In Maricopa County Arizona, the number of polling places was reduced from 200 during the 2012 primary election, to just 60 for 2016. Some predominantly Latino areas only got one or no polling places at all. People had to wait in 5+ hour lines to vote. Please investigate and put a stop to the voter suppression before the general election.
Arizona representatives OK’d a bill to allow flexible-credit loans, with interest rates of 204 percent, as an option for people who need quick cash but have no borrowing options
A bill authorizing short-term loans at an annual interest rate of 204 percent squeaked through the Arizona House of Representatives Monday after intense lobbying to lift the 36-percent cap on the state’s usury statutes.
The 31-26 vote moves the debate to the Senate, where the bill died last month in a committee but was revived as a strike-everything amendment.
Senate Bill 1316 would permit flexible-credit loans of up to $2,500 for a maximum two-year period. It proposes a 17-percent monthly interest rate for unsecured loans, which works out to 204 percent annual interest. Secured loans would carry a slightly lower rate: 15 percent per month, or 180 percent annually.
Supporters say the loans would provide a way for people facing emergencies but who have poor credit and no savings a way to get quick cash. Critics say the bill only opens an already vulnerable population up to predatory lending.
Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, kicked off the debate by contradicting supporters who say there is no other place for a person to get quick cash.
“It is not true,” she said, pointing to a “payday loan alternative” promoted by the National Credit Union Association.
“This legislation is moving across the nation by a group of investors to make changes in all states,” Barton said. It has already failed in four states, she said, but is still alive in Arizona and Mississippi.
Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale, said the focus on triple-digit interest rates obscures the needs flex loans fill. It could be someone facing a medical emergency, he said.
“There’s that one little person sitting there saying where am I going to go? What am I going to do?” Lawrence said, as he voted for the bill.
The debate echoed the discussion in the House last week when it first reviewed the bill.
Rep. Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, was viewed as undecided going into Monday’s vote. He gave a winding speech about his personal financial philosophy to carry no debt, and spoke of a friend who lost a $3 million life-insurance policy because he had to sign it over to collateralize a debt.
He concluded by observing he has seen no hand-wringing over the national debt and voted for the bill.
“I vote aye to give another option,” Bowers said.
Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix, said lawmakers spend a lot of time talking about the need to avoid debt as they manage the state’s finances.
The 204-percent rate the bill would authorize will only put more people into debt, she said. Student loans carry rates of 7 to 9 percent.
“I talk to young people every day who are crushed by that rate,” McCune Davis said. “We somehow think we’re going to do a favor by creating a new kind of lending, a new option?” She voted no.
Arizona voters outlawed payday loans in 2008, sending the lending industry on a search for other products that can be marketed to people with immediate needs and poor credit. The ban led to the creation of auto title loans, which require a loan to be secured by the title a borrower holds on his or her vehicle.
How they voted
The House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 1316 Monday after more than two hours of comments. Here’s how the vote breaks down:
YES – Republicans
John Allen, Scottsdale
Sonny Borrelli, Lake Havasu City
Rusty Bowers, Mesa
Paul Boyer, Glendale
Noel Campbell, Prescott
Regina Cobb, Kingman
Doug Coleman, Apache Junction
Karen Fann, Prescott
Eddie Farnsworth, Gilbert
Mark Finchem, Oro Valley
David Gowan, Sierra Vista
Rick Gray, Sun City
Anthony Kern, Glendale
Jay Lawrence, Scottsdale
Vince Leach, Tucson
David Livingston, Peoria
Phil Lovas, Peoria
J.D. Mesnard, Chandler
Darin Mitchell, Litchfield Park
Steve Montenegro, Litchfield Park
Jill Norgaard, Phoenix
Justin Olson, Mesa
Warren Petersen, Gilbert
Frank Pratt, Casa Grande
Bob Robson, Chandler
T.J. Shope, Coolidge
David Stevens, Sierra Vista
Bob Thorpe, Flagstaff
Kelly Townsend, Mesa
Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Scottsdale
Jeff Weninger, Chandler
NO – Republicans
John Ackerley, Tucson
Brenda Barton, Payson
Kate Brophy McGee, Phoenix
Tony Rivero, Peoria
NO – Democrats
Richard Andrade, Glendale
Jennifer Benally, Tuba City
Reginald Bolding, Phoenix
Mark Cardenas, Phoenix
Ken Clark, Phoenix
Diego Espinoza, Tolleson
Charlene Fernandez, Yuma
Randy Friese, Tucson
Rosanna Gabaldon, Green Valley
Sally Ann Gonzales, Tucson
Albert Hale, St. Michaels
Matt Kopec, Tucson
Jonathan Larkin, Glendale
Stefanie Mach, Tucson
Debbie McCune Davis, Phoenix
Juan Mendez, Tempe
Eric Meyer, Paradise Valley
Lisa Otondo, Yuma
Celeste Plumlee, Tempe
Macario Saldate, Tucson
Ceci Velasquez, Litchfield Park
Bruce Wheeler, Tucson
Lela Alston, D-Phoenix
Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek
Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix
You often hear of journalists looking outside of media for new employment, but rarely do you hear of a writer looking to the electorate for a new job. But that’s what John Dougherty has done.
Dougherty, an investigative reporter in Arizona, has decided to enter politics, running for Senate as a Democrat in the Grand Canyon State.
“I’ll be 54 next month, and I felt that at this moment in time with the way the senate race was shaping up, that somebody with my background… in Arizona… would be a good candidate to run for the Senate right now,” said Dougherty to the Yuma Sun newspaper.
A 25 year vet of the news industry that included stints at the Phoenix Gazette and the Phoenix New Times, Dougherty now works as a freelancer, writing for various organizations including the New York Times and the Washington Post. On Aug. 24, 2010, he’ll face former Tuscon City Council member Rodney Glassman, former state Rep. Cathy Eden and attorney Randy Parraz in the Democratic primary.
One of the major issues in the 2010 AZ race will be immigration. Dougherty has actually investigated some of the state’s major players on the front lines of immigration, including the controversial Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.
If he manages to pull off the upset in the Democratic primary, Dougherty will then face the winner of the Republican race, which pits Sen. John McCain and former Rep. and current radio talk show host J.D. Hayworth against each other.
Dougherty told Jilted Journalists that he will even hire investigative journalists if he wins the Senate, in order to uncover corruption within government.
However, Dougherty seems to understand his chances. “A politician has a Rolodex filled with people who owe him favors,” said Dougherty to Jilted Journalists. “I have a Rolodex filled with people who are probably pissed off at me.”
Will this hurt or help his career, if he fails to capture the Senate nod?
Group Publisher, SGB Media Group
“I wish to help support and promote progressive candidates, campaigns and initiatives through the use of social networking, media relations and good old fashioned door knocking!“
Steve is the owner and Group Publisher at Phoenix based SGB Media Group, which was formed in 2006 as the administrative arm of a consortium of smaller internet based companies serving narrowly defined, demographically targeted market segments via several business models. This includes affiliate marketing fundraising initiatives, niche social network development & administration, blogs, discussion forums and eZines focusing in the nonprofit, political and fine arts communities.
Prior to forming SGB Media Group he was in the music and commercial real estate industries in New York, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Francisco Bay areas. He also serves as the Director of Social Media at GiveClicks.com, The Icehouse Arts Museum and Alwun House Foundation and is the Executive Director of Code Bule Arizona, The Modern Progressive Network, Rehab Arts Studio and Dad Found Not Lost nonprofit organizations.
Politicians join social networksSaturday, March 20, 2010By PATRICK JOHNSON
AMHERST – Not long after her April 2008 election to the School Committee, Catherine A. Sanderson thought she’d create a simple, little blog to keep voters informed about what the committee was doing and to gain voter feedback.
“Those were my noble goals,” she said of the origin of her blog,
In a matter of months, her simple, little blog grew and grew to the point of becoming neither simple nor little.
Her two to three posts per month grew to as many as 20, the monthly visitors tally reached as high as 10,000, and individual posts could generate as many as 150 reader comments.
Sanderson says the blog has more than accomplished its original purpose. “I ran on a platform of more communication and more transparency,” she said. “It’s hard to not communicate and not be transparent when you’re on a blog telling people, ‘Here is how I am going to vote and why.'”
Sanderson is one of many politicians at the local, state and federal levels who are realizing the importance of using simple blogging platforms, such as WordPress or Google’s Blogger, and social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, to connect with the voters.
“There’s no filter,” said Westfield Mayor Daniel Knapik, who maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts. “People can get their message out to people exactly as they intend without it being altered, shortened or taken out of context.”
State Rep. Donald F. Humason Jr., R-Westfield, uses Facebook to keep in touch with friends and constituents. “Hopefully, they are doing the same thing,” he said.
The ease of conveying information to your own personal network of friends, fans and followers makes Facebook and Twitter a natural among politicians at all levels of government and on both sides of the aisle.