Tuesday, July 12, 2011

AZ legislators have tender sensibilities. Who knew?

Last week, EJ Montini of the Arizona Republic wrote a column that pointed out the track record of the Arizona legislature in regards to children - pull out all the stops to "protect" them...until they are born.

At that point, the Republicans in the legislature assume a rather laissez-faire attitude towards children (and worse, if the kids are born to poor parents or have brown skin).

Montini's point upset the legislators, and in the person of Rep. Kimberly Yee (R-LD10), they responded with a column published in Monday's edition.

In it, she argued that the legislature's priorities were "[c]racking down on bullying in our schools, protecting the health of women in our state and reining in our spending to lower the debt passed on to the next generation."

That's a rather selective way of looking at what the lege worked on this past session.

The reality is that legislators worked on their own personal priorities, not the priorities of the state's residents.

...Where struggling Arizonans want jobs, Republican legislators (including Yee) passed tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while increasing the tax burden on middle class homeowners.

...Where Arizonans want accessible health care, Republican legislators (including Yee) passed a budget with massive cuts to AHCCCS, placing thousands of the most vulnerable Arizonans at jeopardy.

...Where Arizonans want a robust and effective education system for the children, Republican legislators (including Yee) have worked to gut education in Arizona.

Just in case someone thinks that I'm being unfair to Rep. Yee, lumping her in with the rest of her caucus based on mere votes, from the list of bills that Yee herself sponsored or cosponsored:

HB2392, a bill to allow guns in school zones

HB2409, a bill to bar the award of attorney's fees to the state or a county or municipality in a civil action relating to the enforcement or challenge of a law, ordinance, or regulation

HB2415, a bill that became law pertaining to addressing bullying incidents in schools (OK, she gets credit for one relatively harmless, perhaps even beneficial, measure)

HB2416, a bill that became law delaying and restricting abortions and women's health care

HB2442, a bill to ban the nonexistent practice of abortions for gender selection; another version became law

HB2534, a bill that became law to attempt to block the Tohono O'odham tribe from building a casino in the West Valley part of Maricopa County by allowing a municipality to summarily "annex" (aka - steal) legally acquired land.  Though this became law, it was block by a federal court.

HB2544, a "birther" bill (another version passed the lege, but was vetoed by the governor)

HB2549, a bill that became law, addressing the pressing issue of making "The Grand Canyon State" the official state nickname

HB2555, a bill to bar local regulation of taxis and other forms of tranportation for hire

HB2581, a bill to greatly expand the corporate tuition tax credit program.  Passed by the lege, vetoed by the governor

SB1282, a bill that became law to allow religious entities to engage in secular political activity without having to register as a political committee, avoiding all sorts of disclosure rules (like having to tell where the money is coming from)

SB1553, a bill that became law, creating school vouchers

SB1610, a bill that became law, perhaps the law from this session {cue up the sarcasm} that is the single most important measure passed this year {end sarcasm} - making the Colt Single Action Army Revolver the official state firearm

The bottom line is that Yee and her colleagues have two options here -

1.  Grow a thicker skin.  Criticism and disagreement is part of an elected official's lot in life.  Somebody who is easily upset by those things should stay away from politics, much less elected office.

2.  Actually work on the state's priorities, not your personal priorities.  Do your job of representing your constituents, regardless of district, well enough so that any criticisms aren't deserved.

My expectation -

They'll do neither.  It's easier to whine, and they think whining plays better with tea party types than does conscientious competence.

1 comment:

TweetLoaf said...

Martyr syndrome is quite prevalent in conservative circles. It's dysfunctional, and like many other "wing dragging" behaviors, designed to lead us away from the nest of truth. Drama queens one and all.