It could be his new theme song. I would have embedded a video clip of the song, but I don't think it really sets the right mood. On the other end of the emotional spectrum might be Mary Higgins Clark's recent suspense novel by that title. Though there is increasing suspense over the outcome of the LD23 senate race between Paula Pennypacker and John Kavanagh, this isn't a murder mystery.
What caused me to think in those terms? Well, briefly set the stage with a profile of this race in the Phoenix New Times from last February. Shortly after the piece in the NT, Kavanagh was making appearances on cable news programs declaring with full confidence that Gov. Brewer was going to sign SB1062 into law.
The only thing missing from Paula Pennypacker's stump speech before the Democratic state committee meeting in January was the Rocky theme.
Charismatic and scrappy, the lifelong GOPer recently painted a "D" on her shield and called out Republican black knight John Kavanagh, current chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Friend of lobbyists, enemy of the poor, and taker of free trips from Chinese communists and the government of Azerbaijan, Kavanagh wants to soft-shoe over to the state Senate this year in Legislative District 23, which tilts hard to the right.
But Pennypacker is lookin' to put a steel heel through Kavanagh's loafers.In 2013, Kavanagh was hot and heavy into promoting legislation allowing him and his cronies to more vigorously shakedown lobbyists and suppress voter rights.
Except for the fact that Kavanagh cavalierly declared himself a victim of Dark Money, you'd think he doesn't take his opponents (in the primary, it was Jeff Schwartz) seriously. Don't forget the cheap shot he took at Paula Pennypacker at the end of the Clean Elections debate. Well, sheepish John Kavanagh (his claim to me that he had done nothing wrong despite the bright and clear appearance of him having sold his influence as House Appropriations chairman) has issued a nasty, brazenly false hit mailer blasting Pennypacker.
The only thing sheepish about the mailer is the fact that he couldn't rely on the truth to make his point.
Kavanagh, self-proclaimed Drug Warrior, apparently has never heard, despite his claim to be so concerned about religious rights (as he continues to declare that SB1062 was not discriminatory but aimed at preserving religious rights and freedoms) that it is the TRUTH that sets you free.
In this case, we know that Fountain Hills mayor Linda Kavanagh, loyal wife of candidate John, broached the subject of an op-ed Paula wrote in 2004 on the subject of the War on Drugs. Linda and John were shown to be unequivocally off the mark on that claim.
Nevertheless, the desperate Republican candidate for the LD23 senate seat not only restated the claim but did so even more brazenly. Claiming that Pennypacker was calling for making all drugs available to children is just plain false.
IF Kavanagh was confident enough to compete by having vigorous and robust debate on the actual issue, he would have noted that Pennypacker's ten-year old op-ed cited the need to legalize drugs for adults. He's a big boy. He should be able to handle the truth, right? If being a Drug Warrior is such a good thing, why does he have to distort his opponent's position on it?
Is he that desperate?
He shouldn't be. He's already drawing three public pensions and as soon as he's out of the legislature, he'll get one more. But I guess he hungers for the power that comes from controlling the general fund purse strings.
But there's more. Not only did he intentionally misrepresent his opponent's position, his mailer lies about HIS record.
Well, on two of the three bullet points on this side of the mailer anyway. He has been all about starving the general fund by cutting taxes.
As far as jobs? Really John? Where's the jobs? Growing economy? You must have been thinking of that socialist state to our west.
During his eight years in the Arizona House, how has the state economy been going and what's been the unemployment rate? On August 9, USA Today reported that Arizona was 3rd hardest state to find full-time employment THIS YEAR.
3. Arizona> Underemployment rate: 16.1%
> Unemployment rate: 7.5% (5th highest)
> GDP growth 2012-2013: 2.8% (15th lowest)
> Labor force growth 2007-2014: 1.4% (23rd lowest)
While housing prices in Arizona improved in 2013 compared to the year before, home values were just 70% what they were in 2007, among the largest declines in the nation. As Kohli explained, Arizona's construction sector was hit particularly hard as housing prices fell. This has likely not helped the state's labor market, which has been slow to recover. Arizona's unemployment rate of 7.5% is one of the highest in the nation. The average weekly wage for those who are employed recently dropped 1.5%, the second-steepest wage decline in the country.Wages DECLINED under his watch. Underemployment at 16.1 percent. The 5th highest UNEMPLOYMENT rate in the country at 7.5 percent.
Growth of the economy? 15th lowest in the country. In other words, 35 states have had better economic growth than Arizona.
Voters have to pay attention to the desperation of Greedy Old Pricks like Kavanagh. In fact, what's got him nervous is that despite the fact that he has a huge voter registration advantage, the LD23 senate race is actually competitive. And his opponent is legit.
Actually, voters ARE beginning to wake up. Some still are pessimistic because the GOP in Arizona has so run our economy into the ground that it is genuinely oppressive. But a good number of them are tuning in to the Arizona Eagletarian and turning on to the optimism that comes with seeing a growing light at the end of the tunnel.
Folks, John Kavanagh's message echoes the pious but plainly empty platitudes coming from the Scrooge McDucey campaign. And both of them are in for a rude awakening when they realize the people are fed up with their lies about what it takes to grow the economy.
By the way, over in the "socialist nation of California" how's the economy doing? Well, according to the Sacramento Business Journal, California has the WORLD's 8th largest economy. In July, California added 27,700 jobs. In 2013, California's economy grew at a rate of 2 percent. Arizona's economic growth for the same period was a paltry 1.1 percent.
Arizona looked like this in a 2013 report on the best and worst run states in the country.
45. Arizona> Debt per capita: $2,197 (9th lowest)
> Budget deficit: 18.2% (10th largest)
> Unemployment: 8.3% (16th highest)
> Median household income: $47,826 (21st lowest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 18.7% (8th highest)
Only Nevada suffered more than Arizona from the housing crisis. The state’s median home value fell by more than 36% between 2007 and 2012. More than one in six residents lived in poverty last year, which may help explain the state’s relatively high spending on social programs. Twenty-nine percent of all spending in fiscal 2011 was on public welfare programs, one of the highest proportions in the country. Meanwhile, Arizona’s revenue per state resident was $2,197 in fiscal 2011, among the lowest. Although many of its financials, including debt and pension funding, are better than the average state, Arizona had an 18.2% deficit for fiscal 2012, one of the highest in the country. The state’s credit ratings are among the worst in the country.Only seven states have a higher percentage of its residents living below the poverty line. And only five states are run worse than our state.
No wonder Pennypacker has gotten under Kavanagh's skin.
By the way, have you heard Laurie Roberts talking or writing anything about the KOOKS at the legislature lately? It's election season, just the time voters may need to refresh their memories about the insanity of the last few years in the legislature.
SB1062 made it to Brewer's desk with little to no resistance from the Greedy Old Pricks who run the legislature. There were plenty of bills aimed at further degradation of our K-12 public schools. At least Pennypacker has made it a point to call for restoring sanity at the Capitol. From Laurie Roberts on this very relevant concern, crickets.
John, you simply cannot kickstart the economy on the austerity you have had a hand in forcing down the throats of Arizonans.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Posted today to the Arizona Republic's website, "Hopes for strong 2014 job growth slipping away in Arizona." The story includes an interactive graphic in which one can compare regions or individual states and how job growth has occurred since 2007. Of course that time frame coincides with Kavanagh's time served in the Arizona House. I set it to compare Arizona with the "Socialist State" of California.
The general shape of the curves for each of the two states is extremely similar. However, California's decline was not as steep as Arizona's and our western neighbor has clearly shown a pronounced increase in resilience over ours.
Why does the state allegedly over run by socialists have better economic performance?