Daily Archives: April 24, 2018

CD 8 Special General Election Results

Arizona Secretary of State is reporting that the Special General Election for CD 8 (unofficial) results are:

Debbie Lesko (R)   91,390  52.6%

Hiral Tipirneni  (D)  82,318  47.4%

former State Senator Debbie Lesko

Voter turnout was 38.3 % of the 455,660 registered voters in CD 8.  This vacancy occurred when long-time Republican Congressman Trent Franks resigned in December, 2017 after allegations of a $5 Million request he made of his Congressional  aide to have his surrogate child.

Debbie Lesko is a former State Senator and Rep. from LD 21.  Dr. Tipirneni  is a political newcomer, an ER doctor and an immigrant from India.

http://results.arizona.vote/#/featured/6/0

Back to the McCarthy Era for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

If teachers walk off the job on Thursday, April 26, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas warned that “there may be investigations” if complaints come into the Department of Education. Furthermore, if the courts deem the walkout a “strike,” Douglas cautioned that teacher certifications may be revoked and censure notices placed on an instructor’s permanent record.

In an interview with Channel Three Arizona Family News (link below), Superintendent Douglas relayed that she is in favor of more money for education and increased salaries for instructors and support staff. She appeared receptive to ideas ranging from local governing boards setting local district salaries to education budget increases being placed as ballot initiatives.http://www.azfamily.com/clip/14295201/raw-video-diane-douglas-discusses-planned-teacher-walkout

However, Douglas urged teachers not to walk out on Thursday and suggested that they continue negotiations with the Governor and legislature, especially because there are proposals to bargain over. Furthermore, she pointed out that students with free and reduced lunch and special needs may suffer if a walkout occurs. Finally, Douglas intimated that instructors may themselves be blacklisted, have their certificates revoked, or be ostracized from future employment if complaints from the community to the department were processed.

That portion of the interview with Superintendent Douglas threatening potential reprisals against instructors shows an attitude that this country has not seen publicly since the McCarthy Era when many were blacklisted for their real or imagined beliefs. That attitude should not be ingrained in the public servants of our state or country in the year 2018. Fortunately, there are two Progressive Democrats (Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira)  just waiting for a chance, after one of them earns their party’s nomination, to replace her after the November elections.

Teachers do not want to walk out. Teachers want to educate and shape children’s hearts and minds. However, they cannot do it effectively when their salaries rank near the bottom of the country. They cannot do it passionately when they sometimes have to work a second job to put food on their table. They cannot do it competently when they are not provided the modern resources to do the job well.

This is about what is right for the children. It is a step in the right direction to make sure that the people who are responsible for them eight hours a day or longer are properly provided for. Making sure our schools are safe and provide all the features of Twenty-First Century culture and technology is another. The Superintendent and Governor are not going to get there by making idle threats or catering to the conservative whims of their alt right-reactionary sponsors who feel the McCarthy Era was “The Good Ole Days.” It is time to properly fund our schools, compensate our instructors and support staff, and prepare our children for tomorrow.

For the Love of Tucson: Sign the Community Letter to the President of TEP

Looking ahead to a bright future for Tucson

“We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come.” – Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons

Climate change is real and it’s progressing faster than scientists first predicted. We aren’t talking about some distant dilemma. The devastating impacts are already being felt around the world. In Tucson, we are experiencing record temperatures – every year hotter than the last. There is no more time to waste. We need to get carbon dioxide below 350 ppm immediately.

Sustainable Tucson is greatly concerned about TEP’s unambitious goal of transitioning to 30% clean energy by 2030. TEP is proposing modernizing the Sundt Generating Station by replacing two 1950’s era steam units with ten natural gas-fired combustion engines. These RICE units would create significant greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, the project expects to cause an increase in emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter (fine particles PM2.5 and coarse particles PM10) and volatile organic compounds.

Renewable energy, supplemented by energy storage systems, is a better option for many reasons. But TEP has refused to consider it – even though the Arizona Corporation Commission strongly urged TEP to turn in this direction.

Our advocacy team and other community members have been actively fighting the permit process for installation of the RICE units. Duane Ediger took a week off of work to study the TEP’s permit to see if it met the Pima County code. With the help of the Sierra Club, Duane uncovered some inconsistencies that he shared with the community so we could submit relevant comments to the Pima Department of Environmental Quality.

While awaiting a response, Duane worked with Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, Sustainable Tucson, and Arizona Interfaith Power and Light to draft a public letter to David G. Hutchens, President of Tucson Electric Power Company.

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AZ teachers know their math and economics, AZ legislators not so much

As state policy makers weigh their options in response to the “Red for Ed” movement that is organizing the teacher protests, some conservatives and their allies are once again, like a broken record, blaming administration costs as a reason teachers in Arizona have among the worst pay in the nation. It’s just right-wing propaganda. Analysis shows no link between school district administration costs, teacher pay:

A “messaging guide” by the State Policy Network, a network of conservative think tanks, that aims to discredit the nationwide movement to increase teacher pay urges conservatives and anti-union activists to turn the conversation to how “red tape and bureaucracy” and “administrative bloat” suppresses teacher pay.

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But an Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of school district spending data compiled by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office shows no correlation between how much a school district spends on administration and how it pays its teachers.

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Shocking! Arizona Republican proposes a tax increase to support public education

This is like discovering that a species believed to be long extinct, like the dodo bird, is still alive and well and living in a small flock on some remote uninhabited island somewhere.

There is actually one Republican in the Arizona legislature who proposes to perform his constitutionally mandated duty under the Arizona Constitution and is willing to raise taxes in support of public education. Shocking! Republican lawmaker pitches $1 billion tax hike to prevent Arizona teacher walkout:

A Republican state lawmaker has a plan he hopes will prevent Thursday’s statewide teacher walkout and, at least temporarily, solve Arizona’s education funding crisis.

It involves a tax hike.

More than 50 Arizona school districts — and counting — will close during Thursday’s statewide #RedForEd walkout as educators push for higher pay and the restoration of $1 billion in cuts to education funding [over the past decade].

Rep. Noel Campbell, R-Prescott, told The Arizona Republic on Monday afternoon that he will introduce a budget amendment — whenever Republican legislative leaders introduce a budget — for a three-year, 1-cent education sales tax increase.

The plan would require the approval of two-thirds of the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey [i.e., the “Two-thirds For Taxes” Amendment, Prop. 108 (1992).]

The proposal would provide the state’s public district and charter schools with $880 million a year more in discretionary funding, and require the state to fully fund Arizona’s kindergarten students. It also could provide the state’s public universities with hundreds of millions of dollars a year in extra funding, though the exact amount remained unclear.

Campbell said his proposal would serve as a “temporary bridge” to allow voters to potentially approve in the 2020 election a long-term tax measure for education.

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CD2 Candidate Barbara Sherry Warns about Chemtrails, Breaks Promise to Support Primary Winner

Congressional candidate Barbara Sherry opposed expansion of Davis Monthan airbase becuase of "the chemtrails."

Congressional candidate Barbara Sherry opposed an expansion of Davis Monthan airbase because of “the chemtrails.”

Staking out a position as a fringe candidate, Barbara Sherry, who is running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2, warned about chemtrails from Davis-Monthan airbase, broke a promise to support the winner of the primary, and rambled about pecan trees, Nazi Germany, and potholes.

She spoke at a meeting of the Democrats of Greater Tucson, where attendees chuckled at her assertions. Adopting the style of a standup comedian, she would announce her positions and joke, “there went another 30 votes out of the room.”

Sherry has 25 years in the banking industry including JP Morgan Chase, she coached the mortgage team at Wachovia, and she sold stocks and bonds. She lives on a ranch in rural McNeal, AZ,

Chemtrails

Sherry said, “I do not at all support any expansion of Davis-Monthan. I’ll tell you why. I’ve done a lot of study on this. The chemtrails that come off the airport are micro, they’re entering the people who live around Davis-Monthan, and that’s usually soldiers and their families. They will get in your lungs. You will have emphysema, you’ll be listening to those commercials on TV, you’ll be seeing those lawyers in your house. There’s been a study, I believe it was Berkeley, when people live near military bases with high-velocity jets such as are there, that is killing your health. It’s killing your health as much as if you work in a mine. Pay attention people.”

The chemtrail conspiracy theory is the false claim that long-lasting condensation trails, called “chemtrails” by proponents, consist of chemical or biological agents left in the sky by high-flying aircraft and deliberately sprayed for purposes undisclosed to the general public.

However, she said supported Fort Chiricahua “100%.” She said, “Our next war will be in cyberspace. If you do a lot of reading like I do, the Chinese have pledged in 2035 they will lead the world in artificial intelligence. They have satellites now with equipped with arms to grab our satellites. You’ll see what it’s going to be like one day when your electricity goes down and you have no more electricity.”

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