Sunday, September 28, 2008

With friends like these...

With friends like these endorsing candidates, it's easy to figure out who not to vote for...

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about one of the more colorful candidates for office this cycle, former state legislator Colette Rosati. She's running for the District 3 seat on the board of the Maricopa County Special Healthcare District.

At the time, I promised to do a more in-depth post, one with possible recommendations. I haven't really had the time to do the research required for an in-depth post, but thankfully, the Pachyderm Coalition, a group of very conservative Republicans, has done so for us, and issued a list of endorsements.

All we have to do is vote for candidates other than the ones they recommend. :)

The list is available at Seeing Red AZ -
"The endorsed candidates are Rex Altree (Dist 1), Dr. Harlan Stratton (Dist. 2), Colette Rosati, RN (Dist. 3), Elton Bicknell (Dist. 4), and Todd Hansen, J.D. (Dist 5)"

The District 1 candidates (aka - my district's candidates) are auto glass guy and uber-conservative Altree and incumbent Bil Bruno. I couldn't find much info about Bruno other than that he's an insurance broker who seems to be a Republican (based on campaign contributions to the likes of Jan Brewer) who isn't conservative enough for the Pachyderm Coalition.

That may not be enough to earn an outright endorsement here (especially since his wife Patti has given to the likes of Laura Knaperek and Lori Daniels), but he will definitely be getting my vote this time around.

The District 2 candidates are Robert Carey, Greg Patterson, and the aforementioned Harlan Stratton.

Carey is a lawyer who used to be a staffer for John McCain and authored legislation for Bob Dole and Jon Kyl.

Patterson is a Republican former state legislator, CPA, and conservative blogger.

Stratton is a hardcore conservative (actually, if the Pachys picked him over the other two, he is beyond 'hardcore').

Ummm...if I lived and voted in District 2, I'd vote for "none of the above."

In District 3, the candidates are the previously mentioned Rosati and Sue Gerard. For the reasons listed in my earlier post and more, I have no problem endorsing Gerard, the Republican former legislator and State Health Director.

She may not be perfect, but compared to her opponent... :)

In District 4, the candidates are the aforementioned Bicknell and current chair of the board Gerald Cuendet, PhD. Cuendet is a Republican and a retired school administrator. As with District 1, the race comes down to a Rep hard-liner and someone who isn't quite conservative enough to suit other hard-liners. Pick your poison here.

District 5 has the most wide-open race, with five candidates running - the GOP-endorsed Hansen, Alice Lara, Joan Kelchner, James Marovich, and Jonathan Weisbuch.

Alice Lara is a Republican and a lobbyist who works for Copperstate Consulting, a Phoenix lobbying firm run by AZ Republican operator Stan Barnes. According to this post from Sonoran Alliance, she has been endorsed by Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas. If you think that's a good thing, you're probably reading the wrong blog.

Republican Todd Hansen lists his occupation as "investment advisor" for Edward Jones. The fact that his presence in the race means that Rep insider Lara (and anyone associated with Stan Barnes is *way* inside :) ) isn't conservative enough for the GOP hard-liners should tell you all that you need to know about him as a candidate.

Joan Kelchner is a doctor and a (I think!) former member of the Phoenix Planning Commission (Business Journal of Phoenix). She's a Democrat who seems to have been endorsed by Congressman Ed Pastor, at least based on the flier linked to the word "doctor."

Marovich is a lawyer with his own firm. He's a Democrat and has experience as a senior hospital administrator.

Weisbuch is a doctor and former Maricopa County Health Officer. He's well educated (besides his MD from NYU, he's earned an engineering degree from MIT) and highly experienced (roughly 40 years experience in public health and in academic work.)

No endorsements here because I can't make up my mind between Weisbuch and Kelchner. And since I don't live in the district, I don't have to.

The pattern that I've noted before holds true here - the Republicans tend to field candidates who are strong on ideology, the Democrats field candidates who are strong on resume. Stratton and Rosati may offer resume of a sort, but the Republicans' support of their candidacies is based on hard-line anti-public service ideology, not on any medical experience the candidates may bring.

I just wish that the Dems had found qualified candidates in districts other than the overwhelmingly Democratic #5 (the same district as county supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, and one that is similar to Congressman Ed Pastor's CD4).



Erika said...

Hey Craig!
My name's Erika, and I'm a recent transplant FROM AZ to MA. Funny!
Anyways, time constraints have required me to vote absentee in AZ one last time rather than getting registered here, and I wanted to chime in on your assessment of the Health Care District race for Dist. 5. After researching Drs. Kelchner and Weisbuch, it is clear that Dr. Weisbuch is the superior choice, though in his absence I would have no doubt selected Dr. Kelchner. His credentials are actually mind-boggling and his dedication to public service, and specifically to public health, is actually inspiring. I don't know how much difference it will make but I am actually stumping for him a bit amongst my Downtown/CenPho friends, because I would love to see ONE really qualified and thoughtful representative on that board if at all possible.
Thanks for your time....

Gipper said...

Hansen need to "come out of the closet" with his views if you know what I mean. He knows.