Our Opinion: Capsule commentsby Tucson Citizen on Jan. 13, 2007, under Opinion
Another Flake in a familiar legislative flap
U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake complained this week that he was kicked off the House Judiciary Committee because he bucked party lines on immigration.
His predicament is interesting because, three years ago, his uncle Jake Flake did to other legislators the same thing that Jeff Flake now is complaining about.
Some history: In 2004, Jake Flake was speaker of the Arizona House. He became upset at Rep. Peter Hershberger, a Tucson Republican, because Hershberger and another House member went against the party in voting to support a budget supported by Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Jake Flake refused to assign bills introduced by Hershberger to any committee. And no bills were assigned to a committee Hershberger chaired.
Now Jeff Flake, Jake’s nephew, who represents the 6th Congressional District in central Arizona, says Republican leaders in the U.S. House want to muzzle him because he supports comprehensive immigration reform. House leaders consider that “bad behavior,” Jeff Flake said.
No one – inside or outside the Flake family – benefits from such petty political vendettas.
Distraction from the real debate
There was another example this week – as if we needed any more – of how volatile the immigration debate has become.
A pizza chain offered to accept Mexican pesos – which prompted death threats and hate mail.
The company, Pizza Patron, said it didn’t intend to get involved in the debate about illegal immigration. Its motives were simple: It wants to sell more pizza.
Some 60 percent of its customers are Hispanic, and company executives thought it would be convenient for some if pesos were accepted.
This is a business decision, not a political one. It’s the same as shops in Nogales, Son., accepting dollars because most of their customers come from the United States.
These meaningless disputes distract from the necessary immigration debate that must take place.
Fox a phoenix rising from ashes
The stunning revival of The Fox Theatre downtown has been cited with a national award.
The Fox received one of seven Phoenix Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, recognizing preservation efforts that further the appeal of North American travel destinations.
The downtown landmark opened about a year ago after $13 million in work in which every detail was given keen attention.
By the way, the Phoenix Award is named for the legendary bird that lived 500 years, burned itself to ashes, then rose to live again. It has nothing to do with that big city to the north.
A $5 million cancer-fighting gift
The University of Arizona’s new cancer clinic opened this week with a huge helping hand from a couple with ties to Tucson.
Native Tucsonan Paula Fasseas and her husband, Peter, donated $5 million to the clinic.
The facility, on the former site of Tucson General Hospital, is named the Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic.
It is the result of a partnership between University Medical Center and the Arizona Cancer Center.
The Fasseases’ generous gift will pay cancer-fighting dividends for many years.
Don’t steal it; just borrow it
Why steal something you can borrow for free?
A thief this week stole dozens of audio books and compact discs from the public library in Sierra Vista.
Police said 30 to 40 fantasy and fiction recordings for juveniles and young adults were taken. The recordings were valued at about $1,200.
Instead of smuggling the material out of the library, the thief could have borrowed it legally.
Maybe someone needs to learn the purpose of a library.