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Editorial: Constituents shouldn't be secondary to state legislator

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 5, 1999

It appears the wrath of outspoken state Representative Jean McGrath is continuing.

Not content with slamming the three state universities last month and pushing her right-wing, ultra-conservative agenda, McGrath decided to include more choice words yesterday in an interview with an Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter.

As a reminder, McGrath, a Republican from Glendale, told the Arizona Board of Regents last month that co-ed residence halls at the three state universities lead to pregnancy and welfare dependence. She added that university officials are "supporting immorality" for allowing the dorms on campuses.

She also condemned the University of Arizona for sponsoring women's studies classes, saying that they should properly name the courses as "lesbian studies."

"I don't see any benefit in having a lesbian studies class, but if you want to, it's up to you," she said.

And now, McGrath has struck again, further embarrassing this state and herself.

In yesterday's Wildcat, she reinforced that the dorms are evil dungeons of immorality, saying that "it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that it's wrong for the state to be paying for students to have a place to party and have sex."

But once again, McGrath presented no factual arguments, relying only on hearsay and party lines from the latest "700 Club" broadcast and archived speeches from Rush Limbaugh.

The best remark, however, fell at the end of yesterday's article. It summarizes McGrath as a politician and as a person.

This one sentence puts everything else in perspective, and makes you wonder why the people of Glendale continue to vote for this woman.

"I am willing to take a lot of flack for my beliefs, and I think in the end I will be rewarded by being re-elected," she said.

It's not surprising that a politician wants to get re-elected. No one enjoys losing their job.

But McGrath's statement proves that the system is flawed. It's a system where politicians' minds are on one track - getting elected and getting re-elected.

Instead of being rewarded by bettering the lives of Arizonans and fixing the state's problems, McGrath's reward comes from validation of her existence as a legislator.

She says wasted money is her No. 1 enemy. In reality, McGrath's No. 1 enemy should be herself and her shocking ignorance of the state's issues and the university's true problems.

What is refreshing, however, is to see that students have been calling and e-mailing McGrath's office, voicing their opinions.

Granted, some of the e-mails have been laced with vulgarity, which completely defeats the purpose.

But a good legislator should welcome well-thought-out e-mails and phone calls from constituents with open arms. After all, the people of Arizona elect these individuals.

Instead, McGrath dismissed the viewpoints of UA students, saying: "It's really the adult view of the world versus the student view of the world that has created the problem."

It's no surprise that McGrath made that statement. Coming from such a small-minded individual, it's almost humorous.

Despite her dismissal of students' viewpoints, we encourage everyone to call McGrath and voice their opinions.

Until this legislator truly understands the University of Arizona and all of its various aspects, she will continue to spew the drivel that made everyone laugh the first time.

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