[Editor's note: Obviously, our blogger David Safier isn't a big fan of Ethan Orr and has made that point pretty well known on the Range heading up to the election. Orr supporter Demitri Downing asked to explain why he's voting for Orr in response, so here's his take on LD9.]
A scorpion asks a duck to carry him over a river.
The duck is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stings the duck, both would sink and drown. The duck agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river, the scorpion does indeed sting the duck, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its unchangeable nature.
Moral of the story: some animals — political parties among them - cannot change their nature. But people, voters, free thinking people, don’t have to follow the party’s sometimes destructive and always self-serving path.
I start with this story because this is what could happen to State Rep. Ethan Orr, our LD-9 moderate duck, should the people believe the endless attacks by a small group of scorpion activists within the Democratic Party. In their quest to sting Ethan, they completely ignore that Ethan is the rare Arizona moderate who has brought balance and rational discourse to the State Capitol, a helpful duck for sure.
The Democratic Party, acting according to their nature to sting Republicans, has focused solely on two “fear” issues, abortion and guns — issues rarely the subject of meaningful legislation. Nonetheless, Ethan’s votes on even these “fear” issues have been thoughtful and rational. What truly speaks to Ethan’s nature as a helpful river crossing duck, are his numerous successes on legislation to improve health care, economic environment, public safety, and education policy for Tucson and Arizona. Additionally, his progressive efforts on Medicaid expansion, SB 1062 and leadership developing rational marijuana policy should be praised and rewarded by all, as they involved crossing traditional party lines.
Furthermore, the other ducks can’t help us all cross the river like Ethan can.
While the two democratic candidates are both kind and well meaning, their ability to function, have any meaningful impact on the debate, or achieve objectives is absolutely restricted by the Republican dominated majority almost 100% of the time. By “stinging” Ethan, the Democratic Party is really asking voters to send another non-influential representative to Phoenix - forsaking effective, meaningful, relevant representation that can actually deliver results for all of us.
While the party, through columnist David Safier, argues that it is better to have one more Democrat, in reality, it does not matter. There is almost no chance of a change in the majority until 2020 or beyond. The State House is, and will be, close to a 35-25 Republican dominated majority, period. Thus only Republican bills will get heard. We didn’t make this absurd partisan system - we just live in it.
Here is a real life example: Days ago, Steele mentioned that she would be seeking legislation to address sex trafficking of minors. However, just like the mental health bill she likes to claim as her one achievement, Ethan Orr was actually the prime sponsor, her new concept goes nowhere without his efforts or another Republican sponsor who is rational and willing to adopt it as his or her own. While Steele might argue: no big deal, I will find another moderate to run my bills once I am in Phoenix. Why in the world would we eliminate the only member of the majority party the people of Tucson have physical access to?
I am a native Tucsonan who puts Tucson before party politics. My votes are pragmatic, rational, and evidence based, not automatically cast under the D or R labels. While currently a registered independent, I had a father who served as a Democratic State Representative for our region. I learned from him how the “real world” works, the real world of the Arizona State Capitol. The only logical conclusion one can draw from a Tucson first perspective is that a vote to return State Representative Ethan Orr to the legislature is the most responsible vote, anyone, in any race this cycle, can cast. That is, if they are genuinely concerned about the U of A, the COT, Pima County and our individual representation, not their party!
Political parties’ and their unchangeable nature are in full force this political season, stinging away as partisans do, regardless of truth, but we the voters are better than that. Protect State Rep. Ethan Orr- our endangered Tucson duck!