The Veridus Weekly 9-28-18


The Veridus Weekly


Important General Election dates:
Voter registration deadline - October 9,2018
Early ballots to be mailed - October 10, 2018
General Election - November 6, 2018

In Focus

Once again, an Arizona Senator is smack-dab in the center of the political universe. Just as Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were set to recommend the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Senator Flake brought the proceedings to a surprising halt. Citing the interest of fairness and due diligence, Senator Flake called for an FBI investigation into the accusations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh before moving forward.  

Flake eventually voted for the nomination in committee with the stipulation that he would not support final confirmation until the investigation is concluded. With at least one other Republican allegedly supporting Flake’s call for a delay of the nomination, the hands of Senator Mitch McConnell are effectively tied to delay the vote.

Following the hearing, the White House released a statement that the President has ordered a supplemental investigation to be completed in less than one week. Senators are confident that a vote could happen as early as next Tuesday, and we expect once again that all eyes will be on the Senator from Arizona.

Arizona ranks 43rd nationally in voting participation
White Mountain Independent

Arizona ranks as a “flawed democracy” due to low and dwindling voter participation, according to a disturbing study by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy based at Arizona State University.

Arizona ranks 43rd nationally when it comes to voter registration and turnout.

Northern Gila County actually does much better than most of the rest of the state — with the second highest turnout statewide in the recent primary election. However, that “high” turnout included just 45 percent of the registered voters.

Demographics could largely account for Payson’s relatively high voter turnout.

Payson has an average age of 57, compared to 37 statewide.

Moreover, Payson’s 93 percent white.

Turns out, older, white voters are far more likely to first register and then turnout than any other group.

Older voters are roughly five times as likely to actually vote as younger voters, according to statistics culled from the past four presidential election cycles. Older whites are also nearly twice as likely to cast a ballot as blacks or Hispanics.

This partially accounts for the domination of state politics by the Republican Party, since the groups that generally favor Republican candidates have a much higher voter participation rate than key groups supporting Democrats.

The median age of Arizona’s registered voters is 51. This means half the voters are older and half younger. The median age for Republicans is 56 and of Democrats 51 and Independents 47. Only 19 percent of Republicans are younger than 40 compared to 29 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Independents.

[...] Read more HERE.

Could Democrats win control of the Arizona Senate? The answer might surprise you
Arizona Republic

For more than two decades, Democrats have fallen short in their quest to flip control of at least one chamber in the GOP-dominated Arizona Legislature.

But if there were ever a year for them to turn the tide, 2018 could be it.

Talk of a "blue wave" in this fall's midterm elections has renewed Democrats' hopes of winning down-ballot fights for the state Senate, where they last had a majority in 1991-1992.

Their focus is on the Senate because that's where there's a better mathematical possibility they could take power.

[...] Republicans currently hold a 17-13 majority in the Senate. Democrats are optimistic they can flip three seats on Nov. 6 to seize control — or at least two seats to achieve an even split in the 30-member chamber.

[...] The odds are less favorable in the House of Representatives, where the GOP holds a 35-25 majority, though Democrats also look to pick up seats there.

Even GOP leaders say Democrats' odds are better than they've been in many years.

Among them is House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, who's running for the Senate in a battleground district.

[...] But even with political winds shifting in their favor, the Democratic Party faces an uphill slog in Arizona.

There are still more registered Republicans in the state — about 150,000 more — and GOP voters are more likely to turn out.

[...] Read more HERE.

Trump signs spending bill, preventing shutdown
The Hill

President Trump on Friday signed an $854 billion spending package that will avert a shutdown by keeping the federal government open into the new fiscal year, which begins Monday.

The measure fully funds most parts of the federal government through fiscal 2019, pushing off a deadline for a partial shutdown — and showdown over funding for Trump's proposed border wall — until early December.

[...] The signing ceremony, which was scheduled for noon on Friday, was closed to the press. The White House has yet put out a statement on the signing, though other congressional Republicans confirmed that the measure was signed into law.

The package fully funds defense programs, a top Republican priority, as well as domestic programs through the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, fulfilling a top Democratic priority.

Combined with an earlier measure, Trump has signed in to law almost $1 trillion in spending for 2019, about three-fourths of the total under a bipartisan agreement. Friday marks the first time since 1996 that the government has succeeded in getting five of the 12 annual spending bills signed into law before the new fiscal year begins.

[...] Read more HERE.

Veridus clients in the news
Diageo North America Named In Working Mother Magazine As One Of The 2018 "100 Best Companies" For Working Mothers

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Working Mother magazine today recognized Diageo North America as one of the 2018 Working Mother 100 Best Companies for its strong leadership in celebrating companies that advocate for female career advancement, paid parental leave, childcare assistance, benefits and flextime. This is the tenth consecutive year Diageo has received this honor. The 100 Best Companies are featured in the October/November issue of Working Mother and on

"We are very proud of our employees who are working mothers. They further enhance our diverse culture and workforce," said Alessandra Ginante, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Diageo North America. "Without critical programs such as paid parental leave, flexible work schedules, childcare and a focus on the advancement of our working mother workforce, we would not be able to foster an inclusive environment for everyone at Diageo."

"This year's 100 Best Companies continue to strive for excellence when it comes to providing a work environment that is not only woman-friendly, but parent-friendly," says Meredith Bodgas, editor-in-chief of Working Mother. "By offering flexible schedules, paid parental leave, post-leave phase-back periods, adoption and surrogacy financial assistance, and mentoring programs, these companies address working parents' and caregivers' needs head-on and help them succeed at work and home."

The complete list of the 2018 Working Mother 100 Best Companies can be found here.

[...] Read more HERE.

Phoenix will move forward with Central Avenue light-rail expansion as planned
Arizona Republic

After months of debate and uncertainty, Phoenix will move forward with the controversial light-rail extension in south Phoenix.

Community concern over the proposed 5.5-mile, light rail project — planned for Central Avenue between Washington Street and Baseline Road — erupted in early 2018 when a group dubbed "4 Lanes or No Train" sprouted in south Phoenix.

The group said it was concerned that the project, which is set to whittle Central Avenue down to two lanes, will bottleneck traffic and kill businesses.

The council approved the two-lane design in 2014. Voters approved funding for the project in 2015. But some residents and business owners said they hadn't been told about the lane decrease or included in the decision-making process.

Following a series of heated meetings, the Phoenix City Council voted in June to study the possibility of amending the project to maintain four traffic lanes.

Valley Metro, the region's transit agency, found it could maintain four lanes, but it would have to eliminate bike lanes and bus pullouts, decrease dedicated turn lanes and limit landscaping.

Valley Metro and Phoenix hosted a series of meetings in August and September to compare the two-lane and four-lane options.

On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council voted 6-2 to maintain the two-lane configuration, with Vice Mayor Jim Waring and Councilman Sal DiCiccio voting in opposition.

The vote also requires that the city gather community input and develop a plan to address gentrification and redevelopment concerns in the area.

However, the fight still may not be over. Earlier this month, a group of south Phoenix residents submitted paperwork to put all light rail projects back on the ballot.

The group must collect 20,510 valid signatures in six months to get the initiative on the ballot.

Read more HERE.
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