Category Archives: Party Politics

Tea-Publicans are trying to change the vacancy in office law to protect Senator John McCain’s seat

Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature are trying to change the long-established law on vacancies occurring in office for U.S. Senate in the event that Senator John McCain steps down or dies early, triggering a special election for his Senate seat this year.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports Arizona Senate moves to change rules for replacing McCain:

The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature is moving to ensure that ailing Sen. John McCain’s seat isn’t on the November ballot if he leaves office, but Democrats plan to block the effort.

The effort emerged Tuesday as the state Senate put an emergency clause on a bill, HB 2538, changing how members of Congress who die or resign are replaced.

U.S. Senate vacancies are filled by a governor’s appointee, with the seat on the next general election ballot. The secretary of state has interpreted that to mean that if McCain’s seat is vacated by May 31, it would be on the August primary and November general election ballot. The new proposal changes that to 150 days before the primary, or March 31 of this year. That takes McCain’s seat out of play.

McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer and has been recovering in Arizona since before Christmas. He was hospitalized over the weekend for intestinal surgery needed to stem an infection and remains in a Phoenix hospital in stable condition.

The emergency clause requires a two-thirds vote, and Democratic Sen. Steve Farley said that won’t happen.

“They’re trying to make it really easy to appoint someone to two and a half years without an election to a U.S. Senate seat should the current holder of that Senate seat resign or no longer be able to hold office,” Farley said. “The thing is, we’re all going to vote against it as Democrats, so they won’t get their emergency. It’s silly for them to put it on and think we won’t notice.”

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Gov. Ducey’s teacher pay plan is unsustainable, teacher walkout appears likely (Updated)

Calling the governor’s plan not fiscally sustainable, the Arizona PTA has withdrawn its backing for Gov. Doug Ducey’s teacher pay hike plan. PTA group withdraws support from Ducey’s teacher pay hike plan:

Beth Simek, the organization’s president, told Capitol Media Services this afternoon that her own research shows there is no way Ducey can finance both the pay raise and restoration of capital funding without cutting the budget for other needed programs. And Simek said she believes some of what the governor plans to slice could end up hurting the very children her organization is working to protect.

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Simek said that she was not given all the relevant information about how Ducey plans to finance his plan when the governor first asked for support. So, what she did was strike out on her own and gather as much in specifics as she could from various other sources, including other state agencies.

Most crucial, she said, are the cuts being made elsewhere in the budget.

For example, Simek said, Ducey’s plan cuts $2.9 million that had been allocated for skilled nursing services in both the state Medicaid program and the Department of Economic Security. Also gone is $1.8 million aid for “critical access hospitals” and $4 million that the governor had proposed in additional dollars for the developmentally disabled.

“We can’t support that,” Simek said. “That hurts kids and it hurts families.”

The governor’s plan also cuts back $2 million in arts funding, which arts advocates say would decimate grants that fund programs that benefit pupils.

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Action Alert: Ducey’s school safety plan gets a committee hearing today

Governor Ducey’s so-called “school safety plan” will get its first hearing today in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. in Senate Hearing Room 1.

Senate Bill 1519 “protective orders; schools; appropriations” is sponsored by Sen. Steve Smith.

Arizona Senate to hold school safety plan hearing:

The proposal Ducey rolled out in mid-March had major opposition from some majority Republicans because it allows guns to be removed from people considered dangerous. More changes are likely to address that issue.

Ducey’s plan also includes more school resource officers and school mental health spending.

Democrats want universal background checks on gun purchases and aren’t backing the plan. That leaves the governor seeking support from Republican guns-rights backers and the proposal has been substantially watered-down.

If you have signed up for request to speak, be sure to post your comments on the bill and amendments to be offered. Plan to attend the hearing in person if you can.

Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump’s equally corrupt partner in crime

The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the man who broke America:

By rights, McConnell’s tombstone should say that he presided over the end of the Senate. And I’d add a second line: “He broke America.” No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government. His has been the epitome of unprincipled leadership, the triumph of tactics in service of short-term power.

After McConnell justified his filibuster-ending “nuclear option” by saying it would be beneficial for the Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said this: “Whoever says that is a stupid idiot.”

McConnell is no idiot. He is a clever man who does what works for him in the moment, consequences be damned.

The Turtle Man also blocked a more forceful response to Russian interference in the 2016 election by the Obama administration by threatening partisan politicization, U.S. national security be damned.

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Democrats are back in the fight for the Arizona Eighth Congressional District: All Bets are Off.

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Democratic Candidate for the Eighth Congressional District.

In the 2014 and 2016 Elections for Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District, Representative Trent Franks had no Democratic Opponent and easily cruised to victory in both elections. Now, thanks to Representative Frank’s resignation because of his unique interpretation of family values (asking two unwilling women on his staff to be surrogate mothers for his wife and even offering one money), the Eighth Congressional District is potentially up for grabs in a special election being held on Tuesday, April 24. The two candidates are Dr. Hiral Tipirneni for the Democrats and Debbie Lesko for the Republicans. As Democrats, with a strong viable candidate, mount a credible campaign, conservatives in Republican World are increasingly worried of another “Pennsylvania Congressional 18TH District” upset in an area that went for the President by just over 20 points, was a stronghold for the embattled former Sheriff of Maricopa County Joe Arpaio, and contains Sun City within its boundaries. According to Bill Roe, the First Vice Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, this April 24 election will all come down to turnout among Democrats, Independents favorable to Dr. Tipirneni, fatigued Republicans disenchanted with their party, and the newly arrived populace in the district that no one knows how they will decide.

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National School Walkout this Friday on Columbine anniversary

The third student-led protest over gun violence in our nation’s schools, the National School Walkout (link), is scheduled for this Friday. National School Walkout: Everything to know about the upcoming event to end gun violence:

Thousands of students across the country will come together again this week to rally against school gun violence — an event the teenage organizers hope will empower students to continue their momentum in a push for common-sense gun reform.

The event — called the National School Walkout — focuses on high schools and will take place on April 20, the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students opened fire in 1999, killing 12 of their fellow students and a teacher.

Who is participating?

The event was organized by 16-year-old Lane Murdock, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, along with three of her classmates.

More than 2,000 events are registered across the country, with at least one in every state and several globally, according to the organizers.

When will it start?

The walkout begins at 10 a.m. in each local time zone.

When students head outside, they will first take part in 13 seconds of silence to honor the 13 people killed at Columbine High School.

Then the format of the walkout is up to each school. Lane told ABC News she proposes that schools incorporate open mics, guest speakers and voter registration. She said some students plan to write letters to those in communities impacted by school shootings.

But this event differs in one major way from last month’s nationwide school walkout, which was held on March 14, one month after the shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 students and staff.

The March 14 walkout officially lasted for 17 minutes to mark the 17 lives lost. After the 17 minutes, many students returned to their classrooms.

The April 20 walkout, meanwhile, is set to last from 10 a.m. until the end of the school day.

“This is a problem that needs to be addressed longer than 17 minutes,” Lane explained.

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