Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2nd Potential Challenger For Harry Mitchell

Republican state rep Mark Anderson (R-LD18) has announced that he is looking at running for the Republican nomination in CD5 next year.

From the EV Tribune -
Republican State Rep. Mark Anderson of Mesa has formed an exploratory committee to weigh a challenge against Democrat U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell of Tempe in 2008.
Anderson became the second Republican to step forward in a Congressional race that is sure to attract national interest and campaign funding from both parties. Scottsdale lobbyist Jim Ogsbury announced his intent to run on Aug. 17.

Anderson's legislative webpage is here.

Anderson lives in the bit of west Mesa that is in CD5, so at least he isn't a carpetbagger (unlike some of the other rumored but unannounced candidates that he may be facing next year).

By the standards of today's Republican Party, he is what passes for a moderate because he will occasionally "work across the aisle", and by comparison to his seatmate from LD18, Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance), he is.

However, while he is going to claim that education is one of his signature issues (or whatever terminology he uses), he has spent most of the last decade working to undermine public education in Arizona, from his involvement with the original creation of the tuition tax credit to funnel donations to private schools (and to funnel tax money away from school districts) to his scheme this year to help private testing companies with a bill to uncap the fees they could charge teachers for their recertification tests.

He is also one of the legislators who, in 2005, killed a bill in committee that would have made spousal rape a felony; at the time, it could be treated as a misdemeanor.

His reason? ...Someone could lie about it.

From the linked article, courtesy the Arizona Divorce and Family Law Blog -
The vote of the House Committee on Human Services came after foes said they feared boosting the penalty would provide incentives for a wife to charge rape.

"That's going to be much more likely to happen in a scenario where two people are normally having sexual relations and then, if one person decides for whatever reason that they would like to attack the other person this is a very serious way to get it done," said Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa.

Other pertinent facts:

He's a "Romney Republican," as he is one of the co-chairs of Romney's Arizona campaign.

His legislative campaign site is here.

He's sponsored legislation to undermine the teaching of evolutionary theory and to promote the teaching of creationism in schools (HB2585, 2nd Session, 44th Legislature, year 2000).

There wasn't anything interesting in terms of political contributions by Anderson contained in FEC records or in the AZ Secretary of State's records. Haven't had time to check the contributions *to* his legislative campaigns as yet.

The conservative blog Sonoran Alliance had this to say about him in April -
Solid conservative with a stellar voting record on most counts. Although CD 5 has only a portion of LD 18, it is a portion in which Mark happens to live. Mark is very well respected by conservatives, but frustrates the more libertarian-leaning with his willingness to use government for social conservative outcomes. His membership in the Unification Church (better known as Moonies) could be a weakness because it is easy to shoot at someone’s religion when you don’t know much about it. A bigger weakness will be the money game. He has never had to raise more than $30K for his legislative races. A serious candidate will need to raise that much about every ten days.

General issues: Dems attack his religion and his hard-right voting record.

That's a pretty fair assessment, except for one point - we don't care about his religion.

More importantly, he's going to have a tough time getting out of the Republican primary - he's got zero name recognition in the bulk of CD5, and even if he *does* get the nomination, he won't touch Harry Mitchell in Tempe or with the Independents in Scottsdale.

Note: since he's only forming an "exploratory committee," Arizona's 'resign to run' laws don't apply yet.


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