Investigator at Fani Willis’s Office Accidentally Shot Herself in Fulton County Courthouse

An investigator working for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office shot herself on Friday while at the Fulton County Courthouse. The investigator, who works in the office of District Attorney Fani Willis, was not critically injured in the accidental discharge.

News first broke on Friday morning that a shooting incident occurred at the Fulton County Courthouse, with the sheriff’s office reporting there was “no active threat” at the time. Within an hour, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed “an accidental discharge” by an “investigator who wounded herself” but was not critically injured.

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Nation’s Largest Liberal Donor Group Moves Against No Labels as Arizona Democrats Express New Fears

A powerful network of liberal donors are reportedly planning to oppose No Labels, the newest political party to be recognized in Arizona, as Democrats in the state express concerns the party could serve as a spoiler and cause President Joe Biden to lose the 2024 presidential election.

The influential Democracy Alliance, the nation’s largest club for wealthy liberal donors, told German-owned Politico that Democrats are “increasingly concerned” that a No Labels presidential ticket “could function as a spoiler” for Biden and help former President Donald Trump regain the White House.

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Arizona State Senator TJ Shope to Probe If Gov. Hobbs’ Dark Money Security Funding Violated Campaign Finance Laws

Arizona Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-Florence) intends to probe how Governor Katie Hobbs (D) had a private security guard during the 2022 elections without disclosing how he was paid. Hobbs, who was serving as Arizona’s secretary of state in 2022, did not disclose how the security guard was paid in her campaign finance reports.

Though it remains unclear exactly how former security guard J.M. “Jesse” Torrez was employed to protect Hobbs, The Arizona Republic notes the governor appointed Torrez to head the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, where he will earn $115,000 per year, after taking office.

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Arizona Lawsuit to Disqualify Trump from 2024 Ballot Begins October 23

A lawsuit aimed at disqualifying former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot in Arizona is set to be heard by a federal judge on October 23.

The lawsuit was filed in Arizona federal court by John Anthony Castro, who Arizona’s Family describes as a “long-shot Republican presidential candidate from Texas.” Castro, who claims to be mounting a nationwide write-in campaign, argues that Trump’s alleged role in the civil unrest on January 6, 2021 should preclude him from running for office.

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Arizona Expected to Receive Over $800 Million in 2024 Political Advertising, Most of Any Battleground State

Arizona is projected to be the recipient of nearly $1 billion in political advertising during the 2024 cycle, meaning the Grand Canyon State will receive the highest share of spending of any battleground state, and the second highest of any state in the union, should the projections be correct.

The state is expected to see about $821 million in advertising over the 2024 political cycle, according to a new report published by AdImpact. Arizona will receive almost $100 million more than the second highest battleground state, Pennsylvania, which is estimated to receive $725 million.

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TSMC Reportedly Delays Equipment Deliveries to Arizona Semiconductor Factory

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is reportedly asking vendors to delay deliveries of major equipment to its facility in Arizona. This comes after TSMC delayed the opening of its Arizona chip facility until 2025, and amid reports the company will not manufacture complete semiconductors in the United States.

TSMC is asking manufacturers of high-end semiconductor equipment to hold off on deliveries to its Arizona facility, according to a report released Friday by Reuters. The Taiwanese semiconductor giant is reportedly concerned about decreasing costs, and is “increasingly concerned” about cooling consumer demand, though the company referred to the report as a “market rumor” in a statement to Reuters.

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Arizona Senate Committee Rejects Gov. Hobbs’ Nominee for Housing Department, Cites ‘Systemic’ Plagiarism

An Arizona State Senate panel rejected the nomination of Joan Serviss to run the Arizona Department of Housing in a 3-2 vote on Thursday, with Republican senators highlighting alleged “systemic” plagiarism by Serviss in letters she wrote to the federal government while working in advocacy. Arizona State Senator Jake Hoffman…

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Arizona Republicans Sound Alarm After Flagstaff Considers Firearm Ad Ban on City Property, Including Airport

Three Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives signed a letter questioning Flagstaff’s plan to see firearm advertisements banned from public buildings and facilities. The letter came after Flagstaff city leaders received a draft of new advertising guidelines that explicitly ban any mention of firearms or ammunition, even though the previous policy focused on banning “violence” and “antisocial behavior” in the advertisements.

Arizona State Representatives David Marshall (R-Snowflake), Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu), and Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott) warned the draft policy “raises a host of constitutional concerns, including viewpoint discrimination, and very likely violates state law,” urging the city leaders to “postpone your consideration” until the new policy adheres Arizona law and the U.S. Constitution.

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Arizona TSMC Factory Will Ship Incomplete Semiconductors to Taiwan for Final ‘Packaging’: Report

A new report claims the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will only complete part of the chip manufacturing process at its controversial Arizona facility. The company reportedly intends to ship incomplete products made in Arizona to Taiwan, where they will be finished and sold to major electronics manufacturers in the West.

The report, published Monday by New Information, claims sources close to the company and its new facility in Phoenix have already been informed that the plant will be used to create partially complete products. As a result, the outlet explained, TSMC’s Arizona factory will do little to create an independent supply of semiconductors based in the United States.

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Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Will Use AI to ‘Scale Up’ After 50,000 Students Join in One Year

The new director of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program announced plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to “scale up” the program’s operations after 50,000 students joined the school voucher program.

Arizona now has nearly 62,000 students enrolled in the ESA program, according to Arizona Capitol Times, including about 12,000 students who enrolled in the last three months. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) previously estimated another 50,000 students could join over the next year.

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Liberty Safe Changes Access Code Policy After January 6 Controversy, Will Now Require Law Enforcement Subpoena

Liberty Safe, the company currently facing backlash for giving the access code to a safe owned by a January 6 defendant to the FBI, announced a change to its company policy Thursday regarding how it complies with law enforcement in the wake of the controversy.

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Phoenix Approves Backyard Casitas, or Accessory Dwelling Units, Inside City Limits

On Wednesday the City of Phoenix approved casitas, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), to be built in back yards of existing homes, in a move aimed at shoring up the amount of affordable housing in the city.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and city council members approved the change to the city’s zoning to help address the 270,000 housing unit shortage in Arizona, reported ABC 15.

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State Senator Justine Wadsack Victorious After Recall Petition Fails, Reports Zero Signatures in Four Months

State Senator Justine Wadsack (R-Tucson) emerged victorious after the recall petition against her failed, with activists returning zero petitions to the government. Wadsack, speaking to The Arizona Sun Times, thanked her supporters in Legislative District 17 for becoming her surrogates through the process.

Wadsack said in a press release that “the far left so-called ‘recall effort’ in LD17 has failed” to return “a single signature” by the September 5 deadline, and said their failure “amounts to a third electoral victory after being nominated in 2022 and then elected in November.” She added that the recall “was never a serious effort” but rather “a 4-month social media campaign with little to no ground game.”

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Moms for Liberty to Hold Arizona Town Hall Next Week with Four State Legislators, Superintendent Tom Horne

Parental rights advocacy group Moms for Liberty announced a public town hall event in Mesa, Arizona, on September 14, with confirmed attendees including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, four Republican state legislators, Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich, and award-winning musician and actress Mary Millben.

Described as an “honest discussion on the state of education and parental rights in Arizona,” Moms for Liberty revealed on X, formerly Twitter, that State Senator Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), State Senator Justine Wadsack (R-Tucson), State Representative Justin Heap (R-Mesa), and State Representative Barbara Parker (R-Mesa) are also scheduled to attend as members of a panel.

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Biden Releases New Arizona Ad Touting ‘Manufacturing Boom’ Despite Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Delay

President Joe Biden launched a new ad in Arizona on Labor Day touting a “manufacturing boom” as part of a $25 million advertising campaign in battleground states, even after the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) recently delayed its new Phoenix microchip plant claiming the state lacks skilled talent.

The 30-second ad features Phoenix resident Bill Ruiz, according to The Hill, who brags that “we’re building some of the biggest tech factories in the world right here” in Arizona, and specifically lists new semiconductor factories as an example, ultimately crediting “the laws that Joe Biden got passed” for making their construction possible.

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Most Arizona Voters Now Registered Independent, Unable to Vote in Presidential Preference Election

More Arizona voters have continued to change their party affiliation to independent, making it the state’s largest voting bloc. This means more than 1.4 million voters will be unable to cast a ballot in the state’s 2024 presidential primary contests.

The Arizona Secretary of State released new data this month dating from July 2023, revealing that 1,450,697 Arizonans, or 34.55 percent of the state’s voters, are now registered independent.

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110,000 Pima County Residents’ Personal Data Exposed After Hackers Breach COVID-19 Contact Tracing Firm

Russian hackers accessed the personal information of 110,000 residents of Pima County, Arizona whose data was held by Maximus Health Services, who was contracted by the county for contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government contracting giant acknowledged between 8 and 11 million people had their information breached by hackers in a July filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and this week confirmed about 110,000 Pima County residents were affected, according to KJZZ, which added that the county “contracted with Maximus” for contact tracing during the pandemic.

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State Representative Promises New COVID-19 Mask Mandates ‘Won’t Be Happening in Arizona’ Thanks to GOP-Backed Laws

As national media outlets warn of a new wave of COVID-19 and suggest pandemic-era responses, State Representative Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale) highlighted two Arizona laws that will prohibit face mask mandates in businesses and schools.

In a press release from the Arizona House of Representatives, the legislator noted that CNN, CBS, and The Washington Times have published articles that either encourage or note “the return of mask mandates” across the country. Chaplik added, “The good news is that mandates won’t be happening here in Arizona.”

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Feds to Drop Shipping Container Border Wall Lawsuit After $2.1 Million Payment from Arizona Taxpayers

A lawsuit launched by the Department of Justice against Arizona over a makeshift border wall made of shipping containers is set to be dismissed following a final payment of $2.1 million from the state to the U.S. Forest Service, even after Governor Katie Hobbs (D) dismantled the barrier and put the containers up for sale.

The shipping container wall was constructed under former Governor Doug Ducey (R), whose administration argued the hastily constructed barrier was necessary until the Biden administration resumed construction on the southern border wall started by former President Donald Trump. A lawsuit was launched by the federal government just weeks before Hobbs took office.

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Audit Finds Unqualified Arizonans Received Driver Licenses, Including at Least One Foreign National

A new report from the Arizona Auditor General reveals that private companies authorized by the state’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) have issued credentials or documents to people who were unqualified, including at least one foreign national.

The Auditor General warned that “consistently” allowing vehicle titles, driver licenses, and identification cards to unauthorized individuals or entities will increase numbers of “unsafe drivers, vehicle and identity theft, fraud, and terrorism.”

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Speaker Toma Promises Arizona GOP Will Protect ESA Program Because ‘Parents Want Choice’

Arizona state House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) promised Republicans in the legislature will not relent in the partisan fight over Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs), even as Governor Katie Hobbs and Arizona Democrats claim the growing school choice initiative is draining the state budget.

Toma said critics of the ESA program are “disingenuous” in their claims for political reasons, asserting that Republicans instead believe it is “the state’s responsibility” to provide education for all children, and “[p]arents want choice” in the matter, during a Friday interview with Arizona Capitol Times.

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Snapchat Used by Human Smugglers to Ensnare Arizonans in Illegal Immigration Schemes: Justice Department

The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged more than 20 individuals with using social media to entice Arizonans to participate in illegal human smuggling on Tuesday. The Justice Department highlighted an example of criminals using Snapchat, the multimedia instant messaging app, to promise to pay for Arizonans to help smuggle illegal immigrants into the United States.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona filed 13 indictments containing 22 charges of Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens for Profit against 22 individuals, alleging the smugglers “utilized social media, including Snapchat, to recruit” people in Arizona, before then generally switching to messaging applications like WhatsApp “to coordinate the logistics” of the crimes.

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Senators Kelly, Sinema Want Answers After Arizona Gets Three Percent of Federal Migrant Funding They Helped Pass

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kristen Sinema (I-AZ) have asked for answers from three federal agencies after the state received just $23.9 million of more than $800 million in funding they helped secure to fund private organizations that house illegal immigrants released into the United States after being encountered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during their transit across the border.

In a letter addressed to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the heads of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the senators warned that Pima County may be unable to support the influx of migrants in April 2024. They noted that New York City received over four times more funding than Arizona.

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AFEC Warns Arizona Secretary of State ‘Snark Doesn’t Get the Job Done’ in Dispute over Voter Rolls

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) warned Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) it will bring a federal lawsuit against him over his alleged failure to maintain accurate voter lists in Arizona. AFEC gave the state until November 6 to rectify these issues, or else the non-profit will launch a federal lawsuit against Fontes.

In a report stating there are more registered voters than residents, or an “abnormally high” number of registered voters, in 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties, AFEC said it sent its letter to Fontes on August 8, urging him to “take his job as Secretary of State seriously” or face legal action.

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Authorities Seize Nearly 100,000 Fentanyl Pills, Enough Powder to Kill More than 5 Million People in Two Arizona Busts

Federal and local authorities in the Phoenix area have seized nearly 100,000 fentanyl pills and more than 20 pounds of fentanyl powder in just two law enforcement actions. This quantity of the Schedule II drug could potentially cause more than 5 million fatal overdoses.

On August 10, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), working with local Arizona police, reportedly apprehended three men attempting to sell 50,000 fentanyl pills in the Phoenix area, according to Border Report. Only days later, on August 17, Gila County law enforcement reported seizing 49,500 fentanyl pills and 22.88 pounds of fentanyl powder during a traffic stop in Payson on the previous day. Payson is about 90 minutes away of Phoenix.

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Hamadeh Vows He ‘Won’t Stop Fighting’ as Top Arizona Republicans, America First Legal Rally Behind Election Challenge

Leading Republicans in the Arizona Legislature, alongside America First Legal (AFL), lodged amicus briefs on Wednesday, throwing their support behind Abraham Hamadeh’s petition to the Arizona Supreme Court for a retrial of his 2022 election contest. Hamadeh is petitioning for a fresh trial citing newly surfaced evidence, purportedly dubious rulings from the presiding Mohave County judge, and an effort to stave off protracted legal disputes over his election that could last well into 2024.

Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma filed an amicus brief in support of Hamadeh on the same day AFL filed its own. Hamadeh, whose race against Attorney General Kris Mayes was the closest in Arizona history with only 280 votes now stand between the candidates, celebrated the development.

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Governor Hobbs Says She ‘Absolutely’ Wants Arizona to Charge Trump over 2020 Election Contest; Her Office Later Claimed She ‘Misunderstood’ the Question

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs said she “absolutely” hopes former President Donald Trump will be criminally charged for his actions while contesting the 2020 election results in Arizona.

Hobbs said she would “absolutely” like to see Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes bring new charges against Trump that mirror those in Georgia, telling local media that such charges would hold those who contested the election “accountable” for their actions.

Hobbs said she would “absolutely” like to see Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes bring new charges against Trump that mirror those in Georgia, telling local media that such charges would hold those who contested the election “accountable” for their actions.

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AG Kris Mayes Asks Arizona Supreme Court to Reject New Abraham Hamadeh Trial

An attorney representing Attorney General Kris Mayes has asked the Arizona Supreme Court to refuse Abe Hamadeh’s request for a new trial for his election lawsuit contesting his purported loss, and asked the court to force Hamadeh to pay Mayes’ legal fees.

Lawyers for Mayes claimed argued that Hamadeh’s team could have worked to expedite his legal cases, has not asked the current judge for a final decision, and once acceded it did not have enough evidence to overthrow the election.

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Arizona House Launches Censorship Probe after Hobbs’ Big Tech Emails Go Public

The Arizona House has launched an investigation into the censorship requests by Governor Katie Hobbs, including those revealed by Arizona Capitol Oversight, and those made by other state government officials.

House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) created the panel late last week, enlisting Representative Alexander Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) to serve as its chair. In what Kolodin called “an interesting coincidence,” the panel was created the same day Arizona Capitol Oversight released an 8 page report revealing several of Hobbs’ censorship requests to Facebook and Twitter, including one against a member of the Arizona Legislature.

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Arizona Transgender Birth Certificate Lawsuit Given Class Action Status

A class action status has now been granted to a lawsuit alleging that Arizona’s laws concerning the alteration of birth certificates discriminate against transgender individuals, especially minors.

The lawsuit was originally filed against Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on behalf of three Arizona families, and the court’s decision means its eventual ruling will now “apply to all transgender individuals born in Arizona” who wish to change their birth certificate to reflect their chosen gender identity.

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Judge Tosses Arizona Democrats’ Lawsuit Seeking to Revoke No Labels Party’s Ballot Access

A Maricopa County judge dismissed a lawsuit initiated by the Arizona Democratic Party (AZDP) aiming to revoke the ballot access of the nascent No Labels Party in Arizona prior to the 2024 elections.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper threw out the AZDP lawsuit seeking to strike No Labels from the ballot in 2024, declaring Democrats’ claims that No Labels did not gather petitions properly and should be required to publish financial records do not stand up to scrutiny.

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Kari Lake Reportedly Plans Arizona Senate Bid for October as Poll Shows Her Ahead 31 Points

Former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is reportedly planning a campaign for U.S. Senate that will launch in October, with the news breaking after a poll showed her with a 31-point lead over Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb among Arizona Republicans if she should enter the race.

Lake is reportedly “staffing up” for a Senate campaign and will spend much of September conducting interviews and making hires for an October launch, according to a report from Axios. The former news anchor seemed to foreshadow the decision during her time in Ohio with Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno, saying she “might have to join” Moreno and Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) in the Senate.

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Arizona Republicans Prefer Kari Lake for Senate in Poll Showing Sheriff Lamb Trails Rep. Gallego

Kari Lake, the former gubernatorial candidate, has emerged as the preferred choice for U.S. Senate among a plurality of Arizona Republicans, with a 31-point lead over Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb in a recent poll. The data also showed Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03) winning a three-way contest between Lamb and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

Lake was the first choice of 42 percent of Arizona Republicans, according to a recent Emerson College Polling survey. Pollsters found just 11 percent of respondents preferred Lamb. An additional 7 percent of Republicans support former Senate candidate Blake Masters, 2 percent support businessman Jim Lamon, and 2 percent support Brian Wright.

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Gov. Hobbs Unsure About Canceling Saudi Company’s Arizona Alfalfa Farm Despite Ties to Campaign

Governor Katie Hobbs said canceling state leases to a Fondomonte, a foreign company that grows water-hungry alfalfa for export to Saudi Arabia to feed cattle, was complex, asserting that some have asked Arizona to “unilaterally yank one lease” while allowing other, similar leases to continue in a recent interview. The governor did not comment on her campaign’s connection to Fondomonte, but gave detailed reasons why terminating the lease would be a complicated issue.

Hobbs stressed that ending the lease to Fondomonte is complicated because, “It would be treating one leaseholder differently than others,” in an interview with The Arizona Republic. Hobbs continued, “We can’t just unilaterally yank one lease because we don’t like that alfalfa’s going to Saudi Arabia.”

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Joe Rogan: ‘Real Fraud’ Happened in Kari Lake’s Election, ‘Some Real Shenanigans’

Podcaster Joe Rogan asserted that “real fraud” happened in Arizona’s 2022 elections, calling the breakdown of election equipment on that day “shenanigans” that impacted the outcome of the race.

Rogan made his remarks about the Arizona election during an interview with Valuetainment founder Patrick Bet-David on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” asking the entrepreneur, “How much election fraud do you think is real,” before adding, “because I don’t think it’s zero.”

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Phoenix Crime Down in 2023, but Car Thefts, Rapes, and Officer Involved Shootings Rise

The City of Phoenix and Phoenix Police Department released crime statistics for the first six months of 2023, revealing that overall crime is down 2 percent, even as auto thefts, rape, and police shootings rise in the city.

Numbers released by the city show violent crime is down 2 percent in Arizona’s capital, and property crimes are down 19 percent, when the first six months of 2023 are compared with the same period in 2022. Still, the city reported an increase in rapes, increase in auto thefts, and officer-involved shootings.

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State Representative Kolodin Promises House Review After AG Mayes Joins Coalition for Government Censorship

State Representative Alexander Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) promised the Arizona House would examine Attorney General Kris Mayes’ decision to join a coalition of attorneys general seeking to restore the government’s ability to communicate censorship requests to social media websites.

“Labeling speech dangerous and calling for it to be suppressed is the first act of tyrants,” Kolodin wrote on X, formerly Twitter, in response to Mayes’ decision to join the coalition. He added that the Arizona House “will be taking a very close look” at the move.

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U.S. Border Patrol Captures 10,000 Migrants Crossing into Arizona in One Week

U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents at the Tucson Sector in Arizona apprehended 10,000 individuals attempting to illegally enter the United States in just one week, according to Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin.

In an update issued Monday, Modlin said there were 10,000 apprehensions of illegal border crossers, 430 rescues, 21 human smuggling events, and 11 narcotics seizures recorded at the Tucson sector between July 20 and July 28. In a tweet, Modlin added that USBP agents also seized 6 pounds of fentanyl, six pounds of methamphetamine, and three firearms.

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Gov. Hobbs’ Closed Door Task Force Recommends 20 Changes to Arizona Elections

The Elections Task Force (ETF) created via executive order by Governor Katie Hobbs has recommended 20 changes to Arizona elections, including moves to prevent ballot drop boxes from being observed by citizen groups and restore the voting rights of felons.

Hobbs’ ETF agreed to advance 20 of 22 total proposals it generated to consider during a Thursday meeting that was closed to the public, including members of the media. It was the second full meeting of the group, which Hobbs chairs, since she created it via executive order in January.

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Arizona State University Professors Sent ‘Harassing Emails’ Asking to Join TPUSA Professor Watchlist

Arizona State University (ASU) professors who signed a letter labeling conservatives Dennis Prager and Charlie Kirk “purveyors of hate” and seeking to cancel their February 2023 appearance at the university’s now-defunct T.W. Lewis Center seemed to relish in their actions, sending emails to the center’s former executive director asking to be publicly named for their participation.

Former T.W. Lewis Center executive director Ann Atkinson provided emails to The Arizona Sun Times sent by two ASU professors who teach at Barrett, the university’s honors College where the center was housed, including two from a professor seeking to join the Professor Watchlist maintained by Turning Point USA (TPUSA).

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‘I Was Overwhelmed’: T.W. Lewis Founder Cites ‘Hostile’ ASU Professors After Pulling Funding

Tom Lewis, the founder and primary funder of the now-defunct T.W. Lewis Center at Arizona State University (ASU), revealed that he pulled his annual contribution of $400,000 due to the open hostility showed to conservative speakers by the majority of the institution’s faculty.

Lewis made the remarks during an appearance on The Mike Broomhead Show, describing “a steady beat down of realization” in which he determined universities “want your donations, but they don’t want your input, and they certainly don’t want your influence in the classroom or even selecting speakers.”

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs Calls ESAs ‘Unsustainable’ over $320 Million Shortfall Despite May Warning

Governor Katie Hobbs launched new criticisms against the Empowerment Savings Accounts (ESA) program, the school choice initiative allowing all Arizona families to direct education spending to charter or private schools, calling ESAs “unsustainable” and “unaccountable” after reporting the program is estimated to cause a shortfall in the Arizona General Fund.

Total costs for the program are estimated to be $943 million, according to the governor. This will leave the General Fund with a potential shortfall of $319.8 million. Revenues for the General Fund are estimated to be $17.9 billion.

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Arizona Department of Education Cries Foul over Attorney General Mayes’ ESA Warning

The head of the Arizona Department of Education pushed back on a press release issued by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, who warned that students participating in the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) program, Arizona’s growing school choice initiative, lose some rights and face unscrupulous vendors or scams after leaving the public school system.

A press release issued by Mayes’ office warned Arizonans that students entering the ESA program “give up rights,” especially from bills aimed at protecting children with disabilities and to access to their children’s educational records. Mayes lamented, “Families should not be denied admission or kicked out of private schools because of a child’s disabilities” and said she wants “families to know that if vendors or private schools” are abusing the program, “the Attorney General’s Office will investigate to the fullest extent of our authority.”

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ASU Theology Professor Warns University Uses ‘DEI Questions’ to ‘Screen’ Professors in Hiring Process

Arizona State University (ASU) theology professor Dr. Owen Anderson claimed the university now uses Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) questions to “screen” and exclude job applicants during the hiring process. Dr. Anderson revealed this information to The Arizona Sun Times when reached to discuss a recent hearing in the Arizona Legislature that examined freedom of expression at the taxpayer-funded institution.

Anderson, who is also a pastor at the Historic Christian Church of Phoenix, told The Sun Times ASU uses “DEI questions in hiring to screen candidates,” which Anderson said “means only candidates that agree with their left wing agenda are hired.”

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State Senator Justine Wadsack Warns Governor Hobbs ‘Unwilling’ to Address Homeless as ‘The Zone’ Persists

State Senator Justine Wadsack (R-Tucson) blamed Arizona Democrats, namely Governor Katie Hobbs, for the continuing Arizona homeless crisis, even as Phoenix’s “The Zone” continues to persist months after court ordered the city to clear the camp.

In a statement to The Arizona Sun Times, Wadsack warned Democrats are “unwilling to work across the aisle” to address the homeless crisis. “I have personally witnessed the human tragedies that occur in ‘The Zone,’ every day when I’m leaving the Capitol. We have the same issues in Southern Arizona.” Wadsack added, “I’ve personally spoken to those affected by homelessness and creating real solutions that start immediately will be a top priority for me in 2024.”

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Phoenix Asks Judge for More Time to Clear ‘The Zone’ as Most Residents Remain

City officials asked a Maricopa County judge for more time to finish clearing “The Zone,” and revealed that its plan to clear the homeless camp will conclude in another 9 months, even as the majority of the camp’s residents remain.

Phoenix officials were in court again this week as attorneys representing local business owners and residents claimed the city was taking too long to clear the homeless encampment, which has reportedly decreased in population by about 300 residents since the city was ordered to clear it in March. About 1,000 people were reported to reside in “The Zone” at its peak, and so far about 300 people have been relocated.

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Kirk Cameron Invites Governor Katie Hobbs to Christian Story Hour in Tempe

Actor and writer Kirk Cameron invited Governor Katie Hobbs to attend a reading of his new children’s book Pride Comes Before the Fall at the Tempe Public Library on July 22.

Cameron first invited Arizonans to join him at the event at 10 a.m. on Saturday, then asked Hobbs to represent Arizona during his “wholesome story hour” in Tempe.

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Pima County Republicans Join Parents Protesting Tucson Drag Queen Story Hour

Members of the Pima County Republican Party joined a local church’s protest against a drag queen story hour held at a Tucson book store, receiving public support from an Arizona state senator who passed a bill to restrict children’s access to adult entertainment venues only to have it vetoed by Governor Katie Hobbs.

Tucson parents and members of The Bridge Church were joined by members of the Pima County Republican Party on Sunday to protest a drag queen story hour held at Bookmans, who called the event one of its “most popular childhood literacy events” in its promotional materials. This drag queen story hour appears to have been postponed since March, when the store blamed a “harassment campaign” that was “spearheaded by The Bridge Church” and controversial conservative men’s group the Proud Boys for sparking security concerns.

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