Mark Robert Gordon for Secretary of State Campaign Kickoff

Mark Robert Gordon, an Arizona native, has 25 years of experience as a voting rights watchdog.

Democratic Candidate Mark Robert Gordon will launch his campaign for Arizona Secretary of State on Monday, March 26, from 5 to 7 pm at the Arizona History Museum in Tucson.

For 26 years, his law office, headquartered in D.C., has advised governments, candidates, political parties, and not-for-profits nationwide about federal issues.

Gordon was a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is an elected Arizona State Committee Member and Precinct Committeeman from LD28 in North Central Phoenix.

He served as an elections specialist on the bipartisan Transition Team of newly elected Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.

Also see:

Gordon Promises to Oust Secretary of State and End Voter Suppression

Mark Robert Gordon, a Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, vowed to end the voter suppression tactics and partisan politics that have infected the office that serves as the chief elections officer for Arizona.

He called Republican incumbent Secretary of State Michele Reagan “a Grinch who stole democracy,” at the recent Democrats of Greater Tucson meeting.

Reagan and GOP legislators “are supposed to promote democracy and protect the vote. They did just the opposite,” he said. “The people we have in Arizona running our election system are among the worst violators and offenders of voting rights in the country.”

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House approves massive spending bill, moves to Senate to avert a government shutdown (Updated)

The U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 256-167 (proceeding under the TARGET Act) has approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill to avert a government shutdown and to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, sending the measure over to the Senate ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.

Arizona Delegation: YES McSally, O’Halleran, Sinema; NO Biggs, Gallego, Gosar, Grijalva, Schweikert.

The Senate is expected to vote late on Thursday or Friday, before current government funding expires at midnight on Friday. There could still be another brief Aqua Buddha shutdown from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) desperately seeking attention.

You can read the massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill to search for what is hidden in it.

Here are a few highlights of what is (and is not) in the spending bill compiled from several sources including the Washington Post, Politico, and


Defense spending generally favored by Republicans is set to rise $80 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel and $144 billion for Pentagon hardware.

Domestic spending generally favored by Democrats is set to rise by $63 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including increases in funding for infrastructure, medical research, veterans programs and efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Civilian federal employees get a 1.9 percent pay raise.

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AZ Supreme Court sends Prop. 305 to the ballot (unless the AZ Lege sabotages it)

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled Voters can decide whether to keep school-voucher expansion:

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that voters get to have a say on Proposition 305, a ballot initiative that asks if they want to keep or do away with an expansion of the state’s school voucher-style program.

The Empowerment Scholarship Account program currently allows only certain students to apply for the program, including special-needs students and those from poor-performing schools. The program gives parents public money and allows them to spend it on private school tuition, educational materials and therapies.

Last year, Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican lawmakers narrowly passed legislation (the “vouchers on steroids” bill) to expand eligibility to all 1.1 million public students but capping the program at about 30,000.

A mostly grassroots group of parents and public-education advocates called Save Our Schools Arizona collected enough signatures to refer the expansion to the November 2018 ballot.

But supporters of the expansion — the “Kochtopus” and their Tea-Publican lackeys in the legislature — waged a legal battle to try to keep the initiative off the November ballot.

The decision from the high court deals a final court blow to those supporters and upholds a lower court decision.

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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

#RedForEd Rally gets their attention, AZ Lege to consider Prop. 301 extension Today

Wednesdays are now #RedForEd days at the Arizona capitol as long as the legislature is in session. Supporters of education and our teachers should wear red on Wednesdays in a demonstration of unity and support.

Protesters on Wednesday included dozens of teachers from nine schools in west Phoenix and Glendale who called in sick in the first job action teachers have called since organizing earlier this month. The teacher sick-out is the first action of this kind stemming from the statewide #RedForEd movement among educators. The sick-out has spurred social-media discussion among teachers in other school districts about taking similar action.

At the Capitol, hundreds of teachers and educational staff wore red to a rally organized by the Arizona Education Association. Sea of red engulfs Capitol as teachers protest:

“Gov. Doug Ducey needs to prepare himself … because I think this is only the first ripple effect,” said Kassandra Dominguez, a first-grade teacher at the K-8 Sunset Ridge Elementary who led the sick-out. “It’s going to keep happening.”

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“Teachers are tired of not receiving the funds that we need in our classrooms and in our pockets,” Dominguez told a group of educators outside the Capitol. “We have teachers eating ramen noodles for dinner. We’re out of college and still eating ramen.”

Dominguez said she welcomes Ducey to buy her a cup of coffee, because she can’t afford it, and talk to her about what’s going on in the classroom. She said she spends more than $1,000 a year out of her own pocket on supplies for her classroom.

“At the end of the day, which is something that the senators in there don’t see and Governor Ducey doesn’t see, the kids are paying for it,” she said. “I think the bigger picture here is that they forget that a teacher educated them.”

Immediately after, the group began marching around the Capitol, chanting “Red for Ed!”

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Trial of proof-of-citizenship voter registration law ends, decision of court to follow

Closing arguments in the Kansas proof-of-citizenship voter registration law case were Monday. Testimony ends in Kansas voting law trial. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson said she couldn’t say when she would issue an opinion but that she was aware this year’s elections were quickly approaching. She gave attorneys until April 16 for any final legal filings in the case.

The GOP’s voter suppression specialist, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (above), returned to court on Tuesday for a contempt hearing for violating the judge’s orders. Judge harshly criticizes Kobach during contempt hearing:

A visibly angry federal judge on Tuesday blasted Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for his office’s failure to ensure that certain voters are notified that they are eligible to vote in the upcoming election while a lawsuit over a state voting law makes its way through the courts.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson criticized Kobach during a hearing on a motion from The American Civil Liberties Union to hold Kobach in contempt of court for not updating the state’s election guide or ensuring that county election officials send postcards to residents who registered to vote at driver licensing offices without providing proof of citizenship. Tuesday’s hearing came after seven days of testimony in the ACLU’s challenge of the state’s voter registration law.

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