Our Stand: Kept Faith with Conservatives
Jeff Flake, a Republican, did what he said he was going to do two years ago when he took a seat in Congress.
Flake, seeking a second term in the House in a redrawn eastside Congressional District 6, held firm to his conservative principles in crusading against what he considers wasteful government spending. His voice often is the lonely one blowing in the wind, even in the Republican-controlled House. For balance in public-policy debate, it should be heard.
On the strength of his sense of fairness and free-market convictions, the debate on lifting the Cuba embargo has moved forward. The embargo, Flake has argued, is an ineffective national policy that needs to end. We agree.
For Arizona, Flake has tried to return more federal transportation dollars to the state. He's right to push for a dollar-for-dollar return for Arizona, a high-growth state that needs more than the current return of 91 cents of every $1.
Sometimes, we believe, Flake, a former executive director of the Goldwater Institute, fails to see the benefit and necessity of public investments, such as his strong opposition to a light-rail system. He considers the program a waste. We consider it essential to the Valley's future.
Flake is an articulate, thoughtful candidate whose knowledge on many issues runs deeper than a great number of U.S. representatives. No one can doubt his sincerity, his principles or his commitment to the job.
His opponent, Democrat Deborah Thomas, also is sincere. But on depth of knowledge about issues and her ability to effectively communicate a point of view, she is no match for Flake.
Thomas, a retired Arizona state employee with a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration, says affordable prescription drugs are a key issue for Arizona's seniors. She said she would push to allow foreign countries to establish pharmacies in Arizona and Medicare coverage of prescription drugs.
We'd like to see Thomas stay active in Arizona politics, but it is Flake who should return to Congress, representing the East Valley's District 6.