The [iREADray] Election Guide: Arizona 2012

          DEM: Rich Cacamo <<<<<<<<
          REP: Jeff Flake
Jeff Flake would not be the worst Senator to come out of Arizona. Certainly, he is a very conservative – driven by his Mormon background – but he did something in 2007 that I cannot forget: he voted in favor of the Employee Non-discrimination act. ENDA, as it’s formally known, is a bill that has been voted on and off again for more than thirty years. It would prohibit employers from firing people based on their sexual orientation alone. It’s shocking that Flake would vote for it, and he deserves some props for doing so.
But in this race, we have someone who did an act of bipartisan once, verse a man who has spent his lifetime in the middle. Cacamo used to be a Republican. In fact, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer once wanted him to run for Governor as one. He didn’t, instead he switched parties and is now liberally vying for the Senate seat, as a Democrat. That takes guts. And it’s why he wins our vote.
Congressional District 1
          DEM: Ann Kirkpatrick <<<<<<<<
          REP: Johnathon Paton
          LIB: Kim Allen
Folks are calling this race a toss-up. I really cannot understand why. For starters, Ann Kirkpatrick has already been in Congress, and though Paton is, uhh, interesting, he is basically just another Republican, boring. Meanwhile Kim Allen, the liberation, is mostly unknown, it’s almost as if Allen’s camp is trying hard to not let anyone know they are running for office, what little we do know is that Kim Allen is inspired by one person: Ron Paul.
Thus, it shouldn’t come as an surprise that we recommend Ann Kirkpatrick, because she can do the job, again. It’s pretty a simple, pretty boring, choice.
Congressional District 2
          DEM: Ron Barber <<<<<<<<
          REP: Sally McField
This seat was previously held by Gabby Giffords. Since her resignation from Congress, after a public shooting that left six dead, Barber has been tending to the Congressional seat. He is the previous District Director for Giffords. The shoes he has to fill as Gabby’s replacement are huge, but he has proven he is up for the job. He opponent, Sally McField, however, is not.
Gabby Giffords is missed.
Congressional District 3
          DEM: Raul Grijalva <<<<<<<<
          REP: Gabriela Saucedo Mercer
          LIB: Blanca Guerra
This election has newbies Mercer and Guerra – running against liberal champion Grijalva. Know for standing by his values, as liberal (not to mention possibly alienating to the far right) as they are, Grijalva has done a decent job running the show. Newly drawn district maps makes this one look slightly out of reach for the Congressman, who is hoping the insurgence of Hispanic, leaning Democratic voters will come to his rescue. It helps that Grijalva is Catholic, and knows what he is doing. We say do it, voting for him would only work to benefit his district and the nation.
Disclaimer: Here at iREADray, we like to be honest, so we wanted to mention that we love Raúl Grijalva, similar to how Chelsea Handler loves Chuy. We just want to pinch the Congressman’s cheeks.

Congressional District 4
          DEM: Johnnie Robinson
          REP: Paul Gosar
          LIB: Joe Pamelia
          AME: Richard Grayson <<<<<<<<
Truth be told we are not that excited about Robinson, he doesn’t have enough experience, and it’s sad when he is the best the Democratic can offer. Gosar is leading in this GOP-strong district, but we find it just as sad when this extremist is the best the GOP has to offer too. That’s why we are throwing our support behind Grayson. Grayson has proven himself in the gay community by fighting for what’s right, not what’s popular, and though he may never win, we can each do what we can. Plus, out of all of these candidates, the American-Elect nominee, Grayson, knows how to tell the best joke. Lord knows we need to laugh more in Congress.
Congressional District 5
          DEM: Spencer Morgan
          REP: Matt Salmon
          Vote of No Confidence <<<<<<<<
This district’s selections for Congress are pretty bad this year, sorry folks. For starters, they have a college kid, barely old enough to run attempting to take on – albeit poorly – Matt Salmon, a well financed former Republican Congressman. Sure, the kid is trying the best he can, but he doesn’t have the experience, or resources, that we like to see. We simply have no confidence in him.
And on the Republican side, we have already tried Salmon’s ways, it’s what got us into the economic mess in the first place. So, we are sitting this one out.
Congressional District 6
          DEM: Matt Jette
          REP: David Schweikert
          GRE: Mark Salazar
          LIB: Rick Anderson
          Vote of No Confidence <<<<<<<<
Not one of these candidates has what it takes to take on the incumbent, Schweikert, and that’s a real shame. During the 2010 election, Schweikert said he wanted to get rid of the Department of Education, among other things. His bad ideas are not a representation of his district, or of the Republican party. Thankfully, Schweikert hasn’t done any of his bad ideas but he really hasn’t done anything either. He needs to go, but none of the candidates here have what it takes to seriously take him on. Good luck to the folks who live in this district.
Congressional District 7
          DEM: Ed Pastor <<<<<<<<
          REP: Scott Fistler (Write-In)
          LIB: Joe Cobb
          IND: Joe Penalosa
This is an interesting race as well, seeing as how it heavily leans-Democrat. There isn’t a real GOP contestant, but that is just as well. Pastor, is and has been a great Congressman. And though he could do more in his one district to turn out the vote, he is a hero among his constituents (those who vote, anyway), and that is enough for us to say go ahead and vote for him.
Congressional District 8
          DEM: Gene Scharer
          REP: Trent Franks <<<<<<<<
          AME: Stephen Dolgos
Let’s be clear, Franks is not a nice guy. He is not an advocate for gay rights, and if weren’t for two factors we would not be recommending him. Factor one: He is a good representation of his very GOP-strong district. He takes great care with his constituents, and even though we do not find ourselves among them, we have to respect that fact that there is a Republican, who is more of a real, Goldwater-like Republican, and less bat shit crazy. Factor two: His opponents are weak, and haven’t attacked him on the issues they could. They seem unorganized, and unsure of what they are doing. We don’t want those folks in office.
Congressional District 9
          DEM: Kyrsten Sinema* <<<<<<<<
          REP: Vernon Parker
Parker is a tea-party candidate, which makes him bat shit crazy. We don’t need that. Not in this district or state. Meanwhile, Sinema is a staunch liberal, who has been known to work with folks across the isle. Not sure how she gets them to work with her, but I bet it has much to do with her personality – kind, compassionate, and understanding. We need to not only elect Sinema, but elect more folks like her.
*The iREADray blog endorsed Kyrsten Sinema for Congress in January of 2012, and has written extensively on the subject.
Proposition 114
          YES <<<<<<<<
This proposition is something Arizona would want passed. Basically, if you are or your property is injured while committing a felony against someone, you are responsible, and cannot sue for damages from the victim. I believe victim rights should always triumph the criminal. We say vote yes.
Proposition 115
          NO <<<<<<<<
If passed, the law would give the Governor more say in which judges are appointed to the Superior Court of Arizona. That is not okay. Modern day politics are far to extreme, and allow any politician decide who decides some of Arizona’s most important cases is unsound. Let this one serve as a referendum on Jan Brewer, vote no.
Proposition 116
          NO <<<<<<<<
This law wants to give tax breaks to businesses who purchase new things. While I am all about aiding businesses in Arizona, and want to support tax breaks that support Arizona, this one doesn’t support Arizona. Here is the problem: most of the stuff people purchase for businesses (ie: computers, software, trucks, etc.) come from out of state, meaning Arizona would actually be paying businesses to purchase new things from some place else. It’s not going to spur economic recovery, it’s a poor step in the wrong direction.
Proposition 117
          NO <<<<<<<<
We recommend a no vote on this, right now, anyway. This would reduce the cap on how much your home could be valued at, which relates to your tax bill. Though it makes sense to reduce how quickly homes can be valued (and thus property taxes can be enforced) – this doesn’t solve a broken tax system at all. Voting for it can cause harm, because home values have not nearly recovered enough, and would permanently slow growth. We cannot start putting a limit on how quickly they value, and folks should pay accordingly. This bill needs to come back in two to four years for consideration.
Proposition 118
          YES <<<<<<<<
At the end of the day, this benefits education, and has the support of Arizona Education Association. What it does is forces the state to take 2.5% of the return on the permanent fund, a fund that was set up to support education, and give it to education. That’s okay with me.
Proposition 119
          YES <<<<<<<<
This law would enable the state legislature, and the voters, to trade public land to get other land. It gives us more authority to protect land that is vital to the communities, either from a environmental prospective, or an economic one. And though I am not about to give the state legislature any of more power they need, at the end of the day, voters do get to decide on how this land is used – and will, hopefully, know of the economic and environmental impact each so-called “deal” has.
Proposition 120
          NO <<<<<<<<
This law would declare state sovereignty over federal lands, within the state. That is illegal. Passing this law would do nothing, besides anger folks, and possibly start a civil war, with Arizona at the center. The state cannot afford any more fighting with the folks in Washington. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer attacking President Obama was enough of an embarrassment.
Proposition 121
          NO <<<<<<<<
This law might be one of the only things out there to unite Democrats and Republicans in the state, as they are uniting against this bill. It really is a bad law. What it would do is take the top two winners of a primary and have those two go on compete. That means that the Republicans in the state would have more of an edge in GOP-strong districts, leaving no choice for the Democrats in that district, and will do the same in Democrat-strong districts. It would, in essence, provide those with the most votes in a primary a near-sure victory for the general election, and would change voting as we know it. We not only recommend a no vote, we recommend a hella-no vote.
Proposition 204
          YES <<<<<<<<
Renewing a sales tax increase passed in 204 is just good business sense as the state continues to make up for a huge deficit.
Maricopa County Sheriff
          REP: Joe Apraio
          DEM: Paul Penzone <<<<<<<<
It is time that Apraio go. He has done nothing but gutted the police force for his own monetary gain, leaving nothing but disgrace on the office, county and state. He has called himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff” but cannot even carry a gun. Meanwhile Penzone, a former police sergeant, said this after he won his primary: “He can pile up his tank, his green bologna, his pink underwear and his tents, and we will go through it, over it and around it … whatever we need to do to restore integrity to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office” (Arizona Republic) – that takes guts, and that’s something we need from someone taking on a sheriff who has been known to run his office like a mob boss would run a town.

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