Many in America who are political junkies spend hours each week watching or listening to their favorite current event networks. Hour after hour we watch elected officials analyze every angle of a particular issue and listen to the endless chess game. We get frustrated at both the politicians and the talking heads, but the next day we watch again. And again. And then when we are about to give up another election cycle rolls around and we give it another shot while the political shows drag us all along for another rocky ride.
When the issue involves children just about all politicians want to chime in. After all, that will get voters to the voting booth and ultimately government funding for programs. Besides being “for the children”, people might also donate to their campaigns……
The Republican Legislature in Arizona crossed the aisle and with lighting speed sided with the Arizona LGBTQ Caucus in April of 2019 to overturn a law that prevented Arizona schools from teaching the homosexual lifestyle as normal. Most Arizonans have gay family and friends, but are concerned this repeal may open the door to lack of separation of the sexes in school bathrooms, on sports teams, and expose young school children to material some may not be ready for. Many Republican voters were confused how this could happen with a Republican governor and a narrow GOP majority in both chambers. Even people active in the pro-family movement were caught off guard. When they asked around, they were given some gobbledy-goop about a possible lawsuit against the State of Arizona.
Senator Sylvia Allen came out of the 2020 starting gate with some legislation that mainly would limit the minimum age sex ed could be taught, assist parents with access and review of sex ed curriculum, and lay out a process if school districts did not adhere to applicable statutes. One of the complaints from parents around the state is how difficult many school districts make it to access sex ed material. Any media member who is surprised at this accusation simply has not done their homework. Those who call themselves “education reporters” are especially to blame for their laziness.
But the real culprits in the current sex ed dilemma are mostly in the Arizona Republican Party, and there are a host of reasons. How can they run as defenders of children and then cower when the lazy media challenges them? Senator Allen’s bill, SB1082, was dead on arrival, just hours before she was to present it on January 14th. Rumors as to why enveloped the Capitol and parents who were ecstatic to see a politician finally rise to the occasion were shocked.
So what happened? We were told SB1082 was “controversial.” Oh my! We don’t want to put Governor Doug Ducey in a political predicament. This is the same guy who tells friendly audiences he was an altar boy. This is the likable governor who talks of his Catholic faith. In fact, he got a prime speaking slot at this weekend’s Arizona March for Life! Funny, Governor Ducey told KJZZ.org things were currently swell in Arizona sex ed classes.
“Whatever age we’re doing it now”…. Governor, do you even know what the current statute in Arizona is?
Yes, Governor Ducey, parents have been unhappy, they have been for years. They have been ignored and tricked by their school districts, bounced between the Department of Education and Legislature, and ignored by the Attorney General. All of these state agencies may have sound reasons why they couldn’t respond. It is for those reasons Senator Allen attempted to tighten up the language of sex ed statutes. We have a question for the Governor: How many parents did you meet with to come to your conclusions? More importantly, who did you listen to instead of parents?
Additional rumors indicated Senate President Karen Fann would not move SB1082 forward. Was she getting her cues from feeble Governor Doug Ducey? What is more controversial than this child holding a Planned Parenthood sign:
The little girl looks as happy as Angry Greta at the United Nations. As long as we are digressing, did Fox 10 Phoenix realize the wording they used just under the Planned Parenthood poster? Karma.
Republican politicians do not know how to handle hostile media. Why are they so afraid? Who is talking to them? Why are they worried about who likes them and when will they get their invitation to the next clambake, but not worried about the innocence of children? You know, those same children they will use for votes later this year. The local media does not want to understand why most parents think sex education is such a hot-button issue. They purposely misreport and put any politician who vocalizes traditional values in media handcuffs. The AZGOP may want to invest in some media training for their candidates.
Here’s some video of the media mob at the Capitol on Tuesday and how to handle them:
After the rush reversal of the homosexual education restriction law in 2019, angry parents contacted their legislators asking what happened (yes, Governor Ducey, those unhappy parents you haven’t met with). One of the names that popped up was Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), a pro-family lobbying organization that has done great things for Arizona. However the organization either doesn’t have a grasp of the sex ed issue or is afraid to tackle it. CAP supported the hasty repeal in April. Since Herrod encouraged GOP legislators to repeal the statute banning the teaching of homosexuality as normal, how can she now come out in support of a bill that attempts to correct the repeal?
In a recent post, we called out special interest groups influencing liberals in the Arizona Legislature who were opposing SB1082. Now it’s time to call out Center for Arizona Policy for having too much influence on Governor Ducey and too many GOP politicians. They are elected to represent Arizonans, not CAP. Here are excuses we are told over and over, year after year:
“It is an election year and we want our Republican candidates reelected so they can do the right thing next year.”
“So and so is in a tight race and we can’t afford to lose that seat.”
“If we fight over this bill we might not get anything else accomplished.”
Here is the best one for 2020: “We want to have a quick session since it’s an election year and we don’t want to get bogged down with controversial bills.” In other words, I want to get done with this session because I want to go home and campaign so I win MY election and come back next year and do the right thing. It’s always next year, next time. A decade ago, how many times did we hear our Congressmen say “Get me the Senate and I can get something done”? They got the Senate and then we were told “Get me the White House and we can get something done.” Finally the Republican Party had control of all three branches of government and guess what, Planned Parenthood was still funded as were radical sex ed curricula in schools via federal grants. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (also described as Catholic) felt the heat and ran back to Wisconsin to cool off. The same people we are supposed to trust screw us, over and over.
To all Republican politicians without a backbone, who is taking the most risk? It’s actually the parents of the children who dare to go to a school board meeting and give a couple minutes of public comment. They are the ones who may experience retribution towards their children or from educators who will marginalize them going forward.
Ask almost any GOP politician or stakeholder besides Senator Sylvia Allen why SB1082 wasn’t heard and you’ll hear the word “strategy.” What kind of strategy should teachers use, those who are either forced to quit their jobs or teach confusing, adult material to kids? Was Cathi Herrod in the hearing room when an en educator gave her personal testimony about her own dilemma?
Not a peep from the Arizona media says the tweet, but also not a peep from Cathi Herrod, Governor Ducey who told KJZZ things are going swimmingly, or from the Democrats on the Senate Education Committee who are always campaigning for teachers. And how about Republican-in-Name-Only Senator Kate Brophy-McGee who left the hearing as this educator started her testimony. While it’s common for the the members of the committee to come and go, Brophy-McGee’s departure seems more than coincindental since this educator is from Creighton, which is in Brophy-McGee’s district.
The battle continues, the 2020 Arizona Legislative session is young. Senator Sylvia Allen, Representative Walt Blackman, and a handful of others, keep it up–parents appreciate your efforts. To the rest of you when you’re done running from controversy and the media, make sure your social calendars are up to date so you can be around people who make you feel good about yourselves.