Responses to the News

Some comments from LD28 constituent Andrew March:

To the Editor:

Lately there have been a lot of calls for bipartisanship. Depending on what you mean I may be for it or against it.

Recently it has meant cajoling or bribing one or two Democrats to vote for a Republican bill.

I prefer a more robust version, where Democrats, even in the minority, can get their bills heard in committee and a significant number (fewer than the majority Republicans) get final up or down votes in both houses. The RedforEd protestors were shocked at how our legislature suppressed the views of duly elected Democratic members. Republicans can vote them down, or Governor Ducey can veto them, but let the public hear the best ideas from both sides.

That goes for the budget too. No more three men in a room (Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President) secretly agreeing on legislation they spring on everyone with no time to review it before voting at 3 a.m. All of the legislators including Democrats, need to be involved in drafting the budget from the beginning and then final language published for review at least three days before the vote. We can all be in favor of sunshine.

I support bipartisanship where both sides get to make their proposals to attract votes from both sides of the aisle and the support of an informed public of Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

To the Editor:

Did State Senator Kate Brophy McGee ghost write Mary Jo Pitzl's paeon to herself (11/27/18)? This was in the news, not the opinion section of the paper.

Her heart bleeds for an awful Child Protective Services case. Senator (previously Representative) McGee has been there for eight years as part of total Republican control of our state government while thousands of children suffered at the mercy of an underfunded, short-staffed, poorly managed agency with an overflowing foster care system. Ms. McGee should add a dose of guilt and shame to her feelings, for her failure, as the "go-to legislator for child welfare," to solve the problem. She has been an integral player supporting radical right wing anti-government, anti-tax Speakers of the House, Senate Presidents and governors who only address these issues when they become public relations problems.

Besides mismanaging Child Protective Services she has been a team player in decimating our public schools and universities, cutting state, county and municipal services and only grudgingly joining Democrats to expand Medicaid.

So how does she get re-elected in a district that supported Hillary Clinton, Kyrsten Sinema and Paul Pennzone? By pretending to be a Democrat, mouthing platitudes about education and expressing her feelings about how terrible Alexandra's case (on her watch) was.

And she gets cover from "The Arizona Republic."

To the Editor:

When we have refugees seeking legal asylum in the United States, and our border agents shoot tear gas over the border in an incident that has conflicting reports, the most important point to make is, according to Phil Boas, that "Barack Obama almost certainly would have done so." (11/28/18)

This may be the worst example of "whataboutism" I have seen in a long time. If you support Donald Trump's tear gassing a group of unarmed (except for maybe some rocks) poor men, women and children, then just say so. Explain why it's legal (it isn't). Explain how Trump's system of locking up everyone, separating families and putting children in cages is better (?), more humane (!) and cheaper (**** NO!) than the old (Obama) system of processing (more) refugees by letting them stay together with family or friends while waiting for their legally mandated asylum hearings that averted situations like we have now.

If you think it is a pity that women and children HAVE to be tear gassed because the men deserve it, just say so.

Bad optics? Yes, that's Trump's plan, and most members of the Republican tribe are falling for it.

To the Editor:

Arizona State Representative Don Stringer said something racist - again. Now incoming Speaker, Rusty Bowers, has stripped him of his committee chairmanship, so all is well. I don't think so.

A previously publicly demonstrated racist was RE-ELECTED to office. He was accepted as a member in good standing by his caucus until he committed another public relations faux pas. But scratch the surface of a lot of his Republican colleagues and you will find similar sentiments for various minorities, and that probably includes homophobe Bowers himself. As long as one party depends on Stringer-type voters, openly or tacitly, the objects of discrimination will never be secure in their rights and Arizona will be Mississippi without the humidity.

To the Editor:

Governor Ducey supports the latest outline to address our impending water crisis (12/1/18). He cites decades of drought and the prospect of decades more.

Other states need to make plans to deal with stronger hurricanes, sea level rise, extended forest fire seasons, melting permafrost and crop failures.

What do these all have in common, and how might that motivate the populace to sacrifice now to preserve our future? Governor Ducey never mentions climate change, and President "Chinese Hoax" and his supporters are hamstringing effective responses across the country (and around the world).

If our leaders will accept the scientific consensus we can stop fighting nonsense arguments and do what needs to be done.

To the Editor:

Republicans in North Carolina have been caught cheating this year in their Ninth Congressional District race which cannot be certified because of blatant election fraud (not voter fraud). Earlier they cheated by gerrymandering, by suppressing the vote and by stripping an incoming Democratic governor who overcame the obstacles, of much of his power.

Republicans are now brazenly power stripping Democrats in Wisconsin and Michigan.

In North Dakota they passed a last minute measure to make it much harder for Native Americans to vote.

They have done it in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Ohio among many states including Arizona.

Arizona? Yes. Restrictive voter ID, limiting polling places, constructing road blocks for ballot initiatives and referenda, packing the State Supreme Court to knock down Citizens' Initiatives and now talk of removing election supervision from the first Democratic Maricopa County Recorder elected in decades is cheating.

Filling up the United States Supreme Court with Republican partisans who gut the Voting Rights Act and open the flood gates for unlimited secret money in our elections, which is often used to lie and mislead voters, is just legalized cheating. Soliciting, accepting and pretending not to know about the "independent expenditures" is cheating too.

And, of course, conspiring with Russia to influence our elections and then refusing to seriously investigate is the culmination of the Republican Party's cheating heart.

Their voters don't seem to mind, and timid media either look the other way or try to blame both sides.

To the Editor:

Robert Robb thinks it's a tragedy that Senator Jeff Flake is so unpopular. He's so "civil." (12/9/18)

Naturally most Democrats dislike his positions, although he gets a surprising level of support for his "civility," while promoting cruel policies. Many old-time Republicans viewed his earnestness as irritating and now mainstream Trump Republicans refuse to forgive him for tut-tutting about the president's personal qualities.

About the only people who will miss Flake are Robb-style economic libertarians. But maybe the problem is not in the stars, but in yourselves. Your principled policy positions are almost uniformly hated. End or "privatize" Social Security? End or "voucherize" Medicare? End or slash Medicaid? Repeal and don't replace Obamacare? All political losers.

Drastically cut environmental regulations, consumer and financial protections? Not popular.

Even tax cuts for the wealthy don't poll well.

When it comes to economic libertarianism, it isn't us - it's you.

If Mssrs. Robb and Flake want to increase their appeal I suggest emphasizing libertarianism's support for PERSONAL, rather than business freedom: LGBT rights, legalizing marijuana, drastically reducing the war on drugs and letting women control their own bodies. Those are the cool parts of your philosophy that would end a lot of real tragedies.