Democrats held mid-term “Happy Hour” hours after voting against 20% teacher pay raise

PHOENIX — Only hours after Democratic lawmakers tried to block a 20 percent pay raise for Arizona’s teachers, the state Democratic Party held a “Happy Hour” event to prepare for the mid-terms.

Republican Governor Doug Ducey recently approved significant new investments in Arizona’s education system, including a 20 percent pay raise for the state’s teachers by the 2020 school year.

“This is a real win for our teachers, for our kids, for our educators in the classroom,” Governor Ducey said before signing the annual budget.

The 20 percent pay raise passed both chambers of the state legislature — but not without opposition from the vast majority of the Democratic caucus. Thirty-four Democratic lawmakers voted against the legislation. The Arizona Democratic Party and one of its candidates for governor opposed it. Hiral Tipirneni, the party’s candidate in Arizona’s eighth congressional district, opposed it as well.

The 34 Democrats voted to block the teacher pay raise on the morning of May 3. Only hours later, though, the Arizona Democratic Party hosted a “Happy Hour” at an uptown Scottsdale restaurant to prepare for the upcoming elections.

An invitation posted online shows that the state party hosted the mid-term event on the evening of May 3. It also posted photographs bragging about the event, which was attended by Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego. (Gallego was widely criticized earlier this year for calling the president “a psychopath.”)

The state Democratic Party hosted a similar “Happy Hour” event in Tempe less than one week later on the evening of May 9.


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