Category Archives: Gun Policies

#LD9: Know Your Candidates before You Vote

Pamela Powers Hannley, Ana Henderson

Residents of Legislative District 9 have a clear choice for Arizona House. Two Democrats Rep. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley are running against Tea Party candidate Ana Henderson.

The Clean Elections debate revealed major differences between Henderson’s extreme Tea Party positions and the two Democrats’ views.

To simplify your voting decision, I revised my ven diagram comparing where I stand on the issues and where Henderson stands.

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Legislative District 9 races

Legislative District 9 was considered a competitive district when it was redistricted in 2012. A Republican, Ethan Orr, was elected to the House that year, but lost to Democrat Dr. Randall Friese just two years later.

FarleyDemocratic Senator Steve Farley is unopposed in the general election, mostly because he is popular in his district, and he has risen as a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.  Farley was named by the Arizona Republic as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016, and voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of the Arizona Capitol Times. His legislative priorities are public education, jobs and economic development, senior issues, public safety, transportation choices, sustainable growth, fiscal health, and quality of life. He has repeatedly been named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, and Legislative Champion by the Arizona League of Towns and Cities.

If Democrats can pick up enough seats to gain a 15-15 tie in the Senate, Farley will be running for a leadership position.

ld9houseIn the House, there is one Democratic incumbent and a Democrat and Republican newcomer for the open House seat.

Dr. Randall Friese has proven to be quite popular in the district since his election in 2014. Dr. Friese joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine as a member of the Trauma Team. In this role he is a Professor of Surgery where he trains young doctors, he is the Associate Medical Director and he is one of nine UAMC Trauma Surgeons that care for the injured in southern Arizona. Dr. Friese was one of the Trauma Surgeons who cared for the victims of the Jan 8 shootings in Tucson.

Dr. Friese focuses on healthcare issues, including the epidemic of gun violence. Dr. Friese believes that gun violence is a public health issue. Most recently Dr. Friese was instrumental in adding Arizona to the National Violent Death Reporting System. This allows Arizona to gather, and share with the Centers for Disease Control, statistics concerning violent deaths in Arizona. This is an important first step towards finding real solutions to gun violence.

Arizona’s “citizen legislature” definitely needs a doctor with Dr. Friese’s knowledge, background and experience.

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When our less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congress returns in September …

US CapitolOur less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congress decided to start its August recess early, failing to address legislative priorities, as they hightailed it out of town on July 14 for a seven-week recess.

Congress will return the day after Labor Day. “D.C. Work Week” days are only scheduled in the House until September 30. The Senate is scheduled to work the first week of October as well. (Schedules are subject to change).

September 30 is an important date that has not received much media attention. It is the end of the Fiscal Year. The House has passed five spending measures and the Senate has passed just three, leaving Congress with unfinished appropriations bills that need to be addressed following the August recess.

There is not enough time for this dysfunctional Congress to actually complete its essential job function on time.

None of the individual appropriations bills have been sent to the President, and it is likely that a stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) spending bill will be needed to fund the federal government past the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

With our less-than-less-than-do-nothing Congressional members wanting to get back to their districts to campaign some more for reelection in October — as if they deserve to be reelected — it is unlikely that the  Republican House Freedom Caucus has enough support to shut down the federal government in an election year stunt, but you never know.

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Arizona newspapers publish an opinion by an academic fraud

ScreenshotOn Thursday, the Arizona Daily Star published “Media determined to misrepresent Trump’s remarks” (no link), and the Arizona Daily Sun published News media’s interpretation of Trump’s remark is ridiculous by John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “The War on Guns,” attempting to defend Donald Trump’s statement:

Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”

What these newspapers failed to tell you is anything about the disreputable author.

Think Progress reports, The NRA’s Favorite Gun “Academic” Is A Fraud:

John Lott is, if not the most influential, certainly the most prolific “academic” in the gun debate. He has authored weekly columns in local newspapers on the horrors of gun free zones, published widely-distributed books on the ostensible benefits of right-to-carry laws, and his newest book The War on Guns has received rave reviews by prominent conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Newt Gingrich.

Before Lott’s flurry of activity, it was difficult to find anybody arguing that widespread gun ownership made societies safer — even the NRA was reticent to make such a bold claim, defending gun ownership with reference to the constitution, not criminology.

But Lott’s recent successes belie a far more shadowy past. A little over a decade ago, he was disgraced and his career was in tatters. Not only was Lott’s assertion that more guns leads to more safety formally repudiated by a National Research Council panel, but he had also been caught pushing studies with severe statistical errors on numerous occasions. An investigation uncovered that he had almost certainly fabricated an entire survey on defensive gun use. And a blogger revealed that Mary Rosh, an online commentator claiming to be a former student of Lott’s who would frequently post about how amazing he was, was in fact John Lott himself. He was all but excommunicated from academia.

Just like our own sock puppet John Huppenthal aka Thucky!

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Zona Politics LD9 Interviews: There’s a Progressive in the House (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley on Zona Politics

Pamela Powers Hannley, Progressive Democrat and Clean Elections Candidate for LD9

Primary races are good for the Democratic Party because they allow different opinions to be heard. Last night while watching the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the value of the Clinton vs Sanders primary was evident. As a progressive, I heartened to hear Senator Bernie Sanders say that the two camps came together on the platform and came to agreement regarding debt-free college, busting up the banks, making society more equitable, ending Citizens United, and other populist agenda items. (They also added the Equal Rights Amendment – ERA – to the platform, but no one mentioned it.)

Mission accomplished, Bernie. Thanks for your service to the 99%. Bernie pushed Hillary and other establishment Democrats to the left and opened their eyes to the inequities of our current economic policies which offer largesse for the 1% and austerity for the 99%. They balance tax cuts and giveaways for big corporations with budget cuts, layoffs and tax increases for the rest of us– Robin Hood in Reverse.

I am by far the most progressive candidate running in Tucson and the only Tucson Democrat running clean. I have often quip that I am the Bernie Sanders of Tucson– with Hillary Clinton’s gender issues. I am pushing the local political discussion out of the safety zone of politics as usual and toward a more progressive direction– particularly in the areas of economic reformwages, and money in politics.

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

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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.)

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