Tag Archives: Bruce Wheeler

John C. Scott Radio Show Talks with Writer Larry Bodine

The John C. Scott Political Forum - 1030 KVOI AM

The John C. Scott Political Forum – 1030 KVOI AM

Radio broadcaster John C. Scott interviewed Blog for Arizona writer Larry Bodine recently about:

  • Candidate Yahya Yuksel staying in the race
  • Negative ads by Ann Kirkpatrick vs. Matt Heinz.
  • Bill Kovacs is a sexy beast.
  • Mary Matiella – will Latinos and seniors vote for her?
  • Bruce Wheeler is the Brainiac with the numbers.
  • Martha McShifty – Even Republicans complain about her. She should get a room with Trump.

Kovacs Shines and Kirkpatrick Gets Booed at CD2 Congressional Candidates Forum

Candidates Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, and Ann Kirkpatrick.

Candidates Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Matt Heinz, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler, and Ann Kirkpatrick.

The CD2 Congressional candidate forum on July 19 was a classic Democratic assembly, with at least 450 attendees including hecklers, cheering and booing, and horrendous audio.

The PAC RepresentMeAZ organized the event at Tucson High School and gave out report cards about the candidates. The results will be posted soon on Facebook. At the last event, Bruce Wheeler was the crowd favorite, and I’m guessing this time it may be Billy Kovacs.


Sure enough, Billy Kovacs was the audience favorite at the July 19th candidate forum. Second place went to the winner of our last Forum, Bruce Wheeler. candidate report card


Kovacs, Maria Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Matt Heinz staked out ultra-progressive positions, leaving a beleaguered and defensive Ann Kirkpatrick as the odd person out.

Highlights:

  • All the candidates agreed to support the winner of the August 28 primary. Mail-in ballots will be sent to voters on August 1.
  • The audience groaned as Kirkpatrick and Heinz sniped at each other. See videos and attack ads in the comments section at https://goo.gl/6QtjfHI have no tolerance for candidates who go negative against fellow Democrats.
  • All the candidates supported federal legalization of marijuana except Kirkpatrick. Why, Ann, why must weed be outlawed as a Schedule 1 drug?
  • The candidates — except for Kirkpatrick — took the radical, left-wing position to abolish ICE, the internal immigration enforcement agency. Arizona Star columnist Tim Steller called this “a loser of a political position.”
  • All but Kirkpatrick supported Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, for calling the president’s remarks “cowardly and shameful” when he bowed to Putin.
  • Regarding impeaching the president, supporters were Kovacs, Matiella, Sherry, and Kirkpatrick — but not Heinz or Wheeler.
  • Most of the candidates wore teal ribbons for Sexual Assualt Awareness.

Who can beat the Republican? Continue reading

Kirkpatrick & Heinz Lead in CD2 Congress Fundraising, Marquez-Peterson Catching Up

Top row: Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler Bottom row: Bill Kovacs, Barbara Sherry, Matt Heinz

Top row: Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler — Bottom row: Billy Kovacs, Barbara Sherry, Matt Heinz

In the race for Congress in Tucson’s Congressional District 2, once again the top Democratic fundraisers were Ann Kirkpatrick and Matt Heinz, with Republican opponent Lea Marquez-Peterson catching up fast. The three also have the most cash on hand (see chart farther below).

The Democrats will speak at a CD2 Candidate Forum Thursday starting at 6:30 pm at Tucson High Magnet School, 400 N 2nd Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705.

Total campaign contributions

Name Total Receipts
Ann Kirkpatrick (D)  $ 1,755,795.57
Matt Heinz (D)  $    853,588.68
Lea Marquez Peterson (R)  $    707,289.85
Mary Sally Matiella (D)  $    256,723.88
Billy Kovacs (D)  $       71,922.37
Yahya Yuksel (D)  $       43,110.78
Brandon Ray Martin (R)  $       24,225.69
Bruce Wheeler (D)  $       21,344.76
Casey Welch (R)  $       14,196.70
Barbara Sherry (D)  $         6,815.77
Danny Morales (R)  $         6,364.60
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Money matters Continue reading

John C. Scott Radio: Who will be the Winners in US Senate, Governor and Tucson’s CD2 Congress Races

The John C. Scott Political Forum - 1030 KVOI AM

The John C. Scott Political Forum – 1030 KVOI AM

Click below to hear broadcaster John C. Scott interview writer Larry Bodine of the Blog for Arizona on a recent radio program covering the Arizona race for US Senate, the race for Governor and the Democratic primary for Congress in Tucson’s CD2.

Topics covered:

US Senate:

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  • Kyrsten Sinema — she’s now running ads as if she’s in the general election. She running on three winning issues: access to healthcare, better education and creating jobs that pay well.
  • Republicans are running on losing issues: fear of immigrants, the Second Amendment and repealing Obamacare.
  • Martha McSally: a new poll shows her in the lead against Kelli Ward and evil Joe Arpaio. McSally is running anti-immigrant ads, but this will doom her in general election. She’s known as “Marty McShifty.” She flip-flopped on immigration and on supporting Trump. Now she brags, “I get invited to the White House all the time.”
  • Joe Arpaio is a disgrace, embarrassing even Republicans.
  • Kelli Ward is pro-war, anti-immigration and pro-guns in schools — kissing up to the tea party.
  • On YouTube, McSally’s top recent video got 880 views. In comparison Sinema’s announcement for running got 25,000 views, her video on affordable healthcare got 6,000 views, and video about her brother Paul got 9,000 views.
  • 7 Democrats running for Congress in CD2: Continue reading

CD2 Congress Candidate Yahya Yuksel Accelerating a Come-from-behind Campaign

Read: Accused Rapist Yahya Yuksel Must Drop Out Now from CD2 Race

Yahyah Yuksel, a Democratic candidate for Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Seat, plans to capture votes by emphasizing universal health care, creating jobs that pay well and building a well-educated workforce.

“We know what is right for the people. It takes people with courage, integrity and experience to get that done, and that’s what we offer,” he said at a lively open house recently.

Charismatic, intelligent and energetic, Yuksel burst onto the campaign scene in March, stole the show at a candidate forum and promptly filed 2,400 signatures to get on the ballot (only 1,274 were required).

Offering a brunch of scrambled eggs, refried beans, tortillas, salsa, and coffee, he showed off his bustling campaign headquarters at 3776 N 1st Ave. (near Roger Road) in Tucson. He is the first in the field of 7 Democratic candidates to hold an open house where voters, staff, and the candidate could freely meet and mingle. He plans to hold more.

“We have a huge office, bigger than everyone else’s office,” he said. “It’s not that we’re raising a ton more money. We’re more efficient with our money.”

Building a campaign

Yuksel knows how to build a campaign. At age 14 he founded Teen Democrats in Tucson, and organized youth groups to campaign for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.  At age 19, Yuksel worked for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ successful congressional campaign. Afterward, he served as the Co-Chair for Vice Mayor Karin Uhlich’s successful 2009 re-election campaign.Born and raised in Tucson, Yuksel is an attorney. He has a Masters in Chinese law from China’s top university. His heritage is Persian, Turkish and Kurdish, giving him a memorable name that is perfect for a bumper sticker. He’ll need to work fast, because the primary is on August 28 and the early mail-in ballots go out in less than 60 days. To meet the challenge Yuksel has assembled an election machine of 20 people – ranging from young interns to seasoned campaigners:

  • Kenny Jacobs came from Portland, OR, to be the Campaign Coordinator. He worked as Executive Director of the Pima County Democratic Party for the 2008 election cycle and also worked on the Obama campaign of 2008. His first federal campaign was with Jesse Jackson’s run for President in 1988. In the early 1990s, he worked statewide with Arizona for Fairness in support of  LGBT issues.
  • Dr. Robert Berrier is the Campaign Strategist. For 25 years he headed leadership and organizational development for clients of Spring International, a national survey and focus group business. Berrier has run 60 campaigns for Democrats and progressives and won 59 of them.
  • Laura Little is the social media director. She is the Director of Marketing and Fan Engagement for UA Athletics, in charge of sports marketing and digital advertising.
  • Diane Cuneo is the Creative Director in charge of advertising. She has advertising agency experience.
  • Ivanna Ferra is the Campaign Manager, in charge of reaching young voters. She is a Tucson business owner with an education in marketing. She has worked with Mi Familia Vota, which visits schools, community centers and homes of citizens to register voters.
  • Priscilla Teran is organizing a novel video ad competition for the campaign. She is the General Manager of Tucson Bike Share and was a Community Outreach and Recruiter for the University of Arizona.

Yuksel is competing with Democrats who have been elected to office, including Ann Kirkpatrick, Matt Heinz, and Bruce Wheeler. “Yeah, they’be been in office before, but that doesn’t mean they succeeded in office,” Yuksel said. “We need a new generation with new ideas to get into Congress and represent the people of Southern Arizona.”

Healthcare“We want to have affordable and universal healthcare for everybody, from the day they’re born to the day they die,” Yuksel said. “I see a path forward with our current system, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We just have to reduce a lot of costs and continually mitigate the growing levels of epidemics, the rising age levels and the cost of new medical advances.””We also have to hold the pharmaceutical companies accountable, as well as the state hospital networks and the insurance companies,” he said. “The ideas behind the Affordable Care Act are not just from Obama. They have been proposed since Truman first envisioned it and Lyndon Johnson enacted Medicare in 1965.”

Jobs that pay wellWhen I was in China I gained a lot of experience learning about how they attracted investment and how they attracted a huge amount of jobs to their region,” he said. “It’s about industrialization and focusing on your strengths. Southern Arizona has a strong potential for solar energy, optics, planetary sciences, and cybersecurity. These are strong sectors that will bring high-paying jobs.”“But it also a matter of education. I’m not talking about a 4-year or 10-year education. I’m talking about quick vocational training programs that are developed in tandem with the private sector. We’ve seen it done successfully all across the US.”“A lot of people don’t want or need to go to 4-year education to get the job that is high-paying. The 2016 median household income is under $50,000 — it’s not that high. And one of three single-parent families live in poverty. Eight out of 10 families live paycheck to paycheck. It’s incredibly important to have a high-paying job.We can do better by focusing on niches that are strong in this region,” he said. “We can focus on building a strong, educated workforce, and making sure the government is supporting that development through economic incentives.”

Campaign finance reform“Campaign finance reform is the biggest issue facing our democracy,” he said.  Candidates like me are spending a lot more time than they should on raising money because it costs so much to advertise. “We’ve got to change it. We have public media like NPR and C-SPAN. Can’t we make them the primary sources of information about candidates?” he asked.Let’s also expose and disclose all money — from campaign contributions to individual donations — no exceptions,” he said. “We can create this system where the only money a candidate can get is from the voters in that district. It’s a small price to pay for democracy.” “Right now I’m traveling across the US raising funds. Let’s incentivize a system where people in the district are the only ones making contributions to the candidates. That’s what democracy is — not candidates spending 75% of their time seeking contributions.”

A young generation with new ideasDespite the odds, Yuksel is upbeat. “I’m willing to work with everyone to find common ground that we can all stand on. That’s the most important thing. We have to get back to the basics of working together again.”“Congress is so broken. We’ve got to work together. This young generation has new ideas to solve the issues ahead. We will reinvent our institutions so that the 21st century can be another American century.”“I would like everyone to come down and see the energy and the magic that’s happening in our office. It’s hard to explain the momentum we have. We have a lot of people volunteering and getting us out there. We’re going to win this, that’s for sure.”Learn more at his official website www.yahya4congress.com.

Candidates Offer Surprises as 300+ Democrats Flock to CD2 Congressional Candidate Forum

CD2 Candidates at May 3, 2018 forum

Left to right: Mary Matiella, Billy Kovacs, Matt Heinz, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry and Yahya Yuksel.

Some 300 people packed Catalina High School yesterday night for the CD2 Congressional Democratic candidate forum held May 3, 2018, by the Represent Me AZ grassroots PAC. Here are the high points:

  • This forum showed what democracy looks like: an open, public and free event, as contrasted with GOP candidate forums which are closed, secretly announced and cost money to attend.
  • Yahya Yuksel

    Yahya Yuksel

    New candidate Yahya Yuksel, an attorney, stole the show with his articulate, quotable and confident presence. Born and raised in Tucson he has worked for Democratic campaigns since he was a teenager, including Gabby Giffords and Mayor Karin Uhlich. “I’m a young Democrat. I’m running because we see a broken Congress, we see constant war, and we see the economy not working for everybody. We need new ideas, not yesterday’s answers,” he says.

  • The candidates seethed with resentment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) which has offended local Democrats by picking candidates so early in the primary. “It is shameful that the DCCC has taken the task, before you have had a chance to vote to endorse a candidate,” Bruce Wheeler said to loud applause. “The outside interference is something that needs to be countered.”
  • Mary Matiella zinged Matt Heinz with the question, “What are you doing different this time to make sure you win?” In 2016 Heinz lost in his run for Congress in CD2 by 44,000 votes in a race where he relied mostly on TV ads.
  • Ann Kirkpatrick made a mistake by not attending. The forum was an opportunity to capture support and deflect criticism. She leads in fundraising, winning important endorsements, and getting the DCCC support that the other candidates, not surprisingly, begrudge.
  • Heinz zinged the absent Kirkpatrick when asked if he would endorse Kirkpatrick if she wins the primary. “It is important that the Democrats nominate a Democrat, he said to loud applause. “As soon as I hear that, I will absolutely endorse them,” he says. Heinz is the leading attacker of Kirkpatrick, criticizing her northern Arizona origin and long-ago top rating from the NRA. Kirkpatrick lives in Tucson and has a “D” rating from the NRA now.
  • Veteran legislator Bruce Wheeler is apparently running a one-man campaign. He says he personally collected 95% of his signatures to get on the ballot. Wheeler has only $8,686 on hand, so he is not raising funds effectively.
  • After a one-year campaign, Mary Matiella still stumbles over her words and has a hard time making herself clear. In a bizarre argument, she said the EEOC [U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] had been disbanded and should be brought back. This is not true — because the EEOC is still actively litigating discrimination charges and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
  • Bill Kovacs boldly called for de-funding of ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which is breaking up undocumented families captured at the border. He also says that marijuana should be removed from the forbidden Schedule 1 list of drugs. His says his mother has chronic Crohn’s disease and is a marijuana patient. “When you look at what marijuana and CBD [Cannabidiol] can do for chronic pain, it is a lifeline for America, he says. 
  • Barbara “Chemtrails” Sherry has become a fringe candidate who currently does not have the 1,274 signatures needed to get on the ballot by the May 30 filing date. She bitterly and incoherently criticized front-runner Kirkpatrick.

Continue reading