Friday, May 22, 2009

Russell Pearce and intellectual integrity - the epitome of "long distance relationship"

From the EV Tribune (emphasis mine) -
Gov. Jan Brewer lashed out Friday at legislators from her own Republican Party for trying to fix the state's budget problems by taking $190 million from cities and counties.

"I think it's irresponsible," Brewer said of the proposals.

{snip}

Legislation approved this past week by the Senate Appropriations Committee would require counties to give $106 million of their share of vehicle license taxes to local school districts. That reduces the state's obligation to fund schools by an identical amount.

{snip}

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said he understands that the cash will mean hardships for cities and counties.

But Pearce, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said this isn't like the state is taking dollars the local governments have collected themselves.

"The truth is, it's a state license," he said. And while the state has been able to share that revenue in the past, Pearce said it has to cut back because of a deficit for the coming budget year that is likely to exceed $3 billion.

Perhaps in this particular situation (vehicle license fees), the funds aren't "dollars that the local governments have collected themselves" but the hundreds of millions of dollars in development fees that the lege is swiping from cities and towns *are* dollars that the local governments have collected themselves.

Pretending that the lege is only taking "redirecting" state funds and not shaking down cities and towns is utterly dishonest.

The bottom line is that Pearce and his "associates" in the Rep caucus of the lege are deliberately visiting fiscal devastation upon every governmental and public entitity that they can put the touch on, other than the ones the control directly - the offices of the governor, treasurer, state superintendent of public education, secretary of state, and, of course, the lege itself.

Next year, every one of them must face a general election challenge from Democrats, and every one of them should face a primary challenge from Republicans who are disillusioned by complete disdain for public service exhibited by their current crop of elected officials.

4 comments:

Thane Eichenauer said...

I'm all in favor of more competition for elected legislators but I believe that expecting any more Republican primary competition because the current Republicans in office haven't supported the trajectory of Arizona government spending enough is hoping for a bit much.

Article 2, section 2 of the Arizona constitution states "All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights."

I can't read that section and interpret that to mean that legislators (be they Democrat or Republican) are bound to support more government spending no matter what.

cpmaz said...

I've spoken to more than a few Reps, and other than the Kool-Aid drinkers, most are *not* happy with what is going on. The lege has pissed off/on -

...parents with students in public schools, K-12 or uni. For most folks, even with the stacked deck here in AZ, private schools are not a viable option financially.

...any Rep associated with municipal or county government an employee, elected, or simple community activist. It was bad enough that the lege is going after state aid to munis and counties, but going after impact fees dedicated to infrastructure just because a large campaign contributor (Home Builders of Central AZ) wanted them to do so?

...any Rep who understands that, regardless of ideology, elected officials were hired to do a job, and that job is to run and oversee government.

Not to bring it crashing down around everyone's ears.

It's not a matter of supporting government spending ever more; it is a matter of seeing that government spends responsibly.

Sometimes that means cuts, sometimes that means spending a little more now (for, say, education) as a way to avoid spending more later (for, say, prisons).

Thane Eichenauer said...

Where is your evaluation of responsible spending when it comes to people being sentenced to multi-year terms for prostitution?

cpmaz said...

There isn't any relation between the two, so I can't comment on one.

I suspect that when it comes to crime and punishment in America, you and I have far more areas of agreement than disagreement.