Author Archives: Larry Bodine

Schapira to Fight Right-Wing Conspiracy to Destroy Public Schools

David Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

David Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

At first, David Schapira thought that Republican state legislators didn’t get it. He thought they didn’t realize the damage caused by taking $1.1 billion out of our public school system.

But after six years in the state legislature, he realized he was wrong.

“They do get it,” he said. “They are intentionally working to dismantle the public school system in Arizona.”

Speaking at the Tanque Verde Valley Democrats meeting, Schapira warned ominously, “Our public schools are on life support. If Diane Douglas is re-elected, she will let our schools die,” he says.”

A mountain of a man at 6-foot-5, he vowed to fight back. Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, which oversees the state of Arizona’s public school system and directs the state’s Department of Education.

Schapira, age 37, knows how to get elected. He’s a Tempe city councilman, a former state representative and senator. As the leader of the Senate Democrats, he served on the Education Committee for six years.

Importantly, he’s a teacher. He has taught school high school, worked as a school administrator and has been at East Valley Institute of Technology for the last four years.

His proudest achievement is the Tempe Free Preschool program for low-income families, launched in April 2017.  “I’ve seen education from every perspective it can be seen from,” he says.

Douglas not qualified Continue reading

SOS Arizona Collects 100,000+ Signatures to Stop Voucher Law

A plan by Gov. Ducey and the AZ Legislature to undermine public schools with a voucher program will be put on hold, thanks to Save Our Schools Arizona.

Thousands of parents and other volunteers collected more than 100,000 signatures to halt the law, which puts taxpayer money into private and religious schools.

According to AZCentral.com:

That’s enough to put the law on hold while the secretary of state determines whether the group has the 75,321 valid signatures needed to force a public vote on the law in November 2018.

The signature-vetting process will take nearly two months.

“Based on the committee’s forecast of how many signatures it has turned into the secretary of state, that is normally going to be sufficient to suspend the operation of the law,” says state Elections Director Eric Spencer.

The fate of the voucher law may now go before voters in a referendum that can take place in November.

SOS Arizona correctly argues that taxpayer funds should pay for public district schools, and not fund scholarships for wealthier people who can afford private schools.

“The power of the people is stronger than money,” said Melinda Iyer, a member of Save Our Schools. “Education is the great equalizer. It’s the bootstraps that people pull themselves up by.”

Volunteers braved the blazing Arizona summer to collect signatures for months, and in recent days vetted signatures to be sure they met the new “strict compliance” standard for public initiatives.

“It was the right issue, and the right time, and now here we are making history together. Watch the news Tuesday night to learn our final count!” SOS Arizona said in an email. “Whether you filled out 1 petition or 160, whether you donated $5 or $500, you can rest easy today knowing that your work–this summer and in the year to come–will preserve the future of public education in our state.”

Sen. Flake Shows He is “Pond Scum” with 3 Votes Against Healthcare

US Senator Jeff Flake says that his severe unpopularity “probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum.” After his three votes on July 25 to take away health insurance for 22 million to 33 million Americans, he proved that he is indeed pond scum.

And his votes loyally support Trump, despite what Flake says.

  • On the day when Sen. McCain famously gave a thumbs-down to a bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Flake voted in favor of it.
  • When widely-hated Sen. Ted Cruz offered an amendment to create junk health insurance policies, Flake voted in favor of it.
  • When wacko anarchist Sen. Rand Paul offered an amendment to flat-out repeal the Affordable Care Act, Flake voted in favor of it.

Each of these draconian measures was voted down in the epic failure of the Republican repeal effort.

Gutless wonder

Flake, however, should be remembered as the gutless wonder that he is. In his new book, he even admits that his vote against the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008 “was more of an act of cowardice than conscience.”

The slim book is a pathetic attempt to mollify voters, criticizing Trump while attempting to don the mantle of Barry Goldwater (remembered by the tagline “In your guts, you know he’s nuts.”) The New York Times calls the book an intellectual failure designed to get him gigs on the rubber-chicken speaking circuit.

The book is total BS. Flake votes with Trump 95.6% of the time. Continue reading

Voters Get Clear-Cut Choices of Candidates for Ward 3 of Tucson City Council

Tucson voters in northernmost Ward 3 have clear-cut choices among the three Democratic candidates running for the city council, as they spoke to Democratic precinct captains in the sprawling Ward.

Voters will select one in the primary on August 29. The winner will run against an “independent” in the general election on November 7. Some 88,700 people (36% Hispanic) live in the Ward, which sprawls from River Road on the north, to Swan on the east, to I-29 on the west, and Drachman on the south. Click here to see a map.

The Intellectual: Paul Durham

Paul Durham

Paul Durham

Attorney, MBA in finance.

Raised $41,000 in contributions and matching funds.

Key issues: run Tucson 100% on solar power, attract jobs that pay well, build community.

Lived in Tucson since 2004.

Voted for Hillary.

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Mary Matiella Congressional Campaign Kickoff

For more info, click here and scroll down.

Chastened, a Data-Driven Matt Heinz Wants Another Shot at McSally

Matt Heinz addressing Democratic precinct captains in Sept. 2016

Matt Heinz addressing Democratic precinct captains in September 2016.

After a resounding loss in 2016, Matt Heinz is running again in Tucson’s Congressional District 2, hoping that data, dollars and good publicity will help him beat incumbent Martha McSally.

A doctor and former AZ state representative (2009-2013), Heinz is doing the nuts-and-bolts work of planning to appear at 120 house parties and calling Democratic precinct captains like me.

A physician since 2003, his key issue is health care and making sure that Americans have health insurance. In contrast, McSally eagerly voted to end health insurance for 22 million people, telling her GOP colleagues, let’s get this “fucking thing” done.

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