Tag Archives: Arizona Democratic Party

Dem Statewide Meeting: ‘We Can Win with a Progressive Message’

Pamela Powers Hannley

Pamela Powers Hannley giving the Legislative Update to the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus.

I have been back in Tucson for two weeks now, and it’s been a fun whirlwind of visits, phone calls, and events with Tucson friends and family, LD9 constituents, fellow Unitarian Universalist church members, labor union members, and Progressives.

Saturday, May 20 was my first campaign event of the 2018 season– the Arizona Democratic Party’s State Committee Meeting in Tucson. In addition to tabling, I gave Legislative updates to the Arizona Democratic Women’s Federation and to the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus. Scott Prior and I co-chaired the Progressive Caucus for three years. This was the first full meeting with the new co-chairs Jenise Porter (Pima County) and Joe Murphy (Maricopa County).

Here is my speech to the Progressive Caucus.

Everyone says that this session of the Arizona Legislature was “different”. There are several reasons why it was different. For one, Speaker J.D. Mesnard assigned Democratic bills to committees and allowed floor votes on many of them. According to people on both sides of the aisle, he also ran the House much more efficiently than the previous speaker. In my opinion, the real reason that this session was different is that the House Freshman Class is the largest  in recent history (or ever). Many House incumbents lost, termed out, retired, or tried to move to the Senate. For House Democrats, this meant a demographic shift with our caucus now being majority Latino, half women, and surprisingly progressive on many policy issues.

I’m here to tell you that Progressives– particularly the women– made a difference in the Arizona House this session.

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#ICYMI – Nucleus Club #LD9 Candidate Forum (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

Talking about inequality and the stinky wages women make in Tucson.

Last Thursday, the Nucleus Club hosted the second LD9 Democratic Party match-up between the three candidates who will be on the primary ballot in August– Dr. Randy Friese, Matt Kopec, and me– Pamela Powers Hannley.

About 50 LD9 residents and party regulars attended the event at the Viscount. This was the fourth Democratic candidate forum that the club hosted during this election season; all were well-attended. Apparently, Democrats are no longer afraid of primaries because there are several this year: Congressional District 2 (Victoria Steele vs Matt Heinz); LD10 House race (Kirsten Engel, Stephanie Mach and Courtney Frogge), LD2 House race (Daniel Hernandez, Aaron Baumann and Rosanna Gabaldon), Pima County Superintendent of Schools (Dustin Williams and Michael Gordy), and my race in LD9.

Personally, I disagree with those who think primaries are a waste of money. I think they are a great idea. It gets the candidates out and allows different ideas to be heard. (Also, having almost no primaries int 2014 didn’t do us any good.)

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State Committee: On the Road to Kingman (video)

On the roadMany Democratic Party faithful are hitting the road for Kingman today to attend the State Committee Meeting of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP). The big doings this weekend will be election of Arizona’s Democratic Party “Super Delegates” to the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Anyone following presidential politics has heard about the “Super Delegates” and their sway on decisions at the national level– from who they back for President to their power in choosing the head of the DNC. (DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been under a lot of fire lately for the short and oddly-scheduled presidential debates and other controversies.) It wasn’t until I read this blog post by the Arizona Eagletarian that I realized the DNC representatives we State Committee Members elect periodically are our “Super Delegates”.  This puts our vote into a whole new light! (For the record, I don’t buy the conspiracy theory in the Eagletarian’s article about the location of the meeting. Far too many State Committee Meetings have been in Maricopa County.)

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CD2 Candidates: Where Do Barber & McSally Stand on the Issues?

Ron Barber vs Martha McSally

Venn diagram showing where CD2 Congressional Candidates Ron Barber and Martha McSally agree or disagree. (TPP = Trans-Pacific Partnership)

Progressives have their hair on fire regarding Congressman Ron Barber’s (and Kyrsten Sinema’s) recent votes to help Teapublicans in the House of Representatives create a Congressional  witch hunt committee to re-investigate the the terrorist attack in Benghazi in 2012, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. (Seriously, boys, if Benghazi and Monica Lewinsky’s article in Vanity Fair are all you have on Hillary, you’re in trouble. But I digress.)

On Facebook, Democrats and Progressives are vowing never to work or donate to Barber because of his Republican-lite voting record. Some say they may reluctantly vote for him but nothing more! I have often said that women’s issues (healthcare, choice, access to contraception, and equal pay) may save Barber, and that otherwise, he and challenger Martha McSally are pretty close in their views– particularly on the A-10.

Inspired by BfAZ blogger Donna Gratehouse’s Venn diagram earlier today, I offer the above Venn diagram to illustrate what issues Barber and McSally agree and disagree on. [Click on graphic to enlarge.] The information has been gleaned from statements, votes, news stories, and the candidates’ campaign websites. [NOTE: The Venn diagram includes an incomplete list of the “silent” issues. They also both void discussing: the environment; marijuana legalization; private prisons; undocumented workers; unemployment, food stamps, and other social safety net programs; and probably others I haven’t thought of.]

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State Political Meetings: AZ GOP Nullifies Fed Law, while Dems Endorse Marijuana Legalization

by Pamela Powers Hannley

The party faithful of the Arizona Democratic and Republican Parties gathered on Saturday, January 25, 2014 in Maricopa County for their respective State Committee Meetings. State law requires official political parties to meet quarterly. Precinct committee people, state and county party leaders, elected officials, and candidates gather to discuss strategy, issues, money, and candidates.

The outcomes of those two meetings show the STARK differences between Arizona's two major political parties. (Even where the two parties met shows their ideological differences. Democrats met in a public high school; Republicans met in a church.)

At the Arizona Democratic Party's (ADP) State Committee Meeting, the ADP continued to show its progressive side, unanimously endorsing a resolution against fracking. With only two dissenting votes, ADP also endorsed a resolution supporting the marijuana legalization initiative, Safer Arizona, which was endorsed by ADP's Progressive Caucus at the November 2013 State Committee Meeting. (BTW, if you support legalization, help them out by signing and circulating petitions and/or donating money.)

A resolution barring the ADP from accepting funds from members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was endorsed by the ADP's progressive caucus on Saturday, as was the fracking resolution. When proposed to the entire State Committee, it was tabled.

Many Democrats participated in a rousing floor debate with strong opinions both for and against ALEC money. The anti-ALEC contingent argued that with its anti-public education, anti-union, anti-choice, anti-Obamacare, pro-privatization stances, ALEC does not share the values of the Democratic Party; ALEC funds are tainted fund that come with strings attached. People in favor of taking ALEC money argued for accepting any other money that comes the party's way (because ADP needs the cash); others argued that the resolution was not enforceable. A few State Committee members claimed that there are Dem-leaning "ALEC infiltrators" who want a "seat at the table" and consequently joined ALEC just to see what they're up to; they claimed that those Dems would be "hurt" by this measure. ALEC infiltrators– seriously?

Meanwhile, on the other side of Maricopa County, the Arizona Republican Party– lead by dark money king Robert Graham and disgraced/recalled former Arizona State Senate President Russell "SB1070" Pearce– continued their "attack on democracy" by passing resolutions: to abolish the 17th Amendment (direct election of US Senators by voters); to institute caucuses to choose general election candidates (instead of having primary elections in which pesky independents are allow to vote); to support Joe Arpaio, Ted Cruz, and other Teapublicans; to nullify federal law in Arizona (yes, you read that correctly); to censure long-time Republican Senator John McCain for being to liberal; and much more. Tip of the hat to the AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona for a comprehensive list of the "bat shit crazy" resolutions that Arizona Republicans endorse on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Arizona GOP Winter State Committee Meeting passed a resolution to repeal the 17th Amendment, you know, the one that provides for a popular vote to elect U.S. Senators. Disgraced recalled former Senate President Russell Pearce, who still serves as First Vice Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, is the resolution author. As Steve Lemons of the Phoenix New Times commented, "You know, back when slavery was legal and women did not have the right to vote. Or as some Rs call it, "the good ol' days.""Arizona Republicans Seek to Abolish the 17th Amendment, Maybe Censure John McCain (Again) w/Update.

There was also a "Resolution Urging The Institution of Caucuses to Nominate Candidates for General Elections," because "Republicans should nominate Republicans without the threat of outside interference." In other words, the Arizona GOP is opposed to Arizona's semi-closed primaries in which registered independents are allowed to vote. They want a caucus where only the GOP crazy base is allowed to vote to preserve the purity and sanctity of the "precious bodily fluids" of the Arizona GOP. In fact, the resolution calls for an amendment to the Arizona Constitution "to allow parties to nominate candidates for each partisan office by caucus."

In other words, no primary elections, and presumably the end of nonpartisan elections, and you registered independent/no party preference voters can all go to hell! I would recommend to all registered independent/no party preference voters that you send the Arizona GOP the same message this fall.

These anti-democratic measures are logically interconnected. You see, by suppressing the vote of "those people" who tend to vote for Democratic candidates, the Arizona GOP can ensure that only the white right people vote. Especially in their party primaries by caucus. And by controlling the state legislature (it has been in GOP control since the election of 1966),they can gerrymander congressional and legislative districts to ensure GOP control in perpetuity, if not for that pesky voter-enacted AIRC problem. Finally, if they repeal the 17th Amendment, it will be the Arizona GOP state legislature in perpetuity that decides who represents Arizonans in the U.S. Senate, not the voters of Arizona. No Democrat need ever concern him or herself with the U.S. Senate. The Arizona GOP is anti-democratic and authoritarian.

Some of the other resolutions on the agenda for the Arizona GOP Winter State Committee Meeting included:

Resolution Against "Amnesty." This anti-immigrant resolution appears to be poor timing, considering thatHouse Republicans to Offer Broad Immigration Plan this week, although early reports are that the House GOP plan will provide for some "legal status" (i.e., a permanent underclass on noncitizens) but no pathway to citizenship.

Resolution Supporting Joe Arpaio. Because anti-immigrant hysteria trumps Russel Pearce's good buddy costing the taxpayers of Maricopa County millions of dollars in court settlements, attorneys fees and costs. And that political witchhunt thing he engaged in with disbarred and disgraced former Maricopa County Attorney "Saint" Andrew Thomas? Pffft, no big deal.

Resolution Supporting U.S. Seantors Ted Cruz and Mike Lee And Those Who Stand With Them. This is support for the Tea-Publican economic terrorism of taking the government hostage and shutting down the government last October over the extortionary demand to "defund ObamaCare" or we will default on the U.S. debt and destroy the full faith and credit of the U.S. and the world's financial system and economy. By the way, the bill to fund the government passed on a 285-144 vote in the House, with 87 Republicans in favor. The bill passed the Senate on an 81-18 vote, with 27 Republicans in favor — Including John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Tenth Amendment Resolution. This is a Neo-Confederate Tenth Amendment Center measure for "sovereignty" under the Tenth Amednment — and "nullification" of federal regulations in Arizona. It's as if these people never heard of the American Civil War and the post-war amendments to the Constitution, including the 14th Amendment. I know they all feign ignorance about the federal Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. And you wonder where all those Tenther "states' rights" bills come from.

Which makes this next resolution so damn ROTFLMA hilarious!

Resolution Supporting United States History Education. I wholeheartedly agree! But what they, of course, are talking about is revisionist history, which is a cottage industry of the conservative media entertainment complex. It is Tea-Publicans who are in desperate need of remedial American history education.

Resolution in Support of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Riiight. This is the same measure that nearly bankrupted the state of Colorado several years ago and voters had to undo their foolish action by suspending TABOR just a few years later. How do you spell "fiscally reckless and irresponsible": TABOR.

So while the media villagers all fixate today on the Arizona GOP censures McCain for ‘disastrous’ record, because the media villagers are John McCain's base, they are failing to report the far more important story here of just how batshit insane the Arizona GOP crazy base has become. They are anti-government and anti-democratic. This is not your father's GOP. This is a radical extremist fringe organization that is a threat to popularly elected democratic government.

As the AZBlueMeanie pointed out the national and statewide media have been focusing on the Arizona GOP's censure of McCain. The real news lies their anti-democratic, secessionist resolutions.

OK, people, 2014 is an election year. Do you want a party that thinks they know best and wants to suppress voting— or just take it away? Or do you want a party who fights for democracy and workers? Just sayin'…

Related articles and video from past State Committee Meetings:

Arizona Democratic Party Shows Its Progressive Side at State Committee Meeting (Nov 2013)

AZ Democratic Party Mobilizes Citizens' Veto Against HB3505 (video, July 2013)

Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema on Bipartisanship (video, April 2013)

Arizona Senator Steve Farley on Medicaid Expansion & the 2013 Legislative Session (video, April 2013)

Pima Dems Elect Jorgenson, Party Slate by Acclamation at Reorg Meeting (Jan 2013)

AZ Dem Reorganization Meeting: Not a Good Day for Incumbents (Jan 2013)

Andrei Cherny's Election to Arizona Democratic Party Chair: The Rest of the Story (Jan 2011)

Arizona Democratic Party Shows Its Progressive Side at State Committee Meeting

Pro-caucus424-sig-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Progressive voices were heard loud and clear at Saturday’s Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee Meeting in Maricopa, Arizona.

Unlike some past ADP meetingswhere progressives were ignored or where progressive resolutions were tabled and not heard by the full ADP membership, the Maricopa meeting was dominated by progressives.

During the morning caucus meetings, approximately 80 members of the progressive caucus (pictured here) met in the booming high school cafeteria to hear about legalization of marijuana, the plight of Dreamers, and a host of progressive resolutions.

In the progressive caucus, members unanimously endorsed resolutions: 1) in support of a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United and abolishing corporate personhood; 2) in support of passage of the Inclusive Prosperity Tax (AKA Robin Hood Tax); 3) against building the Keystone XL Pipeline; and 4) in support of allowing DREAMers to have Arizona drivers’ licenses and in-state college tuition. A resolution requiring clean elections candidates to give back extra funds passed, with some dissent. In addition, with only one dissenting vote, the Progressive Caucus voted to endorse Safer Arizona, the citizens’ initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use. [Votes from the entire State Committee after the jump.]

Following candidate speeches, including a rousing address by would-be governor Fred DuVal, the full State Committee heard staff reports, caucus reports, and resolutions. During the afternoon meeting of the entire State Committee, the corporate personhood and the Robin Hood Tax resolutions easily passed the entire body. Although the Resolutions Committee recommended against consideration of the Keystone XL Pipeline resolution and the clean elections resolution on technicalities, the State Committee membership overruled the Resolutions Committee and passed the anti-Keystone Pipeline resolution easily. The clean elections resolution was tabled until the court cases have been decided and could be heard at a future meeting. An additional resolution condemning private prisons also passed with little dissent. (The DREAMer resolution was new, and therefore, not heard by the entire body on Saturday.)

In addition to the progressive votes, State Committee members enthusiastically applauded Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) activists Dan O'Neal and Barbara Njos, who were arrested in Maricopa County last week at a pro-DREAMer protest.

For long-time Arizona progressives, Saturday’s meeting was a far cry from prior years’ meetings where all progressive resolutions were stopped by the Resolutions Committee on technicalities or tabled from the floor (and allowed to die). At the January 2013 meeting of ADP, many incumbents were voted out of the party leadership.

Is the ADP turning blue?

[For additional photos from Saturday's meeting, go here.]