But what if I want to show people how much I “care” about them as they’re trying to get into the voting booth?

26 Jun 2014 04:26 pm
Posted by: Donna

The Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision today in McCullen v Coakley, finding that Massachusetts’ 35 foot buffer zone around abortion clinics violated the free speech rights of protesters to harangue and intimidate uh “counsel” women entering them. It looks like the court bought the plaintiffs’ carefully constructed image of kindly “plump grandmothers” being the typical sort of protesters patients would encounter outside clinics rather than the actual intimidating people known to be there. I’m certain that the Justices weren’t thinking about these people when they rendered their decision.

SCOTUS was concerned about the free “transmission of ideas”.

The buffer zones serve the Commonwealth’s legitimate inter­ests in maintaining public safety on streets and sidewalks and in preserving access to adjacent reproductive healthcare facilities. See Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western N. Y., 519 U. S. 357, 376. At the same time, however, they impose serious burdens on petition­ers’ speech, depriving them of their two primary methods of com­municating with arriving patients: close, personal conversations and distribution of literature. Those forms of expression have historically been closely associated with the transmission of ideas. While the Act may allow petitioners to “protest” outside the buffer zones, petition­ers are not protestors; they seek not merely to express their opposi­tion to abortion, but to engage in personal, caring, consensual conver­sations with women about various alternatives. It is thus no answer to say that petitioners can still be seen and heard by women within the buffer zones. If all that the women can see and hear are vocifer­ous opponents of abortion, then the buffer zones have effectively sti­fled petitioners’ message. Pp. 19–23.

That passage is so steeped with condescending assumptions about women who get abortions I just can’t even. Do the Justices believe that women who abort are so incapable of knowing what they’re doing when they abort and so bereft of close relationships in their lives that they need to have these “personal, caring, consensual conver­sations” with anti-abortion activists? On that “consensual” part, why do they need to get closer than 35 feet to persuade a woman to engage in a conversation with them of her own volition? The answer is they don’t. The Court was advised of established history of anti-choicers using their “free speech” to harass and terrorize women and clinic workers, but chose to take the anti-choicers at their word.

Contrast that to another type of buffer zone: The state of Arizona has no buffer zone law for abortion clinics, naturally, though Phoenix has an 8 foot bubble ordinance. Arizona does, however, go to great lengths to protect voters from being pestered by eager partisan activists pressing pamphlets in their hands as they enter the voting booth. People engaged in “electioneering” are required to remain a full 75 feet beyond the entrance of the polling place.

H. Except in the case of an emergency, any facility that is used as a polling place on election day or that is used as an early voting site during the period of early voting shall allow persons to electioneer and engage in other political activity outside of the seventy-five foot limit prescribed by section 16-515 in public areas and parking lots used by voters.

I’ve done this sort of electioneering a few times, for candidates and ballot measures, and have been able to have conversations with people who were interested in the information I presented just fine. I’d estimate about 5% of the voters I’ve greeted as they got out of their cars stopped to chat. The vast majority of voters will either politely take your literature and proceed to the door or they’ll walk right by you as if you weren’t there. (I suspect you’d see a similar behavior pattern with abortion seekers, were anti-choicers required to abide by the same rules as activists at voting locations do.) The reason that those electioneering laws were put in place was to stop people from physically blocking or bullying people out of voting and I bet that were a case to overturn them to go before SCOTUS, the liberal Justices at least would get right away what the plaintiffs were trying to do. There would be none of this lugubrious, infantilizing “caring conversations” horseshit. Very disappointed in them.

And Hobby Lobby is next. Ugh.

If only he’d been chummier…

25 Jun 2014 05:53 pm
Posted by: Donna

Per Tedski:

By the way, after talking to a few legislators, it seems that Huppenthal wasn’t exactly chummy with his fellow solons back when he was in the lege. This is probably the bigger reason for the lack of the usual wagon circling by the Phoenix civic establishment than the racism and general unhinged nature of his commentary.”

That observation perfectly captures so much of what is wrong with our state.

“Moderate” Scott Smith blames the President for coyotes and drug cartels

25 Jun 2014 02:47 pm
Posted by: Donna

Hi there, fellow liberals who persist in believing that AZ Governor candidate Scott Smith is a nice guy and won’t be too bad as Governor and isn’t like all those other lunatics in that primary. Take a gander at Smith’s latest press release (emphasis mine):

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2014 Contact: Drew Sexton
(602) 738-1187

Mayor Scott Smith Calls For Expedited Removal Hearings For Illegal Immigrants; Calls Out Obama Administration For Risking Children’s Lives, Betraying National Security, “Empowering Coyotes, Cartels, Organized Crime”
Expedited Removal Hearings would send unaccompanied minors, illegal adults home ASAP, end “mixed message” to would-be border crossers

MESA—Mayor Scott Smith, Republican candidate for Arizona Governor, today called on the Obama Administration to immediately end its use of parole hearings to keep illegal border crossers in the United States indefinitely, instead calling on the President and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to use the Expedited Removal Hearings process to speed up the removal of the more than 90,000 illegal immigrants who have crossed the American border since October.

“We need to stop putting children’s lives at risk. We need stop betraying the security of our country and we absolutely need to end the mixed message President Obama and Secretary Johnson are sending to border crossers streaming across the Mexican border,” said Smith. “The Expedited Removal Process is legal and humane – and it will put an exclamation point on securing the American border.

“The Obama Administration needs to stop empowering the coyotes, cartels and organized crime syndicates who traffic in human beings. We can’t allow criminals to continue to profit by luring tens of thousands more children and families by giving them false hope. These predators are victimizing would-be border crossers, and the Administration is aiding and abetting that crime. We need to send an unequivocal message not to leave your homeland. If you cross into this country illegally, you will be removed just as quickly as you got here, no matter who you are.”

Expedited Removal Hearings, a streamlined alternative to the much slower parole hearing process preferred by the Obama Administration, allows for the faster removal of illegal border crossers deemed inadmissible for entry into the United States. The process, said Smith, should be used to remove the more than 50,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 adults who have surged across the Southwest border in the past seven months.

“This crisis will continue so long as our border policy is, ‘If you make it over the U.S. border, you will be allowed to stay in this country indefinitely.’ That’s empowering the coyotes and criminals to sell false hope to kids and poor families all over Central America,” said Smith. “We don’t need to send Joe Biden to Guatemala for a photo op. We need to send a strong message by returning the thousands who were lured to cross our border by criminals. That’s the statement we need to make, and we need to make it today.”


That’s a rather startling allegation by Smith against President Obama, isn’t it? Do you think Fred DuVal would ever say something like that? That’s your “moderate” GOP guy right there. Please learn what he’s really about before you unwittingly help give him cover to win the general should he make it out of the primary. Thanks.

Man, Tom Horne has a friend in Doug MacEachern

24 Jun 2014 05:21 pm
Posted by: Donna

Cranky old AZ Republic columnist Doug MacEachern started off his Monday column with some tantalizing clickbait for the crowd that hates Clean Elections and blames it for everything wrong in the state.

Seen our state Legislature lately? Somewhere, a Democratic political strategist is wincing. But he was hardly alone. Promoters of publicly financed campaigns both in Arizona and nationally sincerely believed it would make elections more egalitarian, more open to regular citizens.

And, above all else, that it would transform the state Legislature into a paradise of moderation.

It didn’t work out that way.

Arizona not only is emphatically not more moderate and measured in its politics than when the Citizens Clean Elections law was passed, by a scant majority, 16 years ago.

It is overflowing with political hard cases. And the Clean Elections system has contributed to its extremism.

When my colleague, Laurie Roberts, started her campaign to “de-kook” the capitol – Operation Dekookification – her No. 1 Kook was (and continues to be) Rep. Carl Seel, Republican from Anthem and proud beneficiary of Clean Elections campaign lucre.

That right there is pure Chamber of Commerce catnip. It’s bullshit, and it should be said that MacEachern regularly spouts right wing rhetoric that would make him fit right in with the wingnuttiest members of the legislature, so his sudden concern about “extremism” seems specious. What Doug is clearly trying to do is to draw readers to his buried lede, which is a defense of Tom Horne from the wicked Clean Elections Commission.

So, now, the fellows at Clean Elections are trying to throw their weight around in other ways

Clean Elections Director Tom Collins has gotten the nod from his commission to investigate Attorney General Tom Horne for campaign-law violations. If Collins concludes Horne is sufficiently guilty, he has (or, at least claims to have) the power to either forbid Horne from running for re-election or boot him from office outright.

The fact that Horne did not run as a publicly funded candidate when he was elected attorney general in 2010 doesn’t matter. The law passed in 1998, and affirmed in 2004 by the Arizona Supreme Court, gives Collins the authority to march out in search of Tom Horne’s head.

According to Collins, it’s all very scientific. He’s going to investigate, input all the data and calculate the percentage degree to which Horne has violated campaign finance law. Sort of like modelling weather patterns to determine global warming. If he concludes Horne has generated X-amount of campaign-finance heat, he’s out.

Did you catch the sneering “global warming” reference there? Read on, and you’ll see him namecheck both Obama and Pelosi. Pretty much every Doug MacEachern column is a Birther uncle bingo card but I have to say I’m impressed at how he worked the defense of his indefensible buddy Tom Horne into this one.

Those two times that Huppenthal defended Sylvia Allen for saying the Earth is 6000 years old on this blog

23 Jun 2014 03:19 pm
Posted by: Donna

A reporter has asked me for all the comments John Huppenthal made as Falcon9 and as I was compiling them I noticed that there were two different times that he (hilariously) defended former Senator Sylvia Allen for saying that the Earth is 6000 years old at a committee hearing on uranium mining at the Grand Canyon.


Submitted on 2009/07/22 at 8:36 pm

You have to be as smart as Sylvia Allen to understand her comment. She is referencing the commonly accepted benchmark of 6,000 years of recorded human history. But, if you don’t know that there are 6,000 years of recorded human history, you think she’s dumb. But, who is really dumb? Someone who doesn’t know enough to understand her comment or Allen who knows her history?

And here:

Submitted on 2011/03/20 at 11:32 am

You have to be minimally intelligent to understand Allen’s comment. Knowledgeable people understand that human civilization is estimated to be 6,000 years old. Who’s dumb you or her? She didn’t give a spiritual reference of 4,000 years

Huh? Watch for yourself to see what she said exactly:

It’s (the Earth) been here 6000 years, long before anyone had environmental laws and somehow it hasn’t been done away with.

She clearly said the Earth has been here 6000 years. Young Earth Creationists such as Allen don’t accept the scientific evidence that our planet existed long before humans did so there would be no reason for her to make a distinction between the age of the Earth and human civilization. Huppenthal simply invented a context in a lame attempt to give Allen cover, much as he did with the Little Red Hen reference that suddenly materialized when he was called upon to explain his own pseudonymous blog comment calling poor people lazy pigs.


Huppenthal did drop by Democratic Diva a time or two

19 Jun 2014 01:53 pm
Posted by: Donna

Sorry for the lack of posts for several days. The site has had some issues which we hope have been resolved. In the meantime, I have been posting over at Blog for AZ and I strongly recommend that y’all pop over there if you’re not up to date on the Huppenthal trolling fiasco.

AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has been revealed as a big old internet troll and my friend Bob Lord, whom I blog with at Blog for Arizona, is the one who broke the story. Here’s Bob being interviewed on Channel 5 Wednesday night, in a report that led the 10 pm broadcast.


Don’t forget all us little people, Bob, you media sensation! It was neat how this blog was mentioned on the segment and Hupp has popped into the comments section about a dozen times over the past few years, most often under the Falcon09 nom-de-sockpuppet. I will say that the stuff he posted has been fairly innocuous, with the exception of this comment to a post I did shortly after the Tucson mass shooting in January 2011:

Jared (Loughner) was a “fervent” atheist, smoked pot “daily” and his beliefs were described as “leftist”. Bill Ayers, the President’s mentor, is the CEO of the school activist program running at Jared’s high school ,which Jared participated in.

Want to connect some more dots?

That short statement has it all: Derailing from the issue of guns and lack of health care, insinuation that atheists are bad people, Reefer Madness, and conspiracy theory about the President. If Huppenthal really believes what he wrote there – and according to his own statement about his posting history he posted on blogs out of a sincere desire to enlighten and further public discourse – then he is maybe a tad too paranoid to be the top person in charge of Arizona schools. And no, it’s not “just joking” and it’s not “taken out of context”.

Wilcox makes a dick move against Gallego in AZ07

12 Jun 2014 02:03 pm
Posted by: Donna

Let me disclose that I’ve been for Ruben Gallego since he announced he was running for the seat that veteran Congressman Ed Pastor is retiring from this year. I haven’t made an issue of it because I’m not well versed in the political climate of South Phoenix, despite having a lot of friends there. I’m just impressed by Ruben’s accomplishments and his vigor and, let’s face it, the guy has a solid track record of electoral success, both for his own campaigns and those of others.

I also didn’t have any major beef with Mary Rose Wilcox. It’s purely anecdotal, but that was the sense I got from a lot of Gallego supporters. I have not encountered the kind of animus toward Ruben’s main opponent in the CD07 race that you often see in contested primaries. If anything, Gallego supporters (at least the ones I’ve been around) haven’t liked everything she’s done as a County Supervisor but they were sympathetic to Wilcox over her travails with the Maricopa County Sheriff and former County Attorney.

But then Wilcox’s camp had to go and launch the dumbest and most ham-fisted attack I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, this article is behind a paywall but I’m quoting the relevant facts here:

Abandoned by his father when he was young, Ruben Marinelarena chose to change his name in 2008 to honor his single mother by taking her surname, Gallego, as his own.

Yet a complaint filed by Mary Rose Wilcox ally Mike Snitz alleges Gallego never filed the proper application to legally change his name from Marinelarena to Gallego. The complaint argues that because he listed his name as Gallego on nominating petitions, all his signatures are invalid and he should be kept of the primary ballot in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District.

Wilcox issued a statement Wednesday night in support of the complaint, calling on Gallego “to put his legal surname on the ballot… so everyone has a change to learn about his experiences and who he really is.”

“Anyone running for public office has a responsibility to do so in an open and honest way. My campaign fully supports plaintiff Michael Snitz in this lawsuit because we the people have a right to know who’s running to represent us in Congress,” Wilcox said.

An attorney for Gallego at the time of his name change provided reporters a copy of the Maricopa County Superior Court order, filed in August 2008, which verifies Gallego’s legal name change to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego.

A spokesman for Wilcox could not be reached for comment, and a call to Snitz’ attorney was not returned.

The Gallego family is no stranger to being attacked over names, as Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego was criticized for taking her husband’s surname (which the vast majority of women do) and accused of trying to pass herself off as Hispanic (which she never did). One of the people who made the attack against Kate very publicly happened to be none other than Mary Rose Wilcox. With Ruben, Wilcox is trying to tie Ruben Gallego to the fake Cesar Chavez candidate (nee Scott Fistler) and to make a play out of the Karl Rove handbook – turning her opponent’s strength (Gallego’s family background) into a weakness.

They have not only failed spectacularly in that endeavor but, if my social media feed is any indication, they have turned people who were fairly neutral toward Mary Rose Wilcox very much against her. Good going. Perhaps Wilcox can take heart in the nice new friends she’s making on the right, though.