Two Arizona Corporation Commission Members Demand Meeting to Vote on Repealing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Utility Employees

Two Arizona Corporation Commission Members Demand Meeting to Vote on Repealing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Utility Employees

Arizona Corporation Commissioners Jim O’Connor and Justin Olson want to hold a meeting to vote on whether utilities, known as Public Service Corporations, can force their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. They sent a letter to their fellow commissioners on November 18 expressing their concerns.

O’Connor and Olson cite the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision on November 12 putting a stay on the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. They quoted the opinion where it said the mandate “raises constitutional concerns” and “grossly exceeds [its] statutory authority.” 

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Arizona House Member Introduces Bill to Teach Ills of Communism in Schools

Arizona House Member Introduces Bill to Teach Ills of Communism in Schools

A member of the Arizona House of Representatives is introducing legislation meant to teach Arizona’s K-12 students the ills of communism. 

“This is very personal to me, as someone who has survived a communist war,” said State Rep. Quang Nguyen (R-District 1) in a Tuesday press release.  “I have lost very close family members to the evil ideology of communism. I know what it feels to lose a nation to communism and that’s why I do not want my fellow Arizonans to ever go through what I have.  It is up to us to ensure that future generations have an honest understanding of what communism truly is and the horrors it has produced for mankind.  Otherwise, it is likely to be repeated.  The victims and survivors of communism deserve to have their voice heard.” 

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Responds to Reporter Asking If He’s Had the Vaccine: ‘Have You Had an STD?’

Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Responds to Reporter Asking If He’s Had the Vaccine: ‘Have You Had an STD?’

During a press conference announcing his lawsuit with police officers and firefighters against the City of Phoenix over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich was asked by Arizona’s Family political editor Dennis Welch whether he was vaccinated. His press secretary waved the question off as “inappropriate.” 

However, Brnovich, who is running for U.S. Senate, responded, “Do you have an STD?” After a brief pause with some laughter from those present, he went on, “It’s not a ridiculous question. The question should be, once you allow or cede this authority to the federal government, where does it stop? And my own health information is my own health information.” 

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Two More Inmates in Pima County Indicted for Illegally Voting in Jail, Also Registered to Vote While There

Two More Inmates in Pima County Indicted for Illegally Voting in Jail, Also Registered to Vote While There

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced that two more inmates from Pima County have been indicted for illegally voting from jail during the 2020 election. Michael Damian Herrera, 25, and Shadae Alexis Smith, 29, both of Tucson, were also indicted for false registration to vote. Both crimes are felonies.

Brnovich, who is running for the U.S. Senate, has made combating election fraud a high priority. 

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Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio Demands Vote on City of Phoenix Vaccine Mandate for Employees

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio Demands Vote on City of Phoenix Vaccine Mandate for Employees

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is requesting a meeting and vote on the City of Phoenix’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In a letter sent to the mayor and other members of the city council on November 22, he expressed concerns over public safety, employee retention, and whether the Biden’s administration mandate even applies.

“This decision will compromise vital citywide services to our residents, including public safety, which this Council has been aware of the alarming crime data and how the city is struggling to hire and retain personnel,” he wrote. “A more thorough determination needs to be made on whether, under federal law, the City of Phoenix and its 13,000 employees are considered ‘federal contractors’ for the purposes of this mandate,” he wrote.

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U.S. Senate Confirms Biden Nominee Gary Restaino as Arizona’s U.S. Attorney

U.S. Senate Confirms Biden Nominee Gary Restaino as Arizona’s U.S. Attorney

The U.S. Senate on Friday unanimously confirmed Gary M. Restaino, President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona.

Restaino has served as a federal prosecutor in the state since 2003 and previously worked for a Phoenix legal aid service, representing migrant and seasonal farmworkers. He also worked as a trial attorney for the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, according to a release from the White House.

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Measure to Cancel Arizona Income Tax Cut Certified for 2022 Ballot

Measure to Cancel Arizona Income Tax Cut Certified for 2022 Ballot

Voters in Arizona will have the chance to strike down the largest personal income tax cut in state history. 

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs notified Gov. Doug Ducey’s office Friday that her office certified a ballot initiative to appear on the November 2022 general election ballot. Designated as Proposition 307, the initiative needs a simple majority to vote “no” to strike down Senate Bill 1828. The law gradually flattens Arizona’s progressive income tax to 2.5%. 

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Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer Creates PAC to Back GOP Fraud-Deniers

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer Creates PAC to Back GOP Fraud-Deniers

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who has been very public with his opinion that there was no voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, has formed a PAC to support Republican candidates who also believe there was no voter fraud. Called Pro-Democracy Republicans of Arizona, the only interview he appears to have given about it is to the far left Arizona Mirror. 

The Arizona Sun Times asked him why he was so opposed to investigating the 2020 election for voter fraud, and he responded, “I was consistently opposed to conspiracy theorist partisans with no election experience doing a review.” He referred The Times to a letter he wrote in August.

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Arizona Overdose Deaths Skyrocket in 2020

Arizona Overdose Deaths Skyrocket in 2020

New data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Arizonans turned to fatal doses of painkillers and other drugs amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a much higher rate than in other years. 

Overdose deaths in Arizona increased 33% to 2,743 from February 2020 to April 2021. Overdoses across the country increased 34% over the same time period. The change is a sharp uptick from years prior. From January 2015 to January 2020, the overdose death rate increased by 18%. 

According to CDC data, synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl accounted for nearly two-thirds of overdose deaths. Fentanyl is multiple times more potent than typical painkillers such as Oxycontin. The powerful opioid has become a popular drug to manufacture for the black market to smuggle across the southern border into California and Arizona, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

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In Another Viral Speech, Rep. Schweikert Says It’s About Time to Declare the Pandemic over, and Exposes Fraud and Budget Gimmicks in ‘Build Back Better’

In Another Viral Speech, Rep. Schweikert Says It’s About Time to Declare the Pandemic over, and Exposes Fraud and Budget Gimmicks in ‘Build Back Better’

Just two weeks after his House floor speech on financial fraud in Congress went viral, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) delivered another epic speech, this time focusing on COVID-19 and President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Schweikert said the country is about at the point to declare the pandemic over, and he slammed Biden’s “social spending plan” for “economic violence” against the working poor and “laced with budget gimmicks.”

Schweikert explained how the combination of several factors now means the pandemic is about over. Pfizer’s new antiviral medication, which is about to be approved by the FDA, is 89% effective and will be available to millions by January. There are at-home COVID-19 tests and multiple vaccines. He will be putting forth legislation shortly to address this developing situation.

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House Democrats Censure Arizona Rep. Gosar over Tweeting Cartoon Parody, Remove Him from Committee Posts

House Democrats Censure Arizona Rep. Gosar over Tweeting Cartoon Parody, Remove Him from Committee Posts

The House of Representatives narrowly voted 223-207 to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-04-AZ) and remove him from his committee posts for tweeting an animated video showing his head on the body of an anime character stabbing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-14-NY) and lunging with a knife at President Joe Biden. Twitter did not take the video down, merely labeling it “hateful content” and stating that it was in the public’s interest for it to remain.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-23-CA) denounced the action before the vote. “It’s an old definition of abuse of power: rules for thee, but not for me. That’s exactly what’s happening here today,” he said. “House Democrats are preparing once again to break another precedent of the United States House of Representatives.”

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More Headlines…

Poll: Independent Arizonans Shifting Toward GOP Side on COVID-19 Issues

Monthly polling of Arizonans shows Independents have shifted to align more with Republicans in terms of handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the pandemic-related mitigations began in early 2020, registered Independent voters in Arizona have treaded evenly between Republican opinions on how to mitigate the spread of the virus and those of Democrats.

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Arizona State Rep. Teresa Martinez Calls For Katie Hobbs to Drop Out of the Governor’s Race After $2.75 Million Jury Verdict Found Race Discrimination

Arizona State Rep. Teresa Martinez (R-Maricopa) is calling for Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to drop out of the governor’s race due to firing a staffer while at the Arizona Legislature. Talonya Adams won a multimillion dollar jury verdict against the legislature for racial discrimination by Hobbs, her former boss, last week, the second lawsuit she’s won in the case. A jury found that Adams was fired in 2015 because she complained that her relatively lower pay was the result of racial and sex discrimination.

Martinez told The Arizona Sun Times, “I think it’s horrible that we have an elected state official who would have such behavior toward any race. I think anyone running for statewide office should look at people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. For this woman to win two lawsuits where two courts found her showing racism — she should not be considered for any post in the state of Arizona, including the one she has now.”

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Gov. Ducey, Arizona National Guard Won’t Answer Sun Times Questions About Joining Oklahoma National Guard’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Rebuke

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona National Guard did respond to queries from The Arizona Sun Times regarding whether Arizona would follow the lead of Oklahoma and its National Guard decision not to enforce the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

A source familiar with the Arizona National Guard’s vaccine policy told that commanders in the Arizona National Guard have already begun ordering troops to get the vaccine.

The source said based on their understanding of the internal dynamics of the Arizona Guard Ducey could reverse this vaccination push and follow Oklahoma’s lead.

While Ducey remains silent, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, now running for the 2022 GOP Senate nomination, sued the Biden administration twice over the mandate.

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Tucson Border Patrol Arrest Convicted Attempted Murderer for Illegal Reentry

The Tucson Station of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Sunday that it had apprehended a previously convicted attempted murderer attempting to illegally reenter the United States. 

“Records revealed that Reynaldo Lira-Luqez was convicted of multiple felonies in [Miami Dade County, Florida] to include Attempted Second-Degree Murder,” John R. Modlin, Chief Patrol Agent of Tucson Sector CBP said on Twitter. 

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New Ad Knocks Senator Mark Kelly for Lack of Action

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) on Tuesday launched a new ad in Arizona against Senator Mark Kelley (D-AZ).

The Spanish radio ad, which will play in three different city media markets, targets Kelly over his lack of action since taking office earlier this year.

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Arizona Pilot Suing United Airlines over Vaccine Mandate

David Morgan, a pilot and Arizona resident, is suing United Airlines over the company’s recently-imposed vaccine mandate.

Morgan, who has worked for the company for more than two decades, argued his religious beliefs dictated his decisions to not receive the vaccine. However, United denied his exemption.

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Former Senate Staffer Under Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs Awarded $2.75 Million in Race Discrimination Firing

A former adviser to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has again won a racial discrimination case against the state official from their time in the state Legislature. 

A jury sided with Talonya Adams, a former legal advisor to the Arizona Senate Democrats, in her claim that she was discriminated against when she was fired in 2015. 

Adams, who is Black, was awarded $2 million for being retaliated against and $750,000 for proving she was racially discriminated against. It’s unclear how much Adams will receive, since federal discrimination cases are capped at $300,000 plus legal fees for employers of more than 100 people.

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Republican Arizona Legislators Plan to Introduce Bills on Election Integrity, Vaccine Mandates, and Other Issues This Upcoming Session

Fresh on the heels of the big GOP win in Virginia, Arizona’s Republican legislators are eager to stop dropping bills for the 2022 legislative session. They begin filling them on November 15. Here are a handful of bills some of them will be sponsoring.

Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) told The Arizona Sun Times he has over a dozen election integrity bills he plans to introduce. In addition to those, he will be dropping three other bills. “Heading into the 2022 legislative session, election integrity continues to be not only the civil rights issue of our day but also the most important legislative issue facing our nation,” he said. “In Arizona you can expect to see dozens of smart, common sense reforms that will ensure voter confidence for generations to come and greatly improve the overall security of Arizona elections.”

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Arizona School District Opens Probe into Dossier Assembled on Parents Opposing Board President

An Arizona school district announced Friday night is has hired a forensic investigator to determine if school resources were used to “compile, access or modify” a private dossier on parents critical of the school board president.

The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) acknowledged it was aware of allegations that the dossier may have been assembled by School Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg’s father, Michael, a local activist, and some of its contents shared by the school board president.

The district “began the process of hiring an independent forensic investigator to determine if any school resources were used to compile, access or modify the private dossier allegedly created and maintained in Google drive folders by Mark Greenburg, the father of SUSD Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg, and shared by the latter,” Superintendent Scott A. Menzel announced.

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Cyber Ninjas Must Turn over Records from the Maricopa County Ballot Audit, State Appeals Court Says

The Arizona Court of Appeals rejected a request from Cyber Ninjas, the company that audited Maricopa County’s ballots, to block a public records request by the media for records from the audit. Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which owns The Arizona Republic, asked for emails and other documents in its April request, which the lower trial court granted. Cyber Ninjas appealed the decision. The appellate court rejected the cyberfirm’s argument that opening its records up for public inspection would allow opening the records of any contractor that does business with the state. 

Jack Wilenchik, Cyber Ninja’s attorney, expressed his disappointment to Capitol Media Services, “The government cannot force private contractors to produce things the government does not own. He said it’s similar to a violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure.

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