Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Sunday, October 10, the Tucson Chapter of Drinking Liberally will host a discussion on the ballot propositions– and thanks to the Arizona Legislature, there are lots of them. (You see, when they don’t want to make a tough decision or don’t want to be blamed for making a tough decision– like last spring’s sales tax increase “for schools”– they put an initiative on the ballot.)
As usual, many of the propositions have names that sound good but actually aren’t good for the people of Arizona. (No wonder people are upset with the political system in the US.) As a general rule of thumb, vote NO on all of the propositions with 100 and 300 numbers; these are the ones the Legislature put on the ballot. (Check out the links below to the Tucson Weekly are the Pima County Democratic Party endorsements for a more nuanced viewpoint.)
Three of the more heinous propositions are:
Prop 106, Arizona’s Health Care Freedom Act, allows Arizona voters to opt out of nationwide healthcare reform. Funded almost entirely by special interest groups from outside of Arizona, this is one of those propositions that sounds good but isn’t. Arizonans voted this proposition down before, but the backers have enough money to try again. Here is an except from their website:
Arizona’s Health Care Freedom Act disrupts this theft of liberty and makes real health care reform possible – by ensuring that any solution begins not with appeasing industry, but by listening to patients.
Let me go on the record as someone who would have preferred single-payer, universal healthcare (oooooo…spooky…socialism!) This quote sounds like that, but it isn’t. Basically, when they say “health care freedom” they mean “you’re on your own” and no one is going to bail you out. Remember Sicko? Healthcare reform saves money, covers more people, and eliminates pre-existing conditions. Vote NO on 106!
Prop 107, Arizona Civil Rights Initiative is another one that sounds good but isn’t and is another one funded by special interest groups from outside of Arizona. Proposition 107 is the brainchild of white supremisist Ward Connerly. It would prohibit all programs that offer women, girls, and people of color equal opportunity in education, business contracting, and employment. Supporters of this measure have been shopping it around to different states; it has passed in some and failed in others. Connerly, who is from California, put it on the ballot first there. Since it passed, diversity among California’s college students has dropped dramatically. Vote NO on 107!
Prop 302, Arizona First Things First Program Repeal is an attempt by the Arizona Legislature to steal more money from Arizona children. The First Things First Program benefits children and families and was created by a ballot initiative several years ago. It is fully funded by the tobacco tax. Since the Arizona Legislature refuses to make tough choices about Arizona’s eschewed tax system and wants to continue the trickle down economics welfare to the rich, they have to find money somewhere. Unfortunately, kids don’t vote, so they are a favorite target of the Arizona Legislature. Vote NO on 302 and keep one of the last pro-children programs left in Arizona.
The Tucson Weekly and the Pima County Democratic Party have issued their ballot endorsements. (Click on these links to find them.) For the most part, they agree, but the Weekly votes no on the city charter changes (Prop 401), and the Dems changed their minds last week and are now endorsing it.
Mike Bryan, of Blog for Arizona fame, will lead the Drinking Liberally discussion on the propositions.
Drinking Liberally is a nationwide organization of progressive thinkers. Although their slogan is “Improving democracy one pint at a time,” wine-drinkers and non-drinkers are welcome. Be prepared for wide-ranging discussions on the left side of the political spectrum.
Tucson’s Drinking Liberally meets religiously every Sunday evening on the patio at The Shanty, at the corner of 4th Ave. and 9th St. Open discussions begin at 6 p.m.; speakers usually start at 7 p.m. I personally prefer Drinking Liberally Classic, when there is no speaker.