Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Howdy Folks ..." New Bio & Issues Statement

My name is Mikel Weisser; I am a Democratic candidate for US House of Representatives here in Congressional District Four. Congressional District Four includes most of the Western half of the state, the central highlands and the rural area around metropolitan PHX. That’s portions of 7 counties and/or 9 or 10 legislative districts. It runs from Yuma to Utah, Parker to Payson. I affectionately call it the Left Coast of Arizona. I am a vice chair in the Arizona Democratic Party’s progressive caucus, Mohave County Party Secretary and on the state board of Democracy for America, AZNORML and the state poetry society. I serve as the legislative liaison for AZ’s cannabis community, working w Safer AZ, the folks behind a couple of reform bills that went through the AZ statehouse last session. I am a longtime political writer, retired teacher, former plumber, teen runaway, carnie, until recently a touring poet (which is actually a lot like being homeless), an artist/entertainer of sorts and I have a couple of Masters Degrees, an MA in literary criticism from University of Illinois at Springfield and a Masters in Secondary Education from NAU.
My main platform issues are education, immigration, legalization & equalization. Education as in doubling the number of teachers in the classroom, doing away w test centered instruction, equalized funding for all schools no matter your zip code and increasing on-campus social services. Immigration as in solving the problem of undocumented immigrants by providing access and documentation facilities for economic refugees at existing border crossings, stop treating our neighbors and friends to the South as terrorists, ending the drug war that has made the border a war zone and insisting that America be a nation that will not tolerate slavery. Legalization as in ending the corrupt and misguided prohibition against cannabis and hemp, taking a real bite out of crime instead of fueling the prison industrial complex, allowing American ingenuity to robustly embrace the legal cannabis industry. Start treating this start up industry as American capitalism at its best and stop treating the cannabis community as an oppressed minority, recognize the legitimate medical benefits of cannabis, end the terrorizing of our sickest citizens and let tens of millions of Americans in the shadows learn to respect their country again.
Lastly equalization is more than issues like LGBT, minority and women’s rights, though those things are at the heart of my social agenda. When a person cannot marry, or adopt or be w their loved ones at a time of medical crisis, it is not even like being a US citizen. We have got to abolish the structural discrimination of our LGBT community. That is a given. As for women and equality, it is time to put an end to challenges on women’s reproductive rights and guarantee equal pay for equal work. I further think we have a long way to go to remove the structural racism that is still a large part of the American fabric. But more than that, I refer to equalization as a way to balance the access to quality of life and opportunity that rural citizens in America rarely enjoy. Roads, internet and cell service, clean dependable water, medical facilities and quality schools—these need to be the basics of 21st century America, not the many sacrificing for the moneyed. For me, American history has been a record of our efforts to live up to the ideals of our founding fathers. That cause is why I have devoted my life to changing America for the better, starting here in Arizona.

Mikel Weisser
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thanks to YOU, We Did It Again! (FEC Update)

Hello, AZ Democrats! For those of you keeping score at home, here’s the latest stats:
 If this isn’t one of the emails you have already discarded or left unread, then you will be happy to see that last night the Mikel Weisser for US Congress has again filed our FEC quarterly paperwork in a timely manner. With a call time rate of less than 2 hours per week on average we still raised nearly $5000 for a total of $23,000 (including last year’s funds and 1st quarter fundraising), nearly 5 times the amount we raised in the whole 2012 cycle. I know that is small change in the range of most campaigns, but look at the big change your money buying. I promise to remember that working w the Democratic Party and the people of AZ is about a whole lot more than holing up in a room making deals w corporate interests in exchange for campaign $$$.
Some note worthy bits of trivia to give you an idea of how far even a few dollars can travel:
For those of you who have commented on how much I travel, after careful analysis, it turns out, you’re right! So far in the 1st quarter of 2014 our campaign has made 115 appearances on 35 out of town trips from our office in So-Hi, & been away from the home office 70 of the 90 days of the first three months of the year. I had to drive over 12000 miles to do this and spend the night 59 times in 12 different cities at the homes of 16 different supporters & be lovingly slobbered on by 32 supporter-dogs.
(It gives a whole new meaning to the term “PAC,” lol; but it also reminds us that while corporate bucks can buy a hotel room; they can’t buy the love and trust it takes for another person, or their pet for that matter, to open their heart and home to you.)
Now spring’s here, the campaign is shifting into petitioning mode, and already collected 100s signatures, not just for me; but for Democratic statewide & legislative candidates across the district. As well as assisting 5 statewide candidates’ campaigns with their rural outreach, our “Congressional ‘kinda-coordinated’ district-wide campaign” is currently working canvassing drives & PC training w 4 separate county party offices, consulting in 6 legislative districts w 9 legislative candidates, thus directly shaping the statehouse races of over one & a half million Arizonans, We’re even providing coaching for two additional candidates that aren’t in the district, but reached out for help. I know what it’s like to reach for help and so I offer what I can.
Along the way, we’ve also “lit-dropped” over 8,000 pieces of party campaign literature, sent out 346 emails and posted 11 new blogs (to go w the 52 others from 2012 & 2013) which have been viewed 11,617 times (as of 1:14 am 4/16/14). I do not wish to calculate the number of phone calls I’ve made or smiles I’ve shared, or Dems I’ve inspired; but I can happily count the number of right-wingers I’ve pissed off as ticking off in the tens of thousands and growing every day. Three times, last week alone, someone cried on my shoulder while canvassing.
With numbers like that, you can see why I had to send you this fundraising letter. I have to keep the funds coming in, so I can go out and keep doing battle. Our state is moving forward, changing right now, thanks to our work, and that work only happens because of you.  We are having the impact of campaigns that spend five times that much. So far, with next to no money, we have accomplished beyond anyone’s expectations. Just imagine where we could go w your help today--
Help me keep building,

Mikel Weisser
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413

this message paid for by Mikel Weisser for US Congress
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Open Letter to Kimberly Yee

Hello Senator Yee & your staff,

This is Mikel Weisser from Safer AZ (the cannabis reform group who testified on your bill SB1122), speaking as an individual. Our organization has tried to reach out to your office multiple times and failed to receive a single appointment, after over a year of requests. When the people cannot gain the ear of their representatives , how can justice ever be served?

Hopefully by now, you, or your office more likely, should have received extra attention the past couple of days over your efforts to block HB2333, presumably in favor of your own bill, SB1389, neither of which are likely to receive 3/4s vote from the house and senate and so, like your thinly veiled efforts w Kelli Ward on SB1122, it's mostly about the theater of appearing to be an anti-drug warrior in a time when that stance is becoming the equivalent of the new Jim Crow.

I have never understood the mentality of those who wish to dominate and oppress others. I prefer to think that that is not your motivation. With the course of history so clearly working against you, I wonder why you would continue to define yourself so. 

100 yrs from now, people will think of you & your fellow anti-cannabis warriors the same way we think of men like Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace ("Segregation now, Segregation forever!") or of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, who argued passionately for the principles of the Chinese Exclusion Act, saying that ethnic group was "so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States." 

 I ask you to think how different your actions are from these politicians, all of whom were once in the majority and thought of themselves as heroes of the public good, even as they destroyed the lives of millions and distorted the American Dream in their efforts to stop the progress of time and the will of the people.

Senator Yee, our organization, among many, many other well-informed concerned groups and citizens, have tried repeatedly to educate you on the abuses of power and abuses of the people your work has caused. We have provided extensive documentation,published our own articles, rallied public sentiment, proposed solutions (& provided them to your offices), & conducted multiple legislative interviews, often at great personal expense for suffering patients and victims our unjust laws, in an honest open effort to warn you of this folly of being part of perpetuating the wrong-headed, medically dishonest, corrupt war against cannabis. You have only turned a deaf ear and a cold heart.

This is not leadership, this is oppression. This is not sage wisdom, it's arrogant ignorance and willful disregard of the lives you've been entrusted with protecting. Look to the past, listen to the present and be ready for the future. 

History is passing you by.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Part Two of Mikel's Interview w KTOX shock jock, Luca Zanna: "The 2nd Amendment: This Time It's War!"

By introduction for the rest of the world that does not live in the very red land of Mohave County and the tri-state listening area: Luca Zanna is the survivalist, weapons-enthusiast, right-wing musician and talk show host who leads the attack on liberal values, in our area on his gun-focused radio talk-show, Love, Guns &Freedom.

If you would have asked me to talk about guns I would generally say I am not interested, especially if you asked me to speak about them politically. As a Christian I gave up my guns in my mid-20s and haven't been interested since. But as a citizen I am already sick of politicians trying to enforce their religious values on others.

As far as I am concerned, Guns Rights in America are NOT a crisis, but instead are a falsely hyped political topic devised by the Right to destroy the Left. They are constantly a source of right-wing agitation and the GOP fixation on the issue churns up profits of the gun industry while promoting a toxic atmosphere of fear and anger that keeps the attention away from the true issues: injustice, inequality, improving opportunity and improving life in general. (You know, the “provide for the common defense” and  “promote the general welfare” stuff the Right are always too busy to work on?) So, I was somewhat uneasy about the idea of doing a whole talk show on a subject that is not something I personally am into and I felt was intended to trap me.

The rightwing have turned their obsession w the bounds of personal freedom into a borderline public menace. The extremist language they use to whip their supporters into a frenzy, generally goes unchecked in a crowd fueled by testosterone, misinformation and rage.

 I figured it was time someone put a stop to it, or at least went on record as calling them on their crap. 
So I went into battle.

 In all honesty, though I was more than 50 miles away from Zanna and the KTOX studio in Needles, CA (the photo of us clowning is from my earlier interview taped 2/23/14—available here), though I was snuggled in my office in a comfy chair w a laptop and a cell phone, the intensity of this experience was as physical exhausting and exhilarating as if we had wrestled no holds barred for the whole two hours. No matter what you may think of Luca’s opinions, you can’t fault the man for facility, tenacity or inventiveness. When he realized I’d kept him buffaloed for the whole designated one hour time slot, he brought on two extra guests to try & corral me, but I buffaloed them too. I tell ya, partner, w three of them gunslingers, all w itchy trigger fingers, it took some doing to dodge their figurative bullets, especially when literally discussing ammo.
Zanna may have lost this round in our ongoing debate, but it wasn’t for want of trying. This interview was the hardest and best political war of words I have faced so far and hopefully will stand as a record of my positions on gun control and/or the culture of violence America must overcome if we will ever have true liberty for any of us.

Liberal listeners, take notes of the arguments of the Right and the ways to derail them. (NOTE: in the 2nd half of the episode where I have three of them kept confounded.) Conservatives, catch a clue: argue the real issues, don’t waste everyone’s time screaming about boogeymen that aren’t actually out to get you. Democrats don’t want your guns, we have our own. We also have the sense to realize we have other problems we HAVE to solve and don’t want to spend all our time reassuring you we aren’t your enemy on this issue.

If we are going to battle, let’s take on the real enemies, the folks who pit us against each other for their profit and our destruction. That is a war worth fighting (though obviously, as a man of peace, I am not advocating violence.) When we stop squabbling country mouse v city mouse and get the cat belled, then we’ll start getting somewhere.

In the meantime enjoy this two hour adventure in telling the right they’re wrong, taped live in high wire talk show techno-color.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The War Against YOU (Dr. Gosar Declares War Against Patients)

(Please understand, I hate hyperbole; so my choice of title is carefully considered)

Yesterday March 6th 2014, my opponent, Paul Gosar made the news w his new proposed bill: one designed to prevent participants in medical marijuana programs from receiving public assistance.

Note the way the cutesy title belies the fact that this is a case of a supposed doctor, turning his back on the suffering and punishing the patients for wanting to take medication to ease their suffering. Thanks, Doc. This comes on the heels of me spending the past month battling a bad bill brought by my own state senator, the dishonorable “Doctor” Kelli Ward, who just tried to throw the 40,000 AZ medical marijuana patients under the bus for a bogus hemp bill … twice. You can watch a video report of the legislative battle to protect patients from Ward’s propaganda campaign here.

Their attacks on social security, the SNAP program, Social Security, education, against women, the poor the immigrants & the LGBT community are relentless and heartless—the government as the enemy of the people. It is a war.
And, it’s waged against you.
Help Me fight back.

Defeat the Hard Right agenda and help America move forward.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Safer AZ Feb. Report: The Truth About AZ's SB1122 - A You Tube Video

So often the things I want to share w the larger public are speeches I make to a specific public. Usually you get the script I was going to use or my recollection of how I wish it went. Here is the latest update on cannabis laws as of 2/25/14 exactly as I presented it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mohave County Democratic Central Committee Passes Resolution Condemning GOP Actions on HB2305

Bullhead, AZ – At their monthly meeting in Bullhead City Wed, Feb. 19th, the Mohave County Democratic Party unanimously approved a resolution condemning the AZ GOP and the majority caucus at the statehouse for their continuing work at voter suppression regarding their controversial 2013 voter suppression bill, HB2305. The resolution drafted by county party secretary  (and congressional candidate) Mikel Weisser and county chair, Joe Longoria, was edited and approved by the party at the county party’s monthly meeting. The resolution reads as follows:

Whereas, the state Republican Party leadership have a track record of working against the interests of the voters' will and repeatedly taken action to thwart the will of the people and their ability to express that will, through various legislative trickery, and

Whereas, the Republican leadership at the statehouse has worked to limit the rights of voters through the original intent of their 2013 late session bill, HB2305, and that this bill was such an affront to Arizona voters that it was not only Democrats who rose up against it, and

Whereas, twenty-four organizations from around the state joined the Democrats in working to shoot down this potentially dangerous piece of legislation. If it were to take effect, it would have made it a crime to help elderly voters with their ballots. It would have thrown thousands off of the permanent early voter lists and it virtually would have eliminated other recognized political parties in Arizona. There would be no way those political parties could achieve the petition signatures required to even get a candidate on the ballot, and

Whereas, that coalition turned in over 146,000 signatures to repeal the bill, which clearly expressed the will of the people, and

Whereas, the GOP plainly announced their intention to once more thwart the will of the people by first repealing HB2305, so they can pass the same measures in new separate bills to further suppress the voice of the people, and true to their word, the GOP leadership at the statehouse voted in committee to repeal HB2305 and commenced step one of their expressed intentions, and

Whereas, the State Democratic party has actively challenged GOP efforts at every turn and Mohave County Democrats are proud and active members of the Democratic Party, therefore,

Be it hereby resolved, the Mohave County Democratic Central Committee condemns any attempt to revive the issue of HB2305, or any of its voter suppression components. We call on the state GOP to respect the will of the people and let the merits of HB2305 be judged by the citizens it will affect. Respect the voices of 140,000 Arizonans and leave the repeal of HB2305 to a vote of Arizona citizens.

Joe Longoria, Chair
Mohave County Democratic Central Committee
620 E. Beale St. Suite7
Kingman, AZ 86401
ph: 928-753-0006

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