Category Archives: Campaigns

Back to the McCarthy Era for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas

If teachers walk off the job on Thursday, April 26, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas warned that “there may be investigations” if complaints come into the Department of Education. Furthermore, if the courts deem the walkout a “strike,” Douglas cautioned that teacher certifications may be revoked and censure notices placed on an instructor’s permanent record.

In an interview with Channel Three Arizona Family News (link below), Superintendent Douglas relayed that she is in favor of more money for education and increased salaries for instructors and support staff. She appeared receptive to ideas ranging from local governing boards setting local district salaries to education budget increases being placed as ballot initiatives.http://www.azfamily.com/clip/14295201/raw-video-diane-douglas-discusses-planned-teacher-walkout

However, Douglas urged teachers not to walk out on Thursday and suggested that they continue negotiations with the Governor and legislature, especially because there are proposals to bargain over. Furthermore, she pointed out that students with free and reduced lunch and special needs may suffer if a walkout occurs. Finally, Douglas intimated that instructors may themselves be blacklisted, have their certificates revoked, or be ostracized from future employment if complaints from the community to the department were processed.

That portion of the interview with Superintendent Douglas threatening potential reprisals against instructors shows an attitude that this country has not seen publicly since the McCarthy Era when many were blacklisted for their real or imagined beliefs. That attitude should not be ingrained in the public servants of our state or country in the year 2018. Fortunately, there are two Progressive Democrats (Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira)  just waiting for a chance, after one of them earns their party’s nomination, to replace her after the November elections.

Teachers do not want to walk out. Teachers want to educate and shape children’s hearts and minds. However, they cannot do it effectively when their salaries rank near the bottom of the country. They cannot do it passionately when they sometimes have to work a second job to put food on their table. They cannot do it competently when they are not provided the modern resources to do the job well.

This is about what is right for the children. It is a step in the right direction to make sure that the people who are responsible for them eight hours a day or longer are properly provided for. Making sure our schools are safe and provide all the features of Twenty-First Century culture and technology is another. The Superintendent and Governor are not going to get there by making idle threats or catering to the conservative whims of their alt right-reactionary sponsors who feel the McCarthy Era was “The Good Ole Days.” It is time to properly fund our schools, compensate our instructors and support staff, and prepare our children for tomorrow.

CD2 Candidate Barbara Sherry Warns about Chemtrails, Breaks Promise to Support Primary Winner

Congressional candidate Barbara Sherry opposed expansion of Davis Monthan airbase becuase of "the chemtrails."

Congressional candidate Barbara Sherry opposed an expansion of Davis Monthan airbase because of “the chemtrails.”

Staking out a position as a fringe candidate, Barbara Sherry, who is running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2, warned about chemtrails from Davis-Monthan airbase, broke a promise to support the winner of the primary, and rambled about pecan trees, Nazi Germany, and potholes.

She spoke at a meeting of the Democrats of Greater Tucson, where attendees chuckled at her assertions. Adopting the style of a standup comedian, she would announce her positions and joke, “there went another 30 votes out of the room.”

Sherry has 25 years in the banking industry including JP Morgan Chase, she coached the mortgage team at Wachovia, and she sold stocks and bonds. She lives on a ranch in rural McNeal, AZ,

Chemtrails

Sherry said, “I do not at all support any expansion of Davis-Monthan. I’ll tell you why. I’ve done a lot of study on this. The chemtrails that come off the airport are micro, they’re entering the people who live around Davis-Monthan, and that’s usually soldiers and their families. They will get in your lungs. You will have emphysema, you’ll be listening to those commercials on TV, you’ll be seeing those lawyers in your house. There’s been a study, I believe it was Berkeley, when people live near military bases with high-velocity jets such as are there, that is killing your health. It’s killing your health as much as if you work in a mine. Pay attention people.”

The chemtrail conspiracy theory is the false claim that long-lasting condensation trails, called “chemtrails” by proponents, consist of chemical or biological agents left in the sky by high-flying aircraft and deliberately sprayed for purposes undisclosed to the general public.

However, she said supported Fort Chiricahua “100%.” She said, “Our next war will be in cyberspace. If you do a lot of reading like I do, the Chinese have pledged in 2035 they will lead the world in artificial intelligence. They have satellites now with equipped with arms to grab our satellites. You’ll see what it’s going to be like one day when your electricity goes down and you have no more electricity.”

Continue reading

CD 8 Special Election Day

The CD 8 special election today is just the first in a “two-fer” election this year. November is the grand prize. Close counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and “two-fer” special elections.

Donald Trump won this district by 21 points. A single digit finish for Democrat Hiral Tipirneni is still a “win” because it will attract DNC and outside group money this fall that she has not received in this special election.

The New York Times takes notice today, Special Election: Republicans Are Dominant But Still Nervous:

We’re watching Tuesday’s special election in Arizona closely, not because we expect the Democrats to stage an upset (the congressional district is solidly Republican), but because Republicans are showing concern over the outcome. Here’s what makes this House race interesting.

The district is deeply red.

Debbie Lesko, a former Republican state senator, is facing the Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a doctor, in the race for the Phoenix-area seat that is reliably Republican.

After the district lines were redrawn in 2012, the district has voted Republican in the past three elections, and it has supported Republican presidential nominees by large margins.

Donald J. Trump won the district by more than 20 percentage points in 2016. Four years earlier, Mitt Romney had won it by almost 25 points.

The Eighth District seat was vacated by Representative Trent Franks, a Republican who resigned after he was revealed to have offered $5 million to an aide in exchange for carrying his child.

Continue reading

Van Jones Says Democrats and Progressives need to work on Winning and Not Take Anything for Granted.

Van Jones

CNN commentator and author Van Jones said that for Democrats and Progressives to win elections, they cannot just sit and wait for the people to follow them because the masses agree with them on the issues or because most agree that President Trump is unfit to serve. Instead, they need to speak out and make their views known and remain continually persistent and vigilant for the causes they believe in.

He spoke at the Fifth Annual Lecture Series on Delivering Democracy at the Fourteenth Street Pilgrim Rest Baptist church in Phoenix.

Jones said that Democrats and Progressives also can not take any group for granted. The poor white person in Appalachia wants the same life for their kids like the poor black person in the projects. People who believe in God also believe in helping the needy and oppressed. Democrats and Progressives would be wise to reconnect with these groups they have forgotten. If Democrats and Progressives can do all of these things (and it should not be a heavy lift), Progressives and Democrats will have a lot to celebrate after the next few election cycles as long as they remember that they can never stop being proactive and fight to move the country forward.

The lecture was sponsored by the Arizona State University Center for Race and Democracy and hosted by the congregation of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Ministries. Jones is a community and environmental activist, and former White House Aide to President Obama, and he offered his views on bringing different races, classes, and the religious and secular worlds in our country together.

At a packed Church hall, the congregants gathered for the fifth year to hear Van Jones’ views on Race and Democracy. Many still remembered the contributions of their late Pastor, Bishop Alexis Thomas, and progressive (both secular and religious) activists from organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, East Valley NACCP, The Pat Tillman’s Veterans Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Red for Ed, and Outlawing Dirty Money (an irony because one of the sponsors of the event is APS)

After an excellent performance by the church choir and music group, the event started with the pivotal question, broadcast on a video “What is Democracy?” Following several varying answers from respondents on the video, the key message is that Democracy is the “responsibility of the people” to maintain.

Dr. Stanlie James, the Vice Provost for Inclusion and Community Engagement, echoed this sentiment by relaying the current issues our countries citizens’ face such as the incident with two African American patrons at a Philadelphia Starbucks (Mr. Jones would later ask in his presentation why the police did not arrest the person that made the erroneous/false complaint) or the rising mortality rate of African American Mothers in a “First World Country.” Calling the Center on Race and Democracy “an oasis in the desert” where these issues can be discussed, she cited support from the Obamas as proof that this center is doing good works.

Continue reading

Gov. Ducey starts killing hostages to force the legislature to meet his demands for his budget

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that Governor Ducey has impulsively started killing hostages, i.e., vetoing bills passed by the legislature and awaiting his signature, in order to extort a budget out of his GOP-controlled legislature which includes his deeply flawed and fiscally unsustainable plan for teacher pay raises in an attempt to placate Arizona teachers before they walk out on Thursday. Ducey goes on veto spree to push teacher plan:

Gov. Doug Ducey let legislators know today he wants a budget – now.

Ducey, playing hardball with state lawmakers to get his teacher-pay raise plan passed, vetoed 10 Republican-sponsored House bills in an attempt to force the legislature to finish the state budget.

The message included in each of the 10 veto letters reads the same.

“Please send me a budget that gives teachers a 20-percent pay raise by 2020 and restores additional assistance,” the letter reads. “Our teachers have earned this raise. It’s time to get it done.”

The vetoed bills were not particularly contentious. Among those struck down, the governor vetoed bills that would have codified provisions for electric bicycles, created additional protections for sexual assault victims and authorized the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family to work with various agencies to teach young children about the dangers of illegal drugs, alcohol and marijuana.

Ducey’s veto rampage comes a day after the Arizona Education Association and Arizona Educators United announced teachers will go on strike April 26. Lawmakers could pass a budget before Thursday if it is introduced in the Legislature on Monday.

Continue reading

DNC sues the Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks

Donald Trump’s consigliere Michael Cohen proved to me that he is not a lawyer. If he was, he would have known that filing a civil lawsuit against Stormy Daniels and against Buzzfeed allowed them to conduct legal discovery. He learned a valuable lesson this week.

Now that he knows he is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, he cannot afford to have a parallel civil case where discovery is also being conducted. Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS.

Trump’s friend David Pecker at the trash rag National Enquirer took notice as well this week in its case with Trump’s former girlfriend, Karen McDougal. The first domino just fell after the Michael Cohen raid:

The former Playboy playmate reached a settlement Wednesday with American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, in a deal that allows her to spill about her alleged months-long affair with President Trump. And importantly, the terms of the deal appear quite favorable to McDougal. One possible reason, according to reports and experts: The Cohen raid bolstered her case.

Experts say the combination of that and the favorable terms of the settlement — McDougal basically has to share only a small portion of the profits she might make from selling her story — suggest AMI was worried about what lay ahead.

Continue reading