#ICYMI: Watch the LD9 Clean Elections Debate (video)

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) organizes and hosts debates for all elections in which at least one Clean Elections candidate is running. In Legislative District 9, three of the five people running for office are Clean candidates: Jim Love, Victoria Steele and me. The other two people who are running for house– Rep. Randy Friese and J.P. Martin– are running traditional.

Since early ballots for the August 28 primary election will be mailed on August 1, the CCEC has been hosting many debates in the past month. On July 19, the LD9 candidates had their debate.  (The LD9 video link is here and the embedded video is below. To watch other CCEC debates go here.)

CCEC debates include some questions that are asked of all candidates and other questions that are asked of specific people. I have annotated the debate with time stamps– in case you want to focus on particular topics. Since there were several audience questions about guns in schools, the environment and prison reform, I have grouped those questions and answers.

Continue reading #ICYMI: Watch the LD9 Clean Elections Debate (video)

Marijuana to Bump Stocks to Tax Giveaways: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?

Arizona House, 2018

In the middle of each Legislative Session, there is a frenetic time period called “crossover week”. It is characterized by a flurry of debates and votes in a compressed timeframe. The purpose is to pass on as many wacky bills as possible in each chamber of the Legislature before successful bills are passed to the other chamber. (Hence, the name “crossover week”).

In the last two weeks, the Arizona House has voted on more than 100 bills. I think the House is up to ~250 bills that we have sent to the Senate. Of course, this list includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Below the fold are a few of the recent votes on gun violence, tax giveaways, mandatory sentencing, and drugs. All of these bills are still alive and have been sent to the Arizona Senate. If you don’t like these bills, tell your Senators and Representatives. (On the voting below, green = yes, red = no, purple = excused absence, yellow = absent.)

Continue reading Marijuana to Bump Stocks to Tax Giveaways: How Did Your #AZHouse Rep Vote?

Smoke ’em If You Got ’em: #AZLeg Considers 15 Marijuana Bills

Senator David Farnsworth and Rep. Vince Leach want more regulation of small businesses in the cannabis industry and increased law enforcement against citizens who use a plant that never killed anyone. (The specter of the Nanny State rises again in the text of these regulation bills.)

Reps. Mark Cadenas and Pamela Powers Hannley (me) want decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana and want to make medical marijuana cards more affordable.

Senator Sonny Borrelli is bringing back industrial hemp bill, which passed with flying colors in 2017, only to be vetoed by Governor Ducey.

Two of Leach’s bills will be heard in committee this week– HB2064 in Commerce and HB2067 in Health. Details on all 15 below.

Anti-Cannabis Bills

Leach

HB2064: medical marijuana; packaging;labeling. HB2064 goes after the evil THC gummy bears. Republicans are afraid that irresponsible parents will leave THC gummy bears on the kitchen table where children can get them. I think the gun on the kitchen table is more dangerous than the cannabis. Parents should keep all harmful drugs and objects out of their children’s reach. This is another Nanny State law.)

HB2067 dictates felony charges for certification clinics that certify someone for a medical marijuana card who is not eligible. This bill is particularly bad because it says if a MMJ certification doctor breaks any law while certifying someone form medical marijuana, the doctor would be charged with a felony. If this is interpreted in include federal law (under which marijuana use is illegal), this could shut down the whole medical marijuana program.

HB2063 makes any active or inactive cannabis metabolites grounds for a DUI conviction. Cannabis metabolites can stay in your body for days; the presence of metatolites in the blood stream doesn’t constitute impairment. Inactive metatolites are inactive.

HB2068 revokes a patient’s medical marijuana card if they get a DUI.

HB2066 spends the millions of dollars in excess medical marijuana card fees on law enforcement. This doesn’t comply with the Citizens’ Initiative that created the MMJ card.

HB2284 blocks citizens’ initiatives that challenge legislation and requires monthly campaign finance reports. This sounds like unnecessary paperwork; it would burden everyone who wants to do a Citizen’s Initiative.

Continue reading Smoke ’em If You Got ’em: #AZLeg Considers 15 Marijuana Bills

Bills! The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & Mine

Moms

After the first three weeks of the 53rd Legislature, things are starting to heat up. Hundreds of bills have been filed, and as usual, they run the gamut from boring to hopeful to dangerous.

I want to personally thank Speaker J.D. Mesnard for assigning some Democratic Party bills and some more moderate Republican bills to committee. (In recent Legislatures, bills from these sponsors were never assigned to committee. Of course, it’s up to the committee chair to put the bills on their agendas, but getting assigned to a committee is a welcome first step, in my book.)

Assignment to committee and very orderly and cordial floor meetings are positive notes in what has been a fast-paced time. Last week we shift from third gear to fifth gear and floor debates start on Tuesday, January 31. If you like reality TV, you should watch your Legislature in action. (The Arizona Capitol Television link on the Arizona Legislature’s website will take you to live proceedings and archives.)

All action and inaction on the floor of the House and Senate is televised– as are the Democratic and Republican Caucus Meetings (10 a.m. on Tuesdays, where we discuss the bills with staff, audience members, and paid lobbyists) and all committee meetings. Representatives have TVs on our desks, so we can keep up with the action while doing email, etc. Rep. Randy Friese’s motorcycle bill (HB2046) crashed and burned in the Transportation Committee but not without over an hour of testimony pro and con (bikers vs doctors). It was TV worth watching– as was the lengthy preemption discussion about local IDs and “illegals”.

When a variety of bills are heard, more constituent voices are heard. Here are a variety of bills that are coming down the pike this week (or in the near future). This is by no means an exhaustive list. Every committee meets every week, and agendas can include any number of bills. (Translation: there’s a lot happening.)

My Bills

HCR2012 (Powers Hannley) ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment in Arizona. (Assigned to Judiciary Committee in the House, headed by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth.) We only need three states to ratify the ERA to meet the requirement for a new amendment to the US Constitution. The ERA deserves to be debated in committee and on the Floor of the House and the Senate. Senator Martin Quezada has sponsored SCR1003— a mirror bill in the Senate (assigned to Government, headed by Senator John Kavanagh). Farnsworth and Kavanagh are blocking the ERA in the Legislature. If you think women’s rights should be debated and voted on in the Arizona Legislature, contact those two and your representatives and senators this week to get it on an agenda.

HB2172 (Powers Hannley) offers medical treatment instead of arrest in overdose situations. (Assigned to Judiciary, Farnsworth, again.) Thanks to the Arizona Republic‘s EJ Montini for giving a shoutout to this bill every time it has been proposed. Yes, this will save lives. Unfortunately, Farnsworth told me that he “doesn’t want to offer immunity to criminals” and refuses to hear this. If you think drugs addicts deserve a second chance at life, contact his office and encourage him to allow public testimony on this. There are several Moms lobbying Legislators to hear this bill– including the two pictured with this blog post.

HB2336 (Powers Hannley) allows terminally ill patients to make the decision to take their own lives with the help of their physician and medical team. (Assigned to Health Committee.)

HB2401 (Powers Hannley) requires medical providers to reveal the services they will not provide due to their religious beliefs. This is a major issue for women, particularly pregnant women. If you’re in a pregnancy-related emergency, you don’t want to end up in a hospital with services restricted by religious beliefs. Also – we should know which pharmacies dispense medications based upon the religion of the pharmacist and not based upon what is best for the patient. (Assigned to Health Committee.)

HB2400 (Powers Hannley) lengthens the renewal period for medical marijuana cards from every year to every five years. We have heard multiple bills to make other newals easier and less cumbersome, why not make the medical MJ card easier to renew? If you have arthritis, it’s not going away in a year– so why do patients have to renew every year and get a new ID card every year. Seems like too much bureaucracy to me. (Not assigned to committee.)

HB2439 (Powers Hannley) requires home health aides to have the same training, regardless who pays for the care. Currently, in Arizona, home health aides whose care is paid for my Medicare or Medicaid have to meet certain basic training requirements, but there are no standard training requirements for home health aides who are otherwise funded. (For example, an individual could pay for home health themselves.) There has been a rise in elder abuse cases, and I think better training could help that situation. This is a topic that the Health Committee has tried to fix in the past but didn’t have the votes for change. (Not assigned to committee.)to committee.)

HB2531 (Powers Hannley) expands the Clean Elections system to county and local, unpaid boards. There was a backlash against big money politics in the 2016. The original “chosen candidates” with the most money– Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush– lost. Multiple Clean Elections candidates beat traditionally funded candidates in Legislative races. I think candidates running for county and unpaid boards (like school boards, water boards, etc.) should have a Clean Elections option. (Not assigned to committee.)

HB2532 (Powers Hannley) establishes a feasibility study to create a state public bank. The Arizona Legislature is hearing multiple economic development bills that theoretically boost our economy by giving away more taxpayer funds. The basic premise behind all of them is giving a tax break to someone who will develop land. Is development our only economic development tool? When will we jump off this merry-go-round? At every level– city, county and state– politicians say we don’t have the money we need to have the schools and roads we want. Then… why do we continue to give away tax money? Setting up a public bank would give us an alternative, sustainable economic development tool. We could offer low-interest loans to local, small businesses and college students, while strengthening our community bank system. The return on our low-interest loans who go back to the state to pay for public education and/or transportation infrastructure. (With our current economic development system based upon giveaways, there is not direct return on investment of taxpayer funds… only promises of jobs and prosperity in the future.) I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the trickle down.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Here are some other bills you may be interested in.

Continue reading Bills! The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & Mine

I Won! (video)

Jo Holt, Pamela Powers Hannley, Dustin Williams
LD9 primary results
This graphic shows the Wednesday morning results. The final count was: Friese 14,994 (42%), Powers Hannley 11,630 (33%) and Kopec 8979 (25%).

Tuesday night– primary night– was thrilling.

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.

This was a win not only for me. It was a win for women’s equality, a win for progressive economic and social ideas, a win for Clean Elections, and a win for Arizona families.

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.)

 

#LD9 Vote: Got Your Ballot But Can’t Decide? Read This! (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

Once the Secretary of State has decided who has enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, candidates are flooded with endorsement questionnaires from Political Action Committees (PACs) and informational questionnaires from media outlets and the Clean Elections Commission. For the most part, the goal of the PAC questionnaires was to determine which candidates would vote to allow that PAC to keep whatever tax breaks or favors it is currently receiving; to obtain new financial favors; to renew them; to secure votes on specific issues; and/or to determine who will receive PAC money. (When you see a long list of endorsement, rest assured there are promises behind each endorsement.)

I am proud to announce that I have received endorsements from five groups. These groups are aligned with my values of promoting public health and equality for women and other groups that are often discriminated against. Since I am a Clean Elections candidate, I have received their support but no PAC checks.

  •  Arizona Nurses Association
  • National Association of Social Workers, Arizona Chapter
  • Arizona Women’s Political Caucus
  • National Organization for Women, Arizona Chapter
  • Arizona List (on the list)

But this blog post isn’t about endorsements. It’s about candidate questionnaires. This week, AZCentral (AKA the Arizona Republic) has released its Voter Guide which contains candidate answers to their very lengthy and comprehensive list of questions. The guide is broken down by race, and it allows side by side comparisons of candidate answers which range from education funding to gun control to marijuana legalization to your favorite book or movie.

The LD9 race has three Democrats (who are running in the August primary): Randy Friese, Matt Kopec and me (Pamela Powers Hannley) and one Republican: Ana Henderson (who two of use will face in November). Unfortunately, many candidates– including most incumbents– didn’t take the time to answer AZ Central’s questions. Friese and Henderson are among the no-shows. Kopec and I did answer the questions, and there is a stark difference in how we answered and what we said.  If you are undecided in the LD9 race, I encourage you to read our answers.

Here is a link to the LD9 match-up with our answers:

Powers Hannley vs Kopec Answers

If you are in a different LD– for example LD10 or LD2 where there are also contested primaries– check out those candidate answers by scrolling through this list of all of the races:

Voter Guide: All Races

LD9 voters have had many opportunities to learn about the three Democratic Party candidates. There have been two debates/forums (Clean Elections and Nucleus Club), one TV interview, one radio interview, an interview in the Arizona Daily Star, public candidate questionnaires posted by the Capitol Times and AZ Central., and, of course, the printed voter guide that was mailed to everyone by the Clean Elections Commission.

Please take a few minutes to learn about us and please vote in August and in November! Thanks for your support.

Spice Is Not Marijuana (video)

Spice packet

The deadly street drug Spice is popping up in the news and in the political rhetoric these days.

People (particularly politicians) who are opposed to marijuana legalization are quoting Spice arrest and death rates in an attempt to confuse and scare the public and cast shade on marijuana (a plant that never killed anyone). Spice is not marijuana. Period.

Spice–also known as “synthetic marijuana”– is a big pharma drug gone wrong. Yes, in an attempt to create a marijuana pill, big pharma invented the chemical that is sprayed on plant matter and sold as Spice. According to the American Journal of Medicine, that big pharma formula was stolen by the Chinese and is being marketed as Spice. When law enforcement tries to crack down on Spice, but the makers keep changing the formula– thus staying ahead of the game.

For some background on Spice, check out this blog post about Spice and the video below. AJM Editor-inChief Dr. Joseph Alpert talks about Spice and the medical care provided to patients who end up in the local ER on a bad trip.
Top 10 Facts on Synthetic Cannabinoids: Not So Nice Spice

In the spirit of full disclosure, I work for The American Journal of Medicine. For 12 years, I was the managing editor. Now, I work part-time as the Journal’s social media editor.

Pamela Powers Hannley on the Bill Buckmaster Show

Bill Buckmaster

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining veteran Tucson Newscaster Bill Buckmaster on his KVOI radio show. Like newsman Jim Nintzel, Buckmaster is interviewing all of the candidates in primary races, including my race in LD9.

Here is the link to the show with my interview. I am on after Dr. Victoria Maizes, from the UA Center for Integrative Medicine.

Buckmaster Show July 27, 2016

My opponents’ interviews are on different days during the week of July 25, and all interviews are on Buckmaster’s website. This is the fourth match-up for us: the Clean Elections debate, the Nucleus Club forum, Zona Politics, and now Buckmaster. I really appreciate the newscasters and the clubs that have helped inform the voters by allowing all of the candidates to speak.

If you are in LD10, they were interviewed by Buckmaster during the week of July 18.

 

LD9 Debate Recap (video)

LD9 candidates

About 50 LD9 residents and Democratic Party regulars attended the Clean Elections primary debate on June 28 with candidates Dr. Randy Friese, Matt Kopec, and me. (The hour-long event was taped by the Clean Elections Commission.)

The debate had an interesting format– much better, in my opinion, that some of those free-ranging presidential debates where each candidate was asked a different question, making it difficult to compare candidates. The format was: one-minute intros, a set of questions that everyone answered (two minutes each), a set of questions written by audience members and addressed to specific candidates or to anyone (one minute each), and one-minute wrap-ups. (Our audience was very involved and submitted many good questions.)

The debate gave me an opportunity to explain my sustainable economic development ideas  and talk about my background and other ideas. Here is the excerpt about economic development (29:33 mark):

Economic reform is a big part of my platform. Everything in my platform either raises money or saves money to pay for the things we want like quality education, a solid infrastructure, and good-paying jobs. Public banking is a big part of it, but it’s not the whole part. I really believe that we have suffered under the failed economic policies of trickle down economics and austerity. So, we have largesse for the 1% and austerity for the 99%.

With the idea of public banking, we could bring all or part of our tax dollars back from Wall Street and invest it on Main Street.

Continue reading LD9 Debate Recap (video)