By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 30, 2002
The Arizona Legislature is faced with a dire budget situation for the next fiscal year, and it is up to southern Arizona residents to send representatives to the state capital who will look out for the best interests of the UA.
Democrat Ted Downing and Republican Ed Poelstra are the District 28 State House Representatives who are best suited to represent their area and protect the university from continuous budget cuts.
Downing, who has taught classes in social development, hydrology and anthropology at the UA since 1971, is in the best position of the three candidates to represent the university in the Legislature. He considers the budgets cuts to the university as an absolute "burden on the students."
Challenging the status quo of prison spending, he points out that it is cheaper to send a person to the UA than to prison.
As a representative, Poelstra has already learned that funding the universities is often an afterthought to K-12 education. As for the best interests of the district, if elected, he will likely be appointed chairman of a committee ÷ helping southern Arizona gain political clout in a Phoenix-dominated political arena.
A self-described moderate, Poelstra will not just vote down party lines. Instead, he will make well-thought-out decisions. He also said he will vote against any cuts to Arizona's three universities' budgets.
The third candidate, Democrat Dave Bradley, is a thoughtful candidate and is well-respected as executive director of La Paloma Family Services. But while he and Downing share many ideas and values, Downing's university experience gives him an edge.
Downing and Poelstra have the qualities District 28 must demand from its elected representatives and are in the best position to fight for the needs of higher education.