by David Safier
Vic Williams is up to his usual tricks of claiming credit for things he deserves no credit for. This time it's in his recent mailer, and he does it not once, not twice, but three times.
Here's the first problem with the mailer: what looks like a sort-of endorsement from UA President Robert Shelton.
In fact, it's not an endorsement at all. It's just part of a thank you note to Vic for supporting Prop 100. I imagine Shelton sent similar letters to other legislators.
The big problem is, Shelton didn't know his quote, name and photo were being used by Vic until someone asked him if he approved the use or is endorsing Vic. Shelton said he didn't approve the use of his image or his words, and in his position as UA Pres, he doesn't make endorsements. Vic's use of Shelton's words and image is presumptuous and potentially harmful to the nonpartisan image Shelton works to maintain.
Then there's problem two and three on the other side of the mailer.
Vic gets a one-out-of-three on this. He supported Prop 100. But his was the deciding committee vote to let a bill come to the floor to create ballot Prop 302 to sweep First Things First funds. If Vic voted No, we wouldn't have Prop 302 to worry about. On the floor, Vic voted against the bill. Lest that sounds brave, the bill was assured passage by 4 votes, so Vic was granted permission by his party bosses to cover his ass and vote No.
All this was discussed more-or-less well in the Star's Pueblo Politics. But Vic's biggest lie is left out of the Star story -- his assertion that he supported Science Foundation Arizona.
I'm guessing the reason for the omission is, the Star's crack research team couldn't pull together the information on this rather complex string of votes. So here's the vote chronology for the benefit of the Star and other interested readers. These are the facts as I understand them, not the speculation and innuendo the Star thinks BfA trades in.
- In January, 2009, Vic voted along with his Republican colleagues for SB1002, a budget reconciliation bill which included $22.5 million in cuts to Science Foundation.
- In June, 2009, Science Foundation's suit against the state for breach of contract is heard, and the court said the legislature had to restore $18.5 million to Science Foundation because the funds had already been committed.
- In November, 2009, Vic and just about everyone else voted for HB2003 to restore the $18.5 million to Science Foundation, based on the court order. That was Vic's one vote for Science Foundation -- when he had no choice
- In March, 2010, Vic voted in committee for HB2005, which cut $27.5 million from Science Foundation. A few days later, he voted for HB2005 again on the House floor.
That's the part of the story the Star ignored -- by far the most damning misrepresentation in Vic's mailer. He voted to cut a total of $50 million from Science Foundation over two years, and voted to restore $18.5 million only because the court ordered the restoration.
You didn't read it in the Star, but now you've read it here. I believe my facts are accurate, but if someone spots an error, please let me know and I'll correct it. We here at BfA are partisans, but we pride ourselves on doing our research and getting our facts straight.