by Jim Nintzel
The sparks are flying fast in Congressional District 8. Today, the Pima County Democratic Party blasted Republican state Sen. Jonathan Paton's plans to resign from the Arizona Legislature for a shot at challenging Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
State Sen. Jonathan Paton is pledging to bring the failures of Phoenix to Washington, D.C., and to return to the disastrous policies that got America into the wrong war, while setting the stage for the greatest economic crash since The Great Depression.
Paton has announced that he will run for Congress against U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose hard work has served southeastern Arizona well. In her three years representing Southern Arizona, Giffords has earned a reputation as a thoughtful and hard working lawmaker who reaches across the aisle to find common sense solutions to our nation's problems. She has kept the pressure on Washington to secure our border and fought to make sure our local communities are reimbursed for the costs of jailing illegal immigrants. She has worked tirelessly for the development of renewable sources of energy, like solar. And as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has been a passionate advocate for Fort Huachuca, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the 162nd Fighter Wing.
Paton on the other hand, failed to do his job in the Legislature as prescribed by the Arizona Constitution: he has failed to produce a balanced budget by June 30, he has failed in his duty to provide quality public schools and access to higher education as near as free as possible. The budget still is not balanced, Arizona ranks dead last in class room spending and Paton has abandoned our universities in favor of giveaways to out-of-state corporations.
He's also shown disdain for voters. When Tucson voters four times rejected non-partisan, ward-only elections, Paton forced them on Tucson from Phoenix. When voters said "no" to payday lenders, Paton ignored the people and supported legislation that said "yes" to predatory lending.
“Paton talks about fighting for the people, but in reality he is the classic Capitol insider, an ex-lobbyist who is still cozy with the big developers and predatory payday lenders," said Pima County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rogers. "His voting record doesn’t match the district. He's let Arizona slip below Mississippi in school funding, allowed one in five Arizonans to subsist without health care and aided and abetted Phoenix politicians' attack on the state universities. And when the voters speak? He won't listen. That's hardly grounds for a promotion."