Category Archives: CPMAZ Craig McDermott

Arizona Legislature – The coming week

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

They lege has “improved” its website, making it considerably more user-unfriendly.  As such, the format of this post may change over time as I figure out the best way to utilize the new website.


All committees meetings and agendas are subject to change without notice, and frequently do.  If you plan to travel to the Capitol to observe or weigh in on the consideration of a particular measure, check with the lege ahead of time to confirm that the meeting that you are interested in is still on schedule and your item(s) of interest is still on the agenda for that meeting.

Meeting rooms designated “HHR” are in the House of Representatives building. Meeting rooms designated “SHR” are in the Senate building. 

When the phrase “looks harmless” is used, it only means that any harm to AZ that would be wrought by the bills on the agenda isn’t apparent to me as of this writing.  However, if you notice any nuggets of ugly that I miss, please leave a comment that makes me and other readers aware of the situation.

Most bills are assigned to at least two committees – one standing committee and the chambers’ rules committees.  A few are assigned to more than that because they cover areas that fall under the jurisdiction of more than one standing committee.  A select few are assigned to three or more standing committees.  That’s the way that a chamber’s leadership tells it membership that it doesn’t want a particular bill to pass.

Because of the MLK holiday, many of the committees that meet on Mondays will not meet this week or will meet on days other than Monday.

House side –

Appropriations – Tuesday, 9 a.m., HHR1.  House Appropriations and Senate Appropriation will be holding a joint meeting to receive thgovernor‘s 2017 budget proposal.

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2017 AZ Lege: Heads up – the train’s a comin’

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

This post is an information post with almost no “commentary” (but me being who I am, there may be one or two instances of wiseass-ery 🙂 ).

Scheduled start: January 9, 2017 (tomorrow, as I write this)


Approximate end: Third full week of April (“approximate” because while the 100th day of the session will fall during that week, and 100 days is the unofficial target for the length of a legislative session, 100 days is *not* a requirement).


House –


Speaker – JD Mesnard.  Previously: David Gowan (ran for Congress, lost in primary)

Majority Leader – John Allen.  Previously: Steve Montenegro (elected to state senate)

Majority Whip – Kelly Townsend.  Previously: David Livingston (reelected to the state house, but no longer part of leadership; not sure why)


Minority Leader – Rebecca Rios.  Previously: Eric Meyer (ran for state senate, lost a close race)

Assistant Minority Leader – Randy Friese.  Previously: Bruce Wheeler (did not run for reelection)

Minority Whip – Charlene Fernandez.  Previously: Rebecca Rios (now minority leader)

Senate –


President – Steve Yarbrough.  Previously: Andy Biggs (elected to Congress)

Majority Leader – Kimberly Yee.  Previously: Steve Yarbrough (now senate president)

Majority Whip – Gail Griffin. Previously: Griffin

President Pro Tempore – Debbie Lesko.  Previously: Sylvia Allen (reelected to the state senate, but no longer part of leadership; not sure why)


Minority Leader: Katie Hobbs.  Previously: Hobbs

Assistant Minority Leader: Steve Farley.  Previously: Farley

Minority Whip: Martin Quezada,  Previously: Quezada

Minority Whip: Lupe Contreras.  Previously: Contreras

First bill: SB1001, from State Senator John Kavanagh.  In a rare (rare for Arizona legislative Republicans, anyway) “good government” proposal.  If enacted, it would protect from civil liability a person who breaks into an unattended vehicle in order to rescue a minor or a domestic animal. Continue reading

Trump analogy time: Less “Hitler” and more “pre-Hitler”

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

Godwin’s Law, courtesy

A term that originated on Usenet, Godwin’s Law states that as an online argument grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin’s Law has effectively forfeited the argument.

For the purposes to discussing the president-elect, Donald Trump, and/or his administration and advisors, I’m going to have to violate Godwin’s Law, or simply consider it suspended for the duration.

The comparisons are too obvious to ignore.


The comparisons of Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler seem to me to be both a case of overreach and being premature.  He hasn’t even taken office yet.

Nope.  While it’s not a perfect analogy (any analogy is an imperfect comparison between two entities), right now he looks to most closely resemble Paul von Hindenburg. Continue reading

Election Night 2016

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

9:50 –

There were 19 school district-related ballot questions in Maricopa County.

Right now, it looks like 15 will pass, 3 will go down, and 1 is still to close to call.

This is actually much better than average here.


9:30 –

In Scottsdale, all incumbents are on their way to reelection.


9:21 –

It looks like the AZ lege will tighten.  My read on races right now:

AZSenate – 14 R, 13 D, 3 too close to call.  If all three races in the “too close to call” category go D, then control flips.  16 – 14 R seems more likely, but this is far from over.

AZHouse – 33 R, 26 D, 1 too close to call.  The Rs retain control.


9:20 –

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s race has been called for Paul Penzone!


8:06 – early votes only:

Maricopa County Sheriff: Penzone up over Arpaio big

Maricopa County Recorder: Fontes up over Purcell

CAWCD – Arboleda, Graff, and Holway all in the top 5

LD18 legislature – Bowie (senate) and Epstein (house) ahead

LD28 Senate – Meyer slightly ahead of Brophy-McGee

US Sen – McCain thumping Kirkpatrick

CorpComm – Not looking good for Mundell or Chabin

LD6 – Bagley (D) and Allen (tin foil) – too close to call

Ballot measures –

Prop 205 (legalizing recreation marijuana) – losing

Prop 206 (raising minimum wage) – winning

…is shaping up to be a lot like election night 2000.  Florida will be keeping us holding our collective breath…

Once AZ results start coming in, this post will be updated, with an focus on statewide, legislative, Maricopa County, and Scottsdale races.


Election 2016: It’s almost over

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

In case you haven’t noticed the wall-to-wall (but oh-so selective) media coverage, the incessant TV and radio ads (and spots on other media), the late night comedy, the hate-filled shouting, or have simply avoided even opening your mailbox for the last month or so,

There’s an election coming up on Tuesday.  


While millions of Americans have already voted (full disclosure time: I am one of those millions), millions more will be voting Tuesday.

If you haven’t already done so, please make sure you vote on Tuesday.

In addition to a race for president that features two main candidates who present the starkest difference between two candidates for that office in US history, there are scores, in fact, hundreds, of down ballot races that have even more effect on our daily lives that are also up for election.

If you don’t know where your polling place is (AZ only) –

Arizona SOS’ polling place locator is here (This one should include all polling places in all counties, so if your county isn’t listed below, use this one. It works for me here in Maricopa County)

Maricopa County’s polling place locator is here

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2016 may not be over quite yet, but positioning for 2018 has already started…

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

From the Arizona Republic, written by Laurie Roberts –

What is it with these politicians and their ambitions?

Last week, it was Kelli Ward announcing that she’s running once again for the U.S. Senate in 2018 – this time trying to knock off Sen. Jeff Flake.

Now comes Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, filing campaign papers to challenge Secretary of State Michele Reagan in 2018.

Stanton’s decision makes sense – even though it would be nice to get through 2016 before the angling begins for 2018.

Stanton, in a press release, says he’s not really running for secretary of state. He just needed to create a state campaign committee in order to transfer remaining funds from his city campaign committee before Nov. 4, when a new state law will bar him from doing so.

As mentioned in the article, Stanton may not run for secretary of state – the governor’s spot is also up for election in 2018.

Right now, Doug Ducey, the incumbent governor looks likely to run for and win reelection.  However, a lot can happen between now and the beginning of 2018.

Stanton (pic courtesy

Not least of which is the election next week, which will impact who seeks what office in 2018.