Category Archives: David Safier

Since a picture is worth a thousand words…

Crossposted from RestoreReason.com.  My views line up with much of what AZBlueMeanie says, but can’t agree with him on Prop 123.  I am intimately aware of the deal and think it is the best we can do at this point.  Our schools need the money now, they can’t wait another 5+ years.  Plus, once we get beyond this lawsuit, we can start talking about other funding issues.  Providing the below infographic because it is obvious we have more “splaining”* to do. *For those of you who ever watched I Love Lucy.

Yes on Prop 123-2

Apparently, I blog about reproductive rights too much.

I announced a while back that I would delete anti-choice comments or those dismissive of the idea that women’s reproductive rights are important and/or denying that those rights under constant attack by right wing politicians and “pro-life” bullies in the face of overwhelming evidence that that is exactly what is happening. I got one such comment yesterday and did delete it, as promised, and of course whining ensued by the commenter but fuck him because, as I said, I don’t have time to teach Pro-Choice 101 to people who clearly aren’t interested in understanding it.

I’m going to print part of his comment, though, because it is illustrative of a curious disparity in the response to my posting, which is admittedly (and proudly) focused on reproductive rights much of the time:

I have a hunch this issue took over your life a long time ago and it has now become, if not your life, then a major part of it. That’s sad. Especially when it leaves you so angry and bitter…

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Good-bye BfA. Hello, The Range.

by David Safier

I just put up my first introductory post on The Range, which means this is my last piece at BfA after 6 years and 3,000-some posts. You can continue to follow me over there if you wish. And (maybe I shouldn't say this, but…) if you aren't interested in the music/food/entertainment/weird-videos postings at The Range, interspersed with some more serious stuff, you can bookmark my writing here and get a listing of all my blog posts and columns. Myself, I like to skim through and look for things that interest me, which is kinda what blogs are about, but it's up to you.

It's been great. The writing company as well as the reader loyalty and informative commenting have been wonderful. See you in the blogosphere.

A second self-indulgent trip down memory lane

by David Safier

As I count down to my exit from BfA and entrance onto The Range, I'm taking a look back on my tenure here. Mike Bryan says I've written over 3,000 posts, and I believe it. Even scrolling through them at lightning speed takes some time. Here's a continuation of my first self-indulgent trip down memory lane, stopping just before the horrific January 8, 2011, shooting.

• I started blogging about charter schools in earnest in 2009, looking at the Imagine School chain, which has gone from bad to even further downhill, BASIS, which does a good job at what it does but lies through its teeth about how it does it, and other charters.

• I went after candidate Steve Kozachik in a post in 2009 when he ran for city council for the first time. Boy, was I wrong. Sorry about that, Steve.

• I began my series about the "Creative Headline Writing Team" at the Star in 2010 when it was coming up with jaw-droppingly misleading and/or politically slanted headlines. I capped the series with a "Worst Star Headline of the Year" contest in December. Probably coincidentally, the paper's headlines have gotten better since then.

• The Goldwater Institute's education guy, Matthew Ladner, was pushing the "Florida education miracle" pretty heavy. I wrote a series of posts, "The Floridation of Arizona Education" in 2010, taking apart the not-so-miraculous educational progress in the Sunshine State. Since then, Arizona has adopted a number of Florida education ideas, while Florida has backpedaled on some of them. Ladner now works for Florida ex-Guv Jeb Bush.

• G.I.'s Matthew Ladner made possibly his single most laughable statement when he wrote about the huge bureaucracies in Arizona's school districts. To do that, he included people like bus drivers, maintenance workers, cafeteria workers and secretaries in his list of bureaucrats. I shamed him in post after post, but he stood his ground, and I have a letter from G.I. voicing its support of his "Bus drivers are bureaucrats" contention. [Note: Arizona spends a lower percentage of its funding on administration than any other state in the country.]

• In June, 2010, a reader told me about an event Jesse Kelly was holding. I put the image in a post. The announcement read: "Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly." At the time, people shook their heads and moved on. Six months later, after Gabby Giffords and others were shot, the image went viral, appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show, Talking Points Memo and all over the Twitter-verse. BfA got 10 to 15 times more visits for the next few days than usual.

• Speaking of the Maddow Show, producer Bill Wolff came to town and held an event at the Congress. Mike Bryan and I attended and shot a video with him. As Mike was leaving, he said to me, "Tell Bill about the private prison/Jan Brewer connection!" I did over a beer. The more I talked, the more Bill listened. A few other people chimed in, adding details. A few days later, the Maddow Show led with the story, then continued to cover it for a few days after that. Terrific series. Later on the Maddow Blog, Bill credited "our friends at Blog for Arizona" for alerting them to the story.

There's still 2011 through 2013 to look over. I don't know if I'll get around to those. My time on BfA is growing short.

Thank You David!

By Michael Bryan

DavidI think I can safely speak for the entire staff and readership of BlogForArizona when I say "Thank you!" to David Safier for his last 6 years of hard work, and the fun and satisfaction we have all derived from David's efforts. We are all looking forward to his continuing contributions to public discourse with his new and larger platform at Tucson Weekly's The Range.

Speaking just for myself now, I want to acknowledge David's contributions and praise him mercilessly. I am gratified and excited by David's new project and I think Jim Nintzel incredibly wise to have sought out David to add some punch to the Weekly's blog.

When I first met David during the election integrity trial of 2007, and invited him to co-live-blog the event, little did I know what an ideal partner and collaborator he would become. At that point, BlogForArizona was still just my own private obsession. David changed that for the better by making BlogForArizona his own obsession – and we are all better for it. David deserves a great deal of the credit for the successful transformation of this blog into a group project over the past several years.

David has brought his intelligence and wit to bear on a project that too few of us undertake, and less of us succeed at: public citizenship. David has become one of Arizona's most vocal and eloquent public citizens. It has been one of my chief satisfactions in founding and running BlogForArizona that it has become a platform for David, and the other excellent public citizens who collaborate on BlogForArizona, to answer that vital calling.

David has cultivated his entrepreneurial energy, his deep love of public policy, his concern and compassion for our childrens' futures, and his engaging and interesting authorial voice, to create a public personae that will deservedly continue to grow in influence and authority. Through his selfless efforts and energy David been a tireless advocate and resource for Arizona's citizens. He has become a regular guest on Buckmaster's Blogger Beat, a regular contributor to the Explorer's op-ed pages, and more recently, a frequent contributor to the Tucson Weekly's opinion page, all while blogging regularly and engagingly here on BlogForArizona.

Most impressively, David has accomplished all that not by being a bomb-throwing, divisive gadfly, but by being a well informed, fair, and thoughtful citizen seeking to share his concerns and insights with the public. David is role model and exemplar of how the internet has empowered citizens to take an active role in making their communities better.

BlogForArizona is poorer for David's departure, but Arizona is better off because more people will be able to engage with this extraordinary citizen's work.

If you haven't yet done so, please share in the comments your thoughts and well-wishes for David as he moves on to his next project.

This can’t be good

by David Safier

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce announced its 2014 legislative agenda. Along the way, Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, who's running for Congress in CD-1, said Washington is what's wrong with Arizona.

“If the federal government took its foot off the throat of Arizona, we would be doing a lot better,” he said.

The ed news is, the Chamber wants to promote a world-class education system. So far so good. It wants to do it by adding more educational choice — not so good. That's code-speak for more vouchers, more money and latitude for charters and a continuing shrinking of funds for our school district schools. If there's any question about the direction this is heading:

Toward that end, the Arizona Chamber announced nationally recognized education leader Lisa Graham Keegan, a past Arizona superintendent of public instruction, will lead an effort to bring about major reforms to Arizona’s education system.

Keegan brought us charter schools when she was in the state senate, made sure they were under-regulated when she was Arizona's Ed Supe, was McCain's education advisor when he ran for president, and currently works fist in glove with Craig Barrett, the multi-millionaire ex-CEO of Intel who is Brewer's point man for the state's conservative "education reform" agenda and has said he wants to make sure we don't "throw money" at education.

At least there's no question where the Chamber stands.