March 1, 2018

Howdy, Friends O’Farley…

Crossover Week is over, so we are back to regular committees. As we enter the second half of the session, this week we are hearing House bills in the Senate as Senate bills are being heard in the House.

Budget talks are beginning in secret with Republicans the only folks at the table, as usual. I hear that the revenue picture for the state is slightly improving, meaning there will be less to fight over among Republicans, so there is a good chance that we may get out of session relatively early — perhaps by mid- to late-April.

Meanwhile the legislative action is somewhat subdued, so I’ll take the time to share with you thoughts on my recent visit with a true American hero.

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But first, 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. He reported that his average campaign contribution in 2017 was $1,900 per donor, including $5,100 from Charles Koch himself. Only 5 donors contributed $25 or less. But his money from out-of-state billionaires won’t be as strong as your deep engagement — this will be unlike any other election in our lifetimes. Ducey can’t buy Arizona. This is our time, but only if you help.

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.

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—> I was tremendously honored to spend Monday evening speaking with Gold Star father Khizr Khan. 

You will recall he came to the nation’s attention at the 2016 Democratic Convention as he spoke of the loss of his son — a captain in the U.S. Army — to suicide bombers in Iraq in 2004, and shared his love for his adopted country. He spoke eloquently about his reverence for the U.S. Constitution and ripped then-candidate Trump’s ignorance of the Constitutional provision of equal protection for all.

He pulled a pocket-sized Constitution from his pocket, and asked Trump, “Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”

I can tell you, he still hands out pocket-sized Constitutions to all he encounters. For the past 14 months, he has been traveling across the country to share his story and help candidates who seek to restore Constitutional law and preserve our democracy.

He quietly but firmly spoke of autocratic regimes he has personally experienced and the need for us to act to preserve our increasingly fragile democracy. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided as a country by those enemies both within and without who would seek to rip apart the social fabric of this great nation for their own benefit.

Yesterday morning, I woke to the news that the Washington Post discovered a vast conspiracy cooked up by anonymous trolls on Reddit, 4chan and 8chan to trash the child victims of the Parkland High School massacre as “crisis actors” and even call into question whether the shooting actually happened. They celebrated as their lies started to be accepted as truth in what they called the “normie-sphere”— the place where the rest of us live. 

Now that we are aware of the actual involvement of Russian agents in stirring up our increasingly polarized political passions to see each other as enemies instead of fellow Americans and influence the outcome of our elections, it increasingly seems that our free speech rights enshrined in the First Amendment are being abused by forces of chaos to tear our beloved country apart.

How do we respond to these new attacks? 

In 1919, during World War I, in defense of a terrible decision curtailing free speech rights, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

While that quote has seemed over the years to have the ring of truth, it is a false ring that could endanger our ability to function as a diverse, self-governing democracy. Our ability to speak freely, even false and repellent statements, preserves our ability to join together as one nation, indivisible. 

So again, what is our solution to honoring truth in an age of “fake news” and “alternative facts”? 

Holmes changed his mind about free speech later in the same term, and one of his later statements lays out a roadmap:

“The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.”

When we see lies, we must raise our voices and speak truth. When we see others concocting false facts, we must seek reality and share it. We must overwhelm the trolls with nonanonymous voices, data, and sources. We must use our First Amendment rights with self-discipline and integrity to renew our bonds as fellow Americans, and spread empathy and love for all those we encounter, even those with whom we disagree. 

Where others may seek to tear our social fabric asunder, we must bind the wounds and heal our dialogue. 

Mr Khan ended his talk by paraphrasing a Winston Churchill quote: “Sometimes it is not enough to do our best; we must do what is required come November 2018.”

We must all do what is required — some of us run for office, some contribute to campaigns, some register voters, some drive folks to the polls. The important thing is to act in some way that will renew our democracy. Defend our First Amendment and speak up to create a “marketplace for truth” that is actually true.

This is the most important election of our lifetime. We can create change together, if we all do what is required of us in the next eight months.

—> Endorsement News: I am proud to announce I’ve been endorsed by the SMART Union’s Transportation Division! The SMART Transportation Division represents over 125,000 Railroad Engineers, Trainmen, Airline Pilots, Attendants & Bus Drivers nationwide, and I am honored to have them working for my election as Governor.

—> The campaign rolls along, continuing our quest to meet every Arizonan we can as we spread the word about our campaign to bring public service back to state government.



I met all sorts of dedicated people in the past week in Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, Marana, Tucson, and Phoenix, and they’re now all aboard the Farley Train!

Wherever you live, you, too, can join our campaign so we can finally get the leadership we deserve right here in the state we love.

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!

Paid for by Farley for Governor

March 1, 2018