Thursday, July 10, 2008

Short Attention Span Musing

...In this post, Greg at Espresso Pundit brought up a good point about Scottsdale's elections, and the impact of the move to a September/November cycle from a March/May one.

The point that he made was that the Republican primary in CD5 likely will elevate the Republican turnout for September's election.

This wouldn't be significant under the old March/May municipal election schedule, as Scottsdale's municipal elections are non-partisan.

Under the old schedule, it wouldn't matter that Mayor Mary Manross is a registered Democrat or that her challenger Councilman Jim Lane is a Republican.

However, the new schedule and the expected elevated Republican turnout on a primary day where the only significant Democratic race is for County Attorney (not a race that will elevate Democratic primary turnout - most of us are focused on November, not September) could contribute to a Lane upset over the favored incumbent, Manross.

Greg's point is a valid one, but I'm not sure it quite fits in Scottsdale.

In a city like Scottsdale, partisan political concerns take a back seat to financial political concerns, and Manross is seen as whole-heartedly representing the city's moneyed interests (witness the Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of her); Lane is quiet about it, but he supports the more socially extreme wing of his party (witness his active support of JD Hayworth in 2006).

The CD5 primary *will* elevate Republican turnout in Scottsdale for September's election, but the increased turnout won't just bring out the socially conservative Republicans, it'll bring out the money-focused ones, too.

In short, the elevated turnout *should* help Lane somewhat, but it's going to have some benefit for Manross, too. The key factor in the race could be John Washington's write-in candidacy. If he pulls in enough votes to keep both Manross and Lane below 50% in the final tally, it will force a November runoff, and as Laura Pastor learned in last fall's elections in Phoenix (and Hut Hutson learned in Tempe this spring), it doesn't matter who's favored, *anything* can happen in a runoff.

...Want another reason to understand why change is needed in the Sheriff's office?

The East Valley Tribune is running a five-day series on the MCSO. Wednesday's headline -

"Reasonable Doubt: The evolution of MCSO into an immigration agency"

Just a reminder - the "MC" in "MCSO" stands for Maricopa County, not Border Patrol.

Even though Maricopa County is the stolen car capital of the country, Joe Arpaio's obsession with Mexicans has led to him taking dozens, sometimes hundreds, of deputies off of patrol duties to deploy them on anti-brown people, "broken taillight" sweeps.

Vote to return professionalism to the office of the Maricopa County Sheriff - Vote for Dan Saban.

...On July 20th, there will be two Democratic fundraisers that, while scheduled so as to not overlap, should provide an interesting contrast -

- From 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., there will be a Happy Birthday party for Congressman (and Tempe icon) Harry Mitchell at Shalimar Golf Club in Tempe (contact the campaign at 480.755.3343 or via email to herschel[at] for more details.)

- At 7:00 p.m., the Arizona Democratic Party is holding its annual Heritage Dinner, featuring special guest Congressman (and bane of grassroots Democratic activists everywhere) Rahm Emanuel (D-IL). (Contact the ADP at RSVP[at] or (602) 234-6814 for more details.)

Can anyone guess which one will have the larger and more enthusiastic crowd? :)

Somebody should tell the ADP's schedulers that there are 365 days per year, and other than (maybe!) Christmas, Thanksgiving, and election days, any of the other 364 would have been a better choice for the Heritage Dinner.

BTW - I'm just teasing a little with this one - I've already been told that Harry will be at the Heritage Dinner. Turnout should be just fine there, too. :))

...The Arizona Sierra Club's report card for the just-completed session of the Arizona lege is out (and thank to Zelph at AZNetroots for the heads-up :) ).

It's interesting to note that the three Republicans who were in the lege but are running for Arizona Corporation Commission (those darn term limits!), Marian McClure, Bob Robson, and Bob Stump (state reps one and all) each earned "Fs" from the Sierra Club for their efforts in the lege.

It's hard to tell from the name, but the Corporation Commission is the political body best positioned to lead the quest for affordable alternative energy options and cleaner air in AZ.

Well, at least it will be when we elect actual public servants to the board, instead of people who are just as much industrial tools as any strip-mining excavator or coal-powered electrical generator.

Remember: Paul Newman, Sandra Kennedy, Kara Kelty, and Sam George for Corporation Commission - three of them will move on after the primary, and any of the four is better than any of the Republicans running. (Sorry, Sam George supporters, still haven't found a website for him :) ).

House report card here; Senate report card here.

BTW - LD17 legislators Sen. Burton Cahill and Representatives Ableser and Schapira all earned grades of "A" or better. Congrats to all three on jobs well done!


No comments: