Speaker Andy Tobin Rebuffs Partisan Attacks by the Arizona Republic

Only the Arizona Republic would allow one of their employees to disrespect public servants, attempt to justify that abuse and arrogantly announce they must be right if they angered people on both sides of some conservative index. To top it off, when the House Director of Communications asked their editor why the sole recipients of the attacks were Republican legislators, he responded, “She (Laurie Roberts) only focused on Republicans because Democrats are not in power and are irrelevant at the Capitol.” I contend that if Democrat legislators are so irrelevant, why is the Republic giving them editorial space or endorsing any of them?

Although Ms. Roberts may not care for many lawmakers, she certainly feels that at least 10 Republicans earned their places on her attack list. I would like to point out to her that most of the legislators that made her list supported additional funding for K-3 education, State Universities, Child Protective Services, the seriously mentally ill, TANF (Temporary Assist for needy families), Tourism, UofA Medical School (Phoenix Campus) and DPS.

They can also take credit for three years of balanced budgets, paying down state debt, improving Arizona’s credit rating, creating a rainy day fund and making Arizona the number one state in America for business startups. The Republican led legislature contributed to the growth of 54,000 non-farm jobs in last 12 months, operated under budget projections for this year by over $300 million, developed tort reform, pension reform, created the Arizona Commerce Authority and can be credited with many other worthwhile and significant achievements.

Ms. Roberts should be ashamed of her rancor, vitriol and overtly left leaning partisanship. She seems to have forgotten that in this session alone, two House Democrats resigned for ethics issues, one is currently under FBI investigation and no Democrats voted to support any of the above achievements I mentioned. That’s not “kooky”, that’s just incompetent.

Honestly, the only group of “Kooks” worth mentioning this session is the management team of the Arizona Republic. They should be maligned for allowing and encouraging this unfettered verbal abuse of elected public servants who are simply serving the people whom elected them. I accept the fact that we don’t all agree on every piece of legislation and that some members have constituents who would like to have their issues heard above others. However, I do not accept legislators being attacked by “journalists” who enjoy the blessing of their management to abuse and disregard their duty to properly inform the public.

Andy Tobin
Speaker, Arizona House of Representatives


  1. Nordine Crub says

    Seriously, I have been searching for a, word to describe Carl Seal.and have concluded Laurie Roberts nailed it. Nordine

    • Laurie’s columns have been great. Seel is just beyond bizarre. I am glad she included Gowan…that guy…he is a dense as a block of uranium. This state is loaded with kooks..sadly, they run for office.

  2. I’m grateful to Speaker Tobin for this op-ed piece and saw this morning that the AZ Republic ran it. I know of several supportive letters on behalf of Debbie Lesko that were submitted and have yet to see the Republic print one. Mrs. Lesko secured an amendment on a bill that protected homeschoolers this past session and AZ parents owe her a debt of gratitude. She was very attentive to her constituents and active on multiple bills all session. Laurie Roberts is displaying poor judgment and a lack of professionalism through her one-woman “kook” campaign. The Republic has several reporters who are actually assigned to cover the legislature to observe the session first-hand and Roberts is not one of them.

    • You’re absolutely right, Carol.

      Laurie is NOT a reporter. She is an Opinion Columnist. Just like Montini and Robb and Valdez.

      And, for the record, it is not a “one-woman” kook campaign. Thousands of us agree with her.

  3. Phoenix48 says

    …”Honestly, the only group of “Kooks” worth mentioning this session is the management team of the Arizona Republic…”

    As honest and clear an observation as one can make on the subject. As a grateful Arizonian pleased with the conduct of this legislature and our govenor, there is just one request I can add.

    Would you, as is appropriate within the guidlines of ethical comportment as a public servant, AND as a priority as a successful businessman and citizen, consider this:


    Yes, Ms. Roberts ‘kookification’ highjinks are just the latest example of what a joke the Republic has become, and, with out a doubt will remain. It’s decline has been a hobby horse of on-line posting for almost a decade now.

    What isn’t funny is the price we pay. And that price IS EXTREME. Because journalism is a staple of any world class city. It’s as vital as the air we breath.

    We’re no sleepy backwater. We are at the vanguard of vital national issues, and immigration is but one. But we remain, unnecessarily so, on the defensive as conservatives primarily because we have no voice in the 4th estate. It’s an infuriating disadvantage.

    Why are so disadvantaged?

    And because we are, we lack a vital link to promote the successes that have taken place during the Brewer era. Again, why is this so?

    Even worse, the progress (an important priority that should NEVER be conceeded to ‘progressives’) ECONOMICALLY for Arizona ends up being every bit held hostage regionally as is immigration – Because there is no strong voice promoting trade beyond just south of the border – as it has been since pre-statehood!

    Phoenix is the PERFECT LOCATION for a newspaper desk of a global giant like the Wall Street Journal to focus on western concerns – concerns that are of the utmost importance to the entire country.

    The Arizona Republic and it’s irrelevent handlers of the moment are a dying remnant of a scloratic and no longer relevant media model; Domination via the North East via Washington.

    It only sputters alone for one reason. NO COMPETITION!

    Since when have Arizona conservatives been afraid of competition?

  4. wherewasi says

    Huh. Since when did it become unethical – and down right outrageous, apparently – to criticize politicians with whom you disagree in a blog? I mean, understandably, no one blogging on Sonoran Alliance would EVER criticize a politician with an opposing point of view, but just because this site maintains such a high standard does not mean that every other site is able to do that.

    • Isn’t it time for Shane to submit a fuzzy, out of focus picture of someone’s backside as they enter an office that might be Ed Pastor’s?


      Criticizing politicians is a great thing…and in America we ALL get to do it. (and Laurie picked some serious nutburgers to profile!)

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