Tag Archives: Doug Ducey

What IS glaringly obvious…

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com. Sources are referenced in original posting.

After I became an Arizona school board member and public education advocate, I was routinely asked, “doesn’t the Legislature understand what they are doing to our public schools?” I would respond with, “of course they do, it is all part of their plan.” That was five years ago and although we are still fighting the same battles, some things have changed.

Today, many more people understand that the privatization of America’s system of public education is actually the end game. The public is more “woke” than ever to the privatizers’ pursuit of profit and power via the $500B+ K-12 education market in the United States. Of course, the privatizers don’t refer to it that way. Rather, as reported in the Washington Post, they couch their war on public education as a benign attempt to improve the system. As Stacy Hock, a major Koch donor and co-founder of Texans for Educational Opportunity, said, “The lowest hanging fruit for policy change in the United States today is K-12, I think this is the area that is most glaringly obvious.” Continue reading

Campaign to Outlaw Dirty Money with a “Right to Know” Initiative

Dark Money is so prevalent that it helped defeat preschool scholarships in Tucson. The Koch brothers’ front organization “Americans for Prosperity” teamed up with local Republicans to kill Prop. 204. And that’s not all.

Governor Doug Ducey was elected in 2014 with $3.5 million in spending by six dark-money groups, and he signed a law in 2016 that loosens state control over anonymous campaign donations. Ducey regularly visits the Koch brothers to get his marching orders and to collect more anonymous cash.

On the Arizona Corporation Commission, Republicans Doug Little and Tom Forese are suspected of taking $3.2 million in “dark money” from Arizona Public Service Co. to elect them in 2014.

How much have the right-wing Kochs and power companies spent locally and statewide to sabotage Arizona’s elections? We may know one day if a state constitutional “right to know” amendment is adopted.

Don’t call it dark money

To expose how dark money is spent in Arizona, former Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard is spearheading a campaign to amend the state constitution that will expose any donor who contributes at least $10,000 into any campaign.

Without the measure, there is no way to find out how is behind commercials, yard signs and phone calls paid for by the Kochs and other right-wing groups. Many are “social welfare” fronts created under 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code and don’t need to disclose their donors

“Don’t call it ‘dark money,’” says campaign strategist Bob Grossfeld. “It’s dirty money. These donors follow a procedure that’s identical to what criminals and drug dealers follow to launder money. The purpose is to hide the source. That’s because the donors are cowards. If they weren’t, they’d step out in public to say ‘I oppose this.’ They don’t do that, they want to hide.”

Arizona has become ground zero for dirty money since the US Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case in 2010 that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend all they want in political campaigns. Anonymous interests spent at least $15 million trying to get their favored candidates installed in Arizona’s state and legislative offices in  2014.

“These people are sitting in the shadows, targeting good ideas or fostering bad ideas. What the legislature did to expand school vouchers was a Koch brothers operation,” he says.

The “right to know” public initiative must be approved by voters in November 2018, and the campaign is working to collect the 225,963 signatures needed by July 5 to qualify for the statewide ballot.

Grossfeld says that a poll taken before the 2016 election showed that 85% of voters want to stop dirty money contributions. “That cuts across all party lines,” he says. “We know the support is there if we can get it only ballot. That means we need a whole lot of volunteers.”

Your can visit the Outlaw Dirty Money Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/outlawdirtymoney, or contact Bill Elliott at info@outlawdirtymoney.com and 602 770-6735

This article originally appeared in the Democratic Party LD9 newsletter.

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley’s 3 Ways to Improve Arizona Economy

State Representative Pamela Powers Hannley outlined three ways the legislature can lessen economic inequality and create new jobs.

She called for ending corporate tax loopholes, giving seed grants to local scientists and allowing dental therapists to do dental screening and simple procedures.

Each point is a hot topic in the legislature.

“When the legislature cut funding for education, roads, safety, justice, healthcare and social safety net programs, they cut jobs and potentially threw people into poverty,” she said. “We need to push back. If we invested in the people’s to-do list, we would grow our economy and diversify our workplace.”

She spoke at the Democrats of Greater Tucson meeting. Based on a recent lecture by economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, she pointed to three key areas of the economy “that keep the rich rich and keep the rest of us in our places”:

  • Trickle-down economics and corporate tax loopholes in the state budget, which benefit special interests at the expense of the public.
  • Intellectual property rights, like patent protection for prescription drugs, designed to privatize scientific research.
  • Protecting highly-paid professions like dentists, making healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible.

1. Ending corporate tax loopholes
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Governor Candidates Farley and Garcia Will Restore Education in Arizona

Student moderator Patrick Robles of Sunnyside High School, Candidates David Garcia and Steve Farley, and student moderator Aiselyn Anaya of Amphi High School.

Democrats in Arizona have two outstanding choices in the candidates for Governor: college professor David Garcia and veteran Arizona state senator Steve Farley — both of whom pledged to restore school funding and raise teacher salaries after years of sabotage by the Republican legislature and governor.

They spoke at an education town hall sponsored by the Arizona Education Association at Pueblo High School on the far south side.

Highlights:

Farley pledged to give teachers a 20% pay raise, to fully fund education, to sponsor a constitutional amendment to allow collective bargaining by teachers, and to block deportation of DACA recipients.

Best quotes by Farley:

  • “Every time President Trump tweets, another Democratic activist is born.”
  • When Governor Ducey tell you we don’t have enough money for education, he’s lying.”

Garcia called for an end to reliance on standardized testing, restoring ethnic studies in schools, paying teachers as professionals, revising the public school funding formula, and going to teachers’ unions first to formulate school policy.

He repeatedly spoke in Spanish to the standing-room only audience, emphasizing his Latino heritage, and referring to himself as “The anti-Ducey.”

Best quotes by Garcia:

  • “My goal is to have Arizona be one of the best places in the country to be a kid.”
  • “The legislature looks at teachers like missionaries, as people who would teach just for the good of the kids. The reality is we must pay our teachers as professionals.”

Teacher salaries
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David Garcia Sees New Voters Propelling Him to Governor’s Office

“Every time Trump tweets, a new Democratic activist is born.”

Candidate David Garcia plans to win the race for Arizona Governor by harnessing disaffected voters, and recruiting a generation of Latinos to become new voters who will support Democrats for years to come.

“To change Arizona and win in 2018 we need to focus on new voters,” Garcia told the Democrats of Greater Tucson yesterday in a rousing presentation. “We have a surge of Democratic energy. It’s incredible. We need to take this unique opportunity to get a group of reliable voters that we have not been able to bring out.”

He cited California as an example of a once-Republican state that is now solidly Democratic. The state’s Latino population boomed in the 1990s and they rejected the Republican hard-line stance on immigration. The state’s immigrant population has elected Democratic candidates decisively in every election since 1992.

Minority voters were a major factor in electing a Democrat to Governor in Virginia this month.

The Latino vote

“Latino voters vote for Democrats 70% of the time,” he said. “They are not engaged and we need to get them on board. The numbers are there to win.”

Repeating a quote from his Democratic rival Steve Farley, Garcia said, “Every time Trump tweets, a new Democratic activist is born.”

He cited three ways that he can take the Governor’s office away from Doug Ducey:
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Farley Wins Debate with Garcia in Race for Governor

Prepared and articulate, Democratic candidate for governor Steven Farley won a friendly debate with David Garcia at the Maricopa County Democrats convention in Phoenix on Aug. 19.

You can disagree in the comments, but Farley was clearly the candidate who can beat Doug Ducey:

  • He had specific answers about funding education and where to get the money. Garcia gave general answers and anecdotes.
  • Farley has actually been elected to office 6 times over the last 11 years.
  • Garcia lost in the 2014 race for Superintendent of Public Instruction to Diane Douglas, who did not campaign publicly.
  • Farley is a sitting state senator and Garcia is an ASU professor.

Hundreds of precinct committeemen and officers attended the event, which was live-cast on the party’s Facebook page and moderated by Brahm Resnik of NBC channel 12 news.

.6% Education Sales Tax

Farley: opposed, because it’s a regressive tax that hurts the poor. “The Arizona chamber of commerce says every year that we need to fund education and we need more corporate tax breaks, guess which one the legislature has listened to. These business leaders are calling for a 1% increase in your sales tax, but they should start calling for a tax increase on themselves. If they are sincere about improving our education system, they should share some of the burdens and not just let middle-class people take it again.”

Garcia: in favor, with an increase to 1% or 2%, but with additional dollars coming from closing tax loopholes. Continue reading