Category Archives: Initiatives

‘Don’t be fooled by legislative flimflam’ – vote no on Prop. 306

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposed the citizens initiative to create the Citizens Clean Elections Commissions. They lost.  They have used their lickspittle lackeys in Arizona’s GOP-controlled legislature ever since to undermine the commission – with some success – with the goal to eventually destroy it.

Their latest effort is Prop. 306 which misleading claims to reform some clean elections rules. Don’t be fooled by the language of the ballot measure.

Mark Kimble, former editor of the now defunct Tucson Citizen, has an op-ed at the Arizona Daily Star which explains Prop 306 imperils nonpartisan Citizens Clean Elections Commission:

Twenty years ago, Arizona voters approved formation of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, to “improve the integrity of Arizona state government and promote public confidence in the Arizona political process.”

But on the November ballot, the Arizona Legislature, using Prop. 306, is trying to trick you into doing away with the nonpartisan Clean Elections Commission. They want you to turn the entire process over to a shadow group of political appointees, all of whom would represent only the party of the governor.

Legislators want to do all they can to make sure the sources of dark money in political campaigns remain secret. And they want your help.

Take a close look at Prop. 306 and understand what the real goal is.

The majority in the Legislature knew that if they put on the ballot a clearly worded proposition to do away with clean elections, it would be soundly rejected. So they resorted to obfuscation and misdirection.

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LD 17 Democrats shine in Clean Elections Debate

 

LD 17 Democratic State Senate Nominee Steve Weichert and State House Nominee Jennifer Pawlik

Arizona Local District 17, which includes all or parts of Gilbert, Chandler, and Sun Lakes, is becoming increasingly purple over the last two years. Some pundits and commentators like the organization Flippable, seeing a potential blue wave coming in November, feel that Democratic House Nominee Jennifer Pawlik and Democratic Senate Nominee Steve Weichert have a good chance of defeating their Republican counterparts in the next election.

On Tuesday, October 9, both Ms. Pawlik and Mr. Weichert attended the Clean Elections Debate in the second floor Copper Room of the Chandler Public Library. Republican and current Arizona Speaker of the House JD Mesnard, the Republican nominee for the State Senate seat also attended. The two House Republican candidates competing against Ms. Pawlik did not appear at this event, continuing a pattern across the county of the Party of Lincoln nominees being too busy to engage and discuss their views with the people.

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Jennifer Jermaine Campaigns for an Inclusive Progressive Vision in LD18

Democratic LD 18 State House Candidate Jennifer Jermaine

One of the reasons Democrats are poised to make gains in the State Legislature in 2018 is the recruitment of stellar and compelling candidates to run for the Senate and House. One of these candidates is Legislative District 18 candidate Jennifer Jermaine who is running to replace Republican Incumbent State House Representative Jill Norgaard, a conservative who subscribes to the failed trickle-down theory of economic and social justice policy.

Arizona LD 18 includes all or parts of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Ahwatukee. It is one of several districts that have become increasingly blue. Republicans are no longer the number one political party in the district. Currently, Democrat Mitzi Epstein is the other current State House incumbent from the district and fellow Democrat Sean Bowie is the current State Senator from this area.

Previously profiled for Blog of Arizona along with Representative Epstein, Ms. Jermaine agreed to a follow-up interview where she responded to questions on the issues she was running on and the state of her campaign.

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Eric Kurland campaigns to be part of the Blue Wave in LD 23

LD 23 Democratic State House Nominee Eric Kurland

Arizona Legislative District 23, a district that includes parts or all of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, and Rio Verde, has not seen a local Democratic Representative in recent memory. In fact, Republicans ran unopposed in the recent 2012 and 2014 elections. Democrat Tammy Caputi ran and gained about 26 percent in a three-way race with the two Republicans that did take both State House Seats in 2016.

Saying “It is time for a teacher,” Scottsdale Educator Eric Kurland seeks to build on Caputi’s performance and beat either incumbent Jay Lawrence (a reactionary conservative who looks like arch villian Stephano DeMira from Days of Our Lives) or Senator John Kavanagh (another reactionary conservative who is running for the House seat because he is term-limited from running again in the Senate.) Both Republican candidates have been accused by Mr. Kurland of being aloof and inattentive to the needs and concerns of their constituents while catering their votes to the needs of Dark Money (Koch Brother for example, interests).

Profiled earlier this summer (please see link below), Mr. Kurland described, at breakfast at the Scottsdale Restaurant “Randy’s” the current state of his campaign and where he sees his path to victory.

  • Please describe the three top issues the people want you to discuss the most when you meet with them.

Education-charter school oversight-people protective of taxpayer dollars It is not a partisan issue when elected officials take public tax dollars for your kids and line their pockets. People that are following the rules should be glad the light is shining on the bad actors. Education funding is also a top priority along with dirty money and the elected officials not serving the people that elected them. I want to Reform ballot initiative process so it is easier. Charters getting some $1500 extra dollars because they cannot go out for overrides can be fixed be establishing taxing districts where charters can get their votes just like all other charter schools. They (the legislature) stopped Cave Creek from converting to public schools (so they could get additional funding assistance) but let Eddie (Farnsworth) keep the rules that enabled him to cash out. All public schools need to play by the same rules. We need to have a level playing field. I am for school choice but we need a larger conversation about accountability and transparency. I am only in favor of vouchers for severe special needs kids.”

Last month, Mr. Kurland, in reaction to the Arizona Supreme Court Ruling taking Invest in Ed off the ballot, commented that “this ruling was decided in 2016 when the majority party, despite the objections by the Chief Justice, packed the court by expanding the number of justices from five to seven. It is quite clear that the few, well-connected can remain anonymous as they buy their politicians and then sit back smoking cigars while the voice of everyday people is muted.” Furthermore, he stated, “the solution is to not just vote for people like myself but to get others to do so as well. I will put legislation in play that models the Tempe ordinance on dirty money that garnered 91% of the vote. Then, we will honor the will of the voters and place a revenue source for public education on the ballot and let the people decide. As a teacher, I see this in terms of a math question. How many doors must a person knock on to get 31 + 16 + 1? I also might add. The incumbents haven’t listened when the vast majority of their constituents reportedly told them that they want public education funded properly. They haven’t listened when 91% of the voters in Tempe wanted to unmask Dirty Money. They only listen to those that put money into their campaigns. And I will make a prediction that they will continue not to listen and won’t show up to any of the debates. They just can’t be bothered by the everyday person.”

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More opposition to Prop. 126

I have previously posted No on Prop. 126, the false and purposefully misleading Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act and posted Abe Kwok of The Arizona Republic adding his voice in opposition to Prop. 126. Another opinion against Prop. 126.

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Howard Fisher reports, Arizona’s Prop. 126 — a ban on taxing services — draws diverse resistance:

To hear the proponents of Proposition 126 tell it, Arizona lawmakers are chomping at the bit to tax medical services, child care and veterinary bills.

Never mind that lawmakers already can do that — and have not.

The initiative sponsors, financed by Arizona Realtors and their national parent organization, want to put a [preemptive] provision in the state constitution. It would forever preclude the Legislature from expanding the current sales-tax base to services that are not already taxed.

And they have built a war chest — $6.1 million as of the last campaign-finance report filed in the middle of August — to get voters to agree. The campaign is operating under the umbrella of Citizens for Fair Tax Policy.

There is no organized opposition.

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Maricopa County Dem Chair: “Now is our time to take back our state”

Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairperson Steven Slugocki

After a Democratic surge in the August 28 primary and subsequent rallies to unite and energize party activists, Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairperson Steven Slugocki took time to give his impressions about the primary results and the campaign ahead to turn Arizona blue.

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