Andy Tobin is the embodiment of the U.S. Congress … now

Posted on October 27, 2014


Before I launch into all the examples from his own political record, let me give you one astonishing reason of why Arizona should *NOT* send Andy Tobin to Congress in Washington.

Remember Arizona’s ridiculous, asinine, homophobic, offensive and ignorant SB 1062 proposal that would have allowed businesses to discriminate based on supposed “religious principles”?  Well, Andy Tobin said last week, in public mind you, that AZ SB1062 wouldn’t have been necessary if it wasn’t for the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare.  That’s right; Arizona’s Speaker of the House of Representatives – who wants you to seriously elect him to the United States Congress – said that the national healthcare law was the reason for the submission of SB1062 to the Arizona House floor … and get this … he said it was because of First Amendment rights.  The fact that he said this means he either grossly misunderstands how laws work in America, or he just couldn’t remember which Koch Brothers talking point he was supposed to use at that moment. Frankly, I’m surprised that he didn’t somehow manage to work gun freedom and voter fraud into the discussion.

But enough about Tobin’s asinine attempt to connect dots between health care and religious bigotry. Let’s move on to Tobin’s many other asinine statements and actions.

Nobody who follows what politicians *DO* – as opposed to what they say – should be surprised that D.C. Republicans consider Andy Tobin to be a major acquisition. He is, after all, every bit the money-grubbing, corporate-puppet profiteer that they are.

Put aside that Tobin avidly supported the last Republican government shutdown and just-as-avidly supports another one. On October 16, 2013 in the Arizona Republic, Tobin said that Republicans in Washington “weren’t being extreme” in their holding government funding hostage to get their way on changes to the Affordable Care Act. He said the GOP’s threat – and subsequent follow-through – of shutting down the federal government, costing the U.S. taxpayers more than $23 Billion, was “very appropriate.

Put aside that Tobin wants to gut educational funding like it’s going out of style. During his eight years in the Arizona House of Representatives, specifically from 2010 to 2012, Tobin voted to approve $1.77 billion in cuts to education funding in 2010 and 2011, and following 17 hours of debate later in 2011, Tobin and the Republican-controlled Arizona legislature slashed $198 million from Arizona university funding, and another $73 million from community college funding.

Put aside Tobin’s grotesque fealty to corporations and his long history of putting corporate wants over the public’s need. Tobin supported and voted for AZ SB1413, which exempts manufacturers in Arizona from having to pay the state sales tax on electricity. Tobin voted for SB 1484 which gives large manufacturers an income tax credit for costs at their plants.

Put aside that Tobin wants to gut Medicare and Medicaid, even more than his colleagues have previously suggested.  Tobin is one of the 36 Republican members of the Arizona legislature who signed onto a lawsuit in September 2013 against Governor Jan Brewer with the uber-conservative Goldwater Institute over the Arizona Medicaid Expansion.

Put aside Tobin’s efforts to block legal immigration by sponsoring AZ HB 2102 to further increase the bureaucratic difficulty faced by people attempting to gain U.S. citizenship through proper, legal channels.

Put aside Tobin’s oh-so-Congress-like opposition to abortion with his sponsorship of AZ HB 2564, which defined a woman’s pregnancy as beginning on the first day of her last menstrual cycle prior to the confirmation of pregnancy by “a recognized authority.”

Put aside Tobin’s eager leap on to the GOP fear-mongering bandwagon when he charged that illegal immigrant children from South America entering the United States are very likely bringing Ebola in with them. “Anything’s now possible,” Tobin said in August of the thousands of South American children who crossed the country’s southern border. “So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered (the country), I don’t think anyone would be surprised.”

Put all that aside and just look at the money side of Andy Tobin. It is a plain, simple and undisputed fact that, from in 2011 and 2012, Andy Tobin accepted more cash and gifts from lobbyist than any other state politician in Arizona. He has, in fact, accepted more cash and gifts than many of his colleagues combined. These facts are documented in the Arizona Capitol Times editions on April 22, 2013 and May 20, 2013. When asked about the volume of cash and gifts from lobbyists, Tobin laughed and said “It was all good, clean fun.” [AZ TV Channel 3, May 7, 2013] And Tobin attended the uber-secret, closed-door, not-open-to-the-public steak, lobster and booze dinner with at least 16 other Arizona legislators at Donovan’s Restaurant this past spring, hosted – and paid for – entirely by the American Legislative Exchange Council, the national lobbyist organization that writes laws and spoon-feeds them to Republican state-level politicians all over the country to further the extreme right-wing political agenda. When questioned about the ALEC dinner, Tobin laughed and chimed in with his colleague, State Rep. Debbie Lesko, that it was “just a group of folks getting together.” Lesko, by the way, is the Arizona Chairperson of ALEC.

What makes all this information truly remarkable is that Tobin’s campaign catch-phrase is “He’ll Change Washington.” Change Washington?  What’s he going to do … make Congress even more corrupt and loathsome? Congress already has a national approval rating of 9 percent.  Add Andy Tobin to that mix, and we just might see the first time ever of an approval rating falling into negative numbers.

Don’t send Any Tobin to Washington. The very best he would possibly do is keep things exactly as they are now.