Arizona Senate Government Committee Advances Seven Election Integrity Bills

One of the biggest priorities in the Arizona Legislature this year is election integrity, due to concerns about fraud in the 2020 Arizona presidential election. Legislators have dropped many bills to combat voter fraud, with seven passing out of the Senate Government Committee on Monday.

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, who has been one of the strongest proponents of cleaning up election fraud, including helping get an audit launched into the Maricopa County 2020 election, told The Arizona Sun Times, “It is encouraging to see our state legislators taking action and focusing on election integrity. The objective information from the Arizona Audit — America’s Audit — is showing us the way to make voting more secure. These bills are yet another reason why the full forensic audit was justified.”

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State Rep. Wilmeth Sponsors Bill to Block Public Entities in Arizona from Contracting With Companies That Used Forced Labor from Uyghurs

State Rep. Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix) is sponsoring legislation to block state and other public entities in Arizona from contracting for services or products from companies that use forced labor from the ethnic Uyghurs in China. Under HB 2488, companies that do business with the state will be required to certify in writing that they do not use that labor.

“As a student of history, I know what happens when good people remain silent,” said Wilmeth. “The Chinese Communist Party keeping millions of people locked in internment camps, which harkens back to the darkest chapters of the 20th century. HB 2488 sends a strong message that the State of Arizona won’t do business with anyone that turns a blind eye to this horrible human rights abuse.”

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Signatures Continue to Climb on Petition to Reverse Arizona State University Policy Mandating Vaccination Boosters for Student-Athletes at Away Games

Arizona State University instituted a COVID-19 vaccine booster mandate on Jan. 11 for student-athletes participating in away games. Outraged student-athletes launched a petition to demand that ASU reverse the mandate, which has over 1,700 signatures so far. 

The petition, which was started anonymously probably due to fear of retaliation, states in part, “In a collective and respectful agreement amongst the athletes of various sports teams at Arizona State, we are voicing our stance to fight for the right to dictate what we decide goes into our bodies regarding the COVID-19 vaccination booster shot. … We want to express that there should NOT be a forced decision to be made by us athletes that causes us to sacrifice the season and competition we come to Arizona State for.”

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Arizona Congressional Candidate Juan Ciscomani Expands Campaign with Senior-Level Staff Hires

Juan Ciscomani

Congressional candidate Juan Ciscomani expanded his campaign team, hiring two senior-level staffers to manage the effort’s operations.

The two new staff members, Becky Freeman and Jonathan Bleacher, will serve as the campaign manager and field operations director, respectively.

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Far-Left Group Launches Campaign to Remove Arizona Sen. Sinema from Office

Krysten Sinema

A far-left group that supports open borders has launched an all-out attack on moderate Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. 

“Voto Latino is investing six figures to hold Senator Sinema accountable during the 2024 primary for her obstruction of critical voting reforms, minimum wage increases, pandemic relief for undocumented Latinos, and other reforms that would protect and uplift millions of Latinos,” that organization said on a website called Adios Sinema.

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Arizona Sues Treasury Department over Federal Money Being Used for Schools Without Mask Rules

Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey is suing the Biden administration over its demand that the state stop sending millions in federal COVID-19 relief money on schools without mask requirements or that close due to virus outbreaks.

The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Phoenix follows the Treasury Department demanding last week that Ducey either restructure the $163 million program to eliminate restrictions the agency says undermine public health recommendations or face a demand for repayment, according to the Associated Press.

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Arizona Republicans Pressure Yellen Not to Claw Back COVID Aid

Republican members of Arizona’s congressional delegation have a demand for United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: don’t take federal relief funding away from the state.

Arizona is scheduled to receive $4.2 billion from the federal government as a part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan; it has received nearly $1.2 billion of that money so far.

However, the United States Treasury Department has warned the state that it may forfeit $163 million if it doesn’t change its actions.

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Kari Lake Campaign for Governor Raises Almost Three Times More Money as Pundits Predicted

The Kari Lake campaign for governor continues its strong momentum, raising $1,462,115 in 2021 according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s campaign finance database. Two of her Republican opponents brought in more money, but both are funding their campaigns with millions of their own dollars. Steve Gaynor reported $5,009,655, which came almost entirely from his own funds, and Karrin Taylor Robson raised about the same amount as Lake, with almost another $2 million added of her own money. Matt Salmon brought in a little over a million.

Lake told The Arizona Sun Times, “I am thrilled by our fundraising. The pundits expected us to only raise $500,000. We raised nearly $1.5 million. Our swampy opponents hired up all of the political fundraisers in town in order to starve us from being able to raise money. But the people stepped up and made donations because they know in me, they have the first politician to run for governor who will truly represent the people of Arizona.”

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Leads Coalition to Defend North Carolina’s Voter ID Law at the Supreme Court

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is getting involved in another fight to combat election fraud, this time leading a coalition of eight other attorneys general in an amicus curiae brief at the Supreme Court regarding North Carolina’s voter ID law. They argued in Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP that North Carolina’s General Assembly should be able to defend the law in court instead of Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, since he opposed the law.

“It is incumbent on public servants to stand up and defend laws when others cower to political pressure,” Brnovich said in a statement. “I am proud that our recent win at the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ability of states to administer elections and pass laws to protect the results.”

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Arizona Democratic Party Censures Senator Sinema over Filibuster Stance

The Arizona Democratic Party executive committee approved a resolution on Saturday to censure Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) because of her stance on the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

Because of the long-standing rule that requires a 60 vote-threshold to advance certain pieces of legislation, Democrats were unable to advance “voting rights” bills.

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Arizona and Three Other Red States Have Gained All Jobs Back That Were Lost Due to COVID-19

As the economy turns around with the COVID-19 pandemic receding and lockdowns and restrictions fading, some states are recovering better than others. Only Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Idaho, some of the reddest states in the country, have all returned to pre-pandemic job levels. 

According to Adam Kamins, director of regional economics at Moody’s Analytics, this is largely due to people wanting to move to those states. “Those four states have experienced persistently strong population growth, which really wasn’t dented by the pandemic,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “More and more people keep coming from expensive coastal cities to places like Dallas and Phoenix, which have a relatively lower cost of living and higher quality of life.”

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Arizona State Sen. Carter Introduces Bill to Make it Illegal to Discriminate Based on Vaccine Status

The Arizona Legislature began its 2022 session on Jan. 10, and legislators are dropping lots of bills related to COVID-19, in part due to a Maricopa County Superior Court judge striking down much of that legislation last year. Recently appointed State Rep. Neil Carter (R-Casa Grande) introduced HB 2452, which would make it illegal to discriminate against any person based on their vaccination status in employment, housing, or public accommodations. 

“At this time when our nation is facing a critical hiring and employee shortage, it doesn’t make sense to further restrict the labor market through imposition of mandatory medical procedures as a condition of employment,” he said in a statement. “Moreover, the idea that a mandatory medical procedure should be a requirement of continued employment is offensive to freedom of conscience, economic security, and medical integrity. No person should be forced to choose between putting food on the table and the integrity of his or her body.” 

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Despite Campaign Pledge to Serve as an ‘Independent,’ Arizona Senator Mark Kelly Backs Pathway to Change the Filibuster

Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) announced on Wednesday that he will support a change to eliminate the Senate filibuster, despite his campaign pledge to work as an “independent.”

In a statement, Kelly detailed his openness to give one party unilateral power in an effort to protect “the vote-by-mail system.”

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State Sen. Kelly Townsend Announces Congressional Run in Arizona’s Open New 6th District Seat

State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction) announced she is running for Arizona’s newly redrawn 6th District Congressional seat, which is an open seat due to Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick declining to run for reelection. The sprawling southeast Arizona rural district runs from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Mogollon Rim and the New Mexico border to Casa Grande. Townsend lives in Apache Junction, in the newly drawn CD 5, about 60 miles from CD 6, but there is no requirement for her to live in the district she runs in, only that she live within the state.

Townsend told Capitol Media Services, “Anybody who knows me knows that my heart has been down in the southern part of the state anyway. That’s where I go for leisure, and that’s where I go to work.” Townsend filed a complaint last year with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich about Tucson’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. After Brnovich issued an opinion declaring that the mandate was illegal, the city paused it.

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MSNBC Guest: Arizona U.S. Sen. Sinema White Person ‘Martin Luther King Jr. Warned Us About

An MSNBC guest viciously attacked Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) over her renewed commitment to keeping the Senate filibuster in place, which progressive Democrats say is holding up their agenda. 

“Look, people like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, these are the white people Martin Luther King Jr. warned us about,” commentator Elie Mystal said on Sunday’s episode of “American Voices.”

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema Angers Democrats, Continues to Support Senate Filibuster

Kyrsten Sinema

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (R-AZ) angered members of her own party by continuing to support the 60-vote requirement for certain pieces of legislation, known as the filibuster.

The decision from Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), which has remained the same for months, stopped President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats from eliminating the rule.

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Arizona State Rep. Jake Hoffman Ken Cuccinelli, Russ Vought, and Other Prominent Officials Demand Gov. Ducey Follow Through with His Speech and Address Border Invasion

Four illegal aliens apprehended in dense brush by members of the U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) team are led to awaiting vehicles near Eagle Pass, Texas, June 19, 2019. As Border Patrol agents are tasked to conduct intake and processing of the recent surge in migrant arrivals at the border, members of BORSTAR have been assisting in pursuing illegal aliens afield. CBP photo by Glenn Fawcett

Arizona State Capitol demanding that Gov. Doug Ducey do something about the “border invasion.” The officials were responding to Ducey’s final State of the State Address, which focused on the border crisis. The numbers of illegal immigrants coming across the southern border, especially into Arizona, has skyrocketed since the Biden administration took office, with migrant counters in the Yuma sector up 2,405%. 

Ken Cuccinelli, deputy secretary of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump and former Attorney General of Virginia, said, “It takes not just the governor, but a commitment of these legislative folks right here.” Due to all the dangerous drugs coming across the border, “Every town, in Arizona and across the country, is now a border town.” 

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Federal Government Threatens to Cut Arizona’s Relief Funds Following Ducey’s Support For In-Person Learning

The Biden administration on Friday threatened to cut Arizona’s coronavirus relief funding because of Governor Doug Ducey’s policies to continue in-person learning in the state.

According to the letter from the U.S. Treasury Department, Ducey’s programs, which award funds to parents who are seeking to remove their children from schools that shut down or implement a mask mandate, are not a permitted use of the money.

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‘Total Breakdown’ of Electronic System for Collecting Candidates’ Petition Signatures Under Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs

Candidates running for office in Arizona are reporting difficulty collecting signatures online due to a “total breakdown” of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ website, as Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Gaynor described it. Hobbs, a Democrat, is also running for governor. New redistricting maps have been established, and although candidates are allowed to collect signatures from either their old district or their new district, if they’ve filed to run in the new district, the E-Qual system will only accept signatures from the old district with that number — which might be a completely different area.

Labeling the technical difficulties a “total breakdown,” Gaynor said in a statement, “The breakdown of the E-QUAL system is a slap in the face to Arizona candidates and voters, and all the hard work that has been done during the AIRC process. Secretary Hobbs has utterly failed to protect our election process, and her mismanagement of the E-QUAL system is the latest indication that Arizona’s elections are not in safe hands.”

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Ken Cuccinelli Headlines Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Election Integrity Panel

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) held a forum on Tuesday entitled “Restoring Election Integrity in Arizona.” Former Republican official Ken Cuccinelli and other panelists discussed how the left started dominating elections, left-wing lawfare, poll observer problems, what’s going on at the federal level, and solutions to fix voter fraud.

Cuccinelli, who served as the deputy secretary of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump and as the Attorney General of Virginia, is now the national chairman for the Election Transparency Initiative. He warned that the Democrats have moved far to the left in recent years, and no longer want to uphold the Constitution with its voting protections and delegation of voting administration to the states. “They don’t believe the U.S. is great. They don’t like the Constitution.” 

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Governor Ducey, Arizona Sheriffs Urge Federal Legislation to Address Border Crisis

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday met will eleven different sheriffs from across the state to discuss efforts to secure the U.S. southern border.

Ducey and the law enforcement urged action from the state’s Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly.

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Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Offers Groundbreaking Solution to Fix Border: Go Around Feds with an Interstate Compact

Kari Lake

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake unveiled a border security plan aimed at circumventing the federal government through the creation of an interstate compact.

Titled “Defend Arizona: We will do what Washington will not,” her plan will bring states together to use Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution to “declare their territories as under invasion and declare it their sovereign right to secure the borders of the United States.” Lake told The Arizona Sun Times, “The people of Arizona and the people of this country are dying to have real solutions to bring sanity and the security back to the border.”

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Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy Endorses Juan Ciscomani in Congressional Contest

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) on Monday endorsed congressional candidate Juan Ciscomani in the race to represent Arizona’s new 6th Congressional District.

Ciscomani, an advisor to Governor Doug Ducey on the Arizona-Mexico Commission, is a native of Southern Arizona and looking to fill the vacant seat, following the retirement of Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-02).

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Exclusive: Cyber Ninjas CEO Says Hostile Reporters Never Gave The Maricopa County Audit Fair Coverage

The founder and CEO of the Sarasota, Florida, based Cyber Ninjas told The Star News Network that politically-motivated reporters let their bias taint their coverage of his company’s audit of the ballots from the 2020 presidential voting held in Maricopa County, Arizona.

One of the frustrating parts of his effort to be open and transparent with the public was the constant twisting of facts and events by journalists, who were opposed to the audit from the very beginning, despite their protestations that they were objective, said Doug Logan, the Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina, graduate, who founded the company in 2013.

Cyber Nijas was chosen by the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate to conduct the audit after Logan made a presentation to state Senate President Karen Fann, said Logan.

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Arizona Supreme Court Explains Voids of State Vaccination, Mask Ban Laws

exterior of Arizona's Supreme Court building

Arizona’s high court has elaborated on their decision to void additions to the most-recent state budget, saying lawmakers ran afoul of provisions in the state constitution meant to simplify legislation.

Justices released their unanimous opinion Thursday in Arizona School Boards Association et al. v. State of Arizona. The ruling, initially announced in September, affirmed a lower court ruling that said the Legislature went against two parts of the Arizona Constitution.

The opinion nullifies the state’s ban on mask mandates in schools, laws shoring up local election security and other laws justices concluded had little to do with the state budget.

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Exclusive: Cyber Ninjas CEO Says Arizona Senate Shut Down Firm Not Leftwing Judge

The Founder and CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the cybersecurity firm tapped by the Arizona State Senate to audit Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential election tallies, told The Star News Network his company shut down because the Republican-controlled State Senate did not fulfill its contractual obligations to the firm.

“At the end of the day, this is the call of Senator Fann,” said Doug Logan, speaking of Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann. Logan told employees in early December that the company would close its doors unless the State Senate fulfilled its contractual obligations.

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Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Karrin Taylor Robson Hauls in More Than $3 Million During Fundraising Quarter

Karrin Taylor Robson

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson hauled in more than $3 million during the previous fundraising quarter, according to a press release from her campaign.

The overwhelming majority of the funds, 87 percent, came from residents of the state, as the campaign amassed more than 15,000 individual donors.

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Arizona Nonprofit Awarded $250,000 Grant for COVID-19 Prevention in Refugee Communities

The International Rescue Committee’s Tucson office received a $250,000 federal grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) communities.

The Tucson IRC office is one of 23 organizations around the U.S. to be awarded such a grant.

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State Rep. Quang Nguyen Introduces Bill to Protect Religious Arizonans from Liability If an Employer Requires the COVID-19 Vaccine

Religious employees in Arizona who suffer an injury due to being required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by their employer will have a remedy if a proposed bill makes it into law. State Rep. Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott), along with several co-sponsors, introduced HB 2043 that makes employers liable for a “significant injury” to an employee resulting from the vaccine if the employer denies them a religious exemption. 

“This is one of the most important bills I’m introducing this coming session,” Nguyen said in a statement. “The reality is COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time. Public and private health mandates are not a good solution and could instead cause harm in some cases. If businesses and employers are intent on mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment, they should be held accountable if their employees face serious harm or illness.”

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Two Wisconsin Reps Join an Arizona Rep in Demanding Answers from Biden Regarding COVID Funds Used to House Immigrants

Debbie Lesko, Tom Tiffany ad Mike Gallagher

Wisconsin Representative Thomas Tiffany (R-WI-07) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) joined Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) in demanding answers from the Biden administration regarding the use of COVID funds to house illegal immigrants.

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Maricopa County Officials’ Response to Results of Arizona Senate’s Independent 2020 Ballot Audit Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Maricopa County officials have issued a 93-page response to the findings of the independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election, which was ordered by the Arizona Senate. Presented during a meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 5, the officials claimed there were fewer than 100 questionable ballots out of the 2.1 million cast. 

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward watched a portion of the meeting and expressed skepticism to The Arizona Sun Times, “The part that I’ve seen so far was a group of related good ole boys attempting to convince people that they ran a perfect election,” she said. “They want Americans to believe them over what we saw with our own eyes. Arizonans were totally justified in demanding an audit of the 2020 election — and we should actually audit everything so we can restore voter confidence that our elections have integrity.”

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Arizona Reps. Gosar, Biggs, and Lesko Join Brief Demanding SCOTUS Block Biden’s Vaccine Mandate on Large Private Employers

Three Arizona members of Congress are joining in on a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-04-Ariz.), Andy Biggs (R-05-Ariz.), and Debbie Lesko (R-08-Ariz.) along with 180 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate filed an amicus curiae brief in NFIB v. OSHA challenging the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement the mandate.

The members of Congress argued that the mandate violates federalism, encroaching on the states’ authority. “[T]he sudden ‘discovery’ of authority under the OSH Act confirms that it was never intended to displace state authority in this area.” They assert, “Congress did not give that power to an agency bureaucrat.”

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Mayor of Yuma Explains Why Migrant Encounters Are Up 2,405 Percent, Offers Solutions

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls is speaking up about the recent surge of migrants in the Yuma sector on Arizona’s border with Mexico, explaining why it’s occurring and recommending solutions. He believes there are several factors contributing to the 2,405% increase in migrant apprehensions, and says there are both long-term and short-term ways to resolve the problem.

“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy of the Trump administration was ordered put back in place by the courts, but that has not fully happened,” he told The Arizona Sun Times. “In 2019 and 2020, there were 50 to 60 migrants a day being returned under the policy. Now, there are only about 10 a day. With 1,000 coming across the border daily now, that’s only 1%.”

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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Pledges to Continue In-Person Learning, Provides Funding to Families Impacted by Virtual Instruction

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday pledged to continue in-person learning for students across the state, even if it requires unconventional methods.

Ducey created the Open for Learning Recovery Benefit program, which will provide financial assistance to families who may face unexpected barriers due to school closures.

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People Moving to Red Parts of Arizona, Not Blue Areas Like Tucson

Arizona is one of the fastest growing states in the country, ranked No. 6 in 2021 by HomeSnacks. New data from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity reveals that the growth is taking place in red parts of Arizona, not blue strongholds like Tucson — which could mean Arizona is not trending blue.

“The growth is around Maricopa County,” Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-Ariz.) told The Arizona Sun Times. “Maricopa County, which leans Republican, already dominates the state. This will give it even more power.” Currently, 62% of the population lives there.

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Arizona Mayor Declares State of Emergency over Border Crisis

Yuma’s mayor has declared a state of emergency in the city over the border crisis, which has overwhelmed much of the American southwest. 

“Well, it’s not surprising because in 2019, if we go back for a little history, we were having a similar surge during the Trump administration and there were policies put in place that mitigated those numbers to nearly… below 10,000 a year,” Mayor Douglas Nicholls said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

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Phoenix Six-Figure Job Growth Ranks Second Among Large U.S. Metros

Phoenix has the second highest percentage change in high-paying jobs out of a list of large U.S. metros, according to a Stessa report. 

Phoenix saw a 217.1% increase in six-figure jobs from 2015 to 2020, marking the second-largest percentage increase among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. 

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Veterans Group Says Biden Administration Undermining Trump-era ‘Mission Act,’ Hurting Veterans in Arizona

Man in uniform saluting

Under the Trump administration, the VA Mission Act (VAMA) was enacted in 2018 to provide veterans access to healthcare outside of the Veterans Administration healthcare system in order to provide more options and speed up accessibility to medical care. Unfortunately, veterans are reporting that the VA under the Biden administration has cut back on that expansion.

VAMA allowed veterans who could not get a medical appointment within 20 days or who had to drive more than 30 minutes to a VA facility to use alternate private healthcare providers instead. This was crucial, because veterans were dying while stuck on waiting lists for medical treatment, Josh Stanwitz of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) told The Arizona Sun Times.

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Former President Trump to Host First 2022 Rally in Arizona

Former President Donald Trump will host his first rally in 2022 in Florence, Arizona, according to a release from his Save America PAC.

The event, which will take place on January 15, will begin Trump’s efforts to boost his endorsed candidates during the 2022 midterm election season in the state he narrowly lost to President Joe Biden.

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Arizona State Rep. Jake Hoffman Denounces Arizona State University’s ‘Slap on the Wrist’ for Students Who Kicked White Students Out of Multicultural Center

Two minority students at Arizona State University posted a video on Instagram on Dec. 22 announcing that ASU has disciplined them for forcing two white students on September 23 to leave the university’s multicultural center, an event captured on video that went viral. ASU first charged undergraduate student Mastaani Qureshi and graduate student Sarra Tekola with two Code of Conduct violations in November, stalking and interfering with university activities. A third student, Mimi Arayya, was also charged with the violations, but ASU later dropped them. 

According to Qureshi and Tekola in their video response announcing ASU’s discipline, the university first gave them a warning, then required them “to write a 3-page paper on how next time we talk to white people about race in society, we will be civil.” Qureshi said she will not comply with writing the statement and does not regret her actions.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey and Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Differ on Putting Cameras in Classrooms

Leading Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake voiced support for putting cameras in schools in order to allow parents to monitor what educators are teaching their children, and Gov. Doug Ducey responded by criticizing the idea. 

Ducey said during a press conference that it could lead to “predators” monitoring children, the Arizona Capitol Times reported. “We’ve got young kids in these classrooms,” he said. “We want to protect them from predators, of course.” 

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Challenges Biden over Hypocrisy of Federal Vaccine Mandates

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who has been a constant critic of vaccine mandates, challenged President Joe Biden over his apparent hypocrisy in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent address, Biden claimed it is not up to the federal government to solve the coronavirus pandemic. However, as Governor Ducey noted, Biden has remained determined to impose federal vaccine mandates for individuals across the country.

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New York Attorney General Letitia James and 22 Attorneys General Fight Arizona’s Law to Ban Abortions Based on Fetal Abnormalities Like Down Syndrome

This past year, the Arizona Legislature passed a law banning the abortion of babies for reasons of genetic abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, but a federal judge who was appointed by President Barack Obama halted it from going into effect due to a legal challenge. Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James and 22 other attorneys general jumped into the litigation, filing an amicus brief supporting the challenge to SB 1497, which is also known as the “Reason Ban.”

James stated, “Arizona is just the latest in the long line of conservative-led states that are seeking to impose their will on millions of women with laws that aim to control our bodies, our choices, and our freedoms, but we will never stop fighting them. We’re asking the appeals court to uphold the lower court’s decision and strike down this unconstitutional law.”

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Fails to Join Governors Fighting Back Against Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine for Their National Guard

The Biden administration announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all branches of the military on August 25, which applies to members of the Arizona Army National Guard (AZARNG). Although six governors are attempting to stop the mandate for their National Guards, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is not one of them. 

AZARNG has not begun discharging any soldiers yet, but intends to follow the lead of other branches of the military, which have. The Department of Defense declared that Army National Guard and Reserve members have until June 30 to receive their shots.

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Wet Summer Leads to Record West Nile Infections in Arizona

Arizonans enjoyed a cooler and wetter summer in 2021 but so did mosquitos, which caused West Nile virus infections at rates multiple times higher than previous years.

As of Dec. 23, the Arizona Department of Health Services recorded 1,567 known or probable cases of the virus. The agency attributes 99 deaths to the virus. 

By contrast, 2020’s dry summer saw 11 total cases and two deaths, one of the lowest years of transmission since the virus was first discovered in 2003. The only year Arizona recorded more cases was in 2004, when the state had 391 cases.

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Republican Senate Candidate Is Selling Non-Fungible Tokens to Finance Arizona Campaign

Republican Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters is selling a line of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to finance his campaign, Axios reported.

NFTs are unique packets of data stored on the blockchain, a decentralized public ledger distributed across multiple servers, that often correspond to media such as a piece of digital art. Masters’ NFT includes a digital copy of the cover art of “Zero to One,” a book he co-authored with tech billionaire Peter Thiel, along with a signed hardcover print of the book, according to Masters’ website.

“This is the first NFT we’re issuing to help share the book’s cool history, and to help raise money for my U.S. Senate campaign, so we can help use Zero to One thinking to save America from the brink of destruction,” Masters, who serves as chief operating officer of Thiel Capital, wrote in announcing the NFT.

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Newly Redrawn Congressional and Legislative Districts in Arizona Favor GOP Now, But May Not in the Future: Schweikert

David Schweikert

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has mostly finalized its 10-year maps redrawing congressional and legislative districts in the state, and the results appear mixed for Republicans. While they appear to shift more districts in favor of Republicans, the advantage in some of those districts is so slim that in future years when the country’s mood shifts back against Republicans, several of those districts will be easier for the Democrats to capture, making it possible for the Democrats to take back the Arizona Legislature.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-Ariz.), whose district will become the most competitive after the redistricting, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The results are a mixed bag. While superficially it looks better for the GOP, in five of the districts there is such a small Republican advantage that we stand a good chance of losing all five of those seats to the Democrats in 2026 — and if we don’t take the White House back in 2024, we could lose them as soon as that year.”

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Arizona State Senator Jamescita Peshlakai Resigns, Will Join Biden Administration

Arizona State Senator Jamescita Mae Peshlakai will resign from her position in that legislature and accept a role in the Biden administration, according to a letter she submitted to Senate President Karen Fann and Minority Leader Rebecca Rios.

While complete details of her new job have not been released, she is expected to join the Department of the Interior, working for Secretary Deb Haaland who was the first Native American woman to assume the title.

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Arizona Small Businesses Don’t Want California-Style Employment Laws

Person using Apple Pay at cafe

Copper State small business owners appear to have embraced the local colloquialism “Don’t California my Arizona,” according to results of a new survey.

The Arizona chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business released its annual poll of Main St. entrepreneurs Monday. 

NFIB got responses to three questions from 247 small business owners across the state this month. 

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Arizona Rep. Kaiser Sponsors Bill Providing Exemption From Vaccine Requirements for Those Who Have Had COVID-19

State Rep. Steve Kaiser (R-Phoenix) is sponsoring a bill, HB 2020, that would exempt people in Arizona from government or private businesses imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates if they have already had COVID-19. This includes mandates from the federal government and from corporations at their branches in Arizona. To be eligible, someone must show either proof of antibodies, a positive test, or a positive T-cell immune response to COVID-19.

Kaiser, who came up with the idea for the bill during a discussion with a friend, told The Arizona Sun Times, “It provides a great way for folks who are uncomfortable with the vaccine to keep their jobs. There is a lot of data to support this, and it has a great chance of passing through the legislature.” He said at least one Democrat has said they may support the bill.

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