Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some legislators are going district shopping

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl -

The new legislative district map is living up to its promise of promoting competition, but perhaps not in the way some lawmakers envisioned.

With its redrawn political boundaries, the map pits numerous incumbents against each other in potential party primaries. The speaker of the House and the president-elect of the Senate are among those facing likely primary challenges this year.

Because of the changes, lawmakers are checking real-estate listings, moving into a second residence and even threatening lawsuits as they try to figure out how to keep a seat in the Arizona Legislature after the 2012 elections.

Among the legislators listed as considering a move to another district, or just simply whining about not liking the voters that they'd have to deal with in their new districts:

Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale) - move and whine
Lori Klein (R-Anthem) - whine
Debbie Lesko (R-Glendale) - move and whine
David Smith (R-Cave Creek) - whine
Oliva Cajero Bedford (D-Tucson) - move
Matt Heinz (D-Tucson) - move

At least the Ds weren't whining, but I have to ask all of the legislators named in the article, as well as those with similar plans and thoughts but who weren't mentioned by name:

Given that the average citizen doesn't have the option of owning two homes or picking up everything and moving for a job, how can people who do own two homes or are in a position to move for a job that pays all of $24K (officially, anyway) per year claim to be "representative" of the voters in *any* district?

Also, even more to the point, Arizona's government is ideally supposed to be overseen by "citizen legislators" performing a temp job, and not "career politicians."  The average person will consider moving for a career, but not for a temp job.  Anybody have an explanation of the apparent disconnect here?

Personally, I find the whining the most unseemly.  These people who are supposed to look out for the best interests of the Arizonans in their districts and neighborhoods (yes, I'm just a wild-eyed idealist) are showing that they place a higher priority on their own convenience than on their constituents' interests.

They also seem to have forgotten that the voters get to pick their representatives, not the other way around.

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