Senator Robert Meza, A Phoenix Democrat, Explains Close Ties with Pot-Lovin', Arpaio-Huggin' Republican Operatives

Categories: Election 2012

See also Local Latino Activists Target Unlikely Politician
See also Senator Robert Meza Files Election Complaint Against Team Awesome
See also Tom Horne: Arizona Medical Marijuana Act Preempted by Federal Law, in Part; Cardholders OK, Dispensaries Could be Nixed by Court

Meza.jpg
Senator Robert Meza
As unlikely as it is for liberal Latino student volunteers to actively campaign against Robert Meza, a state senator who is both a Latino and a Democrat -- Meza has just as unlikely a connection with outspoken Republican operatives Jason and Jordan Rose.

Meza says he's known Jordan Rose of the Rose Law Group since her days as a Democrat, and attended the couple's wedding.

And instead of taking flack for such ties, Meza says he should be credited for helping to "neutralize" the couple.

Jason Rose chuckles at the notion. (Although he does admit to hosting a fundraiser for Aguila Youth Leadership Institute, a mentoring program for Latino students.)

"I agree with Meza on very little, politically," Rose says. "But he is a great human being."

The combined client list of Jordan Rose's Rose Law Group and Jason Rose over the years has included some not-too-Latino-friendly right-wingers such as former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of Arizona's harsh anti-immigrant laws who was booted out of office during a recall election. Also on the list, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and border hawk/failed Congressional candidate Paul Babeu.

As they say, politics make for strange bedfellows. And particularly strange for someone who represents a mostly Hispanic west Phoenix district.

But then you toss in a little mota (Spanish slang for marijuana), and that's when the real fun begins.

Meza served as the chairman for Don't Let Medical Marijuana Die, a legal defense fund set up by the Rose Law Group.

The goal of the now-defunct group was to "advance and defend policies that promote the continuing legality of the use of medical marijuana, fund related litigation efforts, and encourage public engagement on that issue." (That's about all that's left on the group's Facebook page.)

Meza also served as a fundraiser for this "legal defense fund formed to protect the rights of Arizona voters," according to a 2011 press release issued by the Rose Law Group.

The law firm represents many clients with interests in medical marijuana.

While he chaired the group pledging to uphold voter's right as Governor Jan Brewer and other lawmakers were chipping away at Proposition 203, a voter-approved initiative to legalize medical marijuana, Meza wasn't completely on board as a lawmaker.

Meza supported at least two anti-Prop 203 measures that aimed to create a database of individuals registered as users of medical marijuana, and expanded who had access to that database.

In fact, he cast a "no" vote on one of the measures, but after it failed to get a needed two-thirds approval from lawmakers -- he changed his vote. And it passed.

Yet, a month later, Meza -- through this effort with Rose Law Group -- was again pro-Prop 203.

He says that he changed his vote on the anti-medical marijuana measures because he received calls from his constituents urging him to do so. But that urging didn't stop him from moving forward as chairman of Don't Let Medical Marijuana Die.

Meza says save-pot fund folded because financial donations weren't coming in.

A spokesman for Rose Law Group says the organization only raise $100.

Meza tells New Times he was never paid for those efforts, and since it went nowhere, he didn't bother to list his role as chairman for the group on his 2012 financial disclosure statement -- which is required by law.

Meza is running for a senate seat in Legislative District 30 against Raquel Teran, a community organizer who believes that Meza hasn't done a good enough job representing the Latino community.

The two will face off on August 28.

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9 comments
ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Don't Let Medical Marijuana Die was formed to be an "Astro-turf" group to blunt the full legalization of cannibis / hemp.  The industrialists realized Arizona voters were not going to go there so they didn't fund it.  However, it is there for their use when needed.  This guy is a corporate hit man!

Sedona_Sherpa
Sedona_Sherpa

Regardless the issues and what side you fall on...A politician who does not simply fall in line with the party check-list...Is an anomaly and he should be considered a refreshing change from the "party first" people second - drift wood.

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

This is just excuse making by the pathetically weak elected official.

Bnbk
Bnbk

Hey Meza,Snitz,have you two noticed all the Teran and Larkin yard signs throughout the district ? Speaking of yard signs,I've noticed a few Meza/Snitz yard signs posted on what appear to be vacant properties. I wonder if your having problems convincing voters to let you both post yard signs on their properties........Another thing,it has come as quite a suprise to alot of the senior Latino voters in this district that you are Gay and that,Snitz and youself are,lets say,very close. Why are you not coming out and telling them before they have to find out second hand ? Not a smart move Meza/Snitz 

Eleanor
Eleanor

typical politician.....voting with what works for him and his peers in the legislature.....never mind "The People".

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @Bnbk btw on an unrelated matter, I find it interesting that there are Sheriff Joke re-election signs here in Yavapai county

 

Bnbk
Bnbk

 @ptcgaz

 Just goes to show that Maricopa County isn't the only county infected with the Tea Bagger plague. Doesn't Yavapai County have the highest concentration of white supremist wackos in the state ?

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

 @Bnbk quite possibly. I know some of the despicable history of BCC where I live. Luckily a lot of the old blowhards are dead but they have "kin" here. 

 

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