The end of the year is around the corner. The news is slowing down a bit as the holidays draw near. It’s time for some reflection and some wild predictions.
We made our 2021 wrap-up and 2022 predictions yesterday. We’d love for 2022 to not be a repeat of 2020 or 2021, which were basically the same year that bled together into one giant clusterfuck.
So, tell us: What was the biggest story of 2021 in Arizona? (And if it was undercovered by the news, even better — we can still pick up where we left off in the new year). And what do you think 2022 will bring in Arizona politics and government? (Try to be specific here — we all know it’ll be bananas, so no need to say that. It’s a given.)
And since it’s the end of the year, we’ll leave you with one last pitch to subscribe and/or gift a subscription to your loved ones who are political nerds. We have a lot more in store for 2022 — you’re not rid of us yet!
The biggest story in 2021 had to be the Arizona Audit (fraudit). It permeated every aspect of the news cycle going well beyond the purview of so-called election integrity to envelop mask mandates and school board meetings. Every perceived attack on our freedoms seemed to originate in the notion that Joe Biden stole the election. And even though the audit found no hint of any actual election fraud, its repercussions will reverberate through 2022 with impacts ranging from new, draconian election laws to an attempted GOP takeover of school boards. Arizona's 2022 will be the year where the GOP endeavors to protect our freedoms by eliminating them.
Biggest story? The Fraudit, which has the best detail of any AZ political story: County Supervisor Clint Hickman allegedly took thousands of ballots, ground them up, fed them to his chickens, then burned down his farm to destroy the “evidence.” Good stuff.
2022? AZ elects Governor Taylor as Crazy Kari fades, and Mark Kelly remains as Senator. Oh, and Mark Finchem holds another “election integrity” hearing after getting his ass kicked in either the primary, or — if Republicans are dim witted enough to choose him as their nominee — in the general election.
Top 2021 story: How can any story be bigger than a raging pandemic that has killed more than 23,000 Arizonans and infected 1.32 million? The political angle is obvious - Arizona has the second highest Covid death rate in the nation in large part due to Gov. Ducey & GOP legislators opposing strong mitigation efforts urged by public health experts.
Top political story in 2022: If Greg Stanton or Mayor Kate Gallego do not display political courage by entering the Democratic primary gubernatorial race, Trump endorsed Kari Lake will be elected governor. Lord help us.
Biggest story: Hard to choose between Fraudit and COVID. Because of the preventable loss of life and our "honor" of being one of the counties in the US with the highest rate of infection and hospitalizations, I have to go with COVID.
2022 - major GOTV effort for all registered political parties with a lot of education and canvassing to help people know what voting laws have changed and how/where to vote. Unless the D's do a really good job of outreach and messaging, especially amoung unrepresented groups, the open seats up and down the ballot will go to the political fringe.
I agree that Covid and Fraudit are the biggest stories of 2021. 2022: may bring more exposure of Arizona politicians role in Jan 6th, more extreme abortion laws, attacks on voting rights, and the IRC maps could go to court! But on my wish list is reporting on AZ wealthy donors and businesses who continue to give to extreme politicians while looking away.
Ok, next year. Republicans will hit CRT hard, pandemic, 1/6committee will wrap up just before election season, election conspiracies, Trump prosecution in NY, water and development, climate, lack of people to do jobs which brings up immigration, immigration on steroids. Suns win NBA championship and Cards go to Super Bowl. (Ya, they both lost last night, shitty evening). Dems will continue to muddle through their messaging (pray for the Lincoln Project), dark money ignored on both sides, Harris will get her act together, Biden will continue with a steady hand which will drive Fox to go even weirder. Arizona will have a Dem. Gov, House will stay Republican and Senate will go blue. Schweikert will lose rest stay same. I’m out.
I don't think there will be one 'biggest' story in 2022. But one of the most important, affecting almost every Arizonan, will be the growing problems of small and large cities meeting their public safety pension debts. For instance in Bisbee, where I live, a $1.5 million chunk is taken off the top of a $7million+ budget that substantially hinders hiring police, fire, and EMT people at a decent rate of pay, has halted econ dev, prevents infrastructure repairs in our aging copper mined town, and slows many other smaller but important aspects of community life. If something isn't done soon, we're down the tubes.
A second important-but not covered-story will be the increased use of a single legislator being telling any city to halt a practice they don't approve of or lose state funding. An authoritarian law, it was passed in response to Bisbee passing a city ordinance banning the use of plastic bags. It has been used against several cities including Tucson, Flagstaff, Bisbee, and Phoenix. Because of this law several 'charter' cities including Bisbee are hesitant to even pass ordinances because of the legal threat of losing dough.
Top 2021 story in my opinion is the January 6 insurrection and the direct involvement of Arizona congressional members Gosar and Biggs.
While as a nation, the insurrection of Jan. 6th remains the biggest story, here in Arizona the biggest story last year, this year and next year is WATER!
I believe the biggest story in 2021, was not a singular event but more of an evolutionary series all swirling around residential real estate. Appreciation of values both in sales and rentals that impacted almost everyone. If you started the year owning your home you had a great year, if you decided to purchase a home you experienced some turbulence, and if you rented you saw a greater percentage of your paycheck go towards housing.
I think the next evolution of Covid-19 will be the big story. Either medicine will help us return to normal or we will get used to the inconveniences. Obviously the election in November will be a huge story. What story would I enjoy, former President Trump indicted for any number of shit pranks he pulled while in office (I apologize for the language).
Kari Lake's political arc, to me, is the biggest 2021 story that was covered but not seriously enough or with enough investigative resources. I want to know more!
I would never ever subscribe. Did you guys really refer to the election fraud as the big lie?🤣🤣😅this half asses administration we have now has lied about literally EVERYTHING. I feel sorry for the journalists who have to push this ccp style propaganda. God help our country.