Saturday, October 16, 2010

Short Attention Span Musing

...Corporate influence has reached even to some of the races at the bottom of the ballot.  The Arizona Multihousing Association is running robocalls in the University Lakes Justice of the Peace race.  They're using John "Hut" Hutson, a former member of the Tempe City Council, to smear the JP candidacy of current State Senator Meg Burton Cahill.  Earlier this year, they sent out a questionnaire to all JP candidates.  A document with questions crafted to determine if judicial candidates are predisposed to favor them and if they would accept PAC money from them. (It includes the question "Will you accept PAC funds?")

Most of the sitting judges that I have heard saw the questionnaire thought that completing the survey could constitute an ethical violation for them.  They were less sure about candidates for judicial office who aren't already judges.

Still, it will be interesting to find out if her opponent, a retired barber, filled out the questionnaire.

...David Schweikert's apologists "supporters" have been responding to charges that Schweikert has profited from the misery of the housing crisis in Arizona by say that the real estate vulture hasn't done anything unethical, nor did he force any homeowners into foreclosure, and that in fact, all of his vultured properties were purchased directly from banks and other mortgage-holders.

They seem to have gone silent on the subject, other than to claim that accusations are all lies and that Schweikert is a saint with a perfect hairdo.  That change in tactic is interesting given the timing - it occurred at the same time that news broke about how most banks engaged in poor, even fraudulent, practices when foreclosing on homes in many states.

Wonder how many of his vultured "legally-obtained" properties were improperly foreclosed on by banks?  Of course, given that this is Arizona, the land of practically-nonexistent consumer protection laws, we may never know...

...Finally in sad news, Arizona lost a statesman and voice for the voiceless on Friday with the passing of State Senator Jorge Luis Garcia.  This year, he was a candidate for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The praise for Garcia and the condolences for his family and friends has been pouring in.

From State Senator Meg Burton Cahill - " I join so many others in Arizona in sadness regarding our state senate Democratic Leader Jorge Garcia's death. I will miss his strength and grace under pressure...He was a public servant and statesman - always working to make sure those of little "voice" at the capitol were represented. I will miss his urging of "Have a peaceful day" daily."

From Tim Schmaltz, CEO of the Protecting Arizona's Family Coalition (PAFCO) - "He was a relentless advocate for the poor and vulnerable, a fellow social worker, and just a fine decent man. He had a gentle soul and cared deeply about family and community and vulnerable people. He was a great champion and ally. May he rest in peace! And may his family be comforted by much love and care. Amen."

(both quotes via Facebook)

From State Representative Kyrsten Sinema - "We have lost a friend today, and Arizona truly is grateful for Sen. Garcia’s tireless work on behalf of Arizonans, working every day to help others. He will be missed as a steward, as a colleague and as a family member. We offer our condolences to his loved ones."

(Courtesy the website of the Arizona House Democratic caucus)

From State Senator Rebecca Rios - "Senator Jorge Luis Garcia was a compassionate and humble man who tirelessly fought on the behalf of others.  We will miss him greatly. We extend our condolences to his wife, Maria, children, Yvette, Dominique and Rolando and four grandchildren."

(Courtesy the website of the Arizona State Senate Democratic caucus)

From Don Bivens, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party - "We all mourn the tragic loss of Senator Jorge Luis Garcia. So many of us owe Jorge a debt of gratitude -- for his leadership, for standing up for the vulnerable among us, and for the lives he has touched. Democrats have lost a longtime friend and colleague. Arizona has lost a true public servant who had much more yet to give. And his family has lost a devoted husband, father and grandfather. We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones during this difficult time."

(Via email)

The Arizona Republic's guestbook for Sen. Garcia is here.

I didn't know him well, but did meet him a few times during my activities as a blogger at the lege, and always found him to be warm, intelligent, and perceptive.

Some thoughts from southern Arizonans who knew him far better than me:

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona offers his perspective here.

The LD30 Democrats have their memories of Garcia here.

Tedski at Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion has his here.

Carolyn Classen, writer of "Carolyn's Community" at the Tucson Citizen, offers her memories here.

My deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.


Mark Manoil said...

The best way to honor Sen. Garcia's service and humanity is to vote for him on the general election ballot.

Zelph said...

Will Renz Jennings be on the ballot as a qualified write-in for Corp. Commission?

cpmaz said...

Zelph - To the best of my knowledge, no.

What will happen if Garcia receives enough votes to win a seat, that seat would be declared vacant as of January 1, and the Governor at that time would then have to appoint a D to fill the spot.

Zelph said...

will single-shot David Bradley for Corp. Commission and recommends others do the same. With the unfortunate death of Jorge Garcia, it's important to elect a solid Democrat to change the balance of power on this commission. If Garcia were to win in spite of his death, the governor would get to appoint his replacement. It would have to be a Democrat, but I guarantee she will find a DINO.