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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Lujanesque Strategy of Arizona Democrats

I was discussing yesterday's post with a buddy of mine who asked if I was implying that Rep. Lujan was an idiot given my mocking of his op-ed. I replied not at all, that given the format of that day's op-ed page, with pieces by each party leader of the 2 chambers in the Legislature, that Lujan had to write something. It's just like with Sherlock Holmes who illuminated the fact that the dog didn't bark, I found his lack of substance to be enlightening.

Look the State of Arizona is in the fiscal crapper. If I went back two years, I'm sure I could dig up JLBC analysis that by now would predict we would be bouncing back revenue-wise.... but of course we aren't. The rainy day fund is long gone, funds have been swept, agency budgets have chopped been repeatedly chopped, and we burn through hundreds of millions in lines of credit faster than the ASU football team could win games.

Also for the past 12 months, both political branches of government have been run by the Republicans. Forget the fact, and the media largely has, that through inaction by Napolitano that the resulting fiscal mess was even worse than it should have been. The Republicans now own the problem and are expected to fix it and with all the tricks used up we're down to some politically deadly combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

You think the minority party in the Legislature wants to touch that pile of crap with a 10-foot pole? Heck no, that's the luxury of being in the political minority; you can attack targets of opportunity without the same sense of responsibility. Back during Napolitano's first term, the Democrats could achieve their political objectives by using her veto pen as a backstop and then lure over enough moderate Republicans to create ad hoc majorities on given issues. Now they can sit back and let the Republican fiscal initiatives founder on fissures within the GOP caucus.

The political up-side to this is not only do the Democrats remain relatively untainted but by making Governor Brewer and the other Republicans look incompetent, they pave the way for a Governor Goddard come November. Don't think so? Then why haven't the Democrats voted for the sales tax referral?

The down-side of this strategy is by sitting on the side-lines, Arizona cotinues to slide toward fiscal ruin but that's the Republicans fault.