Arpaio already spending big money on election that's 2 years away

By Nick R. Martin | July 2nd, 2010 | 4:00 pm | 3 Comments »

Joe Arpaio photo
Joe Arpaio

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is more than two years away from his next election, but he has spent more money campaigning in recent months than almost any candidate running in Arizona this year.

Only Sen. John McCain and wealthy gubernatorial candidate Buz Mills have spent more money. Both Republicans, however, are in red-hot primary races that go to the polls next month.

Arpaio, meanwhile, doesn’t face his next contest until the second half of 2012. Yet his most-recent financial disclosure shows the Republican sheriff has already spent $671,318 on his campaign.

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Republicans set for rematch of dirty debate in attorney general's race

By Nick R. Martin | June 22nd, 2010 | 1:25 pm | 3 Comments »

The two Republicans hoping to become Arizona’s next attorney general will face off tonight in a rematch of what may have been the dirtiest debate in local politics so far this year.

Tom Horne and Andrew Thomas threw gallons of political mud at each other when they last faced off on June 3 in front of a Scottsdale tea party group. They largely ignored the moderator and instead tossed around accusations of lies, corruption and secret agendas for almost two hours.

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Mexican government joins fight to stop Arizona's immigration law

By Nick R. Martin | June 22nd, 2010 | 9:42 am | 6 Comments »
Read the brief
The Mexican government asks a U.S. federal court to block Arizona’s new immigration law.

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Mexico's amicus brief on Arizona immigration law

The Mexican government formally joined the fight to stop Arizona’s new immigration law on Monday, telling a U.S. court the law “threatens to poison the well” of diplomacy between the two nations and exposes Mexican citizens to racial profiling by police.

In a 28-page brief filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, lawyers for Mexico said the creation of the law, widely known as S.B. 1070, “has been closely followed at the highest levels of the Mexican government and throughout Mexican society.”

The government said it believes the Arizona law, which among other things makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, violates the U.S. Constitution. It asked the court to throw the law out entirely.

During a joint session of Congress last month, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon called the law a “terrible idea” that “ignores a reality.” But Monday’s so called friend of the court brief marks the first time Mexico has weighed in on the attempt to challenge the law in court.

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Sheriff wants neo-Nazi group to stay away from Pinal County

By Nick R. Martin | June 19th, 2010 | 1:43 pm | 2 Comments »

Paul Babeu
Paul Babeu

Sheriff Paul Babeu made it clear Friday he wants an armed group of neo-Nazis to stay out of Pinal County, but acknowledged there is nothing he can do to stop them.

The sheriff was concerned with reports that the group, led by J.T. Ready of the National Socialist Movement, was planning to set up camp this weekend in the vast desert south of Phoenix to hunt for drug and human smugglers.

“Not only did we not ask for, we do not want any activity by a neo-Nazi, racist group,” Babeu said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. “This group that’s here — it really is not helpful.”

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Neo-Nazi who called for landmines on border heads to the desert, armed

By Nick R. Martin | June 18th, 2010 | 12:03 am | 4 Comments »

Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready
Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready talks about his plan to patrol the Arizona desert. Courtesy KPNX

See the flier
This is the flier neo-Nazi J.T. Ready handed out at the “Stand With Arizona” rally on May 29. Contact information on it has been redacted by Heat City.

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Neo-Nazi border flier

Just three weeks ago at a tea party rally in Tempe, he handed out fliers calling for landmines to be placed along the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing into Arizona.

Now, neo-Nazi J.T. Ready says he plans to lead an armed group into the desert south of Phoenix this weekend to put a stop to what he called “narco-terrorists.”

Ready appeared decked out in camouflage during an interview Wednesday with KPNX (Channel 12). He showed off a stockpile of guns and ammunition he plans to take with him and claimed his group will stake out an area of Pinal County that drug smugglers use as a route to bring “chemical warfare into Phoenix.”

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Governor says she signed immigration law to prevent beheadings

By Nick R. Martin | June 17th, 2010 | 12:56 pm | 9 Comments »

Jan Brewer
Gov. Jan Brewer

Arizona politicians have accused illegal immigrants of a lot of nasty things over the past few months, but Gov. Jan Brewer threw out a new one Wednesday night on national television.

The Republican governor told Fox News she signed the state’s new immigration law to prevent, no kidding, beheadings brought on by illegal immigrants.

“We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it,” Brewer told host Greta Van Susteren live from the Arizona desert. “Everything from the crime to the drugs and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings.”

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Horne now says Israeli deaths due to terrorism are 'minor incidents'

By Nick R. Martin | June 16th, 2010 | 6:49 pm | No Comments »

Tom Horne
Tom Horne

In an interview Tuesday with a Phoenix newspaper, Arizona’s top educator dismissed the terrorism-related deaths and injuries of hundreds of Israelis in recent years as “minor incidents.”

State school superintendent Tom Horne appears to have been trying to walk back his previous quote that “Israel totally put a stop to terrorism by building their wall.”

But while admitting to the Phoenix New Times that Israel indeed still suffers from deadly terrorist attacks, he went on to classify them as “minor incidents” compared with others in Israel of the past decade.

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Facts about Israeli border wall prove tricky for Arizona's top educator

By Nick R. Martin | June 15th, 2010 | 12:05 am | 4 Comments »

Israeli barrier
A portion of the barrier being built by Israel in 2004 in the West Bank. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Tom Horne
Tom Horne

Tom Horne, the head of Arizona’s public school system, drew huge applause from a crowd of tea partiers earlier this month when he said Israel’s war on terror proves that the U.S. needs to build a wall along the Mexican border.

“Israel totally put a stop to terrorism by building their wall,” said Horne, a Republican whose final term as school superintendent ends after this year and who is vying to become the state’s next attorney general.

The “only way” to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling in the U.S. “once and for all is to finish building the wall,” he told the Scottsdale audience on June 3 during the first Republican debate of the attorney general’s race.

Despite the applause he received, however, Horne is wrong about terrorism in Israel. Far from eliminated, such attacks remain a regular occurrence there.

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Obama loses Hispanic support as Arizona's new law drives immigration debate

By Nick R. Martin | June 7th, 2010 | 10:24 am | No Comments »

Hispanic approval of Obama's job performance

President Barack Obama’s job approval among Hispanics dropped to new lows in May after Arizona’s controversial new immigration law drove the issue of comprehensive reform back into the national spotlight, according to Gallup.

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Few answers, plenty of nastiness in first GOP debate of attorney general's race

By Nick R. Martin | June 5th, 2010 | 11:33 am | 13 Comments »

Andrew ThomasTom Horne
Andrew Thomas (left) and Tom Horne

Listen to the debate
Audio is split into six parts to better handle the large file sizes.

Part 1 | Download (14.8 MB)

Part 2 | Download (16.6 MB)

Part 3 | Download (16.2 MB)

Part 4 | Download (17.9 MB)

Part 5 | Download (16.2 MB)

Part 6 | Download (5.5 MB)

It began with a prayer from an audience member asking for the night to be entertaining yet civil.

But the first Republican debate in the Arizona attorney general’s race quickly descended into a conservative cage match Thursday in Scottsdale, with candidates Andrew Thomas and Tom Horne ignoring many of the moderator’s questions and instead trading smears for nearly two hours.

Each man came to the debate, hosted by a Scottsdale tea party group, carrying a stack of paper that he said proved an ugly narrative about his opponent.

For Horne, it was a thick binder he leafed through all evening. He painted Thomas as a corrupt prosecutor who spent five years as Maricopa County attorney caring more about his own political ambition than the law itself.

For Thomas, it was a stack of plain white paper with typewritten notes and excerpts from newspaper articles. He portrayed Horne as a closeted liberal who made scores of lefty decisions in his years as a state legislator and now as Arizona’s school superintendent.

Neither one could be moved from his accusations.

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