Does Doug Ducey Want to Eliminate the Income Tax or Not?

Categories: Election 2014

In the fifth and final gubernatorial debate yesterday between Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal, Ducey apparently walked back on his commitment to eliminating the state's income tax.

After DuVal attacked Ducey's plan to get rid of the income tax, Ducey replied that, "No one's talked about eliminating the income tax" -- as if it's something he has not actually proposed.

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Special Report: Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Ducey Hails From an Infamous Ohio Organized-Crime Family

Andrew J. Nilsen
Most of Doug Ducey's professional life has been spent in sales of one kind or another.

So when the 50-year-old entrepreneur turned politician was given a chance to sell himself at an exclusive June retreat sponsored by billionaire siblings Charles and David Koch, naturally he emphasized the positive.

According to secret recordings of the event recently made public as part of a special report by The Nation magazine and the YouTube channel The Undercurrent, Arizona's state treasurer had attended these Koch brothers summits before and knew the audience consisted of potential big-money contributors.

Ducey spoke their language. He talked up the success of Cold Stone Creamery, which he and his partner sold in 2007, boasting that the company grew from a few stores to "1,440 in all 50 states" without any assistance from the public sector.

"We did it without government," he told the summit's attendees. "We did it without subsidies. We did it without tax incentives for chocolate-dipped waffle cones."

Ducey's audience chortled. Delivered with a touch of humor, this evocation of independent, can-do capitalism was the perfect pitch to the crowd of plutocrats, facts to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Arizona Department of Corrections Agrees to Healthcare Reforms to Settle Lawsuit

Categories: News

Matthew Hendley
A proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 33,000 Arizona prisoners would bring about major healthcare reforms to the state prison system.

The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Prison Law Office over the conditions at Arizona's prisons was set to go to trial this Fall, but this settlement would prevent that. The settlement includes a wide range of changes, like offering cancer screenings to older inmates, increasing raining for dental assistants, and limiting the amount of time that seriously mentally ill inmates can be kept in solitary confinement, among other things.

"It's one of the largest, if not the largest settlement in a prison-conditions case in recent years," David Fathi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, tells New Times.

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Tucson TV News Site Admits "Egregious" Error in Web Story About "Arrest" of Robert Fisher

Categories: Media, Schmedia

A Tucson TV-news site reviewed its policies with staff members on Sunday after posting a Web article claiming falsely that Scottsdale family-killer Robert Fisher had been captured.

The article was published briefly on Sunday on the website, which is home to both CBS-affliliate KOLD-TV (Channel 13) and Fox-affiliate KMSB (Channel 11). As a cached version on Google shows, it appeared to confuse the facts of a story from over the weekend in which a bogus tip about Robert Fisher at a Colorado home led to the arrests of two men.

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Video: Buckeye Police Officer Threatens to Shoot, Kill Immigrant

Buckeye PD/Facebook
A Buckeye police officer threatened to shoot and kill a man during a traffic stop that was captured on video.

The officer, who wasn't identified by police, said during the stop that he'd shoot the driver, Teodulo Sanchez, if he did something, and later said he'd kill him if he moved out of the car.

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David Garcia, Superintendent Candidate, Endorsed by Scott Smith and Other Republicans

Categories: Election 2014

Matthew Hendley
Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith
Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, the runner-up in this year's Republican primary for governor, announced his support of Democrat David Garcia for the state's schools superintendent.

"David Garcia isn't only the most qualified candidate -- he's the only qualified candidate, and that's why I'm supporting him," Smith said at a press conference today, joining several other Republicans in endorsing Garcia.

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20 Most Memorable Arrests of Phoenix Athletes

Categories: List This

Clockwise, from top left: Mark Grace, Charles Barkley, Tom Chambers, Michael Beasley, Daryl Washington, and Jason Kidd.
Local law-enforcement agencies have had plenty of run-ins with Phoenix's professional athletes over the years.

Below, check out our picks for the 20 most memorable arrests of Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Coyotes, and Phoenix Suns athletes:

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Equality Group Calls on Tom Horne to Step Aside, Stop Defending State's Gay-Marriage Ban

Categories: News, The Gays


Local marriage equality advocates are calling on Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to step aside and stop defending the state's ban on gay marriage.

Why Marriage Matters Arizona delivered more than 5,100 signed petitions to the Attorney General's office yesterday. "The petition calls on him to stop standing on the wrong side of history and stop standing in the way of allowing loving, committed couples to marry," says Jeremy Zegas, project director for the organization.

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Top 10 Killer Bee Attacks in Arizona

Categories: Horror Story

Alan Taylor via Flickr
While tragic and horrifying, the swarming-bee attack that killed a 32-year-old landscaper in Douglas on Wednesday was not a freak occurrence in Arizona.

Stories about bee attacks and bee deaths appear regularly in the state -- perhaps once a year or more. While not as common as lightning deaths, most people would prefer lightning to death by stinging insects. When the Irwin Allen disaster flick "The Swarm" was released in 1978, few people realized that it contained more than a grain of truth for Arizonans, who in the last two decades have seen more than their fair share of bee-affiliated violence.

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Doug Ducey Up 10 Percentage Points on Fred DuVal in Latest Poll

Categories: Election 2014

Fred DuVal (left) and Doug Ducey.
Despite three previous polls showing a virtual tie between gubernatorial candidates Fred DuVal and Doug Ducey, the latest poll puts Ducey up 10 percentage points on DuVal.

This latest poll from the New York Times, CBS News, and YouGov shows 47 percent of the voters picking the Republican Ducey, and 37 percent opting for the Democrat DuVal. The same polling outfit's results released just a month ago had Ducey up just 1 percentage point on DuVal.

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Maricopa County Mugshots of the Week: The '90s Called

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, the 1990s called, and it wants its styles back. Enjoy.

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Police Arrest Two Women, but Still Seek Three Suspects in Shooting of DPS Officer

Categories: Crime Spree

Vanessa C. Martinez, Ramon L. Bueno, and Danny Angel Vargas are being sought for questioning in Wednesday's shooting of a DPS officer.

See updates at bottom of this article

Phoenix police have arrested two women in Wednesday's shooting of an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer, but still seek three other people.

Police put out a bulletin tonight with pictures of the three suspects who have "information pertinent to the investigation."

The officer, who hasn't been named, survived a shot to the face in the attack but remains hospitalized.

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Native American Groups Organizing Protest of Washington Redskins at Cardinals Game

Categories: Cardinals

Various Native American groups are banding together to protest games involving Washington's NFL team, starting with this weekend's game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale.

The groups are imploring the team to adopt a new name "that does not disparage Native Americans."

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Shayla Brattin, a.k.a. "Batgirl," Arrested as Accomplice in Murder of Church Janitor

Categories: Death Valley

Shayla Brattin.
Shayla Jeanne Brattin, nicknamed "Batgirl," is the second person to be arrested in connection with the June 24 murder of a Glendale church janitor.

Police listed the 23-year-old woman as homeless in court records, though most of her Facebook selfies appear to have been taken in a home. She's accused of -- and reportedly confessed to -- a key role in a crime scheme that climaxed with the senseless shooting death of 72-year-old Mark Woodruff.

The robbery was of the scarier variety: A group of punks desperate for drug money spotted the elderly man at a gas station and tailed him home, where one of them shot the victim.

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Sidebar: In Book, Ex-Arpaio Aide Sticks to Weak Story on Campaign-Conspiracy Allegations

New Times photo illustration
Roughly simultaneous to his feud with the county, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had been fighting one of the biggest scandals of his time in office - the so-called SCA campaign-finance debacle.

The scandal involved a secret organization, sometimes known as the Sheriff's Command Association, and corresponding slush fund. Retired Executive Chief Brian Sands, whose new book about his 30 years in the Sheriff's Office is detailed in this week's New Times, donated to the fund with automatic payroll deductions. So did former Chief Deputy David Hendershott, Deputy Chiefs Scott Freeman, Frank Munnell and Jesse Locksa, and another man in Arpaio's inner circle, Larry Black a former deputy chief rehired as a civilian.

Steve Ellman, a local developer who was friends with Sands and Black, and several other millionaires dumped $105,000 into the fund.

In clandestine meetings with a Republican Party consultant, Black and Fox -- with Hendershott on at least one occasion -- handed over two checks totaling $105,000 as donations to the state GOP.

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Camelback Victim Was Brazilian Student With "Science Without Borders" Program

Categories: News

Emanuel Rodrigo Biana Costa Bezerra, with red shirt over shoulders, celebrates on top of Camelback with friends on September 19 just before he collapsed on the trail. The photo was obtained from the victim's family by a Brazilian news outlet, which obscured the faces of the other hikers.
The victim in last month's Camelback Mountain fatality was 22-year-old Brazilian engineering student Emanuel Rodrigo Biana Costa Bezerra.

Local news outlets reported the September 19 incident, but not his name; South American news sites had the full story. New Times obtained the victim's identity on Wednesday from Phoenix police, who identified him as Manuel Rodrigo Viana-Costa-Vezerra.

The Phoenix police and fire department could not immediately release information about the tragedy, but Brazilian newspapers report that Costa Bezerra apparently died from a heat-related illness. An official cause of death hasn't yet been released.

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No Ebola Discovered in Arizona, but State Health Officials on High Alert

Categories: Health, News

Wikipedia/CDC Public Health Image Library
The Ebola virus.
With the widespread Ebola outbreak in West Africa and yesterday's death of the first patient diagnosed on U.S. soil, Arizona medical authorities are preparing in case an outbreak occurs here.

There have been no diagnoses of Ebola virus infection in the state, and the few scares have not been serious enough to necessitate full-fledged testing, states Dr. Cara Christ, the Arizona Department of Health Services' chief medical officer.

But if an Ebola case is discovered, she says, her department is ready to take charge and keep the public safe.

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Parade of Fools: Brian Sands Can't Distance Himself From the Bad Acts Detailed in His Book

Image: Mike Ray/Shannon Associates

Four years ago, when actor Steven Seagal found himself in need of a publicity-hungry, big-city law enforcement agency to help him shoot a reality TV series, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio rolled out the welcome mat.

The controversial six-term sheriff hooked up the wannabe cop with Executive Chief Brian Sands, a 30-year Sheriff's Office employee and one of Arpaio's closest and most loyal commanders.

But Sands relates in his controversial book self-published in August that getting assigned to babysit the has-been movie star was another humiliation in a career marred by similar Arpaio-flavored antics.

Sidebar: In Book, Ex-Arpaio Aide Sticks to Weak Story on Campaign-Conspiracy Allegations

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Montgomery Won't Charge Phoenix Fire Officials Over Bad Investigation

Categories: Fire

Two Phoenix Fire Department captains accused of lying in an arson probe won't be charged criminally, but their actions have spurred a reform of investigative procedures.

In July, officials with the state Department of Public Safety recommended that Captains Sam Richardson and Fred Andes be charged with lying and perjury following allegations that they botched a 2009 arson investigation. Barbara Sloan, 50, was arrested following the investigation, but the Maricopa County Attorney's Office later dropped the case in 2010 to a lack of evidence.

Today, Montgomery announced during his weekly news conference that while he would not move forward with criminal charges against the two investigators, but he's adding theirs name to the "Brady List," as it was formerly called, to be sure their past conduct is disclosed to defense attorneys in future cases.

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David Garcia, State Superintendent Candidate, Releases Two Television Campaign Ads

Categories: Election 2014

David Garcia campaign ad
At a Valley Interfaith Project's fall gathering in east Phoenix on Tuesday night, more than 300 voters had a chance to hear from David Garcia, who is running to become the state's new school chief.

As usual, his opponent, Diane Douglas, was a no-show despite organizers placing half a dozen calls to her office asking for her participation. New Times has also been unsuccessful in reaching Douglas.

In one of his two television ads, Garcia -- using a description of Douglas in an editorial by the Arizona Republic -- says that Douglas has as much knowledge about education as a cardboard cutout.

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