Politics

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Bernie Rides Again

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2019 at 9:28 AM

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Zona Politics: Yellow Sheets Editor Hank Stephenson Talks About the Latest at the AZ Capitol

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 4:47 PM


Mark Kelly
  • Mark Kelly


Here's your chance to listen to the most recent episode of Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel, featuring an interview with Yellow Sheet Report editor Hank Stephenson. We talk about Mark Kelly's entry into the U.S. Senate race as well as some of the latest bills floating around the Arizona Legislature.

Zona Politics airs at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoons on KXCI Community Radio, 91.3 FM.

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Claytoon of the Day: Pro Bono Beatings

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 8:58 AM

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Arizona's English Immersion Mandate In Context

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 2:33 PM

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State legislators are getting a lot of credit for their unanimous passage of SB 1014, which removes the state mandated four hour English Immersion blocks for ELL students. They deserve the credit, as does Governor Ducey for signing the bill.

But I have a question. What took them so long? The English Immersion block was just as bad when it began 12 years ago as it is today.

The history of the English Immersion rule makes more sense when it is put in context. On its face it's all about how ELL students are taught, but it's more than that. It's part of Arizona's recent history of legislative efforts to punish not only immigrants specifically, but Latinos and Latino culture in general. And that includes demonizing the Spanish language.

Arizona's English Only law, passed by voters in 2000, and the resulting English Immersion ruling were followed by the "Show me your papers" law, and that was followed by a law designed to outlaw TUSD's Mexican American Studies program. The "Show me your papers" and anti-MAS laws were struck down by the courts in whole or in part. English Immersion survived its court challenges but was finally dragged down by the weight of its own failure.


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Claytoon of the Day: Fishy Emergency

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 12:07 PM

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Arizona Reaction to Trump’s Border Emergency Splits Along Party Lines

Posted By and on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 3:26 PM

“A border wall already runs up to both sides of the River Bend Resort & Golf Club in Brownsville, Texas. Erected in 2006, this part of the wall stands 18 feet and ends abruptly along a busy highway, leaving a gap several miles wide. Much of the most-recent border wall construction has been in Texas and California.” - PHOTO BY MINDY RIESENBERG | CRONKITE NEWS
  • Photo by Mindy Riesenberg | Cronkite News
  • “A border wall already runs up to both sides of the River Bend Resort & Golf Club in Brownsville, Texas. Erected in 2006, this part of the wall stands 18 feet and ends abruptly along a busy highway, leaving a gap several miles wide. Much of the most-recent border wall construction has been in Texas and California.”

Arizona lawmakers’ reaction to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national border security emergency on Friday split along party lines, with Democrats blasting the move as “fear-mongering” that sets “a dangerous precedent.”

Republicans praised the president for taking action they said is needed to “protect American lives.”
Trump’s declaration came just hours after Congress passed a budget bill that included $1.375 billion to fund construction of more border wall, well below the $5.7 he had been demanding. In response, he declared a state of emergency, which allows the president to shift funds between accounts.

White House officials said Friday the emergency would allow the addition of about $6.6 billion to the money Congress allocated, bringing border wall construction funding to about $8 billion this year.

In a Rose Garden announcement Friday, Trump said the declaration is needed because “we don’t control our own border.”

“I’m going to be signing a national emergency,” Trump said. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”

The declaration is almost certain to be challenged in court – a fact Trump referenced in his speech – but he said he has the authority and is confident he will ultimately win. He said presidents over the last four decades have declared 58 national emergencies and some governors have declared border emergencies, including former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

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An Arizona Voucher Q&A

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 12:19 PM

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Republican legislators are at it again. They are trying to increase the number of students eligible for private school vouchers. That's in spite of voters saying no to voucher expansion in 2018.

It's a good time to take a close look at the world of vouchers by asking questions and answering them. Let's begin.

In 2018, the popular vote in Arizona went against voucher expansion. Was it close?
Nope. When all the Prop. 305 numbers were counted, vouchers went down by 30 points: 65 percent No to 35 percent Yes.

Wow, a 30 point spread. Isn't that surprising, especially in a red state like Arizona?
Actually, no. Vouchers were on the ballot in Utah in 2007. Utah is redder than Arizona, but the vote margin was close to the same: 63 percent to 38 percent.

OK, that's another example. How about voucher votes elsewhere?
Vouchers have gone down every time they've been put in front of voters, and never by less than 20 points. Counting our vote in 2018, vouchers are zero for seven nationwide.

Lots of states have vouchers. Does that mean all of them have been put in by their legislatures?
Yes, all state voucher programs were voted into law by state legislatures. Arizona's two voucher programs — Tuition Tax Credits (1997) and Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (2011) — were created by our legislature. So were all the revisions which increased the amount of voucher money and the number of students who qualify.

Why do people vote against vouchers?
One reason is not many students attend private schools. In Arizona, it's about 4 percent of the student population. With 1 in 25 students in private school, it's not surprising people aren't excited about sending tax dollars in that direction.

Really, that few students?
Yes, really. In 2014, the most recent year where I could find good data, about 45,000 Arizona students were enrolled in private schools out of a total of about 1.2 million students. Those numbers are approximate, of course, but they're close.

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Claytoon of the Day: White House Simulators

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM

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Staff Pick

Pima Theatre - Mamma Mia!

By Catherine Johnson based on the songs of ABBA. Sing-Along performances Friday, Feb. 22 & March 1… More

@ Pima Community College Center for the Arts Thu., Feb. 21, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 23, 2-4 & 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sun., Feb. 24, 2-4 p.m., Thu., Feb. 28, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Fri., March 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., March 2, 2-4 & 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., March 3, 2-4 p.m. 2202 W. Anklam Road.

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