Raul Grijalva: Good Friend of Communists

Raul Grijalva is a long-time Southern Arizona congressman running for re-election in November. 

By Trevor Loudon, Contributing Writer, The Epoch Times

December 26, 2018

Long-time Communist Party USA ally Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is to chair the critical House Committee on Natural Resources. This position will give Grijalva significant influence over key economic and environmental decisions.

In this position, he will be able to stall and otherwise influence legislation and create major uncertainty for potential infrastructure, natural resource, and energy investors.

Grijalva is so excited about his new post that he has even opted to resign from his influential position as co-chair of the far-left Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Allowing a man with Grijalva’s radical record to wield such influence could have disastrous implications for American jobs and economic growth.

The Early Years

Grijalva foreshadowed his legislative strategy in 2013 when he revealed to In These Times, a Democratic Socialists of America affiliated publication, that “I’m a Saul Alinsky guy,” referring to the “community organizer” who mentored Hillary Clinton and inspired Barack Obama.

But even the Marxist Alinsky wasn’t Grijalva’s most radical influence.

According to a 2009 Center for Immigration Studies memorandum, as a young activist in Tucson, Arizona, Grijalva became a leader in several Marxist-leaning groups including the Chicano Liberation Committee, which pressured the University of Arizona to implement affirmative action for Chicano staff and establish a Mexican-American Studies program.

Grijalva was also active in Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), which agitated for the return of the “Chicano” areas of the U.S. Southwest to Mexico. The group’s motto was “Por la raza todo, fuera de la raza nada,” which translates to “For the race, everything; outside the race, nothing.”

Grijalva further joined the radical Raza Unida Party. After losing a school board race in 1972, Grijalva dropped some of his revolutionary posing and sought to involve himself in more “mainstream” Democratic Party politics.

In 1993, Grijalva, identified at that time as a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, wrote an anti-NAFTA article headlined “North America Needs ‘Fair’ Trade” for the Nov. 13 edition of the Communist Party USA’s newspaper People’s Weekly World (which has since changed its name to People’s World).

Through the 1990s, Grijalva used his Pima County position to assist Communist Party USA-affiliated organizations, such as the Southern Arizona People’s Law Center and the Tucson Tenants Union.

By the early 2000s, Grijalva was ready for the big time, and the Communist Party USA was eager to help.

Communist Party Assistance

According to Tucson Communist Party USA leader Steve Valencia, his mentor—the late Arizona Communist Party USA chair Lorenzo Torrez—was a pioneer in the “struggle” for Mexican-American political representation.

Valencia told People’s World newspaper in 2012, “I always say: Before [Communist Party USA-aligned Democratic Rep.] Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva, there was Lorenzo Torrez.”

The article continues: “Pastor and Grijalva are Arizona’s first two Mexican Americans [sic] members of the U.S. Congress. But Torrez ran for Congress before they ran, and also boldly ran against Republican Senator Barry Goldwater.

“‘Lorenzo told us it is time for these majority Latino districts to be represented by a Mexican American,’ said Valencia. ‘He wanted voters to see a Latino name on the ballot.’

“When Pastor declared his candidacy, Torrez rallied the Tucson CP [Communist Party] club to join in the effort. Pastor’s victory in 1991 set the stage for Grijalva’s election in 2002.”

On Sept. 21, 2002, the People’s World published an article headlined “People Gain in Arizona Primaries” by local Communist Party leader Joe Bernick. It dealt mainly with Grijalva’s victory in the recent Democratic Party primary:

“The tireless efforts of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dealt a blow to the corporate establishment here and their attempt to dominate Southern Arizona politics in the Sept. 10 primary election.

“Long-time progressive Raul Grijalva routed seven other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for CD-7, one of Arizona’s two new Congressional seats. …

“As a Pima County Supervisor and Tucson School Board member Grijalva consistently fought for working people’s interests.

“The Grijalva campaign was a textbook example of how to conduct a people’s campaign, beginning with its name: ‘A whole lot of people for Grijalva.’ Hundreds of people came out seven days a week, sometimes twice on Saturday, to wear out tons of shoe leather.

“Grijalva thanked labor for its key support and for ‘putting the union label on me.’ He promised the Southern Arizona Central Labor Council, at its Sept. 12 meeting, to become ‘an extension of the voice of labor in the U.S. Congress.’”

At a meeting of the National Board of the Communist Party USA in South Chicago, on the last weekend of January 2003, an Arizona activist boasted, “Using street heat tactics, all of labor worked to back one candidate Raul Grijalva in Tucson … And we won!”

Tucson Communist Party USA supporter Susan Thorpe confirmed this narrative in an article covering the 2002 Grijalva campaign in an article in People’s World on Nov. 7, 2003, titled “Arizona: Grassroots Can Beat Big Bucks”:

“Nevertheless, here in Tucson, we are gearing up for local elections in 2003 and the presidential election ahead in 2004 by using the same tactics we did in 2002 to get Raul Grijalva elected to Congress. …

“Congressman Raul Grijalva is proving to be a wonderful voice for the people of Arizona. And our movement and those important connections made during his campaign are still alive in Tucson.”

In Congress, Grijalva worked to help the Communist Party USA where he could.

Returning the Favor

According to a 2005 statement by Latinos for Peace (an anti-Iraq War front for the Communist Party USA) published in the Communist Party USA theoretical journal Political Affairs on Oct. 4, 2005: “On Monday September 26 we participated in the peace movement lobby day at the capitol. We met with Rep Raul Grijalva who said he would work to help build our campaign.”

On July 13, 2006, Communist Party USA member Carolyn Trowbridge addressed 14 fellow black-shrouded members of the “peace” group “Raging Grannies” along with 40 supporters. Trowbridge’s speech was followed by “a reading of an antiwar speech” by Grijalva. They then marched to the late Sen. John McCain’s office to “deliver a petition on Iraq demanding an immediate end to the U.S. occupation, the closing of all U.S. military bases and the removal all U.S. mercenaries and corporate involvement,” according to People’s World.

Later that same year, on Nov. 7, Arizona voters became the first in the nation to reject a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign was led by activist group Arizona Together. Both Arizona state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and Congressman Grijalva assisted the campaign.

According to Arizona Communist Party leader and Arizona Together activist Joe Bernick, who wrote it up in the People’s World:

“Why Arizona? How come voters in more liberal states have voted for similar hateful laws while conservative Arizona voted no?

“So how did we do it? The answer is: educating, organizing and mobilizing.

“As soon as proponents started circulating petitions to put 107 on the ballot, opponents brought out their own clipboards, signing up thousands of volunteers. Arizona Together emerged as the campaign committee, chaired by progressive state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

“Congressman Raul Grijalva appeared on radio ads calling Prop. 107 an attack on working families. The Grijalva campaign worked closely with Arizona Together, using its literature in their extensive door-to-door canvassing.”

Sinema, now the newly elected U.S. senator from Arizona, also has close ties to the Communist Party USA.

On March 29, 2003, Grijalva sponsored and addressed the Third Annual Cesar Chavez Day March and Rally for Peace.

The rally was organized by Tucson Communist Party member and high school teacher Ray Siqueiros, one of the most militant teachers in Tucson. In 2006, Siqueiros was involved in organizing a mass walk-out by Tucson high school students protesting proposed legislation that would classify illegal immigrants as felons. Some of the students waved Mexican flags.

In June 2015, Siqueiros received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Grijalva for “valuable service to the community.”

Border Security

In September 2015, the late Sen. John McCain from Arizona introduced legislation (S750) to exempt certain projects from environmental protection laws, in order to better enhance border security.

S750, if passed, “would exclude new surveillance installations and other border patrol activities from environmental protection laws. The bill would apply to federal lands within 100 miles of the U.S.–Mexico border in Arizona and parts of California,” according to People’s World.

Grijalva was apparently willing to work with the Communist Party USA to stop legislation designed to keep America’s borders secure.

Then the senior Democrat in the House’s Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations, Grijalva fought back against the proposal.

Grijalva spoke at a forum co-sponsored by the Communist Party USA-led Arizona Peace Council, and the Communist Party USA-run Salt of the Earth Labor College, saying he was “confident regarding the ability to defeat S750 provided people stay aware of it and speak out against it.”

According to People’s World, Grijalva said in part: It’s a two pronged agenda. … Part of the agenda … [is] to end any legislative hope … that we would end up with something semi-rational in terms of comprehensive immigration reform because this bill is about enforcement only—only enforcement. …

“The other agenda is about attacking bedrock environmental laws that have been on the books for 50, 40, 45 years. … It’s both about immigration and the environment and citizen accountability and participation in decision making.”

As today’s Communist Party USA is loyal to Cuba, China, and Venezuela, Grijalva was effectively attempting to aid and abet enemies of the Republic.

The Communist Party USA is the sworn enemy of American capitalism.

Houston Communist Party leader Bernard Sampson wrote only this past September: “We aren’t like other parties. We are a party dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist class in this country.”

Yet Grijalva has worked with these people for more than 30 years. He is clearly fully on board with the Communist Party USA agenda.

Imagine the damage Grijalva will be able to do to America’s economy, environment, and national security as Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Communist Party USA leaders must be rubbing their hands in revolutionary glee.

Americans likely do not realize that elected officials such as Grijalva are not required to undergo any form of background security check before serving on sensitive committees. If they were, Grijalva would certainly fail.

America’s enemies are aware of this loophole and are using it to their advantage.

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch

Phoenix Mayor Blinded by Dust Storm; Progressivism is Business Killer

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton claims progressivism is the better plan for business. That’s what he actually told the Phoenix Business Journal.

It seems that ever since the last time a haboob passed through Phoenix area, the mayor’s vision and ability to reason have been severely clouded!

Obviously, the mayor has not been able to see the moving trucks coming in from California and heading for Texas. They’ve left the socialist state for a state that welcomes businesses and doesn’t overburden them with excessive taxation and regulation.

It is evident the mayor doesn’t know that where the minimum wage has been raised — to the lofty heights of $15 an hour in some locations — some have lost their jobs. Many small businesses cannot afford that exorbitant rate, which also means fewer part-time jobs are available.

Stanton also fails to acknowledge that America’s Socialist In Chief, B.H. Obama, has threatened to put out of business those who refuse to provide abortion coverage in their health insurance plans. Through his Obama abortion mandate, the prez would rather harm the business community and the economy, putting families out of work, raising money for Planned Parenthood. He’d rather stand in the way of small businesses, religious colleges and faith-based organizations than allow the economy and the business market to thrive. That’s astounding, mayor.

Progressives have long been strangling businesses in red tape, over-regulation and interference with their ability to survive. This is why we hear about American workers forced to train foreigners to take their jobs and why we lose business to other nations. Think Government Motors moving auto plants to Mexico — where Mexicans gain employment and Americans lose employment.

Progressivism is socialism, which means Big Government, small citizen, small private business.

Obama actually once told businesses, “Now is not the time for profits.” But that’s not surprising for a socialist progressive who prefers that government keep its all-powerful thumb on business.

And that leads us right to unions. Progressives reap huge campaign contributions from unions because they are downright anti-business.

Progressives are also bullish on illegal aliens — future Democratic voters and underminers of the American worker.

Furthermore, progressivism has damaged our public education system for decades, eroding America’s ability to train the workers we need for an efficient business climate and economy. Foreign nationals are getting engineering and doctor’s jobs here because the schools are not preparing enough Americans for those high-paying jobs.

So, bottom line, Mayor Stanton: stop dreaming and stop lying. Clear out your vision and admit the truth. Progressivism is a detriment to business. Conservatism, capitalism create the optimal business climate and represent the best interests of the American worker and the families they feed.

Remember this as election time nears and as you vote. Vote smart. Vote against progressivism, which is the perfect recipe for economic and business failure. Remember also: it was progressive socialists who forced the housing market fiasco that cost many a good American his/her retirement.

Dark Money

By The Goldwater Institute

The proponents of mandatory reporting of private civic activities have won a major marketing victory by the widespread use of the phrase, “dark money.”  As one commentator put it, “Dark money.  The name itself carries ominous undertones, undertones that critics of this relatively new campaign-finance phenomenon claim reflect a genuine threat to democracy.”[x]  But the term is misleading.  “Dark money” would be more aptly referred to by what those who find free speech objectionable actually support – mandated government disclosure.  The use of such terms is intended to cast suspicion on those who contribute to various civic causes so the debate revolves around ad hominem attacks rather than engaging on the issues.

So, what is “dark money”?  It conjures images of shady political operatives greasing the palms of politicians in dark, smoked-filled rooms.  But does it also apply to traditional political activities, like you and your neighbor contributing your time and money to civic and social activities that you support?  And is it really a threat to democracy, or are those who seek to silence the voice of opposition and limit speech the real threats?

“Dark money” generally refers to funds spent for political activities by businesses, unions, nonprofit organizations, and individuals who are not required by law to disclose the identities of their donors.  Depending on where supporters of government disclosure draw the inherently arbitrary line, dark money could refer to donations made to the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) or to your local church or soup kitchen.

As a general matter, all spending that calls for the election or defeat of a political candidate or constitutes “electioneering communications” involves some level of disclosure to the government.  In fact, there are more disclosure obligations on the books today than at any other time in our nation’s history.[xi]  Nevertheless, some supporters of government disclosure claim that current laws do not go far enough.  They assert that certain charitable and social welfare organizations, including those organized under § 501(c) of the federal tax code, should be forced to disclose the identities of their individual donors when those organizations engage in political activity, even if that is not their primary function.[xii]

Those calling for the elimination of “dark money” are thus attempting to dramatically extend the reach of government-mandated disclosure to a wide variety of organizations, activities, and communications.

Advocates for expanded disclosure call for such dramatic and far-reaching regulations despite the fact that “dark money” is not a pervasive element in American politics. Some government disclosure advocates claim that so-called “dark money” expenditures constitute a significant portion of political spending in the United States.[xiii]  But the characterization is inaccurate.  In the 2014 election cycle, the Federal Elections Commission reported approximately $5.9 billion in total spending on federal elections.[xiv]  Of that $5.9 billion, roughly $173 million came from groups that are not required by law to disclose donors.[xv]  This represents a mere 2.9 percent of all spending on federal elections – hardly a significant portion.  In fact, this figure represents a decline from the 2012 election cycle, where such expenditures amounted to 4.4 percent of spending on federal races.[xvi]  As the Center for Competitive Politics observed from the 2012 election cycle, “Nearly all of the organizations that financed such independent expenditures . . . were well-known entities, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Rifle Association, Planned Parenthood, the National Association of Realtors, the National Federation of Independent Business, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Humane Society.”[xvii]  As a result, there is no secret as to what causes and issues such groups support.

Under existing campaign finance laws, the identities of these groups must be revealed when making direct contributions to candidates or political parties or engaging in other electioneering communications.  Additionally, donor identities must be disclosed when they specifically earmark their donations to nonprofit organizations to be used for electioneering communications.  Those types of donations can hardly be characterized as “dark money” in need of further regulation when under existing disclosure rules, anyone can see that the NRA contributed to Candidate X and Planned Parenthood contributed to Candidate Y.  The positions of those organizations are well known.  Characterizing those expenditures as “dark money” is, therefore, disingenuous.  But forcing further disclosure of donor identities is at best unnecessary, as donors may contribute to organizations to support the overall mission rather than any specific political candidate.  Their donations are intended to support certain issues, not politicians.

Claims that “dark money” is distorting American politics are even more tenuous when leveled at 501(c)(3)s, considering these nonprofit organizations are prohibited from participating in any partisan political activity.

More Facts about Prop 487 and the Problem of Union Spiking

The Phoenix City Retirement Plan cost taxpayers $28 million in 2000 while it cost $110 million in the 2012 fiscal year and $253 million in 2013.[11][12] In the face of this ballooning of city pension costs, Phoenix voters overwhelmingly approved two propositions that reformed the retirement system of city employees, Proposition 201 and 202, in 2013. Supporters argue that the measure will save millions of dollars for the city in the long-run and will put a stop to exorbitant pension payouts caused by pension spiking. Supporters also argue that Prop. 487 will provide a stable, sustainable retirement system to new employees and any current employees that wish to switch to the new system. Many are worried that the current system is unsustainable and will drag the city into bankruptcy, following the fate of cities like Detroit and San Bernardino.[11]

Phoenix city councilmen who support Prop 487 said …

I am a strong supporter of pension reform, and you should be, too. Facts: 50 Phoenix retirees will be getting $183 million by the time they are 75. A librarian took $280,000 in cash at retirement, and then started a pension of $102,000 per year. This creates strain on public safety, senior services and libraries. The initiative is not perfect, but it does two things: First, it ends all forms of pension spiking. Second, it moves new employees to a 401(k) retirement system, just like yours. Pension reform saves taxpayers millions, stops the abuse and creates more predictability in budgeting.[16]
—Sal DiCiccio, District 6, Ahwatukee and east Phoenix[21]

Vice Mayor Jim Waring, who represents District 2 – northeast Phoenix – on the city council, said:[21]

I support the pension-reform initiative. It will end pension spiking. It will save the city millions in the long run. It will fundamentally change a broken and prohibitively expensive system. Real reform is desperately needed. The March 2013 ballot issue may save taxpayers up to $600 million, but no real reforms were enacted and the financially ruinous status quo persists. In this case, voters will have the chance to make real reforms. If we don’t act, rising pension costs will continue to cause budget deficits and reductions in public safety.[16]
—Vice Mayor Jim Waring, District 2[21]

Supporters of the initiative respond to opponents’ arguments that the initiative could remove death and disability benefits from employees by simply saying the claims are unfounded and false. Scot Mussi said, “This one is just a flat-out lie. It has absolutely nothing to do with death and disability benefits.” He went on to say that the initiative does not prevent the city from offering a separate disability-benefit and death-benefit program for new workers and that the initiative explicitly does not effect current employees who choose to stay in the current pension system. Some supporters also say that the city could easily buy insurance plans for certain employees instead of funding a pension system under Prop. 487.[13]

Reason foundation, a policy research organization espousing libertarian values, also released an analysis of Proposition 487. The report shows significant financial benefits for the city under the initiative, including possible savings of $31 million in the first year and $399.3 million over the next 20 years.[27]

Spiking

Many supporters of pension reform are motivated by a desire to end the use of “pension spiking,” a practice in which city employees convert certain benefits such as unused sick time or saved vacation pay to boost the salaries on which their pensions are based or extend their credited length of city service. Some were further upset by the fact that some employees, such as firefighters and police officers, are allowed to use pension spiking while other rank-and-file employees are limited or restricted from the practice. Some city employees filed suit against the city when they were denied the ability to spike their pensions when other employees were permitted to use the increasingly controversial practice. The city argued in court that it is not legally bound to let employees include unused sick time in their pension-benefit calculations but began allowing it voluntarily in 1996 and can change their position at will.[4]

Several reports released by the Arizona Republic highlighted the pension spiking of executive-level public-safety officers and managers. The reports featured 10 public-safety retirees that had increased their lump-sum retirement benefits to over $700,000 and their annual pension payouts to more than $114,000 per year. According to backers, the proposed pension reform initiative would prohibit the practice of pension spiking.[4]

A study by the Arizona Republic estimated a $12 million dollar cost to the city taxpayers per year from spiking practices, when using overtime and premium pay to boost pensions was counted as spiking. City officials denied the study because they claimed overtime and premium pay were part of base salaries and not a “perk” and, therefore, should not be counted as spiking.[33]