Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Bill McCune is a broadcaster, documentary maker and former Arizona legislator. In the Opinions Section of Today's Republic, McCune authored a Special to the Republic titled, "Brewer's Valor Merits Spot in History Books."

There is a difference between today's politicians and yesterday's political leaders. This article shines a light on the problem with today's political community. Too many politicians put themselves first and the good of the country and community last. Politics has become more of a business then a public service. The only concern our current crop of elected officials seem to have is how to get re-elected.. Public policy is being determined by campaign contributions and public opinion polls and not the public good. And powerful special interest have learned who to contribute to and how to manipulate public opinion to get what they want.

Where have all the statesmen gone?

In this last season of the Arizona Legislature, some members have been guided by dogma instead of practicality, theory over reality, and a pledge to a protegee of corrupt political operative Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, over doing what Arizona must do to close a devastating budget gap.

What follows is the full article by Bill McCune .

Brewer's Valor Merits Spot in History Books.
by Bill McCune, September 22, 2009.

Other then some political TV reporting, I have not spent time at the Legislature since I left the state Senate in January 1977. My focus has been Arizona history and the 80-odd documentary projects I've produced.

This year, however, the Legislature captured my attention - and not in a good way. It makes my mind wander back and remember others who had qualities quite in contrast:

I was in awe of Sandra Day O'Connor and Burton Barr as they worked to create a school-tax equalization law.

I remember legislators such as David Kret of Scottsdale and John Wettaw of Flagstaff.
Brillant! Tom Goodwin of Tucson made the University of Arizona Medical School happen. And Howard Adams, himself quadriplegic, gave Arizona its emergency-medical services and put paramedics into every fire department.

Every name I mentioned was a "conservative" Republican.

Now, we turn to that sad aggregation of today's legislative leadership. I wonder if any of the landmark legislation mentioned above would have been approved by the current cast. "Too expensive," So much for Arizona's future.

"Gotta get rid of government! What matters is this year's tax bills...and next year's election."

A real conservative takes a different approach:

Today, we struggle. We have to raise more revenue for a year or two perhaps. Revenue means taxes. It's the true conservative approach - balance the damn budget! It's in our Arizona Constitution.

And finally, this; if memory serves, Gov. Jan Brewer's very first political activity was campaigning door to door for my re-election to the House in 1972. Today, Jan and I would probably disagree on many issues. And that's just fine, for more importantly she has turned out to be a profile in courage.

She has stood up for her righteous beliefs - for schoolchildren, for the mentally and physically challenged. And stood up to pay for it! This, in direct opposition to the small-minded powers of her own angry party. Politically, she has everything to lose. And, indeed, may well lose it.

But in producing Arizona history documentaries, I've studied the political career of every Arizona governor. Never before has one so consciously chosen to stand up and be counted, come what may.

We are witnessing a courageous, historic moment in Arizona history.

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