Arizona made headlines last week when teachers walked out of their classrooms on strike trying to get improved pay and teaching conditions. This on the heels of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (pronounced douchey) half-hearted, perfunctory offer of a 20% raise in salary by 2020. But teachers counter that it doesn’t address other demands of the teachers like better pay for support staff, yearly teacher raises, a restoration of school funding to 2008 levels and no new tax cuts until the state per-pupil funding reaches the national average.
We mentioned before back in 2016, Ducey’s attempt to defraud Arizonans of public land to pay for education. Now, Ducey is using this offer of a raise as a blatant attempt at political posturing since he’s up for re-election this year. Since we’re Arizonans here at the Bucket, we’ll just say he’s done jack squat in his four years. We’ve noticed on local television plenty of Ducey re-election ads touting his offer of settling the teacher strike just days after he offered the deal. Coincidence? We think not.
Not surprisingly, Arizona Republicans have started attacking the teachers, because that’s what they do. House Majority Leader John Allen, R-Scottsdale, said the strikes amount to class warfare creating “strife between the haves and the have-nots” and that taxing the rich is precisely the way to undermine economic recovery. “I’ve never gotten a job from a poor person,” Allen added. What an arrogant asshole! Another Republican leader, Maria Sims from Paradise Valley, claimed the strikes are part of a national socialist movement (calling Joseph McCarthy). Sorry to burst your bubble, Ms. Sims. Teachers aren’t communist bastards; they just want a living wage and better working conditions.
There is some promising news for sane Arizonans. Last week’s special election in congressional district 8, which includes the old, white, conservative, retiree-from-the-Midwest bastion of Sun City served as a wake up call for the state’s GOP. Democratic candidate Tiral Hepinini lost by only five points to Debbie Lesko in a district that has gone overwhelmingly to Republicans in the past two elections. This has conservatives in this state sweating bullets. If there is indeed a blue wave sweeping the nation, with anti-Trump sentiment rising, it’s indeed possible that Democrats could actually make a dent in this state and considerably weaken the Republicans’ stranglehold (and we do mean stranglehold) on this state. A purple Arizona could very well be in the works and we’d love to see Trump supporter Doug Ducey back peddling his overpriced ice cream again instead of ‘leading’ this state.