EDITORIAL FOR OCTOBER 7-Nov 6 2018
I’m CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof. In mid July of this year the New York Times published an article about a family from Pennsylvania who thought it would be nice to move to rural Arizona. They bought a small ranch several miles outside of Willcox where they thought they would enjoy the good life. Shortly after the family moved in they made a grim discovery. When they turned on the water faucet out came sand mixed in with the water. The problem got worse and they called in a water expert who explained that there were several farms in the area and for many years the farms had been pumping water out of the aquifer and that caused the water table to go down deeper and deeper. There wasn’t much water left to pump. The family eventually found that the solution was to find someone with a tank truck who would deliver water to them.
That dilemma could have been averted had the area been subject to the same water regulations that exist in many other parts of Arizona. For many decades Arizona’s legislative leaders have understood that if we are going to survive in the desert water matters must be regulated. You can’t just let a real estate developer decide to build a housing project, then let him sell the houses only to discover that there’s not enough water available under the development.
Arizona has had water regulations since before it became a state but the first major set of rules came along in 1971 when the Arizona Water Commission was formed. In 1980 the Arizona Legislature established the Department of Water Resources and that agency is entrusted with enforcing regulations that require that real estate developers in many areas of Arizona demonstrate that there’s enough ground water available to last a hundred years.
Needless to say, real estate developers would love nothing more than to get rid of those rules. They would much prefer to build all the houses they want, sell those houses to unsuspecting buyers and then the developers walk away never to be seen again.
What the real estate developers keep hoping to find are members of the Arizona Legislature who would sponsor and pass laws to gut the water rules and they have found the very person they have been looking for in Gail Griffin. In her long career as a lawmaker Griffin has repeatedly sponsored and supported bills that would weaken our water rules or outright do away with them. That’s easy to understand when you realize that she is a real estate broker so her best friends are real estate developers whom she has worked tirelessly to please. That includes people who want to build massive housing projects in Cochise County where water regulations get in the way of the developers’ profits.
By no means are water matters Giffin’s only shortfall. I notice that her highway signs say that she is pro education. But the Arizona Education Association gives her a failing grade of an even zero.
Griffin’s long political career started in 1997 when she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. In 2010 she moved to the Arizona Senate where she has served ever since. In 1992 the voters of Arizona enacted term limits but they left a glaring loophole in the term limit law. You can run for the house seat until you are term limited and then run for a senate seat until you are term limited and then back to the house and you can do that indefinitely. So now we have Griffin trying to move from the senate back to the house. This manipulation makes a mockery of the term limit law and the only thing that can stop this mockery is the voters of District 14.
I can’t see how anyone who has studied Griffin’s voting record could vote for her. But she does have one thing going for her. She has the word “Republican” next to her name on the ballot and in this part of the world that one word “Republican” nearly guarantees election. In this part of Arizona the Republican Party is loved and most voters would rather die than vote for a Democrat. If the Republican nominee were Jack the Ripper, Jack would win.
With that in mind, here is my suggestion: If you can bring yourself to vote for a Democrat, vote for Bob Karp or Shelly Renne-Leon. If you can’t vote for a Democrat then simply vote for Republican Becky Nutt and leave the other house seat blank. But don’t vote for Gail Griffin. Griffin is terrible and it is high time she retired.
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 to express your opinions or you’d like a copy of this editorial go to the CAVE web site and select Editorials. We’re at CAVEFM.com. CAVEFM. Com