Category Archives: Debates

The Road to a Democratic State Legislature Runs through Maricopa County  

Democrats can win by focusing on 3 issues: public education, health care, and job creation, according to Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairman Steven Slugocki

Maricopa County in Arizona is the fourth largest populated county in the United States. The fifth largest city in the country, Phoenix is within its boundaries as are 20 of the 30 state legislative districts.

It is also the county that Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairman Steven Slugocki believes has the best chance of shifting the balance of power in the Arizona State Legislature from red to blue.

Slugocki, the county chairperson of the Democratic Party since December 2015, relayed that grassroots enthusiasm for the Democratic Party, fueled by frustrations with both the Governorship of Doug Ducey (and state legislature) and the Presidency of Donald Trump (and Republican Congress), has reached once unimaginable heights. Committing to an all-out voter outreach effort, Slugocki emphasized that the county will prioritize local races from the Governor’s race at the top of the ballot to the local school board elections. The County Democratic organization pledges to “contest and fight for every seat in every area of the county.”

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Preliminary Citizens Clean Elections Debate Schedule

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has announced its preliminary debate schedule. The schedule is subject to further change. Be sure to check back at the Citizens Clean Elections web site.

Legislature

Monday, June 11, 6:00 p.m.: LD 30 Clean Elections Debate at Glendale Civic Center – Glendale.

Tuesday, June 12, 6:00 p.m.: LD 24 Clean Elections Debate at Hampton Inn Biltmore – Phoenix.

Wednesday, June 13, 6:00 p.m.: LD 22 Clean Elections Debate at Hampton Inn – Surprise.

Thursday, June 14, 6:00 p.m.: LD 15 Clean Elections Debate at Hilton Garden Inn – Phoenix.

Friday, June 15, 6:00 p.m.: LD 20 Clean Elections Debate at Thunderbird School – Phoenix.

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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Vince Leach, not a Servant of the People in LD 11

State Representative Leach favors dark money and subsidizing the rich.

State Representative Leach favors dark money and subsidizing the rich.

State Representative Vincent Leach of Legislative District 11 and other reactionary zealots like him sure act like big government promoters when it comes to their anti-democratic agenda.

Leach has sponsored ideas such as:

  • Protecting Dark Money contributors.
  • Overruling local election results and ballot initiatives, such as whether local towns can prohibit plastic bags in stores.
  • Opposing a woman’s right to choose.
  • Allowing taxpayer money to help students choose private religious schools.

LD11 spans from Maricopa in the north to the tip of Tucson in the south.

A self-described conservative, Leach has an A rating from both the Oliver North led National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union, yet poor marks with the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and the Children’s Action Alliance. A SaddleBrooke resident, Representative Leach has been in the Arizona State House since 2015. He is now the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety, Infrastructure, and Resources and Vice Chairman of the House and Ways Committee.

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AZ Senate Candidate Ralph Atchue Advocates for Families and Small Businesses of LD 11

Ralph Atchue sees himself as an open-minded problem solver

Ralph Atchue sees himself as an open-minded problem solver

A former Air Force veteran, union steward, and postmaster from the Chicago area, LD 11 State Senate Clean Elections Candidate Ralph Atchue has launched a grassroots campaign pledging to be a consensus builder.

Atchue advocates a robust forward-looking program that includes investments in public education, comprehensive tax reform, green energy, and transportation innovations like a high-speed rail line from Tucson to Phoenix and later Las Vegas.

Gaining perspective on the competing positions from both labor as a union steward and management as a postmaster general, Atchue sees himself (unlike his opponent for the State Senate, Vince Leach) as a problem solver who can forge inclusive consensus among all stakeholders by bringing them together, discussing the issues, and arriving at compromise solutions that will be agreeable to all parties.

By prioritizing progress, individuals, families, and small businesses, Atchue believes that the residents of LD 11 will be better served that way rather than emphasizing the reactionary and obstructionist interests of the Dark Money groups that Leach subscribes to. (See AZ’s Worst Legislator: Vince Leach, not a Servant of the People in LD 11)

Seeing himself as an open-minded problem solver rather than being tied to any ideological program, Atchue’s campaign looks to attract all parties: Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who want common sense solutions that provide for the greater long-term good of the district. Independents and Republicans have joined Democrats in volunteering to help his campaign as they strive to knock on 2,000 doors a month to bring the candidates inclusive message.

Atchue’s positions on the issues are as follows: Continue reading

Evolution, Climate Change, and The Big Bang Theory to be Eliminated From Arizona K-12

Superintendent Diane Douglas

Superintendent Diane Douglas

Later this year, the Arizona State Board of Education will consider adopting new K-12 standards in both Science and History/Social Studies.

The consideration of standards for these core subjects has nearly always met increased scrutiny and controversial consideration from segments of the population with different perspectives because these disciplines touch on topics that can potentially challenge a person’s or group’s belief system.

This year is no exception as the new proposed Arizona K-12 Science Standards have invited negative reactions from members of the mainstream education and science community because of the terms and concepts it has attempted to strike away and the closed-door process Superintendent Diane Douglas’s unknown internal reviewers adopted after being presented with the original draft version of the standards.

Forbidden terms, reworded behind closed doors.

Evolution is the most prominent term altered in the proposed new Arizona K-12 Science Standards. Stricken mostly wherever it is mentioned and redefined as the Theory of Evolution, the word is not even included among the many key terms the reviewers added. Several standards and terms pertaining to the process do remain in a more openly worded form. (Changes in green writing can be found on pages 4, 20, 27, 30, 32, 42, 44, 46, 64, 69, and 72 of the Proposed Science Standards)

The term Climate Change is nowhere to be found. There is a sentence that includes the phrase change of climate and there are standards that allude to it and some concepts/terms. However, discussion of alternative energy options, depending on the grade level is nonexistent, stricken, or reworded. (Changes in green writing can be found on pages 21, 25, 40, and 60 of the Proposed Science Standards)

The Big Bang Theory: Stricken entirely and the more ambiguous consideration of all theories of the universe has been substituted in a probable attempt to appeal to the proponents of Intelligent Design. (Page 62 of the Proposed Science Standards)

One saving grace in these standards is at least we have progressed since the time of the Scopes Trial that the geological ages of the planet and continental drift are included and do not seem to be in question.

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Democratic Candidates for Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Seat Renew their Demand for Gun Safety

Democratic candidates for Congress in CD2:

Democratic candidates for Congress in CD2: Yahya Yuksel, Billy Kovacs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz.

On the day when a teenage shooter killed 10 and injured 10 at a Texas school, all seven of the CD2 Congressional candidates renewed their demand for gun safety legislation.

The candidate forum took place on Friday, May 18, for the residents at an active-living retirement community in Tucson. The candidates are Yahya Yuksel, Billy Kovacs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz.

Mary Matiella

“My heart is broken over the shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. That is horrible. One more time we are just beyond ourselves with the pain we feel.”

“I have a cousin who was murdered in her home in front of her children. The most vulnerable are the children in schools. Women in the US are 15 times more likely to be killed by a gun than in other developed countries. We have to do something big. All we want is sensible gun legislation. We’re not trying to take on the Second Amendment. We should keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Why would you not do that?”

Ann Kirkpatrick

“Just today my heart was broken one more time because 10 families are not going to have their children home for dinner because of a school shooting today. I was a law clerk for Judge John Roll when he was shot and Gabby was injured. It was something I’ll never, ever get over. Enough is enough.”

“Preventing gun violence has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It says people in the US have a right to bear arms and to have a well-regulated militia. What we have is a completely unregulated system, that we need to have regulated to keep our children and victims of domestic violence safe, and to keep terrorists from getting guns in our country.”

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