House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this week that the House is drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, signaling Democrats’ desire to move quickly and potentially vote on impeachment before Christmas. The move sets up a showdown, with the Democrat-controlled House widely expected to approve impeachment before proceedings reach a dead-end in the GOP-led Senate.
The political stakes are enormous – and not just for the President. House members in competitive districts, like Reps. O’Halleran and Stanton, face potential voter backlash no matter what decision they make. Likewise, both Arizona Senators face a delicate dance of their own, with Sen. McSally on the ballot in 2020 and Sen. Sinema cautious to avoid the partisan fray.
Here’s how the Arizona delegation stacks up so far on the issue of impeachment:
- Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) – “I was one of the first to come out in favor of impeachment.”
- Rep. Greg Stanton (D) – “Failure to act would create a dangerous precedent that is too high a cost for our nation to bear.”
- Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) – “…Trump abused his power & committed multiple impeachable offenses.”
- Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D) – “… Congress has a moral obligation to #DefendOurDemocracy & impeach this reckless President.”
- Rep. David Schweikert (R) – Opposed the impeachment inquiry, which he said “leaves my constituents in the dark on the investigations being conducted behind closed doors.”
- Rep. Debbie Lesko (R) – “Is it worth putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment? It’s not.”
- Rep. Andy Biggs (R) – “This is a contorted, predetermined, vindictive abuse of power.”
- Rep. Paul Gosar (R) – “You can’t impeach a President who has done nothing wrong!”
LIKELY TO IMPEACH:
- Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D) – The last Democrat in the AZ delegation to endorse the impeachment inquiry, Rep. O’Halleran has been cagey on his ultimate vote: “Congress cannot let this investigation interfere with getting things done for the American people.”
LIKELY TO NOT IMPEACH:
- Sen. Martha McSally (R) – Called the inquiry a “total distraction,” but hasn’t disclosed how she may vote if the issue comes to the Senate: “My job is to be thoughtful, to look at the facts and to show good judgment and – in the meantime – do a good job for the people representing people for the things that are impacting their families every single day.”
KEEPING ‘EM GUESSING:
- Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) – The wild card. Took no position on launching the inquiry, and has been tight-lipped ever since: “It is the duty of all senators — including myself — to avoid pre-judging facts or reaching conclusions.”
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Phoenix New Times
Republican State Representative Nancy Barto threatened today to file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office if the Phoenix City Council raises airport fees for ride-share companies like Lyft and Uber.
The move represents an escalation by opponents of the proposed fee, which led Lyft to announce that it will cease operations at Sky Harbor in 2020 if the rate hike goes through.
Mirroring a position from the Goldwater Institute — a libertarian think tank — Barto said Phoenix’s proposed ride-share fees violate Proposition 126, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that prohibits Arizona cities from taxing services.
Barto indicated that if the City Council approves a higher airport fee for Uber and Lyft, she will ask AG Mark Brnovich to investigate whether the new ordinance violates state law. Under a bill (SB 1487) passed by the legislature in 2016, the state could withhold funds from the city of Phoenix if Brnovich were to find that the new fee violates Proposition 126.
[…] Under the new fee schedule, ride-share companies would have to pay $4 for each airport ride. The fees would increase incrementally to $5 in 2024. That’s up from the current rate of $2.66. Uber and Lyft would have the choice of whether to pay the fee themselves or to pass it onto drivers, who are independent contractors, or customers.
Taxi companies, meanwhile, would be charged $1.75. Taxis would pay less under the proposal because they are subject to stricter regulations, including a cap on ride costs.
Most of the fees would go toward costs for maintaining and operating the Sky Train airport transit system, which shuttles passengers to the airport from the intersection of 44th and Washington streets. A smaller portion would go toward maintaining airport roads and other necessities, such as signage and traffic controllers. […]
As part of its mission to benefit Arizonans through youth, sports and education, the Fiesta Bowl organization and its Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program, powered by DriveTime has donated $1 million to 200 Arizona teachers for the second straight year. This $1 million granting is believed to be the largest donation to Arizona teachers, according to a Fiesta Bowl news release.
At $5,000 each for 200 teachers across the state, 48,438 students, 182 schools, 85 School Districts and 38 cities will be impacted.
West Valley schools were among those awarded.
Arizona Charter Academy, 16025 N. Dysart Road
Imagine Prep, 14850 N. 156th Ave.
Legacy Traditional School, 14506 W. Sweetwater Ave.
[…] Each fall, Arizona K-12 public or charter school teachers are invited to fill out an online application detailing their school or classroom need and, after meeting the criteria, wishes are selected by random drawing for teachers to receive a $5,000 grant.
Each of the unique 200 teacher wishes will benefit teachers and schools in technology, reading, music, fitness and more. Including this season, over the four years of the program, Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers granted $3.2 million to Arizona teachers, impacting over 150,000 children across the state.
In addition to the financial grant, selected teachers will be recognized in the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade Saturday, Dec. 28, and on-field at the Cheez-It Bowl at Chase Field Friday, Dec. 27.
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In other news …
Surprise is considering becoming the second city in the Phoenix area to ban the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to those under 21 years old.
Goodyear became the first city in the Valley earlier this year to raise the legal age of buying cigarettes from 18 to 21, and its law goes into effect this month.
The proposal in both of the growing West Valley cities comes amid health concerns related to vaping, and shortly after a national outbreak of vaping-related respiratory illnesses.
The Surprise City Council asked city staff to draft the proposed law after hearing from a representative of the American Cancer Society about the related health issues.
The theory is that, by banning smoking for young adults, it will help discourage teenagers from picking up the habit, said Harold Brady, the city’s public safety legal adviser.
Some Surprise residents oppose the idea because they say it limits individual freedom and imposes unnecessary regulations on businesses. […]
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY) – Governor Doug Ducey (R- AZ) made his way to Yuma Thursday to meet with local leaders and see what he can do to help the region.
Gov. Ducey met with both commanders of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Yuma Proving Ground.
He learned about the joint relationship between the two bases and the testing that is happening at both MCAS Yuma and YPG.
Ducey asked about the relationship between the bases and the community. Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls responded he has not once received a complaint about the base when aircraft are overhead.
MCAS Yuma Col. David Scuggs explained the community is welcoming during Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course held twice every year.
[…] Ducey also met with local agriculture leaders who spoke strongly about a proposal on the table dealing with a water transfer from Yuma to Queen Creek, Ariz.
Water expert and agriculture leader Wade Noble explained the potential transfer is concerning to the agriculture community.
News 11 asked Ducey what his thoughts were about the transfer. He said he wants to see all the facts on the table.
“There’s enough water for all of our people right now and it can support the growth that we enjoy. What I want to make certain is that we’re doing the proper planning and policy so that can continue into the future,” said Gov. Ducey.
News 11 also asked Ducey about his meeting with the governor of Sonora, Mexico.
He explained that everyone is aware of the violence happening south of Arizona and said safety for Arizonas is top priority. […]
The U.S. added 266,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, blowing past expectations as the American economy continues to push through a global slump.
The unemployment rate remained steady during November, while the labor force participation also stayed even at 63.2 percent. The October jobs gain was also revised up by 28,000 jobs to 156,000, while the September jobs gain was revised up 18,000 jobs to 193,000.
The report brings the average monthly job gain over the past three months to 205,000.
Economists had projected the U.S. to add roughly 180,000 jobs in November, including a boost of roughly 40,000 General Motors workers that returned to work after a 35-day strike. The end of the GM strike plus strong expansion in the health care, professional and technical services sectors powered the U.S. economy through lags in manufacturing and trade activity. […]