Corporate Tax Giveaways Are Key Issue in LD9 Primary (video)

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

The choice is clear in the Legislative District 9 primary race.

Do you want more old-school economic development based on corporate tax breaks and sales tax giveaways? You know… the same policies that starved our public education system, left our infrastructure in shambles, forced thousands of Arizonans to live in poverty, destroyed our state budget by giving away billions in taxes each year, and left Tucson with a 25% poverty rate. If you support giving your taxes away and banking on trickle down economics– vote for challenger in the LD9 race.

If you want a leader who will continue to be the voice of the people in the Arizona Legislature, vote to re-elect me– Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley. I have used my voice, my amendments, my votes, and parliamentary procedures to defend the rights of workers, patients, students, teachers, women, and the underserved. In 2017, Progressive Democrats vowed to vote against every corporate tax cut and tax credit bill until public education is fully funded. In 2018, that line in the sand against tax giveaways and for public education funding became the rallying cry for the most Democrats in the Legislature and for the #RedForEd movement. (You can see some of the tax giveaway votes here.) In my opinion, Arizona government should funding the People’s To-Do List– education, healthcare, safety and security, and infrastructure– instead of funding the corporate wish list.

In his recent speech at the Democrats of Greater Tucson (DGT) luncheon, J.P. Martin, who is challenging Dr. Randy Friese and me in the LD9 primary, made it clear that he is the Rio Nuevo Board’s candidate. He even showed their slides when he pitched creating more sales tax giveaway districts (AKA tax increment financing districts, like Rio Nuevo) around Southern Arizona. He says the northwest Tucson malls “need our help” because there are too many empty stores and young people need something to do on the weekend– like go shopping. (You can read about his talk in Tim Steller’s Political Notebook column here.)

I agree that brick and mortar retail is faltering due to increased online sales and a corporate push to reduce labor and overall costs. I disagree that government should incentivize retail shopping with tax dollars. Tax giveaways drain on our state coffers. Arizona is already upside down on its mortgage. The state government gives away or otherwise excuses more than $13 billion in taxes each year and leaves around $10 billion to run the state.

I support taxing digital goods as a way to level the playing field between online purchases, brick and mortar retail stores, and local small businesses. There are multiple proposals floating around to increase sales tax for a variety of reasons. Further increasing sales tax in Pima County would bring our sales tax rate in the neighborhood of 10%. Taxing local purchases but not digital purchases hurts local businesses. Besides leveling the playing field, taxing digital goods would raise hundreds of millions in much-needed revenue for public education, community colleges and the university system, as well as other crucial needs. Sales tax on digital goods is an increasing revenue stream, unlike store-based sales tax.

Retail store sales and related sales tax are declining nationwide, resulting in store closures. This one of my arguments against pinning Tucson’s economic development future on sales tax generation by brick and mortar retail stores in the downtown Rio Nuevo Tax Increment Financing District (TIF).

I want to know what the public’s total investment in every incentive deal– not just Rio Nuevo. Are taxpayers getting our money’s worth? I have heard the rosy projections and seen the slide shows. I want to see the spreadsheets. Perhaps it is my journalistic Spidy sense, but I am a “show me, don’t tell me” person when it comes to giving taxes away. The public has the right to know the bottom line about Rio Nuevo and any economic development project that uses taxpayer money.

DGT hosts a weekly luncheon with a steady cast of candidates rotating through. My last DGT talk was: Economic Development, Access to Care & Workforce Development: A Progressive Roadmap.  Click on the link to read the speech and watch the video. It provides a great contrast to my challenger’s ideas. (Watch the video after the jump. Also, check out research regarding the reality of TIFs around the country. Seriously, Detroit, $16.5 million for a Whole Foods store?)

Continue reading Corporate Tax Giveaways Are Key Issue in LD9 Primary (video)

#AZGOP Takes Another Stab at #CleanElections (video)

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

The very last bill of the 53rd Session was a blatant attack on the Citizens Clean Elections Commission by the Republican majority.

The bill attacking a system that was created by the voters was rammed through after midnight. They want to protect big-money-based elections. Speaker Mesnard said this bill was necessary because Clean Elections needs “more oversight”, so what better place to put CLEAN Elections than under the control of Gov. Ditry-Money Ducey.

Clean Elections are governed by the Clean Elections Commission (as outlined in the law passed by the voters). What the Republicans aren’t telling you is that they really don’t like Clean Elections’ watchdog function over everybody’s campaign finance reporting, including the Republicans who run on dirty money.

Arizona needs a stronger campaign finance watchdog function not a weaker one. The GOP also is specifically targeting Progressive Clean Elections candidates with this bill because it says Clean candidates can’t make any payments to political parties— even to buy services like the VAN database.

Luckily, since Clean Elections was created through Citizens Initiative, any change that is not in the spirit of the original bill as passed by the voters must go back to the voters for approval. As the 2018 election approaches, expect heavy spin from the Republicans regarding Clean Elections because they have a vested interested in keeping the dirty money status quo. Watch the video after the jump.

Continue reading #AZGOP Takes Another Stab at #CleanElections (video)

From Guns to Water: LD9 Forum Video

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

We had a great crowd of about 50 people who came out for the Tanque Verde Democrats LD9 Forum on May 12. For those of you who couldn’t make it, my husband Jim manned me video camera, and we taped the whole thing.

There are seven videos total. Each incumbent or candidate answered every question, and each question is a separate video. The video topics are: introductory comments, water policy, the property tax hike for TUSD residents, gun violence prevention, police interactions with communities of color, working across the aisle, and closing comments with accomplishments or goals.

You can watch the forum videos, as well as my one-minute updates and selected Arizona House Floor Videos on my YouTube Channel here.  (There is also a link to subscribe if you want to follow me on YouTube.) Below the fold are the videos from the meeting. If you are wondering what that red cone is in several of the videos, it is a flag on an audience member’s wheelchair. At first when I saw the raw video footage, I thought, “Who was wearing a tiny red party hat?” Check out the videos after the jump.

Continue reading From Guns to Water: LD9 Forum Video

Tanque Verde Dems Host LD9 Incumbents & Candidates Forum, May 12

Sabino sunrise by Pamela Powers Hannley
Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley
LD9 incumbents Reps. Randy Friese and Pamela Powers Hannley

The Tanque Verde Democrats will host a forum with Legislative District 9 Senate and House incumbents and candidates on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

This is the regular TV Dems monthly meeting, and as usual, it will be held at Risky Business at 8848 East Tanque Verde Rd.

Hob-nobbing begins at 9:30. Each incumbent or candidate will give a 2 minute opening and closing. The audience members will provide questions for the forum, and each candidate will get 1 minute to respond. Come on down! LD9 incumbents Dr. Randy Friese and I will both be there, along with our primary challenger and the two Democratic State Senator candidates.

Yay! I Qualified Clean Elections Funding! Thank You for Helping!

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

There might be some journalistic rule against three exclamation points in one headline, but I’m excited.

On Monday, I submitted 249 $5 Clean Elections Qualifying Contributions and 750 signatures to get on the August 28, 2018 primary ballot and on the November 6, 2018 general election ballot. Thanks so much to everyone who canvassed with me, who signed my petition, who donated seed money, and who donated $5 to Clean Elections to support my re-election campaign.

If you have paper petitions or still want to sign my petition, you will have a chance in May. I know that I have volunteers out there with petitions; don’t worry. I plan to turn in additional signatures before the May deadline.

I love the Clean Elections system. I use it because I believe that big money politics has corrupted our election system. I see big money politics in action everyday. At the Capitol, bills are routinely brought forward that benefit one donor or one corporation. That is not fair to the people of Arizona.

It is a significant amount of work to collect hundreds of $5 donations, but Clean Elections funding frees me from making hours of fundraising phone calls to rich donors. My focus, as a Clean Elections candidate, is on connecting with and serving the voters.

For updates from the Capitol and from the campaign, watch this blog and my Facebook page. Check out my (almost) daily video blog from the Capitol here on Facebook and here on YouTube.

Onward!

Thank you!

Social Workers Honor Rep. Powers Hannley, Other Groups Endorse

National Association of Social Workers
Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley
Rep. Pam Powers Hannley accepting the “Elected Official of the Year” Award from the Arizona Chapter of the National Association for Social Workers.

I was so honored to be given the “Elected Official of the Year” award by the Arizona Chapter (Branch 2) of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) at their annual luncheon in March.

The NASW was the first group to endorse me back in the summer of 2016.  We had a meeting of the minds when I met with their representatives, and we talked about access to care, poverty, equity, and equal pay for equal work.

Also in March, I received endorsements from the Sierra Club and Arizona List. All three of these groups back me in my last race, and I’m proud to have their support again in 2018.

If you want to help me get re-elected, I am looking for canvassing volunteers for the coming three Saturdays: April 7, 14, and 21. These events are listed on my Facebook page here.

If you have not signed my nominating petition, you can do so here. (You will need your drivers’ license to log in and prove it is you.) Thanks for your support!

 

 

March 2018 Constituent Update: News & Events

Save Our Schools March

As usual, this Legislative Session has been a whirlwind of meetings, events, protests, bad bills, and hectic schedules. (Photos below the fold.)

On the Saturday before the session started, more than 1000 people rallied and marched in support of public education. In the above photo, LD11 Candidate Hollace Lyon,  my husband Jim Hannley and I talk as we march to Save Our Schools. Check out a short video on my Facebook page.

We started the session by passing the big bipartisan opioid bill.
#AZ Leg Passes Landmark, Bipartisan Opioid Bill (video)

I dropped the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) again this year, and we are still working on this in the background. (It ain’t over ’til it’s over, as our old high school football coach used to say).
Arizona House Dems Drop 2018 #ERA Bill

We have voted on lots of crazy bills and some good ones in the past two months. As with last year, there is a bipartisan group voting for tax giveaways and a bipartisan group voting against tax giveaways. Millions of dollars in tax breaks have passed the Arizona House. These bills still have to make it through the Senate. If you don’t want tax cuts to continue to starve public education, check out the votes, the debates, and the bill numbers in these two blog posts and contact your Legislators. You can also make comments on bills that have been assigned to agendas by logging on to the Request to Speak system.
Marijuana to Bump Stocks to Tax Giveaways: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?
#TaxCuts & Deregulation: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?

Upcoming Public Events

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley
LD9 PCs organized three Ground Game house party events which drew great crowds. This event was hosted by Linda Horowitz.

I am extremely grateful to the Ground Game and to the LD9 precinct committee members for hosting three successful house parties this year. In March, I will be appearing at several public events. I hope to see you there.

An Evening with John Nichols, March 10

Author and historian John Nichols of The Nation will be in Tucson for the Festival of Books this weekend. As is his tradition, Nichols will be speaking at the IBEW Hall on Saturday night, March 10. Doors open at 6 p.m. I am proud to be Nichols’ warm-up act again this year. This free, public event is hosted by PDA Tucson and PALF. You can find more information here. To RSVP on Facebook go here.

Our Time Is NOW, March 17

The Arizona Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will be holding its state convention in Tucson on March 17 at the IBEW Hall from 10 a.m – 3 p.m. I will be participating in a panel of women elected officials at the conference. For more background go to the NOW Facebook page here.

Three Events on March 18!

Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes

The Jewish Community Center is sponsoring Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. More information can be found here.  My plan is to stop by at the beginning, since this will be such a busy day!

LD9/LD10 St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon

This ticketed fundraiser for LD9 and LD10 is an annual tradition at the Cunningham Home in midtown. It is a chance for LD9 and LD10 Democrats to hob-nob, eat corned beef (or not), and talk with electeds and candidates.

LD9 Town Hall

My seat mate, Dr. Randall Friese and I will be hosting an LD9 town hall on March 18 at the Martha Cooper Library in midtown from 3:30 – 5. As usual, we will each do a quick update and open the floor to questions from the audience. This is free and open to the public. Check out the event on Facebook here.

I hope to see you in the near future at one of these events.

Event Photos and More

Below the fold are a few photos from events and office visits. Thanks to all of you who made the trip up from Tucson during session. Representatives particularly appreciate it when regular folks come to the Capitol to testify in committee. The voice of the people is important– and all too often unheard up here.

Continue reading March 2018 Constituent Update: News & Events

Reflections on 2017 at year end…

Arizona House Dems

To say that 2017 was a challenging year is a gross understatement. Buffeted by angry Tweets, backward-thinking executive orders, political grandstanding, militarism, and attacks on our healthcare, our finances, and our freedom, the American people have been on an emotional roller coaster since November 8, 2016. At the dawn of 2018, we have nowhere to go but up.

Inequality in the Trump Era
The summer 2017 news cycle was filled with stories about Congressional Republican plans to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and throw millions of Americans off of health insurance. Problem is: Most people didn’t want to lose their health insurance. Vigilant activists and 1000s of phone calls, emails, and protests stopped multiple ACA repeal and replace attempts. Tucsonans at the 200 Stories Healthcare Forum overwhelming said they wanted health insurance to be affordable and universal— not more expensive and less accessible, as the Republicans had planned. We must stay vigilant because Republicans plan to continue their attacks on our health and well being in 2018.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the fall 2017 news cycle flip flopped between stories on militaristic Tweet tantrums and details of Congressional Republican plans to dramatically reduce taxes for big corporations and 0.01% of the richest Americans. Who will pay for massive tax cuts for the rich? The rest of us, of course. Tax Cut and Jobs Act is blatantly unfair to millions of Americans. As far as I’m concerned if the federal government is giving away billions in tax cuts, the State of Arizona can roll back our tax cuts. After all, we need the money to fund education and other items on the People’s To-Do List. For more thoughts on this, check out the text and video of my DGT speech on solving economic inequality: Economic Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development: A Progressive Roadmap.

#MeToo Movement Shake-up
A year that began with amazing women’s marches nationwide, ended with months of sexual harassment and sexual assault charges against powerful men in entertainment and politics. Several Congressmen, State Legislators, and entertainment icons like Matt Lauer, Henry Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and others have lost their jobs and fallen from power.

In the #MeToo Era, is it finally time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)? I think so. I proposed the ERA in 2017, and I have opened a 2018 bill folder for it. You can read my blog post on this topic here. Watch for ERA activists at the Together We Rise Rally on Opening Day of the Legislature, January 8, 2018. Check out the ERA in AZ Facebook Group here and my blog here for news and updates.

Happy New Year! Take care of yourself. In a few days, I will be heading back to the Arizona House.

Below the fold, check event updates from December 2017 Constituent Newsletter. (BTW, the feature photo depicts Arizona House Democrats at their December retreat on the Gila River Indian Reservation.)

Continue reading Reflections on 2017 at year end…

With Massive Tax Cuts from Feds, Big Corps Don’t Need AZ Tax Giveaways (video)

Mama Grizzly

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin called herself a “Mama Grizzly” because she said she would fight like a Mama Grizzly to protect her children.

Although “Mama Grizzly” was a catchy marketing slogan for the folksy rural mayor from Alaska, the Republican Party has never embraced the idea of protecting children after birth or helping families. Unfortunately, this week Congressional Republicans took their disregard for middle class families one step further by voting for billions of dollars in tax cuts for big corporations and for the richest Americans– while saddling our children and grandchildren with massive debt to pay the bills in the future.

Hmmm… let’s see… what to do… pass legislation that would actually help millions of Americans– like equitably funding public education across the country or fixing the Affordable Care Act (to make it affordable) — OR cut taxes for your rich donors? Cut taxes, of course! With party-line votes to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congressional Republicans have shown that they are far more interested in enriching the billionaire class than in improving the lives of everyday Americans. Universal healthcare? Food Security? World-class public education? Safe roads and bridges? Financial stability for the middle class? Meh. Congressional Republicans don’t care about pursuing the People’s To-Do List.

Although the majority of Americans see the tax cut bill as unfair, Republicans are on course to deliver the biggest Christmas present… ever… to the 0.01%.

In my opinion, the passage of this massive wealth transfer bill underscores the need for a few new progressive action items…

Continue reading With Massive Tax Cuts from Feds, Big Corps Don’t Need AZ Tax Giveaways (video)

Economic Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development: A Progressive Roadmap (video)

On December 4, 2017, I gave a talk on economic inequality at the Democrats of Greater Tucson Luncheon. This is the text of that speech.

Economist Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, recently gave a talk which focused on solving economic inequality. He pointed to five key areas of the economy that keep the rich rich and keep the rest of us in our places:

  • Macroeconomics;
  • Intellectual property rights;
  • Practice protection by highly paid professionals;
  • Financial regulation; and
  • Cooperate governance.

Given this list, can a state legislator like me make a dent in economic inequality? I think so.

I ran on a platform that focused on economic reform and public banking; equality and paycheck fairness; and attacking the opioid crisis.

How does my platform dovetail with Dean Baker’s list? There is quite a bit of overlap—particularly in macroeconomics, intellectual property rights, and practice protection.

Continue reading Economic Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development: A Progressive Roadmap (video)