The Daily Agenda: Her deplorability is through the roof
That’s not how you back the blue … A majority of hands are bloody … And you weren’t supposed to cheer for that part.
Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers spent the weekend chumming it up with white nationalists and encouraging people to build gallows to hang her political enemies.
This sentence isn’t even surprising anymore to Arizonans who pay attention to state politics — it’s just the latest for the GOP lawmaker whose rhetoric grows more extremist as she tries to move the “Overton window” to the far-right.
And while a few years ago, her comments and political posture would’ve been fringe and probably condemned by her fellow Republicans, she’s instead seen as better than a moderate Democrat would be in the Legislature.
At least that’s what Gov. Doug Ducey thinks. His political action committee spent big to get Rogers in office, and he’s stood by her since. After being questioned by the Arizona Mirror’s Jeremy Duda, Ducey said he needs Republican majorities in the Legislature to pass his agenda through.
“She’s still better than her opponent, Felicia French,” Ducey said.
Her comments this weekend at the America First Political Action Conference and subsequent offensive tweets grabbed national attention for their outrageousness. And they finally spurred some of her colleagues to speak out against her. But so far, they’re in a lonely position.
Republican Sen. Paul Boyer, increasingly ostracized from his party, called out Rogers for her appearance at the conference, tying her to a condemnation of U.S. Reps. Majorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar for their appearances at the event.
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, who’s been on the opposite side of election-denier Rogers as the county fought efforts to overturn the 2020 election, also said Gosar and Rogers’ white supremacy rhetoric don’t reflect the party’s values.
At this point, it seems people like Gates and Boyer, not Rogers, are the ones who are out of step with mainstream Republicanism. If the Republican Party is going to save itself from its slide into deplorablism, more sane Republicans need to openly reject people like Rogers and Gosar. Even if it means a Democrat wins.
At the Legislature, lobbyists, activists and lawmakers play ball with people whose actions they find reprehensible, all in the name of passing GOP priorities. But at what point does a person go too far, if Rogers’ behavior and comments haven’t? At what point do the people who funded her rise, after multiple failed attempts to hold public office, withdraw their support?
Her allies drew her back into a favorable district to help keep a seat in safe GOP hands. They’ve thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars at her election. All because a Republican — ANY Republican, apparently — is better than grappling with the heinous way she’s conducted herself.
She didn’t get here on her own. And she’s not staying in power without the approval, both direct and tacit, from her colleagues.
By allowing their party to continue its shift toward anti-democracy, anti-Semitic, white nationalist dominance, all in the name of winning an election and holding a majority, Republicans like Ducey are sacrificing their own reputations and the future of their party.
LeArN yOuR fAcTs: Republican state Rep. Jacqueline Parker mistook this clearly fake footage for real life video of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as she accused 81 million Americans of having “blood on their hands” because they voted for Joe Biden. When people pointed out that the video is almost comically fake, she doubled down with an embarrassing string of “the video isn’t the point” and “learn your facts” tweets, which are now all either removed or locked down so we can’t see them. Anyway, here’s the responsible response to being so gullible you tweet fake footage of #WW3.
Help us pay our bills so we can tell you about these bills: This is admittedly a ton of bills, but these ones could actually become laws, and that means you’d have to live with them affecting your everyday life, so they’re worth rounding up.
Companies that refuse to do business with gun companies won’t be able to get state contracts if this bill becomes law.
A tax credit for low-income workers, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sean Bowie and supported by Gov. Doug Ducey, passed the Senate.
Some conservatives want to break up Maricopa County, but Republic columnist Robert Robb argues it’s just the right size.
The long list of potential changes to elections is winnowing down.
You might not be able to film police from a close range if this proposal, approved by the House, makes it into law.
The House also approved a plan for a new part of the Arizona Department of Public Safety to investigate police shootings.
Phoenix doesn’t want its civilian oversight office to include cops, but a House bill would require it. Something similar to this was wedged into last year’s budget, but fell during the Battle of the BRBs.
The state could ban cat declawing, which cats undoubtedly support.
Attorneys’ membership in the State Bar of Arizona could be optional, if this Senate-approved bill that grew out of the AG’s Bar complaints becomes law.
The House wants Arizona public school kids to learn about the Sept. 11 attacks on that date or close to it.
The plan to end-run a voter referendum on last year’s tax cuts didn’t pass muster.
A bill that failed in the House, at least so far: an effort to ban abortion pills.
And this bill to change the state’s felony murder law didn’t get traction, but activists want the Legislature to at least study the issue further.
Whiskey is for drinking: Ducey on Friday announced his big plans for water: a new state agency to decide the winners and losers of Arizona’s water wars. After former Gov. and water hawk Bruce Babbitt declared that desalination won’t solve Arizona’s water problems in the next generation, Ducey’s plan didn’t mention desalination, though his spokesman C.J. Karamargin told us in response that it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. But House Speaker Rusty Bowers doesn’t think his 100-year-old mother-in-law should have to pay for the plant and said water rates will have to increase for newcomers to the state.
Masks are for fighting: The Centers for Disease Control relaxed its masking guidelines and now people of Maricopa, Yavapai, Coconino and Santa Cruz counties don’t need to wear masks indoors, per the new relaxed guidelines.
Is this Back the Blue?: Kari Lake has been paying a convicted felon, who was accused by the Justice Department of trying to kill an FBI informant, to campaign with her, Slate reports. Kenneth Ulibarri has also been arrested multiple times for assault and battery on a police officer.
"She stands for all the things that I believe in," Ulibarri said at a July rally for Lake, according to Slate, adding that he would not send his kids to public school or college because they might "come back with purple hair and gay."
It would influence the election (negatively for her): During her short-lived run for governor, State Treasurer Kim Yee agreed to give Republican Rep. Jeff Weninger, who is running for treasurer next year, a tour of the office. But now that she dropped out of the governor’s race and is seeking re-election instead, facing him in the primary, she hired high-priced lawyers to draft a justification for why she can’t give candidates tours of the office, the Republic’s Ryan Randazzo reports.
Remember: “I,” not “we,” baptize you: The Arizona priest who accidentally botched thousands of baptisms is now helping fix all his bad baptisms, The Associated Press reports.
Senators meet, chaos ensues: Ducey is considering calling the Arizona Legislature into special session to repeal and replace a tax cut that is subject to a citizen referendum that will give voters the ability to veto it, 12 News’ Brahm Resnik reports. Lawmakers repealed and (mostly) replaced an election law back in 2013 that was subject to a referendum, though it appears several Republican senators are putting the kibosh on a special session until the chamber is done dealing with all the election bills.
It’s only a job if you’re getting paid for it. Please subscribe to this stupid little email for $80 per year so that we can continue to call this our “job.”
Venti iced frappuccino with a side of living wage: Baristas at a Mesa Starbucks voted overwhelmingly to become the third unionized Starbucks in the nation and the first in Arizona to unionize after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that they could do so as individual cafes and did not need to organize regionally. More unionization votes are in the works, the Republic’s Priscilla Totiyapungprasert reports.
Grifters gotta grift: AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward wrote a book about the audit. Presumably the book, like everything else she has said about the audit, is fiction. At least we found Rachel’s next book review!
See you in court, again, later: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs will take down the online candidate petition signature platform for redistricting-related maintenance, even though a judge declined to step in and stop Attorney General Mark Brnovich from suing her over it, the Arizona Mirror’s Jeremy Duda writes. The court said the fights were too theoretical to deal with now since the system is online and nobody has sued, so they’ll fight it out later.
Hire the person who refuses to be interviewed in secret: The Goodyear City Council broke open meeting law by secretly conducting interviews with applicants to a vacancy on the council, the Daily Independent’s Madeline Ackley Salazar reports. It hired lobbyist and rancher Patrick Bray.
Did he bring the nunchucks?: Brnovich did his best Gene Simmons impression for photographers outside the U.S. Supreme Court, where he was arguing that states should be able to step in and defend a Trump-era immigration rule that makes it harder for poor people to immigrate to the U.S., Cronkite News’ Reagan Priest reports.
Cronkite News @cronkitenews.@GeneralBrnovich argued in front of the Supreme Court that states should be allowed to defend the Trump-era public charge rule that the Biden administration has dropped. https://t.co/DaXnGOLehk
The police union is not happy: Phoenix Police Department is shuffling about 100 officers and detectives from specialty details to patrol to keep up with staffing shortages and surging emergency calls, KJZZ’s Matthew Casey reports.
DeVry with a nursing twist: Aspen University, a private for-profit online nursing school, is facing questions and possible discipline from regulators who say far too few of its students are passing the nursing exam. Students are stuck as the school has paused nursing classes and stopped new enrollment, the Republic’s Allison Steinbach reports.
Why spend the money when you can get press for just announcing it?: Like many of the headline-grabbing investments of federal money Ducey has touted, his mortgage assistance program is failing. The Republic’s Jessica Boehm reports that it has only spent 1% of the money allocated and approved about 15% of applications so far.
Hundreds of lanes, dozens of employees working them: Three of Arizona’s land ports of entry will receive around $500 million in upgrades from the feds, the Republic’s Clara Migoya reports. The San Luis I south of Yuma and the Maricopa port in Nogales are expected to receive a cut for upgrades, while Douglas would receive a new port plus upgrades on the Raul H. Castro port there.
Each year, the Arizona House and Senate run bills to try to bring back tax credits for the film industry to fetch more movies to Arizona. People who work in the industry often say Arizona often loses out to states with robust tax programs for film, even when the setting of a film is supposed to be Arizona. It usually runs into opposition from some Republicans, but it’s usually got bipartisan support, too.
This year’s effort passed the Arizona Senate last week. Senate Bill 1708 proposes a new program under the Arizona Commerce Authority tasked with promoting and expanding the motion picture industry in the state. It would allow up to $150 million in tax credits for movies and productions that work in Arizona.
Arizona Sen. David Gowan said the bill stemmed from conversations with Arizonans who work in film who have to leave the state for jobs, according to reporter Gloria Gomez, a Don Bolles fellow from the University of Arizona. Republican opposition said the bill took money from small businesses to give it to the wealthy film industry.
This is only kind of related, but we have to tell you about how Arizona tries to attract productions here now: Depending on where you are in Arizona, it looks like any other state. A copy of Arizona Highways magazine from 2002 compares our state to every other, and the state’s film boosters use that to entice productions.
Local retiree Joe Arpaio attended the America First Political Action Conference this weekend to let people know he isn’t a racist, although the attendees of the far-right, white nationalist event preferred he was one.
Arpaio, who’s running for mayor of Fountain Hills, told the crowd that he has the “reputation of being the biggest racist in the country,” which inspired a round of applause and cheers.
“What are you clapping for, that I am or I’m not?” Arpaio questioned. “Well, I’m not.”