Dave Hodges

More About: Politics: Republican Campaigns

Meet the Water Boy for the Bush Rank and File: Say Hello to Jon Kyl

As we race toward the November elections, Jon Kyl will argue that his political prowess and reputation are a benefit to Arizona. After all, Senator Kyl is rumored to be in line to assume the Majority Whip position, provided the Republicans hold on to control of the Senate. His political ads continually send the message that his political experience and craftiness is good for all of Arizona. However, a closer examination of Jon Kyl’s character and voting patterns, which span his public service tenure, tells a much different tale than the persona spun by Jon Kyl the man.

One must tip their hat to Senator Kyl as he has undoubtedly mastered the art of public persona. He is calm, well-spoken in a “folksy” manner, rarely gets rattled and he even looks honest. Unfortunately, Jon Kyl is the poster child for the phrase “appearances can be deceiving.”

Upon closer examination, Jon Kyl is a major player in a political system which bears more resemblance to a bordello than a system of honest politics that he professes to participate in. Jon Kyl is bought and paid for by the Exxon’s, Halliburton’s, Big Pharma and any other special interest that will write the good senator a check during campaign season.

We live in a country in which 40 million Americans do not have health insurance. We have by far and away the most expensive health care in the world, yet we are not getting our money’s worth. America has slipped from 14th in life expectancy to 23rd since the advent of Senator Kyl’s political tenure in the United States Senate. The United States suffers from a chronically high infant mortality rate. The American Medical Association admits to 100,000 Americans who die each year due to medical negligence and malpractice. The actual number is probably a lot higher. And Jon Kyl has been a willing accomplice in this sham of a health care system as Kyl has repeatedly voted to limit malpractice suits designed to protect medical consumers from shoddy and often deadly health care.

Outside of “The Decidifier Dubya” and ‘ole “Buck Shot Halliburton Cheney”, Kyl is one of oil’s best friends in government and he has been well-rewarded for his efforts. Over the course of his career, Kyl has received over $150,000 from oil and gas. He has received $30,000 in this election cycle alone. Kyl has personally benefited from the legislative assistance he has provided big oil. Jon Kyl is an Exxon stockholder at a time when this multinational corporation is realizing record profits as a result of their price gouging of the American public. Meanwhile, Joe Six Pack is figuring out how he can afford to drive to work in the morning. This blatant conflict of interest must be what the Senator was speaking of in one his campaign ads when said he has helped to restore honesty and integrity to government. Is he talking about honor among thieves? Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall? With this type of track record, it is hard to be certain.

Despite the potential for global conflict in the Middle East, Kyl is adamantly opposed to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. He voted against funding research into renewable energy sources which is something that the oil industry vehemently opposes as well. Under legislation sponsored by Kyl, Exxon received a $6.5 billion dollar tax break. Well, there is a silver lining in every dark cloud as I would be willing to bet that Kyl’s legislation has greatly increased the value of his Exxon stock holdings. Exxon has subsequently rewarded Kyl with a $9,000 campaign donation. This made Exxon’s “contribution” to Jon Kyl one of the best returns on investment in American industry.

Kyl fancies himself to be a friend of the environment. Yet, despite voting against developing more of America’s inland oil resources, he has voted to greatly endanger the environment by approving coastal drilling by big oil.

With the recent rise in record oil prices, Kyl is parroting the refrain of the oil companies in which they blame the alternative fuel, Ethanol, for the high prices at the pump. Huh? Since when did Yogi Berra become an apologist for Kyl and big oil?

Kyl states that he should be re-elected because with his power and influence he will bring home the bacon to Arizona voters. However, the facts tell a far different story. Despite being the fifth largest and fastest growing city in the nation, Phoenix lags millions of dollars behind other smaller cities in receiving federal funding which is usually earmarked for the poor. Surely, Kyl has confused pork with bacon.

Kyl has fallen into lock step with Dubya with regard to the Iraq War. There is little doubt that the increase in record oil profits runs red with the blood of brave American soldiers. Why are we in Iraq? Weapons of Mass Destruction? To save the Iraqi’s from themselves by whipping a little democracy on them? To rid the world of an evil dictator? We cannot “Cut and Run?” We have seen so many excuses for this war from Kyl and his fellow “Neoconvicts” that it is hard to remember all of their excuses for this illegal war without a buying a playbook.

And while I am it, I would like to criticize Kyl for his position on border issues. However, I am not sure anybody knows Kyl’s border position, including Kyl himself. Long live cheap labor for the multinationals.

A November vote for Jon Kyl is an open invitation to even more medical malpractice, less federal funding for our communities, more tax dollars spent on benefits for illegal aliens, more Middle East foreign incursions which benefit big oil and hold on to your wallets and purses as you drive by the gas pumps after the November election. First Joe Liebermann and then Jon Kyl. Now, wouldn’t that send a message? Perhaps Arizona desperately needs to wake up and quit reading and listening to the propaganda machines of the Arizona Republic and KFYI radio. KFYI’s morning talk show host, Bruce Jacobs, may butcher the King’s English, but he does an excellent job of protecting the King and his Court.

These are but a few of the reasons on why Arizona should vote for Jim Pederson. Why Pederson? He has not been bought and paid for, yet.

For more enlightening reading about Senator Kyl, please check out the following articles: Phoenix Business Journal, 4/17/06; Associated Press, 4/25/02; Associated Press, 4/26/02; Congressional Quarterly 3/14/06; Environment and Energy Daily, 04/03/03; Sun-Sentinel, 6/22/05; Environment and Energy Daily, 04/03/03; Oil Daily, 6/17/05; New York Times, 10/7/04; Environment & Energy Daily, 9/16/04; Vote #211, 10/11/04; Center For Responsive Politics 3/22/06; The Arizona Republic, 8/27/06, Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor, Page 1.

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