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  • LMHudson 5:49 pm on October 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes on Kyrene 6-8 curriculum 

    I do not presently have any children in the Kyrene school district but I was nevertheless able to view some of their curriculum in the summer of 2020. You can, too. The main difficulty is that the courses do not have traditional textbooks. You have to make an appointment at the district headquarters and read the material the same way the kids do, on iPads. A member of staff — in my case, the head of curriculum — accompanied me and answered my questions. She was patient with me but the time is necessarily limited. I chose to skim a National Geographic interactive text on geography.

    None of my notes on the content will surprise you. The material is designed to be inclusive of all cultures. Hammurabi, not Moses, is the principal lawgiver, and there is no mention of the fact that he legislated classes of society, including slaves. According to these authors, there are four cultural “hearths:” the Egypt and the Tigris in Middle East, the Yellow River in China, and Oaxaca in Mexico. A listing of the civilizations in the Middle East does not include the Jews.

    As you would expect in an interactive text, there are loads of pictures and buttons to press. You can self-test. I did not see any text longer than a couple of paragraphs. If you did not have ADD before reading this material, it would induce it.

    Here is a photograph of the fiction assigned in grades 6-8. Notice what is missing: no Mark Twain, no Victor Hugo, no Charles Dickens.

    The Kyrene website guided me to this book, Civics & Economics. I was able to purchase it and read it on my own time:

    This book is by McGraw-Hill. No author would put his name on it. We learn that English settlers in America were just another group of immigrants in search of a better life. There is a consistent misrepresentation of our civics: no mention of consent of the governed, of separation of powers. Rather than citing sources, the authors rely on the phrases “others say” and “people say.” The section on economics does not mention division of labor. American economic success is due to cheap raw materials. Kids are encouraged to imagine what rights they are entitled to, and to demonstrate for them.

    No state law banning CRT is going to improve this. Textbooks are designed by the big global publishers, heavily influenced by the NEA. District schools simply buy them, no matter who is on the school board. (See the neighboring posts on proposition 208.) We need more charter and private schools and we need to support them using the Arizona Tax Credit.

  • LMHudson 4:36 pm on October 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Vote only on Election Day and as late as possible, even with an absentee ballot.) 

    Everything changed in November, 2020. We do not yet understand the exact mechanisms of the many vote frauds that were committed, but it is clear that many of the frauds required the insertion of fake, or illegal ballots. The aim was a narrow victory and required constant monitoring of the vote count so that just enough ballots would be added. If we vote at the last moment, it makes it harder for the bad guys to know how many fake ballots they need to print. Vote in person on Election Day if possible. If you vote by absentee ballot, return it on Election Day. If you are only dropping a ballot in the urn, you can skip the line of people waiting to vote.

    There may have been two reasons why the election authorities want us to use markers, (1) the bleed-through, which probably contributed to the dramatic rise in adjudication, and (2) the fact that the marks are hard to distinguish from machine-made marks. If you vote only a few races, you are inviting a machine to fill in the blank ones. The best way to leave a mark that is recognizably human is to use a blue ball point.

  • LMHudson 5:52 pm on February 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Communicating with Arizona legislators by email 

    The best way is to use the portal at Browse to either the Senate or the House, then to Members, and select the Representative you wish to communicate with. At the bottom of the form, there is a minor challenge to make sure you are not a spammer. Of course, the best evidence you are not a spamming robot is a personal note, written in your own words.

    Here is a note I wrote to all Republicans in both houses (and our own representatives, who are Democrats) on June 23:

    I have learned of communications sent to you yesterday regarding your responsibility to hold Katie Hobbs accountable for her malfeasance of duty. You were notified by mail, registered with the clerk, including Senate President Fann and Speaker of the House Bowers.  
    The citations, the law, the violations, the history, and the reasoning, are all laid out in this letter.  
    Because the machines were not certified, there were no legal votes, you are misrepresenting yourself and you are in danger of misprision of Treason. You need to help us to hold Hobbs accountable to take this weight off of you personally.
    We’re relying on you in light of the final days of the Session to do whatever it takes to move this resolution forward toward impeachment. The impeachment process MUST occur in OPEN session.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senator Karen Fann on June 1. (I also called her and left a message.)

    Dear Senator Fann,
    I am writing to urge you to allow debate on HB2289, the one-day one-vote no machines bill. I have yet to hear a good argument against it. We are all aware that the Democrats are against any kind of election reform and the Republican majority is so slim that one or two break-aways can stop anything, but the world has changed with 2000 Mules and whatever True the Vote is about to release. Those unreliable Republicans might just change their minds. Please try again.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senator Karen Fann on April 21. (I also called her and left a message.)

    I am a precinct committeeman in Tempe. I am writing to urge you to allow HB2289 to be voted on in the Senate.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senators Paul Boyer and TJ Shope on April 21. (I also called them and left messages.) I understand the Senators Boyer and Shope are the two hold-outs.

    I am a precinct committeeman in Tempe. I am writing to urge you to support HB2289 when it comes to a vote in the Senate.

    Here is a note I wrote to all the Republican Senators on April 18.

    I am a precinct committeeman in Tempe. I am writing to urge you to give full and positive consideration to HB2289. It is the only meaningful election reform the Legislature has considered since November 2020.

    Here is a note I wrote to all the Republican legislators on November 4.

    We have just had a special district election here in South Tempe — a school district override — that was all absentee. Recorders mailed ballots to everyone, regardless of their PEVL status, sometimes multiple times. It has been possible to drop ballots in collection boxes since Oct 6. Many of those collection boxes are sited in district school buildings. Until the final days of the election, if they were monitored at all it was by school district personnel. The ballot design made it possible to read the vote through the affidavit envelope with no more tools than a strong flashlight.
    The audit was little more than an expensive recount. My wife and I worked every day at the Coliseum at the paper examination
    tables, apparently for no result. How many illegal votes were cast is a question still unanswered. Many of you want to retire or seek different offices. Please do not leave our election system in this state. There is no more important issue than election integrity.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senator Fann on Sep 27. I sent copies to all the Republicans in the Senate and in the House.

    Dear Senator Fann,
    Thank you for the presentation on Friday. It is clear that we must abolish absentee voting. No one is ever punished for violating election law or defying subpoenas, so it is futile to write more laws to ‘improve’ what you describe as our ‘less than perfect’ voting system. That the two recounts roughly matched the county’s original count is irrelevant. What matters is who voted. We have seen overwhelming evidence that absentee voting permits voting by people who no longer live in Arizona and by phantoms who perhaps never lived here. It is stunning to realize, at the completion of the most complete audit ever performed, that examination of the signatures on the affidavit envelopes was never in the scope of the audit. Thank you for hiring Dr Shiva. His presentation was the highlight, and the best part of it was when he showed how many of the affidavit envelopes had been printed with the approval stamp underneath the signature box. Aren’t you curious where those envelopes came from? I think you need to follow Friday’s presentation with hearings.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senator Fann on June 29. I then decided to copy it to all the Republicans in the Senate.

    Dear Senator Fann,
    I am writing to urge you to keep the Senate in session for the results of the audit. I expect them to be shocking and I hope the legislators will be shocked into taking action to restore integrity to our elections. I understand you have the option of opening a concurrent special session now and then recessing it until the audit results are available.
    It would now be easy, also, to audit the other Arizona counties. I still have my blue t-shirt and would be happy to

    I try always to be positive. Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in both houses on June 14:

    I am writing to tell you how grateful I am for the audit. You have assembled a marvelous group at the Coliseum. I think the people who designed these processes are geniuses. I have no great skill but, guided by the audit team, I have counted thousands of ballots and this week I began “paper examination,” the collection of forensic evidence. When a delegation from another state tours the audit, I am proud of Arizona.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all House Republicans on May 25. Some of the language was suggested by Senator Kelly Townsend, who now ranks in my esteem with Senator Borrelli.

    As an Arizona voter, I have lost all confidence in our election system. Please vote YES on SB1241 and the Kavanagh amendment to help secure future elections and restore Arizona voter confidence. Later, when we see the results of the audit, we can abolish mail-in voting and machine tabulation.

    Sometimes there is only one legislator to address. Here is an example of a note I sent to Senator Shope on May 24:

    Dear Senator Shope,
    I am writing to thank you for being a solid supporter of the Audit. I believe it will show the urgent need to (1) abolish mail-in voting, (2) do all counting by hand, in smaller precincts, and (3) cut Maricopa County down to size. Let me take the opportunity also to ask you to support what was called HB2190 when it was in the House, the bill to prevent vaccine passports. It is not hard to imagine how vaccine passports might be abused. Please kill the idea at its inception.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on March 30:

    Thank you for supporting the audit. Once we understand how thoroughly corrupted our election system is, I hope you will help build support for real reform. We must restrict absentee voting to cases of real need. I hope we can use the upcoming redistricting process to shrink the size of precincts to a size — 1,000 voters? — that permits hand counting.

    I sent the following to all the House Republicans:

    I don’t understand why the House has not called its own hearings to investigate the November election. None of the legislation before you matters until we restore integrity to our elections. I have sent this message to the Republican Senators:
    Thank you for supporting the audit. Once we understand how thoroughly corrupted our election system is, I hope you will help build support for real reform. We must restrict absentee voting to cases of real need. I hope we can use the upcoming redistricting process to shrink the size of precincts to a size — 1,000 voters? — that permits hand counting.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on March 15:

    Absentee voting is inherently corrupt
    It is easy to demonstrate that someone has figured out how to cast ballots on behalf of people who no longer live in AZ. Senator Ugenti-Rita’s proposal to begin cleaning up the voter rolls is too timid. I believe absentee ballots are inherently corrupt. Please begin the audit. Please make Jovan Pulitzer at least one of the auditors. I don’t believe you will detect the fraud if you merely sample the ballots or if you merely examine the scanned images.

    I sent the following to all the House Republicans:

    Absentee voting is inherently corrupt
    I sent the message below to Republicans in the Senate. Can you please help them? Please call for hearings into the November election.
    It is easy to demonstrate that someone has figured out how to cast ballots on behalf of people who no longer live in AZ. Senator Ugenti-Rita’s proposal to begin cleaning up the voter rolls is too timid. I believe absentee ballots are inherently corrupt. Please begin the audit. Please make Jovan Pulitzer at least one of the auditors. I don’t believe you will detect the fraud if you merely sample the ballots or if you merely examine the scanned images.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on March 1:

    it is essential to audit ALL the ballots
    My wife and I celebrated the unsurprising court decision that the Legislature is superior to any county. Were we premature? There are rumors that you might be content with a sample. Who could be trusted to select such a sample? Please audit ALL the ballots, and use the technique called kinematic artifact testing as it sounds like the best, if not the only way, of detecting fake ballots.

    I also sent a copy to all the House Republicans, with the added request that they be ready to call for hearings if the Senate falters. The best explanation of the current problem is in this video by Jovan Pulitzer, here. It is an odd format, rather repetitive. The essential message starts at about the 20 minute mark. His argument, I think, is there is no one who could be trusted to select a sample.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on Feb 22:

    congratulations on passing SB1408
    Congratulations on passing SB1408. I will write to House members to urge them to take it up; however, I am very worried about the short remaining calendar. Is it possible for this session to end without a hand audit of the November ballots and seizure of the Maricopa tabulation machines? Will the Board of Supervisors have beaten the state Legislature? Will there be no hearings into the election?

    Here is the companion note I sent to all the Republicans in the House:

    please take up SB1408 and pass it
    I am writing to urge you to take up and pass SB1408 which has just passed the Senate. The bill is necessary but the real need is for the House Government and Election committee to begin hearings on the November election. I am very worried about the short remaining calendar. I hope it is not possible for your session to end without defeating the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and making a hand audit of the paper ballots and seizure of the Dominion machines irrevocable.

    Here is a link to SB1408. I think it is clever and I especially thanked Warren Peterson for writing it. It anticipates yet another dodge by the Maricopa County Superintendents who will claim, without this law, that some of the evidence needed for the audit cannot legally be provided. Once the bill has been taken up by the House, you can use the RTS system to urge its approval.

    If you want to address only the leadership, the key legislators are:

    • Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the House, who clearly does not want an audit
    • Karen Fann, President of the Senate, who I think is very wobbly
    • Warren Peterson, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
    • Michelle Ugenti-Rita, chairman of the Senate Government Committee
    • John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Elections Committee

    Another four who occupy key posts, but who need your encouragement: Vince Leach, Rick Gray, Paul Boyer, and T.J. Shope, all Senators.

    Here is an example of a note I sent Friday, 12 February. I addressed it to all the Republicans in the Senate except Paul Boyer.

    Thank you for voting to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt. I am very sorry the vote failed. I am worried about the calendar. How can you agree on legislation to reform the election procedures if you don’t know what happened? Aren’t hearings the best fallback? Please call for hearings into the November election.

    I don’t believe there is any reason why this is exclusively the job of the Senate, so I sent this note to all the House Republicans.

    The failure of the vote to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt I think means the Senate needs your help. How can you agree on legislation to reform the election procedures if you don’t know what happened? Please call for immediate hearings in the House into the November election.

    I may be unfair to the Democrats. I will search for a Democrat for whom election integrity is a non-partisan issue.

    You are certainly not limited to the issue of election integrity. I just don’t think anything else matters unless and until we make it impossible to steal the 2022 election. There is a mechanism that permits you to comment on individual bills, called Request to Speak (RTS). I describe it here.

    My personal hero is Sonny Borrelli, who represents Mojave and La Paz Counties. I asked him once what ordinary citizens who are not in his district could do to help, and he replied, “write to me and tell me what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong.”

  • LMHudson 5:51 pm on February 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    How to use the Request to Speak (RTS) system 

    First, you must go physically to the State Capitol and register at one of the kiosks. Once you have done that, the RTS system will recognize you where ever you login from with your email address and password. You must do this once only. I would be happy to help you.

    Now, do your homework. Two good sources are Jose Borrajero’s People’s Lobbyist ( and the Arizona Civil Defense League ( Sign up for their email alerts.

    Once you are registered and have a bill on which you wish to comment, browse to, select Request to Speak, and sign in. Suppose you are interested in HB2054. This bill would amend ARS 16-165 on page 2, line 24, by one word. Where ARS 16-165 presently says “The Secretary of State may compare the records of deaths with the statewide voter registration database,” HB2054 proposes to change “may” to “shall.” As of 12 February, there were 109 people writing in support and 466 writing against. Election integrity is a stunningly partisan issue and those who oppose it are very well organized. The members of the House seem not to have been impressed by the RTS ‘No’ votes. Yesterday this bill was passed out of the House to the Senate, 58-1, with only our own Jennifer Jermaine voting ‘No.’

    If you wish to express an opinion about a bill, browse (from the front page of to Legislative Information>Request to Speak. Make a New Request and specify the bill.

  • LMHudson 5:49 pm on February 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  


    Recalls are hard because the law requires the number of signatures to be at least 25% of the number of votes cast. In November, 424,531 votes were cast in the District 1 Maricopa County Supervisors election, so 106,133 signatures are needed for recall. Since Jack Sellers won very narrowly, that is half the votes he received. No Democrats, to my knowledge, support election integrity, and all favor municipal subdivisions — counties and cities — over the state legislature, so all those signatures will have to be gathered either from people who did not vote in this race in November or from people who voted for Sellers and now regret it.

    The physical petition must be printed both sides on legal size paper and the signature collector must have his signature notarized. I can do both. If you want to sign, please contact me. I can also provide petitions for the statewide recalls of Governor Ducey, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and Kathy Hoffman, the State Superintendent of Schools.

    The organizers of this recall are here:

  • LMHudson 2:26 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    City of Chandler Question 1 

    There is no meaningful vote here. Southwest Gas is the monopoly provider. The only way to escape them is to go off grid. We must rely on the Arizona Corporation Commission to oversee their pricing.

  • LMHudson 2:13 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    A further argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 208 

    The district schools were granted their monopoly in the hope they would produce good citizens. There is a lot of evidence — at the national level — that the teachers’ unions have turned or tried to turn the district schools into factories designed to produce social justice warriors. At their 2019 annual meeting, the National Education Association (NEA) rejected a motion here to “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education.” The NEA went on to adopt motions including one to “incorporate the concept of ‘White Fragility’ into NEA trainings,” here, and “to push reparations” here. More on this topic here.

    The Arizona Education Association (AEA) is an affiliate of the NEA, and our local teachers’ associations such as Kyrene Education Association is an affiliate of the AEA. The Kyrene school district acknowledges the national controversy in their administrators’ blog, but says such things are not happening in Kyrene.

    What’s happening is more subtle. Kyrene’s governing board did not, like Tempe Elementary School District, adopt a resolution in favor of Black Lives Matter, but the district curriculum is nevertheless a choice that has been imposed on the families in the district without any real public deliberation. Arizona law requires Kyrene to expose its curriculum choices on its website for 60 days (science is there now, here), and parents and community members may view educational materials by appointment on the district premises. The governing board approves the curriculum in the following, very narrow sense: they are presented choices where the research is done by the staff. They approve if the material is within budget and within the vague guidelines (English Language Arts here, History and Social Science here) of the Arizona Board of Education. (There must be some reference to the Holocaust, for example.) Governing board members are not expected to read the material.

    It is hard to read, partly because it is mostly online. The big education publishers — McGraw-Hill, Savvas (once known as Pearson), National Geographic — provide interactive material, which is supposedly more engaging for kids than pages of text. Actual books –fiction –are assigned in Language Arts. They are exclusively modern works because they are chosen to reflect the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

    Those values are not only the values of the Kyrene staff; they are imposed by the publishers. Here is an email to the Savvas national sales staff describing their goals:

    Savvas’ business is supplying the enormous school districts. They do not sell to small, independent schools. They want to sell the same product nationwide, and, thanks to the NEA, there is a big market for Culturally Responsive Learning (CRL). If a governing board member wanted his district to adopt a text like Wilfred McClay’s American history Land of Hope, the struggle would be hard.

    Kyrene provides a 20 minute video about their Social Studies curriculum here. The narrator describes Kyrene’s goal as creating global citizens.

    If each Kyrene school sought its own charter there might be a school devoted to CRL, and perhaps another devoted to anti-racist training. Parents might freely choose to send their kids to these schools. What is missing is choice. The best way to promote quality education in our neighborhood is to vote ‘No’ on Proposition 208 and use the Arizona Tax Credit to encourage more independent schools.

    • kimberhatt 9:31 am on October 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Good information. Thanks Lawrence


  • LMHudson 8:24 am on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils 

    This logic pulls us inexorably to the left. The sole requirement for receiving the endorsement of the Republican party is registration as a Republican. There must be a limit. We might sometimes actually be better off with elected officials who are known to be wrong, than those who deceive and betray us. It would force us to be more vigilant and to use the legislature to stop them from doing harm. It’s too dangerous to withhold a vote in a election for a legislator, but for some of the myriad governing boards we are asked to vote on, it is necessary to draw a line. In this election, I offer the county supervisors (see neighboring post) and the Kyrene School Board (see neighboring post) as examples.

  • LMHudson 2:46 pm on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    City of Tempe Questions 1-5 

    We are being asked to approve $349 million of new general obligation (GO) debt, divided into five ballot questions for different budget purposes. The city provided this 20 minute youtube presentation, here. The proposed bonds are intended to fund the projects in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), here. The total program will cost $776 million over 5 years. Every four years, the City asks voters for the authority to issue bonds. It is not possible to relate the numbers for the proposed borrowing to the CIP. Our approval is needed to continue the ongoing process of borrowing and spending, so the five questions are really one.

    Four years ago, the last request for bond authority (for $254 million) passed 25,439 to 14,187. If you are uncomfortable with this process, merely withholding your vote is not an effective protest.

    Even if you value water pressure, paved streets, and police protection, there are two reasons to vote ‘No.’ First, the City has for years demonstrated an odd obsession with mass transit and it has stopped enforcing single family residential zoning (see neighboring posts, here, here, and here), possibly because our leaders believe we should all be encouraged to live more closely together. The CIP not only cannot be mapped to the proposed bonds, it is impossible to pick out, for example, mass transit-related projects, and oppose them. A ‘No’ vote, against all the bonds, is a protest against the neglect of the suburban neighborhoods.

    Second, the City carries a heavy load of pension debt and they should demonstrate that they have a plan for paying it. As of June 30 2019, the City had about $450 million of GO debt and $500 million of pension debt outstanding. (See page 34 of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) here.)

    The state limits the amount cities can borrow on a GO basis to a fraction of the property tax base and Tempe has unused GO debt capacity under that calculation. There are no limits on pension debt and the accounting is faulty.

    promiseamount recognized
    Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)108
    Public Service Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS)305
    Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)79

    The two retirement systems are at the state level and have boards of trustees. If they are accountable to anyone, it will be the legislature.

    Pension debt differs from normal, bonded debt in that the liability must be estimated. Government organizations systematically cheat, choosing actuarial assumptions that understate the liability.

    The ASRS and PSPRS trustees assume that their investments will earn about 7.5% per year and that their future obligations can be discounted to the present at the same rate. If the trustees were to adopt actuarial assumptions from the private sector — say, Berkshire Hathaway’s assumptions (see page K-17 of their 2019 annual report, here) of 6% for earnings and 3% for the discount rate, the debt would be far greater, maybe more than 50% more. Both retirement systems publish their sensitivity to changes in their actuarial assumptions, on page 52 of the PSPRS CAFR, here, and on page 69 of the ASRS Annual Actuarial Valuation, here. Both systems estimate their sensitivity to a 1% change in assumptions to be about 10%. (The City, on page 108 of its CAFR, estimates the sensitivity to be higher, about 20%, so 10% may be a low estimate.) All the changes from their assumptions to private sector assumptions are adverse, totaling 5 1/2 percentage points. This suggests that the debt calculated under private sector rules would be at least 50-60% higher, or $700-800 million. Pension debt dwarfs the GO debt.

    Borrowers like the City of Tempe are fee-paying clients to the bond rating agencies, so their ratings always lag reality. AAAs can become Bs very quickly, but only after the market closes to the bonds. In an extraordinarily low-interest rate environment where all lenders are chasing yield, no one looks hard at credit risk. The cities of Prescott and Bisbee explored bankruptcy as a defense against their pension debt. Story here. Tempe is neither Prescott nor Bisbee, but in order to remain a premium credit, it must fund its pension debt more realistically.

    Of the modest contributions asked annually by the retirement systems, the cost is shared between the City and the police and fire employees about 6:1; ASRS employees pay half of the levy. If the retirement plans were funded according to private sector actuarial assumptions, employees might balk at paying more or demand raises to compensate. Either way, the City will have to find room in its budget for perhaps another $30 million annually, unpleasant but not impossible.

    A better solution would be to pay it off now. The City attempts to structure its GO debt so the cost of repaying it is in the same time period as the use of the asset. (A building that lasts 20 years will be funded with 20 year debt.) Applying that logic to pensions would require very nearly paying off the debt.

    A ‘No’ vote on these bonds is a request to the City to put its pensions in order.

  • LMHudson 5:01 am on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Special Health Care District 

    Here is a description of the race, between Mary Harden and John Farnsworth. Ms Harden is incumbent, a former nurse, and a great believer in public health. She is opposed by Mr Farnsworth, who is the brother of Eddie Farnsworth, who serves in the Legislature. Neither candidate, less than 3 weeks before the election, has published campaign material on the internet. If you search facebook for Mary Harden, you will find she is endorsed by the Arizona Nurses Association and Lauren Kuby.

    In 2014 the hospital system, then known as MIHS, sought voter approval for a $1 billion bond issue, to raise money to build new hospitals. Republican legislators (including Eddie Farnsworth) opposed what was called Prop 480–story here— but it passed 513,967 to 296,505 in an election in which 877,187 voted. Some members of the MIHS board also — in 2012 — opposed the bond issue and they were ousted in the 2012 election, story here. It is impossible for an outsider to know what happened — an excellent reason why governments should not run hospitals or any other service readily supplied by the market — but it seems possible that the MIHS wanted to build more hospitals and they engineered a board which would not interfere. Ms Harden began her service as a board member in the 2012 election.

    Whether or not you vote for a board member, please don’t forget to vote ‘No’ on Proposition 449. See the neighboring post.

    • azfamilylawtips 2:13 am on October 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      You did a fantastic job with this website!!! It was MOST helpful in deciding how to vote. I especially liked the deleted tweet, lol!!! thank you!


  • LMHudson 4:45 am on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Proposition 449 

    This proposal would extend an existing property tax for another 20 years, for the benefit of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District, also known as Valleywise Health, or County. We are also being asked, in November, to elect a member of the Board of Directors. There is also a 9 member Governing Council. None of these people is paid, and there is no reason to believe they have any real authority. Too much of our government consists of highly-paid staff supposedly governed by good citizens. The staff generally frame the questions and control the agenda. Accountability to voters is an illusion.

    The arguments for this proposition are here. Notable endorsers are Kyrsten Sinema, Paul Penzone, Reuben Gallego, and Corey Woods.

    In November, 2014, the Maricopa Integrated Health System (a previous name for Valleywise) came to us for approval of a billion dollar bond issue. The Arizona Free Enterprise Club opposed it. Their argument is here. The Club also opposes Proposition 449, but they have not so far written more than the list of their endorsements, here. The 2014 bond issue passed, with 513,967 ‘yes’ votes, and 296,505 ‘no’ votes. Withholding your vote is not an effective protest.

    Here is the latest Valleywise budget. In it, you will learn that their annual operating budget is about $600 million, of which about 60% is salaries and benefits. Most of their revenues come from Medicaid. Their employees, like district school teachers, belong to the Arizona State Retirement System, which is badly underfunded.

    Valleywise needs to explain better why they need our money, and why we need a public hospital system.

  • LMHudson 1:46 pm on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Judges of the Court of Appeals, Division 1 

    Paul McMurdie has shown bad judgment on several occasions, such as Medicaid expansion and Prop 207 from 2006 (now ARS 12-1134). Samuel Thumma is a Napolitano appointee and an alumnus of Perkins, Coie, an extremely partisan Democrat law firm. These two should not be retained.

  • LMHudson 10:30 am on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for not voting in the Board of Supervisors 

    Adrian Fontes was in charge of county elections for the November 2018 election. He created so-called Emergency Voting Centers–without any legal basis– located in Democrat neighborhoods, and when the Republican party tried to get an injunction against counting the votes they collected, Fontes stripped off the outer envelopes and mixed the ballots with the others, making them impossible to identify. The following March, the Arizona Federation of Republican Women hosted a panel that included Steve Chucri, who represents District 2 on the Board of Supervisors (BOS). Mr Chucri told us that the real responsibility for running elections rests with the BOS, and that the job had been delegated years ago to the Recorder. Because of the Recorder’s behavior in the recent election, Mr Chucri promised us that the BOS would re-assume control of elections.

    Two years later, Mr Fontes is still largely responsible for elections. (See this neighboring post, and this one about how Fontes’ instructions live on, here.) The BOS has done almost nothing to reign in Mr Fontes. It was their responsibility. They acknowledged their responsibility and said that they had all necessary powers to fix the problem. They betrayed us and now they ask us to vote for them because their opponents are supposedly worse. None of the supervisors should be returned to office.

  • LMHudson 6:02 am on September 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Judges of the Superior Court 

    If, like me, you think all government activities become unaccountable over time and our county court system in particular has become a black box –try finding out how many jury trials there are–, our method of voting whether to retain judges is highly unsatisfactory. We are expected to vote based on these ratings by the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, which are based on surveys mostly of attorneys and witnesses. Only one of the 40 judges up for review has a rating that varies significantly from the others (Ms Gentry). The Commission distributed 102 surveys to attorneys, of which 27 were returned, and 827 surveys to witnesses, of which 52 were returned, so her score is based on the testimony of some individuals who got mad at her, maybe with reason, maybe without. We cannot know. A more positive review of the ratings system is here.

    Only two Superior Court judges have ever been rated unfit by the Commission. Story here, and here.

    Nevertheless, we vote, usually ‘yes.’ In 2018, all the Superior Court judges were retained, by an average margin of 2.5:1. The judge who came closest to being voted out got 459,288 ‘yes’ and 311,878 ‘no’ votes. In that election, nearly 1.5 million people voted in Maricopa County, so half ignored the second page of the ballot but half voted. Merely failing to vote is not an effective protest.

    The Legislature can change this system but they respond to votes, so we need to vote ‘no.’ Here are three ways of voting ‘no:’

    1. vote against retaining ALL the Superior Court judges, except the ones we have evidence are competent judges, in this case, Ms Marwil, and Mr Whitten. Mr Coury found the language of Proposition 208 to be misleading but he got overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court. Supporters of Proposition 208 are trying to oust him.
    2. vote against all those judges appointed by Democrat governors and those who once worked for Perkins Coie (an extremely partisan Democrat law firm). That logic results in a ‘no’ vote for Ms Gentry, as she was appointed by Governor Napolitano. The other ‘no’ votes are Bruce Cohen, Pamela Gates, Michael Gordon, John Hannah, Michael Kemp, Michael McCoy, Scott Minder, Karen Mullins, David Palmer, Timothy Ryan, and Christopher Whitten.
    3. The Democrat party here endorsed all but a few judges. If you vote exactly in the opposite fashion, you will come close to the results above.

    The Arizona Free Enterprise Club provides its judge endorsements here. They are surprisingly generous.

    • Heidi Will 9:49 pm on October 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate the information on judges. I’m confused about Whitten. Under #1 you say he’s competent, but in #2 you say he worked for Perkins Coie. Are you recommending voting for or against him?


      • LMHudson 6:37 am on October 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Judge Whitten was appointed in 2006, by Governor Napolitano. I don’t believe he has ever worked for Perkins Coie. If I knew nothing else about him, being appointed by a Democrat would disqualify him under crude rule #2; however, I know someone who has appeared before him in a difficult case and found him to be a fair-minded judge and that’s more important.


  • LMHudson 5:47 am on September 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 207 

    This statute would essentially legalize marijuana for those over 21. The precise rules, such as the limit of 6 marijuana plants, don’t matter because once you take the police out of this business, the rules will become a kind of honor system. Here are the arguments for. Here are the arguments against.

    There are over 100 unique essays urging a ‘No’ vote. Some bear multiple signatures. The essays come from our Catholic bishops, our governor, many of our legislators, and from medical professionals, law enforcement, psychiatric counselors, and parents, people who have experienced the effects of marijuana on their children.

    There are 10 essays urging a ‘Yes’ vote, two from Chad Campbell, first in his capacity as the sponsor of this legislation, and a second one, in which he presents himself as a private citizen. (He is, in fact, an executive for the advocacy firm Strategies 360.) There are two essays from retired politicians predicting job creation by the marijuana industry. There is an essay from a lawyer lamenting harshness of the punishments under existing law. The rest are from commercial sellers of marijuana.

    Will Humble (director of Arizona Public Health Association, an advocacy organization) submitted the same essay under both ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ He predicts both costs and benefits.

    The recent book Tell Your Children, by Alex Berenson, makes two points:

    1. we have long experience of alcohol, but almost none with today’s high-potency THC.
    2. there is lots of evidence that, for some people, THC is a gateway drug, and for some, THC may cause violent, psychotic behavior.

    No one knows for sure what will happen if this legislation passes, but the most important thing to realize is that if it passes in this form, as a ballot initiative, bypassing the legislature, we cannot easily undo it or amend it if it turns out to be a mistake.

    To love thy neighbor as thyself means wanting good outcomes for your neighbors. There are no good outcomes in drugs.

    Vote ‘No’ on Proposition 207. If you think marijuana should be legalized, tell your representatives in the legislature.

    Here is a recent report from Colorado.

  • LMHudson 1:41 pm on September 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Cheatsheet for the Chandler ballot 

    • john fitz 10:37 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been trying to get more information about the judges. Why so many ‘NO’s?


      • LMHudson 10:42 am on October 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        The best thing I have read is The Machinery of Criminal Justice by Stephanos Bibas. My argument is that our justice system has strayed far from the 6th Amendment. We have allowed a caste of experts to turn it into a machine for processing Justice-Involved-Youth. Plea bargaining has caused jury trials to disappear. The conviction rate would make North Korea proud. This occasional opportunity to vote is our best tool for protest. How can we possibly vote intelligently with the information we have? Better to make our robed masters fear for their jobs, and encourage the legislature to reform this system.


  • LMHudson 9:23 am on September 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Justices of the Supreme Court 

    Johnson Utilities Inc v Arizona Corporation Commission et al, decided July 31, was an unusual decision because it went beyond the narrow holding courts usually seek and clarified how the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) fits into the state constitution. Before the decision, the ACC regarded itself as “Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government.” In fact, on July 30, it had proposed issuing a mandate requiring electricity to be generated by renewable sources of energy, not very different from the 2018 ballot Proposition 127 which was defeated 2:1. No, says the Court in this decision, which makes it clear the ACC has no more power than a municipality, and that its decisions may be overridden by the legislature. One might wish the Court had gone even further, along the lines of the dissent by Justice Bolick, but we should celebrate whenever a court has the courage to overturn its own past errors, and ground a rogue unit of the government in already written law.

    The author, Justice Gould, and concurring justice Lopez were appointed by Governor Ducey. Chief Justice Brutinel, also concurring, was appointed by Governor Brewer. We should retain them.

  • LMHudson 7:00 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    How to return a mail ballot 

    Remember the instructions included in your August primary ballot?

    There are three possible reasons for these instructions: (1) to cause the automatic ballot readers to jam, in order to slow the ballot count, (2) to permit ballots to be intercepted, steamed open, altered and re-submitted, and/or (3) to cause everyone in Maricopa County to vote in person on Election Day, which won’t be possible because the lines will be too long. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the instructions above will not be supplied for the November ballot, whereupon our Recorder, Adrian Fontes, offered the same instructions over twitter. Story here.

    Early voting started to open all over Maricopa County on October 7. Each one contains a padlocked blue plastic urn with a slot in it. Drop your completed ballots in there, or vote in person if you prefer. The result will be the same: a ballot in a green envelope dropped in the blue urn. Only on Election Day can you pass your ballot through the scanner yourself.

    You can then get some confirmation from Maricopa County that your ballot has been at least received by browsing here. If it has been received, you will be told that it has been signature verified and counted. The process is taking about 72 hours on October 25.

    Here is a page on the recorder’s website where you can obtain a spreadsheet list of voting centers.

    The nearest as of October 13 is 2051 W Guadalupe Rd, in a strip mall on the south side of Guadalupe, just east of the 101 and west of St Timothy’s church, where the anchor tenant appears to be Goodwill. As of October 22, the nearest station is in Chandler Fashion, in a group of buildings on the north edge of the shopping center, where the anchor is PF Changs. The address is 3305 W Chandler Blvd, suite E05.

    Please vote before Election Day.

  • LMHudson 3:33 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Community College District 1 

    There are two candidates:

    1. Laurin Hendrix, incumbent, website, facebook page,
    2. Jacqueline Smith, website, facebook page, blog

    Notable differences:

    Hendrix is endorsed by Andy Biggs and Justin Olsen.

    Smith is endorsed by Greg Stanton, Katy Hoffman, and almost the entire Tempe City Council.

  • LMHudson 3:03 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Community College District At-Large 

    There are two candidates:

    1. Shelli Richardson Boggs, website, facebook page, and
    2. Linda Thor, incumbent, website, facebook page, blog,

    Notable differences:

    Boggs is endorsed by Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko.

    Thor is endorsed by Greg Stanton and many people from higher education. She is a supporter of Mitzi Epstein.

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