Category Archives: Farley Report

3 Things You Don’t Know that Democrats Are Thinking About

Jobs

When Democratic candidate for governor Steve Farley said that “driver” is the #1 most threatened job, I made a mental note.

Today’s New York Times article about The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence fleshed out his thought for me. Modern technology dooms the following jobs:

bank teller

customer service rep

telemarketer

stock trader

paralegal

radiologist

factory worker

construction worker

delivery worker

driver

This is because computers, machines, and robots can do these jobs better than humans. If this is your source of income, start training for something else now.

Jobs with a future involve “people skills.” This is because artificial intelligence lacks the ability. Modern technology creates demand for the following jobs:

“service job of love” — sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous (non-paying job)

social worker

bartender

concierge

For the details, read Farley Kicks Off Bid for Governor with 3-Point Plan for Education.

Highway fatalities

If you drive on Tucson roads, you will be interested to know that 24 percent more people were killed last year in Pima County.

Prominent among the dead are:

males

vehicle drivers (as opposed to passengers)

people not using seat  belts

speeders

reckless drivers

impaired drivers

If this describes you, you may die on the road in 2017.

I can’t wait for my self-driving car, which will eliminate these demographic hazards. I want to dial in my destination and read a magazine on the way. Until this happens, I am chastened by reading

Scarlett remembers that horrible day when she got the phone call that her son had been killed by a drunk driver who was going the wrong way on the Loop 303.

US Supreme Court

Finally, Justice Kennedy may step down on Monday and there is no worse time for this to happen.

It would open the door up for nominees like Robert Bork, racist Kentucky lawyer John Bush (who equated slavery with abortion) or would-be federal judge Damien Schiff, who says anti-bullying laws are “teaching ‘gayness.'”

Hell is on our doorstep, and it’s only as far as the “on” button on a TV remote.

Scuttlebutt

Neophyte Billy Kovacs launches his bid for Congress on Tuesday, June 27 at 5:30. He offers a New Voice…New Direction…New Generation of Leadership! Interestingly, it is taking place at a bar on N 6th Ave. What does alcohol have to do with it?

After that event, I must go to the Legislative District 9 meeting of precinct committeemen. It is at 6:30 pm, 10 minutes away at the Water of Life Metropolitan Community Church.

Happy trails.

7 Unexpected Things I Learned During My First Ramadan Dinner

Iftar Ramadan dinner TucsonBeing a product of Iowa, the corn state, I had never been to a Muslim Iftar dinner — the feast celebrated at the end of the of a month of fasting by Muslims worldwide — including Tucson.

To be sure, I’ve been to many Christmas Eves, Seders, Thanksgiving dinners, Fourth of July picnics and Easter sunrise services. But my first Iftar dinner was last Friday night, June 16 at the Sema Foundation in Tucson, where 150 faithful Turkish Muslims gathered in the community event.

The invitation said, “With love & gratitude, we request the pleasure of your company for our traditional Ramadan dinner. Let’s all celebrate friendship together.” My friends and I were honored to go.

Here are 7 unexpected things I learned during my Ramadan dinner.

1. It is a beautiful family event with mothers, fathers and little ones running around. It reminded me of my own family. The signs in the community hall said, “Welcome. Welcome.”

Unsure of where to sit, I decided not to barge into a table of women or all men talking. We saw three seats at a family table and immediately felt at home. I wore a clean white shirt out of respect and felt embarrassed that I had worn shorts.

How could Trump think to impose a travel ban on these wonderful people? Thank God for the Federal Courts that have stymied his evil plan.

I talked with Oğuz, a soft-spoken, stocky man visiting from Los Angeles. I followed his cues and did not touch the delicious spread of dates, hummus, pita bread, dolmades that were clearly tempting everyone. We all waited until the sun went down at 7:38 pm.

2. The meal begins with a sip of cold water. Oğuz said Iftar literally means “break-fast. Anyone from an Orthodox family (Russian Orthodox in my case) knows that healthy adults fast during spiritually significant times, including abstaining from drinking, eating, immoral acts and anger. Muslims also encourage other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity.

3. Fasting for a month makes people appreciate the richness of their daily lives, by denying themselves sweets, earthly pleasures, and even water. We know how precious water is in Arizona.

What insanity possesses the White House to ban these warm, spiritual, welcoming people?

Meanwhile, plates of delicious salad, potatoes, lamb, and rice were served by young women who had covered their heads. There were two beautiful calls to prayer, sung by men with trained, expressive voices.

4. Rather than build mosques which would upset some Tucsonans, the Muslim community blends in and shares their culture at festivals like Tucson Meet Yourself in October. Who hasn’t ordered a baklava with a strong Turkish coffee?

5. They do not build multi-million-dollar garish, marble clad, Trump Tower-like edifices. Islam is a major worldwide faith, not a cult. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 – roughly 24% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate.

Kurdish fighters from the People"s Protection Units (YPG) chat with members of US Special Forces.

Kurdish fighters confer with members of US Special Forces.

6. Oğuz explained that he is a Turkish Kurd, a people who are the fierce fighters working with American forces to wipe out ISIS terrorists. The Kurds have surrounded Raqqa, Syria, and are within two miles of the ISIS headquarters. Things would be going better but Syria’s dictator Assad is bombing them.

Oğuz’s mother is in Turkey, but he says he cannot visit her. Oğuz is part of a resistance movement against monstrous dictator Erdogan, who put his name on an arrest list. The tyrant has detained 150,000 teachers, journalists, police officers, judges, and civilians.

7. The Turkish people did not bargain for this and most informed Americans do not blame them for the takeover by a murderous dictator. This is just as the rest of the world does not blame the majority of ordinary Americans for the would-be dictator who occupies the White House. They understand.

Oğuz is supporting Democrat Steve Farley for Governor, who on June 5 kicked off his campaign to rebuild education in Arizona. As the elected Precinct Committeeman in #238, I too support Farley. Neither of us had name cards, so we wrote down our contact info on pieces of paper.

On the way out I talked with a man holding a tiny baby. I told him I was a senior citizen and looked forward to talking with my son in Chicago on Father’s Day. He said he was 35, was working hard to support his family and his 5-month old child.

I told the father that his son would carry him in his heart as he made his way through life, just as I hold my own father in my heart. My 33-year-old son is a productive citizen of Chicago, with his own apartment and a beautiful long-time girlfriend. I can’t wait to talk with him.

Farley Kicks Off Bid for Governor with 3-Point Plan for Education

By Larry Bodine.

State Senator Steve Farley will announce a three-point plan to restore education funding in Arizona when he publicly kicks off his bid for Governor on Monday at the Arizona Inn.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., at Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm  St. in Tucson. Event from 6 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP at https://goo.gl/2Q9rAe

At a jam-packed invitation-only fundraiser on Saturday, Farley said he was confident he could be incumbent, Goldwater Institute-backed Gov. Doug Ducey.

Introduced by former Congressman Ron Barber, Farley outlined a three-point plan to restore education funding in Arizona:

A K-12 system that is a foundation for opportunity system for all Arizonans, second to none.

“One if four children currently live in poverty. That’s not tolerable,” he said.

A university system that’s strengthened, not cut.

“That’s where the new industries will be coming from. And when people who go to university come up with new industries, they’re going to stay in Arizona. You won’t have to bribe them to come to Arizona. They’ll be here.”

A community college system that’s a lifelong institution for training and retraining.

“We’ve cut our K through 12 system by 21% since 2008. We’ve cut our university system by $2.5 billion. And we’ve cut off community colleges in Pima County and Maricopa County entirely from state funding.”

Former Congressman Ron Barber 6-3-17

Former Congressman Steve Barber said, “Some people say the Governor is going to be hard to beat. But not when you have someone who knows state government as well as Steve does. We need a solid, progressive thinker in the Governor’s office, and that’s Steve Farley.”

331 Corporate tax loopholes

Farley said the funding will come from closing 331 corporate tax loopholes that are in the sales tax code, which now bleed $13.7 billion a year from the state general fund.

“We’ve got to look at those and get rid of them. If we could get rid of $2 billion of them, we could lower the sales tax by a penny while increasing funding for education.”

Farley, age 54, is the son of two public school teachers, and said:

“Teachers work hard not because they’re getting paid well. Teachers work hard because they believe in their kids.”

“There’s absolutely no excuse that Governor Ducey and this legislature have cut our education system to the point where we have the lowest average teacher salaries in the country,” Farley said.

A captivating speaker, Farley is also smart. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College (Mass.) in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has 11 years’ experience in the Arizona statehouse.

$9 million campaign goal

Farley said he needs to raise $9 million to fund his campaign. “Remember we’re fighting against the Koch brothers golden boy. He’s going to have a lot of money. We’re going to have a lot of money too. We may not match them. But we’ll add the money we’re going to be able to raise together with the face-to-cafe contact I’m going to try to have everyone in every town in this state,” Farley said.

“People are ready for change,” he said. “We can shine as an example for the country here in Arizona, where too often we’ve turned up as a joke on The Daily Show.”

Where is Ducey vulnerable?

“Most people don’t know Doug Ducey. And the people who know him don’t like him that much. He doesn’t feel like one of us. And the fact that he lies all the time. He says one thing but he does exactly the opposite. I’m going to remind people that he was the leader of the effort to kill $1 billion a year from education. He created the problem we’re trying to solve.”

Scuttlebutt:

Former Arizona state Representative Victoria Steele, who served for four years, will run for Farley’s vacant Senate seat. She is NOT running again for Congress.

Arizona state Representative Randall “Randy” Friese is considering a run against US Senator Jeff Flake. He is a Democratic member representing District 9 in Tucson.

There are 9 Democrats vying to run against Martha McSally:

  • Matt Heinz – Ex-State Rep., Physician & ’12/’16 Candidate 
  • Lou Jordan – Retired USAF Colonel
  • Ann Kirkpatrick – Ex-Congresswoman, Ex-State Rep., Ex-Sedona City Attorney & ’16 US Sen. Nominee
  • Billy Kovacs – Hotel Manager & Marketing Consultant
  • Jeff Latas – Airline Pilot, Businessman, USAF Veteran, Democratic Activist & ’06 Candidate
  • Mary Sally Matiella – Ex-US Asst. Army Secretary & Accountant
  • Joshua Polacheck – Ex-US Foreign Service Officer
  • Charlie Verdin – Businessman
  • Bruce Wheeler – Ex-State Rep.

Larry Bodine is a Precinct Committeeman, Precinct #238, in Tucson, AZ.

Steve Farley Tele-Town Hall tonight on the Health Insurance Marketplace

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Facebook message from Senator Steve Farley (D-LD9):

On October 1, the new healthcare exchanges will arrive. If you are currently buying your health insurance on the open market, or are a current HealthCare Group member, or would like to get insured but previously was not able to find an affordable plan due to your self-employed status or your employer not offering benefits, the exchanges will help you find a good plan at reasonable cost, and likely save you real money as it increases your peace of mind.

State Senator Steve Farley is convening a Tele-Town Hall [Wednesday night] for all of you to get your health insurance questions answered. His special guests will be Herb Schultz, the Region IX Director for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, who will tell you all you need to know about how the exchanges work and how you can put them to work for you, and Jennifer Carusetta who works at AHCCCS and she is helping with the transition from HCG to the exchanges, so she can help HCG members and also give information on where Medicaid-eligible people fit in and what happens if their income bounces them out from time to time.

If you are on Medicare, or receive benefits from your employer, you won't see much difference in the next year. If you own a small business, are self employed, currently receive car from HealthCare Group, or your employer does not provide benefits, this virtual town hall is for you.

Please tell your friends and family, especially those who are self-employed and/or with pre-existing conditions — this call could literally be life-changing.

Senator Farley will convene a Tele-Town Hall [tonight]:

Wednesday, September 25, at 7:00pm

To take part, dial 559-726-1200, then punch in your access code: 448012 followed by the # sign.

The call should last about an hour, and Senator Farley and Director Schultz will field as many of your questions as time allows.

If you want to get a preview of the exchanges and get more info in advance of the call, go to HealthCare.gov at any time.

Here
is the link where you can see a preliminary link to the Arizona
healthcare marketplace premiums as they will be available on October 1,
based on your age. These are changeable depending on your individual
health factors, but are a good ballpark figure. Call our Tele-Town Hall
tonight to learn a whole lot more! http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketplacePremiums/longdesc/az.htm

The Farley Report: 6-11-13

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Time once again for The Farley Report from Senator Steve Farley (D-LD 9):

When I started writing this afternoon, here was my opening:  

"I'm afraid this Report isn't nearly as exciting as I had hoped it
would be last week. Most of the action looks to happen tomorrow and
Thursday — I will update you as events unfold on my Facebook page, so check there to see the latest until I wrap it up next Tuesday in next week's Report." 

How quickly things change.

I left a meeting about the TPT
simplification bill in the Governor's tower at 4:30 and returned to the
Senate to discover an email saying something about floor action at 5:00.
Which was very strange since we had adjourned for the day around 2pm.  

When 5pm rolled around we discovered that the Governor decided she had had enough. Here is her tweet from a few minutes later:  

"It's time to complete the people's business. No more delays. No more
stall tactics. No more games. #SpecialSession  #AZMedicaid" 

At 7:15pm we President Biggs gaveled us into Special Session, but no
other Medicaid opponents were on the floor. We first-read the Governor's
budget bills and Medicaid expansion, then adjourned for the evening.  

These budget bills are basically the Senate budget with a few changes
for the better, including removal of the sunset date for the Medicaid
restoration, and the restoration of the Department of Housing. 

The plan as it exists now is for us to come in tomorrow (regular
session floor at 10:30 am, special session at 11am
), second read the
bills, debate in Committee of the Whole, then third read and send to the
Governor for signature after midnight on tomorrow night/Thursday
morning. Stay tuned.  

So how did we get here? 

We did virtually nothing for the rest of last week until yesterday,
when only two bills were heard in the House Appropriations Committee —
the Senate budget's Health bill (SB1492),
and a strike-everything bill allowing warrantless searches of abortion
clinics, and needlessly restating the federal Hyde Amendment that
precludes federal funding from going towards abortions (SB1069). 

1069 was heard first — it is primarily another ideological effort to
divide the moderate bipartisan coalition that supports the Senate
budget. Despite its clear violation of the U.S. Constitution's ban on
unreasonable search and seizure, the bill obtained a party-line 7-4
approval. It was scheduled to be debated on the House floor today, but
it was retained on the calendar for a future date. I hear there will be
an effort to further amend the bill to make it marginally better. The
topic may be moot now that the special session has changed all the
dynamics. 

The Medicaid restoration, as contained in the Senate Health budget
bill, was heard next. The arguments weren't much different that we had
heard on the Senate floor when we passed it a few weeks ago. Proponents
like AHCCCS Director Tom Betlach laid out the state's four options:  

1) Continue freezing out single childless adults, despite the
violation of the voter-approved law to the contrary. This would cost us
$880 million in taxpayer dollars over three years, confirmed by the
Legislature's own budget advisory committee. 

2) Restore coverage for all childless adults, but do not cover those
earning between 100% and 133% of the poverty level. This would cost us
$1.3 billion over the next three years, even with federal matching
funds, but would be consistent with voter-approved law. 

3) Drop coverage for all childless adults — the 63,000 people
currently covered, including 5,000 cancer patients and 2,000 people with
severe mental illness. This would cost us nothing but our souls, public
safety, and the death of our healthcare system from the cost of
unreimbursed care. The Governor calls this option "morally repugnant and
fiscally irresponsible." 

4) The Governor's plan to restore coverage for 240,000 childless
adults in poverty and expand coverage to 57,000 more adults earring up
to 133% of the poverty line. This actually EARNS us $100 million in the
General Fund over the next three years.  

So there it is: Pay nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer money over
the next three years to NOT cover 297,000 people and drive our hospitals
into bankruptcy, or rake in $100 million more to our state treasury
while covering them all. Any other choice but the Governor's plan
amounts to wasting taxpayer money, human lives, and the Arizona economy
to make a political point. 

The arguments against this were basically twofold: 1) We hate Obama
and Obamacare, so we should be willing to hurt ourselves in order to
prove how much we hate him and his policies; and 2) We can't guarantee
the Feds will keep giving us these matching funds four years from now,
so we shouldn't cover anyone in the meantime so we won't have to drop
them if the money ends in the future.  

The first argument is not worth rebutting due to its raw and fearful
partisan nature. The second argument makes no sense — wouldn't those
nearly 300,000 people who currently lack healthcare rather have coverage
for the next four years than to not have coverage at all? Additionally,
the same people making this argument had no problem chopping 130,000
childless adults and 60,000 kids in poverty three years ago when the
budget picture looked bleak. Why would they have any trouble doing the
same in the future? 

A particularly interesting argument was offered by Rep. David
Livingston (R-Peoria), which was that since Republicans control all
branches of government, they should adopt a "Republican budget". I would
argue that the Governor has amply proven her Republican credentials,
and she supports the Senate budget. In any case, the Arizona people
don't need a Republican budget or a Democratic budget, — we need a
budget that works for everyone, regardless of party. 

Livingston has proposed his own "People's Budget", which simply cuts
5% across the board from everything — health care, roads, hospitals,
schools, CPS, developmentally disabled services, everything — then
hoards away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to do nothing for
the Arizona citizenry. Not sure which "people" he is talking about to
whom he dedicates this slash-fest, but I know I've not met any of them. 

In that Monday Approps Committee, the Senate Health budget bill was
defeated on another party-line vote 4-7. As as it turns out, it looks
like that may have been the beginning of the end of the Governor's
patience on this issue.  

Again, look at my Facebook page for updates this week until I give you the whole rundown of the action in next Tuesday's Farley Report.  

Thanks for your continuing faith in me as your Senator.

Steve Farley

The Farley Report: 6-4-13

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Time once again for The Farley Report from Senator Steve Farley (D-LD 9):

This will be another short Report, but at least we know that –unlike
last week — the budget and Medicaid are starting to move in the
House. 

Progress looked pretty slow today until Speaker Tobin casually
announced a first reading of all the Senate budget bills, and assigned
them all to the Appropriations Committee.  

Where they go from there is less certain.  

We do know that the Speaker met with the Governor on the topic
yesterday, clearing the way for action, so his moving the bills is a
hopeful sign that he will support them or at least not stand in their
way, a classy move on his part. 

The Approps Chair, John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) is no fan of the
Medicaid restoration, so he may well try to gut the bills in committee,
but I am hearing that there will be enough bipartisan votes on the floor
to strip off the Approps amendments, returning them to their original
state, which would mean that passage would send them straight to the
Governor's desk, not back to the uncertain fate of a Senate conference
committee.  

The Medicaid restoration is part of the budget's Health bill, meaning
that any reasonable amendments agreed upon with the Governor to make
Medicaid more palatable to the Speaker would still go back to the
Senate, but would avoid a conference committee because that bill's
sponsor is John McComish (R-Ahwautukee).  As a supporter of the Medicaid
restoration, he would be able to simply concur with the amendments and
send it to the Governor after a vote that would pass with the same
coalition from two weeks ago. 

The final House vote on the budget could happen by Thursday or Friday
of this week, with a final Senate concurrence on any amended budget
bills potentially next Wednesday, with the session ending by the
following Thursday. Of course, very few things go as planned in the
Legislature, so there are no guarantees, except that I will keep you
informed. 

In any case, the renewed movement is good news, and portends a
possible end to the session as early as next week. Hopefully, there will
be much to share in the next Farley Report. 

For those of you who are worried about former Senators Frank Antenori
and Ron Gould organizing an effort to refer the Medicaid restoration to
the November 2014 ballot (suspending the enactment and forcing the
State to unnecessarily spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in
the meantime while our hospitals and tens of thousands of citizens
remain at risk), I believe you can relax a bit.  

Court cases have already declared clearly that budget-related bills
are not subject to the referendum provisions of the Arizona
Constitution. I hope that Mr. Antenori and Mr. Gould will soon understand
the fruitlessness of their efforts to destroy our state's economy and
healthcare system in order to get a few more minutes in the sun. The
people of Arizona are sick of those kinds of partisan games. It's time
to move into the bipartisan, moderate future charted out by the Senate
budget.  

Thanks for your continuing faith in me as your Senator.

Steve Farley