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Our Local, Less-Successful Mitt Romney

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The whole Mitt Romney "47 percent" flap reminds me of a similar hubbub caused by one of Romney's fellow Republicans last year—on a local level.

In April 2011, Inside Tucson Business (a sister paper of ours) did a story on a feud between Tucson Ward 6 City Councilman Steve Kozachik and state Sen. Frank Antenori. Patrick McNamara, the reporter, noted that Kozachik had reached out to local legislators in an effort to get them to stop trying to take actions that would hurt his midtown Tucson constituents.

In response, Antenori, of Legislative District 30—a sprawling district including Green Valley, Sierra Vista and far-east metro Tucson—said this about Kozachik: "He hasn't reached out to anybody. ... He doesn't represent the people I represent. The majority of the people I represent pay taxes. Probably the majority of people he represents don't—or receive some government subsidy."

One irony: Frank Antenori, as a member of the military and an employee of defense-contractor Raytheon, has been subsidized by the government, directly or indirectly, throughout his career.

Another irony: After having his ass handed to him in the GOP primary to replace Gabrielle Giffords in Congress, Antenori decided to run for the state Senate in his new district, Legislative District 10 ... which includes a good chunk of Kozachik's midtown Ward 6.

Beyond these insane statements by Romney and Antenori, for the good of the country, this Republican war on the poor needs to stop. Even if 47 percent (actually, 46 percent) of Americans don't pay federal income tax, they pay a lot of other taxes. Instead of shitting on these people, shouldn't we be doing what we can to help them get to the point where they are paying federal income taxes?

America is better than this. Isn't it?

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