ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Crime

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

You know, I’m not sure whether we should or not. I’d have to look at it more closely. I am very troubled that in a lot of ways I think weve lost the emphesis on correction in our correction system and its much more focused on punishment. Now let’s not forget, we’re supposed to be rehabilitating people who have made mistakes. This is, of course, not murderers or rapists–some people need to be locked up for good. But in general, we’re supposed to rehabilitating people so they can reenter society and be productive citizens. We don’t have that. A lot of people get out of prison and they go right back to prison within a short amount of time. So I think by and large our prison sysetm is failing. And we’re spending huge amounts of money on this. This is over a billion dollars a year on the state budget. It’s a lot of money.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

Absolutely not. I do not support private prisons. I think putting a profit motive on locking people up is a very dangerous to our civil liberties and it’s a bad idea all around.

Should we spend more on program that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?

Absolutely. Again the focus has to be on Continue reading

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ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Taxes

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in LD29. We asked him some questions on tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

I support doing what was already agreed. When that property tax cut was put in place, the state had a lot more money. But there was an agreement to let it sunset and that revenue is needed. I’m a homeowner, I have to pay that property tax just like everyone else does. We neeed that money especially for education, it’s critical. I support sticking with the agreement that was made when that tax cut went into place. At some point in the futrure, if economic conditions make it possible, we can look at it again but I think with the budget crisis facing the state right now, it would be basically irresponsible to go back on the agreement that was made.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes I do. When needed especially. It would be nice to be able to pay cash up front for everything but that’s just not the economic reality that we’re dealing with right now. I think bonding for school projects just makes sence, especially in this economic climate.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

Well I think on education, it’s clear that I’m the strongest candidate, that’s why I got the endorsement of the teachers and the schools of the Arizona Education Association. I understand education closely and I care deaply about it with my daughter in public schools here in Tucson in TUSD.

On general economic issues I think its pretty clear I’m very much in touch with the voters in District 29. My wife and I don’t make a lot of money. I understand how it is and how difficult It can be to just pay your bills every month. We’ve got big problems right now. To me, the economy is the big issue in this election. I balance a budget at home I’ll be able to help balance a budget in the state House.

Legislative District 29: Elections Happen

With 97 percent of the precinct votes and 4,600 early ballots counted, only 3,000 provisional ballots and roughly 10,000 late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots remain. It looks like the surprises are over for Legislative District 29.

The big surprises last night in LD29 included Patricia Puig and Eric Carbajal Bustamante practically tying for the fourth slot of this Seven-Way Super-Slam, while Ephriam Cruz came in sixth place, ahead of only Gil Guerra.

Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson seem to have locked down seats in Legislative District 29, while Rep. Tom Prezelski appears to be on his way out.

Although more than 30,000 registered Democrats live in LD29, voter turnout is at about 24 percent, with roughly 7,400 ballots having been counted so far.

Matt Heinz: 25.4 percent

Daniel Patterson: 17.6 percent

Tom Prezelski: 15.4 percent

Eric Carbajal Bustamante: 12.3 percent

Patricia Puig: 12.3 percent

Ephraim Cruz: 9.9 percent

Gil Guerra 6.9 percent

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Education

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about education policy.

Should the AIMS test remain a requirement for high-school graduation?

No. I listen to the teachers and the teachers don’t support it. I don’t think it’s worked very well and in general I don’t support federal or state level micromanagement of local school districts and that’s what the aims test is.

Do you favor any changes for the AIMS test or would you do away with it completely?

I’d like to sit down with the education community and teachers and see what they think but at least with the current AIMS test I don’t think it’s worth keeping.

Do you support state-funded vouchers for private or religious schools?

No. If people want to send their kid to a private or religious school that’s fine, but I think they should pay for it. I support strong funding for public schools and vouchers Continue reading

LD29 Speed-Dating: No Love at First Sight

Several of the candidates for House of Representatives in LD29 met at a bar on Thursday night to talk over their differences.

The meeting, organized by Tucson Drinking Liberally, was originally marketed on the website as an “LD29 Candidate ‘Speed Dating’ Forum” but since most of the candidates got cold feet, it was just another night drinking and talking politics at The Shanty.

The three candidates who did make the date each gave a short speech and took questions from the rowdy crowd of a few dozen political junkies.

Representative Tom Prezelski started off the event and, though he didn’t appear tipsy, his tongue was definitely loose. His relaxed performance included calling a Republican lawmaker a dick and one candidate from another district “full of shit.”

Besides bashing the Legislature, he called for reform of Health Care Group and explained the benefits of bonding for school construction, invoking his experience as a tribal planner and the example of Sunnyside High School, which he says was built cheaply, piece by piece as the money became available, and now needs Continue reading

Air War: TV Ads Debut in LD 29 Seven-Way Super Slam!

Two Democrats in the crowded Legislative District 29 Seven-Way Super-Slam are using their Clean Elections bucks to air TV ads.

Ephraim Cruz shows off his weightlifting skills…

…while Daniel Patterson visits a local playground.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Crime

Democrat Daniel Patterson is one of seven candidates running for two seats in the Legislative District 29 House of Representatives Democratic primary that voters will decide on Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

You know, I’m not sure whether we should or not. I’d have to look at it more closely. I am very troubled that in a lot of ways I think we’ve lost the emphasis on correction in our correction system and its much more focused on punishment. Now let’s not forget, we’re supposed to be rehabilitating people who have made mistakes, and this is of course not murders or rapists–some people need to be locked up for good. But in general, we’re supposed to rehabilitating people so they can reenter society and be productive citizens. We don’t have that. A lot of people get out of prison and they go right back to prison within a short amount of time. So I think by and large our prison system is failing. And we’re spending huge amounts of money on this. This is over a billion dollars a year on the state budget. It’s a lot of money.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

Absolutely not. I do not support private prisons. I think putting a profit motive on locking people up Continue reading