Saturday, October 30, 2010


Ted Downing, Research Professor of Social Development at Arizona Research Laboratories, the University of Arizona, is a powerful intellect far from the aloof "ivory tower" stereotype. During his two terms in the Arizona State House he was a not only a tough defender of his Democratic constituents but also a conciliator with his colleagues on the other side of the aisle when it came to issues affecting all of us. 

Indeed there are issues affecting us all that both the Republican and Democratic State Committees ignore, because in effect they have become cliques with their own agendas and their ears closed to the citizens' needs and desires. This is why Ted decided to run for State Senator (District 28 in Tucson) on Tuesday as an Independent.

As an independent Ted will not be required to answer to either of the major State Party hierarchies and will collaborate with likeminded Senators on both sides of the isle.

I'm not just making this up. Ted Downing has done this before.

Back in 2004 when the first whiff of election rigging caught the attention of rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans, their State Party officials and entrenched elected officials refused to hear citizen complaints. And when citizen investigators actually produced evidence of insider election manipulations and carried forward court cases, they were stone walled by elected officials of both party affiliations at the state and local levels.

The few grassroots Democrats and Republicans who were paying enough attention percived that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." And naturally they immediately suspected each other.

But then miracles began to happen, and Ted Downing was huge part of them.

There was a gradual realization by many citizens that, in the words of Tucson election sleuth extraordinaire John Brakey, election fraud "isn't about right and left, it's about right and WRONG!"

Following a fiasco in the 2004 Republican primary, Republican Senator Jack Harper authored an election reform bill that was immediately opposed by knee-jerk Democratic opponents -- the very event that brought out John Brakey's famous remark.

In the end Harper's bill didn't pass.

But later on, then-State-Representative Ted Downing formed an alliance with his friend, Senator Karen Johnson, a Republican State lawmaker who had become deeply concerned about the state of election integrity in Arizona.  Together Ted and Karen assembled what may be the best election-integrity bill in the country and successfully marketed it on both sides of the aisle.  

This bill, SB 1557, was passed by both houses of the AZ State Legislature with only 5 opposing votes out of 90!

An incredible but true story of bi-partisan cooperation when our democracy was on the line!

Elect Ted Downing on Tuesday and expect more pan-partisan laws to pass that match the wishes of you the voter, rather than those of the big corporate interests that have the complete attention of most members of the major-party power structures.

David L. Griscom, Ph.D.

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