Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jerry Lewis: Personally Civil, Politically Extreme

In the new Legislative District 26 (West Mesa, most of Tempe), current State Rep. Ed Ableser (D-LD17 - Tempe, South Scottsdale) is facing off against current State Sen. Jerry Lewis (R-LD18 - Central and West Mesa).

Ableser was first elected to the House in 2006 and has done an admirable job of representing his ASU-centric district while starting a family and a professional career.  He was and is a perfect match for a diverse, educated, moderate, and mostly middle-class district.

Lewis was first elected to the Senate last year during the recall election that ousted nativist icon Russell Pearce from the Arizona legislature.  Lewis is a successful businessman, active in the community, and a family man.

Based on my personal knowledge of Ableser (we're friends) and everything that I've heard about Lewis (we've never met, but many people that I know also know him), both are fine men and upstanding citizens.

And while those characteristics should be expected from *every* elected official (except female electeds, who should be expected to be "fine women and upstanding citizens" :) ), alone, they aren't enough to qualify someone to represent a district in the legislature.

While Lewis has the support of the "yeah, but he's a nicer guy than Russell Pearce" brigade, that's like saying that "yeah, but he doesn't foam at the mouth like a rabid dog".  On the face of it, it may be true, but so what?  That's setting the personal temperment/behavior bar rather low.

Personally, I have a deep amount of respect for Lewis for daring to take on the Pearce machine and doing his part to end years of near-dictatorial control of the political structure by Pearce and his allies in that area.  He was the precisely right candidate for a district where the electorate was Republican-leaning but with a strong Latino contingent.  As inappropriate for society in general as Pearce's bigoted rants and stunts were, they had become an expression of open contempt for a huge portion of his constituents.

It's no coincidence that immigration issues moved to the lege's back burner when Lewis moved in.

However, that seems to be the only area where Lewis has exhibited a moderating influence.

For example, he voted for a budget that continued the lege's devastation of public education in Arizona (not really a surprise though - he's a big charter school guy; anything that is bad for public ed is good for him.  Leave him in the lege long enough and people will be talking about him like they talk about Steve Yarbrough.)

Some people like to tout Lewis as "independent" or even "moderate".  He's not -

He voted with the Center for Arizona Theocracy Policy 92% of the time.

There is absolutely NOTHING moderate about CAP; pretty much every anti-woman and anti-personal freedom measure that goes before the Arizona Legislature is a product of theirs.

In short, he may put a smiling face on it, but his extreme positions on social policy are NOT a good fit for the new LD26.  The new LD26 contains the most moderate part of Mesa as well as the portion of Tempe that contains ASU.  Nothing about Lewis says that he is a "college town" kind of legislator.

Vote for Ed Ableser.  Not only is he a part of the community that he represents, but his beliefs and priorities are in line with that community.


John said...

Nice dodge on Ablesser's disgraceful attendance record. Having a family and a job are not excuses for not showing up.

State Rep. John Kavanagh

Steve Muratore said...

Hey John,

Just curious, how many miles have you walked in Ed Ableser's shoes? I bet you don't even know.

Steve Muratore
Arizona Eagletarian

John said...

I was on two town councils, while I held full-time jobs and had a family with two young kids. I rarely missed votes, much less over 40% of them, like Ablesser.

Are you really excusing that kind of record just because you philosophically agree with the person?

Come on Steve. You are better than that. He should have resigned, if personal and professional commitments precluded his attendance.

Steve Muratore said...

I guess he COULD have resigned. But he did NOT. The votes he missed apparently did not represent the difference between passage or failure on any bill.

Not exactly sure how, "Come on Steve. You are better than that." Relates at all to anything.

I get that you don't like Ed Ableser. I SEE that you dislike him so much that you repeatedly, intentionally misspell his name.

Are you better than that?

I would direct you to

As to whether I or anyone is "excusing that kind of record" or anyone else's, I direct you, for perspective to what I wrote and published last night on the subject.

If it's going to be a choice between Ed Ableser and Jerry Lewis, or which is effectively the same as someone who voted to impose an encroaching fascism (Cathi Herrod's directions and guidance) or someone who missed some time in service for what may be very personal reasons, I vote NO on Jerry Lewis.

I choose to have Ed Ableser represent me and advocate wholeheartedly for others in MY legislative district to do the same.

Steve Muratore said...

By the way, John, your efforts to define the issue as a referendum on Ableser's "record" while glossing over the record of Jerry Lewis as a state senator FAIL.

The issue is as I -- and Thomas Paine -- defined it long ago in Common Sense, when he said that the whole idea is to choose people to represent OUR OWN INTERESTS.

Jerry Lewis does NOT represent the interests of the majority of voters in LD26, which is significantly different overall than the old LD18.

John said...

I have known Ed for six years and have worked with him on some issues. I like him personally but missing 40% of the votes is inexcusable, regardless of the reason.

I just think that your soft pedaling his record speaks poorly of you too.

PS It also does not speak well of you to assume that my adding an extra b to his name was intentional and disrespectful. It was a mistake. Don't be such a cynic.

Steve Muratore said...

LOL! I'm a cynic? But I'm soft pedaling something?

John, this is about the masquerade that Jerry Lewis is putting on to fool people into thinking he would represent their interests.

Nothing more, nothing less.

I don't buy Lewis' con job. And I sure as heck am not worried about whether you think poorly of me.

Donna G said...

Funny, but Stephen Lemons and other liberals keep telling me the Tea Party hates Lewis. And yet here we have John Kavanagh, Tea Party Rep from Scottdale, promoting Lewis's election.