Today: Jul 11 , 2020

Opinion: Stringer & the Prescott City Council

11 December 2018
  John Stevens

Was it speech or behavior?


The act of calling on David Stringer by the Prescott City Council to resign his elected seat in the Arizona House of Representatives was grossly disproportionate to the true facts of the matter, as well as far outside the Council's legitimate role and powers.

The Council did it based on Stringer's alleged behavior.  But they are erroneously equating speech with behavior.  Those are not the same things at all.  There is, simply, no act of discrimination in view here.  David's remarks that caused such an uproar were in the context of an academic setting, where speech and views are generally protected, or should be; and, until recently, always have been in civilized countries.

Those remarks were recorded without David's knowledge, in an elevator by two "students", who tried to push the dialog in dark directions and were then rightly resisted by David.  David's observations were historical in nature, and without advocacy to take positions against anyone.  On the contrary, David's work in the legislature toward judicial reforms and increased school options are intended, in large part, to help the very racial and other minorities these "virtue signaling" social warriors claim to be defending.

Throwing around the term "racist" is now an all too common accusation, and at the same time is among the vaguest of terms. It is intended to delegitimize political  opponents, a device to shut down debate rather than efforts to win it.

In this case the Prescott City Council acted following a probable violation of the open meeting laws, and spoke not as private citizens but in their official role as elected city officials, on a matter wholly outside the proper scope of their office.

Our Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem allowed their personal animus toward David to cloud their judgment.  They have hurt the City of Prescott by taking this unnecessary and harmful action against one of our two LD-1 Representatives in the State Legislature, where goodwill and good working relations are so important.  And, as an alert observer may recall, our other Representative, Noel Campbell, ran as a "team" with David in the just completed election.

John Stevens