Kathy Hoffman’s anti-police rhetoric becomes focus of superintendent debate

PHOENIX — Kathy Hoffman, a Democrat running for state superintendent of public instruction, came under fire several times during Wednesday’s candidate debate for using anti-police rhetoric against her opponent.

Each candidate began the debate by introducing himself and herself. Republican nominee Frank Riggs talked about his career in and out of the education field. He served on the U.S. House Committee on Education and Workforce and chaired a subcommittee on early childhood in the 1990s and discussed his military and law enforcement experience before that.

“I served three years in the United States Army,” Riggs explained. “I served seven years as a police officer. When I was Ms. Hoffman’s age, I was working full-time as a sworn police officer.”

Hoffman, the Democrat, interjected with an eyebrow-raising response.

“What we don’t need as state superintendent is a policeman,” she said.

Riggs, surprised by the disparaging comment, laughed.

“I don’t find his laughing to be appropriate,” Hoffman said. “It’s absolutely condescending to attack me as a teacher and to treat — this kind of condescending giggles is unacceptable.”

The anti-police rhetoric came up again later in the debate after Riggs cited one of Hoffman’s recent tweets implying that school resource officers are racist.

“I strongly disagree with the plan to double funding for school police officers,” Hoffman wrote on Twitter in April. “Why? Discrimination does not stop at the school doors.”

Riggs criticized the Democrat’s tweet and countered that he is “proud of [his] service” as in law enforcement.

“That was a direct slur against law enforcement officers suggesting that somehow a school resource officer would discriminate against minority students,” the Republican said. “As a former law enforcement officer, I know law enforcement officers are colorblind in the way they perform their duties. She really ought to apologize to the law enforcement profession for making that demeaning comment.”

“First of all, no one is colorblind,” Hoffman, the Democrat, responded. “To say that we should be colorblind and that there’s no discrimination in our schools is shocking, in fact, coming from someone, anyone with that type of experience.”

Hoffman has also received widespread criticism for hiring Noah Karvelis — a controversial political activist and self-avowed socialist — as her campaign manager. She attempted to separate herself from the activist in a previous debate. Hoffman used public “Clean Elections” funding to pay Karvelis more than $25,000 for his part-time work on her campaign.

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Suspicious out-of-state PAC propping up Christine Marsh in LD28

PHOENIX — A suspicious out-of-state political action committee appears to be quietly influencing the state senate race in Arizona’s 28th legislative district in an effort to prop up Democrat Christine Marsh.

In a little-noticed press release dated July 13, 2018, Marsh mentioned to supporters that she had been endorsed by a group called “Future Now USA.” Just three days later, a PAC called “Future Now Fund – AZ” filed its first campaign finance report with the Arizona Secretary of State.

The campaign finance report is illuminating.

From May 2018 through June 2018, the PAC was quietly raising money from a number of “small donors,” giving it the appearance of a grassroots operation. However, further analysis of the group’s finances reveals that nearly 92 percent of the “small donations” — 225 out of the 245 total contributions — come from individuals who live in New York. The remaining eight percent of contributions come from individuals who live in East Coast states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In fact, not a single donation comes from Arizona.

The same can be said for the group’s second campaign finance report: All but 12 contributions come from individuals who live in New York. Not a single donation originates in Arizona.

The vast majority of the PAC’s funds come from another out-of-state group called the “Future Now Fund,” which is based in Washington, D.C. The “Future Now Fund” donated $110,000 to the PAC in two increments of $60,000 and $50,000.

It is unclear why the PAC — which collected sums of money from seemingly random people in states like New York — is attempting to influence a faraway state senate race in LD28 or what its East Coast donors are interested in accomplishing here.

The PAC has transferred its funds to six political candidates, but only two of those candidates live in Arizona. (The other four are running for office in New Hampshire.) Christine Marsh is one of those mere two candidates. Her campaign received several thousand dollars from the PAC just three days before she issued the little-noticed press release on July 13 mentioned above.

Why the PAC singled out Marsh for a donation remains a mystery. The group’s next campaign finance report, expected to be filed later this month, will shine more light on its funding sources.

Marsh, who has indicated that she supports the #AbolishICE movement, is running against Republican State Senator Kate Brophy McGee, who currently represents the 28th district.

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Christine Marsh ‘liked’ tweet calling for abolishment of ICE

PHOENIX — Christine Marsh, a Democrat running for the Arizona State Senate, ‘liked’ a tweet calling for the abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), adding to growing concerns among voters that she wants to eliminate an agency responsible for keeping Americans safe.

Alyssa Milano, an actress and far-left political activist, has become one of the agency’s most outspoken opponents in Hollywood. She has called for the outright abolishment of ICE, as well as the abolishment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The actress often tags her social media activity with #AbolishICE and #AbolishCBP — referring to the political movement led by Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Queens.

“TODAY, show up. Wear white. Make your voice heard,” Milano tweeted on June 30, inviting her followers to a protest and using the #AbolishICE hashtag to signify her support.

Christine Marsh, the Democrat running for state senate, personally ‘liked’ that tweet, sharing it with her own followers on Twitter.

As highlighted on “Marsh Is Wrong,” a new website set up by Senate Victory PAC, the Democrat also quietly indicated on a liberal group’s Candidate Survey that she “strongly agrees” with the following statement: “I support policy that would restrict and/or end the cooperation of local law enforcement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Marsh’s show of support for #AbolishICE and “sanctuary city” status comes amid growing concern from families across Arizona’s 28th legislative district about her position on border security.

Marsh is running against Republican State Senator Kate Brophy McGee, who currently represents the 28th district and is a longtime advocate for educators at the Arizona State Capitol.

Brophy McGee is one of the first volunteers who pushed for the “original” Proposition 301 education-funding mechanism to appear on the ballot in 1999.

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Exclusive: Despite ‘apology’ for serial plagiarism, Juan Mendez continued to plagiarize

PHOENIX — Only two months after admitting to serial plagiarism and pledging to stop, Democratic State Senator Juan Mendez continued to plagiarize from third-party sources on several occasions and attribute the language to himself.

In March 2018, this website first reported that Mendez had extensively plagiarized his answers to the 2016 candidate questionnaire provided to him while campaigning for the state senate. We also found that Mendez plagiarized a 2014 committee speech from a conspiracy theory website that called the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 innocent children died, a “hoax.”

Members of the Democratic Party — including Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs and representatives for the state party — largely abandoned Mendez after being approached for comment about his plagiarism, and the Democrat himself “did not respond to multiple messages left on his cellphone,” the Arizona Republic reported in a follow-up article.

Mendez eventually admitted to the plagiarism and claimed that he was simply “in a rush” at the time.

But this website revealed afterward that, contrary to Mendez’s claim, his plagiarism was not limited to those two instances. The Democrat had been serial plagiarizing for five full years (if not longer), including everything from floor speeches and committee testimony to online commentary and more.

We can now report exclusively that Mendez continued to copy-and-paste language from third-party sources, attributing it to himself — even after his apology and pledge not to do so.

In May 2018, Mendez spoke on the floor of the state legislature about why he supported Senate Bill 1525. The Democrat said that, “in the 46 years since the passage of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, maybe as a country we’ve made some progress” but stressed the need to protect our “shared resources.” Mendez also said that “minority, low-income, and indigenous communities” have “suffered disproportionate harm” from environmental problems.

If that sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the press release that U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s office sent out several months earlier.

Booker’s press release, quoting one of his colleagues, similarly states that, “in the forty years since the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act became law, the country has made great strides to protect our shared resources.” Like Mendez’s speech, Booker’s press release adds that “minority, low-income, and indigenous communities … suffer disproportionate harm” from environmental problems.

Mendez says that we “won’t be able to undo generations of environmental injustice without addressing the social and economic injustices,” while Booker’s press release — this time a quote attributed to himself — says that we “cannot have social justice or economic justice without environmental justice.”

Elsewhere in the speech, Mendez claims that various rules have led to “nearly absolute residential, employment, health care and educational segregated society.” This language is stolen from a 2005 academic paper about Phoenix, Arizona, that cites social rules having led to “near absolute residential, employment, health care, and educational segregation.”

Elsewhere in the speech — again, still from the same speech — Mendez says that some people have been “denied the privileges of … a clean environment” because of their race, which, he adds, has “forced our communities to live, instead, in less-desirable locations.”

That echoes a media advisory distributed by a liberal activist group in Rochester several months earlier. The media advisory says that some people “have been denied access to the privileges” of others, “forcing them to live instead in less desirable locations.”

While Mendez’s speech talks about areas “subjected to industrial noise, pollution, waste, and neglect” that “often result in health problems that are not typically seen by” others, the activist group’s advisory talks about areas “subject to industrial noise, pollution, and waste, often resulting in health problems not typically seen by those in other areas.”

Senate Bill 1520 is another example of the Democrat’s plagiarism from May 2018. Mendez spoke about the bill on the floor of the state legislature.

“The people served by Arizona’s human services and non-profits deserve to have an easy access to information about how to get help when facing a crisis or following a disaster,” Mendez said.

This portion of the speech was virtually identical to the Public Policy Agenda distributed the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits two years earlier: “The people served by Arizona’s nonprofits deserve to have easy access to information about how to get help when facing a crisis or following a disaster,” it read.

The only difference between the two is that the state senator added three words (“human services and”) at the beginning and a stray indefinite article (“an”) in the middle. Both also promised that the bill would help people “learn more about services to meet their basic human needs.” (Mendez deleted the word “more” in his speech, possibly an attempt to evade plagiarism detectors — a behavior he exhibited in the past.)

The Democrat plagiarized 2-1-1 Arizona, another nonprofit, in the same speech.

“Many people on our state services cycle in and out of our state safety net,” Mendez continued. “People with access to a whole spectrum of services, not just those that the state provides, are more likely to be successful and eventually self-sufficient.”

Likewise, the nonprofit’s website read in 2017: “Many people on state support cycle in and out of the state’s safety net. People with access to a whole spectrum of services, not just those that the state provides, are more likely to be become self-sufficient.”

Again, the state senator added the word “our”; replaced the phrase “state support cycle” with “state services cycle”; and subtly altered the last clause.

Another example of plagiarism that came months after Mendez’s ‘apology’ for plagiarizing? House Bill 2663.

“It’s about the more than $1 billion taken from our students and the fact that the budget still leaves out school support staff like school counselors, bus drivers, librarians, and many more who are vital to the success of our students,” the Democrat said about the budget bill.

But the words, attributed to himself, weren’t his own.

They were stolen from an Arizona Republic article published earlier that day. The quote was originally attributed to Joe Thomas, a local union boss, who claimed that the bill did not restore “more than $1 billion taken from our students and it leaves out school support staff like counselors, bus drivers, librarians, and many more who are vital to the success of our students.”

It is unknown how many other legislative speeches and public commentaries Mendez has continued to plagiarize despite his ‘apology’ in March 2018.

You can view the substantiating research at Arizona Democrats Exposed.

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Anita Malik praises ‘nationalization of health care,’ says she’s ‘definitely against’ a border wall during AZ-06 debate

PHOENIX — The two candidates running to represent Arizona’s sixth congressional district faced each other on stage Friday evening in what turned out to be one of the most interactive debates so far.

The debate, hosted by the Arizona Republic’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Arizona PBS’s Ted Simons, was described by the former as an “open exchange of ideas” and “opportunity for give-and-take” meant to facilitate conversation between the candidates — and it certainly did.

U.S. Representative David Schweikert, the Republican, has represented Arizona’s sixth congressional district since 2013. (He had represented the fifth congressional district from 2011 until redistricting.) Anita Malik, the Democrat, has worked in media and marketing.

One of the first topics of discussion: The tax relief package signed into law in 2017. Schweikert, who voted for the legislation, touted his elevation to the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee, chiefly responsible for overseeing tax policy, is a coveted position on Capitol Hill.

However, the Democrat called Schweikert’s position on the House Ways and Means Committee “a concern.” Malik — a C-suite executive, vice president, and graduate of the private University of Southern California — called herself “part of the working class” and claimed that the legislation is not helping middle-class workers.

“That tax bill is not supporting the middle class,” Malik said, “and that is why I believe the GOP is trying to pass ‘version two’ of that tax bill right now — as a political tool right before the November elections.”

Schweikert countered that wealthy Americans are actually paying a larger portion of income tax revenue now, after its passage.

“Ms. Malik, I’m sorry, but your math is quite wrong,” Schweikert responded. “Under the old tax code, with all of its gimmicks and its loopholes, the top 20 percent of income earners paid 84 percent of all the federal income tax. Today, under the revision, the rewrite, they no longer pay 84. They pay 87.”

Malik also dismissed the economic benefits of tax reform, stating that the “average person” will only receive about $1,000 per year in tax relief and are “not feeling that.”

“The tax reform was actually designed to maximize vitality in the economy,” Schweikert said. “And, look, the early data is pretty impressive right now.”

In Arizona, the legislation allowed Arizona Public Service (APS) to seek a $119 million rate decrease and companies like Cox Communications to free up money for bonuses and permanent pay increases for their employees.

Malik repeatedly attempted to tie Schweikert to the Trump administration, contrasting it with what she described as her independence.

“It is time that we start to put this party politics aside,” she said. “We need to stop using negative campaigning and soundbites.”

However, critics have pointed out that Malik’s partisan rhetoric on the campaign trail — such as claiming about Republicans on Twitter: “Weapons are their priorities not people” — has told a different story.

On stage, Schweikert defended his record and pointed out that he outperformed President Trump in the district by double digits in the general election in 2016.

“We have the healthiest economy right now in the world,” the Republican said. “Our productive gains are finally starting again. The reinvestment in capital equipment, particularly in this community, is wonderful and stunning and actually creates a fairly bright future for us.”

The conversation then turned to health care. The candidates talked about the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and Bernie Sanders’ plan to provide free health care for all.

Asked by her opponent, “Do you support ‘Medicare-for-all’ or nationalization of health care?” Malik answered: “I do.”

“The way I look at getting to a universal system is that we start today,” the Democrat said. “You take Medicare, where it is now, you bring in the public option — something that was stripped out of that original plan, the [Affordable Care Act] — you let people buy in … We don’t have to do it overnight, but we need to get there.”

While Schweikert agreed with the general goal of increasing access to affordable health care, he added: “My fear is that nationalized health care is a horrible way to move that needle.”

The debate touched on issues like trade policy and border security — to which Malik responded, “I’m definitely against the wall” — as well but more or less focused on whether Arizona is doing better today than it was yesterday.

“We’ve come so far,” Schweikert said, “and my desperate hope is we can continue to adopt policies that continue to bring this renaissance to our community.”

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Moses Sanchez slams City Hall as “dysfunctional and disconnected” in first mayoral debate

PHOENIX — Four candidates running to become the next mayor of Phoenix participated in a fiery debate Monday night, challenging each other’s qualifications for the city’s highest office.

The debate, hosted by KPNX, touted a packed stage featuring Daniel Valenzuela, Kate Gallego, Nicholas Sarwark, and Moses Sanchez.

Valenzuela and Gallego, the Democrats in the race, are former members of the Phoenix City Council who both resigned earlier this year to run for the Mayor’s Office. Valenzuela works as a firefighter in Glendale. Sarwark is running under the Libertarian Party.

Sanchez, the only Republican, is a 22-year veteran of the United States Navy. If elected, he would be the first Republican mayor that Phoenix has seen in nearly 15 years.

A demonstration took place outside before the debate began protesting Gallego. The protesters’ signs — many of which donned the phrase “corruption” — criticized the former councilwoman’s decision to accept $75,000 in campaign donations “from developers who want to repurpose Chinese Cultural Center, according to the Arizona Republic’s Jessica Boehm.”

The candidates debated water policy, public pensions, light rail, law enforcement, and much more.

Asked by a member of the audience how they would plan ahead and get things done, Valenzuela and Sanchez highlighted their experience bringing people together.

“The mayor, if nothing else, the mayor of the City of Phoenix must be a coalition-builder and a problem-solver,” Valenzuela, the Democrat, responded. “And I’ve done that.”

“I have a lot of experience — 22 years of experience — as a veteran in the Armed Forces leading men and women, both here at home and abroad, on very complex missions,” Sanchez, the Republican, said. “In order to achieve those complex missions, we had to be brilliant at the basics.”

Sanchez continued: “The status quo at City Hall, quite frankly, is dysfunctional and disconnected. There’s a lot of partisan bickering to the point where recently we barely passed a budget … How do you get people to work together if they can’t function?”

Brahm Resnik, the host, pressed Gallego about the “corruption” protest outside and asked about her ties to the developers in question.

“Why would that one company, TrueNorth, give you so much money? What do they want?” Resnik asked. “Why should voters trust your vote after hearing that you received $75,000 from these executives at some point in the process?”

Gallego defended her position on the cultural center. However, the exchange took a strange turn when Gallego compared criticizing the developers to criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We get asked to condemn people all the time, like Vladimir Putin,” she said. “I don’t like Vladimir Putin, but that doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate use of city time to be condemning people.”

The debate then shifted to law enforcement, the funding for which garnered significant scrutiny under former Mayor Greg Stanton as a result of a hiring freeze.

“I apologize that the City Hall and status quo have let you down,” Sanchez, the Republican, said, speaking to Police Chief Jeri Williams and her team in law enforcement. “Our police officers are under-supported and under-staffed … We need to properly man, train, and equip our police officers.”

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VIDEO: Ruben Gallego: Democrats will ‘kick the shit out of the Republicans’

PHOENIX — Congressman Ruben Gallego called Republicans “cowards” over the weekend and said that he’s looking forward “kicking the shit out of” them in November.

Gallego, a Democrat, represents the state’s seventh congressional district.

He spoke at a get-out-the-vote event Saturday evening hosted by Maricopa County Democratic Party. At the event, in a video captured by an Arizona Republic reporter, the congressman predicted that his party will win the mid-term elections in a blue wave.

“We are less than 60 days from totally kicking the shit out of the Republicans …” Gallego said, the latter portion of his remark being drowned out by applause from Democrats. “And I’m not just talking in the blue districts … We are going to win and turn this state blue.”

(You can watch the speech here.)

The congressman added that he believes Republicans are “cowards.”

“Every day we are out there, we have to fight,” Gallego continued. “We have to fight ‘cause Republicans are cowards and they’re gonna continue to be cowards.”

The Democrat has gained a reputation for using fiery, combative rhetoric to excite his party’s base.

He called President Donald Trump “a psychopath” earlier this year and recently suggested that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should investigate the president because of his tweets.

Gallego announced last week that he is considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2020.

 

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