Hobbs Doubles Down on Biden’s Border Problem, Sends $10 Million to Nogales

Arizona taxpayers are giving $10 million to the Nogales Police Department as concerns about ports of entry mount.

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the decision Friday to help the border community buy “communications technology” to bolster its border efforts following changes in the federal port of entry policies.

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Conservative Firebrand Kari Lake Plans to Serve as a Surrogate for Trump at Wednesday’s GOP Presidential Candidates’ Debate

Arizona Republican Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake will be in attendance at Wednesday’s first Republican presidential candidates’ debate in Milwaukee, and she plans to speak up for an absent former President Donald Trump.

Lake, a close Trump ally, tells The Star News Network that she will do everything in her power to return the former president to the White House.

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Arizona Legislative Leadership Threatens Litigation Against Secretary of State Fontes over Draft Changes to Election Procedures Manual

Every two years, the Arizona Secretary of State is required by law to update the state’s Election Procedures Manual (EPM), but similarly to what happened in 2021, the process is not going smoothly. After reviewing the proposed changes Secretary of State Adrian Fontes suggested making to the EPM, State Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa), accompanied by Speaker of the House Ben Toma (R-Peoria), issued a statement on Monday threatening legal action.

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Emails Reveal Katie Hobbs While Secretary of State Pressured Twitter and Facebook to Censor Her GOP Opponents

Newly released emails reveal that Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, while serving as secretary of state overseeing elections, had her staff pressure social media companies to censor posts by her Republican opponents under the guise of “misinformation.” Her targets included the Arizona Republican Party and former conservative powerhouse legislator Kelly Townsend.

The AZGOP responded in a tweet, “EXPOSED: @GovernorHobbs has relentlessly censored major entities, including the Arizona Republican Party. Shocked? We’re not. It’s time for transparency and accountability. This goes beyond politics—it’s a matter of principle.”

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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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Saudi Company Draining Arizona’s Water Hires Business Partner of Hobbs’ Top Campaign Advisor as Lobbyist, Who Quits After Uproar

Saudi Arabian company Fondomonte has come under fire recently for using large amounts of water in Arizona for its alfalfa farms, obtained through a very inexpensive land lease. Despite the outraged responses, a lobbying firm connected to Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs signed a contract representing the company two months ago — which suddenly ended, likely due to the negative publicity. Hobbs has a mixed record on allowing Fontomonte to continue draining Arizona’s water.

Kari Lake tweeted on July 27, “A Saudi Arabian company has been exporting Arizona water overseas despite our historic drought. They just hired the business partner of @katiehobbs’ TOP campaign adviser to lobby for them. This is corruption in broad daylight. Hobbs is selling Arizona out to the highest bidder. And I will fight like hell to stop her.” 

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Republicans Working with Hobbs to Extend Prop. 400 Public Transportation Sales Tax

Every few years, the Arizona Legislature works out legislation to extend the Prop. 400 public transportation tax. The half-cent tax, which started in 1985 to pay for roads but now also includes public transit and light rail in Maricopa County, faces strong opposition every time it comes up for renewal. Although the legislature mostly ended its 2023 session on June 30 after finalizing the budget, it is reconvening briefly next week to consider the extension.

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Verity Vote Issues Report on Numerous Chain-of-Custody Problems by Maricopa County During 2022 Election

Maricopa County failed to maintain chain-of-custody records for hundreds of thousands of early ballots dropped off at third-party contractor Runbeck Election Services, and a new report is out analyzing the extent of the illegal behavior, which is a class 2 misdemeanor. Election integrity organization Verity Vote issued its analysis last week.

The report observed that then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs admonished Cochise County prior to the 2022 election about deviating from the state’s Election Procedures Manual. Yet “just one month later, Hobbs chose to disregard Maricopa County’s admitted deviations from the EPM and violations of law as she oversaw and certified her own election.” Verity Vote asserted that documents “long withheld” were finally produced revealing the lack of chain of custody, and “Maricopa officials misled the court about the process and the records.”

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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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Judge Denies Abe Hamadeh’s Request for a New Trial, Says Only ‘Six Votes’ Would Have Been Different

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen denied Abe Hamadeh’s request for a new trial in his election contest over the attorney general’s race on Friday, issuing his opinion with the reasoning on Monday. He said “the evidence showed that only about six votes difference would have been found after reviewing the numerous undercounted ballots.”

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Judge Denies Abe Hamadeh’s Request for a New Trial Despite 280-Vote Difference

Almost two months after hearing oral arguments to determine whether Abe Hamadeh should be awarded a new trial in his election contest, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen denied the request on Friday. Hamadeh’s legal team had requested the retrial based on discovering evidence that was withheld from them during the first trial; “undervotes” discovered in Pinal County that were erroneously not counted. The new votes shrunk Kris Mayes’ lead to only 280 votes. It is the closest statewide race in Arizona history. 

Jantzen said in the short ruling that he will be issuing his full reasoning behind the decision on Monday by noon, stating that it was a “close call in a close contest.” Hamadeh responded in a statement, “[W]e believe the situation is very simple: the contest was not as close as it stands now. If all legal votes are counted, I win this race for attorney general.”

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Arizona House Speaker, Senate President File Brief to Stop Hobbs’ Taxpayer Funded Child Gender Surgeries

Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) and Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) filed an amicus brief on Monday, asking a federal court to align Governor Katie Hobbs’ executive order, which forces government agencies to pay for the gender reassignment surgeries of employees, with a state law banning minors from receiving such treatments.

The amicus brief was filed in Toomey v. State of Arizona, a lawsuit launched in 2019 on behalf of Russell Toomey, an associate professor at the University of Arizona who is transgender, by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It alleged that Arizona violated federal civil rights statutes and the U.S. Constitution because it “unlawfully discriminates against transgender people” by refusing to pay for “gender-affirming surgery”.

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Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Finalizes Expansion of Birth Control Access

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced increased access to contraceptives Thursday. 

According to the governor’s office, the “standing order” will allow adults to pick up contraceptives at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. However, those wanting to obtain them will need to get a “screening and blood pressure test” as safeguards.

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Arizona Secretary of State Subpoenaed in Jack Smith’s Trump Probe

Special counsel Jack Smith expanded his Trump probe to Arizona by sending two subpoenas to the Arizona Secretary of State requesting information about 2020 election lawsuits filed by Republicans.

Smith, who so far has brought 37 charges against the former president, issued two subpoenas requesting documents from one election lawsuit brought by Trump’s campaign, and a second by former Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward.

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Arizona GOP Legislative District 3 Declares July ‘Pride in America’ Month

A large majority of Republican Party officials in a Maricopa County-area legislative district voted to declare the month of July “Pride in America Month.” The June 29th move comes at the close of a contentious “Pride Month” recognizing the LGBTQ+ community.

In all, two-thirds of the precinct committeemen (PCs) in Arizona’s Republican Legislative District 3 (LD3) voted to pass the resolution.

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Arizona State House Speaker Asks Governor Hobbs to Rescind ‘Unintelligible’ LGBTQ Executive Order

Arizona State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) has sent a letter to Governor Katie Hobbs calling on her office to rescind a recent executive order banning so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ individuals and youth, calling it “unconstitutional.”

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Announced New Funding to Support Border Security

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced new funding to support law enforcement on border security issues Friday.

Hobbs, Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes, and Prescott Valley Police Department Chief Bob Ticer said that $1.5 million would be allocated to Yavapai County law enforcement agencies to assist mainly with combating drug and human trafficking.

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs’ Transgender Healthcare Coverage Sparks Controversy

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs signed two executive orders on June 27, giving additional protections to the state’s LGBTQ residents.

The first order, Executive Order 2023-12, establishes that any “medically necessary” gender reassignment surgeries for state employees will be paid for through their health care coverage. The second, Executive Order 2023-13, bars any state agencies from funding, promoting or supporting conversion therapy for minors.

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Arizona Senate Republicans Cancel Scheduled Hearing to Immediately Focus on Governor Hobbs’ ‘Unconstitutional’ Executive Order on Abortions

Arizona Senate Republicans have announced the cancellation of a Senate Committee on Director Nominations hearing on Tuesday in order to better focus on and determine Governor Katie Hobbs’ “future intentions to further act beyond her authority” amid her recent enactment of an executive order regarding abortions.

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Hobbs Vetoes Ban on ESG Investments in Arizona

Gov. Katie Hobbs has used her well-worn veto stamp on a bill that would have banned public investment funds in Arizona to do so through the lens of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investing practices.

Hobbs vetoed Senate Bill 1500 on June 16. If enacted, it would have required the state treasurer to list all state investments by name on a public site so that all investments might be made “in the sole interest of the beneficiary taxpayer.”

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Arizona’s Half-Cent Sales Tax for Infrastructure Could Expire amid Gridlock

Proposition 400, a statewide sales tax set aside for local infrastructure projects, will expire in 2025 unless either lawmakers opposed to it and Gov. Katie Hobbs can agree on an extension or local leaders go around them and ask voters to approve it.

The Republican-led Legislature sent Hobbs a version of the sales tax originally approved in 1985 that restricts ways the tax dollars can be spent, including money going toward expanding the valley’s polarizing light rail line. 

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Arizona Legislator Seeks AG Investigation into Governor Hobbs’ Use of State Resources to Influence 2022 Election

State Representative David Livingston (R-Peoria) filed an official complaint on Wednesday with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office requesting that it investigate and determine whether Governor Katie Hobbs used state resources to influence elections.

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs Withdraws Nomination of Progressive Former Lawmaker

Gov. Katie Hobbs has officially withdrawn her nomination of former Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Maryvale, to a cabinet position.

State Senate President Warren Petersen received a letter from Hobbs on June 12 stating that Quezada would be removed, effective immediately. The letter was sent after the Senate Committee on Director Nominations voted 3-2 along party lines not to approve his position as Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs Vetoes Homeless Crackdown Bill, Six Others in One Day

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed Senate Bill 1413, a bill that would have made homeless encampments on private property trespassing.

The bill would have also allowed cities to remove homeless encampments’ property if after a warning they are not claimed within 24 hours. If not claimed within 14 days, the property would be destroyed. Counties and municipalities would be required to clean the area.

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Arizona’s Fastest-Growing City Not Worried About New Water Restrictions

Despite warnings about water shortages and a new edict from the state, one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation says the new rule won’t have a significant effect on its future.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced last week the latest results of the state’s 100-year groundwater research. Most notably, it found the Phoenix area would fall short of the demand for water by 4% if nothing is done. 

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Hobbs’ Claim That Ducey Administration Misappropriated Funds to Kindergarteners Criticized by Arizona Republicans and Education Advocates

Several leaders and education advocates are denouncing Governor Katie Hobbs’ reversal of funding Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for kindergarten. Hobbs reversed the grant of $50 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act last week, which previous Governor Doug Ducey awarded for private school students to use.

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs Vetoes Rio Verde Foothills Water Legislation

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has used her well-inked veto stamp on legislation that would have required Scottsdale to provide water for a nearby town that’s been dry since 2022. 

Hobbs vetoed House Bill 2441 on Monday. Had she signed it, the new law would have required Scottsdale to sell residents of the nearby town of Rio Verde Foothills water at a set rate. Hobbs said the Legislature sent her the wrong bill. 

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Kari Lake Announces Ballot Chasing Operation in Arizona, Plans to Go to SCOTUS with Election Case

Former GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake announces the launch of a ballot chasing operation in Arizona. “We are officially launching the largest, most extensive ballot chasing operation in our state’s history and frankly, possibly in American history,” Lake said during a press conference. “The courts just ruled that this corrupt election will stand. The courts just ruled that our elections can run lawlessly. The courts have ruled that anything goes. Well, we can play by those same rules.”

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Gov. Hobbs Announces ‘Humanitarian’ Plan to Accommodate Illegal Immigrants as Title 42 Ends

The federal government lifted Title 42 restrictions on the border Thursday, prompting Arizona and other border states to take action to deal with the surge of illegal immigrants beginning to pour over the U.S.’s southern border with Mexico. Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs held a press conference on Monday to announce the plans her administration made to handle the surge, which consist of assisting the migrants, not turning them back to Mexico. 

Merissa Hamilton, head of EZAZ and a former candidate for mayor of Phoenix, live tweeted the press conference, expressing her dismay. “Her law enforcement spokespeople say it’s a humanitarian issue ONLY,” she said. 

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Arizona Supreme Court Declines to Sanction Kari Lake’s Attorneys, Issues Fine

The Arizona Supreme Court declined to award significant sanctions against Kari Lake’s attorneys for contesting the election results of the gubernatorial race. Instead, on Thursday the court ordered $2,000 in sanctions against her attorneys for asserting it was an “undisputed fact” that 35,563 ballots were inserted into the ballot counting process at Runbeck Election Systems. The court declined to award attorneys fees to her opponents.

The Arizona Supreme Court said in its opinion that Lake “repeatedly” asserted in pleadings that 35,563 ballots were “added” or “injected” at Runbeck. “Not only is that allegation strongly disputed by the other parties, this Court concluded and expressly stated that the assertion was unsupported by the record, and nothing in Lake’s Motion for Leave to file a motion for reconsideration provides reason to revisit that issue.”

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Efforts to Begin Recalling Katie Hobbs Can Start in June, But Face Uphill Battle

There’s a lot of chatter on social media about recalling Katie Hobbs from the Arizona Governor’s Office since many believe she won due to election fraud. Some groups are raising money to fund an organized recall effort. 

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Hobbs Won’t List Potential Compromises But Says Budget Is ‘Very Close’

Republican state legislators and Gov. Katie Hobbs are apparently “very close” to putting forth a bipartisan budget proposal, the governor said Wednesday.

Hobbs has been at odds with the state Legislature’s majority since taking office in January, as she’s vetoed 48 bills so far this session.

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After Abe Hamadeh Files New Pleading in Request for Retrial Alleging Hobbs Withheld Evidence, Judge Grants Oral Arguments

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen scheduled oral arguments for May 16 on whether Abe Hamadeh should get a new trial.

Jantzen dismissed his complaint challenging his loss to Kris Mayes for Arizona Attorney General in December. Jantzen’s ruling came shortly after Hamadeh filed an additional pleading to bolster his request, which accused then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of withholding evidence from him and cited new arguments due to the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling in Kari Lake’s election contest.

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With Record Number of Rejected Legislation, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Becoming Known as the ‘Veto Queen’

New Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs is piling up vetoes of bills sent to her from the Republican-dominated Arizona Legislature. By Thursday, she had vetoed 37 bills this session, more than any other governor in Arizona’s history except Democrat Janet Napolitano. The progressive Phoenix New Times dubbed her the “Veto Queen.” 

The Kari Lake War Room Twitter account had a strong reaction to all of the vetoes. “.@katiehobbs is Arizona’s very own Ron Burgundy,” the account tweeted. “She’s wedded to the teleprompter and she’ll VETO anything that’s put in front of her. Even when it’s language that she herself (supposedly) wrote. She’s not even reading these bills. Hobbs isn’t a Governor. She’s a clown.”

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Hobbs Vetoes Bill Banning Lending Through ESG Lens

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed a bill seeking to establish that the state requires banks and other financial institutions to use a “social credit score” when making lending decisions concerning customers.

In rejecting the measure proposed by Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Goodyear, Hobbs countered the legislation does not define “social credit score,” adding that ambiguity played a role in her making the decision to veto the bill.

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Kari Lake Files New Motion, Claims Runbeck ‘Inserted’ Ballots

After the Arizona Supreme Court remanded Kari Lake’s election contest back to the trial court to reconsider the signature verification problems and began considering sanctions against her, Lake responded with a new pleading. Lake filed a Petitioner’s Opposition to Motion for Sanctions and Cross-Motion for a Procedural Order for Leave to File a Motion for Reconsideration of the Denial of her Petition for Review on Wednesday in the Arizona Supreme Court.

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Bill to Ban Local Photo Enforcement Expected to Go to Governor Katie Hobbs Amidst Controversy

SB 1234, sponsored by State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff), is likely to be sent to Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs within the next few days. The measure won approval by the State Senate and its consideration is underway in the State House. The bill would ban cities and towns from using photo enforcement to generate revenue from speeding and red-light tickets.

At the same time, the Arizona Campaign for Liberty (AZC4L) discovered that police officers in Scottsdale, Mesa, and Paradise Valley are not reviewing those tickets, which State Senator Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu) stated is required by a law he proposed that got signed into law in 2018.

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Arizona GOP Caucus Questions Gov. Hobbs After She Vetoes Energy Affordability Bill

The Arizona Freedom Caucus (AFC) issued a statement on Tuesday critical of Governor Katie Hobbs’ veto of a bill that would have provided more energy choice. The group of conservative Arizona legislators accused Hobbs of being influenced by Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), the state’s largest electricity utility. APS was the largest donor to Hobbs’ inaugural festivities. 

“PAY TO PLAY?! @APSfyi, AZ’s largest electric utility company, donated $250K to @KatieHobbs in January,” the AFC tweeted. “Today @GovernorHobbs VETOED HB2440 which would’ve required the most affordable & reliable electric service be the priority. Hobbs just raised utility prices for everyone in AZ.”

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Arizona Boosts Mobile Home Eviction Payoffs Ahead of Mass Redevelopments

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has quickly moved to turn into law a bill that offers assistance to valley mobile home residents facing eviction over the coming days so developers can build new units on the land they once called home.

“Today, I signed HB 2381 into law,” Hobbs posted to Twitter. “Mobile home residents are our neighbors, and deserve adequate compensation when they are forced to leave their homes behind. By increasing resources available through AZHousing, we are taking immediate action to support through families.”

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Katie Hobbs’ Press Secretary Resigns After Tweet Threatening Violence Against Those Critical of Promoting Transgenderism

Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ press secretary Josselyn Berry resigned Tuesday evening after outrage over a now-deleted tweet threatening to use violence against those who disagree with promoting transgenderism. Coming less than 12 hours after a transgender fatally shot students and staff at a Christian elementary school she used to attend in Tennessee, the Arizona Freedom Caucus led the call for her to resign.

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Lawmakers Furious at Governor Katie Hobbs for Cutting Border Strike Force with Crime Surging on the Border

Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs announced shortly after entering office in January that she would eliminate the Border Strike Force (BSF) that former Governor Doug Ducey created in 2015, sparking outrage from Republican lawmakers concerned about rising crime and violence related to Arizona’s porous border with Mexico. Hobbs said as part of her budget, she would reroute the funding for the BSF elsewhere.

“In the same manner that Joe Biden has destroyed our country with his welcomed support for the prolonged lawlessness and drug crisis along our southern border, Katie Hobbs is destroying Arizona in three short months since taking office by her reckless dismantling of the Border Strike Task Force,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-09) told Fox News. “Countless more people will die from Hobbs’ open border policies.”

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs and DHS Secretary Visit Southern Border

Gov. Katie Hobbs and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited the border community of Nogales, Arizona, to discuss border security and humanitarian efforts. This is Hobbs’ third visit to the border in her 100 days in office. The visit follows a series of gubernatorial hearings last week on the effects of the potential repeal of Title 42. The policy was enacted during COVID-19 as a means of curbing border crossings. If repealed on May 11, it could result in a record number of migrants entering the U.S., legal or otherwise.

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Kari Lake Scores Win as Arizona Supreme Court Sends Part of Her Lawsuit Back to Trial Court

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday to send a piece of former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election lawsuit back to trial court to examine whether or not Maricopa County followed signature verification policies in 2022.

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Arizona State Senator Says He Hasn’t Received ‘Necessary Responses’ from Democrats to Work on State Budget

Arizona State Senator John Kavanaugh (R-Fountain Hills), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told The Arizona Sun Times Friday that attempts to work with Democrats on a state budget have not received necessary responses.

“This year, nobody is going to be able to claim that we shut them out,” Kavanaugh said in a phone interview.

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New ‘Late Exit’ Poll Finds Eight Percent More Arizona Voters Said They Voted for Lake over Hobbs

Rasmussen Reports and College Republicans United issued the results of a type of “late exit” poll on Friday, revealing that likely Arizona voters said they voted for former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake over Governor Katie Hobbs 51 percent to 43 percent.

Also, the poll found these likely Arizona voters voted for Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem over their Democratic opponents who won those respective state races. 

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Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne Announces ‘Empowerment Hotline’ to Report CRT in Schools

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne announced Thursday that he is launching the “Empowerment Hotline” (EH) so constituents can call in reports of students receiving alleged inappropriate teachings in the classrooms.

“I promised to establish this hotline so that anyone could report the teaching of inappropriate lessons that rob students of precious minutes of instruction time in core academic subjects such as reading, math, science, history and the arts. That promise is being kept,” Horne said.

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