Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vernon Parker talks to AZ GOP Lawyers

Yesterday Vernon Parker, Paradise Valley Mayor and candidate for governor, spoke to the Arizona Republican Lawyers' Association (right - with his daughter cooking, one of his favorite pasttimes). He said if elected, it would be a historic first - the first Mayor of Paradise Valley to be elected Governor. (snicker) He would be the first African-American Republican Governor in the nation.

He spoke about his record, cutting the budget of Paradise Valley by 25%. Prior to becoming Mayor, he ran for Paradise Valley City Council, and won with 67% voting yes, a higher percentage than any other candidate running. But he's not your typical county club Republican. Unlike a famous African-American from the Democrat side who grew up in a privileged background, attending a $17,000/yr private high school, Vernon grew up in a tough neighborhood just up the street from Snoop Dog, and sold everything he owned to be able to afford to attend law school. Now, he has more executive experience as Mayor of Paradise Valley than that other famous African-American did when he was elected President.

He said he runs into plenty of people who tell him they can't vote for him because they have to support the incumbent Republican governor Jan Brewer. He responds with this analogy: If your child was in the hospital on life support, and you had personal ties to the hospital and doctors, but the hospital was doing a poor job keeping your child alive, you wouldn't stay there any longer out of loyalty to the hospital. If people want to tell him they support tax increases and that's why they are supporting Brewer, well fine then.

Vernon discussed the dire situation with the state budget with another analogy. Say there are two parents earning good salaries, eating filet mignon and good wine every night. Then one parent suddenly loses their job. They can't expect to continue eating and drinking at that excessive level. Napolitano was spending like a drunken sailor, and now we're paying for it.

Vernon said he doesn't support 15% across the board cuts for every agency, because some need more, some need less. Some government agencies need to be eliminated altogether. (I agree with him about this - law enforcement agencies at the county level were forced to cut 15% along with every other county agency, which is ridiculous, public safety is the most important function of government and should be the last and least part cut)

He'd like to cut corporate income taxes to attract hi-tech businesses back to the Valley. He'd like to allow community colleges to offer 4-year degrees.

Vernon said the problem isn't the GOP's message, it's the messengers. Welfare is the trust fund we've passed on to our children. He ended by saying he is not the candidate of the party elite.

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