Category Archives: Crime

Democrat LD 15 House Candidate Tonya MacBeth wants to help dig Arizona out of the hole dug by the policies of Nancy Barto and John Allen

LD 15 State House Candidate Tonya MacBeth

Once upon a time, Republicans in legislative districts like LD 15 (a district that includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Glendale, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley) could run virtually unopposed for election and reelection because Democrats hardly challenged them. For example, current LD 15 State Senator Nancy Barto only had one opponent in 2012 and 2014, a Republican in the district primary before Tonya MacBeth challenged her in 2016. On the House side, incumbents Heather Carter and John Allen ran unopposed in 2014 and defeated single shot candidates Patricia Flickner in 2012 and Brandon Dwyer in 2016.

Well times are changing in LD 15 and other districts previously uncontested or little challenged by Democrats.

2018 is an embarrassment of riches for Democrats as three exemplary and passionate aspiring public servants led by 2016 State Senate Candidate Tonya MacBeth (the others are Jennifer Samuels and Julie Gunnigle) all vie for an opportunity to face off against incumbent John Allen and term-limited in the Senate Nancy Barto in the State House of Representative election on November 6 (Ms. Carter is term-limited in the House and running for the district state senate seat against a fourth exemplary, passionate, and aspiring Democratic public servant, Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko).

At what is becoming the press office for Democratic candidates in LD 15 (the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Tonya MacBeth gave an impassioned presentation on why she would be an ideal legislator for LD 15 as a mature voice for pragmatic centrist-progressivism.

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Democratic Candidate Sharon Stinard offers “Service Above Self” for the residents of LD 16.

LD 16 Democratic State House Candidate Sharon Stinard

At the Starbucks at Broadway and Power in Mesa, second time State House Democratic Candidate Sharon Stinard offered a pragmatic progressive vision for the residents of LD 16 as she prepares to go potentially against out of touch reactionary zealot Kelly Townsend and another Republican (to be determined after the primary) because the other current incumbent decided not to run in the November elections there is an “open seat” opportunity in November. In a district that includes parts of Maricopa and Pinal County, Ms. Stinard is running on a platform that emphasizes education, healthcare, infrastructure, and strategic economic development (including tax reform) and job growth.

LD 16 includes parts of Eastern Maricopa county and Northern Pinal. Parts or all of Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Youngberg are within its boundaries. The district has been reliably Republican in recent elections. Ms. Stinard and Cara Prior lost to incumbents Kelly Townsend and Doug Coleman in 2016.

Believing that local politics is the “foundation of our republic” and we cannot let “one side have all the oxygen in the room,” Ms. Stinard believes LD 16 voters deserve a strong voice in the legislature to advocate for economic opportunity and an equitable share of available resources,” Ms. Stinard believes, with the open seat and Ms. Townsend becoming increasingly radicalized with her positions (opposition to Invest in Ed and Medicaid Expansion) and out of touch with the people of the district (she rarely interacts with them according to Ms. Stinard), that there is an opening for her pragmatic progressive vision for LD 16.

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Arizona Supreme Court Opinion Upholds Bush Death Sentence In Minutemen Murders

The Arizona Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence issued to Jason Eugene Bush on a 6-1 vote, for his role in the break-in and murders committed by a group of Minutemen militia members near the Arizona-Mexico border in 2009.

Benjie Sanders/Arizona Star

Judge Larry Winthrop* concurred that there were no reversible errors by the trial court, but that the death penalty itself is “unconstitutionally cruel” and “unconstitutionally unusual” and therefore should not be imposed.

Writing for the majority, Justice John Pelander called Winthrop’s dissent “odd” and spent the next five pages dissecting it before concluding that there was no basis in this case for determining whether the death penalty is constitutional. (Chief Justice Scott Bales wrote a one-paragraph concurrence echoing that last point.)

Bush was part of a group of Minutemen border militia members who decided to try to fund their organization by robbing and killing drug smugglers. They pretended to be immigration officials and entered the Arivaca home and killed 29-year old Raul Junior Flores and his 9-year old daughter Brisenia. Ringleader Shawna Forde is already on Arizona’s death row.


*Winthrop is a Court of Appeals judge who was sitting on the case due to the recusal by Justice John Lopez.

Grifters gotta grift: the Trump swamp (updated)

Why has this crook not already resigned, or been fired? Oh that’s right, he works for America’s premier grifter, Donald Trump.

Dan Alexander at Forbes reports on Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross robbing his clients blind to build his fortune. New Details About Wilbur Ross’ Business Point To Pattern Of Grifting:

A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been quietly making its way through the New York State court system over the last three years, pitting a private equity manager named David Storper against his former boss: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The pair worked side by side for more than a decade, eventually at the firm, WL Ross & Co.—where, Storper later alleged, Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork. Two weeks ago, just before the start of a trial with $4 million on the line, Ross and Storper agreed to a confidential settlement, whose existence has never been reported and whose terms remain secret.

* * *

There are bigger allegations. Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.

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Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown Will Fully Fund Education

Democratic LD 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown

Over beverages at the IHOP at Sossaman and Baseline in Gilbert, Clean Elections Legislative District 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown conveyed the reasons she is making a second run for the State Senate after losing to Warren Pedersen in 2016. Ms. Brown is an experienced public servant whose campaign message centers on four themes. These are:

  • Promoting public education.
  • Protecting our environment.
  • Modernizing and expanding our local and state Infrastructure.
  • Guaranteeing ethics and equality for all.

Arizona LD 12 (see map) includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. This has normally been a reliable Republican district that has attracted minimal Democratic opposition in the past. In 2012, Republican Andy Biggs ran unopposed for this Senate seat. Ms. Brown did lose to Mr. Pedersen in 2016. However, Democratic enthusiasm has surged since 2016. There are three able and energized Democrats vying for the two State House seats and Ms. Brown seeks to ride that momentum to a Senate victory this November. A progressive, she feels that “if people would just take the “D” and “R” away and people see what I stand for, the people would see a lot of common ground with my positions.”

Who is Elizabeth Brown?

A former drama teacher, Ms. Brown, a wife, and mother of two daughters is an experienced public servant whose experiences start in 2004 when she volunteered for the Kerry and Edwards campaign. From 2004 to 2008 she worked for the Maricopa County Democratic Party as an office manager and executive assistant whose main responsibility was to recruit volunteers and assist legislative district chairs. She worked in Governor Napolitano’s and Governor Brewer’s office in the Constituent Services Department, observing how policies were formulated. Afterward, she was an assistant to former State Senator Barb McGuire and saw how bills were written. She also saw Republican heavy-handedness in burying Democratic bills and, later, constitutional amendments like the Equal Rights Amendment.

She believes that a lot of our legislators are in office for “personal gain” and “are out of touch with reality with what is happening with people. They are living in a bubble and do not treat people with dignity and compassion.” This is especially problematic because it is in the local sphere of the city, school and utility boards, and state level where most decisions affecting lives are made.

She believes that for too long, only men have represented the Legislative District and she feels that it is “time for more diverse representation.” She is running for the State Senate because she “believes our state is at a crucial crossroads and we can choose to continue the status quo of corporate handouts or we can reclaim our state government for all Arizona’s.” She pledges to be a “true public servant who will not look the other way when I see corruption or anything that seems unethical.” She wants to be the voice of the people and their concerns as their advocate at the capital, relying on “community engagement while seeking real and practical solutions for all Arizonans that create the policy that will ensure the wellbeing for all.”

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Politics and Brotherhood

by Dot Hale

Crossposted from Arizona’s Politics Blog

Can a candidate for public office be viable today having also been a member of an organization that excludes and targets for violence people of a particular category? Most Americans now take it for granted that if you’re revealed to have worked with the KKK, you can no longer be under consideration for Congress or state legislature. So what do we think about politicians who have been affiliated with sexually violent fraternities?

There are, of course, fraternities built around academic honors as well as disciplinary or intellectual pursuits. Many social fraternities, moreover, sport records that are relatively benign. But others have earned reputations as petri dishes of sexual coercion and assault.

At the same time fraternities are incubators of U.S. political and economic power. According to a recent New York Times report, 74% of members of Congress have been fraternity members, along with 80% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. 100 of the last 158 cabinet members and 40 of the last 47 Supreme Court justices have been members of fraternities. All of this in spite of the fact that only 2% of American men alive now have also belonged to fraternities.

One example of the downside of this trend comes in the form of Don Shooter of Yuma, Arizona, who was forced from the Arizona House of Representatives early in 2018 after five women accused him of sexual harassment. (Since his ejection from the AZ House, Shooter has launched a campaign for a seat in the Arizona Senate for the 13th Legislative District.) In the accounts offered by his accusers from the Arizona legislature, Shooter appears as the very incarnation of a certain predatory male sexuality. According to the report eventually submitted to the Arizona House of Representatives, Shooter would make regular and lewd remarks to his female colleagues, turn up unwontedly at the hotel rooms of these colleagues while on official governmental trips, and comment habitually upon various aspects of their anatomy.[i]

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