Author Archives: Larry Bodine

3 Things You Don’t Know that Democrats Are Thinking About

Jobs

When Democratic candidate for governor Steve Farley said that “driver” is the #1 most threatened job, I made a mental note.

Today’s New York Times article about The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence fleshed out his thought for me. Modern technology dooms the following jobs:

bank teller

customer service rep

telemarketer

stock trader

paralegal

radiologist

factory worker

construction worker

delivery worker

driver

This is because computers, machines, and robots can do these jobs better than humans. If this is your source of income, start training for something else now.

Jobs with a future involve “people skills.” This is because artificial intelligence lacks the ability. Modern technology creates demand for the following jobs:

“service job of love” — sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous (non-paying job)

social worker

bartender

concierge

For the details, read Farley Kicks Off Bid for Governor with 3-Point Plan for Education.

Highway fatalities

If you drive on Tucson roads, you will be interested to know that 24 percent more people were killed last year in Pima County.

Prominent among the dead are:

males

vehicle drivers (as opposed to passengers)

people not using seat  belts

speeders

reckless drivers

impaired drivers

If this describes you, you may die on the road in 2017.

I can’t wait for my self-driving car, which will eliminate these demographic hazards. I want to dial in my destination and read a magazine on the way. Until this happens, I am chastened by reading

Scarlett remembers that horrible day when she got the phone call that her son had been killed by a drunk driver who was going the wrong way on the Loop 303.

US Supreme Court

Finally, Justice Kennedy may step down on Monday and there is no worse time for this to happen.

It would open the door up for nominees like Robert Bork, racist Kentucky lawyer John Bush (who equated slavery with abortion) or would-be federal judge Damien Schiff, who says anti-bullying laws are “teaching ‘gayness.'”

Hell is on our doorstep, and it’s only as far as the “on” button on a TV remote.

Scuttlebutt

Neophyte Billy Kovacs launches his bid for Congress on Tuesday, June 27 at 5:30. He offers a New Voice…New Direction…New Generation of Leadership! Interestingly, it is taking place at a bar on N 6th Ave. What does alcohol have to do with it?

After that event, I must go to the Legislative District 9 meeting of precinct committeemen. It is at 6:30 pm, 10 minutes away at the Water of Life Metropolitan Community Church.

Happy trails.

7 Unexpected Things I Learned During My First Ramadan Dinner

Iftar Ramadan dinner TucsonBeing a product of Iowa, the corn state, I had never been to a Muslim Iftar dinner — the feast celebrated at the end of the of a month of fasting by Muslims worldwide — including Tucson.

To be sure, I’ve been to many Christmas Eves, Seders, Thanksgiving dinners, Fourth of July picnics and Easter sunrise services. But my first Iftar dinner was last Friday night, June 16 at the Sema Foundation in Tucson, where 150 faithful Turkish Muslims gathered in the community event.

The invitation said, “With love & gratitude, we request the pleasure of your company for our traditional Ramadan dinner. Let’s all celebrate friendship together.” My friends and I were honored to go.

Here are 7 unexpected things I learned during my Ramadan dinner.

1. It is a beautiful family event with mothers, fathers and little ones running around. It reminded me of my own family. The signs in the community hall said, “Welcome. Welcome.”

Unsure of where to sit, I decided not to barge into a table of women or all men talking. We saw three seats at a family table and immediately felt at home. I wore a clean white shirt out of respect and felt embarrassed that I had worn shorts.

How could Trump think to impose a travel ban on these wonderful people? Thank God for the Federal Courts that have stymied his evil plan.

I talked with Oğuz, a soft-spoken, stocky man visiting from Los Angeles. I followed his cues and did not touch the delicious spread of dates, hummus, pita bread, dolmades that were clearly tempting everyone. We all waited until the sun went down at 7:38 pm.

2. The meal begins with a sip of cold water. Oğuz said Iftar literally means “break-fast. Anyone from an Orthodox family (Russian Orthodox in my case) knows that healthy adults fast during spiritually significant times, including abstaining from drinking, eating, immoral acts and anger. Muslims also encourage other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity.

3. Fasting for a month makes people appreciate the richness of their daily lives, by denying themselves sweets, earthly pleasures, and even water. We know how precious water is in Arizona.

What insanity possesses the White House to ban these warm, spiritual, welcoming people?

Meanwhile, plates of delicious salad, potatoes, lamb, and rice were served by young women who had covered their heads. There were two beautiful calls to prayer, sung by men with trained, expressive voices.

4. Rather than build mosques which would upset some Tucsonans, the Muslim community blends in and shares their culture at festivals like Tucson Meet Yourself in October. Who hasn’t ordered a baklava with a strong Turkish coffee?

5. They do not build multi-million-dollar garish, marble clad, Trump Tower-like edifices. Islam is a major worldwide faith, not a cult. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 – roughly 24% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate.

Kurdish fighters from the People"s Protection Units (YPG) chat with members of US Special Forces.

Kurdish fighters confer with members of US Special Forces.

6. Oğuz explained that he is a Turkish Kurd, a people who are the fierce fighters working with American forces to wipe out ISIS terrorists. The Kurds have surrounded Raqqa, Syria, and are within two miles of the ISIS headquarters. Things would be going better but Syria’s dictator Assad is bombing them.

Oğuz’s mother is in Turkey, but he says he cannot visit her. Oğuz is part of a resistance movement against monstrous dictator Erdogan, who put his name on an arrest list. The tyrant has detained 150,000 teachers, journalists, police officers, judges, and civilians.

7. The Turkish people did not bargain for this and most informed Americans do not blame them for the takeover by a murderous dictator. This is just as the rest of the world does not blame the majority of ordinary Americans for the would-be dictator who occupies the White House. They understand.

Oğuz is supporting Democrat Steve Farley for Governor, who on June 5 kicked off his campaign to rebuild education in Arizona. As the elected Precinct Committeeman in #238, I too support Farley. Neither of us had name cards, so we wrote down our contact info on pieces of paper.

On the way out I talked with a man holding a tiny baby. I told him I was a senior citizen and looked forward to talking with my son in Chicago on Father’s Day. He said he was 35, was working hard to support his family and his 5-month old child.

I told the father that his son would carry him in his heart as he made his way through life, just as I hold my own father in my heart. My 33-year-old son is a productive citizen of Chicago, with his own apartment and a beautiful long-time girlfriend. I can’t wait to talk with him.

What are Democrats Doing for Disillusioned Trump Voters in Mobile Home Parks??

There’s a groundswell of new volunteers at the Democratic Party. Candidates are talking about healthcare, gay rights, and Planned Parenthood. This plays great with progressive voters. But we are all talking to ourselves inside a bubble.

What are we doing for all the white and Latino working class people who voted for Trump? Are we going to totally blow it in 2018 because we ignored the victims of bad housing because we didn’t knock on doors in trailer parks? These are the people who elected Trump, and they are losing confidence in him.

Consider this:

  • 44,000 people live in mobile home parks in Tucson. They are Trump voters if they voted.
  • There are 430 mobile home parks where tenants are living in a housing nightmare, being abused and taken advantage of by park landlords. They live at the whim of the landlord.
  • 10% of housing stock in Tucson is mobile home parks.
  • There is no regulation of mobile home parks in Arizona.

It is Dickensian and it’s right here in town. In my Precinct, #238, I knocked on doors and made phone calls to people who live in beautiful condos and grand houses sitting on enormous lots. As Tamar Rala Kreiswirth pointed out, 25% of these Democrats in Tucson didn’t vote in 2016.

You know that lily-white Republicans would never leave their country clubs to  dirty their hands by going into a trailer park.

Are we going to let it happen again?

Are we afraid to see poverty in person? Do we lack the guts to meet housing victims face-to-face? Are we too prissy and effete to actually go to the homes of people who need our help?

Or are we Democrats people with cojones, guts and heart?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that a typical Arizona renter needs to work 70 hours a week just to pay rent.

A person working in zip code 85705 makes $13.27 per hour or $520 per month. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home is $690 per month.

Read some of the headlines:
Two weeks without water for mobile home park residents

Tucson’s aging mobile homes: Problems run deep, but solutions do exist

Goal: Hold irresponsible trailer-park landlords accountable in Tucson

So put on your camo baseball cap, change out of your sandals and get into some shoes from Walmart. Put on a shirt from Bass Pro Shops. Leave your jewelry behind and stop reading The New Yorker and read Hillbilly Elegy.

We may be able to win seats in the 2018 mid-term election, but not if we sit in our comfortable houses and ignore voters who are being viciously mistreated. Get out there and be real Democrats, dammit.

With Warmonger John Bolton, Out-of-State Right-Wing Money Flushes in for McSally

Do you ever wonder where dark money comes from?

A press release issued by dangerous warmonger ex-Ambassador John Bolton said the John Bolton PAC will contribute a total of $10,000 to Martha McSaly’s 2018 campaign.

This announcement comes as part of a larger investment of $100,000, which he will funnel to 10 reactionary Congressional candidates who are “champions of a strong national security and foreign policy.”

Bolton, age 68 of Baltimore, MD, is a right-wing Fox News commentator.

In an article entitled “Five Reasons John Bolton Is Unfit To Be Secretary Of State,” Newsweek pointed out:

1. Bolton was a primary cheerleader of the Iraq War

2. Bolton wanted the U.S. to go to war with Cuba

3. Bolton really, really wants to bomb Iran.

4. President Barack Obama followed Bolton’s terrible advice about Libya, and then Bolton blamed Obama for the resulting mess.

5. Bolton suggested Israel should unleash nuclear weapons against Iran.

In addition to his leadership PAC, Bolton heads the John Bolton SuperPAC, which spent nearly $5 million on three U.S. Senate races in 2016.

In the 2016 election cycle, the John Bolton PAC contributed a total of $680,000 and endorsed 94 candidates, making it the most active leadership PAC in the country. This is the earliest the John Bolton PAC has involved itself in an election cycle, signaling Ambassador Bolton’s plans to significantly increase contributions for the 2018 elections.

In addition to his leadership PAC, Ambassador Bolton heads the John Bolton SuperPAC, which spent nearly $5M on independent expenditures for three U.S. Senate races in 2016.

He rejects the label “neoconservative.” So war monger will have to do.

6 Surprising Democratic Candidates Vow to Oust Martha Motormouth McSally

The mission to oust right-winger Martha “Motormouth” McSally from her Congressional seat launched this week as a suprising array of Democratic candidates made their pitches to progressive loyalists.

The first candidates’ forum was sponsored by the brand-new McSally Take a Stand PAC. The registration of the PAC, with 1,150 members, is exciting because there is no limit to the donations you can make to it.

Inspiring the attendees, most of the candidates supported Medicare for All. The Arizona Democratic Party State Committee has united in support of HR-676 -Medicare For All — single-payer health care.

Here’s my scorecard (also see the latest Scuttlebutt below).

#1 Alison Jones, a water scientist,  hydrogeologist and past president of the Arizona Geological Society. She works at Clear Creek Associates, a company that does well design, water supply, and contaminated sites investigations. The political newbie was articulate, smart and organized.  She was only candidate with handout materials — hitting all the progressive notes about climate change, humane immigration, sustainable water policy, pro-choice, support the middle class, LGBT rights and sensible gun laws.

She was only candidate with handout materials — hitting all the progressive notes about climate change, humane immigration, sustainable water policy, pro-choice, support the middle class, LGBT rights and sensible gun laws.

I love scientists and she’s assembling a team of them to advise her. It will take a woman to beat McSally. I wish Alison had elected office experience and an existing base.

Best line: “Martha, how can you sleep at night?”

To support her: https://www.facebook.com/Jonesing4AZ/, Phone 520-230-1249, Email: aj4az2@gmail.com

#2 Billy Kovacs, a 30-year old who is the new Operations Manager for the Congress Hotel. The political newbie is tall, articulate, charismatic, handsome and young. His LinkedIn profile shows he has a lot of business experience for a kid. Did I mention he’s young and will attract Millennials who are 25% of the Tucson population?

A diamond in the rough, Billy can ride the wave of new, young volunteers who are flooding the Democratic Party. Before the election, I went to meetings of precinct committeemen and was let down by all the white hair I saw. And I say this speaking as a senior citizen myself. After Inauguration Day, these meetings have quadrupled in attendance and were moved to a bigger location. As Bob Dylan sang in 1963, “Don’t stand in the doorway, Don’t block up the hall, For the times they are a-changin.’” Let’s let the younger people take over.

I wish he had elected office experience and an existing base.

Best line: “We need to reach young people who haven’t seen a Democrat knocking on their doors.”

To support him: https://www.kovacsforcongress.com/, https://www.facebook.com/kovacsforcongress, Email: info@kovacsforcongress.com.

#3 Bruce Wheeler, an experienced legislator who was Assistant Minority Leader in the Arizona state house. He has served from 1975-1978, and 2010-2017. Bruce has done a lot for Arizona, sponsoring 71 progressive bills in the house.

He is the favorite of seasoned precinct committeemen, who are holding house parties for him now.  I can see why: he is for Medicare for All, a fair immigration policy, combating climate change, securing a woman’s right to choose, jobs not jails, stopping dark money, gay rights and eliminating school vouchers.

He quoted Martin Luther King and Noam Chomsky and said hello to Randy Friese from the podium. Friese is Assistant Minority Leader and a shining hope for Democrats. Bruce has been elected three times, and all of his constituency is in McSally’s congressional district.

I just wish he were as exciting as Governor candidate Steve Farley. I wonder if he can beat a female A-10 pilot in the election.

Best line: “We are optimists who can turn this around. CD2 is winnable.”

To support him: http://wheelerforcongress2018.com/, Email: bwheeler48@gmail.com, Phone 520-609-7800.

#4 Mary S. Matiella, a former US Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller), appointed by Obama. She has three key advantages: she’s a woman, a Latina and ex-military.

The daughter of migrant workers who grew up in Marana and Picacho, she told heart-rending stories of a childhood without medical care.

Today she is an alumna of the Eller College, where she earned her MBA in 1976. She was the youngest person in her MBA class, the only woman, and the only minority candidate. She has 33 years of military and federal government experience. She supports free public education, a woman’s right to choose, and labor unions.

Mary has the support of Bill Roe, a longtime leader among Arizona Democrats who is the party’s first vice chair. Tim Steller interviewed her for the Arizona Daily Star.

Best line: “Without free pubic education, we cannot give hope to the children who play in the dirt.”

Support her at: matiella@gwu.edu, phone: 703-321-6447.

#5 Charlie Verdin, an odd guy with no particular points. He is running “to create a better vision of representative democracy.”

Chris Wright

#6 Chris Wright, a guy with a beer belly in a blue t-shirt, gym shoes and white cargo pants. Best line: “I do have a clue.” He just launched a Star Treck Facebook page.

No-shows: Jeff Latas, Matt Heinz, Lou Jordan, Ann Kirkpatrick, Joshua Polacheck.

Scuttlebutt

Randy Friese told me he waiting to see if a strong candidate emerges in the McSally race. If there is, he might run against US Sen. Jeff Flake, who may face serious primary challenges from Trump lackeys like State Treasurer Jeff DeWit, onetime state GOP boss Robert Graham, and wacko crackpot Kelli Ward.

Ann Kirkpatrick has moved to Tucson from Flagstaff and Ron Barber is trying to draft her. She was a Congresswoman from Arizona’s 1st district from 2009 to 2011 and 2013 to 2017.

Tamar Rala Kreiswirth, founder of The Arizona Ground Game (where I am a steering committee member) passionately reminded us that 25% of Arizona Democrats did not vote in the last election. In McSally’s district, there are 122,000 registered Democrats, 116,000 registered Republicans and 104,000 independents and others. TAGG is a grass-roots group that supports precinct committeemen like me by recruiting neighborhood Guides. The Ground Game encourages active citizenship through neighborhood building and public policy education. See AZGroundGame.org.

Richard Elías, a Pima County Supervisor Supervisor is the new Chairman of the Nucleus Club, whose memberships pay the mortgage on the Pima Democratic Party office on E. 1st Street. Meetings are on the second Thursday of the month at the Viscount Suite Hotel, 4855 E Broadway starting at 5:30 pm with cocktails and appetizers. The programs start at 6:00 pm. I fondly remember the late Martin Bacall who always encouraged me to attend the meetings.


Larry Bodine is an elected Democratic Precinct Committeeman in Precinct #238.

Farley Kicks Off Bid for Governor with 3-Point Plan for Education

By Larry Bodine.

State Senator Steve Farley will announce a three-point plan to restore education funding in Arizona when he publicly kicks off his bid for Governor on Monday at the Arizona Inn.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., at Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm  St. in Tucson. Event from 6 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP at https://goo.gl/2Q9rAe

At a jam-packed invitation-only fundraiser on Saturday, Farley said he was confident he could be incumbent, Goldwater Institute-backed Gov. Doug Ducey.

Introduced by former Congressman Ron Barber, Farley outlined a three-point plan to restore education funding in Arizona:

A K-12 system that is a foundation for opportunity system for all Arizonans, second to none.

“One if four children currently live in poverty. That’s not tolerable,” he said.

A university system that’s strengthened, not cut.

“That’s where the new industries will be coming from. And when people who go to university come up with new industries, they’re going to stay in Arizona. You won’t have to bribe them to come to Arizona. They’ll be here.”

A community college system that’s a lifelong institution for training and retraining.

“We’ve cut our K through 12 system by 21% since 2008. We’ve cut our university system by $2.5 billion. And we’ve cut off community colleges in Pima County and Maricopa County entirely from state funding.”

Former Congressman Ron Barber 6-3-17

Former Congressman Steve Barber said, “Some people say the Governor is going to be hard to beat. But not when you have someone who knows state government as well as Steve does. We need a solid, progressive thinker in the Governor’s office, and that’s Steve Farley.”

331 Corporate tax loopholes

Farley said the funding will come from closing 331 corporate tax loopholes that are in the sales tax code, which now bleed $13.7 billion a year from the state general fund.

“We’ve got to look at those and get rid of them. If we could get rid of $2 billion of them, we could lower the sales tax by a penny while increasing funding for education.”

Farley, age 54, is the son of two public school teachers, and said:

“Teachers work hard not because they’re getting paid well. Teachers work hard because they believe in their kids.”

“There’s absolutely no excuse that Governor Ducey and this legislature have cut our education system to the point where we have the lowest average teacher salaries in the country,” Farley said.

A captivating speaker, Farley is also smart. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College (Mass.) in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has 11 years’ experience in the Arizona statehouse.

$9 million campaign goal

Farley said he needs to raise $9 million to fund his campaign. “Remember we’re fighting against the Koch brothers golden boy. He’s going to have a lot of money. We’re going to have a lot of money too. We may not match them. But we’ll add the money we’re going to be able to raise together with the face-to-cafe contact I’m going to try to have everyone in every town in this state,” Farley said.

“People are ready for change,” he said. “We can shine as an example for the country here in Arizona, where too often we’ve turned up as a joke on The Daily Show.”

Where is Ducey vulnerable?

“Most people don’t know Doug Ducey. And the people who know him don’t like him that much. He doesn’t feel like one of us. And the fact that he lies all the time. He says one thing but he does exactly the opposite. I’m going to remind people that he was the leader of the effort to kill $1 billion a year from education. He created the problem we’re trying to solve.”

Scuttlebutt:

Former Arizona state Representative Victoria Steele, who served for four years, will run for Farley’s vacant Senate seat. She is NOT running again for Congress.

Arizona state Representative Randall “Randy” Friese is considering a run against US Senator Jeff Flake. He is a Democratic member representing District 9 in Tucson.

There are 9 Democrats vying to run against Martha McSally:

  • Matt Heinz – Ex-State Rep., Physician & ’12/’16 Candidate 
  • Lou Jordan – Retired USAF Colonel
  • Ann Kirkpatrick – Ex-Congresswoman, Ex-State Rep., Ex-Sedona City Attorney & ’16 US Sen. Nominee
  • Billy Kovacs – Hotel Manager & Marketing Consultant
  • Jeff Latas – Airline Pilot, Businessman, USAF Veteran, Democratic Activist & ’06 Candidate
  • Mary Sally Matiella – Ex-US Asst. Army Secretary & Accountant
  • Joshua Polacheck – Ex-US Foreign Service Officer
  • Charlie Verdin – Businessman
  • Bruce Wheeler – Ex-State Rep.

Larry Bodine is a Precinct Committeeman, Precinct #238, in Tucson, AZ.