Category Archives: David Gordon

Articles by David Gordon

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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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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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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CD6 Candidate Garrick McFadden Knows How Democrats Can Beat Schweikert & Gosar

Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Garrick McFadden with his wife and daughter.

Paying another visit to the Coffee Bean on Indian School and Miller in Scottsdale, Congressional District Six candidate Garrick McFadden offered his perspective (while I devoured a Volcano Brownie) on how Democrats can win in CD 6 and other state offices and local and congressional districts while improving their party infrastructure.

Saying “demographics is destiny,” McFadden, running for the Democratic Nomination in CD 6 against Anita Malik and Heather Ross, feels that Democrats can beat Republicans across the state by employing two methods to improve the Democratic state infrastructure: ground game and technology.

First, all candidates need a well-manned ground game, staffed with a multicultural team of volunteers that will go into all Democratic-leaning communities, knock on doors, and persuade the voters in those areas to turn out and vote in levels that will improve the hopefully winning margins for Democratic Candidates. Mr. McFadden feels that these voters in Democratic-leaning precincts are a largely untapped reservoir of Democratic supporters that need to be cultivated, educated, persuaded, and encouraged to turn out in levels that perhaps candidates in previous election cycles did not vigorously pursue.

Second, using technology effectively is another way McFadden believes Democrats can improve their infrastructure and improve their margins in Democratic-leaning precincts. Making use of the VAN vote builder software application, McFadden and other candidates can identify likely Democratic voters and efficiently target them to visit and discuss their candidacies with them.

Mr. McFadden’s strategy has already yielded unparalleled results. According to Mariana Aguilar, Mr. McFadden’s campaign coordinator “based on Garrick’s ground game theory, we have already knocked over 20,000 doors, more than any other Democratic campaign in the history of the district. And unlike other campaigns, we have not only prioritized Democrats who always vote, but also Democrats in marginalized communities that may not vote in every election. Garrick believes that only with both of these groups at the polls can Democrats win in District 6 or statewide—one of the reasons why we set up our campaign office at the Metro Center Mall along the I-17 corridor.”

McFadden’s approach to winning echoes many candidates who are running on a liberal progressive (rather than pragmatic progressive) message, employing a getting out the base strategy to winning. The campaign has and will also reach out to other potential supporters like independents, disaffected Republicans and Democrats that voted for Trump after they voted for Obama (although McFadden did express wonder how some Obama supporters could have supported to Trump, the ultimate Birther, after seeing his behavior, lies, and actions during the campaign). He feels that Democrats should run on issues similar to ones he is championing which include single-payer health care, paycheck fairness, disbanding private prisons, abolishing I.C.E. (or shifting it to the Department of Justice) and decriminalizing cannabis. He also feels that Republicans like David Schweikert and Paul Gosar are embarrassments and should be defeated because they have demonstrated a continual refusal to listen to their constituents on issues like the Affordable Care Act.

Garrick McFadden has several good ideas on how to improve Democratic turnout that should be considered. Voters are not going to turn out for a candidate if they do not make an effort like coming to their door to reach out to them and discuss ideas for moving the district forward.

For more information on Mr. McFadden, his ideas, and his race for the Democratic Nomination in CD 6, please view the links below.

https://www.facebook.com/electgarrick/

https://www.electgarrick.com/

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Home&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.electgarrick.com%2F





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Invest in Ed is not the end for funding our schools. It is only the beginning.

There is great enthusiasm among Democratic circles that the Invest in Ed ballot initiative will pass this November and restore about two-thirds of the 2008 education funding levels by taxing our wealthiest residents.

The question now is what comes after. What dedicated source will make up the remainder to fund education at 2008 levels? And more importantly, will this mechanism fund our schools at 2019 levels and get us out of the cellar of national ranking scales for education funding?

While writing for Blog for Arizona, I’ve interviewed candidates running for LD office and Superintendent of Public Instruction, as well as Noah Karvelis of Red for Ed, which spearheaded the Invest in Ed initiative along with the Arizona Center for Economic Progress. Their immediate focus is passing Invest in Ed in November. As to what comes after, many echo Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Farley’s proposal to rescind corporate tax giveaways. Other ideas center around general tax reform, taking away tax credits (including those for vouchers) that go to private schools, a constitutional amendment that mandates school funding with inflation adjustments, increasing state bonding capacity for school construction, and – if absolutely necessary with no other available options – raising the sales tax.

So here’s the important public policy consideration to remember: Invest in Ed is not the end for funding our schools. It is only the beginning. If Democrats perform as expected this November, they will consider many ideas to bring Arizona out of the nation’s basement of funding education.





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