Tag Archives: Eddie Farnsworth

Lynsey Robinson will Fight for those Marginalized by Reactionary Conservatives in LD12

Democratic LD 12 State House Candidate Lynsey Robinson

What do you get when you let a political party get the idea that they can win unopposed in any legislative district? You get extreme legislators who think they can support any extreme measure that goes against the public good or turns the clock back because the other major party will not muster any opposition.

This is what has happened in Legislative District 12 (and other districts that Democrats up until this year have neglected). Voters in the Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan area have had to suffer extreme reactionary Republicans like Eddie Farnsworth, Travis Grantham, and Warren Pedersen. They have run unopposed in two of the last three elections on the House side while supporting measures that promote Dark Money interests, giving public dollars to private (and in some cases religious) entities and taking away the rights of women in particular and voters in general.

Fortunately, Democrats are finally woke and, like other legislative districts, are championing multiple gifted and forward-looking candidates who offer a pragmatic progressive vision for the people of LD 12. These candidates are Lynsey Robinson, Joe Bisaccia, and D.J. Rothans.

Over drinks at the IHOP on Power and Baseline, Ms. Robinson charismatically conveyed why she would be an effective progressive legislator for the people of LD 12.

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Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown Will Fully Fund Education

Democratic LD 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown

Over beverages at the IHOP at Sossaman and Baseline in Gilbert, Clean Elections Legislative District 12 Senate Candidate Elizabeth Brown conveyed the reasons she is making a second run for the State Senate after losing to Warren Pedersen in 2016. Ms. Brown is an experienced public servant whose campaign message centers on four themes. These are:

  • Promoting public education.
  • Protecting our environment.
  • Modernizing and expanding our local and state Infrastructure.
  • Guaranteeing ethics and equality for all.

Arizona LD 12 (see map) includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. This has normally been a reliable Republican district that has attracted minimal Democratic opposition in the past. In 2012, Republican Andy Biggs ran unopposed for this Senate seat. Ms. Brown did lose to Mr. Pedersen in 2016. However, Democratic enthusiasm has surged since 2016. There are three able and energized Democrats vying for the two State House seats and Ms. Brown seeks to ride that momentum to a Senate victory this November. A progressive, she feels that “if people would just take the “D” and “R” away and people see what I stand for, the people would see a lot of common ground with my positions.”

Who is Elizabeth Brown?

A former drama teacher, Ms. Brown, a wife, and mother of two daughters is an experienced public servant whose experiences start in 2004 when she volunteered for the Kerry and Edwards campaign. From 2004 to 2008 she worked for the Maricopa County Democratic Party as an office manager and executive assistant whose main responsibility was to recruit volunteers and assist legislative district chairs. She worked in Governor Napolitano’s and Governor Brewer’s office in the Constituent Services Department, observing how policies were formulated. Afterward, she was an assistant to former State Senator Barb McGuire and saw how bills were written. She also saw Republican heavy-handedness in burying Democratic bills and, later, constitutional amendments like the Equal Rights Amendment.

She believes that a lot of our legislators are in office for “personal gain” and “are out of touch with reality with what is happening with people. They are living in a bubble and do not treat people with dignity and compassion.” This is especially problematic because it is in the local sphere of the city, school and utility boards, and state level where most decisions affecting lives are made.

She believes that for too long, only men have represented the Legislative District and she feels that it is “time for more diverse representation.” She is running for the State Senate because she “believes our state is at a crucial crossroads and we can choose to continue the status quo of corporate handouts or we can reclaim our state government for all Arizona’s.” She pledges to be a “true public servant who will not look the other way when I see corruption or anything that seems unethical.” She wants to be the voice of the people and their concerns as their advocate at the capital, relying on “community engagement while seeking real and practical solutions for all Arizonans that create the policy that will ensure the wellbeing for all.”

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LD 12 Democratic Candidate Joe Bisaccia sees the 2018 Election as “A Campaign about the Future Versus the Preserving the Past.”

LD 12 Democratic State House Candidate Joseph Bisaccia

Over coffee and ice water at the Old Town Gilbert café Bergies Coffee, energetic and idealistic Democratic State House Clean Election Candidate Joe Bisaccia outlined his vision for how he would represent LD 12 if he won one of the two State House seats this November.

Bisaccia is one of many educators, inspired by the poor educational policies advanced by the reactionary Republican State Legislature along with the teacher-led Red for Ed Movement, who want to lead a pro-education campaign all the way to State House.

Arizona LD 12 includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. Eddie Farnsworth and Travis Grantham now represent the district in the State House. Mr. Bisaccia is one of three Democratic Candidates (the others being Lynsey Robinson and DJ Rothans) running to take one of those House seats. This is a great example of Democratic enthusiasm this election year because Democrats have not fielded candidates in the State House Race for this Legislative District in two out of the last three elections.

Bisaccia sees this race as “a campaign about the future versus the preserving the past” and is running on the issues of education, technology, jobs, and tax reform to advance a pragmatic liberal progressive agenda.

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Weird GOP Legislator Blocks Bill to Prohibit “Bump Stocks” on Guns

AZ State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth is stonewalling gun safety legislation.

AZ State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth is stonewalling gun safety legislation. He is some kind of weird gun worshipper.

A gunman in Las Vegas opened fire on the crowd at a music festival last Oct 1. murdering 58 people and injuring 851 more. During the horrific crime, the shooter fired more than 1,100 rounds from his hotel room using a “bump fire” stock to turn a rifle into an automatic weapon.

Today, a GOP legislator in the Arizona state house is blocking a bill that would outlaw bump stock devices and trigger cranks, defying popular support for this common-sense gun safety measure.

Republican state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, who is the Chair of the state Judiciary and Public Safety Committee said that the bill will NOT get a hearing, because he thinks it’s a waste of time and personally doesn’t support it.

However, the general public is interested in having this bill heard, according to the organization Gun Violence Prevention Arizona.

The bill, HB 2023, was introduced in January by state Democratic Rep. Randy Friese and Rep. Daniel Hernandez, both of Tucson. Friese, who is a trauma surgeon, saved the life of then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head at a supermarket parking lot in 2011. Hernandez, who was an intern in her office at the time, held his hand over Giffords’ wound to slow the bleeding.

Voters in Arizona can contact Farnsworth to demand a hearing on the bill, by: Continue reading

Deadline Looms: ERA Ratification Assigned to Judiciary Committee in AZ Legislature

by Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Victoria Steele’s (D-9) bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (HCR2016) was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee late last week. (You’ll remember that mid-week, I reported it was languishing on the desk of House Speaker Andy Tobin.)

This week is the last week for bills to be heard by committees of the Arizona Legislature. Currently, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet onThursday, Feb. 20, 2014. ERA ratification is not on the agenda, but– hey– it’s only Monday. Agendas and committee meeting dates routinely shift around in the Arizona Legislature. Arizona women deserve economic equality. It's time to make some phone calls to Phoenix!

Bills can be killed in multiple ways: they can be voted down in committee, voted down by the Legislature, or just plain ignored by the Speaker or the committee chair. If the HCR2016 isn’t heard this week, it will die in committee. Arizona women deserve economic equality. Tucson's favorite "moderate" LD9 Rep. Ethan Orr is on the Judiciary Committee; he could be an important swing vote on the ERA.  [Contact information for committee members after the jump.]

You Have the Power 

The ERA provides economic equality for women and would end wage discrimination against women. It deserves to be heard and debated by the entire Arizona Legislature. Nationwide, the ERA needs to be ratified by only three states. Arizona is one of the states that didn’t ratify the ERA back in the 1970s.

This is where you come in. It’s time for action. Call, email, and/or Tweet Judiciary Committee Eddie Farnsworth and ask him to put the ERA on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda.

After that, call, email, and/or Tweet committee members and urge them to vote to allow ERA ratification to be voted on by the whole legislature. The committee’s three Democrats– Hale (a Navajo), Quezada, and Contreras– should be a shoe-in on ERA ratification, since minority women suffer much higher rates of wage discrimination than white women. (But they still need to hear from you.)

Since the Republicans are the majority party in the Legislature, they also have the majority on all of the committees. The ERA has bipartisan support, with four of the 22 sponsors being Republicans. LD9 Rep. Ethan Orr, who’s “moderate” Republican street cred has been challenged, is on the Judiciary Committee and is a co-sponsor of LD9 “seat mate” Steele’s ERA bill. The ERA needs bipartisan support from Republicans to get out of committee, and Orr could be an important swing vote. Last week, it looked as if ERA ratification might not even be assigned to a committee. Did the 257 Facebook shares and 21 Tweets of my blog post help move this bill? I don’t know, but I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that if enough people contact the Judiciary Committee this week that we can move the ERA one step closer to being law. The ball is in your court, people.

Here is a list of the House Judiciary Committee members.

Eddie Farnsworth, Chair, R-12, efarnsworth@azleg.gov, 602-926-5735
Justin Pierce, Vice Chair, R25, jpierce@azleg.gov, 602-926-5495
John Allen, R-15, jallen@azleg.gov, 602-926-4916
Ethan Orr, R-9 (co-sponsor of ERA ratification), eorr@azleg.gov, 602-926-3235, @EthanforHouse
Doris Goodale, R-25, dgoodale@azleg.gov, 602-926-5408, @dgoodale
Lupe Contreras, D-19, lcontreras@azleg.gov, 602-926-5284
Martin Quezada, D-29 (co-sponsor of ERA ratification), mquezada@azleg.gov, 602-926-5911, @RepQuezada29
Albert Hale, D-7, ahale@azleg.gov, 602-926-4323

If the ERA doesn’t make it out of committee, remember these votes in November when the whole Arizona Legislature is up for re-election.

Sunshine Is Best Disinfectant: AZ Legislature Delays Voter Suppression Discussion

Wave05-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee of the Arizona House of Representatives was scheduled to discuss repealing last year’s omnibus voter suppression bill (HB2305). Since thousands of Arizona citizens had signed petitions to stop implementation of HB2305 and put voter suppression on the 2014 ballot, sneaky legislators had devised a plan to do an end-run around voters by repealing the destined-to-fail-at-the-polls bill and replace it with several individual voter suppression bills. (After all, we can’t let citizens decide issues as important as who gets to vote or how measures are put on the ballot.)

Thanks to a widely distributed press release from the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee, news of Republican legislators’ Voter Suppression Plan B flew out across the blogosphere on Wednesday, resulting in much citizen– and news media– interest.

Overnight, hundreds of concerned Arizona voters called and wrote to members of the committee urging them to respect the will of the voters and let them have their say on HB2305 in November. Dozens of people showed up to speak at the hearing as well as three television news crews. Judiciary Chairman Eddie Farnsworth then told the amassed crowd that he was holding his repeal bill (HB2196). He has since rescheduled the hearing on his bill for next week.

Proving once again that sunshine is the best disinfectant and voter suppression is a topic best discussed in the dead of night with no witnesses, Farnsworth decided not to open discussions with TV cameras rolling and citizens watching.

Personally, I am keenly interested in how Voter Suppression Plan B unfolds, since my representative– LD9′s Eathn Orr– is on the judiciary committee. Republican Orr, who bills himself as a “moderate” even though he opposes women’s rights, represents a highly competitive Tucson district. Will Orr stand with the Teapublicans on voter suppression or with his constituents? We'll be watching.

Below is the follow-up press release from Protect Your Right to Vote.

Update! House Committee Vote on Repeal of HB2305 Postponed

Intense Public Pressure, Media Interest Put on Committee Members to Not Circumvent Protect Your Right to Vote Referendum

PHOENIX – A groundswell of public opposition and intense media interest today resulted in a legislators calling a time-out on their plans to revive extensive roadblocks for voters that had been put on hold because of a successful citizen’s referendum.

The House Judiciary Committee was scheduled this morning to hear a measure to repeal last year’s omnibus get-tough-on-voters bill, House Bill 2305. Backers of the onerous voter and elections restrictions have said that they intend to then pass HB2305’s provisions as separate bills to circumvent the Protect Your Right to Vote Referendum.

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts called this proposed legislative trick “skullduggery” and “an end-run around voters.”

Overnight, hundreds of concerned Arizona voters called and wrote to members of the committee urging them to respect the will of the voters and let them have their say on HB2305 in November. Dozens of people showed up to speak at the hearing as well as three television news crews. Judiciary Chairman Eddie Farnsworth then told the amassed crowd that he was holding his repeal bill (HB2196). He has since rescheduled the hearing on his bill for next week.

“I don’t blame politicians for wanting a less intense spotlight for their efforts to stick it to voters, but the public is outraged by how these efforts to curb participation in elections and we won’t go away,” said Robbie Sherwood, executive director of ProgressNow Arizona and a spokesman for the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee.



  • HB2305 would make it a crime for volunteers to collect and drop off ballots at the polls.  These efforts help elderly, homebound, disabled and working voters to participate in elections.
  • HB2305 would kick voters off the Permanent Early Voting List if they fail to vote in two consecutive elections – both primary and general. This would decrease participation and disproportionally impact newly registered Latino, young and Independent voters who are not likely to vote if removed from this list.
  • HB2305 would keep third parties off the ballot by raising the signature requirement to put a candidate on the ballot for all political parties except Republicans. Ballot access for third party candidates will become unlikely, reducing voter choice. For example, the number of signatures required for Libertarian candidates would increase by 4,000 percent.
  • HB2305 makes it more difficult for Arizona citizens to engage in direct democracy or overturn bad laws passed by the Legislature through citizen initiatives. By instituting a host of minor technical barriers – including the margin size on petitions – that can be challenged in court, politicians are trying to take away an important right that’s been part of Arizona’s constitution since statehood.


About the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee: The Committee is a coalition of more than 25 non-profit organizations that worked together to put HB2305 to a vote of the people in November.  The Committee gathered over 146,000 signatures in three months to refer HB2305 to the ballot. These include civic engagement organizations, Latino voter engagement groups, conservation organizations, animal welfare groups and labor organizations.  It also includes leaders and members of the Libertarian, Green and Democratic parties.