It is a tribute to the women representatives who became my friends in the past four years but have now moved on to other career adventures or to the Senate.
Serving in the Legislature is a tough job. It’s good to have colleagues who have your back and who are willing to lend an ear. Thank you to former Reps. Isela Blanc, Gerae Peten, Winona Benally, Kirsten Engel (now a Senator) and Rosanna Rodriguez Gabaldon (now a Senator). Blanc, Peten, Benally and Engel were four of the eight “Feisty Freshmen” from 2017. Only four of us are still in the House: Reps. Kelli Butler, Mitzi Epstein, Athena Salman and me.
Many of us were elected in 2016 because we fully utilized social media and communicated with constituents regularly. In the House, we kept talking and Tweeting. The Republican men did everything they could think of to shut us up, but they were never successful.
We had strength in our solidarity and our speaking skills and our passion. Thank you for being there.
Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed the threat of a punishing boycott from major advertisers pressing Facebook to take a stronger stand on hate speech and said they will be back “soon enough”…
“We’re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” he said, according to the Information.
Zuckerberg says it’s no big deal and won’t hurt the company’s bottom line if corporate advertisers boycott the platform for at least a month. When it comes to hate speech, shouldn’t there be other concerns beyond his bottom line? From the quotes in The Guardian article, Zuckerberg stands firm against his advertisers’ protestations.
Before I get to the calendar, I would like to update you on an event that I attended yesterday: the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Roadmap Forum. The Flinn Foundation hosted representatives from the business community, the tech start-up community, and the University of Arizona– plus candidates and legislators. Scientists, entrepreneurs, and local business people presented a status update and Legislative wish list for growing start-up businesses in Southern Arizona (particularly in bioscience and technology).
As many of you know, I have been working in health/medical communications and later research for almost 30 years. Yesterday, it was heartwarming to hear the entrepreneurial success stories of cancer researchers who I worked with at the Arizona Cancer Center (long before they became local legends).
For me, the big take-home message from the event was that my ideas for sustainable economic development through public banking fit right in with the Bioscience Roadmap. By partnering with community banks, public banks can offer low-cost loans to local businesses for expansion and to start-up companies to get off the ground. This system would create a sustainable economic development loop, diversify the economy, create jobs, invest taxpayer funds locally, and strengthen community banks. Southern Arizona has many scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and musicians. We could be the Athens of the West– instead of the Dusty Pueblo– if we learned to grow our own local businesses, instead of chasing rainbows and call centers.
Walk time and call time! We will be doing regular canvassing on Saturday mornings and early evening during the week (weather permitting). We also are setting up virtual phone banking.
Watch for announcements on Facebook, my campaign blog, and future email blasts. Remember, since I am a Clean Elections candidate, I won’t be sending you fundraising emails and my events don’t have a price tag. I am looking for volunteers, though.
What is Clean Elections all about? Why would anyone choose to run for office using Arizona’s Clean Elections system– rather than run a “traditional” political campaign fueled by as much cash as you can rake in? How does the Clean Elections system work? What are the advantages and disadvantages to running a publicly funded campaign vs a privately funded campaign?
Please join former Arizona Senate Minority Leader Phil Lopes and I at the PDA Tucson Clean Elections Forum, Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ward 6 office (Facebook event here.) Phil ran clean and won every election. I ran clean and won in 2016, and my 2018 re-election campaign is also a clean campaign.
If you think that big-money politics and special interests are destroying our democracy, come on down and learn about Clean Elections. Have you been toying with the idea of running for office but can’t stand the idea of making hundreds of fundraising phone calls to raise the cash the consultants say you need?
Clean Elections is a grassroots system of organizing and funding a political campaign; it was created by the Citizens Initiative process. Candidates are required to collect a designated number of $5 qualifying contributions from people who can vote for them, plus collect signatures like other candidates. Once Legislative candidates have collected a minimum of 200 valid $5 contributions, they qualify for public funds and agree not to take any donations from corporations, special interest PACs, or dirty money from secret sources. With public funds, seed money, and family money, Clean Elections candidates receive approximately $45,000 to run for office. Is $45,000 enough money to run for office? Yes! If you look at campaign finance reports, there are current Legislators who won their offices with $1000 or less! Campaign finance is all over the map. In 2016, my average seed money donation was $25. (The maximum donation for a clean candidate is $160; the maximum donation for a privately funded candidate is $5000. A stark contrast.)
Legislative candidates in LD9 (Victoria Steele, Jim Love and me), LD2 (Senator Andrea Dalessandro and Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon), and LD3 (Senator Olivia Cajero-Bedford and Betty Villegas) are running clean– along with several statewide candidates for department of education and Arizona Corporation Commission. You can support them by clicking here to donate $5.
If you want to get big money out of politics and you like Arizona’s Clean Elections system, it’s time to speak up to save it. Irregularities in the 2016 election prompted proposed rule changes by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. (There are three versions of R2-20-702 and a new rule R2-20-703.01 – here. You can send your comments to email@example.com or go to this link and submit comments by June 19, before the commission votes at its next meeting on June 22, 2017.)
Below is the back story and a detailed explanation of the proposed rule changes.
After collecting the requisite number of petition signatures and $5 qualifying donations from people who can vote for them, Clean Elections candidates (like me) receive lump sums of $16,000 for the primary and $24,000 for the general election– in exchange for vowing not to take big money donations. With seed money and family money, the total for a Clean Elections candidate is roughly $45,000 for a Legislative campaign. All unspent CE funds must be returned to the CE commission, and all unspent seed money or seed money overage must be returned to the individual donors.
During the 2016 election, two Democratic Party Clean Elections candidates turned over all or most of their CE funds in a lump sum to the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) to run their campaigns, provide paid staff, and purchase/design/mail their printed materials. ADLCC provides these services to many traditionally funded candidates and offered them to CE candidates as well in 2016. A problem arose with at least two CE candidates because the party didn’t provide individual invoices for specific services rendered.
At 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2016, I had an existential crisis. How could a Progressive candidate like me win election on the same day as Donald Trump?
The LD9 team won early on Nov. 8. Randy, Steve and I were the first winners to take the stage at the Pima County Democratic Party party in the Marriott Hotel, where many of us watched President Barack Obama win twice.
Excitement was in the air. Everyone was so cheery. The polls all told us that our candidate– the first woman president– would win handily. Yes, of course, one poll said that Hillary Clinton would win by only 3%, but how could that be when all other polls were so high in favor of her?
Now we all know what happened. The polls were wrong. Twenty-five years of lies; millions of social media shares of questionable meme attacks and fake news; editorializing instead of news analysis by mainstream news media; Russian hacks; dithering, drawn-out FBI investigation of those @#$% emails; and deep-seeded sexism took down the most qualified candidate and gave us a president who promises to rule with an authoritarian hand.