Daily Archives: November 16, 2017

‘Dark money’ lawsuit, ‘dirty money’ initiative

A lawsuit has been filed to void a new Arizona law expanding the ability of some organizations to make anonymous “dark money” contributions to political campaigns. Howard Fischer reports, Lawsuit challenges dark money growth:

A voter advocacy group, a union and Democrat lawmakers are asking a judge to void a new Arizona law expanding the ability of some groups to make anonymous “dark money” contributions to political campaigns.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court charges the Republican-controlled Legislature acted illegally earlier this year in exempting some organizations from laws that require them to register before they can spend money to influence who is elected. More to the point, it also allows them to avoid disclosing to voters who provided that cash in the first place.

But attorney Jim Barton said there are other legal flaws in the measure.

One, he said, is that the exemption lawmakers provided to certain nonprofit organizations applies only to those that also are registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission. But Barton said the legislation denies the same privilege to unions which, while organized as nonprofits, do not register with the commission.

Potentially the most sweeping, Barton said lawmakers violated a constitutional provision that requires the legislature to have laws that tell the public about all of the contributions to and expenditures by campaign committees and candidates for public office.

He said SB 1516 allows nonprofits and similar entities to make unlimited contributions to political parties. Then the parties can spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of their nominees.

“Since the reporting of these particular contributions are not required, then built-in disclosure safeguards (required by the Arizona Constitution) are broken,” Barton wrote.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, which enforces the campaign finance laws, said the lawsuit is being studied.

Continue reading

House passes GOP ‘tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats’ bill – last line of defense is the Senate

The GOP “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill is deeply unpopular with the American people. The most recent Quinnipiac University poll found:

Asked about the tax plan, the numbers for President Trump were bleak. While a third of Americans approved of his handling of taxes, only a quarter approved of the Republican proposal. That includes only 60 percent of Republicans.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 1.51.23 PM

Despite being deeply unpopular, the House Tea-Publicans today passed the GOP  “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill on a largely party-line vote of 227-205, with all Democrats unified in opposition and only 13 Republicans voting against the measure. Roll call vote.

Arizona’s Congressional delegation voted: AYE: Biggs, Franks, Gosar, McSally, Schweikert; NAY: Gallego, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Sinema.

Those members voting in favor of this bill should be defeated next year. Democrats must run credible candidates against each of them. No seat should go uncontested next year.

Continue reading

Jerome Beillard Festival of Life on Nov.18

“The Jerôme Beillard Festival for Life is a live and silent auction benefiting the programs and services of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

Featuring food, art and entertainment, Festival for Life is a celebration of style, fashion and compassion!

Tickets are $50 through November 3rd or $65 after November 3rd.
Get your tickets early by going to http://festivalforlife.saaf.org/

Event Schedule
5:30pm Registration opens
6:00pm Silent Auction opens
7:15pm Live auction starts
8:45pm Silent Auction section 1 closes
9:15pm Silent Auction section 2 closes
9:45pm Check-out opens/Event ends”

Hosted by Festival for Life and Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/events/2050014631897403/

PDA Tucson Clean Elections Forum Nov 16 (video)

Clean ElectionsWhat is Clean Elections all about? Why would anyone choose to run for office using Arizona’s Clean Elections system– rather than run a “traditional” political campaign fueled by as much cash as you can rake in? How does the Clean Elections system work? What are the advantages and disadvantages to running a publicly funded campaign vs a privately funded campaign?

Please join former Arizona Senate Minority Leader Phil Lopes and I at the PDA Tucson Clean Elections Forum, Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ward 6 office (Facebook event here.) Phil ran clean and won every election. I ran clean and won in 2016, and my 2018 re-election campaign is also a clean campaign.

If you think that big-money politics and special interests are destroying our democracy, come on down and learn about Clean Elections. Have you been toying with the idea of running for office but can’t stand the idea of making hundreds of fundraising phone calls to raise the cash the consultants say you need?

Clean Elections is a grassroots system of organizing and funding a political campaign; it was created by the Citizens Initiative process.

Continue reading

House votes on GOP ‘tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats’ bill today

The House is scheduled to vote on the GOP “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill today. House Is Poised to Pass Tax Bill in Major Step Toward Overhaul:

The House tax bill, which passed in the Ways and Means Committee last week, would cut taxes more than $1.4 trillion over 10 years. It cuts the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent, collapses the tax brackets to four from seven, switches the United States to an international tax system that is more in line with the rest of the world and scales back many popular deductions, including one for state and local taxes paid.

The House bill appeared on track for passage on Thursday, despite some Republican opposition. If all House members vote and every Democrat opposes the bill, Republican leaders can afford to lose no more than 22 of their members for it to pass.

* * *

The House is expected to begin floor debate at 9 a.m. on Thursday for about two hours. Mr. Trump is expected to make a visit to the Capitol to speak to the Republican conference around 11:30 a.m., according to a congressional aide. A vote is then expected to take place in the early afternoon.

The House GOP tax bill does not include the repeal of the “Obamacare” individual mandate that is in the Senate bill to help ensure passage in the House. This is all just a ruse. There is an explicit understanding that if the Senate can pass its version of the tax bill with repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, the House will follow suit. Paul Ryan: Senate will have to take lead on scrapping Obamacare individual mandate in the tax bill:

In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested that his members could get behind eliminating Obamacare’s individual mandate as part of a tax reform bill. However, he said the House will not do so in the bill it hopes to pass Thursday. Instead, it will wait to address it in a conference committee with the Senate, he said.

* * *

Ryan did not outright say the House would back such a measure, but he noted that his members have voted to repeal the mandate in the past.

“We’ve had the House votes to do that. We passed our repeal of the individual mandate back in May,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “But we never had the votes in the Senate. So what we didn’t want to do is make tax reform harder than it already is.”

“But it really is whether or not the Senate has the votes for this or not. So, we’re seeing what the Senate can do. If the Senate can get it through committee, if they can get it through the floor, then we’ll meet them in conference and we’ll assess at that time,” Ryan added.

Continue reading