***I was working on this post before I saw the news that Andy Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon got disbarred. Huzzah! As you were…***
So, Greg Patterson, AKA well-known blogger Espresso Pundit, has been nominated for a spot on the Arizona Board of Regents. This has, understandably, caused garment rending and teeth gnashing in many quarters in Arizona. The AZ Dem Party’s statement on his nomination captures why the center-left and left are (rightly) alarmed.
“I am deeply troubled by the Senate Education Committee’s decision to advance the nomination of Greg Patterson to the Arizona Board of Regents today. The Board of Regents is a powerful post where respect for higher education must be valued; in contrast, Greg Patterson has a demonstrated record of attacking university presidents, second guessing the value of education, and defending cuts to education.”
“Additionally there are legitimate questions about his record: from defending his vote against the Martin Luther King Day holiday in the Legislature to defending Russell Pearce, Greg Patterson reflects the core of what is wrong with Arizona politics today: he puts his extremist agenda first, and governing always comes second.”
Business stakeholders in Arizona’s university system are also appalled:
Rich Crandall, chairman of the education committee, said he pulled Patterson’s name from the agenda after hearing pleas from the business community to put someone on the Board of Regents with big-business experience.
“Big business experience”. Sure. As purported excuses go, that’s a pretty lame one, considering how Greg has considerable experience as a lobbyist for energy interests, and Big Bidness don’t get much more Big Bidness than that.
By far, my favorite response has come from none other than the AZ Republic editorial board:
Setting policy and deciding tuition costs for Arizona’s universities is a sober enterprise.
You don’t say! Yeah, you really don’t want to trust important positions to just anyone, do you? Wouldn’t want any old goggle eyed whackadoodle known for lack of decorum and wild statements being, like, a member of Congress, would you?
With his focus on national defense and youth issues, Trent Franks deserves a fifth term.
Well alrighty then. Let’s take a gander at some other Republic 2010 endorsements.
John Huppenthal has an insider’s understanding and an engineer’s desire to fix that which does not work right.
Won’t someone please think of the children??!? Well, I guess since statistics show that most K-12 students don’t go on to college the K-12 system must not demand leaders with the kind of gravitas and equanimity that the university system does.
Incumbent Gary Pierce and Brenda Burns, both Republicans, are best suited to balance needs of consumers, regulated entities and Arizona’s long-term prosperity.
Which turns out to mean ceding energy standards to the legislature. Because that’s a super responsible approach to your weighty responsibilities as a Corporation Commissioner. In fairness, the Republic ed board couldn’t have predicted that Pierce and Burns would have gone straight to the “don’t bother me with piddly regulatory concerns while I’m surfing the web and counting the days til I can retire and collect a sweet retirement” plan. It’s worth noting, though, that Burns and Pierce have always embraced the exact same positions on energy and climate change that the Espresso Pundit does. But they don’t blog. And the lion’s share of health and economic consequences of continuing energy policies based on carbon will not be borne by Arizona’s sons and daughters attending our universities anyway. It’s those unlucky ducky poor kids stuck here with no job prospects and living along the cancer and asthma corridors who will suffer.
Speaking of the Lege, the Republic did endorse several Democrats and some moderate Republicans in the 2010 general election cycle, they also endorsed the following:
And here’s who they endorsed for Governor:
Republican Jan Brewer is not the most articulate gubernatorial candidate. But she is a savvy, determined student of Arizona politics who has faced down hard times, both personally and politically.
Well, there you go! You know who wouldn’t nominate someone like Greg Patterson to the ABOR were he Arizona Governor? Terry Goddard, that’s who. But hey, the state is chock full of “lesser” people who don’t really deserve the kind of thoughtful and compassionate leadership Goddard would provide. So it was important for the Republic to endorse Jan Brewer, who signed SB1070 and was the darling of the Chamber of Commerce. That’s what Arizona deserved, as far as they were concerned.
And of course in 2008, they thought this guy was just fine to serve on the board that runs the county health system serving poor people.
District 2: Greg Patterson, a former state legislator committed to the medically needy and to a new hospital.
Yeah, yeah, I know, the alternatives on the ballot were even more to the partisan extreme than Patterson is. Then again, the Republic wasn’t too anxious about this obstreperous wingnut blogger running the indigent hospital either.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, and an adventurous streak led me to join the Navy. I moved to Arizona in 1997 after serving 10 years in the Navy to work in semi-conductor manufacturing. I got involved in national and Arizona politics in 2003. I ran for 2006 State Senate in Ahwatukee and was a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. I now live in North Central Phoenix with my boyfriend, Mark, and our three dogs. I've been blogging for Democratic Diva since 2007 about local and national politics with a strong emphasis on women's issues.