Tag Archives: Larry Bodine

Four Years at Blog for Arizona

Well, it’s that day again – February 11—when I celebrate another anniversary blogging here at Blog for Arizona. What a year it has been since January 20, 2017 when Republican political newcomer Donald Trump became our 45th U. S. President.  Prior to this site I was online as “Carolyn’s Community” for Tucsoncitizen.com. Folks in town do remember me there.

For four years now I’ve been concentrating on promoting good non-profits and other groups in Tucson, reporting on local politics & elections, and posting passionately in our image Calendar (http://blogforarizona.net/calendar-2/).  I’ve individually posted 2,363  events in 4 years, which is quite a lot of progressive events, and 983 articles (almost 1000).

Thanks for reading our opinions/commentary and fact-based reporting.

Our bloggers online now are mostly attorneys (what else?) – Owner/founder & former prosecutor Michael Bryan; the mysterious AZ Blue Meanie who could only be a lawyer with his/her vast knowledge; longtime blogger Phoenix attorney Bob Lord; new blogger attorney/journalist Larry Bodine; and me, a has-been attorney/Hearing Officer in Small Claims Court (for almost 13 years in April, 2018).  Fortunately for them, fellow bloggers Karl, Pam and Linda aren’t attorneys (yet).    And Craig, Donna, and Steve are on hiatus, but could be back.

This political year  one Arizona U.S. Senate seat (being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake), 9 U.S. Congressional seats, Arizona statewide offices are all up for election (including Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer,  AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction, etc.) and all Arizona Legislative Senate and House seats.  A few Governing Board  volunteer seats in the local School Districts are also up for election.

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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.

Blog for Arizona: New Features!

Blog for ArizonaBlog for Arizona readers don’t come here for flash. You come here for wide-ranging political content that is not driven by advertising revenue.

Today, we made a few upgrades to the site to facilitate finding the years worth of blog posts that reside here.

At multiple events around town, activists sing the praises of Blog for Arizona‘s Community Calendar, which is maintained by Carolyn Classen, and of the AZ Blue Meanie’s Sunday morning Political Calendar.

To make the Community Calendar more visible, we have added a list of upcoming events to the home page. The full Community Calendar still can be found by clicking on the calendar tab at the top of the home page. Additional Community stories can be found by clicking “Community” in the word cloud. Clicking “Political Calendar” in the word cloud, will take you to the AZ Blue Meanie’s Sunday posts.

We also have added a Blog Post Calendar widget to the home page. This handy item helps readers find blog posts from a specific day– for example the popular political cartoons, also posted on Sunday mornings by the AZ Blue Meanie, or perhaps you want to see blog posts from election day, just click on the date.

The VOTE! section has been updated, with links to the Arizona Legislature, Arizona House Membership, Arizona Senate Membership, Capitol TV Video feed and archives, and bill tracking. Now it’s easier to keep an eye on what’s happening in Phoenix.

Last but not least, we welcome blogger Larry Bodine to Blog for Arizona. He has already written some block buster posts about the political races and the Koch Brothers Freedom School at the UA. He and education activist Linda Lyon are the two newest bloggers at BfAZ.