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Tea Party Favorite Kelli Ward’s Tax Hike Support Shocks Arizona Conservatives

Kelli Ward had one of the strongest constitutional voting records as State Senator, but as Arizona GOP leader, she is pushing a tax hike.

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Tea party conservatives thought they had earned a much-needed victory when former State Sen. Kelli Ward (R-AZ) won the position of state party chair earlier this year, but just months into her reign atop the Arizona GOP, she is already supporting a massive new tax hike proposal.

Ward is pushing two measures currently active in the AZ legislature – Senate Concurrent Resolution 1001 and House Concurrent Resolution 2024 – would put a permanent one cent sales tax increase on the ballot for 2020 to fund public education. This would be roughly a seven percent higher sales tax than what is currently in place.

“This ballot referral gives us the opportunity for voters, for everyone, to tell us where they stand on funding education in our great state,” Ward said.

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“Do they feel that we have enough?’” she said. “Or do they feel that we need more? We’re going to hear from the voters.”

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Ward’s flip-flop has stunned party leaders who believe she is betraying the core principles of the Republican Party.

“I don’t support that,” Sen. Vince Leach (R-Tucson) said about Ward’s tax-hiking scheme.

“We fund education,” Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale), making the point that it can be well-funded without tax hikes. “We’ve done a lot in that area. We plan on doing more.”

“The governor has been clear,” said Gov. Doug Ducey’s press secretary Patrick Ptak. “He does not support raising taxes.”

“We should remember that at the state level, Republicans are only one seat away from losing control of the House. The situation is not much better in the Senate, where Republicans are two seats away from losing control. They cannot afford a snafu like this,” the AZGOP Executive Director Matthew Kenney wrote to an activist about Ward’s betrayal.

Ward’s tax hiking has earned the criticism of the Americans for Tax Reform, one of the leading fiscal conservative groups in the U.S.

“Kelli Ward promised the people of Arizona in writing that she would oppose any and all tax increases. She just called for a sales tax hike that would damage every citizen of Arizona,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.

The organization noted that Ward signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge while primarying the late John McCain for his U.S. Senate seat.

“Why is she now taking the opposite position as Chairwoman and supporting a massive tax increase that would inflict a great deal of harm on the individual taxpayers, families, and employers across the Grand Canyon State?” the ATR asked.

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Billionaire Mike Bloomberg Pays $16 Million in Fines of Black and Hispanic Felons to Enable Them to Vote

Bribery?

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Billionaire and former New York City Mayor has raised $16 million dollars to pay off outstanding fines of Black and Hispanic felons in Florida, according to reporting from Axios on Tuesday. Florida restricts the voting rights of convicted criminals until they’ve paid off fines levied for their crimes by the criminal justice system.

It appears that Bloomberg’s fine repayment initative was only available to Black and Hispanic felons. Axios reported that to qualify for Bloomberg’s money, applicants had to have outstanding fines of less than $1,500, be already registered to vote, and to be Black or Latino.

White felons need not apply.

The program has reportedly already cleared the fines of 32,000 felons in the state, enabling them to vote in the election. It erases the punitive aspect of the court system’s fines, which were levied in the first place in order to require convicted criminals to personally make amends for their actions.

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Bloomberg’s felon bailout giveaway is legally questionable, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has requested that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody investigate what he’s doing. If he’s paying felons to vote for any one specific candidate, Bloomberg is in violation of campaign finance rules and could be liable to serve jail time .

The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” said a Bloomberg spokesperson when asked about the fine repayment initiative. But it doesn’t seem as if the failed Democratic primary candidate is willing to buy back the voting rights of individuals who might be less inclined to vote for Joe Biden in November.

Bloomberg already tried and failed to buy the nomination in the Democratic primary, and now he’s trying to buy the crucial swing state of Florida for Joe Biden. Corrupt oligarchs should not be allowed to abuse the political system with impunity.

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