By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
In "Silent Running" (Wonk, September 24), Silverman squarely hits an issue that has been bothering me for some time--Mrs. Hull's refusal or inability to speak for herself. To informed observers (defined as those who don't rely entirely upon the Arizona Republic as their source of misinformation), this has been a glaring deficiency with the current governor for many years. Why is she not able to campaign? Is she too old or weak? Is she too busy? Perhaps there is a third, unknown problem that the public needs to know about.
In any event, her singular platform of "efficient government" doesn't seem to be working because she isn't finding time to make any public appearances, particularly if Paul Johnson is going to be in attendance. Maybe this expedient government model is working just fine. Mike Hull is a wonderful example. With nepotism, you don't need to review credentials or conduct interviews, and our alleged leaders can just hide behind the unconditional support of their children.
I think Arizonans deserve better. We deserve to know from where Granny Hull comes. We deserve better than to be spoon-fed the spontaneous and inaccurate mumblings of her surrogate-child. We deserve to know about Gambling Granny Hull's close ties to the Las Vegas gaming interests, why she opposed the Martin Luther King holiday three times, why she first passed a school finance plan knowing it would not pass constitutional muster, and why she has flip-flopped on the abortion issue.
Perhaps the governor cannot answer these questions without getting a healthy serving of the obligatory political egg on the face. Maybe she avoids speaking in public because she just isn't at all articulate, lacks charisma, and sounds more like a weathered barmaid than a governor.
I guess if I were Granny Hull and had her history and credentials, I, too, would hide behind children and keep my mouth shut. Her handlers know her best. They will undoubtedly keep with the voice-over commercials and silent, surrogate appearances. This way, the rest of Arizona can't and won't get to know the real Jane Hull. And her child, Mike, may get himself a job on the Ninth Floor. This would be unfortunate for Arizona.
I am a 79-year-old lifelong Republican who lives in Yavapai County, and I am wondering about Mrs. Jane Hull's use of Eddie Basha as a spokesperson. Why would she use a big-spending, liberal Democrat who supports same-sex marriage as a reason to vote for her in November? As the public record shows, Mrs. Hull and Mr. Basha have many things in common, and I am sure he applauded her in the late 1980s and early 1990s when she presided over the largest series of tax increases in the state's history. The Basha ad has convinced me, and I hope other Republicans and Independents, not to vote for her in November and to support the person who actually lowered taxes and cut the government payroll when he served as a pro-business mayor of Phoenix--Paul Johnson.
For several months, I and others in my west Prescott neighborhood have wondered about the Arizona Republic's policy of failing to report critically about Mrs. Hull. Her questionable fund-raising practices, her relationship with lobbyists and special interests in Maricopa County, and her efforts at avoiding public appearances and sending her son or someone else demands some type of rational explanation. Why didn't the state's leading newspaper cover her taking money from Las Vegas gaming interests? At least the Prescott Daily Courier picked up that story. Even Republican loyalists see that the Republic will not press her to discuss tough public policy issues facing the state.
It is obvious from the primary elections and the attempts of numerous organizations statewide that Mrs. Hull refuses to participate in any form of open debate in our democracy. In the primary season, at least, it became standard practice that she would cancel scheduled appearances at the last minute or else send her son or some "adviser" to represent her.
As a Republican, I would like to feel comfortable voting for the party nominee. Does Mrs. Hull care about rural Arizona or its concerns? Certainly, upon close examination, Paul Johnson is suitably moderate-to-conservative enough for the state's electorate and he is young enough and energetic enough to attend debates and public functions. In fact, in the past year, I have seen him in Prescott at least 10 times.
And, you know what? He has some great ideas about public school funding, tax cuts for the middle class and elderly, and HMO reform. I know where this young man stands on issues affecting my life and pocketbook. I want to hear from Mrs. Hull where she stands on these issues.
I attended the Yavapai County Republican barbecue last week, and guess what? The sitting governor did not attend this traditional Republican function. We see her son quoted in the paper rather than her. Will we have her son, unpopular even among party regulars, running the state and issuing public statements if she is elected? If she refuses to meet the people in rural Arizona, and she continues to hide behind her advisers and a lack of critical reporting by the state's leading newspaper, she will end up losing Republican votes as she already has in Mohave and other rural counties.