Elizabeth Warren Wenona Benally Baldenegro Two Dems far apart in CD1 primary
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:19

Two Dems far apart in CD1 primary

Written by  Cyndy Cole | AZ Daily Sun

Area voters headed to the polls for the primary election in about three weeks will have a choice between two very different local Democrats running for Congress. Both Ann Kirkpatrick and Wenona Benally Baldenegro are attorneys who live in Flagstaff. They have similar views on health policy, immigration and abortion.

But after that, their politics diverge. Asked by the Daily Sun how they would have voted (or did vote) on 30 key bills in the House dating back to late 2008, the pair had different answers on 18 of 30 issues. (See the checklist on Page A8.)

Benally Baldenegro would have voted against expanding a copper mine east of Phoenix; Kirkpatrick introduced legislation for it.

Kirkpatrick voted against low-interest loans for homeowners wanting to make their houses more energy-efficient; Benally Baldenegro would have voted for it.

And although both Benally Baldenegro and Kirkpatrick said they grew up with guns, Kirkpatrick says "I believe it's appropriate for guns to be in the national parks," while Benally Baldenegro wrote "There is no need for people to be carrying guns in our national parks."


Four other candidates running in the First Congressional District -- three Republicans and a Libertarian -- responded to the checklist. Only Republican Jonathan Paton declined to participate. Candidates had 12 days to examine the measures and give their views.

"Jonathan has not read the bills that you selected. Without reading the legislation, it's hard to answer those questions. It is unclear what those bills contain aside from the small blurb attached," said spokesman Barrett Marson.

The key bills were selected by the nonpartisan voter education group, Project VoteSmart, with full explanations listed on its website.

The three Republicans filling out the checklist were former flower-shop owner and California city councilman Patrick Gatti of Show Low; businessman and former congressional intern Gaither Martin of Eager: and Sedona contractor Doug Wade.

Kim Allen, the Libertarian candidate, also filled it out.

Their answers of yes, no or declined to answer are printed here, and their full comments can be found at


Kirkpatrick stuck to her record, affirming the votes she took in Congress in 2009 and 2010.

She voted against the Dodd-Frank legislation that added more oversight to the financial system.

"It goes back to: Do we need another layer of regulation, or do we need to enforce what we had? I think we need to enforce what we had," she said.

Some other votes were much less clear.

Kirkpatrick would have voted against extending Bush-era tax cuts, she said, except that extending unemployment was tied to that measure, too. She wound up supporting the tax-cut extension.

A vote to extend student loans would normally garner Kirkpatrick's support ... until an amendment gutting part of the Affordable Care Act was added to it, she said.

And Kirkpatrick says she proposes measures to balance the budget and to raise taxes on the wealthy.

"I favor keeping the tax cuts for people who make $500,000 or less, and that's most of the people in our district," she said.

Out of 30 issues, Kirkpatrick wound up agreeing nearly as many times with Republicans Wade and Martin (11 votes each) as she did with Benally Baldenegro (12 votes).


The three Republicans are of one mind on the Affordable Care Act (opposed), measures to limit greenhouse gases (opposed), and measures calling for a balanced budget and a mine expansion near Superior (supportive of both).

They separate on issues like guns in national parks, how much funding the Defense Department should receive and whether the Food and Drug Administration should regulate tobacco.

Wade might normally say it is not the government's business to regulate industries.

"Tobacco's a different story, though. My dad smoked his whole life and smoked himself into his grave, and so did my best friend," he said.

He supports a measure allowing the FDA to regulate tobacco products and their advertising.

Gatti would stop funding National Public Radio, and a lot of government agencies, like the Education Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"There are so many departments that need to be done away with. I just mean completely done away with," Gatti said. "It's illogical to have an EPA when we have our own agency taking care of environmental conditions ... it's just another layer of something preventing us from building up business in our state."

Read 5912 times

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Warren Campaign

  • Will new senators push Democrats to the left?
    Will new senators push Democrats to the left?

    When Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the 2013 class of liberal senators start work this month, they'll have to do more than figure out the byzantine ways of getting things done in Washington.

    They'll also have to decide how seriously to engage a progressive movement that sees their assent a historic opportunity to shift the Democratic Party to the left.

    Written on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:11
  • Elizabeth Warren Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources
    Elizabeth Warren Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources

    WASHINGTON -- Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee, according to four sources familiar with the situation. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 19:22
  • Elizabeth Warren Redefines "Balanced Approach"
    Elizabeth Warren Redefines "Balanced Approach"

    Politico recently declared, "The Senate is about to become a liberal lion’s den." 

    In 2012, groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee,, CREDO Action, and Democracy for America worked hard to build progressive power in Congress. This week's iconic photo of Senators-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) walking together down the corridors of power is symbolic of the rising progressive tide. 

    Written on Sunday, 18 November 2012 14:20
  • Elizabeth Warren Wins the "Which Side Are You On?" Debate
    Elizabeth Warren Wins the "Which Side Are You On?" Debate

    An overbearing and at times ridiculously aggressive Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown came across as a desperate man Thursday night, as he attempted to gain the upper hand in the first debateof this year's most closely-watched U.S. Senate race and, by extension, in a reelection contest that seems to be slipping away from him.

    Written on Sunday, 23 September 2012 16:27
  • Mayor Menino to endorse Elizabeth Warren in Senate race at Roslindale Square rally on Friday
    Mayor Menino to endorse Elizabeth Warren in Senate race at Roslindale Square rally on Friday

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino is expected to endorse Democrat Elizabeth Warren on Friday in her bid to unseat Republican US Senator Scott Brown, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

    Written on Thursday, 20 September 2012 19:47
  • Elizabeth Warren's DNC Speech: "Corporations Are Not People"
    Elizabeth Warren's DNC Speech: "Corporations Are Not People"

    Bill Clinton may have stolen the show at the DNC last night with his 45-minute, half-ad-libbed barn-burner of a speech, but there were a few other noteworthy speakers as well. After dragging for an hour or two, the night's program picked up when Massachusetts Senate candidate, CFPB creator, and economic realtalker extraordinaire Elizabeth Warren took the stage.

    Written on Thursday, 06 September 2012 18:54
  • Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?
    Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?

    It was a grim, sleety day in Chicopee, a gritty postindustrial town in western Massachusetts, where paint flakes off worn-out bridges and boarded-up factories. At a community relations luncheon, kind security guards were opening back doors and holding out umbrellas for the few willing to brave the freezing slush.

    Written on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 04:54
  • Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection
    Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection

    Retired Amherst gentleman John Kick is not known as a political activist. In the Springfield union hall where he ventured last October to hear Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, he might have seemed a world-weary citizen with vague curiosity about the professor turned politician.

    But John's sorrowful demeanor and disconsolate eyes betrayed a woefully wounded heart. His son, Gabe, took his own life just a month earlier, at the age of 28. John keeps moving, somehow, in the dreadful private agony understood only by parents who persist in such an aftermath.

    Written on Monday, 26 March 2012 17:09
  • The Ascendance of Elizabeth Warren
    The Ascendance of Elizabeth Warren

    If you’re reading this, you probably already know how you feel about Elizabeth Warren. Warren is currently running for Senate in Massachusetts, in the hopes of knocking out Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Very few first-time candidates are so well-known, or so passionately beloved.

    Written on Monday, 26 March 2012 00:00
  • NOW PAC Endorses Elizabeth Warren
    NOW PAC Endorses Elizabeth Warren

    NOW/PAC is thrilled to announce its endorsement of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the U. S. Senate from the state of Massachusetts. Warren is the most prominent of the three Democrats vying to run against incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) in the general election. Recent polls show Warren neck and neck with Brown.

    Written on Monday, 05 March 2012 19:48
  • Elizabeth Warren Says Washington Must Act Now To Help Stem The Tide Of Foreclosure
    Elizabeth Warren Says Washington Must Act Now To Help Stem The Tide Of Foreclosure

    Backs MA Congressmen, Attorney General Coakley Calling on Federal Housing Finance Agency to Take Action To Prevent Unnecessary Foreclosures

    BOSTON – It is past time for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to step up and help prevent unnecessary foreclosures in Massachusetts, said Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Warren, reinforcing calls from members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 07:54
  • U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.

    U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.

    Written on Friday, 27 January 2012 20:35
  • The Woman Who Knew Too Much
    The Woman Who Knew Too Much

    Millions of Americans hoped President Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial watchdog agency she had created. Instead, she was pushed aside. As Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians.

    Written on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00
  • Elizabeth Warren's Appeal
    Elizabeth Warren's Appeal

    For a few years now, politicians straining against all of the antigovernment demagogy have been searching for a way to energize public interest and remind voters of the essential government services and protections they rely on and all too often take for granted.

    Written on Sunday, 16 October 2011 00:00
  • Berkshire Democrats Want Elizabeth to Run, Run, Run
    Berkshire Democrats Want Elizabeth to Run, Run, Run

    PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  More than a few local Democrats would be ecstatic if Elizabeth Warren decides to run against Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate. Warren is kicking around the idea of running and stopped in Pittsfield on Friday to meet with party members to gauge their support as part of a listening tour across the state.

    Written on Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00

Sign the ERA Petition


On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)


Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016


Like Elizabeth Warren

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of