In the past two years, LD11 Representative Steve Smith has made zero progress in his pledge to build the border fence other than raising a mere $275,000 (less than 10% of the GAO estimated cost to build one mile) and changing the name of his effort from Build America’s Fence to Secure America’s Border. In a August 16, 2013 Arizona Capital Times article, Smith said he hasn’t focused on fundraising but has devoted his attention to discussions with logistics and lawyers, which have taken up most of his time.[i]
One has to wonder just why Representative Smith is spending so much time on border security when the most southern point of LD11 is at least 75 miles from the border. In addition, the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce recently released their 51st Legislature Report Card showing Smith missing 27.4 percent of the votes, the worst record of any Southern Arizona legislator.[ii]
The priority bill votes he missed were HB2499, the JTED funding bill; HB2173, the unemployment insurance omnibus; HB2111, transaction privilege tax changes; and HB2608, defined contribution for EORP. Other votes he missed were assured water supply requirements exemption, school finance revisions, and new requirements for petition circulators.
LD11 has a myriad of important issues that we need our legislators to focus on. Border security is a federal government responsibility, Representative Smith needs to focus on the business of the people of LD11.