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The city of Tempe has become a national front-runner in LGBT equality after scoring a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has often clashed with the federal government over the enforcement of immigration laws, has filed a lawsuit to stop new policies announced by President Barack Obama.
The suit filed Thursday in federal court in Washington on Arpaio's behalf contends Obama acted outside his constitutional authority by not going through Congress.
It asks the court to block the changes that include making an estimated 5 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally eligible for work permits and for protection from deportation.
Arpaio said he went to court on behalf of himself and all Americans.
"I am not seeking to myself enforce the immigration laws -- as this is the province of the federal government," he said in a statement. "Rather, I am seeking to have the president and the other defendants obey the U.S. Constitution."
The lawsuit said Obama was "hijacking" previous immigration regulation and law by changing the definition of key terms to "create a radically new and different regime of immigration law and regulation."
Arpaio's lawsuit was filed by Larry Klayman, a conservative activist and attorney who has filed hundreds of lawsuits against the federal government. He founded the government-watchdog group Judicial Watch in 1994 and left the group in 2003.
Obama's administration previously stripped 100 of Arpaio's deputies of their powers to make federal immigration arrests and filed a pending lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office alleging racial profiling and other civil-rights violations.
Arpaio, a frequent critic of the administration's deportation policies, has said the lawsuit against his office was a politically motivated attack by the administration aimed at courting Latino voters.
Arpaio's volunteer cold-case posse also has investigated the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.
Obama laid out his executive actions during a prime-time television address Thursday.
His changes would mainly cover parents of U.S. citizens and of legal residents as long as the parents have been in the U.S. for five years or more.
Obama also changed enforcement priorities by emphasizing the deportation of new illegal arrivals and criminals.
Congressional Republicans have accused Obama of exceeding his authority by not going through Congress. Obama said in his televised speech that his hand was forced by congressional inaction to fix the broken immigration system.
A small group of local Republican lawmakers gathered outside the Mesa Arts Center on Wednesday morning for a press conference on immigration reform ahead of President Obama’s speech on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner declared Friday that President Barack Obama was "damaging the presidency" with his unilateral action on immigration. He said the Republican-run House will not stand by, but gave no hint of what the response would be.
Tempe Prep senior quarterback Jesse Brittain connected with junior Isaiah Brittain for a 23 yard touchdown on fourth and 3 to put Tempe Prep up 14-7 over Joy Christian.
PHOENIX (AP) — Several major education groups say they're interesting in learning more about Diane Douglas' positions on education issues, including more about her views regarding the new school standards known as Common Core.
Douglas is a Republican who was elected state superintendent of public instruction, defeating Democrat David Garcia in last week's general election.
Garcia conceded Monday, the same day that Douglas issued a statement saying her victory is a mandate to end Common Core.
Douglas is former Peoria school board member who ran a low-key campaign in which she largely avoided public events in favor of tea-party gatherings and interviews on conservative talk radio shows.
Arizona School Boards Association President Tim Ogle said his group is going to try to arrange a meeting with Douglas. "I think the purpose of a conversation like that is to become familiar with her beliefs because we're really not very familiar and to give her the opportunity to converse with us about her hopes and fears for the Department of Education," Ogle said.
As superintendent, Douglas will oversee the state Department of Education and be a member of the state Board of Education. That board, along with the Arizona Legislature, sets education policy for the state's K-12 public school system. It adopted Common Core in 2010.
Some Arizona lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to pass legislation to either repeal the standards or change them during the last legislative session.
Ogle said his group wants to know whether Douglas has an alternative to Common Core. "If Mrs. Douglas has another strategy, then we're anxious to know what it is," he said.
Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, said educators didn't learn much about Douglas during the campaign aside from her opposition to Common Core.
"She was very clear on that issue, and yet there are questions even about her thoughts on our academic standards," the union president said. "I think a lot of folks are waiting to hear the answer. There are a million public-school students, and they are creating the urgency."
Arizona's next Superintendent of Public Instruction says her victory is a mandate to end new school standards known as Common Core.
Arizona's statewide races reflect the national campaigns — an almost complete Republican victory, and an almost complete rejection of Barack Obama. Six years ago, who'd a thunk it? The guy was on top of the world. Now, he might slink off the world stage in a couple of years, as an afterthought. A conflation of events, opposition, and, frankly, incompetence, seem to have ruined his second term.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona has approved an effort designed to push back against the federal government for any actions the state considers unconstitutional.
Proposition 122 arose from growing angst in Republican states over what conservatives view as heavy-handed tactics by the Obama administration. Opponents called it a waste of time and money to decide questions that the courts are designed to handle.
It was one of a few unsettled races from Election Night, but the yes votes pulled away as late ballots were counted.
The measure would allow the state to withhold money and staffing in carrying out any federal program or effort that voters or lawmakers deem unconstitutional.
PHOENIX (AP) — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday he is preparing for a strong primary challenge if he moves ahead with a re-election bid in 2016.
McCain said after a meeting with longtime supporters at a Phoenix hotel that he is leaning toward a run for a sixth term in 2016, the year he turns 80.
McCain said he will likely make the decision early next year. If he decides to run, he said he'll plan for a very difficult campaign with good competition.
"We have to prepare, we have to prepare for ... the greatest challenge," McCain said after the breakfast meeting. "Every campaign I've been in I've said, look, this is going to be the toughest. And you have to assume that. And we have seen historically that people who take anything for granted, then they put that election in jeopardy. I've never done that."
No Republicans or Democrats have yet indicated that they plan to run for McCain's Senate seat. But he faced a primary challenge from former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth in 2010 and said he expects another challenge from within his own party.
"I think I certainly anticipate it," McCain said. "If you're going to win a campaign, you have to plan for all scenarios, including significant primary opposition. I wouldn't like to see it, obviously."
McCain has angered the conservative wing of his own party by backing immigration reform. The state Republican Party censured him in January for that position and other stances they say weren't sufficiently conservative. McCain said after the January vote by the Arizona Republican Party that he had fought President Barack Obama and that the rebuke came from a "very extremist element" that has taken over the state party.
A handful of Republican protesters opposed to McCain picketed outside the hotel, holding signs that said "Time to Retire" and Hell, no, McCain must go."
"He's been in office for five terms as senator and if he ever did understand the Republican Party platform, he certainly does not understand it now," party activist Andrew Constanzo said.
McCain is in line to become chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee when the new Congress convenes in January. Republicans took control of the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, boosting their power to control the agenda.
McCain also discussed immigration reform, and he warned Obama not to go forward with an executive order legalizing many of the 11 million immigrants who lack proper documentation to remain in the U.S.
"If the president really wants immigration reform, he should know that if he acts by executive order it will be a tremendously serious blow to accomplishing it," McCain said.
PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Sen. John McCain said Thursday he is preparing for a strong primary challenge if he moves ahead with a re-election bid in 2016.
A Sierra Vista Republican will become the first House speaker from Southern Arizona in a quarter century.
Republicans believe their message --- failures of the Obama administration on a range of issues as well as their plan to fix those problems --- played a key role in Tuesday’s sweeping wins both nationally and in Arizona.
PHOENIX -- A Sierra Vista Republican will become the first House speaker from Southern Arizona in a quarter century.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature are meeting to elect new leaders as they appeared poised to gain seats and boost their majority.
“The United States can’t even get a supply rocket up to the space station without it blowing up! I smell another budget cut.”
Outside groups that want Doug Ducey as Arizona's next governor have spent enough to give every man, woman and child in the state a dollar — and still have $1 million left over. That doesn't count the $2.2 million that Ducey himself has spent in the general election, on top of the $5 million he expended just getting to be the Republican nominee in the first place.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — In many ways, this year's congressional races in Arizona feel like deja vu. The state is again host to some of the nation's most closely watched contests.
One race features a rematch between the same two candidates from the 2012 election. Another race has Democrat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick fighting to keep her job in a vast swing district, a replay of the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.
All of Arizona's nine congressional seats are being voted on in Tuesday's election, but the races attracting most of the attention are the 1st and 2nd Congressional District contests.
Democratic Rep. Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally are battling again for the Tucson-area 2nd District, while Kirkpatrick is squaring off against former Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, a Republican, in the other race.
Voters have been bombarded with ads as the candidates and outside groups are spending millions to influence the outcome.
In one, McSally mocks Barber's attacks on her, using an actor to facetiously accuse her of disliking puppies. The ad closes in on McSally holding a puppy. "Watch it," she tells the actor.
An ad that featured a crying mother whose daughter had been killed by her stalker accused McSally of supporting gun rights for misdemeanor-convicted stalkers.
It was sponsored by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly. McSally denounced the ad and said she'd been a victim of stalking herself.
Americans for Responsible Solutions then pulled it, saying McSally had reversed her initial position. The group later aired another ad featuring Giffords praising Barber.
Giffords and the issue of gun control have been prominent in the race for the district in which six were killed and 13 were injured in the January 2011 mass shooting at a constituent event.
Giffords and Barber, then an aide for the congresswoman, were wounded in the attack.
"I'm hearing (voters) are looking forward to seeing an advertisement from a car dealership soon because they're just so sick of the political ads," said Barbara Lubin, the spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party.
"It remains to be seen how much extra additional spending adds to either the turnout of the overall voters or really changes the results," Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert said.
In the 1st Congressional District, Kirkpatrick is fighting a tough battle with the well-known Tobin to keep her seat.
Kirkpatrick won the seat against Republican Jonathan Paton by only a few thousand votes last time around. That was after she'd lost it in 2010 to another conservative Republican.
But Tobin was late to the game after a hard-fought, three-way battle in the Republican primary.
In Maricopa County, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is facing challenger Wendy Rogers, a Republican who lost in the GOP primary in 2012 in the district.
Sinema has raised much more money than Rogers, a retired Air Force officer who has refused to publicly debate the incumbent. Democrats are confident Sinema will win, but Republicans are hoping anti-Democratic sentiment on Tuesday will give them a chance to pick up a seat.
Arizona has six other congressional districts that are holding elections Tuesday:
3rd District: Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva is facing off with Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer. Grijalva has held that seat for six terms and is likely to win a seventh.
4th District: Republican Rep. Paul Gosar will also likely keep his seat, which encompasses rural areas west and northwest of Phoenix. His opponent is Democrat Mikel Weisser.
5th District: The district spans from Gilbert to Chandler to parts of Mesa. Republican Matt Salmon won the seat in 2012 and is facing Democrat James Woods this year.
6th District: Republican David Schweikert holds the seat that includes parts of Maricopa County and the southeastern Phoenix suburbs. Schweikert is running again, this time against Democrat John W. Williamson.
7th District: Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, is the heavy favorite for the seat vacated by the retirement of longtime Rep. Ed Pastor. Gallego is a Harvard-educated, Iraq War veteran from a single-parent home who was the first in his family to graduate from college. He won the August primary, easily putting him on track to win Tuesday in the heavily Democratic district.
8th District: Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican, represents this district northwest of Phoenix. He is challenged by Stephen Dolgos, a Democrat.
PHOENIX -- Outside groups that want Doug Ducey as Arizona's next governor have spent enough to give every man, woman and child in the state a dollar -- and still have $1 million left over.
Final call for regular season high school football before the November playoffs, so grab a beer and some tasty bites before heading to the field to watch the pigskin fly.
Voters will decide Tuesday whether Arizona will become the fifth state to make it easier for terminally ill patients to access experimental drugs that haven't been cleared by the federal government.
Two Republicans and a pair of Democrats are seeking seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission in Tuesday’s election.
The Daily News-Sun asked them to comment on the top issues facing the ACC.
Name: Sandra Kennedy
• There is no longer a consumer advocate on the commission.
• I want to restore an emphasis on creating solar energy jobs.
Name: Doug Little
Occupation: Former computer software industry expert
• The aging water infrastructure in many communities.
• The negative impact on the economy associated with potentially significant increases in the cost of energy associated with the implementation of proposed EPA mandates.
I am committed to be the champion of the ratepayer and work to ensure that all Arizonans have access to clean reliable energy and water at the lowest possible price. We will achieve this with a balanced energy portfolio that leverages all of the different types of energy generation in the most cost-effective fashion.
Name: Jim Holway
Occupation: Land use and water resources planner
• We must ensure Arizona will have reliable and affordable water and power in an era of increasing costs, ongoing droughts and greater reliance on intermittent renewable supplies, changing technology and more stringent environmental controls.
Specific actions include: utility resource plans that address Arizona’s future uncertainty and changing needs; support for solar energy innovation, production and jobs in Arizona while also utilizing our coal, nuclear and natural gas resources; and assisting investments in conservation and efficiency.
• The current debate about solar energy in general and the new solar (net metering) tax on residential customers in particular. The ACC should commission an objective, long-term and comprehensive economic study looking at the costs and benefits of not only solar and other renewable supplies, but for other energy supplies as well.
Name: Tom Forese
Occupation: Current state legislator, owner of the Hive.
• We have nine different departments setting the price for utilities and we need to have balance to keep rates low as possible.
• I’m looking to keep things safe and fair but keep costs as minimal as possible. I have a voting record against unneccesary regulations and tax increases. My commitment is to find the balance. My background is technology and I think we’ll see amazing things for solar. We don’t want to harm the solar industry or the businesses. There’s balance in both areas.
As a member of the Gilbert Town Council, I join with other current and former elected officials who fully endorse Ron Bellus for the Gilbert School Board. We understand the importance of building relationships when working with one another in the governing process. Those relationships aren’t created overnight; it takes time to build trust and mutual respect.
Kevin Patterson, left, and David Larance exchange vows as Rev. John Dorhaer, right, officiates the ceremony, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, in Phoenix. Gay marriage has become legal in Arizona after the state's conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn't challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
A yellow-billed cuckoo is seen in an August 2013 photo provided by the Point Blue Conservation Science group. (AP Photo/Point Blue Conservation Science, Mark Dettling)