Tag Archives: Steve Smith

Wondering What Happened to Steve Smith?

Grrrrreeeeaaaatt! The Capitol Times just reported that former state Senator and GOP candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in CD1, Steve Smith, is joining the American Federation for Children as the new state director.

Many LD11 residents (especially those in his home town of Maricopa), were thrilled to get rid of him as our one of our lawmakers. Now though, I imagine public education advocates will likely emit a communal groan to this news. Smith was no friend of public education as a state Senator, and in fact, was a co-sponsor of the full-expansion of vouchers (Empowerment Scholarship Accounts) law.

In 2017, he voted for Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) supported bills only 2 of 7 times. In 2016, he did better, but voted for three ESA expansion bills. In 2015, he voted for ASBA supported bills only 2 of 9 times, with two of those bills being ESA expansions. Back in 2014, he voted against ASBA positions all 7 times, and one of those was an ESA expansion. Continue reading

Vouchers: Some Common Sense Questions

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know corporate reformers are anxious to implement vouchers as a way to expand school choice. The secret sauce they say, is that the dollars follow the student because parents know best about what is best for their child’s education.

Just for a few moments though, I’d like to ask you to please forget whether or not you believe school choice and vouchers are the answer to “Make American Education Great Again.” Forget all the hype and promises, just ask yourself which of these scenarios makes more sense? Continue reading

Watch AZ Citizens Clean Election debates online – LD 3 and LD 11 races

Arizona CCEC (Citizens Clean Elections Commission) hosted 2 debates this week in Southern Arizona:

LD 3 House debate at PCC West Campus on October 3:  Democratic House Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales and Green Party candidate Edward “Trey” Cizek III — campaigning for 2 seats in the House.  Not  participating was the other Democratic House Rep. Macario Saldate, running traditionally (not required to be there). All candidates in this race are running traditionally (not with clean elections funds), but CCEC will host a debate is someone requests it.

State Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford (D) did not participate as she is unopposed.

View LD 3 debate online here:


LD 11 Senate and House debate at Hilton El Conquistador Hotel on October 4: State Senator Steve Smith (R) vs. challenger Ralph Atchue (D); House Rep. Mark Finchem (R), House Rep. Vince Leach (R), Democratic challenger Corin Hammond (only clean elections candidate in this race) – campaigning for 2 House seats.

View LD 11 debate online here:


Vote wisely on or before Nov. 8, 2016.

Arizona House Busies Itself with Prayer

Cross27-colored-sig-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

The Arizona State Senate and the House of Representatives begin each session with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

On some level, I understand the inclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance. Since Arizona lawmakers often challenge the authority of the federal government, stating the Pledge of Allegiance may remind them that Arizona is not a sovereign country; it's one state in the United States.

But a prayer at the opening of an official meeting of US lawmakers?

Apparently, Arizona lawmakers take turns offering the opening prayer, and on Tuesday, all hell broke loose– literally and figuratively— when Rep. Juan Mendez (D-Phoenix) came out (as an atheist), asked people not to bow their heads, and offered this "prayer" to open the session.

"I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of people of our state."

I think this is a perfectly fine "prayer", but holier-than-thou Rep. Steve Smith (R-Maricopa) judged it a non-prayer. Smith insisted two prayers must be recited on Wednesday "for repentance" and asked everyone to stand and "give our due respect to the Creator of the universe."

This is fundamentalist hogwash. 

Again, I ask the Republicans in the Arizona Legislature: What Would Jesus Do? 

1- Jesus would pass Medicaid expansion and stop arguing about the elements that must be included in a proper prayer.

2- Jesus would say to Smith, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

3- Jesus would give Mendez a high five for suggesting that legislators dedicate themselves "to working toward improving the lives of people of our state."