Texas racial gerrymandering, Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering headed to SCOTUS

Slate has a good summary of the decision of the federal district court for Texas on Thursday that, once again, struck down the district lines drawn by the Texas legislature for intentional racial discrimination. Federal Court: Texas Intentionally Gerrymandered Its Districts to Dilute Minority Votes:

On Thursday, a three-judge federal court ruled that Texas intentionally discriminated against minority voters in drawing its state House district map in 2011. The decision follows a similar ruling by the same court in March holding that Texas also drew its federal congressional districts in an effort to dilute minority votes. Thursday’s ruling marks the third time in recent weeks that the federal judiciary has found Texas to have intentionally burdened its Hispanic voters.

The majority attached a 151-page findings of fact to its already lengthy opinion, reflecting careful analysis of Texas’ gerrymander that will be difficult for the Supreme Court to ignore on appeal. In short, the court found that Texas legislators drew multiple House districts that diluted Hispanics’ votes, a violation of both the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court also found that the legislature had engaged in race-based gerrymandering, which similarly runs afoul of equal protection and the VRA. Finally, the court concluded that the House map violated the one person, one vote principle by creating districts within unequal populations, another Equal Protection infringement.

Continue reading

Political Calendar: Week of April 23, 2017

The Political Calendar is posted on Sundays. Please send us notice of your political events prior to the Sunday before your event (7 days would be most helpful). See the calendar icon in the right-hand column of the blog page for easy access to the calendar.

Send notices of your events to blogforarizona@gmail.com.

Note: For Event Notices and Fliers, click on the “Calendar” button in the menu options above.

Progressive_values

Political Calendar for the Week of April 23, 2017:

Continuing to Sunday, April 30: Pima County Fair, 11300 S. Houghton Road.

Sunday, April 23, 3:00 p.m.: David Garcia for Governor of Arizona Tucson Launch, at Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E Toole Ave., Tucson. David Garcia is a fourth generation Arizonan, army veteran, education professor, and public school parent. Last week, surrounded by almost 500 parents, teachers, students and community leaders, he formally launched his campaign to become Arizona’s next governor. This Sunday, join us to hear why he is challenging Doug Ducey to become Arizona’s next Governor. Please RSVP to david@dg4az.com.

Sunday, April 23, 3:00 p.m.: Marana Democrats meeting, at the Continental Reserve Plaza, 8333 N. Silverbell Road, Tucson. For more information please contact Buddy Gill at maranadems@gmail.com or (408) 806-2036.

Sunday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.: Comedy for Charity Tucson presents “Thank you for serving,” at the Fox Tucson Theater, 17 W. Congress Street, Tucson. $20 buys you a ticket to experience “Fitz” of laughter with our Emcee David Fitzsimmons and our headliner Tommy Blaze. This year’s show benefits Rally Point, a local veteran’s agency that provide mental health services and other assistance to veterans in our community. Tickets available through the Fox Tucson Theater at http://foxtucson.com/presents/comedy-charity-presents-thank-serving-benefit/.

Continue reading

Cartoon of The Week

Cartoon_20

Cartoon_21

Cartoon_01
Continue reading

Taibbi on “Shattered”: A Book Review Perhaps More Important than the Book

I’ve been told by friends I should read Shattered, the devastating takedown of the Clinton 2016 campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. I may, but it’s not high on my priority list. That’s not to say it’s uninteresting or poorly written. From all I’ve read, it’s a really good work, and a page turner.

I’m just not sure I should spend hours on gory details that do nothing more than confirm what I already believe.

I did spend the few minutes required to read Matt Taibbi’s review of the book, and am glad I did. Taibbi’s intellect is as keen as any journalist out there. In this case, his takeaways from the book, not about the Clinton campaign, but about the Democratic Party, the Democratic establishment, and American political campaigns, have more long-lasting relevance than Shattered itself. Taibbi: Continue reading

Misogynistic Malfeasance

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

What is going on with K–12 teachers in Arizona’s district education systems is nothing short of malfeasance on the part of the state and ultimately, on the part of the people. We have allowed our teachers to be disregarded and undervalued to the point that one must question why anyone would care to be a teacher. Truth is, today very few are choosing that route.

Four weeks into the 2016–2017 school year, Arizona saw 53 percent of its district classrooms without a certified teacher; over 2,000 had no teacher and another 2,000 had an uncertified person at the head of the class. Part of the problem is recruitment and retention. In fact, an upcoming report from ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, states that 85% of rural school and 77% of urban administrators say hiring new teachers is somewhat or extremely difficult. The report also states that Arizona is losing more teachers than bachelor of education degrees produced by its three state universities. Turnover is high, with 22% of teachers not teaching in state after one year and 42% of them leaving the profession within three years.

Probably one of the biggest problem is teacher pay that is rock bottom lowest (50th) in the nation. In fact, elementary school teachers here are paid 14% less than in 2001 and secondary teachers are paid 11% less. Governor Ducey’s response for next year’s budget is to give teachers a 0.4 percent pay raise amounting to $187 extra next year on an average salary of $46,384 in 2016. I don’t know about you, but an extra $187 per year wouldn’t convince me to do anything I hadn’t already decided to do. Continue reading

Rally for Science on Earth Day at El Presidio Park in Tucson

This March/Rally for Science has been posted on our Calendar for weeks, evolving from a march from Himmel Park to the UA, then De Anza Park to this current rally-only event at El Presidio Park, with a growing list of speakers (see above) and participants, including bands and entertainers.  Permitting problems (and expense) prevented the marches.

Celebrate Science and Earth Day tomorrow, April 22. El Presidio Park is at 175 W. Alameda by Tucson City Hall.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/249342168853909/