Category Archives: Elections

Donald Trump to darken Arizona’s doorway again

Donald Trump is under intense political fire for his defense of Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

When in trouble, Trump sets up a campaign rally in a state that he won so he can appear before his cult followers and bask in their unquestioning adulation.

So naturally, Trump is coming to Phoenix where former Governor Jan Brewer defends President Donald Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, and Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature have uniformly voted in favor of Neo-Confederate and “Tenther” legislation for years, as we have documented at this blog. These are his people.

President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign-style rally in downtown Phoenix next Tuesday, making his first presidential trip to the West as his administration confronts an uproar over his tepid response to a deadly white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Donald Trump makes it official: He’ll hold a downtown Phoenix rally:

Trump will take the stage at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m., according to an announcement Wednesday morning. Attendees must register to obtain tickets.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wrote in a statement Wednesday he was disappointed to learn of Trump’s visit so close to the violent events in Charlottesville. The mayor called on Trump to delay the visit.

“If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation,” the statement said.

Break out those Confederate and Nazi flags! As the “Unite the Right” alt-right protestors in Charlottesville chanted, “Heil Trump!” Show us your true colors. Trump has made it acceptable for you to come out of the shadows and to let your freak flags fly.

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Trump is the ‘vessel’ of a right-wing ‘movement’ using him and the alt-right, but who is the real power behind the throne?

In all the media analysis since last Saturday about President Donald Trump’s defense of and false equivalence between Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi white supremacists — a key constituency of Trump supporters — and the counter-protestors who were the victims of their hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia, the focus has been on when GOP politicians will finally disassociate themselves from Trump and disown him as their standard-bearer. It is indefensible for Republicans to stick with Trump.

But what is missing from this analysis is that Trump is a demagogue who hijacked the GOP for his own purposes, and the GOP made a Faustian bargain with the devil believing that they in turn could use him for their own purposes.

Trump’s supporters are a cult of personality who worship at the feet of this dangerous demagogue. Trump was quite literally correct when he said that “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” among his supporters. They are unquestioning devoted to him.

The GOP can disown Trump, and Trump in turn will disown the GOP, forming his own Trump-centric political party, and taking his cult followers with him. I fully expect to see this happen before 2020.

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Why I Voted for Felicia Chew for City Council

By Michael Bryan

ChewI voted in the Ward 3 Tucson City Counsel Primary today. I voted for Felicia Chew. BlogForArizona doesn’t endorse candidates, but each author is free to talk about why they support a particular candidate. Here’s why I decided to vote for Felicia Chew.

1) She is endorsed by Karen Uhlich.

First, but by no means primarily, she is endorsed by the incumbent. I have been a supporter of Karen Uhlich during her time in office and believe that she has done a commendable job of representing the Ward and helping to lead Tucson forward. I think she is in a good position to recognize in others the same qualities of leadership she brought to the job, and her choice is Ms. Chew. I respect that, and her recommendation figured strongly in my choice.

2) She is the only woman in the race.

I don’t advocate automatically supporting a female candidate over a male candidate, but the underrepresentation of women in our politics is real, it’s a problem, and it can only be remedied by voting for qualified female candidates when possible.

3) Her life history demonstrates a deep care for others and her community.

Ms. Chew’s history and life experience demonstrates to me her deep commitment to caring for others, and her community. I’m confident that her competition are also public spirited people who would make fine counsel-persons, but Felicia stands out. Her chosen career of public education is itself a life-long commitment to the future of our society. That she chose to serve some of the poorest and most-disadvantaged populations by teaching Native American children on New Mexico’s reservations demonstrates a genuine concern for those who need the most help in our communities. With Arizona’s cities having among the highest poverty rates in America, that is a vital character trait for a leader in Tucson.

4) Her personal experience has prepared her for leadership in advocating for victims of domestic abuse.

Ms. Chew does not hide the fact that she was a victim of domestic abuse, and is willing to talk about the matter publicly. To me, this is a vital fact. The victims of domestic abuse must have role-models in positions of authority and power to advocate for them, and to demonstrate that being a victim is not shameful for the victim, only the perpetrator. Having been a city prosecutor, I know that for many suffering domestic abuse, municipal courts are where the rubber hits the road. We need a strong advocates in our city governments for prosecutorial and police resources to combat domestic violence and to provide victim services and support.

5) She has done her homework and has demonstrated a willingness and ability to learn the issues.

Ms. Chew has repeatedly demonstrated that she understands the issues facing Tucson, and that she appreciates the scope of the city government’s work as well, if not better, than her competitors. I think that she will learn swiftly what she does not know and quickly become an effective advocate and leader for our city. Most importantly, she knows that she does not know everything or have all the answers; she is open to advice and the views of others.

6) She was unfairly attacked for voting her conscience.

Though it was not a formal part of my decision to support Ms. Chew, it certainly rubbed me the wrong way when Paul Durham sent out an attack mailer targeting Ms. Chew for voting for the Green Party candidate in the 2016 Presidential election. I find the tribalism of the GOP appalling, and I do not support importing such attitudes into the Democratic Party. Far be it from me to condemn anyone for choosing what they perceive to be a more progressive or liberal candidate. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 over Al Gore. Does that make me an apostate to my party, too? Does that mean that I failed to support Al Gore against George W. Bush? Paul’s mailer would certainly suggest so, and to me, it was a divisive, ugly, and unworthy attack.

Those are the reasons I chose Ms. Chew, and I invite you to do the same.

White supremacists riot in Virginia, President Trump blames violence ‘on many sides’

I made the point a little more than a week ago that “if Ret. General John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff, really wants to right the chaos in the Trump administration, he should dismiss the nativists Steven Bannon and Stephen Miller. He will not, because Trump caters to his nativist racist base.” White nationalists making immigration policy in Trump White House.

This weekend, white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Neo-Fascists, Neo-Confederates, Ku Klux Klan and various and sundry other white nationalist organizations — key constituencies of the Trump political base — held a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the planned removal of a statute of General Robert E. Lee.

Hundred showed up for a Friday night rally with Tiki torches ablaze that called to mind images of Ku Klux Klan cross burnings in America, and Hitler propaganda rallies in Nazi Germany (really the point they were trying to make).

Alt-RightRally

The Washington Post reports on the horrific events in Charlottesville, Va.:

Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members — planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” — clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19 others injured.

Note: If the driver had been identified as a Muslim, Trump would have been tweeting about Islamic terrorism as he watched it live on cable TV. Domestic terrorism from a white supremacist … silence.

Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Officials identified them as Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va., who was the pilot, and H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., who was a passenger. State police said their Bell 407 helicopter was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who had declared a state of emergency in the morning, said at an evening news conference that he had a message for “all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today”:

“Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who brought our country together. Think about the patriots today, the young men and women, who with wearing the cloth of our country.

“Somewhere around the globe they are putting their life in danger. They are patriots. You are not. You came here today to hurt people. And you did hurt people. My message is clear, we are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.”

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Schapira to Fight Right-Wing Conspiracy to Destroy Public Schools

David Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

David Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

At first, David Schapira thought that Republican state legislators didn’t get it. He thought they didn’t realize the damage caused by taking $1.1 billion out of our public school system.

But after six years in the state legislature, he realized he was wrong.

“They do get it,” he said. “They are intentionally working to dismantle the public school system in Arizona.”

Speaking at the Tanque Verde Valley Democrats meeting, Schapira warned ominously, “Our public schools are on life support. If Diane Douglas is re-elected, she will let our schools die,” he says.”

A mountain of a man at 6-foot-5, he vowed to fight back. Schapira is a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, which oversees the state of Arizona’s public school system and directs the state’s Department of Education.

Schapira, age 37, knows how to get elected. He’s a Tempe city councilman, a former state representative and senator. As the leader of the Senate Democrats, he served on the Education Committee for six years.

Importantly, he’s a teacher. He has taught school high school, worked as a school administrator and has been at East Valley Institute of Technology for the last four years.

His proudest achievement is the Tempe Free Preschool program for low-income families, launched in April 2017.  “I’ve seen education from every perspective it can be seen from,” he says.

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The GOP’s descent into authoritarianism

This is not your father’s GOP. The carcass of the Republican Party has been hollowed-out by the parasitic radical extremist fringe elements of the far-right. These are the “double high authoritarians” that John Dean warned about in his 2006 book, Conservatives Without Conscience. See Michael Bryan’s 2006 book review, John W. Dean, “Conservatives Without Conscience”.

They have now coalesced around a demagogue, a professional grifter and con man given to conspiracy theories and appealing to the worst human instincts: racism, bigotry and fear of others and the unknown. Add white nationalism, fundamentalism and political party tribalism, and it forms a toxic brew.

Supporters of Donald Trump are willing to allow him to fulfill his dream of becoming an authoritarian despot, like his pal Vladimir Putin, and rejecting American democracy in favor of “Dear Leader,” according to two new polls taken this week.

Laurie Roberts writes at the Arizona Republic, Would Trump supporters really nix free speech and democracy?

Just how far are Republicans willing to go in their support of President Donald Trump?

Pretty darn far, it seems. Scary far.

They actually believe Trump’s spiel

According to a recent academic survey of 650 Americans who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, nearly half (47 percent) say Trump won the popular vote in 2016. Sixty eight percent believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted.

Meanwhile, 52 percent said they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump said it needed to be delayed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens are voting.

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