Category Archives: Legislation

Joan Greene says CD 5 is not the Red Haven pundits make it out to be.

Congressional District Five Democratic Nominee Joan Greene

At the same Sozo coffee shop in Chandler where we met before the primaries, Arizona Congressional District Five Democratic Nominee Joan Greene, along with her campaign advisor Ryan Winkle, eagerly communicated that the district is not the “red-headed stepchild that pundits have made it out to be” and the prospects for victory at the representative and local level is real. During our conversation, she relayed how she would campaign to victory over incumbent ultra conservative Andy Biggs and what she would do as the new Arizona Congressional Five House Representative starting in January 2019.

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So we’re all agreed: No on Prop. 305 (and elect a Democratic legislature and governor)

The Arizona Capitol Times reported Voucher vote creates dilemma for school-choice supporters:

If voters approve the voucher expansion law in November, many believe those changes would be locked in under the Voter Protection Act.

A “yes” on Prop. 305 would keep SB1431, (the “vouchers on steroids” bill), in place as approved by the Legislature in 2017.

That means modifying the statute in the future would be incredibly difficult, and that is where the problem lies for the school-choice crowd.

Indeed, the prospect of locking that law in place has been enough to give even the staunchest supporters of Empower Scholarship Accounts pause.

“If Prop. 305 passes, it could hinder our ability to make crucial improvements to the ESA program,” said Kim Martinez, a spokeswoman for the pro-voucher American Federation for Children.

Laurie Roberts of The Republic expands upon this in Dark money groups’ stand on Prop. 305 shows the public got played on voucher expansion:

Here’s a curious and rather enlightening development.

The “dark money” groups that spent big bucks to get a Legislature willing to vote for a massive expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher program are not going to campaign to try to save their crowning achievement.

The Republic’s Rob O’Dell and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez are reporting that the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity will sit out Proposition 305. Meanwhile, the Betsy DeVos-created American Federation for Children actually will urge people to vote no.

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Ruh-roh! We may be back on government shutdown watch

Last week Congress passed a ‘minibus’ with a CR to avert Trump’s threatened government shutdown over his border wall.

The Senate on Tuesday passed the short-term spending bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 7 and avert a government shutdown, and put off a fight over funding for President Trump’s border wall until after the midterm elections. Senate passes defense and health spending bill, tries to delay border-wall fight to after midterms:

The 93-to-7 vote came less than two weeks ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline when government funding will expire unless Congress and Trump intervene.

The House is expected to take up [modifications to] the bill next week, but it remains uncertain whether Trump would sign the measure.

The legislation would not increase funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which funds construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president has toyed repeatedly with shutting down the government to try to get more funding for the border wall, at times saying there would not be a shutdown and other times saying he would welcome one.

This morning President Trump is making noise again about not supporting the spending bill because it does not include funding for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border. Which begs the questions, “He just now realized this?” And “Will he veto it?” Trump blasts Congress over ‘ridiculous’ spending bill: ‘Where is the money for the wall?’

President Trump lashed out at Congress on Thursday over the lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill, stoking a fight that GOP lawmakers had hoped to avoid until later this year.

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Paul Manafort plea deal? GOP shields secret meeting between Putin and his puppet Trump

ABC News is reporting that Paul Manafort and special counsel reach a tentative plea deal:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that will head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations tell ABC News.

The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, according to three sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Manafort and his most senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours Thursday in discussions with a team of special prosecutors who are involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

ABC News spotted the team arriving in a dark SUV Thursday morning, pulling into a secret entrance out of public view at the building where Special Counsel Robert Mueller is based.

Word of the agreement comes as Manafort’s second trial was slated to begin later this month in federal court in Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for Manafort and a representative for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

Sooo, stay tuned on Friday?

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Congress passes ‘minibus’ with a CR to avert Trump’s threatened government shutdown over his border wall

While Arizona Republicans all bray like jackasses about the border wall in their campaign ads, Republican leadership in Congress today assured that Donald Trump will not get his border wall, nor will he be able to use the threat of a government shutdown later this month to extort his border wall from Congress.

In other words, “Dear Leader” just got rolled by his own Republican leadership on his border wall.

The Hill reports, Congress reaches deal to fund government through Dec. 7, preventing shutdown:

The House and Senate on Thursday reached a deal to prevent a shutdown by passing a large package of spending bills this month along with a continuing resolution that would fun the rest of the government through December 7.

The package would keep the government funded past Oct. 1, the deadline for Congress to act.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) on Thursday said that the two bodies had completed work on the Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bills, which represent a lion’s share of annual appropriations (a “minibus”).

The combined $786 billion in the two bills represents 65 percent of the annual appropriations allocated for 2019.

Including the continuing resolution (CR) in the package would make it difficult for President Trump to make good on threats to shut down the government over border wall funding.

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DefendArizona super PAC’s maliciously false attack ad against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona’s Republican establishment of wealthy businessmen formed a single-candidate super PAC, DefendArizona, to support Rep. Martha McSally’s senate bid. More about these assholes later.

The DefendArizona super PAC is out with a new attack ad against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema which crosses the line in maliciously false attack ads. There is no depths to which these scurrilous assholes will sink to smear Rep. Sinema and to support Rep. McSally.

Given the maliciously false nature of this campaign smear, Rep. McSally should publicly condemn this false attack ad and insist that DefendArizona pull it from the airwaves as not representative of the kind of campaign she wants to run – or is it?

Manu Raju, Senior Congressional Correspondent for CNN reports, Attack ad hits Arizona Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema for past comments on underage prostitution:

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema raised concerns 11 years ago about imposing tougher penalties against individuals who solicit underage prostitutes because they may appear older than their ages, according to video of her remarks reviewed by CNN.

In a February 2007 state House hearing when she was an Arizona legislator, Sinema raised concerns about a bill that toughened penalties against individuals soliciting prostitutes, saying, “I don’t think that’s fair.”

As a former social worker at an elementary school, she said there were “children at my school who were 12, 13 years old and some of these children looked older than me.”

Sinema added that she had “real concern” for individuals who solicited child prostitution and could face a class 2 felony for “unknowingly soliciting sex from a 12-year-old who appeared to be a 20-year-old.”

According to video of her remarks reviewed by CNN, Sinema did speak out against child trafficking in that hearing, and she eventually voted for an amended version of the bill after raising concerns about the measure.

Sinema’s campaign called the ad deeply misleading and said it obscured her record combating child trafficking. Campaign aides argued that Sinema has a history of seeking to stop child trafficking, pointing to several bills she worked to pass to address the matter while serving in the state Legislature.

“Kyrsten voted for this legislation to toughen penalties for child trafficking and in the same remarks this latest false attack ad misleadingly edited, she spoke out forcefully against sex trafficking,” said campaign spokeswoman Helen Hare. “Kyrsten’s first job was as a rape crisis counselor and she has dedicated her career to defending women and children from abuse and assault.”

Hare called the ad a “false attack on Kyrsten’s clear record of standing up for women and children.”

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