Monday, October 15, 2012

Small business owners should support Krysten Sinema for Congress

As a small business owner I have some serious concerns with Vernon Parker’s “jobs plan.” I use quotes because, to me, his proposals don’t seem like a plan at all, but merely a doubling down on the status quo. I think most will agree that the top-down approach simply hasn’t worked for the benefit of our nation. A system that is rigged for those who’ve already made it, at the expense of opportunity for everyone else is not only wrong; it makes zero long-term economic sense. Parker’s status quo is not a path to prosperity.

More specifically, I’m concerned with the cornerstone of Parker’s plan. The Earth-shattering new idea from the Parker camp is simply to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and that will somehow create jobs tomorrow that it didn’t create yesterday. Underwhelmed? Me, too. As if those tax cuts have somehow served us well over the last decade, Parker’s backing of their extension as a “jobs plan” reveals a severe poverty of new ideas from the Republican nominee in Congressional District Nine. The extension of the Bush tax cuts that have ballooned our deficit, and can’t be said to have created a single job might be a Tea Party favorite, but it’s completely out of touch with where the nation is in 2012, as well as with the constituents Sinema and Parker are running to represent.

Kyrsten Sinema’s plan would eliminate the tax cuts for the top 2% and use that money to reinvest in small businesses on right here on Main Street, not fund the excesses of Wall Street. In her plan, Kyrsten mentions small business 28 times, which to me shows that she understands that it is local small businesses that drive our economy. In fact, 60% of new jobs come from the small businesses Kyrsten’s plan would benefit, and the last decade has proven that the corporate welfare Parker advocates isn’t a viable economic model.

In comparison, Vernon Parker only mentions small businesses once in his entire “jobs plan,” when he brushed off yet another stale idea from his Tea Party playbook, the elimination of the estate tax as a driver of economic growth. Is there anyone not named Grover Norquist that still believes that? In the light of small business, the juxtaposition between Kyrsten and Vernon couldn’t be more staggering. Sinema gets it, Parker does not.

Look, I’ve on only touched a couple aspects of each candidate’s jobs plan, I know that. I encourage you to take a look for yourself, and make your own decision. You can find Parker’s “plan” here, and Sinema’s here. Take a look for yourself, and I think a throughout review of both proposals will lead you to the same conclusions I have arrived. Sinema is putting herself out there and advocating for new ideas and new approaches for remedying our tough economy, whereas Parker is simply running a template campaign that might have worked in 2010, but will fall short this time around. In this, Sinema is showing that she is ready for real leadership, Parker’s unwillingness to offer new ideas (or even debate his old ones) has exposed him as a deficient candidate.

Kyrsten always says that to change Washington, we need to change the people we send there, and she’s absolutely right. But I believe that to really change Washington we need to a change not only people, but the ideas we consider. Both Parker and Sinema would be new faces in D.C., but only Sinema has shown a willingness to consider new approaches. We’ve had 30 years of stale ideas and old debates.

We need new leadership, new ideas, and a new national debate about our nation’s priorities. That’s why I’m backing Kyrsten Sinema for Congress and hope you will, too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Huffington Post: Schapira Emerges as Democratic Standard-Bearer in Pivotal Arizona Congressional Race

[Original Story]

With early ballots in the mail, and only three weeks from the August 28th primary, State Senator David Schapira has emerged as the Democratic standard-bearer in a closely watched and increasingly nasty three-way congressional race in Arizona that many observers see as a litmus test for national Democratic chances to pick up critical seats in Congress.

In a growing wave of support, as Arizona edges toward a possible Blue upset in the fall, local Democrats have mobilized to bring one of their own rising stars to the forefront of a race with national implications.

Facing two well-connected but fair-weather Democrats in the sprawling Phoenix-area district, which centers around the Democratic stronghold of Tempe, Schapira’s bold and tireless leadership in the beleaguered Arizona state legislature and his unwavering support for health care, education, job creation and sustainability issues have generated a clear momentum of local support in the closing days of the primary campaign.

“I believe it is important that we elect someone who understands and values our community -- and will work hard to represent it,” former U.S. Congressman Harry Mitchell said in a prized endorsement last month, and who represented part of the district in the past. “This is why I’ve decided to cast my primary vote for Tempe’s State Senator, David Schapira.”

In a surprise move last week, even the Arizona Republic editorial board singled out Schapira for his “pragmatic solutions to issues, particularly in education,” and endorsed him ahead of well-healed opponents Andrei Cherny and Kyrsten Sinema.

Unlike the third-generation Arizonan Schapira, a small businessman and Arizona State University faculty member, Cherny is a relative newcomer to the state, who has once again cashed in his former White House connections for major donations and endorsements from former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore and leads the race in contributions. But such outside support has not benefited Cherny in the past -- nor has he stood firmly behind the party. A former White House speechwriter, Cherny failed in a bid for the California state assembly 10 years ago; former Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe headed up Cherny’s failed attempt at state treasurer in 2010, which also touted Clinton’s support. To the chagrin of many Democrats in Arizona, Cherny pandered to a Tea Party function in 2010, publicly opposing “Obamacare.”

In a district that includes an estimated 25 percent of Latino voters, Sinema’s own shifting views on immigration during her terms in the state legislature, including a bizarre coddling of self-proclaimed Tea Party President and SB 1070 architect Russell Pearce, has raised the ire of many mainstream Democrats looking for new leadership.

A school board member, Schapira has actively supported the passage of the DREAM Act for undocumented students. With growing ranks of volunteers for a strong get-out-the-vote effort, Schapira has also won the support of the Arizona Federation of Teachers, the Arizona affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and three local affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA).

“Voters are looking for candidates who stand up for what they believe in and can win, not by hiding their values, but by sharing them with voters. David is that candidate,” said U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ), in an early endorsement this spring. “In the Arizona Legislature, David has been a leader in fighting for jobs and the middle class, protecting the environment and stopping terrible bills. Arizona will be well-served by having David in Congress.”

With an increasingly stronger presence in state politics and mobilizations efforts, the Progressive Democrats of America have also endorsed Schapira.

“Congressional District Nine presents Democrats with a unique opportunity to send a leader to Washington,” said PDA Arizona state coordinator Dan O’Neal.
“A leader who will be a champion on the issues important to PDA and our community. Based on his record in the Arizona Legislature, there is no question that David is that leader. With David’s leadership, Congress will make progress on the key issues of war and peace, jobs, health care, comprehensive immigration reform, the environment, and -- most importantly -- education. We are proud to support David in AZ-09, and are excited to do our part mobilizing support for him.”

Full Disclosure: The author of this blog is staffer on David’s campaign.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paul Penzone Hits Arpaio on Birther "Investigation"

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio hasn’t been investigating crimes. He’s too busy using taxpayer dollars to send his cronies to Hawaii to peddle conspiracy theories. His press conference yesterday was the exercise in quackery that we all expected it to be, and was clearest indication yet that Joe’s days as sheriff are numbered.

I’m glad to see Democratic challenger Paul Penzone is taking the fight to Arpaio and pushing back against Joe’s dereliction of duty. Penzone shares my belief that Maricopa County deserves better than a sheriff who is more concerned with conspiracy theories than he is serving the people he was elected to protect.

I firmly believe Paul is our guy. He is the best shot we have at retiring Arpaio in 2012. We have the perfect storm of circumstances to oust our tin-foil sheriff. Thanks to uninvestigated sex crimes, corruption, abuse, cronyism, and frivolous spending, Arpaio has never been so unpopular. Democrats are lucky to have such a credible candidate.

Penzone literally protrudes law enforcement. Every time I’m in the same room with him, I can’t help but get just a little nervous as I recount parking tickets of years past.

I mean, I paid those, right?