April 11, 2018
Howdy, Friends O’Farley…
Rumors are flying of imminent budget action, but there are no bills to analyze yet. I’ll update you as soon as anything drops on my Twitter and Facebook pages, and get a Farley Report out with the details shortly thereafter. We’re especially awaiting the majority plan on teacher raises, gun safety, and voucher expansion.
In the meantime, the hints being dropped by Governor Ducey aren’t looking very promising.
But first, the Pledge Break.
—> According to our polling, we are now in a statistical tie to beat Doug Ducey in November. This is the election towards which we have been working.
1) But we can’t win without your help. Please contribute what you can. Don’t let Doug Ducey and his dark-money backers buy Arizona. Including our first-quarter results we have now raised more than $900,000, but we will need much more to spread our positive message to voters.
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!
3) Tell ten friends there is hope for Arizona — there’s a leader named Steve Farley who can govern from Day One and knows how to win. And ask them to tell ten friends. This is our best chance in years to create positive change in Arizona, but we all need to pitch in.
—> In Governor Ducey’s first State of the State address he spoke of his high opinion for teachers, saying, “We know where education happens, between a teacher and a student. In my administration, we will honor teachers and the good work they do.”
A few days later, his first budget put JTED career and technical education programs into a death spiral with a $30 million cut and slashed another $116 million from Additional Assistance funds that provided for textbooks, computers, and teacher salaries.
And who can forget his proposal of 0.4% raises for teachers in his 2017 proposed budget — $15 a month on average. Under Governor Ducey, overall spending per pupil for public education, adjusted for inflation, is now $759 less than it was in 2007-08.
None of that sounds like “honoring” teachers.
Yesterday, Governor Ducey announced that he refuses to meet with representatives of the Red for Ed movement — Arizona Educators United, now more than 40,000 teachers strong — and instead said, “We’re meeting with the decision makers. And we’re going to continue to meet with the decision makers.”
Decision makers. Not the teachers. Perhaps the “decision makers” are a couple of billionaires from Kansas?
Check out this raw video of Ducey fighting with Capitol reporters while spouting the discredited numbers on education spending most recently featured in the dark-money-funded Arizona Education Project ads all over our TV screen.
Veteran reporter Howie Fischer covers all the angles in his important story on the topic.
While teachers ask for (and in my view deserve) 20% raises and talk about the possibility of a strike in the midst of an unprecedented teacher retention crisis with more than half our teaching positions either vacant or held by someone without proper qualifications and average salaries at 50th in the nation, Ducey continues to voice his support for more corporate tax giveaways and no more than a 1% teacher raise.
And he refuses to even talk with teachers. Ducey doubled down on this disrespect on KTAR’s Mac and Gaydos show yesterday afternoon, saying, “Why would I sit down with someone who just wants to play games? I don’t want to get into this political circus.”
“Political circus?” It’s called democracy, Governor. Nascent authoritarians hate it when the people they govern express disagreement using political means. What you call a “political circus” is the only realm wherein teachers and all other citizens have the right to challenge their elected officials. Perhaps it’s annoying to you, but it’s how we are supposed to be making our decisions in the civic arena.
Governor Ducey, I assure you that seeking a decent raise is not a game to these teachers. It’s not a game to take on a second or third job to afford to pay the rent or put food on the table for their kids. It’s not a game to have to tear up their lives in Arizona to move to another state which respects their professionalism. It’s not a game to have to spend their own salary to provide supplies and textbooks for their students.
Teachers are the people who are educating the next generation of Arizonans so they can power our economy, take care of us as we age, and maintain our unparalleled quality of life in the state we all love.
Governor, if you screw this up now, we will feel the pain for decades to come. Your beloved corporate tax cuts and loopholes have done nothing to help our economy — they’ve just shipped our treasure out of state for wealthy shareholders while the rest of us see our resources decline and future hopes fade.
It’s time to invest in ourselves for a change. Public schools. Transportation. Decent, affordable healthcare. Public safety. Things that political leaders of both parties used to support.
It’s time for change. I’m happy to help.
—> Speaking of change, all three Democratic gubernatorial candidates took part in a debate last Saturday night at the University of Arizona in front of more than 300 engaged citizens in the audience, expertly organized by the UofA Young Democrats. The discussion was detailed and illuminating and pointed the way to a more hopeful future.
Reporter Larry Bodine wrote an excellent article at Blog for Arizona encapsulating the evening, and you can stream the 90-minute proceedings in a broadcast well-produced by the Arizona Daily Wildcat and KAMP-TV.
—> The Farley campaign keeps gathering momentum bringing our good news of positive change to Arizonans everywhere.
Outside of the long legislative days of the waning weeks of session, we’ve been able to talk with constituents at the Phoenix Pride Parade, the Tucson Cyclovia Festival, Scottsdale Stand Indivisible, and UofA Young Democrats Gubernatorial Debate. Somewhere in there I got to plant a new fig tree and my spring vegetable garden (from the Native Seeds/SEARCH annual plant sale), including an irrigation system on a timer so it can flourish during all the days I spend on the road bringing new hope to Arizona.
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.
Senator, District 9, Tucson
If you like my representation and want to keep me in office, CONTRIBUTE TODAY!
Paid for by Farley for Governor
April 11, 2018