Category Archives: Economics

Governor Ducey disses Arizona teachers, inviting a teacher walkout

Reminder: Today is another #RedForEd Wednesday, wear red in support of Arizona’s embattled teachers.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Ducey to meet with ‘decision makers,’ not teachers to talk about salaries:

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t meet with the leaders of two teacher groups to talk about salaries and related issues even as they are taking the first steps toward a walkout.

The governor’s statement comes less than a week after a request by Noah Karvelis of Arizona Educators United and Joe Thomas of the Arizona Education Association “to begin a negotiation process to resolve the #RedForEd demands.”

That includes not just the 20-percent salary increase to compete with neighboring states but also restoring education funding levels to where they were a decade ago.

It also comes as Arizona Educators United, a grassroots group of teachers, is working with its member teachers to set a date for walkout to get the attention of Ducey and legislators and show they are serious.

Ducey, in essence, has written off both groups as irrelevant to his own education funding plans.

“We’re meeting with the decision makers,” the governor said, meaning school superintendents and other officials. “And we’re going to continue to meet with the decision makers.”

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Kyrsten Sinema is the Democrat who can Beat McSally for US Senate

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is running for US Senate.

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is running for US Senate.

Congress member Kyrsten Sinema is the odds-on favorite to beat the gaggle of wacky Republicans, including mean Joe Arpaio, kooky Kelli Ward and seldom-seen Martha McSally for the US Senate seat for Arizona.

Sinema spoke at the Democrats of Greater Tucson and was poised, intelligent and articulate. “I launched a campaign for Senate to cut through the chaos and dysfunction in Washington and finally get some stuff done. The enthusiasm on the ground is like nothing like I’ve seen before. Our campaign is building a statewide team we’ll need to reach voters who are more motivated than ever to make a change,” she said.

Sinema is a three-term Congresswoman from the 9th Congressional District in Phoenix, first elected in 2012. A member of the Democratic Party, she served in both chambers of the State Legislature, being elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004 and the Arizona Senate in 2010.

She has a compelling personal story of growing up homeless in a gas station. Saying, “I knew I could make it if I got a good education,” she went to BYU with the help of student loans, academic scholarships, and financial aid, and then ASU, where she now teaches Legal Issues in Social Work.

The American Dream

“I am a product of the American dream. And my way of paying my debt to society is public service.  It is my commitment as a United States Senator that I will continue to do the work as I have done to be accountable, to listen even to people with whom I disagree, and to make best decisions in the best interests of my community,” she says.
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Listen to the Recording of the Secret Republican CD2 Candidates Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

I have published the audio file from the Saturday, March 24 forum for GOP candidates running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2. Click here to listen to it.

The recording starts with a question about school gun violence, with candidate Lea Marquez Peterson finishing a sentence and some static. The next voice is Danny Morales (he has a high voice) saying he is a certified peace officer. Next is Brandon Martin (with the lower male voice) talking about the Constitution. The second female voice is Marilyn Wiles talking about better enforcement of gun laws.

To read the written report, click Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum.

The questions posed to each candidate were:

  • What is your position on “chain migration” and have you always felt this way?
  • How do you expect to represent Arizona without becoming a part of the establishment?
  • Since we live on the border describe your position on stopping illegal immigration and are you in favor of a border wall?
  • Given the recent successes Democratic candidates in special elections across the country, why do you think you can defeat the Democratic candidate in this race?
  • What form of government is the US? What is a republic?
  • What is your position on DACA and your solution for Dreamers?
  • How would you rejuvenate our economy here in Southern Arizona without increasing government jobs?
  • If negotiations fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and Iran?
  • The Air Force recently narrowed the list to four bases for the next F-35 Wing, with Davis Monthan being one of the four. Are you for F-35s at DM?
  • Would you join the House Freedom Caucus and who in the House would you enjoy working with?
  • Would you introduce a bill to change Congressional benefits and insurance and withhold payroll payments without a balanced budget?
  • Have you ever used illegal narcotics, marijuana or cocaine?
  • Are you taking out of state contributions and from who?
  • What changes would you suggest be made to the census? Should we declare if you are a citizen or not?
  • Given the current political uncertainty, please give a few examples of your topics and your approach to a divided executive versus legislative government, versus the current one-party majority that we have now that may exist after your swearing-in. (The question was thrown out as unintelligible.)
  • Do you support term limits?
  • If President Trump fires the special counsel, would you support him or do you view this as an impeachable offense?

March jobs report well below expectations, trade war trouble on the horizon

Economic forecasters expected another strong jobs report today. That didn’t happen. Steve Benen has the March jobs report. Following February’s highs, job growth slowed down in March:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 103,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1% for the sixth consecutive month. In both cases, forecasts projected better progress, making today’s report disappointing.

Making matters slightly worse, the revisions for the two previous months – January and February – point to a combined loss of 50,000 jobs as compared to previous BLS reports.

MarchJobs
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April 8 Coffee and April 19 Mixer with state Senate Candidate Victoria Steele

Join us for coffee and talk to Victoria about the issues you care about. Victoria wants to hear from you. Let her know how she can best represent you in Legislative District 9.

When: Sunday, April 8th from 9:30 – 10:30 am
Where: AJs (2805 E. Skyline Dr.)Further info: Victoria Steele Charts a Comeback with a State Senate Bid


RSVP here to attend the Arizona List Member Mixer on Thursday, April 9, featuring Victoria Steele.
Arizona List Member Mixer

Professors Lay Bare Koch Scheme to Corrupt Arizona Universities

150 people attended "Dark Money, Charles Koch, and the UA Freedom Center" at the University of Arizona.

150 people attended “Dark Money, Charles Koch, and the UA Freedom Center” at the University of Arizona.

Professors and activists laid bare the Koch Brothers’ plot to corrupt Arizona’s universities to advance their anti-worker, anti-consumer and anti-public school agenda. 150 people attended “Dark Money, Charles Koch, and the UA Freedom Center” at the Tucson UA campus.

The speakers called on University President Robert C. Robbins to put the so-called “Freedom Center” under rigorous scrutiny, and they urged citizens to call and write Koch-funded Gov. Ducey to end the unique $2.5 million budget line-items especially for the Freedom Center.

Freedom Center DonorsThey are members of Kochs Off Campus! — a nonpartisan group of Tucson residents, UA faculty and students concerned about the undue influence of right-wing money on public education.

Donors to the Freedom Center are a whos-who of right-wing advocates, including the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, Randy and Ken Kendrick, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation and even local car dealer Jim Click, according to Douglas Weiner, Professor of History.

“There has been a lack of transparency in the operation of the Freedom Center,” Weiner said, pointing out secret donor agreements, undisclosed donors and surreptitious planting of Koch textbooks in Tucson high schools.

“One of the biggest issues of the academic neutrality of the Freedom Center is that Director David Schmidtz has a long association with libertarian politics,” Weiner said.

See Koch Brothers Deeply Infect the U of A and Tucson Schools.

Koch Structure for “Social Change”

The Koch brothers political agenda is to promote private schools, defund public education, eliminate consumer and environmental protections, minimize employee rights, and abolish taxes on their businesses.

Samantha Parsons, Campaign Organizer of UnKoch My Campus, said 419 campuses have taken funding from the Kochs. “It is highly inappropriate for a donor to have this control over a university. They are holding the universities hostage,” she said.
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