Posted by: Donna
The AZ Republic’s Sunday oped was exultant over the business community possibly “getting its mojo back” due to things like the SB1062 veto and the large contributions that Republicans who went with the Medicaid expansion are getting.
Needless to say, they’d have you believe none of what is wrong with Arizona can ever be laid at the feet of business leaders even when the ed board has to admit (grudgingly) that it really is their fault, as in here:
All of which led to the Mother of All Image Nightmares, Senate Bill 1070 and the cascade of international scorn directed our way over the state’s anti-illegal immigrant policies. Business sat on the sidelines, reacting only after it was much too late.
Actually the AZ Chamber cut a deal with then-Senate President Russell Pearce to strip out employer enforcement language and then went silent so the Republicans could use it to win in 2010. That’s not really sitting on the sidelines.
And, then, in February, came the (again, international) uproar over Senate Bill 1062. This time, business energized just in time.
What brought this about? Lots of things. But the waning ability of the business community to ride herd on the ideologues has been a contributing factor.
Business influence waned partly because of campaign-finance laws that brought wagonloads of unexpected, unpleasant consequences.
Arizona’s system of publicly financing campaigns was enacted with the best of intentions: to free candidates from debts to “special interests.” In practice, however, it also freed many of them to indulge their deepest, darkest ideological fantasies. We are bearing witness to what happens when people who make laws act as though they answer to no one.
Oh man, they will not give this up, will they? Not for nothing, though, but how does Cathi Herrod of Center For Arizona Policy, who seems to make a lot of laws in AZ, get her funding? Not from Clean Elections. How about the Goldwater Institute or ALEC? Not exactly private funding all the way, since both groups feed off the public trough to at least some extent, but neither of them get a cent from Clean Elections. Truly amazing how AZ Republic editorials continue to insist that unwashed yokels collecting $5 contributions are ruining everything in Arizona.
In years past, a practical, influential and, yes, self-interested cohort of Arizona business leaders brought a stabilizing influence to the Legislature. For a time, especially after voters approved publicly funded campaign financing in 1998, that leadership went silent. Now, it seems to be returning.
Many of them, including Arizona Chamber of Commerce Glenn Hamer, lobbied the governor to veto SB 1062. Now, Hamer and Greater Phoenix Chamber President Todd Sanders are among the prominent voices at the Capitol fighting ideological purists out to defeat the Common Core education standards.
The courts have helped. The Arizona Supreme Court recently gave the green light to increase allowable campaign contributions. As a result, the Republican lawmakers who bravely broke ranks last year to support Medicaid expansion — which business interests advocated — are dramatically outraising almost all other incumbents at the Legislature.
And business interests are looking more closely at candidates’ records, paying more attention to votes than rhetoric. They’re recruiting challengers.
Business leaders say they have had enough. They are “riled up,” as one put it, and are determined to halt the self-defeating, economic death march toward perceived ideological purity.
Right, they were timid little bunnies until last year. Why, they were practically nonexistent at the State Capitol until the US Supreme Court told them the coast was clear! Now that they can finally(!) show up with their bundles of self-interested-yet-totally-altruistic dollars, everything will be fine now, won’t it? I wouldn’t know. I’m just one of the unwashed yokels.
Posted by: Donna
We can’t bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m’shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ‘em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where was I… oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn’t get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…
Grandpa MacEachern is projecting again.
Tea party activists oppose many GOP candidates who fail to match up identically with their priorities on taxes and the growth of federal influence, even if it means losing elections. Democrats are enduring similar schisms between their own party’s self-defined communities.
In terms of those communities, these are sensitive times for state Democrats. State Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, who is African-American, was ousted as minority leader, prompting accusations of racism. Kate Gallego, who is White, endured much criticism during her successful campaign for the Phoenix City Council District 8 seat, which historically had been held by an African-American.
Obviously, such communities of interest can overlap. Intentionally or not, state Sen. Gallardo expanded his own potential range of support communities when he announced on Wednesday that he is gay.
Gallardo insists his declaration was not politically motivated, but it could strengthen his prospects among District 7’s substantial LGBT community, which has been viewed as a stronghold of Sinema, who is bisexual.
Yes, the rivalries can make your head spin. Such divisions certainly can place notions about the pursuit of the greater good into a finer light.
Doug MacEachern was blunter in his Insiders post on Wednesday:
Racial-gender-sexuality politics are delicate matters by definition. But Arizona Democrats are in turmoil right now and there simply is no avoiding the fact that Democrats, who are fundamentally organized according to racial-gender-sexual identity interest groups, are in serious conflict, if not open political war.
Yeah, speaking of fundamentally organized along race and gender lines:
It is adorable to see a conservative columnist straining to equate what’s going on in CD7, which is nothing more than a typical primary in a Dem-dominated district attracting (shockingly!) a lot of Democrats to run in it, to the Tea Party. Sorry Doug, but the Democratic base has not been astroturfed and radicalized into a hysterical froth over imaginary threats. Liberals and Democrats, by and large, are not white supremacist climate change denying Birthers who fetishize guns and think the UN is plotting against them and that there’s such a thing as “legitimate rape”. That’s your side’s problem.
Posted by: Donna
I’m becoming increasingly skeptical that Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy, is (or ever was) as all-powerful as she is reputed to be. Let’s look at recent evidence: First there’s the humiliating defeat of the religious bigot bill SB1062 and the swift public recanting and repudiation of by it three Senators who had voted for it. And then comes this, a new PPP poll of the Governor’s race:
Moving on to the Governor’s race for this year, it looks pretty wide open for both the Republican primary and the general election. The leader for the GOP nomination is ‘undecided’ at 34%. 5 candidates have measurable amounts of support at this point- Ken Bennett at 20%, Christine Jones at 16%, Scott Smith at 12%, Andrew Thomas at 9%, and Doug Ducey at 6%. Al Melvin, John Molina, and Frank Riggs all register at 1% in the poll.
Granted, that’s a lot of undecideds but why is Doug Ducey doing so poorly? I’d thought it was a stroke of genius on his part to get her as a top adviser, figuring it would nail down the evangelical vote and help neutralize some of the other candidates’ LDS advantage. But maybe Herrod is more of an anchor than a boon. Or maybe she’s a big nothing burger with no impact either way and Republican legislators were scared of her for no reason. Maybe CAP is less like the NRA in terms of political muscle and more like the Catholic League, which is pretty much just one angry guy with a laptop who manages to get on TV someimes.
This also lends further credence to my argument that the supposed threat of a primary that all elected Republicans are under (therefore they must vote the way they do even if they are closet moderates who yearn to vote more reasonably) is way overblown. A lot of Republicans lately are not acting like they fear a primary at all. They’re acting like they fear the general election. Most of the GOP candidates for Governor, including Ducey, recommended a veto on SB1062. Rep. Ethan Orr, who voted against the bill, ran to MSNBC as fast as he could to act like a hero and the new, modern face of the GOP. Senator Steve Pierce went on MSNBC to apologize for his vote. And today Rep. Kate Brophy-McGee of LD28, who votes anti-choice most of the time, voted against HB2284, the surprise abortion clinic inspection bill. It’s worth noting that Brophy-McGee actually has primary challengers for her seat. Yet, oddly, she doesn’t seem too worried about them, or Cathi Herrod for that matter.
I’d say the key for Democrats is to make them all worried about Cathi Herrod, but not for the reasons they used to be. Hang her around all of their necks.
Posted by: Donna
Fresh on the heels of their embarrassing defeat with SB1062, comes the Center for Arizona Policy with HB2284, which would allow surprise inspections of abortion clinics and impose criminal penalties on anyone who is not the parent or guardian of a minor who assists her in getting an abortion.
Democrats and progressive orgs plan a response, similar to the SB1062 one:
As long as the legislature is still in session, none of us are safe from Cathi Herrod, the Center for Arizona Policy, and other aligned organizations. Fresh from losing the battle against legalized discrimination, they now want the government to meddle in women’s healthcare with surprise inspections of clinics that provide healthcare and abortion services. This law is intended to frighten women out of utilizing these healthcare resources–as well as frighten clinicians & doctors out of offering these services. This bill, if passed into law, would be unconstitutional, illegal, and drastically misaligned with the priorities of Arizonans.
We must keep fighting for what is right: our dignity, privacy–and our freedom.
1) Share this event with ALL of your contacts.
2) Join the presser on the Capitol lawn at 1 PM.
3) Call Speaker Tobin at (602) 926-5172 or email him at email@example.com to voice your opposition to this bill.
4) Fire up Brewer’s phone lines again at: (602) 542-4331.
I emceed a pro-choice event this past Saturday and pointed out to the crowd how business leaders rarely, if ever, intervene in anti-choice bills as they did with SB1062, which had broader implications. So an anti-choice bill is harder to kill but it can still be done and drawing as much public attention to these bad anti-woman bills as possible and making it known (loudly) who is responsible for them is crucial.
Gail Collins, whom I disagreed with a few days ago over Arizona and public election financing, followed up with another column about Arizona with which I agree on the premise and the conclusion.
The biggest difference between the fortunes of gay rights and abortion rights, however, is that politicians who vote to limit women’s rights to control their own bodies know that, for the most part, they’re only hurting poor people.
Low-income women are five times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy as their most affluent sisters. And the lawmakers who busy themselves throwing up barriers to abortion in their own states realize, deep in their hearts, that if their middle-class constituents want to end a pregnancy, they can get on a plane and go where it’s easy to take care of the problem.
That’s exactly right but I would add to it by reiterating that right wing legislators are able to get away with their savage attacks on poor women thanks to our culture’s massive hang-up over female sexuality, and poor women have literally no escape route from them.
Posted by: Donna
Fresh on the heels of the SB1062 veto, and with national columnists hungry to meet deadlines with something “insightful” about Arizona, the Chamber of Commerce crowd is really pushing the “Clean Elections done it!” myth hard.
Here’s New York Times liberal Gail Collins repeating the narrative:
“I remember having a meeting with some folks I’d call country-club Republicans, and listening to them bemoan the fact that they have no more influence because of the Clean Elections law,” said Rodolfo Espino, a professor at Arizona State University.
We will come to a screeching halt here and re-examine that thought.
Yes! Part of the super-weirdness of Arizona politics appears to be the result of the state’s 1998 public financing law, which provided tons of matching funds to unwealthy-but-energetic candidates from the social right at the expense of the pragmatic upper class. The Supreme Court took the teeth out of the law in 2011, but, by then, the traditional Republican elite had lost its place at the head of the political table.
As I’ve patiently explained, lo these many times, this story is complete bullshit. The so-called Country Club Republicans gravitate to this explanation because it absolves them of their own considerable complicity, going back decades, in driving the GOP far to the looney tune fringes. Anyone trying to sell you the idea that a 1998 public financing law has more to do with the hard right turn in our state than any number of other national and local factors has an agenda, of which you can easily guess. It’s especially bullshit in the context of SB1062 when, as this spectacular debunking by David Donnelly of Public Campaign explains:
The three main sponsors of SB 1062—Sens. Nancy Barto, Steve Yarbrough, and Bob Worsley—DID NOT PARTICIPATE in Clean Elections in 2012. In fact, the state’s leading business group, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, endorsed all three in their last election.
Ninety-two percent of Republicans in the legislature voted for the bill. Nearly eighty percent of those lawmakers DID NOT PARTICIPATE in the Clean Elections system.
In fact, all of the Democrats that voted against the bill are supportive of, or have used, the Clean Elections system.
Governor Jan Brewer, who vetoed the measure, actually DID PARTICIPATE in the Clean Elections program. (It’s also worth noting that Gov. Brewer’s predecessor, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, used Clean Elections for both of her gubernatorial races. In my opinion, she’s the antithesis of extreme.).
National columnists should stick to writing about what they know, which is typically New York or DC, if their idea of writing about one of us flyover states is to talk to one person in it, who passes along an anecdote from a group of self-interested businessmen. Gail Collins then adds ignorant insult to injury in the next passage after the one I quoted:
I know, I know. Many of us would like to empower the grass-roots with public campaign financing. Don’t give up. Just remember to make sure that the roots in your neighborhood have a more expansive vision than the ones that popped up in the Grand Canyon State.
Jesus. Snotty, condescending drivel like that really brings out the (liberal version of a) bitter clinger in me. And it’s wrong, besides. You can’t just say, “I’m for public financing in general but not for Arizona because you guys are a bunch of goobers.” It doesn’t work that way. Opponents to Arizona Clean Elections took it all the way to the Supreme Court, attempting to get the program declared entirely unconstitutional. They succeeded in gutting it but the court left the bones of the program in place. If Arizona’s program goes down entirely, they all do.
Posted by: Donna
So Brewer vetoed the very bad no good Center for Arizona Policy bill, with the attention of the world on her, and of course we must all contact her and thank her, for Republicans must be praised effusively like good doggies who haven’t soiled the rug on those rare occasions they do the right thing. Personally, I’d be embarrassed if people’s expectations of me were that low but, then again, I’m just one of those adults in the room.
We really did dodge a bullet and at risk of sounding cynical, I’m glad the focus was on LGBT discrimination from a purely tactical standpoint in addition to the moral and human rights ones. Having it framed as targeting LGBT citizens was what brought the fiercely negative reaction in the media and the organized business community around to kill it. But make no mistake, this was also very much an anti-choice bill. CAP spokesman Aaron Baer cited Hobby Lobby in a TV interview as an example for why SB1062 was needed. Had contraception access been the main public focus – and I bet CAP wishes like hell it had – there’s a good chance the bill would have been quietly signed into law with nary a peep from the Chamber of Commerce crowd because sluts.
The obvious, and only, way to put the brakes on all this dumb shit is to elect more pro-choice Democrats.
Posted by: Donna
Sean Noble is a type of right wing operative I find particularly annoying. These guys are total miscreants but have the cornpone choirboy routine down pat. They often like to preen about how they don’t use profanity, which makes them more moral than us dirty liberals. Arizona is thick with these homespun “consultants”, hoovering money out of gullible rich wingnuts with political aspirations, but Noble has really scored. He was recently the subject of a hard-hitting investigative report from ProPublica, in which he was revealed as the ringleader funneling “dark money” from the Koch brothers to various conservative causes around the country. One of them was Mitt Romney’s campaign – they might as well have taken a match to that money – but others were more successful, such as the defeat of the Scott Walker recall in Wisconsin. Dark Koch money has flowed like a river into Arizona. It funded the legal attack on independent redistricting and the defeat of Prop 204 (making the one cent sales tax permanent for education) in 2012, among plenty of other things.
Sean has made himself a tidy fortune being the Kochs’ errand boy but he’s feeling a little pouty these days over the negative attention he’s been getting. So he fired up his long-dormant blog “Noble Thinking” to lash back at those bullies at ProPublica and the Arizona Republic.
Inexplicably, five days after the ProPublica piece was posted on their website, The Arizona Republic ran it as a front page, tabloid-style story. It was a complete “cut and paste” job from ProPublica, and even though the Republic is my hometown paper, they never called me for comment.
There is something a bit surreal about walking out to your driveway and seeing yourself staring you in the eye. The nearly life-size photo on the front page caused one colleague to remark, “That’s a head shot size usually reserved for Presidents or terrorist leaders.” I’m clearly not the President.
Fundamentally, the Left’s attack on conservative speech is driven by fear. The Left knows it can’t win the hearts and minds of the American public with their nanny-state mentality, so they have to change the subject away from the content of the speech and who is doing the speaking. Therefore, they attack.
I haven’t and won’t let attacks from the Left stop me from advancing the cause. It is disappointing that they have stooped to a level that includes airing personal issues related to my divorce. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a political operative (that is, a non-public official or non-candidate for office) having their divorce records exposed in the news media.
At the end of the day, I remain resolved to continue to fight for the freedoms endowed to us by our Creator, first and foremost among those being our First Amendment freedoms.
A friend of mine noted the post reminded him of this:
I’m not sure why Noble thinks that the details of his divorce are off limits because he’s a political operative. As far as I’m concerned if there’s anyone who ought to get their skeletons tossed from the closet at every opportunity it would be none other than shady political operatives. Generally speaking, it is amazing how entitled to privacy and discretion affluent conservative men believe themselves to be, as they push to police other people’s private lives and punish them brutally for their “sins”. Seriously, cry me a river, Sean. Here’s what the ProPublica piece says about his divorce.
In April 2013, Noble filed for divorce. Though his wife of more than 20 years was a homemaker raising their five children, he argued in filings that she deserved no spousal maintenance. After they separated, he bought a condo in Phoenix for himself for $510,000 and another for his parents for $181,500.
Noble had become involved with Elissa Scannell, a former scheduler for Shadegg who was his partner at DC London, records filed as part of the divorce case show. Just before the 2012 election, the two flew to see the World Series. According to documents submitted by his wife, Noble spent more than $7,700 for a vacation for himself and Scannell in the Bahamas over New Year’s 2013. That March, he paid more than $3,600 for a trip for him and Scannell to Hawaii, records show.
I bet it happened because he loved his country too much, just like Newt. What a guy.