On Thursday afternoon, more than a thousand angry students, parents, educators and other concerned citizens converged on the Arizona Capitol while Scrooge McDucey and his lackeys in the legislature's GOP leadership tried to ram through an austerity budget for NOT so austere times in the Arizona economy. While the governor campaigned on empty rhetoric claiming to want to "kickstart the economy," he is grossly misinformed as to what causes or catalyzes a health state economy.
In the meantime, Arizona citizens, conned into electing this delusional fool, are preparing to ensure that our state does not follow in the footsteps of Sam Brownback's Kansas.
You've no doubt heard of Patrick Henry and may be familiar with one line of his most famous historical quotation (listen to the entire speech). How familiar are you with the context and the speech from which that famous line was taken?
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us... Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry peace, peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take: but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!Comes today report of a December 2014 study from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University that exposes Arizona right at the top of the list of US States with the most legal and illegal corruption.
Although corruption is not endemic in America as it is in several other countries, it does exist. According to the Justice Department, in the last two decades more than 20,000 public officials and private individuals were convicted for crimes related to corruption and more than 5,000 are awaiting trial, the overwhelming majority of cases having originated in state and local governments.Cases in point from Arizona include, Catherine Miranda's brother-in-law Richard; former state Rep. Ben Arredondo; and the entire AZSCAM gang. That's only the ILLEGAL side.
The Arizona Eagletarian documented some instances of legal corruption when exposing Trash Burner Bob Stump, former AZ House approps chair John Kavanagh AND Catherine Miranda (who's been in the pocket of Cathi Herrod and Arizona Public Service for at least a couple of years), then Attorney General candidate Mark "I am not a CROOK" Brnovich, and let's not even get started on Scrooge McDucey's ties to the Kochtopus.
Remember how pretty much the ONLY thing McDucey said -- during the 2014 campaign -- about his plans when elected WAS that he intended to "kickstart the economy?"
The abusive legislative process going on as I write this post is the natural and highly corrupt result of a convergence of numerous factors that precipitated the election of Scrooge McDucey. The Arizona Republic's conservative editorial columnist Bob Robb said, about what's going on today,
...it's a gross abuse of the appropriations process.Of course the process is playing out in the Arizona House and Senate right now. Senate Pres. Andy Biggshot has extensive experience with circumventing involvement by the people of Arizona in controversial legislation. He rationalizes and justifies it based on mischaracterization of a speech given by George Washington.
All of this is prologue for bringing today's question of what Arizona citizens can and will do about the decimation of public education and state government in our state.
The moment is RIPE for an UPRISING, a revolution and resurgence of the genuine representation the Constitutional Framers intended when the United States was founded.
I realize it's cliché, but it's still true, still poignant and very much still relevant. The quote, used in several variations by many since, penned by philosopher George Santayana,
When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.We -- the PEOPLE of Arizona -- are not going to repeat the lessons (failures) of history in this current conflict. Nay, Scrooge McDucey, Andy Biggshot and David Gowan are on a collision course with the lessons from the last couple of years of the Brownback administration in Kansas.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback insisted Thursday that his controversial experiment with supply-side economics is working, contrary to what he alleged is slanted media coverage against it. He urged patience for people to see the results.
“These things take some time,” Brownback told a small gathering in St. Louis' Central West End sponsored by a conservative think-tank.
He said despite continuing state budget problems and persistent criticism at home and around the country, he will continue to pursue his goal of making Kansas “a right-to-work state with no income tax.”
The Republican governor's strategy — sharply cutting state income taxes and business taxes, and counting on resulting economic growth to cover those losses in the state budget — is the definition of supply-side or “trickle-down” economic theory as popularized in the Reagan Era.
But the immediate aftermath of Brownback's experiment has been a massive hole in the Kansas state budget, with estimated revenue shortfalls of more than $1 billion over the next two fiscal years. Progressive critics have pointed to that deficit as proof that the entire economic theory is invalid.
Brownback argued that part of the shortfall is the result of legislative sabotage of his original proposal.McDucey is following the Brownback blueprint to the T. You can fully expect that if we allow this current budget to be implemented without an UPRISING to prevent it, Arizona will suffer the same ramifications as Kansas. Then, when it doesn't work (and obviously, VOODOO Economics is failure made personal and pervasive for everyday Kansans and Arizonans), McDucey will blame the allegedly Liberal media and the legislature -- just like his mentor, Brownback has. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch story (quoted above) is current -- dated March 5 (yesterday).
Last week, Scrooge McDucey was unmoved by the protest attended by more than 500 angry parents, teachers and others concerned about public education in our state. No doubt he is still unmoved despite the protest doubling in size yesterday.
It might be discouraging for some to see that their effort and energy has not influenced McDucey or GOP legislative leaders. But consider that it took time for Vietnam war protests in the 1960s to cause Nixon and Ford to bring US involvement in that conflict to an end.
For Arizona citizens to catalyze change will take persistence, determination and time. That and finding ways to force the hand of the current governor. The people of Arizona do have experience along those lines. In 2014, the people of Arizona succeeded in motivating Jan Brewer to veto SB1062.
In 2013, the people of Arizona succeeded in gathering enough signatures to force a referendum vote on the Voter Suppression bill, HB2305. That scared legislative Republicans. So much so that in 2014, the first bill passed was a repeal of HB2305. That, of course, was the only way they could keep from getting massively overrun by voters in the 2014 election. The HB2305 saga was an immensely significant demonstration of the will of the people.
We will do it again. As many times as necessary.
As to the question of leverage, legislative leadership is working on twisting arms and making deals (as inexpensively as possible) to whip the votes necessary to pass the budget bills introduced and rammed through committees yesterday. If the people had no leverage, the FY2016 budget would already have been signed into law by McDucey.
The game certain members of the House and Senate are playing right now is to extract as much as possible from leaders so those members can puff up their chests, go to the voters in the districts they represent, and say, "hey, look at what I did for YOU!"
For example, Carlyle Begay needs support for bills he wants passed to promote opportunity for those living on tribal lands in NE Arizona. Jeff Dial wants to be able to show ASU president Michael Crow that he has been effectively advocating for the universities.
But none of that matters to McDucey. What will?
Well, the Koch-owned gubernator is desperate to remain in office long enough to fully decimate public education. If you want details, just set yourself up with a Google alert for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. He's already implemented a number of items from the Koch blueprints. And Brownback has gotten predictable results.
In the meantime, quite a few friends yesterday began lamenting the departure of Jan Brewer from Arizona government. As an expression of frustration, that's completely understandable.
Another friend wanted to know what it will take, and how do we get started organizing the movement to recall McDucey. Here's the scoop on that. Arizona Revised Statutes § 19-201 states, in pertinent part:
A. Every public officer holding an elective office, either by election, appointment or retention, is subject to recall from such office by the qualified electors of the electoral district from which candidates are elected to that office. Such electoral district may include the whole state. A number of qualified electors equaling twenty-five per cent of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for all the candidates for the office held by the officer, even if the officer was not elected at that election, divided by the number of offices that were being filled at that election, by recall petition, may demand the officer's recall.That 25 percent threshold, according to the official canvass of the 2014 general election is (1,506,315 X .25) = 376,579 valid signatures. So, if for every person (man, woman, child) that showed up yesterday, they (or somebody) collected at least 400 valid signatures each, we would get the governor back on the ballot well before 2018. That's not an impossible goal. Difficult for sure, but not impossible.
Wait, there's more! A.R.S. § 19-202 A. states:
A recall petition shall not be circulated against any officer until he has held office for six months, except that a petition may be filed against a member of the legislature at any time after five days from the beginning of the first session after his election. The commencement of a subsequent term in the same office does not renew the six month period delaying the circulation of a recall petition.While McDucey held a different statewide office prior to election as governor, it's likely 19-202 A. means a recall cannot commence until July 6, 2015. McDucey took office on January 5.
Will a recall movement even start? That's a good question. If McDucey continues to disrespect Arizona voters and especially public education, voters may indeed become galvanized to make it happen. The bottom line is that a sustained UPRISING very well does have the potential to pull together diverse demographics to get the attention of the governor... even though he's clearly not yet impressed.
This poster does a great job of calling attention to the verbal sleight of hand McDucey used in the election campaign. He regularly stuck to the phrase "we want to fund the wait list," referring to the fact that a few Arizona schools are nationally ranked as the best in the nation. But those top ranked schools don't have room for all the students that want to enroll. The PROBLEM is that this approach leaves at least 85-90 percent of public school K-12 students with no place to go for schools that have adequate funding.
And here are two references to back up this Jefferson quote. The sign may not be verbatim, but the essence of the message remains true to Jefferson's intent. The Jefferson Legacy Foundation and The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. TJF provides a link to the Library of Congress and names the particular document where the quote appears.
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
Concerned Tucson citizens that couldn't make it to the Capitol protested in front of the state government office building on Congress Street in Tucson. Here's a pic from that protest. More at the link in the previous sentence.