Friday, December 21, 2018

Fifth Graders at Arizona School Provided Shocking Adult Transgender and Gay Curriculum

By RACHEL ALEXANDER Published on December 19, 2018 • 28 Comments

You spend $20,000 annually on tuition for your child to ensure he receives a top education. You choose a private school to escape the indoctrination and political correctness the public schools foist on students. Now, you’re sure, things are great.
Then your expensive private school pushes the exact kind of agenda you thought you were avoiding. You weren’t told about it in advance. Worse, because it’s a private school, state legal protections don’t apply. Your child cannot opt out.
Parents whose children attend Phoenix Country Day School in Arizona recently discovered that the middle school has been grooming their children with curriculum promoting a transgender and gay agenda.

An Endless Array of Genders

The campaign features a “genderbread” character who supposedly represents all the possible “genders.” Although the character seems geared to children, it comes from a website that is clearly meant for adults, or at least older youth. PCDS takes this curriculum from, a site run by the comedian Sam Killermann. He describes himself as a “dedicated ally and advocate for social justice.”
The genderbread curriculum teaches that gender is different from biological sex. There are not two genders, male and female, but rather an endless array of genders. The possibilities include genderqueer, non-binary, pangender, androgyne, neutrois, gender-variant, AG, cyborg, two-spirit, glitterbutch, genderfluid, trigender, stud. It even includes agender and genderless.
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The genderbread character is prominently featured in a large bulletin board display in the halls at the middle school. Children as young as 10 years old—- the school includes fifth graders — walk by it every day.
The website discusses sex toys, a** play and links to a gay hookup app, GROWLr, for men to meet hairy men. On GROWLr’s website it is described as “an app for gay bears.” Killmann writes, “There are even some mobile dating apps for particular subcultures. Are you into bears (heavy-set men, usually hairy-bodied and -faced)? Download Growlr.”
The curriculum promotes “gender fluidity,” but there is no reference to it. “You and Others” is the name of the curriculum. It’s no longer even called sex ed. This may be to disguise the content so it’s not readily apparent.
The curriculum picks out its enemies. Those who disagree with the LBGT agenda are labeled — you guessed it — “oppressive.” The site features an article entitled “30+ Examples of Christian Privilege.” They include such things as “Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.” 

Adult Education

Clearly, the curriculum is not meant for 10-year-old children. The bulletin board has been up for a year at the middle school, but parents only recently found out about it. Many of the parents were horrified, and expressed their disapproval with the curriculum. But the school refused to acknowledge their concerns.
Then suddenly, within the past couple of weeks, the bulletin board disappeared. Parents were not notified. They have no idea whether or not the curriculum has been permanently removed or not. They do not know how much of it is being taught to their children within the classroom.
This controversy may not be over. It has hurt the reputation of the school as word has circulated. Some parents may pull their children out of the school. On the other hand, this may be a sign of where private schools are going.

Genderbread - Phoenix Country Day School
The Sexualitree
The school did not respond to my questions.
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Piling on Racism Accusations to Take Down a Conservative State Legislator

The left has a bad habit of labeling conservatives racist merely for being politically incorrect. Whereas when someone on the left actuallyisracist, they get a free pass. Hillary Clinton recently joked about how a woman interviewing her confused the two black men Eric Holder and Cory Booker. “Yeah, I know they all look alike," Clinton laughed. Most of the left-leaning media didn’t even bother covering the incident.

Contrast this to what is happening with conservative Arizona State Rep. David Stringer (R-Prescott). Stringer is a culture warrior, who is concerned about illegal immigrants and radical Islamists entering the country and changing the culture. This is a fairly common view, popularized by conservative author and commentator Pat Buchanan.

Once the left realized Stringer had an awkward way of discussing cultural issues, they laid a trap for him. Some Arizona State University students followed Stringer into an elevator with a hidden microphone and asked him gotcha questions. Prescott eNews(disclaimer: Stringer is an investor with the news outlet’s parent company) posted the full transcript the conversation, since other news outlets writing about the incident unfairly cherry picked what to print.

The students tried to goad him into talking about race. At one point, Stringer said, “A lot of problems within our military. Talk to our soldiers. Huge racial conflicts and tensions in our military. Costs a fortune to run our military. Soldiers cost a lot…” One of the students responded, “Because we have black people in our military.” Stringer objected, “No, I didn’t say that. Sir, don’t put words in my mouth now.” But the student kept going, “Well, you implied that.” Stringer strenuously objected, “No, I didn’t imply that.”

The conversation continued like that a little longer. The students finally cajoled him into saying that blacks and certain other racial groups don’t blend in to the U.S. after a couple of generations because they “look different.”

Insensitive? Sure. But racist? Doubtful. Stringer is from Prescott, which has very few minorities. If Stringer was around minorities all the time, he probably would notice skin color a lot less. Regardless, noticing skin color is not racist. It’s treating people differently on account of their skin color that is racist. And that’s what the Democrats do, not Republicans.

During the rest of the secretly taped interview, Stringer made it quite clear he is not racist and treats everyone equally. But news accounts selectively quoted him and took his comments out of context to portray him as offensively as possible.

Smelling blood, his enemies started digging and discovered an article Stringer had written for Prescott eNewslast year entitled “The Third Rail.” He discusses what President Trump calls the “third rail” in politics, immigration and border security. He talks about how the demographics of the U.S. are changing as the country becomes more multicultural. He discusses racial strife and divisions. The Phoenix New Timesrefersto it as a “white nationalist column.” Maybe it was “insensitive” to note that the white population is shrinking and the culture is changing. But to go so far as to call it racist?

The mainstream news articles didn’t bother to tell the story of how Stringer, an attorney, helped a black woman in Prescott with a hate crime — pro bono. She came to him asking for help since a neighbor was harassing her. At first he told her to try and find another attorney, since he wasn’t very qualified in this area of the law. When she was unable to find anyone, he took on her case. He was able to determine that this neighbor had a previous pattern of harassing minority neighbors and obtained a restraining order for her. She was so grateful, she took out a life insurance policy (she was dying of cancer) and named him as the recipient. Does that sound like a racist?

Don’t expect the Phoenix New Timesto report this, because it goes against their untrue stereotype of an old, white racist Republican public official. Instead, due to the Phoenix New Timesarticle, Stringer was removed from two House committees he served on. Sadly, even his own party turned against him. Several elected officials, including, but not limited to, Governor Doug Ducey, State Senate President-Elect Karen Fann, Arizona State Republican Chairman Jonathan Lines, as well as governing boards, including the City of Prescott Council, denounced Stringer’s words and/or called for his resignation. The NAACP called forces resignation or expulsion.

Stringer refuses to resign. House Speaker-elect Rusty Bowers (R) said he will not expel him, saying it would be unconstitutional. Due to the nature of a recall election, it will be very difficultto recall Stringer. So expect the efforts to smear him to continue, in order to try and force him to resign. His House seatmate, Noel Campbell, is standing by Stringer. He said, “...Rep. Stringer retains his constitutional right to express his opinions on immigration, taxes and education.”

Even if you don’t agree with Stringer’s statements, everyone should be concerned about where this is going. If not stopped, pretty soon anyone who comments on racial differences will be labeled a racist. There is a herd mentality that is terrified of being labeled racist, so they pile on others as much as possible in order to appear self-righteous. What used to be merely considered politically incorrect is now becoming career-ending racism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. And it’s even more troubling that our own side is leading the charges.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Maricopa County Treasurer calls to dismantle the mandatory Arizona State Bar

Royce T. Flora – Treasurer
P R E S S  R E L E A S E
December 3, 2018

After a disappointing, but not surprising, response from the State Bar of Arizona regarding a formal complaint against an Arizona attorney, Maricopa County Treasurer Royce T. Flora has announced his support of legislation to eliminate mandatory Bar membership.

In mid-November, Mr. Flora received a letter from an attorney threatening to publicly humiliate the Treasurer’s Office and the Treasurer if Mr. Flora didn’t remove a legally sanctioned fine against his client. Mr. Flora filed a formal ethics complaint with the State Bar of Arizona against the attorney for the threat and for practicing law in an area in which the attorney was unfamiliar.

The response from the Bar was delay and then dismissal.

Mr. Flora passed his concerns regarding the Bar’s lack of action on to the Arizona Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over the Bar. 

It has become all too obvious that the State Bar of Arizona is being choosey who they decide to discipline and who they do not. It appears that politics is part of that decision. Several years ago, the Bar brought harsh formal charges against former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and several members of his staff. In particular, one of his staff was disciplined despite the fact she was working under the direction of an experienced supervisor. Her license was suspended.

The Bar has a set of Ethics Rules that seem to be applied to some attorneys but not to all. I’m calling on the Legislature to eliminate mandatory membership in the State Bar of Arizona. Clearly they can’t be trusted to apply their rules fairly to all. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Dr. Kelli Ward announces run for Chairman of Arizona Republican Party

Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 

Ward: “It’s time to unite the Arizona Republican Party to win big in 2020” 
Lake Havasu City, AZ – Dr. Kelli Ward, an osteopathic physician and former state senator from Lake Havasu, today announced her candidacy for chairman of the Arizona Republican Party: 
“The Party of Lincoln and Goldwater should be one that is led by the grassroots; unfortunately, over the last four years, the grassroots within the Republican Party have been silenced and disenfranchised both nationally and at the state level in Arizona. 
Therefore, after much prayer and careful consideration, I have decided to run for chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. In this new era of Arizona Republican politics, it is time to finally unite our party. 
The hard work begins today, and it starts with new leadership at the top that will work tirelessly to bring together all Republicans and usher in an overwhelming 2020 victory for our candidates at every level of government.” 
The election of a new AZGOP Chairman will take place on January 26 and will be voted on by newly elected State Committeemen from every district or county committee. 

Dr. Kelli Ward is an osteopathic physician and former Arizona State Senator from Lake Havasu City, AZ. During her tenure in the state legislature, Ward established a proven track record of working hand in hand with her colleagues to pass legislation that increased freedom, opportunity, and prosperity for all Arizonans. Furthering her reputation as a unifying figure in Arizona Republican Party politics, Ward stepped up to campaign on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate nominee Martha McSally following the 2018 GOP primary. Ward cares deeply about the people of the great state of Arizona and looks forward to serving them as the next Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

How My Case Almost Made It to the Supreme Court

Sometimes life is not fair. My nine-plus years of legal wrangling over my license to practice law has finally ended. The Supreme Court declined to hear my case. It’s been a long haul, entailing doing most of the legal work myself, along with my co-plaintiff.
My health and finances may never recover.

A Casualty

I was a casualty in the effort to take down former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He joined forces with my boss at the time, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, to combat illegal immigration. They had a lot of success. The pair figured out how to prosecute illegal immigrants with felonies — for conspiring to smuggle themselves over the border.
They lobbied and got four laws passed against illegal immigration in 2006. The four propositions all passed by more than 70 percent. Thomas conducted a groundbreaking study which found that illegal immigrants commit more crimes per person than the general population.
Together, Thomas and Arpaio became a team of very proactive conservatives on illegal immigration and crime. But that made them a target. Me too.
Thomas brought me on as a Special Assistant and Deputy County Attorney in 2005 when he started as Maricopa County Attorney. I left Go Daddy, where I was legal counsel. My former boss there says I would be a millionaire if I had stayed there a few more years. I started some local blogs, where I would post press releases and other things from the office. But I was being watched.

The County Feud Begins

Thomas began butting heads with the Maricopa County Supervisors and a few Maricopa County Superior Court judges. The judges weren’t enforcing illegal immigration laws that Thomas was trying to prosecute. The supervisors were building a $340 million dollar court tower that taxpayers couldn’t afford. They were paying for it in cash, not even bonds, in the midst of the recession. It included travertine and marble, private robing rooms for the judges, and more lavish items.
Since the judges wanted the luxurious building, they were not inclined to rule against the supervisors. Thomas brought charges against two corrupt county supervisors, Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox.
Stapley spent $86,000 raised for a political campaign where he had no opponent on luxury items. He paid for three vacations for his family, expensive stereo equipment, boutique clothing for his wife and more. Wilcox left off key details on her financial disclosure reports.
But no judge would rule against them. Thomas had Stapley indicted twice — didn’t matter. The court found a technicality to let him off the hook. He later sued the county for wrongful prosecution and his fellow supervisors awarded him $3.5 million in taxpayers’ money. Wilcox received a $900,000 settlement.

The RICO Suit

Frustrated, Thomas and Sheriff Arpaio filed a racketeering (RICO) lawsuit against the supervisors, judges and their attorneys, alleging that they were conspiring against the duo’s efforts. One of his senior prosecutors, Lisa Aubuchon, helped draft it. After it was filed, Thomas realized since Aubuchon was also handling the criminal prosecutions, someone else should handle the civil RICO suit. He asked me to take it over — but with assurances that he would find outside counsel to replace me.
The well-known D.C. lawyers Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing agreed to take it over. They held a press conference announcing it. But the law required Thomas to get the supervisors’ approval to hire outside counsel — and they refused.
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So my name was placed on the suit for a couple of months. I was instructed to work under the supervision of the RICO expert in the office, Pete Spaw. He came up with a new charge, mail fraud, and did most of the work on an amended complaint. I did some research but it was mostly all his work.
Another D.C. lawyer who had connections to the Department of Justice told us he could get the DOJ to take over the case. So we withdrew it. The DOJ never did anything.
But it was too late. The supervisors filed bar complaints against us.

Too Late

Although my role was small, they didn’t like my blogging. Some retired judges went to the State Bar and said they better do something about Thomas. So the Bar, which is run by lawyers on the left who despise Arpaio and Thomas, ran with the complaints. The State Bar’s disciplinary judge, who has his own history of corruption, ruled against us. Thomas and Aubuchon were disbarred, and I was suspended for six months.
The Bar put on a huge show trial against us, broadcast on video every day for about two months. They brought in prosecutors from out of state. We were told in an email that we would not be responsible for all the extra travel costs, hotels, etc. Overall, more than $500,000 was spent on the trial. The Bar assessed those costs against us.
We were confident the county would pay for the costs. They paid for the costs of previous attorneys disciplined by the Bar — including my supervisor Spaw. The Bar agreed to reduce the amount owed to $101,500, that would be jointly owed by the three of us.
I would not be able to practice law again until I paid for the cost of the show trial against my two disbarred superiors too. Normally, the Bar assesses $2,000 or $4,000 or so in costs against an attorney who is suspended for six months. My superiors did not have the money to pay it.
But when it came time to get the county to pay, the supervisors fought it. A senior, well-experienced attorney advised me to email a Notice of Claim to the supervisors, kind of a heads up that I would be filing a lawsuit. They discussed it, refused to pay, and emailed me their decision.
We filed a lawsuit shortly afterward. The supervisors then came up with the argument that I didn’t properly give them the notice of claim so it was too late to sue them; the statute says to give it to them in person. But the case law is clear, if a recipient treats a Notice of Claim as legitimate, e.g. engages in litigation, then the deficiency is waived.

Years of Litigation

At first we had an attorney helping us on a contingency fee, but the Bar soon went after him, suspending his license. We were on our own. The judge agreed with the supervisors that my Notice of Claim was invalid, and ruled against Aubuchon too on other grounds. We appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. No luck, they rubber stamped the lower court’s decision. The county spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ money to avoid paying the $101,500.
Finally, we filed a petition for cert with the U.S. Supreme Court. That is a request to have the court consider the case. It cost us over $900 to make 44 copies of the petition in the manner required and mail them to the court. Last month, SCOTUS declined to take our case. They only accept about 130 cases out of 7,000 petitions a year, so we knew it was a long shot.
Fortunately, I have switched careers to journalism. But I have huge law school loans and credit card debt from when no one would hire me due to the bad publicity. Thomas’s enemies regularly leave insulting comments under my articles bringing up my suspension, trolling me around the web.
I now write about others who have been abused through the legal system. I don’t know how to solve this problem in our justice system. But sunlight is a good disinfectant.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

This Democrat running for AZ guv makes $82,000/yr for teaching ONE CLASS at ASU

That's disgusting. Your tax dollars are paying an exorbitant amount for him to teach one piddly class! I bet most of my friends don't even make that much money for their FULLTIME jobs. My late brother taught four classes in college and didn't make anywhere near that.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to vote on the judges

Thanks to friends of Kelli Ward's for compiling this. I do not agree with the recommendation on Cooper, I have appeared in front of her and she is outstanding. Also, a trusted prosecutor disagrees with two of these - he says Pineda is fair and Svboda is a yes. I previously posted a list in 2014 -

Friday, September 28, 2018

Arizona May End up With a Former Communist as Senator

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona — a state that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. Elected in 2012 and the first open bisexual in Congress, she is running as a moderate. But she’s not one. Let’s look at her record.
Back in 2002 and 2003, Sinema signed her name to a “May Day and Cinco de Mayo greetings” ad in a Communist Party newspaper. Several other communists signed it with her. She switched to the Green Party next. She became the party’s spokesperson. When she registered as a Democrat, those in the party called her “too extreme” and “radical.”
She became a state legislator in 2005. Around 2008, she was awarded the Vladimir I. Lenin award by the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers for being the furthest left member of the Arizona State Legislature.

A Felony to Report Illegal Immigrants

In 2006 and again in 2007, she sponsored a bill that would make an average Arizona citizen a felon if they were to report an illegal immigrant. She helped found the Arizona State House Progressive Caucus in 2008. In 2010, she served on the Board of Directors for the Progressive States Network. It is funded by George Soros‘ Open Society Institute.
Sinema participated in and organized protest rallies against the military, against enforcing immigration laws and against Israel.
Sinema participated in and organized protest rallies against the military, against enforcing immigration laws and against Israel. In 2003, she led a far-left activist group that passed out flyers portraying American soldiers as skeletons committing “U.S. terror.” Another flyer referred to President George W. Bush as a “fascist” and “imperialist” and claimed the U.S. government was the enemy.
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Also in 2003, she wrote about “singing and spiraling” in a pagan circle at a protest. She defended Black Bloc, and said the police were the aggressors. In the early 2000s she organized for the Arizona Alliance for Peace and Justice (AAPJ), a group whose members have denounced Israel’s “disproportionate” use of “violence and oppression.”
Kyrsten-Sinema-in-Pink-Tutu-at-Anti-War-ProtestThree times she supported legislation to create a federal “Department of Peace and Nonviolence.” She advocated for shutting down Arizona’s military bases — until she started running for Senate. She voted against a bill that would penalize sanctuary states and localities.

Despises Women Who Stay at Home

Sinema despises women who stay at home. During a 2006 interview with a nightlife magazine, she said, “These women who act like staying at home, leeching off their husbands or boyfriends, and just cashing the checks is some sort of feminism because they’re choosing to live that life. … That’s b*******.”
Sinema was caught lying about being homeless as a child growing up. She told The New Y0rk Times “she spent three years as a child living in a former gas station without running water or electricity.” However, her parents were actually paying electricity, gas and phone bills at the time.
Sinema has a lifetime score of only 13 out of 100 from the American Conservative Union.
She has a lifetime score of only 13 out of 100 from the American Conservative Union. Her claims of moving to the center in recent years aren’t true. Her rating from the ACU has actually gone down in the past couple of years. In 2016 it was eight and in 2017 it was four. Planned Parenthood gives her a lifetime rating of 100. They awarded her their Legislative CHOICE Award. The Sierra Club designated her Most Valuable Player.
She helped Obama craft Obamacare. In January 2017, she voted against a bill to repeal Obamacare. She supports background checks on private parties selling guns at gun shows. Sinema believes a license should be required to own a gun. She voted against a bill that would make concealed-carry firearm permits valid across state lines.

Kyrsten Sinema beforeA ‘Prada Socialist’

She describes herself as a “Prada socialist,” meaning she can be a socialist “and still have fabulous accessories.” In a fawning profile, Elle magazine calls her “the proud owner of more than 100 pairs of shoes.”
Sinema supports the Dream Act for illegal immigrants. She’s talking tough on border security now that she’s running for Senate in a red state. But just like the late John McCain, everyone knows it’s only for show. Once she gets into office she’ll revert to her liberal positions.
Unfortunately, the Republican alternative is only slightly better. Martha McSally, whose GOP establishment supporters spent nearly $1 million to defeat her conservative opponent Kelli Ward in the primary, is a liberal Republican. She says the late John McCain was her mentor. The American Conservative Union gives her a lifetime rating of 71 while in the House, worse than McCain’s 80.
Republicans furious at the way her supporters treated Ward are threatening to stay at home on election day. Sinema is leading McSally by a few points in most recent polls. Sinema is charismatic, bright and a tireless worker. Unless voters know about her past record, they may not see her as much different than McSally.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Will Ducey Appoint a Moderate or a Conservative to Replace McCain?

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he would name a Senate replacement for John McCain after McCain’s funeral proceedings. Insiders say it is likely to be McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, 64. “If she gave him any indication she wants the seat, I think she gets it,” a source told The Guardian. She is less conservative than her husband. She was an outspoken supporter of the NOH8 campaign. That was a gay rights project opposed to California’s Proposition 8, a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.
Interest in Meghan McCain has risen recently.
Cindy McCain is not the only McCain reportedly being looked at. The McCains’ daughter Meghan McCain, 33, may be a choice. She calls herself a Republican, however, she is quite liberal. She admits it on social issues. McCain supports gay rights and opposes abstinence-only education. She is worried about global warming. McCain says she is on the fence about the Occupy Wall Street movement. She supports government-funded embryonic stem cell research.
McCain voted for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. She once said on the Rachel Maddow Show, “I didn’t even take econ[omics] in college. I don’t completely understand it so I’d hate to make a comment one way or the other. That’s — truly of all the things — I keep reading and I just don’t understand it.” McCain praised Hillary Clinton for having “pushed through many doors and shattered many glass ceilings for women in politics.”
Interest in Meghan McCain has risen recently due to her defending the GOP against four other women on the TV show The View. Also, her well-publicized shots at Trump during her eulogy were a hit. She said,”The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” to great applause.

Conservative Choices

Adam Brandon, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner advocating former Congressman Matt Salmon, 60, to replace McCain. Salmon has a lifetime rating of 95 from the American Conservative Union. This is far higher than McCain’s 80. The GOP base would be fine with him. He’s even done a pretty good job of not making enemies with the moderates.
The conservative base would love to see Governor Ducey appoint Kelli Ward.
The GOP base would also love to see Ducey appoint Kelli Ward, 49. She lost the GOP Senate primary election for former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s seat last week. Moderate Congresswoman Martha McSally won. She has a dismal lifetime score of 71 from the American Conservative Union. McSally received millions from the GOP establishment. One of the Super PACs supporting her ran an ad full of misstatements about Ward. Conservatives are bitter about moderates beating up on Ward; they believe appointing her to this seat would resolve the unfairness.
Another solid conservative name that has popped up is former Congressman John Shadegg, 68. He has an impressive lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of 98. He gets along with both the GOP base and the moderates.

Questionable Picks

Former Senator Jon Kyl’s name is also being circulated. The 76-year-old has a lifetime rating of 96 from the American Conservative Union, but the GOP base dislikes him. They view him as part of the GOP establishment and a McCain crony. He angeredthem when he helped craft a compromise on immigration that they viewed as amnesty.
Ducey’s chief of staff, Kirk Adams, 45, a former state legislator, may be in the running. He has close ties to the wealthy Koch brothers. While his record in the state legislature was fairly conservative, he has riled the GOP base with some of his heavy-handedness as chief of staff.
A dark horse candidate is Eileen Klein, whom Ducey recently appointed as state treasurer. She previously served as chief of staff for Governor Jan Brewer. Barbara Barrett, 67, the first woman to run for governor in Arizona, is another dark horse candidate. She has never held public office. Businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson’s name is also being thrown around.

Narrowing it Down

Ducey is likely to appoint someone who will run for office after the appointment ends. He is not likely to appoint a caretaker to merely serve out the term. It is doubtful that he will appoint a sitting member of Congress, because that would force an election to find a replacement.
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Ducey has to tread very carefully here. A large portion of the GOP base is upset with him for caving in on #RedForEd. He agreed to a 20 percent salary increase for teachers which has no guarantees it will be implemented. Although Ducey easily won reelection in the GOP gubernatorial primary election last week, appointing a moderate Republican will destroy his reputation as a conservative.
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Saturday, August 25, 2018

The End of a Maverick: Sen. John McCain Dies of Brain Cancer

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has passed away at age 81 after battling terminal brain cancer. He was one of the most recognized and longest serving members of Congress, known for his maverick style and “straight talk.” During his 35-year tenure, he often voted against his own party, upsetting the GOP faithful.
McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958 and became a navy pilot. While on a bombing mission in Vietnam in 1967, he was shot down over Hanoi. He was seriously injured and captured by the North Vietnamese. His captors tortured him throughout the five years he was in captivity, leaving him with lifelong physical disabilities.
After he was released to return to the U.S., he met Cindy Hensley, a beer heiress he fell in love with. But he was still married to his first wife, Carol. According to The Los Angeles Times, he continued living with Carol for nine months after he started dating Cindy. A year after he met Cindy, he filed for divorce from Carol. In his book Worth the Fighting For, he wrote, “my marriage’s collapse was attributable to my own selfishness and immaturity more than it was to Vietnam, and I cannot escape blame by pointing a finger at the war.” He called it his “greatest moral failure.”
McCain called the breakup of his first marriage his “greatest moral failure.”
McCain saw there was an open congressional seat in Arizona and moved to the state in 1981. When a voter accused him of being a carpetbagger, McCain responded,
Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.

Congressional Career

McCain served in the U.S. House from 1983 to 1986. He then ran successfully for the U.S. Senate. He replaced Arizona’s legendary Barry Goldwater, who had retired.
After being investigated in the Keating Five Savings and Loan scandal, McCain authored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill in 2002. It helped improve his tarnished reputation after the financial scandal. But in 2010, the Supreme Court gutted much of it. Its decision in Citizens United v. FEC overturned the prohibition on corporations and unions from funding issue-oriented advertisements during election seasons.
Likely due to his military background, McCain was one of the Senate’s hawks when it came to military action. Understandably, he opposed using torture during military interrogations.
McCain ran for president in 2000, but lost in the primaries to George W. Bush. He ran again in 2008 and won the nomination, but decisively lost the general election to Barack Obama. In naming Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, he became the first Republican candidate to choose a woman.

Controversial Record

He waffled back and forth on issues like illegal immigration, talking tough during primary elections but championing open borders once safely past the primary. In 2005, he partnered with Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy to draft legislation that would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. This earned him derision from conservatives, especially in his home state, who nicknamed him “McAmnesty.” During the 2000s, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party wore a lapel pin everywhere with McCain’s name crossed out. The party voted to censure him over illegal immigration.
The American Conservative Union rated him a low 81.63 percent conservative voting record. McCain claimed to be pro-life, but he was a staunch advocate for government funded embryonic stem cell research. In 2008, Arizona Right to Life endorsed Mike Huckabee for president, not McCain. A CNN poll in December 2017 found that only 48 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of McCain. In contrast, 68 percent of Democrats viewed him favorably.
McCain made the deciding vote on last year’s attempted Obamacare repeal, preventing it from passing. He greatly angered conservatives and President Trump, who ran on a platform of repealing Obamacare. He has been a fierce critic of the president, also angering conservatives. When he obtained the Trump dossier, he turned it over to the FBI instead of telling Trump about it. Of course, there are two sides: Trump criticized McCain while he was campaigning for president, saying he wasn’t a war hero.
McCain’s daughter Meghan has followed her dad into politics, writing three books and landing a regular spot on The View. She is also a maverick Republican, frequently criticizing conservatives.
He said he didn’t want the president attending his funeral.
McCain wrote a final book this year, The Restless Wave. In it, he says he wished he hadn’t picked Sarah Palin. He wished he had chosen Joe Lieberman, a Democrat who became an Independent. He criticizes Trump, writing “Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity.” He said he didn’t want the president attending his funeral.

Neither Maverick Nor Reformer

Reporter Stephen Lemons, who wrote about McCain for The Phoenix New Times for many years, says “John McCain is neither a maverick nor a reformer.” Instead, “He is a cunning promoter of his own self-interest, a charlatan with a knack for playing both sides of an issue to his advantage. It is political expediency, not courage, that defines McCain’s 35 years in Congress.” He was known for his temper and mean-spiritednesstoward his opponents, threatening them and using profanity.
While McCain may have been a controversial figure, his absence from the Senate leaves big shoes to fill. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, will appoint his replacement.

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