Somewhere a staffer for Rep. Martha McSally is probably doing pushups and will continue to do so whenever the words “Martha McSally” and “Facebook” pop up together in another news story.
The two-term Republican from Tucson found herself becoming a viral sensation in the wrong ways earlier this week. McSally was caught immediately responding to her own video on Facebook with the comment “Great video quality! Thank you for your service!”
While the comment was quickly deleted, critics said it was firm evidence that McSally — now running for Jeff Flake’s Senate seat — was relying on fake social media accounts for online praise and digital popularity boost.
The political firestorm may have peaked a few days ago when “Late Late Show” host James Corden gave his take on the flub.
“I feel sorry for this woman, I really do. She’s got some seriously low self-esteem if the best compliment she could come up with for herself was ‘great video quality,’” Corden said.
McSally’s spokeswoman, Kelly Schibi, says a staffer is to blame.
“The Facebook comment came from a district staffer who was intending to compliment his colleague’s Facebook Live filming skills from his personal account. Obviously, he accidentally neglected to switch accounts and posted from the Congresswoman’s account,” she said. “Corporal punishment was on the table, but Congresswoman McSally showed mercy and instead sentenced him to 100 pushups a day until such time as she sees fit.”
The retired Air Force colonel has said that she doesn’t like to carry smart phones or other digital devices that track your every movement, citing privacy concerns.
So it wasn’t McSally who made the comment, just ask the guy doing pushups.
A California-Arizona border wall?
McSally got more ink later in the week when she quipped during a meeting with President Trump that maybe Arizona should consider building a wall along its border with California for protection from immigrant criminals she says are hidden by sanctuary cities.
It was the second time that McSally has made the joke in the last two weeks. She first tested it out during a Fox News segment.
McSally later called the proposed wall a sarcastic remark designed mostly to criticize California’s sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants.
She told another Fox News host that while many Arizonans are focused on the southern border, it might be time that they focus on the border with California as well.
McSally told Trump at the same meeting in the White House that California’s polices are not only problematic to its residents, but to the entire country.
“[California] cannot just provide sanctuary for these criminals and think that it is only impacting California dangerously,” she said.
McSally’s political allies and enemies quickly jumped into the fray, but so far Corden has been silent on the issue.
Sinema donates $33k to charity
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is again finding herself in a charitable mood as she attempts to distance herself from a well-known donor in Arizona political circles, Ed Buck.
Buck, who once led efforts to impeach former Arizona Republican Governor Evan Mecham, is in the spotlight after a male escort overdosed in his apartment in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Sinema, who is also running for Flake’s Senate seat, donated a total of $35,800 to the UMOM New Day Centers, with roughly half coming from her Getting Stuff Done political action committee and the rest from her campaign.
Last year, Sinema donated more than $50,000 to charity to distance herself from donations linked to the owners of Backpage.com.
Finchem authors bill to disband Regents
Republican Rep. Mark Finchem of Oro Valley is once again looking to break up Arizona Board of Regents and give control of the three state universities to the Governor and the state Legislature.
Fresh off of his failed attempt at similar legislation last year, Finchem crafted a strike-everything amendment to create three separate governing boards to make policy, funding and tuition decisions for Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
Those boards would be appointed by the Governor — with four members coming from the business community and three from the academic community.
University and ABOR officials lamented that the bill would set up the possibility that the universities would openly compete with each other for resources.
Finchem’s amendment was adopted on an unrelated bill heard in the Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee this week, allowing it to skip public hearings in the House. The bill still must be approved by the full Senate, then return to the House for a final vote, before landing on Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.