The Farley Report from Phoenix #256: 9-12-16

As you know from last month’s Report, I am working across the state to help elect a new majority in the Arizona Legislature. The primary results from a couple of weeks ago has given us another boost in that direction. More on that after the Farley Report Pledge Break.


If you appreciate these reports and my representation as your Senator, please help out my campaign in these two ways:

—> 1) To help elect a new Democratic majority in the Arizona THIS YEAR, please contribute to the ADLCC (Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee) and your investment will be spent in the most effective manner that will get us the majority. National groups have stated that the legislative chamber most likely in the country to flip red to blue is the Arizona Senate; we need the resources to help make that happen.CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE to ADLCC. Thank you so much for those of you who contributed last month — thanks to you, with my match we raised another $10,000 for the effort!

—> 2) If you are in Tucson on Sunday afternoon, September 25 from 3-5pm and would like to hear more about and help support the work of ADLCC, join me and a whole lot of wonderful co-hosts at Chuck and Zoe Dunn’s beautiful solar Foothills home at 5510 N. Camino Real for excellent food from Feast and drink from Diageo. Please RSVP at this link. The full invite, is at the end of the email. I hope to see you there!


—> On August 30, primary voters in a couple of districts made our job of electing a new majority a little easier. I was very grateful for the voters of District 7 in the northwest corner of our state for recognizing the powerful and empathetic leadership of Jamescita Peshlakai and rewarding those qualities with their votes. Jamescita has no opponent in the general election, so she will be bringing her energy and compassion to the Senate next session. Congratulations to her and her district!

In District 18 — covering Ahwatukee, Chandler, and south Tempe — incumbent Jeff Dial was defeated in the Republican primary by Frank Schmuck, whose entire campaign consisted of attacks on Dial’s military record. Lost in the noise was Schmuck’s extreme brand of conservatism that embraces further attacks on women’s health, support for the privatization of public education, discrimination against LGBTQ people, and opposition to health care for children in poverty.

Luckily, we have another strong Democratic leader running in that district, Sean Bowie. Sean and his cadre of dedicated volunteers have been working non-stop contacting voters at their doors — in fact, last weekend he personally visited 300 homes in two days and received tremendous support from the residents.  Frank Schmuck is completely out of sync with a district that is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, and his nomination increases our chances of winning in LD18. 

As I’ve told you, our powerful candidates are in every district working hard to win over undecided voters. Three more seats to a new Senate majority. All that’s left is to make sure they have the resources they need to get their message to the voters. 

Robert Graham — the chair of the Arizona Republican Party — is shrugging off his party’s poor primary results not because he has good candidates, but because his party has a whole lot of dark money on its side. Check out his quote in a story on the topic: “Given our capacity to raise funds, we’ve got a lot of conservative interest groups who are interested in the state Senate, so I think (Democrats’) hurdle is massive,” Graham said. “If nothing else, I think they’ll go backwards.”

We have the candidates this year across the state that even Republicans want to elect. Please help us overcome their few big anonymous donations with a whole lot of smaller individual ones from Arizonans who care. Contribute what you can to the ADLCC right now to give our candidates what they need to be part of a new dawn for Arizona. 

—> One good reason to change the majority is to change our strategy for how to grow the economy. The current majority’s ideology of corporate tax cuts at the expense of schools, and deregulation at the expense of people, is not working.

This article summarizing the Theranos debacle by Star reporter Tim Steller reminds us why simply rolling back regulations or handing out tax breaks to win the heart of the latest California heartthrob isn't always the best solution for Arizona citizens. On Theranos, I was one of only two legislators who voted no. I don't think our constituents should be guinea pigs for unproven technology.

Pittsburgh citizens are facing similar issues this week as Uber rolls out a large fleet of self-driving taxis and invites customers aboard just to see what happens. While I do believe that autonomous vehicles will be everywhere sooner than later and will someday bring huge improvements to safety, I’m not sure it is currently a good idea to roll out in the general population a minimally-tested technology still struggling with proven difficulties understanding common things encountered while driving like bad weather, bridges, and crossing guards. Furthermore, what happens to the human Uber drivers who will lose their jobs this week? And then there are hackers…

Why did Pittsburgh’s Mayor push this forward? Because he was afraid if he didn’t hand over the keys of the city and the safety of its populace to Uber, in his words, “we would be losing this opportunity to another city.”

As Pittsburgh proves, the Theranos example is not an isolated incident. That strategy is the economic equivalent of betting the farm on 23-Red — if you win that long-odds gamble you are a champion, but if any other number comes up (as is likely) you are in serious trouble. Shouldn’t we be looking for safer, proven bets? 

Governing from a position of desperation is never a good idea. The policies of the current majority here in Arizona invite these disasters. What have we received in return for their huge corporate tax cuts giving away our revenues to out of state companies with no accountability? Do you see a booming economy, higher wages, better funded schools, waves of new good jobs?

Instead of debasing ourselves (or endangering our health) for the next big thing from out of state, let's grow our own genuine successes here in Arizona by reinvesting in our education system from K to grad school so we all benefit. Workforce training and career readiness help all of us — citizens and businesses — not just a few out-of-state executives and shareholders at the top. That’s a good bet — a long-term economic growth strategy that is proven to work and will be the heart of our new majority’s jobs policy. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Theranos article: “I think it’s our job to be a little more circumspect when somebody comes in and puts on a well-choreographed show,” Farley said. “Ask questions. Think about what might happen when things go wrong.”

Good governance. It’s not too much to ask. Let’s try it out November 8.  

—> Finally tonight, as you recall, it was a hard-fought battle last session to lift the freeze on KidsCare and it went down to the wire, but in the end legislative Democrats and Arizona families won. As of this month, working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS) yet cannot afford the premiums, deductibles and co-pays of a private or Health Insurance Marketplace plan, can now get their children to a doctor as soon as they need one, at no cost to state taxpayers.

We Democrats restored KidsCare even though we were in the minority. We restored JTED career and technical education even though we were in the minority. We extended healthcare to 400,000 people in poverty even though we were in the minority. Imagine what we can do with the majority.

You can apply by visiting and completing the process online. Please share this with families who need affordable health care for their kids. We all want them to stay healthy!

Thanks for your continuing faith in me as your Senator. 


Steve Farley

Senator, District 9, Tucson

If you like my representation and want to keep me in office, CONTRIBUTE TODAY!

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