O’Halleran opens up on issues facing Maricopa, country

Tom O’Halleran chats with constituents throughout an April 2018 go to to Maricopa. [File]

The entire political construction in America “has gotten out hand,” in response to U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran.

The Democrat-Republican divide within the U.S. Congress must be resolved for the great of the nation, mentioned the congressman who represents Maricopa in Congressional District 1.
O’Halleran sat down just lately with InMaricopa by way of Zoom for an unique interview to debate among the points going through the town and Pinal County.

“We have to ask ourselves what has to happen for us to work together,” O’Halleran mentioned of the 2 events. “I don’t get up and talk about the other side and what they’re doing. I talk about collaborating with people. We have people who are talking about not signing on to any Republican bills, or not having Republicans sign on to ours – how does that benefit our country?”

O’Halleran provided an answer, saying the one strategy to get previous the division is for congressional representatives to proceed attempting to work collectively to beat the rampant partisanship and make individuals perceive the draw back of dissension.

“We have to get the people of America to understand that every year that goes by that we can’t work together like this will cost us dearly,” he mentioned. “We’re a rustic that’s primarily based on a Constitution that requires us to work collectively. Otherwise, issues get tied up like we see it again there (in Washington) now.

“Public policy has to be done differently. We went decades without discussing infrastructure, or broadband, and these should have been issues that we worked together on and finding a resolution because everyone knew we needed those things. Need to do more of that.”

O’Halleran, a Democrat serving his fourth time period in Congress, was candid in regards to the points confronted by the town of Maricopa. But he sounded a sometimes optimistic tone about transportation, politics, the economic system and redistricting.

The most vital infrastructure undertaking going through Maricopa is the enlargement of State Route 347 between Maricopa and the Valley. O’Halleran mentioned he was displeased by the Arizona Supreme Court ruling rendering the transportation tax unconstitutional. The half-cent tax would have helped fund these enhancements.

The congressman mentioned the SR 347 efforts should proceed shifting ahead.

“I really wish that court case had turned out better,” he mentioned. “But now we’ll have to go to plan B. Luckily, we did the infrastructure bill to at least be competitive in getting the funding necessary to build that highway.”

He indicated that whereas SR 347 is vital, it’s one among many excessive transportation priorities going through by the quickly rising state.

“We have to get Interstate 10 done. There are a lot of interstate highways through the state that have to get done,” he mentioned. “That 347 corridor is one of those corridors we have to get done. That’s why when the Secretary of Transportation (Pete Buttigieg) came in here, we brought him to that corridor, because that is one that has to be addressed.”
He mentioned federal sources would possibly assist with the undertaking.

U.S. Rep Tom O’Halleran, proper, listens as Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Robert Miguel discusses issues with State Route 347 throughout a go to to the Riggs Road intersection by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, left, in August 2021. Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, second from left, additionally chatted with the secretary. [File]

“We have to go back and work with ADOT and the county to address it, and my role is to make sure there is money available, and right now there is money available,” he mentioned. “I had a fast speak with Mayor Christian Price the opposite day, and it’s apparent they’re working laborious; we’re working with them. What we are able to do is supply all the help potential to keep up the funding sources essential to get that undertaking accomplished. And that’s precisely what we’re doing.

“And there is enough money,” he added. “The state wants to get it done, the county wants to get it done, the government entities want it done, and for the most part, all of the people want to get it done. We do want to be able to take advantage of this money that is out there now because delay is not on our side. There is not enough money out there to take care of all the highways in America.”

As the dialog turned to the elections arising within the fall, O’Halleran mentioned he thinks residents must get entangled in politics earlier within the course of, and never simply the overall election.

“I think primaries people have to get involved in more,” he mentioned. “We have a type of gerrymandering going on around the country, by both parties, and the end result is that by time you get to the general election it’s not really a general election at all. I don’t mind being in a competitive election – that’s the world I grew up in.”

He added the citizens can be higher served by candidates who promote their very own positions reasonably than criticizing their opponents. If candidates would simply be truthful with the general public, everybody would profit, he mentioned.

O’Halleran mentioned he runs his campaigns on coverage, not politics, and doesn’t fear an excessive amount of about how district boundaries are drawn. But he did supply an opinion on how those that decide the districts ought to be chosen.

He favors a system during which people who wish to sit on the fee would submit their {qualifications}. Those assembly established standards would go right into a lottery and the commissioners can be chosen randomly.

But he mentioned he received’t let the district boundaries have an effect on his outlook.

“Obviously, I was looking for more competitive districts rather than less competitive districts,” he mentioned. “I feel mine remains to be a aggressive district. I’ll cope with that.

“It’s like when I was in competitive sports – you put your gym shoes on and get out on that court and start shooting baskets,” he added. “We need to get politics out of the process. And the best way to do that is to be sure to not have politicians on the commission.”

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