Daily Archives: June 1, 2018

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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Mark Finchem is Bad for Schools, Women, and Veterans

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Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) wants to sell the Grand Canyon to pay the state’s debt. That’s not the only bad idea he’s come up with since representing Oro Valley and Marana in Legislative District 11 since 2015. He injects … Continue reading

California’s jungle primary could prevent Democrats from taking back the House

Democrats need to retake 24 house seats to take back Congress in November. 7 of those 24 seats are in California, districts currently represented by vulnerable Republicans which voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

You would think, “we’re a third of the way home!,” but you would be wrong.

So-called good government reformers (“goo-goos”) convinced enough Californians to vote for the top two primary aka jungle primary in 2010, in which candidates pretend to run in a non-partisan primary election and the top two vote getters advance to the general election. Their stated goal is that this would result in more moderate or centrist candidates being elected rather than partisan extremists. The results have proven them wrong.

StopTop2For the past two election cycles the Top Two Primary folks tried pushing this nonsense as a ballot measure in Arizona, fully supported by the editorial staff of The Arizona Republic. Luckily these goo-goos failed, and there was not a third attempt this election cycle.

Goo-goos do not understand human behavior, nor can they do math. Motivated by what happened in 2016, there is a plethora of Democratic candidates running in these seven districts on Tuesday, which only splinters the Democratic vote by the number of candidates running. Republicans on the other hand, always tribal in their voting behavior, have the vulnerable incumbent and the odd challenger running, or only a couple of Republicans running in open seat districts.

On Tuesday, despite the heavy Democratic voter advantage in “blue” California, Republicans could very well emerge with both of the top two positions via the top two primary aka jungle primary, and with it the Democrats’ opportunity to take back Congress this November. Democrats’ California conundrum could cost them the House:

One week before the June 5 vote, California Republicans face the near-certainty of failing to advance a candidate to the general election for US Senate, and the risk, though fading, of failing to place a candidate on the November ballot for Governor. Democrats, meanwhile, are terrified that they will be shut out next week in one or more Republican-held US House districts, particularly in suburban Orange County. Party strategists see winning these seats as key steps in their path back to majority control.

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May jobs report rebounds, exceeds expectations

After a couple of months of job numbers failing to meeting forecasters expectations, the job numbers rebounded in May to exceed forecasters expectations. Steve Benen has the May jobs report. U.S. economy put up impressive job totals in May:

As a perk of the presidency, Donald Trump gets a sneak peek at monthly job totals before they’re publicly released. With that in mind, the president, in a move that was almost certainly inappropriate, hinted this morning that the new figures were going to be good.

And they were. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added 223,000 jobs in May, well ahead of expectations, while the unemployment rate ticked down a little lower to 3.8%.

MayJobs

The jobless rate isn’t my favorite metric for gauging the strength of the job market, but it’s nevertheless striking to see it fall to a level unseen since 2000.

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ERA: one win away – Arizona can put it over the top next year

News that tends not to get reported in the Arizona media: Illinois approves Equal Rights Amendment, 36 years after deadline:

The Illinois House voted Wednesday night to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment more than 45 years after it was approved by Congress, putting it one state away from possible enshrinement in the U.S. Constitution amid potential legal questions.

The 72-45 vote by the House, following an April vote by the Senate, was just one more vote than needed for ratification. It does not need the approval of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said he supports equal rights but was faulted by Democrats for not taking a position on the ERA.

“I am appalled and embarrassed that the state of Illinois has not done this earlier,” said Democratic Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego, a Marine veteran. “I am proud to be on this side of history and I am proud to support not only all the women that this will help, that this will send a message to, but I am also here to be a role model for my daughter.”

Helping to propel momentum for the measure was a resurgence in activism for women’s rights amid national demands to root out sexual discrimination and harassment in American culture in response to the #MeToo movement.

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