Saturday, February 21, 2009

Written Not At Taxpayer Expense By Mark R. Kerr

Despite the potential budgetary problems facing most of the state government’s in this country, it is interesting how some legislative bodies are still managing to deal with other issues, especially those of concern to readers of this publication.

Recently, Hawaii’s House of Representatives approved a measure giving legal and governmental recognition, as a civil union, to committed, same-sex couples and their families and now its Senate is considering the bill.

Unwed couples in Colorado could share some of the same legal benefits and estate-planning tools as married couples under a bill, being considered in the Coloro Legislature, surviving a GOP-led effort to beat back new rights for Lesbian and Gay partners.

New Mexico has taken a big step towards this with the approval of a bill creating a domestic partners registry for the state with full rights and benefits and Utah, Brigham Young land is considering bills of concern dealing with adoption and rights as well.

In Arizona, its another story with the monetary mucking about. More tax dollars wasted while the Republican led state House and Senate consider more ways to flush the future down the toilet by holding on to their political theories which have been proven to be failures with the current state of the country’s overall economic affairs.

While much needed services and programs will end due to their budgetary axe, measures dealing with character, guns and ensuring prisoners from Gitmo and the Bush Crime Family don’t come to the state are taken up.

So what’s a state to do. Now Republican Governor Jan Brewer suggested holding a special election so that the people can vote on a measure to “temporarily” raise the sales tax and allow the state Legislature to avoid funding programs mandated by the voters themselves, who approved ballot measures creating and funding these programs.

Right, spend more than a million dollars, that isn’t there, so that a small percentage will cast a vote, against such a measure.

A novel thought, having Arizona’s Legislature actually do their job, as they were sworn in to the first Monday this past January when the 49th Session started, as they did in 1983 when the state’s economy was in trouble then as well.

There is a problem, Arizona has a Legislative super majority requirement in the Constitution, put on the ballot by Legislative Republicans in 1992 and sold “as a bill of goods” to the gullible public, requiring a two-third’s vote of each chamber to raise revenue.

With that, poor Jan and the elephantine Legislative leadership is stuck, swallow their pride and do the job they were elected to do and have taken a legal oath, or grasp desperately at their “Reaganesque” theoretical straws.

Online, Arizona's Legislature can be found at or for those without Internet access, to reach their Legislators call (800) 352-8404. Let them know, especially the "leadership" in both chambers to invest in the state's future and get the work done now!

Another message can be sent this year to Arizona’s Legislature by electing progressive, pragmatic candidates to city and town council’s across the state.

In Pima County, the town of Marana (, the City of South Tucson (, the town of Sahuarita ( and the City of Tucson ( are holding Council elections this year and its behooves the populace, especially the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community to get involved in these elections, with the first step being voting.

The towns of Marana, Sahuarita and the City of South Tucson’s primary elections will be held on Tuesday, March 10 and the general election on Tuesday, May 19, Tucson’s being held on Tuesday, September 1 and its general Tuesday, November 3 (reported erroneously by this individual in the print edition which will be corrected).

There are solid, pragmatic, progressive, Democratic candidates running to serve and the community needs to return the favor by casting their respective votes for these individuals.

For the Sahuarita Town Council, there is Rosanna Gabaldon. In the City of South Tucson, Pete Tadeo and Charlie Salaz. Kelle Maslyn is running for the Marana Town Council. As previously reported in this column and publication, Tucson Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich ( is running for another term in office and Ward 6 Councilmember Nina Trasoff ( has announced her intentions to run again as well.

Send two messages, one directly to the Arizona Legislature and one through the ballot box this year that it is time to serve the people, not the special interests, by meeting the needs of the state and its populace need, not by grasping at “Reaganesque theoretical straws.”

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