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AZProgressive's Journal
AZProgressive's Journal
November 5, 2014

Election of Krysten Synema and Democratic mid term strategy

Arizona's 9th district has a liberal stronghold Arizona State campus, to the north rich conservative area Camelback and Paradise Valley where McCain dominated in '08 and to the east a heavy Republican middle class population with a high Mormon turnout with the same background & policies as most conservatives you'll rarely see Democratic candidates at the city level. Probably about equal to the south, Hispanic population is larger than the areas I mention. The district is the fastest growing population-wise in a metropolitan area that is the largest municipality Republican Presidential candidates. 34% of registered voters are Republican. 31% Democratic. About 30% Independent (there are actually more registered Independents statewide than any other party but they don't turn out as high). They have a partisan index of R+1 and Obama won 51% to 47% in a newly created district. It was also the only district Obama won in Maricopa county.

In the 2012 primary I voted for her because she appeared to be the most liberal or supported the same issues I did. I always will no matter where I live. However, when she did end up winning the primary Republicans were confident she would be easiest one to defeat. She is openly bisexual, first Representitive with "none" officially declared religious affiliation, she was a former Mormon, she worked on Ralph Nader's 2000 Presidential campaign, ran for state house as a Green. She is also one of the 10 "poorest" reps, and joked that she was "a Prada socialist" which campaign ads constantly reminded us of her use of the S word. Parker ran campaign ads that accused Sinema of being an "anti-American hippie" who practiced "Pagan rituals".[35] The Republican-aligned outside group American Future Fund spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attack ads against Sinema.[36] When Sinema's religious views were raised as an issue, her campaign stated that she simply believes in a secular approach to government.[5] - wiki

Election results were at a dead heat on election day with her opponent Vernon Parker who is a Paradise Valley area politician but she had a 2-1 advantage on the early mail ballot count and ended up winning by 4%. Early mailing ballots should probably be a consideration to future midterm strategy.

During her term she joined the Blue Dog coalition and sits near the center when it comes to voting record -- https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/kyrsten_sinema/412509. Veterans issues made up almost all of bills she introduced and sponsored. She also was the 88th highest Democrat in most bills cosponsored by someone other than a Democrat. Her most controversial votes deal with an no vote against voted against an amendment to a defense appropriations bill to prohibit "from monitoring and recording details of US citizens' telecommunications without a warrant". Also was an original sponsor which limits electronic data serveilance to only suspects of an investigation.

The other was in favor of a 1-year delay of the mandate which was my least favorite part of the bill but all aspects of ACA she voted in favor of and clearly implied she wants universal health care where I will elaborate on earlier.

She did go towards the middle but also established a record of bipartisanship that stands to scrutiny. While there is a possibility that the taking up veterans issues were politically motivating considering Veterans Issues was the primary focus of her 2014 campaign which earlier record benefits in light of recent Phoenix VA issues. On the wedge issues state Republicans target Democrats with she supports the Dream ACT, defends and supports ACA, and supports gay marriage. Guns are a hardly a political issue but he support of closing the gun show loophole, increasing background checks, and concealed carry made it one of the main points of contention in the campaign which were immigration, ACA, and her votes in allowing defendants at Guantanamo to use habeas corpus to challenge their detention (portrayed as "voted to give rights to terrorists" in attack ads).

Her campaign website is very limited when it comes to where she stands on the issues. Pretty much just Veterans, jobs including raising the minimum wage, equal pay, and extending child-care tax credit. Seniors is also mentioned which is an area she actually scores pretty high based on voting record. -- http://kyrstensinema.com/issues/

However, a full list of where she stands on the issues can easily be found and to and I can't find much I disagree with on the important issues --http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Kyrsten_Sinema.htm

-------------------------------------------Here is the key stuff I wanted to mention

The 9th district was forecasted to be very tough but it is very important to to point out her opponent made several screw ups. The first in the soft on terror approach used football of the Foley beheading which backfired politically where she removed it. She hid from the press, rarely engaging in debate. The nail in the coffin was when she skipped out on the only televised debate leaving Sinema & the Libertarian candidate 30 minutes explaining their positions in which the Libertarian killed his own chances on the topic of Veterans with ""I would basically toss 'em on their own," he said. "I don't believe in stealing people's money (through taxes) and spending it on veterans. I don't believe we owe this to them."

There was a highly unusual move here part of elect Sinema team.

Democrats are mailing campaign fliers featuring a Libertarian candidate to conservative voters in a competitive Phoenix congressional race.

The effort could help U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., stay in office. Libertarian Powell Gammill assisted Sinema to victory last election by siphoning votes from her Republican challenger.

The mailers are part of the Democrats' political strategy, said DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party. But he says the mailers don't ask voters to support Gammill, they simply point out his positions.

"It might be unconventional, sure, but deceptive it's surely not," Quinlan said. "It says right there: 'Paid for by the Arizona Democratic Party.'"


(I'm curious on thoughts if you feel Democrats should do this kind of thing as it approaches the level of "dirty tricks" but not quite as unethical and dishonest as McConnell's mailers about election violations and doubt there was a "paid for by the McConnell campaign disclosure&quot

I want to wrap this up as I nearly had a crash issue. I choose to focus here aside from the familiarity of it being my district is it features similar political realities and is an even district. While you have a larger than average young voter population, it is countered by the similar nationally politically Republican strong hold with also 1% rich conservatives to the north and working class higher Hispanic to the southwest which the area leans Democratic. The candidate in question also has a very liberal background as Ralph Nader campaign worker.

I'm still waiting to find more detailed information on turnout and who but the pitfalls helped what turned out to be an easy victory where forecasts declared an uphill battle based on trends of lower voter turnout while the white conservatives have a strong presence as well.

Obviously even then, there are major differences and unique situations here where her background would kill her chances which is kinda the point and Senate races have different realities than congressional ones do. Candidates do have to deal with the reality of likely turnout so they have to deal with the balance of targeting their campaign to those voters while also not wanting to take positions that would decrease the turnout they need.

While Sinema did go towards the middle, her way of doing it was unique to others. She didn't make distancing a focus of her campaign but on her strengths and vague considering the lack of info available where she stood on the DREAM Act, ACA, and counters to "making Arizona vulnerable" which she actually was very high levels of support from police based on her voting record and a local police political group or union endorsement in her first congressional district shocked the local press. However, in public statements and answers to questions she expressed support of those issues. And the limit issues she did focus on in campaign websites & ads, gave specific policies that she supports however limited. It is interesting that if she choose to pander which she very well could have, it is interesting what she choose not to pander on and that includes religious affiliation.

I want to emphasize on aspects that could be used in any tight race rather than the entire thing and one is she has high marks in her interview and public speaking, conversations with people, and use of humor in support of policies.

She also has a good understanding of how messages come across based on this

I've become a huge fan of research. It's helped me as a candidate learn to talk in ways that voters can understand. For example, I used to say that I wanted universal health-care coverage in Arizona, which went over like a ton of bricks. Turns out, Arizonans hear the word "universal" and think "socialism"--or "pinko commie." But when I say that I want all Arizonans to have access to affordable, quality health care, Arizonans agree wholeheartedly. Same basic idea, different language. Research is what teaches us these differences so that we can relate to voters in ways that are authentic and meaningful for them.


That is why I said it is heavily implied she supports universal health care but avoids using language that says the she does. I said awhile ago that if you're going to play middle you better be good at because if you come across as someone with no convictions as badly as Mitt Romney(perfect example of where playing the middle goes wrong) was and actually is. You also don't want come across as evasive and dishonest either.

I think you get my general drift so I'll close by saying I don't endorse everything here especially NSA vote, but when it comes policy positions she is my favorite relevant Arizona politician next to Raul Grijalva and consider myself a pretty left wing guy.

November 4, 2014

Understanding the psychology of police misconduct

By Brian D. Fitch, PhD, Lieutenant, Los Angeles, California, Sheriff’s Department

Law enforcement is a unique profession, with officers experiencing a host of freedoms not available to the general public, including the application of deadly force, high-speed driving, and seizing personal property. While these liberties may be necessary, they also can create opportunities for wrongdoing, especially if such behavior is likely to go undetected because of poor supervision. The embarrassment caused by misconduct can damage the public trust, undermine officer morale, and expose agencies to unnecessary—and, in many cases, costly—litigation.1 Consequently, a clear understanding of the psychology underlying unethical behavior is critical to every law enforcement supervisor and manager at every level of an organization, regardless of one’s agency or mission.

Law enforcement agencies go to great lengths to recruit, hire, and train only the most qualified applicants—candidates who have already demonstrated a track record of good moral values and ethical conduct. Similarly, most officers support the agency, its values, and its mission, performing their duties ethically while avoiding any misconduct or abuse of authority. Yet despite the best efforts of organizations everywhere, it seems that one does not have to look very far these days to find examples of police misconduct, particularly in the popular press.2 Even more disturbing, however, is that many of the officers engaged in immoral or unethical behavior previously demonstrated good service records, absent any of the “evil” typically associated with corruption or abuse.

While it is probably true that at least some of the officers who engage in illicit activities managed somehow to slip through the cracks in the hiring process and simply continued their unethical ways, this account fails to explain how otherwise good officers become involved in misconduct. The purpose of this article is to familiarize law enforcement managers and supervisors with the cognitive rationalizations that can contribute to unethical behavior. The article also offers strategies and suggestions intended to mitigate misconduct, before it actually occurs, by developing a culture of ethics.


Decades of empirical research have supported the idea that whenever a person’s behaviors are inconsistent with their attitudes or beliefs, the individual will experience a state of psychological tension—a phenomenon referred to as cognitive dissonance. 4 Because this tension is uncomfortable, people will modify any contradictory beliefs or behaviors in ways intended to reduce or eliminate discomfort. Officers can reduce psychological tension by changing one or more of their cognitions—that is, by modifying how they think about their actions and the consequences of those behaviors—or by adjusting their activities, attitudes, or beliefs in ways that are consistent with their values and self-image. Generally speaking, an officer will modify the cognition that is least resistant to change, which, in most cases, tends to be the officer’s attitudes, not behaviors.


Fair article that addresses the reality of the situation, explains how the rationalization process snowballs to where you see misconduct widespread across the force. That site is also an excellent resource with countless links to studies in the archives.

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Hometown: Arizona
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Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
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