Category Archives: Arizona Congressional Races

America faces a moral crisis of its fundamental values

The Washington Post editorial states it concisely, The Trump administration created this awful border policy. It doesn’t need Congress to fix it. As Senator Lindsey Graham said, pick up the damn phone and make the call.

But as the New York Times interview with White House crypto-fascist white nationalist adviser Stephen Miller makes abundantly clear about what is happening, “they want this” (h/t graphic: Rachel Maddow Show). How Anti-Immigration Passion Was Inflamed From the Fringe:

It was Jeff Sessions who ordered prosecutors to take a new “zero tolerance” attitude toward families crossing into the United States, part of his plans to reshape the country’s law enforcement priorities to limit immigration. It is Stephen Miller who has championed the idea inside the White House, selling President Trump on the benefits of a policy that his adversaries have called “evil,” “inhumane” and equivalent to child abuse or the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

* * *

Asked if the images of children being taken from their parents would eventually make the president back down, Mr. Miller was adamant.

“There is no straying from that mission,” he said.

* * *

In the recent interview, Mr. Miller dismissed as ignorant the hand-wringing of Republicans about the family separation controversy.

“You have one party that’s in favor of open borders, and you have one party that wants to secure the border,” Mr. Miller said. “And all day long the American people are going to side with the party that wants to secure the border. And not by a little bit. Not 55-45. 60-40. 70-30. 80-20. I’m talking 90-10 on that.”

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GOP train wreck on immigration coming next week

The other day I told you that the House schedules vote on two DACA bills destined to fail:

So now we have the hardline Goodlatte-MsSally bill from the GOP House Freedom Caucus, which does not have the votes to pass Congress, and a so-called GOP moderate bill still being drafted that will fall far short of the Dream Act and the bipartisan measure that couples a path to citizenship for Dreamers with beefed-up border security.

House Republicans have released a first draft of their new “compromise” immigration bill, the “Border Security and Immigration Reform Act.”

The nearly 300-page bill is one of two that the entire House will vote on next week. It is considered a GOP “moderate” alternative to the GOP conservative bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Riiight.

The New York Times reports, House Immigration Bill, Pitched as Compromise, Tilts to a Harder Line:

The draft bill, circulating among lawmakers on Thursday afternoon and up for a vote next week, closely adheres to President Trump’s vision for an immigration overhaul. In addition to protecting the young immigrants, it provides billions of dollars for a wall on the southwest border while imposing new limits on legal immigration.

The bill would also toughen rules for asylum seekers. And it would address the separation of children from parents under the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal border crossings by mandating that families be kept together while in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, according to a summary of the measure.

In effect, the measure would offer Democrats and immigration moderates in the Republican Party a difficult choice: accept hard-line changes to much of the immigration system in exchange for protections for young undocumented immigrants and what appears to be a modification of the wrenching policy of splitting up families at the border.

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The not-so-great Martha McSally Makeover

Rep. Martha McSally, who is running for the Senate in a GOP primary against anti-immigrant hardliners crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio and Kelli “Chemtrails” Ward, is so concerned about not appearing to be the most virulent anti-immigrant hardliner in the GOP primary that she is now trying to disappear her past.

CNN reports GOP Senate candidate Martha McSally’s office removes video of her praising DACA:

The office of Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally has removed from public view a video on YouTube of her defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

A press release from her office in June 2017, before her Senate bid, highlighted McSally’s questioning of then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly about immigration and border issues at a House committee hearing.

The release said that McSally questioned Kelly on the department’s plan to address DACA, and whether Kelly could assure her that DACA recipients would be protected from deportation.

“These children were brought here at no fault of their own. In Arizona, there are 57,000 of them,” McSally said in the release. “Uncertainty brings fear to my constituents in this position. Can you assure me that they will be protected?”

Kelly assured her they would not be targeted for deportation.

The press release embedded a YouTube video of that interaction below a line that says, “to watch the exchange from the hearing, click below,” but the YouTube video has since been made unavailable for viewing, meaning the video has been made private or deleted. Two other videos from the hearing also included in the press release, neither DACA-related, are still available and online.

Representatives of McSally’s office and her Senate campaign did not respond to CNN’s multiple requests for comment.

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CD2 Congress Candidate Yahya Yuksel Accelerating a Come-from-behind Campaign

In short order, Yahya Yuksel has assembled a 20-person campaign staff composed of enthusiastic interns and seasoned pros to win Tucson's CD2 Congressional seat.

In short order, Yahya Yuksel has assembled a 20-person campaign staff composed of enthusiastic interns and seasoned pros to win Tucson’s CD2 Congressional seat.

Yahyah Yuksel, a Democratic candidate for Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Seat, plans to capture votes by emphasizing universal health care, creating jobs that pay well and building a well-educated workforce.

“We know what is right for the people. It takes people with courage, integrity and experience to get that done, and that’s what we offer,” he said at a lively open house recently.

Charismatic, intelligent and energetic, Yuksel burst onto the campaign scene in March, stole the show at a candidate forum and promptly filed 2,400 signatures to get on the ballot (only 1,274 were required).

Offering a brunch of scrambled eggs, refried beans, tortillas, salsa, and coffee, he showed off his bustling campaign headquarters at 3776 N 1st Ave. (near Roger Road) in Tucson. He is the first in the field of 7 Democratic candidates to hold an open house where voters, staff, and the candidate could freely meet and mingle. He plans to hold more.

“We have a huge office, bigger than everyone else’s office,” he said. “It’s not that we’re raising a ton more money. We’re more efficient with our money.”

Building a campaign

Yuksel knows how to build a campaign. At age 14 he founded Teen Democrats in Tucson, and organized youth groups to campaign for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.  At age 19, Yuksel worked for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ successful congressional campaign. Afterward, he served as the Co-Chair for Vice Mayor Karin Uhlich’s successful 2009 re-election campaign.
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Candidate petition challenge season is upon us

Candidates had to file their candidate petition signatures by May 30, and that triggers candidate petition challenge season. So far, three legal challenges have been  filed. Wednesday is the legal challenge deadline.

The most significant challenge is in congressional district 2, where backers of doctor Matt Heinz are challenging the petitions of former congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick. Dylan Smith at the Tucson Sentinel reports, Heinz wants to boot Kirkpatrick off primary ballot over residence claims:

Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick

A trio of Tucson-area Democrats is trying to narrow the CD 2 primary field by getting the apparent front-runner booted off the ballot. Those pressing a lawsuit challenging the nominating petitions filed by Ann Kirkpatrick are supporters of candidate Matt Heinz, who said he backs the legal move.

The 13-page suit claims that Kirkpatrick, a former congresswoman from Flagstaff, doesn’t live in Tucson as she stated in her petitions to earn a spot on the August ballot.

The challenge, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday, alleges that Kirkpatrick and her husband instead live in Phoenix near his law office.

Congressional representatives are not required by the U.S. Constitution to live in the district they are elected from — they only must reside in the state — but the suit drafted by Phoenix attorney Craig Morgan wants to have Kirkpatrick’s name pulled off the list of Democratic primary candidates, with a judge tossing out any nominating petitions that include addresses in Southern Arizona.

The suit claims that “Kirkpatrick claims to actually reside in Southern Arizona. However, Kirkpatrick does not actually reside in Southern Arizona, but instead resides in Maricopa County …. Kirkpatrick has defrauded, misled, and confused the electorate….”

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Moms Demand Action seeks Increased Community Safety from Gun Violence

Moms Demand Action Volunteers posing as Arizona State Legislators

25 % of fatalities victims in mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 were children. (That figure does not include the gunshot injuries inflicted on children)

After the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown in 2012, Shannon Watts started a Facebook page, calling attention to the tragic events of that day and other horrible incidents where children were victims of mass shootings. Her goal was to propel community awareness to organize solutions to combat gun violence. Over time, a following developed across the country, including Arizona when mothers in the state reached out to Watts, looking for ways to get involved. Out of this initial grassroots momentum, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense formed.

Today, Moms Demand Action is united with Everytown Survivor and Mayors Against Illegal Guns under the umbrella organization Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.

There is one state chapter in Arizona with five local groups in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and the East Valley of Maricopa County. While there is no strict membership enrollment process, the state chapter currently counts approximately 11,000 supporters, with about 5,000 participants in the Phoenix local group. These groups regularly coordinate with each other and also partner with the newly formed student-led March for our Lives movement. For example, the organization has coordinated with Arizonans for Gun Safety and the Phoenix March for lives to promote National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2018. Haber, the Chapter Communications Leader, recognized the efforts of state chapter leader Jessica Manos and Phoenix local branch head Nevine Melikian for contributing to the growth and outreach projects in the organization.

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