Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Our Accidental Governor, Jan Brewer, had better look over her shoulder because it appears that Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas, is still harboring fantasies about becoming Arizona's next governor.
In a guest opinion that appeared in the Tucson Citizen on Tuesday, Andy laid out his agenda for leading the Republican Party out of the wilderness. Beyond illegal immigration: an agenda for the GOP
This seemed a bit presumptuous for a local county attorney. Jan Brewer is supposed to be the leader of the AZ GOP now, right? Doubting Thomas must have seen the same sorry poll numbers for Jan Brewer that David Safier recently wrote about. I'm sensing GOP primary!
Andy's agenda for the new GOP sounds exactly like the same tired and worn-out agenda of the old GOP.
First up, Andy's "go to" issue:
Illegal immigration rightly will continue to be a dominant issue in Arizona politics for years to come.
But of course it will. Andy and his good buddy Sheriff Joe Arpaio have built their careers around bashing undocumented immigrant workers. While they are busy chasing down undocumented immigrant day laborers looking for work at Home Depot and Lowes, Phoenix has suddenly become the "kidnap-for-ransom capital of the U.S." as a result of drug related gang violence. Phoenix police battle wave of abductions Misplaced priorities, boys. Do your job and deal with violent criminals first. That's what the taxpayers pay you to do.
Yet Arizonans will insist that Republicans be about more than one issue. They are right to do so.
I believe Republicans must articulate a new and cogent list of priorities for the people of our state and nation. The issues below take account of our times and are predicated on strong and forthright leadership.
• Public safety first… Republicans must remain a party well known for its seriousness in protecting our homes and our borders from criminal offenders.
See above. Focus, Andy. Focus.
• Free but fair markets… Government officials must enforce our laws to protect citizens from fraud and predatory lending.
As the government props up banks and indentures future generations of Americans with colossal federal deficit spending, we should insist at a minimum that henceforth, banks and lending institutions possess enough capital to properly underwrite their loans.
In turn, banks shouldn't be pressured into lending to questionable applicants out of either runaway short-term greed or fear of drawing civil-rights lawsuits.
This is Andy genuflecting before the altar of the spectacularly failed and entirely discredited free market economic ideology of Reaganomics. It's over. Get over it.
Just out of curiosity Andy, how many predatory lenders and mortgage brokers have you actually prosecuted for fraud and predatory lending? Yeah, that's what I thought. Big talk.
Andy's last point is the GOP canard that federal regulations require lenders to loan to unqualified applicants. Sorry, it was the unregulated financial services that devised loan agreements which required no proof of income or ability to pay, "just write those mortgages boys, bundle them and sell them to those suckers in the derivatives markets." This "It was all their fault!" defense by predatory lenders and mortgage brokers is just the criminals blaming their victims for their crimes.
• Excellence in education. Our public schools, for all their problems, are a great national institution that must be strengthened and preserved…
Still, parents who desire a different way of raising their children – one with a different pedagogical or spiritual focus – shouldn't be corralled into them.
To enact choice in education while nurturing our public schools …
* * *
Our public universities should be robust and properly endowed. In return, they also should be centers of unfettered inquiry and tolerance, not redoubts of political correctness …
Oh, how Republicans love to lie about how much they support public education, just long enough to get elected so they can vote to destroy it (see the Arizona Legislature). As David Safier wrote in a recent post, the GOP recenty admitted it is out to destroy public education in favor of "school choice" and vouchers for private and religious schools – express prohibitions in the Arizona Constitution be damned!
As for the PC police on college campuses, it sounds to me as if our Andy has been hanging out with that former Marxist, now deranged right-wingnut David Horowitz (Students for Academic Freedom, Campus Watch, and Academic Bill of Rights). Horowitz claims that bias in universities amounts to indoctrination, and charges that conservatives and particularly Republicans are systematically excluded from faculties, citing statistical studies on faculty party affiliation. Expect to see this B.S. surface as an initiative in 2010.
• Good stewardship of the environment. The Phoenix area should not accept as inevitable the air pollution levels that blanket our beautiful mountain ranges and desert environs.
* * *
This can be achieved while upholding private property rights, so long as we are willing to compensate properly for the environment we deserve.
That first part must have caused Glenn Hamer over at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce to spit out his morning coffee. Until he realized that what Andy is really talking about in coded language is compensating property owners for the economic loss of the fair use of their property. In other words, if you want me to stop (or not start) polluting, the government must first pay me compensation for the economic loss of the fair use of my property due to government regulations. I'll bet that gave ol' Glenn a woody! Expect to see this idea surface as an initiative in 2010.
• True equality… These advances underscore the need to end government policies that require or countenance preferences based on race or other immutable characteristics.
* * *
[T]he fact that this question is being asked is a sign of just how much civil-rights victories and demographic changes have eroded the rationale for existing affirmative-action policies.
This is the Ward Connerly anti-affirmative action initiative that bore the fraudulent title "Arizona Civil Rights Initiative" (Prop. 104) and failed to make the ballot in 2008 due to questionable, if not unlawfully gathered signatures on petitions. Our boy Andy did not prosecute anyone for this "election fraud" however, because it turns out that Andy was the honorary chairperson for this initiative campaign. Apparently he and his buddy Ward Connerly believe that putting this divisive initiative on the ballot in 2010 will be Andy's ticket to the governorship.
• No tolerance for public corruption… We must make it clear that while no party is unblemished by corruption, the GOP shall be known as the party that won't tolerate, facilitate or apologize for it once it comes to light.
OK, this time I spit out my morning coffee. Dude, you're the poster boy for political corruption in this state! This is the same Andrew Thomas who misspent public funds to hire a private attorney, Dennis Wilenchik, as a "special prosecutor" to pursue the political enemies of Joe Arpaio and himself, including the media, i.e., the Phoenix New Times. How short of a memory do you think people have? (For an excellent background on this political scandal, see Michael Bryan's October 2007 post Governor Andrew Thomas… NOT!)
Andrew Thomas promises to inflict some serious right-wing-nuttery on Arizona which will make Jan Brewer appear moderate and reasonably sane by comparison. Well, slightly less crazy than Andy, anyway. This should make for an interesting primary as the GOP's Cro-Magnon wing takes on the Neanderthal wing of the party. I only hope that they destroy each other, before they can destroy Arizona any further.