by David Safier
Maybe I missed something. Did the November elections wipe out the entire Democratic presence in Arizona? Or is there a clause in SB1070 saying illegal immigrants Democrats must be ignored until all of them are shipped out of the state?
I ask because Howie Fischer, who, due to budget cuts at the Star, is pretty much the only guy reporting on capitol news in our local paper (luckily we have Craig of Random Musings who cross-posts here to give us another view of what happens in Phoenix), seems to think Democratic opinions don't deserve mention.
Today's example: an article about the Republican push to either create direct elections of judges in the state or give the power to the governor to appoint judges without having a screening panel supply the guv with a list of candidates.
Here are the Republicans quoted and/or mentioned in the article: Russell Pearce, Eddie Farnsworth, Kirk Adams, Ron Gould, Jan Brewer.
Here are the Democrats quoted and/or mentioned in the article: [Cue the crickets].
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is also mentioned in the article, in one of the worst, most confusing paragraphs I have ever seen from Fischer:
Prior efforts to repeal the 1974 constitutional amendment have faltered amid stiff opposition from judges themselves. In fact, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who once was an Arizona state senator, has spoken out in favor of the system.
I read that three times and still wasn't entirely sure which side O'Connor is on in the controversy. But the NY Times straightened things out in an article Thursday. Though she's a Republican, O'Connor disagrees with the other five Republicans in the article, saying direct elections politicize the judiciary.
A group of judges, political officials and lawyers, led by the retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, has begun a campaign to persuade states to choose judges on the basis of merit, rather than their ability to win an election.
As a state legislator in the 1970s, Justice O’Connor helped Arizona create a merit selection system for judges. She is now chairwoman of the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative, announced this month by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, to help make judges more than “politicians in robes,” as she has put it.
Ah. Now I understand.
Where do Democrats stand on this issue? Howie seems to think that's irrelevant.
NOTE: In the past, some people have criticized me for being too easy on Fischer. I've generally given him credit for being a smart guy and a thorough reporter, even if I detected a slant in his articles now and then. Either he's changed lately or I've come to my senses. I have seen a string of blatantly biased articles from him lately which do a disservice to his readers across the state.