Luke Knipe 
Member since Aug 21, 2009

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A mild mannered public servant.

Recent Comments

Re: “Rugrat Referendum

It's disappointing to see the Weekly assert this campaign's talking points without attribution, as though they were facts.

Khmara writes: "It's important to note that the Strong Start program would focus dollars on schools rated three to five stars through First Things First's Quality First rating system. Child-care programs currently funded through DES that don't rank as high-quality or haven't been assessed for quality wouldn't be eligible."

These are not facts. Prop. 204 actually doesn't say a thing about how quality would be measured or on what criteria providers would be selected. These decisions would be up to a commission, and nobody knows what this commission would decide, or even who would be on it

Khmara also writes: "Preschool would be paid for on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the amount families receive would be determined on a sliding scale, based on income and family size.

Actually, the initiative doesn't say anything about who would be served first, nor does it say anything about family size.

It's important to read the text of these ballot measures. Not all voters do, which is understandable. But reporters should when writing about them. In this story Khmara appears to have invented details of the initiative that don't actually exist, like the one about using First Things First's Quality First rating system. Who knows where she got that. (I'm guessing probably from the campaign, which has repeated this claim elsewhere.) It's not part of the initiative, nor are a number of other details Khmara has unfortunately reported here as facts.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 10/12/2017 at 11:45 PM

Re: “Oyama: 'He Was a Hero and Example to Me and Many Others'

Right on, Mari.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 03/22/2013 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Guest Commentary

Is Mr. Ortega employed by a community organization that involves itself in local politics? Also, is he affiliated with any of the current local political campaigns, TUSD or otherwise? It's fine if he is, but things like this should be disclosed.

16 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 09/12/2012 at 7:35 PM

Re: “Rio Nuevo Shakeup: Bain and Grinnell Removed From Downtown Board

I'm not sure any mix of legislative appointees is going to lead to a more confident public, or more satisfactory outcomes. Remember, the district's current governance configuration isn't what the voters approved. As for McCusker, his Rio Nuevo related actions thus far haven't demonstrated much regard for the city's fiscal well-being as a whole. In particular, his recent support for legislation to give away certain sales tax revenues generated within the district is wrongheaded: we're already planning property tax revenue giveaways through the city's new Central Business District GPLET, and may well find ourselves giving away some of our state shared revenue against our will, if the next legislature decides—as some have feared—to use a little-known provision in Rio Nuevo's enabling legislation authorizing it to withhold monies owed to Tucson if it deems the district isn't properly performing.

Bottom line: we can't afford to give away any more of our revenue, or any more of our land, or any more of our anything... and the community won't be well-served by a Phoenix-appointed, right-wing Rio Nuevo board, invariably determined to use Tucson's public treasure to feather the nests of their business associates. That's what we had with Jodi Bain, and that's what we'll get with Fletcher McCusker. It's not what voters want, and it's not what they voted for.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 06/05/2012 at 2:50 PM

Re: “Running Against Grijalva? No Voter Database for You!

It's cool. We're all about civility around here. :)

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 05/16/2012 at 4:13 PM

Re: “Running Against Grijalva? No Voter Database for You!


Thanks replying to my comment. As to your remark "one would hope the head of a state party would have a bit more integrity than that," keep in mind that Mr. Heredia is not the head of of Arizona's (or anyone else's) state party. He's simply its lead operational staffer, and he serves at the pleasure of the party's officers.

The "head" of the Arizona Democratic Party is Chairman Bill Roe. You can learn more about the ADP's leadership here:…

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 05/16/2012 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Running Against Grijalva? No Voter Database for You!

Lots of confusing stuff here. A few points of clarification, if I may: the parties do not, as is claimed above, maintain their own voter databases. The Arizona Democratic Party uses a commercial, web-based service called NGP VAN (or just "The VAN"), which provides publicly available voter data to campaigns through a highly configurable interface, making it easy to design lists for canvassing and other outreach efforts. But the information availed to campaigns via this system is not maintained by the parties, nor is it, as stated above, "proprietary" in any sense of the word. It's just public voter data obtained through county recorders' offices, packaged and formatted by a commercial system designed to facilitate campaigns. (In other words: the VAN system itself is proprietary, but the data it handles is not.)

Anyone can learn more about the VAN here:

Also, the Arizona Secretary of State is not the custodian of voter data. (e.g. who's registered where, their party affiliations, how often they vote, etc.) That's the responsibility of County Recorders, and the data is public record. They'll happily provide it, usually for a small fee, upon receiving the appropriate type of written request.

I hadn't heard anything about the Arizona Democratic Party's Executive Committee denying Arreguin access to the VAN prior to reading this post, but if such a decision was made, this should be reflected in the committee's meeting minutes—something I'd certainly ask, if I were a journalist covering this story, to take a look at. The ADP's meetings are public, so I'd also ask Aguirre and Arreguin whether they attended, or even asked to. I'd also be inclined to ask the Arreguin campaign just what "paperwork," exactly, they provided the Secretary of State's office in hopes of obtaining "voter files," whatever they may have meant by that.

To be sure, however: neither the ADP, nor any of its affiliates, are exclusive gatekeepers of voter data. While they may, at their own discretion and expense, subscribe to a fancy service that formats and manipulates this data for their purposes, anyone can obtain any of the data from the appropriate County Recorder.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 05/16/2012 at 2:24 PM

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