SAFFORD — State Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Scottsdale, visited the Gila Valley on Saturday, at the Graham County Senior Citizens building next to the Graham County Health Department in Safford.
Campbell's visit was centered around issues on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives that may affect Graham and Greenlee county citizens.
Campbell addressed the measurably small audience of Graham and Greenlee county Democrats regarding issues such as the misuse of taxpayer dollars in various state-funded programs and the need for more logical thinking among Arizona lawmakers.
“It's not about conservative versus liberal,” Campbell said. “It's about pragmatism, plain and simple.”
One main issue on which Campbell focused was the Arizona prison system. Calling it the “worst-run prison system in the state,” Campbell expressed his disapproval for the Arizona Department of Corrections' lobbying practices as well as what he called its expensive and ineffective recidivism programs.
According to Campbell, correctional health-care company Wexford was a significant drain on taxpayer dollars before selling out its existing contract to another unnamed contractor, whose services became an even more devastating source of economic ruin in the subsequent months since the buyout.
Campbell also accused ADOC of misusing funds designed to help inmates participate in programs that would decrease the chance of their being arrested and incarcerated after their release.
"Though Republican leadership is the majority (in Arizona state legislature), they are extremists, not conservative, and are not in touch with ordinary people," said April Perea, Legislative District 14 committee member. "Chad Campbell works for the people."
He then laid out his plans to introduce budget plans that would lower tax rates for Arizona businesses, making the state a more competitive place for a wide range of business ventures. In 2011, Campbell presented his Corporate Tax Bill, which, he said, would improve the environment financially for businesses, while still keeping Arizona education at the highest possible level.
Campbell has not officially announced any plans for any other office, though he is rumored to be a contender for the Democratic nomination for a run at governor in the 2014 election.
He is a lifelong Arizona resident and currently in his fourth term as an state representative and this will be his third consecutive year as Democratic House leader.
He touted his stance on the Arizona unemployment situation, improving schools, protecting human rights and making Arizona neighborhoods safer by eliminating gang crimes. He has received numerous awards for his work with cities and towns, the disabled community and the press regarding the importance of freedom of speech.
More information about Campbell is available at chadcampbell.org.