Category Archives: Endorsements

Moms Demand Action seeks Increased Community Safety from Gun Violence

Moms Demand Action Volunteers posing as Arizona State Legislators

25 % of fatalities victims in mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 were children. (That figure does not include the gunshot injuries inflicted on children)

After the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown in 2012, Shannon Watts started a Facebook page, calling attention to the tragic events of that day and other horrible incidents where children were victims of mass shootings. Her goal was to propel community awareness to organize solutions to combat gun violence. Over time, a following developed across the country, including Arizona when mothers in the state reached out to Watts, looking for ways to get involved. Out of this initial grassroots momentum, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense formed.

Today, Moms Demand Action is united with Everytown Survivor and Mayors Against Illegal Guns under the umbrella organization Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.

There is one state chapter in Arizona with five local groups in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and the East Valley of Maricopa County. While there is no strict membership enrollment process, the state chapter currently counts approximately 11,000 supporters, with about 5,000 participants in the Phoenix local group. These groups regularly coordinate with each other and also partner with the newly formed student-led March for our Lives movement. For example, the organization has coordinated with Arizonans for Gun Safety and the Phoenix March for lives to promote National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2018. Haber, the Chapter Communications Leader, recognized the efforts of state chapter leader Jessica Manos and Phoenix local branch head Nevine Melikian for contributing to the growth and outreach projects in the organization.

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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

Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

This is part one of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. Part two is  GOP Legislative Candidate Marilyn Wiles has an Anti-Tucson Agenda

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

Republicans at this month’s Pima County GOP meeting gave rousing rounds of applause to tea party darling Kelli Ward, a primary candidate for US Senate, who gloated over her lead in recent polls, fawned over Ted Cruz and ripped into fellow Republicans Martha McSally and John McCain.

Republicans packed the meeting last Tuesday at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, with a crowd of 75 to 100 people. Ward was repeated greeting with loud applause.

Asked how she differentiates herself from her rival, Congressman Martha McSally, Ward said:

“You all live in Martha’s district. You all know how she’s been as a congresswoman. In language that she can understand: she’s failed the check ride [a pilot’s exam — because McSally was a pilot].  We certainly don’t promote the people who failed the check ride, we promote people who get the job done. I have a 98 rating with the American Conservative Union, tied with Mike Pence.”

“Passion Points”

She called her platform “passion points” including the following:

  • Ejecting the UN from the United States. “I don’t think that they should be on United States soil. I don’t we should be investing so much money in the UN,” she said.

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Pamela Powers Hannley: Voice of the People (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

For more than a year now, I have been running for the Legislature to serve Legislative District 9 in the Arizona House.

Along the campaign trail, I have met 1000s of you at community events, like the Hunger Walk, Cyclovia, the Garden District Porch Fest, the Labor Day picnic, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march, the Peace Fair, Poetry Center activities, and other events.

I’ve met you at dozens of house parties and coffees with the candidate events.

I’ve met you at meetings like Democrats of Greater Tucson, the Nucleus Club, the Democratic Party State Committee meetings, and the LD9 meetings.

I’ve seen your creativity when I stopped at your doorsteps, and I’ve heard your passion at rallies.

I understand you because I am one of you. I’m a Mom and a Grandma. I worked in a factory, in a laundry, on a landscape crew, and as a waitress. I have climbed the corporate career ladder, and I’ve been laid off.

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Legislative District 10 races

bradley-phelpsLegislative District 10 is represented by Democratic state Senator David Bradley, a longtime Democratic party leader and well-regarded advocate for children.

His Republican opponent is a political newcomer, Randall Phelps, a retired Army helicopter pilot and aviation trainer.

Bradley is running traditional and has raised $46,179. His expenditures are $22,214 according to the financial statement on the Secretary of State web site, leaving a war chest of $23,965.

Phelps has raised $8,679, more than half that amount, $4,514 from his own funds. What I find odd is his expenditures, which are only $2,104, half of that amount, $1,320, to the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. He apparently started out as a Clean Elections candidate, but did not have enough supporters to meet the qualifying amount. There do not appear to be any expenditures for signs or literature on the financial statement on the Secretary of State web site.

The Arizona Daily Star candidate summary reported:

Democrat David Bradley is seeking a third term as state senator, and Republican Randall Phelps is running for the first time.

Bradley’s political career has included serving as chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party, four terms as a state representative, a lost race for Corporation Commission, and two terms as a state senator.

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