Arizona is a blasted hellscape

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Büge
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Büge » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:04 pm

Mothra wrote:The saga never ends

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:02 am

Ducey cuts ties with a private prison company. Not sure how many other private prisons are still operating in the state, but that's definitely a positive step.

Meanwhile, in not positive-step news: in 2000, voters approved an initiative to automatically increase school funding every year to keep up with inflation. Funny story: the state legislature hasn't. Despite being ordered by multiple courts to do so.

There have been settlement talks. They've broken down. And lest you momentarily think Ducey's an okay guy because of the private prison thing in paragraph one, he's trying to push funding back until he can get voters to approve a ballot initiative to take money out of the state trust land fund, even though we've got a budget surplus and plenty of money in the rainy day fund.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:23 pm

Hey! I know how to advance a gun-control agenda! Get lots of guns into the hands of blacks! Because that sure has racist old fuck Randy Pullen riled up!
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zaratustra
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby zaratustra » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:36 pm

someone put it well on twitter: if Tamir Rice was killed for having a -fake- gun, having real guns is not going to help.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:42 pm

I think you missed Mongrel's point, which is that at least one Republican is in favor of gun control as long as it's only for black people.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:53 am

Hey, let's check in with Arpaio and his criminal contempt trial.

As you might expect, Lemons at the New Times has a fuck of a lot on this, but the main two articles of the past month that jumped out at me are these:

Glimmers of Real Sheriff Joe Arpaio Penetrate His Public Mask in Court focuses on a recently-released memo Arpaio wrote detailing an imaginary conspiracy against him involving Judge Snow, his wife, her sister, Eric Holder, and law firm Covington and Burling.

Joe Arpaio's Boat Torpedoed in Testimony by MCSO Captain details testimony given last week by Captain Steve Bailey, who details being told to lie to the government monitor by Arpaio's attorney, and refusing to sign off on Arpaio's use of RICO funds in the so-called Seattle Operation, where con man Dennis Montgomery led a frivolous investigation into Judge Snow and his wife.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:52 am

So there's a city council election on Tuesday, so I've been reading up on the candidates.

I refuse to believe that Irina Baroness Von Behr is a real person and not an elaborate performance piece.

(Of course there's a "Powered by Website Builder" banner at the bottom of the page. Of course there is.)

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:19 pm

I know there are a couple other folks from Arizona here, so my thoughts on the coming special election:

Prop 123 is bullshit. Vote no.

I hate to vote against any funding bill for education, but this one's a poison pill.

Here's what happened:

We (by which I mean the voters, not the legislators) passed an education funding referendum in 2000.

The state government ignored the law.

The State Supreme Court ruled that the state government did in fact still owe our education system all the money it hadn't paid.

The state government ignored the ruling.

Eventually, Governor Ducey offered a "compromise" that would give the education system a fraction of the money actually owed, by permanently reducing the funds in the state land trust.

I am baffled and furious that the Teachers' Union agreed to the offer. I have no idea how that happened; I know more than a few teachers and I don't know any who think this was a good idea.

I hate to vote against funding for education, but I think it's the better of two bad options. 123 would do significant long-term harm for relatively minor short-term gain.

Prop 124, on the other hand...well, I can't find any examples of anyone who's against it. I'm wary of talk about pension reform, given how often politicians use "reform" as a euphemism for "gutting", but it sounds like the people who it affects are in favor of it.

Some links:

Ballotpedia summary
Prop 124? thread on Reddit

And two articles from the Republic:

Montini: For the good of Arizona (and me) don't confuse Prop. 124 with Prop. 123
Our View: Voting 'yes' on Prop. 124 is a no-brainer

I can't find anyone making a good argument against 124, so that's looking like a Yes.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:50 am

Looking over the ol' Republican primary ballot.

Going to have to go with McCain over any of his three challengers. They are all worse than he is.

Saban for Sheriff. He's down more than 50 points so it's not looking like Arpaio's going to have much to sweat about in the primary, though Judge Snow could recommend him for criminal contempt any day now and that could upset the apple cart. (Still, seeing as voting against Arpaio was my primary motivation for going Republican this primary season, it's looking like kind of a bust; I might have been better off voting in the Democratic primary. There are something like six different Democrats competing for my district's seat in the state legislature, and only one Republican.)

Bill Montgomery has no primary challengers, sigh. Right now I'm leaning toward writing in Michael Kielsky, a Libertarian candidate. I'm not sure if it actually counts if you write in a Libertarian's name on a Republican primary ballot, but he's the only write-in candidate I can find and I'm pretty sure it won't count if I write in Rick Romley.

We don't have a candidate for state senator. Maybe I'll write in my own name. Hell, I could write it in for LD too.

County Recorder has somebody named Aaron Flannery running against incumbent Helen Purcell. Purcell is terrible, but rule #1 in Arizona politics is that it could always be worse; I'll have to look into Flannery. I can't quite be sure yet if the "audit the voter roles" language on his website is a "voter fraud" dog-whistle or a legitimate criticism of an outdated and inconsistent voter registry. I'm not inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, but on the other hand I already know what voter disenfranchisement looks like under Purcell.

ETA: On the one hand, Flannery's got the Republic's endorsement. It's center-right and generally respectable.

On the other hand, he linked to an article about Purcell choosing not to enforce the ballot-harvesting ban with the hashtag #enforcethelaw. The ballot-harvesting ban -- which prevents anyone from submitting somebody else's absentee ballot, except for family members and caregivers -- certainly seems to be one of those "voter fraud" prevention bills that is actually intended to suppress minority voting.

On the other other hand, as I was looking into it I happened across an article in the Prescott Daily Courier that cited one James Driscoll-MacEachron as thinking that the ballot-stuffing law is legit.

That gives me pause. I know Jim, at least in passing; I went to high school with his sister. I'm a little bit more inclined to give the law the benefit of the doubt with Jim's endorsement.

Then again, it may not really be his endorsement; apparently Jim's an assistant AG these days, so he's probably obligated to support the state's position regardless of his personal feelings.

I'm still inclined to think it stinks. And if Flannery's for it and Purcell's against it, then this may be a race between evil and incompetence. I hate to vote for Purcell, but again, it's not like I have to vote for her in November.

(I believe the only sentence Jim ever actually spoke to me was "Yeah, that was really stupid, by the way." Which was rude, and frankly none of his damn business, but he was probably right, so I'll call it a wash. (He was referring to the time I said "fuck" in a school play instead of the bawdlerized "screw" we'd been told to use instead.))

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:19 am

The Republican candidates for Congress are Dave Giles and John Agra.

Giles is in the news for dodgy campaign expenses.

A Republican running for Congress who says government must rein in its spending spent more than $5,000 in campaign money on teeth whitening, clothes from Men's Wearhouse, equipment from a gun shop and shirts for his church's teen-abstinence event, The Arizona Republic has found.

Some of those expenditures could violate campaign-finance rules, experts said.

[...]

Giles' primary opponent was surprised when he learned of the expenses.

"Good gravy," Republican John Agra said in an interview with The Republic. "Are you serious?"


I can't find anything on Agra except the Generic Republican bio on his website. He might be the better choice than Giles, though.

Something of a moot point; Sinema's seat is considered safe.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:44 am

Corporation Commission (3 open seats) has Andy Tobin, Bob Burns, Boyd Dunn, Rick Gray, and Al Melvin on the ballot. Tobin and Burns are incumbents.

Tobin was appointed by Ducey following Susan Bitter Smith's resignation (she failed to disclose conflicts of interest when she ran). He's relatively middle-of-the-road. He was caught up in the Fiesta Bowl investigation but never charged with anything.

Burns has solid credentials; he's got a bunch of awards from right-wing organizations, which gives me pause, but he's also got an endorsement from the Republic, and for doing something laudable: pushing local utility APS to reveal how much it's contributed to political campaigns.

Tobin and Dunn have the Republic's other two endorsements. Dunn's a former mayor and judge. It sounds like he's got a decent record on energy, including methane from landfills, and he's opposed to deregulating our utilities, which is a nice sane position for a Republican Corporation Commissioner to have.

Melvin sounds like a mixed bag. He's an immigration hawk and pro-school choice, but that describes pretty much every politician in Arizona, even the Democrats. He also backed a "religious freedom" bill and insisted to Anderson Cooper that there's no discrimination in Arizona. On the other hand, he's talking about clean energy and no-kill animal shelters. I might want to look into him a little more.

Gray...looks like another Generic Republican. I can't find much about him except that he was part of the suit fighting the Medicaid expansion and the Sierra Club gave him a failing grade. I guess I can probably cross him off and pick three of the other four. Looking like Tobin/Burns/Dunn, as recommended by the Republic.

The only remaining office with more than one person running is County School Superintendent. That's one to ask my wife/sister-in-law/grandparents about, since they're all current or retired educators.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:03 am

Are any of you guys Discount Tire customers?

I was up until I heard its owners had made employees put up Re-Elect Joe Arpaio signs. I guess I'll be buying my tires from Big-O from now on.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby MarsDragon » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:52 am

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Cait » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:33 am


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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:01 pm

Excellent.

The primary is in 10 days; I'm a little surprised that he's not accusing the judge of intentionally doing this right before the election to try and influence the outcome. Maybe he'll save that argument until after the primary; this will probably give Saban a few extra points, but last I checked Arpaio was up by about 50; this isn't going to cost him the primary but it could very well cost him the general.

(The actual reason it's happening now instead of earlier, of course, is that Arpaio spent years stalling and stonewalling.)

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:29 pm

And now I'm looking at the County School Superintendent candidates so I can get this thing finished and shipped off.

Don Covey is the incumbent. I have heard him described as "innocuous".

I'm currently leaning toward Jana Jackson. Her policy views are pretty vague generic-Republican stuff, but her resume is impressive as fuck (aerospace education specialist at NASA may be the highlight), and anybody who's adopted four kids with special needs probably has some well-considered ideas about education (aside from being a pretty impressive human being).

Steve Watson's homepage has parallax scrolling over a photo of Ronald Reagan standing in front of a giant American flag. It is amazing, but not the makes-me-want-to-vote-for-this-person kind of amazing.

There doesn't really seem to be a whole lot of difference among the three of them. Covey's got the political experience and Jackson's got an impressive background.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:14 am

Current projections have McCain winning the primary by 12 points. I advise everyone to keep this detail in mind over the course of the next two months every time they see a headline that says "McCain in fight of his political life".

I mean, in case it wasn't already fucking obvious that anybody describing a guy who ran for President two elections ago as now being "in the fight of his political life" is full of shit.

McCain's going to do better than Trump. And Trump's still probably going to win Arizona. For the next two months every time somebody tells you that Arizona could go for the Democrat, remember that they're the same people who (1) said that the last four elections and (2) just got through describing McCain as "in the fight of his political life" right before he won by 12 points.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Bal » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:38 pm

The fact that Arizona is almost legitimately a battleground is fucking surreal for me. I don't know how you're feeling, but all my republican family members are repelled by Trump, and freaking out, because they sure as fuck can't vote Clinton

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:55 am

I haven't talked to most of my conservative family members in a few months. I see Grandma about once a week and I'm not one to bring the subject up but she seems pretty unhappy about Trump but I'm pretty sure she'll end up voting for him anyway. Doubt I could convince her to vote for Johnson.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:36 pm

Arpaio charged with criminal contempt.

And hey, while we're at it: Arizona's Marijuana-Legalization Measure, Prop 205, Picks Up Pace in New Poll (probably NSFW; photos of marijuana & use of same). Though what it really says is that the polls are all over the fucking place, varying by as much as 21 points. (There are people taking polls on support for marijuana legalization and only including people who own landlines? I've had jobs that seemed pointless before, but never that pointless.)

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