The Daily Agenda: Ducey is the lead actor in border theater
If Doug is solving the problem, why do we need Joe? ... Local folk make good ... and welcome to Kari's Arizonia!
After Doug Ducey and his gang of Republican governors unsuccessfully demanded a meeting with President Joe Biden last month so they could scream at him about what they call his unmitigated disaster at the border, Ducey yesterday led a Twitter attack with misleading data.
It was full of the type of border pablum that you expect to see from a future vice presidential candidate.
He noted that border officials have seized almost 2,000 pounds of fentanyl in Arizona’s border sectors and claimed without citing any evidence or statistics that “lethal drugs are slipping through the cracks and into our communities.” But ok, sure, they usually do.
Ducey then tweeted that the “border crisis has also led to a drastic rise in crime in our streets” citing a local TV news story saying violent crime is up 60 percent in Tucson over last year.
Tucson has seen 64 homicides as of late September, while by September 2020, there were just 41 with 68 total in 2020. (Considering people were locked in their homes and not really interacting enough for murder for a good chunk of last year, the statistic isn’t all that shocking.)
Still, the piece noted that the Pima County Sheriffs’ Office is actually seeing a decrease in murders, down to 10 from 12 this time last year.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus shot back that while crime is up, it has nothing to do with the border.
Ducey and his crew at the Republican Governors Association have put together a 10-point plan for Biden to solve the “border crisis” including the simple goal of “finishing securing the border,” whatever that means.
And he claimed that since Biden has refused to do the job, he has stepped in to solve the problem with a host of solutions to make the poor, embattled border communities more secure.
But here’s the thing — almost all of those actions were taken under Donald Trump’s presidency.
Ducey touted his Border Strike Force, a crew of Department of Public Safety cops who do traffic stops that sometimes result in drug seizures, often nowhere near the border. Ducey invented that division in 2015.
Ducey noted he’s deployed the Arizona National Guard to the border. He did the same thing when Trump was president. Was Trump failing to contain the border as well?
Finally, he listed off a handful of political moves he’s made to keep us all safer, including sending a letter to U.S. senators asking for more law enforcement resources to the border; doing a photo op at the Douglas border, and calling for the resignation of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
If the border really is the deadly disaster that Ducey claims, and if Biden is MIA, Ducey ain’t doing much better.
We read all the news every day so you don’t have to, then sum it up in these fun little paragraphs. Isn’t that worth $7 per month?
Local woman makes good: Biden appointed Shelly Lowe, a member of the Navajo Nation from Ganado, Arizona, to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. She still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, but will be the first Native American in the role, reports 12 News’ Brahm Resnik.
Local man makes good: Ducey chief of staff Daniel Ruiz got the star treatment with a profile of his story of growing up in Maryvale and working his way up to the Ninth Floor, including stops at the Maricopa County Elections Department and the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. 12 News’ Joe Dana highlighted Ruiz as part of the station’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming.
Following her heart where tho?: Cindy McCain joined “The View” yesterday and said she thinks U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is “following her heart” as she considers her vote on the Biden spending plan, and so is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the other holdout. Her appearance comes as heat turns up on Sinema, with protesters meeting her at every turn, and as the senior senator routinely gets compared to the late U.S. Sen. John McCain for her party defiance.
“They’re doing it for the right reasons, and that’s what we can ask for. We may not agree with them, but as long as they’re talking to each other on both sides of the aisle then we’re better off for that,” Cindy McCain said on the show.
Never piss off a gadfly: Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson got hit with a few ethics complaints related to a contentious development project, but a town investigation found she didn’t violate the ethics code. The probe found she had “exercised poor judgment,” though, reports the Republic’s Joshua Bowling.
Slow down, wear a seatbelt: More people died in car crashes in Arizona in 2020 despite there being fewer overall crashes and less traffic. It was the highest year for traffic fatalities since 2007, reports the Republic’s Perry Vandell. And 2021 is on track to be worse than 2020. Maybe send this link to all those who’ve tried to compare COVID-19 deaths to car crashes — car crashes are also killing a lot of people, but not nearly as many as COVID-19 did last year.
Who?: A Democratic political newcomer, Adam Metzendorf, wants to oust U.S. Rep. David Schweikert from Congressional District 6 next year. He’ll first have to best Jevin Hodge and Eric Ulis in the Democratic primary.
How low can you go: U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, the most conspiratorial member of Arizona’s congressional delegation, is now sharing stories from a Holocaust denial website, Substacker Nick Martin pointed out on Twitter. It’s not the first time Gosar has shared stuff from people who don’t believe the Holocaust is real.
If you’ve testified once, you’ve testified a million times: Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan (we haven’t mentioned Cyber Ninjas in days! Look at us thriving!) turned down an invite from the House Oversight Committee to discuss the Arizona election audit today, Resnik reports.
Speaking of Cyber Ninjas (twice in one day?? We thought we were past that), U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, called them the “Ninja Turtles” during a hearing yesterday. “And you remember what happened in Arizona… $5.7 million spent on the Ninja Turtles, who were going through all of these ballots, and the net result was more votes for Biden, fewer votes for Trump. So this notion of voter fraud is a ruse, as far as I'm concerned,” Durbin said. Heroes in a half-shell!
Instead of a tidbit, today we have another laugh to share.
Either 25 years in the news business didn’t teach her that we’re Arizonans, not “Arizonians,” or Fake Kari Lake, as Matt Salmon’s campaign has labeled her, isn’t writing her own mean tweets. Either way, it’s SAD! Upon realizing the mistake, fake Lake deleted her Arizonia tweet last night, but we’re no dummies: We got the receipts.
It’s already underway, but you still have time to tune in. The U.S. House Oversight Committee is holding its hearing on the Arizona audit with county officials and Ken Bennett as witnesses. It should be fun since attempted election overturners Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs are on the committee. Tune in here.
Ducey will deliver remarks at the Arizona Manufacturers Council’s annual Manufacturer of the Year Summit and Awards Luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore. The summit program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will feature a panel on workforce development and a conversation with U.S. Rep. David Schweikert.
U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, along with Honest Arizona and Valle del Sol, will host a vaccination event with free tacos at 2:30 p.m. at Chicanos Por La Causa at 6850 W. Indian School Road. COVID-19 and Flu vaccinations will be available.