Author Archives: Larry Bodine

Vote YES on Prop 463 to Fix Pima County Roads

Pothole bad roads Pima County

Importantly, the bond issue will not increase taxes.

Voters should approve Prop. 463 this November, which will give Pima County the authority to sell bonds to repair many of the county’s 2,200 miles of beat-up, worn-out roads.

That is according to Brian Bickel, president of Democrats of Greater Tucson, speaking at a recent meeting of the group. “One of the biggest problems we have is that once you get off the major arterial roads and into neighborhood streets, that’s where the biggest need is. These streets are 50-60 years old and there hasn’t been any significant maintenance,” he says.

Importantly, approving the bond issue will not increase taxes, because the county will only issue a new bond when an older existing bond is paid off. “People who live on crappy roads are going to vote for it,” Bickel says. “This bond will not come close to fixing every road in Pima County, but the focus will be on residential streets.”
Continue reading

Outlaw Dirty Money Creates Posse to Report Dark Money Ads

In an effort to restore fairness and transparency in Arizona elections, the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign has created a Posse to identify dark money political ads and report them on the ODM website, where people will be able to look them up by race or by sponsor.

“We will maintain a list of dark money sources that are already registered with the Secretary of State so people can look at a mailed piece, see who paid for it, and determine if it is a dark money group or not,” says organizer Merrill Eisenberg.

The group is working toward three goals:

  • Evaluate the sources of state and local political ads to decide if they are paid for with dirty money,
  • Provide information about the sources of state and local political ads to the voters, and
  • Educate voters and raise awareness about the dirty money issue.

“We need Posse members to help identify political advertising in any format and report suspected “dirty” money ads to ODM. We will research the ad and classify it as 1) not dirty money, 2) dirty money but the organization supports disclosure, or 3) dirty money intended to anonymously impact our election,” Eisenberg says.

At the recent showing of the film “Dark Money” at the Loft, the campaign set up a table and signed up 49 new posse members in one night. Continue reading

6 Reasons Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault

By Jill Richardson. Cross-posted from Other Words.

When Christine Blasey Ford came forward to report that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, sexually assaulted her in 1982, you could cue the response: Why didn’t she speak out then? Why didn’t she go to the police?

There’s a long, long list of reasons why a woman wouldn’t speak out even now, and no doubt it was even more difficult in the pre-Anita Hill world of 1982.

I can’t speak for everyone who has faced sexual assault, but I can speak for myself.

1. At first, I didn’t know that what happened to me was a crime. Continue reading

UPDATED: Danger Menaces 300 Migrant Children in Off-Limits Compound in Tucson

Southwest Key Programs at 1601 N Oracle Road near Drachman Street, north of downtown in Tucson

Southwest Key Programs operates an off-limits compound at 1601 N Oracle Road near Drachman Street, north of downtown in Tucson

9-19-18 UPDATE: Arizona moves to revoke licenses from all Southwest Key migrant-children shelters https://goo.gl/qVxUA9 The government contractor failed to provide proof its workers had the required background checks.

Up to 300 migrant children ages 5 to 17 are warehoused at a dangerous facility run by Southwest Key Programs in Tucson.  “There seem to be some real problems here,” said state Representative Kirsten Engel, speaking at a recent meeting of the Democrats of Greater Tucson.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) made an inspection and found “numerous violations that employees have fingerprint cards, and space and privacy for kids.” DHS negotiated an agreement with Southwest Key giving DHS the power to make unannounced inspections.

“It’s a black box,” she said of the compound, which is closed to the public. “When we were at Southwest Key there was a representative from the Denver regional office of the HHS (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), but we didn’t get a lot of information from him.”

Southwest Key is a massive private contractor that is paid $485 million by the federal government to warehouse 5,200 children in 26 facilities in Arizona, California, and Texas. In Arizona, it houses 1,500 children in 13 different shelters.

The children are technically not incarcerated. “They are in a ‘mandatory temporary child shelter situation,'” Engel said. “They are in the hands of a private entity. One of the issues is that it is all being done by private contract and is not being adequately overseen by a state agency.”

Danger of child abuse Continue reading

Arizona’s Imprisonment Crisis: The High Price of Prison Growth

This article is cross-posted from Fwd.US.

In the last 40 years, prison populations across the nation have skyrocketed. But even compared to this disturbing national trend, Arizona has been an outlier, growing by a multiple of 12 during forty years in which the national prison population quadrupled, according to a new report by Fwd.US.

While Arizona’s resident population has increased over this period, it has not kept pace with prison growth. Since 2000, the state population has grown by 33 percent while the prison population has grown by 60 percent — nearly twice as fast. Crime has also declined over this period, both in total numbers and as a per capita rate. Click here to learn more about why Arizona’s growing prison population cannot be justified or explained by rising crime or demographic trends.

Fwd.US is a group of business and tech leaders committed to meaningful reform and moving America forward.

Today, there are 42,000 people in prison in Arizona. Continue reading

Sinema Up by 7 Points in Race for US Senate

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema holds an advantage in the race for US Senate in Arizona, a race that is critical to the party’s chances of taking control of the US Senate, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS. The surveys show Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema tops Republican Rep. Martha McShifty by 7 points, 50% to 43% among likely voters.

However, roughly 1 in 6 voters in each state say there’s a chance they’ll change their mind before Election Day.

Likely voters are a subset of registered voters in the poll and include those most likely to turn out based on a combination of self-reported intention to vote, interest in the election and past voting behavior.

Democrats have a chance 

Arizona is one of the four states where Democrats are widely seen as having at least some chance of picking up Senate seats in November’s election. The others are Texas — viewed as more of a long-shot – and Nevada — generally viewed as the Democrats’ best chance for a Senate pickup. In order for the party to have any shot at taking control of the Senate, it’s almost certain that at least one seat from Arizona or Tennessee would need to go Democrats’ way.
Continue reading