Category Archives: Water

Blue Wave Washed over #AZLeg: Seven GOP Incumbents Lose Seats

AZ House Democratic Caucus

Democratic Caucus of the Arizona House– all 29 of us! Our newly elected Minority Leader is Rep. Charlene Fernandez (center in white jacket).

In the week since the 2018 Midterm Election, pundits have been judging the size and very existence of the predicted Blue Wave . To determine if the Blue Wave of newly elected Democrats was a tsunami or a just ripple, the media has focused primarily on Congressional and gubernatorial races–with little or no mention of state legislatures.

With voter turnout at 60%, there is no doubt that a Blue Wave washed over Arizona on Nov. 6, 2018. Democratic women won major victories: US Senate (Kyrsten Sinema), CD2 (Ann Kirkpatrick), Corporation Commission (Sandra Kennedy), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Kathy Hoffman), and maybe but still too close to call Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs).

In the Arizona House, the Blue Wave was more of a tsunami. Seven Republican incumbents will not be returning to the Arizona Legislature in January 2019.

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LD 11 Democratic Senate Candidate Ralph Atchue Fights back against the Lies being spread on TV by Vince Leach

LD 11 Democratic State Nominee Ralph Atchue

Vince Leach, a person regarded as a reactionary anti-democratic zealot in most state Democratic party circles, has been conveying blatantly false information about his opponent in the race for the LD 11 Senate seat, Ralph Atchue, lying about his positions on border security and taxes on television commercials on CNN and Fox.

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Voting for the Planet

I probably don’t have to remind you how important it is to vote this year. But it is especially vital to safeguarding our remaining environmental protections. This year Rep. McSally completely disregarded our requests to protect our waterways. In fact, she used her clout with the President to urge him to sign a bill allowing mines to dump their toxic tailings into our streams.  See her letter to the President here.

Since President Trump has taken office, there have been so many assaults on our national parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges, endangered animals, the ocean, our water, and even the air we breathe. Our so-called representatives worked to repeal or dismantle hard fought for environmental protections: Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Act, Clean Water Rule, Methane Waste Prevention Rule, Clean Air Act, Emissions Standards, Endangered Species Act, to name a few.

League of Conservation Voters Scorecard

Here is a list of some environmental assaults that I’ve compiled since Pres. Trump took office, aptly named “Crimes Against Humanity.” (I haven’t had time to completely update it.  It’s hard keeping up with them all!)

Putting a hold on the Clean Power Plan made Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team’s fight against TEP’s 10 gas-fired engines so much more difficult (if not impossible). Read my blog about our struggle here.

If you would like to help our efforts in encouraging TEP to transition quicker to clean energy, there are two things you can do. 1) Vote “yes” on prop. 127, the citizens initiative that requires them to transition to 50% clean energy by 2030. Read: Renewable Energy and Prop 127, in a nutshell by Paul Hirt.  2) Vote for members of the Arizona Corporation Commission who haven’t been bought by the utility companies.

The Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter endorses Sandra Kennedy and Kianna Sears for the ACC.

Sandra Kennedy previously served in the Arizona Legislature and as a Corporation Commissioner. She is a strong advocate for solar energy and energy savings through efficiency and conservation, and she supports Proposition 127. Sandra has repeatedly opposed efforts to weaken Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard, including by voting against trash burning as a renewable energy resource. Sierra Club gives Sandra Kennedy a strong endorsement.

Kiana Sears wants to help put the Arizona Corporation Commission back on track to do its job to hold utilities accountable. She supports Proposition 127 and significantly increasing our state’s commitment to clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. She also wants to see the Commission do more to watchdog private water companies. Sierra Club is pleased to endorse Kiana Sears for the Arizona Corporation Commission.

You can read the Sierra Club’s voter guide here.

The Sierra Club didn’t mention Mine Inspector Candidate Pill Pierce. But Blog for Arizona writer David Gordon wrote:

Democrat AZ Mine Inspector Candidate Bill Pierce Will Protect Us from Soil and Water Contamination

It is also important to vote for Arizona legislators who aren’t trying to dismantle our environmental protections.

In the past year, Sustainable Tucson’s advocacy team submitted Requests to Speak in response to several bills that would weaken the Arizona Water Law that requires proof that there is 100 years worth of water before applications for new developments are approved. Realtor Gail Griffin, the chair of the Natural Resources, Energy and Water committee, fought tooth and nail to weaken these laws so they can push through a new development that would drain the one river in Arizona that still flows year round: the San Pedro.

The Republican majority of our state legislator made it a priority to dismantle regulations. They even made it illegal for towns to ban plastic bags. (How’s that for the party of “Freedom” and eliminating government overreach?)

The newest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). states that Climate Change is worse than first thought, but… humans can still prevent the worst effects.  This election is an opportunity to make a real difference by voting for the planet.

Looking forward to seeing lots of “I VOTED” stickers – or better yet – “I voted for the planet!”

In Monday’s Arizona Senate Debate, it was a Tale of Two Temperaments: Poised versus Unhinged

Republican Senate Nominee Martha McSally and Democratic Senate Nominee Kyrsten Sinema debated on Monday, October 15, 2018

Arizona Voters were able to see for the first time and only time this election season the two party nominees vying to succeed Senator Jeff Flake in the November elections. People watching were treated to two candidates, Representative Kyrsten Sinema, and Representative Martha McSally who both displayed contrasting visions and temperaments to the viewing public.

Democratic nominee Representative Kyrsten Sinema came across as poised, prepared, mature, approachable, bipartisan and wonky. On issue, after issue, be it healthcare, Brett Kavanagh, border security, climate change, or the economy,  she skillfully laid out for the audience her positions and why she supported or opposed differing policy initiatives or nominees. She conducted herself professionally when attacked by her opponent,  calmly refuting each assertion brought on by her.

In sharp contrast, Representative Martha McSally came across as unhinged, inflexible, bombastic, animated, and untruthful. On issue after issue, she continually parrotted Republican talking points on the border, health care, the economy. taxes, and Brett Kavanaugh. She brought up Nancy Pelosi (the Republican boogeyman of the last 12 years) at least twice and when it came time for her response to the topic of climate change, she immediately demanded to shift the topic to the military where she regurgitated all the proven misleading, inaccurate, and false accusations against Representative Sinema, even “slinging mud” by accusing her of treason for remarks made in 2003 (long before the Democratic Nominee ever held office).

Overall, it was a very good debate performance from Sinema this evening. She was poised, mature, and looked like a United States Senator. McSally looked like a person from a Trump rally who was about to come out in a rash and burst. The only potential real hiccup for the Democratic Nominee was Sinema not forcefully denouncing McSally for questioning her patriotism by saying she committed treason. Sinema maintained her composure but this may have been an instance where her supporters and those that are undecided would have understood if she had looked back at McSally and responded: “How dare you  question my love for our country?”

Please click on the below links to see the debate and a fact check from supporters of the Sinema campaign.

https://azdebatefactcheck.tumblr.com/?fbclid=IwAR3UPt9xpLGOhALk5CsJDJapy0WeAgRuoY8zgLUzBwtRKyR_mV98-ERKZA4

https://azpbs.org/2018/10/arizona-pbs-arizona-republic-to-host-senate-debate-between-mcsally-and-sinema-monday-at-6-p-m/?fbclid=IwAR374yhKY_RfBfNYIyywb733NYH8NoHp5YEGyidP8FlHmLZMO9F4MSBj9gE




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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