Category Archives: Education

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.

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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 endorses Kathy Hoffman for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Four years ago it was widely assumed that David Garcia would be elected Superintendent of Public Instruction. His opponent, Diane Douglas, barely ran a visible campaign for the office. But due to a GOP voter registration edge in Arizona and mindless GOP tribalism in the voter booth, Diane Douglas won in the shocker of the 2014 election.

Douglas has been controversial and a complete disaster during her tenure as Superintendent of Public Instruction. This is why she was defeated for reelection in the GOP primary back in August. Hindsight is always 20-20. These Republican voters should have been more discerning back in 2014 instead of voting out of GOP tribalism. They could have saved everyone a lot of unnecessary trauma from the antics of Diane Douglas. Republicans should keep this lesson in mind this year.

The Arizona Republic endorses Democratic candidate Kathy Hoffman for Superintendent of Public Instruction. What’s the best quality to help Arizona public schools: Experience or energy?

The race for superintendent of public instruction hinges on the answer to one simple question: Is experience or energy needed more?

The superintendent doesn’t have the power to boost teacher pay or raise taxes to bolster education funding, the two issues driving current education debates. That’s up to the Legislature, the state Board of Education and local school boards.

But this race matters because the winner will oversee the Department of Education – which is basically broken [after the disastrous tenure of Diane Douglas].

There has been heavy turnover during outgoing superintendent Diane Douglas’s tenure. Many experts have left, and morale is in the tank for those who remain. Not surprisingly, this office is no longer producing the helpful training, reliable policy direction and robust student-achievement data that Arizona’s public schools need.

It needs a fixer – someone who can break up the status quo and reinvigorate the department.

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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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Kyrsten Sinema Vows to Fight for the Issues that Matter To Arizonans

Democratic Senate Nominee Ninth Congressional District Representative Kyrsten Sinema

The contest to gain control of the United States Senate may be decided in Arizona with Ninth Congressional District House Representative Kyrsten Sinema running against Second Congressional District House Representative Republican Martha McSally for the seat held by outgoing Senator Jeff Flake. Observers feel the outcome of this race may decide who controls the United States Senate. Representative Sinema is looking to become the first Democrat to win a United States Senate seat since 1988.

With Sinema leading throughout the summer, the race has drawn closer as the McSally campaign and her surrogates have launched a series of misleading, inaccurate and false negative ads against her Democratic opponent.

The Sinema team and her supporters have been very effective in rapidly replying to these attacks with accurate, factual ads on McSally, especially on the issue of protecting pre-existing health conditions where ads relay how the Republican nominee publicly distorted her voting record to hide that she actually moved to undermine these protections.

Sinema has done well in appealing to Democrats, Independents, and Republicans disenchanted with the direction Trump has taken their party.

The first debate (an event the McSally people have been “hesitant” to embrace) is scheduled for Monday, October 15.

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