Category Archives: Education

LD 11 Incumbents Support for Public Ed

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I am a campaign manager for a candidate challenging Mark Finchem for the AZ House in LD 11.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you probably know that this is an election year where K-12 education has been on center stage, at least here in Arizona. Here in LD 11, where I live, both Representatives Mark Finchem (running for reelection to the AZ House) and Vince Leach (running this year for the AZ Senate), have intimated they are supporters of education and have worked to restore funding back to 2008 levels.




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First of all, I believe that if a politician doesn’t specify they are a supporter of PUBLIC education, they probably aren’t. Secondly, funding for Arizona public education is still almost $800 million short per year from 2008 levels, even with the plus-up in budget approved this year. And oh by the way, bringing our funding back up to 2008 levels isn’t exactly something to brag about, and the 5 percent raises promised teachers in 2019 and 2020 don’t count until they actually happen. For now, they are just promises that future legislators will need to make good on. Continue reading

Democrat LD 15 House Candidate Tonya MacBeth wants to help dig Arizona out of the hole dug by the policies of Nancy Barto and John Allen

LD 15 State House Candidate Tonya MacBeth

Once upon a time, Republicans in legislative districts like LD 15 (a district that includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Glendale, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley) could run virtually unopposed for election and reelection because Democrats hardly challenged them. For example, current LD 15 State Senator Nancy Barto only had one opponent in 2012 and 2014, a Republican in the district primary before Tonya MacBeth challenged her in 2016. On the House side, incumbents Heather Carter and John Allen ran unopposed in 2014 and defeated single shot candidates Patricia Flickner in 2012 and Brandon Dwyer in 2016.

Well times are changing in LD 15 and other districts previously uncontested or little challenged by Democrats.

2018 is an embarrassment of riches for Democrats as three exemplary and passionate aspiring public servants led by 2016 State Senate Candidate Tonya MacBeth (the others are Jennifer Samuels and Julie Gunnigle) all vie for an opportunity to face off against incumbent John Allen and term-limited in the Senate Nancy Barto in the State House of Representative election on November 6 (Ms. Carter is term-limited in the House and running for the district state senate seat against a fourth exemplary, passionate, and aspiring Democratic public servant, Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko).

At what is becoming the press office for Democratic candidates in LD 15 (the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Tonya MacBeth gave an impassioned presentation on why she would be an ideal legislator for LD 15 as a mature voice for pragmatic centrist-progressivism.

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As Governor, Steve Farley Will Fight for Education and Social Justice

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Farley, the Arizona Senate Assistant Minority Leader

In his Phoenix campaign headquarters on 7th Street, state Senator Steve Farley detailed how he will serve the people as Arizona’s next Governor in the areas of promoting quality and safe education, fighting Dark Money corruption, expanding democracy, bolstering social justice programs, modernizing our state infrastructure while protecting our environment and water supply, and helping to secure our borders.

Who is Senator Steve Farley? Continue reading

Democratic Candidate Sharon Stinard offers “Service Above Self” for the residents of LD 16.

LD 16 Democratic State House Candidate Sharon Stinard

At the Starbucks at Broadway and Power in Mesa, second time State House Democratic Candidate Sharon Stinard offered a pragmatic progressive vision for the residents of LD 16 as she prepares to go potentially against out of touch reactionary zealot Kelly Townsend and another Republican (to be determined after the primary) because the other current incumbent decided not to run in the November elections there is an “open seat” opportunity in November. In a district that includes parts of Maricopa and Pinal County, Ms. Stinard is running on a platform that emphasizes education, healthcare, infrastructure, and strategic economic development (including tax reform) and job growth.

LD 16 includes parts of Eastern Maricopa county and Northern Pinal. Parts or all of Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, and Youngberg are within its boundaries. The district has been reliably Republican in recent elections. Ms. Stinard and Cara Prior lost to incumbents Kelly Townsend and Doug Coleman in 2016.

Believing that local politics is the “foundation of our republic” and we cannot let “one side have all the oxygen in the room,” Ms. Stinard believes LD 16 voters deserve a strong voice in the legislature to advocate for economic opportunity and an equitable share of available resources,” Ms. Stinard believes, with the open seat and Ms. Townsend becoming increasingly radicalized with her positions (opposition to Invest in Ed and Medicaid Expansion) and out of touch with the people of the district (she rarely interacts with them according to Ms. Stinard), that there is an opening for her pragmatic progressive vision for LD 16.

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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 Steve Farley’s Economic Recovery Plan


Governor candidate Steve Farley’s serious and sober ad is aimed at the age 50+ voters who dominate Tucson politics. Below is his playful 30-second TV ad is aimed at a diverse, Millennial audience and pokes fun at his political nerdiness. “I’m a policy wonk,” he says. 

A few years ago two companies with 3,000 jobs apiece considered relocating to Arizona. They liked the climate and the natural beauty of the state but saw two things they didn’t like and rejected Arizona. They were aware of the corporate tax breaks created by our Republican Governor, but they didn’t care about that. “That was way down the list,” they told interviewers later.

Company executives said Arizona had two big negatives — the lack of a sustainable workforce and the absence of a long-term commitment to funding public education. The GOP Governor had slashed funding to state universities, community colleges, and grade schools to pay for the corporate tax breaks, and the strategy is an economic disaster.

“This is why Amazon did not consider Arizona as a location, and why Intel has said publicly it wouldn’t be here if it didn’t have so much stranded capital at its Chandler campus,” says Steve Farley, Democratic candidate for Governor. He spoke at a rousing meeting of the Democrats of Greater Tucson.

Failed Republican economic strategy
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