Understanding Syria

Understanding Syria

National Politics

Starting Place For Understanding Syrian Conflict.

By Janni Simner

After the president authorized airstrikes in Syria, I started sorting through the wide range of responses on social media, only to quickly realize something—that while I knew about the huge toll Syria’s civil war had taken on Syria and its people, I knew less about the war itself: how it got started, how it kept going, who the many groups now fighting there were and how they’d all gotten involved.

So I closed my social media apps and started reading. When I returned online, I found myself more well equipped to follow what others were talking about, as well as more equipped to form my own opinions of where to go from here.

If, like me, you’re not as up to date on the Syrian civil war as you’d like to admit, here are some resources I’ve found useful. Continue reading “Understanding Syria”

McSally on Michael Flynn- phone in townhall recording

McSally on Michael Flynn- phone in townhall recording

National Politics

With today’s Michael Flynn admission of lying to the FBI and willingness to cooperate with the investigation, suddenly this audio recording of Martha McSally is again relevant. In it, you can hear her say “it’s time to move on” after Flynn’s ouster. (Heaven forbid we actually look for wrongdoing.) Let’s hope Mueller is on it… Thanks to Connor Welton for sharing this recording with us!

Fact-check: McSally on the Tax Bill

Fact-check: McSally on the Tax Bill

Donors, Fact Checks, Jobs & Business, National Politics

Fact-check: McSally on the Tax Bill


On the same day House Republicans unveiled their new tax cut proposal, Martha McSally indicated her enthusiastic support, both in an official statement and a flurry of tweets.


How enthusiastic? Unlike with the health care bill, she managed to refrain from using f-bombs. But it’s clear she’s all in.


That’s not a surprise. McSally is hugely dependent for her campaign financing on House Speaker Paul Ryan and his political ally, New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer; it was a given they’d have her support on this, their top legislative priority.


Why are they so eager? It’s no mystery; the bill was written to benefit the donor class. Here’s a partial list of the bill’s provisions which impact mainly the wealthy and corporations, and the amount each would cost the Treasury over the next decade:

Continue reading “Fact-check: McSally on the Tax Bill”

McSally Dodges On Internet Privacy

McSally Dodges On Internet Privacy

Accurate Representation, Fact Checks, Jobs & Business, National Politics

McSally Dodges On Internet Privacy

It’s a challenge to get Rep. Martha McSally to answer questions about where she stands on important issues. But when we do get an answer, and it turns out to be no answer at all, then its easy to understand Southern Arizona voters’ growing frustration with her.

Take for example her vote to overturn Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on internet privacy. This spring, McSally joined other Republicans in Congress to approve a bill that lets internet service providers such as Comcast, Cox, and Verizon gather highly personal information from you without your permission. That info includes what web pages you visit, what apps you use, and information about your finances. The companies can then use that data to bombard you with targeted ads, or they can sell the information to marketers, financial firms, and data brokers. The Center for Digital Democracy says the law means, “Americans will never be safe online from having their most personal details stealthily scrutinized and sold to the highest bidder.”

When our fellow constituents wrote McSally for an explanation, it took over three months to get a reply. In the letter, McSally explained that her vote to gut internet privacy was actually an effort to protect the privacy of consumers. How did she explain that contradiction? McSally wrote that regulating online privacy belonged to a different agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and she didn’t want to interfere with that.

Continue reading “McSally Dodges On Internet Privacy”

McSally Defends Her Healthcare Vote – Fact Check

McSally Defends Her Healthcare Vote – Fact Check

Fact Checks, Healthcare, National Politics

Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-02) has a request to make.

Please forget she ever voted for the Republican health care bill.

That’s going to be very important for her reelection bid in 2018; polling shows people who’ve heard about that vote view her less favorably.

Did you happen to see the two-page letter she sent out defending her vote? If so, she’d like you to forget that, too. Especially the part where she claimed she only had two options – keeping the Affordable Care Act as is, or voting for the AHCA. Now that she’s openly admitting she had a 3rd option all along – working in bipartisan fashion with Democrats – it would be most inconvenient for you to remember she used to pretend otherwise.

If you really want to help her out, just erase it from your mind that she promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions, and then turned around and voted to eliminate those protections. Anyone who remembers that will surely have a tough time trusting her promises now.

Of course, she could make it easier on all of us and send out a new letter, with an honest assessment of the challenges we face in health care, and the steps she could be taking to address them. But at Represent Me AZ, we’re realists. We know if we want to see a letter like that, we’d have to write it ourselves.

So we did.

This, then, is the letter McSally would have written about health care, if she were being straight with us: Continue reading “McSally Defends Her Healthcare Vote – Fact Check”

Where Does McSally Stand on Transgender Military Ban?

Where Does McSally Stand on Transgender Military Ban?

Defense, Equality, National Politics

McSally’s Positions on LGBTQ Rights are Confusing

Martha McSally’s positions on the issue of LGBTQ rights are a confusing bag.  As with most issues that aren’t related to the border or the A-10, it is hard to unpack her positions.  Yesterday the President set off a storm with a series of Tweets about banning people who are transgender from serving in the military.

Several members of Congress put out statements condemning the idea, including members of her own party. [1] But Martha has remained silent. This silence is not surprising, as Martha tends to shy away from issues that might upset her carefully crafted yet false reputation as a Moderate.  But while unsurprising, her failure to condemn the President’s Tweets demonstrates her unwillingness to take any kind of meaningful stand. Based on her image created by her overworked PR teams, we should expect her to come out in defense of the proud men and women who are transgender and serve our country. She has a stake in the matter as a veteran and serving on the Armed Services Committee. Coupled with her tendency to tour the major cable news programs when issues of the military are hot topics, her silence speaks volumes. So again, since she won’t let her constituents know where she stands, we at Represent Me AZ are forced to let her constituents know.


You can read about her past views on LGBTQ issues here on our website with sources.

McSally voted to allow Federal Agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ. She said in 2012 that same sex marriage should be banned. In the same survey she indicated that LGBTQ does not deserve to be a protected class under Federal Anti-discrimination Law. She told a mother that other children need to be protected from transgender children. Two months later she told a group of Cienega High School students that she fights for LGBTQ rights and that they deserve “every opportunity in this country.” Most of her statements are meant to portray her as a Moderate to her more socially minded constituents. But these statements are confusing and the votes don’t match up.

Updates Since we Last Wrote About LGBTQ Issues

Then on July 13th, she voted for the Hartzler Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that sought to prohibit funds for medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code.” [2] Luckily this Amendment failed in the House.

McSally continues to use her favorite shield by stating that LGBTQ rights are a State’s Rights issue. This is how she justifies her statements about fighting for LGBTQ but then voting to undermine the civil rights of those in that community. Surely she is aware that civil rights are a Federal Issue.  By continuing her current trend of voting we are left to infer that she believes that the people in the LGBTQ community deserve less protections than other Americans.

There has been a great deal of pushback on Trump’s ban. This includes a statement from the Joint Chiefs of the Military who appear to have been caught off guard by the policy change by way of Twitter. McSally certainly would not be alone if she chose to speak out in support of the troops she professes to stand behind. McSally’s silence is both unsurprising and unacceptable.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-transgender-military-service-ban-republican-opposition_us_5978bbb4e4b0e201d57a65b4

[2] https://www.congress.gov/amendment/115th-congress/house-amendment/183

McSally Finally Calls for Civility

McSally Finally Calls for Civility

Accurate Representation, National Politics

McSally’s Recent Cable News Tour Calling For Civility Misses the Mark

Typically when someone speaks about a desire for change, and expresses a shared responsibility for an issue, their next statement, as an act of good faith, speaks about their own missteps. Not so with Martha McSally.  Since the terrible and tragic attack on her GOP colleagues on June 14th that left the shooter dead and 3 others seriously injured, she has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and in various print articles speaking about how we need to take stock in the current political climate.  In her interview on 6/14 with Joe Ferguson she states “we are all responsible for bringing the temperature down” and on Fox News on 6/17 she muses “what is it that each of us can do to bring the temperature down?” Had she answered her own questions she could have followed up her statements with an admission of her culpability like “I too have engaged in some of the political conversation that inhibits our unification.” But instead she states, “I refuse to inflame the rhetoric. I haven’t done it since I’ve been in D.C. and I’m going to continue to choose not to do it.” “Let’s not feed into the fear and anger.” So since Martha won’t use this opportunity for self-reflection, I am compelled to do so for her. Continue reading “McSally Finally Calls for Civility”

McSally on Trump

McSally on Trump

National Politics

Martha McSally played it safe in her 2016 campaign, refusing to endorse or disavow Donald Trump.  She would only say that she “might” vote for him, insisting it was a private decision between “me, God and the ballot box.” She told local press she “hadn’t been paying that much attention” to Trump’s campaign: “I just don’t have the time.”[1] She said the outcome of the presidential race wouldn’t impact the way she did her job: “I’m going to continue to be that independent voice for Southern Arizonans regardless of who wins the White House.”[2]


Pre-election, she demonstrated a willingness to criticize Trump when it was called for.  She said she “utterly disagreed” with his proposed withdrawal of support from NATO, and after Trump was caught on tape making lewd remarks about groping women, she tweeted that she was “appalled” and that his comments were “disgusting.”[3] His proposed Muslim ban drew an especially strong reaction. She called it “ridiculous”:


“This is against everything that we believe in as a party, and what we believe in as a country. At least a couple of the bill of rights are being violated by this hateful talk… I really strongly condemn it.”[4]


Distancing herself from Trump was an effective political strategy; even as Trump lost in AZ-02 by nearly 5%, McSally hung on to her seat in Congress.


But any voters hoping that she would follow through on her commitment to “be that independent voice” have since been disappointed.  McSally has voted 100% in line with Donald Trump’s agenda.[5] She has voted several times to block the release of his tax returns, and against an independent commission to investigate his campaign’s ties to Russia.


She has also changed or softened her position on several issues to align herself more closely with Trump. Several examples:


Before the election, as noted above, she “strongly condemned” his proposed Muslim ban; post-election, as he attempted to put it into effect, she issued a statement with a much different message and tone: “taking a comprehensive look at [gaps in our vetting process] is prudent and should be expected of any new administration.”[6]


Instead of keeping her promise to protect her constituents with pre-existing conditions, she enthusiastically supported Trump’s health care bill (read more here).

She was sharply critical of candidate Trump’s stance on NATO, insisting, “we strongly need to adhere to our Article 5 responsibilities.”[7] But after President Trump went to Europe and pointedly refused to reaffirm America’s commitment to Article 5, prompting global criticism and alarm, McSally was silent. She did speak out a few days later at a private reception for the Arizona Bankers Association – not against Trump, but against her constituents who don’t support him: “There’s just an element out there that’s just, like, sooo against the president. Like they just can’t see straight.”


It should be noted that McSally and Trump share many of the same wealthy backers, including Sheldon Adelson, Ronald Cameron, Ken Griffin, Bernard Marcus, Linda McMahon, Robert Mercer, Marlene Ricketts, and Paul E. Singer.

[1] https://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2016/07/25/martha-mcsally-is-not-endorsing-donald-trump-so-you-can-stop-asking-about-it

[2] https://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2016/05/06/mcsally-not-yet-readyfortrump

[3] https://twitter.com/MarthaMcSally/status/784615339053215744

[4] https://grabien.com/story.php?id=43137

[5] https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-trump-score/martha-mcsally/

[6] http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/34383109/mcsally-releases-statement-on-controversial-immigration-orders

[7] https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/the-skinny/Content?oid=7128896