Speaker Tobin: Flagstaff Daily Sun is misinformed, partisan
By Speaker Andy Tobin (Dist. 1)
I’ve got to hand it to the Flagstaff Daily Sun, they’re consistently misinformed and anti-Republican. The good news is they can clearly brag that they are as far away from “Fair and Balanced” as one can get. Congratulations.
We do support and pass bipartisan efforts at the Legislature. For example, Proposition 301, Teacher (education) Funding was supported by Republicans and Democrats alike. Clean Elections is supported and opposed here at the legislature by Republicans and Democrats alike.
Other legislation like the fireworks bill (support Chabin, oppose Deschene, Tobin) and Prop 100 Sales Tax (support Tobin, Chabin oppose Deschene) are supported and opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike.
Of course, the Sun’s efforts to appreciate a commission for its work on competitive districts when they fail to (either out of ignorance or politics) identify that even the Democrats are angered the maps are less competitive than ever. In fact, six of the nine proposed congressional districts are now loaded towards one party or another. The districts of Pastor, Grijalva, Franks, Flake (district), Gosar and the new west district have no hope in electing anyone other than the majority of Republicans or Democrats. Flagstaff has had a congressional representative for ten years as a resident, both Republicans and Democrats. However, under this new map, they will only have a Democrat for 10 years. Funny, they beg for competitiveness, they don’t get it, and it’s the Republican Majorities’ fault who they say stand opposed to it.
Then their home city of Flagstaff screams for communities of interest with the Verde Valley. Yet, except for Sedona who is neutral, every single mayor and Yavapai county supervisor opposes Flagstaff’s demand to be with the Verde Valley. These cities don’t want to be with Flagstaff. They prefer the community of interest that they argue against with the Prescott Quad cities. In fact, even Williams’ mayor claims a community of interest and wants to be with the Quad cities and not Flagstaff. Further, Payson’s Mayor also opposes the Flagstaff proclamation of communities of interest. So, they don’t get the competitiveness they cry for, but it’s okay, and then they claim for communities of interest when it suits them but no one wants to join them. They state that “with 30 districts across the state, not every community – whether a city or a county – is going to remain intact if each district is to have 213,000 people.” True, but Flagstaff doesn’t get cut up so I guess those that do should just shut up. Of course their last continuing recourse is to then blame the Republican majority. No reporting, sorry mis-reporting could me more clear, however, few believe their editorials to be accurate anyway.
The Joint Senate/House meetings are part of the process of the IRC’s creation through Proposition 106. The legislature is obligated to address the work of the IRC. Having public hearings accomplishes that. The fact that their paper and Democrats don’t attend or participate explains their vitriol with the joint committee meetings and they don’t know the law.
The artful and partisan strategy by Arizona Democrats to control the IRC should be congratulated. They have done a fine job in stealing independence from the process. However, that doesn’t mean the Sun should berate others who don’t agree with that strategy from legally challenging the IRC’s partisan decisions in an effort to win at the IRC what they cannot win at the ballot box – public policy.