The Real Brewer Jobs Plan

Gov. Brewer’s campaign co-chair, Mary Peters, made a head-scratching claim at a GOP event in Ahwatukee. Speaking on behalf of the governor, Peters said that Brewer “has already created thousands of jobs and will continue to work on that.”


Peters, who was Transportation Secretary in the job-killing Bush administration, needs to be briefed about Brewer’s true record on job creation:

In May, Arizona lost another 4,300 private-sector jobs and the unemployment rate here increased to 9.6 percent, according to the state Commerce Department. Arizona’s only job gains in May were due to federal Census worker hires. Arizona has a net loss of 98,900 jobs since Brewer took the reins as governor in January 2009.
In February, Brewer signed off on massive cuts to AHCCCS and KidsCare. According to a study commissioned by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, these cuts could eliminate 42,000 Arizona jobs, devastating a sector of the economy that is actually growing in our state.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposed cuts to health care would drain an estimated $2.7 billion in state and federal funding from Arizona’s economy and result in the loss of 42,000 jobs, according to an analysis by economists at Arizona State University… The Governor’s Office did not dispute the analysis. [Analysis conducted by Seidman Research Institute at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. — AZ Republic, 2/25/10]

Brewer has also unveiled several “jobs plans,” but so far they’ve only generated publicity – no actual jobs.

Instead of bringing us real leadership on Arizona’s border-security problems, Gov. Jan Brewer brought us Sarah Palin, a leader on … um… seeing Russia’s border from Alaska.

By enlisting Palin, Brewer proved she is focused more on her political future than on Arizona’s real immigration-related problems – drug and weapons traffickers, human smuggling and kidnapping in our neighborhoods. These are the very problems Arizona’s attorney general and Democrats in the state Legislature are working hard to combat. But Arizona will continue to suffer as its governor rolls out publicity stunts designed to help her win the GOP primary.

In just over a year, our unelected “accidental governor” has done more damage to Arizona than we can wrap our heads around. She and the Republicans in power continue to push Arizona down the wrong track by cutting jobs, ignoring our soaring foreclosure rate and driving the state economy into a deeper hole. Their values are not Arizona values. Consider:

-After promising not to “decimate” education and programs for the most vulnerable, Brewer made the largest cut to education in state history. We now rank last in the nation for education funding.

-She cut thousands of jobs during an economic crisis.

-She took police officers and firefighters off the streets and out of our neighborhoods when she made massive cuts to public safety.

-She eliminated federally mandated and funded health care for more than 40,000 working-class kids, making Arizona the only state in the nation to do so.

We need to get Arizona on the right track by implementing real immigration reform and cracking down on the criminal cartels. We need to attract businesses and jobs to our state. And we must strengthen our education system. But with Brewer as governor and her Republican cronies in the majority, Arizona will stay on the wrong track.

The Wrist Watch That Saved My Life

duarte mountainIt all began a dark, dreary night on one of the highest mountains in the Dominican Republic. As an avid mountain climber I had decided to climb the highest mountain in the Dominican Republic called Duarte. This mountain has an elevation of approximately 7000 feet and though that is not very high it is a rigorous climb to the top. The record for climbing this mountain was 5 hours and 37 minutes and I was determined to beat that record.

I decided to start my ascent at 4 AM in the morning because it was advantageous to climb before the hot sun came out. The Dominican Republic is a tropical island and it can become quite toasty during the day. When the weather is hot it is harder to climb because of the increase in perspiration. Increased perspiration means that you will have to drink more water which means that you will have to carry more water which means that you will have to go slower because of the extra weight.

As I began my ascent I felt as if there was someone behind me. At first I ignored it as simply being an overactive imagination but the higher I got the more I was convinced that there was indeed someone following me. I tried to ignore this feeling of despair and concentrate on the task at hand. I was now half way up the mountain and I was ahead in time. The climbing record for this mountain has lasted for more than 20 years and there have been many attempts to better it but no one has been able so far to do it.

the snake man
The snake man of the Dominican. Cool figure

As I was 3/4 of the way up the mountain I positively knew that someone was now behind me. I still did not know why there would be someone following me so I continued upward at a torrid pace. The sun was now in the sky and the temperature was starting to rise. I consumed what little water I had carefully so that I would have enough for the return trip down the mountain. I still was on pace to beat the 20-year-old record and I was motivated to do so.

The time is now 9:05 AM and I still had 32 minutes left to make it to the top. I calculated that I would be able to do it in 16 minutes at the pace that I was climbing. I turned around to see if the person behind me was still following and I caught a glimpse of a man 500 yards further down the mountain. He saw me and yelled for me to stop because it was an emergency. I had to stop just in case there was a serious emergency happening and I reasoned that I would still have enough time to break the record.

As a man approached me I recognized him as the person who held the 20-year-old record. He told me that he did not want me to break his record and if I did not stop he would shoot me. I turned around and continued upward and he pulled out a gun and fired. The bullet went through my backpack and hit my outdoor watch which prevented the bullet from entering my body. I immediately turned around and threw a rock at this man and knocked him unconscious. I continued up the mountain and beat his record by 11 minutes. This crazy man was later sent to jail for attempted murder.

Here is the kind of watch that I was wearing then. It was a Seiko SNA411, a really solid steel watch. I don’t know what would have happened if I had one of those new plastic or resin watches, like the G-Shocks. They’re solid allright, but I’m a little doubtful they could retain a bullet. So, my Seiko did a great job. What did I do about that one being broken? I went ahead and bought another exactly the same.

Let’s win in Arizona

Lately a lot of people have been asking us, has Arizona gone nuts?

The Arizona Republican Party is in a circular firing squad. More than in perhaps any other state, the Republicans here are in a civil war to determine if social conservatives can take control. This internal fight coupled with the new immigration law creates a unique opportunity for Democrats this election. This is a state where the netroots could well spell the difference and in fact, there is a solid chance of knocking off Republican icon John McCain, but we need your help.

Participating clean elections candidate running for statewide offices have to collect over 5,000 $5 contributions and cannot accept any further contributions. Attorney General Terry Goddard is running for Governor and a clean elections candidate. A DailyKos poll had Goddard 6 points over Brewer and with double digit leads over all other Republican candidates. But Goddard can’t take any further individual contributions.

Under Arizona’s Clean Elections system, the Party is empowered to have a strong voice in campaigns. The Arizona Democratic Party can accept unlimited amounts of personal contributions. We are committed to grassroots democracy and building an army of regular Americans who want to contribute to the effort to stop Jan Brewer and the GOP legislators who are giving our state a bad reputation.

The role of the Democratic Party in Arizona is critical. We manage an intense field operation, massive voter contact programs, and one of the most sophisticated vote-by-mail campaigns in the country to increase Democratic turnout to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. The Party’s role is central for statewide Democratic candidates.

Arizona fights back

Arizona’s new immigration law is a sham, and that’s just fine by Republicans

Greetings from Arizona, where we have a brand new immigration law. It’s been called many things, a few of them even printable. But here’s what I call that law: a sham.

It’s a sham because the Republicans who drafted the bill, SB1070, know it does nothing to protect Arizona. They know it doesn’t help secure the border. And they know it makes law enforcement’s job even harder. Local police who are busy solving crimes and catching criminals will now have to enforce federal immigration laws. But Republicans passed the bill anyway – it’s an election year, after all — and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into law on Friday.

Brewer says she did “the right thing” for Arizona. I say she did it for the right-wing in Arizona. After all, the governor is locked in a race to the right with a handful of GOP primary challengers.

Arizona is a border state — it’s no secret we have a serious crime problem at our border. Over the decades, the federal government has neither secured the border nor passed comprehensive immigration reform to protect our families and our economy.

But let’s be clear: SB1070 is a sham. The real public-safety threats to Arizona are border violence, drug cartels and human smuggling. This new law does nothing – I repeat – nothing to secure our border, make us safer, or put a dent in the cartels’ operations. Instead, it diverts law enforcement’s attention from more serious crimes. It forces police to defend frivolous lawsuits. It creates fear among Hispanic communities. And it puts a black mark on Arizona nationally at a time when our state needs to attract businesses and tourism.

Despite all their chest-thumping about being tough on immigration, the Republicans could take a lesson from a Democrat – Attorney General Terry Goddard – who takes on the drug and human smuggling rings every day in his job. His work keeps Arizona safer, unlike the empty GOP grandstanding. Our state party is working hard to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket in November, starting with Terry Goddard at the top. He called on Brewer to veto SB1070, but she caved in to the right wing.

We love Arizona, and we’re angry about what’s happening here. We know people across the country are angry too. So what happens after the protesters and the TV trucks go home? We register voters. We boost community outreach. We raise money. We spread our message in every way, across every form of media. In other words, we use all of our resources to elect strong, common-sense Democrats. It’s the only way to get Arizona back on track. If you’re angry too, we invite you to join us.

Unless we win this fight, Arizona is stuck with this sham of a law – and sham of leadership.