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Political Notebook: Sen. Martha McSally, Mark Kelly spar over Ducey's Nike decision
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Political Notebook: Sen. Martha McSally, Mark Kelly spar over Ducey's Nike decision

Sen. Martha McSally was quick to side with Gov. Doug Ducey this week when he pulled state tax incentives for a planned Nike factory in Goodyear.

Ducey balked at the tax breaks after Nike scrapped plans to release a shoe with a Revolutionary War-era flag with 13 stars. Reportedly, the company was swayed by protests from former the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who objected to using an 18th-century flag reflecting an era when slavery was widespread.

The Betsy Ross flag has also reportedly been co-opted by white nationalist groups.

McSally tweeted her support to Ducey on Tuesday.

“We must respect the flag and honor those who died defending it. Nike is wrong. Thank you Doug Ducey for your leadership,” McSally wrote.

Mark Kelly, her expected rival in the 2020 Senate race, said that Ducey went too far in canceling the incentives and jeopardizing the new jobs associated with the $185 million factory.

“As a Navy pilot and an astronaut I was always proud to wear our nation’s flag. That will never change. But to me, 500 jobs for Arizona families are more important than scoring political points,” Kelly told me on Wednesday.

How many potholes?

For the past few months, Ed Ackerley, independent candidate for mayor, has been going the extra mile in terms of his campaign. He regularly attends City Council meetings, goes to mayoral debates even when he isn’t invited to participate and has been regularly meeting with community groups.

It is pretty clear he is doing his homework. At least most of the time.

A mailing from Ackerley told supporters that if elected he would double the number of potholes city crews fill — a figure he pegged at 8,000 — a top budget priority.

“In the last year, the transportation department responded to and filled approximately 4,000 potholes on city streets. Although this is a large number, 8,000 potholes need to be filled and repaired. I will prioritize funding pothole repairs,” Ackerley wrote.

While it is easy to focus on Tucson’s cratered and crumbling streets, Ackerley doesn’t seem to understand how the city of Tucson handles potholes.

In the last six months, the city of Tucson has filled more than 32,000 potholes. And while it is easy to boil down city finances to a point to say there isn’t an unlimited budget for filling potholes, multiple city officials stress that the city responds to every pothole complaint.

Supervisors to challenge Corps decision on Rosemont

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will go to court over the Rosemont Mine, indirectly challenging whether Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals can move forward with plans for an open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.

In a split decision, the board’s three Democrats voted to legally fight the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to issue Rosemont a Clean Water Act permit, a linchpin to the $1.9 billion mine.

Rosemont Mine threatens an estimated 264,795 acres of land, Supervisor Sharon Bronson argued Tuesday, saying Rosemont fails to meets the bare minimum requirements of the County’s Conservation Lands System guidelines.

While the board authorized legal action on Tuesday, it could be weeks before the county formally files in court.

Board backs resolution opposing deportation plan

The Democrats on the board also weighed in on a “swift deportation plan” announced by President Trump on Tuesday, passing a nonbinding resolution opposed to planned ICE raids designed to round up undocumented family members in 10 cities across the United States.

Chairman Richard Elias briefly mentioned that the entire proposal was unnecessary, but the two Republicans on the board forcefully argued that the resolution was a bad idea.

Supervisor Ally Miller downplayed the raids, noting they targeted only individuals who have already had their day in court.

“If we are a nation of laws, we need to follow those laws,” Miller said.

Supervisor Steve Christy agreed with Miller, adding he wishes that the Board of Supervisors would expend the same amount of energy and interest in the “legitimate citizens” in Pima County.

This isn’t the first time this year that the supervisors opted to weigh in on federal immigration policies.

In March, the Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution opposing President Trump’s emergency declaration on the border and another asking the Department of Homeland Security to take down razor wire along the Nogales border.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson

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Joe has been with the Star for six years. He covers politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona. He graduated from the UA and previously worked for the Arizona Daily Sun.

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