Category Archives: Primaries

Donald Trump to darken Arizona’s doorway again

Donald Trump is under intense political fire for his defense of Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

When in trouble, Trump sets up a campaign rally in a state that he won so he can appear before his cult followers and bask in their unquestioning adulation.

So naturally, Trump is coming to Phoenix where former Governor Jan Brewer defends President Donald Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, and Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature have uniformly voted in favor of Neo-Confederate and “Tenther” legislation for years, as we have documented at this blog. These are his people.

President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign-style rally in downtown Phoenix next Tuesday, making his first presidential trip to the West as his administration confronts an uproar over his tepid response to a deadly white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Donald Trump makes it official: He’ll hold a downtown Phoenix rally:

Trump will take the stage at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m., according to an announcement Wednesday morning. Attendees must register to obtain tickets.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wrote in a statement Wednesday he was disappointed to learn of Trump’s visit so close to the violent events in Charlottesville. The mayor called on Trump to delay the visit.

“If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation,” the statement said.

Break out those Confederate and Nazi flags! As the “Unite the Right” alt-right protestors in Charlottesville chanted, “Heil Trump!” Show us your true colors. Trump has made it acceptable for you to come out of the shadows and to let your freak flags fly.

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Jared Kushner a ‘person of interest’ in the Russian digital operation

McClatchy News continues its investigative reporting into the Russian cyber war against the U.S. during the 2016 election. Previous post McClatchy News: Russia uses ‘bots’ and trolls for information war against U.S.

Today McClatchy News reports Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation:

Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are focusing on whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton, according to several people familiar with the parallel inquiries.

Also under scrutiny is the question of whether Trump associates or campaign aides had any role in assisting the Russians in publicly releasing thousands of emails, hacked from the accounts of top Democrats, at turning points in the presidential race, mainly through the London-based transparency web site WikiLeaks.

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Billy Kovacs Congressional Kickoff Snubs Lifelong Democrats

Billy Kovacs at June 2017 campaign kickoff

Billy Kovacs officially launched his congressional campaign at a bar in Tucson, snubbing lifelong Democrats who were meeting at the exact same time, four miles away.

The kickoff was held in the student drinking district of the city with a crowd of 200 people. It was short on specifics and long on his slogan, “new voice…new direction…new generation of leadership.”

Kovacs repeated the slogan as he addressed attendees for two minutes. He made some kind of comment about Congressional District 2 being “not Democratic, Republican, or a swing district.” The crowd of young, old, men, women, mothers, children and friendly dogs loved it.

On the plus side, Kovacs is tall (6 foot 5), handsome, age 30, skinny and self-effacing. He’s running a youth-oriented campaign targeting Millennials, who sat out the last election. To his credit, he has visited 40 cities in the district and talked to people “who haven’t seen a Democrat in 10 years.”

His approach makes sense. If you’re a Johnny-come-lately, you should listen more than you talk. But it would have been great to hear what he thinks about:

Climate change

Medicare for all

Senior citizens

Repeal and replace Obamacare

the Tucson economy

Funding the A-10

…you know, current events. He’ll have to address these points if he’s going to win against a woman Air Force fighter pilot who’s backed by donations from warmonger John Bolton to car dealer Jim Click.

To support Kovacs:
https://www.kovacsforcongress.com, https://www.facebook.com/kovacsforcongress, Email: info@kovacsforcongress.com.

Meanwhile, Democrats met up the road

Congressional District 2

Because I’m an elected precinct captain, I had to move on to the regular meeting of Democrats in legislative District 9. It was taking place ten minutes away at a local church building.

Candidates make a point of appearing there for the “2-minute talks,” where they can promote their campaigns to lifelong Democrats who actually vote.

Katie Hobbs, candidate for Arizona Secretary of State

State Senator Katie Hobbs

For example, speakers included Katie Hobbs, a candidate for Arizona Secretary of State. She argued persuasively that the Republican incumbent has bungled handling state elections, costing voters confidence in the system. Hobbs is the Arizona Senate minority leader and a former state representative.

That’s when I wondered where Billy Kovacs was. Maybe he’ll come around because it’s early in the campaign.

The meeting attracted 160 people (and only 30 seniors like me). Comfortingly, it began with the Pledge of Allegiance before an American flag.

State Senator Steven Farley

State Senator Steven Farley

One report mentioned state Senator Steve Farley, a familiar face at these meetings, who is running for Governor. He is facing Arizona State University professor David Garcia in the primary. Like Kovacs, Farley intends to meet voters in person.

Another report urged Democrats to sign the Save Our Schools petition, which supports our neighborhood schools and will defeat vouchers in Arizona. The group needs to collect 10,000 signatures by July 31. Their next event is on July 9 in Phoenix, a happy hour with LD28 Rep. Kelli Butler, Phoenix City Council candidate Kevin Patterson, and Madison School Board member Scott Holcomb.

Susan Bickel reported that a whopping 600 people have become precinct captains in Pima County — up from 140 in January! She has done a totally awesome job of creating a network that Democratic candidates can rely on. Help her by sending her an email offering to become a precinct captain (PC). If you’re already a PC, offer to be an LD9 territory coordinator.

Rep.-Elect Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

My heroine, state Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, said there was a huge demographic shift in Arizona last month: we are now 50% women and majority Latino. This will make a big difference in the 2018 elections.

Highlighting the change she said, “I hear women with gray hair talking about not getting equal pay for equal work,” she said. “Men are talking about being raised by single moms.”

The closer for the evening was UofA Sr. Associate Research Scientist Jeffrey S. Kargel (who is a new PC in LD11). He reported that Arizona is now the #1 place in the US to experience the pace of global warming. We just went through the longest +115 degree streak in history in Tucson.

“Our high temps are a glimpse into the future,” he said. “The climate here is changing fundamentally. We used to get 5-7 day heat spells. Now we get heat spells for weeks.”

New Democratic organization: The People’s House Project

For those who prefer to engage in a circular firing squad in the Democratic Party while Tea-Publicans cement their authoritarian crypto-fascism stranglehold at all levels of government, here is something to which you can contribute your time, energy and money and do something constructive for a change. Quityerbitchin and get to work.

Jeff Stein reports at Vox.com, Tired of losing the Rust Belt, new Democratic group has strategy to un-Pelosi the party:

At least three House Democrats are backing a new political organization that aims to give progressive candidates in the Midwest and Appalachia a new form of support that isn’t dependent on the Democratic Party’s coastal financial elite.

The People’s House Project, founded by former MSNBC host and 2010 Virginia congressional candidate Krystal Ball, has begun interviewing candidates and recruiting donors for the new political action committee. The organization, which will go public on Tuesday, will provide money, guidance, and political connections for the candidates it chooses to run under its banner.

Democrats experiencing a surge of grassroots activism in the wake of Donald Trump’s election have struggled to translate that energy into clear victories. The party improved its performance but has still fallen short of winning three straight special elections in Kansas, Georgia (which goes into a runoff in June), and Montana. Republicans have commanded a solid majority of the House since 2010.

One potential problem identified by some political analysts is the ability of Republicans to run attack ads tying Democrats to the party’s coastal and culturally liberal wing.

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Every member of the House who voted for Zombie ‘Trumpcare’ must be held accountable.

In a pyrrhic victory for the House GOP leadership, the Zombie “Trumpcare” bill passed on a party-line vote with 20 GOP defections, on a bare-minimum vote of 217-213.

Arizona Congressional delegation: Voting yes: Franks, Gosar, McSally, Schweikert; Voting No: Biggs, Gallego, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Sinema. Don’t give Biggs any credit, he wanted a straight up repeal of “Obamacare.”

“This legislation is illogical, immoral and wrong for the country,” said Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.). “The American Health Care Act is a reckless, ideologically-motivated bill that will increase pain and suffering across the country so that political actors can claim a ‘win. ’ ” Dems tear into ‘shameful’ ObamaCare repeal vote.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned Tea-Publicans before  the vote Thursday afternoon that “You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead.” “You will glow in the dark on this one. You will glow in the dark.” Nancy Pelosi tells Republicans that Trumpcare is ‘tattooed on your forehead’.

After the vote, Republican lawmakers loaded into Capitol Police buses to drive to the White House for a celebration with President Trump. As they got on board, a group of protestors gathered nearby, chanting “shame!” at them. House passes ObamaCare repeal.

This vote was a cynical act of craven political cowardice. Tea-Publicans are terrified of their GOP crazy base and the conservative media entertainment complex that feeds their insanity. They voted for political cover against a primary challenger who is crazier than they are (if that is possible) funded by these right-wing organizations. Protecting their incumbency in a GOP primary was their only motivation. They made the cynical calculation that this was more important to them than Americans losing their health insurance and potentially losing their life as a result. Dante has a new ring in the Inferno just for them.

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David Garcia to announce run for governor?

Dr. David Garcia

Brahm Resnik of 12 News in Phoenix reports that Democrat David Garcia, an education professor who lost to political novice Diane Douglas in the 2014 race for school superintendent, is expected to announce next week that he’s running for governor in 2018. Democrat David Garcia to announce run for Arizona governor:

For the last several months, Garcia had been weighing whether to run again for superintendent, jump into the campaign for governor or just sit on the sidelines.

Thursday’s passage of a sweeping expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher program appeared to give Garcia the issue he needed to propel a campaign for governor.

He posted this tweet Friday hinting at his plans:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 9.01.01 AM

Garcia would be the first Democrat to formally enter the race. State Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson has said he is exploring a run.

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