Friday, July 31, 2009

Kofa refuge lions may be killed again by State of AZ

Rare Kofa cougar killed unethically by AZ Game & Fish in recent years.

UPDATE, 8/4: USFWS releases its draft Kofa pumas environmental assessment for 60 day comment period.

UPDATE, 8/3: AZ Daily Star coverage. Contact the AZ Game & Fish Commission and ask them to please extend the moratorium this week and not kill Kofa lion KM04, email commissioners@azgfd.gov

OTHER AZ NEWS: See today's update on the GOP's budget debacle, and on-going legislature/budget updates on twitter @RepPatterson.

YUMA AZ -- In the latest twist of an on-going highly controversial issue, the Arizona Game & Fish Dept. moratorium on killing mountain lions on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge expires at midnight tonight.

Conservationists are concerned state bureaucrats may target lion 'KM04' for death as soon as this weekend.

At least two Kofa lions have been unethically killed by AGFD in recent years. The state has trapping and collaring these rare lower Sonoran Desert lions in the name of research, but then using the GPS/radio signal collar to track and kill pumas, as a part of bighorn sheep 'game farm' style management that seems to seek to extirpate lions on and around the refuge.

The on-going ethical problems and predator persecution by AGFD deeply concerns me as an Arizona hunter.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service is working on a lion plan and a draft is due out next week for comment. AGFD should continue to cooperate and respect the legal plan process by committing to killing no lions until the plan is done. Killing research animals unwisely jeopardizes important data and scientific research, and raises moral issues when the killing is in response to natural behavior of the animal.

The AGFD Commission will likely discuss and get public comment on this at its next meeting in Phoenix Aug 7-8. If you cannot make the meeting in person you may watch and testify effectively via video conference at AGFD offices around the state, including Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff. Arizona's wildlife is your wildlife and these animals need your support to survive.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arizona Republicans’ tax increase comes up short

Bad deal: Sen. Pres. Bob Burns (sitting) and Gov. Jan Brewer

UPDATE, 7/31 AM: Check RepPatterson on twitter for latest.

PHOENIX -- Read below an honest analysis of the bad budget GOP Gov. Jan Brewer and legislative leadership seem to be rushing to try to pass. There may be some action soon at the capitol on this, or there may not. Seems GOP leadership may still be having a tough sell to get enough votes on this junker of a budget deal.

Republicans’ tax increase comes up short

After signing a no-tax pledge, Republicans are proposing a one-cent sales tax increase that they say will yield $2.2 billion in three years. It allows for a one-cent increase in 2010 and 2011 and a $0.50 cent increase in 2012. But they also propose to decrease income tax by $400 million a year and permanently repeal $250 million a year of the state education equalization tax.

A more likely scenario is that a one-cent increase will raise as little as $750 million a year. (Source: Republican lawmakers in The Arizona Republic, ‘As sales-tax plan gathers support, questions linger,’ July 28) and a total of only just over $1.4 B in the next 3 years.

What does that mean for the state? Simple math tells us.
Republicans’ tax increase:
• 2010 - $312.5 million (assumes a one-cent increase generating $750 million a year divided by 12, multiplied by five months since collections would start in February)
• 2011 - $750 million (assumes a one-cent cent increase at 12 months of collections)
• 2012 - $593.75 million (assumes collections for 7 months at 1 cent increase and 5 months at a half cent increase)
• 2013 - $218.75 million (assumes collections for 7 months at half cent increase)
TOTAL: $1.875 billion in revenue over 4 years

Republicans’ tax cuts:
• State equalization tax cuts given away over four years: $1 billion ($250 million a year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013)
• Income tax cuts given away over next four years: $800 million ($400 million a year beginning in 2012 and into 2013)
TOTAL: $1.8 billion in tax cuts
Note: These tax cuts are permanent and guaranteed over the next 4 years, even if the sales tax increase does not pass

RESULT: Republicans’ plan gives nearly as much in guaranteed tax cuts as it would raise in increased revenue over the next four years, which fails to solve the deficit.

What the Republicans’ plan means for overall revenue for the state:
• Total sales tax generated over four years (if it passes on the ballot): $1.875 billion
• Total tax cuts given away over four years: $1.8 billion
• TOTAL NEW revenue to the state over four years: $75 million

The future, according to Republicans:
Beginning in 2014, $650 million given away annually ($250 million for state equalization tax plus $400 million in income tax cuts), primarily to the wealthy and large corporations.

Figures reflect impact of the provisions of HB 2015 over 4 years

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brewer & AZ Rs pushing callous new budget attack

Brewer no friend to middle-class Arizonans.

UPDATE, Wed. 7/29, 5pm: I'm back at the Capitol and bad things are happening on the budget. We could be here late or all night. Updates on twitter @RepPatterson.

UPDATE, 1:50pm: AZ House Democratic Caucus responds.

PHOENIX -- 'No plan Jan' has morphed in to 'bad plan Jan' as Arizona's accidental Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Glendale) and reckless Republican lawmakers are reportedly ready to push a bad new budget plan that would further cut schools, healthcare and other essential services.

The GOP plan also reportedly calls for more big tax cuts for the rich, and an unfair hike of the sales tax which is already too high and will hurt middle to lower income Arizonans the most.

Arizona legislative Democrats, who represent millions of Arizonans, are meeting this morning to discuss the strongest possible way to continue to fight back for economic justice and work for a fair, reasonable and responsible budget.

More news here later and on twitter @RepPatterson.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Forest Service right to let more AZ wildfires burn

Lightning strikes Reddington Pass between the Rincon and Santa Catalina Mountains.

AZ legislature/budget updates this week on twitter @RepPatterson.

TUCSON -- I appreciate the US Forest Service recently made a good decision to let a natural wildfire burn on the Coronado National Forest just east of the city.

More fire in western forests is essential to restoring the health of the land, and the wetter summer monsoon season is a good time for beneficial blazes in the southwest.

Managing natural fire on American public lands also helps save taxpayers big money.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

AZ Realtors Assoc fighting new foreclosure law

Tom Farley is CEO of the AAR.

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Association of Realtors is fighting a new state law related to foreclosures (SB1271), according to the New York Times.

It'll be interesting to see if this gets added to the agenda of Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) special session.

I am not convinced we must revisit this issue so soon during this special session where fixing the budget is clearly the top priority, but I will carefully consider all sides if it does come up before January.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Media coverage update on Arizona politics, etc.

Tucson media: Jim Nintzel of Weekly and Ann Brown of Star (2nd & 3rd from left).

TUCSON -- Some quick updates on recent media coverage of issues I'm working on.

Arizona Daily Star editorial on state budget, 7/23.

Tucson Weekly 'Skinny' coverage of environmental grades of Arizona state lawmakers, 7/23. I'm proud to say I got an 'A'.

And just for fun, the Arizona Daily Star on politicians views of Michael Jackson's music, 7/8.

Still busy at NCSL where a lot is happening, including over 75% of state's supporting President Obama's healthcare reform push. Check updates on twitter @RepPatterson.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Listening, learning, representing at lawmakers conf

Love Park in downtown Philly.

UPDATE, 7/21: Rep. Patterson's NCSL updates on twitter @RepPatterson.

PHILADELPHIA -- I'm at the National Conference of State Legislatures 2009 summit this week representing Arizona and Tucson's LD29.

There is still no big progress at the Arizona Capitol for a holistic budget plan for FY2010. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) stubbornly still won't work with Democrats.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Remains of Buffalo Soldiers reburied with honors

Buffalo Soldiers

TUCSON -- The remains of three black Buffalo Soldiers who served more than 130 years ago in the American southwest will be reburied with full military honors July 28 at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in New Mexico.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Julius Parker, one of the Army's highest ranking African American military intelligence officers, will deliver the eulogy while members of the LD29 south side Tucson-based Arizona Buffalo Soldiers Association, dressed in period uniforms, will serve as pallbearers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mean Jon Kyl again out-of-touch with Arizonans

Mr. Kyl taking the extreme position, again.

TUCSON -- US Senate GOP whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the DC-insider aka 'stimulus hater', remains extremely out-of-touch with most people of AZ and the US. He must be defeated in 2012.

Mean Mr. Kyl has been in Washington too long and does not represent the wants or needs of most Arizonans.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday in July hot Arizona politics

Stormy Tucson.

UPDATE, 7pm: Gov. signs 3 energy bills into law that I sponsored/supported.

TUCSON -- I'll likely be on the radio today with John C. Scott talking politics between 4:30-5pm Arizona time on AM 1330 in Tucson/SoAZ or via web.

The Arizona legislature will take to the floor today only to 'pledge & pray' during a slow summer special session. There's been no real progress yet on a holistic budget solution.

Friday, July 10, 2009

AZ Dems check '6000 yr old earth' Allen on uranium

Dems reject Allen's myths, call for protection of Grand Canyon from unwise and harmful uranium mining.

UPDATE, 7/20: Congress and Obama's Interior Dept. move in agreement with our concerns.

PHOENIX -- Arizona lawmakers counter '6000 year old earth' GOP Sen. Sylvia Allen on the uranium mining controversy near the Grand Canyon.

See today's news release from the capitol.

MSNBC political reporter Keith Olbermann recently named Allen 'the worst person in the world' for her ignorance. Watch the video.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Vote Patterson for re-election as State Rep. for D29

Rep. Daniel Patterson: family man, ecologist and leader for a better Arizona.

CONTRIBUTE NOW

OTHER COVERAGE, Sep 14: Tucson Citizen.com

TUCSON -- I'm proud to announce I'll be running for re-election in 2010 to keep serving the good people of Tucson's downtown, south and southeast sides as a State Representative from Arizona's legislative district 29.

It's been a challenging year at the Arizona Capitol, yet I humbly feel I've been effective, earned respect, learned a lot and worked well with other members using my skills and determination for the common good. I also serve with influence on two key House Committees critical to Tucson and Pima County's interests: Water and Energy, and Military Affairs and Public Safety.

My family and I deeply appreciate and value the strong support we've received, and we respectfully ask for your backing and vote again next year.

With the on-going support of my constituents I look forward to continuing to solve problems, help people and build bridges for positive change and economic justice in Arizona. Thank you.

G-8 failure reflects US failure on climate change

Real change or just hot air?

WASHINGTON -- Top NASA and global warming scientist Dr. Jim Hansen calls out the G-8 and US leaders in an important new column, G-8 Failure Reflects U.S. Failure on Climate Change.

In other US environmental news read about Sam Hamilton, the man tapped to run the deeply troubled US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Brewer still won't work with AZ Dems on budget

Stubborn ultra-partisan Brewer harms Arizona.

PHOENIX -- AZ Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is all talk and no game.

Unbelievably, she still refuses to bring both parties to table to negotiate for a fair budget solution.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chillin' with the fam in the northern Great Lakes

Love the Great Lakes.

NORTHERN MICHIGAN -- I'm thankful to be enjoying a cool and relaxing family vacation in the upper Great Lakes.

I'm a lucky man.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Brewer's AZ sales tax hike idea bad for middle-class

Compromise at the copper dome?

UPDATE, 6:30pm: The Arizona legislature made some progress today, but budget problems persist and will likely drag on over the summer and maybe even into fall.

PHOENIX -- I and many lawmakers are skeptical Republican Gov. Jan Brewer's still unplanned special session will result in a fair Arizona budget.

Brewer's 18% sales tax rate increase desire is still a bad idea that is unfair and harmful to Arizona's poor and middle-class.

The most economically fair and sound budget proposal remains the Arizona Democratic plan at StrongerArizona.com

Friday, July 03, 2009

AZ Rs fight as we cheer Independence from crown

Fireworks over Tucson and LD29.

TUCSON -- Happy to have a break from the Gov. Brewer/GOP crazy fighting at the Arizona capitol. See AZ House Dems' latest news release.