Arizona Daily Wildcat advertising info
UA news
world news
cat calls
police beat
photo features
special reports

UA Basketball
restaurant, bar and party guide
Write a letter to the Editor

Contact the Daily Wildcat staff

Send feedback to the web designers

Arizona Student Media info...

Daily Wildcat staff alumni...

TV3 - student tv...

KAMP - student radio...

Wildcat Online Banner

Commentary: The triad of evil

Illustration by Josh Hagler

By Laura Winsky
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Feb. 25, 2002

Last Thursday night, in the backyard of the Honors College (Slonaker House), the key Democratic candidates running in the fall elections gathered to socialize, share concerns, and gather volunteers and hopefully a signature or two.

It was open to the public, but more students should have attended.

The Young Democrats sponsored the event and, despite Gabby Giffords being detained in Phoenix and Janet Napolitano sending a representative, the turnout on the part of the candidates was amazing. The county director for the Democratic Party opened with the best quote of the night:

"The Democratic Party was started to defend the weakest of society. President Bush has spent time lately talking about the axis of evil; we're here tonight to keep working on the triad of evil: poverty, substance abuse and a struggling education system."

Represented that night were the candidates running for governor, secretary of state, treasurer, U.S. Congress, state senate, state house, and the corporation commission. Although many were there pushing signatures and trying to drum up five-dollar clean elections donations, others were there with their hands free and their minds ready to debate the issues that were most important to them. In fact, that's exactly how one could tell the difference between those candidates with incumbency and name recognition and those starting up a grassroots campaign. The candidate was either freely socializing and meeting people or running around with clipboards working from the ground up.

Students had the opportunity to walk right up to candidates and ask them what they were working on or frankly tell them what the state needs.

Particularly for native Arizonans who had the guts to march right up, this was a great chance to approach some of the biggest names out of the Arizona Daily Star in the past decade. Raul Grijalva, Mary Judge Ryan, George Cunningham and Virginia (Ginger) Yrun were just a few of the hands to shake that night.

Mary Judge Ryan, who is mounting a campaign for U.S. Congress District Eight, will run unopposed in the primary. A tiny woman in physical stature, she had a big personality and spoke that night about prescription drug benefits.

She used the example of the trend of taking tour busloads of senior citizens and pharmacists down to the border to buy the same drugs at an eighth of the cost. She cited this as a clear example that a need for benefits is at the boiling point. "Shays/Meehan (bill) is only the first step but a start," toward getting the pharmaceutical companies out of the politicians' pockets.

Virginia Yrun will run for Arizona state senate in the fall and talked a lot about the equity issues on which she's been working. "The budget shortfall has overloaded us," she said. But Yrun has been working on her pet projects despite the overbearing budget problems. One of her main projects has been to make sure that, in the future, women's prescription contraception is added to health insurance packages. "It's an equity issue and it must be looked at that way." She's also working on revising statutes that make it difficult for university employees to unionize. "These people are government employees like anyone else, and should enjoy the same benefits."

Raul Grijalva will run for the newly redistricted U.S. Congress spot. A long-time Board of Supervisors member, Grijalva talked about education and the border. "We must put humanity back into the discussion of the border. Es ser’a. I'm in favor of a guest worker program but only if they enjoy the same rights as you and me." Grijalva thinks Vicente Fox's proposal of a guest worker program won't be approached again until 2003 in time for the 2004 election so that Republicans can court the Hispanic vote. He also spoke about education. "It should be viewed as a K through 16 system, not K through 12. The University is a public institution and should be available to all."

The entire event was an excellent opportunity to tell the candidates just what was on students' minds.

To make an allusion to my fellow columnist Shane Dale after meeting Chief Justice Rehnquist, I shall finish the column by saying, "And that was my Thursday."

I must change the subject for one last thought. I'm just an editorialist, but for the real journalists who sacrifice and work hard in the Wildcat office every day, I'd like to say just one more thing:

Mrs. Pearl, we're so sorry!


advertising info

Webmaster -
© Copyright 2001 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media