Last week, early ballots were sent to tens of thousands of voters all across Arizona’s Ninth District.
It's a good time to pause and reflect about what this election is about: Are we going to elect a leader who can change a system rigged against the middle class, or politicians with a record of putting lobbyist campaign contributions ahead of our families.
Andrei Cherny has gotten real results for the middle class. As President Clinton said when he endorsed him, Andrei was a “critical part” of the team that helped balance the budget, improve education, and create jobs. And with Elizabeth Warren, he took on the biggest army of Wall Street lobbyists ever assembled – and won.
Andrei knows that if we’re going to win more results for the middle class, we have to change a system is rigged against working families. That's why he has propose far reaching ethics reform and challenged others to join him in pledging to immediately disclose lobbyist meetings and refuse gifts and junkets.
Unfortunately, Andrei’s opponents won’t take on the corrupt system. As State Senators, Sinema and Schapira didn't stand up to the lobbyists; they put out their hand to them. They played along to get ahead.
- While she was a state senator, 58 percent of Sinema’s campaign contributions came from lobbyists and special interest groups.
- For Schapira, it was 99 percent – every single dollar except for $50.
- While in the State Senate, Sinema traveled on more junkets than anyone else.
- Sinema used lobbyist money to fund trips to Napa Valley and galas in New York.
- Sinema and Schapira accepted many free tickets to sporting events – just like in the Fiesta Bowl scandal.
- And even after the Fiesta Bowl scandal, Sinema stood with Russell Pearce to oppose any new restrictions on lobbyist gifts.
That kind of lobbyist influence has produced troubling results.
- Sinema said she wouldn’t support the recall against Pearce because Pearce was her “boss.”
- Sinema was the only Democrat to partner with Russell Pearce Republicans to sponsor a bill that gave debt collectors and credit card companies unfair advantages over low- and middle- income families in the debt collections process. Every other Democrat votes against it. Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law. Just a few months later, the lobbyist who pushed the bill hosted a big fundraiser for Sinema’s campaign.
- Schapira seconded the nomination of Republican Senator Pierce for senate president.
- Schapira made the mistake of voting for Brewer’s private school voucher plan to drain money from public schools.
- Schapira and Sinema both voted in favor of Pearce’s education bill, which The Arizona Republic said “would leave the state with a $600 million hole in its schools budget.”