LD9 incumbent Rep. Randy Friese and I met with representatives from the Arizona Daily Star a few weeks ago to share ideas and answer their questions. Traditionally, the Star meets with all candidates for a position simultaneously, but LD9 Tea Party challenger Ana Henderson did not attend the interview.
On Sunday, Oct 9, the Star released their endorsements, and I’m proud to say that they endorsed me– along with the LD9 incumbents Friese and Senator Steve Farley. Here is an excerpt from the endorsement story.
On the House side, we endorse incumbent Randy Friese and newcomer Pamela Powers Hannley.
They are a solid combination and compliment each other’s strengths with experience and policy knowledge.
Friese and Powers Hannley are Democrats running against another newcomer, Republican Ana Henderson.
Powers Hannley identified the economy as her top priority, which isn’t unusual for a political candidate.
What makes her stand out, however, is that she’s not identifying “jobs” as her platform but puts economic stability and viability in a larger frame. She thinks of it “broadly, to lift people out of poverty.”
She supports an increased minimum wage and identifies corporate tax cuts and loopholes as a target to increase state revenue to spend on urgent needs, such as public education.
“These are issues that are not one-party issues,” she said. She cited paycheck equality and fairness as an example.
She also rightly points out that the southern end of LD 9, in midtown Tucson, is rife with rundown housing and that many residents don’t have the means to maintain or improve their property.
She raised the possibility of Arizona forming a public bank, which could give residents low-interest loans to improve their homes or businesses. We’re not ready to sign on to that just yet, but we appreciate her innovative thinking and reaching for different ideas.
Funding for education at all levels — but particularly for k-12 public education — has been a HOT button issue in Arizona since Governor Jan Brewer and her henchman, ousted Senate President Russell “SB1070” Pierce, started mercilessly slashing education in 2010, at the dawn of the Tea Party Revolution in Arizona.
After six years of Tea Party cuts to public ed and six years of legislative gifts to private schools, charter schools, and big corporations, in general, Arizona’s education system is on the ropes– demoralized and penniless.
Frustrated parents are angry. Demoralized teachers are leaving Arizona in droves. Aging school buildings are crumbling and dangerous. Contentious schools boards are arguing over how to spend the scraps.
Although some come to school hungry, our children soldier on everyday. Are they learning in this financially and emotionally stressed environment?
No one can pretend that this scenario is anywhere near optimum. Why has this situation been allowed to develop? Our current education system was created by budget cuts based upon right-wing, anti-government ideology and not on what is best for the families and children of Arizona– or what is best for our state as a whole.
At the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) candidate forum on October 2, I asked the audience, “What is our goal for public education?” and rattled off a short list of facts that show we are short-changing students and families. Here is an expanded version of what I said…
Heinz is running for Congressional District 2 against Congresswoman Martha McSally who is infamous for dodging questions and debates. Bickel is running for Pima County Supervisor against incumbent Ally Miller, who refused to be interviewed by the Arizona Daily Star (and other media outlets) for their candidate series. For the LD9 seat, I am running against Tea Party candidate Ana Henderson who is hoping that $5500 worth of giant signs featuring her and her dog (but not her party affiliation or any detauls about her) will convince voters to back her.
If my website stats are any indication, voters want to know where candidates stand on the issues. Leading up to primary voting day on August 30, my website stats were booming, and the page visitors went to most often– after the home page– was the Issues tab. (Inquiring minds want to know.)
Unfortunately, Henderson didn’t answer AZCentral’s candidate questionnaire this summer, didn’t show up to the LD9 interview with the Arizona Daily Star a few weeks ago, and didn’t attend the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) candidate forum this past Sunday. More than 500 people — most representing local churches or charitable organizations like the Community Food Bank and Literacy Connects– attended the PCIC event hoping to hear multiple candidates speak about public education, hunger, and drugs.
October 6 UPDATE: Last night the University of Arizona pre-law fraternity hosted a candidate forum at the UA Law School. Democratic and Republican candidates from CD2, LD9. LD10 and LD2 participated. Unfortunately, again, McSally and Henderson were no-shows.
Nov 8– Election Day– sounds far away, but it’s only 47 days away.
Oct 12– the day that early voting begins in Arizona– is only 20 days away.
Please help Randy and me stop the Tea Party from taking a foothold in LD9. Vote for two on Nov. 8 and help us cross the finish line victorious. Arizona doesn’t need another anti-choice, anti-access-to-healthcare, pro-gun, pro-school-vouchers-for-all, silent-on-the-issues Tea Partier in the Arizona Legislature. #VoteForTwo #VoteBlue
Leading up to Election Day, there are several events and volunteer opportunities.
Sept 24-25: LD 9 Canvasses Erin Burton, our wonderful ADLCC field organizer, has organized a weekend of LD9 Weekend of Action for this coming weekend for LD9 candidates (pictured above Rep. Randy Friese, Senator Steve Farley, and me). Jim and I will be at the canvass both days, and I hope some of our regular volunteers will also help out.
#PowersForThePeople CAMPAIGN T-SHIRTS will be available for volunteers at the weekend canvasses and at the Volunteer Appreciation Party (below).
Saturday, Sept 24– 10 a.m. start
La Madera Park (2700 E La Madera Dr., in midtown).
Sept 25: #PowersForThePeople Volunteer Appreciation Party
On Sunday, Sept 25, my good friend Merrill Eisenberg is hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Party at her home in midtown. The house party will be from 4-6 p.m. Please stop by for some great snacks, a cool beverage, and great conversation. The campaign t-shirts will be available to the first 48 people who volunteer this weekend. Please help me win! If you can’t attend, please consider volunteering. You can sign up to receive updates from my campaign here. (Don’t wory, since I am running clean, I won’t spam you with donation requests.)
According to the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Database, Ana Henderson, the sole GOP candidate in the LD9 race, spent $6280 (the largest part of her Clean Elections funds) on an ultra-conservative Phoenix-based consultant– Constantin Querard of Grassroots Consulting LLC. His website says that he works for “‘platform Republican[s]’ with uncompromising beliefs in the sanctity of life, pro-family issues, low taxes and the right to keep and bear arms…”
The Capitol Times is quoted on his website as saying, Querard “has helped to create the most conservative Legislature to be seen in years…” The website client list bears this statement out; it’s a who’s who of Cathy Herrod fetal personhood aficionados and NRA backers.
The second biggest chunk of Henderson’s funds– $4800– was spent in Mesa at a non-union sign shop. So– Henderson spent 80% of her $13,908 in Maricopa County. (This is surprising since Henderson often talks about being a former small business owner– like me.)
For comparison purposes, I spent almost all of my $19,806 locally. Except for buying office supplies, party supplies and food at local chain stores, by far, most of my money was spent at small locally-owned businesses. The Gloo Factory– a local union printer– got the largest chunk of my money with $6341; second was National Mailing at $4808; and third was Tucson Local Media at $2224. I spent 68% of my funds ($13,373) with three local businesses. The only non-Tucson businesses that I used were the company that printed the checks for my bank account and the Arizona Democratic Party who gave me access to the Democrats’ giant voter database.
Jim and I attended the Pima Democratic Party Unity Party at Brother John’s Beer, Burbon & BBQ. Once Jim entered the place and smelled BBQ, he decided he had to try some. We were in the dining room off to the side of the big party, when one of my stalwart supporters came into the dining room and said, “You’re WINNING! You need to get in there.”
I went into the party room to see that I was 2000 votes ahead of Matt Kopec as soon as the early ballots were reported, and my lead increased to roughly 2200 as the night went on. (The final updated figures show that I beat Kopec by 2651 votes, and Friese beat me by 3364.)
Tuesday night, I won the second slot on the LD9 Democratic Party ticket with 33% of the vote in LD9. Rep. Randy Friese and I will advance to the general election on November 8, 2016.
My race is the only Southern Arizona race in which a challenger took down an incumbent. Although this is the third time that a Pima County Supervisors’ appointee has been defeated by a challenger, many in the news media and the party establishment are scratching their heads in amazement at my win. One local writer said that “maybe voters knew and loved Pamela Powers Hannley” but suggested that the likely reason that I won is that “Women have an edge in ‘low-information’ races”. So– more 11,630 people voted for me just because they didn’t know any better? If people were doing eenie meenie miney moe in the voting booth, the vote would have been closer.
I’m not buying the idea that the LD9 race was a “low information” race. My website stats show that people were researching my ideas and my background throughout the month of August and particularly on August 30. Also, LD9 voters many opportunities to hear us answer the same questions in the same venue. We had one Clean Elections debate, one candidate forum, radio interviews by Bill Buckmaster, television interviews by Jim Nintzel, and a sets of interviews by the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly– plus all of the social media and events. This would have been a low information race if there had not been a primary challenge. In fact, the very last person I called on August 30 in a GOTV effort was a woman who had not voted yet. She complained that too many down-ballot candidates didn’t have any (or enough) information on the Internet, and she wasn’t voting for anyone she couldn’t learn more about. (Of course, I referred her to this website.)
Not only did I beat Kopec, I beat him with Clean Elections funding. Kopec raised ~$31,000 and spent ~$28,000 of it. With my seed money + family money + Clean Elections money, I had ~$20,000, and I spent ~$19,000. I was outspent– but not by a lot. For the general election, I will receive another installment from Clean Elections.
Friese and I will face Republican Ana Henderson in the general election. Henderson is a political newcomer, a right wing activist, and a Clean Elections candidate.
The primary differences between Henderson and me are that she is anti-choice (when it comes to women’s bodies) but pro-choice (when it comes to schools and vouchers). She’s also so against marijuana legalization that it borders on Reefer Madness. (I posted this story about Spice in reaction to Henderson’s Facebook post mixing up Spice and marijuana.) In addition, she also speaks out against the Affordable Care Act and wants “greater competition in the insurance marketplace so that you have more options and better prices.” (This is right-wing dog whistle lingo for dumping the the Affordable Care Act and going back to the good old days of denial of care based upon pre-existing conditions, increased medical bankruptcy, and cheap insurance that doesn’t actually pay for anything.)
I don’t know about you, but I think there are already too many anti-choice, pro-privatization, Reefer Maddness Republicans in the Arizona Legislature.
I am indebted to my supporters who signed my petition, gave me $5 for Clean Elections, hosted or helped with events, canvassed, phone banked, mailed postcards… and voted for me. Thank you all so much.
We can do this! Onward to victory in November.
UPDATE, SEPT 7: The Final figures from the Secretary of State’s office show: Friese 14,994 (42%); Powers Hannley 11,630 (33%); and Kopec 8979 (25%). Looking at the precinct data, I beat Kopec in all be four precincts (mostly located in the same general area of the Foothills. I beat Friese in seven precincts (three in poorer areas and four in the Foothills). Friese and I were within a few votes of each other in many precincts. I won 2651 more votes than Kopec, and Friese got 3364 more votes than me. (For the record, Ana Henderson got 15,640 votes, running unchallenged in the primary.)