Thursday, July 28, 2005

Janet wants to move on

From today's Republic: Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, who angered Republican legislators by vetoing two major education bills and later claiming credit for GOP-sponsored tax relief for businesses, said Wednesday that she hopes they can put aside partisan differences and move beyond "dead horse" issues that divide them.

(Aside from the link above, you can read more posts on this running feud here, here, here, here as well as here, and finally here.)

"Dead horse" issues? Surprising rhetoric, at least to me. I acknowledge that I'm somewhat cynical in my analysis of it, but it sounds like Janet wants to avoid a discussion of the vetoes altogether.

"Moving forward," is necessary because there is unfinished work at the Capitol. Fundamentally though there is an issue of trust now between the Governor and the Legislature that needs addressing. Yet another example can be seen here where the Legislature is charging that she took credit for their achievement: More recently, they accused her of falsely claiming credit in June for spearheading successful efforts to reduce business property taxes.

For her part, Janet seemingly wants no part of it: Napolitano told reporters Wednesday that she doesn't want to get into a war of words with Republicans on tax issues and instead wants to work together on consensus proposals to move the state forward. She called the Republican-sponsored bill on corporate income tax relief that helped prompt Intel Corp. to pick Arizona for a new plant an example of what can be accomplished.

"That's what I want to get the Legislature refocused on - how we get back to working together beyond partisan politics and into what the state needs to move forward," Napolitano said.

Janet is meeting next month with legislative leaders Bennett and Weiers. Exactly how- and how fast they'll all be moving forward remains to be seen.

Publicly at least, the Republican leaders take a stance similar to mine; Janet created a trust deficit when she vetoed the original bills. She did nothing to improve that by the way she has handled the situation and answered questions since May.

Ken Bennett bottom-lines the leadership's position thus: ...Republicans' distrust has been heightened by Napolitano's later claim on her role in the property tax change. "It's becoming increasingly difficult to believe her at all," he said.

That kind of says it all. Janet broke trust.

She wants to move forward, but doing so will take an effort, among other things, at rebuilding that trust. The legislature needs to know that a future deal designed to replace the vetoed bills will in fact be kept.

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