One has to give credit to Tea Party Republican Brenda Barton. She acknowledged that President Obama is a very strong leader who will not bend to the anarchist Tea Party members who are determined to hold the country hostage for their own misconceived political purposes.
The president is exactly the kind of leader we appreciate, strong and caring, determined to look after the welfare of the entire country rather than for his own political interests.
But Barton threw herself over the cliff by resorting to fake history and outrageous comments. Her tirade brought serious damage to the entire state and she discredited herself as a state representative for the Payson area.
Since the days when she and other Republicans maligned the entire state by passing S.B. 1070 to deprive Latinos of constitutional rights, the state has been the victim of economic wounds, thanks to her Tea Party colleagues in the Arizona Legislature.
Remember how many speakers on national television and late night comedians mocked the state of Arizona a few years ago after Tea Party Republicans passed S.B. 1070 in 2010? For months we became the laughing stock of the entire country. And it stayed that way until the Supreme Court declared the Tea Party efforts unconstitutional.
But it wasn’t so funny when the state economy suffered hundreds of millions of dollars from lost tourists, canceled conventions, and businesses choosing other destinations. At least 14 cities across the country announced boycotts of the state.
The Center for American Progress released a study in late 2010 indicating that more than $141 million in visitor spending was lost just in the months immediately after the law passed — all because Tea Party Republicans have no respect for the U.S. Constitution.
After the poisonous Tea Party’s S.B. 1070 was signed by Governor Brewer, it took millions of our tax dollars for the state to reposition itself in an effort to restore the state’s image. Things have been getting better ... until Brenda Barton decided to reignite the crisis.
Barton’s ludicrous comments have gone viral and have again made us the laughing stock of the nation. National news broadcasts and late night comedians are again mocking Arizona. But this time Barton’s paranoid rants have specifically brought disdain on our wonderful Payson. How do we conduct damage control to recover from her detrimental publicity?
For years Payson community leaders have been struggling to present Payson as a great place to live. As a result we are seeing a fine lineup of new businesses in town with the promise of more to come. Realtors are going to the Valley to promote housing opportunities in Payson. The new university project will bring a renaissance to Northern Gila County.
But Barton casts aspersions on all those efforts by being a Republican representative who is out of control, resorting to irrational behavior.
How can someone who acts like that represent the good people in our area?
We are not intemperate, irrational and mal-informed people in this community. Her ugly behavior has stripped her of all credibility. More than that, she has brought shame to our entire community.
Adding insult to injury, Ms. Barton does not even live in Gila County.
She took a temporary place here just for purposes of running for office.
She did not live here before she ran for office, nor will she remain here after she leaves office. Her home, her husband and property are in Safford, Graham County, in southeastern Arizona.
Before she does any more damage to our community, she needs to do the right thing. She needs to resign as a state representative and go back home to Safford. The people of Payson, Republicans and Democrats together, will protect and restore the community’s good reputation without her interference.