Author Archives: Larry Bodine

Democrats Get to Pick their State Senator in Tucson’s LD9

Rep. Victoria Steele and Pamela Powers Hannley

LD9 state Senate candidate Victoria Steele with Pamela Powers Hannley, LD9 House representative.

Here’s some great news: Democrats in Legislative District 9 in northern Tucson will get to pick their Arizona state Senator in the August 28 primary — because there is no Republican running.

This means we are talking about Sen. Victoria Steele or Sen. Jim Love.

LD9 is the best-organized Democratic district in Arizona, with 250 precinct captains (an increase of 91% from 2016). By any measure — whether it is registering voters, signing up people for voting early or meeting voters face to face — the volunteers in LD9 is have risen to the challenge.

Steele vows to take action

Speaking at the recent LD9 meeting, Steele emphasized four pressing issues that face voters today: Continue reading

John C. Scott Radio Show Talks with Writer Larry Bodine

The John C. Scott Political Forum - 1030 KVOI AM

The John C. Scott Political Forum – 1030 KVOI AM

Radio broadcaster John C. Scott interviewed Blog for Arizona writer Larry Bodine recently about:

  • Candidate Yahya Yuksel staying in the race
  • Negative ads by Ann Kirkpatrick vs. Matt Heinz.
  • Bill Kovacs is a sexy beast.
  • Mary Matiella – will Latinos and seniors vote for her?
  • Bruce Wheeler is the Brainiac with the numbers.
  • Martha McShifty – Even Republicans complain about her. She should get a room with Trump.

Disgraced Candidate Yahya Yuksel Still Promoting Bizarre Candidacy for CD2 Congress Seat

Yahya Yuksel

At a July 14 press conference, Yahya Yuksel announced he will stay in the race despite rape allegations which he tried to cover up. An angry crowd of 35 rape survivors and other women chanted “Shame on You!”

Candidate Yahya Yuksel persists in a bizarre campaign for the CD2 Congressional seat in Tucson — ignoring repeated calls for him to drop out of the race, disavowment by the Pima County Democratic Party, and cancellations of invitations from Democrats of Greater Tucson and Represent Me AZ.

Read Accused Rapist Yahya Yuksel Must Drop Out Now

Yuksel sent a broadcast email on July 26:

Continue reading

Support Citizen Journalism on the Blog for Arizona

Blog for Arizona writers

Some of your Blog for Arizona writers: Larry Bodine, Carolyn Classen, Michael Bryan, Pam Powers Hannley, and Linda Lyon

All the writers on the Blog for Arizona are volunteer citizen journalists. We cover the news stories that the daily newspapers overlook, working on our own time. If you value the independent, informed writing and exclusive stories you get every day on the Blog For Arizona, we ask that you support us with a donation.

Founder and attorney Michael Bryan explains, “We have faced some significant expenses due to site updates, new security requirements, and a recent malware attack. To defray the costs of running and maintaining the site we need money. Some of you have generously contributed to our fund drive, but every little bit helps.”

We’ll also use the funds for admission to political events (both parties charge up to $150 to attend some events), for new projects such as video blogs, and pay-per-click advertising campaigns so that more readers will find our articles. None of the money will go our writers, who will always be volunteers.

With the Nov. 6 general election getting closer every day, our mission of covering “Politics from a liberal viewpoint” has never been more important. Your donation will directly be a force for change for the better in Arizona. Contribute today!

To make a donation just visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/260938931377051/

 

Joel Feinman’s Simple Solution to Ending Mass Incarceration


Lynching in America continued from the 1920s up to 1980, according to Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman.

Arizona incarcerates a higher percentage of the population than South Africa did during apartheid. “We are not the land of free and home of brave as long as that statistic is true,” said Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman.

He spoke recently at a program on mass incarceration sponsored by the Arizona Ground Game (TAGG), a grass-roots Progressive organization that encourages active citizenship through neighborhood building.

“Mass incarceration is a long and ugly story, a bloody and racist tour of where we’ve been,” he said. “The good news is that mass incarceration is actually one of easiest political problems to solve.”

Plea bargains

Part of the problem is the universal use of plea agreements to end criminal cases. In 2013, 97% of criminal cases in the federal system were resolved by plea bargains.

“The average sentence for federal narcotics defendants with a plea agreement is  5 years,” Feinman said. “For defendants who went to trial, the average sentence was 16 years — more than 3 times the years in prison because they chose to exercise their constitutional right under the 6th amendment to have a trial by jury.”

Plea bargains are an unfair contract, where the prosecutor (the Pima County Attorney) has all the bargaining power and the defendant has none. “The criminal justice system is more interested in moving cases along than dispensing justice,” he said. “As a result, you get the highest incarceration rate and the highest number of people in prison. The judge is not the most powerful person, not the jury, not our state representatives or congress people — it is your local prosecutor. They are by far the most powerful person in the criminal justice system.”

Continue reading

Kovacs Shines and Kirkpatrick Gets Booed at CD2 Congressional Candidates Forum

Candidates Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, and Ann Kirkpatrick.

Candidates Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, and Ann Kirkpatrick.

The CD2 Congressional candidate forum on July 19 was a classic Democratic assembly, with at least 450 attendees including hecklers, cheering and booing, and horrendous audio.

The PAC RepresentMeAZ organized the event at Tucson High School and gave out report cards about the candidates. The results will be posted soon on Facebook. At the last event, Bruce Wheeler was the crowd favorite, and I’m guessing this time it may be Billy Kovacs.


Sure enough, Billy Kovacs was the audience favorite at the July 19th candidate forum. Second place went to the winner of our last Forum, Bruce Wheeler. candidate report card


Kovacs, Maria Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz staked out ultra-progressive positions, leaving a beleaguered and defensive Ann Kirkpatrick as the odd person out.

Highlights:

  • All the candidates agreed to support the winner of the August 28 primary. Mail-in ballots will be sent to voters on August 1.
  • The audience groaned as Kirkpatrick and Heinz sniped at each other. See videos and attack ads in the comments section at https://goo.gl/6QtjfHI have no tolerance for candidates who go negative against fellow Democrats.
  • All the candidates supported federal legalization of marijuana except Kirkpatrick. Why, Ann, why must weed be outlawed as a Schedule 1 drug?
  • The candidates — except for Kirkpatrick — took the radical, left-wing position to abolish ICE, the internal immigration enforcement agency. Arizona Star columnist Tim Steller called this “a loser of a political position.”
  • All but Kirkpatrick supported Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, for calling the president’s remarks “cowardly and shameful” when he bowed to Putin.
  • Regarding impeaching the president, supporters were Kovacs, Matiella, Sherry, and Kirkpatrick — but not Heinz or Wheeler.
  • Most of the candidates wore teal ribbons for Sexual Assualt Awareness.

Who can beat the Republican? Continue reading