by David Safier
The Star had an editorial today, Slippery slope: State's education reputation at risk.
But there's another slippery slope here, and it has nothing to do with
education. It's the slope Republicans may be sliding down as they
alienate more and more of their natural supporters. If they keep
slipping, 2010 could find them sitting on their fannies at
the bottom of the hill, licking their wounds and scratching their heads.
You may remember, a group of Republican legislators and a few Dems visited Fort Huachuca about a week ago,
and at a luncheon, some businessmen from the Sierra Vista area told them we
could lose the base, because one of the criteria the Feds use when they
decide which bases to cut is the quality of education in the state. Al Melvin, in
his infinite wisdom, lectured the businessmen about how good our
schools are and told them everything would be fine if they opened a few more charter
schools. Their point, of course, was, it's the Feds who have to be
convinced our schools are up to par, and somehow, a state ranked 49th (now maybe 50th, or 51st
if we count D.C.) in per pupil spending shouldn't be cutting education
funding if it wants people in the Capitol to think it cares about
Now it's supporters of Davis-Montham.
temptation to continue slicing away at the public-education system if
our state is to make the strongest argument possible for retaining its
military installations, such as Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Leaders of organizations dedicated to supporting the state's bases sent
a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to fight off cuts to education.
We urge Brewer and legislators to heed their warning.
The letter was signed by the president of the DM-50, Glen Kerslake; the
president of the Fort Huachuca 50, Lawrence J. Portouw; and executive
director/CEO of the Fighter Country Partnership, Steve Yamamori. They
argue that a strong education system across Arizona is necessary to
survive the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
Did you notice in that last paragraph, all them dirty hippies who signed that letter? And
hysterical moms? And whining teachers in the clutches of the teachers'
What's that you say? It's signed by military people? The
heroes who protect our country? People who don't want to lose our
military bases that pour money into the economy? Sorry, I just assumed
. . .
If business leaders and military supporters are beginning
to reconsider their support for Republicans here in Arizona, the ruling
party, which holds an ever shrinking lead over Dems in voter
registration and needs Independents to win elections, could be in a
heap of trouble. It couldn't happen to a more deserving group.