Arizona legislators go to a movie about corruption

Jimmy Stewart and Claude Rains in the 1939 classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” shown to state senators and staff Tuesday by a lawmaker who says it helps inform people about the corruption that can occur in government.

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral

It’s not exactly life imitating art.

But a real-life state senator from Mesa decided to air the fictional “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” Tuesday for colleagues and staff, saying the movie would educate them about the nature of politics, corruption in government and “swamp creatures” that wear suits and ties at the state Capitol. Republican Sen. David Farnsworth called the movie a lesson in caution.

And he’s convinced there’s not just corruption in state government in Arizona but also a swamp to be drained here, just like in Washington, both in 1939 and now.

“The message is, there’s a lot of influences that we deal with,” Farnsworth told Capitol Media Services of the classic movie starring Jimmy Stewart in the lead.

“Some of them are positive and some of them are negative,” he said. “And I think as legislators we need to be aware of those influences and have our eyes open and not be naive.”

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