Arizona is a blasted hellscape

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Thad
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:03 pm

I can't believe I'm saying this, but if this is what it's going to be like then I welcome seeing his scowling mug back on my TV.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:16 am

The Red for Ed movement has gotten big in Arizona, as in a lot of states. It's certainly looking like the gubernatorial election in November is going to be about education.

Ducey's likely Democratic challenger is David Garcia, an ASU professor who ran for School Superintendent in '14 and is making education the main issue in his campaign. The last poll I saw showed him in a statistical tie with Ducey, though as always keep in mind that the election is six months out (more than that when the poll was taken) and state polls are less reliable than national ones.

Ducey has offered teachers a 20% raise over the next two years. The math doesn't add up. He's not raising taxes, he's assuming unrealistically rosy revenues from current taxes, and he's not being specific on what budgets he's going to cut to make up the difference, though I've heard guesses that range from university budgets to school maintenance budgets to enforcing environmental standards. And speaking of maintenance, he's only offering a raise to the teachers; nothing for other school staffers.

The teachers aren't buying it. The union has voted for a walkout on Thursday.

Another unexpected development: former Secretary of State Ken Bennett has announced he's challenging Ducey in the Republican primary -- from the left. He says he's running because Ducey's not doing enough for education.

I don't think Bennett has any chance of beating Ducey in the primary, and I think he probably knows that. This feels to me like he's not running to win, he's running as a signal-boost for Red for Ed. He's one more prominent voice -- and a Republican voice, at that -- saying that Ducey is bad for education.

This is good for the teachers, and it's good for Garcia. There are any number of issues I disagree with Bennett on, but my hat's off to him on this one.


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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sun May 06, 2018 11:31 am

Kelly Townsend has been the most vocal critic of the teachers' strike (and public education in general) in our legislature. When the budget finally passed on Thursday, she attempted to tack on riders outlawing school closures.

Judging by the angry response she sent to two constituents who asked her to support teachers, she's also barely fucking literate. Which I suppose would explain her lack of respect for education.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby TA » Sun May 06, 2018 6:52 pm

Essentially,
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Friday » Mon May 07, 2018 3:40 am

This is assuming she "stumbled ass backwards" into the fandom and didn't just do it deliberately as shallow pandering (which worked)
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Mon May 07, 2018 10:38 am

I think that's a safe assumption. I don't really buy the theory that this was a calculated exercise in associating with furries to get good press.

It has momentarily gotten her some positive press after weeks of (deservedly) bad publicity, but I don't think that outcome was predictable. It required a slow news day for this to get any kind of mainstream attention, and even given that attention, there were plenty of different ways the reaction could have been "ew, furries" instead of the warm response she got.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Brentai » Mon May 07, 2018 10:46 am

It's heartwarming because it shows she knows how to use the Internet.
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Mon May 07, 2018 1:56 pm

And knows how to read and write, sort of.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:35 am

The deadline is approaching for independents to choose which party primary to vote in.

I've looked over recent polls to decide where my votes will do the most good. And, insofar as state primary polls can tell us anything, what they're telling us is that the statewide races are not close. There are a whole lot of undecided voters in the polling for the governor's race, but I'm pretty skeptical that it could come down to any other matchup but Ducey / Garcia.

Arpaio's entry into the Senate race has split the nativist vote, making McSally the clear favorite. I'd have been willing to hold my nose and vote for her against Ward or Arpaio in a close race, but it looks like that won't be necessary.

Ultimately, the best way to make my vote count this year is to focus on local races. I suppose that's probably true most of the time. So no min-maxing this year. I'm going to vote in the Democratic primary, see if we can get some good liberal Democrat Democrats into local offices.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:28 pm

I cobsidered trying to vote the certainly-lose repulsive Republican candidates in the Colorado primaries that just wrapped... but honestly, at this point Mike Coffman could admit to killing hookers and drinking their spinal fluid and people would come out talking about how cerebrospinal fluid is very nutritious. There just isn't such a thing as a candidate too repulsive to elect anymore.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:32 am

Yeeeeeah, I voted Douglas in the 2014 primary. I do not recommend the "vote for the repulsive candidate who is probably going to lose" tactic.

(In my defense, it was difficult at the time to see how she could have been worse than Huppenthal, the incumbent who had recently been caught spouting far-right talking points using sockpuppet accounts on various comments sections. Another lesson I've learned these past years: there is always somebody worse, and Republicans will vote for that person.)

If you want to vote in a Republican primary, I think the only reasonable move is to vote for the candidate who's likelier to win but not as bad as the others. (In Arizona, that'd be McSally for senator, Bennett for governor, and...maybe Livingston for superintendent? She was the only one in the recent debate of the superintendent candidates who outright said "No, intelligent design should not be taught in schools.") Min-maxing, like I said.

But I don't see any reason to do that in Arizona this year. I can't speak to other elections in other states. If it were looking close, if it were looking like there was a real chance of Arpaio getting the nomination, I'd grit my teeth and vote McSally. But Arpaio's polling in third place, and Ward's not doing much better. McSally doesn't need my help, which works out nicely because I would just as soon not give it to her.

The big races, the ones we've got polling data for, do not seem like they're going to be close. So, since I live in a Democratic district, I can do more good voting for liberal down-ballot candidates in the primary.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby mharr » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:58 am

One of the most effective long-term things a minority population in an owned, gerrymandered district can do is formally join the enemy party and influence their internal votes to reduce the terribleness of the candidate selections.

David Brin: "Picture the majority party primary in each gerrymandered district becoming the de facto general election, with all voters participating. Screaming talking heads would lose their potency overnight. Representatives could no longer pick which citizens to ignore by their party registration. Moreover, their computerized gerrymandering programs would go haywire! That, alone, will be a form of citizen revenge upon a cynical political caste."

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:44 pm

Fortunately, gerrymandering's not a big problem in Arizona; we've got an independent redistricting committee and our districts are mostly fair and representative.

When we elect terrible people like Paul Gosar, that's because terrible people like Paul Gosar accurately reflect the terrible people of rural Arizona.


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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:58 pm

A Republican legislator being clueless about the actual law AND deciding he's untouchable due to "reasons"?

Throw in some racism and casual corruption(he's an Arizona Republican... it's probably there somewhere) and you've got the platonic ideal of a modern Republican.
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:52 am

A few good pieces on legislative immunity:

Gov. Ducey Signs Executive Order Saying State Representatives Aren't Above The Law

Arizona Gov. Ducey Executive Order Seeks To Curb Legislative Immunity (audio)

Not All Arizona Lawmakers In Favor Of Repealing Legislative Immunity

Basically: legislative immunity is a real thing; it's guaranteed by the Arizona State Constitution. It exists to prevent the police from detaining politicians in order to influence votes. Most people agree that it is not for getting out of speeding tickets.

There's some movement to amend the constitution to remove legislative immunity. I would rather clarify it than remove it entirely. I've heard people say that it's a holdover from the nineteenth century and that there's no realistic threat of police interfering with the legislative process anymore. I disagree, because I live in a county that elected Joe Arpaio to six terms as sheriff.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:54 am

My notes on the coming Democratic primary.

AFAIK Bal's the only other Arizona guy here; Bal, my notes on local stuff won't be of any use to you, but maybe some of these links will be useful if you're still doing research on statewide candidates.

The azcentral.com voters guide is an excellent resource for viewing and comparing candidates. Enter your address and party and it'll show you who the candidates on your ballot are; you can compare their answers to various interview questions. (I haven't audited the source code but their privacy policy claims everything runs client-side and they don't have any way of storing your information.)

The US House, Secretary of State, AG, Treasurer, and Mine Inspector each have only one Democratic candidate running.
My legislative district has 2 candidates running for 2 seats.

US Senate: I'm voting for civil rights attorney Deedra Abboud.

Sinema is the clear favorite, and I expect to vote for her in November. But I can't support her in the primary. She votes with Trump 61% of the time, which is more often than almost any other Democrat in Congress, and cast some troubling votes on immigration even before he was president. You could argue that she's just doing what she has to do to get elected in Arizona, and that's fair, but it doesn't explain why she hasn't supported net neutrality even though 81% of Arizonans favor it and she claims to be in favor of it too.

Sinema's likelier to beat McSally in November than Abboud is, and I can understand that as a reason to vote for her in the primary. I'll support her in November. But Abboud is far more inline with my own values, and she's who I'll be voting for in August.


Governor:
We watched two gubernatorial debates with confusingly similar URLs:
Democratic gubernatorial debate
Democratic candidates running for governor debate the issues
We thought all three candidates were good.

Garcia is the clear favorite and is significantly outpolling the other two. He's also polling well against Ducey. He's pledged not to accept lobbyist money; it was recently discovered that he had accepted $7,000 from lobbyists, but once this was reported he pledged to return it.

Farley is the most experienced of the three, currently serving in the state senate.

Fryer is was the one who had the most impressive things to say about social justice and human rights. I think I'm probably leaning towards her on those grounds.

Garcia and Fryer are both teachers (Garcia is an ASU professor, Fryer is a board member and teacher at UofA). While Garcia is best-known for making education policy the center of his campaign, all three candidates seem strong on education.


State Senate: Juan Mendez (incumbent), Debbie Nez Manuel
Both candidates' answers are basically identical; I don't see any significant policy differences.

Nez Manuel is a member of the Dine tribe and seems more in touch with tribal issues; her answers to questions on border crime involve more coordination with tribal governments.

Mendez is younger (age 33); his answers seem a little more aggressive and confrontational than Nez Manuel's. My reaction was that his answers also seemed more practiced and polished -- and it turns out that this may be because some of them are plagiarized.

As political scandals go, plagiarism is a pretty minor one. I wouldn't have any problem supporting Mendez in the general, but I'm leaning Nez Manuel in the primary.


Superintendent: Schapira or Hoffman
PBS debate
Arizona Republic debate

Schapira is fairly well-known in Tempe; he's a longtime local politician and has served on the city council.

There was some recent controversy in this race; Hoffman's campaign released an ad which included a recording of a telephone conversation between the two of them. Schapira referred to some opposition research he'd done where he learned some (unspecified) information that could harm Hoffman's candidacy; Hoffman took this as a threat and a bullying tactic to get her to quit the race, while Schapira contends that he had no intention of revealing the information himself but was warning her that her general-election opponent is likely to find out about it and use it against her. Both candidates have said they want to move past this controversy.

Schapira is clearly the more experienced of the two, and he's a better speaker. There's an argument to be made that he'll be stronger in the general, though I think both candidates have a pretty good chance; education is going to be big this year and pro-education voters are going to break in favor of the Democrats. Douglas is very unpopular; it's unclear whether she'll make it through the primary, and whoever the Republican nominee is will likely be at a disadvantage.

I liked what Hoffman had to say about vulnerable and underserved student populations like the LGBT community and English language learners. I think I'm leaning towards her.


Corporation Commission: 2 seats open, 3 candidates running: Kennedy, Mundell, Sears
PBS debate

Mundell and Kennedy have already served as commissioners; Mundell used to be chair. The two of them are running together. Sears has worked for the commission.

I'm inclined to go for Mundell and Kennedy because they have the most experience. Sears would be acceptable in the general but I don't think she did as good a job answering questions in the debate.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Bal » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:35 pm

I'm registered as an independent, and when I did it we weren't allowed to vote in primaries. I think we are now, but I have to ask for a partisan ballot, which I haven't done. On the local level most of my attention is focused on getting rid of Martha McSally, who is just the worst.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:22 pm

Yeah, I'm a registered independent too.

And McSally is bad, but I can't bring myself to call her "the worst" when she's currently running against Joe Arpaio. Things have gotten so bad that in this race, she's merely the third-worst.

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