NRCC’s open appeal to misogynists in CD01 reveals the bind the Right is in with women

03 Sep 2014 05:08 pm
Posted by: Donna

By now you’ve probably seen the RCCC attack ad against Ann Kirkpatrick in which she is portrayed as a pair of legs in high heels dragging a roll-around suitcase. Because she has “baggage”, get it? Just like your crazy ex, amirite fellas?

The sexist cheap shots at Ann Kirkpatrick (of which this ad is not the first), like many of the recent jibes at Hillary Clinton (such as Rand Paul blaming her for her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky), seem stupidly counterproductive. Older white women are one of the last groups of women consistently supporting Republicans so why do they appear to be actively trying to alienate those women? My guess is they just can’t help themselves, since rank misogyny is an integral part of the GOP ethos, like racism, fetishizing guns, and worshiping rich people. But the constant stream of misogynistic vitriol from their angry mob, coupled with GOP leadership repeatedly making it clear that they will never respect women under any circumstances is not terribly conducive to that whole outreach effort we keep hearing so much about.

That Shawnna Bolick sure seems to have her priorities in order

02 Sep 2014 02:53 pm
Posted by: Donna

I met Shawnna Bolick two years ago when we were on a Channel 12 panel to discuss Ann Romney’s upcoming speech to the the 2012 RNC Convention. The topic was, naturally, how women perceived the Romney campaign. At one point during the segment, Bolick looked me right in the eye and pointedly informed me, anchor Mark Curtis, and the entire viewing audience how she had always paid for her own birth control, thank you very much. The obvious implication of that was that Shawnna Bolick was responsible, unlike those slutty-sluts such as Sandra Fluke who rely on the government to hand them birth control. It’s a safe assumption that what Bolick meant was that her private health insurance covered her birth control, which was the exact thing Fluke, who was required by Georgetown University to purchase their private insurance plan (which did not cover contraception) wanted to argue for before Congress. It never had anything to do with the government paying for it, not that it mattered to Bolick, who was determined to push the “pay for your own birth control, floozies” canard.

Bolick happens to be a former staffer for Rick “License To Do Things In The Sexual Realm” Santorum. Her time working for the Heritage Foundation and the zealously anti-contraception Santorum as a grad student was where Shawnna Bolick (who paid for her own birth control, dammit!) says her “Republican and pro-life values became cemented for life.” Bolick ran unsuccessfully in the 2010 GOP primary for the Arizona House in what is now District 28 (my own district). This year she succeeded in winning a nomination slot and will face Democratic incumbent Dr. Eric Meyer in the general elections.

Bolick’s Center for Arizona Policy questionnaire reveal her to be a standard culture war conservative. She’s anti-choice, anti-LGBT rights, opposes Common Core, and wants to make it easier to nominate conservative judges. But she does lay a figleaf of libertarianism over it in the form of supporting gambling off of reservations and not fully opposing marijuana legalization. Oh, and here’s her answer on restricting X rated websites:

I am not familiar with this issue or technology. I don’t want to give government any more control over the web or a list.

Guys, your porn is safe with Shawnna! Bolick is married to Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute and has received a lot of her campaign donations from conservative business interests so it’s no surprise that she’s all about protecting and expanding the freedoms of affluent white dudes while doing the exact opposite for everyone else.

I think I figured it out

29 Aug 2014 02:12 pm
Posted by: Donna

So there I was, with my insomnia, watching Craig Ferguson Wednesday night, when what did I see but this ri-donk-ulous ad from the Republican Governor’s Association. It claimed that Fred DuVal personally and single-handedly raised college tuition rates in Arizona an astronomical amount while serving on the Board of Regents. My first thought was that this is a brazen Swiftboating of DuVal, one that not only attacks one of his biggest strengths as a candidate (education), but will also get by the fact-checkers with an “inconclusive” rating because it’s technically true that tuition went up while DuVal served as a Regent. Conveniently omitted is the fact that the Legislature, not the Regents, were the ones who cut funding per college student by one third since 2007. What a bunch of lying scumwads, thought I.

But Jon Thompson, the communications director of the RGA, disagrees.

Thompson, however, was not backing down, insisting the hikes weren’t necessary.

“He had a clear choice,” Thompson said. “DuVal chose to raise costs, making college more unaffordable for middle class families.”

Thompson, a North Carolina native currently residing in DC who has spent his entire career being a Republican ad guy and publicist, is clearly the foremost expert on Arizona college funding so if he says Fred DuVal unilaterally commanded that college tuition was going up, for no reason, by gum that what must have happened! Obviously I need to rethink my assumptions.

Here’s the entirely plausible scenario I came up with for how Fred DuVal gets the entire blame for the tuition hikes:

DuVal arrived at his first Board of Regents meeting in 2007 hopped up on speed and possibly a marijuana cigarette. After the minutes were read, Fred whipped out his gold plated cigar cutter custom engraved by Bill and Hillary Clinton and proceeded to slaughter the entire rest of the board members. DuVal then scrawled LOBBYING IS GROOVY on the wall with their blood. Then he was the only Regent ever again and spent his days maniacally raising tuition and giving all the money to ACORN, La Raza, and Planned Parenthood.

And now you know the rest of the story. Thanks, Obama.

Hey, AZ “business leaders”, we need to talk about Doug Ducey.

27 Aug 2014 06:47 pm
Posted by: Donna

One of the (many) problems in a red state as economically polarized as Arizona is that the wealthier people are, the more insulated they are from the terrible right wing laws and policies that get passed. They have no fear of being stopped on the street by law enforcement because of how they look. Their children attend private schools or what good public schools remain. The indignities and deprivations visited upon vulnerable members of the population due to cuts to safety net programs are abstractions to them. They live mostly segregated lives in exclusive communities where they only interact with poor people when they’re being served by them. And these affluent Arizonans wield nearly all the political clout because they are the people who fund lobbyists and campaigns, including those of some of the most noxious right wingers.

With that in mind, I need to have a word with some of our esteemed business leaders, CEOs, and titans of industry in Arizona. In particular I want to talk to the ones who constantly bemoan our political climate here and the cuts to education, public safety, and health care* (while turning right around and lobbying for tax cuts for themselves but let’s leave that aside for now):

What are you going to do about Doug Ducey? He’s radically anti-choice and anti-gay rights, and militantly anti-immigrant. He also wants to repeal the Medicaid law and abolish the state income tax. He has a close relationship Cathi Herrod, who promises to be even more of a fixture at the legislature with no Chuck Coughlin in the Governor’s office to keep her somewhat at bay. Ducey is kicking off the general campaign with an event starring Sarah Palin and Dinesh D’Souza, who is one of the most terrible people in the world. If you aren’t lining up to give Fred DuVal enthusiastic support and piles of money right now, then I don’t want to hear you whine about how lousy things are under Governor Ducey. I’m looking straight at you, Craig Barrett, when I say this. I’m looking at you, various and sundry Chambers of Commerce. You too, lobbyists.

You guys stood idly by when SB1070 bitterly divided the state and sparked boycotts in 2010. You were nearly a day late and a dollar short with SB1062 this past year. Ducey has promised to bring that back. Is that what you want? Do you really want to go through that again? How much time and money would you like to see the Legislature devote to debating Cathi Herrod** bills and defending them in court?

Oh, and this is a general election now, and a statewide one, so you don’t get to blame partisan primaries if Ducey gets elected because he is able to overwhelm DuVal with dark money and dirty smears. You sure as shit don’t get to blame Clean Elections. And it’s not like DuVal is some raging left wing hippie either. I mean, geez.

*There is a considerable segment of this group who hold very right wing views and think the Legislature is doing just fine. They are already lined up behind Ducey.

**I don’t think Herrod had much to do with Ducey winning the primary. She’s not that influential in the public, despite her prodigious ability to bully lawmakers. It was the aforementioned right wing business people pouring money into Ducey that put him over.

Credit where it’s due

26 Aug 2014 04:41 pm
Posted by: Donna

I have written a few times, and not favorably, about former Mesa Mayor and GOP candidate for AZ Governor Scott Smith. I stand by everything I’ve said. Liberals need to stop swooning over him because he’s a right wing guy, even if he doesn’t appear (at this point, anyway) to be as far off the deep end as his competitors. That said, I am impressed by the effort put forth by his supporters to engage NPD (no party designated) voters in the primary. It may not end up being enough but there was a substantial increase in the number who requested a ballot and that is a good thing. It shows that there are people making a good faith attempt to moderate the GOP and this is the right way to do it, by working within the party primary. It has more chance of succeeding than the harebrained scheme some people in this state have of changing the primary into a Top Two one, which, among other things, is an attempt to coerce Democrats into helping clean up the Republicans. The GOP caused its own problems and they’re going to have to fix them themselves.

So good luck tonight, Scott Smith. I mean that.

Sorry, no, “independent” candidates aren’t going to save us

25 Aug 2014 12:58 pm
Posted by: Donna

There’s a general consensus out there that partisans suck and are everything that is wrong with politics, so it would stand to reason that having candidates who don’t belong to parties would bring a refreshing perspective and a practical focus on issues to elections. Yet “independent” politicians, with notable exceptions like Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders, generally fail to catch on and are tend to act as spoilers when they make it to the ballot, whether or not that was their intention. In Kansas, however, Senate candidate Greg Orman, a former Democrat who now belongs to no party, polls well against incumbent Republican Pat Roberts for this year’s election when the Democrat is not in the race. MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki interviewed him on Sunday morning.

It may just be the partisan in me talking but I’m not too impressed by this guy. First, he spouts the grievously wrong “extremists on both sides” false equivalence repeatedly and then proceeds to refuse to identify which party he’d caucus with if elected (which is kind of an important bit of information) and to refuse to even say who he’s voting for for Governor, citing privacy (which is simply ludicrous). Yeah, I get that it’s a tough state for Democrats to win so this might all be necessary posturing on his part, but it does go to show that “independents” are as likely to be hacks as their partisan counterparts. At least with the partisans you have a better idea of what you’re getting.

Miranda campaign lying to LD27 voters about her anti-choice stance and record.

22 Aug 2014 04:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

After weeks of hearing voters at their doors telling canvassers for Aaron Marquez, who is challenging Catherine Miranda for the Arizona LD27 Democratic Senate nomination, that supporters of Miranda had told them she was pro-choice, the Marquez camp now has recorded evidence of the deception.

I’m not sure if this phone-banker is paid or a volunteer, but she is definitely not speaking out of her own ignorance. She pauses when asked if Miranda is pro-choice to ask someone in the campaign office, who assures her that Miranda “supports a woman’s right to choose”.

Bzzzzt!

Miranda voted for surprise clinic inspections and other onerous regulations designed to make abortion access difficult to impossible, as well as for defunding family planning centers. If Miranda is going to call herself “pro-choice” now, I and a lot of other people would be really interested in knowing how she defines that. Right now this looks like a deliberate lie on her campaign’s part.

Polling in this race indicates this race is a toss-up. If you want to give Aaron Marquez a hand on this final weekend before Tuesday’s primary, please do.