I’m confused about exactly what message Tim Bee hopes to pull out of the end of this session. First off, he managed to shepherd his budget through, which means, I suppose, that he can claim some sort of bi-partisan cred. The folks over at Blog for Arizona have an interesting take on it: since Bee passed this budget with Democratic votes and the support of a Democratic governor, it really was a Democratic budget and Bee “knuckled under.” It’s a spin I’d like to see out there, but I don’t think anyone is actually going to buy that.
On the other hand, there was the leadership that he applied to the gay marriage referendum. He went back and forth on this one. For example, he was one of the main sponsors of the legislation, but delayed the vote in the hopes that time would run out and it would never actually be presented. This back and forth was so public that it didn’t fool anyone. He even pulled a Marion McClure on this, giving an impassioned speech that seemed to be against the bill then casting the deciding vote for the darned thing.
Apparently, he then disappeared into his office to “compose” himself for about an hour.
Now, that’s leadership.
So, on the off chance Bee gets elected to congress, which one do we get, the savvy legislator who understands how to make friends on the other side to get something done we saw on the budget, or the play both sides and hopes that no one notices bivalve that we saw on the gay marriage vote?
By the way, Bee’s prioritizing of the gay marriage vote left no time for a vote on taxing authority for Pima County for Spring Training baseball. Whatever you think of a new tax for such a thing (and keep in mind that we down here could have rejected it if we didn’t like it), it was definitely something that the folks behind Bee’s campaign were interested in. So, in a choice between local business leaders and East Valley mossbacks, he chose the mossbacks.
Say, what does Bee’s campaign chair, Jim Kolbe, think of all this?