Thursday, August 26, 2010

Patterson: win, then maybe House D leadership run

Vote Daniel Patterson

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- With Tuesday's primary over I am now focusing even more on the general and winning reelection in Tucson's LD29, then running for a leadership position in the Arizona House Democratic Caucus, as I am considering.

This letter was sent today to my colleagues:

I am proud we serve together in the Arizona Legislature.

As a dedicated member from greater Arizona, I'm working hard as a strong, smart and fair Representative in our House Democratic Caucus.

As the general election approaches, I ask you to please consider supporting me for leadership as our next House Democratic Asst. Leader or perhaps Whip.

Please let me know your thoughts, questions, etc. on my consideration of running for leadership to serve you and our caucus for the common good.

Thank you,

Rep. Daniel Patterson

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AZ kids & schools lose again under Brewer & GOP

Vote Goddard & Democratic to help turn Arizona around.

PHOENIX -- Arizona's children have lost out again. Arizona lost the Race to the Top, a federal stimulus grant program that made billions in grants available for states to improve their schools.

Guv Brewer's education team made an exceptionally poor showing in the first round applications for Race to the Top, ranking 40th out of the 41 applications submitted. In this second round, when it came the time for Arizona to be considered for this critical funding, she couldn't be bothered to go to D.C. to make a case for our students. Arizonans continue to send their hard earned money to Washington D.C. and Jan Brewer should be working to get it back for our children.

Obtaining this funding was critical for Arizona schools because Brewer has made massive cuts totalling more than one billion dollars to the education budget since she came into office. As a result of the budgets she signed, Arizona has sunk to 49th out of 50 states in per pupil funding.

Terry Goddard, the Democratic candidate for governor said, "Today's announcement highlights the failures of a governor who has no plan for educating our children. She complains - loudly and often - about so-called 'government bailouts,' but as it turns out, her only hope for our kids was a federal grant that her team couldn't win."

Goddard's detailed plan for improving education in Arizona, Making Arizona Schools Work , calls for Arizona to move from the bottom 10 in national surveys to the top 10 by 2020. The plan emphasizes teacher training and quality, accountability, safety and an agreed-upon set of standards that emphasizes techniques that have been shown to be the most effective in engaging children to learn.

"We've heard a great deal of talk out of this governor and her surrogates, but seen zero action. We must put schools and education back on the front burner, stop the complaining, and make our schools work for students and their families."

- adapted from TG for Gov

Friday, August 20, 2010

Brewer failure on prisons shows lack of leadership

Brewer's prison man, Charles Ryan

SPRINGERVILLE AZ -- I'm glad a US Forest Service Ranger, US Marshals and Arizona Sheriffs have finally caught the private-prison escaped murderers, no thanks to 'do nothing' Jan Brewer.

'No plan Jan' mostly just campaigns to the far right and wrongly claims credit for US stimulus funds coming to Arizona.

For a competent new Governor, vote for Terry Goddard.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Motorheads still wrecking west as feds don't change

Sec. 'start your engines' Salazar.

UPDATE, Tue. Aug 17: LAS VEGAS -- After deaths, BLM permits bigger off-road race this weekend.
SAN DIEGO -- Union-Tribune calls for off-road racing moratorium
LOS ANGELES -- LA Times: Off-road race still on, despite safety concerns

TUCSON -- Off-road 'wreck'reation, for too long a plague on American public lands, is still a problem as President Obama's troubled Interior Department and Forest Service are seemingly doing little to nothing to reign in the 'Mad Max' recklessness so common to off-roading.

Some recent lowlights:

-- On Saturday, 8 people were killed and many injured at a federally-permitted off-road race on BLM public lands in the Mojave Desert.

-- Reckless off-road racing on BLM public lands is also a problem in Nevada.

-- The Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona continues to be poorly managed, as do other southwestern national forests.

-- BLM is proposing allowing off-roaders rip up 40,000 acres of protected public lands on the Algodones Dunes near Yuma.

How many more people have to die or be injured?
How many more Rangers have to be assaulted?
How many more quiet recreationists must be run off?
How many more hunts have to be ruined?
How many more millions of acres of wildlife habitat must be wrecked before Washington gets serious about taking on the off-road vehicle lobby and brings balance to America's public lands?

The continuation of destructive Bush/Cheney-type federal off-road policies is hardly 'change' and it adds to legitimate concern that Obama, Salazar and too many others in Washington are weak on protecting public lands, safety and the environment.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER
) and other public interest orgs are fighting across America for reform.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still nothing from Brewer on killers' prison break

Arizona at-risk with Guv asleep on 9th floor

UPDATE, Fri. Aug 13: Escaped murderer still loose; Brewer on campaign trail this weekend.
Rep. Daniel Patterson wins endorsement of Arizona Conference of Police & Sheriffs (AZCOPS)

No response on call for Legislative hearings despite bipartisan concerns.
Brewer yet to release promised “security review” report

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Legislative Democrats have not yet heard a response to their request of Republican Legislative leaders yesterday for legislative hearings on the recent private prison break that resulted in the escape of three convicts that subsequently killed two people.

In that last 24 hours, Republican lawmakers too have demanded answers, despite Governor Jan Brewer’s claim that concerned legislators have “politicized” the issue by merely calling for more information about how the prison break was allowed to happen at the private prison facility in Kingman. Go to this link for more information

“Private prisons are still running the show and who is asking them for answers? Information the Governor’s office claims they have has not been released despite Republican and Democratic legislators calling for legislative hearings. Brewer needs to stop complaining about politics and take some responsibility for this situation. If dangerous inmates in private prisons are not being appropriately secured, the public is at risk,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell.

Lawmakers did receive an email today from a Department of Corrections lobbyist providing a summary of much of the information about the prison break that has been already published in news reports, but the “security review” that Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman told the Arizona Republic two days ago was done has yet to be released.

- from House Dems

Watch important MSNBC investigative report on AZ murders' private prison break, Brewer & GOP role, money, etc

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

AZ Dems call for hearings on prison break, murders

Three murders walked out of a private prison in Arizona 12 days ago to kidnap and kill again. Brewer & GOP recklessly ignoring threat.

Legislative Democrats call for special hearings to investigate cause of private prison break.
12 days since prison break, and Brewer still has not released "security review" report

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House and Senate Democrats are calling on Speaker Kirk Adams and President Bob Burns to conduct special hearings on the recent private prison debacle that resulted in three convicted convicts escaping and the subsequent murder of an Oklahoma couple in New Mexico.

Democrats said they hope that, at these hearings, Governor Jan Brewer will share a "security review" her spokesman said has already been conducted. The "security review" report has not yet been released to the public but was mentioned by Brewer's spokesperson in an August 10 Arizona Republic article. Read the interview (the security review is discussed in the second to last paragraph).

Democrats sent their Republican counterparts a letter containing the text below:

"Dear President Burns and Speaker Adams,

On July 30, three extremely dangerous inmates escaped from a privately-run prison near Kingman. One fugitive is still on the loose. The escapees are tied to a violent crime spree following their prison break, including kidnappings and the murder of an innocent couple from Oklahoma who were visiting New Mexico.

The public deserves answers and accountability. We urge you to immediately hold legislative hearings to investigate the causes of the escape, review security at Arizona’s private prisons, and address the assignment of violent criminals to low security facilities inside private prisons. We need to find out how this situation was allowed to happen and what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.

We ask that the Legislature also call on Governor Brewer to share the findings of the “security review” her spokesperson states in an August 10, 2010 Arizona Republic article was already conducted following the escape. To date, this important report has not been made public and the public deserves answers.

The Legislature should determine what went wrong and do so without further delay. We hope you will join us in our call for hearings right away."

Members of both the Senate and House Democratic Leadership teams signed the letter.

- from Arizona Legislative Democrats

Also read Howie Fischer's article on this.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Brewer's wasteful special session against workers

As Arizona burns Brewer & GOP thugs fiddle with wasteful special session on a non-issue.

UPDATE, Tue. Aug 10: House Democrats ask Brewer to release security review to public. 11 days since prison break, still no action from Brewer.

From @RepPatterson on twitter: Rs opposed my amendment for secret ballots in all corporate votes. GOP hits workers, but protects open ballots CEOs & boards want.

UPDATE, Mon. Aug 9: House Democrats want special session to focus on better security at prisons. 3 murderers escape from private prison, kill two, but GOP focuses on anti-Ariz. worker bill.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- As Brewer and her reckless Republican posse force the legislature in to an expensive and worthless special session Monday to attack workers, here are some facts you should know.

Frequently Asked Questions About NLRB Union Elections (info from AFL-CIO)

What’s Wrong With NLRB “Secret Ballot” elections? Workers deserve a path to unionization that is fair, quick, and not dominated by corporations. The National Labor Relations Act states: “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations….” The law was designed to protect employee choice on whether to form unions, but it has been turned upside down.

The current system is not like any democratic election held anywhere else in our society. Companies have turned the National Labor Relations Board election process into management controlled balloting—the company has all the power, controls what information workers can receive, and routinely poisons the process by intimidating, harassing, coercing and firing people who try to organize unions.

When workers try to form a union(1):
· 77% of companies interrogate workers in one-on-one meetings with their supervisors about support for the union;
· 89% of companies force employees to attend mandatory closed-door meetings against the union;
· 57% of companies illegally threaten to close the worksite if the union wins an election;
· 47% of companies illegally threaten to cut wages and benefits if the union wins an election; · 34% of companies illegally fire at least one worker for union activity.

The provisions of the NLRA also allow employers to drag out elections as they drive down union support through these tactics. On top of that, the NLRA’s penalties are so insignificant and so delayed that many companies treat them as just another cost of doing business. The NLRA process no longer protects a fair and free choice. Workers do not have an uncoerced choice to vote by secret ballot after being browbeaten by supervisor to oppose the union or being told that they may lose their jobs and livelihoods if they vote for the union.

Is Congress Trying to Take Away So-Called Secret Ballot Elections? No. Labor legislation currently stalled in Congress simply provides workers another option—majority sign-up. “Elections” may sound like a more democratic approach, but the current NLRB process is nothing like political elections. In NLRB elections as currently conducted, one side has all the power. The company controls the voters’ paychecks and livelihoods and has unlimited access during the workday to propagandize against the union, while restricting pro-union supporters and denying the union any access. Weak remedies encourage companies to intimidate and coerce the voters.

What Is Majority Sign-Up and How Does It Work? When a majority of workers signs cards authorizing the union to represent them and those authorization cards are validated by the federal government, the company can chose to recognize and bargain with the workers’ union. The “Save Our Secret Ballot” campaign wants to ban this fair and democratic alternative. The majority sign-up process has always been lawful and is well-established in the United States. In fact, for years, responsible employers, such as AT&T, Harley-Davidson and Kaiser Permanente, have voluntarily honored their employees’ right to use majority sign-up to choose union representation. These companies have found that majority sign-up is a fair and democratic way for workers to make their own decisions and that this process results in less hostility and polarization in the workplace than the current government procedures, with their built-in delays and opportunities for company intimidation and harassment.

Legislation currently stalled in Congress only changes the situation so that workers—not companies— make the choice of how to form their union. “Save Our Secret Ballot” is an attempt to ban this alternative method of forming a union.

Are Companies Required to Remain Neutral About the Union When Majority Sign-Up, Rather Than an NLRB Election, is Used? Absolutely not! Companies will still be free to express their opinion about the union.

Will Employees Be Pressured into Signing Union Authorization Cards During Majority Sign-Up? No. In fact, academic studies show that workers who organize under majority sign-up feel less pressured to support the union than workers who organize under the NLRB election process.(2) They also report far less pressure or coercion from management to oppose the union than workers who go through the current NLRB election process. In addition, it is illegal for anyone to coerce employees to sign a union authorization card.

Isn’t Resistance to S.O.S. Ballot Really About Unions Wanting to Increase Their Membership? Unions are fighting to give working people the freedom to improve their lives through collective bargaining. More than half of people who don’t have a union say they would join one tomorrow if given the chance. After all, people who have union contracts earn 28 percent more than people without them and are much more likely to have health care and pensions. With the economic pressures on working people today, the freedom to join together to bargain for a better life and achieve an economy that works for working people is crucially important. NLRB elections give all the advantages to corporate CEOs to resist and stall union organizing drives and deny workers the healthcare benefits, good wages and job security that union jobs bring.

1. Kate Bronfenbrenner, “No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing,” May 20, 2009. A study of Chicago-area NLRB representation elections by University of Illinois-Chicago professors Chirag Mehta and Nik Theodore reported similar findings. Mehta and Theodore found that workers were fired illegally during 30 percent of organizing campaigns, employers force workers to attend one-on-one, anti-union meetings with supervisors during 91 percent of NLRB representation election campaigns, and employers hire consultants or union-busters to help them fight 82 percent of union organizing drives. See Mehta and Theodore, “Undermining the Right to Organize: Employer Behavior During Union Representation Campaigns,” report for American Rights at Work, December 2005.

2. "Majority Authorizations and Union Organizing in the Public Sector: A Four-State Perspective." A Joint Research Project of: University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations; Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, Rutgers University; Extension Division, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University; University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tucson #1 clean energy city, high growth potential

Companies like Solon AG in Tucson's LD29 help strengthen our economy.

TUCSON -- Arizona needs some good economic news, and we got some today.

Business Facilities magazine picks Tucson as the top alternative energy industry leader metro area in the US.

This category ranks the top 10 metros in overall leadership in alternative energy manufacturing, growth strategy and development of renewable energy. The magazine considers the Alternative Energy Industry Leaders ranking one of its most important “flagship” categories. Editors considered overall economic development strategy and growth potential as well as new project activity to determine its flagship ranking of alternative energy leaders.

“There were many worthy competitors for the top position in our first annual Alternative Energy Industry Leaders metro ranking, but Tucson was head-and-shoulders above everyone else,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers. Tucson, a global leader in solar energy manufacturing, earned the top spot with a highly coordinated strategy that brings together industry, higher education, effective incentives and sensible regulation, Rogers said.

“In addition to Tucson’s well-earned reputation as The Solar City, we were really impressed with this region’s intelligent approach to maximizing its resources,” Rogers said. “An aggressive and innovative economic development strategy combined with unlimited growth potential made this an easy choice.” Read the full article

As a Tucson community leader and State Representative, I'm proud to have worked for many years to support clean energy jobs, economic development and leadership in Tucson.