Gun control is in the news again. Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the Tuscon shootings, when alleged gunman Jared Loughner killed six people and injured thirteen — including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from her injuries. The Daily Caller reports that despite lobbying from gun control activists the White House has offered little more than a nod in their direction, perhaps fearing the impact of any new anti-gun legislation on the president’s reelection efforts in key swing states such as North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. But gun control activists aren’t backing off; progressive news program Democracy Now! reports that one survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, Colin Goddard, is pushing for new gun curbs.
A very different story has also been in the headlines. A recently widowed teen mother, alone at her isolated home in Oklahoma with her 3-month-old son, shot and killed an intruder on New Year’s Eve. 18-year-old Sarah McKinley of Blanchard, Okla., said that she had to make a choice between her son and the intruder, 24-year-old Justin Shane Martin when Martin busted down the door to her home. “I chose my son over him,” said McKinley in an interview with CNN, describing her decision to fire the 12-gauge shotgun that killed Martin. No charges will be filed against McKinley and prosecutors have said that an alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Dustin Louis Stewart, may actually be charged with Martin’s murder.
A Federal Judge in Arizona has blocked the key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law from going into effect tomorrow:
PHOENIX — A federal judge on Wednesday, weighing in on a clash between the federal government and a state over immigration policy, blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law from going into effect.
In a ruling on a law that has rocked politics coast to coast and thrown a spotlight on a border state’s fierce debate over immigration, Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court here said that some aspects of the law can go into effect as scheduled on Thursday.
But Judge Bolton took aim at the parts of the law that have generated the most controversy, issuing a preliminary injunction against sections that called for police officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times.
Judge Bolton put those sections on hold while she continued to hear the larger issues in the challenges to the law.
“Preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely pre-empted by federal law to be enforced,” she said.
• The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there’s reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
• The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry “alien-registration papers.”
Podcast: Immigration, Crist Party Switch, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell On Hold AGAIN, 2010 Elections, Guests: Mike Hassinger & Doug Deal
In this, the sixth in a series of interview with Liberty Candidates, Jason and Brett talk with Chris Simcox, discussing his campaign, his political activism, and his opponent, former Republican Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain. Simcox is running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Arizona.
This series is one devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide. Simcox talks about his Senatorial campaign against Arizona’s senior Senator.
From the Associated Press:
An appeals court has issued a ruling that upholds the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers in Arizona for driving under the influence even when there is no evidence that they are actually high.
The ruling by the Court of Appeals focuses on the chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests after people smoke pot. One chemical compound causes drivers to be impaired; another is a chemical that stays in people’s systems for weeks after they’ve smoked marijuana but doesn’t affect impairment.
The court ruled that both compounds apply to Arizona law, meaning a driver doesn’t have to actually be impaired to get prosecuted for DUI. As long as there is evidence of marijuana in their system, they can get a DUI, the court said.
The ruling overturns a decision by a lower court judge who said it didn’t make sense to prosecute a person with no evidence they’re under the influence.
Apparently, to the Court of Appeals, sense is irrelevant.
This is what it’s come down to: even when you’re innocent, you’re guilty. Welcome to American Legal System 2.0. It appears George Orwell was right.
H/T: Hit & Run
While I can understand why conservatives have an affinity for her, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) has been a fiscal nightmare for the Copper State. Sure, she confronted President Barack Obama and pushed through a restrictionist immigration bill that has became popular in several red states.
But when it comes to fiscal policy, Gov. Brewer has been far from a conservative. In 2010, Chris Edwards, writing in the Cato Institute’s Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, explained that Brewer not only pushed a sales tax increase, but also vetoed a budget because it cut spending. In 2012, Edwards noted that Brewer has “usually proposed substantial increases in spending” in her budget proposals.
Unfortunately, Brewer’s poor fiscal record doesn’t end there. While she did reject ObamaCare’s state exchange, Brewer decided last week to go along with the expansion of Medicaid provided under the law.
Last week, we went over the Senate races that are being watched around the country, noting that it was increasingly unlikely that Republicans would take back that chamber this year. As explained, Republicans thought they had the numbers — and they did, at least on paper. However, the campaigns in states ripe for a takeover haven’t gone that well. Perhaps the best examples of this are, as noted before, Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of which came under fire about controversial comments on abortion in the circumstance of rape.
So with that, here are my predictions for the 15 races that have been so hotly contested this year, including any that are expected change hands. The color of the state is the current party in control of the seat (obviously, red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats) and the predicted winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after the election.
It has been a bumpy ride for Rep. Jeff Flake in his bid for the open United States Senate seat in Arizona. Flake’s campaign was forced to spend money during his bid for the Republican nomination thanks to Wil Cardon, a largely self-funded rival.
While he won the GOP nomination by a health margin, the damage had been done to Flake’s campaign coffers. On the other hand, Richard Carmona, the Democratic Party’s nominee in the race, was able to raise and money because he didn’t have a primary challenger.
Carmona has been largely slamming Flake for being a “career politician,” echoing charges made in the Republican primary. He’s also slammed Flake for allegedly cutting benefits for veterans, which is a misleading claim, and for allegedly being weak on environmental issues. The attacks coupled with Carmona’s claims of being able to work across the aisle with Republicans looked like they were having some affect, that is until Flake’s team rolled out one of the best ads of any race across the country this year.
The ad featured Cristina Beato, who served as Acting Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, recounting an incident during which she, a single mother, was awakened by the sounds of Carmona beating at her front door one night. Beato, who was Carmona’s boss at DHHS, explained in the ad that she was scared for herself and her kids. Looking directly into the camera, Beato says, “Carmona is not who he seems. He has issues with anger, with ethics and with women,” adding that he “should never, ever be in the U.S. Senate.”
This was supposed to be the year for Republicans to take back the Senate. There were plenty of vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year and an anti-incumbent feeling in the air.
But the races for the Senate haven’t shaped up so well for Republicans. While they only need a net-gain of four seats to take control, they’ve found themselves trying to hold on to what were thought of as “safe seats” thanks to strong Democratic candidates and gaffes by GOP nominees.
As it stands right now, Democrats hold 53 seats in the Senate, including two Independents who caucus with them. Republicans have 47 seats. The list of competitive seats below shows that Democrats will cancel out likely Republicans gains in Nebraska and North Dakota with gains of their own in Maine (Angus King, an Independent, will caucus with Democrats) and Massachusetts. There are still five seats on the board as where polls are too close to give an idea of a which party will win.
Here’s a look at the Senate seats up for grabs (current party in control of a seat is colored, incumbents are in italics):
With the most recent poll out of Arizona showing Jeff Flake with a 6-point lead in the race for United States Senate, Richard Carmona is getting desperate. Carmona recently put out an ad featuring Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl testifying during his confirmation hearing for Surgeon General back in 2002.
Carmona has been under a lot of pressure after some of his dirty laundry was aired publicly, including an late-night incident where he showed up at the home of his superior and angrily beat on her door.
The ad that Carmona ran featuring McCain and Kyl, who he and Flake are running to replace, is meant to imply that he has the support of the two and further tout his “bipartisan” credentials. However, McCain and Kyl are backing Flake in the race, and they’ve cut an ad slamming Carmona, not just for “support[ing] the Obama agenda,” but also because he lacks integrity: