The Daily Agenda: Signaling your lack of virtue
Don't Florida our Arizona, Doug ... On Dem deserters and dirty laundry ... And Jordan is almost as good as Kari was.
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The governors of Texas and Florida upped the ante on sending migrants to liberal communities by shipping groups of asylum seekers to the liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and dumping them on a street corner near Vice President Kamala Harris’ D.C. residence.
Republican governors, including Doug Ducey, have been doing this for a while now, but the stunt that Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott pulled late last week was unique in that it didn’t even have the veneer of a humanitarian effort.
It was a pure political stunt, and a crass one at that. DeSantis, who had Floridians pay to send the migrants from Texas (not his own state) to Martha’s Vineyard, even sent along one of his political videographers to capture the moment.
And it’s the logical culmination of the tactic that Ducey has signed onto.
Griff Jenkins @GriffJenkinsBREAKING: Two buses of 101 migrants mostly from Venezuela arrive outside @VP Harris house in DC sent by @GregAbbott_TX - one migrant telling me he believes the border is “open” @FoxNews https://t.co/Q70utdE4k0
Many of the asylum seekers have court dates coming up where they have to make their cases to stay in the country legally. They went through hell to get here, and they presented themselves at the border in accordance with asylum laws, to seek a chance to stay here legally.
The governors acted perhaps less legally. They didn’t coordinate with federal immigration authorities before transporting the migrants across state lines. They didn’t tell the local communities the migrants were being dropped off on the streets. They didn’t have a plan in place to deal with the migrants when they landed. The whole point was to create chaos.
The other goal was to own the libs, which is seemingly the center plank in Republicans' policy platform these days. In Martha’s Vineyard, the wealthy white residents didn’t simply offer their houses to the migrants who thought they were headed to Boston, as Fox News and Republican politicians disingenuously insisted they should if they cared about immigrants.
Instead, after two days living in a church, the migrants were shipped off to a military base where they will have access to legal services, healthcare, food and shelter.
"The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door they all of a sudden go berserk," DeSantis said. "It just shows you their virtue signaling is a fraud."
And sure, the rich white liberals of Martha’s Vineyard probably don’t want loads of economic refugees squatting on their streets any more than the people of El Paso, Miami, or anywhere else. But by deceiving these vulnerable people and making their lives that much harder in order to make a political point about Democratic virtue signaling, the Republican governors have shown no virtue at all.
Ducey would be wise to distance himself from this tasteless tactic and end Arizona’s similar program of busing migrants to Washington D.C.
Filing a false police report is a crime: Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers encouraged her supporters to file false identity theft reports with police. She explained her weird theory that doing so will stop voter fraud at a meeting with the Payson Tea Party where she demanded the Payson Roundup be excluded, but the paper’s Peter Aleshire got ahold of a recording of the meeting anyway. In the recording, Rogers urges people to hold onto their early ballots, then vote in person, claiming that elections officials will believe they had already voted, thus opening the door for voters to make an identity theft claim. Of course, that’s not how any of this works, Gila County Elections Director Eric Mariscal explained. Separately, the Roundup reports that the Department of Public Safety arrested a man for threatening to kill Rogers and shoot up The Trumped Store in Show Low.
#BlameDiego: West Valley Democrats rallied around educator Evangeline Diaz as their chosen replacement for Rep. Diego Espinoza, who dropped out of his uncontested race for the state House in Tolleson’s Legislative District 22 after winning a contested primary. Espinoza’s sudden departure left Democrats scrambling to find, and then clear the field for, a single Dem write-in candidate for the heavily Dem district. The district’s Democratic leaders and Maricopa County supervisors are still working on appointing a replacement to finish off Espinoza’s term in the House, the Republic’s Ray Stern reports.
Dems air dirty laundry: Democratic Rep. Alma Hernandez called on her caucus to investigate her colleague, Democratic Rep. Brian Fernandez for calling her a “fat fuck” and saying he “hates her,” as she heard through the grapevine.
The bosses sent a Signal that it’s ok: Rank-and-file Phoenix cops, not just the top brass, used Signal to secretly communicate, then were ordered to delete the records, ABC15 reports. And Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and other Phoenix leaders still haven’t responded to the station’s public records requests about their own use of Signal. Meanwhile, the Arizona Capitol Times’ Camryn Sanchez writes that voters don’t really care about candidates’ old social media posts.
Same old Mark: Republican secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem is again in trouble for using anti-Semitic tropes and dog whistles, this time invoking George Soros as a stand-in for anti-Semitic conspiracies about Jewish world domination, the Arizona Mirror’s Jerod MacDonald-Evoy writes.
More than semi-fascist: Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers once again invoked fascism to describe his fellow Republicans, telling CNN in a new documentary that he fears the bills allowing lawmakers to overturn elections, which he killed, will be revived at the Capitol next year in his absence.
This county ain’t big enough…: The Southwest Border Sheriffs' Conference, which includes sheriffs from all 50 states, is coming to Cochise County this month to get a look at the border and discuss a possible vote of “no confidence” in U.S. Customs and Border Protection boss and former Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, Fox10 reports.
Does nobody remember AG Tom Horne?: The candidates for Arizona superintendent of public instruction met for a debate last week, and voters’ choices couldn't be more stark, the Republic’s Yana Kunichoff writes in her rundown.
Should have won some championships: Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and some of the Phoenix City Council sent a letter to the NBA saying Suns owner Robert Sarver embarrassed the city with his behavior and that the NBA should “take all actions necessary” to reform the culture he created. Meanwhile, PayPal announced it will no longer sponsor the team as long as Sarver is involved.
New voter guide just dropped: The Republic’s Renata Cló tried to get all candidates running for a seat on a Phoenix-area school board to respond to a survey about their positions, and most did.
Doubly wrong: Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia likely broke campaign finance laws when he accepted $28,000 in campaign contributions from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Gilbert town clerk found when it conducted an outside investigation for Phoenix. Axios’ Jessica Boehm reports that it appears the money came to him directly from the union, rather than its PAC, which is illegal. And anyway, the money is more than the limit PACs can give candidates.
Much ado about weird scribbles: The strange saga of the William De Kooning painting that was stolen from the University of Arizona museum 36 years ago continues as a U.S. Department of Homeland Security special team transported the $100 million painting back to UA last week, the Republic’s Anne Ryman reports.
Where are they now, Arizona edition: The Washington Post’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Maria Sacchetti have a deep dive into Joe Cuffari, the former Arizonan who worked for Govs. Doug Ducey and Jan Brewer before landing a job in the Trump administration and finding himself in the crosshairs of the Jan. 6 Committee investigation for losing a bunch of text messages Secret Service agents sent that day.
People are wild: The Arizona Daily Star’s Tim Steller attempts to analyze GOP attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh’s contradicting life experiences and hardline immigration policy positions.
“Hamadeh’s parents were in the same gray area that millions of people live in who cross the border illegally, or who seek asylum and wait years for a decision to be made,” Steller writes.
Adios, Steve: After more than two decades at KJZZ, radio star Steve Goldstein, who co-hosts “The Show,” is moving on, he announced on Twitter.
Kari Lake, that beacon of journalistic integrity, praised fellow fake news purveyor Jordan Conradson, who was most recently spotted under arrest for allegedly beating his girlfriend, when 12News’ Joe Dana asked which media sources she trusts.
Lake claimed Conradson has more viewers than 12News and said she hopes the local news stations all go under. She then launched a sustained attack on Dana, invoking his late father, the legendary Phoenix newscaster Kent Dana, who she once worked with.
Dana responded with a heartfelt video about his father, explaining that the news industry hasn’t changed, the political climate has.
“We want to bring you stories that matter and we want to do it in a responsible way. That’s how my dad approached his job. And that’s how I and my colleagues carry on his legacy,” he said.