Editor's Note: These letters to the editor have been sorted by topic by the Tribune editorial staff in an effort to allow readers to read varied opinions on the issues, candidates, and other circumstances surrounding the 2012 general election. These submissions are the opinions of the author, not the Tribune, and have not been edited for grammar or content.
Flake must be getting desperate
Like many Arizona voters, I was curious about Jeff Flake’s new ad, in which Dr. Cristina V. Beato accuses Dr. Richard Carmona of “pounding on (her) door, in the middle of the night,” when she served as Carmona’s boss, as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health in the Bush administration. So, I did some digging, as far back as 2004 (Washington Post), when she was considered for the nation’s top-ranking health policy post. I was quite surprised at what I learned.
1. Dr. Beato has many credibility issues; specifically, a) her claim that served as a medical attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey and a “medical consultant” at the Technical-Vocational Institute and Presbyterian Senior health Spectrum in Albuquerque — even though none of the organizations has any record of her, nor did the officials at the State Dept., who had never heard of the term “medical attaché”; b) her claim that she was a “successful candidate, occupational medicine, MPH, University of Wisconsin, 1995” — when a university spokeswoman said that that there was no such a degree there; c) she claimed that she had “established” the occupational health clinic at the Institute of Public Health, Univ. of New Mexico—even though the clinic existed before she was hired, and there was another medical director before her. Because of unaccountable discrepancies, the Senate never formally considered her nomination as full Assistant Secretary.
2. William Boardman points out in his article that, as a hospital administrator, Dr. Beato appeared to put budgetary concerns ahead of poor patients’ health needs, and she was sued for refusing to treat a comatose teen and her premature infant. In another instance, a patient having kidney failure was informed by Dr. Beato that he did not qualify for care and had to leave “or she would call the police.” After the patient threatened legal action, Beato agreed to give him one dialysis treatment if he signed a form promising never to return. The patient died in Mexico a few months later.
3. With regard to Dr. Beato’s claims against Dr. Carmona, she said she “testified . . . under oath to Congress”; however, this is a lie. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee counsel advised Beato that “this is not a deposition, you will not be placed under oath, but you are required to answer questions from Congress truthfully.” Dr. Beato made accusations against Dr. Carmona, but could not supply a date or time of the event. I find it curious that, if she “feared for (herself) and her kids” then why didn’t she call the police? Why didn’t she file a police report? Why are there no witnesses?
The upshot of this is that Dr. Beato’s accusations against Dr. Carmona were dismissed, kept within the 2-1/2 hr. secret session, and never heard before Congress. Clearly, there was an unpleasant and stressful working relationship between Beato and Carmona; however, I have to wonder what possessed Jeff Flake to invest more credibility in Beato? Did he not vet his sources beforehand or consider Beato’s long history of credibility and ethical issues? Flake’s ad is vicious, and seems to be the ravings of a vindictive woman who cares more about “pay back” than the truth. So . . . how desperately, do you think, does Jeff Flake want to win this Senate seat? To what low level will he stoop to achieve his goal?
Carmona’s politics mirror Obamas
Our televisions have been bombarded lately with commercials touting senate candidate Richard Carmona’s biography. I’m sure that he’s a decent person. But it’s understandable why he’s not talking about real issues, because his politics mirror President Obama. After all, Carmona is the only candidate that was handpicked by the president to run for the senate in 2012. The last thing Arizonans want is to elect a senator that would rubber stamp a liberal agenda. We need to elect someone committed to reforming government and supporting polices that will put our economy back on track to recovery and prosperity. That’s been Jeff Flake’s record and it’s why I am likely to support him in November.
Carmona will represent all Arizonans
The case for Dr. Richard Carmona over Jeff Flake for the next United States Senator for the state of Arizona. Dr. Carmona will represent ALL Arizonans, not just those special interests and those of his own religion or party. Dr. Carmona served in the United States Army, and as Bush’s Surgeon General, so this is a man who doesn’t look at a persons party affiliation to get things done. Jeff Flake works for his religion and his party only, not every citizen in his district. Dr Carmona is a clear cut choice for me as the next Senator for Arizona. Not because he is a Democrat, but because he is a decorated American Hero who understands what its like to have to work for what you earn. He believes everyone should have accessible health care. Dr Carmona will be a great Senator for the state of Arizona and should be getting more attention than he has. The polls are close and when a debate happens, Dr Carmona will shine over Jeff Fake. The GOP attack dogs will come out in full force soon to Swift Boat Dr Carmona and distort his record.
But the facts are he is the best choice to be Arizona’s first Democratic Senator since Senator Dennis DeConcini. Arizona needs new leadership in the ranks of Congress and Senate, the GOP are not the answer. Jeff Flake LIED about his own term limits and in his own words he said so!
Can’t trust future to people like Flake
If there is one overriding reason to send a Democrat to the Senate rather than a Republican, consider the Supreme Court. We have a court that is further to the right than anytime in my lifetime, and what is their signature decision? Declaring that corporations have the same rights as people, and that money is speech. So we’ll never know how many of the political campaign ads we see are being funded by corporations and we can no longer “follow the money” because they don’t have to disclose which ads they’re funding. When you see political ads on TV, think about who might be paying for them, and what their agenda is!
The door has now been opened to allow corporations to buy elections. Of course this was often done to some degree under the table, but now it’s open, legal, and much more insidious. As Supreme Court justices leave office, we need replacements who put people first, not the richest and most powerful. If there are enough Republicans in the Senate to block nominations, it will only get worse, and because they serve for life, the damage can last for generations.
Supreme Court Justices may be the most powerful people in the nation. We need to make sure that they will stand for average Americans. We CANNOT allow the decision on future Justices to rest in the hands of people like Jeff Flake!
Please don’t give him that power.
Veterans should look at Flake’s record
Hey Veterans -- what do you know about Jeff Flake’s record? Do you know that he has consistently voted against every veteran’s bill since he’s been in Congress?
About the only truly bipartisanship that still exists in Washington occurs when veteran’s issues come up, but not for Flake. He’s perfectly willing to send young Americans into war, but wants nothing to do with the survivors, even if they have life-changing injuries. Don’t be taken in by his claims of “supporting the troops.” If he were a real patriot, he’d support them when they come home. Dr. Richard Carmona understands what veterans have been through and what they need, because he is one himself. He can be trusted to do what needs to be done. Jeff Flake cannot!
James Kerley, Former US Marine
San Tan Valley
Cristina Beato’s history of deception and distortion
In the television ad attacking Dr. Richard Carmona, Dr.
Cristina Beato looks like she is being forced into a false confession under the klieg light of an interrogation room.
Looking at Beato’s background, here’s an interesting story from 2004 that got brushed aside. It appears that “The physician nominated… to the nation’s top-ranking health policy post was in danger of not receiving a Senate hearing, and not being considered for confirmation, amid questions about whether she fabricated or inflated portions of her résumé,”
according to the Washington Post. As per the Post, “Officials said they could find no evidence of her service” at several institutions listed on her résumé,” while “former colleagues at the University of New Mexico and an affiliated hospital in Albuquerque disputed assertions she made, saying at a minimum she’d puffed up her role in several projects.” George W. Bush’s nomination for the Assistant Secretary of Health appears to be a liar and a cheat.
Why then should we believe her claims against Richard Carmona? Especially since she’s being paid to make such statements. What do we think “responsible for the content of this advertising” means, anyway?