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.


Tucson Weekly Endorsement: Paton in District 30 Senate

In his two terms in the House, Jonathan Paton has pushed for government accountability. He hasn’t tried to cripple government, but has instead tried to find ways to make it work better. We don’t agree with him on everything–he’s too willing to believe that all tax cuts will automatically benefit the overall economy–but he has pushed to open government records to the press, fixed loopholes that left private medical records at risk and fought for reform of Child Protective Services to ensure that the agency works more closely with law enforcement when children are in danger.

Besides, since Republicans are almost certain to hang on to their majority in the Arizona Senate, it would be helpful to have at least one experienced lawmaker in the GOP caucus from Southern Arizona who has proven he can work with Democrats and battle for Southern Arizona’s interests.

Paton’s Democratic opponent, Georgette Valle, seems to have her heart in the right place–but the former Washington state lawmaker was consistently criticized by Seattle-area media as being ineffective and unaccomplished in office. While we admire Valle’s heart, the last thing Southern Arizona needs is an ineffective representative in Phoenix.

Tucson Weekly Endorsement: Cage, Wright, Jorgensen in District 26

Cheryl Cage

Cheryl Cage

Senate: Democrat Cheryl Cage

House: Democrats Nancy Young Wright and Don Jorgensen

Legislative District 26 is a vital swing district to the Democrats’ hopes of winning the Arizona House of Representatives and narrowing the gap in the Arizona Senate.

At a time when the state is facing a severe economic crisis, we need someone who has a better solution than simply cutting taxes and slashing government spending. Cheryl Cage is an experienced businesswoman who believes in developing a working government, not simply starving it until it’s too crippled to function any longer. She wisely calls for protecting education during the current economic crisis and opposes more tax cuts that will only force the state to sink even deeper into a

Nancy Young Wright

financial hole. She also wants the state to stop bickering about whether guns belong on elementary-school campuses and start tackling the bigger questions that face us: How do we best reform water policy? How do we pay for transportation? How do we ensure that all Arizonans have access to decent health care?

Nancy Young Wright proved herself during her tenure on the Amphi School Board, where she rooted out a culture of corruption and insider dealing; voters eventually booted out the old guard that tried to intimidate her into silence. We’re confident that she would continue to support the right causes–protecting the environment, improving education and providing health care to Arizona’s least fortunate.

Don Jorgensen

Don Jorgensen, who is making his first run for public office, also impresses us with his understanding of the health-care industry and his support for education, the environment and clean energy.

The GOP slate of candidates–Al Melvin, Marilyn Zerull and Vic Williams–offer a lot of rhetoric about smaller government and the magic of the free market. Well, we’ve seen in recent weeks just how well that deregulated free market works out–as long as taxpayers are there to provide a $700 billion bailout.

TW Endorsements: The 2008 Propositions

NO on Proposition 100: Protect Our Homes

Every once in a while, there’s talk about overhauling Arizona’s increasingly outdated tax system by, say, decreasing the overall sales-tax rate but extending the tax to cover services and goods that are now free of taxes. (The conversation never goes beyond talk, because any changes would require a two-thirds vote of the GOP-dominated Legislature, so reform remains an academic exercise.)

One of the ideas that comes up occasionally is a real-estate transfer tax that would essentially be a sales tax on the purchase of property–homes, commercial properties and vacant land. Although the talk never goes anywhere, Arizona’s real estate agents have decided that they’re tired of even hearing about the threat of a new tax, so they’ve put Prop 100 on the ballot to block it from ever coming to pass.

We’re not eager to see a 5 percent tax put on a home purchase–we fear that home ownership will be out of reach of too many people for a long time to come–but we’re still against this one because a small tax, if it were implemented properly, could help diversify the state’s tax base. Plus, in general, we don’t like special interests junking up the state Constitution. Vote no.

NO on Proposition 101: Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act

Here’s a prop that purports to protect your freedom to choose your own doctor, blah blah blah. That’s a smokescreen. The real aim of the proposition: to make it more difficult for the state to ever implement any kind of universal health care. With the private health-care system quickly degenerating into a disaster for anyone who actually gets sick and needs help, we don’t think this is a step in the right direction. This initiative would protect nothing while prohibiting many potentially good things. Vote no.

NO on Proposition 102: Marriage

We remain mystified by the argument that amending the Arizona Constitution to limit marriage to being between one man and one woman will “protect” marriage. If marriage is indeed under assault, the problems stem from hetero couples who can’t work things out, not from gays and lesbians who want to make lifetime commitments to one another so they can have their own families. This is bigotry, pure and simple. Vote no.

Hell No on Proposition 105: Majority Rules

This is the absolute worst proposition on the November ballot. Its very name is a bald-faced lie; it has far more to do with minority rule than majority rule.

Prop 105 would require any proposition that includes a tax increase to pass with a majority of all registered voters–not just the voters who happen to cast a vote in the election. In other words, everyone who stays home–or who remains on voter rolls after dying or moving elsewhere–gets counted as a “no” vote.

We’ve seen a lot of cynical and deceptive campaigns, but never have we seen a campaign so full of bullshit. The people behind this are foul greedheads who care for nothing besides the almighty dollar. And because they know that a majority of voters are sometimes willing to raise their taxes when they have a chance to pay for improvements in education or health care, they want to change the rules so a minority can enforce its will on the majority.

Don’t be fooled by these assclowns.

Vote no.

NO on Proposition 200: Payday Loan Reform Act!

We can buy, almost, the payday-loan industry’s argument that they fill a niche that banks don’t by offering small loans that help folks who are living paycheck to paycheck cover unexpected expenses, such as car repairs. That said, we’re also well aware that payday loans trap too many people in a disastrous cycle of debt. And this particular reform comes from the payday industry itself, which means Continue reading

Bee Gets Endorsement From Vets for Freedom

Some good news for Republican Tim Bee’s congressional campaign against Democrat Gabrielle Giffords in Congressional District 8: Bee picked up the endorsement of Vets for Freedom, a political action committee representing Iraq war veterans.

Earlier this month, Giffords announced the formation of Veterans for Giffords and aired a TV ad touting her support for veterans.

Here’s the release from Vets for Freedom:

(Washington DC) As the largest Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans organization in America, Vets for Freedom is proud to announce its support of Tim Bee for the 8th Congressional District in Arizona.  Senator Bee is and always has been a strong supporter of America’s Armed Forces.  As President of the Arizona State Senate, Tim has Continue reading

LD29: Endorsements!

Over in the Democratic seven-way super-slam in Legislative District 29, candidates are letting us know about their endorsements. Incumbent Rep. Tom Prezelski has the big hitters in a local election, Congressman Raul Grijalva and Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias.

Environmentalist Daniel Patterson announced this week that he had the endorsement of radio ringmaster John C. Scott. Patterson has a list of endorsements that includes former state lawmakers Elaine Richardson and Carmine Cardamone, among others.

Not to be left behind, Ephraim Cruz announced he had the endorsement of retired Brigadier General John Adams. Cruz is touting this as “the first major endorsement of the Legislative District 29 Democratic primary race.” We’d say Grijalva is a little better known than Adams in LD29, but we have to give Cruz props for having his own YouTube channel.

Got an endorsement or other campaign news? Let ScrambleWatch know!