Newsflash to Texas: Michigan, Wisconsin and even Norway have both cold weather and use “clean energy”!
While starting with a little tongue-in-cheek needling, I’m writing to sound the alarm. The Texas catastrophe is a forewarning of what’s coming to all of America. While each state and locale will have a different mess to deal with, decades-long neglect and can-kicking has left our country vulnerable to some huge problems.
Many cities have antiquated power, water and sewage systems primed to collapse. Highways and byways are dotted with bridges on the verge of disintegration. Dams and levies could give way with the next big storm. Hackers could stop all of America dead.
Government at local, state and federal levels have been avoiding the inevitable for decades and we’re seeing the composite results across the country. Texas, as an example, could’ve taken steps over the past 10 years to avoid the current disaster. Instead, profit, low utility rates and taxes were prioritized — the cost of that ignorance is all too apparent. Multiply the Texas event by 50 states and thousands of municipalities across those states and you get a measure of the cost of procrastination. It’s a cost in dollars, suffering and lives lost.
President Biden is proposing a bold infrastructure plan. Unlike the previous administration’s smoke and mirrors, this plan is specific and realistic. It’ll be expensive to be sure, but like the saying goes, “pay me now or pay me later.” Those later costs tend to be heavier and more deadly.
I’m hoping voters and legislators on both sides finally begin to come together to solve our unavoidable problems.
We’re hearing calls to “turn down the political temperature” across the country and here in Arizona. The only way the rancor and hostility will be muted is to silence the individuals adding fuel to a fire that’s gotten out of control.
With the pandemic sweeping across Arizona at the highest rate anywhere in the world, elected officials such as LD16’s Kelly Townsend must be forced to either comply with CDC and Arizona health department guidelines or be recalled from their position. Townsend puts lives at risk every day!
Arizona’s GOP chair, Kelli Ward, asked extremists to lay down their lives to keep Trump in office despite the election results. Ward got her wish — now she should be shown the door. Ward will never stop being the voice that inspires violence.
It’s clear that both Congressmen Biggs and Gosar were participants in formulating and producing the Jan. 6 attempted violent coup. They should be immediately expelled from Congress.
That brings me to LD11’s Mark Finchem. Finchem’s connection to potentially violent and undemocratic extremest groups is not new. Over the years he has stood in support of the Bundys, Oath Keepers, QAnon, Proud Boys and other fringe but dangerous organizations. Finchem wants us to believe he just happened to be in front of the violently attacked U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — I don’t believe him for a single second. His connection with many of the armed and murderous “militia groups” is too close to be anything but his intention to encourage a coup and overthrow of the United States of America. Mark Finchem must be recalled and replaced in the Arizona Legislature.
Folks, nothing here is about policy disagreements. Everything here is about the bare minimum needed to turn down the temperature and begin to work as Americans in search of solutions to our nation’s problems.
Through most election cycles across America, we’ve been concerned about poor voter turnout. Seemed like people were too busy with their lives to pay attention to politics. Many felt that politics and election results didn’t have a real personal connection to them. Standing in line or requesting a ballot wasn’t vitally important. That all changed in 2020.
Despite a raging pandemic that has become the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., more Americans voted in 2020 than in any other election in history. Regardless of party or candidate choice, over 155 million of us took democracy seriously and cast a ballot. The number of ballots cast via mail was beyond anyone’s expectation. And while it took a little longer to count these votes, not a single state reported any fraud or irregularities of any serious consequence — not a single state!
Amazingly, the GOP, who famously decried “frivolous lawsuits,” is now a party to a continuing exercise in legal misbehavior in order to pander to the juvenile rants of the loser. Instead of applauding the record-setting numbers, we hear calls for action that will suppress future turnouts. Even the CG Dispatch carried an editorial this past Saturday that said, “The pandemic led to widespread mailing of ballots that were not solicited, which is much different than the system Arizona uses. That should not be repeated. While the election results appear to be mostly valid, elections are too important to be left open to potential fraud.” With no evidence of fraud among ballots by mail, why would they need to cast doubt?
*One is left to wonder, are these baseless claims meant to dampen participation of a particular political party, a particular location or a particular skin color? Any attempt to undermine U.S. elections is serious and must never be tolerated. We are the stewards of democracy - we must do all we can to protect it from sore losers, their enablers and especially those more subtle means. Let’s applaud Americans for being engaged citizens — thanks for voting.
*The text in bold in the above paragraph was edited out of the printing in the Casa Grande Dispatch on December 8.
When it comes to direct daily impact on citizens, you won’t find any ballot decision more important than the Arizona Corporation Commission. When it comes to a choice for your vote, there’s no one more qualified than William "Bill" Mundell.
Bill Mundell has been fighting on behalf of Arizona ratepayers and taxpayers for decades. His support for honest and fair utility regulation as well as making Arizona the nation’s solar energy leader go back to his days in the state Legislature and his tenure as a commissioner. There isn’t a single candidate that approaches Arizona’s future energy issues with more knowledge and commitment than Bill Mundell.
If you’re concerned about the future of energy and water availability in Arizona, Bill Mundell will work for you. If you want to be sure utility companies are being held to the highest ethical standards and practices, Bill Mundell will work for you. If not over-paying for energy, water or other public services is important to your family budget, Bill Mundell will work for you.
I urge you to cast your vote for the candidate with the experience and commitment needed to protect Arizona ratepayers against utility companies who put profit above service. I urge you to vote for William "Bill" Mundell — he’s ready to work for you!
Do we want representatives in our Arizona Legislature who approve the poor behavior, lack of character and self-serving policies of Donald Trump, or do we want representatives who approve high moral standards, strong character and policies that serve the common good?
When my mother detected I was headed in the wrong direction in my choice of friends, she would repeat this old adage: “Birds of a feather flock together.” Trump and Sen. Leach and Rep. Finchem are birds of a feather. This does not mean our LD11 representatives are also liars and con men. It does mean they choose to approve and support the corrupt behavior and the destructive politics and policies of Donald Trump.
We have the opportunity to improve the character of our Legislature with two Democratic candidates who do not approve of Donald Trump or any elected officials who lie and cheat and practice divisive politics.
JoAnna Mendoza is running for the Arizona Senate. Joanna served her country faithfully for 20 years in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and was a Marine drill instructor. She worked as a staffer for Congressman Tom O’Halleran and is a mother and a member of the Red Rock School board. Learn more about JoAnna at mendoza4senate.com.
Dr. Felipe Perez is running for a House seat in the Arizona Legislature. Dr. Perez is married and has three children. He worked his way through college and medical school and today faithfully serves his community as a physician. Learn more about Dr. Perez at perez4arizona.com.
JoAnna and Felipe have a deep understanding of the problems of ordinary Arizonans because they were born and raised here. For high moral standards, strong character and policies that serve the common good, vote for Democrats Mendoza and Perez for the Arizona Legislature.
Trump and his fellow Republicans have asked the Supreme Court to completely invalidate the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Response from McSally: crickets! The GOP has no plan or intention to replace the ACA. If they succeed, some 23 million Americans would lose their health insurance in the middle of the worst worldwide pandemic in over 100 years. The most drastically impacted would be the most vulnerable Americans. The ACA is the only law that began and continues to protect Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. It is also the only law that allows families to keep their college student children covered. Once ACA is gone, so are those protections! Both Trump and McSally have been lying to us about their commitment on this issue. In my opinion, this makes both Trump and McSally traitors to American families.
I’m shocked at the GOP approach to the newly exploding COVID crisis, as they rush reopening rather than lifesaving priorities. Trump has pretty much washed his hands on the matter. Politically motivated GOP governors continue to put thousands of American lives at risk. Our Gov. Ducey has turned himself into a political pretzel. The net result is new infection rates setting daily records across Arizona and America.
The GOP proposal on police reform is nothing more than a few suggestions that could be easily ignored. They offer talking points rather than substantive solutions to a problem ripping America apart at the seams.
My point is that on so many fronts, the GOP has failed to govern. The once proud party has devolved into a cult of power grabbing and consolidation. The Party of Trump cannot be given another destructive term in office at any level! Our suffering America deserves better!
Since I’m pretty old now, I have a long-ago childhood memory of hearing my parents tell me, “The Republicans are for the rich people and the Democrats are for everyone else." I’ve never forgotten those words, I’ve always believed them and nowadays, I am seeing absolute proof of their truth.
The COVID-19 crisis has impacted low-income, elderly and minority folks much harder than the wealthy. Employees who have to show up to a job are at much more risk than those who have the luxury of working from home. The nursing home populations are mostly made up of people on basic and fixed incomes and now account for 40% of all American deaths. Native American homelands are being devastated, African American and Hispanic communities are ravaged — frequently, these are among our least affluent. I know, you’re asking — what does this have to do with party politics? The answer lies in the lack of action at the federal and state level. Low-income employees are being forced to return to work or lose benefits. Arizona's GOP is all about protecting businesses but doing nothing to protect the safety and health of employees. LD11’s GOP reps are all saying that it’s too damn bad for workers — they’re on their own.
Even basic sanitation and safety precautions for customers and employees are merely “suggested” in Arizona. They should be mandatory! Every public building should have a sign: No Shirt No Shoes No Mask — No Service. The GOP at the federal and state level is failing to take action that would minimize COVID spread and protect as many citizens as possible.
Did you know that universal mail delivery in the United States predates our Constitution? Did you know that prior to 1980, the postmaster general was a cabinet level position? Did you know that the USPS receives no operational funding from tax dollars? Did you know the USPS is the only business required to fund employee retirement payments 75 years in advance? Did you know the USPS is not allowed to compete with other businesses on many of its services? Did you know that unless the USPS receives additional emergency funding it will cease to exist by this summer’s end.
The women and men of the USPS go to work 24/7 making sure that legal documents, lifesaving medical supplies and words of love and encourage-ment get delivered to every single household in every corner of America. For 55 cents you can send a letter from the tip of Maine to the far side of Hawaii.
The Trump administration is using postal employees as a weapon to beat up one of his political enemies. USPS will receive no funding unless it tears up its contract with Amazon — owned by Trump foe Jeff Bezos. The USPS must also renegotiate all employee contracts, change postage rates (in violation of require-ments of the Postal Regulatory Commission) and allow the administration to choose subsequent postmasters general.
I urge you to protect postal employees and the independence of the USPS itself. I urge you to demand that Congress authorize the necessary additional funding needed to keep the USPS in business. I urge you to contact your U.S. senators, Sinema and McSally, as well as CD1 Congressman O’Halleran and tell them to support USPS funding with no strings attached. We Americans must do what’s right!