Tag Archive for: Arizona

Hobbs Doubles Down On Executive Orders For LGBTQ Community

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Unwilling to work with the Arizona State Legislature, Governor Katie Hobbs has again chosen to exercise unilateral power in the pursuit of her progressive plans.

On Tuesday, Governor Katie Hobbs announced that she signed two Executive Orders to “restore rights and protect LGBTQ+ Arizonans.” According to Hobbs’ Office, the Orders “ensure the state employee health care plan covers medically-necessary gender-affirming surgery” and bar “state agencies from funding, promoting, or supporting conversion therapy against LGBTQ+ Arizonans.”

In a press release, the governor said, “Our LGBTQ+ community should never have to face hate and discrimination, and I will do everything in my power to fight for full equality. The State is leading by example on this issue, and we will continue working until Arizona is a place where every individual can participate equally in our economy and our workforce without fear of discrimination or exclusion.”

Legislative Republicans, already working through their options for addressing Hobbs’ recent Executive Order on abortion, were quick to react. Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen did not mince his words in response to the state’s chief executive’s latest action, tweeting, “Instead of helping struggling AZ families plagued by inflation, the governor just issued an order for taxpayers to cover the cost of elective, sex reassignment surgeries. This illegal, out of touch, unprecedented overreach did not receive proper JLBC review as required by law.”

The Arizona Senate Republicans Caucus echoed its leader, writing, “Hobbs continues to show just how tone deaf she is with the majority of hard-working Arizonans. Her weak leadership abilities are on full display with every executive order and ignorant veto she drops.”

The Center for Arizona Policy immediately issued a statement to call Hobbs’ action a “dangerous power grab,” stating, “Governor Katie Hobbs should have run for the Arizona Legislature if she wanted to make law. Arizona lawmakers who represent Arizonans throughout the state are tasked with passing new laws, not the Governor. This power grab is not only partisan, but it is unwise and dangerous. What she calls “conversion therapy” amounts to basic counseling for those struggling with their gender. It is likely unconstitutional to tell therapists what they can say and citizens what therapy they can seek. It is also unconscionable to block coverage for counseling and health services sought by state employees and their dependents.”

The pro-life, pro-family organization added, “Hobbs also appears to be encouraging irreversible and experimental sex-change surgeries and drug therapies at a time when European countries are increasingly pulling back because of the damage done to so many. We also continue to see more and more people detransition after regretting the permanent effects of such drug therapies and surgeries.”

Many Democrats around the state cheered on the governor’s move, including Representative Nancy Gutierrez, who tweeted, “I was happy to be there today and witness these Executive Orders by Governor Hobbs! Our community will get the care they desire and be able to use their health insurance. I’m also grateful that no other child will subjected to harmful conversion therapy.”

Arizona Republicans now find themselves facing a Democrat governor who is growing increasingly bolder about pushing the bounds of her constitutionally stipulated authority. Just two months ago, Hobbs went through what some might consider as the lowest moments of her fledgling administration, vetoing a wildly popular (and overwhelmingly) bipartisan “Tamale Bill,” signing a state budget that allowed Republicans to protect key priorities (such as the ESA program), and losing her chief of staff.

However, the events of the past calendar week have seemed to buoy the governor’s previously diminishing political capital, starting with her Executive Order to “centralize all abortion-related prosecutions under the Attorney General.” On Monday, after taking the weekend to contemplate a plan of response, Senator Jake Hoffman, the Chairman of the Committee on Director Nominations, announced that he was cancelling Tuesday’s hearing and requested a meeting with the Hobbs’ administration “to discuss any additional overreach (her) office intends to take requiring complicity from Executive Directors.”

After a report circulated that this meeting was “not likely” to occur, Senator T.J. Shope tweeted, “Oh…so much for that Open Door Policy we’ve heard about over and over again. I guess Governor Hobbs would rather fight it out in an adversarial court setting as opposed to an adult conversation in an office setting.”

Not to be forgotten – legislative Republicans and Governor Hobbs recently were battling over a Prop 400 solution – a fight that has been pushed to the rear-view mirror with her calculated Executive Orders at the end of this month.


This article was published by AZ Free News and is reproduced with permission.

No Quarter For Wrongthink: ASU Shuts Down Free Speech Center, Fires Faculty

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Arizona State University (ASU) has shut down a prominent free speech center and fired several faculty members following the protest of the faculty who opposed its existence.

The university decided to shut down the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development within the Barrett Honors College following a controversial event featuring conservative speakers hosted earlier this year.

The contested speakers were nationally-acclaimed conservative pundits Charlie Kirk, founder and president of activist group Turning Point USA; Dennis Prager, radio talk show host and founder of PragerU; and Robert Kiyosaki, author of a bestseller personal finance book and PragerU presenter. As AZ Free News reported in February, a group of 37 left-leaning ASU Barrett Honors College faculty led a campaign to prevent the event from happening, which included recruiting students to protest the event.

The two faculty members to lose their jobs following the controversial event were the executive director of the Lewis Center, Ann Atkinson, and the events operator for the Gammage Theater where the event was held, Lin Blake.

AZ Free News spoke with both Atkinson and Blake about their ordeal. Earlier this week, Atkinson came forward in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece criticizing ASU for caving to leftist restrictions on free speech.

“I wasn’t trying to do anything but my job: to do it well, and to keep people safe.”

For ASU’s Gammage Theater, Blake handled the arrangements for events such as calendaring, contracting, and client meetings. Throughout her career, Blake said she always offered the same respect and professionalism to clients, regardless of who or what was behind an event.

“Over the years I have booked and managed many types of events. Every one of them received the same level of professionalism,” said Blake.

Yet, it was Blake’s commitment to equal treatment in a venue designed for free expression that ultimately cost her the job — even though her superiors signed off on the event.

“Basically, I was sacrificed because Gammage executive staff had to do something to satisfy or appease the staff of Barrett Honors College. I was a scapegoat, and was let go at the beginning of April,” said Blake.

Blake recounted that her superior initially praised her for handling the controversial event. A bulk of essential personnel — security officers, backstage crew, and front of house — all called out, and police availability was limited severely due to ongoing staffing shortages and the Super Bowl occurring that same week. It was up to Blake to fill the gaps to provide a safe and successful event. By all accounts, she said she did — even her boss reportedly told her so, using a favorite phrase of his to describe her: “rockstar.”

By the next Monday, however, sentiments shifted. Blake said she walked into work facing a line of questioning. She was reportedly asked by her superior, ASU Gammage executive director Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, why she booked a “white supremacist,” an accusation leveled against the event speakers by opposing faculty. Blake was then required to get pre-approval from both Jennings-Roggensack and management prior to booking any future events.

Blake said the pre-approval amounted to a micromanaging that ultimately served to filter out who could and couldn’t host an event at Gammage.

According to Blake, Jennings-Roggensack had a habit of telling staff that they were aligned in beliefs, that they all had voted for President Joe Biden and Gov. Katie Hobbs — even if they hadn’t.

At a faculty and leadership meeting following the upbraiding from Jennings-Roggensack, Blake said she was singled out to explain Gammage’s core values.

After that, Blake described her remaining months at ASU as a “slow decline.” She was let go in April for “not being a good fit.”

Blake says she’s applied and interviewed for three other ASU positions. Each time, HR has sent her letters that they’re no longer hiring for the position — even though the positions remained posted as available.

“[This is] what happens to those who don’t conform to the prevailing orthodoxy on campus.”

Atkinson retained her position several months longer than Blake did. It was at the end of May that Atkinson learned from Barrett Honors College Dean Tara Williams that her position would end, and that the Lewis Center would be no more.

In an official statement shared widely by the press following Atkinson’s Wall Street Journal piece, an ASU spokesman claimed that the primary donor behind the Lewis Center, the T.W. Lewis Foundation, would no longer be funding the program. ASU also praised the controversial event as a success.

“Ms. Atkinson’s current job at the university will no longer exist after June 30 because the donor who created and funded the Lewis Center decided to terminate his donation. ASU is working to determine how we can support the most impactful elements of the center without that external funding,” stated the spokesman. “Arizona State University remains committed to, in practice, not just rhetoric, all things that support free speech and all of its components. The event in question was held and was a success.”

It appears that demonization by the vast majority of Barrett Honors College faculty over the Lewis Center event was the breaking point for T.W. Lewis Foundation’s founder, T.W. Lewis. He told The Arizona Republic that ASU’s environment is hostile to conservative thinkers.

“The long story short is that conservative viewpoints are not welcome at ASU. Or, at most public universities in America,” said Lewis.

The T.W. Lewis Foundation funds a number of other major conservative organizations and enterprises, such as GreatHearts Academies, Museum of the Bible, The American Conservative, Alliance Defending Freedom, Conservative Partnership Institute, Young America’s Foundation, Foundation for Economic Education, and the Heritage Foundation. They also fund the organizations from which the controversial speakers hailed: Turning Point USA and PragerU.

However, the foundation wasn’t the only funding source possible as ASU implied. Atkinson offered a diversified group of donors to offset the lost funding; she reported that Williams wasn’t interested. Atkinson also collected 18 pages of testimonials from students, families, and past guest speakers. That wasn’t enough to persuade, either.

“What ASU did not say is that the Barrett dean expressed no interest in continuing the Lewis Center,” said Atkinson.

AZ Free News reached out to Williams about the alternative funding. She didn’t respond by press time.

Atkinson believes that, ultimately, ASU policies have allowed this stifling of free speech to take place. Come fall, there will be one less place for free thought on campus.

“I want the right to free speech to our universities to apply to all people. What happened appears to be within the policies of the university,” said Atkinson. “The students lose. I’m devastated for the students. For so many of them, the 7,000 students in Barrett, this has been their home. Now it’s gone.”

As for next steps, Atkinson said she is taking everything one day at a time.

“I’m hoping to show the world what happens to those who don’t conform to the prevailing orthodoxy on campus.”


This article was published by AZ Free News and is reproduced with permission.

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

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.

In Hobbs’ June 5 veto letter to Senate President Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, she stated there are more constitutional solutions to the state’s homeless issue.

“People become and remain unsheltered for a variety of reasons,” Hobbs said. “This legislation addresses none of those root causes, offers no pathways to assistance, and effectively criminalizes experiencing homelessness. I invite you to join me in pursuing more productive solutions that respect human and constitutional rights.”

Sen. Justine Wadsack, R-Tucson, offered a veto response regarding her legislation.

This bill was to serve as a tool for municipalities to use in an effort to get these individuals off the streets and into services connecting them to shelter, sanitation facilities, health care and meals,” Wadsack said. “Various outreach groups, like Gospel Rescue Mission, have availability right now to serve these individuals and get them back on their feet. If Governor Hobbs’ goal is to turn Arizona into California, her veto of this bill will surely contribute to our state’s demise.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2022 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness Report, Arizona has more than 13,000 homeless people. While there was only a 1% national increase in homelessness, Arizona experienced a 23% jump in its homeless population between 2020 and 2022.

SB 1413 was one of seven bills vetoed by Hobbs that day. Others include a bill that would have amended certain election laws and a bill that would have made showing sexually explicit imagery to students a felony.


This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

School Choice Saves Arizona Money

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Democrats claim a new program will bankrupt the state. The opposite is true.


Is school choice bankrupting Arizona? That’s what Gov. Katie Hobbs and Democratic legislative leaders would have you believe, but simple math says otherwise.

Arizona’s choice program, Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs), “in its current form is not sustainable,” Ms. Hobbs tweeted last week. “We need to bring an end to this out of control and unaccountable spending, and I will work tirelessly to make that happen.”

With an ESA, parents can use a portion of their child’s state education funds—typically about $8,000 a year—to pay for private-school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, online courses, home-school curricula, special-needs therapy and other expenses.

Ms. Hobbs’s declaration came in the wake of the Arizona Department of Education’s latest projection that the program, which has about 58,000 participants, will serve 100,000 students by the end of fiscal 2024 at a cost of roughly $900 million.

“Without reform, Empowerment Scholarship Accounts will bankrupt our state & our public schools,” tweeted Rep. Andrés Cano, leader of the Democratic caucus in the Arizona House. He omitted the portion of the department’s letter noting that “many of the students that are enrolling now are coming from the public school system, which in the end saves the state money.”

That $900 million is barely 2% of total Arizona state spending of $80.5 billion in 2022. Arizona public schools spend about $14,000 per pupil, or $1.4 billion for 100,000 students. If the department’s [ESA] enrollment projection is reached, school choice would serve roughly 8% of Arizona’s students for 6% of the $15 billion that Arizona will spend on public schools.

A new report by the Common Sense Institute finds that “current enrollment in Arizona public district and charter schools combined is over 80,000 students below pre-pandemic projections,” producing a savings of $639 million. Arizona’s population is growing, so the vast majority of those students left for private or home schools, for which they could avail themselves of Arizona’s two private choice policies. In addition to the 58,000 students using education savings accounts, last year school tuition organizations issued more than 32,000 tax-credit scholarships.

The attacks on school choice are more than a public relations campaign. When Ms. Hobbs’s budget retained last year’s school-choice expansion, Arizona’s Attorney General Kris Mayes used the “bankrupt the state” talking point as a pretext to threaten a lawsuit. In a public letter to Ms. Hobbs and the Legislature, Ms. Mayes decried the “catastrophic drain on state resources caused by universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.” She later went on television and threatened to investigate participating families for “waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Ms. Hobbs lacks the legislative support to roll back school choice, as Republicans have slim majorities. But she’s signaling what she would do if she could. Arizona families should take note.


This article was published by AZ Free News and is reproduced with permission.

Radical Leftist Katie Hobbs Allows Males to Intrude on Young Girls in Arizona’s K-12 Public School Restrooms, Showers, Locker Rooms – Veto’s Bill Calling it a “Discriminatory Act Against LGBTQ+ Youth.”

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

Katie Hobbs vetoed another bill today aimed at protecting minors in schools from radical transgender policies.

SB1040 would require Arizona public schools to “provide a reasonable accommodation to a person who is unwilling or unable to use specified facilities designated for their sex in a public school building or multi-occupancy sleeping quarters while attending a public school-sponsored activity.”

These reasonable accommodations include access to single-occupancy restrooms or changing facilities and use of employee restrooms or changing facilities. This would prevent undue hardship for students who are uncomfortable with members of the opposite sex using gendered facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms.

As The Gateway Pundit reported, female students at a Peoria, Arizona high school were forced to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers with male students who “insisted on using the girls’ bathrooms.”

Not a single Democrat voted for this bill protecting young girls.

Katie Hobbs vetoed the bill calling it “yet another discriminatory act against LGBTQ+ youth.” She added, “As I stated in my veto letter for SB1001, I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.” SB1001 would preclude schools from requiring employees to use a pronoun that differs from a person’s biological sex. Katie Hobbs also vetoed this bill.

Similarly, Hobbs recently vetoed another bill making it illegal to film or facilitate sexually explicit acts in government buildings and classrooms months after a teacher in Arizona was fired for shooting a porno in her classroom and posting it to OnlyFans…..


Continue reading this article at The Gateway Pundit.

Arizona Secretary of State Says Resolution Banning the Use of Voting Machines Will Not Be Enforced

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Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is saying that the state will not enforce a resolution that has been passed in the state legislature banning electronic voting machines.

Arizona Sen. Anthony Kern introduced the resolution to ensure that “no voting system or component or subcomponent of a voting system or component… may be used or purchased as the primary method for casting, recording and tabulating ballots used in any election held in this state for federal office” unless certain transparency measures were introduced.

The measure was approved by the Arizona House and Senate, much to the approval of patriotic Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers, who touted the resolution on many different conservative radio shows and podcasts on Monday.

However, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes issued a statement claiming that the government would not enforce the resolution and continue business as usual for elections in years to come.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1037, which expresses a desire to restrict the use of certain electronic voting machines, is non-binding and does not have the force of law. Election equipment must be certified by the federal and state government by specific requirements outlined in federal and state law,” Fontes said in his statement.

“That certification process is being followed in Arizona and all applicable election equipment being used in Arizona is certified. If those requirements or certification process were to be changed, it would require a regular bill to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor—which is not the case for this non-binding resolution. We defer to the Attorney General’s office on all other legal questions,” he added.

Big League Politics has reported on how a majority of Arizona voters believe that fraud occurred affected the results of the 2022 midterm elections:…..


Continue reading this article at Big League Politics.

Arizona Supreme Court Backs Kari Lake, Orders Hearing on Signature Verification Violations

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GOP rockstar Kari Lake has just scored a big win after the Arizona Supreme Court ordered a hearing on her allegations of signature verification violations in Maricopa County.

The Court ordered court proceedings to take place “forthwith” regarding Lake’s 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election challenge.

While granting one sanction, the Supreme Court denied attorneys’ fees requested by the defendants.

Republican Lake fell about 17,000 votes short in the 2022 election against then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.

Lake is suing now-Governor Hobbs in addition to current Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and Maricopa County election officials.

She is requesting that the election results be invalidated or that she be declared the winner.

Lake’s case was reviewed by the Arizona Supreme Court in March.

The Court remanded one of her seven counts to trial court and allowed sanctions against her to be considered.

The remanded count was Lake’s claim that Maricopa County violated its signature verification policies in the 2022 election……


Continue reading this article at Slay News.

Democrat Gallego Defeats Sinema and Ducey in Hypothetical U.S. Senate Race Poll

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In a recent poll, Democrat Ruben Gallego will lead the senate race against a split GOP voter base.

Despite Democrats making up only 31% of the voter base in O.H. Predictive Insight’s pool of voters, Gallego is at a +5 advantage if both Doug Ducey and Kyrsten Sinema run for the Senate. In the current breakdown, Gallego represents 32% of the vote, Ducey at 27%, undecided at 23% and Sinema at only 17%.

The poll was conducted online among a group of 1,000 voters, with a +/- 3.1% margin of error. Thirty-five percent identified as Republican, 31% as Democrats and 34% as Independent.

“What I take away from this data is that the two key factors in this Senate race will be the ‘style’ of Republican nominated to run and whether Sinema is also on the ballot,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research. “But, there’s a long time between now and election day, which leaves plenty of opportunity for something to happen that can shift the dynamics of this race.”

OHPI also conducted surveys with other Republican options, such as Blake Masters and Kari Lake. In all voting samples, irrespective of Republican or independent candidate, current polling shows Gallego at a majority. However, the Democratic candidate does not lead by a margin of 50% in any of the polls, still giving the GOP a slight advantage.

The recently independent Arizona senator has yet to announce a 2024 campaign. Until that is determined, it will be difficult to produce more accurate polls.

“The best-case scenario for Trump-style Republicans is having Sinema on the ticket,” the report reads. “For Ducey-style Republicans, their best bet is Sinema not running.”

This article was published by The Center Square – Arizona and is reproduced with permission.