Daily Archives: November 18, 2018

Is there a voter crisis in Arizona?

Recently in July 2018  the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy issued a report  entitled “Arizona’s Voter Crisis”.

Here’s the report funded by the Citizens Clean Election Commission (CCEC) and on their website:


I attended a recent Tucson town hall on October 24 hosted by these 2 entities in which Joseph Garcia of ASU (director of communication & impact/co-author of the report) and Tom Collins E.D. of CCEC reported that  2.1 million or 45% of Arizona’s “potential voters” in 2016 (General) didn’t choose to exercise their fundamental right to vote.  They reported on the nationwide trend in erosion of voter participation & on groups which aren’t voting in high numbers:  youth, less educated, and Latinos.  Moreover, Independents have a lower voter turnout due to not voting in primaries (don’t feel that they belong to either party or don’t know they can vote in the primaries by requesting a party ballot), and also don’t feel part of the electoral process.

In August 2018, the voter turnout statewide (of registered voters) for the Arizona Primary was: 33.26%

In the Arizona Mid-term General Election 2018 the voter turnout statewide was:   64.33%.  And higher in Pima County: 70.55%

So the big question in the report was “Why Don’t More People vote?”  (see page 15). There are a myriad of answers including “too busy” “out of town”, etc. but a main reason seems to be lack of information on the candidates and voting process.   So that means better ways to reach voters needs to occur, along with more information.  We here at Blog for Arizona do our best in that regard.
Local reporters after the recent elections were saying that negative campaigning suppresses the vote, or backfires against candidates doing negative campaigning.

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After the Midterms: The Brave Path

We won the midterms. I’m sure many readers shared the sense of visceral relief when it became clear that we at least had the House, that the slide to authoritarianism could be stopped. And then the joy that Krysten Sinema and Katie Hobbs won key statewide victories, the validation of knocking on one more door, writing one more postcard. A crisis situation has the benefit of clarity, that strength of fighting for the very survival of our democracy. Similarly, a clear enemy, someone so horrible or just plain mean that fighting them is a no-brainer, is oddly relaxing. But fighting, even winning, doesn’t always solve the problems — or even address the weaknesses that enemy was exploiting.

Fighting the wave of outright racism, voter suppression, possible cheating and fearmongering in the midterm elections definitely felt like a crisis to me, and walking precincts and talking to voters was a satisfying way to deal with it. Some things those voters said, though, reminded me that there’s more to the story.

A Mexican man in south Tucson told me that though he voted for Democrats, he was for a wall. One of my writing volunteers in El Paso told me that although everyone hated the child separations and despised the tent cities, they also felt strongly about waiting your turn and resented some of the asylum seekers. Another Democrat refused to support our candidate for Governor, not because he was opposed to the wall but because the voter thought he didn’t communicate a clear alternative solution. There was a sense among some voters of yes, they are awful, but what exactly are we going to do? What is the plan?

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Suppressed Memo Shows Tucson Police have Abandoned Traffic Enforcement

A suppressed memo from a civilian oversight commission studying the Tucson Police Department reveals that the department has shut down the Traffic Enforcement Division and a night patrol program, cutting the number of traffic stops and tickets by more than half.

“The Tucson police have just gotten out of traffic enforcement business. It’s rare to see someone getting a ticket pull over, but it’s so common to see people running red lights. We spend too much on the police department to tolerate this,” says Jim Hannley, a former member of the Independent Audit and Performance Commission, and author of the suppressed TPD IAPC Memo.

Hannley, a safety advocate and TPD critic, was appointed to the commission in 2014. He wrote the 10-page memo calling on the mayor and city council to confront the Police Department about abandoning traffic enforcement. “It seems that the interests of public safety must prevail over the discretion of the officers whose job it is to make our streets and roads safer,” he said in the Feb. 4, 2016 memo.

The commission voted on April 6, 2017, to suppress the memo, according to an April 10, 2017 email sent by Joyce Garland, CFO/Assistant City Manager. Continue reading

What the Arizona GOP fears most: becoming California

Republican California governor Pete Wilson in 1994 pushed hard for California Proposition 187 which prohibited illegal immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the State of California.

Three days after Proposition 187 was approved by voters, on November 11, federal district court judge Matthew Byrne issued a temporary injunction against the state of California, forbidding the enforcement of Prop 187. Federal judge Marianna Pfaelzer then issued a permanent injunction, which California did not appeal and it remains in effect.

This was the defining moment when California began to shift from the state that gave us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into a Democratic stronghold. Proposition 187 Turned California Blue.

Twenty-four years later, the death of the California GOP is near complete. POLITICO reports, RIP, California GOP: Republicans lash out after midterm election debacle:

In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch.

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Political Calendar: Week of November 18, 2018

The Political Calendar is posted on Sundays. Please send us notice of your political events prior to the Sunday before your event (7 days would be most helpful). See the calendar icon in the right-hand column of the blog page for easy access to the calendar.

Send notices of your events to blogforarizona@gmail.com.

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Note: The political calendar is frequently subject to change in December because of holiday parties replacing regular meetingsIf your organization wants its holiday party listed on the calendar, please send us the information well in advance.


Political Calendar for the Week of November 18, 2018:

Monday, November 19, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. Nick Arnold on Arizona Energy Transition: What’s Next? Next Week: Vince Rabago – Recap of the 2018 Election.

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