#LD9 Debate Reveals Clear Choices Between Dem & GOP Candidates

Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley, Ana Henderson

Rep. Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley (me) and Ana Henderson– the three candidates for the two Legislative District 9 seats in the Arizona House– faced off on Friday night in front of a packed house for the LD9 Clean Elections Debate.

This was the first event– and perhaps the only event– in which voters got to hear all three candidates. Friese and I were the only LD9 candidates who appeared at the Pima County Interfaith Council Candidate Forum, the candidate forum sponsored by the UA pre-law candidate forum, the Arizona Daily Star candidate interview and Pride on Parade— besides all of the joint events with Matt Kopec during the primary. (OK, so Pride wasn’t a candidate forum, but many candidates turned out to show their support for the LGBTQ community and celebrate diversity.)

So– even though this is the first time that most of us got to hear Henderson talk, we learned a lot about her views. Climate change, reproductive choice, homelessness, corporate tax cuts, minimum wage, public banking, gun violence, and, of course, education– the three of us fielded a wide variety of questions from the audience last night. (I’ll link the full video when it is available on the Clean Elections YouTube channel.)

Here’s we learned about Ana Henderson at the debate.

She’s against raising the minimum wage. (She said it’s bad for business, and government shouldn’t be meddling in business– except to dole out more corporate welfare. In a town with a 25% poverty rate, too many workers are just scraping by in the gig economy. They can’t buy the goods businesses are selling if they have no expendable income.)

She’s against legalization of marijuana. (In her opinion, marijuana– a plant that never killed anyone– is dangerous for children, but a loaded gun in the house is safe. Yes, we need to work on impairment definitions for marijuana– and other drugs. And, yes, dosing for edibles has to be improved. When you buy a whole Snickers bar, you expect to eat the whole thing– not just a 1/4 inch of it. And, yes, parents should protect their children from accidental drug poisoning and from accidental death by firearms.)

She’s a climate change denier. (She’s in the it’s-just-a-theory camp on climate change. She stands with free market forces on the question of incentivizing people to install solar panels. Friese and I both said clearly that climate change is real. Look at the increased dust storms, flooding, and fires. We should take our heads out of the desert sand and start planning for the changes in order to mitigate their effects. Look at the increased dust storms, flooding, and fires.)

She thinks corporate taxes are too high and supports more trickle down economics. (Friese and I attacked the $4 billion in corporate tax cuts repeatedly last night, and she defended them as necessary to boost the economy. We’ve been waiting for 35 years for trickle down economics to work. Time’s up.)

She likes public education but supports expanding vouchers. (Friese and I talked a lot about public education funding, educational goals not met, teacher retention, and shortchanging our future by denying a good education to so many children. Her main point was parental choice– a buzzword for more vouchers. Republicans like to say that Arizona is #1 in school choice. The other way to phrase this is: Arizona has cut and weakened public education more than any other state. That’s not something to be proud of.)

She supports “small government.” (Republicans tout “small government” when running for office, but once they are in office, Arizona Republican Legislators routinely pass 300-400 new laws each year. If you average that at 350/year for each year since the Tea Party took over in 2010, that’s 2100 new laws. I had fun pointing that out that 2100 new laws in six years is “too much government regulation.” Ha!)

She supports Donald Trump for President and made excuses for his now-infamous bragging about sexually assaulting women. Her “everyone does it even women” excuse for “vulgar locker room talk” was shocking.

The debate video will be up in a few days. I’ll post the link when available.

 

 

 

Zona Politics LD9 Interviews: There’s a Progressive in the House (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

Primary races are good for the Democratic Party because they allow different opinions to be heard. Last night while watching the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the value of the Clinton vs Sanders primary was evident. As a progressive, I heartened to hear Senator Bernie Sanders say that the two camps came together on the platform and came to agreement regarding debt-free college, busting up the banks, making society more equitable, ending Citizens United, and other populist agenda items. (They also added the Equal Rights Amendment – ERA – to the platform, but no one mentioned it.)

Mission accomplished, Bernie. Thanks for your service to the 99%. Bernie pushed Hillary and other establishment Democrats to the left and opened their eyes to the inequities of our current economic policies which offer largesse for the 1% and austerity for the 99%. They balance tax cuts and giveaways for big corporations with budget cuts, layoffs and tax increases for the rest of us– Robin Hood in Reverse.

I am by far the most progressive candidate running in Tucson and the only Tucson Democrat running clean. I have often quip that I am the Bernie Sanders of Tucson– with Hillary Clinton’s gender issues. I am pushing the local political discussion out of the safety zone of politics as usual and toward a more progressive direction– particularly in the area of economic reform, wages, and money in politics. Back in September 2015, when I started campaigning, no one else was talking about the $4 billion in unaffordable corporate tax cuts, $400 million in tax credits (half of which go to private businesses), $312 million in interest on our debt to Wall Street, or God knows how many millions in unnecessary lawsuits. And no one else was talking about income inequality or the living wage.

The LD9 candidates have had three match-ups now– the Clean Elections debate, the Nucleus Club Forum, and Zona Politics. Here is the Zona Politics show from July 24, 2016.

Listen to the answers. You’ll hear little progressive hints from the other two, and you’ll learn where we stand on the issues. The Zona show is the only venue where we were all asked about gun control, marijuana legalization, and raising the minimum wage, among other things. There are differences between the three of us; it’s worth the 30 minutes. (My segment is around 19:49.)

#ICYMI – Nucleus Club #LD9 Candidate Forum (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley, Randy Friese
Pamela Powers Hannley
Talking about inequality and the stinky wages women make in Tucson.

Last Thursday, the Nucleus Club hosted the second LD9 Democratic Party match-up between the three candidates who will be on the primary ballot in August– Dr. Randy Friese, Matt Kopec, and me– Pamela Powers Hannley.

About 50 LD9 residents and party regulars attended the event at the Viscount. This was the fourth Democratic candidate forum that the club hosted during this election season; all were well-attended. Apparently, Democrats are no longer afraid of primaries because there are several this year: Congressional District 2 (Victoria Steele vs Matt Heinz); LD10 House race (Kirsten Engel, Stephanie Mach and Courtney Frogge), LD2 House race (Daniel Hernandez, Aaron Baumann and Rosanna Gabaldon), Pima County Superintendent of Schools (Dustin Williams and Michael Gordy), and my race in LD9.

Personally, I disagree with those who think primaries are a waste of money. I think they are a great idea. It gets the candidates out and allows different ideas to be heard. (Also, having almost no primaries int 2014 didn’t do us any good.)

I want to thank the Nucleus Club for organizing these forums. I attended all of them and learned a lot. Below are two videos that my husband shot at the Viscount. The first one is introductions and short stump speeches; the second is a Q&A session with audience questions.