Pre-Jan. 12, 2013 Maricopa County officer election analysis
Will the conduct of Arizona House Speaker Andrew Tobin influence the outcome of the Maricopa County Statutory Meeting? The issue hinges upon how the votes of two members of the Maricopa County Executive Guidance Committee (EGC), who are now candidates for MCRC offices, will be judged. Precinct Committeemen, nearly 3,300 strong, will be attending this meeting in person or by proxy.
State Sen. Rick Murphy reports, “Speaker Tobin was so motivated to kill any bill that restricted public employee unions, specifically to protect the power of fire unions (his brother is a long-time fire union boss), he tried to use Arizona’s foster children as a human shield to bully me into dropping the bills. When that didn’t work, he intentionally killed bills to help foster children get adopted more quickly as a punishment to me for keeping the union issue alive.”
Sen. Murphy’s expose of Tobin’s egregious conduct gave rise to an EGC resolution calling for non-support of Tobin’s re-election. Candidate for County Chair, Lisa Gray and candidate for Second Vice-Chair, Rene Lopez, both voted against the resolution. Those votes may be held against them in the upcoming January election.
The resolution that passed the EGC by a 23- 5 vote was: “Be it resolved that, due to the lack of support of key Republican principles by withholding key legislation and the misuse of the Republican Victory Fund, the MCRC does not support the re-election of Andy Tobin as Speaker of the House or Steve Pierce as Senate President.”
At issue will be the rationale of Gray and Lopez for their votes that “the resolution was offered within 100 hours of the General Election.” Their challenge will be to explain to the precinct committeemen why only three other members of the twenty-eight members present at the meeting agreed with their logic. Part of the difficulty is that the election of Arizona House and Senate leadership involving Tobin and Pierce was to occur only 124 hours from the time the resolution was offered and, obviously, time was running out.
The union-related bills, already passed in the senate, and withheld by Speaker Tobin were:
· SB1484 (paycheck deductions; employee authorization) — Sen. Biggs
· SB1485 (unions; public employees; prohibitions) — Sen. Murphy
· SB1486 (public employees; activities; unions; compensation) — Sen. Murphy
· SB1487 (government employees; union dues; withholding) — Sen. Murphy
These bills would have required public employee union members to reauthorize their dues payroll deductions annually, banned collective bargaining by public employee unions, significantly reduced, but not completely prohibited, taxpayer paid time off for union activities, and banned ANY payroll deduction for dues by public employee unions.
Another complication for candidate Lisa Gray is that her husband, Rep. Rick Gray, is part of Tobin’s leadership team as the Majority Whip. She will need to persuade the MCRC membership that the Tobin/Gray team will have no influence over her decisions as County Chair, if she is elected.
The question is, will the conduct of Speaker Tobin, when connected with the votes of two candidates for MCRC offices, influence the outcome of the Maricopa County Statutory Election?
Sen. Rick Murphy also revealed that, in a fit of spite unbecoming his office, Tobin further betrayed the citizens of Arizona by killing bills which were intended to benefit children in the adoption process. According to Sen. Murphy: “SB1490– This bill was requested by the courts to clarify language about which children should be expedited through the adoption process (due to young age, etc) and would have resulted in many children being adopted more quickly. Not only would that create a better likelihood for a successful placement and lower the chances of delinquency, it would have helped reduce CPS caseloads and other costs.
It was ready for a House floor vote as early as 3/29, until the session ended 5/3. In late April, Tobin told me through surrogates (he didn’t have the courage to tell me personally, despite opportunities) in clear terms that he was killing the bill just because it was mine. Despite emphasizing that this bill would help foster kids get adopted more quickly, and that it was requested by the courts and needed to clarify a problem in existing law, Tobin intentionally killed the bill.
SB1491 – I ran this bill to address issues within the CPS system I discovered as a foster parent…Despite emphasizing that this bill would help foster kids get adopted more quickly, and the support of both DES and the governor’s staff, Tobin intentionally killed the bill.”