Friday, September 16, 2016

R.I.P., ROSE MOFFORD: Genuinely Good Person (Personal Reflection)

I would like to briefly add my favorite Rose Mofford memories to the flood of touching tributes and articles about Arizona's first female Governor. Gov. Mofford passed away yesterday.
(photo: Phoenix New Times)

I had the task of helping cover Arizona politics in the mid-to-late 80's, during a then-characteristically turbulent period in the Governor's office. Mofford had become Governor after the brief Evan Mecham interlude. I covered her first couple of gubernatorial trips down to Tucson. During an interlude, she started chatting up this (then) young reporter.

Mofford learned that I would only be a journalist for a few more months, and would then be heading up to Tempe to begin law school. The new Governor immediately offered her (old Secretary of State's) set of Arizona Revised Statutes to help get me started. I thanked her but declined the offer - in retrospect, the many-volumed set would not have fit in my grad student-sized apartment.

Fast forward one year. I had survived my first semester of ASU Law and was midway through the second. Sometime around dinner time, my phone rings. It was the time of day my soon-to-be fiancee and I usually spoke (for as long as our long distance budget would allow). However, it was the less familiar voice of the Governor, who wanted to see how law school was working out. She did not re-offer the statutes but did elicit a promise to call if she could help out in any way.

A short conversation, but one that demonstrated how a genuinely good person can make big impacts with small gestures.  As Karina Bland's tribute in the Republic so perfectly shows, Mofford maintained her caring for people even after she was no longer involved in politics. Further proof of genuineness; this world would benefit greatly from more Rose Moffords and it is a little bit worse off today without her.

(This story contributed by Phoenix attorney - and, Arizona's Politics' co-founder - Paul Weich.)

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