Earlier this month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey gave his annual state of the state address, speaking at length about investing in education and raising teachers' pay.
He promised to "[reward] the work of our teachers in a way that is fair, permanent, and fiscally responsible.
"Now is not the time to be content or complacent," he said.
But according to a new press release, while Ducey's busy implementing his self-described "ambitious" agenda ahead of his presumed 2018 re-election campaign, Arizona's favorite "alternative" politician, the fictitious Robert Sedona, will be busy implementing his own rival plan by making behind-the-scenes deals with local power brokers.
Sedona's agenda, "Schools, Strip Clubs, and Stadiums," is predicated on promises to eliminate public schools, create jobs by promoting strip clubs, and make the rich even richer by using local taxpayer dollars to support professional sports. (His tagline: Make Arizona Great Finally, or #MAGF.)
The made-up former used car salesman and native Arizonan says he admires Ducey's pro-business approach to governing.
However, Sedona has decided to implement his own plan because he believes the sitting governor hasn't taken his agenda far enough. Sedona also believes he can govern "more better," and as such, has decided to "give the people what they want," and run for governor in 2018, he tells New Times.
"Robert Sedona wants to continue the tradition of giving banal lip service to topics such as education, teacher salaries, environmental care, strengthening infrastructure, and supporting cities, counties, and towns," he adds, speaking, as he often does, in the third person.
"Businesses are profit-focused, and so is Robert Sedona. Governments are designed to serve their public, and Robert Sedona thinks this is hilarious. He will continue the current reign of favoring the budget and shaming and bullying those who disagree or have alternate agendas and voting habits."
As you might recall, the character of Robert Sedona burst onto the political scene last year after a hilariously fake congressional campaign video made the rounds on YouTube – "Vote for me, or I'll shoot ya," he famously said.
The man behind the Sedona character – who has asked to remain anonymous because he works in the local political scene — says he was tired of watching elected leaders pander to certain conservative constituents.
He thought it would be funny to create a candidate who not only openly celebrated these ideas, but took them to the extreme.
Sedona's campaign message last year was a mish-mash of conservative and libertarian ideas, but his three-pronged approach to greatness this time around is more focused – as in, focused on poking fun at Ducey and his supporters.
"Some might say you can't run a state or a country like a business because a company is solely concerned with making money, and not the well-being and growth of its inhabitants and customers," said Sedona, who went on to call the prospect "horse poop."
"Attracting fleeing C-list companies from Arizona's arch enemies California and Texas and humble-bragging on Twitter is more important than figuring out a way to care for children in need of foster care, education, and anything else that takes, not makes, cheddar," he declared.
Sedona's creator said he chose to make education the character's number-one priority as a means of mocking what he believes is Ducey's hollow devotion to the cause.
From Prop 123 — a Ducey-supported voter initiative that takes money from the public land trust to pay schools money the state already owes them — to the governor's promise to give teachers raises – raises, by the way, that upon further investigation only end up amounting to a few hundred dollars a year — Sedona's creator said he's watched the current administration with horror, and has decided to use the character to fight back.
"Everyone gives lip service that education is important, but at the end of the day, no one seems to act on it," Sedona's creator said, adding that in contrast, "Robert Sedona believes that we should just do away with education completely because it doesn't seem like people really want to fund it … and kids should take care of themselves."
He also slammed Ducey on more than just education.
Consider the fake candidate's plan for 2018: "We’ll plan on phasing out Medicaid and Medicare. We need to give Americans a choice of completely unaffordable medical care 'options' that they’ll definitely need since we price bad food low and healthy food high."
Sedona also promised to never, ever raise taxes, even if it means further starving things like education and welfare, and to use state money for his personal gain.
ONLY THING ROBERT SEDONA & DONALD TRUMP LIKE BETTER THAN A FINE TRUMP STEAK & GLASS OF MANISCHEWITZ IS TALKIN IN THE THIRD PERSON! #AZLeg— Robert Sedona (@RobertSedona) January 12, 2017
Here's the candidate: "Raising taxes? That's the biggest laugh of all. Robert Sedona would sooner vote Democrat than raise taxes. Voters don't like paying more money, Robert Sedona thinks, and so he would rather have popularity than the bad ratings incurred by forcing people to share and give to those in need."
"Robert Sedona admires the many out-of-state trips taken by the top tier of state government, such as attending the president's inauguration in Washington, D.C., a big party that will have no impact on kids not learning in underfunded public schools and giving shelter to those on the street, in need, or in abusive homes.
"It's much more important to attend big player parties and suit-and-tie rallies to further empower yourself and establish position for a future run at national office or maybe a sweet private sector gig … Let the next sucker clean up Robert Sedona's mess in 2022 or 2026."
Bottom line, Sedona said he's in politics to enrich himself and his business buddies, not help the public good – "Arizona ain't no charity, and it shouldn't be run like one," he said..
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Whether Sedona has any success with his agenda, his creator said we can at least all look forward to another campaign video sometime in the next year.
And as a reminder that Ducey, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, often gave out ice cream during his campaign events, Sedona will be serving free used tires at his.
Read Sedona's Legislative Agenda: