Unpacking the headlines in Arizona politics

Unpacking the headlines in Arizona politics

(gentle music) – A decision to cancel
a presidential primary and the state’s newest
Supreme Court Justice, are just a few topics
generating controversy in Arizona politics this month. We now go beyond the headlines with the Yellow Sheet’s
Hank Stephenson. Hank, thanks for being here. – Thanks for having me on. – Let’s start off with Arizona not having a Republican
presidential primary. That’s because President Trump is just that strong
in the state. – It’s because the party
with an incumbent president doesn’t want to give
critics a platform. Let’s face it, Trump would
win a primary in Arizona. Whether that’s 70%,
95% of the vote, he would definitely win. But if he shows up
with 70% of the vote, that really undermines his
position as the president. I think the GOP doesn’t
want to see that happen. The Arizona team GOP
president Kelli ward says, I mean, essentially the Trump
train is moving very fast. But admittedly, there are
probably republicans out there, who don’t support
President Trump. What will they make of all this? – Well, I think you’ll
have some people who are upset about it. But frankly, Democrats
canceled their presidential preference election
when Obama was running for a second term. Republicans canceled
it when George W. Bush was running for a second term. Democrats canceled
it when Bill Clinton was running for a second term. So while people who don’t
have the historical knowledge to remember those things, are kind of throwing up
their hands and saying that, “This is the GOP rigging
and election for Trump.” It’s pretty normal
for this to happen. – Okay, let’s move on
to a major decision by the Arizona Supreme Court. Even the US Supreme Court
hasn’t quite touched this one. Remind our viewers
what took place. – So what happened was,
there was a calligraphy shop that does wedding invitations,
run by two Christian women. Who did not want to do wedding
invitations to a gay wedding. It was in Phoenix,
so that was covered under Phoenix’s anti
discrimination ordinance. This finally went up
to the Supreme Court, which reversed the
lower court’s decision and actually sided
with Brush and Nib. They wrote a very
tailored opinion saying that this only
applies to this case, it only applies to these
wedding invitations, not other things they
may do wedding related, tried to write it as
narrow as possible. – So could there be an
appeal or what’s next? – This is it for this case. Right now, the Brush and
Nib doesn’t have to provide invitations to
same sex weddings. There’s still a lot of
questions about like, what does this mean for other
businesses run by Christians who have a religious belief, that they shouldn’t be
participating in a gay wedding? I think that’s what
we’ll see next. Is other businesses in
Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, cities that actually do have
non discrimination ordinances protecting gay people. Bringing their own
suits and pointing to the Brush and
Nib case saying, “Look what you did
here Supreme Court.” – Let’s talk about the
Arizona supreme court because governor Ducey
is one of his most recent nominations, Bill Montgomery. Why is his appointment
so controversial? – Well, he’s a very
controversial figure. He’s a very socially
conservative, tied in with a lot
of the Ducey allies. Has had a host of high profile,
headline, grabbing moments. There’s actually a bar complaint against Bill
Montgomery right now. He’s the first supreme court
justice that we know of, to ever be appointed
to the court, while having a looming bar
complaint hanging over him. – Isn’t there a commission
in place though, who’s supposed to
help monitor this and perhaps guide the governor
on his decision making. – There is, the
first time this year, Bill Montgomery interviewed,
applied for the gig really faced some tough
questions from that commission. And they decided
that he was unfit to be on the Supreme Court and
didn’t push his name along. After that Deucy appointed, I believe it was for new
members of that commission, three of whom we know that
Montgomery was lobbying. He comes up for the same
job, a few months later, very few questions. He was approved, sent to the
governor and lo and behold, that was the governor’s pic. – Let’s look ahead to the
next legislative session. The House Speaker Rusty Bowers
made a comment this week, about radicalizing
children in this process of looking at sex education
differently in schools. Why did it become
a partisan issue? – Well, one of the things
he said in that hour long kind of presentation
that he gave to a group, anti LGBT group out in Gilbert, was that, this is part
of Planned Parenthood’s business strategy, to sexualize
children at a young age, so that they get STDs,
so that they get AIDS, so that they get pregnant,
so that Planned Parenthood can provide services to
those people for money. It was a pretty
jaw dropping belief even for somebody
like Rusty Bowers. Is a very older conservative
Mormon man from East Mesa. And part of it was that
our Sex-ed programs, that the superintendent
of public instruction, Cathy Hoffman is trying
to radicalize children as part of this conspiracy
with planned parenthood. sexually radicalize children basically to like fund
Planned Parenthood. The whole thing doesn’t
make a whole lot of sense. – If there’s no move to
challenge what he said, does it hold any weight
in these conversations that many districts are having about how to move forward
with sex-ed right now? – I don’t know how
much a school district looks at the Speaker of the
House of Representatives and really cares what he says. Unless, he’s putting it
into some sort of law. I think that there has
been increased attention both by school districts
and state legislators, on sex education and
what to do with that. So maybe that kind of
plays in as lawmakers tinker with the laws around. Sex education next year, which I would expect
them to want to do. But I don’t think that
just this statement itself is really going to
sway a school district when they’re deciding what
kind of sex-ed curriculum they wanna teach
to their students. – Okay, Hank Stephenson from
the Yellow Sheet Report. Thanks so much. – Thanks for having me.

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