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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

5/29/2012 1:09:00 PM
Editorial: Ken Bennett’s aspirations to serve as governor good news for Arizona

Last week’s announcement in Cottonwood that a gubernatorial run is part of Ken Bennett’s future should be regarded as good news for Arizona.

It also comes at a time when Bennett’s own actions show that he has a few things still to learn about political statesmanship.

What’s most encouraging about Bennett’s plans to seek the state’s highest office in 2014 is that he has a myriad of political experiences to allow him to fully understand the needs and realities of local government as well as the complexities of state government. He has worked his way through the ranks from service on the Prescott City Council beginning in 1985 to President of the Arizona State Senate from 2003 to 2007 and now in his current position as Secretary of State.

Further, he can do much more than give lip service to the beleaguered state of public education in Arizona. His hands-on experience again includes six years of service on the State Board of Education, where he served as president in 1996 and 1998. In addition, while serving in the Arizona State Senate, Bennett was Chairman of the Education Committee for two years.

Bennett’s broad-based experience makes him one of the most-qualified gubernatorial prospects Arizona has had in decades.

All that said, he still obviously has a few things to learn. His recent decision to jump on the Joe Arpaio Obama birther bandwagon has to make one wonder about his political judgment. In the end, he was wise enough to distance himself from this fiasco and even apologize for any embarrassment his decision might have brought upon the state.

His initial explanation that he was only acting on the requests of constituents was at best only a weak rationalization. Of course a person in Bennett’s position is going to get such constituent requests, but at some point you have to face up to the fact that there are a lot of nuts out there. And even if they vote, even if they are constituents, the wise political course is to ignore them and do what you believe is prudent.

Following the birther agenda makes about as much sense as pushing legislation that would make Bigfoot an endangered species. Bennett’s judgment was sadly lacking on this one.

Which all goes to show that he still is a work in progress.

One with the kind of experience Arizona really needs in the governor’s office.

Related Stories:
• Bennett accuses president of 'fibbing' about birthplace
• Ken Bennett on 'birthing' & budgets

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

I'm a Democrat but I actually might vote for Bennett because I think he's sincere and I'd like to see a Governor from Yavapai County.

But I do worry about his populist tendencies, like the "birther" announcement where he seemed to be trying not to garner votes from both sides, but to at least not lose any.

If the Dems run a viable candidate for Governor, I'll likely be there...but the chances of that are pretty much nil.

Bennett at least (for now) seems like as fair and honest a candidate as we're likely to get from the Republicans and our next Governor will undoubtedly be a Republican, though I'm sure his open-mindeness will be seen as weakness to the Tea Bag hardcores.

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

Ken Bennett has aspirations of being Governor?


He might as well aspire to be the Dalai Lama!


Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013
Article comment by: M J

Fred Duval ... will be the liberals choice for governor ... because he has nice hair ..... all the qualifications needed for a liberal ....

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Hey it's a Republican doing Republican.doing
Republican thangs.Independents will stear the
course thank you.Time to gather up some ballers and get er done.

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013
Article comment by: John Mealer

Although this article is clearly written well, it is extremely beneficial to Ken Bennett, who is still serving as Sec of State.

Why does this author push "politicians"?
Politicians are the very people who ruined this nation. Hon Bennett is far from a Statesman. As nice of a guy he is, he is still a lobbyist owned politician.

JL Mealer
MEALER2014 Arizona Governor
Our CONFIDENCE is in my plans that cannot be denied.

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012
Article comment by: Lee Cali

It seems that not many readers agree with the editor's confidence in Mr. Bennett. Let us hope these comments will bring a little bit of reality to the editor's thinking.

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012
Article comment by: Helig Hammarmal

Years ago I wrote Mr. Bennett kindly asking him to fill out the Project Vote Smart questionnaire, a simply fill-out form for candidates so that voters could see where they stood on many different issues and make a better informed voting decision. Mr. Bennett refused to respond to this and many others letters. I came away thinking that he was yet another arrogant, partisan politician who had little respect for the voters (unless they are his party faithful and campaign contributors) and felt no need for accountability to the public. I've seen nothing in his words or deeds to change my mind. Bennett is the last thing this state needs. 'Bout the only good things in this state are charter schools and the concealed carry laws, the rest you can keep - in my opinion. Can we get Napolitano back?

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

The GOP [Greed Overwhelming Principle] is synonymous with H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y!

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Article comment by: Maggie Holt

If it is Bennett's constitutional duty to answer the questions of voters [that doesn't say sheriffs], I'd like to know when he's going to investigate Romney's legitimacy as a candidate, seeing as how Romney's parents were not both born on U.S. soil.

Posted: Sunday, June 10, 2012
Article comment by: Thanks Rusty for letting us know what Bennett's job is

"when it is his constitutional duty as the Secretary of State to answer questions that the voters of Arizona may have"

So now we know who to go to when we have a question. I expect Bennett to launch a full investigation into why governor Brewer and other state officials have thrown blockades toward the voter approved legalization of medical marijuana.

I encourage 1000 people to ask him this question, and we expect the same zeal applied to this investigation as the Obama investigation.

Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012
Article comment by: Jeri Noble

Bennett has made it clear where his loyalties are, despite his own statement that "it would be improper for the secretary of state to publicly support a candidate or a ballot measure." This man is as hypocritical as any other modern Republican and to believe that our state could prosper under his management, is delusional.

Posted: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Article comment by: Inde Pendent

Editorial: " . . . there are a lot of nuts out there."

Yes, indeed. And Bennett is one of them!

Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012
Article comment by: Rusty Shackleford

I do not understand how Mr. Bennett cound be considered to be "pandering to right wing nuts" when it is his constitutional duty as the Secretary of State to answer questions that the voters of Arizona may have, whether right, left, donkey or elephant. To do nothing would have been a neglect of his office. If he had stated that Mr. Obama will not be on the ballot until he proves his birth would be pandering. To this point the question has been answered satisfactorly and to his agreement. If Mr. Bennett had done nothing people would have called him names and requested that he step down. You just can not make all of the people happy all of the time, especialy if those people are finge on either side, or if they ride a political DONKEY.

Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012
Article comment by: jimedbrown thompson

Why we the State want to add fuel to the fire, Brewer is not one of the best governers and you want to send him, you people are the reason people don't vote, even though they should, if nothing else to get rid of people like you, bring back Janet

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2012
Article comment by: (Yes, I know, John...

...I'm very clear on how and why the neocon/GOP idealogy exists, and that it's spazzing out now, desperately throwing out even the most obviously ridiculous tripe in every direction, trying to distract from the fact that their stance is essentially violent and inhumanitarian in nature. Too late, though.

But hey, thanks Richard H it's very good to know you've observed Mr. Bennett privately extending himself in service to others, and as being a humble person. Very important to acknowledge and encourage the better angels of everyone's nature, IMHO, especially politicians! Who knows perhaps one day that instinct will dominate, and turn at least some politicians into actual representatives of their constituents and their true needs...

I can dream... Heaven knows if it were to happen here in AZ, it could happen anywhere... LOL)

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