The Daily Agenda: Gosar can apparently go too far
A final straw for the regular offender ... Republican governors are in town ... And someone badly needs a civics class.
It looks like the U.S. House of Representatives is really going to vote to censure Arizona embarrassment and U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar today, which would mark the first time since 2010 the House has censured one of its own. (And only the 24th House censure in history!)
Gosar has said, done and tweeted a lot of over-the-line shit, but the split-second depiction of a poorly photoshopped cartoon of him killing a poorly photoshopped cartoon of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be a bridge too far for House Democrats (and a couple House Republicans).
The resolution, which is scheduled for a vote today, states that depictions of violence can foment actual violence “as witnessed in this chamber on January 6” and notes that violence against women in politics “is a global phenomenon meant to silence women and discourage them from seeking positions of authority.”
“We cannot have members joking about murdering each other as well as threatening the president of the United States,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters yesterday.
Ocasio-Cortez called the video “part of a concerted strategy” from Republicans to legitimize threats of violence. But it’s not just Democrats who think Gosar crossed a line. Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are on board with the censure.
Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva introduced the amendment to kick Gosar off the House Natural Resources committee, which Grijalva chairs.
The resolution would also strip him of his spot on the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, and of which Ocasio-Cortez is also a member.
Sure, the censure doesn’t really mean anything — and losing your committees when you’re in the minority party isn’t that big of a deal. But it’s a permanent stain on Gosar’s name and record.
And for those who think Democrats are playing with fire by trying to censure Gosar for an anime video, here’s a funny throwback.
If you’re in the Biltmore area, keep your eyes peeled for red-state governors or maybe even a former vice president.
The Republican Governors Association kicked off its annual conference at the Arizona Biltmore yesterday. Nineteen of the country’s 28 Republican governors (plus Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin) were confirmed in attendance.
Gov. Doug Ducey, the RGA chair, headlined the opening ceremonies last night. His warm-up act was none other than former Vice President (and Ducey friend) Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor.
The governors plan to discuss how they’re “combating excessive spending, a raging border crisis, and rising crime under Democrat leadership in Washington, and how red states are recovering best from the pandemic,” according to a RGA spokesperson.
Ducey’s schedule is packed with speaking events, including panels on the border, tax cuts and more, until the event wraps up Thursday.
If you spot any Republican governors at the bar, please send us pictures!
Here’s how to find newly filed bills: As we mentioned yesterday, lawmakers can now pre-file bills for the 2022 Arizona legislative session. But the azleg.gov website is a little messed up. Instead of being at the top of the dropdown list, 2022 is at the bottom. Most of the bills filed so far are technical corrections (placeholder bills for the ominous strike-everything bills later in the session). Republican Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita already filed two pieces of legislation: SB1008, to increase the threshold for recounts, and SCR1004, which would cancel a question lawmaker sent to the 2022 ballot to ask voters to grant in-state tuition to undocumented Arizonans.
Governor’s race upended?: Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ firing of a Black female employee, Talonya Adams, and her subsequent millions in jury awards for discrimination, continues to ripple in the governor’s race. Long seen as the frontrunner in the Democratic contest, Hobbs is losing support, including from a handful of prominent Black leaders, reports the Republic’s Stacey Barchenger. And Democratic leaders in the state aren’t saying much about the whole situation, which Republic columnist Elvia Díaz says is “unbelievably hypocritical.” Columnist Tim Steller opined along the same lines in the Arizona Daily Star.
Tootin’ their own horn on a newly approved train: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is coming to Phoenix on Friday to tout the Biden administration’s trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. The secretary will hold an event at a future light rail stop at Metrocenter Mall, 12News’ Brahm Resnik said.
Brighter days ahead: We’ve mentioned the copper dome on the old Arizona Capitol building was getting a facelift, and that facelift is now underway. Lobbyist Kevin DeMenna shared a photo of the Capitol dome yesterday, missing its iconic copper.
Who can afford a lawn these days?: As Arizona faces water cutbacks for farmers, the optics of conservation play a role in the way we see our water supply in the desert, Washington Post columnist Fernanda Santos writes. Cutting out lawns in our yards and reducing water usage at golf courses won’t be enough to stave off a drier future, but they send a signal, she argues.
Unacceptable: Two patients at the Arizona State Hospital “fatally injure(d) themselves” in recent weeks, drawing more attention to safety and oversight concerns at the psychiatric facility, journalist Amy Silverman writes for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. Incident reports obtained by the news outlet show some details about what happened, but the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the hospital, won’t comment.
Other schools could follow suit: Kyrene School District may get rid of its mask requirement in the new year since younger kids now have access to the vaccine, despite COVID-19 risk remaining high across the state, KJZZ’s Rocio Hernandez reports. Meanwhile, in southern Arizona, two schools experienced disruptions to learning because of COVID-19 cases — both among bus drivers and among students.
Going viral in right-wing media is more than enough punishment: Arizona State University students who confronted two white men in a multicultural student center face some disciplinary measures from the university, including being forced to write a statement about how they would act differently in the future, Hernandez writes.
The hottest take possible: David Shinn, the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, claimed his access to health care isn’t as good as the people in state prisons, the Republic’s Jimmy Jenkins reports. The claim came during a trial against the state’s prison health care, which people in prison say is so subpar, it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Our health care also isn’t great. Subscribe now for just $7 per month so that next year, maybe we can splurge for the silver plan.
Deep down, we’re softies: A beloved Thanksgiving tradition that started with a wrong number text will continue for its sixth year this year, as Valley locals Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench join to share some turkey.
Want to report a pothole, abandoned shopping cart or weeds (plural, not singular) in your neighbor’s yard? There’s an app for that.
The City of Phoenix launched its new myPHX311 app (available wherever you get apps) that lets you pay your city bills, report non-emergencies, find out your trash pickup schedule, etc. Unfortunately, many of the most exciting features for us — the public meeting, open data and “newsroom” buttons — are simply links to the city’s awful website.
Still, it has some cool features that make it easier to pay the bills and file complaints about the stuff you want to get off your neighbor’s lawn.
Being a political outsider candidate has its drawbacks — namely, you have no idea how anything works.
We’re talking about Kari Lake again. Yesterday, she posted another of her “if I was governor” tweets — this time pledging that if elected, she would defund the FBI department in charge of investigating parents threatening school board members and "redirect it to investigate complaints by parents that school board members are violating their parental rights with COVID/mask mandates.”
In case it needs to be said, the F in FBI stands for federal, and therefore not under the purview of a state governor.
Enter GOP gubernatorial contender Matt Salmon, who may be losing this race, but God bless him, he understands the fundamentals of government.
Spotting a hit, Salmon later asked if governor Lake would also negotiate a peace deal in the Middle East and prop up NASA funding “so we can land humans on Mars?”
Also, apparently nobody told White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki that much like the number 23 jersey for the Chicago Bulls, the nickname “Sheriff Joe” has been retired.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will hear public comments on its draft maps tonight at 6 p.m. at three different locations — in Sun City, San Carlos and Wickenburg. Information on where the meetings will occur and how to stream online can be found here.
The La Paz County West Basin Water Users Study Committee will meet at 9 a.m. at the Arizona Legislature today, and the Mohave County West Basin Water Users Study Committee will follow at 10 a.m., both in House Hearing Room 1.