- Changes the current prohibition on legislators and the governor on accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists during the legislative session to allowing them to accept contributions during the first three days of the legislative session, if a contribution is mailed to the recipient and is postmarked before the start of the session.

SB1273 is a "good government" bill, one that benefits any Arizonan who travels or interacts with the federal government.

HB2415 benefits only elected officials, particularly legislators and the governor.

So, naturally, 1273 is DOA (for lack of committee consideration) while 2415 is moving merrily along.

One question:

Are people who are elected to be public servants still considered to be that when their primary focus is on serving their own interests?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Arizona legislature: the coming week

The craziness at the Capitol isn't over yet, but it will be more concentrated - from here on, the only standing committees that can consider a bill without special permission are the Appropriations committees of the respective chambers. 

As such, those are the agendas to watch this week.

Beyond that, most of the action at the lege this week will take place during floor action, so keep an eye on those floor calendars during the week. 


All committees meetings and agendas are subject to change without notice, and frequently do.  If you plan to travel to the Capitol to observe or weigh in on the consideration of a particular measure, check with the lege ahead of time to confirm that the meeting that you are interesting in is still on schedule and your item(s) of interest is still on the agenda for that meeting.

Meeting rooms designated "HHR" are in the House of Representatives building.

Meeting rooms designated "SHR" are in the Senate building.

Some agendas are summarized as "looks harmless", but if they cover an area of interest to you, examine the agenda and the bills on it.  If I missed something significant, please leave a comment letting me know.

All House committee agendas can be found here. All Senate committee agendas can be found here.

On the Senate side of the Capitol -

Natural Resources, Monday, 10  a.m., SHR109.  Executive nomination under consideration.

Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., Caucus Room 1.  Not a "standing committee" in the traditional sense, Rules only considers the "form" of a bill, not the actual content, so it can keep meeting.  This committee serves as a gatekeeper for the chambers' leadership, so any bill that make it to this committee's agenda is slated for rubberstamping on its way to floor action.

Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  On the agenda: a striker to HB2240, creating a special fund, administered by the governor, to pay for "public safety activities" at "special sporting events" (this is from Sen. Don Shooter [R-Yuma?], who is seeking to convert a bill that would have created tuition waivers for members of the Arizona National Guard into a slush fund for Doug Ducey); a striker to HB2291, taking $1 million from the state's concealed weapon permit fund and giving to the police departments in Phoenix, Mesa, and Lake Havasu City to pay for their participation in an predictive policing software pilot program; HB2320, a guns in public places bill; HB2431, an interstate compact regarding firearms, essentially prohibiting anything that would increase regulation of firearms; a striker to HB2419, barring a "city or town from imposing a fee, tax or assessment on reportable transactions of a pawnbroker or person in the business of buying gold".

Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  Executive nominations.

Education, Thursday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  Executive nomination.

On the House side of the Capitol -

Rules, Monday, 12 p.m., HHR4.  Long agenda to be rubberstamped on its way to floor action.

Appropriations, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: SB1293, similar to the striker to HB2291, above, but with some differences; a striker to SB1450, text unavailable as of this writing, listed subject of "banks; insuring organization"

The House has posted a COW (Committee of the Whole) calendar here and here and a Third Read calendar for Monday.

The Senate has posted a COW calendar here and here for Monday.
The Capitol Events calendar is here.