Originally Published: August 29, 2000 7:15 p.m.
Walk with us through a brief parable.
You own a bank, and you are looking to hire a vice president.
You ask your latest interviewee her views on the amount of reserves a bank should maintain, and she tells you she loves her mother and was always a good child who kept a piggy bank. Undaunted, you ask her how the bank can position itself to compete more effectively against credit unions and savings and loans. She tells you she knows a lot about business and believes in the free market.
If you are empathizing with the bank owner's frustration, you know how Yavapai County voters should feel about State Rep. Barbara Blewster's information blackout on her re-election campaign.
Blewster, who has endured a firestorm of criticism during her first term for ignorant remarks about gays, Jewish people and the mentally ill, has refused an interview with The Daily Courier for the series of question-and-answer stories on major campaign issues that have been running in the paper recently.
In a democratic republic, the people "hire" representatives at the polls to represent their interests in Congress, the state legislatures, county courthouses and city halls.
The people have a reasonable right to expect that the people who want those jobs not only have a political philosophy compatible with the voters' but that they also know their jobs.
Nobody would go to a brain surgeon who believed in healing and compassion but who couldn't cut a straight incision even if he knew where to cut.
Blewster has an extremely conservative philosophy that opposes public schools, seeks to "privatize" national parks and eradicate mental illness by getting people to eat their vegetables.
By her actions, she has shown she knows virtually nothing about government operations or how to get anything done in the Legislature. Winning approval for legislation requires knowledge, which leads to credibility with one's legislative colleagues, which then leads to effectiveness.
Not only has she proven herself ineffective and the resident House buffoon, she also has made it difficult for the rest of this district's legislative delegation to work effectively.
Apparently, she believes that eliminating any further opportunities for attention-getting gaffes is her best hope for re-election. Her conduct clearly sets up an intelligence test for the voters.
Let's hope they don't flunk.