Arizona’s Worst and Best of Times

Arizona: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times“, Substack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

I ran across this substack a few weeks ago. The majestic and excellent basketball player I had watched play a wicked game of ball, can also write good articles. Since I now live in Arizona where the politics differ from my own, I thought this one article on two topics was especially interesting.

The new Governor is dismantling the sea-container wall Ducey built to keep migrants out. And the new Attorney General who some think is weak is taking a jackhammer of hope, as Kareem calls it. “‘Reprioritize the mission and resources’ of a unit to investigate voter fraud to a new focus of ‘protecting voting access and combating voter suppression’.” That will attract and get attention around Arizona.

Oh, one other point. Arizonians are complaining about the Federal Government denying the state $300 million to widen I10 between Phoenix to Tucson. The wall being built to block immigrants and now being removed would have supplied two-thirds of the cost of the widening of I10. There will be more costs to repair the damage to the environment.


Politics: Ex-Gov Paves Paradise; New AG Brings a Jackhammer of Hope.

Ex-Arizona governor’s illegal makeshift border wall is torn down – but at what cost?The Guardian.

SUMMARY: “Former governor Doug Ducey had planned to build 10 miles of border ‘wall’ made up of double-stacked old shipping containers through the federally protected forest.

“But local residents and environmental groups occupied the construction site, running out the clock in December on Republican Ducey’s waning days in office.

“Ducey, under threat of litigation from the Department of Justice, finally agreed to remove the rusty hulking barriers installed near Yuma in the west and Sierra Vista in the south-east of the state. Environmentalists are now warning that the damage already done to the areas will require a huge recovery effort.

“ . . . Now two related lawsuits [one is now moot] between Ducey and the federal government are on hold as Arizona’s new governor, Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, negotiates the project’s end.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s Take: What’s the financial cost to Arizonians for Ducey’s attempt to remain politically relevant after leaving office? First, the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity has filed two lawsuits against Ducey and AshBritt, the Florida-based company that installed the makeshift wall, citing violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Second, Ashbritt, the company that installed the wall for $123.6 million, is also being paid $76.5 million to remove it. That’s $200 million paid by taxpayers for a wall that didn’t do anything (certainly not keep out immigrants) but promote the man who wanted to fluff his own career at the expense of all the good that amount of money could have done for Arizonians.

Politics at its worst by a politician who is the worst.

Arizona’s new attorney general to use election fraud unit to boost voting rights, The Guardian.

SUMMARY: “A unit created under the former Republican attorney general of Arizona to investigate claims of election fraud will now focus on voting rights and ballot access under the newly elected Democratic attorney general.

“The Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes, told the Guardian that instead of prosecuting claims of voter fraud, she will ‘reprioritize the mission and resources’ of the unit to focus on ‘protecting voting access and combating voter suppression’. Mayes won the attorney general’s race in November against election denier Abe Hamadah by just 280 votes, a race that went to a state-mandated recount.

“‘Under my predecessor’s administration, the election integrity unit searched widely for voter fraud and found scant evidence of it occurring in Arizona,’ Mayes said in a statement. “That’s because instances of voter fraud are exceedingly rare.”

“Mayes also plans for the unit to work on protecting election workers, who have faced threats of violence and intimidation. And she intends for the unit to defend Arizonians’ right to vote by mail, which has been attacked by Republican lawmakers and the state GOP in recent years despite being the most common way Arizonians of all political parties cast their ballots.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s Take: Finally, someone who thinks rationally and not just about how to pander to the worst Arizonians. By worst, I mean those who would undermine America’s democratic infrastructure by denying the integrity of elections without any substantive evidence.

Are you an Arizonian who is an election denier? Then have the courage to take the Kareem Challenge:

You bring all your evidence of significant election fraud in your state to a panel of three impartial logic professors who will weigh your evidence and your arguments. If they find your evidence and arguments compelling, I will print a full apology. If you are wrong, you must donate all your money, house, and possessions to the Red Cross. So, how sure are you?

When I played basketball for Coach Wooden at UCLA, his policy was to try to make us be good men as well as good players. He drilled kindness and compassion into us as much as he did passing and shooting. His philosophy was that if we played our hardest for ourselves and our teammates, we would be winners as human beings. If winning games followed, that was a bonus.

That’s how I feel about politicians. I have no problem with them being ambitious and wanting to move into higher positions. But let them earn their way through their good deeds on behalf of the principles of the U.S. Constitution—not in spite of it.

“Arizona Election is Over Except for Maricopa County,” Angry Bear, angry bear blog