Tucson Weekly Endorsement: Giffords in Congressional District 8

When we endorsed Gabrielle Giffords in 2006, it was a leap of faith based on what we knew about her. As a member of the minority party in the Arizona Legislature, Giffords hadn’t had a chance to build a long list of legislative accomplishments, although we admired her voting record on environmental and health-care issues and her level-headed style.

Two years later, Giffords has proven herself to be a politician in touch with the needs of Southern Arizona.

Giffords stepped up when the Border Patrol wanted to build a massive permanent station on the edge of Green Valley. She stepped up when the Federal Emergency Management Agency wanted to include much of Marana in a floodplain, and she’s earned an enthusiastic endorsement from Marana’s Republican mayor as a result.

That’s real constituent service from an accessible lawmaker. And while Democrats in Congress haven’t been able to accomplish many of their national goals–improving health care, ending the Iraq war, reforming the broken immigration system–the blame for that rests with both parties, not just the Dems.

We respect what Republican Tim Bee has done for Southern Arizona during his time in the Legislature. But much of what we admire about him–his understanding that government can help those less fortunate through education and social services–is lost on most members of his own party. We’re also disappointed with his tacit approval of bigotry by allowing Proposition 102 to get on the ballot.

As we mentioned before, GOP rule of this country has been a disaster. This is not the time to give the keys to Congress back to them.

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