LD30 Debate

The LD30 Clean Elections debate last Thursday between House of Representatives candidates Democrat Andrea Delasandro and Republicans David Gowan and Frank Antenori didn’t bring people out in droves; nor did the Senate race between Rep. Jonathan Paton and Democrat Georgette Valle.  But, for all you political junkies who didn’t attend, roll up your sleeve and tie off your arm: Here comes your fix.

House of Representatives

Moderator Dave Irwin gave the candidates two-and-a-half-minutes for opening statements.  We’ll give them a paragraph and a picture.

“Mr. Anetori,” who didn’t bother to correct the moderator’s mispronounciation of his name, went first. He told the fewer than 50-person crowd of mostly over 50-year-old voters that “the state is broken” and the most important thing for Arizona right now is getting the budget back on track, without gimmicks like traffic cameras. He called for employer sanctions and said we’ve got to deal with the education problem. He supports merit pay for teachers.

Next up was David Gowan, who thanked the voters who supported him in the primary election and mentioned his history, family, education and volunteer service with the Boy Scouts. He said we’ve got to take control of the state budget and the border and he believes in competition and merit pay for teachers.

Democrat Andrea Dalessandro said she wants to be part of the new delegation going to Phoenix.  She told the crowd that her humble childhood and work as a CPA makes her uniquely experienced to handle the budget. She calls for problem solving over politics and says protecting education is her top priority because “although children and young people are only part of our population, they are 100 percent of our future.”

Highlights from the House

What would your priority be in fixing the state budget?

Dalessandro says she wouldn’t cut back in schools but would make other necessary cuts, starting with the House speaker’s slush fund.

Antenori says most people think “politicians are good for two things–spending your money and asking for more. I’m not that kind of politician.” He calls legislators Continue reading


And in This Corner: Paton Vs. Cruz?

Ephraim Cruz

As if all the jockeying between candidates in the Legislative District 29 Seven-Way Super-Slam wasn’t enough, Democrat Ephraim Cruz is now trading jabs with State Rep. Jonathan Paton of Legislative District 30.

Arizona Daily Star political reporter Daniel Scarpinato reports that Cruz took a swipe at Paton in a questionnaire that the morning daily sent around to candidates. In response, Paton brought up Cruz’s child-support lawsuit, which was first revealed here on ScrambleWatch.

Writes Scarpinato:

Jonathan Paton

In response to a light-hearted question — “If you had a reality show, what would it be titled” — Cruz said, “No Legislator Left Behind.”

Explaining further, Cruz, running in Southside District 29 with six other Democrats, said of this imaginary show: “State lawmakers attend the public schools they have shortchanged for the past thirty years. Let’s see if Russell Pearce and Jonathan Paton can pass the AIMS test, shall we?”

Contacted for a response, Paton — who represents District 30 — referenced a case from 2004 in which Cruz had to be taken to court to pay child support. (For more, go here)

“I’m glad Mr. Cruz is so concerned about the welfare of school children, it’s too bad he had to be taken to court to actually pay child support for his own child,” Paton said.

Ouch! We don’t know if this tidbit is going to make it into Scarpinato’s political notebook in the Sunday print edition, but if it does, Cruz has now managed to get the most damaging story of his campaign back into widespread circulation just as early voting starts.

Thanks to The Scarp for the link back to ScrambleWatch!

Spotlight on Georgette Valle: Democrat, District 30

At age 83, Democrat Georgette Valle is just too young to give up politics.

Valle, who served in the Washington state legislature for 24 years and has fond memories of working on John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign, is challenging Republican state Rep. Jonathan Paton in the race to succeed Republican Sen. Tim Bee, who is leaving the Arizona Legislature to take on Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Congressional District 8.

“I’m no spring chicken,” says Valle, “but people seem trusting and happy to support me.”

She’ll need a lot of support to pull off an upset victory in Legislative District 30, which is home to about 44,200 Republicans and only 31,300 Democrats. Another 26,700 voters don’t identify with either party.

Valle is one of the first candidates in Southern Arizona to qualify for Clean Elections funding. She’s already received a check for $12,921.

Paton, who is accepting private contributions rather than using public funding, reported a total of $37,468 in his campaign account at the end of 2007. A new report is due June 30.

Valle says “the issue of water … has propelled me to run,” and wants to focus on programs that support solar energy and science education. She adds that local government needs more transparency.

Since moving to Green Valley, Valle has been involved in the Tucson League of Women Voters and the Green Valley Lions Club. She is a life member of the United Nations Tucson Branch and a tutor at her church.

Watch Valle read from her book, Always a Rebel and Never Without a Cause.