Posts Tagged ‘Emil’
By Emil Franzi, Special to The Explorer
I haven’t evaluated Governor Jan Brewer’s performance until now. I like her and her record as a state senator and Maricopa County Supervisor. As Secretary of State, I questioned her position on the Pima County RTA election, but that’s no deal breaker. If experience matters, she has plenty.I waited to see which bills she’d sign. Those peripherally restricting abortion and expanding self-defense, none of which would have gotten by dogmatic liberal Janet Napolitano, had her support. That leaves the budget as the sticking point between her, GOP legislative leaders, and conservative voters.
They don’t want a tax hike. She does, but it’s on the right tax (sales), requires a vote of the public (unlikely to pass) and could be structured to sunset automatically. If the ballot choices also include repeal of the idiotic measure passed by voters a few years back that doesn’t allow the legislature to change anything ever passed by the voters, many conservatives could at least support putting it on the ballot.
That measure was then Prop 105. Those defending it make the absurd assumption that the voters were so prescient when they passed certain initiatives that those measures should never be touched by representatives chosen by the same or newer voters who suddenly are dolts for making those other choices. It’s irrational. Worse, it leaves billions in the state budget off limits, and forces cuts elsewhere.
Governor Brewer is aware of the problem but does not seem to frame it as part of her push for a higher sales tax. In a recent appearance before the Tucson Rotary Club, she mentioned “Prop 105″ as part of her agenda but never explained it.
I’d like to ask her more about it, but this governor’s real problem isn’t the sales tax or even the inordinate amount of time she wastes talking to the education lobby and some others who would close a public school before they’d lay off one of its vice principals.
Her problem is lack of accessibility to folks she needs on her side.
I am not the only talk show host in town or in Arizona who cannot get her to make an appearance. While Tom Danehy and I are rather casual in our interviews of pols and have been known to renovate the pompous, we’d treat the governor – any governor – with respect at least the first time and throw her some beach balls. No deal. Her handlers are apparently scared to death to let her out alone.
Worse, she cannot meet one-on-one with legislators she needs to pass anything. Even key members of her own party find a staffer sitting between them in private meetings. She could try making book with the Democrats, but their budget plans are incoherent. They oppose raising sales taxes because they’re “regressive.” Next page they offer a list of items they want to add to that tax. Cognitive dissonance? Why is taxing my shampoo regressive, but taxing my haircut OK?
We don’t know if she’s running. Republicans need to. Democrats are focusing on Attorney General Terry Goddard and other viable candidates. Republicans have viable options, too. State Treasurer Dean Martin, recovering from the personal tragedy of losing his wife and child, may not be ready yet but is still on the board. Congressmen Trent Franks and Jeff Flake have both made subtle noises. Tucsonan and former GOP State Chair John Munger would be available. All of them do talk shows.
If there is any hope for Governor Brewer’s staff to keep their jobs past 2010, I suggest they at least lengthen her leash.
Reading May’s political tea leaves
By Emil Franzi, Special to The Explorer
We’ve had local elections, and some further away, along with enough positioning and posturing to give us some hints about our political futures.
Californians of all stripes overwhelmingly told their government “no” to higher taxes in the multiple forms they were presented. Those supporting a statewide election to raise the sales tax to bail out Arizona should note that if you can’t pass any tax increase in a lefty state with bigger budget troubles than ours, good luck here.
Early on, I called for a sales tax election combined with constitutional amendments repealing all the spending ballot props that voters suckered for that the legislature is banned from modifying. Give them an “either – or,” but it’s too late for that. Republicans should not have been afraid of the voters. They even figured it out in San Francisco.
Up the road in Casa Grande, voters rejected a sales tax hike for a new spring training stadium by 77 percent. I hope the local Sports Authority noticed and will quit lobbying the legislature to enable Pima County to waste money on an election that will get the same result here. File that Marana Stadium next to the Rainbow Bridge over the Santa Cruz.
Two local elections gave local Democrats mostly negative results, who are attempting to breed future partisan legislative candidates by electing them to non-partisan school boards and town councils. I find no fault with this — the GOP should quit being onlookers and do the same.
In Sahuarita, the Dem pick was Rosanna Gabaldon. This partisan activity created a backlash and partly motivated Republican Kara Egbert’s candidacy. Both Gabaldon and Egbert won the two seats, making it a push.
In Marana, Dems supported Kelle Maslyn, one of four finalists for two council seats including Republicans Jon Post and Larry Steckler and Democrat Carol McGorray.
Local GOP types were mostly onlookers in both towns with the exception of GOP National Committeeman Bruce Ash, who formed an independent committee whomping on Maslyn for raising almost all her funds from outside Marana. Post led the ticket followed by McGorray, with Maslyn third. Ash-GOP 1, D’s 0, even though some Dems have attempted to spin and claim McGorray, whom they didn’t support.
Spin will be high on the Dem agenda next year. You can tell by the almost insane rhetoric in the letters columns and elsewhere about education spending. With all the intellectual depth of the last Banzai Charge, the Democrat / public employees union coalition wants us to believe Republicans hate schools and teachers and keep our children ignorant so they won’t be smart and educated enough to vote for Democrats.
Is there anybody out there who actually believes this slop?
Typical is the recent letter about the GOP violating “teacher’s First Amendment rights” from Robert Cozad, who failed to note that he is the founder of the Oro Valley Democrat Club. Cozad claims a bill passed by the GOP legislature bans public school teachers from lobbying. No, it makes them reimburse taxpayers if done on school time.
As a former public employee, the husband of a retired one, the past vice-president of AFSCME local 449, and a former member of the Pima County Merit Commission, I realize public employees may apply for time off they have earned to do whatever they want. They have no constitutional right to lobby legislators on the taxpayer’s dime.
One final May item, the headline in the remaining daily informing us that the TUSD Superintendent Elizabeth Celania-Fagen was hiring seven new administrators while laying off teachers because they were needed for her “vision.” That exposes the real agenda and mindset of the Democrat / union / administrator coalition. It isn’t about the children, it’s about the power.
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