Monday, April 30, 2007

BLM suicide underscores bureaucratic inhumanity

Conservationist Marlene Braun committed suicide in 05 during political pressure from ranchers, industry and BLM managers.

SACRAMENTO -- An update today from PEER on the Bush/Cheney Bureau of Land Management's Marlene Braun suicide story.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My good day inside the Arizona legislature

AZ's Capitol City from South Mtn.

PHOENIX -- I was at the State Capitol all Wednesday as part of considering a run for Arizona State House (LD29) next year.

Big thanks to Rep. Linda Lopez (D-Tucson), House Democratic leader Rep. Phil Lopes (D-Tucson), Rep. Tom Prezelski (D-Tucson) and others for graciously showing me around the House of Representatives.

Gracias also to Sen. Vic Soltero (D-South Tucson) for introducing me on the Senate floor.

The professionalism and respect I saw within the House, especially on the Dem side, was refreshing and encouraging. It would be an honor to boost Arizona by serving in our important legislature to help quality of life and the public-interest.

Growth and transportation will be even bigger issues for Arizona in the future, especially in the Phoenix-Tucson corridor; Tony Davis has an important article on it today.

Sitting on the House floor during full session, I could see most of our lawmakers work hard and deserve respect, even if we don't agree with them on every issue.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kyl: deadlines on dem wars, but not GOP's Iraq war

Dick Cheney, Jon Kyl and wife Caryll

WASHINGTON -- Arizona's other war Senator, Republican Jon Kyl, has been spewing again that we shouldn't set any dates to get out of Bush's Iraq war.

Not only is Kyl badly out of tune with the American people again, he also is flip-flopping from his earlier pushes for deadlines on conflicts waged by Democratic President Clinton.

GOP mouthpiece Kyl ripped the US Senate's withdraw plan today, saying it was "the first time I know of — in the middle of a war — that a country just announces that on a specific date it’s walking off the battlefield." He further griped, "It’s almost as if Americans want to say that we’re failing before our troops have a chance to get the job done."

Kyl hasn't said that twice during the Clinton administration, he voted for setting "a specific date" for American troops to "walk off the battlefield":

-- In June 1998, Kyl voted for amending National Defense Authorization Act for FY1999 to "require the President to submit Congress a plan for withdrawing United States forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina if the Congress does not so act by March 31, 1999."

-- In May 2000, during the Clinton administration, Kyl voted against removing language from Military Construction Appropriations Act of 2001 to eliminate provisions requiring the President to withdraw all U.S. ground forces from Kosovo by July 1, 2001.

Under Bush/Cheney, Kyl has wailed against timelines and has voted over and over to let Bush/Cheney keep us in the failed, deadly and expensive Iraq war as long as they want.

Super-partisan Sen. Kyl's shots for Bush from the extreme right-wing don't truly represent the views of most Arizonans.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rove's climate tantrum desperate & out of touch

Rove/Bush/Cheney, public enemies #1

WASHINGTON -- Bush's brain, Karl Rove, had a big tantrum Saturday night when asked about global warming and why his administration keeps making it worse.

Rove's childish temper shows just how desperate and out of touch the Bush/Cheney administration is on global warming, and just about everything else critical to America and the world.

If there is any justice left in this country, Rove will eventually be lead away from the White House just as this photo indicates.

Note to Bush/Cheney/Rove and big oil: No justice, no peace.

In other news, struggling Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is reportedly going to speak today in support of CO2 emissions caps.

McCain rightly identifies global warming as, "a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Playoff basketball time, will Suns be NBA champs?

Earvin 'Magic' Johnson

PHOENIX -- I love basketball, both playing and watching it. Now that the NCAAs are over, it is time for the pro NBA playoffs.

I'm really enjoying the Suns-Lakers series. I'm a big fan of both teams. The Suns just won game 1.

Magic Johnson is from my hometown of Lansing MI, and I grew up as a kid watching him at Michigan State and with the Lakers. I still have a picture I drew of Magic with a big afro from 1979 signed "Earvin Johnson, #33," which was his number at MSU before taking #32 with the L.A. Lakers because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar already had 33.

I'm favoring the Suns over the Lakers this series, in 6 or 7 games.

My fave teams in the east are the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bill Richardson 4 on cash list, but has key support

SANTA FE -- Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson is #4 on the D money list, with $6.2M raised in the first quarter.

Not too bad at this stage of the race.

Richardson, New Mexico's Governor, should be especially appealing to Westerners and Arizonans.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Clean powered fun at Southern Arizona Solar Rock

Tucson resident Daniel Patterson, center, generates electricity to power different light bulbs at a demonstration by Kevin Koch of Tucson on Saturday in Himmel Park.

TUCSON -- Arizona Daily Wildcat, Jake Lacey, 4/16: Tucson ecologist Daniel Patterson, on bike, generates electricity to power different light bulbs at a demonstration by Kevin Koch of Technicians for Sustainability on Saturday in Himmel Park.

Jim Jontz, eco-politician and leader, has died; RIP

PORTLAND OR -- A friend and ally to the earth, labor and me, Jim Jontz, former Congressman (D-IN) died at home Saturday from cancer at age 55.

May he rest in peace.

AZ environmental case at Supreme Court this week

Southwestern willow flycatcher on the San Pedro River
WASHINGTON -- It's the greens v. the Bushies again this week at the Supreme Court.

Arizona's growing pains will be heard in consolidated cases involving the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Friday, April 13, 2007

1 week Iraq war $ = solar for every Tucson house

WASHINGTON -- One week's budget for the Iraq war would put a $5,000 solar system (1.5 kW, AC) on every residence in Tucson AZ.

This would eliminate about 93 million pounds of CO2 per month.

The Iraq war costs $100,000 per minute, as stated by the Pentagon.
There are roughly 211,000 housing units in Tucson.
1 kWh = 2.2 lbs of CO2 not produced.
A 1.5 kW system produces about 200 kWh/month.

Celebrate the National Day of Climate Action this Saturday at Solar Rock, a free concert and info event from noon-5pm at Himmel Park in central Tucson (S. of Speedway, E. of Tucson Blvd.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Forest Service, Kyl rush Sabino Cyn. development

TUCSON -- Bush Administration Forest Service officials, responding to aggression and money from Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), are pushing full speed ahead on development and paving of Sabino Canyon without required public comment or environmental review.

Larry Raley of the Coronado National Forest confirmed this today with me on the phone.

Last summer a big flood roared down the canyon, removing much of the old 4 mile paved road up the canyon and restoring natural values.

At that time Forest Service officials were considering allowing Sabino Canyon to remain mostly natural, but progressive thinking stopped with the development push from Kyl and others.

Concerned agency staff told Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) their concerns about the political money rush to construction over conservation.

PEER filed a Freedom of Information Act request today with the Forest Service seeking information on Sabino Canyon's future, and how the agency made up its mind to pave, blast, bulldoze and develop without public comment, environmental review, or consideration of other alternatives.

Sabino Canyon is a special and fragile place of local and national significance. Conservationists support access, not excess.

The public-interest demands a fair and legal transparent public process, and a careful science-based full evaluation of all alternatives for the public to consider and comment on, not a political rush to pave and over-develop Sabino Canyon.

The Tucson Citizen said today in an editorial: "...we implore federal and local officials to respect Mother Nature's mandate and let Sabino Canyon stay primarily in its new fashion. Hundreds of residents have asked the U.S. Forest Service to leave the canyon wild. Sabino Canyon today stands as a scientific laboratory, a place where nature's ways and means can be scrutinized. Let us celebrate these changes by letting them be."

ENOUGH! Tucson fees, says new citizens' effort

TUCSON -- Former AZ State Legislators John Kromko and Carmine Cardamone have started an effort called ENOUGH! to repeal and halt the trash fee and other 'unfair taxes' charged by the city through Tucson Water.

More info at

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Vote #2 for Arizona State Quarter design

PHOENIX -- Vote for the design that will grace Arizona's quarter.

There are some great designs.

My first pick is #2, seen here.

The Arizona State Quarter will be released next year by the US Mint.

DRP talks politics on radio today at 4:25pm PT

TUCSON -- I'll be talking politics as a guest on the John C. Scott show today at 4:25pm.

Listen in Tucson at 1330 AM or anywhere online.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bush flexes on border and immigration in AZ visit

YUMA -- President GW Bush today visited Arizona, focused on border and immigration issues. The visit comes just two days after migrants protested him in Los Angeles.

Thanks, Mr. President, for avoiding Tucson.

Bush and Congress may be getting closer to trying something on immigration, but it still seems like it will include too much border militarization.

Rep. Grijalva, my rep who covers SW Tucson to Yuma, was not there. He is very busy, and sometimes you are more powerful in absence.

Gov. Napolitano was there with Bush.

The President will continue to struggle most with his own GOP about reforming failed US border policy.

Bush should spend the political capital to lead with Congress for a border solution this year.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Considering AZ State House 08, not TUS Mayor 07

Wall Street Journal

TUCSON -- Since mid-March I've been carefully considering a run for Tucson Mayor. Today, I've made a tough but wise decision not to run this year. I wanted to decide soon so other dems considering could step up quick if they want to.

Also today, I announce my interest in perhaps running as Democrat for the Arizona State House LD 29 seat Linda Lopez is termed out of next year.

I deeply appreciate all the support from my family and many people.

The biggest reason for my Mayor decision is the short election calendar remaining after the Leal decision not to run. I understand and respect Leal's decision, but the limited time frame is a very big obstacle, in my view.

Although I disagree with Mayor Walkup on some issues, I offer him my respect and willingness to work together to improve quality of life in Tucson.

I will continue to serve the public-interest as a City Planning Commissioner, Neighborhood President and maybe in the future at the State Capitol.

The Patterson for State House exploratory website is up at

Thank you.

Walkup, city use staff & tax money on Iraq war 'A'

Pro-Bush/Cheney, pro-war Walkup

TUCSON -- I've discovered city crews and taxpayer money are being spent painting the pro-war design on 'A' Mountain.

Former Raytheon missle executive Mayor Walkup may spin that the red, white and blue 'A' is to 'support the troops.' But that's not how it started a few years ago by Ronstadt/Dunbar/Walkup in a pro-war frenzy.

To many the current 'A' isn't to support the troops, it is Walkup's pro-war, pro-Bush/Cheney symbol towering over the heart of our city.

Most Tucsonans oppose Bush/Cheney's failed Iraq war. Given the horrible status in Iraq, the city should at least restore neutrality to the 'A' with the traditional white paint, and then leave it alone.

Tucsonans protest when Walkup hosted Bush at TCC.

The idea that the city will keep the 'A' pro-war 'until the war on terrorism ends' is excessive. Of course, that 'war' will never end.

If right-wing volunteers want to buy and maintain the war paint, that's one thing, but Walkup and the city should not be spending city labor and tax money taking sides and maintaining a divisive symbol of Bush/Cheney's failed and bloody Iraq war.

Veterans and peace activists who may try to paint the 'A' black in mourning for dead troops and civilians should no longer be stopped by TPD as 'vandals.'

The city even viewed the recent St. Patrick's day green paint job on the 'A' as 'vandalism' and rushed crews out to restore the war paint.

My dad and grandfathers are veterans. I love America and support the troops, many of whom also hate the failed Iraq war.

The Bush/Walkup war 'A' should not be a city maintenance project.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Jim Nintzel distorts my sales tax cut idea in Skinny

TUCSON -- My friend Jim Nintzel in the Tucson Weekly this week misunderstands or distorts my view on possible sales tax cuts.

I've proposed taking a serious look at cutting our currently high sales taxes. This is a big worthy idea for more fair local economics.

My view is the current sales tax is a burden for many, and I could help provide leadership as Mayor to get everyone together to see if and how we could lower it.

When I say an eventual reduction of sales tax to 6% is a goal, I don't envision we'd "have to dump the 2 percent city sales," as the Weekly printed. If we couldn't find a way to raise enough revenue in other ways, or work out a deal with the state, then we could not do it and I would not push it.

Jim suggested one of my ideas to find a way to have new residents pay a reasonable and justifiable fee to help cover the costs they bring may be illegal. I'm not sure. I'm not a lawyer, and we don't need a lawyer for Mayor. I'm not sure yet how to implement it, but this could be a good idea to help raise revenue. I think most people who want to move to Tucson would understand and pay for the societal costs associated with them moving here. But if it turned out all the great minds couldn't figure out a way to do it legally then clearly we would not try it.

I also talked about cutting city waste, which would save budget money. Nintzel failed to mention this, and also several other ideas on possible revenue sources to replace sales taxes.

We need a Mayor who isn't afraid to articulate big visions and ideas, then show the leadership to form collaborative teams of all key players to try to get it done.

It's hard to do that when you are criticized so swiftly just for proposing an idea, and your potential opponent isn't even asked by the reporter to respond to the idea.

We need a Mayor who tries to cut the burdens on working families, not just pushes growth for the sake of growth, and expands the city budget with a regressive sales tax that hurts working people.

It's not easy even for thick-skinned people like me even consider a run for office when your positions are attacked and somewhat distorted by reporters even before you are a candidate.

But I can take it, and I'll keep on fighting for the public-interest and quality of life.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Neighborhood wants responsible mosquito control

Pesticides can kill butterflies and harm human health

TUCSON -- Today the Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association inquired with Pima County and the city about recently announced mosquito control plans.

Our short letter to Pima County and the City of Tucson Office of Conservation is below.

How does the county plan to 'treat' standing water?

If pesticides will be used, has the county considered health concerns, and kill of other species besides mosquitos?

We are concerned that the fight against West Nile could lead to other problems created by pesticides and clearing of vegetation.

We await the response.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April 13 Mayor decision; AZ State House in 2008?

Arizona State Capitol, Phoenix

TUCSON -- I will decide by April 13 if I'm going to run for Tucson Mayor this year or not.

I still think Tucson needs a new Mayor, and I could beat Walkup. But it would be a tough race, and the short time frame now after the delayed Leal decision is an especially big uphill challenge.

If I don't run for Mayor this year, I may run next year for State House in LD 29, where my family and I live. Rep. L. Lopez is termed out.

I could help the public-interest as Mayor, or from the State Capitol.