Category Archives: Arizona Congressional Races

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

Billy Kovacs Congressional Kickoff Snubs Lifelong Democrats

Billy Kovacs at June 2017 campaign kickoff

Billy Kovacs officially launched his congressional campaign at a bar in Tucson, snubbing lifelong Democrats who were meeting at the exact same time, four miles away.

The kickoff was held in the student drinking district of the city with a crowd of 200 people. It was short on specifics and long on his slogan, “new voice…new direction…new generation of leadership.”

Kovacs repeated the slogan as he addressed attendees for two minutes. He made some kind of comment about Congressional District 2 being “not Democratic, Republican, or a swing district.” The crowd of young, old, men, women, mothers, children and friendly dogs loved it.

On the plus side, Kovacs is tall (6 foot 5), handsome, age 30, skinny and self-effacing. He’s running a youth-oriented campaign targeting Millennials, who sat out the last election. To his credit, he has visited 40 cities in the district and talked to people “who haven’t seen a Democrat in 10 years.”

His approach makes sense. If you’re a Johnny-come-lately, you should listen more than you talk. But it would have been great to hear what he thinks about:

Climate change

Medicare for all

Senior citizens

Repeal and replace Obamacare

the Tucson economy

Funding the A-10

…you know, current events. He’ll have to address these points if he’s going to win against a woman Air Force fighter pilot who’s backed by donations from warmonger John Bolton to car dealer Jim Click.

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

Meanwhile, Democrats met up the road

Congressional District 2

Because I’m an elected precinct captain, I had to move on to the regular meeting of Democrats in legislative District 9. It was taking place ten minutes away at a local church building.

Candidates make a point of appearing there for the “2-minute talks,” where they can promote their campaigns to lifelong Democrats who actually vote.

Katie Hobbs, candidate for Arizona Secretary of State

State Senator Katie Hobbs

For example, speakers included Katie Hobbs, a candidate for Arizona Secretary of State. She argued persuasively that the Republican incumbent has bungled handling state elections, costing voters confidence in the system. Hobbs is the Arizona Senate minority leader and a former state representative.

That’s when I wondered where Billy Kovacs was. Maybe he’ll come around because it’s early in the campaign.

The meeting attracted 160 people (and only 30 seniors like me). Comfortingly, it began with the Pledge of Allegiance before an American flag.

State Senator Steven Farley

State Senator Steven Farley

One report mentioned state Senator Steve Farley, a familiar face at these meetings, who is running for Governor. He is facing Arizona State University professor David Garcia in the primary. Like Kovacs, Farley intends to meet voters in person.

Another report urged Democrats to sign the Save Our Schools petition, which supports our neighborhood schools and will defeat vouchers in Arizona. The group needs to collect 10,000 signatures by July 31. Their next event is on July 9 in Phoenix, a happy hour with LD28 Rep. Kelli Butler, Phoenix City Council candidate Kevin Patterson, and Madison School Board member Scott Holcomb.

Susan Bickel reported that a whopping 600 people have become precinct captains in Pima County — up from 140 in January! She has done a totally awesome job of creating a network that Democratic candidates can rely on. Help her by sending her an email offering to become a precinct captain (PC). If you’re already a PC, offer to be an LD9 territory coordinator.

Rep.-Elect Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

My heroine, state Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, said there was a huge demographic shift in Arizona last month: we are now 50% women and majority Latino. This will make a big difference in the 2018 elections.

Highlighting the change she said, “I hear women with gray hair talking about not getting equal pay for equal work,” she said. “Men are talking about being raised by single moms.”

The closer for the evening was UofA Sr. Associate Research Scientist Jeffrey S. Kargel (who is a new PC in LD11). He reported that Arizona is now the #1 place in the US to experience the pace of global warming. We just went through the longest +115 degree streak in history in Tucson.

“Our high temps are a glimpse into the future,” he said. “The climate here is changing fundamentally. We used to get 5-7 day heat spells. Now we get heat spells for weeks.”

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

Updated July 4, 2017

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).

Dropped out. #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.

Are You Ready for US Senator Martha McSally?

US Rep. Martha McSally

Future US Senator Martha McSally

By Larry Bodine, Precinct Committeeman, Precinct #238, Tucson.

Yes, this may happen right here in Tucson. A worthless hack who has done little or nothing for her constituents may soon become US Senator Martha McSally.

How can this nightmare happen?

  1. Aging and ailing US Senator John McCain becomes disabled or dies in office.
  2. Governor Ducey appoints Martha McSally to fill the vacancy, as provided by the U.S. Constitution, 17th Amendment
  3. An election is held to fill the 2nd District seat. The Republicans run a stumblebum backed by the Goldwater Institute, who will vote the party line.
  4. McSally goes on to serve 5 terms in the US Senate.

Old age is terrible and it catches up to all of us.

John Mcain was born back when Hitler opened the summer Olympics.

John Mcain was born back when Hitler opened the summer Olympics.

I am a senior citizen myself. I personally understand the toll time takes on the human body. McCain is 80 years old and has outlived the life expectancy of 60 years for a white man born in 1936.

McCain should be whiling away his final days in Green Valley, not being an elected official. How long ago is 1936? That was the year Hitler opened the summer Olympics, when a gallon of gas was 10 cents, when the No. 1 movie starred Charlie Chaplin.

McCain has had 4 cases of melanoma (skin cancer) and has had more than a dozen patches of abnormal skin cut out or burned off, including on his face. Old age catches up with all of us. At age 80 many people have hearing loss, osteoporosis,  less recall of recent memories, slowness in remembering names and details, kidney decline and incontinence.

Why McSally?

The Republicans know they need to find a younger replacement for McCain. McSally is 51 years old — young blood! The life expectancy of a woman born in 1966 is 85 years. She can expect to wreak havoc in Tucson for another 34 years.

To be sure, there are 4 other Republican Congressmen, but none appeal more to the hillbillies who elected Trump. She is perfect for the Republican hegemony:

  • 100% voting record in support of Trump.
  • Voted for Trumpcare and famously told her colleagues to get this “fucking thing” done.
  • Anti-abortion.
  • Anti-gay marriage.
  • Anti-immigration.
  • Anti-renewable energy, solar, wind and thermal energy.
  • Panders relentlessly to the ex-military crowd.
  • Harvard master’s degree.
  • Right-wing financial support from the US Chamber of Commerce, and a gaggle of business, home building and wholesale interests. Locally, car dealer Jim Click is a big donor.

Plus she has the slimy quality of not revealing her positions. She never said whether she recommended voting for Trump. Before voting for Trumpcare, she refused to answer questions on where she stood.

“McSally did her best to bob and weave, clearly intent on not giving a “yes” or a “no.” Instead, I heard a lot of baloney about not wanting to look backward and only wanting to look ahead,” wrote Stuart Rothenberg when he interviewed her for Roll Call.

And we all know how Arizona Republicans like slimy, slithery things.

 

 

 

Questions for Martha McSally re: health care

Below is some recent reporting on health care to help you formulate your questions for Rep. Martha McSally for her “chicken bunker” tele-town hall tonight.

The largest health insurance companies in the United States reaped historically large profits in the first quarter of this year, despite all the noise you hear surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplaces. Profits are booming at health insurance companies:

Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group — the big five for-profit insurers — cumulatively collected $4.5 billion in net earnings in the first three months of 2017. That was by far the biggest first-quarter haul for the group since the ACA exchanges went live in 2014. Other major insurers, such as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield company Health Care Service Corp., also are improving their ACA operations.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 7.21.55 AM

Aetna lost money only because it had to pay Humana a $1 billion break-up fee after their merger failed; otherwise it would have been in the black. Some other things to keep in mind:

  • The ACA exchanges represent a small amount of the insurance market, and most of the for-profit carriers have bailed on those plans.
  • Employer-based coverage is a profit center, but insurers continue to invest more in Medicare Advantage and Medicaid.
  • Congress suspended the ACA’s health insurance industry fee for 2017, which is creating a temporary windfall.
  • The first quarter of the year is usually good for health insurers. Deductibles are reset, leaving people on the hook for a lot of their out-of-pocket medical expenses. The fourth quarter usually is the worst, since people often reach their deductibles by the end of the year.

Uncertainty over the future of health care for millions of Americans grew deeper Monday after the administration and House Republicans asked an appeals court for a 90-day extension in a case that involves federal payments to reduce deductibles and copayments for people with modest incomes who buy their own policies. Insurers seek stability as Trump delays health care decision:

The fate of $7 billion in “cost-sharing subsidies” remains under a cloud as insurers finalize their premium requests for next year.

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