Re-election earned Rep. Raúl Grijalva privileges like long plane rides and endless debates but apparently also won him super powers to control the stock market.
In a live interview on CNBC Tuesday, anchor and commentator Michelle Caruso-Cabrera accused Grijalva of causing a stock selloff by refusing to compromise on Medicare for a so-called "fiscal cliff" solution.
Grijalva said it would be wiser to go over the cliff than to "throw Medicare under the bus" and reduce benefits for the poor and disabled.
He said the compromise has to come in "revenue generation" to offset cuts.
"As we're talking, the market is selling off once again. Every time members of Congress come on," said a flustered Caruso-Cabrera, who covered the European financial crisis last year.
(Who knew stock experts were hanging on Grijalva's every word?)
"And I've got to tell you, sir, I think you're contributing to the fears that we're going off the fiscal cliff because it doesn't sound like there's any compromise in what you're saying," she continued. "Do you care that markets are selling off dramatically when it looks like you guys can't come to a deal?"
"Of course I do," Grijalva responded. "And I also care that we've asked the working families and middle class to carry the burden for two decades on these tax rates and on the revenue generation for this country. I don't think it's unfair - and it shouldn't be a scare tactic - to ask corporate America and the wealthy to pitch in and help this country."
Caruso-Cabrera ended the interview with a shrug, saying Grijalva perfectly illustrates how "nobody will give" in efforts to find a solution.
ALMS FOR POOR STREETS
City leaders are thrilled that voters approved $100 million in bonds for street repairs.
That'll put a dent in the $875 million street maintenance problem. But the city is cool with checking for lost coins under couch cushions, too.
At a groundbreaking ceremony for a downtown area road-construction project this week, the praises of the Regional Transportation Authority were sung by RTA chairman and Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath.
About 62 percent of RTA funds target city streets, he said.
City Transportation Director Daryl Cole joined in the exaltations.
"I can't say enough about the RTA," he said. "Just please continue to bring money. We take small bills, change ..."
tea party factor
Some local politicos are shaking in their boots about whether Supervisor-elect Ally Miller will change up county committees with some new tea party appointees.
Miller is the area's first new supervisor since 2003. She has the power to replace retiring Supervisor Ann Day's appointees on two dozen committees that have a say on topics ranging from taxes to parks.
Commissioners and advisory board members serve at the pleasure of the supervisor who appointed them.
But will she? Maybe after she catches her breath.
Since the election, Miller said, she has been plenty busy identifying and interviewing candidates for her staff, including people who can help with the transition.
"I thought things would slow down, but it keeps ramping up," she said in a voicemail. "The Board of Supervisors have all been very welcoming, and I look forward to working with them as a team."
Contact reporter Becky Pallack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.