County GOP Chair A.J. LaFaro Wants His Own Cult, and Puente's Carlos Garcia Gets a Reason to Vote

Dennis Gilman
Republican wild man A.J. LaFaro may be going back for a second helping of whupass from GOP blogger Barbara Espinosa

A lot of Latinos are ticked by President Barack Obama's decision to delay any further executive orders on immigration until after the election.

But let's be honest, with the U.S. Senate up for grabs in a handful of close races around the country, to have done otherwise would've been foolhardy.

Obama's delay may not save the Senate from falling to the Republicans, but while there's still a chance to retain the upper chamber, why hand the GOPers a 9-­iron to whack the Democrats with?

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Hunted: Comcast Leads a Plot Against the Internet

Categories: Cover Story

Emily Utne
Like any bloodless coup, this one takes place within the palace, beyond the purview of prying eyes. It's an inside job spearheaded by the ultimate of inside players, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. He's a former Obama fundraiser, cable lobbyist, and head of the cable trade association, chosen by the president to chaperone the same industry he once served.

Wheeler's loyalties were evident in May, when he proposed segregating the Internet between the haves and have-nots. Under the plan, cable operators soon could charge large companies like Netflix extra to move their wares over a high-speed expressway. Anyone who couldn't pay the toll would be relegated to frontage roads.

Critics believe Wheeler's plan will diminish competition and squelch innovation. Present rules dictate that all traffic move at the same speed, part of a long-standing principle known as "net neutrality." It puts a basement blog on the same footing as the Huffington Post and enables smarter companies to eclipse monied market leaders, in the way Facebook dispatched MySpace.

Yet Wheeler's proposal not only would hand a windfall to his former masters; it would allow cable operators to slow customers' content, regardless of promised connection speed. And it would give prevailing tech companies an advantage on upstart competitors who'd disproportionately feel the pinch of cable's fast-lane Internet tolls.

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Study Finds No Evidence That Abortion Restrictions Protect Women's Health

Categories: News

A pair of pro-choice groups say states with the most restrictive laws on abortion, like Arizona, have generally poorer health conditions and less supportive policies for women and children.

Abortion restrictions in Arizona and in state legislatures across the country are often billed as measures to protect the health and well-being of women and children, but this study from the the Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health attempts to show that these states don't actually treat the well-being of women and children as a priority.

"Folks who are following this closely are aware of the fact that these are bogus health and safety laws," says Nancy Northup, the president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights. "But we need to make that knowledge much more widespread to reach folks that may not be looking at this every day and tracking it."

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MCSO Jails Remain Under Supervision; Still Failing to Provide Adequate Care

Categories: Arpaio

Maricopa County's jails continue to provide inadequate medical and mental-health care to pretrial detainees, a federal judge found yesterday.

Judge Neil Wake, who placed the jails under supervision years ago after determining that they neglected detainees, ruled that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails must remain under court supervision.

"Those in charge of Maricopa County's jails can no longer skirt their constitutional responsibility for detainees' health," commented Eric Balaban, staff attorney for the ACLU's National Prison Project. "Judge Wake found severe problems with the jails' medical care, from intake to treatment. Detainees have had serious illnesses that the jails' staff missed or ignored, causing permanent injuries and even deaths. With today's decision, every detainee at Maricopa County should have access to adequate medical and mental health care. At last."

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Felecia Rotellini and Mark Brnovich Battle in Debate for Arizona Attorney General

Categories: Election 2014

Felecia Rotellini (left) and Mark Brnovich.
A debate last night between the two candidates for Arizona attorney general got heated quickly.

Democratic candidate Felecia Rotellini hammered away at Republican Mark Brnovich from the get-go, repeatedly labeling him an "ideologue."

"I want to take politics out of the attorney general's office," Rotellini said of the office currently run by scandal-plagued Tom Horne. "My opponent has already stated that the attorney general's office will promote an anti-choice agenda. That's what an ideologue does, not what a leader does."

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Maricopa County to Appeal Jury Award in Case of Lawyer Fired for Talking to Press

Maricopa County will appeal a jury award in the case of a lawyer fired for speaking to the press, ignoring a judge's harsh criticism of the county's actions.

Maria Brandon, who worked for the county as a lawyer for more than 30 years, was fired in June 2011 after she angered county officials with a quote that appeared in an Arizona Republic article. In February, a jury awarded her $638,148. The Republic , interestingly, didn't cover the trial or verdict.

In remarkable statements made after the verdict, U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone likened the county attorney's office to a soap opera and said he felt sorry for the people who have to work there. Yet the Board voted last week to appeal the case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Doug Ducey and Fred DuVal Debate Again a Battle of Business and Education Candidates

Categories: Election 2014

Fred DuVal (left) and Doug Ducey.
Now four debates deep in the race for Arizona governor between Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal, the candidates have stuck to their bread-and-butter subjects.

For Ducey, everything is centered on promoting business growth in the state, and for DuVal, everything circles back to education. In last night's debate televised on the local PBS station, most of the interesting points came in reverse -- with Ducey talking education, and DuVal talking business.

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Doug Ducey Aligns Perfectly With Cathi Herrod on Candidate Surveys

Categories: Election 2014

Matthew Hendley
Doug Ducey.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey recently has downplayed his relationship with Cathi Herrod, the Christian Right lobbyist who serves as one of Ducey's top policy advisers on his campaign.

Ducey's been questioned about her role in the campaign in the aftermath of Arizona's SB 1062, a product of Herrod and her organization, the Center for Arizona Policy. Ducey's said several times that Herrod's only part of a broad coalition he's built, and explained to the Arizona Republic that he's the "independent voice for Arizona."

Well, how closely to Ducey and Herrod's views align? Perfectly, according to Ducey's answers on the Center for Arizona Policy's candidate surveys.

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Another Round of Storms Cause More Damage Around Phoenix

Categories: News

Flooding at the Arizona State Fairgrounds this weekend.
Yet another storm in the Phoenix area this weekend caused more damage, including flooding, downed power lines, fires, and more.

"We were extremely busy [on Saturday]," Phoenix Fire Captain Ruben Saavedra tells New Times.

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10 Ways to Tell It's Fall in Phoenix

Categories: List This

Alan Stark
Since Phoenix is in a desert, it's a little difficult to tell that Fall arrived last week.

Given this difficulty, we have compiled the 10 tell-tale signs that it's Fall in Phoenix:

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Diamondbacks Fire Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell

Categories: Diamondbacks

Jim Louvau
Kirk Gibson.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have fired Manager Kirk Gibson and Bench Coach Alan Trammell.

"Kirk has done an admirable job under difficult circumstances and we are grateful for his professionalism and his dedicated service to the organization over the past eight years," D-backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa says in a statement. "We feel like it is time for a fresh start and with our recent restructuring in Baseball Operations, we want to get started immediately moving in a new direction. We are also appreciative of Alan Trammell for all that he has done for the D-backs and have great respect for what both men have accomplished in the game of baseball."

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APS, Activist in Stalemate Over Diversity Statistics

Categories: News

APS and local activist Reverend Jarrett Maupin are at something of an impasse over diversity statistics the reverend is demanding out of Arizona's biggest power company.

Maupin is following in the footsteps of Jesse Jackson, who successfully demanded workforce diversity statistics from Silcon Valley tech companies in a bid to get more minority representation in the tech industry. Maupin says he's taking a similar fight to power companies, starting with APS.

APS actually publicly released the statistics on its minority employment, but it was not to Maupin's satisfaction.

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Ruben Gallego, Presumptive CD7 Congressman, Gets an F from NRA, Loses B+ Rating

Categories: Election 2014


Ruben Gallego, who's likely to be CD7's next U.S. Congressman, has received an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association, according to the latest grades released by the gun-lobbying group.

Although Gallego, a former Marine, previously had a B+ rating, he's now considered a "true enemy" of gun rights.

Ha. Where was this grade a few months ago?

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Death of Camelback Mountain Hiker Eric Fernandes Caused by June Heat, County Says

Categories: News

Image: Facebook
Eric Fernandes, a 23-year-old Seattle man whose body was found on Camelback Mountain on June 3, died of heat exposure, officials say.
A Seattle hiker whose disappearance on Camelback Mountain in June launched a tepid, three-day search died of heat-related complications, officials say.

The body of Eric Fernandes, 23, was found on June 3 by a hiker who, along with some friends, had taken it upon themselves to keep searching after authorities held back. New Times covered the tragedy and the authorities' lackluster search, in a July 9 feature article

"There was no evidence of foul play," wrote Dr. Mark Shelly, Maricopa County Medical Examiner, in a report obtained by New Times on Friday. Fernandes "likely developed an elevated core temperature that led to unconsciousness and ultimately death."

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Diane Douglas, Candidate for Superintendent, Finally Faces Opponent David Garcia

Categories: Election 2014

David Garcia and Diane Douglas

After ducking out on participating in more than a dozen political debates or public forums, Diane Douglas, the Republican candidate for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, was forced out of hiding.

Because she's running as a Clean Elections candidate, she was mandated to participate in a debate sponsored by the Arizona Clean Elections Commission. The debate was hosted by Arizona Horizon's Ted Simons and televised Thursday on KAET Channel 8. (Station operators say the video will be available online later this evening.)

Douglas, a former school board president, is running against David Garcia, an associate professor at Arizona State University.

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Border Patrol Agent Charged with Assaulting 15-Year-Old Migrant in Custody in Nogales

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office
Aldo Arteaga
A Border Patrol agent has been charged with aggravated assault against a minor in custody in Nogales, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency says.

Aldo Arteaga, who has been with the agency since February of 2005, allegedly attacked a 15-year-old Mexican boy in January, a CBP press officer says. The agency is providing no further details on the incident.

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Bill Montgomery's Islamaphobe Calls Local Reporters "Collaborators" Who Defend "Stealth Jihadis"

Thumbnail image for FeatheredBastard_RESIZE_VF.jpg

As I mentioned in my column this week, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's Islamaphobic "expert," disgraced ex-FBI agent John Guandolo, recently accused Channel 12's Brahm Resnik and Fox 10's Mia Garcia of being "media collaborators," who "defend stealth jihadis." This, because of their coverage of Guandolo's coming to town on the taxpayer's dime.

Jeez, John-boy, what am I, chopped liver? I was the one who broke the story that you were coming to town, for cryin' out loud.

As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say, "Death, where is thy sting?"

Guandolo, a serious wacko who thinks CIA director John Brennan is a secret Muslim, was recently flown to Tempe by Monty at public expense to lecture prosecutors and law enforcement officials on the "threat" posed by local mosques and practitioners of Islam.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: Reading Faces

At the end of the week, we bring you a roundup of visitors to the desert's own Fourth Avenue Jail. To be considered for our Maricopa County mugshots of the week, get arrested, strike a pose, and we'll take care of the rest.

This week, we read some facial expressions on our inmates. Enjoy.

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Dabber in the House? Yes, if AZ's CD4 Voters Elect Democrat Mikel Weisser

Categories: Election 2014

Image: Ray Stern
Mikel Weisser, Democratic candidate for Arizona's Congressional District 4.
The first member of the U.S. House of Representatives who publicly admits to "dabbing" could be Arizona Democrat Mikel Weisser.

The odds may be slim of this occurring since Weisser's facing off against incumbent Republican Paul Gosar in expansive and conservative Congressional District 4, which includes Kingman, Prescott and part of Maricopa County. He's a former plumber and middle-school teacher, an ultra-leftie, and the current leader of Safer Arizona, a group that tried unsuccessfully to get a cannabis-legalization measure on the ballot this year.

Weisser brings a plethora of personal experience to the national debate over loosened marijuana laws -- in fact, when we last met him, he brought it in an Altoid tin.

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ACLU Sues Over SB 1070 Arrest in Pinal County

Categories: News

Nevele Otseog
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed the first lawsuit over an arrest stemming from Arizona's Senate Bill 1070.

The ACLU's description of Maria Cortes' arrest by Pinal County sheriff's deputies in 2012 sounds just like what 1070 opponents feared would take place under Arizona's immigrant-hunting law: A "cracked windshield" led to Cortes' getting separated from her children and detained by immigration authorities for five days.

"That arrest is not based on any probable cause of having committed any crime . . . it was based on what [the deputy] perceived or believed her immigration status to be," ACLU attorney Victoria López tells New Times.

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