EDITORIAL FOR August 21-24, 2018
I’m CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof.   It was back in 1992 that the voters of Arizona passed an initiative which amended the state constitution in order to establish term limits for state office holders.  Term limits passed by a huge margin.     There appear to be two arguments for limiting the number of terms that an elected official can serve.   The first is that after a public official has been in office for years he or she gets a lot of name recognition and it becomes nearly impossible to defeat the person.   The second argument for term limits is that after many years in office enough is enough and it is time to give someone else a chance.

As is always the case there are two sides to every story and the other side was eloquently expressed by now retired Congressman Jim Kolbe.  After Kolbe was elected eleven times someone asked him about term limits.   Kolbe’s response was “why fire someone who is doing a good job?”.

I’ll leave it to you to decide if term limits are a good idea or not.    The people who wrote the term limits amendment did a lousy job of wording it because it contains two terrible loopholes: The first loophole is that you can run for the Arizona House of Representatives and then seek a seat in the Arizona Senate.  Then go back to the House and back to the senate and you can do this as many times as you like without limitation.    The second loophole is that after you are term limited you can get a close family member to take your place.   A nice example of that is Gus Arzberger of Willcox who got term limited and after that his wife Marsha served in his place.   In Tucson Keith Bee served until he was term limited and then his brother Tim took his place.

Of all the legislators, nobody has abused the first loophole more than Gail Griffin.   She started out winning a seat in the House of Representatives back in 1997.   Then she moved to the Arizona Senate in 2010 and now she wants to go back to the House.  If you have any interest in the environment or water regulations, Griffin has a hideous voting record.   She’s a real estate broker and her main interest is in helping real estate developers and not her constituents.  Griffin will turn 84 years old next month and if the voters of this area have any sense they will see to it that she gets a well deserved retirement.   I’ll have more to say about Griffin in the coming weeks but the plot thickens a bit.

In order for Griffin to run for the House seat it was necessary for her to get one of the two incumbent house members to step aside.   It appears that she made a deal with incumbent Representative Drew John.   John would run for the senate seat that Griffin presently holds so that Griffin could move back to the House.   But again the plot thickens:    Although Griffin has no Republican opposition for the House seat, two Republican opponents have surfaced for the Senate seat.    One  would be David Gowan and the other is Lori Kilpatrick.     Gowan is a nut job from the most extreme element of the Republican Party.   Not only that but Gowan’s ethics leave something to be desired.

Two years ago Gowan decided to run for Congress and he used a state government vehicle to drive to distant parts of the state to campaign.    So the taxpayers of Arizona were subsidizing Gowan’s campaign and that’s clearly unethical.   After someone blew the whistle on him Gowan reimbursed the state $12,000.   He also decided that he would forego the congressional seat.

The immediate question for Republican voters is nut case Gowan or the more moderate Drew John.    Like Gail Griffin I think that Gowan needs to be retired from public life and I hope that the Republican voters of District 14 will vote for Drew John rather than Gowan or the little known Kilpatrick.

I’m CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof and the opinions you’ve just heard are mine and not necessarily anyone else’s.   If you’d like a copy of this editorial or you’d like to express your opinions go to the CAVE web site and select Editorials.   We’re at CAVEFM.com. That’s CAVEFM.com