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Week in Review: Be Less Like New York, More Like H-E-B

May 9, 2020

Flexibility will be key to putting America on the road to recovery from the coronavirus crisis. This week at In Defense of Liberty, Goldwater Institute Director of Healthcare Policy Naomi Lopez illustrates how one state’s COVID-19 response has paled in comparison to that of a popular supermarket chain—because the latter embraced good planning and an adaptive strategy, as opposed to the former’s bureaucracy-laden system.

Texas-based grocery store chain H-E-B “has been making national headlines for its forward-looking planning and innovations in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Goldwater Institute Director of Healthcare Policy Naomi Lopez this week at In Defense of Liberty. “As early as mid-January, the company was already communicating with their Chinese and European supply-chain partners and running simulations of how the crisis might play out—and how the company should respond.” As a result, there have been few hiccups in the store’s retail experience.

But in New York State—home to the nation’s highest number of COVID-19 cases, the experience has been much rockier. Almost one-fifth of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths have occurred inside nursing homes—and shockingly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently claimed that he was unaware of the state’s policy that requires COVID-19 patients, even if they are still positive, to return to their nursing homes. “This lack of flexibility and forward thinking is not only shocking and tragic for its seemingly incompetent approach that likely led to many unnecessary deaths; it also reflects Americans’ growing mistrust and impatience with some political leaders,” Lopez writes.

You can read Lopez’s full post here.

Can Santa Feans Speak Freely about Soda?

One of the definitive freedoms of our constitutional system is the right to freely express one’s opinions—to educate the public and promote a position—on political and social controversies without risk of retaliation, and without having to give up one’s right to privacy. Yet in recent years, there’s been a growing trend of state and local governments forcing nonprofit groups to turn their donor lists over to the government whenever those groups communicate with voters about local ballot initiatives.

One of these cities is Santa Fe, New Mexico, which mandates that even people who spend as little as $250 on a political campaign must give the government personal identifying information—a rule that chills free speech by charities and other nonprofit organizations, and exposes their donors to potential harassment and retribution. This week, on behalf of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation, the Goldwater Institute filed the opening Tenth Circuit appellate brief in its ongoing dispute with the city of Santa Fe over the Foundation’s campaign to educate voters about a proposed soda tax.

Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Matt Miller has more at In Defense of Liberty.

Is Arizona’s Biggest Teachers Union Rooting for Another Recession?

Arizona’s largest teachers union, the Arizona Education Association (AEA), may have outdone itself: After spending over 2 years pushing its “#InvestinEd” ballot initiative to hike up taxes and increase public school costs, it has launched a screen-sized banner ad at The Arizona Republic homepage this week to boost its signature gathering efforts and drum up support for its economic message.

But is this a sign that the AEA is rooting against economic recovery post-coronavirus? Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg says that that might be true. “Remarkably, that message now features the union’s displeasure that Arizona might be at least somewhat prepared to weather the current economic storm, thanks to the Governor’s plan last year to stuff the rainy day fund with $1 billion,” he writes.

Read more from Beienburg at In Defense of Liberty here.

THURSDAY TELEFORUM: Are You Breaking the Law by Running a Business from Your Home?

Coronavirus is forcing Americans to work from home. But did you know that in many cities, running a business from your home is a crime? It’s just another example of government shutting down our freedoms — but there’s something we can do about it.

That’s the topic of conversation this Thursday, May 14, at a special Goldwater Institute teleforum featuring Goldwater President and CEO Victor Riches and Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur. Riches and Sandefur will be discussing how cities are putting people out of business and how the Goldwater Institute is fighting to protect the American Dream.

We hope you can join us this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. PDT. Click here to register for this virtual event.

To read the Goldwater Institute’s ongoing analysis of the policy response to the COVID-19 crisis, you can read our special In Defense of Liberty blog series here.



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