Disturbing trend in our politicians - Tucson Local Media: Opinion

Disturbing trend in our politicians

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Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 4:00 am

Over the last year, it’s becoming more and more alarming to see how some politicians are “serving constituents” in Congress, and the Arizona Legislature. I am not talking about the bills being passed, even though there are plenty of them that are just ridiculous. No, I am talking about behavior.

Over the years we as constituents have lost a lot of faith in our political leaders, and some recent behavior isn’t helping that cause. And, because a couple of them are from Tucson, it doesn’t help Southern Arizona’s reputation at all.

First, let’s look at the one who isn’t facing criminal charges. Frank Antenori is an Arizona Senator in District 30 (Vail), and is running in the special election for Congressional District 8 against GOP opponents Dave Sitton, Jesse Kelly and Martha McSally.

Antenori has become one of the most quotable members of the Arizona Legislature, and for some reason he believes that is a good thing. He brags about his bullying tactics to “get work done.”

He bragged at a candidate forum about how he got involved to make things happen for Marana, going against Pima County by introducing a law last year to help Marana gain rights to a wastewater treatment facility.

This ultimately led to a lawsuit being filed by Pima County because they feel their constitutional rights were violated in the process. Whether Marana is right, or Pima County is right, should Antenori be bragging about this?

Antenori made the news when he decided to go on a rant on the Senate floor about how he is a red-meat loving American. Really? Is this how an elected official at any level should behave?

Then, at a separate event, Antenori said SUV drivers shouldn’t be put down by President Barack Obama, noting that he has to drive an SUV because an elk won’t fit in a small car.

While he may be right about Obama, Antenori should look up the words “dignity” and “tact.”

Antenori reminds me of a bully with too much power. He reminds me of the behavior we try to teach our young children to avoid in elementary school.

Look at Antenori’s altercation with a Phoenix police officer. After the officer testified before the Legislature, Antenori tracked him down in the hallway and insulted him because he disagreed with the officer’s position.

I really do not want his antics to start representing Arizona at the national level.

While some have said it’s just “Frank being Frank,” this doesn’t make his continued antics and bad behavior alright just because that’s how he always acts.

Just to be clear, I do not believe Antenori should step down, but I do believe he is an adult and should start acting like one.

Then, we have another Tucson Senator, Daniel Patterson, who really isn’t painting a good picture for us in Southern Arizona. Despite a 33-page ethics report showing he bullies, challenges and threatens fellow lawmakers, he still refuses to resign.

There have been reports of domestic violence with his girlfriend, and the list goes on.

Despite being limited to a two-week time frame, the ethics committee found plenty of red flags that point to disturbing behavior that shouldn’t be accepted.

At the end of the day, all elected officials need to realize they must be accountable. We hold them to higher standards, and if they can’t seem to control their antics, stop acting like bullies, and represent us with dignity, then they need to step down.

— Thelma Grimes

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