Some of Ted’s actions that benefit many areas of Arizona

  • Rio Nuevo Accountability
  • Wildlife management
  • Protecting Victims of Hit and Run Drivers
  • Energy and costs savings in schools
  • Animal Rights
  • Election Integrity

 Rio Nuevo – Accountability for misuse of public funds

Tucson voters approved a 10-year tax-increment financing plan for Rio Nuevo in 1999.  In 2006, the entire Southern Arizona legislative delegation, Republicans and Democrats,  proudly sponsored legislation to extend the funding of the Rio Nuevo project – save Downing.  He did not sponsor the bill.  Downing wanted to see voter approval and without an audit as a condition for extending a project which, by then, had done nothing.  His amendments to give the public a right to audit Rio Nuevo by placing its expenditures on the web and vote on a project plan were defeated in a roll call vote.  That vote includes all Southern Arizona legislators – both Rs and Ds.

He opposed the Rio Nuevo extension until it became clear that he couldn’t compel a vote of the people and an audit.

In both instances, Downing followed his conscience and represented his district, despite pressure from fellow local legislators.

In 2006,  Democrat Senator Paula Aboud mailed out a political hit piece mailer accusing Ted of not supporting Rio Nuevo – citing this action.  And Republican Jonathan Paton voted against Downing’s amendment for transparency of RN expenditures but later an measures of his own – taking credit after the horses were out of the barn. By 2012, it is clear that Ted was right to demand accountability and transparency on Rio Nuevo spending.

$230+ million has gone down a rathole – the precise details should soon appear in an expensive audit. The dollars may have been kept in Tucson, not Phoenix, but what happened to this money?

When tempers flared over what to do withmountain lions encroaching into urban areas. Environmentalists wished to protect the lions. Others wanted the lions killed.  State Representative Ted Downing brought all sides together in a hearing and called for a public education program, leading to a prize winning statewide development of the  urban-wildlife interface program by Arizona Game and Fish.

“Illegal” mountain lions – the origins of the Arizona Urban-Wildlife Interface Program


 Do the Right Thing Law – Protecting Victims of Hit and Run Accidents

When hit-and-run drivers were killing our children, Ted

wrote and then passed into law the “Do the Right Thing Law”to encourage drivers not to abandon victims. The Republican majority liked his idea so much that they allowed him to substitute his law for one of theirs.



 Energy cost savings through non-partisan cooperation


When  Republican House member Randy Graf and Ted drafted and passed an energy-cost savings law for education – saving school districts and other public agencies tens of millions of dollars. It is now considered a model energy law by the EPA.


 Protecting our Democracy – when we vote.




When voters didn’t trust having their votes counted only by machines, Ted combined forces with Republican Senator Karen Johnson and,  overcame opposition from the Diebold voting machine company, Ted passed a new lawgiving all Arizona voters – no matter what their party –  the right to a paper ballot and a right to a hand count audit of the voting machines.




Ted amended a Republican bill to put the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights into every Arizona classroom.  The incumbent call this a “gimmick” in 2006.


When Pima County domestic pets were being stolen for dog fighting.  Pima County Sheriff Dupnik brought a problem to Ted’s attention. Dog napping was not a serious crime, since a domestic dog, as property, is worth only a few dollars (yes, but they are very valuable to those of us who love them).  He worked both sides of the aisle, writing, rewriting and negotiating to get passed in law an increased the protection of domestic pets from being stolen for dog fighting. At one point, he attached dog biscuits to his personal letter to each Senator, requesting their support.  For this work, Ted earned the “Voice for the Voiceless” Award from the Pima County Humane Society.


 Protecting Due Process and Property Rights

Projects designed for public benefits often inflict economic to residents, tenants and property owners that are in their path.   Ted acted even when not in office. Remember, he has an international reputation as a consultant working on displaced peoples (

The RTA Grant Road and 22nd Street expansions are examples of public projects that may, if improperly designed and underfinanced may  inflict damages on businesses, homes, and property owners. In Arizona, properties being taken and tenants being moved by a federally funded project had, until Ted and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray (R-Mesa) noticed it, greater rights than those being taken by projects that were not federally funded. This was wrong.

Ted then worked with Senator Gray and with neighborhood coalitions, businesses, and homeowners associations to protect property rights. The new 2010 eminent domain law gives those in the way of nonfederally funded projects the same Constitutional 5th Amendment rights as if they were being harmed by a federal project.

With 1/3 of the state independent and most Republicans and Democrats feeling alienated from their party core, Isn’t it about time for this to happen? Isn’t Ted your choice?