This election is about irrelevance and non-representation; the irrelevance of voters and the non-representation of those elected to represent us. Big money continues to dominate candidates and propositions, voters have become a mere inconvenience that unfortunately have to be psychologically pummeled through unremitting repetition of the most base and false accusations in order to get us to do what the money people want. This system, of large amounts of anonymous money buying candidates or supporting propositions, puts a 'democratic' gloss over how the real power is exerted. The only part of this system that is usually less tainted are local elections.
But Not Yet...We we are not irrelevant yet. It is not a done deal yet, wiggle room remains. There are still paper trails and footprints left by the dark money men that can be researched and publicized. They, and their bought minions, can and should be outed. And yes there are still some good folks, in this corrosive system of purchased candidates and mendacious propositions. I try to vote for the innovative, the person in touch with real needs of people, and even the less odious.
So whaddayoudo?....Ya gotta participate...Bitch all you want, but if you don't want to lift a hand to participate and help out, you become part of the problem. And nobody listens to whiners. You aren't going to be the heroic person who by some miracle singularly affects the elections; you're going to be a grunt with hundreds of others. And you won't get accolades showered on you for doing what you can, and should, do to stem the democratic rot that is spreading. There are ample ways to help out beside sitting it out or writing a few checks. Phone calling, social media posting, door to door, letters to the editor, postcard writing and more shoe leather. All of these are available through local offices and some things can be done from home. You might check out the Doonesbury cartoon below for a succinct explanation of Repugnican party politics these days. fred
IMPORTANT VOTING INFO
Wednesday October 10 early voting beings
October 26 last day to request mail ballot
November 2 Last day to early vote in person
Tuesday November 6 Election
Voter registration questions 432-8358
Voting locations and election info 432-8970
Where to vote in person: 1415 Melody Lane Bldg G
(you may cast a ballot at any CC location, go here: http://geodesy.net/webmaps/cochise/gedit/gedit.htm?map=VoteCenters
MY BIASED SELECTIONS (explanations below on props and a few candidates) US Senate Kyrsten Sinema
US Representative District 2 Ann Kirkpatrick
Governor David Garcia
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs
Attorney General January Contreras
State Treasurer Mark Manoil
Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman
Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy, Kianna Sears
State Mine Inspector Bill Pierce
State Senator Jaime Alvarez
State Representatives district 14 Bob Karp & Shelley-Leon
Justice of the Peace – Prec. 1 Janus Poppe Superior Court Judge-– Div. 1 Laura Cardinal Superior Court Judge – Div. 2 Joel Larson Superior Court Judge – Div. 3 David Thorn
Proposition 125 YES Proposition 126 NO Proposition 127 YES Proposition 305 NO Proposition 306 NO
125 YES is a timid tweak to the PSPRS. It does not touch existing personnel but new hires will have a cost of living adjustment tied to inflation. Current employees will continue to get a guaranteed annual increase tied to inflation. It is disgraceful that elected state officials do not do anything about PSPRS.
126 NO This proposal, primarily is paid for by Arizona Realtors and their national parent organization. If passed it would make tax policy part of the State constitution effectively prohibiting any state, county, or city legislature to make changes in taxation. Their argument is that this will prohibit any legislature from taxing 'services...such as real estate transactions. It is a bogus argument because there is no proposal to tax many services that the "Citizens for Fair Tax Policy' say are to be taxed. Even Il Duce and Koch organizations oppose it.
127 YES Would effectively begin the serious process of mandating 50% of energy would be from renewables. (The slimy Attorney General Brnovich snuck in the words "irrespective of cost to consumers' on the ballot measure) There are a lot of ifs associated with the proposition and a huge well funded campaign by APS (supplier of juice to Bisbee) is using biased info to scare voters by saying electric bills will rise alarmingly. Not true. But the actual costs depend on a huge number of variables such as whether nuclear power plant would be shut or not.
305 NO Vote NO twice. Arizona is has long been ground zero for the defunding of public education. This slimy proposition would mandate expanding Empower Scholarship Account ESA -but actually are school vouchers-that would greatly increase the use of tax money for private/charter schools. It would increased the number of vouchers each year. Paid to parents not schools! The lege bends over forward for charters and some of the legislators directly benefit from their votes to pass legislation. There has been very loose accounting of charters and the lege symps actually passed a bill last year that guaranteed the State (your tax money) would back loans to build charter schools and once built would be owned by the schools without any way to recover costs if school fail. Funding these vouchers would let any religious or political nut to start a school and get money. Sheesh!
306 NO Another sneaky prop this time designed by the Repugnican leadership it would undercut the Citizens Clean Elections Committee by having a 'committee' appointed by Il Duce or other Gov to review any decisions as part of state regulatory oversight. It reads as if it is somehow going to prohibit 'dark money' from campaigns, but renders the CCEC ineffective if trying to put in rules for more transparency in money contributions.
Gowen(R) running for state senator is simply a political crook. Got caught using state funds to pay for gas and lodging on a campaign trip, paid $500k to furnish his office, tried to bar reporters from the lege floor. Got a slap on the wrist, he paid back what he owed and was not charged.
Griffen (R) has been the state senator for 8 years. She is termed out, but instead of slinking away quietly, she is running for Rep. Nothing like overtly thumbing her nose at voters who put in term limits. Voted against education funding and lots more. Even if she wasn't a staunch extreme rightwinger and carries water for builders and less restrictions on water rights, I don't think anyone over the age of 73 should be allowed to run for office-old people (and I be one) have got to let go. Griffin is 84 according to the best info I could find-she has hid her age well.
Brnovich (R) signed AZ on to abolishing medical coverage for poor people, opposed any rights for 'dreamers', has done nothing to go after cartel money, has campaigned against the legalization of pot. The repugnicans nationally are putting big bucks into his campaign.
McSally (R) has okayed some of the worst ads including denouncing Sinema as anti-war, as if being pro-war is something to aspire to.
The telltale sign of an unresponsive representation is...as Naco sewage flows across the borders none of these elected people have helped let alone shown their face. Disgusting
THE DEMS PROBLEM
I don't think state Democrats, with a few exceptions, have articulate solutions to the main issues that continue to impact all residents; Healthcare, Immigration, (they doing ok there) and PSPRS reform. If they would stick to those four issues, I think they could win big. As is, turnout will be key. I don't have television so I don't see the majority of ads. However I do consume electronic media as well as watch football (courtesy of DS) and I am stunned by the viciousness of McSally's ads as well as lack of content. Il Duce's ads are fluff but he has a big warchest and Garcia is not making a strong case for anything other than Education. If Garcia would concentrate on the 4 issues below, he could win. The same for state senator and reps.
For Dems in Cochise County as well as the state, the key to winning is threefold; articulate a clear concise message, turn out registered Dems, and concentrate on independent voters.
There are key issues that need to be articulated:
#1 issue is Health Care Offense...Allow peeps 50 years and older to buy into limited Medicare coverage. That does three things. pours new money into the medicare pot, gives more people a vested interest in affordable health care for all, and does not alienate medical community and big Pharma.
Defense...Keep your hands off Affordable Care, bulk up not cut back Medicaid.
#2 issue is Immigration
Offense...People in our cities, counties, state and country without proper papers should be given an elevator to rise to legitimate citizenship. That elevator would at least include over a 5 year period: paying a fine for illegally being in the country; demonstrating proficiency in spoken and written English; proof of work for the past five years. It really isn't complicated. The economic part for businesses and workers, is to institute a green card program for workers. Jobs first offered to citizens in Agriculture, hospitality, homecare, landscape maintenance, but if not a adequate response, then companies could request green card workers.
#3 issue is Education
Offense...no public funding for charter schools. Roll back tax breaks for charters, increase public funding for teacher retention and support staff, increase funding for school infrastructure. No backing down.
#4 issue is PSPRS
Offense...Deep reform of system, all new government (city, county, state) hires go into ASRS, and structure that pension fund according to kind of work. No new hires into PSPRS then fund remaining PSPRS retirees from a stable source such as a gas tax or road tax and allow to wither away as it pays off a smaller and smaller group.
PRIMARY VOTING STATS
Of the total of registered voters in Cochise county 69,442 there were 26,425 ballots cast for a turnout of 38%. The Repubs turned out just about 60% of the registered while Dems turned out 53%
Registered Repubs 26,979 (38.85%)
Registered Dems 18,589 (26.77%)
Registered Indys 23,202 (33.42%)
Repubs turned out 60%
Dems turned out 53%
STATE AND NATIONAL
The reams of manufactured analysis has begun-most are just talking head guesses and slanted polls. If you are interested in handicapping with veracity and aggregation of polls, as I am, the best site for state and national info is fivethirtyeight.com. Go here for the lastest:
more on 305
DISCLOSURE OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS RULING