Sunday, November 07, 2010

The AZ Republic is applying some fresh Chapstick and puckering up

The editorial board of the Arizona Republic is kissing up to the Republicans in AZ's delegation to Congress (I won't engage in unseemly speculation about which part of the Rs they are trying to kiss :) ).

The latest indication of this activity is the poorly written love letter masquerading as an "analysis" piece that the Rep published on Sunday.

The piece -
Vote gives Arizona more clout in Congress

The midterm elections will likely boost Arizona's clout in Congress, giving the state's new delegation greater power in crafting legislation and deciding how billions of federal taxpayer dollars will be spent.

Among the results, Arizona lawmakers say, could be increased highway funds for the state, more money for border security and even the passage of legislation to allow the construction of a huge, controversial new copper mine near Superior.

The growing influence of the state begins in the U.S. House. A new Republican majority among Arizona's House delegation ensures that Arizona's voice will be heard by the GOP House leaders who take control in January.

More "influence" in the House?

More federal projects for Arizona?


Let's see:

Jeff Flake (CD6) has made a career out of taking an apparently principled stand against earmarks or any projects for his district (to be fair to Flake, it isn't just his district - like Mikey of Life Cereal fame, he hates *everything.*  Unlike the fictional character Mikey however, he doesn't change in the face of reality), but he wins reelection every year in his R-heavy district because he is well-coiffed, smiles a lot, and he isn't an embarrassment (say, in the mold of J.D. Hayworth).

Trent Franks (CD2) actively works against highway money for his district.  He will occasionally support a local project, but those usually involve the construction of jails or the purchase of some new technology for law enforcement.  And even in that, he seems almost ashamed for doing something that might possibly help his constituents (even if it's less "helping his constituents" and more "helping to imprison his constituents").  In fact, the only thing he exhibits any enthusiasm around is his quest to destroy a woman's right to choose.

Newly-electeds Paul Gosar (CD1) and David Schweikert (CD5) were elected on tea party/pro-corporate platforms and seem unlikely to support any efforts to help Arizonans...unless those Arizonans have last names that can be abbreviated "Corp.", "Inc.", or "LLC".  And have contributed to their campaigns.

The newly-elected Ben Quayle (CD3) may be the House member most likely to support projects for his district.  He's got two years to establish his "representative" bona fides before running for reelection after the redistricting process changes his district.  Still, given his daddy's (and his daddy's friends') heavy involvement in his campaign, he seems likely to favor projects that will help the companies of his donors, not his constituents.

As for AZ's contingent in the U.S. Senate, both Jon Kyl and John McCain have been in D.C. for decades, and for decades, they haven't worked for Arizona.

Kyl openly works for Big Business, protecting their interests to the exclusion of all else, including the interests of the average Arizonan.

McCain openly works for John McCain.  Period.

The article is right about one thing, though. 

The change in the partisan balance in Congress, and in Arizona's delegation to Congress, will almost certainly mean that the Resolution Copper land swap/swipe will go through.  Of course, while that is sold as a benefit to Arizonans (in the form of mining jobs and tax revenue, while ignoring the multi-generational costs of a destroyed environment and watershed, and the savaging of ancestral Native lands held in "trust" by the federal government), the big beneficiary will be a large, multi-national corporation, Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto (or its Resolution Copper subsidiary) has donated directly to the campaign committees, or to mining industry PACs that donated to the campaign committees, of almost every R member of AZ's delegation.  I couldn't find any direct or indirect contributions to Gosar in the time allotted for this post.

The results of Tuesday's elections will almost certainly result in more influence in Congress for the Rs in Arizona's Congressional delegation.  It almost certainly won't result in more influence in Congress for Arizona.

Certain people (and newspapers) in Arizona like to complain that AZ doesn't get its "fair share" of federal projects.

They may be correct.

So why do they continue to support candidates and electeds who are dedicated to opposing projects for Arizona?


Thane Eichenauer said...

The Arizona Republic is an artifact of "them olden days". Each morning brings us a day closer to the day it closes its doors.

Linda said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought mines were exempt from paying state taxes. So...what kind of revenue will it bring to the state?

cpmaz said...


You may be correct about the mines' tax-exempt status (I don't know for certain, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was so), but they may be talking about increased sales tax revenue because of mine workers having money to spend on taxable items.