Podcast: Updates from Taxes to Reproductive Rights & COVID … What’s the Latest?

Rep. PPH's podcast

One of my pet peeves is reading a cliff-hanger news story, only to be left hanging when there is no follow up. Several stories reported in my previous podcasts have had newsworthy developments since those episodes aired.

To catch you up on the details, Episode 8 is a compilation of updates.

Many of my podcasts referred to petition drives and court cases that were trying to stop bad Republican bills from being enacted. These issues were decided last week. Why last week? Because September 29, 2021 is the 91st day after June 30, 2021, which was the end of the Legislative session. Unless passed with an emergency clause or stopped by the courts or the voters, bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor are enacted 90 days after the end of session.

Three previous guests return to discuss the status of the contested laws – particularly the flat tax, the alternative tax to get around Prop 208, the voter suppression bills, the bills attacking the power of the Secretary of State and the power of the governor, Arizona’s latest radical anti-choice bill SB1457, and mandated COVID public health protections.

The good news is that progressives had some wins in the courts. We also had some disappointments. Needless to say, the struggle to beat back oppressive legislation continues. Of course, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich are appealing cases that the state lost. Brnovich is even appealing the court’s ruling that Republican Legislators acted unconstitutionally when they stuff dozens of unrelated failed bills into the budget. Who is paying for these unnecessary lawsuits generated by unconstitutional or burdensome laws enacted by Republicans? You are. The taxpayer.

Every year, Democrats and the Legislature’s nonpartisan staff lawyers warn Republicans that the state will be over multiple bills. Every year, Republicans cavalierly pass those questionable bills with the purpose being sued just to make a political point. Creating and fighting ideological court cases all the way to the Supreme Court is a badge of honor for red state legislatures nationwide and an enormous misuse of taxpayer funds – particularly when the states are defending suppression of voting rights, reproductive rights, civil rights and public health precautions. Besides the unnecessary court cases, does Arizona really need more than 300 new laws every year? I don’t think so, but that’s how many the Republicans pass each year. Thanks to Ducey, “small government” Republicans, and special interest groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Goldwater Institute, Americans for Prosperity, the Institute for Justice, the Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) and the Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod), hundreds of new laws were in the queue to go into effect last week. Which ones were the people able to stop? Not enough.

Interviews

For Episode 8, three previous podcast guests joined me to provide updates on the lawsuits and petition drives that Arizona voters used in an attempt to stop bad Republican bills from becoming law. Children’s Action Alliance President and CEO David Lujan talks about the three Invest in Arizona referenda. Civil rights lawyer Dianne Post discusses Arizona’s new anti-abortion law. Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble reports back on COVID19 in Arizona. There’s also news about sports betting, the filibuster and what’s going on with labor. [Spoiler alert: Arizona was #4 nationwide in online sports gambling during the first weekend of the NFL season.]

My podcast is available in podcast format through several services like Spotify, Stitcher Radio, I Heart Radio and others. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel and get the podcast, along with my other updates.

Fight for $15 in a Right-to-Work State A View from the Left Side

"Ya know Arizona is a right-to-work state. Don't'cha? The right to work for less," my Dad warned me, 40 years ago when I moved to Tucson in the fall of 1981. Back in 1981, I knew what right to work meant, but I didn't realize how anti-union, right-to-work laws suppress wages for everyone. I also had no idea how moving from a highly unionized state to a right-to-work state would impact my career, my future wages and my children's opportunities to make a living wage.  Thank goodness that voters in low-wage states like Arizona can take matters into their own hands through Citizens Initiative when the state Legislature fails to act OR when the Legislature passes laws that outwardly attack workers and local jurisdictions that attempt reforms.In this Episode of A View from the Left Side, you will learn about efforts in Tucson and Flagstaff to raise the local minimum wage to $15 per hour and efforts by Republican Legislators to stop local voters from improving the local economy by raising the wage..My guest is C.J. Boyd who is campaign manager for Tucson Fight for $15, which is on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot. If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List (PVEL), you should have received your ballot in the mail.In this episode, Boyd explains the Tucson citizen's initiative to raise the wage to $15 by 2025 and the worker protections that are also included in this ballot proposition.Time Stamp"PPH Commentary 0:19 ""Interview with C.J. Boyd 6:11 ""Tucson Fight for $15 Explained 6:42 ""Worker Protections 7:48 ""Worker Schedules 9:00 ""Wage Theft Is Biggest Type of Theft in US 9:58 ""Chamber of Commerce Fighting Labor Standards and Enforcement 10:57 ""More Wage Theft 12:40 ""Local Small Businesses 15:12 "Flagstaff $15 Minimum Wage & State Retaliation 17:35"State Law Says Cities & Counties Can Raise Local Minimum Wage 20:27 ""What about Pima County? 23:11 "Who Will Be Helped by Prop 206? 25:20Tip Workers 26:08
  1. Fight for $15 in a Right-to-Work State
  2. Updates: From Taxes to Reproductive Rights & COVID … What's the Latest?
  3. The Filibuster: It's Time to Remove a Relic of Racism
  4. COVID19 in Arizona: Where Are We Now? 18 Months Later …
  5. Fighting Back Against Repressive Anti-Choice Laws in Arizona & Texas

Time Stamp for YouTube

PPH Commentary 1:00

Update on ‘Fraudit’ (E1) 4:47

Update on Referenda (E2) 5:39

Update on Online Gaming (E3) 11:41

Update on United Campus Workers (E4) 13:50

Update on Anti-Choice Laws (E5) 15:12

Update on COVID19 (E6) 20:20

Update on Filibuster (E7) 27:49

Podcast: The Filibuster, It’s Time to Remove a Relic of Racism (video)

Rep. PPH podcast

Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he and other Democratic leaders have proposed sweeping legislation to tackle deep-seated societal problems.

Many popular progressive bills – like the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act; the Richard L. Trumka Protect the Right to Organize Act, the Dream and Promise Act, and the Women’s Health Protection Act – have been passed by the US House of Representatives. Unfortunately, these bills and many more are blocked in the Senate by the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold.

Parts of Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better Plan are also in jeopardy due to opposition from so-called “moderates” in Congress. Build Back Better would rebuild and modernize our nation’s neglected infrastructure, address climate change, create jobs, and lower taxes and costs for the middle class. Who pays for Build Back Better? Biden’s plan calls for a “fairer tax code.” Rather than taking on more debt, corporations and the wealthiest Americans would pay more in taxes to fund this sweeping recovery plan. These are the people who have enjoyed decades of tax cuts under the guise of trickledown economics. These are the people who made billions during the pandemic while working families scraped by. These are the people who build private space ships to glorify their egos while they starve their workers and bust unions. These are the people who enjoyed the biggest tax cut ever under President Trump. Unfortunately, these are also the people who have the money to buy politicians and lobbyists. That is why Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed by Republicans on a party line with a simple majority without debate just days before Christmas, but Biden’s plan, which would tax the rich to the benefit of the rest of the country, needs a super majority to overcome a filibuster.

Continue reading Podcast: The Filibuster, It’s Time to Remove a Relic of Racism (video)

Arizona Women Win 42 Legislative, State & Congressional Races (video)

Arizona has a history of electing women to public office. In 1932, Arizona elected Isabella Greenway to the US House of Representatives. In 1972, State Senator Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female president of the Arizona Senate. In 1998, Arizona voters elected five women to run the state government— Jane Hull (Governor), Betsy Bayless (Secretary of State), Janet Napolitano (Attorney General), Carol Springer (Treasurer), and Lisa Graham-Keegan (Superintendent of Public Instruction). To this date, Arizona’s Fab Five remain the most number of women elected to state government at the same time. In 2017, the Arizona Legislature had the highest percentage of women (40 percent) of any state Legislature in the Country.

In 2018, Arizona elected its first female US senator and 41 other women to political office. Out of 108 races, women won 39 percent of them this year. After inauguration in January 2019, half of Arizona’s statewide offices (4/8), 27 percent of our Congressional delegation (3/11), and 39 percent of the Arizona Legislature (35/90) will be women.

Most of the woman who won are Democrats but not all. In the Congressional races, US Senate was won by Kyrsten Sinema (D), Ann Kirkpatrick (D) took CD2, and Debby Lesko (R) was re-elected to CD8. On the statewide level, women took: Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs, D), Treasurer (Kimbery Yee, R), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Kathy Hoffman, D) and one of the Arizona Corporation Commission seats (Sandra Kennedy).

Continue reading Arizona Women Win 42 Legislative, State & Congressional Races (video)

Blue Wave Washed over #AZLeg: Seven GOP Incumbents Lose Seats

Arizona House Democratic Caucus, 54th Leg.

Since the 2018 Midterm Election, pundits have been judging the size and very existence of the predicted Blue Wave . To determine if the Blue Wave of newly elected Democrats was a tsunami or a just ripple, the media has focused primarily on Congressional and gubernatorial races–with little or no mention of state legislatures.

With voter turnout at 60%, there is no doubt that a Blue Wave washed over Arizona on Nov. 6, 2018. Democratic women won major victories: US Senate (Kyrsten Sinema), CD2 (Ann Kirkpatrick), Corporation Commission (Sandra Kennedy), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Kathy Hoffman), and Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs). The incumbent Republicans for three of these seats– Corporation Commission (Tom Forese), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Diane Douglas), and Secretary of State (Michelle Reagan)– all lost in the primary. Now, Democrats will hold those seats.

In the Arizona House, the Blue Wave was more of a tsunami. Seven Republican incumbents will not be returning to the Arizona Legislature in January 2019.

Continue reading Blue Wave Washed over #AZLeg: Seven GOP Incumbents Lose Seats