Submitted at Sheriff Paul Babeu’s request, this proposal illustrates why the public becomes cynical and distrustful of government.
In item S, the City of Coolidge and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office are clearly entitled to benefit from a so-called “AARA” grant.
However, what is not pointed out is that AARA stands for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as President Barack Obama’s much maligned stimulus program. It’s a source of funding for public needs that have been appropriately requested by public agencies and approved by the Board for the benefit of Pinal County.
It’s a stimulus program that, as of a year ago, brought over $6.2 billion to Arizona. Funds that have been used for health coverage and health services, education, human services, transportation, stabilizing government services, commerce, energy, environmental quality, water, housing, and public safety. Moreover, the Governor’s office has information showing that thousands of Arizona jobs have been saved or created with these stimulus funds.
And yet, our wannabe congressman, requesting today’s funds, criticizes these funding programs as socialism. In today’s non-surprise announcement of his candidacy for congress he continues his duplicitous campaign by inveighing against the federal deficit. As a practitioner of deficit spending at the county level, Babeu, without losing a beat, now transforms himself from a deficit-spender into a deficit-fighting first responder. How gullible does he think the public is!
In a recent rant, he stated “there are communities in my county that are 21 percent unemployed”. . . and remarked that . . . “The solution we’re getting from Washington is more stimulus money and higher taxes.” Then he concludes, “I know that’s the wrong answer.”
So which is it, Sheriff Babeu? Stimulus money is wrong, and here you are hypocritically requesting that very same stimulus money you deride as “socialism”.
It is those self-serving and irresponsible attacks that create public disillusionment and heighten distrust of politicians who talk out of both sides of the mouth. To take a line from Babeu’s candidacy announcement, “right now the biggest threats facing our country are from Washington,” and I will add, from politicians who talk one way and act the opposite.
The vetting will continue as other examples of duplicity tumble out of the closet.
Statement at Pinal County Board of Supervisors, January 4, 2012