Monday, February 3, 2014

Victoria Steele’s Very Good Day

Posted By on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Victoria Steele
  • Photo courtesy of azleg.gov
  • Victoria Steele

Full disclosure: I’m an LD-9 resident, so I follow its political goings-on attentively and am likely to post about them regularly. Even for non-resident political junkies, though, LD-9 makes for fascinating viewing because it’s a rare swing district. Reps. Victoria Steele (D) and Ethan Orr (R) have a good working relationship, but with a new, serious Democratic contender in town, Dr. Randy Friese (he was one of the surgeons on hand at the UA trauma center after the January 8, 2011, shooting), we should see some very interesting political back-and-forth.

All this makes the public positions taken by Steele over the past few days especially newsworthy.

Steele is sponsoring a bill that would hold parents responsible if they leave a gun lying around and their children use it to harm someone.

“We’ve seen too many children get hold of guns and hurt themselves or hurt somebody else,” Steele said. “I think parents and people who have guns should be responsible gun owners. … To me, this is a no-brainer. This is responsible parenting.”

Writing a bill challenging the NRA-crazed anti-gun regulation crowd is a gutsy move.

Next, she’s supporting Sen. Steve Gallardo’s bill to repeal SB 1070 . A few years ago, Democrats running for office ran scared whenever SB 1070 was mentioned. Now Steele and others are running right at the bill and condemning it in no uncertain terms.

Both stands put Steele's fellow LD-9 Rep in a difficult spot. Will Orr distance himself from Steele on guns and immigration, jeopardizing the moderate cred he works so hard to cultivate in the LD, or will he embrace Steele’s positions and piss off the right? Stay tuned.

Speaking of Orr, Steele mentioned him twice on Facebook yesterday, and not in a good way. Here's what she wrote about Orr’s pivotal vote allowing Republicans to overturn their own voter suppression bill, meaning Arizonans won't have the opportunity to vote on a referendum.

”I'm disappointed to see my Republican colleague in Legislative District 9 voted for this. This is not good representation of our district and it is not what our constituents want and deserve.”

Strong words. Next, she shared a FB post about Orr’s no-show at the press conference backing Gallardo’s bill to repeal SB 1070.

”Couldn't help but wonder why Arizona State Rep. Ethan Orr wasn't at Tucson's press conference announcing S.B. 1299, which repeals S.B. 1070. Does he support this anti-immigrant legislation? If he can't choose a side, we have even more reason to support friends like Victoria Steele, who supports repeal and attended today, in 2014.”

Steele didn't write the post, but by sharing it, she gave it her stamp of approval.

Steele is one of the nicest people in the world, which I’m sure makes it tough to go after her colleague. But she’s also fiercely dedicated to doing what she thinks is right. We'll see how this conflict works itself out in the weeks and months leading up to the November elections.

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