Category Archives: Pima

Listen to the Recording of the Secret Republican CD2 Candidates Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

I have published the audio file from the Saturday, March 24 forum for GOP candidates running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2. Click here to listen to it.

The recording starts with a question about school gun violence, with candidate Lea Marquez Peterson finishing a sentence and some static. The next voice is Danny Morales (he has a high voice) saying he is a certified peace officer. Next is Brandon Martin (with the lower male voice) talking about the Constitution. The second female voice is Marilyn Wiles talking about better enforcement of gun laws.

To read the written report, click Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum.

The questions posed to each candidate were:

  • What is your position on “chain migration” and have you always felt this way?
  • How do you expect to represent Arizona without becoming a part of the establishment?
  • Since we live on the border describe your position on stopping illegal immigration and are you in favor of a border wall?
  • Given the recent successes Democratic candidates in special elections across the country, why do you think you can defeat the Democratic candidate in this race?
  • What form of government is the US? What is a republic?
  • What is your position on DACA and your solution for Dreamers?
  • How would you rejuvenate our economy here in Southern Arizona without increasing government jobs?
  • If negotiations fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and Iran?
  • The Air Force recently narrowed the list to four bases for the next F-35 Wing, with Davis Monthan being one of the four. Are you for F-35s at DM?
  • Would you join the House Freedom Caucus and who in the House would you enjoy working with?
  • Would you introduce a bill to change Congressional benefits and insurance and withhold payroll payments without a balanced budget?
  • Have you ever used illegal narcotics, marijuana or cocaine?
  • Are you taking out of state contributions and from who?
  • What changes would you suggest be made to the census? Should we declare if you are a citizen or not?
  • Given the current political uncertainty, please give a few examples of your topics and your approach to a divided executive versus legislative government, versus the current one-party majority that we have now that may exist after your swearing-in. (The question was thrown out as unintelligible.)
  • Do you support term limits?
  • If President Trump fires the special counsel, would you support him or do you view this as an impeachable offense?

Neighbors Protest Installation of TEP’s Polluting Generators

Protesting TEP’s petition to install gas-fired engines

50 people from the neighborhood showed up to protest the gas-fired engines being installed at Tucson’s Sundt Generating Station.  The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) held a public hearing on TEP’s plan to replace two 1950s era steam units with ten natural gas-fired combustion engines. Several members of our community spoke about how carbon dioxide from the engines would speed up climate change and how that would devastate our city.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, TEP’s proposed engines are fossil-fuel based generating units that would create significant greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Pima Department of Environmental Quality, the project expects to cause an increase in emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.

But those comments could have no impact. We were limited to commenting on how TEP’s permit meets the criteria for issuance prescribed in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section § 49-481 of the Pima County Code.  All those important comments about climate change were disregarded because CO2 isn’t included in Pima’s code. (I know! I couldn’t believe it either!) EPA administer Scott Pruitt is working on repealing the Clean Power Plan.  (Sign a letter opposing it here.)

A few of us from Sustainable Tucson’s Environmental advocacy group and the Sierra Club spent hours combing through Pima’s code — trying to find some inconsistencies or anything we can use stop the PDEQ from issuing a permit for the RICE engines.
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Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

You could smell the fear in the room at the Pima County GOP’s secret CD 2 Congressional Candidate  Forum at the gaudy Oyster Club in Tucson. The candidates were asked how they could win in light of recent democratic victories, and how they could govern without dominating all three branches of government.

Lea Marquez-Peterson repeatedly pleaded for donations, noting with alarm that “Nancy Pelosi has already been in Arizona and made a half-million-dollar ad buy!” and that front-runner Ann Kirkpatrick had raised more money than she did.

Only 40 people attended the event, which the Republicans tried desperately to keep secret. The GOP tried to ban reporters, to prohibit photos, and to require all cell phones to be turned off. The forum was so secret that candidate Casey Welch didn’t show up.

Only one serious candidate

Candidate Brandon Martin complained, “I hope we can speak in bigger venues.” (Last month, more than 400 people attended the Democrats’ Congressional candidate forum in Green Valley.)

Martin and candidate Danny Morales battled to take the more arch-conservative position. Candidate Marilyn Wiles didn’t really have many positions. Marquez-Peterson appeared to be the only serious candidate.

None of them proposed any idea to actually help people. They were all against things — like “chain migration,” not becoming “part of the establishment,” against the “Dreamers,” against raising taxes, and against the Mueller investigation.

Guns, Guns, Guns

Noting that hundreds of thousands of people were currently in the nationwide March For Our Lives against gun violence, the candidates had differing ideas for gun safety. Marquez-Peterson and Wiles called for better background checks. Morales called for arming teachers. Martin actually said, “We don’t have a gun problem. They don’t jump off shelves and shoot people.”

Firing Mueller

Continue reading

Hollace Lyon Sounds Alarm Over Redistricting Threat

Candidate Hollace Lyon points out that SCR1034 overturns the voters' will in a 2000 ballot initiative to take away redistricting power away from the Legislature

Candidate Hollace Lyon points out that SCR1034 overturns the voters’ will in a 2000 ballot initiative to take away redistricting power from the Legislature

Arizona could be Gerrymandered into mostly Republican voting districts because of a dangerous GOP bill — SCR1034 — which has passed the AZ Senate and is awaiting action in the state House.

“Write and call your representatives that you want to stop SCR 1034 because it’s incompatible with citizen rights,” said Hollace Lyon, a Democratic Candidate for House in LD11. “If it were to pass, we would really be at peril,” she says.

The bill would pack the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (“AIRC”) with three additional people, handpicked by the majority Republicans with no proper screening or nomination process.

The AIRC draws voting district boundaries following the law, which requires equal populations, respect of communities of interest, geographic compactness and contiguity, respect for visible geographic features like highways, and competitive districts.

Lyon, a retired Air Force Air Force Colonel, spoke at Gerrymandering? Let’s call it what it is: Cheating! sponsored by The Arizona Ground Game civic organization. Continue reading

Orgy of Cheap Guns for Sale at Pima Fairgrounds

AR-15s are cheap guns. "AR" stands for "ArmaLite rifle," after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle.”

AR-15 rifles were “selling like hotcakes” at the gun show.

AR-15 rifles — the weapon of choice of mass murderers — are selling briskly at the gun show at the Pima County Fair Grounds. Anybody over 18 with a driver’s license can walk out with an AR-15 for $450. No background checks, either.

It was an orgy of handguns, gas masks, bulletproof vests, pistols, rifles, ammunition, knives, old-time six-shooters, shotguns, holsters, and targets. AR-15s are “selling like hotcakes,” said Aaron Herman of Elite Guns & Ammo.

“You could have bought this gun for $399 last summer. I just raised my price three times today. There’s none to be bought,” he says, talking about an American Tactical AR-15. “I have three left. I’ve sold 17 today. People ask, ‘can you give me a deal?’ and I say no.”

Since 2007, at least 173 people have been killed in mass shootings in the US involving AR-15s in Newtown, CT, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Sutherland Springs, TX, Aurora, CO, and Parkland, FL.

AR-15s are cheap guns. "AR" stands for "ArmaLite rifle," after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle.”

AR-15s are cheap guns. “AR” stands for “ArmaLite rifle,” after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle.”

The gun show had a squalid air, with vendors also selling pots and pans, scissors, posters, shop hardware, cheap gemstones, binoculars, maps, and swords. A guy was walking around with a rifle that has a “private sale” sign stuck in the barrel. He wanted $750 for a gun made from parts.


Read: Why Do We Tolerate a Gun Expo on Public Property?


Collateral damage

Every gun manufacturer makes a variety of AR-15s. It has the same firepower as a standard infantry rifle like military M16 and M4 rifles. Ammo is only $6.50 for a box of 20 rounds, up to $27 a box for bullets “that cause more collateral damage on the animal…or the target. Some of them are pretty devastating rounds,” says General Manager Michael L. Thompson of Triton Arms of Yuma, AZ. Continue reading

200 Stories: Tucson Healthcare Forum, Oct 29

200 Stories: Tucson Healthcare Forum

Do you have concerns about the Affordable Care Act and repeal attempts; about the future of Medicare and Medicaid; or about access to care or the cost of drugs?

Whether you are a patient or a provider, we want to hear your medical and health insurance stories. The LD9 and LD10 Legislators are holding an open mic forum in which we listen, you talk, and we all learn.

This is a free educational community event for residents of Pima County. It’s about listening and learning from each other. Senators David Bradley and Steve Farley and Representatives Kirsten Engel, Randy Friese, and Pamela Powers Hannley have confirmed their attendance. (Rep. Todd Clodfelter was invited but has a scheduling conflict.)

In the news, we hear what politicians and big corporations think should be done with our country’s overly complicated and extremely expensive health care system. At this event, the people of Southern Arizona will have an opportunity to tell us their stories and help shape future policy.

Mark your calendars for October 29, 2017. The event will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 E. 22nd St.

Please take a few minutes to register with EventBrite by clicking here. We want to make sure we have enough seats.

Watch Facebook and other social media for updates.