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Over the long weekend, we lost two beloved showbiz figures of the past half century, who couldn’t have been more different but who had something very important in common in their private lives.

 

One of the most distinctive singers of his generation, B.J. (Billy Joe) Thomas, died Saturday at his home in Arlington, Texas, at 78, after announcing in March that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

 

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/hooked-on-a-feeling-singer-b-j-thomas-dies-at-78

 

Most remembered for his Oscar-winning hit, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” Thomas had a decades-long string of hits in multiple genres. He broke through in 1966 with a cover of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” That was followed by major pop hits like “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Rock and Roll Lullaby,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Don’t Worry, Baby” and “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” (still the longest title of any song to hit the Billboard Hot 100.) In the ‘70s, he released “Home Where I Belong,” the first Christian album to go platinum, and became the top Christian singer of the era.  In the ‘80s, he moved into A/C and country with hits like “Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love” and “New Looks from an Old Lover.”

 

Personal note: my wife and “Huckabee” co-writer Laura Ainsworth and I live very near Arlington and saw Thomas perform at the Arlington Music Hall in 2019 before a packed house. He sounded as great as ever and we planned to see him there again in March 2020. Sadly, that show got canceled due to COVID.

 

Recommendation: Check out his 2013 album “The Living Room Sessions,” featuring stripped-down versions of his greatest songs with guests like Keb Mo and Vince Gill. It puts a fresh twist on his classics with the focus on his still-fantastic vocals.

 

Also on Saturday, actor Gavin MacLeod died in Los Angeles at 90.

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/gavin-macleod-love-boat-captain-dies-at-90

 

MacLeod was a struggling working actor for years, playing small roles in dozens of TV shows and movies before finally landing his unexpected breakthrough as wisecracking news writer Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (his passing leaves Ed Asner and Betty White as the only surviving cast members.)

 

After that, he became Captain Merrill Stubing on “The Love Boat.” Critics hated it, but audiences loved it. It ran for nine seasons, spawned four specials and made MacLeod an unlikely TV star and spokesman for Princess Cruise Lines. By all accounts, MacLeod was a truly nice guy, very grateful for his success, whose bright smile on TV was genuine.

 

Obscure Trivia: MacLeod’s baldness, later one of his most famous features, initially kept him from getting roles, so he wore a toupee early on. He originally auditioned for the part of Lou Grant on “MTM” but realized the gruff character was wrong for him and asked to try out for nice guy Murray instead. He also declined to audition for Archie Bunker on “All In The Family” because he just couldn’t say those bigoted lines.

 

If you want to see him in an atypical mean guy role, check out “The Kill,” the first episode of the great detective series “Peter Gunn” (streaming free on the IMDb TV app), where he plays a ruthless gang boss.

 

And what did Thomas and MacLeod have in common in real life? Both had addictions (MacLeod to alcohol, Thomas to drugs and alcohol) that nearly destroyed their marriages. But both overcame their addictions and saved their marriages after becoming Christians. Outspoken about their faith, Thomas became the most popular Christian music artist of the ‘70s, and MacLeod and his wife Patti Steele hosted a Christian radio series called “Back on Course: A Ministry for Marriages.” 

 

Our sympathies to their families and condolences to their fans, which includes all of us here.

The latest study suggests that if you had even a mild case of COVID-19, your antibody levels may fall over time, but memory B cells will patrol your bloodstream for reinfection and plasma cells in your bone marrow will keep making antibodies for decades.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01442-9

This would make sense, since most vaccines work by making your body think you had a particular disease, to try to mimic the immunity you get from really having it. But it brings up an important point: with so many people trying to divide Americans into two groups (vaccinated and unvaccinated), and prevent the unvaccinated from going without masks or getting on planes or even being able to afford to attend a concert, what about people who had COVID and are now naturally immune, maybe even more so than the vaccinated? Some doctors are advising them not to get the vaccine, out of concerns that it could cause complications. Should there be a third category: “Unvaccinated but immune because I had it already”?

Or maybe we should just stop putting people in categories and denying them rights, keep allowing those who haven’t had COVID to get vaccinated if they want to until we reach herd immunity (if we haven’t already), and quit trying to force people to get the shot if they don’t want to. Because forcing them to take a shot is a practice that’s about to enter the court system, and there’s a good chance it won’t survive.

https://www.westernjournal.com/100-health-care-professionals-staff-sue-hospital-vaccine-mandate-warns-employees-not-human-guinea-pigs/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=huckabee

A study of the effects of lockdowns in 10 nations found that “mandatory stay-at-home and business closures” resulted in “no clear, significant beneficial effect…on case growth in any country.” In some cases, lockdowns even made the contagion worse.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/05/12/lockdown-mongers-can-point-fingers-but-the-science-is-in-theyre-to-blame/

That’s largely because most workplaces took immediate steps to reduce contagion risks (masks, social distancing, constant disinfecting, improved ventilation, etc.) that most people didn’t take in their homes. On average, workers were 4 to 5 times less safe outside their workplaces than in their workplaces. But the “experts” imposed lockdowns that shut workplaces and forced people into places where they were more likely to catch the virus.

So putting aside all the ruined businesses, crushed dreams, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, lost class time and dangerously postponed medical treatments, the lockdowns were at best useless and at worst, spread the virus even more.

Heck of a job, experts!

Many Americans who voted for Joe Biden thought they were getting a moderate, bipartisan unifier. Instead, they’re suffering whiplash from how quickly he’s yanked the nation hard-left, with open borders, massive spending, huge tax hike proposals, a return to failed “appease our enemies” foreign policies, the destruction of America’s fossil fuel industry and more insanity from the far left wish list.

The buyer’s remorse is showing up in polls. I told you last week about a Fox News poll showing that the number of Americans who think Biden is too far left has jumped 10 points to 46%. Now, a new survey by Echelon Insights and Winning for Women finds deep concerns about Biden’s profligate spending.

Fifty-eight percent believe that "inflation, raising prices and the cost-of-living for Americans" is certain if Biden’s massive spending plans become law; 57% agreed that the tax hikes on American families his spending would require would "slow down our already fragile economy" and "jeopardize our recovery;" and 53% said his plans would "lead to an unprecedented expansion of big government."

Surprisingly, those numbers include 61% of Independents, 54% of women, 63% of women with children and even 56% of non-liberal Democrats.

https://twitter.com/WinningForWomen/status/1398271066418683906

So if Biden is governing far to the left of his record, his campaign rhetoric and even many of his own supporters, you have to wonder why? It’s almost as if the guy who’s running the Biden Presidency isn’t the Joe Biden who was in Washington for nearly half a century.

The editors of Issues & Insights have a theory that might explain why Joe Biden doesn’t seem to be governing like Joe Biden. Meet the person they believe is virtually the acting President, his unelected Chief of Staff known to some as “Biden’s brain,” Ron Klain.

https://issuesinsights.com/2021/06/01/this-isnt-the-man-voters-put-in-the-white-house/

The bloom may be off the rose for the Black Lives Matter group. Once, they had Americans so intimidated that money was flowing to them in rivers and people were shamed and canceled just for not putting their logo on their social media accounts or daring to question their anti-cop, anti-American dogma.

But lately, the bad news has been coming thick and fast. Polls show Americans’ opinions of the group have taken a steep dive. Their co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, was criticized for buying expensive houses in mostly white neighborhoods and resigned last week. The mothers of several black people who were shot by police blasted BLM, and Cullors in particular, accusing her of taking the money and running, and BLM of using their children’s names and stories to promote their organization and make money, while doing nothing for their families or communities.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/mothers-of-tamir-rice-breonna-taylor-criticize-black-lives-matter-benefitting-off-the-blood-of-our-loved-ones_3838434.html

The founder of Black Lives Matter in St. Paul is also speaking out against the group, saying he discovered the “ugly truth,” that they couldn’t care less about rebuilding black families or improving education for black children.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/former-blm-leader-rashad-turner-ugly-truth

There’s also this story out of Denver that could tarnish the group’s image further.

https://clashdaily.com/2021/06/denver-school-board-member-and-blm-activist-steps-down-amid-allegations-he-sexually-abused-up-to-62-children/

Leave it to the Babylon Bee to perfectly illustrate how BLM’s hold on the left may be slipping, as people finally start thinking clearly and daring to speak up for common sense again.

https://babylonbee.com/news/neighbors-with-black-lives-matter-asian-lives-matter-and-latino-lives-matter-yard-signs-getting-awfully-close-to-all-lives-matter

Freddie Sayers, executive editor of Unherd.com, has a good article on Facebook’s censorship of any questioning of the origins of COVID-19, and how, despite their recent reversal, they have failed to learn any lessons from that and are continuing to censor other legitimate comments and questions that run counter to “official” narratives that remain unproven.

https://unherd.com/2021/05/how-facebook-censored-the-lab-leak-theory/

Meanwhile, Instapundit has a good round-up of some of the other recent news about the media’s red-faced crawl-back of its “fact-checkers’” flat denial that COVID-19 might have possibly escaped from the Wuhan virology lab.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/453205/

This collection of stories and tweets shows you just how badly the media’s combination of Trump Derangement Syndrome and financial dependence on China warped their perceptions and their “reporting.”

It also features a new twist: they didn’t just automatically deny the lab theory because Trump raised it. A New York Times reporter has admitted that reporters (and other leftists in general) first went into kneejerk denial mode because Republican Sen. Tom Cotton raised the possibility, and they also had to automatically dismiss everything he said. So Tom Cotton was in good company with the President. Here’s a separate link to that story from the Daily Wire.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/nyt-writer-admits-media-dismissed-claim-of-wuhan-virus-origin-because-cotton-said-it

That includes Cotton’s original comments, and it’s interesting to compare what he actually said to the distorted version most media consumers received. If you listened to the liberal media (which I keep warning you not to do), you’d have thought Cotton was spouting racist, anti-Chinese conspiracy theories as if they were fact. Actually, he merely pointed out things China had said that were proven to be false, facts we had learned that undermined the official “wet market” story, and the way China was being so resistant to allowing access to doctors or investigators. He never said it came from the lab; he just said it was a possibility that deserved consideration and that shouldn’t be discounted simply because Chinese officials adamantly denied it while blocking any efforts to investigate it.

In other words, the exact same situation that prevails today. And come to think of it, the same situation that prevails in all the states where they’re trying to audit the 2020 ballots.

Good morning!

Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff! 

Today's newsletter includes:

  • Bible Verse Of The Day
  • Arizona governor vetoes voter integrity legislation
  • Red v. Blue in Florida
  • The Media's Trump Derangement Syndrome warped their perceptions and their “reporting”
  • Memorial Day coverage
  • The Biden Administration's bonkers policies
  • A Reader Writes Back...

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee


DAILY BIBLE VERSE

“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:”

Acts 13:38 KJV

 


Arizona governor vetoes voter integrity legislation

By Mike Huckabee

Wouldn’t you say that in Arizona, given the still-unresolved problems they had with the 2020 election –- the audit there is still going on –- it’s more important than just about anything to pass election integrity legislation?

That's what I'd say, but Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey apparently disagrees. On Friday, he vetoed 22 bills, including two of special note: one that would've prohibited the inclusion of Critical Race Theory in training for government workers, and also one designed to help ensure voter integrity. It would have outlawed the mass mailing of ballots to voters who did not request them. I call that a good start.

But it was not to be. Here’s a portion of what Gov. Ducey had to say in a tweet on Friday:

“Today, I vetoed 22 bills. Some are good policy, but with one month left until the end of the fiscal year, we need to focus first on passing a budget. That should be priority one. The other stuff can wait. Once the budget passes, I’m willing to consider some of these other issues. But until then, I will not be signing any additional bills. Let’s focus on our jobs, get to work and pass the budget.”

With all due respect, and as important as a budget is, there is some “other stuff” that mustn't wait, and any chance to sign such important legislation should not be passed up.

According to the AZ MIRROR, the Republicans failed to pass the $12.4 billion budget bill they'd worked out with the governor. They have only a one-vote majority in both houses, and the Democrats didn’t like this budget, so Republicans would've had to vote unanimously to approve it. They don’t quite have the votes yet, so they’ve adjourned till June 10.

https://www.azmirror.com/2021/05/28/ducey-vetoes-22-bills-says-nothing-will-be-signed-until-budget-is-approved/

One senator and one representative have said they won’t support this budget. These two Republicans are stuck on one provision: a proposal to get rid of the graduated state income tax brackets and replace them with a 2.5 percent flat tax. It’s estimated this would cost the state $1.9 billion. And since a cut of the tax revenue goes to cities and towns, those also would take a hit. Both legislators want them compensated for lost revenue, and they say they have some other concerns as well.

The governor’s decision to veto all 22 of those bills apparently angered both Republicans and Democrats, depending on which of the bills we’re talking about. Democrat Sen. Tony Navarrete described Gov. Ducey’s refusal to sign one prison reform bill as “a public temper tantrum fit for a toddler.”

Other bills had been more important to Republicans. One big one was the anti-CRT Senate Bill 1074, banning training for government officials “that presents any form of blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity or sex.” This was one of the last bills to be passed before they all ended up in quicksand because of the failed budget.

And one that absolutely did not deserve to be vetoed for ANY reason was House Bill 2792, which would have made it a Class 5 felony for an election official to send a ballot to someone who hadn’t requested one. This practice should never be allowed. As reported by the AZ MIRROR, the legislation outlawing this was “a response to Democratic election officials across the country, including former Maricopa County recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, who sought to send early ballots to all voters last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Maricopa County judge barred Fontes from carrying out his plan for the Democratic presidential preference election in March.[2020].”

The judge’s ruling came after the Arizona attorney general issued a temporary restraining order to stop Fontes from sending out the ballots. Fontes had taken it upon himself to do this, tweeting at the time, “We are in uncharted territory here.” (Indeed. All the rule changes that were made across the country during 2020 put us into uncharted territory, all right. We’re still trying to find our way out.)

The AG’s restraining order said, “Sending out unauthorized ballots will create voter confusion on the eve of an election [it was just four days prior] and could result in voters attempting to vote ballots that are not fully authorized.” Gosh, really?

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told Fontes she understood his concern but that he didn’t have the legal authority to mail ballots to people who had not requested them. The Maricopa Board of Supervisors had determined this as well. With all this, it still took a restraining order and a judge’s ruling to stop him. The guy even held a press conference to say his office DID have authority to do this “in time of crisis.”

“I believe it is permissible to send ballots to voters,” he said, “particularly in a type of emergency that we are having now, to ensure that those fundamental rights are maintained and upheld.”

You know, I think we’ve figured out why the county recorder at the recent Board of Supervisors is not the same person who was in charge in 2020. That person is gone. We did a little digging and found there had been a website called fireadrianfontes.com, but nothing is online now. He ran for re-election in Maricopa County on November 3, and he lost.

https://ballotpedia.org/Adrian_Fontes

Of course, we saw at the recent Maricopa County Board of Supervisors “special” meeting that his successor, Stephen Richer, is no prize, either. He’s the one who wrote the letter, unanimously approved by the Board, refusing to cooperate with the audit that had been authorized by the State Senate.

In December of last year, there was a story in AZ CENTRAL referring to Fontes as “outgoing Maricopa County recorder” (leaving January 1) and saying he was taking a job as an interim chief deputy recorder in Pima County. Oh, goody.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/adrian-fontes-outgoing-maricopa-county-recorder-takes-a-job-with-pima-county-recorder/ar-BB1bPh5B

Apparently, the newly-elected Pima County recorder was eager to work with Fontes because “he has been leading the way in so much of the revolution of voter registration and early voting for the state,” said Gabriella Cazares-Kelly. She described him as “innovative.”

Well, that’s for sure. We’d like to add that he’s a real “take-charge individual.”

Anyway, this background is offered to make the case that it’s very important for Arizona to “right the ship” after the crazy 2020 election year and pass voter integrity laws. The least they can do is make sure ballots aren’t being mailed out to everyone on their list, requested or not, just days before an election. And Gov. Ducey should have gone ahead and signed that bill, understanding that it's at the county level in key states that national elections are won or lost.

Here’s the story as reported by NEWSMAX.

https://www.newsmax.com/politics/arizona-veto-critical-race-theory-election-integrity/2021/05/31/id/1023369/

Meanwhile in Arizona, the Maricopa County election audit continues, with, I assume, a break over the Memorial Day weekend. (Of course, the ballots will be secured 24/7.) There’s really no news out of there right now, at least not that we'd consider reliable, so as soon as we have an credible update, we’ll bring it.


Red v. Blue in Florida

By Mike Huckabee

This is mostly a story about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ most likely Democrat challenger, Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, tweeting “Florida is not a red state,” only to have it pointed out that her own Twitter bio describes her as the only Democrat in statewide elected office.

https://www.westernjournal.com/likely-desantis-challenger-declares-fl-isnt-red-state-unknowingly-fact-checks/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=huckabee

But as amusing as that is, read the full story for DeSantis’ comments from last week’s townhall with Sean Hannity, in which he claims that the overwhelming majority of people fleeing blue states for Florida are registering Republican. Let’s hope so because Colorado and Austin, Texas, provide chilling examples of what happens when leftists flee their fouled nests and then vote for the same policies and people they fled from.

Let’s hope DeSantis is right, and that the pandemic was the final straw that red-pilled (or red-stated) many longtime Democrats, who saw their businesses shut down, their rights taken away and their children’s schooling prioritized below the wishes of teachers’ unions.

If he’s correct, then the good news is that red states will be less likely to turn purple or even blue (as I’ve pointed out before, “turning blue” is often what someone does before dying.) The bad news is that it will leave the blue states in the hands of the most die-hard leftists, the ones who absolutely refuse to learn from experience. It will mean even deeper polarization between the states, and I feel true sympathy for anyone stuck in a blue state who can’t move out for some reason. I fear the crime, unemployment, filth, taxes, corruption, high cost of living and assaults on Constitutional rights are only going to get worse.


The Media's Trump Derangement Syndrome warped their perceptions and their “reporting”

By Mike Huckabee

Freddie Sayers, executive editor of Unherd.com, has a good article on Facebook’s censorship of any questioning of the origins of COVID-19, and how, despite their recent reversal, they have failed to learn any lessons from that and are continuing to censor other legitimate comments and questions that run counter to “official” narratives that remain unproven.

https://unherd.com/2021/05/how-facebook-censored-the-lab-leak-theory/

Meanwhile, Instapundit has a good round-up of some of the other recent news about the media’s red-faced crawl-back of its “fact-checkers’” flat denial that COVID-19 might have possibly escaped from the Wuhan virology lab.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/453205/

This collection of stories and tweets shows you just how badly the media’s combination of Trump Derangement Syndrome and financial dependence on China warped their perceptions and their “reporting.”

It also features a new twist: they didn’t just automatically deny the lab theory because Trump raised it. A New York Times reporter has admitted that reporters (and other leftists in general) first went into kneejerk denial mode because Republican Sen. Tom Cotton raised the possibility, and they also had to automatically dismiss everything he said. So Tom Cotton was in good company with the President. Here’s a separate link to that story from the Daily Wire.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/nyt-writer-admits-media-dismissed-claim-of-wuhan-virus-origin-because-cotton-said-it

That includes Cotton’s original comments, and it’s interesting to compare what he actually said to the distorted version most media consumers received. If you listened to the liberal media (which I keep warning you not to do), you’d have thought Cotton was spouting racist, anti-Chinese conspiracy theories as if they were fact. Actually, he merely pointed out things China had said that were proven to be false, facts we had learned that undermined the official “wet market” story, and the way China was being so resistant to allowing access to doctors or investigators. He never said it came from the lab; he just said it was a possibility that deserved consideration and that shouldn’t be discounted simply because Chinese officials adamantly denied it while blocking any efforts to investigate it.

In other words, the exact same situation that prevails today. And come to think of it, the same situation that prevails in all the states where they’re trying to audit the 2020 ballots.

Memorial Day coverage

By Mike Huckabee

I hope you had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, and remembered to honor our fallen military heroes who made possible every day of freedom that we enjoy. Former President Trump released a moving statement about Memorial Day that I’m sure you’ll want to read.

https://www.westernjournal.com/legacy-immortal-trump-delivers-stirring-memorial-day-statement/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=huckabee

President Biden and Vice President Harris also tweeted about the holiday, even though it took Harris two tries and a lot of backlash before she remembered to mention what it was really about.

This story features a lot of photos of the giant MAGA boat flotilla in Jupiter, Florida, for Memorial Day.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9637215/Trump-honors-Americans-supreme-sacrifice-Memorial-Day.html

It also includes Biden’s comments at Arlington National Cemetery. It was fine, but the allusions to “democracy” being in peril here and abroad came across as self-serving, insulting and inappropriate. There is zero moral equivalency between Americans wanting to ensure that the 2020 vote was honest and the kind of democracy-crushing dictators our soldiers have given their lives to stop.


The Biden Administration's bonkers policies

By Mike Huckabee

After admitting there are no guarantees that some of the $150 million of our money they’re sending to Gaza won’t end up funding Hamas terrorism, the Biden Administration is taking action: they’re adding an extra $38.5 million.

https://www.westernjournal.com/alarm-bells-ring-biden-restarts-aid-packages-palestinians-trump-suspended-program-tacks-38-5-million-midst-hamas-onslaught/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=huckabee

And speaking of absolutely bonkers policies, having already reduced ICE deportations of illegal aliens to the lowest levels ever, the Biden DHS may consider a plan to bring ones who’ve already been deported back to the United States.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/05/31/report-joe-bidens-dhs-bring-deported-illegal-aliens-back/#

If they’re going to do that, could they at least be honest enough to stop calling it the Department of Homeland Security?


A Reader Writes Back... 

Love and look forward to your news letters but please leave out pictures of Biden, Pelosi, AOC and those idiots! Its painful to see them!

Wouldn’t you say that in Arizona, given the still-unresolved problems they had with the 2020 election –- the audit there is still going on –- it’s more important than just about anything to pass election integrity legislation?

That's what I'd say, but Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey apparently disagrees. On Friday, he vetoed 22 bills, including two of special note: one that would've prohibited the inclusion of Critical Race Theory in training for government workers, and also one designed to help ensure voter integrity. It would have outlawed the mass mailing of ballots to voters who did not request them. I call that a good start.

But it was not to be. Here’s a portion of what Gov. Ducey had to say in a tweet on Friday:

“Today, I vetoed 22 bills. Some are good policy, but with one month left until the end of the fiscal year, we need to focus first on passing a budget. That should be priority one. The other stuff can wait. Once the budget passes, I’m willing to consider some of these other issues. But until then, I will not be signing any additional bills. Let’s focus on our jobs, get to work and pass the budget.”

With all due respect, and as important as a budget is, there is some “other stuff” that mustn't wait, and any chance to sign such important legislation should not be passed up.

According to the AZ MIRROR, the Republicans failed to pass the $12.4 billion budget bill they'd worked out with the governor. They have only a one-vote majority in both houses, and the Democrats didn’t like this budget, so Republicans would've had to vote unanimously to approve it. They don’t quite have the votes yet, so they’ve adjourned till June 10.

https://www.azmirror.com/2021/05/28/ducey-vetoes-22-bills-says-nothing-will-be-signed-until-budget-is-approved/

One senator and one representative have said they won’t support this budget. These two Republicans are stuck on one provision: a proposal to get rid of the graduated state income tax brackets and replace them with a 2.5 percent flat tax. It’s estimated this would cost the state $1.9 billion. And since a cut of the tax revenue goes to cities and towns, those also would take a hit. Both legislators want them compensated for lost revenue, and they say they have some other concerns as well.

The governor’s decision to veto all 22 of those bills apparently angered both Republicans and Democrats, depending on which of the bills we’re talking about. Democrat Sen. Tony Navarrete described Gov. Ducey’s refusal to sign one prison reform bill as “a public temper tantrum fit for a toddler.”

Other bills had been more important to Republicans. One big one was the anti-CRT Senate Bill 1074, banning training for government officials “that presents any form of blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity or sex.” This was one of the last bills to be passed before they all ended up in quicksand because of the failed budget.

And one that absolutely did not deserve to be vetoed for ANY reason was House Bill 2792, which would have made it a Class 5 felony for an election official to send a ballot to someone who hadn’t requested one. This practice should never be allowed. As reported by the AZ MIRROR, the legislation outlawing this was “a response to Democratic election officials across the country, including former Maricopa County recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, who sought to send early ballots to all voters last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Maricopa County judge barred Fontes from carrying out his plan for the Democratic presidential preference election in March.[2020].”

The judge’s ruling came after the Arizona attorney general issued a temporary restraining order to stop Fontes from sending out the ballots. Fontes had taken it upon himself to do this, tweeting at the time, “We are in uncharted territory here.” (Indeed. All the rule changes that were made across the country during 2020 put us into uncharted territory, all right. We’re still trying to find our way out.)

The AG’s restraining order said, “Sending out unauthorized ballots will create voter confusion on the eve of an election [it was just four days prior] and could result in voters attempting to vote ballots that are not fully authorized.” Gosh, really?

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told Fontes she understood his concern but that he didn’t have the legal authority to mail ballots to people who had not requested them. The Maricopa Board of Supervisors had determined this as well. With all this, it still took a restraining order and a judge’s ruling to stop him. The guy even held a press conference to say his office DID have authority to do this “in time of crisis.”

“I believe it is permissible to send ballots to voters,” he said, “particularly in a type of emergency that we are having now, to ensure that those fundamental rights are maintained and upheld.”

You know, I think we’ve figured out why the county recorder at the recent Board of Supervisors is not the same person who was in charge in 2020. That person is gone. We did a little digging and found there had been a website called fireadrianfontes.com, but nothing is online now. He ran for re-election in Maricopa County on November 3, and he lost.

https://ballotpedia.org/Adrian_Fontes

Of course, we saw at the recent Maricopa County Board of Supervisors “special” meeting that his successor, Stephen Richer, is no prize, either. He’s the one who wrote the letter, unanimously approved by the Board, refusing to cooperate with the audit that had been authorized by the State Senate.

In December of last year, there was a story in AZ CENTRAL referring to Fontes as “outgoing Maricopa County recorder” (leaving January 1) and saying he was taking a job as an interim chief deputy recorder in Pima County. Oh, goody.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/adrian-fontes-outgoing-maricopa-county-recorder-takes-a-job-with-pima-county-recorder/ar-BB1bPh5B

Apparently, the newly-elected Pima County recorder was eager to work with Fontes because “he has been leading the way in so much of the revolution of voter registration and early voting for the state,” said Gabriella Cazares-Kelly. She described him as “innovative.”

Well, that’s for sure. We’d like to add that he’s a real “take-charge individual.”

Anyway, this background is offered to make the case that it’s very important for Arizona to “right the ship” after the crazy 2020 election year and pass voter integrity laws. The least they can do is make sure ballots aren’t being mailed out to everyone on their list, requested or not, just days before an election. And Gov. Ducey should have gone ahead and signed that bill, understanding that it's at the county level in key states that national elections are won or lost.

Here’s the story as reported by NEWSMAX.

https://www.newsmax.com/politics/arizona-veto-critical-race-theory-election-integrity/2021/05/31/id/1023369/

Meanwhile in Arizona, the Maricopa County election audit continues, with, I assume, a break over the Memorial Day weekend. (Of course, the ballots will be secured 24/7.) There’s really no news out of there right now, at least not that we'd consider reliable, so as soon as we have an credible update, we’ll bring it.