Category Archives: Activism

Trial begins in challenge to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce bill to deny your constitutional right to citizen initiative (Updated)

Yesterday I posted about the signature gathering efforts for the referendums currently circulating out there challenging onerous changes to Arizona’s citizen initiative process passed by our lawless Tea-Publican legislature to effectively render the citizen initiative process impossible unless financed by big corporate dollars, i.e., the Arizona Chambers of Commerce, the evil bastards behind these bills to take away your constitutional rights as a citizen of Arizona.

One petition is from Grassroots Citizens Concerned (R-01-2018), and two other petitions are from Voters of Arizona (R-03-2018 and R-04-2018). These are grassroots efforts, and I have not heard from either group how their signature gathering is going to date. They have an August 8 deadline to file.

UPDATE: The Arizona Capitol Times now reports Campaign to overturn citizen initiative restriction dead:

Foes of new restrictions on the ability of people to propose their own laws have suspended their effort to used paid circulators to gather signatures to quash the law.
Campaign manager Joe Yuhas said this afternoon that all the financial resources of Voters of Arizona are being funneled into convincing a judge that one of the changes violates the state constitution. What that means, he said, is no cash for anything else.

Yuhas said that, strictly speaking, the political campaign to refer — and overturn — what the legislature did is not over. He said volunteers continue to try to get the 75,321 valid signatures on each of two separate petitions.

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Referendum to block ‘vouchers on steroids’ bill is on track to qualify for the ballot

Good news is so rare these days, but here is some good news . . . let’s hope. Arizona group says school voucher bill repeal is on track:

A group that opposes a major private school voucher expansion bill signed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says it is on track to collect enough signatures to place the law on hold.

Save Our Schools spokeswoman Dawn Penich-Thacker says the group isn’t releasing an exact count of the number of signatures it has collected. But she said the all-volunteer effort should have well above the minimum of 75,000 signatures by the Aug. 8 deadline.

“We know we have enough petitions out in the field, we know exactly who has them and we have enough out that if there was such a thing as 100 percent we could be getting more than 150,000 back,” Penich-Thacker said in an interview late last week.

Opponents say vouchers siphon money from the state’s underfunded public schools and the expansion will allow wealthy families to use state cash to send their children to private and religious schools. They also say vouchers won’t cover total costs at many private schools, meaning people of average means won’t be able to use them.

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If the effort succeeds, the voucher expansion will be put on hold until voters can weigh in during the November 2018 election.

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Action Alert: Final push to defeat ‘Obamacare’ repeal and ‘Trumpcare’ replacement

Tea-Publican leaders are frantically pushing for a vote on the Senate’s ailing “Trumpcare” bill next week. Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell is racing to placate warring moderates and conservatives with a new draft due within days, POLITICO reports. GOP struggles to revamp ailing Obamacare repeal bill:

New bill text could be unveiled to senators as soon as Thursday, according to sources familiar with the proposal. A Congressional Budget Office score is likely to follow as soon as next Monday.

“My gut assessment is we need to start voting. … We need to get started, and the goal continues to be to do that next week,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). Pressed on whether his party will be successful, he said: “I never want to fight to lose. I want to fight to win. And that remains the goal.”

Senate Republicans have offered increasingly dour assessments of the bill’s prospects due to a push from conservative Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah to drag the bill rightward and distaste from more moderate senators for future Medicaid spending cuts. Sen. John McCain of Arizona predicted Sunday the effort would be “dead,” yet Cornyn said he feels “pretty good about where we are.”

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Save Our Schools Town Hall Today

July8Tucson (1)

Are you concerned about funding for public education? Do you want to help protect our schools? Join Sen. Steve Farley, Rep. Dr. Randall Friese and others this Saturday for a panel-style education town hall.

WHERE: St. Francis In The Foothills United Methodist Church, 4625 East River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718.

***This will be an interactive event! What do you want to ask our panel? Send those questions to nikkileeaz@gmail.com so we can make sure you have the opportunity to get answers.***

Come talk to your elected officials and speak with education experts from around the state. Discuss the Arizona teacher crisis, the economic impact of defunding public education, and more. Learn about Save Our Schools Arizona, a group of concerned parents and teachers organizing around the clock to stop voucher expansion and demand that our legislators protect public schools. Receive training on how to gather signatures for SOSAZ, check out petitions, get completed petitions notarized, and drop them off to be turned in!

There is limited seating, so please reserve your free ticket to this event today!

 Click Here to Reserve Tickets 

The Big Bad Wolf Food Truck & Nhu Lan Vietnamese Food Truck will be on-site with delicious breakfast and lunch food for purchase. 


Agenda:

9:30 – Check in, mingle, and sign the SOS AZ petition to put SB1431 on the Nov 2018 ballot.

10:00 – 10:45 – Hear from your elected officials, Senator Steve Farley & Rep. Dr. Randy Friese

10:45 – 11:30 – Interact with your elected officials and a panel of education experts and discuss topics like the Arizona teacher crisis, the economic impact of taking more money out of public education, and more!

11:30 – 12:30 – Enjoy some local eats from some great Tucson Food Trucks & come back inside to get training and support on SOS AZ petitions. We will have training, notary, pickup, and drop off services on-site.


Speakers & Panelists:

Steve Farley – Gubernatorial Candidate & State Senator from LD9

Dr. Randall Friese – AZ House of Representatives from LD9

Katie Rogerson – Chief Operating Officer for Tucson Values Teachers

Jen Darland – VP of the Arizona Education Network

Jason Freed – Public School Teacher, President of Tucson Education Association

Moderator: Nikki Lee – Parent & Community Organizer

CBO report: Senate ‘Obamacare’ repeal bill would eliminate health care for 22 million Americans

The requisite Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the Senate “Obamacare” repeal bill that evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell has been trying to delay as long as possible was released on Monday, and its conclusions are brutal. Steven Benen explains, CBO: Senate Republican plan would take coverage from 22 million:

During the debate over the House Republican plan, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) made clear she was unimpressed with the GOP proposal. Any bill resulting “in 23 million people losing coverage is not a bill that I can support,” the Maine Republican said in March.

OK, how about 22 million?

The Senate health care bill would insure 22 million fewer people after a decade than current law, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

It would save $321 billion in the same period overall by spending $1 trillion less on health care and using the savings to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, which primarily affect wealthy individuals and medical companies.

The CBO’s full report is online here. Note that the impact imposed on the nation would be felt almost immediately – there would be 15 million more uninsured Americans next year, which happens to be an election year, according to the non-partisan office’s estimate – before getting worse in the years that follow.

Complicating matters, the CBO score added, “By 2026, among people under age 65, enrollment in Medicaid would fall by about 16 percent and an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”

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Analysis of Senate ‘Obamacare’ repeal and replace bill

The “discussion draft” of the Senate GOP health care bill has been released (online in its entirety here) by evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell, and it is even worse than many anticipated.

Still, four far-right Tea-Publican senators say that it doesn’t go far enough in its cruelty to Americans. “Let the poor die! Rich people want their tax cuts!” Their moral depravity knows no limits.

President Barack Obama offered a succint summation of the bill in a Facebook post:

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

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