Um, Laurie, that’s not really how you want to sell Arizona

22 Aug 2009 01:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

I wasn’t sure which one of the columnists at the Republic would be the first to jump all over Arthur Frommer’s statement but I knew one would and I guess it had to be resident scold Laurie Roberts. Then again, I haven’t read much of the Republic in last few days so maybe Montini did something too but….whatever. Who cares? I guess the point of the piece is to get Frommer to reconsider his position on Arizona but that point gets somewhat obscured since a Laurie Roberts column isn’t a Laurie Roberts column unless she’s delivering a scathing lecture to…somebody.

Now, I don’t own a gun. I so often shoot myself in the foot with my pen that I’d be scared to see what damage I might do to myself if I had a loaded weapon. And so I say this not as a Second Amendment wingnut or a leftie who gets light headed at the mere thought of a law abiding citizen packing heat:

She’s so in the middle, our Laurie. Like yellow lines and roadkill.

But actually, Art, you aren’t altogether off the mark about my beloved state. Lately, I’ve begun to think that Arizona is becoming a bit scary, too.

It’s scary to me that we have a governor who seems unable to govern and a Legislature that seems interested only in getting re-elected. And it’s scary to me that next year, we will likely re-elect every darn one of them.

It’s scary to me that we live in a state that considers the education of our children a burden rather than an investment. That expects our friends and neighbors who are unemployed to live on $265 a week — a shameful level that ranks us 49th in the nation.

It’s scary to me that so many people in this state blindly support everything that Joe Arpaio does because “he’s the only one doing anything about illegal immigration” — which isn’t true but doesn’t seem to matter. And thus ol’ Joe can wield his considerable power however he chooses, far too often against anyone who crosses him.

It’s scary to me that we have a generation of Arizonans coming out of school with nothing to do because our economy is built on one thing — building houses. And well, tourism, but you’re going to take care of that, aren’t you, Art?

Sorry, but none of that is Art’s fault, including the drop in tourism. Maybe if the news media in the Valley hadn’t been so busy trying to look oh-so-middle-of-the-road, while brown nosing Joe Arpaio and the wingnut anti-tax mob in the Legislature all these years, we wouldn’t be in this predicament. When I moved here in 1997 the only people doing honest reporting on Arpaio were at the New Times. Since I’ve been here the Republic editorial board has had mostly lavish praise for tax cuts and plenty of endorsements for politicians who embrace them.

I do appreciate it whenever Laurie takes a break from her regular schedule of lurid rubbernecking and tongue-clucking over DUI and child abuse tragedies to examine some of the underlying political and fiscal issues that contribute to those social problems. It is laudable that Roberts’ series of columns about the incompetence and secrecy at CPS led to more openness and accountability at that agency. It’s great that they served as a catalyst to spur Republican legislators out of their inertia on the problems at CPS after years of constituents and social workers screaming at them to please do something. It would have been even better had she and her counterparts at the paper accompanied their outrage at the incompetence and secrecy with demands for more funding to protect the most vulnerable children in the state. You get what you pay for, folks. And when you and your newspaper coddle Grover Norquist’s fanboys and girls in the lege for decades, don’t be surprised when you wake up one day and say to yourself, “Holy cow! This state is a sh*thole and it’s really expensive to send my kid to ASU now!

Respectfully, Mr. Frommer, I’ve lived in Arizona for 27 years and I’ve yet to ever see anyone walking down the street with an Uzi. If a publicity stunt really scares you that much, then perhaps it is best that you avoid our fine state. But I hope you’re made of stronger stuff than that. I hope you give us a second look.

Come and be awed by the majesty of Monument Valley at sunrise. Go rafting down the Colorado River or sit beside the waterfall at Havasu Creek, surrounded by the massive red walls of the grandest canyon in the world.

Head to the White Mountains and strap on a snowboard this winter or take a ride through the Sonoran desert in the spring, when the wildflowers light up this land that exists nowhere else on earth. Come see the saguaros and the hawks that soar silently in the sky above.

Do we have some nutjobs, people who would shoulder an assault weapon to grab the spotlight? Obviously, we do.

But I think you’re more likely to get a sunburn beside the pool than buckshot between the eyes. You’re more likely to get hit in the head by an errant golf ball at one of our resorts, which, by the way, are hurting right now and could use a good word from you.

Yeah dude, we got scenery and crap here. Quit being such a wuss and boost our sagging tourist industry, ‘kay Art?

Hmm…not finding that argument to be terribly persuasive. Maybe Doug MacEachern should give it a shot.


  1. Comment by Simon says: on August 23, 2009 10:23 am

    Have you ever seen Laurie Roberts in person? She looks 35 years older than the picture the Rep uses. IMHO, if someone is reporting the news it should not matter what they look like. You could have a picture of the robot from Lost in Space. But when someone is giving opinion it does matter. If someone is going to tell me what they think about civil rights it makes a difference to me if they are black and 75 years old or Hispanic and 18 years old. When Laurie Roberts trashes the bar industry or DUI laws and does so looking like a soccer mom instead of a crotchety 68 year old it has a different impact on the reader I think.
    On a different note, I would like to point out that it was the executive that fought the changes to CPS.

  2. Comment by Simon says: on August 23, 2009 10:30 am

    And the “buckshot” comparison says it is less likely than getting sunburn?!? I don’t like those odds very much.

  3. Comment by Eli_Blake on August 23, 2009 7:40 pm

    Perhaps if tourists visit, they can go to one of our wonderful state parks like Homolovi Ruins near Winslow.

    Oh, wait– never mind about that. It’s closed indefinitely, due to state budget cuts.

    Never mind, just keep on driving. Nothing to see there anyway. Nothing at all.

  4. Comment by Zelph on August 23, 2009 9:36 pm

    Laurie Roberts: They should string up people who commit DUI’s unless they are Republicans.

  5. Comment by Laurita Moore on August 24, 2009 3:29 am

    I have not felt safe in Arizona since they voted to protect pigs and persecute children, in the same election … The American Taliban is alive and well in Arizona …

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