Top Ten Worst Arizonans in 2016

A look back on the worst of the worst….

Arizona’s Republican legislators seem to be competing for worst legislature in the country. These were the people who created SB1070, and SB1062, which legalized LGBTQ discrimination. This year they refused to follow the law and a court order requiring they fully fund K-12 education. After the city of Tempe banned plastic bags, they passed a law banning the ban. They passed a budget that completely defunded Arizona universities and community colleges, and other social safety nets like TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. They limited it to one year, making it the harshest in the country. With the 2017 Legislative Session starting on January 9th we have no doubt they’ll have worse ideas for Arizona.

We hoped the governor who signed SB1070 into law would disappear after leaving office but she couldn’t resist embarrassing Arizona one more time. She appeared on CNN to say she was, “fed up with being treated like a ‘bigot’ for backing Trump.” She said the women accusing Trump of sexual assualt were waterboarding him. Seriously. Not to be outdone by herself, She insulted the entire Latino population when she cavalierly said, “Nah…They don’t get out and vote.’’ We’re hoping now that Trump passed her over for a position in his administration she’ll fade away for good.

Cathi Herrod is obsessed with controlling women’s bodies and giving the government more influence over their medical decisions. This year she crafted three new, unnecessary and restrictive abortion laws: banning research on aborted fetuses, restricting state employee donations to Planned Parenthood and regulating medication abortions. The last bill was based on old FDA regulations and Abortion providers widely considered that protocol outdated. Anti-abortion advocates argued the off-label use of the medication was endangering women. Her endless crusade to attack women’s choices for their bodies is why she’s on out list.

Flake might not have made this list if hadn’t started praising Trump the minute he became President-elect. During the campaign Flake was an outspoken critic of Trump. But that all changed when he started praising Trump’s most egregious picks for his cabinet and cautioned against judging known Neo-Nazi Steve Bannon. On Twitter he said he was impressed that Exxon Mobile’s Rex Tillerson was recommended by Condoleezza Rice, without acknowledging she’s on Exxon’s payroll. He’s also supporting Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a man with a long history of racism and critic of the Civil Rights movement.

The Arizona Chamber seems to exist to file lawsuits. They claim to fight for Arizona businesses, but more often are attacking worker’s rights. This year they led an unsuccessful smear campaign against the minimum wage and paid sick ballot measure. They failed to stop it from passing and so they decided to sue along with several other chambers of commerce. That just goes to show that the Chamber doesn’t care abut helping working Arizonans. Their bid to crush the minimum wage measure failed when the Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the case. Thankfully thousands of hard working Arizonans will still earn a higher pay and earned time off despite the Chamber’s efforts.

Purcell was in office for 30 years, but it took one year of constant election problems to undo all of it. It all began when Purcell reduced the number of polling places by 70 percent for the presidential primary. Voters were stuck in lines for up 6 hours. She then had the gall to blame the voters for getting in line to vote. It was downhill from there. Purcell’s office printed 2 million ballots with the wrong Spanish-language description for Prop 123. Fixing that mistake cost taxpayers $400,000. Purcell was ultimately defeated by Adrian Fontes.

Arizona Treasurer Dewitt started off the year with a feud with Governor Ducey over the Prop 123 education funding plan. He moved on to being Trump’s Arizona campaign manager, then the Trump national campaign’s chief operating officer.He’s said he’s been offered jobs in the new administration, but won;t say if he’s accepted.  His full out support of Trump is why he made the list.

Ducey was a mostly unknown State Treasurer until the Koch Brothers decided he’d make a great puppet and installed him in the governor’s office. He supported taking local control away form cities and towns and even blatantly threatened any city that raised the minimum wage. He signed a bill that let him stack the Arizona Supreme Court with two more seats. He’s been trying to paint himself as the education governor, but just like Fetch, it’s not gonna happen. His Classrooms First Initiative came away from a year of “working” with literally nothing accomplished. Arizona’s education is still shamefully underfunded and Ducey doesn’t seem to have any real interest in fixing it.

This year John McCain shockingly supported Trump even as the president-elect continued to insult him. He only distanced himself after the Access Hollywood tape of Trump bragging about sexual assault was released. He led the obstruction of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland; saying he would continue to block any SCOTUS nominee if a Democrat got into office. He was filmed on tape literally running away from a reporter asking him why he was refusing to allow a hearing for Merrick Garland. His endless cowardice at a time when political courage is necessary is why he’s number two

Where to begin with the worst sheriff in America? He’s racked up over 20 years of incidents that range from embarrassing stunts to human rights violations. He’s led hundreds of illegal workplace raids and exploited those he arrested for media attention. He happily carried out SB1070 and when a federal judge ordered his office to stop enforcing the racial profiling law, he ignored it. He ignored hundreds of sexual assault cases due to his obsession with finding and detaining immigrants. He also wasted taxpayer dollars on “investigating” President Obama’s birth certificate. He was finally kicked out of office thanks to the work of the Adios Arpaio campaign and years of organizing by Latino activists. Before he left office he held another bogus press conference claiming he had new proof that Obama wasn’t an American citizen. All these reasons are why we have him at the top of the list, and we’re glad to finally say Adios, Arpaio.