Tag Archives: Jon Kyl

Martha McSally: The anti-feminist (video)


Even feminists own recipe boxes.

Even feminists own recipe boxes.

Republican Congressional candidate Col. Martha McSally says she has been “fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality [her] whole life.”

McSally is well known as the first woman combat pilot and the Air Force officer who fought against a government rule requiring US service women to wear Arab garb when they leave the base. Does this make her a champion for women’s rights?

Let’s look beyond these headlines to answer that question. More on McSally’s stances on choice, women’s health, equal pay, and the War on Women.


Although McSally bristles when called a “cookie cutter” Republican candidate, her stances on women’s issues are in lock-step with Congressional War on Women stalwarts like Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and fellow Arizonan Jeff Flake, who is running on the Republican ticket for US Senate against Dr. Richard Carmona.

McSally’s website says she believes in “the sanctity of every human life”. This right-wing code for saying that she agrees with the Republican Party’s anti-abortion platform. Ironically, small-government McSally believes that the government should dictate when American women have children. Not supporting a woman’s right to make decisions governing her own body is a deal breaker for many women.

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Martha McSally: Warrior woman hides from questions, constituents, inconsistencies

If there were a race between Senator Jon Kyl and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who would you vote for?

The CD2 race is just that. Former Kyl employee Martha McSally is running against former Giffords employee Ron Barber.

Whose legacy would better serve Southern Arizona? That of a right-wing, anti-woman, every-man-for-himself, war-monger who never ventured south of his Tucson Foothills office or that of a reasoned, pro-choice, pro-public health Blue Dog who wasn’t afraid to meet constituents?

As a long-time resident of Giffords’ district, my experiences yesterday made up my mind. Yesterday, I thought I was going to meet the Warrior Woman who hopes to take the CD2 seat– you know, the one who says she “resemble[s] Gabby Giffords more than the man who worked for her”– but she was a no show.

McSally is no Gabby Giffords

Giffords was not afraid to face constituents and answer tough questions. McSally apparently doesn’t have the nerve to answer questions that are not softballs from right-wing commentators. (Sounds like something Jon Kyl would do, huh?)

I had a scheduled interview with McSally to discuss women’s issues (since she now claims to fight for women’s rights, while being anti-choice); the multiple inconsistencies in her platform (believing in the “sanctity of life”, while flying 325+ hours as a bomber) pilot; and rumors circulating about her two-year marriage to Donald Henry in 1997 (what’s up with that annulment in Santa Cruz County, when you were married and lived in Pima County).

When I showed up at her office, video gear in tow, I was given mush-mouth excuses from her press secretary and campaign manager. “Gosh, she’s so busy.” (My guess is they Googled me and said, Yikes– we’re not talking with her!)

Not surprised that McSally bailed on a video interview with a feminist who wanted to ask about women’s issues, I went to her constituent event at Nimbus, down the street. I waited with about 30 old white folks on the Nimbus patio for 45 minutes. Eventually, McSally staffers said, “Gosh… she’s so busy. She doesn’t have time to come and talk with you all today. Scheduling conflicts, you know… blah, blah, blah.” Since when does a politician in a tight race not have time for a meeting with rich, old white folks?   (Was it something I tweeted?)

More unanswered questions about Martha McSally after the jump.

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Bringing in the big guns: Clinton stumps for Carmona

by Pamela Powers Hannley

The Democrats smell blood in the water. 

Congressman Jeff Flake– formerly thought to be the heir apparent to retiring Jon Kyl's US Senate seat– is now in a dead heat for that seat with Independent-turned-Democrat, former Surgeon General, Green Baret, Pima County Sheriff's Deputy, ER doc Richard Carmona.  

Carmona has been stumping tirelessly statewide for almost a year, steadily rising in the polls and raising millions of dollars to beat the lobbyist-turned-Tepublican. Carmona's increasing popularity and public pressure recently persuaded Flake to agree to multiple debates statewide. Flake had previously declined all debates, beyond a simple forum at a Phoenix PBS station with no audience. Another sign that Flake is in trouble; he is coming under fire on social media for twisting the facts about Carmona's past. (OK, politicians twist facts for a living, but Carmona has such a distinguished record of service that the super-PAC-funded trash talk is backfiring on Flake.)

A sure sign the Dems think they can win this, they recently announced that the big fundraising gun of the party– former President Bill Clinton– will stump for Carmona this week, October 10 in Tempe. Go here to register for this event. Woot! 

Clinton poster


Can Arizona Democrats take back Kyl’s Senate seat in November?


By Pamela Powers Hannley

When long-time Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl announced his impending retirement in February 2011, the chances of a Democrat filling that seat seemed so remote that most news stories—including this one from Politico—only mentioned the Republican heir-apparent, six-term Congressman Jeff Flake.

Sixteen months later, Democratic challenger and former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona is in a statistical dead heat with Flake. Carmona is trailing by only 2 percentage points in a poll that has a 3.5 percent margin of error. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, oversampled registered Independents, the second largest group of registered voters in Arizona, after Republicans.

Carmona, a registered Independent until he switched parties last fall to run on the Democratic ticket, has been campaigning ardently for the Senate seat since December 2011. On Saturday, Carmona and Senator Al Franken—who Carmona dubs his “new best friend”—traversed the state making six campaign appearances to tell Carmona’s street-kid-to-surgeon-general life story and raise money for the campaign.

The marathon day ended in an upscale midtown Tucson backyard where the pair was greeted enthusiastically by more than 200 party activists, Southern Arizona elected officials, and candidates running for state and local offices.


With speakers blasting “My Sharona”, it was a Democratic Party love fest in the bluest city in an ever more purple state. Basked in the orange glow of the Tucson sunset, Democratic Mayor Jonathan Rothschild was all smiles as he welcomed Franken and hometown boy Carmona to the stage.

In his address, Carmona focused on his background and his policy stances. The contrast between Carmona and Flake could not be more pronounced. Carmona bills himself as an independent outsider who will serve the people of Arizona, as he did as Surgeon General. He often says that he learned early on in his Washington, DC stint that he was there not to serve either political party (or President George W. Bush, who appointed him); he was there to serve the American public and be the “people’s doctor”. Flake, on the other hand, is the former executive director for the right-wing think tank the Goldwater Institute, a former lobbyist, and a current six-term member of the US House of Representatives. While Carmona campaigns on working both sides of the aisle to get things done, Flake has voted repeatedly with Republican obstructionists in Congress.

Carmona has been forthright in speaking out publicly on issues that some politicians would shy away from—like true immigration reform, the DREAM Act, and the Republicans’ War on Women. His biggest round of applause on Saturday was when he affirmed a woman’s right to choose and touted access to affordable healthcare, including contraception coverage. In contrast, Flake voted for the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to opt out of contraception coverage and voted against the Affordable Care Act. It’s not surprising that Planned Parenthood has given Flake a rating of 8 (out of a possible 100 points) and has endorsed Carmona.

Franken sprinkled his speech with his usual dry humor—saying that Carmona reminded him of his wife, except that his wife was not a SWAT team member, never earned a purple heart, and wasn’t US Surgeon General—or even a medical doctor. What Franken was referring to was his wife’s and Carmona’s humble beginnings and the public education opportunities that helped them succeed. Calling him a “rock star” candidate, Franken charged the audience with helping Carmona by volunteering, by writing checks, and by telling their friends and neighbors about him.

Although the former comedian gave the crowd a few laughs, Franken’s message was serious: if Democrats want this Senate seat back, they will need an all-out, on-the-ground effort to overcome Flake’s name recognition and money.