John Rodriguez

John Rodriguez

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I have come to know why, for many Americans, “politicians” is a bad word. Most of the people I know are frustrated with a Republican led Congress and a Democratic majority in the Senate unable to work together on issues that are important to the American people like immigration reform, the national debt, Social Security, international conflicts and many more concerns we are all, as Americans, hoping will be addressed soon.

This election cycle would have been the fourth election for me to have hosted a Republican Congressional debate that represents all of Ahwatukee and much of the East Valley, however, this year one candidate would not agree to attending my debate but did attend my debate in 2012 and liked the debate style I had. Some of the politicians who have attended my past community events include Congressman David Schweikert, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Corporation Commissioner Susan Bitter-Smith, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio and Superintendent John Huppenthal.

This primary for the 9th Congressional District (CD9) has two candidates who were both invited to attend my debate this month. Wendy Rogers, who attended my debate in 2012, and newcomer Andrew Walter, both looking to be the Republican nominee for the CD9 seat. In 2008, 2010 and 2012 all the Republican candidates for Congress agreed to rules presented to them like: no questions from one candidate to another, no long winded speeches from obvious campaign supporters plugging their candidate and questions would be screened by myself to keep personal attacks out of the debate. The Congressional candidates in the previous election cycles liked the format and, as every year, I endorse who I think will best serve me, my family and the community.

I contacted the campaigns for Rogers and Walter to invite them both to my event. Rogers attended my previous debate in 2012 and I sent several emails to her campaign, with no response. Calling a member of her campaign I was assured Rogers would contact me, still no response. I emailed her campaign manager directly, Martin Mastro, and not even a word from him. So I called Rogers’ cell phone she gave to me in the 2012 election, only to have her campaign manager answer the phone. Long story short, Rogers still has not returned my phone call.

I make no money doing my community service and it made me realize, if Rogers won’t talk to a community volunteer, how will she be able to work with Democrats in Congress? This goes back to the frustration American voters have with the “my way or the highway” political nonsense we are seeing in both houses not agreeing on just about any issue the opposing party brings up.

Not being able to talk to Rogers, I looked at her website to see what ideas she has for this election, if she were to win the CD9 seat. More of the stuff voters don’t like. On her website she attacks the current Congresswoman Sinema on many issues which, again, reinforces to me that she will not work with members of the other party on any issue and she will do more of the same stuff we are getting tired with neither party willing to work with the other. You see, that’s why in my debates we focus on what a candidate will do if elected. This election is without a doubt a year American voters can fire or not hire those who will not work with the other party on the important issues of the day.

On Aug. 26 Valley voters can elect a person who is a well established leader not only in business but also on the football field, Walter. He has a grasp of what it will take to finally address the immigration issue, promoting choice of schools our children can attend, the Second Amendment and protecting Social Security for our seniors. Those of you in Ahwatukee, and the East Valley, who will miss this election’s community debate, email Rogers and let her know that as a voting group the residents of Ahwatukee, and the East Valley, are some of the best there are and snubbing our debate may cost her some votes. And because of Rogers snubbing the Ahwatukee and East Valley voters who attend my debate, help me elect a real team player to Congress and elect Andrew Walter on Aug. 26. We can’t afford another politician who will not work with the other party on any issue. Republican and Independent registered voters help send Walter to Congress on Aug. 26 because we don’t need more of the same dysfunction in D.C.

• Ahwatukee resident John D. Rodriguez is a community organizer and a licensed sports agent in Arizona. Reach him at or (602) 526-7512.

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