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Statement ‘false and derogatory’

If you are reading this letter, it is because State Representative David Schapira (D-17) refused my request that he retract and apologize for a false and derogatory statement he made about me in last week’s issue of Arizona Capitol Times.
In the article titled “Device sparks debate over what curbs drunk driving,” I stated, “If new data comes in which confirms the existing data that it (the ignition interlock for first time, non extreme DUIs) doesn’t work, we’ll have to change it. It’s madness to continue with something which doesn’t work.” In the same article, Schapira responded, “He (Kavanagh) doesn’t like this law and that’s what he wants to see happen, I think it’s a shame that he is hoping for that…”
I was disturbed and disappointed that Schapira would impugn my character by erroneously stating that I want to see the ignition interlock fail to deter recidivism among first time, non-extreme DUI offenders. Not only is that statement false but I have never said anything that would lead a reasonable person to believe such a thing, much less state it for attribution to a newspaper.
To suggest that I would rather see people injured and dead rather than be proven wrong on a policy issue demonstrates a great deal of cynicism and a lack of civility on Representative Schapira’s part. Having debated the interlock issue with him many times, both publicly and privately, I cannot understand how he could say such a callous thing about me. Schapira knows that my opposition to the interlock is evidence-based and only extends to its use with first time,
non-extreme offenders.
I am dismayed by the fact that someone who is a floor colleague and occasional off-the-floor acquaintance could think so little of me and could so easily slander my name. The legislative process is a
fact-finding exercise augmented by policy debate. Personal attacks and unfounded speculations on the motives of others, when not neutralized by apology, are
corrosive to the good will that is needed to legislate effectively. Schapira should have known better or at least apologized.
Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, Represents District 8

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