Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Arizona Voters Do Not Fail to Disappoint

Pima County acquitted itself fairly well yesterday. The rest of the state, unfortunately, not so much.

Governor: Jan Brewer bravely overcame the revelations that she is (1) in bed with the private Prison industry, and (2) a blithering idiot, to beat Terry Goddard, although at 53%-40% it wasn't quite the trouncing I expected. Her first priority is to scrounge money from dedicated funds to move into the state's general fund, but, luckily, one of the few bright spots in the statewide balloting was the defeat of initiatives that would have let her raid the land conservation and early childhood development funds.

Senate: Walnuts McCain stomped Democrat (nee Republican) Rodney Glassman, surprising exactly no one. I am not at all sure that Glassman would have been better for Arizona so much as a different flavor of sleazy.

US House: Still undecided! Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords are currently clinging to leads of a couple thousand votes with about 350,000 left to be counted. Most of the yet-to-be-counteds are from Pima (hopeful!) and Maricopa (brrrr!) counties, which might end up canceling each other out. We hope.

AZ Attorney General: Noted dim bulb Tom Horne edged out a Democrat I'd never heard of but who, I thought, had at least a coin flip's chance of having a few more brain cells to rub together than Horne does on any given day. The bright spot? He's no longer in charge of what passes for an education department. The dark spot? Tucson Unified School District has been in his sights for a long time for having the temerity to offer Latino heritage and culture classes to their Latino-majority student body, even after Arizona passed a law explicitly aimed at making ethnic studies programs Tom Horne doesn't like illegal. And now he's the chief prosecutor in the state? Have fun with that, TUSD!

Secretary of State, otherwise known as Lieutenant Governor: Republican Ken Bennett in a wash, meaning that if Jan-Jan resigns or just plain forgets to come in to work for a year or so, the governorship stays in Republican hands. Which does not bode well for the future, considering that noted white supremacist-consorting, private prisons lackey Russell Pearce is the new president of the state senate.

Prop 106 (Fuck Healthcare): I must say that I'm impressed with the drive and determination of Arizona voters. Not content to be at the bottom of national rankings for education and children-in-poverty levels (we recently passed Alabama to claim that title), the voters made sure that we will soon be at the bottom for healthcare as well. Prop 106, which passed by 130,000 votes, amends the state constitution to say no Arizonan is required to buy health insurance or participate in a health plan. Yeah, we'll see.

Prop 107 (Fuck Nonwhite Nonmales): The voters decided even more resoundingly to make affirmative action illegal. There are still many questions about whether this will end programs designed to keep female and nonwhite students in college (despite the fact that Arizona universities and colleges currently do not consider race or gender in admissions). Tom Horne is undoubtedly lining up the lawsuits as we speak.

Prop 203 (Medical Marijuana): Barely losing at the moment.

Well, at least Ken Buck and Sharron Angle won't be haunting Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio will, and, saddest of all, Russ Feingold will be watching this one from the bench. I remember how the morning after Election Day 1994 felt. This feels worse.

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