So you think this election’s about you

29 Jul 2018 09:58 pm
Posted by: Krista

With “Fight Song” playing in the background and memories from 2016 showing up on my FB feed, I’m reliving my time as a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Philadelphia. July. 2016.

It was hot and sweaty, oppressive for this used-to-the-dry-heat Arizona native, but being there, in the City of Brotherly Love, staying at a hotel within walking distance of Independence Hall, living and breathing in the birthplace of the nation during the week the first woman of a major political party became a Presidential nominee… That was magic. That was energizing. That was mind blowing.

For a few days, that was a whole lotta people living in a bubble where logic and reason prevailed, and a steady hand and temperament took center stage. It was a world where strangers were friends, Delegates were celebrities, and everyone wanted to be us.

Do you know what it’s like to be in a city with thousands of people who share your values?

We were all smiles all the time. I met a woman at the SEPTA station. She was a Hillary delegate from New Mexico. We got to talking while waiting for the train, on our way to the convention. We parted ways, and I didn’t expect to see her again…until I met her another day on another station waiting for another train. It didn’t occur to me to get her info, but then I found her on FB because how many Hillary delegates named Rita live in New Mexico? We’re still FB friends.

I want you to know there was a man I met on the train who thanked me for being an active Democrat in a state like Arizona. I told him it’s a beautiful state and there are a lot of energized Democrats working there.

Our Arizona political superstars were hobnobbing with us. Like Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, always with a smile and a kind word. He could talk to my husband about tech and Phx startup for hours, always energized and full of Arizona’s potential.

I sat on the convention floor with Representative Charlene Fernandez, an amazing force whose super power is balancing strength and kindness. She sat in rapt attention, absorbing every word in every speech, and chair dancing to every song.

I sat with Senator Katie Hobbs, whose enthusiasm and excitement for Hillary were palpable. She was on fire, full of energy and pride to be a part of this movement. If I hadn’t already been a Hillary fan, Katie would have sold me on her.

And then there was the brief time Gabby Giffords came to stand with Arizona. It was so good to see her.

I saw Howard Dean in the halls, and I wanted to tell him “Thank You.” He was surrounded by people, and I couldn’t get close.

Then there was the Bernie supporter who was an acquaintance. We didn’t know each other very well, but we kept running into each other and talking. Now she’s one of my best friends and a Vice Chair for the Arizona Democratic Party. I tell her I forgive her for being a Bernie supporter, and she laughs because she thinks I’m missing something.

My memories don’t match the picture some people paint of the discord and rancor on the floor at the convention or after. There were a few delegates who tried to foment rebellion, and we heard that some delegates staged a walk out. But all I saw were the speakers, all I heard was the incredible flow of words coming from the stage. Such poetry and eloquence. I witnessed it all. I was there when Michelle Obama wowed us with her words. I was there when Khizr Khan pulled the Constitution out of his pocket and waved it in the air. I was there when Hillary was nominated and we saw the glass ceiling break. We were overcome with emotion, grasping hands, and crying and smiling through our tears.

You see, the Democratic National Convention brought us together. The convention was balm for our souls, and we were done fighting because we had an election to win. I was lucky to be a part of something big, and I was ready to get to work. I didn’t expect to be blindsided like an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

If only we’d known how important that election was.

Arizona. July. 2018.

It’s so hot, always sweaty. Primary season. Some of our candidate friends are running against other candidate friends. Every canvass feels hotter than the canvass before, but candidates still need volunteers. It’s the volunteers who walk in the heat that candidates love the most, because they know the sacrifice. That is loyalty.

We know some of our friends are going to lose in the Primary. Thinking about it hurts, but that’s really what I want to talk about. Yes, some of our candidates are going to lose, and some of us may want to take a break. We may even think about voting for a third party because the candidate who beat our friend in the Primary doesn’t deserve our vote. That’s what I fear. Because we need to stand firm. To go back to Hillary and the convention, we are so much stronger together.

We are poised to take over the Senate for the first time in my life, and we are close to taking the House with great candidates running in key races this year. If they win, we will send pro-education, pro-women Democrats to the legislature. Just think of how many bills a powerful group of Democrats can stop before they get to the Governor.

And let’s talk about the Governor. No matter who wins, I’m supporting the Democrat. I would love to have a Governor who can veto some of the nonsense that comes out of the Legislature again.

With CD2 in play, we have the chance to deliver another Dem to the U.S. House of Representatives. The more we deliver, the stronger we are. It’s not my district, but I have faith that my friends in CD2 unite behind the primary winner to take back that seat in November.

And then there’s the Senate seat. Remember, DeVos was confirmed when the Vice President cast a tie-breaking vote. If we had won the Senate seat in 2016… Well, let’s not deal in “ifs.” Instead, I’ll put this out there: from the time the VP took office in January 2017 until June 2018, he cast nine tie-breaking votes. We can’t let him cast anymore. No matter who wins the Senate primary this year, I’m voting for the Democrat.

We may not have a convention to pull us together after the primary, but we did have the Women’s March. We did have the March for Our Lives, the March for Science, and #RedforEd. We are in the fight of our lives. Walking in solidarity with tens of thousands of new friends was magic. It was energizing. It was mind blowing.

Those movements brought us together in ways we haven’t seen in decades. Seeing the mass of people marching was balm for my soul, and we can’t let the momentum behind those marches die. We have an election to win, and we can’t let our new friends down.

Because we do know how important this election is.


You can find Krista Pacion on Twitter or Instagram as @kristabellerina. You can also catch up with her on

What a Little Research Reveals: Wikileaks Podesta Emails from 6/2016 through 11/2016

15 Jul 2018 10:07 pm
Posted by: Krista

With her usual edgy and brilliant commentary (aka, acerbic wit), Donna captured the disturbing media coverage of Podesta’s hacked emails. I’ve re-posted the first round of Donna’s research here in its entirety. I encourage you to switch over to Twitter to read the rest and the comments.

I marched! Now what?

13 Apr 2018 10:49 am
Posted by: Krista

You’ve marched for women.
You’ve marched for your lives.
You’re wearing #RedForEd.

Now what?

Here are a couple of short lists of things you can do that make a big impact. These lists are not meant to be comprehensive, but feel free to leave your feedback about what I missed in the comments.

Fight where you stand (what you can do right now, today, and for the next few days – a little effort goes a long way):

  • Register to vote, and make sure the people in your family are registered to vote
  • Register your 17-year-old friends to vote (they can register to vote if they turn 18 before the next election – Nov. 6, 2018 – register my 17yo to vote)
  • Motivate in CD8 – the state is rallying around this special election (April 24th), and there are dozens of events and volunteer opportunities around the state. Phone banks, text banks, and canvassing opportunities are ongoing until April 24th. Volunteer or donate to Hiral.
  • Sign the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative, and make sure your entire family and all your friends sign it (How do I carry a petition?)
  • Wear #RedForEd on Wednesdays, and keep putting the pressure on the Governor and Legislature to fund our schools with a dedicated funding source

Long term change (how to become an activist):

Like I said, feel free to leave a comment about what I missed. Keeping these lists short was intentional :)

Stop with this “don’t talk about your opponents!” nonsense

13 Mar 2018 12:27 am
Posted by: Donna

The thing is, I keep starting blog posts, which have tended to take a day or more to complete in most cases (not writing, but finding time to edit and format) but the news cycle changes etch-a-sketch quickly so I often abandon them but, screw it, I’m finishing this one.

have you seen other guys
OMG you should have seen the outrage over this slogan!

Oprah Winfrey appeared on Van Jones’ CNN show (warning: link autoplays) to declare she’s decided not to run for President (for now, at least) but had some advice for aspiring Presidential candidates in 2020:

“I will say to whoever is going to run for office, do not give your energy to the other side,” she said in an interview with CNN’s Van Jones on “The Van Jones Show,” airing Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

“Do not spend all your time talking about your opponents. Do not give your energy to that which you really don’t believe in. Do not spend an ounce of your time on that,” she told the CNN host.

Oprah is doing that thing where she repeats conventional wisdom that sounds wise and insightful but is really very, very bad political advice. It presents an election race as a literal foot race where the entrant who simply runs faster and crosses the finish line sooner wins. Train hard every day! Eat right! Don’t be distracted by what your opponent is doing!

I can see why Oprah might say this: her own career trajectory is that of a talented woman’s tireless pursuit of opportunity and advancement. She didn’t start out on the talk show circuit ripping on Donohue and Sally Jessy Raphael*! She created her own show, and built a vast entertainment empire signified by, first her name, and then merely the letter “O”.

It’s tempting, especially in retrospect, for Oprah and we non-Oprah mere mortals to view elections as strictly linear events involving only (or mostly) the strengths or level of participation of the entrants, but they rarely are. Most elections contain elements of many kinds of competitive human endeavors, including sports, entertainment, and advertising. If anything high profile elections resemble the multi-year marketing campaigns of corporate giants – Mac vs PC, Coke vs Pepsi.

Thought exercise! Imagine if PepsiCo, Inc., began including an ingredient that caused painful illnesses in many of the people who drank their products. It went on for years. It was such a problem everyone knew the Pepsi products were causing the sickness, which was known to kill people many times. While Pepsi was also engaged in deceptive advertising practices deliberately hiding their malfeasance.

What would you expect Coca Cola, Corp., to do in this scenario? Focus solely on how delicious and refreshing Coke products are, while promising not only permanently quenched thirst, but also endless clear skin, manageable hair, and perfectly un-troubled self-esteem? Would you not think it a tad strange if Coke never or rarely mentioned the deadly poison Pepsi was including in many of its products, plus their corrupt business practices, in Coke’s advertising and promotional communications?

Wouldn’t you think Coca Cola and Co. were the kind of the biggest dopes ever for not highlighting how bad Pepsi was? Even if you weren’t happy with Coke’s products and business model, don’t you think the fact Pepsi was deliberately poisoning people would be a good reason for Coke to suspend their usual “hey, we add life!” programming to turn an eye to more of a “hey, Pepsi really sucks, don’t buy it, seriously!” message?

You would, and you know it. Going anti-Pepsi as opposed to pro-Coke would be considered the obvious smart strategy for Coke.

And even if you were firmly committed to belief Pepsi loyalists are really nice, yet misunderstood, people, I’m pretty sure you’d treat their constant entreaties to everyone, including you, to buy poison-laced Pepsi over non-poisoned Coke as dangerous nonsense!

Yes, you know you would. Because, obviously, consumer products are important!

As opposed to elections.

Here are some (but not all) things you foreclose Democrats talking about when you insist they mustn’t give energy to the other (GOP) side:

Theft of a Supreme Court seat.
Attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Attacks on immigrants.
Attacks on DACA recipients.
Bashing poor people.
The environment, ever.
The GOP war on voting rights.
The GOP war on education.
The GOP war on women’s rights.

What, if anything, are Democrats actually allowed to talk about, under this “positivity only!” mandate? Do you want Democrats to save you or not?

*When Oprah Winfrey was sued by Texas cattle ranchers over her statements on her show about beef production, she fought them directly, and won.

Where’d we go for six months?

21 Jan 2018 11:23 pm
Posted by: Admin

Hi, it’s your friendly admin here. Sometimes a girl needs a break. While Donna was taking a short hiatus from blogging, I took a short hiatus from administrative updates. We had a broken site for a while, but now it should be up and running again, and Donna has even started posting. If you notice any issues with the way the site is running, drop me a line. I’m trying to keep up with it and am even thinking of doing a site refresh. Wish us luck!

McSally announces Senate bid, fails to condemn Trump’s racism, still wants you to think she’s cool

12 Jan 2018 02:37 pm
Posted by: Donna

As I’ve mentioned lo these many times about Arizona Republicans, there is a highly successful subset of them who, despite their obvious lack of interest in competent governance of any kind, are impressively adept at what is known to political junkies as “working the refs” or “manipulating mainstream pundits”.

Martha McSally is one such Republican, and she brings something extra to the mix by not only being a female military veteran (fighter pilot!) but also in cultivating an image of herself as a feisty feminist who occasionally indulges in naughty profanity. (None of which is anything I’d hate on her for, except for the fact that she’s anti-choice AF, rendering her “feminism” largely self-serving bullshit.)

Today turned out to be a less-than-optimal day for Rep. McSally to make her official announcement to run for the Senate seat Jeff Flake is vacating this year due to some breaking news about President Trump saying he didn’t want people emigrating here from what he called “shithole” countries.

When asked about it, instead of issuing a straightforward condemnation of the remark, McSally chose evasion and an attempt to self-promote as a straight talking maverick who sometimes uses (wink wink) salty language!

Rep. McSally, what Trump said was racist, not merely indecorous, and you failed your very first test as potential U.S. Senator representing Arizona.

Yes, what she said was clearly aimed at not pissing off Trump’s base, which she needs to win the primary, but I also think McSally is fully aware of how the self-appointed Guardians of Civil Discourse and Nonpartisan Objectivity™ in the press here tend to conflate bigotry and misogyny with “vulgarity” and other forms of general rudeness. I’m picturing her making very public and theatrical shows of stopping herself from using profanity, fully expecting the plaudits and endorsements to roll in: “McSally seems to be growing naturally into the role of the mature Arizona stateswoman.” Barf.

Arpaio not off to an auspicious start

10 Jan 2018 01:39 am
Posted by: Donna

Why, oh why, for my first post back in months does it have to be about the bad stench we thought we had (at least) extinguished in 2016?

Going to throw a damper on the urgency expressed by ABC 15 reporter Jason Volentine in his tweet. This is hardly an exciting first polling result for former Sheriff Arpaio in the GOP primary. And some questions you, my esteemed friends in the local news media, could ask might include:

1. Is Arpaio remotely qualified to be a U.S. Senator?

Ha ha, no more numbers, that’s the only pertinent question. Really, is he?

You all know that the answer to that – on every single intellectual, moral, and basic competency level you could imagine – is NO. The average adult picked at random in Arizona would probably be a better choice to represent us in the U.S. Senate than Joe Arpaio. You know that.

So please, friends in the press, treat him the way you’d treat any 86 year old Democrat with a history of incendiary racist public statements, squandering tax dollars, cruelty, and a criminal record commemorating that cruelty. Or a 36 year old, impeccably healthy Democrat with a PhD in public policy and no criminal record! Literally any Democrat!

You know he is not in any way a reasonable Senate candidate. So don’t do your viewers and readers the disservice of acting like he is one. Don’t do yourselves that disservice. Maybe act like this election has consequences or something. Maybe to you.

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