Although Democrats make up 48% of the Arizona Legislature and represent more than 50% of the state’s population, Arizona Republicans crafted the next fiscal year’s ~$13 billion budget — complete with a fiscally dangerous Flat Tax and $2 billion in tax cuts for wealthy cronies — behind closed doors with a only a handful of their members.
It’s no wonder that it is June 24, 2021, and we have no budget. They have been twisting their members’ arms and cutting deals to stuff everyone’s failed legislation into the budget to buy votes. This is no way to run a government.
It makes me wonder how much money and what special interest groups are behind the Republican plans to destroy the state’s economy, the public school system, and our mail-in voting system — while cementing power for the powerful — all in one Legislative session.
The Republican budget completely ignores the needs of the people of Arizona and the desires of the voters. Voters said they wanted the rich to pay their fair share in taxes to support public education when they voted overwhelmingly for Prop 208 Invest in Ed in 2020. They also said overwhelmingly that they did not want expansion of empowerment scholarships (ESAs AKA private school vouchers) when they voted against Prop 305 in 2018.
Arizona House Democrats denied quorum on June 22, stalling the Republican budget and the Flat Tax for third time.
June 22 was day 163 of the Arizona Legislature. The Legislature’s target end date is 100 days. Republicans have been twisting (breaking?) arms for two months to pass their extreme ideological budget. Every version of their budget has made it worse because they are inserting failed bills into the budget to buy votes from the bill sponsors.
Every version of this budget and all of the amendments were negotiated amongst a small group of Republicans behind closed doors. If the Republicans want to pass this budget with only Republican votes, they are going to have to have all of their members in the House to make quorum. The inconvenient truth is that some of them are out of state.
You can read these bills on request to speak and make comments on the azleg website. We are adjourned until 10 AM on Thursday, June 25.
The Republican budget — with the financially irresponsible Flat Tax, several other tax giveaways and miscellaneous failed bills stuffed into it to buy votes — is on the agenda today, June 22, 2021.
Here we go again. This will be the third time that the House has debated versions of the largest tax overhaul in Arizona history. Is the third time the charm? Have the few Republican holdouts like Senators Paul Boyer and Kelly Townsend and Rep. David Cook now sold out to Governor Doug Ducey, ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce?￼ Have all the votes been bought to pass this expensive collection of bad ideas? Looks like it.
If you are on Twitter, you can see that Ducey is effusive about how amazing the Flat Tax will be for economic growth in Arizona and job creation. Don’t buy the lie. This tax giveaway plan is for Arizona’s 1%. They don’t want to pay the 3.5% Invest in Ed fee to support public education; Ducey and the Arizona Republican Party vowed to fix that inconvenient voter-initiated problem for the greedy. Approximately 30,000 Arizonans will benefit from the tax breaks and special interest pork in this budget.
Those 30,000 people will make bank on the Flat Tax. Governmental giveaways from the Republican Party will enable them to buy a new boat or an extra car every year thanks to their tax savings in this budget. The other 7.2 million Arizonans will be able to buy an extra car wash or a couple movie tickets per year with our tax break.
Now that the primary is over, and fall is coming (hopefully), different types of events are popping up on the calendar. I have five events coming up in the next few weeks, some campaign-related and some Legislative. All of these free events are on my Facebook page. All of them require some form of registration; the two ticketed events that I am hosting require Event Brite registration. Here are the details and the links.
Powers for the People Volunteer Organizing Event, Aug 17, 4-5 p.m.
Join the Powers for the People team for a virtual meeting on how you can help me get re-elected in November. As you know, the Chamber of Commerce, the developers, and businesses that like prison labor are backing my Republican challenger. He has Big Money donors behind him. I have Clean Elections money and you. There are many ways you can help from your own home, like making phone calls, mailing or giving postcards to your friends, and helping with social media. For people who like to walk in the morning, we will be doing contact-free lit drops. Here is the Event Brite link to register for this event. If you want to volunteer but can’t make the Monday event, contact me on my Facebook event here OR through Facebook Messenger to me or to my Campaign Manager A.J. Flick OR via email to Good4AZ@gmail.com. Thank you!
LD9 Virtual Town Hall, Aug 19, 5-6 p.m.
My seatmate Dr. Randy Friese and I are on our own for the LD9 town hall on Aug 19, due to multiple scheduling issues. This forum will follow the same format at before. Registration on Event Brite here is required for security purposes. There will be updates by the two of us, perhaps a guest, and Q&A at the end. This will be videotaped. If you want to watch past LD9 town halls and other political events, check out my Event Playlist on YouTube for a walk down memory lane. (I have spent quite a bit of time this summer building out my YouTube channel, uploading more office videos, and organizing the videos into playlists. Check out my channel here.) For more information, my Facebook event for this town hall is here.
Thank you so much, LD9 voters, for making me the top vote-getter in the August 4 Primary Election, with 29,713 votes (50.7%).* Even though the LD9 House Democrats — Dr. Randy Friese and me — didn’t have a primary challenger, LD9 voters turned out the vote and heavily supported both incumbents over the General Election challenger. In November 6, 2018 election, Friese ended the night a few hundred votes ahead of me (less than 1%). This August, I’m a few hundred votes ahead of him … a statistical dead heat in both elections. Thanks for supporting both of us. I think we make a good team. Let’s do this again on November 3, 2020, LD9.
Another pleasant outcome on Tuesday was the substantial showing that both Friese and I made, compared to our Chamber-backed Republican challenger Brendan Lyons. I am currently beating Lyons by 11,608 and Friese by 822, as final votes are counted. Below is the full screen shot from the Secretary of State’s website as of today (August 11). Lyons has hired a large, out-of-state consulting firm to run his campaign to oust me from the Arizona House. In 2018, I beat my Democratic challenger by >14,000 votes and beat my Republican challenger by almost 13,000 votes. Bring it on.
Today is primary day 2020, August 4. It’s obviously been a rough year for humanity with the COVID19 pandemic, which was made more deadly by bungled governmental responses worldwide.
The 2020 election — already historic in importance — is layered on top of a public health crisis of epic proportions.
Take a deep breath. We will get through this. As I have said many times, the world will be different at the end of Coronavirus tunnel. Our future is like a five-point Likert Scale, which ranges from Significantly Better than the “Before Times” to Significantly Worse, with a neutral/no change center choice. I don’t think “no change” is possible. Too many people have died. Too many broken systems have fallen apart. I strongly believe that it is up to those of us who were dissatisfied with the status quo before COVID19 to come together to envision and create a more equitable and more sustainable world — one based on respect, cooperation and environmental stewardship, rather than based on greed, power and profit.
PACs, SuperPACs, and wealthy Arizonans are spending heavily in the Legislative races in 2020 because they have gotten richer and more powerful while “small” government/big tax break Republicans have been in control. They really don’t like outspoken Clean Elections candidates like me because I don’t take dirty money or any PAC money. I vote on your behalf — not on behalf of wealthy donors, special interest groups or big corporations. I am the only person in the Arizona House who voted against every tax giveaway in the last four years because I believe the Arizona Legislature should fund the People’s To-Do List — education, healthcare, infrastructure, and safety and security — and not the corporate wish list. I can’t be bought, and they know it. That is why Big Money is playing in the LD9 race and bankrolling my young Republican, Chamber of Commerce opponent with tens of thousands of dollars in donations.
I beat all of my challengers by significant margins — Democrats and Republicans — in 2016 and 2018, and I plan to beat this guy, too, with your help.
A Time for Gratitude…
Right now, I’d like to take a few minutes for gratitude and thank the many volunteers, precinct committee members, petition signers, $5 donors, voters, and LD9 officers for helping me get on the ballot, helping my collect my Clean Elections $5 Qualifying Contributions, and offering encouraging words in virtual meetings and on social media.