Category Archives: Lobbying

A preview of the March for Science

Scientists, and those who just love scientific method, will march on Washington, D.C. (and hundreds of satellite marches around the globe) this Saturday in support of scientific research and scientific-based public policy decision making. The March for Science, explained:

Inspired by the success of the January 21 Women’s March on Washington, the March for Science will celebrate the scientific method and advocate for evidence-based decision-making in all levels of government. Though the event’s website doesn’t explicitly mention Trump, it’s a protest of his administration’s policies, including his proposal to cut billions in funding for scientific research.

The march is likely to draw a lively crowd — and the nerdiest protest signs you can imagine. Here’s what you need to know about it.

What will happen at the March for Science?

On April 22, science-friendly individuals will gather on the National Mall, and in dozens of satellite marches across the United States and even around the globe. The Earth Day Network — the nonprofit that organizes Earth Day events every year — has taken the lead on programming for the march.

The main event will be co-hosted by Questlove (of the Roots and The Tonight Show) and Derek Muller (who runs a popular science YouTube channel). Jon Batiste and Stay Human (the band for Stephen Colbert’s Late Show) will serve as the house band.

Continue reading

Rep. Martha McSally, Trumpism and ‘America First’

The organization Save My Care says it “is a movement to bring together families, advocates and health care providers to protect the health and financial security of all Americans.”

The group is spending more than $1 million on ads during the congressional recess to urge people to contact their member of Congress to help keep the GOP’s American Health Care Act from becoming law. Rep. Martha McSally targeted for supporting GOP health bill.

Rep. Martha McSally supported the American Health Care Act pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump, saying the amended bill “increases choice and access while bringing down health-care costs.” It does not. Not even Republicans are supportive of the American Health Care Act, and the public overall disapproved of the GOP plan by a margin of 56 percent to 17 percent. The public opposed cutting federal funds to Medicaid by an even larger margin — 74 percent to 22 percent. But not Martha McSally, who stands with her man Trump.

Five Thirty Eight’s congressional tracker (updated through April 7) shows McSally voting 100% with the positions of Donald Trump.

This is the 30 second ad you have seen airing against Rep. Martha McSally from Save My Care.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 12.36.47 PM

It is a hard hitting and apparently effective ad.

Continue reading

(Update) AZ Tea-Publican legislature aids and abets our corporate overlords in restricting your constitutional right to make laws

The Chamber of Commerce organizations got their lickspittle servants in our Tea-Publican controlled legislature and our “Koch-bot” governor to do their bidding in making it damn near impossible for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to make laws by citizens initiative. Buying a legislature and governor to do your bidding is the exclusive provence of our Plutocratic corporate overlords, and you will obey!

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, House passes two more bills tightening citizen-initiative laws:

Republican state lawmakers on Thursday agreed to impose two new sets of restrictions on initiatives that foes said in combination with already-approved measures will effectively deny the ability of voters to ever again propose their own laws.

SB 1236, approved by the House on a 35-23 party-line vote, would make the committee pushing a ballot measure financially responsible for any acts of fraud or forgery committed by anyone who is paid to gather signatures for the initiative. Those fines would be $1,000 for each violation.

That measure still needs final Senate approval.

Continue reading

Obamacare: ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’

FactCheck.org reported, GOP’s Obamacare Obituary: Premature:

In reality the law — specifically the ACA marketplaces for those buying their own coverage — is ailing, but still very much alive.

Federal officials announced a few days ago that 12.2 million people were signed up to be covered by Obamacare health insurance policies sold through the federal and state ACA marketplaces, or exchanges, this year — down less than 4 percent from the 12.7 million who signed up during the same period a year earlier. That’s a pretty lively corpse.

Furthermore, this year’s sign-up figure is expected to rise; it doesn’t include “waiting in line” sign-ups that California and three other states allowed for people who had started the enrollment process before the Jan. 31 cut-off. Also, part of the difference is due to Louisiana’s recent expansion of Medicaid, which now covers some who had obtained coverage in 2016 through the Obamacare exchanges.

Indeed, independent experts predict that the Obamacare exchanges — should the GOP Congress fail to repeal the law as promised — likely will remain stable for many years.

“If nothing else changed they would probably stabilize at a lower level of enrollment,” says Mark V. Pauly, a professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

That’s also the judgment of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which said in its analysis of the House bill to replace Obamacare that the market for individuals to purchase policies “would probably be stable in most areas under either current law or the [GOP replacement] legislation.”

Continue reading

The ‘Kochtopus’ Goldwater Institute is plotting to lift the caps in the new ‘vouchers for all’ law

The evil GOP bastards at the”Kochtopus” Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, are already plotting the next step in their 50 year strategy to fully privatize public education in Arizona (in violation of the Arizona Constitution). Howard Fischer reports, Lift on voucher cap in the works:

A key architect of the universal voucher plan approved Thursday is already looking to undermine the key provision of the compromise that secured the votes for the program’s expansion.

In a message to financial supporters late Thursday, Darcy Olsen, chief executive officer of the Goldwater Institute, said those who want to give more state money so parents can send their children to private and parochial schools should not be dismayed about the cap of about 30,000 that is in the final version of the bill.

We will get it lifted,” Olsen said.

And Olsen didn’t even wait until Gov. Doug Ducey had penned his approval hours later to the delicately crafted deal, a deal in which the Goldwater Institute participated — and the deal that managed to bring on the bare minimum 31 votes in the House and 16 in the Senate to secure approval.

Continue reading

Governor Ducey is pushing the unconstitutional ‘vouchers for all’ bill

Governor Doug Ducey told Arizona voters last year that Prop. 123, which ended the inflation adjustment funding lawsuit by Arizona school districts, was only the “first step” towards better public education funding. For more than a year, Arizona’s have been waiting to learn what the next step is.

It turns out, everyone was played by the Governor with Prop. 123. The governor’s next step is to support the privatization of public education funded by taxpayer dollars — a direct violation of two provisions of the Arizona Constitution — by supporting the “vouchers for all” bill that was pulled before the Prop. 123 Special Election last year, and is now back again this year.

The Arizona Republic reports, Private-school vouchers appear headed to vote with Gov. Ducey’s backing:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is conducting a behind-the-scenes lobbying effort, pressing lawmakers to pass legislation that would expand school vouchers to all Arizona students, according to several people involved in or familiar with recent meetings.

The governor, who has avoided taking a public stance on a proposed full expansion of the divisive Empowerment Scholarship Account program, has discussed the plan with lawmakers in his Capitol office in recent days. The meetings are expected to continue Thursday, when the legislation is scheduled for votes in the state Senate and House of Representatives.

Continue reading