Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, November 21, 2014

Message to McDucey, Reagan, Brnovich and Douglas -- don't get complacent.



Senator Sanders puts it quite succinctly. But most of what's in the graphic has been discussed at length in posts on the Arizona Eagletarian.

So, Scrooge McDucey -- don't think you're going to get away with massively undermining the Medicaid Restoration, SNAP or other aspects of the state administered safety net.

Michele Reagan -- crow all you want about your bullshit claims about "protecting the integrity of the vote" but if you think you're going to get away with disenfranchising voters to the extent that Wisconsin and Texas did this year, you're mistaken.

Mark (oh sure, you're not really a crook... like anyone believes that?) Brnovich -- don't mess with the Renewable Energy Standards Tariff and be sure to keep Cathi Herrod out of your office.

Diane Douglas -- well, if you think you're going to escape intense scrutiny of everything you try to do once you take the oath and replace Thucydides, you've got another thing coming.

And Catherine Miranda -- don't fool yourself into thinking anyone really believes that D you have after your name. Just try to kiss McDucey's ass, or Herrod's, or APS's. Watch what happens.

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And Elizabeth Warren, speaking to a gathering at the Center for American Progress on Wednesday said,
"We tested the Republican ideas and they failed, they failed spectacularly. There’s no denying that fact," Warren said. "We know the importance of accountability on Wall Street —the benefits of having a better educated work force. The advantages that come from investments of high speed rail and medical research."
The senator from Massachusetts, near the end, interestingly, did also seem to suggest there should be some introspection in the Democratic party.

"People across this country get it. Sure, there’s a lot of work to be done and there’s a long way to go before Democrats can reclaim the right to say that we’re fighting for America’s working people, that we’re fighting to build a future not just for some of our children but for all of our children," Warren said. "No, we’re not there yet but don’t forget the good news. Our agenda is America’s agenda."

Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Democratic Party Leadership -- LD 28 -- UPDATED 11:50 am, 11-19-14

First things first. Outgoing LD28 chair (and Democratic senatorial candidate for LD28) Kelli Butler announced tonight that she will run for election to the chairmanship of the Maricopa County Democratic Party.

Next breaking news item is that LD28 precinct committeeman Rodney Glassman failed to get elected to the Arizona Democratic Party state committee. The significance of that news is that he will NOT qualify to run for ADP state chair.

A source has told me that Glassman, in seeking election to the state committee, told those present at the LD28 reorganization meeting that he had been asked by Emerge Arizona to run for state chair. About Emerge Arizona:
Emerge Arizona is changing the face of Arizona politics by identifying, training and encouraging women to run for office, get elected and to seek higher office. Our intensive, cohort-based six-month training program is unique. As the number of elected Democratic women remains flat or even declines, the need for our work is growing.
The closest Glassman may have come, my guess is, to being asked by Emerge Arizona, is if one or more of the group's alumna had personally asked him. I seriously doubt that a group dedicated to encouraging women to run for office would ask or endorse him for state chair. Another possibility is that my source may have misunderstood. Nevertheless, Glassman is OUT of the running for 2015-2016 ADP state chair.

Anyway, here's the new leadership for LD28 Democrats:

Chair -- Gary Gilger
1st vice chair -- Mary Scanlon
2nd vice chair -- Jane McNamara
Secretary -- Nancy Schriber
Sergeant at Arms -- Chuck Howey
Treasurer -- Joe Downs

State Committee -- Kelli Butler, Rep. Eric Meyer, Carolyn Warner, Gary Gilger, Jane McNamara, Danica Opernica, Lois Pfau, Ann Wallack, Mayor Greg Stanton, Ruben Alonzo, Mary Scanlon, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, Doug Mings, Nancy Schriber, Joe Downs, Mark Robert Gordon, Kim Rosenthal, Eric Shelley, Jeff Clark, Dan Trozzi, Donna Gratehouse, and John David Herman.

I offer my best wishes for LD28 to have a dynamic and ever bluer 2015-2016. And I offer my best wishes to Kelli Butler as she seeks the MCDP chair position. She's a good candidate but I don't know if she will be the only candidate. I look forward to talking with Kelli and with other candidates that may be interesting in running.

UPDATE           UPDATE           UPDATE

Privately, I've received feedback from two individuals related to the situation last night with Rodney Glassman and his claim regarding support from Emerge Arizona for a run to become ADP state chair.

One person indicated she personally had asked Glassman to consider running for chair, but did not do so in the name of the organization. The other person, not an LD28 PC, indicated unequivocally that Emerge Arizona, as an organization, did NOT ask Glassman to run.

From where I sit, it's of little to no consequence how Glassman worded his statement about Emerge Arizona. Whether my original source had heard him correctly or not, the organization did NOT ask or urge him to run but one or more individuals associated with the group did, on behalf of themselves, make such a request. Giving Glassman the benefit of the doubt, he may have simply been implying that people in Emerge Arizona had made the request.

Nevertheless, because he was not elected by his LD to serve on the state committee, he is still out of the running and cannot now be elected state chair.

One of the notes I received indicated that Democrats who opposed Glassman's selection to the state committee did so based on his support during the 2014 primary election for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith. I don't know the extent of that situation or the actual reasons LD28 PCs declined to support Glassman. However, I personally held (and still hold) the belief that of the Republicans who sought the 2014 nomination for governor, the ONLY one who wasn't/isn't completely bonkers is Scott Smith.

Personally, my concerns with Glassman run much deeper. It is unclear to me what accomplishments he can legitimately take credit for in terms of advancing Democratic ideals. I became familiar with him during the 2010 primary election campaign when he sought the Dem nomination for US Senate to go up against John McCain.

My view then was that Glassman's rhetoric was empty and his accomplishments as a Tucson city councilman were sparse. Additionally, his education background (a Ph.D. based on "research" that lacked depth and was likely unrelated to actually managing agriculture in arid regions like Arizona) was questionable. There was also the matter of personal behavioral issues of a serious nature in his past.

He had been accused at more than one undergraduate institution of sexual harassment related charges that caused him to change schools. Additionally, he had been found responsible for one or more traffic deaths as a result of an established pattern of reckless/aggressive driving. Glassman's family wealth enabled him to avoid personal criminal responsibility for any of those incidents.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Arizona Democratic candidates take note!

Minnesota's junior US Senator, Al Franken, won his first election by 312 votes. So damn close that it took months for a recount to validate his victory before he could take the oath of office and begin representing the legitimate constituents in his home state.

Of course, when it was time for him to stand for reelection, he could make video ads like the ones below because he did not sell out to corporate interests. You can bet that 1) he had plenty of opposition this year; and 2) that if he had been a sell out, the GOP would have hit him hard, labeling him a hypocrite. They may have still tried, but it didn't take because he's authentic.

Franken got reelected by a wide margin, 53.2 to 42.9 percent with 202,975 more votes than his Republican challenger.

There was still plenty of drama, heated up with $20 million. Franken's share funded mainly by small donors from all 50 states. By drama, I mean his opponent and opponent's supporters trying to distract voters by various means. But Franken's message was the bottom line, the underscore and the exclamation point to the entire campaign.

Here's a template for candidate messaging that works.










Sen. Franken didn't try to psych up the electorate. He simply laid out a couple of key issues in a direct, matter of fact way.

That's populist and it's progressive. And it's what will be needed to win election in Arizona.

I can't emphasize enough that I am not down on our 2014 Democratic statewide candidates. Fred DuVal was, by far, the better candidate than Scrooge McDucey. I admire Fred and the heart and energy he put into his campaign. I will not waiver on that perspective.

It's plainly obvious that Terry Goddard was a far superior candidate than Michele Reagan. He was confident and had a very good message. From the bottom of my heart, I hope that Terry takes the lead to put together an initiative campaign to reign in the influence of Dark Money in Arizona elections.

Felecia Rotellini, you can't and couldn't get a better advocate for Arizona citizens for the office of Attorney General this year.

Same goes for David Garcia for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

I'm not criticizing any of them and I'm not criticizing the Arizona Democratic Party or Maricopa County (or any other county) Democratic Party.

Criticism by individuals, including those trying to position themselves to run for state or county party chair positions, is only a distraction. One of the main sources of that distraction over the last two weeks has been the Capitol Times and it's gossip rag, the Yellow Sheet Report.

For those considering running for party chair positions, if you're going to try to do it to position yourself for a run for Congress or other high office, fahgeddaboudit. That includes Rodney Glassman.

People wanting votes for those positions need to present a plan to the state and county party committee members who get to vote. Be prepared to demonstrate both what you HAVE DONE and CAN DO. And you better be able to show it and tell it in a way that makes sense in a tangible way.

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Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Redistricting -- AIRC Motion for SCOTUS to Affirm or Dismiss, Harris case

Today the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission filed its Motion to Affirm or Dismiss in the Supreme Court of the United States in Harris v AIRC.

The 102-page document has 55 pages of preliminaries, then the motion, followed by 47 pages of exhibits/appendices.

For a document like this, I'm not sure I could do it justice to summarize it briefly. Instead, here's an excerpt for a teaser of sorts.
MOTION TO DISMISS OR AFFIRM
Despite Appellants’ efforts to reframe the factbound per curiam order into a new case posing broad legal questions, the appeal does not present any substantial federal issues meriting this Court’s attention. Appellee Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission therefore respectfully requests that the Court summarily affirm the decision below.
Appellants raise far-reaching issues that have little to do with the actual findings and ruling on appeal. They brought this suit on the theory (and told the court they would prove at trial) that “a policy of increasing the Democratic Party’s strength” caused the minor population deviations – an average overall deviation of 2.2 percent and a maximum deviation of 8.8 percent – in Arizona’s legislative redistricting plan. Doc. 176 at 2. After a five-day trial and review of transcripts of the Commission’s many public meetings, the district court found that was not true and that “compliance with federal voting rights law was the predominant reason for the deviations.” J.S. App. 6a. The court did not need to decide whether political motivations are illegitimate redistricting considerations because even assuming they are, Appellants could not prove their claim. At most, “some of the commissioners were motivated in part in some of the linedrawing decisions by a desire to improve Democratic prospects.” Id. The limited extent of that partisan motive does not indicate any constitutional infirmity. If it did, Appellants’ argument could result in overturning virtually every state’s legislative redistricting plan, an untenable and constitutionally unacceptable affront to State sovereignty.
The district court held that the Commission’s desire to comply with the Voting Rights Act, including the obligation to obtain preclearance, is a rational state policy capable of justifying minor deviations in population. J.S. App. 65a-72a. The Court should summarily affirm on the same narrow grounds. Appellants’ argument would require the Court to hold that compliance with federal law, although mandatory, was irrational. It would also clash with this Court’s decisions holding that non-mandatory policy decisions to respect county lines or protect incumbent politicians can justify deviations that go far beyond the minor ones at issue here. See, e.g., Brown v. Thomson, 462 U.S. 835, 847-48 (1983) (holding that state policy of adhering to county boundaries justified underpopulating district by 60 percent); Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 740 (1983) (listing “avoiding contests between incumbent[s]” among policies that “might justify some variance” in congressional districts). The fact that this Court’s subsequent decision in Shelby County v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013), removes Arizona’s obligation to seek preclearance does not render the Commission’s efforts to obtain preclearance irrational or illegitimate.
This is not the case for the Court to decide whether partisan motivations can invalidate a map with minor population deviations. The district court rejected Appellants’ partisanship arguments based on the evidence. This Court should summarily affirm.
I expect that I shall read through this Motion and at least some of the appendices in due course (and well before oral arguments are heard before the court (most likely the last week of February 2015)).

In the meantime, for your reading pleasure (if you're a political nerd), the link to the entire 102-page document is embedded at the top of this blog post.

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Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NOW is the time for Democratic Congressional and statewide office hopefuls to rethink fundraising.

In case someone hasn't heard me say it yet, I love Arizona Democratic Party chairman Bill Roe, exec. dir. DJ Quinlan and the rest of the staff. I think our candidates for statewide office and for Congress were all tremendous and tremendously brilliant people.

We got the job done... well, for the Arizona Legislature anyway (not losing any ground, as far as number of seats), and for some other key races (like the Gilbert Public Schools governing board).

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After months of pathetic, often pessimistic and always annoying emails to people who had signed up to receive campaign updates from Congressional and statewide candidates, I have heard exactly NOBODY talking about the role these horrendous messages had on the outcome of the election season.

I believe that, in general, that fundraising strategy poisoned those campaigns. Not the sole factor, but they were demoralizing and nobody was prepared to change the strategy once it began.

EVERY Democratic candidate for Congress and statewide office in Arizona (except Clean Elections funded Terry Goddard) did it. The degree of neediness or desperation evident in the text of those email messages varied. But ALL of them, to a degree, alienated people who received them.

Perhaps it would be good for political science academics to figure out a way to quantify the problem. However, even though I am not currently able to objectively measure it, the problem was obvious to many, many people.

Here's what I currently understand about the problem.

The last key person with a high profile winning race for Congress was the current US Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. She is the template that needs to be replicated.
Elizabeth Warren, a fearless consumer advocate who has made her life's work the fight for middle class families, was elected to the United States Senate on November 6, 2012, by the people of Massachusetts.
Elizabeth is recognized as one of the nation's top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle class families, and the Boston Globe has called her "the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks."
She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Obama asked her to set up the new agency to hold Wall Street banks and other financial institutions accountable, and to protect consumers from financial tricks and traps often hidden in mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.
How did Sen. Warren get elected?

  • Plainspoken authenticity with a message that hit home for the majority of voters.
  • Grassroots fundraising that didn't require whiny, annoying emails. She was an inspirational rainmaker. Her campaign was plenty green, drawing in more than $42 million (committee ID, S2MA00170).
Fearless with laser-like focus on a message that will continue to resound over the two-year election cycle we now begin.

Have you heard any of her stump speeches or media interviews or committee questioning in the last two years?




Ya know, Arizona Republicans are not going to like it, but Elizabeth Warren IS still the template for the authentic politician effectively communicating to voters/citizens that she will unequivocally advocate for the interests of the voter.

Not only was and is she authentic (and therefore believable), she has always done her homework and speaks knowledgeably and effectively on issues that matter to voters.

I'm not going to parse the messages put forth by Fred DuVal, Felecia Rotellini, David Garcia or even (Clean Elections funded) Terry Goddard. But I am going to say there was a gap between the candidates and the voters, as evidenced by the vote tallies.

The vote totals provide evidence that -- for whatever reason -- an inspiring, credible, authentic message did not effectively make it from the candidate(s) (each of them for the statewide offices) to the mind of the voters.

There's plenty of places that breakdown could have occurred beginning with whether the message itself was inspiring to whether there was money to get the message out on print, broadcast or social media to whether the voters understand American civics, politics and government.

The bottom line at THIS stage is for prospective candidates to take inventory of their own values, skills and experience to figure out if they can formulate the necessarily inspiring, credible, authentic message necessary for a run for office in 2016 or 2018.

Former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich blogged yesterday,
The President blames himself for the Democrats' big losses Election Day. “We have not been successful in going out there and letting people know what it is that we’re trying to do and why this is the right direction,” he said Sunday.
In other words, he didn’t sufficiently tout the Administration’s accomplishments.
I respectfully disagree.
If you want a single reason for why Democrats lost big on Election Day 2014 it’s this: Median household income continues to drop. This is the first “recovery” in memory when this has happened.
Jobs are coming back but wages aren’t. Every month the job numbers grow but the wage numbers go nowhere.
Most new jobs are in part-time or low-paying positions. They pay less than the jobs lost in the Great Recession.
This wageless recovery has been made all the worse because pay is less predictable than ever. Most Americans don’t know what they’ll be earning next year or even next month. Two-thirds are now living paycheck to paycheck. [...]
The stock market has boomed. Corporate profits are through the roof. CEO pay, in the stratosphere. Yet most Americans feel like they’re still in a recession.
And they’re convinced the game is rigged against them. [...]
Fifty years ago, just 29 percent of voters believed government is “run by a few big interests looking out for themselves.” Now, 79 percent think so.
According to Pew, the percentage of Americans who believe most people who want to get ahead can do so through hard work has plummeted 14 points since 2000.
What the President and other Democrats failed to communicate wasn't their accomplishments. It was their understanding that the economy is failing most Americans and big money is overrunning our democracy. 
And they failed to convey their commitment to an economy and a democracy that serve the vast majority rather than a minority at the top.
Some Democrats even ran on not being Barack Obama. That’s no way to win. Americans want someone fighting for them, not running away from the President. [...]
And the Democrats? They have a choice.
They can refill their campaign coffers for 2016 by trying to raise even more money from big corporations, Wall Street, and wealthy individuals. And hold their tongues about the economic slide of the majority, and the drowning of our democracy.
Or they can come out swinging. Not just for a higher minimum wage but also for better schools, paid family and medical leave, and child care for working families.
For resurrecting the Glass-Steagall Act and limiting the size of Wall Street banks.
For saving Social Security by lifting the cap on income subject to payroll taxes.
For rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges, and ports.
For increasing taxes on corporations with high ratios of CEO pay to the pay of average workers.
And for getting big money out of politics, and thereby saving our democracy.
It’s the choice of the century.
[Arizona] Democrats have less than two years to make it.
Prospective 2016 candidates, Elizabeth Warren's book, A Fighting Chance would be a very good place to start looking for your inspiration.



Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Who will lead Arizona Democrats to victory in 2016?

Names are already being bandied about as speculative competitors for Arizona Democratic Party state chair. What I've not heard is anything from current chairman Bill Roe about his intentions for 2015-2016.

The first thing that will be important to me, in the event we will be electing new blood to the position, is that we have a strong, progressive populist voice (see quotes from Richard Trumka's op-ed cited in yesterday's blog post).

Populist as opposed to promoting the corporate Democratic perspective.

I do not necessarily believe that any rumor that's begun circulating is very credible at this point. But to the degree that any given rumor starts a buzz that gets loud enough, it could become credible. Trial balloons, as they say.

One rumor I've heard has to do with Kyrsten Sinema, who I commend for winning re-election to Congress. But she has been anything but populist in representing Arizona's 9th District.

By the way, she already refuses to speak with me, take my calls or even look in my eyes when we are face to face. So, I don't particularly give a shit how mad she'll be about this.

People (both Rs and Ds) have been of the mindset that she intends to run for the US Senate in 2016. That first came up before McCain started hinting about a 2016 run for re-election. How old is he now?

Sinema, in her younger days, was actually more inclined to promote progressive and populist ideas and ideals. But she adapted when the political climate wasn't solid enough to support her election from that perspective. When first elected to Congress, she obtained a coveted position on the House Financial Services committee.

That was widely understood to be for the purpose of facilitating corporate fundraising for re-election. I saw no rebuttal of that conventional wisdom anywhere. As a result, her votes on financial services related bills favored the predatory industry her committee was supposed to be overseeing on behalf of the American electorate.

Whether she actually runs for US Senate (in 2016) or not remains to be seen.

Now, speculation has it that Sinema has a favored candidate for ADP chair. The name I've heard (I will wait before saying who I've heard it is) is someone who has attitude (a good thing) but may be too heavily oriented toward corporatism. We've already seen that to be a problem.

Not that Bill Roe is a corporatist, but that our candidates were unable to muster enough of a populist message to win ANY of the statewide offices.

We're not going to get Elizabeth Warren to move to Arizona to run for state chair. But we need a voice like hers.

I believe we will be able to get one.

Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Politics is 24/7, 365. So, what now? UPDATED 7 pm MST, 11-9-14

Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.
There may be plenty of grousing and second-guessing about what happened last Tuesday and what caused it. But there are also silver linings to those dark clouds.

It's true that Democrats lost every one of the statewide office races in Arizona. We will make adjustments.

It's also true that Republicans took over the US Senate -- without the assistance or resistance of Arizona voters. In 2016, there will be a race for the senate seat now held by John McCain. We will make adjustments and compete for that seat.

It's also true that Democrats lost a huge number of seats in state legislatures nationwide. But so far, the most likely end result in our state is that the balance of power will be a net change of ZERO. There are still a few days of ballot counting to finish up. Two races for seats in the Arizona House are too close to call right now.

No New election results updates have been posted to azsos.gov today (as of 4:12 pm) even though tabulation of late arriving early ballot continues. In LD4, Charlene Fernandez currently leads the Republican by 115 65 votes in the race for the seat now held by Democrat Juan Carlos Escamilla. In LD9, Randy Friese leads incumbent Republican Ethan Orr by 199 votes. If both Democrats win, it will offset the loss of the seat now held by Democrat Demion Clinco, who lost on Tuesday.

The most annoying aspect of the election season was the -- literally -- HUNDREDS of emails begging for money by Sinema, Barber and Kirkpatrick as well as the statewide candidates for governor, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction. Terry Goddard's campaign used Clean Elections funding (as did Corp Comm candidates Jim Holway and Sandra Kennedy), so he was able to stay focused on his message. It was a good message. Goddard drove home the issues of Dark Money and voter suppression. He was, like the other statewide candidates hit hard by broadcast television ads funding by Dark Money.

In the absence of Clean Elections funding, candidates begged from grassroots activists. It was obviously not enough.

On the flip side, when Elizabeth Warren ran successfully in 2012 for US Senate, she also sent emails asking for grassroots donations. Because her message of progressive populism resonated with voters all across the country, she didn't have to beg.

Our candidates were well qualified individuals. But they did not exhibit the inspiring messaging power that caused Sen. Warren to win.

About six weeks ago, TheHill.com published AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka's op-ed on progressive populism.
... it shouldn’t surprise anyone that in America in 2014, populism decides who wins elections.  The only question is which kind of populism is going to win.
There is a radical right wing populism that points its finger at government, at the president, at ObamaCare, at immigrants and at the so called “takers.”  It’s a diversionary populism that channels anger over the fundamental reality in America since the 1970’s - there’s an economic crisis underway for working Americans.  And it’s not surprising that right wing populism is diversionary—if you look at its funders you find the economic elites its rank and file despise. 
Progressive populism is something very different.   Progressive populists seek to address the economic realities of 2014 directly by advocating policies that would create jobs and drive up wages-- making the society fairer and creating opportunities for those who work hard.  Progressive populists favor what I like to call the submerged majoritarian agenda—the economic agenda a majority of Americans strongly support but that can’t get any traction in Washington.
What is this submerged agenda?
It’s policies that make our country fairer right now—like increasing the minimum wage, restoring workers ability to bargain with employers, and taxing millionaires and giant corporations at levels that reflect how much of the country’s wealth and income they now have. 
I'm not going to whine about the results from last week's election. However, I am going to cheer long and loud for renewed progressive populism. That is the political future of the egalitarian America envisioned in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

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Nevertheless, politics is 24/7, 365. So, what now?

Over the next couple of months, state, county and legislative district political parties reorganize.

Who will constitute the executive committee of the Arizona Democratic Party for the next two years? Who will lead the county and legislative district party organizations?

County and LD party groups conducted aggressive grassroots campaign activities which were vital to the effort to win more seats in the legislature. Reportedly, nationwide, Democrats lost an average of seven seats in each state legislature. Given the overall political climate, these efforts were instead largely responsible for maintaining the Democratic position for the upcoming 52nd Legislature.

Names have already begun popping up for speculation. I've heard a few of those names. But I've only spoken with one person who is considering running for such a leadership position. Of course, there will need to be more than just chairmanships at issue because it takes a village, not a king or queen.

You can count on me to continue stirring the pot.

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On the issue of politics 24/7, 365, two things are on my radar at the moment that I hope will interest you.

First, as many people expect, the movement to put a marijuana legalization measure on the ballot for 2016 has begun. Safer Arizona, which conducted the 2014 campaign, is starting right away to raise money to print petitions and begin circulating them. To that end, the group has established a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo.com.

Direct democracy ensures the will of the people is made into public policy and law. Please contribute. Together, let's make this happen.

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Second, filmmaker Frances Causey, producer/director of Heist: Who Stole the American Dream, is working on a new documentary project, Duh-moc-ruh-see! The Movie.
In our film we “kick the tires" of American democracy, revealing some very uncomfortable truths about an America always thought to be egalitarian. Be assured in our film you won’t get the "moonlight and magnolias" version of 1776 commonly found in textbooks.
Duh-moc-ruh-see! The Movie is a truthful “connect the dots account”, one that sheds much light on our current troubles. We believe that as flawed as our nation’s founding was, the US  has done some things really admirable like the Bill of Rights, which we explore in the film.
Causey has also established a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo.com.

One of the problems in the 2014 election was that potential voters (the ones who stayed home and refused to participate) don't understand American government, politics and civics enough to realize how voting empowers them. Duh-moc-ruh-see! The Movie will get the message across to those voters.

Please contribute. And together, let's make THIS powerful movie happen.

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UPDATE           UPDATE          UPDATE

Updated vote totals for LD4 and LD9 House races (above) became available from the Secretary of State's website late this afternoon. They include both Pima and Maricopa County vote updates.

In LD4, Charlene Fernandez now leads the Republican by 65 votes. In LD9, Randy Friese now leads incumbent Ethan Orr by 247 votes.