Republican state Representative Jerry Weiers's moving of a planter might not be the biggest scandal that's gone down at the state capitol, but some folks are highly opinionated on the issue.
Glendale mayoral candidate Manny Cruz released the surveillance-video footage of Weiers, his opponent in the race, hooking his truck up to the planter and moving it, apparently to retain a parking spot for his motorcycle.
The arguments from the this is a controversy and the this is not a controversy side of the issue can be seen below.
First, here's part of House Minority Leader Chad Campbell's response:
"There are so many things wrong with this scenario, it is difficult to decide where to start," Campbell said. "For starters though, it begs the question - what is going on at the Arizona House of Representatives? A sitting representative breached protocol and potentially damaged taxpayer property, and we have to learn about it because he was caught on a security tape that was uncovered by his political opponent? What did Speaker Tobin know about this and what, if anything, was done to rectify the situation and hold Rep. Weiers accountable?
"Those planters were put in place as part of a security protocol, yet Rep. Weiers decided to remove one without the permission of the Department of Public Safety or anyone else? Additionally, why did Rep. Weiers think he was entitled to endanger public safety by parking a motorcycle on a sidewalk that is used by the general public, legislators, staff members and others?"
It reportedly took a forklift to move the planter back into place.
"Who paid for that?" Campbell asked. "If taxpayers were forced to foot the bill for what amounts to a grown man's temper tantrum, I have a big problem with that. The person responsible for those actions should reimburse the state for any costs incurred. And what if someone had been injured during Rep. Weiers' unauthorized move of a very large and heavy piece of property paid for by taxpayers? What would've happened then? These types of questions need to be immediately answered by Speaker Tobin and Representative Weiers."
Campbell added that this incident should have been made public sooner.
"We are just hearing the details of this event months after it happened," Campbell said. "Why did the Speaker not make this public? And if this was hidden, what else is happening at the Arizona House of Representatives that we don't know about?"
And here's the other side, from Jason Rose, public-relations hotshot and Weiers' campaign spokesman:
Now that Manuel Cruz has wasted government resources and the public's time looking into the movements of a potted plant, candidate for Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers is considering calling for an investigation of Manuel Cruz on equally disturbing allegations.
Manuel Cruz is a known pedestrian. People have seen him walking on real intersections. Has he ever jaywalked across 17th Avenue at the State Capitol? Weiers may be be asking for all video and photo surveillance available at the State Capital to resolve this burning issue. It's only fair since the Cruz campaign spent weeks asking the DPS for video of a moving potted plant.
Sources have told us that Cruz has a library card. Does he have any overdue books? Did he fail to return a book on time in the past? The people have a right to know.
Back in the 80's and 90's Cruz likely rented videos. Did he always rewind? Did the copy of Moonstruck he rented in 1991 arrive back at Blockbuster properly rewound, or did the poor soul who rented it after Cruz have to waste five minutes before seeing Cher's Oscar winning performance?
Other issues that may bear investigation
- Mattress tag removal
- Failure to return the grocery store cart to its proper location
- Grass clippings in the recycle barrel
- Coupon abuse
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So, is this a controversy or non-controversy?
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