Category Archives: Convention

LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland sees 2018 as a Referendum on Public Education.

Educator and Democratic LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland

Democrat Eric Kurland described his reasons and goals for seeking one of the LD 23 State House seats from orthodox conservatives John Kavanagh and Jay Lawrence.

Over breakfast at the Scottsdale restaurant Randy’s (very good food and service) at Chaparral and Hayden, he said he was motivated by his advocacy for children and the misdirection of our Dark-Money-serving Republican state leaders in promoting private school vouchers rather than fully funding public education, Kurland, an educator with the Scottsdale Unified School District, has launched a campaign, fueled by his army of education supporters, emphasizing education, campaign finance reform, and reforming the private prison system.

A legislative district that encompasses all or parts of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, and Rio Verde, there has not been a Democratic representative from LD 23 in recent years. Eager to break that trend, Kurland will be running for one of two state house seats against incumbent State Representative Jay Lawrence and Senate Pro Tempore John Kavanagh.

Kurland feels that both Lawrence and Kavanagh are on the “opposite end” of what the people who elected them want, living in “an ivory tower who do not feel the pulse of what a community requires.” If elected, Kurland states, that unlike his opponents, “it will not be the last time they (the people) will hear from him.”

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Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Sees a Blue Wave Sweeping the State House

Murphy Bannerman, ADLCC

Communications and Research Coordinator Murphy Bannerman and Executive Director Charlie Fisher of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) are both optimistic that Democrats will take over one or both of the State Houses in this November’s elections, based on four reasons:

  • There is a record number of 114 Democratic candidates (just over half of whom are women and 51 are people of color).
  • There is a groundswell of progressive enthusiasm after the election of Donald Trump.
  • The Red for Ed movements has galvanized educators and school employees to support Democratic candidates.
  • District snapshots, conducted by the ADLCC, that shows targeted districts that are “likely to flip from red to blue.”

The ADLCC, an arm of the Arizona state Democratic Party that coördinates with the county and local district offices, was designed to help recruit, throughout the year, Democratic Candidates to run for every Legislative District (LD) State Representative and State Senate seat. They are also tasked with providing training on how to run and budget a political campaign. Their only focus is on state legislative seats.

(They are not involved with statewide offices like Governor, Attorney General, or US Senator. They do not aid in National Congressional races either. They also are not involved in promoting ballot initiatives, leaving that to the candidates to endorse if they want.)

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GOP train wreck on immigration coming next week

The other day I told you that the House schedules vote on two DACA bills destined to fail:

So now we have the hardline Goodlatte-MsSally bill from the GOP House Freedom Caucus, which does not have the votes to pass Congress, and a so-called GOP moderate bill still being drafted that will fall far short of the Dream Act and the bipartisan measure that couples a path to citizenship for Dreamers with beefed-up border security.

House Republicans have released a first draft of their new “compromise” immigration bill, the “Border Security and Immigration Reform Act.”

The nearly 300-page bill is one of two that the entire House will vote on next week. It is considered a GOP “moderate” alternative to the GOP conservative bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Riiight.

The New York Times reports, House Immigration Bill, Pitched as Compromise, Tilts to a Harder Line:

The draft bill, circulating among lawmakers on Thursday afternoon and up for a vote next week, closely adheres to President Trump’s vision for an immigration overhaul. In addition to protecting the young immigrants, it provides billions of dollars for a wall on the southwest border while imposing new limits on legal immigration.

The bill would also toughen rules for asylum seekers. And it would address the separation of children from parents under the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal border crossings by mandating that families be kept together while in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, according to a summary of the measure.

In effect, the measure would offer Democrats and immigration moderates in the Republican Party a difficult choice: accept hard-line changes to much of the immigration system in exchange for protections for young undocumented immigrants and what appears to be a modification of the wrenching policy of splitting up families at the border.

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What if R.F……Hubert Humphrey had won in 1968?

Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey

Over the last week, there have been numerous salutations of the late Attorney General and New York Senator Robert Francis Kennedy who was assassinated after having won the California Primary in May 1968.

The tragic assassination, coupled with the horrific murder of his brother in Dallas five years earlier has left no shortage of historians and public policy wonks wondering “What if RFK had lived? Would he have won the nomination? Would he have been able to beat Nixon? What kind of President would he have been?”

These are all interesting and valid questions but it presupposes that the Democrats had no Progressive Champion carrying the banner for them in 1968 and that cannot be further from the truth.

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More about that Prop. 123 ruling (Updated)

Linda Lyon covered this in her post below, but here are the links that media reports have been leaving out.

Judge Neil Wake’s 33 page Order in Michael Pierce v. Douglas Ducey, CV-16-01538-PHX-NVW.

The massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress last week.

The provision that Governor Ducey’s attorney Michael Liburdi asserts “retroactively” authorized what Judge Wake ruled was an unconstitutional act by Governor Ducey is found at “DIVISION S—OTHER MATTER – Title IV—Consent of Congress to Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Arizona”:

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 5.47.44 AMScreen Shot 2018-03-27 at 5.48.43 AM

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New House Speaker J.D. Mesnard strikes out on legislative priorities

education_appleThe overwhelming majority of Arizonans agree that increased funding for public education should be the top legislative priority in the incoming state legislature. Arizonans support higher taxes for education, how about our Governor and Tea-Publican legislature?

The state’s projected $24 million budget surplus (see interview below) is wholly inadequate and well below the amount of restitution that the courts found our lawless Tea-Publican legislature owed to the state’s school districts for its theft of inflation adjusted school funding in previous years — which they used to give away corporate welfare tax cuts.

Even with the sham of Prop. 123 funding, “total aid to education will still be $600 million less than it was in 2009 in real dollars — and $863 million less if inflation is taken into account,” according to Dana Naimark, president of the Children’s Action Alliance. Prop. 123 will do little to restore education funding to K-12 schools.

Governor Doug Ducey’s sham Classrooms First Initiative Council failed to produce any proposals for increased funding for public education. Ducey’s Classrooms First Initiative Council produces bupkis.

Governor Ducey’s State of The State Address in January is likely to simply propose moving pots of money around without increasing tax revenues to pay for increased public education funding (the goal will be to pit interests groups against one another to fight over their slice of the budget pie, not to increase the size of the budget pie).

With this in mind, this AP interview of the new Speaker of the House, Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Gilbert, is deeply disturbing.

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