Tag Archives: #RedForEd

LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland sees 2018 as a Referendum on Public Education.

Educator and Democratic LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland

Democrat Eric Kurland described his reasons and goals for seeking one of the LD 23 State House seats from orthodox conservatives John Kavanagh and Jay Lawrence.

Over breakfast at the Scottsdale restaurant Randy’s (very good food and service) at Chaparral and Hayden, he said he was motivated by his advocacy for children and the misdirection of our Dark-Money-serving Republican state leaders in promoting private school vouchers rather than fully funding public education, Kurland, an educator with the Scottsdale Unified School District, has launched a campaign, fueled by his army of education supporters, emphasizing education, campaign finance reform, and reforming the private prison system.

A legislative district that encompasses all or parts of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, and Rio Verde, there has not been a Democratic representative from LD 23 in recent years. Eager to break that trend, Kurland will be running for one of two state house seats against incumbent State Representative Jay Lawrence and Senate Pro Tempore John Kavanagh.

Kurland feels that both Lawrence and Kavanagh are on the “opposite end” of what the people who elected them want, living in “an ivory tower who do not feel the pulse of what a community requires.” If elected, Kurland states, that unlike his opponents, “it will not be the last time they (the people) will hear from him.”

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Education funding…the devil is in the details

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

One of the issues leading to the walkout during the #RedforEd movement, was Governor Ducey’s promise of a 20% raise by 2020 ONLY for teachers. The movement wanted the definition of “teacher” expanded and pay raises for all school personnel. That’s because teachers understand their’s is a broad profession, and although quality teachers are the number one in-school factor contributing to student success, every employee in a school district, whether a “defined” teacher or not, contributes to the ability of students to learn.

There is currently though, no consistent definition of “teacher” in Arizona. The 2018–2019 K–12 budget reconciliation bill, HB 2663, K–12 education; does not define “teacher”. The previous year’s budget bill defined “teacher” as: “any person eligible to be included as a teacher on a disrict’s FTE count submitted with its annual financial report, whose salary was paid under function code 1000 (instruction). Clear as mud, right?

The definition in Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S) 15–901(B)(5), says a “Certified teacher” means a person “who is certified as a teacher pursuant to the rules adopted by the state board of education who renders direct and personal services to school children in the form of instruction related to the school district’s educational course of study and who is paid from the maintenance and operation section of the budget.” Okay, so that is a little clearer, but how is teacher compensation impacted by legislation passed last year to allow non-certified teachers to teach in Arizona public schools? Guess that means fewer raises for teachers as those more qualified continue to exercise their “school choice” to either retire or move to another state so they can earn a living wage. Just in case you didn’t see it, here’s a story about Texas buying up billboards in Arizona to lure our teachers away. Continue reading

GOP Legislative Candidate Marilyn Wiles has an Anti-Tucson Agenda

This is part two of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. Part one is Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

Marilyn Wiles

Marilyn Wiles

Speaking at this week’s Pima County Republican Meeting, candidate Marilyn Wiles promised “to do something about Tucson and what’s going on locally.”

“I want to take a real hard at local government overreach. Why don’t we have a commission to look at local governments across the state, particularly here in Pima County, to see what we can do to make sure that our taxpayer dollars go to what best serves us as taxpayers.”

She did not explain what overreach she was talking about. Wiles spoke at a packed meeting on May 15 at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, to a crowd of 75 to 100 Republicans. 

This office. No, that office!

At first, Wiles was running for Tucson’s CD2 congressional seat, but she abruptly changed her mind. She said she is now running for the state Legislature in District 10 (the East side of Tucson). “I will be running against Senator David Bradley. We need a very conservative person to get things done and get them right.”

She explained her fiscal policy this way: “I want a pot roast with potatoes, carrots and onions and beans and gravy. They put everything in one big blender and stirred it up, it no longer tastes like pot roast and carrots and potatoes. I want to maintain the integrity of the pot roast, you get money for carrots, we know we’re spending it on carrots. When we get money for potatoes, we’re spending it on potatoes.”

“You want transparency and accountability where our money goes. And not these surprises we seem to keep getting,” she said, without elaborating.

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Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

This is part one of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. Part two is  GOP Legislative Candidate Marilyn Wiles has an Anti-Tucson Agenda

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

Republicans at this month’s Pima County GOP meeting gave rousing rounds of applause to tea party darling Kelli Ward, a primary candidate for US Senate, who gloated over her lead in recent polls, fawned over Ted Cruz and ripped into fellow Republicans Martha McSally and John McCain.

Republicans packed the meeting last Tuesday at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, with a crowd of 75 to 100 people. Ward was repeated greeting with loud applause.

Asked how she differentiates herself from her rival, Congressman Martha McSally, Ward said:

“You all live in Martha’s district. You all know how she’s been as a congresswoman. In language that she can understand: she’s failed the check ride [a pilot’s exam — because McSally was a pilot].  We certainly don’t promote the people who failed the check ride, we promote people who get the job done. I have a 98 rating with the American Conservative Union, tied with Mike Pence.”

“Passion Points”

She called her platform “passion points” including the following:

  • Ejecting the UN from the United States. “I don’t think that they should be on United States soil. I don’t we should be investing so much money in the UN,” she said.

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Martha McSally Exposed as the Worst Kind of Politician

Martha McSally video

Even among the hard right, McSally’s announcement video ad was received as confusing, weird, and ultra-Trumpian.

On a beautiful day in January, retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, the elusive Arizona Republican Congresswoman from Tucson, who has incredibly not held a Town Hall in close to three years, stood in front of a small crowd of VIPs congregated in a private airplane hangar (east of Tucson) and declared her candidacy for Arizona Senate. Her rally was an over the top, hyper-nationalistic “barn burner” of an occasion, where McSally told the crowd that she was ready to – as they say in the Air Force: Fly, Fight and Win.

McSally dressed up in her old A-10 flight suit, awkwardly rattled off some sort of racist stuff about the Mexican-American border, Sharia Law, and Trump’s Wall – then hopped in the back seat of a shiny WWII T-6 vintage trainer plane. She was then flown, by another pilot to Phoenix and Prescott for further campaign rallies – it was over-the-top self-aggrandizement.

U.S. Rep Martha McSally, a two-term Republican from Tucson and a former Air Force combat pilot is running for the same Senate seat which U.S. Senator Jeff Flake will retire from following his fiery rebuke of President Trump’s fascist tendencies on the Senate floor. The three-candidate, dogfight of a primary pits McSally, (the clear choice of the GOP establishment), against pardoned Sheriff Arpaio of Fountain Hills and conspiracy theorist Kelli Ward, a former state senator from Lake Havasu City, both of whom will be battling to win the party’s conservative base. Just last week, McSally was endorsed by our state’s former governor, Jan Brewer.

Confusing and weird

In the digital ad that accompanied her “Fly, Fight, Win” campaign rallies, McSally walks among aircraft and bizarrely declares:

“I refused to bow down to Sharia Law, and like our president, I am tired of DC politicians and their BS excuses – I am a fighter pilot and I talk like one. That’s why I told Washington Republicans to grown a pair of ovaries and get the job done.”

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When is 20% not actually 20%? When it’s a ‘Ducey’ (lie)

Doubletalk Ducey came up with a GOPropaganda bumper sticker slogan, #20by2020, to sell his teacher pay plan, but his plan actually does not deliver a 20 percent pay increase to all teachers as he falsely claims.

Nonetheless, his GOPropaganda ads will persist in selling this “Ducey” (lie) to low information voters in Arizona. Ducey’s ’20 percent’ promise persists, but the plan can’t fund raises for all teachers:

As lawmakers debated and discussed the teacher pay raise plan proposed by Gov. Doug Ducey, one element seemed clear: The plan would not guarantee 20 percent raises to every single teacher.

However, once the plan was passed and sent to Ducey’s desk, he revived that promise while signing it.

In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, Ducey said the bill, among the other budget bills, would “codify the 20 percent teacher pay raise by 2020.”

An ad that began airing Friday, paid for by the Republican Governors’ Association as part of Ducey’s re-election campaign, also says that “teachers are receiving a 20 percent raise.”

But the plan as passed would not provide the funding for every single teacher to receive a 20 percent raise. Nor would it mandate that all the dollars provided go to teacher salaries.

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