Hobbs Celebrates Breaking Veto Record After Killing Bipartisan Bill

Hobbs Celebrates Breaking Veto Record After Killing Bipartisan Bill

By Corinne Murdock |

As the community mourned, Gov. Katie Hobbs celebrated killing a bill legalizing more homemade food sales with an email campaign applauding herself for issuing the most vetoes in state history. The bill would have the greatest impact on small business owners in the “cottage food” industry, such as street vendors.

State Rep. Alma Hernandez (D-LD20) voiced her frustration with Hobbs’ lack of support for the bill, HB2509, on Twitter. Hernandez, who trained at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that Hobbs’ rationale for the veto flew in the face of public health professionals’ opinion. 

“People are NOT dying from street food poisoning. This is personal. Not only do many Hispanics depend on this to make a living but many fear being reported and fined,” said Hernandez. “When my father was injured and could not work, my mother made cakes from home to ensure we could put gas and food on our table. This does nothing in the name of ‘health & safety.’ It goes against my community.”

State Rep. Consuelo Hernandez (D-LD21) added that the veto denied recognition of the popular practice of Latino communities relying on tamale sales for income. Hernandez called Hobbs’ celebratory email “cruel.”

In Hobbs’ letter explaining her veto, the governor claimed that the bill would increase risk of food-borne illness, as well as limit quality control preventing food contamination from hazardous chemicals, or rodent or insect infestation.

Sen. President Warren Petersen (R-LD14) arranged for a veto override next Tuesday. 

“We will put it up for a vote. #freethetamales,” wrote Petersen.

House Speaker Ben Toma (R-LD27) assured that an override motion was prepared for next week.

The bill would be the legislature’s first override vote of the session.

Hobbs vetoed a total of 11 bills on Tuesday, raising the record to 63 — five more than the record set by former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. 

The other bills Hobbs vetoed were SB1091, SB1101, SB1262, SB1455, SB1565, HB2379, HB2394, HB2474, and HB2691.

Critics shared images of the celebratory email Hobbs’ team issued following this latest round of vetoes. 

Former senior policy advisor to former Gov. Doug Ducey, Christina Corieri, noted that she was one such small business owner-hopeful impacted by Hobbs’ veto. 

After issuing the vetoes, Hobbs told her critics that she was delivering “sanity, not chaos” to the people. 

“I will gladly work with anybody who will be a partner in addressing the real problems Arizonans face, but I refuse to play political games with our state government,” tweeted Hobbs. “I’m proud of the bipartisan accomplishments we have achieved and encourage leaders in our legislature to continue to come together and pass real solutions that will grow jobs, build roads and bridges, invest in education, and deal with our water crisis.”

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

Holocaust Education, IHRA And Anti-Semitism In Arizona

Holocaust Education, IHRA And Anti-Semitism In Arizona

By Paul Miller |

House Bill 2241 requires Arizona students to be taught about the Holocaust and other genocides twice between seventh and twelfth grades.  Although the bill passed unanimously in February of this year, at issue is a proposed Senate amendment defining anti-Semitism in accordance with the definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The sponsor of HB 2241, State Rep. Alma Hernandez, is a self-declared progressive and staunch Zionist. The Mexican-American Jewish Democrat is a refreshing and important voice in Arizona’s pro-Israel community, especially at a time in American politics when the term “progressive” is often associated with with anti-Israel sentiment. In an interview with the Haym Salomon Center, Hernandez expressed her support for the IHRA definition, but not in the context of this bill.

“I have championed the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in the past and hope to do so in the future with colleagues across the aisle in a separate bill,” said Hernandez, adding, “I worked with Holocaust survivors, families and organizations to create this bill. This is their bill, and I will keep my promise to them and pass their legislation.”

Hernandez is part of a chorus of bill supporters who believe the unanimous passing of the legislation sends an important message to students on the significance of Holocaust education.

Joining that choir is Sheryl Bronkesh, president of the Phoenix Holocaust Association. During our conversation she expressed how critical it is to pass this legislation now, with no amendments.

“We’ve been working on this legislation for three years,” explained Bronkesh. “This past year I lost 10 survivors. I don’t want to see another legislative session end without survivors and their families not witnessing Holocaust education being passed while they are with us.”

Disagreeing with Bronkesh is fellow Phoenix Holocaust Association member Marion Weinzweig. Weinzweig, a Holocaust survivor, believes “we need the IHRA definition in the bill. If we don’t define anti-Semitism – teach students about contemporary anti-Semitism – what stops this bill from being used against Jews and Israel?”

Weinzweig and other supporters of the IHRA amendment fear that without the definition, Holocaust education can be used to foment anti-Semitism.

Sounds absurd to some. But during a period in our history where disdain for Jews is growing, anti-Israel advocates and their anti-Semitic minions in government, culture, and academia intend to use the Holocaust to stir up Jew-hatred.

Holocaust inversion is an actual phenomenon. It’s the portrayal of Jews and Israel as modern-day Nazis. Anti-Semites claim Israel treats the Palestinians as the Nazis treated the Jews during the Holocaust.

This sad reality is one of the driving forces that led Arizona State Sen. Paul Boyer to author and sponsor the IHRA amendment.  The Republican lawmaker believes the purpose of Holocaust education is not only to teach the history; it must also help eradicate anti-Semitism in the future.

Boyer notes that over 550 survivors, family members of survivors and concerned citizens emailed the Arizona legislature in support of the IHRA amendment.

“The IHRA definition must be part of any Holocaust education bill if the legislation is to have any teeth,” Boyer explained. “If educating students about the Holocaust is to be successful in preventing future injustices, we have to include safeguards to prevent Holocaust inversion.”

Boyer is not wrong in his concerns about contemporary anti-Semitism. In fact, it exists in the very legislative body in which he serves.

For example, Arizona State Rep. and Minority Whip Athena Salman took to the floor in April 2019 and claimed the Israel military has a history of abducting children.

An anti-Israel, anti-Semitic diatribe such as that of Democratic lawmaker Salman makes one wonder how this type of behavior is being tolerated in our society. Invectives spewed by Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who receive very limited scrutiny for their rank anti-Semitism, only reaffirm the position of IHRA definition supporters.

All the interested parties, on both sides of the debate, understand the importance of Holocaust education but disagree on how best to implement it. What is not up for debate, however, is that anti-Semitism exists even among publicly elected officials, and that Holocaust inversion is now part of contemporary anti-Semitism. Thwarting the trend necessitates a curriculum that includes a clear definition of anti-Semitism, past and present.

Paul Miller is president and executive director of the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter at @pauliespoint.