Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jeff Flake is the clear choice to replace Senator Kyl

Special to the White Mountain Independent

There’s an old adage that in Washington there are workhorses and there are show horses.

Arizona is on the verge of losing the consummate workhorse when Sen. Jon Kyl begins his well deserved retirement at the end of his term. Considering all that Sen. Kyl has done for our state, it is almost unfair to ask his replacement to attempt to fill his shoes.

But when assessing the two candidates seeking to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate, Rep. Jeff Flake is the clear choice.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is proud to join with the country’s strongest advocate for the free-market, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in endorsing Jeff Flake for Senate. Our two organizations are committed to supporting policies that strengthen our economy and grow jobs. In this race, there is no one better on issues relating to jobs and the economy than Jeff Flake.

The decisions we face this election are important ones, for our state and the entire country. Earlier this month our national debt surpassed $16 trillion. The Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire in January, which would represent the largest tax increase in the history of the United States. And as a result of sequestration, an additional $500 billion dollars of automatic cuts will occur to our national defense, an action that could cost the nation over one million jobs. Many economists are saying that as a result of this coming “fiscal cliff” our fragile economy could head into a potentially deep recession. The American taxpayer can’t afford on-the-job training in the U.S. Senate.

Throughout his career, Flake has always stood up for Arizona taxpayers, bucking party leadership when it was addicted to earmarks and the irresponsible pork-barrel spending that followed. Senator John McCain has been railing against this egregious spending for years. Now, because of their leadership, earmarks are largely a thing of the past, a testament to these two Arizonans’ ability to bring points of view as disparate as Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell together.

Stopping earmarks is not some small symbolic victory. Without our tax dollars going to bridges to nowhere in the backwoods of Alaska, they can be used for legitimate reasons in places like Arizona.

For example, Flake supports Interstate 11, which would connect Phoenix and Las Vegas, the two largest metro areas not connected by an interstate. He understands such projects are critical to our state’s ability to stay competitive in our second century. That’s why he’s positioning Arizona to win the jobs of the future by supporting our state’s drive to be designated as a test location for unmanned aerial systems.

And he’s pushing back against an over-reaching federal bureaucracy, especially the EPA, an agency whose heavy hand puts Arizona jobs at risk. Congressman Flake made the Arizona Chamber the first stop in his recent statewide issues tour to talk with business leaders about the negative effect over-regulation has on their bottom line and how it hampers their ability to add jobs.

It’s because of Flake’s pro-growth agenda that he was recently recognized by the National Association of Manufacturers with its Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence. America’s job creators know they can count on Jeff Flake.

These are serious times and they call for a serious lawmaker. 
We know where Jeff Flake stands on the top issues of the day facing Arizona businesses from taxes, to health care, to regulation. Jon Kyl’s departure from the Senate is a blow to our state. But electing Jeff Flake in November will be to our benefit.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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