It's on, Arizona.
This past weekend, I kicked off Operation Dekookification and all I can say is, whoa.
And. ... WHOA.
There's a touch of frustration out there with the state of this state's political leadership. It seems there's an army of you who don't relate to leaders more concerned with U.N. domination than public-school education, leaders more concerned with your eternal soul than with their earthly obligation to fix what ails this state.
Several hundred of you called or wrote in to sign on to the Dekook the Capitol campaign.
People like Bob Riley of Goodyear and Helen Dumas of Phoenix and Tom Marcinko of Queen Creek. "I don't know what you can say about a body that responds to the Tucson tragedy with bills to name an official state firearm," Marcinko wrote.
People like Devin Russel of Oro Valley and Bern Juracka of Payson and Robert Beck, an independent from Sun Lakes. "As a lifelong Republican (I campaigned for Barry Goldwater), I finally was so fed up with the party at the time of George II's re-election that I changed my registration," Beck wrote, referring to former President George W. Bush. "Since that time, Congress and certainly the state Legislature have confirmed that my decision was timely and wise."
And like Mary Cameron of Peoria: "There are so many good, smart people in this state. Why is our Legislature overrun by these far-right kooks -- and I'm saying that as a Republican! ... We need people who can work together as moderates and bring all their smarts to the table to solve Arizona's problems -- not try to force their own personal agendas. Count me as one of your crusaders, and send me a button!"
There were also a few people like Steve Widmayer, who was, shall we say, less than enthused about the prospect of dekookification. "Just read your column," he wrote. "You are a stupid sheeple."
Onward now, to the campaign.
Nominations are pouring in for those who deserve Kook status (yes, even a few for me). Most nominees are Republicans, which isn't surprising given that they run the place. But I have gotten some for Mary Rose Millionaire ... er, Wilcox. She's a Democrat, just not a legislator, though she is up for re-election.
Keep 'em coming -- email@example.com -- and I'll start publishing them soon.
Meanwhile, several people suggested that I also take nominations for legislators worth supporting this fall.
Excellent idea. It's unrealistic to think that we could throw all the bums out and, in any case, some of the bums are actually fairly decent legislators, capable of steering a more moderate course -- assuming, that is, they can grab the controls from those who have set us on our present rightward lurch. So send me your nominations for Keepers as well as Kooks, along with an explanation for why they should be re-elected.
Several of you expressed skepticism that the Capitol can be dekookified. I'll be honest: It can't be unless people set aside their doubts and do something. That is, to actually vote in the Aug. 28 primary. A key focus of this campaign will be the state Senate. A couple of strategic defeats, and we could have a different Legislature.
Unfortunately, turnout in the primaries -- when most legislative races are decided -- is generally woeful. Four years ago, only 30 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of Democrats voted in the primary. Not even 9 percent of independents voted.
Independents can vote in the primary. You can even vote early. All you have to do is request an early ballot -- Republican or Democratic -- from your county recorder's office.
In Maricopa County, call 602-506-1511. Or mark your calendar for June 14 and then go to www.recorder.maricopa.gov and click on the elections page. (For those of you who tried it after reading Saturday's column, sorry about that. The site won't be open until June 14.) You can also mail your request to the Maricopa County Elections Office, 510 S. Third Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003.
(Include your name, address, date of birth and, if you're an independent, which party's ballot you want.)
Deadline for requesting a ballot is Aug. 17. Meanwhile, Operation Dekookification is now under way.
Sheldon Pierson of Scottsdale has signed on, and Lynette Flinders of Anthem and Ann Careau of Sun City Grand.
"Thanks for calling these nuts out," Careau wrote. "Keep it up. Maybe we can have hope after all."
We can do this, people. I really think we can.
Stay tuned ...
Reach Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-8635.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2012/06/05/20120605roberts0606-hundreds-sign-operation-dekookification.html#ixzz1x2psfk5Q