Thursday, April 7, 2011

Terry Goddard on Arizona’s Growing Reputation as the “New Mississippi”

Terry Goddard was the Democratic challenger to Jan Brewer in the 2010 Arizona governor’s race. Mr. Goddard served as Arizona’s Attorney General from 2002 until 2011. He had also been the mayor of Phoenix from 1983 until 1990.

When our family first moved to Arizona several years ago, there were several prominent Democrats serving the state, and moderate Republican John McCain was the state’s most famous member of Congress. By 2010, the state had become more and more dominated by Republicans and partisan, conservative politics. Even though Mr. Goddard seemed to have done a good job as Attorney General and had strong credentials, the Democratic label seemed toxic in his gubernatorial campaign. After the primary results were announced, the local newscasts were already proclaiming that Mr. Goddard had no shot at winning and Jan Brewer would serve another term as governor. Even when Governor Brewer embarrassed herself (and the state) with an incoherent performance in the gubernatorial debate, she was a shoo-in simply because she was the Republican nominee. The links below have some coverage of the debate fiasco.

I voted for Mr. Goddard in the primary and in the general election, though in my heart it did seem like a pointless exercise. I guess I am used to such experiences. When my husband and I first moved from Texas and went to the Arizona DMV, the woman who processed our license and voter registration paperwork was visibly surprised at a few details of applications. She said that she didn’t realize there were any Democrats in Texas and asked how that worked. We admitted we were used to being in the political minority in our home state. And now we are finding that we continue to be in the political minority in our adopted state. Terry Goddard left office as Attorney General at the end of December. Arizona no longer has any non-Republicans in state-wide elected office. Not long before he left office, I listened to an interview with Mr. Goddard, which raised even more my admiration for him as he spoke insightfully and pragmatically about the issues facing Arizona. In the interview, Mr. Goddard shared insights about the current border issues and Arizona’s growing reputation as the “new Mississippi” because of enactment of S.B. 1070. The link below contains that interview.

Psalm 43:3 Send your light and your truth; may they lead me and bring me back to Zion, your sacred hill, and to your Temple, where you live.

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