Tag Archives: Koch Brothers

New Book by David Garcia, Arizona Candidate for Governor, is a Blueprint to Dismantle Public Education

An upcoming book by Governor candidate David R. Garcia entitled School Choice is a blueprint on how to dismantle public education in Arizona, complete with practical tips on how to implement school vouchers and ESAs (“empowerment scholarship accounts”).

The Blog for Arizona exclusively obtained a review copy of the 196-page book, which will be published one month after the primary elections on September 28, 2018, by The MIT Press.

The book is not an academic work. Garcia says it is for a “general audience” on page 97. It is a how-to playbook for the anti-public-school, pro-school-voucher agenda pushed by Gov. Doug Ducey and the Koch brothers, complete with strategies, arguments, legal precedents to cite, successful examples and historic points of reference.

Garcia is facing Democrats Steven Farley and Kelly Fryer in the primary. Gov. Doug Ducey is running for re-election.

As the 2018 midterms approach, Arizona is one of the biggest political battlegrounds nationwide and public education is a major issue. The Southwestern state features one of the top 9 most important state legislature races in the US in the midterm elections. Arizona is expected to decide the control of the U.S. Senate in this year’s congressional midterm elections.

Book has a strong bias against public schools
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Damning Polls: 59% of All Arizona Voters Reject Gov. Doug Ducey

Gov. Doug Ducey is a stooge of the Koch Brothers, who fund him with Dark Money and instruct him on how to destroy life in Arizona.

Gov. Doug Ducey is a stooge of the Koch Brothers, who fund him with dark money and instruct him on their anti-education agenda.

In a stunning new poll of Arizona voters, 59 percent of Republicans, Independents and Democrats combined said that they want someone else to lead the state besides incumbent Doug Ducey.

Only 26 percent of voters said Ducey should serve another term and 15 percent said they were unsure in the new June 26, 2018, NBC-Marist poll.

Confirming how fed up Arizonans are with Gov. Ducey, a June 25 Emerson College ePoll reports that Ducey has a lower approval rating (31%) than President Trump (43%) in Arizona and that a majority of voters (64%) think education funding is not enough.

Devastated public schools

Under Ducey, Arizona ranks 48th for public school funding and dead last in the nation for teacher pay. Arizona has cut more from education funding than any other state in the nation, a decline of more than 35%. Continue reading

With Solid Support from Educators, Steve Farley Can Oust Gov. Ducey

One year into his campaign for Governor, Democratic candidate Steve Farley is on a roll. Polls show that  Gov. Ducey is vulnerable, Farley has raised $1.1 million in contributions, and his message of rebuilding Arizona’s impoverished schools is resonating with Democrats.

“I’m the only Democratic candidate who’s been elected to public office and I’ve been in the Legislature for 12 years,” he said at a recent campaign stop in Tucson. “I’m the only Democratic candidate who has ever won an election, and I’ve won 6 in a row. I know how to win.”

It’s about 60 days before early ballots drop in the primary election, which will be held on August 28, and Farley is crossing the state to see voters, debating his primary challenger David Garcia, and even talking on conservative talk radio.

Farley is the state Senator from legislative district 9 (Casa Adobes and the Foothills in Tucson) and is on the Appropriations and the Finance committees. He is the Assistant Minority Leader in the state Senate.

“I speak good “Republican,'” he quipped. “I go on conservative talk radio a lot and like to preach to the unconverted. People call in and say, ‘I’ve never heard a Democrat speak before, but you make sense.’ With that kind of change in thinking, we can make something good happen.”

Teacher Raises

Farley was the first elected official to call for a 20% raise for teachers more than a year ago and this has cemented his support from teachers in the #RedForEd movement.
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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Vince Leach, not a Servant of the People in LD 11

State Representative Leach favors dark money and subsidizing the rich.

State Representative Leach favors dark money and subsidizing the rich.

State Representative Vincent Leach of Legislative District 11 and other reactionary zealots like him sure act like big government promoters when it comes to their anti-democratic agenda.

Leach has sponsored ideas such as:

  • Protecting Dark Money contributors.
  • Overruling local election results and ballot initiatives, such as whether local towns can prohibit plastic bags in stores.
  • Opposing a woman’s right to choose.
  • Allowing taxpayer money to help students choose private religious schools.

LD11 spans from Maricopa in the north to the tip of Tucson in the south.

A self-described conservative, Leach has an A rating from both the Oliver North led National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union, yet poor marks with the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and the Children’s Action Alliance. A SaddleBrooke resident, Representative Leach has been in the Arizona State House since 2015. He is now the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety, Infrastructure, and Resources and Vice Chairman of the House and Ways Committee.

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Who Wanted the State to Spend Tax Dollars on the UA and ASU Koch Centers?

When the Arizona Legislature concluded its 2018 legislative session, its $10 million budget increase for the three state universities (Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University) included $2 million for two schools:

  • One at the University of Arizona (Department of Political Economy and Moral Sciences)
  • The other at Arizona State University (School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership), the later school receiving $100,000 to develop K-12 Civic standards.

With each school receiving $1 million, the three universities had just $8 million in increased funding to spread out over the many programs offered at their campuses. What makes these two schools deserving of such targeted generosity by the State Legislature? Was there a grassroots drive by parent, student, faculty, or administrative groups calling for funding these centers?

No. There was no such movement.

Are these schools offering courses that are not readily accessible at other departments or schools like history or political science?

Not really.

Do the universities conduct nationally-competitive searches to staff these schools? Their recruitment apparently did not follow standard University hiring practices.

Is a  new K-12 “seal” of civic literacy necessary? Not when the Department of Education is in the process of finalizing new Social Studies standards that include civics and economics.

Preferential taxpayer funding

So, why do these two schools get such preferential taxpayer funding and staffing consideration if there is no need and there has been no grassroots desire from the university stakeholders? It is because these schools subscribe to the philosophical dogma and patronage of the Koch Brothers, that they receive the favorable consideration of conservative lawmakers in this and other states across the country at the expense of other funds that could go towards education or priorities like Medicaid and hospital care.

Since the 1970’s, the Koch Brothers, like other advocacy groups, have been utilizing their financial clout to promote their ideological agenda in the political, economic, and educational arenas. To that end, they have been subsidizing political candidates and “Freedom Schools,” and other educational programs at learning institutions like George Mason University, Florida State University, The University of Kansas, and Ball State. The University of Arizona and Arizona State University are recent additions to the Freedom School Ledger. Another university, Montana State, has voted not to join this network.

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