Although gun enthusiasts threatened to disrupt last week's Ward 6 Roast, the event featuring a dozen politicians who represent midtown/downtown Tucson came off without a hitch.
Organized by City Councilman Steve Kozachik and moderated by political cartoonist and commentator David Fitzsimmons, the roast featured local, state, and federal politicians answering questions from the audience, which numbered about 400. Rather than severely edit nearly two hours of video, I have created separate videos for candidate introductions, the immigration reform question, the gun violence question, the F35 question, and the neighborhoods/roads questions. Watch the first three videos after the jump. More to come.
For me, the biggest surprise of the evening– besides how outnumbered former State Legislator Frank Antenori and the gun nuts were– was Congressman Ron Barber. Check out his responses to the questions on immigration reform and gun violence; he sounds far less Republican than he has in the past on those issues.
Since the purpose of the roast was to allow politicians serving Ward 6 (the bluest part of the state) to respond to voter questions, only two of the politicians present were Republicans– Ethan Orr and Kozachik. Now that Koz has defected the Republican Party and walked into the light, Orr is the only Repulbican serving midtown/downtown.
Fitz allowed the politicians to "self-select" who would answer which questions. One politician said nothing after introducing himself; otherwise, no one really dominated the evening. (Barber does need to learn to stick within the allotted time for questions. The various ring tone alarms heard on the videos are Fitz's attempts to get the politicians to move on with their answers.)
Image and video credits: Pamela Powers Hannley