Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Another Primary Election in Arizona is now history. For those of you who don’t follow politics very closely here are the match ups for the General Election this November:

Governor

Doug Ducey R (Republican)

David Garcia D (Democrat)

U.S. Senate

Martha McSally R

Krysten Sinema D

Secretary of State

Steve Gaynor R

Katie Hobbs D

Attorney General

Mark Brnovich R

January Contreras D

State Treasurer

Kimberly Yee R

Mark Manoil D

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Frank Riggs R

Kathy Hoffman D

Did you know that the State of Arizona has 3.6 million registered voters? Guess how many of us voted this past Tuesday throughout the state…505,470. Roughly half a million voters. That’s a turnout of 14%.

In Glendale voters chose to return all three incumbents:  Vice Mayor Tolmachoff in the Cholla district; Councilmember Bart Turner in the Barrel district; and Councilmember Jamie Aldama in the Ocotillo district. All it took was 21% (6,297) of the registered voters in the Cholla district; 19% (4,393) of the registered voters in the Barrel district; and 12% (1,556) of the registered voters in the Ocotillo district.

 In Glendale there are 116,965 registered voters. Broken down by district:

Cholla district            24,499 registered voters

Sahuaro district        23,199 registered voters

Barrel district            20,594 registered voters

Yucca district             18,318 registered voters

Cactus district            17,426 registered voters

Ocotillo district          12,929 registered voters

For purposes of this exercise in statistics I have taken one district, the Ocotillo District, and broken it down even further:

Bethany Park Precinct               1,121 registered voters               102 or 9% voted

Bonsall Park Precinct                     853 registered voters              2 or .002% voted

Challenger Precinct                    2,952 registered voters              212 or 7% voted

Manistee Precinct                      2,708 registered voters               351 or 13% voted

Montebello Precinct                  2,272 registered voters                143 or 6% voted

Peck Precinct                               1,980 registered voters            168 or 8% voted

Tuckey Precinct                         1,774 registered voters               139 or 8% voted

The reason for presenting all of these statistics is really quite simple and can be summed up in two words…Voter Apathy. But what exactly is apathy? It is lack of interest or concern. In other words, indifference. People have no problem asking for help or complaining whether it’s calling a congressional representative with help with your social security or calling a councilmember for help with a code complaint. 90% of the time that representative is there for you, assisting you to solve the problem, often successfully. That representative, whether congressional, state or local, is there to listen to your complaints and opinions. But where are you when it comes time to vote for that representative who assisted you? Nowhere. You’re usually AWOL.

We often accept the excuse that people are busy living their lives, working to take care of their families, participating in church activities, recreating or volunteering. If one can make time for these life activities surely one can manage to schedule an hour once every several years to vote. My gosh, you don’t want to physically go to a voting site? Then take 5 minutes to register online to become an Early Permanent Voter. The ballot comes to you in the mail. You fill it out and mail it back. You don’t even have to cough up 50 cents for postage. How simple can it get?

We hear that voting is our right and privilege and it is. It’s also our responsibility. I remember my Mom telling me to, “Clean my plate. Do you know how many starving kids there are in China who would love to have this meal?” It’s the same analogy with voting. Do you know how many people on this planet do not have free and fair elections? Countries like the United States are a rarity, not the norm. In order to protect what we’ve got it is incumbent upon us to protect it by our participation in the electoral process.

In November we have the opportunity to vote again. This may be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. What will you do that day? Will you vote or be indifferent? Apathetic and pathetic.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On Friday, March 23, 2018 the City of Glendale called a press conference to announce that it would insure that there would be School Resource Officers at every high school in Glendale. This action was in response to the Parkland tragedy and in the wake of a Maryland SRO’s actions that stopped another school shooting after two students had been wounded. One subsequently died.

It was an action the City Manager and the City Council discussed for several weeks. All councilmembers, including Councilmember Aldama, had many opportunities to discuss the idea, ask questions, offer suggestions and voice their approval or disapproval of the idea. Councilmember Aldama asked one or two questions during the entire process and never voiced his lack of support to us, his peers, during these sessions.

At the City’s Friday’s press conference, the Glendale Police Chief made remarks as did the City Manager and the Mayor. Attending in support of the decision to place more SROs in high schools was State Superintendent of Education Diane Douglas as well as Superintendents of the school districts located in Glendale. The entire Glendale City Council was there except for one…Councilmember Aldama. He was AWOL.

Now we know why. Councilmember Aldama has said “No” to the City initiative to place SROs in every Glendale high school. I have placed his release to the media sent out today below.  The photo is small so I have also placed the link as a pdf file, more easily read:  Aldama letter Mar 26 2018

His language within his press release exhibits his bias, when he calls our unified council action “an impactful edict (bold mine)” He implies that this is a decree decided by one person in authority. Not so.  This was a unanimous and carefully considered council decision with one silent voice…Aldama… who never expressed his disapproval to us during our deliberations.

Note this sentence because it is important. He says, “Other critical stakeholders, including Police and Fire Associations (read the unions) were TOLD of the adverse impact on their memberships, but not consulted with.”  This is the real message. All the rest of his statement is a smoke screen. It is important to note that Aldama is up for reelection this year and he desperately needs the support in terms of money and manpower the unions provide to candidates. They are the ‘big dogs’ in Glendale. In plain English Aldama seems to have taken this stance in order to curry the favor and support of these two unions. They will reward him handsomely by pouring monetary donations into his campaign and walking neighborhoods for him. How politically transparent and crass can a person get?

 He goes on to say, “Clearly this was an insensitive headline-grabbing political response to a larger problem than just having an officer in each high school…” I would contend that this city council exhibited extreme sensitivity to an immediate national issue and took appropriate action within our authority. The issues of mental illness and gun regulation are state and national issues and not ones dealt with on a local, municipal level.

It should also be noted that typically government moves at a snail’s pace. Sometimes it is years before an idea becomes reality. This initiative was acted upon with weeks and it required the coordination of and approval of all 4 Superintendents in whose schools the SROs would be placed.

Aldama questions why the city is not placing SROs in elementary schools and charter schools. I believe the current count of schools within the city is somewhere around 80. It is simply not financially feasible to do so and Aldama knows it.

The City does have an Officer Liaison program that has specified officers visiting as many middle and elementary schools as possible on a weekly basis. Since the majority of school shootings occur on high school campuses, the council felt that it was do-able and affordable. How could we not at least make sure all of our high schools were safer?

He then goes on to say, “I am not clear on what these officer’s duties will be.” Glendale has had SROs for years, probably close to 20 years. If he doesn’t know what their duties are then he hasn’t been doing his job for all he had to do was ask at any time.

He then chides us for our “lack of transparency” and for our lack of “open public dialogue and communication.” This is double-speak that in this instance simply does not fit the circumstance. This action is not a new tax on our citizens. It is a reallocation of existent city funds.  It is a situation that is better served by immediate action.  The call for dialogue is a tactic often used to slow down or kill a decision.

Councilmember Aldama, if you had shared your opinion with council instead of staying mute, you would have earned a modicum of respect.  If your decision was perceived as having been done for some solid reasons, you might have earned more respect. Instead, despite all of your hyperbole, the perception of those familiar with this decision making process, your action appears to be no more than a very transparent attempt to win favor with Glendale’s unions. This wasn’t the best time to, as Nancy Reagan used to say, “Just say no.”

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

 In the wake of players’ refusal to stand for our national anthem it appears that two Congressional bills are picking up steam. The NFL backlash is just beginning. Fan ticket sales dropped by 20% last week. TV ratings are down by 18%. Now Congress is getting into the act having introduced a bill, Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act of 2017 (S. 1342), to hit the NFL where it hurts – in its pocketbook. Its purpose would be to treat any bonds as taxable regardless of who is providing the bonds.

Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., and Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., have introduced a bipartisan bill that would prevent professional sports teams from using municipal bonds that are exempt from federal taxes. Representative Steve Russell, R-Okla., and Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., have introduced companion legislation in the House.

For years sports teams have used specially created tax breaks that allow the public to finance their very expensive arenas and stadia. The mechanism used is tax-exempt municipal bonds. These bonds were originally designed and reserved for public projects such as bridges, water systems and other municipal infrastructure projects. Ah ha…there is a loophole in the tax code that has allowed private stadia and arenas to take advantage of this tax break…and boy, have they ever. Very few major sports teams have used private money to construct their facilities.

Since 1997 twenty new NFL stadia have opened at a price tag of $4.7 billion dollars in taxpayer funds. Currently two new stadia are under construction in Atlanta and Minneapolis at a startling cost of $700 million dollars in taxpayer funds. You, the taxpayer paid for most of the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals, at a cost of approximately $300 million dollars.

Over the past 17 years, 36 professional sports stadia have been built or renovated by federal tax- exempt municipal bonds. The Brookings Institute reported that this has cost taxpayers $3.2 billion dollars.

It is estimated that the NFL, the most profitable sports league ever, generated $14 billion dollars in revenue last year (2016) with an estimated $1 billion dollars in profit. Everything about the NFL is pricey. It can easily cost a family of 4 at least $400 to attend just one game. The NFL teams sell $1.5 billion to $2 billion dollars worth of luxury and high-end club seats a year. Add in the fact that sponsors spend about $190 million dollars a year to the NFL for the right to cover a stadium with their company’s logo and other advertising signage. The NFL also receives much of its operational costs free of charge as a condition for the awarding of the Super Bowl to a community. Everything from player towels, to transportation to meals is free, comp-ed or discounted.

As Senator Booker said, “Professional sports teams generate billions of dollars in revenue. There’s no reason why we should give these multimillion-dollar businesses a federal tax break to build new stadiums. It’s not fair to finance these expensive projects on the backs of taxpayers, especially when wealthy teams end up reaping most of the benefits.”

You reap what you sow and the NFL is learning that has reaped the enmity of its fan base by becoming political. All that fans wanted was a break from all of the national bickering and strife for a few hours. They wanted to be lost in the fantasy of the game – not reminded that we are a country divided.

© Joyce Clark, 2017   

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

In September of 2014 the FAA unilaterally changed Sky Harbor flight paths over the Metro Phoenix area. It was dubbed the NextGen Program and was implemented across the country at 13 major metropolitan airports. The most important element of this program was the decision that the program could not follow pre-existing routes. The Phoenix Metro’s pre-existing route was to the east over Tempe Town Lake and the Salt River bed in Tempe and Phoenix. Instead the routes would now be west of the airport with flight paths over countless residential areas in Phoenix and Glendale. Thousands and thousands of complaints were made to the City of Phoenix, Sky Harbor and the FAA.

There were no public meetings and certainly no opportunity for public comment. The new routes were developed and implemented without any warning in utter secrecy.

One of my intrepid constituents, Mitch Bodrie, resides at the 7000 block of W. Medlock Drive in Glendale. When the flight path change occurred suddenly the Bodries were inundated with noise (many flights at excessive and unapproved sound levels) from over flights. That’s when Mitch decided to get involved. He attended every FAA and flight path meeting and asked the tough questions of officials. It was not easy but he managed to be selected as the site of one of the FAA’s monitoring sites for a noise measurement report. Mitch graciously shared all of the information he has amassed with me. Here are the numbers of over flights of his home recorded over a short window of time by the FAA’s monitoring equipment:

  • 2/7/15 80 flights (monitoring begun at 9 AM)
  • 2/8/15 124 flights (monitoring from 12 AM to 11 PM)
  • 2/9/15 194 flights (monitoring from 12 AM to 11 PM)
  • 2/10/15 126 flights (monitoring from 12 AM to 11 PM)
  • 2/11/15 88 flights (monitoring from 12 AM to 11 AM)

Take a look at this graphic depiction of radar arrival and departure flight tracks over the same 5 days. I don’t know if you can make it out but Mr. Bodrie’s home is site C:

If you would like to check out Sky Harbor’s arrival and departure activity there is a neat site, flightradar24@comlive, where you can check for yourselves. Or check out skyharbor.com/flightpaths. What makes these over flights even worse is that many of them exceed accepted noise levels:

  • 2/7/15 12 flights exceeded noise level
  • 2/8/15 16 flights exceeded noise level
  • 2/9/15 18 flights exceeded noise level
  • 2/10/15 19 flights exceeded noise level
  • 2/11/15 9 flights exceeded noise level

Arizona’s Congressional Representative Ruben Gallego in his Summer of 2016 legislative update said the following, “I remain as committed as ever to ensuring the FAA reconsiders flight paths that expose residents to unacceptably (sic) high levels of aviation noise. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently introduced the Senate version of my bill, the FAA Community Accountability Act.” Since then…crickets.

So, what’s next? After 3 years of complaints, the FAA has bent…slightly. They have indicated that they will change the routes but just as before, no one knows what the new routes will be or when they will be implemented. There will be no public notification and certainly no opportunity for public comment.

Is this any way to run a government that we, as taxpayers, fund? I think not.

© Joyce Clark, 2017                 

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Is Main Stream Media now irrelevant?

Posted by Joyce Clark on November 10, 2016
Posted in City of GlendaleNational issues  | Tagged With: , | 3 Comments

I occasionally write about national issues and this blog is one of those. As people demonstrate in the streets of seven major cities tonight (11/9/2016) shutting down traffic (Portland , OR) or wreaking havoc (Oakland, CA) at the expense of small businesses and fueled by Black Lives Matter and other anti-Trump movements the talking heads’ post mortems have begun on not only why Trump won but why MSM did not see it coming.

 I felt compelled to comment after reading this tweet today: “Resonating comment from Peter Thiel: the media took Trump literally and not seriously while voters took him seriously and not literally.” I’m sorry. This statement is too simplistic and is but just one of the current rationales that popped up today, giving Main stream media (MSM) a pass for their actions during this election cycle. MSM still doesn’t get it. Who is MSM? It’s ABC, NBC, CNN, ad nausea and every major city’s newspaper.

I am a “deplorable” – a well-educated, middle class, senior, white woman. All of my life I valued MSM. I can remember every Sunday, after Mass, my parents would get the Sunday edition of the New York Times. We all divvied it up and would devour it. I cut my teeth on their word puzzles. News on TV consisted of objective reporting by the likes of Walter Cronkite and investigative reporting by the Morley Safers of the journalistic world.

Whether it is TV or print they have failed all of us (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc.) and I will not buy their theory that they failed to recognize the movement to which Trump has given a voice. MSM became corrupt as its members sought even greater recognition, fame, power and wealth. They salivated to be part of the “inner circle” – to be movers and shakers. They insulated themselves from the very people who relied upon their reputation for fair and unbiased reporting. They were not co-opted. They deliberately chose their path.

They believed to their very core that if they hitched their star to the Clinton campaign it would further their personal agendas. So, they corrupted themselves, through collusion by feeding Clinton debate questions, by submitting their reporting to the Clinton campaign for editing, by pushing a negative Trump narrative daily at the rate of 10 negative Trump stories to every 1 negative Clinton story. MSM deliberately and willfully ignored the consequences of Benghazi, Clinton’s failure to preserve our national security with her personal email server and the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play schemes. It willingly became a propaganda arm of the Clinton campaign.

Gone is fair and unbiased reporting and it has done a major disservice, especially to the younger generation. Gone is hard news. It has been replaced with drivel designed to placate and divert. Now the masses are fed the crime of the day, recipe of the day, new decorating ideas for your home…yada, yada, yada…all pablum, no substance, no facts, no hard news about our economy, the world we live in or anything else of real value. MSM has played a major role in giving birth to a generation that accepts no responsibility for anything and who wishes to be wrapped in a cocoon of emotional thinking whose only reality is to pursue the illusion of happiness and “safe spaces.”

In the past year and a half, first I stopped watching ABC, CNN, etc. Then I stopped watching cable stations, even FOX. Lastly I stopped reading the newspaper. I still get plenty of good, solid news from other sources like the BBC. I suspect I am not alone. Viewership and readership are diminishing daily. MSM is no longer relevant to half the country – the half of the country that they perceived to be stupid and ignorant – not of their ilk.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

As Arizona voters go to the polls this Tuesday, November 8, 2016 to decide the issue of recreational marijuana use it may be useful to consider some of the unintended consequences. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA ) first preliminary report on Colorado’s passage of recreational marijuana has recently been issued. Here is the link to the report:http://www.rmhidta.org/html/FINAL%20Legalization%20of%20MJ%20in%20Colorado%20the%20Impact.pd . Here are some of the statistics offered in its Executive Summary:

·       Colorado Driving Fatalities: From 2006 to 2011, traffic fatalities decreased in Colorado 16 percent, but fatalities involving drivers testing positive for marijuana increased 114 percent.

·       Colorado Youth Marijuana Use: In 2011, the national average for youth 12 to 17 years old considered “current” marijuana users was 7.64 percent which was the highest average since 1981. The Colorado average percent was 10.72.

·       Colorado Adult Marijuana Use: In 2011, the national average for young adults ages 18 to 25 considered current marijuana users was at 18.7 percent. The Colorado average was 27.26 percent.

·       Colorado Emergency Room – Marijuana Admissions: From 2005 through 2008 there was an average of 741 visits per year to the emergency room in Colorado for marijuana-related incidents involving youth. That number increased to 800 visits per year between 2009 and 2011.

·       Colorado Marijuana-Related Exposure Cases: From 2005 through 2008, the yearly average number of marijuana-related exposures for children ages 0 to 5 years was 4. For 2009 through 2012, that number increased 200 percent to an average of 12 per year.

·       Diversion of Colorado Marijuana (General): From 2005 to 2008, compared to 2009 to 2012, interdiction seizures involving Colorado marijuana quadrupled from an average per year of 52 to 242. During the same period, the average number of pounds of Colorado marijuana seized per year increased 77 percent from an average of 2,220 to 3,937 pounds. A total of 7,008 pounds was seized in 2012.

·       Diversion of Colorado Marijuana (Postal Packages): In 2010, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service seized 15 packages with Colorado marijuana destined for other states. Seizures steadily increased through 2012 when 158 parcels were seized. From 2010 to 2012 Colorado marijuana seized by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service increased from 57 to 262 pounds.

There is no doubt Colorado’s political, social and economic sectors are changing as a result of its recreational use. Socially, the adjoining states of Oklahoma and Nebraska have filed lawsuits against Colorado because drivers with marijuana in their systems are impacting law enforcement resources in these neighboring states.

Increased use by teenagers has increased educational and disciplinary problems in high schools as well as a rise in the expulsion rate. The strategy used by marijuana sellers to create very enticing edible marijuana products that look like candy or cookies have proven to be highly attractive to younger children causing more emergency room visits.

Denver’s homeless population has exploded placing a greater burden on the area non-profits that service this population.

Politically, Colorado is experiencing regulatory confusion surrounding public consumption in the form of the maximum amount allowable in edibles as well as enforcement as it pertains to what amount in the blood stream constitutes impairment.

Economically, local governments have received almost $6 million dollars in revenues from the industry in 2014 and 2015. But at what price to those very same local governments? Communities are experiencing increased costs in law enforcement and increased gang-related crime activity. Companies are realizing a demonstrated loss of worker productivity. In fact, some Colorado companies have begun recruiting employees from out of state as many prospective Colorado employees can no longer pass drug tests for employment. Local governments and companies are beginning to question their cost-benefits related to recreational marijuana use.

Tourists are flocking to the state for the express purpose of purchasing and using recreational marijuana but those tourist dollars have been diverted from traditional tourism activities.

Since recreational use was legalized drug trafficking has increased with more seizures of marijuana smuggled into the state for legal sale as well as the export of Colorado grown marijuana to other regions of the country.

Sometimes it is prudent to be wary about what we wish for. Arizona’s residents have approved of medical marijuana use and that was a compassionate decision. Do we really want to see recreational marijuana shops using graphic images of lollipops and candy on their store fronts acting as a magnet for our children? It is occurring in Colorado. Do we really expect huge sums of revenue…only to be consumed in greater law enforcement costs and the creation of yet another new state agency to oversee its use? Arizona already has a high school dropout rate that is embarrassing. Do we really want to add another factor sure to depress that rate even further?

Beware of unintended consequences. It is a economic, social and medical force that Arizona is simply not prepared to deal with.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

A friend sent me an October, 2016 Atlantic Monthly article written by Molly Boll entitled “Scared rich candidate.” Here is the link:  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/10/theres-nothing-better-than-a-scared-rich-candidate/497522/ . While the thrust of the article pertains to national, presidential candidates the premises she offers could be applied to local candidates as well.

The article states, “These are boom times for political consultants—by one rough estimate, more than $6 billion will go to or through consulting firms during this year’s elections…” On the Glendale level, each mayoral candidate raised at least $100,000. In addition, Independent Political Action Committees (PACs) spent in opposition to or for a particular mayoral candidate at least an estimated $50,000 more. We will have a better picture of the numbers after the next campaign finance reports are filed at the end of September. It is not unreasonable to say that an estimated $250,000 was poured into the Glendale mayoral race. That kind of money is not limited to Glendale’s mayoral race. Sammy Chavira, my opponent in the Yucca district council race, spent an estimated $40,000 and Independent PACs easily spent another $40,000 in opposition to me. That’s not chump change. Imagine, $80,000 or more spent to try to defeat a challenger in a small, local district race.

The article goes on to say, “Despite all the money pouring into political consulting, a palpable sense of unease looms over the profession. The consultants may be getting rich, but recent events suggest they don’t have any idea what they’re doing.” Ms. Boll cites statistics on various campaign strategies, TV advertising, campaign mailers, robo calls and campaign signs, with the conclusion that most of these strategies are not as effective as commonly assumed. The implication being that a candidate, upon advice of a consultant, may be just throwing money away. She also reveals that many consultants either have relationships with or have created companies that provide the very materials the consultants urge a candidate to use. It is often the case that a consultant will receive a fee for consultancy and also receive payment through a consultant’s own company for campaign material.  An analogy might be that you go to a referral website to buy a product only to discover that the site gets paid for not only every referral it generates but has a company that makes the product and receives profit every time the product is sold.

Ms. Boll goes on to say, “Many political scientists believe election outcomes are largely the result of factors over which candidates and their campaigns have little control.” Some political scientists, having studied this issue believe “there are few ‘game changing’ moments in a campaign.” They believe “the vast majority of presidential elections…can be forecast based on the state of the nation’s economy and the approval rating of the sitting president.” It is safe to assume the same of local contests as well. In Glendale, most of its citizens don’t follow its politics and don’t vote. Often the percentage of active voters hovers around 10%. There are 6 political districts in Glendale: Cholla, Sahuaro, Barrel, Cactus, Ocotillo and Yucca. Each has roughly 20,000 voters. Yet voter participation in each district ranges roughly from 3,000 to 6,000 active voters. The northern districts of Cholla, Sahuaro and Barrel, historically have more active voters than the southern districts of Cactus, Ocotillo and Yucca. Unless there is a distinct and widely publicized and divisive crisis within the city, these voters tend to return an incumbent to office. With Glendale’s economic status stabilized and improving there was no impetus on the part of the voter to change the status quo with the exception of one factor – the candidate’s character.

Others tend to agree and think “consultants’ main influence is at the macro level, in shaping a campaign’s overall message and coaching the candidate. ‘It’s the consultants’ job to take who the person is—their fixed characteristics—and leverage it’.” This premise held true in the current Glendale election cycle. Mayoral candidate Mark Burdick publicly admitted that upon the advice of his campaign consultants (you can include former Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni) their winning strategy was to sling as much mud as possible at sitting Mayor Jerry Weiers in the hope that some of it would stick and discredit him enough to create a win for Burdick. Sammy Chavira’s political consultants created the same type of campaign in the Yucca district but they wanted to divert the voters’ attention away from Sammy’s record of taxpayer abuse and failure to do his job.

“Adam Sheingate, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, argues that the consulting industry has ballooned not because its services are particularly effective, but because all the money in politics—which has skyrocketed in the past decade due to campaign-finance deregulation—has to go somewhere.” Ms. Boll quotes Mr. Sheingate as saying, “The consultant is selling something to the candidate…The confidence game is that the candidate is always a little afraid. They’re always a little scared they can lose, and that’s what the consultant exploits. In the words of a consultant,”there’s ‘nothing better than a scared, rich candidate’.” With the amount of money available to candidates in Glendale, there were scared, rich candidates. They were ripe to buy what their consultants were selling and they had the money to do it. In the end, it may have been the content of the candidates’ character, not inordinate amounts of cash that counted to voters the most.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 18 years and 53 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Otherwise occupied, I paid very little attention to the NHL hockey game until I checked Twitter later in the day and saw a friend’s tweet that said “Year of the outsiders #JohnScottMVP.” I was struck by that, called the friend and she shared her thought that John Scott was the sports equivalent of the current political scene of the outsiders.

It is undeniably the year of the “outsiders.” Let’s look at two: this one in the world of sports and one in the world of politics.

For many of you not familiar with the world of National League Hockey you will not have heard about the NHL’s most recent All Star game and the extraordinary events that occurred.

John Scott is an enforcer and was a player for the Arizona Coyotes hockey team. He’s the six foot eight inch designated guy to fight other players on behalf of his teammates. He’s never been a star and bounced around among four teams before landing with the Arizona Coyotes. I don’t know if he ever scored any goals in his entire professional career. He is not a star but a steady, constant player, devoted to the game and thankful that he is considered good enough to play in the NHL. He is like our mail men and women, invisible, delivering our mail daily without us giving a thought to their service.

The NHL All-star players are selected by the fans through voting. It began as a joke. He was nominated for the All Star game but a funny thing happened. Fans and his peers voted for him in overwhelming numbers. As we now know he was asked by the NHL to decline and he reluctantly did so telling the fans he wasn’t a star and they should select another. No one listened. The next thing he knew he was voted Team Captain and he would be playing for the Pacific Division in the All Star game. He was excited and proud. The NHL was not.

Then a not-so-funny thing happened. The NHL establishment didn’t want John Scott to play. After all, they had to preserve their image. It was not one of a 4th liner playing in the nationally televised All-star game. Once again John Scott was asked to state he was not playing but this time according to his very endearing written article ( Here is the link: http://www.theplayerstribune.com/a-guy-like-me/), he was asked if his children would be proud of him. Like other institutions the NHL showed the same tone deaf attitude having no clue what children mean to parents so from that moment on John Scott was determined to play.

The NHL establishment concocted a scheme apparently pressuring the Coyotes owners. After all, it was because of Bettman and a very large NHL loan they were able to buy the team. Don Maloney, Coyotes’ General Manager, became the establishment’s enforcer telling Scott that he had been suddenly and inexplicitly traded to the Montreal Canadians who immediately sent him down to minor league team in Newfoundland. There isn’t any NHL rule that says once a man has been demoted he can’t play in an All Star game but they figured they had sent the message to Scott…don’t play, don’t even think about it.

But Scott did think about it. Players from around the league told him, “You have to play.” So John Scott played.

It was both a time of magic for John Scott and a repudiation of the NHL by most fans and many players. He enjoyed a stellar day with his wife and two tutu/Coyotes sweater clad

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 20: John Scott #20 of the San Jose Sharks participates in the family skate during the practice day for the 2015 Coors Light Stadium Series game between Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks at Levi's Stadium on February 20, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

tiny daughters in attendance and scored two All Star goals that evening…Two. At the end of the game three names were tweeted by the NHL for the game MVP. None of the three names were John Scott. Online Twitter erupted with John Scott MPV hashtags and fans in the Arena began chanting Scott’s name for MVP. In five minutes the NHL establishment capitulated and John Scott was named the MVP of the2016 All Star game.

John Scott represents “everyman.” He represents the men and women on the assembly line, the invisible and silent workers that keep our country running. In this one extraordinary moment of time John Scott and “everyman” prevailed over the establishment. The “outsiders”…the John Scott caliber of player who ignored the establishment’s threats and intimidation and the fans who have silently in anger and frustration  watched game play diminish as it became buried in an avalanche of rules, regulations and insensitivity…made their voices heard. In sports John Scott epitomizes the common man’s disgust of the establishment’s unethical behavior.

Trump is the creation by an establishment that embodies a corrupt political system, a biased media and a Washington, D.C. awash in self-absorption and self-aggrandizement. Oddly, he too, speaks for “everyman.” He speaks for a shrinking middle-class that no matter how hard it works, no longer ever gets ahead and who fears its children and grandchildren will be left worse off. He speaks for the millions who are demoralized by a great county that is no longer respected by the world. He speaks for those who fear the possibility of catastrophic terrorist acts on our soil. He speaks for a county that is economically anemic and needs a transfusion not a “transformation”. His political incorrectness speaks against those in power who think they know better but have made things worse.

He says what he really thinks without the traditional political filter. Or any filter actually. Whether you think he is right or wrong it is refreshing. He offers hope to the silent majority that there is a chance to reclaim America, a great and prosperous and yes, entitled county; the county for which so many have sacrificed to get to its shores.

Deep down in the nation’s gut it is implicit that establishment politicians lie. They spoon feed their base what they believe they must say to remain popular and electable. However the national psyche is flexing its forgotten muscles. They are no longer silent while establishment politicians fail to serve the people but rather calculatingly work to retain their power and privilege. Trump has stripped away their politically correct veil. Every time he says something the establishment considers totally outrageous, sure to alienate all he defies their conventional wisdom and his poll numbers rise.

Trump has tapped a nerve, a sentiment, a longing. He has given voice to concerns too long unspoken. He is most certainly a political “outsider,” hated, admired or feared dependent upon one’s political persuasion. Can he win a presidential race or really change the country for the

Photo courtesy of sourcefed.com

Photo courtesy of sourcefed.com

better? Who knows? But to put it bluntly in the primary he is boxing the GOP establishment’s ears. Average folks are cheering him on with pleasure.

I chose these two men as the epitome of the “outsider.” In sports John Scott is symbolic of a true underdog who prevailed over an old, tradition riddled elitist establishment.

In politics Donald Trump is symbolic of a reactionary who has the potential to prevail over an elitist political establishment that will do whatever is necessary to preserve its power.

Let’s hear it for outsiders…#2016

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 342 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

In June of 2009 President Obama delivered a major speech in Cairo on United States-Muslim relations. Future historians will spend their careers dissecting not only this speech but many others delivered by Obama during his Presidency. Here is the link to the full text of his speech: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-06-04-Obama-text_N.htm .

The President took note of his background by saying, “Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.” We are all products of the breadth of our past experiences. Obama’s benign, childhood experiences with those of the Muslim faith have positively colored his perception of Islam to the detriment of the safety of each and every one of us. Apparently his experiences in America have not compensated for nor overshadowed his advocacy for the Muslim faith. Has he been Christian in name only, as a means of making him an acceptable candidate for President? Yet it is the height of irony that only in a free and diverse America could he rise to the position of Presidency for in Muslim-majority countries such as Iran it is the clerics that rule.

He went on to say, “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” President Obama did not run as a candidate for President of the United States on a platform of fighting negative stereotypes of Islam. Yet his actions and inactions, especially four years ago, have given birth to those who wish no less than our total destruction. It is not his responsibility to fight negative stereotypes of Islam. That is accomplished by the actions of those who practice their faith. But it is his responsibility to protect the United States of America “from all enemies foreign and domestic” as he swore to do when he became our President. His leadership rests not on advocacy for any religious belief but rather on his strong adherence to protecting the very foundation of our country.

Obama went on to say, “Yes, a few Muslim extremists give Islam a bad name, and sometimes Muslims do bad things, but we are no different here. Americans have also done bad things, so who are we to judge?” His philosophy is rooted in the theory of moral equivalence. No one can take comfort in the fact that Obama rationalizes San Bernadino and Paris by referring to America’s treatment of Native Americans and Black Americans as “bad” and therefore we should accept that Radical Islam is justified in its current “bad” acts.

He rejects American exceptionalism by saying, “Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.” Yet in the space of 200 years that is what America became…an exceptional nation. It became a nation that causes people all over the world to seek. It’s ideals of freedom and democracy are a beacon to all those who experience oppression – political, social or economic. Does he truly believe that our exceptionalism will cause our failure?

Perhaps the most troubling thesis was his pronouncement, “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.” We did not choose to make war with Islam but rather the most violent believers of Islam have declared war on America and every other infidel nation. Reluctantly we have been pushed to the brink and must consider the unthinkable…war to insure our ultimate survival.

Obama continues to cling to his warm, childhood memories of a Muslim faith that gave him comfort and solace as a child. His belief in Islam is reflected in this statement, “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.” His childhood faith has failed him and us, as a nation. Where are the Islamic voices rising up, amassed, condemning and rejecting this perversion of their faith? Could it be because they do not believe it is a perversion? Is it we, grounded in Judeo-Christianity, who are ignorant, clinging to the hope that main stream Islam will reject violence born out of a belief in an apocalypse in which they will prevail?

Lastly Obama in that revealing speech said, “But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path.” We heard what his version of the right path is in his speech to the nation on December 7, 2015, ironically delivered on the 74th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II. President Obama’s refusal to face an enemy that wants to destroy us while using the rationale of upholding our values is troubling on many levels. The right path for us is our very survival as a free country. It appears it is not the path that Obama embraces.

Can we survive another year of President Obama’s leadership based on a tenet of tolerance for the most radical of Islamists? He pays lip service to the destruction of ISIS as his directions to achieve that goal continue to be ineffectual. We all hope we can survive but deep down there is a palpable unease within the country. We rush to arm ourselves at a record pace fearing that another San Bernadino and Paris are inevitable. We wait for the other shoe to drop and fear that we may be next. Pray for us.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 319 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

We are a compassionate country but I hope we are not a stupid country. Why would we accept healthy, young Syrian men who most assuredly hold belief in Sharia Law? Why are these young men not on their country’s battlefield? Accept women and children, for they are the true victims in so many ways.   As the Syrian Yazidi Christians were being slaughtered earlier this year and we saw the beheading of Christians and heard that their women were sold into slavery where was the administration outrage? Why did we not hear the administration offering to accept 10,000 of the Yazidi?

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, “I have never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding. They’ve just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country.”

At least sixteen governors have said that they will not accept Syrian refugees. I applaud Governor Ducey’s decision to not accept refugees. In his statement he said, “Given the horrifying events in Paris last week, I am calling for an immediate halt in the placement of any new refugees in Arizona. As governor, I am invoking our state’s right under 8 USC, Section 1522 (a), to receive immediate consultation by federal authorities per the United States Refugee Act, and that the federal government take into account the concerns and recommendations of the state of Arizona as they are required to under federal law, in our efforts to keep our homeland safe. I also call on Congress and the President to immediately amend federal law to provide states greater oversight and authority in the administration of the placement of refugees. These acts serve as a reminder that the world remains at war with radical Islamic terrorists. Our national leaders must react with the urgency and leadership that every American expects to protect our citizens.”

Did you know there are 10 federally affiliated refugee processing centers in Arizona? One in Glendale; five in Phoenix; and four in Tucson. Have they processed any of the 10,000 Syrian refugees being held in New Orleans? The information on refugee locations is courtesy of Dawn Monaghan via Brad Richdale:

http://www.wrapsnet.org/Portals/1/Affiliate%20Directory%20Posting/FY%202014%20Affiliate%20Directory/21Nov14_Public%20Affiliate%20directory.pdf

Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

Office of Admissions – Refugee Processing Center

Affiliate Directory

International Rescue Committee Address:

4425 West Olive Avenue, Suite 400

Glendale, AZ 85302-3847

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest Address:

3443 N. Central Ave., North Rotunda

Phoenix, AZ 85012

Arizona Immigrant and Refugee Services Address:

10240 North 31st Avenue, Suite 112

Phoenix, AZ 85051

Refugee Focus Address:

3443 N. Central Ave, North Rotunda

Phoenix, AZ 85012

CATHOLIC CHARITIES COMMUNITY SERVICES Address:

1825 W Northern Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85021-5298

Catholic Charities Community Services Address:

615 West Pierson Street

Phoenix, AZ 85013

Refugee Focus Address:

120 N. Stone Ave., Suite #220R

Tucson, AZ 85701

International Rescue Committee Address:

3100 N. Campbell Avenue, Suite 101

Tucson, AZ 85719

Refugee Focus Address:

120 N. Stone Ave. Suite# 220R

Tucson, AZ 85701

Catholic Migration & Refugee Services Address:

140 W. Speedway Blvd #130

Tucson, AZ 85705

Yes, we remain a compassionate country that will accept your tired, your hungry and your poor but we are not a stupid country that willingly will accept terrorists whose only mandate is to destroy the Inifidel…us.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

%d bloggers like this: