Category Archives: Education

In 2019, #AZLeg Should Review Corporate Tax Giveaways (video)

Fair tax forum in Tucson

A standing room only crowd filled the IBEW Hall for the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Forum, hosted by PALF and PDA Tucson, with support from other unions and community groups.

#RedForEd lifted the veil from our eyes and put the issue of corporate tax giveaways front and center in the fight to restore public education funding in Arizona.

As many of you are aware, the Arizona Legislature is giving away more than $13 billion in taxes every year and using only $10 billion to run the state. It is not sound fiscal policy to use accounting gimmicks and 50 fund transfers to “balance” the budget. It is no surprise that the state owes K-12 education around $1 billion. Thanks to scheduled corporate tax cuts passed by the Tea Party*, beginning in 2011, Arizona’s corporations got to keep an extra $1 billion in 2017. These corporate tax cuts continue through 2019, even though we can’t afford them.

As a result of the anger and frustration that many Tucsonans feel about the Arizona Legislature’s performance, the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Community Forum drew a standing room only crowd of diverse participants.

The event opened with heart-felt testimonies from current high school students, who explained how school budget cuts have impacted their lives and their schools.

LD9 Rep. Randy Friese gave a detailed presentation on tax revenue and how it has been siphoned off by special interest groups and corporate tax cuts for decades. (Video here.)

LD9 Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley’s talk focused specific tax giveaway bills and the drama that swirled around the bills that passed and the ones that failed. (Video here.) Excluding any votes related to budget appropriations, all of the tax giveaway votes in the 53rd Legislature were bipartisan— with Democrats and Republicans on both sides.

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Arizona List Endorses Victoria Steele for AZ Senate in LD9

From the Arizona List:

Arizona List is proud to endorse Victoria Steele for LD 9 State Senator. The Arizona List is a committee for pro-choice Democratic women in Arizona.

Victoria gets things done

As a State House member, Victoria delivered results for Arizona and the people of LD 9. In her first term she secured half a million dollars in the state budget for mental health first aid, and in her second term, she was the sponsor of two of the eight total Democratic bills to pass the House. As a State Senator, she vows to work tirelessly to make sure that the state budget is balanced to the benefit of all Arizonans, and not on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens.

Victoria is a champion for women

Prior to entering politics, Victoria was a master’s level professional counselor helping women struggling with trauma and addiction. She created the Native Ways program at The Haven, an award-winning substance use residential treatment program for Indigenous women. She is a life-long feminist and a co-founder of the Tucson Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) where she is highly active in advocating for women’s equality and empowerment.

Victoria will fight for an economy that is fair for everyone

Victoria firmly believes that hard-working Arizonans deserve jobs with a living wage. She will end tax loopholes for corporations and others that have outlived their usefulness and restore those revenue streams for our state’s economy. She will fight to fix our crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure, and make sure that affordable, quality healthcare – which is a right, not a privilege – is available to everyone.

We need Victoria’s leadership and experience in the State Senate. Join us in supporting her! Volunteer with her campaign, get campaign updates on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Changing the Face of Power in Arizona

Contributions to Arizona List and Arizona List PAC are not deductible for tax purposes. Arizona Law limits the amount that an individual can contribute each year to candidates and non-party committees that support candidates. Paid for by Arizona List and not authorized by any candidate. Become a member of Arizona List today · Join for as little as $10/month

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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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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GOP candidates demonstrate contempt for their GOP primary voters: no debates!

There has been an interesting reveal from the The Arizona Republic fka The Arizona Republican this week.

Its editorial board is currently conducting interviews with candidates for the purpose of making primary endorsements.

It turns out the GOP candidates for governor and U.S. Senate are willing to meet with the editors of the The Arizona Republican, but they are not willing to debate one another in the GOP primary.

These GOP candidates demonstrate contempt for their GOP primary voters by refusing to debate. The Arizona Republican should withhold its endorsement of any candidate who refuses to debate his or her opponent and demonstrate such contempt for primary voters. (The Arizona Republican will, of course, endorse the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry approved establishment candidates Doug Ducey and Martha McSally, because rubber-stamping the chamber endorsed candidates is what they have always done).

This is why editorial endorsements carry so little weight these days.

In any case, Gov. Doug Ducey, challenger Ken Bennett meet for first time before Arizona GOP primary:

In what will likely be their only face-to-face discussion of policy issues before the Republican primary election, Gov. Doug Ducey and his challenger, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, exchanged polite verbal jabs Friday during a meeting with The Arizona Republic editorial board.

Ducey has declined to debate Bennett at two forums next week: one co-hosted by The Republic and Arizona PBS, and another sponsored by the Clean Elections Commission.

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Stop Thief! Community Forum on Restoring Fair Taxes

Arizona Legislature

HB2479 was was a sales tax exemption with an unknown price tag. Despite being hotly debated, it passed the House on a bipartisan vote.

LD9 House incumbents– Dr. Randy Friese and I– will be the featured speakers at the Stop Thief community forum on tax giveaways on July 31 at the IBEW Hall.

As many of you are aware, Arizona is upside down on its mortgage. Thanks to years of Republican tax cuts, our state gives away more than $13 billion in taxes and spends just $10 billion to run the state. For years, the people of Arizona believed the lie that our state is broke. Now the veil has been lifted. The people realize that our state has plenty of revenue. The problem is that the majority of our Legislators vote to give the money away–rather than spend it on much-needed services– like public education.

Austerity is a lie. Arizona has the money to fund public education. The problem is: the Legislature gives our taxes away. It’s time to end crony capitalism in Arizona.

When the Arizona budget comes up short because of the tax giveaways, loopholes, and sweetheart deals, Republicans cut funds from K-12 education, the universities, the community colleges, healthcare, and environmental protections. OR they suggest raising sales tax to fill in the budget gaps caused by tax cuts for the rich and for the corporations. (Unfortunately, some Democrats go along with more tax cuts for the powerful and more sales tax for the rest of us.)

The Arizona Legislature should be funding the People’s To-Do List– education, healthcare, infrastructure, and safety and security– not the corporate wish list.

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