I think this Lincoln Project ad is a great closing argument on the very stark choices we face in the Arizona statewide races – including all the way down the ballot, including Fontes v. Finchem for AZSecState, Mayes v. Hamadeh for AZAG, Quezada v. Yee for AZTreas, and Kennedy & Kuby v. Meyers & Thompson for AZCorpComm, and every State House and Senate seat.

Their message is spot on, but there is not only vital national dimensions to these races, but critical choices in Arizona’s policy future. We are at an inflection point regarding our state’s future on a number of key policies. These are outlined fairly well by comparing the proposed policies of a Hobbs Administration versus the almost complete dearth of any comparable plans from Kari Lake. Voting for Lake is a vote in favor subjecting all of Arizona to her whims, her constant lies, and her attempt to inherit Trump’s crown of chaos in national politics.

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Water and Environment:

We face serious threats to our states’ future due to climate change, further aridification of Arizona and its major watersheds, loss of natural habitat, and pollution of our air and water. The GOP offers pipe dreams and pork barrel spending as a water solution, constant hostility to protecting our habitats and reducing pollution to protect our health; the Democrats offer practical changes to preserve our groundwaters and incentives for conservation and re-use, better regulation of pollution, and protection of our natural habitats on which we all rely.

Democracy:

Our democratic form of government in Arizona (and nationally) is under threat from election lies and increasingly suppressive voting laws. The GOP offers more restrictions on our franchise, the ability to overturn the popular will be the state lege, and a steady stream of disinformation and lies; Democrats want safe, secure elections in which every legal voter has the absolute right to cast their ballot and have it count. Democrats want to expand and strengthen our democracy, and make our government more representative of the will of the people by exploring and testing new electoral rules such as open primaries, proportional and ranked voting, and eliminating the ability to manipulate the outcomes of our elections through gerrymandering, and ensuring that the financing of campaigns is transparent to voters.

Women’s Human Rights:

We have seen the future Republicans want for Arizona’s women in the Dobbs decision, and enactment of Arizona abortion restructions: that future includes dystopian and unconscionable intrusions into our families’ most intimate personal and medical choices, including practically eliminating all abortion services in Arizona, threatening to jail doctors and other healthcare workers, and harrassing and traumatizing women undergoing miscarriage and seeking life-saving healthcare. Democrats are in favor of continuing the balancing of interests enherent in Roe v. Wade, protecting the medical choices of women and restraining state interferance until the third trimester. Republicans will try to claim that Democrats want unregulated abortion until the moment of birth: that’s a complete lie – what we want is for doctors to be free to protect the health and life of women AND the unborn according the best medical practices and judgement, not the relgious dogma of a particular faith community. We certainly don’t want doctors to have to consider possible criminal liability or consequences for their professional licensing as a result of their medical decisions about the how to best care for their patients, including the unborn.

Education:

The future of our state as a polity and as an economy depends heavily upon educating the next generation well and equitably. The GOP has proven they have a deep hostility to public schools and favor privatization our children’s education. They offer to further expand public financing of private schools (including religious indoctrination, which directly conflicts with our state’s Constitution), attacks on educators and a constant refusal to properly pay them that undermines public education and drives teachers out of our state. Democrats want public education in Arizona to be well-funded, equitable, and under local democratic control (as it has historically been in the United States), and to enhance our children’s education and opportunities regardless of parents’ ability to pay.

Healthcare:

Our state faces many personal and public health challenges, and the GOP has proven itself unable and unwilling to address the lack of healthcare access to the former and is actively hostile to the latter. The GOP wants to further restrict public funding for healthcare access to our neediest citizens and is willing to place our public health at hazard in service to baseless conspiracy theories and cheap political posturing. Democrats want to ensure equitable access to all our citizens and to place science and medical advice back in control of public health policy and to enhance and expand our capabilities to monitor and respond to emerging threats to Arizonan’s health.

Economic Security:

AZ has among the highest poverty rates in the nation outside the deep south, and it holds back the growth of our economy and economic security of our citizens. The GOP has proven over the years that they will do anything to further enrich the wealthy through inequitable tax laws, increasing dependence on regressive sales taxes, and favoring selected industries over consumers. They want flat income taxes (or even an elimination of the state income tax), enable corporate power that hurts consumers, are actively hostile to workers’ rights to unionize, and are completely against raising the minimum wage to a living wage. The Democrats will work to make our tax laws fairer, such as by reducing or eliminating tax exemptions that give special treatment to some while forgoing BILLIONS in revenues to the state, making our state less reliant on sales taxes (which are both regressive and strongly affected by economic downturns – exactly when we need government services most), and supporting average workers by passing a statewide living wage. Katie has several specific plans to improve our economy with local policies, and a plan to improve conditions for our native communities.

Immigration:

We are a border state and so undocumented immigration has a disproportionate impact on Arizona. While the GOP fearmongers and uses immigration as a racist/nativist weapon to mobilize their electorate, they do nothing to actually address the root causes, reduce the impact of unregulated immigration, pursue needed reforms of our disfunctional immigration rules and laws, or even enhance citizen’s security along the boarder. Why would they when, the greater the disorder and chaos at our southern border, the better they do at the polls? In a new twist, Lake now threatens to try to take over immigration enforcment from the federal government in contravention of our Constitutional order. She will fail miserably, of course, but most likely she’ll just a pick a fight she knows she will lose with the Biden Administration and use the ensuing chaos to further enflame her base. Democrats have consistently offered to engage in good-faith reforms of our immigration system and been refused. Democrats offer practical solutions to enhance our border security, treat immigrants humanely, and reduce the unregulated flow of immigration in favor of programs that meet the demands of our economy and treat immigrant workers fairly.

If you want to continue the political rancor and chaos of the Trump years here in Arizona, then the GOP is the party for you. If you are fed up and simply want government to be kind of boring, judicious, and responsibly sober – as we have enjoyed from the Biden Administration for the past two years – then vote for Democrats for every partisan position on the Arizona ballot this year.

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