Kavanagh here’s what we whine about …

Rep. John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said, “… if we leave without passing bills, it will be a great disservice to the people of Arizona.”  Kavanagh said he thinks the House should strive to pass at least 100 bills this session.

I have one question for you John; Why?

Is that the only purpose you serve is to pass bills?  While there are many examples of the lunacy of such thinking – and I invite readers to render their own – I can think of one glaring example of the legislative desire to simply pass bills, the Alternative Fuels Tax Credit of a couple of years ago.

Is it about being relevant?  Do members of the state legislature and senate have that insecure feeling that if they don’t produce reams of paper and pages of bills, that somehow they’re not doing their jobs?  Perhaps they fret that if they don’t pass copious piles of bills, they won’t have anything to put on their re-election websites?  Or could it be that they owe too many special interests and, inattention to this client group would mean a loss of re-election funds come the next ritualistic campaign cycle?

What could possibly be more important to the people of Arizona than a fiscally sound state government?  Shouldn’t “Priority One” every opening session be the financial condition of the state?  One would think so.

Have you ever noticed that every time the Legislature asks for a raise, the voters overwhelmingly say “NO”?  I confess, I voted in favor of the raise this last time around.  After all, this is the 21st Century and, well, the only talent you can attract for the peanuts we pay them, is what we have.  You pay for what you get, or in our case McRepresentative and fries more concerned with “writing bills” than addressing what is truly important.

While I disagree with our Governor over the how, I fully support her efforts to address the crisis.  Likewise, while I do not know what will emerge from the Senate, I applaud leadership’s commitment to being tightly focused on the crisis at hand.

So what’s Kavanagh whining about?

Here’s my suggestion to the Arizona State Legislature.  We have too many bills, laws, codes and curlicues already – enough is enough.  There is no issue so pressing that some legislator simply must write a bill.  This isn’t academia where Publish or Perish has led to perdition.  We’re talking about managing our state’s government.

So why not try this:  Every 3rd year, set aside a special second session for one purpose, sorting out and tossing out existing laws and codes and ARS and the like that are no longer relevant, applicable to the present, or just plain seem dumb.

In this special second session, leadership (no matter who’s in charge) shall require each member of the lower house and each member of the senate to bring to the bill burning party at least 5 pieces of prior legislation from days gone by.  Those will in turn be reviewed by committee and moved on to the COW for a vote up or down – either they’re kept or they get deleted.

Our state government with its myriad of laws, codes, and such is much like your home computer – you don’t need more hard drive, you just need to flush some files occasionally.


  1. I agree, I would think it might be preferable to move to a part-time legislature. Full time legislatures seem to generate laws just to justify their existence.

  2. right on – applause!!!!!!!!!

  3. Cathi Herrod says

    Rep. Kavanagh is correct.

    It will be a great disservice to the people if certain bills do not get passed. Now, for the first time in many years, Arizona has a pro-life Governor, Senate, House.

    Finally legislators have an opportunity to protect women’s health, parental rights, rights of conscience for health care workers with HB 2564,the Abortion Consent Act. Passing this vital legislation will save the lives of preborn babies and their mothers.
    Given the current regime in Washington, legislators need to pass a state ban on partial-birth abortion.

    Don’t just assume all bills and laws are without merit with a blanket post about Rep. Kavanagh’s statement. He’s right.

    While the budget is critical, it’s not the only pressing issue facing our state and our families.

  4. Iris Lynch says

    PLEEZE, let us consider for a moment or two. How about one MASSIVE ‘stop, look and listen’ law? How about passing a twin to the HR 450 ENUMERATED POWERS ACT at the state level???? All bills would need to pass thru a committee to DETERMINE, deliberate, investigate and revise IF the proposed legislation can actually be authorized under our state constitution. If not, goodbye, charlie. If yes, fine. I do believe this would give moment to crazy “Oh, let’s———” and “Wouldn’t it be fun if___________? types of laws. Imagine how we would have been saved from the ravages of our last ‘governess’ and her typical Democrat ideology of “Buy as many constituencies as we can right this minute” thinking.

  5. Grumpy Gus says

    VV is very naive and Kavanagh is right. Each undoing of a wrong is a doing, and requires sponsors, hearings, readings and votes. And analysis. Sometimes less is more, and sometimes more is less.

    And if you have a bill (even one) you want passed, and really want it, you are willing to trade your vote on the budget for it. But if someone (leadership or Gov’s office) tells you we’re “just doing the budget” and we’ll fight about the other stuff later…you have already lost that fight.

  6. Veritas Vincit says

    Whoa folks! I only suggested once every 3 years a second special session.

    I know there are issues driven activists like Cathi who’s sole intent is some cause or another. And before you say anything;

    How many bills were passed in the past 3 years of the legislature? Go on, look it up. Does Arizona run better because a part time legislature see’s its only job as producing more legialation?

  7. There is work to be done and bills to be passed. Kavanagh didn’t “whine”, that’s just VV trying his version of New Times slanted coverage. It makes Kavanagh look and sound bad even though its nothing more than VV’s bias. We’ve got lots to do and get passed if we’re going to undo all of the damage done by Napolitano. Are there any real conservatives contributing to this site anymore (other than Gayle?). Or are we stuck with VV and Chewie’s agenda?

    Keep fighting for us Rep. Kavanagh!

    And btw there VV, everybody reading this site is an “issue driven activist” like Cathi Herrod. We all have “some cause or another” like freedom, 2nd Amendment rights, pro-life issues, pro-family causes, tax issues etc. Not sure that is a smart disqualifier for you to use, given the website you’re writing for.

  8. I would like to see the full context that Rep. Kavanagh’s quote was taken from. It doesn’t sound like he’s whining, but dealing with any bills before the budget is finalized has been a recipe for state government financial disaster in the past.

    When both the budget and other bills are in play, the amount of horse trading opportunities for legislators resulting in bad laws and bloated budgets increases tremendously. Unfortunately, the legislature is generally unable to multitask productively from the standpoint of taxpayers wallets and personal freedom.

    I think the Senate is taking the right approach in general. It is especially right when the state is facing such a huge budget crisis.

    There is a lot of worthwhile legislation that could be passed, but a sound budget should be the legislature’s first priority. If the legislators can’t get their budget act together quickly enough to consider other legislation, then there is always next year.

    The spectacle of the legislature working on legislation other than the budget while the state’s finances fall apart brings up images of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

  9. Veritas Vincit says

    John, I’ll put my conservative activism up against yours any day of the week and twice on Sundays… btw, I am an issue driven activist too – in your angst you failed to note the link provided. Do tell us John, what is a true conservative? Or did you fail to note my posting re: AuH2O?

    Hunter; Arizona Capitol Times 4/17/09

  10. Veritas Vincit says

    Re: posting #7 above, John, “slanted coverage”? I’m not writing a news report, so that whole Phx New Times metaphor doesn’t really work here.

    “There is work to be done and bills to be passed” this sounds so familiar. Maybe sort of like the expanded remarks in the Arizona Capitol Times article?

    “We’ve got lots to do and get passed if we’re going to undo all of the damage done by Napolitano”

    Really? And it is interesting how the writer changes voice mid-paragraph from “There is” to “We’ve”.

    I particularly liked this use of fallacy; “… Are there any real conservatives contributing to this site anymore …” appeal to the crowd. Nice, worthy of the best. But still a poor argument.

    Look, just because you have an “R” after your name doesn’t mean you’re not subject to the occasional barb. I am aware that the Pachyderm folks rate you a B- and myr friends at the GI have upgraded you fromm a lackluster “C” to last year’s “A-“.

    Focus on the budget and forget passing bills. You have no idea how many regular voters get disgusted every year when the Republic reports how many bills they’ve passed. Yeah, there are many single issue voters and political junkies, but there are even more regular Joe the Plumbers out there who do notice what you do.

    An elected official has a responsibility to serve with humility. They are not Pharisees pontificating with adoring young campaign groupies hanging on their every word. They are workers and they own the voter their wisdom, integrity, and honesty.

    Members of the legislature are like cops; to protect and serve. More bills means more government, anathema to Ronald Reagan.

    Writing legislation can wait. As I pointed out, all too often reams of legislation are chaptered and simply forgotten about.

    And, please before posting about me do try to read my entire body of work. I do my homework on you, count on it.

  11. VV, you’re an idiot. For a guy who “does his homework”, what makes you think I read the CapTimes article? That’s a subscription site and I don’t have a subscription. Now we know you do. What would make you believe that the Pachyderm folks or GI folks have “rated me”? Don’t you have to be a legislator to get rated? I’m not a legislator, so what are you thinking? Are you thinking? Or are you just making more false accusations? Does it bother you to use a fake name that includes “Veritas”? Because it should.

    Kavanagh makes the point that there is more to do than just the budget. Seems obvious enough to some but you obviously disagree. You could have written an intelligent post on why you believe the legislature should just pass a budget and do nothing more. Instead, you attack Kavanagh as “a whiner” when there is no whining in any of his comments. That’s crappy work whether you’re a journalist or just a blogger doing a poor impression of an editorialist.

    Read this stuff and see if you can figure out how it applies to Kavanagh, his quotes, or my response: “An elected official has a responsibility to serve with humility. They are not Pharisees pontificating with adoring young campaign groupies hanging on their every word. They are workers and they own the voter their wisdom, integrity, and honesty.”

    Wow, what a bunch of fluff. Doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but you probably re-read it before you posted it and thought “Damn, I’m good!”

    Lots of straw men arguments in your response, but you never respond to the primary criticism, which is that Kavanagh never “whined” like you claimed. You have some sort of beef with Kavanagh and you’re using your anonymous identity to take a cheap (and false) shot at him. What makes you think that anything in “your body of work” gives you leave to do that? Is there some sort of blogging scoring system where if you write 3 honest pieces, you get to write one dishonest piece and its no foul? Somehow I doubt that.

    A reputation can take a lifetime to earn and can be blown in a moment. If you get caught screwing up (like making up stuff about Kavanagh), its best to just admit it, revise it, and make whatever point you were trying to make. If your point was to actually screw Kavanagh and the truth doesn’t matter to you, then your reputation from this post alone is well-earned, and your “body of work” matters not at all.

  12. Veritas Vincit says

    “Instead, you attack Kavanagh as “a whiner” when there is no whining in any of his comments.”

    I thought you implied you didn’t read the article in the Cap Times?

    And honestly I confess to considering the possibility that your last name might have been Kavanagh simple because of the writing in Posting #7 and the way you seem to have taken this blog very personally.

    You go to great lengths to explain Kavanagh and yet you imply you havn’t read the original article that struck me as a bit of complaining where the entire focus should have been on the current game plan.

    And the quote is quite accurate, so your remark “… like making up stuff about Kavanagh” is quite therefore inaccurate.

    Should we poll some of Kavanagh’s peers in the House and see what they think of his attitude on this issue?

    Had he simply, as you suggest, pointed out that there was more work to be done and left it at that, it would be one thing.

    But saying, and I quote him “… the House should strive to pass at least 100 bills this session.” Struck me as whining.

    The whole piece is not about John, its about the reams of bills the Legislature seems to feel they have to produce every session. My point is, maybe its time to clean up behind themselves and see what previous legislation is no longer necessary for the state to continue to carry.

    Now that would be a public service.

  13. Veritas Vincit says

    John, if you are not a member of the legislature, what is your legislative intent? You have taken this much more seriously than it deserves. Are you a lobbyist? What legislation has Mr. Kavanagh agreed to champion on your behalf?

    Mabye we could support it too? Tell us about it. You see John, John Kavanagh’s remarks and attitude came across in the Cap Times as a bit disproportionate to me, and it reminded me of the many many times I’ve heard fellow members of the party bemoan the seemingly excessive number of bills generated each session.

    My simple suggestion was to once ever 3 years set aside some time to review, update and look back on what has been passed and see what’s on the books that can be deleted.

  14. VV, I’m not a legislator or lobbyist. I know Kavanagh but he’s not even in my district. I like him alright, but don’t LOVE him. Yet I haven’t taken this post any more seriously than you have. Safe to say that I’ve taken it less seriously than you have, given the length and number of posts you have made. So if I use your logic (dangerous idea), you are therefore a member of the legislature or lobbyist. Or you’re somehow suspect or dirty because Mr. Kavanagh has “agreed to champion” legislation “on your behalf.”

    That makes more sense in your case than mine, since you’re the one with the Capital Times subscription. Not something Ordinary Joes have.

    The point I keep repeating, which you keep missing (or more likely ignoring) is that your post was biased against Kavanagh and was not much more than a cheap shot. I expect (or used to expect pre-Chewie) better from this site. You use one quote from Kavanagh and call him a whiner. We all read the quote and don’t see any whining at all. No matter how I read it or how my friends read it, nobody reads it as whining.

    So maybe you’ve got an ax to grind with Rep. Kavanagh. Or maybe you’re just a really sloppy writer who is judging other quotes from Kavanagh that you’re unwilling to share with us. You don’t link to the article in question and, as an alternative, you don’t include any “whiny” quotes.

    I suspected you were grinding an ax and the manner in which you came after me reinforces my suspicion that you are a shoot first, shoot second, don’t think third and if someone asks you to think, shoot them too kind of guy.

    Whatever. This blog has quality control or it doesn’t. I’m sure the folks who run it read the comments and understand what I’m writing. They’ll talk to you about it or they won’t. The readers will appreciate it or they won’t. That’s the free market at work. I’ll keep reading the blog until I can’t stand it anymore. Then I’ll go read SeeingRed or GilaCourier or one of the others.

  15. Veritas Vincit says

    I’m sorry if it offended you. I was somewhat taken aback that when offered the opportunity to talk about the state’s financial conditions and the state of the budget, Mr. Kavanagh pulled a “100 bills” out of the air as if that’s what they’re supposed to be doing.

    Maybe whining was too strong? Seriously, I would rather 10 solid good needed bills to one hundred slapped together slam and cram strike all’s at the 11th hour of the session. We’ve seen that happen too often.

    I guess the “Keep fighting for us Rep. Kavanagh!” comment was too … I don’t know what. I’ve met John too and, I neither like nor dislike him.

    Maybe its a jaded attitude that views the rhetoric of us fighting them as too much of a sporting event attitude and too little of a “lets roll up our “sleeves and get’er done” attitide.

    Chalk it up to exasperation at legislators. We watched them as Napolitano literally gelded them (with glee it seemed at times), and now we have the Democrats locked out of the budget, no legislation (which may not be a bad thing), and two factions of the ruling party trying to end run each other.

    I’m not biased against Kavanagh, and I apologize to John for taking out my exasperation’s in his direction.

    But the whole point of this page goes to a single issue: Why don’t our elected officials once in a while, look back and clean up some of the excess they generate? Lets get Arizona’s state government lean and mean –

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