John Kavanagh Could Teach Panhandlers a Few Tricks

campaigneventK.jpg
A Kavanagh campaign event from 2012, showin' the bums how it's done...

Apparently, this little thing called the First Amendment protects as free speech your right to ask for a handout. Wake's ruling was the result of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of a 77-year-old Flagstaff woman arrested after asking a plainclothes lawman (and I use the term loosely) for a measly buck to buy a hamburger.

As panhandling is protected speech, Kavanagh wants to regulate it, preventing poor people from soliciting within 15 feet of an ATM or bank entrance and within 10 feet of a bus stop. Amusingly, Kavanagh felt the need to write in an exception for the bus driver asking for a prospective rider's fare.

House Bill 2024 also would prohibit begging if the beggar touches the beggee, follows the beggee, obstructs the beggee, or "[continues] to solicit the person after the person being solicited has clearly communicated a request that the solicitation stop."

First time is a petty offense; subsequent violations, a class-three misdemeanor.

Kavanagh told Capitol Media Services that the bill still allows people to "ply their First Amendment right to bum money from someone else."

He should know because Kavanagh can bum with the best of them in the Legislature, a veritable Parliament of Panhandlers.

This year, Kavanagh's looking to move over to the state Senate, and his campaign finance filing for January reads like a who's who of lobbyists, lawyers, and special interests.

Everyone from the Gila River Indian Community to Turf Paradise owner Jerry Simms to SRP lobbyist Russell Smoldon to attorney Jordan Rose to onetime Phoenix mayoral hopeful Wes Gullett to lawyer Don Isaacson.

There are political committees aplenty kickin' in dough for Kavanagh: the Arizona Dental PAC, Freeport McMoran's PAC, PFIZER's PAC, the Arizona Pharmacy Association, the Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona, Pinnacle West's PAC, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, yadda yadda yadda.

These PAC and individual contributions were from last year. Kavanagh's next filing, like those of his colleagues, should be impressive, what with new donation limits recently okayed by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Individuals can give legislative candidates up to $2,000 in the primary and $2,000 in the general. Ditto regular PACs.

See, when political panhandlers beg for campaign cash, they don't stand near freeway exits.

Often, they have a party at a supporter's house or rent a room at a restaurant. Lobbyists and others drop off their checks, grab a canape, shake a hand or two, and amscray.

That's the life of a legislator, Democrat or Republican. There are other perks. Various groups regularly take over the lawn of the state Senate or House and serve lunch for the representatives and senators. I've seen legislators stuffing food in their pockets before ambling back for a vote.

And there are the "gifts." The infamous American Legislative Exchange Council, for instance, regularly gives its members -- legislators from various states -- "scholarships" so that they may attend ALEC conferences at fancy-schmancy hotels and resorts and be treated as mini-Roman emperors as they discuss model ALEC legislation.

A report issued last year titled "ALEC in Arizona" and sponsored by Common Cause and People for the American Way, found Kavanagh to be one of the many state legislators who has accepted ALEC gifts ranging from $175 to $1,448 over the years.

There's nothing illegal about this. Legislators are required to list the source of any such gifts of more than $500 in their annual financial-disclosure forms to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, though they don't have to give details.

Kavanagh has complied with this requirement. The last one he filed, in January 2013, listed gifts from ALEC, as well as from a group I was unfamiliar with, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

According to the website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the People's Republic of China, CPAFFC is one of China's major foreign-affairs organizations, founded in 1954, for the "promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between the Chinese people and other peoples throughout the world."

Kavanagh doesn't mention it on his disclosure form, but he recently confirmed to me that in 2012, the CPAFFC paid for him and his wife to visit three cities in China with other legislative leaders from other states.

"It was a friendship and educational trip, and we visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing," he wrote via e-mail. "It was sponsored by [CPAFFC] and facilitated through the National Conference of State Legislatures. It was their legislative leaders trip. I was the only Arizona attendee."

When I asked again whether CPAFFC had paid for the entire trip for himself and his wife, he answered, "Yes."

The couple hasn't made a big secret of it. Mayor Linda Kavanagh has a Facebook page, where you'll find photos of her and Kavanagh smiling on the Great Wall of China with politicians from other states.

Kavanagh is not the only one who takes trips like this. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Arizona Legislature have taken junkets to other states or countries on the dime of various organizations.

And in our state parliament of bums, I wouldn't say Kavanagh is the biggest.

Though, if I were the reincarnation of dreaded Wisconsin U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy, I might observe that the People's Republic of China technically still is communist, and Kavanagh took a trip financed by an arm of a commie government.

I know, I know. In our crazy world, Chinese communists are actually state-backed capitalists. Just like the ones on Wall Street.

To be honest, I wouldn't begrudge Kavanagh the trip at all, were it not for his penchant for targeting the poor.

I mean, if the cost of that trip were converted into cash, can you imagine how many dollar burgers it would buy?

E-mail stephen.lemons@newtimes.com.

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47 comments
FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Food for thought , but I was taught, when I am uncomfortable around someone ,maybe I'm the  one who need to look in the mirror....Maybe Kavanagh  has such wealth or a good life that walking by a begger  makes him feel guilty or uncomfortable... blessed are the poor

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Lost in the blog:  People need to ask the questions.


Mr. Lemons, Great reporting. Senator Kavanagh, former law enforcement, is more concerned about incarceration than education or children, their families and building stronger communities.


Senator Kavanagh should get the money for CPS from Appropriations, chaired by Senator Shooter, who passed a $50,000,000.00 budget for a NEW Super Max prison Arizona does NOT need. 


Citizens attended this New Super Max budget request meeting where Arizona Dept. of Corrections, Director Chuck Ryan asked for $50,000,000. Minutes after he spoke, Senator Shooter called for a vote from the committee and ADC Ryan was granted $50,000,000 by the Appropriations Capital Review Committee. Senator Shooter controlled the meeting and dismissed the citizens.


When citizens asked to speak and sign in, Senator Shooter told them they could not speak and could not sign in, at the kiosk. 


Where was the "needs request" for such a massive project? 


Where were the impact studies on the community, the taxpayers, the environment  (in state with serious water shortage issues) and the long range impact to society in the future? The state is responsible for the safety and well-being for those they arrest in their state. The state should NOT be importing inmates for dollars -- human trafficking / slave trade, creating liabilities for Arizona's taxpayers, while the profiteers move on and out.


Afterward the hearing, Kavanagh and Shooter, along with their cronies shared victorious smiles, as they tried to avoid the questions from the concerned citizens. They arrogantly walked away!  People should be concerned. This is how business in done in a one-party "controlled" state. This IS the peoples' problem.


Arizona lawmakers favor incarceration over CPS, education, helping children, families and building a better Arizona for the people. The lawmakers continue down the path of mass incarcerating its people, importing inmates and turning Arizona into a "prison state".   


The vulnerable, homeless and those they don't like (in a state filled with racism and hatred) are the future "customers" for their cronies, the private prison profiteers who control Arizona's public policy. This is a war on the people. 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Kavanagh - "the emperor with no clothes", read the story. 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Kavanagh and CPS:  Senator Kavanagh should get the money for CPS from Appropriations, chaired by his crony, Senator Shooter, who passed a $50,000,000.00 budget for a NEW Super Max prison Arizona does NOT need.

Kavanagh, should focus on the growing crisis in the broken criminal justice system -- reform Arizona's draconian mandatory minimum sentencing -- a failed system -- where a first time, non-violent offender is sentenced to 75 years in prison for non-sexual "touching" in a public swimming pool. A defacto life sentence. How many hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars wasted on the non-violent that could be saved for CPS, education and building stronger communities?

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

I searched high and low, over hill and over dale, to find something good to say about Mr. Kavanaugh.


Here it is:

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

You know what? I carry a $20 in my wallet at all times specifically for the purpose of giving it to any beggar who approaches me. Last year I gave away about $200.00. I don't really care what they do with the money because the thanks and amazement they show makes it all worth it.


Although I'm an Atheist, there is one religious saying that I think applies,


There, but for the grace of God, go I.


As for Kavanagh- His picture should be next to the word "Prick" in the dictionary

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

So, he has accepted money from the Arizona Pharmacy Association, the Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona.

Guess that explains his stand against cannabis.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

A right winger taking money from ChiComs??? MacArthur and McCarthy are rolling in their graves...

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

There is a old corny saying about "birds of a feather do seem to flock together" all anyone has to do is check out the flocks of birds these extremist right wingers seem to flock in!:-)

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

Russell Pearce's pal was all I needed to see, then it dredged up the images of Pearce and his murderous pal JT Ready, the suicidal/murderous Neo-Nazi Pearce also had as a hugging buddy at them cook outs the GOP former icon was so often fond of!:-)

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Kavanagh throws out a little red meat for the AZ. GOP base, every new year. SAME OLE ,SAME " . First he was after "those" LATINOS . Then he was after "them" marijuana freaks. And don't forget them transgendered people in the bathroom. Hell them are all my friends....now free trips to commie china ...ROFLMAO

leonardclark
leonardclark

Our elected leaders  (whether democrat or republican) have no business taking Communist governments money or trips paid with their money.   As far as picking on the homeless and hungry....well....this is what conservativism is all about....starve the poor and hungry in the United States of America and dole out corporate welfare to the rich and their filthy corporations.


Wish I could say I was surprised. Thanks once again Mr. Lemons for lifting up the rocks at the Arizona legislature and watching the cockroaches scurry away !

Leonard Clark

native of Arizona 

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Kavanagh doesn't care whether the money he gets is clean, dirty or filthy as sin. Such as the CPAFFC (founded in 1954! Chairman Mao was still busy executing the bourgeoisie by firing squad.), or the even more tainted funds from ALEC. Suffice to say that Kavanagh is a dick, a whole dick and nothing but a dick.

james8394
james8394

I'm guessing that this legislation will pass because all other concerns, issues and problems in Az. have already been solved by the republican brain trust in this state. I really wonder when the last time any of the GOP leadership (not truly a descriptive term but it does denote a certain group) was panhandled at a bus stop. I use transit and it does happen occasionally. I just say no and they go away but my fellow humans don't scare me. Well, some of the ones in positions to create bad public policy but I understand they feel the need to use fear as a way to keep a $20,000 a year job and how pathetic is that. Just a note Stephen, Russ Smolden no longer works at SRP.   

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Ok, with the Kavanaugh Taliban, if you find yourself about to get on to a bus don't have correct change and ask "Anybody got change for a quarter?  Anybody?" you are a criminal! (You asked more than once!)


That GOP sure does want to get rid of crazy laws and reduce government, don't they?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Isn't it about time for Shooter to bust into another school or for another GOP legislator to beat up their girlfriend in the middle of Hwy 51?

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Lemons, Great reporting. Senator Kavanagh, former law enforcement, is more concerned about incarceration than education or children, their families and building stronger communities.


Senator Kavanagh should get the money for CPS from Appropriations, chaired by Senator Shooter, who passed a $50,000,000.00 budget for a NEW Super Max prison Arizona does NOT need. 


Citizens attended this New Super Max budget request meeting where Arizona Dept. of Corrections, Director Chuck Ryan asked for $50,000,000. Minutes after he spoke, Senator Shooter called for a vote from the committee and ADC Ryan was granted $50,000,000 by the Appropriations Capital Review Committee. Senator Shooter controlled the meeting and dismissed the citizens.


When citizens asked to speak and sign in, Senator Shooter told them they could not speak and could not sign in, at the kiosk. 


Where was the "needs request" for such a massive project? 


Where were the impact studies on the community, the taxpayers, the environment  (in state with serious water shortage issues) and the long range impact to society in the future? The state is responsible for the safety and well-being for those they arrest in their state. The state should NOT be importing inmates for dollars -- human trafficking / slave trade, creating liabilities for Arizona's taxpayers, while the profiteers move on and out.


Afterward the hearing, Kavanagh and Shooter, along with their cronies shared victorious smiles, as they tried to avoid the questions from the concerned citizens. They arrogantly walked away!  People should be concerned. This is how business in done in a one-party "controlled" state. This IS the peoples' problem.


Arizona lawmakers favor incarceration over CPS, education, helping children, families and building a better Arizona for the people. The lawmakers continue down the path of mass incarcerating its people, importing inmates and turning Arizona into a "prison state".   


The vulnerable, homeless and those they don't like (in a state filled with racism and hatred) are the future "customers" for their cronies, the private prison profiteers who control Arizona's public policy. This is a war on the people. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

There are lots of reasons not to like Kavanagh, but I don't see anything wrong with this particular piece of legislation. and since, in two pages of ragging on the bill's author, the reporter doesn't provide a single argument for why the legislation itself is bad, I guess he can't think of anything wrong with it, either.


marcy
marcy

@FRONTERA 

So if you are uncomfortable around smelly people who are mentally ill then you need to look in the mirror?


And if you are uncomfortable around a gun toting lunatic shooting up a theater you also need to look in the mirror?


How about if you are uncomfortable around people at a Klu Klux Klan meeting?  Reason enough to take a look in a mirror?


Simple reality, it is quite reasonable to not want beggars accosting you as you walk down the street, though I find no reason to outlaw the practice of begging, a simple No works fine for most beggars, an FY is usually sufficient for those who can't figure out what no means. 


Now if you find yourself uncomfortable around people who tell bothersome beggars to go F themselves, take a look in a mirror.  

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

So many layers of disconnection. Why do we have to create systems that create this much inequality?

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@arizonaeagletarian  "I will highlight some of the most egregious as well as keeping people like Yarbrough under a magnifying glass (think Phoenix summer sidewalks). As always, I will keep you posted."


"Think Phoenix summer sidewalks" -- Thank you!

marcy
marcy

@shadeaux14 

As an atheist you should know better than to think that your position is life and someone else's position in life were pre-ordained by some imaginary flying man in the sky.


While some people end up with misfortune through no fault of their own, in most cases their misfortune is the direct result of the poor life choices they've made.

logicman
logicman

@shadeaux14 I believe in the "swine" theory that your great acts of kindness are actually selfish acts to make your bad feelings go away- especially when you advertise your great acts of kindness on a message board.

marcy
marcy

@shadeaux14 

He'll come around when the pot lobby starts sending him regular checks.

marcy
marcy

@mikefrombisbee 

While money can't buy you love it can certainly rent you a hooker or a legislator.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@FRONTERA Kavanagh also got prime TV time and AZ Republic article on the eve of the opening of the legislature. That certainly gives him the "edge" with the help of his enablers.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@leonardclark 

How is it starving the poor and hungry to insist that they behave civilly when asking for donations?

Hysterics like yours don't help solve social problems.

 

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@james8394 

Smoldon was with SRP when the donation was made, according to d-bag Kav's filing, at least, w.ith the Sec of State. Which branch is he hanging upside down from now?

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@WhoKnows Now that I think about it, the homeless are actually better off being arrested and fined. If they can't pay, they go to jail. Even Joe's vegan fare and a warm place to sleep is better than sitting by a grate any day.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@WhoKnows  Senator Kavanagh should get the money for CPS from Appropriations, chaired by Senator Shooter, who passed a $50,000,000.00 budget for a NEW Super Max prison Arizona does NOT need

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

"He (Kavanagh) should know because Kavanagh can bum with the best of them in the Legislature, a veritable Parliament of Panhandlers."

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@valleynative when they ban gifts to legislators as Chad Campbell has been trying (and shut down by Kavanaugh and the rest of the AZ GOP) to get passed for a few years now, then i have no problem with them telling the homeless they have restrictions for asking for a little help. Until that day however, its hypocrisy at its finest (yet again) 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@marcy @FRONTERA   Hey "front", if you want to bless the bums and the derelicts, feel free to invite them into your home (if, indeed you have one.)

Marcy:  I have read all of your posts on this thread.  I will be looking for more on other threads.  There are so few rational people posting on The NewTimes.  Yours were a welcome relief.  

marcy
marcy

@ConcernedCitizenAZ 

We don't create such systems, as not all people are equally motivated, skilled, healhty, etc, it is quite normal for some people to achieve much more than others.


You might as well ask why slower deer are more likely to get eaten by a wolf.  If you can't figure it out, at least we know why you are an underachiever.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@david_saint01@valleynative 

Completely separate issues with no dependency upon one another. 

The ban on assaulting pedestrians benefits the citizens, not, as the reporter himself points out, Kavanagh.

 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ

I'm not a member of the GOP (or any other political cult) and you don't seem to understand the concept of "troll".

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@valleynative @TheyCallMeMrTibbs 

The existing laws on assault cover plenty. Kav's law is unneeded,as I've already shown. Of course the legislator has something to do with the law he's proposing. Particularly when he has an animus toward the impoverished.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@valleynative @TheyCallMeMrTibbs Valley:  You waste your time.  You have proven to be much more rational than the numb-nuts, liberal loons in which you engage.  

The average liberal is so emotional they wouldn't recognize reason if it bit them in their copious asses.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@TheyCallMeMrTibbs@valleynative 

Try a little harder to separate the legislator from the legislation.  Nothing you can say about Kavanagh reflects upon the legislation in the slightest way.  Apply a little critical thinking.

The existing laws do not cover most of the abuses this bill would outlaw.

 

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@valleynative @TheyCallMeMrTibbs  

Get your head out of your ass. Kav is a bigger bum than anyone he wants to curb. The cash and free trip is far more obscene. There's no need for this legislation. Simple assault can include " Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person" or "intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury." (ARS 13-1203) That's enough to protect the public. It's a bullshit bill.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@TheyCallMeMrTibbs 

Irony is not a reason not to pass useful legislation.  You're in no position to call others idiots.  I'm guessing that you didn't read the article if you think what you said is significant.

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@valleynative @david_saint01 

Jesus are u dumb. It's called IRONY, idiot. Kav is fucking with panhandlers while he's out panhandling from lobbyists and getting free trips to commie China. Way to miss the point. Did you read the article even? 


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