After pestering U.S. Representative Trent Franks for months, Indivisible Surprise chapter president Wendy Garcia finally got her sit-down with the conservative politician, and she was sure to share every moment of it on Facebook Live. Before entering a private room for a health care roundtable, Garcia and others were told not to take photos or videos during the meeting. Garcia coyly stood her iPhone upright between her hands as she sat across from the Republican and grilled him on his politics live on her Facebook page. Halfway through the 40-minute sit-down with Franks, his assistant asked Garcia if she had been filming the entire time. She answered truthfully. Franks said he knew and dismissed the incident, but the assistant later took Garcia aside to scold her. Smile! You're on Candid Camera.

You think Donald Trump invented the term "fake news"? Sad! Phoenix's own Paul Horner mastered the art of the hoax years ago. With the help of his Super Official News website and all-too-clickable share buttons across the internet, the late prankster duped countless social media users (and a few news outlets) into believing an array of pop culture-centered lies. They include but are certainly not limited to: a Banksy street art work discovered in Roosevelt Row, the world's biggest Starbucks opening downtown, and Bill Murray embarking on a party tour of the continental U.S. None of 'em are true, but boy, are they more amusing than "real news" headlines.

We aren't saying that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. But we're not not saying that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. While several have taken credit for the conspiracy theory that ran rampant through the internet during the 2016 presidential election, meme-obsessed Valley dwellers know whom to thank for the ridiculous, hilarious, and preposterous notion that Cruz could be the evasive NorCal murderer who claimed to have killed 37 people. Tempe's own Jonathan Novak runs the "Ted Cruz Is the Zodiac Killer" Facebook page. And we are reasonably sure that Novak isn't the Zodiac Killer. So, there's that.

Pick me! Pick me! That was former state Senator Kelli Ward's not-so-subtle message when she suggested that she ought to replace ailing Senator John McCain. Never mind that McCain has insisted he'll remain in the Senate, despite the fact that he has glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. In her comments to an Indiana radio show — awkwardly delivered just days after McCain's diagnosis — Ward appealed to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who has the authority to appoint someone to an open Senate seat. She added that McCain should "step away as quickly as possible." There's no love lost there — McCain trounced Ward when she challenged him in the 2016 Republican primary. Ward has yet to give up on her senatorial dream. Until that call comes from Ducey, Ward plans to face off in the 2018 primary against Arizona's other senator, Jeff Flake. Looks like she might just have the backing of a certain POTUS.

Forget for a moment about Donald Trump and the pardon. Finding out that ex-lawman Joe Arpaio had become a convicted criminal was sweet. Not to mention that Arizona U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton made the right call. Arpaio certainly did have contempt for the 2011 ruling by another federal judge that under his leadership, the sheriff's office discriminated against Latinos. For many, that ruling was a disappointment because it left Arpaio in power. Even when voters kicked the sheriff out of office in November, many wanted more. And more came on July 31, with Bolton's decision following a bench trial that Arpaio was guilty of a crime. At the least, and despite the fact that it was only a misdemeanor, the conviction symbolized the idea that justice had finally been served on a corrupt bigot of a sheriff who had gotten away with his crimes for far too many years. Even Trump's pardon can't take that away.

It's not a bird or a plane — it's a public official's middle finger. State Representative Don Shooter swears he was just scratching his nose, but video from news channel KTVK shows the representative staring at the camera and smiling as he scratched his nose multiple times with his middle finger back in April. Observers say Shooter, who represents Arizona's 13th district, blatantly and intentionally used the forbidden finger while making eye contact with a reporter doing an investigative piece involving him. Good for you, Representative Shooter. We've often dreamed of doing the same.

Mud fight? Try mud war zone. For Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, and other conservative state leaders, legal cannabis is an evil that should be defeated at any cost. On one side was the Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol, headed up by a dispensary operator who stood — along with others who "owned" the nonprofit dispensaries — to make millions if voters approved Prop 205. On the other side, the group formed to oppose the effort, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, took campaign ads to new lows. Ducey was the guest of honor at anti-Prop 205 parties. He encouraged people to give generously to ARDP, and boy, did they — outspending the $5 million kicked in by the national Marijuana Policy Project and the self-interested dispensaries by a few hundred thousand dollars. Discount Tire magnate Bruce Halle gave ARDP $1 million. A lot of other people who hope the governor feels indebted to them also gave big bucks. Insys Therapetics, now under criminal investigation for the way it marketed the dangerous drug fentanyl, donated $500,000 to ARDP. ARDP turned to alcohol distributors, the electric utility, and even a popular pizza joint. The gambit worked, and possession of any amount of marijuana in Arizona remains a felony offense.

Speeding down Indian School Road or other thoroughfares in east Phoenix in 2016, motorists probably couldn't read everything on Leonore Driggs' campaign sign. However, they would have noticed the large judge's gavel above her name, and possibly the words "justice of the peace" and "experienced." And they would have noticed the photo of Driggs dressed in what looks like a black robe. No doubt, many motorists who glanced at the sign briefly would have thought something like, "A judge wants my vote for re-election." But the gavel was just clip art. The "experience" part — Driggs later said — referred only to her life experience, which did include some time working as an assistant at the office of her husband, attorney and former State Senator Adam Driggs. The black outfit? Just a black dress, which Driggs said she wore in the photo because it was "slimming." Driggs said she hadn't meant to mislead anyone. Whether that's true or not, the campaign sign was brilliantly misleading. Not that it mattered when election time came. Driggs and her husband investigated her two competitors for the Arcadia-Biltmore precinct JP post and got both of them kicked off the ballot on technicalities. Voters, having no other options at the ballot box, gave Driggs a real black robe and the $102,000-a-year job.

Spend enough time in public office without disgracing yourself, and you're bound to wind up with a park or an elementary school named after you. Doug Ducey, however, has a horse. Like, an actual living, breathing animal. Back in February, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group announced that the first wild colt of the year had been born — and, in a transparent bid for attention, named it after the Arizona governor. "Without Governor Ducey's support for the thousands of citizens who stood up for the Salt River wild horses when the federal government threatened to round them up, little Ducey might not have been born wild and free this year," the group explained in a cloying press release. Their stunt apparently was successful, since it was Ducey the horse, not Ducey the governor, who dominated the evening news that night. And we have to admit it: He's pretty cute.

Often, it seems like The Satanic Temple exists solely for the purpose of trolling the Christian right. The group frequently makes headlines by proposing to start After School Satan Clubs at elementary schools, or requesting to give invocations at city council meetings. While reminding public officials about the separation of church and state is a worthy objective in its own right, the Satanists have recently been showing off their more philanthropic side with a campaign designed to make sure that disadvantaged women and girls have access to menstrual products. "Menstruatin' With Satan" collected sanitary pads, napkins, and menstrual cups for the YWCA, which in turn distributed them to women's shelters and community groups across the state. The fact that many women can't afford to buy basic hygienic supplies is a glaring problem that's frequently overlooked by would-be do-gooders who are too squeamish to acknowledge the existence of menstrual blood, and it's one that we're glad to see our local band of civic-minded Satanists taking on.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of