Republicans in the AZ lege doing the Arizona two-step over transparency

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

I chose “two-step” after consideration other possibilities like ” ‘do as we say, not as we do’ do-si-do” (too long for a post title), “bullshit boogie” (I try not to swear in post titles), “hypocrite shuffle” (not enough “ooomph”), and the like

On Tuesday, the Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives voted to change the rules of their chamber to allow them to close their caucus meeting to the public.

From the Casa Grande Dispatch, written by Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services -

Saying they sometimes need some privacy, House Republicans voted Tuesday to let themselves — and Democrats if they want — have closed-door discussions about pending issues.

House rules have required party caucuses to be open except for certain executive sessions for specified reasons. Historically, that has included the election of party leaders and advice from legal counsel about pending lawsuits.

The new rule, however, allows party leaders to shut the doors any time they want.

While the House Rs were doing their level best to reduce government transparency, Senate Rs were demanding more transparency of others.

On Tuesday, Senators Gail Griffin, Sylvia Allen, Barbara McGuire (a D, but don’t let that fool you – she’s a conservaDem of long standing), David Farnsworth, and John Kavanagh introduced SCM1012.

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Huckabee’s vapors over women cussing tell you everything you need to know about conservatives

Crossposted at

HuckabeeThose Fox ladies and their dirty mouths got me in my manfeels!

Shockingly, GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckable continues to be a gross, embarrassing buffoon. In his latest bid for attention, he expressed his shock(!) over those New York City hoydens he worked with at Fox and their unladylike profanity. Of course such a blatant invitation to mockery has earned Huck many scathing responses in the liberal blogosphere but, honestly, my favorite reaction to it is this hilariously sincere one by the right wing site World Net Daily. It reads like a breathless Dateline exposé.

Huckabee complains of ‘trashy’ women at Fox News
‘Throw the F-bomb or use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting’

The women of Fox News might be very fair in the attractive sense, but their language is actually very foul, according to Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who stepped down from the popular cable channel recently to consider a run for the White House.

While promoting his book, “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy,” Huckabee told Des Moines radio host Jan Mickelson last Friday he personally experienced severe culture shock listening to “trashy” female women spew frequent obscenities. Continue reading

Rep. Bob Thorpe doesn’t get irony

Ralph Waldo Emerson captured Teabagger logic perfectly: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” There is no consistency.

BallotLast November, Arizona voters foolishly approved an unconstitutional Neo-Confederate ballot measure, Proposition 122, which added a provision to the Arizona Constitution to allow the legislature and residents to “reject a federal action that the people determine violates the United States Constitution.”

This is otherwise known as interposition and nullification. You may recall that America fought a bloody Civil War over this. The 14th Amendment forever put an end to this discredited theory, except in the minds of Neo-Confederate dead-enders.

Now comes Teabagger Rep. Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff), the guy who stood with Cliven Bundy in his armed standoff with law enforcement officers last year, and who supports the sovereignty movement and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association of former Graham County sheriff and “Patriot” movement leader Richard Mack, Far-Right Anti-Government Group Plans Political Takeover Of Arizona County, with a proposal that any voter-sponsored initiative that proposes anything that conflicts with federal law could take effect only if approved by 75 percent of those who cast ballots.

Thorpe does not get irony. He does not understand that his proposal directly conflicts with Prop. 122, which this anti-federal government radical vigorously supported last year.

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Arizona House Democrats introduce package of bills to address ‘dark money’

From the Arizona House Democrats blog, Dark money is shady business:

dark_moneyDark money is shady business. Although this type of political expenditure has been around for a long time, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates. Some reports indicate $8.6 million in dark money seeped its way into Arizona’s election process.

“That is an incredible sum of money,” Assistant House Democratic Leader Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District 10), said. “Money influences elections and people have a right to know who spending in our state.”

But dark money makes that difficult. This kind of campaign spending allows certain entities to spend money in political causes without revealing where the money came from. It is clouding the election process.  Right now, Arizona has few restrictions on dark money. Democrats at the Arizona Legislature have proposed some reforms that will help shed some light on this shadowy subject.

Wheeler and Senate Democratic Whip Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), are introducing a package of identical reform bills in the House and the Senate. These bills were developed from recommendations from former Attorney General Terry Goddard.

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About the ‘Do-Not-Call List’ for autodialed political robo-calls

TelephoneDonna Gratehouse discussed Sen. John Kavanagh’s bill SB 1196 (.pdf) to create a “Do-Not-Call List” for autodialed political robo-calls in an earlier post. See also Howard Fischer, Lawmaker wants to restrict political robocalls.

I have advocated for this for several years now, with no success. Arkansas (A.C.A. § 5-63-204(a)(1)) and Wyoming (W.S. 6-6-104) prohibit the use of automated political robo-calls.

Eight states require a live operator to obtain the called person’s consent before playing the recorded message: California, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New jersey, North Dakota. See summary of state laws. Unsolicited Commercial Communication Laws.

Indiana’s law, Indiana Code 24-5-14, has so far withstood a legal challenge from an out-of-state nonprofit group that challenged the law on federal preemption and First Amendment “free speech” grounds.

In Patriotic Veterans Inc v. State of Indiana, et al., 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 11-3265 (November 2013), the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act did not preempt an Indiana state law with more restrictive prohibitions on autodialed calls — known as robo-calls — potentially shutting out, at least in that circuit, the defense that compliance with the TCPA protects companies from suits claiming violation of stricter state laws.

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Will you Escape?

willyouescape There’s a brand new “live escape game” in town, for 2 to 8 people in a room, ages 13 years and up.

Will You Escape is the first live escape game in Tucson.  Your group, comprised of friends, family, colleagues, or strangers are locked in a room together.  Your objective is to solve riddles, uncover clues and crack codes in order to escape in time.  The game is designed to test your problem solving skills with friends or with complete strangers while racing against the clock.  Do you have what it takes?  Will you make it out in time?  WILL YOU ESCAPE?

Check it out online at Tickets to play cost $20 for 60 minutes in the room,  and here’s the first game (slated for February 6):

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