I'm so proud of our Grand Canyon State. Yes, proud!
Seems we have more to boast about than uncontrolled growth and friendly retirement. According to a series of maps on Wired Magazine, we are now a great place for Lucifer to retire—or we must be a vacation destination for him when it's just too hot below.
Evidently when it comes to the Seven Deadly Sins, we're up there in Greed, Pride and Envy, with only a dash of Wrath. I was particularly disappointed in our devilish standing on Lust—we're just a little pink in that sin. The Lust numbers came from STD statistics, and, according to the map, the northeast area of our state needs a Trojan air drop immediately.
The city of Tucson's Independent Audit and Performance Commission will be reviewing a report on the potential costs of the Public Safety First Initiative, aka Prop 200, which voters will decide Nov. 3. The prop would require the city to hire more police officers and firefighters. City officials had earlier estimated the costs to be $51 million a year.
We hear the report will show even higher projected annual costs, in the neighborhood of $64 million a year, although the start-up costs over the next five years may come out lower than originally estimated.
Details to follow...
Republican City Council candidates Ben Buehler-Garcia (who is facing Democrat Karin Uhlich) and Steve Kozachik (who is facing Nina Trasoff) have put together 30-second TV spots. Both are basically biographical pieces meant to introduce them to Tucsonans.
It's like pollapalooza around here these days. Phoenix PBS affiliate KAET and the Cronkite School of Journalism up at ASU have awakened their polling operation from a long dormancy to bring us a new survey of Arizona attitudes.
The big takeaways:
• President Barack Obama has an approval rating of 53 percent and a disapproval rating of 36 percent.
• Gov. Jan Brewer has an approval rating of 37 percent and a disapproval rating of 28 percent, with more than a third of those surveyed not knowing what to say about her.
• Nearly half of those surveyed—46 percent—couldn't name an area of state government that they would cut, despite Arizona's multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall.
• Two-thirds of voters say all-day kindergarten is somewhat or very important.
• A shocking 60 percent of those surveyed say they'd support a temporary one-cent sales tax increase to help state government out of this economic crisis.
The weirdest spin on the poll so far comes from the conservatives over at Gila Courier, who announced the poll with the headline: "Most Arizonans Not Confident in Obama's Economic Plan." They cite as evidence that 27 percent said they had "a great deal of confidence" in Obama's economic strategy, while 37 percent said they had "not much confidence." But they ignored the 33 percent who said they had "some confidence," which would actually take the number who have confidence up to 60 percent.
We don't know how to break it to the gang at Gila, but 37 percent does not constitute "most." It's probably hard to imagine, what with all that you've had to say about socialism and everything, that most people don't agree with you, but making up numbers is not a step in the right direction of building credibility.
When we reported on Planned Parenthood Arizona's lawsuit, Patti Caldwell said she hoped a Maricopa Superior Court judge would issue a preliminary injunction.
Well, according to the local daily, it looks like Planned Parenthood's chief operating officer for the most part got her wish:
A state judge has blocked implementation of key parts of a new Arizona law restricting abortion.
Judge Donald Daughton of Maricopa County Superior Court late Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction granting most of a request by Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest abortion provider.
Daughton’s order allows a 24-hour waiting period to take affect, but blocks parts requiring that a woman see a doctor in person for advance disclosures before getting an abortion.
Other blocked provisions include a requirement that parental consents for a minor’s abortion be notarized and a ban on nurse practitioners performing abortions.
Other parts of the law still take effect Wednesday, pending a federal judge’s ruling on one provision not covered by Daughton’s order.
Since the lawsuit was filed in Phoenix, other folks have gotten in on the litigation action. The Alliance Defense Fund announced it filed a motion to intervene in support of the abortion-restriction laws signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in July. The Center for Arizona Policy joined in, although at the time we interviewed Cathi Harrod, she told us: "One of our top priorities is to make sure the law is adequately defended in the state and federal courts. There are a variety of ways we can participate, but I'm not going to tell you what those are."
The day we talked with her, CAP filed its own motion to intervene.
To quote Church Lady, a wise woman who could probably take Harrod down in a vat of Jell-O, "Isn't that special."
Despite some French folks beating the drums of freedom for Roman Polanski, including the country's own president, not every French national is wearing a Free Polanski badge this week.
Polanski has citizenship in Poland and France—but it was interesting to read that his fellow French citizens, according to this piece in today's New York Times, still think it unwise to rush to defend a celebrity who raped a 13-year-old girl (even if that rape occurred in the early 1970s). Perhaps a campaign would be better waged in Spain, where the age of consent is reportedly 13.
C'est la vie!
Rasmussen is the latest polling outfit to reveal that Attorney General Terry Goddard is leading the 2010 gubernatorial race at this early stage. The Rasmussen release:
State Attorney General Terry Goddard has an early lead over embattled incumbent Jan Brewer in Arizona’s 2010 race for governor.
The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey in the state finds Goddard, a Democrat, ahead of the state’s current Republican chief executive 42% to 35%. Thirteen percent (13%) like some other candidate, and 11% are undecided.
Goddard also has a seven-point lead - 44% to 37% - on another possible GOP contender, former Governor Fife Symington. Nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate, and 10% are not sure whom they’d vote for.
Brewer, the Arizona secretary of state, became governor in January when Janet Napolitano resigned to become President Obama’s secretary of Homeland Security. Faced with reportedly the largest per-capita state budget deficit in the country, an increasingly frustrated Brewer has been battling with Democrats and even her own party virtually ever since.
Highlighting Brewer’s unpopularity even in her own party is the fact that Symington, who resigned as governor in 1997 following a fraud conviction, polls about the same as she does at this early stage. Symington's conviction was
Local attorney John Munger is retiring from his gig on the monthly Political Face-Off on KUAT-TV’s Arizona Illustrated.
Munger evidently has a big announcement to make in the near future. Does this mean he’s ready to jump into the gubernatorial race and challenge fellow Republican Gov. Jan Brewer? Stay tuned.
Munger said goodbye last night to Arizona Illustrated anchor Bill Buckmaster and his antagonist, Democrat Vince Rabago, in his final Face-Off, which you can watch after the jump.
Wonder if Vince will be on the show much longer, given his interest in running for Arizona attorney general?
An update on the great chalk crackdown of 2009: After a second chalk-wielding criminal was apprehended today by the UA Police Department, administration officials decided to back down on pressing criminal charges and will instead deal with them through the Dean of Students. We suppose that means that this outrageous infraction will go on their permanent record and they'll be under double-secret probation for the remainder of their college careers.
Wonder if this means that UA President Richard Shelton will have to have a beer with the students, who were using chalk to advertise a protest against higher tuition at the UA, and the police officers who brought in the dastardly vandals?
Whatevs. Clearly, some saner minds have prevailed at the UA, although we'd have to say the entire matter should have dropped by now. At least taxpayers won't be on the hook for any more court charges involving this idiotic waste of law-and-order resources.
Here's the UA statement:
The University of Arizona stands firmly committed to defending, celebrating and hosting free expression, a value that was tested last week when students rallied on campus to protest cuts to higher education funding.
The protest itself was part of the UA's tradition of robust freedom of expression, but advertising of that event in the form of chalk messages that appeared on surfaces other than the ground and sidewalks resulted in one student being cited for criminal damage for
Topics on Arizona Illustrated's Friday Roundtable: The costs of the Public Safety First Initiative, aka Prop 200; Gov. Jan Brewer's lousy poll numbers; State schools chief Tom Horne's latest TUSD dustup; and more after the jump.
Learn the basics of birdwatching and how to identify the backyard birds commonly seen in the Tucson… More