A chance for Pima County voters to take on Sinema – albeit indirectly
Published on May 15, 2022 at 2:28 p.m.
Wanted to yell at U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, but didn’t get the chance because the senior Arizona senator can’t fit public appearances into her sangria-filled schedule?
Here’s a chance to do the next best thing.
During the Pima County Board of Supervisors meet on tuesday, Troy Kimball, one of Sinema’s aides, will give a presentation on the senator’s priorities for the remainder of her term.
This is as good an opportunity as voters will get, perhaps, to ask him about his agenda. Arizonans should seize the opportunity. The public can comment on Kimball’s replacement act (but don’t attack Kimball; he punches a clock) during the board’s call to the hearing segment.
Sinema’s last 18 months in office seemed entirely devoted to undermining the priorities of the voters who elected her. The expansion of the child tax credit? Dead. Responses to climate change? Mostly dead. Subsidies for childcare? Destroy. Extension of health care? Forget that. Right to vote? Done and dusted. Right to abortion? About to be returned at the end of the 19th century. Democracy itself? Under respiratory assistance.
No one is more responsible than Sinema for his party’s legislative implosion. Joe Manchin of West Virginia finally pulled the rug out from under the “Build Back Better” plan, calling it loaded with gimmicks such as one-year funding plans on programs that are actually meant to be permanent. Sinema’s refusal to raise corporate taxes an inch (even going back to what the business types were originally asking for) has forced Democrats to rig the mirrors with bail wire.
Sinema’s devotion to Trump’s corporate tax giveaway is so consistent (sham, sham) that she voted against it for four years, before resolving to defend it to the bitter end.
Manchin followed Sinema’s lead in ultimately protecting the Red State’s voter suppression laws by refusing to provide a waiver to the 60-vote supermajority requirement to pass suffrage legislation out of the Senate. . The feelings of angry white men, you see, are more important to Sinema than ensuring that millions of people of color can achieve democracy.
Sinema offered little explanation. Instead, she just tweeted a “talk-to-the-ring-and-f*@#-off” to people who organized, donated and voted to put her in office.
My problem with her has more to do with her isolation in an ivory tower than with her political positions. Sometimes, in order for senators to do their job well, they have to contradict public opinion and irritate their supporters. Then it is up to the senator to explain why. Our representatives do not owe us obedience. They owe us an explanation.
I am of the opinion that elected officials are public servants. If a liberal from Arizona were elected to the US Senate, that senator would have to hold town halls in Mohave County, the city of Lake Havasu and blood red strongholds of Republican voters. Right-wingers should make themselves available to voters in Midtown Tucson and those in South Phoenix and Nogales.
It is the ideal. I’ll take something close.
Love him or hate him, former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl was all over Arizona and available. He knew the cold state. His office was professional and easy to work with. Hell, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was so available she almost martyred herself on the altar of public awareness.
Sinema treats voters like an annoyance until she needs them during election season.
The Sinema will not hold town halls. She will not speak to the press or make her opinion known to media readers or viewers. His public appearances are limited to ward off filthy people who might question him. And when she’s approached on – say – a plane, she won’t look up from her phone. She won’t even recognize the humanity of an Arizonan.
She will even use the bathroom to dodge random encounters with voters.
Sinema simply won’t submit to voter scrutiny until 2024, when she clearly hopes the alternative is “so bad” people have no choice but to put her back in power.
She calls herself independent. Please. Apparently, it is the independent that will ensure electoral victories by either party have no consequences. It takes power from voters and gives it to DC’s backroom fixers. Voters see this and are becoming increasingly tolerant of extremism.
I may be wrong. Maybe we are wrong. Maybe Sinema could clear us up. She doesn’t seem interested in it.
Tuesday is the best thing: his staffer will address the Pima County supervisors. Anyone with a message to convey, can show up and fill out a speaker’s card.
Taking criticism comes with the job, like one of those important pins, an office suite, and a travel budget. What doesn’t come with work is a crown and bathrobes.
Sinema is a senator, not a duchess.
Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist who has worked in daily journalism for nearly 20 years and is the former Director of Communications for the Pima County Democratic Party. Now, he tells you things that the devil won’t say.
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