New report on the ‘Health of State Democracies’

The Center for American Progress Action Fund released a report today rating the “Health of State Democracies.” Explore the report and data on the interactive: Here are summary reports. The Health of State Democracies, and Liberty and Justice for All? A 50-State Look at the Health of State Democracies.

The Washington Post’s Niraj Chokshi reports, Is this cold, rural state home to the nation’s healthiest democracy?:

VotersOne of the nation’s whitest, coldest and most rural states may have a new superlative to add to the list: most democratic.

After taking 22 factors into account, Maine’s democracy ranks healthiest in the nation in a new report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy wing of the liberal Center for American Progress. Alabama’s was weakest, though even top-ranking Maine was far from perfect.

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Measuring democracy is, of course, subjective — to some, requiring identification to vote makes democracies stronger, while others view it as a barrier, a solution in search of a problem. But if broad access to voting, equal representation in state government and a limited concentration of influence over the political system is your idea of a healthy democracy, then Maine is the state for you.

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State Rep. Victoria Steele declares for Congress

Legislative District 9 Representative Victoria Steele (D-Tucson) is no longer exploring a run for Congress — today she declared in a message to supporters that she is a candidate for Congress for CD 2 in Southern Arizona. Steele filed her form with the Federal Election Commission today. Candidate Form (.pdf).

In case you are wondering, changes to Arizona’s “resign to run” law pretty much eviscerated what was left of that voter-initiated law. Arizona’s ‘resign to run’ law effectively nullified – Blog For Arizona. Rep. Steele does not have to resign to run.

In an announcement to supporters, Victoria Steel writes:

Screenshot from 2015-07-07 12:03:35

Today I am launching my campaign for Arizona Congressional District 2.

I have been your strong voice in the Arizona State House of Representatives and now I want to fight for you in the United States Congress.

CD2 has been well served in the past by the transformational leadership of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Congressman Ron Barber.  With your help, I will build on their legacies in the United State Congress.

I grew up believing that in the United States, if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a fighting chance at success.  I’m running for Congress because today the deck is stacked in favor of those at the top – they’ve broken that promise of the American Dream.  We need to return to that promise of opportunity for all Americans.

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Deputy Chief Chris Nanos appointed to replace retiring Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

new Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos

new Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos

The Pima County Board of Supervisors today appointed Pima County Chief Deputy Chris Nanos as the new Pima County Sheriff, effective August 1, 2015. Sheriff Dupnik’s resignation was accepted by the Board and he will serve until the end of July. Dupnik was first appointed to his job in Feb. 1980 and had been elected every four years since then, for 35 years.

The motion to appoint Nanos was made by District 2 Supervisor Ramon Valadez, seconded by District 4 Supervisor Ray Carroll.

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“Both sides” nonsense and REAL IDs

Crossposted from

real id

This past session the GOP majority in the Arizona Legislature whiffed on a chance to address the dumb and unforced dilemma the state is in with regard to our drivers licenses and IDs not complying with federal REAL ID standards. Here’s a brief overview of how it went down from the Republic back in March:

Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, introduced Senate Bill 1273 to avoid what he says could be a disaster when the January deadline arrives. Many travelers don’t have a passport, he said, and the cost of getting one is much higher than a driver’s license — potentially nine times as much.

Worsley’s bill passed the Senate, but House Speaker David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, failed to assign it to a committee in time for consideration. However, Gowan’s spokesman said Friday that the speaker wants the bill to move forward and is exploring “procedural options.”… Continue reading

NASA New Horizons Mission: Pluto is ready for its close-up

When I was in grade school making a mobile of the solar system for science class, Pluto was the ninth planet. Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Things have dramatically changed since then. Is Pluto a planet? The answer may surprise you:

pluto-a-largeHorizontal375NASA’s New Horizons mission will fly by Pluto [on July 14th, 2015. The New Horizons spacecraft will zip past Pluto and its five known moons], after spending nearly a decade in space. Pluto, as you may recall, was stripped of its planetary title back in 2005, for reasons that some scientists think are bogus. Now, they’re hoping to welcome Pluto back to the planetary club.

In 2005, scientists discovered a large, rocky object close to Pluto. The discovery of Eris put scientists in an intergalactic pickle—should they make Eris the tenth planet in our solar system, or sacrifice Pluto and make them both dwarf planets? Because Eris is larger than Pluto, it would be inconsistent for scientists to leave well enough alone.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) finally reached a decision.

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Inspirational speaker Jessica Cox on July 7

  • JessicaCox
at 6:30pm

Jessica was born without arms. That didn’t stop her from doing anything she wanted. She has been featured on Ellen and will be sharing her inspiring story to perhaps inspire you to be your best. Check her out below!

Jessica is the Author of “Disarm your limits” and will be doing book signing. 6:30pm is the social and Keynote will begin at 7pm.

Carolyn’s note: I have met Jessica, who is half Filipina. She is truly an amazing woman and person. Don’t miss this chance to hear her awesome story. I think she’s done more in her 30 plus years than most of us, who have arms.

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