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Salmon and Sinema Provide

Sneak-Peek At 2014 Election

Image by DonkeyHotey and used under a Creative Commons license.

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Amongst The Members Of The East Valley Partnership In Mesa Earlier This Week, U.S. Reps. Matt Salmon and Kyrsten Sinema Discussed The Issues That Will Likely Dominate The Arizona Political Landscape in 2014

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By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine

May 14, 2014 — As the summer peaks its triple digit-sized head out from the glory that is spring in the Grand Canyon state, the next legislature and governor  — as well as a slew of more local races — will be decided in less than six months.

Consequently, while most of the Phoenix metro will be heading out of the state for vacation in cooler climes over the next several months, those running for office will be very busy talking to anyone who will listen. From early morning breakfasts to organizational luncheons and power dinners, thousands of hands will be grasped and millions of words uttered.

The events have begun already. Monday afternoon, the East Valley Partnership hosted U.S. Reps. Kyrsten Sinema and Matt Salmon and the event just so happened to be a microcosm of the 2014 race in Arizona. Candidates and attendees were insightful, at least partially honest, and clearly identified some of the big issues that will dominate this fall’s campaign cycle.

Surely, incumbents Sinema and Salmon will likely have a safe passage to re-election as long as nothing goes massively wrong, although former Arizona State University quarterback Andrew Walter campaign against Sinema might get interesting. But at this early and under the radar event, the representatives could be honest without being boisterous.

Sinema is known as an independently-thinking, party-dogmatist — which means she will never cross the party but clearly holds her own views beyond the party call. That much was proven early Monday as Jessica Pacheco of sponsor Arizona Public Service asked the congress-people about partisan battling in Congress.

Sinema came out with a move reminiscent of Muhammad Ali’s Rope-A-Dope strategy and said it is not as bad as it looks on TV.

“What you see most of the time is disagreements and arguments. The reality is most of us in Congress really like each other,” she said.

She even cited the recent passage of a research and development tax cut as evidence.

But Salmon couldn’t lay off. He had to take the bait. Expect many democrats to do the same as the summer progresses as they attempt to let republicans whip themselves into a furor.

“She’s right. We have an incredibly good relationship between us as (the Arizona) delegation. But I do think things can get better,” Salmon said.

He cited the fact that the Senate is refusing to pass or hear bills passed by the House.

“I know Kyrsten is frustrated too. Maybe she can’t say anything but I can,” Salmon said.

Ooooh. Salmon almost got Rope-A-Doped.

Of course, the legislation battle to which Salmon was referring is laced with so many layers of political intrigue that both sides are likely identically guilty. The republican-led House always adds one or two ‘spurs’ to the bills that they know will not get it heard in the Senate and/or vetoed by President Obama. Then, both sides blame each other.

Sinema again came to the rescue identifying what most Arizona races, especially those for U.S. Congress, will hinge upon with regard to the process in Washington, D.C.: distancing themselves from party leadership.


“The leadership just shoot arrows,” Sinema said.

No one running for office will publically align themselves with either John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell or anyone else in Congressional leadership positions in this election cycle. Behind the scenes, that’s a different story altogether. If party leadership is really as disliked as their members declare, they would no longer be the leaders.

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