September 15, 2017

Howdy, Friends O’Farley…

It’s been a crazy month since the last Farley Report.

Racists marched and killed in Charlottesville, then President Trump came to Phoenix to undermine the rule of law by pardoning our own racist convicted-criminal former Sheriff. Governor Ducey responded by proclaiming his friendship for Arpaio and support for the pardon.

Trump cruelly ended the DACA program, hypocritically citing “rule of law” as he directly attacked the Dreamers — among the best and brightest children in our state and the engines who will move our economy forward. Even Glenn Hamer, the executive director of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce slammed the move, saying the decision was made “without wisdom and without compassion”. Governor Ducey responded by praising Trump’s decision to deny residency for these children to the only home they have ever known.

Climate change intensified devastating fires in the Northwest and horrific hurricanes in the Southeast (If you can help, please give here to help the victims). Donald Trump pulled us out of the climate change accords, and Governor Ducey still has not followed the lead of many other governors to rejoin the accords as a state to confront this immediate existential risk to Arizona.

Add in earthquakes in Mexico City and North Korean nuclear missiles, and I can understand if some might be wondering if we are facing the proverbial end times. But I believe that in spite of the darkness that sometimes seems to surround us, our best times are yet to come. With hard political work and good public policies, we can use the new energy and activism I have encountered all over our state and transform these challenges into a positive new beginning for Arizona and our country.

But first we have to jettison some old ideas being promulgated by Governor Ducey and his out-of-state billionaire friends. 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.

—> During my eleven years (and counting) in the Legislature serving the people of Arizona, I have had the dubious privilege of hearing the current and previous Governors extolling the importance of an unending stream of corporate tax cuts in developing our economy and then watching them get signed into law over my strong objections.

Governor Ducey in particular loves to talk about the need for a “competitive business tax climate” if we are to create jobs and increase wages. Consequently, we now have some of the lowest business taxes in the nation, particularly if you include the billions of dollars in corporate tax loopholes in our sales tax code.

We’ve yet to see that wave of jobs and increased wages materialize. Why? Because that trickle-down philosophy doesn’t work, except for a tiny sliver of people at the top, and most of them don’t even live in Arizona.

Businesses want a trained workforce, good schools, and a good transportation system, and in evaluating whether to move here or expand hiring, they don’t even look at the tax climate until after they evaluate those requirements.

We have shot ourselves in the foot by paying for corporate tax cuts by stealing money from the state’s HURF funds (gas taxes that are legally restricted to roads) and from cuts to our state’s public education system (from pre-K to K-12 to JTEDs to community colleges to universities).

Furthermore, those tax cuts — targeted at the richest in our state and paid for by services that help people lift themselves out of poverty — make poor people poorer and rich people richer, destabilizing our society and economy.

A recent New York Times article shows exactly how this finance policy has dramatically improved the lives of the top 0.01% of the country’s households in one astonishing chart, from data produced by inequality researchers Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman:

In 1980, those at the lower end of the scale saw the most growth over the previous 34 years. In 2014, the conditions were reversed — those at the tippy-top end saw their growth skyrocket, at the expense of the rest of us who are working harder than ever before and seeing less growth in return.

Another unmissable Times article, “It’s A Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs,” lays out the facts on how tax giveaways really work. Sarah Anderson, of the Institute for Policy Studies discovered that, “the 92 publicly held American corporations that reported a profit in the United States every year from 2008 through 2015 and paid less than 20% of their earnings in federal income tax [despite the current federal corporate tax rate of 35%]…. had a median job-growth rate of nearly negative 1 percent, compared with 6 percent for the private sector as a whole.”

What did they do with their money? They did NOT pour it into research and development, hiring, or wage increases for lower earners. Most of them bought back their stock — artificially inflating their value in order to raise the compensation of their top executives.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has declared publicly that every $1 billion in tax cuts would create 7,000 well-paying jobs. AT&T paid only 8% in federal income tax between 2008 and 2015, thanks to tax breaks and loopholes. Despite paying only one-fifth of the nominal federal tax rate, over that time they fired 80,000 workers while spending $34 billion to artificially inflate its own stock.

I’ve said it for years. Instead of enacting huge corporate tax cuts which help our revenues flee our state to enrich New York investment banks, we should invest in Arizona infrastructure and Arizona schools. Every $1 billion in transportation investment creates 19,000 new jobs. Public schools are the best tool we have ever invented to lift ourselves from poverty.

It’s time for a Governor who will put the well-being of all Arizonans first, not a few out-of-state billionaires. I will eliminate special-interest tax loopholes and stop HURF raids. I will invest the savings in schools, job training and retraining, and transportation projects — to create jobs, improve wages, improve our quality of life, and keep Arizona dollars in Arizona.

—> Governor Ducey and his Koch-backed Republican lawyers continue to use every tool to attack the dedicated parents and teachers who were able to successfully gather the signatures to force the private-school voucher bill SB1431 onto next November’s ballot so the people of Arizona can defeat it.

This would be a good time to review just how awful is that attack on public schools, so you may want to pick up a copy of the September national edition of Harper’s Magazine in which author Alexandria Neason writes a “Letter from Arizona” entitled “Class Dismissed” about the folks for and against Vouchers for All, from Betsy DeVos and Doug Ducey to teachers and parents on the other side in the real world.

Ms Neason in the article features parts of an interview she conducted with me last spring, talking about my longstanding dedication to our public school teachers, stemming from my public-school-teacher parents and my experience in my daughters’ public schools. The entire article is well worth your time.

—> The campaign continues to pick up momentum, as we gather support from Arizonans all over the state who are ready for change.

We have received 34 endorsements from prominent community leaders all over the state, from Yuma to Flagstaff, the Navajo Nation, White Mountains and Maricopa County at every level of government, including current State Senators Lupe Contreras and Jamescita Peshlakai, Sheriffs Tony Estrada and KC Clark, Mayors, City Councilmembers, County Attorneys, County Supervisors, former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini, and former Members of Congress Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber. We have many more to come as we continue to crisscross Arizona to bring hope for a better future to all we meet.

On August 19, the Maricopa County Democratic Party did a great job hosting the first Democratic Gubernatorial Debate in many years, and I really enjoyed sharing my vision for Arizona with nearly 1,000 Maricopa County party activists. Their response was enthusiastically positive, and I look forward to being elected the next Governor of the State of Arizona with their (and your) help. Together, we win.

If you’d like to see my closing comments from August 19’s Democratic gubernatorial debate in Phoenix, here is the video. Thanks, Tiffany Winman, for posting the clip and sharing your support!

—> Earlier this month I brought my youngest daughter GiGi to her freshman year at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. I can’t even express the overwhelming pride I feel in not only her hard work and achievements, but most importantly her soul — the way in which she looks at the world and her beautiful dedication to blazing her own creative path.

I am so grateful for her teachers who helped me to raise her to this place and those who will guide her as she takes flight from the nest to change the world.

I can’t wait for her to share her adventures on the journey. She embodies the hope I feel for our future. GiGi, I love you.

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!

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September 17, 2017