A closer examination of Sen. John McComish’s voting record this year showed him opposing bills authored by colleagues with “Tea Party” leanings while also backing measures that infuriated Democrats.
In short, his record doesn’t put him at the fringes of Arizona’s political spectrum.
He balked at a bill that would have revoked the certification of a teacher who promotes “partisan doctrine” while in the classroom or during an extra-curricular activity. He opposed another plan to penalize teachers for saying something that is obscene, indecent or profane based on Federal Communications Commission rules.
Also, he voted against legislation that would have established a panel of lawmakers to review federal laws and recommend their “neutralization” if members believe they’re outside the scope of the powers that the U.S. Constitution delegated to states.
Additionally, he was the only Republican who voted against a component of the state budget that dealt with education policies. He said the budget didn’t add money for soft capital funding for schools. He also said “no” to a bill that would have allowed schools to opt out of the school lunch program.
McComish’s political agenda can also be glimpsed from the measures he authored or co-sponsored. What emerged is a Republican who isn’t shy to support proposals that “Tea Party” legislators might frown upon, such as continuing the Commission on the Arts or prohibiting teenage drivers from using cell phones. He signed on to a similar no-texting bill by Rep. Steve Farley, a Democrat from Tucson, also this year.
But McComish also supported several hot-button measures that Democrats opposed, including the Center for Arizona Policy-backed proposal to deny Planned Parenthood public funds and to prohibit an abortion if the fetus is at least 20 weeks old.
He also backed the expansion of a dollar-for-dollar tax credit program for scholarships to private and religious schools. Democrats have routinely criticized the school tuition organization program, which they argued had siphoned off dollars from public schools and lacked accountability.