Author Archives: Larry Bodine

GOP Legislative Candidate Marilyn Wiles has an Anti-Tucson Agenda

This is part two of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. Part one is Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

Marilyn Wiles

Marilyn Wiles

Speaking at this week’s Pima County Republican Meeting, candidate Marilyn Wiles promised “to do something about Tucson and what’s going on locally.”

“I want to take a real hard at local government overreach. Why don’t we have a commission to look at local governments across the state, particularly here in Pima County, to see what we can do to make sure that our taxpayer dollars go to what best serves us as taxpayers.”

She did not explain what overreach she was talking about. Wiles spoke at a packed meeting on May 15 at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, to a crowd of 75 to 100 Republicans. 

This office. No, that office!

At first, Wiles was running for Tucson’s CD2 congressional seat, but she abruptly changed her mind. She said she is now running for the state Legislature in District 10 (the East side of Tucson). “I will be running against Senator David Bradley. We need a very conservative person to get things done and get them right.”

She explained her fiscal policy this way: “I want a pot roast with potatoes, carrots and onions and beans and gravy. They put everything in one big blender and stirred it up, it no longer tastes like pot roast and carrots and potatoes. I want to maintain the integrity of the pot roast, you get money for carrots, we know we’re spending it on carrots. When we get money for potatoes, we’re spending it on potatoes.”

“You want transparency and accountability where our money goes. And not these surprises we seem to keep getting,” she said, without elaborating.

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Democratic Candidates for Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Seat Renew their Demand for Gun Safety

Democratic candidates for Congress in CD2:

Democratic candidates for Congress in CD2: Yahya Yuksel, Billy Kovacs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz.

On the day when a teenage shooter killed 10 and injured 10 at a Texas school, all seven of the CD2 Congressional candidates renewed their demand for gun safety legislation.

The candidate forum took place on Friday, May 18, for the residents at an active-living retirement community in Tucson. The candidates are Yahya Yuksel, Billy Kovacs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz.

Mary Matiella

“My heart is broken over the shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. That is horrible. One more time we are just beyond ourselves with the pain we feel.”

“I have a cousin who was murdered in her home in front of her children. The most vulnerable are the children in schools. Women in the US are 15 times more likely to be killed by a gun than in other developed countries. We have to do something big. All we want is sensible gun legislation. We’re not trying to take on the Second Amendment. We should keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Why would you not do that?”

Ann Kirkpatrick

“Just today my heart was broken one more time because 10 families are not going to have their children home for dinner because of a school shooting today. I was a law clerk for Judge John Roll when he was shot and Gabby was injured. It was something I’ll never, ever get over. Enough is enough.”

“Preventing gun violence has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It says people in the US have a right to bear arms and to have a well-regulated militia. What we have is a completely unregulated system, that we need to have regulated to keep our children and victims of domestic violence safe, and to keep terrorists from getting guns in our country.”

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Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

This is part one of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. 

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

Republicans at this month’s Pima County GOP meeting gave rousing rounds of applause to tea party darling Kelli Ward, a primary candidate for US Senate, who gloated over her lead in recent polls, fawned over Ted Cruz and ripped into fellow Republicans Martha McSally and John McCain.

Republicans packed the meeting last Tuesday at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, with a crowd of 75 to 100 people. Ward was repeated greeting with loud applause.

Asked how she differentiates herself from her rival, Congressman Martha McSally, Ward said:

“You all live in Martha’s district. You all know how she’s been as a congresswoman. In language that she can understand: she’s failed the check ride [a pilot’s exam — because McSally was a pilot].  We certainly don’t promote the people who failed the check ride, we promote people who get the job done. I have a 98 rating with the American Conservative Union, tied with Mike Pence.”

“Passion Points”

She called her platform “passion points” including the following:

  • Ejecting the UN from the United States. “I don’t think that they should be on United States soil. I don’t we should be investing so much money in the UN,” she said.

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New Poll Shows Matt Heinz in the Lead Over Ann Kirkpatrick in Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Race

Dr. Matt Heinz

Dr. Matt Heinz

A survey of likely Democratic primary voters in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District shows Dr. Matt Heinz holding a 4-point lead over former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the race for the Democratic Party nomination.

This is within the survey’s margin of error of +/-4.9%.

The poll was commissioned by Heinz. The Heinz campaign released a three-page summary offering highlights of the telephone survey but did not release the entire poll. The live phone survey was conducted by FM3 Research and dated May 9, 2018. It found that:

  • “While Democratic primary voters are familiar with both candidates, they are more likely to hold a favorable opinion of Heinz, and after hearing equal positive information about these two candidates, support for Heinz increases.”
  • “Furthermore, the survey shows that many aspects of Kirkpatrick’s voting record in Congress pose a serious problem for her among Democratic primary voters, particularly her support of Republican tax cuts, cuts to Medicare, and her former “A” rating from the NRA.”

In an initial Democratic primary ballot test, Matt Heinz currently leads the field with 27%, giving him a four-point edge over Ann Kirkpatrick (23%). These results show the highly competitive nature of the Democratic primary, and despite her high-profile and well-financed statewide candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2016, 2nd District Democrats have not embraced Kirkpatrick. The contest is very much a two-person race, as the other candidates generate only mid-single-digit support.
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Ann Kirkpatrick Stands Out as Gun Safety Candidate in CD2 Race

Kirkpatrick student gun safety

On the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, Kirkpatrick (at right) joined students across the country in walking out to protest lax gun laws. She was invited by the students of Rincon & University High Schools to be a part of their protest.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who once supported the NRA, has emerged as a leading gun safety candidate in Tucson’s CD2 Congressional primary race. Among her supporters:

  • She was just named a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Candidate. The group pressures lawmakers to improve gun laws, raises awareness about gun violence and educates the public about common-sense gun laws and responsible gun ownership.
  • She is endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It announced the goal to cut the number of U.S. gun deaths in half by 2025 through background checks that are applied to all gun sales; to “Stop ‘Bad Apple’ Gun Dealers” – the 5 percent of gun dealers that supply 90 percent of all crime guns; and to change social norms around the real dangers of guns.
  • She’s endorsed by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Founded by shooting survivor and former Congressman Gabby Giffords, the center’s legal experts research, write, and defend the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.
Gabby Giffords endorses Ann Kirkpatrick

Click here to see the short video of Gabby Giffords’ endorsement. https://youtu.be/TpnqNlQeQ9o

Democrats Matt Heinz and Mary Matiella are also Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense candidates. All seven of the Democratic primary candidates support gun safety measures.

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Candidates Offer Surprises as 300+ Democrats Flock to CD2 Congressional Candidate Forum

CD2 Candidates at May 3, 2018 forum

Left to right: Mary Matiella, Billy Kovacs, Matt Heinz, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Yahya Yuksel.

Some 300 people packed Catalina High School yesterday night for the CD2 Congressional Democratic candidate forum held May 3, 2018, by the Represent Me AZ grassroots PAC. Here are the high points:

  • This forum showed what democracy looks like: an open, public and free event, as contrasted with GOP candidate forums which are closed, secretly announced and cost money to attend.
  • Yahya Yuksel

    Yahya Yuksel

    New candidate Yahya Yuksel, an attorney, stole the show with his articulate, quotable and confident presence. Born and raised in Tucson he has worked for Democratic campaigns since he was a teenager, including Gabby Giffords and Mayor Karin Uhlich. “I’m a young Democrat. I’m running because we see a broken Congress, we see constant war, and we see the economy not working for everybody. We need new ideas, not yesterday’s answers,” he says.

  • The candidates seethed with resentment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) which has offended local Democrats by picking candidates so early in the primary. “It is shameful that the DCCC has taken the task, before you have had a chance to vote to endorse a candidate,” Bruce Wheeler said to loud applause. “The outside interference is something that needs to be countered.”
  • Mary Matiella zinged Matt Heinz with the question, “What are you doing different this time to make sure you win?” In 2016 Heinz lost in his run for Congress in CD2 by 44,000 votes in a race where he relied mostly on TV ads.
  • Ann Kirkpatrick made a mistake by not attending. The forum was an opportunity to capture support and deflect criticism. She leads in fundraising, winning important endorsements, and getting the DCCC support that the other candidates, not surprisingly, begrudge.
  • Heinz zinged the absent Kirkpatrick when asked if he would endorse Kirkpatrick if she wins the primary. “It is important that the Democrats nominate a Democrat, he said to loud applause. “As soon as I hear that, I will absolutely endorse them,” he says. Heinz is the leading attacker of Kirkpatrick, criticizing her northern Arizona origin and long-ago top rating from the NRA. Kirkpatrick lives in Tucson and has a “D” rating from the NRA now.
  • Veteran legislator Bruce Wheeler is apparently running a one-man campaign. He says he personally collected 95% of his signatures to get on the ballot. Wheeler has only $8,686 on hand, so he is not raising funds effectively.
  • After a one-year campaign, Mary Matiella still stumbles over her words and has a hard time making herself clear. In a bizarre argument, she said the EEOC [U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] had been disbanded and should be brought back. This is not true — because the EEOC is still actively litigating discrimination charges and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
  • Bill Kovacs boldly called for de-funding of ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which is breaking up undocumented families captured at the border. He also says that marijuana should be removed from the forbidden Schedule 1 list of drugs. His says his mother has chronic Crohn’s disease and is a marijuana patient. “When you look at what marijuana and CBD [Cannabidiol] can do for chronic pain, it is a lifeline for America, he says. 
  • Barbara “Chemtrails” Sherry has become a fringe candidate who currently does not have the 1,274 signatures needed to get on the ballot by the May 30 filing date. She bitterly and incoherently criticized front-runner Kirkpatrick.

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