Tom Tancredo (R – CO) and Bay Buchanan (sister of Pat Buchanan, director of the American Cause, and the manager of Pat’s Presidential campaigns) came to Tucson on Friday in support of Randy Graf’s unending campaign for Congress in CD8. The Bay and Tom show isn’t just a one-off for Graf’s benefit though, it is a national tour called the "Secure America Now" tour. Sound familiar? It should. It taps into the same issues and supporters that Arizona’s "Protect Arizona Now" initiative did. At the breakfast one could find many of the same people who worked on PAN, not the least of which was Randy Graf himself.
"Secure America Now" is the road show for Team America, a Political Action Committee dedicated to border issues founded by Tom and Bay. Only by understanding the significance of the SAN tour and the history of the Buchanans in American politics does the full significance of the tour’s stop in Tucson really have a useful context. Randy Graf is only a small part of the story.
Governor Janet Napolitano faces a new session of the Arizona legislature with a large budget surplus and a Rublican majority dominated by ‘small government’ poseurs determined to lay a major tax cut at the feet of their wealthiest constituents. She’s going to have to fight to keep every dollar of revenue flowing to badly underfunded and neglected public purposes, and probably throw a few tax breaks into the mix to sate the ravening dogs of the Right. Her proposed 2007 is a solid start.
I will probably comment further on the Governor’s budget later, but for now, I want to present the Governor’s own words on the budget, which I suspect far too few Democrats, let alone Republicans bother to read. After the jump I pass on her letter to the legislature laying out her budget proposal.
The Governor’s main thrust is to repay the fiscal juggling acts adopted in recent austere years and to enhance core state services: the three major areas of education, prisons and AHCCCS consume 80 percent of Napolitano’s proposed budget. There’s little or no wasteful spending in the Governor’s proposal (though her gesture to the Right of funding for border enforcement, which should be borne by the Feds, is arguably wasteful). It will be interesting to see if the Legislature comes up with a budget of which the same can be said.
Former Mayor of Avondale Ron Drake is having a few problems getting out of the gate in his bid to unseat Congressman Raul Grijalva in CD 7. The first and most obvious is the apparent futility of running at all against an extremely popular Representative in a safe Democratic district. The answer to that conundrum probably lies somewhere between overweening ambition and exhibitionism, and a promise of preference from the AZ GOP in some future office that is within their metier in exchange for a sacrificial dash.
What struck me immediately about Drake’s campaign was the symbolic resonance of his announcement. For some reason Drake’s campaign decided that a Southern Pacific engine would make a dandy backdrop for the historic occassion. What does this say about the campaign?