In an age of news on demand we are all made aware of things that happen around our nation; we seem to hear more of the bad than good. Perhaps this is human nature, but snarky, mean-spirited events spread like wildfire through television and social media. One need not employ mental gymnastics to recognize that the current trend is toward demonizing conservatives. Think of conservative Ted Cruz and the hatred he has received since refusing to bend with the über flexible Republican establishment. It seems, however, that the most hateful language and actions are reserved for women. Just a few years ago, Playboy printed a blog listing the top 10 conservative women with whom Playboy writer Guy Cimbalo would like to commit an obscene sexually violent act. That blog was taken down, and an apology was issued. Of course the abuse that Sarah Palin suffered from the media comes to mind. How about Michelle Malkin or Elisabeth Hasselbeck who have both been called names and ridiculed for their heartfelt conservative beliefs. Think of Michele Bachman and the hateful song the Roots played when she appeared on Jimmy Fallon. The liberal media has had it’s own war on women conservatives.
This national trend of hatred of conservative women seems to have trickled down to the local level. It has enabled a culture of disdain and vitriol toward Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller, that is creating a dangerous climate of intolerance. Up until this point the media, for it’s part, has done little in the way of fair and balanced reporting. In fact, the biased reporting against Miller is taking a disturbing turn.
Ally Miller has been falsely accused of extravagance for spending $108 on lunch for five people at the Ritz Carlton where she had a staff meeting, and had photos taken for her Pima County Supervisor website at no charge. Although it is illegal for a business to print a patron’s entire credit card number out of respect for safety and privacy, KVOA had no ethical or legal concerns with posting Miller’s credit card information online for the entire world to hack, thereby exposing her to all manner of identity theft.
The Arizona Daily Star printed false and misleading information about Supervisor Miller spending $1500 on a chair (it was a conference table), and has not corrected the story that was printed on the first page of section A of their paper. The spending report has been unfairly focused on Miller, since there was no mention of the $58,000 dollar TREO trip to San Diego where a Councilman got drunk, or the fact that Pima County paid the $2,000 bill for Chuck Huckelberry.
In further unbalanced reporting, theTucson Weekly’s Jim Nintzel coordinated a hit piece against Miller with Supervisor Ramon Valadez. Ally Miller has recently pointed out that Valadez has a special $7 million dollar fund to use as he pleased from the $350 million dollar bond election. Huckelberry confirmed that the city wanted the money so they put it in a special fund for Mr. Valadez. No other Supervisor had this special treatment. The Nintzel-Valadez piece tried to portray Miller as using road repair money for her own benefit. They showcased a map of her neighborhood, and fellow Supervisor Valadez disclosed the name of Ally Miller’s street, thereby exposing her family to the threats and intimidation that previously only Miller herself has had to endure. This is not the way a fellow board member should behave--even towards someone they may disagree with ideologically.
Thanks to the inaccurate reporting and inappropriate disclosures, in the last month Ally Miller has had to have a threatening man removed from her office, her financial information exposed, and now the location of her family home. It appears as though some Board of Supervisor democrats and those left of this particular conservative woman are creating an atmosphere that could lead to violence; the same atmosphere that they accused right wing conservatives of cultivating leading up to the shooting of Gabby Giffords. As a result, taxpayers now have to pay for continuous patrols around Miller’s home. If the threats and unsavory overtures continue, the Miller family could need a full time security detail like Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.
Strangely, there is no outrage in reaction to all this. In fact, via the Daily Star, Tim Stiller has suggested that although the facts may point to retaliation, Ally Miller needs to learn to go along with the board and play the game. Regardless of the statistics that show Miller voting with the board majority 90-95% of the time, to suggest that one play a political game to avoid retaliation for standing up for taxpayers is ridiculous and less than honest. One thing Pima County residents expect from Ally Miller, the woman who has singlehandedly brought video accountability to the Board of Supervisors is honesty. Her transparency and commitment to letting the taxpayers know what is happening with their money and their trust is proven weekly during ‘Miller Time’ on the James T. Harris show on 104.1 The Truth.
Transparency, truth and accountability are the things Ally Miller brings to the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Instead of stepping up to the raised standard of leadership, the Board sinks to new lows in attacking one of its own. A house divided cannot stand, and infighting and backstabbing will not strengthen or unify a governing body. The people of Tucson and Pima County deserve better. In decrying the treatment Ally Miller has received, the people declare that integrity is the new standard of politics, not ‘playing the game’.
Take note Board of Supervisors. The people you serve will hold you accountable with their vote.