As independent reporters and political thought leaders,1 we often receive calls from national journalists asking for our insight, context or contacts for their “Arizona story.”
Mostly, they want to understand the mysterious mind of the average Arizona voter. Do Democrats hate Kyrsten Sinema? Can Arizona’s famously libertarian-leaning independent voting bloc stomach Ruben Gallego? Can Joe Biden once again beat Donald Trump?
“What are the issues motivating voters to go to the polls?” they ask.
We got one of those calls recently and did our best to provide some generalities. But to be honest, we haven’t spent a lot of time lately asking average Arizonans what it is they care about. (Of course, you, dear reader, are far from average. But we’d still like to hear more from you!)
We want to know how you feel about your own party, why you dislike about the opposition party, and where you might be willing to cross the aisle. Knowing what and how you think about these big-picture issues helps inform our reporting and the reporting of every national reporter who rings us up.
So today, Hank’s manning this discussion thread from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. ish. Pop in and say hi! Drop us your thoughts and check out what your fellow readers think.
Here are some prompts to kick things off.
What political party do you usually
What bothers or scares you the most about the opposition party?
Is there anything that would make you cross the political aisle? If so, who from the opposite party will you support in next year’s election and why?
Sure, lots of you are registered independents. But the question is the party you “usually” support.
Well that was fun! The dogs are harassing me for their walk and I should probably write a newsletter today. Any requests/suggestions?
Water, water, water. For example, it seems that Ducey was covering up the depletion of existing water resources, and we’ve read about the Colorado River—so how will our leaders handle this challenge (and the related one of climate change) for the next few decades?
Registered Republican in 1972. Easy decision. Back then racists were Democrats. Struggled with the Gingrich movement. Hated Trump. Gave up and quit the party the night AZ decided Kelli Ward should be its leader.
My greatest fear now -- Democrats push too hard for polarizing objectives -- and in the process, screw up, and Trump becomes 47. The Senate slides Red. And Trump.gets to jam two more.extremists on the Supreme Court replacing Thomas and Alito.
I so badly fear for.the future of this Nation if that happens.
I am a registered Republican and a Reagan conservative, I.e., a “McCain Republican.” Aside from Kimberly Yee and some down-ballot Republican candidates last year, I voted for Democrats because I cannot countenance election deniers or questioners. Regardless of policy differences, I will do it again until the rot is burned away. I prefer Sinema over Lake or Masters, but I will vote for Gallego if need be to bury the MAGA lunatics.
1. I'm an independent who votes Dem. If It's Biden vs twice impeached, four time indicted trump, which seems likely, I'll vote Biden, for sure. There is no other choice. trump is dangerous, vindictive, and a national security risk. I'm old and I can't remember a more dangerous time in America.
2. The authoritarianism and white Christian nationalism
3. No, nationally and no state-wise.
Bonus answer. Yes, I loathe Kyrsten Sinema for her narcissism and hypocrisy.
I'm a registered Democrat. I definitely would have supported the Republicans ... in 1860. They've changed a bit since then. Particular Democratic candidates, being human, are not always admirable, and even when they are, they make mistakes (a mistake being defined as making a different choice than I would, haha). I greatly admire my local D candidates (for state Leg), and many of the state and Federal ones. For those in AZ legislature (or in the U.S. House), they have virtually no power, so I'll wait until they get some to start criticizing. As for the opposition party, aside from not being the 1860 party any more, I haven't heard much of anything from them that I would sympathize with, and I am extremely concerned about their flirtations with autocratic ideals.
All of that being said, parties are made of people, and I often disagree with choices internal to the Democratic party. That is not enough to make me vote the other way. But parties can change, so ask me again in another 163 years.
Registered Democrat, always have been, currently pretty involved in trying to improve —ie push to the Bernie end— the party. Its dispiriting work, not helped by its failings, in my view, on immigration, foreign policy, unconditional support for israel, etc. locally the initiatives have always been more interesting to me than the candidates. I am too cynical to be able to “ sell” the politicians to convince someone to vote but propositions like justice for all and fight for 15 are where people really live, and affect their lives. I despise Sinema for making all my suspicions about politicians come true—a blue wave gets behind her and she immediately coxies up to Manchin to make sure she puts the brakes on some really important changes that the country needs to make. While i am loathe to blame all of our issues on Republicans, this current crop, the MAGA obstructionists, are incrediblt dangerous— as a politics based on theatre instead of policy propositions is apt to be. I have been known to jump the aisle on individual issues, like education or accountability, in the pre MAGA past but cannot imagine doing so now— the loonies are in the wheelhouse and things like culture wars and conspiracies turn me off and i see no policy proposals of interest.
As a budding young journalism student at Ohio State in 1972, I registered Democrat and voted for McGovern. I have voted Republican a few times. I voted for Kolbe once or twice and even McCain (in his Maverick days before Palin). I have voted Green or voted for Democratic challengers as a protest vote against incumbent Dems who really want to be Republican-lite (like Sinema). Gallego has to have a message that goes beyond "I'm not her" to win.
The country desperately needs campaign finance reform to stop big money from propping up dangerous candidates like Blake Master, Kari Lake, Donald Trump and other little Napoleons in the Legislature. People should run for office on ideas-- not money. Transparency in government is also a big issue in Arizona at all levels. Neither party wants to "show us the money" on the hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways and free land being given away by state, county and city governments. Arizona's school system is an underfunded mess. What are the people getting for these tax breaks? The perpetual tax breaks will cause a big pinch in the budget as the Flat Tax gives money back to the rich.
As mentioned above, identity politics isn't helping the Democrats. Instead of niche issues (with special interest money), Arizona elected officials should focus on big-picture issues -- like water, heat, education, housing and healthcare. Ducey's water bill was a mess, and corporate Democrats gave him the votes to pass it.
Creeping fascism and the lack of empathy for others scares me.
Member of the Democratic Party. Have voted for plenty of Republicans rooted in reality, especially for local offices where competence is more important than policy alignment (Richer for Recorder, etc.).
I'm in LD-12, with three Democratic members who are firmly liberal, in what appear to be safe seats. The most interesting legislative Democrat right now is Analise Ortiz (LD-24), who is willing to focus on a few ideas important to her constituents, especially affordable housing. The biggest challenge in both the House and Senate caucuses is keeping members in their seats, quite literally: attrition over the past few sessions has been brutal, either from members running for other offices (e.g., Jennifer Jermaine, who left the legislature to run for Justice of the Peace) or from quitting (this year). It's not the Democrats who have made each recent session a Death March to Sine Die, but it's a challenge. Otherwise, the caucuses are large enough to have the moderate and liberal factions you'd expect from a party potentially on the verge of a majority. Life.
When I first started to vote 55 years ago, I was Republican (my parents were and I didn't know anything else). But Reagan helped convince me that the Democrat party represented more of my values. Having lived in three western states, I have on occasion voted for Republican. And I will probably vote for Stephen Richer in the next election as I like what he has done. (I've been a poll worker for a number of years & also a volunteer deputy registrar.)
What bothers/scares me about the opposition party is the craziness and pettiness. The attitude that their way is the majority view and it will be forced down everyone's throat. The lack of compassion for others especially people of color is also appalling. And then there is the utter ignorance of our country's history! Their behavior, lack of getting anything done, petty squabbles, etc. is embarrassing to me and makes my friends who live in other parts of the world wonder.
Hank, as a long time independent I don't support either of the two parties, but instead focus on the individual candidates while looking closely at their stance on issues. I get turned OFF quickly when a candidate changes opinions/positions based upon which way the political winds are blowing. I recently worked with a group to do a survey of a small sample of voters on issues important to AZ. The top 5 issues were election reform (including having more choices than the current 2 parties), water resource management, K-12 education (including better funding), housing affordability, and health care. I could go on, but I'll stop here.
I've been registered and pretty active D since 1984. I live in "purple" North Central Phoenix. I am pretty obsessed with voting, but I have only voted for ONE Republican, Bill Mundell for Corp Comm'n. (I think he's a D now?) Despite my D leanings, I have MANY R friends and colleagues whom I love and respect. I am pretty fiscally conservative, but extremely socially liberal. I have appreciated the historic socially-libertarian views of R's from days gone by. However, at least since Arpaio days, our state has taken this weird hard right turn and I'm very concerned. The R's have normalized hate and intolerance for immigrants and LGBT+. They've normalized ignoring basic tenets of AZ and US Constitutional law.
What I find disturbing is the lack of awareness from both ends of political parties that I sent the Arizona law enforcement/HIPAA/FBI evidence of an area that needs immediate attention on our Arizona law enforcement entities and the media and. Arizona political publicist know. I am the purest form of a whistle.blower except I am my full name not an avatar to the Public at Large and yet I am invisible and disregarded. Meanwhile, lies and omissions keep happening. When will we live in a functional system of real justice and accountability? Instead I am a target to almost take my life for speaking documented facts. Prayers 🙏 to us folks who follow God's laws and shine the light on the dark ways of today's world. Praying for the truth tellers. Let's have less clout chasers and more ⚖️ justice served. Lives matter.
Public education. Full disclosure: I’m a retired teacher (Covid broke me). The profession has become so disrespected & under paid for so long & the legislature has done nothing to bring it to the level it needs to be to serve all kids. The voucher system has become another way to ‘work the system’ with ZERO accountability & transparency. If parents want to pay for a private or charter school they are welcome to. WITH THEIR OWN MONEY! At the very least, if the republicans want to keep the vouchers in place, create an oversight committee to ensure that the money is spent correctly & private/charter schools have to jump through the same hoops as public schools.
My favorite conversation piece with my family is, can your state top this? And relate the latest craziness in Arizona. Yes I voted for Adrian the second time around because I thought he had done a good job with the recorder's position. And Stephen had said that he wanted "a boring job" which is what he thought the recorder's position should be. Of course, it did not turn out to be that and rather than quit, he's done a lot of things to improve the department and its operations. I admire him for not say enough is enough when considering running again.
The following is from Heather Cox Richardson's column on Facebook: It’s an omnishambles, a word coined in 2009 by the writers of the BBC political satire The Thick of It, meaning “a situation, especially in politics, in which poor judgment results in disorder or chaos with potentially disastrous consequences.” I think that describes the Republican party to a tee and I cringe at the way the crazy portion tries to "eat" the part that does not/will not go along with that attitude and behavior.
I’m an independent. I usually vote for democrats. I actually appreciate Krysten Sinema as her centrist ideas have actually resulted in real policy change. I’m not a fan of Gallegos partly because his policies are too liberal and partly because his behavior which sometimes seems a little crass.
I am most concerned about Trumpism from the Rep party. The extreme hate toward anyone not loyal to his way of thinking.
Reproductive freedom and access to safe legal abortion would have me cross the aisle and vote republican - republicans used to be more prochoice than democrats. Shows you how old I am.
I think the legislative branch of government has become nonfunctional and that we focus way too much attention on national politics instead of local.
Absolutely Water & Border issues are top priority. But lets explore an issue that affects families-childtren & parents, destroys lives & breaks apart families - i.e. the stigma & label of Sexusl Offender. Granted most are were they should be, behind bars but there are some who do not belong in that category - but because it brings in dollars to the state & given the true Constitutionsl option of going to trial for mitigating circumstances ti be presented vs a "slam-dunk" plea to stack the County Attorneys "Win" Column is in it self Criminal. Then there's Private Prisons who get contracts for contributing to Gov. election. I spent time working at Dept. Or Corrections. Know that NO Az Politician has the guts to tackle an unjust practice because it is a hot potatoe subject. DCAC Draconiam Laws must be changed PERIOD. Time to separate the true sexual offenders from non or marginal offender by being RATIONAL. We must bring back common-sense.
Thanks, Hank, for the questions. I just read through all the responses and am kind of surprised so few women weighed in. The biggest issue for many of us is if someone would vote to take away our bodily autonomy, forcing birth, or causing death by blocking a necessary abortion, all a Republican’s doing. This issue was paramount in the midterms and recent special elections. I hope no one underestimates this as many young people and women will show up at the polls over this (and have been). I am a lifelong Democrat as they are generally the humanitarians and can see the bigger picture. There is absolutely nothing that would make me flip to Republican with this bunch of whackjobs. I’m disgusted that the fake electors can still walk our capitol halls both here and in DC. I’m extremely disappointed with Sinema (her poor interns had to hear me yell way too many times on the phone), hope she doesn’t run as I think it will affect Gallego’s chances. Most frustrating is the education vouchers and the re-election of Tom Horne. Has any voter done their homework on his history?! Until we get a blue majority, we will continue to be a dumbed down state and public education will limp along. Our poor teachers, leaving in droves and who can blame them. I’m glad Eddie Farnsworth is gone! And thanks, Pamela Power, for all the work you did in our Legislature.... I worked on a bill for suicide prevention as a constituent in LD12 a few years ago and really saw how petty the Rs were. Our non-partisan bill could not get through initially because a Dem proposed it. So hard for Dems to get a bill heard or passed. And looking for co-sponsorship from a Republican only came when that R could relate to it personally. Sorry to go off but obviously my frustration has been mounting. Thanks for your Substack, Hank. It’s very informative and helpful.
I am a Democrat, and I support these candidates because they align with my values. I am a candidate running for office, currently, and reaching out to Independents and Republicans is the key to winning any election a Democrat is running in.
The thing that bothers me the most about the opposition party it the blanket, negative assumptions they have of Democrats. The statements I' I received include being "communist, anti-American, socialist", etc. These statements don't represent me as a human being or as an American.
Crossing the isle to vote for Independents and Republicans would depend on their platforms as a candidate. Their platforms and values don't have to align with mine, but reasonable, logical, and responsible statements that are based in truth, actions, and integrity are very important.
As someone who lives in an LD that was essentially gerrymandered by the IRC up in northern AZ, I’m so frustrated by the legislature and feel a total lack of representation by both the Democrat and Republican electeds. But also as a teacher, I am infuriated by the legislature on that front as well. As a Democrat I do dislike Kyrsten Sinema, but I also could not give a flying [expletive] about her either. I don’t want to be a “Democrat only” voter, but it feels like I really have no choice. Any Republican candidate I talk to has to mention guns, abortion or culture war politics that are particularly grating for me to listen to as an educator. So, I try really hard to focus my attention on local politics, especially at the city and county levels because ultimately these are the people that most greatly affect these local changes around climate and other day to day things. Yet, at the local level everyone is a Democrat, and even then I can’t stand what they’re doing (or not doing). It’s a power club that cares to get pictures with the Governor or President instead of actually doing important things in our community. Sometimes I just feel stuck because I know the opposition is terrible, but my own party really isn’t that great either. It seems like the world is crumbling around us and all anyone can talk about are the hot button topics that just get people spun up, versus the tedious nature of policy making to solve these important, but seemingly, unsexy problems.
Add me to the list of disgruntled Republicans who now cross party lines. It’s not just the Trump, Lake, Finchems of the world, but the party influences like Charlie Kirk and Tyler Bowyer. I think it’s going to take another election cycle to right the ship
I am a progressive democrat. I care about the usual progressive issues--reproductive rights, sane gun regulation, climate change etc. etc. The hard right MAGA Freedom Caucus in the AZ Leg terrifies me because they do not care about much of anything but culture war issues. Water and housing seem like two issues where there could be work done that could include conservatives (not clear about MAGAs but they seem unlikely to be open to housing solutions) and progressives. I would vote for a moderate Republican if she/he were open to working on those issues but I live in LD 17 so no moderate Republicans are ever on the ballot.
There are so many issues, but I don’t hear anyone talking about my worst nightmare.
Should DT be re-elected is there anyone who believes he won’t turn us from a democracy to a dictatorship? There’s been no regret, no apology, only shoring up his belief that he is entitled to be the leader of this country.
I believe he will stop at nothing, ignite his followers to do unspeakable things in his name, and flout any rule that stands in his way of being a “Supreme Leader”. We will no longer have a legislature, or a Supreme Court to check the power of that executive presence.
Lifelong Democrat. My frustration with the Democratic Party is that they don’t stand up to the bullying. I have the exact same frustration with the Republicans. We know there are good people in the republican party, who are fearful to stand up for what is correct and right. And ordinary citizens need to take up the fight as well. It is imperative for the future of the democracy.
I am a very disaffected Republican. I remain a Republican so I can vote in all matters, like presidential primaries. That being said, I don't think a whole lot of politicians in general. A lot of our problems are due to short-sighted, partisan views. I am a tax professional (I need to get back to work with the filing deadline so close). An example of my pet peeves about politicians is in tax law. I remember when policy was a focus of tax law. The numbers filled in around that. That is the way it was when I started back in the mid 1980s. Now I deal with ridiculous crap like the Trump tax law which - in order to meet the 10 year budget for tax legislation - limited personal business losses to a fixed dollar amount. People suffering real losses that they are unable to use when they need to. That law was repealed with the COVID crisis, thankfully.
IRS funding is another issue with which I disagree with my Republican brethren. If a business mismanaged its abilities to collect revenue like Republicans have with the Federal government, that business would be bankrupt. I get that expenditures are excessive - but the revenue side needs help & enforcement too. And cutting financial aid for families with children who were born because of the anti-abortion fever is inconsistent with the principles behind pro-life views, purported Christian beliefs & the needs of society.
Writing this down is a good exercise. Thank you for allowing me to do that. Now I need to get back to work.
I usually support and vote for Democrats. That is even more likely now, with a lot of Republicans jumping on the Trump train. In the current political climate I can't think of anything that would get me to cross the aisle. The most frightening things now are the conspiratory theories and election denial crap that never seems to end. Water, public education, and women's health care are my issues now. We need a better state legislature, but mostly end with the same shit heads.
I am a registered Democrat. My husband is an independent so we can choose which primary we want to participate in. We have lived in Tempe since 1974. We supported Harry Mitchell’s campaign for Congress the same year Obama won. We always vote Democratic. We are annoyed with Sinema’s shenanigans and will vote against her at the next opportunity. I am a retired Elementary school teacher, and very much supported the Red for Education campaign to pressure the State Legislators to act responsibly. We are opposed to vouchers on principle, believing public education should be our focus. Nothing will make me vote for a Republican. For all that it represents, I support easy abortion access for all women. I am proud of Tempe. My husband is a bike rider and he loves all the improvements for bikes in town. We graduated from ASU back when Tempe was its only campus. We are unhappy however with the skyscrapers dominating downtown Tempe. We adore Tempe Lake, remembering walking together in the dry river bed. I know I’m supposed to worry about water issues, and I’m trying to learn about it. What worries me about Republicans is the amount and type of loony bins they seem to tolerate. Thanks for asking me for my thoughts on things. And thanks for the work you are doing.
I'm a lifelong Republican who voted for more Dems than Republicans in 2022. My favorite Republicans in office are Stephen Richer and ... hmmm, that's it. Quality politicians like Rusty Bowers and Andrew Gould couldn't get past the primaries. What should Republican candidates do differently? At a minimum, they must denounce Trump and his demagoguery, then show leadership by proposing solutions for the tough issues: immigration, education, water, housing, deficit spending.
What bothers or scares you the most about the opposition party? Democrats don't bother or scare me. We're fortunate they won the offices of US Senate, Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. MAGA loyalists are the biggest threat to our country. They eagerly damage our democratic institutions due to their fealty to Donald Trump.
For Senate, I feel a moderate, principled Republican would win, but the AZ Republican party is in shambles, so this isn't likely. If the race is between Lake, Sinema, and Gallego, I'd vote for Sinema. For House (CD5), I'm enthusiastically supporting independent Clint Smith against Andy Biggs. If a Democrat stays out of the race, Clint's chances are much improved. I will not vote for any candidate who is an election denier, still supports Donald Trump, or wants to help Putin by abandoning Ukraine.
I am a Democrat and I think that the national candidates should focus on keeping the economy heading in the direction it is going, moving us closer faster to less reliance on fossil fuels, and coming up with humane and safe solutions to immigration. For the state, water now and for the future, investment/incentives in sustainable energy, homelessness.
What scares me most about Rs - their cowardice in standing up to the extremists in their party and clinging to the same old "give money to the rich" solution to everything.
Cross to the political aisle - I would vote for an R if the person is a moderate and seems reasonable and their D or I opponent had a poor track record in supporting education, access to healthcare, environment, or programs to help lift people out of poverty.
I was an independent, but switched to Democrat when Trump got the Republican nomination. I will remain a Democrat until we once again have a normal second party.
The anti-democracy, extremism, nuttiness, bigotry, spitefulness, total lack of respect for women and demagoguery of the Republican Party scares me the most. Having said that, the extremism of the far left is also scary.
Right now, I will only support a centrist or center-left politician.
It should be easier for Independents to vote in the primaries. Currently, the largest group of registered voters in Arizona has extra barriers to voting. The primaries and primary candidates would be different if Independents could vote with the ease the rest of us can in the primary. Why can't they just go online and click which ballot they want?
Going back to the 1986 gubernatorial race among Mecham, Warner, and Schulz, it was pretty even until voters returned to partisan loyalty, even if they preferred Schulz as the independent. I would prefer Sinema, but I worry that too few Democrats will join the disaffected Republicans in the center. Stopping Lake is the highest priority.
Not yet, but I live in solid D congressional and state districts so I haven't had opportunities to assess R candidates for those races. For state level races, since I moved to AZ 20+ yrs ago, there have been moderate Rs in state races, but the D candidate was more than satisfactory IMHO so didn't have to consider crossing over. I did a couple of times in NJ because the Ds in my voting district and town were not acceptable.
I read the national party platforms in 1972 and registered Republican. Staunch Republican . After Jan 6 I registered as Democrat. I changed back to Republican so I could vote against Kari Lake in the primary. My litmus test is "was the election stolen" and if so they don't get my vote.
Yes I support and like Sinema but a 3-way scares me.
I voted mostly for Democrats in last election. Am thrilled with Mayes, D Bowers, Maricopa Co supervisors and others who stood their ground.
Fears: MAGA, election deniers, lack of water regulation, lack of monetary support for our public schools
I was raised a Republican back when they had Eisenhower, Rockefeller, Chuck Percy. I gave up with trickle down and failure of leadership on AIDs and don't think I've voted for a Republican since. Gradually moved from moderate Dem to progressive Dem. I don't think there are many true independents and what I don't like about today's AZ Dem Party is that they think there are. The reason people don't vote is they don't see a party truly representing their values. That said, saving democracy and saving abortion are the keys to 2024.
I feel like I'm taking my life into my hands a little but here, but I'm generally conservative, so I used to vote Republican. I'm still registered that way because I like to help with damage control in the primaries.
Stephen Richer is I think the only one who's earned any respect from me in the last few years. I think both parties could be more honest about what they are trying to achieve and why, and stop playing the victims.
Since I feel politically homeless, I also feel like my opposing "party" is extremism on either side. For the Republicans, they must to let go of the constantly-fomenting-anger strategy. No one can sustain those emotions that long, to say nothing of the lies produced. The Dems behave as though their entire goal is to never have a Republican in office again. Not only is that damaging to future strategy, it also alienates those who value compromise as a pillar of our government. It's hard to feel cared about when it's a choice between get on the bus or get run over.
There are lots of issues I cross aisles on, but it's way too early for me to back anyone. I'm hearing a lot of noise I've already heard before.
Important issues to me are water, government stability, fiscal responsibility, and the economy.
I’m an active party Democrat and have been all my life. I’m worried that No Labels has qualified as a party in Arizona, yet they have no party structure and no candidate. With so many independents believing that “both parties are bad” (not true: one party is inept but the other party is evil) a No Labels ticket could change the national election results.
Arizona is right leaning, but not ultra maga. It’s what most people do not understand.
I think politicians of all stripes put their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and bend that way. There are very few leaders worth mentioning. The consequences of that have been clear; no comprehensive immigration policy ala J. McClain in 2005; no comprehensive policy/action of the unhoused/unsane/drug users; few attempts to stem the tide of small property and individual crime; little effective done to stem to flood of drugs into the country; few concerted attempts to fashion a health care system that treats everyone equally; and little attempt to stem the coarseness of discourse. Many other 'issues' could be named. Republicans can no longer be called conservative and allow for the most extreme members to shout the loudest and advocate dumb policies. Democrats continue to emphasize ultra liberal policies even when it hurts the greater number of working people. Until genuine leaders rise through their work of changing and solving some of these problems, I support those individuals of any party who will work on and make progress on these problems as best they can that will benefit the majority of us.
I support the YIMBY party if there was one.
I was trying to find a way to let you know about an event in which you might be interested at ASU Law:
Sen. Russ Feingold – Former United States Senator from Wisconsin, President of the American Constitution Society
Join the Center for Constitutional Design for our first annual Constitution Day Address. Our speaker will be Russ Feingold, president of the American Constitution Society. He served as a U.S. senator in Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011 and a Wisconsin state senator from 1983 to 1993. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In his lecture, “Amending the Constitution: Twin Jeopardies,” Sen. Feingold will discuss an initially fringe but growing effort to call the first-ever Constitutional Convention of the States under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. He will also discuss the need for a new process that would allow for greater flexibility in the process of constitutional amendment and change. The lecture, therefore, offers a warning but, optimistically, a way forward.
I won’t vote for Sinema again, she is too deep in corporate pockets, usually vote democratic like Kelly. Don’t believe the election was stolen, that covid shots make your arm turn green and fall off, or that climate change is a lie. Will probably vote for Gallego. Think that your newsletter is the best investment I have made. Thank you
What political party? Democrat now. Republican when moved here in 78 and worked with long-vision statesmen to fund public schools and community colleges. Term limits opened door for short-sighted opportunists.
What bothers most? Party self-selects candidates like the four-time indicted, twice-impeached, ex-president who faces 91 felony charges for all party and elected positions.
Cross the aisle? Traditional Republicans in charge.
Next year’s election and why? Straight Democrat cause they’re not crazy.
Wow. Just scanned this thread. Arizona Agenda readers are clearly a level (or more) above the vast majority of voters.
Hank and Rachel attracted an incredibly articulate, involved and educated group of readers. Loved reading all of your thoughts. Especially the thoughts of those who disagree with me.
Thanks, Hank and Rachel, for taking the deep dive into self funded journalism.
Registered Dem since I turned 18 in 2012. I worked as a fundraiser for a few Democratic campaigns after college (starting with Heinz for CD2 in '16, moving to DC to work for Clinton later in the '16 cycle, and moving back to Arizona to work as Sinema's Deputy Finance Director in '18, before exiting campaign work to go to law school). Now I'm on the cusp of 30, and like many progressive women my age, I'm most concerned with abortion access, water, public education, and the housing crisis. It's very hard to be a young professional woman planting roots in a state where I can't safely access reproductive care, can't buy a house, and am worried about long-term water prices/access and public school quality for my future children. I grew up here (product of our public schools, Kindergarten through Juris Doctorate) and love this state, but it feels very hard for even our more progressive new leadership to right the ship at this stage, when so many of our leaders are still so, well, crazy. It's the last thing I want to do, but I don't think I'm the only woman my age wondering if I should take my talents elsewhere and build my family in a more hospitable state.
Hi, Hank! I missed the bus! That's an impressive amount of community engagement in the comments!
I'm safely in the Democratic camp. I think Katie Hobbes is doing a really great job! Kirsten Engel seems to be doing a pretty good job staying relevant to run against Juan Ciscomani in my congressional district. Ruben Gallego seems like a great candidate, but I just keep wanting a docudrama on his former marriage for some reason?? Seems like a whole House of Cards-esque story.
The things that scare me about the AZ GOP right now are:
- The potential to ban abortion (Most immediate and scary)
- Attempts to reduce border immigration through the executive or judicial branches, because I don't see legislative reform/compromise happening any time soon (that's more national)
- Republicans trying to win back the suburbs and exurbs Trump lost with NIMBYism or other anti-social/anti-urban policies
It would be really hard to cross the aisle right now on a state level. It would have to involve a multi-step process with the first one being completely disowning the alt-right members like Wendy Rogers. If I felt confident a local Republican would resist those alt-right actions as much as a Democrat, then I could start to be swayed on some issues. The biggest things I could see a Republican candidate enticing me with would be:
- Proposing a Water Tax and Dividend
- Zoning abolition
- Electrical Grid Deregulation (hopefully with renewables incentives)
- A retreat on school vouchers.
I’m an Independent. I think our entire election system needs an overhaul. Most Americans don’t want to see 45 or 46 get another term, yet that’s most certainly the matchup unless the 14th amendment has any teeth. I think ranked choice voting is a fabulous idea. I’m not sure if I can stomach Gallego or not. Due to redistricting he is now my congressman. Most of the time Sinema pissed me off, but she has proven herself to be effective. As a former Republican, I don’t feel comfortable with Lake or Masters at all!
Hank, thanks for doing this. We need to do something like this regularly to get an idea of why people make the choices they do. Sometimes, our votes are a calculation of what we think will help, and that includes things like single shot-ing and voting in primaries for one candidate we think will win, even switching parties to sway outcomes. I just had my eighty-first birthday yesterday. I'm darn tired of trying to calculate how we can get the government we need and want and continually falling short because we don't have enough of the right information ourselves and know that we depend on others who know even less. Reading these comments helps. PBS's interviews with voter panels helps. I've worked with the Democratic Party ever since Sandra Day O'Connor and friends threw the election to Geo W.
In my experience, most democrats, especially one on one, tend to follow the Golden Rule; live and let live; and the public good is more valuable than personal gain. We can never assume, though. Unfettered power corrupts itself, whether on the school board or the Supreme Court. The current Republicans seem to thrive on the sport of profiting from office, but individual Democrats and independents (K, S., e.g.) are not immune to playing the game at times. We voters, for our part, don't treat our elected officials any better than we treat our nurses, teachers, farm workers and journalists. We are lucky we have any at all left. Please help keep the conversations flowing so we remember how much we are indebted to one another for the lives we live. Surely, we can do better if we keep our hearts set on a society that makes fairness, kindness, and trust our priority.
I am a liberal Democrat. I vote Democrat for all candidates, including down ballot. I will vote for Gallegos, although I did vote for Sinema.
I am so frightened regarding Trump and Republicans, and how they want to turn our nation into a dictatorship. Impeachment inquiry into Biden has absolutely no evidence!!
People get up at 6 a.m.? It's 3 p.m. and I'm just now getting to my email. Interesting comments, though.
FWIW, I’m new to AZ Agenda. Came in off Robert Robb’s shout out, and am still deciding whether I want to keep returning.
So, FWIW .. and it’s kind of separate from this whole string … I find it really annoying when columns like this one, and numerous polls, want to deny the existence of actual Independent voters. The preamble to this string basically said - “yeah, we know you are registered Independent, but (“wink-wink”) we know that’s not really true, so what are you REALLY”.
That’s just annoying, and quite frankly juvenile and assumptive. In today’s political and hyper-ideological environment, I believe there are a lot of voters who are truly party-agnostic; not libertarian, just party-agnostic. Those voters, myself included, have values and beliefs that bridge the centers of both parties, and we vote for candidates and on issues accordingly. We’re not ‘party-predictable’. In my view, that’s what defines an Independent. And, please stop trying to conveniently define Independents otherwise, by asking us what we ‘really’ are, just because it suits your paradigm.