August 8, 2017

Howdy, Friends O’Farley…

A couple of weeks ago, many of us were glued to our TV screens as we followed the US Senate vote that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act. Would partisanship rule the day and eliminate a vital program that, while flawed, has expanded access to healthcare to more than a half-million Arizonans, including thousands of kids? Would President Trump and Republican leaders really act to leave millions of Americans without coverage, with no replacement in sight?

Republican Senators Collins and Murkowski braved threats from their side and voted No on repeal without replacement. Then we held our breath as our own Senator McCain approached the podium. When he dramatically turned his thumb down, we exulted — he still had some maverick in him after all.

We didn’t know at the time that this historic moment came over the active objections of Governor Doug Ducey. More after the Pledge Break…

—> I am doing everything I can to be your next governor. This election offers the best opportunity in years to create real change in Arizona. Imagine our state as a light unto the nation, not a joke on late-night television. A place where public education is fully funded and everyone has quality, affordable healthcare and the opportunity to work at a livable wage. This future is within our reach, but I need your help in two ways:

1) Please contribute what you can. We are up against the Koch Brothers’ favorite son and we will need thousands of small donations to defeat Ducey’s few huge ones.

2) Please sign my nominating petition to help me qualify for the ballot in November 2018. Please tell your friends and ask them to sign my petition. The first step to bringing change to Arizona is to put me on the ballot! The only way we win this is together, and I am honored to have your support. You can find my petition here.

—>  You heard that right, Doug Ducey is now working with Donald Trump to repeal healthcare for hundreds of thousands of people in Arizona.

Farley Report readers will recall that one of the most significant moments of my last eleven years in the Legislature came when Democrats worked across the partisan divide with Governor Jan Brewer in 2013 to accept the Affordable Care Act and expand health coverage to nearly 400,000 people in poverty, over the opposition of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House.

This policy not only dramatically improved the quality of life of those now covered, it also kept our hospitals afloat, many of which were in danger of going bankrupt from the costs of unreimbursed care.

Sadly, we’ve seen no such courage from our current Governor. He has repeatedly attacked the Affordable Care Act, and called for its repeal. As reported by the Arizona Republic, Doug Ducey was more concerned with earning the loyalty of his friend Mike Pence than doing what is right for the people of Arizona:

“But ahead of the early Friday vote — and after talking to Vice President Mike Pence — Ducey spoke by speaker phone to McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in the Senate’s GOP cloakroom. During the conversation, Ducey gave his blessing to their voting for the ‘skinny repeal.’

“Ultimately, the governor didn’t want to see the GOP-driven effort to repeal the ACA die. McCain, who preferred to start over using them in a more bipartisan fashion, came to a different conclusion.”

His lobbying efforts for the Trump-Pence administration didn’t end there. Not long after the vote, as reported by AP’s Bob Christie, Governor Ducey flew to Washington DC at the request of Donald Trump to figure out how to restart the partisan efforts to take away our health coverage:

“The White House, however, is insisting that the Senate resume efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Ducey’s unexpected trip to Washington signals that work on a repeal of the law that Republicans oppose isn’t done. Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said Friday that the governor was ‘disappointed that Congress will be taking a recess without repealing Obamacare.’”

We can provide quality, affordable healthcare for all Arizonans. It’s time we elect a Governor who puts AZ citizens above his DC friends.

—> Back home in AZ, we’ve lost yet another business headquarters due to our lack of investment in education.

This time, it’s Chandler’s Levementum that has left the state, and the reasons were announced by the company’s leaders in a letter to the editor of the Indianapolis Star, the city to which it moved.

We’ve been able to scale more quickly here [Indianapolis] in the past several months than we have in the past decade in our other locations [Chandler]. That takes human capital. And that’s one of the reasons we chose to expand here: The talent pipeline here is tremendous, fed by top higher-education institutions in and around the city.”

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident.

Two years ago, the Phoenix Business Journal, a fairly conservative news source, published an unsurprising but still shocking story on how Governor Ducey’s and the Arizona elected majority’s focus on tax cuts is chasing away jobs and destroying our kids’ chances at a decent future. Their reporter, Eric Jay Toll, interviewed two business-relocation decisionmakers who decided to move their 3,000 jobs elsewhere instead of coming to Arizona.

They asked to remain anonymous to avoid embarrassing anyone. But their quotes should cause shame in all those who believe that low business taxes are more important than good schools and a trained workforce.

“‘My key managers didn’t want to relocate to Arizona despite the golf and the weather,’ said one decision-maker. ‘They were afraid they would not find good schools for their own children. They also felt that the state’s reputation for poor education would affect the ability to recruit talent from outside.’”

The solution is not those offered by Governor Ducey: Private school vouchers for all, last-in-the-nation teacher salaries, or lower teaching standards. The solution is to eliminate insider corporate tax loopholes and invest the savings in our schools at every level. That’s not only good for kids and working families, it’s good for business.

THIS MUST CHANGE. NOW. Every year that goes by, we lose another grade level of kids and our economy loses more jobs. It’s time for a new Governor.

—> There’s some really good news on the energy front — the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is now generating clean solar power to the grid at its first solar facility, in Kayenta. NTUA manager Walter Haase stated, “The completion of this project demonstrates that the Navajo Nation is ready for large scale renewable energy production.”

This is good news for all of us — more solar means more jobs and less pollution for the entire state, and I’m hoping that our state’s other utilities follow the lead of the Navajo Nation. With the amount and quality of sunlight with which we are blessed, and the technological advancement of battery storage, there’s no reason we couldn’t work toward supplying the entire West with Arizona-generated energy. Forget Texas oil, it’s time to power our country on Arizona sunshine.

—> I’m making my way all across the state spreading hope for a better future for Arizona as my campaign for Governor rolls on. Above is a photo of the more than 200 folks who came to the Yavapai County Democratic Picnic to hear me speak on how we can move Arizona forward.

I’ve been gaining support in all corners of the state, from Yuma to Winslow, from Cameron to Clifton, from Flagstaff to Nogales, from Apache Junction to Surprise, and from Tempe to Phoenix. I’m continually encouraged by the enthusiasm for change expressed by the people who are showing up in greater numbers than I have ever seen. More than ever, I know — together we win.

Thanks for your continuing faith in me as your Senator.

Steve

Steve Farley

Senator, District 9, Tucson

If you like my representation and want to keep me in office, CONTRIBUTE TODAY!

August 8, 2017