Category Archives: Editorial

A Better Future for Phoenix Drives Daniel Valenzuela in his Quest to Be Mayor

Phoenix Councilmember and Mayoral Candidate Daniel Valenzuela

With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office to run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Ninth Congressional House Seat, a special non-partisan election will be held this November to elect his successor who will preside over the fifth largest city in the country.

There are two Phoenix Council Member Democrats vying to succeed him. They are Kate Gallego (who represents Phoenix District Eight) and Daniel Valenzuela (who represents Phoenix District Five). The Blog For Arizona is profiling both candidates and interviewed both on their positions on the issues and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. This piece describes Councilmember Valenzuela’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.

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First the Trumpkins came for the ‘toonists’ …

I have posted the week in political cartoons on Sundays for many years. One of the “toonists” who regularly appears in our Sunday editorial cartoon lineup is Rob Rogers, the long-time editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rogers has won numerous awards for his work, which is syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate.

RobRogers

On Thursday, this talented “toonist” was fired by his new Trumpkin editorial page director at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Cartoonist Fired as Paper Shifts Right:

The firing is the latest controversy involving the newspaper’s editorial pages. In January, The Post-Gazette and its sister paper, The Toledo Blade, published an editorial titled “Reason as Racism” that defended President Trump’s stance on immigration despite his profane description of countries like Haiti or those in Africa when discussing the issue. Mr. Burris, then the editorial page editor of The Blade, was the author of the editorial, which drew condemnation from the Post-Gazette newsroom, some members of the Block family and from outside critics.

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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Don Shooter Disgraces the LD 13 Senate Race

Expelled LD 13 State Representative Don Shooter, one of the worst examples of public servants in Arizona.

Over the last week, the GOP which regularly touts its commitment to inclusion and family values has nominated a self-admitted white nationalist and Confederate supporter to run for the Senate in Virginia and a brothel owner to run for a Congressional seat in Nevada.

With examples such as these, it should be no surprise that an individual expelled from the Arizona State House of Representatives for sexual harassment would think he would have an opportunity to elevate himself to the Arizona State Senate.

Like many reactionary and self-absorbed members of his party, Don Shooter is one of the worst examples of public servants in Arizona.

In some ways, Democrats should hope he gets the nomination. Shooter, along with “let’s take away your rights” Vince Leach,  “ISIS is going to invade us from Mexico” Mark Finchem and “There are not enough white kids” David Stringer are poster candidates for why the Democrats need to return to power. However, decency prevails and the residents of LD 13 should not reward bad behavior and allow Shooter to run for the State Senate.

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Democratic Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction Blast Ducey, Douglas

Kathy Hoffman is An advocate for special needs children, mainstreaming ELL students in order to achieve immersion, and protecting the safety and rights of students in the LGBTQ community.

Kathy Hoffman, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

United on the issues, Democratic candidates for Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira relayed why they would be the best nominee to face four Republican challengers, including current Superintendent Diane Douglas.

Meeting at a special Clean Elections-sponsored edition of the PBS news show Horizon, both Hoffman and Schapira blasted Governor Ducey, Superintendent Douglas, and the Republican-led state legislature for failing Arizona’s children and schools. Hoffman also added the elevation of Betsy Devos to Secretary of Education as a cause for concern for Arizona’s educational community. Both candidates want to make sure every child in the state receives a “first-rate education.”

The future starts in school

David Schapira, Progressive Candidate For Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

David Schapira, Democratic Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Saying, “Arizona’s future starts in our schools,” Hoffman relayed that she is running primarily to ensure that all children, including English-language learners (ELL) and special education students, are well educated. The woman’s movement following the election of President Trump and DeVos in the Education Department also motivated her run.

Schapira, a fourth generation Arizonan, commented that, of the two candidates, he is the most experienced having been a teacher, school administrator, school board member, and legislator to become the “first educator in 24 years” to become Superintendent.

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Dr. Bradley Hughes Calls for a Progressive New Deal Program to LD 21

AZ LD 21 House Candidate Dr. Bradley Hughes

Over Iced Coffee at Lolas Café in Phoenix (The Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are great), Dr. Bradley Hughes outlined his views to bring a pragmatic problem solving progressive New Deal program to the residents of Arizona LD 21.

Arizona Legislative District 21 includes all or parts of Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown, Surprise, and Sun City. It is the district that Debbie Lesko used as a springboard to run for Congress in the recent special election against Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.

Republicans have dominated the district since 2012 with no elected Democrats. Dr. Hughes hopes to change that in 2018 by focusing on a pragmatic progressive program that addresses issues such as health care costs (especially for those that do not qualify for health care subsidies,) “stagnant wages,” and public education.

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Pawlik and Weichert Offer a Progressive Problem Solving Vision for LD 17

AZ LD 17 State House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik

Over iced tea and ice water at the Starbucks in Chandler, LD 17 Democratic House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik and LD 17 Democratic Senate Candidate Steve Weichert enthusiastically discussed their united vision for taking care of children in poverty, who have been largely forgotten by the current Republican LD state representatives and senator.

The LD 17 District in Arizona contains parts of Gilbert, Chandler, and Sun Lakes. No Democrat has ever claimed victory in this district. Two Republicans in the State House currently represent it. This includes the current House Speaker J.D. Mesnard who has decided to run against Weichert for the State Senate Seat being vacated by State Senate President Steven Yarbrough. Pawlik is the only Democrat running for a seat in the State House.

Arizona Legislative District 17

Arizona Legislative District 17

Pawlik and Weichert are not newcomers to the political arena in Legislative District 17. They ran for the same state legislative seats in 2016 that they are running for today. While the results did not turn out as they hoped in 2016, they feel that three trends will propel them to victory in 2018:

  • The marked increase in voter enthusiasm, ignited by the election of Donald Trump.
  • The insensitivity of the Ducey Governorship and his allies in the state legislature.
  • The spark of the Red for Ed Movement.

Like neighboring LD 18, the Democratic candidates and District Chair Jacob Schmitt see their electoral prospects improving with an increasingly bluer (or purple) population receptive to the centrist problem solving progressive ideas and vision that they offer. Both Pawlik and Weichert have united as a team, tailoring their message to all the people in LD 17, especially those ignored and forgotten by the current Republican leadership in the district who has fallen under the influence of anti-democratic, tax cutting, special and Dark Money interests.

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