ARIZONA AND IT’S POLITICAL CULTURE

ARIZONA AND IT’S POLITICAL CULTURE


We are in sunny Scottsdale, AZ. It is somewhat like visiting another country from a political and cultural standpoint. For example, we have Joe Arpaio, who bills himself as the "America's toughest Sheriff" who, at 83 years of age, is running again for his seventh term. He has reportedly raised $8 million to run for relection as  Maricopa County's Sheriff. But he only has 3.2 million as the race begins because he spent the rest of it. How? According to the Phoenix newspaper it was spent getting the money as overhead. The good Sheriff reports that he raised 2.5 million in 2015 but spent 1.3 million to raise that amount through a professional fund raiser.  As the newspaper suggests how many of his supporters realize that more than half of what they contribute to his campaign is eaten up by what he labels overhead?  However, it also turns out that the vast majority of these contributors are out-of-state retirees so they probably Arpaiodon't have a clue. Joe's professional fundraiser sends out regular red flag warnings about the immediate need for money to save Joe. The last one claimed that he was facing a recall and needed money. However, according to the local paper, no such recall existed and many of his fundraisers other cries for financial help appear to lack substance as well.  

It is no surprise that Sheriff Joe has endorsed Donald Trump for president. He has been the subject of a federal contempt of court proceedings regarding his office's conduct involving Mexicans. His deputies were stopping cars and making arrests. That was the reason for his federal contempt proceedings for racial profiling. The US Department of Justice concluded that he oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history. As of September 2015 cases involving his office have cost Maricopa County taxpayers $142 million in legal expenses since in court awards. His jails have been twice ruled unconstitutional. Sheriff Joe and his office are a world unto themselves in this state. That's the Sheriff of the county and his office here in AZ. 

We also have AZ governor Doug Ducey, the Republican who was elected in 2015. He replaced Jan Brewer who was labeled one of the worst governors in the country. She is a governor who signed a bill with extreme immigration restrictions and identified as racial profiling along with any number of other right wing conservative actions. Once elected, Ducey He was quick to demand that overseas refugees should be prohibited from entering Arizona. His latest proposal is to remove Arizona from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ducey says that the circuit is the most overturned circuit in the nation, but what he really doesn't like is that the circuit won't rubber stamp AZ's unconstitutional laws, so he wants another court. Keep in mind that  he is the poster child for the Koch brothers who have been his long time financial backers. They are closer than fingers in a glove. Ducey also has ties to the dark money group Americans for Responsible Leadership that poured huge amounts into a Ducey led campaign to to kill proposition 204 which would have renewed a voter approved one cent sales tax to provide funding for education for students in the state who did not meet normal requirements and for other educational benefits.

Arizona is a state which has one of the most liberal gun control laws in the United States. In Arizona any person who is 21 years old or older may openly carry a gun or may also carry a concealed weapon without the need for license. Remember that this is the state where Representative  Gabby Giffords was shot while serving in the House of Representatives. Senator John McCain is from Arizona and the politics involve things like proposals for tall walls along the border and similar political viewpoints. In short, this is a wonderful geographical state with very strange political and cultural views. 

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