Tag Archives: ASU

ASU’s Morrison Institute pushes Top Two Primary with study on “independent” voters

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com


The inimitable Jay Smooth explains, via rapper T-Pain and Sean Hannity, why you can’t possibly know more about politics than people who pay attention if you don’t pay attention.

In case the embedded video doesn’t play.

ASU’s Morrison Institute issued a study of the elusive “independent voters” in Arizona. It was commissioned by the Clean Elections Commission and was pretty comprehensive (albeit with what I consider to be some gaps that I’ll get to in a bit) in that it included several focus groups and surveys and it asked what I believe is the pertinent question about this group of voters:

Are independent voters truly an untapped resource that could determine elections, aiding in the transformation of Arizona from a conservative “red state” into a “purple” moderate state or even more progressive “blue state?” Or, with no organization and a track record of poor turnout in both primary and general elections, are independents a much-ado-about-nothing “party” of non-participants?

I’m going with the latter, and not just based on my own frustrating personal experience with these voters. Oh no, thanks to this study we now have empirical evidence to go on. They not only don’t vote:

We know actual voter turnout is significantly lower than survey respondents indicate because voters tend to overstate their voting behavior – primarily because it is socially unacceptable to admit to not voting. Continue reading

“Kochtopus” cash and Koch Brothers U. (ASU)

Donna Gratehouse did a great job on the B.S. income tax study from Steven Slivinski with the “Kochtopus” Death Star in an earlier post. Arizona is being groomed for the eradication of income tax.

The Arizona Republic’s E.J. Montini focuses on the “Kochtopus” infiltrating research universities with their money to fund institutes and professors of propaganda, like Mr. Slivinski. Tempe Normal, er, Arizona State University is now “Koch Brothers U.” Big news out of Koch Brothers University…ah…ASU:

When a scholarly report out of Arizona State University says the state could phase out the income tax in six to eight years we pay attention.

It makes the papers and gets on TV.

People presume that the information in such a study is unbiased and purely academic, sort of the way universities are supposed to operate.

But they don’t.

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The truth is, this particular study comes from what could be called the Goldwater Institute annex of the Koch brothers campus of ASU.

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Arizona is being groomed for the eradication of income tax

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

Steven Slivinski
Steven Slivinski, from handout

Doug Ducey ran on the promise of eliminating Arizona’s income tax in 2014. It wasn’t taken seriously by most political observers and the candidate himself walked his proposal back and characterized it as an aspiration when pressed on how it was possible to implement it.

“No one’s talking about eliminating the income tax,” he said. “I’ve talked about an ever-improving tax situation, where year after year, we have an improving climate and if we can get it as close to zero as we possible, that’s a positive. Because the nine states that don’t have an income tax have double the job growth of the highest-tax states.”

He later said his talk of driving the income tax rate to zero is a “direction.”

His campaign literature says otherwise. In his “My Pledge to the People of Arizona,” which is online and distributed to voters, Ducey’s No. 1 promise if he’s elected is to “Submit legislation to reduce taxes every year, with the goal of eliminating personal and corporate income taxes in Arizona.”

On April 30, he told The Arizona Republic eliminating the taxes is a “long-term goal, it is one I embrace.”

The Republic asked Ducey on Tuesday evening to clarify the remarks he made during the debate in light of his campaign literature and prior comments. Ducey said, “Elimination is a severe word. Reduction and improvement (in the tax code), people will get that. We will do that over a couple of legislative sessions.”

Now that Ducey has been elected, elimination (that severe word) of the income tax appears to be fully on the table. Keep your eye on a guy named Steven Slivinski. He’s a former “senior economist” for the Goldwater Institute (huge red flag) and he has nabbed himself a spot as a “senior research fellow” at ASU’s (wait for it) Center for the Study of Economic Liberty (freedom!). If you guessed from the name of that endeavor that it was funded by the Koch Brothers without looking it up, you win the door prize.

Slivinski explained in an op-ed to the AZ Republic how this income tax-free nirvana can come to be: Continue reading

APS cannot sanitize its shameful dark money legacy with strategic philanthropy and Anderson Cooper

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

aps logo
Dark money has the power to make a lot happen!

Last Saturday the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy hosted an event, “Delivering Democracy Lecture 2015”, headlined by Anderson Cooper. I know many people who attended it and, from what I understand, it was a fine presentation. One of the main sponsors was Arizona Public Services (commonly known as APS, the state’s largest private utility company), which was apparently lauded several times during the event for its generosity. Which is interesting because it was only a few months ago, during the 2014 midterms, that APS (under the rubric of “independent expenditure” Save Our Future Now) dumped an astounding amount of dark money into Corporation Commission races to defeat Republican candidate Vernon Parker in the GOP primary and Democratic candidate Sandra Kennedy. What the aforementioned people have in common is that they are both African-American and also that the hit pieces and ads run against both were crudely obvious Willie Horton-style racist characterizations as far as many people (myself included) were concerned. Continue reading

The ASU Foundation’s dark money contribution to Corp Comm race illustrates everything that is wrong with private “philanthropy” and dark money

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Per AZ Republic reporter Ryan Randazzo:

The non-profit that raises money for Arizona State University accepted money from Arizona Public Service Co. in 2013 and the same year donated to a political group that helped defeat pro-solar candidates in last year’s elections.

The ASU Foundation accepted $181,000 from the non-profit APS Foundation and made a $100,000 donation to a political group called “Save Our Future Now,” which played heavily in the political campaigns last year for the Corporation Commission.

The non-profit, investigative Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C., first reported the donations Tuesday, citing public tax records from the non-profits.

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