Education rally
Tucsonans rally to stop education cuts. Arizonans value education. It’s time the Arizona Legislature did too.

I’m tired of government against the people. I am running for the Arizona Legislature because I want to be the voice of the people. Austerity-related policies have starved the Arizona economy and thrown many citizens into financial ruin. Too many politicians  bow to dark money donors and ignore the needs of Arizona workers. They have repeatedly cut taxes for the 1% and for corporations, while allowing the people of Arizona to toil away for chronically low wages, that are well below national standards. Their policies have hindered Arizona’s competitiveness by allowing our roads and bridges to crumble and by whittling away k-12 education, vocational education, community colleges, and universities.

Arizona has been stuck in a ditch since the Tea Party took over in 2010. It’s time to take back our government, end austerity policies that are hurting our families, and get back on the road to prosperity.

My platform is based upon a series of economic reforms which will grow Arizona’s economy, instead of starving it; raise revenue for infrastructure projects, jobs and education; and nurture a climate of respect that is good for local businesses, entrepreneurs, college students, and families.

The cornerstone of my reform package is the creation of a state public bank or a Southern Arizona regional public bank like the Bank of North Dakota. A state public bank would hold and manage the state’s funds and invest them for the public good, right here in Arizona. Public banks partner with local community banks to make loans or guarantee loans to small, local businesses, college students, entrepreneurs, and farmers. Currently, our state’s funds (your tax dollars) are held by a too-big-to-fail bank, gambled on Wall Street, and invested for the good of the bank’s shareholders.

We can fix pot holes, build roads, fund education, foster university-based research spin-off business, keep libraries, community centers and pools open, build homeless shelters, and much more– if we establish a public bank, take control of our money, end corporate giveaways, and take a hard look at the $400 million in tax credits that the Arizona Legislature gives away each year.

Both Governors Jan Brewer and Doug Ducey have followed the path of austerity, since the Wall Street crash of 2008-09. Instead of growing the economy by investing in infrastructure and education to make the state more competitive, they cut programs, laid off hundreds of workers, sold the state capitol buildings, and gave away taxpayer monies to out-of-state corporations. Austerity has starved the economy; this is why Arizona didn’t recover from the Wall Street crash as quickly as other states.

I believe that our tax dollars should be invested right here in Arizona for the public good– not invested on Wall Street for the good of too-big-to-fail banks…It’s time to foster home-grown Arizona business and innovation…

It is time to close the loopholes in our laws that give tax breaks to big corporations that are not headquartered in Arizona. Loopholes are a waste of taxpayer money. It’s time to foster home-grown Arizona business and innovation– instead of shipping tax dollars to Wall Street (in terms of high fees) or giving away millions in corporate tax cuts. Corporate tax cuts have not worked to grow jobs. In fact, this year the corporate tax cuts will cost us $4 billion! We have the money to educate our children and young adults. We have the money to maintain and build infrastructure. The Arizona Legislature is just misspending it.

A third part of my economic package focuses on avoiding unnecessary lawsuits– another big waste of our money. Republicans in the Arizona Legislature routinely pass laws that could be considered unconstitutional– like SB1070, abortion restrictions, education cuts, and voter suppression. These lawsuits are nothing more than political posturing, and they cost Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars. These funds could be used to benefit us– rather than used to defend right-wing ideology in court.

It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer money on Wall Street bank fees, tax cuts, sweetheart deals and loopholes for big corporations, tax credits for pet industries, and unnecessary lawsuits. The Arizona Legislature is really good at throwing our money away– $400 million per year in tax credits + $312 million per year in interest on our debt to Wall Street. I can suggest much better ways to spend $712 million dollars, than to give it away in corporate welfare.

We wouldn’t be worrying about how to pay for K-12 education, the university and community college systems, or road repairs if our state’s budget was grounded in sound economic policy– instead hog-tied by rigid ideology. It’s time to take back our state. Together we can build a stronger Arizona for future generations.

For more on using public banking as an economic development engine, check out these blog posts.

Public Banking & the Nonpartisan League: Is It Time for a Financial Revolution?

Top 10 Ways Arizona’s Economy Would Benefit from Public Banking (video)