Swan Song for Bee?

Tim Bee.jpg Hang around the State Capitol long enough and you meet a lot of lobbyists and political consultants. Hang around lobbyists and political consultants long enough and you get to hear all sorts of gossip. Every once in a while, those rumors and ideas start to make sense and a consensus emerges. Which brings us to Senate President Tim Bee, the budget, and running for Congress.

Here is how people think it is going to go down. Bee will successfully negotiate a budget deal that will earn him accolades from the media, particularly in Southern Arizona. He will be praised for his bipartisanship and for bringing the Democrats to the table early in the process. He will then announce that he is resigning from the State Senate to pursue the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District against U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The idea makes sense once you consider all of the reasons behind it. Bee needs to raise more than $1 million for the race and he can’t wait too long to start raising that kind of money. Bee needs to build a world-class campaign organization and that too won’t wait. By leaving on a high-note, he gets out before the 2008 session can trap him in any number of bad bills or Democrat set-ups foisted upon him by folks who don’t want him to beat their fellow Dem. And he doesn’t get trapped in Phoenix during the election year until June!

Why should he stay? Well, you could argue that folks will be critical of his resigning to run for Congress, claiming that he should serve his full term. But he likely gets a pass since Giffords bailed on her seat the same way. And we suppose that continuing to serve as Senate President assures Bee of having his name continue to appear in the newspapers more often than it would as a candidate. But other than those two reasons, there really isn’t any good political reason to stay, while there are a whole host of good political reasons to go.

So now the question is, who gets to be Senate President in 2008? Well you should hear how many different opinions there are on that! We’ll wait for more of a consensus before we let you know… Stay tuned for more from West Washington!


  1. Paton moves to the Senate. Huppenthal or Gray moves to Senate President?

  2. This is certainly a welcome distraction from the current topic du joir!

    Hup maybe, he can be very persuasive and I’m sure he has lots of data to prove it. If you refer to Linda Gray, while she can be rightly steadfast on many issues she tends to lean on advice and gets very angry when she is opposed, often taking things personally. Not exactly consensus building at its best, where Hup might not agree with you,he will at least give you a reason and leave it at that….at least publicly. Blendu, pro tem, wants it so bad he has refused to consider running for the House to let termed out Nelson run for the Senate, but he does he have the support?

    Will Verschoor and Waring posture themselves as having the ability to be what Bee is AND isn’t? Verschoor can be charming but he can also be….not charming. Waring is thoughtful, well spoken, and determined, but has been on the wrong side of a couple of votes. Beside, it is time for that end of the roster to get some attention.

  3. It’s irrelevant. He isn’t going to step down.

  4. ThinkRight says

    i don’t know what he’ll do. But let’s keep the pressure on Gabby. Keep our focus on her voting record and make sure that the voters in CD 8 know that she is a Raul Grijalva in sheeps clothing.

  5. CopperDome says

    There are a whole host of reasons Bee should step down as Senate President, but the best ones have nothing to do with him running for Congress. The best reason of all is the lack of integrity he has shown throughout this session.

    Regarding the budget, he has sold out his own Republican caucus in the Senate and tried to make every Republican in the House irrelevant (which I personally find offensive), all with the goal of laying the groundwork in Southern AZ to run for Congress. He’ll give “Gov No” practically anything she wants so he looks “bipartisan.”

    The problem is, he has made a serious political miscalculation. True Conservatism wins elections, especially when the words and actions match. When was the last time being “bipartisan” actually got someone elected? In a race to be more “bipartisan” than Gabby, he’ll lose badly, especially since liberals control the press down there even more than they do in Phx.

    Then there is the bill he recently killed that would limit sales tax “incentives” (giveaways) to developers and retailers. It was all set to go until he talked to a lobbyist. Then, suddenly he didn’t want it to apply to Tucson and Marana. Now, the whole bill is dead. It will be interesting to see how much money he raises from politically connected developers. A quid-pro-quo might be hard to prove, but in the current climate, the perception might be more than enough.

    Republicans lost control of Congress because too many abused their position to benefit themselves. Bee has done that in spades with the Senate Presidency. Republicans didn’t lose Congressional seats by practicing too little self-interest. If we hope to win CD8 back, we need a more dynamic candidate who has a high level of personal integrity.

    Rep. Paton is such a person. Bee is just too uninspiring to pull it off, even without the integrity problems. He should run for the Corporation Commission (or, preferably, just go away). Paton is the only Republican who has a realistic chance to beat Gabby in 2008.

  6. If Bee is the guy in CD8 then let’s get behind him instead of screeds like this. I’m pretty sure Gabby and Harry Mitchell used the word “bipartisan” pretty frequently during their campaign. Were they and are they — NO. But they used it and won.

    As for “selling out the Republican caucus in the Senate”, uh, what? 13 of the 17 Republicans voted for it. They sold themselves out I guess.

    Tried to make every Republican in the House irrelevant? No, some Republicans in the House tried to make themselves irrelevant by not voting for the Leadership’s budget. If that had happened then the Senate budget would have sailed through. Now, they have to conference, which they always do.

    You want to bang on Bee on an issue like limiting tax giveaways, fine. At least it’s a real issue, but don’t go into this lobbying is bad; there is a quid pro quo crap. Are you a Democrat? These lines come straight out of the DCCC playbook. There are actually some people in the Republican Party who believe that reducing taxes (giveaways?) stimulates growth….

  7. Oro Valley Dad says


    Nice try.

    Arizona Federation of Taxpayers – 2005
    Bee 69% Ally of the Taxpayers
    Paton 58% Needs Improvement

    Arizona Federation of Taxpayers – 2006
    Bee Taxpayer Ally
    Paton Needs Improvement

    Center for Arizona Policy – 2005

    Bee 100%
    Paton 75%

    Don’t get us wrong, we like Paton but please do not call him more conservative than Bee because we want people to think that our readers are intelligent.

  8. Neither are conservatives. But so what? The GOP in Southern Arizona has shown a preference for electing Democrats rather than conservatives, so if you want a Republican to win down there, a moderate like Bee or Paton may be the best you can hope for.

  9. Jeff Greenfield says

    Bee gave us the first TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) budget in six years. He did this by giving the dems a seat at the table and enlistng them and making them accountable. At a key moment in the 100+ hours of negotiation, he said “you are just going to have to sharpen your pencil”. His budget, the Senate leadership budget, wasn’t an accomplishment, it was a spectacular accomplishment.

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