Posted by: Donna
I blog and comment about the LD26 race in Tempe and the LD18 race in Ahwatukee/Chandler so often that one could be forgiven for thinking I still live on that side of town. The truth is I moved to North Central Phoenix nearly 3 years ago. Pre-redistricting, I was represented by Adam Driggs (R) in the Senate, and Eric Meyer (D) and Kate Brophy-McGee (R). All are running for reelection in the new LD28 District. Meyer is being challenged by Brophy-McGee and Tea Party candidate Amanda Reeve running as a GOP slate. Democrat Eric Shelley is opposing Adam Driggs.
AZ Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, who is emblematic of the “extremists on both sides” groupthink of the Arizona establishment, recommended Driggs as a “keeper” back in July, as part of her “De-Kook the Capitol” effort. She described him thusly:
R-Phoenix, is a behind-the-scenes guy who works to forge compromise. He’s another of the keys to moderating the Senate Republican caucus, though as with the others, he at times follows the pack into tinfoil-hat land. But he was also one of the six senators to stand up to Pearce on all five of his illegal immigration bills in 2011 – saying that most were unconstitutional and wouldn’t have survived a court challenge. He also rejected Lesko’s contraception bill this year. Like McComish and Crandall, this Arizona native stood against a 19th Century idea that was hot in the 21st Century at the state Capitol – a bill allowing the Legislature to nullify federal laws. He also opposed last year’s drive for an official state firearm and this year’s drive for yet another federal lawsuit – Rep. Chester Crandell’s ode to state sovereignty, Prop. 120.
Driggs is an immigration attorney who understands the nuance of federal law and used his expertise to tighten up Senate Bill 1070 in 2010, prompting Pearce to support his opponent in the 2010 primary. Given his expertise on citizen and immigration law, Driggs is a handy guy to have around on an issue the too often is reduced to bumper sticker solutions.
First off, let me point out that it’s not true that Driggs rejected the infamous “tell your boss you’re on the pill” bill HB2625. He voted for the final version. The “gang of six” Republican Senators who went against then-Senate President Pearce on the harsh anti-immigrant bills he introduced were hardly being courageous. That was a bit of kabuki theater choreographed by the Chamber of Commerce in a non-election year. I also don’t see why we’re supposed to be impressed that Driggs “tightened up” SB1070, whatever that means. It remained a shameful bigoted scam designed to get Republicans elected and divide Arizonans against their neighbors. And I suppose it’s nice that both Senators Driggs and McComish opposed the “state sovereignty” Prop 120 bill but alas, as I blogged yesterday, that one passed since one of Roberts’ other “keepers”, Jerry Lewis, flipped his vote on it at the last minute.
Roberts didn’t mention the rabidly theocratic and wildly influential Center for Arizona Policy in any of her endorsements. That’s not surprising since the Republicans she considers “keepers” have excellent voting records on that group’s bills. Adam Driggs voted for all 12 of their bills in 2012, including the harshest 20 week abortion ban in the country and defunding Planned Parenthood.
There’s a much better choice in LD28 if you want to moderate the Legislature. That’s the Democrat, Eric Shelley. As I blogged yesterday, the idea that adding a few more “moderate” Republicans to their majority will somehow influence them to behave better is ludicrous. They’re obviously not moderate, since they demonstrated repeatedly their tendency to vote wingnut. If you want moderation, vote for the Democrats.
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