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  • Geebo 9:02 am on September 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona, ,   

    When it comes to Backpage money AZ pols focus on wrong issue 

    When it comes to Backpage money AZ pols focus on wrong issue

    Back in April, we posted about how Backpage donated money to several Arizona politicians in seemingly underhanded ways. According to reports, donations were made not by Backpage as a corporate entity, but by individual employees of Backpage and their spouses. When it was discovered the money had come from Backpage many of the politicians who received the donations denounced the donations and in turn gave the money to charity.

    More recently, U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick came under fire for not getting rid of Backpage money she received until now. As is usually the norm in politics, the opposing party took this as an opportunity to admonish Kirkpatrick for taking the money and waiting so long to donate it. That’s putting it mildly by the way, the opposition basically accused her of willingly taking money from a company tied to a child sex trafficking scandal. Kirkpatrick has said she is donating the money to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

    Unfortunately, the political climate in our country has devolved into little more than personal attacks, name calling and assigning blame. This didn’t just happen recently, as it’s been getting worse for years if not decades. Instead of worrying about where the money is going, Congress should be taking a serious look how it got there in the first place. Backpage allegedly took steps to obfuscate that the money was coming from them in order to try to buy political influence. Considering Backpage has been under intense Congressional scrutiny for the past year or so, that should not come as a coincidence. While Rep. Kirkpatrick may have dragged her heels on donating the money, it’s still going to a worthy cause that helps fight the sex trafficking blight that Backpage has unleashed on this country. I see no better justice than taking the money that Backpage gave to politicians and donating it to worthwhile causes that oppose Backpage’s objectives.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on April 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arizona, , , , Kyrsten Sinema,   

    Arizona pols rush to dump Backpage donations 

    Arizona pols rush to dump Backpage donations

    While a federal grand jury was investigating Backpage founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, it was discovered that the pair made a number of financial donations to various politicians in the Grand Canyon State. While the amount of donations wasn’t that large when it comes to politics, it can appear tainted since Backpage is the largest online avenue of sex trafficking in the US. While the duo also made donations in New Mexico and Colorado, the amount they donated in Arizona was reportedly around $60,200.

    One politician who has come under recent scrutiny due to the donations is US Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. She received a donation that exceeded $10,000. Like many of the other politicians who received these donations, once Sinema was made aware of where the money came from she attempted to donate the money to charity. However, should she be under such criticism since Backpage seems to have made some of these donations in ways that seem somewhat underhanded?

    In some cases rather than Lacey or Larkin donating the money themselves, they allegedly either had their spouses or other Backpage employees make the donations. Much like their legal defenses, everything Backpage seems to do is questionable at best, or at least unethical. It almost seems like Backpage can’t do anything that is above-board.

     
  • Greg Collier 10:02 am on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arizona, Equal Rights, Extremists, Gay, Gov. Jan Brewer, Ideology, Lesbian, , Republicans, SB 1062, Tea Party, Veto   

    Lessons from Arizona: Business Owners Push Back Against Lawmakers Who Do More Harm Than Good 

    pavingWhen you open a business in the United States, you have no choice but to deal with the long arm of government, whether it’s income taxes or business fees that you’re required to pay or a long list of rules and regulations that you’re required to follow.

    Regardless of political point of view, most business owners would likely agree with politicians when they say that businesses need the freedom to grow and flourish on their own, without the government creating more obstacles and challenges.

    That’s why you saw businesses – large big-named corporations like Apple, Intel and American Express, among others – speaking out against and encouraging the veto of an Arizona bill that, essentially, made it OK for business owners to discriminate against gay people and refuse service to them simply because of who they love.

    Sure, the bill was worded to suggest that this was not about discrimination against gay people but rather to protect the religious freedom of business owners – think bakers, caterers and florists – who might have a problem, based on religious beliefs, with providing services to certain people.

    In the end, Arizona Gov. Jan brewer vetoed the bill, correctly noting that there had been no actual instances where a business owner’s religious freedoms had been compromised and that it could, unintentionally, do more harm than good. That much was already clear. There had already been talk of moving next year’s Super bowl out of Arizona, companies were already re-thinking operations in the state and industry groups were threatening to take their conventions elsewhere.

    The thing about what happened in Arizona is that it never should have. Politicians – specifically Republican lawmakers who have been negatively influenced by the extremist views of the Tea Party – created this “solution” for a problem that didn’t exist. And when the state legislature pushed it through and sent it to the governor’s desk, it created a perception – and rightfully so – that the state as a whole is unfriendly and unwelcoming to gays.

    Put aside for a moment that gay people – and those who support the fight for their equal rights – would avoid Arizona and take their consumer dollars elsewhere. But that’s just the beginning of  the ripple effect. If gay people and their supporters – straight or otherwise – feel that Arizona is a “hate state,” they may choose to vacation elsewhere, which means that hotels and restaurants won’t benefit from their dollars. They may choose to live elsewhere, which means that businesses looking to hire will have a smaller pool of talent to choose from. They could boycott Arizona-based businesses, which could impact sales. Case in point: In 2010, when Arizona was under fire over a controversial immigration law, the beverage company that makes Arizona Iced Tea had to inform angry consumers that it was based in New York, not Arizona.

    Politicians catering to the extremist, ideological views of a far-right constituency have done more harm than good in recent years. The Republicans was once the party known for speaking out against heavy government influence on businesses. They used to argue that businesses needed the freedom to grow and prosper without the heavy hand of government weighing them down. And yet, here is another example where these same Republican lawmakers are trying to inject their ideological beliefs into business regulations, resulting in great backlash and – more importantly – bigger headaches for the very companies they claim to be protecting.

    Bottom line: The country is moving forward and the momentum for equal rights for ALL Americans is growing. It’s bad enough that the far right continues to find itself on the wrong side of history. But now they’re violating their own mantra – the idea that government should get out of the way – by moving bills that hurt businesses and economies.

    Speaking as a business owner, I say to the government, “Get out of the way and let me pave my own future.” Speaking as an American, the message is the same.

     
    • Theresa Dixon 4:13 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink

      Well stated. You seem to be very well informed and knowledgeable on the things you write about. I have to admit, I had never even heard about Geebo until today while I was surfing the web looking for alternatives to “the other list” shall we say. Thank you for a job well done.

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