AZ State Senator Vince Leach Threatens Flagstaff’s Budget Over Coronavirus Prevention

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UPDATE 3/28: In the alternative to contacting Sen. Leach about his shenanigans described below, which he will probably ignore anyway, I have been reminded that we have a wonderful alternative to Sen. Leach’s clueless leadership in JoAnna Mendoza, whom you can read about here in an interview with our own David Gordon. Please visit her campaign website and consider donating to her campaign to help remove this Leach from the body politic.

Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans wants to protect her community from spread of the Coronavirus, so she has ordered non-essential businesses to closed during the epidemic, including hair salons and beauty parlors. However, Governor Ducey has recently issued an executive order defining essential businesses that are not to close during the epidemic, which included “personal hygiene services”.

State Senator Vince Leach (R-Saddlebrooke) (which is nowhere near Flagstaff, you might notice) has threatened to use SB1487 to lodge a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General against Flagstaff because he believes there is a conflict between the Governor’s Executive Order and the Mayor’s order.

You might remember SB1487 being used by the GOP to quash local ordinances they don’t like, like Phoenix’s ride share fees for airport pickups, or Tucson’s police policy to destroy unclaimed guns instead of selling them back into the community.

The effect of SB1487 is to suspend state shared revenues to a local government that fails to comply, blowing a serious hole in a city’s budget while that city is facing an unprecedented crisis.

Now Senator Leach appears to be carrying the water for Ducey in his quest to impose the GOP’s dangerous slow-walking of a serious response to the Coronavirus epidemic in Arizona. Make no mistake: this is an ideological power play, not a serious legal dispute.

There is no state interest in Prescott’s salons and beauty parlors staying open during a public health crisis. This is merely a couple of ideological bullies pissed off because a strong local leader is taking a stand to protect the citizens who elected her to lead and protect them.

There is no precedent of SB1487 even being used to quash a local ordinance that conflicts with a executive order. The law itself specifies only state laws and the state constitution, so Leach’s threat is a serious legal reach, and a potential power grab by the Governor.

Leach and Ducey need to back off now before people get hurt by their bullshit power games. How about you call Senator Leach and tell him what you think of him trying to bully a local mayor who’s just trying to protect her citizens?

There is a growing gap between the seriousness of this epidemic on the ground, and the GOP’s ideologically-blinded responses to it at every level of government. This local controversy is just one small example of the Right Wing’s willful blindness, and their desire to impose their twisted version of reality on the rest of us. More people may die in this crisis because of their denial of reality in favor of wishful thinking. The GOP is swiftly becoming the party of human sacrifice to the god of Mammon.

9 COMMENTS

  1. When are our “trusted authorities, our government mentors” going to admit that we’re in an unprecedented US and global crisis, that warrants difficult but extremely necessary decisions to help us get to the place where we can all go back to work and resume life as before (or some semblance anyway?)
    Coral Evans is DOING WHAT IS NECESSARY to try to prevent further spread of this virus! Where is Ducey? playing golf with his buddies??
    Seriously what about: Stay home, stop the spread, save lives do you people not get?????

  2. If the GOP were doing a halfway decent job of managing this crisis, I would have nothing to politicize. Instead the GOP seems set to run a sociological experiment seeing the effect of killing off a few percent of the “useless” people. Stop acting like capricious, irresponsible ghouls and I’ll consider not attacking your party’s policies, John.

    • Mike,
      My comment about politicizing was a reply to JoAnna Mendoza not you. Note that it is indented below her post. But since you dragged me back into the post, I wanted to comment on your criticising the legislature for preempting municipalities. You failed to mention that we preempted disposable plastic bag bans. As I entered a Whole Food supermarket yesterday, I spotted a sign that read that they are banning reusable bags because they are a health risk because they spread germs. I guess we called that one correctly. I brought that point up on Horizon, when I debated a Tempe council member on the ban.
      Go to: https://video.kqed.org/video/arizona-horizon-plastic-bag-ban-veteran-services-director-summer-travel/

  3. Great article highlight how toxic my opponent Mr. Leach is for Arizona and LD11. I’d ask that instead of asking folks to call him and ask him to back off – we elect new leadership. Leadership that will work to support local governments and their needs. A leader who values everyone’s voice and will put people first. A leader like me- JoAnna Mendoza. I encourage folks who are tired of toxic leadership and ready for a change to consider supporting me by going to my website to learn more about who I am and the issues I will champion at the State Capitol. Join me in the fight to #DefeatLeach. More info can be found on my website at http://www.mendoza4arizona.com

    • Looks like you know how not to let a crisis go to waste. Can’t believe you are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic for blatant campaign purposes. At least you did not ask for donations, well at least not directly.

      • Last week Trump wore a campaign hat to the CDC and told everyone the lie that anyone who wants to be tested can be tested, that the tests are perfect, like the perfect phone call.

        Aside from none of that being true, it’s illegal to wear that hat while going about his official duties.

        Have you criticized your idol?

        Your party is currently bungling a pandemic response on a massive scale, people are dying because you deny science and worship a fake billionaire, so I would suggest this is a good time for you and yours to hush up and lay low.

        If you were the least bit self aware you’d know that this is not a good time for Republicans to be drawing attention to themselves.

        But you do make a good point, think I’ll donate to Mendoza’s campaign right now.

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