Category Archives: Commentary

Propositions 305 and InvestInEd Divide Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Republican Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction (from right to left) Diane Douglas, Jonathan Gelbart, Tracy Livingston, Bob Branch, and Frank Riggs at the Arizona Republic sponsored debate; photo courtesy of Az Central

The Republican and Democratic positions on what good government towards education looks like were on full display when the Arizona Republic hosted (by reporter Richard Ruelas) candidate debates among the individuals from both parties vying to be the Superintendent of Public Instruction starting January 2019. While the Republican candidates revealed extreme right wing views on issues like Red for Ed, district consolidation, and the new science standards (feel free to access the link to the debates below) this piece focuses on the issues asked of the candidates of both parties: their views on Private School Voucher expansion (Proposition 305) and Invest in Ed.

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David Safier, Former BfAZ blogger: Bodine Depiction of Garcia Book “Wrong”

If there were a hall of fame for Blog for Arizona writers, David Safier certainly would occupy a premier space. David wrote over 3,000 posts here before moving on to his current gig at Tucson Weekly’s The Range. His posts here covered many topics, but mainly on his passion, education policy. His posts always were thoughtful.

After reading Larry Bodine’s hit piece on David Garcia’s book, “School Choice,” David reviewed the book himself and wrote his own piece at The Range, A Review of David Garcia’s Book, “School Choice”.

Here’s Safier’s take:

Bodine’s depiction of the book is, in a word, wrong.

In other words, David agreed with Brahm Resnik’s characterization of Bodine’s piece as a “gross distortion.”

Safier went a bit further than Resnik: Continue reading

Democrat Arizona Mine Inspector Candidate Bill Pierce wants to protect the states citizens from mining contamination in our soil and water supply.

 

Democratic Candidate for Arizona Mining Inspector Bill Pierce

In the very nicely air-conditioned offices of Legislative District Office 18 in Tempe, Arizona Mine Inspector Candidate Bill Pierce urgently conveyed that the Mine Inspector’s Office is in immediate need of greater oversight funding and staff so abandoned mines can be found and secured, current operating mines could be adequately inspected and monitored, and environmental contamination to our ground and water supply could be halted before potentially adversely affecting the lives of all the people dependent on sources like the Colorado River.

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Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown Will Fully Fund Education

Democratic LD 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown

Over beverages at the IHOP at Sossaman and Baseline in Gilbert, Clean Elections Legislative District 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown conveyed the reasons she is making a second run for the State Senate after losing to Warren Pedersen in 2016. Ms. Brown is an experienced public servant whose campaign message centers on four themes. These are:

  • Promoting public education.
  • Protecting our environment.
  • Modernizing and expanding our local and state Infrastructure.
  • Guaranteeing ethics and equality for all.

Arizona LD 12 (see map) includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. This has normally been a reliable Republican district that has attracted minimal Democratic opposition in the past. In 2012, Republican Andy Biggs ran unopposed for this Senate seat. Ms. Brown did lose to Mr. Pedersen in 2016. However, Democratic enthusiasm has surged since 2016. There are three able and energized Democrats vying for the two State House seats and Ms. Brown seeks to ride that momentum to a Senate victory this November. A progressive, she feels that “if people would just take the “D” and “R” away and people see what I stand for, the people would see a lot of common ground with my positions.”

Who is Elizabeth Brown?

A former drama teacher, Ms. Brown, a wife, and mother of two daughters is an experienced public servant whose experiences start in 2004 when she volunteered for the Kerry and Edwards campaign. From 2004 to 2008 she worked for the Maricopa County Democratic Party as an office manager and executive assistant whose main responsibility was to recruit volunteers and assist legislative district chairs. She worked in Governor Napolitano’s and Governor Brewer’s office in the Constituent Services Department, observing how policies were formulated. Afterward, she was an assistant to former State Senator Barb McGuire and saw how bills were written. She also saw Republican heavy-handedness in burying Democratic bills and, later, constitutional amendments like the Equal Rights Amendment.

She believes that a lot of our legislators are in office for “personal gain” and “are out of touch with reality with what is happening with people. They are living in a bubble and do not treat people with dignity and compassion.” This is especially problematic because it is in the local sphere of the city, school and utility boards, and state level where most decisions affecting lives are made.

She believes that for too long, only men have represented the Legislative District and she feels that it is “time for more diverse representation.” She is running for the State Senate because she “believes our state is at a crucial crossroads and we can choose to continue the status quo of corporate handouts or we can reclaim our state government for all Arizona’s.” She pledges to be a “true public servant who will not look the other way when I see corruption or anything that seems unethical.” She wants to be the voice of the people and their concerns as their advocate at the capital, relying on “community engagement while seeking real and practical solutions for all Arizonans that create the policy that will ensure the wellbeing for all.”

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Donkey Feed for August 5, 2018

By Michael Bryan

The Donkey Feed is here again, the skies are clear and blue again, happy days are here again! Seriously, though, this is the Donkey Feed: time to put on your specs, shift the browser to reader mode, and get down to the most relevant news stories, opinion, and long-form journalism I could find over the past 5 days. Please note our new, and much cuter, logo! Look at that! Awwwwwww…

I found some cool stuff online for you to get you started: a great visual breakdown of Arizona’s income inequality, a visual comparison of how the states raise their revenue (note how heavily Arizona relies on sales taxes), and a visual breakdown of America’s land use by area.

For best video of the week, I present U.S. Senator Chris Coons schooling the President on the criminality of collusion with Russia by simply reading the U.S. Code (BTW, here’s what real national security lawyers think about collusion, and seven theories of the case Mueller might consider).

As per reader requests, I have limited myself somewhat in the number of stories I present to you. This week, 10 stories for Arizona, 10 for national news, and 5 international stories, plus 3 books I’m reading this week. Hope that makes things a bit less overwhelming.

We are still fundraising here at BlogForArizona, so if you like all the weekly features and our regular blogging, please consider a small donation; you can start with buying us a Starbucks Venti Latte for just $5.




On with the main meal, then! Click on the ‘Continue Reading’ for the Feed.

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Call the Republicans what they are on fiscal responsibility: phonies

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, the only two Presidents in the last 40 years to preside over falling budget deficits while growing the American Economy. Clinton left this country with a budget surplus.

When Ronald Reagan raised the national debt from one trillion which took 200 years to accrue to over four in eight years, where was the Republican outrage on deficits?

When first-term popular vote loser George W. Bush took an inherited surplus and blew it on two unpaid tax cuts, an unpaid war in Iraq and a partially unpaid Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, where was the Republican outrage on deficits?

When the current popular vote loser President and his allies passed a major tax cut without paying for it, where was the Republican outrage on deficits?

Over the last 30 years, there have been two general reactions by Republicans when Presidents try to prudently manage the economy.

The first reaction on deficits is when they ridicule Presidents like George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama when they pass tax increases on the rich to bring deficits down, saying it is the wrong strategy to combat the national debt because it will bring down the economy. Here is a quick history lesson. Economic expansion occurred after Bush, Clinton, and Obama tax increases (the Reagan ones too but Republicans seem to have a memory lapse when it comes to that inconvenient truth.)

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