“Due process? What due process? We’re rescuing hookers!”

17 Apr 2014 02:00 am
Posted by: Donna

Certain areas of Phoenix have a problem with prostitution and sex workers are often trafficked into it so some (I assume) well-intentioned people came up with a diversion program which is not without its critics:

Project ROSE (Reaching Out on Sexual Exploitation) is a collaboration between the Phoenix Police Department and Arizona State University School of Social Work. Twice a year, more than 100 police officers spend two days rounding up sex workers through street sweeps and online stings. Sex workers are handcuffed and taken to Bethany Bible Church. They are then assessed for eligibility to the “arrest-diversion” program. Anyone with previous arrests for prostitution or in possession of drugs at the time of arrest is ineligible. Eligible sex workers speak to a prosecutor who offers them the ultimatum of criminal charges and possible jail time or participation in a “rehabilitation” program run by Catholic Charities. They are denied the right to speak to a defense attorney.

The article I quoted is from Ryan Beck Turner of the Human Trafficking Center, who is obviously not a fan of the program. ProjectROSE came to the attention of sex worker and civil rights advocates when Monica Jones, an ASU social work student and transgender and sex worker activist, was apprehended and charged with “manifesting prostitution”. Jones claims she was not soliciting on the night she was arrested and that she was targeted for protesting ProjectROSE.

I’m just going to say that ProjectROSE strikes me as a ghastly cross between a Crisis Pregnancy Center and a 12 step program, with police and prosecutorial force behind it. But even if it were the most fantastic prostitution diversion program ever devised, the way they get people into the program is fraught with violations of due process. They are really trying to claim that handcuffing people and taking them to a location where they are not permitted to leave is not an arrest? They are really trying to claim that being “assessed for eligibility” by cops is not an interrogation? They are seriously acting like sex work suspects being required to make incriminating statements about themselves and a deal with prosecutors to avoid being charged and put in jail is somehow fine and that all the above can happen without the suspects being advised that they can talk to a lawyer first?

ProjectROSE’s own fact sheet says this about that:

Clients at Project ROSE do not require legal representation, as they are not under arrest. They are never arrested at Project ROSE for the prostitution-related charge.

They are “never arrested” by snatching them off the street and handcuffing them for “manifesting prostitution” or whatever. Yeah, okay. But what is the problem, if this is such a helpful program, with simply allowing and encouraging suspects caught up in it to, you know, talk to a lawyer of their own choosing about whether or not this is the right thing for them before they agree to it? Why the insistence that legal representation isn’t required? Why are you so afraid of diligent defense attorneys snooping around your program, ProjectROSE?

Monica Jones, who alleges that she was improperly arrested, exemplifies why the immediate availability of a defense attorney is required. Does anyone believe that the prosecuting attorneys on hand at the ProjectROSE “events” (this is how a defender of the sweeps described them to me on Facebook) will give an iota of real help to a person suspected of prostitution who believes her rights were violated by her arresting officer?

Maybe sex workers should take up ranching on federal lands instead.

AZ GOP is such an embarrassment they won’t let the press in to a forum

11 Apr 2014 10:59 pm
Posted by: Donna

Just, wowThe event was sponsored by two East Valley GOP committees and held at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert.

A reporter covering the event for the Arizona Republic was turned away at the door by GOP committee chairman Tyler Bowyer, the event’s primary organizer.

GOP gubernatorial candidates in attendance included Secretary of State Ken Bennett, State Treasurer Doug Ducey, state Sen. Al Melvin, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, attorney Christine Jones and former U.S. Rep. Frank Riggs. A seventh candidate, former medical-center executive John Molina, was seen negotiating with organizers for entry..

I have worked on a good many campaigns in Arizona, including some statewide ones, and the number of times I’ve seen a Democratic candidate avoid the press is zero. Certainly an individual Dem candidate may have a personal or legal problem arise that would cause them to avoid reporters but, in general, Democrats running for office chase the press because they want to make sure their positions and their good ideas get as wide public exposure as possible. This is often called “earned media” and it’s highly coveted by Democrats. Democrats running in primaries are especially eager to have the press at them. If a forum were held for a seven-way Dem primary you can bet that every one of those candidates’ communications teams would press releasing the ever loving crap out of it. And the state and county Dem parties, while tending not to endorse in primaries for open seats, would still be very encouraging of media coverage of forums and debates. So it’s puzzling that Arizona Republicans would want to keep the press out of an event like this.

Just kidding! Of course they want to keep the media, and recorders and cameras, as far away from their whackadoodle candidates and activists as possible. If there were questions from the audience even that slick Scott Smith might accidentally say something stupid. Can’t be too careful, can you, Republicans? In fairness, it wasn’t the candidates themselves who requested no press but, still, this looks terrible. The “re-branding” clearly isn’t going well.

What WILL it take?

10 Apr 2014 08:27 pm
Posted by: Donna

I tweeted a thought experiment earlier today about how far the GOP would have to go with anti-choice bills before the MSM and Business Leaders™ would take notice and push back on them.

You can read the rest here. I’m honestly afraid that a stone-women-to-death bill would be met with the same collective reticence by the establishment that every anti-choice bill has been met with to now.

Horrid anti-choice bill passes, to little attention

10 Apr 2014 12:28 pm
Posted by: Donna

Well, at least Howie Fischer covered it.

Citing everything from protecting women’s health to God’s opposition to the procedure, state senators gave final approval Wednesday to legislation allowing unannounced warrantless inspection of abortion clinics.

The 17-13 party-line voice vote came after extensive debate about not just whether the law is needed but whether it is really designed to harass abortion providers and their patients. The House already has approved the measure, meaning it now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer.

Brewer said Wednesday she never comments on legislation until she sees it. The governor conceded to Capitol Media Services, though, she has signed every new abortion restriction ever sent to her.

“I am pro-life and I believe that we have done a good job in Arizona,” she said.

Yes, she is likely to sign it and, obviously, the people behind it simply want to harass abortion providers and patients. That’s why Sen. David Farnsworth described abortion as “a slap in the face to God” to defend a bill that ostensibly makes abortion safer.

Yes, the Capitol lawn was absent of crowds when this vote took place. I’m loath to cast blame on liberal activists in Arizona, for they can certainly would, and have, amassed people to protest anti-choice measures. It’s just that there’s such a relentless barrage of this anti-choice stuff – chipping away at women’s rights over their bodies under the guise of “safety” – coming out of the state legislature that liberals cannot keep up with all of it. And as I’ve said before, reproductive rights – being about female sexuality as they are – make for the perfect peace offering in the culture wars so don’t ever expect the business community to object to any anti-choice law, no matter how heinous. They’ll silently let Brewer sign this. She’s a reactionary right winger who’s been steered into doing a few things she probably didn’t like so they have to give her something. Ladies will have to take one for the team.

Doug MacEachern is having none of of your Equal Pay Day!

09 Apr 2014 01:41 am
Posted by: Donna

Someone told me recently that they knew AZ Republic columnist Doug MacEachern well and that he’s nothing like how he seems in all his columns, in which he channels your angry Birther uncle chain emailing conspiracy stories from World Net Daily and Newsmax all day long. I’m not sure why it matters if he’s sincere or not since the resulting output is the same and he is being paid a newspaper columnist’s salary to do it, but I thought I’d let you know that.

Speaking of pay, Tuesday was Equal Pay Day – signifying the additional amount women have to work this year, on average, to earn what men earned, on average, last year. MacEachern is (or is pretending to be) very testy about Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego marking Equal Pay Day by announcing a plan to ensure gender pay equity for city contractors.

They cite a statistic. Perhaps you’ve heard it before: Women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.

“The fact that women are paid less for the same work as men is a strike at our core values,” said Stanton.

“Women should no longer have to work more than four additional months to make the same salary that men did last year,” said Gallego.

The statistic they cite is the same statistic that we hear from the White House. Just 77 cents on every dollar! How could they? (“They,” in this implication, being the wicked rich men who control every detail of everyone’s lives and plot to keep women suppressed by cheating them on their pay, the clear devils.)

Few statistics are more demonstrably false. Here is a very good deconstruction of this intentional, venomous abuse of numbers. Here is another.

Heavens! Stop picking on rich men, ladies, and own up to the bad choices you make, which have NOTHING to do with sexism! Such choices, which have been found to factor in reducing women’s lifetime income include choosing occupations that are female-dominated, which tend to pay less because, uh, women tend to work in them, which has NOTHING whatever to do with sexism so stop saying that!

Another choice ladies make that causes them earn less is called “having children”. In most cases those children have what are known as “fathers”, and research has shown that fathers do not take the kind of lifetime pay cut that mothers do. In fact, here is the conclusion from one report MacEachern linked to, by the National Center for Policy Analysis about that (emphasis mine):

Career Choice. Women tend to work in fields dominated by women, in large part because these fields best satisfy women’s’ dual careers as workers and household managers. This can include less stressful work environments (noise, strenuous activity, etc.), more flexible policies regarding time off, and a number of other factors. The inclusion of this variable further closes the wage gap from 90.9 cents to 96.7 cents.

Thus, of the 21-cent differential, 17.7 cents, or 84.3 percent of the total wage gap, can be explained by largely innocuous, non-discriminatory factors that have more to do with career and life choices than employers’ prejudices. [See the figure.] Thus the charge of wage discrimination based on the 77-cent statistic is grossly misleading.

In fact, the unadjusted average hourly wage in 2000 of single women who have never had a child was 7.9 percent greater than that of their male counterparts. This comparison implies that any wage gap is rooted more in social trends and tendencies than malicious discrimination by employers. It undermines the justification for government intervention to eliminate the wage gap.

Wow, maybe Doug MacEachern really is faking us out on the Birther Uncle thing and is instead a stealth radical feminist! He did link to that statement above, after all, which seems to suggest that being single and childless is the surest path to prosperity for women. Good to know, Doug! Thanks!

Appalling AZ Republic false equivalence on national legislative orgs

07 Apr 2014 12:25 am
Posted by: Donna

I don’t know for sure, but Alia Beard Rau’s recent piece looks like it started to be about the influence that American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Goldwater Institute, and Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) have on the Republican-controlled AZ Legislature, but then she was pressured by an editor to make it a “both sides” thing. Or maybe not, but whatever happened, the article is a testament to the incredible lengths the MSM will go to imply that the left is as powerful and corrupt as the right is.

Across the nation, state legislatures this year have been considering bills to expand education choices, restrict union influence and guarantee employees sick time off. In state after state, including Arizona, the wording of those bills is nearly identical. And it’s no coincidence.

Rather, it’s an orchestrated use of “model legislation” by national political organizations on both sides of the aisle that have discovered it’s easier to change national policy one state at a time than to get anything through Congress.

The lede’s absurd implication is that Republicans and Democrats in the AZ lege are introducing boatloads of bills in equal amounts. Rau demonstrates just how absurd it is by following that passage up with a litany of introduced Republican bills, including SB1062, SB1070, school privatization, and ghastly anti-choice bills, inspired by national right wing organizations.

ALEC has been the most successful of these groups. Member lawmakers nationwide, including several in Arizona, introduce more than a hundred pieces of model legislation each year.

ALEC, due to its liberal critics, is also the most vilified. But it isn’t alone in using the strategy.

Americans United for Life has developed a similar blueprint for anti-abortion measures. The liberal Progressive States Network has model legislation guaranteeing sick and paid time off.

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute is pushing bills in legislatures nationwide to give dying patients access to experimental drugs and regulate health-care navigators who help people get coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The 10th Amendment Foundation has bills requiring state employees to refuse to enforce federal gun restrictions and to refuse to help the federal government spy on Americans’ cellphone calls without warrants.

All these bills have been introduced in the Arizona Legislature.

Arizona lawmakers interact with these groups in various ways, including accepting campaign contributions from the political action committees of corporations connected to the groups.

And what bills from national liberal organizations have Democrats even introduced?

This session, Rep. Jonathan Larkin, D-Glendale, has House Bill 2585, which would require businesses to allow employees to accrue at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. The wording is nearly identical to model legislation from the liberal Progressive States Network.

Yeah, that one’s looking pretty dead. But desperate false equivalences call for more desperate rationalizations so the article ends with lists of Republican legislators belonging to ALEC and Democratic ones affiliated with Progressive States Network (one Sen. Katie Hobbs) and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (all the Hispanic lawmakers). EDIT: I’m not aware of any NALEO model state legislation having been proposed this session but it must have seemed necessary to tack an organization with several Democratic members onto the article for that all-important “balance”.

I don’t think it’s possible to miss a point any further. The problem has never been lawmakers belonging to groups that recommend legislation. It’s which groups and what legislation. Perhaps the families of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis could explain to the folks at the Arizona Republic the crucial differences between ALEC and the Progressive States Network.

“Pro-life” site calls upon readers to harass and intimidate a Yuma bar and grill

03 Apr 2014 07:22 pm
Posted by: Donna

I often joke that I read LifeSiteNews.com so you don’t have to but I think a lot more people should read the site so they could see how anti-choicers talk among themselves. It only takes a few articles of their daily digest to make it abundantly clear that anti-choicers can scarcely conceal their bitter disappointment that they can’t stone women to death for fornication.

In today’s edition comes this:

On March 19, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona announced a benefit concert dubbed Rock ‘N’ Roe, to be held at The Kress Lounge in April. ALL Associate group AMEN responded with an immediate e-mail blast of its own, forwarding the Planned Parenthood announcement with a note asking Planned Parenthood opponents to call the lounge and “tell them Planned Parenthood is not WELCOME here! Ask them to cancel the below event.” The very next day we received an e-mail from AMEN leadership with exciting news. The nightclub had cancelled the event.

It can happen and often does happen just that quickly when community members respectfully inform business owners that it is a mistake to sponsor a Planned Parenthood event. Business owners do not like controversy, and the great majority of the time will bow out rather than risk the backlash of hosting a Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

This particular story has not ended, however. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona website now confirms that The Pint House Lounge at 265 S. Main Street in Yuma will host the fundraiser scheduled for April 18 at 5:30 p.m.

You are encouraged to contact The Pint House and ask them politely to cancel the event, reminding them that Planned Parenthood—the nation’s largest abortion chain—is not welcome in Yuma. The phone number for the lounge is (928) 782-0499. While you are at it, post a similar request on their Facebook page.

Kudos to AMEN for rolling out the un-welcome mat for Planned Parenthood.

There will be no abortions performed nor contraception prescribed at the Rock n Roe event in Yuma on April 18th, but I’m told there may be dancing. I think a road trip to Yuma might be in order to show the angry prudes they won’t menace us out of supporting reproductive rights in a fun way. And a big shout out to the Pint House, not only for standing strong for women, but for providing a great venue for Planned Parenthood’s event.