Guns

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The toll that gun violence has taken on my family and my community has been far too high. Growing up, I knew friends and cousins who were shot in gang violence and from accidents stemming from unsafe gun storage.

Americans can agree on fundamentals; support for background checks and clamping down on gun purchases from those who are mentally ill or on a terrorism watch-list.

Today, there is someone who is killed from a gun almost every single day in Arizona. Arizona is the 11th-worst state for gun deaths and Phoenix’s level of homicides is equivalent to Mexico’s. As a State Representative, I met with the bereaved families of those who had lost their lives from senseless gun violence. As a Congressman, I will work to ensure that the awful toll of gun violence can be stemmed back in our communities.

I often hear from NRA members that the solution is more individuals with guns. In the Arizona State House, I stood up against proposals to allow guns in our parks and public buildings. I know as a U.S. Marine who is trained in close quarters combat that having untrained individuals carrying guns can make the work of law enforcement officers more difficult.

In my first term in Congress, I’ll work across the aisle to help end gun violence. I’ll continue my work on closing the “terror gap” to ensure that suspected terrorists can’t buy guns. I will work to protect gun buyback programs, such as those in Phoenix, that remove unwanted and dangerous guns from the street. I will stand up to the NRA and be a voice for gun owners who want to see universal background checks.

I will not back down in fighting to protect our community. I don’t want anyone to grow up with family and friends senselessly gunned down.

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Equality

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After returning from Iraq, I moved to Arizona and quickly became politically active on LGBTQ issues. In 2006, I worked on the campaign against an Arizona ballot initiative that would have amended the Arizona constitution to prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages or civil unions. Our campaign was successful and Arizona became the first state in the nation to defeat a same-sex marriage ban.

I have a long history of working with the Human Rights Campaign, joining HRC and Voices of Honor in 2009 to push the Obama administration to overturn the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Since being elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010, I have co-sponsored bills granting Marriage Equality in Arizona and creating a state version of the Employer Nondiscrimination Act. I have a 100% rating from Equality Arizona.

I played a central role in forcing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the discriminatory SB 1062, a bill allowing businesses to deny service based on sexual orientation. I was a harsh critic of the bill and drew significant national media attention to the effort by announcing on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives that the bill would create “open season” on the LGBTQ community. I held up a large sign reading “No Gays Allowed” during his speech and said supporters of the bill might as well post it in businesses throughout the state.

As a United States Congressman, I will:

  • Fight for same-sex marriage in all 50 states
  • Co-sponsor and work to advance the Employment Nondiscrimination Act
  • Oppose any efforts to discriminate against any American on the basis of sexual orientation
  • Fight to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to fully benefit from the rights and protections guaranteed by our Constitution and our laws
  • Speak out against ignorance, hatred and intolerance; and encourage all Americans, especially young people, to practice compassion and understanding
  • Work to reform discriminatory bias in federal policies and regulations against LGBTQ families
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    Paycheck Fairness

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    I’ve been surrounded by strong women my entire life. My three sisters and I were raised by a single mom on the South Side of Chicago. She was an immigrant, and I saw firsthand how hard she worked to make sure her kids would get the kind of opportunities she envisioned for her children. She’s an inspiring woman, and I’m lucky to have another strong woman in my life who inspires me everyday — my wife Kate.

    I met Kate at Harvard and knew right away that she was destined to accomplish amazing things. After earning an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Kate worked on economic development in Phoenix before getting elected to the Phoenix City Council.

    With all these amazing women in my life, I just can’t fathom what motivates some of the crazy policies that come out of both Washington and the Arizona legislature would keep women from earning equal work for equal pay.

    Our entire culture should be ashamed that a wage gap exists between men and women. But rather than working to reverse an obvious injustice, Republicans seem committed to the antiquated ideas that are the basis of paycheck disparity. In Congress, I will fight not only for Paycheck Fairness, but also to bring an end to the offensive ideology that allowed wage disparity to become an issue in the first place.

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    Immigration

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    I’m the child of Hispanic immigrants. I was raised by a single mother on the South Side of Chicago and had to work to help the family, including my time at a meatpacking plant where I received an extra dollar an hour because I spoke English and Spanish. Like many children of immigrants I got my shot at the American Dream through education and military service. I studied hard and was the first in my family to go to college, getting into Harvard. But like many kids from working-class families, I struggled to fit in at Harvard. I felt more at home when I joined the Marine Corps.

    After graduating, I served in Iraq with Lima 3/25, a unit that saw one of the highest casualty rates of the war. My unit was so hard hit because Congress had failed to allocate resources for the armored vehicles we needed. We were rolling around Iraq in amphibious assault vehicles that offered no protection to roadside bombs. We knew it and the insurgents knew it, but Congress wasn’t doing anything about it.

    Today, we know that many of the men and women I served with in Iraq are facing deportation, even after they served their adopted country in combat. We know that children of immigrants who study hard, get great grades and want the same opportunity I got to go to college can’t go because of a decision made by their parents years ago. We know that the federal government is breaking up families rather than going after actual criminals. And we know that workers playing a vital role in our economy don’t get the protections all working Americans should.

    Our immigration issues are so multifaceted that the only solution that will work is comprehensive immigration reform. Everyone seems to recognize this, but yet again Congress isn’t doing anything.

    In Arizona, I’ve been a passionate advocate for comprehensive reform. In Washington, I’ll take it to the next level. We don’t just need people who will vote the right way. We need people who will put pressure on opponents of comprehensive reform and call out the Obama Administration for its wrongheaded and hurtful deportation policies.

    I will do that without losing sight of the ultimate goal: comprehensive reform. To me, we can’t call any immigration bill comprehensive reform unless we:

  • Enact the DREAM Act
  • Stop deporting non-criminals and breaking up families
  • Provide temporary protected status for those already living here who do follow the law
  • Develop a pathway to citizenship
  • Secure the border
  • I know there are special interests that would prefer to keep the broken system. But the stakes are too high for too many Americans for Congress to fail to act. Comprehensive immigration reform is achievable and I’m going to do everything I can to make it happen.

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    Choice

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    In recent years, we’ve also seen a disturbing trend of politicians trying to dictate how health care should be administered to women. In Congress, I will be a fierce advocate for choice, just as I have been in Arizona.

    When the Arizona legislature tried to block women from getting birth control through their insurer, I stood up to fight it. I did the same when the legislature moved to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health services to millions of women throughout the country.

    What is so upsetting about these recent attempts to block access to comprehensive women’s health care — including contraception and abortion — is that these decisions aren’t motivated by science.

    The only reason these bills exist is cynical politicians who think they gain an advantage by pushing these ideas. Those of us who stand against Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and block access to health care have the facts on our side, and voters see that. But with so many attempts to block access to women’s health care all over the country, we need to remain vigilant in fighting this destructive idea wherever it pops up.

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    Ruben Gallego: The Young Politician Who Should Scare Arizona’s Republicans

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    PHOENIX — Ruben Gallego was sitting at a large dining-room table inside his house in South Phoenix, surrounded by half a dozen young political activists assembled for a strategy session, when he decided to let us in on a secret: the rules of his congressional campaign. “We got to do the PC version of this,” he tells Ellie Perez, one of his volunteers, who is seated at the head of the table. There’s a reporter in the room, after all.

    “This is the most important rule of the campaign,” Perez, a local college student, said. “Don’t be a weenie, for lack of a better word.”

    What she means is, forget about your personal life — vacations, friends, your health and the well being of your relatives — between now and the seventh congressional district’s Democratic primary this August. She says that canvassing the district on foot and talking to voters is paramount to anything else.

    “Tell your parents that we’re not going to go to your funeral if it’s Monday through Friday during walking hours or Saturday and Sunday during walking hours,” Perez continues. “We’re not going to weep for you until after we win and we will cry tears of joy in your honor. One hour and then that’s it.”

    Gallego laughs. He has a joking demeanor, but that belies the discipline and commitment the Iraq War veteran is hoping will translate into building a coalition that can elect him to Congress.

    After spending three years in the state legislature, Gallego is running to replace Rep. Ed Pastor, Arizona’s first Latino congressman who is retiring after spending over two decades in Washington. The open House seat in this deep blue district is a political prize for Arizona Democrats; it could offer the winner ultimate job security and the chance to climb the rungs of power. And Gallego faces stiff competition from a seasoned opponent. An internal poll released Tuesday showed him with a narrow 38 percent to 32 percent lead over his chief opponent, former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.

    But the implications of this race could echo beyond Arizona. Gallego could help invigorate a Latino electorate that has long been described as the state’s “sleeping giant.” For years, no one has been able to wake it up. Arizona has the fifth-largest population of eligible Latino voters in the country. But only 40 percent of them voted in 2012.

    At the age of 34, Gallego represents a generational shift that could reshape the politics that have defined the state for the past several years, and win him the election in the process, his supporters say.

    “We need someone who is young,” said Alexis Tameron, a Democratic operative in Arizona who backs Gallego. “You need someone who has a new way of organizing and someone who has the energy and outlook — sort of embodying the whole emerging electorate that’s coming in that’s kind of the future of Arizona Democratic politics.”

    As far as the midterms go, this campaign won’t generate the same kind of national buzz that’s surrounding, say, Mitch McConnell’s reelection bid in Kentucky. But this race has clear national implications. Democrats have eyed deep-red Arizona as a state they’d like to turn blue in presidential elections, with the help of its increasingly diverse electorate. So far, they have not been able to do it. If Gallego can show that he can mobilize Latino voters this year, his campaign could be used as a model for success statewide.

    To win the seat, Gallego will have to prevail in the Democratic primary election on August 26. No Republican is running in this district, where President Obama won over 70 percent of the vote in 2012. Even though Gallego’s poll showed him leading his main opponent, Wilcox, most observers believe the race will remain a close contest. Wilcox, 64, is Pastor’s preferred successor. And unlike Gallego, she is a lifelong Arizonan who is trying to use her name recognition and long record of service to tap into the district’s traditional political networks. But Gallego has a different plan in mind.


    (Photo: Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)

    Arizona’s seventh congressional district is anchored in downtown and south Phoenix but also encompasses surrounding metropolises, like Glendale and Tolleson to the west and Guadalupe to the east. It’s population is mostly poor and Hispanic. The district’s median household income is $32,259, one of the lowest in the country. Hispanics, mostly Mexican-Americans, make up 64 percent of the population, making it one of two Hispanic-majority districts in Arizona.

    All of the seventh sits in Maricopa County, and its residents have been subject to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s infamous immigration sweeps for years. In 2010, there were massive protests in Phoenix against SB 1070, the state’s controversial immigration crackdown law that was partially struck down by the Supreme Court. The district has been ground zero for the constant battles between the state’s Hispanic community and its Republican political establishment.

    Despite (or perhaps because of) that, the seventh had the lowest voter turnout of any district in the state during the 2012 elections. The district is emblematic of Arizona Democrats’ longstanding frustration: Latinos could hand them political control of the state, but they simply don’t vote.

    Gallego is embracing that challenge. He moved to Arizona in 2005 but he quickly found his place within the state’s close-knit Democratic political circles. After leaving the Marine Corps that year, he got involved in a campaign to improve military healthcare benefits. He was elected to the state House in 2010, where he became assistant minority leader. He recently resigned his seat to focus full time on his campaign for Congress.

    He’s also proven adept at fundraising. Gallego raked in $162,000 in just over a month after jumping into the congressional race, outpacing his more established colleague in Wilcox, who raised $92,132.

    The candidate believes that old-fashioned campaign tactics are the most effective at getting people who have never voted to the polls in this urban district: trained volunteers going to the homes of potential voters and having conversations with them.

    This district hasn’t seen an aggressive, door-to-door congressional campaign in years, which might be a reason why voter participation has been so low.

    “For decades, right, Hispanic voters, every time they went to go vote for their congressional candidate, it was Pastor versus some no-name Republican,” said Arizona State University political science professor Rodolfo Espino, an expert on the state’s Hispanic politics. “Now, you’re actually going to have a competitive Democratic primary.”

    In the past, Gallego has been involved in successful grassroots efforts to turn out Latino voters. And he says he wants to bring that same strategy to his congressional race.

    In 2011, he helped lead a group of young activists, many of them undocumented, to elect a Latino candidate to a city council district in West Phoenix. Latino voter turnout increased by 400 percent. That same group also played a key role in Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s victory over a candidate who backed SB 1070. Stanton was vocally opposed to the law.

    A small group of activists from the efforts in 2011 is now working on Gallego’s congressional campaign to develop a sophisticated canvassing plan. They intend to go door-to-door to talk to voters through the summer months, when the high temperatures can surpass 100 degrees.

    “I’ve always believed in turning out my district and the Latino community and now people are starting to get that mindset and in other parts of Arizona,” he said. “If you could do that in other parts of the country, you could be turning over districts from Republican to Democrat overnight.”


    (Photo: Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)

    The candidate has a charisma that gets people to pay attention, but it’s not evident at first glance. His appearance isn’t the square-jawed visage you would expect from a former Marine combat veteran. Over a lunch at America’s Taco Shop in midtown Phoenix (which he’s quick to tell us was founded by an immigrant from Mexico) he jokes that his beard is there to cover up his double chin.

    Instead, he’s a brash, unapologetic voice in support of liberal causes like immigration reform, marijuana legalization and gay rights. During the debate over Arizona’s so-called “religious freedom bill,” which would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals, Gallego held up a sign on the House floor that read, “No Gays Allowed.”

    His messages are often like that. Short and to the point. When Pastor announced his retirement in late February, the timing surprised almost everyone in Arizona politics. But Gallego long had designs on running once the seat came open, and he announced his candidacy right away — with a tweet.

    “I rarely am subtle and it’s because at this point I am that person and in politics subtlety gets you in trouble, it really does, right?” he said.

    Gallego wants to bring an in-your-face style of leadership to Phoenix. That style was never Pastor’s. But as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he was effective in steering billions of federal dollars for projects in his Phoenix-area district. Most recently, he helped secure assistance for a $91.8 million light-rail system.

    Pastor opposed Arpaio’s immigration sweeps and SB 1070. But he suffered criticism for not taking a more vocal stance against them. During an interview at the Latino Arts and Cultural Center downtown, Gallego made it clear he believes that the older generation’s quiet style helped fuel voter apathy, especially among younger Hispanic voters in his district.

    “We all look around to what’s happening in Arizona; all these laws that are being pushed that are anti-immigrant, anti-education or anti-LGBT, we get frustrated because we know that there are people who can do things about this but they don’t,” he said. “They just sit there quietly on the sidelines.”

    “We’re going to put people in leadership that actually were there for us and we’re going to protect our community,” he added.

    Gallego’s brashness has made him an effective political activist, and many heavy hitters believe it will make him a good congressman too. He’s won several high-profile endorsements, but none bigger than that of Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who represents Arizona’s other Hispanic-majority district near Tucson. Grijalva is known as an outspoken liberal in Washington and back home. In 2010, he encouraged a controversial boycott of Arizona businesses to demonstrate against SB 1070.

    In a race where all the serious contenders are Democrats, there’s little that distinguishes them in terms of policy. The differences are mostly stylistic. And Gallego’s critics cite his youth and cocksure demeanor as evidence he won’t be able to govern effectively. In his endorsement of Wilcox, Pastor praised her “31 years of hard work and experience of public service” as her best asset. By contrast, no one on Gallego’s campaign staff is above the age of 31.

    Gallego touts that he’s the youngest candidate in the race, but that “can be a knock against him,” said ASU’s Espino.

    According to Espino and others, the candidate’s chief weakness is “that he may not have the experience, that he may not have the political connections, the knowledge of the district and what the voters want.”

    Despite Gallego’s disciplined campaign team and enviable resume, he very well may walk away a loser in August.

    His path to victory was made easier when state Sen. Steve Gallardo ended his candidacy early last week, pitting Gallego directly against Wilcox, the county supervisor.

    But Wilcox always posed the bigger challenge. She is well known to voters, having served on the Board of Supervisors since 1992. She’s also fought against Arpaio; in 2012 she was a awarded nearly $1 million in a legal settlement stemming from claims that the sheriff and county attorney targeted her for prosecution because she spoke out against his immigration sweeps.

    In addition to Pastor’s endorsement, she received the backing of EMILY’s List, a political action committee that supports Democratic female candidates. That could help rev up her fundraising and organizing activities. Above it all, she says her experience would make her a better choice for voters.

    “The question is who has actually been doing the work,” she recently told the Washington Examiner. “You’ve got some relative newcomers … who have not proven that they can get into the trenches and be the advocates we really need.”

    At the taco shop, Gallego dismissed that notion between bites of his carne asada burrito, rattling off his legislative accomplishments, like his work ushering through a Medicaid expansion that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law.

    “There’s a time to fight and there’s a way to fight and there’s a time to compromise and come up with a deal that works for everybody,” he said. “When I need to shout from the loudest mountain to get attention for some kind of abuse, I’ll do it. Or when I need work behind the scenes to get something done, I’ll do it. But I’m not going to be afraid of pushing that envelope.”


    (Photo: Ruben Gallego/Facebook)

    Gallego has a dream biography for a political candidate, but that came at the expense of a tough upbringing. He was born in Chicago to immigrant parents — his mother is Colombian and his father is from Mexico. Gallego’s father left the family when he was 11, and his mother struggled to provide for him and his three sisters. At one point, the family lived in his aunt’s basement in the Windy City. Even though he’s not from here, Gallego says he can empathize with many of his poor constituents.

    “He knew that he was pretty much man of the house, so that was a big burden for him,” his mother Elisa said. “He had to give up stuff. When he had to [go to] prom or something he sold lollipops. He worked making hot dogs and no job for him — like I told him, no job is a bad job. You know as long as it’s an honest job.”

    He showed an interest in school, particularly history. He was admitted to Harvard, becoming one of the first in his family to go to college. His tuition was mostly covered by student loans, Pell grants and scholarship money. And he made up the rest through working odd jobs, including one at a meatpacking plant, over the summer.

    But his grades suffered and he felt he didn’t fit in on campus. So he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps, and he served a tour of duty in Iraq. He eventually would return to Harvard finish his degree.

    Before he left for the Marines, he met his future wife, Kate, at a post-9/11 charity auction on campus. It’s been a political family ever since. Ruben Gallego proposed to Kate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, and Kate won a seat on the Phoenix city council in 2013. This year, they bought a house out of foreclosure at the foot of South Mountain, which Ruben says is “three times the size” of the apartment he grew up in.

    When he first returned from Iraq in 2005, however, Gallego had little appetite for politics. He served in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Lima Company, a reserve infantry unit that suffered heavy casualties during his time in the country. Between February and September, the company lost 22 Marines and a Navy corpsman; most were killed in action by IEDs.

    Wiping away tears, he recalls how he lost his best friend in combat. He was disgusted by the substandard equipment his unit had in the field. And he grew frustrated by the lack of services veterans had when they arrived home.

    But Gallego said his experience working on veterans issues showed him that government can be used for good. His first legislative success in the state House was a bipartisan bill that granted veterans in-state tuition in Arizona, even if they lived in the state for less than a year. On April 2, he spoke at a rally in front of the State Capitol in favor of authorizing a study of whether medical marijuana could help PTSD patients.

    This year, Gallego is applying the discipline and commitment he learned in the military to his campaign team. Going door knocking during an Arizona summer, when heat stroke is a real possibility, is a lot harder if you don’t believe in your cause. For Gallego and his team, the goal is to teach Republicans a lesson by awakening the so-called sleeping giant.

    If Gallego, or any of the candidates, can ignite Latino voters’ enthusiasm here in Phoenix, the rest of the country should be watching.

    “Here in Arizona, the birthplace of SB 1070, Latino voters have been turned off by Republicans, been turned off by Democrats,” Espino said. “I think it’s going to give a template for other campaigns, here in Arizona, but across the country, about how you can mobilize Latino voters.”

    Video produced by Geneva Sands; reported by Jordan Fabian and Geneva Sands; and edited by Patrick O’Gara and Geneva Sands.

    View Original Article Source: http://fusion.net/leadership/story/ruben-gallego-young-politician-scare-arizonas-republicans-718844

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    Ruben Gallego Leads in Polls for Arizona’s Congressional District 7

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    To:       Interested Parties

    From:  Joshua Ulibarri, Lake Research Partners

    Re:      Polling in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District, Democratic Primary[i]

    Date:  May 27, 2014

    A recent survey among likely Democratic primary voters in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District shows former State Representative Ruben Gallego leading Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Gallego leads with 38% to 32% for Wilcox (29% are undecided). Gallego is advantaged because he is nearly as personally popular as Wilcox, but does not carry the same personal unfavorable ratings she does. Further, voters view Gallego’s job performance net-positively, while they view Wilcox’s performance net-negatively. Gallego is in the driver’s seat in this close race. If he has the political and financial support to reach voters and communicate his message, he is likely to be the next Congressman from this area.

    Gallego is advantaged for two main reasons:

    First, Gallego is nearly as well liked as Wilcox, but does not carry the burden of her higher unfavorable ratings. Overall, 43% of voters rate Gallego favorably, compared to just 6% who rate him unfavorably; a 7:1 favorable to unfavorable ratio. Meanwhile, Wilcox is rated favorably by 48% of voters, but more than a quarter (27%) rate her unfavorably.  That is a ratio of less than 2:1 and well below Gallego’s 7:1 pace.

    Second, voters give Gallego strongly positive job performance ratings as State Representative, but are critical of Wilcox’s performance as County Supervisor. Overall, 42% of voters rate Gallego’s job performance as either excellent (8%) or good (34%), while just 23% rate his performance as either just fair or poor. That is a positive relationship by 19 points.  On the other hand, voters are critical of Wilcox’s job performance. Thirty-nine percent rate her job as either excellent (12%) or good (27%), but 45% rate it as just fair (27%) or poor (18%). That is a negative relationship by six points, well below Gallego’s net-positive score of 19 points.

    In summary, former State Representative Ruben Gallego leads the Democratic Primary for Congress. He leads by six points overall (38% to 32%). Gallego’s personal and political bases are as strong as Wilcox’s. The meaningful difference is that Wilcox is weighed down by more negative personal and job performance ratings. If Gallego has the funding to take advantage of his stronger positioning, he will likely win the August primary and be the next United States Representative from this area.


    [i] Methodology: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey and it was conducted by telephone using professional interviewers May 20 – 22, 2014. Both landlines and cell phones were called. The survey reached a total of 401 likely August Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 4.9% and larger for sub-groups. Lake Research Partners’ national headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Joshua Ulibarri, a partner at the firm, works from Phoenix, Arizona.

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    The Communications Workers of America’s AZ State Council Endorse Ruben Gallego

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    May 21, 2014

    CONTACT:

    info@gallegoforarizona.com

    The Communications Workers of America’s AZ State Council Endorse Ruben Gallego

    PHOENIX, AZ — The Communications Workers of America’s Arizona State Council today endorsed Ruben Gallego for Congress.

    In a letter to the Gallego campaign, CWA Arizona State Council Chair Paul Castañeda wrote that council chose Gallego based on his “commitment to the issues most important to working families.”

    The CWA represents more than 7,000 members and their families across Arizona. Gallego also recently picked up the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), adding to a long list of endorsements from the labor community.

    Gallego has been endorsed by AFL-CIO, UFCW, the Teamsters and the Building and Construction Trades Council as well as a number of other unions in Arizona.

    ABOUT RUBEN GALLEGO

    Ruben Gallego is the child of Hispanic immigrants, raised by a single mom on the South Side of Chicago. Ruben enlisted in the Marines while attending Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. After graduating, Ruben served a tour in Iraq as a Marine with Lima 3/25. Ruben’s Marine Corps unit saw some of the toughest combat of the war.

    Ruben was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and became known for his tough stand against extreme legislation pushed by Republicans, helping lead the opposition to the discriminatory SB 1062. As a legislator he also led the push for Medicaid Expansion and secured in-state tuition for veterans. Ruben and his wife Kate live in South Mountain.

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    International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 640 Endorse Ruben Gallego

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    May 22, 2014

    CONTACT: info@gallegoforarizona.com

    International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 640 Endorse Ruben Gallego

    PHOENIX, AZ — Local 640 of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers today announced their endorsement of Ruben Gallego for Congress

    “Phoenix is looking for new energy from its next Congressman, someone who is a passionate advocate for working families. Ruben Gallego is the candidate working Arizonans have been looking for,” said IBEW Local 640 Business Manager Dean Wine.

    “Ruben has the momentum in this race and has attracted an army of organizers and volunteers,” added Wine. “His ability to inspire young people to get involved will be the difference in this race and the reason he’ll be able to bring change to Phoenix.”

    With the endorsement of the IBEW Local 640, Gallego has now locked up nearly every major union endorsement in the campaign, including the AFL-CIO, UFCW, AFSCME, Communications Workers of America, the Teamsters, the Building and Construction Trades Council and several others.

    ABOUT RUBEN GALLEGO

    Ruben Gallego is the child of Hispanic immigrants, raised by a single mom on the South Side of Chicago. Ruben enlisted in the Marines while attending Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. After graduating, Ruben served a tour in Iraq as a Marine with Lima 3/25. Ruben’s Marine Corps unit saw some of the toughest combat of the war.

    Ruben was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 and became known for his tough stand against extreme legislation pushed by Republicans, helping lead the opposition to the discriminatory SB 1062. As a legislator he also led the push for Medicaid Expansion and secured in-state tuition for veterans. Ruben and his wife Kate live in South Mountain.

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    Ruben Gallego: “Repeal ‘Citizens United'”

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    “Citizens United is one of the biggest threats to our democracy that we have ever seen. In Congress, I will push to repeal Citizens United and support legislation ending so-called ‘Corporate Personhood.’” — Ruben Gallego 

    I started out in politics as an organizer because I believe the most effective and honest way to rally a community is for its members to engage in a frank conversation with each other about what they want for their collective future.

    Grassroots organizing is the purest form of democratic expression, and I believe in its impact and value for a community. But thanks to a series of recent Supreme Court decisions, there has been a dramatic shift in how campaigns can be financed that removes power from community leaders on the ground and gives it to major corporations and the ultra-rich.

    The Citizens United decision is one of the biggest threats to our democracy that we have ever seen. Corporations should not be able to influence elections through shadowy groups that aren’t required to disclose donor information. In too many elections across the country, millions of dollars from unknown sources are being used to mislead voters and swing elections in favor of corporate interests. It’s wrong and it has to end.

    As a member of Congress, I will push to repeal Citizens United and support legislation ending so-called “Corporate Personhood.” I do not believe corporations should be granted the same political and speech rights as individuals, nor do I believe they should be allowed to contribute funds to influencing elections — especially without having to disclose or cap their donations.

    Additionally, I will push for more transparency and disclosure requirements for political groups. It’s absurd that groups are able play a shell game with donations from corporations and the ultra-rich to disguise the motivations or interests behind multi-million dollar ad campaigns.

    I know these reforms will face enormous opposition from those who benefit from Citizens United. But the stakes are too high to duck this fight. We need to take our democracy back.

    RubenLogo325

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