Category Archives: Giffords

Abortion Access & Domestic Violence: #SCOTUS Delivers 2 Big ‘Wins’ for Women (video)


DIY abortions increase as women’s rights decrease.

The Supreme Court is in the midst of its 2016 decision season, when legal cases that have been winding their way through the system for years have their big day. Since the Republicans in Congress refuse to do their job and confirm a new SCOTUS justice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly, many recent decisions have been deadlocked 4-4, allowing the lower court’s decision to stand.

Today’s decisions were wins for women because both decisions will save lives.

Abortion Clinic Restrictions Shot Down

In a 5-4 decision, Supreme Court justices struct down Texas abortion clinic restrictions that would have closed all of the clinics in Texas, except a handful in the five major urban areas. This was the Texas law that catapulted Texas Legislator Wendy Davis to national prominence when she filibustered it in 2013. That year, Republican-controlled Legislatures across the country debated 300 bills to limit women’s rights and abortion access. Thanks to copycat laws pedaled by anti-abortion groups like the Center for Arizona Policy, today’s SCOTUS decision means similar restrictions in other states (like Arizona) are likely unconstitutional. (Check out the New York Times maps here.)


Fathers’ Day Reflections: My Dad– Working Man & Gun Owner (video)

James L. Powers, Sr.

Daddy was a cowboy at heart.

Today is Fathers’ Day. It’s been almost 20 years since my Dad, James L. Powers, Sr., passed away… far too young.

Many of you have heard my speeches about my Dad’s unwavering support for the United Steelworkers. He was a long-time member and an officer in his local in Lorain County. That is… until the last strike when Thew Shovel closed the plant in Ohio and moved to the south for cheaper, non-union labor. As a vice president, grievance man and a contract negotiator, Dad was a strong fighter for working men and women, and he argued politics and unions with everyone, particularly his father (my grandpa).

Dad, the Working Man

Dad was one of those boisterous, in-your-face union guys that you see in the movies. He was a third-generation electrician, a Navy vet, an NRA member, an avid outdoorsman, a hunter, a John Wayne aficionado, a great dancer, a quirky style icon, a ham radio nut, and a Republican, until Nixon broke his heart and he changed his registration to Democrat after Watergate. He drank to much, fought in bars, won and lost rings and watches playing craps, and carried a switchblade and sometimes brass knuckles. (Truth be told: he may have won those two prizes shooting dice. Jimmy and I were always fascinated to see his winnings in the morning.)

Thew Shovel was in South Lorain, a grungy, hard-scrabble place with economic immigrants from all over the US and the world.

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President Obama announces executive action on gun safety

The Republic‘s E.J. Montini today compared President Obama to Sheriff Will Kane (Gary Cooper) in the iconic western movie classic High Noon (1952), in which Sheriff Kane must confront a gang alone because he has been abandoned by the cowardly townspeople. Obama to go ‘High Noon’ on NRA and gun lobby:

High-noon-movie-poster_1373053844In the movie, Kane is retiring and could safely leave town before a recently freed bad guy he sent to prison comes back to seek revenge.

Instead, Kane stays, trying to get the townspeople of fictional Hadleyville to step up and take on the villain and his gang.

But they don’t, and he has to go it alone.

That’s what Obama’s doing with the National Rifle Association and the powerful gun lobby.

He has tried and tried to get some form of sensible gun legislation through Congress.

But, like the cowards of Hadleyville, the politicians in Washington refuse to do anything, most appallingly after the massacre of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn.

Obama, like the sheriff in “High Noon,” could retire and go quietly into the sunset.

But he’s not.

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Gabby & Mark Want You to Vote (video)

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband and former astronaut Mark Kelly want you to vote for strong Democrats and responsible solutions to gun violence.

Vote for a ‘New Arizona Where We All Win’– Instead of Voting for the S.O.S. (video)

Vote for Fred, Felecia, Terry, David, Sandra, Jim, Ron, Victoria, Randy, and Steve. Vote for an Arizona where we all win.

It’s time to dump the failed Tea Party policies that have left Arizona deeply in debt, sparked countless frivolous lawsuits that waste taxpayer money, created a laughing stock of our state, and left us at the bottom of most state rankings.

Check out this video created by a volunteer for Dr. Randy Friese, LD9 candidate for the Arizona House. (Obviously, if you don’t live in LD9 and CD2, you’ll have to swap those last 4 names, but you get the idea.) Let’s move forward with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal and his team– instead of moving not backward with Doug Ducey and the Teapulbicans.

Why would Arizona elect an incompetent State Treasurer with a bankrupt track record to be governor?

Barber Wins Spirited Debate, as McSally Ducks Questions

Last night’s televised debate between CD2 Congressman Ron Barber and Republican challenger Martha McSally was livelier than I had anticipated. In the end, it was obvious that Barber had won the debate. He answered the questions with concrete, specific examples and ideas, while McSally displayed great skill in avoiding actually answering most of the questions.

Barber was the real surprise of the evening for me. He came out swinging from the beginning with a bow to women’s right to choose and acknowledgement of the landmark SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage (two things McSally is against). It’s a good thing he led with these issues because they differentiate the two candidates and otherwise would not have been raised. (As Donna Greathouse has pointed out, debate moderators have repeatedly deemed women’s rights as not worthy of one question.)

In the beginning of the debate, both candidates tried to prove they were the most independent (since this highly competitive district has so many independents). Barber touted his record as the “fourth most independent” Congressman, which means he bucks the Democratic Party routinely. In fact, McSally’s charge that Barber does what Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi tells him to rings particularly hollow with most Democrats who wish he would do just that!

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