Ann Kirkpatrick Top Story
In Congress, Ann Kirkpatrick voted with Nancy Pelosi 86 percent of the time and is now taking money from her to fund her campaign.
Kirkpatrick voted for the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus, and in her final two days in office, she gave her staff and campaign aides more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded bonuses.
Ann Kirkpatrick Secondary Story
Arizona Daily Star: Endorsement: Paton is right pick to tackle budget, debt
The biggest challenge facing the federal government is to get spending and debt under control without eviscerating Social Security, Medicare and other safety nets.
For too long members of Congress have dodged difficult decisions or refused to listen to people with other views.
Based on Republican Jonathan Paton's history in the Arizona Legislature, we believe he will be accessible to all constituents - and won't shut the door the first time they disagree.
We also trust he will be willing to make hard, unpopular decisions that the budget crisis demands.
We don't favor change for its own sake, but in a race like District 1 where both major-party candidates are well-versed on the issues, sending a newcomer to Washington, D.C., is justified.
For those reasons, Paton is our choice to represent the district.
It's this last point about change that swings our endorsement to Paton instead of his Democratic opponent, Ann Kirkpatrick.
She served one term, from 2008 to 2010, when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate and yet devised no long-term plans to get spending under control.
That isn't to say we agree with all of Paton's positions, such as his pledge to Grover Norquist for no new taxes. He should re-evaluate that decision because a thoughtful politician doesn't say "no, never" to any possible solution.
However, we admire his record of bringing to light issues others would rather minimize or view as too complex. For example, we share his views that government must be more transparent and accountable. He championed exactly that in the Legislature when the state child-welfare agency failed to protect children from abuse.
He stood up for children with no political voice and created purposeful change. Thoughtful leadership always challenges the status quo to produce solutions.
Jonathan Paton is the best choice to represent the district and to help set federal spending priorities that reduce the debt and still protect the most vulnerable.
District 1 is huge, stretching from Oro Valley, north through Flagstaff to the Utah border and east to New Mexico. It includes the Navajo and Hopi reservations.
Arizona Republic: Paton has right temperament
We endorsed Ann Kirkpatrick for Congress in 2008 and 2010, so it goes without saying we were favorably inclined her way when she showed up for our interview with Congressional District 1 candidates.
However, candidate interviews can sometimes throw curve balls, and this one left us bewildered.
For an hour, Kirkpatrick ridiculed, belittled, cut off and scolded her opponent in a manner that exceeded rudeness. We have seen more complete meltdowns in our board meetings but never one so unexpected.
Kirkpatrick has always seemed the even-tempered embodiment of rural Arizona, someone who lived the life and talked the talk. So, it was jarring to see her unbounded contempt for opponent Jonathan Paton.
She accused him of dissembling and pandering, attacks that executed with finesse would have been acceptable in a heated campaign. But the slashing nature of her put-downs only framed Paton's cool composure.
He calmly defended his record and made his most difficult case that someone who was only recently an outsider could represent the district and its concerns. Kirkpatrick called him a carpetbagger. Paton responded that the district already knows Kirkpatrick and wants him. To back that up, Paton touted his endorsements from mayors and council members throughout the district, from places like Marana, Taylor, Show Low, Safford and Globe.
Asked what she learned from losing her congressional seat in 2010, Kirkpatrick whiffed. The 62-year-old Flagstaff Democrat said she lost because Republicans were winning just about everything that cycle. That left Paton to fill in the blanks, and he did, arguing that her votes on the Obama health-care overhaul and economic stimulus sent her packing.
Paton is a 41-year-old establishment Republican who lost his own attempt in 2010 to capture then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' seat. An Army reservist and Iraq War veteran, he served in the state House and Senate from 2005 to 2010. The great achievement of his legislative career was working with Rep. Kirk Adams to impose reforms on Child Protective Services, making the agency more transparent.
Paton is a jobs hawk who supports the development of the Resolution Copper mine, which could bring thousands of jobs to rural Arizona. In that way, he is not unlike Kirkpatrick. What sets them apart is composure. She lost hers during a significant test for this endorsement. He did not.
The Arizona Republic recommends voters choose Jonathan Paton in the newly drawn District 1.
Tucson Weekly: CD 1 Air War: Kirkpatrick Levels BS Claim Against Paton on Rio Nuevo
Posted by Jim Nintzel on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM
We've seen plenty of BS in congressional races this year, with our favorite being the Big Lie that Democrats cut more than $700 billion from Medicare. That one has been debunked repeatedly by FactCheck.org and PolitiFact, although that didn't stop Mitt Romney from using it again in this week's presidential debate.
Now it's Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick who is leveling phony claims against Republican Jonathan Paton in the race for Congressional District 1, which includes Oro Valley, Marana, much of rural eastern Arizona and Flagstaff.
Kirkpatrick's latest TV ad, which you can see above, accuses Paton of wasting more than $200 million while serving on the Rio Nuevo Board.
The narrator in the ad says that Paton "served on the Rio Nuevo and wasted $200 million of taxpayers' money. Now it's under criminal investigation and could cost us another $72 million."
Rio Nuevo has a long and troubled history, but if you want to claim that $200 million was wasted, you have to acknowledge that the money was wasted when the city of Tucson and the original Rio Nuevo Board were in charge of the downtown revitalization project. Paton called for audits of that spending while serving in the Arizona Legislature and pushed to see a new board formed that stripped control from the city of Tucson.
By the time Paton joined the new Rio Nuevo Board following his resignation from the state Senate to pursue an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2010, the Rio Nuevo Board members had stopped spending money on almost anything besides audits and attorneys.
Regarding the criminal investigation: It's our understanding that the FBI has been assisting the Arizona Attorney General's Office with looking into what happened with spending before the new board was created. That investigation has dragged on a long time without any criminal charges being filed. The charge that Paton's activities are under criminal investigation doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
You can be critical of the reformed Rio Nuevo board that Paton joined for filing lawsuits instead of pushing forward with repairs to the Tucson Convention Center, but accusing him of being part of the group that wasted hundreds of millions of dollars is simply false.
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