Governor hits mark in SOS address<br>

I must admit that several years ago for reasons unknown to even myself now, I didn’t care for Ms. Janet Napolitano. Now I loudly shout her praises, jump on her bandwagon and encourage all parties to bang her drum.

A fantastic quote of hers is “we cannot let education be paralyzed by politics,” and when asked a question about AIMS tests, aren’t we at risk of teaching to the test? Her reply was the best I have heard, and one that has finally answered it for me. “Why shouldn’t our children simply be able to pass this test easily as part of their natural progression through school? They should be. With proper education.”

Of course she pushes all day kindergarten as well do I.  I have experience with this. Arizona is 20 years behind. Most states already do it with, I must add, much success.

At the age of five or six (actually the end of the “whys”), children are so eager and ready to learn and thirsty for structure. They indeed yearn for an environment such as school and could easily have that leg-up on reading and math that is so important. Not to mention socialization. I experienced this in Georgia. Not only did my child have all day kindergarten, it was 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a 20 min. cafeteria lunch. When we moved back to Arizona my child was at least a year and a half ahead of his peers academically and socially, including the gifted program. Arizona schools were just way behind and still are, even at college level. We have to catch up.

Ms. Napolitano adopted the first statewide homeland security plan in the nation. Arizona opened the first consolidated intelligence center “so we can tell whether what appears to be an isolated crime is in reality part of a terrorist pattern.” Yet last year, Congress cut Arizona’s homeland security by 35-percent. I don’t think the threat has declined by one-third.

The governor calls out for all parties to demand those in Washington, D.C. to give the state what we need to protect our people. This means Rick Renzi needs to represent, to step up, and we need to demand more of him. By his voting record, he doesn’t do much to help us.

It also means Mr. J.D. Hayworth needs to do more, his voting record shows little also. He voted against adding more agents at the border. These two people are doing little but pandering to those who have money to help them for their next campaign. They are not doing the job “we” elected them to do.

Arizona has more people illegally crossing our Southern borders than the other three Mexican border states combined. Terrorists are not going to stop and try to obtain benefits or try to vote.

It’s time for D.C. to devote resources and do its job; time for real immigration reform; it is also time for Mexico, as Madam Governor says, to do its part, to help us at the border.

Do you realize that you as taxpayers pay to imprison 4,000 people already here illegally who broke laws? Federal law requires the federal government to either pay for these prisoners or to take them off our hands — of course they do neither.

In October, the Governor required the U.S. Attorney General to reimburse Arizona for these prisoners. To date there has been no answer. She is demanding “take responsibility! Live up to the law and protect Arizona borders.”

In a nutshell, that is why I voted no on prop 200. Bureaucracy sat in D.C. and decided the proposition would make everyone a border agent, then they would cut our funding and the border problem would magically go away. Get real.

Already, they want police officers in Phoenix to arrest illegals. Now, our Police Department will be so tied up in Phoenix there will be no officers for anything else. Ask them what they think of that. Read last week’s Arizona Republic. What a nightmare that would be. We who voted “no” on 200 saw this coming. The wise judge who found a similar prop to be unconstitutional in 1953 knew what would happen. Too bad people only see two inches in front of their faces. “ For years politicians postponed problems, spent money, passed laws, without ever looking at the consequences.”

This is why I have grown to champion Gov. Napolitano and am behind her all the way. She has achieved fiscal discipline, has her priorities straight and her boxing gloves ready.

Whatever your party, this woman is a Governor of today, she is what Arizona has needed for many years, and I hope that there are enough people that recognize true achievement, over party politics.

Terri Parsons was born and raised in Winslow and has lived and worked in town most of her life. She is a guest columnist and contributes on a regular basis.

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