Tag Archives: dark money

Rep. Martha McSally is still being coy about senate run

Rep. Martha McSally continues to toy with the idea of running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake, but she has yet to make a public announcement. The Arizona Daily Star reports, US Rep. Martha McSally tells House colleagues she’s running for Senate:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has told Republican colleagues that she’s running for Sen. Jeff Flake’s open seat next year, meaning there will be someone new representing Southern Arizona’s hotly contested Congressional District 2.

The news didn’t come from McSally but instead from U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican colleague in Congressional District 6, who confirmed to reporters for several news outlets that the retired Air Force colonel said she was planning to enter the Senate race.

McSally could not be reached for comment and has not made a formal announcement about her plans. Calls to her campaign office, as well as to her congressional office in Tucson, went unreturned Tuesday.

Geezus, she’s still hiding in the chicken bunker. Come out, come out, and face your constituents, Martha.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward and several other Republican candidates have already announced they were running for Flake’s seat in the GOP primary.

McSally is already facing resistance from President Trump supporters. Last week, the Great America Alliance PAC put out a digital ad (Amnesty Martha) and dedicated website amnestymartha.com that criticized McSally for “supporting amnesty for illegals.”

Ward challenged Sen. John McCain last year and lost, but Trump has offered support for her candidacy even though he did not endorse her. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, however, endorsed Ward last month.

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Arizona’s authoritarian Tea-Publicans are coming for your constitutional rights

The Arizona Constitution clearly spells out that Arizona citizens are the ultimate lawmakers:

Arizona Constitution, Article 4 Part 1 Section 1 – Legislative authority; initiative and referendum

1. Legislative authority; initiative and referendum

Section 1. (1) Senate; house of representatives; reservation of power to people. The legislative authority of the state shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and a house of representatives, but the people reserve the power to propose laws and amendments to the constitution and to enact or reject such laws and amendments at the polls, independently of the legislature; and they also reserve, for use at their own option, the power to approve or reject at the polls any act, or item, section, or part of any act, of the legislature.

But our authoritarian Tea-Publican state legislators and governor, and their masters in the Chamber of Commerce organizations and the “Kocktopus” network,  are planning an assault on the constitutional right of Arizonans to enact their own laws unfettered by legislative interference. Lawmakers plan assault on voters’ right to make laws:

A series of measures being proposed would change everything from signature threshold to imposing new requirements on the ability to use paid circulators. But the biggest would ask voters to repeal the measure they approved in 1998, theVoter Protection Act, which specifically bars lawmakers from tinkering with what the public approves at the ballot.

imussol001p1That’s not to say there won’t be other issues consuming lawmakers’ time when the session begins Monday. Those issues range from how to divide up the more than $9 billion in revenues to who gets tax cuts, especially because Gov. Doug Ducey vowed during his 2014 campaign to propose a tax cut every year he is in office. And he told Capitol Media Services he remains committed to that.

The big issue, obviously, is school funding. But don’t underestimate the political fighting that will occur over initiatives and who gets to write – and repeal – state laws.

It was voters who approved not only higher taxes on tobacco but also limits on where people can smoke. And it was voters who required funding of early childhood education programs, allowed the medical use of marijuana and approved the state’s first-ever minimum wage.

But it was the more recent 58-42 percent approval of Proposition 206 – the law that hikes the minimum immediately to $10, takes it to $12 by 2020 and mandates paid time off – that has angered members of the business community. They want new registration requirements on those who collect signatures for money, as well as make it easier to challenge those signatures.

There also are moves to require a certain percentage of signatures on ballot propositions to come from the state’s 13 rural counties.

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State Senator Steve Farley considering running for governor

The railbird reporting this week is that state senator Steve Farley (D-Tucson) is considering running for governor in 2018 against Governor Doug Ducey. Tucson Democrat Farley considering run for governor in 2018:

FarleyHoping Arizonans will have had their fill of Republican policies by 2018, Tucson Democrat Steve Farley is weighing a bid to make incumbent Doug Ducey a one-term governor.

Farley told Capitol Media Services on Tuesday that the tax cuts enacted during Ducey’s administration have left the state’s K-12 and higher-education systems without adequate funding.

Instead, he said, the governor’s policies seem to rely on the idea that tax breaks will grow the economy through new corporations moving here. In fact, Ducey has not only promised to propose tax cuts every year he is governor but said he will drive the state income tax rate to “as close to zero as possible.”

Farley said that recipe makes no sense.

“The large corporations won’t come here anymore if we don’t have a workforce that’s trained to be able to work for them,” he said.

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Arizona Corporation Commission Debate

The two-year long saga of secretive “dark money” and the GOP culture of corruption surrounding the Arizona Corporation Commission came to a head this week in the televised debate on Arizona Horizon (video).

CorpComm

Arizona Corporation Commission candidates Bill Mundell, Tom Chabin, Andy Tobin, Boyd Dunn and Bob Burns debate Tuesday night at KAET-TV with host Ted Simons. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported, Democratic Corp Comm candidates side with Burns, push for APS investigation:

The two Democrats running for the Arizona Corporation Commission showed solidarity with a current Republican commissioner over an outstanding investigation into a utility’s role in the 2014 commission election, telling voters electing the bipartisan trio the best way to push the investigation forward.

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LD 2 Senate Race: Dalessandro v. Kais

dalessandro-kaisThe Legislative District 2 Senate seat is currently held by Democrat Andrea Dalessandro, who previously served in the Arizona House.

(Dalessandro is the one in glasses).

Her Tea-Publican opponent, Shelley Kais, is a business woman who served as a campaign volunteer for Martha McSally during her 2012 run for Congress. Kais challenged McSally for the GOP nomination in 2014, finishing in a distant third place with less than eight percent of the vote, behind McSally and Chuck Wooten. You may recall that the local Tea Party raised a stink about McSally and Kais pulling out of a scheduled debate with Chuck Wooten in 2014.

Kais is now running for the LD 2 Senate seat as a Clean Elections candidate against Senator Dalessandro, also a Clean Elections candidate. LD 2 is a Democratic voter registration district.

Kais is backed by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which lists her in its “16 in ’16: Races to Watch,” Comprised of the RSLC’s Future Majority Project (FMP) and Right Women, Right Now (RWRN) candidates running for state-level office.

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John Nichols on Money in Politics: $10 Billion in Political ads in 2012 (video)

John Nichols of "The Nation" speaking in Tucson in March 2015

John Nichols of “The Nation” speaking in Tucson in March 2015

One issue that unites millions of voters is  their disgust for big-money politics and their hatred of misleading, negative political advertising.

When I go door-to-door with my campaign flier, I introduce myself as a progressive Democrat (which usually gets a smile and a nod) and a Clean Elections candidate (which brightens their eyes and widens their smiles). Voters are fed up with big-money politics and lies.

Earlier today, I was looking for a video on my Tucson Progressive YouTube Channel and found this clip from a speech that John Nichols of “The Nation” gave in Tucson in March 2015 at a Progressive Democrats of America event.

In this clip (below), Nichols theorizes that the negative advertising itself suppresses voter turnout. He reports that $10 billion was spent on political advertising in 2012 and 90% of it was negative advertising to disparage candidates. In 2014, with continued negative advertising, the US had the lowest voter turnout since 1942– during World War II.

If $10 billion was wasted on political advertising in 2012, what will be spent in 2016? If we want to save our democracy, we must get money out of politics.

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