I live in AZ-01, that monster district that covers an area larger than many states. We are represented by Ann Kirkpatrick, a conservative Democrat. I worked to get her elected once Bonally-Baldenegro lost in the primary.
Actually, she lost before the primary because her husband ran an ineffective campaign that frustrated even me when I volunteered and got only a list of numbers to call from home - and that took way too long so the accompanying script was no longer relevant.
But sometimes and in some places it's necessary to fight for more Democrats because better Democrats couldn't win, and the alternative would be far worse - in Arizona the Republicans just get nuttier and nuttier.
I seldom correspond any longer with my Senators or state legislators, and when I do, I rarely get replies, and McCain's replies always go something like "I agree this issue is important and that whatever it is needs to happen. However, I voted against it because this is not the best way to make it happen." Translation: "I voted with my party, whatever my personal beliefs."
Well, today I got a reply from Kirkpatrick's office that illustrates all of this, and felt that I had to share it. The body of the reply:
Thank you for contacting my office and sharing your opinion on Pentagon spending and the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund. I’m here to represent my constituents, so it’s important that I hear directly from you. I’m working hard to represent District One by reaching across the aisle on efforts to create jobs, fight for our veterans, and protect Social Security and Medicare for seniors and working families.At least we speak the same language.
I believe that we need to get our spending under control and reduce the national debt with a long-term solution that maintains national security and supports our District One families. As you may know, because OCO funding is classified as emergency spending, it is exempt from the budget sequestration enacted as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. OCO funding, appropriated through Title IX of the Defense Appropriations Bill, is intended to provide stable and predictable advance funding for wartime operations. In Fiscal Year 2014, $85 billion in OCO funding was appropriated, and appropriations are projected to drop to $30 billion as we continue to reduce our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I agree that we need a high level of transparency and accountability in the defense budget. We also need to ensure that our domestic programs such as public education and funding for cancer research are protected from sequestration. For folks in District One, sequestration has meant cuts to programs that ensure clean water and air quality for our families, cuts to critical resources for law enforcement, and thousands of low-income students finding themselves without student aid.