AFL-CIO Calls Two State Reps "Heroes" for Voting "No" on Republican Bills; Huppenthal's Trial Delayed

State Representatives Daniel Patterson and Jack Brown were called "heroes" this week by the AFL-CIO for their committment to vote "no" on most Republican bills.

Patterson and Brown began their voting boycott a couple of weeks ago and haven't yet relented, resulting in some kind words from the labor union:


Heroes and Villain This week's unsung heroes are and Rep. Jack Brown and Rep. Daniel Patterson. Rebekah Friend stated, "They both should be commended for standing up and refusing to vote for any Republican bills because of the process and the actual budget." Jack Brown is leading the fight and stepping up and speaking up on the lack of leadership from the majority party. Friend continued, "These two deserve recognition for their courage to speak up for what is right!" Brown spoke up and told members he was beginning a protest of sorts. "I voted no on this bill; I voted no on the last bill; and I'm voting no on all of the bills today," he said. Brown continues, "We should be working on the budget and on bills coming over from the Senate--and, hopefully, we won't pass many of those," he said. Following Rep. Brown's speech, Patterson switched his vote and, on the next bill, explained that he was joining Brown in voting against all bills in order "to send a signal."

The Villain of the week is Senator Russell Pearce for pushing TABOR - the tax payer bill of rights. Pearce said he proudly is renewing the fight against the "profligate overspending that has caused the huge budget deficits." However in a 2007 white paper, by Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Institute, and Tracy Clark, associate director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center, analyzed changes in various measures of both income and state spending in Arizona from 1991 to 2007. They found that government spending as a percentage of taxable income actually has fallen over the last 16 years. Indeed, if government spending had kept pace with the growth of taxable income in Arizona, the state budget would be about $1 billion higher than it is today, according to the researchers.

Rebekah Friend stated, "The current budget deficit is not about over spending rather it is due to lack of investing during prosperous times."

The labor union's update also had something we didn't know about John Huppenthal's legal problems:

Senator Huppenthal's Trial Pushed Back to July State Senator John Huppenthal's trial on misdemeanor charges for theft and tampering with a campaign sign has been moved back to until July 29th. Huppenthal has been charged with an election day incident in which a 79 year old Democratic Volunteer told reporters that the Senator cut down one of the Party's signs and struggled with the 78 year old woman over the sign before driving off.

We just noticed the Repub published something on this recently, too. Huppenthal, a longtime Republican state senator from Chandler, is now slated for a July 29 court date in the San Marcos Justice Court.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.