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Session Wrap 2014: UpClose with House Speaker Andy Tobin

House Speaker Andy Tobin (Photo from Andy Tobin's campaign web site)

House Speaker Andy Tobin (Photo from Andy Tobin’s campaign web site)

The 2014 Session Wrap edition of the Arizona Capitol Times marks the 10th year that we have afforded the four legislative caucus leaders and the governor the opportunity to discuss the issues of the recently completed legislative session in a question-and-answer format.

The goal has always been both to give readers a glimpse into the styles of the subjects and allow the prominent politicians to talk about the year’s events in their own words, free from the filter of a traditional news article. For the first time since we began doing them, a leader has refused to sit down for a Q&A interview.

As a result, we were unable to ask House Speaker Andy Tobin about his experiences this year — or get his thoughts on his nearly eight years as a legislator, six years in leadership and three years as speaker, given that he is leaving the Legislature after this year. His office refused multiple requests to sit down for an interview, and the only explanation given was that he “wanted more control” over what would be printed. Tobin’s office instead submitted a written synopsis of what he felt were legislative victories achieved in 2014.

We chose not to print it because it provides merely a white-washed summary of the Legislature’s activities and does not allow for any critical questions about why certain decisions were made. To print it in place of a Q&A interview — one which Tobin has consented to prior to and after each legislative session since 2012 — would make us little more than an extension of his taxpayer-funded press office.

2 comments

  1. Carnivorous Buttock Fly

    Tobin also won’t talk to The Daily Courier in Prescott which is in his district, allegedly because a columnist criticized him. From the Courier article* (link below): “Tobin has refused to talk to The Daily Courier about this year’s legislative session, citing a columnist’s criticism of him. Tobin is now running for Congress in a district neighboring his own.”

    I have always thought of Tobin as being very thin-skinned. Now I am sure of it!

    Hopefully the voters in AZ01 will have better sense than to send such a thin-skinned politician to Washington D.C.

    It’s quite pathetic that the Speaker of the House can’t talk to the local press about the events that occurred during a state legislative session. Even more pathetic is that he won’t talk to one of the papers because of some rare criticism from a columnist there. The Courier has endorsed Tobin in each of his campaigns.

    I think some of this avoidance of the press may also be due to the fact that he may not have the capability to answer questions on the spot without looking like a buffoon. I have seen him on multiple occasions, being asked questions by the press and he starts to mumble an incoherent answer while his voice trails off and his face turns beet red.

    Andy doesn’t have the answers and certainly is not the right answer for AZ01, all of Arizona or the U.S. Hopefully he will be defeated in this race and thankfully he will not be in the State Legislature again (at least for a while).

    http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=131690&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1087&S=1

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