Category Archives: Arizona State Legislature

A Voter Guide to the Democratic Nominees Blog for Arizona Interviewed this year.

With early ballots arriving in the mail the next couple of days, we have included links to all the articles pertaining to profiles compiled on the federal, state, and local Democratic nominees running for office this year. Please review them so they can help you make the best decision when voting these next two and a half weeks.

Furthermore, please consider the following when deciding whether or not to vote this election:

  • If you think we can do better than one in four children in Arizona living in poverty, then vote in November.
  • If you think we can do better than being near the bottom in the nation in education funding, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with gubernatorial candidate David Garcia that “no one should be left behind,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Kathy Hoffman that the “future of Arizona is in our schools,” then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Attorney General candidate January Contreras that public service should be about the “little guy and democracy” and the people, especially the most vulnerable (like those with pre-existing health conditions), need to be protected, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Treasurer candidate Mark Manoil that local and state Arizona economic development would be better served with local community banks than Wall Street banks, then vote in November.
  • If you agree with Mining Inspector candidate Bill Pierce that uranium should not be mined for in the Grand Canyon where any contamination into the Colorado River would make that water undrinkable for millions of citizens across several states, then vote in November.
  • If you want Arizona to be the solar capital of the country and greater utility investments steered towards solar, water, and wind like Corporation Commission candidate Kiana Sears, then vote in November.
  • If you want the stench of Dark Money removed from the public arena as most of the Democratic local and state candidates want, then vote in November.
  • If you want public servants like this year’s Democratic candidates that listen to their constituents and show up to public forums and debates, then vote in November.
  • If you want our borders secured, like our Democratic candidates want, with smart technology and smart policies geared towards capturing criminals, drug dealers, and human traffickers, then vote in November.
  • If you want all civil rights protected, including the right for women to choose and the newly recognized rights for members of the LGBTQ community, then vote this November.

All elections are important. The 2018 elections may be more so because if the forces of reaction, intolerance, and backwardness are allowed to prevail, it may be a long time before we recover.

Please Remember To Vote In November.

Continue reading

Trump Takes Martha McSally, Doug Ducey and other Republican Candidates through the Alt-Right Looking Glass at a rally in Mesa.

President Trump speaking at a rally at Mesa Gateway Airport on October 19, 2018

Once upon a time, mainstream politicians would stay far away from politicians that have been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan or those who have taken pictures with white supremacists. That was the era before Donald Trump.

Now, as most Republican candidates (including Martha McSally and Doug Ducey) in Arizona fall over themselves to meet him at a rally in Mesa, it does not appear to matter that he was. Even in Arizona, this behavior appears to have no consequences as Doug Ducey took a picture with known white supremacists earlier this year. In another time (over two years ago), that might have dealt a deathblow to his reelection campaign. Not today and it is a shame because it teaches our children some wrong lessons about the value of a person’s character in our public servants.

Trump, The KKK-endorsed candidate and popular vote loser, spent October 19, 2018, in Arizona on a campaign swing to help Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally after her abysmal debate performance on October 15. True to form, he spent his time at a rally in Mesa wowing the crowd that traveled hours to see him, McSally, and the other state Republican candidates with outlandish remarks complementing Republicans for policies that they were not responsible for and accusing Democrats of acts either untrue or ones that Republicans or their supporters are guilty of. It is almost as if they were looking through the Alt-Right Looking Glass and mistaking the Democrats for themselves.
Continue reading

The Arizona Republic’s disingenuous endorsement in the State Treasurer race

The Arizona Republic fka The Arizona Republican never fails to disappoint with its endorsements for Republican candidates and the occasional Democratic candidate who is acceptable to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Republic is so predictable I can project their endorsements even before the candidates have emerged from the party primaries.

The Republic’s endorsement of Kimberly Yee for State Treasurer is disingenuous because the editors suggest that this “rising star” in the Republican Party “would bring a more measured approach and steady hand to the serious business of managing the state’s money.”

Yee  has no interest in being State Treasurer.

Kimberly Yee is only running for State Treasurer to serve  as a launching pad for her run for governor in 2022, just as Doug Ducey ran for State Treasurer to serve as a launching pad for his run for governor in 2014. Yee will spend the next four years building her campaign for governor in 2022, not managing the state’s money. You know it, I know it, Yee knows it, and so do the editors of The Republic. But they will not say this. I just did.

Arizona needs a State Treasurer who is committed to doing the job to which he is elected and paid by the taxpayers of this state. That is Democratic candidate Mark Manoil.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

LD9 Clean Elections Debate: Oct. 16 (video)

LD9 Reps. Pamela Powers Hannley and Dr. Randy Friese with former representative and current Senate candidate Victoria Steele.

LD9 Reps. Pamela Powers Hannley and Dr. Randy Friese with former representative and current Senate candidate Victoria Steele.

The three Democrats and two Republicans running for seats in Legislative District 9 will participate in a Clean Elections Debate on Tuesday, October 16, beginning at 6 p.m. at Pima College Northwest.

Running for the Arizona House are incumbent Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley and Republican challenger Ana Henderson, who lost to the two Democrats in 2016. On the Senate side, Democrat and former House Rep. Victoria Steele and political newcomer Republican Randy Fleenor are vying for the seat vacated by Senator Steve Farley.

Come with your questions. Since this debate is being run by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC), at least half of the questions come from the audience.

Continue reading

Balanced Public Health Policy Should Be Legislature’s Goal (video)

The Arizona House Health Committee passed the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act in January 2018.

This is the transcript of my opening remarks at the Arizona Public Health Association Conference on Oct. 3, 2018. A video of the speech is below.

It is an honor for me to address the Arizona Public Health Association, since I have a Masters in Public Health from the University of Arizona. I worked in health communication, medicine, public health and behavioral research for many years before deciding to run for the Arizona House in 2015.

In fact, it was my background in public health that prompted me to run for office. Many times since I moved to Arizona in 1981, I have found myself shouting at the radio or the TV or the newspaper or a social post about bad policy decisions made by the Arizona Legislature. Anybody else have that experience?

In the public health arena, the Legislature far too often makes short-term decisions to save a buck or make an ideological point, but in the long-term, these decisions cost money and lives. Do you remember Governor Jan Brewer’s Death Panels? Brewer knocked more than 250,000 adults off of Medicaid—including people on transplant waiting lists. That decision made national news as transplant patients began dying.

Continue reading