Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Reposted from June 14, 2011.
The Arizona Daily Star today has a guest opinion from three former state legislators who used to represent me on the eastside of Tucson in the old District 14 - Ruth Solomon, Marion Pickens and Herschella Horton, all Democrats. That was in better times.
The eastside of Tucson is now represented by polemic ideological extremists in District 30 - Frank Antenori, David Gowan and Ted Vogt, all Republicans. This guest opinion, no doubt, was written with these guys in mind. You can help cure 'ideological impairment' epidemic in Legislature:
Not long ago, members of the Legislature from Southern Arizona, regardless of political affiliation, worked together to serve the needs of their communities.
Today, the willingness to collaborate is gone.
Instead of supporting their own communities, some Southern Arizona legislators appear to have sworn allegiance to leadership from Maricopa County - allegiance to the same leaders who deny Tucson our fair share of state taxes, deny us funding for law enforcement and needed funds for K-12 and higher education, who interfere with our health decisions, meddle in local education policy and limit our ability to provide adequately for child welfare.
Answer yes or no to the following:
• Do you want accessible, affordable health care?
• Do you want public schools that prepare children for college or employment?
• Do you want the UA to be a world-class university?
• Do you want children to be safe?
• Do you want the poor to have a chance to raise themselves from poverty?
A "no" answer means you're happy with the way business is being done in the Legislature. A "yes" answer must mean that you think change is necessary.
When we represented the former District 14 as Democrats in the Legislature, we had colleagues who had a certain illness, an illness known as "ideological impairment" - an illness that prevented civil discourse, compromise and any ability to work across party lines. It was an illness hazardous to the health of our state.
Today, this illness has spread to epidemic proportion, but there is a cure. The cure is we the people.
As we approach the 2012 elections think about the following:
• Check facts. Just because you've read it or heard it, it's not necessarily true. (Remember, U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl's aide recently said that the senator didn't intend what he said about Planned Parenthood to be factual.)
• Ask the right questions. Candidates talk the talk, but do they walk the walk? No one is against good education, but ask a candidate direct questions about support.
• Once elected, hold them to what they've said.
• Speak out. Tell them what you expect. Tell them when you agree and when you disagree. Tell them in letters, by telephone, by email and in person.
• Remember, you can withhold the one thing they want from you - your vote.
• Seek out those who believe that Arizona can be more. Former Attorney General Grant Woods once said, "Arizona is a wonderful place to live unless you're a child." It's still true today. Don't let that stand.
• Finally, join together with others who are sick of our state's being at the bottom, fodder for comedians, an embarrassment.
We know that government can't do it all, but government can do it better.
In short: "Kick 'em all out!"