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.
Mendez, Sherwood deserve support
After the redistricting process, West Mesa and half of Tempe ended up sharing the new Legislative District 26.
Two candidates for the State House of Representatives for “LD26,” Democrats Juan Mendez and Andrew Sherwood, are running as a team and deserve our enthusiastic support.
Both Mendez and Sherwood are exemplars of their generation and instill hope that this next Legislature will better represent our state and focus on job creation and sustainable solutions.
Their community backgrounds reveal their character.
Mendez manages a nonprofit that helps move homeless individuals out of poverty and into the workforce. With his Tempe Leadership peers, he brought a community garden to revitalize Tempe’s Escalante neighborhood.
Sherwood, from West Mesa, ran against Russell Pearce in 2010 and helped lead the recall effort. He brought together Republicans, Independents, and Democrats in his quest to restore sanity to the Legislature.
Mendez and Sherwood are embedded in their Tempe and Mesa communities, and their values are a clear match for the District. They will strive to protect the least powerful among us and increase opportunity for all Arizonans.
Both understand the interconnections between education at all levels and economic prosperity.They will be strong advocates for investment in K-12 and Higher Education and sustainable economic development.
Please vote for both Mendez and Sherwood as your state representatives so that the Legislature will reflect our community priorities.
Reject tea party extremism, elect Ableser
While many of us were happy to see Jerry Lewis beat Russell Pierce in the special election last year, we can’t lose sight of Lewis’s similarly extreme voting record as a state senator. Lewis fought to dismantle the independent redistricting commission and to defund health care programs for working women.
The new Legislative District 26, which now includes both west Mesa and Tempe, must reject tea party extremism and elect Ed Ableser as its new senator.
Ableser has long been an advocate for working families, women’s health care and sustainable economic development. He has professional knowledge and experience in the areas of K-12 and higher education and in health care programs for women. Ableser is the candidate who will fight for ethical behavior in government and draw a firm line against the all too frequent lapses. His actions follow his words; he has spoken out against fallen legislators in both major parties when others held back judgment. Ableser’s ethics reform bill, introduced to no avail during multiple legislative sessions in the state house, begs hearing on the floor.
We must elect a senator who will best represent the values of the Tempe and west Mesa communities.
We have a better option in Ableser
Jerry Lewis may be better than Russell Pearce, but we have a far better option this November, Ed Ableser.
Ableser supported KidsCare when Lewis voted to defund it.
Ableser stood up for education funding, when Lewis was approving cuts.
And when state legislators wanted to take $50 million designated for mortgage foreclosure relief for private prisons, Ed Ableser said, “no,” while Jerry Lewis said, “yes.”
Ed Ableser represents my values. I stand with him.
Who is the real Jerry Lewis?
The high hopes that many of us had with the recall of Russell Pearce by Jerry Lewis now appears to be nothing more than a mirage.
The defeat of Pearce gave our legislature a chance to start looking at major issues facing our state. Lewis seemed like just the person to moderate what had been an off the charts extremist agenda. Make no mistake about it, Jerry Lewis was not expected to become a Democrat or even vote against his own party a majority of time.
However, those of us who supported him in the recall were soon in for a major shock.
To list a few of the disappointments: Senator Lewis Voted to take away $350 million in soft-capital funding for education (gave it to private prisons instead); voted against KidsCare, making Arizona the only state not to provide health care to the most vulnerable among us — our children; voted to give $1.7 million to Joe Arpaio; voted to say that global warming is a conspiracy; voted to transfer $50 million in mortgage settlement funds to the private-prison industry; voted to restrict women’s health-care choices. He voted with the Tea Party to defund Planned Parenthood in Arizona; voted to Authorize employers to refuse to provide coverage for contraception.
Lewis is now in a more moderate district. His votes and positions are not what we want representing us. The real candidate for the senate in LD 26 is Representative Ed Ableser.