Category Archives: Legislation

Kovacs Shines and Kirkpatrick Gets Booed at CD2 Congressional Candidates Forum

Candidates Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, and Ann Kirkpatrick.

Candidates Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, and Ann Kirkpatrick.

The CD2 Congressional candidate forum on July 19 was a classic Democratic assembly, with at least 450 attendees including hecklers, cheering and booing, and horrendous audio.

The PAC RepresentMeAZ organized the event at Tucson High School and gave out report cards about the candidates. The results will be posted soon on Facebook. At the last event, Bruce Wheeler was the crowd favorite, and I’m guessing this time it may be Billy Kovacs.

Kovacs, Maria Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz staked out ultra-progressive positions, leaving a beleaguered and defensive Ann Kirkpatrick as the odd person out.

Highlights:

  • All the candidates agreed to support the winner of the August 28 primary. Mail-in ballots will be sent to voters on August 1.
  • The audience groaned as Kirkpatrick and Heinz sniped at each other. See videos and attack ads in the comments section at https://goo.gl/6QtjfHI have no tolerance for candidates who go negative against fellow Democrats.
  • All the candidates supported federal legalization of marijuana except Kirkpatrick. Why, Ann, why must weed be outlawed as a Schedule 1 drug?
  • The candidates — except for Kirkpatrick — took the radical, left-wing position to abolish ICE, the internal immigration enforcement agency. Arizona Star columnist Tim Steller called this “a loser of a political position.”
  • All but Kirkpatrick supported Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, for calling the president’s remarks “cowardly and shameful” when he bowed to Putin.
  • Regarding impeaching the president, supporters were Kovacs, Matiella, Sherry, and Kirkpatrick — but not Heinz or Wheeler.
  • Most of the candidates wore teal ribbons for Sexual Assualt Awareness.

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The GOP’s ‘ICE, ICE Baby’ campaign strategy

Arizona Republican candidates for office at every level of office are — once again, as they have in every election cycle since 2004 — running on anti-immigrant hysteria ala Russell Pearce and Jan Brewer and Donald Trump.

Scaring old white people who vote Republican with scapegoating “brown people” and fear-mongering over the Mexico border is all they have.

Sadly, this has too often succeeded in Arizona. There are a lot of scared old white people who vote Republican in this state.

Governor Doug Ducey kicked off his reelection campaign by using your taxpayer dollars to film a campaign ad to praise his leadership on border security. Ducey uses taxpayer-funded event on border security to shoot campaign video.

Reps. Martha McSally and David Schweikert are getting a boost from One Nation, a Virginia-based non-profit “social welfare” organization with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove, which is running campaign ads across the state. The ads, which reportedly cost $500,000, praise both McSally and Schweikert for their work on border security. McSally, Schweikert get support from group with ties to McConnell, Rove.

Recently, the Republican Governor’s Association has begun running fear-mongering ads against Democratic candidates for governor David Garcia and Kelly Fryer because of their calls to reform ICE. Let’s just call it their “Ice, Ice Baby” campaign strategy (with apologies to Vanilla Ice).

Jeff Singer at Daily Kos writes, GOP ads are already attacking Democrats for wanting to abolish ICE. Here’s how they should respond.

Even though the Democrats won’t choose their nominee to take on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey until Aug. 28, Politico reports that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is launching a $1 million ad campaign targeting two hopefuls, Arizona State University professor David Garcia and activist Kelly Fryer. So far at least, the RGA appears to be ignoring state Sen. Steve Farley, the third candidate in the contest.

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Let the games begin! APS tries to keep the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative off the ballot

Here is a factoid to make the butt pucker of anyone who believes in democracy:

The state’s largest electric utility – APS – already has set aside close to $11 million to make elections this year come out the way it wants.

Is this what your monthly utility bill really goes to — subverting your constitutional right to a citizens initiative — and using your money to do it? Is this what the Founding Fathers really intended?

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Utility’s parent company spends millions to sway elections:

New campaign finance reports show Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the parent company of Arizona Public Service, has put $7.53 million in its bid to keep voters from approving [the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative] which would require half of all power generated in the state come from renewable sources by 2030.

Matt Benson, spokesman for Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, the campaign committee set up by Pinnacle West, said it makes sense for the company, whose income is generated by ratepayers, to spend that kind of money.

But much of what Pinnacle West has spent so far has nothing to do with voter education but to keep the issue off the ballot entirely. It has paid $5.9 million to Arizona Petition Partners, part of what Benson said is an effort to go through the signatures submitted by Steyer’s group and see how many can be disqualified.

On this front, APS-backed group sues over clean energy ballot measure, claims 300K invalid signatures:

A group funded by the state’s largest utility is suing to keep a clean energy initiative off the ballot.

Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, a political action committee whose funding comes from Arizona Public Service Co. parent company Pinnacle West Capital Corp., claim proponents of the clean energy plan did not gather enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, backed by San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, turned in more than 480,000 signatures in early July, more than double the required 225,963 signatures needed to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

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New Survey: Huge Voter Support for Stop Dirty Money & Invest in Ed Initiatives

According to a new survey by the Arizona List:

  • Arizona Voters are strongly in favor of public initiatives to Stop Dirty Money and Invest in Ed.
  • Voters are divided on ballot initiatives to stop school vouchers (known as “Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.”)
  • There are three primary issues voters care about: comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to citizenship, fully funding public education and affordable access to healthcare.

The Arizona List is a committee for pro-choice Democratic women in Arizona. The survey of 1,200 likely November 2018 voters in Arizona was conducted by veteran pollster Lisa Grove of Anzalone Liszt Grove research.

The results were shared exclusively with The Blog For Arizona. Subscribe to our blog at http://blogforarizona.net/subscribe-to-blog-for-arizona/

Popular initiatives

Stopping dirty money in politics is overwhelmingly popular with 78% of voters voting “yes.” Outlaw Dirty Money is an initiative that would change the Arizona constitution to say that any non-profit spending more than $10,000 on a political campaign would have to disclose donors who contribute at least $2,500.

Supporters say people should vote yes because it will increase transparency in our elections. It will require any front organization that gets money from the anti-consumer, anti-public school and anti-worker billionaires like the Koch brothers to disclose the original sources of the dark money.

65% of voters are in favor of the Invest In Ed initiative. It increases K-12 funding in the classroom, raises teacher and support staff salaries, and adds full-day kindergarten, by raising income taxes on individuals earning more than $250,000 and households earning more than $500,000.

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Trumpkins in Congress fall in line to protect their ‘Dear Leader’

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Midnight Run Nunes (R-CA) who has actively conspired with the Trump White House to obstruct justice  — the House Intelligence Committee released its final Russia report, disputing the intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election with the aim of aiding Trump — on Thursday rejected a motion to subpoena the interpreter present at President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent private meeting. GOP votes down Dem motion to subpoena interpreter from Trump, Putin meeting:

The motion was offered by Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee.

“It is our motion that the interpreter be subpoenaed to come and testify in closed session before our committee,” Schiff said during a public hearing on China’s threats to American government.

Schiff argued that the interpreter could have witnessed a key exchange which would shed light on national security matters.

“I regret that we have to request this in today’s meeting. We requested a business meeting next week, but that request has been declined. This may be our last opportunity before we go into an extended recess to vote to subpoena the interpreter and find out if there are any other national security problems that arose from this meeting,” Schiff continued.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agrees the White House needs to explain what, if any deal, was agreed to privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Finland. Flake supports Dem demand for notes from Trump-Putin meeting.

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Anita Malik hopes to defeat embattled Representative David Schweikert for the Congressional Seat in District Six this November.

Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Anita Malik

In November, voters in Arizona and across the nation will go to the polls to elect new members to the House of Representatives and a third of the United States Senate. In this first election after the contest that thrust popular vote loser Donald Trump into the White House, Democrats will seek to build on the Congressional gains they achieved in 2016 and reach out to a surging group of enthusiastic voters who want a new direction for the country.

Needing 25 Representative seats, Democrats see this election as a major opportunity, with clear majorities rejecting the Republican program and Trump in particular, to gain control of the House for the first time since 2010. One of the seats Democrats hope to “flip” is the one occupied by Arizona Congressional Six Incumbent David Schweikert. Congressional District Six in Arizona includes all or parts of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Glendale, and Phoenix. Currently embattled in a political scandal that has seen the departure of his chief of staff, three Democrats are vying this year to be the candidate to defeat him this November. They are Anita Malik, Heather Ross, and Garrick McFadden.

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