Monday, November 19, 2007

Quick update - upcoming elections and legislation

There's nearly a year to go until next November's elections and nearly a month and a half before the start of the next session of the Arizona Legislature, but campaign announcements, endorsements, and proposed legislation are already hitting the news and the email inbox every day...

...Republican State Senator Jim Waring is mad as hell at his cell phone provider and isn't taking it anymore. :)

From the Arizona Daily Star -
PHOENIX — When Jim Waring got what he considered a runaround from his cell phone company, he got mad.

But when he continued to hear similar stories from others, he did something else: He used his power as a state senator to introduce legislation that, if approved, would create a cell phone users' "bill of rights" for Arizona customers.
He has already submitted SB1010 for the 2nd session of the 48th Arizona legislature.

For the article, Susan Bitter Smith, lobbyist for the cell phone providers and possible 2008 challenger to Congressman Harry Mitchell, said that her industry hasn't taken an official position on the bill as yet; however, she and her organization, the Arizona Competitive Telecommunications Association, have historically opposed any efforts to strengthen consumer protections.

My prediction: since the AZ lege is still controlled by a Republican leadership that believes that 'caveat emptor' is responsible government policy, this bill is either DOA or will be watered down to the point of uselessness.

Note to Sen. Waring - Is something only a problem when a sitting Republican legislator faces that problem? People have been complaining about the cell phone industry for years. Where was the respect for consumers then?

Still, Republican proposal or not, DOA or not, SB1010 is a good start.

...Democratic Reps. David Schapira (LD17) and Jackie Thrasher (LD10) have already submitted HB2001, a bill to ban smoking in cars with minors present.

From the AZ Daily Star -
"There isn't a single person in this country who doesn't know that smoking causes cancer," said sponsoring Rep. David Schapira, a Tempe Democrat. What that means, he said, is that adults who smoke in front of children, particularly in enclosed places, are knowingly causing them harm.

"That's the definition of child abuse," he said.

I'm pretty sure this one won't pass, either, since tobacco giant RJ Reynolds has already expressed opposition.

...While the bill hasn't been submitted yet, LD17 State Representative Schapira and State Senator Meg Burton-Cahill are working on legislation to regulate the tattoo industry.

From an Arizona Republic article -
Valley tattoo-parlor owners, eager to protect and burnish the reputation of their industry, are calling for state regulation of the tattoo trade.

Shop owners have teamed up to form the Arizona Tattoo and Piercing Association, and one of the organization's first steps was to meet this week with state legislators who say they now intend to introduce legislation to regulate the tattoo industry.


State Rep. David Schapira, D-Tempe, said that on Wednesday, he and Sen. Meg Burton-Cahill, D-Tempe, met with Dowdell and Sage O'Connell, owner of Urban Art Tattoo & Piercing in Mesa.

"What we heard from the tattoo industry is that they want to be more respected, and unless there is some sort of regulation, shops can exist which will give a bad name to the whole industry," Schapira said.

He said he intends to introduce legislation to bring regulation to the tattoo industry at the upcoming session of the Legislature.

Burton-Cahill said she considers the matter "an issue of public health."

"When you get your hair cut, you know that person has met a basic standard, and when we have tattoo artists putting holes in people, you want to know you are going to a shop that has met basic health standards," she said.

Stay tuned on this one.

...Democratic State Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, Chad Campbell, and Tom Prezelski have submitted HB2002, a bill that bars employment discrimination based on "gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation."

Nope, this one won't pass, either. I can't see the likes of Russell Pearce or Jack Harper or any of their ideological cronies letting this one get even a committee hearing.

Note: On December 4, 2007, the Scottsdale City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider adding similar language to its employment policy; sometime in the weeks thereafter it will consider adding that language to the non-discrimination ordinances and policies that contractors with City and businesses operating in Scottsdale must adhere to.

...In Scottsdale election news, as expected, Mayor Mary Manross announced her candidacy for reelection.

From her press release -
“We are truly a community where the Old West meets the New West; working to preserve our historic past while building Scottsdale’s sustainable future. A clear vision and an unwavering commitment to building a bridge to the future are paying huge dividends for Scottsdale. The clouds of uncertainty that hung over our city just eight short years ago have been lifted and Scottsdale’s future has never been brighter. Today is a time of tremendous confidence, enthusiasm, and momentum."

More substantively, she touted her efforts to "to reduce Scottsdale’s property tax rate. . Over the past decade the rate has dropped from $1.57 to $. 79. Our tax rate, today, is less than half of neighboring Phoenix’s tax rate. That’s being fiscally conservative."

That's an argument that will play well in Scottsdale.

East Valley Tribune coverage here.

As of right now her rumored opponents are current Council member Jim Lane, who can't officially announce his candidacy until January due to AZ's pesky 'resign to run' law, and lawyer Jim Derouin, who has said that he won't run if Lane does (see the Trib article at the link).

I'm not a huge fan of Manross (as anyone who has read this blog already knows), but I'm not convinced that either of the rumored candidates is a better alternative, especially since the major plank of their campaign platforms seems to be "I'm not Mary Manross."

More as the campaign season unfolds.

...The Club For Growth, an anti-government, pro-privatization, right-wing group, has endorsed David Schweikert in the CD5 Republican primary.

From The Politico, via CBS News -
“It is clear that David Schweikert is a tireless defender of taxpayers who will continue to fight for taxpayers in the U.S. Congress,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey in a statement.
It's interesting that CFG is endorsing a candidate before all likely candidates have had the opportunity to enter the race; maybe they're trying to change their recent spate of bad luck.

Also from the article -
The Club for Growth has been off to a slow start this election cycle, with two if its endorsed candidates losing in competitive GOP nomination battles.

In Ohio’s 5th District, Club-backed candidate state Sen. Steve Buehrer lost to state Rep. Bob Latta in this month’s GOP special election primary. And activist Paul Jost, who headed the Virginia chapter of the Club for Growth, narrowly lost the GOP nomination to succeed the late Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) to state Del. Rob Wittman.

Umm, regarding the endorsement - *yawwwwn.*


1 comment:

J. Jameson said...

It is good to see Schweikert is rallying support! We definately need to get a hold on spending in Washington, it is getting out of control! I like David Schweikert and I believe he will be an excellent candidate!