AZ needs new leader to rise above shameless pandering - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

AZ needs new leader to rise above shameless pandering

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Jon Beydler is a 32-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010 4:30 pm | Updated: 4:39 pm, Sat Aug 21, 2010.

The state of Arizona continues to spend money it doesn’t have — or as John McCain says, “like drunken sailors and the bar is still open.”

Our state will still face a $1 billion deficit going into fiscal year 2012 and an additional $1 billion gap going into fiscal year 2013, even after the proposed cuts and assuming nearly $1 billion in revenue from the 1 percent sales tax increase passed by voters in the spring.

The Arizona housing market remains in crisis with foreclosures continuing to rise to new record levels. The state posted the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate in July, with one in every 167 Arizona homes receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — more than twice the national average.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was down in July. However, the rate in Arizona remained the same at 9.6 percent — the highest in 27 years.

Arizona consumer confidence fell to 49.1 out of 100. In 2007 that number was 101.9!

One would think after listening to our non-elected governor pontificate that once we find a way to deport all those “drug-carrying mules” back across the border, all our problems would go away. Jan Brewer’s continued dwelling on the immigration issue is called the art of distraction. Find someone to blame your problems on, direct the voters’ attention away from what really ails us and finally get yourself elected.

That folks, is Jan Brewer’s leadership style. I call it shameless pandering. You think that she really agonized over her decision to sign Senate Bill 1070? After she signed the bill, she stated publicly that she never doubted for one minute that she would sign it. She simply dragged the process out over a week in order to maximize media attention and put Dean Martin and Buz Mills on ice. And to think of the thousands of people around the country who actually thought there was a chance she would veto SB 1070. Yeah right. Jim Carrey had a better chance of getting the girl in “Dumb and Dumber” when she told him that there was a one in a million chance that she would choose him.

Brewer is not the kind of leader Arizona so desperately needs. She has chosen not to rise above partisan bickering and seek consensus. She is not focused upon what’s really important — the economy, housing, unemployment.

Finally, she’s missed the biggest point of all and that is how we feel about ourselves. Attitude is everything and when we see the cup as half empty, it is. We need leadership that rises above shameless pandering for political gain. We need leadership that makes Arizona work again. We need Terry Goddard as our next governor.

Jon Beydler is a 32-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who now lives in Chandler

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