Guest Editorial: Rep. Kolodin Should Stick to Water Issues

By Ronald Sampson

Alexander Kolodin. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Ahhhh, Representative Alex Kolodin…sometimes he shows so much promise, and sometimes he clearly can’t get out of his own way, compelled to foolishness by some unknown forces, some dark angel of conspiracy that convinces him to keep pushing into an abyss. He’s gotten attention a few times this year (get up to date here), and it’s not always positive.

The most recent flub is the fight against early voting by mail, a fight which he recently lost in the courts. This is presumably on behalf of the Conspiracy Caucus of the GOP; the group led by the former president, the group that simply cannot acknowledge the fact that the brand of politics that aims to set everything on fire and pour additional gasoline on top is not palatable to a large portion of voters.

The culprit? The entire system of voting. In this particular case it is voting early by mail, something that sine its inception in 1991 has been about as Arizonan as air conditioning and disliking California. Never mind that it was the same system that routinely led to Republican wins for decades, something that Democrats didn’t blame on the system itself. Never mind that precinct voting data from retirement communities such as Sun City show quite concretely that while seniors still preferred Trump to his Democratic opponent, he lost major ground in 2020 versus 2016, something that when extrapolated statewide would clearly sink him and any related candidates.

So instead of having a sober conversation about that brand of politics and how it clearly alienates plenty of people, instead they blame a service that 80% of Arizonans use, one that it widely appreciated and used for making voting convenient. Wasting time on invented problems on extremely popular services. Nice work, Rep. Kolodin. This is why most people rightfully perceive “politics” as a four-letter word with just a few extra letters.

This is especially disappointing considering the work that he had done related to the Rio Verde Foothills crisis, some of which you can read about here. He crafted a bill that was reasonable, had widespread support (including from the Governor) and was a solid solution for the biggest crisis of the area’s recent history. And then genuinely positive and important work gets mixed in with this sort of nonsense. It makes one wonder how committed he is to real solutions rather than naked grabs for attention.

I’m not about to give up on Rep. Kolodin. But it would be helpful for his constituents, himself, and in the longer term his own party if he was to stick to providing real solutions to real problems instead of riding conspiracy waves and trying to create problems where none exist.