Spent last evening enjoying good conversation over good food with good people, aka a "Democratic happy hour," this one in Mesa.
One of the first things that I read after getting home was this post from Tedski at R-Cubed about the latest antics of State Senator Jack Harper (R-Surprise!). It seems that the good senator decided to chide a Democrat, Chad Campbell, for taking part in a taxpayer-funded trip to Ireland to study Ireland's economic development efforts.
There was only one "minor" problem with Harper's criticism - the bipartisan trip was privately funded.
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has read previous posts in this blog concerning Harper - he did win the coveted "Legislative Loon" Award for 2007 (awarded by yours truly :) ).
The current odds have him favored to repeat in 2008. :)
And the "great minds" part?
At the Dem happy hour in Mesa, part of the conversation revolved around how happy we were that Robert Boehlke will be challenging Harper for the LD4 Senate seat next year.
He's running as a Clean Elections candidate, so he won't need much in financial help (just 5s and seed money), but if you live in LD4, when he comes around asking for volunteers, signatures, and votes, help him out.
...Speaking of candidates in next year's elections, Judah Nativio has turned in paperwork for a run at the LD18 Senate seat. While it's still unclear whether he'll be facing incumbent Karen Johnson (R-UFO) or termed-out-as-State-Representative (and erstwhile challenger to fellow Republican Jeff Flake in CD6) Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance), what is clear is that he understands that he is running to represent the *district,* not just a radical portion of one party.
Unlike both of his potential opponents.
I spoke with him for a few minutes tonight - he's a former police officer and was, until recently, a member of Mesa's Human Relations Advisory Board ("recent" as in until AZ's resign-to-run law kicked in); his wife Amy teaches at Taylor Junior High.
Note - arriving after she finished teaching a class was Tammie Pursley, a once (2006) and future (2008) candidate for LD18 House.
Maybe the way to get the lege to tackle the issue of AZ's failing education system is to elect teachers or those who hold teachers near and dear.
Just something to think about when Ms. Pursley and Mr. Nativio come knocking...
More as the campaign season unfolds...
...With the latest Middle East peace conference, George Bush has officially reached "lame-duck" status...
I truly wish success in the endeavor to him and everyone involved, but it seems like that for decades, when U.S. presidents start looking for a way to preserve their 'legacy' (whatever that may mean) their eyes turn toward that seemingly intractable mess in the Middle East.
And some, such as Bush himself, ignore their own contributions to the never-ending strife...but I digress :)) .
Overall, the most of these conferences define success as an agreement by the individuals in the conference rooms that they won't kill each other. Unfortunately, people that aren't in the conference rooms don't take that idea to heart.
Perhaps the problem is that while peace between nations with armies on fields of battle can be negotiated in well-appointed rooms and great halls of power, the strife in the Middle East, particularly that in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, can only be truly addressed at the level of the conflict - street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood.
This might be the only time that I'll ever wish Bush and his associates well (let's face it - 99% of the time, they're nothing but crooks), but on this one, they have my high hopes for success.
Just not my high expectations.
...And lastly, while the weather forecast for the Phoenix area this weekend includes rain, we really should be on the lookout for an ice storm. My meteorological evidence?
I agreed with AZ Rep columnist Laurie Roberts.
Earlier this week, she wrote that "Jesus Manuel Cordova is nobody special."
Mr. Cordova is the migrant from Mexico who stopped and aided a 9-year old boy whose mother had died in a car accident near the border, even though helping the child would result in his detention and deportation by ICE.
Robert wrote -
In fact, Jesus Manuel Cordova is probably nobody special. Just a guy like millions of others, fleeing a country that has failed him, one who stopped and helped a stranger despite the consequences to his own family.She went on to express hope that this incident causes us to "reclaim the debate about illegal immigration that has been taken over by the extremes in this country, those who would have you believe that every person here illegally is out to rob us and cheat us and steal our country."
I couldn't have said it better myself.