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Democratic Candidates for LD10 House Shine in Drive to Oust Clodfelter

 LD10 Democratic candidates.jpg

Left to right, candidates Kirsten Engel, Domingo DeGrazia, Nikki Lee and Catherine Ripley

Democrats have four impressive candidates for the Arizona House in Legislative District 10 in eastern Tucson, united in their effort to oust Republican incumbent, Todd “Confederate” Clodfelter.

  • UofA Law Professor Kirsten H. Engel is running for a second term in the AZ House, after serving on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and Judiciary and Public Safety committee.
  • Newcomer Domingo DeGrazia, son of famous Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia, is a licensed pilot and a trial attorney in juvenile court. “I have a constant drive to better myself, creativity and tenacity to see a fight through to the end,” he says.
  • Catherine Ripley is a retired 26-year Navy officer and current political science teacher at Pima College (and earlier at Harvard, Boston University, and M.I.T.). In her first run for office, she says, “I’m a former diplomat, Mom, and business executive. I’ve seen famine and war. I’m here to bring my skills and experiences, and have the tools to hand Todd Clodfelter a defeat he’ll never forget.”
  • Running as a Clean Elections Candidate, newcomer Nikki Lee has a young campaign team of Millennials, including herself at age 36. “We have so much excitement on our campaign, doing innovating things, understanding the life of young people.”  She has  launched the “A to Z podcast” for young people.

LD10 has two AZ House members and one Senator, David Bradley, who was on hand and running without opposition. Clodfelter is notorious for his Confederate Flag screen saver, which he claimed wasn’t racist. His signature legislation throws a meager $150 tax credit at teachers to cover school supplies rather than help them in any meaningful way.

If you could pass one bill…

Asked if they could pass only one bill in the Republican-majority House, the candidates said it would be to:

Engel: End the hundreds of corporate sales tax loopholes and use the money to fund public schools.

DeGrazia: Stop gun violence.

Lee: Help veterans recover from PTSD and brain injuries.

Ripley: Enact common-sense gun policy, including a ban on bump stocks.

If you could reverse one law…

Asked what law or bill they would want to stop, the candidates said:
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10 Reasons Why the Government is a Good Thing

Good governmentAs English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote in 1651, life without government is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Don’t let the Republicans control the narrative that government “is bad” or “is the problem.” The argument is bogus.

My father used to say that “civilization is the last bubble in a long fermentation.” He was a City Manager and believed that a city was the loftiest expression of society. He grew up when FDR was President and believed that public service was the highest calling of a citizen.

How far the image of the government has fallen since my father died. Years of propaganda from right-wing libertarians have made “government” a bad word. Disinformation from the billionaire Koch Brothers has brought attacks on “government schools” and “big government.”

The next time you meet someone who thinks the government is a bad thing, talk to them about this list of 10 reasons that government is a good thing. The government carries out the rules of our society and takes action for the public in efforts that people cannot do as well individually. Government activities that everybody likes are law enforcement, roads, the courts and trash pickup.

But there’s so much more that we get from the government:

Environmental safety that guarantees us clear air and water. Without this, we’d have choking air pollution like in Shanghai and Delhi, India, and poisonous rivers like the Ganges in India and the Yellow River in China. When government is working properly it promotes a clean power plan, works to combat climate change, establishes flood building standards, prohibits coal dumping in streams, and participates in world climate agreements. 2017 was the hottest year on record in Tucson, and only government can prevent it from getting worse. Continue reading