Category Archives: Lobbying

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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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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Russian operative arrested for influence operation in the NRA and GOP

Almost lost in Trump’s Surrender Summit on Monday is news that the Department of Justice announced it had arrested prominent Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina over the weekend, accusing her of setting up “back channel” lines of communication with the Kremlin in an operation that spanned from the months before Trump announced his candidacy in 2015 through February 2017, the month after his inauguration. What a Russian operative’s indictment reveals about the Kremlin’s attempts to infiltrate American politics and the NRA:

In the unsealed indictment, the department accused Butina of conspiring to infiltrate U.S. political groups and advance the agenda of the Russian government through her network of high-profile American contacts in politics and media.

Read the full Complaint and attached Affidavit.

The indictment includes the most explicit and detailed accusation to date against a Russian, working with the help of an American citizen, to influence the 2016 presidential election. It also provides new details about the Russian government’s attempts to curry favor among prominent Americans.

Notably, the charges are not being made by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russia’s attempts to meddle in the 2016 election. The investigation was carried out by the FBI’s field office in Washington, and Butina is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s national security division.

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21 Year Retired Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and Civic Activist Michelle Harris seeks to turn the LD 13 Senate Seat Blue in November

Democratic LD 13 Senate Candidate Michelle Harris

With her husband as a campaign manager and 30 volunteers at her disposal, retired 21 Year Air Force Veteran Master Sergeant and local Civic Activist Michelle Harris is seeking the LD 13 Senate Seat this November in order to make it Blue. Her potential opponent, to be determined after the August 28 Primary, may be disgraced expelled State House Member Don Shooter. This well qualified and experienced Clean Elections candidate, with a compelling message and agenda, is one of many Democrats that will help shift the balance of power from Republicans in the November Elections.

Over water, coffee, croissants, and a very huge Blueberry Muffin at Mimi’s Café at Dysart and the I-10, Master Sergeant Harris enthusiastically relayed why she is the best candidate for the State Senate in LD 13 and the its residents whose territory stretches from Yuma in the South to Wickenburg in the North with parts or all of Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Buckeye, and Avondale in between. Motivated to run because local state leaders from the district or the Corporation Commission did not take the time to address concerns in a either a timely (sewage rate increase) or any (school voucher expansion) manner, Harris wants to use the training and experience gained from her service in the Air Force to engage with all stakeholders on the needs of the district and solve problems in a consensus fashion. If she prevails this November, she will be the first Democrat in recent memory to win a legislative seat in this district.

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“The Blue Wave Starts Here” as Maricopa County Democrats Gather at the Summer Convention

Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Democratic Party

About 700 excited and enthusiastic Democratic activists, including many candidates, precinct captains, and Legislative District chairpersons, filled the auditorium at the Performing Arts Center of Horizon High School in Paradise Valley on June 30 to attend the Summer Convention of the Maricopa Democratic Party.

They heard speakers including the County Party Leadership, Maricopa County State Representatives Kelli Butler and Mitzi Epstein, House Representative Ruben Gallego, the three Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates (Farley, Fryer, and Garcia), Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, and Guest Speaker Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Steven Slugocki speaking at June 30 Maricopa County Summer Convention; photo courtesy of Maricopa County Democratic Party.

The gathered assemblage conveyed an optimistic mood, cheering when Maricopa County Party Leader Steven Slugocki proclaimed that the “Blue Wave starts here” in the “largest Battleground County.”

He happily reported that the Democratic Party has surged in growth since 2016, citing examples of the quadrupling in the number of Precinct Captains in some Legislative Districts (with LD 18, for example exploding with 254 of which I have to disclose I am one) and legislative offices.

Slugocki also relayed that there has been a surge in the number of candidates. In 2014, the Democrats recruited 55 people to run and there were some positions where Republicans ran unopposed, today there are 75 people running and all legislative offices are being contested. LD 23 was singled out for being the district that gathered the most ballot signatures and LD 12 for the most voter registrations.

Read: LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland sees 2018 as a Referendum on Public Education.

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