Category Archives: Budgets

The Arizona Republic endorses Governor Doug Ducey (but of course they do)

To the best of my recollection, The Arizona Republic fka The Arizona Republican has endorsed a Democrat for governor only once – in my lifetime at least – Governor Janet Napolitano for reelection in 2006. And that was only because Republicans nominated Len Munsil from the Center for Arizona Policy for governor that year. A Dominionist who would impose a theocracy in Arizona was a bridge too far even for them.

So it comes as no surprise that The Republic endorses Governor Doug Ducey for reelection. But of course they do.

What I find curious is that there is no discussion of whether Ducey intends to complete another term as governor. There is speculation that he may run for Senator McCain’s senate seat in 2020, or take a position in the Trump administration, or if President Trump does not run for reelection in 2020, to become the next son of Arizona to be a failed candidate for president. “Arizona may be the only state in America where mothers don’t tell their children that someday they can grow up and be president.” – John McCain.

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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.

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The Arizona Republic inexplicably endorses Mark Brnovich for Attorney General

Some of the nastiest campaign ads running on television have been those airing against Democratic candidate January Contreras for Attorney General. Arizona’s attorney general race has drawn national attention. Here’s why:

January Contreras

Spending on attorney-general races nationally could top $100 million this year, according to the Washington Post, with the Republican Attorney General Association investing heavily in defending its incumbents.

“The Democratic Attorney General Association is involved, too, but DAGA just does not have as much money,” said Bernie Nash, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General practice.

The firm analyzes attorney-general races and has rated Arizona’s contest as “Leans Republican.”

* * *

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has taken heat for involving Arizona in divisive national fights, such as the 20-state effort to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act. Here is the Complaint (.pdf). January Contreras argues that what Brnovich calls an issue of constitutionality is a dangerous move that would hurt vulnerable Arizonans with pre-existing health conditions.

Keep in mind that the Attorney General cannot join this lawsuit without the tacit approval of the Governor. So both Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have signed off on the Texas lawsuit that seeks to hold the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, which would invalidate all of its patient  protections including those prohibiting discrimination against persons with preexisting conditions. Polling suggests that this is the top political issue for voters in this election. They are both on the wrong side of this issue.

January Contreras “said that ‘on Day One,’ she would remove Arizona from that lawsuit and join a concurrent one [by Democratic Attorneys General] that aims to keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions in place.”

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Mitch McConnell: Republicans are coming for your healthcare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Believe them. (Updated)

Republicans were supposed to run on their tax cuts. Instead, they’re running away from them. Only the Chamber of Commerce (naturally) is running ads thanking Republicans like Martha McSally for making permanent the deficit busting corporate welfare tax cuts for wealthy plutocrats that did not benefit the average American taxpayer. Republicans stunned to learn voters understand exactly what their tax cut did:

The reality is not in dispute. Around two-thirds of the benefits of the tax cuts went to those in the top quintile of taxpayers, with about 20 percent of the benefits going to the richest 1 percent. By 2025, when the cuts are fully phased in, the top 1 percent will get 25 percent of the benefits. (See details here.) The centerpiece of the plan, furthermore, was a gigantic corporate [welfare] tax cut. Republicans promised that this cut would produce a wave of investment and wage increases for workers, but so far the only wave that has resulted is a tsunami of stock buybacks benefiting wealthy shareholders, which is exactly what liberals predicted.

Those facts are available to anyone who might seek them out, but most people aren’t going to. What people do notice, however, is that their paychecks didn’t look much bigger after the tax cut. Maybe they’re getting a few more dollars a week, but it certainly wasn’t life-transforming.

Tax cuts are actually tax expenditures that are paid for by borrowing money. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves, despite the GOP’s insane adherence to faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics. All it does is explode the federal deficit. Republicans like to claim they are “deficit hawks” when a Democrat is in the White House, but the truth is they are actually deficit peacocks who really don’t care about the federal deficit, especially when a Republican is in the White House.

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Don’t be confused – vote no on Prop. 305, the referendum on the ‘vouchers on steroids’ bill

I have previously explained that opponents of Arizona’s “vouchers on steroids” bill, SB 1431, and even supporters of the “vouchers on steroids” bill are urging voters to vote no on Prop. 305, the citizens referendum on SB 1431. So we’re all agreed: No on Prop. 305 (and elect a Democratic legislature and governor).

So what’s the problem?

Apparently voters are confused by the intentionally misleading ballot measure description on the ballot. Some people think this is a scholarship fund, rather than a voucher transferring public tax dollars to private and parochial schools.

Laurie Roberts of The Republic reports Prop. 305, expanding school vouchers, could pass? I think I’m going to faint:

Somebody find me some smelling salts. A recent statewide poll shows Proposition 305 could well pass.

According to the Suffolk University/Arizona Republic poll, 41 percent of Arizona voters support diverting more tax money to private schools by expanding the state’s voucher program.

According to the poll, they like the idea of creating a two-tier system of schools: publicly subsidized private ones for the children of parents who can afford to pay the difference between what a voucher is worth and what tuition costs, and poorly funded public ones for the kids whose parents can’t.

Yep, I definitely am feeling woozy. Either that, or 41 percent of Arizona voters don’t know what the heck Prop. 305 actually does.

I’m going with that one.

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Health care is the top issue, and GOP candidates campaign on the ‘Big Lie’

Polling shows that health care is the top priority for Americans, and that Democrats are winning among the segment of the electorate most worried about health care.

POLITICO reported this week about how Republican candidates are actually running ads saying that they support the pre-existing conditions provisions of the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare” even after every Republican incumbent in Congress has voted multiple times over a period of several years to repeal Obamacare and voted for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare into a private system with vouchers (coupon care). They are running away from their Obamacare repeal votes by simply lying about it (looking at you Martha McSally). ‘Just ridiculous lies’: Dems incensed over misleading GOP ads on Medicare for All.

The super PAC affiliated with House Speaker Paul Ryan is also accusing Democratic candidates of supporting Bernie Sanders’ $32 billion “Medicare for All“ plan, even if they have taken no position on his proposal or support other options.

The effort to tie swing-district candidates to a single-payer concept — which Democrats are deeply divided on — illustrates the GOP’s major disadvantage on health care after failing last year to pass unpopular Obamacare repeal bills.

“When it comes to core issues that voters are looking at, obviously Democrats have an advantage on health care,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “So now you’re watching the Republicans sort of move the goalposts.”

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