“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. ”
Words of Martin Luther King, Jr., articulating his belief that the notion of true and great public service comes from a heart willing to make the sacrifice to do whatever it takes to make the world a better place for the underserved and future generations.
In Arizona, we have a citizen legislature – normal people leaving the private sector to serve our state for a limited amount of time. A true servant leader is one willing to make the commitments to advocate and to serve the people whom they represent. Being a legislator should not be the best job you’ve ever had, and the notion that pay raises will translate to better legislators is just as fatuous.
Earlier this year State Senator Don Shooter infamously told a reporter that freebies like Fiesta Bowl tickets helped supplement his income and that he wanted a pay raise from taxpayers if he was going to give up lobbyist gifts and perks.
He even remarked: “It costs a lot of money to do this job, there’s an opportunity cost.” So much for sacrifice and a citizen-based legislature.
This November, Prop 304 will ask voters to approve a 45% pay raise for our citizen legislature. Meanwhile our state is facing a $300-plus structural deficit. Add a court judgment requiring the state to pay back an additional $316M to our schools, and this should be a no brainer about where we should be allocating our limited state resources.
As a Republican candidate for LD13 State Senate, I don’t believe in special interest perks and gifts from lobbyists. I’m not running for office because I’m focused on my next stepping stone in life. Being a state legislator should not be the best job you’ve ever had. If you don’t have a mentality of service as a state legislator you don’t deserve to be elected.
Let’s put our priorities in order. Vote No on Prop 304. Vote No on legislator pay raises.
Toby Farmer is a Republican candidate for the Arizona State Senate in legislative district 13. For more information about Toby Farmer, visit his website at FarmerAZ.com