Richardson: CD 9 Republican candidates lacking - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Richardson: CD 9 Republican candidates lacking

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Retired Mesa master police officer Bill Richardson lives in the East Valley and can be reached at

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:45 am

The voters of Congressional District 9 are faced with a couple of choices. Do we keep Democrat Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema to represent us or do we elect someone else?

Two Republicans Andrew Walter and Wendy Rogers want replace her.

Walter’s claim to fame is he’s a former quarterback on the Arizona State University football team and he played in the National Football League. Considering that Congress is the ultimate old boys club and Walter’s experience in collegiate and professional football, he might be the best pick for a guy who could fit right in with the back and butt slapping and games they play in Washington.

Rogers’ claim to fame is she is a retired U. S. Air Force lieutenant colonel. To see her campaign materials you’d think her first name is “retired lieutenant colonel” and not Wendy. The former cargo plane pilot should be proud of her service but, as we have seen with the likes of U. S. Senator John McCain, R-AZ, it takes more than military service to be an effective and positive leader in the United States Congress.

The mud slinging between these two has already started.

Walter tells of Rogers’ desire to abolish Social Security. A two-year-old video shows Rogers telling a conservative group called the East Valley Liberty Caucus that Social Security is unconstitutional and said, “I’d like to see it phased out.” If not phased out, she said, it should be privatized. Rogers is now reportedly saying she meant Social Security should be privatized.

Considering Rogers and her husband both have generous government pensions and low cost subsidized healthcare she may not see a need for Social Security for the rest of us.

Rogers’ woes don’t end there. The Arizona Republic has reported both Rogers and Walter have issues related to their failure to pay debts and taxes. According to a May 28, 2014 Arizona Republic story, “GOP leader racked up late taxes,” Rogers and Walter were both in trouble with the tax man and the bank. The story said, “Two Republicans in another competitive race for Congress, the Tempe-based 9th District, have faced financial penalties on their properties.”

Walter reportedly “lost his $700,000 north Phoenix house to foreclosure in 2012.” He blamed the loss on the bursting financial bubble.

Rogers, who touts her fiscal conservatism and business experience, “was late three times on her property taxes for two Tempe homes totaling about $115.” Her campaign spokesman blamed her lack of due diligence on, “a mistake by the county and two were the responsibility of a family member who lived in the house.”

Rogers and Walter blaming others for their failure to satisfy their pay taxes and debts is the sort of character flaws that we’re already plagued with when it comes to elected officials.

For Rogers who touts her military experience as a qualifier for her to be elected to Congress should know as a former officer in the air force the commander is ultimately responsible and the blame doesn’t belong to a subordinate, or in this case of not paying taxes on property owned by Rogers, the blame doesn’t belong to a “family member.”

Are Rogers and Walter the best the Republicans can come up with to challenge Sinema in CD-9?

Sinema has shown her ability work with Republicans on matters of concern for the East Valley and Arizona. Her partnering with CD 5 Republican Congressman Matt Salmon is well known. I can’t see a reason to fire her and replace her with a Republican who can’t pay their taxes or bills.

The Republicans are going to have to do better if they want my vote.

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