Twin33s: Innovation is Creating Opportunity in the Shipping Industry

By JP Padres

Congress, in collaboration with the Biden Administration, is hard at work considering legislation that will shape how our economy recovers and operates in the future. Our policymakers now have the unique opportunity to rethink decades-old regulations, particularly in the shipping industry, that no longer serve their intended purpose and implement policy changes that enhance sustainability practices in private industry.

A simple and cost-free way for the federal government to make a significant impact to reduce CO2 emissions is to allow Twin 33 freight trucks to operate. It is estimated by Americans for Modern Transportation that if Twin 33s could operate in 2018, they would have saved 274 million gallons of fuel, reduced CO2 emissions by 3.12 million tons, and resulted in 3.36 billion vehicle miles traveled in the United States. Studies also revealed that Twin 33s move the same amount of goods with 18% fewer trips, which means there is less congestion on our highways.

Over 20 states, including Arizona, already recognize the positive environmental and economic impact of this type of vehicle and allow Twin 33 delivery trucks to operate. But because it’s not legal at the federal level yet, Twin 33 delivery trucks cannot cross state borders, which reduces shipping efficiency.

Twin 33s are two thirty-three-foot trailers attached to a freight truck cab. Currently, these types of trucks are only allowed to operate with two twenty-eight-foot trailers attached, even though there are other freight vehicles allowed to drive on the highway that are larger than a Twin 33. An increase in the size of a delivery vehicle doesn’t change the weight limit because operators still have to abide by the law and allow no more than 80,000 lbs of freight on the truck. Adding a conservative five feet to each trailer is incredibly beneficial to the shipping industry because not only is it more environmentally friendly, it increases cargo capacity and reduces costs for the consumer as more and more deliveries are being made across the country.

Over the past year, businesses rapidly adapted to a remote work environment and transformed their operating models to fit the growing e-commerce industry. The success of e-commerce businesses heavily depended on their shipping partners’ ability to safely and quickly deliver their products to paying customers. America’s shipping industry played one of the most important roles during the pandemic. Our cargo shippers delivered critical healthcare supplies, including medications and the coronavirus vaccine, while also keeping our economy open and operating through e-commerce.

E-commerce accounted for over 21% of all retail sales last year, which was a notable increase from 16% in 2019. In total, Americans spent $861 billion online with U.S. merchants over the course of 2020, and it’s expected to continue growing. Delivery services have always been an integral part of the U.S. economy, and this fact was amplified over the past year, which is why we need to make policy changes to allow cargo shippers to operate more efficiently while also reducing carbon emissions.

Most cargo shipping companies are already striving to become more sustainable and invest in innovative operations to reduce their carbon footprint, and Congress should aid their initiative by allowing Twin 33s to operate. I encourage you to support your local congress person or senator to move to allow drivers in Arizona to cross state lines by making these delivery trucks legal at the federal level.

JP Padres is an International Trade and Logistics Consultant, and Tucson Ward 3 City Council Candidate

Phoenix is on the brink of a public safety crisis

By Chris Rutherford

Phoenix is on the brink of a public safety crisis. As one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Phoenix faces the unique challenge of expanding its core infrastructure to match the rapidly expanding population. One of the key areas our city has struggled to keep pace in is the staffing of law enforcement officers. While the city’s population has exploded over the last decade, the growth of the police force has remained stagnant, placing the city well behind law enforcement staffing recommendations.

 

Staffing guidelines suggest there should be a ratio of three police officers for every 1,000 citizens. The city of Phoenix currently has an active force of roughly 3,000 sworn police officers. With a population of 1,733,630, our city has an officer to citizen ratio of 1.7 officers per 1,000 citizens, down from 2.4 in 2010. As the ratio between officers and citizens continues to decline, crime is on the rise in Phoenix. Between 2019 and 2020, Phoenix saw a 175% increase in domestic violence murder which trended with the rest of the violent crime increases throughout the city. These staggering numbers raise alarms when you consider the reality that our police are tasked with protecting us from these hastily increasing threats while operating at just half of their staffing capacity. Now more than ever, it is critical that we ensure Phoenix’s police force is adequately staffed and provided with the necessary resources to protect our community from the increasing occurrences of crime.

These numbers become even more concerning when comparing Phoenix’s police force to its total population and the population of other comparably sized cities. One startling example is the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s population is just 9% smaller than that of Phoenix, but their police force is more than 225% larger.

Adding to the cause for concern is the fact that our police force is facing a further staffing crisis in the years to come. 31% of the officers we currently have in Phoenix will be eligible for retirement from the force within the next year1. This number will balloon to 46% over the next five years, leaving our city more vulnerable than ever while the population continues to increase. As the population continues to grow and the size of the police force continues to shrink, our overworked police officers will be forced to take on even more duties to account for the staffing shortages. 

Phoenicians are taking note of these issues and their effect on the community. Our citizens have a largely positive relationship with their law enforcement officers. Over 60% of Phoenix residents that have interacted with the police have had a positive experience and 73% believe that Phoenix police do a better job protecting us than other major cities. Factoring in the stressful circumstances our officers find themselves in due to staffing shortages, Phoenix PD has developed a strong reputation among the community. 

While their overall sentiment is positive, many citizens are concerned about the continued strength of the police force. 63% of people in Phoenix believe that there should be more police officers to reflect the rapidly expanding population of the city. On top of this, five out of every six citizens believe that our city would be better protected with more police officers. 

As Phoenix continues to expand, the issue of crime will only become more apparent and the consequences more dire. Without a plan to increase the strength of our police force and replace officers who will be retiring over the coming years, we could find ourselves in the midst of a public safety crisis. It’s time for us to bring together our elected officials, law enforcement representatives, stakeholder groups, and the community to develop long-term solutions to protect our city and support our police officers. 

About the Author: Chris Rutherford is a Phoenician and son of fallen Phoenix Police Officer Paul Rutherford.

  1. City of Phoenix. Quarterly Budget Update and Performance Statistics. 3/31/2021

Interview with Conspiracy Theorist, Gail Golec

The latest video by Scottsdale Studios features conspiracy theorist Gail Golec in an almost 10-minute ramble about 2020 Maricopa County ballots.

Gail Golec

Gail Golec is a Republican Precinct Committeewoman in Mirada precinct located in Legislative District 23 in Scottsdale. Her effective date was August 4, 2020 which means she was appointed by the Maricopa Board of Supervisors and her election to precinct committeeman was cancelled. She got a free ride into her elected party position. The interview is conducted by someone who goes by the name of “Michael.”

The first objectionable thing Golec says is that the Board of Supervisors is being “obstructionist.” The reality is that the Board of Supervisors must serve all citizens of Maricopa County. They do not serve a tiny pack of conspiracy theorists. Because of this, they are obligated by law to assess any/all risks of potential violations of both state and federal law. Election matters are governed by state and federal law. Turning over ballots to a tiny pack of conspiracy theorists could put the county and its citizens into a major lawsuit that could cost taxpayer millions of dollars. The BOS has to take this into consideration should they decide to expose these ballots to a tiny pack of conspiracy theorists.

This is not being obstructionists. This is not being Democrat. This is not being Republican. This is simply following good governance and the law.

Gail Golec is NOT a certified election officer with the State of Arizona. She states that she has been a PC for two years. This is not enough time, knowledge or experience to understand how elections work here in Arizona. She is not an elections attorney. In Arizona, there are only a handful of people who have an exhaustive knowledge of election law, process and procedure. I doubt that Gail Golec has even read the Election Procedures Manual issued by the Secretary of State and approved by the Attorney General and Governor.

Golec argues that the BOS will not allow the “audit” to be conducted at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) because the Supervisors have said that it is “our building.” What Gail fails to understand is that the building is the property of Maricopa County and the Supervisors have full and proper legal authority to control the building to the point that they can task the County Sheriff, Paul Penzone, to secure the building just like PCSO controls and secures the jail. Just because it is county property does not mean any tiny pack of conspiracy theorists can waltz into the building and take it over.

Gail then makes the claim that there is international cyber warfare taking place and moving the ballots out of the MCTEC vault will subject them to exposure. The mention of international cyber warfare is a tenet of the conspiracy theory being floated by tiny packs like this.

Gail makes the statement. “they (BOS) can run but they can’t hide” as if to suggest that the Supervisors are “on the run.” This is ridiculous. The Supervisors are very much in public continuing to govern the county while they deal with this tiny pack of conspiracy theorists. She even claims that “this crime was committed throughout the entire State of Arizona.” Golec fails to name the crime committed. The Maricopa County has not arrested anyone. The Arizona Attorney General or a Grand Jury has not indicted anyone. There is no crime.

Golec then suggests that some “honest” County Recorder should stand up and say, “I want a fair and free election in my county.” What does that even mean? Gail needs to remember that Maricopa County now has a new County Recorder – a Republican named Stephen Richer. Recorder Richer defeated Adrian Fontes, a Democrat who ran the 2020 Elections. One would think that Golec could ask Recorder Richer to find the “crime” that was committed by the former Recorder who should have won in order to cover up the crime that was committed.

Golec states that there are 16 counties in Arizona. There are actually 15 counties in Arizona. Each County Recorder knows their peers in the other counties and are part of an association of county recorders. Does Golec think one moment that someone in this group will go full blown conspiracy theorist and turn on their association peers?

The conspiracy theorist interviewer then asks Golec a question by training his fire on Attorney General Mark Brnovich (which he sorely mispronounces) suggesting that the AG is also in on the conspiracy theory coverup. The tag-team interview “question” allows Golec to cite ARS §16-624 which addresses the disposition of official returns and ballots. She then confuses ballots and the canvass (two different documents). Golec said she spoke with Recorder Richer about transferring the “canvass” to the Treasurer, John Allen (also newly elected) which did not take place. Here’s what the statute says:

After the canvass has been completed, the officer in charge of elections shall deposit the package or envelope containing the ballots in a secure facility managed by the county treasurer, who shall keep it unopened and unaltered for twenty-four months for elections for a federal office or for six months for all other elections, at which time he shall destroy it without opening or examining the contents.

ARS § 16-624.A.

A few things here: The statute mentions the canvass but it clearly states, “the officer in charge of elections shall deposit the package or envelope containing the ballots in a secure facility managed by the county treasurer…” There is a difference between the canvass and the ballots. The other thing that Golec fails to understand is that MCTEC has a warehouse and vault large enough to hold the 2.1 million ballots until they can be placed under the management of the County Treasurer in the vault located under the courts at 3rd Avenue & Jefferson Street but only after any adjudication has completed. She does not say that she spoke with Treasurer Allen over the custody issue.

Golec then returns to the theme of, “we want this audit in that building” by arguing that the State Senate reigns over the County Board of Supervisors – clearly another failure to understand the role of elective bodies and separation of powers. She repeats that, “we cannot allow anything to be moved from that building (MCTEC).” Statements like this suggest that the audit is doomed to fail and the the outcome will further affirm the conspiracy theory.

The interviewer then admits on camera that he met Gail Golec during a protest at the County Recorder when “we didn’t know what was going on” and “we were just a bunch of enraged people.” He then states that she has “very quickly risen to be one of the big players of the citizenry.” The interviewer has it all wrong and Gail Golec has it all wrong. They both fail to understand election law and how our election process works.

Gail Golec self identifies as being part of the Save America Team and that “we are definitely ready to take back our country” and “we know that there was a cover-up and we know that we are going to discover it.”

Her final ramble goes on about fighting the media, censorship and contacting their Reps because of “Covid” – all signs of conspiracy theory delusion.

Here’s the full interview:

Audio: Sonny Borrelli & Staci Burk

Here is the audio of the recorded conversation between Arizona State Senator Sonny Borrelli and conspiracy theorist Staci Burk regarding turning over alleged evidence of shredded ballots that were obtained by Earl Shafer while dumpster diving on Maricopa County property.

This conversation breaks down quickly as Borrelli and Burk argue over who should have the ballots.

Recalls Have Unintended Consequences!

In the latest video by Scottsdale Studios and We the People AZ Alliance, activists in the group announced more Republicans are now their recall targets. (I predicted this. Where does it stop?)

Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri and State Senator Paul Boyer are the latest elected officials who they have filed recall applications against.

In addition, the Trump-obsessed group announced they were pulling recall applications against Republican Governor Doug Ducey, Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Democrat Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffmann.

(It’s only a matter of time before they file recalls against Attorney General Mark Brnovich, State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, The Corporation Commission and State Mine Inspector Joe Hart! And anyone else that doesn’t pass their purity test!)

In the video, Verl Farnsworth, who once ran for US President and other local offices, whips up the crowd promising even more recalls sometime in the next week. Farnsworth indicates they will recall one more member of the House of Representatives, another State Senator, one mayor of a city in Maricopa County and several members of city councils.

What does this mean?

First, recall efforts are extremely difficult campaigns to pull off. The last successful effort occurred in 2011 when former State Senator Russell Pearce was targeted and removed from office. Recall signature campaigns are extremely difficult because they require the collection of tens of thousands of valid signatures within a 120-day period. There’s a reason why they were set up to be difficult!

Second, even if a signature collection effort is successful in obtaining the minimum number of signatures, they must be validated AND are always challenged in court. On top of that, there is an appeals process that takes time and costs money.

Third, Democrats always take advantage of Republican on Republican violence. Vote splitting will occur.

Recall campaigns run a challenger Republican candidate against the elected Republican who doesn’t pass their “purity test.” Democrats plot and wait for this to happen and take advantage of a vote split even in the most Republican of districts. The challenger won’t win. The elected official won’t survive the recall. The Democrat will win. Democrat elected!

Recalls are a bad idea. Normal election cycles work. Primary Elections work. They allow the parties to purify their candidates.

These recalls are based on ignorance and revenge.

If these recalls succeed, the unintended consequence will be that Democrats will take control of almost all authority in Arizona and the recallers will have put themselves and all Republicans into a state of tyranny.

Don’t sign the petitions and pray the recall effort fails.

Recall Virus!

Arizona Republican elected officials appear to be suffering an outbreak of Recall Virus-20 with Maricopa County now declared a hotspot.

The source of the virus seems to have originated in a West Valley Glendale lab run by We the People AZ Alliance with potential links to Republican members in the Arizona State Senate.

Recall Virus-20

Most recently, infections of Recall Virus-20 were confirmed among county government elected Supervisors Jack Sellars, Bill Gates, Clint Hickman and Steve Gallardo.

Currently all Supervisors are showing little or no harm.

Although one Democrat Supervisors has been infected, it seems Republicans are the most susceptible victims.

It is also unconfirmed that one State Senator from LD20 may have also been exposed to this vicious political virus.

Recall Virus-20 appears to spread quickly through highly emotional superspreaders that demonstrate disoriented, irrational and even rabid symptoms.

Republican elected officials are most at risk with voter signatures identified as the main agent attacking the elected official.

Sonoran Alliance has calculated risk levels and political survival rates for Republicans who may be attacked by the virus. Here are those numbers:

Karen Fann – 36,444 signatures
Sonny Borrelli – 22,077 signatures
Wendy Rogers – 30,803 signatures
TJ Shope – 21,651 signatures
Vince Leach – 33,346 signatures
Warren Petersen – 39,001 signatures
Sine Kerr – 23,397 signatures
David Gowan – 26,515 signatures
Nancy Barto – 23,148 signatures
Kelly Townsend – 24,510 signatures
JD Mesnard – 32,313 signatures
Paul Boyer – 25,199 signatures
Rick Gray – 18,966 signatures
David Livingston – 38,260 signatures
Michelle Ugenti-Rita – 37,952 signatures
Tyler Pace – 28,623 signatures

Arizona Senate Republicans should exercise extreme caution and avoid all contact with recall superspreaders in order to avoid being infected by the virus or becoming superspreaders themselves.

Democrat elected officials appear to be at very low risk to the Recall Virus-20.

Trump Lost. Get Over It!

Time to toss a grenade in the room.

This video is complete bullshit! This is nothing more than playing on people’s fears and anxiety by misleading them down a dead end of misinformation.

Scottsdale Studios put this together and I will find out who paid them. And if taxpayer dollars were used, a complaint will be filed.

I also challenge this amateur video crew to conduct the same interviews in downtown Tempe, downtown Phoenix or even downtown Gilbert.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors have done NOTHING wrong, unethical or illegal. They did their job.

If you really believe the election was stolen in Maricopa County, do you not think that the former Democrat County Recorder would have won along with two new progressive Democrat Supervisors so they could cover up the steal? If you recall, the first few days after the election, two Republican supervisors were losing. Even the new Republican County Recorder knows the election was not stolen!

The truth is that starting in 2018, Democrat activists outworked Republicans building a machine ready for 2020. They identified and registered thousands of new people and motivated them to vote against Trump.

Why was there no outcry after the 2018 General Election? Why was there no outcry after the 2020 Primary Election? Why now? Where were you people when we lost the US Senate seat in 2018 and 2020? Where were you people when we lost the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Secretary of State and Corporation Commission seats???

Where you lose all credibility – besides not being able to make a logical argument or provide evidence – is when you leave our other Republican candidates behind.

Your fatal flaw is you put all your faith in Donald Trump to be your savior while failing to fight for the other Republican candidates.

Trump lost in Maricopa County because there were more people who didn’t vote for him than did vote for him.

Your problem is not with the Board of Supervisors. It’s not with the new Republican Recorder. Your problem is with the people who got tired of Trump’s bullying, antics, drama, incompetence, tantrums, authoritarianism and performance. Your problem is with the 51,465 freedom-loving, anti-big government people who voted for the Libertarian candidate.

The election is over and sure, there will be an audit but that won’t be enough to break your cognitive dissonance that Trump actually did lose.

If Republicans don’t get focused and back on mission instead of living in the past, this state is going to turn deeper purple and then dark blue in 2022.

Calling Out Crazy and Dangerous

We’re being told that January 6, 2021 will be the next opportunity for President Trump to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. That’s when both houses of Congress will convene to count and certify the results of the Electoral College.

Trump supporters are banking on Vice President Pence to hear the objections of members of the House and Senate before pushing for an alternative to the long-held historical practice of finalizing the vote and selecting the next President of the United States.

President Trump and his army of supporters are leaning heavily on Vice President Pence to thwart this process and re-elect Donald J. Trump as the next President. Social media is ablaze with speculation about what will happen and the consequences of Pence’s action.

We’re hearing that riots will break out across America as the left sets fire to anything their torches touch. This is not hard to believe since the left has a track record of hyper-emotional reaction and violence to events to which they object.

On my Twitter feed, I’ve been clear that I don’t expect anything to change with regard to our election results. (I’ve been working in elections for over 30 years.) Our system works pretty well, especially here in Arizona and frankly, Democrats were motivated to kick DJT out of the White House.

Some of my fellow Republicans – and I use that term questionably since many of them behave more like they’re in a cult – have said that if Pence doesn’t fall in line with his boss, their will be an uprising across America. In other words, they plan on unleashing a rebellion.

I don’t believe it.

When they claim they’ll start another civil war, I don’t think they have the conviction let alone fortitude to do so. Most of them would rather head down to the State Capitol and hold another rally in which they complain about the election while waving Gadsden flags and making speeches. These are the patriots on paper.

But there are others using anonymous online identities making threats of rebellion and all-out war to defend the Dear Leader. These are the dangerous and crazy ones and they need to be called out.

In this country, we have an institution called the Rule of Law and when you follow it and exhaust it, you need to respect it and its final outcome. It’s how we govern here in America.

This author in no way advocates for violence, let alone civil unrest or war. If you do not like the outcome of our elections, legal rulings or legislative process, you have other peaceful forms of protest available.

Connected Commerce Council President Calls New Google Lawsuit “Nuts”

Several State AGs filed a lawsuit against Google this week. The plaintiffs hope a judge will enjoin this suit with the one previously submitted by the Department of Justice in October.

The announcement of the lawsuit and its scope weren’t unexpected to the tech community but many are questioning its timing, saying that the potential harm to small businesses and consumers is too great, and it’s legal premise is flawed.

Connected Commerce Council (3C) President Jake Ward issued the statement below highlighting some of those concerns. The Connected Commerce Council is a small business advocacy group which is worried about the impacts of the litigation on small businesses.

“Small businesses are hurting, and instead of helping them, these Attorneys General are trying to force middlemen between small businesses and their customers. In every market, middlemen drive up costs, drive down value and drive small businesses further from their customers. Intervening on behalf of billion-dollar publicly-traded intermediaries insults small businesses and harms consumers. To do so now is nuts.

“Small businesses have asked policymakers for help during the pandemic, and have made it clear that they need stability, access to capital, and access to digital tools. No one has asked policymakers to prioritize the interests of intermediaries. Not consumers, not small businesses, and not their employees. It won’t go unnoticed that when small businesses needed help, their attention was elsewhere.”

And, Adam Cohen, director of economic policy at Google said the claims, “have been closely examined and rejected by regulators and courts around the world, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, competition authorities in Brazil, Canada and Taiwan, and courts in the United Kingdom and Germany, who all agreed that our changes are designed to improve your search results. It’s also well established that the most important driver for our search results is the specific query—not your personal data.”

The lawsuit against Google is expected to be one of the most expensive antitrust lawsuits in history.

Holding Big Insurance Accountable

By Steve Schooley

As a 71-year-old retired firefighter, access to affordable and effective medication is a big priority for me. As such, this past election season, I voted for candidates who I believe are capable of making some commonsense reforms to our health care system, and I expect them to deliver.

As the 2021 legislative session quickly approaches and we start to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, I want to see Arizona’s legislators lead on holding health insurance companies accountable. As a senior, I am sick and tired of paying more for coverage year over year and getting less and less coverage from my provider. It seems as if every time there is a new Congress we hear a lot of talk out of Washington about “holding big pharma accountable” but where is that same vigor when it comes to insurance companies?

At the end of the day, I don’t care whose fault high it is my costs are too high, all I care about is that my costs go down and I continue to have access to the best available medications. To me, it seems like the easiest fix is to make sure insurance actually works for patients like me when we need it most.