Category Archives: Editorial

Democratic Candidate Profiles to consider when voting this month

Dear reader,

Below are the links to the profiles of Democratic Candidates interviewed up until July 30, 2018. Future profiles will be added for study. Please use this valuable resource to help make the best-informed choice when you vote in August either via a mail-in ballot or in person on August 28, 2018. Above all, please do not forget to vote. There are many exceptional Democratic candidates to consider so please take the time to vote for the ones that you feel will best move your local community and the state forward.

Federal elections

Statewide elections

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Some Preliminary Thoughts on Conscience and Biophilia

By Michael Bryan

Humans arguably have a genetically determined capacity to empathize to some degree, to consider themselves from the viewpoint of another, and to imaginatively place themselves in the viewpoint of another. Together with our prosocial nature, these capacities are called conscience and underpin ethics, much of religion’s moral precepts, politics, law, and human social life.

While we have a psychological basis in the brain for such feelings and intuitions, our culture develops, refines and conditions our actual ethical/moral behavior by building upon that biological bedrock. For instance, the circle of a human’s ethical concern might naturally be constrained to those just like them, i.e. their own tribe, with outsiders falling into a category of “other” not requiring or eliciting the same level, or any, ethical obligations.

Some have theorized that the cultural phenomenon of religion has hijacked, or built upon our natural capacity for conscience to widen the circle of ethical concern to co-religionists, and even to the universe of all humans. Thus does culture reinforce, reify and widen the reach of our natural capacity for conscience, and turns it into the basis for ethics, religion, morality, philosophy, politics, law and hence into large-scale cooperative behavior. In recognizing that a fallow, culturally-undeveloped conscience is limited in its application to the complex social constructs and questions of a modern society, we might consider the innate capacity for love of the natural world that E.O. Wilson has termed “biophilia”.

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Julie Gunnigle pledges to fight corruption as a State Representative for LD 15

LD 15 Democratic State House Candidate Julie Gunnigle

In what has become the designated meeting place for Legislative District 15 Democratic Candidates, the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Julie Gunnigle ardently relayed why she would be the best candidate to work for the district’s constituents as one of the two State House Representatives after the November elections.

Ms. Gunnigle is one of three Democrats running for two State House seats in LD 15. The others are Jennifer Samuels and Tonya MacBeth. In what is a likely result of the prevailing political winds (The Trump Administration, the reactionary state Republican Legislature, and Governor beholden to Dark Money-Koch Interests), this is the first time in recent memory more than one Democrat is running to secure at least one of the State House seats.

Who is Julie Gunnigle?

 A native of LD 15, Ms. Gunnigle graduated with a Law Degree from Notre Dame University and served as a Cook County Prosecutor in Illinois (where she participated in the indictment of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Cook County) before moving back with her family in 2011 to practice education (special needs including gifted), midwifery, veteran’s affairs, and reproductive rights law. Some of her work (veteran’s law for example) is performed on a pro bono basis. She also taught at Summit Law School and has been a member of the Arizona Association Advocating for the Gifted and Talented, advocating for special needs children and restoration of funding for them in front of the Arizona State Legislature for three years. She is also a wife and mother.

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Treasurer Candidate Mark Manoil Seeks to Revitalize Arizona’s Economy Through Community Banks

Arizona State Treasurer Democratic Candidate Mark Manoil

Over beverages in the outdoor common area of the Phoenix café Lolas last week, Democrat Mark Manoil explained he would promote the creation of state community banks as the first Democratic Arizona State Treasurer since 1967. A July 25 Poll from Data Orbital shows the race between Manoil and his likely opponent Kimberly Yee a virtual dead heat with many undecideds Manoil has time to convince on the merit of his positions.

A Clean Elections Candidate, Mr. Manoil believes that “we need a Treasurer that is dedicated to preserving state assets including human capital.” He comes from a long line of public servants with his great-grandfather and granduncle serving as territorial treasurers before Arizona became a state. A graduate of Stanford and Arizona State University (where he received a Masters in Business Administration), he earned his law degree and has been practicing primarily property tax law for the last 30 years, which has partly equipped him with the knowledge necessary to function as the State Treasurer.

Mr. Manoil’s views on the State Financial Situation

 Mr. Manoil feels that Republican leadership, reinforced by the passage of Proposition 108 in 1992, has led this state to poor financial stewardship with tax cuts needing only a simple majority to pass but tax increases needing a supermajority to correct any fiscal imbalances or errors. This has led to a plutocrats dream where social justice programs like university tuition rates have soared since the early 1990’s while Dark Money interests reap the rewards with trickle-down tax cut after tax cut while the people have to pay regressive state taxes to try to maintain a semblance of state services.

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Support Citizen Journalism on the Blog for Arizona

Blog for Arizona writers

Some of your Blog for Arizona writers: Larry Bodine, Carolyn Classen, Michael Bryan, Pam Powers Hannley, and Linda Lyon

All the writers on the Blog for Arizona are volunteer citizen journalists. We cover the news stories that the daily newspapers overlook, working on our own time. If you value the independent, informed writing and exclusive stories you get every day on the Blog For Arizona, we ask that you support us with a donation.

Founder and attorney Michael Bryan explains, “We have faced some significant expenses due to site updates, new security requirements, and a recent malware attack. To defray the costs of running and maintaining the site we need money. Some of you have generously contributed to our fund drive, but every little bit helps.”

We’ll also use the funds for admission to political events (both parties charge up to $150 to attend some events), for new projects such as video blogs, and pay-per-click advertising campaigns so that more readers will find our articles. None of the money will go our writers, who will always be volunteers.

With the Nov. 6 general election getting closer every day, our mission of covering “Politics from a liberal viewpoint” has never been more important. Your donation will directly be a force for change for the better in Arizona. Contribute today!

To make a donation just visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/260938931377051/

 

Overcoming adversity, LD 24 Candidate Jennifer Longdon has devoted herself to a life of public service based on compassion and human interests.

LD 24 Democratic State House Candidate Jennifer Longdon

Jennifer Longdon symbolizes what a person can do when he or she overcomes great adversity. A native of Chicago (she favors Deep Dish Pizza to New York Style), Ms. Longdon has lived in Arizona since 1999. A successful businesswoman and mother, she was the victim of a random shooting in 2004 that permanently paralyzed her from the waist down. The shooting financially ruined her with her health insurance dropping her coverage while she was in a medically induced coma. After recovering, Ms. Longdon dedicated her life to championing for the most neglected, “disenfranchised,” and persecuted minority group in the country, the disabled. In the course of becoming a public advocate for the disabled, Ms. Longdon became a champion for other social justice and progressive causes, including education, LGBTQ rights, reducing gun violence, and health care. Believing that she is the best candidate because of her life experience on health care and gun violence and her activism in those areas, she believes “legislating is an extension of the work I have been doing for a long time.”

LD 24 encompasses all or part of Phoenix and Scottsdale. A reliably Democratic District, Republicans have not seen a victory here in several election cycles. There are seven Democrats, including an incumbent (Ken Clark) vying for the two state house seats in the primary election. Based on recent history, the results of the primary will undoubtedly determine which two candidates are seated in the legislature in January.

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