Democrat Hiral Tipirneni is running a tight race against career politician Debbie Lesko in Arizona’s Congressional District 8 special election. Dr. Tipirneni’s surging candidacy has the Republican Party worried, so much so that they’ve now dropped over $1 million into the deeply red district. Why? Because Dr. Tipirneni is an exceptional candidate who has deep roots in the district where she worked as an Emergency Room Physician and Cancer Research Advocate for over 20 years.
But there is another reason the GOP should be worried that has nothing to do with Hiral Tipirneni: their own nominee’s viability. Debbie Lesko has a long history of enacting bad policies in the state, and her heartfelt embrace of the worst parts of the Trump/Ryan/McConnell agenda may backfire among the increasingly significant voting bloc of registered Independents.
So…here are the top 10 reasons that Arizonans should “Just Say No” to Debbie Lesko:
1. Lesko wants to cut earned benefits.
In a district that is largely made up of retirees, Lesko supports the GOP and Koch plan to cut earned benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. But don’t worry, she only plans to institute cuts for people not already collecting their benefits. So for those of you that are 64 years old and younger, Lesko doesn’t think you have a right to see a return on your lifetime investment into our country’s Social Security and Medicare plans.
2. Lesko believes that access to health care is a privilege, not a right.
Lesko wants health care to be “free and open” and doesn’t believe in universal health care coverage. Bear in mind that Lesko has been endorsed by the House Freedom Caucus. This is the same caucus that tanked the first round of Obamacare repeal efforts because Paul Ryan’s proposal didn’t go far enough in dismantling our nation’s healthcare system.
3. Lesko is an enemy of public education.
Arizona’s public schools are facing a funding crisis, and Lesko bears responsibility for that. Since Lesko was first elected to Arizona’s legislature in 2008, the Republican-led government has cut more education funds than any other state in the nation. Lesko has also managed to push through Betsy DeVos-backed legislation authorizing an expensive school voucher program. Since it’s inception in 2011, the school voucher program has drained over $100 million from Arizona’s general tax fund, with no end in sight.
4. Lesko is all-in on tax cuts for the super-rich.
Knowing what she knows now about the GOP Tax Scam and how it will explode the country’s deficit, Lesko promises she would have voted for it. She also claims she is a fiscal conservative.
5. Lesko is under investigation.
Allegedly, Lesko committed campaign finance fraud. Further, unlike Dr. Tipirneni, Lesko refused to pledge a refusal of corporate PAC donations and has welcomed support from the Koch Brothers.
6. Lesko is anti-voter.
After Arizonans overwhelmingly approved an increase in the minimum wage at the ballot box via voter initiative, Lesko and her cohorts in the Arizona legislature schemed with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce to make it more difficult for citizens to express their will at the ballot box. It is now more costly and more time consuming for the average Arizona citizen to put a question to the voters to decide.
7. Lesko is anti-women’s rights.
During her time in the Arizona State Senate, Lesko pushed her radical anti-woman, anti-choice agenda: an agenda she proudly crows about on her website. Lesko is responsible for the following anti-choice laws:
- Mandated unannounced health inspections of abortion clinics
- Assisting a minor in obtaining an abortion is a Class 1 misdemeanor
- AZ religious affiliated employers are allowed to opt out of the HHS mandate that required them to provide birth control to employees
8. Lesko is an NRA darling.
Debbie brags on her website that she has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, and touts her extremist NRA-backed agenda. During her time in the Arizona legislature, Lesko voted yes on almost every single NRA backed piece of legislation that came before her, including:
- A bill that authorizes the sale, gift, donation, or transfer of personal property including firearms without a background check or third party involved.
- A bill that authorizes concealed carry into public establishments or public events. This bill did not pass.
- A bill that authorizes concealed carry near schools.
- A bill that would have prohibited member states from creating, imposing, or enforcing any fee, tax, penalty, mandate, or regulation on the transfer of firearms that is beyond that of federal law. Ultimately vetoed by the governor.
9. Lesko doesn’t seem to care much about real people.
Last year, Lesko helped usher through a law that severely undermines the protections of Arizona’s version of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill creates a waiting period that individuals with disabilities must abide by before asserting their right to access a publicly accessible business.
10. Lesko is Trumpian on immigration.
Lesko wholeheartedly endorses President Trump’s proposal to build a wall on our southern border. She also co-sponsored the controversial Show Your Papers Law (SB1070) passed by the Arizona legislature in 2010. That law was largely ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States.
So, Arizonans: you have a choice next Tuesday the 24th. Hire a compassionate, principled and brilliant champion for the people, or Debbie Lesko. Let’s get this one right.