Two is better than one.
That is the option Democrats, Progressives, Independents, and like-minded Republicans in Arizona Legislative District (LD) Six have when they choose the next two people, they want to serve in the State House of Representatives.
The Republican Nominees Brenda Barton and Walter Blackman have demonstrated, through their positions and voting records that they do not represent the mainstream short- or long-term interests or concerns of the residents in LD Six and do not deserve their support this November.
The Democrats have nominated Flagstaff Mayor and businesswoman Coral Evans to run for one of the State House seats. If elected, she will represent the needs of the people.
Another option the forward-thinking voters of LD Six should consider for the second House seat is the Coconino Board of Supervisor Member and businessman Art Babbott.
A political independent with 15 years’ experience in many public service posts (the last eight as a member of the Coconino Board of Supervisors,) Mr. Babbott wants to bring a problem-solving approach to the State Legislature in part by being open to the ideas from both the left and right.
He will serve to: “work for the people and communities of northern Arizona, not outside money groups or special interests. I collaborate with a broad range of people, perspectives, and organizations to solve real problems and create opportunities. I will never accept contributions from corporate PACs or from special interest “dark” money. I work hard, for working people.”
Believing the Republican Party has stifled the opposition by restricting the number of bills they allow to the floor, Babbott said he would caucus with the Democrats as long as they do not behave like the Republicans on bill management.
If elected, he would pursue legislation in the areas of:
- Government Accountability and Transparency.
- Electoral and Campaign Finance Disclosure Reform.
- Common sense fiscal reform.
- Investments in public education.
Mr. Babbott graciously took the time to answer questions about his candidacy.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the voters two reasons they should pick you over your opponent.
“I am not running against anyone in this race. I am running as a 15-year problem solver in local and county government and a quarter-century as a successful small business owner. I bring that experience coupled with the reality that partisan political hostage-taking and grenade lobbing are not solving Arizona’s problems. Too many party politicians are bought and paid for with Dark Money. I do not take any corporate PACs or dark money. I am clear. It is taxpayers, not political parties or dark money interests that pay my salary.”
- Please tell the voters at least two ways your opponents do not reflect the vision of LD Six.
- “The Republican and Democratic Parties are drowning in dark money and independent expenditures. As a result, they are not putting forth solutions for education and the economic recovery of our economy. There are times when good ideas come from the right side of the aisle and times when they come from the left.”
- “I believe strongly that the government should not be picking the winners and losers in our educational system, our economy, and as it relates to fiscal policy.”
- Please tell the voters at least three public policy issues you will advance if you are reelected.
- “Accountability and Transparency: Under the umbrella of educational policy, I support increasing investment — I support Proposition 208 — but those investments must be accompanied by transparency and accountability. The legislature has been picking the winners and losers in our educational system by crafting legislation that benefits charter schools at the expense of public schools. Competition in education, which I strongly support, has to based on a marketplace where the rules are equal for all players. That is not occurring now and must change to serve a free and fair educational system marketplace instead of the system of crony capitalism.”
- “Electoral and Campaign Finance Disclosure Reform: As an Independent, I understand first-hand the reality that not all voters and candidates play by the same set of rules. I will stand up to an electoral system that produces dysfunctional partisan politics, does not value competition and choice, and is not solving Arizona’s problems. I will continue to champion Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) as a strategy to improve our democratic and electoral engagement.
- “Common sense fiscal reform around corporate tax breaks and ensuring that economic incentives are measurable and can demonstrate job creation. I would put forth legislation that sunsets corporate tax breaks after five years unless their benefit can be demonstrated and proven (Proposition 108 is not relevant to this proposed piece of legislation).”
- Is there anything you would like the voter to know about you or your candidacy that has not been asked in the first three questions?
“Politics as usual is producing predictably underwhelming results. The same set of characters that got us into our current political mess cannot get us out it. We have built two parties that do one thing very well: they put their party interests above problem-solving and creating opportunities. I will build an Independent bridge across that partisan divide, remember who pays my salary, and continue to solve problems that improve the lives of Arizona Citizens.”
The people have two excellent candidates to vote for when choosing their next State Representatives in LD Six. One of them is Art Babbott.
For more information on Mr. Babbott and his candidacy, please click on his website here, his Facebook Page here, his Clean Elections Performance here, and his appearance on the Jeff Oravits Show Podcast with the two Republican Nominees here.
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