McSally challengers face steep fundraising climb after primary

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By CLAIRE CAULFIELD
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Whatever the final tally in Tuesday’s 2nd Congressional District primary, there’s one other number that Democratic challengers Victoria Steele and Matt Heinz will need to worry about: $2,063,033.42

That’s how much campaign cash incumbent Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, had in the bank, according to her most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, almost six times the amount of cash on hand reported by Steele and Heinz combined.

But there’s one other number that could work in the Democrats’ favor: 13. That’s how many more Republicans there were than Democrats in a district with 390,784 registered voters, according to a report last week by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

“The nature of the district tells us this should be a very competitive race,” said Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. Continue reading “McSally challengers face steep fundraising climb after primary”

Cronkite News Digest for Monday, Aug. 29

Here is the Cronkite News lineup for Monday, Aug. 29. If you have questions on news stories, please contact Steve Crane in the Washington, D.C., bureau at 202-684-2398 or steve.crane@asu.edu, or call the Phoenix bureau for Kevin Dale at 602-496-5168 or kevin.dale@asu.edu or Venita James at venita.hawthorne.james@asu.edu or 602-496-5280. For business story questions, please contact Christina Leonard at 602-361-5893 or christina.leonard@asu.edu. Questions on sports stories should be directed to Kevin Dale 303-809-6066 or kevin.dale@asu.edu. Question on Rio Olympic stories should be directed to Brett Kurland at bkurland@asu.edu. Stories promised for today along with photos and links to multimedia elements will move on our client site at cronkitenews.asu.edu/clients.

Continue reading “Cronkite News Digest for Monday, Aug. 29”

McCain, Ward spending on Senate primary rivaled by outside groups

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By AIDA CHAVEZ
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Sen. John McCain has spent $6.2 million on his re-election bid and his lead challenger, Kelli Ward, has spent about $1.3 million as they prepare to square off in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

But the spending by the two campaigns has almost been matched by independent political action committees, which have spent almost $7.4 million for and against the two candidates so far, according to the most recent campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission.

That mirrors national trends, according to a report this week by the Wesleyan Media Project, that said just under half of Senate campaign ads this year have come from outside groups. The report looked only at spending on ads, but said that about $247 million has been spent on ads to influence Senate campaigns so far this year. Continue reading “McCain, Ward spending on Senate primary rivaled by outside groups”

CORRECTION to Aug. 23 story on Native American voting

EDS: Clients who used a News21 story slugged News21-NativeAmericans, that moved Tuesday, Aug. 23, under a SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah, dateline, are asked to use the following correction. A corrected version of the story has been posted here.

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah – An Aug. 23 News21 story about Native American voting incorrectly identified a Native American organization. Jacqueline Pata is the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. The group also operates Native Vote.

 

GAO: Air Force plan to retire A-10 did not fully weigh impact, costs

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By CLAIRE CAULFIELD
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon’s attempt to retire the A-10 fighter jet was based on insufficient information that did not fully consider vulnerabilities that could come from the loss of the “Warthog,” the Government Accountability Office said.

The GAO report, released Wednesday, also said that because of shortcomings in its evaluation process, the Air Force “cannot ensure that it has a reliable estimate of the cost savings it would generate by divesting the A-10” – the main justification for dropping the plane.

The report was welcomed by Arizona lawmakers and business leaders, who said it vindicated their fight to keep the A-10, a mainstay at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where 84 of the planes are based. Continue reading “GAO: Air Force plan to retire A-10 did not fully weigh impact, costs”

Open House seats draw hopefuls – and millions in funds – before primary

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By JESSICA SUERTH
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Republican congressional hopefuls in Arizona’s 1st District have raised more than $3.3 million ahead of Tuesday’s primary, already surpassing the $2.4 million that GOP candidates in the district raised for all of 2014.

Analysts attribute the relatively high funding to the large number of Republicans – seven candidates at one point – scrambling to recoup a seat in a competitive district that is being vacated by the Democratic incumbent.

The heavy spending can be seen in the state’s only other vacant House seat this fall, the 5th District where five Republicans have raised approximately $2.8 million for the primary in hopes of succeeding Rep. Matt Salmon, who is retiring.

“When there is no incumbent, more people come to the race,” said Barbara Norrander, a University of Arizona political science professor, who said the unpredictability of a campaign for an open seat tends to bring in more money. Continue reading “Open House seats draw hopefuls – and millions in funds – before primary”

NEWS21: Investigation shows voter fraud is not a persistent problem

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Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By SAMI EDGE and SEAN HOLSTEGE
News21

PHOENIX — Politicians and voting-rights advocates continue to clash over whether photo ID and other voting requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread.

A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls.

This year, News21 reviewed cases in Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Kansas, where politicians have expressed concern about voter fraud, and found hundreds of allegations but few prosecutions between 2012 and 2016. Attorneys general in those states successfully prosecuted 38 cases, though other cases may have been litigated at the county level. At least one-third of those cases involved nonvoters, such as elections officials or volunteers. None of the cases prosecuted was for voter impersonation. Continue reading “NEWS21: Investigation shows voter fraud is not a persistent problem”

NEWS21: College students face unique challenges voting

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Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By ELIZABETH CAMPBELL
News21

TEMPE – Students at Rollins College in Florida are designing custom “I voted” stickers for absentee voters. On the other side of the country, the University of Southern California has partnered with county officials to host voter registration events with prizes, games and free food. And at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the student government plans campuswide voter registration drives as well.

Across the country, groups and organizations promoting civic engagement among college students have spent hundreds – if not thousands – of hours trying to galvanize this large, yet often elusive group of potential voters.

The Campus Vote Project, one of the most prominent college voter outreach groups, has launched an initiative to establish “voter-friendly” campuses. So far, more than 90 institutions, including Rollins College, have agreed to commit to things such as hosting voter registration drives, inviting candidates to speak or offering rides to the polls to increase voter education, registration and mobilization. Continue reading “NEWS21: College students face unique challenges voting”

PAC spends more than $280,000 in late bid to unseat Gosar in primary

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By ALLIE BICE
Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – An independent political action committee has spent more than $280,000 since Aug. 1 in Arizona’s 4th Congressional District in an effort to unseat three-term Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, in next week’s primary election.

The Right Way SuperPAC has spent a total of $281,025.94 as of Monday, the bulk of which has been in opposition to Gosar with a smaller amount going in support of his primary challenger, Ray Strauss, according to the PAC’s latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Attempts to reach officials at the PAC this week were unsuccessful, but it describes itself on its sparse website as being dedicated to electing “constructive conservatives.” FEC reports indicate that much of the funding for the PAC came from agricultural businesses, many in the Southwest. Continue reading “PAC spends more than $280,000 in late bid to unseat Gosar in primary”

NEWS21: Why overseas military personnel ballots may not be counted

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  • Video from Fort Bragg and on voting then and now is available.
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Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By ERIN VOGEL-FOX and MICHAEL OLINGER
News21

When Americans vote for president in November, many of the 1.4 million active-duty U.S. military personnel stationed or deployed overseas will not know whether their absentee ballots have reached their home states to be counted. And the federal Election Assistance Commission, charged with monitoring their votes, may not know either.

Under the Help America Vote Act, the ballots of military and overseas voters are supposed to be tallied by their home states and sent to the EAC, which reports them to Congress. But a News21 analysis of EAC data found at least 1 in 8 jurisdictions reported receiving more ballots than they sent, counting more ballots than they received or rejecting more ballots than they received. Continue reading “NEWS21: Why overseas military personnel ballots may not be counted”

NEWS21: What you need to know about millennials and politics

Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By ELIZABETH CAMPBELL, NATALIE GRIFFIN and AMBER REECE
News21

PHOENIX – Millennials get a bad rap when it comes to voting. They’re labeled narcissistic, self-absorbed and apathetic. (Just look at their nicknames: the selfie generation, generation me, the unemployables.)

And they’re the generation least likely to turn up at the polls this November.

However, many young Americans do care about politics. They may just show it differently than their more-traditional parents.

As of April, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were about 69.2 million millennials, roughly defined as Americans age 18 to 35, in the U.S. electorate, according to a Pew Research Center study. This group makes up about a third of the voting-age population, matching the baby boomers.

And that means they have the potential to strongly influence upcoming elections. But will they? Here’s what you need to know about millennials and voting. Continue reading “NEWS21: What you need to know about millennials and politics”

NEWS21: Native Americans still fighting for voting equality

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a Native American organization. Jacqueline Pata is the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. The group also operates Native Vote. The story below has been corrected, but clients who used previous versions of this story are asked to run the correction that can be found here.


Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By MIKE LAKUSIAK, ERIN VOGEL-FOX, COURTNEY COLUMBUS AND MARIANNA HAUGLIE
News21

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah – Terry Whitehat remembers gathering at the community hall in Navajo Mountain each election day, where Navajo Nation members in this remote Utah community would cast their ballots.

Tribal members would catch up with friends and family and eat food under the cottonwood trees in the parking lot.

So when Whitehat, a social worker who has lived most of his life on the reservation, received a ballot in the mail for the 2014 elections, he said it caught him off guard. Continue reading “NEWS21: Native Americans still fighting for voting equality”

NEWS21: Will the Latino ‘sleeping giant’ wake and vote this November?

 

Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By Alejandra Armstrong, Sami Edge, Courtney Columbus and Emily L. Mahoney
News21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Andrea Montes turns 18 just weeks before the November election, and the Wisconsin resident plans to vote for the first time.

She said she had always planned to exercise that right, but an incident in April made it clear just how important it was to cast her ballot. Montes was playing in a high school soccer game when it turned ugly. Fans on the opposing team began yelling “Trump ’16” and “Build that wall” at her Latina teammates, she said.

“The candidates this election aren’t the best,” Montes said. “But I feel like if I don’t vote, it means that I’m OK with Donald Trump leading the country. And I’m not. People of color need to be voting this election.” Continue reading “NEWS21: Will the Latino ‘sleeping giant’ wake and vote this November?”

Racial profiling victim reacts to judge referring Arpaio for criminal contempt charges

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By ANDRES GUERRA LUZ, BRIAN FORE and KATIE BIERI
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – When Daniel Magos first learned Friday that a judge referred Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal contempt of court prosecution, he said he felt a flood of relief and elation. And then he wept.

Magos, 71, is a plaintiff in an ongoing class action civil rights federal lawsuit in which Arpaio and his department were found to have racially profiled Latino drivers and passengers in Maricopa County. Continue reading “Racial profiling victim reacts to judge referring Arpaio for criminal contempt charges”

CORRECTION TO PII PAASH WATER STORY ON AUG. 15

EDS: Clients who used a Cronkite News story slugged BC-Gila River-Water  that moved Monday, Aug. 15, under a LAVEEN dateline, are asked to use the following correction. A corrected version of the story has been posted here.

LAVEEN – An Aug. 15 Cronkite News story about the use of reclaimed water on the Gila River Indian Community mischaracterized the type of water being traded by the Gila River Indian Community. The GRIC is trading Central Arizona Project water from the Colorado River. In addition, a previous version incorrectly stated that salt ions in reclaimed water can spread disease. Heavy concentration of salt in reclaimed water can be damaging to wildlife and plants, studies have shown.

Foster care children aging out of Arizona system need transitional help

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By SELENA MAKRIDES
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Jasmine Flores entered the Arizona foster care system when she was 13 years old. She stayed in the system, moving from group home to group home to group home and changing schools along the way.

As she approached her 18th birthday, she began to think about life outside of the state care system. She’s now 19, the proud owner of a car and a thriving college student, after participating in the transitional programs for aging foster youth.

Flores’s transition story, though, is not typical for the roughly 800 young adults expected to “age out” of Arizona’s foster care system in 2016. There are state programs and charitable agencies aimed at helping youth as they age out of foster care, but only about one-quarter of them take advantage, according to Beverlee Kroll, an independent living and youth services manager for the Department of Child Safety. Continue reading “Foster care children aging out of Arizona system need transitional help”

CORRECTION to Aug. 19 story on early childhood education

EDS: Clients who used a Cronkite News story slugged BC-CNS-Teacher Training that moved Friday, Aug. 19, under a WASHINGTON dateline, are asked to use the following correction. A writethru will move presently on the AP and a corrected version of the story has been posted here.

WASHINGTON – An Aug. 19 Cronkite News story about the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry misspelled the name of one of the authors of a University of California Berkeley, study that cited the registry. Marcy Whitebook was a co-author on that report.

NEWS21: Voters will face maze of new requirements in November

Editors: This story was produced for the Walter Cronkite School-based Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting project, “Voting Wars.” See the entire project here.

By EMILY MAHONEY
News21

CINCINNATI – With the presidential election less than three months away, millions of Americans will be navigating new requirements for voting – if they can vote at all – as state leaders implement dozens of new restrictions that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot.

Since the last presidential election in 2012, politicians in 20 states passed 37 different new voting requirements that they said were needed to prevent voter fraud, a News21 analysis found. More than a third of those changes require voters to show specified government-issued photo IDs at the polls or reduce the number of acceptable IDs required by pre-existing laws.

“We have two world views: the people that think voter fraud is rampant and the people who want to push the narrative that it’s hard to vote. The bottom line is neither is true,” said Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who has been sued several times over his state’s removal of some voters from the registration rolls, elimination of same-day registration and curbs to early voting. “I believe that both political parties are trying to push a narrative that suits their agenda.” Continue reading “NEWS21: Voters will face maze of new requirements in November”

As Rio wraps up, world looks to Summer, Winter Olympics in Asia

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By KATIE FALLER
Cronkite News

RIO DE JANEIRO — With South America’s first Summer Olympics coming to a close in Brazil, the international sports spotlight will shift to Asia for the next two Olympic Games — the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2020 Summer Games in Japan.

Following an Olympics for which there was a great deal of concern about the completion of infrastructure and venue projects in the final months leading into the Opening Ceremony, Korean and Japanese Olympic officials say they’ve already made significant progress in their preparations to host the world’s best athletes. Continue reading “As Rio wraps up, world looks to Summer, Winter Olympics in Asia”

Tempe volunteers find friendship, new experiences in Rio

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By JAMEE LIND
Cronkite News

RIO DE JANEIRO — Amid the competing professional golfers and the fresh-cut grass of the Olympic golf course, two friends from Arizona can be seen in their bright yellow Olympic volunteer outfits.

Neither volunteer knew one another prior to the Games but found each other through the U.S. Olympic Volunteer Facebook page.

When the volunteering friends, Serena Christianson and Rosario Mireles, found out that they were going to be volunteering at the same Olympic site — the golf course — they decided to get together and make a game plan.

“Before we came (to Rio), maybe like two to three weeks before, we would meet up to plan out our activities, what we wanted to do, what we wanted to see,” Mireles said. Continue reading “Tempe volunteers find friendship, new experiences in Rio”