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Arizona

The Takeaway

Ahead of Debate, Arizona Voters Confess Concerns

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For the first time in nearly a month, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich will share a stage in Arizona, at a Republican presidential debate hosted at the Mesa Center of the Arts on Wednesday. The latest poll numbers from CNN have Romney in the lead with the support of 36 percent, and Santorum coming in at a close second with 32 percent of likely voters. While Romney's lead is far from decisive, many Arizona voters have yet to make up their minds.

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The Takeaway

English Requirement for Public Office?

Friday, January 27, 2012

By her own admission, Alejandrina Cabrera does not speak English very well. Yet this didn't prevent her from running for city council in San Luis, Arizona, a town where 90 percent of its resident speak Spanish. Former Mayor Guillermina Fuentes — a former friend of Cabrera's but now a political enemy — asked a court to remove her name from the ballet because of "inadequate" language skills. Cabrera subsequently failed a court-ordered English language proficiency test.

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The Takeaway

Arizona's Far-Reaching Ethnic Studies Ban

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last Tuesday Tucson Unified School District voted to end its Mexican-American Studies program to comply with an Arizona State Law banning ethnic studies.  The administration released a list of seven books teachers would have to remove from their curriculum including titles like "Critical Race Theory" and "Rethinking Columbus: The next 500 Years." Teachers are also being advised to avoid books that address themes of race, ethnicity, and oppression. One such targeted text is Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

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It's A Free Country ®

Is 2011 a Turning Point for the Immigration Battle?

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 will be recorded as a turning point in the battle between conservative politicians in Arizona who supported laws like  SB 1070 a law that made it a state crime for a person to be an undocumented immigrant in Arizona – and the pro-immigrant rights groups that stood in opposition.

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The Takeaway

What Are Latino Voters Looking For?

Friday, December 16, 2011

According to recent Census data, the Latino community has seen huge growth in the U.S. They're becoming a group that politicians are increasingly trying to win over. A large part of that process is just about getting Latino voters to polls. But once they're at the ballot box, what are Latino voters looking for in a candidate?

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The Takeaway

Feds Accuse Arizona Sheriff of Civil Rights Abuses

Friday, December 16, 2011

The country's "toughest sheriff" has had his gold star revoked. A scathing U.S. Justice Department report released Thursday found that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office carried out a blatant pattern of discrimination against Latinos and held a "systematic disregard" for the Constitution amid a series of immigration crackdowns that have turned the lawman into a prominent national political figure.

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The Takeaway

Supreme Court Will Rule on Arizona Immigration Law

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Supreme Court has announced that it will rule on Arizona’s tough immigration law. The case is making its way to the highest court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco blocked parts of the law in April. One of the parts of the law in question is a provision that requires state law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.

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The Takeaway

Obama Campaign Looks to Turn Arizona Blue

Friday, December 02, 2011

Traditionally thought of as a Republican stronghold that most past Democratic candidates haven't even bothered with, the Obama campaign is actively courting Arizonans for 2012. The campaign has opened offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff and recruited a Latino candidate for Senate. The state's booming Latino population, combined with the state legislature's crackdown on illegal immigration, has opened the possibility for a bluer Arizona.

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It's A Free Country ®

Could Sheriff Arpaio’s Endorsement Hurt Rick Perry?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An endorsement from "America’s Toughest Sheriff" may not be worth as much as it used to in the past.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: 2011 Ballot Wins Mean Good News for Democrats

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Ohio is also a crucial state in the November 2012 presidential contest, and this victory suggests that labor unions and moderates (or even liberals) may have recovered some lost momentum. That could be good news for President Obama who will face a tight reelection.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Takeaway

Major League Baseball Finds Controversy at All-Star Game Location

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Major League Baseball's All-Star Game will take place in Phoenix, Arizona this year. The state has been the focus of national controversy over a recent law concerning unauthorized migrants, and 30 percent of league players are Latino — which means politics may overshadow the game. Groups on both sides of the debate are planning to make statements to spectators. George Vecsey, sports columnist for The New York Times, talks about the dynamic of the game.

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The Takeaway

Winds Challenge Crews Battling U.S. Wildfires

Monday, June 20, 2011

Firefighters across the southwestern United States are facing some of the season's worst weather, as crews battle record blazes. The National Weather Service is warning that the hot temperatures, humidity and wind gusts as high as 60 mph pose an extreme fire risk. The largest fire began more than three weeks ago in Arizona and has burned into western New Mexico, destroying more than thirty homes and half a million acres. Michel Marizco,a reporter with our partner station in Arizona, KJZZ, speaks with us.

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The Takeaway

The New Normal in Immigration Policy? Alabama Passes Stricter Regulations

Friday, June 10, 2011

Alabama has become the latest state to enact very strict new immigration policy.  The new law, signed by Governor Robert Bentley, is said to be the most severe in the country, including Arizona’s controversial SB1070. The new Alabama law will require public schools to verify the immigration status of all elementary and secondary students and will bar enrollment to illegal immigrants seeking to attend college.

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The Takeaway

Arizona Wildfire Threatens Regional Power Grid

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Wallow Fire in Arizona has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes. Firefighters have thus far been unable to control the blaze, which has been raging across the state for nearly two weeks, and now has spread over 600 square miles and is nearing the New Mexico border. The fire is now threatening the region's electrical grid, which could affect the power supply as far as Texas.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Wildfires Continue in Arizona, Morning Headlines

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A massive wildfire continues to ravage eastern Arizona, and officials say there's no end in sight. Two towns have been evacuated, and the fire is headed toward power lines that supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of people, in areas as far east as Texas. 

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The Takeaway

After Charring 300,000 Acres, Arizona Wildfires Continue

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Eastern Arizona has seen close to 3,000 of its residents displaced due to an out-of-control wild fire in the mountains along the New Mexico border, that has been ablaze for more than 10 days now. 

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It's A Free Country ®

What Merits the Corporate Death Penalty?

Friday, May 27, 2011

It opens up a Pandora's box about what we can actually do with recidivist corporations who are doing us in. I'd like to see the same kind of rule applied to Wall Street; the crimes involved there are so much greater in magnitude...and no one has been punished. Imagine if a hedge fund got caught involved in systematic insider trading and lost their license and could never do business again.

Les Leopold, executive director of the Labor Institute, on The Brian Lehrer Show

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The Takeaway

Arizona: 'It's Like the Old Wild West'

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Two months have passed since the deadly shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead, thirteen wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and a nation shaken. In response to that horrific event, many proposals are out there to reform gun laws — but not all of them are what you might expect. In Arizona, there are a number of bills under discussion that would expand gun rights, including allowing concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses. How are Arizona residents reacting to this trend?

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The Takeaway

Arizona's New Wave of Anti-Immigration Bills

Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost a year ago, key parts of Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law SB 1070 were declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. But this week, more than a dozen anti-immigration bills were introduced in the state. One bill would allow Arizona to build its own wall between it and Mexico. Another would require hospitals to check the legal status of patients. And the bill’s supporters are hoping that this time around, they can face down the feds by asserting state’s rights. 

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Unveils Videos of Arizona Gun Show Sting

Monday, January 31, 2011

In an attempt to shift the political climate on gun control, post-Tucson, the Bloomberg administration released a series of undercover videos Monday pointing to lax enforcement of laws at a gun show in Arizona.

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