- Your Voice
The June 26th issue of the Explorer included a Thelma Grimes editorial that was both factually inaccurate and rhetorically overheated. It took to task 35 State Senators and Representatives (all Republican) while singling out by name two of the three who represent LD11 (Rep Kwasman and me). Our crime was to oppose the implementation of ObamaCare via an expansion of Medicaid and to protest the manner in which it was done.
Those who know me, know that I have worked hard to limit the size of government, balance our state’s budget, and get our state’s economy growing again. They know that I had signs made up that read “Jobs are Job #1” and had them distributed to my colleagues in the Arizona Legislature. And they know that I have had to battle against liberal candidates and groups every two years as part of this struggle.
This article is in reply to a recent Special to The Explorer written by Jo Holt published in the Feb. 20 issue of the paper. Because Arizona has had two balanced General Fund budgets in a row, our state is ranked number one in the nation for business startups. We went from 46th to number four in private sector job creation. We are 10th in overall great business climate compared to California which is ranked 50th. During the past four-year recessionary period, we never let K-12 public school per pupil funding go below $9,000 (federal, state plus local funding). We mortgaged the Senate, House and Executive buildings in order to protect K-12 education funding. The north side of Tucson has four outstanding public school districts in Catalina Foothills, Amphi, Marana and Flowing Wells. We have more charter schools per capita and more school choice than any state. We have open enrollment between public school districts, tuition tax credits and a great home school program.
You, an LD 11 voter and reader of the Explorer newspaper, deserve to know the truth about Arizona K-12 public education funding, energy, nuclear recycling and all subjects being debated during this election cycle. I am writing about these three specific subjects because they have appeared in recent political ads and letters to the editor. I want you to know the truth about them.
Recent articles about my proposed education fund and related spent nuclear fuel recycling program have produced some uninformed and negative reactionary responses. I urge everyone in the media, political arena and the voting public to educate themselves about this important subject.
It is only through the good graces of Thelma Grimes, Editor at The Explorer Newspaper, that I have the opportunity to respond to a bizarre letter from my colleague, Vic Williams. Let’s get to the nub of V. Williams’ letter.
Any practical plan for our future must include alternate energy sources, and any alternate energy plan must include atomic energy.
This letter is in response to several articles that appeared in The Explorer recently regarding Arizona state parks. I firmly believe that all 27 Arizona state parks and the three natural areas, in the state park system, can and should remain open to the public seven days a week, based on the following key measures:
When I campaigned for office in 2008, Arizona was expected to face a budget deficit of $1 billion. Given the reckless way that former Gov. Janet Napolitano had exploded spending over the previous years, I argued that we could and should balance our budget by making the necessary reductions. The voters agreed, and I was elected.
Two days before Christmas, my Democrat opponent penned another editorial, again blasting away at me, and focusing on my support for tax-credit programs that allow taxpayers to support schools and extra-curricular programs through voluntary giving.
It may seem too early to think about tax season, but it is always a good time to help our schools. Individuals who support public or private schools of their choice with donations before Dec. 31 can receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits. It is a win-win situation for your pocketbooks and schools during these difficult economic times.
Your newspaper recently printed a letter to the editor from Rex Scott, a local high school principal, in which he claims that our schools are suffering, largely as a result of state budget cuts and as a result of my voting record.
I write in response to a letter to the editor entitled "In Phoenix, gang can't shoot straight," which appeared in your paper on Aug 12.
On Saturday, March 7, I took the unusual step of holding six town hall meetings throughout LD26. The meetings were unusual in that state legislators rarely hold them, but I am very glad that I did.
I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight about Pete Hershberger, my opponent in the Republican primary for State Senate.