Will the elections referendum make the ballot?

On this week’s Sunday Square Off, I discuss the Protect Your Right to Vote coalition’s efforts to put HB2305 on the ballot, pension spiking in the city of Phoenix and the possibility of U.S. intervention in Syria.

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Stacking the deck to save incumbents Stacking the deck to save incumbents

I’ve long railed that citizens need to be more than merely spectators in American politics. We must be active and informed participants if we want our country to thrive. And so I’ve decided to heed my own advice and join a coalition that has banded together to overturn legislation that will negatively impact the vast

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DiCiccio’s Distortions DiCiccio’s Distortions

Sal DiCiccio is a masterful politician. In the time he has been in office, he has managed to convince many middle class workers and retirees that other middle class workers and retirees are the reason our city’s economy has tanked, our budget has been squeezed, and our groceries are now taxed. It’s genius, really. When

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Killing solar, all in the name of principle Killing solar, all in the name of principle

Governor Jan Brewer likes to call herself the “Solar Queen.” She often talks about her own personal use of solar power and the fact that under her administration, solar industries have been booming in Arizona. But just as they are doing with Medicaid expansion, Tea Party Republicans, in the name of principle, are set to

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Does “pro-life” extend beyond the womb? Does “pro-life” extend beyond the womb?

The word “pro-life” has come to define a movement of individuals who believe life begins at conception and that abortion should be neither condoned nor legal. But what about life after birth? Does concern for a living, breathing individual end when that individual is no longer attached to his or her mother by an umbilical

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Money can’t buy you love, but it CAN buy you a legislator Money can’t buy you love, but it CAN buy you a legislator

In the last presidential race, a handful of billionaires handed over millions to their favored candidate to try and sway the outcome of the race. One such billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, gave $95 million to political committees supporting Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates. Imagine how many lives could have been improved, even saved with a

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Bisbee is ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ Bisbee is ‘Standing on the Side of Love’

The Unitarian Universalist Association started an advocacy campaign a while back called “Standing on the Side of Love.” They believe much of what’s happening in today’s world is predicated by hate and fear, and if we “harness the power of love,” we can overcome oppression, exclusion and violence. Compare that message to the one given

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Still smoldering in the ashes, Phoenix far from rising Still smoldering in the ashes, Phoenix far from rising

The continuation of the food tax is the least of Phoenix’s worries. The Great Recession along with Arizona’s housing bust ensured we’d feel the pain of an economy dependant on growth for many, many years. Though the Mayor is getting a lot of flack for a broken campaign promise, the reality is we were misled

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‘Show Me Your Genitals’ bill more glamorous than crimes against kids ‘Show Me Your Genitals’ bill more glamorous than crimes against kids

“While the legislature’s leadership ignores efforts to target pimps who sell children for sex, Kavanagh is worried about bathroom etiquette.” This was a quote on my Facebook page from retired Mesa police officer Bill Richardson after I expressed my dismay over Representative John Kavanagh’s bill, SB1432, which would criminalize using the wrong bathroom. Kavanagh is

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Holding schools accountable without punishing kids Holding schools accountable without punishing kids

Arizona’s first school accountability bill is working its way through the state legislature. SB1444 would base a portion of schools’ state funding on performance, starting at 1 percent the first year and incrementally increasing to a total of 5 percent after five years. The ‘performance funding’ as it’s called, is based on two factors: overall

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From gun buybacks to gay rights, City of Phoenix making headlines

On this week’s Sunday Square Off, host Brahm Resnik asks, “Who’s school safety plan is better? Mayor Stanton’s or Sheriff Arpaio’s?”   In the race for Arizona’s Attorney General, will Terry Goddard challenge Felecia Rotellini in the Democratic primary? Will anyone in the Republican party challenge Tom Horne?   LGBT Ordinance… good or bad for

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Journalism 101: Reporters inform, columnists persuade Journalism 101: Reporters inform, columnists persuade

Twenty years ago when I was in journalism school – before smart phones and iPads and Twitter — I was taught that reporters report the news while columnists editorialize. In other words if you’re a reporter or a news anchor, your goal is to inform your audience, and you should never infuse your personal beliefs

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DiCiccio and Herrod work to flush anti-discrimination efforts down the toilet DiCiccio and Herrod work to flush anti-discrimination efforts down the toilet

Have you heard about the ‘Bathroom Bill?’ It’s at the top of the kill list for Phoenix’s City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and Center for Arizona Policy’s Cathi Herrod. Also known as the LGBT Ordinance, this proposal would amend Phoenix’s civil rights policy to include sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and disability in its list

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Creating more big government under the guise of ‘voter fraud’ Creating more big government under the guise of ‘voter fraud’

Arizona State Senator Michele Reagan, rumored to be eyeing a run for Secretary of State, has proposed legislation not to bolster voter turnout but rather to make voting more complicated and cumbersome. This seems counter to what a Secretary of State, the overseer of elections, would desire and counter to the Republican Party’s mantra of

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Arizona legislature off to a fantastically kooky start Arizona legislature off to a fantastically kooky start

Republican legislators do not like it when Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts calls them kooks. They want us to believe they are serious lawmakers. But who, in her right mind, would call these bills anything other than kookery? We have a bill that tells the federal government to “go fly a kite.” Another one that

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Give a hand to the Gang of 8

I’m less concerned about who takes credit for implementing comprehensive immigration reform than I am about ensuring it gets done. But since yesterday’s announcement by the Gang of 8, which includes Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, I’ve heard lots of complaining and very little thanks. Who cares if it’s Congress or the President

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NRA doesn’t let the facts stand in the way

In a new ad released by the NRA, an announcer poses the question, “Are the President’s kids more important than yours?” To which most people will reply, “No, of course not.” The ad goes on to ask, “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by

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Two courageous Arizonans choose the path less traveled

As a political blogger, it would behoove me to begin my first post of the year with high hopes for what could be accomplished in Arizona’s legislature and in Congress. I should speak of political resolutions and ways citizens can become more involved in the process. I should do this, and maybe I will… another

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This is Adam Lanza’s America, and it needs to change This is Adam Lanza’s America, and it needs to change

I used to find the openness of my youngest son’s campus charming. I loved that there were no locked doors leading to the building, no barriers impeding parents and children so they could come and go freely and play in the desert behind the school. Everyone knows everyone, so small and close-knit. It was safe

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Anger over city manager’s pay raise about more than money Anger over city manager’s pay raise about more than money

Phoenix residents are ticked off and for good reason. $78,000 ain’t chump change, especially in this economy. But the city manager’s pay raise is about more than just money. It’s about priorities. After all, city employees are still taking pay cuts and furlough days. City residents are still paying for an emergency food tax. And

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Say what? Arizona LEADS on immigration reform Say what? Arizona LEADS on immigration reform

Much to the chagrin of comedians, Arizona is moving away from its embarrassing headlines on immigration extremism and embracing a S.A.N.E. approach. After more than two years of work, the Real Arizona Coalition has put together a platform for federal immigration reform supported by almost 40 state organizations, which include thousands of individuals such as

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Discussing Phoenix Mayoral Candidates on Sunday Square Off

Arizona Republic City Hall reporter Lynh Bui, political consultant Brian Murray and I debate the issues that matter in Phoenix’s mayoral race as well as the increasing partisanship in elections and the influence of council member Sal DiCiccio and the Tea Party.