McKenzie Sadeghi

McKenzie Sadeghi

Politics Reporter, Washington, D.C.
Latest from Mckenzie Sadeghi

As if firefighting wasn’t dangerous enough, crews grapple with COVID-19

TEMPE - As if fighting fires wasn't dangerous enough, firefighters now have to worry about COVID-19 while they're on the job, making for what fire officials say will be the "most challenging season we're going to have."


No pressing the flesh, but candidates learn to campaign under COVID-19

TEMPE - Faced with the stay-home orders and social distancing of COVID-19, candidates have suspended rallies and in-person campaigning, have staffers working from home and are scrambling to find ways to reach voters while competing for donations and media attention in the face of a pandemic.


Despite funds, lawmakers say tribes still shortchanged in COVID-19 aid

TEMPE - Native American tribes have been severely hit by the coronavirus but have received only a fraction of the help they need from the federal government, said lawmakers, who called the impact on businesses and health on reservations "particularly worrisome."


Upstart head start: Some challengers better funded than incumbents

TEMPE - The coronavirus had already made 2020 an unusual election year when campaign finance reports added another twist, showing challengers in some congressional races raising far more than the incumbents they hope to unseat.


School leaders say move to distance learning highlights digital divide

TEMPE – The scramble to deliver lessons remotely because of COVID-19 has been a challenge for all schools in the state, but a particularly difficult one for districts on the wrong side of the digital divide, school leaders said this week.


Arizona Supreme Court, coping with COVID-19, hears first case via video

TEMPE - Arizona Supreme Court justices - sitting at an appropriate distance from one another - heard arguments from attorneys via videoconference this week for the first time, as the high court tried to to continue its work while employing safe practices in the face of COVID-19.


Coronavirus relief payments start landing in Arizonans’ bank accounts

TEMPE - Thousands of dollars started arriving in Arizonans' bank accounts this week as the first payments from the massive coronavirus relief package began to be distributed in the form of expanded unemployment benefits and direct stimulus payments.


Sanders drops out, but Arizona supporters say they are still in the fight

TEMPE - Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his 2020 Democratic presidential bid Wednesday, but his Arizona supporters said they will still push his message of Medicare for all, eliminating student debt and raising the minimum wage.


Rx for a feud: Ducey COVID-19 treatment order splits health officials

TEMPE - While President Donald Trump touts an anti-malarial drug as a possible coronavirus treatment, Gov. Doug Ducey is allowing its use in limited circumstances in Arizona - dividing advocates over whether he's gone too far or not far enough.


Brnovich weighs in as Ducey’s ‘stay home’ order takes effect statewide

TEMPE - Gov. Doug Ducey's "stay home" order had not even taken effect before critics were arguing Tuesday over whether it is enforceable and if it goes far enough to protect Arizona from the spread of coronavirus.


Tucson barbers, salons open, despite city order closing other businesses

TEMPE - When Tucson Mayor Regina Romero ordered nonessential businesses to close Saturday to halt COVID-19, she could only ask barbershops and salons to go along, after Gov. Doug Ducey declared them "essential services" - a designation that remains in his statewide "stay-home" directive.


Senate approves historic $2 trillion economic stimulus package

WASHINGTON - The Senate gave unanimous approval late Wednesday to a historic $2 trillion economic stimulus package that calls for direct payments to taxpayers and hundreds of billions in relief for small businesses and targeted industries, like airlines.


Economic stimulus bill stalls in Senate, as Democrats, Republicans feud

WASHINGTON - The Senate deadlocked for a second day Monday on more than $1 trillion in proposed support for an economy buffeted by coronavirus, as Democrats said the bill gives too much to corporations and Republicans accuse Democrats of making it a liberal wish list.


Mr. Smith goes home from Washington: Hill offices adapt to teleworking

WASHINGTON - Voters with concerns about the stimulus bill working its way through Congress can still share their opinions with their representatives in Washington - even though their representatives may not actually be in Washington as offices there, like the rest of the nation, are learning to telework.


Biden wins Arizona primary in apparent three-state sweep of Sanders

WASHINGTON - Heavy early voting and a steady stream of voters at polling places were boosting turnout in Tuesday's Arizona primary, where former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders competed in a slimmed-down Democratic presidential field.


Small-business leaders upset as House passes second coronavirus bill

WASHINGTON - Business leaders pushed back Monday against a coronavirus relief bill the House passed over the weekend that calls for extended sick leave, as well as new funding for testing, school lunches, senior nutrition and more.


Ballot zombies: Early voters’ choices made moot by Democratic shakeup

WASHINGTON - When voters go to the polls Tuesday, they will be handed a ballot listing 18 Democrats who were running for president - 12 of whom have pulled out of the race since the ballots were printed in December. Voters next week know that; early voters did not.


Endorse check: Value of Arizona endorsements mixed in presidential race

WASHINGTON - Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who got the most Arizona endorsements, dropped out of the presidential primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got none and is polling at a steady 30% in the state. Campaigns tout them, but analysts say endorsements "matter a lot less than they used to."


Supreme Court vacates ruling in Nogales cross-border shooting

WASHINGTON - Advocates were not surprised but still "truly heartbroken" Monday when the Supreme Court overturned a lower court that had said a Mexican family could sue a Border Patrol agent in Nogales who shot and killed their son in 2012.

Supreme Court facade

Kirkpatrick returns to Capitol after taking leave for alcohol treatment

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Tucson, returned to Congress Wednesday and pledged to be back on the campaign trail Saturday after a self-imposed six-week leave of absence to get treatment for alcohol dependence.

Senate Poll

Court says Mexicans cannot sue Border Patrol agents in fatal shootings

WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Border Patrol agent in Texas who shot across the border and killed a teen in Mexico cannot be sued by the boy's parents for the death, a ruling likely to affect an almost identical cross-border shooting in Nogales.


Supreme Court refuses to hear Arizona challenge to California tax law

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Arizona's challenge to California's "extraordinarily aggressive" application of a tax against thousands of out-of-state companies, including as many as 13,000 in Arizona.


FEC filings show Arizonans favor Trump, Sanders with campaign dollars

WASHINGTON - New campaign finance reports show Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had raised $768,054 in Arizona through Jan. 31, well ahead of the No. 2 Democratic fundraiser, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's $416,518. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, raised $1.4 million in the state.


McSally officially enters costly, high-profile race to keep Senate seat

WASHINGTON - Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally officially kicked off the campaign to retain her seat this week, entering a race already awash in cash and which one national analyst calls the "marquee Senate race of the cycle."


‘What’s old is new again’: Advocates say tribal voting hurdles remain

WASHINGTON - Voting barriers for Native Americans have always existed, but polling cutbacks, discriminatory voter ID laws and lack of funding are making things worse, advocates told a House panel Tuesday - the same day a federal court reinstated an Arizona law against "ballot harvesting."


Sharp: Tribal sovereignty still threatened from ‘every corner’

WASHINGTON - Despite some "encouraging developments," threats to tribal sovereignty still come "from every branch and every corner of federal and state governments," the president of the National Congress of American Indians said Monday.


Sinema, McSally fall in line with parties as Senate acquits Trump

WASHINGTON - Arizona's senators fell in line with their respective parties Wednesday as the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment that could have forced his removal from office.


State of disunion: Arizona lawmakers react to Trump speech at tense time

WASHINGTON - For more than an hour Tuesday, President Donald Trump talked about the "Great American Comeback" that has occurred under his administration, in a State of the Union address that Democrats said described instead "a parallel universe."


Guesting game: Lawmakers send messages with State of the Union guests

WASHINGTON - One veteran of State of the Union addresses says the guests are "often as interesting as what's on stage." Arizona lawmakers got that message, bringing guests to President Donatd Trump's speech to highlight issues ranging from health care to immigration and border security.


Trump vows ‘positive’ State of the Union; analysts aren’t so sure

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Tuesday's State of the Union Address will have a "very, very positive message." But with the speech coming a day after the Iowa caucuses and a day before the Senate votes on his impeachment, some experts expect to see a more partisan address.


Critics call proposed ban on ‘birth tourism’ misdirected, unenforceable

WASHINGTON - Critics are calling a Trump administration plan to curb so-called "birth tourism" unenforceable at best and "rooted in misogyny, xenophobia and racism" at worst, and say it is targeting the wrong people.

Visa Reprieve

Supreme Court says ‘public charge’ rule can take effect – for now

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Monday that the Trump administration can enforce its proposed new "public charge" rule that will require immigrants show they will not need public assistance before they can gain admission to the U.S.


DNC sees Maricopa County voters as key to making Arizona a 2020 battleground

WASHINGTON - Democratic National Committee officials said they plan to focus aggressively on Maricopa County voters as part of their efforts to swing Arizona, one of six battleground states where the party plans to invest millions in 2020 - a move Republicans call too little, too late.

Tucson Elections

As impeachment trial begins, Arizonans play official, unofficial roles

WASHINGTON - Testimony in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began Tuesday, with at least two Arizonans looking on in unofficial capacities as senators engaged in an all-day debate of procedure.


Arizonans join smaller, calmer, but still impassioned Women’s March

WASHINGTON - Snow and near-freezing temperatures were not about to keep Sierra Maughan of Arizona from joining thousands of others who marched in Washington Saturday in the fourth annual Women's March, an event repeated in marches around the country.


Arizona lawmakers vote on party lines to forward impeachment to Senate

WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers voted on a straight party line Wednesday to forward two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a 228-193 vote that was as predictable as the arguments for and against it.