Maybe try having him in dreads and tie-dye next time

13 Oct 2014 03:38 pm
Posted by: Donna

Oh my heavens, the Intellectual Conservative blog has SHOCKING HIDDEN CAMERA FOOTAGE of a nefarious fiend stealing Republican candidates signs!!

Unbelievable. We’ve been told the thief will be prosecuted and has been given a court date. The signs were posted on private property with the consent of the owner. Was the thief a Democrat operative? Or someone connected to one of the opposing candidates?

Let me be clear that this could be footage of an actual sign theft in progress. But you’ll have to forgive me for being a tad skeptical about this little sting operation. How is it they happened to have a camera waiting where those particular signs were and a thief who, oh-so-conveniently, showed up, parked in full view of it, and ran out to snatch the signs? Looking cartoonishly guilty as all hell about it. In broad daylight. On a busy road.

Also, and I’m not saying you can judge everyone’s political affiliation by their appearance, but it has been my experience that young men who look like Skippy McFratbroerson there tend not to be Democratic operatives, or even Democrats. You can find an abundance of said dudebros at Young Republican events, though. So IC Arizona has “been told” the thief has a court date. I’ve been told that we might find the “thief” at the sign-in table at a Michele Reagan fundraiser. Both statements were on the internet so who knows which is true? So many questions!

AZ Republic endorsement of Ducey is a giant FU to women and naive besides

12 Oct 2014 03:21 pm
Posted by: Donna

Photo: AZCentral.com

I expected this since the AZ Republic endorsed three Dems for statewide races and the publisher of the paper, and publisher John Zidich is known to be a pal of Ducey, but I was struck by the sheer obtuseness of their endorsement of Doug Ducey for Governor.

He speaks of the need to streamline an executive branch that sprawls across an organizational chart. He promises to be a vigorous and visible salesman for the state, speaking the language of CEOs.

He knows what national business leaders look for, and that’s why we have no fears that a Ducey administration would usher in anything like SB 1062, the right to refuse service bill. For one, when Ducey led Cold Stone, the company provided insurance for the unmarried partners of its employees. “The things that are the right thing to do are good for business,” he says. “That’s how you attract good people.”

For another, he knows when SB 1062 did the most damage to Arizona’s image: after it was passed but before Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed it. “I’d rather it not get to my desk than have it get there and have to veto it,” he says.

The editors are so confident that Ducey will steadfastly represent the interests of “national business leaders” that they’ve forgotten that after he said he’d have vetoed SB1062 back in February, he then praised the Hobby Lobby decision in July. They are essentially the same thing! And Doug Ducey knows it:

The executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, DJ Quinlan, publicly demaned the state treasurer fire Herrod, the president of the Center for Arizona Policy, earlier today.

The state-wide conservative group mostly recently backed the controversial SB 1062.

Ducey, however, did not. He told the Star last week:

“The religious liberty issues that SB 1062 attempts to address are legitimate ones, and I believe there is a way to draft language that would address the concerns of everyone involved and avoid the acrimony and notoriety that have accompanied this bill’s passage. I would veto SB 1062, but would then bring together all the interested parties before this legislative session adjourns to forge consensus on acceptable language protecting religious liberty.”

Translation: Doug Ducey basically said there that he had every intention of bringing SB1062 back, contrary to the fantasies of AZ Republic editors dazzled by his ice cream and economic underwear gnomes. When SB1062 comes back it will be wrapped in slut punishing, “narrowly tailored” to the poor, dear craft store owner or pharmacist whose religious views give him sads over dispensing the whore pills. They can expect few protests and no objections from the business community to that.

Only – because attacking women’s reproductive rights never seems to be enough to get some people to see that religious authoritarians are a menace – the “narrowly tailored to punish the sluts” court rulings and laws have a habit of creeping over into other areas. Just as the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision led to this, Doug Ducey’s refurbished SB1062 could similarly open the door to all kinds of acrimony and notoriety for Arizona. Only it will be too late by then.

It comes as no surprise, though, that the ed board would be utterly unconcerned about the fate of (mostly poor) women under a Ducey administration. After all, it’s two most senior members are Doug MacEachern and Bob Robb. MacEachern is an angry and befuddled old man who thinks birth control causes abortions and Robb considers abortion to be an “epidemic” and a “sad barbarity”. It is statistically likely that women in their own families have availed themselves of abortions, since one in three American women will have one in her life. But those “discreet procedures” are always necessary and justifiable, unlike those that poor women whom Doug and Bob don’t know or care about need.

Culture war issues FINALLY surface in Governor’s race and Ducey is operating straight out of the Pat McCrory playbook on them

08 Oct 2014 09:25 pm
Posted by: Donna

Photo: AZ Republic

I have to say there have been some encouraging developments in the AZ midterms the past few days. First Howie Fischer weighed in, and then the Arizona Republic (finally) ran a piece highlighting the significant differences on so-called “social issues”, that is, a host of things that affect a lot of people’s lives, rights, financial situation, ability to participate fully in society, etc., but do not necessarily fall within the confines of what rich white people consider important.

While Arizona’s most controversial social policies have generally originated in the state Legislature and the courts have had the final say, the governor is the gatekeeper. As the state’s chief executive, the governor holds the veto stamp and has historically used it to push back on legislation deemed too far outside the public interest.

Democratic candidate Fred DuVal has (rightly) been pushing religious, reproductive, and LGBT issues into the campaign lately because everyone not living in a cave in Arizona has to be aware of how often they are the subject of legislation in our right wing majority legislature. Ducey, for his part, desperately does not want to discuss these issues. Back in the primary I predicted that “centrist” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith would do this, but now it seems that the Republican nominee Doug Ducey is definitely channeling North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory (R) who swore up and down all he was concerned with was jobs, jobs, jobs, when he ran for that office in 2012.

To win, “Ducey can’t rely solely on Republicans, he has to rely on independent voters,” who tend to be younger and more liberal on social issues, said Rodolfo Espino, an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies. “That is why, when he talks about some of this stuff, he automatically moves it back to the economy and education. It’s, ‘Let’s not talk about this stuff any more.’ “

Pat McCrory’s pragmatic campaign posturing turned out to be a big fat lie and there is every reason to believe the same will be true of Ducey, judging from his alliance with Cathi Herrod and his own charitable activities. He shouldn’t get away with his evasions on reproductive rights.

This focus on “social issues”, or as I like to call them “human rights”, could not come at a better time, as mail in ballots drop on Thursday. I do have reason to fear they will soon be eclipsed, based on listening to KJZZ’s Here and Now on Wednesday, as host Steve Goldstein allowed AZ Republic’s Bob Robb to drone on about the state’s projected $1.5B deficit and how it was the most important thing facing the candidates (thankfully Chad Campbell was also there to throw cold water on Ducey’s craptacular economic ideas).

Now, as writer Connor Kilpatrick once very succinctly observed, worrying about deficits is how dumb people have pretended to be smart since the FDR era. They also provide Very Serious PeopleTM the opportunity to engage in Very Serious Chin Stroking about how much more poverty-punishing austerity is necessary. In fairness, the state’s deficit does differ from the federal in that Arizona is required to balance the budget, so it is a problem, but that doesn’t excuse the idiotic punditry that has been going on throughout this election season on fiscal matters.

Arizona political reporters, I hate to break it to you but you are not as clever as you think you are when you constantly press the candidates about the budget and how they’re going to pay for things. It’s honestly tiresome watching you try to pin them down on that, again and again. “But…but..what is your PLAAAAN?!?” The revenue situation of the state is not some impenetrable mystery. It is the result of an ill-advised 1992 amendment requiring a supermajority to raise revenue followed by years of cuts to revenue leading to (who could have seen it coming?) a structural deficit.

Thus, Fred DuVal could not raise taxes (the only real way to replace the revenue) if he wanted to, and the likelihood that you’ll get your “gotcha” on him by getting him to touch that electoral kryponite for no good reason is nil. Doug Ducey’s genius plan involves yet more corporate tax cuts and eliminating the income tax entirely, which will somehow cause underwear gnomes to grow the economy. So the fiscal choice is between one candidate, DuVal, who will hold things together and do good things to the extent the office allows and the other, Ducey, who will actively make things worse for the majority of Arizonans. That’s it. That’s the choice.

So why not make this race about the stark distinctions between the candidates on how they will treat women, minorities, poor people, and immigrants, AKA the majority of people in Arizona? It really tells you a lot more about their basic values and reasoning ability than their thoughts on fiscal policy ever will.

Randy Kendrick will have none of your guff on dark money, peons!

07 Oct 2014 05:47 pm
Posted by: Donna

Photo: Arizona Republic

Terry Goddard has made “dark money” the signature issue of his Secretary of State campaign and Arizona news people are raising the alarm over millions of anonymously raised dollars being poured into races from Governor down to the state legislature. Charles and David Koch are the source of much of this money and, boy, do they have a friend in Randy Kendrick, who serves on the board of the Goldwater Institute and is married to Ken Kendrick, co-owner of the AZ Diamondbacks (the Diamondbacks organization has a history of funding Republicans and right wing causes).

Here’s Randy’s letter to the AZ Republic editor on Tuesday (annotated by yours truly):

LEFT GIVES MORE THAN THE RIGHT

Regarding ” ‘Dark money’ begins to sully campaigns” (Editorial, Saturday):

I appreciate that you were honest enough to point out that “of the top 20 organizations contributing to political campaigns over the past 25 years, 15 of them contribute overwhelmingly to Democratic candidates liberal causes (And I was rocking the stone washed jeans in 1989 but, more recently, conservative spending has been swamping liberal) . However only now do you say that dark money “begins to sully campaigns.”

Since far-left and liberal “dark money” has overwhelmed conservative money for decades (You poor dears could simply never catch a break), why is it that media groups like yours have only started making it a debate topic now when a very few of us on the economic-freedom side of the intellectual world have joined the race? (Oh, I dunno, maybe it’s because there are very few of you and you guys want to have a whole lotta power over the government.) Only now do you focus like a daily drumbeat on private campaign donations as if they were a sin? (Or maybe we’d just like to know who the donors are so that we could, you know, determine for ourselves what possible motivations they might have.)

I love my right to contribute privately (duly noted), and I am a huge fan of Charles Koch (tells me everything I need to know about you, Randy). He has provided jobs and work to millions through his entrepreneurial abilities (AKA “inheriting an oil fortune from your father”), brought prosperity to our country and others and realizes what policies and ideas help create prosperity for the poor and lift them into the middle class (I’m not sure how ending the minimum wage would ever lift a single person out of poverty). I am proud of my association with these efforts to help the poverty-stricken with great jobs and a chance to rise. And no matter what name you give to our efforts (“dark money” seems to work), I am proud of my association with Charles Koch.

Please quit calling me for comment (duly noted). Quit with the intimidation! (Okay! Gosh, you must be so afraid to leave the house!) Quit making other donors afraid to associate and give to great causes (haven’t noticed that). Quit sullying the practice of private and anonymous free speech, which dates to the anonymously written and published “Federalist Papers” and the right of the NAACP to keep its donors private during the civil-rights era.(Impressive equating of Charles Koch and your rich self with civil rights activists of the 60s, truly.)

I have seen death threats against the Koch family due to their strength to stand up for the ideals of the America that I love. (Death threats? Stop that! Mockery is so much more effective!) Probably we will get those now that I’ve spoken out. (Seriously, Randy Kendrick making these tone-deaf “47 percent” statements does waaay more to help the left.) At least my children are gone to college (I’m glad for them too).

Stop with the name calling and start talking about the truth. The left and unions give anonymously more than the right ever has. (Not even close to true anymore, and even if it were, voters can easily guess what the “United Auto Workers” are after with their contributions. The vaguely-named “Americans For Prosperity”? Not so easy.)

I am proud to join the battle to fight for the kinds of policies that have lifted untold billions of people out of poverty (citation?).

—Randy Kendrick, Paradise Valley (obviously)

I’m honestly surprised she didn’t mention George Soros in that screed. Kendrick is yet another example of a rich person who is every bit the crackpot that the stereotypical “toothless redneck” Tea Party activist is. Except that she truly thinks she is better than the rest of us peons, while acting as though we’re victimizing her.

GOP Corp Comm candidates respond to charges but still can’t get their story straight

07 Oct 2014 11:57 am
Posted by: Donna

Per Evan Wyloge of the Capitol Times on the formal response by the Corporation Commission candidates to the charges of Clean Elections violations:

Miller’s response also states that the campaigns paid for 600 campaign signs on July 12 at a cost of $12,972 or $6,486 for each campaign, even though the expenditure is accounted for in the pair’s campaign finance reports under payments made to Americopy in mid-August. Americopy extended credit to the two campaigns, Miller explained.

That works out to about $22 a sign, a price considered half what should be paid for the quality of signs Doug Forese and Tom Little were putting up all over the state, according to three sign company owners Wyloge spoke with. One of them, Jim Torgeson of Sign King, flat out scoffed “that’s not a real number” about what the candidates paid for their signs. There’s also this problem with their statement (which I have helpfully illustrated):

July 11th is before July 12th. So how long were hundreds of signs up all over the state before Forese and Little paid for…er…got credit extended for them?

What exactly is defamatory about Rotellini’s ad attacking NOT Tom Horne’s private prison ties?

06 Oct 2014 01:02 pm
Posted by: Donna

Democratic candidate for AZ Attorney General Felecia Rotellini has been running an ad attacking the Republican candidate Mark Brnovich, AKA NOT Tom Horne, for his lobbying for private prisons.

NOT Tom Horne’s camp responded with this very sad attempt to intimidate Rotellini by threatening to sue her.

NOT Tom Horne alleges that Rotellini is defaming him because the three violent inmates who escaped a private prison in 2010 and murdered a couple were from Arizona and had been sentenced here, so his lobbying for violent criminals from other states is not to blame for that. Also that the prison where the escape occurred was not operated by Brnovich’s client Corrections Corporation of America. Let’s unpack why NOT Tom Horne thinks he’s being defamed:

1. NOT Tom Horne is being defamed because violent inmates from out of state are incapable of ever escaping Arizona private prisons with lax security measures?

2. NOT Tom Horne is being defamed because the private prison where the escape occurred was not run by CCA? So what? The lobbying he did to strip out violent offender transfer prohibitions in SB1547 applied to all private prisons.

Bottom line is that NOT Tom Horne lobbied for more violent offenders to be put in Arizona private prisons, which were originally authorized in the early 90s to house nonviolent drug and alcohol offenders, not rapists and murderers. As the mission of private prisons has expanded, thanks to intense lobbying from the industry, it is clear that some of these facilities are incapable of accommodating violent offenders safely. That was Rotellini’s main point and her campaign is right to continue to running the ad. Obviously, Brnovich’s intention with this letter is not an actual defamation suit, which would be nigh impossible for him to win as a candidate for office. He’s clearly trying to distract and deflect from his private prison ties, since it’s hard to tell what the actual “defamation” is.

It’s worth noting that NOT Tom Horne’s activity with CCA involved a lot more than lobbying against one bill pertaining to out-of-state prisoners. Brnovich was a “senior director of business development” from 2005 to 2007. As the job title implies, he was out to grow the presence of private prisons. That can only be accomplished by getting more bodies into the beds of those facilities. It is also rather difficult to convincingly act as if you have been defamed by someone calling out your private prison ties when you not only lobbied for them but possibly used your position as a prosecutor to get bodies into them (while still a lobbyist for CCA):

The Assistant U.S. Attorney

The reason for stressing the minutiae of Mark Brnovich’s lobby activity/employment on behalf of CCA over the course of 2007 is this: according to a statement of financial disclosure filed by Susan Brnovich on January 24, 2008, Mark Brnovich had two sources of personal compensation over the course of calendar year 2007. Those two sources of compensation were: Corrections Corporation of America and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Indeed, according to federal court records, Mark Brnovich, as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, was assigned as a prosecutor on eleven federal criminal cases (involving the prosecution of ten individuals) in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, from September though November of 2007.

In connection with these cases, four individuals served substantial pre-trial detention time (from between several months to a year and a half) in the custody of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), or in the custody of a “designated representative” thereof.

That’s not good, NOT Tom Horne.

Doug Ducey loves Texas so much he wants to replicate it for poor women in Arizona

02 Oct 2014 09:20 pm
Posted by: Donna

Doug Ducey likes to praise Texas, often. He wants their state tax income rate (none) and their health care policies (no ACA exchanges, no Medicaid expansion). Ducey most assuredly wants the reproductive rights climate that currently exists in Texas, where the Fifth Circuit Court upheld spurious TRAP laws passed last year (and famously filibustered by State Senator Wendy Davis) which will close all but seven clinics in the entire state. Rural areas, including all of West Texas, will be without a single abortion provider.

Two years ago, Texas had more than 40 abortion facilities. Many clinics have already closed under a part of the law requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges, and now more than a dozen remaining clinics are set to shutter as well.

The decision by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans wipes out what was a fleeting victory for abortion rights groups — a lower court in August blocking requirements of the law that say clinics must meet hospital-level operating standards to stay in business.

The ruling is only a stay pending a full appeal, but the court wrote that Texas is likely to prevail. If it does, the clinics would have to make costly upgrades to meet the new standards and reopen.

The impact stands to be felt most along the Texas-Mexico border and in the western half of the state, where access to a legal abortion is especially limited. The only abortion clinic in McAllen, which reopened after the lower court’s ruling, now stands to close again. That would leave women in the Rio Grande Valley facing a 300-mile drive to the next-nearest abortion facility.

But the court wrote that “women from McAllen have been travelling outside their city for nearly a year and Plaintiffs made no showing that clinics in San Antonio (or any other city) have been deluged.”

I suspect the reason for that last part is that low income women in West Texas have been resorting to black market pills from flea markets or Mexico to terminate unwanted pregnancies which, of course, leaves them vulnerable to prosecution under whatever premise cops and prosecutors may want to dream up.

Doug Ducey is 100% on board with Cathi Herrod’s positions on reproductive rights, meaning he favors a ban on abortion with “limited exceptions” (what does that mean, Doug?), and is a sure bet to sign every Center for Arizona Policy anti-choice bill that hits his desk. Many of those bills, if past is precedent, will be TRAP laws presented as measures that improve the “safety” of abortion. Pro-choice activists are well aware this is complete horseshit – these regulations are fully intended to close clinics and/or make women deal with onerous barriers to getting the procedure. And now there is data to show that they do not, in fact, do anything to increase the safety of abortion but they are correlated with worsening conditions for women and children.

The more abortion restrictions a state has on the books, the less likely they are to have evidence-based policies that promote the health and well-being of women and children.

For example, Kansas and Mississippi both have the maximum number of abortion restrictions (14 in total), but have only adopted 6 policies (of 18 total) demonstrated to promote the health and well-being of women and children.

States that have the most restrictions on abortion consistently have the worst health outcomes for women and children.
For example, Oklahoma has the maximum number of abortion restrictions (14 in total) and has some of the country’s worst outcomes for women’s health – including higher maternal mortality rates, higher uninsured rates, and lower rates of cancer screening, among other outcomes – and some of the worst outcomes for children’s health – including higher infant and child mortality rates, lower rates of preventive care, and higher rates of teen alcohol and drug abuse, among other indicators.

Texas is not exactly known as utopia for women and neither is Arizona, for that matter, but things are headed further downward for women in Texas and Doug Ducey intends to replicate that here. He wants to eradicate poor women’s (because women of his class will still enjoy access) right to determine their reproductive courses and yank the safety net out from beneath them. Maybe he’ll magnanimously phase poor women’s hopes out gradually, as he plans to do with the income tax.