Monday, November 17, 2008

Short Attention Span Musing - Election Hangover Edition

Some stuff that's gotten a little lost in all of the hoopla surrounding the impending change in tenants at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...

...Russell Pearce (R-Nativist) is showing that with his move to the State Senate, he isn't a one-trick pony any more.

He doesn't reserve his hatred exclusively to brown people any more - he hates education now, as illustrated by his desire to balance the state's budget on the backs of students.

From the EV Tribune on November 13 -
Lawmakers are eyeing an extra $56.7 million collected in tuition by the three public universities, possibly to directly or indirectly help balance the state budget.

Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee refused Thursday to grant a favorable review to the plan by the Board of Regents to spend the funds. Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said the state's larger-than-expected deficit makes it necessary for legislators to use any revenue for the most critical needs.

So the strident anti-taxer Pearce wants to take money that students have paid that they thought was going to fund their educations, and use it to pay for the state's budget deficit? Make up the shortfall caused by his party's tax cuts for corporations by indirectly taxing education itself?

In an editorial published on November 15, the Arizona Daily Star eloquently pointed out the foolishness of Pearce's (and the Republicans') position on the matter -
We understand the financial straits facing the state. But taking students' money from universities demonstrates the backward tendencies of lawmakers who refuse to accept that Arizona can't grow economically by starving its public educational system.
If I was writing the editorial, I'd have been blunter.

"Electing Republicans to run government is like hiring Jack Kevorkian as your family doctor."

...The Al Franken/Norm Coleman Senate race in Minnesota, with its 206-vote margin (currently favoring the incumbent Republican Coleman) is heading to a recount later this week, pending the various lawsuits and countersuits.

... The Mark Begich/Ted Stevens Senate race in Alaska is turning more and more in Democratic challenger Begich's favor, with the current tally showing him ahead of Stevens by more than 1000 votes.

The only bad thing about the possible defeat of convicted felon Stevens by Begich? We miss getting to watch the Senate expel Stevens from its ranks for being, well, a convicted felon.

...Scottsdale's Mayoral election is still close, but challenger Jim Lane is still leading incumbent Mary Manross by 551 votes (49891 to 49340) and looks to be in position to ascend to the Mayor's office in January.

...In other AZ election news, it's looking more and more likely that Republican Bob Stump will hold off Democrat Sam George for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission, opening up a lead of 1937 votes as of the close of business at the AZ Secretary of State's office today. Democrats Sandra Kennedy and Paul Newman look to have safely secured the other two contested spots on the ACC.

...In LD20, Democrat Rae Waters has a 593-vote lead over Jeff Dial for the district's second seat in the AZ House; Republican John McComish has a secure grip on the other seat from LD20. Barring a major reversal from whatever ballots remain to be counted, this one should go to Waters.

Note: According to the AZ Rep's Political Insider, approximately 55,000 ballots remain to be counted in Maricopa County.


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