Response to Judy Bluhm




In response to your recent column, “Does ADOT mean ‘Arizona Demons of Traffic,’” I want to point out that the characterization of ADOT as “demons” while eye-catching, is grossly unfair to the hard-working men and women of ADOT who spend countless hours every day of the year — including weekends and holidays — to keep our roads safe.

We do understand the frustration that comes with being stuck on a highway for hours at a time. That frustration is understandable, and it is shared. Shared not just by the drivers that are stuck but also by the ADOT maintenance crews that have been called away from their homes and families to help clear a crash in 100-plus degree weather and ensure the highway is safe to reopen.

When there is a crash, law enforcement takes the lead, but ADOT crews are there to work with officers to make sure crash victims are removed safely and that any debris is cleared to avoid another incident. Crews help reopen the road when law enforcement has completed its investigation and it is safe to do so. We cannot and will not shortchange safety for the sake of convenience.

I do appreciate the columnist’s list of how drivers can be prepared. In just this year alone, ADOT has sent 26 news releases and countless social media posts reminding drivers of the same kind of tips to have emergency kits, extra food and water, and other needed items in case drivers find themselves stuck for a period of time. Leaving prepared is a constant theme we push to help reach ADOT’s true north of “Safely Home.”

We also urge drivers to download our AZ 511 and ADOT Alerts apps on their devices so they can receive push notifications when crashes and road closures occur. Our Twitter feed is also updated constantly with road condition information.

If we are demons, it is for our radical commitment to public safety on the roads.


John Halikowski

ADOT Director


Responding to J.D. Hayworth




This is my opinion in response to the piece by J.D. Hayworth titled “Finishing the job for his predecessor.”

I have been an avid political junkie for about three decades. It’s important to study our past to understand how we got to this twisted present where up is down and lies are accepted as truth depending on one’s own version of reality. 

Reading Mr. Hayworth’s piece, I find the typical distorted, veiled right-wing projection fantasy regarding President Obama’s intentions and what progressive policies stand for. 

Republicans really need to stop demonizing the opposition. Nobody is gunning for the end of democracy. If there is any evidence of that, it’s coming from today’s Republican Party. 

When it comes to elections, Republicans were never nice and accepting of anything, Mr. Hayworth. The endless partisan audit we are witnessing now is more than enough proof of that. Also, if anyone has been politicizing the pandemic, it’s the right and its campaign to actually shame people into not wearing a mask or getting vaccinated. 

Also, why are Republicans so obsessed with President Obama. It’s like you people lost your minds when he was elected. You blame him for divisiveness when, in actuality, it was the right’s inability to accept him as president. Let’s talk about the Republicans and their polarizing tactics for a moment now.

As your piece aptly demonstrates, the Republican Party has been lying and demonizing Democrats for decades. The reality is Republicans have no choice but to lie. I mean you’re not going to win elections telling working people that your big plan is to just cut taxes on rich people and privatize everything your wealthy constituents see no value in subsidizing.

Then, once you raise the national debt due to repeated deficits as a result of a lack of revenue, you cry conservative mantra against spending and raising taxes. Of course, these cries only show up when the Democrats get elected to clean up the mess. 

So, your party lies and pushes propaganda focused on cultural trigger issues and blaming everyone but the wealthy, who pull your strings when you’re in office. 

Most of us get it. Your brainwashed voters are easily manipulated and triggered but in the minority, and now you seek ways to continue to win. This is born out in the fact that all your recent presidential wins have lost the popular vote. 

It appears now your party is seeking ways to obstruct the ability for people to easily vote, gerrymander districts and pass laws to circumvent the will of the voters if need be, all under the guise of voter security and concerns of fraud. 

Republicans have been doing this for decades, crying voter fraud and dead people voting. Of course, nothing of substance has ever come to light. It’s more lies to give your party the edge for minority rule. It’s a strategy you’re playing out now in Arizona with that wacky partisan hack audit. It’s a strategy your party conveniently appropriated after Trump screamed “cheaters” because he lost his election. 

Trump’s childish sore loser rant went to the limits of treason, culminating in large group of his brainwashed supporters attempting what amounts to a coup on his behalf. Minority rule is undemocratic, and we live in a democratic republic. 

Republicans love to say it’s a republic like it doesn’t involve democracy. It does, though, so that’s another Republican lie, aka talking point, to try to validate their need to rule in the minority. The reality is your party sees the writing on the wall for its demise. This nation is rapidly becoming a diverse majority of Democrat-leaning voters. We understand that your party’s new march to authoritarianism is the only way to maintain power and control.

My question is this: How many of you actually believe the nonsense you push, and how many of you know your pedaling lies? Do you include yourself in the opinion that Americans with different political points of view fear the end of the USA as a democratic republic if progressive policies were put in place? 

Those are the same policies we had from the 1930s to 1980 that yielded the largest middle class the country ever had, much to the chagrin of the Republicans and their rich benefactors.

If you do share this fear, I feel sorry for you, as have been conned just like your constituents. This isn’t hard to believe, because I know many who were young adults in the Reagan era and have this distorted view of how this country should be run. 

I see these Republicans as the first generation to be conned. Before them, the country knew what Republicans stood for. Before them, the voting public has gone through the great republican depression. Yes, it was actually called that back in the day. 

They had your party’s number and knew what your party was about, which is limiting democracy by reducing the middle class to nothing. They and you, for a certain period of your life, benefited from the progressive policies Democrats put in place in the 1930s to return the country to prosperity. Those policies you now claim limit democracy actually grew it to a size your wealthy benefactors grew uncomfortable with. Those voters knew the mess your party made, and for that your party didn’t take the house until the 1990s. Your party had to basically wait for all of those citizens that lived in the era of the depression to die off.

The Republican Party has never passed any significant legislation that benefits working- and middle-class voters. Your party has no ability or desire to govern. Your party likes the way things are run now, where the rich have it all and the rest of the country has to beg and borrow on credit and work multiple jobs to survive. 

Wages have stagnated since Reaganomics was implemented. Your party is primarily responsible for the destruction of our manufacturing-based economy and the conversion of the country to a Wall Street-dominated society that generates most of its profits moving money while the middle class toils in low-wage service jobs. 

Your rich masters gorge themselves on the wealth your party transfers to them in the form of massive tax breaks allowing them to play gambling games with their surplus in the financial markets. 

Your party has succeeded in removing all the guardrails put in place to keep the wealthy from abusing the workers. Your party has pushed through deregulation of our financial sector, allowing banks to gamble in the markets where they used to be restricted to just providing savings accounts and lending money. 

This alone causes violent ups and downs in the market, due to speculators causing booms and busts that you give them a pass on while making the poor working stiffs pay more to bail out the mess. 

Your Republican-majority Supreme Court paved the way for the rich to buy off the GOP legislators with their decision that corporations are people and money is speech. 

Your party removed the fairness doctrine, allowing your vast right-wing lie machine to broadcast 24/7 and pretend it’s news. So, why do millions vote for your party? A massive media machine that feeds them lies daily, that’s why. 

President Obama is actually correct regarding the right and its pension to push disinformation and nonsense. That is because you and yours have fed your voters a load of lies for decades on talk radio, print and television. 

Your party’s faux patriotism ideology where you wrap yourself in the American flag and push a narrative that only the conservatives are worthy to be called “Americans” is in exact opposition to what the founders intended the soul of this nation to be. 

Progressives see an inclusive nation of everyone working not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of all. Republicans are believers in an exclusive nation that only benefits those who are among the fortunate. Your sad attempt at making the GOP and its voters into victims doesn’t hold water here either. 

Your party always plays the victim card. Your comment that Obama is actually telling the GOP to know its place is laughable. Your party was never that timid. Republicans consistently push the bounds of legality, ethics and common decency in the name of strategic victory.

And now your party is pushing anti-vax and anti-mask propaganda, essentially killing your own to make Biden look bad. Your party is made up of monsters who actively seek the destruction of democracy and the implementation of an autocratic ruler to preserve your rapidly fading dominance in a country that becomes more diverse and progressive by the day. My hope is your party is stopped sooner rather than later.