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Arizona Supreme Court boots educational funding proposal off November ballot

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The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday to remove a proposal from the November ballot that, if passed, would have pumped $690 million into Arizona’s public education system by raising taxes on the state’s highest earners.

The court found the proposition’s description of the change in tax rate along with a lack of any discussion of changes in indexing for inflation collectively “creates a significant danger of confusion or unfairness,” justices wrote in the decision.

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The development is the latest in the fallout from teacher protests and walkouts in several U.S. states earlier this year that attempted to bring awareness to what they say is the need to spend more money on education.

“Our highest court has joined the entrenched politicians at the capitol in blatantly protecting the elite and the wealthy over the rights of voters and the needs of Arizona’s children,” said Joshua Buckley, Co-Chair of the “Invest in Education” proposal.

Supporter of the measure said new money was desperately needed to reverse years of cutbacks to public schools by Arizona elected officials.

Under the ballot measure, which is supported by the Arizona Education Association, voters would have been asked to approve a tax increase on high-wage earners to provide a dedicated revenue stream for education.

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The measure proposed a 3.46 percent tax increase on income of individuals above $250,000 and households above $500,000. A 4.46 percent hike would be imposed on income of individuals over $500,000 and households over than $1 million, if voters approved the measure.

Sixty percent of the new dollars would have gone to teacher salaries and the remainder to be allocated for operations, according to the proposal. Full-day kindergarten and pay raises for support staff also would be funded.

“Not only was the initiative poorly crafted, it was the wrong plan. It would have harmed all taxpayers, small businesses, and would not have delivered on its promises for teachers, while weakening education reforms,” said Jaime Molera, chairman of Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy, a group opposed to the measure.

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Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Michael Perry


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Multiple NSC officials are ‘rolling the dice’ and running to House investigators against Trump’s wishes: Politico reporter

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Speaking with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart, Politico White House correspondent Josh Gerstein said Donald Trump's troubles may get worse this week as several National Security Council officials will be speaking with congressional investigators against the president's wishes.

Gerstein's reveal caught the MSNBC host by surprise.

"One thing to look forward to later in the week, a couple of NSC national security officials are to be interviewed this week as well," Gerstein stated. "The NSC is the White House, it's part of the White House, right there in the West Wing and the Eisenhower Executive Office building. So I'll be looking to see do those people also take that same approach and go in and give their testimony despite basically a direct marching order not to do that -- that would be an amazing rebuke."

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‘You totally said that’: Mulvaney melts down as Chris Wallace plays tape of quid pro quo admission

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White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney struggled on Sunday to deny earlier remarks when he admitted President Donald Trump wanted a quid pro quo for as a condition of aid to Ukraine.

During an interview on FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace forced Mulvaney to watch video of himself bragging that Trump held up aid to force Ukraine to investigate the Democratic Party.

According to Wallace, Mulvaney "flinched" by denying that he ever admitted the quid pro quo.

"That's not what I said, that's what people said I said," Mulvaney pleaded. "Here's what I said... there were two reasons that we held up the aid."

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White supremacists view escalating tensions in small North Carolina town as an opportunity to radicalize armed neo-Confederates

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Neo-Confederate activists and antiracists clashed briefly in Pittsboro, NC, a town west of Raleigh, on Saturday, when a man wearing a “Trump 2020” hat and a face mask attempted to drive a front-end loader festooned with Confederate flags down a street where the two groups were facing off.

After antiracists blocked the driver, a local man identified as Sam White, neo-Confederate activists spilled into the street demanding that he be allowed to pass. Neo-Confederates, at least one of whom was armed with a holstered pistol, and antiracists engaged in shoving and grabbing before police separated the two groups and cleared the roadway.

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