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Michele Reagan's Big Ol' Blunder

AZ Sec of State fails to properly cover up her failure to inform voters about Prop 123

No matter which way the Prop 123 vote goes this week there's one really clear loser: Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

Reagan, who has been secretary of state for more than a year, committed two gigantic blunders ahead of this week's special election: She failed to send out a publicity pamphlet to an estimated 400,000 voters in counties outside of Pima and Maricopa. And then, when she found out about her blunder, she didn't bother to tell anyone about it.

The mistake was one thing. Hiding it from the public takes it to a whole 'nother level of disgraceful behavior. As Attorney General Mark Brnovich told attorney Tom Ryan, who had asked Brnovich to delay the election because of Reagan's blunder: "Even if the Secretary of State's failure was the result of mere neglect, one thing is certain—the Secretary violated Arizona law. Questions abound; not only as to how the Secretary of State failed to fulfill her duties in connection with this election, but also as to why there was no public disclosure regarding the failure to timely mail the publicity pamphlet until mere days before the initial counting of early ballots."

Reagan was a hot mess during her 2014 campaign for secretary of state, stumbling through interviews with the press and flip-flopping all over the place when it came to regulating anonymous contributions of so-called "dark money" in campaign efforts. (She first claimed she supported finding ways to require disclosure of political contributors, but eventually—after a ton of dark money was spent putting her in office—threw up her hands and said nothing could be done.)

In fact, Reagan has spent a huge amount of time trying to make sure no one else—such as the Clean Elections Commission—digs into those anonymous interests that want to influence elections. She says it's her exclusive authority to look into it—and she went so far as to push a bill through the Legislature this year that removes nearly any authority—even her own—from digging into the "social welfare" nonprofits that are seeking to bamboozle voters.

It's a shame she didn't spend as much time making sure she did her own damn job, which was making sure that voters got the information they were supposed to get to make a good decision on Prop 123.

It sure appears that she's in way over her head as Arizona's top election official—unless you want someone in the job who is focusing on suppressing the vote and ignoring state law.

McSally's WASP Win

Southern AZ congresswoman restores the rights of WWII-era servicewomen to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Rep. Martha McSally had a big win last week with the passage of legislation that would allow women who served in the WASP program during WWII to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.

More than 1,100 women signed up for the Women Air Force Service Pilot program to help handle noncombat warplane duties. The WASP program ran from 1942 to 1944, but it took decades before Congress awarded them full active duty status in 1977.

"The WASPs served our country bravely," McSally said in a recent op-ed. "The only reason they were not given military and veteran status during their time was sexism."

Women in the WASP program won the right to have their ashes interred at Arlington in 2002, but in 2015, then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh made the lousy decision that the WASPs should not have been given such honors.

McSally's legislation—which passed the House without a single vote opposing it—overrides McHugh's decision.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation, according to a spokesman.

Not So Fast

McSally opposes plan to draw down troops in Afghanistan

Rep. Martha McSally recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, where she met with service members and Afghan leaders to assess the country's security situation.

Following her trip, McSally blasted the Obama administration's plans to draw down the level of U.S. troops from 9,800 to 5,500 over the next sixth months.

"We've invested a lot of blood and treasure into Afghanistan," McSally said. "I returned with added resolve that we need to learn lessons from walking away in Iraq, which created the vacuum now filled by ISIS. The president must have a strategy that starts with an objective to protect Americans, followed by an assessment of what capabilities and number of troops and civilians that are required instead of an arbitrary cap that results in lots of creative counting and increased risk."

McSally told the Weekly that she believes that the current troops levels are enough to develop "a counter-terrorism mission and a very modest train, advise, and assist mission ... to build up the Afghan Air Force and provide strategic advice to the Afghan National Security Forces as they continue to take charge of their own security."

But McSally stopped short of calling for more troops in Afghanistan.

"The situation does not necessarily call for more troops," McSally said. "However, we should not draw down any further from where we are. Right now, the president has ordered a reduction from 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of the year, which would cause a severe degradation in our train, advise, and assist role. I understand this decision may be under reconsideration, and I'd encourage the President to halt this additional drawdown."

Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs at 8 a.m. Sunday on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on Dish, DirecTV and broadcast. You can hear the show on KXCI, 91.3 FM, at 5 p.m. Sundays or watch it online at zonapolitics.com. This week's guests are Arizona Daily Star cartoonist Dave Fitzsimmons; Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll; and retired General Hoyt "Sandy" Vandenberg Jr. and Bill Westcott, who will discuss plans for a USS Arizona memorial on the UA mall.


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