Thursday, January 24, 2008

Paton on Election 08: Stakes Are High

"We are 3 seats short of losing the majority," declared State Representative Jonathan Paton today in a short telephone conversation. The Budget weighed foremost on the legislator's mind and he criticized Governor Napolitano's proposed budget, "She wants to use a lot of bonding and gimmicks and photo radar to solve the budgets woes."

Paton opposes photo radar but conceded the Governor's constitutional power, "The money collected from the photo radar would go into the general fund and wouldn't go to roads." Mindful of rising insurance rates in the onslaught of photo radar revenues, "I wrote a bill that would keep any points from being awarded by photo radar."

The budget reflects the housing slump that has affected the Arizona economy acutely. "In Tucson there are 40,000 houses on the market right now."

Some of Paton's peers mentioned budget cuts. Paton responded, "Sixty percent of the budget is education. Ten percent is prisons."

On the budget, "There will be a compromise. There will be some budget cuts and there will be some bonding but not as much as she [Napolitano] wants."

Paton attended Tim Bee's announcement rally at Palo Verde High School in Tucson. "I grew up with Tim and Gabby. We all went to the same junior high. Tim was valedictorian. Gabby was salutatorian. I just wanted to pass auto shop."

Paton cited the Iraq War as the key issue for 08. "If we pull out of Iraq like the democrats want, then Iraq will be a stain on this country's honor forever. Our country will fall apart with unrest we have not seen and with us goes the rest of the world."

Paton leaned on his war time record, "I had a mission where we had to maintain two man accountability of some equipment we escorted. Being a lieutenant, the only way I could get from place to place reliably was to take the Al Queda birds transporting the men in the yellow jumpsuits. I was standing in Baghdad International Airport where I met a man - a Jordanian who spoke perfect English. He was an engineer who studied in America. I asked him what his objectives are. He told me that he wanted 'to kill as many Americans as he could until' we 'left Iraq.' I then asked him. What if that happens then what. He asked me where I am from. I said Arizona. Then he said 'we want to kill as many Americans as we can in California, New York and Arizona.'"

We should be proud we have an Iraq War veteran representing us.

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