Friday, October 31, 2008
TUCSON -- We'll be hosting our election night party upstairs at Hotel Congress, 7p-late, after the polls close Tues. Nov 4.
Our Democratic colleagues in district 29, Matt Heinz and Linda Lopez, and many others, plan to attend. I also plan to stop by other Democratic parties at Grijalva HQ and the UA Marriott.
Friends and supporters, please email us if you want more details, dpcampaign(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
TUCSON -- Read Why we all need the Democrats to abandon gun control, by Hal Herring, from High Country News.
As a western Democrat, gun owner and hunter, I respect Herring's views, and I voted for Barack Obama for President. Obama will take on the tough issues facing America, not try to take away our second amendment rights.
TUCSON -- Please visit our updated YouTube channel to see the new versions of our district 29 AZ State House campaign ads, now also running on several TV channels in Tucson to help get out the vote.
I plan to use my channel more in the future to broaden our media options with more video.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
TUCSON -- Here is my quick guide to the ballot propositions.
Vote yes on: 201, 202, 300, 403 (TUSD area only)
Vote no on: 100, 101, 102, 105, 200
For more info, hit the links above, email me or send a comment to ask about my reasoning.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
TUCSON -- Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA30) visited yesterday in partnership with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ8).
As an ecologist and southwest director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER.org), working in the energy, environment, public health and open/good government field, I have long respected Mr. Waxman as a champion of the public interest.
Waxman talked about the need to restore openness and trust in Washington, after eight failed years of secretive, hostile operations by Bush-Cheney and the Republican administration.
I was also thankful to hear Mr. Waxman talk about the need to help struggling states as part of the upcoming economic stimulus package to be debated on Capitol Hill after the election.
Monday, October 27, 2008
TUCSON -- We're happy to announce I've won the backing of the pro-business Arizona Technology Council in our clean campaign for State House in district 29.
ATC just opened its southern Arizona office on the south side in LD29.
View all of our strong and diverse endorsements.
UPDATE, 10/31: A necropsy on the killed lion showed the animal was healthy and not rabid.
TUCSON -- A warning to Arizona mountain lions from this hunter: stay hidden, cougars, or you'll be shot by paranoid bureaucrats.
Saturday, a cougar was seen by a hiker with a dog (off-leash?) in the Santa Rita Mountain's Madera Canyon. The hiker had a gun and took the right action to scare off the lion. But then Sunday, the US Forest Service and AZ Game & Fish Department tracked a lion with hunting dogs and shot it dead.
In Arizona, it seems like any seen lion is a dead lion. It's very sad and backward that these awesome animals are viewed as 'disposable' by the government, and it's absurd to think that cougars should never be seen in higher use areas the Forest Service is developing and promoting for recreation.
Like too much in American life, this is all about the money. This lion was killed in a Coronado National Forest fee area. Forest Service bureaucrats, such as Coronado Supervisor Jeanine Derby, have pushed before for quick kills of lions because they want nothing to interfere with their fee collection, like at Sabino Canyon a few years ago, where no cougar sightings were ever verified, but several cats were still targeted. More fees equals less wildlife. The agencies also have an extreme paranoid fear of liability, killing wildlife quick anytime they fear even a remote chance some irresponsible person may be hurt.
Another factor, AZ Game & Fish often looks for any excuse to kill lions or other predators because of the failed, simple-minded concept that killing cougars will result in more deer, bighorn, pronghorn or other agency preferred game species.
It's time for personal responsibility on your public lands. When you visit, then you take your chances with the wildlife that live there.
Former CA Fish and Game lieutenant Bob Turner told those worried that "you are more likely to be struck by lightning on the day of your wedding to Brad Pitt than be attacked by a mountain lion," in the San Diego Reader, Sept. 2004.
A message to hikers and other public lands users: if you care about lions, don't report any sighting to the agencies. And if you are scared of lions, which you should not be, stay home, but don't expect the government to kill them and 'sanitize' our wild lands for you.
The Arizona wild is not Disneyland.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
For more information, please email pollworkers(at)cox(dot)net, call Sandra Spangler, Pima Dems Election Integrity Chair, 297.1533, Donna Branch-Gilby, former Co-Chair, 743.9153, or Pima Dems HQ, 326.3716.
Local Dems are also seeking election day poll watchers. If you can help monitor and ensure fairness at the polls Tues. Nov 4, the last training session for poll watchers is Mon. Oct 27, 6:30-8pm at Pima Dems HQ. Contact rrohrdanz(at)gmail(dot)com.
Some election monitoring positions are paid.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
UPDATE, 11/1: NY Times joins call for feds and congress to help states.
TUCSON -- Arizona's budget and economy problems continue to worsen, making the need for new state leadership even more critical.
Arizonans pay a lot in taxes to Washington DC, and if congress and the feds can spend $1.5T to bailout Wall Street and the financial sector, then they can also help states so essential services like education, healthcare and public safety don't suffer.
I'm thankful to hear US Rep. Giffords (D-AZ8) joining me and others in talking about the need aid to states in any new economic stimulus package. Arizona would benefit from her and others' help in the House to get it done.
In the new stimulus package, likely to be a big debate on Capitol Hill after the elections, Arizona needs $500M-3B, and we will spend it wisely to help people and create jobs.
Friday, October 24, 2008
TUCSON -- Today I won the endorsement of the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson and southern AZ's largest newspaper. I appreciate and value the Star's backing, and LD29 voters, I ask for your vote. I also encourage south and south east side voters in district 29 to also support fellow Democrat Dr. Matt Heinz.
Today is also the last day to request your early vote-by-mail ballot. Call 740.4330 or click here. View all Patterson's endorsements.
Some excerpts from the Star endorsement: The Star endorses Daniel Patterson... for the Arizona House in Legislative District 29.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The plan identifies 190 million acres — nearly twice the size of California — that would be available for geothermal leasing in 12 Western states.
Potential industrial geothermal sites in AZ (click to enlarge).
Although geothermal facilities can have a smaller footprint than solar or wind fields, they would leave their mark on the land much like oil and gas development — with roads, pipelines, power plants and transmission lines.
Daniel Patterson, ecologist and Southwest director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said geothermal energy holds potential. "But we still have to consider, are our public lands there to be turned into energy farms? Or should we be investing in rooftop solar?"
- adapted from LAT
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
WASHINGTON -- News today that McCain's Palin spent $150,000 of other peoples' money in September on new clothes, makeup and other cosmetic desires for her and her family.
Now, as a good looking candidate, I understand the need to look good on the campaign trail, but to spend $150k in just a month, which is more than most Americans make over several years, is excessive. It would sure seem, as a new Governor, Palin would already have a decent wardrobe.
The rich Republicans' out-of-touch lavish spending is fiscally irresponsible, and hardly the behavior of a self-proclaimed 'average American' or 'maverick'.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
TUCSON -- I'm pleased to announce the endorsement of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona in my campaign for State Representative in district 29, across the south and south east sides.
"We look forward to working with you to maintain and enhance public saftey... and make our communities a better place to live and work," says Tim Hill, PFFA President.
PFFA represents over 6000 professional fire fighters and EMS providers throughout Arizona.
View all our endorsements.
UPDATE, 10/22: Read the report.
TUCSON -- U.S. Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ7) will release an important report tomorrow on the failure of the Bush-Cheney Administration to protect our public lands.
This 23 page report will highlight the Bush Administration’s assaults on the environment, management failures such as forcing out dedicated career employees, woefully inadequate budgets, undermining environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and their consistent pandering to corporate interests.
The report will also examine Secretary Chertoff’s decision to pursue a waiver of all laws, including environmental protections, under the REAL ID Act of 2005 for continued and future border fence construction along the U.S./Mexico border region. This has allowed 36 environmental and procedural laws from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico to be waived, rather than following existing federal laws for the protection of the environment, health and human safety along the border.
“As Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Park, Forests and Public Lands, I have conducted several hearings on the Bush Administration’s attack on our public lands,” said Grijalva. “These past eight years have resulted in a concerted effort to reduce protections for our national parks and forests, and public lands, while opening up these lands for every type of private, commercial and extractive industry possible. Their attempt to administratively enact these efforts exemplifies the Bush Administration’s desire to hide their actions from the light of day, and to subvert the will of Congress and the American people. I hope this report will shed a very much needed light on what has been done and what we need to focus on in the next session of Congress.”
In addition, Grijalva will hold a press conference to discuss the report in detail on Wednesday, October 22 at 10AM at his Tucson District office, 810 E. 22nd Street. Copies of the report will be available after the press conference, and I will post a link here when and if available.
- adapted from RG office
Monday, October 20, 2008
MESA AZ -- A sad story today about the death and funeral of Arizona DPS officer, dad and husband Bruce Harrolle, who was killed by a helicopter blade near Sedona last week on a mountain rescue.
Officer Harrolle died doing his job, but always remember that first responders often risk their lives to try to save your life or someone else's.
When visiting remote places, please always be fully prepared so you can minimize the chances you'll need a risky rescue.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
TUCSON -- Barack Obama had a good weekend. Winning the endorsement of former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell (ret.), a prominent and respected Republican, is big, and so is Obama's campaign announcing they raised $150M in September.
Arizona Dems had a good weekend too. In Pima County, I participated in election events with Congressman Raul Grijalva and Gov. Janet Napolitano in LD29, a big labor rally, and at UA, including cheering on the Wildcats as they beared down on Cal.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
UPDATE, 10/23: AZ Gov. pushes help for states.
PHOENIX -- If congress and the feds can spend $1.5T to bailout Wall Street and the financial sector, then they certainly must find a way to help states struggling with related budget problems.
Congress will likely be considering a $150B economic stimulus package during a lame-duck session after the election. Just $500M-3B of that could rescue Arizona's budget so the state can fully protect essential public services such as education, healthcare and public safety.
I will be in Washington just after the election, and as a likely newly elected State Representative, with your support and vote, I may try to have some meetings to discuss the need for stronger federal support for Arizona during this bad economy.
Gov. Janet Napolitano has also suggested congress could help Arizona in reducing the budget shortfall. I encourage other Arizona leaders to join our call now. Other states are already asking for congress for help.
Aiding states is the right thing to do, and it will help people and the economy.
Friday, October 17, 2008
TUCSON -- This morning along with other leaders, I participated in the grand opening of Solon's solar panel manufacturing plant in district 29 near the airport.
As solar power producers at home, my family and I know solar works. I have high hopes for the economic and environmental benefits of this venture, and a secure, renewable and clean energy future for our world.
Today's grand opening is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak Arizona economy.
PHOENIX -- A front page story by Tucson-native Jane Kay in today's San Francisco Chronicle details John McCain's big problems on energy and the environment.
From the article: 'Daniel Patterson, an ecologist and Southwest director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said that in his view the senator has not been responsive to conservation concerns.'
"McCain has been in many ways quietly unsupportive of conservation, even in his own state," said Patterson. "He's failed to try to do anything to protect the Grand Canyon from renewed uranium mining despite requests from members of Arizona's House delegation. If he won't step up to protect the Grand Canyon in his own state, how can we expect anything on the environment but the same type of policies we've seen for the last eight years from Bush and (Vice President Dick) Cheney?"
Where is the Arizona media on this important story?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
by Jeneiene Schaffer
TUCSON -- Spiritual teachings tell us that when you give to those most in need, you will get back your offering ten-fold. This teaching comes to my mind so often when I think about how many of us are blessed to have families and children who are safe, well-fed, and loved. But, there are also many in our community whose children are the most vulnerable and the most at-risk. By helping these at-risk children, we help them to stay in school, stay off drugs, and feel empowered to improve their lives and the communities we all share together.
I am asking you to give today to help these at risk children and become a sponsor of Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Network's "Golf for Youth Classic". This fun event will take place at the beautiful Hilton El Conquistador Country Club on Friday, November 14th. For more
information, click here. For sponsorship information, please call YES-Network at 520.297.0702
YES-Network works to provide funding for weekly direct meetings with Tucson youth (6-24) at risk in these program areas: creative expression, drug education and violence prevention, education assistance and training, health awareness, job readiness and training, and one-on-one mentoring.
I am personally involved in one of YES-Network's recipient non-profits called I Can Do All Things. Our daughter Ruby and I attend one of their most fabulous programs called Sister Circle. Women and girls gather together and learn in a safe and fun environment basic quality of life skills such as: planning and growing a kitchen garden, sewing and mending clothes, health and hygiene, and how to cook nutritious meals.
Please join me in supporting groups like YES-Network who help our youth at-risk and our communities to stay healthy and strong. In bad economic times, it is not, like our church minister says, 'a time to be afraid and run and hide'. It is time to reach out and give. It will come back to you ten-fold. Guaranteed.
Please make a pledge today to empower at-risk youth and to enrich yourself as well. Call YES-Network today at 520.297.0702
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
TUCSON -- Good move by the City Council for voting for more rainwater harvesting for use on commercial landscaping.
For years, my family and I have collected and used rainwater at our south side home. Not only does it save money and reduce our dependence on imported CAP water, our garden, trees and plants thrive on the higher quality rainwater from our 800 gallon cistern.
Installation of rainwater systems will also help create new locally-based jobs.
SANTA FE -- The State of New Mexico wants to know how you feel about off-road vehicles.
If you have an opinion, please respond to this easy survey by Oct 20.
Monday, October 13, 2008
TUCSON -- McCain-Palin's newest reckless policy position: 'mine, baby, mine!'
These wizards think we should mine more so callous greedy corporations can export more of our finite natural resources overseas (see Oct 12 post below).
McCain won't even do anything to try to protect Arizona's Grand Canyon from uranium mining, so how can we trust him on energy or the environment?
It's clear, we can't trust John McCain.
BARSTOW CA -- The US Army and Fish & Wildlife Service have suspended failed efforts to move endangered Desert Tortoises off Ft. Irwin. The already giant base is undergoing a controversial expansion on to BLM public lands and critical habitat.
Watch a video about it from the LA Times.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
TUCSON -- Some interesting news this weekend.
As natural gas prices across most of Arizona are set to rise, read the important truth about how McCain's #2, and self-proclaimed 'energy expert', Sarah Palin, sided with big oil and gas corporations on exporting more gas to Asia, rather than keep it in the US.
One more reason to not believe McCain or Republican hype about 'energy independence'.
Also, more looks at issues with downtown Tucson development.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
UPDATE, 5:50pm: Palin violated ethics law and abused power in targeting Alaska trooper.
TUCSON -- As the economy continues a deep slide after too many years of GOP failures and deregulation, the shrinking crowd of mad McCain-Palin backers is getting even angrier and showing more hatred.
For positive solutions and economic justice, vote Democratic across the USA and Arizona.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
LOS ANGELES -- The US Army Corps of Engineers wants to suspend biologist Heather Wylie for kayaking the LA River on her own time.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, where I serve as Ecologist and Southwest Director, is defending her.
Wylie wanted to see for herself if the river was 'navigable', and it is, despite claims from USACE brass that it's not, and therefore should not be protected by the Clean Water Act.
In a related controversy, the corps also recently tried to end protections of Arizona's navigable Santa Cruz River near Tucson, which prompted strong opposition from the public, Pima County, EPA's Regional Office and US Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords (Ds-AZ), but not a peep from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Heather Wylie should be thanked and promoted for her important investigative work, but the corrupt Bush-Cheney gang favors punishing public-interest honesty.
Other coverage, 10/10: Seattle P-I, LA Times.
Other news: Protection sought for imperiled Sonoran Desert Tortoise.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
BLUE AZ -- While hunting wild turkey this week in the Centerfire Creek area, on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Alpine Ranger District (AZ Game & Fish Unit 27), I encountered a situation where a rancher may have put cattle on a public lands area nearly two weeks too early, in possible violation of the permit.
This harmed wildlife habitat and my hunt. It may also be another example of some ranchers, and perhaps the US Forest Service, not playing by the rules in wolf country, which causes avoidable conflicts.
I have a phone message in to the Forest Service's Alpine District Ranger about it, and also discussed the problem with the AZGFD Regional Supervisor in Pinetop.
If you or I were caught hunting out-of-season, we'd be punished to the max and lose our hunting and fishing privileges. Ranchers that ignore or violate the terms of their public lands leases should also face max penalties, and lose their grazing permits.
UPDATE, 10/9: I got a call back and talked with the District Ranger today, and it seems the problem is with an overly permissive USFS. In a weak response, he told me he has 'flexibility' with the grazing permit. It seemed he generally was most supportive of ranching over conservation or other National Forest uses. He didn't seem to care as much about how the early livestock turn-out he allowed harmed hunting. I requested, and can only hope, he will more carefully consider habitat concerns next year and keep the cows out at least until the end of fall turkey season. Due to his lame response, I may have to talk about it with his boss, the new A-SNF Forest Supervisor.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Related news: AZ GOP fears Dems will win majority.
Tucson Citizen, Oct 7 08 (excerpts below)
TUCSON -- Only in District 29 did a southern Arizona incumbent legislator fail to make it out of the primary and into the general election.
The district's voters... sending Democrats Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson to the state House of Representatives.
Heinz is a doctor... He would bring to the Legislature real-world knowledge and a strong advocacy for bettering health care.
Patterson, an ecologist... clearly has done his homework...
Patterson's signature issue, "economic justice" for South Side District 29's working families, resonates loudly in these shaky times.
He recognizes that Arizona's economic well-being is too tied to the sales tax, and has the guts to argue that further tax cuts are not a good idea given Arizona's spiraling budget deficit.
Also, he argues that an increase in the state's gas tax, which has been unchanged since 1996 and is the 10th-lowest in the nation, would increase needed revenues for transportation.
We particularly like his view on the state's prisons. Patterson believes "safe, smart cutbacks" are possible. He calls mandatory minimum sentencing rules set by the Legislature "a costly mistake" that force the state to lock up too many nonviolent offenders for too long.
The Tucson Citizen endorses Democrats Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson for the state House of Representatives in District 29.
Monday, October 06, 2008
PHOENIX -- "LD 29 candidates Linda Lopez for Senate, Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson for House, will help build bridges in the legislature to improve Arizona's economy, education, energy and the environment. They have my support and I look forward to working with them in the legislature," says Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.
TUCSON -- If you're not already registered to vote, today at midnight is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov 4 election. See the link here for direct info, or call 740.4330.
As markets are tanking worldwide today, I thank my Congressman, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ7) for staying calm and voting against the bailout, which may not work.
Also, here's an interesting and important story about Afghanistan and the Taliban you probably won't see in the US media.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
OTTAWA -- In contrast to many conservatives in the US, conservatives in Canada don't favor oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Peter Harder, Canada's recently retired deputy minister of Foreign Affairs under both (conservative) Harper and the previous Liberal governments, said he hopes Canada does not back away from its opposition to drilling.
"I would certainly oppose that and would hope that we continue to oppose that," Harder said in a recent interview.
He also commented on the McCain-GOP VP pick.
"I understand that energy is important," he added, "But simply being a governor from a state that has reserves doesn't make you the expert necessarily."
WASHINGTON -- In a win for open government and freedom of information, the Bush-Cheney Environmental Protection Agency is having to re-open libraries they tried to shut down in DC and 15 states.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, where I serve as Ecologist and Southwest Director in our Tucson office, spearheaded this victory.
Friday, October 03, 2008
TUCSON -- I'm proud to announce that I've won the full support of Richard Elias, Chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, in our clean campaign for State House in district 29.
We're also happy to have gained the backing of the National Association of Social Workers.
As early voting starts, we thank everyone for their support of our popular campaign to solve problems, help people and build bridges for positive change in the Arizona Legislature.
MOAB UT -- Off-road vehicles that stray from trails are doing immense damage to the state, said Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who has directed state officers to begin cracking down.
"It's an abomination, it's an embarrassment," the governor said Wednesday.
Hopefully, we'll see increased enforcement against reckless off-roading in Arizona. A new state OHV law I helped pass earlier this year with diverse bipartisan support will help Game & Fish, State Parks and other officers better protect our natural heritage.
Cartoon from today's Salt Lake Tribune.