Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Time once again for The Farley Report from Senator Steve Farley (D-LD 9):
Before we launch into this week's legislative (in)action, I want to
share my sadness at the loss of a truly great Tucsonan, Mort Tuller,
known to generations as the owner of Tuller Trophy. He died last
Wednesday at age 91, and you can read more about Mort in this Star story about his life.
first met Mort when I called him up to let him know that I'd selected
his street photograph as one of the 14 featured on the Broadway
Underpass murals just east of Downtown Tucson. The photo was an easy
choice for me out of the 217 that were submitted by the public — he and
his wife Sylvia beamed joy and hope as they strutted proudly down
Congress Street arm in arm, clad in white, celebrating their decision
that day in 1953 to get out of jewelry and into trophies.
Mort reacted to my happy phone call by telling me this was more proof
that he led a charmed life. He earned 10 battle stars during World War
II without suffering injury, won the lottery, had the best family ever
created, built the biggest trophy business in Southern Arizona and
counted the White House among his clients, and always told the best
worst jokes imaginable. He was a true treasure of a man, and will be
missed. I am grateful that Mort lives on in our hearts and up on that
In the Legislature, things have slowed to a crawl, and bad stuff we
thought was buried keeps popping up while leadership tries to figure out
when they will bring the Governor's Medicaid restoration proposal to
the floor. Despite the open opposition from President Biggs, there are
more than enough bipartisan votes to side with the Governor in the
Senate. The House remains the body of mystery. No one really knows who
has what position at any given time over there, but there are talks
proceeding to find out.
In the meantime, there are no floor calendars at all in the House
while we in the Senate are dredging up more bad things, including
HCR2026 from Rep. Paul Boyer (R-Anthem), which would ask voters at the
next election to eliminate Clean Elections and give the Clean Elections
fund to education. Yes, education needs funding, but there are many
sources from which to support our students, not the least of which would
be the elimination of some of the more than $10 billion in tax
loopholes in our sales tax code.
Gutting public funding of elections as we await an unprecedented
flood of political money at the next election is a terrible idea. The
infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision has unleashed corporate
independent spending, and my bill to rein in dark money was never heard.
The legislative majority this session enacted into law dramatically
increased contribution limits for legislative campaigns — once set at
$430 per contributor or PAC, that limit is now $4,000, and $8,000 for
I cannot imagine in this context that voters would approve such a
scheme, but even if they turn it down, placing HCR2026 on the ballot
would cost millions in taxpayer dollars, something that would better be
spent on… wait for it… Education!
To end on a bit of good news, Governor Brewer vetoed SB1439 (the
Legal Tender bill) last Thursday, citing "administrative and fiscal
burdens for both the taxpayers and the Department of Revenue," and
rightly understanding that Arizona doesn't need any more embarrassments
on the national stage. Indeed, the national stage was waiting for us to
trip up on this — the veto story was reported all over the country, including this article in the Chicago Tribune.
Who knew? Arizona can become famous again for our common sense! Let's
cement that reputation by approving the Medicaid plan, getting a good
budget done, Sine Die-ing, and going home. I have a feeling I'll be back
next week with the same wishes, as yet unfulfilled.
Thanks for your faith in me as your Senator.