PHOENIX — After Democratic State Senator Lupe Contreras voted against a 20 percent pay raise for Arizona’s teachers Thursday morning, he dismissed people criticizing him and said that they should try to do his job.
Contreras delivered a similar speech exactly one year ago today — except it was much longer.
On May 4, 2017, the Democrat taunted Arizonans from the floor — “come and do my job and then let’s talk” — and complained that “they’re not the ones having to push these two little buttons up here.”
The speech went on for 4-5 full minutes, so we decided to post the video and partial transcript as a new #FlashbackFriday segment.
CONTRERAS: “I have a message for any one of you, any lobbyist that’s been in my office or any other person who has spoken to me about this vote that we’re doing today: Come and do my job and THEN let’s talk. It’s NOT as easy as everyone thinks it is . . .
“The calls we’ve gotten. The emails we’ve received. The people stopping us in the hallways telling us certain things, that we have to vote a certain way. Sorry, it’s NOT right.
“I don’t care who you are — if you’re in this body or if you’re one of the lobbyists around here, wherever you’re at — it’s NOT right. If you think my job’s easy, COME DO IT. There’s an election every two years.
“If you want to make $24,000 a year, come do it. Leave your six-figure income or you’re high 60-, 70-, 80-, 90-thousand dollars a year income, and come down here and work for 24-k. Let’s see how you like it then.
“I’m getting a little tired of people trying to tell us how to do our jobs. But they’re not the ones HAVING TO PUSH THESE TWO LITTLE BUTTONS up here. I’ve kept quiet all night, and it comes to a point where we can’t be quiet anymore. I’ve had sleepless nights the last three days, missing my kid’s ball games because I’m having to deal with the stuff that’s going on over here, dealing with the emails, dealing with the calls, dealing with everything else and putting my family aside for this. TO BE RIDICULED? It’s not cool. It’s not right.
“I’m getting a little a tired of this DISRESPECT we get as a body coming down here working hard for all of Arizona. And, for people just to look at us and say ‘Well, you’re the minority party. You gotta vote a certain way’ — no, I don’t. So that red button that I pushed up there. That’s for me, and that’s for EVERY person that said I had to do something a certain way. I don’t have to do it a certain way.”
Source: Senate Floor Session Part 12 – Third Reading #5, Time Stamp: 18:03, Arizona Capitol Television, 05/04/17