MAG Has Become Another Puppet For The Left’s Climate Agenda

MAG Has Become Another Puppet For The Left’s Climate Agenda

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

For local governments—and councils of governments—in Arizona, it appears that creating a climate action plan has become all the rage. Maybe that’s because it pays well.

The latest group to bow down at the altar of the Biden administration’s climate change agenda is the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). Back in August, MAG received a $1 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program to serve as the lead planning organization for the Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler metro area. The grant requires MAG to develop a priority climate action plan by next March, a comprehensive climate action plan by 2025, and a status report in 2027 after the four-year grant period expires.

But this $1 million grant isn’t the only way MAG stands to benefit…


Maricopa Association Of Governments To Oversee $4.6 Billion For Emissions Reduction

Maricopa Association Of Governments To Oversee $4.6 Billion For Emissions Reduction

By Corinne Murdock |  

Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) may oversee up to $4.6 billion in federal funding to implement emissions reduction plans.   

The billions cover the second of two phases required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) Program. That phase concerns implementation grants for greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies, programs, and projects. The preceding phase covers planning grants for the development of regional climate plans.  

For phase one, the EPA gave Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) a $1 million CPRG Program grant to serve as the lead planning organization for the Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler metropolitan statistical area. This grant requires MAG to develop a priority climate action plan due next March, comprehensive climate action plan due in 2025, and a status report due in 2027 after the four-year grant period expires.   

MAG accepted the $1 million during a meeting on Wednesday, amending their 2024-2025 Biennial Planning Work Program and Budget to do so.  

The priority climate action plan is a prerequisite for the $4.6 billion implementation grant. As part of this plan, MAG must issue a benefits analysis for how their plan produces the most significant benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities, which the Biden administration refers to collectively as “LIDAC.”  

The EPA emphasized arranging all three CPRG plans around LIDACs. Tribes and territories won’t be required to include special LIDAC provisions in their plans.  

The EPA guidance on LIDACs explained that the equity lens for the CPRG funding constitutes a greater pledge by the Biden administration per the Justice40 Initiative to issue 40 percent of federal investments to those marginalized, underserved, or overburdened by pollution.   

LIDACs are determined by federally defined burdens concerning climate change, energy, health, housing, legacy pollution, transportation, water and wastewater, workforce development, low median income, and poverty. The agency recommended the use of the Biden administration’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST).  

The billions for energy and climate initiatives may address something advocated for greatly by Democratic leaders like Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03): extreme heat and urban heat island effects. The EPA cited both on page 8 of their LIDAC guidance.  

Public comment during Wednesday’s meeting largely represented opposition to the federal funding to implement net zero goals. Members of the public warned that such climate agendas would result in energy poverty tantamount to shortages and scarcity experienced in third-world countries.   

Last year, China permitted coal burning plants at the rate of two new plants every week. High costs with lower supply, as seen in Germany, which resulted in an energy crisis last winter that plummeted the population into the freezing winter temps.   

Members of the public also expressed concerns over the financial impact on taxpayers, citing woes faced by the taxpayers of neighboring California.   Despite all public comments expressing opposition during the meeting, MAG approved the EPA funding as one part of its consent agenda.  

The EPA received $5 billion for the CPRG Program through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): $250 million for noncompetitive planning grants, and $4.6 billion for competitive implementation grants.  

The White House issued a comprehensive, searchable guidebook on the IRA funding for “clean” energy and climate change initiatives. IRA funding to reorient the economy for “clean” energy totals around $369 billion.   

Of the planning grants, states received $156 million, local governments received $67 million, tribes received $25 million, and territories received $2 million. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Maricopa Association Of Governments Race Training: Only Whites Can Be Racist

Maricopa Association Of Governments Race Training: Only Whites Can Be Racist

By Corinne Murdock |

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) hosted a race-based training discussing the evils of whiteness, and how only white-skinned people can be racist.

Racial Equity Partners conducted the training in April, led by Donald Whitehead, co-founder of the organization and also the director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, and Mayté Antelo-Ovando, a school psychologist. MAG has contracted with Racial Equity Partners since at least March 2020. 

During the training, Whitehead claimed that “people of color” don’t have the capacity to be racist, only prejudiced, because they lack power.

“You can be as prejudiced as you want, but if you don’t have power, that does not become racism,” said Whitehead. “Power is what gives you the ability to become racist, and to participate in systemic racism or institutional racism. It’s the power that defines whether or not it’s racism.” 

Antelo-Ovando added that the past wrongs committed by white people ensured that current generations of white people can’t be the victims of racism. 

“The power that white groups of people have had historically, has created the laws, has created the rules, has created policies that have perpetuated inequities,” said Antelo-Ovando. “Therein, again, lies the difference between individual or group prejudice versus racism and the power that’s inherent in that versus prejudice.”

Whitehead and Antelo-Ovando further claimed that success arising from hard work was “gaslighting.”

“It is manipulating someone into an idea that is not factual,” said Whitehead. “We’re all a product of nature. We have no control over where we’re going.”

Whitehead cited a claim from “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates that the idea of race comes from racism. Whitehead then claimed that race was created as “an excuse” to colonize, pillage, and enslave, namely by Christians. 

“There is no biological reason for us to be separated by race,” said Whitehead. “It was first used as an excuse for pillaging countries for those that considered themselves either Christian or religious in nature.”

Antelo-Ovando then discussed whiteness, which she introduced as part of her point that racism defines current society. Antelo-Ovando then defined “white supremacy” and “white privilege” as reigning factors of present society. 

“We are living and breathing in a racist society,” said Antelo-Ovando. 

As examples of white privilege, Antelo-Ovando said that white people aren’t followed while shopping, are taught that white people made civilization what it is, and don’t suffer any penalties for ignorance of language and customs of the majority population. 

Whitehead insinuated that racial-based grievances were more pressing than other problems people experience.

“When we talk about whiteness [and privilege], we also want people to understand that we understand that everybody has had challenges and barriers in their life,” said Whitehead. “The difference here when we talk about privilege, whiteness, and racism, is that those barriers were not as a result of your skin color.”

In response to a remark from an unnamed illegal immigrant participating in the training, claiming that white privilege affects him, Whitehead also claimed that U.S. citizens are selectively outraged by illegal immigrants hailing from Latin American countries versus illegal immigrants hailing from European countries.

“That aspect of racism, we see it in the news every day,” said Whitehead. “There’s a difference between how you see migrants at the border from Mexico are treated versus the migrants that are coming from European countries.”

Antelo-Ovando then claimed the existence of “language privilege” — the ability to be fluent in English, or to look like someone for whom English is their first language. 

Whitehead also claimed that white privilege can be given and taken away depending on their associations with marginalized groups, specifically family members.

The training stated that white people use “detours” to not admit they’re racist, such as claiming colorblindness, innocence by association with other minorities, that other races can be racist, and that meritocracy exists.

The pair claimed that opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT) comes from a place of “white comfort,” and the belief that structural racism doesn’t exist. They characterized CRT as a necessary disruption to the current, racist society. 

The training showed several clips: “Why Color Blindness Will NOT End Racism,” an episode from the Decoded series by MTV News; “A Conversation With White People on Race”by The New York Times; “Critical Race Theory: Experts Break Down What It Actually Means” by Washington Post

The training also recommended participants read “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla Saad, and “How Good People Fight Bias: The Person You Mean to Be” by Dolly Chugh.

After our story on MAG’s racial equity training was published, MAG made the video of the traning private. AZ Free News was able to get a copy of that training and have provided it here.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Hobbs Vetoes Prop 400 Bill Leaving Voters With Fewer Choices

Hobbs Vetoes Prop 400 Bill Leaving Voters With Fewer Choices

By Daniel Stefanski |

On Tuesday, Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed the Republican-led Prop 400 legislation, which was transmitted to her office last week.

Hobbs provided a statement on Twitter, justifying her decision, writing, “I just vetoed the partisan Prop 400 bill that fails to adequately support Arizona’s economic growth and does nothing to attract new business or create good-paying jobs. I strongly encourage the Legislature to vote on the compromise supported by a bipartisan majority in the House and Senate, business and labor leaders, and Maricopa County Mayors.”

Mesa Mayor John Giles, a Republican, praised the governor for her decision. Giles stated, “Thank you, Governor Hobbs, for your veto. We hope the Legislature will reconsider the cities’ Prop 400 compromise bill, to deliver quality-of-life benefits for all residents and strengthen our economy. Cities are committed to getting a balanced, multi-modal plan to the voters.”

On the other side of the political aisle, Democrat Mayor Kate Gallego also expressed her gratitude for Hobbs’ veto, tweeting, “Thank you, Governor Hobbs. We need a transportation plan that will support economic growth for years to come, and that’s not what this bill would have delivered. It’s time for the legislature to pass the plan that’s been endorsed by all our region’s mayors and tribal leaders.”

A spokesperson for the Arizona Senate Republican caucus told AZ Free News, “We put a good bill on her desk that passed with Majority support. Her and MAG’s proposal doesn’t have the votes she claims it does. We’re willing to come back to the table to negotiate in good faith, and we will consider all reasonable requests, but we won’t vote on a plan that doesn’t focus the majority of taxpayer dollars towards freeways and roads, which are the transportation options our citizens rely on to get to and from on a daily basis.”

SB 1246, as amended, passed the state house with a 31-26 vote (three members not voting) and the state senate with a 16-12 tally (two members not voting).

After the Legislature passed its proposal, the Arizona Freedom Caucus released a statement, touting the plan and calling on the governor to sign the bill on her desk. The Caucus wrote, “The passage of the conservative Prop 400 plan is a major victory for Valley commuters and taxpayers by fully funding highways and arterial roadway projects, eliminating any opportunity for the expansion of the utterly failed light rail system, and providing a guaranteed tax cut of $241 million. Additionally, the conservative Prop 400 plan provides voters the opportunity to cut their sales tax at the ballot box by more than $3.37 billion. Unlike the MAG and Hobbs’ plans, the conservative Prop 400 plan properly prioritizes building better freeways and roadways while simultaneously reducing commute times, traffic congestion, and taxes – a true win-win.”

A bipartisan group of Valley mayors, however – including Gallego and Giles – issued a statement last week to denounce the Republican legislators’ plan for Prop 400 and to threaten to circumvent the House and Senate. The six mayors stated that the Republican lawmakers’ “priorities involving transportation just don’t mesh with the realities of where we are as the fastest-growing county in the U.S. We are unalterably opposed to their plan, and if no solution is reached, we will have no choice but to get this before voters in 2024.”

House Speaker Ben Toma has taken exception to Hobbs’ public comments and negotiating abilities over Prop 400, telling reporters previously, “The Governor has chosen to be an uncompromising conduit for an inefficient MAG proposal that does not have sufficient votes to succeed in the House. I remain willing to negotiate, but their take-or-leave-it attitude is decidedly unproductive.”

Last month, the governor created unrest over ongoing negotiations, allegedly sending out a tweet that highlighted her fight with Republicans at the Legislature at the same time she was meeting with Senate President Warren Petersen.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Maricopa Association Of Governments To Oversee $4.6 Billion For Emissions Reduction

AZ Republic Rescue Attempt Of MAG Prop 400 Plan Won’t Work

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

The Prop 400 package put together by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is in serious trouble at the legislature, and Katie Hobbs and the transit lobby knows it. So, in a desperate attempt to rescue their defective plan, they have phoned a friend to see if a little legacy media pressure will improve their flagging fortunes at the Capitol.

In recent weeks, the AZ Republic has unleashed a torrent of articles and opinion pieces attempting to scare the legislature into sending their transit slush fund package up to Hobbs’ desk. Most of their writings have been nothing more than recycled talking points from MAG and transit industry lobbyists attacking conservative lawmakers and critics (like the Club) for opposing a plan that slashes freeway funding and increases traffic congestion in the region.

A couple weeks ago it was in the form of an editorial that claimed to disprove our Prop 400 criticism by “relitigating” the merits of bus and light rail and proving its value in the region. And now over the weekend, their opinion writers couldn’t race out fast enough to promote the press release issued by Katie Hobbs and the transit lobby that the legislature needs to adopt a fake “compromise” MAG plan.

In short, their efforts to “relitigate” the merits of transit or to declare that there is any type of “compromise” only demonstrate how radical their position really is.

Here are just a few examples of how the Republic has veered from journalism to being nothing more than a lobbying arm of the transit lobby: