As part of its Election 2020 series, the Arizona Daily Sun recently published an article profiling Democrat Felicia French and Republican Wendy Rogers. It came as no surprise to me that Rogers declined a phone interview with the reporter. So, the “interview” was through email. (In contrast, French did agree to a phone interview.)
I was also not surprised when I learned that Rogers declined to debate French at the Oct. 1 Let’s Debate event sponsored by the NAU Votes Coalition. Walt Blackman and Brenda Barton (the LD6 Republican candidates running for the state House) also declined to attend, leaving only French, Coral Evans (Democratic candidate for the state House) and Art Babbott (Independent candidate for the House).
Rogers’ failure to communicate with the public indicates a callous indifference. Such blasé disregard is also evident in her attitude towards local issues. When the reporter asked Rogers about “local control” issues (such as increasing the minimum wage, banning plastic bags and regulating short-term rentals), Rogers wrote that the state should stand up to local officials to protect their constituents. She said that “local governments often trample on citizens’ rights” and that “a few local tyrants” are passing laws that impose on the rights of “free people who already have a duly elected legislature and governor.”
Rogers clearly needs a refresher course in American Civics 101. Far from being “tyrants,” the mayor and councilmembers are “duly elected” public officials. She fails to explain her belief that state leaders are somehow superior to local leaders. She also fails to consider that, in many towns and cities, the mayor gets considerably more votes from local citizens than do any of the representatives in the state Legislature. Finally, she apparently doesn’t know that the Flagstaff minimum wage law was a voter initiative, not a law passed by a few “local tyrants.”
Serving as state senator requires listening to all constituents, regardless of party. It requires knowing local issues and respecting local officials. Wendy Rogers has proven that she is incapable of these responsibilities. The choice is clear: Felicia French for the Arizona State Senate.
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