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Gosh how I love it when right wing extremists, in their endless capacity for self-righteous indignation and outrage, count their chickens before they've hatched.

Take, for instance, a rant up post on one of my favorite right wing blogs, seeingredaz, which torches President Obama for launching a military strike against Syria. Without seeking approval from the Congress. Oops.

Then there's always the reliable Espresso Pundit. He assures us that Laurie Roberts won't say a word about newly appointed State Senator Carlyle Begay's residency issue. "All I am likely to hear is the sound of crickets..." The Arizona Republic is a horrid liberal newspaper that would never cover such an issue when a Democrat is involved, only when there's a Republican. Liberal bias, you know.

Oops. Roberts posted a full column on the issue. She actually seems to come down, hard, on the same side as Patterson, concluding that Begay does not live in his district and should not be in office. Roberts, though, actually makes an effort to be fair, thorough, accurate, and tell both sides of the story. Efforts that are inevitably sadly lacking in right wing blogosphere.

Darin Mitchell's effort to make it appear he lived in his district involved a vacant house with a bare mattress on the floor. Begay makes two arguments. The first is that the state law concerning residency uses the word "elected." On the surface at least, an appointed replacement to a vacant seat does not appear to be held to this standard.

Begay's other argument is more compelling. He's a Navajo born and raised in Ganado. Smack dab in the middle of his district. In Navaho culture, that's his home. Forever.

If it were left up to me to decide, I'd leave the decision to the voters of the district, who are overwhelmingly Navajo. Let Begay run for the office in the next election. If a majority of the voters decide that being born and raised on the rez meets their residency requirement, who am I to judge?

If Patterson were "professional" in any way shape or form, he'd admit his original post got it wrong. Then again, he'd admit he got the 3000 fraudulent early ballot request in Yuma story wrong too. And apologize for sliming former State Senator Jerry Lewis. Professionalism, indeed.

Six weeks after the original story broke is hardly the mark of an unbiased professional journalist. Espresso Pundit is an opinion blog, not the paper of record for the State of Arizona. Ms. Roberts gets paid; GP doesn't. The left's ridiculous idea of comparative relevance (or lack thereof) is a continuous joke; and it's not very funny. You guys need to come up with a better storyline.

Roberts is not a reporter. She’s a columnist, paid to present her opinion. She’s doing that. She does it for the newspaper, GP does it for himself, but her mission is not that different from GP’s. There’s a big difference between a reporter and a columnist. Whether or not she does that well is another discussion.

"Begay's other argument is more compelling. He's a Navajo born and raised in Ganado. Smack dab in the middle of his district. In Navaho culture, that's his home. Forever." Really? So the written law means nothing so long as you keep your "home" in your heart? When that is your compelling argument, you know all is lost. So I'm living in Arizona, but I love my birthplace of Illinois and still root for Da Bears. I guess I can be appointed to the U.S. Senate from Illinois now. Wow, just wow.

And waiting six weeks to cover the story after you are basically shamed into doing it is weak. That Laurie Roberts couldn't help herself but to take a shot at a Republican at the same time just further exposes her bias. To be fair, she's not a reporter or a journalist, so she is allowed to be as biased as she wants. But Laurie Roberts and those like her are why the Arizona Republic is dying and those around her are losing their jobs. Too late they will realize that they ought to be firing Laurie Roberts instead. That could save a lot of jobs.

Yes, we know Laurie Roberts writes an opinion column, but she is paid to write for the state's largest newspaper. She's not writing for the New Times. Can we not expect her and her other cohorts to base their opinions on fact and at least give some semblance of balance and fairness? Ms. Roberts, Linda Valdez, and EJ Montini provide no fairness, no balance and no objectivity whatsoever. Ms. Roberts' latest shot at a Republican when the story is about a Democrat is a perfect example of the problem with her, Ms. Valdez and Mr. Montini. Although, to give her a bit of a break, Ms. Valdez and Mr. Montini wouldn't have even covered the negative Democrat story.

Thanks for paying such close attention to what I write. Given that, I'm sure you know, then, that I was off when this story broke on July 31, preparing to take my son across the country to law school. When I returned on Aug. 13, Mr. Begay's residency status was on my list of things to write about, right after David Cavazos' pension, Don Shooter buying himself out of a misdemeanor conviction, CPS's latest denial of what should be public records in the case of child who died, etc.
Carlyle Begay is no better or worse than Darin Mitchell. Both are openly flaunting the law in order to get seated in the body that makes laws for the rest of us to follow.

Complete and utter garbage, Laurie.

You returned from vacation on August 13 (let's skip the part on spawning another expletiving lawyer for a bit). You did not write about Begay until September 3. In that three week span, you also managed to weigh in on:

- immigration reform (can't have Linda Valdez cornering the market on hate whitey/hate righty rhetoric)
- the letter to the mother of an autistic Canadian boy that went viral (not that nobody else was covering that)
- the raid on Danny's Car Wash (again, a topic that was covered by multiple people)

It's an arduous job writing three 300-500 word columns a week. If you average that out on a 40 hour week -- skip the latte trips and bathroom breaks -- that's about 7.5 to 12.5 words an hour. Oh wait, under Obamacare, it's probably more like 10.7 to 17.8 words per hour.

Let's not pretend it's real work or anything.

Six week trip to drop the kid off at law school? Couldn't phone in a quick hit for the ed page? That's practically a tweet. Sad, no pathetic, that public ridicule from a blog is what it gets to get similar stories treated equally for R's and D's from the state's paper of record. But that's what it's come to.

She just can't resist, can she? "Don Shooter buying himself out of a misdemeanor conviction"? How many times a day does someone plea bargain and pay a fine for something? Especially a misdemeanor? It isn't even news. But when a conservative Republican lawmaker does it, Laurie calls it "buying himself out of a misdemeanor conviction" to make it sound dirty, corrupt, wrong in some way. Pathetic. Truly pathetic. And of course she took time to ignore the Begay story while making the time to take a gratuitous shot at a conservative Republican. Your employer is going broke Laurie, because people don't want to pay for the product that you produce. Your host body is dying. Whatever will you do to earn a living if you are forced to get a real job with real world standards?

In defense of Laurie Roberts, at least she's not Linda Valdez.

There is no lower life form than Linda Valdez.

Yes, Laurie Roberts' Don Shooter comment was pretty loaded. Pretty much proves Greg's point, doesn't it. When they don't even try to thinly veil their contempt for the other side, it's bad. Their business model is in decline and they compound it by alienating half of their readers. I say keep it up! Now is the time to double down Arizona Republic! Double down!

If EJ Montini qualifies as a life form, he just might be lower than L Valdez.

SunCityGOP: Shooter didn't plea bargain and pay a fine. He paid a "prosecution fee" and as a result the case against him was dropped.

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