I went into the event tonight already with some expectations. I figured Jerry Lewis was a moderate, was substantive, and would be someone I could, in theory vote for. And I do have some concerns about Ed Ableser. I've been told he's a pretty down the line liberal and I've read that he has missed 40% of his votes. From Robb:
The Arizona Capitol Times reported on voting participation by state legislators. Most of them voted a high percentage of the time. I leave to you whether that’s good or bad.
The worst voting record in the Legislature by far belonged to Democratic state Representative Ed Ableser. He missed nearly 40 percent of the House floor votes.
When legislators miss a lot of votes, they usually have good excuses – personal or family illness, unusual business demands. Ableser, who is running for the Senate this year, had one I hadn’t heard before: He doesn’t like the legislators the voters in other districts elected.
Back to Lewis, I admit I was kind of taken by him. He's incredibly nice and engaging (though at times a bit long-winded). He has an impressive resume. He has really smart, authentically sharing views on immigration that I'm totally on board with. He seemed to have a pretty strong libertarian ideology but tempered by a ton of pragmatism. He actually spent several minutes talking with me and my wife, which is a precious opportunity for me and I'm grateful for it.The Capitol Times quotes Ableser as saying: “They’re nuts. The Tea Party has taken over the state and made it a complete mockery. I’m not going to participate in that.”Well, now. Perhaps Ableser should ask that the election in his district be delayed – so he can see who gets elected from other districts and therefore how much time he really wants to spend doing the job.
I asked him point blank his opinion on Obamacare. I did make the mistake of prefacing my question with a disclosure that my daughter has a chronic illness. He gave a sensible answer: it's the law, let's work with it to improve it, but until the Republicans come up with something better, this is what we have. Having said that, I got the impression he had a tendency to say what he felt people wanted to hear.
The person who hosted this house party attends my church congregation and invited many members of the church to attend. Someone, who I respect, stood up and gave a tearful endorsement for this person as someone who has a pure and honest heart. Also, he was, at one time, a ecclesiastical leader of my parents congregration and knew my parents by name.
I can easily see myself voting for Jerry Lewis, but I would love to get a chance to have a similar discussion with Ed Ableser before this is all said and done. I also can't wait to watch the upcoming debates.