Author Archives: Golda Velez

Domingo DeGrazia, LD10 House Candidate, Vows to Improve Child Welfare

Democrat Domingo DeGrazia is a multi-faceted, charismatic and passionate candidate who is taking on Todd Clodfelter in LD10.  He describes his life’s work in terms of helping kids and families as a child welfare advocate in the legal system. Frustrations with that system have finally driven him into politics, so he can try writing the laws instead of contending with them. He is also the son of artist Ted DeGrazia of the Gallery of the Sun – perhaps why he took up the guitar. 

Domingo DeGrazia may be a first-time politician, but he is a dead serious one.

“I come from working for families against the state of Arizona, going up against the attorney general.  I know what it’s like to be in a fight against an opponent that has more resources, dug in harder. So tell me I’m walking into a fight where I’m in the minority working for the little guy, I’m completely ok with that.  That’s what I do.”

This is a good mindset for someone running for the Arizona legislature.  

DeGrazia has seen firsthand the pain caused by the budget cuts made in 2008 to the child welfare system. He’s fought cases for years as a trial attorney, then moved into appellate law to try to find a bigger lever for change.  Then 2016 happened. And he decided the only thing to do now, was to run for the Arizona legislature.

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Dirty Money, Dirty Tricks, Dirty Judges

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick

The Outlaw Dirty Money constitutional amendment won’t be on the ballot this November, but the judges who rubber-stamped the dirty tricks against it will be. Clint Bolick and John Pelander are up for confirmation as Arizona Supreme Court justices this November, and here’s why we should spread the word to kick them off the court.

ODM circulators worked their tails off to gather over 285,000 signatures from Arizona voters, a fair margin of safety over the 225,963 required to get on the ballot. So when the dark money interests saw that this was likely to become law and shine some light on their real names, they pulled out all the stops. Americans for Prosperity, the front group for the Koch brothers, filed a lawsuit. They exploited a law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that invalidates all the signatures gathered by a petition circulator if that circulator fails to show up when subpoenaed for questioning.

Arizona Supreme Court Justice John Pelander

Arizona Supreme Court Justice John Pelander

But what about the voters who signed the petition in good faith and wanted their signatures to count? The constitution of Arizona guarantees the right of citizens to petition the government. ODM argued that our Republican legislature “has passed rules that have created unnecessary and insurmountable barriers into the petition process that clearly infringe on that right.”

The justices rejected this argument with not even a nod to the constitutional rights of the voters. Continue reading