Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Who is the American Post Gazette and why is it attacking women?

Dear Fellow LD 15 voters,
 
Recently, an email circulated under the American Post Gazette, an anonymous political "newsletter" has suggested that veteran Arizona state representative Heather Carter is no different than the French women who collaborated with the Nazis and that her head should be shaved.
 
It reports that a recent "preference vote" among the Republican Party precinct committee people in Arizona Legislative District 15 favor two other men over her because she back Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer's successful legislation to bring health care equity to Arizonans, many of them military veterans.  They lump Governor Brewer and Representative Carter into some broad expression against "Obamacare," yet fail to realize that Governor Brewer took a commanding step, with approval of the Legislature, to bring equity to Arizona's most needy so they did not get shorted on the Affordable Care Act.  It was Representative Carter, along with many others of both parties that stood up and voted for a bill that preserved Arizona's position in what is now Federal law - the Affordable Care Act.
 
I am a long-term emergency health care professional and past industry executive.  For decades, I have provided professional consulting services to city and county governments and participated in the efficient design of emergency medical systems that not only save lives, but maximizes the effect of limited health care dollars to those at immediate need and risk.
 
I am also a veteran, having served more than 22 years in active and reserve military service, retiring as a senior enlisted leader in the national intelligence community.  My service did not stop with retirement.  I am not holding my fourth nationally elected office in a national veterans organization.  And I supported Governor Brewer's efforts as a veteran leader and my national organization endorsed it.  Veterans supported it because her legislation would potentially aid more than 63,000 Arizona veterans and their spouses who were at risk of having no health care coverage and could not otherwise afford it due to no fault of their own - and no, there is no "VA" coverage that would have done the job.
 
Representative Carter is my state representative.  I have supported her and will continue to do so because she is an educated, thoughtful and reasonable public policy architect.    She is the daughter of an American veteran who struggled for VA health care and she has consistently shown a devoted interest to help veterans, military families and military members.  She is a wife, a mother and an education professional concerned on a top defense issue facing America and Arizona today - how we properly fund and educate the youngsters today that will be our Arizona and America tomorrow.
 
I don't know who the writers of the American Post Gazette are.  I started out in Phoenix many years ago as a professional journalist writing for a real newspaper - The Phoenix Gazette.  My articles had a by-line and I was proud and my paper was  proud to proclaim who we were to readers daily.
 
More than two decades of national intelligence work has taught me a lot about those who "live in the shadows."  They are usually unsavory types who do harm.  In this case, the American Post Gazette is in direct league with gossip mongers.
 
As for the precinct committee people in Arizona legislative district 15 - I am a Republican, too.  But your vote does not represent the votes of what this district has decided in the past.  As someone who ran for office and walked many doors, I know first hand that sadly, precinct committee people have largely turned into pockets of extreme opinions that generally do not reflect where most Arizonans are - independent voters.  I stopped being a party "PC" because of this divisive and combative stance within the party.
 
As a kid, I actually got to meet then Senator Barry Goldwater and shake his hand.  Sadly, the Goldwater brand of conservatism today has been misinterpreted and bent to some proportion that the late Senator would not recognize.  Now, those of us who subscribe to that thinking of the 1960s are branded "moderates" like it is a hateful term.
 
I have known Tom Husband and known him to be reasonable in days gone by.  
I am saddened that he chooses to attack using methods that are beneath his education and capability.  If he thinks backing a former legislator who got voted out and has a DUI conviction is a better choice than having a working mom and devoted wife with a brilliant business and education resume is a better choice, that is his democratic right.
 
As a parent, as a Republican, as a veteran who has led America's sons and daughters in defense of our nation, I believe I have fair ability to recognize a good public policy representative.  As a reasonable person of faith, I tend to be somewhat compassionate in my choices of constructive criticisms.
 
As a Navy retiree, whose first commanding officer was a woman and my last commanding officer was a woman (and two-star admiral), I think I'm an equal opportunity guy who has grown up a lot over more than 50 years.
 
My counsel is two-fold.  First, don't attack a daughter of an American veteran who has stood up for other veterans and proven her metal in that fight, claiming she is on the same level as those who gave themselves freely to the Nazis.  Second, look within yourselves and seek to find ways to build alliances and strengthen bridges, not go around like some midnight terrorist with an email system assaulting people IEDs (Improvise Email Destruction).  I'd hope you are better than that.
 
I'm a veteran, a native Arizonan and pleased that Heather Carter, and others like her in our Legislature, regardless of party affiliation, work hard so Arizona gains ground.
 
Ditat Deus,
  
Jon C. Altmann
Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
 
"Leadership is not for the risk averse "
 

Comments and opinions expressed by Jon C. Altmann are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, or any of the organizations employing him or that he volunteers his time in helping others.

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