Friday, October 3, 2014

Martha McSally vs. Ron Barber?

Independent voters have an interesting choice in Arizona's Second Congressional District. Neither of these candidates is at the extreme end of the political spectrum and the last time they ran against each other it was very close. I contacted McSally's office last week and asked for a clarification of her positions on some specific issues. The young Intern who answered my call read from a prepared script. She said that McSally opposes Border Patrol Check points except along the actual border. She's also opposed to same sex marriage, abortion,and birth control. (as a side bar, I've never understood why Republicans who oppose abortions also oppose birth control).  When I asked questions about McSally's positions on the economy, Corporate Inversions, education, budgets,and various other National and International issues the Intern said she  would have to call me back. She never did make that call. McSally 's campaign is centered her claim that she showed "leadership" by standing up to the Military policy of requiring female pilots to respect the dress customs of the Arabs. Both candidates run the usual ads featuring them walking along the border fence with ranchers and residents who live along the border. It's amazing how politicians love to be photographed walking along the border at election time. The events are always staged and you can bet that they probably won't visit the Border again until the next election. Both candidates seem to claim credit for supporting the basic functions of the two military bases in Southern Arizona. McSally apparently wants to turn Social Security into a voucher system but she doesn't provide details. One of the Barber ads claims that McSally wants to get the government out of education. That ad runs a short cropped clip from a McSally speech. We don't know what the full content of her remarks were regarding education. Pro McSally ads tries to associate Barber with Obama Care but they doesn't provide any information on what she would do to improve our health care system. Barbers campaign centers around him being a home grown individual who has deep roots in the District. The credibility of both candidates is stained by the so called "Dark Money" negative advertising. Neither of the candidates has condemned or spoken out against the sponsors of those ads. One McSally ad claims that Barber votes consistently with Nancy Pelosi. It doesn't indicate whether or not McSally would consistently vote with the Republican Speaker of the House. This is going to be a very close election. The winner will probably be the candidate who gets the best turnout. Both candidates are intelligent and capable. Personally I don't think McSally has much experience with budget or economic issues. Nor does she have experience in the private sector. Barber has played his cards close to the chest- rarely making mistakes or offending members of either party. Which ever candidate wins we'll have an honest capable representative from that district.

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