News from LD18, Congressional District 9, Maricopa County, and Arizona
Media Matters for America Launches Mythopedia
Website will be new tool in pushing back on conservative misinformation
Press release, March 5, 2014 by Jess Levin (202) 772-8162, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — Today, Media Matters for America launched Mythopedia – a new tool for fighting back against right-wing misinformation. Mythopedia is a simple fact checker that concisely debunks persistent conservative lies. The site launched with 400 entries of common conservative myths with new fact-checks added in real time. Media Matters made this announcement ahead of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — an event featuring speakers that have a history of launching smears, pushing wild conspiracy theories, and hyping right-wing myths.
Visit Mythopedia: http://mythopedia.mediamatters.org.
Bradley Beychok, President of Media Matters, issued the following statement about Mythopedia’s launch:
“Whether it is a relative claiming that global warming can’t be real because of a snowstorm in the middle of winter or a prominent conservative writer calling Barack Obama an ‘ideological Muslim,’ everyone encounters right-wing myths in everyday life. Mythopedia puts the facts about these myths at your fingertips. This tool is the next step in pushing back on conservative misinformation.”
“The week of CPAC seemed like the most appropriate time to launch a fact-checking tool, like Mythopedia, as I’m sure we’re going to be confronted with both old and new right-wing lies during the conference,” added Beychok.
Watch a short video explaining how Mythopedia works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1y4_D0e7uQ.
Or visit http://mythopedia.mediamatters.org.
Felecia Rotellini posts “My Story” video
Posted March 8, 2014
Candidate for Arizona Attorney General Felecia Rotellini posted a four-minute video on her campaign website called “My Story”. See the video here: My Story.
The video is an excellent way to get to know Felecia’s background and why she should be the next Attorney General of Arizona.
LD 18 GOP legislators all vote “Yes” on pro-discrimination bill SB 1062
Posted Mar. 2, 2014 by Craig Falasco
Ignorant of the harm it would do to Arizona, or disregarding the warnings, all three LD 18 legislators, McComish, Robson, and Dial, voted “Yes” for SB 1062, the pro discrimination and protect-the-bigotry bill. Chambers of commerce, Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, religious groups, and even Arizona’s GOP US Senators opposed the bill. McComish, Robson, and Dial are more interested in obeying the commands of extremist groups, such as the Center for Arizona Policy, the Tea Party, and A.L.I.S., than in respecting the opinions of their diversified constituents. Their votes, and the votes of their GOP majority (except three GOP Reps. who voted “No”) once again brought shame and negative media attention to Arizona.
McComish’s vote is especially disturbing considering that he wants to run for Justice of the Peace in the Kyrene Judicial Precinct. With this vote and many previous votes, McComish demonstrates clearly that he lacks the good judgement and sense of fairness to be a JP. The voters in his judicial precinct would do well to hand him a resounding defeat in November.
Although vetoed by Governor Brewer on Feb. 26, the damage was already done. Arizona once again was in the national spotlight as a haven for bigotry and discrimination. The NFL hinted that it would move the 2015 Super Bowl to a different venue. The Hispanic National Bar Association decided to not hold its 2015 convention in Arizona (the event drew 2,000 people to Denver last year). A letter sent to Governor Brewer from 80 business groups and other organizations reads, “When the Legislature passes bills like this, it creates a reputation that Arizona is judgmental and unwelcoming,” and “This will haunt our business community for decades to come.”
Supreme Court won’t consider Arizona abortion law
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 8:49 am | Updated: 1:30 pm, Fri Feb 28, 2014, Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider a move to resurrect an Arizona law that would have disqualified abortion providers from receiving public funding for other medical services.
The high court declined to hear Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the 2012 law. (Read the full article in the East Valley Tribune)
Update on SB1062, Feb. 26: Arizona governor vetoes bill on denying services to gays
Arizona Legislature passes “right to discriminate” bill, Governor should be urged to veto SB1062
Posted Feb. 23, 2014
The following is from Allesandra Soler, Executive Director, ACLU of Arizona and Board Member, Why Marriage Matters Arizona
SB1062 would allow anyone — from businesses to employers — to openly discriminate against LGBT Arizonans on the grounds of “religious beliefs.” It’s a scary piece of legislation, and it poses real harm to thousands of Arizona families. The bill has already passed in the Senate, which means it’s now on its way to Governor Brewer’s desk — our last chance to stop it from becoming law. Time is running out.
Call Governor Brewer and ask her to veto this discriminatory piece of legislation.
DIAL: (602) 542-4331 or (520) 628-6580
SAY: Hi, my name is __________ and I live in _____________. I’m calling to urge Governor Brewer to veto SB1062. Arizonans believe in freedom for all — and that includes our gay and lesbian neighbors. Please reject this harmful legislation.
Some talking points:
• Leading businesses from across the state have already spoken out against this legislation because they know it will create a reputation that Arizonans are judgmental and unwelcoming — and haunt our business climate for decades to come. The possible impact on the Super Bowl, to be held in Arizona less than one year from now, is a legitimate concern.
• Religious freedom is a fundamental part of America, but those beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others. Freedom means freedom for everyone in Arizona.
• If SB1062 is signed into law, it will mean it is legal to treat people differently because of who they are and who they love.
Feds won’t OK Ariz. Medicaid limits
Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014 1:24 pm, Associated PressFederal officials on Friday poured cold water on Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin’s plan to force Medicaid recipients to get a job and to limit their insurance to a maximum of five years, saying the proposals likely run counter to federal law and won’t be approved. Read the full story.
Judge throws out challenge to Arizona’s Medicaid expansion
By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services, posted 2/9/2014 in Arizona Daily StarPHOENIX — Saying they have no right to sue, a judge threw out an attempt by Republican legislators to overturn their colleagues’ vote to expand the state’s Medicaid program.
In a ruling released Saturday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper never got to the lawmakers’ claim that an assessment on hospitals to pay the state’s share for the Medicaid expansion amounts to a tax. If it is a tax, it needs a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, something it did not get.
Instead, Cooper said the 36 lawmakers who sued, all of whom voted against Medicaid expansion, are legally barred from making that claim.
Read the full article in the Arizona Daily Star HERE.
McComish won’t run for re-election to state Senate
By Howard Fischer, Capital Media Services, Jan. 28, 2014“Battered by the Tea Party elements of his own party”, John McComish has decided not to run for re-election in 2014. Read the full story.
AZ Lege seeks to repeal the GOP Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305, to deprive the voters of their ‘citizens veto’
Republicans plan to repeal HB 2305, the voter suppression law, but not because they had a change of heart. Repealing the law will cancel the referendum on HB 2305, allowing Republicans to re-introduce it in 2014 as a “new” law, and requiring opponents to start from the beginning in forcing another referendum. Read a blunt account of the situation at: http://www.blogforarizona.com
Gilbert resident refutes EVT article on income inequality
John Chiazza, of Gilbert, wrote a scathing rebuttal to an opinion published in the East Valley Tribune about income inequality in America. The original opinion was written by a regular contributor to the EVT, and includes the usual anti-Obama comments, before launching into a bizarre explanation trying to blame income inequality on “the marriage gap”. Chiazza is to be commended for fighting the ignorance and misinformation that makes its way into mainstream news.
Reads Chiazza’s rebuttal here: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/article_b915bf50-7a4e-11e3-85fc-0019bb2963f4.html
Read the original opinion about income inequality here: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/columns/east_valley_voices/article_8dd6f256-699a-11e3-95cd-0019bb2963f4.html
ALIS training hosted by the Arizona Advocacy Network
Posted Jan. 12, 2014 10:20 a.m.
Learn about the Arizona Legislative Information System (ALIS), the online portal that lets citizens communicate with legislators and comment on current legislation. The webinar is hosted by Arizona Advocacy Network, and will be presented at two different times on Wednesday, January 15: 12 noon to 12:45 pm, and 7 to 7:45 pm.
Arizona ACLU Year in Review Newsletter
“This newsletter touches on the highlights of our work. From fighting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the anti-immigrant SB 1070 to standing up for medical marijuana patients and lobbying for election reform, the ACLU of Arizona this year was at the forefront of some of the country’s most important legal fights.”
Read the full newsletter using the following link. http://www.acluaz.org/sites/default/files/documents/aclunews_dec2013_07web.pdf
State Supreme Court lifts campaign finance limits
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
East Valley Tribune, posted Dec 17, 2013
The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that political candidates can accept much larger sums of money from donors.
In a brief order, the justices said the Republican-controlled Legislature was within its legal right to decide that contenders both statewide and legislative office can take up to $4,000 from individuals and political action committees. The current limit is $440 for legislative candidates and $912 for those seeking statewide office. (Read the full article)
Read EJ Montini’s opinion on this decision “Special interests win, we lose (again)”.
Tax-credit program helping rich Arizona schools get richer
By Craig Harris, The Republic | azcentral.com, Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:54 AM
“Since its inception, the program has cost Arizona’s general fund nearly a half-billion dollars…”
“The Arizona Republic has found that the program typically benefits only affluent schools, where parents generally can afford to make donations to cover fees for their children to play sports, get involved in the arts or go on field trips…”
Volunteers help gather signatures for candidates
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, Tempe
Volunteers gathered at the home of Joanne Markis on Saturday and Sunday to help gather signatures for several candidates. J.D. Bowman, candidate for Tempe Union HS District school board was present on both days to help volunteers get started with the door-to-door effort. J.D. is a teacher and department chairman at Westwood High School, and many of the volunteers were former students and their parents, teachers and colleagues.
Signatures were also collected for Dr. Janie Hydrick, candidate for LD 18 State Senate, Felecia Rotellini, candidate for Arizona Attorney General, Jim Holway, candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission, among others. The weather was perfect for walking neighborhoods and talking to voters. Over one-hundred signatures were collected over the two days.
Panel votes to cut Ariz. tax rates by two
Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013 11:45 am
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
A special legislative panel voted Thursday to reduce the number of state income tax brackets from five to three, with an eye on eventually creating a single tax rate. Read the full story: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/article_747cf710-6418-11e3-83f8-0019bb2963f4.html
Commentary by Craig Falasco, Chandler: Reducing the number of tax brackets (eventually to a single bracket, or “flat tax rate”) is a goal of the Republicans in the State Legislature with backing from The Goldwater Institute. This latest panel’s decision is another attempt to move Arizona in that direction.
There are several glaring errors in this latest panel’s reasoning.
JD Mesnard (R-Chandler) thinks that there can be a single rate, but with deductions and credits that will ensure that those with more income will pay a higher proportion in taxes. Unfortunately those with lower incomes cannot usually take advantage of deductions and credits, but higher earners can. The result is a shifting of the tax burden to lower-income earners.
Steve Slivinski, a panel member from The Goldwater Institute, described the benefit of decreasing the number of income brackets as being able to advertise a simpler tax system, even though the real system is more complicated. The panel voted to create the illusion of tax simplicity instead of proposing real tax reform!
If simplicity is the goal, then why reduce the number of tax rates while increasing deductions and credits? Anyone who has ever done his own taxes knows that it is the deductions, credits, and all the exceptions that make income tax filing complicated. The number of income brackets is irrelevant since all one does is look up his adjusted gross income on a table to determine the amount of tax.
In summary, the Republican state legislators should focus on real reform, not illusions, and they should stop trying to shift the tax burden to the poor and lower-income workers in Arizona. Arizona needs legislators that are willing to look at the real issues facing our state, and legislators that will propose real solutions.
Arizona made the right choice in expanding Medicaid
Dec. 8, 2013
The following was written by Joan McCarter, Daily Kos staff and posted on Thursday, Dec. 05, 2013. It shows how Arizona made the right decision in choosing to expand Medicaid coverage, while states that refused the expanded coverage will lose billions of dollars and cost their taxpayers even more.
States refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will lose more than $35 billion collectively in federal funds by 2022, and cost their taxpaying citizens more.
That’s from a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.
Not expanding Medicaid is not a rational decision for any state. But there are some very big losers: Texas ($9.6 billion), Florida ($5 billion), Georgia ($2.9 billion), Virginia ($2.8 billion) and North Carolina ($2.6 billion). The citizens of those states will continue to “bear a significant share of the overall cost of the expansion through federal tax payments,” the report says, while they will “not enjoy any of the benefits.”
Call to action: LD 18 Legislators must take action to improve Arizona’s Child Protective Services
Dec. 8, 2013
Contact the LD 18 state legislators urging them to take action. Contact information and links to related articles are below.
Contact the LD 18 Senator John McComish to request the following.
- Provide adequate funding for the current investigation of the 6,000 cases not investigated.
- Provide adequate funding for Arizona’s Child Protective Services so that it can do its job of protecting Arizona’s children at risk. This must be done as soon as possible in the 2014 legislative session.
Senator John McComish email: email@example.com, phone: (602) 926-5898
azcentral.com article: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20131121cps-discovers-uninvestigated-abuse-cases.html
EJ Montini opnion: http://www.azcentral.com/insiders/ejmontini/2013/12/05/cps-options-more-money-or-more-victims/
Contact LD 18 Representatives Bob Robson and Jeff Dial requesting that they ask for Andy Tobin to resign his position as Speaker of the House. Tobin was supposed to appoint an oversight committee for CPS over two years ago, but he failed to act in a timely manner, and Arizona is now dealing with the result. For neglecting his responsibility to Arizona’s children at risk, Andy Tobin does not deserve to be House Speaker.
Representative Bob Robson email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (602) 926-5549
Representative Jeff Dial email email@example.com, phone: (602) 926-5550
Arizona Democratic Party news release: http://azdem.org/news/releases/andy_two-faced_tobin_and_the_cps_scandal/
How to write a letter to elected officials: http://usgovinfo.about.com/c/ht/00/07/How_Write_Letters_Elected0962932964.htm
Linda Brown presents The Affordable Care Act and Arizona’s “Marketplace”
November 13, 2013
Linda Brown, a health insurance marketplace “navigator” with Adelante Healthcare, and former Executive Director of the Arizona Advocacy Network, gave a first-hand account of Arizona’s health insurance marketplace at the November meeting of Dobson Ranch Democrats and Friends. See her presentation on YouTube on the District 18 Dems of Arizona channel.
UPDATE Dec. 9, 2013 11:33 a.m.
According to Linda, the healthcare.gov website is now working much better. One huge difference is that you are now able to browse plans before logging in to enroll. There are still some issues, but Linda feels that the website and its glitches will soon be old news.
Solar Energy & Net Metering
Nov. 11, 2013 From JimHolway.com/Blog, posted by Jim Holway, candidate for Corporation Commission, Nov. 6, 2013
“Arizona can and should be the solar capital of the world. We can be a leader in solar energy research and development and in producing power from our abundant sunshine while creating jobs and wealth for our state. APS (Arizona Public Service) and the solar industry (in particular those installing solar panels on homes) are at war with each other …”
Landrun Taylor announces bid for AZ Secretary of State in 2014
Nov. 9, 2013
In an email broadcast Arizona State Senator Leah Landrum Taylor announced her candidacy for Arizona Secretary of State in the 2014 elections. Landrum Taylor is currently the State Senator and Minority Leader for Arizona District 27. Visit her website at http://www.landrumtaylor.com/. To sign her candidate ballot petition or contribute $5 towards her clean elections fund, visit the AZ Secretary of State E-Qual site - http://azsos.gov/equal/. Read her email here – LandrumTaylor Letter
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passes Senate vote, McCain and Flake vote “Yes”
Nov. 8, 2013
From Equality Arizona: “This morning, Senator John McCain invited members of HRC, One Community and Equality Arizona to discuss the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), immigration, and marriage equality. We shared our thanks with him, Senator Flake, and 62 others who voted for ENDA.” Only days ago it appeared that Flake and McCain would not support ENDA. Read the Equality Arizona announcement here - Equality Arizona ENDA
Voters overwhelmingly approve Kyrene and Tempe Union High School overrides
Nov. 6, 2013
Voters in Kyrene and Tempe Union High School districts approved the budget overrides yesterday by wide margins. For Kyrene, Question 1 was approved by a 58 to 42 percent margin, and Question 2 was approved by a 75 to 25 percent margin. TUHSD override was approved by a 58 to 42 percent margin. See the Maricopa County Recorder Elections site for all the results.
Enough signatures collected to put voter suppression law on the ballot in 2014 giving voters the opportunity to overturn HB2305
Posted Nov. 2, 2013
PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett today certified that the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee’s referendum of House Bill 2305 will be on the 2014 ballot. Bennett confirmed that the Committee gathered just under 111,000 valid signatures — far eclipsing the necessary 86,405 to qualify — and that the Committee’s validity rate was an astounding 80 percent. Read the complete news release as a PDF – Protect Your Right To Vote News Release Oct 29
The Tea Party Terrorists
Nov. 1, 2013
“America had gone from being a respected nation under the last Democratic president to a hated warmonger and world economy destroyer under the Bush administration, and just when another Democrat saved this nation’s economy and brought stability to the world’s financial markets, Republicans deliberately caused a financial crisis within 8 months of taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011. Within a year-and-a-half they threatened to send the economy over the fiscal cliff in December 2012, and ten months later are two days away from sending the world’s economy back into the recession they created in 2007-2008.” By Rmuse for PoliticusUSA, read the full article.
AZ Legislature and Governor use money intended to help homeowners for other purposes
Nov. 1, 2014
From Fred DuVal, Candidate for Arizona Governor - Did you know that the federal government provided Arizona with $268 million to help homeowners who were hurt in the housing crash? That’s more than a quarter of a billion dollars — taxpayer dollars — intended to help middle class families stay in their homes after the crash of 2008. Three years after the getting that money, our state government has only distributed 11 percent of the money–a performance weaker than every other state but one. To top it off, the legislature took $50 million in federal mortgage aid and used it for other purposes. That’s just wrong. (read the full post on Fred2014.com/blog) (AZ Republic article)
Radio station owner Rick Murphy enters AZ gubernatorial race as an Independent, drops GOP affiliation
Nov. 1, 2013
“In general, Independents have fared poorly in Arizona races. But Murphy, who has not been shy in the past about using his personal wealth to advance political causes — including $500,000 in a failed 2006 initiative to create a total vote-by-mail system — thinks he can generate enough support among what he said is a public increasingly disillusioned with the two major parties.” Full story by Howard Fischer, Capital Media Services (East Valley Tribune).
Sinema, Murphy Push for Better Mental Health Care for Veterans with Classified Experiences
Oct. 31, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced the Classified Veterans Access to Care Act. The legislation aims to prevent the estimated 22 veteran deaths resulting from suicide each day by ensuring that veterans with classified experiences have access to appropriate mental health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Joining Representatives Sinema and Murphy in cosponsoring the bill are Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HA), and Duncan Hunter (R-CA). (Full story)