Feb. 14, the centennial of Arizona's statehood! What a fantastic opportunity for Arizona to have created a week-long celebration, spearheaded by our "supposedly" business friendly Republican governor and Republican dominated Legislature. These leaders could have been the catalyst for Arizona's hotels, restaurants, and other tourist friendly establishments to jump on board and capitalize on a once-in-a-century opportunity. It could have brought tens of thousands of winter-weary tourists to sunny, warm Arizona, dumping tens of millions of dollars into our ailing state economy. If coordinated properly, the centennial celebration could have included events in every town and city throughout the state, could have touted our many great attractions, and could have culminated with a day-long celebration at the Capitol in America's fifth largest city, ending with an unforgettable fireworks display.

Did our Republican "leaders" spend the last year or two making sure that this event was the economic boon that our state desperately needed? Nope. Instead they worked hard passing legislation that allows guns in bars and universities, cuts school funding, cuts health care for poor children and the disabled, and cuts federally reimbursed unemployment insurance.

Arizona, the state that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity!

Fred Barlam

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